New Delhi: Protest against State Repression on Cultural Activists

September 23, 2013

New Delhi: On 21st September (Saturday), a joint protest against growing ‘State Repression on Cultural Activists’ was organized by a number of cultural, political and student activists of the city under the banner of Daman Virodhi Sanskritik Manch despite heavy rain between 2 pm to 5 pm at Mandi House, the Cultural hub of the national capital. Following is the note circulated by the group. Pictures by POOJA PANT.

DSC_0815Repression of people’s movements and struggles of workers and peasants have intensified across India. A recent manifestation of this is the crackdown on cultural activists and intellectuals – numerous cases of sanctions, physical attacks, incarceration and arbitrary arrests have surfaced in the last few months.

Repression on cultural political activists

Recently, Hem Mishra, well known cultural activist and former student of JNU, was arrested by Maharashtra police on false charges of being a Maoist courier. Continue reading

India: Revolutionary Trade Unions’ Call for General Strike

 DELHI GENERAL MAZDOOR FRONT (DGMF)

S-21/E-42, Indira Kalyan Vihar, Okhla Phase I, New Delhi 110020
PRESS STATEMENT,  19.02.2013:  Observe the Two Day Countrywide Strike on 20-21 February 2013!”

All the central trade unions have come together to call a two-day countrywide strike on 20 and 21 February 2013 in order to demand the fulfilment of a number of pressing issues connected to the lives of the workers and employees in both the organised and unorganised sectors. DGMF is aware that most of these trade unions are affiliated to the same parliamentary parties in power – whether at the centre or in various states – which are directly responsible for implementing anti-worker and anti-people policies. These political parties and their trade unions have repeatedly sacrificed the interests of the working masses of the country without batting an eyelid. In fact, all the parliamentary parties in the country today stand exposed as the agents and the representatives of foreign and domestic big capitalists.

The central trade unions have never seriously challenged the pro-imperialist policies of their mother parties. So to call a two-day strike upholding the rights of the workers is nothing but an eyewash – a move to hoodwink the toiling masses. It is out of popular pressure that these unions had to call a protest action in the form of the strike. The demands articulated by the two-day strike, however, are genuine demands of the workers themselves. DGMF therefore extends its solidarity to the workers’ strike and calls upon the working people of the country to observe the two-day strike. Without being a part of the grand alliance of ruling-class and revisionist trade unions, DGMF along with other revolutionary trade unions of the country has independently issued a strike call for 20 and 21 February 2013, and will strive to successfully implement the strike.

In solidarity,

Rash Behari

President, DGMF

Jagdish

General Secretary, DGMF

08826203405

India: Desperate state seeks spy drones and mind-reading robots to quash the rebellious people

Drone robots to add more teeth to anti-Maoist operations

The Times of India, February 4, 2013

KHARAGPUR: After drone missiles of the US military, drone robots will come to the help of Indian security forces in anti-insurgency operations. The robots are being developed at a research institution in Delhi’s Karol Bagh, which has already developed another land surveillance robot and a mind sensing robot that can read the human mind.

Once ready, the drone robot can be used as an effective surveillance tool by the armed and security forces engaged in anti-Maoist operations. The robot can spy over a battle zone while flying over it. Enemy positions, camps and even soldiers or rebels hiding behind bushes within a 50 km radius can be captured on its camera which even has night vision. “Information sent by the robot can help the security forces plan their operations with greater precision,” said Diwakar Vaish, head of robotics and research at the Delhi-based A-Set Institute of Training and Research, that is working on the project.

Work on developing the robot is at an advanced stage at the A-Set Institute. The drone apart, Vaish from the 20-year-old institute demonstrated several other robots at the three-day KSHIT technology fest that began at IIT-Kharagpur (IIT-Kgp) on Friday. Continue reading

Six charged with murder in India gang rape after woman dies

 India gang rape: Indians light candles as they mourn the death of a gang-rape victim in New Delhi, Saturday. IMAGE
by Ashok Sharma, Associated Press, 29 December, 2012

NEW DELHI — Indian police have charged six men with murder, adding to accusations that they beat and gang raped a woman on a New Delhi bus two weeks ago in a case that shocked the country.

The murder charges were laid Saturday, hours after the woman died in a Singapore hospital, where she had been flown for treatment.

New Delhi police spokesman Rajan Bhagat said the six face the death penalty if convicted, in a case that has triggered protests across India for greater protection for women from sexual violence, and raised questions about lax attitudes by police toward sexual crimes.

The tragedy has forced India to confront the reality that sexually assaulted women are often blamed for the crime, forcing them to keep quiet and discouraging them from reporting it to authorities for fear of exposing their families to ridicule. Police often refuse to accept complaints from those who are courageous enough to report the rapes, and the rare prosecutions that reach courts drag on for years. Continue reading

Rape As Weapon of Domination: The Clout of Caste And Class in India

By Ershad Abubacker,  Countercurrents.org, 27 December, 2012

More often than not, Arundhati Roy speaks unwelcome truths, truths that essentially do not go down well with the elite class. And hence she always gets dubbed as outspoken and is being criticized for that. She was recently in the headlines for speaking out against Indian rape culture in the back drop the gang rape at New Delhi and the mass protests that drew attention all over.

She recently noted that India lives simultaneously in several centuries. While nearly 10 Indian industrialists make it to the first 50 in the Forbes World Richest Men List, the capital of India is dubbed as ‘The Rape Capital’ and is a combination of incredibly crowded, ill-smelling slums; wide modern roads and elegant villas; the extremely poor and wretched; the fabulously wealthy and super-indulgent, and yet unable to protect its women traveling in buses. Speaking to Channel 4 on the recent gang rape of a 23-year old women in a running bus in Delhi, she asks critical questions on how and why and could this case be an exceptional crime demanding widespread protests; something which was uncommon in many prior instances of violence against women mete out by the Upper Class, Police and Armed Forces.

There is no doubt, the cruelty of the gang rape in a running bus at New Delhi is brutal and the culprits should be given maximum punishment in a model way. Our thoughts and prayers must be there with the girl who had her whole life tormented within a night’s bus journey.

Having said that, the present case does not stand vindictively different from the many of the rape cases registered earlier in Delhi . So what makes it a flare point for youngsters to protest at India Gate daring to defy the water cannons of Delhi police? Continue reading

Rebellion against oppressive state grows–Indian officials worry at Maoist support in Delhi

[The continuing growth of mass resistance and revolutinary struggle in India has led, repeatedly, to  bourgeois media stories of “conspiracies” of “outsiders” injecting “subversion” and even “sleeper cells” into a population that is happy, contented, and very loyal to the powers-that-be.  However, “wherever there is oppression, resistance will follow.”  The organiser of resistance is the oppressive system itself.  It is no surprise that resistance continues to grow throughout India, including the capital, Delhi.  But this article is how the bourgeoisie explains this.–Frontlines ed.]

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India: “Maoists seeking to build support in Delhi”

 

By Udayan Namboodiri, Khabar South Asia

New Delhi, June 20, 2012

The militants play to the sympathies of students in order to recruit potential helpers, Indian officials say.

The Indian government is worried about the expanding presence of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) in the national capital, following the arrests of two insurgents in New Delhi in one month.

Police nabbed suspected Maoist explosives expert Shiv Kumar on June 7th after receiving specific intelligence that he was in Delhi on a visit from Jharkhand. He was cornered in a bus station and gave up without a fight, Delhi Police deputy commissioner Sanjay Kumar Jain told Khabar South Asia.

Kumar, also known as “Shiva”, is known to have been involved in an ambush on security forces in the Dhardhariya forest in Jharkhand in May 2011 in which 11 officers were killed and 50 others injured.

D K Pandey, inspector-general of police in charge of anti-Maoist operations, said the 27-year-old was articulate in Marxist-Leninist theory and proficient in the use of landmines, and had participated in more than 200 raids since joining the Maoists in 2008.

He is the second fighter of the underground guerrilla army, whose operations span a vast slice of eastern and middle India, to be arrested in less than four weeks. Continue reading

Students in India fighting sexual harassment and patriarchal oppression of women

20 April 2012

Fight to strengthen GSCASH by making it a PUNITIVE BODY!

Every issue is a woman’s issue and no issue is a woman’s issue alone!

Fight to strengthen GSCASH by making it a PUNITIVE BODY!

Hold high the red banner of revolutionary women’s movement

 against feudalism, patriarchy & state repression!

Gender Sensitisation Committee against Sexual Harassment (GSCASH) was instituted in JNU in accordance with the Supreme Court guidelines in the Vishakha Judgment for the prevention of sexual harassment at the workplace. It was the students’ movement of this campus which demanded that GSCASH be put in place, as a result of which in 1998 it became the first such body to be established in the entire country. The progressive student’s movement also ensured elected students’ representation in GSCASH along with representation from all other sections of the campus. GSACSH was mandated to spearhead and strengthen the movement for a gender-just campus by fighting sexual harassment and patriarchy in all forms. Unfortunately, the institution seems to have replaced (or displaced) the movement rather than complementing it. And so, it has been easy for the administration to attack and weaken the GSCASH over the last few years. Today GSCASH stands severely weakened and constrained due to deliberate administrative assaults as well as in absence of a vibrant students’ struggle or women’s movement around it.

Even some of the so-called progressive organisations like AISA and SFI, while being in responsible positions of JNUSU, are complicit in undermining GSCASH by repeatedly defending sexual harassers even after they were found guilty by this body. Recently, none of these organisations raised any opposition when GSCASH elections too were brought under the purview of reactionary Lyngdoh recommendations. AISA and SFI had already surrendered JNUSU and its constitution to Lyngdoh, and therefore had no issues with GSCASH too being controlled through Lyngdoh. It was only because of the timely intervention of the student community along with DSU that GSCASH elections were separated from Lyngdoh-regulated JNUSU elections, and we now have GSCASH elections which are free from the discriminatory and meritocratic clauses of Lyngdoh. However, we must not forget that while we have successfully defended GSCASH from the clutches of Lyngdoh, unless we continue the struggle against Lyngdoh and intensify the students’ movement, any possibility of progressive change in the campus – including the strengthening of GSCASH – will be seriously jeopardised.

 GSCASH in the past few years has been reduced to a body simply for ‘sensitization’ of gender issues on campus. ‘Sensitisation’ or changing the consciousness towards gender and gender-based discrimination has its own importance. It undoubtedly encourages criticality about the given gender norms and roles. The problem comes when we merely stop at that. The structures of oppression that surround us need to be questioned, fought and ultimately smashed. Sensitization, debates, discussions and consensus-building can meaningfully address people who are willing to listen. However, we must think in terms of concrete programmatic action to challenge the very structures of patriarchy. Patriarchy, strengthened by semi- feudal semi-colonial social relations will not be defeated only by talking politely on its face. Ensuring punishment to sexual harassers is a primary precondition of ensuring justice, enhancing women’s space and building a gender-sensitive campus. GSCASH till now is not a punitive body in JNU. All it can do is to recommend punishment to the administration. The VC holds the discretionary power to implement or set aside the recommendations. Continue reading

India: the “Operation Green Hunt” War on the People moves against Delhi students at JNU

Witch-Hunt Of JNU Students In The Name Of Proctorial Enquiry!

In a leaflet announcing speeches on campus by Arundhati Roy and Amit Bhaduri, campus activists used this image to depict repression in India. The university administration says the image is offensive and a crime against the Indian state under the Official Emblem Act, and those responsible "must" be punished.

By JNU Forum Against War On People

28 May, 2011
Countercurrents.org

The Indian state’s war against the people in the form of Operation Green Hunt launched almost two years back is aimed at facilitating the corporate plunder of peoples’ land, forests, and resources. In the process the state has unleashed a spate of violent repression of the people fighting against this corporate loot. Braving extreme forms of state repression, Green Hunt has been resisted and fought back by vast sections of the people across the country, including peasants, workers, adivasis, dalits, students, intellectuals, peoples’ movements and democratic organisations. Outside the country too, the Indian state’s war campaign in central and eastern India has been opposed by the pro-people organisations and individuals. They have all vocally protested the crimes committed by the Indian state and its armed forces in these regions on a daily basis – be it the murder of adivasi villagers and political activists in their hundreds, use of brutal torture, burning and loot of hundreds of villages, thousands of arrests and forced displacements in still larger numbers.

The JNU Forum against War on People, formed by the students of the campus two years back to oppose the onslaught of Operation Green Hunt on the people of this country, has consistently worked towards bringing out the ground realities of state terror and repression in these regions. Against the state’s and the corporate media’s attempts to hide this reality, the Forum has continued to acquaint the campus community of the ongoing war in India’s heartland, and the students and teachers responded positively by participating in each of its programmes in their hundreds. The huge mobilisation of the students of JNU at the call of the Forum, whether it is to protest the JNU visit of P. Chidambaram –the main architect of Green Hunt– on 6 May 2010, the public meeting addressed by Arundhati Roy and Prof. Amit Bhaduri on 5 March 2011, or various protest actions at the initiative of the Forum in the last two years seem to have become a cause of worry for the Indian state and its local representative – the JNU administration.

Seen in this context, the ongoing Proctorial Enquiry conducted against the Forum allegedly for violating the Official Emblem Act, appears to be nothing but an urban extension of Operation Green Hunt. This enquiry is apparently carried out by the JNU administration to probe whether an image used in one of the campaign material for the public meeting organised by the Forum on 5 March misused the official symbol of the Indian state. The image portrays the jackboot of the Indian state coming down to stamp out and crush the people protesting against its repressive policies. The administration claims that the artwork on the boot amounts to the misuse of the symbol as per the Official Emblem Act. Hence it has initiated this Proctorial enquiry against the Forum so that its members can be punished for this ‘crime’! In their eagerness to take punitive action against the students, the officials in the administration have forgotten that this image is readily available in the internet and other public domains. It has been widely used all over the country to depict the use of brutal force by the armed forces of Indian state against the people resisting Operation Green Hunt. This is an artist’s impression which exposes the reality of Indian state’s war on people today, and was used by the Forum keeping in mind the context of a public meeting which was to discuss ‘Operation Green Hunt: Unmasking the Reality of Democracy and Development.’ This image along with the public meeting – which was addressed by Arundhati Roy and Prof. Amit Bhaduri with more than 600 students in attendance in Koyna mess – indeed unmasked the fact that there is no democracy and freedom of expression or political dissent for those who oppose the repressive polices of the Indian state such as the Green Hunt. Continue reading

Delhi students investigate the mass struggle and state repression in Odisha

Preliminary report of the DSU fact-finding visit to Narayanpatna, Odisha

Democratic Students’ Union (DSU), Delhi

PRESS RELEASE:  A REPORT FROM GROUND ZERO

Tribal people of Narayanpatna in 2009

A team of students from DU, JNU and IGNOU belonging to the Democratic Students’ Union (DSU) visited Narayanpatna Block in the Koraput district of Odisha from 11 April to 16 April 2011. The objective of
the visit was to study the ground situation at present in the region where a militant mass struggle is going on for the last few years, and according to the media reports, has faced extreme forms of state repression. The aim was also to study the socio-economic aspects of
the social life of Narayanpatna region, and to look into the factors that have contributed to the emergence of this important peasant struggle in contemporary South Asia.

Narayanpatna is inhabited by sixteen tribal communities including Kui, Parija, Jorka, Matia, Doria and others, of whom the Kuis are numerically predominant. The adivasis, who constitute more than 90 percent of around 45,000 people of Narayanpatna block, are interspersed with Dalit communities such as Mali, Dombo, Forga, Paiko, Rilli, etc. Continue reading

India: Intellectuals, activists join chorus for Binayak Sen’s release

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Activists gathered in Delhi to protest the sentencing of Binayak Sen and demand the right to dissent

Arundhati, Swami Agnivesh adds to chorus for Binayak Sen

Press Trust Of India

New Delhi, December 27, 2010

Writer Arundhati Roy and social activist Swami Agnivesh joined scores of fellow activists to protest against the “unjust” life imprisonment of rights campaigner Binayak Sen, which they described as a  “move to intimidate and silence dissent”.  Organised by All India Progressive Women’s Association(AIPWA) and All India Students’ Association (AISA), the protest saw students, academicians and activists shouting slogans against the life sentence to Sen.

“If you are charging Sen with sedition, then slap the same charge against me also. I am with him,” said Agnivesh addressing the protestors at Jantar Mantar, the dharna hotspot of the national capital.

Calling Sen a “dedicated soul,” he added that Sen’s case had “shaken everyone.” Continue reading

“NOBAMA!” is the Call from Delhi, India

A remarkable anti-imperialist demonstration against Obama’s visit to India took place in New Delhi (November 8).  Many issues were raised, including internationalist solidarity with people in the US.  Among the slogans raised were:

NOBAMA! KILLER OBAMA GO BACK!

DOWN WITH IMPERIALISM! U.S. OUT OF AFGHANISTAN!

JUSTICE FOR OSCAR GRANT! FREE MUMIA ABU-JAMAL!

Hundreds of protestors converged today (8 November 2010) at the Parliament Street to participate in the Joint

Demonstration to oppose the ongoing visit of the U.S. President Barack Obama to India, and in solidarity with the peoples’ movements against U.S. imperialism worldwide. Starting in a march from Jantar Mantar, at the heart of New Delhi and a stone’s throw away from the Indian Parliament which was to be addressed by Obama this evening, the demonstration raised slogans of ‘Killer Obama Go Back!’ and ‘Down with Imperialism!’.

Slogans were raised against the U.S.-led imperialist world order, its wars of occupation against the people of Iraq and Afghanistan, against growing U.S. intervention in South Asia, against the complete sell-out of the country’s resources by the Indian comprador ruling class to U.S. corporations, against the Indo-U.S. Nuclear Deal, demanding the extradition of Warren Anderson, the criminal former-CEO of Union Carbide who was responsible for the Bhopal Gas Disaster.

Slogans were raised demanding the immediate release of Mumia Abu Jamal, wrongfully incarcerated and put on death-row for more than two decades in the U.S. prison for being an uncompromising critic of imperialism and racism. The demonstrators also demanded justice for Oscar Grant and exemplary punishment for his murderers.

The march culminated at the Parliament Street, where speakers after speakers representing various participating parties and organizations condemned the anti-people U.S. imperialist policies across the world, and termed Barack Obama and his war-crazy government as the biggest enemy of the world people. It was said that though the Indian ruling classes have become lackeys of Barack Obama and his regime, the people of the subcontinent –and especially its working masses– are suffering from policies dictated by the imperialist forces, and implemented by the Indian state.  At the same time, it was pointed out that the people of South Asia are fighting valiant struggles in various forms against Indian state and its imperialist masters.

Thus, they also are part of global resistance against imperialism, fascism and occupation, be it in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, or other regions. The protestors resolved to intensify this struggle against imperialism, and for democracy and justice. Several revolutionary songs were presented, and finally the effigy of U.S. imperialism was consigned to flames amid resounding slogans.

The demonstration was jointly called by CPI(M-L), CPI(M-L) New Democracy, CPI(M-L) New Proletariat, Democratic Students’ Union (DSU), Campaign for Peace & Democracy, Manipur (CPDM), Indian Council of Trade Unions(ICTU), Indian Federation of Trade Unions(IFTU), Inqlabi Majdoor Kendra, Krantikari Yuva Sangathan, Mool Pravah Akhil Bharatiya Nepali Ekata Samaj, Pragatisheel Mahila Sangathan, Progressive Democratic Students Union(PDSU), Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF), Trade Union Centre of India, Bahujan Vam Manch, and other parties and organisations.

US imperialism burned in effigy

US imperialism burned in effigy

Azadi (Freedom) for Kashmir, the Only Way – Report from a Turbulent Few Hours in Delhi

[This report on a meeting in Delhi, India, marked by sharp struggle and debate over the demand for Kashmiri Azadi, is followed by several articles and video clips from the meeting and a TV debate over whether Kashmiri freedom should be advocated or debated in India.–ed]

http://icawpi.org/en/india-news/583–azadi-the-only-way-report-from-a-turbulent-few-hours-in-delhi

by Shuddhabrata Sengupta

Friday, October 22, 2010

Dear Friends,

I was present and speaking a few hours ago at a meeting titled ‘Azadi: The Only Way’ on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, organized by the Committee for the Release of Political Prisoners at the Little Theatre Group in Delhi yesterday (21st October). I was not present from the beginning of the meeting as I was traveling from another city, but can vouch for what occurred from around 4:30 pm till the time that the meeting wound up, well after 8:00 pm in the evening.

The meeting took place in the packed to capacity auditorium of the Little Theatre Group on Copernicus Marg at the heart of New Delhi. Several speakers, including the poet Varavara Rao, Prof. Mihir Bhattacharya, Sujato Bhadra, Gursharan Singh, Mr. Shivnandan (?) an activist from Jammu, Professor G.N.Saibaba, Professor Sheikh Showkat Hussain – Professor of Law, Srinagar University, the journalist Najeeb Mubaraki, Dr. N. Venuh of the Naga Peoples Movement for Human Rights, the writer Arundhati Roy and myself spoke at the meeting. (I may be missing out some names, for which I apologize, but I was not present for a part of the meeting, at the very beginning)

The climax of the meeting was a very substantive and significant speech by Syed Ali Shah Geelani of the Hurriyat Conference (G), which spelt out the vision of liberation (Azaadi) and Justice that Syed Ali Shah Geelani held out before the assembled public, of which I will write in detail later in this text. Continue reading