June 25, 2014

In less than a couple of months and the Modi government bares its anti-people, communal fascist and plunderous fangs!


To decide once every few years which members of the ruling class is to repress and crush the people through parliament--this is the real essence of bourgeois parliamentarism, not only in parliamentary- constitutional monarchies, but also in the most democratic republics­ - Lenin
The new government which came to power with the rhetoric of achhe din has started revealing within no time, whose good days have come. The new face of the ruling classes, within less than two months of assuming power at the centre, has gone on an all-out multi-pronged attack assaults on the toiling masses of this country; or the attack on muslim community as evident from the brutal  murder of Mohsin Sheikh and the rampage in Pune by the fascist goons of Hindu Rashtra Sena, or the attack on muslim religious establishments right after the election result in many parts of Gujarat and Karnataka; reinforcing with adding additional fire power the ongoing assault on the most oppressed masses codenamed Operation Greenhunt by sending 10,000 additional paramilitary to Chattisgarh; following it up with the clearing up of big investment projects worth thousands of crores held up for decades because of valiant people’s resistance. The latest in the scheme of the anti-people moves taken by the new government is the increase in the railway charges with 14.2 percent hike in all classes and 6.5 percent in freight charges.
The continuing targeted attacks, murder, arson and loot of Muslim lives and households: The recent attacks on muslim places are not aberrations but the continuation of the ongoing process of communal profiling, which hunting and assaults. Throughout the election campaign the likes of Togadia, Giriraj Singh, Amit Shah kept on with their vile declaration of Hindutva. A murderer like Amit Shah – the architect of fake encounters of Ishrat Jahan, Sohrabuddin, Tulsiram Prajapati – was let loose by the judiciary and unleashed upon UP to “deliver” for Modi by engineering “riots” and effecting communal polarization across the state in Muzaffarnagar, Faizabad, Bareli, Meerut, and so on by killing hundreds and displacing lakhs of Muslims. Playing on the majoritarian Hindu sentiment, he had declared “The elections in Uttar Pradesh, especially in western Uttar Pradesh, [are] an election for honor, for seeking revenge...and for teaching a lesson.” And right after the day of election results, this quest for ‘badla’ was evident in the attacks on mosques and madarsas, violence and arson by various hindutva organisations in various regions from Karnataka to Gujarat under different pretexts. And then Mohsin Sheikh was murdered by the members of a Hindutva organisation, for supposedly making ‘offensive’, ‘objectionable’ and ‘derogatory’ post about Chhtrapati Shivaji and Bal Thackeray on social media. It was clear that Mohsin had nothing to do with the facebook post and that the only reason for him being the target to be beaten to death was the skullcap and the beard he sported. After the killing of Mohsin, his murderers circulated a celebratory message that said, ‘Pahli wicket padli’ (The first wicket has fallen). And to justify the same, an appendage to this exchange of message was the comment from the BJP MP that ‘some amount of repercussions were natural’ to the “painful” post on Facebook. Further violence and terror was spread by these fascist henchmen and a number of muslim shops, homes, mosques and madrasas were damaged across Pune. In Mangalore Rashtriya Hindu Andolan, a Hindutva outfit has called for the morning Muslim call to prayer (Adhan) to be banned across the country. This communal profiling and targeting is not only by some fringe groups but by the whole state machinery with a fascist figure head at the helm.
Clearance for mining projects and additional forces to crush people’s resistance against the same: The proactiveness in clearing the seven big investment projects worth 21 thousand crore rupees, only shows the desperation of this government to bail out the crisis ridden imperialist order while paying back the corporation who had invested crores to bring him to power. All these are projects which were held up for years due to denial of environment, forest and other clearances and largely because of people’s resistance against the same. This includes a 235 kilometre long railway line between Dallirajhra and Jagdalpur in Bastar district of Chattisgarh to extract iron ore riches from Chhattisgarh's Rowghat area which was first proposed in 1983 but had not been cleared due to forest clearance. The other Projects include Hospet-Chitradurga Highway held up due to environment clearance, NDMC iron ore plant , A Rs 5,600-crore 1,050 MW power project in Odisha, being developed by KVK Nilachal Power, hydropower project in Sikkim, a Rs 9,000 crore power project in Chhattisgarh developed by RKM Powergen, ,1256 crore project by Essar Power in Gujarat's Hazira. All these projects are going to exacerbate the corporate loot of natural resources of the country by Multi National companies. But the present government which is indebted to the same corporate for funding its election campaign predictably plunged into clearing these pent up projects to facilitate further corporate plunder.
On one hand various projects are being cleared and on the other more fire power is given to the security forces in the mineral rich areas of Chhattisgarh in the form of additional choppers, over 20 more central battalions, more Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) s, deployment of central paramilitary along the inter-state borders.  The previous government which was equally hell bent on letting the corporate plunder the natural and mineral resources, had launched the Operation Green Hunt to ruthlessly obliterate the resistance of the people against such plunder. All across central and eastern India almost a lakh para-military forces were deployed along with special task forces and vigilante gangs for the last five years to crush the revolutionary movement of the people which had emerged as the most formidable challenge and opposition to the otherwise unabated corporate plunder. The new stooge of the imperialists i.e. the new government under Modi has expectedly and very adeptly picked up from where the previous one left and has intensified this brutal war.

Steep rise in the railway fare and freight charges: The most recent of its anti people policy is the hike in railway charges which is freight charges by 6.5% and fare by 14.2%. Most hit by this hike will be the daily commuters travelling with Monthly Season Ticket (MST) cost of which has nearly doubled on almost all routes, it will result in price rise of nearly all essential commodities causing additional burden on the toiling masses which are reeling under unprecedented inflation. It was the same BJP which came to power attacking the Congress on the issue of inflation and price rise, and on assuming power it is continuing the same old anti people policies of the congress with added belligerence.

The new government has decisively demonstrated its anti-people and fascist character within absolutely no time. All its pre-election rhetoric has fallen flat and the tightening grip of its communal fascist regime, corporate loot and plunder and anti-people policies of price hike is revealing its expected character every day. One can after all expect no change from this inherently oppressive and undemocratic parliamentary system where one stooge of the imperialist and feudal forces routinely replace the other, only to strengthen the onslaughts on the oppressed masses. We have seen this farce repeated over and over again, for the last more than 6 decades. It is only through a united and decisive battle of all the oppressed masses for transforming this inherently unequal, violent social order that we can establish a real and new democracy of equality and justice. 

June 12, 2014

An Open Letter to Chandan Mitra, Editor of Daily Pioneer



Stop your sanghi lies and vile propaganda of branding and false profiling of students, teachers and student organisations of JNU!



To
The Editor,
The Daily Pioneer,

Dear Mr. Chandan Mitra,

On the 2nd of June, an atrocious editorial, full of nothing but a bunch of lies and malicious and false propaganda, against Jawaharlal Nehru University, its faculty members and many of  student organizations functioning there was published in your newspaper titled, ‘Too Serious to be Brushed Aside’ written by some KG Suresh (http://www.dailypioneer.com/columnists/oped/too-serious-to-be-brushed-aside.html). We strongly protest against this vile attempt by your newspaper to portray the students, teachers and various democratic organizations in such a malevolent light. JNU is known to the entire world for its democratic values and the space for every form of debate and discussion – a space that the students’ movement has created through its painstaking struggles for decades. JNU students have remained in the forefront of struggles against each and every anti-people move of the government and attempts to throttle voices of democracy and civil rights from the days of emergency till today. Certainly such a space has always remained an eye sore to the powers that be and unsurprisingly also to the current fascist government, which is now planting such fictitious stories in loyalist newspapers like yours to prepare a ground for McCarthyian witch-hunt. The editorial also claims as much by saying that ‘now that a nationalist government is in power and in a majority of its own it is high time that this great institution is cleansed of separatists, Maoists and anti-national forces’ (emphasis ours’). Can we ask you, how exactly do you intend to get a university cleansed of its students, the large majority of whom, raise uncomfortable questions and speak truth to power? Gujarat style - where all political dissents and dissidents are silenced, many times brutally, to ensure that a fascist figurehead remains at the helm? Or Kashmir style – where the universities have been turned into army and military cantonments?   

Expectedly, the entire editorial is solely based on inputs from the Intelligence Bureau and uses the age-old tactic of branding many democratic organizations and what it calls ‘liberal-feminist’ faculty as ‘anti-national’! Branding voices of dissent and a different political opinion as ‘anti-national’ rather than even making an attempt to politically counter it only brings out the ideological poverty of the writer as well as your newspaper. And if the IB inputs were not enough, the article also reproduces certain fancy myths which were claimed only by the fascist hoodlums of ABVP as facts (‘dance party was held to celebrate killing of 76 jawans’; ‘Indian flag was torn in Tapti hostel’ and so on!) which had been overwhelmingly rejected by the entire student community. But your vile attempts have crossed all limits by claiming that certain organizations as well as academic and political activities on campus ‘are receiving liberal funding from hostile foreign agencies!’ To be more specific, we would like to ask you which hostile agency funded which political or academic activity in JNU? Can you give even an iota of evidence to substantiate such bogus claims? The fact that media houses lie is a well known open secret, but there is a limit to which one can lie.

Although the editorial names scores of organization as carrying out ‘anti-national and terrorist activities’ our organization Democratic Students Union (DSU) seems to be its primary attack. Well, he has rightly said that DSU consistently raises the issues of Kashmir and North-East, demands repeal of AFSPA, ‘highlights alleged atrocities by the security forces in the Kashmir and North East, raising the unsubstantiated (sic) issues of mass graves and disappearances in Kashmir etc.’ Yes, we are unapologetic in our opposition to the extreme form of state terror that the Indian state has inflicted on the people of Kashmir and North-east and we also stand in complete solidarity with the people of these nationalities for their democratic right to self-determination including their right to secede from the Indian union. And for your very kind information, whether you accept it or not, the army’s atrocities on the people of Kashmir and the North-East, the disappearances and mass graves in Kashmir are not unsubstantiated but facts well documented by several civil society and even some state reports. In the future too we shall continue to extend our support to the people of the struggling nationalities and voice our categorical opinions against the heinous atrocities of the armed forces. Mr. Suresh seems to be quite perplexed about this, (and we don’t expect here he will be able to give a political rebuttal – here he is on a shaky ground) and his ridiculousness knows no bounds when he claims that ‘DSU is allegedly funded by Pakistan’! Mr. Mitra and Mr. Suresh, it is our conscience and political conviction, and not ‘foreign funding’ that is the guiding principle behind our political positions and activities. That, however, is too difficult for you to understand. Having sold yourselves out to big corporations that are destroying, looting and plundering our country and having aligned very closely to communal mass murderers, dalal media houses like yours only obliterate and vilify the different people’s struggles. But that shall not stop the progressive and democratic people from speaking out the truth. The constitution of India does guarantee a freedom of speech and expression and we shall not let jingoist and fascist forces to throttle them.

Every organization and individual in JNU are entitled to their right to freedom of speech and your newspaper has no right to subvert or question the same. Prof. Kamal Mitra Chenoy is absolutely within his rights to express his views over Kashmir and your newspaper has no business in branding him as ‘anti-national.’ Similarly, organizations like JNU Forum against War on People, PDSU, SFR, Committee for the Release of Political Prisoners, Students’ League, Campus front of India, The New Materialists, Popular front of India, Feminists’ Collective, Pakistan-India People’s Forum for Peace and Democracy, Revolutionary Cultural Front, Naga Study Forum etc. are all well known organizations which are constituted by either students or teachers or other academicians and many of them are active at an all- India level as well and are relentlessly raising many issues and fighting for the democratic rights of people. Apart from these, interestingly the author has named many more organisations - some of which never existed and some which are not functional anymore. Seems like the IB had also mistakenly forwarded Mr. Suresh some outdated files, and who unaware of it has simply copy pasted it from there!

The most disgusting claim made by this editorial was that ‘nationalist brave-heart dons (!) have come out against such activities notwithstanding attempts at character assassination through false cases of sexual harassment, denial of promotions and other pressure tactics such as boycott’. As an example of such ‘falsely implicated brave-heart don’ the author cites the name of Amitabh Kundu and alludes that he was implicated because ‘he lodged a complaint in the crime branch in January 2014 asking for urgent inquiry into the activities of DSU.’ Well, we would like to intimate the esteemed author of the bogus editorial that Amitabh Kundu was found guilty of sexual harassment by the Gender Sensitisation Committee against Sexual Harassment (GSCASH) in August 2013 – a fact accepted by also the Executive Council of JNU.

In each and every line of this fairy tale editorial, lies, propaganda and deliberate sabotage of facts are present. Some of them are out-rightly ridiculous while the rest are dangerous. Knowing the propensity of your newspaper, which long ago threw journalistic ethics to the dustbin to become the unofficial mouthpiece of the fascist sangh-parivar, we shall not waste our time to urge you to do more ethical journalism. We, however, take this opportunity to warn you not to engage in such smear campaign against our university. For your information our university is neither a monument to either Nehru or Jinnah. The progressive majority of this university uphold the dreams and visions of Bhagat Singh, Babasaheb Ambedkar, Savitribhai Phule, Birsa Munda and millions of other people who have dreamt, fought, lived and died for a society freee from all forms of exploitation which ensures equality and justice to all. And your veiled threats in such articles notwithstanding we shall continue to do so in the days to come.

We demand that you publish a retraction to the content of this article immediately otherwise we are going to take legal action against you. The political battle will anyway continue.

Thanking You,
Democratic Students’ Union

June 9, 2014

Feudal backlash, Patriarchal assaults, Caste atrocities & The Struggle of the Bhagana Dalts for justice & dignity

“The land is theirs (dominant castes’), the judiciary belongs to them, they have the money, and they are the government. All we had was dignity, and they stripped us of even that,” - mother of one of the rape survivors of Bhagana.
Your community people think that they can contest the Jats? What was done to you is a lesson for raising a voice against us. If you dare complain against anyone or identify any of the boys, your families will be killed,” – Rakesh Panghal, the sarpanch of the Bhagana village threatening the girls who were gang raped by the dominant castes
Amidst all the reports in the media these days of the heatwave and the new records it is breaking, little is said of the predicament of the dalit families, who in this heat (and now without a tent over their heads) have been living in the open in Jantar Mantar for almost two months defiantly carrying on their fight for justice. They have not been living here out of their own will or accord; rather they made this journey with much hope to bring their fight to the capital after being evicted from their village by the dominant castes for standing up to continual caste oppression, atrocities, social boycott and sexual violence. On 23rd March, four dalit women (two of them minors) were abducted, sedated, gang raped in Bhagana and then dumped at a railway station in Bhatinda by the dominant Jats. But just like justice had eluded them back in their villages, their appeals have fallen on deaf ears of those sitting in the comfortable AC rooms of the official echelons in Delhi. Over the past two months, they have staged several protests at the Haryana Bhawan, the NHRC, Home Ministry, Haryana CM’s office, NCW, SC/ST Commission and Jantar Mantar. Far from positively responding to their demands, the government, on the contrary, has now termed the dalit families living in Jantar Mantar as ‘encroachers on public land’! One can see an eerie similarity of the cruel ways in which this casteist-communal state further marginalizes different persecuted and oppressed groups. Just a few months back, the thousands of muslims families from Muzaffarnagar who had been forced out of their villages into ‘relief’ camps after facing one of the biggest communal carnages were similarly termed as encroachers on public land. Three days back, on the orders of the NDMC, over 500 policemen landed up at 5 am and forcibly removed and destroyed their tents, banners and the belongings giving them an ultimatum to vacate the place. Though the attempt of the authorities to displace them from Jantar Mantar was foiled that day because of the immediate response of several progressive organisations from across Delhi, they have now been given a new deadline, 15th June, to vacate Jantar Mantar.
The gang-rape of the dalit women in Bhagana comes in a series of assaults launched by the dominant castes on the dalits over the past few years against their self-assertion and needs to be seen in a particular political-economic context. In Bhagana village itself, for more than three years now, the predominantly landless Dalit community, has been consistently resisting the attempts by the Jats to encroach upon the lands earmarked for the Dalits as well as common lands. They also increasingly rejected the extremely exploitative Seeri system (a form of bonded labour) under which the dominant castes keep the dalits bonded round the year for very little money (much below the stipulated minimum wages) and which also negates the possibility of dalits claiming occupancy rights over the lands they work on. All this assertion was a direct threat to the economic as well as the political dominance of the Jats, who first retaliated by socially ostracising the dalits. Consecutive social boycott of the dalits announced by the khap panchayats in March and May 2012 completely restricted the access of dalits from the use of all common resources in the village including wells, barbers, local transport, grocery shops, schools, access to cattle feed, access to roads passing through the Jat areas and employment in the agricultural fields. Justifying the social boycott, a representative of the Panghal Khap in the region had boastfully told the media, “they dissented against those who gave them employment and means for survival. Such people must leave the village”. If the role of the state in aiding and abetting the dominant castes in the region had been indirect till now, now it directly intervened against the dalits. In September 2012, while the dalits had been sitting in front of the mini-secretariat at Haryana, the government slapped several protesters with charges of sedition and ‘exciting disaffection towards the government established by law’ and imprisoned 8 people (including 5 children) for a week! And in the meantime, the families who had stayed back in the village faced increasing wrath from the dominant castes who now started targeting dalit women.       

"The Jats use rape as a weapon to curb any resistance from Dalits, to teach us a lesson. They just want that Dalits should mutely obey them" was how one of the rape survivors from Bhagana explained how dominant castes use rape to subjugate the dalits. Though the Bhagana dalits’ protests forced the authorities to arrest five involved in the gang-rape, the sarpanch of the village under whose supervision the entire incident was executed is still at large and boastfully unapologetic. "Let them accuse all they want. What can happen with such accusations?" these words of the sarpanch to a journalist bring out the impunity that the dominant castes enjoy in this region. This is only made possible by the fact that those castes and sections who occupy land, resources and economic power effectively control all the institutions of the state, irrespective of which party is in power – from the local panchayats, state assemblies to the parliament, from the police to the judiciary and from the bureaucracy to the media. And this is a reality not only of Bhagana or Haryana but of the entire country. While the dalits from Bhagana were sitting at Jantar Mantar in their fight for justice, in another part of the country the AP High Court acquitted all the perpetrators of the massacre of 8 dalits in Tsunduru in Andhra Pradesh in 1991 following up on similar verdicts of the Patna High Court in last two years that acquitted all the Ranveer Sena hooldums responsible for the Bathani Tola and Laxmanpur Bathe massacres. With the rise of the Hindutva forces in the country today, whose very core is defined by Brahmanism, such attacks on dalits will only increase unless militantly resisted at every juncture. At the same time, we should also actively strengthen the struggle for revolutionary social transformation of this rotten system and it is these struggles alone that can provide justice to all the oppressed masses and persecuted communities. 
 

June 6, 2014

CONDEMN THE BRUTAL MURDER OF MOHSIN SHEIKH AT PUNE BY THE HINDU RASHTRA SENA GOONS! Resist & defeat communal-fascism propelled by the saffron brigade and sustained by the state machinery!!




“There won’t be a next time. Muslims must realize the Hindus of India will not tolerate terrorist attacks on our people. Muslims will not understand peace unless steps of this nature are taken.”
- from the Facebook page of the ‘Hindu Rashtra Sena’, quoting someone 
named Nilkant who made this statement post the Godhra massacre.



Not a month since the new government has been sworn in; Hindutva terror is on the rampage under the fascist regime. This time it took the life of a Muslim youth, Mohsin Sheikh, in Pune, for supposedly making ‘offensive’, ‘objectionable’ and ‘derogatory’ post about Chhtrapati Shivaji and Bal Thackeray on Facebook. While it is given that Mohsin had nothing to do with the facebook post and that the reasons for him being the target to be beaten to death were his skullcap and the beard he sported, the impunity with which such unprovoked lynching happens and how such bludgeoning is justified as ‘natural repercussions’ in the ‘largest democracy’ in the world is alarming. DSU condemns this horrific incident in the strongest possible terms and demands that the killers (some of who are history-sheeters) be brought to justice. 


Mohsin Sadiq Sheikh, a resident of Solapur who working in an IT company in Pune was beaten to death by the members of the Hindu Rashtra Sena when he was returning to his rented home after the night prayers at around 9 pm. After the killing of Mohsin, his murderers circulated a celebratory message that said, ‘Pahli wicket padli’ (The first wicket has fallen). And to justify the same, an appendage to this exchange of message is the comment from the BJP MP that ‘some amount of repercussions were natural’ to the “painful” post on Facebook. Further violence and terror was spread by these fascist henchmen and a number of muslim shops, homes, mosques and madrasas were damaged across Pune.
Though such attacks are not something new, it is clear that today they stem from the confidence of having communal mass murderers, hate-mongers and rapists at the helm to provide them with impunity.  Over the past one month, from Karnataka to Gujarat, there have been several attacks on the muslim community and specially their places of worship. And if the attacks by its henchmen were not enough, the state has also directly intervened to act as the lynch mob and stifle voices against those in the reign of powers. Surveillance has been stepped up and we are witnessing a constant policing and crackdown on what one is writing on social networking sites. Last month, arrests summons were issued by the Goa police against a shipping professional from Goa for posting comments on facebook against Narendra Modi.
The actions of the state machinery in the past few days are increasingly making it clear that it is not even interested in maintaining even the pretense of democracy. When it comes to hate speech against and the fascist witch-hunting of the Muslim community, it has been periodical and systemic. Bal Thackeray, the supposed ‘disrespect’ to whom was the supposed provocation for this attack, himself showed the way regarding this and for this he was given full honours by the state including a state funeral when he died. It is important to understand that fascism is integral to this system and it is only a politics of revolutionary social transformation that can effectively challenge and defeat it. DSU urges the student community and all the progressive and democratic forces to unite in the coming days to fight these fascist onslaughts on the people. 

June 4, 2014

Protests across the world against the dastardly abduction and arrest of Dr. GN Saibaba!


Condemn the harassment, molestation and RACIST assault on woman from North East & her friends! Indian Racism Down Down!

In the recent and increasing spate of racist violence and discrimination against the people of North East residing in Delhi, there has been one more instance involving molestation and assault. On Thursday night, 22nd May, while a woman from Nagalim was returning home, one Narayan passed lewd remarks at her. When the woman protested, Narayan slapped and molested her. As she confronted him and raised alarm, the passers-by near the Metro station nabbed him and handed him over to the local police. Such instances of racist assault, sexual harassment, rape, molestation and even killing of women from the North East; moral policing on the way they dress; vulgar character assassination and stereotypes have become rampant over the years. This particular instance of Thursday night at Delhi University, however, did not end there.
Hundreds of students from across Delhi turned up at
Bar Council of India on 27th May demanding action against
the perpetrators of this racial attack
On Friday afternoon, as the woman complainant along with her advocates and friends went to Tees Hazari court to file a complaint against Narayan, who happens to be an advocate at Tees Hazari himself, around 70 lawyers barged into the court room, beat up the complainant’s friends and tore the police files. J Mavio Woba, a student activist, was slapped, racially abused and threatened by the group inside the court room in front of the judge. Around 4:30pm, three of the activists including Noshi, a woman lawyer practicing at the Saket court, were followed by the same crowd. After chasing her down, they slapped and threatened to molest her if she pursued the case further. Such belligerence and arrogance on the part of the Indian advocates and hoodlums is certainly the result of their faith and confidence upon the fact that the police, the “law of the land” and its court rooms would ensure that they are shielded.
What happened in Delhi University Metro station and followed in Tees Hazari – none are aberrations. While the murder of Nido Tania enraged the people of North East and the progressive-democratic sections who registered their protest braving heavy crackdown, countless such cases are forgotten or go unreported. With the General Elections round the corner, as a temporary pacification measure the Bezbaruah Committee was formed to give a comprehensive report on racist violence and discrimination, so that the government could work towards passing an anti-racial law. But as was expected, soon after, the Committee became dysfunctional and was put into cold storage by an Indian state that till date refuses to recognize Indian racism, racial discrimination or racist violence.  
It is, however, only through sheer violence and discrimination, both extremely racist in nature, that the Indian state has forcefully subjugated the people and the various oppressed nationalities in North East. On one hand it has deliberately refused to address the problems like unemployment, poverty and under-education of the entire north eastern society, and on the other hand these various subjugated nationalities have been kept occupied with sheer military might by the Indian state. This has forced the people from these regions to migrate en masse for education and jobs to different Indian cities wherein they are again vulnerable to further racial discrimination, abuse and violence. Racism is fundamental to “Indian culture” and its social structure and is deeply entwined into its right-wing edifice. With the tightening grip of RSS brand Hindu communal fascism, their idea of “akhand Bharat” that finds expression in slogans like “Kashmir se Guwahati – Apni desh apni maati” or “Hindi-Hindu-Hindustan”, Indian racism today will only further bare its fangs. At such an hour, we must today forge solidarities across all the oppressed – the peasants, workers, adivasis, dalits along with the struggling people of the oppressed nationalities to transform this rotten social order that breeds on oppression, discrimination, racism and exploitation. 

   

Oppression might be yourprivilege, protest is our right! Condemn the role of the Delhi police who hijacked the bus to disallow a protest at Gujarat Bhawan! Voices against communal fascism & minority witch-hunting will not be stifled through such fascist crackdowns!


JOINT STATEMENT

Several organisations and the JNUSU had given a call for a protest demonstration today (24th May) at Gujarat Bhawan against the Gujarat police and Modi’s role in the framing of six Muslims in the Akshardham temple attack. In an extremely condemnable move, the Delhi police used all means in the book to ensure that the protest does not take place at Gujarat Bhawan. From the morning itself, section 144 was imposed in the entirearea around Gujarat Bhawan and officials of Delhi police landed up even in JNU. First they tried to apparently ‘request’ the students to cancel their protest in lieu of the ‘security threats’ to Modi and co. When that failed, in an unprecedented move the bus in which the protesters were going was itself hijacked by the police! A constable was placed in the bus, the driver was threatened to divert the usual route and three cars of the Delhi police followed it all through. Midway, around Safdarjung tomb, several more policemen barged into the bus, misbehaved with students and forcibly took the bus to Jantar Mantar where the students were dropped. There was not even a single female official amongst the police that barged into the bus and heckled female protesters. When students thereafter decided to proceed from Jantar Mantar towards the BJP national office, the entire area was heavily barricaded from all sides and police deployed in large numbers. We, the undersigned organisations, condemn in strongest possible terms the actions of the Delhi police against our democratic right to protest.

Though it is not the first time that we have witnessed crackdowns on protests which the Delhi police is quite notorious for,but today’s police highhandedness assumes a greater significance when all voices questioning and criticizing Modi-BJP-RSS’s communally motivated agenda are being gagged and silenced. Only last month, director Gopal Menon was not allowed even a single venue in Ahmedabad for the screening of his documentary ‘The Unholy War’ which exposes the fa├žade of the Gujarat model of development and the bloody trails of Gujarat pogrom, minority witch-hunting and several fake encounters in Gujarat. And once again just a day back, arrest summons were issued against a person in Goa for posting something on facebook which was critical of Modi. It is through such silencing, many times brutally, of dissent and dissidents that Modi remained at the helm of affairs in Gujarat. And with him now about to formally assume power at the centre in a couple of days, such crackdown on voices of dissent are only going to increase. 


We also express our alarm at the brazenness in which the police is increasingly entering university spaces whenever students come together to protest against communal fascism. We have not forgotten how Delhi police colluded with ABVP hoodlums last year to beat up students protesting against Modi’s visit to SRCC and then slapped false charges against them. Once again last month in JNU, the screening of Gopal Menon’s documentary organised by DSU was sought to be cancelled by the authorities and even the police was called in. But at that time it was the huge mobilization of students and other progressive organisations that ensured that the movie screening went ahead as planned. When the state and its henchmen are increasingly intensifying their attacks on our democratic spaces and our right to protest, we resolve to fight back every such fascist assault with reinforced commitment.

JNUSU I AISA I AISF I CFI I DSF I DSU I JSSF I SFI I SIO I TNM I UDSF I Untouchable India

All six Muslims convicted for the Akshardham shootout acquitted by Supreme Court after 11 years of wrongful incarceration!

“I had been working in Saudi Arabia for 13 years, when they picked me up alleging there was a problem with my passport. They beat me brutally — I still have scars on my back, and I suffered a fracture in my foot. They asked me which case I wanted to be charged under — Akshardham, Haren Pandya or Godhra. I did not know what to say, said Mohammed Saleem, one of the six Muslims randomly picked up by Gujarat police after the Akshardham shootout in 2002. Adam Ajmeri, Shan Miya & Mufti Abdul Qaiyum Mansuri were awarded death sentence by a POTA court in July 2006 which the HC had confirmed in 2010. Amongst the other three, Mohammed Salim Shaikh, was sentenced to life imprisonment, Abdulmiyan Qadri was given a 10-year term and Altaf Hussain was sentenced to imprisonment for five years. They, for instance, were forced to write letters that were then shown as evidence and claimed to have been recovered from the blood & mud-stained mutilated bodies of the two gunmen shot down at Akshardham. The incriminating “letters”, as the SC points out, however remained stainless, neat and clean! Without an iota of evidence, the only plausible ‘fault’ of the above six (and hundreds of such others) is of course the fact that they are all from a particular community, i.e. Muslims. Hence they can be picked up, framed with fabricated evidence, portrayed incessantly by the corporate media as “terrorists” or “masterminds” or part of “terror modules” and kept behind bars, executed or killed in fake encounters. Such has been the design of the US dictated “war on terror” that the NDA regime began in 2001, the UPA regime continued thereafter faithfully and now NDA will only intensify. The then Home Minister of Gujarat Narendra Modi whom the Supreme Court admonishes for “non-application of mind” for charging the six Muslims under the draconian POTA, today occupies the seat of PM ready to apply his saffron mind once again for the witch hunt of Muslims across the country with renewed vigour. And hence, today we can once more hear about the bogey of “plots” to kill Modi – stories that have repeatedly been the basis for such witch hunt. This acquittal, as Qaiyum said, was “mere release from prison; justice had been buried at every moment in these 11 years”. The only hope for justice lies is in our fight against this communal hindu-fascist Indian state that treats the Muslims either as “vote bank” or else as “terrorists”.  

Resist Minority Witch Hunting!

Fight the Communal Hindu-fascist state!

A purchased mandate, the farce of ‘secular democracy’ & an ascendant fascism


“The defeats and victories of the fellows at the top aren't always defeats and victories for the fellows at the bottom” – Brecht

The mass murderer of Gujarat, in his first press bite after his ascendancy to power blurted,“yeh desh ki jeet hai!” (“this is a victory of the country!” and “acche din aagaye hain!” (“the good days are here!”). The sweeping mandate for the saffron hordes in the 16th Lok Sabha elections might very well appear to be a “victory” for some, but certainly not for the people of the country. A simple projection of facts & interrogation of fictions will show us for whom have the “good days” really arrived?

It is a “victory” for the corporate houses who have invested more than 10,000 crores in the NaMo media-blitz with full expectations of returns. “This is comparable to the election of Ronald Reagan in the U.S. or Margaret Thatcher in the U.K. in terms of the pro-business stance we expect the Modi government will take. We are very excited about the opportunities this presents”, says Sam Gupta, the chief investment officer of Grand Trunk Capital, a Palo Alto, California-based investment firm that invests in India. Its not for nothing that the value of Indian equities has climbed by more than $330 billion since Sept. 13, when BJP named Modi as its PM candidate. Companies whose promoters have been close to BJP have seen staggering profits. Adani Enterprises, the closest to Modi, has gained the most among a list of 11 companies, followed by IRB Infrastructure, which is a major player in the toll road segment in Modi’s Gujarat. The stock price of Adani Enterprises has more than tripled to Rs 499 from Rs 144 in the last nine months and the shareholders of the Adani group have increased their aggregate wealth by about Rs 61,400 crores. The declaration of Operation Green Hunt by the then Home Minister Chidambaram, saw a Sensex boom of 21,000 in Nov 2010 that was to hold its record for the next three years. But with $230 billion awaiting clearance today as per the Cabinet Committee on Investment, the euphoria of the Sensex hitting its All Time high of 25,364.71 on May the 16th 2014 is understandable. The skyrocketing Sensex certainly comes as a message of “good days” for the corporates, big business, and imperialism at large that is neck deep in its global crisis. Its certainly not the victory for the teeming multitude of the country.

It is a “victory” for hindu-fascism that has defined the character of the Indian state and that has today made way for a fascist figurehead at its helm. All the bogus claims of ‘development’ & ‘good governance’ went hand in hand with Giriraj, Amit Shah, Togadia’s vile declaration of the real agenda of Hindutva over and over again throughout the election campaign. Giriraj’s initial statement that critics of Modi have no place in India and should go to Pakistan was followed up before the results with yet another comment that terrorists belonged to “one particular community”. Togadia, while addressing a crowd right in front of a Muslim residence, openly exhorted the Hindus to throw the Muslim out of the Hindu neighbourhood. He added, “We should have it in us to take the law in our own hands in an area where we are a majority.” Making a mockery of ‘secularism’, a murderer like Amit Shah – the architect of fake encounters of Ishrat Jahan, Sohrabuddin, Tulsiram Prajapati – was let loose by the judiciary and unleashed upon UP to “deliver” for Modi by engineering “riots” and effecting communal polarization across the state in Faizabad, Bareli, Meerut, Muzaffarnagar killing hundreds and displacing lakhs of Muslims. Playing on the majoritarian Hindu sentiment, he declared “The elections in Uttar Pradesh, especially in western Uttar Pradesh, [are] an election for honor, for seeking revenge...and for teaching a lesson.” And after all of this death dance of democracy, once he has “delivered” 73 out of 80 seats in UP for his Saheb, today his blood trails are being covered up by the corporate media by eulogising him as a “master strategist”, as one with “exceptional organizational skills”, or as a “phoenix” who rose from the ashes of his “tainted past” and so on. The brutal massacre of Muslims in Bodoland during the polls in the first week of May; the open threats by Modi to “expel” Muslims from Bengal & Assam branding them as “Bangladeshi immigrants”; the vitriolic “gau-raksha” over “gay-raksha” (cow protection, not gay protection) campaign by BJP against homosexuality; the beating up of and forcing of Kashmiri students to shout anti-Pakistan slogans in Noida during the polls on 5th May; the flaring of communal tension in Hyderabad and police firing two days before the results; the attack on a Pakistani student in Pondicherry the day the exit polls predicted a Modi victory were all but only a prelude of what the “victors” have in store. “Hara Hara Modi” chants echoed as saffron goons celebrated Modi’s victory by storming in and damaging two mosques in Mangalore right after teh results were declared. There can’t be any doubt that its a “victory” for the RSS, and not for the people of the country.

It is a “victory” for the imperialist and fascist agenda of “war on terror”, Islamophobia & minority witch-hunting. While every possible shade in power has been diligent in implementing the above, but having Modi at the helm is certainly a “victory” for the imperialist masters, but not for the people of the country. The acquittal on May 16th of all the six Muslims falsely implicated and also convicted for the Akshardham shootout (2002) is just one amongst thousands of such cases. While the Supreme Court acquitting the six admonished the then home minister of Gujarat, Modi, for “clear non-application of mind”, we see it as a clear and single minded application of the bogey of “war on terror”. While Adam Ajmeri, Mohammad Hanif Shaikh, Abdul Qayum and Chand Khan spent the last 11 years in jail for the only ‘crime’ of being Muslims, it was enough time for Modi, who sanctioned their being charged under the draconian POTA, to traverse the path from being the Gujarat CM to India’s PM. And finally, it is also yet another “victory” for the Brahmanical feudal landed dominant caste elites who have steadily been emboldened with the rolling of Modi’s juggernaut. We have seen the violent repercussions of the same earlier in Bolangir, in Khairlanji, in Kandhamal; we have seen it today in Chidambaram, in Ahmednagar, in Bhagana and so on. We have witnessed the entire state apparatus – its police & administration orchestrating the massacre of dalits, ensuring their violent dispossession and destitution. We have seen the Brahmanical judiciary of this so called ‘democracy’ acquitting all the dominant caste butchers of Bathanitola, Laxmanpur Bathe, Arwal and Tsunduru dalit massacres. Today’s result is the “victory” for Brahmanism, but certainly not for the people of the country.

Today’s results is probably one of the most brazen reminders of the fact that the “liberal democratic electoral process” itself inherently serves the interest of the dominant and regressive forces and big capital. We still recall how just a decade earlier, the electoral defeat of the NDA was touted as the victory of “secularism” of “democracy” of “constitutional values”. But, of course, what followed in last ten years of UPA rule was only a continuation of the minority witch hunt – Batla House, Malegaon, Azamgarh, Hyderabad. An unbroken string of pogroms and engineered riots targeting the Muslims – Dhule, Rudrapur, Bharatpur, Meerut, Muzaffarnagar and so on. While the UPA came with the much trumpeted promise of revoking the draconian POTA of the NDA regime, it very shrewdly inserted in all of POTA’s provisions into the UAPA - a weapon it has used time and again against minorities and people’s activists. A most brutal war in a scale unprecedented since 1947, codenamed Operation Green Hunt, declared by the Indian state in the hallowed name of ‘Development’ on the adivasis to crush their heroic resistance at the behest of the corporates to facilitate rapacious loot and plunder of resources. It is only such monstrosity that has paved way for more today. The only thing that has changed is that all the corporates that had safely bet upon the UPA in 2004 & 2009 to earn them super-profits, today have favoured the “iron fist” of Modi to deliver them better results through more a ruthless implementation of the anti-people policies. 

Many today are, however, are lamenting the fact that today, there is “no opposition” within the parliament. But the question to be posed is, was there ever an opposition within the parliament? All the shades within the parliament, till date, has always stood together in passing all possible anti-people policies and in zealously preserving the status quo of the tightening feudal-imperialist stranglehold over the oppressed. The entire spectrum within the parliament, from the right to the parliamentary ‘left’ have had no real opposition or difference (beyond lip-service and rhetoric) on all crucial matters of “national (read ruling class) interest”. Be it the waging of the brutal Green Hunt – by far the largest “anti-insurgency” operation since 1947; be it the passing of the draconian UAPA to orchestrate witch hunt and gag all voices of dissent; be it the passing of the anti-people and brazenly pro-corporate Special Economic Zone (SEZ) Bill; be it the forceful occupation of nationalities in Kashmir & North East by Indian forces; or the imposition of draconian laws like the AFSPA – there has never been any “opposition” within the parliament. They have all been passed with complete consensus across the spectrum within the parliament. Today even the facade of a parliamentary opposition has disappeared, which only serves to show that any real opposition lies not within, but outside the parliament – in the struggles of the people.

Some would still claim that this mandate signals the defeat of democracy, of secularism. They would speak of reclaiming democracy from the evil hands of Modi. But today’s results are certainly not the “defeat” of ‘democracy’ or ‘secularism’. They were never there beyond a few words scribbled in the preamble of the Constitution. A country where all its so called “pillars of democracy”: judiciary through its clean chit to Modi; executive (or the police) through faithfully executing the minorities in pogroms & fake encounters; the media through its incessant NaMo chant burying his “past”; and the parliament came together to pave way for Modi and the RSS can not in any sense be called a democracy. The resistible rise of a self-proclaimed RSS brand Hindutva-fascist figurehead today has been possible precisely because right from its so called “tryst with destiny”, right from its blood-soaked genesis under the “iron fist” of Sardar Patel when lakhs were butchered, - this country only wore a mask of democracy. It had always remained a Hindu-fascist state; and hence Modi’s monstrous tribute today to Sardar Patel in his dream project of the Statue of Unity. Instead of unmasking this sham, all the shades within the parliament, including the hypocrites of the parliamentary ‘left’, for last 65 years has only served to defend the myth of the “tryst with destiny”. And Modi today has come as that destiny’s child.

Then, whose defeat is it? It is the defeat of the very idea that that there ever was a space within the muck of parliamentary electoral politics to fight communalism, feudalism, Brahmanism, patriarchy or corporate takeover. While all of this was most coherently brought to fore decades back by the historic Naxalbari movement through its complete rejection of the path of parliamentary opportunism, today’s context provides us yet another opportunity to see the truth in its barest form. The only hope today lies is in the struggles of the people that has surged ahead over the last five decades with the legacy of Tebhaga, Telangana, Naxalbari, Nandigram & Lalgarh. What we need today is not to ‘defend’ democracy, but build a real one through people’s struggles aimed at, as Bhagat Singh said a social and economic revolution, and not just a ‘secular’ outcome in the next elections! We must take the opportunity today to strengthen the people’s struggles; to forge a revolutionary unity of all the oppressed – the dalits, adivasis, Muslims, workers, peasants, women and other oppressed genders – on whom fascism looms large. Today’s context also demands the coming together of all democratic and progressive sections to come together to resist any and every assault of fascism in the days to come. Along with the apparent & overwhelming threats, the momentous opportunity that it provides could very well make the present situation yet another turning point in history, when we must not fail to turn.

Break the fetters of fascism!
Forge a revolutionary unity of the oppressed!