23rd March 2002
JP memorial lecture and
Journalism for human rights award function
The twenty-first PUCL 'Journalism for
Human Rights' Award and the twenty-second JP
Memorial Lecture was organised this year on March 23rd at Mangalore,
Karnataka at St. Aloysius High School hall. The function was presided
over by Justice S M Daud.
Justice Zakeria Mohammed Yacoob of the Constitutional Court of South Africa
delivered the JP Memorial lecture on Civil Liberties, Democracy, and Socio-Economic
Rights - United in Practice.
The 'Journalism for Human Rights' Award consisting of a Plaque, a Citation,
and Rs. 20,000/- was presented to Ms. Rani George of Malayala Manorama
and a Special Mention consisting of a citation for Special Mention and
Rs. 5000/- was presented to Reji Joseph of Rashtra Deepika
(The JP Memorial Lecture by Justice Zakeria was published in the April
2002 of the PUCL Bulletin. The citation for Rani George and special
mention for Reji Joseph and their acceptance speeches are published elsewhere
in this issue).
Justice Daud also released First volume of Selections
from PUCL Bulletin, a PUCL publication to mark the completion of twenty-five
years of the PUCL. He also released Muslim
Widows: A Case Study in Delhi by Neelofar Haram, organised by the
National PUCL, and the Souvenir published by the Mangalore PUCL. Justice
Daud presented the first copies of these publications to Justice Yacoob.
Justice Daud welcomed Justice Zakeria complimenting him on his contribution
to the national movement against the apartheid in South Africa, under
the leadership of Nelson Mandela, notwithstanding his sight-disadvantage
KG Kannabiran, President
of the PUCL remarked that this function had special significance for the
PUCL as a sitting Judge of the Highest Court of South Africa and a well-known
retired Judge of the Bombay High Court were together on the dais. Justice
Daud was well known for his secular approach to the social problems and
for his ideas on Modernisation and socio-economic development of the Muslim
community in India.
Justice Daud in his presidential remarks referred to the similarities
between the African National Movement and the Indian struggle for Independence.
He went on to say that the sovereignty of free India was at present under
threat of terrorism, just like many other countries. He very briefly elaborated
his points and in order to save time handed over his script (see elsewhere
Terrorism and National Sovereignty).
Dr. Y. P. Chhibbar said that the PUCL had been organising this function
on March 23 every year as a tribute to its founder, Jay Prakash Narayan
as due to the movements organised under his leadership to oppose the Emergency
imposed by Shrimati Indira Gandhi on June 25, 1975, was lifted on March
23, 1977. The function is held every year, he said, at a different place
in the country. He said that this year the function was being hosted by
a local branch of Karnataka PUCL, the Mangalore branch which was working
under the leadership of Shri P. B. D' Sa. The Mangalore branch had the
highest membership (almost one thousand) amongst all the local branches
in the country and more than many state branches.
Dr. Chhibbar thanked all the donors from all over the country whose contributions
had made the function possible. (See the list of donors elsewhere). He
thanked in particular Neelofar Haram for conducting the study mentioned
above for the PUCL and also helping in the bringing together of the volume
of Selections from the PUCL Bulletin. He expressed his gratitude to Kalpana
Kannabiran at Hyderabad for selecting articles from 213 issues of the
PUCL Bulletin and indexing and classifying the material with the help
of Anshuman Jaiswal, Rajeev Kadambi of NALSAR University of Law and V.
Subbalakshmi and P. Sujatha of Asmita Resource Centre for Women, Hyderabad
for typing the entire set of articles. At Delhi Pushkar Raj and Babita
Garg rendered valuable help. He also thanked Sharif Khan, Brij Lal, B.
P. Bhatt, Bindu Raj, Om Prakash, and Ashok Kumar, his colleagues in the
He expressed special thanks to Anu, wife of Justice Zakeria and Vasanth
Kannabiran for being present in the function.
P. B. D' Sa thanked the managements of the St. Aloysius High School and
Sahodaya for their help and co-operation. He also thanked Dr. Lakshmi
Narayan and Dr. R. Ramarao from Mysore and Bangalore, General Secretary
and vice president of Karnataka PUCL, H. B. Shenoy, National Vice-President
from Kochi and P. Balamani, a member of the National Council from Thrissur
for attending the function. -- General Secretary