Skip to main content

FCRA clampdown: Need to go beyond legal framework, project collective voice

Senior activists and concerned individuals* met in Gujarat on March 17 in Janvikas to discuss implications of Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) for civil rights organizations. Text of the minutes:
***
GaganSethi (Janvikas) began by asking Harinesh Pandya (Janpath) to give a broad picture of FCRA and how it is affecting the civil society in Gujarat.
Harinesh Pandya said, Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) was passed in 2010, when the Congress was ruling. Ever since then, the government at various levels began acting against civil society organizations which were not to their liking, especially those that opposed its anti-developmental globalization agenda such as setting of nuclear power plants. There was an effort to suppress their voice. After the government changed in 2014, FCRA began being used more extensively for suppressing civil society. First it cancelled FCRA license of 13,000 NGOs, uploading their names in bulk, citing technical violations. Then selective targeting began, in which the protesters against the Tamil Nadu nuclear power project wasn’t alone. There was a systematic attempt to undermine civil society. Resources began being controlled. Even organizations which took up health issues were not spared. There is a need to understand and confront this. Voluntary Action Network India or Vani has contacts with across the country. It has begun a dialogue with civil society organizations, and is involved in creating a database and deepening internal understanding. This effort should be strengthened. Its advocacy work needs support.
Coming to Gujarat, Harinesh Pandya said, initially it was made known, FCRA of 185 organizations was cancelled. We looked into the reasons for this. Some of them had not even taken FCRA funding. Others said they were in any case thinking of surrendering FCRA. In their view, they felt it necessary to come out of FCRA’s regulatory framework. Then came the second wave, when the FCRA of Anhad, Sabrang, Navsarjan, etc. was cancelled. The cancellation of Navsarjan’s FCRA was eye opening. The order itself suggests suppression of democratic rights. There was need to send a strong message through the media and oppose the order. We held a meeting and opposed the order, and said the government should apologize, and should realize that such action should not be taken. Many organizations came to the meeting, though those who are outside Ahmedabad could not attend. Now there is a need for future course of action with other states. Taking up the matter legally is not sufficient. The whole thrust of the government is to suppress civil society. And for this, all civil society organizations should come together.
A couple of participants raised queries on the legal framework of FCRA, which had its own limitations. The FCRA rules of 2011 had such vague terms like activity, programme, ideology, etc.,it was suggested. This was challenged in the Delhi High Court, which upheld the rules. Then there was also the problem of organizations like Khamir, working in Kutch. It applied for FCRA twice, but does not know why it was rejected.
Gagan Sethi intervened to say that there is a need to understand that many organizations who apply for FCRA are not always transparent. Also, they must understand that FCRA is a cloak and dagger act.
Harinesh Pandya continued, apart from the FCRA cancellation of Navsarjan and Anhad, others’ FCRA was suppressed for small violations, which were basically technical in nature. There were three organizations in Gujarat, whose FCRA was cancelled as they failed to submit their new address. The problem was resolved after the government was approached with bag full of documents. In another instance, a Pondicherry-based NGO’s FCRA was suspended for diversion of funds for non-FCRA activity. The NGO took legal advice. It was told that it should say it was a mistaken. It apologized. The authorities took this as proof of FCRA violation and cancelled FCRA. The bigger issue, however, is of NGOs who are challenging the government’s developmental model. They are the ones who are being targeted and suppressed.
Gagan Sethi asked Martin Macwan of Navsarjan to give the overall picture of the reasons which lay behind cancellation of Navsarjan’s FCRA, asking participants to understand the whole case.
Martin Macwan explained how in the case of Navsatjan, there was no procedural violation. The intention to cancel FCRA was political. Even intelligence bureau reports had cleared Navsarjan. Three events took place before FCRA was cancelled. Navsarjan had carried out a study on untouchability which was a big setback to the government. The study found that untouchability existed in 90.2 per cent of Gujarat’s villages. It also said that Dalit children had to sit separately from others in 54 per cent of schools for midday meal. This contradicted government claims. It told a CEPT University professor to come up with a parallel study to contradict Navsarjan’s findings. The study was tabled in the Gujarat state assembly yesterday. It has tried to scuttle the issue. The second event was Navsarjan joining protests against untouchability following the Una incident. There was a special debate on Una in Rajya Sabha. Here, the Navsarjan study was mentioned thrice. My name was also mentioned during the debate. I am one of the petitioners seeking a ban of cow vigilantes as they are extra-constitutional authorities.
Martin Macwan continued, the third incident was related to Thangadh police firing, in which three Dalit youths died in police firing. One of them was of 15 years and was previously in the Navsarjan school. Following the Thangadh incident, the government had assured speedy justice. But three years later, the police filed a c-summary and closed the case. It did this because it knew, the police itself was accused in a government-appointed report on the incident, which has not been made public. We questioned the decision to file c-summary for the case. We took out a morcha in Gandhinagar. The government became nervous. Those sitting on dharna were brought to the minister’s bungalows at midnight around 2 am and were offeredRs2 lakh to take back the protest. However, the protest continued. Those on dharna did not budge. The government was forced to form a special investigation team. Navsarjan’s FCRA was cleared on August 3, 2016, but it was cancelled on December 15, 2016 saying we were working against public and national interests. Interestingly, after revocation of FCRA license, they sent a team to audit Navsarjan accounts. When the team came, we told them, this kind of auditing has no legitimacy, as FCRA has been revoked. Yet we allowed them, as we believe in transparency.
Martin Macwan further said, in any case, we knew that the action against Navsarjan was coming. The minister had threatened us that he was going to take action against us. After all those in power know, the voluntary sector is becoming an important opposition to its so-called development agenda. It has huge outreach. It has its influence on most issues, whether related with communalism or Dalits. Recently, Navarjan filed a writ in the Delhi High Court. The first hearing was on March 12. A notice has been served to the government to provide explanation. The next hearing is on March 25. We don’t know what would its outcome. Meanwhile, the High Court has justified the ban on ZakirNaik’s NGO. You are on government radar the moment you try to educate people politically. Meanwhile, I am trying to convince the Navsarjan board that we should not receive foreign money even if we win the case. it’s a question of self-respect. While legally it’s not a crime to receive foreign funds, we must realize, we are registered under the same law as religious trusts which receive hundreds of crores. I think, there should be wider petition in the Supreme Court on the issue.
Gagan Sethi said there is also need to answer a larger issue. You are inviting profit making companies, which do not have to pass through any of the regulations on foreign funding that apply on us. One must explore whether t is possible to register as a profit-making company. Of course, under such a situation, technically it will not be a charitable activity. There would be a need to enter into a contractual agreement with donors. It would have to be a stringent as any market-based contract. The laws are so loose. If you sign a contract with the donor as a profit-making company, the only thing you would need to do is to pay tax. Are we a charity only because we want to evade tax?
MaheshPandya of Paryavaran Mitra said, it is ironical that a political party can take foreign money, and no questions are asked. This is because the government is not comfortable with questions raised against it by civil society. While the report questioning the Navsarjan study on untouchability, which we were told was meant for internal consumption, has been placed in the state assembly, the Thangadh report on shooting down three Dalit youths, prepared by IAS officer Sanjay Pradesh, has not been made public. This is strange.
Harinesh Pandya agreed, saying, the government is not comfortable with who are part of the rights based movement, questioning its developmental model. Hence it seeks to suppress civil society organizations. If it says we are anti-development, then it is possible to point out that foreign companies which are being wooed to bring in fresh foreign investment are adversely impacting employment opportunities in India.
Gagan Sethi believed that there is a need to look at the bigger picture, as it is not just the law, but the charitable activity and the ecosystem attached with it which needs to be looked at afresh. There is a need to provide a new framework. There are studied on this, some are lying in the Planning Commission as well. We must keep in mind that at the national level we should not get entangled in FCRA. There is a need to ask larger questions, such as the right to dissent, the NGOs’ representation in the United Nations, framing basic human rights standards, implementation of social justice laws and their framework. For this, the civil society does not have any central organization which can do all of it. There is no self-regulatory mechanism like Press Council of India. All civil society organizations are self-appointed identities. A Hindu math is in the same legal frame, as we. We have not asked for differentiating us.
Martin Macwan was asked by a participant as to why Navsarjan decided to take the legal option and was not fighting against the government which had imposed FCRA curb. To this, Martin Macwan said, this is not true. We have taken up not just legal action but also propagated how we have been wrongfully treated. Even foreign papers have taken note. Los Angeles Times ran an article on us. The New York Times interviewed me yesterday. Media has been reporting on us. We are fighting on both the fronts. There are two main persons who are against us. One of them is BJP MP, Shambhunath, and the minister, Atmaram Parmar. We are holding meetings and rallies at different places. We held a 2,000-strong rally and met the district collector in Bhavnagar. The minister tried to block the rally. He sought to ask transporters not to bring people to the rally. This did not work. At night, he asked the public works department to begin digging the road in the name of repair, so that people from villages do not turn up. But people came taking a different route, and we were a great success. We have been able to collect good amount of donations. We plan to hold similar meetings in different talukas, and people have assured us, they would donate. The minister phoned up one of our workers to say that he would be defeated in case we continued our campaign like this. He was told, he had started the whole thing by triggering cancellation of FCRA, so he should suffer. He claimed on phone that he had created ruckus at our rally in Rajkot. He didn’t know, his phone being recorded. The minister had to cancel a Surendranagar programme, as Dalits told him he had acted against Navsarjan and they would protest.
Mahesh Pandya agreed. Naming individuals, he said, a section of the media with RSS leanings were behind the campaign on foreign funding against NGOs in Gujarat.
Martin Macwan said, he forgot to add one thing. When such a situations come, all organizations will be affected. When crisis comes, we find ourselves to be weak. Of course, personal security is threatened. But we must remember, when we joined the sector, working for people was our priority. There are individuals who may be lured to take government support. This happens. It’s a long fight.
However, Martin Macwan regretted, some sections of the civil society are quiet. Some scribes attached with the civil society movement in Gujarat have not written even one word in support. Why? I would not go begging for their support. It’s a general issue. We find that villagers are more vocal, they are angry over the action against FCRA. People phone up from villages, invite us to reach up to them. They assure us, money will not be a problem to run the organization. But there is a problem with some of our own people, who are inside. But I take it very positively. After so many years the government has taken us very seriously.
Gagan Sethi explained that the problem with civil society is that the middle class mindset has taken over some of its space. The middle class is always fearful of what would happen to it. It lurks for a comfortable dinner daily.
Mahesh Pandya said, he had been to TV channels to explain why the FCRA ban on Navsarjan was wrong.
Ashok Chatterjee, former NID director, said, recently, he went to the National Institute of Design. During a meeting, I found that Niti Ayog had called civil society organizations “service delivery organisations”. We took objection; we said, they are partners, not service delivery organizations. The issue as discussed. Even today the sector is so difficult to define.
Gagan Sethi said, the matter has been discussed i in the 12th plan document. Ashok Chatterjee added, there is a need to have a relook into it.
GaganSethi asked the CSJ team to give its presentation comparing FCRA laws of India and its neighbours. The team, consisting of Fahad and Sumit, made its presentation on shrinking space for civil society to get fund from foreign countries. India is a party to United Nations conventions. In 2016, a UN special rapporteur said, India is violating the UN convention which allows access to resources to further the aims of freedom of association and expression. In international law, there are restrictions to this freedom only if there is support to terrorism or money laundering. The graph shows that the number of laws restricting foreign funds, passed between 1995 and 2010, increased phenomenally across the world.
Viraj of Vani said, things particularly became worse after 2001.
CSJ presentation further said, today there are 45 countries where such restrictions exist. The UN special rapporteur had said, these national laws are violative of international law. The rapporteur expressed reservations on India’s law, which lacks clarity and precision. The law is too general. Even the FCRA preamble says that Act is about prohibiting those who are against national interest. There is no such thing in the international covenant.
Gagan Sethi said, India’s FCRA seeks answers in straight yes or no – it is very arbitrary, provides wide powers to the state.
Pointing towards prohibitive and regulatory nature of FCRA, the presentation continued, FCRA prohibits foreign funding to officials, electoral people, judges, journalists, audio visual media. The Act further says, any organization of political nature is not allowed foreign funds, which is quite vague. Similarly, it identifies “persons” who would be regulated to include associations. We have made a comparison with our neighbouring countries. Sri Lanka has no law as such, they regulate foreign funds through banks. In Pakistan, a bill is pending since 2012 and most of the provisions are copied from India’s FCRA. Currently, Pakistan regulates the activities of international NGOs. While India does not define NGOs, Bangladesh’s law covers all activities, whether healthcare or human rights. While in India foreign funding registration has to be done once in five years, in Bangladesh it is for 10 years. As for suspension of foreign funding license, Afghanistan has no provision, but the government, if it wants, can suspend the organization’s work. In Bhutan, if a voluntary organization does not work, its license can be cancelled, only a notice has to be given three months in advance. Bangladesh’s law allows cancellation of license under the anti-terror law. There are, in fact, more restrictions in India than the neighbouring countries. Like India, Bangladesh also prohibits foreign funding to government employees, judicial members, etc. In Bangladesh, you cannot appeal to the judiciary against foreign funding cancellation, you have a bureau, to whom you can appeal. In Pakistan, you can go to the sessions court or High Court. There are no penalties in Afghanistan. In Bangladesh there is provision for imprisonment and fine, same is the case with Bhutan. In Bangladesh, NGOs have no freedom. If you write an article, give a TV interview, your organization could be banned.
Gagan Sethi said, the Indian law is far more repressive and vague. Pakistan’s law applies to international NGOs only. In Bhutan, where I have interacted with NGOs, there are only 28 of them. In Sri Lanka there is no law, you only need the bank’s permission, you will have to have a separate account, and the bank will monitor.
Viraj said, broadly, the current ecosystem is bad in India. FCRA is just one part. The registration of civil society organizations is carried out under the same law, societies registration act, where the Port Trust of India, the cricket control body, and the mahila mandali are registered. The roots of the Indian law can be found in 1857, when the British rulers found that many Arya Samaji and Hindu organizations were helping the fight for freedom, hence they needed to be regulated. Currently, there are different government bodies which regulate voluntary organizations in states – they can be charity commissioners or registrar of societies. Things are so bad that to holding an international conference world, you need as permissions equal to, say, setting up a refinery in Jamnagar. You need permissions from the home ministry and the ministry of external affairs, which interact between each other several times ahead of granting visa for the proposed conference. The visa is provided for specified days. Often, foreign nationals land in trouble. An academic, who was in India, attended a food for work conference in Gujarat. She was packed off. She asked for the reason, and she was told to contact the joint secretary in the Indian embassy. She wanted to come in 2016, but was not allowed in. She is banned from India. A Canadian national was deported at the airport for similar reasons. There are no restrictions for a company executive coming to India.
Continued Viraj, those with People of Indian Origin (PIO) card, who have all the rights equal to an Indian citizen except for the voting right, face restrictions for doing NGO work. All this so far has gone unchallenged. I have been asking PIO holders to stand up for an endorsement so that we could file a case. We want to, but can’t, as they are afraid. The situation is the same with challenging the provision in the Lok Pal law, which covers NGOs having grants of Rs 1 crore plus. No one is ready to agree to endorse. All know, we cannot be covered under the law, as we are not public servants. Unfortunately, we cannot tell the nuance to the people. A PIL was turned by the Supreme Court into an investigation into how many NGOs did not file income tax return. There are 16 lakh of them in India. And this led media to declare that NGOs are unaccountable! The situation is such as that it has become impossible to call a Jawaharlal Nehru University professor for any conference. If you call, the intelligence person knocks at your door to find out why he or she was called. Across the country, there is a similar trend. There is a need to map all this.
According to Viraj, our focus currently is too much on the regulatory framework of FCRA. Little do we focus on the shrinking democratic space for civil society. Things are becoming so bad that even the registrar of societies and the charity commissioner are emboldened to lodge an inquiry! It’s like cow vigilantes, who are emboldened because they think that it is their government. Such is the environment. The government is against us because the public is not with us. Navsarjan is an exception. But broad perception is, something is wrong with NGOs, that they are anti-national, anti-development – that is the broad narrative. Large sections of middle classes are not with us, we have little space in the media. There is a need for joint action.
Viraj believed, Vani should work as a trade union, we don’t have bodies like that in India. We started the process. We are documenting. We have held consultations, have held them in several states. There has been some success. We decided to go to the High Court against the Lok Pal law. The matter was resolved because of the industry. There was a lot of pressure. But we have not won any major battle so far. Can’t we act as a sector? Some time back, FCRA of 11,219 NGOs was cancelled. We found that this happened as the data base got corrupted. A was joint secretary suspended because it was found that he “renewed” of certain NGOs because of the software was automatically renewing NGO registration. We found out that the website was hacked. That’s why 25 organizations’ FCRA was first renewed, and then cancelled. This included Navsarjan, Greenpeace, others. One NGO was victimized for the simple reason that Rajdeep Sardesai was on its board.
Wondered Viraj, in this framework, what is the way forward? While legal cases are being filed, there is a need to fix the narrative. Meanwhile, we should push for the corporate side aggressively. We have told this to the home ministry, that we will do it. We will have to convince the donors that they should enter into a contract with us as a company. The home ministry has not replied to us. It has written to the ministry of corporate affairs, which has refused to look into the matter, because it must care for corporate interests. So, we have to fix the ecosystem. Unfortunately, people are scared. When we try to take up an issue, people ask us not to jot their name down. While there is response from smaller NGOs, the big ones do not respond. How does one take this forward? We have held meetings in eight states. We have also held some district-level meetings. A buzz is being created. Positive stories there being published in "Youth Ki Awaz".
Gagan Sethi said, in Gujarat, Janpath needs to take up the issue, endorse creating a trade union of civil societies with a very small amount of subscription, a CSO-type organization. This organization’s cell should have a committed membership base, like Amnesty. It should work for improving the civil society space. Janpath can play a huge role here. It should find out why people are opposed to NGOs, what’s wrong with the public perception? It should advocate for right to dissent and change the narrative.
Concluding, Harinesh Pandya said, we should not limit ourselves to FCRA’s legal framework. There is a need for a strong collective voice. There are compulsions of big organizations. Middle level and small organizations want to fight it out. We have to expand our support base. A CSO-type cell should be set up based on membership of NGOs. A uniform amount should be charged.

*Participants: Harinesh Pandya, Sejal Dave , Sumit Ganguly, Nayan , Asif, Dinesh, Ghatit Laheru Khamir, Juhi Pandy Khamir, Mahesh Pandya, Rajesh Kapur, Avni Sethi, Martin Macwan, Rajiv Shah, Reshma , Gagan Sethi , Biraj Patnayak, Pankti Jog, Ashoke Chaterjee, Gurjeet Kaur, Fahad, Nupur

Comments

TRENDING

Vishwanath has been unfairly excluded from global list of 100 best cricketers

By Harsh Thakor  Gundappa Vishwanath scaled zones in batting artistry or wizardry unparalleled amongst Indian batsmen. The best of his batting was a manifestation of the divine. He was also the epitome of cricketing sportsmanship. Sadly 40 years ago he unceremoniously bid farewell to the International cricket world, after the concluding test at Karachi in 1982-83., in January end. Very hard to visualise a character like Vishwanath being reborn today His memories are embedded in cricket lovers today when sportsmanship and grace have virtually been relegated to oblivion with the game of cricket turned into a commercial commodity. Today agro and unsporting behaviour is a routine feature Vishy shimmered cricket’s spirituality. His behaviour on the cricket field was grace personified, No one in his age defined cricket more as a gentleman’s game, than Vishy. Vishwanath could execute strokes that were surreal with his steel wrists. His strokeplay resembled the touches of a painter’s brush,

Abrogation of Art 370: Increasing alienation, relentless repression, simmering conflict

One year after the abrogation by the Central Government of Art. 370 in Kashmir, what is the situation in the Valley. Have the promises of peace, normalcy and development been realised? What is the current status in the Valley? Here is a detailed note by the People’s Union for Civil Liberties , “Jammu & Kashmir: One Year after Abrogation of Art. 370: Increasing Alienation, Relentless Repression, Simmering Conflict”:

Reproductive, conjugal rights of women in India amidst debate of uniform civil code

By IMPRI Team  A Three-Day Immersive Online Legal Awareness and Certificate Training Course on “Reproductive and Conjugal Rights of Women in India” is an initiative of the Gender Impact Studies Center (GISC), at the IMPRI Impact and Policy Research Institute, New Delhi, and ran for three consecutive days starting from December 22, 2022 to December 24, 2022. The online paid certification was aimed to provide attendees with an enriching experience on the gender discourse with a special focus on women’s rights and the much-discussed reproductive rights in India.

Covid jabs: Pretexts cited to justify young, healthy succumbing to heart attacks

By Jay Ihsan   Truth is stranger than fiction – when dedicated doctors raised the red flag against the mRNA Covid-19 vaccines, they were persecuted and their concerns barred from being heard. These honest doctors unequivocally made it known the Moderna Pfizer vaccines injure the heart and human body. One of them, Dr Peter McCullough, an American cardiologist, has repeatedly issued the clarion call to people to reject these harmful vaccines. An equally alarmed World Council for Health said the harmful Covid-19 vaccines should be removed from the market and the global inoculation must be stopped. “In Japan the vaccines were not mandated or made compulsory. The vaccines are not safe or effective enough to mandate them. The day the vaccines go away will be a day of celebration,” Dr Mccullough had lamented during an interview with India’s media outfit, Qvive several months ago. Meanwhile, the number of people jabbed with the Covid-19 mRNA vaccines died soon after or have developed lifelong

Gender gap 17%, SC and ST levels of education between 7% to 14% below upper classes

By IMPRI Team  The treatment of school education in a holistic manner and improving school effectiveness in terms of equal opportunities for schooling and learning outcomes has been the aspiration of all and multiple challenges are faced to maintain and provide proper education. On the occasion of India@75: Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav, as part of its series- the State of Education- #EducationDialogue, #IMPRI Center for ICT for Development (CICTD), IMPRI Impact and Policy Research Institute, New Delhi organised a special deliberation on The State of School Education In India with Prof Muchkund Dubey, who is the President of the Council for Social Development, New Delhi. The moderator for the event, Dr Simi Mehta CEO and Editorial Director of the IMPRI. The chair of the event was Prof Jandhyala B.G. Tilak, an Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) National Fellow, the Distinguished Professor at the Council for Social Development, New Delhi and also a Former Professor & Vice-Ch

Rahul Dravid exhibited selflessness in heights unscaled by any other Indian batsman

By Harsh Thakor*  On January 11th maestro Rahul Dravid turned 50. No Indian batsmen were ever more of an embodiment of temperament or grit.as Rahul Dravid. Dravid was the best ambassador of sportsmanship in cricket in his day and age. In his time no Asian batsmen did what the doctor ordered, to the extent of Dravid. Dravid was manifestation of single-mindedess, tenacity and selflessness in sport. One hardly has an adjective to the ice coolness and craft Dravid exhibited in adjusting to the given situation. Rarely did any batsmen exhibit such a clinical o methodical approach to batting.

NHRC blindly followed BSF status report on fencing farmland off Indo-Bangladesh border

Kirity Roy, Secretary, Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha (MASUM) writes an open letter of protest against the action taken status report on restriction imposed by the BSF personnel upon the villagers of Changmari near Indo-Bangladesh border: *** I have the honour to inform you that we received one action taken status report dated 11.01.2023 from your Commission in respect of the above referred case from where it is revealed that your authority closed the case based on the report of the concerned authorities. In this connection I again raise my voice as the enquiry in respect of the above referred case was not properly conducted. Hence I submit this open letter of protest for the ends of justice. From the action taken status report of the Commission dated 11.01.2023 it is reported that concerned authority submitted a report dated 18.01.2022 where it is reported that the concerned area comes under the OPS responsibility of BOP Chengmari, 62 Bn BSF and is highly susceptible to trans-bo

Data analytics: How scientific enquiry process impacts quality of policy research

By IMPRI Team  Given the multidimensionality of policy and impact research, tech-driven policy prescriptions are playing a dominant role in the 21st century. As such, data analytics have become integral in this space. IMPRI Generation Alpha Data Centre (GenAlphaDC) , IMPRI Impact and Policy Research Institute New Delhi has successfully conducted a #WebPolicyTalk 6-Week Immersive Online Hands-on Certificate Training Course on Data Analytics for Policy Research, spanning over 6-consecutive Saturdays from October 15th to November 19th, 2022. Along with this, datasets for hands-on learning were also provided for data analysis and learning. Participants were required to make a submission for evaluation at the end of the course, to obtain the certificate. This course comprised hands-on data learning sessions and various expert sessions on data discourses. The course especially catered to data and policy enthusiasts – including students, professionals, researchers, and other individuals lo

Brutal assault on Delhi Univ students as fear grips present rulers on rise of dissent

By Arhaan Baaghi  Various democratic student organizations (bsCEM, fraternity, DSU, SIO, AIRSO) had planned a screening of the BBC documentary "India: The Modi Question" in the Delhi University Arts Faculty, but the guards of the university and the Delhi police along with paramilitary forcefully detained the students just because we were trying to watch a documentary that scrutinizes the role of Modi in 2002 Gujarat riots. At first when the students started screening the documentary, the electricity of the department building was cut down. Students were brutally beaten by the police and university guards. Female students were also brutally manhandled and beaten. This whole incident shows the Brahmanical Hindutva fascist nature of the government and the university authority that is working as its puppet. An activist of bsCEM was manhandled by a male security guard, who tried to pull out his T shirt. Also various female activist were dragged by male security guards and their h

Great march of migrants during lockdown: Lessons not learned, missed opportunities

By IMPRI Team  A panel discussion on “The Great March of Migrants During The National Lockdown: Lessons Not Learned and Missed Opportunities” was organized by the #IMPRI Center for Human Centre for Human Dignity and Development (CHDD), IMPRI Impact and Policy Research Institute, New Delhi on the occasion of International Migrants Day, i.e December 18, 2022. Inaugurating the session, Ms Aanchal Kumari, a researcher at IMPRI, welcomed the speakers and participants to the program with an introduction to the eminent panellists. The event was moderated by Dr Devender Singh, a Visiting Senior Fellow at IMPRI. The panellists included Prof. R.B Bhagat, Professor and Head, Department of Migration and Urban Studies, International Institute for Population Sciences, Mumbai; Prof Arun Kumar, Distinguished Economist, a Former Professor Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), New Delhi and Malcolm S. Adiseshiah Chair Professor, Institute of Social Sciences, New Delhi; Ms Akriti Bhatia, Founder of People