Bangalore: In Indian democracy we have the right to dissent and one should never compromise on the freedom of speech and expression, said Vinuta, Green Peace activist, while addressing the crowd gathered to celebrate the landmark judgment by Delhi High Court in favour Green Peace activist Priya Pillai, on Friday.
The event ‘Democratic Right to Free Speech’ which was held at Town Hall saw over 80 Green Peace activists, youngsters and citizens across the country taking part in it. Participants from eight cities came together with posters and banners to stand in solidarity with the people of Mahan.
Amit Kumar, a Green Peace activist said, “Many of the innocent people are labeled anti-national because they are outspoken, but this landmark judgment in favour of Ms Pillai, will encourage the youth to stand for their rights.”
Mahan constitutes 50,000 villagers from tribal and forest dwelling communities who stand to lose their home and primary source of livelihood because of the proposed coal mining in Mahan forests.
“It upholds our basic right as Indians for freedom of speech and expression. Criticism of government policies doesn’t make one anti-national”, said Nadia Gomes, Green Peace activist.
Ms Pillai was banned from travelling abroad on Sunday January 11, 2015. The Delhi High Court on Wednesday ruled in favour of Pillai and quashed the lookout circular issued against her by the government. The court also ordered Pillai to be removed from Intelligence Bureau database.
– Rahulraj.S, I MS Comm