Mumbai, August 19: On the occasion of its twentieth anniversary, the National Confederation of Human Rights Organizations (NCHRO) is holding a series in various cities across the country exploring various aspects of the human rights. An Opening Seminar themed “Terror Laws & their Implications” was inaugurated by former Supreme Court Justice, N. Santosh Hegde at a ceremony on 21 May 2017 at SCMI House, Bengaluru.
A major programme the “National Conference on Human Rights” is scheduled to be held on October 28-29, 2017 at New Delhi. This anniversary conference will gather human rights defenders, activists, former political prisoners, courageous dissidents and victims of rights violations from all parts of the nation and they will join hands to plan and act strategies for a positive social change at the national level. Some of the most prominent intellectuals and activists in the country will be taking part in the conference. It’s a great opportunity to take stock of the condition of human rights in the country.
As a part of nationwide seminar series, NCHRO conducted a Seminar in Mumbai on the theme “Corporate Regime and Economic Life of People” on 19th August 2017 at 5 pm at Marathi Patrakar Sangh, Azad Maidan, CSMT, Mumbai.
The Seminar was presided over by Adv K.P. Mohamed Shariff, Vice-Chairperson of NCHRO and its proceedings were conducted by Mr. Amir Talukdar an educationist and activist from Mumbai. The Seminar formally started with a welcome address by Mr. Santosh Saple, State President, NCHRO, thereafter Adv. Saifan Shaikh State General Secretary, NCHRO Maharashtra, delivered the introductory speech. Keynote speeches were presented by Dr. Kirtiraj DC, Professor, Bharti Vidyapeet, Pune and Dr. Mohammed Irshad, Professor, Tata Institute of Social Science (TISS).
Other guest speakers were Mrs. Harshali Potdar, from Joint Action Committee (JAC), Mumbai, Mr. Yusuf Sadath State President, Popular Front of India and Mr. E.M. Abdul Rahman, National Executive Member, Popular Front of India. Other speakers Mrs. Jyoti Jagtap National Exco Member, NCHRO, Adv. Arun Pereira CPDR, Mumbai and Mr. Dolphy D’souza Activist, Mumbai, could not make to the seminar due to rain, court appointment and mother’s health reason respectively. The program concluded with a vote of thanks by Mr. Amzad Shaikh an engineer and Activist from Mumbai.
Presenting a brief introduction of NCHRO, Adv. Saifan Shaikh State General Secretary, NCHRO Maharashtra, explained that The National Confederation of Human Rights Organizations (NCHRO) functions as a collective body of human, democratic and civil rights organizations/ non- governmental bodies as well as of the concerned individuals to act against all forms of violations. It has chapters in all major states and it is inclusive in nature. The forerunner of NCHRO was the CHRO, an organization established in 1997 in Kerala by a group of human rights activists led by K Panur and Mukundan C Menon. The necessity of strengthening human rights defenders and the need for a better coordination transformed the confederation to a pan-Indian movement. In a meeting held in Mumbai on 26 June 2007 CHRO was renamed as NCHRO. Justice Hosbet Suresh was the first chairperson and Adv. K P Muhammed Shareef, first general secretary. Prof. A Marx is the current Chairperson and Prof P Koya the General Secretary.
Dr. Kirtiraj who is an associate Professor in Bharti Vidyapeet, Pune went into explaining that the current government is nothing but a tool to run a corporate rule which is using the marketing concept of digital India, make in India, development, etc and fooling the mass and exploiting them and pushing India into modern slavery. (Already out of 167 countries in the world, India has the highest number of people living in slavery, i.e. more than 18 million people, or 1.4% of the population – The 2016 Global Slavery Index from the Walk Free Foundation). He talked about the demonetization, open economic market conditions, stopping of foreign funding to NGOs, stopping of funds for Human Rights Courses, stopping of debates & discussions, intolerance, stopping of discussion or answering by MPs in major economic issues and policies, etc.
Dr. Mohammed Irshad who is an associate Professor in Tata Institute of Social Science (TISS) in his talk hinted that currently the economic decisions are not taken by the right factors but by some other forces. The act of deciding on matters of the economy or the economic decision making is routinely conducted by finance ministers, economic advisors, heads of major central banks and business leaders as it can have profound effects on a country’s economy. But the government behavior is dubious. The overnight declaration of demonetization by the Prime Minister Modi, the roll out of GST without educating traders, etc. show the dictatorial nature of government even in economic matters. Ours is a mixed economy with the spirit of socialism – an economic system in which a free market and the government jointly make economic decisions for the benefit of the entire nation. But the BJP government is running the country’s economy through totalitarianism and offering it in the form of capitalism to the corporate groups. The government which has come to power through massive corporate funding and alleged EVM hacking is not interested in public welfare or development of the nation but rather is catering to its corporate financiers.
Harshali Potdar, from Joint Action Committee (JAC), Mumbai, in her speech explained that, the Corporate world and government have become partners in exploitation business. 90% of the capitalist today in India belong to the upper caste i.e. the Brahmins who are using the government to implement their divisive agenda. In the name of development they are hijacking the economy. Demonetisation, GST, etc. have dubious intentions. For example the much promoted Skill development is a conspiracy to stop the lower class from getting higher education and training them into low class workers and labourers whose only talent will be to serve the high corporate class. This is a modern way of enslaving people.
K.P. Mohamed Shariff, Vice-Chairperson of NCHRO reminded people of the conspiracy of East India Company that ultimately went on to rule India. They exploited our country and took away rich minerals and national wealth to build up their cities like Paris, London, etc. and at the same time enslaved the people of India. Similarly today the corporate world is hand in glove with the current government. All government policies favor the rich corporate group that are sucking our national economy and enslaving the mass especially the Dalits, Tribals, Muslims, etc. through policies like the SEZ, land acquisition bill, privatization, policies on labour laws, mining, etc. Our farmers and agricultural workers are on the path of suicides, not able to withstand the blood sucking policies of the ruling class. Various sections of farmers and agricultural workers are already on struggle. The distress the Indian villages are facing is the result of the inhuman and exploitative policies being pursued by the government. The people of the country should come in forefront of struggles against these policies and give confidence poor masses. There is a need to educate people and develop a massive struggle against the anti-people, neo-liberal and pro-corporate policies that the current government is implementing in connivance with the super rich corporate world.
Mr. Yusuf Sadath State President, Popular Front of India informed that there seems to be a deal between the BJP government and the corporate giants whereby the government has accepted very huge money from the corporate in order to come to power and survive and in return gave away the economy of the country in the clutches of the super rich corporate group. The corporate rulers are now sucking blood of the poor and filling their bellies. There are only two economic classes destined to be left in this country very soon – the super rich corporate group and the poor mass living like slaves. He congratulated NCHRO for its commendable effort in discussing such a vital topic and expressed the desire of holding such seminars and awareness programmes in every nook and cranny of the city.
E.M. Abdul Rahman, National Executive Member, Popular Front of India in his imitable style brought the attention of the audience towards the bogus promises of Modi of ending corruption, bringing black money back to India and distributing each citizen rupees 15 lakhs. The aim and spirit of constitution as evident from its preamble is totally being defeated by the current government which in reality is a Corporate Regime. The definition of democracy “a government of the people, by the people, for the people” is now just something that is taught in schools but in reality is forced to perish. A micro minority the Brahmins through the Corporate are running the country according to whims and fancies. To distract people from their conspiracies and to prevent arising of popular mass movement against them they are engineering communal polarization and trying suppression of the mass. Earlier it was Babri Masjid and now in the name of cow they are killing, looting and lynching to instill fear psychosis among dalits and muslims while the whole nation is divided on communal lines and the sold out media playing a destructive role. Appreciating the nationwide awareness drive of NCHRO Mr. E M. Abdul Rahman appealed to the people to come out of their comfort zones, educate people and help in strengthening a positive political uprising against the Corporate Regime.