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