Thursday, February 11, 2010


B H A R A T - B A C H A O - A N D O L A N


DATE: 11TH FEBRUARY 2010 / TIME: 4pm onwards . . . .

Our beloved city of Mumbai, infact our entire State of Maharashtra is being subjected to the politics of communal & linguistic chauvinism, especially over the period of the last two years & more. Now those very forces led by the Shiv Sena are targeting Shahrukh Khan (SRK) for having made a comment where he would have liked to see Pakistani cricketers in the IPL. Prior to that Mr. Chidambaram (Union Home Minister) had made a similar categorical statement in this regard, but the Sena prefers to target SRK. Moreover now that the very Governments of both India & Pakistan have initiated a formal process of dialogue, inspite of the clouds of terror that linger on, on what grounds can even Mr. Bal Thackeray or Mr. Udhav Thackeray continue to target SRK on those flimsy grounds.

Clearly now the Shiv Sena, with it's rapidly dwindling support is desperate to stall the process of the implosion of the party & their hope is to cling onto power in the Mumbai Corporation Elections scheduled for 2012. The Sena is now attempting to play the card of communal politics & hence the targeting of the film "My Name Is Khan" (MNIK). The Sena gameplan is to play the Hindutva card, so as to counter the Marathi Manoos card of Mr. Raj Thackeray, ably supported by the Congress & the NCP. Just ten days ago, as one would recall, CM Mr. Ashok Chawan had raised the issue of Marathi as the language that Taxi drivers should all know. This is even though 80% of the Taxi drivers are of North Indian orgin & obviously come from the lower-middle classes. This issue was then taken up by Mr. Raj Thackeray & he painted the town yellow & black.

Then to counter Raj, Udhav picked up on SRK. During that period came along Mr. Rahul Gandhi, who before coming to our city, added his little oil to the fire by stating that it was the NSG from UP & Bihar that had protected Mumbai. This was clearly aimed at reviving the Congress in the Hindi heartland. This statement was also an insult to all those Maharashtrians who died during the days of 26/11 & all those jawans protecting to the nation. Then Rahul, ably supported by the PR agencies in the media, went for a train ride & lo & behold, the Sainiks did not try & gherao him, even though we all knew where Rahul was & more so right in Dadar. So the Sainiks carried on with their charade for the TV cameras. The Rahul episode did deflate the aggression of the Sena & Mr. Thackeray pulled back his andolan.

But worse was to follow. Even as the 'MNIK' matter had seemed to die down, the 'unscheduled visit' of Mr. Sharad Pawar, who is under tremendous pressure due to the spiralling price rise, (Union Minister for Agriculture . . . . & some would say for cricket . .) has all of a sudden given strength to the flagging Sena leadership. Thus on the very next day the Shiv Sainiks began to target Cinema Halls. The Police apparatus then went into action & arrested more than 1000 Sainiks under preventive detention. The CM Mr. Ashok Chawan seems committed as of now, which only goes to prove that the violence that the Sena unleashes has always been done under the collusion & at times under the instructions of the Maharashtra Government. One would vividly recall the role of the Shiv Sena during the Mumbai Riots of 1992-93.

Now on the TV screens, Sainiks are stating that they will burn Shahrukh Khan alive. This is clear an attempt to build the atmosphere for a major anti-Muslim communal pogrom across Mumbai & the rest of the State as well.

Both the Government as well as the Shiv Sena (SS, how very apt) & the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), have been making a sheer mockerey of all the progressive values & principles that Maharashtra represents.

The land of Chattrapati Shivaji Maharaj, Jijau Mata, Chattrapati Shahu Maharaj, Bharat Ratna Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar, Mahatma Jotiba Phule, Savitri Bai Phule, Shri Gopal Krishna Gokhale, Shri Bal Gangahar Tilak, Sant Tukaram, Sant Namdev & other numerous Bhakti & Sufi Saints.

Even Mahatma Gandhi led the freedom struggle from the Sevagram Ashram in Wardha.

This was the land that has given us numerous revolutionaries, workers struggles & trade union movements & thinkers, intellectual & literary writers . . .

This was from where the Dalit Panthers were born & from where the flame of Bahujan Hitaya is now being lit in every corner of the country.

This state has been amongst the leading bastions of the freedom struggle & thus both Subash Chandra Bose & Shaheed Bhagat Singh are part of our political & cultural landscape.

Mumbai, the plural, secular & cosmopolitan city, that gave the clarion call - "British - Quit India", is now being reduced to a mockerey, a mere joke.

Mumbai is a microcosm of India. And Mumbai is being weakened! Maharashtra is being weakened! & thus India will be weakened!! The religio-linguistic faultlines are being deepened & they are hitting at the very foundations, at the very idea that is India.

We have to fight back to reclaim our rich heritage, we have to fight back to reclaim our cosmopolitan culture. We have to fight for our very soul, the soul that is embodied in the idea that is Mumbai, our city.

And for that we have to resist.

We thus appeal to all Mumbaikars' to attend the dharna.

In Solidarity.

Kishore Jagtap, Feroze Mithiborwala, Madhu Shetye, Dinu Randive, Arun Velaskar, Mukta Srivastava, Mulniwasi Mala, Sudhir Dhawale, Major Barve, Bhagwan Kesbhat, Aslam Ghazi, S S Yadav, Uttam Gade, Simpreet Singh, Shyam Sonar, Varsha V V, Sanjay Shinde, Shridhar Shirsagar, Reshma Jagtap, Jagdish Nagarkar, Madhav Wagh, Baba Dalvi, Shravan Devre, Asif Khan, 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: 98208 97517 / 93245 14101 / 93237 03158 / 99693 63065
Address: c/o – Room No. 3, Plot No. 108, Borgaonkar Plot, Siddharth Clny, Swastik Nagar, Chembur, Mumbai.

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