What Attacks on GN Saibaba and Arundhati Roy Show About India

[The writer Mannish Sethi relates the court order to the arbitrary and malevolent character of law in India today.  —  Frontlines ed.]

Blind to justice

Why the December 23 order of the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court — refusing Professor Saibaba bail and issuing a notice of contempt to Arundhati Roy — takes one’s breath away.

 

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Social activists staged a protest in Nagpur Thursday, demanding Saibaba’s release on bail. (Source: Express Photo)

 Law is no stranger to prejudice or moral anxieties. Judicial pronouncements can sometimes cast aside constitutional values and defer to societal biases masquerading as righteousness. The recurrence of “collective conscience” in terror cases, where the threat of terrorism looms so large that it can overshadow the lack of evidence, is only too well known. Even so, the December 23 order of the Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court takes one’s breath away. It rejected the regular bail plea moved by the lawyers of Delhi University professor, Saibaba, cancelled his interim bail which allowed him to receive treatment till December 31, and ordered him to surrender within 48 hours. Besides, the court issued a notice of criminal contempt to Arundhati Roy for her article, ‘Professor, POW’, published in Outlook magazine. The order will be remembered for its naked display of contempt for civil rights, partisanship and renunciation of judicial independence.

Wheelchair bound, Saibaba spent over a year in jail before the division bench of the Bombay High Court granted him interim bail on the plea of a social activist in June 2015. (Illustration by C R  Sasikumar)

Wheelchair bound, Saibaba spent over a year in jail before the division bench of the Bombay High Court granted him interim bail on the plea of a social activist in June 2015. (Illustration by C R Sasikumar)

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Professor G.N. Saibaba writes on Nagpur Jail experience

[Upon publication of this article about his experience in an ‘anda’ (an egg-shaped jail cell), the court denied his temporary bail, ordered his return to jail and withdrew his access to decent medical care. — Frontlines ed.]

by G.N. Saibaba, Frontline, December 23, 2015

My view from an ‘anda’

Bombay HC rejects ailing DU professor GN Saibaba

Delhi University professor GN Saibaba

G.N. Saibaba, a wheelchair-bound Delhi University professor, talks of the days he spent in Nagpur Central Jail, in solitary confinement, after his arrest for alleged Maoist links.

G.N. Saibaba is a professor of English at Delhi University and is wheelchair-bound owing to physical disabilities to the extent of 90 per cent. On May 9, 2014, he was “abducted” when he was on his way home from work, and the next day, he was taken to Aheri, in Maharashtra’s Gadchiroli district. From there, he was taken to Nagpur Central Jail where he was lodged until June this year when he was granted interim bail for medical treatment. He was charged under various sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) for alleged Maoist links, and the trial, which began on October 27, 2015, at the Gadchiroli Sessions Court resulted in bail being granted for all co-accused except him. The hearing on his plea for permanent bail was held on December 11, and a final order was awaited at the time of going to press.

The 14 months spent in jail were like 14 years in hell. Thanks to a huge campaign outside and an order by a division bench of the Bombay High Court, I am out for medical treatment; otherwise, I would be dead by now. The prison hospital in Nagpur Central Jail lacks permanent doctors or medicines and is ill-equipped to treat severe ailments. While I was there, five people (one in his 50s, one in his 40s and three in their 30s) died; they could have survived with timely treatment. Apart from the chronic and severe health problems that I already had, I acquired spinal problems while being incarcerated. Owing to the heavy force used by the police in dragging me by my hands, the nerves from my neck to my left shoulder got severely stretched and rendered my left hand immobile. I suffered excruciating pain for 14 months. Instead of treating the ruptured nerve system, I was given painkillers, that too occasionally in the beginning and arbitrarily afterwards, which resulted in damage to my left hand. Despite rigorous treatment in various hospitals every six months, even now I can’t move my left hand above waist height. Besides, I cannot use the ground-level toilet, and they built a Western-style toilet only after eight months. That, too, did not work. Water came for 20 minutes in the morning, but with only one bucket allowed per prisoner not much could be stored. Without water, the closed anda (egg-shaped) cell where I was confined would stink ad infinitum. Continue reading

India: Protests of Medical Abuse of Political Activist Professor-Prisoner Brings Care, Briefly

, in TOI Edit Page, June 18, 2015

At long last the Bombay high court has permitted GN Saibaba – a professor of English literature at Delhi University – to be temporarily shifted to a private health facility for urgently required medical treatment. Else he might have had to die inside a Nagpur jail cell without his guilt ever being proven. That, in fact, can still happen.

Due to polio, his legs are 90% disabled since he was five. But the authorities find him so dangerous that he has been denied bail by a Nagpur court twice. For over a year, jail authorities have denied him the special care he needs as a disabled prisoner with cardiac problems. As a result, his health is now failing. The jail doctor has ordered an angioplasty. Without the surgery he might suffer a heart attack.

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India jailed a revolutionary, but they can’t jail the revolution

FREE DR. GN SAIBABA!

FREE ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS!

One year passed since the abduction-arrest of GN Saibaba by Indian state. With a 90 per cent disability Saibaba is lecturer of English at Ramlal Anand College, Delhi University and he is being deprived of proper medication and care that is needed for his safety and life. In the year he’s been in prison, his physical condition has deteriorated alarmingly. He is in constant, excruciating pain.

But he is denied of bail like many other in India and his ‘crime’ is to speak for the oppressed masses, Adivaisi, Dalits and Muslims.

To know more about him and his case (and many others), read Arundhati Roy’s article at:

http://www.outlookindia.com/article/professor-pow/294265

Writer, composer and singer of this song is Doc Jazz, and it was originally composed for the Palestinian activist Samer Issawi. Visit his site for more detail:

http://www.docjazz.com/index.php/articles/41-news/songnews/241-new-song-hungry-samer-issawi

One Year After the Police Abduction of Professor GN Saibaba

Anti operation green hunt front calls for building peoples movement, demands Prof Saibaba` release

BATHINDA: Anti operation green hunt front on Monday held a massive convention at Teachers Home Bathinda.

Delhi University Professor GN Saibaba, political prisoner

The convention presided over by revolutionary Telgu poet and Maoist sympathiser Varavara Rao marked the first anniversary of detention of eminent human rights activist and Delhi University professor Saibaba. Saibaba was arrested in April 2014.

Image result for varavara rao

the poet Varavara Rao

Varavara Rao, who is in Punjab for the last two days, given a clarion call to build a peoples` movement against the operation green hunt and asked the persons subscribing left leanings to oppose the arrests of human rights activists in the name of such operations.

GN Varavara Rao said “It is learnt that the union government in next few days is trying to put heavy arsenals in the Dandakarnia area with 1.5 lakh Army Men to put the area under its total control. The various governments have already snatched jungles, land, mines from the adivasis to handover to the big corporates and the poor adivasis are treated as second rate citizens in their own country”.

When people raise voice in the favour such persons are branded as anti national and they are put in jail as has been done with Prof Saibaba, who is handicapped. The present Narendra Modi government was also pursuing the same policies.

He said the union government working on the diktats of US and other Western forces is allowing the corporates and multi national companies to indulge in open loot in the areas where adivasis somehow are making both ends meet. The all present in a resolution demanded release of Saibaba and another rights activist Hem Mishra.

 

G. N. Saibaba: The Biggest “little man” in the Country Today

Sanhati, April 8, 2015

saibaba

[Sanhati’s Editorial Note: In view of G. N. Saibaba’s continued incarceration, we are reprinting this article which was written by P K Vijayan in June 2014 and originally appeared in the Economic and Political Weekly.]

I want to tell you a story, of a little man, if I can; his name was – well, his name – we will come to it shortly. This little man was born into a wretchedly poor peasant family that lived on the outskirts of a little known village, with the out-castes and untouchables. This little man’s father had chosen to live with the marginal and the excluded, as a mark of solidarity with them – and this was motivated simply by an instinctive sense of justice, since the little man’s father was not even literate, let alone politically educated.

So the little man grew up amongst the sweepers and the scavengers, with hunger and deprivation as bosom companions to him and his siblings. Then, when he was barely five years old, he was afflicted with polio in both his legs, as a result of which he almost died from lack of medical facilities. But the little man’s father managed to stave off his death, by running from pillar to post, from every doctor to every dispensary that held out hope, till the fast-spreading disease was finally checked; nevertheless, the little man lost the use of both his legs completely from the disease.

This did not deter the little man or his father. He was enrolled in a mission school, where he learned to read and write and consumed everything he read with rapacious delight. Reading by the light of street lamps, dragging himself on his elbows and hands on the dirt roads of his village, from home to school, eating one meal in two days sometimes, the little man delighted in the world of books, and forgot about his own deprived and depraved one, for the hours that he was lost in them. The father meanwhile, took the little man wherever he could, showing him as much of the world as he could from the handlebars of his bicycle, obdurately refusing to accept that his son’s condition would limit his mobility. The little man thus grew up with a deep wanderlust and an indomitable will to overcome the limitations of his condition.

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“Suspected Maoist” DU professor on hunger strike in Nagpur jail

Pradip Kumar Maitra, Hindustan Times, Nagpur, India, April 14, 2015

Delhi University professor GN Saibaba (centre) is lodged in Nagpur jail after police booked him for alleged links with Maoists. (News Agency photo)

A Delhi University professor, arrested for allegedly being a Maoist sympathiser, launched an indefinite hunger strike on Sunday, protesting against the inhuman treatment at the Nagpur central jail, where he is currently lodged.

GN Saibaba was arrested by the Gadchiroli police in May last year and booked under six sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

On Tuesday, former high court judge and human rights activist BG Kolse-Patil said Saibaba – who is wheelchair-bound as he is physically-challenged – was not given a personal assistant in the jail and was being denied basic needs.

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