Date    : 17th February 2009
Time    : 3.00 PM
Venue : ISI, New Delhi

General Elections 2009 is going to be crucial for the people of India. This election comes at a time when majority of  citizens of the country experience crass neglect from institutions of democracy.  While a few influential classes control the collective wealth of the country, vast majority of Indians are denied their fundamental rights and dignity.  . Anti-people appropriation of resources  has increased ever since the governments in India decided to adopt a particular development paradigm. This ‘development centric approach’ displaced the idea of centrality of people in the political and social affairs of the country, and promoted a non distributive growth process, resulting in hunger, poverty, and joblessness. Indian people also experienced the shock of the recent crumbling of speculative markets. While the accumulation of profit for few was paraded as development in the so called  mainstream, story of the other side was restricted to critical civil spaces. It goes without saying how the communal forces recently have reunited through misusing religious sentiments.
Many a time, the rights voices of the democratic citizens remained paralysed, without finding a public expression in terms of demanding accountability from the government and other agencies of the state. The label of ‘anti national’ is imposed on peoples movements that assert rights of individuals and communities as well.
The present initiative, to hold a meeting on 17 February 2009 at 3 P.M., is an effort to identify the immediate and non negotiable concerns of the people of India.
Those of us who find our unity in a secular, democratic and socialistic vision would agree on some main points of engagements in this regard. This meeting is called with a specific purpose to form a broader shared platform of civil society organizations/movements and concerned citizens to engage with the political parties and individuals who are in the election fray. Such an engagement (both pre and post election) would be based on a PEOPLES’ MANIFESTO that would clearly spell out the tasks to the elected representatives. It is hoped that this meeting will lead to some key issues on the PEOPLE’S MANIFESTO, which could be further deliberated on during the Workshop to be held at ISI from March 3-5, 2009 at ISI. Grassroot people from all over India are expected to be participating in this people centred workshop.
This programme is being organized at the initiative of Indian Social Institute (ISI) and South Asia Peoples’ Initiatives (SAPI), but with an invitation to you to join hands and make it a broader platform and a force.
As a longtime collaborator of the ISI, we would request your valuable contributions to the planning meeting and the three-day workshop in March.
Thanking you

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