Friday, November 8, 2013
CONVENTION FOR PEOPLE’S UNITY AND AGAINST COMMUNALISM
CONVENTION FOR PEOPLE’S UNITY AND AGAINST COMMUNALISM
Clarion Call for Defeating Communal Forces
THE Convention for People’s Unity and Against Communalism called upon all the secular forces in the country to rise in unison to thwart the dangers posed by communal forces to the unity and integrity of the country. The Convention held in the background of a spate of communal attacks in Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh, in Rajasthan and in Bihar assumes great significance. 14 political parties took part in the Convention that was attended by a large number of people. Apart from the Left parties – CPI(M), CPI, Forward Bloc and RSP – Samajwadi Party, Janata Dal (United), Janata Dal (Secular), AIADMK, Biju Janata Dal, Nationalist Congress Party, Republican Party of India, Asom Gana Parishad, Jharkhand Vikas Morcha and the People’s Party of Punjab participated in the Convention. The Convention adopted a Resolution calling upon the secular and democratic forces to strengthen their efforts to rebuff the communal forces. The Resolution was read out in Hindi by Ram Gopal Yadav from the Samajwadi Party and in English by Amarjeet Kaur from the CPI.
Sitaram Yechury, CPI(M) Polit Bureau member, welcomed the people to the Convention. He said communal forces are increasing their nefarious activities, specially on the eve of the ensuing general elections, to garner benefits. People’s unity must be forged to fight communalism, he said. He moved a resolution of condolence for Rajendra Yadav, well-known writer and intellectual.
Eminent historian Professor Irfan Habib presided over the Convention. Addressing the Convention, he stressed the importance of coming together of all the leaders with influence on crores of people, on a single platform against communalism. He recalled how the communal forces killed Mahatma Gandhi for trying to see that communal amity is maintained and warned that these very forces are raising their head again.
Nitish Kumar, chief minister of Bihar, congratulated the Left forces for taking the initiative to organise this Convention. He said, “We will not tolerate communalism. We are a diverse country. Unity in diversity is our strength. To fight the attack on this foundation of our country, we have all come together.” He underlined that communalism and terrorism thrive on each other. Referring to the recent bomb blasts in Patna, he said terrorist activities are growing in the country. Intolerance to a difference of opinion, to disagreement with a viewpoint, towards diversity which is reflective of fascistic tendencies is rising in the country. Nobel laureate Amartya Sen was defamed because he commented positively about Bihar. Such an attack on democracy is also very dangerous, said Nitish Kumar. Commenting on the speculations about the formation of a Third Front, he said, right now the fight against communalism is most important and all the secular forces have come together and united in a “practically possible” way to fight and defeat the communal forces.
Prakash Karat, CPI(M) general secretary, supporting the Resolution, said communal riots across the country are increasing. He questioned why these riots are happening and who is behind them. In the light of the forthcoming general elections, communal issues are being raked up and communal mobilisations are happening, which are leading up to the riots. Pointing out that the BJP’S prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi has, in an interview recently, said that he is a Hindu nationalist, Prakash Karat said in our country we can only have secular nationalism and called upon the people to defeat the efforts to divide the nation. He said 14 parties with different outlooks and policies, have united to fight the danger of communalism and will together work in the days to come towards this. While there is a severe onslaught on the livelihood of the people under the Congress led UPA government, and while different sections of people including workers, peasants, women, students and youth are all waging struggles against this onslaught, the communal forces are dividing the people on religious lines. Prakash Karat underscored the need for a nationwide campaign for safeguarding the unity of the country.
H D Deve Gowda, former prime minister of the country spoke about the opportunities and benefits the United Front government had provided to the Muslim minorities.
Mulayam Singh Yadav, SP leader, congratulated the Left for organising the Convention. He said except for the Left support, the SP is single-handedly fighting the communal forces in Uttar Pradesh. He said though they could put a check to the communal activities at various places in Agra, Jhansi, Gorakhpur etc, when the Ayodhya Parikrama was organised by the BJP, they were successful in engineering riots in Muzaffarnagar. He said the SP will strive to defeat the communal forces.
A B Bardhan, veteran leader of the CPI, brought to the attention of the Convention how the BJP, which did not participate in the independence struggle of our country, is desperately trying to seek legitimacy by using Sardar Patel’s name. He reminded that it was Sardar Patel who had banned the RSS. Patel had called them mad people, saying that all their speeches are full of hatred for Muslims. Bardhan recalled that the RSS had promised that it would remain as only a cultural organisation, but now they dictate who should be the prime ministerial candidate of the BJP. He urged the people to take the spirit of the Convention to every nook and corner of the country.
Thambidurai, AIADMK’s representative read out the message of Tamilnadu chief minister Jayalalithaa’s message to the Convention.
Babulal Marandi, former chief minister of Jharkhand and leader of Jharkhand Vikas Morcha, urged the political parties to fight against communalism and also take up the livelihood issues of the people.
Prafulla Kumar Mohanta, former chief minister of Assam and leader of Asom Gana Parishad, said such conventions against communalism should be held all across the country.
Baidyanath Panda, Biju Janata Dal’s representative read out Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik’s message to the Convention. He said it is shameful that communal riots still happen in independent India.
Sharad Yadav, JD(S) leader exhorted the audience to take up cudgels against communalism and defeat them.
Prakash Ambedkar from the Republican Party of India, Manpreet Badal from the People’s Party of Punjab, Debabrata Biswas from Forward Bloc, Kshitti Goswami from RSP and D P Tripati from Nationalist Congress Party also addressed the Convention.
Sitaram Yechury placed the Resolution before the Convention for adoption. It was unanimously adopted.