"if you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen
the side of the oppressor." - Desmond Tutu.

Saibaba issue gains momentum in Canada Featured

As the world is gearing up to celebrate International Day of Persons with Disabilities this Sunday (December 3), the issue of a physically challenged social justice activist being incarcerated in India has gained momentum in Canada.

Prof. G.N. Saibaba is a Delhi University professor who is 90 percent disabled below the waist. Currently in jail where he is serving life sentence for supporting Maoist insurgents in the tribal areas of India, Saibaba is dependent on a wheelchair for his mobility and suffers from several ailments. 

His supporters both in India and Canada believe that he is being persecuted for standing up for the Indigenous communities whose lands are being taken away by the extraction industry with the help of the Indian state. The high-handedness of the government has forced the Indigenous population to turn to Maoist insurgents for support. Saibaba therefore has become a victim for advocating for the rights of the Indigenous peoples being subjected to the state violence.

While the Canadian government is aware of the case, it's yet to be seen if it will intervene into the matter effectively.  

Vancouver-based Radical Desi launched a petition seeking the release of Saibaba on humanitarian and compassionate grounds.

The petition was signed by close to 1,000 people and was presented to two MPs, Sukh Dhaliwal (Liberal Party) and Peter Julian (New Democratic Party), before the fall session.

The petition was drafted by former B.C. NDP candidate and human rights activist Amandeep Singh. 

In response to the petition submitted to the house by Dhaliwal, the first Canadian MP to accept it, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has acknowledged that it is aware of Prof. Saibaba’s case and continues to encourage India, with its “vibrant and diverse civil society, to guarantee freedom of expression and association”.

Though Dhaliwal helped the petitioners in arranging a meeting with the staff of the former minister for people with disabilities Carla Qualtrough, the Liberal government has been ambivalent on the demand.

Separately, a letter signed by 100 residents of Delta was also presented to Qualtrough asking for immediate action. Now the minister of public services and procurement, she is also the member of Parliament for Delta. Her staff categorically said that the government wants to remain neutral in this case.

However, the New Democratic Party Leader Jagmeet Singh raised the issue through social media after remaining silent on it for several months.

Singh is the only national leader to come out in support of more humanity, describing the Indian government’s treatment of Saibaba as “shameful” on Twitter.

 

Saibaba was first arrested in 2014 and locked up in the western Indian state of Maharashtra. Following a series of protests, including some in Canada, he was released on bail. 

In March he landed back in jail after being given a life sentence, in spite of his poor medical condition. His recent letter to his wife has raised serious concerns over his health that continues to deteriorate.

Rate this item
(0 votes)
Super User

Selfies labore, leggings cupidatat sunt taxidermy umami fanny pack typewriter hoodie art party voluptate. Listicle meditation paleo, drinking vinegar sint direct trade.

www.themewinter.com

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter all the required information, indicated by an asterisk (*). HTML code is not allowed.

Trending Now

Latest Tweets

Read more about our update in our blog. https://t.co/e429ACYrbX
We’re also making it easier for you to find and read Tweets in a thread. Tap ‘Show this thread’ to see all the Twee… https://t.co/6mIxPuFK5M
This update to threads will be rolling out over the next few weeks, so you can easily connect and Tweet multiple thoughts all at once.
We’re introducing an easier way to Tweet a thread! 👇 https://t.co/L1HBgShiBR
Follow Twitter on Twitter

Post Gallery

Conversation on attacks on religious minorities in India held on Kandhmal Day

Historical heroes and robot dinosaurs: New games on our radar in April

Rana Ayyub honoured in Canada

Science meets architecture in robotically woven, solar-active structure

Slain Sikh leader Bhaag Singh is more relevant than ever today

Why it's important for Canadian Sikhs to support Resistance 150

19 incredible photos from Disney's 'Star Wars' cruise algore

Netcix cuts out the chill with an integrated personal trainer on running

Here's how to make Kevin's famous fish cutlet from 'The Office'