Chennai, Apr 29: Public seminar on “Rise in communalism and decline in democratic space”

COMMITTEE FOR PROTECTION OF DEMOCRATIC RIGHTS – TAMIL NADU
(CPDR-TN)

invites you to a public seminar

on

“Rise in communalism and decline in democratic space”

Venue: Srinivasa Sastri Hall, No. 40 Luz Church Road, Mylapore
(Near Nageswara Rao Park)

Saturday 29th April 2017 at 4:30pm

Agenda For the meeting

Presidential remarks : Dr. NANDI JOSEPH, President, CPDR-TN
Introductory Note: Mr. S. GOPAL, General Secretary, CPDR-TN

SPEAKERS :
PROF. RAM PUNYANI, Social Activist, Writer and Public Speaker

PROF. ANAND TELTUMBDE, President, CPDR(Maharastra)

Com. PON. CHANDRAN, Social Activist, Tamil Nadu

PROF. KARUNANANDAN, Vice President, CPDR-TN

Moderated by: PROF. LAKSHMANAN, Vice President, CPDR-TN

All are welcome

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Coming to the power of BJP-led NDA in 2014, marked a departure from the pragmatic communalism of the Congress to the programmatic communalism of the Hindutva forces under the ideological guidance of RSS. Through the killing of the rationalists like Com. Pansare or Prof. Kalburgi and lynching of Muslims and public beating up of Dalits by the self-styled cow protectors, there has been a concerted effort by the majority communalism to whip up communal frenzy and targeting of a section of the society. This disturbing trend of misdirecting the people against a conjectured enemy has an uncanny similarity with Europe in 1930’s.

The fact that the agenda of Hindutva forces is political and their goal is to establish an authoritarian Hindu Rashtra is clear from their response to different democratic protests. Right to form associations and unions by workers, right to livelihood of the marginalized section or freedom of expression are tacitly taken away. Draconian laws like Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, which is an assault on Article 19 of our constitution and Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, allowing army to carry out some of the worst human rights violations on citizens in Kashmir and North Eastern states, are imposed to curb even non-violent political protests.

While common people are supposed to publicly display nationalism, government actions favouring transnational companies and India’s ascent to the top position in world ranking of foreign direct investment (FDI) inflow in 2015 prove its complete subservience to the international capital. Thus we witness today a further impoverisation of the people under the neoliberal reforms and withdrawal of government from the welfare schemes of common masses such as free education, free healthcare, assured employment guarantee etc. on the pretext of efficient functioning. Thus the commodification of essential services leads only to the prospering of private agencies. Unfortunately, the anti-people, fascist forces have been able to sell their fake nationalism and could carry out their divisive agenda of polarising people along religious/caste/cultural lines thanks to the backing of the media and also due to the indifference and self centred attitude of the consumerist upper and upwardly-mobile middle classes.

In these testing times, when the governments become authoritative and state-supported communalism becomes an ever-growing force, it becomes absolutely necessary for intellectuals and progressives to selflessly come together for upholding the values of democracy and secularism guaranteed under the constitution and for establishing higher forms of democratic values. It is in this context CPDR-TN is organising this public meeting. We welcome all democratic people to come, participate and strengthen the democratic rights movement against rising violations of democratic rights.

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