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Indian Social Forum opposes globalisation

"The World Social Forum is an imperialist conspiracy," said an activist of the forum, reports Mayank Tewari.

india Updated: Nov 10, 2006 17:52 IST

The Indian Social Forum is opposing globalisation and a group of Delhi University students are opposing the forum calling it an attempt to convolute and confuse class struggle movements.

With a pamphlet titled 'Beware! Devil in the garb of Santa!' the group aims to create awareness about the hidden agenda behind the World Social Forum in general and its Indian version in particular.

"This is a celebration of fragmentation. It is a well-known fact that the World Social Forum is clandestinely funded by corporates. So how do they propose fighting globalisation with money provided by its perpetrators?" asked 24-year-old Abhinav, an M Phil student at Delhi University.

"The social forum is about ideal discussion and impotent discourse," said Shivani as she handed out pamphlets to participants of the forum. "The World Social Forum is an imperialist conspiracy," she added.

The disclaimer comes soon after a visitor has been handed a pamphlet: "Please try and not associate us with the social forum. We are here to warn you about its dangers and are not a part of it in any way."

For many, the protests highlight just how democratic the entire social forum experiment is. "The first pamphlet I was given as soon as I entered was from this group who are opposing the forum. Would this happen at any other gathering anywhere?" asked Nivedita Menon, who teaches political science at Delhi University.

The loosely-based group of university students knows it is difficult for people to mistake them for conspiracy theorists.

"There are thousands of people who know what’s really going on in the NGO sector. Once you have an idea of who’s funding them, you begin to realise that NGOs are not around to fight for a cause but to destabilise the movement.

"They are like a pressure cooker whistle in society. As soon as the pressure builds up and threatens to blow things, these NGOs diffuse it, making a lot of noise at the same time," said Abhinav, who insists that the group is informal and does not have a leader.

First Published: Nov 10, 2006 17:52 IST