We, the undersigned, note that this Budget session of the Lok Sabha is being convened at a critical moment in the history of India. The blood of thousands of innocent victims of organised violence has not yet dried on the streets of Bombay, Surat, Delhi and other places, while lakhs have fled their homes, and returned penniless and destitute to the far corners of the country. The people of India have been horrified and angered by these crimes in which the leaders and members of three political parties, the Congress(I), BJP and Shiv Sena, along with senior police and other officials, have been directly implicated.
We note with grave concern that these parties, far from owning responsibility for their crimes, continue to threaten more violence and terror. No action has been taken against those who have participated in this violence. They are seeking to impose their own agenda on the Indian people, in pursuit of their political ambitions. In Parliament the ruling party is trying to push through a series of economic reforms that hit at the very livelihood and security of vast masses of our people. At the same time, along with the BJP and Shiv Sena, it is trying to raise numerous issues to divert the attention of the people from these attacks and other serious problems facing our country.
We demand that the following measures be taken to prevent these parties from imposing their agenda and to protect the well-being and interests of the Indian people:
- The economic reforms programme and other measures that hit at the livelihood of our workers, peasants, tribal people, women and other sections of our people must not be passed in Parliament. No such measure or policy should be passed until they are discussed and debated amongst all sections of our people. The people should have the right to determine the policies and course of the economy which will protect their interests.
- Those guilty of organising and participating in the murders and in violence against the people, no matter how high an office they hold In the government, administration or security forces, should be arrested, tried and punished and their crimes should be made known to the entire people.
- Leaders and members of the Congress(l), BJP and Shiv Sena who organised and participated in violence against the people should be similarly tried and punished.
- The leaders of the Central government should be prosecuted for failing to protect, and actually assisting in the demolition of a cultural monument belonging to the entire Indian people.
- The leaders of the Shiv Sena, who have openly acknowledged that this party destroyed the Babri Masjid, and those of the BJP who have supported the demolition, should be similarly prosecuted.
- The Congress(I), BJP and Shiv Sena, having organised and participated in all these horrible crimes, have no right to participate in a democratic Parliament, which expresses the interest and will of the people. They have no right to function in a democratic polity. In particular, the Congress(l) has a consistent and long history of organising violence against the people, including the massacre of Sikhs in 1984. These parties, being parties which organise on the basis of violence and terror, should be deprived of the right to organise.
- The tragedies that have befallen our people since December 6, 1992, and many more instances earlier are the making of political parties who are in pursuit of power. This reflects a fundamental problem in the political process, whereby a political party which garners the highest number of seats in Parliament - and not even the majority of votes - is able to dictate all policies, organise any crime, and usurp the right of the people to govern themselves. The ruling party becomes the supreme authority, while the people are marginalised.
- No political party should be allowed to hold power. It is the people who should hold power and who should decide and administer their own affairs. This requires fundamental changes in the political system, from the system of elections and representation, to the administration and judiciary. Mechanisms have to be worked out whereby people can themselves exercise political power. The role of political parties in this new system has to be redefined.
- All organs and levels of the administration, judiciary and security forces should be accountable first and foremost to the people, and not to any political party or their superiors. The people should have the right to call to book any of their elected representatives as well as the state officials.
- The Constitution of India should be rewritten to define the inalienable rights and the duties of the citizens. These inalienable rights include the right to life and liberty, the right to conscience, the right to equality, the right to livelihood, school education and health care. Every citizen should have the right to demand that the state enforce these rights. The state itself should ensure that every citizen, irrespective of social or economic status, can exercise this right in practice.
- The Constitution of India should recognise the democratic rights of the nationalities and tribal people inhabiting India to administer their own affairs, including their inalienable political, economic and cultural rights. The Union of India should be reconstituted on a voluntary basis, with the willing consent of all the peoples.
- The entire people must necessarily be involved in .the drafting of the new and democratic Constitution. This will ensure both the democratic form and content of the Constitution and state structure. - elected representatives of the people and their organisations should constitute a new Constituent Assembly to debate and decide these matters.
Pledge to fulfill the aspiration of our martyrs
the descendants of Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev,
the descendants of Azad, Bismil and Bharati,
the descendants of Mangal Pande and Jhansi ki Rani,
the descendants of all those who laid down their lives
for the cause of an India where there shall be no oppression of any kind and where justice shall prevail,
have assembled today,
22nd day of February, 1993, at Ferozeshah Kotla,
- to carry forward the struggle for an India where every citizen shall be ensured the right to live, to work and to enjoy the fruits of labour, the right to be educated and receive health care, the right to follow and act according to the morals and beliefs of his or her choice, an India without any discrimination on the basis of caste, sex, religion or class, an India where those who rule shall be duty-bound to safeguard the lives and well-being of all citizens;
- to strengthen the unity and resolve among the Indian people to oppose and eliminate those forces that are poisoning and destroying our society for the sake of their narrow self-serving interests;
- to continue the struggle until the aspirations of our forefathers are fulfilled.