Thursday, July 30, 2015

Dear ALL (and particularly my brother Jesuits),

Here's wishing you every blessing on the Feast of St. Ignatius of Loyola!

May this great visionary
inspire us 
to have the courage
to move beyond the frontiers
in the service of faith and justice.

With warm wishes and prayers

ABOLISH THE DEATH PENALTY !!! -Fr. Cedric Prakash sj

-Fr. Cedric Prakash sj*

So Yakub Memon was finally hanged to death early this morning (July 30th) in the Nagpur Central Jail! The 54-year old Chartered Accountant was convicted for the 1993 Mumbai serial bomb blasts which took the lives of 267 people and injured many more. The team of lawyers defending him tried every possible option to stay the death penalty but to no avail.

President Pranab Mukherjee rejected Memon’s final plea for clemency despite a petition from several eminent citizens. The petition which was signed by over 300 persons (former Supreme Court judges, academia, human rights activists, film makers, politicians and others from civil society) requested the President to stay Memon’s execution citing procedural lapses and “disturbing aspects of this case which make the award of death sentence of Yakub Memon as grossly unfair, arbitrary and excessive”.

Apart from the fact that Yakub Memon had already served more than the stipulated time for life imprisonment and that there was little evidence of his direct involvement in the blasts, he was still hanged. Several citizens have termed it as ‘legal murder’.

A sense of permissiveness seems to have permeated several sections of Indian society.  From last evening, one could see a sense of gloating of ‘fait accompli’ - as people thronged the gates of Nagpur Central Jail for ‘selfies’; media anchors and reporters felt that it is their divine responsibility to scream and yell for a man’s blood! The three members of the Apex Court wouldn’t even consider a further fourteen days reprieve.

On the other hand, Maya Kodnani the linchpin of the Naroda Patiya massacres (and already convicted to more than a life term) gets bail today from the Gujarat High Court; the master-minds of the Gujarat Genocide and the encounter killings of innocent youth, roam freely with immunity and impunity and also hold some of the highest offices of the land; Jayalalitha has been acquitted due to ‘miscalculations’ of her scandalous assets; the Vyapam scam has already taken the toll of more than forty lives; the ‘Lalit-gate’ corruption issue; the killings of dalits, tribals and minorities; the hate-speeches of law makers – for all this and more, many conveniently turn a blind eye.

“There is indeed something rotten in the State of Denmark!”

No, we are not advocating the death penalty for anyone! The death penalty must be abolished! It is a barbaric act and not in sync with civilised society. No violence can be justified; no murder can be rectified; death penalty however is not the answer! Objective studies clearly demonstrate that in nations and societies where the death penalty has been abolished, the crime rate has decreased dramatically.

On March 20th Pope Francis writing to the International Commission Against Death Penalty says, “today the death penalty is inadmissible, no matter how serious the crime committed; capital punishment contradicts God’s plan for man and society and does not render justice to the victims but rather fosters vengeance.”

Two wrongs have never made a right. Let us hope that at least in this ‘legal murder’ of Yakub Memon that we all awake and work towards the abolition of the death penalty in India!

July 30th 2015

(* Fr. Cedric Prakash SJ is the Director of PRASHANT, the Ahmedabad-based Jesuit Centre for Human Rights, Justice and Peace.)

Address: ‘PRASHANT’, Hill Nagar, Near Saffron Hotel, Drive-in Road, Ahmedabad - 380052

Phone: (079) 27455913, 66522333 Fax:  (079) 27489018                             

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The pope and poverty by Phyllis Zagano

The pope and poverty

Phyllis Zagano

(July 29th 2015)
Just Catholic
Looks like the Pope Francis Fan Club is losing membership. At least that’s what the Gallup Poll folks are saying.
You had to know it wouldn’t last. All that care for the poor business had to be getting on folks’ nerves. You see, most of the people who hear what Francis says are rich. 
The poor are not wired. The poor do not have smart phones and computers. The poor do not have televisions or radios. The poor do not have books or newspapers. 
Oh, you say, there are poor folks on my block and they have cell phones and computers and TV and radio and books and newspapers.
Wrong. The deeply poor do not live in neighborhoods. They are not “down the block.” They are in tin shacks, in huts, even caves. They are in lean-tos against abandoned buildings. If they can find them, they scrounge garbage mountains for things they need: clothing, furniture, and sometimes food. They hunt or fish or grow their sustenance. They fashion what they can from what is around them. In the country they have wood and stones and dirt. In the city they have the detritus of the rich (or at least of the richer), the droppings of plastic and resin the modern age uses to replace wood and stone.
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So, when Francis talks about the poor, most of the people who hear him have no idea what he is talking about. Most of the people who hear him are, relatively speaking, rich.
Here are the numbers: half of the world lives on less than $2.50 a day. That is 3 billion people. Now, maybe in the poorest areas of the world — the favelasof Brazil, the jungle villages of Africa, the city edges of India, the seaside settlements of Malaysia and the Philippines — you can manage on that scale of economy. But think of what $2.50 a day allows for and what it eliminates.
People in what they call developed nations have access to all manner of things the truly poor would never dream of. There are department stores and supermarkets and delicatessens. There are planes and trains and busses and cars. There are hospitals and clinics and pharmacies. There are universities and high schools and continuing education programs. There is clean water, clean land, and clean air.
Most of us reading this column, myself included, cannot fathom life without these things. From time to time, one or another is out of reach. Most of the time, it’s all just around the corner.
So, what about the poor? They should be miserable but the people with nothing, who own nothing and whose lives really depend on each other, so often seem happy even in their misery.
I think Francis has the answer. He is, after all, a Jesuit priest. Jesuits pray the full 30-days of the Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola at least twice: first on entering the novitiate, and again during what is called their “tertianship,” as they approach mid-life.
The aim of the Exercises is free the individual to live wholly in God’s care. That does not mean living off the grid. It means living with the understanding that all is gift and that we must gratefully use what we have for our own sake and for the sake of others.
That is the mystery of Francis the world, now apparently including some on the right, cannot understand. As a Jesuit in solemn vows, he truly owns nothing. As pope, he is trying to encourage the rest of us to understand that we also “own” nothing.
Francis is teaching that our distress comes from the need to control — property, money, even the weather. Of course we must care for and be responsible for what we “have” — our homes, our jobs and savings. But we must not be so bent on possessions, on controlling everything that our lives revert to Scrooge-like crankiness. We can no more control things than we can control the weather.
So now, Francis is saying both to individuals and to nations: “lighten up.” You do not need so much. You do not need everything you have. You can spread it around and you should spread it around because in reality you do not and cannot “own” anything. Once you die, you die.
Will the people now turning away because they fear Francis’ condemning capitalism be able to recognize that he, like popes before him, criticizes the excesses and the evils of capitalism, not the system itself? Will the people now turning away because they are, as one conservative pundit put it, tired of being “scolded,” recognize that Francis, like St. Ignatius before him, pointed out that all is gift?
No one says it is easy to live like that. It is not. But it is not all that hard, either.
[Phyllis Zagano is senior research associate-in-residence at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y. She will speak Sept. 19 in Philadelphia. Her books include Mysticism and the Spiritual Quest: A Crosscultural Anthology and On Prayer: A Letter to My Godchild.]

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

NEW REPORT: ‘Cotton’s Forgotten Children’ Almost half a million Indian children produce cottonseed



NEW REPORT: ‘Cotton’s Forgotten Children’
Almost half a million Indian children produce cottonseed

Utrecht, The Hague, 23 July 2015

Almost half a million Indian children are working to produce the cottonseed that is the basis for our garments and all the other textile products that we use. Around 200,000 of them are below 14 years of age. This is one of the shocking results of the new study ‘Cotton’s Forgotten Children’ by India’s long-term expert on the issue, Dr. Davuluri Venkateswarlu.
It is equally shocking that the number of children working in the cotton seed fields has increased with almost 100,000 since the last all-India study on this issue in 2010. Children’s below 14 constitute around 25% of the workforce on the fields of the farmers that supply their seeds to both Indian and multinational companies. Another 35% of the workforce are children between 14 and 18 years of age.

The report criticises the Indian state governments, especially those of Gujarat and Rajasthan, for ‘not paying serious attention to tackle the issue’ and ‘being in the denying mood’. On the role of the seed companies it states: ‘The response of the seed industry as a whole to address the problem of child labour is minimal’.

Long working days – Exposed to pesticides
Children below 14 – of which two-thirds are girls - are employed in the seed fields on a long-term contract basis through loans extended to their parents by local seed producers, who have agreements with the large national and multinational seed companies. Children are made to work 8 to 12 hours a day and are exposed to poisonous pesticides used in high quantities in cottonseed cultivation. Most of the children working in cottonseed farms belong to poor Dalit (‘outcaste’), Adivasi (tribal) or Backward Castes families. Around 70% of the children are hired or even trafficked from other states while 30% is ‘family labour’. Most are school-dropouts.

Hopeful signs
There are also some hopeful signs. The number of children below 14 working on seed farms – in proportion to the total workforce - has dropped in all states. In Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu there was a significant decline of 42% and 69% respectively of young children working in the seed fields.
The report also recognizes a number of initiatives undertaken by multinational companies like Bayer, Monsanto and DuPont, some local companies, government agencies, Unicef, NGOs like MV Foundation in Andhra Pradesh and a union like DRMU in Gujarat which helped to reduce the number of young working children.

However due to the very substantial increase of production area, especially in Gujarat and Rajasthan, the total number of working children has nevertheless increased substantially. The number of adolescents doing this work has increased since 2010 with 70,000 and the number of young children with almost 30,000.

Below minimum wages for women
The other main issue in the new report is the payment of wages below the official minimum wage, especially to women. For specific tasks mainly allocated to women and children – especially the labour-intensive cross-pollination – wages are paid that are substantially below the official state or zonal minimum wages. This happens in all the states.  Despite this and earlier reports on the issue (e.g. Wages of Inequality, December 2012) this issue has not yet been tackled effectively by government and companies and has hardly been taken up by civil society.

The 47-page report contains 11 recommendations for both companies, the National Seed Association of India and the (state) governments to tackle child labour, below official minimum or living wages and other labour rights violations.

A few of these recommendations are:

1.   Seed companies need to do a proper review of their procurement policies to ensure that growers have enough margins to tackle child labour and pay at least the official minimum wage to workers.
2.   Government and independent agencies have to do research if the present minimum wages are actually living wages that allow adult cottonseed workers a decent life. Cottonseed workers should also be covered under social security benefits like the Provident Fund.
3.   In view of the magnitude and seriousness of the child rights violations  and other violations in cottonseed production, a special taskforce of state governments to ensure labour rights in this sector is recommended. Such a taskforce should work in close co-operation with local groups, village panchayats, local (child) rights groups, NGOs and unions.
4.   Every Indian or multinational seed company, as well as the NSAI, should have an effective grievance mechanism where both farmers and agricultural labourers can safely file grievances on violations of labour rights at the farm level and resolve those issues. In cases of systemic violations, programmes to tackle these violations have to be developed.
5.   The National Seed Association of India (NSAI) should play a more proactive role in urging their members to combat child labour and respect labour rights, including by setting up joint programmes and requiring from members to report on progress.

Gerard Oonk
director India Committee of the Netherlands
Mariaplaats 4e
3511 LH Utrecht

Tel. 030-2321340

Excerpts Of The Petition : Difference Vanishes In Appeal Of Mercy For Yakub Memon

Excerpts Of The Petition : Difference Vanishes In Appeal Of Mercy For Yakub Memon

Excerpts Of The Petition : Difference Vanishes  In Appeal Of  Mercy  For Yakub Memon
Excerpts Of The Petition : Difference Vanishes In Appeal Of Mercy For Yakub Memon
NEW DELHI:Almost 300 prominent citizens including several prominent political leaders including the ruling BJP, eminent jurists, journalists, social activist and film personalities  are signatory of the mercy petition filed to President of India against the execution of Yakub Memon, the convict of the Bombay terror attacks of 1993.
Those who appealed to stay the execution of Yakub Memon are from every section of Indian society as well as leaders from all the political parties who came forward cutting the party barriers.
Eminent leaders who figures in this mercy appeal includes MPs from  BJP Shatrughan Sinha,  Congress Mani Shankar Aiyer, Ram Jethmalani, Majeed Memon, Sitaram Yechury , D. Raja,  K.T.S Tulsi,  H.K. Dua, T. Siva, Prakash Karat, Polit Bureaumember of CPM Dipankar Bhattacharya,  Brinda Karat, Retd.  Justice Panachand Jain , H.S. Bedi, P. B. Sawant,  H. Suresh , K. P. Siva Subramaniam , S. N. Bhargava ,  K Chandru , Nagmohan Das , filmmakers and actors like Naseeruddin Shah and Mahesh Bhatt and Tushar Gandhi and several other important personalities of different sect of Indian society.
The full text of the petition and  list of its signatory is below–
His Excellency,
The Hon’ble President of India
Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi
Subject: New Mercy Petition Urging Stay Against Imminent Execution of Yakub Abdul Razak Memon
May it Please Your Excellency:
This is a mercy petition for Yakub Abdul Razak Memon, who is scheduled to be executed on 30 July 2015 as per the execution warrant issued by the TADA Court.
We, the undersigned, through this petition urge Your Excellency to stay the imminent execution so that the substantive and fresh grounds raised herein can be considered on merits.
A. Preliminary Grounds
— An International Commitment to abolish death penalty – We the signatories of this mercy petition humbly make the statement that in India death penalty cannot be imposed till such time Parliament of India decides not to abolish death penalty and the reason for the same are as under:
The universal declaration of Human Rights adopted by the General Assembly on 10.12.1948 defined certain human rights and fundamental freedoms which need to be protected. Among the subsequent human right documents, the most important are the two covenants adopted by the General Assembly in 1966: The Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and its Optional Protocol and the Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. India became a party to both these covenant by ratifying them on 27.3.1979. There are two optional protocols to the covenant, the Second Protocol aims at the abolition of death penalty.
Article VI of Part-III of the covenant on civil and political rights lays down as under:
-Every human being has the inherent right to life. This right shall be protected by law. No-one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his life.
– In countries which have not abolished the death penalty, sentence of death may be imposed only for the most serious crime.
– Anyone sentenced to death shall have the right to seek pardon or commutation of the sentence amnesty or commutation of death may be granted in all cases.
The President of India under Article 72 of the Constitution of India has the power to grant pardon and to suspend, remit or commute sentence in certain cases. It is in this way the constitution of India permits right of appeal. … …In India this power of pardon is to be exercised by the President and therefore under no circumstances for empowering the President the word “shall” could have been used in the covenant but it means a command i.e. commutation of sentence of death must be granted in all cases by President, till such time Parliament of India decides that it will continue the penalty of death sentence. After signing of covenant, the Parliament of India has not considered any amendment in the Indian Penal Code for abolition of death sentence.
The second optional protocol to the International covenant on civil and political rights reads as under:
Convinced that all measures of abolition of the death penalty should be considered as progress in the enjoyment of the right to life,
Desirous to undertake hereby an international commitment to abolish the death penalty,
No reservation is admissible to the present Protocol, except for a reservation made at the time of ratification or accession that provides for the application of the death penalty in time of war pursuant to a conviction for a most serious crime of a military nature committed during wartime.
As regards covenant we may submit that a covenant is a treaty and it lays down a notable step forward in the protection of human rights within the framework of the United Nations and constitutes the basic provisions of International Bill of Rights…. but should be considered to be firmly established as a part of international law which the domestic courts are duty bound to give effect to.
2. Present Petition Meets Procedural Requirements
This Mercy Petition satisfies the legal requirements applicable to a fresh mercy petition as per G. KrishtaGoud v. State of A.P., (1976) 1 SCC 157para10 and clause VII-(A) of the Procedure Regarding Petitions for Mercy in Death Sentence Cases, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India.
3. Death Warrant fixing the date of Execution is Illegal
Yakub Memon was not given advance notice of the death warrant hearing and as a result of which he and his lawyers could not participate and contest the issuance of the death warrant. Lack of hearing makes the present death warrant void in light of the Supreme Court decision in Shabnam v. Union of India &Ors, Writ Petition (Criminal) No. 88 of 2015 (decided on May 27, 2015).
B. Fresh Grounds on Merits
Following are some very disturbing aspects of this case which make the award of death sentence of Yakub Memon as grossly unfair, arbitrary and excessive.
1. Long Duration of Trial and Incarceration Suffered Till Date
Yakub Memon has served more than 20 years in prison since his arrest. His trial took 14 years to complete. While the  Supreme Court used this long period of incarceration as a mitigating circumstance to commute the death sentences of the other 10 co-accused persons, it applied a different yardstick to Yakub. The Hon’ble Supreme Court has repeatedly held that lengthy incarceration during pendency of appeal in death cases is a significant mitigating circumstance which ought to be considered in determination of sentence. In the interests of justice we request you to give due importance to this.
2. Yakub Memon is Mentally Unfit for Execution
Yakub Memon has been suffering from schizophrenia for the last 20 years which makes him unfit for execution. His mental condition has been certified by jail doctors. Schizophrenia as a mental illness …. Your Excellency is required to consider the mental health of a convict before deciding his mercy petition, and can summon his medical records from the prison from the time of his arrest.
3. Role in the 1993 Bomb Blasts Conspiracy
Tiger Memon and Dawood Ibrahim as the Main Conspirators
As per the case of the prosecution, the 1993 bomb blasts were orchestrated by Tiger Memon and Dawood Ibrahim to seek revenge for the demolition of Babri Masjid in Ayodhya……Both Tiger Memon and Dawood Ibrahim have been absconding and Yakub, brother of Tiger Memon, who was not the main actor in the conspiracy is being executed.
Commuted Co-accused played a larger role in the Conspiracy than Yakub Memon: Prejudiced on Account of being Tiger Memon’s Brother
The TADA Court convicted 100 persons and awarded death penalty to 11 persons. In appeal, the Supreme Court commuted the death sentences of all the convicts except Yakub Memon.
In comparison to Yakub Memon, the 10 co-accused persons whose death sentences were commuted planted the bombs themselves and played a much more critical and direct role in the actual execution of the bomb blast conspiracy. Several of whom even travelled to Pakistan for arms training. This shows Yakub Abdul Razak Memon who is facing an imminent execution only on account of being Tiger Memon’s younger brother.
Witness in the case
Unlike the main accused, Yakub Memon surrendered before the authorities, a fact which has been confirmed on July 24 by the then officer in charge of the entire operation, Shri B.Raman. Yakub Memon is the person who has provided information about Pakistan involvement. His execution will weaken the case against the involvement of the Pakistan agencies as there are no other witnesses available.
4. Death Sentence of Convicts in other Terror Cases Commuted
It is also worthwhile to note that death sentences imposed on the aides of Veerappan (convicted and sentenced to death under TADA), Rajiv Gandhi killers and Devender Pal Singh Bhullar have been commuted recently by the Supreme Court. While the mercy petitions of Verappan’s aides, Rajiv Gandhi’s three killers and Devender Pal Singh Bhullar were decided belatedly by the President, thereby giving them the claim of delay jurisprudence, the Home Ministry has moved swiftly to reject Yakub Abdul Razak Memon’s mercy’s petition. It seems that subjective factors are the basis of decisions which lead to arbitrary actions.
5. Death Sentence of TADA is Unfair and Discriminatory
Yakub Memon has been tried and sentenced to death under TADA, a special law which was repealed by the Parliament on account of it having been used to target the minorities. .
Final Plea
We most humbly request your Excellency to consider the case of Yakub Abdul Razak Memon and spare him from the noose of the death for a crime that was master-minded by someone else to communally divide the country. Grant of mercy in this case will send out a message that while this country will not tolerate acts of terrorism, as a nation we are committed to equal application of the power of mercy and values of
forgiveness, and justice. Blood letting and human sacrifice will not make this country a safer place; it will, however, degrade us all.
Yours Sincerely,
Justice Panachand Jain (Retd) Justice H.S. Bedi (Retd)
Justice P. B. Sawant (Retd) Justice H. Suresh (Retd)
Justice K. P. Siva Subramaniam (Retd) Justice S. N. Bhargava (Retd)
Justice K Chandru (Retd) Justice Nagmohan Das (Retd)
Shatrughan Sinha MP Mani Shankar Aiyer, MP
Ram Jethmalani, MP Majeed Memon, MP
Sitaram Yechury, MP, G.S, CPI(M) D. Raja, MP, Secretary, CPI
K.T.S Tulsi, MP H.K. Dua, MP
T. Siva, MP
Prakash Karat, CPI(M), Member, Polit Bureau
Dipankar Bhattacharya, General Secretary, CPI(ML)-Liberation
Brinda Karat, CPI(M), Member, Polit Bureau
N. Ram, Senior Journalist
Prashant Bhushan, Senior Lawyer
Jagmati Sangwan, General Secretary, AIDWA
Kavita Krishnan, Secretary, AIPWA
Annie Raja, General Secretary, NFIW
Tushar Gandhi, Mahatma Gandhi Foundation
M. K. Raina, Film & theatre artist
Anand Patwardhan, Filmmaker
Naseeruddin Shah, Actor
Mahesh Bhatt, Filmmaker
Lalit Vachani, Filmmaker
Ram Rahman
Vivan Sundaram, Artist
Prof. Prabhat Patnaik
Prof. C. P. Chandrasekhar
Prof. Utsa Patnaik
Ritu Diwan, Former Director & Head Dept of Economics, Mumbai University
Jean Dreze
Pamela Philipose, Journalist
Achin Vanaik
Adv. Flavia Agnes, Director, Majlis Legal Centre, Mumbai.
Parthiv Shah
Prof. Irfan Habib
Prof. Arjun Dev
Prof. D. N. Jha
Prof. Kalpana Kannibaran, Hyderabad
Indira Jaisingh, Former, Addl. Sol. General
Kirti Singh, Former Member, Law Commission
Vrinda Grover, Lawyer
Prof. Abhijit Sen
Dr. Imrana Qadir
Dilip D’souza, Author
Ravi Chelam, Biologist and Conservationist Scientist, Bengaluru
Prof. Sohini Ghosh
Associate Prof. Sabina Gadihoke
Smita Gupta, economist
Prof. Jayati Ghosh
Prof. Jagmohan Singh, Coalition Against the Death Penalty, Ludhiana
Shabnam Hashmi, Anhad
Manisha Sethi, Academic
Prof. Ved Kumari
Biraj Patnaik
Virginia Saldanha
Prof.Madhu Prashad
Anees Azmi
Rahul Saxena
Anjali Mody
Dr. Nikita Sood, Oxford University
Rahul Roy, Filmmaker
Dr. Ayesha Kidwai
Prof. Harbans Mukhia
Adv. Kamayani Bali Mahabal
Binoo John (senior journalist, author)
Nachiket Udupa
N. Jayaram
Prof. Pulin Nayak
Prof. Kamal Mitra Chenoy
Angana Chatterjee
Deep Joshi
Mr. Tarun Bhartiya, Shillong
Ms. Angela Rangad, Shillong
Sanjay Karkala
Gitanjali Prasad
Vivek Sundara
Arundhati Dhuru NAPM
Sandeep Pandey, Socialist Party
Dr John Dayal, Member, National Integration Council
Chetan Mali
Vidula Ramabai
Nandini Sundar, Professor, Delhi School of Economics, Delhi University
Suroor Mander
Rammanohar Reddy
Kiran Bhatty, Senior Fellow, Centre for Policy Research, New Delhi
Laxmi Murthy
Aruna Roy, MKSS
Rev. Kyrsoibor Pyrtuh, Shillong
Ms. Kalpana Kumar, Delhi
Asad Zaidi, Writer
Dunu Roy, Hazards Centre, New Delhi
Sohail Akbar
Mr. Napolean S. Mawphniang, Shillong
Ms. Gertrude Lamare, , Shillong
Ms. Janice Pariat, Shillong
Ms. Angela Rangad, Shillong
Mr. Tarun Bhartiya, Shillong
Ms. Mona Mishra, Delhi
Mr. Aflatoon, Varanasi, Secretary (Organisation), Samajwadi Janparishad
Mr. Manas Das, Bangalore
Ms. Amba Kak, Delhi
Kshetrimayum Onil, Imphal
Subrat Kumar Sahu, Delhi
Dr. Kranti Bhavana, Patna
Mr. Taru Dalmia, Delhi
Mr. Apal, Jaunpur
Mr. Mujibur Khan, Delhi
Ms Kanika Kamra, Chandigarh
Ms Neelima Goyal
Ms Brinda Bose, Delhi
Mr. Hossein Fazeli,
Mr. Jatinder Mauhar Singh, Chandigarh
Himanshi Rawat, Delhi
Dhruba J. Dutta
Abhinandita Mathur
Rahul Saxena, Bangalore, India
Muralidharan, Secretary, National Platform for the Rights of the Disabled
Ghazala Jamil
Sohail Hashmi
Prabir Purkayastha
Nikhil De, MKSS
Michael Noronha, (Mysore)
Ovais Sultan Khan
Abha Baiya
Ashok Chowdhury, AIUFWP
Bondita Acharya, Jorhat, Assam
Dr.Rosemary Dzuvichu, Nagaland University, Kohima
Kalyani Menon-Sen
Gita Sen
Vani Subramaniam
Saheli Women’s Resource Centre
Gabriele Dietrich
Niraj Malik
Javed Malick
Kiran Shaheen
Dyuti Ailawadi
Ramlath Kavil
Supriya Madangarli
Amrita Shodhan
Geetanjali Gangoli
Helen Saldana
Albertina Almeida
Pushpa Achanta
Kalpana Mehta
WSS Women Against Sexual Violence and State Repression
Vineeta Bal
Malini Subramaniam
Sumi Krishna
Ratna Appnender
Sujata Patel
Chayanika Shah
Sadhna Arya
Asmita Basu
Johanna Lokhande
Pyoli Swatija
Mamta Singh
Ardhendu Sen
Sakina Bahora
Juhi Jain
Meena Seshu
Vahida Nainar
Indira Chakravarthy
Anubha Rastogi
Soma KP
Abha Bhaiya
Runu Chakraborty
Shraddha Chickerur
Mihira Sood
Nisha Biswas
Ilina Sen
Preetha Nair
Rakhi Sehgal
Shoma Sen
Greeshma Aruna Rai
Uma Chandru
Shals Mahajan
LABIA Queer Feminist Collective
Sujata Gothoskar
Sandhya Gokhale
Forum Against Oppression of Women
Nikita Sonavane
Lalita Ramdas
Veena Shatrughna
Abhi Nandita Mathur
Freda Guttman
Vinod Mubayi, Co-editor, Insaf Bulletin
T K Raghunathan
Abby Lippman, PhD, Professor Emerita, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Martin Duckworth, cineaste
Shrikumar Poddar NRISAHI
George Abraham NRISAHI
Mohammad Imran NRISAHI
Kasim Sait Progressive Interactions, Chennai
Kareem Sait
Jai Sen
Prof.Praveen Jha
A K Ramakrishnan
Gitanjali Prasad
Rohan Dominic Mathews
Amod Shah
Shreya Agarwal
Anamika Lahiri
Rhea John
Kiran Bhatty
Vanita Leah Falcao
Ankita Aggarwal
Aashish Gupta
Avantika Dhingra
Radhika Jha
Seema Jha
Sridhar A
Farah Naqvi, Writer and Activist, Delhi
Radha Holla Brar
Vinay Kulkarni
Veena Shatrugna
R Srivatsan KS Jacob
Ravi Duggal
Indira Charkavarti
Sulakshna Nandi
Amar Jesani
Dhruv Mankad
Manisha Gupte
Renu Khanna
Saraswathy Ganapathy
Anant Phadke
Chinu Srinivasan
Ygesh Jain
Dr. Mohan Rao
C Sathyamala
Pallavi Gupta
Sukla Sen
Veena Johari
Ajaya Kumar Singh, Social Activist, Odisha Forum for Social Action, Bhubaneswar
Amalendu Upadhyaya, Editor,
Anjali Monteiro, Mumjbai
Anubha Rastogi, advocate, Mumbai
Anuradha Bhasin Jamwal, Jamwal
Apoorvanand, Teacher, DU
Capt. Tauseef H. Mukadam, Airline Pilot – Air Asia India, Bangalore
Darryl D’Monte, Chairperson, Forum of Environmental Journalists of India (FEJI), Mumbai
Devangshu Datta, New Delhi
Farah Naqvi, Writer and Activist, Delhi
Fr. Cedric Prakash sj, Director, PRASHANT, Gujarat
Francis Parmar.Gujarat
G. M. Sheikh, artist, Vadodara
Gagan Sethi, development professional, Gujarat
Geeta Seshu, Journalist, Mumbai, Maharashtra
Ghanshyam Shah, academician, Gujarat
Githa Hariharan, writer, New Delhi
Harsh Kapoor, New Delhi
Harsh Mander, social activist, writer, Aman Biradari, New Delhi
Hussain Indorewala, Asst. Professor, Madhta Pradesh
Indira Chandrasekhar, publisher, New Delhi
K.P. Jayasankar, Mumbai
Manan Trivedi, Social Activist, Gujarat
Manoranjan Mohanty, New Delhi
Mitul Baruah, Syracuse University, NY
Mukul Mangalik, Ramjas College, DU
N.D.Jayaprakash, Social Activist, New Delhi
Nasreen Fazalbhoy, Mumbai
Navaid Hamid, MOEMIN, New Delhi
Nilanjana S Roy, New Delhi
Nilima Sheikh, artist, Vadodara
Priya Pillai , Environmental Activist , Greenpeace India.
Radha Khan, Freelance development consultant.
Ram Puniyani, writer, Mumbai
Rohit Chopra, Associate Professor Santa Clara University
Rupa Gulab
S.Q.Masood, activist, Hyderabad
Sadanand Menon, Chennai
Sanjiv Bhatt, IPS Gujarat
Shankar Singh, MKSS, Rajasthan
Sheba George, Director , SAHR WARU , Gujarat
Vineet Tiwari, Progressive Writers Association, Indore
Swarna Rajagopalan, Researcher, Chennai
Isha Khandelwal, Lawyer, Jagdalpur Legal Aid Group
Shalini Gera, Lawyer, Jagdalpur Legal Aid Group
Nandini Rao, women’s rights activist, New Delhi
Y J Rajendra, GEneral Secretary, PUCL – Karnataka
Irfan Engineer, Mumbai
Prof Archana Prasad
Dr. Dinesh Abrol