The Hush Post: None other than Sidney Rowlatt’s grandson, Justin Rowlatt, the man who as the president of Rowlatt Committee said that Rowlatt Act was a black act.
He said that Rowlatt Act was the reason for the resurgence of independence movement in India. Mahatma Gandhi came to the fore as the torch bearer of Independence after this act came into being.
Speaking at an NDTV show he said, that the fake news controversy is something which big newspaper organisations should take into their hands and the government cannot pressurise the media and if it does it will have to suffer negative consequences.
He said that he was surprised that the same Rowlatt Act which was brought into force by “my grandfather, remains as such.” Charges like sedition are not pressed against individuals anywhere in the developed world but India still lives by Rowllat Act which was brought into force to suppress the freedom movement in India and was the very reason, the independence movement got a big boost.
But something similar is happening in the story of Chandra Shekhar Azad, the chief of the Bhim Army. Cut to the present, somewhere in November 2017, the UP government imprisoned Dalit leader Chandrashekhar Azad Ravan without a case. He was arrested as per the provisions under the National Security Act. Under the NSA, Chandrashekhar doesn’t have any human rights protections that are part of ordinary criminal procedure and standards of fair trial. He can be jailed for one full year without charge or trial. If he is released, he can again be put into jail under some other detention law.
Chandrashekhar Azad’s term of detention expired a few days ago on May 2. On that day, a non-judicial ‘advisory board’ set up under the NSA, extended his jail for another six months. As per the Outlook, Instead of promising to have lunches with Dalits, much better would have been if the leaders promised to treat them fairly and not use laws against them that are a basic violation of constitutional rights.
Even the High Court refused to release Chandrashekhar Azad. Remember one thing, he has not been charged with any crime. This is preventive detention and in the past the Supreme Court has itself called the preventive detention laws “lawless laws.” There are many laws like the NSA as per which the government and our various states detain people whom they may not personally agree with on many ideas.
The National Security Act sounds like a piece of legislation to save India from a huge security threat, but the government isn’t holding Chadrashekhar Azad for fear of any terrorism. Indeed, most of our preventive detention laws have little to do with terrorism.