Tuesday, July 22, 2014
INDIA: PAMPHLET OF COMMITTEE FOR RELEASE OF POLITICAL PRISONERS : PROTEST DHARNA 23RD JULY IN DELHI
PAMPHLET OF CRPP PROTEST DHARNA
11-30 AM, 23RD JULY 2014, JANTAR MANTAR, NEW DELHI
JOIN PROTEST DHARNA 23 JULY, 2014, 11.30 AM
JANTAR MANTAR, NEW DELHI
The elections to the Indian Parliament—one of the most extravagant exercises in the world—has brought the BJP government to power. Quite unprecedented was the amount of money spent on this election by the corporate houses that it was unwittingly acknowledged as the ‘victory’ of the corporate sector. For all the ills of the economy that has been inherited from the past, not to say from the previous government, the BJP government is unequivocal that the only way out is more intensive ‘growth’ / ‘development’, as they call it. Development has become synonymous to abject misery for the poor and the working people while the rich gloat on tax holidays/subsidies, sops. For the masses of the people of the subcontinent ‘development’ is portent with the fear of more people being framed (the poor especially), increasing violence on the people from the side of the state, further criminalisation of the everyday lives of the people and prolonged agony, incarceration, impoverishment, hunger and death.
Significantly, the people of the subcontinent have been resisting peacefully or otherwise the imminent threat to their lives and livelihoods inherent in the policies of ‘Liberalisation, Privatisation and Globalisation’ (LPG)—the modus operandi of state sponsored ‘development’—being implemented forcefully for the last two decades by successive governments at the centre as well as the states of the Indian Union. Throughout this period of intense onslaught on the lives of the people, every policy meant to take away the land, water, forests, hills and the other resources of the people including their labour have been accompanied or preceded by stringent forms of legislations—from anti-worker regulations to the worst kinds of draconian instruments in the forms of UAPA, AFSPA, to name only a few.
The last two decades since 1991 saw the subcontinent changing from one national security legislation to the other, each time with the assurance that the succeeding law has been kinder / humane to the targets of its implementation. The experiences of the masses of people who have been incarcerated by the state using these draconian instruments under the garb of the so-called ‘war against terror’ or the much hyped fight against the ‘single largest internal security threat’ or under the fanfare of ‘development’ as ‘national interest’ have been brutal and worst dehumanising. From the days of the TADA in the 1990s to that of the POTA in the early years of 2000 to the amended UAPA at present, we are witness to thousands of the poorest of the poor—Adivasis, Dalits, Muslims, workers, Kashmiri Muslims, Manipuris, Assamese, Nagas, Bodos, Sikhs with the list getting endless—being incarcerated for years together under one pretext or the other as mentioned above. Manmohan Singh had termed ‘development’ as ‘national interest’ and all those opposing the present model of development as against the ‘national interest’.
Taking the cue from Manmohan, the present government has sprung on the plank of speedy ‘development’ / ‘growth’ and has left little doubt regarding their intentions as is evident from the recent railway budget not to say the budget presented by the finance minister. We have a scenario where the last vestiges of law that had put some premium or pretension on environment safeguards, some protection to forests as well as the adivasis who inhabited it are being redrafted to legalise large-scale corporate land grab or control of huge tracts of forest land, hills, rivers etc. for mining or huge hydel projects or for other purposes. At the same time the police and the paramilitary forces, in the name of security, conduct themselves with impunity resulting in extortion, rape, violence, and killing of the people. The present government have further increased the deployment of paramilitary forces in Central and Eastern India as well as Odisha and the Western Ghats. The money that is allocated in the budget for defence sector has been phenomenal. So the ground is set for the articulation of international capital in the militarization as well as communalisation of ‘development’ in the subcontinent!
The presence of the military/paramilitary in different parts of the subcontinent ostensibly to restore ‘order’, ‘reconstruction’ and ‘development’ as espoused under the rubric of the policies of LPG have in many ways criminalised the lives and livelihoods of the peoples living in these regions be it the North East, Jammu & Kashmir or the vast tracts of the adivasi inhabited regions in Central and East India, and those regions where anti-displacement struggles of the people are on. Framing up people for ransom as well as for getting benefits from the governments has become a normal practice. The role of the judiciary has been submissive to the pressures and pulls of the money bags and often communal in its prevarications.
The growing militarization, an important facet of this model of development along with the rising jingoism through slogans such as ‘emerging India’, India as ‘Super Power’ through ‘growth and development’ has brought with it a mass culture of surveillance and xenophobia. The increasing targeting of Muslim youth, especially the recent killing of a Muslim computer engineer by a Hindu right wing group and the studied silence of the prime minister and home minister of India on this pre-meditated murder points towards a new form of policing that is fast emerging as the BJP assumes power. The rise of a maximum security state that was predominant during the previous regime gets further entrenched with the prisons of the subcontinent crowded with large numbers of people—Muslims, Adivasis, Dalits, workers etc—framed under UAPA, AFSPA and similar draconian laws which differ from region to region in the subcontinent. Many of them have been booked under the notorious anti-sedition law.
Even the political prisoner status accorded through the West Bengal Correctional Services Act (1992) to many of the political prisoners in that region is being taken away by the state through the amendment of the said act. Few political parties have uttered a word against this. It shows the growing consensus among these parties as what they euphemistically call as ‘good governance’. That the Indian subcontinent is fast becoming a garrison state with overcrowded prisons is no more an exaggeration! Rather it is an understatement! Deaths in jail custody have been rising alarmingly in Indian prisons with Tihar—the so-called ‘state of the art prison’ in India—too recording high rates of deaths. Many of the inmates in prisons are left with abysmal amenities in extremely unhygienic conditions. With corruption, sadism, hatred, discrimination and cruelty to the inmates taking precedence, prisons in India have seldom been correctional homes. In none of the prisons in India Jail Manuals are followed. Rules and regulations are changed quite arbitrarily and often whimsically by the local authorities. For the elderly, women, children and the differently-abled, prisons in India have hardly any facilities. The plight of the Sri Lankan Tamils put in special camps is worse than that of the prisons in India!
Most of the political parties are hardly concerned about the plight of thousands of political prisoners who are wrongly confined by the state as part of the strategy of criminalising their right to assemble, associate as well as articulate their just demands for a better life with no exploitation, misery and oppression. Growing number of re-arrests before prisons when they are released on bail, filing false cases in different regions based on third party confessions so as to prolong the incarceration of the political prisoner are common practices being adopted through coordinated efforts of the NIA and the NCTC. Most of the under-trial prisoners are not even produced before the judges on the dates of hearing in the courts. The plight of the women political prisoners is worse. Any act of protest or query in this regard from the political prisoner is met with the worst kind of torture and intimidation. Physical violence on political prisoners is also on the rise. Anyone who raises their voice on behalf of the most deprived and oppressed has also been specifically targeted. Dr. GN Saibaba, the DU professor, who was abducted and arrested by the Maharashtra police and implicated in a case with other human rights defenders like Hem Mishra (former EC member of CRPP) and Prashant Rahi is a test case of criminalising the voices of dissent against the brutalising, inhuman policies of the Indian state like Operation Green Hunt. The open threats and innuendos being planted in the media against leaders and activists of people’s organisations, and NGOs, intellectuals, who have been vocal against the policies of the government past and present, are signs of a fascist authoritarian establishment trying to teeth itself with penal instruments.
The series of judgements given by the Supreme Court commuting death sentences to life in the recent months is a welcome step notwithstanding the flawed approach to use death penalty as deterrent to deal with the ills of the society needing radical change. In many of the judgements given by the Supreme Court, the grounds for commuting death to life have been technical rather than a change in perspective and mental horizon as envisioned by the UN and all the countries that are signatories against death penalty. The pressing case of immediate consideration is the release of Perarivalan, Ganesh, Qadeer and others who have spend more than 20 years in prison.
We appeal to all political parties and the present BJP government to address the questions of inequality, discrimination, oppression, exploitation, hunger and death as fundamentals in any policy of development, to separate development from the cob web of national security, to do away with the policy of criminalising political aspirations of the people vis-a-vis their lives and livelihoods. As a fundamental step towards this, it becomes imperative that all draconian legislations including the sedition act be revoked to mark a watershed in the policy of dealing with the four dreaded Ds—Development, Destitution, Displacement and Death—as a question of law and order. It is the responsibility of all freedom-loving people of the subcontinent to stand up and demand the present government to address these burning issues without delay, as fundamental steps to be taken up in a democracy that aspires to be ‘international’ in its standards while its prisons present a microcosm of a society that can implode any time given the barbarity that it breeds.
UNCONDITIONAL RELEASE OF ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS!
REPEAL ALL DRACONIAN LAWS INCLUDING UAPA, AFSPA AND THE ANTI-SEDITION LAW!
REMOVE ALL MILITARY/PARAMILITARY FORCES FROM PEOPLE’S STRUGGLE AREAS!
POLITICAL PRISONER STATUS TO ALL WHO HAVE BEEN THE TARGETS OF THE STATE’S ‘WAR ON TERROR’, OR THE WAR ON THE ‘SINGLE LARGEST INTERNAL SECURITY THREAT’, STATE-SPONSORED XENOPHOBIA AND HATE CAMPAIGN, CRIMINALISATION OF TRANSGENDERS, LGBT!
ABOLISH DEATH PENALTY!
COMMITTEE FOR THE RELEASE OF
PH: 9810081228 9810149990
Posted by nickglais on 7/22/2014 11:53:00 PM