To keep up to date with all Jan Sansad developments go to our JAN SANSAD BLOG
- PRESS RELEASE Wednesday, 21st March, Jan Sansad
- Resolution on Kudamkulam Police Action
- PRESS RELEASE Tuesday, 20th March, Jan Sansad
Why Jan Sansad?
- Voting once in 5 years does not make a Government of the people, by the people, for the people, a constant engagement with the people is necessary.
- The unholy nexus of Governments-political parties-bureaucrats, corporations and builders and intervening International financial agencies have launched an all out war against the toiling people of this country.
- People have to assert their right to life, livelihood and other resources for a just, equitable and sustainable living.
How will the Jan Sansad be constituted & who are to participate?
We feel that we ought to move forward from our time-tested programmes of Public Hearings, People’s Tribunals (this is no reflection on their efficacy) and organise ‘Jan Sansads’ (People’s Parliaments) in various parts of the country.
Our Jan Sansad is to be constituted by more than 500 people’s representatives. 67 % of whom are to be chosen by consensus or elected by struggling / affected / exploited / disadvantaged people, especially in areas threatened by resource-grabbing, foisting of various projects, displacement etc., ideally through their Gram Sabha or Mohalla Sabha or by the community groups. The remaining 33 % to be people’s representatives, academics, intellectuals, professionals, experts and others to be nominated by the movements and people’s groups struggling in those areas.
All individuals, concerned citizens, people’s movements, organisations, campaigns having belief in non nonviolent social and political change, secular, non-casteist and non-patriarchal politics shall participate in Jan Sansad.
What does Jan Sansad Stand for?
- Against corporate imperialism, militarisation, casteism and communalism.
- Against allowing public policy & legislation being decided by internal and external capitalist forces.
- For a transparently determined policy and democratic planning and the use of natural & national resources such as water, coal, oil, minerals.
- Bring together movements, organisations, campaigns, concerned citizens, affected people to assert themselves on issues of public interest.
- Communities’ control over land, water, forest and aquatic wealth, minerals, development planning and alternative development
- Inequity to be challenged by various classes like farmers, unprotected workers, fishworkers, forest workers, artisans, hawkers, labourers and urban poor
- Electoral politics and people – electoral reforms
- Corruption –wider perspectives and challenges
March 19 : Lokshakti Abhiyan Programmes discussion at three locations in Delhi
March 20th – 22nd : Jan Sansad on the key issues mentioned above
March 23rd: A mass rally of people coming from across the country. Finalisation and adoption of Jan Sansad Resolution amongst thousands [a session with political party representatives] and March to parliament
Session 1: Participating organisations and their representatives present / place before people important issues / challenges and their proposals for struggle in 2-3 hours.
Session 2: All those assembled together will engage in dialogue, debate, and negotiate solutions.
Session 3: Jan Sansad to evolve the collective view / opinion on the issues dealt with and chalk out future programme for struggle as well as reconstruction and pass resolutions based on possible consensus.
A People’s Plan of Development and Governance would emerge and resolution of local issues should raise confidence in the process and help refine it and perhaps endow it with durability. Such people’s plan would have visibility, profile and depth. A strategy and Action Plan giving impetus to selected / identified representative struggles focusing the country’s attention and effectively challenging existing decisions, projects, policies or laws, taking the battle to the ‘powers-that-be’, whether they are Governments or Corporations should be the result.
Our overall effort is directed towards creating a wider people’s movement, a wider family of activists connected with each other, which will aim at placing before the people an Alternative to the present polity which is anti-people in every respect. The attempt is also to create an ongoing people’s parliament which will hold its sessions in different places in the country and start dealing with the issues of the region and forge movement solidarities. It can become an alternative people’s political forum to bring the truly popular issues to the political agenda and challenge anti people policies to politics.
Scrap Land Acquisition Act and SEZ Act: ‘Jan Sansad’ demands ‘Sansad’
21 March 2012, New Delhi: It was the second day at the National People’s Parliament that has been taking place in Rajendra Bhawan, New Delhi’s. Attended by more than 350 people from across 20 states, the Jan Sansad debated two key issues during the day: 1) Agrarian Crisis & Food Security, 2) Assertion of People’s Politics, Democratic Governance and Electoral reforms.
In the context of ever-increasing numbers of farmer’s suicides and diversion of agricultural land for corporate interests, the Jan Saansads demanded that, laws and policies such as the Special Economic Zone and Land Acquisition Act, which aid the acquisition of fertile agricultural land for non-agricultural purposes, be scrapped with immediate effect. Various factors including reduced subsidies, increased use of pesticides and fertilisers, replacing indigenous varieties with genetically modified seeds and BT Cotton, and reduced access to resources such as water and power are making it financially unviable for farmers to continue cultivation. “The NSSO’s survey shows that in 2005-2006 40% of the farmers were willing to stop cultivation if provided with any other source of livelihood. What does it tell about a government that hires an American consulting firm to prepare the vision document for agriculture in India by 2020?” asked Lingaraj Pradhan from Samajwadi Jan Parishad, Odisha.
This model of development, where agriculture is at the bottom of the pyramid and the service sector is at the top, needs to be challenged and reversed. Dr. Sunilam from Kisan Sangharsh Morcha, Madhya Pradesh who strongly advocated against diversion of agricultural land, said the following, “The European model of viewing agriculture as a profit making business does not work in our country. Neither is it feasible to feed our population on imported grains.” It is inexcusable that even while taking land away from local farmers, the government is proposing that our farmers cultivate on land in Ethiopia. “The Indian Government is leasing lakhs of acres of land for as low as Rs.40 per acre per year in Ethiopia” said Chennaiah from the Agricultural Workers Union (APVVU), Andhra Pradesh.
The session on People’s Politics and Electoral Reforms discussed issues in electoral processes and alternatives. Public intellectual and analyst Yogendra Yadav reiterated that there has to be sufficient debate in the Parliament and outside before any bill is passed. Acts such as the AFSPA and UAPA have no room in a democracy. Representing the Campaign for Electoral Reforms in India (CERI), MC Raj pointed out the flaws in the electoral democratic process in India and asked for comprehensive reforms – and not just temporary improvements by the Election Commission. The political representation process has gotten so weak that only the rich and elite could even contest elections to the parliament and assemblies. The Jan Sansad also demanded a process where Gram Sabhas consent, through referendum, would be sought before passing of legislations.
The Jan Sansad observed silence for the sudden demise of Matanhy Saldana, Chairperson of National Fishworkers Forum (NFF), who passed away early in the day. Mr. Saldana had recently won the Assembly elections in and was appointed the Minister of Environment & Forests and Tourism, Goa.
Lok Shakti Abhiyan, National Alliance of Peoples’ Movement
For more details contact Media Team: Vijayan MJ: 9868165471 / Lakshmi: 9953775643
New Delhi, March 20 : We, the representatives of the social movements, trade unions and other civil society organisations attending the first Rashtriya Jan Sansad in Delhi today condemn the inhuman violent attack and arrest on the struggling groups at Idinthikara, Kudamkulam. This is a direct onslaught on the democratic rights of people who are non-violently fighting for protecting their rights to live. While the Prime Minister has maintained that the greatest danger to the Indian state is terrorism, there is zero respect for non-violent struggles of people’s movements for people’s livelihood.
Kudamkulam nuke plant will definitely affect the lives and livelihoods of the people living in that area. The radioactive particles leaked out will be harmful to the health of people and the environment of the marine system.’
If any accident, as in the case of Fukushima, happens that will destroy the lives and livelihoods of thousands of people. The cooling water released from the plant will increase the temperature of the seawater and will harm the marine life in the coast, hence the livelihood of the people.
Govt’s are highly undemocratic by installing such a highly destructive plant without considering the protest of local people. This action shows the real disaster of denying people’s right over development planning. This is clear violation of the principles of democratic decentralization. The officials could not provide satisfactory answers to the questions raised by the people. In the international context also Nuclear energy is not accepted by scientists and governments. Most of the countries who are depending on nuclear energy had changed their stand because it is highly expensive and risky. Nowhere in the world scientists could find a safe method to process or keep the nuclear wastes including the spent fuel.
The arguments raised by some technical experts that Russian VVER reactor is safe, is not acceptable to common peoples because even in Russia, there are many experts who had raised the concern of the safety of this reactor. After the disastrous accident at Fukushima, triggered by earthquake and Tsunami, even the nuclear lobby will not deny the high risks associated with the plant.
We demand both Union and State govts to withdraw all police actions, TN Govt. revoke the clearance, and close down the Nuclear Plant as demanded by the local people.
Currently Jan Sansad has decided to focus on this issue which is a symbol of misplaced development priorities of the country as well as the undemocratic manner in which such policies are implemented by the government in its March 23rd, 2012, protest at Jantar Mantar.
Protect land; fight for community rights – People’s flag over political flags: Jan Sansad
20 March 2012, New Delhi: The three-day Rashtriya Jan Sansad (National People’s Parliament) has been set in motion in New Delhi with 350 People’s Parliamentarians from 20 states across the country. The peoples’ parliament commenced with a reading of the Preamble of the Indian Constitution and an appeal to the citizens of India to come together to restore the true spirit of the constitution and the parliament.
The thematic issues that were covered during the day included 1) Community Rights over Land, Water, Forest, Minerals and Right to Development Planning & 2) Growing Inequity: unprotected/unorganised sector workers and labour issues along with price issues. The Saansads belong to diverse communities and geographical locations, thereby bringing to the Jan Sansad issues faced by different underprivileged, minority and discriminated communities. The issue of rampant acquisition of land and other natural resources emerged as one of the most crucial problems faced by natural resources based communities.
Hansraj Rana from Bhumi Bachao – Kissan Mazdoor Talmal Committee, Haryana said that the development agenda is focussed exclusively around industrial production, despite it catering mostly to real estate business. But this government does not understand that if they promote agriculture and primary industries, they would not only reduce the cost of development but also reduce environmental destruction. He stated that battle lines were clearly drawn between people who wanted to defend their land and a government who wanted to give land to the big companies. Protecting the land is a responsibility of the peasants, not just a right, he said.
Shantabai Kale from Mumbai spoke for the Rights of Slum dwellers. The slum dwellers occupy marshy lands and over the years they make the land liveable and then the same people are removed. In 2004, their slums were demolished rendering them homeless, till today they live on pavements. Kishori Das from Patna also talked about slums and the fraud around rehabilitation. He talked about government wasting huge sums of money to prepare Detailed Project Report (DPRs) but at the end the slums dwellers are not getting any benefit.
Jan Sansads coming from various states spoke on the community rights over natural resources, land, water, forests and also regarding the ‘growth’ agenda of the present Indian Parliament. It was pointed out that despite 65 years of independence, India had only a colonial law to displace citizens and nothing to provide rehabilitation or justice to affected people. S.C. Behar, former bureaucrat, from Chhattisgarh said that we need to have a Law on “Natural resources utilisation as per consensus of peoples Act”. Adv. Sanjay Parikh said that we should use the Directive Principles of State policies. Public intellectual and writer C.R. Neelakandan, referring to the struggles of Koodankulam and many others in the South, pointed at the systemic flaws involved in the development policy decision making process – as to who decides, what technology and who pays the price for the so called development model’. Justice (Rtd) Tewatia, said that things are not happening in the interest of the people. Everything is happening in collusion of politicians, bureaucracy, and corporates.
The second presidium had Nandlal Master, (Lok Samiti Varanasi), Kiran Shaheen, Swami Agnivesh, Gabriele Dietrich Pennurumai Iyyakam, Tamil Nadu) and Kamla Yadav (Narmada Bachao Andolan). The Panel consisted of Ranjeet, (Jan Jagran Abhiyan, Bihar), Santhosh Thorat, Tiwari, Leelavati, Jaishankar, Sandeep Pandey and Prof Madhu Prasad. The day also witnessed songs by Salsabel students (Kerala) and Asmita, a Delhi theatre group.
Rashtriya Jan Sansad
Ranjith Paswan, Bihar
Presidium, Jan Sansad
Janta Ki Awaaz
Lok Shakti Abhiyan, National Alliance of Peoples’ Movement
For more details contact Media Team: Vijayan MJ: 9868165471 / Lakshmi: 9953775643