An Appeal For Unity Of Progressive, Democratic And Left Forces
Issued in New Delhi on 13th January 2013
We the undersigned political parties and organisations have decided to come together to forge unity, coordinate our activities and jointly wage struggles and movements in the days to come. We are coming together in a context where the genuine issues and concerns of the overwhelming majority of the Indian people are getting sidelined by the vested interests of the domestic and foreign corporates. Naturally, the people of India are feeling helpless and alienated. The discredited anti-people government at the Centre is only the scummy surface of a decadent system where the rot runs deep.
What we are witnessing today in the name of economic growth is the creation of exclusive enclaves for the rich in a cesspool of poverty, hunger, disease, crime and violence. Even as millions suffer from lack of access to basic rights like food, decent work, housing, education, healthcare and social security, the rulers are busy tom-toming the virtues of FDI, rising Sensex and high GDP growth rate. The disconnect between the priorities of our rulers and the aspirations of our people have never been higher.
The living conditions are also deteriorating. Relentless inflation has been eating away the real earnings of the working people and swelling the ranks of the hunger-stricken population. Theft of public funds and loot of natural resources have breached all past records, with a toxic nexus of netas, babus and big corporates ruling the roost. Workers and peasants are facing intensified exploitation, joblessness, indebtedness and insecurity. Women are being subjected to increasing violence and cruelty. Adivasis and dalits bear the brunt of caste based oppression, systemic discrimination, displacement and denial of opportunities. Minorities, especially Muslims, are targets of communal onslaughts and neglect. People in Kashmir and North-East are caught in violent conflicts between a repressive state and armed insurgents, with no substantive efforts being made towards peaceful and just solutions.
What we need today is not just a change of government. A mere change in the faces of those who rule and deceive us will not do. If the corrupt and anti-people Congress regime is replaced by the BJP at the centre, it will only mean adding more communal venom to the already vitiated political environment. Opportunist forces like the SP, BSP and other regional parties have also become a part of the same degraded political culture. Neither do they represent nor do they have the intent to pursue an alternative progressive vision or policies. There is an absence of political and moral leadership at the national level.
The need for the revival and renewal of a progressive transformative agenda is therefore being felt by many. It is in this context that we are coming together to wage struggles and movements on peoples’ issues. It is only through grassroots struggles and movements that a genuine progressive and democratic alternative can emerge. We express our full solidarity with the all-India Strike called by the Central Trade Unions on 20-21 February, 2013 against the neoliberal economic policies of the UPA-II government. We will actively participate and mobilise the working people to make the strike successful.
We the undersigned political parties and organisations are coming together to initiate discussion and dialogue among various political parties, social and mass organisations, unions and groups across India, who are fighting on the ground to break the status quo and to usher in progressive and democratic changes. We believe that the coming together of all such forces is necessary to build a genuinely progressive and democratic alternative at the national level. We want to collectively pursue the following political objectives:
- Restructuring India’s political system by institutionalising decentralised participative democracy and genuine federalism; Thorough legislative, judicial and administrative reforms to eliminate corruption and black money, bring greater transparency in decision-making and ensure proper accountability; Electoral reforms to prevent criminalisation of politics and use of money and muscle power; Ending state repression and terrorist violence and ensuring just and democratic solutions to all political conflicts
- Replacing the neoliberal economic regime based on reckless exploitation of labour and loot of natural resources by foreign and domestic corporate capital by planned economic development in the pursuit of social equity, securing the rights of working people, ensuring full employment and basic universal rights for the people and environmental sustainability; Uprooting the feudal and semi-feudal vestiges from all spheres; Making a transition from a profit-centric economy dominated by big monopolies to one based on social and collective ownership of the means of production
- Putting an end to all forms of social oppression based on gender, caste, religion, language and ethnicity; Fighting for social justice and ensuring effective affirmative action, including reservations, for all socially disadvantaged sections who have historically suffered from discrimination
- Safeguarding the secular character of the Indian state and combating communalism; Ensuring that while all religions enjoy equal freedom and respect, the affairs of the state must remain free from the interference of any religion; Protecting the rights of religious minorities
- Building solidarity with all progressive and democratic forces across the world – especially the developing countries – against imperialism, militarism and neoliberal capitalism; Struggling for a just peace, a democratic world order and universal nuclear disarmament
We are willing to widen our political objectives in future on the basis of consultations and discussions. We appeal to all progressive, democratic and Left political parties, social and mass organisations, unions, groups and individuals across the country – who broadly agree with the above-mentioned political objectives and are willing to struggle unitedly for their realisation – to come together as partners in building a common platform.
Mangatram Pasla (CPM Punjab), Prasenjit Bose (Left Collective, Delhi), K.S. Hariharan (Left Coordination Committee Kerala), K. Gangadaran (Marxist Party Tamil Nadu), Rajendra Paranjape (Com. Godavari S. Parulekar Marxvadi Vichar Manch, Maharashtra), V. Lenin Kumar (SFI-JNU)