March 19, 2015, 11am to 6pm at Jantar Mantar
New Delhi — In a week’s time Mr. Narendra Modi completes 300 days as the Prime Minister of India. He came into office riding a promise of development, his election campaign was fuelled by subtle hate against religious minorities. His campaign was having the unstinted support of Corporate and was manned by lakhs of volunteers of RSS.
During last few months the intensity of the divisive agenda of RSS combine has gone up tremendously. Cadres of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, the Bajrang Dal and scores of other sister-groups have intensified the intimidating campaigns like “Ghar Wapsi” and “Love-Jihad”. There were attacks on places of worship of religious minorities. A minister of the Government, Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti, said that those not believing in Ram are (Haramjade) illegitimate. One of the ruling party MPs went on to praise Godse, calling him patriot. This government tried to remove the words Secular and Socialist from the Preamble of our Constitution. The talk of Gita being a National book was also voiced.
During this period the incidents of communal violence has gone up, nearly 600 during last eight months. The associates of BJP have become more assertive and the intimidation of the religious minorities has gone up. The economic agenda is being tuned for the benefit of corporate houses. The plight of farmers, Dalits and Adivasis is worsening by the day. During this period the Sakshi Maharaj, Yogi Adityanath and Sadhvi Prachi have been saying that Hindu women should produce more children. In Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and other states, the terror, physical violence and social ostracizing of Dalit and Tribal Christians, in particular, continues unabated.
The Prime Minister is a trained pracharak of RSS, his parent organization. RSS is going hammer and tongs asserting its agenda of Hindu Rashtra. While he is keeping mum on issues of crucial importance like Hindutva and Hindu Rashtra, RSS has become more aggressive on these issues. Mr. Mohan Bhagwat, the RSS Sarsanghchalak recently stated that “Hindutva is the identity of India and it has the capacity to swallow other identities.” In Cuttack, he asserted that India is a Hindu state and “citizens of Hindustan should be known as Hindus”. What more can be said against Indian Constitution than this statement of Mr. Bhagwat!
To say that all this intimidation was being done by fringe elements of RSS will be missing the point. It’s a clever ‘division of labor’ between different progeny of RSS combine. There are clear signals of the erosion of the liberal democratic space which we so value and need for the struggles of the deprived sections of society. The religious minorities are being treated in a way which sans dignity and equality. All social groups do feel the heat of this Government, which is out to stifle the democratic space.
We all realize that these 300 days have seen erosion of democratic values, there is a reversal or dilution of existing legislations which are pro-poor. Environmental norms have been diminished to an extent that now they will be almost nonexistent, threatening the environment and the climate. Land acquisition laws are being changed to benefit crony capital.
It is time that we, all those committed to values of pluralism, democracy and equality, need to stand together to protest against the erosion of the values of our Constitution. The very Idea of India, democratic, Secular and compassionate, is under threat with these policies which are being unleashed in an aggressive way. We need to uphold the values of Secularism, which has been the cementing factor of our Freedom movement, which has been the core spirit of our Indian Nation.
The dream and vision of Idea of India can be sustained and promoted only through our vigilance and struggle for Human rights of all, more so the deprived sections of society. We do envision a society with equality and dignity, freedom with affirmative action, pluralism with scientific temper. It’s through our struggles for democratic rights which will shape a better India in times to come.
We the following organizations appeal to you to join in the protest to restore the values of Indian nationalism. This is a call for a united response from the vast majority of Indian society who has shown repeatedly that they want to preserve the secular traditions of the country which derived from a united Freedom struggle. It is a call for the Idea Of India which came up during freedom movement. We reiterate our faith in values of Indian Constitution and appeal to all those who stand for Indian nationalism to come forward to shape the future for Humane India.
Civil society groups based in Delhi, but many representing all-India organizations, met a few days ago to plan a Rally and Dharna at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi, 19th March 2015, 11 am to 6 pm.
The programme will have speakers from civil society and secular political parties, victims, artists, intellectuals. The time will be divided between speakers in Delhi, those coming from outside, political leaders and cultural performances. Cultural programmes will be an important component of the programme. A report on the 300 days keeping the violations regarding the above issues in mind will be prepared and released.
Speakers: Ajay Makan, Ali Anwar, Amarjit Kaur, Annie Raja, Brinda Karat, Colin Gonsalves, Digvijay Singh, Jagmati Sangwan, John Dayal, KC Tyagi , Kavita Krishnan, Kunwar Danish, Mohd Salim, Navaid Hamid, Raghuvansh Prasad Singh, Rajiv Dimri, Ram Puniyani, Rev. Vijayesh Lal, Sahba Hussain, Seema Mustafa, Shabnam Hashmi, Siddarth Vardarajan, Sitaram Yechury, Syeda Hamid, Vrinda Grover, Yugal Kishore Shastri.
Performances: Asmita, IPTA Delhi , Janam, Kumar Ambuj, Manglesh Dabral, Manmohan , Nishant Natya Manch , Sangwari, Shubha, Vishnu Nagar.
We also call upon all peace loving people who believe in safeguarding democracy and secularism to join the day long Dharna.
Organised by: AICCTU, AIDWA, AILU, AIPWA, AISA, AITUC, Akal ka Dhabha, All India Catholic Union (AICU), All India Secular Forum, Alliance Defending Freedom India, Aman Biradari, Anhad, Ashray Adhikar Abhiyan, Asmita, Ayodhya ki Awaaz, Beghar Foundation., Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan, CBCI office for SC/BC, Centar for Health & Social Justice., Centre for Harmony and Peace, Varanasi, UP, Centre for Holistic Development (CHD)., Christian Legal Association, CITU, Delhi Solidarity Group, Dhanak, DYFI, Federation of Catholic Associations of the Archdiocese of Delhi, Forum against Corruption and Threat, Guild of Service, Indian Catholic Youth Movement, Indian Radical Humanist Association, Indian Social Institute, IPTA Delhi, Jamia Students Solidarity Forum , Jan Pehel (MP), Jan Sanskriti, Jan Sanskriti Manch, Janam, JWP, Khudai Khidmatgar, Kiss of Love, Lal Jhanda Beedi Mazdoor Union, Lok Parishad, Mewat Karwan, Mewat Vikas Sabha, MOEMIN, Muslim Women’s Forum, Nagrik Ekta Manch , National Campaign for Dalit Human Rights, National Federation of Indian Women, National Forum for Housing Rights, Navodaya Lokchetna Kalyan Samiti , Nishant Natya Manch, NoMore Campaign, People’s Campaign against Politics of Terror, People’s Research Society (MP), People’s Alliance for Democracy and Secularism , Philadelphia Church, Prashant, Gujarat, Progressive Writers Association, Rashtriya Dalit Mahila Andolan, Religious Liberty Commission of EFI, Right to Water Campaign, Rihai Manch, UP, SACW, Saheli, SAMLA, Sandarbh, MP, Sangwari, SFI, Shahri Adhikar Manch:Begharo ke Sath (SAM:BKS)., Society for Social Change (SSCI), The Association for Advocacy and Legal Initiatives (AALI) , Trilokpuri Platform., Ummid Shelter Home , United Christian Forum for Human Rights, Women for Water Democracy, YUVODAYA – Youth Commission of Delhi.