The Communist Party of India (Marxist) is conducting a Sangharsh Sandesh Jatha which will traverse the length and breadth of the country. Four main jathas will start from Kanyakumari, Kolkata, Mumbai and Amritsar to Delhi. At the conclusion of these jathas, there will be a massive rally at Delhi on March 19 at Ramlila Maidan.
The purpose of the jatha is to highlight some of the main problems and issues facing the people and to set out alternative policies advocated by the CPI(M). The policies of the UPA government at the Centre have resulted in continuous price rise, agrarian distress, growing unemployment and massive corruption. There is no difference between the Congress and the BJP as far as their basic policies are concerned.
The jathas will call for people’s unity to struggle for their basic rights, against communalism and to demand a reversal of the disastrous economic policies being followed by both the Congress and the BJP. The jatha will focus on the following areas:
1) Right to Land and House-sites: Implement land reform policies by distributing surplus land to the landless. Guarantee house-sites to each landless household.
2) Curb Price Rise and Right to Food: Universal right to 35 kgs of foodgrains at a maximum price of rupees two a kg. Scrap APL/BPL based fraudulent poverty calculations. Stop forward trading in foodgrains and other essential commodities.
3) Right to Education and Health: Stop privatisation of educational and health services. Increase allocations for education and health. Guarantee implementation of the Right to Education Act. Strengthen public services in health and ensure strict regulation of the private sector.
4) Right to Employment: Step up public investment to ensure creation of jobs; lift the ban on recruitment and ensure time-bound recruitment for all vacancies, particularly for SC/ST/OBC backlog; increase days of work under NREGA with price index linked minimum wages and expand it to include guarantee of work days in urban India.
5) Ensure Social Justice and Rights of Women : Curb violence against women and provide one-third reservation for women in legislatures and Parliament; end social practices of untouchability and discrimination against dalits; protect the land and forest rights of adivasis; provision of equal opportunities in education and jobs for the Muslim community.
6) End Corruption: Enact Lokpal legislation with independent powers of investigation; bring back black money stashed in foreign banks; recover losses from the corporates responsible; send the corrupt to jail.
Programme of the Jathas:
February 24 – launch of the Kanyakumari to Delhi jatha. This jatha will be led by S. Ramachandran Pillai and the team of leaders will consist of M. A. Baby, K. Varadharajan, V. Srinivasa Rao and Sudha Sundararaman.
March 1 – Jatha will start from Kolkata to Delhi. This jatha will be led by Prakash Karat and the team of leaders will consist of Biman Basu, Jogendra Sharma, Subhashini Ali and J. S. Majumdar.
March 4 – Jatha will start from Jalianwalabagh in Amritsar to Delhi. This jatha will be led by Brinda Karat and the team of leaders will consist of Hannan Mollah, Inderjeet Singh and Rajendra Sharma.
March 8 – Jatha will start from Mumbai to Delhi. This jatha will be led by Sitaram Yechury and the team of leaders will consist of Nilotpal Basu, Mohd. Salim and Mariam Dhawale.
The Kanyakumari jatha will be flagged off on February 24 by the General Secretary Prakash Karat.
From Guwahati (Assam), there will be a jatha to Kolkata starting on February 23. This jatha will be flagged off by Manik Sarkar, member of the Polit Bureau.
From Paralakhemundi (Odisha), there will be a jatha to Kolkata starting on February 24.
From Shimla (Himachal Pradesh), there will be a jatha to Chandigarh starting on March 3.
From Bhavnagar (Gujarat), there will be a jatha to Indore starting on March 6.
During this period, there will be various sub jathas conducted within the states that will link up to the main jathas.