Young India National Coordination Committee held a Solidarity Press Conference and Public Meeting today, January 22, at Press Club of India to express their support to the students and Young India Adhikaar March to be held on February 7 from Lal Quila to Parliament.
They were joined by Senior Advocate Prashant Bhushan, Activist and MLA Jignesh Mevani, Delhi University Professors Apoorvanand, Nandini Sundar, and Ratan Lal, Senior Journalist Anil Chamadia, Scientist and Poet Gauhar Raza, and Jawaharlal Nehru University Professors Jayati Ghosh and Nivedita Menon.
The YINCC has been formed in an effort to unite student-youth movements, union members and organisations across the country and declared that thousands of youth from the country will march on the streets of Delhi on February 7 to demand education, jobs and dignity.
Some of the key demands include filling of all vacant government jobs and ending the regime of paper leaks and corruption in recruitment, at least 10% of the budget allocation for education, ending gender discriminatory rules, ending saffronisation of education and fulfilling constitutionally mandated reservation.
Unemployment Highest in last 20 Years
Professor Ratan Lal said that the rate of unemployment in India is highest in the last 20 years and at least 82% men and 92% women are earning even less that Rs. 10,000 per month. In the context of government posts, at least 24 lakh posts are shamefully lying vacant. Furthermore, according to the Ministry of Human Resource Development’s (MHRD) own report, for every 100 persons in the age group 18-23 years in India, only 25.8 people can access higher education, while thousands of schools have been closed down all over the country in the name of mergers, only to benefit private schools.
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He further stressed that increasing privatisation in higher education has forced students to take hefty loans which has pushed students like Rohith Vemula to commit suicide. Between 2014 and 2016, over 26,000 students have committed suicide in India.
Jignesh Mevani accused the Modi-Amit Shah duo saying, “I am speaking from my experience of fifteen years, Modi and Amit shah are not going to do anything other than causing bloodshed, hatred, communal tension and religious tension in the name of Gujarat model.”
He further accused Modi’s nearly complete tenure of just “talking” about development whereas when the government is questioned on the same, it brushes it off by talking about temples, cows, etc. He further said that the working class of this country is not receiving even the minimum wage on time and more than 80 crore people are forced to live daily on less than Rs. 20 per day.
Prashant Bhushan said, “During Emergency, maybe our Constitution was under threat but today our Constitution, our legacy and our culture everything is under threat. Even the Lokpal, the Whistleblowers or the CBI are under threat.”
He further said that barring India, nearly every country imposes wealth tax, inheritance tax and corporate tax. The likes of Ambanis have nearly 5 lakh crores worth of wealth which is doubling by 10-20 per cent every year due to the government’s policies. If the government imposes even 1 per cent wealth tax on cumulative wealth of more than 1 crore, 2 per cent on more than 100 crores and impose 20 per cent inheritance tax, the country’s exchequer will not only have the means to employ half the nation but we will also have enough to regularise Universal Pension.
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He added that the brazen attacks of the Modi government on the public universities makes it clear that the agenda of the Modi regime is to destroy the ability of the people to think and question.
All the speakers emphasised on the need to support the February 7 Young Adhikar March as the need of the hour to give the Modi government a final strong message before the Lok Sabha elections. All the panellists expressed their whole-hearted support and urged the youth to join in making the march a success.