Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin on Saturday described as "autocratic behaviour" arrest of journalists and action by central probe agencies against opposition leaders and said these amount to "betraying" the country's freedom fighters. Those trying to "impose" one language, one faith and one culture were the country's "enemies," and there was no place for such "evil forces," he said.
Stalin was virtually addressing the "India @75 Manorama News Conclave 2022" in Kerala's Thrissur from Chennai, where he expressed concern over the recent suspension of 27 Parliamentarians, saying the right to express was being denied.
Stalin also praised his Kerala counterpart Pinarayi Vijayan and said the alliance between his DMK and the CPI(M) in Tamil Nadu was "ideological" and not a mere electoral tie-up.
Taking questions after his address at the conclave, Stalin dubbed as "autocratic behaviour" arrest of journalists and central agencies "targeting" opposition leaders.
"It is wrong to snatch away the rights provided by the Constitution, created after independence which was ensured after much struggle. My opinion is that this is a betrayal of the freedom fighters," he said.
On the "One country, one language" issue, concerning Hindi and the protests against the same in Tamil Nadu and Kerala recently, Stalin said India was a country where many languages were spoken.
One language cannot become the national language or official language. "If it so happens, others languages will be destroyed gradually," he said.
Responding to a query on Vijayan, Stalin said he had modelled his activities on the veteran CPI (M) 'comrade', especially in handling the Covid-19 pandemic after he assumed office last year.
"I implemented that (Covid management) on the guidance of your state chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan," Stalin said. On the alliance, the DMK chief said the two parties were "cordial".
"The tie-up between the two parties is not a mere poll alliance. It is an ideological alliance," he said, adding, the "healthy" ties will continue.
TN CPI(M) leaders also shared "healthy advice" to the DMK government on various issues, he added.
The DMK-led alliance also has the Congress, CPI and VCK in the state.
Earlier, in his address, Stalin expressed concern over the suspension of 27 Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha members recently.
"The right to express is being denied even to MPs, in the Parliament which should be a place for the clash of various ideas. 27 MPs, including those from the DMK have been suspended."
"There is no right to expression even in the Parliament which is the place to express opinion," he said, adding, "this is the state of India's democracy today."
He also slammed the BJP, the alleged face-offs with Governors in some non-BJP ruled states, the National Education Policy 2020 and said "the policies of Union government are anti-people."
"BJP attempts to run parallel governments, through its Governors. We have to govern our states, even as we face all these hurdles. And we have to fulfill the needs and expectations of people as well. But I am still hopeful," he added.
Stalin also praised former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru for initiatives including reorganisation of states on linguistic basis, poverty eradication and introducing the Five Year plans.
"He was a secular man; gave importance to democracy and talked about federalism," Stalin said.
Federalism will aid India and the country is not a single government, he added.
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