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Alternative Law Forum

February 2015

Unnatural Sciences
Danish Sheikh shares his amusement on
Minister Ramesh Tawadkar's recent comment
regarding homosexuality's 'cure' and
explores what society's malady really is. Read
the article

All Internet Users, Pay Attention

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For a while now, there has been a general

uproar that the violation of net neutrality
will result in the end of an internet of easy
access and innovation. Smarika Kumar
addresses why you, the common internet
user, should be concerned about it Read
the article

Thanks to CBFC, we need to come up with better

abuses today
The Central Board of Film Certification issued a guideline
with a list of swear words that are now officially proscribed
in English and Hindi. But hard as I try, I am unable to
muster any anger at this list, and part of the reason may
have to do with the fact that I am still too busy, as they say
in mobile lingo, ROTFL!
Read Lawrence Liang's full article

The death wish of the Constitution?

There has been considerable discussion of the
controversial use by the BJP, of the original,
unamended Preamble to the Constitution of
India in an advertisement campaign. Arvind
Narrain sets out his view on the questions
involved. Read the article
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TOI literary festival kicks off

The Times Litfest 2015, Bengaluru, kicks off at the Jayamahal Palace Hotel.
The two-day festival is among the biggest such literary enclaves in Bengaluru.
It'll see some of India's foremost creative minds talk, argue, debate, discuss
and engage with vital topics which touch our lives. Pranesh Prakash of Centre
for Internet and Society, Lawrence Liang of Alternative Law Forum, and author
and journalist Vivek Kaul will present [sessions] on internet censorship and
net neutrality ...Read more

Is freedom of speech bunkum?

Lawrence Liang, lawyer at the Alternative Law Forum says liberty principles
should square up with other normative values - equality, dignity - in a holistic,
democratic ethos. "While Freedom of Expression (FoE) may be grounded in
the idea of individual autonomy and identity, the collective too has to betaken
into account." He cites the example of the ... Read More

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Transgendering Justice, Lecture at St. Joseph's College of Arts and

Danish Sheikh's talk on the 30th of January , ex plored the legal framework surrounding
the transgender community , focusing on the landmark NALSA judgment. It ultimately
made the case that taking transgender rights more seriously would hav e the effect of
ex panding the law's cloak of empathy in a more comprehensiv e manner for other
v ulnerable groups.

Panel Presentation at the Neralu - Bengaluru Tree Festival

Darshana Mitra and V inay Sreeniv asa presented a talk on the Streets as Urban commons
on the 7 th of February . Their presentation addressed the changing nature of the street how it is being transformed from a space for liv elihoods, shelter, culture, transport and
relax ation to just one - transport. They spoke about the need to challenge the notion of
streets as sanitized spaces subject to control, and realize their potential as v ibrant spaces
supporting large sections of the city for their v arious needs.
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A Panel Discussion on LGBT Rights in India, IIT Roorkee

On February the 8th, Danish Sheikh participated in as panel discussion that focused on a
range of issues faced by LGBT indiv iduals in the country from criminalization to social

Sexuality and Rights Institute

Arv ind Narrain presented on From Empathy to contempt: The judicial shift from Naz to
Koushal (January 2th) and The politics of rape law reform : From Mathura to Nirbhaya
(1 3th January). These two sessions were a part of the Sex uality and Rights Institute,
held annually by CREA

Festival of Faiths
Arv ind Narrain represented the v iewpoint of agnostics on an inter faith panel held
St Aloy sius College on the 8th of January . He spoke about the agnostic/atheistic tradition
from Bertrand Russell and the link to famous critics of religion like Dr Ambedkar on
Hinduism and Marx on religion more generally .

During the inauguration 'Ondede' on the 20th of January , Arv ind Narrain shared his
reflections on the question of what should the age of consent be and articulated that the
principle underly ing the age of consent debates should include not only the idea that
children should be protected but also the idea that y oung people make autonomous
choices including with respect to how they lead their intimate liv es.

The Gandhi that Godse Opposed

On January 28th, at St Josephs College of Arts and Science, Arv ind Narrain spoke in
campaign organized by Komu Souharde V edike -The talk highlighted the meaning of
Gandhi in a country which is witnessing a resurgence of Godse. Gandhi's work particularly
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in his last y ears were dev oted to try ing to build communal peace between two
communities between whom a v ast gulf had opened up. It is possibly the efforts of the last
couple of y ears and the consequent marty rdom of Gandhiji which resulted in the v oice of
the fundamentalists being silenced for almost forty y ears.

Presentation on Marx capital vol I

Arv ind Narrain spoke at St.Joseph's College of Arts and Science. His presentation was on
reading Marx Capital v ol I . The point made was that Marx was a great polemicist (as in
the Communist Manifesto) but equally the Marx of Capital V ol I is a great thinker whose
ideas help us ev en today to comprehend a world of sharp income disparities. This point
was sought to be highlighted by reference to Marx 's discussion on 'the length of the
working day ' and on 'machinery '.

Alternative Law Forum with collaborative Networks and

Gandhi and Communalism
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Karnataka Komu Souharda Vedike presented a poster campaign and a series of talks
on Gandhi and Communalism, in order to counter the glorification of hatred and also
to re-assert the relevance of Gandhi in India current communal atmosphere. Read
Consultation On Antidiscrimination Laws
The Alternative Law Forum hosted a consultation seeking to bring together people
from across disciplines to highlight gaps in the law's present thinking on the
experience of discrimination. The focus was on integrating responses to the question
of discrimination and engage specifically with the idea of developing a single
antidiscrimination law that speaks to the complexity of people's experiences...Read
Protest against illegal street vendor evictions
The Bruhat Bangalore Beedhi Vyapari Sanghatanegala Okkoota called for a protest
against the eviction of Street Vendors in Koramanagala on Feb 11. The vendors were
evicted in the month of January 2015 on flimsy grounds, violating the Street Vendors
(Protection of Livelihoods and Regulation of Vending)Act 2014 and judgements of the
Supreme Court and High court of Karnataka... Read More
Occupy Valentine's Day
The Hindu Mahasabha announced in UP that on the 14th of February, any couple
caught celebrating Valentine's Day in public or even declaring their love on social
media will immediately be married off to one another. This is the latest attempt by the
"moral" police to curtail personal choice and the autonomy of being on the grounds of
culture, religion and social norms. The Coalition Against Immoral Policing (CAIP) was
formed to counter such attempts to curb autonomy and spread the spirit of free
association in public spaces. The term immoral policing over "moral" policing is
based on the understanding that there isn't anything inherently moral about the
activities of such groups... Read More
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Want your research, activism and strategic

experience to reach a dynamic audience?
Would you like to exhibit your latest performance
piece in an intimate space?
We are your Alternative!
Write to us at with the
subject line 'Friday Forums'

Talks that took place in January 2015

2 January - Gautam Bhatia on
Sex Discrimination and the Constitution
6 January - Kareem Khubchandani on
'Dancing against the Law'
19 January - Manoj Mitta on his book
'The Fiction of Fact Finding: Modi &
23 January - Vinay Sreenivasa on Rights
and Threats : The Future of Street
31 January - Gowthaman Ranganathan
and Deepak Srinivasan; Performed
reading of 'One Part Woman

Visit Us!

Alternative Law Forum 2015

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122/4 Infantry Road, Next to Balaji Art Gallery, Bangalore, India 560001 (Nearest bus stop:
Phone: +91 80 2286 8757
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