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

#MeToo moment in Hyderabad Urdu varsity? Two girl students seek action against authorities

Counterview Desk
Has the #MeToo movement reached Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MAANU)? It would seem so if a recent letter by newly-appointed chancellor Firoz Bakht Ahmed to MAANU vice-chancellor Dr Aslam Parvaiz is any indication. Seeking reinstatement of two girl victims of “sexual harassment and humiliation”, the letter specifically names head of the department of the Media Centre for Journalism, suspecting, the problem could be much deeper.
Text of the letter: It is a matter of utmost perturbation for me to receive the two representations from the girls studying in the MCJ (Media Center for Journalism) regarding their sexual and subsequently, mental and social harassment at the hands of Prof Ehtesham Ahmad Khan, the HOD, MCJ.
We do not know, how many girls have been exploited by him and preferred to be silent for saving their family’s honour; however, there are two brave girls who stood to the depraved advances and misuse by Prof Ehtesham and came up with written complai…

"Ineligible" funding of Sardar Statue in Gujarat: CAG tells Central PSUs, it's not a heritage CSR activity

By Our Representative
The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India, in its recent report on Central Public Sector Enterprises (CPSE), has qualified public sector undertakings’ (PSUs') funding the 182-metre world’s highest Sardar Statue, currently being constructed in the Narmada river downstream of the Sardar Sarovar dam as an “ineligible” corporate social responsibility (CSR) activity.

Gujarat BJP MLAs, youth leader "incited" attack on North Indians: Cong releases video

Counterview Desk
Senior Gujarat Congress leader Shaktisinh Gohil, currently in charge of Bihar and national spokesperson, All-India Congress Committee, has sent a legal notice to chief minister Vijay Rupani threatening criminal case and civil defamation suit for accusing him with "baseless statement" that he was responsible for attacks on north Indians in Gujarat.

29th "NRC-related" suicide in Assam, as Nirod Baran Das takes his life by hanging on a fan

By Our Representative
Reporting 29th case of National Register of Citizens (NRC)-driven suicide in Assam, one of India’s human rights campaign sites has said that, on October 20, tragedy struck Kharupetia town in Darrang district of Assam, when a retired school teacher and advocate Nirod Baran Das “took his life by hanging himself to a fan in his home.” The report adds, “The NRC process has so far claimed over two dozen such lives in the past four months alone.”

"Highly irregular" for PSUs to fund Sardar Statue under Corporate Social Responsibility

Counterview Desk
In a letter to I Srinivas, secretary, Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India, former secretary (economic affairs), Ministry of Finance, EAS Sarma, has raised questions on the funding of the Sardar Patel statue in South Gujarat by Central Public Sector Undertaking (CPSUs) relying on the Comptroller and Auditor General report (No 18/2018).

Murder of Tamil Nadu teenage Dalit girl: "Stoic silence" despite #MeToo movement

Counterview Desk
Brinelle D'souza, who is with the Centre for Health and Mental Health, School of Social Work, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, has prepared a strong statement to protest the brutal murder of 13-year-old Rajalakshmi. "Other than a few media reports, this gruesome killing has not caught national attention despite a very vibrant #MeToo campaign currently underway", regrets D'souza.

Post-MJ Akbar resignation: #MeToo movement and fears of backlash

By Sheshu Babu*
For the last few days, #MeToo movement has picked up momentum and many women are coming out with horrific tales of severe harassment in their past lives. They are not afraid anymore to expose famous persons including those at ministerial levels. As a senior journalist Neeraja Chowdhury opined (“An exit, a beginning”, October 18, 2018, indianexpress.com), "The #MeToo revelations are like the eruption of a volcano which was imminent, given the journey working women have covered. It was not easy to make public what they had gone through,and take on powerful men.”

Bank account frozen, raid on Amnesty office: Govt of India "treating" human rights NGOs like criminal enterprises

By Abhirr VP*
Amnesty India’s bank accounts have been frozen by the Enforcement Directorate, effectively stopping its work. Amnesty India is thus the latest target of the government’s assault on civil society in the country. The accounts of Greenpeace India were frozen earlier this month.

J&K Governor's rule: BJP's "failure" to go ahead with 44-plus strategy

By Syed Mujtaba Hussian*
Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) continues to witness cataclysm of events ever since the killing of editor-in-chief of “Rising Kashmir”, Shujaat Bukhari, followed by the BJP’s deliberated parting of ways with its coalition partner, People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and imposition of Governor rule.

NTPC's "poor" track record on workers' safety, whether permanent or on contract

Counterview Desk
A recent report, “The Dark Side of NTPC: A Critical Look at the Social and Environmental Footprints of NTPC”, traces the performance of one of the four Navaratnas which also happens to be a Fortune 500 company, the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), pointing out that, while it has played, for over four decades, “pivotal role” in India’s quest for development, this development was energy intensive and has caused “a plethora of negative impacts to people, environment and sustainability over the years.”