Dissent stifled as terrorism, Indian economy in deep crisis: Sonia Gandhi
New Delhi, Oct 26: Slamming the central government over the condition of the Indian economy, Congress President Sonia Gandhi has cautioned that the world's largest democracy was at the crossroads as "dissent was stifled as terrorism or branded anti-national activity".
In an article published in a newspaper and later released by the Congress, the party president alleged that the Indian economy was in deep crisis. This comes ahead of the Bihar Assembly elections, scheduled to commence on October 28.
"But what is less appreciated is that all the pillars of a democratic system of the governance are under assault. The fundamental right to freedom of expression has been systematically suspended through suppression and intimidation. Dissent is deliberately stifled as 'terrorism' or branded as an 'anti-national activity'," Sonia Gandhi said.
"Of course, some of these threats are real and have to be dealt with uncompromisingly but the Modi government and the ruling BJP conjure up sinister conspiracies behind every political protest, indeed behind any and everything they see as opposition to them," she added.
The system unleashes investigative agencies on dissenters and deploys proxies through sections of the media and online troll factories. Sonia Gandhi further said that India's hard-won democracy is being hollowed out.
Sonia Gandhi accused the Centre of branding its political opponents as enemies of the Indian State. "This self-serving move unleashed the most draconian laws in our penal code against any and every protester who disagreed publicly with the BJP and its politics. It began in 2016 with the pressing of sedition charges against young student leaders in the Jawaharlal Nehru University, one of India's foremost universities," the opposition leader added.
After the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat dubbed anti-CAA agitation as "organised violence" on Sunday, Sonia Gandhi defended the protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act.
The protests at Shaheen Bagh in Delhi and other countless sites across the country demonstrated how dominant male power structures can be persuaded to play a supporting role, leaving the centre stage to women, Sonia Gandhi pointed out.