The meeting of leading comrades active in the field of democratic rights movement held on 23-24 March at Ambedkar Bhavan, New Delhi, attended by Ad. C.B.Singh (Lucknow) and com. Monasur (Kanpur) from UP, Ad.Sabi Joseph, Kerala, com.Ashok Mathur, Rajasthan, Ad.Vivek Ranjan, Odisha, Ad. Kedar Anand, Chathisgarh and Ad. Arun Maji, general secretary of NDPI, com. Mangat Ram of NDPI and com. Jaiprakash from the Anti-Caste Organization from Delhi. The meeting discussed the draft approach paper On Formation of Democratic Rights and Civil Liberties’ Movement for building a broad based democratic rights and civil liberties forum at all India level presented by com.K.N.Ramachandran, general secretary of the CPI(ML) in the meeting prsided by Ad.C.B.Singh. The orientation of the Paper was generally accepted by all. It will be developed taking the suggestions put forward and the message from com.C.Bhaskar Rao, geberal secretary of the OPDR (AP) who could not attand the meeting. Similarly com.Ved Bhusan, editor of The Kashmit Times, Ad. Rebati Ballabh Mohanty from Odisha and others from different states who could not attend the meeting had informed their consent to work as part of any all India forum organized in the meeting. It was decided that the Paper shall be developed based on the suggestions which came up in the meeting and shall be published for further discusion on it.
The meeting decided to constitute the Organizing Committee of the Democratic Rights’ Forum (DRF) with Ad. C.B.Singh as convener and Ad. Sabi Joseph, Ad. Vivek Ranjan, Ad. Kedar Anand, com. Monasur, com.Mangat Ram and com.Ashok Mathur as members. The meeting passed following resolutions:
1. The DRF shall try to establish contacts with all forcesopposed to deployment of army and AFSPA in J&K and Northeastand to develop a countrywide movement in solidarity with the struggles waged by the peoples of these regions including the indefinite hunger strike continued by Irom Sarmila for more than 12 years to repeal AFSPA and to withdraw army policing. The DRF shall intensify the campaign for political solution of J&K and Northeast issues by involving the people.
2. The DRF shall unite all forces who are against death penalty and develop a countrywide movement for its repeal.
3. The DRF condemns the ghastly and secret manner in which the hanging of Afsal Guru was carried out. It demands that the UPA government should apologize for it. Even the democratic right to appeal for review and to approach the Supreme Court once again after the rejection of the long pending mercy petition was denied to him and to his family. The DRF demands that the dead body of Afsal Guru should be handed over to his family immediately.
4. The DRF decided to send a fact finding team in solidarity with the struggle of the orkers of Manesar Maruti Suzuki car factory, where 140 workers are jailed for more than seven months and more than 500 workers are summarily dismissed.
5. The DRF decided to send a fact finding team to Jagjitsinghpur district of Odisha where thousands of villagers of Paradeep area are struggling for last eight years against their displacement for acquiring land for POSCO, the South Korean based MNC.
The meeting decided to organize state level committees and to take up various issues of democratic rights violations uniting broad sections of democratic forces.
1. Name: Its name shalll be Democratic Rights Forum (DRF).
2. Aims and Objectives: The DRF shall work for the defence of the democratic rights and civil liberties and for their expansion and advancement.
3. Structure: The DRF shall be a democratic forum with its functioning based on democratic consultation and consensus. At the same time it shall strive to co-ordinate different organizations, groups and individuals committed to work for the protection, expansion and advancement of the democratic rights and civil liberties at all levels.
4. Organizational Form: At all India level it shall have an All India General Council (AIGC) to be elected by All India Conferences of representatives elected by state level conferences and organizations, groups and individuals affiliated to it which is convened every two years and an Executive Committee elected by the AIGC with their offices at Delhi. For carrying out day to day functioning it shall have a Central Working Group (CWG). The CWG consists of the chairman, a vice chairman and other office bearers such as general secretary, five secretaries to coordinate activities in Southern, Western, Eastern, Northern zones and of the CWG and a tresurer elected by the AIGC. The number of members of the All India state and district councils and respective executive committees shall be decided in the respective conferences.
5. The state level conferences held every two years shall constitute State Councils (SCs) of the DRF, and an executive committee which shall lead the state level activities, and the district level conferences shall elect the district level councils and district executive committees of the DRF. For carrying out day to day functioning of the SCs it shall also have State Working Groups (SWGs). The SWGs shall consist of the State chairman, secretary and three secretaries, with one of them having responsibility of the treasurer, who shall be elected by the SCs. The same principles are be followed at the district level also.
6. All these Councils shall work based on consensus.
7. The Editorial Board for the central DRF publications shall be elected by the AIGC and for the publications at state level by the SCs respectively.
8. Organizations, groups and individuals who are prepared to accept the Approach Paper and Organizational Principles of the DRF and are ready to function based on these and affiliated to the AIGS, can be enrolled as its constituents and their representative can be taken in the AIGC or SCs, as the case may be.
9. The AIGC shall elect the Executive Committee and the CWG consisting of the office bearers and the SCs shall elect the SWGs and the state level office bearers once in two years. The bi-annual conferences shall discuss and finalize the reports, audited accounts and future programs presented by respective councils. In extra ordinary situations All India and state level councils, which are sceduled to meet twice in a year, shall be convened by giving one month notice to its members.
10. The accounts of the DRF at different levels shall be audited bi-annually by three auditers elected by respective councils.
11. Funds: Respective Executive committees can generate necessary funds for the fuctioning of the DRF from public by way of contributios.
12. The amendments to the Organizational Principles shall be by way of majority decisions of the All India General Council.