Skip to main content

National meet in Ahmedabad to discuss corporate "loot": Gandhians, Marxists, environmentalists to participate

By Our Representative
A three-day national convention in “defence” of democracy, and to protect land, water, forest and livelihood” from alleged corporate “loot” will held on July 16-18 at Gujarat Vidyapeeth, Ahmedabad, a university founded by Mahatma Gandhi, amidst aborted Maharashtra home department "efforts" to identify well-known civil society bodies organizing it as Naxalite.
While Gujarat home department has reportedly denied it has received any intimation from the Maharashtra government that the organizers have Naxalite leaning, the organizers admit, their activities would be “closely watched”. Top organizer Ashok Shrimali of the Mines, Minerals and People (MMP) said, “One can very well gauge the character of the meet from the likely participants.”
To be held ahead of the monsoon session of Parliament, starting on July 18, state officials, meanwhile, privately concede, any clampdown on the organizers at this juncture would turn into a big political issue, inviting adverse comments on “Gujarat model”.
Shrimali said, “We have nothing to hide. Those who will address the meet include Gandhian experts, on one hand, and representatives of Adivasi organizations, on the other.”
Participants include KC Maradi, one of the most prominent associates of Jay Prakash Nayaran who was a pioneer of the total revolution; CPI-M politburo member and farmers’ leader Hannan Mullah; top sociologist Prof Ghanshyam Shah; Gujarat-based Gandhian tribal leaders Amarsinh Chaudhary and Ashok Chaudhury; well-known environmentalist Rohit Prajapati; Environics Trust’s R Sreedhar, who is an expert with the National Green Tribunal; and Aam Aadmi Party’s Gujarat convener Kanu Kalsaria.
Top organizations which will be taking part at the convention include National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM), a top civil rights apex body led by Narmada Bachao Andolan leader Medha Parkar; human rights NGO Indian Social Action Forum (INSAF); and and others.
Leaders of several farmers’ and agricultural workers’ such as Bharatiya Kisan Union and All-Indian Kisan Sabha, associated with the two Left parties, CPI and CPI-M, will also be participating in the meet, which will also be participating. Some senior members of Parliament, too, are likely to address the gathering.
Meanwhile, a note distributed to the proposed participants ahead of the meet accuses the Government of India of making it amply clear that “it is going to pursue the pro-corporate and anti-people policies of the previous dispensation with much more vigor, coercion, and rapid pace.” It adds, “The reality of ‘achchhe din’ stands exposed and the people’s aspiration for better life has been channelized to nefarious communal polarization.”
The note warns that the government is “allowing Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) not only in multi-brand retail but also in the defense sector; amending the existing labor laws to suit the industry”; is “diluting environmental laws to turn clearances into mere formalities; and even to amend the much flawed Land Acquisition Act brought by the previous regime in order to do away with the minimum relief it provided to the people.”
It warns, “Threats of corporate loot of natural resources as well as communalism are greatly undermining our democracy. Resistances by people and movements against the economic offensive will be met by an aggressive repressive regime as well as by extra-constitutional violent outfits supporting the regime. Even the judiciary will be weakened through various means and the corporate-controlled media will turn a blind eye.”

Comments

TRENDING

Why do I lend my support to voices protesting world class renovation of Gandhi Ashram?

By Martin Macwan* One would not expect an activist working on Dalit rights to join such a protest. Dalits carry unhealed trauma that Gandhi caused to Dr BR Ambedkar and the Dalit cause of effective political representation by using violent means of his own definition in the event of the Poona Pact. This apart, Gandhi’s ideas in general, which changed often, on caste were orthodox. I have nothing to add to the subject after the sharpest critique offered by Dr Ambedkar.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Inaccurate gender-relevant data 'spoiling' government policy on Covid social impact

By Simi Mehta*  The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has been different across vulnerable groups. They were hit by the pandemic at various stages, whether it was accessibility to medical treatment or financial support. The second wave witnessed human suffering at a level where one can never forget the traumatized faces of people due to the inaccessibility and unavailability of essential medical services such as hospitals beds and oxygen. The probability of the third wave has also been one of the major upcoming challenges.

Flamboyant 'demagogues' adjust politics, personality in shadow of democracy

Modi, Erdogan, Bolsonaro By Ajit Singh The terms dictators and demagogues are used interchangeably in various contexts, but there is a difference. The former rule over a totalitarian states where governments are able to exercise complete influence over every aspect of citizens’ life, whereas the latter are a "wannabe dictators" but due to the system of checks and balances they are are not fully capable to create police states.

Vindictive raids? Centre 'retaliates' after Delhi govt child rights body's clean chit to ex-babu

By Our Representative  Over 700 academics, advocates, activists, civil servants, writers, film makers, journalists, musicians and artists have condemned the raids by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on the offices and private home of top IAS bureaucrat-turned-human rights and peace activist Harsh Mander, stating, the aim is nothing but to “harass and intimidate” him.

Protests break out as school going children 'branded Naxalites, taken prisoners'

By Sheshu Babu* Conditions in all spheres of life is going from bad to worse. On September 13, Political Prisoners' Day was observed. On that day, Jatin Das, friend of Bhagat Singh and member of the Hindustan Republican Socialist Association, passed away after 63 days of hunger strike. He demanded 'political prisoners' status to those who have been jailed by the state.

Celebrating birthday amidst image of 'coerced, submissive' India ruled by a strong leader

Pushkar Raj*  As the weeks long birthday festivity of the leadership was being rejoiced India wide, the Covid was still raging in several parts of India. The carnival was in line with the post-Covid decisions and actions of the leadership demonstrating a pursuit of personal power and glory instead of national interest in times of disease and death.

Catholic women warn: Kerala Bishop turning Church into puppet in political games

Counterview Desk A group of Catholic women under the banner Concerned Catholic Women of India has said that they are deeply concerned over "a bishop’s controversial statement" which may threaten communal harmony in India. As many as 89 Catholic women from across India have urged the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India and its Kerala unit to take special steps to "foster peace and avoid strife."

No space for 2 lakh waste pickers in Delhi masterplan for next two decades: Study

By Our Representative  A new survey report prepared by the NGO Chintan Environmental Research and Action Group on the challenges faced by waste pickers in managing solid waste in Delhi, “Space for Waste - 2021”, has regretted that currently, there is no provision of workspace for waste workers, hence they carry out their work of segregation, repairing, and composting at different locations.