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

India under Modi among top 10 autocratizing nations, on verge of 'losing' democracy status

By Rajiv Shah
A new report, prepared by a top Swedish institute studying liberal democracy, has observed that there has been a sharp “dive in press freedom along with increasing repression of civil society in India associated with the current Hindu-nationalist regime of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.” The report places India among the top 10 countries that “have autocratized the most”. Other countries that have been identified for rolling towards autocracy are -- Hungary, Turkey, Poland, Serbia, Brazil, Mali, Thailand, Nicaragua and Zambia.

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam*
RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Border conflict? RBI nod India's 'brotherly' help to China internationalise its currency

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*
In the middle of a global pandemic, China started an unprovoked border conflict with India. It unraveled trust deficit and ties between the two neighbours. As thousands of Chinese troops tried occupying Indian territory, the Narendra Modi-led BJP government directs the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to allow the Bank of China to start regular banking services in India. The Bank of China will now operate in India like any other commercial banks.

RSS supremo Deoras 'supported' Emergency, but Indira, Sanjay Gandhi 'didn't respond'

By Shamsul Islam*
National Emergency was imposed on the country by then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi on June 25-26, 1975, and it lasted for 19 months. This period is considered as ''dark times' for Indian democratic polity. Indira Gandhi claimed that due to Jaiprakash Narayan's call to the armed forces to disobey the 'illegal' orders of Congress rulers had created a situation of anarchy and there was danger to the existence of Indian Republic so there was no alternative but to impose Emergency under article 352 of the Constitution.

Letter to friends, mentors: Coming together of class, communal, corona viruses 'scary'

By Prof (Dr) Mansee Bal Bhargava*
COVID greetings from Ahmedabad to dear mentors and friends from around the world…
I hope you are keeping well and taking care of yourself besides caring for the people around you. I’m writing to learn how is the science and the society coping with the prevention and cure of the pandemic. I’m also writing to share the state of the corona virus that is further complicated with the long-standing class and communal viruses.

Clean chit to British rulers, Muslim League? Karnataka to have Veer Savarkar flyovers

By Shamsul Islam*
The BJP government of Karnataka led by BS Yediyurappa is going to honour Hindutva icon VD Savarkar by naming two of the newly built major flyovers in Bangalore and Mangalore after him. There was a huge uproar against this decision of the RSS-BJP government as many pro-Kannada organisations with opposition parties and liberal-secular organizations questioned the logic to ignore so many freedom fighters, social reformers and others from within the state.

Hurried nod to Western Ghat projects: 16 lakh Goans' water security 'jeopardised'

Counterview Desk
Taking strong exception to "virtual clearances" to eco-sensitive projects in the Western Ghats, the National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) in a statement has said urged for a review of the four-lane highway, 400 KV transmission line and double tracking of the railway line through the Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary and Mollem National Park in Goa.

Disturbing signal? Reliance 'shifting focus' away from Indian petrochemical sector

By NS Venkataraman*
Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), a large Indian company, has expanded and grown in a spectacular manner during the last few decades, like of which no industrial group in India has performed before. RIL is now involved in multi various activities relating to petroleum refineries, petrochemicals, oil and gas exploration, coal bed methane, life sciences, retail business, communication network, (Jio platform) media/entertainment etc.

Case for nationalising India's healthcare system amidst 'strong' private control

Counterview Desk
A draft discussion note, prepared by Dr Maya Valecha, a Gujarat-based gynecologist and activist, sent to the People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) as also a large number of activists, academics and professionals as an email alert, is all set to create a flutter among policy experts for its strong insistence on nationalizing India’s healthcare system.