“A sinister design to roll back the gains of the women’s movement in India”
We appeal to the governments on both sides to refrain from further hostilities, overt or covert, and to resolve their differences within the framework of international law and human rights.
A vindictive state continued to push for custody in a bid to imprison and even possibly torture Teesta and Javed, in their relentless attempt to silence these fearless human rights defenders. After exposing the criminal activities of a section of the Gujarat Police and of powerful politicians during the 2002 anti-Muslim riots in Gujarat, CJP has been attacked time and time again.
To defend the rights of the imprisoned and to prevent further illegal detentions, we, a group of social justice activists and scholars, came together and formed an association called “Fresh Perspectives, USA.” We have reached out to public intellectuals, critical thinkers and scholars outside India to collect their voice condemning those illegal arrests and the violation of human rights in India. We were amazed by the response from scholars around the world. Some of the signatories are the most influential thinkers of late 20th and 21st Century. Here’s our public statement.
On Tuesday, February 5, 2019, noted journalists P. Sainath and Niranjan Takle and noted author Urmila Pawar and activists from Mumbai, Jatin Desai and Feroze Mithirborewala condemned the police action against Prof. Anand Teltumbde and urged people to speak up against the undemocratic practices of the current government, which Mr Sainath said was criminalising dissent.
The attack on Dr. Teltumbde is only the latest in an ongoing series of attacks on human rights lawyers, civil rights activists and scholars engineered by the Right-wing Hindu nationalist party ruling at the Centre and the state. Since June 2018, nine activists have been imprisoned on similar fabricated charges as Dr. Teltumbde. The arrested are Sudha Bharadwaj, Varavara Rao, Vernon Gonsalves, Arun Ferreira, Surendra Gadling, Mahesh Raut, Rona Wilson, Shoma Sen and Sudhir Dhawale. Two others, Gautam Navlakha and Stan Swamy are also under threat of arrest in the same case.
We would like to reiterate the request that the Congress Party consider the inclusion of repeal of Section 124A in its 2019 election manifesto. I hope that State Governments in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Punjab, Puducherry and Karnataka will also be urged to take immediate steps for its repeal through State Amendments in order to send a salutary signal to the present Union Government and the BJP ruled states that harassing citizens for exercising their democratic right to question the government and its agencies goes against the idea of India.
On last year’s unprecedented press conference by the four senior-most judges of the Supreme Court, Justice Lokur said, “It was worth it” and added, “It has brought about some openness in the system”. Justice Lokur also mentioned that the system needs to be changed in such a way that the review of judges for corruption is made speedier and that justice is ensured.
The fundamental right to self-identified gender under Articles 14, 15, 19 and 21 of the Constitution stands violated blatantly. With only four MPs addressing the debate, the Bill passed by the Lok Sabha is a washout. The Rajya Sabha must now resist, especially since it has already passed ‘The Rights of Transgender Persons Bill, 2014’ in April 2015.