It is not usual to find organisers of teachers, farmers, government employees and of women and youth all participating actively in a joint political discussion. Such an event took place recently, at the initiative of the Rajasthan Council of Lok Raj Sangathan, a non-party political organization committed to the cause of bringing people to power.
Rajasthan has recently witnessed several struggles and demonstrations. Teachers unions have been opposing the privatization of education. Farmers' organisations have been demanding access to irrigation water, availability of agricultural inputs at affordable cost, and timely crop procurement at stable and remunerative prices. Rajasthan state government employees have been agitating for the past several months against the contract system and privatisation, for equal pay for similar work and for regularization of temporary workers.There have been youth agitations demanding affordable higher education and guaranteed employment for all. Women’s organisations have been on the war path against the growing insecurity faced by women in social life.
It was a meeting called to discuss the topic: “On the 160th anniversary of the Great 1857 War of Independence and during the centenary year of the Great October Revolution of 1917 - The challenge of bringing people to power”. The meeting was held in Hanumangarh town on 21st May 2017.
A view of the meeting
The meeting attracted a wide range of participants including judges, lawyers, doctors, teachers, journalists, professors, women, youth and farmers. From the numerous interventions, one clear message that got repeated over and over again was that freedom from British rule has not brought freedom from exploitation, insecurity and oppression based on class, caste and religious identity. Another important message was the necessity for workers, peasants, women and youth to unite and wage one common struggle for liberation from all forms of exploitation and oppression. Several speakers referred to the fact that in the October revolution in Russia, workers and peasants took power in their own hands. This is the need of the times in India today.
The representatives of Lok Raj Sangathan highlighted the importance of unity among all those who are fighting against the present system which excludes them from power. They pointed out that farmers’ organizations in Rajasthan have inspired farmers in Tamil Nadu. The struggle of teachers in Tamil Nadu has inspired teachers in Delhi, Karnataka and Maharashtra. It is one struggle, a struggle of the hardworking people to become the master of India.
It was pointed out during the discussion that the Ghadar of 1857 had given rise to the demand that the people must be the master of Hindustan. Insurgent masses of people established their council and selected Bahadur Shah to represent their new people’s power The current state of affairs, in 2017, is not a loktantra but a punjitantra, i.e., democracy for the owners of capital. Parties backed by the capitalist class keep the vast majority of people out of power. The need of the hour is to redefine democracy and reconstitute the State, so as to vest sovereignty in the people and not in exclusive institutions such as the Cabinet within the Parliament.
Apart from leading central and state level office bearers of Lok Raj Sangathan, active participants at this important meeting included the District Secretary of the Communist Party of India, Former District President of the Karamchari Maha Sangh, Pradesh Adhyaksh of the Jan Swasthya Abhiyan Vibhag Karmchari Sangh, Jilla Mantri of the Akhil Rajasthan Rajya Karamchari Sanyukt Maha Sangh, and several activists of women’s organisations and youth organisations.