<SiteLock

Statement in support of twelve Bhima Koregaon activists

 

We the undersigned twenty two organizations strongly condemn the shameful imprisonment of public intellectuals and social justice defenders, Dr. Anand Teltumbde and Mr. Gautam Navalakha, who've been in custody since April 14, 2020. Dr. Teltumbde & Mr. Nalvlakha join nine others – journalists, lawyers, writers, academics & organizers- Surendra Gadling, Arun Ferreira, Vernon Gonsalves, Mahesh Raut, Sudha Bharadwaj, Dr. Shoma Sen, Sudhir Dhawale, Rona Wilson and Varavara Rao- who have been imprisoned in the same fabricated Bhima-Koregaon case.

Press release BK-12

The case is an attempt by the ruling regime to silence some of its strongest critics that revealed the continued exploitation, humiliation, and oppression of a majority of India's population, especially Dalits, Adivasis, workers and women. Indeed, we see the Bhima Koregaon case as a reaction to the anti-casteist united front of Dalits and other caste groups that was emerging through the Elgar-Parishad.

We also strongly condemn the recent shameful arrests of students from some of India's universities such as Safoora Zargar, Devangana Kalita and Natasha Narwal who have staked their lives and careers for preserving the Constitutional right to dissent, which is at the heart of democracy and citizenship.

On May 30, 2020, we came together to hear testimonies from the United States of America, Canada, United Kingdom, Japan and India. The speakers were inspired to act of their own accord as people who care deeply about India and who are moved by the alarming breakdown of basic guarantees of the Indian Constitution and the impunity of actions undertaken by the Indian state. Each one of them, in their own language of comfort, spoke the language of defiance, of anguish, of protest and of solidarity. Each one of them demanded the immediate and unconditional release of Dr. Anand Teltumbde – a figure who remains an inspiration to us as a scholar, a writer, a thinker, a prophet of our times, and a human being who relentlessly strove to make us think and feel the true spirit of the Indian Constitution and those of democratic social revolutionaries such as Babasaheb Ambedkar , Periyar and Marx.

Many speakers reminded people that the work and lives of social justice defenders being imprisoned in the Bhima-Koregaon case is a testimony against the immorality of the violence perpetrated in India today by the ruling regime - the violence of development policies, violence of casteism against Dalits, the violence of patriarchy against women, the violence of capitalism against workers, and the violence of an ultranationalism against those seeking to live a life of freedom and choice.

Our effort has only begun. We are very diverse in our biographies but united in our focus. We stand clearly in solidarity with all victims of the unjust and draconian Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) – a law that must go for a democratic India to emerge. India is going through a very dark phase of its history, a phase that ominously threatens to extinguish any glimmer of hope for a majority of its citizens, undercut all promises of the Constitution, and consign all social justice and human rights defenders to oblivion in Indian jails. The rule of fear by the use and abuse of particular laws and institutions of governance is an attempt to silence all voices that have dared to imagine an India that is based on Babasaheb Ambedkar's vision of liberty, equality and fraternity.

Video Statements

 

 

 

 

 

 

We demand

1. Immediate release and dropping of all charges against all the Bhima-Koregaon-12
2. Charges to be brought on Milind Ekbote and Sambhaji Bhide as per the FIRs filed against their actions.
3. A repeal of the UAPA which infringes on the fundamental Democratic freedoms of Indian citizens, including their right to dissent and their right to a fair trial.

 Organizations Endorsing

1. Ambedkar King Study Circle (AKSC)
2. Ambedkar International Center (AIC)
3. Coalition of Seattle Indian-Americans
4. India Civil Watch (ICW)
5. Periyar Ambedkar Study Circle (PASC)
6. Ambedkar Buddhist Association of Texas(ABAT)
7. Begumpura Cultural Society of New York
8. Shri Guru Ravidass Sabha of New York
9. Organizations for Minority of India (OFMI)
10. Ambedkar Mission , Toronto, (AM)
11. Ambedkarite International Coordination Society (AICS)
12. Political Action Platform for Tamils
13. Ambedkar International Social reform organization (AISRO)
14. Ambedkar International Mission Society (AIMS)-CANADA
15. Bahujan Federation America
16. International Commission for Dalit Rights
17. Equality Labs
18. Jaibhim Atlanta
19. Bhim International USA
20. Shri Guru Ravidas Sabha-Bay Area California
21. Samaj Weekly/The Asian Independent -United Kingdom
22. Ambedkar Times

~~~

 

[Via Mahesh Wasnik]

Other Related Articles

The Real Remedy for Breaking Caste
Tuesday, 22 September 2020
  Dhamma Darshan Nigam   “I am convinced that the real remedy is inter-marriage. Fusion of blood can alone create the feeling of being kith and kin, and unless this feeling of kinship, of... Read More...
Lineage and Caste in Islam
Sunday, 20 September 2020
  Shafiullah Anis   (Round Table India and SAVARI have been hosting a series of online talks by activists and thinkers on issues of importance to the Bahujan. This is the... Read More...
The Journey of School Education for Bahujan and Impact of NEP 2020
Friday, 18 September 2020
  Naaz Khair   The National Education Policy, 2020 (NEP2020) has been approved by the Union Cabinet as of 29th July, 2020. The National Education Policies of 1968, 1986 and Plan of Action... Read More...
“Mannu”: A documentary turns Munnar upside down
Wednesday, 16 September 2020
  Srutheesh Kannadi Munnar has always been a place of attraction for tourists around the world because of the presence of the Western Ghats, climate and other geographical distinctiveness. The... Read More...
For the perfect progressive recipe, skip caste, sprinkle Dalit swadanusaar: Gaurav Somwanshi
Friday, 11 September 2020
  Gaurav Somwanshi (Round Table India and SAVARI have been hosting a series of online talks by activists and thinkers on issues of importance to the Bahujan. This is the transcript of Gaurav... Read More...

Recent Popular Articles

Feminism is Brahminism
Saturday, 30 May 2020
Anu Ramdas This is the transcript of a preliminary talk on the topic of feminism is brahminism. First, thank you. It is so lovely to see all of you. Thank you for the opportunity. And I am not at all... Read More...
Why Dr. Devi Shetty’s 25 (or 2500) ‘ways to manage Covid-19’ should be rejected outright
Tuesday, 07 April 2020
  Dr. Sylvia Karpagam For far too long, Dr. Devi Shetty has been giving advice on a range of things, the most recent being the Covid-19 pandemic. This is a crucial public health period for... Read More...
How the Brahmin beat Corona
Sunday, 05 April 2020
  Kuffir (Round Table India is doing a series to put together the Bahujan perspective on the Coronavirus pandemic) Anu Ramdas: I would like to ask two questions. First, the updates you posted on... Read More...
Is there a space for North-Eastern identity among students' politics in Indian Universities?
Thursday, 23 April 2020
  Thangminlal (Lalcha) Haokip My colleagues have often asked me why University students from the North East do not take an active part in students' politics in mainland Indian Universities.... Read More...
Open Letter to the CM of Maharashtra - Immediate Assistance to COVID-19 affected Slums
Thursday, 02 April 2020
  Date: 1st April, 2020 To,Hon'ble Chief Minister and Hon’ble Deputy Chief Minister,Government of Maharashtra Subject: Immediate Assistance for COVID19 affected people in Mumbai slum areas The... Read More...