28th April, 2021
CDRO strongly condemns the declaration of Civil Liberties Committee (CLC) and 15 other organisations by the Telangana state government as unlawful associations under Telangana Public security Act.
The Telangana Government, recently through a G. O. Ms.73 dt. 30-3-2021, declared that the following organisations, Telangana Praja Front (TPF), 2.Telangana Asanghatitha Karmika Samkhya (TAKS), 3.Telangana Vidyarthi Vedika (TW), 4.Democratic Students Organisation (DSU), 5. Telangana Vidyarthi Sangham (TVS), 6. Adivasi Students Union (ASU), 7. Committee for Release of Political Prisoners (CRPP), 8. Telangana Raithanga Samithi (TRS), 9. Tudum Debba (TD), 10.Praja Kala Mandali (PKM), 11. Telangana Democratic Front (TDF), 12.Civil Liberties Committee (CLC), 13. Forum Against Hindu Fascism Offensive (FAHFO), 14. Amarula Bandhu Mithrula Sangham (ABMS), 15. Chaitanya Mahila Sangham (CMS) and 16. Revolutionary Writers Association (RWA), to be unlawful associations in the Telangana State, with immediate effect.
While passing the above said G. O., the government banned all these organisations by describing them to be frontal organisations of the Communist Party of India (Maoist). Branding the above organisations, which are working within the constitutional framework, is a vicious attempt of the government in silencing dissent. Though the G. O. was passed on 30th March, the organisations and the public came to know about it only on 23rd April when the journalists came to know about the same. As such, the passing of G. O. secretly by the government itself indicates the state’s guilt.
Civil Liberties Committee (CLC), a constituent member organisation of CDRO, has been fighting for democratic rights for almost the last five decades in Telugu states. It has a glorious history of fighting for the cause of the civil and democratic rights of the people of undivided Andhra Pradesh and now in Telangana also. Its relentless journey in the rights movement has a significant role.
All the other 15 organisations also have been working within the constitutional framework openly for the last three to four decades. Each organisation has its own defined program and pursues its public activities.
It is pertinent to note that each of these organisations participated in the separate Telangana movement and supported the aspirations of the people of Telangana. Almost all members of all these organisations stand for higher human values. They constitute the moral resources of Telangana society.
During the Telangana movement, the present Chief Minister of Telangana, Mr. K. Chandrasekhar Rao, had claimed that he would like to part of the Civil Liberties Committee and had appreciated its work. However, after he came to power, the same organisation became illegal in his eyes. It is a deliberate attempt by the state to criminalise political belief and to throttle dissent. The act of the government is nothing but undermining constitutional values and democratic principles. The Telangana government used its Public Security Act as a political instrument to suppress dissent. Based on the letter of the D. G. P., the government swiftly acted upon without following the due process of law. Such an approach tramples on fundamental freedoms and is utterly unacceptable in a democratic setup. This anti-people G. O. has taken away the fundamental right of Freedom of Association and has done enormous damage to the very notion of democracy.
In the history of independent India, prior to this attempt by the Telangana government, no government in independent India has ever declared a rights organisation as unlawful. The governments do claim that we are a democratic system and governed by constitutional laws. This very constitution encodes several democratic rights to the citizens. These legal standards and norms bind the government. Universal Declaration of Human Rights in its preamble emphatically states that repression always leads to rebellions. Human history is also full of such instances. After all, the separate state movement of Telangana was a product of such prolonged repression. The then government of united Andhra Pradesh attempted at dubbing the separate statehood movement as a Maoist movement. All the organisations that have now been declared unlawful have been active participants and enthusiastic supporters of the separate Telangana movement. The people of Telangana wanted a free and democratic climate. Given the aspirations of the Telangana movement, constitutional rights, and the long history of democratic movements, this decision declaring these organisations unlawful is both a negation of the democratic values and a betrayal of the history of the very formation of the state of Telangana.
It is high time to raise our collective voice against the undemocratic act of the Telangana State. We appeal to all democratic forces of this nation to desist from the Act of Telangana government and to demand the revocation of the undemocratic and unconstitutional G. O. 73. Let us safeguard our constitutional rights, such as Freedom of Association and Expression.
CDRO strongly condemns the passing of this government order and demands that the black law be withdrawn immediately. The government should immediately lift the ban on all these 16 organisations and allow these organisations to continue their good work in their respective fields.
Pritpal Singh, Tapas Chakrabarty, K. Kranthi Chaitanya, V. Raghunath
Constituent Organisations: Association for Democratic Rights (AFDR, Punjab), Association for Protection of Democratic Rights (APDR, West Bengal); Asansol Civil Rights Association, West Bengal; Bandi Mukti Committee (West Bengal); Civil Liberties Committee (Andhra Pradesh); Civil Liberties Committee (Telangana); Committee for Protection of Democratic Rights (Maharashtra); Committee for Protection of Democratic Rights (CPDR TamilNadu); Coordination for Human Rights (Manipur); Manab Adhikar Sangram Samiti (Assam); Naga Peoples Movement for Human Rights ; Peoples’ Committee for Human Rights (Jammu and Kashmir); Peoples Democratic Forum (Karnataka); Jharkhand Council for Democratic Rights (Jharkhand); Peoples Union For Democratic Rights (Delhi); Peoples Union for Civil Rights (Hariyana), Campaign for Peace &amp; Democracy in Manipur, Delhi; Janhastakshep (Delhi)