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sacw dispatch (3 July 00)

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    South Asia Citizens Web - Dispatch 3 July 2000 http://www.mnet.fr/aiindex __________________________ #1. Peace in South Asia: An Appeal #2. PAKISTAN: Labour
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 2, 2000
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      South Asia Citizens Web - Dispatch
      3 July 2000
      http://www.mnet.fr/aiindex

      __________________________

      #1. Peace in South Asia: An Appeal
      #2. PAKISTAN: Labour leaders Arrested
      #3. INDIA: Hiroshima day in Jaduguda (Bihar) India
      #4. INDIA: On Fire Arms training by Activists of the Hindu Right
      #5. INDIA: Defend a woman lecturer facing sexual harrasment in Lucknow
      #5. INDIA: New News Service
      __________________________


      #1.

      Association for Communal Harmony in Asia (ACHA)
      4410 Verda Lane NE. Keizer, OR, 97303, USA.
      Website http://ecumene.org/ACHA/ACHA.htm
      Email: pritamr@...

      June 29, 2000

      Dear Editor:

      PEACE IN SOUTH ASIA: AN INVITATION

      In my early years in school, I read a story about a group of pigeons caught
      in a net set by a hunter. One by one, several of them tried to get
      themselves freed, but to no avail. As they became discouraged and were
      about to give up, one of them urged them to try once more, but all
      together, as a team. And, when they did, they were surprised to note that,
      together with the net, they were in the air. They were able to fly away, and
      escape from the hunter.

      Activists and organization working for peace and harmony in South Asia seem
      to be working separately, and often in isolation from the others. The time
      has come, for all of us, like the pigeons in the story, to get together and
      try as a team.

      I believe we cannot have stable and sustaining peace and harmony in South
      Asia without also peace and harmony within each nation, each province or
      state, each city and village, each neighborhood and each family. It must
      include an end to the violence and discrimination against minorities, women
      and children, particularly girls. It must be based on the respect for the
      dignity of all human individuals.

      It should include the work already being done (or done in the recent past)
      by various individuals and organizations such as candle light vigils, peace
      banner campaigns, human chains, peace rallies, conferences on the rights of
      human individuals generally and women, children, and minorities specially,
      inter-faith meetings, letters to editors and government officials, exchange
      of delegations of citizens or special groups such as women, youth, and
      writers. Also, it should incorporate the proposal by Pakistanis for Peace &
      Alternative Development to set up a memorial at the Indo-Pak border for
      those who lost their lives during the 1947 Partition of India.

      On behalf of the Association for Communal Harmony in Asia (ACHA), I invite
      all individuals and groups interested in bringing about peace and harmony in
      South Asia to join us to initiate a comprehensive campaign. For obvious
      reasons, we will have to pledge to keep the campaign NON-VIOLENT.

      For the best results, the campaign should be launched simultaneously (say
      around January 1, 2001), not only in South Asia (India, Pakistan,
      Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Bhutan), but also in other countries where
      South Asians live. Also, we should make a commitment to sustain it till we
      accomplish our objective(s).

      I suggest that we set up a committee of activists and organization
      representatives to coordinate the campaign. In these days of Interenet, it
      should not be difficult to do so with minimal face-to-face contact.

      If interested, please write to me at <pritamr@...> or 4410 Verda Lane
      NE. Keizer, OR, 97303, USA. For more information about ACHA please go to our
      Website at <http://ecumene.org/ACHA/ACHA.htm>

      Sincerely,
      Pritam K. Rohila, Ph.D.
      President,
      Association for Communal Harmony in Asia (ACHA)


      _________


      #2.

      LABOUR LEADERS ARRESTED FOR FORMING UNION

      The police have arrested nine trade union leaders of Dadabhoy Cement
      Factory, Nooriabad.District Dadu.

      The elected general secretary of the Progressive Employees Union,
      Younas Rahoo, is among the nine arrested. Others are: Norooz Khan,
      Akbar, Mir Shaukat, Rafiq Ahmad, Ghulam Mustafa, Afzal and Attique.

      These leaders were arrested either from the plant or the Employees
      Colony, adjacent to the plant.

      They have been arrested in a bid to stop them from registering their
      Progressive Employees Union at the National Industrial Relations
      Commission (NIRC).

      Their bosses offered Rs two million bribe to Younas Rahoo to desist
      him from forming union. A representative of the administration went to
      his village to offer this bribe. His father rejected it as Rahoo
      himself was not there.

      The owner of the mill is among the top 22 big capitalists of the
      country. He has never allowed formation of any union at his cement
      factory. All the attempts were crushed during the last 17 years.

      The attempt to form Progressive Employees Union was stopped by the
      registration of a pocket union at the NIRC by the bosses themselves.
      This pocket union is registered in the name of National Labour Union.
      After that the leaders of Progressive union were arrested.

      The NIRC instead of dispensing justice, sided with the bosses.

      The Progressive union was formed with the cooperation of Witan Dost
      Mazdoor Federation. Its Secretary, Aziz Abbassi, was instrumental in
      forming this union. The Watan Dost Federation is an affiliate of the
      Pakistan Workers Confederation.

      Aziz Abbasi and Younas Rahoo, both are members of the National
      Committee of the Labour Party Pakistan.

      Younas Rahoo has been arrested earlier many times for his union
      activities.

      The Labour Party Pakistan is endeavouring at present to get these
      workers released on bail.

      Please send protest letters to the following:

      Dadabhoy Cement Factory:
      Fax: 92 21 4918476
      Head Office:
      Email:mhdadabhoy@...

      Federal Minister of Labour
      Mr. Umar Asghar Khan:
      Fax: 92 51 9224890


      National Industrial Relation Commission
      G 5\2 Islamabad
      Fax: 92 51 9205920
      Please CC to

      edu@...

      Comradely,

      Farooq Sulehria
      Member Executive Committee
      Labour Party Pakistan


      _______

      #3.

      National Alliance of People's Movements
      Nuclear Disarmament and Global Peace Campaign

      Dear Friends,
      As it was decided during the organization of "Global Peace
      March" last year from Pokaran to Sarnath, we are going to observe
      Hiroshima Day this year in Jadugoda. Jadugoda is the place in Jharkhand,
      Bihar (nearest prominent Railway Station: Tatanagar) where Uranium
      mining and nuclear waste dumping takea place. The radition due to these
      activities here is causing serious damage to the health of Santhali
      Adivasi population which inhabits this area. You are requested to come
      to Jadugoda and motivate children to either bring paper cranes with them
      there or send them by post if they cannnot come. As you may know paper
      cranes, as a symbol of peace, are associated with the story of Japanese
      girl Sadako who died ten years after the Hiroshima bombing due to
      Leukemia which affected her because of the radiation. After her death
      the children of Japan pledged never to let incidents like Hiroshima and
      Nagasaki bombing happen again on earth.
      A meeting took place on 11th May, 2000, in Jaipur on the completion of
      one year after Pokaran tests. A report of this meeting is also being
      enclosed.

      ONE DAY PROGRAMME IN JADUGODA, BIHAR, ON 6TH AUGUST, HIROSHIMA DAY

      Morning 8:15 A. M. Peace Silence for 3 minutes. ( On 6 th August
      there was an atomic attack on Hiroshima , Japan by USA in which
      2,10,000 innocent people died ).

      Morning 8 :30 A. M. Exhibition of of paper cranes (symbols of peace) by
      the children of
      different states and schools in the memory of those people who died due
      to radiation and atom
      bomb.

      Morning 9:00 A. M. Cultural Programme

      Morning 10:00 A. M. Painting competition of handicapped children
      affected by radiation and to
      spend some time with them.

      12:00 Noon - Rally
      2:00 to 5 P. M. - Mass Meeting
      8 P.M. Get together of JOAR with all delegates.

      The contacts in Jadugoda and Tatanagar (Jamshedpur) are being given
      below. Hoping to see you in Jadugoda on the Hiroshima Day,

      Ghanshyam Birulee, Tilai Tand, Post Jadugoda, Dist. East Singhbhum,
      Jharkhand, Bihar, Ph: (06577) 30009, e-mail: joar@...
      Xavier Dias, # 27 Annexe, Circuit House Area East, Jamshedpur 831001,
      Jharkhand, Ph: (0657) 220266, e-mail: mmpnorth@...
      Sandeep, Arundhati, Mahesh, Lok Abhiyan, A-893, Indira Nagar,
      Lucknow-226016, Ph: (0522) 347365, e-mail: ashain@...
      Kavita Srivastava, PUCL, 76 Shanti Niketan Colony, Kisan Marg,
      Jaipur-15, Ph: (0141) 591408



      Report of the meeting held in Jaipur on 11th May, 2000, on the occasion
      of completion of one year after the Pokaran Nuclear tests.

      After the padyatra last year when a follow-up meeting was taking place
      in Pokaran on 15th and 16th November, 1999, our journalist friend
      Manohar Joshi brought this information that as part of an agreement
      between Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) and Mineral Exploration
      Corporation Limited (MECL), the latter was digging holes upto 500 metres
      depth in a village Sanawada in Pokaran Tehsil itself to explore the
      suitability of nuclear waste burial here. Shri Bal Krishan Thanvi, Dr.
      Sanghamitra Gadekar, Shri Laxmi Chand Tyagi, Ram Chandra Barupal,
      Manohar Joshi and Kavita Srivastava among others took up this matter
      right from the local administration to the state government and with the
      press. The state government pretended ignorance whereas BARC and MECL
      completely denied the fact that these holes were being dug to find out
      the possibility of nuclear waste disposal here. However, the granite
      rocks in Sanawada, involvement of BARC, payment at an exhorbitant rate
      of Rs. 7500 per metre for digging these holes to MECL, and declaration
      at an international forum by government of India to International Atomic
      Energy Agency that it had indeed identified a spot in Rajasthan where
      nuclear waste could be disposed of all these pointed to the fact that
      these holes were not being dug for any other purpose. The villagers
      first stopped the digging in March, 2000, and then under public pressure
      MECL withdrew their digging equipments on 10th May, 2000. This was a big
      victory for the nuclear disarmament and global peace campaign.
      Immediately after the meeting a team under the guidance of Dr.
      Sanghamitra Gadekar was going to carry out a survey in 3 villages of
      Pokaran tehsil.
      To carry forward the nuclear disarmament and global peace campaign some
      suggestions came up in the meeting. Main suggestions were:
      1. People affected by the nuclear programme of the government of India
      should form an organization.
      2. Literature on this subject should be distributed in colleges and
      dialogues should be held with students.
      3. Some full time activists have to devote themselves to this movement
      exclusively and a team of local activists should move around the entire
      country making people aware about the nuclear issue.
      4. A signature campaign should be launched all over the country against
      the government's decision to dispose of nuclear waste in Sanawada
      village. This should be handed over to the Rajasthan C.M. and to the
      P.M.
      5. National and State level support groups should be formed to lend
      support to the grassroots movements.
      6. To remove secrecy over the nuclear programmes of the government the
      issue should be linked to the right to information campaign.
      7. A committee should be formed to act as link between the various
      anti-nuclear campaigns in the country.
      8. People working on alternative energy should be encouraged to join
      this movement.

      People who made significant contributions to this meeting: Dr.
      Sanghamitra Gadekar, Bal Krishan Thanvi, Kishan Patnaik, Thomas
      Kocherry, Laxmi Chand Tyagi, Ram Chandra Barupal, Manohar Joshi, Kavita
      Srivastava, Shankar, Shyamali Khastagir, Mahesh Bora, Sanjay M.G., Lata
      P.M., Vimal Bhai, Gabriele, Deepika, Inder Singh, Mohan Kothekar,
      Virendra Vidrohi, Renuka Pamecha, Sawai Singh, Sandeep

      _______

      #4.

      Ram Puniyani
      Secretary
      EKTA
      (Committee for Communal Amity)

      B-64, IIT Qutrs, Powai, Mumbai 400076
      Ph. 5723522 (R) ,5767763 (O)


      The recent news of the Bajarang Dal (BD) followers getting training in the
      use of fire arms is very disturbing to say the least. Their argument that
      in the light of a increase in the number of Madrassas and intensificatin
      of the ISI activites the Hindus are under the threat is a mere pretext to
      intensify their anti-minorities campaigns. As a matter of fact the real
      threat which we have witnessed is two fold. In villages and small towns
      Dalits and women are facing atrocities at the hands of private landlord
      armies, upper caste supporters and few other individuals. In cities and in
      remote adivasi places the minorities have been facing the flak due to the
      violence directed against them. This violence against them stands on the
      ideological hatred spread against them by different wings of Sangh
      Parivar. Lately BD has been in the lead in spreading this anti-minoirty
      hatred in a most vicious way.
      The argument that BD wants to protect Hindus has another dangerous
      dimension also. Does it mean that our democratic state currently
      being ruled by the BJP led coalition is abdicating its responsibilities to
      protect its citizens including the Hindus? Is it the 'Hindus' who have
      been the major recepient of ISI machinations? It is very clear that BD is
      using this as a mere ploy for its long term agenda of Hindu Rashtra.
      So far BD had been resorting to clubs and tridents to intimidate the
      minorities. With firearms being roped in, this intimidation may go to the
      extreme and may qualitatively change the nature of offensive and
      the response to it from the minorites, who so far have been bearing it in
      silence. One hopes that sanity will prevail and this dangerous activity is
      stopped forthwith.


      Ram Puniyani
      Secretary ,EKTA (Committee for Communal Amity)


      ________

      #5.

      Sexual Harrasement of a Woman Professor on Lucknow University Campus.

      The problem:

      A professor (Dr G S Bhaduria, Tourism dept, Lucknow University) wrote
      and said lewd remarks for a lady professor (Dr.Nishi Pandey) in presence
      of teachers, media persons and students. Bhaduria is already defamed in
      several prima facie sexual harrassment cases involving girl students in
      recent past. Dr.Nishi Pandey and several other girl students responded
      with remarkable fury, and strongly condemned the gross misconduct of
      Bhaduria. They demanded immediate suspension of Bhaduria, and legal
      action against him.
      Senior lady teachers led by former Vice Chancellor Dr.Roop Rekha Verma
      met on Saturday 24, 2000 and called for an urgent Executive council meet
      on Tuesday June 27. Executive Council meeting of Lucknow University
      Teachers formed an enquiry commission led by a retired High Court judge
      to submit it's report with in a week's time. Meanwhile due to the delay
      in any action, Bhaduria mobilized students and male teachers on caste
      and gender base, and unsuccessfully tried to negate the campaign against
      him spearheaded largely by female fraternity of Lucknow University. Boys
      wrote abuses on walls, took out processions, burned the effigy of Nishi
      Pandey, indulged in stone pelting at girls hostel, and tried hard to
      terrorise and demoralise girls. But Nishi Pandey and girl students, did
      not lose the agony and continued their fight against this patrilineal
      social structure. All India Democratic Woman's Association (AIDWA),
      SURAKSHA, ASHA and other women organizations all have come to the fore.
      Bhaduria is playing the gender card and lobbying for support from ‘real’
      men.

      CRACKLING SHELL OF INDIFFERENCE

      Men have become used to pass lewd remarks, tease girls and prey them
      with a voluptuous eye. Women on the other hand, have become used to
      suffer this ignominy. They take it as ‘a part of life’. Nevertheless
      despite of best efforts to throttle the steaming agony singing over
      years, the anguish - piled from ages - bursts one day. And the day for
      Lucknow University girls has come.
      This time, the precipitating factor happens to be Dr.Nishi Pandey. Not
      only girls, lady teachers and few men have also begun to break their
      shell of indifference. The sound of crackling shells, was never so
      piercing. Hardly a girl fails to identify with Dr.Nishi Pandey. Another
      surprising streak in this episode, is the emergence of men who are
      willing to publicly voice their support, despite of the fact that
      Bhaduria is unsuccessfully trying hard to paint a different colour –
      colour of Men Vs Women fight.
      How unfortunate it is to note few male teachers and students opposing
      this tide of change, that too on fabricated pretexts which do not work
      at all. Pretexts like "inciting girls to come on streets", "anti-male
      propoganda" float in the air. Have they really spoken to these girls?
      Have they cared enough to witness them with a closer perspective? Have
      they ever been able to differentiate that these are not trapped girls
      forced by someone else to fight for a cause in which they do not believe
      in, rather individuals voicing their opinion on the heap of shattered
      shells of apathy. They are very much out of the cocoon. Out in the open,
      breathing free, and struggling for a common cause. And among these girls
      are many men, and grown up ladies, who have till now, hid behind a
      'decent' drape on such issues. A bit of diplomacy, and a tinge of
      behavioural navigation, is no more evident. Suddenly, all diplomacy has
      vanished and they have begun to take a stand. And instead of polite
      decent chit-chat, they are vociferously voicing their concern and
      anguish. This is indeed a remarkable transition. May be, a boiling point
      of tolerance.
      We feel concerned that girl students and lady teachers of this
      prestigious institution of learning, have been feeling increasingly
      insecure about their safety and honour, moreso when teachers like
      BHADURIA throng on the campus.
      Stigmatised by a history of sexual harrassment of girl students in
      past, Bhaduria has now fallen so low, to target lady teachers. This is
      extremely outrageous and perhaps, Bhaduria must have taken this for
      granted that women community is to bear his misdemeanour silently. He
      himself is in a state of shock and fear to confront the "Durga Avtaar"
      of not only Dr.Nishi Pandey but all those lady teachers and girl
      students who had earlier suffered sexual harrassment countless times but
      had remained mum.
      Another significant achievement of this Dr.Nishi Pandey's campaign is
      that lewd remarks against her has shattered the general APATHY prevalent
      among masses. This is perhaps for the first time in history of Lucknow
      University that teachers, students, parents of girl students, media
      fraternity and even Dr.Nishi Pandey's past students have shared the
      agony and voiced their concern condemning Bhaduria's alleged
      misbehaviour. Parents of girl students have formed a Parents' Federation
      to protect the interests of their daughters. Past students of Loreto
      Convent settled in UK have assured financial aid to Dr.Nishi Pandey to
      meet the surmounting charges of legal proceedings against Bhadauria.
      Several women organizations, social bodies, individuals and
      non-traditional allies on women's issue like anti-tobacco activists,
      global nuclear disarmament activists, Narmada Bachao Andolan activists,
      have also strengthened Dr.Nishi Pandey's crusade to weed out this
      patriarchal tumour.
      This is indeed significant because masses, have become habitual of
      indifference. Chronic Apathy is something predominant everywhere. Moreso
      because Indifference is a safer alternative. Apathy is relatively
      comfortable to opt for. And that is what we have been doing since ages.
      And this is exactly what has bred monsters like Bhaduria to gain enough
      voice to level absolute nonsensical words against his own colleagues.
      Lewd remarks of Bhaduria against Dr.Nishi Pandey had sparked a
      self-mobilization process of students and shattering of their cocoon of
      apathy. Is this not a strong indicator of the regard which Dr.Nishi
      Pandey commands from her students?
      Teachers, Head of the departments and even Vice Chancellors have faced
      charges, physical assaults and more derogatory remarks, but never before
      such a reaction was perceived, and that too, largely from lady teachers
      and girl students. Is this not an enough testimony of the immense faith
      which students and lady teachers endorse in Dr.Nishi Pandey?
      This is not a focussed case of Dr.Nishi Pandey or perverts like
      Bhaduria. This is a generalized case of a problem that stinks in every
      nook and corner of this bad-bad-world. Every soul that believes gender
      exploitation and sexual harrassment of women is demeaning and simply
      intolerable, must strengthen Dr.Nishi Pandey's struggle to weed out this
      problem. This is the need of the hour. A problem, that cries for
      urgency. A problem, that has effected every soul – is there a woman who
      can boast of living a life sans even one incident of sexual harrassment?
      Is there a man, who can claim never to have indulged in such acts, or
      remained mute when others were flinging lewd remarks at girls? Only that
      man who has never participated in such offences, or has never remained
      mum when girls unrelated to him were being targetted by others, and only
      those women who have never suffered even a solitary case of sexual
      harrassment or gender discrimination, CAN REMAIN ALOOF of this
      imbroglio?
      For how long will we be paralysed with Ostrich Syndrome? Will turning
      our face or passing the buck of responsibility, solve the problem?
      Suppose, if next victim of Bhaduria, or his likes, is YOU? Or ME?

      We demand immediate suspension of GS Bhaduria and strict legal
      proceedings against him. This will be a deterence for such future
      offenders in the campus.

      Copy Edited : Kusum Verma
      Authored by : Bobby Ramakant,
      C-2211, C- Block Crossing, Indira Nagar, Lucknow-16. India.
      Phone : (0522) 358230, 98380 86584, Fax : (0522) 380610 , e_mail :
      ramakant@...

      ________

      #6.

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