Maha Lok Panchayat in Punjab on 98th Birth Anniversary of Shaheed Bhagat Singh

The Punjab unit of the CPI(ML) commemorated the 98th Birth Anniversary of Shaheed Bhagat Singh by organising a massive Lok Panchayat at Mansa on 28 September. The Panchayat addressed the issue of strengthening the movement against the anti-people and pro-imperialist policies of the government. Thousands of peasants, agricultural labourers, youth, and women took a pledge to intensify the struggles against the policies of liberalisation, privatisation and globalisation. Renowned cultural personality - Gurusharan Singh

A life-size poster of Shaheed Bhagat Singh was also released in a special ceremony in the evening by

the eminent cultural activist and dramatist Gurusharan Singh, CPI(ML) General Secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya and nephew of Bhagat Singh Prof. Jagmohan Singh. A number of eminent citizens, writers, artists and other intellectuals were present on the occasion. This painting by the famous artist Inderjeet was appreciated by all.

Comrade Dipankar reminded the gathering of the importance of the national hero Bhagat Singh in the ongoing struggles against the pro-imperialist policies of the government and said that while Gandhi's fallacy is being exposed day by day, Bhagat Singh continues to be regarded as a symbol of revolutionary change. He also reminded of the total failure of the Green Revolution in Panjab and elsewhere in India which is now leading to suicides by farmers and starvation deaths and warned against the governmental attempts to impose another extension of this, the much hyped Second Green Revolution, which is nothing but transferring profits from agriculture to the multinationals and corporates. This will further pauperise the peasants and will lead to more intense agrarian crisis, he said, and called for the unity of peasants and workers for much wider struggles against these policies.

Tarsem Singh Jodha, leader of CPI(M)(Pasla Group) emphasised unity among left parties to sharpen struggles against the existing agrarian crisis. He blamed the opportunist politics of the CPI(M) as the biggest hurdle in the way of the left unity and said that united struggles by the revolutionary forces alone can fill this gap. MCPI leader Mangat Ram Longowal, Vice President of BKU(Ekta) Ruldu Singh, Gurnam Bhikhi of RYA, Nikka Singh Samaon of AISA, Balwinder Kaur of AIPWA, Sukhdarshan Nath of Democratic Employees' Front, Mansa District Secretary of CPI(ML) Bhagwant Singh Samao and AICCTU leader Har Bhagwan Bhikhi also addressed the Lok Panchayat. CPI(ML) Central Committee member Rajendra Pratholi was also present in the Panchayat. The proceedings were conducted by Comrade Jeeta Kaur. Maha Lok Panchayat in Punjab on Ninety-eighth Birth Anniversary of Saheed Bhagat Singh

CPI(ML) State Secretary Rajwinder Rana presented a fifteen-point resolution which was passed unanimously by thousands of people present in the Panchayat. The resolutions included demands to stop entry of multinational companies; waiver of loans to peasants, agricultural workers, and petty shopkeepers; to stop issuing seizure warrants on property like land, house, shops, and other means of livelihood for non-repayment of loans; to stop cuts in subsidies on education, healthcare, water, electricity and pensions; to stop various kinds of social and religious discriminations; to ensure rights of agricultural workers, construction, brick-kiln and other unorganised sector workers and to enact legislations for them;, to stop the practice of contract and bonded labour, especially the women who collect cattle-dung in Punjab; to ensure employment to all unemployed; to stop practice of money-lending; to stop corruption in government offices and to seize the property of corrupt officials; to stop liquor sale in Punjab and many other demands.

The cultural team of Gurusharan Singh and some others presented revolutionary songs in the Panchayat.

In the end, an appeal to contribute for the CPI(ML) Bihar Election Fund was also made to the participants of the Panchayat which was welcomed by all and a sum of Rs. 10,000 was collected on the spot. The Maha Lok Panchayat concluded with a resolve to intensify struggle on the above demands and to make the forthcoming National Conference of the All India Agricultural Labour Association, to be held in Rajamundry of Andhra Pradesh, a grand success.

– Jita Kaur