Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Dear Terence..Its ONE YEAR since you left us..YOU ARE FONDLY REMEMBERED!








IT'S ONE YEAR SINCE YOU LEFT US!
R.I.P

Goodbye Terence!

Dear Fr. Terence,

Since the early hours of this morning - when Fr. Changa gave me the sad news, that you had left us and gone to your eternal reward - I have been talking to you; doing my best to tell you so many things which you have meant to me and to so many others, during your journey here on earth.

It is indeed difficult to say everything, to put my “many hours” of talking to you into a few words; but I will do my best, and at least this time I hope your hearing will not be ‘selective’ or that you will turn a deaf ear to what I have to say!

I have been telling you about the legacy you have left each one of us. It is huge! And if I attempt to put them in bullet points, one can definitely describe your whole life into five major loves. They all complement one another. These loves are the sum total of your life: the way you lived it, the way you came across to so many of us.  As you lie here surrounded by your brother Jesuits, brother priests, religious sisters and numerous others for whom you were a Good Shepherd, I would like to dwell a bit on these five major loves of yours:

  • Your love for Jesus
There is no doubt about this. You loved Jesus with your whole being. He was the root of your existence and the centre of your life and this you communicated to all of us in no uncertain ways: to all the pre-novices who are just now in the pre-novitiate, to those who are no longer there (some have become novices or are now elsewhere). To Frs. Alpesh, Sudhir, Harry and myself – we were the ones physically closest to you these past three years and your closeness to Jesus has certainly meant to a lot to us. Often times, we found you “missing”, you just got lost - but when we looked for you, we would find you in the only place where you wanted to get lost: in front of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament , talking to him, praying to him, telling him about our many needs, our works. Yes, Terence, Jesus was certainly your first big love.

  • Your love for Mary
Is there any reason dear Terence why you chose to go home in this month of October dedicated to the Holy Rosary? It all fits in so easily!  Because you loved Mary with a deep tenderness and a total fidelity the same way Jesus loved his Mother. It was always heartening for us to watch you go round and round ‘Sughadpanth’ in the early hours of morning, in the heat of mid-day and even in the late hours in the evening with the Rosary in your hand.  Did you recite a million Rosaries Terence? Or perhaps more!  With the Rosary in your hand, you were just telling Mary, your Mother and our Mother, how much you loved her.  And in your homilies, in your instructions, you never failed to tell all that we must love Mary and go to Jesus through her. 

  • Your love for people
Bishop Thomas has already referred to that huge poster that greeted us all as we entered the Church, your benign face with the slogan “A True Pastor” just below that and there is a smaller poster here at the foot of your coffin. It really sums up your life because you were always that Good Shepherd, moulded in the image, likeness and the heart of Jesus. You had a very personal approach to everyone and everywhere people recognized you as a really good pastor. You could remember Annama’s and Eleyamma’s families, their children and their anniversaries with the greatest ease as their Parish Priest. This morning, when Fr. Aubrey told the people of the slums outside the Technical School in Nadiad that you had gone home, they immediately ran and brought plenty of flowers be placed on you. A sign of their affection for you – and the pain they experience because you are no more. Be it Kalol or Vadtal, SuratBhavnagar, Sabarmati or Mehsana, you always cared for your people and (many are gathered here today) and they returned this gesture with much affection and gratitude. You made Kanjirapally your home for sometime and there were people who adopted you as their very own. On a personal note, you paid great attention when you visited my aged parents Cynthia and Conrad and always held them with much esteem – reminding me a thousand times over about their “greatness”. You were very personal with the people you met and you never ceased to communicate God’s love to each of them. Yes, Terence in every sense of the word, you were a true Pastor.

  • Your love for vocations
Terence, all of us here are aware that you have been one of the finest vocation promoters both for the Church and Society.  You enjoyed attracting young men and women to priestly and religious life. You had no hesitation to demand from a mother her only son in your typically ‘Terence-tial’ way ‘give me your son for Jesus’ and wow what a crop of fine men and women you have given to Jesus and the Church. Fr. P.T. Simon is here amongst us, Fr. Francis Pudicherry writes from Spain that he will miss you very much. There is Peter K and Jestin V who are Jesuits today. There are others who have joined the diocesan clergy and several religious sisters. You have been their fisherman, their inspiration and motivation.  Each time you spoke to us, you insisted that we too promote vocations in every possible way. Your life Terence was a message and it was this message that attracted young men and women to priestly and religious life. Thank you Terence for this great service to the Church.

  • Your love for the Society of Jesus
Those of us, who were closest to you this past year, will in some ways understand the depth of your love for the Society of Jesus. On the 20th of June this year, you completed (with a few others), your Golden Year as a Jesuit. What a day of joy it was for you! At the Eucharist that morning, you told us in the home community of the Prenovitiate, what it meant for you to be a Jesuit these past fifty years and how much you loved the Society. We, your brother Jesuits gathered around your mortal remains have absolutely no doubt about that. At every stage of your life, you had no hesitation as a loyal son of St. Ignatius from saying to the Lord ‘Take and receive’.  We salute you Terence and we thank you for being a brother Jesuit to each one of us.

There is so much more to say, dear Terence as we bid you “goodbye”.  You have indeed left us a rich legacy; a legacy of love: for Jesus, for Mary, for the people, for vocations and for the Society of Jesus. This, in more ways than one, has epitomized you and your life – a life of great love indeed! 

We truly believe with Martha in today’s Gospel that you, dear Terence, are now enjoying the eternal life you have been called to - in the company of the angels and saints in heaven.

Thank you, dear Terence for being a wonderful human being, a true pastor, a great friend, a genuine brother and a loyal son of Ignatius. 

Goodbye Terence, till we meet again!

-Fr. Cedric Prakash sj


(This homily was delivered at the Funeral Mass of Fr. Terence Lobo sj at St. Ignatius Loyola Church, Ahmedabad  on 23rd October, 2013.  The above text - form was written a day later.)


Address: PRASHANT, Hill Nagar, Near Kamdhenu Hall, Drive-in Road, Ahmedabad - 380052
Phone: 79 27455913, 66522333 Fax:  79 27489018
Email: sjprashant@gmail.com     www.humanrightsindia.in



-- 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Vatican's message for Deepavali 2014





Vatican's message for Deepavali 2014




2014-10-21 Vatican Radio
http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/interelg/documents/rc_pc_interelg_doc_20141020_deepavali-2014_en.html
(Vatican) As Hindus worldwide celebrate Deepavali or Diwali, the festival of lights, the Vatican has called on Hindus, Christians, followers ‎of other religions and people of good to foster together a culture of inclusion  for ‎a just and peaceful society.‎  In a message released on Monday,  the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue wished Hindus worldwide for this year’s Diwali on Oct. 23.   “In the face of increasing discrimination, violence and ‎exclusion throughout the world, 'nurturing a ‎culture of inclusion' can be rightly ‎seen as one of the most genuine aspirations of people everywhere,‎” wrote Council president, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran ‎who signed the message.  Despite the several blessings of globalization, the message said that peoples, particularly the poor and marginalized have been excluded from the ‎benefits of globalization, leading to various manifestations of discontent, discontent, uncertainty and insecurity.  Widespread ‎materialism and consumerism have made people more self-absorbed, ‎power-hungry and indifferent to the rights, needs and ‎sufferings of others, leading to a "'globalization of indifference' ‎ and a ‎‎'culture of exclusion'. The exploitation of children and ‎women, the neglect of the elderly, sick, differently-abled, migrants and ‎refugees, ‎and the persecution of minorities are sure indicators of this culture of exclusion.‎   The Vatican thus urged all to join hands to foster a culture of inclusion for ‎a just and peaceful society.‎
Below is the full text of the message:
MESSAGE FOR THE FEAST OF DEEPAVALI , ‎2014 ‎
Vatican City

Dear Hindu Friends,‎
‎1.‎         The Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue joyfully greets all of you ‎on the festive occasion of Deepavali, celebrated on 23 October this year. May the ‎Transcendent Light illumine your hearts, homes and communities, and may all ‎your celebrations deepen the sense of belonging to one another in your families ‎and neighbourhoods, and so further harmony and happiness, peace and ‎prosperity.‎
‎2.‎         We wish to reflect with you this year on the theme "Fostering together a ‎culture of 'inclusion'". In the face of increasing discrimination, violence and ‎exclusion throughout the world, 'nurturing a culture of inclusion' can be rightly ‎seen as one of the most genuine aspirations of people everywhere.‎
‎3.‎         It is true that globalization has opened many new frontiers and provided ‎fresh opportunities to develop, among other things, better educational and ‎healthcare facilities. It has ushered in a greater awareness of democracy and ‎social justice in the world, and our planet has truly become a 'global village' due ‎in large part to modern means of communication and transportation. It can also ‎be said, however, that globalization has not achieved its primary objective of ‎integrating local peoples into the global community. Rather, globalization has ‎contributed significantly to many peoples losing their sociocultural, economic ‎and political identities.‎
‎4.‎         The negative effects of globalization have also had an impact on religious ‎communities throughout the world since they are intimately related to ‎surrounding cultures. In fact, globalization has contributed to the fragmentation ‎of society and to an increase in relativism and syncretism in religious matters, as ‎well as bringing about a privatization of religion. Religious fundamentalism and ‎ethnic, tribal and sectarian violence in different parts of the world today are ‎largely manifestations of the discontent, uncertainty and insecurity among ‎peoples, particularly the poor and marginalized who have been excluded from the ‎benefits of globalization.‎
‎5.‎         The negative consequences of globalization, such as widespread ‎materialism and consumerism, moreover, have made people more self-absorbed, ‎power-hungry and indifferent to the rights, needs and sufferings of others. This, ‎in the words of Pope Francis, has led to a "'globalization of indifference' which ‎makes us slowly inured to the suffering of others and closed in on ourselves" ‎‎(Message for the World Day of Peace, 2014). Such indifference gives rise to a ‎‎'culture of exclusion' (cf. Pope Francis, Address to the Apostolic Movement of ‎the Blind and the Little Mission for the Deaf and Mute, 29 March 2014) in which ‎the poor, marginalized and vulnerable are denied their rights, as well as the ‎opportunities and resources that are available to other members of society. They ‎are treated as insignificant, dispensable, burdensome, unnecessary, to be used ‎and even discarded like objects. In various ways, the exploitation of children and ‎women, the neglect of the elderly, sick, differently-abled, migrants and refugees, ‎and the persecution of minorities are sure indicators of this culture of exclusion.‎
‎6.‎         Nurturing a culture of inclusion thus becomes a common call and a shared ‎responsibility, which must be urgently undertaken. It is a project involving those ‎who care for the health and survival of the human family here on earth and which ‎needs to be carried out amidst, and in spite of, the forces that perpetuate the ‎culture of exclusion.‎
‎7.‎         As people grounded in our own respective religious traditions and with ‎shared convictions, may we, Hindus and Christians, join together with followers ‎of other religions and with people of good will to foster a culture of inclusion for ‎a just and peaceful society.‎

We wish you all a Happy Deepavali!‎
Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran
‎           President






HAPPY DIWALI !!! HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!


  Dear FRIENDS
We wish you  
A VERY HAPPY DIWALI and A HAPPY NEW YEAR!
May this FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS be a TIME  OF RENEWAL in
DEDICATION
INCLUSIVENESS
WARMTH
AVAILABILITY
LOVE
ILLUMINATION
        

"in
the golden lamp 
of devotion
the perfumed oil
of my life
i shall pour:
it’s
flickering light
will be
for the service
of the Lord!’
            -mirabai
-- 

BE A LIGHT! ENKINDLE OTHER LIGHTS!!!

AND

 THIS DIWALI LIGHT A LAMP

as YOU say

  "NO" to FIRE-CRACKERS and NOISE POLLUTION

with warm wishes

Fr. Cedric Prakash sj
Director
and ALL at"PRASHANT"  
-  A Centre for Human Rights, Justice and Peace
 
Hill Nagar, Near Kamdhenu Hall, Drive-in Road, Ahmedabad - 380052, Gujarat, India

Phone : +91  79   27455913,  66522333
Fax : +91  79  27489018
Email: sjprashant@gmail.com
www.humanrightsindia.in



Monday, October 20, 2014

Lynching of boy underlines how the curse of caste still blights India

Lynching of boy underlines how the curse of caste still blights India

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/oct/19/lynching-boy-underlines-curse-caste-still-blights-india
Sai Ram, burned alive because of a stray goat, was just one of 17,000 Dalits to fall victim to caste violence in the state of Bihar


In another time, another place, Sai Ram might have escaped serious harm. But he died in great pain last week, a casualty of a bitter, barely reported conflict that still claims many lives every year.
Ram, 15, was a goatherd in a village in the poor eastern Indian state of Bihar. He was a Dalit, from the lowest rung of the caste hierarchy that still defines the lives, and sometimes the deaths, of millions of people in the emerging economic power.
His alleged killer, currently being held by local police, is from a higher landowning caste. He took offence when one of the teenager’s goats strayed on to his paddy field and grazed on his crops. Ram was overpowered by the landowner and a group of other men. He was badly beaten.
Then petrol was poured over him and lit, Ram’s father, Jiut Ram, said. “He was crying for help, then went silent,” the 50-year-old daily wage labourer told the Guardian.
The incident took place at Mohanpur village, about 125 miles (200km) south-west of Bihar’s capital, Patna, in an area known for caste tensions. It was the latest in a series of violent incidents that have once again highlighted the problems and discrimination linked to caste,  particularly in lawless and impoverished rural areas.
Earlier this month, five Dalit women were allegedly gang-raped by upper-caste men in central Bihar’s Bhojpur district. In September, hundreds of Dalit families were forced from their homes in two other districts of Bihar after a man from the community tried to contest a local election against higher caste candidates.
Several political, social and economic factors usually lie behind such upsurges in caste-related violence. One reason for Bihar’s recent incidents may be the appointment in May of Jitan Ram Manjhi, a Dalit, as the chief minister of the state.
Since taking power Manjhi has announced measures to help other Dalits in Bihar, one of India’s poorest states, and is reported to have urged the community to have more children to become a more powerful political force.
Dalits account for some 15% of Bihar’s population of 103.8 million.
The chief minister’s call was not well received by members of other castes, local observers said.
Sachindra Narayan, a prominent Patna-based social scientist with the National Human Rights Commission in Delhi, said: “The prime reason [for the violence] is that [Dalits] feel empowered after seeing someone from their community at the head of the state and have begun to assert their rights. This is purely a retaliation from the dominant social groups.”
Manjhi claims a temple in northern Bihar was ritually cleaned and idols washed with holy water after his visit to the shrine. Such ceremonies are still performed by upper castes to eradicate “pollution” left by lower-caste visitors.
“A deep-rooted bias prevails against … those from the downtrodden sections of society … I have myself been a victim of caste bias,” the 70-year-old said.
Opponents claim Manjhi was stoking caste tensions for political advantage.
In the vast neighbouring state of Uttar Pradesh, caste is also a major political issue, with power contested by two parties that broadly represent two different caste communities. That of Mayawati explicity campaigns for Dalits, while the ruling Samajwadi party is seen by many as representing the Yadavcommunity, once pastoralists.
Caste became a factor in recent national elections too. The prime minister, Narendra Modi, comes from a poor family from the lower-caste  Ghanchicommunity, which is associated with selling oil. His rise from humble origins to leader of 1.25 billion people has inspired many – but also provoked scorn from elite politicians who have mocked his background.
The origins of caste are contested. Some point to ancient religious texts, others to rigid classifications of more local definitions of community and identities by British imperial administrators. The word “caste” is of Portuguese origin.
Regardless of its origins, the word still has the power to stir controversy. Arundhati Roy, the Booker prize-winning author, recently accused Mahatma Gandhi, India’s revered independence leader, of discrimination and called for institutions bearing his name to be renamed because of his attitude to caste.
She said: “It is time to unveil a few truths about a person whose doctrine of nonviolence was based on the acceptance of the most brutal social hierarchy ever known, the caste system … Do we really need to name our universities after him?
Sociologists say the rapid urbanisation of India has weakened the caste system as the realities of living in overcrowded Indian cities make reinforcing social separation and discrimination through rituals or violence much harder.
But if change is coming to places like rural Bihar, it is often accompanied by violence.
Last October a roadside bomb killed Sunil Pandey, a landowner who was alleged to be a senior figure in a militia formed in 1994 to enforce  the interests of higher castes in the state, but which has been largely dormant recently.
The Ranvir Sena militia, formed by men of the Bhumihar caste of landlords, is held responsible for a series of massacres of Dalits in the 1990s. These murders, in effect reprisals against local Maoist guerrillas, who have also killed many, reached a bloody climax with the deaths of 58 men, women and children with no connection to extremism in the village of Lakshman Bathe in 1998. Ranvir Sena and Pandey were blamed.
Last year 24 men had their convictions for that massacre overturned by Bihar’s high court, prompting renewed clashes.
The authorities have pledged rapid justice for Ram, the 15-year-old burned to death last week. But of nearly 17,000 pending trials in Bihar involving charges of violence against Dalits only a 10th were dealt with last year.
“We are going to … start speedy trial of the case,” Chandan Kumar Kushwaha, the local superintendent of police, said, while the chief minister told reporters he was taking a personal interest in the case.
“I have talked to the state’s director general of police and district superintendent of police concerned, and ordered them to … deliver instant justice to the victim [sic] family,” Manjhi said.
For the teenager’s father, nothing can compensate for the death of his son. “My entire world is lost now,” he said.



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~  
"Ours is a battle not for wealth or for power.
 It is a battle for freedom. It is a battle for the reclamation of human personality."
- Dr BR Ambedkar
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Sunday, October 19, 2014

“WE ALWAYS NEED TO BE PREPARED!”













(FOR PRIVATE CIRCULATION)



“WE ALWAYS NEED TO BE PREPARED!”

 

I     PRAY

  • pray without ceasing
  • read, pray and meditate on Mt 25:1-13
  • organize special prayers in our parishes / institutions
  • keep our churches / chapels / prayer halls open for prayer
  • pray with our Christian brethren (also in their churches)
  • conduct / join meaningful inter-faith prayer (Sarva Dharma Prathna)
  • be sensitive (our prayers and other programmes need not be “jarring”/ “blasting”/ a nuisance to others
  • DO NOT “FIRE CRACKERS” nor use high decibel speakers - specially after 10.00 pm (remember that many of our neighbours are little children or elderly persons and perhaps even sick)
(cfr. the Supreme Court rulings on these matters)
  • what does Jesus say about “praying?”

 


II   DIALOGUE

  • keep avenues of dialogue always open with all
  • do not get co-opted or provide legitimacy in any way to fascists / fundamentalists
  • do not be naïve...dialogue is always in the context of respect, equity and dignity.
  • participate in Festivals / Prayers of others and invite them to ours
  • strengthen areas that unite / connect (search for commonalities / connectors)
  • take a stand against divisiveness / biases / prejudices
  • network and collaborate with other secular / like-minded individuals / groups

 


III STUDY - DOCUMENT - WRITE

  • study and analyze the situation
  • study the ideology of fascists; learn how they operate (“divide and rule”)
  • study the Constitution of India; existing laws
  • do not limit yourself to issues involving Christians only; get involved in ALL Human Rights issues, sp. in the defense of dalits, tribals, women, children, differently-abled persons, other minority / vulnerable groups
  • collect “Patrikas” and other relevant literature (sp. derogatory ones)
  • document Newspaper / Journal articles on topical / sensitive, relevant  issues
  • video / audio record inflammatory speeches / proceedings
  • write articles / letters to the Editor in national / local / vernacular newspapers / journals  on crucial  issues
  • use “The Right to Information” Act to get information from / of the Government (Govt. officials / spending)

 


IV   STAND UP FOR TRUTH, HUMAN RIGHTS, JUSTICE AND PEACE

“Peace in society cannot be understood as pacification or the mere absence of violence resulting from the domination of one part of society over others.  Nor does true peace act as a pretext for justifying a social structure which silences or appeases the poor, so that the more affluent can placidly support their lifestyle while others have to make do as they can. Demands involving the distribution of wealth, concern for the poor and human rights cannot be suppressed under the guise of creating a consensus on paper or a transient peace for a contented minority.  The dignity of the human person and the common good rank higher than the comfort of those who refuse to renounce their privileges. When these values are threatened, a prophetic voice must be raised.”  (Pope Francis in ‘Evangelii Gaudium’  # 218)




  • fear ONLY God and no one else; stand up ALWAYS for Truth and Justice.
  • join / support other initiatives like the PUCL, INSAF, MSD, CJP, ANHAD,  etc. (contact us for details)
  • participate also in the activities / initiatives / programmes of  other like-minded individuals / NGOs / groups
  • publicize secular efforts / initiatives in our churches / institutions
  • screen films on social issues like “Parzania”, “Final Solution”, “Dharm”, “Well Done, Abba!”, “Mr. & Mrs. Iyer”
  • be visible on important issues :  speak out; participate  in campaigns / dharnas / rallies;  sign online petitions
  • keep at a distance ALL vested interests. Do not let them compromise you.
  • beware of getting involved in issues / politics which make us sectarian / fundamentalist / exclusive
  • denounce Communalism, Corruption, Casteism,  Consumerism, Criminalisation of society / politics
  • organize programmes / seminars / workshops on human rights / relevant issues / legal literacy / topical issues
  • constitute village / mohalla / Parish Justice and Peace Committees (JPCs)
  • initiate Constitutional Values / Peace Education / Human Rights Education in your Schools / Institutions
  • use value education books from KHOJ RESOURCES (www.khojedu.net ) 
and / or the “YES WE CAN” series (by RATNA SAGAR www.ratnasagar.com )
  • celebrate UN  / special  days like Women’s Day (March 8th), Day for Elimination of Racial Discrimination (March 21st),  Oscar Romero Day (March 24th), Ambedkar Jayanti (April 14th), Environment Day (June 5th), Indigenous People’s Day (August 9th), Day of Non-Violence (October 2nd), Human Rights Day (December 10th)
  • identify  trouble makers / peace breakers / rumour mongers / divisive persons
  • stop rumours / gossip (always try to authenticate things)
  • propagate the Right to Information (RTI), the Right to Education (RTE) and the  Right to Food (RTF)
  • protect, promote, propagate Constitutional Rights/Freedoms & the Universal Declaration of Human Rights


V    KEEP OUR HOUSE IN ORDER

  • maintain and update ALL official documents (land records, building permissions, registrations, licenses) and
personal identity cards (Sp. Elector’s Photo Identity Card – EPIC)
  • keep copies of these always at hand / filed / laminated / secured –  with your ORIGINALS in a Safe Deposit
  • adhere to strict accounting / accountability procedures
  • ALWAYS BE Open and Transparent
  • never indulge in any corrupt practice for whatever reasons (taking / giving bribes etc)
  • ensure timely payment of all taxes (income, building, land etc)
  • know and adhere to requisites of the Govt. / Charity Commissioner / Registrar of Societies / FCRA etc.
  • register Medical Personnel with the Medical / Nursing Council
  • provide the requisite bio-medical waste treatment / disposal facilities in hospitals / dispensaries
  • refrain from physical and / or other types of abuse on any one
  • pay just wages; have service conditions, give appointment letters (cfr. Labour laws)
Ø   ( THEY  HIT  US WHERE  WE  ARE  VULNERABLE )


VI   PRE-EMPT TROUBLE

  • provide prior and authentic information/ meet your JPC
  • contact / alert your focal / nodal point immediately, if you sense trouble
  • contact the authorities, wherever possible (preferably in writing) – with a proof of submission
  • inform the police (know your local police / station); request protection (ONLY if desperately needed)
  • remember “providing security” is also an official way of them keeping tabs on us! (Don’t be NAÏVE)
  • never panic / DO NOT give in to fear
  • check if your phones are tapped
  • never give your email passwords to others / change them frequently




 

VII    ADDRESS THE “REALITY”

  • do not get provoked (whatever the reason)....be calm and cool!
  • seek the support of others (like-minded individuals / groups)
  • protect / provide shelter for the weak (old / women / children / infirm)
  • inform the police / authorities (always be courteous / polite to them)
  • be careful on how and what information you provide about others
  • photograph / video / audio record the trouble / trouble makers
  • douse out flames
  • do not destroy / alter / change / remove the evidence
  • do not underplay / exaggerate the reality
  • if a situation arises, start writing / computerizing the complete details as soon as possible
  • file an FIR / complaint (name people / be accurate).  You can write your complaint in English / Hindi / Gujarati (or your regional language)  and have it attached to the FIR
  • approach a higher authority (with full details) if you have problems with your local police
  • in case the police have written the FIR / recorded your statement, you MUST read it carefully before you sign it with the date and time clearly mentioned
  • ensure that the copy is signed with the appropriate seal affixed by the concerned police official / station
  • request a copy of the FIR / complaint  for yourself (you MUST get it)


VIII   BE VIGILANT

“Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty !   – Wendell Phillips

·         remember that police / official interrogations in a police station and / or our institution, must normally take place only during working hours, on working days.  Police / Government officials should normally NOT visit officially any institutions which house women between 1800 hrs to 0900 hrs.

  • DO NOT GIVE ANY INFORMATION to people who approach you, who do not have an official identity and  a written authorization (signed and sealed) or if it is NOT within their PURVIEW
  • check who the APPROPRIATE AUTHORITY is…..some officials demand information even when it does not come under their purview
  • study carefully the official / actual RULE / ACT / LAW
  • request full particulars of the person concerned (name, designation, address, email id, telephone / mobile nos)
  • LISTEN to what is being asked - NEVER be in a hurry to ANSWER ORALLY
  • request that the questions are written  and a signed copy is provided to you
  • in normal circumstances, DO NOT PROVIDE any official information IMMEDIATELY
  • tell  the person concerned that you MAY provide the information after some days
  • no one has the right to inspect any of our registers / documents / records / premises unless there is a written warrant  from a Magistrate / Court to do so
  • meanwhile, contact a higher authority / nodal agency for further steps and before providing any information
  • remember that very often, those who seek information come to you on the dictate of individuals / groups who are hostile / inimical to us and our institutions
  • a community/ institution must have only ONE spokesperson (preferably  someone conversant in the vernacular)
  • study the law / be legally literate
  • take legal counsel / be in touch with human rights lawyers.  Buy legal booklets published by the Indian Social Institute, 10 Institutional Area, Lodi Road, New Delhi – 110 003. These booklets have been translated into Gujarati by Ashadeep, Vallabh Vidyanagar, Anand Dt. 388 120
  • contact a JESA institution in your area if you need some help. JESA Gujarat groups are: HDRC (Ahmedabad),   SXSSS (Ahmedabad), Sangath (Modasa),  LAHRC (Songadh),  RSSS (Rajpipla), Navsarjan (Surat),   Ashadeep (Vidyanagar), Nyay Darshan (Vadodara)
  • circulate / popularize relevant books / documents / films by other agencies (there is no need to re-invent the wheel)

IX   COMMUNICATE

  • learn to be communicative
  • share with others what is happening / has happened
  • develop good Public Relations / Perception Management skills
  • join and use social networks like facebook, twitter, whatsapp, email groups
  • have your OWN blog with a social content
  • befriend the media: give them your point of view; let them highlight the good works done by / through your institution.  Keep a data bank of media personnel (with mobile numbers, email ids etc)
  • contact immediately (phone / fax / email) any focal point that could take up your problem
  • send to an appropriate authority / us COMPLETE  and AUTHENTIC DETAILS (FIR copies, press clippings, photos, audio / video tapes) QUICKLY (pay someone to carry them…. hire a vehicle)   BUT DO NOT DELAY!
·         send a written complaint by Registered Post/Courier /Fax /email to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) at:  : 

National Human Rights Commission,
Manav Adhikar Bhawan, Block-C, GPO Complex, INA, New Delhi – 110023
Tel. No. (011)  24651330      Fax No. (011)  24651329    email:  covdnhrc@nic.in  /  ionhrc@nic.in
Website: www.nhrc.nic.in      Telegraphic address: HUMANRIGHTS

        
 and / or to the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) at :


National Commission for Minorities,
5th Floor, Lok Nayak Bhavan, Khan Market, New Delhi 110 003
Tel. No. (011) 24615583  Fax No. (011) 24693302, 24642645, 24698410 (Toll free Number 1800-110-088)
email: ro-ncm@nic.in      www.ncm.nic.in

  • depending upon the issue / the victims,  you can also send your complaint to one of the other appropriate National Commissions like Women / Tribal / SC / Children, etc

X    PRASHANT will be happy to

o   assist you in addressing the reality / problem
o   provide you with legal counsel / assistance
o   help clarify your doubts on the above
o   send independent teams for on-the - spot studies / investigations
o   receive from you news clippings / patrikas / photos / other materials / evidence which can be documented
o   send you periodic information / communications by email

(Kindly circulate this document widely.  Do translate it into your vernacular language too. No permission is required but an acknowledgement and a copy of the same would be appreciated - Thanks!)

Prepared and Issued by:   
                                                PRASHANT (Centre for Human Rights, Justice and Peace)
                                                Hill Nagar, Nr. Saffron Hotel, Drive-in Road, Ahmedabad 380052, Gujarat
                                                Tel: 079 – 27455913, 66522333   Fax: 079 – 27489018   Mobile: 9824034536 
                                                 email: sjprashant@gmail.com       website:  www.humanrightsindia.in
                                                                                                                                                                  
“Love – caritas- is an extraordinary force which leads people to opt for courageous and generous engagement in the field of justice and peace.” Pope Benedict in ‘Caritas in Veritate

                                                 (EIGHTH   Revised   EDITION)                                                    October 2nd, 2014