Sunday, October 14, 2018

Salute to Condemnation of "Undeclared Emergency" at meeting in Mumbai on 12th October by Harsh Thakor


Yesterday on October 12th I was privileged to participate in a public meeting condemning 'undeclared emergency' in Dadar Matunga cultural- center,in Mumbai. Attended by about 500 persons it vociferously condemned the fascist arrests of democrats and repression on peoples movements

I heard first hand reports on repression in Chattisgarh by Soni an adivasi activist in Gadricholi and by a dalit women worker from Reliance.With most illustrative examples they depicted how sincere democratic activists doing grassroots work were banned and arrested as maoist or naxals and how brutally the police came down on the adivasis and workers in their day to day lives.The women worker from Reliance described how her husband was tormented who was the sole bread winner.

The speakers most vividly illustrated with concrete examples how the state banged every nail in the coffin to suppress any resistance of the dalit community for democracy.Sonu Sori expressed how she learnt so much from being imprisoned itself about the autocratic nature of the state.Also heard a most touching speech by Sagar son of Vernon Gonzalves.

He recounted how he became an even stronger person with the attack on his father after being bewildered at first and how the experience revolutionized him. The programme concluded with a most spirited and enlivening programme by Kabir Kala Manch ressurecting the flame of resistance.Around 40 organizations participated Heartening to to witness presence of so many youth.

Some activists of leading years were present like Sunil Dighe,Abhilash Ramchandran ,Sanober Keswar,Salim Saboowala ,Deepto Gopinath,Subodh More etc which was also positive. On 12-10-2018 A People's Convention Against Undeclared Emergency was held at Dadar Matunga Cultural Centre Next to Yashwant Natya Mandir, Dadar West, Mumbai.

The People's Convention was Organized by Mumbai Rises to Save Democracy a forum of 40 organizations who works and organized people in different areas among the people.


"If crime itself assumes authority and power, And hunts down people, holding them criminals, Everyone endowed with a mouth who keeps silent, Becomes a criminal himself"

-. Vara Vara Rao, arrested writer activist

The speakers were:

Senior Counsel Mihir Desai,

Abdul Wahid Shaikh author of Begunah Qaidi and activist with Innocence Network. He was in jail for 9 years under UAPA and other draconian Laws.

Soni Sori. Tribal Rights Activists from Chattisgarh. She was arrested under UAPA and was in jail for many years. She was faced torture in police custody and been attacked many times.

Nikhil Wagle Senior Journalist. Have been attacked by the Right Wing Organizations for years.

From the family members and friends the following comrades and activists spoke.

1. Lalsu Soma Nogoti, Advocate, Forest Rights Activists and Zilla Parishad Member from Bhamragad, Gadchiroli. He is the first Law Graduate from his Community, Madia. Lalsu has himself faced persecution due to his leadership in the struggle for forest rights in the area.

2. Mumbai Reliance Contract Workers and Union Leaders have been arrested under draconian UAPA since January 2018.
Rajita family member of the worker arrested spoke.

3. Minal Gadling wife of Advocate Surendra Gadling spoke.

4. Sagar Abraham-Gonsalves spoke on his father Vernon Gonsalves arrest.

A documentary was shown on Reliance Workers arrested under UAPA.

Cultural Performance by Rossi DSouza, Medraj and Yalgaar Sanskrutik Manch.

The Convention was anchored by Baljeet Kaur.

Vote of thanks by Sushmita Varma.

We Demand:-

1. Immediate and unconditional release of democratic rights activists, workers, families arrested in alleged connection to the violence of Bhima Koregoan.

2. Drop false UAPA charges against activists, workers, dalits, Muslims and tribals.

3. Arrest Manohar Bhide and Milind Ekbote for instigating and planning attack on visitors to Bhima Koregoan.

4. Repeal Draconian UAPA

Down with Manuwad, caste system, Brahmanwad, saffronization of education, Feudalism, Patriarchy.

Down with Capitalism, Imperialism, Globalization, Multinationals Transnationals, IMF-World.

Stop Mining which is destroying our natural resources and displacing our Tribals.

Stop selling our natural resources to Indian Corporates, Multinationals and Transnationals.

Jal-Jungle-Zamin is our birth right.

Stop killing Adivasis in fake encounter, which in reality are police murder reported by many fact finding reports

Down with combine forces of BJP-RSS-VHP-BAJRANGDAL.

Unite and fight Against the Fascist and anti-people forces.

Workers, Pesants, Dalits, Tribals, Intellectual, Students, Teachers, Oppressed Miniority, Oppressed Nationality, Unity Zindabad.

Jai Bhim Lal Salaam. HINDU REPORT

About 500 people took part in the People’s Convention Against Undeclared Emergency organised by groups working for the rights of women, Dalits, and against the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, in Dadar on Friday.

The Pune Police had recently arrested several activists and charged them under the Act for alleged links to Maoist outfits and involvement in the Bhima-Koregaon violence. The arrested persons included advocate Surendra Gadling, professor Shoma Sen, poet Sudhir Dhawale, activists Vernon Gonsalves, Sudha Bharadwaj and Gautam Navlakha.

Minal Gadling, the wife of Mr. Gadling, said her husband fought the cases of poor Adivasis accused of being Maoists. She said, “Will anyone have the courage now to help the poor and take up the cases of the marginalised?” Sagar Gonsalves, the son of Mr. Gonsalves, said when the police raided their home on August 28, it was a déjà vu for him. He said, “There was a raid for six hours and I saw the cycle repeating. The first time, I was 12 and felt helpless. Even now it was the same feeling.” Mr. Gonsalves had earlier been charged with being a Maoist. Though he was acquitted of all charges, he spent nearly five years in prison. Sagar said, “While I am happy my father is home, it is a very claustrophobic environment. I feel we are being watched at all times and for what?”

Abdul Wahid Sheikh of the Innocence Network said the Act was also being used against Muslims in the country. He said, “Six months ago, I was sharing this stage with advocate Gadling. We live in a police state as the police can arrest anyone at any time.”

Mr Sheikh had been charged under the UAPA.
‘Jail without charges’

Advocate Mihir Desai said laws like UAPA had been created to keep people imprisoned for years without any charges. Tribal rights activist Soni Sori said that whenever Adivasis in Chhattisgarh raise their voice against land acquisition, they are branded Naxals, charged with the UAPA and face the full wrath of the local police. “Where do we go when the perpetrators of the crime are the police themselves? Who do we file a complaint with?” Ms. Sori said. Journalist Nikhil Wagle said reporters in Chhatisgarh were also charged under the UAPA and imprisoned.

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