Commodities

Priya Pillai on India, Coal Mining & Dissent

23 March 2015

By Salil Tripathi, Senior Advisor, Global Issues, IHRB

In January this year, Indian officials at Delhi airport prevented Priya Pillai, a campaigner at Greenpeace India, from boarding a flight to London, where she was invited to speak to an All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) in the United Kingdom about a controversial coal-mining project in central India.

Officials later said she was stopped from leaving because her activities were anti-national.

She spoke to them anyway, using Internet-based technology.

She sued the government for restricting her, and on 12 March the Delhi High Court ruled in her favour and strongly criticised the Indian government.

IHRB's Salil Tripathi spoke to Priya soon after the judgment. In the conversation she recounts the case and the reason why Greenpeace strongly opposes the coal-mining project. She points out that the campaign is rooted in India with wide support from Indian civil society. And she stresses the importance of dissent and why activism is universal.

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