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Punjab meet on Bhagat Singh: 'Insufficient' presence of Dalit farm, industry workers

By Harsh Thakor* 

On March 22 the youth of Punjab at a conference, staged by the Bharatiya Kisan Union (BKU)-Ugrahan  and the Punjab Khet Mazdoor Union (PKMU) at the grain market in Sunam, tried to resurrect the spirit of Bhagat Singh and his comrades. It was staged in the hometown of martyr Udham Singh, whose name glimmers in the annals of India's anti-colonial history.
While speakers raised variously raised their voice against the manner in which the economic “loot” of the Indian people was perpetrated insisting privatisation was patronising illiteracy and unemployment was fleecing students, and voices against the damage caused by the Khalistani ideology, noticeably, there was insufficient mobilizations of the Dalit agricultural labourers at the meet. There was a also sparse participation by industrial workers.
Speakers marginally touched upon Hindutva fascism and caste oppression, as also how neo-colonialism is devising new methods to penetrate in India.  Also, the Naujawan Bharat Sabha and the Punjab Students Union (Shaheed Randhawa) were not the main participants, and slogans were raised only from the banner of BKU (Ugrahan) and not PKMU.
The proceedings of the conference started after all the youth took the pledge, standing before the portraits of the martyrs, with youth leader Gurpreet Kaur Brass reading the oath: “We declare that the Basanti convoys of youth will stay persistent in the struggles of farmers and toiling people against the attack of corporates and its allies. We will uphold the anti-imperialist and anti-fundamentalist traditions of our martyrs, we will stay like a wall against every deception..."
Youth leader Jagtar Singh Kalajhad said in his address that the sacrifice, programme and path of Shaheed Bhagat Singh and his comrades is a source of inspiration for the youth today. He added, even after the 74 years of transfer of power, the people of our country are suffering from the blind-exploitation of imperialism and its local allies like feudal lords and capitalists.
He said, the Modi government brought the farmer laws to enhance this exploitation which will push the youth in more deep crisis, who already facing adversities of unemployment and humiliation. These laws are aimed to snatch the lands of the farmers which will further increase the farmer suicides.
Farm labour leader Kala Singh Khunan Khurd said, the farm laws were meant to strengthen control of corporate houses on the food system of the country, which will become a tool to push the labourers in the jaws of hunger, who are already facing dearth of food and grains. He added, the laws will laso lead to to surrender of the Panchyati and Saamlat lands, on which farm labourers and Dalits have legal right, to the corporates.
Youth leader Ajaypal Singh Ghudda announced to besiege the dry-port of Adani, situated at Kila Raipur, from March 27 to 31. Sukhjit Singh Kothaguru and Ashwani Ghudda of the Naujwan Bharat Sabha and Husyiar Singh Salemgarh from PSU ( Shaheed Randhawa) said the government attack on the agriculture sector was meant to help the ruling politicians’ corporate masters.
BKU (Ugrahan) state general secretary Sukhdev Singh Kokri Kalan, expressing his satisfaction of youth participation at the gathering, said, there is no contradiction between youth and farmer leaders in the ongoing farmer struggle, and the youth are an important faction of this struggle. He added, some forces are falsely trying to label the farmer struggle as a religious struggle confined only to one religion.
Following the conference, a contingent from Suman marched to Tikri Border in Delhi to join the protesting farmers under the leadership of the United Kisan Morcha and the Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ekta Ugrahan) in order to participate in a meet to pay tribute to Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev.
Among others, woman farmer leader Paramjit Kaur Pitho insisted that, in order to advance the thinking of martyrs, women need to be more involved in the farmers’ movement, getting rid of the feudal mentality. She added, even before the current struggle, women farmers had proved they could be a brave squad of the farmers’ movement.
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*Political commentator, freelance journalist now in Punjab

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Anonymous said…
Bullshit blog. Only agenda is to divide India.

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