September 25, 2022

Demonstration Held in Srinagar against price rise and other demands

ON September 17, the Press Colony in Srinagar, located a short walk away from historic Lal Chowk, teemed with hundreds of CPI (M) workers carrying placards and banners.  Soon the area reverberated with slogans denouncing the wrong and repressive policies of the   BJP government. The demonstration was held as part of the CPI (M) nationwide programme against price rise, unemployment, attacks on the working class, peasants, apple growers, and democratic rights of the people. The workers, well-nigh, from all the districts of Kashmir, participated in the demonstration. Earlier, scores of workers campaigned in different districts of the Valley to drum up support for the programme.

Senior CPI(M) leader, Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami, while addressing the demonstration said that the unilateral decision taken by the BJP government on August 5, 2019, left a deep scar on the psyche of the people of Jammu, Kashmir, and Ladakh.

The government had been taking all repressive measures to crush the dissenting voices. The strong arm methods employed by the current dispensation have further deepened the uncertainty in the region.

It has pulled all the stops to suppress the democratic rights of the people in Jammu and Kashmir. The individual liberty of the people has been snatched and by using different agencies, the government has put a squeeze on those who denounce its wrong policies.

CPI( M) along with other secular and democratic forces will always speak up for the suppressed people and defend their constitutional rights. It reiterates its strong resolve to fight for the snatched rights of the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

There had been no let-up in the indiscriminate arrests of political, social and religious activities. CPI( M)  demands the immediate review of their cases to facilitate their early release.

Jammu and Kashmir has been lagging on various development indices, which lays bare the "Naya Kashmir" narrative of the BJP. Despite the BJP government's constant tom-tomming about the big corporates investing in Jammu and Kashmir, no investment has been made in the region thus far. Similarly, unemployment has shot through the roof. The Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE)has pegged the unemployment rate in Jammu and  Kashmir at 32. 8 per cent, which is the second highest in the country. 

In his address, CPI(M) state secretary, Ghulam Nabi Malik, drew the attention of the gathering to the plight of apple growers and other farmers.

The frequent and unnecessary halting of fruit-laden trucks along the national highway had incurred heavy losses to the apple farmers. The apple industry provides livelihood to over 3.5 million people and contributes about 10 per cent to GSDP, but unfortunately, the industry is grappling with losses due to the wrong and anti-farmer policies of the government.

The low prices of the apples spurred by the duty-free imports from other nations via Afghanistan have forced the local growers to sell their produce for a song. The government must take immediate steps to contain such imports.

Over the last three years, apple farmers have suffered heavy losses.  The long-drawn-out lockdowns followed by the unseasonal snowfall and frequent blockade of national highways incurred losses to the farmers.

There is an immediate need for effective implementation of the market intervention scheme.  The government must ensure the seamless movement of apple-laden trucks along the national highway so that the fruit with short life could reach outside Mandis well on time.

Other leaders including Mohammad Afzal, Zahoor Ahmad, Ghulam Mohiuddin, Mohammad Abas and Abdul Rashid, spoke on the occasion.

The speakers upbraided the government for its failure to contain the rising prices of essential commodities.
Pro-people policies pursued by the LDF government of Kerala were highlighted. The sinister efforts to target and malign the LDF   by the union government were also condemned.

They said that the Kerala government’s successful handling of the Covid-19 crisis was recognised internationally and has emerged as a paragon of good governance in the country; that’s why it is being targeted by the BJP government at the centre.