NAPM press release at the conclusion of ninth biennial convention

November 20, 2012

Time to say stop to “Development” itself
9th biennial convention of NAPM concludes with resolve to fight neo-liberalism and work for its alternatives

Thrissur, November 19 : “Vikash Chahiye, Vinash Nahi”, (We want development, not destruction) has been the slogan, but the time in post-growth times has come, when we have to say call for ‘full stop’ to development itself, or else we are doomed, said noted feminist writer and activist, Sara Joseph speaking at the concluding session of the 9th biennial convention of NAPM at Green Salsabeel School here. M P Parmeshwaran, noted marxist and ideologue said, the search for alternatives has to be rooted to the ideas of Gandhi, Kumarappa but it must be in tune with today’s reality. The Convention ended on this note with Medha Patkar echoing the same sentiments and calling for an united forum of the social movements working for an alternative to the current political form and development paradigm and develop a blueprint for visions of more equitable and just society. Ashok Chaudhary, of NFFPFW said that the people are ahead of the politics today and we have to listen to the voices of the people, which people’s movements are only doing today.

The three day declared their programmatic agenda and concluded at Thrissur today, resolving to take forward the primary mandate of Sangharsh and Nirman [Struggle and Reconstruction] with establishment of a navnirman manch within NAPM. The fight for the control over jal, jungle, zameen by the communities will be fought tooth and nail through the gram sabhas and mohalla sabhas declared the convention and decentralisation of power is the only way out. A new conveners team was constituted with an aim to form a comprehensive National People’s Movement. Desh Bachao Desh Banao and Sansaadan bachao, Sansaadan Banao, as the key visionary slogans, will guide the movement.

NAPM will protest, along with the other movements and groups at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi against the proposed Land Acquisition Bill in the upcoming Parliament session. NAPM will dialogue with India against Corruption with an assertive proposal to discuss the issue of land rights and declare their opposition to the proposed Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Rehabilitation Bill, 2012 in their upcoming Delhi convention on 24th November. NAPM will be calling for a roundtable between all political parties on the crucial issue of FDI to understand the different view- points and demand a clear pro-people position.

On the issue of nuclear power and energy, a dialogue between experts, officials, activists and representatives of affected communities of Tamil Nadu along with an expert committee to understand the socioeconomic impacts which will be mediated by NAPM is proposed. A yatra of the urban struggle groups in the southern states has been planned for the last week of December to raise the issues of urban poor. NAPM proposes to bring out specific policy documents with a pro-people perspective in various sectors- especially energy, water, health, education, food sovereignty, land & forest issues, livelihood, climate change, transport and internal & external security.

It is also decided to constitute working groups on various issues including Dalit and Adivasi rights, minorities rights, gender justice, human rights, electoral reforms, cultural initiative etc. NAPM shall work in close association with political parties who are willing to dialogue with people’s movements and take a stand on concerned raised. Besides these common programmes, state levels actions and initiatives have been charted out. The plenary also passed a resolution to ban purchase and use of bottled water, to promote use of public transport, renewable energy alternatives, organic farming, co-operatives and village industry.

Campaigns for amendment of the Panchayati Raj laws and the Sc/ST act shall also be taken up. Workshops with lawyers for social justice shall be organized in various states. Concrete steps to strengthen NAPM within the various states by involving numerous movements, organizations, progressive persons and groups were also spelt out. It was also decided that NAPM will join the Jan Sansad with all other organisations on various issues to raise the relevant issues, with an aim at General Elections of 2014.

The new team of national conveners include, Andhra pradesh : Ramakrishna Raju; Bihar / Jharkhand : Kamayani Swami and Mahendra Yadav; Kerala : C R Neelakandan; Gujarat : Krishnakant, Madhya Pradesh : Dr. Sunilam; Asaam : Akhil Gogoi, Orissa : Prafulla Samantara; Tamilnadu : Gabriele Dietrich; Maharashtra : Suniti S R and Vilas Bhongade; Uttar Pradesh : Arundhati Dhuru; and Delhi : Bhupinder Singh Rawat along with Medha Patkar, P Chennaiah, Geetha Ramakrishnan, Sister Celia, Anand Mazgaonkar as Advisers and B.D. Sharma, Aruna Roy, Binayak Sen, Sandeep Pandey as special invitee to the National Convening Team. In addition, Shrikanth, Vimal Bhai and Madhuresh Kumar were appointed as national organisers.