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Letters

Soni Sori Again
The recent attack on Adivasi activist Soni Sori reflects that the Modi government’s intolerant attitude is providing a tool to the state machinery and right-wing fascist forces to suppress the voice of voiceless people.

Soni Sori who is working for the Adivasi rights tirelessly by involving herself in social, political and democratic mcvements is facing continuous harassment, detention & sexual assault and imprisonment; but even after so much trouble she is continuing the struggle for Adivasi rights. She openly announced that no one can stop her from fighting for the cause of justice. The state and fascist forces are trying their level best to suppress her and her activities. The recent attack on her is an attempt to suppress her voice rising against operation green hunt which is nothing but war against the tribal people of India to grab their lands to handover to multinational companies which is under way in the deep forest areas of India.

It should be observed that all the attacks happening in the country from the time Modi came to power are actually attacks on the democratic forces with an intention to make this country a 'Hindu Rashtra'. In fact, now in India there is a collision between two ideologies, one democratic and another fascist. Unfortunately the fascist forces are in power and they want to crush down the democratic ideology.
Lateef Mohammed Khan,
Genereal Secretary, CLMC

‘A Case of an Institutional Murder’
Sorry, I cannot agree with the tenor and contents of the editorial 'A Case of an Institutional Murder' [Frontier, January 31-February 6, 2016]. First of all Rohit Vemula was not a dalit; if he was a dalit, then the alleged rivals ABVP activist Sushil Kumar, Union Minister Bandaru Dattatreya et al should also be counted as dalits. His father, grandmother, and other relatives, as also some recent documents signed by his mother, testify to his belonging to Vaddera community which is a BC-A category caste (among OBCs). Not only he was not a dalit (which is generally used for SCs only; perhaps sometimes to STs also but not to OBCs) but he fraudulently applied for and procured a dalit caste certificate in 2015 or so. Whether he made use of that or not is an entirely different matter.

His suicide is alleged by his colleagues in ASA i.e. Ambedkar Students Association—all or many of whom are dalits no doubt, but it is a suspicious death to be seriously investigated. Rohit was not so cowardly to commit a suicide and his suicide note and the struck off portions, etc. cast lot of doubts. A serious and scientific investigation is needed and now that a judicial inquiry is ordered, let people fully cooperate and produce all evidence from all angles to determine the exact cause and manner of death.

Suicides, if really happened, are not to be rewarded but seriously analysed and the abettors of suicide, if any, strictly punished.

Many civil liberties and human rights lovers might have protested against the hanging of Yakub Memon on humanitarian and some legal grounds. But none to my knowledge held him a not-guilty innocent person; at least most of them wanted the commutation of his death sentence to life imprisonment only; but none, to my knowledge, lionized him as a martyr. I don't think anywhere in India (except perhaps during his funeral procession in Bombay) such hail martyr meetings were held but Rohit Vemula and ASA wanted to do one up on all others and conducted a protest meeting in HCU premises hailing him as a martyr. That was denigrated as an anti-national activity and also they have beaten up and forced one ABVP activist to apologise for his criticism of their conduct. So, on complaints to him, one Union Minister (Bandaru Dattatreya), who happens to be a local MP, forwarded the complaints with his note to the concerned Union Minister on this matter, and later HCU has taken action of suspending five students who, except Rohit, happen to be Dalits, I believe. They have been claiming Rohit also as one among their dalit ranks, but their father contradicts it and also expresses doubts over his subsequent death and wants full scale investigation and inquiry into the same.

The main problem is doing politics over a dead person. The pro-Rohit student agitators refused to hand over his body for post-mortem and subsequent funeral unless a criminal case against the Union Minister, an MLC and some ABVP activists was registered under the SC & STs Atrocities Act and the concerned police officers succumbed to the pressure and registered a case which has dangerous impact on and consequences for the accused in that case. However, it has no basis at all because Rohit Vemula does not belong to either SC or ST communities and also his death cannot be in anyway linked to the persons concerned except that they have pursued their complaints against Rohit and others with the University authorities. Now the HCU authorities might have buckled under pressure to withdraw the suspensions, etc. on those students but this development is also an entirely different matter and does not connect with the misuse of SC & ST atrocities act for such purposes.
I Mallikarjuna Sharma,
Editor, Law Animated World
malliksharma <mksharma55@gmail.com

Attack on Bhagat Singh
One could not have imagined this happening in India. Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) dlid today at Delhi University main gate, what British colonial regime could not do. British colonial regime could not disturb or disrupt either Bhagat Singh's own meetings under the banner of Naujwan Bharat Sabha, or during his jail & execution period meetings in his favour.

'Ahwan', a student group organised a meeting on 'The life and Writings of Bhagat Singh' to mark his martyrdom day which falls on 23rd March, but due to vacations ahead, they held it on 18th March by inviting Prof Chaman Lal, a retired professor of JNU ,who has many books on the martyr.

The speaker reached the venue at DU gate, students were denied any place in University even for lecture on Bhagat Singh, so they were forced to move out. Students informed the area police, which was present in good numbers, at one time more than the students! Around same time at an adjoining location a drama group to stage a play on 'The true happenings in JNU', the drama team had just 4-5 actors and within five minutes of their starting the play, a mob of 10-15 young boys and girls encircled the play area with violent and threatening attack shouting Bharat Mata ki Jai and Vande Matram slogans, calling play group as 'Deshdrohis' to be thrown out of India. Police which was initially outnumbered tried to separate the two groups. When Dr Vikas Gupta invited speaker Prof Chaman Lal to speak ABVP group tried to disrupt the lecture by loud shouting of Bharat Mata ki Jai slogans. Speaker who was holding Government of India published writings on Bhagat Singh pleaded with police present to ask the disrupters to listen and ask questions later or hold their separate meeting. Police tried to persuade the disrupters who were in no mood to listen and kept shouting. At one time both sides had full throated slogans—ABVP group with Bharat Mata ki Jai Kehna Hoga and Vande Matram Kehna Hoga. ‘Ahwan’ students responded with Netaji Subhas and Pt Nehru slogan Jai Hind and Bhagat Singh slogan Inqlab Zindabad... ABVP students were not allowing the speaker to speak on the writings of Bhagat Singh on religion, communalism and atheism. But the speaker had his say and even a question answer session was held. After the lecture ABVP group kept threatening ‘Ahwan’ group students, but the speaker and students could not be cowed down and refused to leave the place under threats.

This was a sad day to see how supreme 'Patriot and Nationalist' of the country was treated by phoney and violent nationalists, who had played no role in freedom struggle, but grabbed power by cheating people with false slogans and who are now insulting the whole freedom struggle of the nation, including Gandhi, Nehru, Subhas Bose, Ambedkar and Bhagat Singh!
A participant, Delhi

Frontier
Vol. 48, No. 39, Apr 3 - 9, 2016