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Punjab Lok Morcha call to oppose 'repressive' social order, bring in radical change

A Lok Morcha protest in Punjab
By Harsh Thakor* 
The Lok Morcha Punjab has held a meeting at the Teachers’ Home, Bathinda, in order to project what it called democratic revolutionary alternative model to the people. It stressed on active political campaign, opposing slogan of boycott and stressed on participating in elections. Speakers touched upon the repressive social order and how to galvanise people to their full potential in waging a struggle against it.
The organisation has planned a sustained one month campaign in many districts of Punjab. It has been sparkling the flame of message of Shaheed Bhagat Singh in successive election campaigns for the last 25 years.
The meeting highlighted how the current social order was an instrument of the ruling and exploiter classes and could not solve the genuine grievances or day to day issues of the people. People were reminded of how land still remained in the possession of big or absentee landlords, and that land reforms have been only superficial.
It explained how the oppressed masses were still suffering with farmers incurring huge debts and the nation dancing to the tune of western powers by patronising multinationals. The pro-rich economic policies were condemned.
The issues touched upon included inflation, unemployment, farmers' suicides, inadequate housing, staggering electricity bills, land seizures, police repression on protests, genuine democrats incarcerated etc.
The Lok Morcha vouched for a new social order by removing the bondage of foreign capital by confiscating it, abolishing caste discrimination, money lending system, implementing land reforms through proper agrarian reforms, workers owning the means of production, creating village scale agro-industries which would create employment, a secular and scientific education system, employment and literacy for all and a free health system.
The Punjab Khet Mazdoor Union and the Naujwan Bharat Sabha supported the Lok Morcha and the team of democratic intellectuals, who organised the meeting. The Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ekta-Ugrahan) refused to participate as its agenda differed from that of the Lok Morcha on agrarian programme.
Lok Morcha secretary Jagmel Singh narrated how a radical change had to be undertaken. He stressed that in essence all the parties represented the exploiter classes. The manner the rulers used the weapon of communalism to play games and divide people to divert them from their burning issues was highlighted. He explained how the current policies patronised landlordism and foreign capital.
Punjab Khet Mazdoor Union secretary Lacchman Singh Sewewala spoke about how for 70 years no fundamental transformation took place and there was deterioration in the social order. He narrated how every ruling class party was a master in hoodwinking the masses to win votes, and how the people were unfortunately swayed by one party or another.
Intellectuals like Lok Morcha advisor and advocate Narinder Kumar Jeet, Punjab Loksabyachark Manch leader Amolka Singh, Punjab Students Union (Shaheed Randahawa) leader Hushiyar Salemgarah, BKU (Ugrahan) leader Jhanda Singh Jethuke also addressed the meeting.
All condemned the repressive social order and the need for people to build a genuine alternative. They delved into important history of the past and capacity of people to challenge the autocratic rule. All gave emphasis on the threat of Hindutva fascism of the Bharatiya Janata Party, but none supported the Aam Admi party.
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*Freelance journalist

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