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All India Conference on Political Reform


Committee for People's Empowerment is organising a one-day conference in
Pune on May 17, 1998. I am including, below the signature area, a letter
from the Convener of CPE announcing the Conference and its significance to
the present situatation in India.

Being concerned about affairs in India, I hope you will support this
endeavour whole-heartedly. Please forward this mail to others who
may be interested.

Also, please consider participating and sending generous donations to make
this conference a resounding success. Your cheques can be written out to
"Committee for People's Empowerment" and sent directly to the organising
committee at the Pune address. No amount is too little or too much. 

Bharat Seth
*| Dr. B. Seth                            Indian Institute of Technology  |*
*| Convener, Systems and Controls         Powai, Bombay 400 076, India    |*
*| Professor of Mechanical Engineering    Phone: (022) 576 7504           |*
*| Email : seth@me.iitb.ernet.in          Fax  : (022) 579 6875           |*

           All-India Conference on Political Reform
  Sant Gyaneshwar Hall, Main Building, Pune University, Pune 411 007
           Sunday, May 17, 1998, 10:30 AM to 6:00 PM

Dear Friend,

	After fifty years of independence, the majority of Indian
people are powerless. The toilers in the factories and tillers of
the soil have no control over the conditions of their lives. The
small shopkeepers and craftsmen, the teachers, lawyers, doctors,
nurses, cultural workers and other professionals have no say in the
decisions that influence the course of development. Entire peoples
in various regions of the country continue to charge the Indian Union
with national and colonial oppression. Power continues to reside in
the hands of a privileged minority. 

	Ever since the division and criminalisation of the Indian
polity reached unbearable dimensions with the destruction of the
Babri Masjid, the Committee for People's Empowerment has been calling
for a thorough-going review and renewal of Indian democracy, of the
political institutions and the theory on which they are based. Now,
in this penultimate year of the twentieth century, the Prime Minister
of India has admitted in Parliament that it is necessary to review
and reform the political system, including the Constitution of India.
But the question arises - who should carry out this review? And who
should set the agenda? 

	The Committee for People's Empowerment firmly believes that
the debate on political reform must not be confined to the privileged
members of Parliament or to any other elite group. The agenda must
not be set behind closed doors. The debate must be broadened to
include all those in Indian society who currently have no say and who
feel the absence of power in their hands. It must be deepened to
address the fundamental questions of Indian political theory and
political institutions for the empowerment of the Indian people. The
people must be enabled to participate in setting the agenda for
political reforms.

	Towards the aim of broadening and deepening the debate, the
Committee for People's Empowerment is organising an All-India
Conference on Political Reform. Do you feel the absence of power in
your hands and angry at the abuse of power by those who control it?
If yes, then you should think seriously of participating in this
conference. Are you interested in reforms that would expand the
space for the broad masses of the electorate like you and me? And
restrict the space for the privileged elite who currently occupy the
centre stage and abuse their privilege? Then you should definitely
be in Pune on the date of the conference. For more information about
the conference, please contact the Organising Committee at the Pune
address given below. Would you like to be part of an organised
all-India effort to bring about fundamental changes in the political
system? If yes, then please write to the CPE head office in New
Delhi at the address shown below.

With warm regards,

					Sincerely yours,

					Prakash Rao, Convenor, CPE
					for the organising committee
Head Office 				All-India Conference
Committee for People's Empowerment	 on Political Reform
No. 17, Qutab View Apts.		Dr. Pradip / Trupti
Katwaria Sarai, New Delhi 100 016	M-11, Yashoshri Apt.
(011) 685 0645				Maruti Gaikwad Nagar, Aundh, Pune
					(0212) 385 449

----- End of forwarded message from Bharat Seth -----