-- By Y.P. Chhibbar
A Saga of fedication By Krishna Kant.
completes 25 years
People's Union for
Civil Liberties completed 25 years of its existence on October 17, 2001.
Lok Nayak Jaya Prakash Narayan founded the People's Union for Civil Liberties
and Democratic Rights (PUCLDR) in 1976. Acharya J.B. Kripalani inaugurated
it on October 17. Shri V.M. Tarkunde was its Working President and Shri
Krishan Kant the General Secretary. The name of the organisation was changed
to the People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) in 1980 when its Constitution
was adopted and it was made a membership organisation.
The PUCL has made a mark in these 25 years as a pioneer organisation in
the country in the defence of Civil Liberties and Human Rights. It has
today eighteen State branches and in many States a number of active district
branches also. It's monthly journal, the PUCL Bulletin, is in its 236th
It has been holding a JP Memorial Lecture every year on March 23 to mark
the day the Emergency was lifted in 1977. In the same function it also
gives the 'Journalism for Human Rights Award' to a journalist for the
best coverage of a Human Rights situation in that calendar year. Twenty-one
lectures in the series have been held and twenty journalism awards have
The PUCL finances all its activities with funds raised from members and
sympathisers. It does not accept funds from any funding agency, Indian
The National PUCL and the Delhi State branch jointly organised a function
on October 17 at the Constitution Club to mark the day. Shri K.G. Kannabiran
presided over the function and Shri Krishan Kant, who is at present the
Vice-President of India, was the Chief guest. Shri Rajni Kothari and Shri
Rajindar Sachar, former Presidents of the PUCL, were also on the dais.
All the members of the PUCL who worked shoulder to shoulder with JP were
invited to the function, besides all present members of the PUCL.
Gopa Joshi initiated the proceedings. Y.P. Chhibbar gave a brief history
of the organisation and Shri R.B. Mehrotra, President of Delhi PUCL thanked