People's Democracy(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
June 03, 2007
Three Month-Long Movement For Development
FOR the overall development of the state, the toiling masses under the banner of 26 Left mass organisations, shall organise a three month long movement and mass signature campaign on a nine-point charter of demands which include extension of railway line upto Subroom, making national highway 44 a 4-laned highway, construction of an alternative national highway, implementation of Rural Employment Guarantee Act (REGA) in North Tripura district. In the coming three months, conventions, rallies, processions, jathas etc will be organised highlighting these long standing demands of the state.
This movement programme has been adopted in a state-level convention of 26 Left mass organisations held on May 14, 2007 at Agartala Town Hall. Workers, peasants, agricultural labourers, women as well as students and youth organisation members from different sub-divisions of the state participated in the convention. The convention also drafted a memorandum wherein signatures would be collected and submitted to the prime minister.
The detailed programme for this struggle was placed in the convention by Narayan Kar, convenor of the steering committee of Left mass organisations and secretary of the state Kisan Sabha. The convention was presided over by a presidium comprising Niranjan Debbarma , Rama Das, Satish Saha, Bhanu Lodh and Ramendra Datta Gupta. Those who addressed the convention included CITU general secretary Pijush Nag, AIDWA state secretary Krishna Rakshit, Agricultural Workers Organisation president Bhanulal Saha, Scheduled Caste Coordination Committee general secretary Sukumar Barman, SFI state president Jhalak Mukherjee, TYF leader Jagadish Kalai, AITUC leader Dinesh Saha, TUCC leader Satish Saha and UTUC leader Prankrishna Acharjee.
Narayan Kar pointed out that Tripura has become land locked due to partition of the country and the aim of this mass struggle is to stress the demand for utilising the huge natural and human resources of the state for improving standard of life of the people of this region. If railway linkage is extended till Subroom, then Chittagong port could be utilised to open up a corridor between South-East Asia and the North-East India, pointed out Narayan Kar. Successive central governments have never paid heed to any of these demands for development.
In support of the nine-point charter Pijush Nag said that in pre-independence period the kings were not interested in developing this region. Even after independence the centre is also neglecting this region. The entire region, without sufficient railway links, has been left out from the light of civilization. SFI president Jhalak Mukherjee called upon the students and youth of the state to participate in this movement and make it successful. AITUC leader Dinesh Saha said that this nine-point charter is the key for the progress of the state and appealed to the people to join in this struggle irrespective of political affiliations.
Sukumar Barman in his speech pointed out that people of this state have been fighting for these demands for a long time. Demand for railway line was first made in 1952 in the parliament by late Dasaratha Deb, Biren Datta and others. Krishana Rakshit of AIDWA observed that continuous negligence has given rise to secessionism in the state. Bhanulal Saha of AIAWU said that the decision taken during Nehruís time of linking all the state capitals with railways has not yet been implemented. It is time to mount pressure on the centre through popular movements for realising these demands. Niranjan Debbarma on behalf of the presidium said till date no demand of the state has been implemented without popular struggle. This nine-point charter of demands should also be achieved in the same way. In spite of all resistance and sabotage from different quarters, the message of this movement must be carried to each and every corner of the state, he appealed.