May 21, 2018

Full programme: Building an Inclusive India - Citizens Conclave May 25-27, 2018 (New Delhi)

25-27 May, 2018

Highly perturbed by the growing violence, attacks on women and girls, atmosphere of hatred across the nation, attacks on dissent, further marginalization of Dalits and minorities, attacks on educational institutions; realizing the danger to our shared heritage, pluralism and diversity, a few friends got together and constituted a group ‘ India  Inclusive’  to safeguard not only the shared heritage, collective consciousness but also to protect the idea of an inclusive India. This India of our dreams is forward looking and free of fear. This inclusive India has existed for many centuries; it welcomed diversity with open arms. This India has encouraged and produced diversity of religion, ethnicity, language, habits, practices and ideas, by building a compassionate, peaceful and nonviolent cultural ethos.
Today we very strongly feel that the idea of this inclusive India is under sever threat. The divisive forces have contaminated all spaces of thought and expression. Hate and fear looms large. The democratic structures through which a common citizen expresses her/his aspirations and fulfills her/his dreams are under intense attack. We have learnt from the experience of neighboring countries, once these structures are allowed to crumble, nations pay huge prices to rebuild build them. We cannot be complacent and allow the forces of hate to grow on our soil and convert the subcontinent into a cauldron of intolerance.

There is no dearth of examples, where countries build on hatred towards, ethnic, religious or linguistic minorities, economically and socially weaker sections have been torn apart. We fear that fascist forces today are pushing this land on that path. With a sense of urgency we rise to call upon all peace loving citizens of the country to come together and resist the onslaught on the Idea of inclusive India.

India Inclusive is an informal open platform; it will network with citizens , who want to preserve the constitutional values and it will strive to build resistance against the forces of hatred. India Inclusive strongly believes in safeguarding our Constitution in its letter and spirit. At the present political juncture, the attack on the democratic rights is vehement. Rise of hatred and revenge crimes have been fanned by well designed and motivated right –wing forces.  

Citizens Conclave is guided by the vision of reclaiming and realizing the idea of an inclusive India: an India that necessarily includes and respects all of our country's immense diversity of cultures, faiths, languages, peoples and communities - all held together, and mediated, by the core constitutional idea and values of citizenship, the touchstone of democracy.

It’s time to realize that the might of organized political forces of prejudice and hatred must now be confronted by the sovereign rights and might of democratic citizenship enshrined in the Constitution of India.

 Taking forward the deliberations, India Inclusive plans to organize similar conclaves in many other cities in the coming months. We also urge the fraternal organizations to organize similar conclaves in other parts of the country on their own initiative.

 The Citizens’ Conclave is non- funded and is being organized on contributions from individuals.