Award-winning journalist Teesta Setalvad is to receive an honorary degree by the University of British Columbia, Canada.
Setalvad is a strong civil rights activist who campaigns for the rights of Muslims, Dalits and women. In the Zakia Jafri case which involves among the accused now P.M. Modi and Union home minister Amit Shah, she is one of the petitioners. Since 2002, she and her organization CJP (Citizens for Justice and Peace) have worked for justice in several cases pertaining to the communal violence in Gujarat in 2002 when the Chief Minister of the state was Narendra Modi.
Several FIRs have been filed against her over the years as a result of her actions.
According to the citation provided by the university, Setalvad’s fight for justice for the victims of the Gujarat riots in 2002 was considered. “Teesta Setalvad is a civil rights activist, author and award-winning journalist in India who played a prominent role in the campaign for justice for the victims of the 2002 massacre of close to 2,000 Muslims in the state of Gujarat,” a section of the citation read. Her commitment to human rights jurisprudence is sought to honour by the University of British Columbia.
The citation also read, “She has worked in the field of human rights and law to expose majoritarianism and religious fanaticism in India and other parts of the world, deepening human rights jurisprudence on victimology and access to justice. She has also been influential on issues concerning rights of women, religious minorities, Indigenous persons, and forest dwelling communities,”
Only 17 people around the globe will have this honour. According to Teesta, it is a great honour to have been conferred the degree. “This is an honour and a privilege! Humbled even as challenges increase,” she expressed on Twitter.