[OPE-L] Fight against the arrest of ideas!

From: michael a. lebowitz (mlebowit@SFU.CA)
Date: Tue Oct 17 2006 - 15:19:13 EDT

Dear Friends and Comrades,
         I want to call your attention to actions by the Maharashtra
Police against Daanish Books, the Indian publishers of my 'Build it
Now: Socialism for the 21st Century,' Marta Harnecker's
"Understanding the Venezuelan Revolution' and Samir Amin's
'Obsolescent Capitalism' and 'The Future of Maoism' (among other
books). In the latest news that I have heard, Sunita is currently
being held by the Anti-Naxalite Special Task Force where she was
questioned for nearly five hours last night. Apparently, the police
intend to book Sunita under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act
because 15% of the books being sold at the Daanish display 'cause
unrest and spread maoist ideas and politics'.
         Please indicate your support for protests against these
actions to Dhruva Narayan, publisher of Daanish Books and husband of
Sunita: <daanishbooks@gmail.com>.
                 in solidarity,

>In a shocking and bizarre incident the Maharashtra Police,
>Chandrapur has seized 41 books from the stall of Daanish Books, a
>reputed publishing firm from Delhi which were displayed in the book
>exhibition which is held every year on 15-16 October, on the
>occasion of the Deeksha Day celebration to mark the day when
>Babasaheb Ambedkar embraced Buddhism 50 years ago. The books seized
>by the police for containing dangerous , anti-state material include
>books like Marathi translation of the Thoughts of Bhagat Singh,
>Ramdeen Ka Sapna by B.D. Sharma, Jati Vyavastha- Bhartiya Kranti Ki
>Khasiyat by Vaskar Nandy, Monarchy Vs Democracy by Baburam
>Bhattarai, Nepali Samargaatha: Maowadi Janyuddha ka Aankhon Dekha
>Vivaran (The Hindi Edition of Eminent American Journalist Li
>Onesto's celebrated book Dispatches from the People's War in Nepal)
>and books on Marxism and Leninism and people's struggles.
>A police contingent of nearly 70 armed policemen surrounded the
>stall of Daanish Books this afternoon and remained there for more
>than three hours, making a list of books they wanted to seize.
>Earlier they made a list of more than 200 books. After a long
>argument Sunita had on telephone with the Chandrapur S.P., they
>removed many books and left with 41 books some of which have been
>mentioned above. They left the place after threatening Sunita that
>she would be arrested as they had information that she had Maoist
>links. When contacted, the S.P. assured Sunita that nothing would
>happen to her and he would personally come to see her next morning.
>But press circle is abuzz with rumours that Sunita might be arrested
>tomorrow as police suspect her to be a member of some Maoist outfit.
>Friends, Sunita and Daanish Books are a familiar feature of many
>pro-people programmes or events where they put up their stalls
>unfailingly. They are publishers of repute with strong pro-people
>leanings. They publish and display books which are at many times
>critical of the state policies. Is it a crime to publish and display
>such books in a democracy like India? That such an action can be
>taken by the police without any hesitation shows that India is fast
>turning into a police-state and police feels free to indulge in such
>unlawful activities in the name of containing terrorism. They can
>seize books, arrest people and even kill them without any fear of
>public outrage.
>We express our solidarity with Sunita and her colleagues of Daanish
>Books and condemn this highhandedness of the Chandrapur Police. We
>demand a statement from the Home Minister, Maharashtra on this incident.
>This is an appeal to all of you to condemn this highhandedness of
>Chandrapur police and a request to all of you write to the S.P.,
>Chandrapur condemning this incident and asking for their apology.
>Apoorvanand, Unv. Of Delhi
>shabanm hashmi, ANHAD
>harsh manderAMAN BIRADARI
>ram puniyani, AISF
>anand swaroop verma, Freelance journalist and writer
>aditya nigam, Fellow, CSDS
>khurshid anwar, ISD
>Nivedita Menon, Unv of Delhi
>Purushottam Agrawal, JNU
>Dilip Simeon, Feloow, Nehru museum amd Teen Murti Library,
>Jamal Kidwai, Aman Trust
>Charu Gupta, Fellow, Nehru Memorial Library
>Mukul Sharma, Amnesty International, India
>Vijay Pratap, Vasudhaiva Kutumbkam
>Imtiaz Ahmad, JNU
>Poorva Bhardwaj, Nirantar
>Vineet Tiwari, Sandarbh Dastavezikaran Kendra

Michael A. Lebowitz
Professor Emeritus
Economics Department
Simon Fraser University
Burnaby, B.C., Canada V5A 1S6

Currently based in Venezuela.
Can be reached at
Residencias Anauco Suites
Departamento 601
Parque Central, Zona Postal 1010, Oficina 1
Caracas, Venezuela
(58-212) 573-6333, 571-1520, 571-3820 (or hotel cell: 0412-200-7540)
fax: (58-212) 573-7724

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Tue Oct 31 2006 - 00:00:03 EST