“I am very much the global chair of Disabled Peoples’ International [DPI]. The so-called statement that is circulating is not an authentic or an authorised statement from the DPI executive council,” Javed Abidi told The Hindu .
His reaction comes in the wake of a statement issued by the DPI world council recently stating the Mr. Abidi’s autocratic leadership style had damaged the council’s image.
DPI is grassroots, cross-disability network with member organisations in over 110 countries.
Mr. Abidi added that this was false claim that has been made by a bunch of his detractors. “The hollowness of this claim can be gauged by just the following fact. The DPI world council [with political representation from all over the world] has 34 members. Of them, only five were physically present in Dhaka.”
He noted that all decisions that are being labelled as “autocratic” were taken by the DPI executive council and world council in an open, transparent, and democratic manner.“The slander campaign is reflective of a larger malaise of the global disability movement,” said Mr. Abidi.
He noted that richer nations were controlling the discourse on disability issues.
“If you look around, global disability organisations have people from the global north controlling their governance,” he said.
Speaking about problems he faced while working with DPI, Mr. Abidi said that “800 million of the world’s one billion people with disabilities live in the global south. Yet, the powers and decision making of the disability movement have been historically in the hands of the global north. My election as the DPI global chair was in that sense, reflective of a stirring within the global south.”
“Given that the power structure has been questioned, it is expected that the ones who have ruled the roost for 30 years would try every trick in the book to ensure that the reforms that my colleagues in the DPI executive and world council are trying to bring fail.”
He added that strict action will be taken against those who are responsible for this attempted coup of sorts.
Abidi added that strict action will be taken against those who are responsible for the attempted coup of sorts.