Thesis in Prison
POLITICAL PRISONERS IN INDIA
(Nagpur Central Prison, Nagpur 440020)
innocent. A court cannot make an
innocent man guilty. Any ruling founded
on injustice is not justice. The righteous fight for life, liberty and for justice
can only continue.”
Mumian Abu-Jamal, Oct. 31,1998
(American political prisoner on death row since 1982, charged for killing a policeman as a member of the Black Panther Party)
Any study of this nature in prison would be impossible without help from both inside and outside the prison. Among those outside, my family, friends and well wishers contributed a lot in providing me with moral support, encouragement and material for this study. Whenever I required certain specific information, they were always willing and prompt in sending it. Friends in the civil rights movement have also kept me regularly updated with the happenings by providing me with internet downloads and articles/booklets which have been of immense help in this study. Although tradition calls that I should name in person such assistance, I will have to consciously avoid doing so. Given the circumstances, that I presently am in, any mention of such friends and well wishers names would definitely invite investigations by the anti-naxal wing of the intelligence department.
And, as in the case of Dr. Binayak Sen, such mention could lead to nothing short of their harassment. This is the sad state of Democracy in India, wherein even camaraderie, help and assistance in the cause of justice is construed ‘abetment of terrorism’.
For this particular topic of my study, my experience in prison has been of enormous significance. Not only has the experience with the oppressive prison administration helped, but, moreover, it is the numerous interactions, discussions and heated debates with other political prisoners in the course of jail struggles which have helped the development of my understanding on this topic. The formulation of politically correct demands, conditions in other prisons, history and forms of jail struggles, etc, have been topics of discussion in our barracks or on our way to court.
Among Maoist political prisoners K. Ashok Reddy, S Sridhar, Vernon Gonsalves, Vgge Chandramouli and many other unnameable inmates have contributed their opinions to this study. Many of whom have had many years in prison and political life with experiences to share.
Last, but not the least, I take this opportunity to thank those peoples’ lawyers such as my guide, Adv P Sebastian, Adv Surendra Gadling, Adv Anil Kale,Adv Vinayak Kakade, Adv Maharukh Adenwala, Adv Susan Abraham and others whom have tirelessly endeavoured for the unconditional release of political prisoners like myself.
DOWNLOAD THE HUMAN RIGHTS THESIS
Arun Ferreira, arrested by the Maharashtra police in Nagpur in 2007 and in jail ever since, has passed a post-graduate diploma course with flying colours from the Indian Institute of Human Rights (IIHR), Delhi.Currently lodged in Nagpur central jail, Ferreira appeared for the course on human rights through correspondence.
Speaking to DNA, IIHR director Rahul Rai said, “I hear that undertrial Arun has done brilliantly in the exam. He has also submitted four project reports in keeping with the demands of the course, which were very maturely written considering the lack of resources available to an undertrial.”
According to Rai, 40% of the students taking the course comprised serving policemen, IAS and judicial personnel, and government employees. “The two-year course can be completed over five years through correspondence. Every year at least 10,000 students appear for the course and approximately 4,000 certificates are given out.”
The IIHR has a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with 13 universities across the country which recognise the course on a par with a master’s programme, which makes the students eligible to pursue a doctorate in human rights from those universities.
Ferreira, along with Murli alias Ashok Satyam Reddy, Dhanendra Bhurle and Naresh Bansode, was arrested for allegedly carrying out clandestine operations for the banned Communist Party of India (Maoist). In December 2009, the four were acquitted in one of the cases against them as the prosecution failed to prove that they were Naxalites or involved in any unlawful activities.