PUNE: At a one-day conference organised by socialist parties and organisations here on Sunday, veteran socialist thinker and freedom fighter GG Parekh proposed boycott as an effective tool of resistance and said products made by a company “of someone like Mukesh Ambani” should be boycotted as an act of protest.
The conference saw representatives and activists of socialists from all over India gathered under the ‘Hum Samajwadi Sansthaye’ platform.
Parekh said socialists today had lost their aggression. “Socialism had become a bad word. However, with efforts taken by socialist organisations over a period of time, it has come back in the conversation,” he claimed.
“Socialist ideologue Ram Manohar Lohia said that lively societies don’t wait for five years, considering that, we can use boycott as a tool for resistance like it was used in the freedom struggle. We can as individuals decide to boycott products or be aware and put pressure on organisations,” he added.
Parekh said communal harmony is important. “For a person like me, communal harmony is an incomplete project of the freedom struggle. Without it, we can never dream of saving democracy, Constitution or bringing socialism.”
He quoted VP Singh, an associate of Sharad Yadav as saying, ”We had started with the ruling party respecting its opposition and where have we reached now. If the opposition remains scattered, then the fear of curbs on freedom and changes to Constitution is not far fetched.”
Veteran leader Baba Adhav said the socialist movement needs to create a political alternative. “There is no difference between Rahul Gandhi and Narendra Modi. They are no different in their policies. We need to look beyond the 2019 elections and work for the whole society in the long term, especially when there is rising inequality in the country,” he said
“Our Constitution has Directive Principles. People think these are not mandatory for the government to follow. But they are crucial to solve issues like rising inequality, egalitarian society and social justice,” said Niruj Jain of Lokayat, adding, “In the last 4 years, bad loans of more than Rs 22 lakh crore have been waived off. The policies favour the industrialists alone.”