Skip to main content

'Human rights trampled upon': Activists, litterateurs, academics 'reimagine' India

Bezwada Wilson, Romila Thapar, TM Krishna
By Our Representative 
The Reimagining India public lecture series, initiated by the civil rights group India Inclusive Collective, has brought together one platform about 50 prominent speakers in order to highlight how, over the last seven years, there have been “consistent attacks” on the democratic fabric of the country, with Constitutional and human rights of people being “trampled with impunity.”
Pointing out that fundamental right to equality, the right to live with dignity, to question the state and dissent are under threat, the lectures suggest the manner in which “institutions of oversight have been systematically emaciated, with the independence of the judiciary under a serious cloud and the functioning of the Parliament gravely compromised”, said human rights activist Shabman Hashmi, one of the organisers.
Begun on October 2, the Gandhi Jayanti day, the speakers include filmmaker Anand Patwardhan, musician TM Krishna, writer Apoorvanand, poet and critic Ashok Vajpeyi, academic Prof Atul Sood, Safai Karmachari Andolan leader Bezwada Wilson, child rights activist Enakshi Ganguly, feminist Kavita Krishnan, Secretary, social scientist Prof Nandini Sundar, Supreme Court advocate Prashant Bhushan, MP Shashi Tharoor, and historians Romila Thapar and Irfan Habib.
Hashmi said, “Rise of fascism and crony capitalism, and the concomitant increase in violence in society have had a devastating impact on the lives of people, especially those belonging to the Dalit, Adivasi, Muslim and other marginalised communities.”
She added, “The Covid-19 crisis has exposed the apathetic and anti-poor nature of the state. The pandemic has been famously likened to an X-Ray that has exposed the bare bones of our system and amplified the terrible inequalities it has perpetuated. The afflictions gripping the nation have exponentially multiplied in the last year and a half.”
Lectures will help counter the There is No Alternative narrative, effectively pushed by the propaganda machinery of the ruling dispensation
Claiming that “amidst the oppression and intimidation, the country has witnessed strong peoples’ movements against injustice and tyranny”, as seen during the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in 2019 and early 2020, Hashmi hoped, the lecture series would start “a conversation to explore the contours of a society that is more just, equal and aligned to the Constitutional values of liberty and fraternity.”
She added, the lectures, recorded in English and Hindi, provide “an alternate vision for the country and, hopefully, help counter the 'There is No Alternative' narrative that has been so effectively pushed by the propaganda machinery of the ruling dispensation.”
Each lecture will be of duration of 30-40 minutes. A video of 2 minutes and later 5-8 minutes is being edited from each lecture for wider dissemination through various social media platforms, including WhatsApp, Twitter and Facebook, “to effectively reach out to the youth and to fence-sitters, including those who might have voted for the present regime but are now disenchanted and looking for an alternative.”
While full videos are available on India Inclusive YouTube channel, their abridged videos are being uploaded available on the India Inclusive Facebook page.

Comments

Sarwat Ali said…
Much needed worthy initiative .

TRENDING

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Critics of your government should not be in jail: PUCL shoots open letter to Modi

Counterview Desk In an open letter, Ravikiran Jain, national president, and Dr V Suresh, general secretary, People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) have taken strong exception to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s view that raising human rights issues can ‘tarnish’ the country’s reputation, stating, those who raise human rights concerns do it “through established United Nations mechanisms such as the UN Human Rights Council, the Office of the UN High Commissioner of Human Rights.”

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

When judges behave more like priests, delivering sermons from high podium...

By Ajit Singh*  The theory of separation of power found its origins in ancient Greece but with the passage of time it became widespread in other parts of Europe. Early proponent of the theory Greek philosopher Aristotle in “Politics” argued that implementation of constitution in letter and spirit can only be possible if the three elements among whom the power has been distributed are well arranged.

Covid appropriate behaviour? Why masks can't be suitable in hot, humid climate

By Dr Amitav Banerjee* Appearances can be deceptive. So can be Covid Appropriate Behaviour (CAB). An anecdote illustrates this well known cliché. A man who is very particular about hygiene decides to eat out. After a rather long search, he spots a restaurant which has a spotlessly clean exterior and he walks in.

Muck being thrown in Uttarakhand rivers: Villagers face 'existential' crisis

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*  The Uttarakhand government must act fast to clear the path of Dhauli Ganga river about two kilometres ahead of village Neeti and about one kilometre from Ghamsali village, which is about 90 kilometer from Joshi Math town in district Chamoli. The creation of an artificial lake due to throwing of muck and mud can create a catastrophic situation like what happened on February 7, 2021-- the Rishi Ganga-Dhauli Ganga tragedy at Tapovan and Raini village in which over 200 people lost their life.

How Indore turned into water minus city after authorities 'managed' Water Plus title

Water harvester cleaning up hyacinth from an Indore river By Rahul Banerjee*  Recently, the city of Indore was declared the first Water Plus city in India under the Swachh Sarvekshan programme of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development for its ostensibly exemplary waste water management. However, the reality is quite different as a detailed study of the prevailing wastewater management situation in the city shows.

UP govt 'ignoring' demand to fill up teachers' posts despite unemployment: Rights groups

Sandeep Pandey with Shikha Pal Counterview Desk  Commenting on the unique protest undertaken by Shikha Pal atop an overhead water tank for nearly four months, the Socialist Party (India), in association with several civil rights group, Yuva Shakti Sangathan, Socialist Yuvjan Sabha and Rihai Manch, have wondered why has the Yogi Adityanath government is so “insensitive” towards her demands and is looking the “other way.”

Restricting use of public places for religious purpose: Will Gehlot govt respect HC order?

By Kavita Srivastava*  The People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), Rajasthan, has welcomed the judgment of the Rajasthan High Court dismissing the petition by Pooja Gurnani which challenged a circular of the Rajasthan government which restrained the construction of a ‘Pooja Sthal’ in the premises of a police station.

Rehabilitation site 'offered' to 6000 displaced Khori villagers not livable: Team Saathi

By Our Representative  Second round of the Chitthi Andolan (letter movement) of the Khori village residents, whose more than 6,000 houses were demolished as they were allegedly built on forest land, has begun, with hundreds of them telling the authorities of the Municipal Corporation, Faridabad, that no one has received the promised financial assistance of meagre Rs 2,000.