Sharpen the Battle to Safeguard

Livelihood and Democracy


Biman Basu


The result of 16th Lok Sabha elections has actually made a significant shift of paradigm in political situation. For the first time Hindutva forces have been successful in getting a clear majority by capturing as many as 282 seats. The CPI(M) and other Left parties must take account this situation and initiate movement in each corner of the country along with anti-Congress, anti- BJP forces. Political programs have also to be organized focusing on that.

The condition of West Bengal after the Assembly election in 2011 has to be discussed seriously. After the defeat of the Left Front, TMC– Congress alliance took charge of the administration of the state resulting in a havoc change in the atmosphere of the state political scenario. The Left Front Government did the resurrection of democracy in West Bengal by putting an end of the terror, extortion and attack on democratic rights of people during the semi fascist terror of the 70s. The Left Front Government could successfully wipe out the politics of terror and murder. But that has been reintroduced by the TMC Government which has created a dismal political atmosphere in the state. Heinous attacks have been organized on democracy, democratic rights and the lives and livelihood of all sections of common people in the state since last three years. 157 Left leaders, activists and supporters have lost their lives in attacks by hoodlums carrying the flag of the ruling party. Among them 147 comrades became martyr before the declaration of the Parliament election and 10 more comrades have been murdered during the election campaign and publication of results. Attacks on the houses of Left Front activists, looting, arson, terrorization and attacks on livelihood have been taking place extensively. Cattle, poultry, fishes in ponds, agricultural produce and seeds also have also been looted. At least 27283 farmers, agricultural laborers and share croppers have been ejected and deprived of rights. 48382 persons have been evicted from their own houses. 6182 houses have been damaged, looted or burnt down. According to the latest report, at least 9529 persons have been pressurized or intimidated to pay 27 crore 87 lakh and 8 thousand rupees to the TMC-backed miscreants as levy. 1365 offices of Left Front parties and 398 offices of various Leftist mass organizations have been ransacked, looted or forcibly occupied. 5732 leaders and activist of the Left Front parties have been implicated in false and fabricated cases.  All these figures are increasing every day.

Our state has achieved top most position in the country in the atrocious incidents on women like assaults, molestation and rape. 1035 women have been physically assaulted. In a majority of cases, the police took no steps against the criminals. The anti-socials backed by the ruling party have been given free hands in the schools, colleges and universities. Due to direct support of the ruling party illegal control on admissions, forcible extraction of money in different ways and mass copying during examinations have been on the increase. All these we have informed the Chief Minister and demanded immediate halt to these malpractices during the submission of Memorandum on 9th June.  Even the representatives of the ruling party have been found in copying even in the MBBS examination.

Narendra Modi has become the prime Minister. He flied all over the country during the election campaign in a chartered plane  just like American Presidential election and promised development, employment etc. He has also promised good governance. It might have touched the young generation. The campaign of development a bit differently designed may also have attracted them. It is known from different sources that such prolonged campaign has cost BJP around ten thousand crores of rupee. One significant incident of this Parliament election was the patronage of the big businessmen and corporate houses for Mr. Modi and his party. Quite naturally it is not expected that Modi Government will address the demands of the common people overruling those of corporate giants. The future will tell the direction of the economic policy of the newly elected Central Government. Some initial cosmetic steps for people will not be enough. Without fundamental economic alternative the pang of the workers, peasants and common people will only increase. 

‘Garibi hatao’ (elimination of poverty) was the slogan of Mrs. Indira Gandhi during the 5th Lok Sabha elections during 1971 and she won 352 seats out of total 518 in that election. Her image was somewhat different then in the context of Bangladesh liberation war.  But one should recall the statement of the Polit Bureau after her win that…’’Only fools can expect that the success of Indira Gandhi will solve the fundamental problems of people. The plight of the people will continuously increase till the country follows the capitalistic direction. The tall talks of employment for the unemployed may be heard and the pang of the people will increase in contrary. With huge majority Congress will only organize attacks on livelihood. Stable Congress Government will be embodied as stable extortion and stable attack.” The Congress Government unleashed attacks on democratic rights and this BJP Government may adopt some new measures for that.

Like other states of the country the communal campaign by the BJP and RSS are on the rise in our state too. As they are at the helm of affairs at the Center, TMC can anytime go into an understanding with them. That unholy alliance will be a danger for the state. We should not forget that since their inception in 1998 TMC was an ally of BJP and was part of its ministry Government at the Center.

In this critical juncture we must be watchful about the overall political development of the country and design our future movements accordingly. To combat the situation prevalent in our state we must exercise our fullest effort in the mass movements to resist.  Left Front will observe sit-in demonstration program in protest against terror directed at Left Front activists unleashed by the goons backed by the ruling party and attack on democratic rights as well as the livelihood of the common people of the state from 25th–27th June. The sit-in demonstration program will start from 25th June to recollect the black days of internal emergency which was also declared on the very date in 1975. Campaigns have already been initiated to make the program successful.

The demands of the sit-in demonstration are as follows –

1.    All necessary measures for the protection of democracy, personal freedom and human rights, including the right of the Left, other opposition and each citizen to protest and to criticize, must be taken in the state immediately.

2.    Stop assault, murder, terror and plunder and punish the criminals involved.

3.    Stop the attacks on the lives and livelihood of common people including workers, employees, professionals, teachers, peasants and agricultural laborers.

4.    False and fabricated cases framed against the workers and supporters of political parties and on common people must be withdrawn immediately. Every evicted person must be brought back home. Security must be provided to offices of all opposition political parties including the Left and those of mass organizations; rights of holding meetings and conferences must be secured.

5.    Exemplary punishment must be given to those guilty of assaults on women, rape, molestation and murder. Police officials guilty of neglecting duties must be punished.

6.    The police administration must overcome political pressure in the interests of law and order and take strict steps against criminals.

7.    Effective steps must be taken to keep communal harmony in the state intact. All-party meetings at all levels including the state and district levels must be held to maintain peace, order, unity, solidarity and harmony.

8.    The educational institutions must be freed from chaos. A healthy democratic environment must be maintained in elections of managing committees and students’ unions. The admission system for pupils must be merit-based and transparent.  The security of everyone concerned must be provided in educational institutions. Steps must immediately be taken to hold a judicial inquiry into the custodial death of Sudipta Gupta.

9.    Control the price rise of the essential commodities. Reduce the prices of petroleum products and fertilizers. Strengthen social security measures and expand its purview for everybody. Democratic process has to be initiated to stop irregularities in the Municipalities and Panchayats.

10.                       Open all closed factories and tea gardens. Agricultural and industrial development has to be initiated for employment.

The battle for common people’s lives and livelihood, resurrection of democracy and democratic rights, against price rise of the essential commodities is guided by the realization of the conscious people and their coordinated efforts. We mentioned couple of years back that the attack on Left activists will not spare the common people. Such incidents are on the rise.

In some parts of the state the hyperactive presence of the fundamentalist forces can also be seen. We must not forget that the tireless uncompromising continuous struggle of the Leftists against communal threat has formed the great heritage of communal harmony of West Bengal. People with democratic and progressive spirits must remain conscious about those unholy forces. Now it is urgent to eliminate fundamental forces, the enemy of the class based movements, from the people. Communists and Leftists must discharge their duties in that.

It is time to sharpen close connection with the people to develop the conditions of unity, solidarity, harmony and law and order in the state and resist politics of communal division. To achieve that movements of peasants and working classes have to be prioritized. Today’s demand is the adoption of new form in the battle for common people’s lives and livelihood, restoration of democracy, against price rise and communal politics. Let all of us adopt such resolution.