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The ALF Bulletin

January 2017

Demonetization, the informal economy and civil


society
50 days of the Demon are now done. Even as the nation waits
in apprehension, wanting to know what lies next, there have
been several humorous responses to the same. Church Street
Social, an upscale pub in Bangalore has announced that their
customers can get a drink of beer at Rs 31, for every time that
Modi says Mitron in his speech today (Dec 31). By the time
this article is published, the joke may well be upon us, again!
Read More

The Padayatra from Dantewada to Gompad:


Liberating the Tricolour from the clasp of violence
On June 13, 2014 Madkam Hidme, a 23 year old adivasi girl
was found dead with marks of torture and rape on her
body. The body was found near her village, Gompad, Block
Konta, district Sukma, Chhattisgarh. The very next day, a
picture of her corpse, draped in a crisp black uniform of
Naxalite guerillas, started appearing in local newspapers,
along with an announcement that a notorious Naxalite has
been killed. Read More

Contract Pourakarmikas Struggle Relentlessly for


Better Wages
After a relentless struggle of more than three years demanding
for better wages, the BBMP Guttige Pourakarmikara Sangha
(BBMP Contract Pourakarmika Union affiliated with AICCTU)
was successful in compelling the State government to increase
the monthly wages payable to guttige pourakarmikas. On
August 14th, 2016, the State Government issued a notification
stating that Rs. 14,040 should be the minimum wages payable to
all contract pourakarmikas across the state. Despite the same,
the BBMP failed to comply. Read More

Good Samaritan law set to save many lives


Karnataka is the first state to pass the Good Samaritan and Medical Professional (Protection and Regulation
during Emergency Situations) Bill. For many injured in accidents, the new law could be a lifesaver. Vinay K
Sreenivasa of Alternative Law Forum says enforcement is the key.
Unless efforts are made to create awareness about the law among the police, the law does not serve a
purpose, he said.
Also, people are apathetic, as in the case of the girl murdered at the Chennai station. Society must reflect on
this as well, he said. Read More

Rescue act: Meet rape survivor Claire McFarlane


McFarlane is in Bengaluru for a talk at the Alternative Law Forum office on Infantry Road. Her longterm
plan is to develop an app that will help survivors reach the nearest hospital or police station in the event of an
attack. It will also have a database of all the organisations a survivor can reach out. Read More

Law through lens of anime


Conducted by Deeptha Rao, a lawyer and a member of the Alternative Law Forum in Bengaluru, this session
iwas held in the city for children in and above class 10, students of law schools and teachers. At the
Alternative Law Forum, we have an interdisciplinary way of looking at law. Law governs us, but when read as
a mere text does not make much sense. So weve been trying to relate law to the way it is represented in
literature, or looking at it through various forms in media like pop culture or anime. We are targeting
children above class 10, as they can make their own judgement at that age, she explains. Read More

Karnataka govt deletes 'eunuchs from police records


However, legal experts who handle transgender issues are not enthused. Ramya Jawahar, a lawyer and
member of Alternative Law Forum (ALF) said: "It is still problematic. Merely replacing the word 'eunuch' will
not eliminate the spirit of Section 36(A), which is detrimental to the transgender community.
Gowthaman Ranganathan, a consultant for Karnataka Transgender Committee (a voluntary group of
transgender individuals, said: "We have been asking for the complete revocation of Section 36(A), which is
nothing but an extension of the repealed Criminal Tribes Act 1871. But they have only done some minor
tweaking. Anything short of complete revocation is completely unacceptable and it is still an infringement
of the movement and right to equality. Read More

Trees are the first casualty of development works


Vinay K. Sreenivasa of Hasiru Usiru says, There are two reasons why trees are being increasingly sacrificed:
one, there is no will to reduce private vehicles and increase support to BMTC. The focus is mega
infrastructure projects, such as the metro, flyovers, elevated roads. Trees are sacrificed because policy
makers do not wish to see the longterm impact. Read More

EventsatALF
Conversations On Discrimination

These conversations took place throught a number of panel discussions, inter movement dialogues and
other interactions on discrimination in Education, Employment, Health and Housing all through 2016.
This is in context of ALF's work on antidiscrimination since the last two years. The plethora of work seeks
to explore possibilities of a campaign against discrimination of all forms which may lead to the drafting of a
comprehensive anti discrimination law, that would address discrimination across caste, gender, adivasis,
religion, sexuality, gender identity, HIV status, race, region, color, articulation capacity etc. To read reports
and know more, please visit our website.

Conversations on Personal Laws and a Uniform Civil Code

These conversations were organised through November and December 2016 aiming to bring together
different progressive voices on the UCC for multiple public discussions. The idea is not coming up with a
single solution but to broaden the context and understand different perspectives on the Governments
proposal to bring in a UCC.
Many of these meetings included diverse voices from the womens movement, collectives of women from
different communities, activists, researchers and others. Reports from the various discussions are available
at ALF. The Critique on the Law Commissions Questionnaire can be found in the Advocacy section of this
edition of Paryaya.
Dangerous Speech in Virtual Time

Over the last five years, with the increasing popularity of social media in India, accessed extensively through
inexpensive mobile phones, a range of actors have emerged to deal with the question of the increasing
circulation of excitable speech, and material that has been linked to public order disturbances.
The focus of law and legal regulation has shifted from the content itself, what it says, and the intention of the
author, to being able to preempt the circulation of such material. Increasingly it is through keywords and
algorithmic searches that the category of hate speech has been defined rather than traditional legal
doctrine. Siddharth Narrain was invited to ALF on the 23rd of December, 2016 to explore emerging questions
related to how the standards of hate speech and violent content laid down by companies differ from
domestic legal standards, and the multiple negotiations that take place between internet intermediaries and
governments. He underlined the complicated and shifting nature of sovereignties, and the blurring of
distinctions between private and public that the era of mobile phone enabled internet and social media
platforms.
Rights of Persons from the North East Living in Bangalore

In light of the recent judgment of a full bench of the Supreme Court of India in Karma Dorjee v Union of
India. The court has given many directions including the implementation of the Bezbaruah Committee
Report on the Concerns of the people of the North East living in other parts of the country.
This discussion looked at the implications of these developments in the context of Bangalore, a city that is
still reeling from the exodus of people from the North East in 2012. The Human Rights Project at the Azim
Premji University, North East Solidarity Forum and members of ALF presented on the issue on December
30th, 2016

A series of film screenings

Nyaayada Kanasu is a series of film screenings hosted by Pedestrian Pictures and Alternative Law
Forum, Bangalore. Every month, a set of four films will be screened on a specific theme. Each
theme focuses on different aspects of insecurities of the State discrimination, censorship, dissent,
nationalism, etc. Through this, we invite you to join us in exploring the idea of dissent as a quest
for justice.
Please find some of the movies scheduled for January, 2017 below.

January

January

3rd, 6 PM at ALF

10th, 6 PM at ALF

Advocacy

LawCommissionsQuestionnaireontheUniformCivilCode:
ACritique
ThequestionnairereleasedbytheLawCommissionofIndiatoinitiateadebateontheuniform
civilcode(UCC)isproblematiconvariousfronts.Theaimofthequestionnaire,asstatedbythe
lawcommission,istoseekopinionofthepublicaboutwaysinwhichfamilylawreformscanbe
introducedinanintegrativemanner,soastonotcompromisethediversityandpluralityofIndias
socialfabric.Inouropinion,thequestionnairehasfailedtoachievethisobjective.Firstofall,the
frameworkofthequestionnaireitselfisproblematicasitassumesthatweneedaUCC.Italso
seemstohaveassumedthatgenderequalityisdependentonthepresence/absenceof
laws/codification/UCCmerelyandnotdependentonactualcontentoftheselaws.Thewaythe
questionsandtheoptionshavebeenframed,limitsthescopeoftheanswers.Asimpleyesorno
answertoaquestionnegatesvariousotherfactorsuponwhichtheanswersmaydepend.
ReadthefullCritiquesubmittedtotheLawCommission

Wanttospeakaboutyourresearchwithadynamicaudience?
Interestedinsharingyourfieldstoriesasanactivist,oryourstrategicexperienceasa
litigator?
Wouldyouliketoexhibityourlatestperformancepieceinanintimatespace?
WehaveaForumforyou.
ALFsFridayForumshavebroughttogetherindividualsfromvariousdisciplinesand
professionstoengageinexcitinginterdisciplinaryconversations.Weinviteyoutobeapart
ofthisspace.
WritetoRamyaJawaharwithanabstractofyourtalkorperformancealongwithasuitable
dateandsubjectheadingFridayForumsat:contact@altlawforum.org
Wellgetbacktoyoufollowinganinternaldiscussion.
TheAlternativeLawForumisacollectiveoflawyersandresearchersinvestedinanalternativepractice
oflaw.ALFhasacommitmenttorespond,throughlitigationandresearch,toissuesofsocialand
economicinjustice.