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28 November 2011

Delhi Declaration urges PFI to build the Nation on justice

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By Pervez Bari

New Delhi: The Social Justice Conference at its conclusion released the Delhi Declaration which said that the delegates who came to attend the Conference called upon the Popular Front of India to come to the forefront as an organization that strives for the citizens rights to join hands with like-minded organizations in the democratic and non-violent struggle to build the nation on justice.

The Delhi Declaration was read out by Popular Front Vice President, Muhammed Ali Jinnah at the fag end of the mammoth Public meeting which saw the venue Ramlila Maidan overflowing with Popular Front’s cadres and activists here on Sunday .

The Delhi Declaration said the PFI will focus on: 1. Detailed overhaul of the current neo-liberal and pro-rich economic policies with a view to restore the concepts of welfare state where in the state is not merely a passive observer; 2. Development of eco-friendly development programmes which will not contribute to global warming and environmental desolation; 3. Building up of an inclusive people’s movement for the eradication of corruption at all levels; 4. Legislation for proportional representation instead of the existing first-past – the post system; 5. Implementation of Justice Ranganath Mishra Commission report, to ensure proportionate representation in constitutional organs, bureaucracy and public undertakings and 6. Reformulation of the foreign policy with avowed objective of establishing peace and cooperation on the subcontinent and revival of the Non- Aligned Movement to help India become once again the beacon of non-violence and national liberation.

The delegates also reiterated their commitment to the struggle to establish an India of Equal Rights to all Indians, the pledge they made in the Empower India Conference held at Bangalore in 2007, the Declaration said.

The Delhi Declaration said: “Social Justice is the corner stone of our constitution. The people of India, have constituted India into a sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic republic to secure all its citizens, social, economic and political justice. This solemn declaration made in 1950 conveys the spirit, intention and vision of the nation. But after six decades of independence the ground realities leave much to be desired. The concept of a welfare state has been given a go by and the rulers are busy in transforming the republic in to a predatory market state leaving millions of people in extreme poverty and deprivation”.

It said that the red carpet welcome given to the neo-liberal policies has resulted in country- wide socio-economic dislocation and divide. Since independence the successive governments have failed to guarantee a life of dignity and security to the Dalits. The condition of tribals is worse. They were driven away from their dwelling places and multinational mining companies have grabbed their precious agricultural land.

The Delhi Declaration stated that Muslims are now one of the most alienated communities in the country. The reports of Justice Rajinder Sachchar Committee and Justice Ranganath Mishra Commission have been discussed threadbare but they still remain mere academic exercises. The lives of hundreds of innocent Muslim youth and their families have been destroyed by the arbitrary arrests, illegal detentions and media trials. Christians and Sikhs also are the victims of prejudice and discrimination. To a large extent, the pillars of the republic are in the grip of casteism, communalism and nepotism.

Two decades of liberalization has warped the concept of social justice. The unequal distribution of public wealth, the relentless extraction of natural resources and the formation of special economic zones have only increased the misery of people. The lion’s share of the budget is swallowed by the armed forces without parliamentary scrutiny as many poverty alleviation and employment programmes are stalled for lack of money.

The judiciary which often protects the rights of the people have also fallen victim to the current uncontrolled pursuit of material pleasure. There have been many instances of corruption and nepotism in the judiciary which tries to legislate rather than arbitrate.

The recent surge shown by Hindutva politics and the bonhomie between people of extreme right and the business tycoons have reignited the existential fear of the minorities, the Declaration added.

[Pervez Bari is a senior Journalist based at Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. He is associated with IndianMuslimObserver.com as Bureau Chief (Madhya Pradesh). He can be contacted at pervezbari@eth.net]

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