Arrest of Com. Kovan, a folk artist of the People’s Arts and Literary Association (PALA) of Tamilnadu, on charges of sedition has evoked widespread condemnation in Tamilnadu and all over the country. Com. Kovan (Sivadas), a popular artist, was participating in a campaign against Govt. liquor shops in Tamilnadu. Through his art he has exposed Jayalalitha Govt. for fooling the people of Tamilnadu, contrasting distribution of freebies with opening of more liquor vends in the state.
Arrest of Com. Kovan under this trumped up charge shows the manner of Jayalalitha’s rule which does not tolerate any criticism. Ruling AIADMK has charged Com. Kovan with insulting Ms. Jayalalitha for which he has been charged with sedition. Com. Kovan’s arrest also demonstrates the deep insecurity of the ruling establishment, facing rising anger of the people. It also shows their misplaced sense of importance whence they term their criticism as sedition. A few days back the RSS mouthpiece Organizer had termed JNU as a hotbed of anti-nationals.
Anti-sedition law enacted by British colonialists after their suppression of Indian war of independence of 1857, has been continued by the comprador rulers after transfer of power in 1947. It only shows the real character of independence achieved by India in 1947 where the rulers continued with anti-people policies and repressive methods of rule. This law has been used against writers and artists besides political activists. People and democratic organizations should demand repeal of this provision from criminal law.
We demand immediate release of Com. Kovan. We also join the protests being held against his arrest.
November 3, 2015