#Mumbai -Memorial meeting for Professor Lotika Sarkar (1927- 2013) @Mar 13


lot
                                                                                                 Dr. Mithu Alur, Founder Chairperson,

The Spastics Society of India

Invites you to a commemorative event

In fond memory of her Late Aunt

 

To celebrate her glorious life and to salute her efforts in making the country’s laws sensitive  and to uphold gender-justice, social justice and women’s rights

On Wednesday March 13, 2013 from  6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

  

 Professor Lotika Sarkar (1923- 2013)

 Eminent Scholar and Feminist

Renowned feminist scholars, activists of the women’s movement, legal luminaries, media personalities, and activists linked with NGOs and friends will express their tributes

 

At the Auditorium

National Resource Centre for Inclusion, ADAPT

K.C. Marg, Bandra Reclamation, Bandra (W),

Mumbai – 400050

 

The programme will be followed by Tea and snacks

R.S.V.P. Ms. Theresa D’Costa- 9820017792

 

Kerala: 3 year old gangraped is fighting for her life #Vaw #WTFnews


 

CHILDRAPE

Vidya Iyengar Updated: Thursday, March 7, 2013, 12:31

Thiruvananthapuram, March 7: Even as the government claims to be working on enhancing security for girls and women, a 3 year old girl who was kidnapped and gangraped is battling for life at a local hospital. The girl was found abandoned near the Thrikandiyur following a search launched by the police.

The girl was first admitted to the Tirur District Hospital and later shifted to the Kozhikode Medical College Hospital (KMCH). According to Kozhikode Medical College Hospital (KMCH) deputy superintendent J C Cheriyan, the condition of the girl is improving. According to doctors who have performed two surgeries on her, she will take months together to recover.

The abandoned child was found on Tuesday morning. “She had high fever and was found with ants crawling all over her body,” eye-witnesses said. The girl’s mother who is a rag-picker is in a state of shock. On Monday night, when she went to sleep her daughter was beside her but when she woke up on Tuesday morning the girl was missing.

Although the child was admitted with severe injuries, she is now out of danger. She is currently under observation in the ICU. The medical examination has confirmed it was a rape. The girl has suffered a number of internal injuries. 16 men have been detained for questioning in connection with the rape.

According to district police chief K Sethuraman in the coming day more people will be questioned. “Police will ensure that the culprits behind the incident are nabbed,” additional director general of police N Shanker Reddy said. He visted Tirur and held a meeting with the invetigation team.

The Kerala Women’s Commission Chairperson KC Rosakutty visited the girl and her mother at the hospital and said that that all would be given to the child who would be under their protection. OneIndia News

Read more at: http://news.oneindia.in/2013/03/07/kerela-3-year-old-gangraped-1165832.html

 

Even the chairman has the freedom of speech- #JusticeKatju


MARKANDEY KATJU, The Hindu

Outspoken has no connection with my being associated with the Press Council of India

“Bol ki lab azaad hain terey

Bol zubaan ab tak teri hai”

(Speak out for your lips are free

Speak out for your tongue is still yours”)

Faiz Ahmed Faiz

I have been criticised by some politicians, lawyers and others for being outspoken on some issues unrelated to the press while being the Chairman of The Press Council of India (PCI). As a result, it is time now for my response.

The main attack on me is that since the PCI discharges quasi-judicial functions, its Chairman should not speak on non-media issues.

First of all, let me say that if a matter comes up before the PCI when it is exercising quasi-judicial functions involving an issue or a person about which or whom I have expressed my view, I will immediately recuse myself from the deliberations and decision on it. In quasi-judicial matters I do not make decisions on my own. Rather, it is the PCI which, by majority vote, makes decisions. There are 28 members of the PCI apart from the Chairman. If I recuse myself then the other members will deal with the matter as they deem fit. What then is all the hullabaloo about?

It is then said that a judge should not comment on public issues except when a case comes before him. I reply by saying that I am not a judge but a retired judge. It may be pointed out that the post and functions of the Chairman of the PCI are very different from that of a judge.

First, while a judge has only judicial functions (except the power given to High Courts under Article 235 of the Constitution of administrative control over the subordinate judiciary), the Press Council not only performs quasi-judicial functions under Section 14 of the PCI Act of adjudicating complaints by or against the press, but also preserves the freedom of the press and maintains high standards of journalism, vide Section 13. Second, the High Court and Supreme Court have powers which the PCI does not have. Example, the power to issue writs; punish for contempt of court; quash orders of administrative authorities; issue directions in a PIL, etc. There are several other differences between judges and the Chairman of the PCI. How then can the two posts be treated as equal?

I have repeatedly said that I am not only Chairman of the PCI but also a citizen of India. The PCI Act contains no provision prohibiting me from speaking on non-media issues (though, as I have already said, if a matter comes in quasi judicial proceedings of the PCI on which I have expressed my view I will recuse myself from the deliberations and decision). Hence, I will continue speaking on such issues, particularly when it is, in my opinion, a matter of grave importance for the nation, no matter what some people might say. I have a fundamental right under Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution (which gives the freedom of speech to all citizens) to speak on such matters even while remaining the Chairman of the PCI.

A charge is made against me that I am a government servant and a government appointee and am therefore doing the bidding of the government. To this my reply is as follows: first, the Chairman of the PCI is not appointed by the government but selected under s.5(2) of the PCI Act by a selection committee comprising: 1. the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha (the Vice-President of India) 2. The Speaker of the Lok Sabha, and 3. a representative of the PCI (who is not appointed by the government but chosen democratically by the members of the PCI). It was this body which unanimously selected me. Second, I am not a government servant but an independent statutory authority. It is true that s.7(1) describes me as an “officer,” but the word “officer” does not necessarily mean a government servant. One word can have several meanings, and it depends on the context in which the word has been used. The word “officer” in s.7(1) means a person holding an office. That the Chairman of the PCI is not a government employee is borne out by several features: 1. An employee is usually under the supervision and control of a superior, but the Chairman of the PCI has no superior 2. Employees have ACRs (annual confidential reports) but there is no ACR of the Chairman 3. An employee can be suspended and (if he is on a transferable job) transferred, but the Chairman can neither be suspended nor transferred 4. The Government Servants’ Conduct Rules do not apply to the Chairman of the PCI.

No doubt the salary of the Chairman is paid by the government (the appointment letter states that the Chairman will get the same salary, benefits and amenities as a sitting Supreme Court Judge), but then salaries of High Court and Supreme Court judges are also paid by the government. Does that make such judges government employees?

To those who said that I have only criticised non-Congress governments I have already given my answer in various TV discussions that I have frequently criticised Congress governments too, examples being of Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh and Delhi. I accuse such persons of twisting facts.

I would not have even bothered to give this explanation but for the misleading comments made by some persons which could have misguided the public.

(Justice Markandey Katju is Chairman, Press Council of India.)

IMMEDIATE RELEASE- Paid news in Gujarat Elections


PRESS NOTE
December 17, 2012
            I have been informed today by Shri Rajeev Ranjan Nag, Member, Press Council of India and Convener of the team I appointed for looking into complaints of paid news and violation of Press freedom in the Gujarat election, that large scale practice of paid news in the recent Gujarat elections has come to the notice of the fact finding team.
            The full report about this is still being prepared and shall be submitted to me shortly, but I am informed that not only the print media but even the visual media (TV Channels) indulged in large scale practice of paid news in the Gujarat elections.
            This is indeed shocking and very disturbing as it is a heavy blow to democracy in the country. Certain politicians seem to be making a mockery of the purity of elections, and in their desire to get elected are prepared to go to any extent.
            After I receive the full report of the fact finding team I shall inform the Election Commission of India about it (as well as the general public and concerned authorities)  and request that elections of candidates who indulged in paid news and violation of press freedom in the recent election should be cancelled, as was done in the case of an elected candidate in the recent U.P Legislative Assembly Elections.
            This also vindicates my plea for effective media regulation and punitive powers in the proposed Media Council for taking action against the delinquent media. ‘Self regulation’ has proved to be ineffective, and the recent Gujarat elections is the latest example of the malaise in a large section of the media, and it is not just an aberration.
                                                                                                (Justice Markandey Katju)
                                                                                                Chairman, Press Council of India

 

#India- Communal Harmony Awareness Kit


pic – courtesy yogesh baweja 

Dear Friends,

We are living in times where the communal biases are becoming stronger. These biases are founded upon misconception of history, and present politics. The politics which has its origin in the attempt to gain hegemony at economic, social and political level is presented under the garb of religion. The global politics for control over oil resources has also been presented in the cloak of religion.

The misconceptions about ‘other’, which form the basis of communal violence, also approve the theories of ‘clash of civilizations’ or ‘war against terror’. These need to be countered at the level of thought and ideas. The correct and positive perceptions of society have to be promoted far and wide. The awareness about truth behind the communal politics and terrorist politics needs to be taken to broad layers of our society.

Some of us have been striving to do this from last several years. There is a need that more of us, activists, teachers and concerned individuals have to join hands to strengthen this work. To help promote this crucial work we have brought “Communal Harmony Awareness Kit. This kit, after due understanding of its contents, can be used at social level for this work.

This Kit has, in sequence of use during the day, the following material

Contents of the Kit

1.      Film Ekta Sandesh ( by Waqar Khan)

This film is based on the clippings of Hindi films, which give the message of harmony: Duration 50 minutes.

2, A card, Solar message, for communal harmony: Through the experiment of letting sun light pass through symbols of different religions, it shows the oneness of humanity.

3.  Flip Chart: Sadbhavna Safar-A total presentation of major theme with the help of visuals

This flip chart is based on the book ‘Communalism: What’s False: What’s True’ and covers the themes: Communal violence, temple destructions, Syncretic culture, Battle between kings, Values of freedom movement, Kashmir imbroglio, politics behind terrorism.

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4.      Lecture DVD: Raah Aman ki: Nine DVD lectures: Each Lecture is of the duration of 25-30 minutes. Comunalism, Myths about minorities, Conversions, Politics of terror, Values of Freedom movement, Partition tragedy and Kashmir Imbroglio, Communal Organization’s Agenda (Couple of these lectures to be shown and discussed)

Using the kit

The presenter shows the film EKTA Sandesh followed by discussion. Then through the flip chart the myths and other themes are presented sequentially. Whatever questions come up during the flip chart presentation are deepened by showing Video Lectures from Raah Aman Ki. The group discussion and display of the pocket books Aman katha, Gandhi Katha and Ambedkar Katha follows the discussion.

Many of the components of the kit were released earlier. This is the attempt to put them together in a sequence.

The Kit is bilingual (Hindi+ English), please mention which language you will like to have.

Contribution: Rs 500+ Courier Rs 100

Availability

EKTA

c/o Ram Puniyani

1102/5 MHADA Deluxe Rambaug Powai Mumbai 400076

Email: ram.puniyani@gmail.com

__._,_.___

#India-Widow starving and living in a for10 yrs #Vaw


30th November 2012

 

To 

The Chairman
National Human Rights Commission
Faridkot House
Copernicus Marg
New Delhi-110001                                                                                                                                                               

Respected Sir,

 

We conducted a fact finding upon information received that the victim Ms. Sabita Pal, wife of- Late Bimal Pal, aged about- 50 years, Hindu by faith, by occupation-begging, residing at Burujmore under village-Buruj, Police Station- Baduriya, District- North 24 Parganas, West Bengal is a victim of starvation. She is a widow, homeless and lives in a ‘Hume Pipe’. Her two sons work and stay in a shop on a meager amount per month. The victim has been knocking the door of the authorities for getting help of various schemes of the government as her husband’s name was enlisted in the B.P.L. (Below Poverty Line) List, but till date she did not get any help due to slipshod attitude of the authorities. Our attached fact finding report gives details of this tragic situation of the victim.   

 

In that situation we seek your urgent intervention in this matter in the following manner:-

 

  • The victim and her family members should immediately be provided with adequate facilities under the present government schemes.
  • The victim must also be proved with proper shelter immediately. 
  • The role played by the respective departments and the administration of the local gram panchayat in this matter should immediately be probed into and the personnel accountable must be booked under the law.
  • The whole matter must be investigated by one neutral investigating agency appointed by the Commission and the victim must be provided with adequate compensation for denial of her right to food and the right to life.

 

Thanking You

Yours faithfully,

 

 

Kirity Roy
Secretary, MASUM
&
National Convener, (PACTI)

Name of the victim: – Ms. Sabita Pal, wife of- Late Bimal Pal, aged about- 50 years, Hindu by faith, by occupation-begging, residing at Burujmore under village-Buruj, Police Station- Baduria, District- North 24 Parganas, West Bengal, India.

 

 

Case details: -

 

It is revealed during the fact finding that the victim is a homeless widowed person and her husband died in the year 2006. Previously she had own residence at village Gokulpur under Swarupnagar Police Station. But her house was forcibly occupied and sold by her elder brother-in-law Mr. Nirmal Pal and younger brother-in-law Mr. Gour Pal. The victim and her family were then ousted by them from the house in the year of 2000 when a massive flood hit the area. The victim became completely homeless at that time with her family members.  

 

After that she took shelter in a ‘Hume Pipe’ near Brojumore under Ramchandrapur Gram Panchayet with her family. Her eldest son Tarak Pal, aged about twenty six years has been missing for last six years. Her other two sons namely Shyamal Pal, at present aged about eighteen years and Kamal Pal, at present aged about fifteen years work in a sweet shop at Ramchandrapur Market. The said sons of the victim live in the said shop and they get meager amount of Rs. 500/- each per month. They have been working in the said sweet shop for last five years. The victim due to her poverty could not provide them food and education for which they had to take job at the sweet shop for mere survival.

 

The victim time and again knocked local gram panchayat (Ramchandrapur Gram Panchayat) authority to get helps from the various schemes of the government. But her pleas were not heard till date. She also found that her name was excluded from the voter list. The victim’s husband name was in the B.P.L. (Below Poverty Line) list being no. 160WB15-010-012-006180142), so she requested the authorities of Ramchandrapur Gram Panchayat to enlist her name in the BPL list as well as requested to issue Ration Cards for herself and her sons, but till date there is no outcome. The authorities of local gram panchayat reportedly refused to render any help to the victim in spite of being aware of the helpless situation of the victim.  The victim somehow survives by begging.

Inline images 1

 

IMMEDIATE RELEASE-PUCL’s letter to Tarkunde Memorial Foundation


 

20th November, 2012

To

Ms. Manik Karanjawala,

The Tarkunde Memorial Foundation, New Delhi.

 

Dear Ms. Manik,

We are writing to you about the 6th Tarkunde Memorial Lecture to be addressed by Mr. Nandan Nilekani, Chairman, UIDAI on 23rd November, 2012.

PUCL has consistently opposed the UIDAI project and unequivocally opposed the project on grounds of being an unacceptable intrusion by the State into citizen’s right to privacy, as having questionable motives and constituting a serious threat to human rights, amongst other reasons. We have also opposed UIDAI as being part of a larger corporate-centric and driven project seeking to push technocratic solution to critical issues of governance failures which cannot be rectified by UIDAI. This being our stand, we find ourselves unable to associate ourselves with the choice of Mr. Nandan Nilekani as speaker for the lecture.   (Please see the attached letter issued on this way back in 2010 in which Mr. Kannabiran was also a signatory).

We are informed that Sacharji has already spoken to you about this and that you had agreed not to associate PUCL’s name with the lecture. We thank you for accepting our request and dropping the name of PUCL from the publications, banners or publicity material connected with this lecture which you confirmed to Kavita Srivastava too.

The PUCL and the larger human rights community holds  Justice Tarkunde in high esteem even today, for  his incredible contribution as a civil liberties champion along with his role in founding and shaping an  organisation like the PUCL. There is a lot of outrage that the speaker chosen to deliver the lecture should be associated with an issue which the human rights community finds contradictory to the very ideals that Justice Tarkunde’s  work and persona reflected.

It is for these reasons the demand for calling off the lecture by the larger human rights community should be appreciated and respected.

We are sorry if we have caused you any embarassment.

With regards,

                  Dr. V. Suresh,

                  National General Secretary (Elect), PUCL.

Complaint to NCW-molestation of 10-15 women police officers #VAW


 

August 14, 2012

To,

Smt. Mamta Sharma,

Chairperson,

National Commission for Women

Dear Smt. Sharma,

We are extremely concerned about the widespread reports of deliberate mishandling and molestation of 10-15 women police officers of the Mumbai Police while on regular bandobast duty to ensure public order at the Azad Maidan in Mumbai on Saturday, August 11.

Policewomen, as all women in public administrative functions are particularly vulnerable to such incidents of gender violence and hence it is necessary for the NCW to not just investigate this complaint but look into the wider issue of the vulnerabilities of women in public spaces and suggest sensitisation in this regard.

We, as citizens of Mumbai and representatives of womens’ organisations would urge that the National Commission for Women (NCW) conducts a Investigation under Section 10(a)(f) and (j) of the National Commission for Women’s Act, 1990 into the reports and allegations and makes public its recommendations in a time bound manner. Sensitisation of the public on conduct during protests and demonstrations is a must as also the acknowledgement and assertion that such behaviour cannot be condoned.

Ma’am do ensure a swift decision in this regard.

Your browser may not support display of this image.

Teesta Setalvad, Citizens for Justice and Peace (Mobile 09821314172)

Hasina Khan Awaaz-e-Niswaan

Sandhya Gokhale Forum Against Oppression of Women
Noorjahan Safia Niaz, Convenor Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan

Uzma Naheed, IIWA, Iqra International Women’s Alliance

Noorjahan Shaikh, KHOJ, Sabrang

Naseem Contractor, WRAG

 

Mangalore attack: Girls should skip parties, Karnataka women’s panel boss says #WTFnews


 

TNN | Aug 2, 2012,
Mangalore attack: Girls should skip parties, Karnataka women's panel boss says
BANGALORE: If the girls brutalized by moral vigilantes in Mangalore last week were looking for any womanly understanding from the Karnataka StateWomen’s Commission, they were in for a big disappointment.Commission chairperson C Manjula, who on Wednesday arrived in Mangalore to inquire into the attack on college girls and boys at Morning Mist home stay, had little to offer except: “Home stay parties mislead young girls.”

She told reporters that the commission had already condemned the attack. “I have come here to conduct an inquiry and to seek answers as to why such incidents are repeatedly taking place in Mangalore. The issue will be discussed with officials and we will try to find solutions to put an end to the menace,” she added.

Instead of taking on the vigilantes interfering in the lives of young people, she said that holding parties in remote places leads to suspicion. “I will discuss the issue with Mangalore Universityvice-chancellor TC Shivashankara Murthy and principals of colleges in the city to find solutions for the protection of young women students,” she said.

 

Mangalore attackers behaved like animals: victim #Moralpolicing #VAW


 

Mangalore Bureau, The Hindu

SThe last building inside this gate is Morning Mist, a homestay at Padil. Photo: R.Eswarraj
The last building inside this gate is Morning Mist, a homestay at Padil. Photo: R.Eswarraj

Hindu Jagaran Vedike responsible, says ADGP Bipin Gopalakrishna

“I saw the men coming and jumped from the balcony, but they chased me and touched me in [inappropriate] places and dragged me back into the room,” Namitha (name changed) said, as she narrated her ordeal at the Morning Mist Homestay (a house rented out for parties) at Padil on the outskirts of the city on Saturday evening.

She told The Hindu that the attackers behaved like “animals”. When another girl asked the men why they were being targeted, the assaulters reportedly abused her and “one of them slapped me”.

The attackers, said a victim, removed the shirt of a man who was made to sit on a bed along with other women, apparently to project them in a poor light. Women said the attackers took away some of their valuables.

Defended

The Hindu Jagaran Vedike’s State convener Jagadish Karanth said at a press conference that his organisation was not behind the attack, nevertheless, defended it. Admitting that city coordinator of the vedike Subhash Padil was in the raiding party, he said this was the reaction by society against “immoral activities”.

He threatened that a ‘Janandolan’ (mass campaign) against activities opposed to Hindutva traditions would be launched. To begin with some pubs, spas, resorts, home stays and discotheques would be targeted as they “harboured prostitution and drugs”.

Bipin Gopalakrishna, ADGP Law and Order, said the vedike was responsible for the attack and that the eight persons arrested were its members. Amongst them was Mr. Padil.

The police booked cases under Section 18 1(a)(b) of unlawful activities prevention act, 1967 and IPC Sections for unlawful assembly, rioting, molestation, assault and dacoity against 27 persons, including the reporter and cameraman who were present and filmed the attack.

Ban orders

The police imposed prohibitory orders in the city under Section 144 of Cr.PC. as a preventive measure, but it was seen by groups such as the Democratic Youth Federation of India as an attempt to scuttle the voices protest.

The All-College Students’ Union called for a college bandh in Mangalore taluk on Monday, condemning Saturday’s attack saying it had created an atmosphere of fear among students which could affect their future adversely.

State women’s Commission Chairperson C. Manjula said in Bangalore that she had sought a report on the incident from the Deputy Director of Women and Child Development.

The officer had been asked to speak to the victims and include their version in the report.

They want to shoot the messenger:

Mangalore journalist

Sudipto Mondal

Saturday night’s vigilante attack on a group of young girls and boys, and which was caught on tape by a television crew, has revived the debate about what journalists are supposed to do in situations like this. The Mangalore police have charged Naveen Soorinje, a reporter, and Shiva Kumar, camera person, as well as the attackers under the same sections of the Indian Penal Code and Unlawful Activities Prevention Act. Seeking to put his side of the story in the public domain Mr. Soorinje spoke to The Hindu.

Q: Why did you not inform the police?

A: I called the [jurisdictional] police inspector and he did not pick his calls. I called a reporter from another channel and asked him to call the police. That reporter too could not get through to the police inspector.

But the police allege that you made that call after the attack, and after you had shot the scenes.

That is not true; my phone records are proof.

It is being alleged that the attackers informed you in advance.

I was informed by a mechanic who has a shop in the same area. Again, my phone records should be enough to prove this.

Why did you not inform the Police Commissioner?

He was not in Mangalore. His flight landed in the city around about the time the attack was taking place.

The Home Minister has alleged that you or your cameraman was holding up a girl’s face for the camera.

That is not true to the best of my knowledge. The Home Minister might have confused the attackers with us.

Why did you not help the girls?

There were at least 70 attackers from the Hindu Jagarana Vedike; we were just two. If you watch the video, there is a male voice asking the attackers to spare the girls. That voice was mine. That is all I could do at the time.

What if one of the victims was your relative? Would you still have done nothing?

Firstly, that is not a fair question. And there have been cases where women have been molested and humiliated by vigilante groups in front of their families in Mangalore. The fathers, brothers and lovers were forced to watch helplessly.

There are some who say that you were more interested in TRP ratings than helping the girls.

If I was interested in TRPs, I would not have passed on the exclusive video footage to every Kannada, Hindi and English channel in the country. I wanted to help the girls, but more importantly I wanted the world to see what happens here almost every day and how the police deal with such crimes.

How do the police deal with such crimes?

If you see Saturday night’s footage, you will notice that even after the police arrived on the spot, no action was taken against the attackers. They continued to attack the girls as the police were trying to take them to safety and the police did not retaliate. If I had not shot the entire shocking episode, no action would have been taken against the vigilantes. What few people see is that there has been a rise in such incidents in Dakshina Kannada over the last few months. Every time the police has booked cases of obscenity against the victims and allowed the vigilantes to walk free. If the police were doing their job, these groups would not have dared to carry out such attacks. And now that we have exposed the administration’s failing, they want to shoot the messenger.

The attackers seemed to be encouraged by the fact that you were shooting the scene.

What we have shown is only some of the more decent shots. What we saw through own eyes and chose not to shoot, was nothing short of rape.

There are some who say that the victims were further shamed by the filming.

Why should they be ashamed? They did nothing wrong. They were not doing the molesting and beating.

How do you respond to the police filing a case against you and your cameraman?

I have no problem with the fact that they have booked us. But I am happy that our visuals helped identify eight of the people they have arrested.