People's Democracy

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


No. 12

March 24, 2013


                                                            Northern Jatha Evokes Popular Response


                                                                                                                                                                    Rajendra Sharma


THE northern contingent of the CPI(M)’s Sangharsh Sandesh Jatha returned to Delhi on March 15 evening, completing in 12 days a 2,261 km long journey through Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan. The jatha had started from Jalliawalan Bagh at Amritsar on March 4.


While entering Delhi from the Gurgaon Border, the jatha got a rousing reception from Delhi state unit of the party at Mahipalpur. From here, the jatha was taken to AKG Bhawan, the CPI(M)’s central office, in an impressive procession of motorcycles and four-wheelers. Here again the jatha received a warm welcome.


Earlier, addressing the press at Gurgaon, CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Brinda Karat demanded that 1700 acres of land in Gurgaon, which was acquired by the Reliance for a special economic zone and was handed over to the state government after the Reliance withdrew from the said project, must be returned to the farmers who are original owners of this land. She also pointed out that even the new Land Acquisition Bill has provision of returning the land to its original owners in case of acquirer not using the land within five years of acquisition.


Brinda Karat also criticised the new Land Acquisition Bill that is expected to come to parliament for consideration in the present session. Terming the bill as “deeply flawed,” she demanded that the bill should be sent to the parliamentary select committee. As the bill has gone through a huge number of amendments since its presentation, it should be treated as a “new bill” altogether. Pointing out some of the major weaknesses of the bill in its present form, she underlined that the bill creates so many exceptions about the acceptance of the land-losers and defines “public purpose” so widely that it makes the entire exercise practically meaningless. She also pointed out that the bill encroaches on protections that are available to the tribal people in Schedule V areas.


Addressing a public meeting at Ramleela Maidan in Guragaon’s, Brinda Karat criticised the repression against Maruti workers and also pointed out that this kind of growing repression is necessitated by growing exploitation of working class, with contractisation of labour being its main instrument. In this connection, she also criticised the vindictive attitude of Hooda government. She pointed out that the Circuit House reservations for two former MPs in the jatha were cancelled at the last minute in retaliation of the CPI(M)’s demonstration a day before against the chief minister’s inauguration of a mall. It is believed that the said mall would make the backdoor entry possible for WalMart.


Earlier, the jatha began its last day’s journey with a reception at Dighal village in Rohatak district. Later on, it reached Jhajjar where a well attended public meeting, with a large presence of ASHA and other central government scheme workers and trade union workers, was organised. From here the jatha moved towards Gurgaon and received enthusiastic welcome at Dhankot village.


Besides Brinda Karat and Central Committee member Hannan Molla, the CPI(M)’s Haryana state secretary Inderjit Singh, state secretariat members Jagmati Sangwan and Surender Mallik, and other state leaders also addressed the gatherings in all these places. Everywhere the jatha was handed over memorandums on various problems facing the people.                                    




On March 14, CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Brinda Karat mocked upon the Hooda government’s claim of Haryana being No 1 state in the country. On the 11th day of the northern Sangarsh Sandesh Jatha, while addressing a large public meeting at Rangshala in Rohtak in the evening, she said, “Haryana may be No 1 in shady land deals and benefiting the big builders. It is at the bottom as far as protecting the rights of peasants is concerned.” She also charged the Hooda government with acting as an agent for big developers.


Referring to recent exposures regarding shady land deals of Robert Vadra and Company, Brinda Karat reiterated the CPI(M)’s demand for “an independent inquiry into all such suspicious land deals.” She also pointed out that Haryana is No 1 in atrocities on women and particularly on poor and dalit women.


Earlier in the day, while addressing a well attended public meeting at Tosham, Brinda Karat took up the issue of ban on mining in the tracts of Aravali hills lying in the state of Haryana. Here a majority of people in 50 to 60 villages around Tosham have been directly hit by the stoppage of all mining activities. She underlined the fact that the Supreme Court, acting to protect environment, has actually laid down a condition for remedying the environmental degradation for restarting mining of sand, stone and other minerals. Hitting hard at the Hooda government for its inaction and failure in fulfilling this condition and protecting the livelihood of people affected by the Supreme Court order, she alleged that the chief minister has some vested interest in leaving the field open for Rajasthan based mining companies.


Brinda Karat also pointed out how instead of ensuring food security for all, the Haryana government is actually busy in cancelling the BPL cards of tens of thousands of landless and other poor workers. She also pointed out that the Haryana government is very keenly pushing up the sale of liquor and also offering panchayats a part of the revenue thus earned from the increased consumption of liquor. “This is likely to have devastating social consequences,” she said.


The CPI(M) leader also made a mention of the successful peasant struggle in the area, that has won more than 300 crore rupees in compensation for various crop damages.


Answering questions from media representatives in connection with the recent terrorist attack in Srinagar, and condoling the death of five CRPF jawans, she also pointed out that the trend of reduction in terrorist violence in the valley seems to be dissipating very fast due to lack of initiative from the centre for a political dialogue in Kashmir. She opined that the recent attack was one such indicator.


The northern contingent of the Sangharsh Sandesh Jatha began its 11th day with paying tributes to the martyrs of India’s first war of independence in 1857, at the Lal Sadak (Red Road) of Hansi. Here, the British barbarity on Indian rebels had reached its nadir as the rebels were crushed under the wheels of road-rollers. The road turned red with the blood of such a large number of people crushed by the British, and that’s how it got its name, Lal Sadak. Leaders of the jatha also attended well attended meetings at Bhiwani and Mehem.


Hannan Mollah, Inderjeet Singh, and other leaders of the state also addressed the meetings.




Even a suspicion of the WalMart trying to gain backdoor entry into retail trade was enough for the people of Rohtak to come out in protest against the US multinational retail giant. Hundreds of workers of the CPI(M) and mass organisations such as the AIDWA, CITU, SFI and DYFI demonstrated in front of the Kisan Mart when it was being inaugurated by Haryana chief minister, Bhupinder Singh Hooda. They were raising the slogan: “No To WalMart.”


It was only after the police arrested around 75 protesters, led by AIDWA vice president Jagmati Sangwan, was the chief minister able to hastily inaugurate the said mall. It was reported that the Hooda government had already committed to give an entire floor in the sprawling mall to the Bharati-WalMart.


Later, addressing a public meeting at Sriram Rangshala in connection with the northern contingent of the CPI(M)’s Sangharsh Sandesh Jatha, Brinda Karat congratulated the anti-WalMart protesters and warned the UPA government that it might have succeeded in manipulating a majority for its resolution on FDI in retail but it must not remain under illusion that now the WalMart could enter India. “People of India won’t allow that and the Left, along with trade organisations, will resist any such attempts on the streets,” she said.