People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 51

December 29,2002


Scheduled Caste Coordination Committee Holds Landmark Rallies

DECEMBER 15 witnessed three landmark rallies organised by the state level Scheduled Caste Coordination Committee at state capital Agartala, Dhalai district headquarters Ambassa and Kumarghat in North Tripura district. Thousands of men and women, belonging to the backward sections of the state’s population, participated in these rallies, raising the death-defying drumbeat for the coming battle. They resolved to resist to the end any attempts by the vested interests to dislodge the Left Front government by undemocratic means.

Armed with their decades-long experience of darkness and dawn, these sections have, irrespective of caste and tribe affiliation, solidly stood for political, social and economic equality and for peace and prosperity in Tripura. This is a struggle of which the Left Front government is, at one and the same time, a treasured and trusted prize and a protagonist.

The Agartala rally represented the West Tripura and South Tripura districts while the Ambassa and Kumarghat rallies represented the other two districts of the state --- Dhalai and North Tripura respectively. The rally sites --- that is, the Stable Ground at Agartala, the Chandrapur School ground in Ambassa and Kumarghat Gramin Bank ground in Kumarghat --- wore the look of a dress rehearsal for a tumultuous struggle with innumerable chain-flags. In all the three towns, the processions that paraded the streets before pouring into the packed grounds, were like melting pots of buoyant youth and seasoned veterans. There were students, peasants, workers and other sections --- all keenly aware and alert about the monster trying to raise its head in a bid to once again rob the people of their hard-earned right to a respectable life and livelihood. It will be noted that this right, which they had earned through the instrumentality of various Left Front governments since 1978, were snatched away from them by the interregnum of a Congress-TUJS coalition regime in 1988-93. The rallies expressed the resolve to foil the diabolic attempts being made by the Congress-INPT combine and to again form a Left Front government as part of the continuing struggle to build a prosperous Tripura.

The Agartala rally was addressed, among others, by CPI(M) Polit Bureau member and chief minister Manik Sarkar and the Tripura Scheduled Caste Coordination Committee’s general secretary, transport and fisheries minister Sukumar Barman. The Ambassa rally was addressed by the CPI(M) Central Committee member Bijon Dhar, state assembly speaker Jitendra Sarkar and urban development minister Sudhir Das. The Kumarghat rally was addressed by the CPI(M) Central Committee member Baidyanath Majumder and the party’s state secretariat member Tapan Chakraborty. The rallies were organised to press the organisation’s 12-point charter of demands pertaining to the life and livelihood of backward sections of the state, as also to the all-round development of the state.

Addressing the rally Manik Sarkar alerted the people against the chameleon type politicians who shed crocodile’s tears for the downtrodden while trying to deceive them and drown the elections in a pool of blood. This is in sharp contrast to the communists who have, whether in power or out of power, all along been fighting for the rights and self-respect of the toiling masses. In the state, the Left and democratic movement of the past decades has inspired the downtrodden to fight for their rights and against the mighty who had been trying to console them by doling out some contemptuous crumbs. Enlightened with their own experience and seasoned in struggles, the people of Tripura have routed the vested interests in successive elections from the panchayats to parliament, making these vested interest parties jittery on the eve of every election. That is why the Congress has struck an alliance with the INPT, the overground wing of outlawed NLFT extremists who, with the backing from imperialist powers, have been killing and kidnapping people and advocating the expulsion of the uprooted people who have settled in Tripura since 1949. Sarkar fervently urged the backward sections to join hands with allied forces among all sections of the people so as to foil the Congress-INPT dream of replicating the 1988 episode once again. It will be recalled that with the help of its central government and of the terrorist TNV, the Congress had falsified the people’s mandate in February 1988 assembly elections. In a similar way, the INPT also captured the Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council in the May 2000 elections with the help of the underground NLFT’s guns. (INN)