The first question which comes to mind is why did not the third WSF held recently in Brazil become much talked of subject in India, unlike the second one held in Mumbai last year? The next meet in January 2006 is slated to be held in Delhi.
In fact, the World Social Forum is becoming a victim of its own double standards, threatening to generate divisions and frustration. At the ?Mecca? for an annual pilgrimage by the Left to engage in discussion and debates on ?utopias?, the differences are slowly surfacing. The Porto Allegro Manifesto of the Fifth WSF produced by 19 intellectuals is made up of 12 proposals ?that, as a whole, give sense to the building of another possible world? and ?if they were applied, would permit citizens to at last seize control again of their future?. But the fact is that out of the 12 recommendations seven concern the economy: the cancellation of public debt owned by countries of the developing South; the taxation of financial transitions and weapons sales; full employment and social protection; food sovereignty and security troughs; small-scale agriculture and the prohibition of patents on knowledge and living organisms and the privatization of water.
The suggestion by the Brazilian President, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, to promote a dialogue between the Porto Alegre gathering and the World Economic Forum held simultaneously in the Swiss ski-resort of Devos is significant.
Whatever may be, it appears that the World Social Forum could become victim of its own loud calls while indigenous efforts like SJM will survive in the long run to provide alternatives to the people.