‘Learn from protesters how to unite against fascism’

Members of Viplava Rachayitala Sangham (Virasam) celebrate the association’s 50th anniversary in the city on Saturday.

Members of Viplava Rachayitala Sangham (Virasam) celebrate the association’s 50th anniversary in the city on Saturday.   | Photo Credit: G. Ramakrishna


Revolutionary writer-journalist delivers speech at Virasam’s 50th anniversary

People’s protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and attacks on students were prominently mentioned in the speeches delivered at the 50th anniversary of Revolutionary Writers’ Association (Viplava Rachayithala Sangham or Virasam), here on Saturday with the tag line ‘50 years of creative resistance’.

Revolutionary writer, journalist and translator Kanchan Kumar, during his inaugural address, urged writers and cultural activists to learn from protesters how to organise against ‘fascism’. “People are telling revolutionaries how to unite. We need a united cultural front now,” he said, after recalling how protesters across the country came together after CAA and violence at Jamia Milia Islamia.

Tracing through the protests in Aligarh Muslim University followed by attacks on Jawaharlal Nehru University where students were agitating against fee hike, he noted that scrapping of Article 370A and 35A was “beginning of the end” for the government which had won with brute majority just a year ago.

In Shaheen Bagh, Muslim women, who have never been part of any protest, came out and stood against the “fascist regime”, he observed, and said people of all religions and walks of life stormed the streets of Kolkata in protest against CAA. Ruling class is now in trouble, owing to people’s resistance, he added.

He likened the present day’s youth resistance to the 1970 era when Virasam was founded in the context of Naxalbari and Srikakulam struggles and murder of revolutionary writer Subbarao Panigrani.

In the same year, Virasam was formed, with revolutionary poet Srirangam Srinivasa Rao as the founding president, and Digambara Kavulu, Rachakonda Vishwanatha Shastri, Kodavatiganti Kutumba Rao, Vara Vara Rao, Chalasani Prasad, Krishna Bai as members. This was a watershed moment in the struggle, as several revolutionary songs and writings were later translated into all Indian languages, to build a united forum for creative resistance.

Poet Yakoob, too, spoke. Revolutionary red flag and Virasam flag was hoisted, and Martyr’s memorial unveiled.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2020 1:30:37 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/learn-from-protesters-how-to-unite-against-fascism/article30546103.ece

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