People's Democracy(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
January 14, 2007
Tripura Fishermen Union Holds State Conference
THE state conference of Tripura Rajya Matsyajibi (Fishermen) Union, an affiliate of the Tripura Scheduled Castes Coordination Committee, was held at Teliamura, West Tripura on December 16, 2006. On this occasion, Teliamura, a small town about 40 kms from Agartala wore a festive look. The town was decorated with arches, gates, posters, banners and chain-flags etc to receive the guests and delegates coming from all corners of the state. In the open rally, four huge rallies approached the rally ground at almost same time overflowing the venue. The fishermen and women marched on the road chorusing their fishing songs, orchestrating with traditional musical instruments. Women and tribal mobilisation in the rally was remarkable.
The open rally chaired by Jitendra Sarkar was addressed by K Varadarajan, secretary, AIKS, Manik Sarkar, chief minister of Tripura, Anil Sarkar, president of Scheduled Castes Coordination Committee and state’s senior minister, Sukumar Barman, secretary of the committee and Sudhan Das, secretary of the Matsyajibi Union.
K Varadarajan said that only the Left parties in the country are projecting the real alternative to the anti-people policies of the central government. This alternative must get wide propagation in every nook and corner of the country, he said. The policies of globalization followed since 1991 have worsened the conditions of all the poor sections of the society including the peasantry, workers and employees. Plight of the peasantry is inexpressible, he said and added that the experiences of the all India Kisan Jathas reflected the bitter effects of these policies on the peasantry. “Till now more than 2 lakh farmers committed suicide, they did it not because they produced less, but because they failed to get remunerative price”, informed Varadarajan. It is a matter of pride that in Tripura and West Bengal, states ruled by the Left, not a single such case has happened, he said.
Talking of the fishermen’s problems, Varadarajan said that the claws of globalisation have gripped the fishermen of the country too. Sea-fishing is being handed over to the multi-national corporations which is a serious attack on the livelihood of lakhs of fishermen. Fishermen from all over the country are meeting in March this year to chart out the struggles to resist this attack, he said. Varadarajan added that the fishermen are victims of economic exploitation compounded with social oppression. In the name of salvaging the condition of dalits, many political parties are shedding crocodile tears to cash in political dividend with their votes. But our approach to this issue is different . We are keen to merge the struggle against social oppression with the democratic movement. Citing the example that in many states, the dalits are not allowed to enter the temple, share same dining table with the so-called high society people and at places they are forced to keep themselves bare-footed. But in Tripura and West Bengal such things are unimaginable because, democratic movement has got deep roots here, he said.
Polit Bureau member and chief minister of the state Manik Sarkar spoke about the Left Front government’s various steps towards the welfare of the fishermen as well as for acquiring self-sufficiency in fish production. Likewise, the state is striving to be self-sufficient in paddy, meat, egg, vegetable etc. Certainly these steps started yielding fruits, chief minister informed. He regretted the opposition parties’ stand which all along stood as a hindrance to the implementation of the pro-people programmes in the state. So discredited they are, Manik Sarkar said, they don’t dare to face the next Assembly elections without the help of the extremist outfits. Both extremists and opposition are hand in glove against the Left Front, against ethnic amity and finally against the development of the state. Manik Sarkar gave a clarion call to the party workers win over the people who are still lying in the wrong camp of opposition and strengthen the democratic movement. This would boost the struggle for formation of the real alternative in the country, Manik Sarkar affirmed.
Following the open rally, the delegates session commenced. It was inaugurated by K Varadarajan in the Teliamura Town Hall. Before that, flag-hoisting and homage to martyrs programme was held.