Resolution Adopted in the All India Convention on Nandigram and SEZs, held on 2-3 June, 2007 at the Netaji Subhash Institute in Kolkata
The All India Convention on Nandigram and SEZs, held on 2-3 June, 2007 at the Netaji Subhash Institute in Kolkata, calls upon all patriotic and democratic people of India to fight for the sovereignty and survival of the country, especially its least advantaged, by opposing the neo-liberal policies imposed upon the country by the servitors of imperialism and Zionism.
The SEZs are the most advanced and the deadliest weapons of neo-liberalism because they not only create islands of cheap and sweated labour after ousting millions of peasants from their homes, livelihoods and their social and cultural milieus but create extra-territorial enclaves where the sovereignty of the country is compromised as in the eighteenth century factories from which emerged the colonial forces of the British, French and the Dutch imperialists.
The present-day imperialists, especially the US-Zionists, do not always need to flex their brute force as in Afghanistan, Iraq and several other places in order to compromise our sovereignty. The Indian state and all the political parties sharing power either at the Centre or the states have become collaborators of imperialism—the palpable consequence of capitulation of Indian big capital to imperialism. Without that capitulation, there could be no access to markets or technology in a regime basically of export-led growth. The state in India is therefore willing to maim and kill to facilitate the SEZs as in Nandigram, Kalinganagar and other places.
It should be noted that women and children are the worst targets of the policies of neo-liberalism and state violence. And in the revolt of the people in Nandigram against the land grab indulged in by the state and the CPI (M) it was the women of Nandigram who were in the forefront of defying the brute force of the police and the CPI (M) cadre. This convention salutes their courage and determination in facing the wrath of the repressive state machinery and strongly believe that this has created a new precedence for the emerging resistance against all forms of displacement throughout the country.
The so-called left parties such as the CPI (M) are playing a vicious game of prevarication. To the extent that they share state power, they are ready to kill and maim peasants, workers for foreign capitalists such as Fiat (at Singur, with Tata as collaborator) or Dow Chemicals (facilitated by the Salim group) at Nandigram. Where such parties are not in government, they pretend to oppose imperialism before those that they are still able to delude.
Nandigram has unmasked them and defeated them. The people of West Bengal will not allow a single decimal of land for SEZs. But it is not a question of just the people of West Bengal. The people of India are rising into memorable struggles wherever SEZs are being proposed. This Convention, attended by delegates from all corners of India, is proof that the message of Nandigram is ringing loud and clear throughout India. The movements are converging and the political understandings are merging. The time has arrived therefore to build an all-India movement that will be seamless in its unity.
This Convention therefore resolves to form an All-India Consultative Committee to oppose SEZs and various forms of displacement and initiate the process of an all India movement. 28 members elected by this convention will act as facilitators at the beginning, before full coordination is established.
The All India People's Convention on Nandigram and SEZs affirms the demands of the call by concerned citizens and movements that convened it:
Scrap the SEZ Act, 2005 that aims to set up 'extra territorial' authorities within the country and acquire huge tracts of farm and forestlands for the corporate capitalists while endangering the lives and livelihoods of millions.
Abolish or reformulate (in consultation with the people) the colonial and draconian Land Acquisition Act of 1894 that serves as the chief instrument of land acquisition by the government.
The Chief Minister of West Bengal, who has owned up to the responsibility for the mass murders in Nandigram, must resign. Everyone who has had a hand in the Nandigram massacre, directly or indirectly, must be punished.
People's institutions at the grassroots must be allowed the autonomy to act so that a life of peace and dignity returns to Nandigram and wherever conflict has erupted over land acquisition.
The All India People's Convention on Nandigram and SEZs further resolve to unitedly and unequivocally warn the State that it has no right to deprive the people of their livelihood. This convention salutes the people's resistance struggles against all forms of displacement and dispossession taking place throughout the length and breadth of the sub-continent.
Special Economic Zones (SEZs), which are foreign enclaves where many of the laws of the land would not apply, will undermine the self-reliance and sovereignty of the people of this country. The convention also opposes the decision of the Manmohan Singh government--after seeing the anger and rebellion of the people of Nandigram--to allow private acquisition of land for the developers of SEZs. While opposing the colonial legislation of the land acquisition act of 1894 it also demands to hereby scrap all the proposed SEZs and the ones that are already sanctioned. The struggle against SEZs is decisive in resisting the policies of neo-liberalism and the imperialist-Zionist attack on our sovereignty. While this convention resolves to take up the resistance against SEZs on an emergent basis, it understands that the struggle against SEZs will not be complete and effective without fighting all other kinds of displacement like big industrial projects, mining projects, mega dams for power generation and irrigation, big infrastructural projects, super highways, malls, urban restructuring, tourism projects, national parks, sanctuaries, etc. This is evident from the ongoing struggles of Kalinganagar, anti-POSCO movement, movements against the Polavaram dam, Vedanta, Singur, Navi Mumbai, Netrahat Field firing Range in Jharkhand, Chargaon Raoghat anti- mining struggle in Lohandiguda in Chhattisgarh, etc.
The people's revolt in Nandigram has shown a way for everyone fighting against SEZs to save their land and resources. This burning need to fight against SEZs and all forms of displacement towards building a broad united struggle will have its focus on the central question of alienation of land from the people with its spirit being that of the resistance struggles for Jal, Jungle, Jameen.
The fight against all forms of displacement will also entail the necessity to evolve an alternative development model, which is in the interests of the people. This should be a people-oriented development.
This alternative will only emerge when genuine people's struggles against land acquisition and various forms of displacement are able to see through the sinister, status-quoist agenda of imperialist and government funded institutions and the so-called struggles led by the exploitative parties when out of power to hoodwink the people to gain votes so as to get back to the corridors of power.
The convention resolves that the all India movement against SEZs and other forms of displacement should unite working people and all other oppressed people's movements against displacement.
This convention further empowers the All India Consultative Committee to initiate talks with similar processes towards building a broad all India united front of organisations or platforms like the Ranchi process fighting against SEZs and various other kinds of displacement.
The time has come for a long drawn struggle to establish self-reliance.
All India Consultative Committee for initiating the process of building an All India Platform of People's Organisations Against SEZs and Displacement
Dr. Rakesh Rafiq--Yuva Bharat
GN Saibaba--Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF)
Banwari Lal Sharma--Azadi Bachao Andolan
Bhaskar Nandy-- CPI (ML) (PCC)
Medha Patkar-- Narmada Bachao Andolan
Mithilesh Dangi-- Azadi Bachao Andolan
Vara Vara Rao--Revolutionary Poet
Hemant Uchai-- Tripura Tribal Land Struggle Committee
Alok Mukherjee--All India Platform for People's Struggles
Swapan Mukherjee-- CPI (ML) (Liberation)
Kavita Krishnan-- CPI (ML) (Liberation)
Kalyan Goswami-- CPI (ML) (Liberation)
Jayanta Roy-- Janwadi Forward Block
Moulana Siddiqullah Chowdhury--Gona Unnayan-O-Jona Adhikar Sangram Samity
Krishna Gopal Sinha--Samajwadi Janata Dal
Santosh Rana-- CPI (ML) (PCC)
Sardar Amjad Ali--PDCI
Arun Majhi--National Alliance of Trade Unions
Debabrata Sharma-- Ekalavya, Assam
Mukul Sinha -- NSM, Gujarat
Rachna Dhingra--Bhopal Campaign Group
Satinath Sarangi-- Bhopal Campaign Group
V. Srinivasan --PUCL Tamil Nadu
Kerala Anti-SEZ Movement
Representative from SUCI
Representative from SUCI
Representative from SUCI
On Police firing on Pro-reservation Movement in Rajasthan
The All India Convention on Nandigram and SEZ strongly condemns the continuous and barbaric police firing on the pro-reservation movement of the Gujjars of Rajasthan. In the police firing more than a dozen of people have been killed and hundreds of them were injured. The Rajasthan government is not only creating a reign of terror on the people of the state but also trying its best to instigate caste clashes between the Gujjar and Meena community. This discriminatory and repressive role of the BJP government of Rajasthan is nothing but to divide the people of the state on caste and communal basis in order to continue the oppression and exploitation of the toiling masses. We demand the repression on pro-reservation movement to be immediately stopped and all the police and administrative officials involved in the killing of this struggling members of the Gujjar community be punished.
Condemn the Arrest and Incarceration of Dr. Binayak Sen, Secretary PUCL, Chhattisgarh
The All India Convention on Nandigram and SEZ strongly condemns the arrest and incarceration of Dr. Binayak Sen, Secretary PUCL Chhattisgarh. Dr. Sen strongly opposed the government initiated Salwa Judum to facilitate the investment possibilities of TATA and Essar steel plants in Dantewada district of Chhattisgarh. Thousands of people were forcefully displaced from the villages and were robbed off their homes, culture and livelihood and were kept in the police camps through the brutal Salwa Judum genocide. This convention demands the immediate revoking of the draconian charges filed against Dr. Sen under several acts including the Unlawful