Eastern Jatha travelled through Champaran of Bihar on Saturday, covering two districts. Once in frontline of independence movement, peasants in Champaran rose on several occasions against imperialist rule. Today, after long periods of misrule and discrimination, Champaran villages and towns carry visible signs of impoverishment. The fertile lands produce finest qualities of rice apart from wheat, sugarcane. But the small peasants and agricultural workers are facing acute crisis. Come to Champaran, and Nitish Kumar’s drumming of 'changed Bihar' is exposed to the core.
Sangharsh Sandesh Jatha moved in from eastern Champaran headquarters Motihari to West Champaran’s Betiah. In this area, CPI(M) has considerable influence among the peasants and unorganised workers. In Betiah town, rickshaw workers are well organised under the banner of CITU. The public meeting took place in Sahid Smarak area in which poorest of the poor participated. Prakash Karat, Biman Basu and others addressed the meeting. Karat said that CPI(M) would try to co-ordinate various local and sectoral struggles and unleash powerful movement throughout the country.
In Bisfy of Madhubani, struggle against feudal forces has a proud history. The public meeting took place in midst of vast agricultural lands, attended by peasants. Large numbers of women were there. CPI(M) leaders were felicitated in the land of poet Vidyapati in traditional Maithili culture.
In Chakia, East Champaran district, the rally was impressive. CPI(M) has strong support base here due to its sustained struggles, particularly on land issues. Landless agricultural workers attended in large numbers here. Biman Basu, while addressing emphasized on unity of the toiling masses to broaden the struggle for alternative policies. Prakash Karat, talking on food security, said that while submitting 4 crore signatures on food security, CPI(M) demanded the Prime minister that 90 per cent of the people should be given foodgrains for less than Rs 2 a kg through PDS. Enough foodgrains for that have been produced in the country he said.