We the following organisations and concerned individuals hereby express the following concerns:
We are shocked at the way Abdul Nasser Ma’dani, his family and supporters have been harassed for a long period by the Karnataka government. Earlier Ma’dani, falsely accused in the Coimbatore blast case, was in jail for more than nine years after which the judge felt he was innocent. This itself is a statement on the way the executive machinery, judiciary and legislature works in this country. If this had happened in any other country, he would have been legally provided compensation for the human rights violation he suffered due to his wrong arrest under fabricated charges.
The human rights violation of Abdul Nasser Ma’dani is also a symbol of the way religious minorities have become second class citizens in the world’s largest democracy. We believe that what Ma’dani is facing today is due the fact that he is a spiritual leader of one of the minority communities in India. We condemn the process of fabrication of false cases against minorities and the activists of people’s movements. We demand immediate release Abdul Nasser Ma’dani as well as widravel of false charges against minorities dalits, adivasis and peole’s movements.
We are also shocked at the way the Indian media in general has reported the case of Ma’dani’s harassment giving only the viewpoint of the police and Indian state. At the same time when independent journalists like Shahina of Tehelka have dared to investigate the case and expose the scandal the Karnataka state administration has chosen to foist false charges against her too! The persecution of Shahina is a grave threat to the freedom of speech and to the fundamentals of Indian democracy itself.
Another matter of great concern is the growing saffronisation of the Indian administration itself whereby police and other agencies blatantly discriminate against Muslims, treating the entire community as ‘terrorism suspects’. There are hundreds if not thousands of Muslim youth in Indian prisons on false charges and denied basic justice in a phenomenon that is a shame to the values enshrined in the Indian Constitution.
We call upon the Indian government and all its agencies to uphold the rule of law and implement the secular and democratic principles of the Indian Constitution and stop behaving as if the country has become a ‘Hindu Rashtra’. In the absence of fairness to the large populations of dalits, adivasis and Muslims living in this country the future for Indian democracy can only be bleak and a recipe for perpetual conflict.