Enter your email to read this article
Read news on any topic, in one place, from publishers like The Economist, FT, Bloomberg and more.

NL Interview: Roop Rekha Verma on why she stood surety for Siddique Kappan

Roop Rekha Verma is former acting vice chancellor of Lucknow University, a professor of philosophy and a social activist. She made news earlier this week when she agreed to stand surety for Siddique Kappan as a condition of his bail.

Kappan, a journalist from Kerala, was arrested by the Uttar Pradesh police while he was on his way to report on the brutal gangrape of a teenage Dalit girl by four upper caste men in Hathras nearly two years ago. Kappan was slapped with charges under the sedition law and the anti-terror law UAPA. The journalist was granted bail by the Supreme Court on September 9, but his lawyers couldn’t find residents of Uttar Pradesh who could stand surety for him, as required by the conditions of his bail. Until, that is, Verma came forward.

She speaks with Tanishka Sodhi about her decision to help Kappan, the consequences for dissent in this country, and her life’s journey. “In today's dark times, this much help is what every citizen has a claim of. I wouldn't have been able to face myself if I didn’t extend this small help," she says.

There’s an climate of fear in the country right now, she says, because of which it is difficult for people to speak up and speak out.

Verma, 79, has spent a lifetime fighting caste, gender and religious hatred, and she talks about what keeps her going.

Watch.

Newslaundry is a reader-supported, ad-free, independent news outlet based out of New Delhi. Support their journalism, here.

Related Stories
It is a very small help in these dark times, says academic who stands as bail surety for Siddique Kappan
Former acting Vice-Chancellor of Lucknow University Roop Rekha Verma, 79, has agreed to stand surety for the Kerala-based journalist
From analysis to the latest developments in health, read the most diverse news in one place.
Siddique Kappan's bail plea hearing in PMLA case deferred to September 29
He was arrested while he was on his way to Hathras where a Dalit girl was allegedly raped and later found dead
Andhra journalist held over ‘WhatsApp post’ gets bail
A Guntur court last night granted bail to seasoned journalist Kollu Ankababu. According to the News Minute, he was arrested on September 22 for sharing a WhatsApp post “believed to have shown the YSR Congress party”, which governs Andhra Pradesh, “in a bad light”.
Respect Christiane Amanpour: Internet lauds CNN journo for not giving in to Iran's Prez demand to wear headscarf
Amanpour said she often wears a head scarf while reporting in Iran to comply with the country's laws but she could not cover her head to interview an Iranian official outside a country
Iran leader cancels interview with CNN’s Amanpour over headscarf
CNN presenter Christiane Amanpour said she was ready for the interview when an aide insisted she cover her hair.
One place to find news on any topic, from hundreds of sites.
The Popular Front of India, its origins, presence, and controversies
The members of the “neo-social” organisation have been at the centre of multiple controversies in the last decade, from alleged organisation of arms training camps to money laundering probes