I wouldn’t have been who I am without Varavara Rao, and it is true for the generation I come from and the one that followed. Today’s Telangana wouldn’t have been what it is without him. I have written and spoken about him and his poetry in the past, but now he is on the deathbed, in a faraway hospital, being subjected to retributive torture by the powers that be. Now, with a never-before urgency, I want to speak and write about him, through an interminable torrent of words. Read more
UAPA – Governments Avoid Due Process by Declaring Groups as ‘Front Organisations’
Legal experts say loopholes in UAPA allow enforcement agencies to misuse the law to target dissenters by branding them as ‘fronts’ for banned organisations.
KKM – a 20-year-old cultural troupe with an anti-caste legacy – was first named in a criminal case in 2011, when the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) arrested several individuals for their alleged link with the banned Maoist group… In the nine years since KKM was first criminalised, neither the state government nor the Centre have made any efforts to notify the organisation as either a banned organisation or an unlawful association, a process laid down in the UAPA. Read more
An activist poet challenges official narratives: A profile of Sudhir Dhawale
The Polis Project / by the Polis Project and maraa
Born to a Dalit family in the slums of Indora, an Ambedkarite hub in Nagpur, fifty-four-year-old Sudhir Dhawale is an activist, editor, and writer.
While the 2002 Gujarat riots led him to launch his radical bi-monthly magazine “Vidrohi”, in 2006 he started a cultural-political organization called “Ramabai Nagar-Khairlanji Hatyaakand Virodhi Sangarsh Samiti” following the murder of four persons from a family in Khairlanji in the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra… His magazine, though produced on a small scale, was potent enough to rouse the ire of the establishment. Dhawale was a key planner of the Elgaar Parishad. Read more
Who are the three Kabir Kala Manch artistes arrested in the Bhima Koregaon case this week?
The National Investigation Agency arrested Sagar Gorkhe, Ramesh Gaichor and Jyoti Jagtap from Pune on Monday and Tuesday.
In 2002, as a 19-year-old student in Pune’s Wadia College, Ramesh Gaichor was disturbed by the deadly communal violence in Gujarat that had claimed over 1,000 lives. Passionate about poetry and theatre, he soon found an outlet for expressing his anxieties: the Kabir Kala Manch, a cultural organisation founded by artiste Amarnath Chautaliya in response to the Gujarat riots. Read more
NIA Arrests three Kabir Kala Manch Activists, Calls it ‘Maoist Front’ / What is Kabir Kala Manch?
Poets Branded Naxals by Both Cong & BJP: What is Kabir Kala Manch?
The Quint / by Asmita Nandy
What is Kabir Kala Manch and why are they repeatedly targeted by governments?
Kabir Kala Manch, a group of artists singing songs of Bahujans and Karl Marx, have been branded “naxals” by both Congress and BJP.
On Tuesday, 8 September, the National Investigation Agency (NIA), which is probing the Elgar Parishad case arrested three members of the group saying that they were in touch with senior leaders of CPI(Maoist), a banned organisation under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act “so as to spread the ideology of Maoism/Naxalism and encourage unlawful activities”. Read more
NIA Calls Kabir Kala Manch ‘Maoist Front’, Takes Activists into Custody
The Wire / by Sukanya Shantha
Mumbai: The National Investigations Agency has accused the cultural group Kabir Kala Mancha (KKM) of being a frontal organisation of the banned terrorist Communist Party of India (Maoist) …
KKM is a Pune-based cultural troupe that was formed by youth belonging to the Bahujan community from across Maharashtra. Several working-class musicians and poets had come together after the 2002 communal riots in Gujarat and formed their own cultural group to sing songs of resistance and state repression. They have also been vocal against caste atrocities across the country. Read more
Kabir Kala Manach cultural activist Jyoti Jagtap arrested / #StandWithBK15
Kractivist / by Bhima Koregaon Shauryadin Prerana Abhiyan
Pune ATS has today arrested Jyoti Jagtap (Member of Bhima Koregaon Shauryadin Prerana Abhiyan and Kabir Kala Manch). She will be transfered to NIA for custody. Yesterday, on 7 September, Sagar Gorkhe and Ramesh Gaichor were arrested late evening and today Jyoti Jagtap has been arrested. Read more
NIA Arrests Two Kabir Kala Manch Activists
The Wire / by Sukanya Shantha
Mumbai: After questioning them over several days, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) arrested cultural activists Sagar Gorkhe and Ramesh Gaichor in the Elgar Parishad case. With their arrest, 14 persons – all academics, lawyers and activists – have been arrested in the 2018 Elgar Parishad case in total. Read more
When contesting repressive laws makes you a dangerous citizen: a profile of Rona Wilson
The Polis Project / by The Polis Project and maraa
Rona Wilson, a forty-seven-year-old activist from Kollam district in Kerala, has made Delhi his second home since the late 1990s. Having come to the capital during his post-graduation, Wilson almost immediately took to activism.
Rona Wilson is a member of the Committee for the Release of Political Prisoners (CRPP), which has campaigned against the UAPA and other repressive laws. Read more
Bombay HC Directs State & University To Pay Rs 5 Lakhs Each To Shoma Sen [Read Order]
The Bombay High Court last Friday directed Tukadoji Maharaj Nagpur University and the State Government to pay Rs.5 lakh each to former Head Of Post Graduate Department Of English at Nagpur University Professor (retired) Shoma Sen towards payment of gratuity, which was withheld after Sen’s arrest in the Bhima Koregaon violence case in June 2018, a month before her retirement. Read more
I wouldn’t have been who I am without Varavara Rao, and it is true for the generation I come from and the one that followed … Here, I will attempt to paint the 80 years of his life in seven angles – a rainbow of seven colours that characterise him – a creative writer, teacher, editor, organiser, activist, and lastly, a victim of the state, yet a humane individual. Read more
Ludwig Lewisohn’s 1927 Book Has Lessons for Indian Minorities Today: A Review From Jail
An exploration of Jewishness written long before the Holocaust shows how fraternity and solidarity are required to overcome majoritarianism and fascism.
A month ago, Sudha Bharadwaj wrote the following review by hand in Mumbai’s Byculla Jail. While her friends and family typed the text for possible publication, Bharadwaj was diagnosed with a heart disease. As she remains incarcerated in an overcrowded prison on the basis of contentious charges for her alleged involvement in the Elgar Parishad case, appeals for her bail are ongoing. Read more
Incarcerated, ‘erudite’ scholar Rona Wilson worked for release of political prisoners
Rona Wilson is a prison rights activist who has been in jail since April 2018 and denied bail several times. The Pune Police raided his home in Delhi on April 17, 2018, and arrested him subsequently for his alleged role in the Bhima Koregaon violence in January that year. A few months later, the agencies also accused him of being part of a larger naxal plot to assassinate Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a Rajeev Gandhi style and overthrow the current government. Read more