Asia West Pacific 

JaiJagat 2020: Marching from India to Geneva

by Subhash Chandra, Nepal Coordinator 

Image from the Jaijag 2020 website

I participated in a planning meeting for the JaiJagat 2020 campaign in Kathmandu on 22nd February 2019. Jaijagat means “victory of the world,” organizing people’s marches from India to Geneva in 2020. The march will globalize issues of landless, poor and marginalized people and bring attention of the governments and international organizations to call for justice for these people.

The mass-based Gandhian organization Ekta Parishad (Unity Forum) in India is organizing and coordinating the campaign with many other organizations within India, across Asia and globally. Ekta Parishad is an organization leading a nonviolent social moment in India on behalf of landless, marginalized and indigenous people. They are a major success model for land, forest and water rights campaign in Asia and for grassroots movements in the world. Gandhian activist Mr. P.V. Rajagopal is the key and main leader of Ekta Parishad.

I met Rajagopal in India in 2004 during an excursion tour organized by Ekta Parishad in the poorest indigenous communities in Udisa, India. That year was significant for my journey toward practicing peace and nonviolence in private as well as public life. It was there that I met a Quaker for the first time, Stuart Morton of Quaker Peace and Social Witness (QPSW) UK. Stuart left a powerful impression on me as a Quaker and peace worker. QPSW supported Ekta Parishad and a few other South Asian peace organizations which later gave birth to the South Asia Peace Alliance (SAPA). I am part of SAPA and Community Self Reliance Center (CSRC), Friends Peace Teams’ partners in Nepal, is also an active member of SAPA. CSRC shares many experiences and practices from Ekta Parishad and hosted this JaiJagat 2020 planning meeting in Nepal.

The major agenda items of the planning meeting were how Nepali peace activists will participate in the march, the route for the march within Nepal, who will travel beyond Nepal through other countries to Geneva, and what kind of activities will be organized along the march. Nepal is seen as a key country because it is extremely difficult for Indian citizens to enter or march through Pakistan. The meeting went on for three days. I was only able to participate on the first day. Ekta Parishad team will prepare a report note. Then, we can share the full discussion points and decisions of the meeting. I hope to be part of this historical, important event at least as a participant if not more.

For more information about the JaiJagat campaign, please explore the links above and consider joining this historic campaign and march. Please share this information with your meeting, social groups, or friends concerned with the dignity and rights of landless, poor and marginalized people around the world.