Meeting to commemorate the Historic Initiative at Ferozeshah Kotla 20 years ago

Step up the work of building committees for people’s empowerment!

People’s empowerment is the central problem today and uniting people around this aim is the central task.  Towards this end, we communists must step up the work to establish and strengthen samitis among the workers, peasants, women and youth all over the country!

This was the key message of the speech of Comrade Lal Singh, General Secretary of Communist Ghadar Party, on 24th February in Delhi. He was addressing a meeting organised by Lok Awaz Publishers & Distributors to commemorate the historic Ferozeshah Kotla rally of 22nd February, 1993.

At a time when the country had been engulfed in communal violence following the destruction of Babri Masjid, the majority of people were extremely angry with the two major parties in Parliament.  The root of all the problems facing the people is the capitalist system and its political process which marginalises them from power. The solution lies in establishing a system in which the people are empowered and the role of a political party is to keep the people in power.  This revolutionary idea was injected into the political arena by the Communist Ghadar Party, through the rally at Ferozeshah Kotla. 

Summarising the political developments over the past two decades, Comrade Lal Singh concluded that the necessity for people’s empowerment remains the burning question of the times.  The rulers want to divert attention from this question.  We communists must work to keep the focus on this central question. 

The speech explained how the ruling bourgeois class is using the media to set the agenda of public debate and divert attention from the struggle for people’s empowerment.  The bourgeoisie picks on an issue that agitates the people and treats it as if it is unconnected with the economic system and political order of society.  Some change in this or that law, the creation of an additional authority,  or reforming some state agency or policy are promoted as being the solution. 

The aim of the bourgeois propaganda is to keep people chained to the illusion that the existing system is just fine and all that is needed is some cosmetic changes.  The ruling class does not want the toiling and oppressed people to come to the conclusion that nothing short of a revolutionary change in the entire system can solve any of the burning problems facing them.

The most important task at this time is to establish and strengthen committees in residential areas, workplaces and campuses, with the aim of organising the workers, peasants, women, youth and students; and making them politically conscious. Being organised and becoming conscious is the key to the empowerment of people. We must keep exposing the disinformation spread by the bourgeoisie, its media, and its political parties on a daily basis. We must fight consistently for the concerns of the people.

An enthusiastic atmosphere characterised the meeting. Veteran activists as well as a large number of youth actively intervened in the discussions that followed. They raised important questions that had come up in the course of the organising work they had been carrying out and also suggested solutions to these problems.

In the course of the lively discussion, Comrade Lal Singh raised the important issue of the domination of the English language in our country. Particularly after the 1857 war of independence, the colonialists set about training a class of Indians who would be Indian only in colour, but in their thinking and outlook would be like the colonialists. For this, they were trained in Oxford and Cambridge, taught English customs and values, and taught to look down on the masses of Indian people, as well as on the rich heritage of India and her peoples. They set up political parties beginning with the Congress Party whose leadership came from those who had ingrained British values and customs and thought in English. The problem in our country is that not just in the Congress Party but also in all other parties including the communist parties, it is people thinking in English and imbued in values and customs of the colonialists, who are the leaders in thought. They have no understanding of the values and customs of the masses of our people. For communists, this is a serious problem to be grappled. The head cannot be British and the heart Indian, otherwise we cannot lead the working class in the revolution.

There was enthusiastic response from the activists to this important intervention, and many comrades came up to speak on this issue.

There was discussion on the lessons of the successful General Strike. Comrade Lal Singh pointed out that it shows the readiness of the working class to fight against the capitalist offensive. It is the task of us communists to make the workers conscious of their mission.

Delivering the concluding remarks, the Secretary of the Delhi Regional Committee pointed out that just as it was the case 20 years ago, today the bourgeoisie is preparing all kinds of diversions to communalise the atmosphere in order to pursue its narrow agenda. The parties of the ruling class are discredited as is the entire political system.  People are looking for an alternative. Let us step up the work to propagate the alternative system of democracy that will ensure the empowerment of the people. Let us step up the work to establish and strengthen committees everywhere, in workplaces and residential areas and campuses across the country.

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Mazdoor Ekta Committee    Lok Raj Sangathan (LRS)    Ferozeshah Kotla Rally 1993    Committee for Peoples Empowerment    Mar 1-15 2013    Voice of the Party    Popular Movements    

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