Kisan Mazdoor Rally: ‘Change the policies else we will change the government!’ 

A huge crowd comprising workers and farmers took to the streets of the Capital on Wednesday, as they warned the government— “Change the policies or the people will change the government.”

NH photo by Bhasha Singh 
NH photo by Bhasha Singh

Bhasha Singh

“Oh, are you going to attend the farmers’ rally? Then, I will not take any money from you. I am also a farmer’s son. Conditions are very bad, and the government has really turned against the poor. Many people from my village have also come to attend the rally.”

Right in front of me, a huge crowd of people was coming towards me, so, the auto-driver dropped me there at Firoz Shah Road and I melted into the crowd.

The farmers and workers rally on Wednesday virtually painted the capital red. Right from Mandi House, Jantar Mantar, Parliament Street, Connaught Place, Ashoka Road, Raisina Road—lakhs of farmers and workers from 26 states gathered at several junctures of the central Delhi.

These included, Anganwadi workers, ASHA workers, BSNL and construction workers, school teachers, Beedi workers, coal, steel and plantation workers, cooks who prepare midday meals and agricultural labourers among others.

In different regional languages of the country, only one slogan was chanted— ‘Change the policies or the people will change the government!’

This rally was organised by the various organisations related with the Communist Party of India (Marxist). Centre for Indian Trade Union (CITU), All India Kisan Sabha and Akhil Bharatiya Krishi Mazdoor Union also played a significant role in organising this massive rally of farmers and workers.

In different regional languages of the country, only one slogan was chanted— ‘Change the policies or the people will change the government!’

Photo courtesy: Twitter
Photo courtesy: Twitter

“The working class of the society which comprises of workers, farmers and other labourers have come here to proclaim that Modi led government is working against the common people of the country, that is why they should quit,” said Hannan Mollah, General Secretary of AIKS (All India Kisan Sabha). The farmers have two major demands, first, 1.5 times MSP against the production cost, purchase guarantee, loan waiver and agricultural land to the farmers.

CITU's Hemlata said that the condition of workers across the country is poor. The number of jobs has been reduced on a large scale. Cutting down on jobs has become a part of the administration of the Modi government. The anti-worker policies of the Modi government in the centre have forced workers to come out on the road.

Agriculture labourers put forth their demands- assurance of work for 200 days in a year and payment of ₹300 labour charge as per MNREGA, central law for agricultural laborers. Their demands also included ₹18 thousand be declared as minimum wages, work on contract should be abolished, permanent jobs should be provided instead. They also protested the selling of public sector companies to private sector bidders.

Prior to this rally, two million signatures were collected from all over the country and different sections were united against the anti-poor, anti-worker and anti-farmer policies.

Kiran Devi, from Bihar's Bhabua said, "Whether it is the Nitish government or Modi government, both are oppressing the poor. The work of MNREGA is stalled. There are no jobs. We are all dying from inflation. A country cannot run like this. We will have to change the government.”

Anganwadi Federation's AR Sindhu said, "Anganwadi workers from all over the country have come here because we are all labourers. The government doesn’t even consider us. Governments are eager to implement plans through us, but they do not provide us any benefit.

This rally seemed to be very successful in declaring the Modi government as anti-worker, anti-farmer and anti-development. Particularly, coming together of the Beedi laborers to BSNL workers, coal mine workers with the agriculture labourers, in itself, is a significant development and achievement of this rally.

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