Friday, December 31, 2010

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Thursday, December 30, 2010

PUCL Public Meeting: Prosecution of Binayak Sen- Implications for Indian democracy!- 30th Dec 2010-Thursday @ 5.30pm @ T. Nagar

Nationwide, ordinary citizens have been shocked by the prosecution, conviction and sentencing   of Dr. Binayak Sen to life sentence for offence of sedition under sections 124A read with Section 120B of the Indian Penal Code, Sections 8(1), 8(2), 8(3) and 8(5) of the Chhattisgarh Vishesh Jan Suraksha Adhiniyam, 2005 (Chhattisgarh Special Public Safety Act) and Section 39(2) of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, 1967. Dr. Sen, one of India's celebrated medical professionals has dedicated his life to India's most impoverished and vulnerable communities. His contribution to public health has been acknowledged by the Chhattisgarh government itself who incorporated his medical work in official health programme. Yet the same Chhattisgarh Government could not tolerate Dr. Sen questioning its policy of support to the unlawfully constituted and armed `Salwa Judum' force. It is useful to remember that the Supreme Court of India itself has directed that the Salwa Judum should be wound up.

            PUCL has consistently been campaigning for the repeal of the laws under which Dr. Binayak has been convicted as these very enactments are an infringement on the democratic fabric of the country. History has shown whether it is the sedition law in the Indian Penal Code or the later laws like POTA and TADA, the state has always used these laws to suppress and silence dissent and criticism of state action.  The Chhattisgarh Special Public Safety Act and Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, 1967 are nothing else but POTA and TADA in a new avatar.

           The prosecution of Dr.Binayak sen is being showcased as a warning to all citizens of the fate that befalls anyone challenging the state. Arise citizens of India! Lets raise our voices and show that  we will not tolerate silencing the voices of freedom and independence.  




People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL)-TN

Invites you to a protest meet


Prosecution of Binayak Sen

Implications to Indian Democracy!!


Speakers: Dr. Sara Bhattacharjee, Dr. Zachariah, Dr. Anand Zachariah, CMC, Vellore;

Mr. M.G. Devasahayam, ex-IAS, Dr. V. Suresh, National Secretary, PUCL, and others  




30.12.2010 (Thursday) at 5.30 pm


C.D. Nayagam Thiyagaraya Nagar Hr. Sec. School,

Venkatnarayana Road, T. Nagar, Chennai.

Landmark: Opp. TTD Temple



Join us in protecting Democracy! PUCL-TN

Contact: 9444231497/ 9444905151/ 9751237734



மக்கள் சிவில் உரிமை கழகம்-[பி.யு.சீ.எல்.]- தமிழ்நாடு



 பினாயக் சென்னை விடுதலை செய்! ஜனநாயகத்தை விடுதலை செய்!!


அநீதியான தீர்ப்பை எதிர்த்தும் &

டாக்டர்.சென்னை விடுதலை செய்யக் கோரியும்


கண்டனப் பொதுக் கூட்டம்


பேச்சாளர்கள் : மருத்துவர்கள், மூத்த வழக்கறிஞர்கள், முன்னாள் அதிகாரிகள், மனித உரிமை ஆர்வலர்கள் மற்றும் லர்


நாள் 30 -12 -2010 /மாலை 5.30 மணி

இடம்சி.தெ.நாயகம் தியாகராயர் நகர் மேனிலைப் பள்ளி,

வெங்கடநாராயணா சாலைதி.நகர்.


ஜனநாயகம் காக்க, அனைவரும் வருகபி.யு.சீ.எல்.—தமிழ்நாடு

தொடர்புக்கு: 9444231497/ 9444905151/ 9751237734


Why is india afraid of binayak sen ?

Nandini Krishnan

A child molester is sentenced to a year and a half in jail twenty years after his victim killed herself, and gets out on bail within four months.

A convicted terrorist is fed biriyani, while the hangman finishes up his backlog.

A man, who is responsible for the continuing suffering of millions of victims 26 years after a gas tragedy, is allowed to lead a cosy life in the United States of America.

A man who cost the government lakhs of crores is raided by the CBI after ample notice that would've given him time to get rid of incriminating evidence.

Yet, in this very same nation, a human rights activist is almost summarily sentenced to life imprisonment - the maximum penalty for most rapists and murderers.

Dr Binayak Sen, it must be remembered, has been hailed across the world and in his own nation for his stellar work in the rural healthcare field.

Here is a man who has clearly stated that he doesn't condone Naxalites or approve of their violent methods. Yet, after being initially jailed for more than a year without trial, he has now been convicted, on the basis of an unsigned letter, of waging war against the government.

So, what makes this 60-year-old an enemy of the nation? 

The fact that one of his patients was a Maoist ideologue? Or the efforts of his fact-finding team in exposing the atrocities committed by the Salwa Judum?

Each one of Dr Sen's 33 visits to Narayan Sanyal in Raipur Jail was carried out with prior police permission. The postcard penned by Sanyal, which was used as evidence to arrest Dr Sen in May 2007, was signed and sealed by the jail authorities. 

But where were the lawyer and the impartial witness when the state authorities were rifling through Binayak Sen's computer?

As one of India's most high-profile criminal lawyers, Ram Jethmalani, 'embarrasses' his party by offering to represent Dr Sen (incidentally, for the second time, after securing his bail in 2009), and the global chorus protesting against the sentence gets louder, the Indian government is beginning to bear an uncanny resemblance to its Eastern neighbour. 

Chinese human rights activist Liu Xiaobo was in prison, unable to receive news of his winning the Nobel Prize this year. Startlingly reminiscent of Dr Sen's Jonathan Mann Award in 2008, eh?

Why is India so scared of people who talk? 

Take the sedition charge against Arundhati Roy. Frankly, there isn't much she says that I agree with, mostly because her speeches are poorly-researched, vituperative, ambiguous and, sometimes, funny. But that doesn't mean I believe she ought to be arrested and tried, simply for mouthing off the government.

What makes an Indian who questions the running of the country less of an Indian citizen than the Prime Minister? Chances are that the 'activist' - oh yes, the word is always within quotes - in question has been a citizen of this country far longer than the Chairperson of the UPA coalition. 

But in India, there seems to be a rule that one cannot speak against any action of the government unless one is a part of the state machinery. And, it seems, a state agent can get away with anything, including the molestation of a child.

How far are we from turning into China or Iran or Sri Lanka, where most political prisoners are journalists and activists, held for criticising the government? How different are we from the Thought Police of George Orwell's 1984?

The historical rebellions that took place in this country are considered landmarks in nation building, and their perpetrators eulogised as heroes. Has anyone read of the Revolt of 1857, or the Dandi Salt March, or the Indian National Army, or the Quit India movement, in unflattering terms? Would anyone condemn Mangal Pandey or the Rani of Jhansi or Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi or Subhash Chandra Bose as an enemy of the state? 

Does the fact that India is now run by Indians make it illegal to speak out against the government? Worse, does daring to defy the government mean one could be sentenced to a life-term in jail, without possibility of bail?

If so, our nation is in a perpetual state of Emergency.



Sunday, December 26, 2010


National Alliance of People's Movements (Delhi) & Delhi Solidarity group join

People’s Union for Democratic Rights


in calling upon all organizations and individuals to jointly organize and participate in a




@: Jantar Mantar, New Delhi

on: 27 December 2010

from: 2.30 p.m. to 4.30 p.m.


Dear friends, 


Subsequent to the unconstitutional conviction and arrest of Dr Binayak Sen u/s of 120(B), 124(A) of the IPC and 1,2,3,5, Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act and Sec 39 (2) of the UAPA (2004 amended), PUDR calls upon all democratic organizations to jointly organize a dharna at Jantar Mantar on 27 December (Monday), at Jantar Mantar, from 2.30 p.m. to 4.30 p.m.


Let us all come together to protest this injustice and strengthen our resolve to take the struggle forward. 


Harish Dhawan

Paramjeet Singh

(Secretaries, PUDR)


Madhuresh Kumar, NAPM 


Vijayan MJ

Delhi Forum
F-10/12 (GF), Malviya Nagar,
New Delhi INDIA - 110017
Phones: + 91-11-26671556 (Direct),
26680914/883 Fax:26687724

Emergency - History will haunt




Reminder from the Emergency

The New Indian Express

First Published : 23 Dec 2010 12:06:00 AM IST

Last Updated : 24 Dec 2010 12:25:16 AM IST


M G Devasahayam, a former civil servant who has occasionally written for this newspaper, has unearthed something worth noting. He filed, and then pursued in the face of denials, the official documents on the infamous proclamation of Emergency rule in India in June 1975, our sole experience so far with the suspension of democracy. A twist of history ensured it didn’t become permanent after 21 months, but it was a near thing. Devasahayam used the national Right to Information Act to demand to see the documents. He was shunted from Prime Minister’s Office to home ministry to National Archives and wouldn’t take No for an answer. He finally got to see what the Archives had and confirmed some interesting details. One was already known: that the declaration was illegal, having been done on the Prime Minister’s secret demand by the then President, without the Cabinet having been aware, let alone having approved. All the arrests and censorship was illegal.


So much so, Devasahayam found, that the original letter with Indira Gandhi’s signature isn’t there, having been replaced in the ‘top secret’ file with a typed copy. It appears the home ministry at some point got the file back and took out the original; it is presumed these are, if still existing, part of Indira’s personal papers, now in control of her family. Thoroughly illegal, known thanks to the RTI. Two, it exposes the lie she and her party members have spread since then, that there was an imminent danger to national security due to internal disturbances, calls to rebellion, etc. The letter and the file have not a mention, not one word, on any of this. The first such writing on any of this came a fortnight after the Emergency rule began. Since politicians, civil service and police just went along and the media was censored (for those who weren’t collaborating or too scared), there’s a huge lesson here for institutional checks on the power of governments, in all spheres. And, on unfetterd access to transparency laws. Not only expanded right to information laws but also matters like the freedom of radio and television channels and new media such as the Internet. Bear in mind that our laws allow the government the power to bar or shut any of these by executive order, on grounds as vague as what Indira used in getting her Emergency rule.


Join a Research Project at TISS on Ethnic and Religious Diversity

From an HT Article -

TISS invites citizens to be part of research project... Pooja Domadia

Those who are interested in conducting research, but do not have the  necessary
training will now have a platform to study the changing trends  in the ethnic
and religious diversity of the city. The Tata Institute  of Social Science
(TISS), Partners for Urban Knowledge Action and  Research (PUKAR) and Max Planck
Society have come together to form an  urban observatory at TISS where research
data will be collected.

The project, titled Urban Aspirations, will focus on the changing trends  in
ethnic and religious diversity. Citizens can be a part of this  project without
any formal qualification. The only decisive factor will  be the level of
commitment shown by them.

"We don't have any limitation for participation and anyone who has a  keen
interest and knowledge about their community can join us," said  TISS director,
S Parasuraman.

Researchers will also use existing data collected by TISS to provide a  complete
picture.  This data includes the history, recent trends and  community
representation in the city. The collected research will be  converted into
official research papers, which will be available for  public use.

"We will digitise the knowledge and research on our website for public use,"
said Parasuraman.

Financial assistance in the initial period will be provided by  Germany-based
Max Planck Society, which conducts research on humanity  and social sciences
around the world. Funds from other external sources  will be collected later on.

PUKAR has been conducting a community-based participatory research for the last
six years.

They have involved people from the lower strata of society and taught  them
research methodologies that would be handy in this project.

"We want to change the mentality that only scholars and academicians can
conduct research. We have bare foot researchers who specialise in the  knowledge
of their own community, and they may or may not be  educationally very
qualified," said Anita Patil Deshmukh, executive  director, PUKAR.

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