New Socialist intervenes at 7th Vibgyor Film Festival

The 7th edition of the Vibgyor International Film Festival, held between 22nd- 26th February 2012 in Thrissur, Kerala, was a lively event with screening of films on important socio-political issues inter-spread with conferences ranging from issues like migration, nuclear energy and the ongoing struggle at Koodankulam (Tamil Nadu), and the question of climate change. The theme of the festival this year was focussed on “Lives and Livelihood”.

The festival was inaugurated by the renowned dancer and social activist from Gujarat, Mallika Sarabhai. Some of the important documentaries screened included ‘Jai Bhim Comrade’ by the Anand Patwardhan on the uphill struggle by Daliths in Maharashtra, ‘Jashn-e-azadi’ by Sanjay Kak on the struggle for freedom in the Kashmir valley and ‘Third Eye of Resistance’ by Razi focussing on the life of the late documentary film maker Sarath Chandran. P. Sainath (The Hindu Rural Affairs Editor) gave the 2nd Sarath Chandran Memorial speech with focus on “Inequality, livelihood and agrarian crisis” in India.

Jagadish Chandra (New Socialist Alternative) addressing one of the conferences

The New Socialist Alternative (CWI-India) intervened in the mini-conferences that were held on “Future of Livelihoods in South Asia: Reviewing the impact of climate change & globalization”, “Migrant Labourers and Livelihood Issues” and “Koodankulam – Anti-Nuclear Campaign”.

The issue of Mullaperiyar dam issue and the break in the unity between the people of Tamil Nadu and Kerala also came. This was understood as a conspiracy of the Indian ruling class to deliberately stoke regional clashes in the wake of the anti-Koodankulam struggle that has gained unprecedented support from people across the region. The attacks on Tamils in Kerala or Malayalis in Tamil Nadu were deliberately instigated by the Congress goons. New Socialist Alternative was of the opinion that the issue, with respect to the dam, must be understood from a class perspective and not on the basis of “us vs them”.

On the issue of the struggle against the nuclear plant in Koodankulam, a Solidarity Committee in support of the struggle has been formed and a group of activists will be visiting the site soon. The issue will be taken up not just as a issue of the people of Koodankulam; but as an issue of the people across the coastal belt of Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Sri Lanka and others as radiation is something that knows no borders and will affect everybody.

Besides our political interventions, our stall at festival attracted a lot of people and we had a reasonably good sale of our books, campaign materials and paper worth Rs. 2565. We have gained a number of contacts in Kerala that we now need to follow upon.