Statement Against State Repression of Culture Workers : In Solidarity With Rahul Roy, Saba Dewan, And Art Students Facing Harassment And False Charges By the State
The Culture Workers’ Support Trust (CWST) condemns the harassment of members of the creative community Statement Against State Repression of Culture Workers : In Solidarity With Rahul Roy, Saba Dewan, Kabir Kala Manch, And Art Students Facing Harassment And False Charges By the Statewho are being targeted for exercising their democratic right to raise their voice against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act 2019, the National Register of Citizens, the National Population Register and state-sponsored brutality during the anti-CAA protests.
The recent naming of documentary filmmaker Rahul Roy in the supplementary charge sheet as a co-conspirator in the Delhi riots (as reported by the press), the summoning of Saba Dewan for questioning and the harassment being meted out to young art students whose only ‘crime’ seems to have been to paint murals and make posters to question contentious laws, are highly objectionable.
It is the democratic right of all to protest without fear of being targeted for one’s dissent. It is unacceptable that dissenting artists, academicians, activists, journalists and others are being harassed with digressive investigations, and arrested based on fabricated and forced confessions. This is a clear attempt to create a culture of fear and is a direct attack on the right to critical speech and expression. The continued persecution of culture workers associated with Ambedkarite movements, such as Kabir Kala Manch, also points towards this attempt to quell voices of resistance who speak truth to power through art and activism.
Unleashing a witch-hunt against creative communities, activists, students and relief workers by alleging a “riots conspiracy” reveals the machination of people in positions of power to conceal the true identity of conspirators who, through their incendiary speech acts, triggered the worst communal riots the city of Delhi has seen in decades. Not only is the Delhi Police cynically using this event to target dissenting voices, it is also denying justice to those who have suffered and died during the riots.