In Gandhi’s Footsteps

Organizing the largest non-violent action the world has ever seen, that’s the goal of Ekta Parishad.

Following the tradition of Mahatma Gandhi’s model of civil disobedience, the organization stands – and walks – for the rights of the poorest of members of Indian society: indigenous communities, Nomadic groups, Muslim women, Sexual minorities, Single women, Fisher folks, Slum inhabitants, Hawkers, Differently abled groups, Displaced, Destitute children, etc.

The Jan Satyagraha 2012 Foot March campaign is a large non-violent walk that will be carried out in India and in many other countries across the globe in October 2012. It begins on UN International Non-Violence Day, October 2nd, and will carry on for one month. In India, where the main event is being held, 100,000 people, representing different rural communities, especially tribal, landless and small farmers, will walk in formation together 350 kilometers from Gwalior (near the Taj Mahal) to New Delhi.

The purpose is to pressure the government to implement land reform promises such as the Forest Rights Act that will put the needs of Indigenous peoples for land and livelihood above those of corporate development. This will support the shift from a large-scale industrial development to a people- centered rural economy.

This is what you can do to support Ekta Parishad:

  1. Sign and send a Solidarity Declaration to Ekta Europe expressing your support for their struggle.
  2. Write to the Indian Prime Minister about the issue of land. A draft letter is available here.
  3. Make a donation to help the marchers of Jan Satyagraha. Your donation could help Ekta Parishad to support more people to participate in the march. It could also help them to enable other support groups from the Global South to be part of the marches. You can make donations to the Swiss NGO CESCI who organizes the administrative tasks of Ekta Parishad and manages Ekta Europe. Find the instructions for donations here.
  4. If you live in Europe you can get in touch with one the many groups that organize solidarity actions in support of Jan Satyagraha. Check out the list here. Ekta Parishad communicates that they are also very interested in connecting with the Occupy/M12/M15 struggle!
  5. Organize a Meal with friends and community members on September 15th and join the global action ‘The Meal’ in support of Jan Satyagraha.

Here are some of the solidarity actions which will take place later this year:

  • The Meal: As mentioned above, the Meal “100000 people eating to help 100000 people walking”. These international solidarity meetings take place around the world with the idea to gather a large number of people on the same time and on several places of our planet to share a meal and raise money to support Jan Satyagraha. Fore more information about ‘The Meal’ or find information about the nearest organizer of ‘The Meal’, visit http://the-meal.net/.
  • Jan Ouest: A solidarity march taking place in France.
  • Cycle Yatra: Cycling from Geneva to India. The team left Switzerland in April to join the march in October.
  • Other Events: Ekta Europe has put together all the acts of solidarity around the world in a map including many foto exhibitions and conferences.

Watch Rajagopal PV explaining the purpose of Jan Satyagraha.

This article has already been published at Barcelona Consensus.

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