End corruption, defend land and democracyAug 13, 2011 | Panini Anand
Hundreds of students from the campuses of Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi University and Jamia Millia Islamia, along with many teachers, writers and other democratic voices of the city, as well as workers and urban poor from all over the capital city, gathered at Jantar Mantar today to celebrate the successful Student-Youth Barricade Against Corruption and Corporate Plunder.
Addressing the gathering, Comrade Dipankar Bhattacharya, General Secretary of the CPI(ML), congratulated the thousands of students and youth from all over India for braving police intimidation and heavy rains and maintaining their Barricade in the face of all odds.
Challenging the police stand that no continuous sit-in would be allowed at Jantar Mantar, the students and youth successfully reclaimed Jantar Mantar since August 9.
He said, “The Student-Youth Barricade has shown the UPA Government and the ruling class that students and youth are determined to struggle for an effective Janlokpal legislation and resist the policies of privatization and corporate plunder that are responsible for the worst scams of our times.”
Condemning the tacit consensus and deals between the Congress and BJP inside Parliament on the burning issues of price rise and corruption, Comrade Dipankar said, “In contrast to such fixed matches between the ruling Congress and the main Opposition BJP, the students and youth have reached out to the common people, and emerged as a genuine challenge, on the streets, to policies that are breeding corruption and price rise.”
Comrade Dipankar noted that the Government is keeping various important posts – from the Prime Minister to MPs to the gram pradhan – out of the purview of the sarkari Lokpal Bill, its Land Acquisition Bill continues to leave the door open for corporate grab of fertile farmland and forest land.
He called upon students and youth to continue their campaign in a new phase from 16 August onwards, with the slogan to ‘End Corruption, Defend Land, Defend Democracy!’
The Student-Youth Barricade ended with a rousing resolve and collective pledge to return to their campuses and states and continue the campaign against corruption and corporate grab of land and resources.
The students and youth adopted resolutions – demanding that the range of posts from PM to gram pradhan be brought within the purview of the Lokpal; demanding resignation of Manmohan Singh over the 2G and CWG scams; return of black money to the country and publication of the list of black money holders; blacklisting of corporate companies found to be corrupt; condemning the police firing and killing of four peasants at Pune and demanding punishment for the guilty police officers and politicians responsible for the firing; condemning the UP Government’s law preventing land once acquired from being returned to farmers; and demanding the release of Afroz Alam, a young CPI(ML) activist of Pilibhit who has been jailed and tortured by UP police on false charges of ‘Gangster Act.’
The Student-Youth Barricade declared that onwards from 16 August, joining hands with peasants and rural and urban poor, they would take up the issue of Lokpal Bill and land rights together, raising the slogan, “Bring all posts and institutions within the purview of the Lokpal! Make all cultivable and forest land out of bounds for acquisition!”