A successful programme was staged by 2 revolutionary mass organisations of Punjab representing the dalit agricultural labour and students, shimmering the sacred torch of Shaheed Bhagat Singh and his comrades on April 9th. It was of immense qualitative significance in the context of Punjab and India, challenging dalit oppression and Hindutva fascism. The speakers at the very core touched upon how under the current rulers the monopoly or grip of Hindutva fascism imperialism and feudalism escalated to an unprecedented scale. Accent was given to the how means of production was most unevenly distributed. Student leaders spoke about how education was safronised at unparalleled levels. A demarcation was made by the speakers of the rulers since 1947 itself with the revolutionary democratic path and aspirations of Bhagat Singh,Sukhdev and Rajguru.The success of the event is a testimony to the dedicated mass work of the concerned organisations amongst the oppressed masses, particularly dalits. Impressive integration of youth with dalit agricultural labour. Very significant that subsequently they raised the burning issue of re-instatement of ration cards and staged a most impactful rally raising the demands of allocation of land plots. The speakers aimed to give a striking blow to the illegal occupation of upper caste landlords patronised by the ruling parties.What was missing in the programme was presence of organisation of the landed peasantry and intellectuals.
Krantikari Pendu Mazdoor Union (Punjab) and Punjab Radical Students Union successfully carried out a revolutionary drama at village Namol dedicated to the martyrs Azam Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev on the question of emancipation of workers. The program was started by paying homage to the martyrs. Addressing the hard working people in the packed venue, State President of Revolutionary Rural Workers Union Punjab Sanjeev Mintoo and State Secretary Dharmapal Singh said that the freedom for which the martyrs sacrificed their lives has not come. The Hindutva fascism that is currently in power is a threat to the common man. The true tribute to the martyrs would be to end the redistribution of the means of production. The leader said that while the organization was talking about getting one third of the land for the dalit farm labourers at low rates and jointly, it was also talking about getting two parts of the land to the farmers. The emancipation of the toiling masses is possible only with the implementation of the means of production and land demarcation. After this the state president of Punjab Radical Students Union Raspinder Jimmy said that while raising voice against the saffronisation of education the students and youth should play their due role against the puppet Indian rulers of the empire. Jagsir Singh, the leader of BJP, gave a message to the workers, peasants and the entire toiling masses to unite. The play “Before Disappearance” by Shaheed Art Bhagat Bhagat Singh, presented by People’s Art Patiala, made the people emotional. The play left a deep impression on the minds of the people. The play was performed. Bimal Kaur, District Secretary, Krantikari Peindu Mazdoor Union Punjab played the role of Stage Secretary. Baljit Singh, District President, Revolutionary Rural Workers Union, Punjab, Manjit Singh, State Secretary, Punjab Radical Students Union and volunteers were instrumental in making the program a success. BKU Ugrahan leader Happy Singh also addressed the gathering. Revolutionary songs were performed by Major Upli and Billu Singh. The program ended with loud chants of “Martyrs, think a little and watch carefully”.
Struggle for reinstatement of ration cards
The bureaucracy reached Sri Guru Ravidas Dharamsala in village Upli later thanks to the fierce struggle waged at village Upli under the leadership of Revolutionary Rural Workers Union (Punjab) for non-reinstatement of ration card and issue of new ration card. There was great excitement among the ration card holders. During the arrival of bureaucracy in the village, District Secretary of Revolutionary Rural Workers Union (Punjab) Bimal Kaur, District Leader Amrik Singh and Karamjit Kaur addressed a rally of ration card holders. Gurcharan Singh and Harwinder Singh, Inspector Food Supply, Sangrur, sitting in Dharamshala, started the process of issuing lists for the restoration of the names of the ration card holders whose names have been duly removed from the ration cards. A large number of ration card holders whose names have been cut off have started arriving in Dharamsala. By two o’clock the bureaucracy sat down and carried out the whole process. Officials, after completing today’s process, asked the ration card holders to prepare and submit the lists at the Food Supply Office, however, the names of the ration card holders who have not been restored and new ration cards have been issued. Apart from this, a list of ration card holders for which new ration cards are to be issued was also prepared. An inquiry launched against the depot holders against whom complaints were registered in the village.
Protest for allotment of plots to dalits in Sangrur
Krantikari Peindu Mazdoor Union (Punjab) held a rally at Bansar Bagh, Sangrur and then a furious protest march was organized in front of DC office in front of DC office at Dayalgarh, Namol and Kokomajri Sunam. . Addressing the dharna, state president of Krantikari Peindu Mazdoor Union (Punjab) Sanjeev Mintoo, state secretary Dharampal Singh and district leader Jagdeep Singh Kala said that it had been more than 40 years since the farm workers were allotted plots at village Dayalgarh. The illegal occupation of others is still going on. The allotment of plots at village Namol, though 40 years ago, has been marked some time ago, but it too has not been occupied yet. About thirteen years ago in Kokomajri Sunam town, the needy people had filed their demand papers for plots. Since then more than 8 acres of vacant government land which was vacant by the needy was brought to the notice of the administrative authorities but the needy got nothing but salvage lapses. Are constantly sitting. A demand letter was handed over regarding the allotment of plots allotted in the above three villages to the needy by giving them justice. Apart from this, demands were also made for one third of Panchayat land, debt waiver, restoration of names cut off from ration cards, cessation of discrimination against Maganrega workers and it was demanded that the organization should work with the officials of various departments. The date of the meeting should be fixed so that the demands and issues can be settled amicably through deliberations. Bimal Kaur, District Secretary, Krantikari Peindu Mazdoor Union Punjab played the role of Stage Secretary. District leaders Karamjit Kaur, Balwinder Singh, Megh Singh Jelly Singh, Prabhu Singh, Bira Singh fraternal organization Punjab Radical Students Union State Secretary Manjit Singh also addressed the gathering. Nirbhai Singh and the team of Punjab Radical Students Union performed revolutionary songs.
One must praise the consistency and dedication of the activists in recent times in sustaining the struggle of dalit agricultural labour to confront the ruling classes.
Harsh Thakor is a freelance journalist from Mumbai who has toured and reported democratic events and struggles in Punjab and other parts of India.