What is the Mahesh Babu caste

Qantara.de - Dialogue with the Islamic World

The Indian anti-terrorist agency described publications owned by Hany Babu as "suspicious literature". These are books on the caste system and recent studies on land expropriation revolts and large-scale development projects. The 54-year-old Babu, professor of English linguistics at Delhi University, was accused of "disseminating Naxal-Activities and Maoist ideology "arrested.

In current public jargon, the term "Naxal" and its variant "Urban Naxal" imply membership in a banned communist party. Often, however, the allegations only serve as a pretext to deprive even more citizens of their rights and to instill fear.

The National Agency for Combating Terrorism, established in 2009, raided Babu's home without a warrant and confiscated his laptop, hard drives, mobile phone and the above-mentioned "suspicious" publications. His wife and daughter were also initially held in the apartment without access to a lawyer.

Babu is accused, among other things, of his involvement in a campaign for the release of another imprisoned academic, G.N. Saibaba, who suffers from severe physical disabilities, charged. The reference to the numerous contradictions, errors and falsehoods in the indictment against Saibaba has so far contributed little to a remission of his sentence.

Captivity in times of pandemic

Hany Babu is one of dozens of intellectuals, student activists, writers, journalists, lawyers and public figures arrested in India in the recent past on nebulous charges of incitement to violence, terrorism, sedition, Maoism and planning of attacks on the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi. Many of those arrested are charged in connection with an incident of caste-based violence that occurred in 2018 in the western state of Maharashtra.

Arrests have increased despite and regardless of the rapid spread of the pandemic in India, where more than 60,000 new infections have been reported daily for weeks. Applications to release Babu for humanitarian or health reasons have so far been denied by the courts.

Other detained scientists and journalists have been in prison for more than two years without a hearing. This includes scholars who have written on topics such as caste discrimination, land rights, human rights abuses in Kashmir and northeast India, and violence against women.

Some of them, such as Anand Teltumbde, Sudha Bharadwaj or Shoma Sen, held positions as professors in prestigious academic institutions. Young scientists like Mahesh Raut have received well-known national grants for field research on rural development issues in the past.

With the recent arrest of 83-year-old Jesuit father Stan Swamy on October 8, 2020, an activist with more than 50 years of experience in community work with Adivasi (indigenous peoples) in East India was suspected of terrorism. These events are condemned in India and elsewhere in the world as a threat to Indian democracy.