People's Democracy(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
December 30, 2007
Massive Mobilisation Of Women
In Support Of LF Govt
Brinda Karat addressing the massive women's rally in Agartala
THE Tripura state committee of AIDWA organised a huge rally at Stable ground in Agartala on December 16, 2007.
The public meeting was presided over by the working president Rama Das, and addressed by chief minister and Polit Bureau member of CPI(M), Manik Sarkar, Brinda Karat, Polit Bureau member of CPI(M), AIDWA state secretary Krishna Rakshit and senior tribal women leader, Mangaleswari Debbarma, wife of late Comrade Dasaratha Deb. Following the central rallies of tribal masses on November 18, 2007 and the working peopleís rally on December 5, 2007, the women of the state mobilised in large numbers supporting the formation of the sixth Left Front government in the ensuing elections.
Tripura Left Front government has set an exemplary record before the country in ensuring womenís rights, protecting their social dignity and delivering economic self-reliance to the women of the state. Women in Tripura enjoy a dignified status. They pledged not to bring back the dreadful days of Congress-TUJS coalition regime when every woman in the state had to pass terrible days in fear of beastly attack on them. At a time when all anti-Left Front forces of the country have unleashed an orchestrated move to weaken the Left parties, particularly the CPI(M), people of Tripura shall give them a befitting reply by making the Left Front victorious again in the coming Assembly elections. This was the message of the rally.
Stable ground of Agartala hosted many rallies but the present rally of women was a massive one. From noon, flow of women traveling by bus and small vehicles from distant sub-divisions of South Tripura district and the nearby sub-divisions of west Tripura district started entering Agartala. They entered the rally ground chanting slogans that echoed in the whole town. The women dressed in their respective traditional clothes were carrying AIWDA flags. While urban women of Agartala town joined them on the way to rally ground, the men greeted them standing on either side of the road. In the afternoon when the meeting started, stable ground overflowed with women and the surrounding roads were also filled.
Hailing the heroic battle of women of Tripura, chief guest of the rally, CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Brinda Karat said, at a time when the entire country is struggling hard to stall the central governmentís liberalisation policy, Tripura under the Left Front government is progressing with an alternative policy. The victory of the Left Front in the coming elections shall inspire the struggle countrywide. When all the states, particularly the states of North Eastern region have failed miserably to deal with the extremists, to address the ethnic problems, in delivering good to the poor, in redressing the injustice meted out to the social and ethnic minorities, it is Tripura that has been a pioneer in the country in successfully dealing with these problems and making a substantial progress, she said. Even the central minister had to admit in the parliament that in REGA implementation, Tripura stands first in the country; womenís literacy in Tripura is 74 percent which is one of the best in the country. Brinda Karat said it is amazing that in a tiny state like Tripura more than 11,000 self help groups of women are functioning, and thereby is upgrading their socio-economic status. Unlike any other state in the country, a 28-point package programme involving Rs 185 crore a year is being implemented for welfare of the women community in the state. In contrast, Brinda said there was no word of condemnation from the government on the shameful barbarism meted out to a tribal girl a few days back in Guwahati when they were protesting in a democratic way.
The bill on tribal rights on forest land though passed in the parliament after tremendous pressure on behalf of the Left parties, is now gathering dust, because rules for that have not yet been formulated. Congress is not sincere to implement this act because, they donít want to hurt the interest of land and timber mafias trading on forestland, Brinda said. Referring to the nexus of Congress with the secessionist extremists, if a ruling party at the centre negotiates with anti-national forces for narrow political interest in a state, is there any thing worst than that, she asked. She said the people of the country are eagerly waiting for the verdict of the Tripura people which will give a bigger push to the countrywide movement in the days to come. She expressed confidence that the conscious people of Tripura will certainly fulfill these aspirations.
Manik Sarkar elaborated the stateís development projects that either have been implemented or are in progress and outlined the future course of development. The main thrust of the development is to make the state self reliant in food, uplift the BPL families to APL, remove illiteracy from the state, and ensure a honorable living for all, through generation of employment. But the government alone can hardly succeed if the people irrespective of political leanings donít cooperative with it, Manik Sarkar said. He said the opposition parties by opposing the Left parties and the government for narrow political interests, are really opposing the stateís progress. Referring to the recent food crisis in the state, Manik Sarkar said, in June this year, an old rail bridge in Assam collapsed and this rail track is the main line for transporting all essential goods including food to the state. Having taken it to the notice of the central government, they assured us to rebuild it within 44 days, but practically they took four months to restore the line. At a time when we were frantically crying for lifting rice by alternative mode of transport till the blockade on rail track persists, central government was paying no heed to our demand, Congress had not a single word on the issue, though they frequently meet with the central ministers when they visit New Delhi to sort out their factional rivalry, he said. On the other hand, central government unilaterally reduced stateís quota of rice from 22 MT per month to 10 MT, which was also strongly protested by the government. So the present crisis of food in the state is solely created by the centre with a tacit signal from the state Congress leaders, Manik Sarkar asserted. He assured that food situation in the state will be almost normal within few a days if the FCI and rail department keep their promises, he said.
Referring to the nexus of Congress-INPT alliance with the extremists, Manik Sarkar said, the old game plan is again in the offing. The leaders of both the parties have started secret parleys with the extremists in selected locations inside and outside the state for negotiating with them for their help during elections. Notorious criminals under the shelter of Congress have started raising theirs heads again. It is time that every dubious move of the opposition should be checked and exposed by the people. Mothers and sisters of the state must have an utmost vigil in this regard till the elections are held, he urged.
President of the meeting Rama Das highlighted the series of incidents of barbarous attacks on women by the goons of Congress and TUJS during coalition regime. Nobody dared to lodge a complaint with the police on any of the incidents. Police had to act on the dictates of the criminals. The state run goondaism continued for five long years till they were removed from power by popular mandate. And now state Congress president has insulted the schoolgirls regarding securing their academic qualification. The women of the state have no reason to forgive Congress and INPT for their misdeeds they committed earlier and are continuing even today, Rama Das said.
Mangaleswari Debbarma appealed to the gathering to win over the people still lying in opposition camp and unitedly fight this important electoral battle and ensure victory.