Report and resolutions from the  national symposium on  “Peoples movements in India today: Relevance of the Social Forum process” organized by the Telangana Vidyavantula Vedika on February 19th and 20th, 2016,  Hyderabad.Report and resolutions from the  n

Participants in the symposium included those who had been centrally engaged in the organizing of the Asian Social Forum in Hyderabad in Jan 2003. Some others who had been involved in the social forum process form the beginning in India, were also present. The experience of organizing the social forum in India was shared by M. Kodandram and Jeevan Kumar. Vijaypratap reported on the meeting of the International Council of the World Social Forum, and the need for solidarity with the WSF 2016 to be held in Montreal in August 9th to 14th. Participants reviewed the history of the social forum process in India, the global process, the upcoming World Social Forum in Montreal in August 2016.

The house discussed the current situation in the country, the political crisis, the problems of the left, liberal and democratic forces. The rise of new movements, the dalit movements, the student struggles, were also discussed.

At the end of the two day symposium it was unanimously resolved as follows:

Participants in the national symposium on “Peoples movements in India today: Relevance of the Social Forum process” organized by the Telangana Vidyavantula Vedika on February 19th and 20th, 2016, in Hyderabad unanimously agree that it is advantageous to strengthen and intensify the social forum process in India, in the current political context. The social forum process will be useful for strengthening movements for democracy and social justice. A formal meeting will be organized in Delhi in the middle of March to revive and formalise the social forum process in India, and explore the possibility of organizing  a Social Forum event somewhere in India,  later in the year. Solidarity with and extension of the WSF 2016 would also be discussed.

Suggestions that came up in the 2 day meeting, to be taken forward in the Delhi meeting, included the following:

  1. There is a need to foreground dalit and Ambedkarite movements and concerns in the process
  2. It is necessary to make a conscious attempt to bring in groups and organisations working with religious minorities
  3. There must be a focus on the new youth and students movements, with a view to learning from these and other new movements
  4. It is imperative that we build positive agendas, on alternatives rather than only discuss resistance
  5. It is suggested that a Thematic Social Forum be organized on “Diversity, Dignity and Democracy” in the later part of the year.
  6. All these ideas to be discussed in a formal meeting of the social forum process to be held in Delhi on March 16-17, 2016.

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