George Floyds of our own

Asok Chattopadhyay

In reaction to the inhuman killing of George Floyd in America, the aggrieved public, almost throughout the world, roared in protest. They had  destroyed many a figure of black-tormentor and the slave trader who earned defame in colonial and post-colonial history. Mr Donald Trump, the president of America, having had with all the information remained unshaken. Never did he repent for what his white police had done. Rather he somehow justified it! He branded this organized uproar of protests to be that of the organized misdoings of the neo-left fascists! And he did it on 4th July during his message conveyed in the eve of American Independence Day. What he accused is that these neo-left fascists want to change the traditional customs of the country and to establish a fascist regime! These anti-nationals are moving towards a cultural revolution to dethrone the American traditional system and to replace it to a fascist one! He reiterates that the people of the America must not allow such miscreancies!—This voice is not unfamiliar to us as we have been accustomed to have such a coinage mouthing out in the  Modi-Amit regime in India.

Whenever any protest or movement is organized against the misdoings of the Modi-Amit fascist regime, the protesters have to be branded Maoist, anti-national, urban Naxal etc. and get arrested and put behind the bars slapping the infamous UAPA against them. 

In protest against the killing of George Floyd in America, the regeneration of the slogan black lives matter has come into the fore gaining much force onwards indeed. It has now got a momentum of cosmopolitan uproar of protest. No doubt the wave has reached our country too. But what we witness here that a few protesters take on the fiery soil with protest cards keeping due deference to the lockdown and social distance in vogue! This mechanism fails to toe with that of other outside the arena of India where thousands of people assemble and rage into protest. Our protests have got it a show gallery in the social media ! It’s somehow appalling.

The killings of the father-son duo due to custodial torture in Sathankulam town of Tamil Nadu have failed to have comparison with the killing of George Floyd in public. It has earned protest indeed but no momemtum has been gained in the arena of protesting pub. Social media has become the show gallery of witnessing tempest in the tea table. The police atrocity in jails and outside the jails, even in broad public, has had got an age old case of discussion and debate. Varavara Rao, the octogenarian ailing poet, along with other persons striving for democratic rights and even one journalist and social activists are behind the bars for more than two years. Many a renowned persons of India and abroad have called to free them unconditionally. But the Government of Modi-Amit and co lend a deaf ear to this call. Even the judiciary have fought shy of the appeal of getting some of them free immediately on the ground of their ill health. This hellish reality too has, so to speak frank, failed to organize a wide range of protest throughout the country. Only social media has got it a bleak access! The movement onto the fiery soil and to burst it out onwards to get the rulers bowing to the demands now appears to be an age-old story of golden times lost in history. And the due deference to the rulers’ dictum and oligarchy has got the protest movement aground. The fascist government has proved their ill efforts and black acts gaining bumper success silencing the protesting mob enshrined in home with mouth bandaged. The rights orgs and even the left wingers bowing to the rulers’ dictate somehow and unconsciously have got it a credit to the ruling clique. It’s the high time to reconsider of what are on.

Despite wider protest from nook and corner against the killing of Floyd by the American white police, Donald Trump is yet to decry such an act. Rather he iterates that the protesters are busy in conspiring to spread malice throughout the country shrouding the killing of Floyd! When the journalists ask him to appraise the cause of killing the black Americans, Trump gets much annoyed and informs that the whites are also being the prey of the police! What it divulges is that nothing goes wrong in America! Moreover, while answering to the question of the killings of the Afro-Americans by the police in America, Trump informs that more the whites are being the prey of police than that of the blacks! A president like Donald Trump tells white lies in public not unlike our ruling fascists in rot marts. But the real story says the other side of the broad sky. In 2015-16 the blacks had been killed by the police for two fold times in comparison to that of the whites. Only in the year 2016 the young blacks had been killed by the police for four times that that of the whites. And this statistics went three fold times than that of the whites in 2018.

In our domain we have to witness the well-versed liars of the disciples of Trump. They are accustomed to follow their friend, philosopher and guide unconditionally and have become a  tailgate of Trump. They are pert enough to dupe the people easily with their message they hawk united in the market. With a view to coming over a gloomy crisis they sometimes call Pakistan a bad name and envisage teaching it a lesson—and then Pakistan is called an enemy country to be boycotted and hatred against the Pakistanis becomes a violent airs on prop. Any protester of any anti-people issue of the Government becomes branded anti-national and the active agent of Pakistan! The schools of nationalism get setting in every nook and corner in the vested interest of the ruling class. At times this stage is made for condemning the China. Boycotting Chinese goods and apps becomes and airs of the day. And in this way they try to tide over the problem and play the worst to seed the division between the people of India to divert their unity to protest them.

The number of deaths of the prisoners in jails in India got augmented by 5.49% in 2017 than that of 2015. A good many number of 1671 prisoners died in prison in the year 2017. Out this figure 133 prisoners had had their abnormal deaths. 1655 prisoners died in prison in the year 2016 out of which 231deaths were abnormal. And the statistics of deaths in prisons and abnormal deaths in prisons were 1584 and 115 respectively. The rate of abnormal deaths in prison in2017 was 15.7% higher than that of 2015. The number of abnormal deaths in prisons in the year 2017 was comprised of 109 suicides, 9 deaths in accident and 5 were murdered, and the cause of death of 44 prisoners could not been ascertained. The incidence of escape from the police custody as happened in the years 2015, 2016 and 2017 were 371, 577 and 378 respectively. Such incidence of escape happened in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Bihar and West Bengal were 90, 8, 8, and 11 respectively. In the years 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 Indian jails bore prisoners as many as 418595, 419623, 433003 and 450696 respectively. And the deaths in prisons happened as many as 1244, 1345, 1482 and 1507 in the years 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 respectively. And of them abnormal deaths followed as 88, 126, 115 and 195 respectively.[1]

But does the free prisoner movement have gained enough momemtum in our country? Has it been able enough to rouse the vast number of people in unanimous voice  of protest and demand? Now the rules of lockdown and so-called social distance policy have been able enough to get the protesting people apart from fiery soil of movement. The ailing and the octogenarian poet like Varavara Rao is suffering  the worst in jail and now he has attacked with corona. The demand of free prisoners like him and his other comrades appears to have been short rooted in the arena of social media. The massive assembly in spite of draconian measures in America, Britain, France and other countries showed the way but we fail to follow them. On the contrary we and our protest-loving comrades are well off enough to have in-room business and playing with social media.

When would the history get us up again not unlike the days of the sixties, seventies and so on of the century gone by?

1. India Today, October 22, 2019 and The Scroll, July 16, 2020

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Jul 26, 2020

Asok Chattopadhyay

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