National convention against fascism to be held in Delhi

By news desk,

New Delhi: In the leadership of noted social organization Anhad several NGOs, human rights organizations and civil rights activists are going to hold National Convention against Fascism on October 25-26 in New Delhi.

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“The urgency to intervene in defense of democracy, secularism and justice has never been more pressing than in the conditions prevailing in the country today. There is a recognizable change in the general tenor of public discourse; unlike in the past, it is informed more by the communal than by secular ethos. Concerted attacks have been mounted across India by communal fascist organizations by invoking religious symbols and sentiments. There is total apathy and indecisiveness towards confronting this challenge by those in power,” reads a letter by renowned social activist Shabnam Hashmi.

RSS and its affiliates have mounted a vicious campaign against the Christian community across India. Over 10 states have seen violent attacks on the Christian community, their institutions, religious places, property and businesses during the past one month. The culprits behind the communal violence against Christians in Orissa, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and other states are being allowed to go scot-free, she said.

She expressed concern over the fact that “the recent attacks on Christian religious institutions have been openly claimed by Hindutva terrorist groups, like the Bajrang Dal, in front of television news cameras and yet no action has been taken against them.”

“Throughout the country Muslim youth are being targeted, without any or little evidence, as responsible for terrorist attacks. There is a concerted attempt by the Indian police, sections of the media and certain political parties to portray all members of the Muslim community as ‘terrorists and extremists’ – to be arbitrarily arrested, tortured and killed in fake encounters,” she added.

“We feel that there is urgent need to call for a national convention to challenge the forces of fascism. We had sent out SMS messages to about 40 organisations to get a response from them about the possibility of organizing a national convention on 25 and 26 October, 2008 in New Delhi. All those who responded felt the need for this convention,” reads the letter.

The groups which have responded positively and have already endorsed Anhad’s call for the convention include: All India Dalit Mahila Adhikar Manch, All India Quami Mahaz, Aman Samudaya, Antarik Visthapit Hak Rakshak Samiti, ASHA Pariwar, Awaz e- Niswana, Bhartiya Muslim Mahila Andolan, Darpana Academy, Janvikas, Mahatma Gandhi Foundation and National Campaign for Dalit Human Rights.