A 100-day long, land rights-labour rights campaign from 23 March to 30 June was launched under the banner of the All India People’s Front (AIPF) to mark the 84th martyrdom anniversary of Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdeo, who fought unto death against imperialism and feudalism. Under this national programme, meetings, rallies and protests were organized across the Country.
In Jharkhand protests were held in Giridih, Ranchi, Koderma, Ramgarh, and Dhanbad. A people’s meeting was held in Giridih, a discussion session in Ranchi, public meetings in Koderma and Dhanbad, and a workers’ and activists’ meet in Ramgarh were held. Speakers who included Com. Vinod Singh, Pooran Mahto, Prof. Balbhadra, Manoj Bhakt, MLA Rajkumar Yadav, Bhuneshwar Kewat, Bhuneshwar Bediya, and other intellectuals, and trade union leaders pointed out that the corporate are carrying on a sustained attack on farmers and workers through the Modi government. On the one hand people’s rights are being looted, and on the other hand people are being divided through communal passions, but the AIPF would intensify contact with the people to make them aware of these evil designs. Recalling late Com. Mahendra Singh, the “Bhagat Singh of Jharkhand”, they emphasized the role of the common people in upholding democracy.
Marches, meetings, and symposia were held in different parts of Uttar Pradesh including capital Lucknow, Ghazipur, Ballia, Chakiya, Mughalserai and Chahniya in Chandauli, Robertsganj and Dala in Sonbhadra, Mirzapur, Bhadoli, Lakheempur Kheeri, Sitapur, Pilibhit, Allahabad, Phoolpur, Banaras, Gorakhpur, Azamgarh, Mhow, Maharajganj, Gonda, Ambedkarnagar, Deoria, Jalaun, Banda, Moradabad and Faizabad. Speakers paid tribute to the martyrs and condemned the corporate-fascist attacks on the poor, farmers and workers, the land grab ordinance and proposed bill, cuts in food security and MNREGA, health, education, and other anti-poor measures. Various organizations under the AIPF including CPI-ML came out on the streets to demand people’s rights. AISA activists held a public meeting to pay tributes to Bhagat Singh and other martyrs.
Rallies and meetings were organized across the State of Bihar including capital Patna, Masaudhi, Bihata, Naubatpur and other places, attended by large numbers of the public including women and youth, and addressed by Shyamnandan Singh, PS Maharaj, KD Yadav, Prof. Bharati S Kumar, Umesh Singh,Naveen, and others. They pointed out that the Modi government has cheated the people, especially the youth, and is giving all benefits to the corporate and snatching the rights of the poor, farmers, and workers. They emphasized the dangers of privatization in health and education, and contractual labour in place of employment with security and dignity.
A public meeting was organized at Bhilai in Chhattisgarh attended by workers in large numbers and addressed by Brijendra Tiwari, Vasuki Prasad ‘Unmat’, Muktanand Sahu, Ashok Miri, JP Nair and other CPI-ML, AICCTU and AIPWA leaders. Issues like the attack on farmers through the land grab bill, pro-corporate anti-worker amendments in labour laws, cuts in MNREGA and food security, privatization of health, education, and insurance sectors were raised.
Public meetings were held at Narela, Wazirpur and Noida in Delhi under the AIPF banner. The campaign in Delhi included Awas Adhikar (right to housing) too since more than half of Capital’s population is homeless. In an urban setup it means that they are deprived to the extent that they don’t even have any proof of bonafide residence along with many other deprivations resulting in limited rights of citizenship for all practicality in the city. A play by ‘Sangwari’ was staged and appreciated. Prabhat Kumar and other speakers spoke against the loot of farmers’ and workers’ rights and added another issue relevant to Delhi, the right to housing.