“On the source of growing anarchy and hate crimes” demands that the Constitution and state guarantee fundamental rights and sukh and suraksha for the people
Lok Raj Sangathan held a well-attended political forum on the subject “On the source of growing anarchy and hate crimes” on September 30th in New Delhi. LRS has been conducting political forums regularly in order to build political unity among wide sections of people and organisations around current political issues that are of concern to the people.
Justice Hosbet Suresh, former President of LRS and its current honorary chairperson participated energetically in the political forum and presented his views, inspiring the young audience by showing that age cannot dampen the spirit if one is clear about the ultimate aim of people’s empowerment.
Nearly three-fourth of the audience consisted of youth who were either in college or started working from an early age. They listened to the discussion with interests and attention and some of them presented their views with vigour. For them, the discussion was completely different from the regular lies peddled by the media owned by corporate houses on what is the real source of anarchy and violence being faced by people today.
Speakers unanimously pointed to the timely organisation of this political forum which was so much needed in the present context where individuals and groups of people are killed on a daily basis or put behind bars on charges of communal and terror activities. Rival political parties regularly incite hatred against this or that section in order to cultivate their vote banks. The growing communalization and criminalization of politics has also served to divert and silence the masses of people who have come out in protests against the anti-social policies of the government in the service of corporate houses.
Smt Sucharita, while welcoming the gathering to the political forum pointed to the importance of the topic and how people’s struggles for their rights are hidden behind growing anarchy and violence. Even politicians at the highest levels stoop down to mouthing the most backward anti-people allegations and rumours but go unpunished. She also warmly welcomed Justice Suresh and introduced him to the audience as an indefatigable fighter for rights..
Shri S. Raghavan, President of LRS, further talked about Justice Suresh’s contribution to the struggle for human rights. He also explained the purpose of the public forum periodically organised by LRS to encourage discussion and debate on current issues and build political unity. He called upon participating organisations and individuals to place their views out of which should come a proposal for an alternative to this society ridden with problems.
He pointed out that incidents of violence and crime have been increasing every day and they are not spontaneous. These incidents are not just recent ones. They have been occurring since years. Every government we have had had let loose violence on people who oppose its rule. The British colonial regime accused those who were politically active of one or another crime, and arrested them in the same way as what is happening today. In order to rule over such a large country, they had to use the policy of divide and rule. The British used this as a preferred policy to rule over India. This is what our rulers have also been doing in all these years since 1947. The Partition and the ensuing genocide of 2 million people was planned systematically by the colonial regime and both the Congress and Muslim League became willing collaborators. The seeds of hatred and enmity sown during Partition still haunts us so much that the current regime is celebrating the Surgical strike against Pakistan and is making efforts to widen the rift between neighbouring countries. Our rulers have continued with the policy of divide and rule since 1947, so that they can divert the attention from the real concerns of the people and to divide them on this or that basis. This is how they have carried through anti-people measure like demonetization, imposition of GST and buying Rafael jets and militarization.
This climate of hatred and violence cannot be ended with a change of government since they stem from the policy of divide and rule adopted by corporate rulers who are the real rulers behind the scenes. Through every election they bring one or another of their parties to power. We have seen through our own experience how both the parties – Congress and BJP – have been unleashing this kind of violence and hate across society, to divide them and to paralyse them, to terrorise them. This is used against those who are protesting or speaking out against what the government is doing. Elections are used to allow people to vent their anger and bring in a new government, but problems remain the same – lack of livelihood/insecurity that women feel and the growing attacks on them, etc.
Justice Suresh, honorary chairperson of LRS, elaborated on the point that despite everything mentioned as Rights in our Constitution – there is so much inequality, there is hunger even after 71 years since independence. People are starving and are begging for food!! These are fundamental rights that should be guaranteed. Every human right is a fundamental right and must be ensured and guaranteed. One of the things that come to mind is that we call our system “democracy”. It means rule of majority. But the people have no say, and whichever government comes to power, they have done so without the support of majority. Parties which come to power do not have a majority mandate. Every election is won by money power and after getting elected, parties do nothing. This mode of democracy must be changed.
The present size of constituencies are so large that only those who have the backing of big money can hope to win. Constituencies should be made smaller. Only then people can be familiar with their candidate. Elections can be held at several levels with lower levels selecting and electing candidates to the next higher level.
The other issue is that of right to recall. Without this right, people have to put up with their representative for 5 years, even if he has committed the worst crimes against the people, and is corrupt. People in their constituencies should be able to have a say if the majority feels that something should not be done, it cannot be done.
After a lot of struggle, tribal people won certain rights as in Forest Rights Act. Such rights should belong to all people. We should have a system in which people are organized in smaller constituencies, so that they know the representative they are election. There is also a need for judicial accountability and reform so that an emergency like situation can be prevented.
Shri Rajarajan, Gandhian Initiative for Social Transformation, felt that corruption and dishonesty are underlying factors in these increasing incidents. Over the past 10-25 years many activists and organisations have been working and awareness has increased. In Tamilnadu, people are taking initiatives such as cleaning water bodies, in flood relief. But this is not enough since political groups, with one stroke, take us backwards. All say they want change in the constitution, RPA etc. But these are against the ways of the powers that be. How can we expect them to act themselves. Candidates put up in elections do not represent the people. In a Lok Sabha constituency there are more than 15 lakh voters, so it makes it impossible for people to know their candidate. In every street and every corner, peoples committees should be made consisting of 150-200 people and they should select a candidate from among themselves. This is not only limited to elections but such committees should take up all problems in the area. Even then, suing the EVM Congress or BJP may win. But people will not consider them as their real representatives but only those from among them. Then in the next 5 years, India can become an example for the world of how democracy should be. Now democracy is by the looters, of the looters and for corruption. If millions of us work towards this goal, then it is possible to have democracy for, by and of the people.
Shri Prakash Rao, Secretary of LRS, reiterated that politicians spout empty slogans and divisive politics. The people of India are troubled and this has an effect on every person. People are not allowed to think and understand the real source of their problems. There is so much of communal and hate politics that those sections of the people who are targeted are under constant fear and mental tension. UAPA is a draconian law. All of this is a strategy to keep people in fear. This has been going on since independence. The question is do we want to live like this in fear. People in India are all fighting against anarchy and hate crimes. We have to understand the source of anarchy, so that we do not just condemn but also find a solution. We must establish a society where people are not silenced for their opinions, religion and caste. Many think that such incidents happen only in India. What happens here is an imitation of what happens in the world. In all countries, this same sort of politics is going on, with a marginal difference here and there. Muslims are targeted worldwide. We need to see from the viewpoint of the people. If we do that, then we see that the conflict in the country is between those who are workers, peasants and those fighting for their rights, and on the other side, a handful of capitalists who sell the country, loot and exploit us. This anarchy is not because of the people, it is a plot of the rulers, of the capitalists and about 150 monopoly houses. They keep us divided so they can carry on their profitmaking. They divide all of us based on religion, language, etc. So we need to bring all people together. Anglo-American imperialists also have a hand in this. 30 yrs earlier, they said the war in the world is between Christians and Muslims. But it is actually between the exploited and exploiter and to hide this they bring in caste and religion. They do not hesitate to orgainse violence and bomb blasts. The people of India are innocent. Because they are honest they feel that all others are. But we should not trust the rulers because they are not honest.
He gave examples of how the rulers organise divisive activities and use them to further strengthen laws like UAPA. In many parts of the country black laws are consistently used. Capitalists have organised bomb blasts and blamed it on workers. This is why in 1857, Bahadur Shah appealed to Muslims to be vigilant and not fall into the trap of divisive politics by the colonial regime. In 1946, there was a big spurt in the struggles of the people, so the British organised the Partition and communal violence so that power can be handed over to those whom they trusted. Therefore the source of anarchy and violence is the current system. Over the past years, privatization, globalization and liberalization have resulted in the increased loot of people. Corruption cannot be eliminated unless the economy is reoriented in the interests of the people. It is the duty of the state to provide sukh and suraksha for all. Rights should be guaranteed and enforceable. Power should be in the hands of the people.
Sovereignty vests with the executive in our country, that is the cabinet. The executive is not accountable to the parliament. Elected representatives are not accountable to the people. Farmers demanded that 2 bills be debated in Parliament – for MSP and loan waiver. But these were not discussed because then they would have to justify and investigate. Unorganised workers are never supported too. A change of party or government is not the solution. We need to create a new society.
Shri G. Devarajan of All India Forward Bloc, said that anarchy and hate crimes affect people in different ways. Social anarchy and economic and political anarchy are all there. There are different laws for the rich and poor. People have no right to give our opinions about this. In last 10-15 days, petrol prices rose by 10-15 rupees. We cannot oppose this. Thousands of crores have been looted from our banks by big capitalists. Some of them are known, many are unknown. Big public and private sector banks have been looting the people.
In our country, wealth is looted and this is economic anarchy. They brought GST and said it is one tax. Now also there are so many taxes. For Kerala floods, there is a cess on GST which means new avenues for exploitation. We should not compromise with injustice. We need to come together and fight. Demonetization was also imposed on us. The govt said black money and terrorism would be finished. But nothing of the sort happened. People in power are perpetrating violence. Police violence videos have surfaced. Police themselves are committing arson. This is divisive politics. In the name of cow, people are being beaten and killed. This is social anarchy in our country, and mainstream parties and their policies are behind it. He concluded that Subhash Chandra Bose and Bhagat Singh were the real freedom fighters. We should walk in their path and end this anarchy.
The next speaker, Shri RS Dagar, UTUC, stressed that there is an atmosphere of anarchy and injustice today. They say our republic is to secular, non-partisan. Anarchy and injustice should not feature. But the current situation does not correspond to this. Government is fully based on injustice. The main reason for anarchy now is spreading of hate. Many youth are here, no new jobs are being created for them. In elections, politicians fall at your feet. But as Justice Suresh said no party comes with full majority. Only 45-50% voting is there so it is not a majority. The government is also against the Dalits. This government has not done anything for the people, it has only divided the people. Those who had criminal cases against them are in power. Dividing the people is their expertise. Whoever speaks against them is accused as anti-national. This is their weapon. The Kashmir situation is getting worse by the day. We speak against oppression and not to change the ruling party but to change the system itself. Before elections, Parties epnd crores of rupees and come to power but act against the interests of people. Workers are not guaranteed minimum wages. The governments work for capitalists. The laws are being broken and twisted and flouted. Judges never stand with the people, they always rule against them. They are always used to perpetrate the present rule. They are dividing the people on the issue of amendments to SC-ST Act. If we view history from the point of view of people’s struggles, then we see that the state has always used anarchy. This government believes only in anarchy and does not have anything to do with people’s progress. Skill India, Make in India are all farcical. Those in power call themselves deshbhakts but prevent people from raising their voices.
Shri Dhirendra Sharma of AITUC said that it is the current political system which creates this anarchy, keeps the police under its thumbs, divides people on the basis of religion then it is natural that anarchy will increase. The only aim of political parties is to be in power and perpetrate their rule. Since 1950, this system is spreading hate. The system is trying to discredit statutory bodies such as UGC, RBI and the legal system. Media is being controlled. A certain political view is propagated. Media is partisan and any discussion on the state of workers, peasants, women and youth is not considered. We need to take the struggle forward. They divide workers too on the basis of religion to form unions. We will need to go everywhere and tell people in every village too. It is true that there is anarchy and hate and it is fostered by the state.
Shri Abdul Waris, National Secretary, SDPI, who spoke next said that we are fighting for freedom from fear and hunger, freedom from lies and loot. Sabka saath, sabka vikas, bringing in black money were all empty promises. Black money has left the country. Mob lynching, beef, talaq are all in front of us. Those who speak up were attacked. The biggest perpetrators of fear are in our own country. Many capitalists have looted banks and run away with our money. Our vote and their rule will not work. We need to change this. We need to take the work forward.
Shri Nizamuddin Khan, State Convenor of SDPI pointed out that when you go to any state or region, you will hear about hate crimes. In any system or country, injustice or a criminal’s recognition cannot be done on the basis of his/her religion. Justice is being rendered today based on religion. Media is also communal. This shows the country is on path to destruction. Hate is the basis of injustice. Each religion is given different justice here. Constitution declares India as secular but even now Indian society has not come out of communalism. In Bihar, workers are picked up by the police, and shot in encounters. There are many such incidents. Media does not report the truth about attacks on minorities and dalits. Political parties call themselves secular but the guilty have not been punished yet. The current situation is such that nobody will get justice here, whether they be victims of hunger, crime, or communal violence. People are losing faith in the Constitution. And it is unfortunate that this is indeed happening. The source of crimes is this; till political and social violence is stopped, there will not be an end. Atrocities have increased under the BJP regime. It is the duty of society to oppose this. When you feel the anger against injustice inside you, then only will things change. On the basis of fear, people are being divided based on their religion and caste. If we do not come together, nobody can save the unity and integrity of India.
Shri Krishan Kant of IFTU Sarvahara said that the atmosphere of violence and hate, its foundation is capitalism. It is monopoly capitalism and in its excess is it is fascism. In capitalism, the rate of profit is falling in India and the world. In the entire world, there is finance capital but not able to invest. India is a lucrative market for them. Netanyahu who is a war criminal is being received by our PM. The international situation has an effect in our country as well. Workers are also angry. Whenever there are large struggles such as in Maharashtra, the state attacks through repression. Unemployment is rising here. To divert people, divisive issues are created, such as romeo squads, gau rakshaks etc. This is the base of the anarchy. The right to speak is being suppressed. The foundation of anarchy is the greed and contradictions of capitalism. There is only one way forward which is workers’ unity. We need to create an anti-fascist front since we are weak when we are alone.
Several young activists and participants gave their views in a very lucid manner.
One activist pointed out that the current political system perpetrates anarchy and create laws that declare people as anti-national. The 5 activists who were called anti-national are still under arrest and have not been given justice. On the basis of religion and caste, people are divided. We need to think about this and come together to create a democratic society. When we talk about the current system, it is not this or that party. What we mean is the system created by capitalists to preserve their rule.
Another activist pointed out that lynching is the incitement of a mob against a particular group or individual. Mobs are created to attack and kill. This is anarchy in which you and I are being involved. It is propagated through social media too. This is the way in which our political views are shaped to benefit the rulers. Print media gives front page coverage to godmen. This is a diversion. The biggest problem facing youth is unemployment. Our needs are not provided for and so that we do not question this, these diversions are created. We should question these things and try to find the real reason and why we are being told such things and who is actually benefiting.
Another young activist said that the contract system is increasing. Somewhere the youth are made pawns in this and diverted. We should oppose all black laws such as UAPA. He also pointed out the increasing climate of fear and communalism created by the US and NATO which have been violating the sovereignty of several countries.
The next speaker drew the attention of the audience to how our politicians plant anti-people and divisive ideas among us to instigate us against each other. Like we are trying to spread positive thought, our politicians are trying to spread negative thought. On WhatsApp a forward came on demonetization saying that Muslims are behind this! I felt angry but then I understood through LRS that there is something else behind this. I am Muslim and did feel angry. I read about rape in a school. I could not believe that boarding schools are also not safe. If injustice happens in school also, then where will we be safe?
Shri Manoj Rai, President, Pravasi Sena, said that the situation is slums is pathetic. Till today, women and children go for open defecation, many are born and die on the streets. People do not have money to send their children to school. The fight is between labour and capital and not between religions. We have to organize the working class to fight oppression of the capitalist class, and not allow ourselves to be divided into religions and caste. We need to build a movement.
Shri Vinay Chaudhury, President, Concor Container Employees Union, said that he has made an effort to organize and fight as karamcharis who have no religion or caste. We have to fight unitedly as workers who are exploited. The government plays games in establishing Minimum Wages, and when the government was forced to increase it in the face of struggles of workers in Delhi, the Court strikes it down.
Shri Birju Nayak, Secretary of Delhi Council of LRS, questioned how those who were guilty of communal violence and genocide in 1984 and 2002 could come to power. For the people it does not make any difference which party comes to power since they are all serve the ruling establishment. The atmosphere of communal violence and hatred is not very different from the time Congress was in power. The Judiciary cannot be trusted since it took no action against the guilty of 1984. As citizens of this country, we are treated as slaves. Our Supreme Court and our Constitution talks a lot about justice for people but has the Supreme Court or Constitution ever guaranteed us justice. There is so much propaganda about this or that other party, how they will do this or that for people. But people have no right other than to vote. Patriotism is defined by loyalty to and support for the government, and any opposition to it is treated as anti-national.
Summing up the day’s discussions, Sucharita said that source of anarchy and crimes is not people but around 150 corporate families who are the real rulers. They are unable to fulfill the aspirations of the people and in order to divert people’s attention from their concerns and to divide them, the rulers are wielding their preferred weapon of communal violence, terror and hate crimes. This has been the policy of the rulers since 1947, and they have declared those who oppose this as anti-national and brought in the most fascist laws to be used against this people. The Constitution has not been able to guarantee fundamental rights or punished those guilty of crimes. We have to fight for a new political process that will guarantee fundamental rights, rights to food, livelihood and a human existence, national rights, and will ensure peace and security. We have to organize and unite to fight for such a new society.