Cultural Activist-Prisoner Hem Mishra’s Letter from Nagpur Jail

Following is the translated (originally in Hindi) text of Hem Mishra’s letter, who is currently lodged in Nagpur Central Jail.

Friends,

Last month, 20th of August marked the completion of a year of my incarceration by the Maharashtra Police. In spite of being a cultural activist and a student of the well-known Jawaharlal Nehru University, I have been booked under several clauses of UAPA (Unlawful Activities Prevention Act). I have been imprisoned in the High Security Cell (called Anda Cell) of the Nagpur Jail in extreme segregation. On 6th September my bail petition was rejected in the Gadhchiroli sessions court of Maharashtra. Inside the closed doors of the jail, I had hoped that justice will shine through like a ray of light. But the rejection of my plea, has instead put my hopes to rest.

The court order denies my natural right to breathe in open air and live a free life. Today, through the efforts of many democratic and progressive individuals and organisations, it has been ensured that the process of seeking bail from the court should begin as soon as possible. It has become a burning issue in the country today, that how the powers-that-be find it convenient to prey on dissenters and imprison them in thousands, in various jails of the country. It is due to the efforts of democratic and progressive people that even the Supreme Court has come to the conclusion that the right to seek bail has to be ensured to all prisoners-under-law. From time to time, the Supreme Court has given specific directives to lower courts as well to ensure this. Despite all these the Gadhchiroli Sessions has refused to accept my bail petition and enforced further confinement on a cultural activist.

Continue reading

UK: Indian Workers and Rights Activists Condemn Attack on Prof. Saibaba

Condemn Indian State’s Heinous Raid on Activist and Delhi University Prof. G N Saibaba’s Residence

On September 12, in a joint operation in India, a 50 member squad of police personnel – comprising of members of National Investigation Agency (NIA), Delhi police, Special Cell of the Delhi Police and Maharashtra police – barged into the Delhi University staff quarter of Prof. G. N. Saibaba, a noted civil rights activist and professor of English at Ramlal Anand College, University of Delhi.

Professor of literature GN Saibaba

Professor of English GN Saibaba

The wheel-chair bound professor is a Joint Secretary of the Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF) and the convener of several forums against ‘Operation Greenhunt’ and the persecution of millions of adivasis and tribal population of Central and Eastern India. He teaches English at Delhi University.

During the raid, his house was ransacked by the police on the false pretext of attempting to recover “stolen property”. Saibaba, his wife and daughter were subjected to violent threats and criminal intimidation by the raiding team. They were detained for nearly four hours and were denied access to their lawyer. Their mobile phones were confiscated and his right to contact the Delhi University Teachers Association (DUTA) was completely disregarded. Prof Saibaba’s laptop, hard disks that contain his PhD work and university teaching material, his and his family member’s mobile phones, many valuable books, copies of RDF publications and a DVD of a Hindi version of the Sanjay Kak film, Red Ant Dreamwere taken away.  Continue reading

Nehru U. Students/Cultural Activists branded “Naxals”, arrested

[Political protests and cultural expressions of oppoosition to the repressive and undemocratic Indian state continue to grow, and the States’ response continues to be: slander the opposition, call all activists “Naxals” or “Maoists”, and round them up for some combination of interrogation, torture, or disappearance–and thereby create a climate of fear for other activists and political opponents.  It is the common method of repressive regimes everywhere, including India. — Frontlines ed.]

  26 August 2013
by Nupur Sonar, Tehelka
JNU Student arrested in Gadhchiroli for alleged Naxal links

August 25, 2013

Hem Mishra, a student of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and executive
member of Committee for Release of Political Prisoners (CRPP) was arrested
along with two others by the Gadhchiroli police in Aheri on Friday morning
for having alleged Naxal links. The two others identified as Mahesh Tirki
and Ram Purate belong to Murawala region.

Although reports of his arrest have been rife in some sections of the local
and national media since this morning, the police had neither confirmed nor
denied his arrest. However, speaking to TEHELKA, DIG Ravindra Kadam has now
confirmed the arrest.  “A courier from senior most female Naxal leader
Narmada Akka was recovered from Mishra apart from other ‘incriminating
material’ and he was seen moving around suspiciously in the area for two
days prior to his arrest,” he said. Continue reading

Some Notes On The Working Class And The Imperialist Wars, by Jan Myrdal

Jan Myrdal, author from Sweden

[The First Comrade Naveen Babu Memorial Lecture,  Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in Delhi,  10 February 2012.]

First it is necessary to make a statement on whom I speak for. I am a communist but since close on sixty years a non-party communist. The reasons for that I have written about in several books. Thus I am not the spokesperson for any specific organization that can be made responsible for what I say.

I have just published a book mainly based on my visit to the guerrilla zone in Dandakaranya on the invitation of the CPI (Maoist): Red Star Over India: As the Wretched of the Earth are Rising. There I describe how, when we after a long march through the jungle came to the camp in Dandakaranya at night and had got our cup of tea, a group came walking out of the jungle. After some time I understood that it was the general secretary of the CPI (Maoist), Ganapathy and his comrades.

In the discussion with them that followed I tried to say something about our experience – positive and negative – of political work against war and imperialism during more than a century in a small imperialist country like Sweden.

As we at the end of our visit after sixteen days took a formal goodbye of our hosts I was also asked about the working class and the present situation in Europe. Continue reading

India: Anti-war student group in Delhi wins battle against campus prohibition

http://www.icawpi.org/en/peoples-resistance/statements/799-united-students-struggle-has-forced-the-authoritarian-jnu-administration-to-revoke-the-ban-on-jnu-forum

UNITED STUDENTS’ STRUGGLE HAS FORCED THE AUTHORITARIAN JNU ADMINISTRATION TO REVOKE THE BAN ON JNU FORUM!

STUDENTS UNITED SHALL ALWAYS BE VICTORIOUS!

8 November 2011.  After a prolonged uncompromising struggle by the student community for the last six months with JNU Forum’s initiative, the administration today on 8 November was forced to revoke its authoritarian ‘restraint’ order on the JNU Forum against War on People. All the prohibitions on the JNU Forum, including the holding of public meetings, printing and distribution of pamphlets, posters etc. have also been removed. The administration could not provide any valid reason for the imposition of the restrain – which is tantamount to banning a political organization – and was forced to admit of its mistake in taking this undemocratic and unprecedented repressive action. The five day long indefinite hunger strike and the massive mobilization of students around it has once again proved that it is the victory of the entire progressive section of the student community who with a sustained struggle have upheld the democratic culture of JNU, our freedom of expression and right to dissent.

The collective struggle of the students already made the authoritarian JNU administration concede to two of the five demands of the present phase of the struggle – to withdraw the politically motivated proctorial action against AIBSF and to tender a public apology by the Chief Proctor for his condemnable casteist remarks on AIBSF. 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