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. They joined others to declare: We are the masters of India; we want to be the decision makers.
Contrary to the propaganda of some parties that this was a middle class agitation, those who participated included volunteers from all walks of life, working people and as well as unemployed and student youth, boys and girls. The Communist Ghadar Party of India actively supported and participated in the mass movement for people’s empowerment, alongside numerous organisations of the people. These included workers’ unions, peasant organisations, women's organisations, youth and student organisations, organisations of small traders, auto drivers and other sections, as well as broad fighting fronts such as Lok Raj Sangathan.
Lok Raj Sangathan (LRS) worked tirelessly to organise and educate the people in different residential colonies and bastis, mobilising them to join the non-partisan movement for people’s empowerment. Through its web site and personal involvement of its main spokespersons and activists, LRS played a visible role in the joint programs held in different parts of the country, in public meetings, street corner meetings, etc. The slogan and banner of LRS that became especially popular and remained upright throughout the 13 days of satyagraha at Ram Lila Maidan in Delhi was: Brashtachar ki Ek Ilaaj! Lok raj, lok raj! (There is only one solution to corruption, which is to establish people’s rule!)
Below we reprint a statement of Lok Raj Sangathan, which was distributed in tens of thousands in different regions of the country. This statement was endorsed by a large number of organisations including: Confederation of Central Govt. Employees and Workers, Mumbai; National Federation of Postal Employees; Airport Authority Employees Union, Maharashtra; Association of Resident Doctors; All India Voltas Employees Federation; All India Loco Running Staff Association; Joint Action Committee of Western and Central Railway Motormen; Western Railway Motormen's Association; Air India Aircraft Engineers Association; Indian Commercial Pilots Association; Municipal Engineers Association, Mumbai; and Ladaku Garment Kamgar Sangathana.
Down with the clampdown on dissent!
Hail the struggle of our people for empowerment!
Statement of the Lok Raj Sangathan, August 17, 2011
The Lok Raj Sangathan unequivocally condemns the Manmohan Singh government for arresting Anna Hazare and his teammates and detaining thousands of people who were planning to gather at JP Park, Kotla, Delhi to press for a strong law against corruption.
The Lok Raj Sangathan hails the people of our country for coming onto the streets in the capital and in all the towns and villages of our vast country to protest this clampdown of dissent and express their oneness with the struggle for a corruption free India. Through this massive show of solidarity and dissent, the people of our country have shown what peoples power is. We have forced the government and the parliamentary political parties on to the back foot. Our people are demanding with one voice an end to the corrupt and parasitic system. Our people have expressed complete lack of faith in the rulers on dealing with this burning problem.
A government which arrogantly picked up Anna Hazare from his home hours before the protest began has had to back down and withdraw the 7 day judicial remand on the night of August 16, 2011. However, Anna Hazare and his teammates have declined to stop the fast unto death in the jail, or come out of jail, unless the government agrees to allow them the right to carry on their protest without restrictions. Now the government is under pressure to eat its own words, and allow the protest to continue, as demanded by the people.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his colleagues in the government have been repeatedly declaring that the people of India have no role in deciding legislation. Their role is limited to voting this or that party to power. According to the government, it is the sovereign right of parliament to decide on legislations. In other words, sovereignty does not vest in the people of our country, but in parliament. The will of the people does not count. The people of India are not the rulers, but the ruled. Parliament is the ruler.
The people of our country have in one voice challenged this outdated and restricted concept of democracy. They have in no uncertain terms declared their right to become rulers.
The struggle that is raging today goes far beyond just the demand for a strong Jan Lok Pal institution framed by people, to check corruption. It is an assertion by our people that the time has come to reform the political system and process so that sovereign power vests in the people.
People are demanding that the right to select and elect candidates to parliament and the right to recall unsuitable representatives must vest in people. They are demanding that people must have the right to initiate legislation. They are demanding the right to vote on legislations through referendums.
People are asking questions about the role of political parties. Lok Raj Sangathan believes that the time has come to redefine the role of political parties so that they cannot rule over the people. Political parties have an important role to play in organizing the people to become the rulers. They must be instruments of the people to rule themselves. Only such political parties deserve the right to exist.
The struggle over the Lok Pal Bill has exposed that the present system is outdated and anachronistic. It does not suit the people of our country. We need a new system where people will be rulers, and will reorient the economy to fulfill the needs of the people. We need Lok Raj!Onwards with the struggle for a corruption free India! Onwards with the struggle for peoples empowerment! Onwards with the struggle for Lok Raj!