Interview: Shrinking Space in India
Tripti Tandon from The Laywers Collective answers questions from Frank Barat about the clampdown on freedom of speech and the silencing of critical voices in India and how this is connected to shrinking space worldwide.
Key points from the interview:
Selective targeting, like the recent murder of critical journalist Gauri Lankesh, is used to instill fear in student activists, NGO's, trade unions and civil society.
The Lawyers Collective is seeing attacks on their access to financial resources. For over 30 years they have been taking on cases that challenge state power and affect policies. They have been able to do so partly with funding from overseas.
Through the Foreign Contribution Law this funding has been cut, severely hampering the work of the organisation.
They fight back though, by appealing those cuts and going to court over it, as well as simply continuing their work. They finance their pro bono work by also having regular jobs and money paid by clients who can afford to.
Tripti goes on to emphasize that exactly because of the assassination of Gauri she feels it is adamant that critical voices and activists alike do not give up. That they owe it to her to continue in their articulation of criticism and actions and to protect the space of dissent and free speech.