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#India – We The People, #ReclaimTheRepublic

 

 

*WE THE PEOPLE : RECLAIM THE REPUBLIC*

*Sunday, 26th January 2014, 2.30 PM, New Delhi*

We the People, Reclaim the Republic

A March ‘Of the People, By the people, For the people’

January 26, 2014, New Delhi

 “What are we having this liberty for? We are having this liberty in order to reform our social system, which is full of inequality, discrimination and other things, which conflict with our fundamental rights.”- B.R.Ambedkar

 

“WE, THE PEOPLE OF , having solemnly resolved to constitute into a SOVEREIGN SOCIALIST SECULAR DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC and to secure to all its citizens: JUSTICE, social, economic and political; LIBERTY of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship; EQUALITY of status and of opportunity; and to promote  among them all  FRATERNITY assuring the dignity of the individual and the unity and integrity of the Nation.”
Preamble to the Constitution of India

January 26th, 2014:Republic Day marks the adoption of the Constitution of India, the end of colonial rule, and the creating of an independent Indian nation. Yet sixty four years later, where do we stand?

 

The promises of our Constitution – of justice, liberty, equality, and fraternity – remain distant. As citizens, we cannot forget that the rights of the marginalised in our society continue to be gravely violated, as too many continue to face violence, discrimination and stigma due to their gender, sexual, caste, class, ability, racial, regional, and religious identities. The three arms of government — the legislature, the executive, and the judiciary — have failed their Constitutional duty to protect and advance our rights and include every citizen in the promise of freedom from inequality.

 

Rejecting the spectacle of the parade of weapons, this year we declare an alternative agenda for the people’s republic. We do so because recent and on-going blatant violations of Constitutional Rights have made us all hang our heads in shame: the re-criminalization of homosexuality by the judiciary through Sec 377 IPC; the failure of the executive to introduce the Disability Rights Bill, 2013; the continuing presence of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA); the active use of UAPA and sedition laws; the apathy of the state in the face of deepening caste and religious violence; the inadequacies of the Criminal Law Amendment Bill 2013 to address violence against women, among many others.

 

Today, as citizens and people’s movements, we stand here together to show that our exclusions are deeply inter-connected as are our struggles against them. We stand together against the active denial of basic rights to LGBTQ persons and people with disabilities just as we refuse the pervasive violence against women in all spheres of life and deepening caste based discrimination and violence. We pledge continuing resistance to moral policing just as we jointhe struggles of all workers from individual domestic workers, to sex workers, and to collectives of workers employed by large corporations.

 

We name and protest the forcible eviction of farmers, indigenous people and urban poor  communities from their land with its consequent environmental fallout and devastating impact on livelihoods. We are aware of how corporate interests direct the violence of copyright and patent laws on students and the severely ill, compromising their rights to education and health. We bear witness to governmentsthat unleash the violence of its armed forces upon its own citizens, while enacting and upholding laws that make the executive unaccountable to the legislature, the judiciary or to its citizens. We argue that more violence cannot be the answer: either in the form of the death penalty, or the surveillance, torture and killing justified in the name of ‘national security.’ We fear and resist the advent of fascist, fundamentalist forces that may claim to represent the people of this country by manipulating the processes of electoral politics.

 

As members of the LGBT community, women, workers, sex workers, students, teachers, activists, persons with disabilities, health rights activists, Dalits, indigenous people, farmers, those affected by unconstitutional military rule, we are united not as “minorities” or “others,” but as the people. We invoke the promises of the Constitution of India in our name. Our struggle will continue until all arms of the state are unwavering in their constitutional promises towards the marginalized in our society, rather than only representing the powerful.

 

As we commemorate another Republic Day, We The People proclaim that the parade of the powerful at Rajpath does not represent us. We The People, Reclaim our Republic.

 

Organised by: Voices Against 377, AIDWA, AIPWA, AISA, All India Dalit Mahila Adhikar Manch (AIDMAM), Anhad, Anjuman, Breakthrough, Citizen’s Collective against Sexual Assault (CCSA), CREA, Delhi Queer Pride Committee, Dhanak, duqueercollective, Haq: Centre for Child Rights, Jagori, Jamia Teacher’s Solidarity Association (JTSA), JNUSU, Mazdoor Kisan Shakti Sangathan (MKSS), Must Bol, Naz Foundation (India) Trust, National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM), National Campaign for Peoples’ Right to Information (NCPRI), Nigah, Nirantar, Partners for Law in Development (PLD), Pension Parishad, People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL), PUDR, Prism, Saheli, Sama, SAMARTHYAM National Centre for Accessible Environments, Talking About Reproductive and Sexual Health Issues (TARSHI), Women against Sexual Violence and State Repression, Women With Disabilities India Network, Youth Ki Awaaz, The YP Foundation and many individuals from diverse movements

Email: [email protected] and [email protected]

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/1451397835083871/

Twitter: @peoplertr #ReclaimTheRepublic

 

 

This Republic Day, as the government-sponsored parade of weapons, and its
simplistic representation of ‘Unity in Diversity’ make its way down
Rajpath, will your place in the Republic be represented? Or will your
concerns continue to be ignored?

While we mark the adoption of our progressive Constitution, let us not
forget that the rights of the most marginalised in our society continue to
be gravely violated. As citizens, we are painfully aware that we continue
to face violence and discrimination due to our gender, sexual, caste,
class, ability, racial, regional, and religious identities. The three arms
of government — the legislature, the executive, and the judiciary — have
failed their Constitutional duty to protect and advance our rights and
include every citizen in the promise of freedom from inequality.

As we enter the 64th year of our Republic, We The People are aware that our
struggles for equal opportunity and a just livelihood, against violence and
discrimination, and against the unjust deployment of state power are being
actively silenced. We The People are aware of the threats of
fundamentalism, censorship and divisive politics. We The People demand that
our government be held accountable for the protection of our rights and
uphold both the letter and the spirit of the Constitution.

As we commemorate another Republic Day, We The People proclaim that the
parade of the powerful at Rajpath does not represent us. We The People,
Reclaim our Republic.

*This January 26, join us for a march ‘Of the People, By the People, For
the People’*

*2.30 pm: *Assemble at Barakhamba Road-Tolstoy Road Crossing and march to
Jantar Mantar

*4.00 to 6.00 pm: *Representatives of several progressive movements
including women, labour rights, Dalit rights, disability rights, child
rights, human rights, legal rights, queer, students groups and others, will
gather for a programme and reassert our shared vision that everyone be
included in the promises of our Republic.

*Organised by:* Voices Against 377, AIDWA, AIPWA, AISA, All India Dalit
Mahila Adhikar Manch (AIDMAM), Anhad, Anjuman, Breakthrough, Citizen’s
Collective against Sexual Assault (CCSA), CREA, Delhi Queer Pride
Committee, Dhanak, duqueercollective, Haq: Centre for Child Rights, Jagori,
Jamia Teacher’s Solidarity Association (JTSA), JNUSU, Must Bol, National
Centre for Accessible Environments, Naz Foundation (India) Trust, National
Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM), NCPRI (National Campaign for
Peoples’ Right to Information), Nigah, Nirantar, Partners for Law in
Development (PLD), PUDR, Prism, Saheli, Sama, SAMARTHYAM, Talking About
Reproductive and Sexual Health Issues (TARSHI), Women With Disabilities
India Network, Youth Ki Awaaz, The YP Foundation and many individuals from
diverse movements.

Email: [email protected] and [email protected]

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/1451397835083871/

Twitter: @peoplertr #ReclaimTheRepublic

 

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