Teachers’ – People’s Unity Zindabad!
Citizens, Students, Parents!
We, the members of diverse unions and people’s organisations, are appealing to you to support the entirely just struggle of the University and College Teachers of Maharashtra, led by the Maharashtra Federation of University and College Teachers’ Organisations (MFUCTO).

Teachers’ – People’s Unity Zindabaad!

Citizens, Students, Parents!

We, the members of diverse unions and people’s organisations, are appealing to you to support the entirely just struggle of the University and College Teachers of Maharashtra, led by the Maharashtra Federation of University and College Teachers’ Organisations (MFUCTO).

We demand that the government immediately grants their demands. It is in the interests of the vast majority of people that teachers are given their dues. After going through all the official channels, and trying unsuccessfully to get their just dues, the MFUCTO had no option but to call for an indefinite cease work from 14th July 2009.

This strike has widespread support. About 30 000 teachers from 11 universities and affiliated colleges in Maharashtra have joined the strike, and their determination to fight till they win is becoming firmer by the day. They have not forgotten that they had to resort to indefinite strikes to win the implementation of the 4th as well as 5th Pay Commission packages. One of the main demands of the teachers is that the government should implement in to the recommendations of its own commission, the Sixth Pay Commission.

States like Uttar Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh and Goa have already implemented these recommendations, while Punjab, Haryana and Gujarat are expected to follow suit. The other main demand pertains to those teachers who have been appointed in the period 1991 – 1999, without the NET or SET qualifications. Though these qualification requirements were not in force during this period and were added later, the government has very unjustly implemented these with retrospective effect and denied promotions to about 10 000 teachers who were appointed during that period!

It is indeed shameful that in our land in which the Guru is traditionally revered like God, the government has driven them to the streets in protest and into a jail bharo andolan! It has shown no concern for the lakhs of students who are suffering as a result of the cease work agitation.

But what else can one expect in “independent” India, where:
• About 40% of the population is still illiterate.
• One third of all the children who are out of school worldwide are in India.
• Only approximately 7.2 % of adults in the age group of 17-24 have the privilege of getting higher education. As compared to this, the figure for the US and Australia is 80 %, Canada 88 %, Finland 74 % and the UK 52 %.
• The government spending on education has never been more than 4.5% of the GDP, and is among the lowest in the world.
• The government has tried to shrug off its responsibility to provide quality education to all, and given ashirwads to private players to enter the education sector and derive huge profits. It should not be forgotten that our law makers of various parties are among the tiny minority that has benefited from this particular reform.
• The contract system for teachers has been introduced, which has led to great exploitation and insecurity.
• The clock-hour basis for teachers as well as “Shikshan Sevaks” or education servants have been introduced, which makes a mockery of the concept of education itself.
• Doctors have to go on strike for their just demands. They are threatened, ESMA is imposed on them, their registrations are cancelled, their hostels vacated. (It is to their credit that they were not cowed down and persisted in their fight till they won in Maharashtra and more recently, in Gujarat).
• As of 2006/07, over 50% of rural households had less than Rs. 20 to spend per head daily; 45% of urban families had less than Rs. 30 (National Sample Survey). We know that with the recent spurt in the prices of essentials, particularly of food, real incomes have fallen further. Due to the steep and continuing rise in prices of essential consumption articles, wages stagnating for the majority of workers, and growing insecurity facing peasants, the majority of toiling people have been forced to further cut down their monthly expenditure in 2009.
• The government spend on health care, at 0.9% of the GDP, is among the lowest in the world. India lies 171st in a list of 175 countries – lower than even some sub-Saharan African countries!
• Millions have lost their jobs since 2008.

At the same time, there is another India:
• During the first four years of the first Manmohan Singh government, 2004-08, corporate profits in our country grew more rapidly than ever before, along with widening disparities. Wealth of richest 10 Indians, headed by Ambanis and Tata, amounted to Rs 7 lakh crore as of June 2009; it had more than doubled during 2005-08.
• Four biggest Indian capitalists now rank among 10 richest of the world
• The total value of tax concessions given to the corporate sector and to highly paid senior executives rose from Rs. 285,000 crore in 2007-08 to Rs. 418,000 crore in 2008-09. • In many sectors like cement, steel, two wheelers, plastics, etc, Indian companies now rank among the 10 biggest of the world
• During the present global crisis, three stimulus packages worth Rs. 2 lakh crores have been given to big Indian corporate houses. This has not saved any jobs as claimed by the government; in fact it admitted later that 5 lakh jobs have been lost! Since this admission, the number of jobs lost is close to 10 lakhs.

This is happening because:
• We the people have no role in running the affairs of this country except to vote to power once in 5 years those belonging to this or that Party.
• After these Parties come to power, the elected representatives are not accountable to the people who elected them, because it is the high command which will decide whether s/he gets to contest the seat the next time, not the electors!
• In the Parties which take turns in ruling our country, the “High Command “decides everything. The rest of the party members cannot question its decisions.
• The High Commands of these Parties are easily bought over by the big capitalists of this country.
• Hence the big capitalists of India, who control the High Commands of these Parties, ensure that the huge resources of the country, the human labour power as well as the abundant natural resources, are utilized to further increase their wealth.
• What are we doing in this regard? What can YOU Do?
• We, the undersigned organisations, are organising people into Lok Raj Samitis wherever they live, as well as wherever they work.
• These committees are of an entirely new type – it is the members of the committees who take the decisions and no type of High Command is allowed to exist.
• All kinds of divisive politics on the basis of caste, religion, language, Party affiliation etc. is kept out of these committees.
• These committees discuss all the problems of the locality and mobilize all the members to unitedly fight to improve the living and working conditions of the people in the locality.
• It is these committees which will put forth the most unselfish and trusted sons and daughters of the people as candidates for elections and ensure that once elected, he or she remains accountable to the people who voted them.
• These committees will function as the seeds of a new Peoples’ Power which will emerge on the Indian soil to challenge the existing anti-people rule. These committees will bring in Peoples’ Rule or Lok Raj.

An attack on one is an attack on all. While we once again call upon all of you to support the teachers, we also call on you to fight along with us for the future of our country. Join us in our endeavour to establish Lok Raj!

Joint appeal issued by Hind Naujawan Ekta Sabha, Jagrut Ghar Kamgar Sanghatana, Ladaku Garment Mazdoor Sangh, Ladaku General Mazdoor Union, Lok Raj Sangathan, Parivartan Cultural Group, Purogami Mahila Sangathan
Contact us at: 9821410105, 9821139348.

Visit www.lokrajsangathan.org
Email: lrs_mumbai@yahoo.com

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