Anti-Education Bill Demonstration.
Government have received reports to the effect that an anti-Education Bill Demonstration is being organized in Trivandrum on the 26th of this month and that batches have already started from some places. The demonstrators are expected to number a few thousands.
The Government understands that there is a certain amount of anxiety as to what such a demonstration may lead to. It is feared, on the one hand, that this demonstration itself may go beyond peaceful limits and thus lead to undesirable incidents. On the other hand, it is feared that this anti-Education Bill demonstration may be countered by a pro-Education Bill demonstration, thus leading to clashes between the supporters and the opponents of the Bill. The Government hopes that both the supporters and the opponents of the Bill will do their utmost to allay these fears.
The Government wants to make it clear that it will be their endeavour to fully safeguard the legitimate rights of the opponents of the Bill for conducting a peaceful demonstration. They would, at the same time, point out to the organizers of the demonstration that it is extremely necessary to take all precautions that it remains within peaceful limits.
The Government wants to make it further clear that, while there is no desire on their part to put any obstacle in the way of the demonstration marching through the streets of Trivandrum, the Government cannot allow the demonstrators to enter the Secretariat Compound and obstruct the work of the Legislative Assembly and of the Secretariat. If the demonstrators want to make any representation either to the Government or to the Legislature, there are well-known ways of making these representations without hundreds of people marching into the Secretariat compound and paralyzing the day’s work of the Government and the Legislature. The Government hopes that the leaders and organizers of the demonstration will contact the Chief Minister if they desire to avail of these opportunities.
The Government hopes that the organizers of the demonstration will adhere to the above procedure and help in the preservation of a peaceful atmosphere and thus help the democratic process of discussion and decision by the Legislature.
(Press release issued on the 22nd August 1957)