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Year-long stir planned against Adani-Ambani 'company raj' exploiting farmers, workers

By Our Representative

India's civil rights network, the National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) will hold a year-long nation-wide campaign called Jan Azadi 75: Pathways to Freedom, starting August 9 and ending August 15, 2022. Announcing this, Sanjay MG, one of the NAPM convenors, said that the campaign will be simultaneous held at regular intervals and will consist of "on-ground actions at more than 150 places across the country."
To be held in Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Jharkhand, Bihar, West Bengal, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Delhi and Rajasthan, "Veteran freedom fighters will inaugurate or be part of the actions", he said, adding, the idea is to "reach out to diverse sections -- farmers, workers, women, youth, students, marginalized sections -- to propagate the values and dreams of our freedom struggle."
Aimed at "strengthening democracy and resisting attempts to divide and destroy the plural ethos of India", Dr Sunilam, a socialist activist, told an online media meet, held to announce the campaign, that the launching date, August 9, has "historical significance", as on this date in 1942, "Our ancestors in British India gave the call of Quit India."
He added, "Today, while the constitutional framework is being dislodged brick by brick, we are faced with yet another Company Raj of Adanis and Ambanis that is exploiting the farming and working class. It is, therefore, about time the people of this nation gave a united call, challenging the political-business nexus that is looting the country."
Narmada Bachao Andolan leader Medha Patkar called the farmers movement as the "freedom movement of today’s times." She said, "Lakhs of farmers have been protesting since eight months, demanding repeal of farm laws, seeking legal guarantee for all crops. Trade unions have been agitating against the anti-worker labour codes."
Claiming that 93% of the unorganized sector workforce has faced "the worst health and livelihood crisis during the pandemic", Patkar said, "The past seven years of BJP have destroyed the economy and ecology in numerous ways, while dissenters are being jailed, even killed, like Fr Stan Swamy."
Pointing out that August 9 is also International Indigenous People’s Day, Prafulla Samantara, top tribal rights leader from Odisha, said that the Schedule-V Adivasi areas of the country are facing "non-stop corporate attacks and increased militarization." He stressed on the need to "intensify the efforts to assert the rights of adivasis, fisher people, forest dwellers and workers."
Faisal Khan of the Khudai Khidmatgar stated that the campaign aims at opposing economic inequality, even as demanding education, health, employment and social security for all. "Our collective resolve will defeat the hate politics of the ruling party and challenge them on the ground", he said.
Gender rights leader Meera Sanghamitra said, "Alongside intense repression, use of draconian laws like Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and jailing of activists, the last seven years have also been testimony to powerful democratic assertions, newer consciousness and mass movements of women, farmers, Muslims, workers, dalits, Adivasis, students, transgender persons, public sector employees and other sections."
"Popular mandate for BJP, whose failures and callousness have been fully exposed during the pandemic, has waned as witnessed in multiple state elections", she added. Representatives from state units of NAPM including Kusumam Joseph (Kerala), Richa Singh (Uttar Pradesh), Parasaul Alam (West Bengal), Suniti SR (Maharashtra), Trilochan Punji (Odisha) shared details of upcoming actions in their states.

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