Under the topic “Wresting citizen’s rights from polity” (Ini Oru Vidhi Seyvom) activists belonging to 15 people’s organisations came together on March 19th in Chennai to discuss a fundamental transformation of the political and electoral process.
Organisations represented included: Lok Raj Sangathan, Swaraj Abhiyan, Gandhian Initiative for Social Transformation, Anti Bribe Coalition, Workers Unity Movement, Valamaana Thamizhagam Party, Sirupaanmai Makkal Iyakkam, Thozhilhaalar Poratta Iyakkam, Citizens Committee – T.Nagar, Sabari Green Foundation, Fact India, Popular Front of India, Social Democratic Party of India, Social Democratic Trade Union, Ilhangyargalh Meetpuk Kalham, Gandhiya Sama Dharma Iyakkam, 5th Pillar. Many individual activists also participated.
Speakers, while analyzing the current political situation and the results of the 5-state assembly elections, pointed out that people do not have any right in this polity other than the right to vote. Through money, muscle and media power political parties of the establishment prevent the people from solving their day-to-day problems and playing a central role in running the affairs of the country.
Many participants agreed that EVMs were manipulated in the assembly elections to ensure a decisive result.
Participants pointed out that superficial reforms to the political and electoral reforms are not what people are expecting. We have to work towards a fundamental transformation of the political process. We have to demand the right of people to select and elect candidates, right to recall, right to initiate legislation. Organising referendums as a medium to express people’s views on a particular policy or action of the government was discussed.
Participants also discussed the severe crisis being faced by various sections of people such as youth, women, farmers and others.
Participants resolved to take the discussion on these issues to the people and organise them into people’s committees so that they can wrest their political rights in the polity. They also resolved to take all steps to strengthen the unity of people and rise above caste, communal, linguistic and regional identities.
It was resolved that we undertake programs like ‘Paadha Yaathraa’, ‘Vehicle Yaathraa’, public meetings, writing in news magazines, involve in electronic media presentations and social media to spread the messages
An organising committee to take the work forward was formed at the conclusion of the discussions.
Participants were requested to write and mail their views on how we can take forward the ideas of the movement