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It’s Prashant Bhushan Vs Justice Arun Mishra’s Problematic ‘Khap Panchayat’

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If they think that Prashant Bhushan will apologize during the two-day extension in the Khap panchayat headed by Justice Arun Mishra, it is because they are incapable of understanding not only Bhushan but also the values ​​that Bhushan upholds.

There will be various complaints and grievances in the big bundles that come to Bhushan’s office every day. From the need to file a petition to dissolve the Indian Parliament to the fact that our grandfather, who was a clerk in the British Raj, did not get his pension, to the amount of paperwork to put us to sleep, to the need to fight against the corporates who are selling this country.

Whistle-Blowers come to share secrets without any fear. There was no reasonable plea that there was no money. Petitions do not go from there for any immoral purpose in the name of having money.

Bhushan and other junior lawyers in the office once had lunch together, as he once said, as if it were a common occurrence. During the early days of the first Narendra Modi government, someone came to see me one afternoon. Without crowds. After some investigation, the visitor gets to the point. “You should not stand against us. You can become the legal advisor of our group (which means hundreds of crores of rupees). Just say whatever you want to do with Narendra Bhai. No problem.”

Bhushan thanked him after the courtesy and informed that he was not interested. We knew the owner who came to offer that. For him, Narendra Modi had become a broker in the sale of ports and airports in India. Prashant Bhushan can blindly say that he is the creator of such temptations only to move on to the next thing by saying it like a normal event. Therefore, he will have no other idea what to say in the Supreme Court today.

But that is not the case with the Supreme Court. The number of justices who have accepted the honours bestowed on them by the ruling party after retirement is on the rise. Justice Arun Mishra is just! So Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to shave the head of his daughter’s baby. (Mishra’s daughter’s husband is Divakar Mishra, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Commerce. He is a 2000 batch IAS officer).

President Kovind came. The Minister of Defense came. Amit Shah came. Several other Union ministers came. Many chief ministers went. Then the chief of the armed forces went. Bhushan tweeted, “Apparently this blue-eyed Joint Secretary is the son in law of a senior SC judge and the Mundan ceremony of his daughter was at the residence of that Judge!” Bhushan was then convicted by Justice Mishra himself.

Justice Mishra, on the other hand, is a bit strict in administering justice. So far, after 2019, Tian has ruled in Adani’s favour in six cases involving the Adani Group. When he has a month to retire, God of Justice is bound to pronounce judgment on the seventh. Mishra summoned some of the cases to his bench in the vacation bench and settled them in favour of Adani. Mishra also rejected a plea that Modi’s name was included in the Sahara-Birla diary (Modi just bought a penny for tea and Rs 25 crore) for further investigation. In the medical college bribery case, Justice Mishra also sat with Chief Justice Deepak Mishra, who was accused of having links with the accused in the case.

Mishra also rejected a petition seeking an inquiry into the unnatural death of Justice Loya, who was hearing the case against the then Gujarat Home Minister and later Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who was under the suspicion in the fake encounter murder of Shorabuddin Sheikh and the rape and murder of his wife Kauser B. When the listing of this case came to Mishra’s bench, four senior judges of the day held a press conference alleging that there were some irregularities and misguided interest in listing certain types of cases and political significance. Ranjan Gogoi’s enslavement to get rid of the sexual harassment case and some other troubles is another story.

In the days leading up to Gogoi’s sexual harassment, a lawyer suddenly came to the scene claiming that he knows the lies behind this. Everyone knew he was planted by Gogoi. A ‘taxi car’ came through the entrance, which is only accessible to the justices, and went inside without being checked when the magic wand was blown from the inside. Mishra’s bench summoned him to court. And Mishra praised Gogoi in open court, saying that no Chief Justice of the world has acted so transparently in the allegations against him.

The IB chief, CBI chief and Delhi Police chief were asked to appear in the afternoon. Months passed. Gogoi’s stigma came out of the Supreme Court after several Eran Mooli verdicts, including the Ayodhya, Raphael and Sabarimala reviews. Another thing happened before that. The Supreme Court had reinstated an employee who raised allegations of sexual harassment against the Chief Justice. Her husband and brother-in-law, who were suspended from the Delhi Police, were reinstated.

The Delhi Police had asked the court to terminate the proceedings as the complainant, who had filed a fraud case against the employee, was missing. So that scary paper? None, but instead the national security advice was signed on another piece of paper held by the complainant. Kneel, that it will be opened.

The broad constitutional bench decided to hear when it came to the fact that there were contradictions in two judgments of the Supreme Court itself in the Land Acquisition Act. Among the contradictory verdicts, Mishra wrote the verdict which is considered to be in favour of the government. The new bench came. Who was the Chairman of the Broad Constitutional Bench who had examined both the judgments and taken a correct stand? Justice Arun Mishra.

Not surprisingly, Justice Mishra’s concept of justice did not catch Prashant Bhushan. It’s two worlds.

There is nothing sacred in human civilization at all times. If the Supreme Court claims such a sanctity, it means that it is ignorant of the historicity of justice. Prashant Bhushan is holding the mirror of the political consciousness of morality against the Supreme Court. The court smashed the mirror out of fear of seeing his own face.

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

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A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

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A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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