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Home > Tributes and Remembrances > A Tribute to Ram Narayan Kumar

A Tribute to Ram Narayan Kumar

by NPMHR, 1 July 2009

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1 July 2009

Dear Madam/sir,
- Kindly help us to reach this message to the Naga public and to all friends in India and across the world of our deep grieve in losing a close friend in Ram Kumar Narayan, who passed away at Kathmandu yesterday.

with prayers,
- NPMHR Secretariat

CONDOLENCE MESSAGE

The Naga People Movement for Human Rights (NPMHR) is deeply shocked and saddened by the sudden death of Ram Narayan Kumar who was working as a full time project Director on South Asian Orientation Course in Human Rights and Peace Studies with the South Asia Forum for Human Rights (SAFHR), Kathmandu, Nepal at the point of his demise. Ram was an astute human rights activist, research and writer campaigning for democracy and human rights against state brutality on the innocent citizens since 1975. He was imprisoned for 19 months for his vocal opposition to Indira Gandhi‘s emergency regime. Ram’s work for justice and accountability in Punjab is widely recognized and is lead author on many books on the Sikh struggle. Some of his latest works are “India’s Constitutional Discourse: some Unanswered Question” and “Rights Guarantees and Judicial Wrongs: Arguments for appraisal” in Recasting Indian Politics, ed. Paul Flather (Palgrave, 2007); Critical Readings in Human Rights and Peace (Shipra publications, New Delhi, 2006). Ram was a Former Reuter Foundation Fellow at the University of Oxford and has recently released his new book, Terror in Punjab: Narratives, Knowledge and Truth (Shipra Publications, Delhi, 2008). Reviewed at: http://www.himalmag.com/The-third-Sikh-ghallughara-Terror-in-Punjab-by-Ram-Narayan-Kumar_nw2960.html

Ram is best known to Nagas for his work with Laxmi Murthy, Four Years of the Ceasefire Agreement between the Government of India and The National Socialist Council of Nagalim: Promises and Pitfalls,(New Delhi: Other Media Communications, 2002) which was an outcome of civil society engagement in peoples to peoples dialogues between the Nagas and people of India.

When NPMHR commemorated International Human Rights day in December 2006 under the theme “Harmony through Culture- a musical celebration of Indigenous peoples”, Rams message to the meet give a glimpse of his inner soul which will will be engrave in our memory forever and NPMHR takes this liberty to partly quote the solidarity note “ During the time I spent in the region, I had been astonished by the mirth and the power of cultural expressions of the indigenous peoples who had, otherwise, been subjected to monstrously cruel forms of discrimination and violence and economic injustice in their subordinate relations with India that has unfortunately chosen to act like a conquest state for so long. I do not cease to wonder how a people who are weighed down by memories of death, torture and spiritual crippling can yet retain that inner mirth and beauty of soul to be able to transcend all that evil through music, dance and togetherness and sharing as aspects of their autonomous cultural identity. That spirit of transcendence also seems to permeate the flora and fauna, climate, rain, sun, soil, their loom, wood, and cane artifacts, their shawls and sarongs and their jewellery. I do not want to romanticize, but it is my firm conviction that the people endowed with these qualities must have a chance to undo the wrongs of hegemonic cultures that combine the military might with their hegemonic hubris, and to infuse the futures of the indigenous peoples with the spirit of unity in culture and through that unity towards socio-economic and political transcendence.”

NPMHR’s last contact was during his visit to Nagaland in line with research work on the issue of Impunity and the Armed Forces Special Powers Act. We pay our sincere respect to a great soul who has linked our struggles together with his and the rest of world oppressed, in our common search for dignity, justice and peace.

NPMHR on behalf of the Naga people and rest of the struggling communities in this part of the world salutes Ram, our comrade, who indeed was a partner to our struggles, a profoundly compassionate human sharing our common thread of humanity and a gifted channel of communication for the voiceless people’s call for Peace and Justice.

NPMHR shares our grieve with all Ram’s friends, colleagues at SAFHR besides his near and dear one at this moment of loss. We pray for his soul for to receive abundant peace and join all human rights defenders across the world during this period of mourning.

NPMHR Secretariat
- Oking.