Public Statement: Citizens’ Solidarity with Voices of Democracy

[dropcap]W[/dropcap]e condemn the arrest of five human rights activists, professors and lawyers in connection with the Bhima-Koregaon clashes early this year. The alarming arrest of Advocate and General Secretary of Indian Association of Peoples’ Lawyers (IAPL) Surendra Gadling, Committee for the Release of Political Prisoners (CRPP) Public Relations Secretary Rona Wilson, Head of English Department Professor Shoma Sen of Nagpur University and member of Women against Sexual Violence and State Repression (WSS), cultural activist and founder of Republican Panthers Jaatiya Antachi Chalwal Sudhir Dhawale and anti-displacement activist and Prime Ministers Rural Development Fellow (PMRDF) Mahesh Raut is a clear manifestation of state terror to crush the voices of dissent in this country. The intemperate use of sections of the IPC and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) on all five reveals legal over-reach and exposes the desperation to foist extraordinary and excessive charges on all five to ensure they remain in the clutches of the Fadnavis-Maharashtra government.

All the arrested have consistently worked for the assertion of oppressed and marginalised communities against majoritarian forces, spoken out against Brahmanical patriarchy, upheld peoples’ rights to land, life and dignity, and have strived for the release of political prisoners. Today, after standing for the assertion of dalits, adivasis, Muslims, women, workers, farmers, marginalised sexualities, and oppressed communities, upholding the principles of democracy, and, consequently, being a thorn in the side of a vengeful police force, they are under the custody of impunity. Meanwhile, the perpetrators of violence during the Bhima-Koregaon clashes enjoy the protection of the state, patronage of the RSS and walk free.

Now, with concerted efforts to implicate the arrested, egregious narratives of plots of assassinations is being weaved to defame and keep them in jail. These retributive actions are intended to threaten anyone who speaks out for them and drive a wedge between all struggles for peoples’ rights. In the last few years, wherever people have asserted their rights, the political establishment has clamped down on them with brutal force – be it in Saharanpur or Una, Bhima-Koregaon or Thoothkudi. The assault on the democratic fabric of this country, through the abuse of the legal and judicial process, the stage-managing of media for public trials, and deliberate efforts to build a climate of fear is blatant and pervasive.

Today, more so than ever, it is crucial to reiterate unity in the face of divisive majoritarian politics that uses structural hierarchies to violently suppress different sections of people and communities. We strongly condemn the arrests of these voices of democracy, demand the immediate and unconditional release of all five human rights activists, professors and lawyers and stand united in our opposition to the onslaught of Brahmanical Hindutva fascism.

  1. In Solidarity,(Alphabetically)
    1. Abha Bhaiya, Jagori Rural, Himachal Pradesh and One Billion Rising
    2. Abha Dev Habib, Miranda House, University of Delhi
    3. Abhay Regi, Department of History, SOAS, London
    4. Abhijnan Sarkar, editor, Towards a New Dawn and documentary filmmaker
    5. Achin Vanaik, Retired Professor, International Relations and Global Politics, University of Delhi
    6. Adil Jussawalla, poet, magazine editor and translator
    7. Aditya Shekhar, Faculty of Law, University of Delhi
    8. AK Ramakrishnan, School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi
    9. Akhil Vasudevan, researcher, Mumbai
    10. Alok Rai, former faculty, Department of English, University of Delhi and writer and translator
    11. Alokananda, alumni, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Hyderabad
    12. Amandeep Kaur, Panjab University, Chandigarh
    13. Amar Kanwar, filmmaker
    14. Amit Bhaduri, Professor Emeritus, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi
    15. Amit Bhattacharyya, Professor, Jadavpur University and Secretary General, Committee for the Release of Political Prisoners (CRPP)
    16. Amla Pisharody, student, Azim Premji University, Bangalore
    17. Anand Patwardhan, filmmaker
    18. Anand Teltumbde, writer and General Secretary, Committee for the Protection of Democratic Rights (CPDR), Mumbai
    19. Ananya Vajpeyi, fellow, Centre for Studies in Developing Societies (CSDS), Delhi
    20. Aneeb PA, journalist
    21. Anirban Kar, Associate Professor, Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi
    22. Ankit Grewal, advocate, Punjab and Haryana High Court, Chandigarh
    23. Anu Arunima, Professor, Women’s Studies Department, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi
    24. Anubha Rana, School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics, SOAS, London
    25. Anubhuti Sharma, research scholar, School of Arts and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University
    26. Anupama Potluri, Hyderabad Central University, Hyderabad
    27. Arijeet Mandal, Assistant Professor, Department of Film Studies, Jadavpur University, Kolkata
    28. Arjun Sheoran, advocate, Punjab and Haryana High Court, Chandigarh
    29. Arun Ferreira, Indian Association for People’s Lawyers (IAPL), Mumbai
    30. Arun Khopkar, director and actor
    31. Ashok Bhowmick, artist
    32. Asiya Shervani, Independent Consultant, Diversity and Social Inclusion, Hyderabad
    33. Atamjit Singh, Punjabi playwright and Dakshinayan Abhiyan
    34. Atul Dodiya, artist
    35. Baljeet Kaur, researcher Delhi
    36. Basavaraj Sulibhavi, activist and publisher of Ladai Prakashana, Karnataka
    37. Benu Mohanlal, Ramjas College, University of Delhi
    38. Bhupinder Choudhry, Maharaja Agrasen College, University of Delhi
    39. Biswajit K. Bora, Syama Prasad Mukherjee College, University of Delh
    40. Bittu Karthik Kondaiah, Associate Professor, Ashoka University, Sonipat and Telangana Hijra Intersex Transgender Samiti
    41. Buta Singh Nawanshahr, Association for Democratic Rights, Punjab
    42. Sadasiva, Dyal Singh College, University of Delhi
    43. Chaitanya, researcher, Centre for Women’s Development Studies (CWDS), Delhi
    44. Chaman Lal, professor in Hindi translation at Jawaharlal Nehru University and Punjabi writer
    45. Damodar Mauzo, Konkani writer and Sahitya Akademi awardee
    46. Deachen Angmo, student, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai
    47. Debaditya Bhattacharya, Kazi Nazrul University, Asansol
    48. Debalina, filmmaker, Kolkata
    49. Deepak Yatri, mime artist
    50. Devika N Menon, School of Arts and Aesthetics, Jawaharlal Nehru University
    51. Farhana Latief, research student, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi
    52. Feroze Mithiborwala, National Convenor, Bharat Bachao Andolan
    53. Freny Manecksha, independent journalist,
    54. G Haragopal, Visiting Professor, NLSIU, Bengaluru
    55. Ganesh Devy, Dakshinayan Abhiyan
    56. Gauhar Raza, former scientist, CSIR
    57. Gauri Gill, contemporary photographer, Delhi
    58. Ghanshyam Shah, social researcher, Ahmedabad
    59. Githa Hariharan, writer
    60. Govindi Joshi, Retd. Associate Professor, Ramjas College, University of Delhi
    61. Hany Babu MT, Associate Professor, Department of English, University of Delhi
    62. Hari Sen, Ramjas College, University of Delhi
    63. Hemlata Manishwar, Professor, Jamia Millia Islamia
    64. Himo Aronno, student, Jawaharlal Nehru University
    65. Hussain Indorewala, Assistant Professor, Mumbai
    66. Ila Ananya, journalist and student, Department of Gender Studies, SOAS, London
    67. Imran G, Advocate, J & K High Court and Subordinate Courts
    68. Indira Jaisingh, Advocate, Supreme Court of India
    69. Isha Khandelwal, Advocate, Jagdalpur Legal Aid Group
    70. Jagmohan Singh, Association for Democratic Rights (AFDR), Punjab
    71. Janaki Nair, Professor, Centre for Historical Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi
    72. Jatinder, Assistant Professor, Punjabi University
    73. Jawari Mal Parakh, writer
    74. Jhelum Roy, activist, Bastar Solidarity Network (Kolkata Chapter)
    75. Jhuma Sen, OP Jindal Global University, Sonipat
    76. John Dayal, human rights and political activist, Secretary-General, All India Christian Council
    77. Jose Maria Sison, Chair, International League of People’s Struggle
    78. Joyraj Bhattacharjee, theatre practitioner, Kolkata
    79. Kalyani Menon Sen, feminist researcher and activist and Women against Sexual Violence and State Repression (WSS)
    80. Kamal Shukla, journalist, Chhattisgarh
    81. Kamayani Bali Mahabal, feminist and human rights activist, Mumbai
    82. Kanji Patel, poet and novelist in Gujarati and editor of journal Vahi
    83. Karuna DW, researcher, Chennai
    84. Kavita Srivastava, President, Rajasthan chapter of People’s Union of Civil Liberties (PUCL), Jaipur
    85. Keki Daruwalla, poet, writer and former IPS officer
    86. Keval Arora, Kirori Mal College, University of Delhi
    87. Kiran Nagarkar, novelist, playwright, film and drama critic and screenwriter in Marathi
    88. Kiran Shaheen, independent journalist and Women against Sexual Violence and State Repression (WSS), Delhi
    89. Kritika Agarwal, journalist. The Leaflet
    90. Kritika, researcher, Mumbai
    91. Krupa Desai, research student, Birkbeck, University of London
    92. Laltu (Harjinder), Hyderabad
    93. Lara Jesani, advocate, Mumbai
    94. Laxmi Murthy, journalist, Bangalore
    95. Loi, Global Secretariat, International Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self-Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL)
    96. Madhu Bhaduri, former diplomat
    97. Mala Dayal, author and editor
    98. Malem Ningthouja, writer and Chairperson, Campaign for Peace and Democracy, Manipur (CPDM)
    99. Manasi Pingle, Bangalore
    100. Manshi Asher, activist, Himachal Pradesh
    101. Marie Boti, International Women’s Alliance
    102. Mathew Jacob, Human Rights Defenders Alert (HRDA)
    103. Meena Kandasamy, poet, writer, translator and activist
    104. Megha Kshirsagar, Mumbai
    105. Megha Pansare, Assistant professor and head, Department of Foreign Languages, Shivaji University, Kolhapur and District President, National Federation of Indian Women (NFIW)
    106. Meghana, theatre artist, Mumbai
    107. Milind Champanerkar, writer and National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM)
    108. MN Ravunni, Vice President, CRPP, Wayanad, Kerala
    109. Mohan Rao, Retd. Professor, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi
    110. Monica Sabarwal, Assistant Professor, Punjabi University, Patiala
    111. Mridula Garg, writer
    112. Mrittika Biswas, MA Social Work, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai
    113. Mukul Kesavan, historian, novelist and essayist
    114. Mukul Mangalik, Ramjas College, University of Delhi
    115. N Raghuram, Professor and Dean, Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, Delhi
    116. Nachikethas MJ, engineer
    117. Najwa Abdul Rasheed, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai
    118. Nalini Nayak, Retd. Associate Professor, PGDAV (M) College, University of Delhi
    119. Nancy Adajania, cultural theorist, art critic and curator
    120. Nandakumar KN, activist, writer and freelance journalist
    121. Nandini Chandra, Department of English, University of Delhi
    122. Nandini Dutta, Associate Professor, Miranda House, University of Delhi
    123. Nandini Sundar, Professor, Department of Sociology, Delhi School of Economics, University of Delhi
    124. Nandita Narain, St. Stephens College, University of Delhi
    125. Narender Thakur, B. R. Ambedkar College, University of Delhi
    126. Naveen Gaur, Dyal Singh College, University of Delhi
    127. Navsharan Singh, author and independent researcher
    128. Neha Sonawane, advocate, Punjab and Haryana High Court, Chandigarh
    129. Nikhil Jain, Dyal Singh College, University of Delhi
    130. Nirmalangshu Mukerjee, Retd. Professor, Department of Philosophy, University of Delhi
    131. Nisha Biswas, scientist and activist, Kolkata
    132. Niti Saxena, feminist activist
    133. Nivedita Menon, Professor, Centre for Comparative Politics and Political Theory, Jawaharlal Nehru University
    134. P K Vijayan, Hindu College, University of Delhi
    135. Koya, Professor, Calicut, Vice President, CRPP
    136. Padma Velaskar, Retd. Professor, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai
    137. Padmakar Shaw, Retd, Professor, Journalism, Osmania University
    138. Pankaj Bhutalia, filmmaker
    139. Pankaj Tyagi, advocate, Punjab and Haryana High Court and People’s Union for Civil Rights, Haryana
    140. Pargat Singh, teacher, GMSS Sector 26 Model, Chandigarh
    141. Patricia Mukhim, social activist, writer, journalist and editor of Shillong Times
    142. Paul Zacharia, short story writer, novelist and essayist in Malayalam
    143. Pratik Sharma, student, University of Delhi
    144. Prithvi, student, University of Delhi
    145. Pulin Nayak, Retd. Professor, Department of Economics, University of Delhi
    146. Purnima Gupta, feminist activist
    147. Pushpa Achanta, journalist and consultant, Bangalore
    148. Pyoli Swatija, advocate, Supreme Court of India
    149. Radhika, lawyer and independent researcher
    150. Rajeev Bhargava, political theorist, former director of CSDS and former professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University
    151. Rajesh Azad, Lok Shikshak Manch, Delhi
    152. Rajvinder Singh Bains, High Court advocate and human rights lawyer, Chandigarh
    153. Rakesh Ranjan, Associate Professor, Shri Ram College of Commerce, University of Delhi
    154. Ranbir Kaleka, contemporary multimedia artist
    155. Ratna Raman, Sri Venketeswara College, University of Delhi
    156. Ravinder Goel, Retd. Associate Professor, Satyawati College (E), University of Delhi
    157. Ridhima Sharma, Centre for Women’s Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi
    158. Rina Ramdev. Associate Professor, Sri Venkataswara College, University of Delhi
    159. Rinchin, writer and activist, Women against Sexual Violence and State Repression (WSS)
    160. Rita Kothari, Ashoka University, Sonipat and author and translator
    161. Rita Manchanda, writer and human rights activist
    162. Rita Sinha, Janki Devi Memorial College, University of Delhi
    163. Ritu Dewan, feminist economist and Director, Centre for Development Research and Action, Mumbai
    164. Rohini Hensman, writer and independent scholar, Bombay
    165. Roopa Dhawan, Ramjas College, University of Delhi
    166. Rosemary Dzuvichu, Head, Department of English, Nagaland University, Kohima
    167. Rossi D’Souza, Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education, TIFR
    168. Rudolf C. Heredia, Indian Social Institute, Delhi
    169. Rukmini Bhaya Nair, linguist, poet, writer and critic
    170. Rupika Khere, student, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi
    171. S Anand, publisher, Navayana
    172. Saba Dewan, filmmaker
    173. Sachin N, Dyal Singh College, University of Delhi
    174. Sachinderpal Singh, editor, Mashaal
    175. Sadhi Binning, Punjabi writer and activist, Canada
    176. Sadhna Arya, Satyawati College, University of Delhi
    177. Sagari Chhabra, writer and film director
    178. Sagari R Ramdas, Veterinary Scientist and Member, Food Sovereignty Alliance India
    179. Samantha Agarwal, PhD student, John Hopkins University
    180. Samit Basu, writer
    181. Samuel John, actor and cultural activist
    182. Sananda Dasgupta, activist, Bastar Solidarity Network (Kolkata Chapter)
    183. Sandeep, film editor and writer, Mumbai
    184. Sandhya Devasan, Assistant Professor, Jesus and Mary College, University of Delhi
    185. Sanjay Kak, filmmaker, Delhi
    186. Sanjay Kumar, Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, Mahatma Gandhi Central University, Motihari, Bihar
    187. Sanjeev Kumar, writer and office-bearer, Janwadi Lekhak Sangh
    188. SAR Geelani, Professor, Zakir Hussain College, University of Delhi and President, Committee for the Release of Political Prisoners (CRPP)
    189. Saswati Ghosh, academic and activist, Women against Sexual Violence and State Repression, Kolkata
    190. Satyam Varma, journalist
    191. Seema Azad, writer, activist, editor of Dastak and Secretary, People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), Uttar Pradesh
    192. Shabnam Hashmi, social activist
    193. Shabnam Sengupta, Women against Sexual Violence and State Repression
    194. Shafey Danish, Assistant Professor, KKM College, Munger University
    195. Shailza, International Politics, SOAS, London
    196. Shakeel Anjum, research student, School for International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi
    197. Shanta Gokhale, writer, translator, journalist and social critic
    198. Shashank Kela, writer, Chennai
    199. Shaswati Mazumdar, Professor, Department of Germanic and Romance Studies, University of Delhi
    200. Sheba Chhachhi, photographer, activist, writer, filmmaker and artist, Delhi
    201. Shefali Saini, student, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai
    202. Shinzani Jain, MA Sociology, Ambedkar University, Delhi
    203. Shobhana Warrier, Kamala Nehru College, University of Delhi
    204. Shovon Chowdhury, writer
    205. Shraddha Pandya, Mumbai
    206. Shreya K, Chhattisgarh
    207. Shreya, researcher, Mumbai
    208. Shumona Goel, filmmaker, Bombay
    209. Skand Priya, Assistant Professor, Shivaji College, University of Delhi
    210. Sohini, activist, Jan Jagran Shakti Sanghathan, Bihar
    211. Sonam Kumari, student, University of Delhi
    212. Soumya Datta, South Asian University (SAU), Delhi
    213. Sourav Banerjee, Jadavpur University, Kolkata
    214. Srijani Kar, student, Department of Mathematics, University of Delhi
    215. Srinivas Burra, South Asian University, Delhi
    216. Sudha Bharadwaj, trade unionist and human rights lawyer
    217. Sujato Bhadro, Vice President CRPP, Kolkata
    218. Sukrita Paul Kumar, poet, critic, academician
    219. Sukruta Alluri, researcher, Centre for Studies in Social Sciences (CSSS), Kolkata
    220. Sumangala Damodaran, Associate Professor, Ambedkar University, Delhi
    221. Sunil Kumar, Professor, Head, Department of History, University of Delhi
    222. Surabhi Singh, freelance journalist
    223. Sushmita, researcher, Mumbai
    224. Susie Tharu, writer, professor, publisher, editor and activist
    225. Sutapa Kar Goswami, social and cultural activist and Association for Protection of Democratic Rights (APDR), Kolkata
    226. Suvojit Bagchi, journalist, Kolkata
    227. Svati Joshi, Retd. Associate Professor, Miranda House, University of Delhi
    228. Tameshwar Sinha, journalist, Bastar
    229. Tamoghna Halder, PhD student, University of California, Davis
    230. Tathagata Sengupta, Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education, TIFR
    231. Teena Anil, visiting fellow, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi
    232. Teesta Setalvad, civil rights activist, journalist and Secretary, Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP)
    233. TM Krishna, musician and author
    234. Tultul Biswas, Madhya Pradesh Mahila Manch, Bhopal
    235. Ujwal Punyark, Faculty of Law, University of Delhi
    236. Uma Chakravarti, academic, activist and documentary filmmaker
    237. Uma V Chandru, Bangalore
    238. Ushmayo Dutta, University of Kashmir
    239. Vanessa Chishti, OP Jindal Global University
    240. Venugopalrao Nellutla, Editor, Veekshanam
    241. Vidhya, student and activist, Women against Sexual Violence and State Repression (WSS)
    242. Vidya Rao, Hindustani classical singer and writer
    243. Vijay Singh, Retd. Associate Professor, Satyawati College, University of Delhi
    244. Vijaya Venkarataraman, Associate Professor, Deparment of Germanic and Romance Studies, University of Delhi
    245. Vijender Singh Chauhan, Zakir Hussain Delhi College, University of Delhi
    246. Vikas Bajpai, Assistant Professor, Centre for Social Medicine and Community Health, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi
    247. Vikas Gupta, Assistant Professor, Department of History, University of Delhi, Joint Secretary, Sambhavana
    248. Vineet Tiwari, National Secretary, All India Progressive Writer’s Association
    249. Vineeta Bal, scientist, Pune
    250. Vinita Chandra, Ramjas College, University of Delhi
    251. Virginia Saldanha, Secretary, Indian Christian Women’s Movement, Mumbai
    252. Vishnu Nagar, writer and poet
    253. Vivek Narayanan, writer, poet and co-editor of Almost Island
    254. Waseem RS, Secretary, Fraternity Movement
    255. Windel Bolinget, Chairperson, Cordillera People’s Alliance and Co-Convenor of KATRIBU Kalinpunan ng mga Katutubong Mamamayan sa Pilipinas
    256. Xavier Dias, former editor, Khan Kaneej aur Adhikar, Jharkhand
    257. Yogesh Puri, Retd. Associate Professor, Kirori Mal College, University of Delhi
    258. Yuvraj RS Singh, Law Student, Raipur
    259. Zulaikha Jabeen, social activist, Delhi

    (… More names are being added daily.)


The Leaflet