THE FIGHT TO WIN RIGHTS: Selected Writings of P.A. Sebastian- Amoving narrative of a protracted struggle to subjectour rulers to the rule of law.
Share this item:
P.A. Sebastian or Sabby as he was affectionately called, was one of the original human rights andpeople’s lawyers in the country. He was a fearless fighter for human and democratic rights especiallyfor the poor and marginalized. He was instrumental in setting up the Committee for the Protectionof Democratic Rights and the Indian Association of People’s Lawyers, which was perhaps the firstnetwork of people’s lawyers in the country. He also pioneered and spearheaded the setting up ofpeople’s tribunals to investigate atrocities which were either sponsored or abetted by stateagencies. He did all this, despite his physical handicap. This book containing his writings over hiscareer, provides a good insight into the thinking and ideology of our beloved Sabby. It willundoubtedly be very valuable, especially for young lawyers interested in rights lawyering. – Prashant Bhushan, one of the foremost public interest lawyers in the Supreme Court of India.
P.A. Sebastian, human rights defender, housing rights activist and labour lawyer, all rolled into one,was a selfless pillar of strength in the legal battles of the poor and the downtrodden against anoppressive system. He worked with us closely for years to ensure the rights of slum dwellers and thehomeless are protected. His articles and writings will give us strength for the long and unfinishedfight for justice in our unequal world.
– Shabana Azmi, one of the finest Indian actresses, a well-known public figure, and a committedsocial activist.
P. A. Sebastian was not only a great civil liberties lawyer and humanist but a dear friend who foughtall my court cases against film censorship in its myriad forms, for whatever little money we couldgather, or completely pro bono. I am thrilled that Bernard D’Mello has meticulously collected all hisinvaluable writings so they may be found in one consolidated book. It is an invaluable resource bothfor human rights advocates and students of the political history of modern India.
– Anand Patwardhan, one of India’s outstanding documentary filmmakers.
Pellisary Anthony Sebastian (1938-2015) was a people’s lawyer and human-rights activist, General Secretary of the Committee for the Protection of Democratic Rights, Mumbai, for over three decades, Principal Secretary of the Indian People’s Human Rights Commission, and one of the founders and leading lights of the Indian Association of People’s Lawyers and the International Association of People’s Lawyers.
The Fight to Win Rightsis a collection of Selected Writings of P.A. Sebastian, penned in the corridor of time between March 1980 and January 2011, with a thoughtful introduction by Bernarnd D’Mello. It is a profoundly upsetting characterisation of the Indian judicial system in so far as the exploited classes, the oppressed castes, the oppressed nationalities, women, Muslims, and other religious minorities, and Adivasis are concerned. Coming in these dark times when political forces wedded to an ‘Indian variant of Nazism’ are in power, when human-rights activists are subjected to legal persecution under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, this collection of Sebastian’s writings could not have been more to-the-point and to-the-purpose.
Bernard D’Mellois a writed and human-rights activist with the Committee for the Protection of Democratic Rights, Mumbai. Among his written works isIndia After Naxalbari: Unfinished Hisotry(Monthly Review Press/ Aakar Books, 2018).