Galaxy Of Conscientious Indians List of People intervening in the Ayodhya Petition with CJP

30, Nov 2017

Here is a complete list of Civil Society members who are intervening in this petition with CJP.

  1. Shyam Benegal, is a renowned and acclaimed film maker with a career spanning over 43 years. His films have revolved around public issues. His first, powerful, influential and path breaking body of work from Ankur in 1974 to Well Done Abba in 2010 speaks for itself. The core of his films that have received national and international acclaim, apart from being commercial successes have been deeply entrenched social issues that dog Indian society’s march to modernity. Ankur has been regarded as the single-most influential Indian film since Satyajit Ray’s Pather Panchali. The core of his films that have received national and international acclaim, apart from being commercial successes have been deeply entrenched social issues that dog Indian society’s march to modernity. Apart from creating stunning and socially relevant cinema, Benegal has been a vocal and responsible voice for free expression. He was recently appointed head of Government Committee (led by him in 2016), the outcome of which was a report that suggested that CBFC should limit its functioning to issuing certificates to movies and not impose censorship.
  2. Aparna Sen, renowned actor Indian Film maker, Screen writer and Actress, well known for her award winning work in Bengali cinema as well as Indian cinema. Again, a professional committed to social issues that have been reflected in her roles as an actor, Aparna Sen has taken these concerns forward also in She is the winner of three national film awards, nine international film festival awards for her direction in films. She was awarded the Padma Shri the fourth highest civilian award, by the government of India in 1987. Aparna Sen has been committed to the values of tolerance and civility in public discourse and a strong voice for the downtrodden.After Teen Kanya, her role in Aparichito (1969) Aranyer Din Ratri, (1970) Ekhane Pinjar (1971), Jay Jayanti (1971), Memshaheb(1972), Sujata (1974), Alor Thikana (1974),  Ekanto Apon (1987), Swet Patharer Thala (1992). She also garnered critical acclaim for her work in Indira(1984), Kari Diye Kinlam (1989), Titli (2001), Antaheen (2009), Chatushkon (2014). In addition to acting in films, Sen has also been directing films since 1981. After her first, other films she has directed include Paroma, sati, Yugant, Paromitar Ek Din, Mr and Mrs Iyer, 15 Park Avenue, The Japanese Wife, Iti Mrinalini, Goynar Baksho. She won her second National Film Award as a director for Mr. and Mrs. Iyer.
  3. Anil Dharker, Columnist and Writer. He is President of Citizens for Justice and Peace and Founder Director of Mumbai Literary Festival. He is founder member and President of Citizens for Justice and Peace, Mumbai formed in the aftermath of the Gujarat pogrom in 2002. During his tenure at the National Film Development Corporation (then called the Film Finance Corporation), where he eventually became its head, many film-makers who are now household names, ( like Govind Nihalani, Saeed Mirza, Aparna Sen, Ketan Mehta, Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Gautam Goutam Ghose) made their first, launching films. Dharker was also responsible for opening the Akashwani Auditorium in South Bombay as an art movie theatre. Dharker`s most significant contribution to NFDC was to enable it to co-produce Richard Attenborough`s film Gandhi, the multiple Oscar winner. . He has been the editor of a variety of publications, starting with Debonair (a monthly), Mid-day and Sunday Mid-day (evening papers); The Independent, a morning broad-sheet from the Times of India group (described by the then Finance Minister Dr Manmohan Singh as the best newspaper in India) and The Illustrated Weekly of India.
  4. Teesta Setalvad Writer, Award Winning Journalist and Educationist and Human Rights Activist and Secretary Citizens for Justice and Peace(CJP). A journalist since 1983.Reporter with The Daily & The Indian Express; Senior Correspondent with The Business India: Since August,1993 Editor Communalism Combat, Bombay, Educationist, Social and Human Rights Activist Secretary, Citizens for Justice and Peace, Mumbai, Director, KHOJ, Education for a Plural India Programme. Through intrepid Investigative Journalism in Communlaism Combat as also mainstream Indian newspapers has reported and analysed issued of communalisation of the Indian Police Force, Institutionalised Bias in School text-books and Caste and Gender Bias.She has been a Member of the Central Advisory Board of Education (CABE) from 2004 till 2014; Government of India;  Member of Expert CABE Committee on “RegulatoryMechanisms for Textbooks and Parallel Textbooks Taught in Schools outside the Government System.
  5. Om Thanvi, Senior Writer and Journalist, Author of several books and former Editor, Jansatta (Indian Express Group). A-304 Jansatta Apts, Sector 9, Vasundhara, Ghaziabad – 201012. UP. Om Thanvi born at Phalodi, Rajasthan is a writer and editor and also recipient of many awards. He was awarded with Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi Puraskar for Journalism by the President of India. Other awards include Shamsher Samman for Prose, Haldi Ghati Award for journalism, SAARC Literary Award and Hindi Academy award. Recently he was awarded ‘Bihari Samman’ given by K K Birla Foundation for his book Muanjodaro. He started journalism in his student days in 1977 contributing to weekly ‘Marudeep’, daily ‘Yugpaksh’ (Bikaner) and weekly ‘Reviver’ (Calcutta), joined mainstream Hindi  journalism working with Rajasthan Patrika group in Jaipur. He attended United Nation’s first conference on climate change called Earth Summit at Rio de Janeiro 1992 and it’s preparatory conference held in Paris. In 2012 He was among few journalists who attended Rio summit, called Rio+20, again. He edited Patrika group’s weekly Itwari Patrika, then Bikaner edition of daily Rajasthan Patrika. In 1989, he was first     resident editor of the daily’s Chandigarh edition (1989-1999), then editor  of Jansatta in Delhi (1999-2015).
  6. Cyrus J. Guzder , is founding member Citizens for Justice and Peace (CJP) and continues to serve on its Board. He co-founded the Bombay Environment Action Group. He has also championed a movement against encroachment on the natural habitat in Mahableshwar and Matheran. Mr. Guzder is also active heritage conservationist. He set up the first chapter of the Indian Heritage Society and INTACH foundation in Mumbai. As a member of the Mumbai City Heritage Conservation Committee of the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (BMC), he has played an active role in conservation of the heritage buildings and precincts in Mumbai. He was Trustee of the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya (formerly known as the Prince of Wales Museum), nominated by Government of Maharashtra since 1995 and has served as a member of the Board of Governors of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority’s Heritage Conservation Society.
  7. Aruna Roy, MKSS, Former IAS officer and Indian Political and Social Activist and Co-founder of Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sanghatan (MKSS).Aruna You is recipient of the Magsaysay Award in 2000 and the Lal Bahadur Shastri National Award for Excellence in Public Administration, Academia and Management in 2010. Aruna Roy is a leader of the Right to Information movement in India through the MKSS and the National Campaign for the People’s Right to Information (NCPRI), which was finally successful with the passage of the Right to Information Act in 2005.She served on the National Advisory Council till 2006 when she resigned. It was in 1987 that she, along with Nikhil Dey and Shankar Singh formed the MKSS. The MKSS began by espousing the cause of for fair and equal wages for workers which shaped and evolved into a struggle for the enactment of India’s Right to Information Act.
  8. Medha Patkar is an Indian social activist working on various crucial political and economical issues raised by Adivasis, Dalits, Farmers, labourers and Women facing injustice in India. Patkar is the founder member of the 32 years old people’s movement called Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) in three states: Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat. Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA) has been engaged in a struggle for justice for the people affected by the dam projects related to the Sardar Sarovar Dams project, especially those whose homes will be submerged, but have not yet been rehabilitated. She is also one of the founders and presently national co-ordinator of the National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM), an alliance of hundreds of progressive people’s organisations. Patkar was a commissioner on the World Commission on Dams, which did a thorough research on the environmental, social, political and economic aspects and impacts of the development of large dams globally and their alternatives.
  9. Ganesh N. Devy (1 August 1950), formerly professor of English at the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, a renowned literary critic and activist and is founder director of the Bhasha Research and Publication Center, Vadodara and Adivasi Academy at Tejgadh, Gujarat established to create a unique educational environment for the study of tribal communities. He led the People’s Linguistic Survey of India in 2010, which has researched and documented 780 Living Indian Languages. He was awarded Padma Shri on 26 January 2014 in recognition of his work with denotified and nomadic tribes education and his work on dying-out languages. He was awarded the Sahitya Akademi Award for After Amnesia, and the SAARC Writers’ Foundation Award for his work with denotified tribals. His Marathi book Vanaprasth has received six awards including the Durga Bhagwat Memorial Award and the Maharashtra Foundation Award. Along with Laxman Gaikwad and Mahashweta Devi, he is one of the founders of The Denotified and Nomadic Tribes Rights Action Group (DNT-RAG).
  10. Dr. B.T. Lalitha Naik Social Activist and Writer. A former minister for Kannada, Culture, and Department of Women & Child Welfare in the Government of Karnataka. Naik has also served as an MLC (1986-1992) and MLA (1994-1999). She won the Karnataka Sahitya Academy Award in 1991. She is also known for leading important literary, social and language-rights movements such as Bandaya movement and Gokak agitation.After her marriage, Naik, started writing radio plays about the trials and tribulations of middle class life for the local Akashavani station. Encouraged by the popularity she started writing and contributing poems, short stories and articles for prominent Kannada periodicals such as Sudha, Prajavani and Taranga. When her novella, Nele Bele, won an award in the annual novella competition conducted by Sudha magazine, she was invited by the writer P. Lankesh to contribute to his newly started tabloid Lankesh Patrike.Her popularity as a writer and journalist led her to being nominated as Member of the Karnataka Legislative Council (MLC) by the then Chief Minister Ramakrishna Hegde.
  11. Kumar Ketkar, Journalist, for nearly 40 years with renowned newspaper groups like Times of India ( Chief Editor Maharashtra Times), Indian Express (Chief Editor Loksatta). Ketkar was the recipient of the Padmashree, in the year 2001, C.D. Deshmukh Award for Excellence in Economic/financial writing, Giants International Award for International coverage, the Rajiv Gandhi Award for Excellence in Media, the Doordarshan Award, Ratnadarpan for Journalistic Excellence, Maharashtra Bhushan in Journalism by Government of Maharashtra amongst other. , His international journalistic assignments include the following: the has  covered six Presidential Elections in the US, including of Obama’s election, Hong Kong  integration with China, from Hongkong, Economic Transformation of China, from various parts of China, Collapse of Soviet Union from Moscow Reintegration of two Germanys, from Bonn, Berlin and Munich Liberalisation in Vietnam, Elections in UK, Attended European Union conferences on Terrorism and EU relationship with India, Visiting Faculty in Farleigh Dickinson University, New Jersey.
  12. Anand Patwardhan has been making political documentaries for over four decades pursuing diverse and controversial issues that are at the crux of social and political life in India. Many of his films, despite winning national and international awards, were at one time or another banned by state television channels in India and became the subject of litigation by Anand who successfully challenged the censorship rulings in court. Anand has been an activist ever since he was a student — having participated in the anti-Vietnam War movement; being a volunteer in Caesar Chavez’s United Farm Worker’s Union; working in Kishore Bharati, a rural development and education project in central India; and participating in the Bihar anti-corruption movement in 1974-75 and in the civil liberties and democratic rights movement during and after the 1975-77 Emergency.
  13. Kalpana Kannabiran An Indian Sociologist and Lawyer. She is current Director of Council for Social Development, Hyderabad. She is Professor of Sociology and Regional Director, Council for Social Development, Hyderabad, an autonomous research institute supported by the Indian Council for Social Science Research, a position she has held since March 2011. She holds a PhD in Sociology from Jawaharlal Nehru University, and an LLM in Jurisprudence from Osmania University.  Recipient of the Amartya Sen Award for Distinguished Social Scientists for her work in the discipline of Law in its inaugural year, 2012, Kalpana was awarded the VKRV Rao Prize for Social Science Research in the field of Social Aspects of Law by the ICSSR in 2003.  Her recent books are Tools of Justice: Non Discrimination and the Indian Constitution, Routledge, New Delhi, 2012; Violence Studies [editor], Oxford University Press, 2016; India Social Development Report: Disability Rights Perspectives, [co-editor] Oxford University Press, 2017; Telangana Social Development Report [co-editor], CSD: Hyderabad, 2017; Re-Presenting Feminist Methodologies: Interdisciplinary Explorations [co-editor] Routledge, 2017.
  14. RB Sreekumar, an IPS officer and recipient of Presidential Police Medal for Meritorious Service in 1990 and the President’s Police Medal for Distinguished Service in 1998..He is a former Director General of Police (DGP), Gujarat. He has served in sensitive posts as chief of the state and central Intelligence before he retired in February 2007. He has served as Deputy Director and Joint Director in Central IB for 13yrs in IB Hq, New Delhi and Trivandrum, Kerala and Commandant Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) in Kerala. He is author of ‘Gujarat-Behind the Curtain’ published in 2015.
  15. Kiran Nagarkar, Indian Novelist, Playwright Film and Drama Critic and Screen Writer both in Marathi and English. His first novel, Saat Sakkam Trechalis (later published in English as Seven Sixes Are Forty Three) is considered one of the landmark works of Marathi literature. In 1978, Nagarkar wrote the play Bedtime Story, based partly on the Mahābhārata. Nagarkar’s theatre work also includes Kabirache Kay Karayche and Stranger Amongst Us, and his screenplay work includes The Broken Circle, The Widow and Her Friends, and The Elephant on the Mouse, a film for children. Hailing from a lower-middle-class family, Nagarkar’s parents belonged to a branch of Brahmoism, which in Maharashtra was called the Prarthana Samaj. An inclusive attitude towards Hinduism runs in his family; his grandfather attended the 1893 Parliament of the World’s Religions in Chicago.From June to November 2011 he was ‘writer in residence’ of the Literaturhaus Zurich and the PWG Foundation in Zurich.Nagarkar studied at Fergusson College in Pune and the S.I.E.S. College in Mumbai. Among the recognitions he has received are the 2013 The Hindu Literary Prize, shortlist, The Extras, the 2012 Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, 2001 Sahitya Akademi Award, winner, Cuckol.
  16. MK Raina  Well known Theatre Director and Founder Member of Safdar Hashmi Memorial Trust (SAHMAT). M.K.Raina, a graduate from the National School of Drama, is actively engaged in acting and direction in theatre and media. Refusing to be tied down to the conventional professions, Raina has been a freelance theatre worker, film person and cultural activist since 1972, experimenting in many languages, forms and techniques. His association with the rural and urban theatre across he country has helped him evolve a unique style, where both the forms blend and yet are rich with contemporary sensibility. Raina has been working in Kashmir for the last 15 years, through the times of extreme conflict in order to revive the dying indigenous performance art form of the Bhands, as well as to use culture as a tool for creating spaces of free self expression in an environment where there is none. His many awards include the Sanskrit Samman in 1980; Sahitya Kala Parishad Award in 1981; Best Director of the Year by the West Bengal Government in 1982; Best Director Award by Punjabiacademy in 1987; Sangeet Natak Academy Award in 1995 and the Swarna Padak Award from the Government of Jammu and Kashmir in 1996. He was also awarded one of India’s highest theatre awards, the B.V. Karanth award for lifetime achievement in 2007.
  17. Sohail Hasmi  Writer, Film Maker and founder of Safdar Hashmi Memorial Trust (SAHMAT), New Delhi. Sohail is a former Director of Leap Years – a Creative Activity Centre for Children and a founding trustee of SAHMAT (Safdar Hashmi Memorial Trust). Urdu Hai Jiska Naam, a film on the History of Urdu Language that Sohail conceptualised, researched and scripted for the Ministry of External Affairs, was shown on Discovery channel for 4 years. He has recently completed a Film on the Department of Bio Technology and another on a journey to Ladakh for J&K Tourism. He is an activist who has written on issues of language, culture and communalism he has been involved in documentary film making for the last 15 years and has conceptualised, researched, scripted or produced films on pioneers of women’s education in India, women and literacy, walks through Delhi.
  18. Ram Rahman founding member of Safdar Hashmi Memorial Trust and well known photographer. Ram Rahman is an Indian photographer, curator and social activist. His photographs capture the neglected sections of the Indian society. His keen eye for details combines with his deep rooted social awareness to create lasting images of intense humanism. His work in graphic design and architecture photography are also noteworthy.  He is known for his involvement in Safdar Hashmi Memorial Trust (SAHMAT) organization that strives against communal and sectarian powers.
  19. Sumon Mukhopadhyaya veteran actor, he is a Prominent Indian Film Maker and Director from Bengal. His first cinematic directorial debut film, Herbert, was released in 2005 and won the National Award for Best Bengali Film. He is curently completing his latest film Asamapta. His previous film Shehser Kabita The Last Poem) with Rahul Bose and Konkana Sen Sharma has been completed and is being premiered in Dubai International Film Festival. His fourth feature film, Kangal Malsat was released in 2013. Mahanagar@Kolkata was completed in 2009. This film was screened in Munich, Kerala and New York film festivals. His second film Chaturanga, based on Tagore’s novel, was completed in 2008 and premiered at the Montreal World Film Festival. Chaturanga was screened in 36 national and international festivals. The film received a Gran Prix award at Bridgefest, Sarajevo; the Best Director award at the Philadelphia Independent Film Festival and the Golden Palm at Mexico International Film Festival. Mukhopadhyay has done theatre productions ranging from European drama to major adaptations of Bengali works.
  20. Joy Sengupta, An Indian Film and stage actor from Bollywood and Bengali cinema. A graduate in English literature, is a prominent voice in theatre and films. he has had 25 years of working in professional. He has performed widely in India and abroad including globally at the West End London, Off Broadway NYC, Edinburough Fringe, NADA  Sydney. Joy Gupta has also had wide experience in cinema, with over 30 feature films in Hindi, English & Bengali..The films have garnered over 6 National & a Dozen International awards and include Hazar Chaurasi k Ma,(Hindi), Hate Story, Anjana Anjani, Deham/Harvest (English), Bhopal A Prayer for Pain, Patalghar (Bengali), Chaturanga. He is recipient of the prestigious V Shantaram award for acting in Cinema. Besides he has an experience in telefilms and is a commentator in political affairs.
  21. John Dayal, Indian Christian Political Activist. He is a Member of National Integration Council (NIC) and past President of All India Catholic. Member, National Integration Council Government of India. He is an eminent journalist, Auuthor, occasional documentary Filmmaker Educationalist and internationally known Human Right and Peace activist. He has worked on issues of displacement of tribals, the Dalit Christian movement, the anti-nuclear weapon network, forced disappearances and fake encounters and impunity, and has been a member of many Civil Society Fact finding committees and Peoples Tribunals. John Dayal has been a human rights activist since the early Seventies. His book on the Indian Emergency (1975-77) is a major document of that period when the Constitution was all but suspended. He has also edited the monumental Gujarat 2002 – Untold and Retold Stories, on the anti-Muslim genocide in the state of Gujarat. His latest book, A Matter of Equity – Freedom of Faith in Secular India, his last book, was published in 2007.
  22. Dolphy Anthony D’souza, Human Rights Activist and former President, Bombay Catholic Sabha. He is also Convenor of the Police Reforms Movement pushing for institutional reform in India’s police force.
  23. Jayati Ghosh, economist, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), is a development economist and Professor of Economics at the Centre for Economic Studies and Planning, School of Social Sciences, at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Her specialisations include globalisation, international finance, employment patters in development countries, macro economic policy and issues related to gender and development. Jayati Ghosj was the principal author of the West Bengal Human Development Report which has received the UNDP Prize for excellence in analysis.  She was conferred International Labour Organisation’s Decent Work Research Prize along with Professor Eve Landau in February 2011.
  24. K L Ashok, General Secretary, Karnataka Communal Harmony Forum (KKSV). A grass-root level activist and organiser, Ashok has been at the fore-front of making social justice issues a live concern for the people of Karnalaka. The KKSV is a vibrant people’s movement in all districts of Karnatake committed to preserving the syncretic culture of India and the secular ideals of the Indian Constitution. Ashok is a full time activist, organiser of the socio-cultural and political movements around social justice.
  25. K.P. Sripala, Advocate and Social Activist who is committed to public causes.
  26. A.K. Subbaiah Former Member of Legislative Council and Writer, author of several books and articles published in the Kannada language.Ajjikuttira Kariappa Subbaiah is a prominent politician of Karnataka. For over six decades he has been active in many pro-people movements across the state. Staunchly secular in his political stand he has been raising his voice against the communal nature of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). This book is a compilation of articles he had written about the RSS. This book is a compilation of articles he had written about the RSS. Originally written in Kannada this book was first published in 1985.
  27. Suresh Bhat Bakrabail; Eminent Writer, Activist and Translator who has over three dozen translated works to his credit.
  28. Tanaz Dara Mody (Rupa Mody); She is also known as Rupabehn Mody, is one of the fearless survivors and faces of the Gujarat 2002. Protagonist of the film, Parzaania, directed by Parzaania on the Gujarat carnage of 2002. An active and vocal woman human rights defender, Rupabehn has become a vocal voice for the parents of missing and disappeared children be it in Gujarat or anywhere else in the country.
  29. Muniza R. Khan, Academic and Social Activist has studied in depth the issues related to secularism, gender issues and peace studies. A PHD in Sociology from the prestigious Banaras Hindu University (BHU), she is author of a book. Socio-Legal Status of Muslim women” by Radiant Publishers, Some of the many research studies conducted by her include Socio-Legal status of Muslim women, Communal riots in Varanasi, 1989, (Monograph), a Project on “Education among Varanasi Muslims: A study in the perspective of national integration”, funded by ICSSR. (Project report), Communal riots study of Varanasi, 1991, and Lucknow 1996, funded by CSSS, Mumbai. (Monograph) and several others.
  30. Tanveer Jafri (Son of Ahsan Jafri, Former Parliamentarian, Gujarat). An engineer by profession, he and his family are among the fearless Survivors of the Gujarat carnage of 2002.



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