Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Condolence Meeting for Mukul Sinha 17 May, 2014


About twenty five people, P.A.D.S. Members, students from Manipur, members of Khudai Khidmatgar and others came for the meeting. Prof Apoorvanand, Rojesh, Kiran Shaheen, Colin Gonsalves, Faisal Khan (Khudai Khidmatgar), Mukul Dube and Com Rao spoke about Mukul Sinha. They remembered Mukul's indefatigable spirit, commitment and generosity. Colin Gonsalves told the gathering how at his memorial service in Ahmedabad, 'I am an incorrigible optimist', the way he would often describe himself, was displayed in big letters. 

Mukul started his political career with trade union activity in the Physical Research Laboratory in Ahmedabad, where he worked as a scientist. He established the first network of trade unions of employees of central government research laboratories. He also studied law, and after leaving regular job, started legal practice with the purpose of getting justice for the oppressed and the downtrodden. Kiran Shaheen described efforts made by Mukul to get displaced villagers in Kutch back to their land after the 2001 earthquake when it became known that in the name of rehabilitation large chunk of land was being handed over to rich corporates.

After the 2002 pogrom in Gujarat, Mukul worked tirelessly as victims' lawyer in the Nanavati commission and other courts. He established by painstaking investigation the scale of participation of state government in communal killings. Apoorvanand remembered how from the available evidence as a true scientist Mukul proved that the train fire in Godhra could not have been started from the outside.

Rojesh remembered the dedication and professionalism of Mukul in unraveling the truth behind 1500 fake encounters in Manipur through meticulous cross examination of the police and army officials in a Supreme Court appointed committee. He told that Manipuri students in Delhi will organise a condolence meeting for Mukul at University of Delhi on May 21 May. Mukul Dube remembered his generosity and the lighter moments he shared with him.

Com Rao remembered his work in establishing the New Socialist Movement, and how Mukul's political vision was that of a socialist and a Marxist. Many speakers also regretted that at times the anti-communal secular movement appears splintered in competing groups, with a lack of mutual warmth. The best homage to Mukul will be to overcome the shortcomings of anti-communal movement to face the new challenge of the Modi government at the center.