Statement condemning the Targeting and Vilification of Harsh Mander by Narendra Modi


Statement condemning the Targeting and Vilification of

Harsh Mander by Narendra Modi

N Delhi,

12th, June, 2013

 

With great pride we would like to put on record that the work of our colleague and friend Harsh Mander, for the last several years, both inside the Government as a civil servant, as well as outside the Government as a policy maker, researcher and activist has been, that of promoting in the most ethical way, non-violent ways of ensuring justice to survivors of violence due to their gender, class, caste, religious group, ethnicity or nationality. The most prominent violence which Harsh’s work has highlighted has been the one committed on the vulnerable by both the State and Society due to their invisibility, whether they be the homeless, the destitute, the old or street people.

It is shocking that the “aspirant PM” Narendra Modi has been targetting Harsh for the last week calling him a Maoist. Thus trying to belittle his work, raising doubts about him and villifying his name in public. This targetting of individuals and organisations and vilifying them is not new, earlier too he had spewed venom against Syeda Hammed, Teesta Setalvad and Shabnam Hashni amongst the several and now the new whipping boys are Harsh Mander and Dr. Binayak Sen.

The hiring of Padma, a single poor woman, estranged from her husband, as a care giver in one of the 45 Institutions for street and abandoned children run by Aman Biradari, is being twisted and used by Modi to prove that Harsh is a Maoist sympathiser. The latest spin that Harsh Mander is in any way involved with the Maoists and that he may have had anything to do at all with the abduction of Vineel Krishna, the then District Collector of Malkangiri is patently false, concocted and the figment of a very perverted imagination.

This absolutely absurd claim and false connection being made by Modi only exposes his brand of politics which is seeped, in his parent organisation the RSS from where Mr. Modi has learnt to distort facts and spread hate. His anger against Harsh also clearly goes back to the latter’s work in Gujarat struggling over ten years to ensure justice to those affected by the 2002 communal genocide. It maybe recalled that Harsh had left the prestigious civil services in 2002 and plunged himself in Gujarat and other parts of India in order to quell communal fire from spreading and working towards justice and rehabilitation of the survivors.

It goes without saying that this vilification of Harsh for partisan electoral politics be stopped. It is vital for all to understand that the perils of allowing such politics to take centre stage where democratic rights of people are attacked, impacting their right to work as they choose, amounts to an attack on the very basis of our country’s plural existence. We hope that such politics will not be promoted by political parties and the media so that people can continue to work freely for public good.

We are,

All names are in Alphabetical order

 

( IF YOU AGREE YOU CAN ENDORSE STATEMENT IN COMMENTS SECTION)

  1. Abhay Kumar, Right to Food Campaign Karnataka
  2. Akhila Sivadas, Centre for Advocacy and Research, N Delhi
  3. Ankita Agarwal, Researcher, N Delhi
  4. Annie Raja, National Federation for Indian Women, N Delhi
  5. Anuradha Talwar, New Trade Union Initiative, N Delhi
  6. Anjali Bharadwaj, National Campaign for People’s Right to Information, NDelhi
  7. Apoorvanand, Prof. University of Delhi
  8. Arun Gupta and Radha Holla, Breast Feeding Promotion Network of India),
  9. Arundhati Dhuru and Ulka Mahajan, National Alliance of People’s Movements,
  10. Aruna Roy, Nikhil Dey and Shanker Singh,  Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan, Rajasthan
  11. Asha Mishra, Bharat Gyan Vigyan Samiti, N.Delhi
  12. Ashok Bharti, National Conference of Dalit Organizations, N Delhi
  13. Ashok Khandelwal, Rozi Roti Sandharbh Kendra, Rajasthan
  14. Balram, Gurjeet Singh and James Herenj (Jharkhand)
  15. Bhanwar Singh, Astha, Udaipur
  16. Bidyut Mohanty, SPREAD, Orissa
  17. Bindu Singh, Right to food Campaign, Uttar Pradesh, 
  18. Biraj Patnaik, Centre Equity Studies, NDelhi
  19. Chingmak Chang, ECS, Nagaland
  20. Clifton, Alternative law forum, Bangalore
  21. Colin Gonsalves, Human Rights Law Network, Delhi
  22. Dheeraj, Coordinator Right to Food Campaign, N Delhi
  23. Dipa Sinha, Ph.D Scholar, JNU
  24. Fr. Jothi SJ and Mr. Saradindu Biswas, Right to Food and work campaign, West Bengal
  25. Gangabhai, Social Activist, Chhattisgarh
  26. G V Ramanjaneyulu, Alliance for Sustainable and Holistic Agriculture,
  27. Himanshu, Associate Professor,  JNU
  28. Jean Dreze, Economist, Allahabad University
  29. Kamayani Bali Mahabal, Human rights activist, Mumbai
  30. Kavitha Kurughanti, Alliance for Sustainable and Holistic Agriculture
  31. Kavita Srivastava, People’s Union for Civil Liberties, Rajasthan
  32. M Kodandram,  Academic, Central University, Hyderabad
  33. Madhuresh, NAPM
  34. Madhuri Krishnaswamy, Jagrit Adivasi Dalit Sangathan
  35. Medha Patkar, Narmada Bachao Andolan, Badwani
  36. Mira Shiva, Jan Swasthya Abhiyan, N Delhi
  37. Mukta Srivastava, Anna Adhikar Abhiyan, Maharashtra
  38. Nishat Hussein, National Muslim Women’s Welfare Society, Jaipur
  39. Paul Divakar and Asha Kowtal, National Campaign for Dalit Human Rights,
  40. 40. Pushpa, Dharmender, Ramendra, Yogesh, Vimla and Sarita (Delhi),
  41. Prof. Mohammed Hasan, Independent Scholar, Jaipur
  42. Prem Krishan Sharma, PUCL, Rajasthan
  43. Radha Kant Saxena, PUCL, Rajasthan
  44. 44. Raj Kishore Mishra, Rupantar, Orissa
  45. Rama Melkote, Prof. Central University, Hyderabad
  46. 46. Reetika Khera, Economist, N Delhi
  47. Rupesh, Koshish, Bihar,
  48. 48. Sachin Jain, Vikas Smawad, Madhya Pradesh,
  49. 49. Sameer Garg, Chaupal, Chhattisgarh
  50. Saito Basumaatary, People’s Rights Forum, Guwahati
  51. Sejal Dand and Sumitra Thakkar, Anna Adhikar Suraksha Abhiyan, Gujarat
  52. Shabnam Hashmi, Anhad
  53. Swapan Ganguly, Paschim Banga Khet Mazdoor Samiti, WB
  54. Subhash Bhatnagar, National Campaign Committee for Unorganized Sector workers
  55. Sunil Kaul, The Ant, Assam,
  56. Suresh Sawant, Rationing Kruti Samiti, Maharashtra,
  57. Tarun Bharatiya, Film Maker, Meghalaya,
  58. V Suresh, PUCL, Tamil Nadu,
  59. Veena Shatrugna, Nutritionist expert, Hyderabad
  60. 60. Vidhya Das, Agragamee, Orissa
  61. Vijay Lakshmi, RTI Manch, Rajasthan, Jaipur
  62. Vinod Raina, Educationist, NDelhi
  63. Vipul Mudgal, Senior Fellow, CSDS

#India- There is a credibility crisis at all levels of government- Aruna Roy


, TNN | Jun 2, 2013, 05.58 AM IST

This week activist Aruna Roy walked out of the Sonia Gandhi-led National Advisory Council (NAC), complaining about this government’s ideological bias and obsession with growth. She talks to Padmaparna Ghosh about the dilution of the social sector focus.This is the second time that you have resigned from the NAC. What brought you back in 2010?

My decisions to join or leave the NAC have been taken collectively by the organization I work with – the Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS). I left in 2008 because at that time the NAC didn’t have a chairperson and was not playing the role it was supposed to. I returned in 2010 because there were many issues (such as the demand for a Right to Food bill) that needed a stronger policy framework and I felt it would be useful to channel the input that comes from many campaigns. The NAC has sent many important recommendations to the government. The recent NAC recommendations on the pre-legislative process if implemented immediately will provide all citizens an opportunity to participate in the making of laws. The need is to ensure that at least some of these recommendations are enacted and implemented.

How tough was it to find common ground between civil society and the government?

The agenda of the NAC is set by the government’s political commitments. Within that pre-deter mined agenda, the NAC has worked to incorporate civil society opinion to advise the government on how to take its agenda forward. NAC II has evolved detailed procedures such as the formation of working groups, which has allowed a broader consultative process. The NAC has maintained a focus on issues of significance to the poor and the social sector such as the MGNREGA and the Right to Food, and has taken up specific issues such as nomadic tribals and bonded labourers. One of the NAC’s important contributions has been to build the understanding that delivery systems and democratic governance are crucial to the effective implementation of any social sector initiative. Therefore, the RTI, and other transparency and accountability initiatives such as the social audit and recommendations for a pre-legislative process have been taken up.

How do you respond to those that call MGNREGA “demand-driven distress employment” and, therefore, ineligible for minimum wage?

The Minimum Wage Act came into effect in 1948 and has remained the bedrock for workers’ rights. Therefore the importance of payment of minimum wages to MGNREGA workers extends beyond the MGNREGA itself. If the Government refuses to pay minimum wages to workers on its own programme, it can never enforce the law for the millions of unorganised workers in the agricultural and industrial sectors. The Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled that no one can even opt to work for less than the minimum wage, no employer can use a lack of resources as an excuse and any labour that is paid less should be considered forced.

The argument that the government does not have to pay minimum wages to people in distress only proves the SC’s point. In fact this issue goes straight to the core of the battle around MGNREGA. People who have been profiting from exploitation through payment of distress wages are now reacting because the MGNREGA has given workers the capacity to fight for minimum wages even outside the programme. By violating the Minimum Wages Act, the government is threatening to destroy the most significant labour protection measure in India.

How do you intend to press for its implementation from outside NAC?

The NAC is an advisory body. That is why I feel it necessary to concentrate on advocating in the public domain for the acceptance and implementation of these recommendations. I do not believe that a democratic government can keep refusing to respect the constitutional entitlement of a minimum wage. Public pressure needs to be built up around this issue, as we close in on elections.

What do you believe you have accomplished during your tenure at the NAC?

The NAC gave me an opportunity to raise multiple issues of concern to people’s movements and campaigns. It played a very important role in the passage of landmark legislations such as the RTI and MGNREGA. It was because of the NAC that experience from people’s campaigns was processed into powerful and effective draft laws. Even though this was often whittled down by the bureaucracy it served as a standard. My association with the NAC helped strengthen causes of the poor and marginalized I have been associated with over the last few years.

UPA-2’s credibility has been damaged in the recent past. Would you vote them back in 2014?

The crisis in credibility today is at all levels of government. Effective implementation is as important as the legislations themselves. Our solutions do not lie in thoughts between one election and another but in addressing the lack of transparency and accountability in governance structures. My politics has always been to enhance the participation of people within the democratic frameworks so that their voices are heard not just once in five years but every day

 

IMMEDIATE RELEASE-Jaipur Protests against #Delhigangrape


JAIPUR CITY PROTESTS

 

Against the  Brutal GANG Rape in a Delhi BUS and

AGAINST THE Growing Violence AGAINST Women in the Country  

and RAJASTHAN

PROTESTORS express outrage against this brutality and  demand

 

  • JUSTICE FOR THE DELHI VICTIM
  • AND A SAFE  INDIA FOR ALL WOMEN AT ALL TIMES OF THE DAY AND NIGHT.

19th December, 2012

PRESS NOTE

Today Jaipur too witnessed outrage against the Delhi Gang Rape on its streets. More than three hundred people, inlcuding two hundred College students mostly girls gathered  at the Gandhi Statue Circle, with placards and posters, demanding “Justice for the Delhi Survior of gang rape and also ” Enough is Enough, stop violence against women now”.  The students came from more than a dozen National Law Colleges of the country who are interns with the PUCL and also from the Kanoria Girls College. There were a large number of students from Muslim Girls School and also from the Rajasthan University.

Along with  students there were more than a hundred persons from various progressive organisations including PUCL, Women’s Rehabilitation Group, Dalit Adhikar Network, Janwadi Lekhak Sangh, IRADA, Jamait Islami Hind, Shikshit Rozgar Kendra PRabhanhak Samiti, DAGAR, Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan, RTI Manch, Mahila SAlah Evam Suraksha Kendra, Rajasthan Smagra Sewa Sangh, Action Aid, Rajasthan University Women’s Assocation. The protestors were pleasantly surprised to see several Physio Therapists from the All India Physiotherapist Association who came in solidairty as the victim in Delhi was a Physioterapist.

The message of the protest was very clearly articulated by the girls that they didnot  want to be in an India which was so insecure. It was not a place for women and girls to live in if cities would be so hostile towards the free movement of girls and women. There were slogans against Sheila Diksiht, Delhi  Police, ManMohan Singh and Shide for not providing a safe and secure space for women. Speakers also spoke of how it was the same in Rajasthan. There were so many instances of abduction and rape in cities and villages of Rajasthan and there was no justice in sight. There was a demand that short cut, populist solutions were not what they were looking for but a comprehensive intervention on all fronts which ensured that there would be ZERO tolerance towards Violence against women. The people also felt that the culture within the Police and the Judiciary was still adverse towards the women who still blamed the girl for sexual violence.

A Card with a message wishing the Delhi gangrape survivor a Speedy REcovery was also passed around for signatures.

The PROTEST ENDED WITH A MARCH WITH CANDLES demanding Justice for the Delhi survivor and an end to Violence Against women . This protest is being looked upon as a beginning of the Anti Rape Movement in the City with yet another protest being planned on the 21st December, 2012 involving several other colleges and different organisations including all the Para medics.

Kavita Srivastava, (General Secretary, PUCL Rajasthan)

Contact: 09351562965, 01412594131

 

Immediate Release-Citizens appeal to PM, CM: Save Soni Sori from death in jail


Sunday 29th April 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Press Contacts:
Kamayani Mahabal:             +91 9820749204       (India)
Vinay Bhat:             +1 412-527-7985       (US)

Citizens appeal to PM, CM: Save Soni Sori from death in jail

In an open letter addressed to the Prime Minister of India and other officials, about 250 concerned activists, academics, intellectuals, students, professionals and democratic organisations have demanded immediate medical attention for the Adivasi school teacher, Soni Sori, 35, currently in custody in Raipur Central Jail, Chhattisgarh. Sori’s condition is believed to be rapidly deteriorating as a result of torture and sexual abuse at the hands of the Chhattisgarh police. She is the mother of three young children. Signatories to the letter include members of the National Advisory Council Harsh Mander and Aruna Roy, writers Arundhati Roy and Meena Kandasamy, respected economist Jean Dreze, Supreme Court advocate Prashant Bhushan and renowned intellectual Noam Chomsky.

Soni Sori was arrested in Delhi on 4th October, 2011, where she had gone to seek legal assistance, fearing for her life after repeated harassment by the Chhattisgarh state police. Despite her pleas in the courts that she be held in Delhi, she was sent back to Chhattisgarh. After seeing preliminary indications that she had been tortured in police custody, the Supreme Court ordered an independent medical examination at NRS Medical College, Kolkata, where doctors found stones lodged in her vagina and rectum. In a series of letters written to the Supreme Court Advocate from jail, Sorirecounted how she was stripped, electrocuted, and physically and sexually tortured by the police.

More than six months after she was tortured, Sori continues to be imprisoned in Chhattisgarh and has received virtually no follow up medical treatment for the injuries she sustained in police custody and the infections that have developed as a consequence. According to two people (one of whom is her lawyer) who were allowed to meet Sori in prison last week, her face was visibly swollen and her hands and feet appeared abnormally thin, indicating severe weight loss. Sori complained of a severe burning sensation while passing urine and of blisters on her thighs and her private parts. The magistrate in the Dantewada court, where Sori was produced earlier in the week, is reported to have remarked that she appeared unwell. According to the jail doctor in Raipur, Sori suffers from fluctuating and high blood pressure and from anaemia. Yet, on those occasions when she has been taken to the Raipur Medical College, she met with ridicule, indifference and inadequate care from the doctors and other hospital personnel. Police interference with the doctors is also suspected.

No investigation or action has been initiated against the police officers responsible for her torture. On the contrary, Superintendent of Police Ankit Garg, named in Sori’s letters, was awarded a Gallantry Medal on Republic Day, 2012. Sori’s petition before the Supreme Court asking to be transferred out of Chhattisgarh has been subjected to repeated delays and is still pending. Her health continues to deteriorate in the meantime.

Sori is just one of many women subject to torture and sexual violence in custody. In a recent report, the Asian Centre for Human Rights documented that four custodial deaths had occurred daily in India over the past decade. Those demanding medical attention for Sori fear the worst by the time she is granted a final hearing.

Open Letter:

To,
Shri Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India
Shri P. Chidambaram, Home Minister
Shri Shekhar Dutt, Governor of Chhattisgarh
Shri Raman Singh, Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh

We, the undersigned, are deeply concerned by the rapidly worsening health of Soni Sori in Raipur Central Jail. She has been passing blood with her urine, is having difficulty to sit or get up, and has lost considerable weight. Despite doctors from NRS Medical Hospital having confirmed that stones had been inserted into her vagina and rectum, Soni Sori has received no proper medical attention. We fear for Soni’s life and are outraged and ashamed at this inhuman treatment of a woman in India.

Soni Sori, 35, is an adivasi school teacher from Dantewada who was arrested in New Delhi on Oct 4 2011. Six months have passed since Soni was tortured physically and sexually but neither the state nor the central government has investigated the abuse. Her case has been repeatedly listed up in the Supreme Court but has been postponed every time. Throughout the duration of Soni Sori’s imprisonment, the state has also tried to stifle her communications with the civil society. In January this year, a team from various women’s groups across the country went to Raipur Jail to meet Soni, but they were prevented from doing so by the administration.

The brutal treatment meted out to Soni Sori, and the prevailing situation of conflict and repression in Chhattisgarh, cause us grave concern about Soniin particular, and the situation of women prisoners, in general. We demand immediate access for fact-finding groups to meet with Soni Sori and others to assess their condition in jail, particularly their medical situation. We fear that Soni Sori’s condition is rapidly deteriorating, and demand that she receive immediate medical attention.

Signed,

Harsh Mander
Meena Kandaswamy, Poet, Writer, Activist
Prof. Noam Chomsky, Institute Professor Emeritus, MIT
Prashant Bhushan, Advocate, Supreme Court of India
Anand Patwardhan, Filmmaker
Aruna Roy, Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS)
Nikhil Dey, Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS)
Shankar Singh, Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS)
Dr. Deepankar Basu, Prof of Economic, UMass Amherst
Dr. Prithvi R Sharma, MD
Jean Dreze, Allahabad University
Uma Chakravarti, Retd Professor, Delhi University
Anand Chakravarti, Retd Professor, Delhi University
Arundhati Roy, Writer & Social Activist
Mohan Rao, Professor, JNU, Delhi
Dr. Abha Sur, Women Studies, MIT
Hiren Gandhi, Darshan, Amhedabad
Dr. Saroop Dhruv, Darshan, Amhedabad
Dr. Suvrat Raju, Harish-Chandra Research Institute, Allahabad
Manasi Pingle, Film Maker
Admiral L Ramdas, Former Chief of Naval Staff, Alibag
Lalita Ramdas, Alibag
Prof. K.N. Panikkar
Dr. KS Sripada Raju

and more than 200 others.
(Complete list of signatories at http://iadhri.wordpress.com/

Archives

Kractivism-Gonaimate Videos

Protest to Arrest

Faking Democracy- Free Irom Sharmila Now

Faking Democracy- Repression Anti- Nuke activists

JAPA- MUSICAL ACTIVISM

Kamayaninumerouno – Youtube Channel

UID-UNIQUE ?

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 6,234 other followers

Top Rated

Blog Stats

  • 1,759,731 hits

Archives

September 2019
M T W T F S S
« Jun    
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30  
%d bloggers like this: