“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

Saibaba has been a tireless voice that has meticulously tore down the curtain of silence that the Indian state uses to hide the most gory reality of a war it has waged against the most oppressed adivasi population in the name of Operation Green Hunt. As the convenor of the Forum against War on People, Saibaba has been consistent in breaking down the high-sounding myth of ‘Development’ with which the state seeks to cover up a bloody war that it has waged at the behest of the corporate sharks to facilitate an unbridled loot of resources at the cost of death, destruction and displacement for the adivasis. Breaking the deathly consensus of all possible shades of parliamentary forces to this so called ‘development’ model, his was one of those voices that galvanized a large section of democratic opinion against Green Hunt. Large enough to cause panic and fluster the powers that be. As the Joint Secretary of Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF), Saibaba has been helping to forge solidarities amongst – the Dalits, adivasis, Muslims, oppressed nationalities, peasant, workers, and so on – for the goal of forging a revolutionary unity of the oppressed. As a faculty in DU, Saibaba has been at the forefront of struggles for social justice, for reservation & against privatization – semester system or FYUP – galvanizing teachers & students for democratization of education.

The most evolved mechanism of the Indian state to contain ‘crimes’ such as the above and to witch hunt countless such democratic right activists is to brand and frame them either as “Maoist” or as “Terrorist”. Voices that dare to speak the truth thereby can easily be projected as “threats to national security” and hence “seditious”. By such means Muslims who burn the US flag protesting against imperialist aggression are nabbed as “terrorists”; Kabir Kala Manch activists who sing about breaking the fetters of Brahmanism are nabbed as “anti-nationals”; and those opposing Operation Green Hunt are nabbed as “Maoists”. With masterful precision, improved upon through repeated rendition, the state apparatus – its police, judiciary, media – complement each other all along this process of branding, threatening, framing, abducting, incarcerating and at other times encountering. We have seen the chronicle being repeated over and over again in the cases of Comrade Hem, Prashant Rahi, Shahid Azmi, Binayak Sen or countless other nameless faceless people’s activists across the country.

Effigy burning of Maharasthra Police, UAPA and Operation Greenhunt in JNU to protest against the arrest of Dr. GN Saibaba

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