Ahmedabad Declaration

Defeat Communal Fascism, Save Gujarat, Save India


This Convention demands that:

1. All responsible for the killings should be arrested, prosecuted and convicted to restore the rule of law and justice.

2. All members of the police force and administrative services who conspired and colluded in the genocide be removed from services and made accountable to law.

3. Adequate compensation be provided for death, injury and damages to family members.

4. Create conditions for return of all the displaced persons to their homes and fully rehabilitate them in a humane manner.

This convention declares its unequivocal support for the democratic rights of Muslims as citizens of India and its commitment to defend their rights, liberty and life, in all situations. It is aware that the rise of Hindutva politics, the daily intimidation, the brutality of violence and the genocide has created anguish and anger among the minority community and shaken their confidence in democracy and secularism.

This Convention is deeply convinced that the people of India will defeat the forces of communal fascism. The majority of people, as their struggles unfold, will see through communal fascism and the incompatibility of their economic and political interests with communal politics. Both the history of struggle against dictatorships, against Fascism in Europe and the Emergency in India as well as the fact that people are makers of history provides the basis of conviction. The Convention appeals to the people to reject terrorism, as it does not help the struggle against Communal Fascism.

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This economic offensive against the people can be defeated by overcoming communal prejudices and promoting tolerance for the diversities of culture, religion and social identity that make up this country. However, communal fascism inflames prejudices, rejects tolerance and destroys fraternity and so weakens the unity of people of India to build a socially just society and economy.

This convention calls upon people to combine their struggle for economic and social demands with the struggle against communal fascism in order to build a new society, a new democratic, secular and egalitarian India.

This Convention resolves to carry forward the broad unity of left and democratic forces expressed here at Ahmedabad and gives the call to Defeat Communal Fascism! Save Gujarat! Save India!

Date: September 28, 2002.

In the city of Ahmedabad, which was the epicenter of the Gujasrat genocide, the social and political forces from Communist, Socialist, Gandhian, Ambedkarites and secular humanist traditions have converged to express their concern on the development of communal fascism and show their commitment to struggle for the defeat of the Sangh parivar’s agenda to make Gujarat into a laboratory for a Fascist State.

The delegates from all over Gujarat and various parts of India are saddened by the recent spurt in the killing of innocent fellow Indians from the Godhra train burning to the statewide heinous genocide and now the wanton killing at Akshrdham temple. They share the pain and loss of the bereaved families.

This Convention notes that the injecting of communal ideology into society and state leads to a cycle of events of violence and counter violence in which innocents always become victims. The rise of BJP to power in Gujarat and their open support and legitimacy to communal violence have created conditions in which no person is safe and secure. Each and every person can become a victim of communal violence or terrorist reaction. For normal life to return and the right of life to be secured the ideology and politics of communal violence have to be ejected out of our society and polity.

This Convention firmly declares that Gujarat will not be allowed to be turned into the graveyard of social tolerance and democracy. The entire civilized world in one voice has condemned the BJP government, first, for its social intolerance in Dang and then for Genocide. The rising opposition and struggle against the Sangh parivar and the failure to enforce early election to benefit from the communal polarization, has led Modi to indulge in more provocative speeches and launch the ‘Gaurav Yatra’ to perpetuate their communal division. In fact, the enforcement of peaceful ‘bandh’ on 26th September by government in contrast to 28th February, when communal carnage was allowed to be unleashed, exposes the myth of spontaneous Hindu reaction and confirms the complicity and connivance of the Modi government. In this situation the dismissal of the Modi Government has emerged as the battle cry for all secular and democratic Indians.

This Convention is of the firm view that constitutionally and morally the Modi Government has no right to govern, as has also been commented upon by National Human Rights Commission, the Election Commission and Press Council of India. The Convention demands the imposition of President’s Rule under a credible secular Governor in Gujarat. Then only confidence among the people and communal amity can be restored.