Skip to main content

Patna civil society meet seeks anti-BJP joint action with political parties to fight against "undeclared" emergency

Jignesh Mevani at NAPM meet
By Our Representative
The National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM), India's premier apex body of several mass organizations, has called for an urgent coordination between India's different people's movements and political parties in order to fight against what it called “increasing attacks on freedom of expression” by the Narendra Modi government.
The three-day NAPM annual meet at Patna's Anjuman Islamia Hall, which began on December 2 with its main leader Medha Patkar saying that political parties were becoming increasingly “opportunistic, exclusive and anti-poor”, ended on December 4 seeking political support in the presence of several non-BJP leaders.
Among politicians who shared the NAPM meet included Jharkhand's ex-BJP chief minister Babulal Marandi; Janata Dal (United) spokesperson KC Tyagi, known to be close to Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar; representatives of Left parties of different shades, including the CPI, CPI-M, CPI-ML; and from representatives from different mass organizations.
No Congress leader was present at the meet. It is not known if any of them were called. More than 1,000 representatives from 200 organizations from across 20 states participated in the meet, whose main theme was Save Natural Resources, Constitutional values, and Principles of Equality and Justice.
Patkar asked the gathering to gear up not just to “fight the battles” for lands, forests, and rivers, but also be prepared for “larger ongoing struggles the world over”, citing how unity of different forces has helped score some successes in land rights in Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha and the Narmada valley in Madhya Pradesh.
She stressed, there was a greater need to coordinate for the struggle for “self-determination in Kashmir, the fight for transparency and accountability, and Dalit students movements across campuses”, adding, “The younger generation is rising and speaking up. We old ones should learn to sit back and gave them space, they are not a force that can or should be stopped.”
Teesta Setalvad
Once part of the Sangh Parivar, Marandi, who left BJP in 2006 to form Jharkhand Vikas Morcha, said he came from the “same political school as that of Modi” and knew it did not have “anyone who could understand people's problems” related with the “loot of natural mineral resources in Jharkhand.”
Tyagi stressed on the need to “open a dialogue between democratic political parties and people's movements”, even as pointing towards how efforts were being made to “create an atmosphere of discord by spreading communal hatred”.
CPI-ML general secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya said, efforts were being made to bring an end to “all types of freedom”, seeking “a common programme on which political parties and people's movements”. CPI's Shameem Faizi and CPI-M's Avdhesh Kumar said there was a need to save the Constitution, which is under stress.
Eminent human rights activist Teesta Setalvad, who is the target of attack of the Gujarat government following her major successes in legal battles in several 2002 communal riots cases, said there is an “undeclared emergency” in India against the “marginalised groups, such as women, Muslims, Dalits and adivasis with weapons like gauraksha, love jihad, and ghar wapsi.”
Gujarat's top Dalit rights activist Jignesh Mevani said there was a “parallel between Mohammad Ayub’s murder by cow vigilantes in Ahmedabad recently that of Akhlakh’s lynching in Dadri, the public shaming and beatings of Dalit youth in Una and extra judicial killings in Bhopal, the unresolved disappearance of Najeeb”, adding, all this reminded one that of “the unholy trinity of BJP, RSS, ABVP are the biggest internal security threat in the country today.”
The NAPM ended with the formation of a new coordination committee, with Patkar as the veteran adviser.
Those in the team included Bihar's Ashish Rajan, Dorothy Fernandes, and Mahendra Yadav; Kerala's SV Venugupal and Vijay Raghav; Delhi's Nanu Prasad and Faisal Khan; Jharkhand's Jamyanti Barla; Odisha's Lingraj Azad; Bengal's Amitabh Mitra; Gujarat's Krishna Kant; Maharashtra's Suhas Kohelkar; Rajasthan's Kailash Meena; and UP's Richa Singh, Vimal Bhai, Dr Sunilam, Madhuresh and Meera.
Special invitees included Kavita Shrivastav, Arudhati Dharu, and Kala Das.

Comments

TRENDING

Modi, Shah 'forget': Gandhi’s first Satyagraha was against citizenship law of South Africa

By Nachiketa Desai*
Hindu fanatic Nathuram Godse assassinated Mahatma Gandhi once on January 30, 1948 but his followers raising the war cry of ‘Jai Sriram’ are killing the Mahatma every day. In his home state of Gujarat, Gandhiji was killed a thousand times in 2002 when over 2,000 Muslims were butchered, their women raped, homes and shops plundered and set on fire and even unborn babies ripped out of the wombs of their mothers.

Union Budget 'moves away' from Right to Education, 1.3 lakh schools closed down

By Dr Aparajita Sharma*
It was a shocking reply by the Union human resource development minister to a question raised in Parliament on closure of schools in a country where lakhs of children are still out of school. On December 2, the minister, Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, told Lok Sabha that the NITI Aayog’s education project, Sath-E, has led to 35,996 schools of different levels being merged in Madhya Pradesh, 4,312 in Jharkhand and 1,803 in Odisha. NITI Aayog is the Central Government’s policy think-tank.

CAA-NPR-NRC will 'target' 99% homeless, who are without birth certificates: NCU

Counterview Desk
Claiming to base on a survey in five states (Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu), which finds that over 99% of the homeless people do not have birth certificates, a civil rights organization which networks activists, researchers, urban practioners, lawyers, informal sector workers, has claimed that the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), as also the proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the National Population Register (NPR), are likely to adversely impact this section the most.

Modi 'warned': Will not remain silent when women are labelled terrorists and traitors

Counterview Desk
As many as 13 women's rights organizations and 162 individuals have issued an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi stating that in the light of hate speeches during Delhi elections, especially directed against women, it is his "Constitutional duty to protect all citizens" and tell his partymen "to fight the elections in a manner that upholds the Constitution, not one that increases the fear and insecurity among women."

Law 'governing' world's tallest Statue of Unity refers to local tribals as occupiers

By Rohit Prajapati, Krishnakant*
The recently enacted Statue of Unity (SoU) Area Development and Tourism Governance Act, 2019 in Gujarat comes amidst a terrifying atmosphere of intimidation, house arrests, detentions and FIRs, not to mention the overarching implementation of Section 144 across the state.

Trump in Ahmedabad: Did Modi display servile colonial mindset towards gora sahib?

By Rajiv Shah
Donald Trump left Ahmedabad for Agra to "enjoy" the Mughal monument Taj Mahel in the afternoon on Monday, leaving behind scores of huge billboards standing across the megacity showcasing larger than life images of the US president and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, some of them boldly captioned: “Two strong leaders of two strong democracies”.

Ramchandra Guha on how Gandhi outgrew his Gujarati bania 'parochialism'

By Rajiv Shah
More than a fortnight ago, prominent historian Ramchandra Guha, who calls himself Gandhi scholar and not a Gandhian, came to Ahmedabad. While I was part of a small group of persons who met him at lunch, his lecture on Gandhi in the evening, where he sought to interpret what swaraj meant to Gandhi, surely, interested the selected audience that had been called to listen to him.

Union Budget: 24 crore people live in the dark, Sitharaman talks of prepaid smart meters

Counterview Desk
The Centre for Financial Accountability (CFA), a Delhi-based advocacy group, commenting on the Union budget 2020-21, has has called it a case of missing wood for the trees, pointing out, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman "missed an opportunity to fix the economy, which is reeling under an unprecedented slowdown, with all indices pointing towards a recession."

Ironical? Hindutva is all 'fire and spite', as Muslim women become apostles of peace

By Sandeep Pandey*
On January 26, Republic Day, 2020, while protests simmered against Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) throughout India, a dozen North American cities also witnessed historic protests. Indian Embassies have been witness to protests in the past. But this time it was different.