Statement by Committee Against State Repression (CASR)
On March 16th 2020, the Supreme Court of India rejected the anticipatory bail plea of civil rights activists, Prof. Anand Teltumbde and Gautam Navlakha, asking them to surrender by April 6th 2020. The review petition heard on April 8th 2020 cited the COVID-19 pandemic as reason to extend the period of reprieve from arrest by another seven weeks. Today, the petition has been rejected giving Prof. Anand Teltumbde and Gautam Navlakha one week to surrender before the Bombay High Court stating, “we make it clear that there shall not be any further extension of time.” This order disregards the COVID-19 pandemic and displays a lack of concern over the health of persons over 65 years of age and the over-crowding of prisons at a time of a global health crisis. The order shows how inconsiderate the courts are to the realities of the people of this country. Rejection of the bail plea and issuance of an order to surrender amidst a pandemic reiterates the nature of Indian judiciary as subservient to the interests of the Brahmanical Hindutva Fascist State. Both civil rights activists are charged under the draconian Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and various other sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for their alleged involvement in the ‘violence’ at Bhima Koregaon, Maharashtra on January 1, 2018. Notably, neither were present at Bhima Koregaon on that date nor had any connection to the Bhima Koregaon Shaurya Din Prerna Abhiyan organised by the Elgaar Parishad. Continue reading Condemn the Supreme Court’s denial of relief from arrest for Anand Teltumbde and Gautam Navlakha: Campaign Against State Repression
The Alan-Thaha Human Rights Committee, Kerala, expresses its deep concern and anguish over the imminent arrest of prominent intellectuals Gautam Navlakha and Anand Teltumbde in the Bhima-Koregaon case.
Continue reading Statement on the imminent arrest of Gautam Navlakha and Anand Teltumbde : Alan-Thaha Human Rights Committee, Kerala
Guest Post : Jantar Mantar Declaration of 1 March 2020 Against CAA, NRC and NPR
Adopted at the Convention of writers, artists, cultural activists, scientists and various associations such as Indian Cultural Forum, Janwadi Lekhak Sangh, Progressive Writers Association , Jan Sanskriti Manch, Dalit Lekhak Sangh, New Socialist Initiative, Jana Natya Manch, Delhi Science Forum, Janasamskriti (Malayalam), Vikalp, Cinema of Resistance, All India Peoples Science Network
We, at this Convention of writers, artists, cultural activists, scientists and various associations express our deep concern over recent violence and communal genocide in Delhi.
We understand that this tragic situation is a direct outcome of the communal design and divisive politicsof CAA-NPR-NRC. The silver lining is that the common people of Delhi remained united in their fight against this outrage. This convention reiterates that only by this unity and mutual trust and cooperation that the CAA-NPR-NRC design can be defeated.
We, at this Convention of writers, artists, scientists, cultural activists and various associations declare our solidarity with the on-going non-violent movement against the draconian CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act. 2019 ), proposed new format of NPR ( National Population Register) and the proposed NRC (National Register of Citizens) . Continue reading Jantar Mantar Declaration Against CAA, NRC and NPR
They represented two foundational but antagonistic visions of “what we as a society, what we as a state should embody”
( Review of ‘Radical Equality: Ambedkar, Gandhi, and The Risk of Democracy’ By Aishwary Kumar Navayana, Rs 599)
In the early 1990s D.R. Nagaraj published The Flaming Feet, a compilation of his essays in which he admired both Gandhi and Ambedkar. Coming close on the heels of the phenomenon of Dalit assertion, it argued that “there is a compelling necessity to achieve a synthesis of the two”. But that has not been the only attempt to examine how the ideas of these two leaders interacted, challenged each other, and how they extended or revisited the meanings of different concepts.
The book, Radical Equality: Ambedkar, Gandhi, and the Risk of Democracy by Aishwary Kumar, takes forward the conversation around the two “most formidable non-Western thinkers of the twentieth century, whose visions of moral and political life have left the deepest imprints”. For the author they “exemplified two incommensurable ways of forging a relationship between sovereignty and justice, force and disobedience”, or represented two foundational but antagonistic visions of “what we as a society, what we as a state should embody”.
Focusing mainly on Hind Swaraj — a monograph written by Gandhi on a ship to South Africa from London (1909) — and Annihilation of Caste, which happens to be the undelivered speech by Dr Ambedkar when he was invited by the Jat Pat Todak Mandal, Lahore (1936) — the organization rescinded the invite when it came across the ‘radical’ proposals he had put forward in the draft — this around 400-page book discerns “an insurrectionary element at the limit of politics” in the works of these two stalwarts. It is “an insurrection that sought to extract the political itself — and the social question — from the doctrinal prescriptions and certitude of its European past”
( Read the full text here : https://www.telegraphindia.com/culture/books/lessons-from-ambedkar-and-gandhi-to-take-forward/cid/1747042?ref=books_culture-books-page)
BJP’s Delhi campaign was not divisive by sanyog or coincidence. That is its prayog or experiment. Which it will take to other elections.
Kitney aadmi thhe—how many were there?
A meme based on this famous monologue from the highly successful film, Sholay (Embers), from the early seventies, started trending when “David” Kejriwal, leader of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), defeated “Goliath” Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Delhi’s recent Assembly elections.
No doubt this election’s result has put paid to the efforts of Home Minister Amit Shah to retain his image as “Chanakya” of Indian politics, at least for now. The result is despite BJP’s desperate attempts to win Delhi, as part of which pulled chief ministers, former chief ministers, cabinet ministers and more than 240 Members of Parliament to campaign in the city. Blame it on the high stakes battle that allegations surfaced that they had distributed cash and liquor ahead of the polls.
The result is for everyone to see.
The most toxic electoral campaign, perhaps ever, in which leaders of the ruling dispensation even provoked violence through their hate speeches, did not work. The BJP’s seat tally rose by merely five and a bloody nose.
( Read the full article here : https://www.newsclick.in/Towards-BJP-Hindutva-Lite-Template)
[संशोधित नागरिकता-कानून, जनसँख्या-रजिस्टर (एन पी आर ) एवं नागरिकता-रजिस्टर (एन आर सी ) पर निन्मलिखित परचा रोहतक ज़िले के दो संगठनों – सप्तरंग व नागरिक एकता व सद्भाव समिति ने शाया किया है. जनहित में इस सामग्री का किसी भी रूप में प्रयोग किया जा सकता है। ये सारी जानकारी सार्वजनिक तौर पर उपलब्ध सरकारी या भरोसेमंद प्रकाशनों से ली गई है न कि अपुष्ट स्रोतों से। ]
आसाम समझौता, नागरिकता-कानून में संशोधन एवं आसाम का नागरिकता-रजिस्टर
- नागरिकता कानून में संशोधन एवं नागरिकता रजिस्टर का विरोध एक कारण से नहीं हो रहा। यह दो कारणों से हो रहा है – उत्तर-पूर्व में अलग कारण से और शेष देश में अलग कारणों से । दोनों तरह की आलोचनाओं का समाधान ज़रूरी है।
- उत्तर-पूर्व के राज्यों में इस का विरोध इसलिए हो रहा है कि इस के चलते अवैध रूप से देश में 2014 तक दाखिल हुए लोगों को भी नागरिकता मिल जायेगी जब कि 1985 में भारत सरकार के साथ हुए आसाम समझौते के तहत केवल 1965 तक आसाम में आए हुए अवैध प्रवासियों को ही नागरिकता मिलनी थी। (मोदी सरकार द्वारा पिछले कार्यकाल में प्रस्तावित नागरिकता संशोधन कानून का उत्तर-पूर्व राज्यों में भयंकर विरोध हुआ था। इस सशक्त विरोध के चलते मोदी सरकार ने 2019 में पारित कानून के दायरे से उत्तर-पूर्व के कुछ इलाकों को बाहर रखा है पर इस से भी उत्तर-पूर्व के स्थानीय संगठन/लोग संतुष्ट नहीं हैं। वे इसे वायदा-खिलाफ़ी के रूप में देखते हैं।)
- आसाम (और तब के आसाम में लगभग पूरा उत्तर-पूर्व भारत आ जाता था) में अवैध प्रवासियों की समस्या बहुत पुरानी है। इस के नियंत्रण के लिए पहला कानून 1950 में ही बन गया था। इस का कारण यह है कि भारत-बंगलादेश सीमा हरियाणा-पंजाब सीमा जैसी ही है। कहीं-कहीं तो आगे का दरवाज़ा भारत में तो पिछला बंगलादेश में खुलता है। भारत के नक़्शे के अन्दर कुछ इलाके बंगलादेश के थे तो बंगलादेश के नक़्शे के अन्दर स्थित कुछ ज़मीन भारत की थी। (इन इलाकों का हाल में ही निपटारा हुआ है।) बोली, भाषा, पहनावा एक जैसा होने के चलते कलकत्ता में पहले-दिन-पहला-फ़िल्म शो देखने के लिए बंगलादेश से आना मुश्किल नहीं था। ऐसे अजीबो-गरीब तरीके से हुआ था देश का बंटवारा।
Continue reading संशोधित नागरिकता-कानून, जनसँख्या-रजिस्टर एवं नागरिकता-रजिस्टर – एक तथ्यात्मक ब्यौरा : सप्तरंग व नागरिक एकता एवं सद्भाव समिति
The Constitution of India should be seen as a work-in-progress – not because it has been amended ever so often by different governments but because it has been taken over by ‘we, the people’, repeatedly, especially since the 1990s. The ‘authorized’ interpreters of the Constitution and Law are no longer its sole interpreters. The continuous battles over its interpretation in the courts of law are only one way in which meaning is contested. But from the dalits reclaiming it as “Babasaheb’s Constitution” to the pathalgadi movement of the Jharkhand adivasis and finally as the banner of citizenship movement today, its meaning has been contested time and again in the streets and in villages.
It is customary, in most secular-nationalist and left-wing circles, to invoke the “great values of the national movement”, which is seen as synonymous with the “freedom struggle”, which in turn is reduced to the “anticolonial struggle”. On 15 August 1947, India attained Independence from colonial rule and on 26 January 1950, “we, the people of India” gave to ourselves the Constitution of India. The anticolonial struggle came to an end in August 1947 but that did not mean that all the currents that comprised the larger “freedom struggle” – the jang-e-azadi – got their freedom. We perhaps need to make a distinction today between the “freedom struggle” (that is still ongoing) and the “anticolonial nationalist” movement.
We need to state emphatically that the “freedom struggle” of different social groups is not – and never was – reducible to the “anticolonial struggle”. There were many different strands and currents that either functioned at a distance from mainstream nationalism , or even worked in opposition to it.
Continue reading The Constitution as the ‘Social Contract’ of Modern India