December 25, 2015

India: Notice announcing a 'Strategy Meeting Against Communalism' by NAPM (24 dec 2015)

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Faisal Khan
Date: 22 December 2015 at 19:37
Subject: Invitation for the Second Strategy Meeting against Communalism 24th Dec. 2015

Dear Friends,
Invitation for the Second Strategy Meeting against Communalism
24th Dec., 2015

We are inviting you for the Second Strategy Meeting against Communalism going to be held on 24th Dec. 2015.

On 15th November, 2015, some of us sat in the office of National Alliance of People's Movements, Delhi to have a comprehensive discussion against communalism spreading in our country and made a long term strategy to fight against the same.

This is also to inform you all that during NAPM Chintan Shivir, held in October, 2015 in Hyderabad, it was decided that NAPM will make a national strategy against rising Communalism. Some of our colleagues have also taken the responsibility in the process. Because of time and distance constraints, people from outside couldn't come for the 15th November strategy meeting.

We called up that meeting in Delhi, and discussed in details for around 3 hours ending up with strategies and also some programmes focusing fight against the rising communalism. Sathies have shared the responsibilities and agreed to take it forward under the banner of NAPM.

We are again attaching the minutes of first strategy meeting (15-11-2015) with this invitation so that there should be clarity for all including the new members on previous discussion and the progress. We are also expecting other organizations to come and involve actively from now onwards.

It will be an informal meeting so we are just sending the proposed agenda:

Informal discussion on rising communalism and the present situation
Progress on the decisions and the strategies made in the first meeting
The way forward

We will have the arrangement for lunch on that day.

Meeting Schedule

Date: 24th December, 2015 [Thursday]
Time: 11:00 AM - 03:00 PM
Venue: NAPM Office, 6/6 Jangpura B, New Delhi – 110014. Phone: 011 2437 4535

Vimalbhai : National Alliance of Peoples' Movements 9718479517, Faisal Khan: Khudaikhidmadgar 9968828230,
Sant Prakash : Swaraj Abhiyan 8587917462

o o o

[English Text from Attached document]

Report of the Strategy Meeting against Communalism 15th November, 2015
Dear Friends,
As we already informed you, the strategy meeting against communalism held at NAPM Office, Delhi on 15th Nov, 2015 went off well and various saathis suggested actionable strategy point after a detailed discussion.
Everyone agreed that India is going through one of its most challenging phases, post- independence, especially after the emergence of the new government which made tall promises of development and resolution of all grievances of the common people, but is now turning its back on the masses and only serving corporate interests.
The limits of intolerance, repression, inflation, poverty and unemployment have crossed all limits. To keep their pack of cards intact the rulers have intensified their formula of divide & rule especially on the religious planks and are trying to deflect attention from the burning political questions and people problems. The Modi government has visibly been using Hindutva as its weapon, destroying the secular and democratic fabric of this country.
The issue at hand is not just communalism, but the religious terrorism unleashed by the Hindu rulers of this country on the minorities, dalits, women and even other ordinary Hindus who express any disagreement with the Hindu agenda. If we have to retain the secular, democratic fabric of this country, we have no option but to battle the religious terrorism both within Delhi and across the country. We need to come up with concrete strategies.
A few of the points suggested were:-
Reaching out to those who have been affected by communal riots/issues.
Strengthening contacts and engagement with organizations and individuals challenging religious terrorism and communal forces.
Working towards creating a politically sensitive cadre of activists.
Bring out the debate of Hindu Vs. Hindu. Consolidating literature on atrocities against women, tribals, Dalits, minorities etc and creating new literature on the present situation.
Involving the movements working with dalits, women and minorities etc. Danger faced by –Government, Media and communal forces.
Designing and take up politically informed programmes in colleges and universities.

Using technology in an appropriate way to counter the myths and hate being propagated; opening a separate events and action page on face book.
Creating a dedicated website – as a clearing house of all information – over a period of time.
Work with the Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Christian, Jain, Buddha and other communities, who express a resolve of mutual peace and harmony, with a holistic understanding of the rural-urban, national-international perspective.
Working with a long term perspective, with strategies focusing on making a dent in the 2019 elections.
On 8th march women groups may organise at one or many big eventes on the theme of “Peace-Justice-Women”
Specific Responsibilities:
Shamsul Islam and Vimalbhai undertook responsibility to draft a Common Parcha that can be used across the country.
A list of social action programmes that can be undertaken in different parts of the country would be drawn by Faisal Khan.
A small compilation of at least 30 people who have stood for the diversity and plurality of India a short film based on them would be made – Faisal Khan.
Challenge of Religious Terrorism in the Indian Sub – Continent should be taken up at least 10 different places by NAPM and others as seminars, film shows etc. – Responsibility : Prof. Aanad Kumar.
A comprehensive list of all saathis working on religious terrorism and a comprehensive list of websites where information is available ad blogs pots etc to be compiled. Literature from various sources on issues of communalism, secularism should be assembled art one place at Delhi. Zuleikha Khan undertook responsibility.
Poster and Educational Calendar can also be prepared. Vimalbhai, Shabnam and Zuleikha Khan shall speak to Shabnam Hashmi
Shamsul Islam undertook the responsibility to contact Bharat Dogra, to rep- print his booklet on History of Religions and Communalism.
Periodical meetings should take place at least once in a month on fixed days within Delhi, so that some action keeps taking place. More sathis must be informed to join the process. The entire exercise need not be Hindu-Muslim centric but must incorporate all current challenges and layers of the issue. Kandhamal, Sikh riot victims are as important and relevant.
Vimalbhai and Zuleikha Khan undertook to follow-up the action
points with support from others.

Meeting minutes by Vimalbhai