Post globalization era in India is going through rapid transformation in many ways. While the rich are becoming richer and the poor poorer, India’s land, water, forests and mineral resources are being sold to the corporate world in a major way. Lives & livelihoods of the majority of the people of this country is getting threatened and many have been destroyed. Through this disastrous and reckless process a major invasion on the environment of this subcontinent is unleashed, threatening the lives of all future generations and all the fragile species.
What is more disturbing and immediate is the threat to the democratic rights of the citizens of this country, even to express dissent on such invasion. The democratic and peaceful struggle against the 54,000 crore project of the South Korean company POSCO, has already witnessed brutal repression by the company as well as police. Bombs were thrown at the protesting villagers by the goons of the company and the police have already opened fire on more than 100 activists. Apart from this, over 200 fabricated false cases have been charged on over 1500 struggling villagers and others. The leader of the movement, Abhay Sahoo, who already spent his time in jail twice during the struggle with fabricated false cases, is handling false charges of around 51 cases on himself. Ten activists of the anti-POSCO movement are still in jail.
Thousands of villagers have been struggling against the Koodamkulam Nuclear Power Project for a 250 days and plus) long time. We believe that this peaceful struggle is not just to protect their lives, but also to protect all our lives, since the radiation from the plant can reach anywhere, as it happened in Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima. Radiation from the existing nuclear plants has already created a large number of cancer and genetic disorder cases in India. It has come to a stage that no more fresh nuclear plants can be built in USA. UK, Germany, France and Japan or Russia for that matter. But their outdated technology has become a burden to the tax payers of this country. Most disturbing fact on this issue is that the protesting villagers and their leaders have been slapped with fabricated false cases. Dr. S.P. Udaykumar, the leader of the movement today is facing around 200 fabricated false charges. What is more farce and ridiculous is the fact that the Govt. of Tamil Nadu under the behest of the Central government has charged 56,000 people who are valiantly resisting the plant with the charge of SEDITION. Not even the British colonisers did slap this draconian charge against such a massive number, that too in one state or district.
While fabricated false charges allow the Indian Army to shoot innocent Indian citizens in the north-east and Kashmir, many innocent members of the minority communities are still languishing in Indian jails. After spending nine and a half years in Coimbatore jail, Muslim spiritual leader, Abdul Nasser Maudany was told by the judge that `you are innocent’! Should an Indian citizen spend nine and a half years in jail to prove his innocence? If this has happened to a citizen in any other established democracies, he would have received compensation for wasting his precious life. But here in India, instead of compensation, Maudany was put in jail again with fabricated & false charges. Maudany is only a symbol of thousands of innocent people languishing in Indian jails.
The case of Tamil 3 (Perarivaln, Shantan & Murugan) who are facing death penalty is a classic example of how the interests of the state are orchestrated by the judiciary in a class driven society. If an independent and unbiased review of all the Death Penalty cases is taken up, it would surly put the Indian State and the so called independent judiciary on the dock.
While Dr, Binayak Sen was released due to public pressure, many innocent adivasis are still languishing in Indian jails in Chattisgarh. The cases on Soni Suri, Lingraj Kodupi Mohammed Ahmad Kazmi, K.K. Shahina and many others are similar. While most of the Indian press depend entirely on the false information provided by the police on such cases, those journalists who investigated the truth are also made to suffer. Freedom of expression is fast becoming a distant dream in this country.
The forces of communalism led by the RSS and BJP are infiltrating every straw of social fabric In this country, their elected representatives and governments in various states are blatantly serving the interests of the corporates without any compunction. In Gujarat, Chattisgarh and Karnataka attacks on the Dalths, Women, religious and other minorities are rampant. Congress and BJP are in unison when it comes to the sharing of the loot and demolishing the democratic structures of our society.
The spaces for protest are also shrinking all over India. In the campuses like Calicut University and Jamia Millia, not just the protests are banned, the students are also under surveillance through video cameras. E-mail surveillance on the people’s movements and minorities are becoming a major issue, violating all norms of privacy in Indian democracy. If the proposed UID is not opposed collectively, the people of this country are soon going to become large scale victims of state surveillance,
The freedom of Indian people as envisaged by Baba Saheb Ambedkar while drafting the Indian Constitution is threatened in a major way, What we are witnessing and experiencing today is nothing but a creeping entry of a `Silent Emergency’. We therefore, call upon all social and political organizations, activists, people’s movements and concerned individuals to raise their voice on this grave tissue – For if we do not raise our voices now, we will not even have the basic democratic freedom to raise our voices tomorrow. We call upon all democratic forces to attend the following meeting on April 28th in Bangalore at 3.00 pm at Xavier Hall, St. Joseph’s College (PG Block) Langford Road, Bangalore.
Speakers include Abhay Sahoo, Leo Saldana, CPI (Karnataka)leaders and fighters from Koodankulam struggle. ( Many others yet to confirm)
A protest will be held on this issue soon after the meeting at Town Hall Bangalore, at 6pm.
We welcome all of you to the meeting as well as protest, please bring your Music, Placards, Banners and all creativity to defend the fundamental democratic rights and values in our society.
We the citizens of this country condemn the misuse of power by the nexus of a section of police, bureaucracy, media and politicians to frame false charges of people’s movements, self determination movements and minorities.
1. All cases against the activists and villagers who struggle against POSCO and Koodamkulam Nuclear Power Plant in a democratic manner be removed immediately.
2. Ten activists of the anti-POSCO movement including CPI leader Narayan Reddy (Ex-MLA) be released from jail immediately.
3. Immediate action on all those police officials who frame false cases on people’s movements, self determination movements and minorities.
4. The editors and publishers of the mainstream press play a responsible role to consciously put an end to the promotion of fabricated false news.
5. The Press Council of India takes action against all those media people who promote the false information of the police and protect all the freedom of expression of all those journalists like K.K. Shahina and Mohammed Ahammed Kazmi who investigate the truth.
6. Stop POSCO and Koodamkulam on the sheer ground of violating democratic expressions of thousands of villagers of this country, if not for the displacement and destruction of the livelihood, environment and lives of thousands of people of this generation and many generations to come.
7. The SEDITION clause to be dropped forever.
8. The inhuman practice of capital punishment be stopped forever in India.
9. Anti-people politicians like Manmohan Singh and P. Chidambaram who have utterly failed to represent the lives of Indian people on crucial affairs like these, resign immediately.
Peoples’ Solidarity Concerns-Bangalore, seeks endorsement from all fellow organisations and individuals to make this event a well attended one.
Peoples’ Solidarity Concerns-Bangalore +919448394365
In Solidarity: SICHREM, PUCL (Karnataka), PDF, Pedestrian Pictures, Visual Search, Moving Republic, Students Christian Movement, Indian Social Institute, LesBiT, SANGAMA, National Centre for Labour, Women’s Voice, May 17th Movement, Tamil Solidarity, Campaign to Reclaim Democracy, New Socialist Alternative (CWI-India)