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India: National Convention Against Fascism is Planned

October 25-26, 2008, New Delhi

by Anhad, 8 October 2008

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anhadin.net

Dear Friends,

The urgency to intervene in defense of democracy, secularism and justice has never been more pressing than in the conditions prevailing in the country today. There is a recognizable change in the general tenor of public discourse; unlike in the past, it is informed more by the communal than by secular ethos. Concerted attacks have been mounted across India by communal fascist organizations by invoking religious symbols and sentiments. There is total apathy and indecisiveness towards confronting this challenge by those in power.

RSS and organizations under its umbrella have mounted a vicious campaign against the Christian community across India. Over 10 states have seen violent attacks on the Christian community , their institutions, religious places, property and businesses during the past one month. The culprits behind the communal violence against Christians in Orissa, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and other states are being allowed to go scot-free.

The recent attacks on Christian religious institutions are in fact openly claimed by Hindutva terrorist groups, like the Bajrang Dal, in front of television news cameras and yet no action is taken against them.
Throughout the country Muslim youth are being targeted, without any or little evidence, as responsible for terrorist attacks. There is a concerted attempt by the Indian police, sections of the media and certain political parties to portray all members of the Muslim community as ’terrorists and extremists’ - to be arbitrarily arrested, tortured and killed in fake encounters.

On the other hand hard evidence available against Bajrang Dal and other Sangh outfits about their direct involvement in terror attacks is not only being ignored but actively being pushed under the carpet by the state.

The spaces uncolonized by the RSS network are decreasing by the day. The threat from the fascist forces is not only to the survival and dignity of India but to the very idea of India.
We feel that there is urgent need to call for a national convention to challenge the forces of fascism. We had sent out sms messages to about 40 organisations to get a response from them about the possibility of organizing a national convention on 25 and 26 October, 2008 in New Delhi.

All those who responded felt the need for this convention.

Please respond urgently to this mail:

1. By endorsing the convention- send the name of your organization/ individual

2. By supporting your own travel and if your organization can support the travel of 5-10 people from your state who are working on these issues.

3. Wherever possible arrange for your own stay in Delhi. Those who can’t inform us in advance.

4. Groups in Delhi- Help in sponsoring the breakfast/ lunch and dinner for the convention and stay for the outstation participants.

5. Please inform us how many people from your group will participate and whether any/ all of them will require stay arrangements in Delhi.

The program for the two days is being finalized . Please send suggestions . We will also inform the venue and the final schedule for the convention as soon as it is finalised after hearing from more groups/ individuals.

Shabnam Hashmi
- ANHAD
- Tel- 23070740/ 23070722
- e-mail: anhad.delhi at gmail.com

Those groups who responded the sms message and have already endorsed Anhad’s call for the convention are:

All India Dalit Mahila Adhikar Manch
- All India Quami Mahaz
- Aman Samudaya
- ANHAD
- Antarik Visthapit Hak Rakshak Samiti
- ASHA Pariwar
- Awaz e- Niswana
- Bhartiya Muslim Mahila Andolan
- CSSS
- Darpana Academy
- EKTA
- ICHRO
- Insaf
- ISD
- Janvikas
- Mahatma Gandhi Foundation
- National Campaign for Dalit Human Rights
- Peace
- People’s Research Society
- Roshan Vikas
- Sahrwaru
- Sajhi Duniya
- Samarpan
- Sanchetana
- Sandarbh
- Urja Ghar
- Yuv Shakti