Sunday, Nov 09, 2003
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By Our Tamil Nadu Bureau
The denial of even minimum rights to discharge one's democratic duties shows that the ``dictatorial attitude'' of the AIADMK has gone beyond limits, the State secretary, N. Varadarajan, said in a statement here.
Yesterday's action of the Assembly was a ``black spot'' in the annals of democracy as the Press had been denied the freedom of expression to point out the flaws in the functioning of the democratically-elected Government.
Terming the Assembly decision ``anti-democratic and anti-people'', Mr. Varadarajan wanted all people and democratic institutions to strongly condemn it. His party would consult Left and democratic forces and lead a campaign against such misdeeds of the Government.
`Dictatorship in the name of democracy'
The Tamil Nadu Consumer Rights Council has condemned the arrest warrants issued by the Speaker against the printer and publisher, the Editor, the Executive Editor and two journalists of The Hindu. This is nothing but ``dictatorship in the name of democracy'', the State president, N. Jamaludheen, said in a statement issued in Tiruchi. He called upon the President and the Governor to take steps to protect the freedom of speech, press and democracy.
The Erode Press Club today condemned the warrants issued by the Speaker. At a meeting, it urged him to withdraw them immediately and ``unconditionally''.
The meeting decided to hold a demonstration in front of the Erode Collectorate on November 10.
In the Nilgiris, politicians, industrialists, educationists, students, government officials and social activists have expressed their solidarity with the media in general and The Hindu in particular. They condemned the decision of the Assembly to incarcerate the editors and journalists of The Hindu and Murasoli. Underscoring the vital role being played by the media, particularly The Hindu, in ensuring the good health of democracy, S. Jayachandran, joint secretary, Tamil Nadu Green Movement, said one should neither take the press for granted nor treat it with disrespect.
Some journalists, at an informal meeting, pointed out that the Assembly action was unwarranted and cautioned that sans the freedom of expression and speech, ``democracy in our great country will be in jeopardy''.
They requested the Governor to use his good offices with the President to ensure protection of the constitutional rights of the mediapersons.
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