An Attack on One is an Attack on All!
Statement of the Lok Raj Sangathan, Ulhasnagar Committee, November 2008
More than sixty years after independence, it is clear that what we have today is not what Bhagat Singh and other martyrs laid down their lives for.
One of the biggest problems facing us today is price rise. Prices of essentials, particularly of food, edible oil, kerosene, medicines petrol and diesel, have soared in the last few months. Governments of various parties at the Centre and state level have done nothing to tackle this problem. As a result, India has the greatest number of poor and malnourished people in the world.
One of the biggest problems facing the youth today is of livelihood. Of unemployment or of jobs with great insecurity, very low wages and long working hours without any benefits.. Over the years, the policies adopted by the governments of various parties have made the problem worse. They have encouraged the contract system in various sectors. All over the country, the number of contract workers is increasing, whereas in most places, the number of permanent workers is going down.
Look what was done in the railways. Many departments that were earlier manned by permanent workers are now run by contract workers. Fearing the unity of the railway workers, they did not introduce the contract system everywhere all at once, but have done it bit by bit, department by department. This is one avatar of the divide and rule policy.
Contract workers have to do the same work as the permanent ones but for a fraction of the pay. They get no benefits. They have to work for inordinately long working hours in unsafe and unhygienic conditions. They are always in danger of being fired. Various governments are keen to introduce further anti-labour policies, such as ban on unionization,
On the other hand, the policies of the various governments have also enabled the already rich to grow tremendously richer, so that 4 out of the 10 richest people in the world are Indians!
All over the country we see that people are either opposing or preparing to oppose the steps taken by the various governments to further rob the poor and fatten the rich. To split the unity of the people and to turn their attention away from the main problem, various political forces adopt various tricks.
For example, they tell us that Maharashtrians are not getting jobs because outsiders are coming and taking them. Is this true? For every hundred jobs there are ten thousand applicants. Even if all the jobs were given to Maharashtrians, would their problem be solved?
The very same parties and people who loudly proclaim their love for the Marathi manoos, have in the past taken innumerable steps against the workers and peasants of Maharashtra. Just as those who pretend to defend North Indians have done in their respective states.
The rulers of our country fear the unity of the people, just as the British did, and that is why they try to split us on the basis of region, religion, caste, language, and so on. We should not fall for their tactics. We should build strong organisations in the spirit that an attack on one is an attack on all.
In schools and colleges they teach us that ours is the greatest democracy. That we are the rulers. Is that true?
If we people were the rulers,
- Would permanent work be rendered contract?
- Would policies be taken that would reduce the number of jobs and worsen the working conditions?
- Would the prices of food and other essentials rise beyond the reach of the common man?
- Would peasants have to commit suicide because they are unable to repay loans of a few thousands, while big capitalists who default on loans of thousands of crores go scot-free?
- Would criminals who attack people on the basis of caste, region, religion, language, etc. go scot-free and in fact rule the country?
- Would we have to live every year in fear of our homes getting flooded (whether we live in Mumbai, Ulhasnagar or Bihar)?
Friends, the task before us is clear. We, the toilers cannot rely on existing political system to defend the interests of the toiling majority. We must realise that the present political system and process effectively ensures we are deprived of power. It is we the working people in cities and countryside who can get rid of the present anti-people political system. We need to change this system so that people will exercise political power.
To do this, LRS calls upon you to build and strengthen Lok Raj Samitis in our mohallas. Let us in these samitis take up the task of uniting the people and defending them against all attacks. Let us build our unity and take up the problems that we face in our bastis, whether they be physical attacks, or lack of civic amenities, and so on.
Come, let us
Oppose the Politics of Divide and Rule!
Build and strengthen Lok Raj Samitis !
Lay the Foundation of the New India!