On February 23, 2011, workers from all the states of our country, and various sectors of the economy, assembled together in the capital to march to parliament. The march to parliament was aimed at letting the government, parliament, as well as the people of the entire country know that the workers of our country, irrespective of party or union affiliation, have decided to organize unitedly for their rights. The workers affirmed that they are determined to resist the attacks on their livelihood and rights which have been unleashed by the UPA government on behalf of the capitalists.
From the early hours of February 23, lakhs of workers marched from different directions to converge at the rally site on Parliament Street. Those who had come a day or two earlier marched from the camps set up in Ramlila Maidan, New Delhi Railway Station, Rajghat and from other places where they were staying. Those who came on the day of the rally marched from the railway stations and bus terminuses of the city.
A militant contingent of workers belonging to the Mazdoor Ekta Committee participated enthusiastically in the rally. These workers came from as far as Maharashtra, Tamilnadu, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and other regions. Workers of the Kaamgar Ekta Chalwal and All India Workers Council participated militantly. Agricultural workers, bidi workers, Federations of Bank workers, Insurance workers, and other such federations, transport workers, electricity board workers, defence sector workers, public sector workers, coal workers, construction workers, teachers, mid day meal workers, anganwadi workers, AASHA workers and so on participated with their banners in large numbers.
The entire city and surrounding industrial townships like Gurgaon, NOIDA, Faridabad were covered with posters of the Communist Ghadar Party of India, of the trade unions, and of various federations calling for making the rally of February 23 a resounding success. The poster of the Communist Ghadar Party of India boldly declared "Down with the corrupt and parasitic rule of the capitalist class!", "We who produce the wealth of India need to become her masters!" This slogan was extremely popular amongst the fighting workers cutting across union and party affiliation.
The workers marched full throatedly raising slogans which included "Producers of wealth of our country, become the masters!", "Down with capitalism!", "Halt privatization of public institutions and services!", "Fight for a Modern Universal Public Distribution System", "Ensure supply of food and other essential items at affordable prices to all!", "Guarantee livelihood for all!", "One solution for price rise—the rule of workers and peasants!", "Down with the corrupt and parasitic capitalist state!", "The policies of the country must serve workers and peasants, not the interests of the capitalist monopolies!", "No to the rule of exploitation, oppression, and plunder!", "Let us put an end to this oppressive rule, let us usher in rule of workers and peasants!", "Organise yourself, become the ruler and transform society!", "This democracy is instrument of rule of the capitalist monopolies!", "No to speculation, profiteering, and futures trading!", "Seize all black money and deploy it to fulfil social needs of toilers and tillers!"
Greeting the fighting workers of our country, the Communist Ghadar Party of India supported the demands raised by the workers of our country. It called for creation of a modern universal Public distribution system through which all essential needs of people, including food and other items, are provided in adequate quantity and good quality at affordable price. It demanded guaranteed livelihood for all. It called for end to privatization. It called for an end to attacks on the rights of workers.
The CGPI called upon workers to build workers unity committees (mazdoor Ekta Parishad's) in every industrial estate and special economic zone, to popularize the program of the working class and build unity around the demands. Such committees must cut across party and trade union divisions. It called upon workers to wage the struggle for our immediate demands with the revolutionary perspective of establishing the rule of workers and peasants.
Lakhs of copies of the Party statement issued on the occasion were distributed, in different languages, both during the rally, as well as earlier, in the working class areas of Delhi, Haryana, UP, Tamilnadu, Maharashtra and other regions of the country. The workers eagerly read the Party' call and expressed their appreciation for it through phone calls as well as on the spot responses.
Thousands of copies of the party organ Mazdoor Ekta Lehar were distributed in Hindi and English to the workers assembled in the rally. The correspondents of Mazdoor Ekta Lehar interviewed numerous participants in the rally, both before and after. (We are publishing a few of these in this issue.)
The workers from all across the country came to Delhi to participate in the march to parliament with high expectations. However, the leaders of the Central Trade Unions refused to provide a path that could inspire the workers.
The experience of workers of our country, and of workers of other countries across the world shows that the as long as workers remain tied to the parliamentary system and parliamentary politics, they will not advance. The governments that come to power through this multi party parliamentary system, whether in India, or US or the European countries, are governments of the capitalist class and can only do the bidding of this class. It does not matter which party comes to power under which label or flag, this is the result, as the experiences of NDA rule, Third Front Rule, and UPA rule confirm. The workers have seen that the activity of various central unions in supporting the UPA government in the name of Common Minimum Program led to the weakening of working class struggles for a whole period of 4 years and enabled the capitalists to intensify the exploitation of workers and consolidate their rule.
The Central Trade Union leaders, following the line of their parties, once again tried to restrict the struggle of workers within the parliamentary frame work -- that is to mobilize workers to bring another set of capitalist parties to power in the name of "pro-worker policies", which is nothing but an illusion. They refused to raise the slogan dear to the workers - the necessity to establish the rule of workers and peasants, and the necessity to organize here and now for the same.
However, workers, cutting across party and union lines, are coming to their own conclusions on what is the way out of the present situation. This was the feeling the correspondents of Mazdoor Ekta Lehar obtained in their interaction with the workers participating in the rally.
Mazdoor Ekta Lehar hails the fighting workers of our country.