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‘Tu zinda hai tu zindagi ki jeet par yakeen kar…’

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Whatever the Prosecutor State thinks, or, the ambivalent Judiciary rules, or, the compromised media makes out of your “crimes”, Gautam.

For many of us, you will always remain one, along with countless others, who made us dreamers over the years: dreamers of freedom, of equality, of justice.

We salute your convictions in the civil liberties and democratic rights enshrined in the Constitution of India and your lifelong battles and struggles fought on multiple fronts – legal, intellectual, on the streets – for protecting and expanding those very rights for the large masses of people of this country, or, even beyond.

We know how assiduously – especially through your diverse writings – you have been at the forefront of the ideological war against a State that takes perverse pleasure in perpetuating and masking injustice.

We have seen you passionately arguing and justifying people’s freedom struggles in the North-East and Jammu-and-Kashmir,democratically; voicing your protest against the atrocities and injustices perpetrated on Adivasis in central India; expressing your anger against caste-, gender- and religion-based discriminations by hegemonic groups; lending your ardent support and solidarity, whenever and wherever, anywhere on the globe, to all those who sought to fight against atrocities and injustices – of the corporates on industrial workers, of the State on its own hapless people, and myriad such. All the while, you would always be there.

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We know you also come from a tradition that regards our freedoms as hard-earned and precious, something for which generations before us fought millions of small and big battles, and so must not be easily and cowardly surrendered.

Our politics and convictions are on trial today and so we must remain aware and united to defend them and make sure that they don’t win.

We know you, among several others, as a person who made us believe that in this constant battle between the people and the State, we must wield the weapon of the Constitution, a document that holds sacred the protection of people’s rights.

In our eyes, Gautam, you will always remain an inspiring hero, as those many-many others, who had fought or are fighting battles to claim basic rights.

In solidarity. Always!

Rajender Singh Negi is a democratic rights activist, editor, translator and writer based in New Delhi

Email: negirs0101@yahoo.co.in


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2 Comments

  1. I join my fist with yours in defending Gautam Navlakha

  2. Neeraj Malik says:

    My salute to Gautam, who has always cherished and defended freedoms.