All the people who are the focus of this blog have been accused of being associated with what has come to be known as the “Bhima-Koregaon” or “Elgar Parishad” case.
To mark the bi-centenary of the battle of Bhima Koregaon in 2018, more than 200 Dalit, Bahujan, Ambedkarite and other organisations came together. The coalition organised the hugely successful and massively attended event, ‘Elgar Parishad’ (loud declaration committee), on December 31, 2017 in Shaniwarwada in Pune, once the seat of Peshwai power. This event, as per the organisers, was organised to expose the Navi Peshwai — an era of increasing repression on movements, alienation of minorities, increasing caste atrocities, anti-poor development policies and more.
Charges against the Activists
● That they had made inflammatory speeches at the Elgar Parishad.
● That they are acting on behalf of, or are members of the outlawed Communist Party of India (Maoists).
● That they were plotting to assassinate the Prime Minister.
Lack of Evidence
As it turns out, most of those arrested were not even at the Elgar Parishad event, the charges about the links to Maoists entirely shown to be based on fabricated evidence and so far the charges about the assassination plot had not even a single piece of evidence produced.
As per the Prison Statistics of India, 2021, while nearly 40 per cent of the prison population has studied below Class 10, 24 per cent have passed Class 10 but are below graduation.
Among thousands of aspirants who appeared for the Common Entrance Test (CET) for law held in Maharashtra on Wednesday was 35-year-old Sagar Gorkhe, who is in judicial custody in Taloja Central Jail in connection with the Elgaar Parishad case. Read more
“The applicant shall be given a waiver for the escort charges. The applicant shall not misuse the permission granted to the applicant vide this order,” the court noted.
A special court in Mumbai on Friday allowed Elgaar Parishad case accused Sagar Gorkhe to attend a Law entrance exam. Read more
Sagar Gorkhe seeks permission to appear for law entrance test
The accused is accused by the prosecution to be a member of Kabir Kala Manch, which it claims is a frontal organisation of the banned terror outfit Communist Party of India (Maoist).
Cultural activist Sagar Gorkhe has moved a special court conducting the Bhima-Koregaon case in which he is an accused, the permission to appear for the common entrance test for a three-year law course. Read more
● Video Statement by Sagar Gorkhe and Ramesh Gaichor (Sep 5, 2020)
hindi/ english subtitles | 2:20min | 2020
Kabir Kala Manch activists Sagar Gorkhe & Ramesh Gaichor have alleged that they’re being forced by the NIA to give confessional statements, claiming they are a part of Maoist organization. The two refused, and were arrested in The Bhima Koregaon case.
Their statement was recorded on Sep 5, 2020.
This is a podcast in which we discuss the ideas, thoughts, and works of thinkers, activists, artist and scholars from India who have ended up behind bars for their work, or whose work has been censored or silenced. This podcast is produced by InSAF India in collaboration with nether quarterly.
Works by Shoma Sen discussed*:
“The Village and the City: Dalit Feminism in the Autobiographies of Baby Kamble and Urmila Pawar.” The Journal of Commonwealth Literature, vol. 54, no. 1, 2019, pp. 38–51., doi:10.1177/0021989417720251. “Class Struggle and Patriarchy: Women in the Maoist Movement.” Economic and Political Weekly, vol. 52, no. 21, 2017, pp. 56–56.
* Direct quotations have been shortened for clarity.
Authorities everywhere – from classrooms to corporate boardrooms to national capitals – love silent spectators. Silent spectators look after their own interests, and if they see something that is wrong, they may sympathise but turn their eyes away. They are susceptible to the usual blandishments – an out-of-turn promotion, a plum posting etc. If nothing works, they are easy to intimidate. Outliers, on the other hand, are different. They come with a spine of steel. Authority finds them hard to understand, let along manage. Read more
I am not a Silent Spectator – Why Truth has become so bitter, Dissent so intolarable, Justice so out of reach
An Autobiographical Fragment, Memory and Reflection
Indian Social Institute, Bangalore | by Stan Swamy | August 2021
Edition: Aug 2021
Publisher: Indian Social Institute, Bangalore
Paperback: 149 pages Access a free PDF copy of the book here
Hany Babu has been granted honorary doctorate degree by Ghent University
Noted academic Dr Hany Babu, a UAPA prisoner in the Bhima Koregaon case, has been granted honorary doctorate degree by Ghent University in Belgium. Dr Anne Breitbarth, Ghent University in this video read a poem on Babu by Shivangi Mariam Raj. It was published in Maktoob. Watch video
Instead of addressing the pathetic condition of Dalits, many Ambedkarites are busy promoting a devotional cult of Babasaheb, hollowing out his radical content and helping the ruling classes exploit his legacy.
In view of the controversy my article in The Wire of January 2, 2018 created – which I did not have an occasion to respond to with an explanation due to my entrapment in the case that paradoxically pivoted on the allegation that I was the main organiser of the Elgar Parishad – this note is intended to explain the factual background and motive for my writing the article. Read more
Professor MT Hany Babu, Koregaon-Bhima accused, to get doctorate from Belgium varsity
Times of India / by TNN
Professor MT Hany Babu, arrested for his alleged role in Koregaon Bhima — Elgar parishad case, is set to receive an honorary doctorate from the faculty of arts and philosophy of Ghent University, Belgium.
Babu, a former Delhi University (DU) associate professor, is in jail since July 2020, with the high court rejecting his bail plea after it was opposed by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), which claims he is a member of the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist).
The degree and the epitoga for Babu would be handed over to Babu’s promoter Annie Breitbarth, associate professor of inguistic in the German section, on the occasion of the university’s ‘Dies Natalis’ or Anniversary Day on Friday. Read more
Linguistics honour for jailed professor
The Telegraph / by Pheroze L. Vincent
The honour is scheduled to be given on Friday and will be received on Babu’s behalf by Professor Anne Breitbarth of Ghent University’s faculty of arts and philosophy who had recommended his name
Jailed Delhi University associate professor Hany Babu M.T. has been awarded an honorary doctorate by Belgium’s Ghent University. Babu is in a Navi Mumbai jail, awaiting trial in the Elgaar Parishad case.
… Babu was active in the defence committee for G.N. Saibaba, a disabled Delhi University professor serving a life sentence in Nagpur since 2014 for alleged Maoist links. He had earlier been known for his activism for the implementation of OBC reservation in higher education. Read more
Jailed professor Hany Babu gets Honorary Degree by Ghent University in Belgium
Maktoobmedia / by Maktoob Staff
Delhi University professor and noted academic Dr Hany Babu, who is one of the UAPA prisoners in the Bhima Koregaon-Elgar Parishad case has been granted an honorary doctorate degree by Ghent University in Belgium.
The faculty of Arts and Philosophy of Ghent University, which nominated Dr Hany Babu’s name to the executive committee, justified its nomination by pointing at his efforts to safeguard the importance of academic freedom and his commitment to language rights and equal access to education for minorities, said Jenny Rowena, wife of Babu. Read more
Anne Breitbarth, Words of Solidarity for Hany Babu, July 2021
Jenny Rowena, the wife of jailed Delhi University professor Hany Babu, laments the situation of prisons in India and accuses that, as a society, we failed to have a social ethos that never undermines prisoners’ rights.
While talking to Maktoob‘s Shaheen Abdulla, she emphasized that medical negligence in prisons has led to serious conditions for Babu, who is booked under UAPA in the Elgar Parishad Bhima Koregaon case. Watch video