IMMEDIATE RELREASE-June 26th- Emergency Day- hunger strike in all Prisons in INDIA !!


COMMITTEE FOR THE RELEASE OF POLITICAL PRISONERS

185/3, FOURTH FLOOR, ZAKIR NAGAR, NEW DELHI-110025

Statement in Solidarity with Proposed Day Long Hunger Strike on Emergency Day on 26 June 2012 in All Prisons

Against the Sentencing of Seema & Vishwa Vijay! Against the Denial of Our Fundamental Freedoms!

Let us Remember the Dreadful Anti-People Emergency to Continue our Fight Against the Undeclared Emergency on the Freedom Loving People of the Subcontinent!

All Political Prisoners are Targets of an Undeclared Emergency! We demand Their Unconditional Release!

All Draconian Laws Including the UAPA and AFSPA and the Anti-Sedition Laws are Clear Instruments Towards Declaring an Undeclared Emergency! We Demand that Such Anti-People Laws be Immediately Revoked!

As this is being written one cannot deny the possibility of a Muslim youth being picked up as suspected ‘terrorist’ out to destabilise the Indian state; or an Adivasi or a Dalit who is left with little option but to fight against the criminal denial of his/her life and livelihood being picked up as a ‘terrorist’, ‘extremist’ waging war against the state. Anyone who writes, speaks, mobilises people against such growing fascist, anti-people tendencies of the Indian state are also becoming targets of the same policy—the case of Seema Azad and Vishwa Vijay and a cultural organisation like Kabir Kala Manch being the latest while there are others such as Sudhir Dhawale, Utpal and Jeetan Marandi being incarcerated for their undying love for the well being of the people especially the most oppressed, the Dalits and Adivasis. In Jammu & Kashmir while there are undeclared centres of torture and detention at every nook and cranny, the Kashmiri Muslim prisoners kept in jails in Jammu are meted the worst kind of treatment—in the form of torture, denial of facilities as per the jail manual etc. While the arrests under Public Safety Act are increasing day by day with thousands behind bars the state has also started enforcing UAPA along with the already imposed Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA).

Every state of India is teethed with separate preventive detention laws as well as other draconian instruments apart from the centralised UAPA. Prisoners are flooding the already crowded jails which has least turned out to be centres of reform but breeding grounds for criminalisation and communalisation. Instances of entire villages being put behind bars—for their alleged support to the Maoists—repeatedly even after they are acquitted by the court while custodial deaths/killings due to inhuman torture or connivance of the authorities with communal, criminal elements in the prison is strikingly emerging as a pattern. Needless to say there is an undeclared emergency in the Indian subcontinent.

The role of the media in managing, making perceptions about this undeclared emergency as a necessary evil is increasingly creating a sense of fatalism among the people. Increasingly it is being told to the people that any form of political dissent is against the interests of the state; of growth; of development. So anyone who protests against the anti-people policies of growth, development becomes a ‘terrorist’, ‘waging war’ against the state. The rest of the act of profiling these people as ‘criminals’, ‘anti-nationals’ is done by a large section of the jingoist media hand-in-glove with the state in its so-called ‘war against terror’ as well as the predatory policies of loot and plunder of the Indian state. Today what denote corporate/moribund capital interest have also become the interests of the big media houses. And there is a convergence of interests between moribund capital and a national security state that India is fast emerging. The need of an undeclared emergency is more than justified in such a scenario.

In this context the memories of 26th of June 1976 remain a dreadful day for the freedom loving people of the Indian subcontinent as it happens to be the day of proclamation of the notorious Emergency by the then Indira Gandhi autocratic regime. On this dark day of 1976, the democracy – loving people in their hundreds were arbitrarily jailed and virtually an awful war was declared on the voice of decent and the voice of the voiceless. And today the memory of 26th of June and the lived reality for vast sections of the masses of the people remains the same. But it should be recalled that ultimately, the mighty voice of freedom – loving people prevailed as they fought back.

In solidarity with the call given by the political prisoners we at the CRPP is proposing to observe this day, i.e., 26th June, as the day of raising voice in defense of the rights and freedom of prisoners in general and those of Political prisoners in particular. We stand in solidarity with the call for observing day long hunger strike given by all the political prisoners and other prisoners throughout the Indian subcontinent, for the realization of the following demands.

IMMEDIATE DEMANDS

1. Stop the fascist policy of slapping false cases at the jail gate itself on any Political Prisoner, who has been released through due legal process after prolonged imprisonment.

2. If one is imprisoned in one are more cases, he/she should be kept informed about the rest of the cases if any pending against him or her and all cases should be duly processed and completed within reasonable time period as per the right of Speedy trial.

3. Hygienic food and water supply to the prisoner should be guaranteed.

4. Regular Interviews for the prisoners with their kith and kins and well wishers should be guaranteed.

5. Books, Magazines and political literature should be supplied to the prisoners who are in need of them.

6. Prisoners should duly be produced before the respective courts.

7. Any prisoner who completes 10 years of imprisonment (7 years actual sentence + three years remission) should forthwith be released irrespective of the sections stipulated in the case.

8. Lifers in the Hyderabad Central such as PBV Ganesh and Abdul Qadheer should immediately be released from their prolonged imprisonment of more than 20 years.

OTHER DEMANDS

Release All Political Prisoners Unconditionally!

Repeal All Draconian Laws Including UAPA and AFSPA!

Remove All forces from the Adivasi areas in Chattisgarh, Orissa, Jharkhand, Jangal Mahal under the name Operation Green Hunt, Operation Hukka, Operation Vijay!

Remove Armed Forces from Kashmir and North-East!

In Solidarity,

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SAR Geelani                       Amit Bhattacharyya                          Rona Wilson

Working President              Secretary General                               Secretary, Public Relations

Dalits were beaten up for resisting power theft by Police and upper castes men


Patna: A mahadalit community was beaten up when they were resisting power theft from their community transformer, first by upper caste men and later, by local policemen at Adilapur in Neora under Bihata Police station, on Thursday night, 25 km east Patna.

On Thursday night, when the musahar community, the lowest in caste hierarchy of Hindu religion, men had stopped the upper caste men from hooking up their wire to their community transformer for electricity. This incident left six dalits injured.

According to Bawa nath Manjhi, 40, who didn’t bear any physical injury but made claim of internal shoulder injury, says; ‘They (upper caste men) had disconnected our wire from their transformer a year ago. How could we allow them from our community transformer’.

Adilpur village had only one transformer of 63 KV, a year ago, which was often got defunct due to over load shedding. The upper caste men, who claimed their transformer, had hooked off the wire of mahadalit houses.

The upper caste dominated village has sizeable Musahar population.

The mahadalit community also got their transformer, under mahadalit vikas yojana scheme, in their parts of village, in last October, 2011.

The conflict started from this 17 June, 2012, when the old transformer (of upper caste) got dysfunctional.

‘We allowed them for three days when they gave assurance that they would un-hook their wire without delay’ claimed Bhuneshwar Manjhi, 22, who also bear the brunt of police cane on thigh and hands.

‘When we unhooked their wire on 21 June, they got angry and attacked on us’ added Bhuneshwar.

‘Then after we moved to police station for our security but they didn’t listen and rudely asked us to move away’ says Anuj manjhi, 25 yrs.

Anuj further added ‘Later, we went to our Panchayat head, Swami Nath paswan, who suggested us to block the Bihata-Khagaul road’

 

‘Our move infuriated the Bihata police station and ordered the policemen to charge their cane. This led to more injury’ says Raj Kumari, 50, whose right hand faced the police cane and got swelling.

Inspector of Bihta Police station, Dineshwar Prasad, had not responded even after repeated attempt. While, Sub-Inspector, Rajesh Kumar denied incident of cane charge. ‘They came to police station; we didn’t get any written complaint, yet. Mr Dineshwar Prasad handled them’ says Mr Kumar.

Dhananjay Sharma, an upper caste man of Adilabad village, alleged the musahar as evil of society and made claim over the transformer, also.

 

‘The transformer is of the government, not of the community’ says belligerent Sharma.

Rastriya Janta Dal, general secretary (Youth wing), Shiv Chander Ram had, also, visited the incident site.

from-  Jitendra, jitenchoubey@gmail.com

 

Aadhaar Round-Up: UID Vs Resident ID; UID In Jharkhand and Delhi & More


200 px

By on Jun 22nd, 2012  |

Nandan Nilekani-led Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) and Department of Electronics and Information & Technology (DEIT) has raised objections to the Home minister P Chidambaram’s Resident Identity Card (RIC) project,

under the government’s National Population Register (NPR) initiative, questioning the project’s capacity to be used as verification means for various offline services, reports DNA.

In December 2011, the Home Ministry had proposed to issue identity cards for every adult resident in the country and had rolled the first set of these identity cards at Porthrapur village in South Andaman district of Andaman & Nicobar Islands. However, a high powered expenditure finance committee had recently set up a committee under National Informatics Centre’s director general BK Gairola to evaluate the possibilities of using this card for other purposes like delivery of targeted services like MNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act), public distribution system, health insurance, various other financial and election purposes.

The report quotes Nandan Nilekani claiming that online authentication which is being used by Aadhaar numbers is a better means for the government to deliver targeted schemes. Note that UIDAI had launched a web-based authentication interface for Aadhaar numbers earlier this year, which allowed banks, telecom companies and government departments to authenticate an Indian resident on the basis of his Aadhaar number or UID, in accordance with KYC norms and process his application accordingly.  However, a few government departments were skeptical about UIDAI’s online platform considering unreliability of Internet in the country and had opted for an offline approach with hand-held devices.

—-

In a related development, The Pioneer reports that the department of Rural Development, which is the registrar to UIDAI for Aadhar enrolment, has invited bids from enrollment agencies enlisted by UIDAI in Jharkand, to manage enrollment in seven districts of the state. The final phase of enrollment is scheduled to resume from 16th August.

The report cites sources to inform that a fresh tender has been issued  as additional and more stringent guidelines and conditions have been suggested by the UIDAI. According to the report 72,36,841 people from the State have been enrolled under the UID scheme, with companies like Wipro, MSK Enterprises, IL&FS, Vision Comptech Intergartor Ltd and others serving as enrollment agencies. The enrollment is significant following trials for routing all welfare schemes related payments, especially wages under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGA), through UID numbers, being conducted in the state.

—-

Delhi Chief Minister, Sheila Dikshit has said that she was not satisfied with the pace of enrolment for Adhaar number, and has asked UID Chairman Nandan Nilekani to expedite the process in the city, according to a PTI report. The report quotes officials saying that the progress of data collection and enrollment by five private agencies appointed to collect bio-metric data and registration of citizens for issuance of Adhaar numbers, was not satisfactory and that thousands of residents have not received adhaar numbers months after enrollment. The report also suggests that the Delhi government plans to use the Adhaar database to identify beneficiaries for various schemes and plug the loopholes in the PDS .

—-

The Ministry of Rural Development intends to update the Registration Act, to enable online application for the registration of land and property documents and to allow registration officers to use Unique Identification (UID) or Aadhaar number to verify the identity of applicants, reports The Hindu.

Quoting a senior official who informed that a note had been prepared and would be submitted to the cabinet in a week for it. The report also adds that under the proposed amendment the register of all documents, except wills, will be openly accessible to the general public.

—–

Gold loan companies, including the likes of Muthoot Finance and Mannpuram Finance, are reportedly asking customers for their Aadhar Cards and UID numbers under KYC (Know your customer) norms, following the RBI’s insistence oon better KYC norms to check correction in gold prices, reports The Economic Times. The companies intend to start online verification using UID numbers, although the verification facility has not been introduced by the authorities so far, according to the report.

Compiled by Anupam Saxena & Vikas SN

Sunil Janah- Portraitist of the Nehruvian era passes away R.I.P


Ram Rahman,  The Hindu  , jUNE 23, 2012

Sunil Janah, at his exhibition in New York in 1998. Photo: Ram Rahman

The Hindu Sunil Janah, at his exhibition in New York in 1998. Photo: Ram Rahman

Sunil Janah, the photographer whose searing coverage of the Bengal Famine and vivid political portraiture of the 1940s and 1950s helped chronicle a tumultuous era in the life of India, passed away at his home in Berkeley, California on June 21. He was 94 years old.

His wife, Shobha, passed away only a few weeks before. He is survived by his son, Arjun Janah.

Janah was born in Assam in 1918, but grew up in Calcutta. He was educated at St. Xavier’s and Presidency colleges in Calcutta. Like so many others at the time, he had joined the Student Federation inspired by left-wing politics. When the British lifted the ban on the Communist Party of India as it supported the Allied front against the fascist forces of Hitler and Mussolini, Janah caught the eye of CPI’s visionary general secretary, P.C. Joshi. At the time, Janah was a keen amateur photographer; Joshi recognised his talent and overnight persuaded him to abandon his English studies and travel with him and the artist Chittoprasad to photograph the famine raging across Bengal in 1943. The photographs by Janah published in the party journal People’s War brought him instant fame as they revealed to a shocked nation the horror of the famine.

Janah later moved with Chittoprasad to live in the Party commune in Bombay, where both were intimately associated with the Progressive Writers Association (PWA) and IPTA, the Indian People’s Theatre Association. Janah had become the most famous photographer in India by then and was sought out by LIFE magazine’s Margaret Bourke White, with whom he formed a unique friendship and working relationship in 1945.

Unlike other photographers, Janah was an active political worker whose political work happened to be photography. Because of his talent and reputation, P.C. Joshi happily acceded to requests from the Congress party, the Muslim League and the National Conference in Kashmir to allow him to photograph their meetings and conventions. As an insider with a political ideology, Janah’s photographs stood out for their passionate engagement, idealism and an uncompromising artistic vision. He became intimate not just with all the legendary cultural figures associated with the Left in the 1940s, but also the entire spectrum of the political leadership. His portraits of these legends stand out for their intimate and personal power. Most were published in the CPI newspaper People’s Age.

After the political split in the Communist Party when P.C. Joshi was sidelined in 1947, Janah moved back to Calcutta and opened a studio. He was a founding member along with Satyajit Ray, Chidananda Das Gupta and Hari Das Gupta of the Calcutta Film Society. Ray designed his first book of photographs, The Second Creature (Signet Press), in 1949. In Calcutta, he started photographing dance and dancers making iconic pictures of Shanta Rao, Ragini Devi, Indrani Rahman and many others. He also made an extensive document on commercial assignment of the new steel mills, coal mines, power plants, railway engine factories and dams being built in Bengal, Bihar and Orissa — the great ‘temples of modern India’ coming up in the 1950s. His later documentation across India of the tribal communities, done with anthropologist Verrier Elvin, was another landmark.

Janah’s work is the defining epic document of the last decade of the freedom struggle and the first decade of free India — a chronicler of the ‘Nehruvian’ years. He remained a committed communist till his last breath, though not a party member. Sunil Janah had married Shobha, a doctor, and moved to Delhi in the 1960s. Never good at commerce, Janah became very bitter at his work being extensively used without payment or credit, and fulminated particularly against Mulk Raj Anand, who used his pictures in Marg — pictures which educated an entire generation about India’s temple architecture and sculpture. This bitterness made him a recluse in later life and led to the huge body of his work being hidden from public view for decades.

I was able to mount a huge retrospective of his work in New York in 1998 in an informal exhibition of 600 vintage prints, which created a sensation. A full- page review in The New York Times brought scores of people to the gallery, many older Indians left sobbing, so moved were they by the history they saw.

Sadly, the funds needed for a book on his work could never be raised during his lifetime; nor could the Government of India be persuaded to acquire the treasure of his archive, which sits in his basement in Berkeley.

The Government of India awarded him a Padma Shri in January 2012, mistakenly conferring on him the same honour which Indira Gandhi had given him in 1974. Embarrassed, the government upgraded it to a Padma Bhushan. It had not yet been presented to Janah by the Consul-General in San Francisco at the time of his death.

(Ram Rahman is a photographer.)

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