September 25, 2015

India - Maharashtra: Ex-judges rise against saffronites (Sandip Kolhatkar in Pune Mirror)



Ex-judges rise against saffronites

Pune Mirror | Sep 23, 2015

By: Sandip Kolhatkar

Retired HC and SC judges have formed an alliance against the govt's persecution of minorities, are reaching out to similar outfits.

With the saffron brigade seemingly bent on taking over the nation, former Supreme Court judge PB Sawant and retired high court judge B G Kolse-Patil have formed an alliance called Desh Bachao Aghadi and are reaching out to all like-minded organisations. The duo is planning to organise a huge public rally at Shaniwarwada on October 4.

"Since the BJP government came to power at the Centre and in the state, minority communities have become targets for saffron outfits and there is an air of fear over the country," Kolse- Patil told Mirror.

He added that after the arrest of Sameer Gaikwad, alleged member of a radical outfit, for his apparent involvement in the murder of CPI leader Govind Pansare, it has become imperative to unite against these forces.

"We are meeting various organisations working for the welfare of Dalits, Muslims, farmers and peasants, and appealing them to come with us so that a strong opposition will be put up to save the country," he added.

Kolse-Patil further stated that they have also reached out to the Maharashtra Andhashradha Nirmoolan Samiti (MANS) and sought their support.

Speaking to Mirror, Rahul Pokle, president of Rashtra Seva Samuh, a city-based organisation which Desh Bachao Aghadi also approached, said, "Looking at the present condition and how the government, completely controlled by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), is trying to attack minority communities and infringe on their lives, it is the need of the hour to come together and put a brake on these outfits for a better India."

Anjum Inamdar, president of Mulnivasi Muslim Manch, said the alliance will also work towards safeguarding the rights of farmers, labourers, Dalits, Adivasis and minority communities. "Since we have also extended our support, we are helping the brains of the alliance to reach out to various small organisations from Muslim and Dalit communities."

Maulana Abdul Hameed Azhari, spokesperson of Kul Jamati Tanjim, said RSS supremo Mohan Bhagwat recently spoke about removing reservations, which, he feels, is a regressive move. "Two days ago, a minister at the Centre blurted out that despite being a Muslim, Dr APJ Abdul Kalam was a nationalist, which shows the government's mentality and view towards Muslims in the country," he said.

Kolse-Patil said that there are other common grounds such as keeping the educational, bureaucratic, judiciary, law and enforcement agencies and cultural sectors away from saffronisation', saving public sector firms from privatisation, farmer suicides and exploitation of underprivileged class , which will key agendas for Desh Bachao Aghadi.

Since the BJP government came to power at the Centre and in the state, minority communities have become targets for saffron outfits and there is an air of fear over the country