Protests in Kerala against action on Ramdev

via PNS | Thiruvananthapuram published on June 6, 2011

Several organizations, political leaders and cultural and legal personalities in Kerala on Sunday protested against the “undemocratic” manner in which the UPA Government acted against the anti-black money fast of Baba Ramdev. Demonstrations were held in several centres in the State against the police action at Delhi’s Ramlila Grounds, the venue of the Baba’s fast.

Octogenarian Marxist and Opposition leader in the State Assembly VS Achuthanandan said the police action against Ramdev and his followers in Delhi during the night reminded one of the Emergency. He said that the Centre had resorted to the action against the Baba after the efforts of the four Ministers to cajole him failed.

“Such acts were part of the Government’s move to defeat the convictions of the people about the corruption-ridden governance under Prime Minister Manmohan Singh,” Achuthanandan said in Thrissur on Sunday, adding that even Gandhians like Anna Hazare were forced to go on agitation due to the rampant corruption in the Central Government.

Asked whether people like Ramdev had to launch agitations because of the failure of the Left in taking up issues of corruption, Achuthanandan said, “The agitations of the Left would be viewed in some other ways (meaning politically). People like Ramdev and Hazare also would get mass support when they go on agitation.”

Former Supreme Court judge VR Krishna Iyer said in Kochi that the Central Government should have arrested those who had amassed black money and were indulging in corruption and not people like Baba Ramdev. Criticizing the justifications the Congress offered for the police action, the jurist said the Centre was trying to save its face with political arguments.

Justice KT Thomas, former Supreme Court judge, said the arrest of Baba Ramdev was unjustifiable. Calling the action against the Baba a mockery of democracy, he said the arrest would put the former British rulers to shame. The British could have ended Gandhiji’s fasts very easily if they had followed this method, he said.

The Government should try to come to an agreement with protestors through dialogue when they were fasting, Justice Thomas said. If the authorities began to arrest those who were fasting how people could put their opinions to others in a democracy, he asked.

Demonstrations were held in many places in Kerala to protest against the police action on Baba Ramdev and his supporters at the Ramlila Grounds in Delhi. An organization named Youth for Nation held a demonstration in Kochi while activists of the ABVP burnt the effigy of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during a demonstration in Kozhikode.

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