People's Democracy

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


No. 25

June 19, 2011



Massive Dharna Focuses on People’s Concerns


ON June 15, over 30 Left parties and mass organisations of students, youth, women, workers and others organised a massive dharna at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi to focus attention on the concerns of the people and the central government’s inability and unwillingness to deal with the issues of rising prices and corruption.


The participating organisations were the CPI(M), CPI, RSP, AIFB, CPI(ML), SUCI-C, CPI(ML-ND), People’s Front, Yuva Bharat, PDFI, WPI, AIDWA, NFIW, AIMSS, SFI, AISF, AIDSO, AISA, DYFI, AIYF, RYA, SYAC, AIDYO, CITU, AITUC, AIFTU, AICCTU, IFTU, AIUTUC, and Teesra Swadheenta Andolan etc. Journalists like Seema Mustafa and Khalilul Rahman, teachers like Kamal Chenoy, Anuradha Chenoy and S N Malakar and other concerned citizens also joined. Proceedings of the dharna were conducted by Amarjit Kaur (CPI) and Vijender Sharma (CPI-M). Fourteen speakers addressed the dharna which included Atul Kumar Anjaan (CPI), Gopal Rai (Teesra Swadhinta Andolan), Albeena Shakil (CPI-M), Asit Ganguly (RSP), Dharmendra Kumar (AIFB), Kavita Krishnan (CPI-ML), Pratap Sawal (SUCI-C), Naresh Gupta (People’s Front), Arjun Prasad Singh (PDFI), P C Henza (WPI), Aparna (CPI-ML-ND), Rakesh Rafiq (Yuva Bharat), P K Shahi (AIFTU) and Khalilul Rahman (Journalist).


The speakers criticised the pro-rich, anti-people and anti-poor policies of the UPA government which has proved to be incapable of handling the crisis and challenges. Spiralling prices and increasing corruption involving politicians, industrialists and their lobbyists have put the UPA and its allies on the defensive --- to the point where the government is adopting authoritarian tactics to deny civil society and the people of India the right to democratic space.


The Left parties have been highlighting these issues for several years now, suggesting concrete measures to  bring down the prices, tackle corruption and bring relief to the common man. Unfortunately, the government has apathetic and indifferent to these vital issues. Instead it is resorting to increasingly authoritarian measures with the democratic rights of the people being seriously impinged upon by the state.


The Left parties and organisations have decided to launch a united, mass political action starting with the day’s dharna. They demanded that the government take immediate measures to curtail corruption and tackle price rise. They said the Lokpal Bill is one of the many steps required for a meaningful and effective response to corruption that is eating into the vitals of India.