Civil society organisations plan rallies against hatred in Jharkhand
Representatives of some civil society organisations of Jharkhand met in Ranchi on Sunday afternoon to chalk out plans for organising rallies across the state next month on the theme, Nafrat Chhodo, Samvidhan Bachao (Shun hatred, save the Constitution).
“It will be a part of a national campaign where all such organisations having faith in democracy and secularism are welcome to participate,” said Praveer Peter, an activist who returned to Ranchi on Saturday after attending a national-level preparatory meeting of the campaign in Mumbai.
The campaign was initially named Nafrat Chhodo Bharat Jodo, but the name was changed as the Congress had already launched the Bharat Jodo Yatra, he informed.
“The intention is to mobilise public opinion in favour of the theme by organising rallies in as many districts of the state as possible,” added Ashok Verma, a journalist-turned-activist who also attended the meeting.
While the representatives of organisations such as United Milli Forum, Vahini Mitra Milan, Sajha Manch, Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha, Samajwadi Jan Parishad and Jharkhand Loktantrik Manch attended the meeting, all are welcome to join the campaign, he added.
In the first phase, there will be a 75km rally in each district to be organised between October 2, the birth anniversary of Gandhiji, and December 10 which is observed as Human Rights Day, Peter informed.
In the second phase, participants from various states will assemble near Delhi borders by January 25, 2023, and will march in Delhi every day from January 26 to January 30, the 75th anniversary of Gandhiji's martyrdom, he added.
“We will sit at the Gandhi statue in Ranchi on October 2 and will organise a rally after Durga Puja,” Verma informed, adding they were expecting more organisations to join them by that time.
The purpose of the rally was elaborated in a press statement signed by such personalities as Medha Patkar, Tushar Gandhi and Sabnam Hashmi and issued by the organisers of the national campaign on Saturday.
“Those in power at the Centre are working against the spirit of ‘unity in diversity’ and spreading the venom of hatred in the name of caste and religion, just to capture the vote bank,” the statement accused, adding they “want to save the countrymen from hatred and establish humanism by erasing discrimination against any caste, religion or sex”.
They will discuss during the rallies such issues as an economic disaster caused by the sale of resources of the country to a handful of industrialists, unemployment caused by privatisation, price rise and deprivation in education and health sectors, the statement further said, adding that they “will also expose the conspiracy of snatching natural resources like jal-jungle-zameen from indigenous communities and handing those over to some companies”.
“The constitutional rights of the people will be protected only if their basic demands are met,” the statement further said.
So far 120 civil society organisations have agreed to participate in the campaign and finalised rallies across 250 districts of the country, the statement informed, adding they will carry the national flag with them.
There will be no banner of any particular party or organisation other than that of the campaign and everyone from Dalit, adivasi communities and people of all faiths, besides women, will be invited to participate in the rallies, it further said.