Skip to main content

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.”


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.
*The Platform of Central Trade Unions & Sectoral Federations/ Associations: INTUC, AITUC, HMS, CITU, AIUTUC, TUCC, SEWA, AICCTU, LPF, UTUC



IMA vs Ramdev: Why what's good or bad for goose should be good or bad for gander

By Dr Amitav Banerjee, MD* Baba Ramdev and his associate Balkrishna faced the wrath of the Supreme Court for their propaganda about their Ayurvedic products and belittling mainstream medicine. Baba Ramdev had to apologize in court. His apology was not accepted and he may face the contempt of court with harsher punishment. The Supreme Court acted on a public interest litigation (PIL) moved by the Indian Medical Association (IMA).

Women innovators on simple, revolutionary alternate solutions for water problems

By Proshakha Maitra, Mansee Bal Bhargava* The detrimental effects of uncontrolled population rise and accelerated change in the global climate have posed tremendous pressure on the water and sanitation. This calls all stakeholders, from both developed and developing nations, to improve their resilience and to instigate sustainability. It is more crucial than ever to optimise the use of the resources we have on hand since the world population is projected to reach 9.7 billion by 2050.

Magnetic, stunning, Protima Bedi 'exposed' malice of sexual repression in society

By Harsh Thakor*  Protima Bedi was born to a baniya businessman and a Bengali mother as Protima Gupta in Delhi in 1949. Her father was a small-time trader, who was thrown out of his family for marrying a dark Bengali women. The theme of her early life was to rebel against traditional bondage. It was extraordinary how Protima underwent a metamorphosis from a conventional convent-educated girl into a freak. On October 12th was her 75th birthday; earlier this year, on August 18th it was her 25th death anniversary.

Alleged killing of another Bangladesh youth inside Indian territory: NHRC inquiry sought

By Kirity Roy* There was yet another incident of the killing of a Bangladeshi youth by the Border Security Force personnel attached with ‘Barthar’ BOP of ‘G’ Company of 75 BSF Battalion. In last five years several incidents of killings happened under this police station’s jurisdiction and the cases will get the award as “Not Guilty” as usual.

Modi model, Hindutva icon 'justified' alliance with Muslim League before Independence

By Shamsul Islam*  Our PM describes himself as ‘Hindu’ nationalist and member of RSS. He proudly shares the fact that he was groomed to be a political leader by one of the two fathers of the Hindutva politics, MS Golwalkar (the other being VD Savarkar) and given the task of establishing Hindutva polity in India after eradicating secularism.

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Crusader for people’s causes, this Hollywood actor entered 'unexplored zones' in US

By Harsh Thakor*  Marlon Brando on April 3rd completes his birth centenary. He perished in 2004, on July 1, aged 80 years. Arguably in Hollywood Brando penetrated sensitivity and versatility at an unparalleled scale and discovered new horizons or explored path breaking zones in acting.

Nuclear power expansion: Is AEC's new, 'unrealistic' target fully backed by PMO?

By Shankar Sharma*  Another unrealistic and tall claim by Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) has been announced: India is eyeing 100 GW nuclear power by 2047, the AEC chairman  AK Mohanty   has said. A few years ago, the dream target for the Indian nuclear establishment was 275,000 MWe of nuclear power by 2050 (as per DAE document of 2008 "A Strategy for the Growth of Electricity in India”). Now this target of 100 GW nuclear power by 2047. And as at the end of February 2024, the actual nuclear power capacity was only 7,480 MWe, which formed only 1.7% of the total power capacity in the country. 

How huge crowd at Mukhtar Ansari funeral is comparable to BJP's 'people's court' talk

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*  The massive crowd at the funeral of Mukhtar Ansari in Mohammadabad reflects the power and influence that his family wields in the area. One can't deny that he had enormous power in Ghazipur and Mau districts. But the crowd that came and chanted slogans in his favour does not exonerate him of his conviction by the court.  It is important that we understand this. 

'Critical for cultural and ecological security': Ladakh women seek statehood, self-rule

By Our Representative Six Ladakhi women from different organisations in the region, who concluded their 10 day fast, have told an online press conference that it is necessary to provide statehood to Ladakh, even as declaring the region under the 6th schedule, for “deepening democracy, preserving ecology, and for survival.” Feminists across India joined the media meet in solidarity with the Ladakh movement “for 6th schedule, statehood and justice.”