Supporting Maoists will invite 10 year jail
#1
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india...899660.cms

From the article:

"
Quote:Any person who commits the offence of supporting such a terrorist organisation (like Communist Party of India (CPI)-Maoist) with inter alia intention to further the activities of such terrorist organisations would be liable to be punished with imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years or with fine or with both," a home ministry statement said.

It said such action would be taken under Section 39 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.

There is little doubt that anyone who resorts to terrorism against India and our people must be contained and brought to justice. But restricting the right of people to support and argue against whichever ideology they choose to is a terrible precedent to set. I fear India is moving in the direction fascism, even more so than it was during all those years under socialist rule.

What are your opinions on this?
"Fossil rabbits in the Precambrian"
~ J.B.S.Haldane, on being asked to falsify evolution.
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#2
That is ridiculous. Hello freedom of speech! A democracy is all about people being able to have different ideologies and have their say. To be sentenced to jail because you have an opinion is silly. If I could make such rules, I would put all the stupids in jail. FOREVER. But no, I cannot do that. Because it's UNCONSTITUTIONAL.
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#3
Freedom of speech in India is a joke. We've built up such a culture of self-censorship and undeserved 'respect' for crackpot ideas that half the time you don't even need any laws to keep things on the hush.
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#4
This is the full text from the home ministry website.

http://pib.nic.in/release/release.asp?relid=61528&kwd=
Government Asks People to Be Vigilant of CPI (Maoist) Propaganda
14:19 IST
It has come to the notice of the Government that some Maoist leaders have been directly contacting certain NGOs/intellectuals to propagate their ideology and persuade them to take steps as would provide support to the CPI (Maoist) ideology. It is brought to the notice of the general public that under Section 39 of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967, any person who commits the offence of supporting such a terrorist organization with inter alia intention to further the activities of such terrorist organizations would be liable to be punished with imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years or with fine or with both. General public are informed to be extremely vigilant of the propaganda of CPI (Maoist) and not unwittingly become a victim of such propaganda.

This is being issued in public interest so that the general public are aware that the Communist Party of India (Maoist) and all its formations and front organizations are terrorist organizations whose sole aim is armed overthrow of the Indian State and that they have no place in India’s parliamentary democracy. CPI (Maoist) continues to kill innocent civilians including tribals in cold blood and destroy crucial infrastructure like roads, culverts, school buildings, gram panchayat buildings, etc. so as to prevent development from reaching these under-developed areas.
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#5
This is nothing short of outrageous. With all its flaws, a democratic republic is preferable to a possible totalitarian Maoist state (this does not mean I am ignorant of the plight of the hapless oppressed tribal people). However, it is plain wrong to censor opinion, especially if it is uncomfortable to you. The religious extremists are detrimental to the society too, but it would be wrong to curb their opinion. If words directly call for violence, then our existing laws can deal with it. But jail for VOICING support for the extreme left wing ideology, or any other ideology, is wrong.
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#6
As usual the troglodytes in charge of policy making always think of treating the symptoms and not the disease. The reason people turn to Maosism is poverty. When you have nothing to lose, you are willing to do anything.

Here is an experiment where investing in infrastructure led to a decrease in maoist activity. Of course the government, true to its nature, messed up things in the end.
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#7
I'm copying what I posted on facebook
"With all due respect, it is easier to fart on the facebook wall than to be on the hot seat when the looming threat of moaists destabilizing the country is staring at your face.

And people talking about freedom of speech instead of talking about the core problem only shows how selfish we can get. If the past is anything to go by, it does not take ... See Moremuch to throw any country into chaos. Yesterday it was Afghanistan/Iraq, today it is Pakistan and tomorrow it will be Yemen. If Indian goverment let these fringe groups run parallel goverments, next will be our turn.

If the will shown by maoists leaders in training and procuring weapons to fight government had been directed towards addressing real problems things would have been different. And these so called intellectuals supporting these crooks in the name of injustice. How absurd??

Coming to the complaints about democracy, I would like to know what and who is stopping these whingers from expressing/doing whatever they wanna do in India. If you know how it is like spending a day in China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Cuba, Somalia then you will understand the priveleges we enjoy and take for granted. In fact, I would go the extent of putting India on par with USA, Canada and Wester Europe when it comes to freedom of speech."
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#8
Uglyhunk:

What is this 'core problem' that has been completely overlooked by selfish people who talk about freedom of speech? (not to mention farts and intellectually challenged ones... )

And the answer to your question about the 'whingers'... errr that is precisely the answer. The GOVERNMENT is STOPPING whingers/whiners from whinging/whining. No, not just stopping... It is threatening a jail term of 10 years. And that is why, people are talking about freedom of speech.
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#9
Here is my response to Uglyhunk:

1. It's easy for anyone to fart all over the place. That's not an argument. Do not assume that those who fight for free speech are not aware of the complexities of the situation.

2. Are you in the "hot seat"? Obviously you are able to defend restrictions on freedom of speech without being in the "hot seat" yourself. So, why do you think we have to be in the "hot seat" before being allowed to "fart on the facebook wall" and criticize restrictions on free speech?

3. Governments always point to imminent existential threats when proposing draconian laws. The implication is that without such laws there is a great danger facing us. This is a false dichotomy.
Quote:"If Indian goverment let these fringe groups run parallel goverments, next will be our turn."

Really? I call bullshit and scare mongering (to promote a separate agenda). No one here is saying that the government should not crack down on extremist groups intent on overthrowing the government. In fact, I think we are all vehemently for an effective government crackdown on such terrorists and acts of terrorism.

5.
Quote:"And these so called intellectuals supporting these crooks in the name of injustice."
There is a difference between support for freedom of speech and support for terrorists. In fact, a solid case can be made that it is those who argue against free speech who are supporting terrorism.

4.
Quote:"it does not take much to throw any country into chaos. Yesterday it was Afghanistan/Iraq, today it is Pakistan and tomorrow it will be Yemen. If Indian goverment let these fringe groups run parallel goverments, next will be our turn."
All those countries that you talk about being thrown "into chaos" always had more restrictions on free speech than we in India or the West did. Your point actually supports the opposite claim.

5.
Quote:"China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Cuba, Somalia"
I have already mentioned to you before that I am against making comparisons with hardline non-democratic theocracies or communist dictatorships. If we are to set the bar that low, we might as well not have this conversation. If we just unquestioningly let the government arrogate power, we'll get to where those countries are pretty soon. I'm just being facetious, btw, but the general point stands. It's setting a low standard to compare ourselves with theocracies and dictatorships.

6.
Quote: "I would go the extent of putting India on par with USA, Canada and Western Europe when it comes to freedom of speech."
Here you are just plain wrong. I have been following this issue for many years now, and I am well aware of the law and the instances where it has been abused. Starting with blasphemy law and leading all the way to this incident, India has no where near the sort of freedoms of speech and expression that the United States has (Canada and Western Europe are pretty much the same, but I'm most familiar with US law). Of course, we are much better off that China, Pakistan and all the usual non-democratic states that are held up as examples, but the kind of freedom that the US enjoys will never come to be in Inida as long as Indians are so blissfully unaware of how their rights are being trampled.

This is a world map of press freedoms (source: wiki commons, data from 2008):
[Image: Reporters_Without_Borders_2008_Press_Fre...gs_Map.svg]

All this having said, I am not for absolute freedom of speech, because such absolute freedoms cannot exist in practice. But this case is clear as day. It is a clear violation of a most fundamental human right.
"Fossil rabbits in the Precambrian"
~ J.B.S.Haldane, on being asked to falsify evolution.
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#10
(10-May-2010, 05:38 PM)Sajit Wrote: This is being issued in public interest so that the general public are aware that the Communist Party of India (Maoist) and all its formations and front organizations are terrorist organizations whose sole aim is armed overthrow of the Indian State and that they have no place in India’s parliamentary democracy.

I'm sorry Sajit, but this is not a Public Service Announcement intended to make certain that "the general public are aware". It is an attempt to crack down on the act of thinking and expressing ideas, not an attempt to educate.

Of course the Maoists have no interest in democracy, but no one is claiming that the Indian government should let them run the whole damn place. We're talking about the freedom to say, "The Maoists Are Right" and not be arrested for it. Of course, one may be wrong, despised, jeered at and socially ostracized for saying something like that, but it should not be a crime.

Edit: By stating that the "sole aim" of the communist and maoist organizations is overthrowing the Indian government, you are resorting to a sort of oversimplification that is far from the objective truth. Of course, overthrowing the Indian government is a primary goal of many of these organizations, but that is by no means the sole agenda. Such oversimplification is designed to dehumanize the other side. This point underscores the essence of the problem. Preventing discourse on the causes of such ideological splits is responsible for such simplistic black/white thinking that actually ends up leading to increased discontent in society.
"Fossil rabbits in the Precambrian"
~ J.B.S.Haldane, on being asked to falsify evolution.
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#11
wielding the sword....smile

Quote:That's not an argument. Do not assume that those who fight for free speech are not aware of the complexities of the situation.
It is an obvious inference after going through the comments on the wall. There is no balanced view, just all about "my freedom". Bigger picture is totally lost.

Quote:Obviously you are able to defend restrictions on freedom of speech without being in the "hot seat" yourself. So, why do you think we have to be in the "hot seat" before being allowed to "fart on the facebook wall" and criticize restrictions on free speech?
I see this move by the government as an exception. It's been more than 30 years - time for government to take a tough call. And I at least make an attempt to put my ass under fine so that I can think what prompted men in control to come up with such a move.

Quote:Really? I call bullshit and scare mongering (to promote a separate agenda). No one here is saying that the government should not crack down on extremist groups intent on overthrowing the government. In fact, I think we are all vehemently for an effective government crackdown on such terrorists and acts of terrorism.
What agend does goverment have or what is that you see ?? Given our population, India just can't afford to relax on development front. There is a bigger sleeping threat facing government if fruits of development do not reach the masses. Maoists are the biggest obstace India has to cross for it to make real progress.

Quote:There is a difference between support for freedom of speech and support for terrorists. In fact, a solid case can be made that it is those who argue against free speech who are supporting terrorism.
.
Agree with that. But, I still consider the issue we are talking about is an exception. I just want all to think for a sec with a different mindset. No one is against freedom of speech but realize that we have to be practical too.

Quote:All those countries that you talk about being thrown "into chaos" always had more restrictions on free speech than we in India or the West did. Your point actually supports the opposite claim.
You are reading that out of context. I quote those countries to highlight the consequences when a government cannot assert control over its state.

Quote:I have already mentioned to you before that I am against making comparisons with hardline non-democratic theocracies or communist dictatorships.
This post is just my take on the issue. Not a reply to any one person.

Quote:If we are to set the bar that low, we might as well not have this conversation. If we just unquestioningly let the government arrogate power, we'll get to where those countries are pretty soon. I'm just being facetious, btw, but the general point stands. It's setting a low standard to compare ourselves with theocracies and dictatorships.
But when people quote freedom of speech, it is always relative. So, it is only fair that I bring the comparison to make my point.

Quote: Here you are just plain wrong. I have been following this issue for many years now, and I am well aware of the law and the instances where it has been abused. Starting with blasphemy law and leading all the way to this incident, India has no where near the sort of freedoms of speech and expression that the United States has (Canada and Western Europe are pretty much the same, but I'm most familiar with US law). Of course, we are much better off that China, Pakistan and all the usual non-democratic states that are held up as examples, but the kind of freedom that the US enjoys will never come to be in Inida as long as Indians are so blissfully unaware of how their rights are being trampled.
You can't make an absolute comparsion. Yes, there are always some restrictions given the history and the culture of these respective countries.

Finally, I do not mean any disrespect to anyone. Take it in the right spirit.

Cheers
Mad
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#12
Actually, An Uglyhunk, there is this subtle problem when it comes to "development". What is development? In the eyes of the tribals, being uprooted from their homes so that the land can go to a corporation without being paid any compensation isn't really development. They are often left with no option to either go to urban areas and live in slums, or remain there are virtually live a life as close as it can get to slavery under landlords and in mines etc, as they have no education or skills. The tribals know no other world. This surely is no development. There are several such instances and patterns of exploitation, which we in the cities perceive to be development as it shoots up the growth rate. The Maoists exploit such "development" of the government to promote their own twisted agenda which leads to violence. Sure, we can now say that Maoists come in the way of "development", but had it not been for such "development", the Maoists would not have found a support among the people in the first place. [note: I have given only one example of the perception of development, but this actually falls into a general pattern].

Amartya Sen defines "development" as that process that increases the "freedom to participate" in a society. For example, for a woman to live a decently good life, she would need to earn (hence education and health required), would need the freedom to step outside to work (hence gender equality, womens toilets) and freedom from anyone who could exploit her (hence no landlords, no caste violence, and provision of security). Thus, "development" would be providing avenues to study, to get good health, public toilets and improving gender caste and class relations by awareness. But to such a woman, if instead she is uprooted from her home without provision of education, heath services, and compensation to live a life of servitude under a mining corporation, then she is bound to support a rabid left wing movement which promises her something the government has not. She of course would not know how and why the Maoists would be detrimental to her life and future. This is how they get their support. I am not justifying it, but only pointing out to how different perceptions of development can lead to the aggravation of the problem.

So yes, the government is duty bound to fight anyone who picks up the gun against the state, but also needs to work towards development of and for the people at large, and not measures that will bump up the growth rate and not much else. To those who say development cannot happen as long as Maoists are still there: take the example of how security components were built into the development schemes successfully in states such as AP, Tripura and Mizoram. If it can be done successfully in some states, it can be done in others. Blind security action alone wont solve the problem.
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