Expulsion of Rahul Gandhi
The disqualification of Rahul Gandhi, leader of the Congress Party from Lok Sabha following his conviction in a defamation case raises serious questions about the manner in which Indian democracy is being run today by the people at the helm of affairs. In this case he was given the maximum sentence of two years jail which also raises doubts about the objective of the verdict. Jurists have expressed surprise that the Lok Sabha secretariat worked at such lightning speed to deprive Rahul Gandhi of the membership of the house without even waiting for the higher courts to take a view of the order of the lower court. In fact both the acts, the conviction and sentencing of Rahul Gandhi and his subsequent expulsion from the House bring the judiciary and the people heading the house into disrepute. Whatever be the argument defending these two acts, it is clear that Rahul Gandhi has been targeted for his relentless criticism of the government, inside and outside the parliament. The entire episode, apparently. is not only an assault on the Opposition but also weakens the two pillars of democracy, the judiciary and the parliament. If anything the Opposition has a duty to speak on behalf of the people and make the government accountable for its acts. Democracy dies if all state institutions, including judiciary, are used to disable the Opposition from doing its job by criminalising its political acts. People have seen with concern the constant persecution of Opposition leaders using various investigative agencies and by putting them in jail. The unprecedented disruption of the parliament by the ruling party is disturbing. The role of the presiding officers in not allowing the Opposition leaders to use the forum of the parliament to air people’s concerns is subversion of democracy. The action against Rahul Gandhi has to be viewed as part of defaming and criminalising the Opposition and demolishing the entire democratic structure.
Apoorvanand, Gauhar Raza, Shabnam Hashmi
and 1000 others

Defending Freedoms
People have been familiar with Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP)’s three decade long mission and goals. Dedicated to defending fundamental freedoms and protecting the rights of marginalised communities in India, CJP is facing with the increasingly acute challenges with the proliferation of hate in the public discourse. With CJP’s years long experience in tackling this on ground, CJP teams are now constantly innovating, building strengths through human and technological interventions. Join and support all CJP campaigns, be it legal interventions, public campaigns and partnerships. Ensure diverse presence in several more locations by supporting constitutional rights guaranteed to all, including free speech not hate speech, the right to protest, and non-negotiable rights for children and women.

BJP can be Defeated
According to the survey done by CSDS regarding the 2024 elections, if all the opposition except BJP fights the elections together, then BJP can be easily prevented from coming back to power in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. The survey organisation says that if this happens, the opposition will easily get a majority. In fact, this claim of CSDS is based on the seats and vote percentages won by all the parties in the last elections.

In its report, the CSDS has claimed that if all the parties fight the elections together against the BJP, the BJP may be reduced to 235-240 seats. In 2019, the allies also had a big hand in the seats won by the BJP. Statistics show that if the BJP gets even one percent less votes in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections than in the last election, the BJP will be reduced to 225-230 seats, while the opposition will reach 310-325 seats.

Similarly, if the BJP gets two percent less votes in the 2024 election than in the previous election, then its number of seats will reach 210-215. Another interesting thing has come to light in this investigation, which has given sleepless nights to the BJP. The report says that if five percent of the opposition votes go to any other party, the BJP will be able to reach only 242-247 seats. While the opposition will get 290-295 seats.

Virendra Kumar, Dalit Dastak

Divided Society
From 1850 to 1936, the British imperial government used to call them by the name of depressed class. On the other hand, if one adds 20 million Dalit Christians and 100 million Dalit Muslims, then the total population of Dalits in India is about 320 million, which is one fourth of the total population of India.

Dalits are the mirror of a divided society. All Dalits are discriminated against; they are deprived of their rights. In truth Dalits are the mirror of Hindu society divided into high and low status. After the Round Table Conference in 1931-32, when the British rulers divided the society communally, they made a separate schedule for the untouchable castes of that time, in which the names of these castes were inserted. They were called Scheduled Castes for administrative convenience This colonial system was maintained even in the post-independence Indian constitution.
Shashank Dubey


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Vol 55, No. 42, April 16 - 22, 2023