Reported by Kamgar Ekta Committee correspondent
On 9th August, tens of thousands of industrial workers, farmers, agricultural workers came out on the streets in a large number of cities and towns across the country protesting against the pro-capitalist policies of the Central government. “Corporate Looters, Quit India, Quit Agriculture”, “Down with the Divide and Rule policy of capitalist class”, “Down with the hate politics of Corporate India”, “Worker-Peasant Unity Zindabad”, “No to privatisation under any excuse”, “ Down with Electricity Amendment Bill”, etc. were some of the slogans that resounded across the country.
Major rallies were taken out in many towns of Rajasthan, Haryana, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Gujrat, Punjab, Assam, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Kerala. Anger of the people against the corporate loot of our resources, against the handing over of Public Sector Undertakings, farm land, forests and agriculture to capitalist groups, and against the snatching of hard-won rights of the workers, adivasis and farmers was very much evident.
Major demands raised included the following:
- Enacting a law for remunerative MSP@C2+50% with assured procurement
- Scrapping of the four labour codes
- Stopping disinvestment of Public Sector Undertakings
- Withdrawal of the Electricity Amendment Bill 2022 and stopping installation of smart meters
- Pension scheme of Rs.10,000/- per month for all small, marginal, middle farmers and agricultural workers
- Scrapping of the Forest Conservation (Amendment) Act 2023
- Removal of the current Chief Minister of Manipur
- Stoppage of communal carnage in Haryana and many other places
In Delhi, a joint protest was organized at Jantar Mantar. The central leaders who addressed the protest included Shehnaz-INTUC, Amarjeet Kaur-AITUC, Harbhajan Singh-HMS, Tapan Sen-CITU, Harish Tyagi-AIUTUC, Lata Ben-SEWA, Rajeev Dimri-AICCTU, Rashid Khan-LPF, Shatrujit Singh-UTUC. Santosh Kumar of Mazdoor Ekta Committee (MEC) also addressed the protest meeting. We give below the Press Release issued by the central trade unions.
New Delhi, 9th August 2023
Nationwide protest by the Central Trade Unions
Observed Quit India Day-9th August
Will determinedly fight the Anti people, Anti National Government
On a call given by the National Convention of Workers, organised jointly by the platform of Central Trade Unions (CTUs) and independent Federations/Associations, held in New Delhi on 30th January, 2023, the toiling masses moved into action throughout the country with a slogan “Save the Nation, Save the People”.
This day has a special significance in the history Of India’s struggle for independence from the British Rule. It is the “Quit India” day when an ultimatum was served on the foreign rule to pack their bags and leave India.
Today the situation is as stifling in the BJP rule. The lives of the toiling masses, whether workers, farmers, students, youth, women, have become worse on every count since the BJP came to power in 2014.
The national resources and assets, the public sector undertakings in all sectors including the strategic sectors are being privatised and put on sale to the big corporates of Indian and foreign brand. The inequalities are deepening making the living of common people difficult. The rising prices of essential commodities and unemployment, the job loss, wage depression, no social security to vast majority of our people is the scenario. No other way than to mobile masses and fight back the pro-corporate, anti-people, anti-national government.
The Unions which gave the call on 30th January, have been busy all these days spreading the message to nook and corner of the country, holding joint meetings, jathas (padyatras, cycle/motorcycle/jeep jathas), gate meetings, demonstrations, approaching elected representatives – MLAs, MPs- distributing pamphlets and so on.
As we go to the press, we have reports from more than 700 districts, several thousands of talukas/mandals from 26 state capitals where the demonstrations/ dharnas have taken place. In Delhi the joint protest was organised at Jantar Mantar addressed by the central and state leaders. The central leaders who addressed included Shehnaz-INTUC, Amarjeet Kaur-AITUC, Harbhajan Singh-HMS, Tapan Sen-CITU, Harish Tyagi-AIUTUC, Lata Ben-SEWA, Rajeev Dimri-AICCTU, Rashid Khan-LPF, Shatrujit Singh-UTUC. Among others Santosh Kumar-MEC, Naresh Kumar-ICTU also addressed.
The demonstrations all over have been militant as the policies of the BJP government are only adding insult to injury, brazenly lying about “Double Engine Development”, while Manipur burns, the tormentor of our champion female wrestlers goes about freely, and now Haryana is pushed into violence in a planned manner. The democracy and secular values are under challenge.
There is no expectation from this BJP government. The people want and the nation needs a refreshing change.
The working class will intensify its struggle in the coming days.
INTUC AITUC HMS CITU AIUTUC
TUCC SEWA AICCTU LPF UTUC
And Independent Sectoral Federations and Associations