“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

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 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

‘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

Indian Political Prisoner, Prof. GN Saibaba, Must Be Freed!

Condemn the abduction of Delhi University Prof. GN Saibaba,
by the Indian state security forces!

While the Indian state and its imperialist masters harp about India’s overall advances and continue to portray it as “the largest democracy in the world”, in the very heart of its capital in Delhi, on May 9, 2014, in broad day light, in full view of CCTV monitored by the local police, the Indian security forces, unashamedly assaulted and abducted Delhi University Professor, Dr GN Saibaba.

After Dr. Saibaba, who suffers from 90% disability and is wheelchair bound, was taken away blindfolded from within the university premises, it took a mysterious call to Vasantha, his partner, from some unknown location in Delhi disclosing it to her that her husband was being taken to Gadchiroli in Maharashtram. Since then, according to the Committee for the Release of Political Prisoners’(CRPP) statement, issued in New Delhi on 10-05-2014, the lawyers in Aheri court in Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra have confirmed that Dr. Saibaba has been produced before the magistrate and was sent into judicial custody.

Dr GN Saibaba’s is a long standing peoples’ rights activist. He is the joint secretary of the Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF) and one of the central conveners of the “Forum Against War on People” that spearheaded the mobilisation of public opinion in India and abroad against the shameful “Operation Green Hunt” – another clean name amongst others for the Indian state’s genocidal war on the tribal people of India – that aims to displace millions of people from this mineral rich area of India and auction off the land and its resources to domestic and international mining corporations to exploit. Continue reading

India: Revolutionary intellectual-activist GN Saibaba abducted by police

Rise! Resist! Liberate!
Revolutionary Democratic Front [RDF]

Condemn the dastardly clandestine abduction of Dr. GN Saibaba, Joint-Secretary of RDF, by the Maharashtra Police!

Today, the 9th of May, plain-clothed personnel of the Maharashtra Police abducted Dr. GN Saibaba while he was returning home from Daulat Ram College in Delhi University after examination duty. Dr. Saibaba, who suffers from 90% disability and is on a wheelchair, was blindfolded and pushed into a vehicle. After this secretive arrest of Dr Saibaba from within the university premises, it is believed he is being taken to Gadchiroli in Maharashtra by flight. None of his family members were informed and after repeated efforts to contact him, the driver of his vehicle informed the family of his abduction. This stealthy and dastardly abduction of a university professor smacks of the desperation of the Maharashtra police and violates the basic human right of an upstanding, democratic voice in this country. This abduction, it is believed, to be with regards to a fabricated case filed by the Maharashtra police that subsequently conducted a raid and an interrogation at Dr. Saibaba’s residence on the 12th of September and 7th of January respectively. During both the raid and the interrogation, Dr. Saibaba and his family extended their full cooperation with the police and intelligence forces. This abduction by Maharashtra Police reflects the extent to which the police can stoop to rake up false charges in fabricated cases and implicate voices that speak up for the democratic rights of people.
President of RDF in Uttarakhand, Jeevan Chandra, was similarly picked up on 5th of May in Uttarakhand. The charges against him were that of having connections with the Maoists and calling for the boycott of the elections. RDF strongly condemns the abduction of Dr. Saibaba and the abduction and arrest of Jeevan Chandra by the police force.

RDF calls for a protest demonstration at Maharashtra Sadan on 10th of May (Saturday) at 11 am.

We appeal to revolutionary and democratic individuals and organizations to join in large numbers.

PROTEST DEMONSTRATION against clandestine abduction of Dr. GN Saibaba by Maharashtra Police at Maharashtra Sadan, Kasturba Gandhi Marg, on 10th May (SATURDAY) at 11 am.

Varavara Rao, President, RDF (09676541715) Rajkishore, General Secretary, RDF (09717583539)

Revolutionaries in India Find Greater Unity in New Merger of Maoist Parties

[Decades after the first wave of Maoist revolutionary struggle in India, often referred to as the Naxalite rebellion, was brutally suppressed by the Indian State, and the movement was splintered into many groups and parties, the struggle to unite the Maoists has taken a great step forward.  Beginning nearly 10 years ago with the merger of the People's War Group and the Maoist Coordination Center, forming the Communist Party of India (Maoist), now, a further step merging the CPI (Maoist) with the CPI(ML)-Naxalbari has advanced the struggle to a stronger and more developed stage.  The newly unified party announced this advance on May Day, International Workers Day, with the following statement.  --  Revolutionary Frontlines]

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May 1, 2014

Merger Declaration of CPI(Maoist) and CPI(M-L)Naxalbari
Hail the Merger of the Maoist Parties in India into a Single Party!

(Released to the press by comrades Abhay and Krantipriya, spokespersons of the respective parties)

On this occasion of the International day of the world proletariat, the glorious May Day, we the Maoists of India, with a great sense of responsibility and firm conviction, announce the merger of the CPI (Maoist) and CPI(M-L) Naxalbari into a single party, to be known as CPI(Maoist). Thus strengthening the vanguard of the Indian proletariat, which is a contingent of the world proletariat, we dedicate ourselves evermore firmly to the cause of the Indian revolution and the world proletarian revolution.
The Maoist movement took form through the great Naxalbari uprising of 1967. Inspired and led by comrades Charu Mazumdar and Kanhai Chatterjee, founder leaders of our party, thousands of leaders, cadres and masses laid down their invaluable lives to advance the revolutionary movement and build a strong party.
After the setback of early 1970s and the martyrdom of comrade Charu Mazumdar, the communist revolutionary forces were divided into many groups. The genuine revolutionaries while trying to build the movement in their respective areas made serious attempts to unify all revolutionaries into a single party. In the course of this process over the last four decades the two main streams represented by the erstwhile CPI (ML) (People’s War) and the MCCI merged into a single party, the CPI (Maoist), on 21st September 2004. This marked a qualitative leap in realizing a long drawn aspiration of the workers, peasants and other oppressed masses to build a single directing centre leading the new democratic revolutionary war in India to success and marching forward to establishing socialism and then communism. Continue reading

Ambedkar, Gandhi and the battle against caste

The Doctor and the Saint

By ARUNDHATI ROY | 1 March 2014 |  The Caravan

BR Ambedkar in Bombay

BR Ambedkar in Bombay, in 1939—three years after publishing Annihilation of Caste, his most radical text.

ANNIHILATION OF CASTE is the nearly eighty-year-old text of a speech that was never delivered.* When I first read it I felt as though somebody had walked into a dim room and opened the windows. Reading Dr Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar bridges the gap between what most Indians are schooled to believe in and the reality we experience every day of our lives.

My father was a Hindu, a Brahmo. I never met him until I was an adult. I grew up with my mother, in a Syrian Christian family in Ayemenem, a small village in communist-ruled Kerala. And yet all around me were the fissures and cracks of caste. Ayemenem had its own separate “Parayan” church where “Parayan” priests preached to an “untouchable” congregation. Caste was implied in peoples’ names, in the way people referred to each other, in the work they did, in the clothes they wore, in the marriages that were arranged, in the language we spoke. Even so, I never encountered the notion of caste in a single school textbook. Reading Ambedkar alerted me to a gaping hole in our pedagogical universe. Reading him also made it clear why that hole exists and why it will continue to exist until Indian society undergoes radical, revolutionary change.

Revolutions can, and often have, begun with reading.

Ambedkar was a prolific writer. Unfortunately his work, unlike the writings of Gandhi, Nehru or Vivekananda, does not shine out at you from the shelves of libraries and bookshops.

Of his many volumes, Annihilation of Caste is his most radical text. It is not an argument directed at Hindu fundamentalists or extremists, but at those who consider themselves moderate, those whom Ambedkar called “the best of Hindus”—and some academics call “left-wing Hindus.”1 Ambedkar’s point is that to believe in the Hindu shastras and to simultaneously think of oneself as liberal or moderate is a contradiction in terms.

When the text of Annihilation of Caste was published, the man who is often called the “greatest of Hindus”—Mahatma Gandhi—responded to Ambedkar’s provocation. Their debate was not a new one. Both men were their generation’s emissaries of a profound social, political and philosophical conflict that had begun long ago and has still by no means ended. Continue reading

US Public Radio interview with Arundhati Roy

Smiley and West, NPR — December 13, 2013

West: From PRI, Public Radio International in Princeton I’m Cornel West.
Smiley: And in Los Angeles I’m Tavis Smiley.

Arundhati Roy

Arundhati Roy

West: Brother Tavis, we are blessed to have one of the great and courageous intellectuals of our time. She is Arundhati Roy. We call her Sister Roy. Of course she’s the winner of the Booker Prize of her renowned novel The God of Small Things. She is the author of a variety of very powerful prose, non-fiction prose. She is in the process now of finishing a new text called Capitalism: A Ghost Story.
What a blessing to have you, Sister Roy.
Roy: Thank you, Dr. West.
West: Let’s start, before we get to your magnificent political activism, your visionary political activism, let’s go all the way back to your upraising, your training as an architect very much like Thomas Harding, becoming a great writer like Thomas Harding.
How do you connect your childhood with your training as an architect to your becoming a great writer?
Roy: I don’t know if I’m a great writer.
West: I can testify to that.
Roy: I’m a little embarrassed by all the good things you’re saying about me.
I grew up in south India as the child of a divorced mother which was unusual in that area. You know it’s a very parochial community called the Syrian Christians. My mother had married outside the community and then got divorced and come back to the village.
Growing up there in a very traditional space where caste was practiced, where there was all kinds of bigotry hidden and not so hidden, then growing up outside of this great Indian family unit.
I suppose it just made you look at society and wonder why it wasn’t offering you the certainties and the assurances that it offered a lot of other people from my kind of background.
I think that’s what initially made you want to explain it to yourself through writing.
The architecture was actually something that I did because I knew that I had to do something where I could earn a living very quickly so as to not be dependent on anybody because I knew that once that happened I wasn’t going to have even half a chance to write or to think or be anything other than live a very constricted, suffocating life. Continue reading

India: The largest “democracy”? — or, a brazen — but false — electoralism?

[As Maoists in India denounce India's claimed "democracy" as deceptive and fraudulent, the Indian state deploys nearly 150,000  troops, and moves hundreds of voting stations out of rebellious regions.  See the following two reports from the mainstream Indian press.  --  Frontlines ed.]

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Maoist posters calling for poll boycott found at bus stand

Business Standard, Tuesday, October 22,

Bottom of Form

Maoist posters calling for boycott of the upcoming Assembly polls were found pasted at a bus stand in the Kanker district in Chhattisgarh, where as many as 18 Maoist-affected constituencies will go to polls on November 11.

Three posters and two banners were found put up at the waiting hall of the bus stand under Pakhanjore police station limits last evening, a senior police official told PTI today.

Although, security personnel regularly visit villages to instill confidence in the people to vote, the rebels have appealed to villagers to kick both the BJP and Congress out of power, the police said, adding that a case has been registered in this connection.

Meanwhile, taking serious note of the Maoist threat, the Centre has sent additional 40,000 personnel of paramilitary forces to ensure peaceful polling, in addition to around 65,000 police personnel and 27,000 paramilitary troops already engaged in anti-Maoist operations in the state. Continue reading

Indian TV interview with Delhi U. Professor Saibaba: “Are Left sympathisers being branded as Naxals?”

Sep 19, 2013

Is GN Saibaba, the wheelchair-bound professor of English in one of the country’s premier university, the new face of Naxalism? The Maharashtra Police raided the home of Delhi University professor Saibaba last week, alleging that he is an active member of the banned CPI-Maoist.

India: “Condemn the Arbitrary Raid of the House of Prof. GN Saibaba, An Intellectual and Joint Secretary Of RDF!”

Press Release By Committee For The Release Of Political Prisoners, 13 Sep 2013
Condemn The Criminal Designs Of The Joint Intelligence-Special Cell-Gadchiroli Police Combine To Implicate Prof. GN Saibaba Along with The False Charges Framed Against Hem Mishra, A JNU Student!

In an unprecedented act of terror to terrorise, on the 12 September 2013, around 3 pm, a joint operation of a team from the National Investigation Agency (NIA), 7 members from the Special Cell of the Delhi Police, 15 member police team from the Aheri police station, Gadchiroli, Maharashtra, 7 member police team from the Maurice Nagar Police Station, Delhi University—all put together 50 member squad—barged into the premises of the quarter in which Prof. GN Saibaba was staying with the family. The Aheri police team comprised of Mr. Suhas P Bawache who happens to be the Investigating officer of the case in which Hem Mishra, a JNU student has recently been shown as arrested in Aheri police station limits. Additional SP Shashi Kumar was also part of the team. The NIA team refused to reveal their identity. Sub Inspector Sanjeev Kumar identified himself as part of the Maurice Nagar Station while his colleague Narendra Dubey from the same station refused to reveal his rank. As mentioned before the team comprised of 50 members just to raid the premises of a family comprising of three—Prof. GN Saibaba who moves in a wheel chair with serious disability, his life partner AS Vasantha and their daughter Manjeera in her teens. Undoubtedly it was an act of intimidation, cold and calculative.

Prof. GN Saibaba had just returned from Ramlal Anand College where he teaches in the English department. Sooner than later the marauding team of police/intelligence had seized all the mobiles—Saibaba, his partner AS Vasantha and daughter Manjeera—and confined them to a room. Continue reading

Nehru U. Students/Cultural Activists branded “Naxals”, arrested

[Political protests and cultural expressions of oppoosition to the repressive and undemocratic Indian state continue to grow, and the States' response continues to be: slander the opposition, call all activists "Naxals" or "Maoists", and round them up for some combination of interrogation, torture, or disappearance--and thereby create a climate of fear for other activists and political opponents.  It is the common method of repressive regimes everywhere, including India. -- Frontlines ed.]

  26 August 2013
by Nupur Sonar, Tehelka
JNU Student arrested in Gadhchiroli for alleged Naxal links

August 25, 2013

Hem Mishra, a student of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and executive
member of Committee for Release of Political Prisoners (CRPP) was arrested
along with two others by the Gadhchiroli police in Aheri on Friday morning
for having alleged Naxal links. The two others identified as Mahesh Tirki
and Ram Purate belong to Murawala region.

Although reports of his arrest have been rife in some sections of the local
and national media since this morning, the police had neither confirmed nor
denied his arrest. However, speaking to TEHELKA, DIG Ravindra Kadam has now
confirmed the arrest.  “A courier from senior most female Naxal leader
Narmada Akka was recovered from Mishra apart from other ‘incriminating
material’ and he was seen moving around suspiciously in the area for two
days prior to his arrest,” he said. Continue reading

India: Soni Sori’s husband, Anil Futane, passes away

By the time he was acquitted, Anil Futane was beaten so severely in jail he became paralyzed. With his death on 2 August, serious questions are being raised about the working of the police force in Chhattisgarh
In custody: The next SC hearing in the Soni Sori case will be held on 23 January

is led by the police outside the district court complex in New Delhi
Photo: Shailendra Pandey

’s husband, Anil Futane, died on 2 August at his native place in Geedum tehsil in Dantewada district of . Like Soni, he had been arrested and jailed as a . On 1 May 2013 he was acquitted by the court after spending nearly three years in jail. While in jail he was beaten so severely he became paralyzed. Soni, Anil’s wife, is still lodged in Jagdalpur central jail and his last rites were performed in her absence.

Soni and her husband were residents of Sameli village in . While Soni was a teacher in a government primary school, her husband, Anil ferried local passengers in a Bolero jeep. In July 2010 a case was filed against , Anil and Lingaram Kodopi for carrying out a naxal attack on the house of Avdhesh Gautam, a Congress leader from Nakulnar in the Dantewada district of . Although Anil was acquitted in all the cases, his health has severely deteriorated in the three years he spent in jail.

NRK Pillai, a CPI leader and a senior journalist from Dantewada, says that the police left Anil at his house in the Geedum tehsil of Dantewada. Although he had been acquitted in all the cases, no one came forward for his treatment. Pillai says he had gone to Anil’s house to meet him and saw that he was in serious need of medical attention. He talked to his associates in Delhi regarding Anil’s health and was advised to send him to Delhi for proper treatment. According to Pillai no one came forward to take Anil to Delhi because of police fear. Continue reading