Kolkata intellectuals condemn Hazare arrest

August 17th, 2011 - 9:59 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Aug 17 (IANS) Intellectuals of Kolkata Wednesday condemned the arrest of social activist Anna Hazare and termed the detention as a game plan of the union government to curb the democratic rights of those agitating against corruption.

Magsaysay Award wining writer Mahasweta Devi extended her support to Hazare’s movement and said the arrest was totally undemocratic.

“I totally support Anna Hazare’s campaign. It is totally undemocratic to arrest such a non violent mass leader. The central government must remember one thing that British rulers also didn’t dared to touch Gandhiji during his days of hunger strike,” said Mahasweta Devi.

“The arrest was totally undemocratic. If they think Anna’s hunger strike was undemocratic then they must say that Gandhiji’s non violent movement was also undemocratic. The government is not serious about tackling corruption,” said Bhibas Chakroborty, an eminent theatre personality.

“Rather than maligning him as a BJP agent, the government should sit for talks with him and solve the problem,” said Chakroborty.

Gandhian activist Anna Hazare was jailed in New Delhi Tuesday morning ahead of his fast for an effective anti-corruption law, sparking mass protests across the country. The authorities freed him in the evening, but Hazare refused to walk out of the jail until he was allowed to hold his planned fast without any fetters.

“What the government has done is totally undemocratic. The constitution has given us the right to protest and hold agitations. Is the central government trying to impose dictatorship in the country?” said Tarun Sanyal, an eminent intellectual and social activist.

City intellectuals felt the central government was maintaining double standards regarding the issue of protest and agitation in the country.

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