Gautam Navlakha, 04 August 2017
|Occupation||Editorial consultant of economic and political weekly|
|Organization||People's Union for Democratic Rights, Delhi|
|Known for||Human rights, civil liberties and democratic rights activism|
Gautam Navlakha (Hindi pronunciation: [ɡɔːt̪ m nʋlkʰaː]) is a civil liberties, democratic, and human rights activist; and a journalist. He is engaged in the longstanding activism by the People's Union for Democratic Rights, Delhi as a veteran activist. He is also an editorial consultant of the Economic and Political Weekly. He resides in New Delhi.
Navlakha has worked as a secretary of the People's Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR), and has also been a convener of the International People's Tribunal on Human Rights and Justice in Kashmir. He has also worked in Kashmir, and in the recent times, his focus of work has been the areas of Chhattisgarh which are in the Maoists' influence.
Navlakha was denied entry to Kashmir after the protests in Kashmir during 2010, but in December 2011, he was in Srinagar to join the activists of the International People's Tribunal on Human Rights and Justice in Indian Administered Kashmir and Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons, who had composed a report titled "Alleged Perpetrators – Stories of Impunity in Jammu and Kashmir" from police records, judicial, quasi-judicial and government records accusing 3 brigadiers, 9 colonels, 3 lieutenant colonels, 78 majors and 25 captains of the Indian Army, and 37 senior officials of Indian Paramilitary of murder, kidnapping, rape, enforced disappearance and torture. He also addressed a press conference at Srinagar, revealing that the report has been passed on to the Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir and the Prime Minister of India, so that those responsible for the crimes be punished.
He had supported Prashant Bhushan's views that a referendum should take place on the subject of demilitarisation in Kashmir, saying that "a referendum is a peaceful and democratic way of resolving the issues where it is difficult to find a solution."
His writings frequently appears at the eminently reputed Economic and Political Weekly and at Sanhati.com.
Detention at Srinagar Airport
In May 2011, Gautam Navlakha was refused entry at the Srinagar Airport and was made to return to Delhi as the Government of Jammu and Kashmir believed that "his presence could disturb peace and order in the Valley." When asked to produce an order in writing, the police gave him an order signed by the district Magistrate which read that he was "prohibited from entering Kashmir under Section 144 of the CRPC." Farooq Abdullah also commented, saying, "what does that writer want – to burn Kashmir? Let them burn some other place in India." Following the incident, the International Tribunal for Human rights in Kashmir stated to the media that "Gautam Navlakha has been visiting Kashmir for the last 21 years. He has never been responsible for inciting people." The Jammu and Kashmir People's Democratic Party (PDP) also criticised the J&K government's decision, calling Navlakha's detention a "blot" on the democracy. Navlakha also responded by terming his detention a "paranoia unbecoming of the state authorities." He further said, "the government is using me to send a message to all democratic-minded Indians who want to tell the truth about normalcy returning to Kashmir." The media received no incontrovertible reply from the government to the question that "how could a human rights activist from Delhi been a threat to peace in Kashmir?"
Khurram Parvez of the International Tribunal for Human rights in Kashmir and Jammu and Kashmir Coalition of Civil Society, said to David Barsamian during an interview that Navlakha is an "honourable" Indian in the "eyes of Kashmiris" and they "love and respect" him.
- Days and Nights in the Heartland of Rebellion. New Delhi: Penguin Books, 2012. ISBN 978-81-84756-54-8. OCLC 815836715.
- Bamzai, Kaveree (4 June 2011). "Out of sight". India Today. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
- "Jane Addams Hull-House Museum". University of Illinois at Chicago. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
- Ashiq, Peerzada (28 May 2011). "Activist Navlakha detained, charged with Section 144". Hindustan Times. Srinagar. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
- "Hijackers of the Electoral Process : Maoists or the Indian Establishment?". Monthly Review Foundation. 23 April 2014. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
- "Conferences/ Workshops/ Panel Discussions since 2005 (International Framework and Efforts to Prevent Nuclear Terrorism (12 March 2012)". Jawaharlal Nehru University. Archived from the original on 15 May 2014. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
- Dasgupta, Debarshi (17 May 2010). "My Book is Red : The word is Revolution. Maoists give a leg up to tribal languages". Outlook. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
- "Gautam Navlakha image". India Today Group. 1 June 2011. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
- "Massachusetts Institute of Technology : India – The War Within – A Conversation with Gautam Navlakha". Sanhati. 22 March 2011. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
- Mallika Kaur Sarkaria (22 March 2009). "On trial: human rights in Kashmir". Kennedy School Review – via HighBeam (subscription required).
- Ali Fayyaz, Ahmed (7 December 2012). "Top Army, police officials involved in human rights abuse in Kashmir". The Hindu. Srinagar. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
- Sofi, Afzal (13 January 2014). "Militarization in JK is threat to Indian democracy: Navlakha". Kashmir Reader. Srinagar. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
- "J&K: No entry in Kashmir for activist". NDTV. 30 May 2011. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
- "We are trying to redefine resistance : Telling the story of Kashmir". International Socialist Review. Chicago, Illinois: Center for Economic Research and Social Change (80). Retrieved 15 May 2014.
- Gautam Navlakha's articles at the Economic and Political Weekly
- Gautam Navlakha speaking at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, March 2011 (SanhatiCollective), YouTube
- Downsizing 'National' Security – Gautam Navlakha, JSTOR
- Kashmir: State Cultivation of the Amarnath Yatra – Gautam Navlakha, Monthly Review Foundation