Report of HRDI IVth International Conference “Human Right Concern Of Indian Diaspora” held on 4th & 5th of January, 2014 at Indian Law Institute, New Delhi
The IVth annual International Conference titled “Human Right Concern of Indian Diaspora was organised under the aegis of the Human Rights Defence International (HRDI). The conference aimed to create a platform to discuss and deliberate on the following issues:
1. Great and complex challenges to Tamils in Sri Lanka.
2. Ethnic Cleansing of Hindus & Sikhs in Pakistan & Afghanistan.
3. Linguistic Concerns of The Indian Diaspora.
4. Hindus in Bangladesh: Crisis of Existence.
5. Problems faced by OCI, PIO and NRI students in Bharat.
6. Indians in Africa: Challenges Ahead.
7. Romas: The Lost Children of India.
8. Indian Workers in Gulf: The Road Ahead
The conference was organized on 4th & 5th of January, 2014 at Indian Law Institute, opp. Supreme Court of India, New Delhi. As per the schedule the program started at at Plenary hall of Indian Law Institute. During the program more than 250 delegates got themselves registered which included lawyers, journalists, professors, students, poets, authors and Human Rights Activists and organisations.
Session 1: “Great and complex challenges to Tamils in Sri Lanka”, January 4, 2014
The first session of the Conference was dedicated to the cause of Tamil people in Sri Lanka. The topic for the first session was “Great and complex challenges to Tamils in Sri Lanka”. In order to sensitise the audience about the war crimes committed in Sri Lanka, Channel 4 documentary “Killing fields of Sri Lanka” was broadcasted in the beginning of the session. Mr. Rajesh Gogna, Secretary General of HRDI introduced the subject and informed the distinguished gathering about the continues support of HRDI to the cause of Tamil in Sri Lanka. HRDI had invited Justice C. Wighneshwarn, Former Judge of Supreme Court of Sri Lanka and presently the Chief Minister of Jafna region of Sri Lanka to sensitise about the plight of Tamils in Sri Lanka. HRDI also staged demonstration at Sri Lanka High Commission to protest genocide of innocent Tamils in Sri Lanka and to demand prosecution of persons responsible for genocide.
After of introduction of subject by Mr. Gogna, the session “Great and complex challenges to Tamils in Sri Lanka” was addressed by renowned politician, social activist & worker and founder of MDMK Mr. V. Gopalsamy Vaiko. Eminent politician Mr. V. Gopalsamy Vaiko was the chief guest of the Conference. He shared his valuable insights about the Tamils sufferance in Sri Lanka. Kindly hear the speech of Mr. Vaiko at the following link http://www.hrdi.in/.
This session was also presided by other distinguished speakers. The other key note speakers who shared their valuable views with the audience were:
Senior Advocate of Supreme Court of India and President of Supreme Court Bar Association (Mr.) M.N. Krishnamani;
Social activist dealing with the Human Rights concerns of Indian diaspora, Mr. Ravi Iyer;
Eminent academician associated with Jawaharlal Nehru University, Dr. P. Sehdeven; and
Independent columnist and acclaimed researcher, Mr. Priyadarshi Dutta.
The first session was concluded with the commitment of HRDI to support and uphold the demand of an impartial & independent probe by an international body, viz. the United Nations Organization, into the genocide that occurred during the final phase of the Civil War in Sri Lanka. The audience of this session brought to notice that HRDI was probably the first North Indian human rights organization to raise the issue of Tamils.
Session 2: “Ethnic Cleansing of Hindus & Sikhs in Pakistan & Afghanistan”, January 4, 2014
The second session of the Conference dealt with the hot debated issue of ethnic violence against Hindus and Sikhs in Pakistan and Afghanistan. The topic for the second session of first day of Conference was “Ethnic Cleansing of Hindus & Sikhs in Pakistan & Afghanistan”.
The key note speakers of this session appraised the gathering about systematic victimisation and marginalisation of Hindus in Pakistan and Afghanistan and expressed shock and surprise at the silence of Government of India against the barbaric torture to which the Hindus of Pakistan and Afghanistan are subjected to. HRDI General Secretary, Advocate Rajesh Gogna vehemently criticized the failure of the Government of India in protecting and promoting interests of Hindu refugees from Pakistan who are suffering in India for lack of refugee policy of the Government of India. He also informed the gathering that HRDI had organised the relief camp for Hindu refugees from Pakistan and also staged demonstration at Pakistan to protest kidnapping and captivity of Rinkle Kumari in Pakistan. The efforts being made of HRDI to provide long term visa to Hindus refugees from Pakistan and to get them the benefits available to ‘Below Poverty Line’ people were also brought to the notice of the gathering.
Mr. Tarun Vijay, eminent politician and Member of Rajya Sabha, was the keynote speaker of session and instilled optimism amongst the participants that the situation will change in near future. Mr.Ashok Arora, Senior Advocate and social activist, Mr. Gopal Agarwal, Economist read his paper on the ‘Economics of Exploitation of Minorities in Pakistan’. Mr. Santosh Taneja , Educationist and supporter of the cause of Hindu refugees from Pakistan, Dr. Inder Mohan Kapahi, well acclaimed educationalist also addressed the gathering amongst others.
HRDI also promised to uphold and project the Human Rights of Hindus in Pakistan and Afghanistan and of Hindu refugees in India.
The second day of the conference was conducted in two seminar halls. In each of the Halls three sessions was conducted; in total 6 sessions have been conducted on the second day of the Conference. His Excellency, Dr. Arye Kumar Jagessure, High Commissioner of Mauritius in India was the Chief Guest for the second day of the Conference.
Session 3: “Linguistic Concern of the Indian Diaspora, January 5, 2014
His Excellency, Dr. Arye Kumar Jagessure, High Commissioner of Mauritius in India inaugurated the session. Professor Kapil Kapoor, Pro Vice Chancellor of Jawahar Lal University, New Delhi presided over the session session “Linguistic Concern of the Indian Diaspora” . Mr. Anil Joshi, scholar and language rights activist introduced the subject. Mr. Madan Lal Madhu, eminent scholar from Russia was the keynote speaker of the session. Author, Mr. Harjender Chaudhry from Japan, eminent scholar Mr. Himanshu Joshi, Mr. Naresh Shandilya, poet, Ms. Sarita Boddhoo, Preseident- Bhojpuri Union of Mauritius and other language Rights activist also addressed the gathering.
Session 4: “Indian in Africa-challenges ahead”
His Excellency, Dr. Arye Kumar Jagessure, High Commissioner of Mauritius in India was the Chief Guest and Keynote speaker of the session. Mr. Mahender Uchhna, Chairperson Gopio Africa, Ms. Sarita Boddhoo and Ms. Savitri Devbhoomi, Director of a Bhojpuri channel in Mauritius addressed the session and brought the challenges faced by them to the notice of the gathering. The session was conducted by Mr. Mukesh Agarwal, the International Coordinator of HRDI.
Session 5: “Romas: The Lost Children of India”
Topic for Session 2 was “Romas: The Lost Children of India”. The Chief Guest for this session was Shashank, former foreign secretary of the Government of India who spoke on the need for India to take up the cause of Romas at international organisations. The keynote speaker Padmashri Dr. Shyam Shashi Singh, President and Chancellor of Roma Cultural University at Belgrade and noted author pointed out how the Romas were victimized in European countries and what those societies should do to eliminate such practices. The third speaker in the session was Mr. Ravi Iyer, social activist dealing with the Human Rights concerns of Indian diaspora, who emphasised the need to look at Romas as a part of Indian Diaspora.
Session 6: “Hindus in Bangladesh: Crisis of Existence”
The session dealt with the pathetic conditions of Hindus in Bangladesh and their daily struggle to live with dignity. Mr. Shashank, former foreign secretary of the Government of India presided over the session. His Holiness Mahamandleshwar Priyabrata of Dhaka was the Guest of Honour. He elaborated on the existential crisis faced by Hindus in Bangladesh and the pressing need to develop an international support mechanism by a network of international human rights organisations and human rights activists to help the Hindus in Bangladesh in their battle for survival. Dr. Saradindu Mukherji, scholar and author of various books on Hindus in Bangladesh was the keynote speaker. Mr. Rajesh Mudholkar, internationally acclaimed human rights activist and supporter of Hindus of Bangladesh also addressed the session. Mr. Rabindra Ghosh, Senor Advocate, Supreme Court of Bangladesh gave a powerpoint presentation. Mr. Sushil Pandit, minority rights activists also addressed the session. The session was conducted by Mr. Priyadarshi Dutta, Director Acedemics, HRDI.
Session 7: Indian Workers in gulf: The Road ahead”
This Session was conducted by dynamic research scholar Ms. Chitra Natrajan. Her articulation and self explanatory presentation portrayed the pitiable condition of the migrant Indian workers in Gulf countries. She strongly advocated intervention of the Indian Government into the matter to solve this issue on an urgent basis. Member of Parliament of India, Mr. Tarun Vijay, who presided over the session, promised her that he would take up the matter with fellow Parliamentarians and try to put pressure on the Government of India to address the problems. The session was shocked to discover that over a thousand bodies of Indian workers were lying in the mortuaries in Saudi Arabia. HRDI promised to take up the matter with the Government of India and their Saudi counterparts and international organisations and initiate steps to bring those bodies back.
Session 8: “Problem faced by OCI, PIO & NRI Students in Bharat”
Dr. Gyaneshwar from Mauritius who had come with a delegation of student gave a presentation on “Problem faced by OCI, PIO & NRI Students in Bharat”. Mr. Rajesh Gogna, Secretary General of HRDI assured all possible help and support to them and promised to take up the matter with appropriate authorities.
In the resolution session, the experts and the delegates discussed the drafts of all the eight sessions. A Resolution Committee was constituted and the views of the delegated and participants were invited. The Committee would come with resolution for each session after incorporating the suggestions and feedback of the participants and present it to appropriate authorities.
Mr. Gouri Shankar Gupta, the Treasurer of HRDI concluded the session and thanked the speakers and the delegates for contributing to the discussion. Mr. Gouri Shankar Gupta extended a special thanks to the support team of HRDI consisting of Archana Malik, Anupam Jha, Amit Priyadarshi, Bhavna Bajaj, Ankit Luthra, Sambhrant krishna, Shrikant, Dinesh, Ashok and Durga who worked behind the scene to make the Conference a grand success. A special thanks was also extended to Mr. Ravi Iyer for inspiring HRDI to take up the issues of Romas and the PIO Students.
The vidoes of the conference and the presentations made at the Conference are available on the website of HRDI and can be accessed at www.hrdi.in