Various social activists associated with mass movements and leaders belonging to the National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) strongly condemned alleged attempts of the present government at the Centre to work in violation of the Constitution while curbing the rights of the working class and Adivasis.
The leaders were addressing a gathering organised by Citizen’s Initiative, Siliguri, an organisation of intellectuals, academics, theatre personalities, social activists, right activists, and cultural activists here on Sunday.
NAPM, an umbrella body of several civil society and mass organisations, launched the ‘Samvidhan Samman Yatra’ in Dandi in Gujarat on 2 October to connect people across the country and press for the demand of “restoring democracy, and putting a stop to increased mob violence, hate crimes, casteist attacks, natural resource loot, and consistent attack on constitutional values.”
Meera Sanghamitra, an activist from Telangana, highlighted the ‘anti-people’ stand of the government.
“The yatra is aimed at improving participation of people in democracy and upholding the constitutional principles. Constitution and democracy are at stake, while democratic values have been trampled upon under the present regime at the Centre. There is the extreme fascist nature of the government, in fact, it has been an extreme form of fascism. During the yatra, we have observed in various states like Gujarat, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh how the rights of the working class, Dalits and Adivasis were being curtailed. The yatra has been organised to connect people across the country,” Ms Sanghamitra said.
Speakers also voiced concern over killings of rationalists. “The government is patronising corporate loot. There has been unfettered loot of water, forests, land and other natural resources in the name of development. Culture and literature are under threat.
We know how Gauri Lankesh, MM Kalburgi, Govind Pansare and Narendra Dabholkar were killed because they wrote against a particular ideology. Those in power are working against the fundamental values of our constitution-equality, fraternity, secularism and socialism and are making great efforts to change the very character of the country,” Ms Sanghamitra added.
Other speakers, while sharing the experiences of the tour and the situation in the states that they belong to, said they would provide all support for various people’s movements across India. They condemned the arrests of human right activists, journalists, lawyers and writers on ‘’false charges’ of supporting Maoists under the ‘draconian and unconstitutional’ Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. Citizen’s Initiative, Siliguri, has extended its support to NAPM.