EKLAVYA STUDENTS AND YOUTH ASSOCIATION
March of Subaltern Liberty, Human unity and Global Democracy
[started on 26 November, 2013 ]
“The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case new, so we must think anew, and act anew.”
– Abraham Lincoln
“It is not enough to be electors only. It is necessary to be law-maker; otherwise those who can be law-maker will be the master of those who can only be electors. ”
– Dr. B.R. Ambedkar
“With regard to equality, this word must not be understood to mean that degress of power and wealth should be exactly the same, but rather that with regard to power, it should be incapable of all violence and never exerted except by virtue of status and the laws”
– Jean Jaques Rousseau
“I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education”
– Thomas Jefferson
“There is no history but universal history – as it really was”
– Leopold von Ranke
“Opponents of globalisation may see it as a new folly, but it is neither particularly new, nor, in general, a folly”
– Amartya Sen
“To achieve world government, it is necessary to remove from the minds of men their individualism, loyalty to family tradition, national patriotism, and religious dogmas”
-Brock Adams, Director UN Health Organization
“The greater the power, the more need there is for transparency, because if the power is abused, the result can be so enormous”
Liberty and Unity are two sides of same coin, it is the dialectics between these two that have been steering human consciousness and institutions to this day. Unity is just another form of liberty which as an idea wouldn’t have arrived unless its time wasn’t ripe. History of humanity is but story of man’s conscious and unconscious choices and actions in given material conditions while following certain laws of nature, history as saga of a giant collective unfolding by nature’s own design, it is narrative of liberty expressing itself at every stage in different forms yet under the shadow of this ever increasing ‘Entropy of Liberty’. Liberty is evolving in the form of representative systems, in dimensions of Power (State) and Resistance, in form of equality and social justice. Manifesting itself sometimes as Magna Carta(1215 AD), Declaration of Independence(1776), Declaration of Emancipation(1860), Communist Manifesto (1848) or Rebellions of 1381 (England), Peasant Rebellions of 1525(Germany), Paris Commune (1871) or Spanish Civil War(1936-1939) etc. They are all outcome of the most natural impulse of man i.e. against tyranny and for liberty. Today, when the two prime enemies of man on this planet are war and poverty it has befallen on the living generation to shake away the oblivion of separation, be it political, cultural, racial or national.
Hence, for every enlightened emanation of ideas there has to be an ossified structure perpetually dynamic with society’s motion and structurally comprehensive which being operational, affective and organic must answer to every political and spiritual call in society. This was much realized and recognised by founding fathers of Constitution of India and they made colossal efforts for the same through injecting Article 19 (Freedom of Speech and Association) as one of the Fundamental Rights in the constitution of India.
After almost seven decades of independence political and social contours of Indian multicultural society has moved several paces ahead yet the gift of free speech remains totally unexplored, unrealized and sadly often misused as well. It is our firm belief that this nation conceived in higher esoteric and spiritual virtues centuries ago has finally started maturing in democratic consciousness being kindered day and night by constitutional values and under the strict vigil of Judiciary. Yet the sense of equality, sense of dignity towards the oppressed, the subaltern, the destitute is immature, pale and often inhuman especially in rustic, illiterate countryside. The incidents like Mirchpur etc have mired and undermined collective development of India. While the people in power have made tall claims of ‘shining India’ social dignity, equality, cultural absorption seemed to have stood dormant, static and almost non-existent in otherwise dynamic society. Hence with such analysis and identification of the last remaining hurdles in march of Indian democracy we have resolved to stand up and fight against every such idea, concept, institution which is a shame on individual, political, social, emotional and psychological collective consciousness of Indian society. For the purpose of same we the youth and students of largest democracy have associated with like minded dynamic, progressive young men and women to organize our efforts in practice and be known as EKLAVYA STUDENTS AND YOUTH ASSOCIATION.
As is evident from the name of association we choose to and are proud to represent the subaltern, the destitute of India, the minority, the peasant, the worker, the ‘untouchable’ and especially women who because of their social positions and economic conditions cannot express and represent in political arena. With certain radical and democratic principles we will work for the betterment of every section of society while giving special emphasis on the rights of these sections named above. As students and youth who have organized themselves we aim to follow great men and their ideas while respecting and further developing their theories in pragmatic way. From Abraham Lincoln, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson who introduced concept of democracy and manifested it with utmost sincerity to personalities like, Martin Luther, Nelson Mandela, Swami Vivekananda, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar and Sri Aurobindo we draw our inspiration and will to fight, who has further expanded the basic tenets of democracy be it anti-segregation movement, issue of reservation or the mighty spiritual splendour of Ancient India.
Every political or social change in world have been brought by man and through man itself so we believe that very centre of development should be man in itself. A fair opportunity for this has been provided by the constitution of India and while availing this opportunity we invite students and youth of this great nation to stand out and speak up.
- “Education is manifestation of perfection already in man.”
Education is power, knowledge is power, 16th century Renaissance in Europe proved this. On the other hand it has always been known to the ruling classes across the centuries and through out history that keeping masses away from knowledge and education is keeping them away from discovering truth that power is not some divine will but lies in the hands of majority. This Machiavellian trick has worked well for ruling classes for centuries, that is why majority of people in history has remained illiterate, uneducated and served as slaves to their masters. But today we are living in welfare state, modern democracy where as accordingly to the concept of welfare state, it’s the duty of the state to provide most basic needs of life of its citizen and Right to Education is considered as FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT under Article 21- Right to Life and Liberty. Yet today the rampant privatization and sky rocketing fee structures is nothing but expression of another cheap trick played by the governments in denying the basic right of education to its masses. Hence we pledge that we will work in manifesting the Article 21 of constitution in letter and spirit and will oppose any such act or idea or policy which may result in being a hurdle of imparting education to common and poor masses.
2. “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”
The main aim of the universities and even the reason of the existence of universities is to contribute to the development of human race through sincere and serious research in all fields. But it is very unfortunate that today universities in India have not only failed to develop serious environment for research but on the contrary have started using education as an industry of unprecedented, unprincipled commercial profit. This must be changed, ESYA will work on this issue and try to develop the ways in which quality of research can be developed. Academic contribution is very important part and aspect of student’s life. Encouraging students to develop orientation of research, publish research papers, publication of journals, organizing seminars on complex historical, political, social as well as legal debates. The intention of all these activities will remain size-able and significant.
- “I have always strenuously supported the right of every man to his own opinion, however different that opinion might be to mine. He who denies to another this right, makes a slave of himself to his present opinion, because he precludes himself the right of changing it”
-Thomas Paine, Age of Reason
Having a political opinion, influencing a political opinion and playing certain role is basic attequate of living in a democracy. Especially in ancient Indian political culture role of republics (ganraj) has been decisive. Today government of the people, by the people, for the people is order of the day. Being passive in political opinions is a moral crime and is like running from basic duty. As educated youth its very important to take part in political opinion making. Through debates, elections and any such medium or channel which influence our political life we must make efforts. Politics cannot be left in hands of a very small minority in the country who can mould and re-mould every part of our political and social life on its whims and fancies. Moreover, it is the historical role of the organizations and individuals who choose to represent the interest of subaltern people to come out and speak up. The oppressed people, be it the workers who built the forts for Kings or tribals who fought alongside against every invasion in medieval ages or be it the so called ‘low caste’ who were basically lifeline of agriculture as well as handicraft industry, all of these people together have been oppressed systematically and kept away from all education, knowledge, wealth and property. Hence now it’s upto the educated youth to represent the cause of these people in political arena along with all the other sections. Hence we will actively take part in decision making process of democracy at all micro and macro levels i.e. electoral process. We will make efforts to bring more and more youth to be part of this most important activity of a republic be it university campuses or national arena.
4. “In the state of nature… all men are equal, but they cannot continue in this equality. Society makes them loose it, and they recover it only by the protection of the law”
– Charles de Montesquieu (1689-1755)
This deep principle of civilized society is well established and accepted by all the democracies around the globe. Rule of law is what prevents anarchy and chaos and every social evil. Framing and following set of basic legal and political principles is what makes democracy a constitutional democracy and this is matter of great pride that Indian constitution is the longest and most elaborated constitution in the world. The most important part of the constitution of India is III part i.e. Fundamental Rights. These most basic human rights spread from Article 12 to Article 35 with many Articles covering holistically Right to Freedom, Right to Equality, Right against exploitation, Right to freedom of religion, cultural and educational rights, Right to constitutional remedies etc. There cannot be any better legal document present other than constitution of India which not only gives most basic rights to live but to live with dignity irrespective of a person’s social, cultural or economic background. Moreover Fundamental duties (part IV and Article 51-A) is another aspect which every citizen must be aware of and must perform them in spirit since constitutional morality is not always natural in human beings and in societies but they are indeed inculcated by staunch practice . Hence we will not only adhere to the constitutional values of freedom and equality in all spheres but will strive to make effort in further evolving the judicial concepts in favour of democratic expansion and will raise voice to make Directive Principles of State Policies be made compulsory for the governments.
- “As to the nature of Indian secularism and the role of the State in matters of religion I am of the view that in India secularism can only be viewed in a broad, expansive way that has in it a place for every community and group. Indian secularism, like the civic body in India has to be inherently pluralistic and flexible.” -Justice Aftab Alam, Supreme Court of India ( Idea of Secularism and Supreme court of India
Spirit of Indian society, culture as well as constitution is secularism, it must be understood that true spirituality is only in secularism, spirituality cannot be expressed or asserted in the form of religious mandate but in personal expression of every individual’s spirituality in the way he/she wants, for which the only platform in society is SECULARISM. Therefore this is a pious duty of youth and students of India to not only always uphold secular fabric of India which has always been punctured by vulgar politics and right wing religious groups. Also we must stand and fight for secular principles as it is most humane logic of civil society. The age old taboos of religious fundamentalism is but product of false propagation of historical facts, right from the superiority and concept of Aryan invasion to the intensity of forcible religious conversions in middle ages many facts have been manipulated for political gains in all eras. Naïve people of India have always been victim of such lies which inspire communal violence. But today in the era of modern democracy seeds of communalism must be destroyed completely. Hence in furtherance of this noble and sacred cause of religious harmony and fearless spiritual expansion we will fight tooth and nail against any such idea or organization which openly and cunningly tries to destroy secular fabric of Indian society.
6.“If we must die let it not be like hogs,
Hunted and penned in an inglorious spot…..
Like men we’ll face the murderous cowardly pack,
Pressed to the wall, dying but fighting back.”
– Claude Mckay ( African-American Poet 1920 )
Tribals, blacks, untouchables, minorities, aborigines, indigenous people, in one word the oppressed of the world are the backbone of all that is produced, they are the reason of all the development of science or trade, culture or literature all that has taken humanity in subsequent steps of human evolution. But unfortunately these ‘Wretched of Earth’ have always been exploited and oppressed in every possible manner. The modern times have seen an unprecedented scale of uprisings of these populations. Women’s resistance of 1920’s, Civil liberty Movements of blacks in 1950’s and 1960’s , movement for uplifting of untouchables by Periyar E.V. Ramaswami in late 19th century and even innumerable peasant rebellions across the globe in history is nothing but expression of oppressed and subaltern people fighting for the most basic human rights and right to live a life with dignity. We ESYA have vision to make a collective effort and support for any such struggle of subaltern people in any corner of the globe, the sacrifices of anti- segregation movement leaders for attaining equal social status in USA is one example of strength of world’s subaltern hence we are always ready to support any such struggle and co-ordinating among the subaltern people of the world.
- “Political tyranny is nothing compared to the social tyranny and a reformer who defies society is a more courageous man than a politician who defies Government.”
-Dr. B.R. Ambedkar
History of oppressed is history of humanity, the subaltern people across the world and especially in India have always determined fates of empires and governments. Be it demise of Rome or rise of modern democracy the subaltern populations are the key to political, social, cultural as well as spiritual change in the collective consciousness of society. India has always been land of peasants and tribals settling in enormous Indian culture often transforming itself into VARN VYAVASTHA (caste system). This manuvadi system of oppression and expression have lived and flourished in India for centuries because every consecutive empire, dynasty or government have fed it for its own narrow cause of power politics or electoral vote bank. But it was the vision of Dr. BR Ambedkar for providing with a legal and political structure that will not only halt the march of inhuman caste system but will help the rise of all subaltern groups in Indian society and culture. Hence we as Eklavya Students and Youth Association will strive and fight against any such caste abuse in any form or any such exploitation based on class, caste or creed which is in violation to Article 14 of Constitution of India. Not only we will fight LEGALLY but we will strongly fight against any such act POLITICALLY as it is most basic duty of students and youth.
- “Reservation is necessary for transcending caste and not for perpetuating it. Reservation has to be used in a limited sense otherwise it will perpetuate casteism in the country.”
-Supreme Court of India ( M Nagraj vs Union of India 2006)
As is mentioned by Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in above celebrated case of M. Nagraj that reservation is necessary for transcending caste not for perpetuating it, we accept and support this point of view as this statement is just an expression and interpretation of constitutional values. There can be no equality among the unequals unless equality which is not just a political but is a social concept as well. And it must be manifested in its totality. Rather especially social equality has always been of less priority in Indian political scenario. A massive legal effort was made by Dr. B.R. Ambedkar to uplift the socially oppressed masses through his concept of Reservation for socially backward classes ( SC, ST, BC and OBC). Evidently this tool has become one of the most instrumental channel to uplift the subaltern people in society as well as in public services and education. Where it opened great vistas for the oppressed, reservation also became one of the most hated concept by some sections in the country and especially by people of Manuvadi mentality. Who did their best to spread hatred against the beneficiaries of reservation with different inhuman and irrational logics. ‘A welfare state cannot treat Unequal people equally’ is a highly evolved social and political concept, only societies which are in constant ascent in their spirial of evolution will be capable of accepting this principle. Where, Hon’ble Supreme Court of India has accepted this concept as affirmative action and termed it as ‘Proportional Equality’, on the other hand massive political forces have also been mobilized against this concept (of reservation). Which makes it evident that always many anti-national, communal, fascist, right wing and inhuman forces in Indian society such as various armed groups in Bihar like Ranvir Sena, Sunlite Sena etc are violently active in rugged countryside . Also it must be noted that more sophisticated versions of anti-subaltern/anti-reservation sentiments are present in urban areas also which under the garb of ‘equality’ have tried to denounce the whole concept of affirmative action as ‘reverse discrimination’ not realizing that this is nothing but some kind of 5th century brahamnical reaction unfit for the formation of a highly evolved society. Yet the truth is prima facie that these forces have faced defeat in intellect, in logic, in politics and we are proud that Hon’ble Supreme Court itself time and again have guided the Indian politico-judicial matrix in the favour of affirmative action under Article 16(4). Hence we as representatives of the subaltern people while giving unconditional support to the concept of reservation (to the extent it isn’t just tool for vote bank) will always follow the path which extends the helping hand to oppressed and will follow constitutional values at its best in theory and practice.
- “Ballots are the rightful and peaceful successors of bullets and that when ballots have fairly and constitutionally decided there can be no successful appeal back to bullets; that there can be no successful appeal except to ballots themselves, at succeeding elections.”-Abraham Lincoln
It is true that people have brought change through force and rebellions. Be it rebellion of London 1381 or Germany 1525 or Independence of American colonies in 1776. But this change has been for and from and through people which have yielded results in the long run, which have made humanity more wise and patient and more humane ! Any such struggle for betterment of life must be thoroughly respected. But taking up of arms for the sake of adventure, chaos, anarchy, religious fundamentalism or any other ulterior motive like perpetrating any authoritarian ideology ( Fascism and Stalinism) is biggest sin one can commit against humanity. Unfortunately, India has been victim of such movements which have tried their level best to derail the march of national development, unity and civil liberties. It is not denied that Indian government have faltered in answering questions and problems of oppressed in various sections of society and geographically remote people. Yet this insensitivity of consecutive governments have been duly noted by millions of citizens especially youth, NGOs and Supreme Court of India as well. Hence logical end to all these separatist movements in North East, Kashmir etc or heinous and inhuman movement of left wing extremism in Central India is to allow the spirit of development manifesting itself in all spheres of such people. Education, health, life with dignity and all amenities of life that are important and enshrined in Article 21 ( Right to Life and Liberty ) must be provided to people or else there is no meaning of welfare State. India being a young, nascent democracy many political forces from within and without have tried to take advantage through armed rebellions. Though it is quite evident that today every such effort against the democratic spirit of Indian society and constitution has been defeated and are withering away, we will stand for the rights of the oppressed but will strongly condemn all acts of TERRORISM which are perpetuated on different pretexts and will uphold democracy, republic and constitution of India supreme.
- “Much of human life and commerce is, however, built on infrastructure that is built on gentler climate. Severe weather, not to mention sea level rise and other consequences of climate change, will have major impact on our societies. This has always been the case, but those effects are likely to be magnified to catastrophic proportions as the planet continues to warm.” – Achim Steiner ( UN Under Secretary General and UNEP Executive Director)
Human being is not just a social being he/she is a species’ being as well, the survival of human race depends on the survival of the planet. In past two centuries the mindless and greedy industrialization has played havoc on the global environment. Consumption of important and limited minerals, fuels etc has left with acute shortage of the same. Even today the most common natural provision – water too is being in sphere of scarce natural resource. Which is alarming as well shameful. Moreover the quality of the soil has decreased tragically across the fertile plains in the world which have been under pressure of agriculture for commercial purpose for past few centuries. Even increasing soil erosion is one huge problem not to mention carbon emissions and other environmental problems like Ozone etc. The United Nations of Organization have made huge efforts in this direction, endless environmentalists, scientists are committed to the cause of saving the planet. For this purpose the concept of sustainable development, organic farming etc. must be encouraged and ESYA will support any such idea on global and local level. Also ratification of International Environmental Summits is must for India and to develop a comprehensive model of growth which is inclusive and in not at all in way harmful for environment. There are many schemes of central government which if implemented or developed properly can be very instrumental in flourishing concept of sustainable development at local level of India for example Indra Awas Yojana etc. Hence ESYA will do its best to make educated people aware of the need of sustainable development and that pro environment legislations become order of the day. The forest, wildlife, flora and fauna is indivisible part of human culture it must be safeguarded.
11. “And remember, where you have a concentration of power in a few hands, all too frequently men with the mentality of gangsters get control. History has proven that.
This concept in politics and economics is not modern but ancient. Power as a concept and ‘natural tendency’ is most debated and sought after in all realms of human communications. More the concentration of power, less humane the system becomes. Concentration of power can be through economic means or political, it has always proved to be menace for human freedom and culture. The examples of ‘Divine Right’ in middle ages is one such memory in human consciousness, German and Soviet Totalitarianism in modern times were even worse. But just monogamous political structures only are not guarantee of power concentration in a totalitarian state. Even complex and free democracies like that of United States, Australia or India too are capable of immense power concentration. For example various legislations in United States and Emergency that was imposed in India by Indra Gandhi in 1975 are some of the examples which expose the weaknesses of these parliamentary democracies. Yet the evolution of the concept of decentralization of power in itself is an independent phenomenon it seems, history can be read as story of liberty, entropy of liberty always increasing, intensifying in every era, attaining a particular ossified structure yet again breaking that same structure and attaining finer one. We can trace this evolution of decentralization of power right from British Civil war and first time establishing Parliament as against the royalty and nobility, gradually attaining the right to vote for all the tax payers, then universal suffrage i.e right to vote and get elected irrespective of creed, position, gender etc. But the buck just does not stop here. Now this same phenomenon needs to be pushed forward. We have been living in era of Indirect Parliamentary Democracies. But now because of the rampant development of technology it has been possible to usher in the age of referendums and direct taking part of people in decision making through curtailing the powers of the elected members in our parliaments and other local representative systems. Manifesting such progressive ideas through mohalla sabhas etc is one of the way as is been experimented in Delhi. Moreover Swaraj Bill is one such idea to be favoured.
- “Internationalism also recognizes, by its very name, that nations do exist. It simply limits their scope more than one sided internationalism does.” -Christian Lous Lange
State is a political institution and politics is a process, process of evolution, ever changing and dynamic. Political institutions like ancient civillisations or medieval empires have come and gone, ideas and cultures have come and gone but humanity lives ever developing and evolving. With increasing knowledge, rising consciousness, financial pressures, moral obligations and spiritual needs humanity seems to be throwing away all the ideas and institutions which separate human beings from one another. Therefore, institution of nation state which has been cause of innumerable wars and conflicts will soon wither away on its own pace and grander, finer institutions based on highly evolved political-social principles of INTERNATIONALISM will take its place expressing but more esoteric culture. This is obvious as we can see from the example of European Union that today in 21st century when world market is so closely embedded there cannot be any isolated military power in old medieval style. The leadership essentially has to be not through bigger nuclear arsenal or better military equipment but through a progressive, open, plural and democratic culture. It will not be wrong to say that after the defeat in two world wars Germany adopted this approach, Germany is the torchbearer of European economic stability and cultural unity. It is clear that in 21st century any nation will not be a leader because of the violence or hatred it preaches but how much in its capacity any nation can bring cultural absorption, political stability and economic prosperity to its region of the globe. And today India is at cross roads and India is the only country with multi cultural, linguistic and religious diversity which has the capacity to uphold the principles of ‘Unity in Diversity’ and consequently be an exemplary leader in protecting its cultural diversity, linguistic and religious minorities. The nature of leadership in India can only be one of uniting South Asia in one economic-cultural zone, in propelling harmony and asserting it through education and better medical facilities.
Executive Committee & Editorial Board-
Chairman ESYA: Advocate Sawinder Singh
President ESYA: Amandeep Singh
General Secretory: Vikramjeet Vick
contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
This is an initiative by the Students and Youth of India (Chandigarh, Punjab & Haryana) to change the political and overall culture of universities’ campuses and society. We believe that students and youth have the potential and capabilities to make the difference and have a key role in the socio-political arena, to break the old and noxious ideas to construct the healthy ones.
Poverty, war, unemployment, poor healthcare facilities, expensive education, gender based discrimination and atrocities, racism, casteism are some of the major problems which need to be addressed. Awareness, opinion making and revolutionary democratic opposition is the process to overcome these kind of obstacles.
In view of this, we as ESYA are committed to provide a creative and democratic platform (through discussions, debates, literary works, study circles, cultural groups, academic collaborations, seminars, conferences, paper presentations, democratic & peaceful agitations, student elections/student representations, legal activism etc.) to encourage students and youth to come forward and make their contributions towards more strengthening of constitutional values, subaltern liberty while invoking the expansion of democracy on the Globe.
We invite the youth and intellectuals to write and send their views, articles and opinions. We are obliged to publish their independent views though they disagree with ours. We also want to develop and create a critical thinking in people.
[courtesy Campus TV, Panjab University, Chandigarh]
Interacting with Media persons [ courtesy Campus TV, Panjab University, Chandigarh]
ESYA team with BSP senior leader Jannat Jahan, Chandigarh
[ESYA members participating in pro-environment activities held in Panjab University, Chandigarh]
A List of articles and our opinions:
Rise of AAP in Punjab: A Challenge to the trend of pre-election alliances and bipolar tendencies (by Amandeep Singh on Oct 7, 2015)
Bihar Assembly Election 2015: Can ‘Modi Wave’ save the ‘holy alliance’ NDA from losing Patliputra to Grand alliance- Lalu & Nitish? (by Amandeep Singh on August 9, 2015)
DELHI MANDATE: VICTORY OF CONSTITUTIONAL VALUES AND DEFEAT OF RELEGIOUS INTOLERANCE (by Sawinder Singh on 21 feb, 2015)
CELEBRATING 25th ANNIVERSARY OF DEMOLITION OF BERLIN WALL Defeat of Stalinist Totalitarianism & Victory of Parliamentary Democracy