Human rights activist Dr Binayak Sen took a dig at Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi saying that sadbhavana cannot be generated unless justice is restored.
“Whatever happened in Gujarat is very serious and cannot be neglected,” said Dr Sen, at a cultural festival on right to dissent, jointly organised by Maharashtra Cosmopolitan Society’s Allana Institute of Management Studies and Lokayat, a voluntary organisation. Sen is on a two-day visit in Pune.
Refraining from commenting on Modi initially, Dr Sen later said that unless the past is accepted, we cannot move ahead. “If there is no justice, how can there be sadbhavana”, he asked.
Even though Dr Sen supported fast as a tool to exercise right to dissent, he emphasised that all those who undertake fast must be given treatment. When specifically asked about Anna Hazare’s indefinite fast he said it is good that his fast has yielded some results. “However, what about Irom who has been fasting for more than ten years now?” he asked saying that it has now become crime if somebody asks question or raises his voice against any decision.
He said he had never supported Naxals or Maoists as he firmly believes in peace, justice and equality. “But we have to understand that people react sharply when government uses draconian ways to suppress their voices.”
Dr Sen said various human rights organisations would undertake a nationwide campaign to mobilise public opinion against section 124 of IPC, pertaining to sedition. “This section must be repealed as several people have been put behind the bars because of it,” he said.
When asked whether he would act as a mediator between Maoists and government, Dr Sen said several groups and individuals are already working in this direction.