Vol. XLII No. 49 December 09, 2018
WEST BENGAL: Inspiring March Culminates in a Mammoth Rally

From our Special Correspondent

FARMERS painted the roads red on November 28-29, as thousands and thousands of them, at the call of the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) and the All India Agricultural Workers Union (AIAWU), demonstrated their exemplary spirit to fight for their rights, which they said are being attacked by the present BJP led union government.

TMC led state  government has turned  approver of the present anti-farmer policies  of the union government , the farmers observed during the 52 kilometres tedious march that they undertook from Singur in  Hooghly district to Raj Bhavan situated in Kolkata.

At the beginning of the long march, there was a meeting which was addressed by AIKS general secretary Hannan Mollah. 

In his speech, Hannan Mollah strongly criticised the union government for doing all they could do to harm India’s agriculture and agriculturalists.  “West Bengal state government on the other hand has ditched Singur and has kept it far away both from agriculture and industrialisation, turning it into a death bed both for industrialisation and agriculture,” he observed.   

 Tens of thousands of farmers and agricultural workers then started the historical long march exuberating confidence and determination.  The march covered three districts – Hooghly, Howrah and Kolkata before reaching Kolkata on November 29.

Suryakanta Misra too joined the long march on the 28th afternoon. The rally was full of red flags of AIKS and people marched in unison, shouting slogans.  The rally which marched through the National Highway 19, reached Kolkata after a night halt at Bally in Howrah district. On the previous day evening, more farmers poured into Bally from Burdwan and other South Bengal districts, giving the long march a mammoth dimension.  The rally which again started towards its destination from Bally in the morning, was soon  joined by endless streams of  farmers and workers from the surrounding places of Kolkata.

The massive mobilisation of farmers, bargadars and agricultural workers in Kolkata comes in the background of the crises in the rural sector of the state as in the last seven years, 187 farmers have been driven to suicide in the state, which was unheard of during the rule of Left Front governments till 2011. However, since 2014, at least 12 states including West Bengal, have on paper made startling claims of zero farmer suicides in their respective states.  

Speaking  to the  participants,  as farmers and agricultural workers  firmly occupied the streets  at Rani Rashmoni Road in Kolkata,  Suryakanta Misra strongly condemned the present TMC led state  government for its failure to create employment in the state and said  that  it is the worst government  and is extremely detrimental to the interests of the farmers, like the  union government. They are trying to hoodwink the farmers and the general people and to divert their attention from the anti-people policies, they are now playing dangerous communal games.

 "The TMC-BJP nexus is continuously trying to dismantle the secular fabric of the state” he alleged and said that the three rath-yatras to be supposedly held by the BJP will harm the interests of the common people of the state.  “We warn them, that if they try to destroy communal harmony and peace, then people of Bengal will simply smash their raths," Misra said amidst thunderous applause.   He informed that there will be a massive Brigade Rally convened by the Left Front on February 3, 2019. Apart from Suryakanta Misra, AIKS state secretary Amal Halder, AIAWU state secretary Amiya Patra, AIAWU state president Tushar Ghosh also addressed the massive meeting.