Frontlines of Revolutionary Struggle

cast away illusions, prepare for struggle!

A Palestinian Video/Song for Saibaba’s Freedom

[The solidarity video/song by a Palestinian poet marks a global defiance toward repressive powers.  Professor GN Saibaba’s case has drawn the attention and solidarity of people in India and around the world, especially from oppressed people who have faced the same political repression in other lands.  In thousands of cases, the Indian government (and other states which serve feudal and capitalist-imperialist interests) has rounded up political opponents, has made usual false accusations that their political activism is subversive or seditious, and kept them imprisoned for lengthy times.  In this was, the Indian state aims to break the spirit of political opponents and the people they serve, and to destroy their organizations and their supporters.  With all this, the aim of such political repression is to impose fear and enforce compliance and submission — and to prevent new debates and movements against injustices and oppressions.  We present this and other postings on the production of political imprisonment in India. — Frontlines ed.]

*Hungry*  —  Song from Palestine
Introducing text: Arundhati Roy, excerpted from *Outlook* essay:
‘Professor, P.O.W.’

‘Why is the government afraid of me? I am 90% disabled… But I think, I write': GN Saibaba

[In thousands of cases, the Indian government (and other states which serve feudal and capitalist-imperialist interests) has rounded up political opponents, has made usual false accusations that their political activism is subversive or seditious, and kept them imprisoned for lengthy times.  In this was, the Indian state aims to break the spirit of political opponents and the people they serve, and to destroy their organizations and their supporters.  With all this, the aim of such political repression is to impose fear and enforce compliance and submission — and to prevent new debates and movements against injustices and oppressions.  We present this and other postings on the production of political imprisonment in India. — Frontlines ed.]

‘The State is filled with systemic violence which all of us have to resist,’ says the DU academic, out on bail after 14 months in jail for suspected links with Maoists.

INTERVIEW by Anumeha Yadav, ScrollIn, Jul 09, 2015
'Why is the government afraid of me? I am 90% disabled... But I think, I write': GN Saibaba

Photo Credit: Anumeha Yadav

Dr GN Saibaba, an English professor at the Delhi University accused of being a part of the banned CPI (Maoist) is back home after 14 months of imprisonment in Nagpur central jail. The police first raided the wheelchair-bound academic’s house on the university campus in September 2013 with the objective of recovering property allegedly stolen from Aheri in Maharashtra. They arrested him nine months later while he was returning from an examination centre in the university on May 9, 2014 accusing him under several sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
On July 3, the Bombay High Court granted him three months bail following reports of his deteriorating health condition in Nagpur jail. His trial is yet to begin.

 

Back at his home surrounded by his family members and his books, Dr Saibaba, who happens to be paralysed from his waist downwards due to polio since he was five years old, spoke fearlessly against what he described as the continuing repression of the state.

India: “Justice” System Produces Political Prisoners

Vira Sathidar, right, in a scene from “Court,” directed by Chaitanya Tamhane. Credit Zeitgeist Films

 The wheels of justice grind slowly and mercilessly in “Court,” Chaitanya Tamhane’s quiet, devastating critique of the antiquated Indian legal system. As it follows the case of Narayan Kamble (Vira Sathidar), a 65-year-old folk singer and social activist accused of inciting what is presumed to be the suicide of a sewer worker in Mumbai, the film conjures an absurdist nightmare of bureaucratic incompetence, indifference and social inequity.

Narayan is first seen teaching children Indian geography in a crowded Mumbai classroom, then hurrying to board a bus that takes him to an outdoor theater where he is introduced to a small crowd as “the people’s poet.” Backed by a troupe of musicians, he sings a forceful song urging everyone to rise up against “religious, racist, casteist and nationalist jungles.” Midway through, Narayan is arrested.

The remainder of the movie observes his protracted trial. A travesty of justice that another filmmaker might have directed as a farce, the work has a gravity, a measured pace and a detachment reminiscent of a Frederick Wiseman documentary — “Court,” however, is fictional. Continue reading

‘I am a teacher not a preacher': Saibaba responds to charge of being ‘thorough Maoist’

[In thousands of cases, the Indian government (and other states which serve feudal and capitalist-imperialist interests) has rounded up political opponents, has made usual false accusations that their political activism is subversive or seditious, and kept them imprisoned for lengthy times.  In this was, the Indian state aims to break the spirit of political opponents and the people they serve, and to destroy their organizations and their supporters.  With all this, the aim of such political repression is to impose fear and enforce compliance and submission — and to prevent new debates and movements against injustices and oppressions.  We present this and other postings on the production of political imprisonment in India. — Frontlines ed.]

The cops believe Dr G Naga Saibaba, who was born and grew up in East Godavari in Andhra Pradesh, to be a scout for the outlawed Communist Party of India (CPI) Maoist who motivated and funneled leaders into strife torn regions for carrying on with the group’s violent agenda.

Jugal R Purohit   |   India Today  |   New Delhi, July 12, 2015
Dr G Naga Saibaba

The security establishment believes Dr G Naga Saibaba is a Maoist.

“He is like a General Post Office (GPO) of the Maoist insurgents because he ensures a smooth flow of information between the insurgents in the jungles and supporters in urban centres and abroad,” said a senior police officer in Maharashtra, aware of his case. The forty seven year old could only smile at this thought, sitting inside his official residence in Delhi’s North Campus. “If I am a GPO and the Indian state knows that, why disrupt the flow? They can gain more by stealthily monitoring me,” he replied. Dr. G Naga Saibaba, an activist, a teacher and someone who the security establishment believes to be a ‘thorough Maoist but for his handicap and family commitments’ returned home on July 4, following a three-month bail on medical grounds, secured from the Bombay High Court.

Continue reading

Indian Academic Suspected of Ties to Maoist Rebels Out of Jail – For Now

[In thousands of cases, the Indian government (and other states which serve feudal and capitalist-imperialist interests) has rounded up political opponents, has made usual false accusations that their political activism is subversive or seditious, and kept them imprisoned for lengthy times.  In this was, the Indian state aims to break the spirit of political opponents and the people they serve, and to destroy their organizations and their supporters.  With all this, the aim of such political repression is to impose fear and enforce compliance and submission — and to prevent new debates and movements against injustices and oppressions.  We present this and other postings on the production of political imprisonment in India. — Frontlines ed.]
150709-IN-saibaba-620

G.N. Saibaba (right) receives his doctoral degree from Indian President Pranab Mukherjee (left) at Delhi University, March 19, 2013. ( Courtesy of G.N. Saibaba)

By Rohit Wadhwaney, Benar News, July 9, 2015 

Locked up for more than a year in a dingy prison cell without proper medical care, a wheelchair-bound university professor accused of links to India’s Maoist guerrillas is struggling to come to terms with his temporary release from incarceration.
On July 3, G.N. Saibaba was released from Maharashtra state’s Nagpur Central Prison after the Bombay High Court granted him a three-month bail on medical grounds.
His 14-month imprisonment has taken a heavy toll on Saibaba, a professor of English literature at Delhi University who has been suspended. He suffers from post-polio residual paralysis, a disease that has left him mostly disabled since childhood.

The Notorious Treatment of India’s Political Prisoner Dr. GN Saibaba

[Two former political prisoners, Arun Ferreira and Vernon Gonsalves,  who also were jailed under India’s notorious Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, which has incarcerated countless as accused “Naxalites”, describe the details of the notorious and abusive treatment of Professor GN Saibaba, who suffers from polio and multiple medical issues and deteriorating health due to the conditions of his imprisonment. — Frontlines ed.]

How Maharashtra robbed Dr Saibaba of his rights

Until police can be compelled to respect basic human rights, we will continue to remain far removed from the democracy we claim to be.

Arun Ferreira and Vernon Gonsalves

“I hope you are doing well, despite the fact that you are all in a larger penitentiary, as Uncle Sam would call it. I have been in a smaller enclosure here for the last ten months. My wish to join you back in the larger prison-house has been thwarted once again. I am sure you all understand the anxieties of your friend’s existence in the claustrophobic sealed concrete enclosure of an ‘anda cell’ behind seven heavy and gigantic gates.” Gokarakonda Naga Saibaba’s words (written over three months ago from the confines of the Nagpur Central Prison) carry that gritty tone characteristic of the man ‘guilty’ of supporting and participating in sundry issues and causes of the poor and dispossessed in various parts of the country over the last three decades.

Dr Saibaba, a Delhi University Professor in English, with 90 per cent permanent physical impairment of his lower limbs, was abducted on May 9, 2014 from a Delhi road by the Maharashtra police and has since been behind bars. His story is a telling commentary on the biases of a criminal justice system that readily releases convicted film-stars and politicians but insists on incarcerating those accused of committing the ‘crime’ of supporting or believing in thought contrary to the ruling ideology. Despite many Supreme Court rulings and the recent Kerala High Court assertion that ‘being a Maoist is no crime’, the reality is that it is just this accusation that keeps Saibaba and hundreds of others like him in prison for years on end.

In the last thirteen months, Saibaba has had his bail rejected four times – thrice in the Sessions Court and once in the High Court. Despite his severe disability and his rapidly deteriorating medical condition, the State has not only vigorously opposed bail, but also gone out of its way to deny him proper medical care. Whenever Saibaba has applied for bail on medical and disability grounds, the prosecution has adopted the tactic of ensuring that facilities were provided in the jail when the bail application came up for hearing, but after the bail application was disposed of, those facilities are withdrawn. Continue reading

Indian Political Prisoner Kobad Ghandy ends hunger strike

June 6, 2015
kobad

Kobad Ghandy, arrested in 2009

Kobad Ghandy, the 68-year-old undertrial lodged in Tihar Jail here, called off his hunger strike on Friday soon after a court ordered the jail authorities to provide him easier access to basic facilities and adequate health care.

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