Student-Youth Commemorate 10 May as
Students and youtH from all over the country under the banner of AISA and RYA commemorated 10 May, the anniversary of India’s First War of Independence,1857, by marching to the Residency at Lucknow. Assembling at Charbagh, thousands of students and youth declared 10 May as Anti-imperialism Day and burnt a huge effigy of Pepsi and Coke symbolizing American goods. They then marched to the Residency, holding aloft banners and placards with sketches of Mangal Pandey, Kunwar Singh, Begum Hazrat Mahal, Uda Bai, Maulvi Ahmadullah. They raised slogans demanding the construction of a fitting memorial at the Residency to the martyrs of the freedom fighters and peasant-warriors who were martyred waging that brave anti-imperialist struggle.
The March culminated in a massive public meeting at the Residency, where various speakers demanded to know why there were pillars hailing notorious British officers who massacred our freedom fighters at the Residency, instead of any memorial to the martyrs who were killed in the heroic siege at the Residency?
Veteran freedom fighter and communist leader R.N.Upadhyay inaugurated the meeting. RYA leader Mohd. Salim conducted the meeting, which was chaired by the RYA President Mithilesh Yadav. Addressing the meeting, Jan Sanskriti Manch General Secretary Ajay Singh said the BJP’s cultural nationalism was in fact nothing but pro-imperialism and communal fascism. Former JNUSU president Pranay Krishna Shrivastava spoke about the modern democratic, secular content of the 1857 struggle, the mainstay of which was the peasantry of Awadh. AISA President Kavita Krishnan and other student and youth leaders from Assam, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand, Bihar, U.P and Delhi also addressed the meeting. Academicians, human rights activists and democratic citizens of Lucknow also spoke, among who were Lucknow University lecturer Ramesh Dikshit, PUHR General Secretary Brijbihari and Haroon Ahmad.
The main speaker at the meeting was CPIML PB member and UP State Secretary Akhilendra Pratap Singh, who castigated the Sangh Pariver and the BJP for betraying the legacy of secular, progressive nationalism by replacing it with shameless pro-US policies and divisive communalism.