You have been witnessing and participating in / supporting the process of the National Alliance of People’s Movements over the past 22 years. Over the past 2 decades, the Alliance has challenged the communal, corrupt politics and constitutional violations and has also stood against the combined might of globalization, liberalization and privatization which has led to exploitation of the ecology and human communities. The Alliance has also come to represent the umbrella of peaceful struggles and reconstructive actions to preserve our resources, society and constitutional framework and move towards a truly pro-people and sustainable developmental approach.
Around 250 organizations and movements from 20 states of the country are involved in this process, who, along with raising their local issues have also been taking positions and playing an active role on many national issues in solidarity with other struggles and representing the strength of the non-party people’s politics, challenging the developmental model as well as the state of Indian ‘democracy’. The Biennial Convention is also an opportunity to take stock of our collective work in the past two years, deliberate on the future directions, strategies and programmatic actions as well as review and reflect on our roles, responsibilities and positions.
The country is on boil today. On the one hand, incidents of atrocities against dalits, adivasis and minorities across the nation is increasing and so is the obnoxious display of arrogance of the Sangh Parivar and its political benefactors – be it through ‘cow protection’ or hijacking of university spaces through ‘patriotism’. On the other, even as lakhs of oustees are yet to be rehabilitated since decades, economic policies promoting further displacement and livelihood loss for millions, leading to destruction of the agriculture and environment are being aggressively pushed and those who question this are being brutalized, even killed – the latest examples being Kaziranga and Hazaribagh. Even as much of the farming community is reeling under a serious agricultural crisis and drought, there is little relief to the farmers or progressive change in the policies. Kashmir, North-East or Chattisgarh, military rule is masquerading as democracy.
However, there are some rays of hope, amidst all the darkness. The befitting reply by the people of Bihar to the BJP in last year’s elections, Rohit Vemula inspired Dalit uprising across the country, brilliant response of the student community to the right-wing assault on campus spaces all over, the spectacular victories of the women tea workers and garment workers in Munnar and Karnataka, mass return of awards by progressive persons condemning rising intolerance, the resolve of farmers and workers to fight against various projects, leading to the defeat of Modi’s Land Ordinance, victories of the farmers of Sompeta and Singur as well as that of the adivasis of Lavasa – all of who got back their project-affected lands, are a few positive examples. The country is also witnessing a new wave and a multitude of initiatives for a pro-people progressive politics. The 11th Biennial Convention is being held in these challenging and opportune circumstances.
Along with these, many movements such as Narmada, Raigad, POSCO, Nandigram, Singur, Lavasa, Vedanta, Jobat etc. have also raised serious questions regarding the disparity, destruction and displacement caused by the current development paradigm. NAPM has also consistently questioned the livelihood crisis and injustice meted out to millions of adivasis and other farmers, fish workers, landless as well as the urban poor and unprotected workers. But since the last few years we have been witnessing with worry, the changing character of our country’s politics, moving in a really distorted and dangerous direction. This change was expected after the electoral victory of Narendra Modi-led BJP government along with their allies, but the developments all over are fast eroding the fundamental social and culturally diverse nature of India. The unity of the nation and constitutional guarantees are at stake.
Firstly, incidents like the lynching of Akhlaq in Dadri and the torture of dalits in Una in the name of cow-protection, aggressive saffronization of educational spaces are seriously jeopardizing the plural fabric of India.
Secondly, continued presence of and atrocities by the police, military and para-military forces in Kashmir, North East, Chattisgarh and draconian, undemocratic laws like the AFSPA are disintegrating India and her people, a large number being adivasis and minorities.. Besides, freedom of expression and dissent is being brutally crushed, leading to the recent spate of incidents at JNU, HCU, Murugan Perumal etc.
Thirdly, despite the agitations against SEZs across the country, Govt. of India is all set to go ahead with its Corporate Corridorization Plan, which would adversely affect 43.2 percent of the land and 60 percent of the country’s population. The Central and state governments of all political hues are laying the red carpet to mega national and multi-national companies, with license to loot the country’s labour and natural resources – lands, forests, rivers, mountains, mines and minerals. All of this would have extremely detrimental impacts on the livelihoods of millions of people and the ecology. The Govt. is even tweaking progressive and pro-people laws to suit corporate interests. There are a lot of examples of this Make-in-India development model.
The 11th biennial convention of NAPM is proposed in this context with the broad them of: Survival, Identity and People’s Movements.
The main discussion areas as of now include:
1. From Dadri to Una: Aggressive Hindutva politics, ‘Nationalism’, Annihilation of Caste, Attack on and Autonomy of University spaces, Communalism and Our Response.
2. From Kashmir to North-East: Self-determination, AFSPA-Militarization, Dangers to Democracy and Our Response.
3. From SEZs to Corridors: Corporate Onslaught, Resource Loot, Environmental Destruction, Challenges of Land Acquisition, Displacement and Rehabilitation; Water-Energy Management, State violence in tribal areas in the garb of ‘development’ and Our Response.
4. From Agri-Labour Crises to economic recession: Directionless state of Indian Agriculture, farm suicides, dilution of labour rights, undignified wages, distress migration, rising unemployment, social insecurity and Our Response.
5. From gender violence-injustice to assault on fundamental rights: Increasing violence on women and marginalized genders, socio-economic inequality and Our Response.
6. From Right to City to Smart Cities : Increased urbanisation, resource crunch, lack of basic services, housing rights, corporatisation of city governance, and our response
• Apart from these topics, there would be group discussions on other issues suggested by the organizations and movements associated with the NAPM; such as health, education, right to work, food, information, unorganized workers, combating intoxication, river linking, human rights issues etc.
• Since the convention is being held in Bihar, a Special Session on the Issues of Bihar.
• Election of the National Conveners Team for the next two years and Organizational issues.
• Future strategies and programmatic actions, along with exhibitions of the Sangharsh-Nirman of Andolans, screening of films and cultural programmes.
Besides dwelling over the contemporary concerns and challenges, the discussions at the Convention would be conducted with a resolve and commitment to hope for a better India.
We request you to kindly:
• BOOK your tickets immediately and send us confirmed details of your travel plans.
• UPDATE your individual / organizational membership and send us details of the total number of individuals / organizations attending the Convention from your city/district/state.
• COMPLETE the state convention and other organizational processes, elect the state conveners, organizers and nominate names for the Team of National Conveners.
• ASSIST us in raising funds, volunteering and spreading the word for the Convention.
• INFORM us in advance, in case you want to contribute in any way, host cultural events, display exhibitions. We shall surely try to accommodate these.
Looking forward to your presence at the Convention!
Medha Patkar, Prafulla Samantara, Arundhati Dhuru, Dr. Sunilam, Anand Mazgaonkar, Gabriele Dietrich, Geeta Ramakrishnan, Ramakrishnam Raju, P. Chennaiah, Suniti S.R, Kailash Meena, Amitav Mitra, Aradhana Bhargav, Prasad Bagve, Suhas Kolhekar, Lingaraj Azad, Bhupendra Rawat, Rajendra Ravi, Avik Saha, Krishnakant, Sr. Celia, V.P. Rukmini, C.R. Neelakandan, Richa Singh, Vimalbhai, Faisal Khan, JS Walia, Kusumam Joseph, Nandlal Master, Jabbar Singh, Madhuresh Kumar, Meera Sanghamitra, Mahendra Yadav, Kamayani Swami, Aashish Ranjan and others.
Contact:- Delhi: 9818905316 / 9971058735 | firstname.lastname@example.org | Bihar: 9973936658 | email@example.com