People's Democracy(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
November 25, 2007
Huge Tribal Rally Determines To Form 6th LF Govt
Tribal women in the forefront of the rally
THOUSANDS of tribal people at the joint call of the Tripura Rajya Upajati Ganamukti Parishadh (GMP), Tribal Youth Federation (TYF) and Tribal Students Union (TSU) congregated in a mammoth rally at Stable ground, Agartala to voice their strong determination that no hurdle however nefarious, would be able to stall the victory of Left Front and formation of the Left Front government in the state for the sixth time in the state since 1977. Stable ground on the day seemed too small to accommodate the rallyists coming from nearby areas in procession and from various sub-divisions in hundreds of vehicles.
Unable to find space in the rally ground, about half
of the people stood on the streets leading to the ground and at one point of
time, the tribal people of the state occupied almost half of the city roads. The
participants comprised old and young, male and female, cutting across all the
sub-tribes namely Tripuri, Jamatia, Reang, Mog, Chakma, Halam, Garu etc., living
in the state. The participants were wearing their traditional dress, carrying
flags and festoons of respective organisations, beating drums, indigenous
musical instruments and voicing thunderous resolve to re-establish Left Front
government in the elections. This overwhelming rally inspired the non tribal
people in Agartala city who cheered the rallyists standing beside the roadside.
Polit Bureau Member of CPI(M) and chief minister of the state, Manik Sarkar was the main speaker and the other speakers who addressed the rally were Aghore Debbarma, vice president of GMP and chief executive member of TTAADC, GMP vice president Bajuban Reang, general secretary Niranjan Debbarma, joint secretary and state minister Jitendra Chowdhury, and TYF general secretary Naresh Jamatia. Octogenarian legendary tribal leader Vidya Debbarma and CPI(M) state secretary, Baidyanath Majumder also were on the dais. The rally was presided over the GMP president Narayan Rupini.
Commending the organisers and the participants of the rally for the message they heralded in every corner of the state that Left Front shall inevitably emerge as victorious with greater strength, Manik Sarkar depicted a vivid scenario of how, King’s regime followed by Congress regime in early 1977 and subsequently Congress-TUJS coalition regime in 1988-93, strangulated the democratic movement with brute force and rendered all sections of the people inexplicable miseries and suffering. This was more acute in case of tribal people in the hills those days. From the womb of the movement for Janashiksha Andolan (movement for universal education) initiated by some energetic tribal youth, there took birth the Ganamukti Parishad (GMP). Since its inception, GMP consistently strived for all round development of the state, maintaining ethnic amity and unity between tribals and non-tribals. Unlike any other tribal organisation, GMP never suffered any sectarian outlook while it was a champion in realising the safeguards of the tribals enshrined in the constitution. The first Left Front government is the outcome of this united democratic struggle of tribals and non-tribals, Manik Sarkar asserted. Only in 1978, under the first Left Front government, Tripura saw a sincere governmental endeavour to develop the state with people’s involvement through elected panchayats, Nagar panchayats and similar bodies in various organisations.
Referring to some of the historic decisions taken by the first Left Front government which are still the guiding force of the present Left Front government, in regard to the approach to the tribals, Manik Sarkar informed that, holding elections in panchayat, ensuring proportionate reservation for the tribals, formation of TTADC, restoration of illegally alienated lands to the tribal owners, strictly abiding by the reservation quota for the tribals in government jobs and education, recognition of indigenous tribal language Kokborok as state language etc., enlightened the tribal people, not only in the state, but also in the entire North Eastern states and elsewhere in the country. This was not to the liking of the people residing inside the palace. They bred TUJS, a hunter cock and subsequently TNV, an extremist organisation, which inflicted much bloodshed and set a record of brutality in killing many innocent people belonging to both tribals and non-tribals for several years. Even during the 1988 Assembly elections, at the tacit signal from the then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, TNV carried on their killing spree just on the eve of polling day to discredit the Left Front government for making an electoral gain to the Congress , he stated.
Referring to the present state political situation, Manik Sarkar said, the INPT, the latest avtar of the then TUJS, is still a facet of the extremist outfits. Both the extremist outfits and their patron INPT are now in the crisis of survival. A section of their leaders deserted party, extremists are also in crisis and many of them surrendered and it is not easy at present to induct new cadres. The extremists and INPT are hand in glove and help each other. Reportedly, behind the INPT rally at Agartala some days back, called with a sole objective of exhibiting their strength to negotiate with the Congress for seat sharing, extremists had prominent role in mobilising people. The extremists are contemplating surrender because they see that their future is bleak. Panicked opposition leaders of both the parties rushed to Aizwal to desist them from surrendering and reportedly they asked them to wait till the next Assembly election.
Explaining the difference in the state situation today from that in 2003, Manik Sarkar said during last five years, developmental works surpassed our expectations and many Congress-INPT supporters openly admit it. Since last Assembly elections in 2003, more than 55 thousand families joined us leaving both Congress and INPT. Extremist outfits on the other hand, on which the opposition parties largely depend to contest elections, suffered shrinkage, got demoralised due to impediments in free movement across indo-Bangladesh border because of border fencing, their easy movement inside the state also got confined following setting up of security camps in more places. Their flow of arms and ammunition has been reduced. Manpower to guard the border areas has also been enhanced. State police is at present stronger both in personnel and equipment. Ridiculing the ‘Mission 2008’ declared by the state Congress president, Manik Sarkar said like any other mission which has a negative political approach and least concern for the common man’s interest, the peace-loving democratic-minded people of Tripura shall defeat this mission also.
Manik Sarkar exhorted the audience that though in all respects there is a favorable situation there is no room to be complacent. The anti-Left Front media is flooded with misleading, unfounded and malicious stories against the Left Front government, its ministers and particularly the leaders of CPI(M). “We must refute them instantly and unequivocally and expose their ugly anti-people faces before the masses,” urged Manik Sarkar.