Monday, February 20, 2017

Congress, Left share platform to protest against Modi's demonetization at Delhi civil society sponsored rally


By Our Representative
Long-time political opponents Congress and the Left "converged" on Sunday to protest against Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s controversial demonetisation move at a civil society-sponsored meet in Delhi, sharing platform to declare that that it has been a  big disaster, especially for the poorer sections of the people.
Those who made common cause included CPI’s D Raja, Rajya Sabha MP, senior CPI-M leader Nilopal Basu, and former union minister and Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar.
Others who participated in the mass rally, which ended at Jantar Mantar following a citizens’ march, included National Federation for Indian Women’s (NFIW’s) Annie Raja, All India Kisan Sabha’s Hannan Molla, Vice President of the All India Bank Officers Association Ravinder Gupta, New Trade Union Initiative’s Gautam Modi.
While Raja called demonetisation “a disaster for the people”, Basu insisted, “Note ban devastated the lives of the poor and unorganised sector, while the rich lose nothing.” Aiyar added, “Not only did Modi fail to bring black money back, or depositing Rs 15 lakh in every bank account, as promised during elections, he snatched whatever little people had as savings through demonetization.”
“With 98% of demonetised currency returning to the banks, the said objectives of the demonetisation failed, while the miseries of common people, and the bank employees who had to face the wrath of distressed people kept growing”, Gupta opined.
Among those who participated in the rally were representatives of various people’s movements, civil society groups, trade unions and political parties. The protest was organized to mark the 100th day of demonetisation.

The chief organiser of the meet, National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM), which is the apex body of tebs of mass organisations, said in a statement, the idea of the meet was to question the “motive and implementation” of the demonetization move, even as “highlighting the colossal damage that has caused to the lives and livelihood of common people.” NAPM regretted, during the demonetization phase, “the black-money managed an easy escape.”
Farmers affected by industrialization in Kanjhawala in the outskirts of Delhi were present in large numbers at the meet, Also present were people from Katputli colony, which is under the threat of demolition.
NAPM said, “Adding insult to injury to their lives, while the demonetisation left many of them nearly jobless, the threat of forced eviction, without adequate rehabilitation has put them in a precarious condition."
Civil society organizations which took part in the meet included Domestic Workers' Union, Railway Mazdoor Union, Delhi Young Artists Forum, Safai Karamchari Union, Jhugi Jhopdi Union, and Construction Workers’ Union.
NAPM statement said, people, who protested vehemently, insisted on the need to have people-oriented governance and not corporate-driven economic emergency.
It added, “We reject the economic and political premises of demonetization and affirm that a transparent and accountable government is required to replace the current logic of ‘we know what is good for the people’.
Especially objecting to what it called “the authoritarian drive to push the UID/Aadhar scheme down people’s throats”, NAPM demanded “political and judicial intervention to stop the drive immediately.”
NAPM asked the Government of India to produce a white paper on the impacts of demonetization on people’s lives and livelihoods and compensate for the lives and livelihoods. We demand that the corporate-driven ‘cashless’ economy plan be immediately withdrawn.

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