People's Democracy

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


No. 48

December 02, 2012



Left Takes Out Silent Indignant Procession


ON November 22, the Left parties in Bihar jointly took out a silent procession in Patna, the state’s capital, in order to express anger over, and condole, the unfortunate death of a number of people during the Chhath festival. This was the biggest tragedy in the state on such an occasion, and one which claimed the life of a number of persons, including children, women and the aged. A large number of people were also injured.


Leaders and cadres of three Left parties, wearing black badges, took part in this silent but indignant procession. Sarvodaya Sharma, Ras Behari Singh Yadav and Ganesh Shankar Singh of the CPI(M), Kunal and others of the CPI(ML) and Jabbar Alam, U N Mishra and Chakradhar Singh of the CPI led the procession.


The silent procession started from Gandhi Maidan, near the JP Roundabout, at 11 a m and, wending its way through Phraser Road and Dak Bungalow Chowk, it reached the Patna Junction railway station where it culminated in a mass rally. Chakradhar Singh of the CPI, Sarvodaya Sharma of the CPI(M) and K D Yadav of the CPI(ML) addressed the gathering.


In his address, Sarvodaya Sharma described the tragedy as the biggest calamity so far on the Chhath day, and it gave a lie to the claims repeatedly made by the chief minister, his cabinet colleagues, administration officials and police officers that they had made all the required preparations for smooth conduct of the Chhath worship by the devotees. However, the state government ordered only an enquiry by the home secretary of Bihar, which was nothing but an attempt at cover-up. This was nothing but a move to conceal the real causes of the tragedy and divert attention from the responsibility of the concerned officials. Sharma said there was no hope that the truth would ever come to light unless the concerned officials were removed from their positions. Sharma also lambasted the charge levelled by the chief minister that the opposition parties were indulging in undemocratic politics on the issue, while the fact is that the opposition parties’ demand for an impartial probe and compensation for the deaths and injuries was well in accordance with the democratic responsibilities of opposition parties. This is painful and unfortunate. Sharma also accused the chief minister that his vision had got narrowed in company with the BJP, and said the people of Bihar would not forgive him if the kins of the dead and the injured were not provided justice. He recalled how the people stopped his so-called Adhikar Yatra in Khagaria and organised a Bihar bandh in protest against the firing at Madhubani, adding that in the days to come the Left parties would further intensify the democratic movement against the JD(U)-BJP misrule.