Skip to main content

Pro-Narendra Modi think-tank chief praises Gujarat PUCL's latest book for "ignoring" human rights activists

Teesta Setalvad
By Our Representative
A well-known pro-Narendra Modi think-tank head, who has lately supported the Sangh Parivar’s controversial campaign against Love Jihad, has strongly defended the Gujarat People’s Union for Civil Liberties’ (PUCL’s) latest book for “ignoring” contributions by certain human rights activists in its latest book, “Human Rights in Gujarat and Civil Liberties Movement” (1974-2014). Head of Delhi-based India Policy Foundation, Rakesh Sinha has said those ignored in the book by no stretch of imagination can be called human rights activists.
This was in reaction to a report in Counterview, which said the PUCL book in Gujarati – a collection of statements and news clippings – overlooks contributions by top human rights activists Teesta Setalvad, Mukul Sinha, Martin Macwan, Gagan Sethi, Achyut Yagnik and Rohit Prajapati. The report also says that there is no mention of untouchability or manual scavenging as raging human rights issues in the state – despite the fact that these have been graphically noted in Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International reports.
Audio interviewed by an influential news-and-views portal, Sinha singles out Teesta Setalvad, fighting several court cases for Gujarat communal rights victims, saying that she is “not a civil rights activist”, accusing her that she had in the past been aligned with “certain anti-India elements” of Europe, even as finding favour from Pakistani spy agency ISI, apart from communism and minorityism. Sinha said, those ignored in the PUCL book only wore “the mask of human rights”, but have always been “guided by a particular political agenda.” Setalvad-inspired cases has led to conviction to at least 100 victims.
Rakesh Sinha
Sinha, in a recent article calling Love Jihad a “chilling reality, said, “Can one dodge the very real issue of whether traditional Islamic society can accept an idol-worshiping woman as part of an Islamic family, culture and society? Hindu women are the biggest victims, whether the marriage is based on affection or design… Hindu or Christian girls getting married to Muslim boys had hardly been an issue till cases of abandonment and forced conversion came to light”.
Sinha said, several “human rights activists” get funds from outside India, adding, to him human rights means promoting “human values and a fight for egalitarian society.” Suggesting there are certain anti-India elements who are putting up the banner of human rights activism, the think-tank chief says, the PUCL, founded by Jay Prakash Narayan and VM Tarkunde, was previously doing “a wonderful job in the country”. Regrettably, later on it came under the influence of “certain people” who are either Marxists or neo-liberals.
Recalling Setalvad’s “campaign” in Gujarat – and criticizing the magazine run by her, “Communalism Combat”, which “is no more”, for “anti-India” bias – Sinha praises RSS’ Gujarat mouthpiece “Sadhana” for being “independent”. He adds, those who have been mentioned in Counterview are promoting anti-nationalism and suffer from ideological biases, wanting human rights should be free from “such biases” to be truly called human rights activism. The Gujarat PUCL book has commended “Sadhana” for “fearless” journalism.
Achyut Yagnik

Gujarat PUCL chief on Achyut Yagnik: "Nothing has come out of him"

In a separate interview with the portal, Gujarat PUCL general secretary Gautam Thaker said, the purpose of the book was to “purely reflect Gujarat PUCL activities carried out in the last 40 years”, adding, “it is not about human rights activists.” Claiming that Gujarat PUCL is working as an umbrella organization, Thaker agrees that veteran activist Achyut Yagnik, quoted by Counterview, is “also a human rights activist” and “was general secretary of PUCL in the past”, but regrets, “Nothing has come out from his side what he has done for the six years of his tenure.”

Comments

TRENDING

Hindus to be 'sent' to Kashmir? Despite Israeli settlements, peace eludes the region

By Anand K Sahay*
Curfew, news and communications blackout, transportation shut-down... News reports from Kashmir are worrying. So are the views relayed through the media, especially television. Old-fashioned repression seems to be consorting comfortably with expressions of concern “for our Kashmiri brethren”. We are looking at Orwell’s 1984 in the making.

Impact of state repression? Kashmir's 65% people prefer independence: Cambridge study

By Rajiv Shah 
Even as the Government of India’s controversial move to abrogate Article 370 of the Constitution and bifurcate Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) into two union territories is not only refusing to down die but has acquired international dimensions, a recent study, published by the Cambridge University Press, has claimed “pro-independence attitudes” among that 65% of Kashmiris, warning, this sentiment worsens when the state machinery resorts “repressive violence”.

Dholera 'inundated': Gujarat govt tries selling low lying area as top smart city site

Counterview Desk
Even as the Dholera Special Investment Region Regional Development Authority (DSIRDA) of the Gujarat government was busy organising a junket for Gujarat-based journalists for the area sought to be sold as an ideal special investment region (SIR) for industrialists, well-known farmers' activist Sagar Rabari has wondered why no investor has so far agreed to put in money in an area situated in Ahmedabad district along the Gulf of Khambhat.

Congress' anti-democratic laws led to Modi govt's 'Constitutional' changes: Scholars

Counterview Desk
A large number of academics* said to be belonging to several Indian and international institutions, even as taking strong exception to the Narendra Modi government's alleged move to amend the Constitution through "illegitimate" means, have taken strong exception to their colleagues in academia who we have become "all too accustomed to adopting a calculated silence in the face of such indignities."

Kashmir normal? Schoolboys, teenagers being arbitrarily picked up, detained: Report

Counterview Desk
A four-person team, consisting of Jean Dr├Ęze, well-known development economist; Kavita Krishnan, who is with the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist); Maimoona Mollah of the All India Democratic Women's Association (AIDWA); and Vimal Bhai of the National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM), back from a five-day fact-finding mission (August 9-13) from Kashmir, has said that people they spoke to “expressed their pain, anger, and sense of betrayal against the Government of India.”
In a report, “Kashmir Caged”, released along with a short eight-minute film, they said, the abrogation of Articles 370 and 35A, dissolution of the state of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), and bifurcating it into two Union Territories, is not being supported by anyone they met, except for BJP spokesperson on Kashmir affairs Ashwani Kumar Chrungoo, who claimed 46% vote share in J&K.
Excerpts from the report: When our flight landed, and the airlines staff announced that passeng…

Modi's Gujarati mind? Why govt move to 'sell-off' defence PSUs isn't in national interest

By Sandeep Pandey*
The Standing Committee on Defence, 2017-18, of the 16th Lok Sabha highlights the idea of Buy Indian-IDDM (Indigenously Designed Developed and Manufactured). The Committee expressed concern over the import content of equipments produced and developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Ordnance Factories (OFs) and defence Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) because of the dependence it creates for military hardware on foreign suppliers.

Central Gujarat effluent channel 'releasing' highly polluted industrial wastewater: PM told

Counterview Desk
Senior environmentalists of the Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti (PSS), Vadodara, Rohit Prajapati and Krishnakant, in an open letter to the Prime Minister, the Gujarat chief minister, the Gujarat chief secretary, and senior Government of India and Gujarat government officials dealing with environment, pollution and climate change have said that the authorities’ response their pleas to take action against the leakages and flow of polluted wastewater from the effluent channels of Central Gujarat industrial areas has met with complete inertia.

Can't go to court with RTI information, rule Ahmedabad authorities: Kankaria accident

By Pankti Jog*
In a shocking reply to an application filed by me, the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) authorities have said that the information provided under the Right to Information (RT) Act should be used in court or in a judicial process. The Act is known to be a major tool that enables citizens to seek certified copies of documents, records from any public authority of state and Central government within 30 days, as per provisions of the Act.

Quit India Movement 'betrayal' and dubious role of Hindu Mahasabha, RSS leaders

By Shamsul Islam*
After the recent guillotine of Article 370, Hindutva ideologue Ram Madhav, while celebrating the occasion stated that it was honouring of the sacrifices of Dr Shyam Prasad Mukherjee and thousands others who laid down their lives for its removal. It is to be noted that Dr Mukherjee was a cadre of RSS and was groomed into a Hindutva leader by another Hindutva icon, VD Savarkar.

Strategy for united struggle against Hindutva 'fascism': Ideological silence is 'no option'

By Dr Bhabani Shankar Nayak*
Electoral alliance and opportunism of national and regional political parties, neoliberal economic marginalisation and soft secular Hindutva line pandering to Hindu majoritarianism laid the foundation of Hindutva fascism in post-colonial India.