“Rights-Based Approach to Social Movement”

11:24 AM, Wednesday, September 18th, 2019
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St.-Aloysius-CollegeMangaluru : Social activist Aruna Roy on Tuesday asked the people to join hands to keep the Constitution “alive as it is” by exercising the right to question.

Delivering the Father Claude D’Souza and Father Ambrose Pinto Memorial Lecture on “Rights based approach to social movement” at the St. Aloysius College here, she said that the legitimacy to ask questions has come through the Right to Information Act. The legitimacy to ask questions actually laid the foundation for democracy.

Stating that the younger generation needed political education, she said that if people thought that politics and governance were not their business, they were hurting themselves.

People keeping quiet without questioning elected representatives and the government was not a healthy sign for a democracy, she said.

Ms. Roy said that many democratic institutions in the country have either compromised themselves or have lost their independence now. Many independent commissions have become just another government department and government servant.

“Unfortunately, speaking the truth to power has become very difficult,” she said and added that voicing dissent is not anti-national.

She said that there were multi-dimensional inequalities in the country. The issues facing the country should be inferred from this perspective.

She said that there have been sectarian divisions in the country during the past four months. “Can we rise above it,” Ms. Roy, one of the founders of Mazdoor Kisan Shakthi Sanghatan, asked.

She said that democracy should be built with people’s participation. Equality and justice mattered more in a democracy. “If they are not there, there is no India,” she said.

Pointing out at the impunity with which the political system is functioning in the country, she said that no system should take sides but [it] should adhere only to the Constitution. No steps were being taken to end lynching of Dalits and Muslims without taking sides, she said.

Ms. Roy said that space for activists and their rights have come down in the media as multi-nationals were owning many media houses.

Nikhil Dey, RTI activist, spoke.

 

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