SRINAGAR: As a part of two-day country-wide general strike, hundreds of trade union activists from various unions and from across Kashmir thronged Pratap Park in Srinagar despite severe cold. The trade union activists from Anganwadi workers/helpers Union, ASHA workers Union, Non-Gazzetted Electric Employees Union, Kashmir Construction Workers Union, Horticulture Employees Union, Mid-Day Meal Workers Union, Handicrafts Workers Union, Centaur Hotel Workers Union, Northern Zone Insurance Employees Association with banners and CITU flags in their hands raised slogans like ‘Inqilab Zindabad’, ‘workers unity zindabad’, ‘down with anti-worker policies of Modi-Govt’ and ‘we want justice’ marched through Lal Chowk.
While addressing the rally, Mohamad Yousuf Tarigami, State President CITU said Modi govt’s report card of almost five years is before people and there are only failures. Some of the big failures of the Modi-Government have been demonetisation, betrayal with farmers, questionable rewriting of Rafale deal, weakening of institutions, cultivation of hate and unemployment. The crux of the policies pursued by the Modi-Government so has been hollow promises for the toiling masses and largesse for the rich and Corporate. The Modi-Government is for Ambanis, Adhanis and others like them while the poor have been at the receiving end.
As part of the ‘achhe din’ campaign in 2014 Modi had made a commitment to provide ten crore jobs in five-years. By the time of the completion of the four years of the Modi government in May 2018, it became evident to the youth of the country that this was another fairy tale. The Demonetisation tsunami demolished even the jobs which were there before. Instead of providing social security to the working people this government adopted new laws to promote contractuilsation and temporary employment. Minimum wages of Rs 18 thousand to all workers, whether they are in informal sector or in schemes, or temporary workers in government sector is nowhere. Even the already announced wages are not being implemented.
The assault of the Modi govt on the livelihood of the tolling people can be defeated only by the united mass struggles by the working class. Instead of redressing the problems, the government functionaries are pursuing the policies of deceit and polarisation. They use the old divisive tricks to divide the ranks of the toiling people. Time has come when such attempts are checkmated and foiled by remaining united and pursuing the path of continuous struggles. As we have entered the new year, all efforts must be directed towards building a strong unity of the people to fight the BJP and to defeat the Modi government. The two-day general strike call by the Central Trade Unions on January 8-9, 2019 will be an important step in this direction.
Others who on the occasion include Mohd Afzal Parry senior kisan leader, Ali Mohd Tantry of Northern Zone Insurance Employees Association, Mohd Ayoub Ashmandri of Handicrafts Union, Abdul Gani Bhat of Non-Gazetted Horticulture Employees Union, Ab Rashid Najar and Gh Nabi Shaksaz senior CITU leaders, Manzoor Ahmad Electric Employees Union, Lateefa and Mubeena of Anganwadi workers/helper union, Misra and Rifat of ASHA workers union, Bashir Ahmad and Pervaiz Ahmad Kochay of Construction Workers union, Mohd Yousuf Bhat of Mid-day meal workers/CPWs.