Life of Prisoners put at risk during pandemic !
VARAVARA RAO tests positive for Covid 19!
Demand Immediate Release of All Political Prisoners!
STOP IMPRISONING DURING PANDEMIC!
People’s Poet Varavara Rao has been shifted to the Saint George Hospital today after he tested positive for Coronavirus. The 80 year old poet has been jailed along with 10 others activists in a false case post the attacks at Bhima Koregaon in 2018. …
Mumbai Rises to Save Democracy (MRSD) is deeply disappointed with the Supreme Court’s rejection of the plea by Anand Teltumbde and Gautam Navlakha seeking anticipatory bail in the cases registered against them in relation to the violence at Bhima Koregaon on January 1, 2018. Read more
Statement by MRSD on Supreme Court’s rejection of pre-arrest of Anand and Gautam
Statement by Mumbai Rises To Save Democracy on Supreme Court’s rejection of pre-arrest bail plea of Anand Teltumbde and Gautam Navlakha:
Mumbai Rises to Save Democracy (MRSD) is deeply disappointed with the Supreme Court’s rejection of the plea by Anand Teltumbde and Gautam Navlakha seeking anticipatory bail in the cases registered against them in relation to the violence at Bhima Koregaon on 1st January 2018. Their arrest is imminent in next three weeks. Nine other activists and intellectuals who have been accused in this case and charged with sections of the draconian Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) have been imprisoned since 2018. …
“When the victory drum started beating In the heart of the masses You mistook it for a person and trained your guns Revolution echoed from all horizons.”
Being thrown into jail is nothing new to the famous Telugu poet Varavara Rao. He has faced at least 25 cases in the last 45 years. His story can be understood through the history of these arrests and the power of his writings, his poetry, his teaching career and his political understandings and analysis of power and oppression, and the path to liberation.
Varavara Rao, or VV was born into a middle class family in Chinna Pendyala, Warangal District, Andhra Pradesh in 1940. He started publishing his poetry at age 17, in 1957, but got interested in revolutionary theory while working as a lecturer at Mahabubnagar. It was during this time that he founded a literature and poetry group called Sahithee Mithrulu and a non-political journal named Srujana to eventually join the Tirugubadu Kavulu (Rebel Poets), who were sympathetic to the armed struggle going on in Srikakulam.
During this time, VV founded the Virasam or Viplava Rachayitala Sangham (Revolutionary Writers’ Association), an association banned by the Andhra Pradesh government in August 2005. The ban was later struck down by the AP High Court in November 2005.
VV, now 74, has published 15 poetry collections of his own, besides having edited a number of anthologies. His poetry has been translated into almost all Indian languages and have appeared in Malayalam, Kannada, Hindi and Bengali. His thesis on ‘Telangana Liberation Struggle and Telugu Novel – A Study into Interconnection between Society and Literature’ published in 1983 is considered to be one of the finest works of Marxist critical studies done in Telugu. While in prison he translated Kenyan writer, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o’s prison diary ‘Detained’ and his novel ‘Devil on the Cross’ into Telugu. He also wrote his own prison diary Sahacharulu (1990), which was translated into English as Captive Imagination.
VV was first arrested under the infamous Maintenance of Internal Security Act (MISA) in Andhra Pradesh, in 1973. He was then arrested during Emergency and was re-arrested at the entrance of the jail and kept imprisoned for an additional week when the Emergency was lifted. He survived many attempts on his life post-Emergency.
He was among the 46 accused of conspiring to overthrow the Andhra Pradesh government in the Secunderabad conspiracy case, and was sent to jail once again in 1985. He was also an accused in the Ramnagar conspiracy case where he was accused to have attended a meeting where the plan to kill two Andhra Pradesh Police constables was hatched. He was finally acquitted of the charges after 17 years, in 2003.
He remains a staunch opposer of neo-liberal globalisation and specifically the globalisation policies adopted by Chandrababu Naidu’s government in the ’90s. He went as an emissary for the People’s War Group in the peace negotiations between the Andhra Pradesh government and Naxalites. After multiple rounds of the talks failed, Virasam was banned only to be reinstated later. Following the banning, Rao was arrested once again in 2005 and was released in 2006. He has been arrested four-times since the formation of the new Telangana state in 2014.
VV has faced at least nine cases under the Arms Act of 1959 and the Explosive Substances Act, 1908 over the last four decades. In perhaps the most ridiculous case, he was charged with distributing bombs to ensure the success of a strike against the custodial death of a Radical Students Union activist in 1985. In response, Varavara Rao wrote a memorable poem, titled :
Reflection I did not supply the explosives Nor ideas for that matter It was you who trod with iron heels Upon the anthill And from the trampled earth Sprouted the ideas of vengeance It was you who struck the beehive With your lathi The sound of the scattering bees Exploded in your shaken facade Blotched red with fear When the victory drum started beating In the heart of the masses You mistook it for a person and trained your guns Revolution echoed from all horizons …
Varavara Rao (VV) was born in Warangal in 1940. He finished his MA in Telugu literature from Osmania University. He worked as a lecturer in several colleges and transformation towards revolutionary ideas started in Varavara Rao’s mind during his tenure in Mahabubnagar district. …
Activists from various fields talk about what it means to protest, and why it’s necessary now
“Aaj na udyala maraycha, tar kashala mag saraycha (We are going to die today or tomorrow, so why should we step back?). Adivasi activist Prakash Bhoir sang the verse at a public meeting on Friday, organised by Mumbai Rises To Save Democracy, a coalition of over 40 organisations engaged in issues pertaining to human rights and civil liberties. Read more
Organisations demand release of 9 activists in Koregaon Bhima violence case
Noted journalist Nikhil Wagle, who was present at the press conference, said, “These cases were foisted by the previous Devendra Fadnavis government.
Several organisations under the banner ‘Mumbai Rises to Save Democracy’ on Monday demanded that the Maharashtra government drop charges against nine activists arrested in the Koragoan Bhima caste violence case. Read more
DEMAND TO RELEASE ARRESTED ACTIVISTS
10 / 12 / 2019
The Hindu / by Ajeet Mahale
Principles of bail apply to UAPA cases too, says lawyer; the law has no place in a democratic country, says journalist.
Activists, lawyers and literary figures on Monday demanded the release of the nine human rights activists arrested in the Bhima Koregaon conspiracy case, calling the charges and case false and an act of political vendetta. Read more
Mumbai demands immediately release all 9 arrested activists in Bhima Koregaon case
It has been nearly a year and half since 9 human rights defenders were arrested on the pretext of the violence that ensued on January 1, 2018, when Hindutva mobs attacked Dalit Bahujans marching to Bhima Koregaon to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the battle that led to the defeat of Peshwa rule. In the aftermath of that incident, the homes of the defenders were raided, and false cases foisted on them. Read more
Press Conference: Release Activists – Drop Charges
More than a year since 9 HRDs were arrested on the pretext of Bhima Koregaon violence. On January 1, 2018 Hindutva mobs attacked Dalit Bahujans in Bhima Koregaon. In the aftermath of the violence their homes were raided, false cases foisted on them. We demand from the newly formed Maharashtra govt. for the swift release of 9 HRDs, all false cases on Dalit youths to be quashed and actions on Hindutva leaders to be expedited. We also demand that the pretext of Bhima Koregaon not be used to further target activists and human rights defenders.
Immediately lift the lockdown in Jammu and Kashmir, Hear the voice of Kashmiris