Sunday, June 24, 2018

Citizens Conclave on safeguarding the Constitution and protecting democracy

NB: This is the programme (along with an introductory note) that I received for a forthcoming Citizens Conclave on safeguarding the Constitution and protecting dissent and rights of minorities. I wholeheartedly support the idea of this conclave, but I think it is lacking in one significant respect. If there is a clear reason why the plight of Kashmiri Pandits need not be raised and discussed at a forum on inclusive democracy, then that reason should be made public. It is not a matter of privately-held beliefs, but of public responsibility, especially as we claim to be concerned with the fate of Indian democracy. Here is the letter I sent to the person who kindly sent me the programme, and to some other persons associated with it. Four of them - thus far - have endorsed my suggestion, including Aruna Roy, Javed Anand & Purushottam Agrawal, but as I have not heard from the organisers and as the matter is urgent, I am posting it on this blog:

Thank you for this invitation for a timely conference. The themes democracy and dissent, and the plight of minorities are very relevant for all democrats. The plight of Kashmiri Pandits does not seem to figure among your listed concerns in this admirable programme (please correct me if I am wrong). The bulk of the Pandit population has been the victim of terror-inspired fear and lacs were forced to leave their ancestral homes. Large numbers were killed by terrorists. A small number of them remain in the Valley, and have repeatedly called attention to their plight. Should not Indian citizens interested in dissent and the rights of minorities listen to them?

Please see some communications from Mr Sanjay Tikoo of the KPSS:


I urgently request you to correct this discrepancy and invite some speakers or Mr Tikoo to speak their minds on this question. It is not good for Indian democracy for its defenders to appear to neglect any section of suffering people. Since your conference is about dissent, I trust you will take my suggestion in the right spirit. 

I take the liberty of addressing this request to those whom I have copied into this message.
My best wishes for the success of the conclave
yours sincerely
Dilip Simeon


Deputy Speaker Hall; Constitution Club; New Delhi 
Safeguarding the Constitution; Ensuring the Independence and Integrity of the Civil Services and Defence Forces 
9-9.50 am:  Registration & Tea
9.50-10.00: Welcome: Dr Harshvardhan Hegde
10 am-1 pm: Session 1
Chair: Admiral Laxminarayan Ramdas
Speakers: Air Marshal Vir Narain; Dr. Atul Bharadwaj; NC Saxena, Former Secretary, Planning Commission; Sindhushree Khullar, Former Secretary, Planning Commission; Tuk Tuk Ghosh, Former Secretary & Financial Advisor; Wajahat Habibullah, First Chief Information Commissioner

2-5 pm: Session 2
Chair: Ashok Vajpeyi, Former Secretary Culture; 
Speakers: Air Marshal Kapil Kak; Aruna Roy, Former IAS; Ashok Kumar Sharma, IFS, Former Ambassador; Commodore Lokesh K Batra (Retd.); Niranjan Pant, Former Deputy CAG; Sundar Burra, Former IAS 

5-6 pm: Tea
Entry Open 


Dear friends, 
Kindly find the video links of all the speeches of the Citizens' Conclave organised by Inclusive India. I  request you to circulate at least any three videos of your choice  to your friends circle on mail, whatsapp, twitter, fb. If everyone does that hopefully they will be visible soon to a larger audience. We are organizing a day long program on June 30th . I am pasting it after the links. do circulate/ come. Thank you very much again for your valuable time. 

video links :
Democracy and dissent – Citizens’ Conclave  
Om Thanvi
Iftikhar Ahmad Khan
Jagmati Sangwan
Kanhaiya Kumar
Rajdeep Sardesai
Saba Dewan
Siddharth Vardarajan
Usha Ramanathan
Meeran Bonwarkar

Education for Inclusive India – Citizens’ Conclave
Abha Dev Habib
Fahad Ahmad
Kawalpreet Kaur
Manasi Thapaliyal
Munna Sannaki
Pooja Shukla
Richa Singh
Attack On Judiciary and Rule Of Law – Citizens’ Conclave
Justice Kolse Patil
Colin Gonsalves
Ramesh Nathan
Rebecca John

Economy, Industry, Development – Citizens’ Conclave
Arvind Mayaram, Ashok Singh Garcha, Hemant Shah, Madhuresh Kumar, Paranjoy Guha Thakurta
Harsh Mander
Jignesh Mevani
Ram Punyani
Teesta Setalvad
Tehmina Arora

Gender Rights : Attacks and Resistance – Citizens’ Conclave
Nisha Agarwal
Annie Raza
Kavita Krishnan
Rachna Mudraboyina
Syeda Hameed
Hartosh Bal
Bhasha Singh
Niranjan Takle
Sankarsan Thakur
Kavita Srivastava
Gauhar Raza
Mathew Jacob
Megha Pansare

Protest Poetry and Songs – Citizens’ Conclave
Ashok Kumar Pandey
Gauhar Raza
Mannu Kohli
Poojan Sahil
Raza Haider
Sangwari

Pluralism, Diversity and Culture – Citizens’ Conclave
Seema Mustafa
Ganesh Devi
Raza Haider
Sohail Hashmi

Nationalism – Citizens’ Conclave
Tanika Sarkar
Apoorvanand
K Satchidanandan
Zoya Hasan

Building an Inclusive India – Citizens’ Conclave
Daisy Narayan
Mohammed Arif
Vrinda Grover
Jyoti Malhotra 

Building Resistance
Ashok Vajpeyi
INTERVIEW NIRANJAN TAKLE
INTERVIEW RACHANA MUDRABOYINA
INTERVIEW JAMSER ALI
INTERVIEW GOLDY GEORGE
INTERVIEW GANESH DEVY
INTERVIEW FAHAD AHMAD
INTERVIEW MOHD ARIF
INTERVIEW DAISY NARAYAN
INTERVIEW ANJALI HEGDE
INTERVIEW POOJA SHUKLA
INTERVIEW PRAVEER PETER
INTERVIEW  RICHA SINGH
INTERVIEW - HEMANT SHAH- CITIZENS' CONCLAVE 
INTERVIEW - IFTIKHAR AHMAD KHAN- CITIZENS' CONCLAVE