People's Democracy

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


No. 07

February 17, 2013




Surge of Red in Kolkata


From our special correspondent


THE city of Kolkata witnessed a surge of red flags on February 10, overflowing the famed Sahid Minar Maidan. At the call of CPI(M) Kolkata district committee and after a two-month long intensive campaign on people’s issues, tens of thousands people marched in a mammoth rally, defying terror.


The basic slogan of the campaign was: “Let us live a decent life, Let us live with dignity”.  The campaign centred around food security for which a mass signature collection was held and on the defense of civil and democratic rights.


CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, addressing the rally deplored the deteriorating law and order situation in the state and huge escalation of crimes. He said, “ Criminals and hooligans are ruling the roost. Everyday crimes, particularly attacks on women, are happening. There is a strong feeling that the administration is controlled by these elements. Anti-social elements are thinking that this is their government. There is no effort from the administration to curb these criminals.” Bhattacharjee called upon the people to organise and collectively resist the local criminals.


Bhattacharjee severely criticised the policies of the central government and said, “We have handful people extraordinarily rich and known to the world also, whereas the rest of people are in the darkling poverty where market rules the order and the system for the affluent people. The central government is not ready to provide subsidy anymore on essential commodities including oil prices that causes serious harm to the poor and lower middle class people.” There is growing discontent among the people and the need of the hour is to organise upheaval throughout the country, he asserted.


Dwelling upon the industrial situation of the state, Bhattacharjee expressed concern about the future of the young generations in the state. “The industries were coming in the state during Left Front regime, creating employment. Now where would they go? Again outside Bengal? The education system also is suffering a lot. Education environment in colleges is now facing a serious crisis,” he said.


While slamming the UPA-2 government in his speech, Left Front chairman and CPI(M) state secretary Biman Basu called upon the people to make the two-day all India strike on February 20-21 a grand success. Stressing upon the anti-people decisions taken by the central UPA government causing deregulation of oil prices, cascading price hike of all essential commodities, FDI in retail consumer sector etc, all 11 trade union organisations called the two-day strike. Criticising the state government also on this issue, Biman Basu said that this present TMC state government though propagating against the above decisions, is exposing its duplicity by opposing the strike.


On a common and often made criticism against strike that it would cause harm to the daily wage workers, Basu said exemplifying Maruti agitation issue that the factory first retrenched the daily wage labourers which became an instance that daily wage workers are the worst sufferers. The strike is a logical part of the struggle of the working class of the country.


Suryakanta Misra, Md Salim, Rabin Deb, Manab Mukherjee, Dilip Sen were among the speakers. CPI(M) Kolkata district secretary Raghunath Kushari presided over.