Preview: Panel of all-women speakers to launch "Building Another World: Visions for the Future" Print E-mail
Saturday November 4, 2006

Stage set for India Social Forum

Special Correspondent

The theme this time round will be `Building Another World: Visions for the Future'

NEW DELHI: When 50,000 activists from diverse political and social streams and civil society organisations converge here next Thursday for the India Social Forum-2006, they will call for a world "free from exploitation, globalisation and increasing consumerism".

The five-day extravaganza, from November 9 to 13, will present culture as a major expression of resistance to the current globalisation cult and offer another, possibly better, world order.

Coming together for "Building Another World: Visions for the Future", the activists will be joined by their counterparts from South Asia, West Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe as a show of solidarity among people and organisations of different regions and continents. This will be the India Social Forum ­ Indian chapter of the World Social Forum ­ providing an open space for diverse movements, groups and organisations.

"The aim of the Forum is to further the movement against neo-liberal globalisation, militarisation, sectarian politics, caste and patriarchy, to build solidarity and alliances, and present alternatives for a better world," Mukul Sharma of the Forum told reporters here on Friday.

The highlights of the programme will be a special focus on indigenous people, particularly from the Northeast, the Dalits and the socially oppressed classes.

Though being held in India, the ISF is being organised at a crucial time when neo-liberal globalisation, war and militarisation have gained strength, representatives of various organisations participating in the function, said.

Some of the topics to be discussed will be politics of environment and development; faces and vision of children; war, occupation and conflict; democracy in South Asia; minority rights, neo-liberalism, globalisation and displacement and migration; censorship; youth affairs, caste and discrimination, women and work, and labour.

A panel of all-women speakers will open the show on November 9 that is meant to be a political statement in favour of women's empowerment.

Those expected to speak are Medha Patkar, Ruth Manorama and Subhashini Ali among others.

The next four days will see 500 conferences, seminars, panel discussions and public meetings besides performance of cultural troupes from South Asia and Africa. Numerous marches, rallies, films, songs, dances and plays are an integral part of the festival.

The ISF is the third event to be organised by the World Social Forum-India after the Asian Social Forum in Hyderabad in 2003.