South Asia Citizens Web - Dispatch
3 July 2000
#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
Association for Communal Harmony in Asia (ACHA)
4410 Verda Lane NE. Keizer, OR, 97303, USA.
June 29, 2000
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
Pritam K. Rohila, Ph.D.
Association for Communal Harmony in Asia (ACHA)
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
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
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
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
Member Executive Committee
Labour Party Pakistan
National Alliance of People's Movements
Nuclear Disarmament and Global Peace Campaign
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
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
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
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
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
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
(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
Secretary ,EKTA (Committee for Communal Amity)
Sexual Harrasement of a Woman Professor on Lucknow University Campus.
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
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
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
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
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 :
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