Hopefully India is on the threshold of unprecedented economic development and military might. The country is posting record economic growth and titans of Indian business gobbling traditional European industrial companies. With a booming sensex and the GDP growth poised to reach 8 or 9% some hype is understandable. There is boom everywhere. Shopping malls, golf courses, luxury goods and overachieving entrepreneurs have become the new icons of India shining.
But shopping malls do not make a nation. While India accounts for close to a third of the world’s IT professionals it also home to a quarter of the world’s undernourished. The National Sample Survey Organization has estimated that poverty in the country has declined by a mere 0.74% during the 11-year period ended 2004-05. This clearly shows that the income disparities in the country are widening. The Human Development Index published by UNDP reveals that India is doing relatively much less with its income to improve human development.
The sizzling growth figures also hide extreme marginalization of a large number of people including the Muslims, the Dalits, the tribals, the women and some sections of the backward communities. Sachar Committee report has brought to the centre stage some of the unpalatable truths about Indian Muslim situation. Denied access to the national kitty they are languishing on the margins of the urban and rural habitats. Since Independence they have faced well planned and well executed riots and lost lives, limbs and property. The media have spread lies about the Muslim community creating a deep sense of alienation and fear among them sapping their creativity and desire to participate in nation building.
Dalits do not fare better. Every two hours a Dalit is assaulted, every day three Dalit women raped, two Dalits murdered and two Dalit homes torched. Human rights violations have become very common. Extra legal executions by the police are glorified as efficient police work.
The farmer suicides, the rise of militant groups in the various parts of the country and the increase in the oppressive measures adopted by the state are nothing but symptoms of the lopsided economic policies of the ruling class. India usually comes to the top of the list of most corrupt countries. Fraud levels are considerably higher at 42 % against the global level of 27%
Leftists the so called the guardians of people’s rights have turned right garnishing their neo-liberal policies with leftist terminology. The upper castes hold all the levers of political and socio-economic power. In the armed forces they are heavily represented in the officer class. In the media they control every thing.
Stop the Neo-liberals
The neo-liberal policies of the govt. have ruined the traditional industries and agriculture. Over two thirds of Indians live in villages and they are depending upon small scale agriculture. The no-liberal development models do not pay proper attention to the traditional arts and crafts. Also it is afraid of people and wants only to skim the cream off the milk. The new maharajas do not represent India and the ruling upper caste elite with the help of the loyal and subservient media do an excellent cover up job.
The economic aftermath of such policies are also reflected on the environment. Indian paddies and wheat fields are known to be highly poisoned due to the reckless use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Indian waterways are highly polluted.
On the political front the situation is hardly encouraging. We have been able to develop a fairly supple political system and have enviable record of holding elections on time. However India democracy has also fallen victim to the wheeler-dealers working at national and state capitals. People with no grass root level support manipulate the system. It is a common place now that all the political parties send regularly to the legislatures people with criminal background.
The rise of Hindutva fascism has also made deep inroads in to Indian polity. The social fissures created by industrialization and urbanization have helped the Hindutva forces to spread the tentacles to all spheres of public life. Still greater is the threat from neocolonial powers led by the United States. India’s withdrawal from international anti-colonial organizations and her rejection of ethical foreign policy positions show the strength of the current nexus between India and the US. Israel, the out law state has already penetrated in to various departments of the Indian security. Our defence spending has increased manifold due to ill conceived security perceptions fuelled by pro-US lobby.
It is high time that the people of India come forward and reverse the broken socio-political and economic model that enriches the few, feeds corruption, devastates many and contributes to the general decline of the country. A balanced, ethically sound, equitable and sustainable model is to be developed.
Popular Front of India is a platform for people’s movements working in the Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu geared to find out alternative development models which are people friendly and aims at equitable distribution of the nation’s resources. Popular Front will strive for freedom, security and justice for all the people of India irrespective of their caste, creed or religion. It believes that any community should learn to use their internal resources optimally as they fight for share of the nation’s resources due to them. It is also of the view that fascism is a major threat to the county’s integrity and neo-colonial powers work hand in glove with such forces. It will mobilize people at the grass root level making them capable of political intervention and using the democratic process to evolve an inclusive system. The front will propose counter- affidavits to the official or established viewpoints. And will work as a jealous guardian of human rights and civil liberties
Popular Front is organizing the Empower India Conference on Thursday 15 & Friday 16 of Feb 2007 at Bangalore to highlight the basic objectives of the Federation. Thousands of activists and common people are expected to reach Bangalore on that day to join the march of history and to rally with people determined to take control of their future.
For further information, please visit http://www.popularfrontindia.org/