Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Literary gathering at Bangla Academy

Double click the card doc to know detail.

A literay gathering at Paschimbanga bangla academy, Jibananda Sabhaghar. On 6th January, 5 o clock in the afternoon, all are welcome. All India PEN , West Bengal . India
Posted by Albert Ashok

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

China: Internet writer and activist detained

China: Internet writer and activist detained
Published: December 2, 2008

English PEN is seriously concerned about the detention of Guo Quan, Internet writer and activist, who has reportedly been held on charges of 'inciting subversion' since 13 November 2008.

According to our information, Guo Quan was arrested at his home in Nanjing, capital of Jiangsu province, on 13 November 2008. His wife reports that he has been charged with 'inciting subversion of state power', a charge commonly used to suppress dissent. It is feared that he may be detained for the views expressed on his web blog, in which he allegedly called for democracy and criticized the Nanjing government for its decision to build a chemical plant in the city. Others suspect that the charges could be linked to his role in organizing a new political party, the China Xinmin Party, in December 2007.

At the time of his arrest, the police confiscated Guo Quan's articles and his computer. It is believed that Guo Quan is currently held at Nanjing City Public Security Bureau.

Guo Quan has been previously arrested by the Chinese authorities. For example, in May 2008 he spent ten days in prison for 'violating of public order'. He is a professor at Nanjing University, however, due to his political activities he has been banned from teaching.

Please send appeals:

- Expressing serious concern at the arrest of Internet writer and activist Guo Quan;- Calling for his immediate and unconditional release if held in violation of his right to freedom of expression, in accordance with Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which China is a signatory.
Appeals to:
His Excellency Hu JintaoPresident of the People's Republic of ChinaState CouncilBeijing 100032P.R. China

CC. Secretary of the Tibet Autonomous Regional Party CommitteeZhang QingliZhonggong Xizang Zizhiqu WeiyuanhuiLhasashi, Xizang ZizhiquPeople's Republic of China

Please note that there are no fax numbers for the Chinese authorities. As such, we recommend that you copy your appeal to the Chinese embassy in the UK asking them to forward it and welcoming any comments:

Her Excellency Mrs. Fu YingEmbassy of the People's Republic of China49 - 51 Portland PlaceLondon W1B 1JL

All India PEN center, West Bengal : an appeal to all citizens of India
( double click the photo doc. for enlarged size)

Today, West Bengal Indian PEN center has expressed an appeal to all Indian citizen in presence of all its members and other organisations ( see photocopy above and the word form below)

It is an expression of our anger and an appeal for maintaining peace, harmony and Indian integrity in face of terrorists' attack in Indian soil on 26 th Nov.08
" We condemn the indiscriminate violence that hit Mumbai, India, through a series of ugly and odious terrorists act.
We stand in solidarity with the families of unsung heroes, brave soldiers and security forces of India, who were courageously heading to protect Indians and foreign hostages in recent terrorists attack, in Mumbai.

We appeal to all INDIANS to stay calm,united and foil the evil designs of the terrorists whose main objectives are to spread violence, disintegration and hatred.

We urge the political parties not to exploit these terrorist acts for political purposes.We are alarmed over the sophistication and military level planning seen in these coordinated attacks and on the failure of the intelligence agencies in preventing such a huge and widespread attack.

We demand that the federal and state governments bring the perpetrators of these actions to justice swiftly."

The signatories include: ( writers, artists and prominent personalities)
Signs are collected from all over west bengal.
Co ordinators : Sahitya Setu and Rainbow Artists and Writers Foundation

the part below Added On 18th dec 08

About 500 Intellectuals from different communities like religious, social and political: Writer ( mostly Editor, Poets , Novelists and Essayist) Film Maker, Singer, University Professors , Stage Actor have signed on this appeal of/to solidarity . Its a great bond of Brotherhood in face of abominable, heinous terrorists conspiracy and attacks. We are ready to weed out any fanaticism, communalism and conspiracy to save the lives and integrity of Indian Soil.

A few names signed mentioned below:

■■ Sunil Gangopadhya, President PEN West Bengal, Poet, Novelist ■■ Dr. Jagannath Ghosh, Secretary PEN West Bengal,Essayist■■ Ranjan Gupta, Jt. Secretary PEN West Bengal, Poet ■■ Shayamal Mukhupadhya, Poet■■Nisith Kr. Roychoudhury,Writer■■ Albert Ashok, Poet and Painter■■ Jayati Gangopadhya■■ Shyamal Roy Choudhury, Poet■■ Pabitra gangopadhya, film maker/Writer■■ barun chakraborty, Writer■■ Abdus Shukur khan, Writer/poet■■ Manish maulik, writer■■ nilima sarkar, Writer■■ Preeti Basu ,Writer/Social worker■■Keshab Ranjan,Editor■■ Dipshikha Poddar, bangle kabita Academy■■ prasanta Ghosh, Editor■■ Krishna basu, College Teacher/ writer■■ Gaur sankar bandhopadhya, poet and writer■■ dhirendranath modak Dy.commissioner.Commercial tax,writer■■Pradip saha, Asst.president,Jila parishad■■Biswajit Panda,Writer■■ Bhupati Ghosh,Editor,Kristi■■Jibanmoy Datta, President ,Nikhil Bharat Banga Sahitya Sammelan. Chandannagar■■asim tribedi, Author■■ Chaitali data , Singer■■ sukanto gangopadhya, Writer■■kinnar Roy,Writer■■ Nabakumar sil, Editor■■soumyadeb Basu, Stage actor■■debashish Mukhupadhya, rteporter■■ gautam Bandhupadhya, reporter■■tapas Ghosh, photojornalists■■ prasanta Majhi,Writer■■ Meghanath Das,Editor,Chikan■■ KashinathGhosh, Editor■■ S. Choudhury, Writer■■ D N Lahiri, Writer■■ Mrs. Minati Datta mishra, writer■■ rasbehari chakraborty, Poet■■ Dipendra bhaduri,Writer■■sashankha sekhar Paul,poet■■Biren Chattopadhya, Writer■■ Benoy Kr Mahato,University professor, writer■■ prafulla Ch. Acharya, Writer■■ Bishnupada das Writer■■Ashok lakhdar, Writer■■ rathin kar, Poet■■ nandita guha, poet■■ Rabin Mukhupadhya, editor/ Poet■■ Vivek Moitra, Story writer■■tapan Kr. roy■■■■ Samarendra Dasgupta, Poet■■ Anirban roychoudhury, Editor- Lokmanas■■ Sankar Saha , Artist and Poet■■ Neel Kashyap,Poet■■ Apurba Barman, Poet■■ Dr.Jagabandhu Kundu, Editor- Sahitya Setu■■ Sri Manimoy Sengupta, Writer ■■ Partha Chattopadhya, Writer ■■ Shaubhik Mondal, Poet ■■ B. Banerjee, Secretary Little Magazine ■■ Nikhil Kar, Working President, Kalyani Book Fair ■■ Samar Kr. Mitra, Asst. Secretary K B F ■■ Dr. Samir Mukherjee, Writer, University Prof. ■■ Kumarsankar Raysarma, Poet■■ Sukhendu Bikash Maitra, Poet■■ Tamal Saha, Writer ■■ Kanai Chakraborty, Poet ■■ Bhavatosh Roy, writer ■■ Sunanda Maitra, Poet ■■ Pandu Biswas, Poet ■■ Sarit Kr Misra, Poet, ■■ Pranesh Sarkar writer/teacher ■■ Narayan Bairagya, Poet ■■ Yadab Das, poet ■■ samit Mandol, Poet ■■Pijush Bagchi, Poet ■■ Ranjoy malakar, writer ■■ Santosh Mukhupadhya, Poet ■■ Anindita Goswami, poet/Teacher■■ Gautam Guha Roy, poet■■ Pijush Kanti Saha, Librarian■■ Mrinal Kanti Datta, Writer■■ Tarapada Santra, Teacher,Poet ■■

Posted by Albert Ashok. Kolkata India The news reflects on the link below

Saturday, November 1, 2008

A letter From Adhir Ghatak, West Bengal PEN

A letter From Adhir Ghatak

shatabarsher aaloke PEN by adhir Ghatak ( The international PEN in centenary Light) I had posted earlier ( click ) "In search of history - All India PEN center "

Dear Albert,
Thanks for accommodating my article on PEN with your comment. As I told you, that was an article written on the request of the then Secretary, Mr. Deb Kumar Basu, on the centenary year of PEN. There may be errors but venture should be appreciated without comments. However, You tried atlast to include PEN West Bengal in the international arena.

It would be highly appreciated if you can include the following publications of a fellow PEN Life member of West Bengal :
Parabasi, a fiction in Bengali by Adhir Ghatak
Yayabar, a fiction in Bengali by Adhir Ghatak
Agaman, a fiction in Bengali by Adhir Ghatak
Saat Samudra, collection of three novels & four travelogues in Bengali by Adhir Ghatak
Maa Anandamaoyee, Life and teachings of Maa Anadamoyee by Adhir Ghatak
6. Journey Never Ends, a novel by Adhir Ghatak. Published by
With regards,
Adhir Ghatak

( the mail as he sent me I have posted here without editing - Albert Ashok)

Contact Adhir Ghatak : ,

Monday, October 20, 2008

News from International PEN and All India PEN center, West Bengal

News from International PEN and All India PEN center, West Bengal :

PEN All India Centre: Distinguished writers condemn continuing attacks on Christians

Dear Friends of International PEN,
We write to express our anguish and outrage at the continuing brutalities visited upon Christian communities and places of worship in Orissa and Karnataka, and elsewhere in India, as well as at the pusillanimous attitude of our political leaders towards the perpetrators of these atrocities.
While the police have stood by and watched churches being desecrated and acts of assault and rape carried out, the Central Government has reacted vigorously only after representatives of the European Union expressed their concern. The perceived damage to India's international image should not be a greater concern than the actual damage that such violence causes to the inclusive, multi-religious and multi-ethnic character of Indian society.
This violence is a failure of our political institutions and of civil society. It is a consequence of our failure to uphold the principles of the rule of law, mutual understanding, and civil dialogue. Eventually, such violence does not remain confined to a few clearly targeted victims. Rather, it spreads to engulf and destroy the entire society that spawns it, as is evident in neighbouring Pakistan and Sri Lanka, for instance.
The worst contributors to this scenario are politicians who dream of electoral victory at the cost of social catastrophe. The powerful ideal of 'unity in diversity', which has held this country together for six decades, has been seriously imperilled by the use of religious and ethnic prejudice as a political weapon. Intolerance of those different from ourselves, and the abandoning of reasoned discussion to deal with differences, spells the end of the India for which the freedom struggle was waged.
More and more of us must come out and say clearly that we do not share the dreams of these cynical opportunists. Their India is not the India we dream of. The India we dream of is a just society, not an aggressive power.
We call upon the Indian Government to ensure that hate speech is outlawed from the domain of public discourse. We also call upon the Indian Government to outlaw those political parties which, directly or through their cohorts, promote communal discord and encourage violence. The rule of law implies that every citizen's life is sacred. Let the law act decisively to punish those who perpetrate the appalling crimes of pogrom and murder.
Girish Karnad, Salman Rushdie, Amitav Ghosh, Vikram Seth, Ramachandra Guha, Kiran Nagarkar , Amit Chaudhuri, Mukul Kesavan, Suketu Mehta, Ranjit Hoskote, Arundhathi Subramaniam, Sampurna Chattarji, Nancy Adajania
Shuddhabrata Sengupta, Shobhana Bhattacharji, Romesh Bhattacharji, Sridala Swami,
The PEN All-India Centre

And a member of West Bengal PEN, Albert Ashok, expresses his anger and protest against the lawlessness in the region where Christians are being persecuted and Government failed to secure the right to freedom of religion in his blog.
Click The link:

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Join ‘English PEN and the writer Evelio Rosero

News from 'ENGLISH PEN'
Writers in Translation are promoting an exciting book The Armies by an established Colombian author Evelio Rosero. Please join ‘English PEN’ and the writer at the London Review Bookshop on 21 October at 7pm. Tickets are available by calling the shop on 020 7269 9030.
Venue: London Review Bookshop, 14 Bury Place, WC1A 2JL London
Evelio Rosero: The Armies
Tuesday 21 October

If you ask Colombians how Evelio Rosero's novel fares in his own country they tell you that you will scarcely find a copy. This magisterial, beautiful, book is effectively suppressed. What is going on in that endlessly tortured country cannot go on being suppressed and ignored outside Colombia. Ismael, a retired school teacher in a small Colombian village, gathers oranges, admires beautiful women and has, in the opening pages, an idyllic everyday life. Then the village is ransacked by an obscure militia and he is thrown into the fray and his mental stability collapses. The horrors which overwhelm the inhabitants of this village have become an everyday occurrence in Colombia. Villagers are kidnapped, killed, they disappear at the hands of unidentified groups - the armies of the title: guerillas, paramilitaries, drugs traffickers. Rosero does not directly describe the reality of an unpredictable, violent world, he imitates it in the mind of a man going mad. In this story, no-one is spared, no-one is protected.
Evelio Rosero studied Social Communication in the Externado University of Colombia. In 2006 he was awarded the Tusquets National Prize for Literature in Colombia for this novel Los Ejércitos.
Venue: London Review Bookshop, 14 Bury Place, WC1A 2JL London
How to Book: Call the London Review Bookshop on 020 7629 9030.

English PEN's campaign

English PEN's campaigns are motivated by the organisation's belief that literature can be a powerful force for dialogue and understanding between cultures. This principle was laid down by the first President of English and International PEN, John Galsworthy, when he said in 1921: 'Anything that makes for international understanding and peace is to the good'. This principle was developed at the International PEN Symposium, 'Writers in Freedom', held in London in 1941, at which Edvard Beneš spoke of the need for the post-war world to be one in which 'writers and artists may live and create without anxiety for their personal security, without restrictions on their creative freedom'. These comments anticipate the formulation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) in 1948, in which the right to freedom of speech is described as 'the highest aspiration of the common people'.
The UDHR does not create an absolute right to freedom of speech. It is quite different in that respect from the First Amendment to the United States constitution, which says that 'Congress shall make no law […] abridging the freedom of speech'. Instead, the UDHR, and its successor document the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), sets this fundamental right in balance with a range of other rights and freedoms.
The ICCPR creates exceptions to the right to freedom of speech, 'such as are provided by law and are necessary:
(a) For respect of the rights or reputations of others;
(b) For the protection of national security or of public order (ordre public), or of public health or morals.'

These exceptions are further developed in the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), and incorporated in UK domestic law in the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA).
The exceptions in Article 10.2 of the ECHR come under the following headings:
• licensing of broadcasting, television or cinema enterprises
• national security
• territorial integrity
• public safety
• prevention of disorder or crime
• protection of health or morals
• protection of the reputation or rights of others• preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence
• maintaining the authority and impartiality of the judiciary

In its campaigns, English PEN accepts that many constraints on the right to freedom of speech are necessary and appropriate. For instance, English PEN would not campaign to reduce broadcasting restrictions such as the 'watershed' principle of screening adult material only after 9pm. Similarly, we would not campaign against the Official Secrets Act, which limits the circulation of information in the interests of national security. Nor would we campaign against reporting restrictions where the right to a fair trial might be impeded by unbalanced coverage in the media. We would not campaign against civil restrictions on defamation, and we would not campaign on behalf of any writer who was guilty of plagiarising the work or assuming the identity of another person.

In its campaigning work (which constitutes around 25% of the organisation's resources) English PEN is guided by the balance struck between the right to freedom of speech and other human rights in international human rights case law. The jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights shows that all exceptions to the right to freedom of speech must be necessary, proportionate and subject to the principle of legal certainty, and must not have a chilling effect. Before entering into any such campaign, therefore, English PEN takes the utmost care to confirm that the human rights of a beneficiary or class of beneficiaries are at risk. The organisation follows a clear procedure, in order to show whether a campaign may be necessary in order to meet English PEN's charitable objects.

The Writers in Prison Committee (WiPC) and the office staff are responsible for investigating each case which comes to English PEN's attention. The primary source of information on international campaigns will continue to be the Writers in Prison staff of International PEN (registered charity no. 1117088). Every 'honorary member' adopted by the WiPC is first identified by International PEN. If the Writers in Prison staff of International PEN have any concern about the status of such cases, they will not recommend a case for adoption. Cases rejected by International PEN include the following:

Radio Mille Collines: accused of inciting genocide in Rwanda in the 1990s.• Eduard Limonov: Russian author imprisoned in the late 1990s accused of leading a right-wing organisation linked to racism and the 'planned invasion of Kazakhstan'. International PEN listed his case as one of judicial concern due to poor trial practice. His case was not adopted by English PEN.

Andrei Klimau: Belarus journalist currently in jail. English PEN has not called for his release as the title of the piece for which he has been prosecuted is apparently racist and the article calls for revolution by any means.

Xanana Gusmao: poet and leader of guerrilla group in the 1990s in East Timor. Now East Timor president. English PEN did not call for his release as he led an armed resistance.

Krystian Bala: currently detained in Poland on accusation of murder. Following appeals that he was accused on the basis of fictional writing that depicts a similar crime, International PEN looked into the case and concluded that there was insufficient information to comment. A similar case in New Zealand in the 1990s was also turned down.

Mumia Abu Jamal: former Black Panther, poet and journalist currently on death row in USA. English PEN has not joined others' call for his freedom as we are unable to comment on his guilt or innocence in the murder of a policeman.

As these cases illustrate, International PEN is scrupulous in following its own internal procedures when adopting a case on which to campaign. English PEN adds to this care when it selects honorary members from the International PEN case list. We also use information from the media, government sources, contacts on the ground and fellow centres of International PEN when considering cases for adoption. If it is believed that a campaign may be necessary in order to pursue our objects, then the Writers in Prison Committee and the staff will be charged with devising and implementing such a campaign. If there is any doubt about the status of such a case, a campaign will not be pursued, but we will continue to pursue the truth of the matter.

The OFFENCE Campaign: Free Expression Is No OFFENCE
English PEN launched a campaign in 2005 to raise public awareness around the Government's proposed legislation to outlaw 'incitement to religious hatred'. The Bill as it was first drafted risked making criminals of anyone who voiced critical or satirical opinions of any religious beliefs, believers or practices. It was argued that Salman Rushdie might have been prosecuted under this law, had it existed when The Satanic Verses was published. English PEN feared that the Bill threatened to unduly curtail the public's right to freedom of expression, preventing writers and others from creatively exploring the society in which we live.
Lisa Appignanesi: "The No Offence campaign celebrated its victory in amending the Government's Racial and Religious Hatred Bill at the Garrick Club on 13 March 2006. Lord Lester and Lord Hunt, two of the movers of the amendments were present, as was Evan Harris, MP, who had diligently fought the Bill from the beginning, and many others who had championed the PEN Free Expression Amendment. This is perhaps the first time in British Parliamentary History that a Bill contains a declaratory amendment: one which fully spells out the right of free speech. The campaign's work is done, but English PEN's larger role in deliberating on Free Expression in our 21st century goes on. We are putting in place a Commission on Free Speech. Any thoughts on this or help with funding is welcome.

For More Information:

The Writers in Prison Committee

About International PEN and Originally founded in 1921 to promote literature, International PEN now has 145 Centres in 104 countries across the globe. The primary goal is to engage with, and empower, societies and communities across cultures and languages, through reading and writing and the exchange of ideas. We believe that writers can play a crucial role in changing and developing civil society. We do this through the promotion of literature, international campaigning on issues such as translation and freedom of expression and improving access to literature at international, regional and national levels.

The Writers in Prison Committee of International PEN was set up in 1960 as a result of mounting concern about attempts to silence critical voices around the world through the detention of writers. It works on behalf of all those who are detained or otherwise persecuted for their opinions expressed in writing and for writers who are under attack for their peaceful political activities or for the practice of their profession, provided that they did not use violence or advocate violence or racial hatred.

Member centres of International PEN are active in campaigning for an improvement in the conditions of persecuted writers and journalists.
They send letters to the governments concerned and lobby their own governments to campaign for the release of detained writers and for investigations in cases of torture and killings. Through writing to the families and, where possible, directly to prisoners, they provide encouragement and hope.

Our membership is open to all published writers who subscribe to the PEN Charter regardless of nationality, language, race, colour or religion. International PEN is a non-political organisation and has special consultative status at UNESCO and the United Nations.

PEN affirms that:
1. Literature knows no frontiers and must remain common currency among people in spite of political or international upheavals.
2. In all circumstances, and particularly in time of war, works of art, the patrimony of humanity at large, should be left untouched by national
or political passion.
3. Members of PEN should at all times use what influence they have in favour of good understanding and mutual respect between nations; they
pledge themselves to do their utmost to dispel race, class and national hatreds, and to champion the ideal of one humanity living in peace in
one world.
4. PEN stands for the principle of unhampered transmission of thought within each nation and between all nations, and members pledge themselves to oppose any form of suppression of freedom of expression in the country and community to which they belong, as well as throughout the world wherever this is possible.

PEN declares for a free press and opposes arbitrary censorship in time of peace. It believes that the necessary advance of the world towards a more highly organized political and economic order renders a free criticism of governments, administrations and institutions imperative. And since freedom implies voluntary restraint, members pledge themselves to oppose such evils of a free press as mendacious publication, deliberate falsehood and distortion of facts for political and personal ends.
Membership of PEN is open to all qualified writers, editors and translators who subscribe to these aims, without regard to nationality, ethnic origin, language, colour or religion.

The WiPC gathers its information from a wide variety of sources. It seeks to confirm its information through two independent sources. Where its information is unconfirmed, it will either take not action, or send an appeal worded to reflect the fact that the information is as yet incomplete.
Sources include press reports, reports form individuals in the region in question, reports from other human rights groups PEN members themselves, embassy officials, academics, prisoners’ families, lawyers and friends, and exile groups. It also works with international NGOs,
such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. It is a founder member of IFEX – the International Freedom of Expression Exchange. IFEX is a collaborative, on-line service in which several groups involved in the campaign for free expression pool information.
Other members include Article 19, the Committee to Protect Journalists, Index on Censorship, the International Federation of Journalists and Reporters sans Frontieres, as well as regional and national groups. For further details see the IFEX website

The work of the Writers in Prison Committee is supported by:
OXFAM/NOVIB, Swedish International Development Foundation, Norwegian Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Fritt Ord Foundation, UNESCO, Individual donations and membership fees from PEN members
International PEN is a registered charity in the United Kingdom, number 1117088
For information about how to get involved and support International PEN contact us at:
International PEN, Brownlow House, 50 – 51 High Holborn, London, WC1V 6ER or tel: +44 (0) 207 405 0338

The Writers in Prison Committee of International PEN records of persecuted writers are updated daily. For up-to-date information on a particular country (or countries), contact the Writers in Prison Committee headquarters in London.
Anyone wishing to take action on any individual mentioned in this Caselist should contact the Writers in Prison Committee headquarters for any update there may be on the case and for advice on appeals.

Explanation of Terms Used Important: Please Read Main Cases
Those cases listed as 'main cases' are those where the Writers in Prison Committee is confident that:
i. the person is a writer or journalist or is persecuted because of their writings;
ii. the person has not used violence towards his or her aims or advocated racial hatred.

In these cases, the Writers in Prison Committee will take all possible action for their release or for compensation. In cases where a prisoner is held without charge or trial for a considerable length of time, the Writers in Prison Committee will consider them to be a main case until and unless information is provided which shows that they have used violence or advocated racial hatred.

Judicial concern
These are cases where the main concern includes convictions based on trial proceedings which were manifestly unfair, where there are serious concerns regarding allegations of torture or where there are other irregularities in the judicial process. In these cases, the Writers in Prison Committee calls for a re-trial following fair trial practice or is calling for an investigation of the alleged malpractice and for those found guilty of committing such acts as torture to be brought to justice.

Investigation case
An investigation case is one where the Writers in Prison Committee:
i. needs more information to ascertain whether a person is a writer or is persecuted for their writings;
ii. is not clear as to whether or not he or she has used violence or advocated racial hatred;
iii. has insufficient information to confirm that the event has taken place;
iv. is seeking confirmation that the person is still detained.

The Writers in Prison Committee publishes details of investigation cases so as to provide a complete account of reports of abuses against individuals practicising their right to free expression in all countries. However, it will not usually call for their release. Once sufficient
information is available, their cases will be reclassified as a main case or dropped as appropriate.
'*' by a name indicates that the case is new to the Committee's list since the last Writers in Prison Committee report. The last report was dated December 2007.

Judicial Concern – sentence dropped
Samina MALIK (f): age 23. Former shop worker at Heathrow Airport.
Self styled “Lyrical Terrorist” for her poetry. The first woman to be
convicted under Britian’s Anti Terror Act. Arrested in October 2006 and
held under house arrest until sentenced by a jury on 6 December 2007 to 8 months in prison suspended for 18 months. Convicted for having publications including “The Al-Qaeda Manual” and “The Mujahideen Poisons Handbook” considered under the “likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism”. Malik had also posted poems on the Internet that praised martyrdom, described beheadings and hatred of non-Muslims. She later in court described her poems as “meaningless”,
an attempt to be “cool” and had been taken too literally. On 17
June 2008 the Court of Appeal decided to quash the sentence given to
Malik, stating that the conviction for possessing items of use to terrorism was unsafe. Referring to Section 58 of the Terrorism Act, the Court concluded that the offence would be committed under that legislation only if a document was likely to provide practical assistance to a person committing or preparing the act of terrorism, and that this did not occur in Malik’s case.


Death sentence: Main case
*Sayed Parwez KAMBAKHSH:
D.o.b.: 1985 Profession: Student at Balkh university and reporter for the local daily Jahan-e-Naw (The New World). Date of arrest: 27 October 2007. Sentence: Sentenced to death. Details of arrest: Arrested in Mazar-i-Sharif, Balkh province, northern Afghanistan for distributing allegedly anti-Islamic literature. He was detained by National Directorate of Security (NDS) forces on blasphemy charges after allegedly downloading and giving to friends an article claiming that the Prophet Mohammed ignored women’s rights. He was not the author of the article. He was also reportedly accused of possessing anti-Islamic books and starting un-Islamic debates in his classes.

Details of trial: He was tried by an Islamic court in the northern city of Mazar-i-Sharif, Balkh Province, on 22 January 2008, and sentenced to death. The trial was reportedly held behind closed doors, and he had no legal representation. The appeal hearing at the Kabul Appeal Court has been adjourned four times since it opened on 18 May 2008. No date has been set for the next hearing.
Place of detention: Initially, he was detained in Pul-e-Sharkhi
jail, east of the capital city. On 27 March 2008 he was transferred to
Kabul. Other information: He is feared to be targeted for association
with his brother, prominent journalist Sayed Yaqub Ibrahimi, who works for the Institute of War and Peace Reporting and has been under escalating pressure for his critical reporting on local officials and warlords.
(RAN 2/08 – 24 January 2008; Update #1 – 4 June 2008; Update #2 – 24 June 2008)

*Dr Khalil NARMGOI: Satirist and medical doctor. Reportedly arrested on 10 June 2008 for writing a letter critical of the government, published in the weekly Paiam Mojahed. Said to have been briefly detained several months ago after the letter’s publication, and forced to make a public apology. Now said to have been re-arrested and sentenced to one year in prison for the letter. Reportedly held in Kabul. WiPC seeking further details.

Brief detention
*Rabiul ISLAM: Journalist for the Bangla language newspaper Daily
Sunshine, based in Rajshahi, was reportedly taken to into custody for
twelve hours and accused of participating in a robbery. Islam has written on alleged corruption and malpractice in the police in Durgapur. Islam’s family had to provide statements as to his good character on 28 March 2008, in order to be released.
*Tasneem KHALIL: Journalist for the English language newspaper The Daily Star and consultant for Human Rights Watch, was held by the Directorate General of Forces Intelligence (DGFI) in a clandestine detention centre, for twenty-two hours on 11 May 2007. According to reports, armed men claiming to belong to the ‘joint forces’ went into Khalil’s flat, located in central Dhaka, blindfolded him and took him to a waiting vehicle. The journalist was put in an interrogation cell, where he was reportedly beaten and threatened with execution, and forced to confess to anti-state activities and smuggling sensitive information regarding national security to foreign organisations. After his release, the journalist went into hiding and is now seeking asylum. (HWR report )
Death threat
*Arefin SIDDIQUE: Professor of mass communication at Dhaka
University, received several telephone death threats, by anonymous
callers, during February 2008. It has been reported that Professor
Siddique has repeatedly called for democracy in Bangladesh.
On trial, free on bail
Salah Uddin Shoaib CHOUDHURY: Editor of the tabloid weekly
Blitz. Arrested on 29 November 2003 by security personnel at Zia
International Airport in Dhaka. He was reportedly on his way to Israel to participate in a conference with the Hebrew Writers Association when he was arrested. Choudhury is believed to have been going to address a writers’ symposium in Tel Aviv entitled Bridges Through Culture, and was scheduled to speak about the role of the media in establishing peace.
Choudhury is known for his attempts to improve relations between
Muslim countries and Israel, and has written articles against anti-Israeli attitudes in Muslim countries and about the rise of al-Qaeda in
Bangladesh, which had reportedly sparked debate in the Bangladeshi
press and government prior to his arrest. Choudhury was accused of
spying for Israel, and was repeatedly denied a bail hearing. He was
released on bail on 2 May 2005 following appeals by PEN USA. His trial
started on 5 April 2006, and is ongoing as of 30 June 2008. Choudhury
continues as editor of Blitz and remains under pressure from the government and extremist groups for his critical writings.
Honorary member of: USA PEN and English PEN. (Update #4 to RAN 23/04, 26 March 07).

Case closed
Jahangir Alam AKASH: Reporter for the daily Dainik Sangbad.
Reportedly taken from his home on 23 October 2007 in the northwestern City of Rajshahi, by members a government task force and arrested under the Emergency Power Rules of 2007. He was jailed on extortion charges but it is thought that his arrest could be linked to his writings. Akash has been harassed on many occasions because of his investigative reporting. He was reportedly transferred to a prison hospital a few days after his arrest because of injuries he sustained from being beaten in custody. He was released on bail in late November 2007. Case closed for lack of further information.

Killed: Investigation
*Md MUSLIMUDDIN: Correspondent for the Asamiya Pratidin and president of the Morajhar Press Club, was killed on 1 April 2008. Reportedly assaulted by a group of unknown people who attacked him with sharp weapons. He was died on his way to the Guwahati Medical hospital.
*Kumar KETKAR: Editor of the Marathi language daily Loksatta.
Ketar’s home was reportedly attacked by members of the Shiv Sangram political group on 5 June 2008, in the state of Maharashtra, western India. It is believed that the attack is linked to an editorial which criticized the building a 94 metre high statue. Ketkar and his wife were unharmed, but their home was badly damaged. The police have reportedly detained seven of the attackers.
Taslima NASRIN (f)
Profession: Bangladeshi feminist writer. Controversial Bangladeshi feminist writer Taslima Nasrin was held in a government safe house in Delhi after violent protests broke out by Muslim extremists in Kolkata, West Bengal, on 21 November 2007, where Ms Nasrin was living in
exile. Previous political imprisonment/problems: Novelist, poet and journalist Taslima Nasrin was publicly condemned to death in Bangladesh for ‘blasphemy’ and a reward given for her execution on 16 September 1993 by members of an armed militant Muslim group, due to her novel Lajja (Shame). Instead of condemning the calls for Nasrin’s murder, the Bangladesh authorities charged Nasrin, on 4 June 1994, with ‘deliberate and malicious intention of hurting the religious sentiments’ for an interview given to an Indian newspaper. Nasrin fled to Europe on 10 August 1994 and has since lived abroad. Her trial started in Dhaka on 10 December 1994 in absentia, and has remained pending hearing for several years. Her latest novels continue to be banned by the Bangladeshi authorities on the strength of their allegedly ‘anti-Islamic’ content. More than ten years since she fled Bangladesh, Nasrin still cannot return without fear for her security, and for the past three years she has lived in Kolkata, West Bengal, where she had applied for Indian citizenship. On 19 March 2008, Nasrin left India for Europe.
Honorary member of: Canadian, USA, American, French, Swedish, Swiss German, English, Austrian and Turkish PEN.

Case closed
S.K AKHTAR, Irfaan KHAN, Vitusha OBEROI and M.K TAYAL:
Publisher, cartoonist and editors respectively of the Midday newspaper.
Sentenced to four months in prison on 21 September 2007 on charges of ‘contempt of court’. The sentence comes after the newspaper for which all four men work published a series of investigative reports and a cartoon criticising the rulings of a former Supreme Court judge which
benefited his sons. The sentence was appealed. Case closed for lack of
further information.

Killed: Motive unknown
*Khadim Hussain SHEIKH: Local bureau chief for the national Urdulanguage daily newspaper Khabrein, was reportedly shot dead in the province of Baluchistan, south-western of the country, on 14 April 2008. Sheikh’s brother reported that three men, each on a motorbike, carried out the shooting, checked to confirm if the journalist was dead and then left the scene. The motive for the murder is not known.
Disappeared: Investigation
Javed LEHRI: Reporter for the daily Azadi based in Quetta. Also a
member of a Baloch student opposition party. Reportedly went missing
in the Khuzdar region of Balochistan province on 29 November 2007.
His family and colleagues believe the intelligence services are responsible for his disappearance. The Azadi is known for its critical reporting of the military’s operations in Balochistan. The police have denied any involvement, but it is said that the security services are holding hundreds of opposition members in Balochistan. No further information as of 30 June 2008.
Imprisoned: Investigation
Abdur Rahim MUSLIM DOST. Afghan national, poet and magazine
editor. Dost spent almost three years in US detention at Guantanamo Bay after being arrested with his younger brother in November 2001 by the Peshawar authorities then handed over to the US in February 2002. He was eventually released without charge on 20 April 2005 and returned to Pakistan. On 29 September 2006 he was again reportedly arrested in Peshawar by officers of the police Crime Investigation Department and an intelligence agency. Dost filed a habeas corpus petition on 5 October 2006 in the Peshawar High Court and the court subsequently requested information on his whereabouts from the the federal and provincial authorities. He has reportedly still not been charged with a criminal offence and has not been brought before a magistrate. It is thought his arrest may be linked to a book he had written about his experiences as a detainee in Guantanamo Bay. Reported to remain detained in Peshawar Central Jail as of 30 June 2008.

*Hameed BALOCH and Khalil KHOSA: Journalists for the Urdu language
Urdu language Baloch daily, went missing in Balochistan province, south-west of the country. On 29 February 2008, Khosa was last seen attending a news conference in the town of Nasirabad. There are reports that his disappearance could be linked to articles criticising some political parties who participated in the recent parliamentary elections. The Balochistan Union of Journalists (BUJ) reported that on 3 March 2008, Hameed Baloch was kidnapped in Taftan, near the Iranian border, and that his kidnap could be related to tribal rivalry or political parties. No further news as of 30 June 2008.

*Aoun SAHI: Reporter of the daily newspaper The News. Reportedly beaten by the police in the eastern province of Punjab on 5 February 2008. The attack occurred when he was travelling to Sialkot, and was stopped by the police. The journalist objected and showed his credentials, but was immediately taken to the Daska police station where policemen beat him using belts and iron bars. Later, the police chief of Sialkot suspended two officers and announced an investigation into the case.

On trial
Rehmat Shah AFRIDI
Profession: Editor-in-chief of the Peshawar-based English language
daily The Frontier Post and its Urdu sister-paper Maidan. Date of arrest:
2 April 1999 Sentence: Death, commuted to life imprisonment. Details of arrest: Reportedly arrested on drugs charges, after Anti-Narcotics Force (ANF) officers allegedly found 21 kilograms of hashish in his car. He denies the charges and his colleagues believe his arrest to be politically motivated. Shortly before his arrest, Afridi had reportedly published two articles accusing officers of involvement in drug smuggling.
Afridi claims he is the victim of an ANF set-up. Details of trial: On 27 June 2001 Special Judge Syed Kazim Shamsi of the Anti Narcotics Court ruled in favour of a death sentence and a 1,000,000 Rs fine against him. The prosecution reportedly failed to produce any
compelling evidence against him. On 3 June 2004 the death sentence was commuted on appeal by the Lahore High Court and Afridi was instead sentenced to life imprisonment. His sentence was upheld by the Supreme Court on 6 April 2006. On 24 May 2008 Afridi was freed on parole by order of the Punjab’s Interior Ministry for good conduct in prison.
Other information: Father of Mahmood Afridi, managing editor of The Frontier Post charged in January 2001 with blasphemy.

Imprisoned: Investigation
Balasubramanium Wasanthan): Tamil writer and owner of the EKwality printing works and journalist for the Sunday Times newspaper respectively. Reportedly arrested by the anti-terrorist police in Colombo on 6 January and 7 March 2008 respectively for allegedly receiving money from Tamil Tiger rebels. Some reports alleged that Jasikaran and Tissanayagam received funds via the website to help Tamil students. Reportedly badly beaten during the first day of their arrest. On 21 May 2008 it was reported that Tissainayagam was held in poor conditions and that he was suffering from a serious medical condition affecting his sight. On 11 June 2008 it was reported that a 90-day extension order was issued against J. S. Tissainayagam, and that he had limited access to his family, legal representation and information on his case. The court also denied the journalist’s request to be transferred
from the supervision of the Terrorist Investigation Division (TID)
into fiscal custody. V. Jasikaran also remains under detention at the TID as of end June 2008.
*Suhaib M. KASIM: Associate editor of the Tamil daily Thinakaran,
reportedly stabbed at his home in the capital city of Colombo on 28
January 2008. He was treated at the Colombo national hospital. The
editor had reportedly received death threats before the attack.
*Keith NOYAHR: Deputy editor and defence analyst of the weekly The Nation. Reportedly abducted on the evening on 22 May 2008 while
returning to his home, and suffered physical harm while in captivity. He returned home in the early hours of the following day, 23 May. It is
thought the attack could be linked to his reporting and political commentaries on the war in the north of the country.
*Munusami PARAMESHWARI (f): Journalist. Armed men broke into
Parmeshwari’s family home in Gampola, Kandy district, west of the
country, on 14 March 2008. Her father and sister were reportedly badly injured after being beaten with clubs. The family was warned by the group that if the journalist returned to Gampola, she would risk death.
The journalist is reportedly in hiding, after she received death threats.
Parameshwari was previously arrested on 24 November 2006 and held
under anti-terrorist legislation. She was released on 22 March 2007,
without charge.
*Namal PERERA: Freelance journalist and deputy head of the Sri Lanka Press institute (SLPI). Reportedly attacked by four men who attempted to abduct him on 30 June 2008. It is believed that the attack was linked to Perera’s criticism of the government in its campaign against the Tamil rebels.
*Victor SOMAWEERA: Provincial journalist for Lankadeepa in
Bingiriya, west of the country, reportedly stabbed on 10 January 2008.
Thought to have been targeted for his reporting on illegal mining in the
area. On 20 January 2008, three suspects turned themselves to the police.
Death threat
*Frederica JANSZ (f): Editor of the monthly magazine Montage, and
former editor of the Sunday Leader. Reportedly received a telephone
death threat on 14 June 2008. There are also reports that in early may she found a decapitated chicken in front of her office, and that a car was park outside her home on 28 May with its lights and engine on.
Brief detention
*S. Sivakumar (aka Balasubramanium Wasanthan): Editor of the bimonthly Tamil language Sarinihar magazine. Reportedly arrested on 8 March by Terrorist Investigation Department (TID) for alleged links to the Tamil Tigers. Reportedly released after twelve hours of questioning.
*Poddala JAYANTHA: Provincial news editor of the Sinhala-language
weekly Silumina. Reportedly received threats on 7 January 2008 when a group of people dressed in civilian clothes demanded entry to the journalist’s house at 3am, claiming that they were from the police. Jayantha’s wife immediately called for help. The group of men left. When this incident was reported to the police, they denied any involvement.
*Sirimevan KASTHURIARACHCHI: Senior defence reporter for the
newspaper Sinhala Divaina. Reportedly threatened by an unidentified group of people on 29 May 2008, who forcible entered the correspondent’s house and warned him to stop reporting on the Sri Lankan army.
*K. RUSHANGAN: Editor of the Tamil-language news website and the Tamil journal Saamadana Nokku. Reportedly received a threatening phone call on 13 April 2008 from a person who named himself Ealaventhan, and who claimed to be a member of the rebel group the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LITTE).

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Added Information : All India PEN center

In response to my earlier post secretary Ranjit Hoskote has added the matter( as it is ) below:
Dear Albert Ashok,
Thank you for your email and for the link to your post. Since you have copied your mail to a wide array of recipients, I have addressed this response to them as well -- and apologise to those on the list who might quite justifiably regard this exchange as unsolicited mail.
We at the PEN All-India Centre, located in Bombay, have recently begun to sort through our large collection of files -- including records, correspondence, and PEN All-India Centre annual conference proceedings -- which date back to the early 1930s. An American researcher, who is working towards a PhD in the area of late-colonial Indian history, has offered us invaluable support in this endeavour. She regards our material as vital and even impressive: an opinion that vindicates the constancy with which we have held on to our files through the vagaries of shifting, lack of financial support, and other difficulties.
With some luck, time and support, we should soon be able to organise them into a proper and coherent archive -- this would go a long way towards addressing the lacunae that you have indicated in your post.
While many of the details that you have put together in your post are common knowledge to PEN members in Bombay, Lucknow, Chennai and elsewhere, I can well imagine how you must feel to be so cut away from this lineage in the West Bengal Branch. I also sympathise with the fact that you have suffered because of a problem of transmission between generations, and perhaps you were not as fortunate as us in Bombay, who have had the privilege of inheriting a clear succession from Madame Sophia Wadia through Nissim Ezekiel and Ramesh Sirkar.
At the same time, I would most collegially request you to avoid a persistent solipsism in your account of your situation -- in your post, and on previous occasions, you have resorted to the suggestion that, since you did not hear from the PEN All-India Centre in Bombay for many years, it is somehow defunct or non-existent. Unfortunately for your line of argument, the PEN All-India Centre is not only alive and well, but has been flourishing. It has rebuilt a network of contacts, exchanges and discussions across India, while also opening up a range of conversations with colleagues and institutions internationally. Given the difficulties that we faced in the late 1990s and the early years of the 21st century, this has been a demanding and onerous, but ultimately productive task.
Since this matter has arisen before, let me re-state my position on it clearly: If you wish to establish your own separate PEN Centre in West Bengal, please do so by all means, and good luck to you.
However, I will add a note of caution that I have refrained from sounding before, despite your repeated provocations: Please establish your Centre on your own merit, and not by trying to discredit the activities of a flourishing literary community in another part of the country, and of individuals who put in an enormous amount of work on a completely voluntary basis to sustain it.
With very best wishes,
Ranjit Hoskote
Secretary- TreasurerThe PEN All-India Centre
For better understanding and co operation the mail has been posted here. I hope as long as we live we shall extend our help and co operation to any writer in land and abroad and support their freedom of expression.
---Albert Ashok

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

In search of the history : All INDIA PEN CENTER

Click the bengali writing image to see enlarged form
this is a page from a periodical (above) underlined lines are wrong information about PEN published in kolkata in 2006, On then we had no communication with Indian PEN center in Mumbai. The title of the article says in bengali that International PEN has crossed one hundred years . (The International PEN in centenary light) and there are more mistakes in other informations.

Many a times I asked to my senior writers including PEN Members,About the History of 'All India PEN center', But sorry to tell that no one can shed light, There are many P.E.N. members from 1934( so far I can trace). I Live in kolkata, Never been in Bombay (present name Mumbai, it is about 2000 km west from West Bengal). so, i can not pursue my request to P E N members living there. I mailed to secretary ranjit Hoskote, and Sampurna Chattarji and and we sent letters at 'Secretary - Ranjit Hoskote
Theosophy Hall, 40 New Marine Lines, Bombay, 400 020, India'.
no one entertained us. Reason unknown. Only when my mail was forwarded by executive director , International PEN on then ( maybe in courtesy) Ranjit Hoskote responsed a year ago, I do not understand why a lot my mail were not answered. I leave this situation to readers knowledge.
In kolkata, at 9/3 tamer lane, PEN meeting is constant for decades apart from big seminars in different districts and other Indian states.
My only quest was History of PEN in INDIA, because I am influenced by International PEN's charter, and I find a comfortable, fear less platform for my expression and dissemination of expression . I have come to know this also that Indian PEN created a space for indian writers in thirties before independence that we enjoy today. Many people ask me questions regarding PEN. and Due to ignorancy many people know in Kolkata-- West Bengal that 'International PEN ' started in 1905 at stalkholm in Sweden. and from 1929 Indian PEN starts....and a lot wrong information..( see articles by Adhir Ghatak in Darshak vol. 45 -aug sep 2004, and Pratidin).
People argue with me as I am younger than them. they think i do not know much. Any way I have fought for last few years, finally people started to rely on my campaign.

I started corroborate the history of indian PEN ( without any help fromAll India PEN , Mumbai) on my own, ( its my hobby to dissemination of knowledge regarding Arts, literature and science or reasoning and what I earn I spend most of it after this) . If anything my readers find wrong or want to add more please, this is my request to notify me. write

“Exile is a dream of glorious return
Exile is a vision of revolution:
Elba, not St. Helena. It is an endless paradox:
Looking forward by looking back

-- Salman Rushdie

'I asked many people for History of Indian PEN, including those who are involve with All Indian PEN at present, no one responded me, So I began a search through the web, and some old papers, the following as a result of my extensive search. I am optimistic someone may shed light on my clues.'

The Aryan Path Paved the way for ‘The International PEN’ in India: A history

In 1945, on August 11th, the Indian Institute Of Culture was founded by Mr. Wadia, in the suburb of Basavanagudi in the city of Bangalore, with Dr. L. S. Doraiswamy as its first Secretary. This brought to Bangalore to lecture persons from many countries who were visiting India; and it also served as a forum for prominent Indian specialists to lecture on their investigations and findings. Later the name of this institution was changed to The Indian Institute Of World Culture.
It owes its existence to the foresight, vision and sacrifice of its Founder--President, Shri B. P. Wadia and his spouse, Smt. Sophia Wadia . The prime object of the Institute is to foster the growth of a truly cosmopolitan spirit among citizens of all nations. It bases this on Universal Brotherhood, and faith in the universal moral law of Karma. It was conceived not as an academy for scholars, but as a cultural centre for ordinary men and women, affording them opportunities to develop those graces of living which are the hallmark of humanism.

(B.P Wadia: a life in service to humanity Sri. B. P. Wadia (Bahman Pestonji) was born on 8th October 1881 as the eldest son of Sri. Pestonji Cursetji and Smt. Mithibai Wadia. As a student Sri B. P. Wadia studied at New High School in Bombay. In 1904, Mr. B. P. Wadia joined the Bombay Branch of the Theosophical Society. He became an active member of the Branch and later in 1907 he left Bombay and went to Adyar, Madras, to work there under Col. Olcott, and later Mrs. Annie Besant. He worked for the journal The Theosophist.)
In 1919 he visited the ULT (United Lodge of Theosophists) in Los Angeles and was very impressed. In 1923 he founded several lodges in US, UK, France and India. In 1930 he published the journal "The Aryan Path". In 1928 he married Sophia Camacho.
Between January and the end of April 1929, Mr. Wadia lectured for the London ULT at the Victoria Hall, Bloomsbury, to packed audiences ( 2,300 +) The London Lodge was then housed in rented premises in a building a couple of blocks from Marble Arch. In March 1929, Mr. and Mrs. Wadia were in London, they also were visited by many students from the European continent. They, in turn, visited a number of the ULT Lodges there before beginning their trip to India. A ULT Study Group was started in Amsterdam under the inspiration received by some of its residents from their visits and talks with him. The Antwerp Lodge was inaugurated on November 17th 1956. Lodges were also started in Amsterdam and The Hague.

1930 - The Aryan Path

January 1930 saw the first issue of
The Aryan Path (the noble path) magazine, supported by articles and editorials, by Mr. Wadia and Mr. T.L.Crombie (THEODORE L. CROMBIE), who acted as sub-editor. Mme. Wadia allowed her name to used as "Editor." Mr. Wadia was of the opinion that the future of Theosophy in its presentation to the world would be, in one way, through the work of the future writers and poets of the world. Accordingly he and Sophia Wadia had earlier became members of the International P.E.N. Club. They organized its Indian chapter and maintained offices for it, a monthly magazine called The Indian P.E.N. was started.

By 1931, at the Congress in Amsterdam, P.E.N. had grown to truly justify its identity as a worldwide organization. Delegates came not only from most of the European countries but from Australia, Canada, China, and South America. Invitations were sent to Japan and India to join P.E.N., but the overtures had not, as yet, come to anything.

Sophia Wadia The Founder of All-India PEN:
Sophie wadia a member of the united lodge of theosophists and the royal asiatic society.was born on september 13th 1901 and was educated in paris and columbia university, The U S A is an international lecturer and writer and is the editor of Indian Pen which center she founded in 1933.was delegate from india center to international PEN Congress in barcelona, spain 1935 and buensaires in argentina 1936 represented india and spoke at international writers congress paris 1935 contributor to leading periodicals
Source: What India Thinks: Being a Symposium of Thought Contributed by 50 Eminent Men and Women Having India's Interest at Heart By C. Roberts
Contributor C. Roberts Originally published: Calcutta : National Literature Co., 1939.
Published by Asian Educational Services, 2004 ISBN 8120618807, 9788120618800
543 pages

from american center information we can know:
conferences at the India Center from 1945 to 1955, as well as clippings, correspondence, general cases, and material concerning P. R. Sarkar and Brahma Chellaney of the India Center.

(In the 18th of February 1955 Mr. Wadia laid the corner stone for the present home ( THEOSOPHY HALL ) of the ULT in Bombay at 40 New Marine Lines. 328 persons were in attendance. In doing this, he used this invocation:

"We lay this Foundation Stone to the Glory of the Great Architect of the Universe, Vishwa-Karman, whose Hidden
Light is vibrant in every speck of Matter making each a shining spark. May His Blessings be upon it.
"We invoke the Power of His Wise Master Builders, Their Cunning Craftsmen, and Their Obedient Servants.
"May the Blessing of the Holy Ones and of Their Servant H. P. Blavatsky, her colleague William Q. Judge and his devotee Robert Crosbie, Founder of the U.L.T., be upon it and upon the Temple to rise above it.
"We declare this Foundation Stone well and truly laid."
On November 17th 1957 THEOSOPHY HALL in Bombay was inaugurated at 6.15 p.m. by Mr. Wadia. The auditorium and balcony built to accommodate 500 was overflowing and people stood in the aisles. Over 700 were counted. ULT associates from all over India and several foreign countries came for the event.
The building houses on two floors the main auditorium, above are two floors devoted to the ULT ( Robert Crosbie, the founder of the United Lodge of Theosophists) offices and the Reference Library -- ( over 100,000 books and pamphlets available ). The INDIAN P.E.N. has a floor devoted to its offices. On the top two floors are apartments for active students who work constantly at the Lodge.
Mr Wadia died in 1958)

Mrs. Wadia wrote a great deal and was also a popular speaker among the Theosophists.

Madame Sophia, Wadia,
Secretary, P E. N. Club, India Centre. BOMBAY

WADIA, SOPHIA, EDITOR The Indian P.E.N. Volume XXVI/No 10 (October 1960)Bangalore, M. Narayan. 1960. The organ of the P.E.N. All-India Centre. The main article in this issue is Contemporary Literature in the Netherlands by Mynheer H. Klumper of the Netherlands Embassy, New Delhi. Additional regular features of the magazine include P.E.N. Meetings, Notes and News, on the XXXIst International P.E.N. Congress in Rio de Janeiro, Modern Indian Poetry--Sindhi, and The Jamia Millia Islamia by Professor M. Mujeeb. The Literary Scene in India and Book Reviews. P.E.N. (Poets/Editors/Novelists) is a worldwide association of writers with chapters in 141 countries. Shrimati Sophia Wadia, nee Sophia Camacho (1901-1986) of New York City, was the widow of the well-known United Lodge of Theosophists (U.L.T.) leader, B.P. Wadia (1881-1958). They were among the first members of the International P.E.N. Club and started The Indian P.E.N. periodical. Mrs. Wadia wrote a great deal and was also a popular speaker among the Theosophists.

USD 16.00 [Appr.: EURO 10.75 £UK 8.5 JP¥ 1664] Book number: 003985
James Hurley, BooksPO Box 334, Springfield Center, New York, NY 13468, USA Tel.: +1 607 264 3636. Email:

The first Publication of Indian Literature:
Assamese Literature–By Birinchi Kumar Barua. Edited by Sophia Wadia for the P.E.N. All-India Centre. (Arya Sangha, Malabar Hill, Bombay. Pages 102. Price Rs. 1-8-0.)
This is the first of a series of books planned by the P.E.N. All-India Centre on the main Indian languages, for, as the Editor truly says in her Introduction, "Many educated Indians are not familiar with the literary wealth of any Indian language other than their own. How many Bengalis know of the beauties of Malayalam literature? How many Tamilians are familiar with the literary efforts of old and modern Assam?...No systematic attempt has been made to popularise the story of the Indian literatures or to present gems from their masterpieces, to the general public in English translation" It is only too true that our English educated people interested in literary matters are more acquainted with French or Russian literature than even with the classics or the modern efforts of neighbouring Indian languages, not to speak of the literatures of comparatively remote areas like Assam.
"Each book" in this series "is divided into three parts: (1) the history of the literature dealt with, (2) modern developments, and (3) an anthology." And since the volumes are published in alphabetical order, to obviate any unwholesome criticism, we imagine, about the superiority of any one Indian language to any other Assamese Literature happens to be the first of the series.

From W. Dallas TenBroeck
Dallas writes about the P.E.N.: "It is the International club of "P" for Play-writes, Poets, "E" for Editors, Essayists, and "N" for Novelists. Mr & Mrs. Wadia were among the first members of the International PEN Club, and supported the PEN Club. They soon formed an Indian chapter of it. And began publishing the Indian P.E.N. It was active, I believe, until Mme. Wadia's death. I do not know if it still continues. A Monthly Magazine was issued with literary news named The Indian P.E.N. Mme. Sophia Wadia and My Mother, Mrs. Elizabeth TenBroeck were traveling together in 1939 (as I remember) and were in Barcelona attending the International P.E.N. Conference when the 2nd world War broke out."

Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan was born on 5 September, 1888 in Tirutani, a well-known religious center in the Madras State. He was the second son of Veera Samayya, a tehsildar in a zamindari.
The following are some of the main posts held by him most fittingly and efficiently: Lecturer in Philosophy, Presidency College, Madras, in the Madras Provincial Educational Service, after graduation; Assistant Professor of Philosophy in the same College for five years; Professor of Philosophy, Mysore University (1918-1921); King George V Professor of Philosophy, Calcutta University (1921-1931) and again (1937-1944); Vice-Chancellor of the Andhra University (1931); Spaulding Professor of Eastern Religion and Ethics, Oxford University (1932-1953) - first Indian to be so appointed; and Vice-Chancellor of the Banaras Hindu University (1942). Among the cultural posts held by him may be mentioned: Leader of the Indian Delegation to UNESCO many times (1946-1950); Chairman of the University Education Commission (1948) appointed by the Government of India; Chairman of the Executive Board of UNESCO (1948); President of UNESCO (1952); Delegate to the P.E.N. Congress (1959); Vice President of International P.E.N.; Honorary Fellow of the British Academy (1962); Representative of the Calcutta University at the Congress of Philosophy, Harvard University, U.S.A. (May 1962).

The Indian PEN Published Quarterly by the P.E.N. All-India Centre, Theosophy Hall, 40 New Marine Lines, Mumbai - 400 020Editor: Nissim Ezekiel
A secretary of the Indian branch of the international writers' organization PEN.
During a conversation ( with Ranjit Hoskote) one morning in the late 1980s, Ezekiel showed me a sunbird working industriously in the tangled bougainvillaea outside the windows of his office at the PEN All-India Centre.
Sometime in 1998, just before sitting on a plane that would get me out of Bombay, I went to see the poet Nissim Ezekiel. He was in his usual room at the PEN center,
Master of many arts, Nissim, passes away 10 Jan 2004, 0122 hrs IST,TNN
Prof Nissim Ezekiel, Editor, The Indian P.E.N., Mumbai, 1987)
Poetry India, the Indian P.E.N., and the poetry page of the Illustrated Weekly of India.
He joined
The Illustrated Weekly of India as an assistant editor in 1953
He (Nissim Ezekiel )wore a frayed blue and white shirt buttoned at the wrists, caked with dirt at cuff and collar. He was living somewhere in Marine Lines, in one room. He would commute by bus to the PEN office at Churchgate carrying a plastic bag full of possessions.
Source: Writer Jeet Thayil

K. R. Srinivass Iyenger-- edited Drama in India, Indo anglian literature 1943 all India PEN center Mumbai 1961
Anuradha Mahindra, ‘Full Circle’ published by The PEN all India center, april /june 1990
Source The Politics of home Rosemary marangoly George
Similar travel subsidy for non-performing delegations included the two delegates of the Bharatiya Natya Sangh, New Delhi for participation in the 14th World Congress of the International Theatre Institute, London in May-June, 1971; Shri M.F. Hussain, Painter, for participation in the XI Biennale in Sao Paulo, Brazil in September, 1971, Prof. A.S. Patel, Head of the Department of Psychology, University of Baroda to attend the XVII International Congress of Psychology at Liege, Belgium in July, 1971; S/Shri Sumanta Chatterjee, Sibaji Biswas and Sisir Kumar Biswas of the Youth Puppet Theatre, Calcutta, for participation in the Nashville 1971 Festival, U.S.A., in August 1971; Dr. Sisir K. Bove, Executive Director, Netaji Research Bureau, Calcutta, for participation in the working conferences on Netaji in Prague, Berlin and Bonn in August-September, 1971; Shri G.S. Khosla, delegate of the Indian P.E.N., Centre, Bombay, for participation in the International Congress of the P.E.N. in Dublin during September, 1971.

Indian PEN Bengal Chapter Delegate Tagore Centenary ...Kalidas Nag Vice-President , Indian PEN, a delegate in International PEN Congress of Buenos aires Argentina,in 1936 Delegate Tagore Centenary Committee President of Rabindra Satabdi Sangha
lukewarm support of Dr Kalidas Nag, the chairman of the board, and Dr ...... under the joint auspices of the PEN, the Indian Institute of Culture, Bom- ...
Source: by Edward J. Thompson - 2003 - Biography & Autobiography - 116 pages

Banerjee, Biswanath. Bengali writer. B.SC.; MIE; MGMI b. 22.6.1936, Labpur, Birbhum, WB Service, Member PEN & Nikhil bharat banga sahitya sammelan chandan nagar 712136 hooghly

Ram Krishna Singh is a university professor whose main fields of interest consist of Indian English writing, especially poetry, and English for Specific Purposes, especially for science and technology. He was born on 31 December 1950 in Varanasi, India.
Professor Singh is a member of the following organizations: UNESCO ALSED-LSP Network; All-India PEN; English Language Teachers’ Association of India; World Cultural Council Circle of Friends, International Writers and Artists Association; World Poetry Intercontinental; and Society for International Development. The Honorary Secretary of Dhanbad Development Forum from 1992-2004, he was also its Honorary Treasurer from 1983-92, and Honorary Secretary of ISM Teachers Association, Dhanbad, 1977-79. From April 1990-March 1991 he served as elected Representative of Teachers on the General Council and Executive Board of ISM. Prof Singh’s biography appears in some 35 publications in the UK, USA, India and elsewhere.

Krishna Bose (b.26 dec.1930) D/O Charu c. choudhury , M P of 12th Loksabha, all India Pen member 1953 onward

Eminent litterateur Annada Shankar Roy, He was also associated with 'PEN' (International club of) Poets, Playwrights, Essayists, Editors and Novelists.
PUBLIC "-//Stanford University::Libraries::Dept. of Special ...
From 1951-1954, he solicited manuscripts from Asian writers and ... 1 30 India: P.E.N. 1 31 India: Ray, Lila and Sri Annada Sankar 1 32 India: R.K. Narayan ...
Guide to the Wallace Earle Stegner papers: concerning the Asian-American Literary Exchange, 1949-1954
Collection number: M0807
A veteran writer of wide repute, Roy was honoured with Padmabhusan, Rabindra and Vidyasagar awards. Born in Dhenkanakal in Orissa in 1904, Roy had a flair for Oriya literature too, and some of his works had a distinct background of Orissa. Associated with many a literary organisations, Roy was the founding president of the Paschim Banga Bangla Academy.
He was president of 'PEN' (International club of) Poets, Playwrights, Essayists, Editors and Novelists. As well as chairman of the PEN Calcutta branch.
(From a document of West Bengal Chapter we can see 'All India Pen Center ' the president - Annada Shankar Ray, Vice President- N. S. Gorekar, Hony.secretary and treasurer - Ranjit Hoskote and at West Bengal Chapter : Chairman- Annada Shankar Ray, Vice Chairman -K M Lodha, Dr. Arun kumar Mukherjee, Chitrita Devi, Hony. Secretary, treasurer- Dev Kr Basu, and Office address as 19, Panditia Terrace kolkata 700029)
In 1993 late September to early October writer Taslima was in trouble AnnadaShankar faxed PEN Centers London, Tokyo,Paris, Berlin,alerting Taslimas case.
Source : The crescent and the Pen ( the strange Journey of Taslima nasreen) by hanifa DeenRoy's Texus born wife Leela Roy too had a flair for Bengali literature where she made lots of contributions till her death about a decade ago.

by Elizabeth Sleeman - 2003 - Reference - 608 pagesContributions: All India Radio and major journals. ... Sammelan: Founder, first Sec., Vidyasagar Research Centre; Santosh kr Adhikary former secretary PEN, West Bengal Branch. ... 81 Raja Basant roy road kol 29 (b. 24 nov.1923) baluchar, Murshidabad member PEN west bengal and The Asiatic society.

Naba gopal Das b 1910, Life member Pen, sole delegate world congress PEN Vienna

Birinchi Kumar Barua. Assamese Literature. Published for the P. E. N. All-India Centre, by the International Book House, Bombay, 1941. CUBG, RIBG, CASX, MNUG.

Indo-Anglian Literature, PEN All-India Centre, Bombay, 1943. ... Builders of Modern India

Bengali Journal yasthi madhu, is the chairman. It organized a pleasant get-together on November 24 last at the residence of PEN Member Smt.Illa Paul Choudhury in south Calcutta. (page 16)
The PEN had been allalong with her aged father rendering help to him in his life long mission. Shree Ghosh is the author of two or three book dealing mainly with his impressions of many great personalities of the past…..( page 9)
Source: Rabindranath Tagore: His Life and Work
by Edward J. Thompson - Biography & Autobiography - 2003 - 116 pages
... Souvenir of Tagore to the larger public of the whole English Speaking Union.
Institutions and Organisations Engaged in Literary and Cultural Activities
The Department of Culture, has been assisting some important institutions like the Institute of Traditional Culture, Madras, Asiatic Society, Calcutta, Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan, Bombay, Numismatic Society of India, Varanasi, PEN All-India Centre, Bombay, Islamic Culture Board, Hyderabad, and Jallianwala. Bagh Memorial Trust, Amritsar. The working of the institutions like Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture, Calcutta, Asiatic Society, Calcutta, and Indian Academy of Philosophy, Calcutta was reviewed by the visiting committees and they are being financed according to the reports of the visiting committees

I still wait for this article to complete, any kind hearted with pen information is most welcome.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

No Frontiers? Free Speech and the Internet

No Frontiers? Free Speech and the Internet
Wednesday 19 November - Friday 21 November
Venue: Cumberland Lodge, Windsor Great Park, Berkshire, SL4 2HP

Online we are all free to say what we like, write a blog, post a video, start a website or join a social network. Or are we? Who decides what goes up and what comes down? Which files can be shared or images downloaded? What happens when states clamp down on internet use or demand search engines hand over our personal data? How do we keep our private lives private? How can we protect our children from unsuitable material and how can we protect our reputations online?

Confirmed speakers for this groundbreaking conference include: Ross Anderson, Cambridge University; Ian Brown, Oxford Internet Institute; Siobhain Butterworth, Guardian Readers' Editor; Sebastian Cody, media consultant; Jo Glanville, Editor of Index on Censorship; Jonathan Heawood, Director of English PEN; Isabel Hilton, Editor of; and Li Fen Zhang, Editor of the Financial Times China site; with more to follow.

In association with the 21st Century Trust.

Registration Fee
£390 Standard Rate
£220 Discount rate for members of English PEN
£75 Students

Registration includes all food and accommodation from 4pm on Wednesday 19 November until after lunch on Friday 21 November. For a registration form and full programme, please call Janis Reeves on 01784 497796 or email


ITSOSENG is a true story about a township in South Africa, still waiting for regeneration thirteen years after the advent of democracy. It is written and performed by the talented South African Omphile Molusi, who grew up in Itsoseng. The Soho Theatre is offering a special £10 ticket deal to all PEN members on performances up to 27 September. To book please call 020 7478 0100 and quote ‘£10 offer’.

Albert Ashok ( member, campaign executive) All India PEN center, (west Bengal) 165, R N Guha Road Kolkata –700028,India. Phone +9133 2560 0070

No Frontiers? Free Speech and the Internet

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

exciting new season of Writers in Public

English PEN 6 - 8 Amwell Street, London , EC1R 1UQ Tel: 020 7713 0023 , Fax: 020 7837 7838
The English PEN is happy to announce that it’s exciting new season of Writers in Public events is now online and available for booking. Featuring a series of big-name author interviews, a discussion of the freedoms and responsibilities of the press, a film screening and our traditional St Bride’s service to mark the Day of the Imprisoned Writer, there really is something for everyone. Full booking details are available online or by calling 020 7713 0023.

The closure of the Guardian Newsroom means that our monthly events have a wonderful new home in the recently refurbished Gallery space in Foyles, on Charing Cross Road. Foyles have been a strong supporter of English PEN events for many years, and we’re very happy to be working more closely with them.

Our first event of the season features acclaimed playwright and oscar-winning screenplay writer Ronald Harwood so do join us for what promises to be an absolutely fascinating evening and a great start to our autumn programme.

Icons: Ronald Harwood
Monday 8 September, 6.30pm
Venue: The Gallery, Foyles Bookshop, 113-119 Charing Cross Road, WC2H 0EB
Tickets: PEN Members £5, non PEN members £8

Academy-Award-winner Ronald Harwood is the author of more than forty plays, screenplays, novels and non-fiction books. He has served as President of both English and International PEN. A trained actor, the theatre has been an animating principle throughout his work from plays such as The Dresser to books including All the World's a Stage. In celebrated screenplays such as The Piano and The Diving Bell and the Butterfly he has explored humanity at its limits, creating an elegiac drama of resilience. In this rare talk, he discusses a life in writing and the authors who have charged his imagination.

How to book: Call 020 7713 0023 or book online.

Tickets include a complimentary glass of wine after the talk, courtesy of Waitrose Wine
Posted by Albert Ashok on behalf of All India PEN Center, West Bengal, Kolkata
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