Tag Archives: Fergusson College

Daughter’s songs never caused violence, says Sheetal Sathe’s Mother


MUMBAI: Sandhya Sathe looks tired as she emerges from the Byculla women’s jail on Monday. She has travelled from Pune to Mumbai for her weekly meeting with her daughter, Sheetal Sathe, who has been in judicial custody for two weeks.

Sheetal, 27, and her husband Sachin Mali, both Pune-based singers and poets from the cultural group Kabir Kala Manch (KKM), were arrested in Mumbai on April 2 under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act for their alleged association with the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist).

Sheetal, whose bail application will be heard on Wednesday, is six months pregnant.

“My daughter and her group sing about poverty, caste discrimination and women’s rights. But there has never been any instance of violence breaking out because of their songs,” says Sathe, 50, who lives in Pune’s Bhavanipet slum and spoke to HT outside the prison.

Until a year ago, Sathe worked as a sweeper in a private hospital in Pune. She also worked as a part-time domestic help with two families who had helped fund Sheetal’s education in a private Marathi-medium school. Sheetal went on to do her Master’s in sociology at Fergusson College, topping her class.

Sachin Mali, who comes from a poor family in Sangli, was a student at the same college, also a gold medallist in his subject, Marathi.

In 2003, Sheetal and Mali joined KKM, a cultural organisation of students and professionals who performed protest music in villages and colleges across the state. Sachin, who married Sheetal seven years ago, also worked as a bus conductor with the Pune Municipal Corporation.

“After the police began hunting for KKM members two years ago, my family cut me off and I was asked to quit my job at the hospital,” says Sathe, a widow since 2007.

She now hopes Sheetal and Sachin are granted bail. “Sheetal has lost a lot of weight because of the food in jail. I worry about her,” she says.


Court Arrest proves they are innocent: Sheetal Sathe’s mother



Chandan Haygunde : Pune, Wed Apr 03 2013,  Indian Express
Both Sheetal Sathe and Sachin Mali used to write what they called “revolutionary songs and poetry” in Pune. The songs composed by the KKM like “Bhagat Singh tu zinda hai…” are often sung on different occassions by youths, activists and cultural groups in the city.

Family members say the duo got married through Satyashodhak vivah at the historic Mahatma Phule Wada a few years ago. While Sheetal is a postgraduate in sociology from Siddhivinayak College in Pune, Sachin got his MA from Fergusson College.

“I am happy they have surrendered. It proves their innocence,” said Sheetal’s mother Sandhya Sathe. She lives in a small hut in the Kaseadi slums of Pune. “I got phone calls as the news flashed on TV channels. I was happy to see Sheetal on TV after three years now. She has been a talented singer since her childhood. She had won awards during college days,” she said.

The mother said Sheetal left home about five years ago. “She got married to Sachin. Both had started working for KKM before marriage and wanted to do something for the backward classes,” she said.

KKM was formed by a Pune based activist Amarnath Chandaliya after the 2002 Gujarat riots. According to Chandaliya, Sheetal and Sachin along with Ramesh Gaychor, Sagar Gorkhe, Deepak alias Dhawala Dhengle joined the KKM in 2005.

The activists were lauded by prominent social activists in Pune for their performances in various colleges, slums, agitations and social functions. However, their names were included in the list of some 37 organisations prepared by the police for alleged Naxal links in 2008. The activists went into hiding after they were booked by the ATS in April 2011.