People's Democracy

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


No. 46

November 17, 2013






CITU, AIAWY Rally Challenges Govt Policies


ON November 9, 2013, the HUDA ground in Jind, Haryana, saw the convergence of a large number of people in the Mazdoor Lalkar Rally, on the call given jointly by Haryana state committees of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) and All India Agricultural Workers Union (AIAWU). They had come here to challenge the anti-people policies of the Congress government in the state and the Congress led UPA government at the central. They also challenged the main opposition parties of Haryana who are busy holding rallies and yatras continuously but are keeping mum on the basic issues faced by the toiling masses of Haryana.


At the rally, speakers charged all parties of the ruling bourgeois-landlord classes of ignoring the workers’ plight, which characteristically exposes their innate anti-worker attitude. During the Bhupinder Singh Hooda’s regime, his relatives, his near and dear ones, capitalists and contractors are earning super profits by wringing the workers and common people of the state. The rallyists said workers are the real makers of the present day Haryana, and as such they deserve not crumbs but their due share in the wealth being created.


The huge presence of the workers in the rally was a testimony of their anger and anguish against the anti-people policies of the state and central governments. This was the first time in the history of Haryana that workers had mobilised in such a big number, which showed that the working class had awakened and was challenging the anti-people policies of the governments. It is clear that they would not stop until present day policies are given up in favour of pro-people policies.


Addressing the thousands of the participants who had come from every nook and corner of the state, CITU general secretary and member of parliament, Tapan Sen, said that the governments have been drastically reducing the subsidies being given to the poor people whereas the rich capitalists and other affluent sections have been given rebates to the tune of Rs ten lakh crore in the last two years. Two years have elapsed since an understanding on the revision of minimum wages was reached in the Indian labour conference. They asked the state government why it is not willing to revise the minimum wages which at today’s costs works out to be more than Rs 15,000. Today, Haryana is known throughout the world for its unprecedented repression of workers and for unbridled loot by capitalists. During the Hooda government’s regime, Honda, Liberty, RICO, Maruti etc are some of the living examples of police repression and atrocities even on women. Following the recent episode at the Maruti factory at Manesar, more than one hundred workers belonging to Haryana and nearby states have been in jail for the last 16 months following the unfortunate demise of an official. On the other hand, however, a large numbers of workers get killed and maimed while working in industries, but no action is ever initiated against any industrialist or builder. It is against this state of affairs that all the central trade union organisations and employees’ federations have decided to gherao the parliament on December 12 coming.


AIAWU joint secretary and former MP, Hannan Mollah, said there are 20 crore agricultural workers in the country but there is no statute for them. The government’s own survey reveals that these workers get employment only for 57 days in a year. How can one survive under such inflationary conditions, he asked. The MGNREGA was passed after a long struggle but these workers get employment for only 34 days against the provision of 100 days. The scheme’s budget is often siphoned off by the governments and the vested interests. The Hooda government of Haryana is working like a property dealer which is acquiring the farmers’ lands at throwaway prices and handing them over to the capitalists. There is no provision of relief s for agricultural workers in the recent land acquisition act.


CITU secretary Dr K Hemlatha said that a large section of women is compelled to work in the unorganised sector where there is no social security at all. Workers of the Anganwadi, ASHA, mid-day meal scheme etc are being paid only nominal honoraria and meagre incentives on the plea that these are only schemes. This has become a new way of exploitation of women labour. The speaker demanded that the state government should declare them government employees and, till this declaration, pay them the statutory minimum wages. She also demanded that all working women must get the benefit of six months paid leave on maternity.


CITU state president Surender Singh and general secretary Satvir Singh said that in spite of having an act passed by the central government in 2008, the state government has not even bothered to constitute a welfare board for the workers of the unorganised sector. They said even the registration of workers under the Constructions Workers Welfare Board is not being done and thus these workers are not able to avail of any benefits. Brick kiln workers too are not being covered by this board. They asked why the government was not declaring the casual, contract, part time, outsourced workers and scheme workers as regular employees.


Ram Kumar Behbalpuria and Ram Avtar, president and general secretary respectively of the Khet Mazdoor Union of Haryana (an AIAWU affiliate) said the Hooda government was working hard even to reverse the constitutional provisions. By changing the provisions of the land ceiling act, the government has nullified the land reforms act. They have changed the sizes, numbers and nature of landholdings. The central and state governments have become the largest hoarders. Foodgrains are rotting in the open while the poor are sleeping empty stomach. Dalits and other poor are increasingly being attacked and the government and its administration are generally seen siding with the culprits.


CPI(M) state secretary Inderjit Singh said his party has always been fighting for the poor toiling masses. The bourgeois parties do not even support the poor’s cause. The government was trying all tricks to entice the gullible masses for the Gohana rally that was to take place a day later. However, the real force lay in this Jind rally where the people had come at their own expenses to fight for their demands.


SKS state president Dharamvir Phogat, CITU leaders Ramesh Chander, Sukhbir and Surekha, kisan leader Phool Singh Sheokand and khet mazdoor leader Prakash Chander also addressed the rally.


Through a resolution, the rally supported the strike call of state government employees on November 13 and roadways employees’ strike of November 14, and decided to hold block level demonstrations in their support. If the government did not act upon the 20 point demands charter sent to the chief minister, the CITU and the AIAWU would organise a 72 hours dharna at the district commissioners’ offices in January next year.