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From The Times of India:
THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Peoples Union of Civil Liberties ( PUCL) has launched a nationwide signature campaign against the Sedition Act whose provisions went sharply against the spirit of democracy, leading human rights campaigner Dr Binayak Sen said here.
“We plan to collect one million signatures and present them before parliament during the winter session”, Dr Sen said.
He stated this while delivering the “D C Kizhekkemuri memorial lecture”, organised in memory of freedom fighter, writer and founder of publishing house D C Books.
The Sedition Act was brought during the British rule to suppress the dissenting voices. It was an insult to the nation that the law still prevailed,Sen said talking on “inequalities and dissent in Indian democracy.”
“Dissent is the heart of democracy and sedition is used to suppress dissent”, he said.
Sen, who is on bail granted by the Supreme Court in a sedition case charged by the Chattisgarh government, said while he was jailed he came to know that a large number of people are charged with Sedition and similar laws.
Sen said a serious situation was prevailing in the country, especially in the central India, where the state itself had become an instrument for denying access even to common property resources (CPRs) to the poverty stricken people.
Since the globalisation began in 1990s, large sections of people in India as well as many other countries had been living in poverty. They had largely survived by relying on water, forest and sea. Now the situation had become graver by even access to these resources were being denied with the state handing them over to corporates, he said.