Especial focus
WSF India

In 2003 the IC of the WSF and the Brazil Organizing Committee strongly felt that WSF needed to move beyond Brazil and Latin America to be more inclusive of peoples of Africa and Asia: the peoples facing the brunt of imperialist and neo liberal globalisation, and enjoined in strong popular struggle against it. Keeping this in mind, India has been chosen as the host country for the WSF 2004 so as to bring in Asian and African concerns to greater prominence. With the success of the Asian Social Forum in Hyderabad, India in January 2003, which saw the participation of over 20,000 delegates representing 840 organisations, tremendous enthusiasm has been generated within Asia about the WSF process. Hosting of the World Social Forum global meet in India in 2004 is a great opportunity and challenge to people's movements and to all civil and political organisations across the world especially those of the peoples of Asia and Africa. The WSF 2004 is for all those opposed to imperialist and neo-liberal globalisation, war and sectarian violence, and has a commitment to democratic values, plurality, dignity and peace.

WSF 2004 is also a symbol of unity and democratic space for people to assert their rights for peace and a world free of violence, bigotry and hatred. The WSF India process will not only focus on imperialist globalisation but also on the issues of religious and sectarian violence, casteism and patriarchy. The WSF process in India will make space for all sections of society to come together and articulate their struggles and visions, individually and collectively, against the threat of neo-liberal, capitalist globalisation on one hand and uphold the secular, plural and gender sensitive framework on the other. All those who take part in the World Social Forum – in India as elsewhere in the world - should be in broad agreement with the Charter of Principles of the WSF. In India the WSF charter has been extended to include social and political realities, as they exist in the country today. The process in India makes space available for all sections of society, but most importantly, it makes space for all those in society that remain less visible, marginalized, unrecognised, and oppressed. This entails the opening of a dialogue within and between the broad spectrum of political parties and groups, social movements and other organisations. The WSF-India process aims to be widespread and inclusive by allowing for a space for workers, peasants, indigenous peoples, dalits, women, hawkers, all minorities, immigrants, students, academicians, artisans, artists, the media as well as parliamentarians, sympathetic bureaucrats and other concerned sections from within and outside the state. The event will bring together independent, as well as mass organisations, new social movements and NGOs on one platform, for the first time in recent Indian history. The WSF process is being deepened at the grassroots by initiating social forums in states, districts and towns of India.

The WSF 2004 will advance the debate on concerns Indian and yet simultaneously maintain an international perspective. A basic and underlying organising principle is that all activity in the WSF will be both serious and purposeful, addressing the hard ground realities that we live in and struggle with, and also be vibrant celebrations of life, of alternatives, of possible other worlds.

Five national consultations have been held in India since WSF 2003 to advance the WSF process, between February and May 2003 [in Delhi: 14-16 February, in Nagpur: 21-22 March, in Delhi- 7-8 April, and in Mumbai: 19-20 April, 29 May 2003]. The decision to host WSF 2004 in India was based on a detailed review of the success of the Asian Social Forum 2003 and evaluation of the experience of representatives of Indian organizations who participated in WSF 2003, including those who attended IC meetings. With each successive consultation, an effort was made to bring more organizations representing critical sections of society and the economy from across the political spectrum into the process. The consultation also put in place a democratic, transparent and accountable decision making mechanism in the WSF India process.

Patrocinato da:

Fondazione Rosa Luxemburgo

Comune di Belém |