Darshana Dhawale believes that her husband, Sudhir, was arrested because the government feared his struggle might encourage others to rise against the establishment.
On Sunday, officials of the anti-naxalite squad had arrested Sudhir Dhawale, a state committee member of the Communist Party of India (Maoist). But according to his family, Dhawale is a freelance journalist and the editor of Marathi magazine, Vidrohi.
“He has been writing about what has been happening around us, which is reported by all. His writings and magazine presented an analysis of such events to common people,” Darshana told the Hindustan Times on Tuesday.
“The magazine only points out the government oppression that is taking place everywhere and may be it’s why the government got scared of him.”
Interestingly on the door of the Dhawales’ 459-sq ft Byculla flat on the Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Railway Hospital compound is a picture of Argentine Marxist revolutionary Che Guevera.
“Sudhir was an avid reader. He would forgo food to save money to buy books,” she said pointing to the stacks of books that occupy both the rooms and balcony of her modest flat. The police had taken some of his books during Monday’s search at his house.
Darshana, who works as matron at the hospital, has known Sudhir since childhood because they were neighbours in Nagpur. They had a love marriage and moved to Mumbai 15 years ago after she got a job with the railways. Sudhir always stood for what he believed, she said.
“He had held a demonstration at his college over fee hike and had protested for apprentice fee during his training at ITI.”
In fact, after the firing at dalits at Ramabai Ambedkar Nagar in Ghatkopar in 1997, he had formed an organisation, Republican Panther Jatiya Antachi Chalvar, which was neither an NGO nor a political party.
“But the issues that they took up were invariably political, such as the stripping of a dalit girl last year and the Khairlanji killings,” she said.
Darshana denied that her husband had any links with any of the arrested alleged naxalites Kobad Gandhy, Vernon Gonsalves or Arun Fareira.