There are no breaking news at the moment

In the face of increasing attacks on democratic space including higher education institutions, students’ bodies, teachers and civil rights activists, a number of civil society organisations have come together to form PCSDS.

This Commission is holding its first people’s tribunal on attack on educational institutions from 11th April to 13th April where over 120 testimonies of students and professors will be presented before a jury of eminent persons comprising Prof. Romila Thapar, Justice (Retd.) AP Shah, Justice (Retd.) Hosbet Suresh, Justice (Retd.) BG Kolse Patil, Prof. Amit Bhaduri, Dr. Uma Chakravarty, Prof. TK Oommen, Prof. Vasanthi Devi, Prof. KM Shrimali, Prof. Ghanshyam Shah, Prof. Meher Engineer, Prof. Kalpana Kannabiran and Ms. Pamela Philipose. A number of experts will also depose before the jury.

Date : 11 to 13 April 2018

Time : 10 a.m. onwards

Venue : Constitution Club of India, Rafi Marg, Behind Reserve Bank of India New Delhi

People’s Commission on Shrinking Democratic Space in India (PCSDS) is a national level membership based collective of human rights organisations, democratic rights activists, social movements and concerned individuals who have come together with the objective of responding to and advocating the issues of freedoms of opinion, expression, association, assembly, dissent, protest and all other rights, including harassment and criminalisation, of all human rights defenders. PCSDS was formed in May 2016 through a National Convention after a series of consultations at state, regional and national levels. For more information on PCSDS, please visit www.pcsds.in.

The first PCSDS people’s tribunal is being organised to respond to the challenges faced by higher educational institutions and students and teachers in these institutions.Over the past few years, there have been several attempts by the government to suppress voices of dissent and questioning in educational institutions. Incidents from Jawaharlal Nehru University, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Assam Women’s University, Hyderabad Central University, Film & Television Institute of India, Delhi University, Jadavpur University, Allahabad University, Benaras Hindu University, Guwahati University, Punjab University and several other institutions testify this. It is the centres of higher learning in India that have become the battleground for the foundation of Indian democracy and all it stands for.

People’s Tribunal on Attack on Educational Institutions in India will be held on April 11-13, 2018, at the Constitution Club of India, New Delhi. PCSDS secretariat has documented 120 testimonies of students and teachers from more than 35 universities and higher educational institutions spread over 16 states. These testimonies are classified under themes as mentioned in the attached schedule. For each theme, there will be expert depositions (please refer to the attached schedule) followed by depositions from students and teachers.

The jury panel for the tribunal consist of Prof.RomilaThapar (Chair), Justice (Retd.) AP Shah, Justice (Retd.) Hosbet Suresh, Justice (Retd.) BG KolsePatil, Prof. Amit Bhaduri, Dr. Uma Chakravarty, Prof. TK Oommen, Prof.Vasanthi Devi, Prof. KM Shrimali, Prof.Ghanshyam Shah, Prof.Meher Engineer, Prof.KalpanaKannabiran and Ms. Pamela Philipose.

The objective of the tribunal is to record and enquire – the repression, surveillance and administrative actions under which the students, faculty and employees of institutes of higher learning are subjected to; the deliberate criminalisation of students and teachers in various parts of the country; increasing government and State interference; the undermining of the Constitution and Constitutional values and; the structural discrimination faced by students based on caste, gender and region.

The jury panel will take note of the facts through testimonies presented before them on April 11 and 12, and on April 13 at Constitution Club of India at 2 PM will be sharing their interim observations and recommendations through a press conference. This will be followed by a comprehensive report.

Attached –

Tribunal Schedule (PDF)

Deposition List (Names of students and teachers have been withheld till tribunal) (PDF)

For more information, please contact Mathew Jacob (+91-8860110520) or Bondita Acharya (+917086048200). Email us at pcsdssecretariat@gmail.com. All information is also available on the www.pcsds.in, www.facebook.com/pcsdsindia and www.twitter.com/pcsdsindia.

One Comment

  1. David Kennedy says:

    From the last paragraph of my book, “What’s in a Name”::

    The great advances in human development – hand-brain co-ordination, control of fire, invention of language and tools – all done long, long before there was any system of planned learning, have benefited us all. They are part of human heritage. I have long
    regarded education as a personal awakening, a way of opening our minds to the world about us, helping us to understand our own small role in the totality of life and existence, and assisting us in developing our own hand-brain skills. It is not about elitism. It is about sharing, sharing the truth of our discoveries for the benefit of all.

    Commercialism is self-centred. It wishes to constrain. It wishes to hide its secrets. It is NOT universal. It is incompatible with the basic purpose of education as described above.