Monday, November 30, 2015
Saturday, November 28, 2015
A physical copy of the petition was signed by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal at Gurdwara Rakab Ganj
A petition seeking a ban ‘Sikh jokes’ has received about 40,000 signatures online and off, with Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal being among those who have supported the cause.
The petition, which was started on Change.org at the beginning of the month, had received 20,866 signatures as of Friday evening.
A physical copy of the petition was circulated at Gurdwara Rakab Ganj on Wednesday when Guru Nanak Jayanti was celebrated.
It was there that Mr. Kejriwal signed a hard copy of the petition that wants websites that host jokes at the expense of the Sikh community taken down. After signing, he said: “We should not be making jokes on religious and caste lines.”
With the Aam Aadmi Party planning on contesting elections in Punjab, it can’t be a coincidence that Mr. Kejriwal lent his support to the petition and that his government on Friday decided to give a restricted holiday on the martyrdom day of Guru Teg Bahadur on December 16.
Meanwhile, R.P.S. Kohli, who started the petition, said 17,000 to 20,000 people signed the physical copy of the petition at the gurdwara. “We are still in the process of counting the signatures, but we were overwhelmed by the support,” said Mr. Kohli, a businessman from West Delhi.
He said he decided to start the petition after his own experience of being bullied while growing up in Odisha.
“There were very few Sikhs living in Odisha so I was subject to jokes on my religion. Even after moving to Delhi, my sons faced similar jibes,” said Mr.Kohli.
Jokes based on stereotypical exaggerations of the Sikh community should be banned, ask the petitioners. But, more than that, Mr. Kohli said there was a need for an anti-bullying legislation as well as guidelines on how to deal with hate speech.
“Racist humour should be defined as hate speech and there should be appropriate laws to deal with it,” he said.
The Supreme Court is also hearing a Public Interest Litigation filed by lawyer Harvinder Chowdhury that seeks a ss0similar ban.
The next hearing of that case will be January 4, when activists and members of the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee are expected to hand in the petitions.
PS: The Petition had received 21,190 signature till 28th November 2015
Thursday, November 26, 2015
As part of a global Orange the World campaign, the iconic India Gateon Wednesday lit up in the colour orange celebrating the International Day of Elimination of Violence against Women.
The event was organised by UN Women Indian along with UNFPA India, UNDP and UN in India as part of the United Nations global campaign that is set to continue till December 10, designated as the UNs Human Rights Day.
Inaugurating the event Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan said, "Addressing the issue of woman empowerment should be the topmost priority right now. During my tenure as a minister, we celebrated women empowerment day every year.
"Violence against woman is disliked and condemned worldwide. Ending discrimination against woman and empowering them should be given importance in India," she said.
Frederika Meijer Representative UN Population Fund, India and country director UNFPA said that United Nations aims to eliminate all kinds of violence against women and gender discrimination and seeks to end it by 2030.
Filmmaker and classical dancer Aishwarya Dhanush who was present at the event said, "The awareness regarding the discrimination and violence against women should start from home. Raising hands must only be for raising doubts, and nothing else. The foundation has to be started right from the home."
"We are born in a chauvinistic society and men should help in changing the mindset," she further said.
According to the UN the colour orange is symbolic of "a united fight to end violence against women".
The campaign, which began in 1991 witnessed participation across 17 countries with landmarks such as the Sphinx in Egypt and the Empire State Building in New York lit up in orange in solidarity.
The event addressed issues like eve-teasing, dowry, acid attacks, child marriage, compulsory education for girl child and physical violence among others. The women leaders called for the participation of men and boys towards the progress of women in the world.
Chairperson of National Commission of Women (NCW) Lalita Kumaramangalam said, "When I took over I realised the pressure on police officials in addressing the grievances by women was mind boggling. Until the society as a whole does not address women issue, the problem will continue to stand before us.
"As NCW chairperson I feel that every family must join hands with the administration to eliminate violence and discrimination against women. Then only it will be eliminated from its root cause," she said.
Stating that discrimination and violence against women often starts even before their birth Preeti Sudan, Additional Secretary, ministry of women and child development said, "Government initiatives like Beti Bachao campaign has brought the issue in the public forum. The factor of fear among women needs to be address equally and the Indian government is with the UNs cause to instill a sense of security in them."
Senior Counsel Davinder Singh (right) was named Singapore’s “Disputes Star of the Year” at a Hong Kong event. Senior Counsel Cavinder Bull received Drew & Napier’s awards. — PHOTO: ASIALAW ASIA-PACIFIC DISPUTE RESOLUTION AWARDS 2015/ST
Legal eagle Davinder Singh was named as Singapore’s best dispute lawyer at the inaugural Asialaw Asia-Pacific Dispute Resolution Awards 2015.
Drew & Napier, the Singapore-based law firm that he helms at the chief executive officer, took home two awards at the ceremony held on Sunday (Sept 24) in the republic.
Davinder Singh received the “Disputes Star of the Year – Singapore” award while the firm won the award for the Singapore’s national law firm of the year and also the best domestic arbitration firm.
The 58 year-old lawyer had represented the late Lee Kuan Yew, the nation’s first Prime Minister, as well as his son and current Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, in the courtrooms.
He graduated from the National University of Singapore in 1982 and joined the Litigation Department of Drew & Napier thereafter. He was in the first batch of Senior Counsel appointed in 1997, according to his profileavailable at the firm’s website.
Davinder Singh, who has been a commercial lawyer and advocate for over 30 years, was also a former Member of Parliament for the Bishan-Toa PayohGroup Representation Constituency from 1988 to 2006.
Wednesday, November 25, 2015
Having read Vikramjit Singh’s article in TOI on November 8 “A brief history of Sardar jokes”, I am compelled to go on a nostalgic trip. And yes, having initiated a petition on Change.org to let people voice their opinion, I do not think that the Supreme Court PIL is frivolous.
(The writer is a social worker with one of the largest educational charities in the Sikh community.)