COMMITTEE FOR THE RELEASE OF POLITICAL PRISONERS
185/3, FOURTH FLOOR, ZAKIR NAGAR-110025
21 September 2014
The Secretary of the Writers Union … Stat[ed] that the people Had forfeited the confidence of the government And could win it back only By redoubled efforts. Would it not be easier In that case for the government To dissolve the people And elect another? –Bertolt Brecht
CONDEMN THE CLAMP DOWN ON THE PROGRAMME OF FORUM FOR ALTERNATIVE POLITICS ON 21 SEPTEMBER 2014!
CONDEMN THE WHITE TERROR OF THE TRS GOVERNMENT!
CONDEMN THE ARRESTS OF MORE THAN 800 PEOPLE DENYING IN THE NAME OF LAW AND ORDER!
RIGHT TO ASSEMBLE AND RIGHT TO FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION ARE FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS!
The Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) led Telangana government which has promised ‘Golden Telangana’ to the people of the region has flattered to deceive. Notwithstanding the song and dance of a different arrangement that will bring succor to the long standing demands of the people of Telangana, TRS has deceived the people on the fundamental principle that marks a democratic polity—the right to freedom of expression and the right to assemble and express freely the socio-political aspirations of the people.
For any polity to thrive these are the fundamental safeguards that should be protected and promoted at any cost and incidentally the TRS government have proved that they fear these very principles which enhance the initiative and imagination of the people! Like every other seat of political power in the Indian subcontinent, the TRS government too have seen to it that the constitutional guarantees to the people of the subcontinent be violated with impunity!
The wee hours of 21 September 2014 saw the Telangana state machinery showing its real anti-people repressive face as it went on an arresting spree of people’s activists, leaders of people’s organizations, intellectuals, students, people’s lawyers, civil libertarians—whosoever was suspected to be / to have reached Hyderabad to participate in the seminar / public meeting at the Sundarayya Vignana Kendram under the banner of Forum for Alternative Politics (FAP) with the topic being “Ten years of United Revolutionary Movement in India”. By early morning more than 800 people were detained in various police stations in the city.
Some were detained straight away at the railway station as they descended from the trains. Of those arrested included the Convener of the Forum, revolutionary poet Vara Vara Rao, noted adivasi cultural activist Jeetan Marandi. Advocate Ravindranath, secretary of the CRPP regional chapter as well Advocate Ramaswamy, Joint Secretary were also detained as they were moving along with other civil libertarians to be part of the programme.
Other leaders such as Padma Kumari, C. Chandrasekhar, Varalaxmi, Kalyan Rao, Gadar and several others were also detained. The entire area surrounding the Sundarayya Vignana Kendram soon turned out to be a war zone with hundreds of armed police surrounding the area along with water canons ready. No one was allowed anywhere near the venue. Prof. Haragopal noted civil libertarian and public intellectual was denied an appointment with the Chief Minister K Chandrasekhara Rao as he was forcibly sent back. Little doubt, the Telangana government was desperate to stop the people from speaking their mind, at least for a day!
But such an arbitrary action, white terror to stifle political opinion had only triggered further indignation on this fascist authoritarianism of the government from different sections of the society! And what is that even conducting a seminar in an auditorium deliberating politics, be it revolutionary or radical, which has become a threat to this democracy? What is it that invited such a desperate action from the ruling classes? It is this potent fear of the ruling classes of the growing realization of the people that in the policies that fetch glory for the powers that be of the subcontinent, the broad sections of the people have seen their grave!
The prime minister of India in his address from the Red Fort on 15 August 2014 called for a moratorium, for ten years hence, to spell out in his own words, to “all contentious issues”. Narendra Modi, in other words, was calling for peace, to pave way for a much vigorous implementation of policies; of Liberalisation, Privatisation and Globalisation; all in the name of development, which Manmohan had failed to do for the sagging morale of the corporate money bags. But as the poet says, when the leaders speak of peace the common folk know that war is coming!
And it was this knowledge of the people, of the imminent danger to their lives and livelihoods, the politics of this loot and plunder as well as the possible alternatives that are there before them that the Forum for Alternative Politics wanted to deliberate on the 21 September. It was precisely that narrative and its revelation that the powers that be wanted to stifle, all in the name of law and order, peace, as claimed by the police chief of Hyderabad before the media!
It becomes significant that all progressive and democratic sections of the society come forward and condemn such fascist designs of the state to curb the fundamental rights of the people. As criminalization of dissent / political opinion is fast becoming the order of the day in an increasingly penal state that is India a united struggle for the rights of the peoples of the subcontinent becomes inevitable! In protest and in solidarity,
SAR Geelani President
Amit Bhattacharyya Secretary General
Rona Wilson Secretary, Public Relations