parisar …………………………………………….परिसर

a forum of progressive students……………………………………………………………..प्रगतिशील छात्रों का मंच

रोबेस्पिया: मृत्यदंड के बारे में


(यह 22 जून 1791 को महान क्रांतिकारी रोबस्पेरे द्वारा फ़्रांस की संविधान सभा में दिये गए भाषण का हिंदी अनुवाद है. पाठक देख सकते हैं कि मृत्युदंड का विरोध किस तरह आज से ही नहीं बल्कि फ्रांस की क्रांति के समय से ही समाज के जनवादीकरण से जुडा हुआ है. और यह भाषण आज भी किस तरह प्रासंगिक बना हुआ है.)

एथेंस में जब खबर पहुंची कि अर्गोस नगर के नागरिकों को मृत्युदंड दिया गया है तो वहां के लोग भाग कर देवालयों में गए और उन्होंने देवताओं को आह्वान किया कि वे एथेंस के लोगों को ऐसे भयानक और क्रूर विचारों से बचाएं. मेरा आह्वान देवताओं से नहीं कानून निर्माताओं से है, उनसे जो देवत्व के शाश्वत नियमों के संचालक और भाष्यकार हैं, कि ऐसे खूनी कानूनों को फ़्रांस की संहिता से मिटा दे जो न्यायिक हत्याओं को निर्देशित करते हैं और जिनको उनकी नैतिकता और नया संविधान ख़ारिज करते हैं. मैं उनके समक्ष साबित करना चाहता हूँ : 1. कि मृत्युदंड सारतः अन्याय है. और 2. कि यह दण्डो में से सबसे दमनकारी नहीं है और यह अपराधों को रोकने से ज्यादा उन्हें संगुणित करता है.

नागरिक समाज के दायरे से बाहर यदि एक कटु शत्रु मेरा जीवन ख़त्म करने की कोशिश करता है, या बीसियों बार धकेलने पर भी मेरे द्वारा उगाई गई फसल को नष्ट करने वापस आ जाता है. तो क्योंकि मेरे पास विरोध के लिए केवल मेरी व्यक्तिगत शक्ति का ही सहारा है इसलिए मुझे उसे अनिवार्यतः नष्ट करना होगा या उसे ख़त्म कर देना होगा और प्राकृतिक रक्षण का नियम मुझे औचित्य और स्वीकृति प्रदान करता है. लेकिन समाज में, जब सभी की शक्ति केवल किसी एक व्यक्ति के खिलाफ लामबंद है तो न्याय का कौन सा सिद्धांत उसकी हत्या की स्वीकृति दे सकता है? कौन सी अनिवार्यता इसे दोषमुक्त कर सकती है? एक विजेता जो अपने बंदी शत्रु की हत्या करता है बर्बर कहलाता है! एक प्रौढ़ जो किसी बालक को शक्तिहीन कर उसे दंड देने की सामर्थ्य रखता है यदि उसकी हत्या कर दे तो राक्षस समझा जाता है! एक अभियुक्त जिसे समाज द्वारा सजा दी गई है एक पराजित और शक्तिहीन शत्रु के सिवा कुछ भी नहीं है और वह एक प्रौढ़ के सामने बालक से भी ज्यादा असहाय है.

अतः, सत्य और न्याय की नज़र में मौत के ये नज़ारे जिन्हें यह अनुष्ठानपूर्वक आदेशित करता है, कायराना कत्लों के सिवा कुछ भी नहीं है, ये केवल कुछ व्यक्तियों के बजाय समूचे राष्ट्र के द्वारा कानूनी तरीको से किये गये गंभीर अपराध है. कानून चाहे कैसे भी निर्मम और वैभवशाली क्यों न हों, हैरान मत होइए, ये चंद उत्पीड़कों के कारनामों से ज्यादा कुछ नहीं हैं. ये ऐसी काराएं हैं जिनसे मानव जाति को अधोपतित किया जाता है. ये ऐसी भुजाएं हैं जिनसे उसे पराधीन किया जाता है,
ये कानून खून से लिखे गए हैं. किसी भी रोमन नागरिक को मौत की सजा देना वर्जित था. यह जनता द्वारा बनाया गया कानून था. लेकिन विजयी स्काईला ने कहा : वे सभी जिन्होंने मेरे विरुद्ध अस्त्र उठाये मृत्यु के भागी हैं. ओक्टावियन और अपराध में उसके सहभागियों ने इस नए कानून की पुष्टि की.

तिबेरियस की अधीनता में ब्रूटस की प्रशंसा करना मृत्युयोग्य अपराध था. कालिगुला ने उन सबको मृत्युदंड दिया जिन्होंने भी सम्राट के चित्र के समक्ष नग्न होने की धृष्टता की. एक बार जब आतताई शासकों द्वारा राजद्रोह के अपराध – जो अवज्ञापूर्ण या नायकोचित कृत्य हुआ करते थे – का आविष्कार कर लिया गया तो फिर कौन बिना स्वयं को राजद्रोह का भागी बनाए यह सोचने की हिम्मत कर सकता था कि इनकी सजा मृत्युदंड से थोड़ी कम होनी चाहिए?

अज्ञानता और निरंकुशता के राक्षसी मिलन से पैदा हुए उन्माद ने जब दैवीय राजद्रोह के अपराध का आविष्कार कर लिया, जब इसने अपने मतिभ्रम में स्वयं ईश्वर का प्रतिशोध लेने का बीड़ा उठा लिया, तब क्या यह जरुरी नहीं हो गया था कि यह उन्हें रक्त अर्पित करे, और स्वयं को ईश्वर का ही रूप मानने वाले, उसे दरिन्दे की श्रेणी में पहुंचा दें?

पुरातन बर्बर कायदे के समर्थक कहते है कि मृत्युदंड अनिवार्य है, बिना इसके अपराध पर लगाम लगाना संभव नहीं है. यह आपसे किसने कहा? क्या आपने उन सभी अंकुशों का आकलन कर लिया है जिनके द्वारा दंडविधान मनुष्य की संवेदना पर काम करता है? अफ़सोस, मृत्यु से पहले मनुष्य कितना शारीरिक और नैतिक कष्ट सहन कर सकता है?

जीने की इच्छा उस आत्मसम्मान के सामने नतमस्तक हो जाती है, जो ह्रदय पर शासन करने वाले आवेगों में सबसे प्रबल होता है. एक सामजिक मनुष्य के लिए सबसे खतरनाक सजा अपमानित होना है, सार्वजनिक निंदा का पात्र बन जाना है. यदि कानून निर्माता नागरिक को इतनी सारी नाजुक जगहों पर चोट पहुंचा सकता है तो उसे मृत्युदंड के इस्तेमाल करने की हद तक क्यों गिर जाना चाहिए? दंड दोषी को यातना देने के लिए नहीं होता है, वरन वह उसके भय से अपराध को रोकने के लिए दिया जाता है.

जो कानून निर्माता मृत्यु और उत्पीड़नकारी सजाओं को अन्य तरीकों के ऊपर वरीयता देता है वह जनभावनाओं को आहत करता है और शासितों के बीच अपनी नैतिक साख को कमजोर करता है. एक ऐंसे ढोंगी गुरु की तरह जो बार बार की क्रूर सजाओं से अपने शिष्य की आत्मा को जड़ और अपमानित बना देता है. वह कुछ ज्यादा ही जोर से दबाकर सरकार की स्प्रिंगों को ढीला और कमजोर कर देता है.

जो कानून निर्माता म्रत्युदंड का विधान स्थापित करता है वह इस उपयोगी सिद्धांत का निषेध करता है कि किसी अपराध को दबाने का सबसे सही तरीका उन आवेगों की प्रकृति के अनुसार दंड तय करना है जोकि उसको पैदा करते हैं. मृत्युदंड का विधान इन सभी विचारों को धूमिल कर देता है यह सभी अन्तःसम्बन्धों को विघटित कर देता है और इस प्रकार दंडात्मक कानून के उद्देश्य का ही खुलेआम निषेध करता है.

आप कहते हैं कि मृत्युदंड अनिवार्य है. यदि यह सत्य है तो क्यों बहुत सारे लोगों को इसकी जरुरत नहीं पड़ी. विधि के किस विधान के तहत ऐसे लोग ही सबसे बुद्धिमान, सबसे खुश और सबसे स्वतंत्र थे? यदि मृत्युदंड ही बड़े अपराधों को रोकने के लिए सबसे उचित है तो ऐसे अपराध वहां सबसे कम होने चाहिए जहाँ इसे अपनाया और प्रयोग किया गया. किन्तु तथ्य एकदम विपरीत हैं. जापान को देखिये: वहां से ज्यादा मृत्युदंड और यातनाएं और कहीं नहीं दी जाती परन्तु वहां से अधिक संख्या में और वहां से अधिक जघन्य अपराध और कहीं नहीं होते. कोई कह सकता है कि जापानी लोग भीषणता में उन बर्बर कानूनों को चुनौती देना चाहते हैं जो उन्हें आहत और परेशान करते हैं. क्या यूनानी गणतन्त्रों -जहाँ सजाएँ नरम थी और जहां मृत्युदंड या तो बहुत कम थे या थे ही नहीं- में खूनी कानूनों द्वारा शासित देशों से ज्यादा अपराध और कम अच्छाइयां थी? क्या आपको लगता है की रोम में पोर्सियाई ज़माने में जब इसके वैभवशाली दिन थे, जब सारे कड़े कानूनों को हटा दिया गया था, स्काईला जो अपने अत्याचारों के लिए कुख्यात था, के जमाने की तुलना में ज्यादा अपराध होते थे, जब सभी कठोर कानूनों को वापस ले आया गया था? क्या रूस के निरंकुश शासक ने जब से मृत्युदंड को ख़त्म कर दिया है वहां किसी प्रकार का संकट आ खड़ा हुआ है? ऐसा लगता है कि इस तरह की मानवता और दार्शनिकता का प्रदर्शन करके वह लाखों लोगों को अपनी निरंकुश सत्ता के अधीन रखने के जुर्म से दोषमुक्त होना चाहते हैं.

न्याय और विवेक की बात सुनिए. ये आपको चिल्ला कर कह रहे हैं कि मानवीय निर्णय कभी भी इतने निश्चित नहीं होते कि वे कुछ मनुष्यों द्वारा जो कि गलतियाँ कर सकते हैं, किसी अन्य व्यक्ति की मृत्यु के बारे में तय करने के औचित्य का प्रतिपादन कर सकें. यदि आप सबसे सम्पूर्ण न्यायिक फैसले की भी कल्पना कर लें, यदि आप सबसे ज्यादा ज्ञानी और ईमानदार जजों की भी व्यवस्था कर लें तब भी गलतियों की संभावना बची रहती है. आप इन गलतियों को सुधारने के औजारों से स्वयं को क्यों वंचित कर देना चाहते हैं? स्वयं को किसी उत्पीडित निर्दोष की मदद करने में अक्षम क्यों बना देना चाहते हैं? क्या किसी अदृश्य छाया के लिए, किसी अचेतन राख के लिए आपके बाँझ पाश्चाताप का, आपकी भ्रामक भूलसुधार का कोई अर्थ है? वे आपके दंड विधान की बर्बर तत्परता के त्रासद साक्ष्य हैं. अपराध को पाश्चाताप और अच्छे कार्यों के द्वारा सुधार सकने की संभावना को किसी व्यक्ति से छीन लेना, अच्छाई की तरफ उसके लौट आने के सारे रास्ते निर्ममता से बंद कर देना, उसके पतन को शीघ्रता से कब्र तक पहुंचा देना जो अब भी उसके अपराध से दागदार है, मेरी नज़र में क्रूरता का सबसे भयावह परिष्करण है.

एक कानून निर्माता का सबसे पहला कर्तव्य उन सार्वजनिक नैतिक मूल्यों की स्थापना करना और उन्हें बचाए रखना है, जो सभी आज़ादियों और सभी सामाजिक खुशियों के मूल स्रोत हैं. किसी विशिष्ट उद्देश्य को पाने के प्रयास में यदि वह सामान्य और आवश्यक उद्देश्यों को भूल जाता है तो वह सबसे भौंडी और भयानक गलती करता है. अतः राजा को लोगों के सामने न्याय और विवेक का सबसे आदर्श उदहारण पेश करना चाहिए. यदि इस को परिभाषित करने वाली शक्तिशाली, संयत, और उदार सख्ती की जगह क्रोध और प्रतिशोध से काम लेते हैं, यदि वे बिना वजह के खून बहाते हैं, जिसको बचाया जा सकता था और जिसे बहाने का उन्हें कोई अधिकार नहीं. और वे लोगों के सामने निर्मम दृश्य, और यातना से विकृत लाशों को प्रस्तुत करते हैं तो यह नागरिकों के जेहन में न्याय और अन्याय के विचार को बदल देता है. वे समाज में ऐसे तीखे दुराग्रहों के बीज बो देते हैं जो उतरोतर बढ़ते जाते हैं. मनुष्य, मनुष्य होने की गरिमा खो देता है जब उसके जीवन को इतनी आसानी से जोखिम में डाला जा सकता है. हत्या का विचार तब इतना डरावना नहीं रह जाता जब कानून खुद ही इसे एक मिसाल और तमाशे की तरह पेश करता है. अपराध की भयावहता तब कम हो जाती है जब उसे एक और अपराध के जरिये दण्डित किया जाता है. किसी दंड की प्रभावपूर्णता को उसकी कठोरता की मात्रा से मत आंकिये: ये दोनों एक दूसरे के एकदम उलटी बाते हैं. हर कोई उदार कानूनों की सहायता करता है. हर कोई कठोर कानूनों के खिलाफ षड्यंत्र करता है.

यह देखा गया है की स्वतंत्र देशों में अपराध कम हैं और दंडात्मक कानून ज्यादा उदार हैं. कुल मिलाकर, स्वतंत्र देश वे हैं जहाँ व्यक्ति के अधिकारों का सम्मान किया जाता है और इसके फलस्वरूप जहाँ के कानून न्यायपूर्ण हैं. जहाँ अतिशय कष्ट देकर मानवता का उल्लंघन किया जाता है यह इस बात का प्रमाण है कि वहां मनुष्यता की गरिमा को अभी पहचाना नहीं गया है, यह इस बात का प्रमाण है कि वहां कानून निर्माता स्वामी है जो दासों को चलाता है और अपनी मर्जी के मुताबिक जब चाहे उन्हें सजाएं देता है. अतः मेरा निष्कर्ष है कि मृत्युदंड को समाप्त कर देना चाहिए.

(अनुवाद: कुलदीप प्रकाश)

April 3, 2013 Posted by | A World to Win, articles, Breaking with the old ideas, Education, History, movements, pedagogy of oppressed, statements | Leave a comment

Poems of Joke Kaviaar

Joke Kaviaar
(Joke Kaviaar is a Dutch human rights activist and political poet. Who is facing 6 months of jail sentence. In recent years she has been struggling for equal human rights to ‘people-without-papers’. The state of the Netherlands sees her -therefore- as a threat to homeland security and forced her to censor all her poetry and art work. She – of course – refused, but is now facing prison for not complying to the call for self-censorship on her art work. The state wants to criminalize her words and actions under the term ‘intent to terrorism’. This is yet another instance of severe violation of principles of free speech and basic human rights. Ironically in the Netherlands, the country that hosts the human rights tribunal in The Hague. These poems were originally written in Dutch and translated by poet herself. — Editor)

.

.


Write it – Ignite it!

Charged with the crime of speaking your mind
You better shut up – or we’ll lock you up

It is time to define we got the right to incite
Call out! Call out! Call out! Call out!

We gotta write it – ignite it
Burn the prosecution
and the ministry of justice!

We gotta light it and fight it
Burn down the profits
of the prisons, institutions!

Charged with the crime of speaking your mind
It is time now to fight – Not to listen to the lies

They make ya do time for a thought crime
Only one solution is to call out revolution!

One solution: Revolution!

Charged with the crime of speaking your mind
Down with the nations – Stop deportations!

It is time to define we got the right to incite
Call out! Call out! Call out! Call out!

We gotta write it – ignite it
Burn the prosecution
and the ministry of justice!

We gotta light it and fight it
Burn down the profits
of the prisons, institutions!

Charged with the crime of speaking your mind
Down with the borders – Fuck law and order!

They make ya do time for a thought crime
Only one solution is to call out revolution!


Beat the borders!

Who is telling us where to go and
where to stay and who says NO to
questions asked, permits applied for?
Who declared the immigrants war?

Who is standing in our way and
who is law and who is paid for
stamps to give, entrance denied to
those that tried to make it up here?

Who makes money and has a say in
who gets locked up, has to pay
for being here or being there and
either way nowhere is safe, – Let’s..

Take no orders
Let’s beat the borders
Let’s cross the lines
Let’s ignore the signs

Who’s responsible, who is rich and
who is pulling strings, and which
politicians do not lie or cry them
crocodile tears when you die?

All they ever do is take, turning
people into slaves, turning slavery
into profit, turning profit into property
into poverty for you and for me!

There is no reason to obey, living
lives that lead to the grave
Let’s be standing in the way,
make a difference, start today, – Let’s

Take no orders
Let’s beat the borders
Let’s cross the lines
Let’s ignore the signs


Collateral Damage

This war, it isn’t safe for our soldiers
Assassins crawling all over the place
It’s not even safe for our armored trucks

We keep sending the bodies back home
Bags with bones and flesh and blood
To be the heroes we need to create

It is part of our duty, the price that we pay
And the whole world is paying attention
as mothers and children cry, flags raised

As we pray for our martyrs, their honor
The just cause we pretend it to be,
this war to be played out inevitably

All so far away from our homes
claiming just another bare necessity
or mercy, peace, international ease

We can’t tell you that it is propaganda
but the truth of politics, it belongs to us
No interests, no secret agenda, say hush-

We’re only in it for the oil
We’re only in it for the soil
We’re in it for power, you know
Human rights? My ass! No show

To hell with them refugees
To hell with them deportees
To hell with these so called liberties
It ‘s only collateral damage, you see

as another childs dream is blown to smithereens!


SLAVES OF US

Let’s forget about those slaves of us
they’re not really here
they are not really there
they are the unseen
they’re not even between
a wall of concrete
and a door one way open
not even between us, the unseen

they are nameless, faceless
criminals, hookers, don’t have any papers
they are ‘they’
they are nowhere and all over the place
say they’ve been stripped whipped ripped and clipped
but they are no slaves of mine
’cause I am not feeding
and they’re not the slaves of my neighbour
’cause he’s not needing

So let’s forget about those enslaved by us
we don’t really know about it
can not even be proud of it
we are the ones clean
the ones that never have been
nor judge nor jury
at the gallows of starvation
not one us has seen

all those nameless and faceless
we are builders, colonists, traders
we are ‘we’
we are everywhere and on top of it all
we’re the ones used and accused but excused
’cause they are no slaves of us
they simply don’t exist
they pretend, offend, they intend to take over
all that we’ve built for us

So how can they be slaves of us
as their shackles are made of cotton
as our mercy is forgotten?
All they do is prey on us
lean on us, invade us
that’s why they are no slaves of us
we are even prepared to pay
just to make them go away
Sure we will pay to
forget about those slaves of us


SALT

My tear strikes a ripple into an ocean
The ocean says nothing of it
An even smile That is all

My paddles can make more waves
So I splatter and
the ocean pulls a grin
of foam around its lips

Tell me, human!
Will there be no more crying?
Out of so little tears
I can’t make any crystal
Grief on earth must be over!

No, I say
We’ve run out of tears and
this was the last one I had

Ever since,
the ocean, again and again,
tries to overthrow
my little ship


Lady, You Are Safe With Me

Lady,
you are safe with me
like money in a bank
Do not be ashamed for me
In me you can confide
I am the good guy
the law on my side
I’ll listen
I’ll write
We’ll make a report

So
you thought you were promised
by these men,
a career in the spotlights,
in dressing room mirrors
where the face of a poor girl
would soon fade away
behind glamourous make up

You were one of the lucky girls
to escape the stripped land
to escape the sick water
The rape, the stoning, the razorsharp knife

So
you thought this was
Your opportunity to make it
An airway to freedom
paved with drifting clouds
You’d send
money home to mama
A flow of finances
laced with lipstick
and ‘wish you well’s’

So
you dug up the coins
you had secretly saved
in a hole in the ground
to pay for the trip
You could earn the rest later
as soon as you got settled down
in a furnished appartment Up-Town
High above the dirt
Windows so large
you’d forget they were there
and the light in the sky
would forever change the eye
of the innocent child from the wild
and her coconut smile
So
you came here
in a box of death,
You’d been wondering
why everyone else kept so quiet

So quiet

They
must have been tired
Must have been afraid
They must have been told
not a sound to make
So you figured
you just had to wait

So
you woke up
when they opened the truck
and told you
that you were there
in this world where
the rain was made of champagne
where all of your misery
would soon be forgotten
in the rush of
the hush new reality,
and in that truck
was this familiar smell,
and in that truck
there was no-one that could tell
where you came from

But hey,
You were there!
and from now on
all you had to do was to
Just follow the man

You lost your bag
You lost your cash
You lost your sense of direction

You lost your passport
You lost your rags
You lost but soon would win Just trust the man
’cause you’re exotic
A special brand of bush bush bitch

So
you were given new underwear
Unworthy of a girl like you
You were given a new name
for whitey easy to pronounce

So
you thought
you’d be a model
You were chosen
to parade down the aisle
You would be rewarded
by this body builder Caucasian male
with a hairy chest

Bad breath
Bad manners So
you wanted to leave
To walk away from
all you were about to become…

SHAME!

but you never did walk away
and there were many more
teeth-missing
nose-dripping
smelly-feet
unzipping burping
filthy-fingered
crude-no-rubbers-creatures
for you in store
until all that was left of you
was what I see before me

A bony clap spreading prostitute
Worth nomore
than five bucks
for a blow job given
in a dark corner
of a sleazy establishment
to young kids,
still the smell of
yesterday’s diapers
babylotion children
that could learn from you
what women are for

You would still be there,
swollowing,
If it wasn’t for us

But
we want to catch the big boys
the ones with the balls and the bills
So we need you
We need your statement

So you need us
to read to you
what you just said
and to tell you
where to sign

Lady,
you are safe with me
like a package in the mail
What did you say your name was?
We’ll make a report
We’ll make them pay
their taxes

and we regret
to have to inform you
that there is no way
that you can stay
in our nation
of liberty and equality
without a work-permit,
without a curriculum vitae,
without a proper address

This case is closed
and so are the frontiers
that you
unlawfully crossed

January 11, 2013 Posted by | कविता, Breaking with the old ideas, culture, movements, poetry | Leave a comment

The declaration of an independent Palestinian state: a step backward

–Haidar Eid

At an April meeting held in Cairo under the auspices of the new Egyptian government, the Palestinian organisations Fatah and Hamas signed an agreement to organise a joint provisional Palestinian Authority government in view of new presidential and legislative elections in a year. This agreement was reached in the wake of a threat by Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas that the PA would unilaterally declare an independent Palestinian state in September 2011 if Israel continues to refuse to seriously negotiate.

Thus, although the exact contours of the proposed Palestinian state are in dispute, Hamas joins Fatah (the main organization in the Palestinian Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority), the French and other European governments and some forces in the US and Israel who are pressing for an immediate implementation of the so-called “two-state solution”, the Palestinian acceptance of the existence of Israel as a Jewish state in return for an autonomous Palestinian government in the West Bank and Gaza.

We are reprinting the following article that first appeared Al-Shabaka Commentary (al-shabaka.org) because it explains some reasons why this proposal represents a big step backward for the Palestinian movement. The author, Haidar Eid, compares what would result to the “bantustans”, literally “countries for Blacks”, set up by the government of South Africa.

In an effort to preserve white minority rule, South Africa established small and economically dependent puppet “states” for Black Africans. While there are important differences between Israel and apartheid South Africa, including the centrality of the Jewish religion, both represent states where European and other settlers rule over native peoples, states dependent on and existing in the service of Western imperialist regional domination. While today, less than two decades after the fall of apartheid, few people would openly argue that there was anything right about white rule in South Africa, too many Westerners unthinkingly accept Jewish rule over Palestine. Yet once people begin to apply the same standards of justice to Israel as any other country, then the whole inherent basic injustice of the Zionist project begins to come into view. Jewish rule over Palestine is just as inherently oppressive and ultimately doomed as the apartheid system

The “induced euphoria” that characterizes discussions within the mainstream media around the upcoming declaration of an independent Palestinian state in September ignores the stark realities on the ground and the warnings of critical commentators. Depicting such a declaration as a “breakthrough” and a “challenge” to the defunct “peace process” and the right-wing government of Israel serves to obscure Israel’s continued denial of Palestinian rights while reinforcing the international community’s implicit endorsement of an apartheid state in the Middle East.

The drive for recognition is led by Salam Fayyad, the appointed Prime Minister of the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority (PA). It is based on the decision made during the 1970s by the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) to adopt the more flexible program of a “two-state solution.” This program maintains that the Palestinian question, the essence of the Arab-Israeli conflict, can be resolved with the establishment of an “independent state” in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, with East Jerusalem as its capital. In this programme Palestinian refugees would return to the state of “Palestine” but not to their homes in Israel, which defines itself as “the state of Jews”. Yet “independence” does not deal with this issue, neither does it heed calls made by the 1.2 million Palestinian citizens of Israel to transform the struggle into an anti-apartheid movement since they are treated as third-class citizens.

All this is supposed to be implemented after the withdrawal of Israeli forces from the West Bank and Gaza. Or will it merely be a redeployment of forces as witnessed during the Oslo period? Yet proponents of this strategy claim that independence guarantees that Israel will deal with the Palestinians of Gaza and the West Bank as one people, and that the Palestinian question can be resolved according to international law, thus satisfying the minimum political and national rights of the Palestinian people. Forget about the fact that Israel has as many as 573 permanent barriers and checkpoints around the occupied West Bank, as well as an additional 69 “flying” checkpoints; and you might also want to ignore the fact that the existing “Jewish-only” colonies control more than 54 percent of the West Bank.

At the 1991 Madrid Conference, then Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir’s “hawkish” government did not even accept the Palestinian “right” to administrative autonomy. However, with the coming of the “dovish” Meretz/Labor government, led by Yitzhak Rabin and Shimon Peres, the PLO leadership conducted behind-the-curtains negotiations in Norway. By signing the Oslo Accords, Israel was released of the heavy burden of administering Gaza and the seven crowded cities of the West Bank. The first intifada was ended by an official – and secret – PLO decision without achieving its interim national goals, namely “freedom and independence”, and without the consent of the people the organization purported to represent.

This same idea of “independence” was once rejected by the PLO, because it did not address the “minimum legitimate rights” of Palestinians and because it is the antithesis of the Palestinian struggle for liberation. What is proposed in place of these rights is a state in name only. In other words, the Palestinians must accept full autonomy on a fraction of their land, and never think of sovereignty or control of borders, water reserves, and most importantly, the return of the refugees. That was the Oslo agreement and it is also the intended “Declaration of Independence”. No wonder, then, that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu makes it clear that he might agree to a Palestinian state through negotiations.

Nor does this declaration promise to be in accordance with the 1947 UN partition plan, which granted the Palestinians only 47 percent of historic Palestine even though they comprised over two-thirds of the population. Once declared, the future “independent” Palestinian state will occupy less than 20 percent of historic Palestine. By creating a bantustan and calling it a “viable state”, Israel will get rid of the burden of 3.5 million Palestinians. The PA will rule over the maximum number of Palestinians on the minimum number of fragments of land – fragments that we can call “The State of Palestine”. This “state” will be recognized by tens of countries – South Africa’s infamous bantusan tribal chiefs must be very envious!

One can only assume that the much-talked about and celebrated “independence” will simply reinforce the same role that the PA played under Oslo. Namely providing policing and security measures designed to disarm the Palestinian resistance groups. These were the first demands made of the Palestinians at Oslo in 1993, Camp David in 2000, Annapolis in 2007 and Washington last year. Meanwhile, within this framework of negotiations and demands, no commitments or obligations are imposed on Israel.

Just as the Oslo Accords signified the end of the popular, non-violent resistance of the first intifada, this declaration of independence has a similar goal, namely ending the growing international support for the Palestinian cause since Israel’s 2008-2009 winter onslaught on Gaza and its attack on the Freedom Flotilla last May. Yet it falls short of providing Palestinians with the minimal protection and security from any future Israeli attacks and atrocities. The invasion and siege of Gaza was a product of Oslo. Before the Oslo Accords were signed Israel never used its full arsenal of F-16s, phosphorous bombs and DIME weapons [Dense Inert Metal Explosives designed to blast people with micro-shrapnel] to attack refugee camps in Gaza and the West Bank. Over 1,200 Palestinians were killed from 1987-1993 during the first intifada. Israel eclipsed that number during its three-week invasion in 2009; it managed to brutally kill more than 1,400 in Gaza alone. This does not include the victims of Israel’s siege in place since 2006 which has been marked by closures and repeated Israeli attacks before the invasion of Gaza and since.

Ultimately, what this intended “declaration of independence” offers the Palestinian people is a mirage, an “independent homeland” that is a bantustan-in-disguise. Although it is recognized by so many friendly countries, it stops short of providing Palestinians freedom and liberation. Critical debate – as opposed to one that is biased and demagogic – requires scrutiny of the distortions of history through ideological misrepresentations. What needs to be addressed is an historical human vision of the Palestinian and Jewish questions, a vision that never denies the rights of a people, which guarantees complete equality, and abolishes apartheid – instead of recognizing a new bantustan 17 years after the fall of apartheid in South Africa.

May 12, 2011 Posted by | A World to Win, articles, Breaking with the old ideas, History, Media, movements, news | Leave a comment

Interview with Julian Assange

(This is a transcript of a very important interview of Julian Assange taken by Laura Emmett for rt.com. He talks about Arab ‘Revolutions’, Media, Internet, The facebook phenomina and Wikileaks itself in a clear and coherent manner. The video of the interview can be watched here.)

RT: Julian, thank you for talking to RT. Now, through the course of your work, you have some insight into the way that political decisions are made throughout the world. What do you make of the recent developments in the Middle East and North Africa at the moment? Do you think that we are seeing genuine social unrest or are we seeing some kind of orchestrated revolt and if so, who do you think is behind all this?

JA: There is genuine change in some parts of the Middle East. I mean Egypt is a clear case. I was concerned at the beginning over the Egyptian revolution: whether we just saw a changing of the chairs and the maintenance of the same existing power structure, or whether something was really happening.

But after Mubarak fled Cairo, you saw mini-revolutions occurring in every institution within Egypt, from Alexandria to Cairo. So, that’s the sort of change that’s hard to undo.

What’s happening in some other countries is a bit different. The situation in Libya clearly has an involvement of state actors in it from many different areas. That’s something that has been driven by state actors. Now, it is normal for neighboring countries to have interconnections with each other: the activists in different countries, families in different countries, businesses in different countries, and the states from neighboring countries. That’s normal.

When outside forces from very, very far-flung countries start to take an aggressive role in a regional affair, then we have to look a bit more and say that what is going on is not normal. So, what’s happening in Libya, for example, is not normal. Continue reading

May 7, 2011 Posted by | A World to Win, articles, Breaking with the old ideas, culture, Education, History, Media, movements | Leave a comment

Book review: Churchill’s secret war in India

by Susannah York

A World to Win News Service.

Madhusree Mukerjee’s book, Churchill fs Secret War: The British Empire and the Ravaging of India During World War II
(Basic Books, New York, 2010),
is a deeply moving read. Her subject is the 1943 famine that ravaged India for over a year, snuffing out the lives of 3 million people. Mukerjee argues that the figure should be adjusted upwards to over 5 million. When thinking about the millions of dead resulting from World War II, many atrocities come to mind: the 6 million Jews killed in the concentration camps, half a million Roma, 20 million Soviet citizens, 8 million Chinese, to name only some examples. Not so well-known, especially to people from the imperialist citadels, are those who suffered and died from what Mukerjee calls the “man-made” famine in India, a human catastrophe that could have been easily prevented if Churchill had not refused to assign available ships from Australia to carry their surplus grain to the Bengal region. This famine gets rarely mentioned in British history.
A former writer/editor for Scientific American and a trained scientist in her own right, Mukerjee’s preoccupation with the question of hunger and famine led her to delve deeply and thoroughly into the archives of the British War Cabinet and the Ministries of War and Transport, the correspondence between the various major British players, and their memoirs during World War II. Much of this material was first made available in the mid-2000s. Among them are Britain’s Prime Minister Winston Churchill, Secretary of State to India Leopold Amery (who thought that the British Empire should be contiguous and stretch from Cape Town through Cairo, Baghdad and Calcutta to Sydney) and the successive viceroys to India, Lords Linlithgow and Wavell. In an interview, Mukerjee acknowledges that given where her investigation was leading, she knew that if she were not especially careful, she would be torn apart by those who hated her conclusions.
Mukerjee’s prologue provides background to how the British government subjugated India in 1757 and continued robbing it through steep taxation, theft of resources, unequal trade and the exploitation of its people for 200 years under colonial domination until its independence in 1947. Peasants were forced to pay the British East India Company rent for the land they farmed and to turn over a large percentage of the crop yield. The once prosperous exporters in the Bengal region of North-East India (including what is now Bangladesh) became impoverished as British-bound ships loaded with gold, silver, silks and other valuable commodities sailed off to London. Continue reading

April 18, 2011 Posted by | articles, Books, Breaking with the old ideas, Education, History | Leave a comment

Egypt: disturbing trends above, contradictory trends below

A World to Win News Service.

Recent events in Egypt indicate attempts by the US-backed military regime to restabilize the situation on a basis that goes against the aspirations and expectations of many of the youth and others who toppled Hosni Mubarak.

The attacks on women demonstrators in Cairo 8 March were a weather vane. There is a rising cold wind representing a convergence between the regime, the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists as a force standing against basic social change, and what must be frankly seen as the force of tradition and backwardness that is contending with the people’s deep longing for liberation.

What was called for as a “Million Woman March” on International Women’s Day, in a reference to one of the final demonstrations before Mubarak was forced out, did not reach its goals. The crowd in Tahrir Square numbered only a few hundred or a thousand at most, according to news reports. But it was extremely important in two ways. First, the radicality and relevance of its demands for equal rights for women can be seen in the viciousness with which it was attacked. Second, it brought together a broad section of women, especially but not only young, including women wearing hijab (head scarves) and those whose heads were defiantly uncovered. Some men came out with them as well. These are brave forces with broad roots who are determined to keep the movement going forward.

The protest was surrounded by a far larger crowd of men, who heckled them and chanted that women’s place is in the home. There was a long period of shouting and debate. Some men argued that this demonstration, held in honour of the martyrs of the anti-Mubarak movement as well as demanding rights for women, was an insult to men. They were incensed by the women’s demand that women be allowed to run for the presidency, since, they said, women shouldn’t be involved in politics at all.

The women persisted in the face of verbal and physical abuse and danger. Many argued vigorously with their accusers. Groups of women and men fought to free women who were being grabbed at and abused. Army security forces in the square did not intervene, except to fire shots in the air at the end as the demonstrators were finally forced to withdraw. Continue reading

March 31, 2011 Posted by | A World to Win, articles, Breaking with the old ideas, communalism, culture, History, kashmir, movements | Leave a comment

A Perspective On The Student Movement In The United Kingdom By A UK Maoist

— Joseph Ball
(Some months before when the great students movement in UK was going on, we requested author Joseph Ball to write about this historical movement. unfortunately mail written by Joseph was deliverd in our spam folder. we are posting this article late but it is still very relevent because we are witnessing a great renewal of the mass movements around the world specially involving students and youths. these movements are presenting great hope and chellenges among all the revolutionary students of the world. we hope readers will forgive us for the delay in posting. –Editor)

The current student protest movement is the most militant mass protest movement that has occurred in Britain since the anti-Poll Tax campaign, twenty years ago. Students are occupying their colleges and school students are walking out of lessons to join the protests. Young people have confronted state power and attacked symbols of wealth and inequality. This movement is a response to two UK government attacks on youth in Britain. The first is a proposal to raise tuition fees for British students to a maximum of £9000 a year. Students will have to take out a loan to pay these fees, which they will pay back by instalments after graduation. This measure was announced in October by the ruling Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition. The second is the government policy to abolish the Educational Maintenance Allowance (EMA) for new applicants from January 2011. The EMA gives children from lower income families up to £60 a fortnight if they stay at school after 16 (the age at which children can legally leave school). The movement is therefore composed of both school students and university students, with efforts being made to attract the solidarity of trade unionists.

On 10th November students who broke away from a march organised by the National Union Of Students stormed the headquarters of the Conservative Party. Weekly protests in central London have occurred since then, along with protests in other cities and college occupations. A massive protest took place in central London on December 9th when Parliament voted to pass the legislation introducing the higher tuition fees. Most students protested outside Parliament, while others targeted shops in London’s West End owned by capitalists who are allowed to avoid taxes by the UK government. One group in the West End ran into Prince Charles and his wife and blocked their car shouting slogans. Continue reading

February 10, 2011 Posted by | A World to Win, articles, Breaking with the old ideas, Education, History, marxism-leninism-maoism, Media, movements, news, pedagogy of oppressed, statements | Leave a comment

बगैर पेशे के माओवादी होना

चन्द्रिका
(साभार: दखल की दुनिया )

९२ पेज के फैसले में तीन जिंदगियों को आजीवन कारावास दिया जा चुका है. बिनायक सेन के बारे में उतना कहा जा चुका है जितना वे निर्दोष हैं और उतना बाकी है जितना सरकार दोषी है. अन्य दो नाम पियुष गुहा और नारायण सान्याल, जिनका जिक्र इसलिये सुना जा सका कि बिनायक सेन के साथ ही इन्हे भी सजा मुकर्रर हुई, शायद अनसुना रह जाता. पर जिन नामों और संख्याओं का जिक्र नहीं आया वे ७७० हैं, जो बीते बरस के साथ छत्तीसगढ़ की जेलों में कैद कर दी गयी, इनमें हत्याओं और यातनाओं को शामिल नहीं किया गया है. जिनमे अधिकांश आदिवासी हैं पर सब के सब माओवादी. यातनायें इससे कई गुना अधिक हैं और दुख जिसकी गणना किसी भी जनगणना में बाकी रह जायेगी. इनके बारे मे बात करना युद्ध में एक मार्मिक व स्पर्षी अलाप ही होगा. छत्तीसगढ़ का आदिवासी होना थोड़े-बहुत उलट फेर के साथ माओवादी होना है और माओवादी होना अखबारी कतरनों से बनी हमारी आँखों में आतंकवादी होना. यह समीकरण बदलते समय के साथ अब पूरे देश पर लागू हो रहा है. सच्चाई बारिश की धूप हो चुकी है और हमारा ज़ेहन सरकारी लोकतंत्र का स्टोर रूम.
दशकों पहले जिन जंगलों में रोटी, दवा और शिक्षा पहुंचनी थी, वहाँ सरकार ने बारूद और बंदूक पहुंचा दी. बारूद और बंदूक के बारे में बात करते हुए शायद यह कहना राजीव गाँधी की नकल करने जैसा होगा कि जब बारूद जलेगी तो थोड़ी गर्मी पैदा ही होगी. देश की निम्नतम आय पर जीने वाला आदिवासी समाज, देश के सबसे बड़े और दुनिया के १० में से एक सार्वाधिक रक्षा बजट प्राप्त सेना से लड़ रहा है. यह लड़ने की आस्था है, धार्मिक आस्था के विरुद्ध लड़ाई की ऐसी आस्था जिसमे हर बार जीतने की ख्वाहिश तीव्र हो जाती है. इस बात से बेपरवाह कि देश का मध्यम वर्ग भारतीय सत्ता को बहुत ताकतवर मानता है. Continue reading

January 13, 2011 Posted by | articles, हिन्दी, Breaking with the old ideas, History, marxism-leninism-maoism, Media, movements, news, tribal life | 1 Comment

Binayak Sen’s statement at the conclusion of the trial.

– Binayak Sen

I am a trained medical doctor with a specialization in child health. I completed my MBBS from the Christian Medical College, Vellore in 1972, and completed studies leading to the award of the degree of MD (Paediatrics) of the Madras University, from the same institution in 1976. After this, I joined the faculty of the Centre for Social Medicine and Community Health at the Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi and worked there for two years, before leaving to join a field based health programme at the Friends Rural Centre, Rasulia in Hoshangabad, MP. During the two years I worked there, I worked intensively in the diagnosis and treatment of Tuberculosis and understood many of the social and economic causes of disease. I was also strongly influenced by the work of Marjorie Sykes, the biographer of Mahatma Gandhi, who lived at the Rasulia centre at that time.

I came to Chhattisgarh in 1981 and worked upto 1987 at Dalli Rajhara (district Durg), where, along with the late Shri Shankar Guha Niyogi and the workers of the Chhattisgarh Mines Shramik Sangh, I helped to establish the Shaheed Hospital, that continues to practice low cost and rational medicine for the adivasis and working people of the surrounding areas upto the present. After leaving Dalli Rajhara, I worked to develop a health programme among the Adivasi population in and around village Bagrumnala, which today is in Dhamtari district. This work depended on a large group of village based health workers who were trained and guided by me. When the new state of Chhattisgarh was formed, I was appointed a member of the advisory group on Health Care Sector reforms, and helped to develop the Mitanin programme, which in turn, became the role model for the ASHA of the National Rural Health Mission. A copy of the Order of the Department of Health and Family Welfare of the Govt. of Chhattisgarh regarding my nomination to the advisory group mentioned above is attached. (Annexure 1.) Continue reading

December 25, 2010 Posted by | Breaking with the old ideas, Education, Media, movements, news, statements | Leave a comment

Justice Links Our Struggles Together


Arundhati Roy, the celebrated novelist and international activist, is facing a police investigation that could lead to her being put on trial for sedition. This attack on her right to speak is the result of Roy’s determined support for the struggle for “azaadi,” or freedom, in Kashmir, a region partitioned between India and Pakistan and under military occupation in the area India controls. Roy has written about the Kashmiri struggle in her essay collection Field Notes on Democracy: Listening to Grasshoppers, among other books.

A court in India’s capital of Dehli ordered the investigation after a complaint was filed against Roy, a leader of the Kasmiri struggle, Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Delhi University professor S.A.R. Geelani, in particular for their part in a conference on the question of Kashmiri liberation where Roy spoke. Here, we publish a full transcription of the speech, which was punctuated by interruptions from Roy’s opponents, beginning with S.A.R. Geelani’s introduction of her.

S.A.R. Geelani: Now I request Arundhati Roy to come and speak.

Arundhati Roy: If anybody has any shoes to throw, please throw them now…

[Some people in the audience: “We’re cultured.”]

AR: Good, I’m glad. I’m glad to hear that. Though being cultured is not necessarily a good thing. But anyway…

[Interruption from some people in the audience.]

SG: Please, will you talk afterwards. Now prove that you are cultured.

AR: About a week or 10 days ago, I was in Ranchi, where there was a Peoples’ Tribunal against Operation Green Hunt–which is the Indian state’s war against the poorest people in this country. And at that tribunal, just as I was leaving, a TV journalist stuck a mic in my face and very aggressively said, “Madam, is Kashmir an integral part of India or not? Is Kashmir an integral part of India or not?” about five times. So I said, “Look, Kashmir has never been an integral part of India–however aggressively and however often you want to ask me that.” Even the Indian government has accepted, in the UN, that it’s not an integral part of India. So why are we trying to change that narrative now?

See, in 1947, we were told that India became a sovereign nation and a sovereign democracy, but if you look at what the Indian state did from midnight of 1947 onwards, that colonized country, that country that became a country because of the imagination of its colonizer–the British drew the map of India in 1899–that country became a colonizing power the moment it became independent, and the Indian state has militarily intervened in Manipur, in Nagaland, in Mizoram, in Kashmir, in Telangana, during the Naxalbari uprising, in Punjab, in Hyderabad, in Goa, in Junagarh.

So often, the Indian government, the Indian state, the Indian elite, they accuse the Naxalites of believing in protracted war, but actually, you see a state–the Indian state–that has waged protracted war against its own people, or what it calls its own people, relentlessly since 1947. And when you look at who are those people that it has waged war against–the Nagas, the Mizos, the Manipuris, people in Assam, Hyderabad, Kashmir, Punjab–it’s always a minority, the Muslims, the tribals, the Christians, the Dalits, the Adivasis. Endless war by an upper caste Hindu state–this is what is the modern history of our country.

Now, in 2007, at the time of the uprising in Kashmir against that whole acquisition of land for the Amarnath Yatra, I was in Srinagar, and I was walking down the road, and I met a young journalist, I think he was from Times of India, and he said to me–he couldn’t believe that he saw some Indian person, walking alone on the road–and he said, “Can I have a quote?” So I said, “Yes, do you have a pen? Because I don’t want to be misquoted.” And I said, “Write down–India needs azaadi from Kashmir just as much as Kashmir needs azaadi from India.” And when I said India, I did not mean the Indian state. I meant the Indian people because I think that the occupation of Kashmir–today, there are 700,000 security personnel manning that valley of 12 million people, it is the most militarized zone in the world–and for us, the people of India, to tolerate that occupation is like allowing a kind of moral corrosion to drip into our bloodstream.

So for me, it’s an intolerable situation to try and pretend that it isn’t happening. Even if the media blanks it out, all of us know–or maybe all of us don’t know, but any of us who’ve visited Kashmir know–that Kashmiris cannot inhale and exhale without their breath going through the barrel of an AK-47.

So, so many things have been done there. Every time there’s an election and people come out to vote, the Indian government goes and says, “Why do you want a referendum? There was a vote, and the people have voted for India.” Now, I actually think that we need to deepen our thinking a little bit because I, too, am very proud of this meeting today. I think it’s a historic meeting in some ways, it’s a historic meeting taking place in the capital of this very hollow superpower, a superpower where 830 million people live on less than 20 rupees a day.

Now, sometimes it’s very difficult to know from what place one stands on as formally a citizen of India, what can one say, what is one allowed to say, because when India was fighting for independence from British colonization–every argument that people now use to problematize the problems of azaadi in Kashmir were certainly used against Indians. Crudely put, “The natives are not ready for freedom, the natives are not ready for democracy.” But every kind of complication was also true–I mean the great debates between Ambedkar and Gandhi and Nehru, they were also real debates–and over these last 60 years, whatever the Indian state has done, people in this country have argued and debated and deepened the meaning of freedom.

We have also lost a lot of ground because we’ve come to a stage today where India–a country that once called itself non-aligned, that once held its head up in pride–has today totally lain down prostrate on the floor at the feet of the USA. So we are a slave nation today. Our economy is completely–however much the Sensex may be growing, the fact is the reason that the Indian police, the paramilitary and soon perhaps the army will be deployed in the whole of central India is because it’s an extractive colonial economy that’s being foisted on us.

But the reason that I said what we need to do is to deepen this conversation is because it’s also very easy for us to continue to pat ourselves on the backs as great fighters for resistance–for anything, whether it’s the Maoists in the forests or whether it’s the stone-pelters on the streets–but actually, we must understand that we are up against something very serious. And I’m afraid that the bows and arrows of the Adivasis and the stones in the hands of the young people are absolutely essential, but they are not the only thing that’s going to win us freedom, and for that, we need to be tactical. We need to question ourselves, we need to make alliances, serious alliances…

Because…I often say that in 1986 when capitalism won its jihad against soviet communism in the mountains of Afghanistan, the whole world changed, and India realigned itself in the unipolar world, and in that realignment, it did two things. It opened two locks. One was the lock of the Babri Masjid and one was the lock of the Indian markets, and it ushered in two kinds of totalitarianism–Hindu fascism, Hindutva fascism and economic totalitarianism. And both these manufactured their own kinds of terrorism–so you have Islamist “terrorists” and the Maoist “terrorists.”

And this process has made 80 percent of this country live on 20 rupees a day, but it has divided us all up, and we spend all our time fighting with each other, when in fact, there should be deep solidarity. There should be deep solidarity between the struggles in Manipur, the struggles in Nagaland, the struggle in Kashmir, the struggle in central India and in all the poor, squatters, the vendors , all the slum dwellers and so on.

But what is it that should link these struggles? It’s the idea of justice. Because there can be struggles which are not struggles for justice. There are peoples’ movements like the VHP is a peoples’ movement–but it’s a struggle for fascism, it’s a struggle for injustice. We don’t align ourselves with that. So every movement, every person on the street, every slogan is not a slogan for justice.

So when I was in Kashmir on the streets during the Amarnath Yatra time, and even today–I haven’t been to Kashmir recently–but I’ve seen and my heart is filled with appreciation for the struggle that people are waging, the fight that young people are fighting, and I don’t want them to be let down. I don’t want them to be let down even by their own leaders because I want to believe that this fight is a fight for justice. Not a fight in which you pick and choose your justices–“we want justice, but it’s okay if the other chap is squashed.” That’s not right.

So I remember when I wrote in 2007, I said the one thing that broke my heart on the streets of Srinagar was when I heard people say, “Nanga Bhooka Hindustan, jaan se pyaara Pakistan.” I said, “No. Because the Nanga Bhooka Hindustan is with you. And if you’re fighting for a just society, then you must align yourselves with the powerless.” The Indian people here today are people who have spent their lives opposing the Indian state.

I have, as many of you may know, been associated for a long time with the struggle in the Narmada valley against big dams, and I always say that I think so much about these two valleys–the Kashmir valley and the Narmada valley.

In the Narmada valley, they speak of repression, but perhaps the people don’t really know what repression is, because they’ve not experienced the kind of repression that there is in the Kashmir valley. But they have a very, very, very sophisticated understanding of the economic structures of the world of imperialism and of the earth, and what it does and how those big dams create an inequality that you cannot get away from. And in the Kashmir valley you have such a sophisticated understanding of repression–60 years of repression of secret operations, of spying, of intelligence operations, of death, of killing.

But have you insulated yourself from that other understanding, of what the world is today? What these economic structures are? What kind of Kashmir are you going to fight for? Because we are with you in that fight, we are with you. But we want–we hope that it will be a fight for justice. We know today that this word “secularism” that the Indian state flings at us is a hollow word because you can’t kill 68,000 Kashmiri Muslims and then call yourself a secular state. You cannot allow the massacre of Muslims in Gujarat and call yourself a secular state.

And yet, you can’t then turn around and say that “we are allowed to treat our minorities badly.” So what kind of justice are you fighting for? I hope that the young people will deepen their idea of azaadi. It is something that the state and your enemies that you’re fighting uses to divide you. That’s true.

[Some people in the audience: “Do you know what happened to the pundits?”]

AR: I know the story of the Kashmiri pundits. I also know that the story that these Panun Kashmir pundits put out is false. However, this does not mean that injustice was not done.

[People in audience: “Do you know how many Hindus were killed?”]

AR: I think–okay, let me continue

[Part of the crowd is arguing loudly]

SG: I request everyone to please sit.

AR: Alright, I want to say that I think this disturbance is based on a misunderstanding, because I was beginning to talk about justice, and Continue reading

December 9, 2010 Posted by | articles, Breaking with the old ideas, communalism, History, kashmir, movements | 1 Comment