Monday, July 21, 2008


New Malayalam film portrays post-2002 Gujarat Reality
Published: Sunday, 20 July, 2008, 01:30 AM Doha
Ashraf Padanna
Suhasini and ChandranTHIRUVANANTHAPURAM:
Malayalam filmmaker TV Chandran's latest offering Vilapangalkkappuram (Beyond the Wail) speaks of Muslim women victims of 2002 Gujarat riots who believe in "the country and its laws".
"I visited these women five years after the notorious riots. It was (social activist) Shabnam Hashmi who took me around. They were still in camps, after all those serial rapes and atrocities. They lost their men and their land. But their spirit was intact," said Chandran after the premiere of the film here.
"They believe in the great nation that is India. They believe that the Indian courts will bring justice to them. And they continue to fight for justice".
The story revolves around a teenaged girl Zahira whose Keralite father was running a teashop in Ahmedabad during the riots. The rioters ransack his shop and kill him, gang rape his wife and teenaged daughter, dump them in a well and set fire to their bodies after dousing in petrol.
Zahira escapes in the dead of the night and reaches Kozhikode. But there she is haunted by religious fundamentalists and she escapes back to Gujarat to fight for the rights of the women victims.
"The day after the Godhra, we were enjoying a fashion show in Kozhikode. Gujarat riots still figure in the state's politics but the real issue is often swept under the carpet. What were we doing to these girls in the name of religion?" Chandran told reporters here.
The hapless girl faces attempted rape in Kerala while the elders in the community compel her to take refuge in polygamy against her will. On the wedding night when the elderly groom tries to overpower her she is reminded of the gang rape, resists him and runs away.
Five years late, she is seen in Ahmedabad again with a group of riot victims fighting for their rights.
"In Gujarat or in Kerala, girls fall victim to the religious fanatics everywhere. Growing religious fundamentalism poses a threat to women in Kerala as well. The flora and fauna have their space here but not the woman".
Chandran had to face stiff opposition in Gujarat while shooting there and had to pack off at one stage. He then shifted his location to Mysore to complete the film, which is written and produced by Congress party leader Aryadan Shoukath.
The cast includes Priyanka, Suhasini, Biju Menon, Thilakan, Gopakumar, Sreeraman, Indrans, Praveena, Zeenath, Santa Devi, Nilambur Aysha and N K Raveendran.
The hero of his 2004 film, Kadhavaseshan, end his life ashamed of living after he knows that the little girl he befriended in Gujarat was gang-raped and killed in the riots. "This is a sequel to that film, if you want to see that way," Chandran said.
This is the second film that Shoukath and Chandran joins hand for, the first being the ward-winning Padom Onnu: Oru Vilapam. The film also fetched Meera Jasmine the National award for the best actor.
M J Radhakrishnan cranks the camera while M Jayachandran has set score to Girish Punthencherry's lyrics. The film is planning August release in India and abroad.


Friday, July 04, 2008


Dear Friends,

Greetings from Ahmedabad !

For those of you who have already signed the Online Petition, we wish to convey our deep and sincere gratitude !
Because of the interest generated on the subject and the desire of so many to uphond the Freedom of Speech, Expression and Conscience, we send this Online Petition to you, request you to sign it and also to circulate it to your other contacts, friends, collaborators.  We also request you to excuse us for cross-posting in some cases.  Thanks in anticipation for your support and solidarity. 
An Online Petition addressed to The President of India, and entitled :
"Against Violation of Freedom of Speech, Expression and Conscience in
Gujarat, India"
has been  hosted on the web by, the free online petition
service, at:
In context of the prevailing situation in Gujarat, we request you to read
and sign the petition and also to forward  it  to all your friends, well
wishers and concerned citizens so that they can read and sign this petition
Do get back to us if you need  any clarification or desire further
Thanking you,
 With warm wishes,
Fr. Cedric Prakash sj

- - - - - - - -     - - - - - - - -    - - - - - - -   - - - - -
PRASHANT  -  A Centre for Human Rights, Justice and Peace

Street Address : Hill Nagar, Near Kamdhenu Hall, Drive-in Road, Ahmedabad - 380052, Gujarat, India
Postal Address : P B 4050, Navrangpura PO, Ahmedabad - 380 009, Gujarat, India
Phone : 91  79   27455913,  66522333
Fax : 91  79  27489018


Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Coalition Against Genocide calls for the continuation of Visa an on Modi



July 1, 2008
The Honorable Condoleezza Rice
Secretary of State
U.S. Department of State
2201 C St. NW
Washington, DC 20520
Dear Secretary Rice,
It has come to our attention that the Chief Minister of Gujarat, Mr. Narendra Modi is once again planning to apply for a visa to enter the United States. We urge the State Department not to allow Mr. Modi to enter the country under any conditions, as the circumstances under which he was denied a visa in 2005 remain largely unchanged, and the minority communities in his state continue to face systematic human rights violations.
The United States should not unwittingly be the platform from which these unrepentant and yet ascendant forces in India exploit the opportunity to rally the support base among Indian Diaspora communities and raise international legitimacy and standing. It would be dangerous at this juncture of Indian political process to give Mr. Modi that long denied and therefore much coveted window.
Not only was Mr. Modi responsible for the deaths of over 2,000 Muslims and the displacement of 200,000 more, but six years after the Gujarat-state sponsored violence, the Muslim community in Gujarat is subjected to a devastating economic and social boycott, institutionalized at every level. Most have received little, if no compensation for the deaths of loved ones and loss of property; thousands are still displaced, without homes, work, or access to decent schools for their children. At the level of the courts too, Muslims in Gujarat have received little justice, barring a few exceptions; and the few that have managed to push their cases forward have met with threats, physical harm and harassment.
As recently as April 2008, Mr. Modi enacted the anti-conversion law in Gujarat that effectively bars religious conversions, thereby crippling the provisions of religious freedom in the state.
In a recent expose by the investigative magazine Tehelka, the Gujarat state prosecutor appointed by Mr. Modi was captured on video confessing to protecting the perpetrators of the 2002 violence. Further, one of the accused involved in the killings, confessed to Mr. Modi having transferred several court judges as to protect him from any convictions.
Noting the prejudice extending at every level of the state apparatus, the Supreme Court ordered cases related to the 2002 massacres to be moved out of Gujarat.
Mr. Modi has not only expressed no remorse for the 2002 violence; but he has continued to justify them, as he has a spate of extra judicial killings (fake "encounter killings") by his police. And, the state continues to persecute civil society groups who have been trying to speak up for the victims under very difficult circumstances.
Attached please find the reports of human rights organizations and related references on Gujarat.

Coalition Against Genocide

    Bureau of Democracy
    Human Rights and Labor
    Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs
    India Desk
    Democracy and Global Affairs
The Coalition Against Genocide includes a diverse spectrum of organizations associated with Indian Americans that have come together in response to the Gujarat Genocide to demand justice and accountability. This letter has been endorsed by the following constituent organizations of the Coalition Against Genocide:

   1. Alliance for a Secular and Democratic South Asia (ASDSA)
   2. Association of Indian Muslims of America (AIM)
   3. Campaign to Stop Funding Hate (CSFH)
   4. Coalition for a Secular and Democratic India (CSDI)
   5. Dalit Freedom Network (DFN)
   6. Dharma Megha Inc.
   7. Friends of South Asia (FOSA)
   8. Gujarati Muslim Association of America (GMAA)
   9. Hindu Vaishnava Center for Enlightenment
  10. India Development Society
  11. India Foundation Inc.
  12. Indian Buddhist Association
  13. Indian Muslim Council-USA (IMC-USA)
  14. Indian Muslim Educational Foundation of North America (IMEFNA)
  15. Indian Muslim Relief & Charities (IMRC)
  16. International Service Society
  17. International South Asia Forum-NY (INSAF-NY)
  18. Muslim Vohra Association
  19. Muslim Youth Awareness Alliance (MYAA)
  20. Non-Resident Indians for Secular and Harmonious India (NRI-SAHI)
  21. Seva International
  22. Sikh American Heritage Organization (SAHO)
  23. South Asian Progressive Action Collective (SAPAC)
  24. Supporters of Human Rights in India (SHRI)
  25. Vedanta Society of East Lansing

Dr. Hyder Khan
Phone/Fax: 443-927-9039


Five years on - the bitter and uphill struggle for justice in Gujarat
Amnesty International Report, published on March 2007, 19 pages.
India: A pattern of unlawful killings by the Gujarat police
Amnesty International Briefing, published on May 24, 2007, 15 pages.
India: Gujarat Chief Minister Endorses Unlawful Killings
Human Rights Watch, December 7, 2007
Gujarat state fails to protect women from violence
Amnesty International Report, published on 27 January 2005
DISCOURAGING DISSENT: Intimidation and Harassment of Witnesses, Human Rights Activists, and Lawyers Pursuing Accountability for the 2002 Communal Violence in Gujarat
Human Rights Watch Report, published September 2004, 30 pages.
Devil's Advocate
(Transcript of Gujarat Advocate General Arvind Pandya confessing to protecting the perpetrators of 2002 Gujarat massacres, captured on a hidden camera by Tehelka Magazine in a recent expose)
"After Killing Them, I Felt Like Maharana Pratap"
(Transcript of Babu Bajrangi's confessions caught on a hidden video camera by Tehelka Magazine in a recent expose)