Friday, September 12, 2014

India: Two Outstanding Indians Win 2007 Gwangju Prize

wo persons fighting for human rights in different parts of India were awarded a prestigious regional human rights prize on April 30, this year.
Lenin Raghuvanshi: In the forefront against caste-based discrimination

The 2007 Gwangju Prize for Human Rights went jointly to Lenin Raghuvanshi for his resistance to caste-based discrimination in the country's north, and Irom Sharmila for her resistance to the indiscriminate use of military force against civilians in the north-east. Dr. Lenin as he is better known and leads the People's Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR), which comprises more than 50,000 activists working against caste discrimination and torture across five Indian states.

The Korean awarding committee said that Dr. Lenin had brought hope back to thousands of bonded labourers and those suffering human rights abuses due to India's caste system, especially Dalits. The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC), which has worked closely with the PVCHR for a number of years, congratulated him on his receipt of the award.

"Dr Lenin and his colleagues are tackling deep feudal practices that go back thousands of years and require immense dedication and effort if they are to be eliminated; and they must, if human rights and democracy are ever to have any meaning in India," said Basil Fernando, Executive Director of the Hong Kong-based regional rights group. "We have no doubt that he is a very worthy recipient of this award and that it will contribute much to his further efforts," Mr. Fernando added.

Dr. Lenin  had earlier been acknowledged as a social changemaker by the international Ashoka Fellowship.
Irom Sharmila: On a hunger strike for justice since 2000

His co-recipient, Irom Sharmila, has conducted a hunger strike for the abolition of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in the north-eastern states since the 2000 massacre in Manipur. She is being detained at the Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital and being force-fed by drip.

"They both have fought for the same noble cause of the advancement of human rights and social justice, yet they still have a long way to go. The Gwangju Prize for Human Rights will boost their further struggles," the May 18 Memorial Foundation said in announcing the award recipients.

A ceremony to present the award was held in Gwangju on May 18. Previous recipients have included Basil Fernando, Jayanthi Dandeniya coordinator of  Families of the Disappeared in Sri Lanka, and Angkhana Neelaphaijit chairperson of the Working Group on Justice for Peace in Thailand.

Posted on 2007-06-20

REX CONCLiVE 2013-14, Dr Lenin Raghuvanshi

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Asia's most prestigious contemporary art festival begins in South Korea

The Gwangju Biennale, started in September 1995 in the city of Gwangju in the South Jeolla province of South Korea, is Asia's first and most prestigious contemporary art biennale.

Founded in memory of the 1980 civil uprising and the Gwangju Democratisation Movement, the event showcases a global perspective on contemporary art.

Ideas of destruction and renewal lie at the heart of 2014 Gwangju Biennale, one of the world’s best-attended contemporary art festivals. Hosted by the Gwangju Biennale Foundation and the Gwangju Museum of Art, the special project ‘Sweet Dew-since 1980’, is a combination of lectures, exhibitions,and performances. All this is done to create a new platform for discourses on visual cultures.

As a part of this project, the lecture series will seek to analyse the current state of reality in Korea, Asia, Europe, and the United States through testimonies and debates over issues of energy and environmental crises; the spread of neo-liberalism; transformation of the relations between capital, labour, and the arts and the ongoing violence perpetrated by the state and threat to democratic values. This lecture series not only tries to understand our present reality, but also to articulate our desires for the future and form the basis of the forthcoming Gwangju Manifesto.

Open to the public from September 5- November 9, the event has the theme 'Burning down the House'.

The works on exhibition explore subjects that challenge the status quo, including that of labour and gender issues as well as a loss of folklore traditions in Asia’s contemporary commodity culture, according to artistic director Jessica Morgan. The theme is a nod to a song by US. art-rock group the Talking Heads.

I, Lenin Raghuvanshi (Leader of the social Movement for the untouchable people, India), am going to present my paper titled ‘Crisis of democracy and the Caste System in India’ during the International symposium on ‘Globalisation and the Crisis of Democracy’. Similarly the other panelists for the symposium on 19 September are: Young-Suk Lee (Professor of English Language and literature Gwangju University, Korea), Peter Bohmer (Professor of Economics at Evergreen State College, US), Michalis Spourdalakis (Professor of Political Science at University of Athens, Greece), Pyeong-Eok An (Professor of International Relations at Daegue University, Korea), Ken Ishida (Professor of History of International Politics at Chiba University, Japan), Jie-Hyun Lim (Professor of History at Hanyang university, Korea) and Michael Kim (Professor of International Studies at Yonsei University, Korea).

In my paper, I write, “India is a land of diversity with a great and long history populated by many different peoples, from many different origins, and who have many different religious, political and philosophical views. Many abuses are committed against peoples due to their caste or their religion and nature is more and more systematically ransack for privates interests."

The main problems facing the country came from two things. First is the implementation of a ‘culture of impunity based on mind of caste with silence’, which arose from a shared belief that a few can act without being accountable for their actions, be it at the social, economic or political levels. Secondly, the problems arose from the meeting of this cognitive problem with the market democracy and economic globalisation.”

Rabindranath Tagore puts it the right way in Geetanjali:
Where the mind is without fear
and the head is held high;
Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been
broken up into fragments
by narrow domestic walls; ...
Where the clear stream of reason
has not lost its way into the
dreary desert sand of dead habit; ...
Into that heaven of freedom,
my Father, let my country awake.

Details about Gwangju Biennial 2014:

Official patrons:
Ministry of Foreign Affairs / Ministry of Education, Science and Technology / Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism / Ministry of Security and Public Administration / Korea Customs Service / Gwangju Metropolitan Office of Education

Official sponsors:
Gwangju Shinsegae Department Store / Kwangju Bank / Asiana Airlines / Kumho Buslines
Promotional sponsors:
Shinhan Card / Ramada Plaza Gwangju / Holiday Inn Gwangju / Kumho Resort / Gwangju Family Land / Joongwoe Happy Land / SK Planet / Korail / Gwangju Convention & Visitors Bureau / WeMakePrice / Bohae

Artist commissions:
The International Production Fund 2014: Outset USA, Outset England, Outset Netherlands, NEON Organization for Culture and Development, D. Daskalopoulos / PKM Gallery / Fondation Saradar / Naver / Laura Rapp and Jay Smith / Dakis Joannou / Fundació Per Amor a L’Art / Yana and Stephen Peel / Ross Sappenfield / SBS Culture Foundation / National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea / Gallery Koo / Academy of the Arts of the World, Cologne / Maryam Eisler / Fondation Nationale des Arts Graphiques et Plastiques, Paris-France, FNAGP

Institutional support:
Naver Corporation / SAHA Association / British Council / Institut Français / Canada Council for the Arts
National Arts Council Singapore / Japan Foundation / Acción Cultural Española, Gobierno de España / US Embassy Seoul

Links for more information:


Tuesday, September 09, 2014

बाल महोत्सव

06 सितम्बर, 2014 को यादव बगीचा, जलालपुर बाज़ार, जौनपुर में मानवाधिकार जननिगरानी समिति/जनमित्र न्यास और सर दोराब जी टाटा ट्रस्ट के संयुक्त तत्वाधान में “बाल महोत्सव” का आयोजन किया गया | जिसमे जलालपुर ब्लाक के 10 मदरसों के 160 बच्चो व रामपुर ब्लाक के 5 मदरसों के 90 बच्चो को स्कूल बैग जिसमे जमेट्री बाक्स, कापी साथ ही 50 बच्चो को 500-500 रुपये स्कालरशिप के रूप में वितरित किया गया, ये सभी बच्चे आर्थिक रूप से पिछड़े हुए है उनका चयन मदरसे के मैनेजमेंट द्वारा किया गया था |

इस बाल महोत्सव में बघ्
वानाला वाराणसी के मुंशी प्रेम चन्द बाल पंचायत के बच्चो ने एक नुक्कड़ नाटक जो “थोड़ा है थोड़े की जरूरत है” की प्रस्तुति की | इसके साथ ही अन्य मदरसे के बच्चो ने नाद शरीफ व अन्य सांस्कृतिक गीत प्रस्तुत किये |

इस कार्यक्रम की मुख्य अतिथि श्रीमती शारदा चौधरी, जिला पंचायत अध्यक्ष, जौनपुर थी, डा० जे पी सिंह, असिस्टेंट प्रोफेसर टी० डी० पी० जी० कालेज जौनपुर ने इस कार्यक्रम की अध्यक्षता की| डा० गिरीश सिंह, बी.आर.सी. समन्वयक, डा० लेनिन रघुवंशी, निदेशक मानवाधिकार जननिगरानी समिति, बाबर कुरैशी, अलीहसन, बदरुद्दीन अहमद आदि मदरसा मैनेजर ने बच्चो को सम्बोधित किया और मंच पर उपस्थित रहे |

सबसे आश्चर्य व सुखद बाद यह थी कि ब्राम्हण आदि विभिन्न बिरादरियों के बच्चें भी मदरसें में पढ़ रहे है। मदरसें में केवल दिनी तालीम ही नही बल्कि आधुनिक तालीम भी बच्चों को दी जाती है।

कार्यक्रम का संचालन इरशाद अहमद और धन्यवाद ज्ञापन अनूप श्रेवास्ताव ने दिया | साथ हे कार्यक्रम में 500 अभिभावक, बच्चे और अन्य मानिंद लोग उपस्थित रहे |

Action against police officials and survivor received compensation: A fight against impunity

Case Details of File Number: 2531/18/32/2013-WC
Diary Number 10395/JR
Name of the Victim ITISHREE PRADHAN
Date of Incident 10/27/2013
Direction issued by the Commission The Commission received an email complaint dated 31.10.2013 from Shri Manoj Jena, an office bearer of NGO 'Human Rights Front' alleging that a woman teacher, named in the complaint, was being sexually harassed by her senior in Rayagada district of Odisha but no action was taken despite several complaints to the authorities. Subsequently, she was threatened to withdraw the case against the accused official, and when she refused to do so, she was assaulted and set ablaze with kerosene. Now she was struggling for her life in a hospital. The Commission took cognizance in the matter on 06.11.2013 and issued notice to the Director General of Police, Odisha, Bhubneshwar and Secretary, Department of School Education, Government of Odisha, Bhubneshwar calling for a report in the matter. However, it has been brought to the notice of the Commission that the NGO has handed over its fact finding report dated 07.11.2013 to the Joint Registrar (Law) of the Commission during his official visit to Odisha, which states that the victim, a contractual teacher, Ms. Itishree Pradhan, 27 years, was sexually harassed by Headmaster of the School, Netrananda Dandasena, since her joining on 18.06.2011 in the School. Due to this, the victim lodged an FIR on 18.07.2013 in Tikiri Police Station on 18.07.2013 against Netrananda Dandasena. As no action was taken by the police, she approached the Director General of Police on 31.07.2013. Again on 19.09.2013 she registered an FIR against the family members of Mr. Netrananda Dandasena as they had threatened to kill her if she would not withdraw her complaint. On 05.08.2013, she approached the Superintendent of Police, Rayagada for protection and action against the accused persons. A copy of the letter was also addressed to the Chief Minister, Odisha. She further registered an FIR on 16.08.2013 against the accused persons and requested immediate action. As no action was taken, on 18.08.2013 the victim informed the media that nobody was addressing her grievances. Subsequently, she was set ablaze by the accused persons and she died on 27.10.2013. Her father and elder sister have alleged that the accused were being shielded by the local Member of Parliament. The Joint Registrar (Law) also obtained copies of order dated 05.11.2013 issued by Government of Odisha, vide which Shri Sujit Kumar Say, IIC Police Station, Tikiri and Shri Muralidhara Pradhan, ASI, Tikiri have been dismissed from their services under Article 311 (2) (b) of the Constitution of India. The Special Secretary to the Government of Odisha, Department of Home vide communication dated 26.12.2013 has intimated the Commission that the Government of Odisha have paid Rs.10.00 lakhs as relief to Shri Balabhadra Pradhan father of the deceased, Iti Shree Pradhan. The report is annexed with a proof of payment of Rs.10.00 lakhs. The Collector, Rayagada vide communication dated 08.01.2014 has intimated the Commission that Shri Netranand Dandasena, ek-SI of schools, Tikri, Shri Muralidhar Pradhan, the I.O.cum-ASI of police, Tikri P.S., SI, Sujit Sai, IIC Police Station, Tikri and Shri Dharnidhar Behera, DI of Schools, Rayagada have been dismissed from service by the State Government. The Superintendent of Police, CID, CB, Odisha, Cuttack vide communication dated 06.03.2014 has given details of investigation and has reported that as prima facie evidence u/s 120B, 302, 449, 450 IPC was collected against accused, Netrananda Dandasena. The I.O. has submitted chargesheet vide C.S. No.03 dated 22.02.2014 against him, keeping investigation open u/s 173(8) Cr.P.C. for making sincere efforts to establish the identity of the persons, who set the deceased ablaze. Let the DGP, Government of Odisha be asked to send within eight weeks the final outcome of investigation of the CID CB case No. 32 dated 01.11.2013 u/s 302 IPC in respect of accused other than Netrananda Dandasena.
Action Taken Additional Information Called for (Dated 8/26/2014 )
Status on 9/9/2014 Response from concerned authority is awaited.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: PVCHR Communication <>
Date: Fri, 8 Nov 2013 16:28:05 +0530
Subject: Woman teacher's death triggers protests in Odisha
To: covdnhrc <>, jrlawnhrc <>
Cc: "Dr. Lenin Raghuvanshi" <>

The Chairperson
National Human Rights Commission
New Delhi
Dear Sir,
I want to bring in your kind attention towards the news published in daily
news on 2nd November, 2013 Woman teacher's death triggers protests in
Woman teacher's death triggers protests in OdishaSaturday Nov 02, 2013
Bhubaneswar, Nov 2 — The death of a woman teacher, set afire for allegedly refusing to withdraw a sexual assault complaint, triggered protests in Odisha Saturday with people staging rallies and demonstrations.

A delegation led by state Congress president Jayadeb Jena met Governor S.C. Jamir and submitted to him a memorandum demanding a probe into the incident by the Central Bureau of Investigation, while the Bharatiya Janata Party said Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik should resign on moral ground for the increasing lawlessness in the state.

Hundreds of activists of Odisha Jan Morcha (OJM), holding placards and banners came in a procession here and shouted anti-government slogans.

Demanding resignation of the chief minister, they staged a demonstration in front of the office of the police deputy commissioner.

"The teacher had asked for justice many times when she was alive. She had written to all the authorities concerned, including the chief minister seeking protection but no action was taken," Sidheswari Prasad Mishra, the president of OJM's youth wing, who led the protest, said.

Hundreds of Congress workers and leaders blocked a road in Jeypore town of Rayagada district, about 521 km from here.

People took out rallies in Cuttack, Rayagada and Puri. Women also organised candle rallies in different places.

Itishree Pradhan, 28, died Friday in a private hospital in Visakhapatnam four days after she was set on fire in a residential government school at Tikiri in Rayagada district after she reportedly refused to withdraw a complaint of sexual assault she lodged in July against local school inspector Netrananda Dandsena.

She was watching a television show along with some children when the assailant entered the school room, poured kerosene on her and set her on fire. Pradhan had sustained more than 90 percent burn injuries.

Dandsena was arrested Wednesday. The government also suspended a district inspector of school, investigating police officer and in-charge of the police station concerned.

Therefore it is a kind request please take appropriate action at earliest.

Thanking You
Sincerely Yours
Lenin Raghuvanshi
Secretary General