Kobad health alarm
Vasanta for Saibaba
In a letter dated February 2, 2018, Vasantha Kumari, women’s rights activist and wife of Dr. G.N. Saibaba jailed in Nagpur Central prison for above 14 months, has requested the Governor of Maharashtra for the transfer of her husband, Prof. Saibaba from Nagpur to Cherlapalli Central Jail, Hyderabad, Telangana.
Vasantha has been working for women’s rights since 1992 and has been part of organisations such as Chaitanya Mahila Sangham in A.P. and Committee Against Violence on Women (CAVOW), Women Against Sexual Violence and State Repression (WSS) and Committee for Release of Political Prisoners (CRPP). She received three letters from Prof. Saibaba in January 2018 in which he sought
emergency medical investigation and treatment of his 19 health problems, multiple stones in gallbladder and immediate surgery needed (to be advised by The Department of Gastroenterology, Government Medical College, and Hospital, Nagpur)
Saibaba’s flailing health condition
In all these letters, while explaining his critical condition and deterioration of his health, he describes his suffering in past months without any medical care and treatment. Though he has been advised to go for an immediate surgery for removal of the gallbladder, which is causing frequent attacks on his pancreas and may cause fatal form of jaundice.
“It is impossible for me to survive here during the winter that starts from November.” He said before winters started. He lacked a blanket and sweater/jacket, was “shivering with continuous fever.”
However, even after repeatedly drawing attention to these grave health issues, including his heart problem, severe pain in the stomach, there seems to have been no attempts at addressing his situation.
Persisting health situation
Prof Saibaba suffers from a spinal disorder that has resulted in the rapid deterioration of his muscles and nerves, which means that he can’t walk or use his left arm. His rib cage is collapsing on his lungs. The fact of him being 90 percent disabled requires constant medical care to stop his condition from declining gradually.
Mishandling by Jail staff
Through these letters, Saibaba also reported that the jail staff were not adept at handling a disabled person. He narrowly escaped a fall from the wheel chair and the danger of breaking his polio affected bones. The jail staff is not trained at handling a severely disabled person.
Vasantha added, “My husband’s left-hand disfunctioning happened after a severe damage to muscles and nerves because of the mishandling at the time of incarceration. He has to suffer for the damage for the rest of his life. Without the presence of family members, it is difficult to him to move in a wheelchair.”
Vasantha requested to consider her earlier representation on the transfer of Saibaba, from Bagpur Central Prison to Cherlapalli Central Prison, Hyderabad so that his family members residing there could meet and extend moral support to him. Medical support can also be extended in a better manner as there are Government hospitals available with required facilities.
Concerns with the Gadhchiroli Sessions Court Judgement
The Gadhchiroli Sessions Court in Maharashtra, in its judgment of March 7, 2017, sentenced G N Saibaba, Prashant Rahi, Hem Mishra, Mahesh Tirki and Pandu Narote to life imprisonment while Vijay Tirki was sentenced to 10 years’ rigorous imprisonment. However, activists and intellectuals across quarters have criticized the judgement for being flawed and for misusing the draconian Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). It has been said that the judgment, apart from citing irrelevant documents, has ignored valid evidence and arguments presented by the defence, and accepted dubious versions of the same presented by the prosecution. Civil rights activists also believe that the judgment displays “extreme animus” especially directed towards Saibaba, going to the extent of describing him thus: “though G N Saibaba is 90% disabled, he is mentally alert.”
This seems to have arisen out of state’s vendetta against Professor Saibaba for the sympathy that was shown by the higher courts in granting him bail and also the widespread protests that followed his arrest in 2014. The sessions judge was insensitive enough to not even grant him basic facilities that were granted by earlier courts, such as medical assistance, attendants, diet, and so on, leaving him at the mercy of the prison authorities!
Fighting Corporates synonymous to Waging War?
Professor GN Saibaba is currently serving life in prison in Nagpur Central Jail for allegedly “waging war against the country and supporting the ideology of a banned organisation (CPI Maoist)”. However, the worldwide campaign that ensued in the aftermath of his arrest, has raised several serious concerns about such charges in the light of a draconian act UAPA. Whether Saibaba was waging a war against the state, or standing in between corporate greed and state support to the same, can be understood by this paragraph, which the judgment itself quotes, “the situation of Gadchiroli district from 1982 till today is in paralyzed condition and no industrial and other developments are taking place because of fear of naxal and their violent activities. Hence, in my opinion, the imprisonment for life is also not a sufficient punishment to the accused but the hands of the Court are closed with the mandate of Section 18 and 20 of UAPA and in my opinion it is a fit case to award sentence of imprisonment of life” (para 1013, pp 818–19)”
Wrath of the State
GN Saibaba began his activism when he stood for reservations in the early 1990s, against those who were pushing to end reservations for lower-caste people in India. In that decade, he also campaigned against what he said were “encounter killings” of innocent people and Naxalites in Andhra Pradesh. Through his activism, Saibaba travelled all over the tribal belt in central India. He was teaching English in Delhi University and was well recognised for fine intellectualism and insights. He would get invited to several conferences and other universities.
In September 2009, the Indian government launched Operation Green Hunt, in the name of fighting the “biggest internal security threat” but in fact, to facilitate the mining giants which were showing interest in the area. “I gathered enough evidence that suggested the ruling class wanted access to their resources no matter what. So the Operation Green Hunt was launched to kill, maim and dislodge these people,” Saibaba had noted. At the height of the operation, between 2009 and 2012, Saibaba galvanised people through a group called Forum Against War on People. He organised a national campaign against the military operation that he said resulted in investors pulling out from the area. According to Saibaba, “the best way to stop me was to throw me in jail.”
International Covenants and Requisites for Justice
Though India is a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) and the UN Resolution 70/175 on Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners (Also known as the Nelson Mandela Rules), all of which reaffirm the right to life with dignity of prisoners, Prof. Saibaba a person with a disability is being slowly pushed into death. The UNCRPD, which India also ratified, as well as the recently passed Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 (RPD Act), which was enacted to fulfil India’s obligation under the afore-mentioned convention, are wholly applicable to his case.
The Transfer of Prisoners Act, 1950, The Prisoners Act, 1900 and Article 226 of the Constitution of India for inter-state transfer and several Supreme Court Judgements on the convicts are entitled to transfer if sending and receiving states agree.
My pain, a voiceless song,
my being a nameless mote.
If only my pain could speak,
I’d know who I am.
And if myself could find its essence,
I’d unravel the mystery of this world.
If I could seize this hidden mystery,
my silence would find expression
(Faiz Ahmad Faiz)
- Kobad health alarm
- New Delhi: A six-week-old letter from Kobad Ghandy, the 71-year-old Maoist leader being held in a Jharkhand prison, has reached his friends in Delhi saying his health problems are “very serious” and “can lead to death”.
Ghandy, alleged to be a politburo member of the banned CPI (Maoist), wrote the letter to his prison superintendent on February 5 but could not reach him. He was only recently able to smuggle it out to his friends here, sources said.
Ghandy, held in various jails across the country since his arrest in Delhi in 2009, says his blood pressure has risen to 160/110 despite medication, and that arthritis and a slipped disc have made it difficult for him to walk.
“But the most acute problem is of the prostate/kidney/urinary which has become very serious…. Though the Jharkhand police have been very kind and during police custody even took me to the Bokaro General Hospital for prostate/kidney examination…. The doctor suggested a number of tests including ultrasound and for prostate cancer,” the letter says.
“Though I have repeatedly reminded the Tenughat sub-jail authorities to follow up, nothing has happened though over a month has passed. Meanwhile, since the last 3-4 nights the problem has intensified, resulting in my having to pass urine 12-15 times (earlier 5-6 times) at nights.”
The letter adds: “I am 71… if anything serious happened to my health, who will be responsible? All these problems (particularly urine) are chronic and if not dealt with urgently can lead to death. I request urgent action before it is too late.”
Ghandy’s lawyer Rohit Thakur told The Telegraph: “There’s no doctor in the Tenughat sub-jail and my client can get treatment only if shifted to a proper hospital. He is denied even a mosquito net. He could not get this letter to the superintendent, who is based in Bokaro, so he has sent it to friends to post it directly to officials in Bokaro.”
The Una flogging incident sparked a Dalit movement in Gujarat, but this seems to have had no effect as atrocities against Dalits saw a steep increase in the state.
According to RTI figures, the state registered 1,515 cases under the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act in 2017, the highest number in 17 years.
According to figures obtained through RTI by Mehsana-based Dalit activist Kaushik Parmar, these 1,515 cases include 25 murders, 71 severe assaults and 103 cases of Dalit women being raped. The figures show that atrocities on Dalits have increased year-on-year instead of lessening.
The number of atrocity cases in the state jumped from 1,046 in 2015 to 1,355 in 2016, an increase of 309. In 2017, the so-called model state of Gujarat registered a further increase of 160 cases.
Shockingly, Ahmedabad registered the highest number of atrocity cases in 2017, 121, which includes five murders and 17 rapes. The data clearly shows that caste-based discrimination is as widespread in cities, contradicting the notion that casteist discrimination is a rural problem.
It needs mention that In July 2016, Gujarat witnessed a Dalit movement after a video of four Dalit animal skinners being flogged by gau rakshaks in Una spread on social media. In September 2012, three Dalit youths were killed by police firing in Thangadh town of Surendranagar district. The report of the Thangadh case inquiry committee set up by the government has not yet been made public.
Keywords : Atrocities, Dalits, Gujarat, hindutva, bjp
Why it is important to support the Spring Thunder Tour?
In India the people’s war is intensifying day by day, led by Maoist Communist Party of India. It involves and relies on the support of millions of poor peasants, women, masses of untouchables, and now controls about ten States of the Confederation of India.
It is a people’s war against poverty, feudal capitalistic exploitation, in the regions where most acute are the contradictions brought by the turbulent development of plundering resources, caste oppression and exploitation, by the Indian capital linked to imperialism.
The Indian masses, led by the Maoist Communist Party of India, are writing an important historical page in the world class struggle today.
The development of people’s war in India confirms that the revolution today is the main trend in the world and that Maoism plays the role of command and leadership of the new great wave of world revolution against the imperialism in crisis.
The world proletariat is aware that the advance of people’s war in India puts under question not only the balance of power in the South Asian region but also the equilibrium of the world imperialist system.
The International Committee in support of the people’s war launches a great international campaign, the Spring Thunder Tour, to be conducted throughout Europe, in different forms, in most number of countries as possible.
This tour is and must be the reflect of the proletarian internationalism and the advancing unity of the international proletariat, of revolutionaries, democratic forces and the oppressed nations and peoples around the world.
INTERNATIONAL COMMITTEE To SUPPORT the PEOPLE’S WAR IN INDIA
¿Por qué es importante apoyar el Spring Thunder Tour? (Comunicado del Comité Iinternacional de Apoyo a la Guerra Popular en la India)
La Red de Blogs Comunistas (RBC) se une a la difusión de la campaña Spring Thunder Tour (Trueno de primavera) del Comité Internacional de Apoyo a la Guerra Popular en la India (CIAGPI), en solidaridad internacionalista con la lucha de los pueblos de la India contra el capitalismo, el sistema de castas y contra toda explotación.
¿Por qué es importante apoyar el Spring Thunder Tour ?
La Guerra Popular en la India se está intensificando día a día, dirigida por el Partido Comunista de India Maoísta, que implica y cuenta con el apoyo de millones de campesinos pobres, mujeres, masas de los intocables, y controla ahora cerca de diez Estados de la Confederación de la India.
Una Guerra Popular contra la pobreza y la explotación capitalista y feudal, en las regiones donde son más agudas las contradicciones creadas por el turbulento desarrollo del saqueo de recursos, de la opresión de casta y de la explotación, por el capitalismo hindú vinculado al imperialismo.
Las masas de toda la India, dirigidas por el Partido Comunista Maoísta de la India, están escribiendo una página historica de la lucha de clases en el mundo actual.
El desarrollo de la Guerra Popular en la India confirma que hoy la revolución es la tendencia principal en el mundo y que el maoísmo juega el papel de vanguardia y liderazgo en la nueva ola de la revolución mundial contra el imperialismo en crisis.
El proletariado mundial sabe que el avance de la Guerra Popular en la India pone en duda no sólo el equilibrio de poder en la región del Sudeste Asiático, sino también el del sistema imperialista mundial.
El Comité Internacional de Apoyo a la Guerra Popular ha lanzado una gran campaña internacional, el Spring Thunder Tour, que se va a desarrollar en la mayor parte de los países de Europa en diferentes formas.
Este Tour es debe ser la expresión del internacionalismo proletario y del avance de la unidad del proletariado internacional, de los revolucionarios, de las fuerzas democráticas y de las naciones y los pueblos oprimidos del mundo.
COMITÉ INTERNACIONAL DE APOYO A LA GUERRA POPULAR EN LA INDIA
Pourquoi c’est important de soutenir le Spring Thunder Tour?
En Inde la guerre populaire s’intensifie de jour en jour. Dirigée par le Parti communiste maoïste de l’Inde implique et réjouit du soutien de millions d’agriculteurs pauvres, femmes, masses des intouchables, et contrôle désormais une dizaine d’États de la Confédération de l’Inde.
Une guerre populaire contre la pauvreté, l’exploitation capitaliste féodale, dans les régions où ils sont les plus aiguës les contradictions produites par le turbulent développement du pillage des ressources, l’oppression de caste et l’exploitation, du capitalisme indien liés à l’impérialisme.
Les masses indiennes, dirigée par le Parti communiste maoïste de l’Inde, sont en train d’écrire une page historiques de la lutte des classes dans le monde actuel.
Le développement de la guerre populaire en Inde confirme que c’est la révolution aujourd’hui la tendance principale dans le monde et que le maoïsme assume le rôle du commandement et de direction dans la nouvelle vague de la révolution mondiale contre l’impérialisme en crise.
Le prolétariat mondial comprends que l’avancement de la guerre populaire en Inde met en cause l’équilibre des pouvoirs non seulement dans la région du sud Asie, mais aussi dans l’attitude du système impérialiste mondial.
Le Comité international de soutien á la guerre populaire lance une grande campagne internationale, le Spring Thunder Tour qui se déroulera en tout Europe, sous toutes ses formes, dans la plupart des pays que possible.
Cette campagne est et doit être l’expression de l’internationalisme proletarie et de l’avancement de l’unité du prolétariat international, des révolutionnaires, des forces démocratiques et des nations et des peuples opprimés du monde entier.
COMITÉ INTERNATIONAL DE SOUTIEN A LA GUERRE POPULAIRE EN INDE
Perché è importante sostenere lo Spring Thunder Tour?
In India la guerra popolare si intensifica ogni giorno di più. Guidata dal Partito Comunista dell’India Maoista coinvolge e gode dell’appoggio di milioni di contadini poveri, donne, masse di intoccabili, e oggi controlla una decina di Stati della Confederazione indiana.
Una guerra di popolo contro la miseria, lo sfruttamento capitalistico feudale, nelle Regioni dove sono più acute le contraddizioni prodotte dal turbolento sviluppo di saccheggio di risorse, oppressione di caste e sfruttamento, da parte del capitalismo indiano legato all’imperialismo.
Le masse indiane, dirette dal Partito Comunista dell’India maoista, stanno scrivendo una pagina storica nello scontro di classe attuale nel mondo.
Lo sviluppo della guerra popolare in India conferma che è la rivoluzione oggi la tendenza principale nel mondo e che il maoismo assume un ruolo di comando e guida nella nuova ondata cdella rivoluzione mondiale contro l’imperialismo in crisi.
Il proletariato mondiale comprende che l’avanzamento della guerra di popolo in India mette in discussione i rapporti di forza non solo nella Regione sud asiatica ma in tutto l’assetto del sistema imperialista mondiale.
Il Comitato internazionale di sostegno alla guerra popolare lancia una grande campagna internazionale attraverso l’Europa, lo Spring Thunder Tour, da condursi in tutte le forme, nel maggior numero di paesi possibili.
Questa campagna è e deve essere l’espressione dell’internazionalismo proletario e dell’avanzamento dell’unità del proletariato internazionale, dei rivoluzionari, delle forze democratiche e delle nazioni e dei popoli oppressi di tutto il mondo.
Comitato Internazionale di Sostegno alla guerra popolare in India