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Archive for January, 2009

Dear Friend,

Do join the public meeting (Raushni Devi Memorial Lecture) and Symposium on Wednesday, 28 January 2009, 3 pm onwards, the theme for the lecture and dialogue is People’s Movements: The State and Civil Society
NINTH RAUSHNI DESHPANDE MEMORIAL LECTURE AND SYMPOSIUM

By

MEDHA PATKAR

Eminent Social Activist

On

PEOPLE’S MOVEMENTS: THE STATE & CIVIL SOCIETY


Prof Shekhar Singh

will Preside

Wednesday, January 28th 2009

4.00-5.30 pm

At Seth Ram Lal Hall

Lady Irwin College, Sikandra Road, New Delhi – 110001

SYMPOSIUM

Dialogue on People Movements: The State & Civil Society

On Thursday 29th January 2009

10.00 am to 1.00pm

MPR Department of Development Communication & Extension, Lady Irwin College
Speakers: Medha Patkar – National Alliannce of People’s Movments
Prof. Shekhar Singh – IIPA
Prof. Amit Bhaduri – Prof. Emeritus JNU
Mr. Sumit Chakravarty – Editor, Mainstream

Mr. Suhas Borker – Convenor Working Group on Alternative Strategies

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Appeal for Solidarity for Sanity in our Neighbourhood

An appeal to come together, shrug off our defensive silence and raise our strong collective voice

Let us seize the public space and assert our voices to define our own democratic agendas

  • Speak out Against War Mongering
  • Resist the Erosion of cross border ‘people to people’ links & Peace Dialogue
  • Counter the Media’s Hysteria & Irresponsibility
  • Combat Draconian Laws that increase people’s insecurity
  • Root out through Rule of Law hydra headed ‘terrorists’ within
  • Clamour for Accountability, Justice & Rights
  • Fight the Politics of Hate & Exclusion breeding Political Violence
  • Strengthen Democratic Forces

At this time, we shall not allow ourselves to be consumed by the fear, terror and war mongering unleashed by the horrific and tragic Mumbai attacks. That is the agenda of the ‘terrorists’.

Daily, our nuclear armed political establishments, on both sides of the border, are ratcheting up the war rhetoric, though their motivating agendas may be different, the consequences are deepening fear and insecurity all around. The media’s force multiplier rhetoric of ‘enough is enough’ is reaching crescendo levels with “War Panic in Pakistan as India Talks Tough” and the Pakistan’s Army Chief asserting nuclear Pakistan’s readiness to “Respond Within Minutes” to the on again and off again media discourse of threatened surgical strikes.

At this time, we need to reflect on the defensiveness that muted our civil liberties and democratic rights’ voices against the bringing in of preventive detention -draconian laws (UAPA amendment) that we know by experience, will be abused and misused, especially against the most vulnerable. Only a more democratic and accountable society can root out injustices that create the situations that breed political violence, and not less democratic rights. It is in the rule of law that rests the faith of civilized society, and not in creation of exceptions, i.e. special islands beyond our laws for the ‘Kasabs’ as advocated by several legal luminaries. A fair trial is the least we should demand, as testimony to our rule of law. And if cross border dynamics requires internationalization- let us go to the International Court of Justice to try this crime against humanity.

We reject the media buzz phrase of “26/11 being India’s 9/11’ and its corollary of seeking security (or more insecurity) through a raft of draconian laws, practices like exceptional rendition, prison structures of Guantanomo Bay and finally total war on Afghanistan and Iraq. Also, we tag our foreign policy to that of the US at our peril. The Indian government’s approach of working with the UN and the international community to pressure Pakistan is appreciated, especially in view of Pakistan’s nationalist sensitivities towards bowing down to Indian pressure. However, we need to recognize the limits of the convergence of Indian and US interests and the costs of being sucked into US- defined agendas.

The hydra headed monster of ‘terrorists’ are not only across the border. They are also amidst us. Let us not trivialize the grave threat that we the peoples of both India and Pakistan face by reducing it to cross border talking heads on TV trading blame charges. We need to keep up the pressure to ensure that investigative trails leading to Col Purohit blazed by the late Karkare need to be seriously followed.

The Mumbai attacks have exposed the reality of the diarchy of power in Pakistan. It is a reality we cannot wish away by well intentioned sensitivities about not weakening the civilian government in transition. It is civil society groups within Pakistan that have to frontally address the challenge of strengthening democratic forces in Pakistan and the rooting out of jehadi monster just as we have to do so here. What we can do together is to campaign for the silencing of the war drums, that can only benefit the militaries and the terrorists. We appeal for calm introspection and determined, collective action to save the gains made in the peace process and democratic movements in the recent years in the sub-continent.

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To,

The Bureau Chief/Chief Reporter

New Delhi

Sub: Say NO to war and a clampdown on our democratic rights!!

Join us for a day of discussions and cultural programs

Convention on

War, Democratic Rights and Peace Processes

Date & Time: 11 January 2009, (2.00 pm – 7.00 pm)

Venue: Deputy Speakers Hall, Constitution Club

Rafi Marg, New Delhi

Session 1

Chair: Pamela Phillipose

Post Mumbai attacks: An Overview – Tapan K. Bose

Tackling terror: Implication for democratic rights – Nitya Ramakrishnan

Media: Its response and role – Tarun Tejpal & Ved Bhasin

Feminist perspectiveSeema Kazi

Session 2

Chair: Manoranjan Mohanty

International linkages of war: Politics and NexusKamal Mitra Chenoy

Perspective from Trade Unions Ashim Roy

Voices from the Student community – Sandeep Singh

Strategizing for the future – Gautam Navalakha & Apoorvanand

…with poetry recital and songs by Shweta Tripathi, Sania, Sumangla Damodaran, Gauhar Raza, Vagish Jha and Kishore Chowdhury

Organized by:

ANHAD, Delhi Forum, FDI, Indian Social Institute, INSAF, Intercultural Resources, JAGORI, JMI TA, JNU TA, Kriti Team, NACDOR, NFFPFW, Nirman Mazdoor Panchayat Sangam, PIPFPD, PUCL, PWESCR, SADED (CSDS), Saheli, SAMA, SANGAT, The Other Media

*********

For more information, contact:

Ravi Hemadri (+91 98714 15186), Vijayan MJ (+9198681 65471),

Kalpana Mehta (+91 92124 49198  )

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Come Support Participate

Implement BRT Corridor-Extend BRT Corridor

Protest Rally and Day Long Dharna In support of BRT Corridor

On 7Th January 2009 from 11.00 AM

In front of the office of the

Chief Minister,

Govt. of NCT of Delhi, Delhi Secretariat, I P Estate, New Delhi.

The Congress party came to power for the third time and Smt. Sheila Dixit as Chief Minister for the 3rd time took the oath of secrecy on the 17th December 2008. Immediately after taking the oath of secrecy, the Chief Minister accompanied by senior officials visited the BRT Corridor from Ambedkar Nagar to Moolchand. During her visit she said that all the problems were on enforcement and the BRT corridor is running smoothly. Later on a statement issued by the Chief Minister said that the Bus stops will not be on the central lane in the proposed Defence colony to Delhi Gate Corridor. The bus stops would be on the left side as it was earlier. There will be no divider between the car lane and bus lane but only a yellow line would be marked. This statement by the Chief Minister on the BRT corridor is against the basic concept and original plan. There were problems due to bus stop on the left side and to overcome this and to provide a better transport system, central lane and separate Bus and car lanes were made. The congestion, pollution etc can also be solved. Further the dependency on car can also be avoided.

This way, we feel that the statement of the Chief Minister on BRT Corridor is against the basic concept because due to this the public transport system in Delhi would be like the old system and every citizen wanted relief from this. We also wanted to remind the Chief Minister of Delhi as well as the general public that a delegation of various people’s movement led by Medha Patkar, Dr. Rajendra Ravi convener, National Alliance of people’s Movement, Shri Bhupendra Singh Rawat of Jan Sangarsh Vahini, Ms. Anita Kapoor convener Urban women labor organization, Ms. Sunita- convener of National Domestic worker’s Union, Shri Nanu Gupta of Jan Sangarsh Sanyukt Morcha and Shri Arjun Singh of National Cyclists Union met the Chief Minister on 13th June 2008 in support of the BRT Corridor. During the meeting, the Chief Minister had assured that construction of the BRT Corridors would be continued as per original plan. The Chief Minister had also assured that if she gets majority during the assembly elections, the construction of the BRT corridors would be speeded up and work on other corridors would also be started.

The BRT Corridors are convenient for Bus Passengers, Cyclists, Pedestrians, and Hawker vendors. However, now when the Chief Minister has occupied the chair for the third term, she has taken a U-turn on the assurances and has said that Car lane would also join in Bus lane which is not only against the concept of BRT Corridor Plan but also against the faith reposed on the Chief Minister by the people of Delhi during the assembly elections.

In protest against the decision of the Honorable Chief Minister of Government of NCT of Delhi and demanding that the Chief Minister keep her promises for continuation of the BRT corridor on its current design and implementation of the same all over Delhi, the NAPM and others mass organization including CSO’s are going to organize A PROTEST RALLY AND DAY LONG DHARNA in front of the office of the Chief Minister, Govt. of NCT of Delhi, Delhi Secretariat, I P Estate, New Delhi on 7th January 2009

We appeal to all concern citizens who believe in Sustainable development, Equity, Social justice, Equal road rights, Equal opportunity for mobility and accessibility should participate and pressurize the Delhi Govt. not to roll back BRT Corridor and implement it all over Delhi in its original plan to save life, livelihood and living space for future generation .

Organized by: National Alliance of People’s Movements, Urban Women Labour Organization, Jan Sangharsh Vahini, National Cyclist Union, Federation of Rajnagar Residents Welfare Association, National Domestic workers Union, Jan Sangharsh Sanyukt Morcha, Bandhua Mukti Morcha, National Labour Federation, Social Action and Training, Nav Kiran Kalyan Sanstha, Asha Parivar, Meo Foundation.

Contact No. Rajendra Ravi- 9868200316, Bhupendra Singh Rawat- 011-20506929, Anita Kapoor- 9810787686

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