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The ALF Bulletin April& May 2017

Justice for Shobha

A woman is hacked to death outside her house, in broad daylight

The police take 4 days to catch the killer and 2 hours to release
statements saying she was in a 'illicit' relationship. The media takes it
forward and airs shows of how she used him and dumped him and talk
nothing about women's safety, right to say no or about the killer. Why
are Police and the Media making it seem like the victim is responsible
for her own murder?
Would they do this if she was rich? If she was a techie? If she wasn't a
Dalit woman?
We need to stop this sensationalisation of violence!
Media should stop making women the tools to improve their
TRP! Read Shobha's Brother's Open Letter to the Media

The Myth Of Misuse Of 498A

The Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961 failed to address the various forms of
abuses meted out to married women, and the alarming increase of
dowry deaths. This prompted the womens rights movement in the
1970s and 80s to undertake an unrelenting campaign to bring marital
cruelty under the ambit of the criminal law. Due to their sustained
efforts, and assiduous campaigning, the Parliament amended the Indian
Penal Code, 1860, in 1983, and section 498A which deals with, husband
or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty, was
introduced to protect women facing cruelty in matrimonial homes..
Read More

Courting the People

Public Interest Litigation in Post-Emergency India
Anujs book explores the political role that Public Interest Litigation (PIL) has
come to play in contemporary India. It revisits the circumstances and
manoeuvres that led to the rise of PIL and traces its political journey since then,
arguing that the enormous powers that PIL confers upon the appellate judiciary
stems from its populist character. Courting the People examines PIL as part of
a larger trend towards legal informalism in post-Emergency India. Casting a
critical eye at these institutional reforms that aimed to adapt the colonial legal
inheritance to Indian realities. ALF invited Anuj to talk about this important
Watch the interview here
Intern Blogs.

My Time at ALF

I also found the ALF space to be very conducive to just sitting and thinking. There are some
great sayings and quotes all around the office. One of my favorites was right next to the
kitchen sink which said, Everyone wants a revolution, but nobody wants to do the dishes. It
was something I had not thought of before, how everyone wants social justice but only few are
willing to practice it. ALF also hosts some very interesting events every week like movie
screenings and discussions on mental health. Events like these resulted in me gaining so much
more from the organization than I had expected.Read More

My internship at ALF (this being my first) broadened my otherwise firm perspectives about
many issues such as capitalism, caste, public movements, womens issues and so on. The
various groups I got an opportunity to interact with and observe made me realize the problems
with our society right now and how our history and persistent mentality have given shape to
it.The most important element that made an impact on me were the people working in this
collective, their experiences work opinions and unending efforts.

Coming from a commerce and economics background, the work ALF is primarily associated
with was something I had read about but not actively engaged myself with at the root.
Through conversations with them and other members, talks, movie screenings, discussions,
protests, legal consultations and the course of my research I gained a comprehensive overview
of their work and came to understand a different kind of reality.

Coming to the assignments and work I was involved with, I want to focus on what I started
working on the very first day after sitting in on a couple of client meetings. I was given the
task of finding out various schemes and programs the government is offering to women in
difficult situations (domestic violence victims, single mothers) relating to benefits such as
shelter, food, employment, training, health, financial aid et cetera. Not just finding out, but
assessing its implementation success and actually charting out how we can help out a woman
who is looking for a basic, temporary set-up. I worked on this through the course of 4 weeks
and I hope to continue my research on this not only from an information-access approach
but also policy-wise and from a gender economics perspective.
Read More
Events at ALF
Mental Manathil is a series of Conversations on Mental Health. The series will involve
unpacking mental health, looking at alternative perspectives to mental Health,
alternative forms of healing, mental health as it relates to gender identity and sexuality.
The conversations will gradually move towards addressing mental health laws and

It is a coming together to share mental health stories and experience. An effort to reclaim
madness: give it new meaning and center our own experiences and lives rather than
being defined by psychiatry and the oppressive binaries of normal and abnormal.

We welcome you to share your story or narrative or just listen to others with empathy,
respect and an open mind. There will be no media or press and if any experiences are
shared, they will remain within the group. If you would like us to share your story during
the session on your behalf, you could mail us your experience and we will share your
story anonymously for you. Please mail us at

A series of film screenings

Screenings on
Caste in April
Rhythm, Rights and Rap in May
Art and the State in June

June features
Cultures of Resistance, Exit Through the Gift Shop, The Salt of the Earth and The Celluloid Man

Join us every Tuesday, 6.00 pm at ALF

New comic book released on rights of street vendors
A comic booklet 'Street Vending: Pakka Legal ' was brought out to spread the word on the rights of street
vendors, Street Vendors Bill and the responsibilities of government bodies towards protection of

A collaborative effort of Bengaluru Jilla Beedhi Vyapaari Sanghatanegala Okkuta, a federation of about 40
street vendor unions, and Alternative Law Forum, a legal research organisation, the 24-page book
highlights the problems faced by street vendors, existing laws that ensure their protection, importance of
street vendor unions and more, through graphics and caricatures.
Available in English and Kannada, the booklets artwork was done by city-based visual artist Vinayak
Varma while Sruthi Krishnan, Vinay K Sreenivasa and Lekha Adavi have contributed the script.
Know More
BBMP faces ire for publishing pourakarmikas' Aadhaar details on website
The Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) has published the Aadhaar details and other personal
information of thousands of its pourakarmikas - civic workers who sweep streets and collect waste door-
to-door. This has angered activists who believe it could be misused. BBMP claims it was done to bring
transparency in the city's solid waste management.
Know More

New cattle rules like prohibition on decoration, painting may make

implementation difficult

No decoration of livestock, no nose-cutting or ear splitting for identification without veterinarians are
among the new rules aimed at preventing cruelty to livestock, but there might be challenges in
implementing the law, according to an IndiaSpend analysis.

On May 23, 2017, a new notification aimed at regulating and managing animal markets, the Prevention
of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2017, mandated the creation of
agricultural market committees to regulate and monitor the sale of animals and the space used for the
sale, and prohibited cruel and harmful practices such as using chemicals on body parts, shearing and
painting of horns, sealing teats to prevent a calf from suckling.

These rules apply to bulls, bullocks, cows, buffalos, steers, heifers, calves and camels, and would affect
the nearly 300 million cattle in India, and their owners, based on the 2012 livestock census.
Know More

Diversity issues: African students narrate their problems in Bengaluru

Trifene, a student from Zimbabwe, came to Bengaluru, to study in Christ College in Bengaluru, after she
was promised of cutting-edge technological opportunities and new multi-cultural experiences. But as
she was soon to find out, the process of assimilating into Indian society would be much harder than she
expected. She says she faced racially motivated encounters that she would shy away from to avoid any
conflict; sometimes it was unavoidable to participate in such conflicts when they occurred inside her
hostel. Know More
How does one begin to understand a city? Do they start with its history, or do they talk about what
its popular for? The Critical Cities Circle, a discussion forum that consists of enthusiastic activists,
academics, students, artists and citizens of Bangalore, aim to critically understand their city
through issues in the urban realm. The discussion forum aims to not only discuss issues in an
academic manner, but also participate in campaigns and public action based on the issues, along
with hosting guest lectures from domain experts. The discussions began with who owns
Bangalore? and has presently engaged in a debate about how a city is planned.
If you would like to be a part of these discussions, write to Mathew Idiculla
( or Lekha Adavi (

Want to speak about your research with a dynamic audience?

Interested in sharing your field stories as an activist, or your strategic experience as a litigator?
Would you like to exhibit your latest performance piece in an intimate space?
We have a Forum for you.
ALFs Friday Forums have brought together individuals from various disciplines and professions
to engage in exciting interdisciplinary conversations. We invite you to be a part of this space.
Write to Ramya Jawahar with an abstract of your talk or performance along with a suitable date
and subject heading Friday Forums at:
Well get back to you following an internal discussion.

The Alternative Law Forum is a collective of lawyers and researchers invested in an alternative practice
of law. ALF has a commitment to respond, through litigation and research, to issues of social and
economic injustice.