It was a sea of red as lakhs of workers, peasants and agricultural workers from across the country set out from Ram Lila Maidan and other venues towards Parliament Street early on Wednesday morning expressing their anger at the Modi government’s indifference to the working people and its servility to big industrialists’ interests.
This is the first time ever that three key sections of the society that toil to put food on our tables – workers, peasants and agricultural workers -- have come together in the Mazdoor Kisan Sangharsh Rally to voice their protest in Delhi under the banner of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) and the All India Agricultural Workers’ Union (AIAWU).
Shouting slogans and singing songs in various languages, the spirited protest reflected the anger of the toiling people at the Modi government's failure to address their long-standing demands from relentless price rise to soaring unemployment and growing attacks on their basic rights by the authoritarian Modi government.
Incidentally, thousands of workers, farmers and agricultural workers have arrived in the Capital despite various natural disasters across the country, such as floods and landslides.
“This is unlike any other such event and platform. There is a need to strengthen unity. The government is trying to break people's unity, based on religion and caste. Any critics are called anti-nationals. Many protesters who were coming here were blocked and cases were booked against them. We must fight attempts to divide us in our struggles”, CITU President K Hemlatha told Newsclick.
The historic Mazdoor Kisan Sangharh rally is the culmination of an energetic campaign covering almost all districts of the country, such as meetings, processions, jail bharo on August 9, samuhik jagran on August 14.
The demands of the workers include curbing price rise and universalisation of the publ distribution system, a minimum wage of Rs 18,000 a month and the implementation of the MS Swaminathan Commission recommendations on the farm sector.
“It's after many years that such a rally has taken place. Our three organisations are clear that the Modi government is the most anti-worker, anti-peasant and anti-agricultural worker. We want to warn the government of the corporates that our struggles will continue and we will send the end of the Modi government,” Ashok Dhawale, President, AIKS, told Newsclick.
He said there had been a 42% increase in farmer in suicides in four years. We demand a full debt waiver. However, the government was waiving debts to only of corporates.
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