PUCL Bulletin, May 2002

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 since childhood.

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 National office.

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