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Join the "General Strike" in West Bengal on 30th April 2015 to Defend the Democratic Rights of the Working Class

Join the "General Strike" in West Bengal on 30th April 2015 to Defend the Democratic Rights of the Working Class

 

With the open use of a violent goon army, supported by the Trinamul Congress, the administration and even the State Election Commission, and with ordinary people unable to vote, the 2015 West Bengal Municipal elections was turned into an example of election-by-terror. The present regime has followed the footsteps of the previous Government, but with even more ferocity and violence. The Trinamul Congress (TMC) which came to power on the slogan of Paribartan or change has ended up instead with a rule replete with promoters, cheats, rapists and goons.

It is not as if elections can create heaven on earth. But it is a part of our democratic rights- it is our right to vote with freedom and to remove a party we do not like. We were the first to start protests on the streets after the TMC came to power. We did not do this from any political party interest. Our struggle was for the rights of the unorganised sector workers. We live in a State where most workers do not get minimum wages, where there is no guarantee to get work and where workers are deprived of any social security. In our State, the procession of tea plantation workers who have died due to starvation and of farmers who commit suicide because they cannot sell their produce continues. Despite all this, the Government's attention is focused on clubs who receive lakhs of rupees. The reason behind this has become clear after the vote- the strategy has been to tap into the frustration of a section of hopeless, unemployed youth, creating an army of goons that are a powerful weapon in the fight to win elections.

However time and again, working people and unemployed youth in search of employment are faced with the truth that is only through united struggle that there can be any sustainable change in their situation. Rights won through hard struggles can only be expanded and protected through such struggle. However for such a struggle we need democratic space and rights. And, we have experienced that no government is willing to accept these democratic rights without a sustained struggle. Without the right to vote freely, other democratic rights also tend to be under attack.  

During the Left Front's regime also, working people were repeatedly deprived and workers and farmers were the target of bullets. The question is not about whether the CPI(M) got votes or not, but about people's democratic right. While we have very justified reasons for being angry with the CPI(M), maintaining a "neutral" role in the present situation will be our loss. Therefore not because we are dreaming of a Left Front victory, but because we want a better life for working people (which is possible only through struggle), we appeal to everyone to take a step in this direction by supporting the strike called on 30th April. This strike may be a method for the Left to capitalise on the anger and frustration of people with the elections and to use this for their narrow electoral objectives. But the anger and frustration of the common people with the present elections is a reality. So, we are calling on all working people to use this strike as a weapon to protect their democratic rights. We demand a clean, transparent, non-partisan administration and police functioning. We demand an end to partisan politics and the establishment of true democracy. We demand an end to the use of muscle power. We demand the establishment of an open, democratic political culture.

 

(Swapan Ganguly)                                           (Somnath Ghosh)

Convenor                                                         Convenor

Asanghathita Kshetra Shramik Sangrami Manch

Date : 29-04-2015