11 May, 2015
India is a country, where the rich alone have legal rights, where the rich alone are truly patriotic. The poor are good, only when they accept torture in silence, and remain quiet, without resisting exploitation though they die in the process. Those who make India’s laws, i.e., Parliament, those who uphold the laws, i.e., the police, the army and the administrative machinery, and those who apply and interpret the law, i.e., the judiciary, all provide daily proofs of the foregoing assertion.
Those who have huge property, or those who tread the corridors of power, get advatages at every step, even if they commit crimes. They easily get bail. Their cases are prolonged or rapidly disposed depending on their needs. If by chance a lower court convicts them they are assured of a reversal of the verdict at higher levels. When they have to stay in jails the very shape of the prison changes.
We do not want a single human being to be deprived of their legal rights. But the seeming equality of bourgeois democracy hides gross inequality. The rich get assistancer, the poor do not get it. The bail is set so high the Salman Khans can pay it, but the common people cannot. Then there are special laws which are aimed at those who protest, or at particular groups of people. This was acknowledged most clearly at one point of history, when Mrs. Indira Gandhi had targettted bourgeois oppositionists, applying Maintenance of Internal Security Act or MISA. At that time, Atal Behari Vajpayee had objected, saying, MISA was meant for Naxalites.
Today’s situation is absolutely clear. The Binayak Sens and the Soni Soris get bail after a very long time, across many agitations. A 90% physically disabled Prof. G. N. Saibaba has not been given bail despite a year in custody. One the other hand, our muscular film star Khan Sahib was out on bail the entire 13 years his trial for running over a pavement dweller went on. Within hours of being found guilty and sentenced, he was again out on bail. J. Jayalalithaa is out, exonerated in the /Disproportionate Assets case. On the same day, in a different court in another part of the country, Chhatradhar Mahato was found guilty under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and other laws. He and his comrades have since been given life terms.
Sustained efforts are on, to make people forget why the lalgarh movement took place. After all, the duty of the adivasi is to bow their heads and accept it when their land and their forests are taken away from them. An added duty of adivasi women is to smilingly accept being raped. And if they protest, they are Maoists, terrorists, anti-nationals. And presumably it is Maya Kodnani, found guilty of inciting the Naroda Patiya massacre, who is the ultimate patriot. From Buddhadev Bhattacharjee to Mamata Banerjee, all governmental parties and leaders – it is impossible to distinguish between their roles in such matters when they are in power.
In fact, Chhatradhar Mahato and his comrades had built mass organisations and had taken the path of mass movements. They had even (in our view wrongly) joined forces with Mamata Banerjee and the so-called “civil society” figures that worship at her doors. In that case, if the UAPA is being applied against Chhatradhar, why are they excluded? Does this not demonstrate how the judicial sysem dispenses class justice?
Repeal all Repressive Laws like UAPA, AFSPA
Release Chhatradhar mahato and all others convicted in this case
Build up Solidarity with the Struggles of Adivasis for their Rights