August 18, 2014

Condemn the retraction of Sheetal Sathe as one of the speakers in a discussion by St. Xaviers College, at the behest of ABVP diktats! Let us not allow our academic spaces to be turned into the fiefdom of the fascist forces!

In yet another incident of ABVP hooliganism, Sheetal Sathe of the Kabir Kala Manch was stopped from addressing a panel discussion called “Invisibility of Caste” in St. Xavier’s College’s cultural festival “Malhar”. To ensure Sathe’s non-participation, ABVP goons shot off a letter to the Mumbai Police Commissioner, Rakesh Maria, to pressurize the college administration to withdraw Sathe’s invitation. Branding her as a ‘Naxalite’ and ‘anti-national’, ABVP hooligans threatened that they would disrupt the program if it went ahead. This attempt to brand activists in order to gag their voices follows from a series of such incidents. Anyone who begins to assert their rights or exposes the inequalities in our society maintained by the present state machinery is immediately dubbed as a “Naxal” or “seditious” so that they can be arrested and tortured on baseless allegations. In the recent past, Maharashtra has specially gained notoriety for such witch-hunt. One would remember that it was precisely on this dubious branding that several KKM members were arrested (many are still behind bars) while others, including Sathe, were forced to go in to hiding. The recent acquittal of Dalit activist Sudhir Dhawale from Nagpur Central Jail after four years of baseless incarceration hardly came as a relief for the democratic rights movement, as it is now faced with the challenge to get Comrade Hem of DSU, Prashant Rahi and Dr. GN Saibaba released from the same dungeons. All these gags and arrests of activists who speak out for justice and against oppression expose the duplicity and the inherently undemocratic character of the state, notwithstanding its hyperbole of being the ‘world’s largest democracy’.
Students of  FTII beaten up by ABVP goons, during a
programme organised by the former where they invited
Kabir Kala Manch 
Incidents like these also exemplify the close collusion between university administrations and the fascist forces. In a similar incident in 2010, the youth-wing of the fascist, Hitler-worshipping organization Shiv Sena forced the then VC of Mumbai University to remove Rohinton Mistry’s award-winning book Such a Long Journey from the B.A. syllabus. The VC not only meekly acquiesced to their demand but in a blatant abuse of power invoked emergency powers under Section 14 (7) of the Maharashtra Universities Act, 1994 to ban the book altogether! In Delhi University, sanghi goons have simply been given a free run by the police to target professors and students and in our own campus as well, we have seen repeated hooliganism from ABVP - be it ransacking the presidential debate in 2007, attacking programs or the recent attempt to violently sabotage the juloos called by DSU on the first year of Afzal Guru’s judicial murder. Despite overwhelming protests by the student community on each of these occasions, the administration has never taken any action against ABVP. On the contrary, it has only been too keen on witch-hunting students based on dubious complaints by ABVP. One would remember that the JNU Forum against War on People, which has been mobilizing opinion against Operation Green hunt, was banned for over 6 months, based on a bogus complaint by ABVP.

Sheetal Sathe was conspicuous by her absence at the panel discussion and it is only ironical that the discussion was called “Invisibility of caste”! For fascist forces such as ABVP/BJP, the likes of Dina Nath Batra and other self-proclaimed custodians of so called Indian culture, it is all the more important to clamp down on discussions, protests and mobilizations that foreground the entrenched violent inequalities of our society that they perpetuate.  And they do so both directly like the case above, as well through institutionalized penal instruments like the Lyngdoh Committee Recommendations which depoliticize campuses & embolden the forces of Brahmanism & privatization. DSU condemns in the strongest possible terms the withdrawal by St. Xaviers’ College of Sheetal Sathe as one of the speakers and appeals to all progressive and democratic students to assertively confront such fascist forces and defeat their politics of threats and intimidation. We can in no way allow our academic spaces to be turned into the fiefdom of fascist forces!  

Speak up against the 18 year long ban on SIMI! Condemn the UAPA Tribunal’s decision to uphold the ban imposed by the Govt. on SIMI for the seventh time!

Resist the profiling & witch hunting of Muslims
by the communal fascist Indian state
in the name of “war on terror”!

The Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Tribunal upheld the undemocratic ban  imposed by the Indian state for the seventh time on the Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) with that extending the total period of ban to 18 long years!  The NDA regime had clamped down on SIMI way back in 2001 just a week after 9/11 adhering to the American cries for revenge making SIMI the    first casualty of the imperialist “war on terror”. Ever since, even without an iota    of evidence, without a single case been proven against them, under Congress  too, the ban on SIMI has been reviewed every 2 years and routinely extended apart from a short spell in 2008 when the landmark Geeta Mittal Tribunal that found no basis for the continuing ban. Such “incriminating evidence of anti-national activities” or “terror plots” included, for instance, protesting against the burning of Quran, against the US invasion of Afghanistan, against the inaction of the UN Security Council, or even merely the knowledge of internet, swimming or horse-riding! Some were even picked up for blasts that were later revealed to be the handiwork of the sangh. This year, under the provisions of the draconian UAPA, the ban has been extended for 5 years. This Tribunal,  headed by    Suresh Kait  confirmed on 27th July the Centre’s February 6th notification banning SIMI for another 5 years with the farce that the outfit  would      reorganize & “disrupt the secular fabric” of the country if not curbed.
The build up to this was being meticulously planned for the last one year. Ever since the weakening of the case against SIMI in 2008, the state hatched yet another series ofso called “masterminds” and “terror modules”, this time under     the fictitious Indian Mujahideen or IM. For a year or more stories of IM & SIMI working in coordination or the latter providing logistical support to IM began to be floated. Just a few months before the Tribunal, “confessional statements” were conjured up from supposed “IM linkmen” to manufacture a story of “SIMI terror modules regrouping”. The bogey of attack on Modi and SIMI’s alleged involvement in Patna Rally blasts was also resurrected timely to justify this ban.
It is high time that we speak up against the Indian state’s fascist tactic of banning an organization and orchestrating a communal fascist witch hunt of minorities faithful to the imperialist “war on terror”. It is the responsibility of all progressive democratic voices to demand an immediate revocation of the ban on SIMI.                 

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!

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 ( 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!


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.