Anarcho-environmentalism allegorised

The name Anaarkali in the present context has many meanings - Anaar symbolises the anarchism of the Bhils and kali which means flower bud in Hindi stands for their traditional environmentalism. Anaar in Hindi can also mean the fruit pomegranate which is said to be a panacea for many ills as in the Hindi idiom - "Ek anar sou bimar - One pomegranate for a hundred ill people"! - which describes a situation in which there is only one remedy available for giving to a hundred ill people and so the problem is who to give it to. Thus this name indicates that anarcho-environmentalism is the only cure for the many diseases of modern development! Similarly kali can also imply a budding anarcho-environmentalist movement. Finally according to a legend that is considered to be apocryphal by historians Anarkali was the lover of Prince Salim who was later to become the Mughal emperor Jehangir. Emperor Akbar did not approve of this romance of his son and ordered Anarkali to be bricked in alive into a wall in Lahore in Pakistan but she escaped. Allegorically this means that anarcho-environmentalists can succeed in bringing about the escape of humankind from the self-destructive love of modern development that it is enamoured of at the moment and they will do this by simultaneously supporting women's struggles for their rights.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

A Paranoid State

Liberal democracy in theory has a State that is supposed to ensure the freedom and justice for citizens by preventing arbitrary repressive actions of other citizens. That is why it has a monopoly on the use of force. However, in reality all over the world liberal democratic States are in the control of precisely the most criminal minority of society which is bent on repressing and exploiting the toiling masses and the police are the most despicable arm of this repressive State. These days in India faced with the Maoist rebellion the State has also become paranoid. It sees a red not only under every bed but also under every shed!!
To counter the Maoists the intelligence agencies and the police are targeting their urban support bases and safe shelters. In the process they are indiscriminately arresting and torturing activists who are fighting for the rights of the masses even if they are not in any way connected with the Maoists. One such example which has got considerable media coverage is that of the persecution of the activists of the Kabir Kala Manch (KKM). This is a group of Dalit activists in Maharashtra who use public performances involving songs and plays to propagate a programme of emancipation for the Dalits. The police in its perverted wisdom arrested one of their activists on the charge of being linked to the Maoists and slapped draconian sections on him. However, many civil society organisations in India and abroad protested this blatant oppression on false charges and now they have got some judicial relief. Anand Patwardhan of the 
Kabir Kala Manch Defence Committee (KKMDC) reports - 
Sheetal Sathe of the Kabir Kala Manch (KKM) was granted bail on 27.06.2013 by Justice Abhay Thipsay of the Bombay High Court. The move has come as a major relief for all those who have been fighting for her release especially in view of the fact that she is over 8 months pregnant and the Sessions Court had denied her bail.
It will be recalled that the KKM, a dalit and working class cultural troupe from Pune had gone underground after the Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) arrested one of their members, Deepak Dengle and had begun describing the group as“Naxalites”. Deepak was tortured in prison but released on bail after a year and a half along with 5 others when the Bombay High Court ruled that there were no grounds to keep them in jail even under the draconian provisions of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).
 On April 2, 2013 emboldened by the court ruling, Sheetal Sathe and her husband Sachin Mali of the KKM voluntarily gave themselves up to the authorities in an act of satyagraha for the freedom of expression. A month later Sagar Gorkhe, Ramesh Gaichor, Jyoti Jagtap and Rupali Jadhav of the KKM also did a satyagraha in public, declaring that they had done no wrong and had come overground after getting confidence that civil society was willing to stand up for them.
The Kabir Kala Manch Defence Committee (KKMDC) formed after KKM went underground wishes to thank all those persons and organizations across India and abroad who sent letters and faxes and made phone calls to the government and the ATS. It really is through your efforts alone that the government realised that keeping the KKM unjustly in prison carries a price.
KKMDC will soon move the court to release remaining members of the KKM. We will need your continued support so that sooner rather than later, we hear them sing their songs of freedom and justice again.

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