(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
July 27 , 2008
Mass Contact Programmes & Protest Rallies Against Nuclear Deal Held
AT the call given by the Left parties, the Punjab state committee of CPI(M) and CPI have jointly organised mass contact and protest rallies in order to educate and apprise the common people about the anti national and dangerous aspects of the proposed Indo-US nuclear deal and also to protest against the price rise and other issues concerning the common man.
Two jathas were organised that passed through the main cities and towns of Punjab and reached Chandigarh. One jatha led by Balwant Singh, state secretary, Raghunath Singh, state secretariat member of CPI(M), and also consisting of Dr Joginder Dyal, national executive member, Bant Brar, state secretariat member of CPI started from Jallianwala Bagh in Amritsar on 14 July after paying obeisance to martyrs. This jatha passed through Amritsar, Tarntaran, Batala, Pathankot, Mukerian, Hoshiarpur, Nangal, Noorpur Bedi, Balachaur, Garhshankar, Khatkarkalan, Phagwara, Jallandhar, Ludhiana, Ropar and reached Chandigarh on 17 July. The second jatha led by Charan Singh Virdi, Central Committee member, Rachhpal Singh, state secretariat member, Asha Nand, state committee member of CPI(M) and Bhupinder Sambher, secretary, Jagroop Singh, national council member, Hardev Arshi of CPI started from Hussainiwala on 14 July. It passed through Dharamkot, Moga, Raikot, Nihal Singh Wala, Kotakpura, Bathinda, Mansa, Sangrur, Dirbha, Patran, Patiala, Rajpura, Banoor and reached Chandigarh on 17 July. A big rally was organised at Chandigarh.
The response of the people in the entire state was very good. The leaders addressed rallies and meetings at about hundred places explaining the dangerous and negative consequences of the Indo-US nuclear deal. Balwant Singh while addressing the rallies told that the CPI(M) will not accept any agreement not only with America but with any other country which will make our country a subordinate to any foreign power. He further added that the UPA government, by entering into nuclear deal with US has turned the country into a tool in the hands of American imperialism. This cannot be tolerated by the people of our country. He said the UPA government is misleading the people by saying that with the nuclear agreement, the power supply in the country would get cheaper, where as the fact is that after procuring nuclear reactors from America, the electricity supply would get very costly. He also emphasised that in the country 70 per cent electricity is being produced from coal, 27 per cent Hydel and 3 per cent from the nuclear energy. According to him there shall be only 4 per cent increase in the power production during the next twenty years after this agreement and the power supply would become very costly. He also mentioned that the country will have to spend 1, 47, 000 crores of rupees for the procurement of atomic reactors and other material. Balwant Singh made it clear that the deal is against the national interest. It ties India into a strategic relationship with the US; it ties India to the rath of imperialism. The deal is the key to open up India to US capital, including defence agreements, armament deals, and concessions to US capital and big US companies in the retail sector, in the educational sector etc. The biggest issue is that this deal is subordinate to Hyde Act which puts conditions on India including its foreign policy, he said.
The jhata leaders also said that Left parties supported the UPA because of their commitment to fight the communal forces, to protect and strengthen India' s secular heritage, to defend people’s unity and the rights of minorities which had been under attack and severally eroded during the BJP led NDA regime. The Left parties supported the UPA on a common minimum programme. Major issues of common minimum programme are yet to be implemented. But instead of the common minimum programme of the UPA, it is the common minimum programme of the Bush administration to bring India into its strategic embrace that the government is implementing. The rallies totally supported the stand of the Left parties to withdraw their support to the UPA government and appealed to all democratic and patriotic sections to come out against this sell out and make their voices heard. The rallies unanimously resolved not to support a deal which compromises India's strategic autonomy, which will only help to increase the profit margins of big nuclear companies, which will make electricity extremely expensive, and above all which is a sell out to US imperialism. The rallies also condemned the UPA government for steep rise in the prices of essential commodities and not accepting the suggestions given by the Left parties.