A very successful public meeting was held in Padagha local School ground on the theme of “We are the producers, we are the real Maliks” on 27th November’11. More than 500 people from Padagha and a large number of surrounding villages, men, women, children and a large number of youth participated in the meeting.
Padagha is a small town about 35 kms. from Mumbai. As earlier reported in this paper Lok Raj sangathan Padagha committee established there more than 2 years ago has been working tirelessly to organize the workers, peasants and tribals of the area on the questions like getting good quality ration and good quality health facility etc. The struggle has resulted in a large number of people getting ration as per the rules, which they never got in last many years. The trust which the people have developed as a result was evident by their participation in the meeting for which many came in tempos from far off villages and many even walked barefoot for more than 5 kms.
On behalf of Padagha committee Padagha committee convenor welcomed all for the meeting and declared that the meeting was to celebrate the successes achieved and chart further course. He thanked people of the area who raised hundreds of rupees as their contribution for holding the meeting. He also thanked principals of local schools and also local leaders like who helped in organizing the cultural programs and the meeting.
The meeting was addressed by speakers from Communist Ghadar Party of India and Lok Raj sangathan. CGPI speaker in her speech congratulated the Padagha committee for leading the locals in their fight for their rights and for choosing a very apt subject for the meeting. She highlighted that the root cause of all the problems is the fact that working people do not have power in their own hands.
The LRS speaker first clarified that physical and intellectual workers, peasants, and other working people working in various public services like health, transport, post, PDS, water supply, electricity supply, banking sector, education sector, etc. who are the real producers of wealth of our country and not the big money bag industrialists, big zamindars and big trading companies. Hence the real Maliks of our country should be the working people he thundered. He raised the question as to why the working people then are not the real Maliks and why are the producers of wealth living the life of misery? He clarified that this is due to the fact that the Power of our country is not in the hands of the real Maliks. Power to take any decisions governing the country reside in the hands of a handful who are the members of Central cabinet who reside in the pockets of big capitalists of our country. Power thus lies in the hands of such big capitalists. He gave example of farmers including farmers from Padagha who are fighting for remunerative prices for their produce. Elaborating on the example of sugar he explained how though on the one hand bumper sugar production is expected and millions across the country are demanding more sugar from ration shops and lacs of farmers are fighting for better price for their sugarcane, the government has taken decision in favor of big sugar factory owners as a result of which sugar prices have in fact gone up and sugar has vanished from ration shops! He further explained that the only way ahead for the real Maliks, the working people of India is to build their organizations in the form of Lok Raj samitis at all levels , who should not only organize people to defend their rights but also to take steps in the direction of establishing Lok Raj.
A large number of youth and children from local villages and schools presented their songs, dances and dramas. Notable were the youths from village Pilanje who presented their play on the issue of fight for PDS & youths from village Khadavali who put up their mono-act play depicting how leprosy affected people are ostracized in the society. These youths also promised the gathering that they would participate whole heartedly with LRS for good health facility for people of Padagha area who also are treated like leprosy patients in the existing health system. Children from Muslim school also presented their play and ghazal.
Padagha committee who had put in huge efforts for more than a fortnight mobilizing people from many surrounding villages, distributing more than 2000 leaflets , were rewarded for their efforts by the success of the meeting. 90 people enrolled themselves as members of LRS at the meeting venue.