People's Democracy

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


No. 24

June 16, 2013





Protestors Raise Burning Issues Facing People 



GIVING a stern warning to the governments at the centre and in the state which have made common people’s life acutely miserable, lakhs of people in Kerala participated in the week long actions organised by the CPI(M). All over Kerala, CPI(M) workers picketed in front of 63 taluk offices in 14 districts over six days from May 20 to 25. Thousands of people attended the actions organised as part of the nationwide protest as called by the CPI(M).


All functioning at the taluk offices in the state was paralysed due to the massive actions. Selected volunteers arrived in early morning to picket the offices. People from all walks of life, who are suffering the consequences of the neo-liberal policies, gathered in big numbers. A six day long picketing was a novel experience in the history of struggles even in a state like Kerala. Prior to the protest actions, the CPI(M) had organised branch level gathering of the people and area level campaign jathas.


The people shouted slogans to highlight their demands --- ensured right to home and land, right to food security, strengthening of the public distribution system, ensured social justice, and no to FDI in the retail sector. The volunteers also raised huge protest against the incessant price rise and the UDF government’s move to privatise the water distribution.


Leaders who spoke during the picketing exposed the pro-rich policies of the state and central governments which have led to unbearable food inflation and price rise. The state government’s incapability to tackle the issues like price rise, malnutrition deaths in tribal habitations and the spread of epidemics like dengue fever and typhoid were also highlighted during the protest actions.


On May 25, the first day, CPI(M) state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan inaugurated the picketing at Kanayannur taluk office in Kochi. CPI(M) Polit Bureau member M A Baby inaugurated the sit-in at the postal superintendent office in Kollam. CPI(M) Central Committee members P Karunakaran, Vaikom Vishwan, A Vijayaraghavan, K K Shailaja and P K Sreemati inaugurated the protest actions in various other centres.


While inaugurating the protest action in Thiruvananthapuram, Pinarayi Vijayan said that the administration in Kerala had been paralysed due to the infightings in the Congress and that the UDF government had become the most denounced government in the history of the state.  People of the state have been undergoing severe experiences during the two year long UDF rule. All sectors including education and health and traditional industries like coir were getting shattered by the anti-people policies of the UDF. While the state was proud of being first in maintaining law and order in the previous years, now the law and order situation has become the worst among all the states in the country. UDF leaders are trying to polarise the people in the name of religion and caste, Pinarayi added. (N S Sajith)



AS per the call of the Delhi rally of the CPI(M), several picketing, jail bharo and rasta roko actions took place in Maharashtra from May 15 to 31.


In Ahmednagar district, over 1500 peasants under the flags of the CPI(M) and AIKS conducted a militant three-day sit-in outside the District Collectorate from May 14 to 16 on the burning issue of forest rights and other important local issues. This was the first time in several years that such an action was taking place here. The collector had to concede most of the demands of the agitators.


The Ahmednagar action was led by Dr Ajit Nawale, Yadavrao Nawale, Sadashiv Sable, Dnyaneshwar Kakad, Namdev Bhangare, Tulshiram Katore, Sahebrao Ghode, Rajaram Lahamge, Mahebub Sayyed, Deepak Papdeja and others. Kumar Shiralkar, Kisan Gujar and Mariam Dhawale went to Ahmednagar, expressed solidarity with the struggle and took part in discussions with the authorities.


In Solapur on May 29, a 700-strong picketing programme was held by the CPI(M) outside the District Collectorate under the leadership of Narsayya Adam, M H Shaikh, Sidhappa Kalshetty, Naseema Shaikh, Nalini Kalburgi, Yusuf Major, Kurmayya Mhetre, Shevanta Deshmukh, Sunanda Balla, Mashappa Vite and many others. The major issues taken up were the demands for a universal public distribution system and social security for unorganised workers, among other things. All the demonstrators were arrested.


At Selu in Parbhani district on May 21, nearly 1000 people marched to the SDO office demanding 35 kg of cheap grain per family at Rs 2 per kg, for all families. A large number of demonstrators were women. The stir was led by Ramkrishna Shere, Uddhav Poul, Rameshwar Poul and many others.


In Nandurbar district, rasta roko actions were held on May 31 in Nandurbar, Shahada, Taloda and Akkalkuwa tehsils in which over 400 comrades were arrested. The issues of drought, forest rights, PDS, NREGA and other important local demands were stressed. The actions were led by Nathu Salve, Jaising Mali, Sunil Gaikwad, Narsing Vasave and others.


In Parali tehsil of Beed district, a demonstration was held on May 28 where the issue of drought relief and other burning issues were taken up. The tehsildar acceded to many of the demands. The demonstration was led by P S Ghadge, Uttam Mane, Pandurang Rathod, Prabhakar Nagargoje, Shivaji Deshmukh, B G Khade and others.

Similar actions took place in other districts, reports from which are awaited. It is significant that these actions took place despite the searing heat in the last fortnight of May. (Ashok Dhawale)



AT the call of the March 19 Delhi rally following the Sangharsha Sandesh Jatha, the CPI(M) and mass organisations units organised processions and meetings on May Day to mark the beginning of the second phase of movement to project the alternative policies on the basic issues. The protestors also demanded land to the landless and housesites to the homeless, food security, a strong public distribution system and supply of rice or wheat at Rs 2 per kg  irrespective of the APL-BPL division, jobs for all or unemployment allowance, education for all and health for all, social justice particularly for women, dalits and adivasis; a multi-pronged strategy for the concrete solution of the deepening agricultural crisis, and ‘no’ to foreign investment in retail trade. During the first fortnight of May, panchayat level campaigning and propaganda meetings were organised in the forms of general body meetings and street corner meetings.


Block level programme was organised all over Bihar from May 19 to May 22, depending upon the situation in various districts. Day long gherao and demonstrations were organised as follows: Bhagalpur (five blocks), Darbhanga (18), East Champaran (two), Gopalganj (three), Jahanabad (two), Jamui (three), Kaimur (one), Khagaria (seven), Kishanganj (nine), Madhepura (six), Madhubani (nine), Munger (three), Muzaffarpur (three), Nalanda (three), Patna (seven), Supaul (four) and Samastipur (nine).


The Jail Bharo action on May 31 was affected by untimely rains for the last two days. However, 2100 people courted arrest in Darbhanga, 500 in Madhubani, 500 in Saharsa, 350 in Samastipur, 72 in Rohtas, 53 in West Champaran, 250 in Jamui and 150 in Bhagalpur. Despite heavy rainfall, demonstrations were held in East Champaran, Patna, Jamui, Kishanganj, Munger, etc. The police resorted to brutal lathicharge on demonstrators in Kaimur where the district magistrate was successfully gheraoed.  CPI(M) Polit Bureau member S R Pillai came to Patna to court arrest. But his plane could not land in Patna due to bad weather. His plane was diverted and he could reach here only in the afternoon. His presence inspired the comrades. (Vijay Kant Thakur)