Hiramani Munda (Asha Di) has been convicted with life imprisonment in the ‘NIA and ATS Special Court, Lucknow’ on 9th June 2023 under different sections of UAPA and section 120B, 121, 121A of IPC. Asha Di has been fabricated with charges of sedition. Aged 53, she integrated with the democratic and left movement from her very youth.
Asha Di has with unflinching resilience fought for rights of women in rural and tribal areas of Bihar and Jharkhand since the 80s. In spite of originating from a humble tribal background, she relentlessly set about the task of grasping advanced theories and practices to transform the society. She brought to the book some serious cases of atrocities on woman, and leaving no stone unturned mobilised masses against the feudal patriarchal hierarchy. . Her work literally caused tremors in the camp of the administration.
Her movements garnered or evoked tremendous popularity among the masses and provoked vengeance of the neo- fascist state as a result of which she was branded a Maoist and imprisoned for around 5 years in 2010. Still this could not quell her relentless spirit and dedication t to uphold the people and their basic rights of Jal-Jangal-Jameen.
After imprisonment and deterioration of her health during jailed period, once again she integrated with democratic movement in regions of North Bihar exposing the fascist offensive of the government and invested every ounce of her energy to boost the next generation to join People’s movement. This invited further wrath and the vindictive nature of the state ensured a conviction of life imprisonment for her.
Such charges illustrate how the fangs of neo-fascism, are sharpening by every day, penetrating the very heart of the judicial system, to tear the fabric of the constitution.
The friends and family of Asha Di have appealed to all democratic and progressive organizations and individuals to stand in solidarity with them and provide assistance to the legal battle .All democrats must demand unconditional release of Asha Di and other political prisoners who are waging a battle for freedom and democracy.
Harsh Thakor is a freelance journalist who has covered mass movements around India