Lok Satta Party President Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan today deplored and condemned the growing tendency among political and social organizations to resort to violence at the slightest pretext without realizing they are undermining democracy and the Constitution by their actions.
Dr. JP was addressing a media meet on the occasion of Mr. J. Bhagawat Rao, former Chairman of the Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation Standing Committee and more than 20 other leaders joining the Lok Satta Party at the party headquarters.
Dr. JP referred to the Youth Congress attack on the Tirupati office of Andhra Jyoti, the MRPS raid on the residence of Mr. S. Satyanarayana, M.P., in Hyderabad and the Ram Sene’s chasing of women from a pub in Managalore and said all these incidents reflected the tendency among people to take law into their own hands as they could not tolerate dissent.
Dr. JP appealed to leaders of political parties to rein in their followers and set an example to others in respecting rule of law, democracy and the Constitution. Especially, the party in power should show restraint. In this connection he quoted Voltaire who said, “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”
In response to a question on the desecration of the guesthouse attached to the TTD temple in Hyderabad, Dr. JP demanded that the guilty be punished immediately. But a real solution lay in insulating religious institutions from political influence. “Secularism implies the separation of State from the church. It is possible only when Governments do not treat religious institutions as sinecures for political rehabilitation. The laws will have to be suitably amended”.