Towards a Democratic Platform of People’s Struggles

On 11th October 2014, at the Jawaharlal Nehru Yuva Kendra in Delhi, representatives of several organizations and concerned individuals met to discuss the need and possibility of forging a broad democratic platform – both to take on the intensified offensive on people’s movements and rights in a united way, and to powerfully assert an alternative vision for India.

The resolution adopted by the meeting and endorsed by the participants is as follows:

Representatives of a diverse range of organizations as well as individuals met on 11th October in Delhi, to discuss the possibility of various people’s movements, democratic organizations and concerned citizens coming together on a common platform to assert people’s rights to land, livelihood, education and healthcare, justice, peace, dignity and freedom in the face of the communal-corporate offensive, growing imperialist domination, state repression, social oppression and caste and gender violence and injustice that threatens those rights. We, the undersigned, endorse the concerns and the call issued from that meeting.

The meeting underlined the urgent need for forces of struggle to unite and coordinate their efforts to defend and expand democracy.

The country is witnessing and bearing the brunt of the centralized, intensified offensive on part of the Modi Government and the Sangh Parivar on all hard-won rights and ongoing movements. Communal politics is threatening not only the rights and safety of minorities, but every vestige of existing democracy, diversity and harmony.

Draconian laws like AFSPA or UAPA, continued and intensified militaristic offensive against the country’s own people, the systematic impunity for perpetrators of custodial violence, and the muzzling of voices of dissent are all symptoms of a growing authoritarianism.

Caste violence and atrocities against dalits and adivasis continue to be rampant. Violence against women the offensive on women’s rights and freedom has acquired even more dangerous proportions, with such violence and such an offensive becoming an integral tool, both of state repression as well as of communal politics.

Imperialism, hand in hand with the country’s own rulers and corporate players, is attempting to erode the country’s freedom in all matters of foreign and domestic policy.

The fighting forces face the challenge of combating communal politics, defending people’s land, livelihood, and liberties, asserting and achieving the rights to equitable and affordable health, education and food as well as dignified employment, and asserting an alternative vision of pro-people development.

If times seem dark at present, hope continues to burn bright with the powerful, defiant, vibrant people’s opposition on the streets.

We feel that a broad, united, democratic platform of such struggling forces is the need of the hour. Towards forging such a platform, which may simply be called All India People’s Forum in English and Akhil Bhartiya Jan Manch in Hindi, we propose to hold a Conference in Delhi in early 2015. We appeal to all concerned organizations and individuals to actively participate in this endeavour. We shall dream, we shall fight, and we shall win!

-- ND Pancholi, Citizens for Democracy and PUCL, John Dayal, Binayak Sen (PUCL/MFC), Anil Sadgopal (AIFRTE), Mehr Engineer (AIFRTE), Sumit Chakravarty (Mainstream), Gautam Navlakha, Anand Teltumbde, Anand Patwardhan, Anil Chamadiya, Rajendra Chaudhary (academic and activist, Rohtak), Kavita Krishnan (AIPWA), SP Udayakumar,PMANE, Akhil Gogoi (KMSS), Dipankar Bhattacharya (CPIML Liberation), Vijay Pratap (Samajwadi Samagam), Dr Prem Singh, Socialist Party (India), Mangat Ram Pasla (CPM Punjab), Govind Chhetri (CPRM, Darjeeling), Rohit, Left Collective, KS Hariharan, Revolutionary Marxist Party (Kerala), Bhimrao Bansode, Lal Nishan Party Leninist (Maharashtra), Rajeev (Rihai Manch, UP), Md Iftiqar Alam (Insaf Manch, Bihar), Purushottam Roybarman, Secretary, Tripura Human Rights Organisation, Dr Laxminarayana (PUCL and Karnataka Kaumu Sauhardra Vedike), Gautam Mody (NTUI), Roma (AIUFWP), Md Salim (Inquilabi Muslim Conference), Om Prasad (AISA), Swapan Mukherjee (AICCTU), Ramji Rai (Samkaleen Janmat), Pranay Krishna (Jan Sanskriti Manch), Dhirendra Jha (AIALA), Col (Retd) Laxmeshwar Mishra, Radhika Menon (JSM, AIFRTE), Dr. Mongve Rongpi (United Movement for Autonomous State, Karbi Anglong), Kanwaljeet Singh (RYA), and others

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