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Issue No.: 571 | January 2015

Balraj Puri

"In the sad demise of Balraj Puri at Jammu India has lost a great champion of human rights and a political analyst of high repute” wrote Mr. N. D. Pancholi, a fellow humanist, in the Janata of September 7, 2014.
Mr. Pancholi went on to recall: "He was a participant in numerous political events of such as the Quit India Movement of 1942, and the Quit Kashmir Movement of 1946 with Sheikh Abdullah and Pandit Prem Nath Bazaz against Dogra Ruler Maharaja Hari Singh. He did his utmost to prevent outbreak of communal violence and check its spread in Jammu in 1947 and on many occasions thereafter, even at the risk of his life. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru , the first Prime Minister of India, sought his opinion on Kashmir affairs on crucial occasions. Puri always tried to bridge the gap between Nehru and Sheikh Abdullah. He rendered great help in the conclusion of the Indira Gandhi-Sheikh Abdullah Award in 1974.”

Balraj Puri was actively associated with Jayaprakash Narayan and was a founding member of the two organisations founded by JP – Citizens for Democracy and the People’s Union for Civil Liberties. Minoo Masani held him in high regard and there were occasions when as General Secretary of the Swatantra Party, Masani consulted him on policy issues relating to Kashmir. He was as a frequent invitee to speak at seminars and programmes organised by the Leslie Sawhny Programme for Training in Democracy. Freedom First itself had the privilege of carrying articles written by Balraj Puri.

He was honoured with Padma Bhushan Award besides the National Harmony Award instituted by the Organization of Understanding and Fraternity (given by Mother Teresa.) . He was the first individual recipient of M. A. Thomas Human Rights Award. A festshrift, including contributions by leading Social Scientists of India, was published on completion of 50 years of public life with Om Saraf and Ved Bhasin as its editors. Puri was awarded the 24th Indira Gandhi award for National Integration by the then Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh.





Other Articles in this Issue

Between Oursleves

Between Ourselves

S. V. Raju


Aspi Moddie


Balraj Puri


Prime Minister Modi – Reforms and Governance

Modi and His Alter-Ego

Firoze Hirjikaka

The Late unlamented Planning Commission

The Mint

Swachh Bharat

Rekha Rao

Foreign Relations in the 21st Century

“Look East” to “Act East” and “Link West”: New Direction and Dynamism in Indian Foreign Policy

B. Ramesh Babu

Why China Wants to be a Full Member of SAARC

Nitin G. Raut

Point Counter Point : Every issue has at least two sides

Return of a Jihadi

Ashok Karnik

The Hisar Seige

Ashok Karnik

Mamata’s Ire

Ashok Karnik

Shiv Sena’s Contortions

Ashok Karnik

The Tibetans’ Struggle for Freedom

Missing the Whole Picture

Tsewang Sonam

World Human Rights Day



Constitution – an Instrument of Governance of A Nation: Austinian and Ambedkarian Perspectives

B. N. Mehrish

Some Thoughts on Our Judiciary and the Media

H. R. Bapu Satyanarayana

Justice Delayed

Farrokh Mehta

Threats to Upright Bureaucrats and the state of Investigative Journalism

V. Krishna Moorthy

The Jhagada Dals

T. H. Chowdary

Bharatiya Sanskriti Bhavans

T. H. Chowdary

The Rural Perspective

Agriculture and Rural Indebtedness - V

R. M. Mohan Rao

Book Review


Nani Gopal Mahanta


Sheryar Ookerjee


Direndra S. Jafa

Educating Adults

Legalise Prostitution: Shift the Onus on the State

Hina Manerikar

Review of the Right to Information (RTI)

N. S, Venkataraman


Many Voices from the past



Sentencing Oscar Pistorius

Judge Thokozile Matilda

On the Medical Profession

Eric G. Campbell,

Satyarthi’s Nobel Gets Muted Response

Business Standard,

Nehru and Kashmir

Brig. Suresh Sharma

Defence Budget

Brig. Suresh Sharma
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