Rajagopal, leader of this non-violent movement which fights for the most disadvantaged, passed through Madrid this weekend and held a meeting with various organizations to ask for support in advancing his project to provide India’s poorest citizens (the untouchables, landless peasants, and indentured servants) with dignity and protection under the law. “We are looking for partners,” said the founder of Ekta Parishad, “no struggle is successful when waged alone”.

At the summit, he denounced the current economic system which “promotes mass production, but not production for the masses” and he encouraged people to work to change things non-violently. He addressed the youth in particular, who need to be educated differently, “demilitarizing their consciences”, he states, “raising awareness so they believe they can change the world and, what’s more, that they do so non-violently. If you’re not indifferent, the world will be different!” proclaimed Rajagopal.

Back in 2003 he organized a 25,000-person march, which yielded land from the government for six thousand families.

With this experience under his belt and following Gandhi’s ideas and practices, he is proposing a march that will last one year, ending on October 2nd, 2012 in front of the Indian parliament building, where they will demand legal changes to property rights for land, water, etc.

To fund the march, projected to attract 100,000 participants, and to put pressure on his own country’s government, he is preparing a fund-raising campaign and a letter-writing campaign to India’s prime minister, which will launch publicly in the coming weeks.

The meeting was concluded by a showing of the documentary “The March of the Defenseless” followed by a question-and-answer session.

Photos from the summit:

*(Translation provided by Patrick C. Yancey)*