Monday, February 18, 2013

Introduction to Association for Democratic Rights

1975 was the darkest period in the history of post 1947 when the basic rights of Indian people  were withdrawn by a  stroke of pen , by declaring emergency. It was a shock to intellectuals. It was reducing the gains of 190 years of relentless struggle  of Indian patriots and  masses  of establishing fundamental rights as symbol of independence. When in 1977, the people voted the emergency down and  the order was restored back.The question which was foremost on the mind of intellectuals was that some thing must be done so that the universal right of people to struggle for assuring a  creditable future is kept alive. There was one view that the suspension of fundamental rights was only the work of an individual  so as that is out of power everything is secured .  We in Punjab along with many others in India have a considered view that there is deep social , economical and political crisis which has been reflected in withdrawing the rights . The change of horses does not solve this deeper problem. The assurance of civil liberties which mean relying on the recorded rights in constitution are not sufficient to assure the social justice to broader and  toiling masses. We have to ensure that democratic right of struggle which is the fundamental and  universal of   rights  for true democracy to exist. The toiling people can assure Justice for themselves as well as for society.
         The sensitive people met in 1978 in  Ludhiana and decided to work as Association For Democratic Rights ( Punjab) ,the JAMHURI ADHIKAR SABHA.   It has support of old Gadrite Baba Bhagat Singh who was its first President and Bibi Amar Kaur sister of Shaheed Bhagat Singh. The association was conceived as a mass based group who will collect the first hand and independent information and put it in a report to cover all sides of the issue and present it to the people. This was to ensure that basic and real issues are side lined and act as educative. This helped the struggling   people to achieve and ensure establishment of  justice. 
      There were AFDR reports which were even accepted by High court as independent record of incidences which were helpful to deliver justice, The discussion with international bodies such as Amensity International and UN Human Right commission  made them appreciate the reality in Punjab and correct their view point. 
The international Human Right Conference in 1993 in Vienna concerned AFDR suggestion that human right for toiling people can only be ensured if their right to development as universal right is assured.  
       The Right to development is a group right of peoples as opposed to an individual right. This confirms our concept of democratic right which is right of collective people to act.

     AFDR approach has been based  on principles and thus avoid the sectarian approach.where many other organisations suffer from sectarian approach .  AFDR was only one from Punjab  which  cooperated with brotherly organisations PUDR and PUCL to bring on record   the facts of 1984 Delhi carnage and produce in Punjabi  to educate of reality to Punjab People. At the same time when Union Carbide  corporation caused carnage of Bhopal people , AFDR was there and produced a report for Punjab. 

      AFDR stands for democratic rights all the way. The past working is the testimony for it. 
     Let us keep the mind clear on principles and stand steadfast for Democratic Rights. 


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