‘Democracy Being Hollowed out’: Congress Chief Sonia Gandhi

The Quint
·2-min read

Congress president Sonia Gandhi has said that India’s democracy is at the crossroads with the “pillars of a democratic system of governance under assault”.

In an opinion piece in Hindustan Times on Monday 26 October, Sonia Gandhi said: “The fundamental right to freedom of expression has been systematically suspended through suppression and intimidation. Dissent is deliberately stifled as “terrorism” or branded as an “anti-national activity”.

She added that institutions meant to uphold the rights of citizens been co-opted or subverted. “The Indian State now diverts attention from real problems of the people by pronouncing bogus threats to “national security” everywhere,” she added.

‘Central Agencies Dance to PMO’s Tunes’

Sonia Gandhi also accused the Centre of misusing institutions to target political opponents and civil society leaders. “The system unleashes investigative agencies on dissenters and deploys proxies through sections of the media and online troll factories. India’s hard-won democracy is being hollowed out,” she wrote.

She went on to add that central agencies dance to the tune of the prime minister and home minister’s office. “Every organ of State that could possibly be used to target political opposition has already been pressed into service — the Police, the Enforcement Directorate, the Central Bureau of Investigation, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and even the Narcotics Bureau,” she wrote.

‘Govt Labels Anti-BJP Protests as Anti-India’

Slamming the Centre, Sonia Gandhi said the “most cynical” attempt to label anti-BJP protests as anti-India conspiracies were seen in the Modi government’s response to the protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC).

“This movement received widespread support from civil society activists and organisations across the political spectrum who also opposed the divisive CAA-NRC. But the Modi government refused to acknowledge this movement. Instead, it chose to vilify it and made it a divisive issue in the Delhi elections,” Sonia Gandhi said.

On Uttar Pradesh’s handling of Hathras probe, Sonia Gandhi said, “The Uttar Pradesh government’s vile response to the Hathras protests against the rape of a Dalit girl, the unlawful cremation and the intimidation of her family crying out for justice is in keeping with this intolerant and undemocratic mindset.”

Sonia Gandhi concluded by saying, “This nation will thrive only when democracy as envisioned by our Constitution and the Independence movement is followed in its letter and spirit.”

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