Skip to main content

A new Left movement in the offing? NAPM wants "united action" of secular, socialist, progressive forces

By Our Representative
The National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM), India’s apex body of tens of mass organizations, ended its 10th Biennial National Convention in Pune with a promise to usher in a new Left-wing movement in India by calling for “united action” of “secular, socialist and progressive” forces to “combat the rising fundamentalist and fascist forces in the country.” The NAPM, in a statement did not, however, suggest which “progressive forces” it wanted to unite with, but said the new rule by “a fundamentalist-religious-corporate cabal” was seeking to against destroy India’s social fabric.
Calling for a “massive convergence” on December 2 in Delhi” to oppose NDA-proposed “changes” in the laws promulgated by the previous UPA government -- the new land Act, the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS), the forest rights Act (FRA) -- the NAPM stressed, the alternative was “to establish a democratic socialist politics in this country”, which faces “major challenges” when world capital was looking for “new markets” and was “hobnobbing” with the corporate and political elite in India “to establish crony capitalism here.”
Even as targeting the Modi government without naming it, the NAPM did not say with whom it would align with to oppose it. In fact, it suggested on the need for equidistance by saying that “in the last 20 years, two major political camps (UPA and NDA) have come in unison to implement the agenda of neo-liberal capitalism and most of the political parties have come to accept that.” Pointing out that “this needs to change”, it insisted, the main of the NAPM is to fight “neo-liberal economic policies, religious fundamentalism, patriarchy and casteism.”
A NAPM statement said, the its convention was held in the backdrop of brutal murder of three members of a Dalit family in Maharashtra’s Ahmednagar district; recent communal violence and frenzy in Delhi ahead of by-elections as seen as part of strategy of BJP in election bound states; and significant dilutions and proposed amendments in land and environmental laws to facilitate corporate loot of natural resources.”
Even as demanding “punishment for those responsible for the atrocities against Dalits and adivasis and bring changes in SC/ST Act making it more effective”, the NAPM demanded that the Centre should immediately stop “the increase in height of Sardar Sarovar Dam and the illegal construction of Statue of Unity without statutory clearances.” It also demanded that the government must take action against “illegal land grab by thermal power plants in Eastern Madhya Pradesh and other places.”
The NAPM stressed o the “need for protection for right to information (RTI) activists and punishment to those responsible for death of several RTI activists in past many years”, even as enacting the Whistleblowers Protection Act. It demanded stop to “illegal evictions in cities like Chennai, Mumbai, Hyderabad and implement Rajiv Awas Yojana”, ensure “fair prices for farm produce and appropriate compensation to farmers for crop failure due to natural disasters”, and “social security for migrant and unorganized sector workers.”
Insisting on “roll back changes to labour laws derecognizing right to form union and promoting hire and fire practices”, the NAPM demanded withdrawal of the new 'coal ordinance' which is in “complete violation of the recommendation of the Supreme Court judgment canceling the licenses given to many corporate houses.” It also demanded that the “government must recover huge loans given by the public sector banks to these corporations, who must not be allowed to default, nor be sanctioned new loans or allotted new coal blocks.”
Among those who were part of the Pune meeting included Medha Patkar, Aruna Roy, Dr BD Sharma, Dr Binayak Sen, P Chennaiah, Geetha Ramakrishnan, Sister Celia, Anand Mazgaonkar and Dr Sandeep Pandey. Senior activist from the Paryavaran Sukaksha Samiti, Krishnakant, represented Gujarat. Ending the meet, Patkar said, “In the next two years we must strive to put halt to the corporate plunder of land, water, forests, minerals, fightback brazen attack on secular and plural framework of society, on freedom of expression and criminalisation of dissent, and arrest the growth of fundamentalist forces.”

Comments

TRENDING

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

"Misleading" satellite images being shared on Balakot surgical strike on Jaish camp

By Dr Vinay Kate*
With every passing day more questions are being raised about the surgical strike India did in Balakot as a response to Pulwama attacks. So far the Indian media has claimed mass casulaty of 300+ terrorists of Jaish-e-Mohammad in this surgical strike, but there is hardly any report from foreign media about the same.

Extreme repression, corporate loot, cultural genocide "characterise" India's tribal belt

Counterview Desk
As Lok Sabha polls approach, there is considerable ferment in one section of the population -- India's Adivasis, forming about 8.6 per cent of India's population. Things became particularly critical following the February 14, 2019 Supreme Court order, allegedly seeking to evict lakhs of tribals from their forest lands.

Industry in India "barely growing", export growth 0%, whither moral anchors?

Counterview Desk
In a sharp critique of the Modi government, the Indian Institute of Management-Ahmedabad (IIM-A), one of world renowned economist Prof Kaushik Basu, who is Professor of Economics and Carl Marks Professor of International Studies at Cornell University, has told students at the IIM-A’s 54th Annual Convocation on March 16, 2019 that they have a “special responsibility” on their shoulders, “the responsibility to reject narrow sectarianism, uphold scientific thinking, openness to new ideas, and freedom of speech.”

Gujarat model? Industrial effluents "invade" borewells, discharge coloured water in farms

By Rajiv Shah
In a major embarrassment for Gujarat model, of the 21 samples taken by officials of the state government's environmental watchdog Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) in two villages of Vadodara district and analyzed by its laboratory in Gandhinagar, the state capital, to find out pollution level in groundwater, 16 were assessed as highly contaminated – these were, in fact, found to be discharging reddish, brownish, reddish, or yellowish water.

Refugees as criminals? US govt report blames Amit Shah for calling Bangladeshis termites

Counterview Desk
The chapter “Freedom of Movement” of the US State Department’s “India 2018 Human Rights Report”, released recently, has criticized BJP chief Amit Shah for terming alleged Bangladeshis who may be in Assam as “termites”, because their names were struck down from the list of National Register of Citizens, under preparation in the state.
Pointing out that four million residents were excluded from Assam’s final draft list, leading to “uncertainty over the status of these individuals, many of whose families had lived in the state for several generations”, the report regrets, the Indian law does not even contain the term “refugee,” treating refugees like Rohingiyas as “any other foreigners.”
“Undocumented physical presence in the country is a criminal offense. Persons without documentation were vulnerable to forced returns and abuse”, the report says.
Text of the Freedom of Movement chapter: The law provides for freedom of internal movement, foreign travel, emigration, a…

Congress would win just 9 of 26 Lok Sabha seats: Gujarat Assembly segment-wise analysis

By Rajiv Shah
Even as the Congress plans its first working committee meet in Gujarat on February 28 after an almost 58 year gap, there is reason to wonder what is in store for India’s grand old party in a state which has been long been a BJP bastion – in fact ever since mid-1990s. Ahead of the then assembly polls in late 2012, talking with me, a senior Gujarat Congress leader, currently Rajya Sabha MP, frankly said he saw no reason why Congress would win.

"Pro-corporate" Supreme Court order on FRA would further marginalize Adivasis

By VS Roy David, JP Raju*
For millions of Adivasis and other traditional forest dwellers February 13, 2019 will go down in history as the day of apocalypse. This is like the proverbial Black Friday where millions of most marginalized people of India were ordered by malicious anti-people draconian Supreme Court order depriving them the life and livelihood by evicting them from their habitats.

Financial inclusion? Not micro-loans; India's poor "need" investment in health, education

By Moin Qazi*
India has grown into a global powerhouse. Its economy is soaring but the picture on the ground is still quite arid. The green shoots that you see are only a patch of its landscape. Most Indians are hapless victims of inequity. India is one country where intense poverty abounds in the shadow of immense wealth.

India, Pakistan told to eliminate nuclear weapons: N-war "would kill" 2 billion

Counterview Desk
The International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), a non-partisan federation of national medical organizations in 64 countries, representing tens of thousands of doctors, medical students, other health workers, and concerned citizens, claiming to share the common goal of creating a more peaceful and secure world freed from the threat of nuclear annihilation, has warned that “an unprecedented global catastrophe” awaits the globe against the backdrop of warmongering in India and Pakistan.