Golaghati Martyrs Remembered
ALLURING the IPFT with the ‘separate state’ demand, the BJP-RSS is trying to break the age-old harmony, peace and amity among various sections of people and set in a complete lawlessness and tumultuous situation, with which the BJP hopes to gain dividend in the next Assembly election in Tripura. The IPFT is a puppet whose strings are with the BJP. We must expose before the people about this destructive game of the BJP and alienate it from the masses, Chief Minister Manik Sarkar told a huge rally organised in memory of the 12 Golaghati martyrs at Bhakta Thakur Para of Golaghati in Bishalgarh subdivision on October 10. This year is the 70TH anniversary of the Golaghati martyrdom.
On October 10, 1948, a Mahajan (moneylender) was carrying paddy in a boat through the Bijoy River. AtBhakta Thakur Para, a group of peasants of Golaghati, a remote village near Bishalgarh, begged the Mahajanfor some foodgrain with an assurance to return with excess as interest after harvesting next crop. That year they faced a crop loss because of draught and they were passing days in starvation. Posing as a gracious person, the Mahajan initially agreed to help the villagers and asked them to find a person who may stand as a security for paddy. And at the same time, the Mahajan sent his messenger to the Bishalgarh poce station with information that he was captured by a gang of dacoits urging the police to rescue him. No sooner the police contingent appeared and getting signal from the Mahajan without any provocation or any deterring measures opened fire to the starving innocent villagers. Twelve starving peasants were gunned down and ten others were seriously injured in the firing. The martyrs include 10 tribals and two Muslims. The then regent tribal queen, however, took no action against either the police or the Mahajan. Rather she sides with the Mahajan.
Prior to the mass rally, the chief minister inaugurated a Golaghati Martyrs’ Column at the spot of the firing and a memorial park on the other side of the river constructed and developed by the information and cultural affairs (ICA) department of the Left Front government.
The mass rally was presided over by CPI(M) Sepahijala district secretary Gora Chakraborty and was addressed among others by state secretariat member Niranjan Debbarma, Subrata Chakraborty, ADC chief executive member Radhacharan Debbarma and Bishalgarh sub-divisional committee secretary Siddiqur Rahaman.
Elaborating the anti-tribal measures and inhuman exploitation of tribals right from the princely rule to the 30-year Congress regime, Sarkar said it was the Left Front government which implemented land reform legislation protecting the tribal lands, and restored illegally transferred lands to the tribal owners, rescued the tribals from the clutches of the money-lenders, ensured reservations in education and government job for the tribals, formed autonomous district council (ADC) for economic and cultural upliftment of the tribals, recognised ‘Kokborok’ as second language in the state. Tremendous development has been accomplished in housing, healthcare, education, irrigation, communication, market development, etc. evenly both in tribal and non-tribal areas. This is the reflection to the alternative policy to that of the Congress and the BJP, Sarkar asserted.
Referring to the terrible days when inhuman attacks of the armed extremists were perpetrated on innocent people, setting the houses of the villagers on fire, kidnapping people for ransom, Sarkar said the Left Front government restored peace with much efforts taking cooperation of the peace-loving people, both tribals and non-tribals. But the BJP-RSS combine is trying to bring those horrifying days back with the help of the IPFT which is an open political unit of the NLFT extremists. NLFT extremists unleashed bloody operations for a decade with the slogan ‘Swadhin Tripura’ that was not accepted even by the tribals. Now they are raising the same slogan in a modified form i.e. separate ‘Twipraland’. Despite conspiracy and provocation from the power-hungry BJP-RSS coupled with their hunting hen IPFT, we must maintain peace, harmony and normalcy at any cost and that would be the true homage to the Golaghati martyrs, Sarkar said.
Hall Meetings on November Revolution Centenary
During his two-day visit to Tripura, CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Prakash Karat addressed two hall meetings in Agartala and Udaipur to mark the centenary celebration of the November Revolution. Karat said that it was beyond doubt that the Soviet Socialist Government proved superiority in all social and human parameters. According to Lenin, the main edge of the November Revolution was against the imperialism. The November Revolution was a guiding torch for the proletariat world over and freedom movement of the people of the colonial countries. The November Revolution not only saved their own country from the fascist aggressors in the Second World War, but also saved the whole world from being re-demarcated by the aggressors, though at the cost of biggest sacrifice of their human and material resources, Karat said.
Some quarters say that, Karat continued, since the Soviet Union disintegrated, the November Revolution no more bears any perspective today. Replying to those quarters, Karat said that in view of the ugly faces of the imperialism that we witness today, the November Revolution is very much in perspective even now. He described how the US imperialism took control over the oil resourced countries of the Middle East, carrying out subversive activities against the elected governments in Latin America which are not obedient to the imperialist interest. Wherever the people are rising in revolt against capitalist exploitation, the US deploys its army to suppress protesters, Karat said.
Regarding India’s alliance with US imperialism, Karat said that being a junior partner of US imperialist design, India has mortgaged the country’s sovereignty, its defence strategy and opened up its naval and air bases for American aggressive military operation. This is a quite deviation from India’s traditional peaceful non-aligned foreign policy admired by all sections of the people. Karat also narrated the detrimental effects of the neo-liberal policies floated by imperialists to perpetuate their mechanism for exploitation. Thus, Karat argued, so far imperialism exists, relevancy of Marxism as a philosophy of proletariat emancipation and the lessons of the November Revolution shall remain inextinguishable.
Chief Minister Manik Sarkar, in his address in the Agartala hall meeting, said that all sections of the people are victims of neo-liberal economic policies that the Modi government has been more vigorously pursuing. People’s sufferings are compounded with the communal hate campaign of the BJP-RSS all over the country. We are fighting them with our limited might. It is a fact that the CPI(M) is not a big power in the country. A handful of members are representing the party in Parliament. But they voice concerns of 90 per cent of the toiling masses in Parliament. Unlike any other party, the CPI(M) is projecting the alternative polices to neo-liberalism. This is the reason, sparing all other opposition parties, why the BJP is demonstrating before the CPI(M) offices and carrying out barbarous attacks on our party all over the country, Sarkar said.
Regarding Tripura, Sarkar said that whatever wicked design the BJP is hatching to break the unity of the tribal people in Tripura with the so-called ‘separate state’ demand of the IPFT, it would not give them dividend. They are already exposed before the peace-loving people. But we have no room to be complacent. A small section of poor people is still supporting them. We must win them over with repeated persuasion, with reasons, logical arguments, with friendly behavior, Sarkar said. Bijan Dhar presided over the Agartala hall meeting.
Birchandra Manu Martyrs Day Observed
The BJP-RSS combine is destined to get a befitting reply in Tripura where the solid unity of the people will frustrate all attempts of the parochial elements to destabilise the state with a view to fish in troubled waters, CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Prakash Karat told a mammoth rally in Birchandra Manu of South Tripura District, organised in memory of the killings of 11 party workers and two security men on October 12.
In October 1988, 11 CPI(M) leaders and workers were butchered by a gang of killers backed by the then Congress-TUJS coalition government in Birchandra Manu. Following the formation of the Congress-TUJS coalition government in the state with a slander majority by means of rigging in polling booths and counting centres in February 1988, many offices of the CPI(M) and its mass organisations, including the one in Birchandra Manu, were forcibly occupied by the ruling party miscreants. After several months, the office in Birchandra Manu was re-occupied by the party workers. On October 12, 1988, party leaders and workers were ceremoniously opening the office through flag hoisting. When the flag hoisting was going on, all on a sudden the killers started attacking them with sharp weapons. The killers butchered 11 party leaders and workers and two security men of Comrade Sridam Paul, an ADC executive member. To make their position better in the assembly their main target was to annihilate Comrade Brajamohan Jamatia, MLA. But fortunately, he escaped unhurt. Showing extreme disrespect and cruelty to those killed, the then Congress-TUJS coalition government disposed the bodies on the Muhuri river banks, without allowing any of the relatives of the martyrs to see their loved ones.
The martyrs were: Sridam Paul, Chhatramani Debbarma, Sudhir Debnath, Nityahari Murasingh, Sukharanjan Murasigh, Gathirai Murasingh, Bhadra Kumar Murasingh, Lalit Noatia, Purna Chandra Noatia, Biralal Das and Nitai Sarkar.
Referring to the electoral pledges that the BJP committed to the people and their performance quite contrary to their promises, Karat explained the plight of the peasantry, unbridled price hike, diminishing employment scope, distressing condition of the unorganised sector workers, etc. The biggest betrayal of the Modi government to the countrymen was demonetisation which failed to meet all the four objectives, and on the contrary, helped converting black money to be white. This unilateral drive of Prime Minister Modi has caused prolonged detrimental effect in our economy, Karat opined. Naturally the people of the country are getting more and more aggrieved on the ruling parties. This is reflected in bigger workers and peasants’ movements in various states, students council election in many universities.
To divert the people’s anger, the BJP-RSS combine resorts to the communal agenda in a more vigorous way. Minority Muslims and Dalits are being killed, tortured and harassed by the BJP private army in various corners of the country. As the CPI(M) vehemently protests against their communal drive and highlights the alternative policy to neo-liberalism and crony capitalism, naturally the BJP-RSS has declared CPI(M) as their enemy. But the CPI(M) is proud of being an enemy of such religious fanatic organisations such as the BJP and the RSS.
Prior to the mass rally, Prakash Karat, Manik Sarkar, Badal Chowdhury and Narayan Kar paid floral tribute to the martyrs’ column and Karat hoisted the red flag in presence of thousands of common people.
Manik Sarkar said that besides the Birchandra Manu martyrs, we lost more than 300 comrades and supporters during the black regime of Congress-TUJS. Except state and sub-divisional offices, most of the party and mass organisation offices of the state were either destroyed or forcibly occupied. No case was registered nor was any criminal booked in any of the cases. All elections held during that regime were openly rigged by the lumpen brigade of the ruling parties. In the state local bodies, all elected committees were dissolved and those were substituted by nominated bodies with the henchmen of the ruling parties. The peace-loving democratic people of the state got rid of those black rulers in 1993.
Describing the anti-people disruptive activities of the state BJP conniving with the IPFT in creating chaos in every sphere of lives, Sarkar said the BJP bandwagon is full of same elements of the Congress-TUJS who caused havoc in the state in 1988-93. If they are voted to power, they would do the same thing as they did earlier. Democratically conscious people of Tripura would not commit such a blunder, he hoped.
The rally was presided over by the President of Birchandra Manu Martyrs Memorial Society Narayan Kar and was addressed among others by party Central Committee Member Badal Chowdhury, Minister Manindra Reang and Parikshit Murasingh on behalf of the martyrs’ families.