June 5, 2011
The National Alliance of People’s Movements condemns the sudden and unwarranted police attack on protestors, who were peacefully assembled at the Ramlila Maidan Ground, in support of Baba Ramdev, seeking stringent measures to combat the vice of corruption in the nation. We do understand that there are and would be differences between the approaches and ideologies of various groups, striving to achieve a corruption-free State and society.
However, we equally condemn the Government’s undemocratic manner of dealing with the peaceful agitation of the people.
People in a democracy have a right to assemble and protest peacefully and when a large gathering had reached the national capital, only with a social cause, the Government should have continued its position of engaging with the agitation through a conclusive and meaningful dialogue, instead of employing such devious ways of ‘dispersing the crowd’.
We, at NAPM, have always taken the position that the struggle against corruption must be linked with wider struggles against corporatization, communalism, capitalism, criminality, consumerism in order to be sustainable and equitable. The campaign led by Baba Ramdev is certainly questionable on some of these fronts.
All the same, there is today a national atmosphere against corruption, loot of natural and human resources and injustices inflicted on millions of ordinary people, which the powers-that-be must address if the national anger and anguish is to not spiral out of its control, which is already happening in many districts.
Medha Patkar, Madhuresh Kumar, Shrikanth