December 20 DELHI RALLY: Interviews with workers

Reporters from Mazdoor Ekta Lehar spoke to leaders of the tens of thousands of workers who had come to the rally on December 20. Along with discussing their demands and struggles, we raised the question of the permission of FDI in retail business despite widespread protests in Parliament and asked them what must be done to bring the working people, who form 90% of society, into power. We are presenting below an extract of some of the interviews.

Delhi Rally 20 December 2012, Cmd Santosh KumarComrade Santosh Kumar, Mazdoor Ekta Committer, Delhi:

“In the past few years, all trade unions, irrespective of their individual banners, have come together and strengthened their voice against capitalism. This is a positive development. As working class, all workers will have to fight against capitalism, only then will we be able to defeat this system. There is no other power that can defeat this system. Therefore, we have also come to this rally and this rally provides strength to all workers.”

“All the parliamentary parties unite whenever the people are to be attacked. As was done to pass FDI this time, it was not the first time. Those representing the working class will have to put forth the demands of workers in Parliament if the working class agenda is to be made the focus. All workers will have to nominate their candidates for elections from workers’ committees, trade unions and organizations who will raise the workers’ demands. All types of workers, be they manual labourers or intellectual workers, IT sector, railway, airlines, port, service sector, doctors, teachers, professors, etc., all working people will have to unite and fight for the working class agenda. Only then will it become the focus and it will then be discussed in all sections of society.”

“The working class can definitely come into power. If we look at history, we see that in Russia, the working class ruled for 30-32 years. In reality, it is the working people who run the country. As an example, even if you get rid of the Parliament, the Legislative Assembly, the judiciary, the bureaucracy and the capitalists, the country can still function. But when the workers strike for one day, the entire country shuts down. We have see this many times through manifest examples. All workers will have to become politicians of the working class in order to establish politics of the working class. We will have to create mechanisms to bring about our rule. For example, workers’ committees at our places of work, Lok Raj committees at the places of our residences, workers’ associations at other places, youth organizations, women’s organizations and all other organizations should nominate their candidates for elections. We should work for their victory but the organizations and associations from where they have been nominated should have the right to recall them. If people build their committees and strengthen their organizations then the working class can come into power.”


Comrade Ramprasad Haldar and other comrades, All Bengal Teachers’ AssociationComrade Ramprasad Haldar and other comrades, All Bengal Teachers’ Association:

“The policies of our government are anti-people, particularly the education policy. The government claims to provide education for all yet it attacks the rights of teachers. This condition can change only when all working people come together and take the struggle forward. The various sections of the capitalists work together for the capitalist agenda. They continueously scheme is to prevent workers from coming together in any way. The rule of workers is only possible when people from various sections of society come together, whether they be teachers or factory workers. Workers’ representatives should be in government if we want to establish workers’ rule. It is impossible to uproot capitalism without this.”


Representative of Rajasthan RoadwaysRepresentative of Rajasthan Roadways:

“Today workers and employees are being oppressed. We are fighting for the minimum wage to be guaranteed to workers and also for other rights. Workers are deprived of their rights by making them work on a contract basis. We are very happy that workers’ organisations have come together in spite of being associated with different parties. The need of the hour is for workers from various places and companies to come together and fight the attack of the capitalists. It is not enough that we have come to Jantar Mantar, we must send workers’ representatives to the government.”


Comrade Dev Raj, Technical Union, Punjab Power CorporationComrade Dev Raj, Technical Union, Punjab Power Corporation:

“Our demands are the same as those of the movement; we are not making any separate demands. This is the first time that unions of all parties have come together. Even though the existing system works in the interests of the capitalists, at the present, the system cannot be changed. We will have to only reform this system for now. Honest individuals must come forward.”


Comrade Kapil Dev, MTNL Workers’ UnionComrade Kapil Dev, MTNL Workers’ Union:

“Workers in the telephone sector have many difficulties. We have come here to solve our collective problems. Workers must come forward with courage to free themselves from oppression. The government is deaf and dumb and does not listen to us. That is why we must put our best efforts into the struggle. Workers will have to make great sacrifices; only then is a workers’ government possible.”


Comrade Raghuvinder Singh, PunjabComrade Raghuvinder Singh, Punjab:

“We have come here with the demand that everyone must get pension and gratuity. Private contractors are interfering in our departments and the capitalists are looting the workers. We will have to continue our struggle against this. In this system, when there is excess production, workers are thrown out of their jobs. We will have to firmly oppose this state of affairs. We want a workers’ government that will prepare a proper plan for production so that there are no repeated crises. That is why we are participating in this demonstration. Only the Marxist-Leninist line is in the interests of the workers. Such people should be elected to the parliament. Only then will there be progress in the country and the welfare of the people be ensured.”


Comrade Mohammad Iqbal, Brick workers Union, Shamli Zilla, Uttar PradeshComrade Mohammad Iqbal, Brick workers Union, Shamli Zilla, Uttar Pradesh:

“We provide leadership to the struggle for the rights of brick workers. The owners are not running the brick kilns. When a worker does not work, then he does not get the wage. The workers are in a very bad state because the brick kilns are not being run. Their fundamental needs are not being met. As it is, they have to live in 6 ft × 6 ft tin sheds and do not have access to clean drinking water and sanitation facilities.”


Comrade SK Juneja, TBRL, ChandigarhComrade SK Juneja, TBRL, Chandigarh:

“The anti-worker policies of the Central Government are the main reasons for our coming here. Other than that, we want the Seventh Pay Commission to be constituted, 50% Dearness Allowance to be added to the basic pay, the New Pension Scheme (NPS) to be withdrawn and all anomalies in implementing the pay commission recommendations. We have come from Chandigarh with 14 point demand. Included among these are the demands to remove FDI and to make the minimum wage Rs. 10,000. In this direction, it is our firm decision that we will carry out a successful 2 day general strike in February. From the current Parliamentary activities, it is clear that the government is following an anti-worker path. The members of the parliament are doing the bidding of the Tatas, Birlas and the Ambanis. We will have to send our representatives to be in the government. In the elections of 2014, we will have to play a decisive role and work with unity and courage to make the workers candidates win.”


Comrade Pankaj Mani Bansal, All India Insurance Employees Association, Meerut DivisionComrade Pankaj Mani Bansal, All India Insurance Employees Association, Meerut Division:

“We are protesting against FDI and the Insurance Bill that the government wants to implement. Both the Congress and the BJP have been exposed; people can clearly see how they are looting the country. Workers will have to unite against them. It is very clear that the working class will have to step into the arena of elections. We will have to nominate our candidates. There is no other way out.”



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Defeat Privatisation    Rajasthan Roadways    Punjab Power Corporation    MTNL Workers’ Union    Mazdoor Ekta Committee    FDI    Comrade SK Juneja    Comrade Santosh Kumar    Comrade Ramprasad Haldar    Comrade Raghuvinder Singh    Comrade Pankaj Mani Bansal    Comrade Mohammad Iqbal    Comrade Kapil Dev    Comrade Dev Raj    Brick workers Union    All India Insurance Employees Association    All Bengal Teachers’ Association    Jan 16-31 2013    Struggle for Rights    Popular Movements    

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