Issues

SDPI: a new perspective on politics

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Following is an edited version of the presidential address delivered by E. Abubacker, National President of the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) in the party’s national executive held at Bangalore on 21-22 May 2011:

The SDPI came into existence on 21st June, 2009 during a meeting attended by merely 29 people at a hotel in Karol Bagh, New Delhi. We declared the launching of the party in New Delhi in October, 2009 in the presence of activists and leaders of the SDPI from various states. We were not merely adding yet another party to the already diverse scenario of political organizations of the country. Instead, we were offering the Indian society a new perspective in politics, which could be termed as “positive politics.” It’s a new vision as to how new India should be like. This perspective emerged from a thorough evaluation of what India had been like all these years since independence.

Those who had played major roles in obtaining freedom for the country were sidelined and kept away from power along with Gandhi after independence. This is the morbid picture that we could see in all spheres of our political life all these years. Muslims, backward communities and Dalits were not allowed to be anywhere in the power-structure. The backward sections of the Hindu community were perpetually and repeatedly subjected to all kinds of severe caste discriminations. Muslims as a community were victims of severe religious and communal discrimination. Besides, they were stigmatized as not deserving to live in this country. They were repeatedly uprooted and wiped out from basic facilities for life in a series of planned and programmed communal riots. They were deliberately prevented from achieving any progress in the social, economic as well as educational plains and were marginalized as a community unfit for any important tasks.

The reason pointed out for all this discrimination was the partition of the country. In fact, even this partition was a surreptitious agenda that occurred to the scheming brains of the upper caste Hindu ruling classes of India. More than a communal agenda, it had been an upper caste or sawarna agenda. For the same reason, communal and sawarna plans were not distinguishable from each other, just as it was often not distinguished as to which one was the Congress camp and which one was the RSS camp.

Likewise, all chances of the victims of this secret political agenda coming together and joining hands were intentionally nipped in the bud in a planned and systematic way. In fact, the partition of the country was carried out at a historical juncture when Dalits and Muslims were planning to join hands and move ahead in a political process. Once again they succeeded in creating another painful split or partition in the psyche of our polity in the name of Ayodhya when the sincere efforts of late Mr. V. P. Singh over the Mandal Report were paving the ground for the coming together of the victims.

There were, of course, several efforts from the side of the government to explore and study the backwardness of the Muslims and Dalits in the country but there were no sincere efforts to redress their backwardness.

In the meanwhile, Dalits and backward communities began to gradually reach the power structure in the 1980s. However, Muslims still were not anywhere on the scene. Muslim leadership never thought of taking its due share in the political power in the country. They always kept complaining about what they were to get from those in power.

It is at this juncture that a new thought of a joint venture on the part of Muslims, Dalits, backward communities, and oppressed sections arose. This thought, however, didn’t aim at the development and growth of any particular section only. On the contrary, its target was the development of the country as a whole and all the sections of its people. Instead of confining power and rule in a few hands or certain sections of the population, it aimed at empowering everyone and making everyone rulers.

This is what the young movement SDPI wishes to give to the people of India. Though our organization is small, the mission we have undertaken is huge. We have to grow as big as this country. Our main responsibility is to take the nation back to its basic fundamentals and principles. What determines the character of India as a nation is its secular values. We’ve lost them all today at all levels.

Another aim is bringing about true democracy. The country has deviated far from the basic tenets of democracy today. The third aim is economic justice which gives priority to the welfare of the people. The economy of the country today is in the hands of monopolies. We have to take efforts to revisit these three basic issues. And we have to make the governmental machinery as a whole to relook these basic principles.

We have to analytically study all the political movements and organizations in this context and understand and mark the differences between them and the SDPI. The mainstream national parties are either communal or champions of capitalism. They are anti-people in nature. They are political outfits representing family or clan interests. They are headed by sawarna (upper caste) leaders. Further, they are all neck deep in corruption. Regional parties also suffer from these negative qualities in their respective states. Dalit and backward organizations are not, of course, headed by sawarna (upper caste) leaders. But their character and style of operation suggest that they too represent the sawarna interests. Muslim political organizations are equally corrupt and notorious for their lack of internal democracy. They are political outfits owned and masterminded by certain families or clans. They are not only of the same common nature but have not ever accepted the Muslim community as their constituencies. Their constituencies have always been either their personal family vested interests.

The SDPI, on the other hand, is a political organization with an ideological basis capable of encompassing and accommodating Muslims, Dalits and Adivasis. This broad-based ideology of the party encompasses the population of India as a whole. We are involved in the effort of drawing a new geography with its own boundaries welcoming everyone of the Indian population.

The SDPI has activists in 21 states and there are state committees in 11 states. But we are not fast enough. In politics, speed is important. But, of course, there are limitations. Ours is the movement that has emerged in the 21st century presenting a new perspective on politics. It is not a party emerging from an amoebic split of another existing party. We do not have any predecessors. We do not have role models. All-new landscape and all-new sky, that is the plain that we’re acting on.  We have to realize that we’ve the collective might of a thousand horsepower gathered from the zeal for change exhaled by the oppressed sections of our society.

We have no dearth of challenges. Oppositions we are addressing are aplenty. Secularists as well as communalists oppose us. Dalit-governments as well as Muslim political and religious organizations oppose us. The BJP as well as the Communist parties are against us. More than a hundred local offices of the SDPI were raided by the police in Kerala following a small incident. The Communist regime in the state blackmailed our leadership. Several of our brothers were hunted by the communally-motivated RSS people. But this party formed from the germ-cell of the zeal for advancement was not to be strangled to death at the evil hands of the communally motivated RSS nor was it to be nipped in the bud by the traps set by the Communists.

Why do we have to address these challenges and oppositions? All the parties here, left or right, big or small, were born in the same star! But the SDPI is a star that stands apart! It represents the courage emanated from innocence of the little boy who pointed out that the king was naked. It carries out a historic mission standing apart from the mainstream.

Let us ignore the opposition from those who are reluctant to believe that the anger and wrath of those who have been subjected to the painful experience of slavery and oppression for thousands of years, will give birth to a new movement to lead the way in politics. Let us not forget that we will have to pay a high price for this conscientious ignoring from our side. We are prepared even for that.

The SDPI is not merely a party. It is a goal, a destination. It is the conscience of a people born from their sufferings and pain, in a land that knows them and is known to them.
 

E. Abubacker may be contacted at sdpofindia@gmail.com

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-31 July 2011 on page no. 2

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