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Bharat Bandh: Workers pledge to counter 'heinous' religious fanaticism, jingoism

Counterview Desk 

In a joint statement, the platform of Central Trade Unions (CTUs) and Independent Sectoral Federations/ Associations* on nation-wide mass mobilisation of working class on farmers’ Grameen Bandh, claimed it was a “grand success” in which students, teachers, youth, women, professionals, artists, writers and other social movements participated make it a “great national protest.”
Stating that the call of mass mobilisation all over India “received immense response”, in a joint statement, CTUs said, protesters pledged to counter “heinous religious fanaticism and jingoism to bring the real livelihood issues of the people back to the national agenda.”

Text:

The nation witnessed rural India in action against anti-farmer, anti-workers, anti-agricultural, anti-public sector policies of the Government working to the advantage of corporates of Indian and foreign brands.
The coal sector, road transport, NMDC, BHEL and several major industrial areas/zones went on strike. The state government employees in many states were in action including strikes in some of them. Those in banks and insurance sector, in the electricity, telecom, steel, copper and oil sector among others, organised protests at work places as well as participated in the joint processions and meetings. The jute, cotton plantation workers in action with their demands.
The Railway unions organised demonstrations outside Railway stations in several areas and defense employees mobilised at factory gates. Students and teachers extended support and were part of mobilisation in several states. The taxi and auto drivers in many states took to the streets for demonstrations in support of the action. 
The hawkers/vendors unions, construction and beedi workers, home based workers and domestic workers were part of processions and road roko at many places. The scheme workers -- anganwadi, ASHA, mid-day meal and those in other various schemes were in major mobilisations, after strikes in several states.
The action of mass civil disobedience was organised in West Bengal on 13th February itself due to board examinations commencing on 16th February in the state. It was a successful action throughout Bengal with Anarul Islam loosing life in brutal lathicharge on protesters in Domkal, Murshidabad. Despite that the actions were organised by some unions today also.
In Assam the programme was conducted on 15th February again due to examinations on 16th February. The state witnessed sectoral strike by scheme workers, construction workers, venders and hawkers among others and the employees of BSNL and oil sector as well as the workers/employees of almost all private industries and chakka jam throughout the state. There was mobilisation in all districts in rural and town areas and rural bandh as well.
In Delhi the joint actions for closure of industries were organised in all zones of industrial clusters, a demonstration at Labour Commissioner office and another at Jantar Mantar were organised. The national and state leaders addressed the gatherings at different places of protest.
They condemned the ruling party in the centre and wherever they are ruling in states having used oppressive methods against the protesting workers and farmers. The brutal lathi charge, firing with pellets, and using drones for tear gas charge on farmers marching towards Delhi on 13th February are symptoms of the ruling party having lost confidence of people as well as realizing that they have lost the ground as because they know that they failed to deliver results in every promise they made to various sections of Indian masses.
The Central Trade Unions and SKM had called upon in their joint press conference on 17th January 2024 to intensify struggle until they achieve the demands of MSP@C2+50% for all crops with guaranteed procurement, dismissal of Ajay Mishra Teni and registration of case on him, Comprehensive loan waiver to small and middle farm households for freedom from indebtedness, minimum wage of Rs 26,000 per month for workers, repeal of 4 labour codes, repeal the draconian amendments made to IPC/CRPC, guaranteed employment as fundamental right, no privatisation of PSUs including railway, defence, electricity, coal, oil, steel, telecom, posts, transport, airports, port and dock, banks, insurance etc., No to privatisation of education and health, no contractualisation of jobs, scrapping of fixed term employment, strengthen MGNREGS with 200 days work per person per year and Rs 600 as daily wage, restore old pension scheme, pension and social security to all in formal and informal economy, scrapping of sec 104 of newly introduced bns, welfare boards for all categories of unorganised workers on the lines of the Construction Workers Welfare Board, Implement the LARR Act 2013 (Right to Fair compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013) among others.
It was also said that they would counter the heinous religious fanaticism and jingoism to bring the real livelihood issues of the people back to the national agenda.
They once again reiterated today that they are in a struggle to save the basic principles of democracy, federalism, secularism and socialism enshrined in the Constitution of India.
Therefore, they called upon the people that this ruling regime in the central government with anti-worker, anti-farmer, anti-national policies be ousted from power.
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*The Platform of Central Trade Unions & Sectoral Federations/ Associations: INTUC, AITUC, HMS, CITU, AIUTUC, TUCC, SEWA, AICCTU, LPF, UTUC

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