Communist parties, trade unions, progressive mass organisations and human rights organisations came together to organise a protest on 24th February 2020 at Jantar Mantar to oppose US President Donald Trump’s visit to India
Mazdoor Ekta Lehar (MEL) talked to Dr. Rachna who is a post-graduate guest teacher in the National Capital Region of Delhi (Delhi-NCR) and who has been leading the struggle of guest teachers in this region. We are presenting below a highlight of the discussion.
15th February will mark 10 weeks of unabated protests across the country against the CAA-NRC. What is significant is the hundreds of women who are actively participating day in and day out in these protests.
Recently published data show that food prices in December 2019 were 14 per cent higher than in December 2018. And within food items, vegetable prices were higher by as much as 60 per cent. To understand the impact of soaring food prices, let us examine the case of a factory worker.
The protests that began in the middle of December post the signing of the Citizenship Amendment Act by the President on 12th December continued through the New Year and are still going on. In Delhi, Bengaluru and many other cities, the New Year was rung in with slogans of “No to CAA NRC!” “Students have a right to protest peacefully!” “We will not accept citizenship to be defined on the basis of religion!”
Ghadar International and Indian Workers Association(GB) held a public meeting against CAA (Citizens Amendment Act) and National Register of Citizens (NRC) on Saturday 4th January 2020 in Ilford. The meeting followed a 4 mile long protest march from Forest Gate to Newham in London. The march was attended by over 2000 people from many faith groups, progressive individuals and organisations. The march ended with a militant rally held at a park in Newham.
Activists of the Communist Ghadar Party of India organized a padayatra through the streets and lanes of Sanjay Colony, a slum colony situated in Okhla Industrial Estate, Phase 2, on the morning of May 1, 2019.
Peasants across the country have resolved to come together once again to protest against the callousness of the rulers to their growing impoverishment. Despite repeated protests by the peasantry since the last one year and more, the government has failed to guarantee the Minimum Support Price (MSP) of 1.5 times the cost. Dumping of their produce – milk, potatoes, tomatoes and other vegetables – by peasants on the roads because the price they can realize does not even cover their cost of production has become an increasing occurrence over the last few years.
Recently the Indian Railways announced that it would “re-engage” retired workers to fill the vacancies in for all categories of workers in the maintenance, operating and commercial departments. Towards this end it has already started “re-engaging” workers who retired at 60 years in these departments subject to a maximum age limit of 65 years. These workers are “reengaged” for two years by hiring them at 50% of the salary last drawn without HRA and transport allowances. They have to work the full working day like all employees.
The growing anger and discontent of the masses of peasants in all parts of the country manifest in numerous struggles over the past few months, burst out in a massive united show of strength on the streets of New Delhi on November 20 and 21, 2017.
Call of the Communist Ghadar Party of India, July 12, 2017
Peasant brothers, you have come here to Delhi from every corner of India to declare to the whole country that you will fight against injustice and for your rights. The Communist Ghadar Party of India stands firmly in defence of your struggle.
Hundreds of peasants’ organisations and many organisations fighting to protect the interest of working people have called for a rally in New Delhi on 18 July 2017. The rally has been called to demand that the government takes necessary steps to address the crisis that is devastating the lives of peasants across the country.
Since early June 2017, the agitation in Darjeeling and surrounding areas, for a separate state for the Gorkha people in West Bengal has become very intense. The agitators have organised an indefinite strike of all government offices and agencies. Gorkha students and working people in other parts of India, including in Jadavpur University in Kolkata and JNU in Delhi, have taken out rallies to express their support to the agitation.
Over 800 women and men, youth and students, marched in unison from Rajiv Chowk to Jantar Mantar in Central Delhi, on 8th March, 2017, in celebration of International Women’s Day. With spirited slogans and songs that resounded through the busy streets, with clenched fists held high, with colourful banners and placards highlighting their resolve to resist the manifold attacks of the state, they reiterated their commitment to continue the struggle in defence of their rights and for a system free of injustice and inequality.
About 1.5 lakh employees of the three municipal corporations of Delhi have been on strike from 27th January to 8th February in support of their demand for a permanent settlement of their issues of salary and arears due to them.
Over 30,000 junior doctors working in the British Government run National Health Service went on strike on February 10, 2016 in protest against the governments threat to impose a contract on them unilaterally. Earlier, the government has broken off negotiations with the doctor's union. The new contract aims to greatly increase the workload on junior doctors.
The joint action committee of the unions of central government workers organised a massive rally at Azad Maidan in Mumbai to protest against the anti-worker recommendations of the Seventh Pay Commission and against the changes proposed to be incorporated in labour laws.
The Jan Shakti Coolie Union organised a demonstration in support of their demands at Azad Maidan, Mumbai on 20th January 2016. Hundreds of porters (coolies) working in the various railway stations of Mumbai participated in this demonstration. All over India, hundreds of thousands of collies provide services to passengers at railway stations all over India.
The meeting of the Joint Action Committee of Workers’ Associations was held in Dadar, Mumbai on 28th January 2016. AITUC, CITU, INTUC, Kamgar Ekta Committee, HMS, Dharmrajya Kamgar Sangathan, AIUTUC, AICCTU, Kamgar Aghadi, All India Bank Employees Federation, Bharatiya Kamgar Sena and other associations participated in it.
The workers’ association and various unions of the Haryana Roadways organised vigorous protests and pickets (‘dhrana’) in the depots located at various depots in the state on 11th February 2016 against the new transport policy of the state government. Subsequently they presented a memorandum to the General Manager of Haryana Roadways and the state Chief Minister.
A statue of Shaheed Bhagat Singh was unveiled on 8th February 2016 in a packed public meeting at Bhagat Singh Chowk in Nohar, Rajasthan. The statue was installed on 26th October 2015 after a lot of struggle with the police and administration. The district administration refused to give permission inspite of a pending application.
Halt the capitalist offensive to forcibly acquire lands of peasants and tribal people
The Minister of Road Transport and Highways, and Rural Development, Shri Nitin Gadkari, has initiated a discussion through the monopoly media on changing key provisions of the 2013 land acquisition law, declaring that “development” is being hindered by the present law.
As a newspaper and organisation that is partisan to the workers and toilers, we have been asking the leaders of the working people as to how the toilers of India view the reforms that were started 20 years ago. Whether the working class and people have benefitted from these reforms or have suffered?
Doctors working in Rajasthan's government hospitals have been on strike since December 21, on the issues of parity in wages and time-bound promotions. 6000 doctors are militantly fighting for their rights.
Between 23-25 November 2011, Motormen of the Western Railways, organized under the banner of the Western Railway Motormen’s Association, went on a work to rule agitation. This resulted in disruption of the normal running of trains. They were protesting against the suspension of a motorman for crossing a signal at a platform.
People’s opposition to nuclear projects is growing across the country. Thousands of peasants in Gorakhpur village and surrounding areas of Fatehabad district of Haryana are also militantly opposing a nuclear electricity project being planned in this village. The government shamelessly declared that the land in the area is infertile.
On 21 December 2011, a gate meeting was held the headquarters of Tata owned Voltas in Mumbai. The occasion was the 200th day of chain hunger strike of workers in defense of their rights. 5 women workers of the company were on hunger strike on this day.
They are doing this not to develop India. India's development should mean how the ordinary workers and peasants prosper. If we see that way, exploitation by the capitalists has increased and so has the number of poor people in India. The land, water and labour of our people are being super exploited. Our experience in Ashok Leyland over these years show that people have not benefited by the policy of privatization and liberalization. Only big capitalists have become richer.
As a result of trade getting shifted to large corporate retail houses, lakhs of small traders will be thrown onto the streets without livelihood. And once monopolies capture the entire market, they will supply poor quality products at high prices to make maximum profits.
Growing political unity around the aim of people’s empowerment
Throughout the length and breadth of the country, crores of our people from all walks of life came onto the streets expressing intense anger against the corrupt political and economic system. They were inspired to express support to Anna Hazare and his satyagraha, or struggle for truth.
On June 9th , 2011, 10 unions representing the different sections of the employees of Air India, including, pilots, aircraft technicians, ground staff and cabin crew, Aircraft Engineers, radio officers and flight officers,Service Engineers as well as the officers came together at Mumbai and decided to form the “Core Committee of Joint Forum of Air India and India
On February 28, 2011 many workers protested under the banner of the Uttarakhand Lok Panchayat. They were protesting the stalling of welfare schemes in their state; they were demanding among other things - an end to the contract system in places of employment, an assurance that each citizen of the state is given a proper salary, that precautions are taken during a natural disaster, to ensure aid and bring the situation under control at a rapid pace during such a calamity.
On 22nd February 2011, a two hour nationwide strike by train drivers brought most of the morning rush hour rail transport in Germany to a standstill. The Rhine-Main region and Stuttgart were particularly affected. The city of Dresden in East Germany and the Berlin city train system were also hit by this action.
On March 4, several Delhi based people’s organisations got together and demanded rations for the people and also protested against the closing of the PDS and the suggestion of the government to introduce cash payment system for ration.
On February 28th, 2011 thousands of engine drivers organized under the banner of All India Loco Running Staff Association(AILRSA), marched from Ambedkar Bhawan to Parliament to protest against the callous refusal of the Railway Ministry to address their long standing grievances.
International Women’s Day was enthusiastically celebrated in the Kalkaji area of South Delhi under the leadership of Purogami Mahila Sangathan (PMS) on March 6, 2011. Women students from schools and colleges, young working women, activists of local people’s organisations and women from various residential colonies enthusiastically participated in this program, along with the activists of PMS.
On February 23, 2011, workers from all the states of our country, and various sectors of the economy, assembled together in the capital to march to parliament. The march to parliament was aimed at letting the government, parliament, as well as the people of the entire country know that the workers of our country, irrespective of party or union affiliation, have decided to organize unitedly for their rights. The workers affirmed that they are determined to resist the attacks on their livelihood and rights which have been unleashed by the UPA government on behalf of the capitalists.
About 50,000 workers employed with 175 mini steel plants in Chhattisgarh face a threat to their jobs as the factory owners have announced plans to close their units amid rising prices of sponge iron used as raw material. This was announced by the President of the Chhattisgarh Mini Steel Plants Association. The Association is demanding a bail out package from the state government.
Starting 22 November, Seafarers and Dockworkers Unions in India and Sri Lanka carried out a week long industrial action against 'Flags of Convenience’ (FOC) shipping. Activists at all major ports in India and Sri Lanka launched investigations of ships, crew contracts, and working and living conditions on board FOC ships.
BYD Electronics, a Nokia supplier company located in a Special Economic Zone at Orggadam near Chennai, terminated the services of 2,500 contract workers, sacked 37 permanent workers, suspended 23 more and ordered 437 others to sign a letter of apology to keep their jobs and announced an illegal lock out on November 1.
A six week strike by contract workers of Neyveli Lignite Corporation(NLC) in Tamilnadu ended on October 27, 2010. Nearly 13,000 contract workers were participating in the strike at this state owned coal and electricity generation company.
The NREGA workers of Rajasthan, who have been carrying on a dharna at jaipur's city circle since October 2, 2010 have finally achieved victory. The State government agreed to their demands in writing. This includes linking the MGNREGS wage rate with the state's minimum wage rate, which in turn will be linked to the consumer price index (CPI).
On 6th November at 5.00 pm hundreds of activists from various organisations gathered outside Churchgate Station to protest the visit of U.S President Barrack Obama to Mumbai. Activists belonging to Communist Ghadar Party of India, Lok Raj Sangathan, CPI, CPM, SUCI, CPI(ML) Liberation, CPI(ML)Red Flag, Bharat Jhodo Andolan and many others participated.
38, 000 workers of Doordarshan Kendra and All India Radio all across the country went on a 48 hour strike from November 23 morning, seriously crippling the services of these two government broadcasting institutions.
Faced with the government's adamant refusal to discuss their demands, the unions have announced plans of stepped up struggle.
Workers in France continued to stage massive protest actions throughout the month of October 2010, protesting against the move of the government to raise the minimum retirement age and the age for a full pension.
September 7 witnessed a country-wide all day strike by the working class, a fitting action in response to the pro-capitalist policies of the government. About 10 crore workers participated in this strike in response to the joint call of the Communist Ghadar Party of India and various political parties, trade unions, youth organizations and others.
On August 24, 2010 the Minister of Environment and Forests, Shri Jairam Ramesh rejected the forest clearance for the Orissa Mining Corporation (OMC) and Sterlite bauxite mining project on the Niyamgiri hills in Lanjigarh, Kalahandi and Rayagada districts of Orissa.
A mission of five women representatives of the ‘Khwairamband Nipu Keithel Vendor Welfare Association’ and ‘Manipur and Roadside Vendor Welfare Association’ visited New Delhi to take up the various important issues regarding irregularities in the reconstruction of the Ima Keithel market and space allocation.
The Maharashtra Government has been forced to concede the demand of workers organisations that mill lands in prime locations of Central and South Mumbai cannot just be sold for real estate value. The workers have opposed closures.
For nearly 3 decades, the government and the railway ministry has been systematically following an anti worker anti people agenda. This is to intensify the exploitation of the engine drivers and others concerned with the running and maintenance of trains and the railways and to ignore implementing safety measures to protect the lives of railmen as well as the passengers.
The Kamgar Utkarsha Sabha, a workers’ union comprising 2,000 employees of Raymond Group, have approached the Bombay High Court seeking a ban on the proposed housing project to be built at the Raymond factory in Thane after closing it down.
Thousands of workers of the Vedanta Aluminum Refining Plant in Lanjigarh, Orissa, went on the war path, when the company suddenly declared their services terminated. About 35 contract workers were reported arrested.
Farmers of Gorakhpur-Kumharia village in Fatehabad district of Haryana, where the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NIPCL) plans to set up a power plant, are up in arms against the government's move to acquire their land. On August 17, hundreds of farmers submitted a memorandum to the District Revenue Officer asking the authorities to acquire alternative land for the plant.
On 15th August 2010, the Purogami Mahila Sangathan (Maharashtra Committee) held a one-day workshop on “The Emancipation of Women” in CHM College, Ulhasnagar (Thane district). They were fully supported in this endeavour by the youthful Ulhasnagar committee of Lok Raj Sangathan. In each of the three sessions there were prepared presentations.
The Padgha area Lok Raj Samiti was constituted on 8th August in a meeting held in a hall near the Rice Mill of Padgha village (Thane district, Maharashtra) in the presence of hundreds of members. A 20-member Executive Council was elected, which included women and men, young and old.
Lok Raj Sangathan Delhi Regional Council organized several competitions and discussion on August 15 on the subject of 63 years of Independence and Rising Prices in the resettlement colony of Madanpur Khader Extension. Large numbers of youth (girls and boys), men and women of the area participated in the events.
The UPA Government, which recently completed the first year of its second avatar, has claimed to be a government serving the aam aadmi. It pretends to be greatly concerned about the poor peasants in the villages. However life reveals the opposite.
Mazdoor Ekta Lehar expresses its profound grief to the families of the 158 passengers and crew of the Air India Plane from Dubai that crashed in Mangalore Airport in the early hours of May 22, 2010. Hundreds of people have lost their sole bread earner in this tragedy.
On May 4, 2010, Mumbai was brought to a grinding halt as a result of the strike of Suburban train drivers. The impact of the strike reverberated in the halls of parliament. Only after the Union Government announced that it would address the demands of the motormen by June 15 2010, did the motormen announce the temporary suspension of their agitation. The motormen had made their point, not only to the Railway Ministry, but to the whole country.
Hundreds of activists and supporters of the Party — women and girls, men and youth — participated enthusiastically in a meeting organized by the Communist Ghadar Party of India in Delhi on April 11, 2010. The meeting was organized by the Party as part of the countrywide celebrations of the struggle of Indian women for their emancipation, in this the centenary year of the declaration of International Women’s Day.
The Hindustani Ghadar Party was formed in April 1913 in the US. The Indian working people and patriotic intellectuals in North America who had emigrated there in the conditions of colonial rule gave birth to this patriotic and revolutionary organization to enable them to realize their deepest aspirations.
Padagha, a cluster of many small villages, is near Bhiwandi in Thane district. The population mainly consisting of wage laborers and small farmers, also has a significant number of young men and women who go to work mostly as contract laborers in various small factories in Bhiwandi and Kalyan.
अंतर्राष्ट्रीय मेहनतकश महिला दिवस की शताब्दी, महिलाओं व मेहनतकश लोगों ने दुनिया भर में, मोर्चा, प्रदर्शनों, गोष्ठियों, नाटकों और तरह-तरह के दूसरे तरीकों से बड़े जोर-शोर से मनाई। जिन मुद्दों को उठाया गया था वे सभी सिर्फ महिलाओं पर प्रभाव डालने वाले मुद्दों तक सीमित नहीं थे बल्कि कई मुद्दे, मानवों, मेहनतकश लोगों व राष्ट्रों के अधिकारों से जुड़े थे।
More than a thousand women and men, representing nearly 30 organisations, participated in a militant demonstration from Mandi House to Jantar Mantar in the heart of New Delhi, on March 8 this year, to mark hundred years of the declaration of International Women’s Day. The demonstration was organized under the banner of the ‘Centenary Committee to celebrate International Women’s Day’.
On February 9, 2010, workers living in the South Delhi parliamentary constituency took out a torchlight procession to protest the massive increase in food prices. The rally was organised under the baner of the Mehangai Virodh Samyukt Sangharsh Samiti (Joint Struggle Committee to Oppose Price Increase). The torchlight rally began from Tekhand village at 4 pm and marched to Kalka Depot, passing through the factories of Okhla Industrial Area Phase 1 and Phase II.
Workers of Delhi staged a one-day dharna in the offices of the Delhi government food and civil supplies department on 17 February 2010 to demand the immediate issuing of ration cards to those who were below the poverty line. The dharna was organized under the banner of the Delhi Council of the Lok Raj Sangathan.
17 years ago, on February 22, 1993, comrades of the Communist Ghadar Party of India, along with activists of scores of other mass organizations, organized a historic rally at the memorial of Shaheed Bhagat Singh and his comrades at Ferozeshah Kotla in Delhi.
Over 10,000 workers have been retrenched in the mines of Barbil-Joda-Gandamardan mining belt in Keonjhar district of Odisha. The sword of retrenchment hangs heavy over the heads of another 10,000 workers at this time.
On January 9, 2010, coinciding with the state organised and much publicised Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, workers organisations organised a rally in front of parliament to highlight the complete lack of rights of Indian workers who go abroad for livelihood, as well as workers from other countries who come to India for their livelihood. The workers organisations also raised the issue of lack of rights of internal migrant workers.
The huge almond processing industry of Delhi witnessed a major strike of workers which began on December 15, 2009. Karawal Nagar, where the thousands of subcontract workers live and work, was witness to mass protests and rallies of workers, including women workers, braving the terror of the contractors as well as the terror of the police.
2.5 lakh Jute workers of West Bengal went on indefinite strike on 14th December, 2009 demanding implementation of previous tripartitite agreements with the owners and the government, as well as payment of Dearness Allowance in context of rising prices.
More than 7 lakh construction workers struck work as part of an All-India strike on December 8, 2009. The strike was observed in175 districts of 19 states and in more than 50 big construction projects. The strike was called by the Construction Workers Federation of India(CWFI).
The brutal rape and murder of two young women in Shopian, Kashmir in May 2009 in an area teeming with military and paramilitary forces had led to widespread strikes and demonstrations which continued for over two weeks, in which people demanded that the crime be properly investigated and the guilty servicemen be brought to book for their dastardly acts. (See MEL, June 2009)
Over 45,000 people from all over the globe – many from countries where livelihoods and life itself are severely threatened by climate change – went to Copenhagen in December 2009 in the hope that a new global agreement on climate change would be reached there. However what emerged from the conference in which 192 countries participated was only an acknowledgement that the US and five other countries had struck a deal!
On the first weekend of the new year Hindi Naujawan Ekta Sahba organized competitions for youth and children in Sanjay Colony in South Delhi on the burning issue of terrorism under the theme "Nutan Varsha mein Aatankvaad se Mukti" (Freedom from Terrorism in the New Year). This was followed by a public meeting on the same theme.
Hundreds of Palestinians including women and children have been killed in continuous bombing raids carried out by Israeli air force over Gaza since December 27, 2008. As we go to press, Israel has amassed its tanks on the Gaza border to begin an invasion.
Bangladesh Bharat Pakistan People’s Forum organized a protest rally on December 19 in Kolkata, to oppose terrorist attacks on the people of Mumbai and other places, warmongering and the evil designs of imperialism.
The school and college youth of our country constitute a powerful force for social transformation. They impatiently seek lasting solutions to the problems confronting them as well as society at large. The bourgeoisie is very aware of this and afraid of the potential of educated working class youth.
A meeting on the world economic crisis and its impact on India was organised in Mullahpur village, near Ludhiana in Punjab on December 21, 2008. The Lok Kala Manch, an organisation dedicated to using folk cultural forms to enlighten the working people, had organised the meeting as part of the celebration of 20 years of its founding.
The struggle raging in Modern Foods is at the cutting edge of the struggle of India’s working class against privatisation
At the end of September 2000, three trade union leaders working in the Lawrence Road unit of MFIL were suspended. Suspension of workers for real or false charges is a common practice in capitalist India.
The all India general strike has been called to resolutely oppose the course of enriching the capitalist minority by impoverishing the toiling majority. It has been called to assert the rights that belong to workers, peasants and other toiling people who create the wealth of India.
Parties of the capitalist class claim that there is no alternative to the program of globalisation,liberalisation and privatisation. The truth is that there IS an alternative.The alternative is to reorient the economy to fulfil people’s needs instead of fulfilling capitalist greed. This is the program for the Navnirman of India.
The Report to the Fifth Congress of the Communist Ghadar Party of India, presented by Comrade Lal Singh, General Secretary of the CGPI, on behalf of its Central Committee, was discussed and adopted by the Fifth Congress of the CGPI, held in November 2016. By decision of the Fifth Congress, this report has been edited for publication.
The first part of this pamphlet is an analysis of facts and phenomena to identify and expose the real aims behind the Note Ban. The second part is devoted to a critical appraisal of the government’s claims that it will reduce inequality, corruption and terrorism. The third part is what Communist Ghadar Party believes is the real solution to these problems and the immediate program of action towards that solution.
Unite around the program to reconstitute the Indian Republic and reorient the economy to ensure prosperity and protection for all!
There is growing realisation among workers, peasants and other self-employed people that the program of liberalisation and privatisation only serves to enrich an exploiting minority at their expense. Mass resistance is growing to this anti-worker, anti-peasant and anti-national program.