Welcome to my blog
The .org site also crashed for two week from May 24th to June 8 2015 http://www.kractivist.org/ due to high traffic but is sorted now
You can be updated here http://www.kractivist.org/
Kamayani aka kractivist
Bridge the Gap , Bring the Change
10 Jun 2015 Leave a comment
Welcome to my blog
The .org site also crashed for two week from May 24th to June 8 2015 http://www.kractivist.org/ due to high traffic but is sorted now
You can be updated here http://www.kractivist.org/
Kamayani aka kractivist
08 Jun 2015 Leave a comment
WHEN the Greenpeace activist Priya Pillai was offloaded from a flight bound for London earlier this year, it marked the culmination of the government’s pursuit of her. It had begun much earlier, in Singrauli in Madhya Pradesh, when plainclothesmen on motorcycles followed her and her colleagues and when their phones were tapped intermittently. The non-governmental organisation (NGO) worked among Adivasis in the region who did not want mines where their homes and sources of livelihood were situated.
The pursuit became blatant at railway stations in Delhi when every time Priya took the train, she would get a call on her mobile from Singrauli. “Madam, when are you reaching here?” the caller asked. The regular interaction with the police and special cell personnel led to so much familiarity that some of them told Priya that there was a file being maintained on her. “We used to laugh it off because we did not realise that something big was coming. But now when I look back, I think we should have seen a pattern,” she told Frontline.
The matter took a serious turn when letters were planted in her name instigating members of the Mahan Sangharsh Samiti, which was fighting against mining in the region, to use violence against officials. Greenpeace filed a police complaint about it, but no action was taken. Priya was also named in an Intelligence Bureau (I.B.) report, leaked to the press last year, along with a host of organisations such as Amnesty, ActionAid, Cordaid and Survival International. Most people and organisations named in the report have spoken about protecting the human rights of indigenous people affected by nuclear power plants, uranium mines, coal-fired power plants, genetically modified organisms, mega industrial projects, hydel projects and extractive industries in the north-eastern region of the country.
Spying, intelligence gathering and planting stories against individuals that disagree with the state’s notion of development were prevalent when the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) was in government. G.N. Saibaba’s is a case in point. The Delhi University professor, who is 90 per cent disabled, was booked under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act for conspiracy or attempt to commit a terrorist act and support for a terrorist organisation and imprisoned in Nagpur Central jail’s infamous anda cell a year ago. Civil society organisations feel that the aggressiveness displayed by the current government in targeting people who challenge the state’s development model is far more chilling.
They say under Congress president Sonia Gandhi, there was some semblance of a pro-poor agenda through the National Advisory Council, but the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance, having won a massive mandate and centralised all decision-making, has no need to hum and haw like the Congress in keeping its pro-corporate ties a secret. In an address to top judges in the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was at his caustic best while referring to civil society volunteers as “five-star activists”. Activists feel that the majoritarian government led by Modi at the Centre aims to stifle any voice from civil society and render it irrelevant in the long run.
Some 16 foreign donors have been put on the list of foreign funding agencies that require prior approval from the Ministry of Home Affairs for each transaction. Though Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju called this correspondent for an interview to his office in North Block, he wanted a written questionnaire via mail. The questionnaire went unanswered. Some of the organisations on the list are reportedly the Bertha Foundation of the Netherlands, the Climate Works Foundation, the Mercy Corps (which operated in Kashmir), the Bank Information Centre, the Sierra Club Foundation, Avaaz.org, ICCO Strategische Samenwerking, HIVOS, the Catholic Organisation for Relief and Development Aid, the Inter-Church Peace Council, the Danish Institute of Human Rights, the Danish International Development Agency, and 350.Org. Reportedly, 69 NGOs have been blacklisted by the Centre and the registration of hundreds of NGOs has been cancelled. NGOs perceive this as an attempt to muzzle opposition to any pro-corporate activity undertaken by the government.
Members of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which rose to power in Delhi State on the back of social activism, released a statement saying that they hoped the Prime Minister would desist from openly siding with businesses and interest groups and maintain the dignity of the high office he held. “We also believe that, as in the past, the judiciary will always stand by the Constitution and law while discharging their duties and will not heed to the loaded suggestions from any quarter. It may be noted that most of the anti-corruption breakthroughs in the 10-year rule of the Manmohan Singh-led UPA government have been made possible due to vigilance and activism of civil right activists. Now, in spite of the efforts of the BJP-led government to shut their voice, the efforts of the civil society shall continue unabated and with much more vigour,” the statement said.
Anil Chaudhary of INSAF, one of the organisations named in the I.B. report, says: “Intelligence gathering is a part of statecraft. Local I.B. officers often come to our office and I give them a seat, chat with them. They then file their reports to a district-level officer daily or on a weekly basis.” No covert action has been taken against the organisation after the court quashed the freezing of its account by the government, but Chaudhary is prepared for the worst. The process for the renewal of its Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) registration is coming up, and he feels that the government can avoid special action in the case by simply denying it.
INSAF does not directly work at the grass roots but has 700 affiliates which do. The membership-driven organisation is a forum to express concerns about globalisation, communalism and threats to democracy, and it also conducts campaigns against genetically modified crops, the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank. Chaudhary finds no major difference in the underlying policies of the UPA and the NDA but points to a stark difference in the style of functioning.
Of the 16 donors on the government’s watch list, the Ford Foundation has been the most talked about. It is believed that its name cropped up as it funded the Sabrang Trust, the organisation headed by Teesta Setalvad, who is currently under scrutiny by the Gujarat government for alleged embezzlement of the trust’s funds. Many believe that Teesta is being hounded for her proactive role post-Gujarat 2002 riots as the secretary of the Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP), which is a co-petitioner in seeking a criminal trial of Modi for his complicity in the riots. Her activism resulted in the conviction of Maya Kodnani, a former Minister in the Modi government in Gujarat, and Babu Bajrangi, a leader of the Bajrang Dal, a Sangh Parivar outfit.
“The trustees and office-bearers of the Sabrang Trust and the CJP do not see themselves as above the law. They believe in the law of the land and expect others to do so as well. We believe that neither the Sabrang Trust nor the CJP has violated the provisions of the FCRA or, for that matter, any law of the land,” is Sabrang’s response.
Apart from Sabrang, with which it reportedly no longer has any ties, the Ford Foundation also funds government-backed educational and research institutes such as IIT Bombay; the Tata Institute of Social Sciences; Jamia Milia Islamia; the National Academy of Legal Studies and Research (NALSAR) University, Hyderabad; and the Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute of Health Sciences and Technology, Thiruvananthapuram. In response to a query by Frontline, the Ford Foundation sent a statement saying: “We are grateful for the opportunity to work in India and are extraordinarily proud of the contributions our grantees have made since our office opened. We wish to affirm that the foundation does not fund political parties. The foundation does, however, work with a range of other entities, including non-governmental organisations, government and quasi-government entities, universities, and for-profit entities, depending on the needs of the particular work involved. This includes engaging for-profit entities to provide services to the foundation and its grantee communities.”
Close to 200 civil society organisations have written a letter to the Prime Minister and the Home Minister on the larger issue of a crackdown tantamount to sacrificing people’s interests over corporate interests. It states that the I.B. report is a calculated character assassination attempt on a large number of credible activists, including Admiral Ramdas, Justice P.K. Mishra, Medha Patkar, S.P. Udayakumar, Achin Vanaik, Praful Bidwai, Prashant Paikray, K.P. Sasi, Surendra Gadekhar, Babloo Loitongbam, Lalita Ramdas, the late Banwarilal Sharma, the late Fr Tom Kochery, Aarti Chokshi, M.G. Devasahayam, Aruna Rodrigues, Kavita Kuruganti and others. “We understand that Narendra Modi is planning to execute a major corporate agenda of destroying India’s land, water and forests and since thousands of crores of rupees have been used from the corporate sector for his election campaign, there is an urgency to sell off India to the corporate interests. Therefore, this slander campaign is only to clear the ground to benefit the Indian and foreign multinational interests,” it states.
Wada no todo Abhiyan (“don’t break the promise campaign”) is a campaign of organisations that work towards strengthening democracy. “We are all credible, reliable and compliant organisations and not fly-by-night operators controlled by some foreign hand as is being made out. Whatever funds that come from outside are with the full knowledge of the government, and not illegally. We subsist from grant to grant, and to get the work done, we apply everywhere, to the government also. This is made legal by the government itself, so where is the foreign hand? Or is it wrong to talk about communal harmony and Dalit rights?” asks Paul Divakar, convener of the Abhiyan.
All such grants are approved by the Department of Economic Affairs under the Finance Ministry and have to be FCRA compliant. According to activists, the conclusion that can be drawn by the government’s action of moving the approval of some foreign funding agencies from the Finance Ministry to the Home Ministry is that the government does not trust the former to do it properly.
“There now seems to be a public agenda to completely silence any opposition and a blatant disregard of civil society,” said Divya Raghunandan, programmes director of Greenpeace India, which may face imminent closure. “If you don’t praise the government, you are termed anti-national.”
As much as 70 per cent of Greenpeace India’s funds are from domestic sources, which include 77,000 donors who transfer Rs.300 to Rs.700 a month through ECS debit and the rest from its parent organisation under the FCRA. Both are maintained as separate accounts, said Divya Raghunandan. Along with its foreign account, seven of the organisation’s domestic accounts have been frozen, an action that the NGO has challenged in a writ petition. This may affect the operations of the NGO beyond May, when it exhausts all of its existing funds and may no longer be able to pay salaries to its 350 employees or pay rent. “The government is welcome to review our books and we have been very cooperative throughout, but this seems like an intent to shut us down rather than about technicalities,” said Divya Raghunandan.
However, every time the NGO has been targeted, its donations have only gone up, and it may still survive the episode. Its employees have written that they are willing to go without pay for a while if necessary.
Greenpeace’s activism was bad PR for the government. It was raising uncomfortable questions about whom the development was for. Said Priya Pillai: “Nationalism is becoming the monopoly of a few people.”
08 Jun 2015 Leave a comment
in Advocacy, Announcements, Human Rights, Justice, Kractivism, Law, Minority Rights, Violence against Women, Women Rights Tags: Delhi government, finger test, rape victims, Sexual Assault, state health department, two finger test
by FP Staff Jun 8, 2015
Sparking what is bound to be an unwelcome controversy for the Aam Aadmi Party government in Delhi, the state health department reportedly issued guidelines to city hospitals allowing the two finger test for sexual assault cases in select cases on the grounds that failure to do so could ‘result in injustice’. Those guidelines have now been hastily withdrawn by the AAP government which is promising action against the officials who issued them.
According to an Indian Express report, the guidelines on the test, which is also known as the ‘per vaginal test’ were issued by a three member committee of doctors on 31 May in which they recommended that physicians should not “be made to function under the constraint of a complete ban of these essential steps in the internal examination of a sexual assault victim.”
The committee also reportedly said there was a misconception that the test was conducted to judge if a woman is habituated to sexual intercourse and that the test was purely to examine genital organs for forced penetration, document injuries, check for injuries and collect samples.
It also said that the test was to be conducted only in certain cases after taking the informed consent of the woman and in the cases of very young girls under anaesthesia.
“To do away with this pelvic examination would amount to incomplete assessment of the victim and result in injustice and low conviction rates,” the guidelines reportedly state.
A senior doctor was also quoted as saying in Hindustan Times report that the test was conducted only in cases where sexual assault victims are bleeding or have some discharge.
“It is to treat the patient and save her life and we have been doing it in specific rape cases,” the doctor said.
The guidelines issued by the Delhi government come after the Central Information Commission asked the Delhi government to suo moto make public whether the controversial two-finger test to determine rape has been banned in the national capital since the health department failed to spell out a clear policy on it.
Information Commissioner Sridhar Acharyulu had noted at the time that no test could be conducted which violates a victim’s right to privacy.
But despite the committee’s justifications, its directive ran completely against the Union Health Ministry’s guidelines, which are specific on the fact that the test is ‘not scientific’ and shall not be performed.
It’s not just the Union Health Ministry, as even the Supreme Court had earlier noted that the two finger test violated the right to privacy of the victim.
“Undoubtedly, the two-finger test and its interpretation violates the right of rape survivors to privacy, physical and mental integrity and dignity. Thus, this test, even if the report is affirmative, cannot ipso facto, be given rise to presumption of consent,” a bench had noted.
“Medical procedures should not be carried out in a manner that constitutes cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment and health should be of paramount consideration while dealing with gender-based violence,” the bench said.
The Delhi health ministry’s justification that doing away with the test would result in low conviction rates is also completely wrong.
In a detailed report on sexual assault cases in India, lawyers had told Human Rights Watch that “usually no acquittal or conviction rests completely on the findings of the finger test, but the defense uses these findings to break the morale of the survivor while she is testifying in court, to question her character and credibility, or to dispute her consent to the sexual act under consideration.”
If kept in place, Delhi would have been the only state to endorse a test that is clearly outdated, unnecessary and violates a woman’s rights. The collection of forensic evidence for proving sexual assault clearly doesn’t require the two-finger test to be performed . More appalling was the state’s health department willingness to approve the test for child victims, even under anaesthesia is incomprehensible.
The AAP government is now hastily backtracking in the face of political fire, a belated decision that is hardly comforting for citizens who would expect the party and its leader to have never made such a callous error to begin with. The state health department guideline clearly violated the spirit of the Hippocratic oath which is clear in its directive: First, do no harm. A directive that the AAP government, would do well to embrace.
07 Jun 2015 Leave a comment
07 Jun 2015 1 Comment
A joint report by the People’s Union for Democratic Rights(PUDR) AND PERSPECTIVES
On 12 February 2015, hundreds of workers of garment factories at Udyog Vihar, Gurgaon, came out on the streets and pelted stones at some of the garment factory buildings in response to the rumour of the death of a fellow worker, Sami Chand. It was later found out that Sami Chand had not died but had actually been assaulted two days earlier by officials and staff of the company where he worked i.e. Gaurav International, plot number 236, Udyog Vihar, Phase I. The incident was widely reported in national newspapers. This prompted People’s Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR) and Perspectives to undertake a joint fact finding in this incident. The team met Sami Chand and his family including his wife and brother, Sube Singh, the SHO of the Udyog Vihar Police Station under whose jurisdiction the factory lies, and the General Manager – Human Resources and Administration, Richa & Co., Amardeep Dagar. The team also met one of the lawyers representing the arrested workers, some workers and worker activists in and around Kapashera.
In the course of the fact-finding, the team was presented with a chance to get an insight into the world of garment industry workers of Udyog Vihar. The team explored the working and living conditions of workers, and their connection, if any, with the recurring incidents of attacks and accidents.
Following were the main findings of the team:
1. Two FIRs have been lodged in the incident of 10 February, one by Sami Chand and other by the management. Consequently, nine staff members of Gaurav International were arrested but are now out on bail whereas four workers are still in jail with bail applications of two of them being rejected. The assaulted worker, Sami Chand along with his wife and brother have also been named in the FIR for spreading rumours.
2. The incident of 10 February was one amongst many incidents/accidents in the garment industry which reflect the discontent amongst the workers and the poor working conditions.
3. The garment units of the area are one of the garment clusters in India which produce for global clothing brands. At least since the 1990s workers have been employed in a ‘chain system’ or an assembly line where each worker is responsible for small part of the work such as stitching the collar or stitching one arm of the shirt.
4. Majority of workers are migrant workers from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, most of them being Muslims. Despite having lived and worked for 15-20 years, they do not have either ration cards or voter cards.
5. Although, the workers are paid minimum wages as per the notification of Haryana government, the purchasing power of the wages has been continuously falling. The monthly basic salary of one of the most privileged kinds of tailors (Sampling Tailor) is merely INR 6203 after the latest revision in 2015.
A copy of the report is available at the PUDR website. For hard copies, contact secretaries. A hindi translation of the press release is also available.
Sharmila Purkayastha and Megha Bahl
(Secretaries) New Delhi,
07 Jun 2015 Leave a comment
Samruddhi is one the four Maharashtrian Hindu students out of the seven who got distinction at the board exams and also excelled in Urdu. The marks in Urdu she and her other Hindu batch mates scored—Harshada Dilip Cherphale (86%), Simran Deepak Karambe (88%) and Kshitij Pradeep Khopkar (60%)—have excited her Muslim classmates. “I am not envious of Samruddhi, but feel proud that she outshone me in Urdu which I have learnt from childhood,” says Madiha.
But the proudest is the school’s founder, Mumbai-based noted surgeon Dr A R Undre. “One of the reasons I moved my school from SSC to ICSE Board was the compulsory Indian language of 100 marks students are required to keep. I wanted my students to not just get familiarized with Urdu but also hone the skill in it to the extent that they start appreciating its literary beauty,” says Dr Undre who established the school in 1980 as a way to “payback to my ancestral village.”
One of the benefits of learning Urdu, say the non-Muslim students, is better understanding of its writers and their works. So most 10th graders in India, including Muslims who have not studied Urdu, know Maulana Azad as a freedom fighter and India’s first education minister. But ask Samruddhi about Azad’s literary contributions and she immediately mentions “Ghubar-e-Khatir”, a collection of the great scholar-nationalist’s letters he penned in prison to his friends.
The non-Muslim students turned to their teachers and Muslim classmates for help in Urdu. “We mostly speak Marathi at home but when I put her in the English medium school where Urdu is compulsory, I knew she would clear it as her teachers are very cooperative,” says Samrudhi’s father Shyam Waghmare who teaches Marathi at a different school.
Simran comes from Danguri village where no one knows Urdu. “After my results came many relatives congratulated me especially for excelling in Urdu paper,” says Simran. “My relatives admire and are amazed when I speak or read Urdu texts before them,” says Harshada. TOI asked these students to read the headlines of daily Urdu Times and each read them fluently. “We ensure that our non-Muslim students don’t falter in Urdu and we encourage them to put in extra efforts,” says vice-principal, Arif M Ansari.
Urdu is often associated with Muslims, something many lovers of the language call a grave injustice to the language which symbolizes India’s Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb (composite culture). But the achievements of these students debunks the fallacy that Urdu belongs to Muslims alone. “These students have proved once again that Urdu is a secular language and politicians should stop dividing languages on religious grounds. Urdu is Hindi’s sister and must be treated equally. It should get all the facilities to prosper in whichever state it is the second largest language,” says Prof Gopichand Narang, noted Urdu scholar and former president, Sahitya Akademi.
06 Jun 2015 Leave a comment
Press Note – Ruthless Demolition in Malvani, Malad reveals the falsity of the Housing for All slogan of this Government. Kiske Acche Din?
6 June 2015
On 4 June 2015 a demolition of more than 350 households was carried out in Malad. This settlement known as ‘Katcha Rasta’ is adjacent to the New Collector’s Compound in Malvani. On 6 June (today) there was another spate of demolitions in the area. This demolition was carried out in-spite of assurances given by the Forest Dept, Police and local MLA that no further demolition would take place until the monsoon ends.
For the last two days families have been living in the open with no place to go, it even rained in Malvani last night worsening the situation. Mumbai is expecting monsoon in a weeks time which means that around 500 families will be on road in this monsoon. Tonight at-least 150 more families will be without shelter. Children and women have been the worst affected. Around 500 children will not be able to attend school which starts next week. This demolition violates their fundamental Right To Education (RTE).
A notice regarding proposed eviction had been sent to only 50 families on 17 May 2015. The notice stated that these homes had been constructed on mangrove land under the ownership of the Forest Department and hence would be evicted. However, nearly 450 homes not on mangroves, who had not received a notice of eviction were also demolished. This mass eviction of the poor from their homes is in absolute contravention of the Maharashtra Slum Areas Act (1971) as it is imperative that an advance notice of at least 24 hours is given (Sec. 3(z)i-2) prior to eviction.
On the 4th June 2015, 5 women from the area who attempted to save their homes were arrested by the police, one of who had a three month old child and had to remain in custody overnight till bail application was processed. Today another three people were taken in police custody, two of who are activists (Architect Aravind Unni and Sachin Nachnekar) of Hamara Shehar Mumbai Campaign which has been advocating for affordable housing in the Development Plan of the city. They were detained merely for trying to negotiate with the police who had gone back on their assurances of not demolishing any homes till after the monsoons.
Hamara Shehar Mumbai condemns these evictions and the gross violation of human rights. Such events reinforce the need for affordable public housing to be reserved in the DP.
Attached are pictures from the demolition drive.
Noorjahaan Shiakh Mahattam Mourya Sitaram Shelar Marina Joseph
for Hamara Shehar, Mumbai
06 Jun 2015 Leave a comment
in Advocacy, Announcements, Human Rights, Justice, Kractivism, Law, Minority Rights, Press Release Tags: Bhumi Adhikar Andolan, Fair Compensation, Joint parliamentary committee, Land Acquisition, Movement for Land Rights, Press Conference
Bhumi Adhikar Andolan (Movement for Land Rights) rejects anti-farmer Land Ordinance
WHY IS GOVERNMENT IN A HURRY?
5 June 2015, New Delhi : A joint statement released by various groups fighting for equitable land rights in the country under the banner of Bhumi Adhikar Andolan, has summarily rejected the questionable amendments that have been introduced to the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement 2013 (Second Amendment Bill, 2015) by extra-constitutional means.
In a Press Conference called by the movement, representatives of farmers, forest workers and civil rights organisations raised the issue of ‘hurry’ with which the NDA government is trying to amend a very hard-earned law of the country. The same attitude of the government can be seen in the time it has given to the Joint Parliamentary Committee for taking in suggestions from the people. Bhumi Adhikar Andolan had asked the JPC to increase the deadline for receiving submissions which is 8 June 2015 but JPC has rejected the demand. The JPC doesn’t even have enough time to hold wider public consultations and hearings to receive real inputs from people of the country. A law that took 66 years after independence to come out of its colonial framework is today going back to its exploitative form in just months. In another undemocratic move, the NDA cabinet again recommended the Land Amendment Bill to the Parliament without even waiting for the inputs of the JPC.
NAPM, as a part of Bhumi Adhikar Andolan strongly condemns this deplorable attitude of the government with which it is dealing with such an important act and is threatening the livelihood of a majority of Indian citizens. Today, economists and media are harping on the fact that share of agriculture in GDP is very low. But how can that be possible when 60% of India’s labour is occupied in agriculture and when each and every industry is dependent on agriculture as its source of raw material? Such false notions must be countered by a comprehensive research on the status of agriculture in India and cannot be used just as an excuse to take away land from small and marginal farmers for the benefit of real estate lobby and industrialists.
The Press Conference was addressed by Bhupinder Singh Rawat (NAPM), Hannan Mollah (All India Kisan Sabha, Canning Lane), Roma (All India Union of Forest Working People), Jarjum Ete (All India Union of Forest Working People) and Satyavan (All India Krishak Khet Mazdoor Sangathan).
Bhupinder Singh Rawat | Shabnam Shaikh | Rishit Neogi | Madhuresh | Rajendra Ravi | Kanika | for NAPM.
9643349452 | 9560986354
Shabnam | Rishit
05 Jun 2015 1 Comment
*Press Release – 4 June 2015*
*Demolition of homes in Malvani, Malad*
A demolition of an entire settlement of more than 350 households has been
carried out in Malad today. This settlement known as ‘Katcha Rasta’ is
adjacent to the New Collector’s Compound in Malvani.
A notice regarding proposed eviction had been sent to only 50 families on
17 May 2015. This eviction of the poor from their homes is in absolute
contravention of the Maharashtra Slum Areas Act (1971) as it is imperative
that an advance notice of at least 24 hours is given (Sec. 3(z)i-2) prior
The notice stated that these homes had been constructed on mangrove land
under the ownership of the Forest Department and hence would be evicted.
Only some parts of the entire settlement are on mangrove land.
While these homes were being constructed, for more than 15 years the Forest
Department chose to turn a blind eye and wake up only to render nearly 1000
women and children homeless today!
At 9 am the Forest officer, Forest police, local police, BMC officials and
bulldozers arrived and began demolishing homes. This rampage continued up
to sundown at 7.30 pm when the entire settlement was razed to the ground.
Some households even had proof of existence prior to 01.01.2000 and had
submitted the same to the Collector in Bandra in the past. The last time
they submitted proof to the Collector in Bandra, their pre 2000 residential
proofs were not accepted and only recent residential proofs were kept in
This demolition drive is inhuman and those responsible must be held
5 women from the area who attempted to save their homes were arrested by
the police and an FIR has been lodged against them.
This is the second demolition in the Malad suburb since last week.
Hamara Shehar Mumbai condemns these evictions and the gross violation of
rights. Such events reinforce the need for affordable public housing to be
reserved in the DP.
02 Jun 2015 Leave a comment
Protests against the decision of IIT Madras administration to ban the Ambedkar-Periyar Study Circle (APSC) spread to Mumbai on Monday with over a hundred students from different institutions staging a rally at the Dadar station here.
“We see nothing wrong with what APSC has done. It is not a new group. We condemn the decision to ban it. Even if you think they did something wrong, they should have been given a fair hearing. This is just one visible instance of the administration’s autocratic behaviour. This issue is not limited to IIT Madras alone. Across IITs, there are various problems, such as poor implementation of the reservation systems, absence of Dalit faculty and so on. What does it mean when they say IITs are not political? Everything is political. To be political is my right,” Kranthi Kumar, a Ph.D. scholar from IIT Bombay told The Hindu.
In response to the ban, students from IIT Bombay have formed an Ambedkar-Periyar-Phule Study Circle, which staged its first protest on campus on Sunday.
“Even though we stood silently with posters, the IIT security personnel, administration and the police threatened us with adverse action. We were told to remove the mention of the HRD Ministry from our posters. So the message is ‘don’t say anything against the government’. It is very important for students across campuses to come together,” Paanki Agrawal from IIT Bombay said.
Protesters chanted the slogans such as, ‘when will achche din come?’, ‘long live Ambedkar and Periyar’, ‘down with casteism’ and demanded a revocation of the ban.
“We express our solidarity with the study circle and with the aim of annihilation of the caste system. Silencing of voices is a dangerous step,” said Bodhayan Roy from the Marxist study circle at the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research.
“Such bans,” pointed out Sunija M.V. from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), “will obstruct the support system of marginalised students on campuses. As a result you will see more student suicides.”
Students also questioned the irony of demonising the ideas of Dr. Ambedkar, the architect of the Constitution.
“Are we living in dualism?” asked Jackson Khumukcham from TISS. “It is time to think about the kind of education we want to impart. ” he said.