Worldwide protests against incarceration of political prisoners in India  

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The democratic community of Europe expressed its heartfelt condolences to the fascist repression unleashed on the Indian people, particularly on the untimely demise of Comrade Pandu Naroti, an Adivasi who stood by the working class, peasants and all oppressed and exploited people of India. It expressed its condolences to his family and friends in Mureweda village, a poor Adivasi community in Gadchiroli district, Maharashtra. The activists represented the Worldwide Action Week, called by the ICSPWI (International Committee to Support the People’s War in India), from September 13 to 19 for the release of political prisoners and demanding a stop to drone attacks in India. Comrade Naroti died in prison last August 25, at the age of 33, after being denied his rights to proper medical treatment. The Modi regime was directly responsible for his murder by violating his rights while in prison.

Although sparse in numbers, qualitatively impactful protests were staged in Hamburg, Holland, Austria London and Rome on 17th September calling the international call for the release of all political prisoners of the fascist Hindutva government. We must congratulate activists in Italy who defied ban imposed on staging the protest. It is most timely an imperative with fascism accentuating and sprouting in another form even in Europe, amidst the worst economic crises. A protest was also staged in Bogota in Colombia..Posters were sprung up on walls, illustrating the merciless oppression of the drones attacks.

Comrade Naroti was arrested in 2013 on accusations of violating India’s Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act after being maliciously associated with the CPI (Maoist). Naroti was sentenced by the Modi regime in 2017 with life imprisonment, along with former Delhi University professor and Revolutionary Democratic Front leader G.N. Saibaba ,Vernon Gonsalves,Sudha Bhardawaj , Anand Teltumbde , Gautam Navlakha ,Rona Wilson,Arun Ferreira , Varavara Rao and now Rupesh Kumar..Thousands of Maoist, Muslim and dalit activists are languishing in prisons, being framed without any proper trial. We must remember how during the Bhima-Koregaon protest in the name of Maoist terrorism genuine democrats like Anand Teltumbde were framed who are openly critical of the Maoist movement. Such arrests are a manifestation of the ascendancy or penetration of proto-fascism, of the Brahmanical Hindutva variety. They are not meant to crush the Maoist movement but to deliver a crippling blow to all democratic dissent and constitutional democracy, in the name of Urban naxalism. Liberals should study the manner the state has left no stone unturned in distorting the facts, fabricating false evidence. The arrests llustrated how the current BJP regime wishes to champion the hegemony of the Brahaminical caste system and wipe out all assertion of dalits for rights. Similarly democratic activists of Kashmir have been victimised.

His murder is not the first in the hands of the fascist Modi regime. A year ago, 82-year old Adivasi rights advocate Fr. Stan Swamy perished health in prison. More deaths are the order of the day as India’s activists, progressives and advocates continue languish within prison walls.

The Maoist political prisoners and the democratic Indian revolutionaries have been incriminated for rendering their lives to confront   a destructive and reactionary system which enslaves millions of unfortunate people of the earth. They have dedicated their lives to waging a battle against a system that is directly responsible for the deaths of 6,000 children every day and that has displaced tens of millions of Indian people from their habitats and destroyed their means of livelihood in order to pave the path for the plundering of profits for multinational companies.

India’s reactionary government, hypocritically projects itself as the world’s “largest democracy.” The truth is that this largest democracy acts as an instrument of violence and repression to patronise the monopoly of the comprador and feudal bourgeoisie in India.

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In recent years notable protests were conducted by the Committee for release of political prisoners all over the country as well as civil liberties groups like Association for Protection of Democratic Rights of West Bengal, Peoples Union for Democratic Rights of Delhi and Civil Liberties Commitee of Telenagana and Andhra Pradesh. Notable voice has been raised by stalwarts like Arundhati Roy and Himanshu Kumar as well the democratic movement of Punjab. The civil rights movement needs to encompass wider sections, incorporating the workers and peasantry and not be confined to intellectuals.

It is important that even those who oppose the Maoist movement comprehend the roots of what let it sprout, which lay in the barbaric oppression of the Adivasis by the corporate and ruling classes. Such protests should be seen in light of the broader framework   of violation of rights and against fascism as a whole.. The real enemy is the corporates who tooth and nail loot the Adivasi community. It is important that the worldwide movement for civil liberties is not converted into a Maoist front but a broad based platform, to challenge rise of neo-fascism. The targeting of Palestinian activists and Muslims is regular feature in Europe .It is imperative that the European working class and youth can identify and co-relate their crisis with the corporate exploitation in the third world, with the goal of extinguishing the neo-fascist resurgence.

Harsh Thakor is freelance Journalist who has covered mass movements around India and been in touch with International revolutionary struggles.

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