People's Democracy

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


Vol. XXVIII

No. 41

October 10, 2004

 Massive Youth Rally In Chennai Demands Jobs

S Kannan

 

THOUSANDS of youth marched on the streets of Chennai on September 19 demanding jobs. The rally was organised by the DYFI Tamil Nadu state committee and it was a culmination of a vigorous campaign conducted through out the state on a host of demands relating to employment from August 15 to September 12. Nearly 200 teams comprising a total of 6,000 cadre participated in this campaign in villages and towns. Cycle yatras and pada yatras were the preferred mode of the campaign, which reached nearly one lakh homes in the state directly.

 

Among the demands highlighted in the campaign were immediate lifting of ban on recruitment, filling up of existing vacancies, providing unemployment allowance, generate new employment by developing wasteland through agriculture workers, setting up one factory with one crore rupees in each panchayat union, allotting funds to implement 100 days rural employment.

 

The DYFI campaign got an encouraging response from the youth and people in general. It was clear employment is a burning issue for the people. The DYFI organised a workshop on employment generation on July 31, 2004 with a panel of experts from various research institutions like MIDS, MSSRF. Among those who participated in the workshop were journalists, trade union leaders, kisan front organisers and social activists apart from large number of youth. The workshop came out with approach papers on various avenues for employment generation agriculture and related industries; textile; small scale industries; self employment; government, public and private sector: etc, which were widely discussed. The workshop concluded that with out take any serious efforts in the above mentioned fields, it is impossible to build confidence among the youth. The campaign launched by the DYFI highlighted these aspects.

 

PUBLIC RALLY

 

The impressive rally in Chennai marking the culmination of the campaign was participated by thousands of youth from all districts of the state. They marched with under huge banners and flags. CPI(M) central committee member and Freedom fighter, N Sankariah inaugurated the rally. In his brief speech he said that socialism is the only alternative to remove scourges like unemployment from the world. Despite heavy rains just before the start of the rally, the marchers enthusiasm was not dampened. Many people watched from the sidelines the youth march.

The procession culminated at MGR Nagar market, where a public meeting was held. The meeting was presided by DYFI state president and MLA, S K Mahendran  while the welcome address was made by DYFI area secretary A M Kamaraj. DYFI all India president K N Balagopal inaugurated the public meeting.

 

CPI(M) Polit Bureau member, Sitaram Yechury in his speech called upon the youth to put pressure on the new UPA government to implement the pro-people aspects in the CMP. With the people of Tamil Nadu leading the way in routing the NDA in the general elections, what the people of the country now expect from the new government was   protecting the country from communal forces; changing the anti-people economic policies; and  eliminating corruption from all levels of administration. He made it clear that the Left parties were supporting the government only on the basis of the common minimum program.

 

Yechury said it was the pressure of the Left parties which is forcing the government to enact an Employment Guarantee Act, the food-for-work program, levying 2 per cent cess on education etc. He asserted that many more such measures will be implemented only if pressure is built through such struggles

 

DYFI state secretary, C Tiruvettai introduced a resolution asserting that the DYFI will continue this movement with great vigour in the coming days through various forms. It was passed unanimously.

 

CPI (M) state secretary, N Varadharajan greeted the youth on behalf of the Party state committee and pointed out that their struggle has the support of the people of the entire state.

 

The meeting ended with the vote of thanks by E Dayalan.