(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
January 25, 2009
THE metropolis has been historic witness to many a large rallies. The one held on the morning of January 18 spanned the entire length of the city north to south and the marchers walked in an orderly double-column file. Twenty-one kilometers were covered with masses of the people from all sections of the society participating in the rally held at the call of the CPI(M).
The basic slogans that underpinned the rally were a cry for development, and a roar against attempts at creating anarchy. These slogans reverberated across the length and breadth of Kolkata for all of four hours.
In registering their protests – vibrant and vociferous – the marchers let it be known in no uncertain terms that the government’s initiative for development would have the poorest of the poor at the top of its list of priorities. The marchers warned the saboteurs of democracy, of the right and the sectarian left padded up by the foreign-funded NGOs, not to go ahead with their anarchic planning against the popular and mass mandated Left Front government of Bengal.
Biman Basu, state secretary of the CPI(M) who led the marchers shouldering a large and fluttering Red flag also briefly addressed the marchers at the Chiria More crossing near Baranagore in the northern suburbs of the city. He said that the country was experiencing the negative impact of the ongoing severe global financial crisis, which originated in the capitalist western countries. The prices of articles of common consumption have shot up here. The CPI(M) has written to the Congress-led UPA government at the centre to put a leash on the galloping prices – but to little effect. Perhaps this is hardly of surprise as the anti-people government is busy hushing the real magnitude of the deepening crisis.
Biman Bose was stringently critical of the foreign policy of the Manmohan Singh government, a policy that heavily leans towards the US and its lackeys. In a gradual but menacing way, the sovereignty of the nation was put to jeopardy but would Singh and his friends in the ‘right’ places really care? The right reactionary elements have targeted the Left in general and the CPI(M) in particular especially after the support to the UPA government was correctly withdrawn some months back.
Despite it having been a Sunday, the march was overflowing with people who had come from all over the city and beyond. There were 24 large banners delineating the popular demands as raised by the CPI(M) over the recent period. There were two big tableaux. There were an uncounted number of placards that drew attention of the people to the popular developmental demands of the CPI(M) for Bengal.
The marchers were felicitated in fourteen places in between the starting point and the finishing stage at Tollygunj deep into the south of the metropolis. The marchers had in the forefront several thousand Party volunteers attired in Red jackets and carrying Red flags.
IN its two-day state committee meeting held at the Muzaffar Ahmad Bhavan on January 16 and 17, 2009, the Bengal CPI(M) resolved to further widen and strengthen its political-organisational base and to hold a big rally at the Brigade maidan to emphasise its stance against anarchy and for pro-poor development. Benoy Konar, central committee member of the CPI(M) presided over the meeting.
Biman Basu, state secretary, explained the resolutions of the most recent meeting of the central committee. He also said that the upcoming Lok Sabha elections would be a tough challenge for the Bengal unit of the CPI(M) and for the mass of the people of Bengal. He was of the firm opinion, as he expressed it, that all kinds of opposition forces, stretching from the right reactionaries to the left sectarians, were arraigned against the Party and the people.
The opposition were working in unison or at least in tandem with one another. The target was the CPI(M). The Bengal CPI(M), said Biman Basu, must thus build up fast an even better, deeper, and wider contact with the mass of the people, clearing their confusions, and rallying them along the correct path. The Bengal CPI(M) must further widen and deepen its bases among the rural and urban poor, he stressed.
The CPI(M) leader focussed attention of the state-level leadership to the importance of carrying out intense political campaign at all functional levels and to work towards enhancing the level of political consciousness of the CPI(M) workers. The work of campaign must be accompanied by revolutionary discretion and caution.
The district leadership spoke of the experience borne out of organisational conventions held across the state. They identified the points of weaknesses of the organisation. They emphasised the need to carry forth with vigour the ongoing rectification campaign. The state committee noted how the mass mobilisation for development and against anarchic manoeuvres had increased manifold of late. The state committee also had a preliminary look at the processes that obtained behind the results of the three by-elections held at Para, Sujapore, and Nandigram.
The following are the principal demands of the proposed rally:
Towards a comprehensive pro-people development of Bengal
To ensure a peaceful ambience and to frustrate the anarchic designs
To develop agriculture and industry for increasing levels of employment
Towards standing firmly opposed to imperialist hegemony and scheming
Against separatism, religious fundamentalism, and terrorism
Against the disastrous new liberal economic policies
To demand for reduction of the prices of essential commodities and to improve the rationing system
To frustrate all attempts at partitioning Bengal anew