S. Pandian

Ashoka Fellow
Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
Fellow Since 2003

Citation

This profile was prepared when S. Pandian was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2003.
The New Idea
Pandian is working to change the wrongful habits of law enforcement agencies in the rural areas of India. The Constitution of India and the other legal instruments list human rights protection as one of the state's main duties. The government of India also has accepted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Pandian is taking these guaranteed rights to rural India to help combat police excess and abuse of detainees.
Pandian's "Campaign for Custodial Justice and Abolition of Torture" has brought to public attention police brutality in rural areas. It provides new possibilities for changing the mindsets of both culprit and victim: the police who abuse their power versus the illiterate rural masses. The campaign provides a platform on which to raise issues and find ways to change abusive police patterns. Pandian reaches out to the police, civil society institutions, panchayaths (village councils), educational institutions, women's sanghas, youth groups, and the media. He aims to protect human rights for all who are subject to the authority of law, thereby ensuring fair trial in accordance with the principles of natural justice and putting an end to unnecessary delay in processing cases.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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