October 6, 2019
The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has issued the following statement:
The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) strongly condemns the decision to slap sedition cases against forty-nine prominent Indians who have great accomplishments in their respective fields for having written a letter to the Prime Minister opposing the rising campaigns of hate and violence leading to mass lynching.
The CPI(M) has always opposed the continuation of the Sedition provision after independence. This provision was brought in to protect the British crown and sovereign and had been used widely to detain and silence prominent Indian freedom fighters including Gandhiji. On this occasion when the country is observing the 150th anniversary of Gandhiji, it will be most appropriate to remove this provision from the statute books.
Writing a letter to the Prime Minister expressing opinions on important matters cannot be constituted as a crime and be termed as anti-national. This is tantamount to punishing all those who have a dissenting opinion on the policies of the present government. This is a complete negation of democratic rights and reflects the growing authoritarianism in the country.
It is surprising that a court in Muzaffarpur has ordered the registering of this case, when the Supreme Court had ruled as early as 1962 that the sedition clause cannot be invoked unless there is a direct call or instigation of violence against the State.
The Polit Bureau, therefore, demands that the charges against the eminent intellectuals/artists be immediately rescinded.