Kracktivist is a person who is bridging the gap between the offline and online activism !!
Kracktivism will contnue to krack upon human rights violations perpetrated by the State and private sector and individuals, so kracktivists lets get ready and roll on !!!!
Examples of Kracktivism
While the rise of civil society in 2011 may be synonymous with the reach and impact of the Anna Hazare-led anti-corruption movement, groups across the country have notched up less talked about but no less notable victories for their movements. In April, Dr Binayak Sen, the paediatrician and tribal rights activist incarcerated by the Chhattisgarh government since May 2007 on charges of sedition and aiding Naxal insurgents, got bail. A long and sustained campaign by activists across the country undoubtedly contributed to the Supreme Court finally granting him bail.
- Kractivism in Actionp- Free Binayak Sen Campaign
The ‘Free Binayak Sen’ campaign’s methods might contain lessons for advocacy groups working in the country. It combined grassroots activism , social media with international pressure. Not only was Dr Sen’s case fought in courts, put forward on college campuses, petitioned to politicians and amplified through protest marches in Chhattisgarh, the issue was also raised in the British House of Commons, in foreign medical journals and on American university campuses.
Dr Sen’s case is just one of a string of human rights abuses, many of them far worse, emerging from the fog of war in Chhattisgarh. The torture of Soni Sari, an adivasi teacher jailed on allegations of having tried to extort money from Essar corporate house, has further galvanised civil society activism about the harassment of tribals in Naxal-affected districts. Unable to get relief from their government, the victims of the Bhopal gas tragedy are attempting to build up international pressure, as Dr Sen’s supporters did, by petitioning the organisers of the 2012 London Olympics to distance themselves from Dow Chemicals, the company that now owns Union Carbide.
International influence works both ways. Momentous events across the world gave an impetus to Indian agitations in 2011. The anti-nuclear protests that had been going on in Jaitapur in western Maharashtra and Kudankulam in Tamil Nadu were re-energised by the Fukushima nuclear tragedy in Japan in March. Slutwalks, the marches started in Toronto with the aim of redirecting shame from the victims of sexual abuse to the perpetrators, found an echo in India, and a 19-year-old college student successfully organised the Slutwalk Arthaat Besharmi Morcha in the notoriously misogynistic capital in July.
Some of this global sharing is taking place through social media, on Twitter and Facebook in particular. Earlier this month, Union telecom minister Kapil Sibal got a taste of just how far Twitter activism has progressed after news leaked that he had asked social media representatives to remove “objectionable content” from their sites. Within hours, Kapil Sibal was trending on Twitter, just one spot below #kapilsibalisanidiot. “Kapil Sibal is an idiot”, a satirical take on the minister’s attempt to stifle criticism, spread virally across Facebook as a status message.
Global events undoubtedly had an effect, as did the successes of Anna Hazare’s campaign. But perhaps a less credited reason for the rise of civil society in 2011 is the role of the state itself. The National Advisory Council, set up by UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi in the UPA’s first term and resurrected in the second term, has given civil society members an unprecedented seat at the policy table. It has given activists like Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan founder Aruna Roy and economist Jean Dreze the ear of the government, but by being exclusive in nature, it has also left some out. Perhaps part of the reason that Anna Hazare needed to go on a hunger strike at Delhi’s Ramlila ground is that his draft Jan Lokpal Bill did not have an NAC that could help it along into Parliament.
However civil society’s role doesn’t end when a Bill reaches Parliament. The MKSS-driven National Rural Employment Guarantee Act being passed in UPA I was undoubtedly a victory, but the Rajasthan-based workers’ rights group has had to repeatedly go on protests and agitations to prevent the Act’s dilution. Even at the moment, the MKSS is locked in a battle with the Centre to ensure that Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme wages are not allowed to be lower than the minimum wage. The fight continues.
-Rukmini Sribinavasn, Times Crest 31/12/2011
The Faking Happiness Campaign
Vedanta’s “Creating Happiness” campaign, according to company spokesperson Senjam Raj Sekhar, is part of an “initiative to tell our side of the story”; yet the hostile reception on blogs and social-media networks like Facebook and Twitter highlights the risks of exposing a tightly controlled corporate message to the anarchy of the internet.
Case in point: The television commercial starring Binno is merely the launch pad of the campaign, which also includes a film competition, in which media and mass communication students from 21 institutions across the country were invited to make three-minute films on the company’s various Corporate Social Responsibilty projects. An online campaign appears to have influenced film director Shyam Benegal and film artiste Gul Panag’s decision to withdraw from the competition jury.
Activists have even started a viral “Faking Happiness” campaign in an attempt to highlight Vedanta’s alleged malpractices.
In conversations with The Hindu, Ms Panag described her decision to withdraw as a “matter of personal choice …when I found myself in a position other than what I thought I had committed to,” but appeared more outspoken on Twitter, tweeting “My bad. Just got full details. I wasn’t aware that the competition was past of #vedanta glorification/PR Have pulled out [sic].”
“Initially I said yes and then it struck me that I hadn’t thought of it as Vedanta, just as a short films competition,” said Mr. Benegal in an interview, adding that “They are very nice films,” but he withdrew “the moment I saw this was the kind of thing they were asking us to judge.”
With Mr. Benegal and Ms Panag’s withdrawal, only O&M’s Piyush Pandey — the maker of the Binno ad — is left of the original three-member jury. Vedanta refuses to reveal their replacements.
Vedanta representatives describe the competition as an example of “social media in the true sense,” where students were assigned community initiatives on the basis of their geographic proximity to Vedanta projects, and asked to engage with the communities they covered. Mr. Sekhar, the Vedanta spokesperson, said that company representatives made presentations to each student group and discussed a broad range of issues.
While there is no reason to doubt Vedanta’s claims that students were free to pick their own unique perspectives for their films, the structure of the competition could have influenced the kind of films that were made. According to the website, Vedanta provided all the travel, logistics and accommodation for the students, a local Vedanta team was present during each shoot, and students were not allowed to upload or share their work before the films were first uploaded by Vedanta on its official YouTube channel. Students were disallowed from using any stock footage for their projects, which would have made it impossible to incorporate news reports or footage shot by activists.
Vedanta representatives said they were happy with the campaign, claiming that it has attracted more than one lakh views on YouTube and that the company is fielding calls from individuals interested in working with the Vedanta Foundation. Yet, the campaign could fall victim to the network virality that it hopes to harness. While few expect companies to spend money on producing balanced, unbiased and fair advertising campaigns, viewers expect “film competitions” that feature “real people” in “real situations” to adhere to certain broadly defined standards of neutrality. At present, one suspects that the winning entry shall be the one that shows Vedanta in the best light.
Camera Obscura and the manufacture of happiness, AMAN SETHI, PRISCILLA JEBARAJ, March 6, 2012
Free Waqar Campaign
Organisers of the global ‘Free Waqar’ online campaign launched from Kashmir to push for the release of a 22-year-old commerce student —Waqar Ahmad Moharkan—has won its first battle after Amnesty International (AI) termed the youth’s detention as “yet another depressing reminder of the lack of rule of law in Kashmir.” Waqar was reportedly captured by the Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) Police on 4 October, 2011, after they raided his Lal Bazaar house in downtown Srinagar and slapped him with the notorious Public Safety Act, 1978 (PSA) on charges that include participating in protests against government forces “for three years”.
In an email sent to TEHELKA, AI’s Govind Acharya (India Country Specialist) said the “widespread and abusive use” of administrative detention like the PSA and Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) “reinforces the deeply held perception in young people like Waqar that police and security forces are above the law”. “Amnesty International has repeatedly called on the J&K government to release all PSA detainees or to charge them with a criminal offence,” Acharya tells TEHELKA.
The campaigners of the first-of-its kind online movement have literary taken the internet by storm having covered all social networking sites including Facebook and Twitter. Besides, a website freewaqar.org, created to draw more supporters, is fast becoming a rage among the youth in Kashmir and outside. On entering the site, a message reads, “Waqar Ahmad is in Indian jail since 176 days, 12 hours, 33 minutes and 20 seconds”—the duration of his imprisonment advances with every tick of the clock that’s live. And then details of Waqar’s passing from various jails after his arrest, petitions, bail order, and PSA document forms the body of the web page. The campaign reminds Chief Minister Omar Abdullah of his promises of granting ‘amnesty’ to 1200 youth arrested during and after the 2010 civil unrest.
A newspaper article published by the campaigners on the web page too shows Waqar’s name among 29 other youths who were to be released by the police on CM’s orders. Operated solely online, the campaign already on Facebook and Twitter (#FreeWaqar) is being pushed forward through petition sites such as ipetitions.com and change.org. ipetitions.com, however, decided to take the petition down citing “legal issues” as key reason.
“Within 24 hours of posting our petition we had nearly 500 signatures. The site, however, wanted to take down the petition giving us 48 hours of time to download the data,” one campaigner wishing anonymity tells TEHELKA.
A petition meant for Amnesty International USA and Human Rights Watch (HRW) posted on change.org, however, has already crossed the 1000 signature mark. Posted by a Mumbai-based activist, the petition (reproduced from freewaqar.org) seeks AI and HRW’s intervention to “take up the case of Waqar’s wrongful, illegal and oppressive treatment at the hands of the Indian state.”
AI’s Acharya asserted such laws are “not in line with international human rights standards” and says that “We’ve repeatedly called on the J&K government to repeal the PSA and other similar administrative detention laws.”
Campaign organisers, who wish anonymity, tell TEHELKA that the campaign aims to educate people about “how Kashmir government can lie about releasing someone without actually doing it.”
Baba Umar , New Delhi, Tehelka , March 29, 2012
REMOVE JUSTICE BHAKTAVATSALA
Women suffer in marriages, why talk about beating: Judge
Last week, hearing a case between a separated couple, in which the woman accused her husband of regularly beating her, the judge told the woman, “Women suffer in all marriages. You are married with two children, and know what it means to suffer as a woman. Yesterday, there was a techie couple who reconciled for the sake of their child. Your husband is doing good business, he will take care of you. Why are you still talking about his beatings?” He then pointed towards the lady judge — Justice B S Indrakala — sitting next to him, suggesting to the lawyer, “I know you have undergone pain. But that is nothing in front of what you undergo as a woman. I have not undergone such pain. But madam (Justice Indrakala) has.”
These are just two instances of Justice Bhaktavatsala speaking his mind on what he thinks is an acceptable viewpoint on matrimonial issues.
But woman rights groups are not amused. Mumbai-based rights activist Kamayani Bali Mahabal has sent a petition signed by over 500 people to Chief Justice of India S H Kapadia, requesting him to “conduct an inquiry into the remarks passed by the judge and intervene to ensure that there is no miscarriage of justice in all cases relating to women because of such biased views”. The petition contains a list of statements made by him in court. These include asking a woman in a matrimonial dispute to ask her father — in open court — if he had never beaten his wife!
Bali told The Indian Express, “We have sent the petition to the CJI. The judiciary needs to be sensitised on how to deal with woman issues. I am shocked at the comments made by him. Judges are supposed to protect and enforce human rights of citizens, but here we have a judge who seems to be against women rights and is even encouraging them to continue to stay in a violent relationship.”
Bangalore September 08, 2012
Following an outrage over certain remarks made by a judge of Karnataka High Court on women in an open court, all family court matters, including child custody and guardianship, have been shifted from him and another judge.
The matters have been shifted to the court of justices K L Manjunath and V Suri Appa Rao from the court of Justice Bhakthavatsala and Justice B S Indrakala.
There was no other change in the subjects listed against the name of justices Bhakthavatsala and Indrakala. The changes will come into effect from September 10, official sources said.
The shifting of the matters comes in the wake of the outrage expressed by women lawyers and activists to certain oral remarks made by Bhakthavatsala in an open court.
The modification of subjects assigned to the Judges of the high court normally happens to those judges who return from their sittings at the circuit benches.
Karnataka has two circuit benches — in Gulbarga and Dharwad. Subjects are normally modified after summer vacation until Dussehra holidays, post Dussehra holidays to Christmasholidays and Christmas holidays to summer holidays.
The unusual modification of taking away just one subject relating to family court matters is an indication of the impact of the campaign that went right up to the level of the Chief Justice of India.
Justice Bhaktavatsala had yesterday expressed his displeasure about the reports appearing in certain sections of the press about the oral observations made by him while hearing a marriage dispute.
While hearing a case, Justice Bhaktavatsala rapped the media for “misinterpreting” his oral observations and said “I have not permitted to beat wife. I never approved such kind of things… In the interest of protecting family, marriages I put forth my efforts… I asked couples to forget their past and live their life peacefully… But reports are otherwise… While hearing family matters we try to conciliate between parties. The papers have taken in a different perspective.”
Certain statements made by him last month had appeared in a section of press wherein while hearing a matrimonial dispute he was reported to have told a woman lawyer that she was unfit to argue the matter as she was unmarried.
Another observation by him was while advising a techie couple who reconciled for the sake of their child, wherein he asked the wife as to why she was talking about the being beaten by her husband, when he could take good care of her as he was doing well in his business.
Women advocates led by noted senior lawyer and former Chairperson of Karnataka StateCommission For Women Pramila Nesargi had recently given a representation to Chief Justice Vikramajit Sen expressing serious objection to the remarks passed by Justice Bhaktavatsala
The Pixel project
The Pixel Project is an innovative virtual volunteer-led non profit organisation using social media and online strategies to turbo-charge global awareness about violence against women while raising funds and volunteer power for the cause. Our first campaign is to raise US$1 million for the Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO) Malaysia & the USA’s National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV).
The Pixel Project was created to:
Advocate and advance a gender-blind approach to gender-based violence
Getting both men and women working together to stop Violence Against Women.
Take activism to end gender-based violence into the 21st century
Using cutting edge and interactive internet technologies and strategies such as social media and online micro-fundraising to raise awareness, volunteer power and funds for the VAW cause.
Tearing down taboos to generate discussion about VAW amongst both men and women
To get a global audience emotionally engaged and actively involved by breaking away from methods used by other VAW campaigns.
find out more The Piixel Project
- ‘Free Waqar’ online campaign- An example of Kracktivism (kractivist.wordpress.com)