The Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS), and All India Agricultural Workers Union (AIAWU) have jointly decided to launch a fortnight-long nationwide campaign from July 25, at a time when the Centre is not showing signs to concede to the demands of protesting farmers and workers any time soon.
As part of the campaign, the members of the three organisations will aim to spread awareness regarding their demands in different parts of the country. The campaign will culminate into what is described as a nationwide protest to “Save India” on August 9.
It was on this day in 1942, when Mahatma Gandhi launched the ‘Quit India’ movement, that came to be recognised as a significant attempt in eject the British colonisers out of the country.
The workers, farmers, and agriculture labourers – the “wealth creators of the nation” – will come together under the campaign to intensify the struggle against the Narendra Modi-led government, said K. Hemalata, president of CITU. “The aim is to first explain our demands to not just our members but to the general masses. We shall also talk about the reasons behind the stubborn attitude of the Modi government,” she told Newsclick on Tuesday.
There are mainly seven demands that will be raised, Hemalata added. These will include a cash support of Rs. 7,500 to all non-income tax payee families, ration support to all those in need, universal free vaccination, along with withdrawal of the three farm laws and the labour codes among others, according to her.
Vikram Singh, joint secretary of AIAWU, told Newsclick that different preparatory programmes will be organised under the campaign across the country. “The state units in Uttar Pradesh are planning to organise a cycle jatha; similarly, in Haryana, a vehicle jatha will be organised. There will also be panchayats that are going to be held at village levels,” he said.
The participation in these programmes would ensure that the struggle against the policy decisions of the Modi government does not lose steam, Singh added. This comes even as more than seven months have passed since the day when thousands of farmers first blocked the highways leading up to the national capital in protest against the contentious farm laws. The aggrieved farmers were joined by multiple fronts including that of workers and agricultural labourers.
The joint announcement of the nationwide campaign also comes at a time when the Samyukt Kisan Morcha (SKM), the umbrella front leading the farmers protests at the Delhi borders, has called for demonstrating outside the Parliament from July 22. The Parliament is set to convene on July 29 for its upcoming monsoon session.
According to the plan announced by the SKM, nearly 200 farmers – not more than five from each member organisation – will protest outside the Parliament every day during this monsoon session.
Vijoo Krishnan, joint secretary of AIKS, said that ever since the protest began at Delhi borders, farmers’ groups and trade unions have always come out in solidarity to each others’ protest programmes. “In the same manner, this time around when the farmers will be protesting in Delhi, the workers’ organisations will demonstrate in other parts of the country,” he said.
Asked about the “Save India” day, to be observed on August 9, Krishnan added, “It is in continuation to the nationwide protest last year. Thus, the day will be observed with same vigour across the nation.”