FROM OUR CORRESPONDENT
SILCHAR, Aug 29: A massive rally in support of the September 2 all India general strike called by left parties and trade and workers unions was brought out today by Student Federation of India (SFI) and Democratic Youth Front of India (DYFI). The rally which began from the Silchar railway station, after moving through the main thoroughfares of the town converged in front of the statue of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose at Rangirkhari point of the town. More than 300 left student activists took part in the rally.
The members of SFI and DYFI raised a charter of demands including an end to privatization of the education sector and an increase of budgetary allocation for the human resource development among others. The members said that at all cost, secular and nonpolitical atmosphere should be maintained in the academic institutions. They further said that the saffronization of institutions of higher learning must be looked into and checked by the authorities concerned.
Kamalesh Bhattacharjee, president, Silchar legislative council of DYFI, said that the Central Government is bringing sweeping changes to push the majority of labour workers out of the coverage of labour laws. It is also trying to curb the rights and benefits of trade and workers unions. The Centre is trying to pass the Land Acquisition Act through the ordince route which will affect the farmers and agricultural workers rights to land and livelihood. He said that it will push crores of people dependent on agriculture will be left in a lurch. It will also put their right to earn a livelihood in jeopardy. The provision for consent of farmers for land acquisition and protection of fertile multi-crop lands has been removed from the present Bill. Besides, the assessment of social impact, compensation to land owners and farmers has also been removed. The all India strike on September 2 is on many burning issues including price rise of essential commodities, proper implementation of public distribution system (PDS), the rising unemployment among the youth and the opening of FDI in strategic sectors including railways, postal services and defence. They also demanded appointment of all TET qualified candidates, starting of passenger trains on the Silchar-Lumding BG track and immediate repair of deplorable condition of Silchar-Karimganj highway among others. Expressing deep concern and anguish over the Government’s ‘anti worker and anti people’ policies, Debojit Gupta, youth leader, said that the actions of the Central Government is in pursuance to its policy of pro-corporatization of the country which will be disastrous to the overall welfare and security of the tion and its people. Other leaders present in the rally included Ansar Ul Haque, district president of DYFI, Supriyo Choudhury, secretary of SFI, Bidyut Chakraborty and Gulzar Zakariya, youth members of SFI.