Indian State and the Art of Fabricating False Cases Convention on July 30, 2011 in Bangalore.

July 27, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
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Two spectres are haunting the civil society in India – the spectres of communalism and globalisation.As a part this invasion on people, minorities are attacked as it happened in Gujarat or Kandhamal and many other places in the recent past. Multinationals, the World Bank, ADB, IMF and other international organisations decide on the policies of the Indian Government today. Land, forests, hills, lakes, rivers and seas are sold to the corporates. Prices are rising and the corruption level has reached the peak as never before, due to such policies.

While many groups and people’s movements are resisting both these tendencies, the Indian State is using its executive machinery in a brutal way to suppress the dissent. Many innocent people are criminalised, branded and made to suffer for long time. Dr. Binayak Sen is the most well known personality in this category of fabricated cases by the Indian State. Due to active resistance of many groups and concerned individuals all over the country and abroad, he is not only out of jail today, but also absorbed by the Planning Commission. However, there are hundreds of similar such fabricated cases in Chattisgarh itself. Many innocent adivasis are languishing behind the bars in Chattisgarh. While POTA seems to be no more, many innocent muslims are still in jail in Gujarat for no crime. The lesson from Kandhamal is also no different.
Moreover, the growing tendency of the Indian state is to frame false cases on those who are organising and leading peopole’s movements in this country. Many false cases are framed on those who are resisting POSCO. Similar false cases are framed on activists who respond on a number of other issues. When evidences are missing for their guilt, efforts are being made to create false evidences. The real issue is that when they are released without evidences, a part of their lives would already be over. The mainstream press, predominantly follow the version of the police, politicians and the bureaucracy in all these cases. When genuine investigative reports are being made by some journalists, attempts are being made to criminalise them also.

It is time that the civil society in this country wakes up against this process and say `No’ to the process of fabricating cases by the Indian State. For unless, we say `No’ to this process, the vested interests will silence all dissent in this country, threatening the very pillars of Indian democracy.
Therefore, over 20 organisations in Bangalore have come forward to organise a one-day Convention on the `Indian State and the Art of Fabricating False Cases’. We request you to participate, support, mobilise and contribute to this process.

Venue: NGO Hall, Cubbon Park, BangaloreDate: July 30, 2011Time: 9.30 am to 6.30 pm
Programme:

9.30 am – Inauguration

First session: False charges on people’s movements: Globalisation, Development and People’s Movements
Chairperson: Leo Saldanha, Environment Support Group
Speakers:
Prafulla Samantarai (Well known activist/intellectual from Orissa)
Prashant Paikray (Official Spokesperson, Anti-Posco Movement, Orissa)
Swami Vishua Bhadrananda Shakti Bhodi (Director, Alathoor Siddha Ashramam/Editor, Ethir Disha Magazine)

Second session: Communalism and Branding
Chairperson: Gauri Lankesh, Editor, Lankesh Patrike
Speakers:
K.L. Ashok (State Secretary, Karnataka, Communal Harmony Forum, A coalition of over 90 organisations
Teesta Setalvad (Well known anti-communal activist, writer and editor of Communalism Combat)
Fr. Ajay Singh (The main initiative from Kandhamal for raising the Kandamal communal issue at a national level)
Dr. K. Muhamed Najeeb (Solidarity Youth Movement)

Lunch Break: 1. 15 pm to 2 pm

Third Session: 2 pm War on Terror or War on People?
Speakers:
Sebastian Paul (Former Member of Parliament)
U.S. Kumar (Mangalore Human Rights Forum)
Sherif Kottapurath (Former CTO of Sun Microsystems)
Bhasurendrababu (Media Critic/Political Observer)

Fourth Session: Approaches of the Indian State, Media and Civil Society Responses:

Speakers:
S.A.R. Gilani (Professor, Delhi University)
Kavita Srivastava (General Secretary, PUCL)
Satya Sagar (Journalist/Activist)

Organised By:
Environment Support Group, PDF, PUCL, Pedestrian Pictures, SICHREM, Karnataka Vidhyarthi Sangha, Samanatha Mahila Vedike, Janasakti, Karnataka Komu Souharda Vedike, Indian Social Institute, Students Christian Movement, New Socialist Alternative, Department of Women’s Studies – UTC, Concern, Moving Republic, Stree Jagruti Samiti,Solidarity Youth Movement, Visual Search, Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan, Ambedkar Pilosophy Foundation, Swabhimani Dalit Sangha, INSAF, Human Rights Law Network and Open Space.

Defending Rights, Expanding Freedoms

June 29, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Meetings and Events 

Know your constitution Workshop – Why every citizen needs to know the Indian constitution!
Facilitator: Dr Suresh V, National Secretary, People’s Union for Civil Liberties
Sunday June 19 2011 – Indian Social Institute Bangalore

With every brand new day starting with the reality bites of arbitrary government policies, high-handed police actions, judicial apathy and corporate takeover of land and other resources, the future of human rights and civil liberties seem uncertain in our country. In many places across the country, men and women who stand up for human and social rights of people become highly vulnerable to the vindictive action by the state apparatus.

In this context, it is of utmost important for human rights and civil liberties defenders and those associated with all kind of peoples and social movements to know the fundamentals of our constitution and what rights, entitlements and safeguards the constitution of India provides to us, the citizens of India.

The workshop organized by PUCL Bangalore and facilitated by Dr Suresh V, National Secretary of PUCL on this topic came across as extremely useful with loads of practical learning and points to takeaway.

Audience

The audience for the workshop was a great mix of seasoned human rights activists, greenhorns like self, members of the minority communities such as Muslims, Christians and sexual minorities and students. It provided a great platform for cross learning and useful interaction within the group.

Content

The workshop focused primarily on preamble, fundamental rights, fundamental duties and directive principles of state policy. Suresh also explained various kinds of rights viz. fundamental, constitutional, and legislative and their relative importance. He also discussed the pulls and pressures within the constituent assembly and various influences that finally shaped the constitution. The historical significance and contexts of many of these laws from the days of European enlightenment to the modern era were also briefly touched upon building overall perspective on our constitution. The nuanced differences between the ways constitution treats the citizen vs. persons (foreigners included) in general was also explained in detail.

Apart from that it also looked at the essential principles of criminal law. Finally it dwelled on the importance of first complaint and do’s and don’ts of writing a complaint. Suresh went beyond theoretical understanding of these concepts and enumerated applications of these principles with real life scenarios and examples.

Structure

It all started with a group interaction. Participants were divided into multiple groups such as Dalits, Adivasis, Traders, Big Farmers, Industrialists, Minorities, Sexual Minorities etc and they were asked to write their own constitution in order to answer three fundamental questions;

What are the various rights of the respective groups that they want protected?
What is the role of the government and what should be the limits and checks on it in relation with the group’s rights?
What are the specific policy initiatives that they would to happen vis-à-vis their groups?

The groups were asked to make a presentation on these points. With this first interaction, it was established that constitution is not some legislative piece of paper but a living political document that has to respond to the different pulls, pressures and interests; legitimate and not so legitimate, of various groups within the diverse mosaic called Indian union.

The group interaction and presentations were followed by presentation by Suresh on the specifics of constitution such as fundamental rights, duties, directive principles and criminal law. Kannada translations were done on regular intervals by the few members of the audience as a large number of participants were Kannada speaking.

This was followed by a very interesting intervention by few members within the audience. They orchestrated and simulated a real life confrontation between the people present. The incident was used as backdrop for writing a police complaint.

Post this participants were asked to rate the complaints written by their colleagues based on the criteria explained by Suresh. This explained the essentials of the complaint in absolutely crystal fashion.
Using mix of multiple approaches such as group interactions and presentations, lecture with regular translations, real life incident simulations and participant activities, it became much easier for people to understand especially those who had no formal or prior grounding in law.

Key Takeaways
Workshop proved to be extremely useful in more ways than one.

First and foremost, it gave a sense of hope that all said and done, we do have a living vanguard that we can bank on in the event of oppression by those who hold or are attached to the strings of powers.

Second, it enables us to look at our rights as entitlements that we can demand and not as doles and giveaways by those sitting on the high tables.

And finally, going beyond the theory it gives us small, practical tools that we should be aware of and use in our line of defense of human rights and civil liberties.

A Discussion Meeting on the Story of POSCO Fiasco

June 17, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
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A Discussion Meeting on the Story of POSCO Fiasco
Tales of Betrayal, treachery and subversion: Lessons for citizens from the controversy over the biggest steel plant in India

Sunday, June 19 · 5:00pm – 8:00pm
Venue: ISI Benson Town, Bangalore

By

Dr. V. Suresh, one of the majority MoEF committee members on the POSCO project who will share his experiences and insights

and

Leo Saldanha of ESG, who has jointly authored a comprehensive report on POSCO, will reflect on the issue and cull out concerns for citizens about industrial projects all over India.

We are seeking widest participation from diverse organisations working at the grassroots level on a variety of rights’ issues. There is no registration fee. We invite interested people who can commit for the duration of the entire day. All effort will be made to ensure full translation and answer relevant questions that arise directly from field experiences. Please register at the earliest as the participation in the workshop is limites. No need for registeration for Posco discussion. It is open to all

Defending Rights, Expanding Freedoms! Why Citizens Should Know Constitutional and Criminal Law

June 17, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
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Defending Rights, Expanding Freedoms! Why Citizens Should Know Constitutional and Criminal Law

A Workshop by V Suresh, Lawyer, Activist, PUCL National Secretary

Sunday, June 19 · 9:00am – 4:30pm
Venue: ISI Benson Town, Bangalore

This one day workshop is being offered by PUCL to introduce citizens to the laws. The approach is to learn the essential principles and provisions of law so that we can use the law as a sword (to expand our rights) and as a shield (to protect our rights and freedoms). The emphasis is on equipping citizens with enough knowledge about the working of such laws to deal with ordinary day-to-day situations as also with special incidents. Using experiential learning methods, the workshop will focus on actual experiences to help participants gain a more nuanced understanding of the law; in the ultimate analysis knowledge of laws are required not only when facing criminal action but also when demanding new rights and freedoms; our actions to reclaim democracy will gain greater depth and quality when we understand the essence of constitutional and criminal laws.

The workshop is open to all those who cherish freedom and democracy!! All we need is your full attention and interest. There is however a limitation on numbers of participants. We request only those who can spend a full day during the workshop to apply.

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Consultation meeting – Urban Poor v/s Karnataka Manuvadi Govt

Consultation meeting
Urban Poor v/s Karnataka Manuvadi Govt

10:30 AM on 3rd July 2010
Senate Hall
Central College
Dr.Ambedkar Veedhi
Bangalore 560068

Reason for and background to the seminar

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