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India: Fighting Growing Fascist Atmosphere in the Country

Saturday 20 February 2016, by siawi3

Rally to Celebrate Secular Legacy of People’s King Shivaji, and to Commemorate First Death Anniversary of Com Govind Pansare
Call to All Progressive and Secular Citizens of Pune to Join Us in the Following Programs Against the Growing Fascist Atmosphere in the Country

One year ago, on February 20, 2015, Comrade Govind Pansare, veteran Communist leader, trade unionist, an uncompromising fighter for the rights of the most marginalised sections of society and an indefatigable propagandist for peace and secularism, breathed his last, after fighting heroically for four days the grevious bullet injuries suffered by him. He had been murderously attacked by motorcycle borne assailants on February 16, in an attack reminiscent of the murder of Dr. Narendra Dabholkar in 2013. One of the most important contributions of Comrade Govind Pansare to the fight against fundamentalist forces was his book, ’Shivaji Kaun Hota?’ (Who was Shivaji?). Basing himself on historical documents, he had shown in this book how Shivaji was an extremely secular and people’s king, as against the portrayal of Shivaji as a Hindu king by communal outfits. Communal outfits were strongly opposed to this secular portrayal of Shivaji, and had repeatedly tried to obstruct the sale of this book, despite which the book has sold a record 1.5 lakh copies in Maharashtra, apart from being translated into several Indian languages.

Despite the nationwide outcry against both these murders, the fascist forces have continued with their murderous offensive across the country, attacking places of worship of minority communities, persecuting Muslims in the name of beef eating, harassing Dalit scholars leading the suicide of Rohith Vemula in Hyderabad, and now the latest being the arrest of Kanhaiya Kumar, President of JNU Student’s Union, for sedition on obviously false charges of raising anti-India slogans, and then BJP lawyers and leaders indulging in hooliganism and goondaism in a Delhi court defying Supreme Court directives – these goons even attacked a panel of eminent lawyers sent by the Supreme Court to report on what was happening. What is worse, the law and order machinery has become a complete pawn in the hands of the fascist forces – the Delhi police remained a silent spectator to this complete breakdown of democracy.

Lokayat, together with Socialist Party (India), is organising the following programs to create awareness and mobilise people to fight the growing fascist atmosphere in the country, which is getting worse by the day.

Program One


to Celebrate the Secular Legacy of the People’s King Shivaji and
to Commemorate the First Death Anniversary of Comrade Govind Pansare

Date: Shiv Jayanti, Saturday, February 19, 2016
Time: 6 pm onwards
Route: Assembly at Tilak Putla, Mahatma Phule Mandai, Pune
via Bajirao Road and Shaniwarwada
to Shivaji Putla, Near PMC and Shivaji Nagar Court.

We call upon all progressive and secular organisations to participate in this Rally. Do come with your banners and placards. Let us make it a JOINT RALLY . . .

Program Two


(Talk will be in Hindi)

Speaker: Ashok Vajpeyi
Renowned Hindi poet, literary-cultural critic and
former chairperson, Lalit Kala Akademi

Chairperson: Bhai Vaidya

Date: February 20, 2016, Saturday
Time: 6 pm
Venue: SM Joshi Socialist Foundation Auditorium, Near Patrakar Bhavan, Navi Peth, Pune.