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Happy Birthday Sudha Bharadwaj – Various Solidarity Statements

Happy Birthday Sudha Bharadwaj – Various Solidarity Statements

Happy Birthday greetings from Chhattisgarh

By Ajay T.G.

Video: Happy Birthday Sudha didi

en / hindi | 2:09 min | 2020


Watch video

By Pragatisheel Cement Shramik Sangh (PCSS)

Video: Happy Birthday Sudhaji, from Pragatisheel Cement Shramik Sangh

hindi | 1:30min | 2020


Some of the tweets of today

Radhika: #SudhaBharadwaj is a ray of hope and light for thousands of workers and adivasis, who face oppression day in and out. She is an inspiration to all young people who want to work for justice and take forward Babasaheb’s ideas. Happy birthday Sister Sudha. #FreeSudhaNow #FreeBK16

***

Meera Sanghamitra: As I wish our dear Sudha a very happy birthday, I also imagine what a loss it is that a gem of a person has been deprived of working with all women, workers & adivasis closest to her heart for almost #800days now!
The World Salutes you Comrade.
#FreeSudhaBharadwaj #FreeBK16

***

Medha Patkar: sudha bhardwaj is behind the bars on her birthday for the 3rd time….her advocacy and commitment to the causes of the poor and courage to face the fascist forces … only to save the country…is a celebration of dedication…with heartfelt wishes Sudhaji.

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Suchitra Vijayan: “We need groups organized to fight; they’re the ones who can make a dent.” It’s Sudha Bharadwaj’s birthday today; she’s has spent over two years in prison with no evidence. Read about her remarkable life and work. #FreeSudhaBharadwaj #FreeBK16

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Chitrangada: “Contract workers like us could not dream of going up against such big companies in court if not for her standing by us.” “If not for her, hum aadivasiyon ko company paani mein bahaa deta.” On #SudhaBharadwaj ‘s birthday, a reminder of what her clients say

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Joy: Sudha Bharadwaj. Born in US, Schooling in Cambridge. Gave up US Citizenship. IIT Kanpur Alumnus. Left top Job. Studied Law and practiced in High Court to protect rights of Poor. Now she is in Jail for over 2 Years as she crossed path of Government from exploiting the Poor.

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Pranesh Prakash: Sudha Bharadwaj is one of the many courageous prisoners of conscience that the Indian state has jailed while under trial over trumped up charges. At the same time @amnesty, which was originally set up to campaign for prisoners of conscience has effectively been banned in India.

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Neha Swetambari: It will be a movie script. IITian… left US passport. professor of law …was offered judge post in HC.single mom. yet worked tirelessly for underprivileged. As of now, she needs to be out though #SudhaBharadwaj especially if no evidence is presented till date.

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Srinivas Kodali: Is 800 days good enough time to be imprisoned without trail with no evidence for an imaginary conspiracy plot in a democracy? #FreeSudhaBharadwaj

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Jhuma: This is how the state rewards lawyers who care. #SudhaBharadwaj in prison for 2 years now without a trial.

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iStandWithFarmers: @PMOIndia if you are back from the photoshoot at the zoo, pl know that it has been more than 800 days since #SudhaBharadwaj had been jailed with no trial. All she was doing was strengthening the democracy at the grassroots, the same democracy which you were elected to represent

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Gautam Bhatia: On Sudha Ji’s third birthday in jail, re-reading this piece about her: “The Sudha Bharadwaj the government doesn’t want you to know.”

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Sabrang: On occasion of activist Sudha Bharadwaj’s birthday, watch our video where activist Teesta Setalvad talks about her work, the undemocratic nature of her arrest and the conditions of women activists nationwide and globally. #HappyBirthdaySudha

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The Wire: “Since they cannot fight her in court, they are calling her a Maoist. “They don’t have evidence, so they are converting the process itself into punishment,” wrote Smita Gupta, 2 years after Sudha Bharadwaj was arrested in Bhima Koregaon case.

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Indias Tribals~Adivasi: Sudha Bharadwaj gave up her US citizenship to work for #tribal rights in Chhattisgarh. On occasion of Sudha Bharadwaj’s birthday today, take a look at her article on the #Adivasi people that she wrote back in 2015.

dialecticsoupy: release sudha bharadwaj. release all political prisoners.
artwork by sarah_modak


BEING SUDHA BHARADWAJ

By Release the Poet

Her 59th birthday.
And 3rd birthday in Jail!
What did she do to deserve this?

Sudha Bharadwaj threw off a cushy comfortable life that she could pursue easily being born and grown up to illustrious parents. At the age of 18 she denounced her US citizenship. Being an IIT graduate, she still could have chosen a less risky and easier life. But she opted for walking with the people, stand by the people in their rightful fight.
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Industriall Global Union: Calling for the release of sister Sudha Bharadwaj

Industriall Global Union: Calling for the release of sister Sudha Bharadwaj

By IndustriALL

Calling for the release of sister Sudha Bharadwaj, leader of Industriall Global Union affiliate Pragatisheel Cement Shramik Sangh Union

Geneva, 28 August 2020

Honourable President,
I am writing to you on behalf of IndustriALL Global Union,, which represents more than 50 million workers in the mining, energy and manufacturing sectors in 140 countries, including in India to call upon you to release our colleague and union activist, leader of Pragatisheel Cement Shramik Sangh union affiliated to IndustriALL Global Union, who is kept in prison based on arbitrary and unclear accusations for already two years in India.

Full statement – click to enlarge
Sudha Bharadwaj urges court to stop harassment of her visitors

Sudha Bharadwaj urges court to stop harassment of her visitors


pic: Sudha Bharadwaj addressing a program in Chhattisgarh (CMM archive)

Hindustan Times / by Shalaka Shinde

Pune: A lawyer and civil rights activist, Sudha Bhardwaj was arrested from her house in Faridabad in August 2018 on charges of being an ‘urban Maoist’.
Sudha Bhardwaj, 58, one of the nine people arrested in the Elgar Parishad case, appealed to a court here on Monday to direct the police to stop “harassing” her visitors.
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Who is Vernon Gonsalves?

Who is Vernon Gonsalves?

By Mumbai Rises to Save Democracy

Characterised by a loose cotton half sleeve shirt, loose trousers, spectacles, a jhola and a hearty laughter, Vernon Gonsalves comes across as an effervescent wise man. Gonsalves gets along well with everyone from the age of six to sixty. His demeanour reflects an inner happiness. He started a band in college, but gave it up to be a part of people’s movements. His songs still hold the flavour of 70s rock.
Vernon’s pen is as sharp as his vision for an equitable, just society without distinctions of class, caste, race, with principles of gender equality and justice at its core. He is an acute political observer and makes nuanced arguments about complex sociopolitical-economic issues. Vernon has shown a keenness to understand the latest undercurrents in progressive politics.
He was born to a Mangalorean Catholic couple and grew up in a chawl in a modest locality in Byculla in Mumbai. Vernon was always good with academics and won a gold medal in Commerce from Mumbai University. Subsequently, he left his corporate job in Siemens to work with trade unions, workers, slum dwellers and the working class in Mumbai. During this period, he taught in prominent colleges in Mumbai including Ruparel College, HR College of Commerce and Economics, and Akbar Peerbhoy College of Commerce and Economics. Very few know that, in college he wanted to be a musician. Rumours say that he had also started a band but could not find meaning in it.
Around 1983, he moved to Chandrapur near Nagpur to work with unorganised sector workers including the coal-mine workers in the area. In 1984, he married fellow activist Susan Abraham. It was a union of two unique and fiercely independent minds. They worked in Chandrapur for a decade. After their son Sagar was born in 1994, they returned to Mumbai.
On 19 August 2007, the Maharashtra ATS arrested Vernon from his residence in Andheri, Mumbai. His arrest was falsely shown as from the residence of his co-accused S. Shridhar in Govandi. They were charged with being “top-level” Naxalites having explosives in their possession. For some months prior to this, Vernon had been working for the rights of tribal communities in the Maharashtra district of Chandrapur. 20 cases were filed against him. He spent nearly six years in jail while his trial dragged on as an undertrial. He was acquitted in 18 cases, convicted in one against which his appeal is pending in the Nagpur HC while the application for discharge in the last case in Gujarat is pending before the High Court.
During his years as an undertrial in jail, Vernon spent most of his time writing. He is now working on a collection of prison writings. He edited a set of short stories written while imprisoned, one of which, “Jailbird Jabbar” was written in a typical staccato Bambaiya patois style. He also translated stories by Annabhau Sathe from Marathi to English for Aleph Publication’s “A Clutch of Short Stories.” After his release he wrote articles on prevailing law, rights of Dalit and tribal communities, the condition of prisons in India, land grabbing by the nexus of Corporates and the Government, misuse of the criminal justice system by the governments against marginalised communities, and scrapping of UAPA. One of his last published articles titled “Harsher Punishments and Retributive Criminal Justice” is a landmark commentary on the trends of crime control vis-a-vis justice system in the country.
Vernon’s son Sagar sums what everyone close to him feels about him:
“Among the many things that I admire greatly about my father is his commitment to his beliefs and ideals.To stand up for what is right and help those whose rights are denied – he has always done that and will continue to do so. This did not deter him the last time and will not do it now as well. He has an unbreakable spirit and will always stay true to what he believes in.”

 

WHO IS VERNON GONSALVES?

By India Civil Watch

Vernon Gonsalves is trade unionist, activist, an academic (former professor of business management in a college in Mumbai) and a writer, who writes extensively on Dalit and adivasi rights, the conditions of prisons in India and the routine violation of rights of prisoners. Along with Arun Ferriera, he has authored a number of popular articles on the condition of Indian jails, the abuse of authority by Indian police, and draconian laws such as the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), a piece of ‘anti-terror’ legislation with a wide ambit and vague concepts, which allows its misuse against academics, lawyers and human rights defenders. Equally importantly, their writings expose the hypocrisy of democracy in India.

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Still in Jail, Inspite of Bail: The Case of Reliance Workers

Still in Jail, Inspite of Bail: The Case of Reliance Workers

Thozhilalar Koodam / By Thozhilalar Koodam

In January 2018, 5 electricity workers from Bombay were arrested on fabricated charges under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). After the police failed two deadlines for filing a chargesheet against them, and the prosecution did not even notify them of the extensions to their imprisonment, the High Court of Maharashtra ordered the sessions court to grant them bail on procedural reasons. This order was served in December 2018, 11 months after their arrests. But the sessions court has imposed conditions on bail that the workers have been unable to meet, thus leaving them in Jail for over two months since the bail was granted.
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Joint Trade Union Call: Drop the false charges against Prof. Anand Teltumbde Immediately

Joint Trade Union Call: Drop the false charges against Prof. Anand Teltumbde Immediately


We stand together to strongly condemn the baseless allegations and defamatory and concocted charges pressed against Prof. Anand Teltumbde by the Pune police, under the Unfair Activities Prevention Act, 1967 (UAPA), to wrongly frame him in the Bhima Koregaon case and to accuse him for plotting the assassination of the Prime Minister.
The police forces of the State of Maharashtra led a witch hunt of human rights activists, poets, teachers, lawyers and trade union leaders on 28 August 2018 across several locations in the country. It has viciously attacked those who fight for the rights of the working class, Dalits and the poor and marginalised and raise their voice against state repression. 
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4 Reliance Workers, First to be Falsely Implicated under UAPA for Bhima Koregaon Violence, Released on Bail

4 Reliance Workers, First to be Falsely Implicated under UAPA for Bhima Koregaon Violence, Released on Bail

Peoples Union of Democratic Rights / By PUDR

Press Release
PUDR welcomes the release on bail of four workers of Reliance Energy/ Infrastructure Ltd. (REIL) and trade union activists implicated under numerous sections of the draconian Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) for alleged Maoist links. The workers were released today on default bail after the 17 December order of the Bombay High Court setting aside the extension of time granted to ATS Mumbai to file the chargesheet in April 2018. Months before 6 June and 28 August, when 10 rights activists were arrested under UAPA on fabricated connections to the Bhima Koregaon violence, workers at RIEL were the first to be targeted for alleged ‘Maoist’ links at Elgaar Parishad.
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Bombay HC paves way for former Reliance workers to get bail

Bombay HC paves way for former Reliance workers to get bail

Sabrang / By Sushmita

Exactly 11 months after workers of Reliance industries were arrested on charges of UAPA and for their alleged connection to BhimaKoregaon case, the Bombay High Court, has, on December 17, has set aside a Sessions Court order granting extension of time beyond 90 days period for filing charge sheet. This will now make it a little bit easier to approach the courts for bail.
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