People's Democracy

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


No. 41

October 14, 2012





Thousands Throng Massive Nashik Meeting


Shreedhar Deshpande


FOREIGN direct investment (FDI) in retail trade has not been allowed for creation of jobs in India; rather the multinationals like Walmart are to come here to open up their shops, leading to a loss of crores of jobs of the Indians. Nor would FDI in pension bring in any money to enhance the pension amount of the working men and women. Instead, corporates and multinationals would be allowed to handle the vast sums in pension funds for their share market speculations, which is very dangerous for workers whose life saving goes into the pension funds. So said CITU general secretary Tapan Sen while addressing a massive public meeting at Nashik on October 6, after the conclusion of the CITU’s Maharashtra state council meeting. Shreedhar Deshpande was in the chair.


Launching a scathing attack on the policies of the government, he said it is not the government that is granting any subsidy to check the price rise in petrol, diesel or LPG; rather it is the people who are paying huge taxes to the government on these items. Sen ridiculed Dr Manmohan Singh’s statement that money does not grow on trees. This government has money to give concessions of five lakh crore rupees to the big industrialists but has no money to subsidise the food for Aam Aadmi or to contain the skyrocketing prices. Sen appealed to all the unions and others to unite and make the two day all-India strike on February 20-21, 2013, a grand success. Earlier, at the outset of his address, he thanked one and all for the non-stop serious agitation launched with courage, including a two day strike, which had facilitated the bail of CITU leaders like Dr D L Karad and Pandeji.


The meeting was taking place in the background of the arrest of Dr Karad, general secretary of the Maharashtra state CITU, and Pandeji. Their subsequent release on bail became possible only because of a fierce and sustained agitation. As a result, the people who attended the rally were in a jubilant mood and they thronged the meeting to make it a historic one.


In his scintillating address to the meeting, Dr Karad came down heavily on the Nashik industrialists for resorting to limitless contractisation and denying the workers legal minimum wages and permanency for years together. These industrialists have thus proved to be the main law-breakers. Dr Karad unambiguously advised them to implement all labour laws to avoid bitterness. "You put us in jail on false grounds ten times," said Dr Karad, challenging the authorities and industrialists while warning them that our fight for justice to the workers would not stop. That is the commitment from the CITU. In the beginning of his speech, he expressed his sincere thanks to one and all for their unstinted support and continued fierce agitation, adding that it had served him as a source of energy throughout while he was in jail. He also thanked Advocate Jayant Jaibhave, former chairman of Maharashtra & Goa Bar Council, and his team for very successfully fighting the case in the court. At the end of his speech, Dr Karad made an appeal for success of the two day strike in the coming February and the preceding action programmes. CITU state secretary Udhav Bhavalkar also addressed the meeting while Raju Desale (AITUC) and Rambhau Jagtap (general secretary of a workers’ union in the security press) expressed solidarity.


The meeting with loud applause adopted a resolution moved by the chairman. It demanded containment of the price rise, withdrawal of the hikes in the prices of diesel and gas, provision of 35 kg of food grain at Rs 2 per kg for every family every month, withdrawal of the decision to allow FDI in retail trade and insurance, withdrawal of false police cases which implicated Dr Karad and Pandeji, stop to contractisation, rise in the minimum wage to Rs 10000 and its linking with DA, and pension to all, among other demands. The resolution warned of a serious agitation in the event of denial.


Advocate Vasudha Karad conducted the proceedings while Sitaram Thombre made an introductory speech. Devidas Adole proposed the vote of thanks. Corporator Tanaji Jaybhave, Kalpnatai Shinde, Ashok Lahane, Hiraman Telore, Haribhau Tambe, Santosh Kakde, Sindhu Shardul, Anil Bhagvat and Sanjay Pawar worked hard for the success of the meeting.