We do not wish to comment on the organizers’ stated motives for participating inWSF, viz, to ‘utilize’ it for networking, catapulting, etc. Ourobjection, besides to their ideas about burning judgements, etc, is to their five ‘Goals’, to be converted at end-of-event to ‘5-point agenda or Action Plan for housing rights in India’. These assume ‘lack of pro-poor urban planning’ in India about which they will have ‘meaningful debate’ (#1). They will create ‘consensus’ against forced evictions (#3), ensure ‘national policy’ for resettlement and rehabilitation (#4), promote a ‘consortium or alliance’ to make housing a Constitutional right(#5). On Master Plan provisions/processes they will have ‘critical discussion’ (#2).
Call to organizers of this and such events to defend their ‘pro-poor’ activism in a public debate on city plans at the earliest after WSF 2004
As professionals committed to planned development, which in India is premised on distributive justice, we wish to counter propaganda proposed in the above ‘event’ (as per its details circulated via e-mail).