Teesta Setalvad

Teesta Setalvad — Journalist-activist Teesta Setalvad won the Nuremberg International Human Rights Award 2003, and a thumping victory over hostile witness Zahira Sheikh in the Best Bakery case. She’s yet another example of those who’ll stick out their neck and challenge the system, making her an icon for the youth.

We have a glorious past. Preserve it. We have grown up with the secure foundation of a glorious, shared past – literature, music and culture. The Nuremberg Human Rights Award is proof that it is worth preserving.

If you have the courage of conviction, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Even though Zahira Sheikh turned hostile, I never gave up hope. Finally, the judiciary sentenced her to a year’s imprisonment and a fine of ₹ 50,000.

Children are the future of the country. Streaks of insanity and noises of hate impinge in the classroom and at school, ominously making distinctions between the legitimate ‘us’ and the traitorous ‘them’. I have started working to help school children in Mumbai get over their biases and prejudices. India’s secular traditions have to be maintained.

History has lessons to teach us. Can lessons from history, honestly learnt, and remembered, prevent unspeakable cruelties in the present and deeper schisms between man and man in the future?

The battle has to be fought. I don’t know. I feel that once I have started the battle I have to go through with it. It is very important that the justice process delivers justice. If there is a failure in the deliverance of justice for the riot victims, there will be bitterness among people. This is not good and healthy for society in the long run.

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