New Delhi : More than two decades after it was formed, the party of “honest members” – the Humanist Party is struggling to make a mark in national politics.
Formed as part of the international humanitarian movement on Dec 10, 1984, observed as World Human Rights Day, the Humanist Party has since then been working at the grass roots level across 17 states in the country.
“I agree the party has been there for quite long, but it has been working at the grass roots level in 17 states and generally this kind of work is not recognised,” the party’s general secretary Sudhir Gandotra said.
The party has 15,000 direct members and claims 100,000 supporters. It had planned to field candidates in 500 of the 543 Lok Sabha constituencies, but says it will have to lower its goal.
“We have fielded candidates earlier as well. This time we will be fielding candidates across India. We have been asking various organisations with positive aims to join us.
“We have given a call to field 500 people. We should be able to field at least 200,” Gandotra said.
The party eschews violence and discrimination in all forms. The members of the party are volunteers and do not earn their livelihood from it.
“We all are volunteers. I myself run a software company to earn my livelihood,” he added.
The manifesto of the party enlists its objectives as: “Free and compulsory education of equitable quality to all from nursery stage to Class 12, as fundamental right of all citizens. Free and quality healthcare facilities to all people and establish AIIMS level hospitals in all districts of the country within five years.”
The party envisages a dream for a “nuclear weapons” free India.
“No nuclear arms. Cancellation of the 123 agreement. Comprehensive peace and no-war agreements with all neighbouring countries and proportionate disarmament of conventional as well as nuclear arms with a time-frame target. Extensive research and usage of solar, wind and fusion technologies for sourcing energy needs,” are the other objectives of the party.