Guest post by HARSH MANDER
Two events altered his life forever. The first was when he witnessed a supervisor disrespectfully berating and kick a junior employee, which transformed a young apolitical physicist, who was passionately devoted to fundamental scientific research, into a tireless trade-unionist. The second – seeing his beloved adopted city Ahmedabad burn with tumultuous hate violence for many weeks in 2002 – thrust him into the heart of many battles against state power malevolently exercised against people of minority faiths. When Mukul Sinha succumbed to a particularly deadly stream of cancer in the summer of 2014, just weeks before Narendra Modi was swept to power, the country lost one if its bravest, most forthright voices for justice.
Raised in the railway enclave of the small district town of Bilaspur in Chhattisgarh where his father served, the young man had clearly worked out his chosen career as a scientist. After graduating in physics from IIT Kanpur, his elected life pathway seemed neatly laid out for him when, in 1973, he was accepted for his doctoral studies in plasma physics in the prestigious Physical Research Laboratory (PRL) in Ahmedabad. Founded in 1947 by the legendary Vikram Sarabhai, this apex space research institute undertakes fundamental research in physics, space and atmospheric sciences, astronomy, solar physics and planetary geo-sciences. This was where India’s first space satellite was born. It was a cloistered intellectual world, separated it seemed by light years from the turbulent life of fighting injustice which Mukul was to ultimately choose. Continue reading We Need You More Than Ever Today – A Tribute to Mukul Sinha: Harsh Mander
This is a guest post by Saumya Uma and Arvind Narrain
Among the miniscule tribe of human rights lawyers, even one loss is irreplaceable. We felt that way when we lost K. Balagopal in 2009, K.G. Kannabiran in 2010 and most recently when, Mukul Sinha passed away on 12 May 2013. Each of these figures were giants in the world of human rights activism who struggled for an idea of India which all too often remained an ideal and a vision, sometimes far from reality. Regardless of how distant the vision of a real and functioning democracy, founded on the ideals of social and economic justice was, these three figures never lost heart, always communicating a spirit of hope about the future based on concrete and grounded work in the present. Continue reading Honouring Mukul Sinha: The Struggle of Memory Against Forgetting: Saumya Uma and Arvind Narrain
Guest post by MAHTAB ALAM
On 12th of May, while I was still trying to cope with the sad demise of noted human rights lawyer Advocate PurushothamPoojary, from Mangalore in Karnataka, I was informed of yet another loss. But this time, the loss was more personal and tragic. “Mukul Sinha passed away,” informed a friend who was calling from Delhi. The news shook me to the core and for a few hours, I went numb with disbelief and was unable to respond properly. In fact, it is still difficult for me to talk of him in the past tense.
Dr. Mukul Sinha, a physicist by training, a trade unionist and human rights activist by passion, and a lawyer by practice, succumbed to lung cancer in Ahmedabad, the former capital of Gujarat. His diagnosis with cancer was revealed to us a year ago. But the news had to be kept under wraps as it would ‘unnecessarily concern’ his distant friends and well-wishers. In the last one year, while he had almost stopped participating in public functions, he was very active on social media, especially Twitter. Continue reading Remembering Adv. Mukul Sihna: Mahtab Alam
यह विचित्र और विडम्बनापूर्ण संयोग है कि जब सारे टेलीविज़न चैनल नरेंद्र मोदी नीत राजनीति के भारतीय केंद्रीय सत्ता में आने की खबर दे रहे थे, उसी वक्त मुकुल सिन्हा के हम सबसे अलग होने समाचार नासिरुद्दीन ने फोन से दिया. मुकुल कैंसर से जीत न पाए. उनकी मौत की खबर से ज़्यादा सदमा इस बात से पहुँचा कि हमें उनके हस्पताल में होने की खबर ही न थी. हमें इसका इल्म न था कि नरेंद्र मोदी के मोहजाल को, जो करोड़ों,अरबों रुपयों और अखबारों और टेलीविज़न के विशालकाय तंत्र के ज़रिए बुना जा रहा था, छिन्न-भिन्न करने के लिए प्रेमचंद के सूरदास की तरह ही गुजरात का सच बताने का अभियान जो शख्स चला रहा था, उसे मालूम था कि वह अपनी ज़िंदगी के किनारे पर खड़ा था.
धर्मनिरपेक्ष कामकाजीपन का रिश्ता ही हम सबका एक दूसरे से है, मानवीय स्नेह की ऊष्मा से रिक्त!यह एक उपयोगितावादी सम्बन्ध है जिसमें हम एक दूसरे से धर्मनिरपेक्ष, राजनीतिक चिंताओं से ही मिलते-जुलते और बातचीत करते हैं.अपने मित्रों की जिंदगियों और उनकी जाती फिक्रों क साझेदारी हम शायद ही करते हैं.मुझे खुद पर शर्म आई कि मैं मुकुल के कैंसर के बारे में नहीं जानता था, गुस्सा उन दोस्तों पर आया जो इसे जानते थे पर इस दौरान कभी इसे बात करने लायक नहीं समझा. हम अपनी ही बिरादरी नहीं बना पाए हैं फिर हम एक बड़ी इंसानी बिरादरी बनाने का दावा क्योंकर करते हैं! Continue reading मुकुल सिन्हा