National Alliance of People’s Movements
Struggle Against Injustice and Discrimination
Assertion of Rights and
Reconstruction Towards Sustainability and Self-reliance
National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) started as a process in 1992 amidst the impact of Ayodhya incidence and globalization spree and took a definite shape in 1996 after a long national tour of 15 states by senior activists.
It is an alliance of progressive people’s organisations and movements, who while retaining their autonomous identities, are working together to bring the struggle for primacy of rights of communities over natural resources, conservation and governance, decentralised democratic development and towards a just, sustainable and egalitarian society in the true spirit of globalism. We stand against corporate globalisation, communalism and religious fundamentalism, patriarchy, casteism, untouchability and discrimination of all kinds. We believe an alliance emerging out of such a process with shared ideology and diverse strategies can give rise to a strong social, political force and a National People’s movement. In its quest for a larger alliance, beyond the people’s movements, NAPM also reaches out to integrate various civil society organisations and individuals working towards similar goals.
NAPM provides a forum for coming together of numerous vibrant strands of ideologies. In its own programmes, actions and conceptualisation of development perspectives on emerging paradigm of sustainable development, equity, freedom, justice and peace NAPM draws from the ideas of Gandhi, Ambedkar, Marx, Lohia, Phule, Periyar and others.
The focus of NAPM is to develop linkages across the various sections of dalits and other backward castes, minorities, adivasis, unprotected workers, labouring poor, as well as sensitive intellectuals and other professionals. NAPM has gained strength and made significant impact through its allies – the organization of fishworkers, farmers, farm labourers and forest workers, dam affected and development induced displaced, hawkers and construction and domestic workers, and other oppressed women and youth across all classes struggling for annihilation of caste system to various organisations challenging imperial global powers like the WTO, IMF, World Bank and other IFIs; and national, international and global MNCs that cause privatisation of services and forced acquisition and exploitation of agricultural lands, rivers, forests, minerals and other natural resources.
The New Economic Policy which started in early 90s has captured the imagination and practice of all major political parties – national or regional and a thriving middle class to the detriment of nearly 80 percent of the toiling masses – the real producers and the backbone of the nation. The dictum of ‘There is No Alternative’ continues to dominate but we have struggled at various fronts to keep reaffirming our vision and plan for a just, appropriate and sustainable development and proclaim that ‘Another World is Possible !’. We continue to strive towards evolving spaces, processes and initiatives where communities can take the initiative, dictate and control over the natural resources through local to national struggle as an endeavour outside of narrow electoral politics.
In the name of development and industrialization, the State continues to bring in new unconstitutional and anti-people enactments and policies like the SEZ Act. We challenge the weak Unorganised Workers Social Security Act, JNNURM, Nuclear Liability Bill, and regressive amendments to Urban Land Ceiling Act, Land Acquisition Act, and Mining, Labour, Coastal, Urban Development and Environmental laws. All these have together not only led to massive evictions but exploitation of land, forest, water, minerals etc. natural resources at the cost of the urban and rural poor and had serious socio- economic and environmental impacts. The slum dwellers in the dilapidated chawls, fishworkers in the coastal region, farmers, dalits, adivasis, and artisans in rural and tribal areas and all the unorganised sector workers are left without space, physical to political. The right to life, livelihood and participation in the development planning process is denied to all these communities. The corporatisation and related privatisation of social services and infrastructure with support and interventions of global, multilateral and bilateral financial institutions like the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, USAID, JBIC, DFID etc. has been joined by the National Banks and financial institutions. We demand and struggle for a comprehensive policy which recognises the access to drinking water, housing, power, education and health of every individual as the fundamental right enshrined in the Constitution.
Striving for radical change, NAPM works to influence appropriate processes of democratic development planning, choice of technology and justice in the distribution of development benefits. NAPM promotes the use of alternative technology in water, energy, housing, farming and other sectors, towards building self-reliant lifestyles and communities. It cares for the environment to protect our livelihoods, climate and future generations.
NAPM allies undertake struggle against injustices of all kind and simultaneously engage in constructive thought and work consciously as part of multi pronged strategy towards its goal of building a more humane world for every living being on the Planet.
Our fundamental concerns today are:
- the uncontrolled growth of obscene wealth on the one hand, and the widening disparity, debt, hunger and suicides on the other
- paradigm of market oriented development-induced displacement, privatisation and destruction of national and natural resources
- development & economic policy being dictated by the unholy nexus of corporates and investors and the consequent loss of sovereignty of nation and people.
- the unanimity among mainstream political parties of all hues on economic policy, and the absence of a real alternative
- the abuse of people’s mandate by legislations such as the SEZ Act, Land Acquisition Act, Nuclear Regulatory Bill
- the vicious cycle of State violence countered by militant violence in various parts of the country and consequent shrinking of democratic space
In the existing political scenario, NAPM has to stand out as a unique force in people’s politics. It challenges the present corrupt, criminal electoral politics in India and strives for electoral reforms. The total surrender of the statutory system to global powers and divisive agenda is seen by NAPM as a blow to the democracy and sovereignty of our nation. It is imperative that we should truly bring about the people’s sovereignty. We must fight the global imperialism and religious fundamentalism as the dual enemy that attacks people’s right to life and livelihood. The alternative paradigm NAPM propagates is based on a vision of equity, simplicity and self reliance.
The process of bringing together movements and evolution into a national movement continues unabated through nation-wide campaigns like Desh Bachao, Desh Banao (Save the Nation – Build the Nation),and Action / Sangharsh 2007. We continue to join hands with movements and sectoral alliances beyond the fold of NAPM and take forward the struggle against state violence unleashed directly in the form of police repression through draconian laws like AFSPA, UAPA etc. or more specifically through Operation Green Hunt or indirectly through various structural and systemic neo-liberal policies.
We appeal to all like-minded organisations and concerned people to join our struggle striving for a world of equity, peace and justice, informed by the vision of a casteless, feminist and participatory eco-socialism.
You are invited to actively participate in this nation building effort. NAPM welcomes you to be an ally of people’s movements, struggles and reconstruction, and be active contributors through your skills, knowledge, funds and other resources towards a collective people’s movement across India.