three day public action (Fast) against communalism in Delhi
72 HOUR FAST (10-13 OCTOBER)
IN DEFENCE OF A SECULAR INDIA
NO TO VIOLENCE AND COMMUNALISM
YES TO PEOPLES' RIGHTS, DEMOCRACY & PLURALISM
Opposite Rajghat, Gandhi Samadhi, New Delhi
10th October 1pm onwards
Dear friends and comrades,
The ongoing orchestrated attack on minorities by the Sangh Parivar led communal forces in Orrisa, Karnataka and other parts of India is a matter of deep concern for our entire society and polity. The violence has claimed several lives, hundreds have been wounded and women have been raped by organised gangs led by fundamentalist groups. Minority religious institutions have been destroyed or damaged in several states.
Muslims and Christians have borne the brunt of the recent attacks. Refugees in shelter homes in Orrisa are being forced to convert to Hinduism if they want to return back to their homes. Muslims are being labelled as 'anti-national'.
The failure of the state (both at the UPA government level and state governments - mostly BJP ruled) to use constitutional provisions to protect minorities and arrest the guilty is a matter of deep shame. This crisis raises several questions about Indian democracy. Why is the state consistently failing to act against Hindutva forces? Why are all citizens not being treated equally? Do citizens have the right to choose and practice a religion of their choice? Unfortunately communal forces are driving the agenda and deciding the answer to these questions.
Gandhji believed that: 'Eye for an eye will make the whole nation blind'. The politics of hate is now mobilising thousands blindly against their fellow citizens.
Progressive forces across the country need to stop this and act now! Several individuals and organisations have taken the initiative to campaign against the fascist forces. Peace marches, seminars and fact-finding missions to sensitive areas have been organised but much more needs to be done.
As part of this initiative, Delhi Solidarity Group (DSG), National Alliance of Peoples' Movements (NAPM) and Matu Jan Sangathan have decided to organise a 72 hours UPVAS against communalism and violence. This will be organised at Raj Ghat, near the Samadhi of Gandhiji, in the capital city of India.
·Public meeting and beginning of fast on 10th October at 1 pm (72 hours fast by Vimalbhai of Matu Jan Sangathan and others)
·11th October Seminar at UPVAS place from 3pm to 6pm
·12th October paintings by children on peace and harmony and against communal violence
·13th October UPVAS will end at Gandhi Samadhi with all religious prayer for communal harmony
We request like-minded individuals and organisations to join the fast in solidarity and also to endorse this call and invite. A hindi leaflet is attached for your reading and circulation.
Appealing for your support, solidarity and presence.
"Beware of the leader who bangs the drums of war in order to whip the citizenry into patriotic fervor, for patriotism is indeed a double-edged sword. It both emboldens the blood, just as it narrows the mind. And when the drums of war have reached a fever pitch and the blood boils with hate and the mind has closed, the leader will have no need in seizing the rights of the citizenry, [who] infused with fear and blinded by patriotism, will offer up all of their rights unto the leader and gladly so. How will I know? For this I have done. And I am Julius Caesar." William Shakespere
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