Foundational pillars of India being methodically and menacingly undermined by BJP, says 26-party INDIA
The Opposition alliance today pledged to safeguard the idea of India as enshrined in the Constitution, and promised consultative, democratic and participative governance
All 26 political parties that came together to form INDIA at the Opposition meeting in Bengaluru on 18 July released a joint statement (samuhik sankalp) today:
"We, the undersigned leaders of India’s 26 progressive parties, express our steadfast resolve to safeguard the idea of India as enshrined in the Constitution. The character of our republic is being severely assaulted in a systematic manner by the BJP. We are at a most crucial juncture in our nation's history. The foundational pillars of the Indian Constitution—secular democracy, economic sovereignty, social justice and federalism—are being methodically and menacingly undermined.
"We express our grave concern over the humanitarian tragedy that has destroyed Manipur. The silence of the Prime Minister is shocking and unprecedented. There is an urgent need to bring Manipur back on the path of peace and reconciliation.
"We are determined to combat and confront the continuing assault on the Constitution and on constitutional rights of democratically elected state governments. There is a deliberate attempt to weaken the federal structure of our polity. The role of governors and LGs in non-BJP ruled states has exceeded all constitutional norms. The brazen misuse of agencies by the BJP government against political rivals is undermining our democracy. Legitimate needs, requirements and entitlements of non-BJP ruled states are being actively denied by the Centre.
"We reinforce our resolve to confront the grave economic crisis of ever-rising prices of essential commodities and record unemployment. Demonetisation brought with it untold misery to the MSME and unorganised sectors, resulting in large-scale unemployment among our youth. We oppose the reckless sale of the nation’s wealth to favoured friends. We must build a fair economy with a strong and strategic public sector as well as a competitive and flourishing private sector, in which the spirit of enterprise is fostered and given every opportunity to expand. The welfare of kisan [farmers] and khet mazdur [agricultural labourers] should always get the highest priority.
"We have come together to defeat the hatred and violence being manufactured against minorities; stop the rising crimes against women, Dalits, Adivasis and Kashmiri Pandits; demand a fair hearing for all socially, educationally and economically backward communities; and, as a first step, implement the caste census.
"We resolve to fight the systemic conspiracy by the BJP to target, persecute and suppress our fellow Indians. Their poisonous campaign of hate has led to vicious violence against all those opposed to the ruling party and its divisive ideology. These attacks are not only violating constitutional rights and freedoms but also eroding the basic values upon which the Republic of India is founded—Liberty, Equality and Fraternity—and justice political, economic and social. The repeated attempts by the BJP to vitiate public discourse by reinventing and rewriting Indian history are an affront to social harmony.
"We pledge to present to the nation an alternative political, social and economic agenda. We promise to transform both the substance and style of governance that will be more consultative, democratic and participative.