28 November, 2020

Handcuffs Can Buy Them Silence

The arrest of activists on the opposite pole of the RSS actuates the Supreme Court into action

Photograph by PTI
Handcuffs Can Buy Them Silence

The crackdown came out of the blue, an unprecedented, coordinated swoop on some of the most vocal critics of the BJP-led government at the Centre; a shock-and-awe strike aimed to pulverise. The outrage against the August 28 crackdown on nine activists—five of them later arrested—has been equally loud and scathing. Congress president Rahul Gandhi took it a step further with a tweet: “There is only place for one NGO in India and it’s called the RSS. Shut down all other NGOs. Jail all activists and shoot those that complain. Welcome to the new India.”

The nine activists—including a poet, a lawyer and a Jesuit priest—have been accused of links with Left-wing Maoist rebels. Police said the five arr­ested—lawyer-activist Sudha Bharad­waj, Maoist ideologue and poet Varavara Rao, and activists Arun Ferreira, Gautam Navlakha and Vernon Gonsal­ves—had allegedly delivered inflammatory spe­eches that led...



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