1. This convention strongly feels that the UPA Government has presided over a regime of huge scams and corporate plunder of our resources, with top Ministers and the Prime Minister himself implicated in the spectrum and coal scams. While the people are fighting against corruption and corporate plunder, and demanding that this Government must quit forthwith, the UPA Government is instead clinging to power and intensifying its offensive on common people, with repeated hikes in prices of essential commodities, and measures like FDI in retail that will snatch away livelihood of millions of Indians, and put farmers as well as consumers at the mercy of corporate retailers. The Prime Minister has shamelessly lied to the country’s people by claiming that these measures are in ‘national interest,’ to protect people from the impact of the global economic crisis. The truth is that it is Manmohan Singh’s Government that has invited the US-generated economic crisis on Indian soil by imposing US-dictated economic policies. The anti-people UPA Government must therefore resign! This Convention congratulates all the people struggling against these policies especially student-youth March to Parliament on 9 August, and the all-India Jail Bharo protest on 31 August, and calls for an even broader and more powerful people’s movement demanding the resignation of the UPA Government and a reversal of the policy regime that is fuelling corruption, corporate plunder, price rise, and assaults on livelihood.
2. The main opposition BJP-NDA is trying to champion the anti-corruption agenda, but BJP-NDA State Governments are equally implicated in corruption and corporate plunder of resources. The BJP and Sangh Parivar are desperately trying to fan up a communal and divisive agenda in the wake of the Assam violence and rumour campaign that sparked off a massive exodus of people from the North-East from major cities. These communal forces are fuelling a hate-campaign against minorities and migrant workers in Maharashtra, Karnataka and other parts of the country, branding them as ‘Bangladeshi infiltrators.’ This Convention calls upon Left and democratic forces to expose and resist this communal and divisive ploy of the BJP and Sangh Parivar. This Convention welcomes the recent verdict in the Naroda Patiya massacre case and hails the ongoing struggles to bring the political perpetrators of communal violence, be it Gujarat 2002 or Delhi 1984, to justice.
3. Operation ‘Green Hunt’ – being conducted in the name of combating Maoists – is increasingly being exposed as a ploy to suppress all dissent and people’s movements. From the anti-nuke protestors at Koodankulam, to activist Seema Azad, to the cartoonist Aseem Trivedi, dissenters are being jailed for ‘sedition’; Maruti workers are jailed and paramilitary forces deployed on the factory floor; adivasi children are being gunned down in fake encounters in Chhattisgarh while adivasi women like schoolteacher Soni Sori are tortured in jail; minority youth are being slapped with false terror cases; and the people of Kashmir and the North East are subjected to systematic military repression and suppression of their democratic rights. This Convention expresses solidarity with the struggles against nuclear plants at Koodankulam and Jaitapur and the Maruti workers’ struggle; demands the scrapping of draconian laws like AFSPA, UAPA and the sedition law; an end to the witch-hunt of minority youth in the name of terrorism and adivasis in the name of Maoists.
4. Corporate land grab is leading to forced eviction of peasants and adivasis, and endangering the country’s food security. Ongoing people’s resistance against land grab and eviction in rural and urban centres – for instance at Jagatsinghpur (POSCO), Omkareshwar Dam in MP, Nagdi in Jharkhand, and Nonadanga in West Bengal – are being met with repression. The Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (LARR) Bill 2011, introduced to replace the notorious 1894 Land Acquisition Act, aims to legitimize and facilitate land grab rather than protect land. This Convention expresses solidarity with ongoing struggles against land grab and forcible eviction, demands withdrawal of the LARR Bill 2011, and fresh legislation to prevent forcible land grab and indiscriminate acquisition or purchase of fertile and forest land.
5. This Convention calls for widespread resistance to the policies of disinvestment and opening up of the retail and civil aviation sectors to FDI. MNC retail giants like Wal-Mart are facing protests wherever they have gone – including Wal-Mart’s own home country the US - for exploiting their workers and farmers. Yet the UPA Government is bailing them out by rolling out the red carpet for them in India.
6. This Convention condemns the move of PM Manmohan Singh and the UPA Government to defer India’s adoption of GAAR (General Anti-Avoidance Rules) in order to appease domestic and foreign corporations. The GARR is intended to prevent abuse of laws by private parties in order to ‘legally’ avoid tax payment. This Convention demands that GARR be adopted at the earliest.
7. This Convention condemns in the strongest terms the attempts by a prominent US think-tank – the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace – to instigate India to conflict with its neighbours. In the notorious tradition of imperialists who wage wars on the pretext of ‘peace’ and ‘democracy,’ a report by this think-tanks asks India to “plan and prepare” for wars on the shared borders with Pakistan and China. This Convention calls upon the Indian people to rebuff and resist the attempts by imperialist powers and their ‘partners’ in the Indian ruling classes , to make India serve as an imperialist tool in the subcontinent.
8. There is a disturbing spurt in violence on women across the country, especially in the national capital, and in Assam, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal. Patriarchal pronouncements by judges, police officials and politicians are also being heard more loudly, blaming gender violence on women’s clothes and imposing patriarchal prescriptions on women. Atrocities on dalits too are on the rise, with the police firing at Paramakudi (Tamil Nadu) and the dismemberment of a youth in Dadri (UP) being prominent recent instances. Meanwhile, as the Bihar HC verdict in the Bathani Tola case showed, justice in the case of massacres by feudal forces is elusive. This Convention calls for determined resistance to root out feudal and patriarchal discrimination and violence, and punish the perpetrators of crimes against dalits and women.
9. Neoliberal policies have unleashed a veritable war on secure, dignified employment. Jobless growth has become the order of the day, jobs have become increasingly casualised and devoid of basic rights and democratic norms, and labour laws are being flaunted with impunity. This Convention demands that the right to dignified employment be recognized as a fundamental right; that policies be taken to create dignified jobs, in the absence of which adequate unemployment allowance be guaranteed; and that all labour laws and basic rights of workers and employees be upheld. Steeply rising prices of fuel and food are imposing an unbearable burden on the common people. This Convention demands an immediate roll back of hiked prices of fuel and cooking gas, and effective measures to curb price rise. The Convention strongly condemns all moves to curtail existing PDS entitlements and coverage, continue with the BPL-APL division, and replace food rations with cash handouts or coupons, and demands comprehensive food security, and universal PDS coverage with 50 kgs of food grains at Rs 2 per kg per family and other essential items.
10. This Convention demands the constitution of a Second States’ Reorganisation Commission to positively consider the long-pending and just demands for separate states of Gorkhaland and Telangana.
11. This Convention calls upon all Left and democratic forces to extend full support and participation to the 2-day Strike called by Central Trade Unions on February 20-21, 2013.
12. This Convention calls upon all the left and democratic forces in the country to come forward for united, constant and consistent mass struggles against the imperialist-dictated policies, being pursued by the Indian ruling classes, so that an effective and forceful Left and democratic intervention is ensured in the present situation and the neo-liberal developmental agenda of the government is decisively blocked and smashed.
Towards Intensified People’s Resistance!
For a Powerful Resurgence of Fighting Left and Democratic Forces!