People's Democracy(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
September 10, 2006
Massive Youth Rally in Tripura
IT was a historic occasion for the youth movement of Tripura on August 29 as thousands of youth marched under the banner of Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) and Tribal Youth Federation (TYF) to spread the message of an alternative.
Agartala, the capital city of Tripura, witnessed the high spirits of youth forces of the state who gathered at the Stable ground, from two opposite directions, north and south, traversing about 200 km and 135 km respectively for five days on foot. Their action was on a 16-point charter of demands that related to employment and all round development of the state. They were singing the songs of the people, chanting demands for state’s progress, ethnic amity and unity which were vibrating through the plains and hills. They were enlivening the towns and villages through which they were passing by. They were in the midst of flood of heart-felt fraternity and congratulations from all sections of the people who stood along their route. Scorching sun, storms, rain and thunder could not deter them from steady advance. Tapas Sinha, general secretary of DYFI joined in the march of the youth brigade approaching from north. Tapas Datta, state secretary of DYFI, Naresh Jamatia, Radhacharan Debbarma, secretary and president of TYF and other state and divisional youth leaders led the youth march from either sides.
Chief minister Manik Sarkar congratulated the youth of the state for setting a brilliant example of their heroic battle in the history of the mass movement in the state. He called upon the youth to herald the message of real alternative of the working class, peasantry and toiling masses in the entire country. He also emphasised on drawing new allies in the battlefield who are still lying in the odd camps. He pointed out the differences between the policies pursued by UPA government at the centre and that of the Left Front. Manik Sarkar said amidst high applause that as long as the Left Front government exists it will continue to give appointment to the unemployed youth inspite of hard financial limitations and rigid opposition of the central government and assured to stand by every demand of the charter which are deserving not just for the youth alone but contains common cause for all sections of the state. Explaining the significance of this youth march, Manik Sarkar said, it is an eye-opener before the youth of the country that the youth strive not for the demands of their own section but will take to the streets for the cause of all sections. He further said that our outcry however loud it may be, for employment, rail, road, and power generation etc., which are pre-requisites for infrastructural development shall not reach the deaf ear of Delhi unless they are shaken by tremendous countrywide mass movement. He urged upon the youth to intensify nationwide movement to reverse the anti-people policies of the UPA government.
A presidium comprising Tapan Das, state president of DYFI and Radhacharan Debbarma, president of TYF presided over the meeting. On the dais present were senior leader and Chairman of youth march preparatory committee Chitta Chanda, CPI(M) state secretary Baidyanath Majumder and chief minister Manik Sarkar.
The day happens to be the martyrdom day of Dilip-Tarun-Arabinda, the three student and youth leaders who were killed by police firing in Agartala town when they were demanding food for the famine affected people of the state in the year 1966. Also this day coincides the martyrdom of Rajeswar-Sumitra, who were gunned down by the Congress goons during semi-fascist terror in 1989. At the beginning of the rally, rich tributes were paid at the martyrs column and one minute silence was observed in memory of the martyrs.
Heartily hailing the struggling youth of the state, Tapas Sinha, general secretary of the DYFI said that the promises of the prime minister regarding employment remained in paper instead of getting translated into action. Even after 60 years of independence, 21 crore people of our country, about one-fifth of the total, do not get two square meals a day. Out of 20 crore children, 15 crores have no access to any educational institution, shamefully 36 crore people are recorded to be illiterate and more than 16 crores are unemployed, he said. The policies pursued by the Congress who ruled for a long stretch at the centre are largely responsible for this, Tapas Sinha said. He urged upon the youth to carry on the struggle in the days to come.
The historic youth march inspired one and all. A young boy of nine Amritabha Datta walked the entire 165 km distance during the march.
Charter of demands
Declaration of Special Package for providing employment to the unemployed youth of North Eastern states. No vacant post be abolished in any government department. All vacancies in central or state government offices must be filled up soon.
Rail must reach Agartala within the stipulated time frame by 2007 and converted into broad gauge by 2009. Rail must be extended upto Subroom.
44 NH must be upgraded to 4-lane road expeditely. Agartala-Subroom sector of the NH-44 must be given sanction for upgrdation to 4-lane road. A diplomatic effort must be taken with Bangladesh to introduce bus and truck services directly from Agartala to Kolkata with goods and passengers. Another National Highway alternative to NH-44 must be given sanction.
REGA must be introduced in all remaining three districts of the state. Permanent assets for the welfare of the youths must be created by this scheme.
Air service to Kamalpur and Kailashahar with small crafts must be resumed from Agartala. Airfreight must be reduced to a reasonable limit and standard of service must be augmented.
Connectivity of the tele-communications must be ensured from all parts of the state. Also mobile service must be extended everywhere.
Nationalised banks working in the state must advance loans to the intending seekers belonging to self-employment, PMRY, and self-help groups in soft and liberal terms. The banks must raise their credit deposit ratio at the national level. A coordinated and effective step must be taken by various boards and corporations in respect of extending loans to people.
An agricultural college, a bio-technological college, a para-medical college, and a nursing college must be set up in the state. For imparting training in modern technology, and for extension of vocation training in wider ranges, centre must help the state government to introduce new streams with requisite equipments in the ITI centres run by the state.
Construction of barbed wire fencing along the Indo-Bangladesh border must be completed early. The fence may be raised in zero point of the border in the densely populated urban areas. The affected families due to the erection of fence must be compensated properly.
The landless tribal families must be given rehabilitation on the land they were living during the latest census of the country. The denuded forest reserved land must be handed over to the state government for utilising it in job-generating purposes like orchard and plantation etc. for the youth.
Commissioning of thermal power project undertaken by ONGC at Palatana must be completed early. Monarchawk NEEPCO project and Baramura state government project of thermal power plant must be given clearance by the centre early.
Every district including the state capital Agartala must have a youth centre for the purpose of lodging and imparting various training to the youth.
Agartala Doordarshan must be upgraded so that it can telecast 18-hours satellite channel per day with DTH facilities. Accessibility of the Agartala Doordarshan must be extended to all parts of the state. Local language programme must be increased in the curriculum.
Every sub division must have at least a medium sized stadium, a full-fledged sports complex and a cultural recreation centre.
Effective measures must be taken up for eradicating dowry system and torture of women.
Distressed unemployed youth must be awarded work in more number through deed farms.