Skip to main content

Top civil rights body plans India-wide tour to "restore, protect" the values of Constitution, democracy

By Our Representative
The National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM), one of India’s largest civil society networks, is all set to begin a nation-wide march, Samvidhan Samman Yatra, meant to protect the basic tenets of the country’s Constitution, starting on October 2 in Dandi, Gujarat, and ending on December 10 in Delhi.
To be undertaken in three phases, the first phase from October 2 to October 15, would cover Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Vidarbha and Gadchiroli areas of Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh, while the second phase would be from October 20 to November 5, covering the rest of Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
The third phase, from November 11 December 10, would cover Jharkhand, Odisha, West Bengal, North Eastern states, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Haryana and Delhi. Kashamir is proposed to be covered between first and second phases, an NAPM note says.

Text of the NAPM note on the need for the Yatra:

People of any democracy are called upon to assert themselves once in a while. That assertion has to be more active than mere voting at elections. It has to ensure that the core values that we all cherish, those that the generations that fought for our freedom gave us through our Constitution are protected and nurtured to make the various pillars of democracy accountable to We The People.
Over the past 70 years, our democracy, based on our Constitution, has survived numerous elections as well as social, economic and political upheavals and has managed to sustain to this day, despite being beseeched with numerous challenges. However, the last four years of the political journey and churning in this country has in numerous and fundamental ways shaken the ethos and fabric, which many of us probably took for granted as secure.
In order to invisiblize its draconian, corporate-friendly, anti-people economic and political policy and to drown out popular awareness, questioning and resistance to the burning issues, the present Government and its ‘Parivar’ have used slogans, statements, diversion, obfuscation, brute force, troll armies, lynch-mobs etc. to misguide, dis-empower, attack, arrest, loot and even kill people, in particular Muslims and Dalits, repress farmers, workers, women, students and other sections, silence and jail (also shoot) academia, activists, writers, thinkers and anyone who dares question.
All this, even as multi-crore scams kept surfacing, multi-millionaires keep fleecing and fleeing the country under the nose of the Govt and thousands of crores of loans waived off for large corporates. Every day has thus been and become an undeclared Emergency! The blood and bruises of our people in Mandsaur, Toothukoodi and elsewhere are fresh in our minds! It is indeed a time of alarming fascist onslaught with lawlessness and impunity!
The agricultural distress is so overwhelming, the injustice against Dalits and Adivasis so gruesome, violence and mob-lynchings of Muslims so ubiquitous, the crackdown from primary education to universities and students so brazen, privatization of health, education, assault on reason and dissent and complete neglect and sell out of social sector, the persecution of women and transgender persons so atrocious, the big promises about jobs and black money so hollow, the supposedly big-bang attempts such as demonetisation and GST so upstartish and the attempts at destroying the pillars of democracy, our Constitution, our basic values and social fabric so systematic that, in spite of a pliant, sold out media and pressurised judiciary, the tide had to turn, and it has already started turning.
The Vibrant Gujarat Model has Utterly Failed. It is now increasingly becoming clear that neither bribe nor bullet nor bullet train can silence people for too long or prevent the harsh reality from expressing itself. The challenge before all sane and sensible people and groups of this country is to be able to cohesively forge a spirit of coming together, fight for alternatives in a concerted manner to the destructive, divisive and distorted regime ruling us, ruining us.
We have been witness to foul politics at play, bending democratic electoral processes and violation of constitutional norms in states of Uttarakhand, Manipur, Meghalaya, Delhi and Goa; subversion and hijacking of judicial processes, misuse of the investigating agencies and systematically eroding the credibility and legitimacy of every autonomous institutions in the country, even as every institution, every space is sought to be communalized.
The once reliable public banking system is no more bankable, they have been looted of crores of rupees by white collar criminals who are now safely out of the country and are leading a life of luxury in foreign countries. The textbooks, syllabus and the plural history is being re-written to build a vicious Hindutva narrative and the seeds of lies, disbelief, disdain and enmity are being sowed.
The progressive and people-oriented laws, enacted after decades of struggles by people’s movements whether on land, forests, environment, labour, right to information, anti-corruption, etc. are being amended to facilitate corporate loot, plunder of community resources and promote crony capitalism. The government is becoming the biggest violator of the parliamentary and constitutional democracy today and usurping the power, space of local governance bodies as well as smaller parties.
We are standing at crossroads and passing through a critical juncture in India’s history and have a historical responsibility to save and salvage the ethos of this country, to fulfill the dreams of social, economic and political justice that Dr Baba Saheb Ambedkar envisioned.
We all have an immediate responsibility to safeguard the constitutional values and principles of humanity, based on social justice, liberty, equality, fraternity, scientific and rational thinking in the social psyche to deal with all these political, economic, social, cultural challenges.
The need of the hour is to create understanding and tolerance in society, by peaceful, democratic and constitutional means. It is equally vital to aim for economic equity, social parity, environmental protection, sustainable development, the establishment of people’s rights over access to resources and annihilation of caste and patriarchy.
It is with this urgency and spirit that the NAPM has, after numerous discussions, planned a Samvidhan Samman Yatra – a nationwide tour to restore and protect the core values of our Constitution and democracy. The yatra shall commence on October 2, 2018 from Dandi, Gujarat, the place where Gandhi led his famous salt march in 1930. It will travel through various States in the country holding meetings, discussions, public events, supporting struggles, sharing the grief of victims of the violence and hate and spreading a message of plurality, love and peace and shall culminate in Jan Sansad in Delhi on 10th December 2018, the International Human Rights Day.
Representatives of peoples’ movements, prominent activists, thinkers, academics, cultural activists, students and others will participate. We invite other comrades, sathis, movements, institutions, organizations and forums to come along with us and endorse the yatra. Everybody who subscribes to the core values of the yatra is welcome to participate either for the full period of the yatra as well partially.

Comments

TRENDING

Hindus to be 'sent' to Kashmir? Despite Israeli settlements, peace eludes the region

By Anand K Sahay*
Curfew, news and communications blackout, transportation shut-down... News reports from Kashmir are worrying. So are the views relayed through the media, especially television. Old-fashioned repression seems to be consorting comfortably with expressions of concern “for our Kashmiri brethren”. We are looking at Orwell’s 1984 in the making.

Dholera 'inundated': Gujarat govt tries selling low lying area as top smart city site

Counterview Desk
Even as the Dholera Special Investment Region Regional Development Authority (DSIRDA) of the Gujarat government was busy organising a junket for Gujarat-based journalists for the area sought to be sold as an ideal special investment region (SIR) for industrialists, well-known farmers' activist Sagar Rabari has wondered why no investor has so far agreed to put in money in an area situated in Ahmedabad district along the Gulf of Khambhat.

Congress' anti-democratic laws led to Modi govt's 'Constitutional' changes: Scholars

Counterview Desk
A large number of academics* said to be belonging to several Indian and international institutions, even as taking strong exception to the Narendra Modi government's alleged move to amend the Constitution through "illegitimate" means, have taken strong exception to their colleagues in academia who we have become "all too accustomed to adopting a calculated silence in the face of such indignities."

Savarkar 'opposed' Bhagat Singh's, Netaji's dream of India, supported British war efforts

By Shamsul Islam*
In a shocking development, the student wing of the RSS put the busts of martyrs Bhagat Singh and Subhash Chandra Bose with Savarkar's on one pedestal at the University of Delhi late in the night on August 20, 2019. Bhagat Singh sacrificed his life for a socialist-democratic-secular republic and Netaji raised Azad Hind Fauj (INA) consisting of people of all religions and regions for armed liberation of India.

UN experts object to GoI move to 'reinforce' trend of prosecution, eviction of tribals

Counterview Desk
In a report sent to the Government of India, three United Nations (UN) special rapporteurs, expressing "concerns" over the failure to ensure "adequate" implementation of the India Forest Rights Act (FRA), have regretted that the Government of India has not cared to reply their previous communications on this.

Modi's Gujarati mind? Why govt move to 'sell-off' defence PSUs isn't in national interest

By Sandeep Pandey*
The Standing Committee on Defence, 2017-18, of the 16th Lok Sabha highlights the idea of Buy Indian-IDDM (Indigenously Designed Developed and Manufactured). The Committee expressed concern over the import content of equipments produced and developed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), Ordnance Factories (OFs) and defence Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) because of the dependence it creates for military hardware on foreign suppliers.

Can't go to court with RTI information, rule Ahmedabad authorities: Kankaria accident

By Pankti Jog*
In a shocking reply to an application filed by me, the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) authorities have said that the information provided under the Right to Information (RT) Act should be used in court or in a judicial process. The Act is known to be a major tool that enables citizens to seek certified copies of documents, records from any public authority of state and Central government within 30 days, as per provisions of the Act.

Central Gujarat effluent channel 'releasing' highly polluted industrial wastewater: PM told

Counterview Desk
Senior environmentalists of the Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti (PSS), Vadodara, Rohit Prajapati and Krishnakant, in an open letter to the Prime Minister, the Gujarat chief minister, the Gujarat chief secretary, and senior Government of India and Gujarat government officials dealing with environment, pollution and climate change have said that the authorities’ response their pleas to take action against the leakages and flow of polluted wastewater from the effluent channels of Central Gujarat industrial areas has met with complete inertia.

RTI Act holy cow for Govt of India? Official insists, don't ask why, when, what, where

By Pankti Jog*
The Government of India appears to have begun treating the Right to Information (RTI) Act as a holy cow. Its officials seem to believe that the Act is a sacred law, under which people shouldn't be questioning its functioning. One recalls what Prime Minister Narendra Modi said while addressing an RTI convention in 2015: “Why should government wait for people to ask information, we will have all information out in the domain, we have nothing to hide."

As submergence stares Narmada valley, Patkar says: With powerful in throne, we're helpless

Counterview Desk
Well-known anti-dam organization, Narmada Bachao Andolan (NBA), plans to begin its “Resist Illegal Submergence in Narmada Valley” satyagraha on August 21 at Jantar Mantar, Delhi, amidst news that the situation in the valley is “critical”, with two persons having already died in flood-related incidents in the upstream of the Sardar Sarovar dam.