Hon. Justice P. B. Sawant
Former Justice of Supreme Court of India
The Andolan or Movement is a movement of co-operation of, by and for the people. The core of movement is reliance by the people on their collective strength and efforts, to meet their needs. It will work on three fronts:
It is a non-violent, collective endeavour for promoting constructive work, for enduring andatory discharge of their duties by the public servants and for preventing anti-social practices. Underlying the movement will be the spirit of co-operation and collective effort among the people to accomplish those things which are of common benefit on the principle of one for all for one. By bringing people together to solve their common problems by mutual help, not only a spirit of self-reliance will be created among them rendering the government and other agencies irrelevant in large areas. but a sprit of fraternity, unity and co-operation will be fostered amoung them transcending all barriers of caste. community and political affiliation. The skills and talents of people coming from different strata and sections of society will be pooled together for common good. A spirit of tolerance for each other will be created and conflicts, tensions and misunderstandings will be removed. The expences on bureaucreacy may be minimised and the money saved will be used for development.
The movement will undertake work in the rural areas initially by selecting few villages. The work will consist of improving agricultural and horticultural yields as the case may be, of constructing bunds, wells and roads; of planting economically gainful trees, of constructing houses,schools libraries and reading rooms, of organizing health centres and medical camps,of organizing community cultural and sports activities, of starting new and improving the existing agro-cottage and handicraft industries, of organizing co-operative for purchase and distribution of essentials, for marketing of local products and for finance and credit facilities and so on.
The activities in the urban areas will consist of starting of the co-operative housing societies and consumer and credit societies, of undertaking sanitation and cleanliness programmes, of organizing services for the community and of compelling the authorities to cater them to the people wherever necessary, for organizing camps for medical services, of starting book-banks. reading rooms, libraries and schools etc.
Corruption, inefficiency, waste etc. cannot be dealt with at individual level. But they can ertainly be tackled effectively by the collective might of the people. No corrupt authority can long stand the organized strength of masses. If only people come together whenever there is a demand for bride or delays in delivering the goods and services, whether to an indivisual or to a group and resort to Satyagrah for getting things done,no authority will dare to defy the collective demand for long. What is needed is an Imaginative approach on each occasion. If centres for complaints against inefficiency, delays and demands for bride are organized in each village or ward of a town and all citizens in that locality come together on each occasion to deal with them wheather the aggrieved is an individual or a group of individuals, the incidence of corruption, delays, waste and inefficiency will soon come down. This approach has been experimented successfully at some places. What is needed is a sustained organized effort and the spread of the movement everywhere.
The movement has to be non-potential and non-violent. It must transcend all barriers. Besides sicial workers, there are also some persons in all potential parties who are honest and sincere selfless workers. There us no need for any worker or volunteer of the movement to give up his occupation, business or profession. The work can be so organized as will not interfere with the avocation of the activities involved in the movement. The retired persons belonging ti different avications and those who can otherwise afford to give their full time for the work may of course take it up as a full time social work. They will find it both rewarding and fulfilling. The work has however to be continuous.
There is no doubt that the vested interests affected by the consrtuctive as well as preventive work will try to abotage it in many ways including by endangering the safety of the workers devoted to the monement. There will also be various obstructions in bringing people together particularly in the village. The barriers of class, caste and community, personal, family, and political rivalries, the interference and Winning over of some workers by the vested interests and misleading propaganda against the movement are bound initially to present sometimes evan apparently insurmountable, difficulties in some areas. But since the movements is for common benifits and against common enimies of poverty, ignorance, curruption, negligence, waste and inefficiency, it will soon asume a nationwide proportion and will in course of time succeed in overcoming these difficulties. The majority of the people will certainly welcome and support it enthusiastically. A strategic approach and an emphasis on the movement's larger goal of liberating the people from the economic thraldom and exploitation, of the providing employment, earnings, and a higher standard of life will soon rally them round the movement. It must be remembered that all movement had its critics and detractors. What is needed is a dogged pursuit and sustained effort. since there is no alternative to the movement and if the country is to be lifted from its present morass, the movement has to be made a success.
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