On Ambedkar Jayanti (14 April), CPI(ML) held a massive Land Rights March at Betiya, West Champaran, asserting the legacy of the Champaran Satyagraha for peasants’ rights and against imperialism. Addressing the March, CPI(ML) GS Comrade Dipankar said that the country needed a second freedom struggle full of the spirit of the Champaran Satyagraha, to free the country from the stranglehold of fascist forces and defend the rights of peasants, workers, mi-norities, Dalits, women and youth, and the values of democracy and justice.

Before the March the CPI(ML) GS garlanded the statue of Dr Ambedkar at the Betiya Collec-torate, and thousands – including displaced peasants evicted from ‘Betiya Raj’ feudal land holdings, women and youth marched from there in a padyatra to the Central Library where a public meeting was held.

The March was led by CPI(ML) Bihar Secretary Comrade Kunal, CCM and Champaran in-charge Comrade Virendra Prasad Gupta, CCM Santosh Sahar, AISA National General Secretary Sandeep Saurav, and many other senior leaders of the party.

Comrade Dipankar said that the historic Champaran Satyagrah was about freeing Champaran peasants from feudal-colonial bondage. But the Modi and Nitish Governments are evicting peasants from land of the infamous feudal Betiya estates, using a colonial-era Court of Wards law that needed to be scrapped. And Modi’s ‘Champaran Swachhagrah’ show celebrates the persecution and humiliation of the poor in the name of the ‘Swachh Bharat’ campaign against open defecation. “Bihar needs land & housing for all, not paid swachhagrahis from outside”, he said.

Comrade Dipankar said the Kathua and Unnao episodes had made it clear to all that BJP’s ‘Save Daughters’ slogan actually meant that women were in danger from the BJP itself.

He called to evict BJP from power in 2019 to free the country from the fascist danger, and to this end, to participate in the ‘BJP Bhagao, Bihar Bachao’ Janadhikar Padyatra from 23 April which would culminate in a Mahasammelan on May Day at Gandhi Maidan, Patna.