CPI, CPI(M), CGPI, CPI(M-L) Liberation, Revolutionary Socialist Party and Forward Bloc carried out a joint protest demonstration against the economic crisis on 16th October 2019 at the Parliament in New Delhi. Hundreds of workers, youth and women marched towards the Parliament from Jantar Mantar-Jaisingh Road chowk under the banner “Stop shifting the burden of the economic crisis on the people!” The demonstrators held a public meeting at the Parliament Road police station where they were stopped from going ahead.
The demonstrators held their placards aloft in their hands. The principal demands were – “Stop the privatisation of public resources and public services!”, “This is not rule by the majority, but rule by a monopoly capitalists!”, “Down with the rule by exploitation, loot and oppression!”, “We demand Rs.21000 minimum wages per month!”, “Reverse 100 per cent FDI in defence and coal sectors!”, “We demand unemployment allowance for the jobless!”, “Our demand is for Rs.10000 per month as universal pension!”, “We demand Rs.3000 as minimum pension for the old and widows!”, “Guarantee procurement from the peasants at 1.5 times the cost of production!”
Addressing the meeting, the speakers from participating organisations pointed out that the economy is in severe crisis. The government had promised that it would create huge numbers of jobs, but on the contrary today workers are being thrown out of the jobs. The sale of automobiles, cloth and daily necessities has fallen. The government is hiding this crisis under cooked up data. It is diverting the people by defining citizenship on the basis of religion and by exacerbating communal violence and hatred among people. Sometimes, a surgical strikes and at other times, a Balakot or Kashmir have been used as smokescreens to fool the people.
The speakers condemned the government that instead of alleviating unemployment and increasing the purchasing power of the people it is granting all kinds of concessions to the capitalist class. Earlier, it forgave taxes to the tune of Rs.70,000 crores for businesses in real estate and export sectors; recently it granted tax waiver of Rs.1,45,000 crores to the capitalists. The Reserve Bank of India, which holds the people’s money in trust has handed over Rs.1,76,000 crore to the capitalist class. The speakers pointed out that note-ban and GST were introduced to further enrich the ruling capitalist class. Lakhs of jobs were lost because of these steps. Peasants have been ruined.
The speakers demanded that the government increase government investment to spur an increase in jobs, to pay unemployment allowance to the jobless, to increase the investment in public health and education, to halt the privatisation of Public Sector Units like BSNL, Ordnance factories, Indian Railways and Air India. They reiterated the demand for minimum wages of Rs.21000 and a monthly pension of Rs.10000, one-time loan waiver to peasant and for ensuring a minimum support price equal to 1.5 times the cost of productions.
Sitaram Yechury – General Secretary of CPI(M), D.Raja – General Secretary of CPI, Santosh Kumar from Communist Ghadar Party of India, Kavita Krishnan of CPI(M-L) Liberation, and R.S. Dager of RSP addressed the demonstration.