Pol Khol Halla Bol Rally Across India on 23rd May
‘Pol Khol Hall Bol’ rallies will be organized across the India on the completion of four years of Modi government, which have been four years of betrayal of millions of Indians. It needs to be underlined that BJP was able to get massive majority in the last lok sabha elections by capitalizing the anger against the loot, plunder, misgovernance and corruption under the 10 years of Congress rule. BJP has not only failed completely to fulfill any of its pre-poll promises, it has gone on to push the policies of Congress government with even more aggression, thereby increasing the burden on people. This has been coupled with unprecedented attacks on democratic rights in general and against the dalits & minorities in particular as RSS is using the control over the state machinery to further its agenda of Hindu Rashtra. The ‘Pol Khol Halla Bol’ rallies will act as convergence of the popular discontent and movements against the current regime that have intensified in this period with intensifying attacks.
What is JEJAA?
The Jan Ekta Jan Adhikar Andolan (people’s unity, people’s right, people’s resistance) is a platform of more than hundred all India and regional based trade unions, peasant organizations, youth organizations, student organizations, womens’ organizations and various other social movements. It was launched through a national convention held in September 2017 in New Delhi. It strives to work towards common cause and will try to bring all possible Left and democratic movements, organizations and individuals willing to fight against the neoliberal policies and RSS-BJP combine and other forces of authoritarianism and communalism. As the name suggests, the platform will work towards people’s unity, people’s rights, people’s resistance- jan ekta, jan adhikar, and jan pratirodh.
What are the issues?
(Based on the resolution passed in the founding national convention)
Modi government came to power promising ‘Acche Din’ (good times): freedom from price rise, corruption and violence against women; employment generation and ‘sabka saath sabka vikas’ (inclusive development for all). But, during the last four years, the Modi led BJP government has been achieving just the opposite. In addition to betraying its promises, it is attacking the rights achieved by the people through hard struggles and is fostering a climate of violence against minorities, oppressed sections, and dissenting voices.
Corruption is being institutionalized, including foreign and domestic corporate funding for political parties, and crony capitalism. It expressed its dismay at sharp rise of 42 per cent in the number of farmers’ suicides during 2014-15, one in every 30 minutes; and the large number of hunger deaths in different parts of the country. Instead of implementing its poll promise of minimum support price as per Swaminathan Committee recommendations, the BJP government meets farmers’ demands of MSP and loan waiver with bullets and killings as was witnessed in Mandsaur in Madhya Pradesh. At the same time, bad loans of willful corporate defaulters amounting to more than Rs 1.91 lakh crores were written off during the three financial years of Modi regime with a record Rs 81,683 crores in 2016-17 alone. FDI and corporatisation of agriculture through contract farming is being vigorously pursued with insurance companies profiteering in the name of crop insurance. Large scale displacement and dispossession of rural poor is taking place through forcible land acquisition without proper rehabilitation and resettlement. The Forest Rights Act is not being implemented and adivasis and other forest dwellers are being evicted; the CNT/SPT Acts protecting adivasi right to land are being diluted. Agricultural workers are being pauperized in absence of jobs, minimum wages and social security; and due to cuts in fund allocation, absence of adequate job and delayed payment in MNREGA.
The deteriorating employment situation in the country belies the promise of two crore jobs every year. In three years of Modi led BJP rule, it is not just a job-less economy, but in reality a job-loss economy: government’s labour bureau statistics show that employment in eight major labour intensive sectors plummeted to the lowest in eight years; only 2.31 lakh new jobs were created in these sectors in the nine months ending in December 2016. According to the 5th annual employment unemployment survey of the labour bureau, around 77 per cent households in the country had no regular wage/salaried person. The job crisis and resulting distress amongst the common people has been rendered considerably worse by the huge adverse impact of demonetization and GST, as well as increasing bank charges, and Aadhar linkage for social welfare benefits.
In Service of Big Capital
In the name of ‘Make in India’ and ‘Ease of Doing Business’, corporates, both domestic and foreign, are being invited to exploit our country’s resources, including oil, gas and other natural resources as well as India’s workers. Laws to protect the environment are being diluted or openly violated. Labour laws are being amended brazenly favouring employers, snatching away the hard-earned rights of the workers including the right to organise, to do collective bargaining and claim social security benefits. Workers’ lives, their safety, health and livelihood are sought to be left to the mercy of the greedy corporates.
A massive drive for privatization of our national wealth through disinvestment, outright sale and strategic sale of the public sector is underway. Despite all talk of nationalism, even strategic and key sectors like defence, railways, banks, insurance, BHEL and others are sought to be handed over to the foreign and domestic corporates. Rapid decline in human development indices are a serious concern. There is a sharp decline and commercialisation of health and education as has been revealed in mass killing of children in Gorakhpur hospital.
Growing attacks against Dalits and Minorities
The convention expressed its outrage at the growing attacks on dalits and minorities during the last three years; there have been organised attacks on dalits in Una in Gujarat, Saharanpur in UP and in several other places. Lynch mobs of so called ‘gau rakshaks’ have been attacking and killing Muslims on the pretext of ‘beef eating’. Legal cattle traders carrying all necessary documents are also not being spared. The bans and restrictions on cattle trade have hit the livelihoods of lakhs of people, particularly dalits and minorities and other poorer sections in the country.
The brutal state repression and custodial violence unleashed on adivasis in Chhattisgarh, Odisha, and Jharkhand and on the people of Kashmir; and the ongoing attempts to impose the Hindi language on the people of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Assam and other non-Hindi peoples exposes the majoritarian politics of sangh parivaar.
The resolution adopted at the convention condemned the government’s apathy in controlling spiralling price rise particularly of essential commodities like vegetables, dal, etc affecting common people with deterioration of public distribution system. Instead of reducing petrol, diesel and cooking gas prices following decline of oil prices in the international market, the government has decided to increase price of LPG every month until the subsidy is totally eliminated and hand-in-hand with corporate houses plunder the people by hiking the domestic price of petrol and diesel every day. Increasing futures trading and commodity exchange are adversely impacting on the availability and prices of essential commodities.
Growing attacks against women
The retrograde patriarchal attitudes are being promoted by the communal fascist forces patronised by BJP governments. These forces have unleashed a virtual war on women’s autonomy. These regressive attitudes are also reinforced by employers – including governments as well as Indian and transnational corporations which use them as a tool to exploit and discipline women workers. The ruling party is promoting a political culture which unleashes abuse against outspoken women in public life and which seeks to trivialise violence against women, protect the culprits, and blame the victims.
Attacks on Educational Institutions
It condemned all-out attacks on the freedom of expression and protest under the BJP regime. Dissent against government policies, opposition to the fundamentalist ideology of the RSS are being equated to being ‘anti national’. Student activists, universities with a progressive outlook, and rational thinkers are being attacked while regressive retrograde and unscientific ideas are being promoted. There is increasing communalization of educational institutions, slashing of research seats and reduction in budget allocation for education.
Jan Ekta Jan Adhikar Andolan has been conceived as a platform of action & movement to unite all the Left, democratic, secular, rational, progressive and broad minded organizations & individuals to come together to reclaim our country and our democracy; and unite to fight back these fascistic, authoritarian and autocratic elements and the divisive ideology that guides them.
Socialist India will be publishing detailed reports on each of these spheres of attacks by the RSS-BJP government. We will also be covering the ‘Pol Khol Halla Bol’ rallies across the country.