A Conference on Human rights
and Minorities in India August 15th, 2002 Gandhi Hall, Indian YMCA
Fitzroy Square, London, W1P 6AQ
10:00 am - 4:00pm SpeakersProgramme
Recent events in Gujarat have provoked outcry and
anguish, bitterness and soul-searching, on a scale not seen in India for
decades. They are a shocking challenge to Indians, and all concerned for
India, to consider the direction the country is going.
How do we respond? As tensions continue to rise and the issues are starker
than ever, this conference attempts to address them with courage and honesty.
It intends to look beyond Gujarat to the wider implications, and to find
positive ways forward.
To highlight issues of human rights
abuse in Gujarat and their relevance to human rights and the treatment
of minorities in India
To analyse and reflect on the causes
of conflict and human rights abuse in this situation
To seek ways to bring truth and reconciliation
between different groups and to work for justice and peace, both in
India and the Diaspora
The keynote speakers all have first-hand involvement
with the issues. Their presentations will be supplemented by briefings
and background materials from NGOs. There will be opportunities for discussion
and the conference will make recommendations for the way ahead.
Lunch and refreshments will be provided.
"There is a higher court than the courts
of justice; it is the court of conscience. It supersedes all other courts."
Lord Desai Professor of Economics and Director, Centre for
Study of Global Governance, London School of Economics
John Dayal Editor of 'Midday', a Delhi newspaper, and Secretary
General of All India Christian Council
Ram Narayan Kumar Leader of the Committee for Coordination on Disappearances
in Punjab (CCDP), an organisation that documents human rights abuses and
campaigns for acknowledgement and accountability
Harsh Mander Country Director, ActionAid India
Gopal Menon Documentary film maker
Sir Gulam Noon Chairman and Managing Director, Noon Products Ltd,
recently knighted for his services to industry
Dr Prem Sharma Chairman, India Development Trust "Either we stand up to defend the rights
of all citizens; or we will all go down eventually." Siddharth
Varadarajan, Times of India, 19 April 2002
Discussion and recommendations
Refreshments and close
will not come out of a clash of arms, but out of justice lived and done."
Ram Gidoomal, South Asian Development Partnership, Suhas Khale,
Netaji SubhasFoundation, Deepak Mahtani, Indian Groundwork Trust,
Malini Mehra, Centre for Social Markets, Sir Gulam Noon, Noon
Products Ltd, Dr Prem Sharma, India Development Trust.
has always been a mystery to me how men can feel themselves honoured by
the humiliation of their fellow beings" Mahatma Gandhi