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The Fifth Estate

The Fifth Estate

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Published by brpbhaskar
Statement of Objectives of the Fifth Estate and list of founding members of the organization
Statement of Objectives of the Fifth Estate and list of founding members of the organization

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Published by: brpbhaskar on Feb 14, 2012
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02/14/2012

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THE FIFTH ESTATE
We are glad to announce the start of a new movement called µFifth Estate¶. At present,secular democracy in India is facing numerous challenges and crises. There is justifiableapprehension whether it is on an irredeemable decline. The legislature, executive, judiciary andthe media, which constitute the four pillars of democracy, were expected to interact with andcorrect one another, and thus provide protection to the entire system. Despite serious limitations,an impression had been created that things were moving in the right direction. But recentdevelopments have revealed the dreadful reality that all the four grand pillars are contaminated by grimy tendencies such as corruption, vested interests, nepotism and maladministration. Thedecline of the judicial system, which was seen by many as the most important corrective force,has caused widespread apprehension.Even at the global level, no political system exists today which is acceptable as analternative to parliamentary democracy. Although Indian democracy is in its infancy, it hasattracted the world¶s keen attention owing to its enormous nature and complexity. Urgentinterventions are needed to stem its rot and put it on the right path after ridding it of its functional paralysis.To check the degeneration of the four grand pillars of democracy and lead it forward, afifth pillar, the Fifth Estate, is being envisaged here. It is conceived as a political forum trying toexist as a corrective force and a guiding force, without seeking entry into the arena of power  politics, without even becoming a political party. It will be a civil society movement. It willfunction without paid activists, all activities being carried on by persons working on voluntary basis. The organization will function in a perfectly transparent and lawful manner. All actionreports and discussions of the movement will be posted at its website as early as possible. All persons, including those from the media, will have the opportunity to participate even in FifthEstate¶s committee meetings at all the levels.The movement will involve itself in activities that will ensure transparency at all levels of  power structure from the village office upwards, expose corruption and mismanagement and pressure the authorities to adopt procedures and take action that will ensure social justice. We
 
 believe a wide network of such movements is essential for the effective implementation of theexisting Right to Information Act and the anticipated Lok Pal Act. The movement will try toassume such responsibilities at all levels. It will take up such tasks as are essential for reinforcingsecular democracy and social justice. The basic standpoints of the movement, action plan and theorganizational structure are outlined at its website. The web-site address is:
www.fifth-estate.org 
A collective of the persons listed below has taken the initiative to set up this organization. Wecould so far contact only a small section of those who are interested in such a movement. Thosewho wish to co-operate with the movement are requested to contact the address of the web-site.
Fifth Estate
Perspective
1
.
 
The existing system of parliamentary democracy is to be recognized as the best amongthe political forms invented by mankind so far. At the same time, it is to be noted that itstill is at the primary level of development. Several tendencies of degeneration are alsovisible. Convinced that the historic march of humanity is indeed in the direction of democracy, the deliberations here are aimed at creating a movement which is committedto formulate practical programs to check the degenerative course of democratic processes, to explore possibilities for its further development and to ensure social justice.History has chequered to a large extent the jungle laws of the politics of conquest that prevailed till the end of the Second World War. Although big power interventions stillexist as a potential danger, the fact that a new historic process of democracy is taking rootamong nations generates optimism. Within countries feudal/autocratic forces are beingforced to retreat and the process of democratization is spreading. This is not a temporaryfeature but a historical course in itself. Mankind, undeniably, is on the path of progress.2.
 
The communist movement, which emerged as the result of the search for an alternativesystem against the fierce spectre of 
19
th
century capitalism, had taken root among one-third of the world community in the 20th century. But all µsocialist¶ societies invariably
 
degenerated and collapsed since they had moved towards economic and politicalcentralization, under the single-party totalitarianism created in the name of thedictatorship of proletariat. It could be seen that the remaining models such as China,Cuba, North Korea and Vietnam are also on way to submission to capitalism. It is a positive indication that in the Latin American countries, which have a long history of  being under military dictatorships, democracy has begun to take roots. Other than that nonew political model has evolved there. The democratic upsurges happening in Arabcountries manifestly indicate that democracy within the countries are spreading to all thecountries. The role of information technology in the social movements is also provenduring these upheavals. What is reflected in these developments is the irrefutable historiccourse of the democratizing process of the world community .3.
 
The competitive market based on profit mongering of capitalism and the parliamentarydemocratic secular system developed in congruence with it have continuously fostered productive processes and thereby ensured the possibility of political plurality and socialimpetus. Thus democracy today has demonstrated its capability to transcend the trials of history. In the meantime, the method of exploitation inherent in the competitive marketeconomy creates inequalities that make social justice unattainable. The theory that allsocio-economic problems will be resolved through market dynamics remains thefundamental defect of this scheme. Also, parliamentary democracy gives birth to an eliteruling class as a result of which people get repelled from the democratic process. We arehere attempting to examine the possibility of a transformation which may resolve the basic weaknesses inherent in the competitive market and parliamentary democracy.4.
 
The politics of conquest lost its relevance in the international situation after the SecondWorld War. What the finance capital forces then wanted was to make commonly agreedrules in respect of trade relations. Discussions on those lines commenced in
19
40s[GATT]. After the GATT period, the World Trade Organization was formed based oncommon laws evolved through complex negotiations and accepted by a sizable number of nations. In fact, this attempt to build a democratic framework in place of continued high-handedness on the part of the developed countries was an important step forward inhistory. But the secret moves of the developed imperialistic nations to manipulate theselaws in their own favour in line with the interests of international finance capitalist forces

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