The Indian Workers Association organized a very grand meeting on 16th March in honour of the martyrs – Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev, on the 83rd anniversary of their martyrdom. The memorial meeting hailed the efforts of Bhagat Singh and his comrades to establish socialism in India and also presented a militant cultural programme.
Inaugurating the meeting, Comrade Dalwinder pointed out that the three youth were all members of the Hindustan Republican Association which aspired for India gaining independence from British colonial rule through armed struggle. They were inspired by the example of Russia where workers and peasants had overturned the rule of the Tsar and established Worker-Peasant Rule and turned towards socialism. Com. Dalwinder explained that Hindustan’s war of independence actually began in 1857. This had influenced the Indians in US and Canada and the brave fighters organized under the Hindustan Ghadar Party that had been established in North America blew the whistle of freedom. Bhagat Singh and his comrades kept this same battle alive. Whereas earlier, religious slogans and vande materam were popularized, Bharat Singh and his friends gave us the slogan of “Inquilab Zindabad, which today is the most preferred slogan of every worker, peasant and oppressed who are in struggle.
Comrade pointed out that the first time this slogan was raised was after Bhagat Singh and B.K.Dutt exploded a bomb in the Central Assembly, the day (8th April 1929) the Public Safety Bill and Trade Disputes Bill were sought to be passed; these Bills were aimed at breaking the strikes of workers and decimating the communist movement. Looking at the attitude of the Congress Party towards the workers and peasant, Bhagat Singh had declared, “the freedom struggle of India will carry on as long as a handful of thieves continue to exploit the labour of her workers and peasants. The looters may be Indians, Englishmen or a combination of both, nobody can stop this struggle.”
Com. Dalwinder declared that the struggle has not ceased even for one day post-1947, when India got its formal independence, because the ruling class which came to power has kept the legacy of colonial rule alive; the ruling class has continued with the loot and plunder of the natural resources and laboring power. Whichever party of the bourgeoisie has come to power, it has implemented the agenda of ensuring maximum profit for Indian and foreign monopoly capitalists. The ruling class has not hesitated one bit to suppress the workers, peasants, various nationalities and adivasis, women and youth who are fighting for their rights. Following in the footsteps of the colonialists, the rulers have used religion, caste, region and language to divide the people and have organized state terrorism.
Com. Dalwinder said people must follow in the legacy of Bhagat Singh and his comrades if the problems facing are to be solved; we must defeat the machinations of the ruling class to divide us, we must unite under the leadership of the working class to establish such a society where sovereignty will lie with the people, who will be enabled to make their decisions regarding their own future.
Comrade explained that the ruling class used one or other ruse from time to time to mislead the people. At this time, the bourgeoisie and its principal parties are making a hue and cry about ending corruption. He drew attention to the fact that corruption is a fellow-traveler of capitalism, and its elimination is not possible as long as capitalist rule exists; this is evident from looking at all the capitalist countries around the world, where corruption continues as part of the system. Only worker-peasant rule can eliminate corruption.
Some poems were presented following this speech and then Comrade Salwinder was invited to the stage to present his views. Com. Salwinder talked of Bhagat Singh’s outlook. He was mainly inferring from the writings of Bhagat Singh addressed to youth from the jail. Bhagat Singh had made it clear that our aim is to get the colonisers out and establish our Rule, and such a Rule in which the workers and peasants will be sovereign. Salwinder said that the dreams of Bhagat Singh have remained unfulfilled, and that is why the struggle is on. He pointed out that the British Minister, Michael Gove, had introduced the study of British Colonial history in schools with the deliberate aim of engendering very backward ideas in our children. This history will portray Gandhi and Nehru as the architects of our freedom while painting a very unfavourable picture of our martyrs, our real heroes. Com. Salwinder pointed out that the responsibility of educating the new generation about our proud heritage and history rests on our shoulders.
Following this, Com Jeet Singh presented his views on the situation in India. He said that the workers and peasants were extremely oppressed by the present Indian State. The conditions of the people are worsening every day. The peasants of Punjab, which provides the whole country with grain, are committing suicide. Just recently, the police ruthlessly attacked a kisan rally. Comrade Jeet Singh concluded that the day is not far off when the people of Hindustan will take up the path of Bhagat Singh and his comrades to achieve their genuine independence.
Thereafter, Satnam Lalli presented revolutionary songs that lifted the spirits of all present in the meeting. Lastly, some of the audience presented their views in response to those of the speakers and clarified some issues. Discussions on the issues raised in the meeting went on long after its formal conclusion.