Dr Binayak Sen does not look like a man for whom the term ‘seditious’ would be applicable. Yet the 62 year old public health practitioner, activist and prisoner of conscience has been battling the charge of sedition since 2007. India’s most famous political prisoner came to Edinburgh to speak at a public meeting on Thursday the 14th hosted by the University of Edinburgh.
At the talk Dr Sen did not dwell on his legal battle but rather on the social issues affecting the most destitute in India. He spoke movingly about the cases of the minority groups being forced off their land and communal holdings that have for years managed to just about sustain them. Focusing on the problem of famine, Dr Sen challenged the audience’s preconceptions of chronic food shortage to raise the point that under technical definitions, based upon percentages of the population under BMI 18.5, large regions of India have been suffering famine for years. Shedding light on the “rising” nation of India, Dr Sen stressed the extent of social inequality in the Indian subcontinent and the dire nutritional conditions that affect large swathes of the population.
http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-newdelhi/article3534852.ece Human rights activists, members of civil society and journalist came together on Friday to condemn the conviction of activists Seema Azad and her husband Vishwavijay Kamal under the provisions of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act. They also announced a nationwide public campaign to demand immediate release of the activists. Speaking at a Press conference [...]
“The conviction of civil rights activist Seema Azad for terrorism, unlawful activities, sedition and waging war against the state is a glaring travesty of justice.” This was the view shared by all the speakers at a press conference today. Justice Sachar argued that judgment of the session’scourt is based on little evidence and little application of mind. The only allegation against her is that she was in the possession of literature that the prosecution argued was illegal. But between possessing literature and committing an offence is a wide chasm that cannot be bridged by the flimsy arguments brought forth by the prosecution and accepted by the judge.
PEOPLE’S UNION FOR CIVIL LIBERTIES Founder: Jayaprakash Narayan 270-A Patparganj, Opposite Anandlok Apartments, Mayur Vihar- Phase I, Delhi 110091 12th June, 2012 Press Release On the Conviction of Seema Azad and her husband by an Allahabad Court The news of the sentencing of Seema Azad, along with her husband Vishwavijay Kamal, [...]
The Gandhi Foundation International Peace Award 2011
was presented on 12th June 2012
to Dr Binayak Sen and Bulu Imam
for their humanitarian work and their practice of nonviolence.
A review of the event with copies of the speeches will be posted in the near future
THE GANDHI INTERNATIONAL PEACE AWARD
The Peace Award was created in 1998 by Surur Hoda and Diana Schumacher with the support of The Gandhi Foundation’s Life President, Lord Attenborough. The intention is to honour individuals and groups who have advocated and practised Gandhian Nonviolence but who have received little recognition for doing so; people whom E F Schumacher called ‘our unsung heroes and heroines’. Past recipients can be seen on on the ‘Activities’ page of our website.