India | 13 June 2021

India: When criticism becomes a crime

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According to a report by the Hindustan Times on 18 May 2021: "A Delhi-based lawyer has filed a public interest litigation (PIL) in the Supreme Court seeking to quash over two dozen criminal cases lodged against people who pasted posters across the National Capital Region questioning Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the shortage of Covid-19 vaccine doses in the country. The petitioner is seeking the intervention of this court into the 24 arrests in Delhi over posters against the Prime Minister on the vaccination policy." World Watch Research analyst Rolf Zeegers sees the arrests as signs that Prime Minister Modi"s government, which is dominated by the nationalist Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), is tightening the screws in India: "The ruling elite evidently do not like to be criticized and are prepared to use heavy-handed measures to silence opposition. The government"s mismanagement of the situation caused by the pandemic has indeed resulted in millions of infections and thousands of deaths. However, there may be a positive side to the whole COVID-19 pandemic, something which all political opposition has so far failed to do: Moving voters away from the BJP. As such, this could well be a positive development for Christians."


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