There are just no words left to express the anger and helplessness that overcame hundreds and thousands of people like me when they heard of the custodial murder of an ailing, frail, octogenarian, Fr Stanislaus Lourduswamy, known to the world as Stan Swamy. The various issues that arise from the virtual judicial abdication of responsibility has been powerfully articulated by former Delhi High Court Chief Justice, AP Shah and one can hardly add to that. What is perhaps the most shocking is not that the judiciary abdicated in observing its duty of upholding the Constitutional rights of a citizen but that it seems to have lost even the minimum grace and human concern.
“Medical reports taken on record clearly showed that Fr Swamy had the degenerative Parkinson’s disease, and could not even do basic tasks, such as holding a spoon, writing, walking or bathing. Indeed, the court noted that he had a severe hearing problem, and was physically very weak. But even that did not move them. Every regular bail application that was filed by his lawyers was unequivocally rejected.”
This is shocking beyond words – or used to be once upon a time. But as each day of this regime passes, our threshold of taking shock increases by leaps and bounds. Are we really surprized now, that while this was how they treated Stan Swamy, a goon who had just the other day openly called for mob violence and “shooting down anti-nationals” has now been promoted to the Central ministry?
A Controller and Auditor General (CAG) report tabled recently in Jharkhand Assembly says most of Jharkhand jails are housing prisoners beyond their capacity by the end of 2010. Significantly, the most crowded jails are in Garwa, Latehar and Simdega districts where anti-naxalite operations by police and para-military forces are on. The basic question to ask is: are Jharkhandi adivasis & moolvasis increasingly taking to crimes or is the society labeling them criminals.
There are three basis on which young rural adivasi men & women are arrested: Continue reading Free the innocent undertrials and Jharkhand’s jails won’t be overcrowded: Stan Swamy→
The state of Jharkhand was created after several decades of struggle. On 15 November, the state completed 12 years of its formation. The day is considered to be the birth anniversary of the legendary leader Birsa Munda. The state, famous for its rich mineral resources, occupies an area of 28,833 square miles (74,677 square km) and has a population of nearly 330 lakh people according to 2011 estimates. Like every year, the formation day was celebrated with the great pomp and show by the government and the political elite in the state capital Ranchi and elsewhere.
However, this year, greater effort was made to bolster its ever declining public image due to mass displacement, brutality by police and security forces and rampant corruption in the state over the years, by giving advertisements not only in local and Hindi newspapers but also in major national dailies. On 15th of November, in the Times of India (Delhi edition), a full page advertisement was published with smiling faces of Shibu Sonren, once a popular leader and referred as Dishom Guru or the Great Leader of Tribal, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) chief and also head of the ruling alliance, along with chief minister Arjun Munda and his team, in Hindi with the heading, ‘Vikas ke path par agrasar Jharkhand: Zameen par utri Haqeeqat’ (Jharkhand on the path of Development: Reality on the ground), enumerating ‘landmark works of development’ of the government. I was also told by friends that similar advertisements appeared in other newspapers as well. Continue reading Jharkhand, twelve years later: Mahtab Alam→
‘The ending of the film was shown properly,’ speak unanimous voices, the well-known folklore of Wasseypur, Dhanbad, ‘Gangster Shafiq Khan was really gunned down at the Topchachi petrol pump like it was shown in the first part of the film.’
This press release was put out on 18 November 2011 by theNATIONAL ALLIANCE FOR PEOPLE’S MOVEMENTS (NAPM), theNATIONAL FISHWORKERS’ FORUM (NFF)and theNATIONAL FORUM OF FOREST PEOPLE AND FOREST WORKERS (NFFPFW)
Sr. Valsa, an activist of the Rajmahal Pahad Bachao Andolan (RPBA) and an ordained nun with the Sisters of Charity of Jesus & Mary, who had been working among Santhal Adivasis in the coal rich region of Dhumka, Jharkhand was brutally murdered by a group of about 40 armed men on the night of 15 November 2011. On behalf of Indian peoples’ movements and resistance struggles, NAPM, NFF and NFFPFW condemn this heinous and cowardly act, evidently conceived by the powerful mining mafia, aimed at essentially hunting down individuals and movements to silence the voices of resistance by people. Continue reading Justice for Valsa John of Jharkhand, latest victim of the mining mafia→
In Hazaribagh, one of the oldest cities of the newly formed state of Jharkhand, one is more likely to come across the word Kashmir than the name of the city itself these days. Kashmir, a place that most of the residents of Hazaribagh would have only heard of. At almost every nook and corner, teashop, wall of the city one would find an invitation to the ‘raashtriya ekta yatra’ from Kolkata to Kashmir to hoist the revered Indian flag at Lal Chowk. And this public invitation comes from none other than the youth wing of BJP, namely the Bhartiya Janata Yuva Morcha. Continue reading ‘Kashmir ho ya Guwahati, Apna desh, apni maati’: Mahtab Alam→