National Human Rights Commission (NHRC)
Subject- Sponsorship of Jaipur Literature Festival
This is with reference to the Jaipur Literature Festival, I wish to draw your attention towards the fact that NHRC is listed as one of the co-sponsors of it along with some agencies and companies whose track record is ridden with rampant human rights violations.
We wish inform you about the background of some these sponsors of the festival briefly because it presents a disturbing picture:
• In the inspection of scam ridden Commonwealth Games, Central Vigilance Commission had observed that DSC Limited as having been awarded 23% higher rates
• Rio Tinto Group, the world’s third- largest mining company has been deemed guilty of collusion with fascist and racist regimes and faces allegations of human, labour and environmental rights violations around the world and over decades
• Shell Oil Company, the largest energy company and the second-largest company in the world in terms of revenues has been deemed responsible for the death of Ken Saro Wiwa, the Nigerian author and environmental activist
We submit that NHRC must examine the immorality of taking becoming a co-sponsor along with the killers Ken Saro Wiwa, the Nigerian author and environmental activist who was posthumously elected to the United Nations Environment Programme’s, Global 500 Roll of Honour for advancing environmental protection. In his closing statement to the Nigerian Military appointed Tribunal that condemned him to death, Saro Wiwa said: “Shell is here on trial…the Company has, indeed, ducked this particular trial, but its day will surely come…The crime of the Company’s dirty wars against the Ogoni people will also be punished.”
This literature festival has been co-sponsored by Coca Cola Company which is accused of running water-intensive bottling plants in Plachimada, Kerala and Kala Dera, Rajasthan have dried up groundwater and local wells, forcing residents to rely on water supplies from outside the areas. The same situation is witnessed in and around the areas of some 52 water-intensive bottling plants of the company in India.
We find the manner of celebration of literature in which NHRC is involved along with those companies and agencies that are involved in genocides, civil wars, war crimes, aggression, occupation, protecting despots and fraudulent financialization quite disturbing.
We appeal to you to be circumspect about the programs NHRC sponsors and the co-sponsors of those programs and be wary of corporate crimes and their acts against humanity.
Gopal Krishna, Citizens Forum for Civil Liberties, Mb: 9818089660, Email:firstname.lastname@example.org
Prakash K Ray, Jawaharlal Nehru University Researchers Association, Mb: 9873313315, Eemail@example.com
Note: The letter with the same concern has been sent to these persons too:
–Ms Kumari Selja, Union Minister of Culture, Government of India
–Shri Sitaram Yechury, Chairperson, Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture
–Dr. Karan Singh, President, Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR)
–Shri Suresh K. Goel, Director General, ICCR
–Mr Rob Lynes, Director, British Council, India