October 26, 2010
Resist SFI’s attempt to abject surrender before Lyngdoh Comiittee Recommendations in the garb of ‘negotiations with Solicitor General’!
The JNUSU elections have been stayed by the Supreme Court for our non-compliances with the notorious Lyngdoh Committee Recommendations. A legal case was pursued and because of our consistent legal and political battle the two judge bench of the Supreme Court referred the matter to the Constitutional Bench of the Supreme Court, with prima facie observation that Lyngdoh recommendations infringe upon the fundamental rights of the students. This semester, a debate freshly started and some organizations (SFI, AISA, ABVP, NSUI) put forward the proposal to start negotiations with the Solicitor General to get relaxations from Lyngdoh Recommendations. This proposal, although was opposed by some other organizations including DSU, got passed in the UGBM. The Joint Struggle Committee was mandated to start negotiations with the Solicitor General to get maximum possible relaxations from Lyngdoh recommendations as an interim measure till our case is heard in the constitutional Bench of the Supreme Court.
After the UGBM the JSC has repeatedly met and it was collectively decided that we will meet leaders of political parties as well as teachers and others who can facilitate the negotiations. Only after that we shall pursue an appointment with the Solicitor General. After this process started, we have witnessed repeated instances of one-upmanship and unilateralism from SFI. They first brought out a ‘JSC notice’ signed by an individual SFI member after the JSC’s meeting with Prakash Karat flouting general principles of functioning. In that meeting too, violating collective positions that had emerged in the UGBM, they went on reiterating their own pre-UGBM position. After that without any consultation or notification within the JSC they went ahead to fix appointment with the SG. Following which they kept avoiding coming to JSC meetings on most spurious grounds.
The JSC lawyer in the mean time had asked us to prepare a draft of our arguments before we go for negotiations with the Solicitor general. This was discussed and agreed upon by all other organizations except SFI (which was not present in the meetings). The draft of arguments is actually needed to concretize our arguments so that maximum possible relaxations from the LCR can be persuaded most effectively and transparently. SFI to the contrary is stubbornly arguing against a draft and is insisting upon going in for the negotiations empty handed precisely because it is not interested even in any ‘negotiations’. It wants to prostrate in front of the Solicitor General and to simply accept Lyngdoh Recommendations. This is clear in the haste and arbitrary manner in which they have fixed up the appointment with the SG keeping every constituent member of the JSC in dark. They have not only taken the JSC for granted by informing through a poster about the appointment less than 24 hours before the fixed time, but also have once again refused to join an emergency meeting that had been kept last night considering the contingency of the matter.
Their unethical politics became clear once again when they openly suggested in the JSC that organizations which before the UGBM had opposed ‘negotiations’ should not be a part of the negotiations. The reason clearly stated by them was that they did not want the vigilance such organizations will pose over the negotiations. The SFI must note that the UGBM mandate was for the JSC and not for any particular organization; hence they have no right to even suggest the barring of any organization because of their pre-UGBM position. It also needs to be stressed that being part of the JSC, we certainly would maintain all sorts of vigilance so that the negotiations do ensure ‘maximum possible relaxations’ as has been mandated by the UGBM and not entertain an abject surrender as SFI is planning to do. While we remain committed to upholding the resolution of the UGBM in letter and spirit, SFI’s actions and inactions attest to our apprehensions that its sole motive is to use the table of negotiation to open channels for a dangerous compromise and complete surrender.
October 25, 2010
Condemn the detention & house arrest of SAS Geelani by the fascist Indian state! The curbing of democratic voices in the name of ‘sedition’ will not stop the aspirations of Azaadi !
Syed Ali Shah Geelani, the uncompromising and much respected pro-Azaadi leader of Kashmir had attended a historic convention in
on the 22nd of October titled ‘Azadi: The only way’ that most evidently has thoroughly unsettled the ruling class and the Indian state machinery. In the convention Geelani most resolutely articulated his unequivocal call for Azaadi as the only solution acceptable to the struggling people of Delhi Kashmir. Geelani had shared the stage with representatives from the various other struggling nationalities as well as intellectuals, writers and activists from . On his return to Srinagar from New Delhi, SAS Geelani was detained yesterday at the airport and later was whisked away by the security forces as he was about to address the huge crowd that had gathered at the airport. He has thereafter been swiftly again put under house arrest by the threatened Indian state. The home ministry, as Chidambaram had earlier indicated, has also given a go ahead to Delhi police to register a case against Geelani as well as against other participants for giving ‘seditious’ speeches in the meeting. These speakers had basically articulated their unanimous support to the Kashmiri people’s aspirations for self-determination and Azaadi. The very next day of the meeting BJP leader Arun Jaitely had raised the matter in the Rajya Sabha asking for action to be taken against the speakers prompting the home ministry to act. The home ministry ofcourse will never take any action against their own vigilante gangs of Roots in India Kashmir, Panun Kashmir and ABVP who tried repeatedly, although in vain, to disrupt the meeting by vandalising the venue, abusing and attacking speakers with their vulgar jingoism.
Kashmir too, Indian state rather than taking any action against the murderers in uniform has continued to brutally murder more and more non-violent protesters. Fashioned around US-ISRAEL model of counter-insurgency encounter killings, indiscriminate arrests, torture, rape in police custody, thousands of killings by para-military and state-sponsored vigilante groups in North-East, Telengana, central adivasi regions of India etc. has been a common practice of the so called ‘biggest democracy of the world’. In Kashmir itself in last three months 111 people, including children and women have been killed by the army. Declared as a disturbed area, almost whole Kashmir is under curfew for months now. The detainment of Geelani and police’s preparation to register cases against other speakers in the convention is in the same line. Any democratic, pro-people voices voicing genuine demands are first labelled by the corporate media as ‘terrorists’/‘security threat’ etc. to generate grounds for crushing them. While SAS Geelani’s most democratic demands like releasing political prisoners, withdrawing army etc to start a dialogue met with deaf ears; the sending of three ‘interlocutors’ to listen to kashmiri people’s demand alongside increasing the armed forces to resolve the ‘Kashmir problem’ is nothing but another farce of the Indian govt. On the one hand it offers ‘talks’ and on the other hand it acts in the most undemocratic and fascist manner. The recent encounter killing of CPI(Maoist) spoke-person, Azad who was supposed to head the peace talk is a most similar case in point. Delhi
The repression unleashed by the Indian state is its desperate attempt to crush the heroic struggle of the Kashmiris for their just demand of ‘right to self-determination’. But the writing is loud and clear on the walls of
Kashmir. Slogans like ‘Go India Go Back’ and ‘hum kya chahte? Azaadi’ are echoing in the streets of the valley every single day! The deaf Indian state might try to silence it, its corporate media lackeys might try to ignore the reality but this is what the millions of Kashmiris are saying in unison. No might of the colonizing Indian state can dominate this unflinching aspiration of the Kashmiri masses. It is the united fight of other oppressed nationalities along with the oppressed masses in which is going to defeat this fascist brahminical state and its oppression. Standing in solidarity with the struggle for Azad Kashmir, we strongly condemn the house arrest of SAS Geelani and demand immediate upliftment of it. India
October 23, 2010
|Arundhati Roy & SAS Geelai on the dias in the historic public meeting on 'AZADI: The only way'|
22nd October 2010 in LTG auditorium (Delhi)
Yesterday in a historic convention in LTG Auditorium, Mandi House, many voices representing various peoples’ movements of South Asia reverberated to collectively assert that Azaadi is the only way ahead for Kashmir. Along with the prominent speakers from Kashmir, the struggling nationalities of Manipur, Nagalim, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, as well as activists, writers, intellectuals from
India hailed the heroic struggle of the people of Kashmir for their denied self-determination, the aspiration for justice and dignity. The communal-fascist lumpen brigade of RSS, ABVP and Panun Kashmir repeatedly tried to disrupt the proceedings, create a ruckus and assault the speakers on the dais, but were successfully resisted by the audience present there. The convention extended an overwhelming support to the ongoing movement against the occupation by the Indian armed forces, and the inalienable right of the Kashmiri’s right to self-determination, including secession from . Once again, the corporate media today carried more of the news of the disruption with its general misinformation campaign, while purposefully erasing the solidarity which was reasserted in the assembly. The media neither cared to report about the deliberations at the convention, nor about the spirit of unity among the oppressed peoples of India Kashmir, India and other persecuted nationalities of South Asia. Far from a truthful reporting of the various views kept in the meeting, the Hindu-fundamentalist Indian corporate media demanded the booking of the organizers and speakers under charges of sedition! At the same time, having failed to stop the convention from its successful completion, the Sangh-giroh has today gone to the parliament demanding a clampdown on all democratic spaces and platforms of solidarity among the people of India and Kashmir.
|Varavara Rao & SAS Geelani being flanked by the Kashmiri youth and student volunteers as some right wing miscreants attempt to disrupt the proceedings for a while..|
From June this year,
Kashmir has witnessed one of the largest mass mobilizations against the Indian occupation. People of Kashmir have come out on the streets in tens of thousands braving the teargas, bullets and batons of the armed forces. With nothing but courage in their hearts and stones in their hands, the youth, men, women and even children of Kashmir continue to defy curfew and relentlessly uphold their aspiration of Azaadi. Since June this year, 111 Kashmiris including two children have been brutally shot dead by the police and CRPF. Neither the Indian ruling class nor the corporate media are ready to hear this clarion call of the people of Kashmir. The response of the Indian state to this mass upsurge has yet again been bullets and brute force first, followed by sham committees and promises of ‘dialogue’. A delegation of parliamentary parties who are directly responsible for ordering the killings in Kashmir visited the Valley in the pretext of discussions. All that the Indian state could come up with following this much-hyped visit was to appoint a committee of ‘interlocutors’ who will further ‘interact’ with people in Kashmir to recommend some measures for reconciliation. This shows the complete lack of commitment of the Indian state to the settlement of the Kashmir dispute.
The people of Kashmir have proposed a five-point charter of demand to the Indian state, which asked for : 1. acceptance of the disputed nature of the territory of Jammu and Kashmir, 2. repeal of AFSPA and other black laws, 3. release of political detainees and prisoners, 4. withdrawal of the armed forces and 5. punishment of those police officers and armed men guilty of taking life in the past few months. The fascist Indian state is yet to respond to these demands. What they came up instead is an ‘8 point formula’ which basically included ‘economic packages’. The Indian state is not ready to withdraw Indian Army or even review the draconian AFSPA. And all that the Indian state is doing is to delay any dialogue with the people in
Kashmir and in the meantime employ more force to crush the movement of the people. It is not ready to accept Kashmir as even a dispute for that will bring out all ugly facts which are forcibly buried in the past. The unfulfillment of the promise for plebiscite in United Nations in 1952, the prolonged suppression of peaceful movement till 1980s, the imprisonment of elected representatives in 1989, the presence of 8 lakh armed forces, the draconian AFSPA and PSA, the 70,000 people killed, the thousands who have simply ‘disappeared’, the thousand of rapes, the torture centers, the fake encounters, the crackdowns, the mass graves, the massacres… do we need more evidence of the real status of Kashmir, which was never an ‘integral part of India’.
We do not need any more ‘interlocution’ to hear what the people of
Kashmir are saying. The writing is loud and clear on the walls of Kashmir. Slogans like ‘Go India Go Back’ and ‘hum kya chahte? Azaadi’ are echoing in the streets of the valley every single day! The deaf Indian state might try to silence it, its corporate media lackeys might try to ignore the reality but this is what the millions of Kashmiris are saying in unison. No might of the colonizing Indian state can dominate this unflinching aspiration of the Kashmiri masses. It is the united fight of other oppressed nationalities along with the oppressed masses in which can defeat this fascist brahminical state and its oppression. India
|In Solidarity with the brave Stone-pelters of the Valley..|
|With those braving the Indian Occupation Forces in Kashmir..|
|A human-chain being formed by Kashmiri youth, students and organizers to shield the speakers from the sanghi hooligans who made a failed attempt to disrupt the historic meeting..|
October 17, 2010
Notwithstanding the party in power, the colour of Indian state is saffron: The Babri masjid verdict once again proves that!
The Babri Masjid Verdict most certainly stands as yet another brazen vindication of the communal, fascist, and hindu majoritarian nature of the Indian state. What is more dangerous however is the way every ruling class party in this country is justifying and trying to ‘normalize’ this rabidly communal verdict and in effect its pre-history. Duly assisted by the corporate media, these parliamentary parties are trying to hide the fascist ramifications of this judgment. The judgment not only blatantly denied justice to the muslims by vesting 2/3 land of the Babri Masjid to the hindus but also dangerously upheld faith of the dominant upper caste hindu community. The verdict after all reasserts the fact that Muslims are second class citizens in this country, who should remain contented with the “generosity” shown by the judiciary in vesting just one-third of the land, which wholly belongs to them otherwise.
The communal fascist sangh parivar is jubilant because of obvious reasons. The same forces who blatantly defied Supreme Court restrictions to demolish the mosque in 1992 have suddenly become the most ‘law-abiding citizens’. Because the judiciary in most uncertain terms upheld their agenda, vindicated their ‘astha’, and legalized their barbaric acts. Thus Advani in his reaction to the Ayodhya verdict said that “I believe that the Ayodhya judgment will mark the start of a new chapter for national unity,” It is the same Hindutva definition of ‘national unity’ he was talking about. It implies that if the muslims/dalits/adivasis/other minorities wish to live in
, they will have to live as per the terms of the brahmanvadi dominant Hindu forces. Empowered by the verdict the same communal murderers now are not merely celebrating their victory over two-thirds of the land, but are also in the name of ‘peace’ and ‘tolerance’ most audaciously threatening the Muslim community to forget the killings, rapes, pogroms of the past’ and give up even their remaining claim over the land thus becoming ‘active collaborators’ in the building of a ‘magnificent’ Ram mandir. India
The parliamentary pseudo-left, spearheaded by CPM, keeping in mind the upcoming assembly polls in Bengal and Kerela (where they are majorly banking on the hindu ‘vote bank’) in most opportunistic fashion delayed and finally restrained from taking a clear position on the verdict. Much like the page three Bollywood stardust they merely ‘appealed’ to all parties to “accept” the judgment ‘peacefully’. Who are they appealing to? Let us remind them, the Muslims in this country had kept calm when in 1949 some miscreants installed a Ram idol right at the centre of their masjid and the Indian state subsequently locked it stopping the namaz in the historical mosque; they maintained peace when later in 1986 they opened the mosque to allow the Hindus to perform pooja; they preserved peace even when they were communally abused and targeted all over the country during Advani’s Rath Yatra in 1990; they maintained it when it was demolished by the frenzied mob and rather suffered in its aftermath in 1992. The hindu fascist sangh giroh on the other hand had been historically behind all communal frenzies, massacres, pogroms, demolitions, riots. They simply don’t care about the benign ‘appeals’ made by these pseudo-left. The communal fascists can not be reined by ‘appealing’ to their ‘moral conscience’. They have to be fought on ground which is definitely not what the pseudo-Left chooses to do. The only ‘problem’ CPM seems to have with the verdict is with its nature which was on the basis of faith. But they maintained a calculated silence on the outcome of the verdict in the shape of the unjust division of the land in favour of the hindus. Their unwillingness to take positions and demand real justice in the shape of the re-building of the mosque for the persecuted and betrayed minority; their appeal to ‘peacefully’ kowtow before this atrocious judgment; and call for reposing faith back on the same judiciary once again exposes the farce, toothless-ness, opportunism and the saffron shade of their secular credentials.
The Congress which has always postured as the ‘secular alternative’ to the communal fascist BJP has its real communal face exposed yet again. And there is nothing new to it. Every time in be it 1949, 1986, 1990, 1992 or in 2010, Congress was in center. And all the fascist agenda of the sangh giroh has been materialized and facilitated with the active support of that central government. The engineering of the riots, the demolition of the mosque had all been done with active patronage from the Congress led Indian state. The perpetrators of 1992 are still moving scot free because of the clear consent of the Congress government. For Congress the judgment is not ‘anyone’s victory or loss’! The clear denial of justice to the muslims by the rabidly communal verdict is being portrayed by Congress as the reflection of the ‘secular credentials’, ‘maturity of Indian people’ and our bid to ‘reconciliation and harmony’. They are willfully blind to the vindication in the verdict of the agenda of the communal fascists to forcefully build a temple on a land on which the Babri masjid stood. While leaders like Digvijay Singh hailed the verdict as ‘best possible verdict’ Chidambaram wants the nation to ‘move on’. He further observed that this verdict has nothing to do with the act of demolition of the Babri masjid on December 6, 1992. All these are deliberate attempts to put a garb on the increasing stronghold of the communal fascists. Because once this judgement validated the basic claim of the sangh giroh that the masjid was an illegitimate structure built after destruction of the Ram temple, the criminal case against them who demolished the mosque gets automatically weakened. Further, the award of the title of the desired land to the same forces accords moral justification to their act of demolition in retrospect. And therefore it is a clear victory of the communal fascists which the Congress will never admit. It obviously wants every body to forget this and move on, like the state always wants us to forget all unjust wars, genocides, massacres, pogroms and ‘move on’ till it strikes again!
Both Congress and CPM blindly reposed their ultimate faith on whatever the Supreme Court decides. Shedding their responsibility (read risk) of taking a political position on the issue, they simply hope that the latter would do the needful to remedy. But the Indian judiciary that has shown its casteist communal colours time and again is nothing but a tool to support the communal-majoritarian state. There is no reason to think that the same Supreme Court which has given verdict in favour of landlords, upheld corporate agenda of land grab or ordered baseless death sentence to Afzal Guru just to satisfy the ‘collective conscience’ of the nation will give any progressive or just verdict on its own. This brahmanvadi hindu fascist state and its organs have to be confronted and defeated. And only then justice can be ensured to all oppressed and deprived masses.
1992 में व्यवस्था की पूरी मदद से संघ परिवार के गुंडों द्वारा तोड़े जाने के पहले बाबरी मसजिद पिछले लगभग 500 वर्षों से मौजूद थी. यह सांप्रदायिक फासीवादियों का सबसे भयानक हमला था. मसजिद की जमीन के मालिकाने संबंधी 61 साल पुराने मामले पर 30 सितंबर को इलाहाबाद उच्च न्यायालय की लखनऊ पीठ के फैसले ने एक बार फिर भारत की न्यायपालिका और पूरी व्यवस्था के सांप्रदायिक चरित्र को उजागर किया है. अदालत ने तर्कों, ऐतिहासिक तथ्यों और न्याय की अवधारणाओं को नकारते हुए सांप्रदायिक फासीवादियों के एजेंडे को, उनके सारे झूठ को और उनके सारे काले कारनामों को जायज ठहराते हुए मसजिद की जमीन पर मुसलमानों के किसी भी हक से इनकार किया है और फैसले के रूप में जमीन को तीन हिस्सों में बांटते हुए उसके दो तिहाई हिस्से को सांप्रदायिक फासीवादियों को सौंप देने का फैसला सुनाया है.
उच्च न्यायालय ने जिन दो बिंदुओं पर प्रमुखता से विचार किया है, वे हैं- क्या वह जगह राम का जन्मस्थान है और क्या मसजिद की जगह पर कभी मंदिर रहा था. सांप्रदायिक फासीवादियों के एजेंडे को आगे बढ़ाते हुए अदालत ने इसे एक स्थापित तथ्य माना है कि जिस जगह मसजिद का केंद्रीय गुंबद था, वहीं राम का जन्म हुआ था. इसके लिए उसने आस्था को आधार बनाया है, किसी ऐतिहासिक तथ्य को नहीं. बुद्धि की कोई भी मात्रा यह तय नहीं कर सकती कि वह जमीन राम का जन्मस्थान है या नहीं क्योंकि इसका कोई ऐतिहासिक आधार नहीं है. यह सिर्फ लोगों की आस्था का मामला है. इसीलिए अदालत राम का जन्मस्थान तय नहीं कर सकती क्योंकि उसका काम आस्था के आधार पर फैसले देना नहीं है. दूसरी तरफ यह एक ऐतिहासिक तथ्य है कि मसजिद उस जगह पर पिछले 500 वर्षों से मौजूद थी. उच्च न्यायालय ने इस आम तथ्य को मानने से इनकार कर दिया है और यह बेतुका नतीजा निकाला हैः ‘विवादित स्थल भगवान राम की जन्मभूमि है. एक न्यायकर्ता और पूज्य व्यक्ति की जन्मभूमि. एक बालक के रूप में भगवान राम के जन्मस्थान के रूप में पूजी जानेवाली इस जगह को दिव्यात्मा के रूप में जाना जाता रहा है.’ अपने ब्राह्मणवाद को थोड़ी और धार देते हुए अदालत ने अपने अधिकार क्षेत्र से बाहर जाकर राम के चरित्र को भी व्याख्यायित करने की कोशिश की है. अदालत ने यह फरमान भी जारी किया है कि ‘राम एक न्यायकर्ता और पूज्य व्यक्ति हैं.’ लोग किन्हें पूज्य मानें और कौन उनके लिए न्यायकर्ता है, इसे क्या कोई राजसत्ता और न्यायपालिका तय करेगी. ऐसा सिर्फ एक ब्राह्मणवादी हिंदू फासीवादी राज्य में ही संभव है, जिसने धर्मनिरपेक्षता का आवरण ओढ़ रखा हो.
अदालत आगे कहती हैं, ‘विवादित ढांचा एक पुराने ढांचे को तोड़ कर उसकी जगह बनाया गया था. यह स्थापित है कि विवादित संपत्ति रामचंद्र जी की जन्मभूमि है और आम तौर पर हिंदुओं को चरण, सीता रसोई, दूसरी प्रतिमाओं और उस स्थल पर स्थित दूसरी वस्तुओं की पूजा करने का अधिकार है. यह भी स्थापित है कि हिंदू अनंतकाल से विवादित स्थल की जन्म स्थान के रूप में पूजा करते रहे हैं और एक पवित्र तीर्थस्थल के रूप में इसके दर्शन करने आते रहे हैं. विवादित ढांचे के निर्माण के बाद 22-23 दिसंबर, 1949 को इसके भीतर मूर्तियों की स्थापना से भी यह बात साबित होती है.’ अदालत ने ब्राह्मणवादी मान्यताओं और संघ परिवार के झूठ को आम हिंदू रिवाज के रूप में स्थापित करते हुए इस जगह पर अनंत काल से सांप्रदायिक फासीवादियों के दैवीय अधिकार को स्थापित किया है (जिन्हें अदालत ने हिंदुओं का प्रतिनिधि माना है). लेकिन दूसरी तरफ 18 साल पहले तक मौजूद मसजिद को मसजिद मानने से भी इनकार कर दिया है. अदालत कहती है, ‘यह भी स्थापित तथ्य है कि विवादित ढांचे को मसजिद नहीं माना जा सकता है क्योंकि इसे इसलाम के उसूलों के खिलाफ बनाया गया था.’ एक तरफ तो अदालत को ब्राह्मणवादी आस्थाओं और मान्यताओं का इतना ख्याल है कि उनके आगे ऐतिहासिक तथ्य और सामान्य वैज्ञानिक समझ का कोई अर्थ नहीं है और दूसरी ओर मुसलिम आस्थाओं और मान्यताओं के बारे में उसका रवैया इतनी नफरत से भरा है कि वह मसजिद को मसजिद तक नहीं मानती. अदालत ने इसकी वजह मसजिद पर मीनार नहीं होना बताया है. यहां अदालत के लिए मुसलिम समुदाय की आस्थाओं का कोई मतलब नहीं है. अदालत ने सांप्रदायिक फासीवादियों के झूठे प्रचार और दावों को सही और कानूनी साबित करने में पूरा जोर लगा दिया है. अपने फैसले में उसने सुन्नी वक्फ बोर्ड को मुसलमानों का प्रतिनिधि मानने तक से इनकार कर दिया है, पर साथ ही वह हिंदू महासभा और दूसरे सांप्रदायिक ब्राह्मणवादियों को हिंदुओं के प्रतिनिधि के रूप में स्वीकार करती है. सांप्रदायिक फासीवादी एजेंडे को सही ठहराते हुए अदालत किस हास्यास्पद मगर खतरनाक सीमा तक गई है, इसका अंदाजा इस बात से लगाया जा सकता है, ‘विवादित भूमि वक्फ की संपत्ति इसलिए नहीं हो सकती क्योंकि यह इमारत कथित तौर पर एक सुन्नी मुसलमान द्वारा नहीं बल्कि कथित तौर पर मीर बाकी द्वारा बनवाई गई थी जो कथित तौर पर एक शिया मुसलमान था और इसके मुतवल्ली भी कथित तौर पर शिया मुसलमान होते रहे हैं.’ ‘न्याय’ की इस तर्क पद्धति पर गौर कीजिएः एक मसजिद, जिसे एक मुसलमान ने बनवाया और उसके मुतवल्ली भी नियुक्त होते रहे हैं इसलिए मसजिद नहीं है कि उस पर मीनार नहीं है और इसलिए सुन्नी वक्फ बोर्ड की संपत्ति नहीं हो सकती क्योंकि उसे एक शिया ने बनवाया था और इसलिए वह मुसलमानों को नहीं दी जा सकती क्योंकि उसमें 1949 में घुस कर मूर्तियां रख दी गई थीं जिससे यह साबित हुआ कि इसे एक भव्य हिंदू मंदिर तोड़ कर बनाया गया था. चूंकि मसजिद (जो मसजिद नहीं थी) के बारे में आस्था (पढ़ें-सांप्रदायिक फासीवादियों और ब्राह्मणवादियों की) है कि वह राम की जन्मभूमि है और चूंकि अदालत भी मानती है कि राम एक न्यायकर्ता और पूज्य पुरुष हैं, इसलिए उसकी जमीन पर संघ परिवार का हक बनता है जो हिंदू हितों का प्रतिनिधि है. समझिए कि यह किसकी भाषा है, किसका न्याय है और इसके लपेटे में कौन-कौन आ रहे हैं. अदालत सिर्फ ब्राह्मणवादी हिंदू सामंती आस्थाओं और मान्यताओं को ही स्वीकार करती है, बाकी (मुसलिमों, दलितों, अल्पसंख्यकों, स्त्रियों, राष्ट्रीयताओं आदि की) सभी आस्थाओं और मान्यताओं, सारे ऐतिहासिक तथ्यों के सिर शंबूक की तरह राजसत्ता द्वारा कानूनी मंजूरी के साथ काट दिए गए हैं. इस अदालती फैसले ने एक (बार फिर) साफ संदेश दिया है कि ब्राह्मणवादी सांप्रदायिक फासीवादियों को छोड़ कर किसी को भी इस व्यवस्था से कोई उम्मीद नहीं रखनी चाहिए. न इंसाफ की, न अधिकारों की.
अदालत का सांप्रदायिक रवैया इतना साफ है कि इसे फैसले की हरेक पंक्ति में देखा जा सकता है. उसे ऐसा नहीं लगता कि 1949 में मसजिद में गैरकानूनी रूप से घुस कर मूर्तियां रखकर एक समुदाय के प्रार्थना स्थल को अपवित्र करना और 1992 में बाबरी मसजिद को तोड़ देना किसी समुदाय के हितों के विरुद्ध कार्रवाई है, लेकिन उसने मसजिद की जमीन के मालिकाने की अदालती लड़ाई लड़ने को सुन्नी वक्फ बोर्ड द्वारा एक खास समुदाय के हितों के विरुद्ध कार्रवाई माना है और उसने इसे भी बोर्ड के दावे को खारिज करने का आधार माना है. अदालत ने बार-बार एक ‘भव्य हिंदू धार्मिक ढांचा’ तोड़ कर मसजिद बनाए जाने का जिक्र किया है और मसजिद में 1949 में मूर्तियों को रखने की घटना का इस्तेमाल सांप्रदायिक फासीवादियों के इस दावे को सही साबित करने के लिए किया है कि इस जगह पर अनंतकाल से हिंदुओं का अधिकार रहा है. वहीं अदालत ने यह मानने से भी इनकार कर दिया है कि मसजिद की जमीन पर सन 1528 से मुसलमानों का अधिकार रहा है और इस अधिकार के बारे में ‘आम तौर पर हिंदुओं को’ पता था.
मसजिद की जगह को तीन हिस्सों में बांट कर इसका मुख्य हिस्सा हिंदू महासभा को राम की पूजा जारी रखने के लिए देने का फैसला दक्षिणपंथी हिंदू बहुसंख्यकवादी राज्य के एजेंडे का ही विस्तार है जिसमें मुसलमान दूसरे दर्जे के नागरिक माने जाते हैं और जिनसे यह उम्मीद की जाती है कि वे न्यायपालिका की इस ‘कृपा’ को स्वीकार कर लें कि उनका कोई अधिकार नहीं मानते हुए भी अदालत ने उन्हें जमीन का एक टुकड़ा दे दिया है. हमें यह याद रखने की जरूरत है कि यह पूरी जमीन मुसलमानों की है. इस जमीन और इस पर खड़ी मसजिद में जबरदस्ती और घुसपैठ करके मूर्तियां रखी गईं और फिर इस हिंदू ब्राह्मणवादी राज्य द्वारा उसमें अन्यायपूर्वक ताला लगा कर मुसलमानों को उसमें प्रार्थना करने से रोका गया, बाद में उस जमीन को केंद्र सरकार ने हड़प लिया और जब ताला खोला भी गया तो उसमें पूजा की इजाजत दी गई न कि उसे फिर से मुसलमानों को सौंपा गया. इसके बाद आखिरकार राजसत्ता की सीधी मदद से सांप्रदायिक फासीवादियों ने मसजिद को तोड़ दिया और बड़े पैमाने पर मुसलमानों को सांप्रदायिक उत्पीड़न का शिकार बनाया गया. एक तरह से अदालत ने अपने फैसले से इसमें से हरेक अपराध को सही ठहराते हुए इन फासीवादी संगठनों के लिए भविष्य में भी ऐसी ही मनमानी कार्रवाइयों के लिए कानूनी मंजूरी दे दी है और उन्हें आश्वस्त भी किया है कि वे मनमाने तरीके से अपने सांप्रदायिक एजेंडे को लागू कर सकते हैं, ‘कानून’ उनके साथ है.
सांप्रदायिक फासीवादियों ने पूरी योजना के साथ बाबरी मसजिद को तोड़ा था और बाबरी मसजिद को फिर से बनाया जाना ही इंसाफ को सुनिश्चित करने का अकेला रास्ता है. 1947 में सत्ता हस्तांतरण के बाद से मुसलमान देश में सबसे उत्पीड़ित और वंचित समुदायों में से रहे हैं. बाबरी मसजिद को हड़प कर उसे तोड़ने और अब मसजिद की जमीन पर कानूनी रूप से मंदिर बनाने का फैसला सुनाते हुए जमीन को मसजिद तोड़नेवाली ताकतों को ही सौंप कर भारतीय राज्य ने अपने हिंदू फासीवादी चरित्र को ही उजागर किया है. मसजिद मुसलमानों की नमाज के लिए ऐतिहासिक जगह थी और इसके गैरकानूनी ध्वंस के बाद इसका फिर से निर्माण कराया जाना ही इंसाफ को सुनिश्चित करने का अकेला उपाय है. क्योंकि यह महज एक प्रार्थनास्थल की फिर से बहाली का मामला नहीं है, बल्कि यह सामंती ब्राह्मणवादी हिंदू बलों के खिलाफ एक बड़ी लड़ाई का एक हिस्सा भी है जो एक मुट्ठी भर प्रभुत्वशाली वर्गों के हितों का प्रतिनिधित्व करते हैं. इस संदर्भ में कुछ धर्मनिरपेक्ष बुद्धिजीवियों द्वारा सुझाया जा रहा यह समाधान भी कि वहां हॉस्पिटल या कोई ’गैर धार्मिक ढांचा’ बना दिया जाए, उतना ही समस्याजनक है. हमें यह समझने की जरूरत है कि बाबरी मसजिद को तोड़ कर हिंदू फासीवादी राज्य और इसके दस्ते ने बहुसंख्यकपरस्त पूर्वाग्रहों को जबरदस्ती थोपने की एक सोची-समझी कार्रवाई की थी. इसके अपराधी नेता खुलेआम घूम रहे हैं और उन्हें कानून के तहत कोई सजा नहीं दिलाई जा सकी है. इस बीच इसी फासीवादी राज्य के सक्रिय सहयोग से उन्होंने गुजरात और कंधमाल में जनसंहार भी किए. ब्राह्मणवाद/हिंदूवाद/सामंतवाद इसी तरह हमेशा राज्य के सक्रिय सहयोग से ही पनपता है और पनपेगा. इस संदर्भ में देखें तो एक आवाज में मसजिद का फिर से निर्माण ही असली इंसाफ का तकाजा है.
पूजा के लिए बाबरी मसजिद के ताले को खोलते हुए सरकार ने तब एक सांप्रदायिक उन्माद भड़काने की कोशिश की थी जब वह भारतीय अर्थव्यवस्था को उदारीकरण-निजीकरण और वैश्वीकरण की ताकतों के लिए खोल रही थी. साम्राज्यवादी बाजार द्वारा किए जा रहे हमलों से बढ़ती आम जनता की गरीबी और बदहाली ने जिस असंतोष को जन्म दिया था, उसे शासक वर्ग ने इस खास पूजा स्थल से जुड़ी बहसों की ओर भटका दिया और राष्ट्र को एक सांप्रदायिक ध्रुवीकरण में बांट दिया. और अब यह अदालती फैसला तब आया है जब अपने जल-जंगल-जमीन को बचाने के लिए लड़ रही जनता के खिलाफ शासक वर्ग ने खुला युद्ध छेड़ दिया है. लेकिन इस रामजन्मभूमि को ‘हासिल’ करने से देश की करोड़ों ‘हिंदू’ जनता की भौतिक स्थितियों में कोई सुधार नहीं होने जा रहा है. न तो इससे ‘हिंदू’ किसानों की आत्महत्याएं रुक जाएंगी और न भूमिहीन दलित सामाजिक सम्मान और भूमि पर अधिकार हासिल कर सकेंगे. इससे मिलों से निकाले गए मजदूरों को काम और पितृसत्ता के जुए तले पिसती महिलाओं को मुक्ति भी नहीं मिल सकेगी. इस फैसले से सिर्फ यह ब्राह्मणवादी हिंदू सामंती राजसत्ता ही मजबूत होगी जो मुसलिमों और दूसरे उत्पीड़ित तबकों- दलितों, आदिवासियों, महिलाओं और अन्य धार्मिक अल्पसंख्यकों पर हमले कर रही है. यह न्यायपालिका, संसद, मीडिया सभी गहराई तक जड़े जमाए सामंती ताकतों और इसके साम्राज्यवादी मालिकों के हितों की रक्षा में जुटे हुए हैं.
इसलिए इस मामले में इंसाफ तभी हासिल किया जा सकता है जब भारतीय राज्य के इस ब्राह्मणवादी, हिंदू, सामंती ढांचे को पूरी तरह ध्वस्त कर दिया जाए. जब सारी उत्पीड़ित जनता इस राज्य और इसकी सत्ता की सभी संरचनाओं के खिलाफ लड़ाई में एकजुट होगी. हमें इस भ्रम में और नहीं बने रहना है कि इस उत्पीड़क व्यवस्था में हमें इंसाफ मिल पाएगा- इस राज्य में जो खुलेआम हिंदू फासीवादी है और उस न्यायपालिका से जो इसी राज्य का एक औजार है. मुसलमानों, अपनी जीविका के लिए संघर्षरत आदिवासियों, जमीन और सम्मान से सदियों से वंचित रखे गए दलितों, कश्मीर और उत्तर पूर्व में आत्मनिर्णय के अधिकारों के लिए चल रही राष्ट्रीयताओं की लड़ाइयों, स्त्रियां और गरीब जनता, मजदूर और किसानों समेत उत्पीड़ित तबकों के मजबूत संघर्षों का देश में चल रहे क्रांतिकारी आंदोलन के साथ जुड़ाव ही भारतीय राज्य के इस ब्राह्मणवादी हिंदू सामंती ढांचे को पराजित कर सकता है. केवल इसी तरह मौजूदा उत्पीड़ित समाज को लोकतांत्रिक रास्ते की ओर ले जाया जा सकता है और संघर्षरत उत्पीड़ितों के लिए सचमुच के इंसाफ, समानता और सम्मान को सुनिश्चित किया जा सकता है.
Allahabad High Court upheld the agenda of the communal fascist sangh parivar and denied justice to muslims! The fight to re-build Babri Masjid must go on!
The Babri Masjid has been in existence for more than 400 years till it was demolished by the goons of sangh parivar with active support from the state authorities in 1992. It was one of the most ghastly acts of by the communal fascists. Yesterday after 57 years the
Lucknow bench of the high court gave a verdict on the long pending case on the title suit of the land of the Babri Masjid. The verdict not surprisingly has once again reflected the entrenched communal character of the judiciary, where it has clearly championed the logic and agenda of the communal fascists by vesting 2/3 of the land of the mosque to them. Allahabad
In the current verdict, which was a continuation to an old case, the high court was to give verdict on two points: whether this was the birthplace of Ram and whether there was ever a temple under that mosque. NO amount of intelligence can determine whether that is the birthplace of Ram, as there is absolutely no historical basis to it. It is only a matter of faith and belief and the court can not give a verdict based on that! The mosque on the other hand was a historical monument which had existed on this place since the past 400 years. The high court verdict however by and large refuses to accept this simple fact and has instead made absurd proclamations that “The disputed site is the birth place of Lord Ram. Place of birth is a juristic person and is a deity. It is personified as the spirit of divine worshipped as birth place of Lord Rama as a child”, it further states, “The disputed structure was constructed on the site of old structure after demolition of the same. It is established that the property in suit is the site of Janm Bhumi of Ram Chandra Ji and Hindus in general had the right to worship Charan, Sita Rasoi, other idols and other object of worship existed upon the property in suit. It is also established that Hindus have been worshipping the place in dispute as Janm Sthan i.e. a birth place as deity and visiting it as a sacred place of pilgrimage as of right since time immemorial. After the construction of the disputed structure it is proved the deities were installed inside the disputed structure on 22/23.12.1949. It is also proved that the outer courtyard was in exclusive possession of Hindus and they were worshipping throughout and in the inner courtyard (in the disputed structure) they were also worshipping. It is also established that the disputed structure cannot be treated as a mosque as it came into existence against the tenets of Islam”.
Historical background to this legal suit: On January 19, 1885 Mahant Raghubar Das of the Nirmohi Akhara filed a suit in the court of sub-judge of Faizabad seeking permission of puja rights over a ‘chabootra' (platform) in front of the mosque which he claimed as birthplace of Ram. This was the first suit on the subject which was rejected by then sub judge of Faizabad Pandit Hari Kishan. In his order dated February 24, 1885 the judge said: "It [chabootra'] was so close to the existing Masjid that it would be contrary to public policy to grant a decree authorizing plaintiff to build a temple as desired by him." it was only the night of December 22, 1949, the matter flared up when an idol was implanted in the middle of the mosque following which hundreds of Hindus barged into it and started puja. Though the mob was pushed back and a padlock was put on the gates of the mosque building, the idol remained inside. Since then the mosque was kept under lock and namaaz was forbidden for the Muslims. On January 16, 1950, Gopal Singh Visharad from Hindu Mahasabha filed the suit before the Civil Judge of Faizabad seeking injunction to offer puja inside the mosque. The then Civil Judge N.N. Chadha granted interim injunction though only for local Hindus. This order worsened the matter. Then five Muslims from Ayodhya, led by Mohammad Hashim filed a petition before Allahabad High Court against the injunction order. Since then several Muslims and Hindus have filed petitions and the matter was dangling in the legal battle. In 1986 the Rajiv Gandhi led Congress government ordered the opening of the lock of the mosque and allowed puja by the Hindus. On 6th December, 1992, with full support from the authorities the kar sevaks of the sangh parivar demolished Babri Masjid. At the helm of the affairs were Sangh leaders like Lalkrishna Advani, Uma Bharti, Praveen Togadia, Ashok Singhal and others. It was followed by a major wave of communal anti-Muslim riots across the country leaving many dead. Muslim people and their property were particularly targeted.
The current verdict that came out yesterday resonates the vulgar sentiments and justifications used by the sangh giroh and is not based on ANY valid historical evidences. The Archaeological Survey of India report that it mentions is a highly prejudiced and discredited report which was produced during NDA regime. The verdict seeks to trifurcate the mosque site into three parts, vesting the central part with the Hindu Mahasabha, to continue worship of the Ram idol, one part has been given to another hindu Hanuman-worshipping sect called Nirmohi Akhara, while the rest one third is left with the masjid. This gesture embedded in the verdict indeed most unabashedly reasserts the agenda of the right-wing fascist Hindu majoritarian state where Muslims are ‘second class citizens’ who should remain contented with the “generosity” shown by the judiciary in vesting just one-third of the land, which wholly belongs to them otherwise. The verdict of the judiciary justifies the implanting of the idol, the unjustified locking of the mosque, the subsequent opening of the lock for hindus as well as the dastardly act of demolition of the masjid, all in one go. It rather has ‘rewarded’ the communal fascists for intruding into others religious monuments, illegitimately claiming it their own and finally demolishing it at their will. This lays further justification and encouragement for these hooligan fascist brigades to do the same with other masjids as well.
Babri Masjid was demolished by planned attack of the communal fascists and re-building Babri Masjid remains the ONLY way to ensure justice to the Muslim community. Since the transfer of power in 1947, Muslims have remained one of the most persecuted and oppressed communities in the country. The grabbing of Babri Masjid land and destruction of the Mosque and now legal notification to build a temple within its premises and vesting of land to the same forces which demolished it only reflects the Hindu fascist character of the Indian state. The mosque was a historical place of worship of the Muslims and after its illegitimate demolition, re-building the mosque remains the only way to ensure justice. Because this is not simply about reinstating a place of worship but about a larger fight against feudal brahminical hindu forces which also represents a particular class interest only of the affluent handful. In this context the “solution” offered by pseudo-secularists, like building a hospital or some other ‘non-religious’ structures is equally problematic. We must realize that this is a calculated assault by a hindu fascist state and its cohorts to reinforce its majoratarian prejudice. The snatching of the right of to worship in Babri masjid, the demolition of the mosque, the massive anti-muslim riots that followed were all done by active patronage by the state. The leaders of this carnage are still at large and have not yet been booked under law and meanwhile with the active support of the same hindu fascist state apparatus they have orchestrated the Gujrat as well as the Kandhamal pogroms. That is how Brahminism/Hinduism/Feudalism has always thrived and will thrive with active state patronage. And in this context, demand for real justice is to unequivocally demand the re-building of the mosque.
The locks of Babri Masjid were also broken, to invite the hindus to do puja and thereby flaring a communal frenzy just before Indian economy was to going to be thrown open to the forces of Liberalisation-Privatisation-Globalisation. The impending pauperisation of the masses and the discontent due to the evident assault of the imperialist market were diverted by the ruling classes to create a debate around this particular place of worship and create a communal polarity in the nation. No, the “reclaiming” of ramjanmabhoomi is not going to improve the material conditions of the millions of ‘hindu’ impoverished masses. It is not going to produce any magic whereby ‘hindu’ farmers will not be forced to commit suicide, where ‘hindu’ landless dalits will escalate in their levels of social dignity or get land rights, it will not give any jobs to the ‘hindu’ retrenched mill workers or liberate the ‘hindu’ women from the shackles of patriarchy. It will only make another rabid statement on behalf of the ruling classes to the Muslim population and by extension to all oppressed sections, the dalits, the adivasis, the women, the other religious minorities of the country, that the brahminical hindu feudal character of the Indian state has been further fortified. That judiciary, parliament, media all act in tandem to safeguard the interests of the entrenched feudal forces and the imperialist masters.
Justice in this case will therefore be achieved only after this Brahminical-Hindu-feudal structure of the Indian state is thoroughly dismantled. When all oppressed masses unite in a fight against this state and all its institutions of power. We must no longer remain under the illusion of any deliverance of real justice from within this system – from the state which most evidently is Hindu Fascist or the judiciary that props it up. Only a resolute struggle of the oppressed sections of the society including the muslims, the struggling adivasis fighting for their livelihood, the dalits denied of land and dignity for centuries, the fighting masses of the national self-determination struggles of Kashmir and north-East, the women, the toiling masses, the workers and peasants united with the ongoing revolutionary movement in India can defeat this brahminical hindu feudal structure of the Indian state. Only that will lead to the democratization of the present oppressive society, and bring real justice, equality and dignity for the struggling oppressed majority.Only that will lead to the democratization of the present oppressive society and bring real justice, equality and dignity for the struggling oppressed majority.for the struggling oppressed majority.
In South Kashmir’s
town, a nine year old boy was killed in an unprovoked firing, many where injured by tear gas shells in the protest that followed. In Sri Nagar, police fired at a group of youth playing carom, critically injuring the nephew of JKLF chairman Yasin Malik, again an instance of unprovoked firing, leading to spontaneous protests. In Sherbagh police and CRPF unable to face the protestors barged into the Maternity and pediatric hospital beating up the attendants as well as patients. In Pulwama town, protest broke out at Kakpora, Chatapora, Delipora, Malikpora, Pichoo leaving three persons injured. Thousands of people took to roads, where they offered prayers, blocking the main highway and took out a march. In north Islamabad Kashmir, five people including a 50 year old woman were injured, resulting in day long clashes in the main town Bandipora. All these are not incidents over days or weeks but a few incidents from few places on a single day in Kashmir.
And that is the reality of every single day in
Kashmir now. There are such protests every day, in every street. The people break the curfew every day to take out marches. The marches are attended by thousands and even lakhs of people. Men, women children march alike and each protestor in Kashmir are categorically clear in the message they want to send across to the oppressive Indian state that had occupied the valley for six decades now: “Ladke Lenge Azaadi”. In the last 81 days 65 people have been killed by the CRPF and police (the 65th being a nine year boy Irshad Ahmad Parray) that only resulted in more people joining the protests. The number of injured have crossed thousands now but the determination and the will of the people of Kashmir has only been strengthened. Even in this month of Ramzan, despite keeping fast in the daytime, people have come to the streets in thousands and no amount of force could crush the will and determination of the Kashmiris for freedom.
The ruling class of
India which has willfully portrayed the issue of Kashmir in a wrong light is now on the back foot. Irrespective of the colors of their flags all parliamentary parties have proved their chauvinist nature by always misrepresenting the issue of Kashmir as a “law and order problem” in which ‘ Pakistan backed Islamic fundamentalist are trying to disintegrate ’. They never even agree to recognize the question of national liberation of India Kashmir. They deliberately erase the aspiration for right to self-determination of the Kashmiri people although this is right that is guaranteed on papers in the constitution and the Indian state has made international commitment way back in the 1950s only to leave it unfulfilled till date. When the movement for Azaadi erupted in the late 1980’s in the form of armed struggle after decades of peaceful struggle were ignored, the Indian state resorted to fascist means to crush the uprising. In the subsequent two decades, more than 70,000 have been killed, many women raped, and thousands have simply ‘disappeared’. Draconian laws like the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) have provided complete impunity to these killers. A recent fact finding report revealed the existence of more than 27,000 unmarked graves that had around 30,000 unidentified dead bodies. The Indian state in all these years kept insisting that they are ready for a peaceful solution through dialogue on all issues only if they left the path of armed struggle. Well in the last two years not a single CRPF has been killed in Kashmir. There has rather been huge mobilization of people, mass protests and resolute resistance where the youth are fighting the armed CRPF with nothing but their courage and stones. This has become a huge cause of concern for the Indian ruling class who can no more justify their repression on grounds of fighting ‘terrorists’. Therefore, Lt. Col. Jaiswal, recently in the most absurd and heinous manner, branded these peaceful mass protests as ‘agitational terrorism’. In this latest phase of relentless struggle the Indian ruling class too is caught in the wrong foot. Thus all the parliamentary parties including the pseudo-left CPM are trying to push for ‘economic packages’ to put an end to the protest. It is a typical manner in which historically, colonizers have always tried to bargain with the colonized to bypass the real issue of freedom. The fascist Indian state and its cronies must understand that the people in Kashmir are not fighting for ‘better livelihood’. They are fighting for their denied nationhood and independence!
Unfortunately the common masses of
, under the influence of the corporate media and their Goebblesian propaganda do not always understand the anger and the real concern of the Kashmiris. It is not a spontaneous anger against the trigger happy police and CRPF, but it is the anger against, decades of extreme oppression and years of continuous betrayal by the colonizers in India . The Kashmiris are fighting for their denied freedom. Like the Palestinian Intifada they are fighting the mighty Indian state and its military. They are not going to surrender any more to oppression and false promises. India
Let us stand in complete solidarity with the heroic upsurge of these brave men, women and children of
Kashmir who are fighting the most genuine struggle for national liberation right now.
October 11, 2010
JNUSU Constitution is Non-Negotiable! No Compromise in the guise of ‘Negotiations’! No AC/BoS Election in its present form! Intensify the struggle against Lyngdoh!
In the ongoing debate on how to restore JNUSU Elections, two ‘roadmaps’ have been suggested by SFI and AISA respectively. Though the contours and character of these roadmaps were initially kept vague by a barrage of permutation and combination of compromises put forward by these two organisations, things today have emerged crystal clear. In its desperation to have the elections within this semester by hook or by crook, SFI has even shed its fig-leaf of paying lip service to the resistance against Lyngdoh Committee Recommendations (LCR), and is now openly advocating a ‘roadmap’ which is destined to invite the imposition of LCR in our campus. If the student community were to accept SFI’s proposal in the upcoming UGBM, we may well get ‘Elections’ back within this semester, but not the JNUSU and its Constitution which we all claim to uphold and defend.
In the guise of “opening negotiation with an open mind”, SFI is now asking for a license to surrender before the Solicitor General, so that JNUSU elections are held immediately, even if it be in compliance with Lyngdoh. The democratic and progressive students’ movement of JNU has so far stood in the way of SFI’s surrender to Lyngdoh in this campus. Through the Resolution unanimously passed in the very first UGBM on Lyngdoh in 2008, the students of JNU had emphatically declared that “The JNUSU Constitution expresses the democratic ethos and norms of the JNU students evolved over 37 years of collective struggle. The Supreme Court’s stay on the JNUSU Elelctions and the attempt to impose Lyngdoh Committee recommendations in JNU is against the letter and spirit of the JNUSU Constitution. This UGBM therefore resolves to reject the implementation of Lyngdoh Committee recommendations in JNU in any form”. SFI cannot fulfill its ambitions of getting back the JNUSU elections through Lyngdoh without first subverting and setting aside this principled and unambiguous Resolution that rejects LCR in JNU in toto.
This is why SFI is desperate to place their own resolution of surrender and betrayal in the coming UGBM to replace the above Resolution, which is equally valid and justified today as it was two years back. Are we ready to sacrifice the four decades-long struggle of JNU’s student’s movement to which has shaped the JNUSU and its Constitution in line with the best of democratic principles, in order to fulfill the vested interests of SFI? Does SFI need to be reminded once again the reasons for which students of JNU emphatically rejected the implementation of even a single directive of Lyngdoh in 2008? Let’s look at some of the highly objectionable and unacceptable directives of LCR, which are diametrically opposed to the democratic principles of JNUSU’s Constitution:
In section (6.1.1), the Committee says that “Universities and colleges across the country must ordinarily conduct elections for the appointment of the students to student representative bodies” (p.40). This recommendation posits the responsibility of holding student union elections squarely on the college and university authorities, and this amounts to imposing ‘democracy’ from above, which in letter and spirit violates the independence and autonomy of students’ unions. Recommendation 6.3 of the Committee seeks the “Disassociation of Student Elections and Student Representation from Political Parties” (LCR p.44). The students who get admitted in colleges and universities are adult citizens who take part in parliamentary, assembly and local bodies’ elections. Therefore, the observations of the committee that university is meant for education and not for political indoctrination of the students implicitly argues in favour of depoliticisation of student body.
Clause 6.3.1 states that “During the period of the elections no person, who is not a student on the rolls of the college/university, shall be permitted to take part in the election process in any capacity.” This recommendation comes in package with the preceding one. It is directed towards curtailing the space for political debates regarding issues pertaining to larger political milieu, especially in campuses like JNU where we have political spaces in public meetings to initiate and engage with debates pertaining to larger issues outside campus.
Clause 6.5 deals with the ‘Eligibility Criteria for Candidates’. The first three subsections lays down the maximum age limit for candidates for under-graduate, graduate and research students respectively. Keeping an age limit for candidates violate the principle that every member of the electorate also has the right to get elected. The Solicitor General has offered to relax the age bar from 28 years to 30 years in case of JNU! Even after this ‘concession’, the age-bar disqualifies a large of students from the right be elected, and hence highly undemocratic and discriminatory. On the other hand, JNUSU Constitution does not discriminate on the basis of age.
The clause 6.5.4 deals with ‘academic arrears’. By keeping ‘academic arrear’ as a criteria for standing for elections, Lyngdoh involves the administration to determine a prospective candidate’s “Good academic performance”, something which the JNUSU Constitution as well as the principle of autonomy in students’ politics does not approve of. Every full-time student is entitled to elect representatives to the students’ union and thereby is also offer himself/herself to be elected. Good academic performance does not necessarily imply a good students’ representative, and every student is equally eligible to contest irrespective of his or her academic performance, ‘merit’ and arrears.
According to clause 6.5.6, “The candidate shall have one opportunity to contest for the post of office bearer, and two opportunities to contest for the post of an executive member” (p.44). This recommendation curbs the basic democratic right of any student to get re-elected as an office bearer of the
Union. Even if SFI manages to get the ‘relaxation’ of the right to contest for two terms for the post of office-bearer after negotiating with the Solicitor General, setting of any limit on how many times a student can contest is in itself a violation of our democratic rights. In JNUSU constitution there is no such arbitrary limit.
Clause 6.5.7 says that “The candidate shall not have a previous criminal record, that is to say he should not have been tried and/or convicted of any criminal offence or misdemeanor. The candidate shall also not have been subject to any disciplinary action by the University authorities” (p.48). Student politics and students’ movement have historically fought against injustice and for democratic rights, for which many a time students have been wrongly penalized by the university authorities as well as by the state. On the other hand it also gives university authority immense power to regulate student’s political activism.
Recommendation 6.8 lays down the terms and conditions for setting up a “Grievance Redressal Mechanism”. The composition of the Grievance Redressal Cell allows the direct involvement of the university administration in the election process, and gives it unlimited powers to disqualify representatives even after the elections are over!
In their desperation, SFI has exposed itself in front of the student community as a true advocate of Lyngdoh, which was their original disposition in 2006 when Lyngdoh Recommendations were first imposed in the entire country. As it is said, history repeats itself. It was a tragedy for SFI when it was forced by the progressive and democratic students’ movement of this campus to go against its own ‘national’ position, and reject Lyngdoh in JNU in toto. DSU is confident that in the upcoming UGBM of 6 Sep, JNU students will once again uphold the JNUSU Constitution in its entirety, will defeat SFI’s farce of welcoming Lyngdoh with open arms in the name of “negotiations”.
AISA’s modus-operandi, however, is much more subtle. AISA has so far maintained that Lyngdoh is unacceptable in JNU (their apparent willingness to accept two of Lyngdoh’s provisions notwithstanding), and thereby has rejected SFI’s proposal. However, the arguments on the basis of which AISA has critiqued and rejected Lyngdoh for JNUSU elections, also apply equally to the AC/BoS elections in their present form. Let’s look at the provisions of AC/BoS Elections which DSU has consistently opposed (quoting AISA’s pamphlet of 16 Aug.2010):
1. Timing and modality of the Election: “The [AC/BoS] Election should be conducted by the same election committee which conducts the JNUSU elections. However, there should be an observer nominated by the Vice-Chancellor to ensure that the student representatives are elected as per the eligibility provisions as recommended and other operational norms as laid down by the University and agreed upon by JNUSU.”
2. Eligibility of Student Membership: “For the C.G.P.A. of a B.A./M.A./M.Phil student candidate should be 6.0 for the election to AC and 5.0 for the election of BoS/Special Committees and certification of good progress from the Centre for PhD students. A first semester student candidate in any B.A./M.A/M.Sc. programme for whom the grades of performance report is not available certification should be obtained as per the satisfactory equivalent grades requirement in the Admission Test to the programme. For a Direct PhD student candidate in the first semester the eligibility requirement may be taken to be the equivalence of good performance in the evaluation for admission to the programme.”
3. Tenure of student membership: “The tenure of a student member in these statutory bodies is fixed one year, provided that the student remains on the academic rolls of the university. Further, the Academic Council of JNU, in its meeting of 31 March 2005 added a further clause stating that student representatives to each of these bodies would be allowed to stand for reelection for a second term of one year.”
In what way does AISA think that these provisions are fundamentally different from Lyngdoh Committee Recommendations? There is a clear provision of administrative intervention in the form of the “observer nominated by the VC” to ensure the compliance with the “eligibility provisions”. The “eligibility provisions” say that only “meritorious” (read upper caste-upper class) students who have shown “good performance will be allowed to contest the AC/BoS elections”, not a large number of students who does not ‘qualify’ to be termed ‘meritorious’ in the present Brahmanical market-dictated system of evaluation. And those ‘meritorious’ ones who will be elected to these statutory bodies, will be allowed only one term in office. AISA must explain under what logic it can support these clauses, while at the same time claiming to oppose Lyngdoh, which has almost identical provisions? Are we to believe that AISA is maintaining a conspicuous and uneasy silence on all these questions because AISA-led JNUSU with Mona Das as the President had already “agreed upon” these provisions in 2005, while keeping the student community in the dark? AISA owes an explanation to the student community!
The Alternative: We must reject the path of surrender suggested by SFI. The road ahead is one of intensifying the struggle against Lyngdoh, both politically and legally. There can be no shortcut to struggle. We can reclaim JNUSU elections according to JNUSU Constitution only by uncompromisingly continuing this two-year old struggle. The struggle is not easy, but then which struggle is? We must not lose sight of the larger objective by the temptations of short-sighted and quick ‘victories’. Fighting for JNUSU elections according to its Constitution is also a fight for real campus democracy. The fake ‘democracy’ enshrined in LCR cannot be a substitute for this.
We agree with AISA that holding AC/BoS/GSCASH will provide a much needed students’ representation in the statutory bodies in the absence of JNUSU, and we must demand for holding these elections, provided we first ensure the scrapping of all these highly undemocratic and dangerous conditions it puts as preconditions much in the spirit of Lyngdoh. At the same time, let us resolve in the upcoming UGBM to intensify our struggle to reclaim our JNUSU by upholding the JNUSU Constitution. We must reject the imposition of even a single clause of LCR, that is sought to be brought in through back door as ‘interim measures’ or ‘relaxations’. Let us reaffirm our commitment to once again reject Lyngdoh in JNU in any form, as was done by the students of JNU in 2008.
JNUSU Constitution is NON-NEGOTIABLE! Expose and Defeat SFI’s Dangerous Game-Plan to Backstab JNU’s Student Movement and its Democratic Ethos!
JNU’s progressive student movement which has had a glorious legacy of nearly forty years is today facing one of its gravest challenges due to the attempts to forcefully impose the Lyngdoh Committee Recommendations (LCR). The Supreme Court’s stay on the Elections is a direct attack on our democratic rights as well as our democratic space on the campus. Lyngdoh, if imposed, will crush and suppress our institutions like JNUSU and its Constitution, which has been at the forefront in the JNU student’s struggle against administration’s undemocratic practices as well as the anti-people policies of the
for decades. JNUSU represents our most formidable platform of struggle and its Constitution is our collective voice of resistance. The need therefore is to uncompromisingly continue our fight against its weakening or dilution. If we accept the provisions of Lyngdoh even in parts, we will be guilty of betraying the democratic ethos of JNU’s student movement shaped by generations of struggling students. That is why we must also remain equally vigilant against the betrayals to the ongoing struggle against Lyngdoh from within the student community, whether it is from YFE or more recently, from the turncoats in SFI. Indian State
We must remind ourselves of the context of Lyngdoh Committee Recommendations. The State and its institutions like the MHRD, Planning Commission and UGC are aggressively pushing the World Bank agenda of privatization of education. The Birla-Ambani Report on Higher Education, recommendations of the Knowledge Commission as well as a number of World Bank reports on higher education has clearly identified progressive students’ politics as the primary impediment to this process of privatization. The Birla-Ambani Report submitted during the NDA regime specifically recommends the banning of any kind of political activity on campuses. On the other hand, a politicized and organised students’ body is the biggest weapon against the assault of neo-liberal policies. LCR cannot be seen in isolation. It is intrinsically linked to the larger designs of depoliticisation of organised students, in order to facilitate privatization of education. It is designed to crush consciously articulated political dissent and to install puppet students’ unions which will act as the stooges of administration.
The Lyngdoh Recommendations: Lyngdoh Committee is inherently undemocratic and anti-student. It tries to portray that the recommendations have evolved out of a process of ‘wide consultations’ with ‘stakeholders’ -the students- and the general public. The data offered in the report itself falsifies this claim: out of the total 350 respondents approached by the committee, 229 were University and College/Institution administrations. The data on which its report is based predominantly represents the voice of administrations! Moreover, LCR directly attacks our right to get organised and elect representatives by giving the administration powers to annul democratically elected bodies and appoint a hand-picked students’ union. LCR demands that students must be “integrationist” and “nationalists”, while student politics should be aimed at inculcating “values of social and economic development”. In a context where the dominant model of socio-economic “development” is in reality a guise for displacement, land grab, casteist, patriarchal and imperialist policies of the State, LCR aims at crushing the students’ voices that raises the issues of the masses. It advocates not just a mode of election but aims at producing a student politics that is pro-state and pro-capital. At a time when the impoverished, marginalised and exploited masses of the country are heroically fighting against the State’s anti-people policies, by intensifying our own struggle for democracy on the campus we will be standing in solidarity with their struggle as well.
The claim of ‘combating money and muscle power in students politics’ is a smoke-screen: Lyngdoh claims to be a champion of democratic space for students, directed only against use of money and muscle power. The stated aim of LCR is to do away with or at least limit the ‘unnecessary’ politicization of student bodies. JNU has a history of struggles against fee-hikes and privatization, struggles led by a politicized students union. Had it not been for the presence of a political JNUSU along with its vibrant students’ movement, the facilities of this university would have been privatized years ago, and most of us would not have been able to afford the fee charged. It is a fact that the student’s wings of only ruling-class parliamentary parties use money and muscle-power. The pretext of curbing money and muscle power is simply to rob the students union of their radical potentials and to strengthen the hands of the administration to control the students. Administrations have nearly unlimited punitive power even without Lyngdoh. These punitive powers are however not used against ruling class elements, but against students and organizations that stand against the status-quo and fights for a radical restructuring of the present society. The JNU administration, for example, chose not to punish those elements found guilty in the Presidential Debate violence during the 2007 elections, while students demanding workers’ rights were rusticated while they confronted the Registrar under JNUSU’s leadership in the same year.
JNUSU Elections have evolved through a democratic tradition that emerged through constant struggles and movements. JNU’s student movement has contributed in bringing about a democratic consciousness and sense of social responsibility among the students. LCR too claims to uphold the principle that “universities are communities of thinking people” with fundamental rights to freedom of speech and thought. But it tramples these very rights with its recommendations, and attempts to crush the political culture of students that link the larger political processes with issues on campus.
One of the most objectionable recommendations of LCR is the eligibility criteria for the students and the Grievance Redressal Cell which can cancel the candidature of anyone even after the person is elected. The Eligibility criteria lays down various restrictions by which candidates, within a certain age-limit and without any ‘academic arrears’, any ‘disciplinary action or criminal record’, with certain percentage of attendance can fight for election for a restricted number of times. These clauses are highly dangerous and undemocratic. It is against the right of contesting elections. As per the JNUSU Constitution, students irrespective of their age or any other ‘qualifications’ have the right to stand for elections, and for as many times as they wish. In JNU, disciplinary actions are taken mostly against students who dare to confront the administration. With the inclusion of the Dean of Students as the chairman, one senior faculty member and administrative officer and two final year students nominated by them in the Grievance Redressal Cell, a space is created for the administration to directly intervene in the election process. In many other universities like the
for example, the administration repeatedly uses this Grievance Redressal Cell to cancel candidature of elected representatives who confront the administration on any students’ issue, even way after the elections. In JNU the administration and its casteist, communal, patriarchal and overall anti-student behavior is well known. This administration wants JNUSU to be ripped of its radical and political content and therefore will never spare any chance to weaken JNUSU by using these dangerous clauses and use them particularly against politically conscious and militant candidates. Kumayun University
LCR reduces the process of elections to a mere 10 days on pretext of interference with teaching hours of the university. The JNUSU election process on the other hand takes four weeks to complete. This however holds no ground at least with reference to JNUSU elections, since it is precisely because of the adequate campaign period that candidates can also attend their classes. Similarly the recommendation to hold election within 28 days of the start of the semester is against the political culture of JNU. Given that JNUSU elections are not mere elections of student representatives, but a larger space for debate and discussion through platforms like UGBMs, a meaningful participation from a student can be expected only when he/she has spent good amount of time in campus. In JNUSU elections moreover, issues of national and international level become crucial election issues on which students express their opinions. The public meetings preceding elections are important part of the election process participated by speakers from outside the campus. This has to be stopped if Lyngdoh is implemented. These are just a few examples of Lyngdoh’s dangerous recommendations.
JNU students for all these reasons have rejected Lyngdoh in its entirety in JNU and upheld the JNUSU Constitution. When the students started this fight-back in 2008, it was expected that this is going to be a long battle, because this is a fight against the power-that-be, against the forces of privatization, against the oppressive status-quo. It is the gravest threat to JNUSU since the black days of Emergency, when it had to function secretly. JNU now remains the only university which is continuing the fight against LCR, whereas all other universities have been forced to implement Lyngdoh. In Supreme Court too, the petition by JNUSU against LCR is the only one which is still being heard. It is our petition and our lawyer’s arguments in the court that has resulted in the two judge bench putting a question mark on the validity of the entire LCR itself, suggesting that it is a violation of our autonomy and fundamental rights. Therefore the matter has now been referred to a Constitution Bench. It is the responsibility of JNU students to continue this legal and political battle against LCR, since the fight to throw it out of JNU is also connected to the countrywide struggle to scrap Lyngdoh.
But signs of defeatism and surrender are visible in the positions and activities of a particular organisation. After two years of this consistent political and legal struggle, what SFI is now suggesting to the student community of JNU is nothing but capitulation and compromise. In the name of opening ‘negotiations with Solicitor General’, SFI is advocating the abandoning of the struggle and accept Lyngdoh. For them, elections must take place even at the cost of sacrificing the ideals, principles, and democratic ethos enshrined in the JNUSU Constitution. The Solicitor General was directly responsible for putting a stay on JNUSU elections. After sustained struggles, he proposed two ‘relaxations’ (as charity) on the clauses of age-bar and repetition of candidature, while categorically arguing for the strict implementation of the rest of Lyngdoh’s clauses. This ‘offer’ of compromise was made to the JNU students long back. But the JNU students continued the fight under the Joint Struggle Committee not falling for the shortsighted traps of such ‘compromises’. On the other hand, AISA’s proposal to hold the AC/BoS Elections in its highly problematic present form, which has a “merit clause” and allows administrative intervention, is much similar to Lyngdoh in letter and spirit, and is hence unacceptable.
SFI for quite some time has been suggesting that the struggle against Lyngdoh be abandoned. That is why undermining the struggle of the past two years, they want the student community to believe that “negotiations with Solicitor General” is going to be fruitful! Even If we ‘manage’ to get some ‘relaxations’ for JNU for the time-being by negotiating with the Solicitor General, the partial acceptance of LCR will irrecoverably damage the legal case in the Court. SFI knows that accepting even one clause of Lyngdoh will undoubtedly make way for all its reactionary propositions. Lyngdoh has to be fought in toto. The current void due to absence of an elected JNUSU is definitely an impasse which has to be overcome. But a puppet, depoliticized JNUSU which is constantly under the dictates of administration can not be an alternative to the current vacuum. We must continue the fight for reclaiming the JNUSU elections as per its Constitution.