Editorial Statement

Sanhati’s aim is to provide a platform for evolving news, analyses, debates pertaining to the political economy of India and the world, with special emphasis on West Bengal. Struggle against corporate capital and upholding democratic rights of people are the prime objectives, along with our participation in the search for alternatives.

Our endeavour is to give a voice to progressive reporting that is often unrepresented in, and ignored by, the corporate media, with a cautious eye on the objectivity of reporting.

We invite activists/writers/journalists to contribute to our online journal. All submissions will be reviewed by our editors before getting published.

Please send submissions to communications [at] sanhati [dot] com

Sanhati does not accept funding from any organization. Writers, columnists, editors, archivists, web developers, and correspondents are not compensated.

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About Us: Excerpt from the Introduction from Sanhati Selections 2011

While the international business press regularly applauds India’s recent growth trajectory, it consciously shies away from looking deeper into the nature of that growth process. Political and social activists, and progressive academics have characterized this as a peculiar form of neoliberal capitalist growth, foisted on a backward social formation in the periphery of global capitalism by an unholy alliance of domestic big capital and international finance. Such a growth process, many acute observers have noted, is built on ruthless displacement, dispossession, and pauperization of the majority of the population, including, perhaps unsurprisingly, the most vulnerable sections of Indian society. As the late Arjun Sengupta so tellingly reminded us: even today about 77 percent of the Indian population spend only about 20 rupees a day on consumption expenditures. Not the new breed of cars for them, nor the fat salaries of MNCs, not even the occasional vacations to the mountains; for three-fourth of the Indian population, life remains a struggle to put adequate and nourishing food on the table, to secure decent living quarters, to get clean drinking water and electricity on a regular basis, to have access to functioning medical and educational facilities. The neoliberal growth process has largely bypassed this segment of the population. As Debarshi Das points out eloquently in his article on agricultural investments in India, the contemporary growth narrative has nothing to offer to the majority of the Indian population save trickle down homilies.

Faced with pauperization unleashed by the exclusionary logic of neoliberal growth, the people of India have started organizing resistance movements in defense of their lives and livelihoods and for a better future. In 2006 Sanhati emerged within this whirlwind of struggle, and has gradually worked to establish itself as a website of record, a website that documents the trials and tribulations of the working people of India, that records the victories and losses of their struggles. Every year, we have decided to publish a selection of articles from our website that offers a peek at these million mutinies, at this tremendous struggle of people against all odds to fashion a better future.

The Sanhati Collective
(www.sanhati.com)

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About Us: History

Sanhati was created in 2006 to resist neoliberal forces in West Bengal and to spread the spirit of dissent that had been sparked by Singur. The forced acquisition of agricultural land and the consequent dispossession of thousands of farmers made many of us rally in Calcutta, elsewhere in India and abroad. Democratic forces, leftist forces, people who stand for human rights and civil liberties all came together to form the Chhatra Chhatri Sanhati Mancha in Calcutta. Sanhati was inspired by this solidarity of resistance.

Singur marked a watershed event in the moribund political landscape of West Bengal. A loud and resounding NO was heard all over Bengal – a strong negation of a linear anti-people development model. With their livelihoods threatened, thousands of peasants united in resistance. The State responded with terror.

We are voices of dissent. We oppose the murderous politics of the state government of West Bengal as well as the cheap populism of otherwise pro-liberalism parties. We stand in solidarity, in Sanhati, with all forces that oppose police terror in Bengal and the inhuman urban-industrial vision. We staunchly defend the rights of tillers over their lives and their lands.

We have a vision that Sanhati will develop both as a clearing house for ideas and as a platform for people looking for a new way, from old third-streamers to new activists. We may be the last generation to be able to realistically organize. We may be the first generation to drive back the “development” beast.

Join us