Tag Archives: Activism

Torch light Procession and protest meet in support of KKM at Gorakhpur

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 Protest at Gorakhpur in support of KKM Gorakhpur, U.P.,4 May, 2013   The cultural activists and intellectuals of Gorakhpur under the banner of Jan sanskriti manch ,brought out a torchlight procession on saturday evening protesting state repression on the revolutionery Dalit cultural organisation Kabir kala Manch of Pune, Maharashtra. Before taking out the procession they assembled at Press club at 4 p.m. and conducted a protest meeting. Speakers at the meeting passed a resolution seeking immediate release of Sheetal Sathe & Sachin Mali, revocation of all false cases  against KKM, social security for their family members and demanded unfettered freedom to continue their cultural activities  . Apart from Jan sanskriti Manch, representatives of IPTA. PUHR and other mass organisations also participated in the meeting as well as torchlight procession. Speakers narrated how repression against KKM started with the arrest of Deepak Dengle and Siddhaarth Bhonsale of KKM under UAPA by the ATS in May 2011 forcing other activists of KKM to go underground. As soon as the bail was granted to Dengle & Bhonsale, Sheetal & Sachin were arrested from the premises of Maharashtra state Assembly where they were on ‘Satyagrah’ asserting their  ‘right to expression’. Speakers highlighted the fact that KKM activists had emerged from the poor, labouring class and dalit background and their  cultural work is directed towards harnessing peoples’ opinion and raising popular consciousness  against social oppression,  economic exploitation, loot and plunder of natural resources by transnational capital and state repression on struggling people. It is this orientation of their cultural work which has prompted Anti-people government to dub them ‘naxals’ or  ‘Maoists’ and frame them under draconian laws.  The imperialist and state agencies stage costly and vulgar shows in the name of culture and seek to co-opt the artists and intellectuals into the system. The cultural movements such as KKM  run counter to such hegemonic cultural strategies of the ruling classes. The torchlight procession started immediately after the meeting. It passed through district court chauraha, chetna tiraha, Golghar , townhall and culminated at press club from where it had started.  Manoj Kumar Singh, Natonal Secretary, Jan sanskriti Manch ,Noted novelist Madan Mohan, literay critic Anil Rai, poets Pramod Kumar, Ved Prakash and Ramu Siddhartha, Dr. Mumtaz Khan of IPTA, Prof. Asim Satyadev, CPI(ML) district secretary Rajesh Sahni, AIPWA district secretary Jagdamba, Advocate Subhash Pal, Ashok Chowdhary, district convenor, JSM, cultural & social  activists Rajaram Chowdhary, Shivnandan Sahay , Anand Pandey, Baijnath Mishra, Haridwar Prasad, R.K. Singh, Syed Akhtar Ali, Maneesh Chowbey, Ashish KumarArun Kumar, Arvind Kumar Barnwal , Niten Agrawal and several others participated in the meeting and procession. Released by Manoj Kumar Singh, National secretary, Jan sanskriti Manch .

 

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Bombay HC- A warning and guide to the police in all states.

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Digital Maoism

 

Prabhat Sharan, Deccan Herald

 

The Bombay high court’s observations, while  granting bail to four persons who were accused of being Maoists by the anti-terrorist squad (ATS) of the state, should be a warning and guide to the police in all states.

 

It is well-known that the police foist unconvincing charges on people, harass them, rob them of their freedom and take them to court. Many times it is calling a man a dog and trying to hang him.

 

To be found with a copy of the Communist Manifesto or any other work that advocates social change, to write a poem or stage a play that criticises  injustice and iniquities was enough reason to be locked up by the police many years ago. The experience of the street theatre group which highlighted the pervasiveness of corruption and inequalities in society shows that the situation has hardly changed.

 

The artistes of the theatre group , Kabir Kala Manch were booked under the strict provisions of the anti-terrorism law for alleged allegiance to the Communist Party of India (Maoist) and for inciting violence to subvert the state, and some of them have been in jail for over two years. The evidence produced by the ATS is their possession of books available in the market and the literature has not been banned. It is possible that many of the ideas which the police found criminal could be found in text books also.

 

Castigating the police, the court has said that it is not wrong to raise social issues and advocate a change of the social or political system. Many thinkers, social activists and leaders of the past and present could be considered guilty and criminal if there was a sweeping ban on demands for a better society.

 

Corruption, poverty, social injustice and the oppression of the weakest sections of society are  vital issues that need answers and solutions. The inability of the state to address these issues and improve the social and economic status of the people in the margins should be of concern to all citizens.

 

While these issues are raised in public the answer of the state should not be to come down with a heavy hand on those who do so. It is not just a matter of freedom of expression but of what to express and work for. It is not the first time that courts have made it clear that faith in an ideology is not a crime. Unfortunately it has to be said again and again.