Mumbai, 17th February 2016
The renowned writer, commentator and rights activist Mr. Ram Puniyani was awarded NCHRO’s Mukundan C Menon Award 2015, in a graceful function at Al Karimi Library Hall of Anjuman-E-Islam, CST, Mumbai. The program was started at 4.45 pm and the dignitaries that graced the occasion were Mr. Ram Puniyani, Justice Suresh Hosbet (Retired Judge Bombay High Court), Adv. Amin Solkar (Legal Activist), Adv. Shabana Khan (National Vice Chairperson NCHRO), Sadique Qureshi (Social Activist), Mr. Santosh Saple (President NCHRO Maharashtra Chapter), Muhammad Hanif Khan (Maharashtra President, Popular Front of India), and Adv. Saifan (General Secretary NCHRO Maharashtra Chapter).
The program started with a welcome address by Santosh Saple who welcomed the guests and emphasized on the need of such awards and an encouraging song by student activists Rupali and team from Kabir Kala Manch.
Adv. Shabana Khan in her inaugural speech briefly introduced NCHRO and Mukundan C. Award. The Mukundan C Menon Award instituted by NCHRO in memory of late Mukundan C Menon, the noted journalist and human rights activist who died in 2005. The Mukundan C Menon Award honors activists who have made outstanding contributions for the protection of human and civil rights India.For almost 10 years, this Award has celebrated the extraordinary achievements of individuals contributing to human rights in India.
In his Presidential Speech, Justice Suresh Hosbet, appreciated the work of NCHRO and stressed the need for such awards to encourage people who are devoted to rights activism. He warned that our country is being dragged towards fascism by communal and sectarian forces. He was deeply concerned by the fact that RSS and its fringe groups have managed to instill communal poison in every department and have installed their people even in judiciary. Referring to Rohit Vemula case and the JNU issue he said that today we are the victims of internal sabotage of the constitution that is taking place in one hand and external aggression in the form of intolerance and disturbances in this country. He said today the actual situation is worse than even emergency. He claimed that the people who have come to power today have no allegiance to the constitution. He further added that if it continues this way we will have to fight another struggle for freedom.
Mr. Ram Puniyani referring to the Babri Masjid Demolition as a big attack on the democracy of India said there was deeper politics behind it. Communal disturbances through such acts are just tools at the hands of RSS and their main agenda is to reinstate the Hindu authoritarian rule, caste hierarchy and gender discrimination system in India.
Adv. Amin Solkar in his very brief speech appreciated the needs of such awards.
Mr. Sadique Qureshi stressed the need to unite all social and rights groups and put up a united fight against the communal forces to save and uphold the constitution of India.
Lastly Shruti and group presented a song and the program concluded with vote of thanks by Subhash Sareen.