People's Democracy

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


No. 10

March 10, 2013




Northern Jatha Flagged off from

Historic Jallianwala Bagh


Rajender Sharma

K Veeraiah


THE third of the CPI(M)'s Sangharsh Sandesh Jatha – the Northern Jatha – began its journey from historic city Amritsar on March 04, 2013. Davinder Singh Josh, son of Sohan Singh Josh, one of the founders of communist movement in Punjab, handed over the jatha flag to Brinda Karat, Polit Bureau member of the CPI(M) and the leader of the jatha, marking the inaugural of Northern Jatha. Vijay Mishra, the coordinator for the jatha in Punjab and member of the state secretariat of the CPI(M) was present.


Earlier, Brinda Karat paid tributes to the martyrs of Jallianwala Bagh before embarking on the jatha. The jatha team was received at Jallianwala Bagh with warmth by hundreds of people assembled there from across the state. Brinda Karat laid a wreath at the Jallianwala Bagh memorial.


Addressing the gathering, Karat said that the people of India are in search of a better alternative, which is completely different from the Congress and the BJP who are representing corporate interests rather than of people. She said that the message of these jathas is to invite the public to consider the alternatives that are being presented by the CPI(M).


Lambasting anti-people policies of the Congress-led UPA government, she called back-breaking price rise a result of government’s policies. She also pointed out that "UPA-2 government imposed its 20th fuel price hike just the night before." She also dismissed BJP's claims of presenting an alternative. Terming both the Congress and the BJP as two different sides of the same coin, she said whenever they are in power in Delhi, they will toe the neo-liberal policies in the interest of foreign and national monopoly capitalists.


Brinda Karat called upon the public to participate in the party’s Sangharsh Sandesh Jatha in big numbers and make success the March 19 public meeting that is going to be held in Delhi marking the culmination of the four nationwide jathas.


Hannan Mollah, CPI(M) central secretariat member, Indrajeet Singh, secretary Haryana state committee and Charan Singh Virdhi, secretary, Punjab state committee and other leaders of Punjab also addressed the gathering of a large number of workers, rural labour and women.


Jammu sub-jatha that started from Jammu on March 3 merged with the North jatha at Amritsar. Shyam Prasad Kesar, secretary of the Jammu regional committee of the CPI(M) leading this sub-jatha also addressed the rally.


Later, replying to a media person's question on “with whom the CPI(M) will fight the next elections”, Brinda Karat said that the Party will be representing the people’s interests and will fight the elections for safeguarding their interests.




The hosiery capital of country, Ludhiana, gave a rousing welcome to the Sangharsh Sandesh Jatha on March 5. The jatha was received at the entrance of the city by large number of youth. Later on, this group on motorcycles led jatha up to Chatar Singh park where thousands of industrial workers, rural labour and middle class people had assembled for a large public meeting. Guruchetan Singh, CPI(M) state committee member and son of legendary leader of Party, Comrade Harkishan Singh Surjeet, presided over the meeting.


Addressing the rally, Brinda Karat called for a policy-based alternative. She said "Vikalp lao Desh bachao" (Alternative is a must for saving the country.) Dealing with various crises facing Punjab today she said “Punjab is facing a health emergency caused by pollution of soil, water and air, leading to explosion of cancer on large scale."


Before beginning of public meeting, Brinda Karat honoured a MGNREGA labourer Manjeet Kaur, also member of the All India Agricultural Workers’ Union (AIAWU) and CPI(M). Kaur is one of the three women labourers invited for a seminar on MGNREGA in Delhi in the beginning of this year, which was also addressed by the prime minister. In the seminar, she raised AIAWU's demand for 200 days work in a year and Rs 300 as daily wage. Hero Cycle and BSNL contract labour unions handed memorandums of their demands to jatha leaders.


After night stay at Jalandhar, the jatha reached Ludhiana on 5th afternoon. Last evening, a well attended public meeting in front of DC office was addressed by the jatha leaders. The meeting began by condoling the death of 12 school going children of the city in a horrifying road accident on March 4.


Addressing the rally, Brinda Karat emphasised the anti-people character of the policies of the UPA government. At the same time, rejecting BJP's claims of presenting an alternative, she underlined that CPI(M)' s Sangharsh Sandesh Jatha programme is meant to project a real alternative based on policies. The meeting was also addressed by CPI(M) central secretariat member Hannan Mollah and central committee member Inderjit Singh besides leaders of Punjab state committee. Hoshiarpur district unit of AIDWA presented Brinda Karat Rs 11,000 for Sangharsh Sandesh Jatha.




“Does Congress any more have any connection with the tradition of freedom movement? It is bringing FDI in retail trade, knowing fully-well that this is going to destroy livelihood of crores of small shop keepers and traders. They seek votes of Indian people and work in the interest of big companies and multinationals” said Brinda Karat while addressing an impressive public meeting in Sector 20, Chandigarh on March 5. The meeting, having a large presence of women, employees, and middle class people, was also attended by people from adjoining Panchkula district of Haryana.


Brinda Karat also lambasted the claims of Gujarat model of alternative. Referring to recent incident of withdrawal of Wharton School’s invitation to Narendra Modi due to the opposition from students and a part of faculty, she questioned the retaliatory action of the industrial house of Adani in cancelling sponsorship for the said program. Raising questions about Modi’s connections with corporate houses, she asked “Is Modi representative of corporate houses or BJP?”


The rally was also addressed by Hannan Mollah and Inderjeet Singh and CPI(M) leaders from Punjab. Himachal sub-jatha that started from Shimla on March 03, 2013, merged with the main Northern Jatha at Chandigarh on March 5. Rakesh Singha, leading Himachal sub-jatha, also addressed the meeting. After the meeting, Brinda Karat received memorandums from a large number of people, including from a young woman who was raped by a minister’s PA and is still fighting for the beginning of any investigation into charges even after more than two months of the crime.




“Women carry about 2000 kg of mud everyday to earn a pittance in NREGA. But here in Patiala they do not get their wages for four months at a stretch. We demand revision and increase in NREGA wages”, said Brinda Karat while addressing a well attended public meeting in Patiala. She paid homage to the former secretary of Patiala, Inderjit Singh Bhagrana who was killed because he defended a dalit woman in a sexual assault case. The present secretary is also a martyr’s son whose father was killed by terrorists. She lauded the Patiala tradition of martyrdom.


Hannan Mollah, Inderjit Singh and leaders of Punjab and Patiala are the other speakers who addressed the public meeting.


Women of Sukhoha village in Patiala district gave Brinda a memorandum.  20 years back consolidation of land happened and plots for garbage processing were alloted to the scheduled castes. These people also built a Gurdwara there. On August 27,2012 they were evicted from the place. The police in collusion with land mafia, lodged a false case and seven people, of whom six are women, are now in jail. As the police authorities are indifferent to their plight, they asked Brinda Karat to intervene and expedite the release of the arrested women. Charanjit Kaur and Manjit Kaur are among those imprisoned. The struggle for justice is on.