Statements against the state’s attempt to vilify democratic organizations

December 14, 2011

CRPP Statement against the vilification campaign of the state targeting people’s organizations

CRPP condemns strongly the statement of Jitendra Singh, Minister of State for home affairs, India that the committee is a frontal organisation of the CPI (Maoist) [See TOI 8 December 2011]. This is nothing but a calculated attempt from the state to castigate any platform, organisation or political opinion that is against the policies of the government.

The CRPP has been consistently bringing out the acts of impunity of the government in the form of illegal detention, arrests, torture of political dissidents be it Maoists who believe in the well being of one and all through a society free from all forms of exploitation and oppression, the Kashmiris, Nagas, Manipuris, Assamese, Kamtapuris who have been fighting for their right to self-determination, the dalits and adivasis who have been fighting for their lives and livelihoods and last but not the least the Muslim community in India who have become the target of hate campaigns by the state further emboldened by the so-called war against terror. Against this tyranny of lawlessness of a state aggressively promoting the policies of Liberalisation, Privatisation and Globalisation (LPG) totally subservient to imperialist interests, the CRPP has been steadfastly demanding, ever since it came together as a platform of various individuals and organisations, the unconditional release of all political prisoners who have been kept behind bars, many of them without trial for years and with numerous politically motivated cases slapped on them.

The CRPP for the first time brought forth the demand that the Indian government should recognise the status of political prisoners as it is also a signatory to the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights (ICPR) of the United Nations in which the rights of the political prisoners have been mentioned categorically. Through all its activities what CRPP has tried to highlight and at the same time unite public opinion has been on the growing concern and anger of the diminishing democratic space for the most exploited and oppressed masses of the people of this subcontinent. That to argue for the enhancement of democratic space for everyone so that they can live a life of dignity and well being goes against the interest of the powers that be so as to be vilified as a “threat” speaks volumes of the real face of democracy in the subcontinent. More so at a time when the largest military mobilisation—the paramilitary, army, police—of the state are being utilised to maim, rape and kill the adivasis and dalits of the subcontinent which is euphemistically called by the home minister of India as Operation Green Hunt, all in the name of development. And it is in the backdrop of an alarmingly growing number of political prisoners from the regions of Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Orissa, Bihar, Jangal Mahal etc., who were fighting against the four dreaded Ds—Displacement, Destitution, Destruction and Death—and a large number of Muslim political prisoners let alone from the nationality movements that the CRPP came into existence as a demand of various people’s movements. It becomes important for a desperate state as an extension of the same policy to silence all voices of dissent and to create fear psychosis among the people to vilify and criminally profile platforms such as the CRPP. It also shows the strength of the CRPP in that it could bring together all possible voices across the subcontinent which is arguing against the anti-people, lawless acts of the Indian state.

We at the CRPP further take strong exception in the manner in which the media has carried the report which was more insinuatory than mere reporting only to add to the grist mill of sensation driven news.

We call upon all democratic and freedom loving people of the subcontinent to come forth and condemn unequivocally this desperate attempt of the state to vilify and criminalise all political opinions that are contrary to its will. The detailed statement of the Minister of State showing a whole lot of organisations as “being watched” closely by the eyes and ears of the government provokes only a sense of siege mentality that the state wants to instil in the psyche of the general public. We need to stand firmly against all such fascist intentions of the state while arguing for the inevitable need to roll back all anti-people policies of the state that has threatened the lives of the masses of the people.

In Solidarity,

SAR Geelani
Working President

Amit Bhattacharyya
Secretary General

Rona Wilson
Secretary, Public Relations

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PUDR statement against state suppression of democratic organizations in the name of Maoism

December 8, 2011

PUDR denounces the statement given by state home minister Jitendra Singh in Rajya Sabha on 7 December 2011 in which he asserted that the CPI (Maoist) is active in Delhi and named several groups as being the Party’s front organizations.

Answering question no. 1637 raised by BJP MP Kusum Rai, Jitendra Singh stated that in Delhi, the CPI (Maoist) is operating through the Delhi City Committee. Apart from the Party itself, Singh went on to say, left-wing extremist organizations like CPML-New Democracy and CPML-Liberation have an active presence in Delhi. Besides, Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF), People’s Democratic Front of India (PDF), Committee for the Release of Political Prisoners (CRPP) and Democratic Students Union (DSU) were also named as front organizations by Singh, who also admitted that no inputs have yet been received to indicate that ‘sleeper cells, of Naxalites are functional in the capital.

The organizations named have not played a part in armed resistance or violent struggle but have consistently raised their voice against state suppression. It is clear that by labelling such groups as Maoist, the state is trying to curb their dissent.

The minister of state also named some separatist groups active in the county’s north-east as having close ties with the CPI (Maoist). By taking such a stand, the state wants to obliterate all difference between terrorism and Maoism. The minister added that a Maoist sympathizer was arrested in Delhi with regard to the issue of monetary transactions between the Essar group and Maoists. This case is a sub judice matter in the court and no charges levelled against the accused have been proved. At this stage, it is erroneous to brand the accused as a Maoist sympathizer.

When the entire country is openly criticizing the state’s policies today, the state is still engaged in suppressing such voices, rather than cleaning up its own act. The branding of civil liberties and democratic rights groups as Maoists is an extension of the state’s policy of throttling opposition through draconian laws like the UAPA, which it has been pursuing with dogged determination. In the light of this situation, PUDR strongly condemns the minister’s statement and sees the targeting of such groups as a frontal attack on democracy.

Harish Dhawan, Paramjeet Singh (Secretaries, Peoples Union for Democratic Rights)