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New Delhi, January 25 : The Brazilian President, Jai Bolsonaro is on a four day visit to the country, starting January 24th. He has been invited by the Indian government to be the chief guest at the 71st Republic Day celebrations.  This is a special day that we cherish and reassert the values of freedom, equality, plurality and diversity, the values enshrined in the Indian Constitution, adopted after a long fight for Independence and firmly defended by us ever since. As we mark this day,  millions across the country are on the streets protesting the divisive agenda being pushed in the name of rabid nationalism and the process of ‘othering’ being planned through new citizenship laws.

We the signatories of this letter would like to state that President Bolsonaro is the guest of the Indian State and as Indian people we are opposed to his misogynistic, homophobic and anti-people views and actions as witnessed in his term as President of Brazil. We condemn the actions of the Brazilian President and many regressive measures he has undertaken since the time he became President in January, 2019.

Mr Bolsonaro has been openly homophobic, racist, made crude jokes about rape and over the time been responsible for targeting environmental and human rights NGOs and have attacked the freedom of expression and dissent. He has denied climate change and changed the Brazilian environmental laws owing to his pro-business policies, and allowed Amazonian forest fires in June – August 2019 and only acted after huge international pressures. His actions have only contributed to already worsening climate crisis.

It also needs to be noted that Brazil’s Human Rights Advocacy Collective (CADHu) and the Dom Paulo Evaristo Arns Commission for Human Rights (Arns Commission) including six former government ministers are seeking to indict the far-right president Jair Bolsonaro at the International Criminal Court for encouraging genocide against Brazil’s indigenous people. The briefing note to the ICC notes that since taking power in January, Mr Bolsonaro has repeatedly denigrated Brazil’s indigenous people – comparing them to animals in zoos and “prehistoric men” – and overseen efforts to dismantle Funai, the already underfunded agency supposed to protect Brazil’s more than 300 tribes. As part of his Global neoliberal agenda, he has also pushed to open up indigenous reserves to mining companies. As a result the living conditions and lifestyles of the indigenous peoples are being destroyed by massive river pollution and invasion of their lands by wildcat miners, loggers and land-grabbers, noting the recent 29% increase in annual deforestation – the highest rate in a decade. Mr. Bolsonaro said after those devastating numbers emerged that Amazon fires and deforestation were cultural and would never end.

The invitation to the Brazilian President by the Government of India is outrageous too because as the President Mr Bolsonaro has dragged India to the World Trade Organisation’s (WTO’s) dispute settlement body, contending that India’s commitments to some binding rules in the WTO have been violated. If the dispute panel upholds the complaint of Brazil (and other countries which have joined subsequently), Indian sugarcane producers’ future looks bleak. Already reeling under the agrarian crisis Indian farmers are feeling indignant that by inviting Mr Bolsonaro as the chief guest, the Indian government appears to be giving a message to them that their lives and livelihoods do not matter much for the government.

It is no coincidence that current BJP led government at the centre finds common cause with the Brazilian President because on many of the issues they have similar views. The current Indian government is following similar anti-people policies, is promoting discrimination against minorities, attacking the freedom of expression and association, criminalizing dissent and weakening environmental and labour laws.  Coming together of these two similar fascist and anti people leadership is determinantal to the progress of a progressive politics and democratic values which advocates building of mutual solidarity and people’s power.

We extend our solidarity to the struggling indigenous people of Amazonia, the Brazilian working people and the environmental and rights groups in Brazil who have been protesting against these policies of Mr Bolsonaro. The rise of the right wing forces in our country and in Brazil is detrimental to democratic norms and we vow to continue fighting against this and build real people to people solidarity between India and Brazil.

Issued Jointly by Organisations and Individuals below : 

Organisations

  1. All India Kisan Sabha
  2. All India Union of Forest Working People
  3. Bargi Bandh Visthapit Evam Parbhavit Sangh
  4. Bharat Jan Vigyan Jatha
  5. Bhumi Adhikar Andolan
  6. Centre for Financial Accountability
  7. Chutka Parmanu Virodhi Sagarsh samiti
  8. Citizen consumer and civic Action Group (CAG), Chennai
  9. Coalition for Environmental Justice in India
  10. Dalit Adivasi Shakti Adhikar Manch
  11. Delhi Solidarity Group
  12. Environment Support Group
  13. Financial Accountability Network, India
  14. Focus on the Global South
  15. Fridays for Future, India
  16. India Climate Justice
  17. MAUSAM Network
  18. Mines, Minerals and Peoples
  19. National Alliance of People’s Movements
  20. National Domestic Workers Union
  21. Teachers Against Climate Crisis
  22. Trans Rights Collective
  23. Working Group on International Financial Institutions

Individual Endorsements

 

  1. Afzal Anish
  2. Aloka Kujur
  3. Altamas Ansari
  4. Amitava Mitra, NAPM West Bengal
  5. Anand Mazgaonkar, Swati Desai, Krishnakant, Parth, Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti, Gujarat
  6. Anant,
  7. Anil TV, Delhi Solidarity Group.
  8. Anita Kapoor, Delhi Shahri Mahila Kaamgaar Union
  9. Anjali Bharadwaj and Amrita Johri, Satark Nagrik Sangathan
  10. Arun Jena
  11. Aruna Rodrigues, Activist, Mhow, MP
  12. Aruna Roy, Shankar Singh, Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS)
  13. Arundhati Dhuru, NAPM India
  14. Arvind Murti
  15. Aryaman Jain
  16. Ashalatha, MAKAAM
  17. Ashish Kothari, Pune
  18. Ashish Ranjan, Jan Jagran Shakti Sangathan
  19. Ashok Verma, NAPM Jharkhand
  20. Aziz Minat
  21. Balakrishna Sand,
  22. Balu Gadi, Bapji Juvvala, NAPM Andhra Pradesh
  23. Basant Hetamsaria
  24. Bharat Jambucha, NAPM Gujarat
  25. Bhupender Singh Rawat, Jan Sangharsh Vahini
  26. Bilal Khan, Jameela, Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan
  27. Binayak Sen, Kolkata
  28. Chakri, Samalochana
  29. Chetan Salve, Narmada Bachao Andolan
  30. CR Neelakandan
  31. Dayamani Barla, Aadivasi-Moolnivasi Astivtva Raksha Samiti
  32. Dev Desai, Gujarat
  33. Divyansh Khurana
  34. Dr. Leo A. Singh
  35. Dr. Sunilam, Adv. Aradhna Bhargava, Kisan Sangharsh Samiti
  36. Durga Nayak
  37. Evita Das
  38. Faisal Khan, Khudai Khidmatgar,
  39. Gabriele Dietrich, Penn Urimay Iyakkam, Madurai
  40. Gautam Bandopadhyay, Nadi Ghati Morcha
  41. Gautam Modi, General Secretary, New Trade Union Initiative
  42. Geetanjali Chavan, Maharashtra
  43. Geetha Ramakrishnan, Unorganised Sector Workers Federation
  44. Gurwant Singh, NAPM Punjab
  45. Hannan Mollah, All India Kisan Sabha
  46. Harsh Mander, Rights and Peace Activist, New Delhi
  47. J S Walia, NAPM Haryana
  48. Jabar Singh, Rashtra Seva Dal
  49. Jagriti Rahi
  50. Jeevan Kumar, Hyderabad
  51. Jipal Murmu
  52. K Ramnarayan, Uttarakhand
  53. Kailash Meena,NAPM Rajasthan
  54. Kaladas Dahariya, RELAA
  55. Kalyan Anand
  56. Kamayani Swami
  57. Kaushika Draavid, IIT Kanpur
  58. Kavita Srivastava, People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL)
  59. Kiran Kumar Vissa & Kondal, Rythu Swarajya Vedika
  60. Krishna, Telangana Vidyavantula Vedika-TVV,
  61. Lakshimipriya Mohanty
  62. Lalita Sharma
  63. Linda Chakchuak, Journalist
  64. Lingaraj Pradhan
  65. Lingraj Azad, Samajwadi Jan Parishad & Niyamgiri Suraksha Samiti,
  66. M. Venkatayya, Telangana Vyavasaya Vruttidarula Union-TVVU,
  67. Madhuresh Kumar NAPM
  68. Magline, Kerala
  69. Mahendra Yadav, Kosi Navnirman Manch
  70. Maj Gen (Retd) S.G.Vombatkere, NAPM Karnataka,
  71. Majeendran, NAPM Kerala
  72. Manas Patnaik, NAPM Odisha
  73. Manesh Gupta
  74. Manorama Khatua, Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti
  75. Mashiuddin, NAPM, Uttar Pradesh
  76. Medha Patkar, Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA)
  77. Meera Sanghamitra, NAPM India
  78. Mujahid Nafees, Minority Coordination Committee
  79. Mukta Srivastava, Roji Roti Adhikar Abhiyan
  80. Nakul Singh Sawney, Chal Chitra Abhiyan
  81. Nanhu Prasad, National Cyclist Union
  82. Nidhi Jain, Concerned Indian Citizen
  83. Nikhil Dey, Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS)
  84. Nita Mahadev, Mudita Vidrohi, Lok Samiti
  85. P. Chennaiah, Andhra Pradesh Vyavasaya Vruthidarula Union-APVVU,
  86. P. Shankar, Dalit Bahujan Front
  87. Pasarul Alam, TASO
  88. Pradip Chatterjee, NFF
  89. Prafulla Samantara, Lok Shakti Abhiyan
  90. Prasad Bagwe, Mose Khore Bachao Andolan
  91. Prasad Chacko, Gujarat
  92. Priti Ranjan Dash
  93. Priya Pillai
  94. Priyanka Singh
  95. Prof. Kusumam Joseph, NAPM Kerala
  96. Radhika Menon, All India People’s Forum
  97. Rajeev Yadav, Rihai Manch
  98. Rajendra Ravi, Institute for Democracy and Sustainability
  99. Rajesh Serupally, NAPM Telangana
  100. Rajkumar Sinha, Chutka Parmaanu Virodhi Sangharsh Samiti
  101. Ramakrishnam Raju, United Forum for RTI and NAPM,
  102. Ramesh Tadvi
  103. Ravi Kanneganti, Rythu JAC,
  104. Richa Singh, Rambeti, Sangatin Kisaan Mazdoor Sangathan
  105. Samar Bagchi, NAPM West Bengal
  106. Sandeep Pandey, Socialist Party of India
  107. Sanjay M G, NAPM Maharashtra
  108. Sanjeev Kumar, Dalit Adivasi Shakti Adhikar Manch
  109. Satya banchor
  110. Shabnam Hashmi, social activist, Anhad
  111. Sharanya, Nayak, Farmer and activist, Koraput, Odisha
  112. Sharath Cheloor, Dynamic Action
  113. Sister Celia, Domestic Workers Union
  114. Sister Dorothy, Aashray Abhiyan
  115. Srikanta Aguan
  116. Suhas Kolhekar, NAPM
  117. Sujato Bhadro, Kolkata
  118. Sunita Rani, National Domestic Workers Union;
  119. Suniti SR, NAPM Maharashtra
  120. Suresh Rathaur, Mahendra, MNREGA Mazdoor Union, UP
  121. Sushma Biruli
  122. Suthanthiran, Arul Doss, NAPM Tamilnadu
  123. Syed Bilal, Human Rights Forum
  124. Tapas Das, River Protection Forum
  125. Tara Murali, Chennai
  126. Trilochan Punji
  127. Uma, NAPM, Uttarakhand
  128. Vijayan M J, General Secretary, PIPFPD
  129. Vijayaraghavan Cheliya, NAPM Kerala
  130. Vilayodi Venugopal, Activist Kerala
  131. Vimal Bhai,Matu Jan sangathan
  132. Xavier Dias, Editor, Khan Kaneej Aur ADHIKAR, (Mines minerals & RIGHTS)
  133. Yuvraj Gatkal, Pune
  134. Zainab Khatun

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