Jyoti Punwani

Jyoti Punwani writes on human rights issues. You can e-mail the author at jyoti.punwani@gmail.com

All stories by JYOTI PUNWANI

'We preferred Rahul's speech to Modi's'

'We preferred Rahul's speech to Modi's'

Rediff.com16 Apr 2019

'Modi's speech was like one of our sour food preparations; Rahul's was sweet.'

'We laid foundation for alternative to Modi'

'We laid foundation for alternative to Modi'

Rediff.com2 Apr 2019

'The Congress should have accepted our demands.' 'Gone are the days when it could decide how many crumbs to throw at us.' 'Now, we make the demands.'

Why was Saibaba denied bail?

Why was Saibaba denied bail?

Rediff.com27 Mar 2019

'Rejection of bail means they want him to die.'

Complaint against police excesses? This could happen to you

Complaint against police excesses? This could happen to you

Rediff.com22 Feb 2019

Kailash Avhad told Rediff.com that when he appeared before DCP Sandeep Palve, the police officer expressed anger at his RTI applications, caught him by the collar, banged his head against the wall and rained blows behind his ear. He then forced Avhad to touch his feet in apology.

Mumbai's mohalla committees: Giving peace a chance

Mumbai's mohalla committees: Giving peace a chance

Rediff.com30 Jan 2019

The mohalla committee movement in Mumbai celebrated its 25th anniversary last weekend. The movement, which was born in the wake of the horrific Mumbai riots of 1992-1993, has played an important role in ensuring that Hindu-Muslim riots do not recur in the Maximum City.

Why India needs more mohalla committees

Why India needs more mohalla committees

Rediff.com30 Jan 2019

Mumbai's 45 mohalla committees and the many voluntary groups working to bring communities together in the city can be counted upon to do their utmost to stop riots.

Bhima Koregaon inquiry progresses at snail's pace

Bhima Koregaon inquiry progresses at snail's pace

Rediff.com22 Jan 2019

The reasons for the snail's pace at which the commission is proceeding are linked both to the government's indifference to it as well as the indifference of the parties appearing before it.

Bhima Koregaon hearing: Video reveals what happened

Bhima Koregaon hearing: Video reveals what happened

Rediff.com16 Jan 2019

=The video also confirms what initial investigations by the media into the Bhima Koregaon violence had found -- that it was a fallout of a Dalit-Maratha dispute in Vudu Budruk village.

Why are some lynchings front page news and some not?

Why are some lynchings front page news and some not?

Rediff.com10 Dec 2018

'Across the country -- in Tamil Nadu, Jharkhand, Manipur, Delhi, Bihar, West Bengal -- men were lynched on suspicion of being thieves by ordinary people armed with rods and sticks.' 'But none of these lynchings made big news.' 'None of these lynchings were cow/beef-related.' 'The perpetrators were unknown people, not so-called gau rakshaks.' 'So why were these instances of mob violence considered less newsworthy than cow-related lynchings?' asks Jyoti Punwani.

Bhima Koregaon hearing: Gaps in the police affidavit

Bhima Koregaon hearing: Gaps in the police affidavit

Rediff.com5 Nov 2018

The police were aware of the bandh since the gram panchayats had informed them about it. Yet, they did nothing to prevent it.

Bhima Koregaon hearings take a new turn

Bhima Koregaon hearings take a new turn

Rediff.com1 Nov 2018

Government rejects activists' request. Commission requests new witness to attend.

'Urdu writers don't want to get into trouble'

'Urdu writers don't want to get into trouble'

Rediff.com9 Oct 2018

'They will talk about secularism, but communalism -- they just won't say there exists such a beast.' 'It's harmful for society to brush it under the carpet.' 'If we talk about secularism, we must talk about communalism.'

Ex-cop faced caste abuse, injury at Bhima-Koregaon

Ex-cop faced caste abuse, injury at Bhima-Koregaon

Rediff.com27 Sep 2018

Curiously, on one aspect -- the large turnout of Dalits at Bhima-Koregaon -- both the counsel for the government and police, and the counsel for Milind Ekbote, an accused in the Bhima-Koregaon violence, pursued the same line of questioning. They asked Tukaram Gavare about the planning that must have gone behind this turnout.

'The government is linking us with Maoists to discredit us'

'The government is linking us with Maoists to discredit us'

Rediff.com25 Sep 2018

'The Elgar Parishad turned out to be the first rallying cry against the BJP and RSS in Maharashtra.' 'The speakers took a vow not to vote for the BJP.'

Bhima-Koregaon hearing: Enter Prakash Ambedkar

Bhima-Koregaon hearing: Enter Prakash Ambedkar

Rediff.com25 Sep 2018

Ambedkar told Rediff.com that he intended making an application that private witnesses not be cross-examined by the Bhima Koregaon Commission of Inquiry.

Bhima-Koregaon: CM promise to withdraw cases proves hollow

Bhima-Koregaon: CM promise to withdraw cases proves hollow

Rediff.com21 Sep 2018

'We are known political activists, so the police put our names in.'

Bhima-Koregaon: The family who lost their home in the violence

Bhima-Koregaon: The family who lost their home in the violence

Rediff.com19 Sep 2018

'The police are busy arresting people from Delhi, but not those we saw burning our home!'

'It is important to talk to a Muslim'

'It is important to talk to a Muslim'

Rediff.com12 Sep 2018

'For people who are fed on nothing else but the media, what were prejudices become facts of life.' 'What my neighbour may see as just news, for me is a source of fear, living as I do, surrounded by non-Muslims.' 'So I would say it is important to talk to a Muslim, be it your neighbour or your colleague.' 'Have that conversation about what's happening to Muslims.'

Bhima-Koregaon hearing: 'If we don't, who else will present our version?'

Bhima-Koregaon hearing: 'If we don't, who else will present our version?'

Rediff.com11 Sep 2018

'We told the victims this was the only opportunity for them to get their story recorded.' 'If they did not recount their version the other side would concoct their own theory about what happened at Bhima-Koregaon.'

Bhima-Koregaon hearing: A witness reveals ugly reality

Bhima-Koregaon hearing: A witness reveals ugly reality

Rediff.com8 Sep 2018

Tanaji Sable's story confirmed what the first witness had told the commission: That the Dalits who had gone to Bhima-Koregaon were stoned; that there were motorcyclists bearing saffron flags roaming around inspiring fear; that the police did nothing to protect the Dalits.

Bhima Koregaon hearing: 'I am here to ask for justice'

Bhima Koregaon hearing: 'I am here to ask for justice'

Rediff.com7 Sep 2018

'Those who attacked me, punish them.'

How some Muslims won't sacrifice goats to help Kerala

How some Muslims won't sacrifice goats to help Kerala

Rediff.com22 Aug 2018

'The Quran says that saving one life is like saving humanity. So by donating for Kerala, you are following what Allah told you.' 'This gesture would create goodwill for Muslims and would work as a counter to the hostility they face.' Jyoti Punwani reports how some Muslims won't sacrifice goats this Bakri Eid, instead donating the money towards relief efforts in Kerala.

'A new law against lynching would have limited impact'

'A new law against lynching would have limited impact'

Rediff.com25 Jul 2018

'What will work is not fear of the law, but of real and swift prosecution under the law.' 'That can now be a possibility thanks to the Supreme Court judgment.'

'Yeddyurappa's swearing-in is a farce'

'Yeddyurappa's swearing-in is a farce'

Rediff.com17 May 2018

'This minority government will be for only 15 days.' 'By that time, its motion of confidence will be defeated, and it will have to resign.' 'Therefore, the swearing-in is a waste of money, energy and time.'

Handing over the Red Fort to the Dalmias bothers me

Handing over the Red Fort to the Dalmias bothers me

Rediff.com8 May 2018

'How can the monument where the prime minister unfurls the flag on Independence Day, in a ceremony broadcast and telecast nationally, be maintained by a private entity?' asks Jyoti Punwani.

What Bharat Ki Baat told us about Modi

What Bharat Ki Baat told us about Modi

Rediff.com20 Apr 2018

'So you wonder, couldn't he have combined these two qualities: His love of his own voice, and his acting talents, to voice concern about the Kathua and Unnao rapes?' asks Jyoti Punwani. 'His supporters are siding with the accused in the first case, and are the accused in the second.'

Adityanath shows his real colours

Adityanath shows his real colours

Rediff.com7 Mar 2018

'In Yogi's Raj, Hindu festivals are State festivals.' 'He celebrates them, so does his police force, as he boasted in the assembly on Tuesday.' 'Eid, Christmas -- these can be observed, but expect nothing from the State to facilitate these celebrations,' says Jyoti Punwani.

IIT Indore: Students ordered to apologise for protest

IIT Indore: Students ordered to apologise for protest

Rediff.com12 Feb 2018

Tensions continue to rise at IIT Indore over apology letters and quality of food.

Mr PM, Mr Shah: What pakodewallahs face daily

Mr PM, Mr Shah: What pakodewallahs face daily

Rediff.com8 Feb 2018

'If Modiji likes his pakodas fresh from the pakodewala, why does his government keep making things difficult for us?'

Mr Javadekar: Will you listen to IITI students?

Mr Javadekar: Will you listen to IITI students?

Rediff.com2 Feb 2018

'This is a public institution, run on public money and our fees,' the students say. 'Yet, decisions that affect us crucially are being taken without consulting us.'

'This government doesn't want fearless and independent judges'

'This government doesn't want fearless and independent judges'

Rediff.com17 Jan 2018

'If ever there was a decisive moment in the history of the Supreme Court where it has been under attack by the Executive, and the judges have boldly stood up for independence of the Judiciary, that time was now.' 'These four judges did a brilliant thing, they set an example.' 'They showed that they were fulfilling their duty to the Constitution and to God.' 'Don't allow fear to dictate your actions was their message.'

The killings we don't want to talk about

The killings we don't want to talk about

Rediff.com15 Dec 2017

'When you start delving deeper into these disappearances, you have to face the question: Was it a policy at the State level?' 'It surely couldn't have been random officers acting on their own.' 'Was it planned? What does it mean if the State allows its police to become lawless and act with impunity?' 'Perhaps the NHRC, for the 21 years that it has been seized of the matter, avoided these questions.'

'I am living like an animal taking its last breaths'

'I am living like an animal taking its last breaths'

Rediff.com1 Nov 2017

In Nagpur Central Jail's 'Anda Cell' languishes a 90% disabled, ailing, professor, sentenced to life imprisonment for Maoist links.

The Taj is Everybody's

The Taj is Everybody's

Rediff.com23 Oct 2017

'It is obvious that the lakhs who come to see it do not see it through the prism of religion,' says Jyoti Punwani.

'We are in kalyug where rakshasas rule'

'We are in kalyug where rakshasas rule'

Rediff.com18 Oct 2017

'The forces of good are on the run.' 'But dark times also challenge people to fight.' 'I believe Indians will rise against these dark times.'

Controversy erupts over lecture in Mumbai

Controversy erupts over lecture in Mumbai

Rediff.com13 Oct 2017

Mumbai Marathi Patrakar Sangh refuses to 'retreat in the face of threats'.

In quest of justice, Pehlu Khan's son won't be alone

In quest of justice, Pehlu Khan's son won't be alone

Rediff.com18 Sep 2017

'When Irshad Khan approaches the Supreme Court, he will undoubtedly have the best and most committed of lawyers to represent him.' His case will be reported on the front pages.' Neither the BJP government in Rajasthan nor at the Centre can stop this,' says Jyoti Punwani.

Lynchings from another time

Lynchings from another time

Rediff.com17 Jul 2017

'Mumbai's killings in January 1993 came at the tail end of two outbursts of vicious communal violence, whereas today, it's peacetime in a 'new India'.' 'At that time, the perpetrators warned onlookers to keep their mouths shut.' 'Today, the perpetrators take videos of their attacks, such is their confidence.' 'The mobs have succeeded in terrorising an entire community and indeed, all those dealing in the transport of cattle, whatever their religion,' says Jyoti Punwani.

Be wary about the Muslim law board's stand on triple talaq

Be wary about the Muslim law board's stand on triple talaq

Rediff.com25 May 2017

When the Muslim Personal Law Board promises 'advisories' and nikahnamas to the Supreme Court, one has to remember not only its recent campaign against any change in Muslim personal law, but also its past record of inaction on the question of triple talaq, says Jyoti Punwani.

'Not my Hinduism' should be our slogan

'Not my Hinduism' should be our slogan

Rediff.com10 Apr 2017

'The cow is sacred to many of us, but these killings are definitely not part of the Hinduism we know and practise,' says Jyoti Punwani.

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