New Delhi (Press Release): ANHAD was formed in response to the Gujarat carnage of 2002 and since then it has relentlessly worked to safeguard democracy, secularism and freedom of expression. ANHAD has been a fearless and one of the most vocal voices against forces of hatred in the country.
During the past three years, we have faced several income tax inquiries, two major home ministry inquiries and our FCRA was renewed and then cancelled in December 2016. Many of our in country donors received income tax notices.
The political vendetta and state repression has only emboldened us to continue the struggle against repressive forces.
To give new energy to the struggle for safeguarding the Idea of India and the constitutional values we handed over ANHAD to a new team to bring new energies to the movement. The founding trustees after running ANHAD for close to 15 years are moving out now.
On this occasion, many activists, those who are associated with ANHAD shared their experiences, which include Harsh Mander, Manan Trivedi, Sanjay Sharma, Waqar Qazi, Zakir Hussain, Noor Jahan Diwan, Sania Hashmi, Mohan Kumawat, Danish Qureshi, Bhavna Sharma, Dev Desai, Gauhar Raza and Shabnam Hashmi.
ANHAD had also invited the fraternal organisations and secular political parties for this programme. Amit Yayavar, Rituprana Borah (Nazariya: A Queer Feminist Resource Group), Salman Nizami, Nastasia Paul Gera (Sangat) and General Secretary of All India Congress Committee and, former Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Mukul Wasnik also wished the new ANHAD trust in their speeches.
Comrade Brinda Karat (CMI-M), Ali Anwar Ansari (JDU) and Prof. Manoj Kumar Jha (RJD), Ahmad Patel (Congress) had also conveyed their best wishes to new ANHAD trustees as they were not able to make it to the programme.
Prof. Apoorvanand, Dr. John Dayal, Farah Naqvi, A.C. Michael, Dr. Ghazala Jamil, Tahmina Arora were among those who attended the programme.
ANHAD’s new Board of Trustees
Born in 1989, Aban Raza is a young artist based in Delhi. Having done her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees both from College of Art, New Delhi, she is currently working in the discipline of Print-making. For her Art is a great proactive tool, a means to spread awareness and to talk about multiple human realities and human existence. She is a recipient of the Lalit Kala Akademi Grant. Her works have shown in several exhibitions across the country. She has also, co-directed ‘M Cream’, an independent feature film.
Amrita Nandy is an independent researcher, scholar and writer. Her book on motherhood and choice is set for release in August (Zubaan and New Text). She writes regularly for newspapers and news portals and has published papers and chapters in various national and international journals and academic books. She won the best op-ed award in 2016 from the Laadli Media Gender and Advertising Awards. Amrita was the Fox International Fellow (2013-2014) at Yale University, USA, during her doctoral researcher at the New Delhi-based Jawaharlal Nehru University. Through her work with the UN and non-profits, she has been involved with socio-political campaigns in South Asia. Amrita has a Master’s in Women’s Studies from the University of Oxford, U.K. and a Bachelor’s degree in English literature from Delhi University.
Dhruv Sangari (Bilal Chishty) is a well know sufi singer. Dhruv has a master’s degree in Hindustani Classical music from the University of Delhi and has been performing professionally since 2001. His repertoire includes Farsi, Arabic, Punjabi, Urdu and Hindvi Sufi and Bhakti poetry from the works of famed poets and saints. In addition to stage concerts at major festivals and international collaborations with artistes in more than 15 countries including China, India, Pakistan, U.A.E., Morocco, Turkey, Italy, Germany, France, U.K., US, Australia, Malaysia and Spain; he has recorded for a number of private albums.
Leena Dabiru actively involved with student activism in Delhi University and later studied law from Law Faculty. She has worked with many organisation in urban and rural India on the issues of land, housing and governance and represented India in many international and UN platforms. She is associated with various campaigns and protests against anti poor policies. An atheist, she has been part of several programs to develop rational thinking and scientific temperament.
Mukhtar Ahmad Sheikh is a grass root activist. He studied in a village school and did his graduation through IGNOU. He has extensive experience of community work, disaster preparedness and response. He has organised and ran various youth clubs and women empowerment centers in various villages. Mukhtar has worked with ANHAD since 2005 as block, district and now state coordinator. He is a good administrator and is presently also Chairperson of JSS, Kupwara.
Shubha Menon is a writer with an advertising agency. She is the author of ‘The Second Coming’ published by Harper Collins and is currently working on her second book.
Ovais Sultan Khan (Managing Trustee) is a social activist. He has a Bachelors and Masters degree in Social Work from University of Delhi. He also studied International Human Rights, Humanitarian and Refugee Laws from Indian Academy of International Law and Diplomacy. In May 2012, Ovais joined ‘South Asian Dialogues on Ecological Democracy’ (SADED) as Programme Secretary, at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS), which he left in 2015. He is associated with Vikalp Sangam (Alternative Confluence), You Can Foundation and Adhyaay Foundation. He has engaged with issues of peace building, justice, conflict mitigation, alternatives, knowledge, democratic governance, gender, religion and culture in different capacities. He occasionally writes for the daily newspapers and web portals. He has participated and spoken in many national and international conferences in South Asia, Europe and North Africa.
Future Action Plans of ANHAD
ANHAD’s new Board of Trustees has decided to work on the following actions in the immediate future to respond the brutal waves of repression in the country, and for upholding the human dignity and fundamental freedoms enshrined under the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and Constitution of India, which was shared during the interaction with the media fraternity:
For resisting the majoritarian injustices and oppression, ANHAD will initiate ‘India Hate Watch’, which will map the reported Hate Crimes virtually.
For sensitising about Peace and Secularism, ANHAD will start a campaign ‘No To Hate-Fear’/ a new outreach and networking programme with University students ‘Bridge the Divide Ambassador Programme’; new initiative ‘Art for Harmony and Democracy’ with artists; and memorial lectures series, dedicating to Mahatma Gandhi, Hasrat Mohani, Ganesh Shankar Vidhyarthi as legends of plural and secular India against majoritarianism.
For defending the rights and freedoms, which are under attack, ANHAD will continue building new solidarities to break the silence through Joint Protests and Fact Findings.
For celebrating cultural heritage of harmony, ANHAD will initiate Khusro-Kabir Project; it will produce and disseminate post cards, a new series of small booklets and leaflets with brief stories and facts about the tradition of living together.
ANHAD will also organise discussions, talks and walks for commemorating the 160th year of 1857, the first war of independence.
Memory is said to be an important weapon while speaking truth to power. Milan Kundera once said that, ‘the struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting’. ANHAD will initiate aRemembrance/Memory Project for demanding Justice, in which there will be a series of dialogues on Justice, and memorial events to remember the events, which are forced to be forgotten, such as The Delhi Communal Harmony Declaration 18 January 1948; Martyrdom of Vasant Rajab, Gujarat Carnage 2002 etc. This year is marking the 25thanniversary of the Babri Masjid demolition, which changed the ethos of secularism in India, we plan to remember this.
Apart from these activities, ANHAD will initiate ‘Mapping the Peace’, to celebrate the work of those who risk their lives stopping attacks and building peace, which is rarely publicised. Despite saving lives in conflict situations, they remain unsung. Through this, we will raise awareness of peace-building, with the purpose to increase public support for these brave acts. Standing-up for peace and show these champions that they are not alone. We believe that it will also give courage to others for stopping violence and saving lives in the present atmosphere.
Released by: ANHAD, C-5, Basement, Nizamuddin West, New Delhi – 110013 Phone – 011-41670722