All posts tagged: Freedom

Kanhaiya Kumar and Betrayal of Freedom Struggles

By Saswat Pattanayak Kanhaiya Kumar’s arrest was unfortunate and so his release on bail is a great relief. But beyond that, to seek revolutionary potential in the hoopla surrounding it, is to miss the point entirely. Competing for authentic nationalism to legitimize an oppressive power structure is not what the Communists do. Quite the opposite. Sudden excitement and pronouncement of “victory” at the news of a judge granting Kumar’s bail is a betrayal of Kashmiri peoples’ struggles, given the specific contexts of denial of antinationalism on part of these students. It is as if the left-liberals of India were hoping and praying and wishing that the judge found nothing in those tapes that were anti-India. To celebrate Maqbool Bhat and Afzal Guru and then to hope that nothing is spoken against Indian state is a mockery of social justice ethos. Outside of the campus too, no politician in the parliament condemned capital punishment and everyone hailed the court’s verdicts as eternally just. Their voice in unison across party line was “We will not spare whoever …

Freedom Tree!

Tireless in pursuit of democratic rights  Relentlessly challenging plutocratic might Braving atrocities, police state’s plights Awaiting the passage of this barbaric night   Freedom Tree! Free Press shall set us Free!   In actions and spirits, journalists united Radical is our zeal, refusing to be placated No longer shall we let scribes be oppressed Duties shall manifest, and our rights protected   Freedom Tree! Free Press shall set us Free!   Unjust regimes can imprison us; not our thoughts They can chain us down, charge us with treasons Truths we shall expose, fearless in our purpose With conscience intact, misdeeds we shall oppose   Freedom Tree! Free Press shall set us Free!   Too many journalists have been assaulted by State For speaking out with reason, against fear and hate We must all stand by our comrades, before its too late Until justice is served, liberties restored, we shall not rest!   Freedom Tree! Free Press shall set us Free!   – Saswat Pattanayak, Peoples’ Poet (Written for Media Unity for Freedom of Press – …