By Pervez Bari,
New Delhi : Prof. Nivedita Menon of Jawaharlal Nehru University, (JNU), has said that the RSS is trying to change the social and cultural ambience of the universities. The new Vice Chancellors appointed by the NDA government try to introduce the culture of “Rashtravaad” through fair or fouls means with the help of the ministers concerned.
Prof. Nivedita made the above observation while delivering her keynote address in the opening session on the second day of the two-day (October 28 & 29, 2017) National Conference on Human Rights organized by National Confederation of Human Rights Organizations, (NCHRO). The sessions were held in the Gauri Lankesh Hall, at Indian Social Institute, New Delhi. Prof. Apoorvanand of Delhi University, (DU). chaired the first session on “Universities and Academic Freedom”. Ms Padmashree, Joint Secretary of NCHRO, Karnataka Chapter, welcomed the gathering.
Umar Khalid, the eminent student leader from JNU Delhi, underlined the need for new student politics different from the traditional left.
While Syed Zubair Ahmed, Editor-in-chief of web news portal www.muslimmirror.com, putting forth his views on the topic said: “A university is the place where fascism gets tough resistance, that’s why universities are the main target of fascist forces. When there was no opposition to the RSS controlled BJP government, the main opposition party Congress was nowhere in the scenario and was on ‘watch and wait’ mode. It was JNU, its students and faculty members who were playing the active role of opposition and countering the fascist regime tooth and nail”.
The chairperson of the NCHRO Prof. A. Marx presided over the second session “Victims of Rights Violations and Activist Meet’’. It was inaugurated by eminent journalist, Editor of Dalit Voice V.T. Rajshekar. “We are meeting here today in a very dangerous of political climate. Brahmanism is the enemy of the country. Muslims are not foreigners. Dalit-Muslim unity is need of the hour. Muslim leadership should initiate this task” he said. Adv. Shakeel Ahmed, National Executive Member, NCHRO also spoke.
The victims of rights violations, Mrs. Vasantha Saibaba, the wife of Dr G.N. Saibaba, who is currently in Nagpur Central Jail; Amanullah Ansari, Kota, Rajasthan; Zakir Thyagi, Muzaffarnagar, UP; Dr. Kusum Megwal, Udaipur Rajasthan; Irshad Ali, Delhi; Mohammed Elyas, Baran, Rajasthan, Sadaf Mushrraf. (Sister of missing JNU student Najeeb), Delhi shared their pain with the participants.
The activists’ session under the banner “Rights in the Modern World and the Problems of Appropriation” focused on the need for better legal and political coordination among different rights bodies.
The documentary on Dr. Hadiya issue (Kerala) titled “I am Hadiya” produced by noted film maker Gopal Menon was symbolically released on the second day of the conference.
Adv. K. P. Mohammed Shareef, Vice Chairperson of NCHRO, chaired the valedictory session. Adv. Amit Srivastav, State Vice-President, NCHRO, Delhi Chapter; delivered welcome address.
Muhammed Ali Jinnah, General Secretary, Popular Front of India, speaking on the occasion said that we live in a phase, wherein undeclared emergency is in place and notable writers and thinkers like Dabolkar, Pansare, Kalburgi and Gauri Lankesh were shot to death. Muslims and Dalits are being lynched for eating the food of their choice. At this juncture there is a need to fight for Human Rights and justice. As a human being, who has to be true to his conscience and safeguard the justice, it’s the right time for every Indian to take a right decision. In that way, we have to congratulate NCHRO, which works tirelessly in the human rights front, he said.
Jinnah said the Indian Constitution is a beacon, comparatively. But it is used to arrest the people instead of safeguarding them. Muslims, Dalits and Tribals are affected the most. The condition of Muslims is pathetic. The community which is denied reservation in all the fields is provided reservation in the jails, well above the mark. The Muslims who constitute 14.2% of the population constitute more than 30% in the prisons. The Muslims who spend 8 years, 10 years and 14 years in the jails are later acquitted as innocent by the courts. Why were they sentenced? Who will return their youth and dignity? Who will answer the questions of these hundreds of youth in this democratic nation? What will be our role in this case?, he questioned.
The right wing fascists who are in power are now targeting the anti-fascists, those who have difference of opinion and those who fight for Human Rights. What will be our role against this fascist witch-hunt?
The Government has got a draconian weapon called UAPA to murder the Human Rights. The manner in which UAPA has been implemented shows its dangers. Moreover the Government is using this act to portray the Muslim majority areas as the dens of terrorism. What can we do for this?
Hence, the call for human rights should be echoed across the nation and it’s the need of the hour. The true spirit of our Constitution can be restored only if we fight effectively for the Human Rights. Let the NCHRO, which has 20 years experience in the human rights field guide the nation in the journey for human rights, Jinnah appealed.
Prof. A. Marx, Chairperson of NCHRO, Prof. P. Koya, General Secretary, NCHRO; also spoke in the valedictory session.
Meanwhile, fifteen resolutions on different issues were passed in the conference. Ansar Indori, State General Secretary, NCHRO, Delhi chapter; proposed the vote of thanks.
The activists from 18 states viz. Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra, Goa, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana, Delhi, Jammu & Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Odisha, West Bengal and Assam participated in the conference.