The ‘Civil Society’ always protects one of their own. And so it has come to pass that over 200 academicians and ‘activists’ have come forward in defence of Harsh Mander after a charge sheet filed in the Delhi Riots case documented the role he played in the entire scheme of affairs. The charge sheet mentioned that the controversial activist had instigated protesters in a speech he made in the Jamia Milia Islamia University.
The ‘civil society’ actors claimed that it was an “attempt to target him” and have him implicated in “false cases”. According to them, the speech where Harsh Mander urged the protesters to take the battle to the roads and undermined the authority of the Indian Judiciary was not an incitement to violence. They want people to believe it is “utterly deplorable” to do so.
The letter which was penned “in solidarity with Harsh Mander” states, “We, the undersigned, condemn the manner in which the Delhi Police has mentioned the name of Harsh Mander and other activists, to concoct a ‘chronology’ and create a false narrative about the Delhi riots, in the chargesheet filed by them on FIR No.- 65/2020 of 26/02/2020.”
“This is an attempt to target him, perhaps pull him into the police dragnet of false cases, and silence powerful and effective citizen’s voices against hate, divisiveness and for unity and compassion,” it added. It said, “We strongly condemn the motivated, compromised investigation and vilification of a person with commitment to a just society, and demand that this is stopped forthwith.”
The letter was signed by a host of usual suspects. The most prominent among them being Indira Jaising and Anand Grover, Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mevani, Communist leaders Annie Raja and Brinda Karat, apologist for Christian evangelism John Dayal, disgraced civil servant Kannan Gopinathan and numerous others.
However, the name that stands out the most is Kavita Srivastava, who is a functionary of PUCL, Jaipur. PUCL is the same organisation that has extensive links to Maoists, something we have reported extensively on. ‘Urban Naxals’ who were arrested in the Elgar Parishad case and in connection with an alleged assassination plot against the Prime Minister are intimately linked with the PUCL.
The PUCL and the organisations that it is associated with has a history of ties to Naxals and separatists in Kashmir as well as Manipur. Over the years, numerous members of the organisations PUCL is associated with have been arrested for their links to Maoists. Thus, it is not surprising that one of its functionaries has come out in defence of Harsh Mander.
Harsh Mander is himself a member of an Italian organisation that works in close coordination with the Italian Secret Service. The Ara Pacis Initiative which counts Harsh Mander as one of its senior members is known to work with the Italian Government in achieving the latter’s foreign policy objectives.
In addition to it, Mander is also associated with George Soros, the American Billionaire who declared a war against nationalism and nationalists recently. He is the Chairman of George Soros’s Open Society Foundation’s Human Rights Initiative Advisory Board. During the CAA-NRC debate, he indulged in a host of antics and he was also spotted giving a speech at Shaheen Bagh.
Thus, it is not surprising that Indian politicians and activists and ‘civil society’ has come out in the defence of Harsh Mander. A lot of them are known to harbour great animosity towards Narendra Modi and his government. Some of it is due to personal reasons as the govrnment has cracked down on foreign funded NGOs.
Harsh Mander has also received funds from Christian Missionary organisations for his NGOs. He was a member of Sonia Gandhi’s National Advisory Council as well. In the controversial speech that he made at Jamia Milia Islamia, he had said, “From now on, the decision will not come from the Supreme Court or Parliament. We saw what the Supreme Court did in Ayodhya, NRC and Kashmir matters. The SC has failed to honour secularism, equality and humanity. We will try fighting there too, but, the decision will not happen in neither Supreme court nor Parliament, it has to be made at the streets.”