Skip to main content

Civil society, Opposition plan anti-saffron "Chalo Lucknow" show on May 10,160th anniversary of 1857 revolt

The 1857 Siege of Lucknow, as seen by Thomas Jones Barker
By Our Representative
Several civil society organizations, in alliance with opposition parties, such as Congress, Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party, the two Communist parties, Rashtriya Janata Dal, and Janata Dal (United) are likely to come together for a show of unity against saffornization on May 10 in Lucknow to commemorate the 160th anniversary of the First War of Indian Independence of 1857.
The decision of the programme, likely to begin on May 5, culminating into a rally on May 10, was taken recently at a civil society meeting in Delhi, where activists agreed that it was necessary to break the alleged apathy towards the manner in which hardline Hindutva votaries are taking over reins of power in the country, as seen in Uttar Pradesh slipping in the hands of Yogi Adityanath.
The meeting decided, to quote one of the participants, to “give a clarion call that recalls the glorious days of the First War of Indian Independence and reaffirms resolve to fight to preserve and save India and Indians and the values enshrined in the Indian Constitution against oppression of all forms.”
Prominent persons who participated in the meeting, which took place after holding consultations with political leaders, included well-known intellectuals and social activists Apoorvanand, Harsh Mander, social activists Jaya Sharma, Sehba Farooqui, Maimoonah Mollah, MJ Vijayan, Avijit, Rajeswari Raina, Madhuresh Kumar, Zakir Husain, Shabnam Hashmi, and others.
The meeting was told that top social activist Teesta Setalvad has already held discussions with civil society activists regarding planning of the programme, which would be called “Lucknow Chalo”, in different cities, including Lucknow, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Patna, Saharanpur, Kolkata, etc.
The political leaders contacted included Sharad Yadav (JD-U), Sitaram Yechury (CPM), Ahmed Patel and Raj Babbar (Congress), Sudhindra Bhadoria (BSP) and Ghanshyam Tiwari (SP), and Manoj Jha (RJD). While CPM, JDU, RJD and Congress agreed to participate, SP and BSP said they would get back after talking to their leaders.
Setalvad separately held consultations with civil society organizations such as Bhoomi Adhikar Andolan, National Alliance of People’s Movements, National Committee on Dalit Human Rights, Saajhi Duniya, Uttar Pradesh Jan Manch, Bana Rahe Banaras, Savitribai Phule Samiti, National Trade Union of India, Quraishi Jamaat, Safai Karamchari Union, and others.
The programme in Lucknow is likely to begin on May 5, and would include seminars and cultural events on issues such as including defence of rights, breaking the silence, silence of the majority community, attack on Muslims, attack on the rule of law, subjugation of minorities, attacking young couples, attack on the idea of India, freedom of speech, constitution, democracy, and women.
During the meeting, Apoorvanand, professor of Hindi literature at the Delhi University, said, “We must say loudly that Muslims are being attacked and it’s not acceptable. Participation of Muslim groups is a must.”
Harsh Mandar, bureaucrat-turned-activist, added, “There is silence of the majority, some are with them, some apathetic and some afraid, and majority must break this silence.”
Farmers’ leader Vijayan said the focus should be to Talibanisation of India, with emphasis on how the RSS wants to break and divide India.” The meeting decided that there should be gathering on the last day, May 9, with the participation of 5,000 people, as it is “important to break the silence and atmosphere of fear.”
The slogans discussed sought to address issues such as how “goon squads were taking law unto their own hands, killing in the name of what one eats and what one wears; lynching fellow Indians because of what they trade and eat; and attacking young men and women because they choose to be friends, or enter into relationships”, said a source.
It was decided that the Lucknow programme would pledge “resolved to ensure that there is justice for all, social, economic and political; liberty of thought, expression, faith, belief and worship; equality of status and opportunity; and above all to promote a sense of fraternity that assures the dignity of the individual.”

Comments

TRENDING

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Examples of support to Hindu temples, scriptures, saints by 'Muslim' rulers galore

Siya Ram coin issued by Akbar By Bharat Dogra* At a time when the country as well as the world are passing through very difficult times leading to more urgent need for strengthening national unity for meeting several big challenges ahead, unfortunately disputes relating to religious places have been allowed to raise their ugly head once again. It is well-realized by now by many people that it is not historical facts but narrow considerations of political gain and spreading of fanatic ideas of intolerance which are behind such mischief, but due to the increasing threat of mob violence and patronage available at higher levels to groups spreading intolerance many people are reluctant to openly and fearlessly express their views. Hence there is urgent need for broad-based peace committees with wider social support to spread the message of communal harmony and to appeal against the dangers of spreading false messages regarding places of worship which can ultimate

Gyanvapi case: Use of 'illegal' lawfare to keep the communal pot simmering

By Venkatesh Narayanan, Bobby Ramakant, Manoj Sarang* With a steady drumbeat of bad news for the lives of ordinary citizens --  inflation at a multi-year high , rupee at an all-time low , negative job creation and when all forward indicators as seen by industry leaders point to recessionary clouds on the horizon , what’s a serially-incompetent government to do?  Dust out their time-tested-citizen-distraction playbook. The Gyanvapi-Masjid case is all of this -- as a weapon of mass distraction. This zeitgeist of our times is best captured by a recent opinion piece : "The idea is to keep the pot on a perpetual boil, simmering at the top, whirling feverishly beneath. A restless society forever living precariously on the precipice arouses distrst, uneasiness, fear and discomfort, That is a toxic panoply for manufacturing rage, which can then be effortlessly mobilized at short notice. BJP is creating an eco-system of real-time instant delivery of hate-mongers. That is how we are sudde

Targeting mosques, churches: 'Roadmap' for 2025, RSS' centenary year?

416 years old Our Lady of Health Church, Sancoale, Goa  By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ*  Fascists use manipulative strategies aimed at whipping up sympathy and support from the majority community, to which they normally ‘belong’. They do so in a variety of insidious and subtle ways. In the past few months, they have gone overboard in their efforts to denigrate and demonize minorities in India, particularly Muslims and Christians. They have spewed hate and divisiveness through their venomous speeches; incited people to violence and have effectively used officialdom to further their vested interests. The results are there for all to see: greater polarisation of the majority community in a country which prided itself for its pluralism and diversity. Their meticulously planned agenda is in order to gain absolute power of the country in the 2024 national elections. More so it is also a roadmap towards 2025 when the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) will complete one hundred years of its existence.

This varsity succumbed to extra-academic mobocracy, 'ignored' Hindutva archives

By Shamsul Islam* Open letter to Sharda University vice-chancellor Sub: Discarding a Question on Linkages of Hindutva with Nazism/Fascism is blatant Academic Dishonesty! Dear Professor Sibaram Khara Saheb, Namaskaar! According to your esteemed University’s portal: “The name of University, 'Sharda' is synonymous to 'Goddess of knowledge and learning-Saraswati'. She is identified with 'veena', an Indian musical instrument and the ‘lotus’, where she resides. The lotus in our logo symbolizes the seat of learning that the University is created for.  "Variety of colours signify the variety of disciplines the university offers and the overlap between petals creating new colours demonstrate the ethos of collaboration between students and teachers of different programme, nationality, creed and colour working towards creating new knowledge…the University's cherished mission to provide education beyond boundaries and to facilitate the students and faculty to achie

Whither climate goal? Increasing reliance on coal 'likely to worsen' India's power crisis

By Shankar Sharma*  Recent news articles, How to shock-proof India’s power sector and Power minister points finger at states for worsening electricity crisis , have highlighted a few current problems for the ongoing power sector issues as in April 2022. However, there is a lot more to it than a few temporary solutions as indicated in the articles. It should also be emphasised that it is techno-economically impossible to completely shock-proof a highly complex and geographically wide-spread vast power network, such as the one in India, which is only getting more and more complex with the passage of each year due to some irrational policies/ practices in the sector. A business-as-usual (BAU) scenario, wherein more and more of conventional technology power plants, including coal power plants, will be added in the near future, will also necessitate the increased complexity in the integrated national grid, and as a result the instances of power shortage/ disruptions can only escalate for

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

A former Modi ally, Prashant Kishor wanted to enter Congress 'on contract, as trader'

By Anand Sahay*  The Congress Party and the election campaigns specialist Prashant Kishor, whose company has done strategic communications for a host of political parties across ideology, should both count themselves lucky that they could not reach an agreement for Kishor to join the party. News reports suggest that the Congress rejected Kishor’s terms. This is not wholly unexpected. People join a party because they are attracted to it, and wish to serve it in any capacity that the party may see fit. But that isn’t Kishor at all. He gave the impression of entering into a contract, as a trader might. If news reports are to be believed, he sought freedom to report directly to party chief Sonia Gandhi, and sought untrammeled control over party communications. When such ideas did not find favour, the consultant withdrew. It is clear he has no particular love for the Congress, and its ideas, ideology and politics. In contrast, look at the key personae in G-23. They

Govt of India 'compromising' on mandate to regulate gene technologies, protect nature

Counterview Desk  In a letter sent to the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) and other related ministries and departments, the Coalition for a GM-Free India has raised "serious concern" over the guidelines notified for Genome Edited Organisms, in which major exemptions from regulations have been offered to certain categories of Genome Edited Organisms/Plants and products. A letter signed by Sridhar Radhakrishnan and Kapil Shah, co-convenors of the NGO network, addressed to Union Minister for Environment, Forest & Climate Change Bhupender Yadav, said, the Office Memorandum, dated May 17, 2022 of the Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science & Technology about Safety Assessment Guidelines, which follows the Office Memorandum dated March 30, 2022 of the MoEFCC, said, the move "essentially amounts to entry of risky GMOs through the backdoor. Text : Coalition for a  GM-Free India is a national volunteer-driven platform of hundre

A Marxian trend that queries undemocratic customs and traditions of capitalism

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  A very well-meaning comrade called me a pluriversal Marxist with a wild smile full of English irony, while chairing my book release function in the Marx Memorial Library, London. I dedicate this piece to her… There is no other philosopher who is more abused and misunderstood like Marx. There is no other philosophy like Marxism which is more demonised on a regular basis. The mindless vilification campaign against Marx and Marxism continues without any form of reason. The propaganda and portrayal of Marxism as a devilish doctrine signify its importance as a philosophy of human emancipation from the very forces who demonise it. Marxism is a philosophy of praxis which helps us to understand the centrality of creative power of labour in producing socially meaningful value. It helps us to analyse the laws governing production, distribution, consumption, exchange, market, profit, pricing and private property in the development of class-based society. As a humanist p