THOUSANDS of youth thronged the streets of Delhi on November 3, the foundation day of Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI), demanding decent employment. The central executive committee of DYFI had given the call for ‘March to Parliament’ on the burning issue of unemployment.
On the employment question, the major demand was that the several lakh vacancies in central and state government offices, public sector undertakings and local self-government institutions across the country must be filled up immediately. Proper implementation of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, increase in remuneration under this scheme, making it mandatory for private companies to notify their vacancies through employment exchanges, abolishing contract labour and re-employment of retired employees, job reservation for Muslim youth as per the Ranganath Mishra commission recommendations, filling SC/ST quotas in public service jobs on a war-footing, establishing modern industrial units in tribal areas, preventing the issuance of bogus ST certificates and extending job reservation to the private sector, starting urban employment guarantee act were some of the other demands.
Protestors had gathered from 23 states across the country. The March started from Mandi House where youth had gathered in thousands. Enthusiastic youth shouted anti-government slogans and were seen singing revolutionary songs on the streets.
The public meeting which followed the march was addressed by DYFI national president PA Mohamed Riyas and general secretary Avoy Mukherjee, vice presidents M Swaraj and Amal Chakraborthy, joint secretaries Preethy Sekhar and Sayandeep Mitra. Apart from the above leaders of DYFI, the protesters were addressed at Parliament Street by CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury, AIKS leader and founder secretary of DYFI Hannan Mollah, AIAWU leader Suneet Chopra, member of parliament from West Bengal and ex-secretary of DYFI Mohamed Salim, AIDWA leader Mariam Dhawale and SFI general secretary Mayukh Biswas.
The leaders speaking in the public meeting were highly critical of the central and state government’s neoliberal policy framework which they said is the root cause of acute unemployment. Huge contractualisation, outsourcing of jobs and re-employment of retired employees in the government and public sector has diminished the possibilities of decent employment even more. Rightwing parties seek to use the distress of students and youth to cultivate hatred between communities, thus disrupting the resistance against the neoliberal regime. Sitaram Yechury said, a government which is not ready to listen to the demands of the young people of the nation, has no right to continue in power. Indian youth is strong enough to topple this government. Member of parliament Mohammed Salim, criticised Modi for manipulating the official data to cover up failure of the government. Finally, they called for a more widespread and intense struggle against the BJP-RSS regime.
'March to Parliament’ has become an important milestone in the youth movement in India demanding right to employment.
A booklet on unemployment titled “Compromising India’s Future”, prepared by DYFI central executive committee was released in the meeting.
A national level student-youth convention held in Delhi and the struggles against increasing unemployment raising the slogan 'Where is my job?' from September 2018 across the country imparted momentum to the movement.
Disastrous policies of governments in the last three decades of liberalisation have caused unemployment to spread like an epidemic. The November 3 protest was one of the biggest youth mobilisations in Delhi in recent years against this pile of anti-people policies on the question of unemployment. DYFI is determined to carry forward this struggle in the days ahead.