Thursday, October 18, 2018



By Harsh Thakor
Yesterday I was privileged to participate in a peoples convention on "Undeclared emergency 'launched by the 'Mumbai Save Democracy front' in Dadar Matunga cultural- center.” It was attended by about 500 persons condemning the fascist arrests of democrats and repression on people’s movements. I heard first hand reports on repression in Chattisgarh by Soni Sori by an Adivasi activist in Gadricholi and by a Dalit women worker from Reliance. With most illustrative examples they depicted how sincere democratic activists doing grassroots work were banned and arrested as Maoist or Naxals and how brutally the police came down on the Adivasis and workers in their day to day lives. The women worker from Reliance described how her husband was tormented who was the sole bread winner. The speakers most vividly illustrated with concrete examples how the state banged every nail in the coffin to suppress any resistance of the Dalit community for democracy. Sonu Sori expressed how she learned so much from being imprisoned itself about the autocratic nature of the state. Also heard a most touching speech by Sagar, son of Vernon Gonzalves. He recounted how he became an even stronger person with the attack on his father after being bewildered at first and how the experience revolutionized him. The programme concluded with a most spirited and enlivening programme by Kabir Kala Manch resurrecting the flame of resistance. Around 40 organizations participated. It was heartening to witness presence of so many youth. Some activists of leading years were present like Gurbir Singh, Uttam Ghosh, Sunil Dighe, Abhilash Ramchandran. Sanober Keswar, Subodh  More, Salim Saboowala, etc., which was also positive. On 12-10-2018 A People's Convention Against Undeclared Emergency was held at Dadar Matunga Cultural Centre Next to Yashwant Natya Mandir, Dadar, West Mumbai.

The People's Convention was organized by Mumbai Rises to Save Democracy a forum of 40 organizations who worked and organized people in different areas.

Baljeet Kaur called the speakers, family members and friends on the stage.


"If crime itself assumes authority and power, And hunts down people, holding them criminals, Everyone endowed with a mouth who keeps silent, becomes a criminal him/ herself.” -Vara Vara Rao, arrested writer activist

The speakers were:

Senior Counsel Mihir Desai, Abdul Wahid Shaikh author of Begunah Qaidi and activist with Innocence Network, he was in jail for 9 years under
Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act  (UAPA) and other draconian Laws; Soni Sori. Tribal Rights Activists from Chattisgarh, she was arrested under UAPA and was in jail for many years, she was faced torture in police custody and been attacked many times; Nikhil Wagle Senior Journalist, had been attacked by the right wing organizations for years.

From the family members and friends the following comrades and activists spoke:

1. Lalsu Soma Nogoti, Advocate, Forest Rights Activists and Zilla Parishad Member from Bhamragad, Gadchiroli. He is the first Law Graduate from his Community, Madia. Lalsu has himself faced persecution due to his leadership in the struggle for forest rights in the area.

2. Mumbai Reliance Contract Workers and Union Leaders have been arrested under draconian UAPA since January 2018.
Rajita family member of the worker arrested spoke.

3. Minal Gadling wife of Advocate Surendra Gadling spoke.

4. Sagar Abraham-Gonsalves spoke on his father Vernon Gonsalves arrest.

A documentary was shown on Reliance Workers arrested under UAPA.

Cultural Performance by Rossi DSouza, Medraj and Yalgaar Sanskrutik Manch.

The Convention was anchored by Baljeet Kaur.

A Vote of thanks was for Sushmita Varma.

We Demand:-

1. Immediate and unconditional release of democratic rights activists, workers, families arrested in alleged connection to the violence of Bhima Koregoan.

2. Drop false UAPA charges against activists, workers, Dalits, Muslims and Tribals.

3. Arrest Manohar Bhide and Milind Ekbote for instigating and planning attack on visitors to Bhima Koregoan.

4. Repeal Draconian UAPA

Down with Manuwad, caste system, Brahmanwad, saffronization of education, Feudalism, Patriarchy.

Down with Capitalism, Imperialism, Globalization, Multinationals Transnationals, IMF-World.

Stop Mining which is destroying our natural resources and displacing our Tribals.

Stop selling our natural resources to Indian Corporates, Multinationals and Transnationals.

Jal-Jungle-Zamin is our birth right.

Stop killing Adivasis in fake encounter, which in reality are police murder reported by many fact finding reports

Down with combine forces of BJP-RSS-VHP-BAJRANGDAL.

Unite and fight Against the Fascist and anti-people forces.

Workers, Pesants, Dalits, Tribals, Intellectual, Students, Teachers, Oppressed Miniority, Oppressed Nationality, Unity Zindabad.

Jai Bhim Lal Salaam.

Inqilab Zindabad 12th meeting against undeclared emergency was organized by 40 organizations, mainly working in human rights at Dadar Matunga cultural center. SC and St Adv com Mihir Desai spoke evolution of all the draconian laws from Rowlett act in 1927/28 to Sedition act, MISA, TADA till today UAPA. All were fought by people and they were repealed. USPS is more draconian because it can detain person for more than 2years, remand for 30 days and period of charge sheet is for 180 days. Other speakers, two from Gadchiroli who are president from two villages from gram panchayat and worked with Mahesh who was organizing tribal for forest rights. Sori Sony Leader of AAP working in 36 gadh., spoke about her personal torture by police and how security forces encountering adivasis naming them as Maoist, wife of one of the Reliance four worker detained from last June for participating in Bhima Koregaon Yatra as Maoist under UAPA. She said without any search warrant police entered their house arrested four of them from their homes at the wee hours. Nikhi Wagle senior journalist declared though he is not Moist nor Naxlite ready to challenge state to arrest him for supporting for the cause of human rights and to save constitution. He also criticized human-rights organization why they were silent when 4 Reliance workers and Sushi Dhavle and Four others were detained under UAPA. he exposed main stream media's helped along with crony capitalist to bring Mr. Mody. He gave many examples of small town’s journalist are venerable for arrest under Mody’s regime for exposing local vested interest. These is happening every-where. Fear is instrumental to suppress voice of descent.
Programme was end by revolutionary songs and of resistance by Dhammrakshit and his group.
Full packed hall lasted four hours.

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