Skip to main content
xYOU DESERVE INDEPENDENT, CRITICAL MEDIA. We want readers like you. Support independent critical media.

Bengal: Lakhs Throng Kolkata’s Brigade Ground for DYFI’s Insaf Yatra Rally

Youth demand right to work and education, pledge to boot out communalism and corruption.
brigade rally in kolkata

Brigade rally in kolkata

Kolkata: It was a sea of youth and common citizens from across the state in Kolkata’s Brigade Parade ground on Sunday, marking the culmination of the 50-day ‘Insaf Yatra’ taken out by the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI), demanding right to work and education.

Read Also: WB: DYFI Embarks on Insaf Yatra to Demand Right to Work and Education

The sea of humanity in Brigade Parade ground saw a huge number of poor people from across districts, who travelled from afar, to reach the rally.

The DYFI;s white flag  and red crescent could be seen fluttering in every nook and corner of the ground. Some of the youth had come along with family members to participate in the rally.

NewsClick spoke with Pushpa Hembram, 36, a woman from the tribal community, who had come from the Banspahari area of West Medinipur district, about 236 kilometers away from the state capital, Kolkata, She had come in with her son and daughter. Her husband,  a visually handicapped person, stayed at home. 

 “We don’t get old age pension for in-laws, nor do we receive the handicapped persons pension because we are CPI(M) supporters,” she said, adding that “our village does not have adequate drinking water sources and the village road is in a dilapidated condition.”

The ‘Insaf Yatra’ held prior to the brigade rally had covered several districts of the state and had received “great response in our village and every area it passed through. It won people’s hearts,” she said.


Commenting on the huge number of youth participation in the rally,  DYFI’s former general secretary Mohd Salim (he is now state secretary CPI(M)) said he was pinning his hopes on the  youths for “leftist renaissance and resurgence” in West Bengal.

Rabin Pramanik, 41, a barber by profession and a CITU (Centre of Indian Trade Unions) activist said he had come for the rally from the South 24 Parganas district. He claimed that the “the reign of hoodlums of the TMC (Trinamool Congress) was now on the verge of collapse, which was continuing with oxygen that it was getting from the BJP (Bharatiya Janata party).

In fact, several speakers at the rally mentioned a “ “covert alliance” between BJP and TMC. 

To push the point, balloons, posters and placards could be seen on how the RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) had depicted Chief Minister and TMC leader Mamata Banerjee as goddess Durga, alleging that the RSS-driven BJP government at the Centre will not do anything to nab the TMC governments’ ‘corruption”.  

Addressing the rally, DYFI  state president Dhrubojyoti Saha, who walked the entire 2,910 km road length in the 50 days of the Insaf Yatra, from  Cooch Behar to end in Kolkata, shared his experience about how people came out in support in village after village and also aired their demand for better pay in agricultural work and against the system that creates more and migrant workers and daily wage earners in the state.

He pointed out how in Murshidabad district, he has seen fathers sobbing over the death of their sons working as migrant workers in various states.

The plight of migrants was also taken by Salim Salim, who questioned whether Bengal’s youth were destined to mop floors in New Delhi, wash clothes in Haryana, do work in overhead towers of in Kerala and in the brick kilns of Chennai.

“They travel en masse in trains to the Southern states, their personal identity hidden behind the tag of migrant workers. They often return home draped in shrouds,” he said.   

DYFI state secretary Minakshi Mukherjee pointed out that “years ago, industrialisation of the state was torn into shreds when the Tata Nano project was blown up (which was driven out of West Bengal following an agitation led by Mamata Banerjee). A section of the establishment had then laughed at it, but now they understand its ramifications, as the state has been transformed into a desert for the workers and working class. No jobs are available,” she added.


Read Also: Bengal: Tribunal’s Order on Tata Nano Plant Refreshes Land, Job Woes in Singur

 Srijan Bhattacharya, Students Federation of India (SFI) state secretary pointed out how schools and colleges were being shut down on random basis

He claimed there were 30 lakh vacancies in government departments across the country and six lakh vacancies in the state. “People want work, work and only work. They cannot be pacified by doles.”

Attended by a large number of left leaders, speakers in the rally also alleged the prevalence of “large-scale corruption” in the state, which is being “led by the CM and her household.”

Throughout the country when people are getting together against the danger posed by saffron forces, in West Bengal, the government is acting in close cohorts with the BJP government,” said a DYFI leader.

The DYFI leadership after going back home from the rally, the youth will build up brigades in all booths of the state in view of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

Get the latest reports & analysis with people's perspective on Protests, movements & deep analytical videos, discussions of the current affairs in your Telegram app. Subscribe to NewsClick's Telegram channel & get Real-Time updates on stories, as they get published on our website.

Subscribe Newsclick On Telegram