ON 16 January 2019, Bagodar in Jharkhand was flooded with people. The occasion was the 15th martyrdom day of beloved people’s leader Comrade Mahendra Singh. On that day, the CPI(ML) held a Jan Sankalp Sabha at the Bagodar Bus Stand (Comrade Mahendra Singh Complex) with the resounding slogan of ‘Make BJP Bite the Dust - Oust Modi-Save the Country’.
The program started with floral tributes to the life-size statue of Comrade Mahendra Singh at Kisan Bhavan in his ancestral village Khambhra, where all the villagers and guests from outside had gathered. Tributes were paid by CPI(ML) General Secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya, martyred MLA Comrade Mahendra Singh’s wife Shanti Devi, his son and former Bagodar MLA Vinod Singh, and many others. The leaders then proceeded to the Community Hall near the Party office to garland the statue of comrade Mahendra Singh put up there. All the people then proceeded to Bagodar Bus Stand where the Sankalp Sabha was organised.
Thousands of people raising slogans and holding aloft red flags had walked all the way to Bagodar for the occasion from all blocks of Giridih District including Bagodar, Birni, Rajdhanwar, Gawan, Tisri, Jamua, Devri, Gandeya, Bengabad. Women, youth, the poor and the middle class had come in large numbers. There was an amazing enthusiasm all around, and everyone was eager to express their feelings that Comrade Mahendra Singh was their true leader, the modern day Birsa and the Bhagat Singh of independent India.
The Sankalp Sabha began with tributes to Comrade DP Bakshi, Fahmida Riaz, Mrinal Sen, all the martyrs of Giridih District, and all the people who became victims of the BJP regime. Addressing the meeting, Dipankar Bhattacharya said that 14 years ago the BJP thought it was snuffing out the voice of the poor, but today we can see Mahendra Singh’s face in the face of every young person here. Comrade Dipankar elaborated on the anti-farmer, anti-youth, anti-poor, pro-corporate policies of the Modi government and said that in order to divert attention from their all-round failure they are fomenting the Mandir-Masjid issue and trying to brand students and youth as anti-national. He said that this is a fascist government bent on destroying the country’s Constitution. The 10% reservation for upper castes will not provide jobs to the upper caste poor but will be a step towards ending the reservation provided by the Constitution. He said the people would not forget the brutal repression of para teachers and scheme workers in Jharkhand and would give a befitting reply by throwing out the Modi and Raghubar governments. He pointed out that as the Party which came a close second in the Koderma Lok Sabha seat even during the BJP wave in 2014 the CPI(ML) was the obvious and right choice to challenge the BJP in the 2019 LS election. He asserted that the anti-BJP alliance was not only among Opposition parties, but also among workers, farmers, women, unemployed youth, scheme workers and the poor.
The meeting, presided over by CPI(ML) PB member and Giridih District Secretary Manoj Bhakt and conducted by District Committee member Mustaqeem Ansari, was also addressed by CPI(ML) MLA Rajkumar Yadav, former MLA and CC member Vinod Singh, MSS MLA Arup Chatterjee, and others. They said that the CPI(ML) would continue to fight for people’s issues everywhere from the streets to Parliament and would take this fight to greater heights. Eight resolutions were passed at the meeting.
Sankalp Sabhas were also held at Ranchi, Meral, Garhwa, Sagma and Dhurki Blocks (Garhwa District), Manika (Latehar), Gola, Argadda Chapri, Barkakana Budh Bazaar Tand, and Ara Sarubeda (Ramgarh)Nirsa Area (Dhanbad), Devghar, Bundu (Ranchi District), Gumla (Gumla District), and Barkattha and Churchu Blocks (Hazaribagh).
Our most important responsibility in this election year is to defeat the BJP. Through constant people’s struggles, the CPI(ML) has given a befitting reply in the Koderma Lok Sabha constituency to attacks by the Modi-Raghubar governments. In the last election, the CPI(ML) emerged as the most powerful force against the BJP; through this, the people have given a clear indication for this Lok Sabha constituency. This Jan Sankalp Sabha calls for the red flag of the CPI(ML), as the only Party capable of defeating the BJP, to be hoisted over the entire Lok Sabha constituency.
Resolutions Passed at Bagodar Jan Sankalp Sabha
- This Sabha fully supports the para teachers’ and Rasoiyas’ agitations for regularization and increase in honorarium. We strongly condemn the Raghubar government’s violent and insulting behaviour towards the agitators.
- In the past one year, about two dozen people have died due to starvation. Not a single district in Jharkhand remains untouched by starvation deaths. Food remains beyond the reach of the poor under the Modi-Raghuvar regime. Aadhar and DBT have made the situation even more appalling. The government has rendered the right to Food Security ineffectual; as a result, dalits, adivasis, and backward sections are in the faced with starvation. This Sabha demands that all families should be brought in the ambit of the Food Security and Aadhar be delinked from rations. Officials should be held accountable for negligence in public distribution and action should be taken against them.
- About 9 months have passed since the kidnapping of 7 workers (4 of whom are from Jharkhand) in Afghanistan. The silence of the Modi-Raghubar governments on this matter exposes their attitude towards workers. Migrant workers being involved in accidents and dying in accidents have become routine. The government’s attitude towards the safety of and compensation for such workers is also anti-worker. Their families are left to fend for themselves, uncared for. The constant struggles by the CPI(ML) has made this a public issue. This Sabha calls for district level cells to be formed for migrant workers and for the government to arrange for adequate safety and compensation.
- The ill-effects of the Raghubar government’s domicile policy are now beginning to manifest themselves. Local youths are being deprived of even the few-and-far-between job opportunities. This Sabha demands that the current domicile policy should be revoked and a new policy with a positive attitude towards the people of Jharkhand be prepared.
- The land, mining, and industrial policies of the Raghubar government are anti-Jharkhand. The government which is conspiring to end the CNT-SPT Act is grabbing farmers’ lands across the State and handing them over to corporate houses. The land loot in Godda by Ambani with government protection is a clear example of this. The conspiracy to grab farmers’ bandobasti lands has also come to light. This Sabha calls for farmers’ agitations to end land loot and for accelerated struggles to demand proper compensation and rehabilitation.
- The entire Jharkhand is in the grip of drought. This Sabha demands that all farmers, sharecroppers, and agrarian workers are brought within the ambit of crop insurance and given compensation without delay. This Government’s move to host the Global and Agriculture Food Summit when it has failed to make available even the minimum agricultural facilities in Jharkhand, is nothing short of a cruel joke.
- In the matter of violence, the Raghubar government is ahead even of the previous BJP Babulal Marandi government. Dalits and minorities are not safe from frenzied mobs anywhere; and the killers enjoy the open protection of BJP MLAs, MPs, and Ministers. Mob lynching is carried on unchecked in Jharkhand. Women and children are becoming victims of violence and rape. This Sabha appeals for increased harmony and unity in order to defeat frenzied mobs and their fascist politics.
- Modi has pushed the youth of India into the abyss of unemployment. 10% reservation for the general category is a diversionary tactic. This is not the first attack by the Modi government on the fundamentals of the Constitution. The autonomy of all institutions including Parliament, CBI, Supreme Court, Election Commission, and Reserve Bank has come under attack and the country as a democratic Republic faces the gravest danger. Modi has broken the back of the economy with demonetisation and GST. All economic sectors including industry, trade, and agriculture are facing a disastrous crash.