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Spark of Protests shimmer the heart of Punjab against NRC and CAA

Harsh Thakor

A spate of continuous protests engulfed the whole state of Punjab displaying wrath against the infliction of the Communal saffron poison unleashed by the imposition of the NRC and CAB acts and the cruel attacks on the students of Jamait-Islami. They constituted mass organizations adhering to trends of all sections of the Communist revolutionary camp of Punjab. Scenes were reminiscent of the turbulence of a deluge, with protestors igniting the spark to extinguish the dark light of fascism with the spirit of an army.

In Bathinda Lok Morcha Punjab staged a rally and public meeting on the 3oth December, doing the same in Barnala 3 days earlier. Over 500 persons attended the event which was addressed by Secretary Jagmail Singh and President Shireen. In spite of not such great magnitude of mobilizations with few numbers, the flame of resistance was shimmered with the utmost qualitative effect in rousing consciousness on the fascist nature of NRC and CAB. Notably participants came from all sections be it students, youth, peasants, agricultural workers or govt. employees. With elaborate precision the speakers summarized how such laws paved the path towards full fledged fascism and were a gross attack on the lives of all people, hitting any remnants of democracy in its very rib cage .Jagmail Singh, state secretary of the Lok Morcha Punjab, said, “Today, the country is facing an economic slowdown and instead of bringing the economy back on track, the government is diverting people’s attention. While profits of corporate houses have increased significantly, things have barely improved for the common man. We need proper governance to tackle the slowdown for holistic development of the nation.” On 17th December it staged an equally impactful convention and march educating the people on the NRC and CAA.

The town of Longowal in with great effect reverberated the torch of resistance with a spirited protest rally by the Krantikari Pendu Mazdoor Union, Naujwan Bharat Sabha, Punjab and the Punjab Radical Students Union. With great poise the speakers summed up how the NRC and CAB were weapons of the rulers to completely isolate the minorities and disperse Saffron poison .There was also a reflection on the drastic effects of such acts on the economic condition of all sections of the masses .Very positive to witness the presence of dalit labourers and students here. The main speakers were the secretary of the Krantikari Pendu Mazdoor Union Lakhveer Longowal, Gurvinder Singh of the Punjab Radical Students Union, Praghlat Kalajhad of the Naujwan Bharat Sabha, Jugher Singh of the Tarksheel Society and Deshbhagat Secretary Baljeet Chand Longowal. They all summed up how the rulers were trying to divide the peasantry, students, youth and working class through such laws which broke the backbone of any remnants of democracy and divert them from their central economic problems like employment, housing, land etc. The miserable condition of the Adivasis, dalits and Muslims was also touched upon with considerable depth throwing light on how the saffron rulers banged every nail in the coffin to smash their struggles.

In Sangrur on 25th December the Anti Fascist Front staged a protest at Darshan Singh Perumal Chows. Muslim Organizations joined the Communist revolutionary forces. Secretary of Krantikari Pendu Mazdoor Union Lakhi Longowal explained how the govt. was neglecting economic or social issues like land and unemployment and introducing laws to divert and supress people’s movements. “We demand that the CAA be withdrawn and the Centre government should stop dividing people on religious lines,” he added /Other speakers were Swaranjeet Singh of Revolutionary Peoples Front, Param Ved of Tarksheel Society, Balveer Chand Longowal of Democratic Teachers front , Harpreet Baleli of Womens Front, Pragat Kalajhad of Naujwan Bharat Sabha and Sukhwinder Pappi participated .All summarized the issues of poverty, employment and farmers issues in relationship to economic crisis prevailing ad the fascist nature of the laws which they demanded be scrapped.

The largest mobilisations or quantitatively the most impactful was staged by Punjab Students Union guided by the C.P.I.(M.L.) New Democracy. In several campuses the Punjab Students Union in lit the red spark on to create a prairie fire to extinguish the dark streak of fascism. Resembling a water simmering at its optimum boiling point its activists vociferously shouted slogans condemning the fascistic onslaught on the lives of the people .PSU launched protests in Ropar on December 19th,Nawan Shahar and Nabha on December 19th,in Moga on 20th December, in Sangrur ,Gurdaspur, Hoshiarpur and Amritsar on 24th Dec, in Muktsar on 25th Dec, and in Kapurthala and Patiala On 25th.In Muktsar a joint protest was launched by the NBS ,PSU and Kirti Kisan Union jointly with the Muslim Intezamia Commitee ,Democratic teachers Organization and Democratic Teachers federation. One of the most significant aspects of the rallies was the sections of Muslim students joining hands .On Dec 17th earlier the students of Industrial Training Institute (ITI) here, under the banner of Punjab Students’ Union too staged a protest against the CAA and NRC. Speaking on the occasion, PSU Senior Vice-President Hardeep Kaur Kotla said, “The BJP government is pursuing its agenda of making the country a Hindu nation.” She said students from various universities in the country have shown that they would not bow down to any pressure and would work as torchbearers of democracy.

The Punjab Students Union (Shaheed Randhawa), Naujwan Bharat Sabha, Contract workers Union and the local unit of the B.K.U. (Ugrahan) staged a demonstration constituting around 50 people in Sangat Mandi village. Main speakers were Ashwini Guddha of Punjab Students Union (Shaheed Raandhawa) Kulwant Rai Sharma of the BKU(Ugrahan) Ratanjjeet Sharma of Teachers Front and Sudeep Singh of the Workers Union’s (Shaheed Randhawa) also led a protest in Kotaguru on December 28th.for which it undertook serious preparatory meetings educating cadres. On 25th December it united in a protest rally in Faridkot with the Punjab Khet Mazdoor Union, BKU(Ugrahan), Krantikrai Pendu Mazdoor Union and the BKU(Krantikari).

2020 started with a bang in radiating the shimmering torch of anti-fascist resistance by the Student Community. Protests were held under the banner of the "Young India Campaign against NRC and NPR" Constituting the Punjab Radical Students Union, the Naujwan Bharat Sabha Punjab and the Chatra Yuva Sangharsh Commitee.(Student wing of Aam Admi party). Protests were staged at the Industrial training Institute, the Nehru memorial college in Mansa, Guru Har Sahai in Ferozepur, in Mastuana Sahib in Sangrur and government colleges in Malerkotla and Sangrur. At Govt Rajendra College in Bathinda the All India Students Association joined hands with the Do. Ambedkar library and the Inquilabi Naujwan Sabha. Rashpinder Jimmy of PRSU spoke about how the very spirit of the constitution was violated with the laws discriminating against non-Hindu religions. AISA leader Sukhjit Ramananadi stated that such discriminatory laws would rule and divide the country on religious lines and that the student community would invest every ounce of their energy to combat it.

There is a sharp trend in Punjab which upholds or reposes faith in the very spirit or machinery of the Constitution which fails to understand that in essence it is a representative of an autocratic social order as a whole. Lok Morcha Punjab and other organizations belonging to the T.Nagi Reddy trend are harshly critical of it and feel that in the protests the backbone of the repressive system must be exposed as a whole and not by placing demands within the framework of the Constitution. This practice is predominant in the approach of mass organization s representing the Maoist, CPI (ML) New Democracy or C.L.I. trends.

Overall it was very praiseworthy how the revolutionary mass fronts countered the saffron fascist trends at the hardest points of their backbone demarcating from mere liberal opposition of opposition parties or revisionist tendencies of leftist parties. Very positive that all sections of Society were aroused be it farmers, workers, employees, students agricultural labourers or women. The seeds of a movement to counter the Hindu fascist onslaught are being this sown in Punjab to build a revolutionary secular brigade. It will be a major test for the revolutionaries to thwart the threat of ascendancy of Saffron Fascism by appropriately building a united front, dialectically applying tactics combating left sectarianism or right opportunism. The revolutionary camp remains divided on issue of uniting with Muslim minority organizations or with revisionist left sections on issues.

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Frontier
Jan 2, 2020


Harsh Thakor thakor.harsh5@gmail.com