Delhi Solidarity Group, 26 June 2008
More than 200 people join the protest march from Shaheed Park to Red Fort and hold a public meeting
New Delhi, June 26 2008 : Remembering the Black Day of June 25/26th 1975 when a State of Emergency was imposed by the Indira Gandhi Government suspending all civil liberties, curtailing freedom of press, powers of judiciary and incarcerating any opposition to her rule, today more than 200 people from various unauthorized colonies, informal sector workers, social workers, and others marched under the banner of NAPM, Delhi (National Alliance for Peoples Movement) and declared that the moment of siege has not ended and India is in a state of emergency. Apart from the prevailing repressive conditions elsewhere in the country, in Delhi, we are witness to demolitions of slums, increasing difficulties for common people, informalisation of labour, inflation, difficult living conditions and worst of all protests by victims of Bhopal on the streets entering now the fifth month along with an indefinite hunger strike for 15 days.
The meeting was attended by the activists of Rashtriya Kamgar Federation, Rashtriya Gharelu Kaamgar Sangathan, Jan Sangharsh Vahini, NAPM Delhi, Sangharsh, Lok Raj Sangathan, Delhi Solidarity Group, CACIM, Delhi Forum, INSAF, IDS and others.
Speaking at the public meeting at Red Fort Bhupinder Singh Rawat of Jan Sangharsh Vahini said, “Democracy in India is alive not because of the parliament and judiciary but because common struggling masses who in their quest for justice have time and again shown their faith in the democratic values best epitomized in the Constitution. In the troubled times when we are witnessing this siege, its upon us to work towards reclaiming our right to live in harmony, enjoy the freedoms, dissent and debate without fear and voice our protests at every nook and corner in the city. We stand opposed to the demolitions of unauthorized colonies, harassment of the urban working class poor and are committed to resisting the designs of the government and fighting for the rights of housing and other basic amenities for the urban poor.”
Madhuresh Kumar of NAPM Delhi explaining the today’s programme said, “the peoples movement are particularly concerned about the increasing legitimization of a skewed and distorted form of technocratic and capitalist development from all quarters of the State, which is further passed off as India – Shining, glowing, glittering by political manipulators and the media megaphones. More than ever we are living in a ‘police state’ today where human rights defenders, artists, and those fighting for the justice have to bear the brunt of state’s oppression. The laws like AFSPA, CSPSA, NSA etc. continue to harass and terrorise its own citizens all across India including J&K and North East.” He further added that quite unlike 1975, we are now in a real crisis-situation where the State has unleashed a kind of a war on the common people of this land, be they farmers, fisherpeople, factory workers, Adivasis, Dalits or women. That is borne out by untold violence and atrocities perpetrated on the people of Nandigram, Nandagudi, Kalinganagar, Raigadh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, slums of Mumbai, Delhi and other cities, the farmers’ suicides, displacement and dispossession of traditional communities across the country.”
Rajendra Ravi a national convener of NAPM explained that in such a scenario the citizen-announced ‘Emergency’ calls for the following code of conduct to be followed (measures that would be reverse of a Government-announced Emergency):
1) Rather than a draconian censorship the Press is called upon to disseminate the truth, facts that sensitively portray the toiling people’s struggle for survival against the State-corporate nexus and its machinations to privatise all natural resources and public properties.
2) The State rather than being given sweeping powers, its right to acquire land in the name of ‘public purpose’ for SEZs, for destructive industrial and other ‘development’ projects etc. will be abrogated.
3) If Courts abdicate their responsibility of protecting peoples’ rights, all issues of public interest will be decided in ‘Janata Adalats’.
4) The only real ‘opposition’ to the State-corporate-bureaucracy nexus is not from opposition political parties but from affected people, victims, concerned and aware citizens. The hypocrisy of the all mainstream political parties whether in power or opposition, stands exposed in this ’state of emergency’. People would do well to realise that all parties, of whatever hue, are hand-in-glove with each other.
5) People will have to watch out against the twin threats of Communalism and New Economic Policy, declaring NO to the new treaty with the WTO.
6) Declaring people’s rule, ‘Lok Raj’, we would begin in small to large ways, to assert our rights to resources to planning towards fulfillment of basic needs.
7) More sustainable ways of harnessing and utilizing our natural and human capital would be facilitated and expropriative global to national powers be challenged.
8 ) People and people’s politics will take over, step by step, the Statist and fascist controls of powers-to-be, to bring in a revolutionary change towards a humane society.
Madhuresh : 9818905316 Rajendra Ravi : 9868200316
For National Alliance of Peoples Movement, Sangharsh and others
Date: 26th June 2008