Friday, 29 June, 2007

A train back from amsterdam...

by Aseem Suri

Jeevika: The Film Festival!

The Youth Parliament partners with Centre for Civil Society for Jeevika 2007 this time.. do come and support the team. The festival has some incredible films and features extraordinary talent!

Thursday, 28 June, 2007

Legal Spaces!

The IXth Schedule: Intro

New Delhi, January 11: In a unanimous verdict, a nine-judge Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice Y K Sabharwal held that legislations did not get protection of the Ninth Schedule, if they were violating the basic structure of the Constitution.

Ninth schedule open to challenge: SC Laws placed under Ninth Schedule after April 24, 1973 shall be open to challenge in court if they violated fundamental rights guaranteed under Article 14, 19, 20and 21 of the Constitution, the bench said.

If laws put in the Ninth Schedule abridge or abrogate fundamental rights resulting into violation of the basic structure of the Constitution, such laws have to be invalidated, it said.

SC's words are not always right but final: CJI Parliament, henceforth, would not be allowed to insert laws struck down or declared invalid or unconstitutional by the apex court in the Ninth Schedule. The Ninth Schedule was created by an amendment in 1951by former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru to push land reforms.

Initially, there were only 13 laws in the Ninth Schedule, but now there are around 284 laws in it, including the controversial 69 per cent reservation law of Tamil Nadu, which violates the apex court's 50per cent ceiling on quotas. If laws put in the Ninth Schedule abridge or abrogate fundamental rights resulting into violation of the basic structure of the Constitution, such laws have to be invalidated, it said.

This judgment will have a big impact on the creamy layer issue and other policies made by the government with disregard to the constitution. Prior to this, the govt. could get away with such laws by simple putting it in the ninth schedule. Not any more. And the good thing is, it is covers all laws placed in the ninth schedule after April 24, 1973 (Keshavananda Bharati vs. the State of Kerala).

The IXth Schedule: Problem

In perhaps it’s most significant decision since the Keshvanand Bharti case, the Supreme Court has ruled that laws placed under the ninth schedule of the Constitution are open to judicial scrutiny. It has proposed a two step test for judging the constitutional validity of any law a) It should not abrogate the fundamental rights of the citizens b) It should not violate the basic structure doctrine as defined in the Keshvanand Bharti case.The ninth schedule was inserted in the constitution via the first amendment expressly to advance the cause of land reforms necessitated by the abolition of zamindari system.

With the passage of time, and especially after the Keshvanand Bharti case, it became a convenient tool in the hands of the government to place all inconvenient laws beyond the scrutiny of the court. According to the constitution, the Court is final interpreter of laws and it is clearly perverse not to allow it to discharge its constitutional role.The judgment is most interesting in the light of the OBC reservation bill currently facing Court’s scrutiny. The Court has already asked some uncomfortable questions especially about the reasons for not excluding the creamy layer. Another important piece of legislation is Tamil Nadu’s government decision to grant 69% reservation against the Supreme Court imposed limit of 50%.

It would be interesting to see how the political class reacts to this judgment. Will it try to negate it by passing another constitutional amendment? It is highly unlikely considering even such an amendment can be struck down. The political response may depend entirely on the court’s decision regarding reservations. If the Court demands more accountability, it is highly likely that the politicians would try to circumvent its decision. It might actually lead to a demand for reservations to be introduced in the higher judiciary. Interestingly enough, the court has defined independence of the judiciary system as one of the basic structures of the India.

- Abhinandan Srivastava

Wednesday, 27 June, 2007

About Us

The YP Foundation is an organization is both led and run by young people in New Delhi, India. By providing young people with the resources to execute their own initiatives that target social, cultural, economic, legal and environmental issues they are committed to, we have fuelled a space that is committed to developing the uninhibited expression of young people.

With a team of 35 Core Staff and 200 University and School Students who are peer educators, trainers, young professionals, artists, project managers, researchers, social entrepreneurs, technicians and inventors, we work with the aim of sustaining a platform that enables young people to be effective and expressive agents of change.

The YP Foundation was established in July 2002 with support from the India Habitat Centre, New Delhi. We facilitate leadership skills and thinking power, increasing awareness on issues of global importance amongst young people. In the last 6 years, we have worked in varied fields through unique mediums such as community initiatives, the performing and visual arts, literary and research projects, interactive workshops, policy and government interaction and research and advocacy work amongst others.

In 2006, we were awarded the SMILE fellowship by the NGO Pravah and the final affiliate Change Looms Award given by The Ashoka Foundation and Pravah. In 2007, our founder received the Student Citizen Karamveer Puruskaar, the National Award for Social Justice and Action given by ICONGO and the Nand and Jeet Khemka Foundation.

In the last 6 years, TYPF has reached out to over 5000 young people and has worked with more than 800 young people as part of its working core team on the following issues:

Life Skills Based Education
Understanding Substance Abuse and Addiction
Empowering Street and Slum Children (Healthcare and Education)
Understanding Gender and Sexuality
Disaster Relief and Rehabilitation
Health and HIV/AIDS: Awareness, Prevention, Rights, Care & Support
Encouraging the Performing and Visual Arts
Human Rights and Peace Building Processes
Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights Awareness for Young People
The Young Citizen’s Right to Information, Governance & Legal System of India
Climate Change and The Environment

We find ourselves when we attempt to understand what is around us. The concept of TYPF is to provide young people the opportunity to take time out to do just this.

For who knows, your voice could change things.

Contact us:

Concerts for Original Music!!

It's life, and life only...

Have you ever walked alone in the woods ? Alone. Feeling the fear grip your heart for you have no clue what might be hiding behind the bushes that line the small red gravel path you're walking on. Sat on an old dilapidated bench in a small clearing, letting the silence of nature take over your mortal existence?

'You lose yourself, you reappear
You suddenly find you got nothing to fear
Alone you stand with nobody near...'

Have you ever held your breath just to feel your insides pale and long for release?
Have you ever stayed up all night just to feel dawn break?

Have you ever felt the broken cries of birds soaring in the sky for they too are forever chained to the sky?
Have you ever felt a piece of music break something precious inside?
Ever felt the longing for human touch? Or for words ? Just a usual conversation had over a cup of coffee getting cold?

Have you ever walked in a slum neighbourhood and felt the sweat of those that were unfortunate enough to be born there ?
What distances us from them? Just the fact that we were born in a different scenario ?

'From the fool's gold mouthpiece
The hollow horn plays wasted words
Proves to warn
That he not busy being born
Is busy dying...'

Have you ever felt the loneliness of the road? Walked on it and greeted it?

Have you ever felt the need to question? Everything? From why you think what you think, to why you're even here?

Have you ever wanted to grip the very source of all your fears by the throat and strangle the life out of it?

Have you ever been silent?
Have you ever screamed a muffled scream?

Have you ever seen a tree? Really seen it? Felt its breath?

Have you ever felt the need to escape from your own life? To be somebody? Nobody?

Have you ever seen a concert and felt thousand of people united just by a song?

Have you ever seen the world through a canvas?
Or in greyscale?

Have you ever talked to someone through your smile?
Ever sat down with a poor merchant who offered you a bidi, and on your refusal felt the depth of his words when he said 'Zindagi mein kya rakha hai, bidi piyo, mauj karo' , and this right before he tells you how poor he really is and how desperately he wants to earn some money to feed his kids, and maybe send them to school.
Or felt the purity of the hearts of innocent strangers who would, in exchange for a patient ear, invite you to their homes, apologise for their chhota makaan, and make you the sweetest tea you've ever tasted?

Have you ever sat with an old man and heard his stories, felt his loss, and realised all he has left are those stories?

Have you ever understood, really understood, madness?

Have you ever stared into the glaring sun, or maybe even a shining light bulb, to see it turn from its glaring yellow to a soothing blue-white?

Have you ever killed a bug just to see it die? And feel its pain?

Have you ever felt real pain?

Have you ever felt the need to let go, and not bask in the glory of your rigid beliefs?
Have you ever felt blessed in your ignorance?

Have you ever felt so chained to your ambitions and desires, that you forgot to live them?

Have you ever longed for your friends, and the lazy evenings spent sipping coffee and cracking jokes?
Have you ever felt the irrepressable urge to see the world? To walk on every road and reach the point where there are no more roads to take?
Have you ever felt the absolute urge to know people? Know what they're made of, and what they've lived through?

Have you ever done anything without selfish interests, the satisfaction included.

Have you ever woken up in tears, having no idea what made them crawl down your cheeks and wet your pillow?
Have you ever stood tall and against the crowd?
Spit in the face of rat-race, for in the end everyone in it is a slimy rat?
Ever wanted to be just your own?

'While one who sings with his tongue on fire
Gargles in the rat race choir
Bent out of shape from society's pliers...'

Have you ever tasted failure, and smiled? Tasted your salty tears?

'You feel to moan but unlike before
You discover
That you'd just be
One more person crying...'

Have you ever felt stranded?
Left questioning ?
And ultimately
silenced by your own questions?

'Although the masters make the rules
For the wise men and the fools
I got nothing, Ma,

to live up to...'

Aseem Suri

Tuesday, 26 June, 2007


Often it seems, that in way of thinking about what is feasible and do-able, we decide that what will not drive us mad is what should be done. We have not done so as yet but we will end up compromising. We decide to settle, not for what the best is but what is slightly less. Not what is convenient but what is achievable…

Are we shortchanging ourselves?

We seem to go for what there is enough time for; we forget that there never is enough time for the best. We have to create it. Make it.

It of course depends on what our priorities are. Our own time, mind space, sleep.

What is our right, our duty, to the work we do, to the effort we put in…when what we get is not equal to the input, a disbalance is created. A discrepancy is there. Glaring us in the face, yet subtle…effecting the future.

But is it fair to worry so much about these things right now? Maybe when we have put in so much that we cant help but let go... or even then?

When we decide what to do, what not to do, what to take up, what not to. What should our first consideration be, then 2nd and 3rd?

An organization does not make itself up; it is made of the people. The YP is not about its name. It’s about the people who work in it. But what is more important. The name or the people who work in it?

For me it’s always easier to go with the flow, put my heart into it, believe in it. But when there is time to sit back and think. Dissatisfactions and hesitancies arise. Maybe some of them are groundless, not something I should put so much thought into.. but then again.. maybe some things do need to be thought of. Not argued out, or talked of but thought of…maybe thoughts exchanged. No answers, no methods of improvement or balances sought. A conscious voicing. Just that.

Ishita Sharma

Monday, 25 June, 2007

Blending Spectrum

Photographer: Aseem Suri

This was Aseem let loose with a camera the day we had a cricket match with the children at BlenSpec. Blending Spectrum, the project that engages young people to empower children living in the streets and slums of Delhi, whilst supporting organizations working in the field. The project works:

To bridge the existing gap between the interventions made by communities and the lack of resources/skills that impact their effectiveness.

Identify potential in children and connect them to schools, learning spaces and opportunities to develop life skills.

Increase sensitivity and promote a better connect and understanding between the homeless and the urban youth.

It’s a killer project. Fun. Challenging. Testing. Affirming. Run by a team of 20 young people. Anyone who would like to share their thoughts, time or resources should just email us at


Remember when it rained?

I tried to wash away the thoughts inside…

There have always been too many moments of trying to see where there was nothing to create. I have no fire in me. I just needed those possibilities to change.

Torrents of voices that have washed through my soul for years… corroding.

I feel hollow, in my need to be whole. Fighting for moments that were never mine, a space where the only part of me that meant much remained something I could never touch. In the quiet spaces of a room where I watched numbers struggle. For in those shadows we find stories. I find pieces of me and then I get lost again.

They say the future belongs to those who have a past.

I don’t need clarity. I demand comfort. For the revolutions growing inside me. My need to see, think, feel, act. My need to shout. To hear myself. Sometimes I think the most honest answers are the ones which sound the funniest when said out loud.


Whatever it may take…

Ishita C.

June 30, 2006

The YP's 5th Birthday!

We're extremely proud and happy to invite everyone to The Youth Parliament's 5th Birthday on July 30, 2007. This one is going to be at Stein Auditorium @ the India Habitat Centre, New Delhi.

This is a really really special day for The YP - we made it 5 years!! :) It will be BRILLIANT if everyone blocks the evening out - say around 8pm.. and join us!!

All 5 years of YP Alumni is planning to meet - will be fun! The evening includes music, theatre, film, photography and loads of memories :)