Surveillance by state is assault on democratic rights, says Siddharth Varadarajan

‘Right to privacy is the central part of right to life’

Surveillance by state is not just encroachment into the rights of privacy of an individual, but is an assault on the democratic rights of people, said Siddharth Varadarajan, the founding Editor of The Wire.

He was speaking on the topic ‘The surveillance state’ at the 12th K. Balagopal memorial lecture, organised by the Human Rights Forum here on Sunday.

He pointed out that right to privacy is the central part of right to life and there cannot be any infringement.

There may be an opinion that the surveillance was taken up on a few individuals and it is their problem and the rest of the people need not bother about, is a wrong thinking. It should be looked into with a wider perspective, he said.

Comparing the present rule of the BJP-led Union hovernment with the Emergency period, Mr. Siddharth said that since 2014, there has been more attacks on democratic institutions than ever before. While Emergency was for a period of two years, this has crossed seven years and the assaults are increasing with every passing year, he said.

Suryakant Waghmore from the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT-Bombay, spoke on the topic ‘Hundutva, Hinduism and Human Rights’.

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