WITH an aim of raising awareness on Tuticorin massacre and to highlight the grievances of the people of Tamil Nadu, the state committee of CPI(M) has conducted rallies for a week, from June 8-14, across the state. These rallies originated from six corners of the state, namely Thiruvallur, Vellore, Nilgiris, Cuddalore, Ettayapuram and Kanyakumari and exposed the crony capitalist actions of the state and the centre.
After campaigning in the districts along the way, the above rallies have converged at Trichy on June 14. Sitaram Yechury, CPI(M) general secretary, addressed the mammoth gathering and recalled his recent visit to Tuticorin where 13 people were killed in a protest held demanding the shutdown of Sterlite Industries and many were injured.
Yechury said that while interacting with the injured, it was learnt that the shooting was done not to disperse the crowd but to kill the protestors. There was no sound of firing or warning from the police and only as the chaos ended did the protestors realise that their fellows were killed.
All those killed in the shooting had bullets shot at their stomach, chest or mouth, going against the rule of shooting below the knee. It was evident that the shooting was done with the sole purpose to kill and such a shooting cannot happen without the orders of the higher-ups, including a few from the central government in Delhi. Hence, this should be investigated thoroughly.
The general secretary also demanded that an enquiry be conducted by a sitting High Court judge. It is to be noted that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has failed to comment on the issue even as months go by since the shooting. Referring to the PM’s video on physical fitness which received criticism on social media, Yechury said, “You keep your good health, but don’t destroy the lives of the people”.
At the conclusion meeting, the speakers have highlighted that the Vedanta resources, the mother company of Sterlite Industries paid a huge donation to Congress when it was in power, and now to the BJP. As the existing rules prevent accepting donation from foreign companies, the BJP government brought an amendment through the back door to allow such donations. The present Modi government is serving the interests of capitalists. They are stopping orders to BHEL as a result of which sizeable numbers of workers working in BHEL, as well as its ancillary units, are being threatened with losing their jobs.
On the other side, people like Lalit Modi, Nirav Modi and Narendra Modi are jointly swindling India. Several thousands of crores of public money have been swindled by them and they flew away from the country before any action is taken. However, the government is adamant not to waive even the small amount of loans availed by the farmers.
One percent of the wealthy in the country have cornered 73 percent of assets. As a result, the wealthy are getting more wealthy and the poor are becoming more poorer. There are non-performing assets (NPA) to the tune of Rs 11.5 lakh crores. If this along with its interest was released from the borrowers, a huge amount of jobs can be created and education and health services can be effectively provided to the public, said Yechury.
He further added that in the fields of education and culture, the BJP is rapidly taking anti-science measures. They are trying to impose unscientific ideas and teach puranic history. Comparing to the villains of Mahabharat, he said that the present RSS is acting as Shakuni, Modi as Duryodhana and Amit Shah as Dussasana.
ATTACK ON FEDERALISM
Mentioning the situation in Delhi, Yechury said that the central government has created a situation wherein the chief minister of Delhi himself is forced to sit on protest in the office of Lieutenant Governor. The Lt Governors are directly ruling in Delhi and Puducherry bypassing the elected parties.
The BJP has also devised a new method wherein it is forming governments even after having lost in the elections. It came to power in the similar fashion in Bihar, Goa, Manipur, and Meghalaya. It tried to do the same drama in Karnataka but was thwarted by the unity of secular forces, he said.
Yechury said that many incidents including the announcement of dates for Gujarat assembly election have raised suspicions on the Election Commission and its integrity. It is mandatory that all political parties submit their accounts before the end of every year. But during the last four years, the BJP, which has an annual income of more than Rs 1000 crores has submitted its accounts without mentioning the name of its treasurer and the Election Commission has not raised any objection over this.
Even the judiciary has not been spared of BJP’s onslaughts. Four senior most judges of Supreme Court raised questions about the integrity of the judiciary and the uncalled-for intervention of the BJP government in its affairs.
ALTERNATIVE POLICIES ARE THE WAY FORWARD
Yechury concluded that all these attacks on democracy and integrity of the country can be repulsed only through united struggles and called for people-centric alternative policies. For such a policy change, the present BJP government should be thrown out, he added.
It will be possible only by rallying the people for alternative policies. Modi’s government at the centre and its subservient government in this state should be removed forthwith, he called upon the people of Tamil Nadu.
Commenting that Tamil Nadu has been historically the land of many heroic struggles in the past, Yechury called for many such struggles against casteism, in defense of class unity, which should be carried forward across the country and asked everyone to work hard to build a better Tamil Nadu and a better India.
G Ramakrishnan, Polit Bureau member of CPI(M), K Balakrishnan, state secretary, Central Committee members U Vasuki, P Sampath, A Soundararajan, state secretariat members Shanmugam and A Lasar, state committee member K Balabharathi also spoke on this occasion.