Swabhiman Rally In Sasaram

On 15 August (Independence Day) a brutal assault was unleashed on the mahadalits and poor of Baddi village in Shivsagar block of Rohtas district by feudal forces who, citing 1857 freedom fighter Nishant Singh, claimed that the benefits of independence should be solely theirs and not be shared by mahadalits or landless poor. The latter, according to the feudal forces, deserve only oppression and should not aspire to dignity and the fruits of independence. The Party has organized a series of protest movements against such attempts to taint the legacy of the dedicated anti-imperialist and anti-feudal struggle for independence which had taken place all over the country and especially in Shahabad, on the question of Baddi.

In this series a Swabhiman yatra was taken out in the Shahabad area, which included interaction with villagers, evening meetings, and nukkad sabhas in market places and chattis. Establishing a lively dialogue with the people, discussions took place on the rising morale of feudal-communal forces during Nitish government, the betrayal of mahadalits and the question of their respect and dignity. At several places the campaign team had to face threats from the feudal forces, despite which mahadalits and the poor from many villages joined the yatra in large numbers. The yatra started as padyatras from Katira hostel in Ara (which had been attacked by Ranveer Sena after Brahmeshwar Singh’s killing), Bathani Tola, Daudnagar (Aurangabad), Mohaniyan (Kaimur) and Vikramganj (Rohtas) which converged on September 15 at Sasaram where the Swabhiman Rally was organized.

On 15 September the entire Sasaram was inundated by red flags. By 11 AM people from every corner of Rohtas district as well as from Bhojpur and other districts had gathered at the Bal Vikas grounds where posters, banners and placards had been put up.

The meeting commenced at 1 PM with the arrival of Party General Secretary Comrade Dipankar Bhattacharya, Bihar State secretary Kunal, Politbureau member Com. Amar, National secretary of All India Kisan Mahasabha Com. Rajaram Singh, AIPWA State secretary and Central Committee member Com. Shashi Yadav, State Standing Committee member Com. Anwar Hussain, former MLA and popular leader from Rohtas Com. Arun Singh, UP State Secretary of AISA Ramayan Ram, State Secretary of AIALA Gopal Ravidas, AISA State secretary Ajit Kushwaha, RYA State joint secretary Manoj Manjil, Party leader from Bhojpur Qayamuddin, Rohtas Party secretary Com. Sanjay Yadav, Kaiser Nihal, Party leader from Kaimur Dukhi Ram and others.

At the outset Rohtas district secretary Com. Sanjay Yadav welcomed the gathering. Former MLA Arun Singh explained the context and backdrop of the Swabhiman Yatra and Rally. The meeting observed one minute’s silence to pay tribute to martyr Ramvilas Ram who lost his life in the Baddi violence.

The first speaker was Tuntun Ram from Baddi village, who pointed out that as three acres of land were already allotted in the name of Nishan Singh memorial, there was no justification in breaking the statue of Sant Raidas and building a memorial to Nishan Singh in its place. He stressed that the feudal forces were attacking the freedom of the poor in the name of Nishan Singh and the Swabhiman Rally by the CPI(ML) to fight for the rights of the Mahadalits is indeed welcome.

Five team leaders from the Swabhiman Yatra shared their experiences with the gathering, which was followed by the General Secretary’s address. The rally concluded with the passing of a six-point political resolution.


1. Licences for the weapons of the feudal forces in Baddi and the entire Bihar should be cancelled with immediate effect.

2. The killers of Ramvilas Ram in the Baddi incident should be immediately arrested and a memorial to him should be erected in front of the Sant Raidas statue.

3. A compensation of Rs 10 lakh to Ramvilas Ram’s family and Rs 2 lakh to the injured should be made.

4. A case under section 302 should be registered against the guilty Daroga in the Baddi incident and he should be immediately arrested.

5. The killers of mahadalit children in Nasiriganj should be arrested without delay.

A Summary of the General Secretary’s Address

Today on Independence Day Com. Ram Vilas Ram was to have hoisted the flag here in Baddi but he has been murdered by feudal forces. Ram Vilas Ram has been martyred and all manner of atrocities have been committed on the mahadalits but today’s rally is a clear indication that Bihar is no longer willing to run on the old feudal lines. A new era has begun where the mahadalits, the landless, and the poor are demanding their full rights. The present issue is not merely the question of building a memorial or grabbing some land but a deeper one, since through this act the feudal forces are telling us that they have a monopoly over the fruits of independence and there is no independence for the poor. This rally tells them in no uncertain terms that we will not allow the legacy of the independence struggle to be sullied and the poor shall have their independence and their rights.

After 1947 the mahadalits and the poor all across the country and especially in Bihar have had to struggle and make sacrifices at every step for their rightful independence. Several times their aspirations have, and still continue to be, sought to be crushed by the perpetration of mass carnages as in Belchhi, Khairlanji, Bathe and Bathani. Through such carnages and attacks the feudal forces are fighting their last hopeless battle to keep their false position intact.

Self-respect (swabhiman) cannot be achieved by merely mouthing the word. It can only be achieved on the strength of a united and concerted struggle on our part. Today some people are propagating that CPI(ML) is giving the Baddi incident unnecessary importance and that the leader of mahadalits in Bihar, Nitish Kumar, will find a solution to the problem. It is being said that the feudals and mahadalits have arrived at a compromise in Baddi, peace has been restored, so why a Swabhiman Rally? We want to tell them clearly that this course will not achieve self-respect for the mahadalits or the required change.

If mere sloganeering and speeches by leaders could have brought change, the carnages of Baddi, Bathe, Katira and Bathani would never have taken place. Leaders like Nitish, Mayawati and Meira Kumar have not brought about social change; rather, mahadalits have been attacked under their watch. Whatever changes have come about in the country and in Bihar have done so under the banner of the red flag and through the struggles of the poor. We shall get our rights not as alms from some leaders but only through a long and sustained struggle. The few rights that mahadalits have got, such as the right to sit on cots and the right to vote, have been won through hard struggle and that is the only way Bihar can change in a real and meaningful sense.

Today the whole country is in the throes of communal violence. Daily there are reports of fresh deaths in Muzaffarnagar. The death toll is continuously increasing; dalits and minorities are being attacked at various places. The BJP feels that this is the way to ensure Prime Ministership for Narendra Modi. The Muzaffarnagar incident is not a small one but the result of a planned and orchestrated inflaming of communal passions by these forces.

On 27 October Narendra Modi is scheduled to come to Gandhi Maidan in Patna for his ‘Hunkar Rally’. That communal fascist ‘hunkar’ (roar) is the same one which was heard in Baddi and Muzaffarnagar. Their intention is to create an atmosphere of fear and terror which they hope will help them to capture power in Delhi. Through today’s rally we are sending out stern warning to these forces that enough is enough and such dirty politics will not work in this country any more. We have suffered enough and more and are now ready to take on the communal-feudal forces head on. The Party has decided to organize a Khabardar (Beware) Rally on 30 October at Gandhi Maidan, Patna against these forces and our appeal is to all our comrades to make this a historic rally.

The Baddi incident reflects a countrywide truth which the people in power are trying to hide and which we wish to expose. We must uphold the truth and change the situation and for this we must intensify our struggle. We have taken a step forward in Rohtas, Bhojpur and other districts through our struggle. Our leaders continue to be martyred in the course of the struggle. Last year Rohtas district secretary and popular leader Comrade Bhaiyyaram Yadav was murdered. Despite this, the struggle under the red flag is continuing and we have to extend this struggle from Shahabad to the whole of Bihar to the whole country. The recent DUSU and JNUSU election results have seen students rebuff the myth of the ‘Modi magic’. The youth of the country have taken up the red flag and are fighting against corruption, rape, violence against dalits and adivasis and for freedom without fear for women. The time is ripe for struggle throughout the country. This is not the time to surrender or turn back. Let us launch an all out struggle on the Baddi issue and force the feudal forces to surrender.

Under the leadership of America foreign companies wish to swallow India, to capture all our natural resources. Both the UPA and the NDA are making our country dance to the tune of America. There is a wave of protest throughout the country against these destructive policies and it is time to teach a lesson to such forces.

Shahabad is the area where people’s leaders like Kunwar Singh, Ramnaresh Ram and Jagdish Master had lived and worked and struggled. Today is the date of the peasants’ martyrdom during the Independence struggle. Every year we remember those struggles. Let us continue that tradition of struggle and take the fight for respect and dignity of the poor to greater heights.

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