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INSAF National Convention on



19-20 March 2016 (NEW DELHI)

Venue: Rajendra Bhawan, opp GPF, near ITO.

The last two decades has not only witnessed the domination of the reactionary neo-liberal project with a total corporate takeover of entire political, economic and social spaces; and attempting to loot land and other natural resources. While maintaining a benevolent self-image, coated with sweet-sounding words like freedom, liberty, choice and rights, it has been successful in installing an inherently violent and authoritarian culture. Of course, the fullest freedom, liberty and rights has been accorded to corporations and capital but, for the majority of the Indian population, neo-liberalism has exacerbated poverty and inequality, hindered the potential for social justice, and is now increasingly thrusting countless numbers into destitution. The primitive accumulation through forced dispossession is accomplished with exceptional and emblematic violence and, also an usurpation of the democratic space.

The pseudonym “good governance” has in fact, masked the instauration of opaque decision making and the growth of unaccountable elites. Or, why would the government through the land bill amendments attempt to get rid of the need for people’s consent in land acquisition? The idea of “good governance”, promoted by the World Bank three decades back was an uniform prescription for all borrowing countries to create mechanisms and facilitate processes for the withdrawal of the state in favor of the market. Any attempt to step in the direction of reducing socio-economic disparities through distributive justice is seen as an infringement on the process.

It has also been ably backed by another simultaneous reactionary programme - the Hindutva project. An introspection into its nature suggests that their simultaneous growth is not accidental. While neo-liberalism proceeds with ruthless speed to privatize and financialize and, attempting to transfer publicly or commonly held assets and resources into private property, Hindutva efficiently divides the society and weakens resistance. While neo-liberalism is an accumulation strategy aimed at restoring class power, the Hindutva project effectively diverts our attention from class conflict, to split and sabotage working class struggles and to deflect class-driven anxieties on to minority communities. While the Hindutva protagonists engage the nation in non-issues I.e. controversy over the ban of beef eating, the government silently passes acts and ordinances to enrich capitalists, cronies and beneficiaries resulting in an incremental dispossession, poverty, discrimination and inequality.

The marriage between neo-liberal market fundamentalism and Hindutva is a perfect recipe for authoritarianism. It has mounted merciless attack on active citizenly virtue, and values of egalitarianism and solidarity. While vociferously preaching for the withdrawal of the state especially, its regulatory & control functions, neo-liberalism has vastly armed the coercive sections and functions of the state. The inventory of Hindutva authoritarianism is indeed extensive, working full time to facilitate the attack on democracy and democratic spaces. Its cultural and moral prescriptions attempts to create a monolithic society where any dissent or difference of being would be least tolerated. While the Prime Minister eulogizes the “Gujarat Model”, the VHP obscenely demands that dissenters are sent to Pakistan or the 'Gujarat experiment' be enacted to teach all non-Hindus a lesson.

Similarly, to strangle any attempt to question the cold hard facts that this restoration and reconstitution of naked class power has wrought, the ruling hierarchy stifles any form of dissent, protests or even democratic opinions within the society. At the same time, the public relation exercises of the state and capital are geared up to justify and legitimise whatever needed to be done to achieve this goal. The terrible fascistic ambition of turning secular and democratic India into a fascist state can not be ruled out.

In this context, the INSAF is organising a national convention on the theme “Shrinking democratic spaces and neo-liberal fundamentalism”.

The following is a programme outline:

19 March 2016 (Saturday)
Inaugural Session
10.30 – 01.00
P. Sainath
Teesta Setalwad

Chair: Uma Chakravarty

Attack on Freedom of Expression
2.30 – 5.30

Neelabh Mishra, Amit Sen Gupta, Manglesh Dabral, Manmohan,
Ranjit Verma, Saba Naqvi, Gauhar Raza, Manimala

Chair: Saroop Dhruv

Cultures of Resistances
06.00 – 09.00

Morche par Kavi – Hindi “poetry of resistances” recitation
Revolutionary Songs - URBAN FOLK
“Khatra” - Play by IPTA
 “Ye Hai Sacchai” - Play & Songs by Sangwari

Moderated by Renu Singh

20 March 2016 (Sunday)
Culture of intolerance
10.00 – 01.00
Sanjay Kak,  Amar Kanwar, Gargi Sen
Meera Chaudhary, Soumitro Dastidar

Chair: Rahul Roy

Fascism of the 21st century
02.30 – 05.30 

Students in Struggle (FTII, JNUSU & HCU)
Achin Vanaik, Subhash Gatade

Chair:  Anil Chaudhary

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