THESE days a Parivartan Yatra, organised by the Rajasthan state unit of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), is in progress in the state and has already covered a number of places in the state. The month long yatra commenced from Jaipur on January 15 and will conclude on February 15.
On January 17, the yatra rath moved at about 10 a m from Jhunjhunu and entered Churu district, after having moved through Bagad, Nuniya, Gothra, Chidawa and Pilani. It is notable that Bagad, Chidawa and Pilani are hubs of educational institutions in the state and thousands of students from not only Rajasthan but from all over the country come to study; the Birla Institute of Pilani is a world renowned institution. It was from Pilani that the industrial house of the Birlas originated.
Heavy rains greeted the yatra as soon as it entered Churu district. Yet it addressed a big mass meeting at Chaandgoti village in Rajgarh tehsil. Hundreds of people welcomed the jatha here with loud slogans, and garlanded its members. CPI(M) MLA Amra Ram, who is leading the yatra, welcomed the first winter showers before he addressed the gathering. Describing the four years of Congress rule in the state as an utter failure, he said the rising prices of essential commodities are proving backbreaking for the people. Corruption pervades all through the administration and almost every minister of the state government is tainted. The whole system of administration has collapsed. The director general of Rajasthan Police, its inspector general, police superintendents and more than 200 of the lower level officials are behind the bars. They are facing charges of rape, fake encounters, illegal killings and involvement in corrupt deals. Amra Ram urged upon the people to defeat the Congress as well as the BJP in the next elections and to elect the Left and democratic candidates in large numbers.
Pema Ram, another CPI(M) MLA, referred to the increasing atrocities against dalits, women and minorities in the state, accusing the state government as responsible for collapse of law and order in the state. Vidyadhar Singh Gill, deputy chairman of Jhunjhunu Zila Parishad, stressed the necessity of political change in the state. CPI(M) district secretary Kulda Ram, among others, also addressed the mass meeting that continued despite the rain.
From Chaandgoti, the yatra moved through Binjawasm Nima, Hamirwas and Borasar Bada to reach Borasar Chhota where about 1000 men and women welcomed it and attended the meeting despite heavy rain. Using the rath itself as a platform, Amra Ram, Vasudev, Pema Ram, Girdhari Singh and others addressed the people. Amra ram congratulated the people for their victory in the recent militant struggle in Churu district, led by the CPI(M) and All India Kisan Sabha, for insurance claims against the damages done to crops by heavy rains. He said it was this struggle that won for the affected peasants insurance claims worth more than 2.25 billion rupees.
From Borasar, the jatha moved to Mithdi, Balwantsinghpura, Mithdi Kesarisingh, Devipura, Ratanpura and Jaitpura to finally reach Churu district headquarters, and then to Balsara village where hundreds of people welcomed it. Here Amra Ram and Pema Ram addressed a well attended mass meeting amidst rain.
The jatha reached Ajeetsar at about 8 p m and addressed a mass meeting that was organised in a school. Here Amra Ram stressed on the need of defeating the Congress as well as the BJP and of forging a Left and democratic alternative in order to ensure some betterment in the life of the peasantry. Pema Ram, Chhagan Chaudhari and Ram Singh also addressed the meeting.
The jatha was in Sardarshehar at 9 p m and was received in Raja Garden. Like Sikar and Jhunjhunu, Churu district too has been a centre of anti-feudal struggles and, under the leadership of former MLA and freedom fighter Comrade Mohar Singh, the peasants of the district once fought a militant struggle for land ownership. These three districts can also be proud that a number of their inhabitants sacrificed their lives in defence of the country, and one comes across a martyr’s statue in every fifth village or so. Churu too has been the place of origin of some big industrialists; steel king Lakshmipati Mittal too was born in Sardarshehar. The latter has also been known for its educational institutions.
Because of incessant rains, a mass meeting started here only at 12 noon, and it was attended by hundreds of peasants, including women, from the nearby villages. Amra Ram here referred to the struggles waged by the Kisan Sabha and the party in the last four years. Pema Ram referred to the deteriorating law and order situation in the state and the growing atrocities against the weaker sections, while CPI(M) state secretary Vasudev lambasted the Rajasthan chief minister, Ashok Gehlot, for having granted permission to FDI in the state. Ghanshyam Pareek, Chhagan Lal and Ram Singh were other speakers here.
Having covered a distance of 70 km, the jatha reached Taranagar at about 4 in the afternoon; here a militant peasant struggle is going on for the last six months. Here, because of rains, the mass meeting took place in a hall which got over-packed while more than twice the people had to stand outside. All the speakers here stressed the need of a third alternative for the sake of a better future for the people.
Amra Ram, who is president of the state unit of Kisan Sabha, inaugurated a two-day conference of his organisation in the same hall at about 6 p m. About 200 delegates were already there to take part in this conference.