Sunday, December 28, 2014

Rule of Law or Rule of Lord in Modi of Banaras?

Woke up to the news of Shama’s death this morning. 20 year old Shama (name changed) was the only girl in her family who was studying and had dreams of getting a job and supporting her poor family. Shama was being molested by 3 boys since June 2014. On 18th Dec the boys entered her house and tried to rape her while her family was away. Shama put up a fight and screamed out loud. The boys then poured kerosene and burnt her. RIP Shama (name Changed), you were very brave! (From facebook wall of Smita Sharma, a photographer) 
In yet another case of the most barbaric crimes against women, a young girl was put on fire with the intention to burn her alive in  Matakund police post under Sigra police station in Varanasi district of Uttar Pradesh. The incident took place around 11 to 12 PM when the accused forcibly entered the house of Mohammed Ameen and set his daughter Shama (name changed) ablaze by sprinkling kerosene on her. The girl is battling for her life in a hospital. The crime was committed by some police informers after the parents of the girl made complaint against them. The accused police informers have been constantly making advances in the past few months trying to molest and sexually abuse the young girl.
Realising the severity of the crime, The People’s Vigilance Committee on Human Rights of Varanasi has written to the MP of Varanasi & Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Shri Akhilesh Yadav, the National Human Rights Commission, National Commission for Women, and the senior district and police officers urging them to intervene in the case and form a high-level inquiry team to initial legal action against all the accused parties. It has also demanded that the victim Shama (name changed) should be paid a compensation of Rs. 10 lakhs and be provided adequate treatment facilities and medical care. Police officials found guilty of not following the due process of law in the case should be tried under section 166 A of IPC. This heinous crime underscores the urgent need to implement police reforms and pass the Anti-Torture Bill pending in Rajya Sabha and also highlights the need to  ratify the UN Convention against Torture (UNCAT) by the government of India. A careful reading of the facts of the events reveals that rule of law is completely missing and instead it seems that informers at the service of police department are dictating the law and order in the city. Even the police actions are in violation of guidelines given by the Supreme Court of India and directions of the high police officials are not being followed.
The family of the victim has been complaining about the obscene behaviour of these police informers with their daughter since 13 June, 2014, but their voice went in vain in front of the gigantic police hierarchy. Instead of taking any action on their complaint, the police have been harassing and threatening the family. Tacit support and inaction on the part of Varanasi police emboldened the morale of the accused who finally committed the heinous crime.
The incident clearly shows that crime of sexual abuse of a young girl was being done with the support of Matakund Police post. This is not an isolated incident in the area. In yet another case in Lahanga Khurd Lallapur locality under the Sigra police station, a 10 year old minor boy  Babloo ( name changed) working with a sari cloth merchant Mr. Salauddin was confined in a house for 7 hours and badly beaten and tortured by the said merchant by falsely accusing him of stealing Rs. 20 lakhs.  This incident occurred on 31 August 2014 and Mr. Hamid (Babu Lal), father of the minor boy sent his written complaint by registered post to the local police station including the higher police officials. On the contrary the Singra police station filed an FIR against the minor boy and his parents on the complaint by the sari merchant Salauddin. In the said incident immediate action should have been taken by the police against Mr. Salauddin under the Child labour Prohibition Act and Juvenile Justice Act for forcing a minor boy into child labour and torturing him physically. Similarly in the case of burning of the young girl, the police department instead of following the due course of law seems giving full protection to the violators of law.
All the accused in the young girl case were working as police informers for Matakund police post and they were serving as cooks and washer men for the police officials of Matakund police post. The victim and her family had already given their complaint many times against the immoral conducts of the informers in Matakund police post, Lallapura and Singra police station. The aggrieved family never got any help from the police and the victim, Shama(name Changed) unable to put up the behaviour of informers got frustrated and was finally forced to discontinue her studies in between. Shama stopped coming out of her home due the constant fear of sexual harassment. Whenever she dared to came out of her house to buy household items or to attend the sewing classes, she continuously faced sexual harassment by the police informers. Her parents repeatedly complained to the police about this.
The aggrieved family approached the office of People’s Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR), Varanasi on December 8, 2014 and complained about the police negligence and inaction in their matter. They also narrated their painful story. People’s Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR) took their case and informed Senior Superintendent of Police, Varanasi, DGP, Uttar Pradesh and Chief Minister, Uttar Pradesh through a registered post and registered a complaint about the police negligence in the matter. On the advice of PVCHR in December 11, 2014 the aggrieved family filed a written complaint in the office of I G Varanasi zone about the atrocities and torture being meted out to them. The PRO of IG, Varanasi zone called up the Sigra police station and directed the police officials there to take this case seriously. It is necessary to mention here that Singra police station in charge was also responsible to look after the daily affairs of Matakund police post so negligence on the part of police here was inevitable. After this the victim Shama along with her parents gave a written complaint to the IG, Varansi zone on 12 December, 2014 and on their complaint IG, Varanasi zone gave the responsibility to SSP Varanasi to investigate the whole matter. Despite all this, Sigra police station and Matakund police post officials neither registered a police FIR against three accused namely Babudan, Gabbu and Pappu nor did they take any legal action against them. The accused police informers were not happy with the victim’s family for filing a complaint against them. With the tacit support of the police and police inaction in the case further boosted the confidence of the accused informers. As a consequence they decided to forcibly enter the house of Mohammed Ameen at around 11 to 12 PM and set the victim Shama ablaze by sprinkling kerosene on her.
It is a tragic irony that on the one hand India has been honoured with Noble peace prize for protection the rights of child and women but on the other one also witnesses the grave injustice and insensitivity as shown by the police officials in Matakund police post in this case that not only boosted the morale of criminals but also tacitly supported them to commit such a heinous crime in an organised fashion. As a result the young victim today is fighting the battle of her life in the hope of getting justice for her and her family and similarly the minor boy is still bearing the scars of police torture.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Quality Education for Muslim Children in Madarsa and Christmas Day

Greetings from PVCHR.
This Christmas you will enjoy with your families. Millions of children are still in need of your support. Your generous support will help us provide bright future to many underprivileged children who are still unreached.

Please visit follows link and donate:

Did you know that 76 percent of online donations come from recommendations from friends and family? Please forward this message to anyone you think may be interested in our work. Remember, every person and every penny counts.

Thank you very much for your very kind and valuable support in advance. Please, don’t forget to come and visit PVCHR and meet our dynamic children and youth when you come to India.
Best wishes to you and your family for the upcoming festival season.

With Regards,
Lenin Raghuvanshi
Founder and CEO

Summary of Project:
Integrated Approach to Technology in Education (ITE) in 20 Madarsa as a Model in Varanasi and Jaunpur Madarsa students specially to girls.Improve Learning Processes and Pedagogy: The technology as an information processing tool takes away the traditional information giving role of the teacher. This basic functionality of technology by default requires the teachers to take a facilitative than an informative role. The ITE approach requires the teachers to play a central role.

What is the issue, problem, or challenge?
India's secular character provides the freedom to all citizens to choose their own religion, a right provided in t of the Constitution of India. It also ensures that the state cannot discriminate on the basis of religion. However, in reality, things are different. The marginalization of the Muslim community the largest among the minority groups is complete. This has been corroborated by the Prime Minister's High-Level Committees on Minorities in 2006, headed by Justice Rajinder Sachhar.

How will this project solve this problem?
Bridge the digital divide and foster digital citizenship of Muslim Minority Create learning interest, attendance and retention Learning achievement Improve learning processes and pedagogy.

Potential Long Term Impact
ITE will create an interest in the subject matter as given in the school text books. This genuine interest in learning and the opportunity to create something of their own, using computers, cameras, and phones will attract the learner to knowledge creating resources. Also, this will, in itself make school relevant and connected with the learning centres. Bridging the digital divide entails proficiency in technical skills ensuring a better future for the children and adolescents.

Additional Documentation


Friday, December 12, 2014

‘The Origin’ organizes Human Rights Day at Jamia Millia Islamia

New Delhi: Essay writing and poster making competition marked the Human Rights Day at the Jamia Millia Islamia along with ‘The Origin’, a rights organization.
‘The Origin’, in collaboration with the Department of Political Science, JMI obseverd the Human Rights Day on Wednesday with the theme “Promotion and Protection of Human Rights: Contemporary Issues and Challenges”.

‘The Origin’ organizes Human Rights Day at Jamia Millia Islamia
Lenin Raghuvanshi, notable human rights activist, who was the chief guest at the event, spoke about the dalit, minorities and democratic rights. He had shared his experience with the students.

‘The Origin’ organizes Human Rights Day at Jamia Millia Islamia
Later, prizes for essay writing and poster making competition were distributed by Raghuvanshi, Prof Badrul Alam, head of the department, and Sharique Nadeem, president, ‘The Origin’.
More than 250 students from different universities participated in both the essay and poster making competition.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Child right Day and child participation

On the occasion of International Child Right Day, I,PVCHR and VOP thank to Norwegian Nobel Peace Committee to recognize the child rights and participation of children in process of protection and promotion of child right. I appeal to Indian Government to appoint all members of NCPCR(National Commission for Protection of Child Rights ). And Appeal to all Governments in world and Civil Society at large that please promote the participation of children in decision related to program of children.
Link of announcement of Nobel peace prize:

From Facebook wall of Shruti Nagvanshi

Friday, November 14, 2014

Education for marginalized

So we all have been celebrating 'Children's Day' but has anyone of us actually made an effort to bring a smile on the face an under-privileged child. If not, then here is your chance to educate children who are deprived of the basic educational amenities.
Step up to this occasion of funding the education of marginalized children! Because real ‪#‎SwachBharatAbhiyan‬ would be to eradicate illiteracy from ‪#‎INDIA‬.

We may spend 1000s of rupees over a weekend while watching a movie or a dinner can we not contribute a little for the brighter future of our motherland. Remember "Padhega India, tabhi toh badhega India"
Please contribute for this noble cause by clicking on the link below:

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Lenin Raghuvanshi in Satyamev Jayate:When Masculinity Harms Men — with Lenin Raghuvanshi

Post by PVCHR.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Satyamev Jayate - Season 3 | Episode 6 | When Masculinity Harms Men

When Masculinity Harms Men
95% of incidents of violence in India are committed by men. The final episode of Season 3 examines why this is the case and how deeply-entrenched notions of masculinity affect attitudes towards women. The episode also helps explain the larger violence we witness in society, be it in incidents of road rage, ragging or acid attacks. It explores how fixed notions of masculinity are shaped and how they victimize not only those at the receiving end, but men themselves as well.

On youtube:

Guest profile:
Dr Lenin Raghuvanshi grew up in Uttar Pradesh where he saw unequal relationships between men and women, with the men being stronger, violent and controlling of the women. He chose a different path for himself and went on to become one of the founding members of People's Vigilance Committee on Human Rights, a Varanasi-based NGO which works for the upliftment of the marginalized sections of the society. He is also a Dalit rights activist.
Email: | Website:

How masculinity ends up crippling men, depriving them of expressing normal human emotions like love, pain and vulnerability is the focus of this segment. Five men originally from the U.P.-Haryana regions talk about how they were taught by their own families to suppress their instincts and conform to a certain stereotype of being male and how this manifested in their behaviour.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Sharmila's fast enters 15th year

IMPHAL, Nov 5 – Several social organisations today staged sit-in demonstrations in Manipur supporting human rights defender Irom Chanu Sharmila’s struggle to repeal Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) 1958.
Demanding repeal of AFSPA, ‘Iron lady of Manipur’ Sharmila launched her fast in protest against the killing of ten persons at Malom on November 2, 2000. Three days later, she was arrested by police and charged with “attempt to commit suicide” and transferred to judicial custody.
The sit-in at Palace Gate here was organised by Asian Solidarity and Manipur People’s Struggle for Democracy. Maira paibis, students, activists and well-wishers along with Binayak Sen, Vice President of People’s Union for Civil Liberties and noted activist Lenin Raghuvanshi also attended the sit-in.
Raghuvanshi, who won Gwangju human rights award along with Sharmila in 2007, said “Peace and development will come once the AFSPA is removed as imposition of the Act helps in increasing number of armed groups.”
AFSPA gives security forces sweeping powers to search, enter property and shoot-at-sight and is seen by critics as cover for human rights abuses.

Hundreds of people in India's streets for the 'Iron Lady of Manipur' who is in her 15th year of hunger strike
Irom Sharmila has been fasting against martial law in the State of Manipur, which gives special powers (including full legal immunity) to members of the armed forces. This has led to human rights violations. Force-fed with a tube, the activist remains under arrest for "attempted suicide".

Imphal (AsiaNews/Agencies) - Hundreds of people from across India and around the world yesterday joined peaceful demonstrations in support of Irom Chanu Sharmila, 42, who began her 15th year of hunger strike against martial law in Manipur.
Throughout the northeastern state, human rights activists, students and representatives of civil society groups fasted and took part in sit-in protests and demonstration to express their solidarity with the activist's fight.
Dubbed the "Iron Lady of Manipur", Irom Sharmila has been fasting since 5 November 2000, after ten civilians were killed by the paramilitary Assam Rifles as they waited for the bus at Malom on 2 November.
As a child, she would fast every Thursday. After the incident, she went on a hunger strike as a form of peaceful and non-violent protest, demanding the repeal of the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), which has been in force in Manipur since 1958.
The Act grants the armed forces special powers in so-called "disturbed areas". In fact, the law makes it possible to question and arrest anyone suspected of being a "terrorist" or a criminal. It also gives the military full legal immunity, whatever their action. As a result, many have criticised the law for leading to human rights violations wherever it is in force.
Three days after she went on a hunger strike, Manipur Police arrested her for attempted suicide, which is illegal under Section 309 of the Indian Penal Code.
The latter provides for "simple imprisonment for a term which may extend to one year", but Irom Sharmila has spent most of the past 14 years behind bars, subject to nasogastric intubation to force-feed her.
A court offered her to plead guilty to close the case, but the activist remains adamant, explaining that hers is not a suicide attempt, but an act of non-violent resistance, like that of Mahatma Gandhi.
The 'Iron Lady' won the Gwangju Prize for Human Rights in 2007 along with Lenin Raghuvanshi, Dalit activist and director of the People's Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR), who yesterday attended the demonstrations in favour of Irom.
Protesters also called for AFSPA's repeal in other northeastern states as well as Jammu and Kashmir.
For Binayak Sen, from the People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), the Act destroys the very essence of democracy and obstructs the progress of justice. Indeed, more than two generations of Manipuris have grown up without knowing the meaning of freedom.

Debate on AFSPA at Impact TV News

Friday, October 31, 2014

Banaras Convention : An initiative by PVCHR

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Korean photogrpher,Lenin,Shruti and PVCHR

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Satyamev Jayate - Season 3 | Episode 4 | We Recommend | Sickness looms

Gulam Sarvar belongs to a community of weavers in
Benaras who are renowned for weaving Benarasi saris through generations. But
nowadays, the community is receiving attention for another reason: TB.
“Initially I was not feeling hungry, then I started coughing and having fever,”
says Sarvar. “Then I became really weak and was bed-ridden and could not work
anymore.” Gulam was infected with TB.

This is not just the story of Gulam Sarvar. There
are thousands of such weavers who are becoming a victim of this disease. Around
30% of the population is infected with TB. It is easy for the weavers to get
infected because of the dingy spaces they work out of. There is not much light
or fresh air in the rooms where the looms are and the conditions are perfect
for the TB bacteria to come into full form. The dust, the smoke and the fibre
also add to the hazardous mix which brings down their immunity – priming them
for an attack.

Malnutrition is another reason why the weavers'
immunity is low. What worsens the state of the patients is the lack of proper
medical attention and facility. On one hand the government officials are
negligent and the other is the problem of patients going to quacks instead of
trained health professionals. This is aggravated by the poverty of the weavers.
“We take the medication for as long as we can afford it,” says Badarunisha. But
can we afford to leave these weavers to their fate?

Few link of PVCHR initiative on TB:

Friday, October 24, 2014

The need of the hour is to create new dynamics and debate within India: Lenin Raghuvanshi

The need of the hour is to create new dynamics and debate within India: Lenin Raghuvanshi
Prominent Activist and Co-Founder Peoples Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR), Lenin Raghuvanshi in a conversation with Mushtaq Ul Haq Ahmad Sikander, about his early life, influences, work, Hindutva and future plans
Tell us something about yourself?
I was born in plural family. Each member was different from another, yet they lived under one roof. My Grandfather was Gandhian, but there was contrast in him as he was a socialist and atheist too. My grandmother was religious. My father initially joined RSS, but Grandmother told him that the uniform black cap of RSS is anti-Hindu. Then my dad became a communist, but he is still religious. There was always an ideological tussle going on between my grandparents and parents. My Grandfather wanted me to be a Gandhian and my Father wanted me to become a communist. Hence this tussle gave me an exposure to varied shades of opinion since my childhood. Later on I self studied various philosophies, ideologies and religions, and five great people influenced my life and thoughts particularly and they include Prophet Jesus (pbuh), Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), Karl Marx, Buddha and Dr.B.R Ambedkar. I grew up in the Eastern part of Uttar Pradesh (U.P) that has nationalist links with mainstream India. Though in certain parts of U.P, RSS and Congress type mentality also prevails. But I envisage that we create different nations within India, as India has the potential for tolerating many sub Nations.
What is your educational background?
I studied Indian Medicine system at a Gurukul Kangri in Haridwar.
Keeping in view your professional education background, how were you inclined towards activism?
As I stated earlier that my father wanted me to become a full time Communist Party worker, but I wasn’t inclined to it whole heartedly. In 1989, I joined United Nations Youth Organization and started my activism with that. In 1993 I came to head its U.P chapter. In the same year we started Bachpan Bachao Aandulan (Movement for saving childhood). During that movement, I witnessed that there were no child laborers from upper caste people. Meanwhile I also got married in 1992, and my spouse also helped me in my activism and believed in my work.

So when and what reasons led to the establishment of Peoples Vigilance Committee on Human Rights (PVCHR)?

In 1996, I along with my wife Shruti founded the PVCHR. It is a community based organization, to break the closed, feudal hierarchies of conservative slums and villages by building up local institutions and supporting them with a high profile and active human rights network.  The caste based violence, exploitation of poorer sections of the society and the marginalization of Dalits and Adivasis led to the establishment of PVCHR.

What kind of activities does PVCHR engage with?
We work against the Caste system and the structural prejudice associated with it. We work for the reconciliation among communities. We are also working for making the environment conducive for Truth and Reconciliation. We are initiating a discussion about democracy and human rights in the cow belt. Presently we have more than fifty thousand members and in more than four hundred villages we are carrying out our activities.
So did your efforts help in bringing any Positive change?
Yes, there is a lot of change in more than two hundred villages. Since 2000 there has been no communal violence in Banaras, heart of the cow belt. Many religious leaders have united against Hindutva Fascism. The Mushar community has become confident and an indigenous leadership has evolved among them. 2/3rd Dalits, Muslims and OBCs are elected members in Governing Board of PVCHR from 2010.
Do you face any threats or intimidation regarding your work?
Yes the threats and intimidation tactics are very common, both by State and Non State actors.
Is PVCHRs particular focus presently on torture victims?
Yes, we are strongly focusing on the victims of torture. Since 2008 we are using Testimonial Therapy developed by PVCHR and Danish Organization Research and Rehabilitation center for Torture Victims (RCT) for the survivors of torture, in order to make them overcome the aftermath trauma associated with torture. Our testimonial Therapy model are using by partners of RCT in Srilanka, Cambodia and Philippines.
You have been talking and writing about what you call as the “Culture of Impunity” as prevalent in India. What does this Culture of Impunity mean?
Peace without Justice and suffering in silence is culture of impunity. Our constitution is modern but the rules are colonial. The Police Act 1861, can be a reference point. It was implemented by the British in India after the 1857 mutiny. It was anti India in its connotations and stature, but still there has been no change in it despite the fact that British left India in 1947.
So how to Fight and Resist against this culture of impunity?
The culture of impunity breaks humans. During the freedom struggle Muslims were fighting alongside with other communities, but where are they now? This culture of impunity has wrecked much harm and is responsible for numerous atrocities against minorities, dalits and adivasis. It helps the guilty, culprits and perpetuators of these atrocities go scot free. We still have draconian laws like Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) imposed on various parts of India, where the security forces have committed grave human rights abuses because of this blanket culture of impunity. We must educate, organize and agitate against this culture of impunity. We must be able to provide Psycho-Social support to the victims. Then there is a need to create debate about this culture of impunity. For Justice to be established we need to tell the truth and put up the facts before the people.
What is your opinion about the Hindutva fascism and their suppression of minorities?
We had a strong Dalit movement before formation of RSS in 1925. We have saints like Kabeer, Raidas who were an epitome of our syncretic, plural and tolerant Indian culture. Hindutva has nothing to do with Hindu religion per se. The Hindutva ideology was a manifestation of British colonialism. The greatest ideologue of RSS Guru Golwalkar himself advised RSS cadres not to fight against the British occupation. They have an expansionist ideology. On one hand they are exploiting the dalits and on the other they are attacking other nationalities. They are even unhappy with me as I am fighting against casteism that forms a fundamental feature of their ideology. But the unfortunate part of the whole matter is that now major political parties are influenced by Hindutva ideology.
You have also been writing that caste based structural biases and violence is embedded in our system. How do you explain the same?
During childhood days my grandma used to tell me, not to eat while facing south, neither sleep keeping your legs in the direction. Elderly in the village said not to visit southern quarter of the village. Since childhood I used to wonder what the secret of this word ‘Dakhkhin Tola’ (south ghetto) is.
As I grew up, started reading, started social activism, fought for the rights of bonded labours and traveled across the globe then I realized that in the south of every village there is South Africa (a Dalit quarter ) as ‘culture of silence’.
The silence imposed by draconian suppression sanctified by religious rituals of the Upper Caste was such that the outside world knew little about this colossal cruelty. Justice V.R.Krishna Iyer, former Judge, Supreme Court of India described the plight of the Dalits in the following words, “Courts to them are alien, laws their enemy and human justice their despair.”

The caste system continues to determine political, social, and economic lives of a billion people in South Asia. The caste system, straddling across the scrawny shoulders of the Untouchables, is like that Old man in Tolstoy’s story, who has all the sympathy for the poor bearer and would like to do anything but to get off his shoulder. The most significant aspect of caste is its ability to resurface without a trace of remorse on the part of the perpetrator. It is like that chemical addiction which once had makes you vulnerable to its guiles forever.
American modern conservative thinker Edmund Burke says correctly about India many years before, “In that Country the law of religion, the laws of the land, and the law of honour, are all united and consolidated in one, and bind a man eternally to the rule of what is called his caste.”
Traditional political system and  Hindu fascist forces are trying hard to maintain the old system of the power game. Money and muscle power, together with political string-pulling, often result in denial of justice for the hapless ‘have-nots’, especially the Dalits (untouchables), ravaged by poverty and illiteracy.
Atrocities and extortion on the Dalits, fake encounters, refusal to register complaints against the well-heeled, arbitrary arrests on false charges, illegal detention and custodial deaths are in commonplace.
In the absence of a modern social audit system, the keepers of the law often unleash a ‘police raj’, especially in rural India. A crippled National Human Rights Commission and its state subsidiaries with limited recommendatory control and a dysfunctional Legal Aid System depict a gloomy picture indeed.
Ironically, even after having shed the colonial yoke, its legacy continues in the administrative framework of our independent India marked with widespread corruption which has rendered many government-sponsored schemes in rural India a failure.
You have also written that Indian police has learnt the tactic of Community Punishment from caste system. How can these two be related?
You can witness this fact in India. If an upper caste person commits a crime, if ever he is punished, he will bear it solitarily. But if a lower caste person commits any crime the whole community will be punished for one man’s deeds. The Police have learnt community punishment from casteism. Also see how the Caste and Class structures are reinforced by the state machinery. Why are the regiments named on caste and class denominations like Rajputana, Dogra etc, whereas such amalgamations are contradictory to the constitution?
The Police atrocities against common people particularly the marginalized sections of society are growing with each passing day. What are the reasons responsible for that?
Police is the prime executive for the protection of Human Rights of common people. But in India the mindset of Police as inculcated by 1861 Police Act is synonymous to the British period when the Police saw all Indians as enemies. Even after Freedom Indian police witnesses citizens as its enemies. Hence the police reforms are must. We also need representation of minorities and marginalized sections of society in the police in order to change its outlook, bias and perception about them.
In most cases where the Police is found guilty of committing atrocities against the innocent civilians, we witness that they usually go scot free, while the innocent continue to suffer?
The prevalent culture of impunity is responsible for the guilty policemen going scot free. In Crpc and AFSPA the police and army have got the legal impunity that makes their persecution or punishment impossible.  We want to amend and remove these draconian laws. Armed Forces Special Power ordnance was imposed by the British colonial administration to crush the Quit India Movement that started in 1942, but even after Freedom Indian State implemented more draconian law as Armed Forces Special Power Act(AFSPA). Indian State is still not ready to pass the Anti Torture Bill. How can in such an environment you hope for policemen to be punished. These black laws create problems for National integration. We need to fight the mindset that is obstructing the amendment or revocation of these draconian laws, under the veil of National interests and sovereignty.
The growing corporatization is having severe ramifications on Nation Building and integrity. How can we resist this onslaught?
We need to strength the Neo Dalit movement. Neo-dalit campaign is against politics of division, exploitation and hatred with an alternative of unity of broken masses on base of reconciliation, democracy, secularism and non violence. First unity is unity against caste system, a historical system of exclusion i.e. unity among the lower castes people that have been suppressed since centuries with the progressive anti-caste people born in upper caste. This will be first of its kind unity, which will not be against any person born in to upper caste communities neither against any religion. Second unity is unity among minorities and communities who suffered with communal fascism, those who believe in communal harmony and people with secular values against neo-fascism. Unity of all poor from all communities against the suffering with neo-liberal policy is the third kind of unity. Fighting against neoliberal policy is not against democratic capitalism for people. Since those broken with different kinds of suppression and exclusion means dalit therefore these three kinds of unities is base of impart the neo-dalit movement. These three need to join hands and unitedly fight against the menace of corporatization based on exclusion, anti-people and anti-environment norms. We are opposing the corporatization whereas attacking cultural imperialism too, and trying to build pressure on Government through people demand for more budget on social structure such as education, health etc . If we will not fight against corporatization, they will make the country and people slave to their corporate goals.
Given your busy activist schedule, how do you balance that with your personal family life and its demands?
My wife Shruti is also an activist, while our son Kabeer is an independent child. We still live together in a joint family and I visit my parents when I find time.
So what are the future plans of PVCHR?
We are going to work in Kashmir, not for political negotiations or for solving Kashmir issue. We want to meet the victims and survivors of torture. We want to ask for pardons for the atrocities committed by the Indian State, and start reconciliation with people of Kashmir. We also want to offer psychological support to the victims of torture through Testimonial Therapy.
Any message for people?
The people must believe in themselves. The need of the hour is to create new dynamics and debate within India. The people musty make alliances with Dalits, Anti-Hindutva Movement and other marginalized people. The debate about Kashmir must be initiated within Indian particularly the cow belt, and it is obligatory on Kashmiris to change the mindset of the inhabitants of cow belt as far as Kashmir and other issues are concerned.
Lenin Raghuvanshi can be reached at
Mushtaq Ul Haq Ahmad Sikander is Writer-Activist based in Srinagar, Kashmir and can be reached at

#pvchr #lenin #leninraghuvanshi #u4humanrights #dalit #neodalit

Dr. Lenin received Human Rights Award of the City of Weimar (Germany ): Felicitated by Samyak Samaj and People For Tourism Trust on 18th December 2010

Thursday, October 23, 2014

PVCHR through photography: Shruti Nagvanshi: a grass root women power

PVCHR through photography: Shruti Nagvanshi: a grass root women power: Shruti Nagvanshi, born on 2nd January 1975 in the city of Varanasi is an Indian social activist committed to promote social justice and d...

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Story of Girl power

Monday, October 13, 2014

‘Satyarthi braved bullets, but successfully rescued 23 kids’

VARANASI : "It's a great moment for us that Kailash Satyarthi has been honoured with Nobel Peace Prize," said Lenin Raghuvanshi, one of the founder members of Bachpan Bachao Andolan that came into existence in 1993. Lenin remained associated with BBA till 1999, and later formed People's Vigilance Committee on Human Rights ( PVCHR). "We are still associated with Satyarthi and support him in his work," said Lenin, who had taken part in Global March against Child Labour in 1998 along with the Nobel winner Satyarthi. 

The carpet belt of Mirzapur-Bhadohi in eastern UP was his karmabhoomi in the early part of his crusade against child labour and trafficking. Satyarthi worked tirelessly in the carpet belt of Bhadohi and Mirzapur, notorious for exploiting child workers. It was his initiative to start the Rugmark, a label given to carpet makers for guaranteeing that the product is child labour free. 

"I met him just 10 days ago at a programme in New Delhi," said Lenin Raghuvanshi. Describing him (Satyarthi) as a true friend of children, Lenin said that they had worked together in rescue operation of child labourers at various places. "I can't forget a rescue operation in Handia, where we faced gun fire," he said, adding that despite the firing, Satyarthi remained firm and successfully rescued 23 children. He himself led most of the rescue operations. 

"On December 10, 1996 he led a 'Shoshanmedh Yajna' at Dashashwamedh Ghat after rescuing children from Jansa area," said Lenin. "I sat on 71-hour-dharna at the district headquarters in December 1997 for rescue and rehabilitation of child labourers. It was Satyarthi, who ended my fast," he said. 

Shruti Nagvanshi, another former member of the BBA, said that it was the commitment of Satyarthi to a great cause that brought Nobel Peace Prize to him. Shruti was in the state committee of BBA and general secretary at Varanasi. 

Satyarthi's another associate Rajiv Kumar Singh of Dr. Shambhunath Singh Research Foundation also recalled the moments he spent with him. "We were together at many times in raids for the rescue of children. We had to face stiff resistance from the employers during rescue operations," he said. "He was even branded as a foreign agent to destroy the carpet industry. But, today the honour of Nobel Peace Prize ended all the negative things and established the truth. We are proud of him," he said. 

In 1980, Satyarthi and other leaders of the Bonded Labor Liberation Front in New Delhi launched a crusade against bonded labor and child servitude in the carpet industry. The eastern UP in a triangle from Varanasi to Mirzapur and Bhadohi, was the center of the carpet belt, where it was estimated that about 3 lakh underage children were at work, mostly under inhuman conditions. 

Despite the denials of government and industry about bonded child labor in the carpet belt, Satyarthi's crusade, aided by the the Supreme Court, caused the liberation of thousands of children who were discovered in raids by these activists. The activity also generated media attention in Europe, where conditions in the carpet industry of India and Nepal were exposed time and again. 

In UP, Satyarthi set up local offices in Mirzapur, Bhadohi, and Varanasi, upgrading their activities and staff. The Varanasi office coordinated activities for a large number of NGOs related to his BBA and South Asian Coalition on Child Servitude (SACCS) throughout the carpet belt, including Mirzapur, Sondbhadra, Bhadohi, Allahabad, Garhwal, Nagaruttarum, Ghazipur, Robertsganj, Palamau, Saharsa, Khagaria and Madhubabni. These pressures have been partially responsible for state officials taking up the issue of bonded child labor. The district administration of Mirzapur, Varanasi, Bhadohi and Ghazipur ordered surveys of children engaged at carpet looms.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Modi, sweeper for a day for Gandhi and the "Clean India" campaign

Modi, sweeper for a day for Gandhi and the "Clean India" campaign
Nirmala Carvalho
The aim is to improve the sanitary conditions of the Indian people, providing toilets and services to schools and homes. For pro-Dalit activist Raghuvanshi, the campaign is a boost to the fight against the caste system. However, he opposes plans to turn the Ganges River into a fluvial highway for goods.

Mumbai (AsiaNews) - This morning in New Delhi cleaners from Valmiki Basti Colony found themselves with an exceptional co-worker, Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India.
Wielding a broom, the prime minister cleaned one side of the road, inaugurating his much-heralded Clean India campaign (Swachh Bharat Abhiyan).

In a symbolic move, Modi chose the birthday of the Mahatma Gandhi - India's independence leader - to present an ambitious project whose goal is to improve the sanitary conditions of the Indian people.
Modi's action might seem just a big publicity stunt. However, speaking to AsiaNews, Lenin Raghuvanshi, director of the People's Vigilance Committee for Human Rights (PVCHR), an organisation committed to the defence and promotion of Dalit right, calls today's demonstration a positive step.

"The Clean India campaign," he explains, "is a step towards reconciliation with Gandhi and against the mind-set that still keeps the caste system alive. In this sense, I welcome the prime minister's step."
In the caste system, Dalits -"untouchable" outcaste - take care of most menial and degrading tasks, namely those involving contact with anything that is dirty and "impure".

This ranges from the tanning of hides and skins and animal slaughter to the removal of garbage and animal carcasses.
Even today - in spite of the official abolition of the caste system - streets, latrines and sewers are cleaned by Dalits.
Modi's five-year national campaign kicks off today and on 2 October 2019, the government will take stock of its achievements.

This is a tall order. The first - and most difficult - thing to do will be to get people to stop defecating in the open.

In fact, more than 600 million Indians have no access to privies. To change the situation, Mr Modi has promised to build toilets in every school and provide every home with a one over the next five years. This is expected to cost 620 billion rupees (US$ 10 billion).
The government has earmarked 146 million rupees of its own money for the project, and expects the remaining amount to come from the corporate sector, international development organisations and elsewhere.

However, to build health services will not (and cannot be) the only solution to "clean" India.
In all of the country's cities - including some areas in big cities like Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata - it is not only easy to see people performing bodily functions outdoor, but they also dump trash everywhere. Indian rivers are virtual open dumps.

For this reason, the campaign calls on people to take an active part in the project, learning to keep the streets clean and acquire a new "consciousness" about health and hygiene.
As part of the cleanliness "battle", Raghuvanshi however has some misgivings about another measure by the central government.

"The authorities presented a plan to transport goods via the Ganges. If this is implemented," he warns, "the government will end up polluting even more the already highly polluted waters of the sacred river".

NEWS FEATURE Cleaning India's river Ganges - an eternal challenge? By Sunrita Sen, dpa

"People are involved and concerned like here in Varanasi, but it is for the government to take concerted and sustained steps," said Lenin Raghuvanshi, a long-time social activist based in the holy city on the Ganges.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Modi-Xi deals to provide a "lesson in democracy"

The director of the People's Vigilance Committee for Human Rights views positively the new Beijing-Delhi relationship. Xi Jinping pledged investments worth US$ 20 billion over five years.

New Delhi (AsiaNews) - Lenin Raghuvanshi, director of the People's Vigilance Committee for Human Rights, told AsiaNews that the new chapter in Sino-Indian relations established by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping is a "positive step that can boost pluralism in India and provide China a lesson in democracy."

After Modi got Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to pledge loans and investments worth US$ 33 billion, he has now managed to get Xi to offer US$ 20 billion in investment over the next five years.
In addition to marking the end of a US-centred unipolar world, the pledges by the two Far East leaders will help Modi meet the goal of a trillion dollars in investments by 2017 needed to boost the country's growth.

"India needs to develop its infrastructure and create new factories for the global market," Raghuvanshi told AsiaNews. "This opening up will also be good to us," said the human rights activist.

"If the Indian economy gets the support of other foreign countries, this creates a completely different dynamic within the country and promotes our democracy's pluralism, avoiding the danger that certain forces, especially the most radical ones, might prevail over others."

Crisis of democracy and the Caste System in India: Lenin Raghuvanshi

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Swami Avimukteshwaranand ji in Banaras Convention

Friday, September 12, 2014

REX CONCLiVE 2013-14, Dr Lenin Raghuvanshi

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Asia's most prestigious contemporary art festival begins in South Korea

The Gwangju Biennale, started in September 1995 in the city of Gwangju in the South Jeolla province of South Korea, is Asia's first and most prestigious contemporary art biennale.

Founded in memory of the 1980 civil uprising and the Gwangju Democratisation Movement, the event showcases a global perspective on contemporary art.

Ideas of destruction and renewal lie at the heart of 2014 Gwangju Biennale, one of the world’s best-attended contemporary art festivals. Hosted by the Gwangju Biennale Foundation and the Gwangju Museum of Art, the special project ‘Sweet Dew-since 1980’, is a combination of lectures, exhibitions,and performances. All this is done to create a new platform for discourses on visual cultures.

As a part of this project, the lecture series will seek to analyse the current state of reality in Korea, Asia, Europe, and the United States through testimonies and debates over issues of energy and environmental crises; the spread of neo-liberalism; transformation of the relations between capital, labour, and the arts and the ongoing violence perpetrated by the state and threat to democratic values. This lecture series not only tries to understand our present reality, but also to articulate our desires for the future and form the basis of the forthcoming Gwangju Manifesto.

Open to the public from September 5- November 9, the event has the theme 'Burning down the House'.

The works on exhibition explore subjects that challenge the status quo, including that of labour and gender issues as well as a loss of folklore traditions in Asia’s contemporary commodity culture, according to artistic director Jessica Morgan. The theme is a nod to a song by US. art-rock group the Talking Heads.

I, Lenin Raghuvanshi (Leader of the social Movement for the untouchable people, India), am going to present my paper titled ‘Crisis of democracy and the Caste System in India’ during the International symposium on ‘Globalisation and the Crisis of Democracy’. Similarly the other panelists for the symposium on 19 September are: Young-Suk Lee (Professor of English Language and literature Gwangju University, Korea), Peter Bohmer (Professor of Economics at Evergreen State College, US), Michalis Spourdalakis (Professor of Political Science at University of Athens, Greece), Pyeong-Eok An (Professor of International Relations at Daegue University, Korea), Ken Ishida (Professor of History of International Politics at Chiba University, Japan), Jie-Hyun Lim (Professor of History at Hanyang university, Korea) and Michael Kim (Professor of International Studies at Yonsei University, Korea).

In my paper, I write, “India is a land of diversity with a great and long history populated by many different peoples, from many different origins, and who have many different religious, political and philosophical views. Many abuses are committed against peoples due to their caste or their religion and nature is more and more systematically ransack for privates interests."

The main problems facing the country came from two things. First is the implementation of a ‘culture of impunity based on mind of caste with silence’, which arose from a shared belief that a few can act without being accountable for their actions, be it at the social, economic or political levels. Secondly, the problems arose from the meeting of this cognitive problem with the market democracy and economic globalisation.”

Rabindranath Tagore puts it the right way in Geetanjali:
Where the mind is without fear
and the head is held high;
Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been
broken up into fragments
by narrow domestic walls; ...
Where the clear stream of reason
has not lost its way into the
dreary desert sand of dead habit; ...
Into that heaven of freedom,
my Father, let my country awake.

Details about Gwangju Biennial 2014:

Official patrons:
Ministry of Foreign Affairs / Ministry of Education, Science and Technology / Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism / Ministry of Security and Public Administration / Korea Customs Service / Gwangju Metropolitan Office of Education

Official sponsors:
Gwangju Shinsegae Department Store / Kwangju Bank / Asiana Airlines / Kumho Buslines
Promotional sponsors:
Shinhan Card / Ramada Plaza Gwangju / Holiday Inn Gwangju / Kumho Resort / Gwangju Family Land / Joongwoe Happy Land / SK Planet / Korail / Gwangju Convention & Visitors Bureau / WeMakePrice / Bohae

Artist commissions:
The International Production Fund 2014: Outset USA, Outset England, Outset Netherlands, NEON Organization for Culture and Development, D. Daskalopoulos / PKM Gallery / Fondation Saradar / Naver / Laura Rapp and Jay Smith / Dakis Joannou / Fundació Per Amor a L’Art / Yana and Stephen Peel / Ross Sappenfield / SBS Culture Foundation / National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea / Gallery Koo / Academy of the Arts of the World, Cologne / Maryam Eisler / Fondation Nationale des Arts Graphiques et Plastiques, Paris-France, FNAGP

Institutional support:
Naver Corporation / SAHA Association / British Council / Institut Français / Canada Council for the Arts
National Arts Council Singapore / Japan Foundation / Acción Cultural Española, Gobierno de España / US Embassy Seoul

Links for more information: