Plans for two conventions to be held in New Delhi in October have been announced. One is a Convention against Communalism and Assault on Democracy. The other is a National Convention against Fascism.
The CONVENTION AGAINST COMMUNALISM AND ASSAULT ON DEMOCRACY is to be held on OCTOBER 18, 2008 from 3.30 PM TO 7PM at MAVLANKAR AUDITORIUM RAFI MARG, NEW DELHI-110001.
The following is a note circulated by the organizers:
It is clear today that our secular and democratic republic faces a challenge regarding its very character. The Bajrang Dal and the VHP, with the open support of the BJP -- and in the states it is ruling with the help of the state machinery -- have mounted a savage attack on the Christians and Muslims. Tens of thousands are in refugee camps
in Orissa and Assam. Churches are being attacked in Karnataka. Communal violence, clashes and hatred between communities are now a preparation for the elections.
The secular forces and the civil society need to intervene if we are to resist these attacks. Towards building a broad initiative on this issue, we are calling for a convention. Convention against Communalism and Assault On Democracy.
The following are listed to speak at the convention:
Shri Prakash Karat, General Secretary, CPI(M)
Shri A.B. Bardhan, General Secretary, CPI
Shri Tahir Mehmood, Former Chairman, Minority Commission
Archbishop Vincent Concecao
Shri Mushirul Hasan, Vice Chancellor Jamia Millia Islamia University
Shri H.D. Deve Gowda, President Janata Dal(S)
Shri Yerran Naidu, Telegu Desam
Shri Kuldip Nayyar, Eminent Journalist
Shri S.P. Shukla, Former Secretary, Ministry of Finance.
Kumari Mayavati, Leader of the BSP and Chief Minister of UP is also
being requested to speak. The organizers are awaiting her confirmation.
The following are the organizers:
Seema Mustafa, Anu Chenoy, Kamal Chenoy, SP Shukla, Zafrul Islam Khan, Shahid Siddiqui, John Dayal, Zafar Agha, P.M.S. Grewal, Amarjit Kaur, Valson Thampu, Zakia Jowher, Kamala Bhasin, Asghar Wajahat, Vivan Sundaram, Danish Ali ,Vijender Sharma, Bijulal MV, Benny K, Vimalbhai, Dinesh Varsheny, Sagari Chabra, Vincent Manoharan, Sudhir Kumar, SQ Ilyas, MJ Vijayan Sehba Farooqui, Albeena Shakil, Sidheshwar Shukla, Ravindranathan, Rohit, Ginu Zacharia, Shaswati Mazumdar, Kewal Goswami, Rachpal Kaur, Dheerendra
Sharma, Arjumand Ara, Ramanand, S.S.. Sisodia, Mahesh Rathi, Jaishree, Prabir Purkayastha and others.
The NATIONAL CONVENTION AGAINST FASCISM is to be held on OCTOBER 25-26, 2008 in NEW DELHI
The following is a communication from ANHAD, which is organizing this convention:
The urgency to intervene in defense of democracy, secularism and justice has never been more pressing than in the conditions prevailing in the country today. There is a recognizable change in the general tenor of public discourse; unlike in the past, it is informed more by the communal than by secular ethos. Concerted attacks have been mounted across India by communal fascist organizations by invoking religious symbols and sentiments. There is total apathy and indecisiveness towards confronting this challenge by those in power.
RSS and organizations under its umbrella have mounted a vicious campaign against the Christian community across India. Over 10 states have seen violent attacks on the Christian community , their institutions, religious places, property and businesses during the past one month. The culprits behind the communal violence against Christians in Orissa, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and other states are being allowed to go scot-free.
The recent attacks on Christian religious institutions are in fact openly claimed by Hindutva terrorist groups, like the Bajrang Dal, in front of television news cameras and yet no action is taken against them.
Throughout the country Muslim youth are being targeted, without any or little evidence, as responsible for terrorist attacks. There is a concerted attempt by the Indian police, sections of the media and certain political parties to portray all members of the Muslim community as 'terrorists and extremists' - to be arbitrarily arrested, tortured and killed in fake encounters.
On the other hand hard evidence available against Bajrang Dal and other Sangh outfits about their direct involvement in terror attacks is not only being ignored but actively being pushed under the carpet by the state.
The spaces uncolonized by the RSS network are decreasing by the day. The threat from the fascist forces is not only to the survival and dignity of India but to the very idea of India.
We feel that there is urgent need to call for a national convention to challenge the forces of fascism. We had sent out sms messages to about 40 organisations to get a response from them about the possibility of organizing a national convention on 25 and 26 October, 2008 in New Delhi.
All those who responded felt the need for this convention.
Please respond urgently to this mail:
1. By endorsing the convention- send the name of your organization/ individual
2. By supporting your own travel and if your organization can support the travel of 5-10 people from your state who are working on these issues.
3. Wherever possible arrange for your own stay in Delhi. Those who can't inform us in advance.
4. Groups in Delhi- Help in sponsoring the breakfast/ lunch and dinner for the convention and stay for the outstation participants.
5. Please inform us how many people from your group will participate and whether any/ all of them will require stay arrangements in Delhi.
The program for the two days is being finalized . Please send suggestions . We will also inform the venue and the final schedule for the convention as soon as it is finalised after hearing from more groups/ individuals.
Tel- 23070740/ 23070722
The following groups have responded to the sms message and already endorsed Anhad's call for the convention:
All India Dalit Mahila Adhikar Manch
All India Quami Mahaz
Antarik Visthapit Hak Rakshak Samiti
Awaz e- Niswana
Bhartiya Muslim Mahila Andolan
Mahatma Gandhi Foundation
National Campaign for Dalit Human Rights
People's Research Society