Let us get organised, become the rulers and transform society!
On the evening of 22nd April, 2012 the 6th All India Convention of Lok Raj Sangathan concluded in an extremely enthusiastic atmosphere with a lively song by the youth present. This convention was held in the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library Auditorium in New Delhi.
People from all sections of society and different part of India – from Kashmir in the North to Kanyakumari in the South and from Rajasthan in the West to Manipur in the East, participated in the convention. Youth, students, women, workers, farmers, lawyers, teachers, professors, film makers, political activists, doctors, engineers, scientists, leaders of trade unions and people working in diverse professions actively participated in the event.
The convention began with the singing of the progressive and lively songs “le mashale chal pade hai log mere gaon ke” and “aao uthe mere desh wasion”. When these songs were sung to the tune of the guitar, all present began to move joyously to the melody.
The Vice President of LRS – Dr. Sanjeevani Jain welcomed all the delegates and called upon the Secretary – Prakash Rao and President – S. Raghavan to take their seats as members of the presidium, amidst long and loud applause.
The convention started by paying homage to the members of the All India Council who had passed away in the two years since the last Convention. The Convention stood in silence in memory of Justice SM Daud, Shri KG Kannabiran, Mataji Shanta Devi and Shri Baburao Taware. All these members were among the founders of LRS, who spared no effort until their last breadth to build the organization, and defend the people’s interests. President S. Raghavan said that we will always feel the void created by their absence.
The President warmly welcomed the delegates who had come from all across the country and pointed out that this was a very important period for the organization, as we gather here to sum up our work and set directions for the future. Lifting the veil over the delusion of “democracy” in the present political system, he spoke about the progress and scope of work of LRS.
Concluding his speech, the President said “We will be 20 years old next year. We held a historic rally in Ferozeshah Kotla on Feb 22, 1993 at a time when all political rallies were banned in Delhi and a climate of terror and confusion was prevailing. Lok Raj Sangathan was born in April 1993 in the aftermath of the destruction of the Babri Masjid and the resulting crisis in the Indian political arena. LRS was first known as the Committee for People’s Empowerment. In May 1998, at a Convention in Pune, it was unanimously decided that the time had come to build a broad political organization for the empowerment of the people of our country. The CPE reconstituted itself as Lok Raj Sangathan, with a much broader scope and content of work related to the empowerment of the people. During this period, thousands of members have joined this organization. We have spread our wings to several states, cities and towns. We can definitely say that we are an active political force at the national level today, fighting for the political and human rights of the people. The biggest contribution that LRS has made in these years is on the struggle to vest sovereignty in the people of India and for the democratic renewal of India”.
Amidst thunderous applause, he invited the Secretary, Shri Prakash Rao, to present the political report.
The Secretary in his political report pointed out that all over the country, people are coming forward to fight against their marginalization from decision making. They are coming forward to assert their rights. Secretary Prakash Rao gave examples of how in the “biggest democracy in the world” the people are prevented from taking decisions and kept away from governance. He said: “the question of peoples’ empowerment has taken root amidst the people. Our people do not want to be perpetual victims of hunger, want and insecurity. We want drinking water and sanitation, quality education and healthcare, a proper home and environment wherein they can bring up their families in a dignified way befitting human beings in the 21st century. We do not want to be victims of communal violence or caste oppression. We do not want to be victims of terrorism, either by the state or by anyone else. We want our mothers, sisters and daughters to be able to lead a life of dignity and security. We want everyone to be guaranteed security of livelihood. We want prosperity and protection for all. However, the India we are living in does not provide protection and prosperity to all. Our people are increasingly unwilling to accept this state of affairs. They are waging struggles to change the situation for the better”.
“In these conditions, the Lok Raj Sangathan has been organizing the people to put forward their just claims to those in power. Lok Raj Sangathan has been working tirelessly to build Lok Raj samitis at the base of society — in residential colonies and work places in towns and in the rural areas. These samitis have become organs of political activity and struggle. Through these samitis, the Sabha in the area collective assert their claims and defend their rights”. Concluding the detailed and rich report, Prakash Rao said that Lok Raj is the only way to ensuring that people are prosperous and secure. He outlined the form and content of Lok Raj, that is the kind of transformations necessary in the way the present Indian union is constituted, and in the way the present political system and process of democracy is constituted, to ensure that marginalization of people is ended and people are sovereign, the decision makers. He pointed out that the struggle for people’s empowerment has begun to now capture the imagination of large number of organizations, and we work closely with them for the common aim of the empowerment of the people. April 2013 will mark twenty years of the work of the Lok Raj Sangathan. April 2014 will be the time of the next Lok Sabha Elections. The strengthening and expansion of the political and organizational work of Lok Raj Sangathan in the next two years is a very important task confronting us, he pointed out. Prakash Rao concluded the report by placing the tasks confronting the organization in the light of the challenge facing Indian society at this time.
Following this, the delegates were invited to express their opinions and give suggestions on the report presented by the Secretary. Discussion on the report lasted the entire day. Delegates from Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Rajasthan, Haryana, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Manipur, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh and other parts of the country spoke about their experience and concentrated on the significance of the report. The participation was vigorous, with presentation of views on the political analysis of the situation, and on the way forward in terms of building the organization. The members present were unanimous on the conclusion that bringing power into the hands of the people is the only way to ensure the happiness and justice for all. After an entire day of discussion the Convention passed the report.
After this two resolutions were presented. The first resolution condemned the false pretext on which various imperialist countries under the leadership of American Imperialism occupy and violate the rights and sovereignty of the people of the occupied countries by creating situations of war. The resolution called for the unity of all people to condemn war and speak up for the sovereignty of nations. In the second resolution, increasing prices, monopoly of national and international companies over trade, forced land grab by the government in support of big production houses, privatization of public property and services, against state terrorism and state organized violence, in support of buying of crops by the government from farmers at profitable rates and a working public distribution system, as well as a call to expand and strengthen Lok Raj Sangathan. The entire gathering with one voice passed the resolutions.
The New All India Council of Lok Raj Sangathan was then elected.
Newly elected President Shri S. Raghavan gave the concluding speech. He stressed on the work of the All India Council, the regional councils of LRS as well as the strengthening of the work of the Lok Raj Samitis and their formation in new places. Next year we will be celebrating 20 years of Lok Raj Sangathan. We should participate proactively in the 2014 general elections to reveal the lies of the present system and organize more and more people around the work of Lok Raj. He thanked the delegates who had come from all parts of the country for their active participation in the work of LRS and invoked them to expand their work.
The Convention ended with the singing of progressive songs.