April 25, 2009


DARJEELING: Addressing a mass rally held at the Chowkbazaar at Darjeeling Township in the late morning hours of 21 April, Sitaram Yechury, Polit Bureau member of the CPI (M) called for a New India that could only be ushered in by the Third Front when it formed a government in Delhi.

The Darjeeling rally was politically important because the CPI (M) and the Left Front had not been able to organise rally this big earlier thanks to the armed and dangerous intransigence of the separatist Gorkha Jan Mukti Morcha (GJMM, as these separatists prefer t call themselves).

Sitaram began by saying that another India existed within the fields of the present India. The India within was populated by the kisans, the workers, the middle classes, the lower middle classes, and the teeming millions of unemployed youth. The outer shell of the country comprised the multi-national corporations, the burgeoning finance capital, and the speculators.

The anti-people and anti-poor policies followed assiduously by the successive NDA and UPA régimes have seen Indian poor become poorer, and the rich, richer manifold. The time has come to make policy changes up in Delhi. The Third Front is the alternative to both these big bourgeois compositions. The Third Front stood for education, health, shelter, and employment for all, and for an independent foreign policy.


The disparity in terms of wealth has reached the extent that a rich person is willing have his residence set up at a cost of thousands of crores of Rupees. On the other hand, 78% of the population have to make do with a daily income of less than Rs 20. Every day one thousand children die because of lack of health care facilities. Several crores of women who are carrying suffer from anaemia. Sitaram asked the rally whether they would be willing and continue to be witness to this national profile after 60 years of political independence.

Dwelling on the world economic depression, Sitaram said that every day one crore of people were thrown out of work, and the figure may soon reach five crore-a-day. In India, the number of kisans taking their own lives in the grinding poverty they were not willing to suffer from any longer grows bigger every day. Recently in Gujarat, 71 bidi workers had committed suicide. In Tamilnadu, workers are forced to sell off their kidneys.

Sitaram pointed out that if one looked at the political scene, the BJP- and Congress-led alliances were unravelling from Bengal to Tamilnadu. The Third Front emerges stronger every day, every week. People will set up a government of the Third front by making Left unity stronger than ever.

Turning to the question of prime ministership, the speaker said that nobody knew who would finally be anointed the PM before and in the run up to the 2004 polls. The choice is decided only after the popular mandate is received. Could this happen, when a name is declared beforehand as the PM, and the people choose not to elect him at all! Sitaram reminded the rally that the present PM was not in the fray this time around. ‘We have not put a particular person as the projected PM because we have deep respect for the people’s verdict and for the Indian Constitution.’

However much ‘match fixing’ the Congress and the BJP go in for in terms of capturing the Delhi masnad, the electorate of India is poised to create new history by voting the Third Front to office. Sitaram asked the rally to vote for the Left Front to solidify the people’s unity and to defeat the separatists. He accused the BJP of misdirecting the emotional outlook of the hill people by taking up the cause of the GJMM. The people of Bengal would not allow the conspiracy to divide up Bengal again to succeed, Sitaram Yechury concluded.

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