Posts Tagged ‘two years
Indian doctor Binayak Sen released from prison on bail
26 May 2009
Dr Binayak Sen, who spent two years in an Indian prison as a Prisoner of Conscience, was released on Tuesday after being granted bail by the Supreme Court.
Welcoming Dr Sen’s release on bail, Amnesty International believes that the charges against him are baseless and politically motivated. Amnesty International has repeated its call on the Indian authorities to immediately drop all the charges against Dr Sen.
excerpts from Time for the big leap by T.K Arun
Announce the appointment of 10,000 judges at all levels over the next three years, as part of a time-bound plan resolve all legal disputes beyond the final appeal in less than two years. Cases must be heard continuously and justice delivered with dispatch. Absence of a functional legal system is a prime reason for the growth of religious and political extremism in the country.
Tackle the Maoist challenge. The Planning Commission has produced a decent report on how to go about this. The Forest Dwellers’ Act, Employment Guarantee schemes and the Right to Information Act have to be used to mobilise the people to secure their rights and livelihoods. Once this is done, the Maoist project would lose legitimacy.
Policing can take over thereafter. Release Binayak Sen, as a first step. Innovate policy on releasing land for non-farm use. Land-losers must have a stake in what comes up on the land they lose. Otherwise, we’ll have more Nandigrams and Singurs, not industrial progress. Initiate aggressive urbanisation, building modern, vertical towns for prospering, interdependent communities. Plan and build energy efficiency in transport, lighting and climate control, making it part of city design and building codes. Build a new city of at least 500 sq km to boost domestic demand and meet the shortage of office and residential space.
Withdraw the army from civilian Kashmir, give a boost to the peace process and remove the Pakistan army’s alibi for not focusing its forces on the Taliban. Scrap the Armed Forces Special Powers Act, make the political process in the Northeast more participative, and tighten local policing.
Read Full article at Time for the big leap
Ten questions for Manmohan Singh, as he savours an election victory and gets ready to embark on a second term in office.
Note that this is by no means an exhaustive list. There are plenty of other questions to ask, plenty of other concerns to pay attention to. In particular, there are foreign concerns: like the goings-on in Sri Lanka and Pakistan, to pick two. Those are important, no doubt.
But I tend to believe in the maxim that we must clean our own house first, before looking outward. And I believe too that there are questions to be asked about justice in particular. So with no further ado, ten questions. About justice.
Sir, perhaps you can’t actually do something about the questions I ask below, given both the compulsions of politics and what are state subjects and what aren’t. Yet as Prime Minister, and one who has just won the clearest mandate Indians have given in two decades, your voice carries an authority that cannot easily be ignored. Thus:
Congratulations for that thumping victory in the last parliament elections.
Congratulations again for your decision to opt out of ministerial posts and to concentrate on organizational works. Well wishers as well as sycophants would say that you should join the central cabinet only to gain experience in governance. Yes, like them, I too am sure that one day you are destined to become the Prime Minister of this country. As the Hindustan Times editorial said on the other day, it is in your genes. There is nothing wrong in it.
Don’t think about my identity and whereabouts. I am couple of years senior to you and looking forward to grow along with the political scenario that you have in a way facilitated in our country. Like many of my age, I am not euphoric about your victory. To be precise I am very curious about your future evolution as a politician; may be I should say, a social activist, that is a qualification that suits you well at this stage. When your activism is translated into policy matters, a lot is going to change in this country. I, as a writer, am curious about this aspect of translation.
I write this open letter to you on behalf of those thousands of people who raise their voices for the release of Dr.Binayak Sen, who has been wrongly detained by the Chattisgarh state government for the last two years. Reports say that Dr.Sen’s bail application is rejected by the State High Court and the Supreme Court of India.
India Continues to Imprison Human Rights Activist Dr. Binayak Sen
Last week marked the second anniversary of the detention of the internationally recognized award-winning human rights activist Dr. Binayak Sen, who’s worked as a public health professional in the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh for twenty-five years. He was arrested on May 14, 2007, for allegedly helping the Maoist, also known as the Naxalite, insurgency in the state and detained under one of India’s most draconian laws, the Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act.
Watch it/ Download MP3 at Democracy Now
ANJALI KAMAT: Well, moving on to Binayak Sen, last week marked the second anniversary of the detention of the internationally recognized, award-winning human rights activist Dr. Binayak Sen, who has worked as a public health professional in the central Indian state of Chhattisgarh for twenty-five years. He was arrested on May 14th, 2007, for allegedly helping the Maoist, also known as the Naxalite, insurgency in the state and detained under one of India’s most draconian laws, the Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act. He’s the National Vice President of the People’s Union for Civil Liberties, or the PUCL. He’s been denied bail and medical treatment, despite his worsening health.
I spoke to his wife, Ilina Sen, on Sunday.
by Anuradha Bhasin Jamwal
From: Kashmir Times, May 17 2009
If tyranny and oppression come to this country, it would be in the guise of fighting a common enemy. James Madison’s predictions have not only turned true for the country he headed as its fourth president but more or less for all democratic countries around the globe. India is no exception where the state finds its way to punish people who question its authoritative might and its lack of accountability in proclaimed a democratic system. It moulds laws, subverting the democratic spirit of the constitution, justifies them and corrupts the judicial system and the media to ensure that justice is what the state believes in. Binayak Sen, the man who has spent two years in prison in Chattisgarh, illustrates this beyond any shadow of doubt. For two odd years, all those who fail to accept the cock and bull stories routinely and officially doled out in defence of the indefensible acts of the government have been at pains to understand what really is Dr Binayak Sen’s crime? But he, like many others across this country, has certainly been projected as the kind of ‘common enemy’ that Madison talked about years ago.
ENGAGED CIRCLE -binayak sen
Tehelka Magazine, Vol 6, Issue 20, Dated May 23, 2009
When truth is imprisoned and men reign over the law, India should stir up a storm, not watch unfazed
A FAMOUS STORY links two great Americans. When the United States invaded Mexico in 1846, Henry Thoreau, the great naturalist, refused to pay his taxes in an act of civil disobedience against the US and was sent to prison. His close friend and mentor from Harvard, Ralph Waldo Emerson came to see him in jail. Emerson quipped, “What are you doing inside?” The reply made Emerson blush. “What are you doing outside?” asked Thoreau.
Dr Binayak Sen, one of India’s noblest doctors, imprisoned by a cowardly Chhattisgarh administration because he exposed their crimes, might well speak to us in the manner of Thoreau were we to visit him. On May 14 it will be exactly two years since his unlawful arrest. There are times when jails become one of the few places of honour left in the world. After all, where would you like to find yourself if robbers and murderers were masquerading before the public as magistrates, judges and hangmen?
India today finds itself crouched in one such corner of shame. While well-known serial killers gamely garner tickets from national parties for elections and mass murderers sagely deliver their homilies from our television screens, women and men of integrity and courage must lurk and slide in the dark alleys of our cities or in the forlorn jungles of the land. It is a state of affairs which would have appalled and nauseated decent citizens a generation ago, let alone the heroes and heroines of our freedom movement. The sad truth is that as a civilisation, India’s standing in the world has suffered a precipitous fall during the last several years, even as our elated elite’s vainglorious aspirations to superpower-hood never miss a morning to announce themselves. Are they out of step, or are we? Time will tell, though it is as much up to us to determine which way the die of destiny will roll.
After six decades of freedom from colonial rule, India is still a largely poor country. One of the most severe forms of deprivation suffered by the poor is with respect to health, particularly so in a time when the cost of healthcare has shot up so dramatically. In such a context, it is worth asking how many Indian paediatricians one can name who have given 30 years of their lives as a volunteer in unstinting service to the needy poor in the countryside. At a guess, the actual number is in three figures and the name of Dr Binayak Sen figures prominently among them.
|Truth Trapped (above) On 2 February, 2008, Sen was taken in a police van to Raipur’s sessions court|
|Photo: SHAILENDRA PANDEY|
LETTERS AND APPEALS from Sen’s mother, 22 Nobel Laureates, Ex-Chief Justice of India — V.R.Krishna Iyer, Noam Chomsky and hundreds of other people of eminence in public life from around the world only reveal their ignorance regarding facts of the case. The Chhatisgarh government obviously knows better where justice lies. Thus, Dr Sen continues to languish in prison despite a serious cardiac condition.
One Rowlatt Act was enough to precipitate Jallianwalah Bagh nine decades ago, causing an intensification and acceleration of the Indian freedom struggle. A slew of far more invasive laws in ‘independent’ India — the Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act, the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) and the Unlawful Activties Prevention Act, to name just a few of the many that have been passed in recent years — draws a cowardly, paralysed silence today.