The Modi regime’s harassment and intimidation of progressive public figures who oppose its divisive policies and actions has been ongoing for the last nine years. The latest victim, reportedly, is the public intellectual and human rights activist Dr Navsharan Singh (Ph.D. Carleton University), daughter of the legendary theater personality the late Gursharan Singh, and a well known progressive public figure in India and internationally.
According to press reports Dr. Navsharan Singh, was questioned for 8 hours for alleged violations of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act PMLA based on her association with social activist Harsh Mander’s Karwan-e-Mohabbat (Caravan of Love), a group that provides support to the most marginalized and deprived sections of Indian society, especially minorities who are frequently at the receiving end of violence by the goons of Hindutva organizations. During the pandemic, Karwan-e-Mohabbat was feeding the poor and daily wage-earners who suddenly found themselves without any source of income.
An accomplished scholar and women’s rights activist in South Asia, Dr. Singh also has a long history of grassroots work and has taken the baton of such work from her late father. By reaching out to the impoverished and the disenfranchised in rural Punjab and elsewhere, her support and advocacy work has earned her the love and respect of the masses, as was evident when she courageously supported the Indian farmers’ struggle against the draconian laws of the Modi government in 2020-2021. S. Joginder Singh Ugrahan, head of BKU (Bhartiya Kisan Union) [Indian Farmers’ Union], one of the largest farmers Unions in India, has strongly denounced the shameful harassment of Dr. Navsharan Singh by the Indian government.
To those of us who have known or are familiar with Dr. Navsharan Singh and her grassroots and academic work, her harassment by the regime’s investigative agencies is outrageous and unacceptable, and must be resolutely opposed.
Dr. Singh’s bio and work can be accessed through the following links:
We, the undersigned organizations, call on the Indian authorities to immediately stop their persecution of Dr. Navsharan Singh and ensure that she is not subjected to malicious harassment in future:
Alliance for a Secular and Democratic South Asia
Alternatives, Montreal, Canada
Boston South Asian Coalition (BSAC)
Centre de travailleurs et travailleuses immigrant/es-Immigrant Workers Centre, Montreal
CERAS (Centre sur l’asie du sud)
Coalition Against Fascism in India (CAFI)
Critical Diasporic South Asian Feminisms
Democracy, Equality and Secularism in South Asia (DESSA), Winnipeg
Gursharan Singh Memorial Lecture Committee, Vancouver
India Civil Watch International
International South Asian Forum
Justice For All Canada
Secular People’s Association, Edmonton
Progressive Cultural Association, Calgary
Progressive Kala Manch, Calgary
Pro-People Arts Project Media Group (Sarokaran Di Awaz), Toronto
Punjabi Literary and Cultural Association, Winnipeg
Shaheed Bhagat Singh Book Centre, Calgary
Sikh Virsa International, Calgary
South Asian Dalit Adivasi Network, Canada (SADAN)
South Asian Diaspora Action Collective (SADAC)
South Asian Network for Secularism and Democracy (SANSAD), Vancouver
Tarqsheel [Rationalists] Society of Canada
Teesri Duniya Theatre
17 May 2023