On Kashmir protest and later on Mnajit Singh Dhaner sentence rally

Harsh Thakor

Front Against Fascist Attacks on Kashmiri People held four conferences in Moga, Patiala, Amritsar and Jalandhar demanding withdrawal of all armed forces and para military forces from Kashmir, withdrawal of recent enactments repealing Art 370 and 35-A of the Indian Constitution and restoring communication and democratic rights of the people of Kashmir and withdrawal of all oppressive measures adopted by the Govt against Kashmiri people, release of all political prisoners and to re-establish the Provincial status of J&K.

Front Against the Fascist Attacks on the Kashmiri People has been launched in Punjab. Almost all the left and democratic and revolutionary forces and individuals constitute this front. Earlier it had carried out a sustained political campaign in September in areas like Moga, Sangrur and Patiala.

On behalf of this front four regional conferences were organized in Punjab in in solidarity with the Kashmiri people. The second conference was held on 14th of October at Patiala district headquarter. the first conference and protest march were held at Moga on 12th of October., the 3rd conference was held in Amritsar on October 15th and the fourth and final one at Jalandhar on October 16th.

The leaders of the various democratic and revolutionary organisations will be addressed these conferences. This front was constituted by Communist Party of India, Punjab Revolutionary Marxist Communist Party of India, Communist Party of India (New Democracy) Revolutionary Peoples Front (Inqlabi Lok Morcha), Punjab, Revolutionary Centre (Inqlabi Kendra), Punjab, Revolutionary Democratic Front (Inqlabi Jamhuri Morcha) Punjab, Communist Party of India (Liberation), Lok Sangram Manch, Punjab and MCPI (United)

The conferences had considerable qualitative impact in raising the consciousness of the broad masses on the fascist assault on the Kashmiri people by the Indian govt. with around 2000 people gathering representing all the sections of people be it industrial working class, peasantry, students, youth, women and govt. employees. The unity of so many democratic organizations was of great significance not only in opposing the tyranny unleashed on the people of Kashmir but on confronting fascism as a whole. The venues were reminiscent of a red torch illuminating the spark of resistance.

However there was a political weakness in the stand of the left parties like Communist Party of India and MCPI who did not uphold the aspect of the right of self-determination of the Kashmiri people in their stand and merely condemned the repealing of laws 370 and 35 In my view thus it was flaw of the Communist revolutionary forces to unite forces of the Orthodox left parties in such a front. Significant that Lok Morcha Punjab was not part of this event as a clear demarcation line was not made on issue of self determination. Consciously it did not join the anti-fascist front because of its vacillation earlier on giving one sided emphasis only on condemning BJP and RSS forces and remaining silent on the role of the Congress party.

Nevertheless, it proved the striking capacity of the people of Punjab to challenge the oppression in Kashmir.

On October 22nd a major protest was launched outside Barnala jail for revoking the life sentence on peasant leader Manjit Singh Dhaner, framed on murder charges of assassinating a girl Kiranjeet Kaur. Around 2000 persons participated and the event was qualitatively a great success in instilling political consciousness, with most encouraging participation from the youth and students, particularly from the Punjab Students Union and the Naujwan Bharat Sabha supporting trend of C.P.I.(M.L.) New Democracy. Also strong participation from peasantry of the Dakaunda and Ugrahan factions of the Bharatiya Kisan Union. Again the unity of so many democratic forces constituting 9 organizations was very positive who all emphasised how the sentence awarded to Manjit Dhaner was a brutal attack on democracy and democratic activists as a whole. The potential of building mass political movement was effectively revealed by the people of Punjab who did meticulous work at the grassroots to mobilize forces for the protest.

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Oct 25, 2019