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.
Video – Book Release: Why is the state afraid of Sudha Bharadwaj?
en + hindi | 2h 53min | 2021
By People’s Union for Civil Liberties and more than 100 other organizations
Topic: Why is the state afraid of Sudha Bharadwaj?
Sudha Bharadwaj, a renowned human rights lawyer, trade unionist, is one of 16 activists incarcerated in the infamous Bhima Koregaon case for more than 2 years. A long interview conducted with Sudha over several days before she was arrested is now being published as an online book “Sudha Bharadwaj Speaks – A Life in Law and Activism”, and will be released at this webinar by the well-known writer, Nayantara Sahgal. Sudha’s daughter, Maaysha, her lawyer Yug Chaudhary, social activist Harsh Mandar, historian Uma Chakravarti amongst other coworkers & colleagues, will also share their experiences and memories of working with her. Watch video @ PUCL Facebook (videos)
Programme – click to enlarge
A Peek into the Life and Journey of Sudha Bharadwaj / Why She Joined the Trade Union Movement and Became a Lawyer
A Peek into the Life and Journey of Sudha Bharadwaj
The Leaflet / by People’s Union for Civil Liberties
Through a series of interviews with Sudha Bharadwaj, PUCL shows the grim reality of the people fighting in tribal areas for the land they own. The book titled ‘A LIFE IN LAW AND ACTIVISM: SUDHA BHARADWAJ SPEAKS’ shows her journey into fighting for the rights of people, her cases and the story of the people affected by these laws…
The following are edited excerpts from the book. Read more
Sudha Bharadwaj on Why She Joined the Trade Union Movement and Became a Lawyer
The Wire / by Santanu Chakraborty and Darshana Mitra
“We have to bring the Constitution to life. That’s where the lawyers and peoples’ organisations have to work together.”
The following is an excerpt from Sudha Bharadwaj Speaks: A Life in Law and Activism published by the People’s Union for Civil Liberties. Bharadwaj, a lawyer, trade unionist and rights activist, was arrested in 2018 in the Elgar Parishad case. The book is based on a long interview of Bharadwaj conducted before her arrest by two young lawyers, Santanu Chakraborty and Darshana Mitra. Read more
PDF copy: Sudha Bharadwaj speaks – A Life in Law and Activism
By People’s Union for Civil Liberties and more than 100 other organizations
The Polis Project / by The Polis Project and maraa
… Hany Babu Musaliyarveettil Tharayil, 54, is an associate professor of Linguistics in Delhi University (DU). He is also a linguist, an anti-caste scholar, and a social activist. His work as an activist has been largely related to the pro-reservation movement in Indian universities. He is the coordinator of the Alliance of Social Justice, a member of the Joint Action Front for Democratic Education and, until his arrest, he was leading the Defense Committee for GN Saibaba, a professor convicted for alleged links with the Maoist movement. Read more
Video: Stand with Father Stan Swamy – A live chat hosted by Teesta Setalvad
CJP secretary Teesta setalvad in conversation with, Human right activist and Jesuit priest, Father Cedric Prakash and, former principal of St Xavier’s College, Father Frazer Mascarenhas to discuss the arrest of octogenarian human rights defender Fr Stan Swamy. Watch video
Born in America, Sudha Bhardwaj is a human rights lawyer practising in the Chhattisgarh High Court. She renounced her American citizenship at the age of 18, in order to join the Indian civil liberties movement. Bhardwaj has lived in Chhattisgarh, a state with a large tribal population, for more than 29 years of her life. She has been helping tribals against the illegal acquisition of their land by the government and private companies. Read more
India Is Targeting Defenders of Indigenous Rights as “Terrorists”
Adivasis and their allies are being persecuted for protesting development that destroys the environment.
On October 8, 2020, Indian authorities arrested Stan Swamy, an 83-year-old Jesuit priest affected by Parkinson’s disease, from his home in the state of Jharkhand. Swamy is being held under an antiterrorism law, the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), that a group of United Nations’ Special Rapporteurs has condemned for enabling the Indian state to designate dissidents as terrorists and detain them for months without access to courts. Read more
Sudhir Dhawale – Dalit leader remains in jail as government, court ‘wilfully’ disrespect previous judgments
Counterview / by Surabhi Agarwal, Sandeep Pandey, Kushagra Kumar
Writer, poet, artist, perennial protestor and Dalit leader Sudhir Dhawale, arrested and jailed in mid-2018, remains incarcerated under charges of the controversial Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and assorted Indian Penal Codes. He has been accused of instigating violence at Bhima Koregaon event on January 1, 2018. Read more
Gadling in jail. Reason? As lawyer-activist he has been ‘unpleasant’ to India’s topcops
Counterview / by Nilkantha Mandal, Sandeep Pandey, Kushagra Kumar
Surendra Gadling, now in jail in the Bhima-Koregoan violence case, is a human rights lawyer and Dalit rights activist based in Nagpur. He is known for taking up cases of extra-judicial killings, police excesses and atrocities against Dalits and Adivasis in Gadchiroli and Gondia districts of Maharashtra. Read more
The cost of voicing dissent: UAPA against G.N. Saibaba, Gautam Navlakha, Father Stan Swamy and others
Countercurrents / by Kunal Pant
In 2016, a Supreme Court Judge asked the state of Maharashtra, “Do you want to extract a pound of flesh?” The statement was directed against the state for contesting the bail plea of Delhi University Professor G. N. Saibaba. Saibaba was arrested in 2014, a justification for which was to prevent him from committing what the police called “anti-national activities.” Read more
A top peace activist, Modi govt ‘equated’ Navlakha with a terrorist
Counterview / by Priyanka Preet, Sandeep Pandey, Kushagra Kumar
Gautam Navlakha is a famed author, civil rights activists, human rights activist, journalist, an Editorial Consultant at the “Economic and Political Weekly”, probably the most internationally well known social sciences journal published out of India, the convenor of the International People’s Tribunal on Human Rights and Justice in Kashmir and the Secretary of the People’s Union for Democratic Rights. Read more
How Does an 83-Year-Old Jesuit End Up in Prison? / Video: In Conversation with Fr Stan Swamy
It is now a global festival that has transcended the perimeters of religion and symbolises different sentiments – love, friendship, hope, benevolence, forgiveness and amity.
This Christmas, I remember my fellow Jesuit, Fr. Stan Swamy. December 25 is his 79th day in jail. I wonder how he is celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ at Taloja.
As a true Jesuit, I am confident that he is reaching out to the fellow prisoners and sharing with them the joy of the newborn divine Baby Jesus, and if the jail authorities do not ask him to appeal to the court for permission, he would distribute some sweets and wish them all a Feliz Navidad. Read more
How Does an 83-Year-Old Jesuit End Up in Prison?
The New York Times / by Nikhil Kumar
Father Stan Swamy spent decades fighting for the rights of India’s marginalized people. In October, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government imprisoned him under antiterrorism laws…
Before he was arrested in October under India’s antiterrorism laws, Father Swamy spent decades championing the welfare of the Indigenous tribespeople who account for around a quarter of the population in Jharkhand, one the country’s most resource-rich yet impoverished states. Read more
In Conversation with Father Stan Swamy
Countercurrents / by Vidhya Bhusan Rawat
None would ever have imagined that an octogenarian Stan Swamy would face such a harsh treatment for his committed work for the Adivasis of Jharkhand. When the governments of the world over honor activists who work in tiring circumstances and devote their time to areas far away from their places than we must realise that it is not for money or fame but for pure committment and convictions. Father Stan Swamy was born in Trichy and as a Tamilian Christian he had enormous opportunities for him but he dedicated over thirty years of his life to the service of Adivasis in Jharkhand. Read more
Video: In Conversation with Father Stan Swamy
en | 34 min | 2017
This conversation was recorded about three years back at the Ranchi office of Father Stan Swamy when I visited Jharkhand. Hailing from Trichy district in Tamilnadu, Father worked tirelessly for the Adivasis in different parts of the country. He was also associated with Indian Social Institute, Banglore but his love was Jharkhand where he dedicated his entire life since 1990s. Watch video