Monday, March 4, 2013

Eastern Jatha Enters Jharkhand

Eastern Jatha entered Jharkhand on Sunday. It was received by tribals with traditional dances. Just after crossing Subranarekha river, addressing a roadside meeting in Muri, Prakash Karat told that the peoples’ struggle in various states would be strengthened by the jatha.

One particular feature of the meeting was that villagers who are fighting a desperate battle against forcible land grabbing of Hindalco attended the meeting in large numbers. Over 12,000 acres of land was earmarked for the project without any proper rehabilitation. The villagers under the leadership of AIKS and CPI(M) resisted police atrocities and the government machinery and won partial victory. Those who came in the meeting told INN that it was but for the red flag that they could save their land and continue tilling.

On the way to Ranchi, crimson red Palash flowers have ignited the spring and the hilly terrain of the plateau is bursting red. Red flags in spots have added to the beauty. In Jona, known for waterfalls, local people gathered to report their distress to CPI(M) leaders. Adivasis of Dumargarhi in Angaraha block reported that though they have tilled and resided in the forests for 40 years, they have not been given the legal forest rights. These poor peasants submitted a memorandum to Prakash Karat detailing their problems. Karat assured them that CPI(M) would continue to fight for their rights.  A large motorcycle rally brought the Jatha to Ranchi.

Warm Welcome in Ranchi
The Argora Maidan of Ranchi wore a festive look for the rally addressed by the CPI(M) leaders participating the Sandesh Sangharsh Jatha. Red flags were flying all around the Maidan and a large and impressive procession of thousands of men and women, many of them tribals, wound its way through the Ranchi streets and congregated in the Maidan. Young tribal boys and girls danced to their traditional drum beats and the mood among the people was enthusiastic. When the Jatha vehicle entered the Maidan, it was given a warm welcome by slogan-shouting from the crowd.

The rally was addressed by Comrades Gyan Mazumdar, Joginder Sharma, Subhashini Ali, Biman Basu and Prakash Karat. The issues being highlighted by the Jatha were explained to the people. Demands close to their hearts like the demand for forest rights for tribals, for distribution of land to the landless, ending of forced eviction of poor people, mainly tribals, from areas rich in minerals which are being handed out to rich exploiters by the Government and for the provision of 35 kilos of foodgrains at 2/- a kilo to all elicited repeated applause. The audience responded enthusiastically when the speakers referred to the recent victory of the CPI(M) in the Assembly elections of Tripura which was the result of the pro-people policies successfully implemented by the Left Front Govt., especially to Com. Prakash’s mention of the fact that the Tripura Left Front Govt. had distributed more than 1 lac pattas of forest land to adivasi settlers.

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