Prominent ‘achievers and celebrities’ have written a letter to Prime Minister Modi claiming that atrocities against ‘Muslims and Dalits’ have increased in India. The letter also claims that ‘Jai Shri Ram’ has become a ‘provocative warcry’ and this is helping the lynching incidents against Muslims and Dalit. Amidst the cacophony of the drama, a certain fact appears to have escaped people’s attention. One of the signatories to the letter is a convicted Naxalite, Binayak Sen.
It is ironic that a man convicted of sedition for helping Naxalites is taking the moral high ground in a letter that refers to the signatories as “peace-loving and proud Indians”.
Binayak Sen was convicted in 2010 on charges of sedition for his links to Naxals and sentenced to life imprisonment under sections 124A and 120(B) of the IPC. He was also found guilty under section 8(1) of the Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act. He was given bail by the Supreme Court in 2011. He is associated with the PUCL, an organization we have reported on extensively, that is closely linked with the arrested ‘Urban Naxals’.
Convicted for sedition and helping Naxalites to set up a network to fight the state of India, Binayak Sen was a Vice President of the PUCL even after his conviction by Raipur Sessions Court. The West Bengal unit of PUCL also published a book exonerating Sen of all his crimes and branded him a “victim of state atrocity”.
As it turns out, he was in the Committee for Police Reforms of the Aam Aadmi Party announced in 2014. Sen was in the committee for resolving the Naxalite question as well. Binayak Sen has links with the Congress party as well. Sen was named a member of the government’s Planning Commission on health in 2011. Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh, Raman Singh, had slammed the decision to include Sen in the panel and wrote to the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh deeming it “shocking and against all norms and propriety”.
Despite his conviction for sedition and associations with the PUCL, which has extensive links to separatists across the country from Kashmir to Manipur through the coordinating organization CDRO, Binaya Sen continues to enjoy the support of the intellectual fraternity. He has even been invited to TISS to deliver a keynote address at an event. It only goes ion to show the moral bankruptcy of the ‘intellectual’ fraternity that a convicted Naxalite is allowed to sign a letter that calls its signatories “peace-loving and proud Indians”.