Mumbai, August 19, 2007

1) The Indo-US strategic alliance

Under intense lobbying by big business interests of US and India a strategic alliance is being gradually forged between India and the US. The process that started under the BJP led NDA government with the Clinton administration has been taken forward by the Congress led UPA government with the Bush administration. Such an alliance has been opposed by large cross sections of people in India but the governments of the day have been inexorably moving in that direction, ignoring public opinion, and even trying to paint such an alliance as beneficial to India. Such an alliance may be beneficial to certain big-business groups in India and the US but definitely not to the broad sections of working people. Instead it will make India subserve US interests in its military adventurism and gunboat diplomacy. Such an alliance will also increase tension between India and its neighbours such as Pakistan and Bangladesh and between India and many other friendly countries. LRS opposes this undemocratic attempt to impose such a situation on the people of India as a fait accomplii. We demand that the government listen to the voice of the people and step back from such an alliance with US.

2) Referendums and Parliamentary ratification

Important international commitments are being made by successive governments that are binding on Indian people without any kind of public referendum and even parliamentary ratification. Earlier we have seen Narasimha Rao government making commitments to WTO to get an entry into this international trade organization despite wide spread opposition for the same. Similarly now the Manmohan Singh-Sonia Gandhi government is making similar commitments to enter into a nuclear deal and a strategic partnership without any kind of referendum or even parliamentary approval. We demand that a constitutional amendment be immediately passed and all major international treaties and strategic alliances be subjected to public referendums and parliamentary ratification.

3) Torture and confessions

Despite the fact that the constitution does not permit extracting confessions, as no one can be compelled to be a witness against himself and despite the fact that in our criminal jurisprudence statements made to the police are inadmissible in law, the police are routinely extracting confessions by inflicting torture and claim that the case has been solved. Laws like TADA, POTA, MCOCA and Unlawful Activities Prevention Act have legitimized this as an acceptable method of investigation. Inflicting torture is a gross violation of human rights and such a thing should be prohibited. The Indian government is a signatory to an international convention against torture. The LRS demands that the government ratify the same and immediately make it operational.

4) Srikrishna Commission

We demand that the government should implement the recommendations of Justice Srikrishna Commission and punish the guilty in Mumbai riots of 1992-93.

5) Fake encounters

Police have no licence to kill either under the constitution or any other law yet we have seen large number of custodial deaths, fake encounters and killing of innocent people during riots and disturbances. All such killings are offences liable to prosecution under the Indian penal Code. We therefore demand that every such killing shall be followed by judicial enquiry and administrative action.

6) Political crisis

As we head for the Fourth All India Convention in November 2007, it appears that the country is headed for a political crisis. The fundamental and underlying reason for the ongoing crisis is that the political system and process is in contempt of the people and does not reflect the will of the people. Instead political power is arbitary and it is seen to be arbitary by the increasingly larger sections of the people. The system of representative democracy which is in place in our country marginalises the masses from political power. We must make sure that the political parties of the ruling class do not once again succeed in dividing the polity on communal, caste and such like lines in order to keep the people marginalised. Lok Raj Sangathan calls upon all the organisations fighting for the rights and interests of the people, to rally together under one platform and agitate and fight for a new political system and process of direct democracy in place of this representative democracy. We must unite the people around a platform that makes the people the decision makers on all questions that affect our society.

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