Tag Archives: Mali

Support pours in for arrested Sheetal Sathe and Sachin Mali

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, TNN | Apr 21, 2013, 0

Support pours in for arrested 'Naxal' duo
Letters of support have been pouring in from all over the world, including countries like France, Canada, UK, Thailand, Portugal and Germany, for the jailed couple  of Kabir Kala Manch, Sheetal Sathe ansd Sachin Mali
MUMBAI: Letters of support have been pouring in from all over the world, including countries like France, Canada, UK, Thailand, Portugal and Germany, for the jailed couple of Kabir Kala Manch, Sheetal Sathe ansd Sachin Mali, written in English and French, request the Arthur Road and the Byculla women’s prison authorities to not torture the two inmates and provide medical aid to the woman, who is six months pregnant.Till date, authorities have received over 30 letters via fax and over 50 from across the world. Home minister R R Patil too has received similar letters. One of the letters, addressed to Vinod Lokhande, inspector general (prisons), stated, “I am writing to you out of concern for theatre activists Sheetal Sathe and Sachin Mali, who were arrested on April 2 on various charges, including criminal conspiracy and being part of a banned outfit. Their lives are at risk of torture or other ill-treatment.”

Fed up with the continuous letters, jail officials have switched off the fax machine. “We don’t have so much stationery. All letters are almost same, only the senders are different. The fax letters do not show the location or country code, from where they are being sent,” said a source. After Sathe and Mali’s surrender under the stringent Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), activists Prakash Ambedkar, Prakash Reddy, Anand Patwardhan and others said the two are members of Kabir Kala Manch, a cultural outfit.

“In appearing before the police, KKM members state that this act should not be construed to be a “surrender” but as a form of “satyagraha” to clear their names and establish the fact that their goal is to fight for justice within the confines of democratic conduct,” said a statement signed by Ambedkar, Patwardhan and others.

 

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

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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.

 

Mumbai- Kashmir collaboration -Rapping for Kabir Kala Manch #protestmusic

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kkm (1)

Another Mumbai-Kashmir collaboration with lyrics and vocals of A-List (Bombay) and production from Shyn9n (Kashmir). This song is dedicated to the Kabir Kala Manch, a cultural group that has been wrongly charged as naxalites and imprisoned for their protest music.

Lyrics:

Let’s get to the point, this is the crunch,
Dedicate this joint to Kabir Kala Manch,
They’re poets, they say what the facts are like,
But the state is calling them Naxalites, (X2)

Who is Kabir Kala Manch? You browse in the news,
A group that was formed in 2002,
Of poets and artists who are loud with their views,
A real artist tells the crowd what was true,
The scripts were hard ‘coz of reality though,
This shit’s bizarre, where did equality go,
There’s no quality though, such a tragedy yo,
Could be a parody show what we gladly ignore,
Two dalits are raped and three killed everyday,
Can you relate or even say what it may,
Feel in the state where you deal with the hate,
But the scene is replaced with the cream of the fake,
Upper class Upper caste Privilege,
You say fuck all the past pillages,
But the past images are still in vast villages,
Even in the cities, you see caste still exists,
You think not, but the dream won’t last,
Get shot for saying “Jai Bhim Comrade”,
You think not, but the dream won’t last,
Get shot for saying “Jai Bhim Comrade”,

Let’s get to the point, this is the crunch,
Dedicate this joint to Kabir Kala Manch,
They’re poets, they say what the facts are like,
But the state is calling them Naxalites, (X2)

Just let the flow say what the pen spray,
Arrest Siddharth Bhonsle and Deepak Dengle,
But in the end they know the case is weak,
But the state it seeks to erase the steak,
Of being honest and true, so keep adjusting these,
Dates so they extend the custody,
Forget just or free, these are dark days,
After surrender of Sheetal Sathe,
Six months pregnant, let me hone this story,
Judicial Custody unlike Soni Sori,
Who they sexually abused, there is crazy stress,
For intellectual views, end up with ATS,
Sachin Mali under Anti Terrorist Squad,
So now poets can be terrorists, lord!
Please note there are no charges of violence,
It’s a cheap joke, we’ve largely been silent,
They sing of malnutrition and farmer suicides,
On that Bhagat Singh shit, this is martyr’s music right,
The real Bob Dylans, Tupacs of the nation,
While indie scene is just a simulation,
They the real deal, they not what militants be,
Some songs might endorse militancy,
But merely endorsing a view is not a criminal act,
While the losses accrue where the minerals at,
Corporates are robbing the nation blind,
But that’s all great, just don’t relate their crimes,
To the people, that makes these suckers jump,
That’s why they arrested Kabir Kala Manch,

Kabir Kala Manch,
That’s why they arrested Kabir Kala Manch,
Put your fist in the air like you gonna punch,
And sing for Kabir Kala Manch,
For Kabir Kala Manch,
Free Kabir Kala Manch,
Free Sheetal Sathe, Deepak Dengle,
Sachin Mali, Siddharth Bhonsle,
Free poets who speak up,
Free Kabir Kala Manch.

 

Listen the song below

 

https://soundcloud.com/alistrap/free-kabir-kala-manch-produced

 

The thin line between dissent and rebellion- Kabir Kala Manch

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Why is a radical Dalit cultural group , Kabir Kala Manch and its members being persecuted in Maharashtra?

Sunaina Kumar

Sunaina Kumar

2013-04-20 , , Issue 

Angry verse A poster by Kabir Kala Manch

For the past two years, Sheetal Sathe had not been seen, but her songs continued to haunt our consciousness. The young singer with the soul-stirring voice was portrayed as a symbol of hope in Jai Bhim Comrade, Anand Patwardhan’s searing documentary on the Dalits of Maharashtra. Sathe, a member of the Pune-based cultural group of Dalit protest singers and poets, Kabir Kala Manch, was branded a Naxalite in 2011. Since then she had been underground, along with Sachin Mali and Sagar Gorkhe and three other members of the group.

On 2 April, Sathe and Mali surfaced in full media glare, staged a ‘satyagraha’ outside the Vidhan Bhavan in Mumbai, and courted arrest. As they were taken into custody, Sathe retained her fieriness and raised slogans as she was whisked into the police jeep.

Sathe and Mali (both 27, married and expecting their first child) are facing charges under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), Mali was retained in ATS (Anti-Terrorism Squad) custody, and Sathe sent to judicial custody on compassionate grounds until 17 April.

The recent ruling by the Bombay High Court granting bail to Kabir Kala Manch members Deepak Dengle and Siddharth Bhonsle, who were arrested in May 2011 (along with Angela Sontakke, a member of the banned CPI(Maoist), still behind bars) gave hope to the disbanded cultural group and led to the decision of Sathe and Mali to come out of hiding. The high court declared that mere sympathy to Maoist ideology does not incriminate a person, and none of the Kabir Kala Manch members can be said to be active members of CPI(Maoist).

Through music and poetry, Kabir Kala Manch took up the cause of social inequality, exploitation of the underclasses, farmer suicides, female infanticide, Dalit killings and the widening net of corruption. Patwardhan of the Kabir Kala Manch Defence Committee, made up of civil society activists, says that Kabir Kala Manch members are at an impressionable age where their ideological thinking is still in process and their work covers a wide spectrum of political ideas such as Ambedkarism, socialism and Marxism. “I have known them since 2007 and can vouch for the fact that they have never taken up arms,” says Patwardhan.

Kabir Kala Manch was formed in Pune in 2002 in the wake of the Gujarat riots and made up of students and young professionals who performed protest poetry and plays in slums and streets, shaking up the cultural scene in Pune as they presented a voice for the voiceless. Both Mali’s and Sathe’s academic backgrounds are exemplary; Sathe being a gold medallist and post graduate from Pune University.

Mumbai-based lawyer and activist Kamayani Bali Mahabal, also a member of the Kabir Kala Manch Defence Committee, says that the existence of the group is crucial as they create space for dissent through shayari and songs that are much more effective than speeches. “They are responsible artists who interpret art as a catalyst for social change. Unfortunately, for the State there is no distinction between Dalit protesters and activists and Naxalites,” says Mahabal, who was exposed to their work through Jai Bhim Comrade.

Mihir Desai, the lawyer for Sathe and Mali, says the defence is waiting for the Anti- Terrorism Squad to complete its investigation and file a supplementary chargesheet.

“A lot of people who fight for radical changes in society get attracted to different ideologies, but as the Bombay High Court stated, as long as you don’t act in pursuance of those ideologies, you are not guilty,” says Desai.

Despite repeated attempts, TEHELKA was unable to reach the Anti-Terrorism Squad.

Patwardhan says that the case against the Kabir Kala Manch proves that the State does not tolerate the voice of weaker sections of society. “In our democracy, only the upper-class elites are allowed to have a voice,” he says.

Kabir Kala Manch member and poet Deepak Dengle, who is out on bail after two years in prison, penned a poem in jail called Kis kis ko qaid karoge, mocking those who imprison lovers of freedom. The stirring words of the poem promise that the young revolutionaries will not be kept quiet for long.

sunaina@tehelka.com

 

The ‘ Revolutionary’ Story of Sheetal Sathe and Sachin Mali

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sheetal

ABP(STAR) MARATHI CHANNEL AT 730PM  on Apirl 6, ran a story  on Kabir kala manch- Sachin Mali‘s village–the villagers have spoken about him and the work he did. They interviewed family members, teachers and friends of sheetal sathe and sachin Mali .

Amnesty International Appeal – Arrested theatre activists at risk of torture

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Theatre activists Sheetal Sathe and Sachin Mali were arrested on 2 April 2013 on various charges, including criminal conspiracy and being part of a banned organization. They are being held in Mumbai, India and are at risk of torture or other ill-treatment.

 

Sheetal Sathe and Sachin Mali are members of Kabir Kala Manch (KKM), a group which uses protest music and theatre to campaign on human rights issues, including dalit rights and caste-based violence and discrimination in the western Indian state of Maharashtra.

 

On 17 April 2011 they were two of 15 people charged by the police under India’s principal anti-terror legislation of being members of, and supporting and recruiting people for, the Communist Party of India (Maoist) – a banned armed group fighting for more than a decade to overthrow elected governments in several Indian states. They also faced several criminal charges including extortion, forgery and impersonation. Seven people were arrested, while the others – including Sheetal Sathe and Sachin Mali, who are married to each other – could not be traced by the police until earlier this month.

 

On 2 April 2013, Sheetal Sathe and Sachin Mali appeared before the legislative assembly of Maharashtra in what they said was a protest against the charges levelled against them. They were arrested by the Mumbai police and brought before a magistrate, who remanded Sheetal Sathe to judicial custody until 17 April, and Sachin Mali to police custody until 10 April. According to her mother, Sheetal Sathe is six months pregnant. Activist and documentary filmmaker Anand Patwardhan was present with Sheetal Sathe and Sachin Mali on 2 April. He said, “Due to our previous experience with the police, we are apprehensive of what may happen to Sachin Mali in police custody.”

 

Reports of torture and forced confessions by police in India are very common, and the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad, a unit of the state police, has in particular faced several allegations of torture.

 

The Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), under which they have been charged, uses sweeping and overbroad definitions of ‘acts of terrorism’ and ‘membership’ of ‘unlawful’ organizations, and does not comply with India’s international legal obligations.

 

Please write immediately in English, Marathi, Hindi or your own language:

  • Urging the Maharashtra authorities to ensure that Sachin Mali is protected from torture and other ill-treatment while in police custody, and Sheetal Sathe, who is six months pregnant, is provided with any medical care that she requires;
  • Urging the Maharashtra authorities to ensure that Sheetal Sathe, Sachin Mali and the other accused activists are tried in proceedings that meet international fair trial standards.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 17 MAY 2013 TO:

 

Inspector-General of Prisons (South Region, Mumbai)

Vinod Lokhande

Special IGP

South Region

Byculla

Mumbai – 400008, India

Fax: 91-22-23001177

Salutation: Dear Mr Lokhande

 

Additional Director-General of Police, Anti-Terror Squad, Mumbai

Rakesh Maria

DGP, Police Headquarters

SB Road, Old Council Hall

Colaba, Mumbai – 400001, India

Fax: 91-22-23053158

Email:  adgats.mah@mahapolice.com

Salutation: Dear Mr Maria

 

And copies to:

Home Minister, Maharashtra

R.R. Patil

Home Department

7th Floor, World Trade Centre

Cuffe Parade

Mumbai – 400005, India

Fax: 91-22-22029742

Email:  min.home@maharashtra.gov.in

Police silencing songs of dissent ?

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Two activists from the Pune-based Kabir Kala Manch handed themselves over to the police to face the law after they were charged under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act or UAPA two years ago. Sheetal Sathe and Sachin Mali were taken away by the police after they arrived at the gates of the Maharashtra assembly on Tuesday morning.