Skip to main content

Jharkhand activists 'targetted' for challenging corporate loot of resources in tribal areas

Counterview Desk 

The civil rights group Campaign Against State Repression (CASR), even as “vehemently condemning the raid on anti-displacement activist Damodar Turi, Jailed Journalist Rupesh Kumar Singh and Majdoor Sangthan Samiti (MSS) activists Bacha Singh, Nageshwar Mahto and Sanjay Turi”, has regretted that “India has become a prison for any dissenting voice.”
Citing Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who compared “pen wale” with “bandook wale” (pen wielding, gun wielding), suggesting books in India have become a weapon and so does the brain, in a statement, CASR said, the ongoing “series of raids on activists is unquestionably a violation of the fundamental rights of activists.”
Claiming “a pattern of raiding and arresting is visible”, and calling it “rise of reactionary and undemocratic methods of silencing peoples’ voices under this Brahmanical Hindutva fascist regime”, CASR insisted, “There is an urgent need to forge a broader solidarity of all the democratic and progressive forces, the oppressed and exploited masses to stop these kind of blatant fascist attacks.”


On 2th May 2023, NIA raided the houses of several activists in various places of Jharkhand. The series of raid started early morning around 5 am , with the first house being of Damodar Turi.There were almost 150 local police with NIA to carry out this raid. Journalist Rupesh Kumar’s house was also raided, despite him being currently in jail under UAPA case. During the raid, several belonging of activists were broken, books and phones were taken away.
This is not the first time that Mazdoor Sangathan Samiti (MSS) has been targeted. In 2018, MSS was illegally banned on the pretext of being a Maoist frontal organization. Following the ban, Damodar Turi, an anti displacement activist, was also arbitrarily arrested and slapped with UAPA for being a member of MSS. Where as Damodar Turi was never a member of MSS and had only once went to deliver a speech in MSS’s program. After 4 long years of legal battle, Ranchi High Court declared the ban on MSS as illegal and uplifted the ban.
While Damodar Turi has been actively vocal against the corporate loot of people’s resources and their displacement, MSS has been active for over three decades in organizing contract workers in the coal mines of Dhanbad, Giridih and Bokaro. The organization has constructed a hospital at Madhuban, Giridhi for free medical assistance of poor and the workers. The resistance and pro people construction of an organized working class organization, which is presenting a people’s model of development, starkly in contrast to the corporate-state’s model of development based on resource loot and displacement, is a threat to the state’s narrative of portraying itself as pro development and the resisting forces as anti development. To crush this alternate idea of people’s power and people’s devolopment, the governments in power have used bans to outlaw opposition and dissent. This recent clampdown is also part of a larger attempt to crush those who dare to resist the Jharkhand government’s anti-people policies.
A pattern of raiding and arresting is visible, either in the case of journalist Rupesh Kumar Singh or of others
Journalist Rupesh Kumar Singh was also arrested in a frivolous case for this purpose only, as he has exposed the destructive impact of imperialist development on the people of Jharkhand, spoke against the foreign loot of country’s resources and displacement of adivasi people. He has also extensively worked on bringing to light, the conditions of working class in these regions of Jharkhand, dominated by mining giants. It is in the interest of these mining giants and corporate loot, that anti displacement activist, journalists and working class organization is being attacked. These activists have been targetted constantly because they challenge the regime’s anti people approach, be it the illegal displacement of tribals for corporate loot of resources or curbing the rights of workers. When Prime Minister gives a statement stating “Pen wale aur bandook wale” -- books also become a weapon and so does the brain. India has become a prison for any dissenting voice. And hence raids like this have become a norm in this fascist state. NIA is now an agent to curb any dissenting voice. These on going series of raids on activists is unquestionably a violation of the fundamental rights of activist.
A pattern of raiding and arresting is visible, either in the case of journalist Rupesh Kumar Singh or of other activists. We see the rise of reactionary and undemocratic methods of silencing peoples voices under this Brahmanical Hindutva fascist regime. There is an urgent need to forge a broader solidarity of all the democratic and progressive forces, the oppressed and exploited masses to stop these kind of blatant fascist attack and resist Brahmanical Hindutva Fascism.
CASR strongly condemns the raid on activists of MSS and Damodar Turi and calls upon all the democratic forces to stand in solidarity with struggling forces of Jharkhand.



'Very low rung in quality ladder': Critique of ICMR study on 'sudden deaths' post-2021

By Bhaskaran Raman*  Since about mid-2021, a new phenomenon of extreme concern has been observed throughout the world, including India : unexplained sudden deaths of seemingly healthy and active people, especially youngsters. In the recently concluded Navratri garba celebrations, an unprecedented number of young persons succumbed to heart attack deaths. After a long delay, ICMR (Indian Council for Medical Research) has finally has published a case-control study on sudden deaths among Indians of age 18-45.

SC 'appears to foster' culture of secrecy, does not seek electoral bond details from SBI

By Rosamma Thomas*  In its order of November 2, 2023 on the case of Association for Democratic Reforms vs Union of India contesting constitutional validity of electoral bonds, the Supreme Court directed all political parties to give particulars of the bonds received by them in sealed covers to the Election Commission of India. SC sought that information be updated until September 2023. 

How national chauvinism 'overtook' sport despite cricketing glory of World Cup 2023

By Harsh Thakor*  The recently-concluded cricket World Cup was a testimony or manifestation of the thrills, intensity, twists and turns in sport and evolution of the game of cricket. It carried on the trend of the World Cups of yesteryears. Possibly, this was the best ever Indian team in a World Cup, and arguably amongst the best ever to contest a World Cup.

Only 12% of schools RTE compliant: Whither 6% budgetary allocation for education?

By Ambarish Rai* Despite Indian state’s commitment of 6% GDP on education, the Finance Minister completely ignored right to education for children and strengthening implementation of RTE Act which makes education a fundamental right in her budget speech . The Right to Education (RTE) Forum, which is a collective of different stakeholders in education, condemns this neglect of a legal entitlement, which is unconstitutional and demand for overall increase in the budget to ensure improvement in learning outcomes and overall enhancement of quality education.

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

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.

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".

'Ambiguous policy': India late in advocating EVs as energy storage in national grid

By Shankar Sharma*  This is regarding the points raised by the Chief Electricity Authority’s (CEA's) advocacy for usage of electrical vehicles (EVs) as energy storage technology, and few associated issues . An objective reading of what he states should reiterate the enormously growing importance of battery energy storage systems (BESS) in our need to transition to a net-zero carbon scenario for the country.

Savarkar in Ahmedabad 'declared' two-nation theory in 1937, Jinnah followed 3 years later

By Our Representative One of the top freedom fighters whom BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi revere the most, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, was also a great supporter of the two nation theory for India, one for Hindus another for Muslims, claims a new expose on the man who is also known to be the original proponent of the concept of Hindutva.

Is India emulating west, 'using' anti-terror plank to justify state-supported violence?

Fahad Ahmad, Baljit Nagra*  Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has accused India of being involved in the assassination of Hardeep Singh Nijjar, a Canadian Sikh leader, on Canadian soil. Narendra Modi’s right-wing Hindu nationalist Indian government is defiant and denies involvement. Indian officials have instead admonished Canada for being a “ safe haven ” for Sikh “terrorism,” a pejorative for Sikh self-determination .