Sunday, January 15, 2017

Janhastakshep: attack on constitutional rights

Janhastakshep: a campaign against fascist designs
Convener: Ish Mishra; Co-convener: Vikas Bajpai, Contact: 9810275314; 9811146846
At Gandhi Peace Foundation, Deeen Dayal Upadyaya Marg, Near ITO
On 21 January, 2017 from 5 pm onward
· Prof Imtiaz Ahmed, Retd. Prof JNU

· Prof Nandani Sundar, Delhi University

· Colin Gonzalvez, Senior Human Rights Activist & Lawyer

· Arundati Roy (to be confirmed)

· N D Pancholi, PUCL

· Com Aparna, Indian Federation of Trade Unions

Dear Friends,

Given the events of past few months, the raucous campaigns for ‘cow protection’ and imposing Sanghi nationalism which characterized the first two years of the Modi government, seem to have sublimed in to a new trend of seemingly ‘wanton sensationalism’ which has come to supplement the colossal lack of governance at the Center. However, there is a context and a method in this madness that we as concerned citizens of India can ill afford to lose sight of.

On 29th September when the Modi government claimed to have conducted a surgical strike against terrorists inside Pakistan, Kashmir had been burning in its longest ever continuous civilian unrest to have happened in recent memory. The so to say non-lethal weapon, the pellet guns, claimed around 96 civilian lives, including those of very young boys and girls branded as terrorists by the security forces. More than 15,000 were injured in various degrees, with many blinded for life. Yet it took the mayhem of just one surgical strike to wipe out Kashmir from public discourse.

Within a month of the ‘surgical strike’, even as the national euphoria in its support was being drummed up in the media, with the entire opposition having been benumbed by their unconditional support for the strikes to attest to their nationalist credentials, came the news of cold blooded encounter of Maoists in Malkangiri district of Odisha in which 24 of their leaders were killed.

In the same breath the country was witness to the staged encounter on 6th November near Bhopal of eight Muslim youth, who allegedly were SIMI activists and had allegedly escaped from a high security jail in Bhopal, using sharpened steel plates as weapons against the armed guards of the prison. No guilt had been proved against them in the court of law and yet the BJP state government of Madhya Pradesh stoked its lions for having done the terrorists to their fate. Even before the implications of this grievous state crime could sink in, people in the country were to be pummeled the sensationalism of – ‘India Demonitized.’

Even as the willingness to stand in serpentine bank queues was made out to be a mark person’s nationalism and opposing it that of the corrupt and the anti-nationals; the government has systematically gone about tightening screws on civil liberties of various sections of the society – may it be the students, teachers, workers, peasants or the unemployed middle and lower middle class youth. The decentralized usurpation of these liberties may make this fascist trend appear distant to some; however, the sensationalism being used as a shroud to cover up the serious crisis bedeviling Indian society, economy and polity is bound to make the curbing of these liberties all the more imperative. It is time that the Indian people are warned of this danger in no uncertain terms such that ground can be prepared for a wave of struggles against the growing fascist tendencies in India.

Keeping this objective in mind Janhastakshep is organizing this meeting and we seek your concerned participation in making this meeting successful.

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