-Press Release


Thousands of toilers, farmers, fishworkers, women, dalits and tribals assert 'Power to to people.'

Janadhikar Panchayat to start with public hearings on April 27th and end with mass rally on the 28 at New Delhi.

Within a week from now, on April 27th, hundreds of thousands of people from North to South India would gather in New Delhi for Janadhikar Panchayat a National Mass Action organised under the banner of the National Alliance of People's Movements. They will be representing millions of those farmers, fishworkers, labourers - living on the natural resources and human power, those facing atrocities and discriminations, displacement and deprivation.  Dalits, Tribals, women,minorities the known disadvantaged sections united through their own local, regional organisation local issues and mass struggles, are to gather close to the Centre of Power to voice their protest against the wrongs of development policies and increased atrocities due to the anti sovereign agreements and deals with global powers. They would challenge the casteist, communal forces as not just the enemies of the untouchables, dalits and minorities but of the humankind "We can't anymore submit to the State manned by the power hungry politicians otcaring for democracy as also social values and wealth. We can't accept imposed plans and priorities favouring consumerism and not fulfilling consumption -needs" they would unitedly announce!

But the unique representative gathering of people's organisations across the country, from atleast 13 states would aim not only at a call for 'Bachao' - save a river, a village, a farm - but at an Assertion of Will to have their own right to the land -water-forest - mineral and aquatic wealth in each village community, to have a local eco-socio-economically decentralised planning for equity and sustainability. They would avowedly denounce the World Trade Organisation and propagate indigenous technology, local markets closely linking consumers to producers and simple non-consumerist living for a 'human prosperity'. ' Power toPeople' and creation of a new social order would be the ideal at hearts to be voiced through concrete experiences, exhibition of innovations, creations, and experiments of appropriate technology.

The first day of this national event which is being planned after four years since 1994 mass rally against New Economic Policy, is of public hearings - Jansunvais. Eminent judges (retired), lawyers, activists and academicians will hear representatives from organisations on four issues - Displacement, MNCs and Global designs of development, Atrocities and Centralised power-projects Vs. Civil Society. Member of the panel will include Justice Rajendra Sachchar, Prof.Dalip Swamy, Aruna Roy, S.R.Sankaran, Anil Prakash and others.  The purpose of the hearing is to raise these issues at the national level and bring people's perspectives and plans into 'national people's agenda'.  Will the elected representatives take cognizance? A question would arise at the forum that would pledge for people's alternative politics beyond electoral process that would set the relationship between the State and the People's Right, - the later gaining power through decentralisation of natural resource management as also of political processes.

On April 28th, the nation will witness a mass rally and public meeting thronged by the urban and rural poor but also all the citizens concerned about the changed socia, economic, and political situation, widening disparity, valuelessness, exploitation and powerlessness at national and global level.  The men and women would come from struggles against eviction of hawkers and slum dwellers in Calcutta, Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai, struggles saying "NO" to big dams - Narmada, Tehri, Suvarnarekha, etc . those all out to evict MNCs, crying halt toprivatisation of our sea and ports and others.  They would include activists, Handloom weavers, artisans and villagers successfully exhibiting alternatives in small social units; Sarvodayisdedicated to Gramswarajya and Ambedkarites committed to casteless society.  This empowered population, is planned not merely as a show of strength but to announce a national programme to cary along to their homes and hamlets, states and regions. We invite all and one to join us in a new Freedom Struggle.

Medha Patkar, National Convenor,NAPM

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