Skip to main content

Opposition parties, civil society unite, share platform in Lucknow at convention to mark anniversary of 1857 rebellion

By Our Representative
In an unusual show of anti-BJP unity, representatives from Congress, Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party, and Communist parties shared a civil society platform in Lucknow, where nearly celebrations took place began on May 10 to mark the 160th anniversary of India’s first war of Independence, 1857. They had gathered for a “national convention for safeguarding the Constitution”.
Party representatives who participated the meet, including Arvind Singh Yadav of the Samajwadi Party, Surendra Rajput of the Congress, Manoj Jha of the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Javed Raza of JDU, Lal Bahadur Singh of the UP Jan Manch, DP Tripathi of Nationalist Congress Party, Ashish Mittal of the CPI-ML, SP Kashyap of the CPI-M, and Asha Mishra of the CPI, pointing towards the need to “support” creation of combined resistance against BJP.
Welcoming the civil society efforts for the creation of common platform, the political leaders said, there is an “urgent need” to form a joint front against the politics of the BJP and its ideological parent, the RSS, along more democratic and secular lines.
Also Buddha Purnima day, the convention celebrated Gautam Budhha as a champion of human rights in ancient India, even as pointing towards the importance of Buddha in safeguarding the constitution and bringing together social movements across the country against the attack on their constitutional rights.
A communique issued by organizers of the convention said, “The initiative is a collective response to numerous instances of abuse of power, fascist, right-wing policies of the BJP-led central and state governments. The victory of the BJP in UP elections and the events that have followed require immediate attention of all progressive forces of the country.”
The convention saw Rakesh Bedi, renowned theatre artist of the Indian People’s Theatre Association (IPTA), noted social activist Teesta Setalvad, bureaucrat-turned-activist Harsh Mandar, Saharanpur activist Sanjay Garg, Varanasi activist Deepak Mallick, student leader Ramkaran of the Allahbad University, Lal Bahadur Singh and Rooprekha from Sanjhi Duniya, discuss participation of youth in politics.
Speaking on the occasion, young Samajwadi Party leader Richa Singh spoke at length on how attacks were taken place against public-run institutions higher learning such as Delhi University, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Hydebarabad Central University.Singh said, hew Universities Grants Commission guidelines cuts up to 85% of seats at M Phil and PhD.
Ramkaran, student leader and activist pursuing law at the Allahabad University threw light on the systematic targeting of Dalit and other marginalized community students.
Other speakers agreed on what they called “unprecedented attack on the constitutional rights by the BJP.” Issues discussed included the communally divisive agenda of BJP, blatant saffronization, autocratic, non-democratic methods of working, abuse of power, anti-poor, pro-corporate economic policies, stoking of communal tensions and hypocritical u-turns of the Modi government at the Centre.
There was sharp focus on the rise of cow vigilantism, on one hand, and 'depoliticisation' of the youth in the country, on the other, with speakers stressing on the need for mass level political education, especially of the youth, on principles of Constitutionalism, rule of law and the historical learning experiences of national movements.
Participants questioned the Prime Minister’s silence on most of the issues, whether it was demonetization, land reforms, train ticket price hikes, scaling down of health and employment opportunities, and so on.
Mandar said while one can fight against anti-people discriminatory policies of the government, the silence of people and fellow citizens against injustice, such as the mob attack,s was harder to accept. Pointing towards the 'India Exclusion Report' published by Mr. Mandar's organisation, which is to be released on May 12, he added, it has carefully scrutinized the adverse impact of the BJP's strategy of 'social engineering'.

Comments

TRENDING

Vaccine nationalism? Covaxin isn't safe either, perhaps it's worse: Experts

By Rajiv Shah  I was a little awestruck: The news had already spread that Astrazeneca – whose Indian variant Covishield was delivered to nearly 80% of Indian vaccine recipients during the Covid-19 era – has been withdrawn by the manufacturers following the admission by its UK pharma giant that its Covid-19 vector-based vaccine in “rare” instances cause TTS, or “thrombocytopenia thrombosis syndrome”, which lead to the blood to clump and form clots. The vaccine reportedly led to at least 81 deaths in the UK.

'Scientifically flawed': 22 examples of the failure of vaccine passports

By Vratesh Srivastava*   Vaccine passports were introduced in late 2021 in a number of places across the world, with the primary objective of curtailing community spread and inducing "vaccine hesitant" people to get vaccinated, ostensibly to ensure herd immunity. The case for vaccine passports was scientifically flawed and ethically questionable.

'Misleading' ads: Are our celebrities and public figures acting responsibly?

By Deepika* It is imperative for celebrities and public figures to act responsibly while endorsing a consumer product, the Supreme Court said as it recently clamped down on misleading advertisements.

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Magnetic, stunning, Protima Bedi 'exposed' malice of sexual repression in society

By Harsh Thakor*  Protima Bedi was born to a baniya businessman and a Bengali mother as Protima Gupta in Delhi in 1949. Her father was a small-time trader, who was thrown out of his family for marrying a dark Bengali women. The theme of her early life was to rebel against traditional bondage. It was extraordinary how Protima underwent a metamorphosis from a conventional convent-educated girl into a freak. On October 12th was her 75th birthday; earlier this year, on August 18th it was her 25th death anniversary.

Palm oil industry deceptively using geenwashing to market products

By Athena*  Corporate hypocrisy is a masterclass in manipulation that mostly remains undetected by consumers and citizens. Companies often boast about their environmental and social responsibilities. Yet their actions betray these promises, creating a chasm between their public image and the grim on-the-ground reality. This duplicity and severely erodes public trust and undermines the strong foundations of our society.

'Fake encounter': 12 Adivasis killed being dubbed Maoists, says FACAM

Counterview Desk   The civil rights network* Forum Against Corporatization and Militarization (FACAM), even as condemn what it has called "fake encounter" of 12 Adivasi villagers in Gangaloor, has taken strong exception to they being presented by the authorities as Maoists.

Mired in controversy, India's polio jab programme 'led to suffering, misery'

By Vratesh Srivastava*  Following the 1988 World Health Assembly declaration to eradicate polio by the year 2000, to which India was a signatory, India ran intensive pulse polio immunization campaigns since 1995. After 19 years, in 2014, polio was declared officially eradicated in India. India was formally acknowledged by WHO as being free of polio.

No compensation to family, reluctance to file FIR: Manual scavengers' death

By Arun Khote, Sanjeev Kumar*  Recently, there have been four instances of horrifying deaths of sewer/septic tank workers in Uttar Pradesh. On 2 May, 2024, Shobran Yadav, 56, and his son Sushil Yadav, 28, died from suffocation while cleaning a sewer line in Lucknow’s Wazirganj area. In another incident on 3 May 2024, two workers Nooni Mandal, 36 and Kokan Mandal aka Tapan Mandal, 40 were killed while cleaning the septic tank in a house in Noida, Sector 26. The two workers were residents of Malda district of West Bengal and lived in the slum area of Noida Sector 9. 

India 'not keen' on legally binding global treaty to reduce plastic production

By Rajiv Shah  Even as offering lip-service to the United Nations Environment Agency (UNEA) for the need to curb plastic production, the Government of India appears reluctant in reducing the production of plastic. A senior participant at the UNEP’s fourth session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC-4), which took place in Ottawa in April last week, told a plastics pollution seminar that India, along with China and Russia, did not want any legally binding agreement for curbing plastic pollution.