“Namaste, saathi, kaise ho?” The Convention Hall was abuzz with excitement. Wherever one looked, one could see bright faces, greeting their friends and comrades, fellow fighters in the cause of Lok Raj. Warm hugs, firm handshakes; broad smiles at seeing one another after so many days; delight at seeing so many more people who have joined the caravan, so many youth, so many women.
1. Invite in English
2. Report of the Convention
3. Resolutions Passed
4. Speech by TS Sankaran, Honorary Chairperson
5. Speech by Justice Hosbet Suresh, Honorary Chairperson
6. Detailed Report of the Convention
Dozens of members from all over the country – from Uttarakhand in the north to Tamil Nadu in the south, from Manipur in the east to Maharashtra in the west; even non resident Indian members, who had crossed “the seven seas” to participate. The huge contingent from Tamil Nadu had to travel for 3 days and nights to attend the Convention and an equal number of days of travel back to their homes were waiting for them. Welcome to the 5th National Convention of the Lok Raj Sangathan held on November 7th and 8th 2009 in New Delhi!
Five young girls lit the lamp, challenging the darkness and gloom spread all over the world by its rulers, and marking the commencement of the Convention. The past Presidents, the President, the Secretary and other leaders of the LRS were welcomed to the stage with great enthusiasm. The Convention is the most important meeting of the Lok Raj Sangathan, the meeting of its general membership, where the work done in the two years since the last Convention is assessed, the thrust of the work in the coming two years decided and the All-India Council and office bearers elected.
The organisational and political report presented by the Secretary, Com Prakash Rao described how, in the last two years, the members of Lok Raj Sangathan, working in adverse circumstances, in the face of the totally anti-people and pro-rich role of the rulers, had strived to implement the decisions of the previous Convention and achieved significant success in various areas. Our members had led and participated in various struggles for the rights of the people. Parliamentary and assembly elections were used very effectively to expose the political process which keeps people away from power, and also to present the vision of People’s power.
It was noted that, the members had paid serious attention to strengthening and building the organisation in terms of increasing the membership as well as of strengthening the functioning of the various councils and samitis and of setting up new ones. At the end of his report, Com Prakash Rao stressed that LRS is not just a discussion group or a consciousness raising body. Our work has to be geared towards organising the people – towards building and strengthening the instruments of Lok Raj, and hence we should take the theme of the present Convention very seriously – “Develop the institutions of Lok Raj! Build the Lok Raj Samitis!
When the floor was thrown open for discussion of the Report, speaker after speaker endorsed the report and elaborated various aspects on the basis of local experience. Speakers spoke in the language they could readily express their views in, and translators did a most effective job ensuring that no one felt left out. Indeed, as our Founding President, Shri T. S. Sankaran pointed out, the great patriotic poet Subramanian Bharati had written, “Mother India speaks in eighteen languages as one, but she says the same thing in each”, and this was very evident in our Convention. More than 50 speakers took the floor over the course of two days. The Presidium regretfully had to impose a time limit so that many members could present their views. There was no dearth of patience on the part of the participants, but there was definitely a limitation of time, since the entire agenda had to be finished in two days.
Among the speakers there were seasoned fighters who had devoted decades of their life to the struggle. There were also young boys and girls and women, who mustered up courage and spoke in public for the first time in their lives. They understood that the discussion was about the people’s concerns, people’s issues, and that each one of them had to participate. They say that the dread of speaking in public is more terrifying than the fear of death. So it is definitely true that Lok Raj Sangathan equips and strengthens its members, both by arming them with knowledge of reality, as well as giving them the courage to speak out their mind. In order to exercise power, in order to become rulers, people need a voice!
The interventions were so many that the session had to continue on the next day as well. On the second day the Convention was addressed by Shri T. S. Sankaran, Justice Hosbet Suresh, yet another ex-President, and by the President Shri S Raghavan. The speaker on behalf of the Communist Ghadar Party of India explained why her Party considers the work of LRS to be of first rate importance.
A number of resolutions were read out and passed unanimously. This not only expresses the unity of thought that characterizes LRS, but also the fact that the analysis is in tune with the felt needs of the people.
The elections to the All India Council were conducted with great dignity and the new Council was elected unanimously. After a short meeting of the Council the plenary session was resumed. The announcement that the President as well as Secretary were unanimously reelected was greeted with thunderous applause.
There followed a lively cultural program with songs and audio-visual presentations by various activists of LRS, which was received with great enthusiasm.
In the world outside there are phenomena like “generation gap”. Animosities are whipped up between people on the basis of caste, language, region, religion, and so on. The parliament functions as a nautanki. Women are routinely attacked and debased. You would forgive the participants if they thought for a moment that they lived in another world! Here, there was respect for age, respect for youth, respect for women, and respect for those who spoke a different tongue. Here in the Convention were eminent judges, lawyers, retired bureaucrats, professors, scientists and doctors, rubbing shoulders with ordinary workers, women and students. The spirit of empowerment was palpable and one speaker pointed out that our meeting was like a mini people’s parliament, where delegates of the people were discussing to resolve the issues of the people. The Lok Raj Sangathan’s 5th Convention was thus a great success.
This is the report about the 5th All India Convention of Lok Raj Sangathan