“Opposing the government should not be misinterpreted as being against the country,” said Anjali Maydeo, a social activist and founder-member of Nari Samata Manch.
Maydeo, the wife of Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh leader Dr Prakash Ambedkar and a former professor at the Karve Institute of Social Sciences, also expressed dismay about “several conflicts” taking place in Pune.
“As students, we used to participate in political struggles … people admired and even encouraged us. But today, it is sad that one is scared to express his/her views lest he/she gets branded as a Naxalite,” Maydeo told The Indian Express.
She, along with several other activists including Dr Manisha Gupte, coordinator of the Lokshahi Utsav Samiti, Kavita Srivastava, national secretary of the People’s Union for Civil Liberties and Professor Nitish Navsagare of the Dalit Adhikar Vikas Manch, among others, will raise this issue at a public meeting in Pune on Thursday.
The meeting that will focus on the topic — ‘One fearless step against an undeclared Emergency’ — will be held at the Rashtra Seva Dal campus.
“Pune, a progressive city known for the reformist movement, is inadvertently getting a bad name nationally,” said Gupte.
She added that there have been a series of events over the years that has “shaken the democratic fabric”, such as the killing of Mohsin Shaikh, the murder of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar, and connecting Elgaar Parishad with Koregaon Bhima violence and Maoists. “
“Our aim is to oppose this undeclared emergency. The government cannot dictate what and how we think and what to express,” reiterated Maydeo.