Volume 6, No. 7, July 2005


Report From Punjab


— Ranjit

This year, like the last one, Lok Sangram Manch of Punjab (LSM) commemorated 23rd March as martyrs day to pay revolutionary homage to martyrs Shahid Bhaghat Singh, Rajguru & Sukhdev. For this a month long campaign was launched by organising mass meetings, flag hoisting, slogan writing, culminating in big functions at different places. During this campaign the revolutionary ideas and goals of the martyrs were widely propagated among the people. It also called on the people to fulfill the martyr’s unfinished dreams. This time, this campaign presented a different look because it carried the message of the unity of two revolutionary democratic or anti-imperialist and anti-feudal organizations i.e. LSM and Jamhoori Morcha and acquired the new name LSM. The unity of the two organisations into one was by itself a real homage to the martyrs of 23rd March. This unity highly enthused the followers of both the organizations. This unity also cherished the hopes of the common people, that it will carry forward the struggle, representing the interests and problems of the people.

In this enthusiastic atmosphere, thousands of leaflets and posters were displayed in many areas. Through this material the message of the martyrs was conveyed to the people to fulfill their objectives, unfinished dreams and unfinished work through intensifying the people’s struggles. The anti-imperialist campaign primarily focused on three political points: The first was the exposure of the impact of so-called economic reforms and imperialist penetration on the lives of the people. The second was on the US imperialist’s aggressive war-mongering policies worldwide, with the focus on Iraq. And the third was the imperialist and expansionist role in Nepal to suppress the growing Maoist movement in the country.

This campaign was initiated from Hussaniwala, Distt. Ferozepur on 23rd March by holding a programme at the ‘martyr’s column’. But on that day the CM of Punjab was to arrive there. Hence there was a big rush of lumpens, chamchas and governmental sycophants. The district authorities refused permission to the Manch to hold a function on that day. After a long struggle this restriction was removed and permission was granted. This was granted only two days before the function in the background that the Manch had already declared to hold a function there, even if permission was not granted. Then there arose the problem of acquiring a proper place for the programme. The co-operation of the village people in every respect not only helped in solving this problem but also proved their real bond with the Manch. The village people also arranged a ‘langar’ for the Manch programme. When early in the morning the Manch leader, Balwant Makhu, reached the site of programme with his team of cultural workers, there were police everywhere. There were lots of police nakas everywhere together with the cheap film songs. At that time the number of people was not many as the police created much hurdles for the team. They were allowed only when they threatened to organise a protest. Hence the real inheritors of the martyrs reached the martyrs column and paid homage, shouting revolutionary slogans and by taking an oath to carry forward the unfinished task.

Thereafter two diametrically opposite programmes were held there. One was organised by the real followers of the martyrs represented by the LSM and the second was organised by the murderers of the martyrs i.e. hypocritical Congress leaders. They sang songs on the supposed independence while the Manch called it a fake independence. In the Congress programme vulgar songs were relayed, while from the Manch platform revolutionary songs, plays, action songs and choreographies were displayed. The leaders of the revolutionary mass organisations addressed this function and highlighted the ideals of the martyrs, and called on the people to carry on their unfinished tasks. The cultural team presented their revolutionary programme. In the evening the demonstration organised by the Manch attracted the attention of thousands of people. The rally held at the martyrs column was highly surcharged. For the successful completion of this programme, meetings and rallies were organised in dozens of villages since many days before, and a fund collection campaign was also successfully carried out. Ferozepur city too was covered by this campaign.

The Campaign’s next big programme was launched in Smalsar (Moga) on 24th March. In the past this village was a stronghold of movement but there has been no activity since a long time due to many reasons. After many years the Manch held an attractive propaganda campaign and mobilised the masses. The gathering of people was beyond the expectations of the Manch. Leaders of the BKU (Krantikari),’Pandu Mazdoor Manch, LSM, Aurat Mukti Manch’s and a leader, Surinder Kaur Dhudike addressed to the gathering. Revolutionary songs, action songs, choreographeries were presented by the revolutionary cultural front (krantikari sabhiacharak kender). The plays like ‘Behkda Roh’, ‘Chone Tammassa’ ‘Maowad’ were also presented. About 2000 people gathered for the function.

The next programme was held on 25th March at Matta village, Distt. Faridkot. For the preparation of the programme at Matta village, mass meetings and rallies were held in the villages Ajit Gill, Dalianwali, Rameana Matta, Romana, Sawewala, Bhagtuana, Rorkipura and Dhapai. During the campaign committees were organised at villages Rameana, Dalianwali and Romana. Although the programme started late about 1500 gathered. Darshan Singh Sarawan was the stage secretary and a number of leaders from the mass organisations spoke. A revolutionary cultural front from Moga presented the plays "Behkda Roh", "Begmo Di Dhi", "Maowad", "Choone Tamassa", and revolutionary songs.

This was followed by a programme on 27th March at Kassoana village, Distt. Ferozepur. For the programme at village Kassoana a big meeting was held. Here, about 400 people gathered.

On the same day a programme was also held at Baggike Modd, Distt. Ferozepur. Because of the backwardness of the area this is a stronghold of religious activists like Dera Sachcha Sauda, Dera Beas, and because the coming festivals of Holi and Bhandara of Dera Beas people were busy in these activities. In spite of all this the Manch has developed a strong democratic base in the area by continuing a fight against all forms of oppression, violence, discrimination, during the last few years. On the call of LSM approximately 3000 gathered for the programme. Before the programme a propaganda and fund raising campaign were conducted in over 15 villages of this area. Revolutionary songs, revolutionary plays, choreographies, action songs were presented by teams of the cultural front, Ferozepur and also the Lok Kala Manch, Mandi Mullanpur.

On 29th March the next programme was held at Dhuri, Distt. Sangrur. This took place at night. The preparations for the programme was done by holding mass meetings in nearby villages. LSM was a new name for that area because the front was made after the unity. Leaders from the LSM, Aurat Mukti Manch and Radical Student Union addressed the gathering. The people’s gathering was near about 700. The revolutionary cultural team from Dhuri and Moga presented their plays.

The next programme was held on 30th March at Guru Harsahai village, Distt. Ferozepur. In this area of Punjab the LSM is emerging as a rising force in comparison to the anti people parliamentary parties. The people of dozens of villages came to know about the Manch as a ‘Vote boycott’ organisation and as a fighter of militant struggles. This was the result of constant and comprehensive activities of the Manch over the years and the propagation of revolutionary democratic politics. The Manch achieved this prestige because of its militant struggles through which it challenged the evil gentry of the area and also due to the struggles against murders, kidnappings, police repression, robberies, and thefts and gundaism, protected by the authorities. This time the gathering of the people on 23rd March in commemoration of martyrs was qualitatively different. Among the gathering of about 2,500 people the number of rural workers and poor peasants were larger. People reached the venue in their tractor trolleys shouting slogans. Despite the absence of women organization leaders it is a matter of satisfaction that hundreds of women participated in the programme. Before this programme a big campaign of propaganda and collection of funds was launched covering the large and small villages. The leaflet published by the Manch reached every door. The people gave an encouraging response to the campaign. During the later stages big meetings and rallies were organised in specific villages. Because of this successful campaign a large number of men and women from about 15 neighbouring villages reached the site of the programme. Huge martyr’s gates were erected on the roads to Muktsar, Faridkot and Goluke from Guruharsahai. The programme was initiated in the pandal decorated with flags, Mattos. A two minute silence was observed with the flag hoisting. The Manch’s young leader, Jail Singh, from Chappa Chiri solmanised the flag hoisting. Balwant Makhu, Kundan Arniwala, Gurmeet Judge, Ajmer Singh, Baldev Abohar were the main leaders among the people who paid their homage to the martyrs. In addition to this the revolutionary cultural teams from Moga and Ferozepur presented their programmes. By the raising of hands some resolutions were passed by the people: to remove the emergency in Nepal, to stop the brutal violence upon the peasant movement in Andhra, Bihar, Dandkarania, to stop the privatization of the Electricity Board, to abrogate the bank loans and debt of moneylenders of the peasants and workers, to stop the detention of the peasants, to eradicate satta, gambling and sale of poisonous medicines in the market and to provide employment to E.T.T. teachers and unemployed youths.

On 31st March a programme was held at village Kawanwali (in Monga district). This area comes in a belt of small sized villages. It was the initiation of the Manch in this area. In dozens of villages of this area rallies and meetings were arranged. The revolutionary cultural team front Moga’s artists boys and girls wrote the slogans on walls the whole day and met the people directly. The gathering of people was approximately 10,000. The revolutionary cultural team from Moga presented their plays on the stage. Leaders of the BKU (Krantikari), LSM and Aurat Mukti Manch addressed the gathering.

Then a programme was held on 2nd April at Dhapali village, Distt. Bathinda. Before the programme the meetings were held in the area. Posters, leaflets and a fund campaign were launched. The gathering of people was approximately 2000. The pandal was packed and the people even sat on the roofs of houses. Revolutionary songs, plays, choreographies and actions songs were presented by the revolutionary-cultural front of Moga.

The final programme was held on 3rd April at Nathana village, Distt. Nathana. Rallies were held at Nathana, Bhucho, Poohla, Jandawala, Kalyan, Khialliwala for the preparation of the programme. About 1000 people gathered for the programme. Besides speeches, the Lok Kala Manch, Mandi Mullanpur presented their plays "Mein Phir Partaga", and "Begmo Di Dhi". Also the revolutionary-cultural front Moga presented their play "Maowad" and "Choone Tammassa Hindustan" and other choreographies and action songs.

Through this campaign the Manch paid homage to the martyrs as well as presented the martyrs ideology from a revolutionary point of view. The Manch called on the people to carry forward the militant struggles and make the people aware about the present political situation. The people were also made aware of the ongoing peasant struggles in the hilly and forests regions of the country.




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