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Revoke ban on RDF: Arundhati Roy

Hyderabad, Indian Express News Service, Sept 24, 2012

Writer and social activist Arundhati Roy on Sunday demanded an immediate revoke of the ban imposed on Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF) in the state.

Addressing the gathering at a meeting organised by the Viplava Rachaitala Sangham (Revolutionary Writers' Association) against the ban, Roy termed the ban unconstitutional and urged the members to keep on with their struggle against state-sponsored violence. "RDF is not a armed organisation. It's activities are in consonance with the Indian constitution. Then why is it banned?," she questioned.

However, she said that the ban had indirectly helped the RDF in growing strong. "The ban has indirectly benefited the RDF. It has allowed it to grow stronger and the bond among it's members and with the people grow deeper," she said. She lauded RDF's members for fighting for the human rights of the dalits and the adivasis in rural India.

"The ban has forced mass migration of RDF's members from Hyderabad to either Delhi or to the rural parts of the state but still the organisation has grown stronger in the state capital, she said indicating to it's swell of ranks during the first national conference of the RDF in Hyderabad on April this year.

However, she seemed a bit disappointed on finding no expression of emotion or anger on the faces of RDF's members against the ban. "We have stopped thinking and fighting against inequality and discrimination in the society. That is why we are not getting angry," she explained.

The RDF has limited itself to organising meetings in protest against violation of constitutional rights. It is unfortunate that governments are still using outdated oppressive colonial laws to suppress the democratic rights of the people, said president of the state unit of RPI and senior High Court advocate Bojja Tarakam. Virasam state secretary Varalakshmi, HRF president S Jeevan Kumar spoke on the occasion. The seven-year-old RDF is a democratic organisation active across India in fighting for the rights of the downtrodden.