January 2008, A Report
The New Year witnessed some very eventful and significant programmes organised by LRS in the cities of Delhi and Mumbai. What was significant was both the youthful participation and the militant participation of Lok Raj Samitis in different areas.
The first was a night long political and cultural evening organised by the local Lok Raj Samiti in Sanjay Colony, New Delhi, on 5th of January. Braving the cold, the youth sang many songs and danced the Bhangra. The programme was interspersed with excellent political interventions which summed up that it is the people who will and must rule and not political parties. The importance of building and strengthening Sangarsh Samitis, so necessary for establishing people’s power was forcefully put forth by Bijju Nayak, the President of the Delhi Chapter of the Lok Raj Sangathan. Others who spoke included, Amarjeet, Ashok Kumar Gupta, Renu Nayak, Nageswar Rai, Sri Ram Janam, and Sri Ram Akhtiyar. The interventions were loudly applauded and welcomed by the local residents. The slogan: " March forward and fight for your rights!" resounded throughout the programme.
The famous Chandibai Himatmal Mansukhani (CHM) College in Ullahasnagar, resounded with the participation of more than 5000 youth from 135 schools and colleges on 19th and 20th of January. The event was very important as it saw the participation of youth from Badalpur, Bivandi, Shahpur, Kasara and far off regions who came with their parents and friends. During the two days, Rangoli, drawing, group discussions, street plays, essay writing, songs, popular folk songs and dance were organized.
What was clear during the two day event was that the youth today want a better future for all and that they are ready to struggle everyday to bring about that change in the country. The youth shared their political and world views and exchanged ideas and thoughts. The internationally acclaimed film ‘ Amu ’ about the 1984 politically organized genocide was screened and evoked very good debate and discussion; a presentation on the great Ghadar of 1857 took the participants into the revolutionary past and the discussion made them look at its relevance today. The event concluded with Justice Suresh and the convener of Lok Raj Sangathan Mumbai presiding over the prize giving.
On January 26th, while various events were taking place in different parts of the country, a different and unique programe took place in Khader Vistaar, New Delhi. 400 people participated in a political and cultural evening, where the issue was placed squarely that if the citizens of the colony wanted to rid their colony of problems and bring about a better future, they would have to see their Lok Raj Samiti as a tool to achieving people ’ s power. The programme witnessed the participation of the Communist Ghadar Party ’ s representative, Delhi Secretary of the Lok Raj Sangathan, Secretary of the Thane and Mumbai Parishads, Secretary of the Jan Pratinidhi Manch and working members of the Hind Naujavan Ekta Sabha. The children and youth presented beautiful songs and dances and the Rang Bhoomi Natya Samooh also presented its play. The programme was a success not only due to the wholehearted suoport of the local people but also due to the hard work put in by the local Samiti members.
T he streets of New Delhi on January 31st resounded with the voices of children shouting slogans such as NO MORE FARMER SUICIDES! These children came out on the streets on a biting cold day to express their concern for the farmers of different parts of the country who are facing a deep crisis. The children who have been orphaned as a result of disastrous agrarian policies of the government which had led to mass suicides were also represented in the rally, which marched from Mandi House to Krishi Bhawan. Organized under the banner of the Lok Raj Sangathan, the rally comrpised largely of children from working class colonies of different parts of Delhi, from schools, from Tilak Vihar, popularly known as Widows Colony, from organisations like the Sach Productions, Jamaat e Islami Hind, Ankur, Rajasthan Shikshak Manch, Hind Naujawan Ekta Sabha, Purogami Mahila Sangathan, and Ankur…
The children carried placards with slogans like “ Every Farmer Counts, Every Child Dreams”, “Apathy is no Policy”, “An Indian farmer commits suicide every 32 minutes”, “Farmer Suicides: It may be rural but its real!”, “150,000 Farmer Suicides”, “Women Farmers Count too!”, “Farmer Suicides are Imposed Murders”, “ Sarmaidaron ke raj mein kisanon ke liye – andheri jindagi, andheri mauth, andhera bhavishya!”, Kisanon ki maang – roji roti ki suraksha”, “Mazdoor kisan ek ho jayein, shoshan daman ko door bhagayein!”, “We demand – guaranteed procurement at remunerative prices!”, “We demand crop insurance!”, “Water, electricity, fertilizers and seeds at affordable prices is our right!”, “Oppose the domination of the big capitalist monopolies in agriculture!”, “Down with the anti peasant policies of the UPA government!”.
Following the brief interventions by the LRS representative and representatives of different organisations who came in support of the cause, a delegation went to submit a memorandum to the Honourable Agricultural Minister Shri Sharad Pawar. On the next day too, a delegation met the Minister to demand that justice be done.