Friday 22 March 2019

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Society | Opinion

World Bank sets our agenda : Patkar

 

"It's a tragedy of Indian democracy that its developmental agenda, in the 50th year of independence, is set by the world bank while all our political parties are controlled by the multinationals. It's time to begin a new kind of politics, based on peoples' struggle and a broad-based unity of all democratic forces".

The call is given by Medha Patkar, the leading environmental activist of India, who is planning to wage a nation-wide struggle against the "politics of mortgage and dependency", under the banner of national alliance of peoples' movement, beginning from 26 January.

Delivering a lecture on "role of NGOs in politics" during her recent Goa visit, her appeal made to the local NGOs to take inspiration from the successful struggle Goans led in evicting a multinational project of Thapar Du Pont of nylon 6,6, seems to have borne fruits.

The local NGOs here are meeting next month to chalk out a detailed plan of action against the proposal of making Goa a free port. Pending central approval, the NGOs here feel that the local authorities have already been moving in this direction.

Knowing psychological set up of different NGOs well, Patkar has also advised them not to sit on minor egos. Linking rural struggles like water for adivasi to the urban struggles of professionals like for the right to information is also necessary, she feels, as these battles are neither isolated nor can be won in isolation.

Privatisation of infrastructure like power, roads, bridges, water supply etc, instead of spending on government efficiency, is definitely an issue. But she also tells people to understand vested interest in implementing outdated technologies like construction of big dams, creating mega-cities by destroying social fabric of villages or clearing the footpaths for the benefit of car industry.

Such anti-people and pro-multinational policies would destroy Indian economy once again, she cautions, while providing mahatma Gandhi's vision of India as the option. It focuses on building self-reliant village economy, if not total self-sufficiency.






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