Bhutalli- Mother Earth

Bhuthalli – (Earth Mother) a play in Street Theatre Format, captures the relationship of adivasis, dalits, shepherds and peasants with Mother Earth, interrogates the forces that are systematically dispossessing people from their land, livelihoods and resources, and celebrates the diversity of people’s resistance. The play is performed by actors from adivasi, dalit , shepherd and peasant communities.

Bhutalli was first performed at Sompeta, Srikakulam, Andhra Pradesh, on March 8th 2013, in solidarity with the peoples struggle against a Thermal Power Project. It has been performed across Telangana and Andhra Pradesh between 2013 and 2015. This video captures the performance at the Food Sovereignty Summit-2013, Pellipadugu,  East Godavari, Andhra Pradesh.

The play continues to be as relevant today as it was in 2013, in view of the relentless attempts by the State to takeover people’s land in the name of dams, reservoirs, sanctuaries, plantations, forestry programs and other so called projects for public purpose. We stand in solidarity with people who continue to struggle and defend their rights to their land and resources. 

55 minutes. Telugu with English sub-titles . Please ensure that the CC/subtitle option is turned on to view subtitles (CC on the lower right part of your screen will be underlined in red when CC/subtitles are on) 

Directed by: Madhoo 

Madhoo– street-theatre playwright, works with adivasi people’s movements, part time agro-ecological farmer, on-time tea drinker, life-long learner and other significant things. He is also a member of the Food Sovereignty Alliance, India.

Condemn the State Sponsored Violence on #Justice for Rohith

The violence unleashed once again against the students of University of Hyderabad indicates that today people fighting for Justice and resisting the State, are being murdered, brutally attacked and arrested.

We, the Food Sovereignty Alliance, India condemn this ongoing State sponsored violence and onslaught on democracy.

The student movement across campuses in India and the world is self-evident: you cannot crush the truth. Whether it is students, largely from Black communities of City University of New York marching across Brooklyn Bridge, or the nation wide demonstration of the South African student movement, or the students across several universities in India: they are fighting institutional, structural discrimination, challenging the privatisation of university education, demanding increased state financial support and asserting for a space of democratic discourse on campuses.

The fight is of justice, of the historically excluded people to be shaping the future of universities, which have for long now been the preserve of the upper castes, upper class oppressors.

We stand with the students of the University of Hyderabad in their fight to restore democracy and against caste discrimination in educational institutions.

  • We demand the immediate release of and withdrawal of all cases against arrested students and faculty and the halt of any further targeted arrests.

  • We condemn the police brutality and demand the withdrawal of Police from campus.

  • We condemn the unlawful shut-down of university and the suspension of basic fundamental rights.

  • We demand the suspension and arrest of VC Dr. P.Appa Rao.

  • We demand immediate action to implement the demands of the Joint Action Committee for Social Justice, UoH.

We stand with the students movements in other universities around the country who continue to fight caste, class, patriarchial structures of discrimination, as also the Hindutva and capitalist attack on our sovereignty.

In solidarity we from FSA:

Protested the violence against students of UOH at Ambedkar Statue in Hyderabad and mobilized contributions for food, fruits and water for the UOH students, whose basic fundamental rights were denied on campus.

We condemn the brutal murder of Berta Cáceres

We condemn the brutal murder of Berta Cáceres an indigenous woman who led her people in the struggle against a dam coming up in their territory in Honduras.

Indigenous people across the world have been condemned to violence, in recent times the Lenca people of Honduras, the Koya adivasi people living along the banks of the Godavari fighting the Polavaram dam, the adivasis resisting state violence in Chhattisgarh or the adivasis fighting against the mining projects in Odhisa, Jharkhand, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.

Berta was killed, yet we assembled across the globe with one voice – demanding justice and re-iterating that the struggle will continue in defence of indigenous people’s territories and way of life.

FSA joined the rally to protest the murder of Bertha outside the Honduras Permanent Mission to the UN, in New York on 17th March, 2016.

Condemning the Assault on Justice and Democracy

We, the Food Sovereignty Alliance, condemn the violence on students, lawyers, journalists, writers, professors, adivasi leaders, dalit leaders and communities who stand for Justice and are the democratic voices of sovereignty.

We oppose and condemn the false charges against citizens, in terming them as ‘Anti-nationals’ and reiterate that Nation is a sovereign of people.  Citizens who voice the rights of dalits, adivasis, muslims, poor working class and other marginalized communities, who critically question the government and the state machinery, are in no measure anti-national, but are rather the upholders of a people’s democracy.

We demand that the colonial law of ‘sedition’ and related provisions be repealed and removed from the body of legislations. In history, there have been several occasions where political representatives objected sedition on valid grounds and termed it as unconstitutional.

We particularly oppose the arrest and sedition charges filed on the JNU Student Union President Kanhaiya Kumar. We demand the revocation of sedition charges and debarment of Umar Khalid, Anirban Bhattacharya, Ashutosh Kumar, Rama Naga, Anant Prakash, Aishwarya Adhikari and Shweta Raj.

We denounce the actions of Samajik Ekta Manch as unconstitutional and call for the halt in torture of the members of Jagdalpur Legal Aid Group.

We strongly condemn the recent attack on Soni Sori and demand the halt of this onslaught on adivasis in Bastar and on all human right defenders.

Above all, we strongly oppose all attempts at suppressing the democratic act of dissent and affirm that we the member movements of the Food Sovereignty Alliance are in solidarity and will continue to resist and fight to keep freedom and people’s democracy alive.

We are all the people who continue to stand for Justice.

JNU condemnation telugu

Condemning the Institutional Murder of the Dalit Research Scholar Rohit Vemula

 

Johar Rohith Vemula! 12512530_1103849046305474_1518145371253997556_n

Members of FSA express deep shock at the suicide of Rohith Vemula, one of the five socially boycotted Dalit Scholars at the University of Hyderabad. We condemn this institutional murder of a bright young Dalit student, leader, organizer and thinker by the brahminical casteist forces all the way from the campus administration to the centre. We have seen how an active thinker and organizer from the oppressed community is seen by the establishment as a threat whether alive or dead, as seen in the way his body was secretly cremated by police without informing relatives and friends. We demand justice on all fronts and stand in solidarity with the struggle which is having to be waged in spite of this tragedy.

Some of us knew of Rohith as a person who was part of the efforts in creating a space for the assertion and articulation of the marginalized on campus, and as someone who pushed for alliance building and solidarity between various oppressed groups and support for their diverse voices. He was doing all this and also critically  analyzing various movements and issues through an actively evolving anticaste Ambedkarite vision.

As a network of Adivasi, Dalit, Pastoralist, Peasant and Co-producer groups who have come together to fight for Food Sovereignty through social justice, many of us –  especially the youth from our groups who have come forward to become organizers from their villages and politically educate themselves and their community, and the community leaders, who are trying to connect and dialogue with the campus community on various struggles and perspectives – were hoping to meet, dialogue with, learn from and work with Rohith and others like him. This is a great loss for anyone fighting for social justice, particularly for the younger generation which is looking for genuine leaders and guides from their communities, as well as allies who are looking for Dalit Bahujan and Adivasi leadership to to guide their actions.

At this juncture, we at FSA appeal to everyone to learn and think about caste, which forms the very basis of society in the subcontinent. Not recognizing caste only ensures the status quo of the privileged and silencing of oppressed voices as has happened again today. No movement is effective or long lasting without recognizing and organizing on the basis of this core phenomenon.

In particular we declare again that we will also raise the issues of caste in the approach, perspectives and working of food justice, resource rights, and agro-ecological movements in India, as well as all other struggles of the various communities, and keep working to ensure that the voices from Dalit Bahujan and Adivasi  communities and leaders (who are the real providers of food, labour and ecological – democratic thought in this country) will grow stronger and louder in spaces where they are otherwise kept silent, and also work to create more of our own independent spaces of dialogue and expression of each community.

We see no movement in isolation and will continue to build alliances and work toward creating more spaces for dialogue between movements.We just wish we could have been doing these with you, Rohith, rather than with the void of your absence. But your spirit and inspiration shall take us forward.

Our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Rohith Vemula.

Jai Bhim to all.

Some information on the context:

http://roundtableindia.co.in/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=8429%3Asuspension-of-5-dalit-scholars-the-brahminical-conspiracy-of-bjp-unravelled&catid=119&Itemid=132

Timeline of ongoing struggle and nationwide movements:
https://www.facebook.com/Joint-Action-Committee-for-Social-Justice-UoH-449339255252032/?fref=ts