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

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

“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

UK: Human Rights Activists and Lawyers Protest Political Arrest of GN Saibaba in India

[The following letter from British human rights activists and lawyers is an important internationalist act in solidarity with political prisoners in India, and particularly Professor GN Saibaba.  And it is doubly important for coming from the UK, where the repressive system of colonial laws in India was created, and continues under the purportedly "independent" and "democratic" regime in India today.  In 2012, the Committee for Release of Political Prisoners (CRPP) in India wrote, "...the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) (1967) .... was copied from the Armed Forces Special Powers Ordinance brought by the British in 1942. Today the same law has been revamped with more teeth and implemented. Since the 1950s till date every draconian law that received the gravest wrath of the masses of the people was then rehashed into another law with yet stringent clauses. It won’t be an exaggeration to say that the present UAPA is in a way a clever rehashing of the old MISA, NSA, TADA, POTA etc. rolled into one made more stringent with the worst kind of clauses to stifle all forms of dissent." -- Frontlines ed.]

June 20, 2014
Letter to the Chief Justice : Campaign Against Criminalising Communities (CAMPACC)
http://www.campacc.org.uk

Your Honour,
We the undersigned would like to express our concern over the manner in which the government is increasingly resorting to the indiscriminate use of custody. In particular, the draconian Unlawful Activities Prevention Act 2008 (UAPA) is being abused indiscriminately to harass, intimidate and dissenting voices. This is part of the escalating effort to impede free speech and even thought, contrary to the Constitution of India as well as International principles of Human Rights. Such actions become pernicious in the context of the wide-ranging powers and impunity that have been available to the police and paramilitary forces under this Act. This is illustrated by the fact that the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) has reportedly issued instructions that persons and organizations who raise issues of human rights violations in Maoist areas must be targeted and arrested.
The recent abduction of Dr. G. N. Saibaba was particularly shocking. Dr. G N Saibaba, Asst. Professor with the Department of English, Ram Lal Anand College, Delhi University, was arrested by the Maharashtra Police on 9 May 2014 for his alleged links with Naxal leaders. He has been an active member of the Delhi University community, a very popular and respected teacher, and an important voice on democratic norms within and outside the university. He has been a vocal and important critic of the Indian state’s policies with regard to its paramilitary action in Central and Eastern tribal areas, commonly known as Operation Green Hunt. Along with other intellectuals, he has drawn attention to the blatant human rights violations of the Adivasi peoples of these regions. In particular, he has pointed out the enormous financial stakes in claiming the region for private industrial and commercial development at several national and international forums. Along with other intellectuals, he has criticized such models of “development” and their usefulness for the local populace in any participatory democracy. His sustained critique has earned him the ire of the powers that be. For some time now, they have been looking for a way to silence this very significant voice.
Dr. Saibaba is wheelchair bound, suffers from 90% disability and post-polio residual paralysis of both lower limbs. He poses no flight risk whatsoever. He is also a heart patient with blood pressure issues. Furthermore, he suffers from chronic and intense back pain as a result of the disability and being wheelchair bound. He has always cooperated fully with the investigation and did not need to be arrested. The National Human Rights Commission has already issued notice to the Maharashtra and Delhi police forces for violation of Dr. Saibaba’s rights in the course of the earlier investigation. Continue reading

Indian State Judicial System Has a Long History of Fabricated Cases and Failed Prosecutions of Political Prisoners

Maharashtra’s Naxal barrack lacks conviction

PAVAN DAHAT, The Hindu, June 18, 2014

For lack of evidence, few among the 150 persons held for Maoist links in the last 7 years have been prosecuted

Over the past seven years, as many as 150 persons have been arrested by Maharashtra over alleged Maoist links but have languished in custody for lack of legal prosecution, many subsequently even being acquitted.

In 2008, the total strength of the “Naxal barrack” in Nagpur Central Jail, where the “Maoist prisoners” are held, was 168. Today, however, “only 37 Naxal prisoners are left in the Naxal barrack”, according to advocate Surendra Gadling, who has been representing those accused of having Maoist links.

Most of these people have been charged with involvement in “Maoist violence” in the State’s Gadchiroli-Gondia area and acting as “the urban front” for the Maoists.

“Police slapped multiple cases on all these people, most of whom were activists fighting for Tribal or Dalit rights or against displacement. At times, the accused faced 60 to 70 cases under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act [UAPA] or for waging war against the state and sedition charges,” says Mr. Gadling. Continue reading

50 Years Ago Today: The Lynching of Three Civil Rights Workers in Mississippi

[The murder of three Civil Rights workers in Mississippi, 50 years ago today, who had devoted their summer, and whose lives were stolen in the dangerous work of dismantling, "overcoming", the horrifying system of white supremacy, challenged many of us to join this struggle and to devote our lives to ending white supremacy -- and, as we learned and as we grew, to overthrow the racist, capitalist, and imperialist system and all its horrors.  Many of our generation mark this day, June 21, 1964, as the point from which our struggle to end this rotten system "WILL NEVER TURN BACK!" -- Frontlines ed.]

The 1964 murders of Schwerner, Chaney, and Goodman

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDqf0B2_j1A

Brazil: During World Cup Protests, “Free Saibaba” Banners Fly

Even as popular resistance to the FIFA-excused theft of public resources continued to grow, activists demonstrated on June 12, in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais State, Brazil, demanding the immediate release of the professor in India, Dr. GN Saibaba, who was abducted and arrested by the Indian fascist state on May 9.
GN Saibaba is Delhi University professor of English literature, an active defender of the rights of the people and democracy. Demand the Operation Green Hunt (the war of the Indian State Against the People in India)! Freedom for all political prisoners!

 

India: Political Prisoner Advocates Declare Unity with Palestinian Prisoners, Hunger Strikers

CRPP Statement on the struggle of Palestinian prisoners lodged in Israeli prisons

COMMITTEE FOR THE RELEASE OF POLITICAL PRISONERS

185/3 FOURTH FLOOR, ZAKIR NAGAR, NEW DELHI—110025
12 June 2014

A large number of Palestinians now incarcerated in the Israeli prisons have begun an indefinite hunger strike since 24 April 2014 against the Zionist policy of “administrative detention” of Palestinians fighting for justice, dignity and a separate independent state for the Palestinian people. A group of 120 Palestinian political prisoners started a hunger strike and were later joined by more inmates and the strike has entered its 46th day today. This policy of administrative detention is but imprisonment without trial or charge that allows Israel to imprison Palestinians for up to six months initially and then extend it for indefinite periods of time which can go to years together.

The conditions inside prisons are abysmal. According to WAFA Palestinian News & Information Agency, in the face of this hunger strike, Israeli Prison Service, in a mad rage for vengeance, has ordered prison guards to treat the inmates brutally. They have been holding prisoners on hunger-strike in solitary confinement and have also confiscated their belongings, except for their clothes, as a means of exerting pressure over them to end their strike.

According to the Press TV, the health conditions of many of the striking prisoners held in solitary confinement are critical. More than 100 prisoners have been sent to hospital for medical care. “The weight of striking prisoners has gone down by an average of 16 kgs”, said Jawad Bolus, a Palestinian lawyer who visited eight of the hospitalized inmates, according to The Jerusalem Post. Continue reading

India Continues State Suppression of Democratic Activists — Denies Bail and Medicine to disabled Professor Saibaba

Delhi University Community Against Police Repression

Press Release on the continued imprisonment of G.N. Saibaba, June 13, 2014

Dr G N Saibaba, who was recently abducted from Delhi by the Maharashtra police and charged under the UA(P)A, has just been denied bail by the Gadchiroli Sessions court.

Despite strong legal grounds for releasing an “infirm” person on bail, under Section 437 of the CrPC despite clear and irrefutable evidence that he is 90% disabled and ill, and that, precisely because of his infirmity, he cannot jump bail, the court has decided he needs to remain arrested and in custody.

The full order is not yet available.

Today Dr Saibaba has sent a letter from jail stating that he is suffering from “excruciating pains in the joints, legs and vertebra”, that these are “ignored”, and that “no medicine is provided or tests are conducted”.

Despite suffering cardiac problems and high blood pressure, “irrelevant medicines are given, like pain killers…which are no use…. BP control medicines…are not given”. When he is medicated it is “without care for required and regular doses”. He says that the “unbearable conditions in jail will make him collapse soon”, that he is “dragging on with sheer will power” but that it is “not possible to drag on in the present condition for long.” Continue reading

India: Desperate State Police often frames activists with “Maoist-Jackets”

The country needs an anti-fascist force, says activist acquitted after 40 months in jail

Sudhir Dhawale, a dalit rights activist accused of having Maoist links, was declared innocent on May 15.

Aarefa Johari, scroll.in, 24 May, 2014


On May 20, after spending three years and four months in Nagpur Central Jail for crimes he did not commit, dalit rights activist Sudhir Dhawale finally walked out as a free man.

His arrest in January 2011 had outraged social activists in Maharashtra. Dhawale is a well-known poet, political commentator and publisher of Marathi magazine Vidrohi, and had attended a dalit literary gathering in Wardha district just before he was detained by the police. He was charged with sedition and, under the controversial Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, accused of being a member of a terrorist organisation and waging war against the state. Meanwhile in Mumbai, the police barged into his modest home where his young sons were alone, gathered several books as evidence and allegedly coerced his wife to sign the list of seized articles.

Last week, after the prosecution failed to prove even a single case against him, the sessions court finally acquitted Dhawale – and eight other political prisoners – of all charges. His acquittal has come four months after Arun Ferreira, another Mumbai-based social activist who spent five years in jail for being an alleged Maoist, was cleared of all charges against him. Just two weeks before Dhawale’s release, however, GN Saibaba, a Delhi University professor, was arrested by the Maharashtra police for allegedly having links with Maoists.

Continue reading

‘Saibaba should be treated properly’

deccanherald.com, NEW DELHI, May 24, 2014

Delhi University professor G N Saibaba – arrested on suspicion of Maoist links – is not being provided with the basic provisions that should be given to a disabled prisoner, an organisation working for the disabled said on Friday.

Saibaba, who was arrested by Maharashtra Police on May 9, is wheelchair-bound person with 90 per cent disability.

The treatment meted out to him is in violation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), according to a statement issued by the Disabled Rights Group.

Continue reading

Edward Snowden: “NSA Surveillance Is About Power, Not ‘Safety’”

By Edward Snowden

17 December, 2013
[Countercurrents.org published this note introducing Edward Snowden's open letter to the people of Brazil. "This letter was published today in the Brazilian newspaper A Folha in Portuguese and this original text was provided via the Facebook page of Glenn Greenwald's husband David Miranda."]

Six months ago, I stepped out from the shadows of the United States Government’s National Security Agency to stand in front of a journalist’s camera. I shared with the world evidence proving some governments are building a world-wide surveillance system to secretly track how we live, who we talk to, and what we say. I went in front of that camera with open eyes, knowing that the decision would cost me family and my home, and would risk my life. I was motivated by a belief that the citizens of the world deserve to understand the system in which they live.

My greatest fear was that no one would listen to my warning. Never have I been so glad to have been so wrong. The reaction in certain countries has been particularly inspiring to me, and Brazil is certainly one of those. Continue reading