Women on Wheels
On March 2, South Asian Women in Media in collaboration with ADAMAS University, Barasat and British Deputy High Commissioner Kolkata, organised a Women's day event, 'Women in Climate Action: The Future and its Scope'. The keynote address was given by T Vijayendra, entitled, 'WOW-Women On Wheels: Bicycle, Women's Liberation and Climate Action'. This was followed by a Panel Discussion by four women: Ms Joya Mitra, poet, writer and activist, Dr Jyotsna Yagnik, Pro Vice Chancellor and Dean of School of Law & Justice, ADAMAS University Dr Kakoli Sengupta, Associate Professor, Department of International Relations, Jadavpur University Ms Sahana Ghosh, science and environmental journalist. Mongabay India. Moderator: Ms Chandrima Bhattacharya, Associate Editor, "The Telegraph. Ms Swati Bhattacharjee, SAWM General Secretary, Prof Samit Ray, Chancellor ADAMAS University Professor Mrityunjoy Chatterjee, Professor & CEO-Chancellor's Office, ADAMAS University, and Mr. Nick Low, British Deputy High Commissioner, Kolkata were also present. In the audience some 100 young students of the University and staff were present.
T Vijayendra, Hyderabad

KPFF 2020
The Kolkata People's Film Festival (KPFF), organised by the People's Film Collective (PFC), is a people supported, independently organised, volunteer led cinema festival, showcasing politically committed contemporary documentary and fiction cinema from the subcontinent. It brings together filmmakers, students, workers, artists, writers, journalists and a wider cross-section of people to interact and form friendships and camaraderie over films and conversations.

7th edition of KPFF had been screend 34 films featuring a wide range of compelling stories from India and Southasia. While selecting the films, our screening committee had in mind that we are living in a time of rise-and rise of home-grown fascists. While people of an entire valley are caged into silence, entire communities are being othered and threatened to be stripped of their citizenship, as the two-nation theory rears us ugly head once again amidst ghosts of the Partition. Now is a time when demonising of migrants, crackdowns on political dissent, violence against oppressed castes, genders and religious minorities, an unarrested economic slowdown, and capitalist assault on labour rights and public education have become a regular state of affairs in our country. It is a time also of deepening climate crisis, when even the seasons have visibly shifted patterns, causing immense distress to the ecology, agriculture and to the most marginalised sections of our people.

At this juncture, KPFF 2020 is imagined as a space for renewed conversations between everyone committed to putting up cultural and political resistance against an emboldened fascist state, and for celebrating people's power.

The 7th edition of KPFF had an opening keynote address on the state of the nation by writer Arundhuti Roy, a special screening of documentary filmmaker Anand Patwardhan's latest award-winning magnus opus, Vivek (Reason) followed by interaction with the filmmaker, an audio-visual presentation by documentary filmmaker Sanjay Kak titled 'Kashmir: the Image as Witness and Memory', and a closing concert titled 'Singing Your Despair, and Mine' by singers Aamir Aziz and Moushumi Bhowmik in conversation with each other.
The festival hosts 25 filmmakers, facilitating intimate interactions with audience, and hosts Premiere screening of 22 films. The KPFF venue hosts an art exhibition for present times of troubled citizenship and torn belongings, put together jointly by a bunch of political artists from the city.
All are welcome to the KPFF 2020, a film festival of counterculture, resistance, re-imaginings, celebration and togetherness.
People's Film Collective,
January 2020

NSSO Figures
The National Sample Survey Office conducted its latest periodic labour force survey between July 2017 and June 2018-a period considered crucial because it would reveal just what impact demonetisation had on India's working population. Two members of the National Statistical Commission resigned when the Centre refused to make this data public, and yet the government didn't blink.

In January 2019, Business Standard published a series of articles leaking the survey's results. Unemployment was at a 45-year high, the NSSO had found, and youth unemployment was substantially higher than in previous years.

The Centre finally released that data only in May 2019-after the general elections were over and the Narendra Modi government had been re-elected. Even then, the government sought to play down the survey's results by saying that the numbers were not strictly comparable, as the survey's methodology had changed.
In late 2018, the government released new official GDP back series data, according to which GDP growth under the Manmohan Singh government was slower than earlier recorded. Several experts questioned how these news numbers were arrived at—even saying that they "turn the basic laws of macroeconomics on their head".

Even with this manipulated data, the GDP growth has fallen to new lows in 2019. But instead of taking measures to address the falling growth rate, the government has attempted to wish it away by claiming that it is only a cyclical phenomenon.

Tit for Tat
The niggardly standard of Indian diplomacy with respect to three of its neighbouring countries : Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh, is getting exposed.

First, the CAB wrongly accused these countries of having persecuted its non-Muslim minorities and assumed that they were thus forced to illegally migrate to India.

Second, the NRC imperfectly identified the 'foreigner' mainly on account of lack of age-old documents or inadvertent discrepancies in names or dates, thus swelling the numbers of so-called 'foreigners' to be kept in detention centers or forcibly deported back to their assumed countries of origin.

Third, the CAA arbitrarily decided to give citizenship to the non-Muslim illegal immigrants from these three neighbouring Muslim-majority countries and to forcibly deport back the rest of the 'illegal' Muslim immigrants from these countries.

Thereby, the GOI by its three-fold policy of NRC, CAA and NPR has successfully created conflicts with three of its immediate neighbours without being able to resolve the problem of illegal immigration and divided the nation and the citizenry on the basis of religion, even while the basic economic and social issues of poverty, growth, employment, housing, education, discrimination based on gender, caste, tribe and religion, remained unattended or neglected.

Now the Governments or civil societies, of these three neghbouring countries are breaking their silence on India's big brotherly policies and attitude.

Bangladeshi Foreign Minister has most recently reacted to India's CAB thus: " We will deport all the Indians residing illegally in Bangladesh."
Aurobindo Ghose, Human Rights Advocate, Supreme Court of India, Email:

Whither NHRC?
It is an open insert case of murder where BSF authority with their bullet power tries to establish reign of terror by killing such innocent minor victims. These perpetrators should be booked and prosecuted.

National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) is now a mouthpiece of district administration.

In this instant case your authority informed that DIG (OPS) BSF and other state authority submitted their report and as in their report they mentioned there was no such violation of right of the victim, your authority decided to close the case. In this connection several questions raised in the minds of the people of India.

In this inhumanity by the State Force personnel acceptable? Or should the Commission turn blind to the suffereings of the victims?

Being the supreme protector of human rights, can it strike down the international obligation where India was also a signatory?

Rights Commission gives much reliance in the report of the concerned state authorities by which the rights of the victimised people are curtailed. If this situation continues then after some decades the so called term 'human rights' would be abolished from the mind of the nation. The present position of human rights in India is in peril and your authority closes the case one by one just only based on concerned authorities' report. NHRC harms its own reputation by itself.

While the United Nations Code of Conduct of Law Enforcement Officers lays down that in the performance of duties, Law enforcement officers shall respect and protect human dignity and maintain and uphold human rights of all persons, but the BSF personnel along Indo-Bangladesh border without any attention exercising their arbitrary power upon poor, helpless citizens in the country. The Force also violated United Nations Convention on the Rights of Child and also guilty under section 23 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000.
Kirity Roy, Secretary, MASUM
& National Convener, PACTI

Delhi Violence
Activists reveal callous negligence of the centre and the state Governments to provide relief and rehabilitation. In a press conference addressed by Activists Hash Mander (Karwan e Mohabbat), Anjali Bnardwaj, Annie Raja, Poonam Kaushik, Geetanjali Krishna and Amrita Johr (relief operations team post Delhi violence). Inayat and Sana (Jan Swasthya Abhiyan role of health systems in responding to communal violence in Delhi) and Dr Harjit Singh Bhatti (National President. PMSF). the role of the central and state Governments were brought to light, with respect to the relief, healthcare and rehabilitation provided to the survivors of the Delhi riots 2020.
A Reader, New Delhi

Letter to UP Government
His Excellency the Hon'ble The Government of Uttar Pradesh. Hon'ble Sir,

It is matter of grave concern that Dr Kafeel Khan was arrested on 30.01.2020 from UP STF in Mumbai from a meeting against NRC without assigning any reason which is not only illegal but also unconstitutional.

Legal service center strongly condemn such unconstitutional steps which has been taken by UP STF and demanded to withdraw all false allegation against him and immediate release of Dr Kafeel Khan.

It is our impression that good office of the Excellency shall take serious note on this.
Justice Malay Sengupta
Former Acting Chief Justice,
Sikkim High Court,
Former Judge, Calcutta High Court,
(President, Legal Service Center)
Adeel Ahmad Khan,
Brother of Dr Kafeel Khan,
BRD Medical College,
Gorakhpur, UP, India

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Vol. 52, No. 41, April 12 - 18, 2020