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Healing the Wounds: Human Rights and Minorities in India
Call for Accountability | Conference Recommendations
Speakers & Programme | Press Release 30th July 2002


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

Speakers  Programme

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.


  1. To highlight issues of human rights abuse in Gujarat and their relevance to human rights and the treatment of minorities in India
  2. To analyse and reflect on the causes of conflict and human rights abuse in this situation
  3. 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." Mahatma Gandhi

Speakers include:

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


10:00   Registration
10:30   Introductions
Opening address
11:10   Presentations
12:00   Discussion and recommendations
12:45   Lunch
11:10   Presentations
12:45   Lunch
1:45   Documentary film
2:15   Presentations
3:00   Panel discussion
4:00   Refreshments and close

"Peace will not come out of a clash of arms, but out of justice lived and done." Mahatma Gandhi

Conference committee:

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.

"It has always been a mystery to me how men can feel themselves honoured by the humiliation of their fellow beings" Mahatma Gandhi

Price: £10 + £2.50 p&p UK.
Click here to order the full Conference Report.

Healing the Wounds: Human Rights and Minorities in India
Call for Accountability | Conference Recommendations
Speakers & Programme | Press Release 30th July 2002


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