Friday, July 27, 2012

Peace vigil held in Delhi against ongoing killings & violence in Assam

In condemnation of the ongoing ethnic violence in Assam, a peace vigil cum public meeting was held at Arts Faculty Gate, Delhi University on 27th July, at 2 pm. The vigil was organized by people from various parts of northeast residing in Delhi, along with concerned individuals, university members and other democratic organisations from Delhi. A press release (signed by 15 organizations and by prominent activists, academic and students) was issued condemning the ongoing killings and violence that has erupted in four districts of Lower Assam. The participants at the vigil demanded that immediate end to the killing and violence is brought about and the Assam government, Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) administration and the Central Government takes full responsibility for the loss of lives and livelihood as a result of the clashes; and that they rehabilitate all those who have been displaced irrespective of ethnicity and religion. It has also appealed to the members of various communities in Assam to play a proactive role in stopping the mayhem. In the peace vigil activists, academics and students also condemned the political use of this tragic moment of violence and mayhem by various groups with vested interests to drive home their demand of deporting 'Bangladeshi immigrants'.

Below is the Press Statement along with the list of signatories:

Statement in condemnation of the ongoing ethnic violence in Assam

We the people from various parts of northeast residing in Delhi, along with concerned individuals, university members, various students’, teachers’, trade union, women’s, civil and human rights organisations from Delhi, strongly condemn the ongoing ethnic conflict with serious communal undertone that has erupted in four districts (Kokrajhar, Dhubri, Chirang and Bongaigaon) of Lower Assam. This has been the most widespread and alarming conflict in the recent history of Assam.

In the last one week we have witnessed the tragedy of nearly 200,000 people belonging to the Bodo and the Muslim communities, being forced to flee from their homes and villages. Currently they stand internally displaced, and are scarred and traumatized. Official figures state that around 41 people have lost their lives so far, while unofficial estimates from the grounds are much higher. More than 400 villages have been torched down until now.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Once There was Hindutva Terror ...?

- Subhash Gatade

Bomb blasts have taken place near the Delhi High Court, in Bombay , Bangalore etc. Within a few hours of such bomb blasts many T V channels started showing news item that Indian Mujahidin or Jaish-e-Mohammed or Harkatul-jihad-e-islam have sent e-mails or SMS claiming responsibility. The names of such alleged organizations will always be Muslim names. Now an e-mail can be sent by any mischievous person, but by showing this on TV channels and next day in the newspapers the tendency is to brand all Muslims in the country as terrorists and bomb throwers...Should the media, wittingly or unwittingly, become part of this policy of divide and rule?

- (Justice (retired) Markandey Katju, Chairman of the Press Council of India, October 10, 2011 at a get-together with mediapersons) 


What is common between the murder of the leader of a private army of landlords at the hands of his own gang members in faraway Bihar over distribution of booty, the felicitation of a terrorist lodged in jail as 'living martyr' ( zinda Shaheed ) in Punjab or the anointment of a hatemonger as the poster boy of the main opposition party ? Formally speaking there are no connections but if one tries to dig further few subterranean linkages become clear. Whether one agrees or not they exhibit the growing legitimacy of authoritarian, fanatic, exclucivist politics in this part of the subcontinent .

It is difficult to believe the manner in which the mass murderer called Brahmeshwar Singh was glorified and the state turning mute spectator to indiscriminate violence unleashed by his supporters (mainly his caste antisocials) or the manner in which two senior leaders of the saffron dispensation - ex Central Cabinet minister C.P. Thakur and Giriraj Singh, a member of Nitish's cabinet - vied with each other to delcare the murderer as another 'Gandhi'.

Not to be rest content the felicitation of the terrorist called Rajoana who had been instrumental in killing of innocents was accompanied by demands from the SGPC (Shiromani Gurudwara Prabadhank Committee) to have a memorial erected inside the precincts of the golden temple itself, in memory of those who were 'martyred' during the 1984 military action to flush out Bhindranwale and his close comrades.

The Kafquasquean metamorphosis of the hatemonger as 'development man' has been discussed for quite some time. With the recent national executive meeting of his party he inched further closer to his long cherished dream. Forget the fact that there have been more than 45 reports prepared by national-international human rights organisations over the bloody developments in the state under his rule and amicus curaie (friend of court) ordering his prosecution for various acts of omission and commission in the 2002 carnage. Forget the fact that thousands of people uprooted during those days are still condemned to live a life of internally displaced persons. Forget the fact that it is 'free for all' as far corruption in the higher echleons of power is concerned.