On February 9, 2010, workers living in the South Delhi parliamentary constituency took out a torchlight procession to protest the massive increase in food prices. The rally was organised under the baner of the Mehangai Virodh Samyukt Sangharsh Samiti (Joint Struggle Committee to Oppose Price Increase). The torchlight rally began from Tekhand village at 4 pm and marched to Kalka Depot, passing through the factories of Okhla Industrial Area Phase 1 and Phase II.
The local committees of Lok Raj Sngathan, the activists of the Communist Ghadar Party of India, as well as workers of various trade unions participated militantly in the torchlight rally. As the rally passed through the industrial area, workers came out of their factories to join the rally. The entire industrial area reverbrated with the slogans of the workers —"Down with the anti worker policies of the central and state governments!", "Down with the Delhi Government!", "Down with capitalism!", "long live revolution!", etc.
The Secretary of the Delhi Council of the Lok Raj Sangathan, Comrade Birju Nayak, addressed the gathering of workers at the beginning of the torchlight rally. In a hard hitting as well as illuminating speech he denounced the government, the finance and agriculutral ministers, as well as the bourgeois economists who were toting out one excuse after another for the rising prices of food. He pointed out that the government and the bourgeois economists have been repeating ad naseum how India has had high growth rates for so many years, and that Indian eocnomy has grown by over 6% in the last year as well. If the economy is growing, one would expect that the conditions of the workers should also be improving compared to the previous year. However, the reality is different. The conditions of life of majority of workers has worsened. Even their capacity to purchase food has greatly reduced.
It is clear from this that when the bourgeoisie talks about growth, it means the growth in wealth of the capitalist class. This is the essence of all the talk of capitalist growth, and the growth in profits of the biggest capitalists is far more then the growth figures of the Indian economy as a whole. According to the bourgeoisie, if the profits of the bourgeoisie are redcued, this is equated with the country suffering. The crisis of the bourgeoisie is equated with a crisis for the country. On the other hand, in the present economic and political system, the crisis faced by workers in their lives because of losing jobs, or their inability to buy food because it has become so costly, is not considered a crisis for the country. Birju Nayak concluded his address exhorting the workers to unite and fight for a new system, the socialist system. where workers would rule India in place of the capitalists, and reorient the economy to ensure that the present and future needs of the working masses of town and country are fuflfilled. His address was received with thuderous applause by the workers.
Others who addressed the rally included leaders of the AITUC, Delhi Leather Workers Union, CPIML(New Democracy) and Inquilabi Mazdoor Kendra.
The Delhi police tryied to stop the torchlight rally before it reached Kalka Depot. Angered by this police action, workers jammed the road to Kalka Depot and blocked all traffic. Finally the police had to give in, and allow the rally to proceed to the Kalka Depot and conclude.