People's Democracy

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


No. 44

October 30, 2011



November will Witness

Peoples’ Struggles


From Our Special

Correspondent in Kolkata.


NOVEMBER will be the month of struggle in West Bengal. Along with the all-India call of campaign, the Left Front in West Bengal will embark upon a vigorous campaign on peoples’ issues which will culminate in a civil disobedience movement.


The issues of campaign and movement include the main five all-India demands: Curb price rise and ensure universal right to food; take firm action on all corruption cases and adopt an effective Lokpal Act; ensure supply of fertiliser at subsidised prices to farmers; take steps to curb unemployment and fill up all vacancies in government posts; stop FDI in the retail sector and protect the interests of small shopkeepers and traders. Along with these demands, specific issues arising out of TMC-Congress government’s actions in the state will also be raised. Voice will be raised against ongoing political terror and attack on education. The Left Front has already raised the issue of declining prices of agricultural produces and increasing rural distress in the state. Political vendetta by the new government has crossed limits, which has been nastily reflected in their inclination to even change the name of the satellite new town around Kolkata, named after Jyoti Basu. The November campaign will mobilise public opinion against this also.


In the first phase, campaign will be organised from November 1 – 6 in all districts. The second phase of campaign, more intensive and wider, will be undertaken during November 11 – 25. In between there will be massive mobilisation and ‘Jail Bharo’ by the working class on November 8. There will be civil disobedience from November 21 to 25 in all districts and sub-divisions. On November 29, there will be state-level civil disobedience in Kolkata in which the frontline leaders of the Left Front will also join.


The peasant organisations have also planned for an intensive movement in November. They will go for civil disobedience in the districts from November 22 to 25 and then they will join the civil disobedience called by the Left Front Committee on November 29 in Kolkata. West Bengal Pradeshik Krishak Sabha (Harekrishna Konar Smriti Bhavan), West Bengal Pradeshik Krishak Sabha (B B Ganguly Street), All India Sanjukta Krishak Sabha and All India Agragami Kisan Sabha had jointly decided to launch the agitation. There will be small meetings and discussions to conduct the campaign in the districts from November 1 to 17 on the basis of the demand charter, consisting of twelve specific demands of the peasants. The Left peasant organisations have alleged that the price of fertiliser has increased rapidly and instead of being sold in the open market it was available only in the black market. The cost of agricultural production has increased rapidly. In the case of jute, the peasants have been forced to resort to distress sale. It is apprehended that similar thing will be repeated soon in the market of rice also. The minimum support price mentioned in the direction sent by the state government to the districts is also very low but the more alarming thing is that the government has not specified anything about the rice collection mechanism. The agricultural workers are not getting 100 days work under the MGNREGA scheme. The position of West Bengal has drastically come down in the implementation of this scheme. In some of the districts, the number of the working days provided is only 8-16 days! The poor people are not getting ration cards and those who have are not getting the ration properly. The elected panchayats have been made defunct. The land rights are also under threat. The November campaign and struggle will focus on these issues too.


The working class is also preparing for a large mobilisation on November 8.  This will be a united action of trade unions. In West Bengal, particular issues of attack on trade unions and their organisers, stifling of trade unions in factories, even attempt to thwart all kinds of trade union activities have come to the fore. Trade unions have declared that they will resist any attempt of snatching their hard-earned rights in West Bengal.