6 July , Monday, 2020
The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) condemns the attempts being made to dilute the provisions of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016. The amendments proposed by the government to “decriminalise” offences and designate some as “minor” and clubbing of some offences and diluting them would radically alter the very nature of the Act. One of the progressive features of the RPD Act over the now repealed PwD Act, 1995 has been the penal clauses built into this legislation for non-compliance and violation.
The ridiculous plea taken by the government that such provisions “act as deterrents and this is perceived as one of the major reasons impacting investments from both domestic and foreign investors”, is unacceptable. “Ease of doing business” cannot be at the cost of basic human rights, won after long-drawn struggles. The purpose of these provisions in the RPD Act was to ensure accountability and compliance of a law passed by parliament for one of the most marginalised sections of our society, who face multiple layers of discrimination.
The proposed amendments are, as the government itself admits, in tandem with the Modi government’s efforts to further open up the economy to unbridled loot by foreign and domestic capital, utilising the pandemic situation. The attempts to negate these gains are in conjecture with the attacks on democratic rights, curbing dissent, amending labour laws etc.
The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) expresses its solidarity with and support to disability rights organisations and activists in their fight to stop the government from going ahead with this regressive set of amendments, which militate against the basic principles of equality, justice and non-discrimination.