(A summary of the charter released by the All India People’s Forum)
We want an India for the 99% And not for just 1%
DEAR friends, we, the people of India, are witnessing the Modi Government assaulting hard-won rights of India’s people, eroding and weakening democratic values and institutions, dividing the people on communal lines and emboldening communal-criminal elements, and sharply increasing corruption and corporate plunder.
This crisis for Indian democracy has roots in policies adopted by previous Governments as well: policies that promoted corporate plunder, weakened democratic institutions, and failed to uphold and promote Constitutional morality on a range of social questions including communalism, caste, and gender.
We the people of India, have not forgotten the promises that Narendra Modi made to come to power - and we will not forgive his Government for betraying them. We the people of India have kept accounts of all the broken promises and lies. The Modi Government has shamelessly compromised the interests of India’s people on every front, working to serve the PM’s corporate cronies and the Sangh Parivar’s divisive anti-Constitution agenda alone.
The election of 2019 must be an election to vote out the disastrous Modi Government and reclaim our beloved country. We also believe this election must be an urgent call for a new direction for India’s future: a direction that will empower and serve India’s 99% not merely the 1% super rich.
We, the people of India, have won rights and liberties in struggles with every Government of every hue. We are presenting our people’s charter - for the 2019 elections and for people’s movements. This charter will also continue to orient our struggles even after the 2019 elections. We want the Opposition in India to commit itself to this people’s charter - and to be sure that when they form Government, we, the people, will hold their Government, too, accountable to these demands.
Through this charter we would like to remind the people of this country of all the promises that Narendra Modi made in 2014. Through this platform we would like to reiterate our commitment to the struggles of the Indian people for a better and just future, for an equitable society where every individual can live with dignity and their voices be heard in a sensitive manner by those who govern. We are also committed to struggling not only for these rights, but for the democratic spaces where those struggles can thrive, be respected and heard.
The People’s Charter:
- Probe and punish those guilty for Rafale Scam, Note Ban Scam, scams in which Jay Shah, Vivek Doval and Piyush Goyal are implicated, PNB Scam, Srijan, Saradha and Vyapam scams; End NPA Scam - take exemplary action against all the defaulters on Rajan’s list of bank loan defaulters; ensure autonomy of the CBI, NSA, ED, CIC, CVC and other investigative and oversight agencies; Set up a strong Lokpal; roll back the dilutions of the Prevention of Corruption Act; Enact a law against Conflict of Interest; End the corporate plunder of natural resources, ensure payment of taxes by the super-rich and corporations;
- Reverse the Electoral Bond scheme and other measures by the Modi Govt to promote electoral corruption; ensure full transparency in electoral funding
- Impose a wealth tax and inheritance tax on the India’s richest 1%, which can fund budgets for public health and education of India’s ordinary people, end loan waivers and tax waivers for India’s super rich 1%.
- Curb prices of essentials, universalise PDS and distribute all essential commodities under PDS; delink PDS and other welfare measures from Aadhaar; prevent replacement of food rations by cash transfers
- Comprehensive implementation of MNREGA linking with agriculture for a minimum 250 days of employment per year. Ensure minimum wage Rs.500/day to agriculture workers and all rural workers. Extend the implementation of the Employment Guarantee Act to urban areas.
- Reverse the tide of unemployment: fill all 24 lakh vacancies in government posts, ensure jobs that are secure and dignified
- Introduce a common school system ensuring schooling of a uniformly excellent quality for every child in their own neighbourhood; free education from KG to PG; restore 200-point roster in faculty reservations; regulate private educational institutions and coaching centres; implement reservations faithfully; ensure campus democracy; set up GSCASH bodies; end curfews and gender discriminatory rules in women’s hostels; scientific, rational content in syllabi and reversal of saffronised textbooks that promote obscurantism and hate, ensure enough and affordable higher education institutions to end the competition over scarce seats
- Enact Law fixing accountability on the State for the prevention of communal hate crimes and anti-Dalit atrocities;
- Prevent dilution of, and strictly implement Forest Rights, CNT/SPT, and PESA Acts
- Enact 33% reservation Bill for women in Assemblies and Parliament
- Protect the Constitutional provision of reservations, roll back the Constitutional Amendment which allowed reservations on economic basis for sections that do not face social and educational oppression and discrimination.
- End militarisation of civilian areas in Kashmir and Bastar, ensure a political resolution of the Kashmir problem in keeping with the aspirations of the people of Kashmir
- Resist attempts to use NRC as a tool of exclusion and hate-mongering; End detention camps in all states
- Scrap draconian laws including Sedition, UAPA, NSA, AFSPA, MCOCA, free all political prisoners arrested under such laws