People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


Vol. XXXIV

No. 15

April 11, 2010

TRIPURA

 

Left Front Launches ADC Election Campaign

 

Haripada Das

 

ON April 4, a mammoth rally of the Tripura Left Front issued a clarion call to the people for ensuring decisive victory to the front in all the 28 seats of the Tripura Tribal areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC or in short ADC) with bigger margins. This was also their message that Tripura is a hard soil for the reactionaries, secessionists and communal forces who are out to destabilise the state, disturb the peaceful atmosphere here and stall the ongoing all round developmental works in all parts of the state. The elections are going to be held on May 3.  (See the earlier report alongside.)

The rally, initiating the Left Front campaign, took place in the Stable Ground in Agartala, with Left Front convener Khagen Das presiding. CPI(M) Polit Bureau member and chief minister Manik Sarkar, CPI(M) state secretary Bijan Dhar, its Central Committee member and tribal welfare minister Aghore Debbarma, CPI state secretary Prasanta Kapali, RSP state secretary Sudarshan Bhattacharjee and Forward Bloc state president Dr Brajagopal Roy addressed it.

This rally was one of the biggest and most lively mobilisations in the recent past, with the site looked too small to accommodate the participants. These mostly comprised tribals coming from far flung villages on foot or by buses and small vehicles. The masses from nearby areas joined it in processions with flags and festoons, chanting slogans, calling for victory of the Left Front candidates. The crowd spilt over into the roads and lanes around the ground.

Manik Sarkar termed the TTAADC a product of long drawn united struggle by the tribals and non-tribals, involving the martyrdom of a good number of people and indescribable sacrifices by many more. Going into the past, he explained how the Congress gave birth to the Tripura Upajati Juba Samiti (TUJS) in the Agartala palace in the seventies, for using it to divide and mislead the tribal people, most of whom were united under the Ganamukti Parishad (GMP) and CPI(M). The TUJS bared its fangs, moving away from the Joint Action Committee on the four-point charter of tribal demands in 1975. The plea was that they wanted a pure tribal movement with no place for non-tribals. Severely criticising the deceitful role of the TUJS, IPFT, INPT and other disguises of the extremists, Sarkar said they found a natural ally in the Congress that has a history of utter betrayal and neglect of the tribal interests. He also elaborated the deceitful and destructive role of the Congress on restoration of tribal lands illegally transferred to non-tribals, of flouting the tribal reservations in jobs and education enshrined in constitution, its sheer neglect to Kok Borok language that is the mother tongue of Tripura tribals, and above all, its tooth and nail opposition to the formation of ADC. The Congress even boycotted the first ADC election, declaring that it would get this act revoked in parliament. Thus blind tribalism and rabid anti-tribalism came together to destabilise the state’s Left Front government. While the Congress wooed Amara Bangali chauvinists, TUJS leader Bijoy Hrangkhawl moved to the jungle to form the Tripura National Volunteers (TNV) which carried on mindless killing of innocent people, including the June 1980 massacre of several hundred people and destruction of huge properties. But even that could not help them overthrow the Left Front government and the perpetrators of the massacre got exposed.

Subsequently, Manik Sarkar said, prime minister Rajiv Gandhi and Bijoy Hrangkhwl hatched a deep-rooted conspiracy prior to the 1988 assembly elections, with Rajiv Gandhi giving the TNV green signal to carry out its barbaric activities so that he could remove the Left Front  government from a tiny state like Tripura. This materialised in the mass killing of 91 innocent people, all non-tribals, just three days before the elections. Still the Left Front could not be defeated on the polling day; they resorted to forgery in vote counting under the supervision of 17 central ministers, thus making a mockery of democracy, Sarkar recalled.

In regard to the break-up of ties between the Congress and the INPT (TNV reincarnated), Sarkar said extremists are not yet totally eliminated, though at the moment they have been isolated to a large extent. In fact, this break-up took place because each partner bargained for a bigger share. But, Sarkar said, we are not bothered about whether they are together or not, we have to fight both of them as in the past. He urged the people to remain vigilant about the subversive attempts of jungle forces and their accomplices, so that the mutual initiative of the government and the people could foil their mischiefs. 

Explaining the importance of this election, Sarkar said the people of the whole country are looking forward to its outcome. They are the sufferers of rampant globalisation, soaring prices, unemployment, winding up of public distribution etc. Peasants all over the country are the worst victims today, as they are not getting remunerative prices of their produce while the prices of fertilisers and other inputs are fast going up. The Left parties have called a Jail Bharo campaign on April 8, to make a deaf government hear the warning of the people. So the Left victory in the ADC elections shall highly inspire these millions of toiling people in their struggle against the anti-people policies of the UPA government, he concluded.

Bijan Dhar talked of the existence of two camps in the fray --- one for peace, unity, development and democracy; the other for destabilisation, hatred, violence, disunity and autocracy. The people have to choose either of these. Now the INPT is again trying to foment trouble with its provocative slogan of a state within the state while the Congress is shying from making its stand clear on this sensitive slogan. All peace loving people must be alert about the opposition drive to turn the state into a killing field again, he said.

Aghore Debbarma criticised the central government for not finalising a national tribal policy as yet. Citing the displacement of thousands of Reang tribals from Mizoram, a Congress ruled state, he said the Reang refugees have taken shelter in a Left ruled state. It is a glaring example of the Congress party’s inconsistent approach to the tribals, Debbarma asserted.