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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


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

TOI literary festival kicks off


The Times Litfest 2015, Bengaluru, kicks off at the Jayamahal Palace Hotel. The twoday 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

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


and Sciences

Danish Sheikh's talk on the 30th of January, explored 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 have the effect of
expanding the law's cloak of empathy in a more comprehensive manner for other
vulnerable groups.

Panel Presentation at the Neralu - Bengaluru Tree Festival


Darshana Mitra and Vinay Sreenivasa presented a talk on the Streets as Urban commons
on the 7th of February. Their presentation addressed the changing nature of the street how it is being transformed from a space for livelihoods, shelter, culture, transport and
relaxation 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 vibrant spaces
supporting large sections of the city for their various needs.

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 individuals in the country from criminalization to social
prejudice.

Sexuality and Rights Institute


Arvind 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 (13th January). These two sessions were a part of the Sexuality and Rights
Institute, held annually by CREA

Festival of Faiths
Arvind Narrain represented the viewpoint of agnostics on an inter faith panel held
St Aloysius 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.

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

The Gandhi that Godse Opposed


On January 28th, at St Josephs College of Arts and Science, Arvind Narrain spoke in
campaign organized by Komu Souharde Vedike -The talk highlighted the meaning of
Gandhi in a country which is witnessing a resurgence of Godse. Gandhi's work
particularly in his last years were devoted to trying to build communal peace between two
communities between whom a vast gulf had opened up. It is possibly the efforts of the
last couple of years and the consequent martyrdom of Gandhiji which resulted in the
voice of the fundamentalists being silenced for almost forty years.

Presentation on Marx capital vol I

Arvind Narrain spoke at St.Joseph's College of Arts and Science. His presentation was on
reading Marx Capital vol I . The point made was that Marx was a great polemicist (as in
the Communist Manifesto) but equally the Marx of Capital Vol I is a great thinker whose
ideas help us even 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


Organisations

Gandhi and Communalism


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 reassert the relevance of Gandhi in India current communal atmosphere. Read More
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 more
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

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 contact@altlawforum.org 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 & Godhra'

23 January - Vinay Sreenivasa on Rights and


Threats : The Future of Street Vending

31 January - Gowthaman Ranganathan and


Deepak Srinivasan; Performed reading of
'One Part Woman

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