Saturday, February 2, 2019

Reclaiming the Legacy of October Revolution in the Era of Bourgeois Hegemony

Reclaiming the Legacy of October Revolution in the Era of Bourgeois Hegemony[i]

Sanjay Kumar

 ‘When I ask why people are poor, they call me a Communist.’ Helder Camara

Two days before his execution on 23 March 1931 in Lahore Central Jailtwenty three years old Bhagat Singh asked his lawyer PremNath Mehta to bring him a biography of Lenin. According to his nephew Jagmohan Singh, the lawyer brought him the book the next day. Anecdotal evidence holds that he was reading Lenin’s biography when the prison staff came to take him to the gallows.

Though there were Communist factions in India at the time,Bhagat Singh was not a member of any one of these. His group,the Hindustan Socialist Republican Army(HSRA) came fromthe northern Indian revolutionary terrorist tradition. The manifesto of the Bharat Naujawan Sabha of Lahore, the open organization of which he was a leading member, ends with VandeMataram, a Sanskrit battle cry of savarna Hindu radicals of the Swaraj movement in Bengal. At the age of 17 years he was writing adulatory references to Veer Savarkar, the future leader of Hindu Mahasabha and the first Hindutva ideologue. However, his transition towards a radical left position is well documented. His explanation of HSRA’s political programme given to British colonial court delineates it in clear class terms, as a system without exploitation. His letter to ‘Young Political Organisers’ written from prison is a succinct and precise set of suggestions for preparation of a mass political movement along Leninist lines. 

October Revolution of 1917 was both an idea and a reality for countless left radical activists and thinkers like Bhagat Singh world over during the ‘short’ twentieth century. The literature from, and about the 1917 revolution, and Bolsheviks as its chief actors, sharpened the meaning of revolution for them. The reality and success of 1917, specifically defeating the counter revolution in thebrutal Civil War, brought revolution from the arena of speculation to immediate practical possibility.  It is perhaps a sign ofcurrent bourgeois political-ideological hegemony that most of the scholarly contributions to EPW’s special issue on October Revolution shirk away from addressing the very palpable possibility of revolutionexperienced by radicals like Bhagat Singh which was opened by the Bolshevik revolution.  Articles by Dilip Simeon (Simeon, 2017), Marcel van der Linden (Linden, 2017), and Rex A Wade (Wade, 2017), work within a liberal framework of understanding society; and despite adding new archival data and using new arguments, arrive at fairly old conclusions. Their criticism from ‘without’, fails to engage with the internal cognitive and moral world of Bolsheviks. Heterogeneous groupings of radical activists gathered around Marxist-Leninist, Maoist, or Trostkyite streamsfound definite answers to specific political questions in the Bolshevik revolution. These answers may appear dated, and incomplete, and their legacy questionable from the perspective of the current century. However, this in no way implies that the questions these answers addressed have become obsolete. The weight of the very real current bourgeois political and ideological hegemony itself makes it mandatory to confront these questions for any critical engagement with the present. In fact, it can be argued that the answers arrived at by the late nineteenth, early twentieth century revolutionary Marxists are still relevant at a meta level of understanding.

Context of a Revolutionary Understanding of Society

The questions addressed by the Bolshevik political practicehad emerged during the nineteenth and early twentieth century developments in Europe. Revolution is foremost a question of state power, and extreme, often violent, conflict between different expectations from and conceptions of this power.A revolutionary crisis may be a sign of the old regime, i.e. existing ‘exploiters ..not be(ing) able to live and rule  in the old way’(Lenin, 1920), however it does not mean that the erstwhile rulers lose their freedom to maneuver. All permutations and combinations for sharing of power between the privileged, and the not so privileged are possible. Fairytale renditions of the ‘good’ bourgeois democratic revolutions, the French Revolution of 1789, and February Revolution in Russia, present these as almost carnivalesquecelebrations of undifferentiated people’s power pushing awaymoribund, and decrepit regimes. For any serious practitioner of politics willing to learn from history, their reality was much more complex, messy and contingent. Precisely because revolutions are moments of coming together of acute but different contradictions from within an existing social dynamic, their outcomes are not given.Overdetermination of arevolutionary crisis in no way implies unique resolution. The spark for the French revolution was the refusal of aristocracy to agree to fiscal demands of an absolutist monarchy greatly indebted to the big bourgeoisie, for which it had to call Estates General. TheConstituent Assembly in 1791 would have been content with a constitutional monarchy.

For Marx and Engels, and their followers in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, the possibility of political revolution was stamped with the successes of counter revolution; the failure of the continental scale revolutions of 1848, andthe brutal repression of the Paris Commune in 1871 by armies of the French liberal bourgeoisie. For Bolsheviks like Lenin, the recent betrayal of revolutionary internationalism by larger European Social Democratic parties who supported their countries’ war preparations inWorld War I, was almost traumatic[ii].

The contested character and future of state power under revolutionary conditions comes out most starkly during civil wars, during which, the logic of emancipatory politics for revolutionaries gets entwined with the logic of war, i.e with the use of organized and systematic violencefor a military victoryover erstwhile rulers and their allies. Under such situations revolutionaries of the nineteenth and twentieth century, and before them the Jacobins of the French revolutions, viewed their choices not in terms of violence or nonviolence, but between revolutionary and counter revolutionary violence. The latter had the advantage ofthe tools of governance, ideological domination, and trained human power of the erstwhile rulers. It also gained by an instant transnational union of the rulers of different countries, as came out openly during the French and Russian civil wars. Nothing unties aristocracies, privileged strata, or the bourgeoisie in our times, as quickly as the threat of a revolutionary spark in any corner of the world. Revolutionaries respondedto counter-revolution by raising new forms of military organisations thatgalvanised popular appeal of the revolution’s political and social programme into a relatively egalitarian military institution: the New Model Army of Cromwell, the French army raised during the Convention period,( ‘the formidable child of the Jacobin Republic’, ‘in which formal barrack military discipline was negligible, soldiers were treated as men and the absolute rule of promotion by merit produced a simple hierarchy of courage.(Hobsbawm, 1996, p. 73)), the formidable Red Army of Russia, People’s Liberation Army of armed peasantry in China, or guerilla units in countless other revolutionary situations world over.

Already in 1850, Marx and Engels as members of the Central Authority of Communist League were deriving some important lessons from the failure of 1848 revolutions; which interestingly continue with Communist revolutionaries even after a century and a half.The first lesson was that in the face of a threat of a revolution from below, bourgeoisie have no hesitation in aligning with autocracy and reaction. Hence, the bourgeoisie cannot be counted to move for even the bourgeois democratic revolution that entails legal liberal freedoms of press, assembly, and political rights. The second lesson was that working class needs to organize itself independently, and not be led specifically by parties dominated by petit bourgeois interests of small property owners.

Political lessons derived by Communist revolutionaries from the history and practice of revolutions were embedded ina number of understandings that acted at different epistemic and practical levels. The most basic perhaps was an ontological conception of society as a conflict ridden system, riven by a fundamental contradiction between the exploiters and the exploited.Even while the dynamic of the existing social system implied continued domination of the exploiters, it also created necessary conditions for its overthrow. Revolution was both a potential actuality and a necessary goal. Hence, revolution as an idea represented both an objective process, as well an ethical good. In this conception of social history, humans do make their history but according to circumstances handed to them.

Alternativeinterpretations of October revolution are underlain with different ontological understandings of society. For instance, liberal understandings of society which assume that all lines of actions are principally open to any social actor would see the land and war policies of the Provisional Governmentof Russia between Feb to Nov 1917 as insufficient, or ‘slow to fulfill’(Wade, 2017) roused expectations of the wide strata of society.Bolsheviks in contrast saw these policies not as any failure, but precisely what followed from the interests of the bourgeoisie and opportunistic petty bourgeoisie. Liberal explanations of the failuresof the Provisional Government for them would be political apologetics.

In liberal conception of society, social order is created out of negotiated settlements between ontologically free social actors. Hence, ruptures like a revolution, or intense conflicts like civil war, are signs of political and moral failures. Specifically in the context of Russian revolution, the transition from the ‘massive disgust with war’, with immediate Peace being the major popular demand between Feb to Nov 1917, to Civil War appears as an ‘enigma’(Simeon, 2017) in a liberal framework. How could people clamouring for peace one day arm themselves for blood letting the next day? Civil war appears an enigma because an important piece of the puzzle, the armed counter revolution by social groups opposed to revolution, including their international collaborators, are missing in this understanding. As for the people, they saw no contradiction in marching for peace against an imperialist war of aggression, and defending their new found rights gained through revolution from counter revolutionary attacks.

The ontological understanding of society as riven by fundamental class conflicts was buttressed by theoretical claims. In distinction from other revolutionaries, or others before them, Communist revolutionaries saw their practice as a unique union of theoretical and practical labour. Three days after his friend’s death, Engels’ short address at Marx’s grave first took note of the theoretical achievements of ‘the man of science’ in discovering a materialist understanding of human society, and the ‘special law of motion governing the capitalist mode of production’. This however was ‘not even half the man’. Science was ‘a historically dynamic, revolutionary force’ for Marx, who ‘experienced quite another kind of joy when the discovery involved immediate revolutionary changes in industry, and in historical development in general’. The man though ‘was before all else a revolutionist. His real mission in life was to contribute, in one way or another, to the overthrow of capitalist society.’ For the latter, Engels recounted Marx’s central role in International Workingmen’s Association (IWMA).

Using science for solving practical problems, i.e. a union of theoretical and practical labour, is the hallmark of engineering. Even though the ideal of Enlightenment rationality is more often presented in romantic and ideological terms, its most far reaching, yet most prosaic realization is modern technology. However, certain unique features distinguish Communist revolutionary practices from any social engineering. Whereas all engineering uses established ‘laws’ of science to solve practical problems, revolutionary practice is revolutionary precisely because it attempts to change the laws governing social reality, by changing this very social reality.If ‘science’ is the lever necessary to bring about this change, the force for activating this lever was the working class movement. The image of working classes armed with the lever of the science of revolutionary practice, involved important assumptions about the nature of this social agency. The Marxist revolutionary subject is activated not by (religious) faith, or national or any other communitarian identity, or even ethical-moral commitments. It is the knowledge gained from answers to questions about the why and how of social reality that brings this subject in the arena of political struggle. As an orgnaised force this agency is guided by definite programmes of action, meant to take account of the specifics of a society. Bolshevik conception of the worker-peasant alliance, and Mao’s New Democracy were unique innovations for their time and place. The second character of working class as an agent of change, as envisioned in Communist revolutionary practice is related to its self-representation. Eventhough the working classis among the most destitute and economically weakest of population segments, its self representation is not of a victim. The beginning text of the Provisional Rules for the International Workingmen’s Association (IWMA), whichclaimsthat the ‘emancipation of the working classes must be conquered by the working classes themselves’(Marx & Engels, 2010, p. 14), shuts the door on any sentimentality about more privileged strata ‘helping’ working classes out of their misery. This is the ‘politics of indifference’ to deprivations, and their immediate and partial alleviation, ‘that instead of focusing on the victims of abuses (of) a class divided society focuses on the abuse of class division itself’(Michaels, 2017).

Another understanding clearly articulated by Marx and Engels, and their followers was that success in a quickly unfolding revolutionary process required ideological and organizational preparation. Bolsheviks gained immense prestige among Marxist revolutionaries precisely because of their success in this regard. A global industry based on what LarsT Lih calls a ‘textbook’ interpretation of Lenin’s ‘What is to be Done?’ has long existed that has tried to show this professional revolutionary and party-centric preparation as a manifestation the anti- democratic character of the Bolshevik political practice. The central element of this Leninist core is believed to be a mistrust of the spontaneous consciousness of the working class, and the key role of a self-appointedrevolutionary intelligentsia to ‘divert’ it from its natural course towards a socialist revolutionary consciousness, i.e. to ‘direct’ it from without. Ideas of a class vanguard, and party dictatorship, etc. are believed to follow from this elemental mistrust of the working class. However, as Lih writes, ‘itis hardly an exaggeration to say that the textual basis for this portrait of Lenin is not just one book, not just one chapter in this book, not just two famousparagraphs from this chapter that are inevitably quoted, but three wordsfound in these paragraphs: ' spontaneity', ' divert', and ' from without' (oneword in Russian )’(Lih, 2008, p. 15).The bulk of the polemical text is an argument against ‘economism’, and in favour of Social Democrats to prepare themselves for a struggle around what were considered ‘bourgeois democratic’ political demands. As for a revolutionary consciousness ‘from without’, that was awell established orthodox position, first articulated by Marx and Engels and later by Kautsky, the most respected theoretician of German Social Democracy.Important points of distinction are drawn in the Communist Manifesto itself  in thesection Proletarians and Communists: ‘The Communists, therefore, are on the one hand, practically, the most advanced and resolute section of the working-class parties of every country, that section which pushes forward all others; on the other hand, theoretically, they have over the great mass of the proletariat the advantage of clearly understanding the line of march, the conditions, and the ultimate general results of the proletarian movement’ (emphases added).

How can such claims be squared with the earlier deeply democratic claim that the emancipation of the working classes will be achieved by them alone?It seems hegemony is the key term on which the answer turns, even though it is not clearly articulated in the writings of Marx, or even Lenin. Hegemony of the existing modes of understandings and behaviours is the first hurdle in the path of any transformative politics, whether feminist, anti-caste, anti-race or the socialist struggle for the emancipation ofworking people. It is a fact that a significant majority of white women in the US ‘freely’ voted for a misogynist like Donald Trump. Rephrasing the Provisional Rules of IWMA quoted earlier, if a democratic feminist believes that ‘the emancipation of women must be conquered by the women themselves’, then the hegemony of patriarchy on women is the only understanding that keeps ‘optimism of the intellect’ intact, and allows for an understanding that majority of them will break this hegemony. An ‘advanced’ and ‘resolute’ Communist (or feminist) vanguard is envisaged as a practical necessity that supposedly is free from the hegemony and through its political leadership can help break the spell of hegemony. At least that was the self-perception of Communist revolutionaries.Once again,conceptions of a vanguardand hegemony would be foreign to liberal ontological understandings of society, which imagine the consciousness of all social actors to be freely self-evolved.

Confronting the Present

One hundred years after the anti-capital Bolshevik revolution, capitalism has come to dominate all aspects of human life and society. Opposition from all pre,or non capital political forces, feudal, anti-imperialist, nationalist, or socialist, has been overcome. Not only communist and socialist parties, trade unions too have collapsed. Globally the writ of capital over state finance runs unchallenged. Under the current neo liberal mode of regulation, capital has begun to transform human subjectivity at the mass scale. This perhaps might be its most far reaching, yet little appreciated change. The subjection of human productive labour to the demands of capital at work place is complete. Workers may seethe over their increased exploitation, temporary nature of their jobs, and the loss of employment,but with the decline of trade unionsthere is no site of solidarity and organizational alternative to suffering daily humiliations individually. Even deeper changes have taken place at the level of consumption. For a significant number of humans in rich economies, and professional strata of poorer countries, their immediately felt interaction with material culture as consumers is guided by satisfying wants and desires, rather than meeting necessities of life.Atomisation, fragmentation and depoliticisationis a natural consequence of the process that focuses human consciousness on the self, rather than the surroundings in which it is placed, and its commitments to this wider field(Streeck, 2017, p. 107).

Meanwhile external contradictions of capital with society and ecology, as seen in the increasingly obscene inequalities and the threat to the ecological basis of human species, are intensifying. Capital’s internal contradictions too keep on recurring in periodic crises. Mass political parties and public provision of essential services, which formed the basis of political success of bourgeois liberal democratic regimes, have atrophied. Liberal democracy is no longer a political project, but a mode of governance, pure and simple. The ascent of racist, communal and proto fascist extreme right wing is a sign of its turning into a hollowed out shell.

Revolutionary Marxism as a political programme in late nineteenth and early twentieth century had developed in response to capitalism that had not yet come to dominate society and economy. Actually in many ways, it was a critical and practical continuation of the socialist currents of the early nineteenth century Western Europe, just when capitalism was emerging with all its brutalities, and had not yet shaped society and human subjectivities in its own image. Revolutionary Marxism developed into a world scale phenomenon in the twentieth century due to certain understandings that went much beyond the limitations of the conditions of its birth. Nevertheless, these expansions too were limited to conditions of underdeveloped capitalism. Revolutionary Marxists must confront and clarify their basic understandings against the current phase of capitalism. Three of these seem most appropriate on the occasion of the centenary of the Bolshevik revolution. One, the ontological understanding of society as an objectivesystem riven by class contradictions;two, the necessity of the union of theoretical and practical labourto the practical political task of overthrowing this complex system, and three, the necessity of prior ideological and organizational preparation for the task at hand.

It is evident that as capitalism has come into its own, it is creating societies which are becoming increasingly unequal. Societies may not be congealing into the image of a simple two class formula with a pauperized proletariat on one side and a rich bourgeoisie on the other, yet it is recognized even at the mass popular level that the system basically runs for the benefit of a tiny fraction of the superrich. Objectivity of this system is felt in the form of political helplessness. Theory is the use of abstract human thinking to uncover aspects of a complex reality which are not obvious. As commodity fetishism acts to obfuscate the structure of domination inherent in capitalism, it is more than ever necessary to unite theoretical knowledge of the system with the practical task of confronting it.As for prior preparation, the bitter experience of the most recent popular upheaval, the Arab Spring, only reconfirms its necessity. Brave urban educated, largely secular youth from professional strata spearheaded the revolt. Their movement remained amorphous with only a rudimentary organization necessary to organize demonstrations. When it came to settling down to a post upsurge state in Egypt, Muslim Brotherhood, the oldest mass organization, much persecuted by the series of dictatorial secular regimes, emerged the winner. It should be obvious to any student of current politics, as it was to Marxist revolutionaries of earlier generations, that multiple interests do come into play at the time of crisis of a complex system, and only those forces which have ideological clarity and organization can hope to win the day.

(Sanjay Kumar teaches Physics at St Stephen’s College, Delhi)

[i]This article was written as a response to the EPW issue on the centenary of the Bolshevik Revolution, and submitted for the Discussion section of the journal. It was withdrawn due to lack of response from the journal.

[ii]To the socialist it is not the horrors of war that are the hardest to endure ... but the horrors of the treachery shown by the leaders of present day socialism, the horrors of the collapse of the present-day International.The European War and International Socialism (1914)  Lenin Collected Works, Progress Publishers, [197[4]], Moscow, Volume 21, pages 20-24. 


Hobsbawm, E. (1996). The Age of Revolution. New York: Vintage Books.
Lenin, V. I. (1920). Left Wing Communism: An Infantile Disorder. New York: Pathfinder, pp 66-67.
Lih, L. T. (2008). Lenin Rediscovered, What is to be Done? in Context. Chicago: Haymarket Books.
Linden, M. v. (2017). Why Leninism and Bolshevism Are Not the Same. Economic and Political Weekly, Vol 52, Issue no 44.
Marx, K., & Engels, F. (2010). MECW Vol 20. London: Lawrence and Wishart.
Michaels, W. B. (2017). Picturing the whole: form, reform, revolution. Socialist Register, p. 324.
Simeon, D. (2017). The Bolshevik Heritage. Economic and Political Weekly, Vol 52, Issue No 44.
Streeck, W. (2017). How Will Capitalism End? New Delhi: Juggernaut Books.
Wade, R. A. (2017). Revolutionary Expectations in 1917 Russia. Economic and Political Weekly, Vol 52, Issue no 44.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

क्या जनबुद्धिजीवी प्रोफेसर आनन्द तेलतुम्बड़े सलाखों के पीछे भेज दिए जाएंगे ?

जन संस्कृति मंच, दलित लेखक संघ, न्यू सोशलिस्ट इनीशिएटिव, रमणिका फाउंडेशन, साहित्य वार्ता, प्रगतिशील लेखक संघ और जनवादी लेखक संघ के प्रतिनिधियों द्वारा जारी बयान

एक आसन्न गिरफ़्तारी देश के ज़मीर पर शूल की तरह चुभती दिख रही है।

पुणे पुलिस द्वारा भीमा कोरेगांव मामले में प्रोफेसर आनन्द तेलतुम्बड़े के ख़िलाफ़ दायर एफ आई आर को खारिज करने की मांग को सर्वोच्च न्यायालय द्वारा ठुकरा दिए जाने के बाद यह स्थिति बनी है। अदालत ने उन्हें चार सप्ताह तक गिरफ़्तारी से सुरक्षा प्रदान की है और कहा है कि इस अन्तराल में वह निचली अदालत से जमानत लेने की कोशिश कर सकते हैं। इसका मतलब है कि उनके पास फरवरी के मध्य तक का समय है।

इस मामले में बाकी विद्वानोंमानवाधिकार कार्यकर्ताओं को जमानत देने से इन्कार करनेवाली निचली अदालत इस मामले में अपवाद करेगीइसकी संभावना बहुत कम बतायी जा रही है। सुधा भारद्वाज, वर्नन गोंसाल्विस, वरवर राव, गौतम नवलखा, अरुण फरेरा जैसे अनेक लेखक और मानवाधिकार कार्यकर्ता सरकार के निशाने पर आ चुके हैं और इनमें से ज़्यादातर को गिरफ़्तार किया जा चुका है।
दलित खेत मज़दूर माता-पिता के घर जनमे और अपनी प्रतिभालगनसमर्पण और प्रतिबद्धता के ज़रिए विद्वतजगत में ही नहीं बल्कि देश के ग़रीबों-मजलूमों के हक़ों की आवाज़ बुलन्द करते हुए नयी उंचाइयों तक पहुंचे प्रोफेसर आनन्द तेलतुम्बड़े की यह आपबीती देश-दुनिया के प्रबुद्ध जनों में चिन्ता एवं क्षोभ का विषय बनी हुई है।

विश्वविख्यात विद्वानों नोम चोमस्कीप्रोफेसर कार्नेल वेस्टजां द्रेज से लेकर देश दुनिया के अग्रणी विश्वविद्यालयोंसंस्थानों से सम्बद्ध छात्रकर्मचारियों एवं अध्यापकों ने और दुनिया भर में फैले अम्बेडकरी संगठनों ने एक सुर में यह मांग की है कि पुणे पुलिस द्वारा डा आनन्द तेलतुम्बड़ेजो वरिष्ठ प्रोफेसर एवं गोवा इन्स्टिटयूट ऑफ़ मैनेजमेण्ट में बिग डाटा एनालिटिक्स के विभागाध्यक्ष हैंके ख़िलाफ़ जो मनगढंत आरोप लगाए गए हैं, उन्हें तत्काल वापस लिया जाए। जानीमानी लेखिका अरूंधती रॉय ने कहा है कि उनकी आसन्न गिरफ़्तारी एक राजनीतिक कार्रवाई होगी। यह हमारे इतिहास का एक बेहद शर्मनाक और खौफ़नाक अवसर होगा।

मालूम हो कि इस मामले में प्रोफेसर आनन्द तेलतुम्बड़े के ख़िलाफ़ प्रथम सूचना रिपोर्ट पुणे पुलिस ने पिछले साल दायर की थी और उन पर आरोप लगाए गए थे कि वह भीमा कोरेगांव संघर्ष के दो सौ साल पूरे होने पर आयोजित जनसभा के बाद हुई हिंसा के लिए जिम्मेदार हैं (जनवरी 2018)। यह वही मामला है जिसमें सरकार ने देश के चन्द अग्रणी बुद्धिजीवियों को ही निशाना बनाया हैजबकि इस प्रायोजित हिंसा को लेकर हिन्दुत्ववादी संगठनों पर एवं उनके मास्टरर्माइंडों पर हिंसा के पीड़ितों द्वारा दायर रिपोर्टों को लगभग ठंडे बस्ते में डाल दिया है।

इस मामले में दर्ज पहली प्रथम सूचना रिपोर्ट (8 जनवरी 2018) में प्रोफेसर आनन्द का नाम भी नहीं थाजिसे बिना कोई कारण स्पष्ट किए 21 अगस्त 2018 को शामिल किया गया और इसके बाद उनकी गैरमौजूदगी में उनके घर पर छापा भी डाला गयाजिसकी चारों ओर भर्त्सना हुई थी।

गौरतलब है कि जिस जनसभा के बाद हुई हिंसा के लिए उन्हें जिम्मेदार ठहराया जा रहा है, उसका आयोजन सेवानिवृत्त न्यायाधीश पी बी सावंत और न्यायमूर्ति बी जी कोलसे पाटील ने किया थाजिसमें खुद डा आनन्द शामिल भी नहीं हुए थे बल्कि अपने एक लेख में उन्होंने ऐसे प्रयासों की सीमाओं की बात की थी। उन्होंने स्पष्ट लिखा था कि भीमा कोरेगांव का मिथक उन्हीं पहचानों को मजबूत करता हैजिन्हें लांघने का वह दावा करता है। हिन्दुत्ववादी शक्तियों से लड़ने का संकल्प निश्चित ही काबिलेतारीफ हैमगर इसके लिए जिस मिथक का प्रयोग किया जा रहा है वह कुल मिला कर अनुत्पादक होगा।

मालूम हो कि पिछले साल इस गिरफ़्तारी को औचित्य प्रदान करने के सबूत’ के तौर पर पुणे पुलिस ने ‘‘कामरेड आनंद’’ को सम्बोधित कई फर्जी पत्र जारी किए। पुणे पुलिस द्वारा लगाए गए उन सभी आरोपों को डा तेलतुम्बड़े ने सप्रमाणदस्तावेजी सबूतों के साथ खारिज किया है। इसके बावजूद ये झूठे आरोप डा तेलतुम्बड़े को आतंकित करने एवं खामोश करने के लिए लगाए जाते रहे हैं। जैसा कि स्पष्ट है यूएपीए (अनलॉफुल एक्टिविटीज प्रिवेन्शन एक्ट) की धाराओं के तहत महज़ इन आरोपों के बलबूते डा तेलतुम्बड़े को सालों तक सलाखों के पीछे रखा जा सकता है।

डा आनन्द तेलतुम्बड़े की संभावित गिरफ़्तारी कई ज़रूरी मसलों को उठाती है।

दरअसल रफ़्ता-रफ़्ता दमनकारी भारतीय राज्य ने अपने-आप को निर्दोष साबित करने की बात खुद पीड़ित पर ही डाल दी है: हम सभी दोषी है जब तक हम प्रमाणित न करें कि हम निर्दोष हैं। हमारी जुबां हमसे छीन ली गयी है।

प्रोफेसर आनन्द की संभावित गिरफतारी को लेकर देश की एक जानीमानी वकील ने एक विदुषी के साथ निजी बातचीत में (scroll.inजो सवाल रखे हैंवह इस मौके पर रेखांकित करनेवाले हैं। उन्होंने पूछा है, ‘आख़िर आपराधिक दंडप्रणाली के प्राथमिक सिद्धांतों का क्या हुआआखिर क्यों अदालतें सबूतों के आकलन में बेहद एकांतिकलगभग दुराग्रही रूख अख्तियार कर  रही हैंआखिर अदालतें क्यों कह रही हैं कि अभियुक्तों को उन मामलों में भी अदालती कार्रवाइयों से गुज़रना पड़ेगा जहां वह खुद देख सकती हैं कि सबूत बहुत कमज़ोर हैंगढ़े गए हैं और झूठे हैं आखिर वे इस बात पर क्यों ज़ोर दे रही हैं कि एक लम्बीथकाउखर्चीली अदालती कार्रवाई का सामना करके ही अभियुक्त अपना निर्दोष होना साबित कर सकते हैंजबकि जुटाए गए सबूत प्रारंभिक अवस्था में ही खारिज किए जा सकते हैं ? ’

आज हम उस विरोधाभासपूर्ण स्थिति से गुजर रहे हैं कि आला अदालत को राफेल डील में कोई आपराधिकता नज़र नहीं आती जबकि उसके सामने तमाम सबूत पेश किए जा चुके हैंवहीं दूसरी तरफ वह तेलतुम्बड़े के मामले में गढ़ी हुई आपराधिकता पर मुहर लगा रही हैं। न्याय का पलड़ा फिलवक्त़ दूसरी तरफ झुकता दिखता है। इस बात को मददेनज़र रखते हुए कि अदालत ने जनतंत्र में असहमति की भूमिका को रेखांकित किया हैआखिर वह मानवाधिकार कार्यकर्ताओंबुद्धिजीवियों के लिए दूसरा पैमाना अपनाने की बात कैसे कर सकती है।

लेखकोंसंस्कृतिकर्मियोंप्रबुद्ध जनों की यह सभा इस समूचे घटनाक्रम पर गहरी चिन्ता प्रकट करती है और सरकार से यह मांग करती है कि उनके ख़िलाफ़ लगाए गए सभी फ़र्जी आरोपों को तत्काल खारिज किया जाए।

हम देश के हर संवेदनशीलप्रबुद्ध एवं इन्साफ़पसंद व्यक्ति के साथकलम के सिपाहियों एवं सृजन के क्षेत्र में तरह तरह से सक्रिय लोगों एवं समूहों के साथ इस चिन्ता को साझा भी करना चाहते हैं कि प्रोफेसर आनन्द तेलतुम्बड़ेजो जाति-वर्ग के अग्रणी विद्वान हैंजिन्होंने अपनी छब्बीस किताबों के ज़रिये - जो देश- दुनिया के अग्रणी प्रकाशनों से छपी हैंअन्य भाषाओं में अनूदित हुई हैं और सराही गयी हैं - अकादमिक जगत में ही नहीं सामाजिक-राजनीतिक हल्कों में नयी बहसों का आगाज़ किया हैजो कमेटी फ़ॉर प्रोटेक्शन आफ डेमोक्रेटिक राइट्स - जो मानवाधिकारों की हिफाजत के लिए बनी संस्था है - के सक्रिय कार्यकर्ता रहे हैजिन्होंने जनबुद्धिजीवी के तौर पर सत्ताधारियों को असहज करनेवाले सवाल पूछने से कभी गुरेज नहीं किया हैऔर जो फ़िलवक्त गोवा इन्स्टिटयूट ऑफ़ मैनेजमेण्ट में बिग डाटा एनालिटिक्स’ के विभागप्रमुख हैं और उसके पहले आई आई टी में प्रोफेसरभारत पेटोलियम कार्पोरेशन लिमिटेड के कार्यकारी निदेशक और पेट्रोनेट इंडिया के सीईओ जैसे पदों पर रहे चुके हैंक्या हम उनकी इस आसन्न गिरफतारी पर हम मौन रहेंगे!

आईएअपने मौन को तोड़ें और डा अम्बेडकर के विचारों को जन जन तक पहुंचाने में मुब्तिलाउनके विचारों को नए सिरे से व्याख्यायित करने में लगे इस जनबुद्धिजीवी के साथ खड़े हों!
अशोक भौमिक, जन संस्कृति मंच (जसम)
हीरालाल राजस्थानी, दलित लेखक संघ (दलेस)
सुभाष गाताडे, न्यू सोशलिस्ट इनीशिएटिव
रमणिका गुप्ता, रमणिका फाउंडेशन
प्रेम सिंह, साहित्य वार्ता
अली जावेद, प्रगतिशील लेखक संघ (प्रलेस)
मुरली मनोहर प्रसाद सिंह, जनवादी लेखक संघ (जलेस)