We are sorry to announce that the programme scheduled for tomorrow has been postponed due to unforseen circumstances. But by Monday, we will have a new venue booked & the invitation for the same will be resent to all concerned.
The reason for the postponement too needs to be shared with all our comrades & would leave most as bewildered as we are.
This is first, to state, a direct fallout of the demonstration that we had staged against the US Consul General Paul Folmsbee on the 16th of December '09 & a section of the elite management of the Press Club has insitigated a ban against Kishore Jagtap & myself.
The Press Club was booked by Yavar Ali Qazi & he has the receipt for the same. Then late in the evening on Saturday, he was informed that as the above two were the speakers & since they were banned, the Public meeting on Palestine could only continue without them. Let it be on record that we have never been intimated by either Gurbir Singh or Jatin Desai about the ban, either in writing or even verbally & this should have been conveyed to us. Then since the programme was on Monday, it was practically impossible to change the venue at the last moment. Jatin bhai & myself were together for 3 days during the Indo-Pak conference in Delhi & he should have atleast intimated us then. I then called up the Press Club & asked for the same in writing, but Mr. Mascerhenas too was not forthcoming & said that since we were not members of the Press Club, there was no reason to give the same.
Then I called up Gurbir Singh & he did not attend my call but he did speak to Kishore. During the conversation he said that since the Press Club was a 'Private' body, they could take these steps. For us the term 'Private' was even more shocking, as technically he is right, but morally far from, as Gurbir does come from a Left background. Sections of the Elite journalists in India have forgotten the role that the Media has played in the Indian Freedom Struggle & how the media supported the anti-colonial movements across the nation. This is apparent to us now.
We again reiterate that the demonstration was not against the media, but was clearly directed against the US & it's representatives in India & this seems to have riled certain elitists & pro-American sections & assets within the Media. We were later given to understand that the Press Club had organized a Press Meet along with the American Centre (another Imperial front organization). The agenda was to discuss the Obama-Manmohan Singh meeting in Washington DC.
All that he said was in any case the same old propaganda that we read everyday in our corporate newspapers. Folmsbee went on to speak about the 'common values' that the India & US share, especially he was pleased at the growing role of the FBI in India & the general Indian role in the global war on terror. This was a typically Bush-like speech & that is all that we can expect. So much for the Press Meet.
And we get banned for this, great !!
Sections of the Elitist Corporate Press always hide behind the hubris of 'Freedom of Expression' or 'Freedom of the Press'. The basic point is that the freedoms have been far too abused by the media, as with every freedom comes a responsibility & a sense of accountability & it can be stated, that both of the above are totally lacking in the media of our neo-liberal age. Recently at a meeting veteran journalist Kuldip Nayar (who is one of India's most respected & widely read) spoke eloquently about the corruption that has pervaded the media. He spoke about planted & paid stories, journalists who wilfully distorted facts & did not even bother to verify their stories. Thus this entire pattern has caused untold damage to the social fabric of the nation. Worst he said, has been there mis-reporting on the issue of terror & the sort of problems that this has created for millions of people.
And we get banned for protesting against the US pro-Consul!!
From what we have learnt from our senior & respected journalists, the task or rather duty of the journalists was not too add to the Government propaganda machinery, as it was far too powerful in anycase. The task was too question & challenge the hegemony of the all-powerful state & be an effective counter-check to the all-pervasive hegemony. But the media from being the Fourth Pillar of Democracy has been subverted to become the Fouth Pillar of the Elite Establishment. It's role has undergone a radical change & now is part of the Mis-Information Ministry. The task of the media now is to 'manufacture consent' (to use a Chomskian term) for government policies, either in the realm of war or as is currently on in the enthnic cleansing of the Adivasi population in the forests of Dantewada or in spreading Islamophobia, amongst a host of other issues. For over a year, the corporate media ran a systematic campaign, vilifying all Adivasis & their regions as 'Naxalite Infested' & after having successfully run the campaign are totally absent from the scene of the mass murder, even as the Government has unleashed it's firepower against our very own civilian population.
Another glaring example was the 'Indo-US Nuclear Deal' & the entire media parroted the Government line barring a few exceptions. Worse, on the 'Global War on Terror', the Corporate Media has been reduced to printing verbatim the mis-information provided by the Intelligence Bureau (our very own ISI) & the Police. No investigation whatsoever into the lies that have spread fear in the hearts of 200 million Muslims, who are increasingly seen as terror suspects due to the atmosphere of Islamophobia that pervades the front pages & the airwaves.
Thus never has it crossed the minds of the Press Club Management to invite a group of Muslims or other secularists who have been exposing the terror attacks, including 26/11 & battling Islamophobia??. We guess not. Within the Press Club we have individuals who are supporters of Modi, the leading face of Fascism in India. These individuals have their own doubts about the encounter killing of Ishrat Jehan, now proved without a doubt of being one of Modi's myriad victims. Also journalists who naively believe in the benign role of the US in resolving the Kashmir dispute, between India & Pakistan.
And we get banned. Thankyou!
And look at the Imperial Fascist nature of the American Empire. The US is currently directly involved in five wars across the Asian & African continents in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Yemen & Somalia. That is, even as it worsens the Israeli stranglehold over Palestine & especially the inhuman siege of Gaza. The US threatens to Nuke Iran. It is deepening it's military presence in Columbia, as it seeks to role back the Bolivarian Revolution across South America & has singled out Chavez' Venezuela. This is the Global situation.
And we get banned for taking on the US Pro-Consul!!
And we were under the wrong impression that there were certain elements within the Press Club leadership that had LEFT leanings.
Can any sane person any longer deny that the CIA had no role to play in the planning, execution & financing of Mumbai 26/11? Has not it been proved that David Coleman Headley is a CIA operative & was the mastermind of the terror attack on Mumbai? Is it not true that the CIA warned the Government of India about the impending terror attack, but did not warn Pakistan? It is not obvious even to the layperson, leave alone political thinkers?
As soon as Headleys' role was revealed, one would have expected the Press Club management to call of the Flomsbee meet & in fact boycott all American programmes till it was proved otherwise. But the certain sections of the elite journalists who have lost their idelogical moorings are at the root of the intellectual crisis in the media.
In fact the 'Deadley Headley' matter truly came to the fore just a few days prior to us getting wind of the fact that the US Consul General was coming out of his Fortress at the US Consulate at Bridge Candy & that is when we decided to hold our demonstration.
We had planned to demonstrate for 10 minutes, as beyond that it would be impossible as the Police Station is right across the street. One would recall that when Sec.of State Hillary Clinton had visited India (July 17-19 '09) & unfortunately our city as well, the police had whisked us away from our homes as they wrongly believed that we were planning demonstrations against her. So as far as the Indian State & the Police apparatus are concerned our anti-imperialist credentials are very strong indeed. We have filed a case against the Police for their unlawful detention & that is a case we are currently winning.
The demonstration as even our worst detractors will attest, was totally Non-Violent. As soon as Folmsbee got up to speak, Kishore Jagtap began to raise anti-imperialist slogans (America - Quit India / Extradite Headley CIA agent / Release Vikram Buddhi / Down with US Imperialism / Mahatma Gandhi Zindabad / Dr. Ambedkar Zindabad / Shivaji Maharaj Zindabad / Vande Mataram / Jai Hind !!). We then distributed pamphlets to the journalists present & after 10 minutes as planned, we walked out of the Press Club. We did not as much touch a single journalist, turn over a chair, or throw a shoe . . . like the two courageous journalists whom we admire, Jarnail Singh (Chidambaram, Home Minister) or Montazer-al-Zaida (President Bush).
To our utter surprise the entire Press Corps walked out with us. The Press wanted to know more about the Headley issue as well as the young Indian, Vikram Buddhi who is currently incarcerated in a US jail on false terror charges & we conducted an informal Press Conference in the open area outside the premises of the Press Club.
To our pleasant surprise, the police did not appear & we carried on for a cup of tea & hot samosas. The organizers then were gathering the journalists again & the Folmsbee Press Meet did carry on & he did put forward the Bush-Bama line as expected. So their Press Meet did take place & our intention as stated was never the Press Club, but the US Consul General.
Any sane person in India is aware that the US has a very deep reach into our media, with a number of journalists on it's payrolls. Planeloads of journalists, intellectuals & strategic 'experts' have been now indoctrinated & cultivated as assets to be delployed as & when they are required. It goes without saying that these assets exist within the political parties, buereaucracy & our military-defence-intelligence establishment.
Currently, we also need to state, that both Kishore Jagtap & myself are being threatened & targetted by the Abhinav Bharat & the Sanatan Sanstha, both of which are being investigated for their role in fomenting terror across the country. Both these organizations have deep ties with the Mossad (mentioned in the chargesheets filed by the Anti-Terror Squad). As of now I have been given 24 hours police security as the threating calls are now at the rate of 2 per week. And the friends who have enforced the ban on us are aware of these facts.
Awami Bharat, which comprises a small band of courageous & merry youngsters have changed the entire paradigm of the discourse on 'terror' & have successfully challenged even the Mumbai 26/11 terror attacks & there is none in Mumbai who can now deny the role of the US-CIA in the terror attacks on our city.
Even though our resources are few, we have accomplished far more at the cost & threart to our very own lives.
Let it also be stated that since alst night we have been receiving support from all quarters & more so from vast sections of the media & the social movements.
We would have atleast expected a dialogue with those within the Press Club, who have enforced a ban on us for doing our duty.
In Solidarity with all those who strive for Truth & Liberty.
Feroze Mithiborwala & Kishore Jagtap.
0091-9820897517 / 9324514101
Varsha V V, Sayeed Khan, Amol Madame, Arif Kapadia, Vilas Gaikwad, Avi G, Jyoti Badekar, Chetna Birje, Reshma Jagtap, Avinash Kamble, Asif Khan, Syed Iftikhar Ahmad, Ghazala Azad, Mumnawwar Azad, Munawwar Khan, Yavar Ali Qazi
For an International Struggle against Imperialism, Zionism & Brahmanism
B H A R A T B A C H A O A N D O L A N
"FOR A NATIONAL STRUGGLE AGAINST IMPERIALISM, ZIONISM & BRAHMANISM"
"LIBERTY TO PALESTINE"
"END THE SIEGE OF GAZA"
"BOYCOTT ZIONIST APARTHEID ISRAEL"
Venue: PRESS CLUB, AZAD MAIDAN, OPP. CST, MUMBAI.
DATE/TIME: 18th JAN '10, MONDAY / 3-5pm
Comrade Prakash Reddy (CPI, Mumbai Gen. Sec.), Com. Saeed (CPM, State Committe), Feroze Mithiborwala (IPPSF, Founder), Comrade Sanjay Singhvi (CPI-ML, Central Politburo), Adv. Yusuf Muchala, Col. Sudhir Sawant (Shivrajya Party, National President), Comrade Vasudevan (National Trade Union Initiative - NTUI), S S Yadav (Republican Party of India, Economist), Syed Iftikhar Ahmed (Islamic & Phule-Ambedkarite Scholar), Asif Khan (Muslim Intellectual Forum), Sudhir Dhawale (Republican Panther), Aslam Ghazi (Jamaat-I-Islami-Hind), Kishore Jagtap & Sayeed Khan (Awami Bharat, National Convenors) amongst others . . .
1) To Condemn the Israeli War & Siege on Gaza & the Occupation of Palestine. It was on the 18th of January 2009, that Israel stopped it's 23 day long genocidal onslaught on the Civilian popualtion of Gaza. Once again the Palestinian Resistance triumphed & the Israeli Holocaust war-machine had to withdraw in the face of growing International opprobrium & isolation. We thus again reiterate our demand for the criminal prosecution of the Israeli Political, Military & Religious leadership for being complicit & guilty in the mass murder of more than 1400 Palestinian Civilians & thus call for the implementation of the "Richard Goldstone Report".
2) We also condemn the Mubarak Regime of Egypt in being complicit with the US-Israel & EU Imperial-Zionist powers, for the continuing inhuman Siege of Gaza. We also condemn the fact that the US is currently constructing an 'audacious' STEEL WALL on the Gaza border, 14 kms in length & 30 metres in depth. This will effectively deprive the Gazan population of any modicum of 'hope' or even their basic needs, as the Tunnels that are Life-Line of Gaza will be terminated. So much for Obama's hypocritical & deceitful speeches.
3) "CAIRO DECLARATION", 2010 http://cairodeclaration.org : At the recent gathering in Cairo (27th Dec '09 to 2nd Jan '10) of more than 1400 Palestine Solidarity activists from across 43 nations, was passed the "Cairo Declaration" that called for to "End Israeli Apartheid" & "Freedom for Palestine". The activists, that included a delegation from India, had congregated to go to Gaza in solidarity with the Palestinian-Gazan population but were prevented by the Mubarak regime. The entire episode too will be discussed.
4) INDO-PALESTINE PEOPLES' SOLIDARITY FORUM (IPPSF) & the "DELHI DECLARATION", 2009: Recently at a solidarity conference that was held in Delhi on the 23rd of December '09, it was finally resolved to establish the IPPSF, so as to create an All-India network to actively stand in solidarity with Palestine as well as oppose the deep penetration of Zionist Israel into India. Therein was also released the "Delhi Declaration" (attached). We will also be discussing the process whereby this Forum would be established across Maharashtra as well as the rest of the nation.
Dinu Randive, Comrade Arun Velaskar, Mukta Srivastava, Mulniwasi Mala, Sudhir Dhawale, Major Barve, Bhagwan Kesbhat, Uttam Gade, Simpreet Singh, Shyam Sonar, Varsha V V, Sanjay Shinde, Shridhar Shirsagar, Reshma Jagtap, Jagdish Nagarkar, Madhav Wagh, Baba Dalvi, Shravan Devre, Valji Bhai, Abid Zaidi, Chetna Birje, Vilas Gaikwad, Avinash Kamble, Jyoti Badekar, Arif Kapadia, A. H. Faruqi, Yavar Qazi, Aarti Bonkar, Ravi Joshi, Pooja Badekar, Munawwar Azad, Ghaza Azad, Manohar Rajguru, Munawwar Khan, Farid Batatawala, Mark Anthony, Tito Eapen, Harshavardhan Vartak, Rahul Gupta, Shadab Sheikh, Dr. Ashwin Bhosle, Farrouk Mapkar, Dr. Rizwan Sheikh, Santoash Khangaonkar & Sainath Shinde.
Awami Bharat , National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM), Trade Union Centre of India (TUCI), Indian Federation of Trade Unions (IFTU), Safai Kaamgar Mazdoor Union, BAMCEF, Republican Panther, Phule-Ambedkari Vichar Manch, Jamaat-i-Islami-i-Hind, Aapli Mumbai, Marathi Bharati, All India Milli Council, National Minorities Federation, OBC Parishad, Republican People of India, Marathi Bharti, NEEDS, Vidyarthi Bharti, Muslim Intellectual Forum, Gujarati Intellectual Forum, Hindu Vikasini, Christian Panther, Yuva Sarkar, Ganai Sanskrutik Utthan
Contact: (0091) 98208 97517 / 93245 14101 / 93237 03158 / 99693 63065
JAI HIND! JAI BHARAT! FOR A SOUTH ASIAN UNION! ONE ASIA - UNITED ASIA!
Address: c/o – Room No. 3, Plot No. 108, Borgaonkar Plot, Siddharth Clny, Swastik Nagar, Chembur, Mumbai.