Resolution against ‘regressive forces’ taken at Ambedkar meet

Bengaluru: At the end of three days Ambedkar conference in Bengaluru on Sunday, a resolution called the Bengaluru Declaration was passed. Which said Regressive political and social forces which are in positions of power are undermining the foundations of Indian society and pose “a grave threat to the idea of India espoused by the freedom movement and spelt out in the Constitution.”

The declaration further read, regressive forces with state power “are systematically dismantling the institutions that are the foundations of our society, by undermining India’s holistic welfare and affirmative action architecture and by destroying the pluralistic fabric of our nation.” The declaration was put together by academics and participants at the conference organised by the Congress government in Karnataka.

There were no mentions of any outfits of right wing nor the declaration mentioned anything related to ongoing lynching episodes in different parts of the country. “The State must be unequivocal in its protection of fundamental rights and constitutional values. Irrespective of religious identities or institutional affiliations, the State needs to strictly reassert political and legal accountability for any violence. This is the only way to prevent lynchings and uphold the rule of law,” it further said, reports the Indian Express.

The drafting of the declaration was conducted by several academics during the conference, who belonged to various domains including National Law School of India, Azim Premji University and Jawaharlal Nehru University, and policymakers.

“Regressive social and political forces have consistently resisted and tried to undermine both the constitutional idea of India and the efforts of the State in the last 70 years. These forces also seek to homogenise India and restore the principles of hierarchy, patriarchy and fundamentalism that Babasaheb Ambedkar, Jawaharlal Nehru, Jagjivan Ram, Vallabhbhai Patel, Maulana Azad and other founders rejected,” it stated. “We need to address these concerns urgently, and resist these attacks boldly,” it added.

Among numerous concerns raised in the draft, it also called for special law pertaining to prevent any kind of discrimination; reform or removal of laws that constrain freedom of speech, expression and individual rights, including laws on defamation, sedition, art/film censorship and social media.