New Delhi: A host of international Ambedkarite and rights organisations have demanded that the “fabricated charges” filed against activist-professor Anand Teltumbde be removed immediately.
The bodies said that Teltumbde has a history of fighting for social justice and his academic writings are taught in universities world over. “It is preposterous that Dr. Teltumbde is facing imminent arrest under the undemocratic Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) based on a fabricated case filed by the Pune police in India under which ten other eminent persons, including human rights activists, lawyers, and public intellectuals, are already under arrest,” the statement read.
The bodies criticised the Pune police for releasing “fabricated letters” purportedly addressed to a “Comrade Anand” as ‘evidence’ for the justification for Teltumbde’s arrest. “Each of the so-called charges by the Pune police has been refuted with documentary proof by Dr. Teltumbde. Notwithstanding this proof, the false charges have continued in a concerted campaign to intimidate and silence Dr. Teltumbde,” they said.
Refusing to accept the process of “detention without trial” under the UAPA, the institutions demanded that the charges should be dropped and justice should prevail.
The full statement has been reproduced below.
We the undersigned demand the immediate withdrawal of the fabricated charges by the Pune police against Dr. Anand Teltumbde, Senior Professor and Chair, Big Data Analytics at the Goa Institute of Management. Dr. Teltumbde is one of India’s leading contemporary public intellectuals and an internationally known scholar. He is the longest-standing columnist at the Economic and Political Weekly (one of India’s best-known internationally acclaimed social science journals), General Secretary of the Committee for Protection of Democratic Rights (CPDR), and presidium member of the All India Forum for Right to Education (AIFRTE). Dr. Teltumbde is a prolific writer, with twenty-six books (in English and Marathi) and research articles on data analytics, cybernetics, caste-class and public policy issues. His most recent publications include Republic of Casteand the co-edited anthology The Radical In Ambedkar: Critical Reflectionsby Penguin Random House. His writings have been translated into several Indian languages.
Over his long career, Dr. Teltumbde has consistently been on the side of social justice, democracy, and the Indian Constitution. His books and articles are taught in universities the world over. He has supported democratic struggles in the country against caste- and religion-based violence as a representative of very large numbers of ordinary people whose voices and hopes he bears. His writings –scholarly, technical, and popular– have been very central to India’s critical thinking. His lengthy resume demonstrates his far-reaching contributions to several fields of academic inquiry, as well as to bringing about progressive social change.
Despite his professional success, which could have meant a luxurious and carefree retirement, Dr Teltumbde has instead contributed his intellect and experience back to our society via teaching, writing and contributing to democracy through people’s movements. Dr. Teltumbde has been invited by organizations/forums worldwide for his scholarship and he has always expressed his views on making India progressive, inclusive and harmonious.
It is preposterous that Dr. Teltumbde is facing imminent arrest under the undemocratic Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) based on a fabricated case filed by the Pune police in India under which ten other eminent persons, including human rights activists, lawyers, and public intellectuals, are already under arrest. The case relates to the organizing of a peaceful meeting on 31st December, 2017 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Last Anglo-Maratha battle, which took place at Bhima-Koregaon, Maharashtra, India, where large numbers of Dalit soldiers were martyred. Justice P. B. Sawant, a retired judge of the Supreme Court, and Justice B. G. Kolse-Patil, an ex-judge of the Bombay High Court, were co-organizers of this event. In point of fact, Dr. Teltumbde was not even present at the event.
Following it, several fabricated letters addressed to a “Comrade Anand” were released by the Pune police as ‘evidence’ for the justification for his arrest. Each of the so-called charges by the Pune police has been refuted with documentary proof by Dr. Teltumbde. Notwithstanding this proof, the false charges have continued in a concerted campaign to intimidate and silence Dr. Teltumbde. As is very well known, under the UAPA, these fabrications are enough to detain Dr. Teltumbde. We cannot accept such ‘detention without trial’. We therefore demand that all charges against Dr. Teltumbde be dropped immediately and that justice prevail on the side of truth.
Ambedkar International Mission, AIM USA
Ambedkar International Mission, AIM, Canada
Ambedkar International Mission, AIM, Australia
Ambedkar International Mission, AIM, Oman
Ambedkar International Mission, AIM, UAE
Ambedkar International Mission, AIM, Qatar
Ambedkar International Mission, AIM, Japan
Ambedkar International Mission, AIM, Singapore
Ambedkar International Mission, AIM, Malaysia
Ambedkar International Mission, AIM, Brunei
Ambedkar International Mission, AIM, India
Ambedkar Association of North America (AANA), USA
Ambedkar International Center (AIC) USA Boston Study Group (BSG), USA
Ambedkarite Buddhist Association of Texas (ABAT),
USA Guru Ravidas Sabha, New York, USA
Ambedkar Periyar Study Circle (PASC), USA
Ambedkar Periyar King Study Circle (PAKSC), USA
India Civil Watch, USA
India Civil Watch, Canada
South Asian Network for Secularism and Democracy (SANSAD), Vancouver, Canada
Dr. Babasaheb ambedkarInternational Associationfor Education(BAIAE), Japan Ambedkar Mission, Canada
International Commissions for Dalit Rights, USA