People's Democracy

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

Vol. XXX

No. 30

July 23, 2006

Bengal DYFI Organises Chakka Jam
To Protest Price Hike 


B Prasant


ALL over Bengal, traffic ground to a standstill when the state unit of the DYFI organised a protest action against the inchoate and run away price rise in the country. The protest action in the form of chakka jam lasted for but ten minutes in the evening of July 7, 2006. But the impact was easily discernible.


Thousands of vehicles came to a standstill on the highways, on the urban and rural thoroughfares, and on the lanes and by-lanes of the towns and villages as tens of thousands of DYFI workers took part in the programme that spread across the 19 districts of Bengal. The chakka jam was organised at 1400 pre-designated points on the road map of Bengal.


At all the points, small and large rallies were organised by the DYFI where the national scenario affected by the continuous increase in the price was carefully explained; it was also stressed upon as to why the chakka jam was necessary to ring out the protest of the masses against the anti-people policies of the Congress-run UPA government. 


The DYFI leadership served a warning on the UPA government. They said unequivocally that the UPA government must choose to roll back the prices of petroleum products and take effective measures to check the increase in the price levels of products of daily consumption, and soon. Otherwise, bigger movements would follow.


An unpleasant but easily explained incident marked the DYFI chakka jam programme. Around five in the afternoon, a group of DYFI workers were on the rail tracks at the Radhamohanpur station in Midnapore west. Suddenly and without any warning horn blast, the Janshatabdi Express was allowed to roll forward towards the youth activists. Agility and alacrity saved lives, and the station master had to tender unconditional apologies subsequently following a big demonstration. 


In direct contrast to the DYFI programme, a similar action put forward by the Trinamul Congress on the occasion of the arrival of prime minister Manmohan Singh in the city proved a big flop as the people of the state simply chose to ignore the call for a one-hour chakka jam on July 11.