It declares that the slum dwellers and houseless people’s question not only include housing question but also the right to livelihood and to live with diginity along with all civic amenities including safe drinking water, electricity, sanitation, sewerage, dranage, community open space, park, play ground, etc.
Right to shelter is a basic human right and thus the Convention feels very appropriate to ask the Government to recogonise / framing an appropriate law to recogonise the right to shelter for all including the urban poor, Low Income Groups (LIG), Economicallly Weaker Sections (EWS) , workers engaged in private / Govt. Sectors , No Income Groups (NIGs), Homeless People and distressed destitute families at a convenient place and close to the employment / livelihood places.
The Declaration demands to reserve at least 40% land for weaker sections of the society at all urban centres. It declares that the Govt. of India as well as all State Govts. shall adopt a comprehensive policy prohibiting all forcible displacements/ evictions either in rural areas or in urban areas while implementing projects. The 2nd Conference of Basti Surakshya Manch asked the State Govt. to withdraw the Land Grabbing Act 2015 which was undemocratically passed in the November 2015 Session of Odisha State Assembly and which is anti people and draconian.
THE CONVENTION DEMANDS:
The evicted families in Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Puri and other parts of Odisha and other cities of the country shall be properly rehabilitated with in a time frame. Regularise and recogonise all the existing Bastis (slums) as legal habitat and give them all political and civil rights including all civic amenities. Pass a comprehensive law taking housing and livelihood as a fundamental right of every citizen and central and state Govt. are duty bound to give civilised shelters to each citizens. Recognition of the inherent dignity and right to life includes right to livelihood and shelter of all which is the foundation of justice and peace. Disregard and contempt for housing rights of slum dwellers , pavement dwellers, homeless persons, street vendors, people belonging to no income groups, economically weaker sections, destitutes, etc in urban areas resulted in increasing miseries, poverty and unemployment, whereas it is essential for every family to live with dignity, food, clothing and shelter, safe drinking water, healthcare, education, sanitations, electricity, etc.
Therefore this All India Convention on Housing Rights in relation to place of their work declares:-
The housing right irrespective of slum dwellers, pavement dwellers, homeless persons, low income groups, economically weaker sections, transgenders, destitutes, etc shall be ensured in all the urban areas of the country. The housing policy of the Union Govt. as well as all the State and Union Territories envisage housing close to their place of work or close to the place where livelihood oppurtunities are available. The policy of upgradation / In-situ / tenable developments of informal settlements (slums) shall be a general urban policy and displacements shall be exception and also with the effective consultations and consent of the affected families.
The Convention resolves and urges upon the Union Government and state as well as Union Territory Governments. :
To prohibit with a legislation of all forcible evictions/ demolitions of houses belonging to above said groups in urban and rural areas. To stop indiscriminate destructions of Ecology and Environment in the name of so called development projects. To stop repressions on any mass movements including the movements against forcible evictions/ demolitions of slums and bastis and withdraw all the criminal and falsely fabricated cases on the protestors, villagers, slum dwellers, participants of democratic mass movements, etc. To prohibit the evictions of small street vendors. To repeal the clause “The family shall be eligible for ‘housing’ who does not possess any house in any part of the country” in the definition of “eligibility” in the Housing for All policy of both Union & State Govts. To repeal the Odisha Prevention of Land Grabbing Act-2015. To desist from further move to dilute the present land acquisition law. Legalise all the slums, pavements, bastis, small street traders and provide them all basic facilities including safe drinking water, sanitations, electricity, healthcare, education etc. To enact an urban land ceiling law. All workers whether they are migrants or not, should be provided with full housing and other amenities of life by their employers irrespective of whether they are actual owners or contractors. To enact a law regulating house rents. Affordable house or on rent basis shall be provided to all by the Govt. and through their agencies. Earmark 40% land for housing for poor and socially weaker sections of the people in urban master plan. Whereas the so called development under the cover of economic reforms leads to plundering of natural resources such as land, forest, water , mines, etc. it increases the intensity of poverty and unemployment in the rural as well as urban areas. In an equity based urban development policy with special reference to the housing, sanitation, electricity, healthcare, education, safe drinking water facilities for the common people, the policy thrust for smart city or any such policy is not acceptable in the present conditions. We oppose the policy of quid pro quo adopted by the Centre and the State Govts. in providing basic services such as sanitations, safe drinking water, roads, sewerage, dranage, community grounds, etc and condemn imposition of User Fees in all the services provided for the common people. We oppose the present form of Targeted Public Distribution System and demands that all the people of the country are entitled for essential commodities including food grains with a reasonable price through a fair public distribution system.
We demand that all the above should be made available as a matter of right and not as a relief granted by any Govt. belonging to any political party.
We further request all pro-people and democratic forces to come forward to form a broad mass based platform for campaign for assertion of the housing rights of the people and to organise united protest resistances against any violation of the rights of the people.
The Convention also decided to translate this Bhubaneswar Declaration into all Indian languages and to be circulated among all the organisations, activists those are working among slum dwellers, struggling for housing rights and for livelihood with dignity. State wide discussions will be organised contacting all the organisations and activists working in various states. Further steps will be taken to coordinate all similar organisational efforts at the all India level.
Sivaram, Co-ordinator, AISM,
West Bengal has become Lawless Land. As per the High Court Order the aspiring candidates of Jomi Jibika o Vastutantro Raksha Committee of Bhangor (Committee for Protection of People, Livelihood and Environment) were allowed to submit the nomination papers to the DM of South 24 Parganas. Accordingly they went to submit the same to the DM office at Alipore Kolkata. Very surprisingly the DM was not present in his office and made the candidates waiting there. In the meantime, a huge force of Ruling Party goons gathered with sticks and arms and attacked and severely injuring the candidates and the leaders of Bhangor movement and chased away from Alippre office of DM. CPIML Red Star Leaders including Central Committee member Com Sharmistha Choudhury were abducted by TMC Goons. It is afraid that the life of Com Sharmistha and other comrades are under threat. The leaders have already been brutally injured at the attack of TMC Goons. Everything is happening at the clear cut knowledge and in alliance with administration which utterly ignored the constitutional obligations and even the orders of Judiciary. The CM Mamata led West Bengal Administration has made the State completely a free man' s land for Hooligans and Goons and an independent empire for unconstitutional activities. It seems for Bengal Govt. no law is applicable. No court order is applicable to them. All democratic forces should come out in the streets and must stop them from utter hooliganism and fascist activities.
These all happened in front of police personnel and government officers. Democracy in Bengal is totally demolished by the ruling party and the administration. But our fight will continue to regain it. We shall fight... The people of Bhangar shall fight despite all hurdles...
Before this, 147 workers were in Jail for 5 years since July 2012 labour-management conflict and management-engineered violence. Today, 13 Union body members continue to remain in Jail for almost 6 years, who have been targeted only because they have been the leadership of the struggle since 2011 against illegal contract worker system and for Trade Union rights and dignity of labour. All workers know that this manifestly unjust verdict is to ‘teach a lesson’ to us workers by those in power: which includes the Maruti Suzuki management, the Haryana and Central government, and the Police-administration. The Maruti CEO RC Bhargava has described this as a ‘class attack’, where workers are on side and the entire machinery of power on the other side.
But we have fought and continue to fight collective battles for our rights. Challenging the injustice, over 30000 workers did tool down strike last year in the Gurgaon-Manesar-Dharuhera belt, and broke prohibitory orders on 23rd March to organize protests in the industrial area. We have continued to give collective solidarity and economic assistance to the jailed workers families.
As for the legal situation as stands, on one hand, the workers have approached the High Court challenging the Sessions Court order. We have also filed bail application for some workers. Other than 13 workers, 111 were acquitted of all charges (having spent 4.5 years in Jail!) and the remaining were handed various unjust sentences all of whom have are out after serving the same. On the other hand, the management has also approached the HC, contesting the Sessions Order. They had demanded the ‘Death Penalty’ on workers when the Court gave the Life Sentences.
Today it is not only Maruti Suzuki, but criminalization of workers along with their exploitation, is at its peak across the country. 2 workers of Pricol Chennai and 4 workers of Graziano Transmissions Noida also are jailed under Life Term Sentences in separate instances. Hundreds of other workers across the country face thousands of criminal cases whenever there is struggle for our basic trade union rights. This is happening along with a government who has totally failed to generate stable dignified employment. The meager jobs left suffer from terrible work conditions and contractualization – as part of the requirements of foreign and domestic capitalists - as the norm, and divide and rule is the policy, which is what we had sought to fight.
In this context, we appeal to you to organize protest demonstrations on 18th March in solidarity, and advance the campaign for the release of the 13 Maruti Suzuki workers, in whatever form possible in your areas of work. This is a long battle, and only the growing force of the movement and wider solidarity can take the struggle forward.
Provisional Working Committee, MSWU
A presidium composed of comrades A Gopal Krishnan, N Senthilkumar, and A Supurathinam conducted the Conference proceedings. Com. PJ James inaugurated the Conference which was addressed by com. R Duraisamy (State Secretary of CPI(ML) Red Star) and leading comrades of the State Committee, Stalin Babu, G Kalivanan, T Nagaraj, Pichaimany, Valli, and Kuselar. Com Gopalakrishnan presented the District Report followed by discussion and election of the District Committee with A Gopalakrishnan (Secretary), Senthilkumar, Supurathinam, Sambamoorthy, Jayaraj, Umapathi, Jyothi, Chandra, and Inal as members.
Erstwhile comrades from CPI(M) and CPI(ML) Liberation disgusted with the line pursued by these parties have been in touch with CPI(ML) Red Star leaders for some time. Based on discussions at various levels, the comrades have decided to uphold the Party Program and Path of Revolution of the CPI(ML) Red Star and the line of building up Mass Political Platforms according to the concrete conditions in different states. More than hundred comrades active in mass struggles in various parts of Karur district took party membership as a prelude to the Conference.
The Conference unanimously adopted the following resolutions:
1) Against the intensifying corporate-communal offensive of the BJP regime;
2) Against privatization and disinvestment of public sector units;
3) Against laying red carpet for FDI in retail trade, railways, defence, insurance, etc.
4) Building up of ports through PPP in violation of coastal regulation laws;
5) Against the super-imposition of methane and neutrino like projects which are detrimental to environment and people’s livelihood;
6) Against the so called food security act that is damaging to PDS;
7) Against the proposed “bail-in program” aimed at plundering people’s bank deposits;
8) Against the unilateral imposition of NEET;
9) Against the arbitrary digital meter reading of electricity putting heavier burden on consumers;
10) For amicable settlement of Cauvery water dispute from the perspective of people’s interests;
11) For declaring Cauvery delta as an agricultural zone;
12) Asking the Modi regime to write off all peasant debts to banks;
13) Demanding full crop insurance coverage for farmers;
14) Demanding implementation of monthly minimum wage of Rs. 22000;
15) For protection of all water bodies and provision and conservation of clean drinking water; and
16) In solidarity with the Bhangar people’s movement.
The first meeting of the District Committee that held immediately after the Conference has decided to take up the task of party building party, class and mass organizations along with peoples’ movements with respect to the resolutions adopted by the Conference.
THE Second All India Conference of the All India Krantikari Kisan Sabha (AIKKS) was held on 11 to 13 March 2018 at Dr. MM Kalburgi Nagar, Shaheed Gauri Lankesh Manch, Shaheed Aalamgir-Mofizul Sheikh Hall (Rajendra Prasad APMC Hall) Raichur, Karnataka. A huge rally was taken out from Naveen Stadium Raichur to Grain Market premises, where a mass meeting was held. The president of the Reception Committee, comrade Raghavendra Kushtagi and comrade DH Pujar, president Karnataka Rayat Sangh delivere welcome and introductory speeches.
The mass meeting was addressed by comrade R. Mansayya, president TUCI Karnataka, Com. Chamarsa Mali Patil, President Karnataka Rajya Rayat Sangh, Com. B. Rudraiyya, State Secretary, CPI (M-L) Red Star, Com. Pradeep Singh Thakur, General Secretary AIKKS, Com. Tejram Vidrohi, AIKKS Chhattisgarh, Com. Sankar Sahu, AIKKS Odisha, Com. Mahesh Jakhar, AIKKS Rajasthan, Com. M.P. Kunhikanaran, AIKKS Kerala, Com. Tirupati, AIKKS Telangana, Com. D.H.Ranganathan, AIKKS Andhra Pradesh, Com. Shibugiri, AIKKS West Bengal, Com. Danappa Nilogal, RCF Karnataka, Com. Akshay, General Secretary AIRSO, Com. V.A. Malipatil, Jan Andolan Mahamaitri Karnataka, Com. Laxmi Anoor, Womens Organisation Karnataka, Com. Kalaivanan, AIKKS Tamilnadu, Com. Anumantamma, Dainik Gramodyog etc. Com. Nirvanappa delivered the vote of thanks. Com. Uchha Reddy and group presented revolutionary songs.
Addressing the meeting the speakers said that the second All India Conference of AIKKS is being held at a challenging juncture, when the farmers are spontaneously organizing and agitating in various parts of the country against the oppressive and suppressive policies of the government. The central government of Modi and the state governments are snatching away the rights of the people and are brutally suppressing the women, farmers, proletariats and human rights activists. The central and the state governments had promised good days for the people before coming to power, but after the elections it is exercising its powers to implement anti-farmer, anti-people policies and is increasing oppression on the poor masses of the country. The farmers, poor and oppressed people of the country have suffered the most after the government imposed demonetization and GST like anti-people policies in the name of eliminating corruption, price-rise and black money which have led the country towards a state of economic emergency. On the other hand the hindutva supporting communal, ultra-rightist forces have murdered various progressive intellectuals, thinkers and journalists like Dr. M.M. Kalburgi, Narendra Dabholkar, Govind Pansare, Gauri Lankesh etc. and are trying to crush the thoughts of equality and voices of dissent. In this situation AIKKS is confronting a serious challenge, which can be faced only by an aggressive united struggle.
On 12th March, the second day, the Conference began by hoisting the AIKKS flag and paying tributes to the martyrs like Dr. M.M. Kalburgi, Gauri Lankesh, Govind Pansare, Narendra Dabholkar, Mofizul Sheikh, Alamgir Molla, AIKKS Central Committee member from Odisha Comrade. R.B. Mohanty, leader of peasant’s revolt in India Com. Ramchandra Singh, Com. Rajshekhar and others who sacrificed their lives to form an oppression free society based on equality.
In the Conference, a discussion on the proposed program and constitution and the report presented by the General Secretary of AIKKS was held, which was passed unanimously with suggestions and amendments. Presenting General Secretary’s report, he categorically stated that the present grave crisis of agriculture is primarily due to policies dictated by World Bank, World Trade Organisation and IMF and implemented with new zeal by Modi government at centre and various state governments. So it was decided unanimously from the conference floor that to Save India, Save Agriculture and Save Peasants, total rejection of neo-liberal policies is not only urgently necessary, but obligatory and adoption and implementation of pro-agriculture, pro-peasantry alternative policies is also necessary. The report was also unanimously adopted.
The Conference empathetically rejected neo-liberal policies in agriculture and proposed alternative policies which included land reform for landless and poor peasants, comprehensive all embracing laws for agricultural workers, remunerative price for agricultural product as suggested by Swaminathan Commission, complete loan waiver, social security for dalits, Adivasis, OBCs, minorities, etc. Second All India Conference of AIKKS hails the Long March of Maharashtra peasants. This is the way through which peasants can save their interests.
The Conference elected 45 member National Council, 18 member Central Committee and 7 member Executive committee. Comrade Pradeep Singh Thakur, West Bengal was elected as General Secretary and Comrade Baburam, Uttar Pradesh elected as President by the Conference, while Com. Biren Sarkar, West Bengal and Com. D.H. Pujar, Karnataka were elected as Vice President, Com. Tejram, Chhattisgarh and Com. M.P. Kunhikanaran, Kerala as Secretaries and Com. Sankar from Odisha elected as Treasurer by the Conference.
Resolutions were passed with a call for developing a nationwide movement against increasing oppression on common masses and farmers, which are : 1) In support of people’s struggle against the Power Grid project at Bhangar, West Bengal. 2) In support of the demand to provide one and a half times beneficial support price on the basis of the cost of agricultural production and to implement the suggestions given by the Swaminathan Commission. 3) Demanding the waiving of all agricultural loans. 4) Against sexual violence on women, girls and minors. 5) Against religious, casteist and conservative policies. 6)To protect women, dalits, adivasis and minorities. 7) To give priority in providing river water to farmers instead of industries. 8) Against unemployment and corruption. 9) To protect water, forest, land and environment. 10) To reject the neo-liberal policies being introduced in the agriculture sector. 11) To make the government fulfill the promises made for the farmers and people before the elections. 12) Against displacement of forest dwellers in the name of sanctuaries and protected forests.
The Second All India Conference of AIKKS had taken the decision to launch countrywide mighty and united peasant movement to Save Agriculture, Save Peasants and Save India. In the end newly elected General Secretary, Pradip Singh Thakur greeted all who had given any kind of support to make conference grand success. The conference concluded with militant slogans, revolutionary songs and on a note of struggling against the injustice and oppression of the government based on the passed resolutions.
Two companies of anti-riot Rapid Action Force (RAF) and three companies of the State Reserve Police (SRP) were deployed in the city in view of the growing protests and bandh called by Mevani. His detention evoked strong reactions from protesters. Vankar’s wife, Indu, refused to accept her husband’s body till Mevani was released by the police. By 8 pm, Mevani was released by the police as hundreds of Dalit protesters gathered outside the Gandhinagar Civil Hospital where Vankar’s body is kept in a mortuary following the post-mortem examination. Com D.K. Rathod, secretary of CPI(ML) Red Star organizing committee and other comrades arrested from Gandhi Nagar and other parts of the state were also released. Meanwhile the movement for land will be continued.
Since the authorities gave written assurance that the land to the dalit families in the district shall be distributed soon, the family and friends agreed to bury the body of Bhanu. But the resentment is growing and it will burst out again very soon.