TRIPURA DYFI, TYF Organise Protest on Railway Issue
DEMOCRATIC youth of Tripura gave vent to their anger against the deprivation of Tripura of a railway division. Recently the chairman of the Railway Board announced that three new railway divisions will be opened at Jammu (J&K), Gulbarga (Karnataka) and Silchar (Assam). Of these, while Karnataka and Assam are ruled by the Congress party, the Congress is a partner in the ruling coalition in Jammu & Kashmir. This step of the Congress led UPA government is no doubt aimed at reaping political benefit in the ensuing Lok Sabha elections. The Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) and the Tribal Youth Federation (TYF) termed the decision as yet another instance of the political deprivation being meted to the state of Tripura for a long time. Opposing this discrimination, the two youth organisations recently launched a three day protest programme throughout the state. On Sunday, March 2, the two organisations organised protest marches and meetings at more than 25 spots across the state. The protest programme continued till March 4. At Agartala, the protest meeting on March 2 was preceded by a militant march of the youth. The meeting in front of the Agartala railway station was addressed by DYFI state president Pankaj Ghosh, its state secretary Amal Chakraborty and state secretariat members Tapan Debnath and Swapan Poddar. These youth leaders said the setting up a railway division in Tripura was one of the four demands on which the DYFI and TYF had organised a “March to Guwahati” last year, and that the two organisations were steadfast on the demand. While having no objection to Silchar becoming the headquarters of a railway division, the two organisations said the longstanding demand of the state of Tripura has again gone unheeded. Terming it as a clear case of political deprivation, the youth leaders questioned the silence of the Congress party in Tripura on this issue. They said the Congress led governments at the centre have time and again deprived the state, but that the people would not forgive them and teach them a befitting lesson in the forthcoming parliamentary elections. SANSKRITI SAMANWAY KENDRA HOLDS CENTRAL CONFERENCE THE Tripura Sanskriti Samanway Kendra (TSSK), a premier progressive cultural organisation of Tripura, organised its fourth central conference from February 26 to 28 at the Muktadhara Auditorium of Agartala. The conference was inaugurated Manik Sarkar, by the chief minister of Tripura. The inaugural session was attended among others by Kamal Lohani (eminent freedom fighter and intellectual of Bangladesh), H Kanhaialal (internationally acclaimed theatre activist from Manipur), Nargis Choudhry (eminent singer of Tagore songs from Bangladesh), and Dr Paramananda Majumder (president of the Assam Sahitya Parishad), among others. Inaugurating the conference, Manik Sarkar said culture is for life and culture cannot grow by ignoring the realities of life. He said the cultural activists must mingle with the masses as the components of culture evolve out essentially from the sense, realisation, feelings and reactions of the masses. Any cultural movement cannot gain momentum by avoiding the people’s movement. Culture created in the confines of solitude can be of no good to mankind. According to Manik Sarkar, capital today has acquired an international character; likewise its forms of exploitation have become international in nature. They are targeting the young minds to turn them into self-centred individuals. Families are getting shattered; children are abandoning the parents. A virulent attack of negative venomous thoughts is being mounted. Cultural activists must fight these onslaughts in order to safeguard their own culture and atmosphere. Manik Sarkar termed the national situation as a critical one, as the economic crisis, price rise and agrarian crisis are becoming acute and unemployment is on the rise. A political party which aims at dividing the people on communal lines is trying to project itself as the alternative. But the real alternative that can fulfil the aspirations of the people is taking shape and it would combat both the incumbent regime and the communal forces. The cultural activists must come forward in support of this alternative and fight against the attacks on the mindset of the people by propagating healthy and positive cultural values. Kamal Lohani said even 42 years after independence Bangladesh is yet to reach the goal of a non-communal country. The communal forces and the war criminals are getting aid from the international reactionary forces. But the younger generation is getting united for the patriotic cause of establishing a secular Bangladesh and upholding the consciousness of liberation struggle of 1971. Kanhaialal said the intrusion of capitalist culture is destroying our indigenous culture. The urban areas are the most affected. We must fall back upon the rural culture, gather healthy values from there and spread it to counter the western culture. The inaugural session concluded with a rich cultural function. The second day of the conference started with the placing of a draft report by TSSK general secretary Dr Mahadev Chakraborty. A total of 19 delegates each from all the divisional committees discussed on the report. The delegates also presented songs, recitations and dances. They spoke about their movements for a healthy, positive culture and their campaigns against drug addiction, witch-hunting, superstitions, domestic violence and environmental pollution. They stressed on regular interaction with the masses to ensure that they don’t fall prey to the campaigns of confusion and falsehood. They stressed upon the need to double the efforts against powerful attacks of consumerism through TV and internet. Greeting the conference on the third day, Dr Rabindra Kumar Das of Natun Sahitya Parishad said Tripura is showing the way --- showing how the people of different races and cultures can be brought together and made to maintain unity and advance. He stressed on the need to further strengthen the cultural ties between the two neighbouring states. Dr Mahadev Chakraborty replied to the discussion of the delegates. The conference unanimously elected a new central committee of 119 members. Anil Sarkar was re-elected president and Sisir Deb was elected the new general secretary. Concluding the conference on behalf of the presidium, Gautam Das, vice president of the organisation, said our cultural movement must have deep relations with the day to day struggle of the masses and reach out to the cultural activists who are still not with us. We must be more committed to the society and focus on sharpening the thinking of masses through presentation of healthy and positive cultural values. Our culture is people’s culture but we have miles to go in putting up a befitting resistance to the attempts of our enemies to vitiate the minds of youth by their cocktail culture. In Tripura we must guard against any repetition of the bloody days of violence and further strengthen the unity of tribal and non-tribal masses by further promoting our mixed culture. At the same time we must raise our voice against the growing economic inequalities, social problems, crime against women and religious fundamentalism and communalism in order to forge and safeguard a healthy social atmosphere.