'No' to Shipping Corridor
National Fishworkers Forum (NFF) called for a nation-wide protest on 30th October 2018. The protests across the country saw a turnout of thousands of fishermen and general public. NFF stands firm against any proposed plan of a shipping corridor as it endangers the lives of all fishermen.

The protests were a success in garnering attention towards the fishing communities and their plights at the hands of a disinterested government and an exploitative corporate nexus. In Kerala, Shri K V Thomas, Hon'ble Member of Parliament inaugurated the protests, standing firmly in support of all fishing communities, MLA, Shri M Vincent was also in attendance. In Maharasthra various fishing unions convened in large numbers, rallied for their livelihood and opposed the government's one-sided notification. Shri Mahadev Janker, Minister of Cattle and Dairy Development, Fisheries, attended the protests and heard the fishing communities' demand? Along with him, Shri Rahula Navekar, Shri Bhai Jagtap, Shri Raj Purohit, Shri Jayant Patil, all MLAs, also participated. Numerous political leaders joined the protests across all coastal states and were in support of the fishing communities and their demands.

In Goa, amidst hundreds of fishermen, Prime Minister Narendra Modi's effigy was burned as a collective sign of dissatisfaction. With a strong opposition to the disastrous effects of the Blue Economy, including the Sagarmala project, various Goan Fishing Unions expressed their mistrust in the current ruling government. Furthermore, in West Bengal, all fishing unions submitted a memorandum outlining their fears and listing their demands to the concerned Ministry. Odisha and Tamil Nadu also saw a turnout of hundreds of fishermen standing in solidarity with each other and against the proposed shipping corridor.

Mr Narendra Patil, the Chairperson of NFF and Mr T Peter, General Secretary have both pledged that if the government does not relent and continues towards establishing a shipping corridor, these protests will become nationwide and will reach Delhi too.

In this regard protests were held in Gujarat : Kutch, Porbandhar, Veraval. Maharashtra : Mumbai Port, Ratnagiri and Malvan. Goa : Vasco fishing harbour. Karnataka : Mangalore, Karvar, Malppe harbours. Kerala : Kochin port, Chellanam harbour, Vizhinjam harbour. Tamilnadu: Colachal, Thengdpattanan, Muttam, Chinnamuttam and Nagapatti-nam harbours and Ramnadu. Andhra Pradhesh : Guntur Bapatla. Odisha : Bhubaneswar Raj Bhavan. West Bengal: Contai and Diamond Harbour.

If the government does not heed the demand of the fishworkers after this protest, the NFF is planning to take massive campaign across the coastal states with immediate effect.
Narendra R Patil (Maharashtra) Chairperson
(Mob. No: 9923241641)
T Peter (Kerala)
General Secretary
(Mob. No, 8289905239)

Azad Speaks Out
Continuing with its aggressive campaign against the targeting of Dalits and minorities, the Bhim Army, on December 1, 2018 led a massive delegation to the magistrate's office in Muzaffarnagar with the following demands—

1.  Free all Dalits wrongly incarcerated since the Bharat Bandh of April 2, 2018
2.  Government jobs for those killed by the police during the bandh
3.  One crore compensation for those killed during the Bharat Bandh
4.  Granting firearms licenses to members of marginalised communities especially Dalits

It must he noted that a bandh was called by Dalit organisations against the dilution of the SC/ST Act on April 2, 2,018. While the affected communities came out in large numbers to support the bandh, videos emerged later in which upper caste youths can be seen firing at Dalit protesters. A total of nine people lost their lives. Following the bandh, in a partisan strategy now commonly used by the police, Dalit youths were picked up from their homes and thrown into jail. Bhim Army's demands must be seen in the light of these facts.

Speaking to reporters later, Bhim Army Chief Chandrasekhar Azad announced a nationwide campaign in support of these demands. When asked about his recent Ayodhya Yatra (March), he said that it was to demand protection for the minority, OBC and Dalit communities in Ayodhya who were feeling the heat from the Hiudutva congregation in support of the construction of the Ram Temple. Being asked about BSP supremo Ms Mayawati's continuing stand against him, Chandrashekhar in his trademark style brushed it aside as a 'family matter'. On being asked about the recent controversy about Hanuman being called a Dalit by the UP CM Yogi Adityanath, Azad dismissed it as 'yet another ploy to distract the people' but also added, in the same breath, that if that be the case then Dalits all over India should take over Hanuman temples, ask the Brahmin priests to leave and seize the collection boxes.
The Bhim Army,
Bharat Ekta Mission

"Encounters with Satyajit Ray"
In his rejoinder ['Bibekananda Ray on Satyajit Ray', November 18-24, 2018] about my article on Satyajit Ray ["Encouters with Satyajit Ray"] in Golden Jubilee Number [October 7-November 3, 2018], Asim Som virtually alleges indiscretion in dealing with the certification of Hirak Rajar Deshe (HRD) by me in 1980. I forgot the name of the producer who called on me and said, if I let off Mr Ray and West Bengal government for violating a censor regulation, other producers of Kolkata would also release their movies before certification. He was not a representative of Tollygunge industry, probably his was an empty threat but if he alone defied the CBFC, citing Mr Ray's precedent, it would have been embarrassing for the Board. Where was the time and wherewithal for me to 'cross-check' with producers' associations, whether one producer's defiance would be followed by others; if I did, it would have been like the Hindi saying, "Aay bail, mujhe maar" ("Oh, the bull! Come and hit me"). I sought CBFC Chairman's advice but he kept quite, sensing fire. The same producer also said, Mr Ray took money from the Left Front Government to make the movie but chose to satirize its education policy in HRD. When I told this to Mr Ray on phone, he in his baritone replied, "I have no well-wisher". In the context, I cited a provision under Censorship act that gives the director of a movie a chance to explain to members of the examining committee of his movie, if they did not understand certain things. Under this provision, I requested him to come to Roxy mini-theatre after the censor show and meet members to avert a likely controversy. He agreed and came to Roxy after the show; no member raised the producer's point. About showing HRD before certification, a reporter of a major Bengali daily rang me up to know the provision in the Act which had to tell him; I certainly did not nudge the media to smear the image of a great director. Premature transfer is a weapon with every government to remove a controversial officer; it hurts the officer if he is right. I lost deputation allowance in a hard time, when a daughter had contracted jaundice and my father had a stroke. In spite of all these, my respect and admiration for Mr Ray did not diminish, then or now. The film director who told me about Mr Ray urging my removal to Secretary, I&B (Late Amal Datta) was Buddhadeb Dasgupta; Mr Som can cross-check with him.

A thought in passing! Why did Mr Ray say, that he had no well-wisher? Like Rabindranath Tagore, he felt that the Bengalis had not really owned him—a sentiment he vented in his last movie, Aagantuk (1991). An offbeat director—a prize-winner in many foreign festivals—narrated to me, how Satyajit Ray had become passe to Western viewers and film-makers, even in 1980's, in public, however, he goes gaga about Ray. About Mr Ray not acknowledging, far less thanking me, for an offprint of my article on him in Sight & Sound ("Ray Off Set"), Mr Som's explanation could be true, as he is a friend of the family. Mr Ray replied to every letter he got, mine enclosing a global recognition, alas! Elicited none.
Bibekananda Ray,
Kalyani, West Bengal

Vol. 51, No.24, Dec 16 - 22, 2018