This piece comments on the Bhima Koregaon arrests, the multitude of problems with the UAPA as well as its empirically evident history of sinister targeting of those defending the powerless against State excesses. UAPA criminalises ideology and association. By virtue of declaring an organisation 'unlawful’ or/and ‘terrorist’ and banning them, it criminalises their ideologies de facto” and verily creates a regime of thought crimes. A disturbing pattern of targeting those working for the rights of minorities subscribing to ideologies at variance with that of the dominant state brass emerges if one were to look at those who were detained for years under the UAPA.
FGM is a harmful practice that scars girl children for life, resulting in severe psychological and sexual dysfunction, while being an assault on the dignity, autonomy and bodily integrity of its female victims. How can it be termed an ‘essential religious practice’ and protected as such under Article 25 when it violates Articles 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution?
Whether it is arbitrariness, lack of parity in verification requirements, placing the onus of men’s celibacy on women, treating men as a class of devotees whose interests require greater protection —each and every one of these conclusions requires the ban to be struck down as blatantly unconstitutional.
Lawyers, members of the civil society, sex workers, queer rights activist, labour rights activists and child rights activists have criticised the Bill on grounds of increasing abuse of consenting adult sex workers, migrating labourers, targeting of transgender persons and the over-legislation resulting from the Bill’s scope and approach towards consensual sex work.