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Issue No.: 571 | January 2015
 

Balraj Puri

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"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.
 
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Other Articles in this Issue

Between Oursleves

Between Ourselves

S. V. Raju
 

Obituary

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

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Point Counter Point : Every issue has at least two sides

Return of a Jihadi

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The Hisar Seige

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Mamata’s Ire

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Shiv Sena’s Contortions

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The Tibetans’ Struggle for Freedom

Missing the Whole Picture

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World Human Rights Day

 

Reflections

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

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Some Thoughts on Our Judiciary and the Media

H. R. Bapu Satyanarayana
 

Justice Delayed

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Threats to Upright Bureaucrats and the state of Investigative Journalism

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The Jhagada Dals

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Bharatiya Sanskriti Bhavans

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The Rural Perspective

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Book Review

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ALTAMONT ROAD AND OTHER TRUE STORIES

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DEATH WASN’T PAINFUL: STORIES OF INDIAN FIGHTER PILOTS FROM THE 1971 WAR

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Legalise Prostitution: Shift the Onus on the State

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Review of the Right to Information (RTI)

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Nostalgia

Many Voices from the past

 

Miscellany

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Judge Thokozile Matilda
 

On the Medical Profession

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Satyarthi’s Nobel Gets Muted Response

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Nehru and Kashmir

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Defence Budget

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