India: Punjab’s Dal Khalsa (independence movement) flays the muzzling of ‘voices of dissent’ by branding them ‘seditious’

Delhi Conference on Kashmir: "Azadi, The Only Way"

AMRITSAR, Dec 1- Dal Khalsa expressed its deep concern at the registration of a ‘sedition’ case against veteran Kashmiri leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani, Arundhati Roy, Prof SAR Geelani, Dr Sheikh Showkat Hussain, Sujato Bhadra, Varavara Rao and Shuddhabrata Sengupta by the Delhi Police on the direction of Metropolitan Magistrate Navita Kumari Bagha.

Pertinently, the police have slapped Sections 124-A (sedition), 153-A (promoting enmity between two communities) and 153-B (assertion against national integration) against 7 persons for speaking in favour of Kashmir’s independence at a convention held on 21 October titled “Azadi: The Only Way”.

Party head H S Dhami and secretary for political affairs Kanwarpal Singh said they were distressed that surreptitious back-door attempts were consistently being made by the Indian establishment to muzzle voices of dissent by simply branding them as ‘seditious’. “The role of the BJP and its offshoots in upping the ante in this case is highly condemnable”.

To extend solidarity with Kashmiri’s and pledge to stand with them in their just struggle, “we too participated and spoke at Delhi convention”, they said.

Dal Khalsa, which is struggling for Punjab’s independence, strongly believes that freedom of speech and expression was an inalienable fundamental right guaranteed to all citizens including those who seek right to self-determination, said they. Continue reading

Militant labor struggles on rise in Ludhiana, Punjab industrial area

Ludhiana powerloom workers protest

Sanhati, September 27, 2010

Saroj Giri

The struggle of Ludhiana power loom workers enters 9th day

The struggle of hundreds of power loom workers of 52 factories of Ludhiana’s Gaushala, Kashmir Nagar and Madhopuri areas which started on September 16, remained inconclusive as of today. A round of discussions held yesterday (September 23) with factory owners in presence of labour officials bore no results. Rajwinder, President of Karkhana Mazdoor Union which is leading the workers in the strike said that there were sharp divisions among the factory owners and they could reach no consensus among themselves.

The factory owners are scared of the organised struggle of the workers and they know that a successful strike this time will boost the confidence of the workers in their organisation which will prove very harmful for them in the long run. On the other hand the spirit of the workers is high and they are determined to lead the struggle to a successful conclusion. The striking workers have been demonstrating in front of the Vardhman Mill (Chandigarh Road) and their strike has now entered into the 9th day.

The strike that started on September 16 in 22 factories of Gaushala, Kashmir Nagar and Madhopuri areas of Ludhiana has now spread to 52 power loom units in these areas. The workers have revolted against their pathetic conditions, nearly no existence of labour laws and basic rights, long working hours and low wages and callous approach of the government and administration. The successful strike (August 24 – August 31) of Shakti Nagar, Tibba Road workers has inspired the workers of other areas. Continue reading

Punjab: A trail of blood follows peasant struggles

Delhi demonstration againstt police attack on Punjab farmers

Sanhati, October 15, 2010

by Narinder Kumar Jeet

It was in Bhindi Aulakh, a small village in Amritsar District, on Indo-Pakistan Border, that Sh. Sadhu Singh Takhtupura, State Organizing Secretary of the Bharti Kisan Union Ekta (Ugrahan), was brutally attacked and killed on 16.1.2010, under a deep rooted conspiracy hatched by Veer Singh Lopoke, an Ex-MLA and a powerful Akali leader and his henchmen.

Sadhu Singh Takhtupura was murdered because he was mobilizing the abadkar peasants against illegal and forcible land-grabbing by a gang of powerful Akali leaders, police officials, contractors and anti-social elements. Under his leadership, the farmers rose in revolt against custodial deaths, illegal detentions and torture by the police, through which the above said gang used to terrorize the poor peasants.

In adjoining Gurdaspur district, the goons employed by the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee, controlled by the ruling Badal Akali Dal, had killed two tenant farmers and injured several others, when they were protesting against their illegal and forcible eviction from a Gurdwara land, which they have ben tilling for the last many years as tenants. Continue reading

Punjab: Arundhati Roy and Gandhian Himanshu Kumar speak to Anti-War Conference




On 17th October, when people were celebrating Dussehra to mark the victory of Good over the Evil, the Democratic Front Against Operation Green Hunt, Punjab, held a massive Convention in Desh Bhagat Yadgar Hall, Jalandhar on “War against the people & Role of Democratic Forces.” It was addressed by noted pro-people thinker & Booker Award winner writer Arundhati Roy and Gandhian social activist Himanshu Kumar. Hundreds of people from all walks of life – University Professors, Research Scholars, Students, Artists, littérateur, cultural activists, press-persons, farmers, agricultural & industrial laborers, trade unionists, thinkers etc., participated from all across Punjab & Chandigarh. The Convention Hall having a seating capacity of 900 was overfilled & hundreds of people were left to hear the programme from outside the Convention Hall.

The Convention Hall was tastefully decorated with flex-hoardings having appropriate messages. The theme hoarding had the poem by Pastor Martin Niemoller – ‘FIRST THEY CAME FOR THE COMMUNISTS’, with a painting depicting peoples’ struggle in the background. Two others were having poems by two noted peoples’ poets of Punjab Sant Ram Udasi- MAGHDA RAHIN VE SURJA (Shine O Sun brightly) & Pash- ASIN LARANGE SATHI (Comrade! We will fight). There were quotations from Shaheed Bhagat Singh, ‘HAWA MEIN RAHENGI MERE KHIALON KI BIJLIAN’ (I may or may not live, but my ideas will remain galvanizing the air eternally)

The Convention was presided over by a presidium consisting of Dr. Parminder Singh (Professor Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar), Prof. A.K.Maleri (Ludhiana), Sh. Yash Pal (Retired Teacher and Editor VARG CHETNA), Prof. Ajmer Singh Aulakh (Noted pro-people Punjabi Dramatist), Com Gandharav Sen Kochhar & Sh. Naunihal Singh(both from Desh Bhagat Yadgar Committee, formed to honor the martyrs of Gadar Movement).

Arundhati Roy opened her speech with the remark that the Indian state has been waging a war against its own people in many parts of the country such as North East, Kashmir, Punjab and many other places for the last 60 years using military and the police to ruthlessly suppress them. She paid rich compliments to the poor people and tribals living in the forests of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Orissa, Andhra, West Bengal & Maharashtra, who were fighting valiantly to save their lands, forests, water & mineral wealth from being plundered by the world’s richest companies. Preaching non-violence to the tribals of Chhattisgarh is immoral. To those, who accuse the tribals of being violent, she asked: ‘When people are forced to die of hunger, when they are uprooted after depriving them of their lands & livelihood, in the name of development, is it not violence?’ Is it not ironic to advise those, who have empty stomachs and empty pockets, to follow the Gandhian tools of hunger strike and boycott of foreign goods? Continue reading

On his visit to India, can Obama ignore Bhagat Singh?
By Jawed Naqvi
Thursday, 14 Oct, 2010
Whatever the reason for his visit, Obama will be in for a surprise his hosts may not have provisioned for. –File Photo

President Obama is likely to go to the Golden Temple in Amritsar next month. Different reasons are being given for the first visit by an American president to Sikhdom’s holiest shrine.

One version suggests his wife planted the idea. Her uncle had lived in Amritsar as a member of the US Volunteers Corps. A more straightforward explanation is that his host, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, himself a Sikh, would be pleased by the gesture.

Whatever the reason for the completely agreeable plan, Mr Obama will be in for a surprise his hosts may not have provisioned for. He will find there that high up among the icons that Sikhs deify, as do most Indians, is Bhagat Singh who was hanged for defying British rule in India.

In fact Mr Obama could do a quick headcount of the devotees, if security permits, that would reveal how the 23-year old martyr stands taller in the minds of the people of Amritsar than any other hero of India’s anti-colonial struggle. Continue reading

Ludhiana, Punjab: Workers from over 50 power loom factories on strike

Power loom factory in Tamil Nadu, September 28, 2010

Decisive strike at labour office on September 27 : Strike to be carried on till demands are met

Reaching no conclusion after eleven days of strike in more than fifty power loom factories of Ludhiana’s Gaushala, Kashmir Nagar and Madhopuri areas the workers in the leadership of Karkhana Mazdoor Union organised a big meeting in front of Vardhman Mill yesterday which was attended by more than a thousand workers of different areas. It was decided in the meeting that a strike shall be called at the labour office today (September 27) which shall not be called off until the demands of the workers are met even if the strikers have to spend the night at the labour office.

Rajwinder, President Karkhana Mazdoor Union, said that the immorality of the labour office has reached its limit and they have no regard for their constituinal duties. The workers have been protesting for the last 11 days and their demands are very little and legitimate. There has been no significant increase in their wages for past 10-12 years while cost of living has gone up many times. The profits earned by owners at the expense of the workers have been soaring high but they are not willing to give a penny to the toiling workers. The workers live like slaves in this independent country whose rulers take great pride in calling it the biggest democracy of the world.

While the owners only care for their profits the labour office is even less concerned about the condition of the workers. The labour officers shamelessly take the side of owners in every dispute between the owners and the workers. Rajwinder brought out the contrasting fact that the representatives of the people (Members of Parliament) recently voted to increase their salary by more than 300 per cent but they do not wish to give the majority of people living in wretched conditions even a rupee more. He said that enough was enough and the workers were not ready to tolerate it any more. They will not relent until their demands are fulfilled.

The meeting in front the Vardhman Mill today was attended by representatives of Naujawan Bharat Sabha, Moulder and Steel Worker’s Union, Lok Ekta Sangthan, Mazdoor Chetana Manch, Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ugrahan), D.I.F., D.T.F., AITUC and INTUC and they promised to provide every support to the strike of the power loom workers of Gaushala, Kashmir Nagar and Madhopuri areas of Ludhiana and announced their participation in the strike to be held today at the labour office. Rajwinder said that now no factory owner has the courage to suppress the striking workers any more.

Released by Lakhwinder, Mobile: 096461 50249
  Secretary, Karkhana Mazdoor Union

March 30 Delhi Protest against Police Attack on Punjab Farmers’ Demonstration of 25,000


Invitation to Join Protest Dharna on 30th March 2010 at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi

Dear Friends,

The 30th March 2010 Kisan Dharna Programme of PDFI Sub-committee on Agriculture Crisis (of which Dr. Darshan Pal is the Coordinator) is going to be held as per schedule at Jantar Mantar, Delhi. It will start at 11 AM. More than 1000 people from Punjab, UP, Bihar, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Delhi and other states are expected to attend the programme. The  Dharna Programme is going to be organized on the issues related with Agriculture Crisis, such as Irrigation, Electricity, Agriculture Credit, Guarantee of MSP, Price Rise, Equitable Entitlement of Agriculture Community, Separate Budget for Agriculture etc.

It is to note that Dr. Darshan Pal (as the Coordinator of the Sub-committee on Agriculture Crisis) is the main organizer of this programme. But, the Punjab police has arrested him along with several farmers’ and agriculture workers’ leaders to suppress the farmers’ movements, going on in Punjab and other states.

The arresting of Dr. Darshan Pal is directly related with the farmers’ struggles of Punjab. Altogether 22 farmers’, agriculture workers’ and employees’ organisations organized a massive joint rally of more than 25000 people at Jagraon, mainly against imposing electricity charges on farmers and agriculture workers, privatization of electricity and  repression on farmers’ movement. The meeting was steered by Balkar Singh Dakaunda (the President of BKU-Ekata, Punjab and the All India Coordination Committee member of PDFI). Continue reading

Punjab Forum Opposes Operation Green Hunt

This article was posted on Indian Vanguard on January 4, 2010.

Punjab: Convention against war on people

Patiala: Forum Against War, Punjab on Sunday organised a convention here to oppose Union Government’s move to launch military offensive against Maoists in various parts of the country.

Terming union government’s military offensive as a great sellout of country’s natural resources to multi nationals, Gautam Navlakha, Consulting Editor with Economic and Political Weekly, said, “The central India, which is going to be the battlefield of Green Hunt is the richest region in terms of natural resources. Mines of these areas has already been sold out to multi nationals at throwaway prices. At the same time these are the areas which noticed the biggest resistance from people to protect their land”.

“Now state not only wants to break that resistance but also want to grab that richest resources which people have refuse to surrender. If the government only wants to wipe out the Maoists then why they are not making all the MoUs signed for these areas in public domain?” he asked.

He also said that the “Home Minister P Chidambram has made it clear that in this war either you are with us or with them (the Maoists). Of course in war imposed on masses, which is going to affect from 10 to 15 crore people, the masses will stand by the mass resistance instead of any corrupt political establishment”.

Sharing his experiences from his travels inside the Maoist guerilla zones, Satnam, a political activist and writer, said that whatever state calls them, nobody can turn away from the truth that Maoists have given an alternative model of development which has helped in advancement of the tribals.  “The government wants to destroy this very people centric model of development,” he said.

Nisha Biswas, a political activist from Kolkata, discussed the situation in Lalgarh that how CPI (M) is committing atrocities on people of Lalgarh and people’s resistance in the area. “Common people and mass leaders are being arrested and harassed on the name of Maoists,” she said.  Prof Jagmohan Singh, President AFDR, Punjab said that this war is going to lead the country towards an irreversible damage. The convention was attended by peasants, students and university teachers in large number.

Forum Against War, Punjab is a platform made by various prominent Punjabi writers, artists, scholars and university teachers to oppose Operation Green Hunt.