London: Indian Workers Join Solidarity with Gaza Demo, 9 August

The National Demonstration for Gaza

London 9th August Saturday 2014

Condemn US, UK-backed Israeli genocidal bombardment of Gaza!
Condemn the killing of Gaza’s innocent women and children!
Stand in solidarity with the people of Palestine!

The Indian Workers’ Association (Great Britain) stands in firm solidarity with people of Palestine and emphatically condemns the Israeli Zionist regime for murdering 1,655 and injuring 8,900 Palestinians during their recent military offensive on Gaza. These figures were still rising as we go to print. More than 74 percent of those killed are civilian. We are seeing gruesome images of decapitated children’s bodies and innocent injured individuals being shot. The Palestinian people in Gaza have no place to run or hide and are helpless against the Israeli tanks and superior fire power. This is not the first time Israel has attacked the Palestinian people in Gaza. The same happened in November 2012 and in winter of 2008-09. These attacks on the Palestinian people are war crimes that are being watched by the US and their allies, including Britain. The western governments shamelessly exercise duplicity. Unlike their stand in Ukraine, Syria, etc. there is no call for sending in the US military or the NATO forces to defend the Palestinian people. In their eyes the people in GAZA don’t matter so intervention on humanitarian grounds is not even a consideration. On the contrary the US imperialist are poised to sell $225m arms to restock the Israeli military arsenal. Continue reading

The Colonial Condescension of Those Who Ask for a “Palestinian Gandhi”

[The people of Gaza have, in their determined resistance, brought many issues to the fore among its supporters and defenders.  Central to these is the right of resistance itself -- "by any means necessary" i.e., with whatever force the defenders can bring to the battlefield.  The forces of self-defense and the struggle for self-determination include moral force, political force, and military force.  Those who claim to support the victims of imperialist and settler-colonial military aggression, but argue against popular military resistance and armed liberation strategies, are denying the very means by which defense is made and by which liberation is won.  In the essay below, Ramzy Baroud of Palestine Chronicle details the background and recent history and "debate" over this issue.  (And, an important, but here secondary, difference with Baroud's concluding paragraphs which cite 'Gandhi's inspiring greatness in the struggle against colonialism' -- this is disputed in India and elsewhere, as, most recently, Arundhati Roy and many others have challenged the iconization of Gandhi as a false anti-colonialist who ushered in an "independent" India without breaking the colonialist cultures and structures and laws of caste, class, and repressive state violence, and without empowering the people who, in their overwhelming majority, live today in the same same oppressive conditions that characterized the period of direct British colonial rule.  But this is a side-point here, which will be further explored separately and soon). -- Frontlines ed.]

Gaza’s resistance paradigm
By Ramzy Baroud, Palestine Chronicle

“Where is the Palestinian Gandhi? In Israeli prison, of course!,” was the title of an article by Jo Ehrlich published in Mondoweiss.net on December 21, 2009. That was almost exactly one year after Israel’s concluded a major war against Gaza. The so-called Operation Cast Lead (December 27, 2008 – January 18, 2009) was, till then, the deadliest Israeli attack against the impoverished strip for many years.

Ehrlich was not in the least being belittling by raising the question about the “Palestinian Gandhi” but responding to the patronization of others. Right from the onset, he remarked: “Not that I’m in any way playing into the Palestinian Gandhi dialogue, I think it’s actually pretty diversionary/racist. But sometimes you have to laugh in order not to cry.”

Indeed, the question was and remains condescending, ignorant, patronizing and utterly racist. But the question was also pervasive, including among people who classify themselves as “pro-Palestinian activists”.

Now that Israel’s latest war – so-called Operation Protective Edge – has surpassed Cast Lead in terms of duration, causalities, level of destruction, but also the targeting of civilians – the Gandhi question seems more muted than usual. To understand why, one needs to first examine the reason of why Palestinians were demanded to produce a non-violent Gandhi alternative in their struggle for freedom in the first place. Continue reading

As many protest the Indian state’s arbitrary malevolence, prosecutor and DU stop eviction of jailed professor’s family

[For many years, the administration of Delhi University (acting upon the repressive urgings of the Indian state against prominent activists) have pursued harassment and eviction-threats and -orders against the disabled Professor GN Saibaba and his family, who have struggled to maintain wheel-chair accessible housing on campus..  Last year, these threats came to a head with actual attempts to evict the professor and his family--which was only prevented by mass mobilizations of students and faculty, defending the housing rights of the family  (see background on all this at http://sanhati.com/articles/6010/).   Now, as outrage over the abduction, arrest, and refusal to provide medical care and appropriate care for this wheelchair-bound disabled imprisoned professor, the state has refused his release on bail, and in the same period have pressed forward on the eviction of his family.    But now, the university has backed off on the eviction, not because they have had a change of heart, but because the state is calculating the political effect that such a malevolent eviction of the family may have, risking the state's pursuit of their fabricated case against Dr. Saibaba.  What next repressive steps the state will take, cannot be foretold, but anything must be expected.  Free Dr.Saibaba!  Stop Hounding and Suppressing Activists!  -- Frontlines ed.]

Suspended DU professor GN Saibaba’s family will not be evicted

Press Trust of India,  Jul 05, 2014

New Delhi: Delhi University (DU) on Saturday assured a court here that family members of its suspended professor G N Saibaba, arrested for his alleged Maoist links, will not be evicted from their residence provided by DU.

“He (DU’s counsel) is assuring orally that he will inform the authorities about the court order (passed by a vacation judge on June 9 and thereby staying proceedings of eviction by the university)…,” District Judge A K Chawla said.

The assurance by DU came while the court was hearing a petition filed by Saibaba’s wife Vasantha, challenging the June 2 order of estate officer in which the professor was asked to vacate the Gwyer Hall premises provided to him by DU. Continue reading

South Asian Diaspora in Canada Condemns the Political Persecution of Dr. GN Saibaba

SANSAD — South Asian Network for Secularism and Democracy

Release political prisoner GN Saibaba

SANSAD News-release June 16, 2014

South Asian Network for Secularism and Democracy (SANSAD) condemns the illegal arrest of Professor GN Saibaba, who teaches English in Ram Lal Anand College of Delhi University by Maharashtra Police on May 9. We further condemn his cruel detention in solitary confinement without regard to his disabilities, his suspension from Delhi University by the university administration following his arrest, and the denial of his bail plea by the Gadchirol sessions court in Maharashtra on June 13. We strongly protest these violations of human rights and civil liberties. We demand the immediate release of Professor Saibaba and his reinstatement in his teaching position in Delhi.

Professor Saibaba is an outspoken civil liberty activist, who as the deputy secretary of Revolutionary Democratic Front has been campaigning against the Indian government’s counter-insurgency measures known as “Operation Green Hunt.” His home in Delhi had been raided four times since September 2013 by the police before his arrest and transportation to Maharashtra on May 9 without warning and without access to a lawyer. Dr. Saibaba is a paraplegic who lost the use of his legs to polio as a child. He has 90% disability and has been bound to a wheel chair since he could afford one after his arrival in Delhi. Continue reading

Fascism, Fundamentalism and Patriarchy

[This article was written by Anuradha Gandhy in 2001 on the verge of the reactionary Hindu nationalist Narendra Modi becoming the chief minister of Gujarat, where in the Gujarat riots of 2002 fascist Hindu nationalists murdered thousands of Muslims in what became billed as "The Final Solution."  Modi, now the newly-elected Prime Minister of India, is moving to consolidate even more repressive power on a national level, forge even stronger collaborative relations with imperialism and with Zionism, expand the military and arms-export industries, enforce an exclusive Hindu-language public usage in a country where 60% of the people speak non-Hindu languages, and further intensify patriarchal and caste-driven relations and attacks on adivasi peoples.  The following article, pathbreaking when it was written, provides significant analysis and background on relations which have only become more oppressive. -- Frontlines ed.]

Anuradha Gandhy– [from Wikipedia: "Anuradha Ghandy (1954 - April 12, 2008) was an Indian communist, writer, and revolutionary leader. She was a member of the banned Communist Party of India-Maoist. She was mostly involved in propaganda, and in CPI(Maoist)'s insurgency into urban areas. Among the policy papers drafted by the Marxist movement, Anuradha had contributed significantly to the ones on castes and 'Feminism and Marxism'. She made the guerillas realise the potential of worker cooperatives in areas like agricultural production, in Dhandakaranya. She was also critical on shifting patriarchal ideas that were then dominant in the party."  --  Frontlines ed.]

 

Exactly one year after the carnage in Gujarat began; the country is still reeling from the horror of the events. Narendra Modi’s expected victory in the assembly elections has further strengthened the position of the Hindutva fascist forces not only in Gujarat but also in the country as a whole. Reviewing the strategy of Hindutva forces and the lessons from Gujarat become even more relevant now. Here we are concerned with the impact of the Hindutva fascist forces on women and on the women’s movement.

The agenda of the Hindu fascist forces is political. Their strategy is the maximum political mobilisation of the Hindu masses and their aim is the establishment of a Hindu Rashtra. It will be noticed that the present phase of Hindu fascist growth can trace its growth with the neo-liberal economic policies of the early 1980s. And the aggressive policies of economic reforms and globalisation of the 1990s is accompanied with the aggressive policies of Hindutva. The reasons for this is not far to seek: the policies of economic reform have led to the extreme impoverisation of, not only a large section of the masses, but even of sizable sections of the middle classes; so there was urgent need to divert peoples’ attention from their mass destitution through the whipping up a frenzy against Muslims and other minorities. Besides, mass anger against the blatant capitulation to the imperialists, particularly the US, is sought to be diverted through fake nationalism, like slogans of cultural nationalism and Hindu Rashtra.

The extreme and continued polarisation of Hindu society in Gujarat along religious lines, the sense of brazen confidence with which the attacking, looting and killing was carried out and the active participation of a section of the women from the upper castes, shows that the Hindu fascist forces have been successful in Gujarat in taking their agenda forward. They have penetrated and succeeded in converting a section of the Hindu masses to their ideology and imbue them with the goal of Hindu Rashtra. What horror this portends for the oppressed sections — the lower castes, women, especially women of minority communities and the poor —does not need mention.

Growing Fundamentalism Worldwide — What it means for Women

The rise of Hindu fascist forces is part of the world-wide rise of fundamentalism and fascism.. Imperialism faced with its worst ever crisis since the inter-war years is encouraging and promoting fundamentalist forces and fascist organisations and propaganda. “Imperialism strives for reaction everywhere” Lenin. As Hawley has argued, “fundamentalist perspectives on gender cast a uniquely revealing light on the nature of fundamentalism as a whole.” As it is, all religions have been patriarchal in the moral code they sanction and the social arrangements they uphold. And one of the central points of fundamentalist propaganda is a conservative ideology of gender — all fundamentalist forces, be they of the Christian denominations in the US, or Hindu, or the New Religions in Japan or Islamic forces — they proclaim the specific agenda of restoring the centrality of the family and home in the life of women and patriarchal control over her sexuality. Hence ideologues of the New Right even in the US are claiming that there is a moral crisis in American society and this is because of the fact that women are working outside the home. Though they have mobilised actively around opposition to abortion rights for women, they begin by arguing that welfare state expenditures have raised taxes and added to inflation, pulling the married woman into the labour force and thereby destroying the fabric of the patriarchal family and hence the moral order of society. According to Jerry Falwell of the Moral majority, “ children (in the US) should have the right to the love of the mother and a father who understand their different roles and fulfil their different responsibilities…to live in an economic system that makes it possible for husbands to support their wives as full time mothers in the home and enable the families to survive on one income instead of two.” Continue reading

Police Use Water Cannons On Women In India Protesting Rape

[The report of multiple rapes and hangings horrified millions, and throughout India angry protests by women were brutally suppressed by police.  The official response, dismissive of women's rights, was clear; as The Daily Mail reported, "Three men have been arrested over the killings. Two policemen were held on suspicion of trying to cover up the crime.....Shortly after the incident, a lawmaker from Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's ruling party described rape as a social crime, saying 'sometimes it's right, sometimes it's wrong.'  The controversial remarks came as political leaders of Uttar Pradesh - the state where the two cousins aged 12 and 14 were raped and hanged - faced criticism for failing to visit the scene.  Another regional politician from Modi's party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), said the crime of rape could only be considered to have been committed if it is reported to police."  --Frontlines ed.]

Shannon Greenwood, ThinkProgress.org, June 3, 2014

Women protesting the rape and murder of two teenage girls are sprayed with water cannons by police in Lucknow, India on Monday.

Women protesting the rape and murder of two teenage girls are sprayed with water cannons by police in Lucknow, India on Monday.

The brutal gang-rape and murder of two teenage cousins in India last week has sparked a new wave of protests across the country as sexual violence and the government’s response returns to the spotlight.

The two girls, who went missing last Tuesday night after leaving their home in search of a place to find a place to relieve themselves, were found raped and hung from a mango tree in their village the following morning.

WEDNESDAY, MAY 28, 2014 IMAGE TAKEN FROM VIDEO, BEST QUALITY AVAILABLE, INDIA OUT The father of one of the victims reported the girls missing to authorities, but said it took more than 12 hours for police to begin their effort to find them — by then it was too late. Four suspects have since been arrested, two of whom are police officers.

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“Resist the McCarthy-ian tactics of branding and false framing of intellectuals, students and democratic rights activists!”

Statement by the Democratic Student Union, Delhi — June 3, 2014
DSU: “Condemn the abduction and arrest of Dr. G.N. Saibaba by the notorious Maharasthra Police!”

“In a time of universal deceit – telling the truth is a revolutionary act” George Orwell

 It is precisely for this ‘crime’ of speaking the truth in the face of the lies and deceit that seek to hide the untold injustice and oppression perpetuated by the Indian state, that Dr. GN Saibaba has been arrested. Dr. GN Saibaba, a faculty member in DU and a widely known political activist, was clandestinely abducted on 9th May by plain-clothed policemen of the Maharashtra police just steps away from his residence as he was on his way back from examination duty. Saibaba, who suffers from 90% disability and is wheelchair bound, was blindfolded and pushed into a vehicle that swiftly took him to the airport from whence he was flown to Nagpur. The surreptitious manner in which a public figure like him was literally abducted by the police itself testifies that they were wary of the fact that they do not have any substantive evidence to back their hoax of “nabbing” him for alleged “Maoist links”. It has been obvious for quite a while now that the Indian state has been desperate to brand him and frame him under certain cooked up charges. The sole purpose being, to gag a voice of dissent that dares to speak the truth despite repeated threats and intimidations.

A large number of activists, intellectuals, students and teachers turned up in front of Maharasthra Bhawan on 10th May to protest against the dastardly abduction and arrest of Dr. GN Saibaba

Continue reading