Workers, Students and Youth

March to Parliament against Terrorism, Communalism, and Regional Chauvinism

On December 12, the streets of Delhi saw the largest mobilisation yet since the Mumbai terrorist attack of November 2008, with many thousands of students, workers and youth marching condemning the heinous attack in one voice, and paying tribute to the memory of its victims.   keeping silence in memory of mumbai victims
The media may be full of war cries trying to whip up a communal jingoistic frenzy, especially amongst youth, against Pakistan, and promoting army rule or dictatorship as an antidote to terror. This din is trying to drown out all the saner voices speaking out against US imperialism, or demanding investigation into the Sanghi terrorist network, punishment for regional chauvinists and communal hate-mongers, and justice against fake encounters and framing of innocents by the police. The March to Parliament on 12 December was a spirited rebuttal of these attempts to silence the voices of democracy and whip up a communal, anti-democratic and jingoistic frenzy. scaling the barricade
Thousands of workers, students and youth from all over the country, under the banner of AISA (All India Students’ Association), Revolutionary Youth Association (RYA), AICCTU (All India Central Council of Trade Unions) and AIALA (All India Agricultural Labourers’ Association) marched towards Jantar Mantar from Ramlila grounds, holding up banners and placards and raising slogans proclaiming “Stop importing terror and economic crisis from the US,” “Shame on BJP for garnering votes in the name of terrorism,” “People’s Security = Democracy + Secularism + Anti-Imperialism; Recipe for Terrorism = Dictatorship + Communalism + Pro-US policies,” “Ban MNS-Shiv Sena,” “Why bail for Raj Thackeray and Jail for protesting students – UPA-NDA must answer.” At the head of the March were CPI(ML) General Secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya, Politburo member Swadesh Bhattacharya, AICCTU general Secretary Swapan Mukherjee, AISA General Secretary Ravi Rai, RYA President Mohd. Salim and General Secretary Kamlesh Sharma, as well as Shri Kundan Singh, father of Rahul Raj, the young job-seeker killed in a police ‘encounter’ in Mumbai, and Prof. Naval Kishore Chaudhury, HoD, Economics, Patna University. Shri Kundan Singh held up a portrait of his son along with one of Shaheed-e-Azam Bhagat Singh. The March culminated in a massive meeting at Parliament Street. sansad marchsansad march
sansad march








The meeting began by paying homage to the victims of terrorism, communal violence and regional chauvinism. Conducting the meeting, AISA General Secretary Ravi Rai was greeted by enthusiastic slogans and thousands of people clapping when he declared, ‘No war on Pakistan; united struggle of India and Pakistan against US Imperialism and the forces of terrorism!’ The meeting was addressed by AISA Vice President Abhyuday and RYA National President Mohd.Salim who recounted experiences of AISA’s AISA’s and RYA’s leading role in the struggle against the MNS-Shiv Sena violence, which exposed the opportunism of UPA and NDA alike. AICCTU General Secretary Swapan Mukherjee said that the US economic crisis was being imported into India by the Manmohan Government – and workers were being laid off as a result. He demanded that instead of layoffs for workers and bailouts for corporates, the Government should resolve the crisis by reversing pro-US economic policies, and enhancing public expenditure in pro-poor schemes. sansad marchsansad march
Addressing the gathering, Shri Kundan Singh said that the Maharashtra police, which had treated the marauding Shiv Sena and MNS cadre with kid gloves, had cold-bloodedly killed his son, Rahul. The fact that those in power were avoiding to order a probe into the ‘encounter’ proved that they had something to hide. In the quest for justice for Rahul, he expressed his sense of betrayal by the parties that swore by the cause of Bihar, and said that it was the students, youth and workers of Bihar who were his partners in the struggle.
Prof. Naval Kishore Chaudhury said that Governments were showing double standards by soft-pedalling communal and chauvinistic forces. He demanded a ban on the MNS, Shiv Sena, as well as Bajrang Dal. Opposing war-mongering and jingoism, he said that democracy, peace and justice were the best guarantee against terrorism.
Addressing the mass meeting, CPI(ML) General Secretary Comrade Dipankar said that “some sections of the media and politicians are trying to peddle dictatorship, army rule, war with Pakistan and partnership with the US as solutions for India’s security. Pakistan’s own experience is proof that this is a recipe for disaster. India’s ruling class – both Congress and BJP – are hell-bent on shackling India to the globally hated US imperialist policies, and thus importing the US’ economic crisis as well as terrorism onto Indian soil. To fight terror India must first of all de-link her foreign policy from the American strategic stranglehold, and must engage Pakistan in a shared struggle against terror.”
Condemning the UPA and NDA parties and Governments for failing to protect the migrant workers, students and job-seekers of North India from the regional chauvinistic violence of the MNS-Shiv Sena, Comrade Dipankar said that “the Congress, RJD and LJP, as well as Nitish’s JD(U) have all proved equally hollow on the issue of confronting the MNS-Shiv Sena. It is the students and youth of Bihar and UP who challenged the MNS-Sena and yet they were punished with lathi-charges and jail.”
AIALA General Secretary Dhirendra Jha read out several resolutions (see box), which were passed unanimously.   

A memorandum was submitted to the Home Minister as well as President of India. Apart from the above-mentioned concerns and demands, the memorandum also demanded legislation to ensure the security and dignity of migrant workers, and raised the concerns of the victims of the Kosi floods. The memorandum demanded year-long work under NREGA in these areas, as well as free and regular monthly rations, immediate temporary shelter and a time-bound provision of housing to all affected families.

Resolutions Adopted at the
March to Parliament

1. This gathering expresses the deepest grief and condolences for the victims of the heinous terror attacks at Mumbai last month and for all the victims of bomb blasts and terrorist violence.
2. This gathering resolves to struggle against every brand of terrorism, communal violence and regional chauvinism, for a secular, democratic and united India. This gathering expresses the strongest condemnation of the political forces seeking to gather votes from the bloodshed in terror attacks and communal and regional-chauvinistic violence.
 3. This gathering condemns the attempts to whip up demands for war, army rule, or partnership with the US as solutions to terrorism. We hold that a stronger democracy and de-linking from the pro-US policies as the foundation of our security. We condemn any attempt to whip up war between Pakistan and India, resist US meddling in the sub- continent, and call for a united struggle by India, Pakistan and Bangladesh against the shared problem of terrorism.
4. This gathering condemns the corporate bailouts and layoffs which can never be the way out of the current economic crisis. We demand that the Indian government reverse the disastrous policies of globalisation and stop importing the US economic crisis onto Indian soil, put an end to layoffs and instead enhance public expenditure and invest more in schemes for the poor in order to rejuvenate the economy.
5. This gathering condemns the UPA-NDA parties and governments for doing nothing to protect the migrant workers, job-seekers and students of North India who have been victims of regional chauvinistic violence by the MNS and Shiv Sena. We demand a ban on the MNS-Shiv Sena, prosecution of Raj and Bal Thackeray for murder, and withdrawal of all charges against students who were arrested for protesting against the violence. We demand a judicial enquiry into the ‘encounter’ in which Rahul Raj was killed in Mumbai.
6. We demand legislation to ensure the security and dignity of migrant workers, including rights like identity cards and comprehensive social security.
7. This gathering condemns the Nitish Government of Bihar for retreating from its promises to the victims of the Kosi floods. Relief camps are being closed and people forcibly evicted, and people are being forced to face the approaching severe cold without even minimum temporary shelters. Hunger and starvation loom large there. We demand year-long work under NREGA in these areas, involving their own rehabilitation work, free and regular monthly rations, immediate temporary shelter and a time-bound provision of housing to all affected families.
8. This gathering condemns the killer Soren Government for the recent police firing on adivasis protesting peacefully against land grab in Dumka, Jharkhand, and demands scrapping of all MoUs and moratorium on land acquisition without people’s consent.
 9. This gathering demands the immediate release of Dr. Binayak Sen and disbanding of the Salwa Judum in Chhattisgarh.  
10. We demand a time-bound judicial enquiry into the Batla House ‘encounter’ and action against the Special Cell operatives found by the CBI to be guilty of framing two innocent Muslim youth as terrorists.

11. We demand a thorough probe into the role of the Sangh Parivar and Sanghi elements in the armed forces in terrorism.