“Let’s talk” is an initiative led by our students to stimulate over various social, political, economic & legal issues. Through the series of talks, our aim is to increase understanding about laws & discuss to identify the emerging concerns & plausible solutions for the same. The talk series aims to bring together experts & interested parties of various disciplines & provide them a platform where they can discuss & debate the contemporary & challenging issues of various themes. It provides a platform where prominent jurists, lawyers, politicians, academicians with the students having expertise & knowledge in various fields can sit together & ponder over them.
Let’s Talk Series 1: The Idea of Development.
Venue: Seminar Hall, Lloyd Law College
Date: 24th August 2018, Friday
1) Dr. Vandana Shiva 2)Shri S. P Udayakumar 3) Dr. Aseem Srivastava
“The idea of Development” & for the same we had three distinguished speakers amongst us, who placed their ideas of development to the students.
Dr. Vandana Shiva was the first speaker of the event, an Indian scholar, environmental activist, food sovereignty advocate, & alter-globalization author. Dr. Shiva has authored more than twenty books. She considers development to be an uncertain concept, as amoeba. She distinguished development into two types – internal & external. She talked about how Green Revolution had a great impact in development. She also gave an emphasis on deciding what to grow & described it by quoting, “If you cannot decide what to grow, you cannot decide how to grow, where to grow & where to sell! & we are living under slavery”. Her praiseworthy work in her books “Seeds of Suicide”, Soil not oil”, “Poison in our food” & her company Navdanya was mentioned. Navdanya means “Nine seeds” which symbolizes protection of biological & cultural diversity & which aims to save & share seeds in today’s context of biological & ecological destruction. She also gave an instance of her initiative “Ann Swaraj”, an agenda with an objective of freedom of hunger, malnutrition, diseases & farmer suicides. She concluded by stating that her idea of development is when the states will be free from farmers committing suicides, free from poisonous food & when every citizen of the nation will be able to get healthy food.
The Second speaker present amongst us was, Shri S. P Udayakumar, a writer & a nuclear activist from Tamil Nadu, India. He is the convener of the People’s Movement against Nuclear Energy (PMANE), which is a movement protesting against the Kudankulam Nuclear Power plant project. He told us what is Sustainable Energy & the development taking place is more of a Fascist Development! He commented that as a nation we lack in disaster management. His emphasis was on thinking of substitutes for energy production rather depending on Nuclear Power plant. He favoured the de-centralized schemes of the government as they care about the nature & futuregeneration. & he quoted that “Remedy should not be worse than the disaster”. Shree Udayakumar resentfully stated that we are becoming hopelessly colonized minds! He gave examples of solar & tidal energy to generate electricity. Shree Udayakumar’s Idea of development is to form a state that is non-violent, peaceful, & democratic. & to keep the future generations in mind while thinking about development, by not killing the nature.
Dr. Aseem Srivastava, our third speaker is a writer & ecological thinker. Dr. Srivastava holds PhD in Economics from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He has taught in Universities of India & the U.S.A, he also taught Philosophy at Nordic College, Norway (2001-05). Since 2005, he has been working independently, researching, writing, & lecturing nationally, & internationally on the issues associated with globalization & its multiple ecological& other impacts. His idea of development centralised around Mechanism of Agriculture, Sanitation for all & Hind Swaraj. Dr. Srivastava quoted, “Development is not impossible, but is Inevitable”. In the light of his perspective he mentioned that Development is not just freedom but a collateral damage of war. He followed& spread his idea of Prakritik Swaraj, which refers to the autonomy for Individual &for the community. This marked the end of the first Let’s Talk Series on the idea of development &was a great success.
Let’s Talk Series 2: Reading Down of Section 377.
Venue: Seminar Hall, Lloyd Law College
Date: 29th September 2018, Saturday
Time: 10:00AM- 1:00PM
Speakers: 1) Hon’ble Justice V.K. Shukla 2) Adv. Subhash Vashishtha 3) Adv. Sanjay Vashishtha
The agenda of our Let’s Talk series 2 was “READING DOWN OF SECTION 377”& for the same we had three prominent speakers who enunciated their perspectives to the audience.
Hon’ble Justice V.K. Shukla, arbitration & jurisprudence expert, former practitioner of civil &constitutional law, devotion of 36 years in legal field, commenced the discussion by saying “Every individual has a problem but nobody wants to talk about it in open. They care about the society & their mentality”. He further explained that one’s sexuality depends upon the social bond &everybody has the right to choose their partner. He laid down that section 377 violated Article 14, 15, 19 & 21. A serious issue was raised by him, that ‘why these issues do not attract the attention of legislature’? His belief was that of dignity of every individual has to be maintained & they should not be deprived of their fundamental rights. Homosexuality & bisexuality are sexual orientation & is the main biological phenomenon of the human mankind. He laid emphasis on balance in granting social & legal rights. The end to his speech was laid down by his sorrowful words “how an individual got deprived of their basic rights & rights of dignity”.
Adv. Subhash Vashishtha, advocate & legal consultant at Delhi High Court, specialisation in Civil, Commercial & Constitutional matters specifically relating to protection of Rights to Persons withDisabilities. He started with a comparative view of the section. He found similarities between the HIV Rights & the Disability Right & many others. He further added by saying that we didn’t h&lethesituation correctly by 2009 itself. He stated that “the same people who are rejoicing with the decriminalisation of Section 377 are the same who consented for establishment of Section 377 earlier”. He questioned under which section will the couple get married? Under which section will they adopt a child? Importance of sensitization of people was stressed upon by him. He talked about the normalization culture which has spoilt the trait of the person due to which they are unable to accept the differences. He made a clear demarcation between the disabled & the LGBTQI.
Adv. Sanjay Vashishtha, criminologist, active blogger/publisher on policing reforms, currently practicing in Supreme Court of India & the Higher Judicature. He spoke about the legal aspect of Article 377. He questioned whether the striking down of the Article could have been done in a better way or not; whether people are understanding the importance of it that it is just a feeling not a choice & it doesn’t define who you are. The main problem raised is that whether the people will freely accept the fact that some of us do belong to a community called LGBTQ. We are in the 21st century but still people are afraid to come out in the open about their sexuality, scared about what the society might think. Adv. Vashishtha talked about how families convince the individual not to be different & how they consider it as disease that can be corrected. He also talked about how the doctors & hakims exploit the families claiming that they can “fix” the disease of attraction towards the same or both genders. According to him, minds need to be opened, let new thoughts come in, let change take place & people should not think it as a taboo. The event concluded with the thought that both society & individuals have to take a step forward, towards each other.
Thought Writing Competition
As a part of our Let’s Talk initiative we encourage students to participate in a thought provoking writing competition. The Topic for Let’s Talk Series 1 was “What Should Be India’s Idea of Development?”& the Topic for Let’s Talk Series 2 was “Section 377 & Rights of LGBTQI”. The best five responses were awarded by our honourable guests in both the events.
Let’s Talk Series 3: ‘The Quota’ Decoded.
Proposed Speakers: 1) Yogendra Yadav 2) Indra Sawhney 3) Swapan Dasgupta
The seed for principle of Reservation were sown way back in 19th century. Reservation, be it castebased or domicile based, has been a sensitive issue across the country & is often discussed but has failed to be result oriented. This discussion is like a snake without a tail which has no end. The recent expansion in the reservation policy of the country have forced the re-visitation of the debate on this changing policy (regarding the various grounds of reservation economic, caste etc.) which was settled in the landmark judgement by the apex court of the country in Indra Sawhney v. Union of India (Mandal Commission Case).
The goal of the reservation policy was to promote representation of educationally & socially backward classes amongst the high-level government position & to promote the principle of equality & proper educational advances, but as the socio, economic & caste census of 2011 suggests this goal has remained unmet. The debate has seen a paradigm shift from “whether reservation is acceptable to society?” to “whether & who should get reservation?” The society has come a long way but the questions still remain intact, different views are stated in a form of question now-a-days. Is this policy really fit for the up-liftment of society? Whether reservation based on economic ground a valid basis in legal & social aspect? How can the current reservation framework be reformed in future? Has motive displaced from equality to appeasement? Let’s talk.
Specific Reporting of the events: All discussions taken place in Let’s Talk are recorded by the rapporteurs & a report is prepared by the rapporteurs which is to be circulated among the students for better understanding of the discussions.