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A People’s Forum To Fight Back Modi Govt.’s Anti-People Moves

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By Akhil Kumar

Ever since the Modi government has come to power, we have seen renewed outbursts of simmering anger from people in various sectors, opposing the government’s anti-people and anti-democratic moves – the peasants are up in arms against land grab through the Land Acquisition Bill, the rural poor are demanding right to employment guarantee and food security, students are protesting against commercialisation of education and huge budget cuts in public funded education, protests against drastic cuts in spending on welfare and social spending are on the rise; and the list can go on. Ironically, these are the very people our PM claims to have received a resounding mandate from. “Ten months ago Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister of India promising to reduce prices, check corruption, bring back black money and usher in good times for the country. 2014 is over and we are now in 2015. Do we see the Modi government moving towards fulfilment of those wonderful poll promises? The answer is a big NO!” says a release from the All India People’s Forum (AIPF).

Why are people up in arms against the Modi Government?

Modi’s electoral campaign promised ‘Ache Din’, with a lot of high flying rhetoric on how the BJP would make life better for the citizens of this country with its developmental agenda. And now that they are in power, and are going back on their promises one by one, their real intentions have been revealed. When the party president Amit Shah publicly declares the promise of every family getting 15 lakh Rs. through repatriation of black money as empty poll rhetoric, their credibility will definitely go for a toss. Of course all the people didn’t vote for them just for the money, and Amit Shah’s statement is not some sort of ‘moment of truth’, but the continued assault on the common people has exposed where our government’s loyalties lie. The real beneficiaries of the ‘Ache Din’ are out in the open now, and a majority of the common people haven’t made it to that list. Out of the many events that have led to this cumulative anger and resentment against the current government, here are a few highlighting moves that have agitated people:

  • The Modi govt. has remained a silent spectator to the communal poison being pumped into the secular fabric of our society by the sangh parivar and its allies. Even the smallest local disputes are being blown up and rumours being spread to whip up communal frenzy. BJP MPs, ministers, RSS leaders and the so called sadhus and sadhvis are asking Hindu women to produce more children, and making irresponsible statements and hate speech, churches are being vandalised in the capital, and the dangerous propaganda of ‘Love Jihad’ and Ghar Wapasi – all of these point towards a mischievous communal agenda that is being encouraged by the PM’s calculated silence.
  • No sign of black money being recovered, as was promised.
  • Ordinance has been issued to expediate land grab in corporate interest.
  • Modi has virtually freed US companies supplying nuclear reactors to India from any liability, compensation, and legal action, in case of any accident.
  • The govt. is systematically undermining India’s patent policy, which will stall domestic production of several life-saving drugs and escalate their prices for common people in India and accross the world.
  • The Planning Commission has been wound up and funds allocated for welfare programmes are being squeezed systematically.
  • The govt. has slashed expenditure on welfare and social spending, the worst hit being the health, women and child welfare, and education sectors.
  • Public funded education is being weakened through huge budget cuts, autonomy of educational institutions are being trampled upon.

What is the All India People’s Forum (AIPF)? 

To strengthen the Indian people’s battle for comprehensive democracy, dignity, and justice, a range of Democratic organisations and individuals have decided to come together and launch a national platform called the All India People’s Forum (AIPF). The issues listed above have also been raised by the members of the preparatory committee of the forum. The founding conference of the AIPF is being held in Delhi at Ambedkar Bhawan on 14-15 March and this will be followed by a massive Jan Sansad at Parliament Street on 16th March to call upon the government to withdraw the land-grab ordinance and other anti-people measures, fulfil its electoral promises of reducing prices, eliminating corruption and bringing back black money, and firmly stop the communal and divisive forces.

AIPF

We recently witnessed a series of massive protests against various injustices, from Hok Kolorob, Kiss Of Love, Jan Adhikar Rally, protests against the ESIC, to the very innovative Shuddh Desi Romance. What has been inspiring is the intersectionality of the struggles. People from across the country have joined in various struggles even when it didn’t directly concern them, to give more momentum to the voice of dissent. It is here that the AIPF plans to play a crucial role – in bringing together all the peoples’ movements and collectively assert their voices against various forms of oppression and injustices. To stand in solidarity and put up a sustained resistance, for scattered movements are easier to quash.

Featured image credit: Chandan Gomes

To know more about what I think of this story, follow me on Twitter at @Akhil1490

You must be to comment.
  1. ABs

    What a whole lot of nonsense. This article seems to be written by someone who is either lying, blind, or has the mental capacity of a cucumber.

    1. You talk of “Communal Tension”, while you ignore the facts of reality. Yes, Sadhus and Sadhvis ask Hindu Women to reproduce and bear more children, but in Islam, a man is allowed to marry 4 wives, and the Muslim Community has been known, along with the Christian Community to reject Contraceptives, and ignore advice on Sterilization of men and women. The churches in Delhi were not “Vandalized”, but some articles were stolen. There is no proof at all of the RSS’ involvement, or the Sangh Parivar’s involvement.
    You seem to be so concerned about the “Hate Speech” of the RSS, Sangh Parivar, etc, but are silent on the Hate speech mongered by the Owaisi Brothers.

    The “Ghar Wapsi”, was a religious ceremony, Christian Missionaries have always demonized Hindu practices, and are responsible for converting Tribal peoples by labeling their indigenous practices as being “Demonic”. However, it is clear from your attitude that this is not going to be highlighted.
    There have been many conversions of people to Christianity and Islam, and they have been made under the threat of “Going to hell” for not believing in their version of God. This is downright disgusting, but it has not been covered by this worthless article.

    2. http://www.indiatimes.com/news/india/modi-government-says-india-has-already-recovered-about-rs-3500-crore-in-black-money-230191.html

    Here is an article which states quite clearly that some of the Black Money is being brought back. Black money stashed abroad is difficult to retrieve because of the number of countries involved. This is a small, but important point which Indians don’t seem to understand, and neither, (unsurprisingly) does the author.

    3. The Land Acquisition Ordinance: Separating Fact from Fiction

    http://ibnlive.in.com/news/facts-and-fiction-of-land-acquisition-ordinance-as-narrated-by-bjp/530332-37-64.html

  2. Advocate Ravi Bhushan

    Comment *AIPF may play vital role , if it is organised categorically jn the tribal , rural & urban areas in the leadership of youth &_women through school of democracy in each district phasewise ( 640 districts of India ) focusing on local issues. The SCHOOI OF DEMOCRACY ( SOL )may play better role at grassroots which requires capacity building . East India Forum for Fast Justice ( E I F F J )

  3. Advocate Ravi Bhushan

    Comment * East India Forum for Fast Justice (E I F F J ), Giridih ,Jharkhand through its chairman Advocate Ravi B hushan ( mob 09934390201 ) do plan to initiate democratic development partnership with AIPF in JhARKHAND.

  4. Konkani Aawaj

    Check the latest tweet of Ex.MP of Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg constituency Mr.Nilesh Rane on Narendra Modi

    Nilesh Rane Said,
    I remember today what PM Modi said once, “won’t shake hands with Pak till the noise of terror doesn’t stop”

    https://twitter.com/meNeeleshNRane/status/619378379930775552

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

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Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

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Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

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A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

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