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Swarna Bharat Party is only party that supports and defends all freedom: Interview with Party President Vishal Singh

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By Tarun Pratap

Swarna Bharat Party claims to be India’s only liberal party. It came into existence almost three years ago. Party believes that India, even though, achieved freedom in 1947  but it never became free.

NewsGram talked to the SBP President Vishal Singh about the politics in India and SBP’s status and future plans.

NewsGram: Please tell about the ideology behind the formation and functioning of the party.

Vishal Singh: Swarna Bharat is India’s first liberal party.

SBP is designed from scratch as a liberal party which advocates the philosophy of liberty and truth. It is not dependent on any individual, and aims to provide the sole national platform for all Indian liberals for all times to come.

vishal
Vishal Singh

India’s governance is in shambles. India’s governance failure is systemic, and comprehensive. But our major parties refuse to implement any reforms, pandering, instead, to caste and religion – and to the lowest common denominator. Claiming socialist goals, they subsidize the rich and are hands-in-glove with corrupt business. Crony capitalism is rife. The voice of the people is blocked through numerous anti-free speech laws. There is no one in the elected assemblies of India to speak for our freedoms.

In this domain of total under-performance, China is rushing ahead in many fields and poses an increasing strategic threat to India. India needs to get its act together to become a major power. That can only happen if India is committed to human liberty and truth. India needs to launch a frontal attack against illiberal and poverty-creating ideas.

That’s why Swarna Bharat Party – to speak – and fight – for our freedoms and our future. SBP fills a deeply-felt void in India’s political landscape, which is populated by corrupt, socialist parties. None of these parties can possibly provide India with corruption-free governance to deliver freedom, equality of opportunity, the rule of law, and justice to every citizen.

SBP is the only party in India that supports and defends ALL your freedoms. So, people should join us to defend their liberty.

NG: What do you think about the current political scenario of India and where does SBP stand?

VS: The current scenario in India is a mess. People had lots of faith in Modi to bring change, but that has disappeared. Many people still have faith in AAP which will also fail. People have to understand that all Indian political parties try to fix India with socialism. This simply will not work. Indians need to wake up and take steps before it is too late. Already our best talent wants to leave the country. Everyone wants reservation. The situation is alarming. SBP is working hard to convince people about the perils of socialism. We have a full blueprint on how to transform India. We are ready to do the job. We are just waiting for India to be ready.

NG: I saw the recent launch of the official website of the party, what are the plans of the party to increase its reach and connect with people?

VS: We are continuously on looking out for leaders who really believe in liberty. Leaders are the ones who will convince people why all current political parties are doomed to fail and why freedom and liberty are the only way to make India strong. We do have outreach programs. We are converting our manifesto into regional languages which will help masses to learn more about us.

NG: How strong is the base of the party outside India and within India?

VS: We are a very small group as of now but we are all deeply committed in reforming India. There is huge interest in us in last one year. People now are taking us more seriously. The experiments of Modi and AAP are failing. People cannot still forget corrupt congress. There is growing interest in our value proposition of liberty. I see us only growing from here.

NG: Sir, your party talks about being only liberal party in India, please put some light on that?

VS: This is a very good question. In India as well as the word liberal would mean a person very closely associated with left. We are the true classical liberals. A classical liberal is a person who believes in a limited state. A state which has a very limited role, unlike left liberals who want the state to become a nanny state. I would strongly encourage people to visit our website swarnabharat.in/sbp-manifesto to read the detailed manifesto.

NG: What in your opinion, Indian politics lacks? I mean there is right, left and centre and still a void? When AAP came, there were lot of talk of alternate politics but with time it could not prove it, do you think SBP can do that?

VS: As I told all Indian political parties are same. They offer the same brand of socialism. Left, right and centre have no meaning in India. They are all socialist. All of them want more state control. Modi came with the slogan of limited government, but all his actions are diametrically opposite to what he was saying during elections.

AAP is a one man party and will suffer the same fate as BJP. SBP is rooted to idea of liberty. We are ready today but we will wait for India to be ready. As I said I would encourage people to read our manifesto.We have the time-bound plan to transform India into a sone ki chidiya gain.

NG: What are the immediate and future plans for the party?

VS: The immediate and future plans for party remain same – to convince India of the value of liberty. On this front we are reaching out in various ways – direct contact,social media, press releases.

I would like to call upon people and especially young people to read our manifesto, mull over it and join us. The revolution in India has to begin first in the minds of people. When minds change action happens automatically.  We hope that in coming days India will see the value of liberty – the core proposition of SBP.

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  • Nalini Mishra

    Great insights by Vishal Singh. Amazing perspective. I wish SBP all the very best.

Next Story

Across Asia’s Borders, Survivors Of Human Trafficking, Dial in for Justice

The trial has been ongoing since 2013

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Tara Khokon Miya is seen in her village home in Shipur, Bangladesh, Feb. 26, 2018. She is helping to prepare her 27-year-old daughter to testify via videoconferencing technology against the men who trafficked her to India.
Tara Khokon Miya is seen in her village home in Shipur, Bangladesh, Feb. 26, 2018. She is helping to prepare her 27-year-old daughter to testify via videoconferencing technology against the men who trafficked her to India. VOA

When Neha Maldar testified against the traffickers who enslaved her as a sex worker in India, she spoke from the safety of her own country, Bangladesh, via videoconferencing, a technology that could revolutionize the pursuit of justice in such cases.

The men in the western city of Mumbai appeared via video link more than 2,000 km (1,243 miles) west of Maldar as she sat in a government office in Jessore, a major regional hub for sex trafficking, 50 km from Bangladesh’s border with India.

“I saw the people who had trafficked me on the screen and I wasn’t scared to identify them,” Maldar, who now runs a beauty parlor from her home near Jessore, told Reuters. “I was determined to see them behind bars.”

“I told them how I was beaten for refusing to work in the brothel in the beginning and how the money I made was taken away,” she said, adding that she had lied to Indian authorities about her situation after being rescued, out of fear.

Thousands of people from Bangladesh and Nepal — mainly poor, rural women

and children — are lured to India each year by traffickers who promise good jobs but sell them into prostitution or domestic servitude, anti-slavery activists say.

Activists hope the safe, convenient technology could boost convictions. A Bangladeshi sex trafficker was jailed for the first time in 2016 on the strength of a victim’s testimony to a court in Mumbai via video link from Dhaka, Bangladesh’s capital.

Convictions for cross-border trafficking in the region are rare as most victims choose not to pursue cases that have traditionally required them to testify in Indian courts, which meant staying in a shelter for the duration of the trial.

“They have always wanted to go back home, to their families,” said Shiny Padiyara, a legal counsel at the Indian charity Rescue Foundation that has facilitated videoconferencing cases and runs shelters for trafficking victims. “And most never return to testify.”

But videoconferencing is making it easier to pursue justice. Survivors have given statements, identified their traffickers, and been cross examined in at least 10 other ongoing international cases in Bangladesh, advocates said.

“Enabling victims to testify via video conference will lead to a possible decrease in acquittal rates for want of prime witnesses,” said Adrian Phillips of Justice and Care, a charity that supports the use of video testimony to help secure justice.

Even then, it is tough. During Maldar’s three-hour deposition, she withstood a tough cross-examination, showed identity documents to prove her age and countered allegations by the defense lawyer that she was lying about her identity.

Students Combat Human Trafficking
Students Combat Human Trafficking, flickr

‘Unpardonable’

Tara Khokon Miya is preparing her 27-year-old daughter to testify against the men who trafficked her to India from Dhaka, where she had been working in a garment factory.

“I almost lost my daughter forever,” she said, sitting in her home in Magura, less than 50 km from Jessore, describing how she disappeared after work and was taken to a brothel in India, and raped and beaten for almost a year before being rescued.

“What the traffickers did to my daughter was unpardonable,” Miya said, wiping her tears. “We seek justice. I nurtured her in my womb and can’t describe what it felt like to not know about her whereabouts.”

The trial has been ongoing since 2013 when the young woman, who declined to be named, was repatriated. The charity Rights Jessore is helping the family through the process, by providing counseling and rehearsing cross-examination.

“The best thing is her father will be by her side when she talks in court,” Miya said, finally breaking into a smile.

India signed a bilateral agreement with Bangladesh in 2015 to ensure faster trafficking investigations and prosecutions, and with Nepal in 2017, and laid down basic procedures to encourage the use of videoconferencing in court proceedings.

“The procedure is very transparent,” said judge K M Mamun Uzzaman at Jessore courthouse, which often converts its conference hall into a courtroom for videoconferencing cases to protect survivors’ privacy.

“I’m usually present and victims are able to testify confidently … it is easy and cost effective for us,” he said. “But the biggest beneficiaries are the survivors.”

Silencing Victims
Silencing Victims, pixabay

The future

Videoconferencing in Bangladesh has been plagued by technical glitches such as power cuts and poor connections.

“Sometimes the internet connection is weak or it gets disconnected during the testimony,” said Binoy Krishna Mallick head of Rights Jessore, a pioneer in using this technology to encourage trafficking survivors to pursue justice. “But these are just teething troubles.”

The bigger challenge, activists say, is to ensure survivors remain committed to the trial despite delays caused by a backlog of cases and witnesses’ failure to appear to testify.

Swati Chauhan, one of the first judges to experiment with video testimony in 2010, is convinced that technology can eliminate many of these hurdles.

Also read: Imagining Panun Kashmir: Dissent And Detente in South Asia

“Victims go through a lot of trauma, so it is natural that they don’t want to confront their trafficker in a court — but that doesn’t mean they don’t want the trafficker to be punished,” she said. “A videoconference requires meticulous planning and it is not easy coordinating between departments and countries. But it is the future for many seeking justice.” (VOA)