People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)

Vol. XXX No. 46 November 12, 2006

All Set For India Social Forum


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THE stage is set for the India Social Forum, a mega event of diverse streams, that will be held in New Delhi (Jawahar Lal Nehru Stadium) from November 9 to 13, 2006. As the organisers put it: you will see on the ground a search for methods to build another world as a counter to neo-liberal globalisation with its ugly ramifications.

The event organised by World Social Forum-India?, is expected host 15,000 people from all over the country converging into Delhi, besides a significant number from South Asia, West Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe as a show of solidarity among people and organisations of different regions and continents. As organisers said what is going to take place will be an open space for diverse movements, groups, organisations to come together under the broad slogan, ‘ Another World is Possible, Let us Build it!

The ISF is the third event to be organised by World Social Forum-India? after the Asia Social Forum in Hyderabad (January 2003), and World Social Forum in Mumbai (January 2004). The aim of the India Social Forum is to further advance the movement against neo-liberal globalisation, militarisation, sectarian politics, caste and patriarchy, to build solidarity and alliances, and present alternatives for a better world. World Social Forum-India? consists of more than 200 organisations.

Though being held in India, the ISF is being organised at a crucial time when both the WSF process and neo-liberal globalisation, war and militarisation have gained strength. While the WSF process in 2006 has struck new roots in Bamako (Mali), Caracas (Venezuela), and Karachi (Pakistan), it is for the first time traveling to Africa in 2007. The people of Asia, Africa and Latin America are embattled by forces of imperialism. Militarisation has taken new forms all over the world, and people in West Asia have suffered aggression, invasion, war and occupation. In such a time, the WSF process becomes all the more significant, as it strives to present both the diversity and intensity of peoples’ opposition to neo-liberal globalsiation’s hegemonic and homogenising designs.

A major element of the event is to focus on deepening the WSF solidarity in Asia and on building links between Asian and African movements and organisations. Thus, the ISF is expecting a significant number of participants from Asian and African countries.

Some of those who have confirmed participation are Martin Macwan, Jayati Ghosh, Shantha Sinha, K B Saxsena, Surendra Mohan, Dr Ruth Manorama, Subhashini Ali, Medha Patkar, Tulsi Munda, Jose Correa, Karamat Ali, Michael Warchawasky, Yasser Akawai, Swami Agnivesh, Aijaz Ahmad, Aruna Roy, Sayeeda Hameed, Teesta Setalvad, Flavia Agnes, Wahu Kaara, Professor Edward Oyugi etc.

Among the organisations participating in the ISF include mass organisations CITU, DYFI, SFI, AIDWA, All India People's Science Network, Delhi Science Forum, BGVS, Free Software Foundation of India, Delhi Teachers Front, All India Lawyers Union etc.

Some special highlights of the Forum are as follows: · A panel of all-women speakers opening the ISF on November 9 · 500 Conferences, Seminars, Panel, Public Meetings between 9-13 November · Assembly of 50, 000 people · Cultural Troupes from South Asia and Africa · Folk Artists, Community Singers, Street Theatre Groups and Others from all over the India. · Youth Social Forum and Children Social Forum · North-Eastern? Issues · African-Asian? Assembly of Social Movements · Numerous Marches, Rallies, Films, Songs, Dances, Plays (November 8, 2006)