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Video: Sudha Bharadwaj on activism, her time in jail & why Chhattisgarh will always be home

Video: Sudha Bharadwaj on activism, her time in jail & why Chhattisgarh will always be home


en | 13:32min | 2022

Newslaundry / by Manisha Pande; NL Interview

The trade unionist and lawyer sits down with Manisha Pande in Mumbai.
Sudha Bharadwaj loves mathematics, wonders whether she gave her daughter the “right” kind of childhood, and became a lawyer when she was 40 years old.
“Had I not become a lawyer,” she says, “I don’t think I would have been very easily accepted as a leader.”
Sudha was released from Mumbai’s Byculla Jail in December last year after spending three years in prison. She was arrested in connection with the #BhimaKoregaon violence and was repeatedly denied bail until December 1. She was also dubber an ‘urban naxal’ by TV channels that made little attempt to understand her work. Sudha says she now wants to go to her real home, to Chhattisgarh, where she’s lived since the 1980s.
In this interview, she talks about her childhood in Bilaspur and her educational journey, culminating in IIT Kanpur. Her mother, a #JNU professor, helped shape the ideology of this self-proclaimed #Marxist – though she confesses her mother had many “apprehensions” – who began working with trade unions at the age of 25.
Working with people on the ground, Sudha is only too aware of how “alien” the judicial process is to the majority of India’s population. “The notification comes out in the gazette. You are somewhere, miles away in a village which is not even accessible, and nobody even tells you about it,” she says. She also thinks it’s important for young lawyers to cut their teeth by representing the most marginalised.
In Byculla jail, where she remembers she once saw #RheaChakraborty, Sudha continued her work, trying to secure legal aid for those imprisoned with her. She believes in the importance of a “united front” – the farm law protests are an example, with people holding differing ideologies coming together – and worries that the lack of this unity gives rise to dogma.
Watch 13 min video clip here

by newslaundry (Oct 21, 2022):
‘He was never an opportunist in his politics.’ @Sudhabharadwaj talks about labour law leader and founder of the #Chhattisgarh Mukti Morcha Shankar Guha Niyogi and the actual movement that led to his assassination.
Watch video clip (3:46min)

by newslaundry (Oct 20, 2022):
In conversation with @MnshaP @Sudhabharadwaj details the #Sarkeguda encounter case in #Chhattisgarh’s Bijapur district in which unarmed villagers including minors were killed, and the legal battle that ensued.
Watch video clip (4:30min)

by newslaundry (Oct 19, 2022):
‘So much money goes to defend the state.’ Speaking with @MnshaP, @Sudhabharadwaj
talks about legal aid in India and how there is no level playing field for citizens.
Watch video clip (2:34min)

Watch the full interview (for subscribers only) here

ED’s hidden agenda to implicate me in another false case to prevent release: Surendra Gadling

ED’s hidden agenda to implicate me in another false case to prevent release: Surendra Gadling

Surendra Gadling

ED’s hidden agenda to implicate me in another false case to prevent release: Surendra Gadling

11/08/2022

The Indian Express / by Sadaf Modak

In its plea, the ED has said that Surendra Gadling is an active member of the banned organisation and was involved in the raising and disbursement of funds for “violent activities”.
Nagpur-based lawyer Surendra Gadling, an accused in the Elgaar Parishad case who has been behind bars since 2018, claimed that the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has a “hidden agenda” to implicate him in another “false case” to make it difficult for him to secure a release.
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NIA to interrogate Surendra Gadling on allegations of money laundering

11/08/2022

The Leaflet / by Sarah Thanawala

The interrogation takes place despite the fact that Gadling has questioned the basis of ED’s investigation.
On August 10, the National Investigation Agency (‘NIA’) court, presided by Special Judge Rajesh Kataria, allowed the Enforcement Directorate (‘ED’) to record human rights lawyer and Dalit rights activist Surendra Gadling’s statement on his alleged connection with money laundering. According to the NIA court’s order, whether there are proceeds of crime or not falls under the purview of investigation and hence, interrogation by the ED needs to be permitted. Accordingly, Gadling will be interrogated from August 17 to August 19, in Taloja Central Jail.
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Special NIA Court Allows ED To Record Bhima Koregaon Accused Surendra Gadling’s Statement In PMLA Case

10/08/2022

Live Law / by Sharmeen Hakim & Amisha Shrivastava

The Special NIA Court has allowed the Enforcement Directorate to record accused-advocate Surendra Gadling’s statement in a money laundering case registered last year against certain accused in the Bhima Koregaon – Elgar Parishad Case.
Special Judge Rajesh Katariya passed the order on ED’s plea seeking to record Gadling’s statement under section 50(2) of the PMLA Act inside Taloja Prison. The agency has been allowed to record his statement on 17,18 and 19 August, 2022.
Read more


Also read:
● Now, ED Wants to Probe Elgar Parishad Case, Accuses Surendra Gadling of ‘Money Laundering’ (The Wire / July 2022)


By Adv Surendra Gadling Defence Committee:
With due credit to anonymous artist and to the jailed, to be jailed lawyers

And Ma died waiting for Surendra

And Ma died waiting for Surendra

Midday.com / by Ajaz Ashraf

One of Nagpur’s most successful lawyers, Gadling took it upon himself to fight for the rights of Adivasis who were picked up and thrown inside jail after being tagged Maoists. Now he, too, is lodged in jail, without an end of his trial in sight.
There are many ways you could begin the story of lawyer Surendra Gadling, incarcerated in Mumbai’s Taloja Jail under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act for his alleged role in the 2018 Bhima-Koregaon violence. You could, for instance, leap over the events of June 6, 2018, the day he was arrested, to begin the story from June 11. 
Read more


Also read:
And Ma died waiting for Surendra (Midday.com / June 2022)
And Ma can’t sing with Sagar (Midday.com / June 2022)
And he waits for Shoma Sen (Midday.com / May 2022)
And she waits for Gautam Navlakha (Midday.com / May 2022)

Legal Aid System In Prisons Ineffective; Many Languish In Jails Because Of This: Sudha Bharadwaj

Legal Aid System In Prisons Ineffective; Many Languish In Jails Because Of This: Sudha Bharadwaj

Live Law / by Mehal Jain

“I think that all of us must collectively fight for the stronger legal aid system. Without that, Article 21 and 39A do not exist for people in the jails”
Civil rights lawyer and activist Sudha Bharadwaj in a recent webinar spoke about the lack of effective legal aid system in prisons.
Ms.Bharadwaj, who spent as undertrial in the Bhima Koregaon case for over three years before she was granted bail by the Bombay High Court in December 2021, recounted her experiences in prison. She gave a direct account of the difficulties faced by several prisoners, especially those hailing from marginalised sections, in availing legal remedies. She also said that during her custody period she personally wrote hundreds of bail applications for fellow prisoners.
Read more


Video: The Conditions of Prisoners in Indian Jails

26/03/2022


en | 1:21:23 | 2022

By All India Lawyers’ Association for Justice – AILAJ

The huge number of undertrials, the overcrowding, and the disproportional numbers of Dalit, Muslim and Adivasi prisoners are part of the prison problem in India.
We are joined by Adv. Sudha Bharadwaj for a discussion on the Conditions of Prisoners in Indian Jails.
Watch video

Video: In Conversation with Sudha Bharadwaj – The Conditions of Prisoners in Indian Jails

Video: In Conversation with Sudha Bharadwaj – The Conditions of Prisoners in Indian Jails

By All India Lawyers’ Association for Justice – AILAJ

The huge number of undertrials, the overcrowding, and the disproportional numbers of Dalit, Muslim and Adivasi prisoners are part of the prison problem in India.
We are joined by Adv. Sudha Bharadwaj for a discussion on the Conditions of Prisoners in Indian Jails.

en | 1:21:23 | 2022
Watch video

Surendra Gadling permitted use of laptop in prison / Prosecution to hand over cloned copies

Surendra Gadling permitted use of laptop in prison / Prosecution to hand over cloned copies

Elgar Parishad case accused gets nod to use computer in jail

17/03/2022

Times of India / by TNN

The special NIA court on Wednesday allowed lawyer Surendra Gadling an accused in the Elgar Parishad case, to use a computer in jail for an hour, two days a week. Gadling had sought access to his laptop, submitting that he wanted to prepare his defence.
Meanwhile, the prosecution is to hand over the cloned copies of all the pieces of electronic evidence gathered in the case to the accused.
Read more


Surendra Gadling permitted use of laptop in prison

16/03/2022

Free Press Journal / by Staff Reporter

A special court under the National Investigation Agency (NIA) Act has permitted the use of a laptop in Taloja jail for Bhima Koregaon accused and lawyer Surendra Gadling.
Gadling had sought to be allowed the use of the device as he is appearing in person in the case.
Read more


Court allows Elgar case accused Gadling to use jail computer

16/03/2022

The Print / by pti

A special NIA court here on Wednesday allowed advocate Surendra Gadling, an accused in the Elgar Parishad-Maoist links case, to use computer available in the prison where he is lodged, for an hour two days a week…
Meanwhile, the court allowed a plea of another accused, lawyer-activist Sudha Bharadwaj who is currently on bail, to reside in Mumbai’s suburb of Oshiwara…
The court also granted a petition of Jyoti Jagtap, a co-accused, to receive a set of books.
Read more

My Spirit has not Been Broken: Activist Sudha Bharadwaj

My Spirit has not Been Broken: Activist Sudha Bharadwaj

NewsClick / by Ajaz Ashraf

When I turned 21, I was free to choose whether I wanted to be Indian or American. I chose to be Indian, basically, because I was already involved in social issues by then. At no point I wished I was in the United States.
This is the second part of the interview with Sudha Bharadwaj, who was arrested on 28 October 2018 for her alleged role in fomenting the 2018 Bhima Koregaon violence. In this interview, she speaks on her privileged class background, why she gave up her American citizenship, what made her shift to Chhattisgarh, where she worked among industrial workers to better their lives, about how she spent time in jail, and her anxiety of being separated from her daughter. Bharadwaj discusses how she hopes to adjust to a life of limited freedom.
Read more


Also Read
● Part 1: Patriotism of Social Activists is Increasingly being Punished: Activist Sudha Bharadwaj (Newsclick / Jan 2022)

Patriotism of Social Activists is Increasingly being Punished: Activist Sudha Bharadwaj

Patriotism of Social Activists is Increasingly being Punished: Activist Sudha Bharadwaj

Newsclick / by Ajaz Ashraf

India is far from realising the promises of justice and equality made in the Constitution, says the well-known activist, citing her experiences in prison as an under-trial and as a lawyer representing workers.
After spending nearly three years in jail, Bharadwaj was released on bail last month. Her bail conditions proscribe her from speaking on the Bhima Koregaon case and leaving Mumbai, although she has now been allowed to live in Thane. NewsClick did not ask her any question on the case, and she politely refused to answer any question she thought was even remotely connected to it. In the first part of this interview, Bharadwaj speaks on the meaning that Republic Day, the Constitution, and the law have for jail inmates, based on her conversations with them.
Read more


Also read
● Part 2: My Spirit has not Been Broken: Activist Sudha Bharadwaj (NewsClick / Jan 2022)

Sudha Bharadwaj: I hope I can begin practising in Mumbai / Prisoners are cut off from legal remedies

Sudha Bharadwaj: I hope I can begin practising in Mumbai / Prisoners are cut off from legal remedies

Sudha Bharadwaj interview: ‘I hope I can begin practising in Mumbai’

21/02/2022

The Indian Express / by Sadaf Modak

Among the conditions set for Bharadwaj’s bail was that the 60-year-old would not make any statement on the proceedings of the case. Recently, she got permission to leave Mumbai limits for Thane. Excerpts from an interview:
Can you tell us about finding yourself in jail, first in the Yerwada Central Prison in Pune and then the Byculla Women’s Prison?
The first experience is quite frightening. It is an immediate loss of dignity, privacy and identity.
Read more


Sudha Bharadwaj: ‘When inside, you see how cut off a prisoner is from legal remedies’

21/02/2022

The Indian Express / by Sadaf Modak

Bharadwaj said one reason was that the remuneration given to lawyers on the legal aid panel was not sufficient.
Calling the experience of being in jail an eyeopener, trade unionist and human rights lawyer Sudha Bharadwaj has said she hopes to work to improve legal aid for prisoners.
In an interview to The Indian Express, Bharadwaj, who was released on December 9 on bail, said she was considering filing a PIL on the matter.
Read more


‘I Am Ready To Put On My Black Coat’: Lawyer Sudha Bharadwaj, Out On Bail After 3 Years In Jail (article 14 │ Jan 2022)
Sudha Bharadwaj speaks – A Life in Law and Activism. (PUCL │ Jan 2021 │ 316 pages)

The Prison Song of Surendra Gadling

The Prison Song of Surendra Gadling

The Wire / by Sukanya Shantha

While out on temporary bail in August, the rights activist sang a song written by Kabir Kala Manch’s Ramesh Gaichor for his friends and colleagues about the sordid conditions in prison.
Mumbai: Surendra Gadling, a human rights lawyer from Nagpur, has always considered courtrooms his stage. Between serious arguments, he would casually break into songs of cultural and political resistance. He would be commonly found invoking political theories and remembering shahirs from the Dalit community amid serious legal arguments. His court appearances usually attracted an eager audience from among his peers and junior lawyers.
Read more

Video: The Prison Song of Surendra Gadling

hindi | 11min | 2021

51- year-old Gadling, a well-known criminal lawyer in Nagpur, was once a cultural activist, who sang songs of political resistance. The 11- minutes- long rendition tells you what it means to be incarcerated in Indian prisons. From food, water, to medical care, everything is a struggle, Gadling narrates. The song was recorded by one of Gadling’s colleagues and was made available to The Wire after obtaining his consent.
Watch video


Also read: India’s Jail Stats: 7 In 10 Undertrials, 1 In 3 Dalit/Adivasi (IndiaSpend / Oct 2021)