Hundreds of people belonging to several activist organisations staged a massive demonstration on 16th July, Sunday. The rally started from Ram Lila Maidan and wound its way through the busy streets of central Delhi and reached JantarMantar.
Participants in the rally carried placards condemning the all-sided attacks of the Modi government on different sections of people. The rallyists declared that through united efforts they will put an end to the growing attacks on minorities, Dalits, workers, peasants, women and others fighting for their rights.
The rally was organised by Lok Raj Sangathan, National Confederation of Human Rights Organisations(NCHRO), Social Democratic Party of India, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind, United Muslim Front, Communist Ghadar Party of India, CPI (M-L)-New Proletarian, Citizens for Democracy, Welfare Party of India, Association for Protection of Civil Rights, Sarvahara Patrika, Students Islamic Organisation of India, AIFTU (New), South Asian Human Rights Documentation Centre, Purogami Mahila Sa ngathan and many others.
The purpose of the rally was to bring together all sections of people whose rights are being violated by the Indian state and its institutions,so that we can unitedly find ways to change the present state of affairs.
Speakers at the rally vigorously condemned the attacks on different sections of people. In the name of religion, innocent Muslims are being lynched by mobs. Minorities are being targeted based on what they eat and how they appear or dress. Dalits are subjected to barbaric caste oppression and attacked brutally when they raise voices of protest. Labour rights are being severely curtailed while the Modi government goes about inviting the biggest monopoly houses to invest in India, to “Make in India”, promising them “ease of doing business”. Peasants are being driven to bankruptcy and suicide because of withdrawal of state guarantee for procurement of their produce at a minimum support price providing reasonable returns to run their families. Students in various universities are being targeted for raising their voices against injustice. Atrocities against women are increasing day by day. The people of Kashmir are being brutally silenced because they demand the withdrawal of armed forces.
They pointed out that people are completely marginalized in this political system. Other than the right to vote they have no mechanisms to select and elect the candidate of their choice, recall their representatives if necessary, and initiate legislation that protects their rights.
The Modi government acts in the interests of big monopoly houses just as its predecessor governments. It is strengthening India’s alliance with the ruling classes of US and Israel who have violated the sovereignty of people and caused untold suffering to people in many countries of West Asia and other regions. It is taking India on a dangerous course at the behest of big business houses and foreign monopolies, who want to continue increasing their wealth, gravely endangering peace and security in this region. It is spending people’s money on building an industrial-military complex. Just like its predecessors, it is using state-organised communal violence and state terror to crush the struggles of people and turn one section of people against another.
Many speakers pointed out that both BJP and Congress polarize the people to create vote banks. One party is called “secular” and the other is called “communal”, but they are two sides of the same coin. They both claim they are working for the people, but in reality they work to implement the policies of the biggest corporate monopolies.
Activists from different organisations vowed to unitedly oppose the attacks on people with the motto “An attack on one is an attack on all”. They declared that mere change of government cannot change the present state of affairs because the root cause of all problems is the present system and state institutions. It is important to work for the empowerment of people by organising them across the country so that they can play a decisive role in setting the economic and political direction of the country. Only the empowerment of people can pull our country back from the brink of disaster.
The rally is an important initiative in building the united resistance of all sections of people to the growing attacks on our livelihood and rights. Participating organisations expressed their commitment to strengthen unity of people and fight to establish a people-centred political process.