Samkalin Janmat:

The pioneer of culture of resistance

On November 10, Samkalin Janmat, like the proverbial phoenix, once again rose from the ashes in its original birthplace, Patna, at the inaugural ceremony of Eighth National Conference of Jan Sanskriti Manch. This time its form is that of a socio-cultural quarterly. Readers would recall that intervening in the media in the decade of ‘80s as multi-dimensional news weekly, Samkalin Janmat had introduced a new angle to journalism. And in addition to serving as a mouthpiece of the raging struggles of the downtrodden in Bihar, it also carved out a niche in the field of cultural magazines in the Hindi heartland. In its Delhi reincarnation, as a fortnightly and then as a monthly, it focused on the national political scenario while continuing its intervention as a powerful representative of revolutionary culture. Now, to serve the need of the present critical situation, it has reappeared as a socio-cultural magazine. The reopening issue is devoted to the theme of culture of resis-tance against imperialist offensive of globalisation, against saffron cultural nationalism and resistance to all forms of exploitation and oppression of the humankind. It raises the “most necessary ques-tions”, which are so “simple”, but so often forgotten or buried under countless pretexts.

-- BB Pandey

Eighth Conference of Jan Sanskriti Manch

For a national democratic consciousness against globalisation

THE EIGHTH national conference of Jan Sanskriti Manch, held at Ramvilas Sharma Sabhagar (Engineers’ Hall) in Nagarjun Nagar (Patna) on 10-11 November, 2001, was focussed on the theme “For a national democratic consciousness against globalisation”.

Inaugurating the conference, noted Hindi critic Dr. Manager Pandey said that American capitalism wanted to control markets all over the world in the name of globalisation as it was eager to exploit the cheap natural as well as human resources of Asia the same way as it did in Africa and Latin America. Through ‘global media’, the information system is being used to establish the terror of American power and spread illusions regarding the American system by eulogizing it. It is for the spread of terror and confusion in the whole world that globalisation can better be called Americanisation. Well before the attack on Afghanistan, world people had read through America’s false pretensions in its advocacy of human rights and democracy. Starting from destroying the Red Indian civilization to Hiroshima, America never cared for humankind and democracy.

Dr. Pandey said that America also wants to control thought processes. Conjuring an illusory capitalist prosperity it is exploiting the contradiction between commonman’s aspirations and wants. On the other hand, the language of the market has intruded life and meanings have undergone a change. Post-modernism is the cultural manifestation of gobalisation, which opposes the social consciousness of resisting capital. He said that the way cultural nationalists are lying prostrate before America, soon it will be in a position to do away with the Indian nation state. Hence it is an urgent task to strengthen the democratic nation state consciousness. The session was presided over by noted poet and editor of Sarvanam, Vishnuchandra Sharma and conducted by Ajay Singh, General Secretary of JSM. Besides noted Urdu writer Shaukat Hayat, chairman of the reception committee, who warmly greeted the delegates, guests and observers and attacked American imperialist policies in his speech, critic Khagendra Thakur, poets Arun Kamal and Alokdhanwa also addressed this session. The (re-)opening issue of popular revolutionary socio-cultural magazine Samkalin Janmat was also released in the inaugural session by Vishnuchandra Sharma. This issue has the culture of resistance as its main theme. Greeting the ‘new incarnation’ of Janmat, Khagendra Thakur, Arun Kamal, Ravi Bhushan, Madan Kashyap and Anil Sinha said that in the present critical period, when the people’s struggles have been banished from the domain of literature and culture, publication of a magazine that gives expression to class consciousness and mass resistance does bring considerable hope. A brief discussion was also held on “cultural journalism” with senior journalist Anil Sinha in the chair.

The next day witnessed a lively debate over General Secretary, Ajay Singh’s theme paper. It points out that on the one hand the war imposed and the terror spread by America is the most violent and terrible form of globalisation, and on the other, the protagonists of cultural nationalism in India have waged an unabashed campaign to portray a new mental and cultural slavery of multinationals as freedom. It emphasises the necessity for a genuine national democratic consciousness, armed with a ruthlessly critical approach, infused with boldness to effect a radical rupture with the whole legacy. Participants in the debate included Dr Manager Pandey, Khagendra Thakur, Ravi Bhushan, Madan Kashyap, Pranay Krishna, Jitendra Kumar, Bhasha Singh, Anil Anshuman, Pankaj Chaturvedi, Hemant, Krishna Pratap Singh, VK Singh, Shyam Ankuram and others. The session was presided over by Ajay Kumar, Suresh Kantak and Arvind Kumar and conducted by Sudhir Suman and Krishna Mohan.

The conference decided to organize cultural programmes under the anti-war campaign in different cities in the November end. It also planned to organize a series of seminars to reassess our legacy and strengthen ties between Hindi and Urdu literature.

The conference unanimously elected Dr. Manager Pandey as its president. Erstwhile president Trilochan Shashtri could not attend the conference because of illness but he continues to remain an honorary member. Ajay Singh was re-elected General Secretary. Along with four vice presidents, Madhukar Singh, Madan Kashyap, Ajay Kumar and Dr. Ravi Bhushan, a 77-member National Council and 25-member National Executive Committee were also elected. Krishna Mohan, Pramod Yadav, Viren Dangwal, Bhasha Singh and Shambhu Badal were entrusted with the responsibilities of coordinating U.P, Bihar, Uttaranchal, Delhi and Jharkhand respectively.

On this occasion, veteran CPI(ML) leader Com. Ram Naresh Ram greeted the delegates and guests and said that in this broadbased struggle against globalisation, CPI(ML) is always with the dreams of cultural activists. The Party will always stand by the cultural activists in their endeavor to develop mass resistance.

A number of cultural programmes were presented by performance teams from Sakla Bazar, Bikarmganj, Begusarai and Patna (Hirawal). presentations by Jharkhand Sanskriti Manch and Kala Kammune Banaras were also significant, with the participation of Anil Anshuman, theatre artist Vijay Kumar, people’s singer Amitabh, Nirmal Nayan, Durgesh Akari, and Krishna Kumar Nirmohi.

— Sudhir Suman and Upendra Swami