Hundreds of Civil Rights Activists Show Solidarity With Harsh Mander against false case registered by New Delhi Police

News Delhi, India: Hundreds of Civil Rights activists have shown Solidarity with Civil Rights activist Harsh Mander who is facing false charges registered by New Delhi Police.

Hundreds of Civil Rights Activists Show Solidarity With Harsh Mander against false case registered by New Delhi Police
Hundreds of Civil Rights Activists Show Solidarity With Harsh Mander against false case registered by New Delhi Police

It may be mentioned that Harsh Mander had filed a petition before the Honorable Supreme Court, related to registering of FIRs against political leaders whose inflammatory speeches triggered the violence resulting in over 50 deaths in February Delhi riots.

Here bellow is a statement issued by Human Rights activists of India:

We, the undersigned, condemn the manner in which the Delhi Police has mentioned the name of Harsh Mander and other activists, to concoct a ‘chronology’ and create a false narrative about the Delhi riots, in the chargesheet filed by them on FIR No.- 65/2020 of 26/02/2020.

Harsh Mander is a well known Human Rights Defender, a writer, and a social activist. Harsh Mander was a civil servant who resigned from his job in the wake of Gujarat violence in 2002 and came forward to work tirelessly to build bridges of love in our society. He went on to start initiatives for the under-privileged, and religious minorities among others. He founded Aman Biradari and Karavan-E-Mohabbat. Both initiatives have contributed immensely to the betterment of Indian society. His current efforts to help the migrant workers, who had to tragically flee our cities in the wake of Corona lockdown, are commendable.

In the wake of the Delhi violence ( Feb. 2020), Harsh Mander had filed a petition before the Honorable Supreme Court, related to registering of FIRs against political leaders whose inflammatory speeches triggered the violence resulting in over 50 deaths. Instead of allowing the court to consider the petition, the Solicitor General of India derailed it, and gave a twist to the episode by arguing that Mr. Mander had in fact been contemptuous of the Honorable Supreme Court, and incited violence in a speech he gave at the Jamia Millia Islamia University on December 16th 2020. That speech, given publically, and video recorded, in fact spoke of love and constitutional rights.

The chargesheet now filed by the police continues this false narrative. Under the head – Brief Facts of the Case – Chronology Of Events Leading To Riots In North-East, Delhi (Point 17. Para 4) it says : ”Mr. Harsh Mander, who visited the site on 16/12/19 and instigated the protestors to not have faith in the Supreme Court and to fight their battle on road to get justice. He, however, used a façade of peace in a part of his speech”.

There cannot be anything more ridiculous than saying Harsh Mander used a “façade of peace.” He has devoted his entire life to the cause of peace and harmony in society.

The core part of his speech called for shunning violence and adopting Gandhian means of nonviolence in the agitation.

This is what he had said:

“What will be the future of this country – you all are the youth – what sort of country do you want to leave for your kids – where will this decision happen? One, it will happen on the streets, we have come out on the streets, but even beyond the streets, there is another place where this decision will take place. Which is the place in which this fight will eventually be decided? That is in our hearts, in my heart, in your heart, we have to give a response – if they want to fill our hearts with hate, if we respond with hate, hatred will become deeper”.

“If someone is attempting to bring darkness to the country, and we also do the same in order to fight, then the darkness will only become more severe. If there is darkness, then the only way that can be fought is by lighting a lamp. And if there is a huge storm, we will light a lamp against the darkness. The only answer we have to their hate is love. They will resort to violence, they will instigate us to indulge in violence but we will never carry out any violence. You must understand that it is their plan to instigate you towards violence so that when we commit 2% violence, they respond with 100%. We have learnt from Gandhi ji how to respond to violence and injustice. We will fight with non-violence. Anyone who instigates you toward violence or hatred, they are not your friends.”

Surely this speech can go down in history as an elaboration of Gandhian principles in contemporary times. To use this speech to present Harsh Mander as someone instigating violence is utterly deplorable. It is a deliberate and motivated attempt to implicate an outstanding peace-loving, Gandhi follower, activist par excellence,who is walking the path of nonviolence. This is an attempt to target him, perhaps pull him into the police dragnet of false cases, and silence powerful and effective citizen’s voices against hate, divisiveness and for unity and compassion.

We strongly condemn the motivated, compromised investigation and vilification of a person with a commitment to a just society, and demand that this is stopped forthwith.

Endorsed by:
Abha Bhaiya, OBR India coordinator
Abhijit Sen, Former Member of Planning Commission of India
Abuzar Choudhary, Social Activist
Achin Vanaik, Retd. Professor of International Relation, DU
Aditya Mukherjee, historian, JNU
Admiral L Ramdas
Admiral Vishnu Bhagwat
Air Vice Marshal (retd) Kapil Kak
Ajaya Kumar Singh, Bhubaneswar
Anand Chakravarti, Academician, Delhi
Anand Grover, Advocate
Anand majgavkar, social activist, Gujarat
Anjali Hegde, IT professional, Delhi
Annie Raja, National Secretary, NFIW
Anu Chenoy, Professor JNU
Aparna Sen, filmmaker, actress, Kolkata
Apoorvanand , academician, writer, Delhi
Aruna Roy, MKSS, Rajasthan
Arundhati Dhuru, NAPM
Asha Mishra, social activist
Ashok Choudhary, AIUFWP
Ashok Kumar Pandey, poet, writer, Delhi
Asok Barman, former President of AIFUCTO.
Atul Sood, Economist, Professor JNU, Delhi
B. Rajendra Prasad, Hyderabad
Badri Raina, author, Delhi
Balvir Arora, former Rector of JNU and Prof of Political Science
Biraj Patnaik, Amnesty Internayional’s South Aisa, Director
Brinda Karat, Polit Bureau Member, CPM
Brinelle D’souza, Academic and Activist, Mumbai
Chaman Lal Retd. Professor, JNU and author
Chayanika Shah, Queer Feminist, Mumbai
Deepak Kabir , social-cultural activist ,Lucknow
Dev Desai, social activist, Gujarat
Dhirendra Panda, Convener, Civil Society Forum on Human Rights, Bhubaneswar
Dipa Sinha, social activist, Delhi
Dr Harshvardhan Hedge, orthopedic surgeon, Delhi
Dr Syeda Hameed, former member, Planning Commission, writer, Delhi
Dr. R. Mahalakshmi, Professor, Centre for Historical Studies, JNU
Dr. V.Krishna Ananth, Historian and Journalist
Dr.Hafiz Ahmed, Guwahati , Assam
Faisal Khan, Khudai Khidmatgar
Farah Naqvi, writer & activist, Delhi.
Fr Cedric Prakash, Human Rights Activist, Gujarat
Francis Parmar, Anand, Gujarat
G. N. Devy, People’s Linguistic Survey of India
Gauhar Raza, retired scientist, filmmaker, poet, Delhi
Geeta Kapur, art historian and critic, Delhi
Geeta Seshu, Co-editor, Free Speech Collective
George Mathew, social scientist, Delhi
Githa Hariharan, writer, New Delhi
Gloria Burrett, Psychotherapist
Gulammohammed Sheikh, artist, Vadodara
Hasina khan , activist and researcher, Mumbai
Himanshu, social activist, Delhi
Inamul Hasan , Khudai Khidmtgar
Indira jaising, Lawyers Collective, Delhi
Indu Prakash Singh, President, Forum against Corruption & Threats (FACT)
Ira Bhaskar, professor, JNU
Irfan Engineer, social activist, CSSS, Mumbai
Jagmati Sangwan, Bheem Awardy, sportswoman, Social Activist, Rohtak
Janaki Nair, Retd Professor, JNU
Javed Anis, Bhopal, Social activist & freelance journalist
Jayati Ghosh, economist, Prof JNU
Jean Dreze, economist,
Jignesh Mevani, Gujarat
Joe Athialy, social activist, Delhi
John Dayal, journalist, Delhi
K. M. Shrimali, former Professor of History, University of Delhi
K. Satchidanandan, poet, Kerala
Kalpana Kannabiran, Council for Social Development, Hyderabad
Kamal Chenoy, academician, professor JNU
Kamla Bhasin, feminist activist, Delhi
Kannan Gopinathan, former civil servant, social activist
Kavita Srivastava, PUCL, Jaipur
Kedar Misra, writer, journalist, Bhubaneswar
Kiran Shaheen, social activist, Delhi
KP Sasi , filmmaker, Kerala
Kripal Singh Mandloi , Khudai Khidmtgar
Kumkum Roy, historian, Delhi
Lalita Ramdas, peace activist, writer
Lara Jesani, Advocate, Mumbai
Lata Singh, JNU
Laxmi Murthy, Co-Editor, Free Speech Collective
Leena Dabiru, social activist, Delhi
LS Hardenia, writer, journalist, Bhopal
Madan Gopal Singh, academician, musician, Delhi
Madhuresh Kumar, NAPM
Mahesh Pandya, Gujarat Social Watch
Mallika Sarabhai, dancer, artist, Ahmedabad
Manisha Sethi, Associate Professor, NALSAR
Manjula Pradeep, Human Rights defender, Gujarat
Manoranjan Mohanty, Retired Professor of Political Science, University of Delhi
Mansi Shah, Gujarat
Mansi Sharma, social activist, Delhi
Martin Macwan, social activist, Gujarat
Medha Patkar, Narmada Bachao Andolan
Meha Khanduri, Human Rights Activist
Mohd Azam, businessman, Hyderabad
Mridula Mukherjee, historian, Delhi
Nandini Sundar, professor DU
Nandita Das, actor, filmmaker, Mumbai
Nandita Narain, professor DU
Naseeruddin Shah, actor, Mumbai
Navjot, artist, Mumbai
Nayantara Sahgal, writer, Dehradun
Neeladri Bhattacharya, historian
Neera Burra, Sociologist
Neera Chandhoke, former professor of political science, Delhi University.
Nikhil Dey, MKSS, Rajasthan
Nilima Sheikh, artist, Vadodara
Nivedita Menon, feminist writer and a professor of political thought at JNU
Pamela Philipose, journalist, Delhi
Paranjoy Guha Thakurta, journalist
Prabir Purkayastha, editor of Newsclick.in.
Pradip Krishen – Writer, New Delhi
Prafulla Samantara, environmental activist, Bhubaneswar
Pramod Yadava, former President of JNUTA
Pravinsinh Jadeja, JDU, Gujarat
Prof Irfan Habib, historiam, Aligarh
Prof. Ankur Sarin, IIM Ahmedabad
Prof. Arun Kumar, economist, retired professor, JNU
Prof. Hemant Shah, economist, Gujarat
Prof. Monirul Hussain, Assam
Prof. Navdeep Mathur, IIM, Ahmedabad
Prof. Prabhat Patnaik, JNU
Prof. Raghavan Rangarajan , Ahmedabad
Prof. Rohit Shukla, academician and economist, Gujarat
Prof. Shah Alam Khan, Professor, AIIMS, New Delhi
Prof. Shireen Moosvi, Aligarh
Prof. Utsa Patnaik, JNU
Prof. Zoya Hasan, former Dean of the School of Social Sciences (SSS), JNU
Rajmohan Gandhi, academician, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi
Rakhi Sehgal, New Delhi
Ram Puniyani, writer, social activist, Mumbai
Ramachandra Guha, historian
Ratna Pathak Shah, Actress, Mumbai
Rohit Prajapati, social activist, Vadodara
Romila Thapar, Historian, Professor Emeritus, JNU, New Delhi.
Ruchira Gupta, journalist, activist
Sadanand Menon – arts editor, teacher of cultural journalism, Chennai
Sadhna Arya, DU, Delhi
Sahba Farooqui, social activist, Delhi
Saheli, women organisation
Sandeep Pandey, Socialist Party (India)
Seema Kurup, Bhopal
Shabana Azmi, Actress, Mumbai
Shabnam Hashmi, social activist, Delhi
Shankar Singh, MKSS, Rajasthan
Shanta Gokhale, writer, theatre critic
Shantha Sinha, Former Chairperson NCPCR
Sohail Hashmi, Writer Film maker, Delhi
Sucheta Mahajan, Professor, Centre for Historical Studies, JNU
Sukumar Muralidharan, journalist, Gurgaon
Sundar Burra (retired civil servant)
Surajit Mazumdar, professor, JNU
Sushant Singh, actor, Mumbai
Uma Chakravarti, feminist historian , writer, Delhi
Upasana Behar, social activist, Bhopal
Urmimala Sarkar, Prof JNU
Uttam Parmar, Kim, Gujarat
Vibhuti Patel, former Head of Department of Economics at SNDT Women’s Univ
Vidya Bhushan Rawat, social activist, Delhi
Vikas Narain Rai, Retd. IPS Officer
Vivan Sundaram, contemporary artist, Delhi
Wilfred Dcosta, Indian Social Action Forum (INSAF), New Delhi
Yogendra Yadav, Swaraj India
Yogesh Diwan, social activist, Bhopal