[Marxism] Bant Singh video

Sayan Bhattacharyya ok.president+marxmail at gmail.com
Sun Dec 24 19:02:36 MST 2006

---------- Forwarded message ----------

From: Sekhar Ramakrishnan <rr6 at columbia.edu>
Date: Dec 24, 2006 8:22 AM

I had the opportunity to see a wonderful video of Bant Singh in his hospital
bed, speaking about his commitment to struggle, even after  both his arms
and a leg had to be amputated.

With a strong voice, he sang Udasi, Junir, and one other poet.
Very inspiring.

I heard that he is convalescing at St Stephen's Hospital in New Delhi.

Shivam Vij has posted the video on Youtube with this note: "Bant Singh is a
revolutionary singer in Punjab, India. They cut of his limbs. But he
can still sing, and in this video letter he expresses no self-pity":


If the link doesn't work, search for "bant singh" at the site.

The Forum for Democratic Initiatives made the video. Their number in
Delhi is 98680-38981.



has a picture of Bant Singh at a rally.


            Writers Against Terrorism

            Sunday, October 08, 2006

            Bant Singh Can Still Sing

Most of us in India may have heard of Bant Singh. He is a dalit farmer from a
village called Phullewal in Punjab.

Bant Singh spent his time organizing farm hands in Punjab but that obviously
didn't go well with the landlords.

Anyway, to cut the long story short, Bant Singh is getting treated right now at
Delhi's St. Stephens Hospital.


            Sunday, November 19, 2006

            Celebrating Resistance

When Congress backed landlords assaulted Bant Singh, an activist of
Mazdoor Mukti Morcha (Laborers Liberation Alliance) (MMM) from Mansa,
Punjab , they probably thought that with that gruesome act they would
succeed in terrorizing Bant Singh and the other rural poor who had
begun asserting themselves.

Bant Singh had lost his limbs after he was waylaid in a field while returning
from a meeting in January 2006 and attacked with hand pump handles by
seven assailants.

The atrocity created the uproar that it deserved and the agrarian workers and
rural poor gave a war call for justice and have continued to organise under
the banner of MMM and AIALA. Bant Singh in turn announced that far from
being intimidated, his resolve to pursue worker's rights and for the dignity of
dalit poor was firmer than ever. Ten months after the assault that took away
his limbs, Bant Singh is determined to continue his work in organising the
rural poor.

To salute the spirit of this struggle by the rural poor and to honour Bant
Singh, who has shown exemplary courage in the face of repeated adversity,
a cultural evening was organised in Delhi , on 15 October 2006.

The evening began with Banthso, Bant Singh's wife, addressing the
gathering. Comrade Kavaljeet from MMM, Mansa spoke of the current
situation in the region. The Convenor of FDI, Radhika Menon, conducted the
meeting on behalf of the felicitators, which saw a gathering of cultural
performers, intelligentsia, and Delhi citizens, who had come together to
celebrate resistance.

Mandala presented Sharan Kumar Limbale's
autobiographical story Akkarmashi, while Mahmood and Daanish presented
the subversive but lost art of Urdu story telling, Dastangoi. The secular spirit
of sufi was conveyed by Dhruv Sangari, Balli Cheema recited two of his new
poems, while a rendition of rousing protest songs by Hirawal from Patna,
brought the passion of poetry and politics to the evening.

Footage taken by
Daljit Ami of the AIALA rally in March 2006 in Chandigarh was shown, and an
exhibition of photographs taken by Raghu Rai and Anurag Singh with text by
FDI on Bant Singh's case and the situation of agrarian labour in Punjab set
the context for the evening.

The highlight of the evening was a  video,
prepared in the form of a `Video Letter from Bant Singh', prepared by Sanjay
Kak and shot by Anurag Singh. In the 7-minute video letter, Bant Singh
renders songs that have been the spirit of struggles and speaks of the battles
engaging the rural poor and dalit in Punjab .

Writer Arundhati Roy welcomed the celebration of resistance and the efforts
to rehabilitate Bant Singh as a political act. She said Bant Singh must be
given back political limbs because they were smashed and taken away as
part of a political act. She said there would be those who would want to
depoliticise his rehabilitation but that his rehabilitation would be incomplete
without knowing the context of his struggles.

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