INDIA GREENS PARTY
IGP holds its 2nd Annual National Convention online, pledges to change politics in India
Unchir, Pauri-Garhwal, Uttarakhand, 19 November 2020: The India Greens Party (IGP) held its second annual national convention on its Foundation Day, 18th of November, and pledged to change politics, not climate, in the country.
The convention was held on a digital platform due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Party’s Secretary-General Ms Rehana Siddiqui welcomed the participants in the convention and made the opening remarks.
The IGP’s Founder-President Suresh Nautiyal inaugurated the national convention.
He said that the world was passing through a real crisis due to the climate emergency and COVID-19 pandemic. For mitigation green politics was the need of the hour, he said.
Congratulating the participants on the occasion of the Foundation Day of the India Greens Party, Mr Nautiyal said the party has grown from two persons (Ms Anita Nautiyal and himself) to several hundred in more than 26 states/union territories of the country within a brief time-span of two years.
The party was officially founded on 18th of November 2018 in New Delhi, though the seedling began on 2nd of July 2017 when 44 activists from 17 states of the country met in New Delhi, he said.
Mr Nautiyal said majority of the Indian political parties do not want to think out of the box when it comes to ecology and environment. Instead, these so-called mainstream political parties remain embedded in the neo-liberal economic thinking, he added in the inaugural session.
“India remains a developing country and even as we try to focus on ecological and environmental issues; the urgent matters related to corruption, scams, unemployment, water, food, health, education, housing, electricity, communication, roads and transportation, etc, remain much more demanding – thus, relegating the core ecological issues to the margins,” the IGP President expressed his concern.
He also gave an overview of the green politics in the world, of the Global Greens, of the genesis and evolution of green politics in India.
Mr Nautiyal asserted that the six core principles of the Global Greens — ecological wisdom, sustainability, social justice, participatory democracy, non-violence and respect for diversity – remained the guiding principles for the IGP.
In a press release issued by the party’s Spokesperson (North), Rafat Jamal, the party said that 73 people including two international guests from Australian Greens attended the convention. Out of these, 55 were members of the National Council of the party. The second annual national convention was able to achieve the quorum required for the passage of reports and resolutions, etc. The convention had begun at 8:45 AM and concluded around 1:30 PM.
The convention was divided into three parts – inaugural session, business session and political session. These sessions were moderated by Secretary-General Ms Rehana Siddiqui, International Secretary Michael Rajchandra and Women’s Network Convener Ms Mahima Bhardwaj.
Timekeeping was done by West Bengal Co-convener Ms Madhubanti Sen and India Young Greens Representative to APYGN Ms Ishpriya Kaur.
In the inaugural session, a video of famous singer Michael Jackson’s Earth Song was played to tell the participants that there was a need to mend our ways to save life on the Earth. An inspirational message from the Australian Greens former top leader Bob Brown was also played. Besides, a short film on the green politics and genesis of the IGP was shown. A short film on the importance of rivers was also shown. All these films were made by Anugrah Om Anil and Nave Verma.
In the inaugural session, the Hardnews magazine’s Executive Editor and former Associate Professor at the IIMC New Delhi Amit Sengupta delivered the keynote address. Being in a remote area of Jharkhand, he could not attend the convention. In his absence, his presentation was read out by Mr Michael Rajchandra.
Professor Sengupta said that it was an inevitable conjecture to imagine that the imagined homeland of this planet is under severe stress of global warming, the consumer society of an insatiable affluent materialism, large-scale ecological destruction and damage to nature, and mass migration, displacement, bloody wars, conflicts, and now, unprecedented unemployment and uncertainty, especially among the poorest of the poor and the working class.
He pointed out that even the middle class has been at the receiving end of retrenchment and joblessness, and as many as 20 million salaried professionals have lost their jobs.
He emphasised that the COVID-19 pandemic has created more avenues for vicious negativity and crass commerce, favouring the rich and super rich, whereby the political economy was under the control of a few rich corporates, who are in complete synthesis with the ruling establishment.
He appealed to the participants to resurrect old and tested alternative principles of living, sharing, collective visions and social and economic life because capitalism has totally failed to provide solutions to the masses in this pandemic.
“The main purpose therefore is to redefine the paradigms of daily life and the entrenched, parasitic, and vicious structures of local and mainline economy, he stressed.
Prof Sengupta said there is a need to go down to the grassroots to create the principles of hope, the vision and realism of small is beautiful, decentralised dreams, decentralised and small scale cooperative economies, the preservation of simplicity, nature, forests, rivers, oral traditions, bio-diversity, memories, alternative ways of living based on tradition and science and local knowledge systems.
In the business session, Secretary-General Ms Rehana Siddiqui, Treasurer Vinod Nautiyal, International Secretary Michael Rajchandra, Women’s Network Convener Ms Mahima Bhardwaj, and Young Greens Convener Ms (Dr) Apeksha Wasudeo presented their annual report. Conveners of several committees of the party also presented their annual reports.
The states like J&K, Karnataka, Kerala, Rajasthan, Telangana, and West Bengal presented their annual reports. Other states did not present their reports.
In the political session, Mr Michael Rajchandra read out the presentation of the IGP General Secretary and PAC Member Ganesh Subramanyam as he at the moment was in an internetless remote area of Maharashta.
Mr Subramanyam said that the party members needed to resolve to use the party’s constitution as a route-map and guide for reaching the Green future. “In it, we find the tools for the work of weeding out the deep and strong roots of the current unGreen consumerist worldview which has us addicted and bound,” he said.
Mr Subramanyam pointed out that there is a need to search for and implement multiple methods/models to make a Green future.
“Various are the ways to break the current toxic system and go back to being valuable humans without the consumer tag. Becoming closer knit smaller communities, transitioning to a smaller footprint and meaningful work and slower lifestyles, closed cycle land usage, weaning/discarding off of cheap destructive fuels and reigning in our marketing fed wants are all pathways to a more Green avatar for us all,” he added.
The IGP leader said there was a need to dismantle the system based on destructive fiat money currency economics to one based on tangible measurable energy unit currency economics.
In the political session, Ms Michelle Sheather of the Australian Greens gave the audience an international view of green politics. She also explained the importance of the Global Greens and its charter and the Asia Pacific Greens Federation. Ms Sheather also underlined the need for cooperation between their Green party and the IGP.
In the same session, Mr Michael Rajchandra and Ms Ishpriya Kaur introduced the concept of the Green Age Camp as to how such camps were important to understand green politics, principles and philosophy.
Ms Mahima Bhardwaj talked about the party’s initiative on the women’s issue and said the party’s Women’s Network doing good work for the gender equity in the country. She said a state like Chhattisgarh and Brihan Mumbai units of the Women’s Network were getting ready to hold their workshops after the COVID-19 pandemic was over.
The party, in its political session, passed nine resolutions on political philosophy, ecology and environment, social justice and economic life, participatory democracy, women and gender equity, labour and industry, COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, and principle of hope.
The resolution on political philosophy, said that there was a need for a gentler, more tolerant and consensual forms of politics. It also expressed that great people like MK Gandhi Henry David Thoreau and Jean-Jacques Rousseau were the ideals for the party. In this resolution, the party recommitted itself to the ideals, principles and philosophy of the Global Greens Charter.
The resolution on ecology and environment pointed out that our planet was under severe stress of global warming and in view of this the party would continue to make efforts to protect and restore integrity of the ecosystems, with special concern for biodiversity and the natural processes that sustain life. The party will also fight for ecological justice.
The resolution on social justice and economic life said the party will continue to work to eliminate injustice, racism, poverty, ignorance, corruption, crime and violence, armed conflicts. Also, the party will work for social justice pitching for caste, class and ethnic discrimination, and equal opportunity, non-violence, decentralisation, community-based economics, feminism, respect for diversity, personal and global responsibility, future focus, and sustainability.
The resolution on participatory democracy called for a new and Green Sarvodaya (Progress of All) Movement to encourage landowners to redistribute land without violence and rapidly reduce inequality in agrarian India. It also called for a movement to evolve to participatory democracy.
The resolution on women and gender equity said the country needs to ensure gender equality and then take it to the level of equity – moving from equality or sameness to equity or fairness. Such an atmosphere will deal with the rape culture. There is a great need to spread awareness against eve-teasing, sexual harassment and domestic violence. Also, the party said it is against the conservative backlash that is playing out in the country so that women increasingly assert their freedom to marry who they want.
The resolution on labour and industry expressed the concern that the country has been passing through an unprecedented unemployment scenario and uncertainty. Therefore, India needs to put a full stop to exploitation and rethink about intensive automation of labour, which only promotes industrial and crony capitalism. It said the party supports science and technology with a human face. It created more avenues for vicious negativity and crass commerce, favouring the rich and super rich.
The resolution on climate change said the climate change is a long-term problem but it requires action right now. If no immediate action is taken it will worsen health issues, inequalities, unemployment rates, environmental disasters, homelessness, food insecurity and more.
The last resolution principle of hope said there is a great need to go down to the grassroots to create the principles of hope, the vision and realism of small is beautiful, decentralised dreams, decentralised and small-scale cooperative economies, the preservation of simplicity, nature, forests, rivers, oral traditions, biodiversity, memories, alternative ways of living based on tradition and science and local knowledge systems.
-Issued by the IGP Spokesperson (North) Rafat Jamal.
(India Greens Party is registered with the Election Commission of India under Section 29A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951. Registration Number: 56/476/2018-19/PPS-I, effective from 18/07/2019.)
Party HQ: 104, Vardhman Complex, 1st Floor, LSC, Savita Vihar, Delhi-110092.