Subscribe to South Asia Citizens Wire | feeds from sacw.net | @sacw
Home > Communalism Repository > India: Fasivad Virodhi Manch (an anti fascist platform) Text of Founding (...)

India: Fasivad Virodhi Manch (an anti fascist platform) Text of Founding Statement

18 November 2015

print version of this article print version

Fasivad Virodhi Manch (an anti fascist platform)

STATEMENT

The multi-pronged attacks being unleashed on the democratic rights of citizens and secular values enshrined in the constitution of India are deeply perturbing.

In order to weaken the Indian democracy, the administrative, legal, scientific and educational, structures created during the past sixty year are either being demolished or tempered. The fascist onslaught has left these institutions permanently damaged and shows the direction in which the present regime is likely to push the country.

Sangh has realized that large-scale violence attracts international media attention, and therefore now, meticulously planned high-intensity localized violence coupled with high-pitched hate campaigns is used across India to polarize the people and further marginalize the minorities.

The Sangh’s own campaign to malign, isolate, criminalize and target Christians and Muslim, inciting mobs to commit violence against them, has been overlooked by central and state police forces. Never in free India has the public discourse been so poisoned by MPs and ministers of the elected ruling alliance. BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj labels madrassas as ’hubs of terror’ and exhorts Hindu women to bear four children. He calls Nathuram Godse, Gandhi’s assassin, as a ’patriot’ and ’martyr’. Another BJP MP Yogi Adityanath says ’for every Hindu converted, 100 Muslim girls will be converted as retaliation.’ Minister Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti describes those who do not worship Ram as ’haramzade’ or bastards. A Shiv Sena MP force-feeds a Muslim canteen functionary during his roza fast. Another, Sanjay Raut, calls for the disenfranchisement of Muslims.

The new government is intolerant of civil society and dissent. Organisations are systematically targeted, maligned and harassed. NGOs have been subject to direct and indirect intimidation. Select activists have been individually targeted.

During the past one and a half year we have also witnessed an unprecedented multi pronged attack on scientific temper, rational thinking and scientific establishment of the country. This includes providing credibility to myths and superstitions, official platforms for anti-science activities, budget cuts and crippling scientific institutes by political interference.
There are serious efforts to undermine diversity and pluralism and convert India into a mono-cultural, standardized society. Should the idea of cultural chauvinism and nationalism succeed, it would be nothing short of a death knell for all that India stands for.

There is significant retreat of the state from its responsibilities to the poor and disadvantaged populations of the country. This is reflected in savage budget cuts in public spending in the social sector, including education, health and nutrition, the dismantling of labour protections in the name of labour reforms, worsening of agrarian distress through systemic neglect of small-farm agriculture, weakening of environmental protections, and the dilution of protections to land-owners from compulsory land-acquisition. The central thrust of government policy is seen as facilitating big business at the expense of India’s poor and working masses.

There is a seamless integration and adoption of the policies of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh by the NDA government entirely dominated by the Bharatiya Janata party. This has led to almost total impunity, seen in the failure to act in cases of speeches by Sangh leaders to incite violence against Muslims and Christians.

The meddling with the judicial system at the highest level threatens to foreclose the one option that is left to the citizens to challenge, stop and reverse this trend. The welfare network is rapidly being demolished, many policies changed at the behest of the corporate sector.

During last few months the intensity of the divisive agenda of the Sangh combine has gone up tremendously. Human right defenders, writers, poets, activists, rationalists are being attacked, targeted and killed. The recent Dadri incident of lynching a man after spreading rumours of beef eating , followed by a number similar incidents, the burning of a Dalit family in Faridabad has numbed all of us. The damage done in the last one year to India’s ethos of secularism, communal harmony and freedom of expression may be irreparable.

The India we are part of belongs equally to all persons who make it its own – no matter what their religious faith (or the lack of it), their gender, caste, class, language, physical abilities and sexual orientation. The bedrock of the Indian republic is the promise that all its citizens can find space in which to practise their beliefs and cultures, and live freely, confident they will be equally protected by the law of the land.

In a country with some 4693 communities and over 415 living languages, each community is bound to have its own customs, including dietary choices. Individuals may also follow practices different from the ones followed by the majority of their community. Any attempt to impose a uniform belief or practice, on either individuals or communities, is antithetical to the freedom enshrined in the Constitution. It is the state’s responsibility to ensure this freedom.

There is an urgent need for various groups, individuals, artists, intellectuals, activists and citizens in general to respond to the conditions prevailing in the country and build a strong resistance against the fascist onslaught.
It is time that we, all those committed to values of pluralism, democracy and equality, need to stand together to protest against the erosion of the values of our Constitution. The very Idea of India, democratic, secular and compassionate, is under threat with these policies which are being unleashed in an aggressive way. We need to uphold the values of Secularism, which has been the cementing factor of our Freedom movement, which has been the core spirit of our Indian Nation.

We are launching today Fasivad Virodhi Manch to build resistance against attacks on the rich and diverse nature of the Indian nation. It is conceived as a platform to resist the attacks on our constitutional values, rationality, democracy, communal harmony, freedom of expression and secularism.

ENDORSED BY:

1. A CHINNAPPAN, FEDERATION OF CATHOLIC ASSOCIATIONS OF THE ARCHDIOCESE OF DELHI (FCAAD), ALL INDIA CATHOLIC UNION
2. AC MICHAEL, COORDINATOR FOR UNITED CHRISTIAN FORUM
3. AJAYA KUMAR SINGH, JANVIKAS, ORISSA,
4. AJIT PAL
5. ALI JAVED, PROGRESSIVE WRITERS ASSOCIALTION
6. AMBASSADOR K P FABIAN
7. AMINA SHERVANI,
8. AMIR RIZVI, DESIGNER, MUMBAI
9. AMIT SENGUPTA, JOURNALIST AND TEACHER
10. ANAMUL HAQUE
11. ANITA BHARTI , DALIT ACTIVIST
12. ANJUM AAMIR, KHUDAI KHIDMATGAR
13. ANNIE RAJA, NFIW
14. ANTHONY LOBO
15. APOORVANAND, PROFESSOR DELHI UNIVERSITY
16. AR SHERVANI
17. ARUN DAYAL BHATIA
18. ASAD ZAIDI, WRITER AND PUBLISHER
19. ASHOK VAJPEYI, WRITER, POET
20. BADRI RAINA, WRITER
21. BHAVNA SHARMA, DELHI
22. BRP BHASKAR
23. C.A. NARAYANAN
24. DHIRENDRA PANDA, CONVENOR, CIVIL SOCIETY FORUM ON HUMAN RIGHTS
25. DEV DESAI, ACTIVIST, GUJARAT
26. DINESH MOHAN, VOLVO CHAIR PROFESSOR (RETIRED) IIT DELHI
27. DOMINIC EMMANUEL
28. DR HIREN GOHAIN
29. DR KEDARNATH SINGH, GYNAPEETH AWARDEE, EMINENT POET
30. DR. JASVEEN JAIRATH, WATER SECTOR PROFESSIONAL & ACTIVIST, HYDERABAD
31. DUNU ROY,
32. FAIZI S
33. FR. CEDRIC PRAKASH SJ, DIRECTOR, "PRASHANT" AHMEDABAD
34. FR.T.K.JOHN
35. GAUTAM THAKKER, GENERAL SECRETARY, INDIAN NATIONAL RADICAL HUMANIST’S ASSOCIATION
36. GIRISH MISHRA
37. GITHA HARIHARAN, WRITER
38. HARJINDER SINGH, HYDERABAD
39. HARSH MANDER, WRITER, ACTIVIST
40. HIREN GUHAIN
41. INDU PRAKASH SINGH, ACTIVIST
42. IQBAL AHMED, JOURNALIST
43. IRFAN ENGINEER, ALL INDIA SECULAR FORUM
44. JAIRUS BANAJI, HISTORIAN, MAHARASHTRA
45. JOHN CHATHANATT
46. JOHN DAYAL, JOURNALIST
47. JOSEPH XAVIER, ISI BANGALORE
48. K. SATCHIDANANDAN
49. KAMAL CHENOY, JNU
50. KASHIF AHMAD FARAZ, APCR
51. KIRAN SHAHEEN, ACTIVIST
52. KM SHRIMALI, HISTORIAN
53. KN PANIKKAR, HISTORIAN
54. KUMAR SUNDARAM, PEACE ACTIVIST
55. LOUIS MENEZES IAS RTD
56. MANAN TRIVEDI, ACTIVIST, ANHAD
57. MANASI THAPLIYAL, ASSISTANT PROFESSOR, AMEDKAR UNIVERSITY, DELHI
58. MANISHA SETHI, JTSA
59. MANORMA DEWAN, WRITER
60. MARY SCARIA
61. MILIN KAPOOR
62. MINAKSHI SINGH, SAMARPAN
63. MUJAHID NAFEES, AHMEDABAD
64. NALINI ABRAHAM
65. NALINI TANEJA, DELHI UNIVERSITY
66. NASIRUDDIN HAIDER KHAN
67. NAVAID HAMID, MOEMIN
68. NISHA VERMA, SAMARPAN
69. NUSRAT SHERVANI
70. OVAIS SULTAN KHAN, ACTIVIST
71. PEGGY MOHAN
72. QAMAR INTEKHAB, SECRETARY, KHUDAI KHIDMATGAR
73. RAHUL ROY, FILM MAKER
74. RAJAN GURUKKAL
75. RAM PUNIYANI, WRITER AND ACTIVIST, ALL INDIA SECULAR FORUM
76. RAMSHARAN JOSHI, JOURNALIST
77. RANI RAY
78. ROHINI HENSMAN, MAHARASHTRA, WRITER (AND INDEPENDENT SCHOLAR)
79. SABA DEWAN, FILMMAKER
80. SADAF ABOLI, ACTIVIST
81. SADANAND MENON, ART & MEDIA CRITIC, CHENNAI
82. SANJEEV KUMAR , ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR , DESHBANDHU COLLEGE (DU)
83. SHABNAM HASHMI, SOCIAL ACTIVIST, ANHAD
84. SHEBA GEORGE, SAHRWARU, GUJARAT
85. SNIGDHA SAMAL,
86. SOHAIL HASHMI, WRITER, FILMMAKER, DELHI
87. SYEDA HAMID, FORMER PLANNING COMMISION MEMBER
88. VARGHEESH M., STUDENT OF THEOLOGY,
89. VIDYA RAO, SINGER
90. VINEET TEWARI, PROGRESSIVE WRITER’S ASSOCIATION, MADHYA PRADESH
91. VINERJEET KAUR, LAWYER
92. VIRGINIA SALDANHA, INDIAN CHRISTIAN WOMEN’S MOVEMENT
93. ZAKIA SONAM, BMMA
94. ZOYA HASAN, PROFESSOR, JNU
95. ZULAIKHA JABIN-SHAMBHVI- Pehchan Delhi