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Samvidhan Samman Yatra

Samvidhan Samman Yatra to Counter Assault on Reason and Freedom of Association and Speech

Respecting Constitution, a duty of every Citizens - Shobha Bondre, Mayor of Kolhapur

To Counter Fascism and Politics of Hate, Constitution is our only Weapon - Medha Patkar

Conspiracy of RSS and Rulers not to Allow Training Citizens about Constitution – Sambhaji Bhagat

Sindhudurg / Kolhapur, Maharashtra: In second phase, receiving huge support from people of Maharashtra, Samvidhan Samman Yatra on its 3rd day travelled through Islampur, Kolhapur, Vaibhav Wadi, and Kankavali. In Maharashtra, the Yatra started from Mumbai, where 'Bharat Chhodo' slogan was raised against Colonial Britishers, moved to Pune, known for Mahatma Phule and Savitri bai, then to Satara  land of revolutionaries and today passing through Islampur, where Nana Patil lived, and then Kolhapur the kingdom of Shahu Ji Mahraj, who devoted his life for welfare of the people. 

Yatra received an early morning welcome at Valva Panchayat Samiti, Islampur from students, workers belonging to  dalit organisations, cultural organisations like Vidrohi Sanskritik movement, Baliraja Shetkari Sangathana, Bahujan Samajvadi Party, Swabhimani Shetkari Sangathana and others. “Rightwing forces are hell bent on changing the Constitution”, said Vishwas Saivakar, Principal of K.B.P. College, Islampur. People condemned the burning of Constitution by a few right-wing miscreants and vowed to unitedly defeat these forces. Dhanaji Guru, Dr. Ravindra Vora, Ravikant Tukkad  also addressed the public. 

Kolhapur
From here Yatra moved towards Kolhapur where the yatra was welcomed by a colorful performance at the Shahu Maharaj Murti chowk.  After paying its tribute to Shahu Ji Maharaj, the rally headed towards Shahu Maharaj Sabhagrah for a public meeting. 

Shobha Bondre, Mayor of Kolhapur welcomed the yatra during the public meeting with the revolutionary books written by Govind Pansare. She said that it is our duty, every citizens’ duty to respect the Constitution and we are furthering that.

Dr. T S Patil, a socialist intellectual, said that we will go to every villages and take the message of Constitution.

Meera Sangamitra discussed the aim of Samvidhan Samman Yatra with the people gathered for the public meeting. She introduced the leaders of people’s movements and fellow travellers and applauded the large participation of people in audience from all walks of social lives, including people and activists who came from Nanded, and other districts of Maharashtra.

Madhuresh Kumar from NAPM said that when activists like Dabholkar, Kalburgi, Gauri Lankesh, Govind Pansare were killed, we all joined the fight against fascist forces. They didn't get killed because of personal grudges but their strong opinions against extreme and violent Hindutva, casteism, religious intolerance got them killed.  They fought for the opinions and rationality which opposition wanted to silence. We are now determined to fight for our constitutional values like equity and justice.

After 2013, when the central land acquisition comes into force repealing the old draconian law, the BJP ruled central govt could not do anything with Land Rights Act but gave the States the oppressive freedom to make changes in it denying the spirit of the act, the consent of people and their participation. 

Since last 4-5 years, the minimum wages act is not being implemented in its totality.  Forest dwellers fought for Forest Rights Act, but still they are deprived of their entitlements. Likewise, People fought for Right to Information Act which came into force in 2005, and now the Govt wants to amend that as well and control the authorities responsible for transparent functioning. Till date no Lokpal has been appointed. 

Prime Minister of India, who denied the phenomenon of Climate Change and is hellbent on pushing projects disastrous for the environment like Narmada dam, DMIC, Bullet Train and others, has recently received Champion of the Earth award by UN, and it’s a shame that the BJP ruled government is not able to even appoint Chairperson for Pune or Kolkata Bench of National Green Tribunal. The judges from New Delhi address the hearings through video conference while sitting at New Delhi.

Institutions of Justice are being destroyed slowly. In the recent past, former CJI Deepak Mishra was part of some hearings which were applaudable and historic. But, he failed to accept and allow the hearing of corruption case against himself unbiasedly. Travesty of Justice didn’t end here and Justice Loya case also met the same fate. 

The situation seems precarious and putting Constitution under threat. NAPM started Samvidhan Samman Yatra to challenge the present scenario of the country and express our solidarity to various movement groups. 

Adv. Surekha Delvi said that Lok Raj cannot be seen anywhere in the country even when the Constitution promises for People’s rule. Despite long fought pro-people’s legislations providing rights to consent, land from farmers, adivasis are snatched. Villages are getting submerged to provide water to a few industries. 

Yogiraj from MNREGA Mazdoor Union and Purvanchal Kisan Union, Uttar Pradesh said farmers are fighting everywhere in the country since last 70 years, the fight has been going on for their rights. Political parties win elections with support from farmers but once they come in power, they never care for them. 

People gave majority mandate to the current govt. thinking for the real developmental agendas and social welfare promised during elections. The ruling party used to raise slogans against corruption, rising prices but still haven't done anything since last 4 years in the interest of people. Is it the compulsion that makes us to choose between Congress and BJP? We need leaders who uphold constitutional duties and can work for the betterment of people.

Youth of the country need to awaken and reject the betrayal and falsehood of BJP, communal and politics of hatred. “The change will be done by the Youth who are unemployed, educated, and organised to overthrow the Govt. which derailed the agriculture, coasts, small-scale industries, and other sectors under the garb of nationalism, demonetisation, and Gau-Raksha”, said Yogiraj.

“Our young population are much responsible and seems determined. The fight is moving ahead led strongly by women, youth, adivasis, farmers, workers, fisher-people. We need to be aware about the handful of people who are spreading hatred and also need to take steps to stop that. We need not to only save Constitution but also find ways to implement it”, said Suniti SR from NAPM.

I work in poor bastis of Mumbai. The poor people are not from outside country but within the country who came to cities from different States in search of work. They are making today what Mumbai appears to you”, said Poonam Kanojia, from Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan.

Poonam also said that the people face problems in slums. The settlements, tents, houses are bulldozed often. If anything, which can improve their lives is the Constitution. Almost 70 percent of people from the slums are still deprived of their constitutional rights which can improve their lives and dignity. “Government calling slum dwellers as ‘encroachers’ is blatantly attacking on our right to life and dignity, and putting Constitution under shame”, said Poonam.

“We must take the message to each and every house that the ruling Govt. is Samvidhan Virodhi (Against the Constitution)”, said Medha Patkar. Samvidhan Samman Yatra must connect the values of Buddha, Basava, and Baba Saheb. We must assert the diversity and end the inequality. The Govt. needs to be exposed for their false developmental agendas, spreading hatred and communalism. She also said that Constitution is the weapon for us and the dispossessed, deprived and marginalised communities and people all over the country, we need to use and make others aware of it.

Yatra proceeded for Vaibhav Wadi after Kolhapur public meeting. Activists paid homage to Baba Saheb Ambedkar Statue and gathered for a small meeting at Ambedkar Cultural Hall. 

Kankakavli, Sindhu Durg District
From Vaibhav Wadi, Yatra reached Kanakakavli of Sindhu Durg District where more than 20 organisations came together to organise the public meeting, which continued till late in night. On behalf of all the organisers, D. D. Kadam, Ankush Kadam, Arpita Mumbarkar welcomed the Yatra and addressed the large number of people gathered for the meeting. 

Sindhu Durg is a coastal district close to Goa and in an attempt to develop it as a tourist destination, the district has been ravaged by various infrastructure projects including highway expansion, coastal corridor, and the Jaitapur nuclear power plant. People are facing burnt of commercial tourism. 

Krishnakant from Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti, Gujarat said that Prime Minister Modi sold the Gujarat Model but the same people of Gujarat threw out the Mithi Virdi nuclear power project and are now standing strong against the Bullet Train project. People need to do the same valiantly in Jaitapur. Any development model which we can accept has to come from the people, else anything imposed from outside must be defeated and people united can defeat it.

Renowned journalist Yuvraj Mohite said purchasing TV channels by Ambani and other crony capitalists was to shut the voices and to shut the media so that rulers’ wrong doings won’t reach to the masses. This yatra will move ahead and we need to resolve that we fight it here so that present rulers won’t come to power again. 

Bheem Shahir (Ambedkarite Poet) Sambhaji Bhagat, famous amongst people for his revolutionary songs, said that It is the conspiracy of RSS and rulers not to allow formally training citizens about Constitution. Demolition of Babri Masjid, Destruction in Narmada Valley was also the same case. 

Medha Patkar said that NAPM’s non-violent struggles are supported mainly by Constitution and believes in both Gandhi and Ambedkar. Development in its current form is a superstition about progress. Coastal communities are not attacked only by Tsunami but more by so-called coastal developmental projects. River Ganga is praised but what about destroying of every river in the country by one or the other destructive projects. The section 39 of the Constitution speaks about public welfare utilizing natural resources. Is it followed today? 

“Sindhu Durg is being vandalised and stripped of its nature even when Gadgil report has cautioned against this. Rampant mining, building dams, Jaitapur nuclear power plant are the agents of destruction. De-notified tribes are still hounded by administration and castigated as thieves”, said by Ankush Kadam.

Before the public meeting ended, Surekha Delvi said that Constitution is not only for Dalits and followers of Baba Saheb. It is for every citizen of this country and nobody can disrespect the same.

Medha Patkar - Narmada Bachao Andolan, NAPM; Ashish Ranjan - Jan Jagran Shakti Sangathan (Bihar); Meera Sanghamitra - NAPM (Andhra Pradesh - Telangana); Bhupendra Singh Rawat - Jan Sangharsh Vahini; Krishnakant - Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti (Gujarat); Madhuresh Kumar - NAPM, Delhi; Sanjay M G, Suhas Kolhekar, Yuvraj, Suniti SR, Prasad Bagve - NAPM  Maharashtra; Sanjay Nazre - Vidrohi Sanskritik Andolan; Yogiraj, Mahendra Rathore, Jayesh Lal - MNREGA Mazdoor Union, Purvanchal Kisan Union, Uttar Pradesh; Ram, Poonam Kanojiya, Subhadra tai, Parvati tai, Ghanekar kaka - Ghar Bachao Ghar banao Andolan, Mumbai; Tilola Haldar, Mrityunjay Haldar - Sundaravan Shramjivi Sangathan; Ramashish Yadav, Premshila Yadav, Manisha Patil; Kalai, Vishnu, Vinod – Organic farmers, Tamilnadu; Fauziya - Programme for Social Action, Delhi; Madhusudan – Odisha; Akshit – Guhaar; Aryaman Jain, Aryan – Delhi; Rimpy – Student, Dibrugarh University; Himshi, Uma - NAPM Delhi, are traveling in the second phase as a part of Samvidhan Samman Yatra. Yatra will reach Goa tomorrow.

For further details, contact 9971058735 / 9867348307 / napmindia@gmail.com

 Discussion on Samvidhan Samman Yatra 
1.     On VNM News –  https://www.facebook.com/VNMNEWS/videos/851565491900666/
2.     महाराष्ट्रात होणाऱ्या संविधान यात्रेत सामील होण्याचे आवाहन... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tfOlQqNTgCw&feature=youtu.be
3.     संविधान सन्मान यात्रा, Satara 24 taas -  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0aLMITeoKCI&feature=youtu.be

 For details about Samvidhan Samman Yatra, check our website www.samvidhanyatra.wordpress.com

Call for Solidarity – https://samvidhanyatra.wordpress.com/call-for-solidarity/

Oct 23, 2018