JOIN THE STRUGGLING CONTRACT WORKERS OF CHHATTISGARH TO OBSERVE
1ST JULY SHAHEED DIVAS, SHAPATH DIVAS AT BHILAI
Friends and Comrades,
This 1st July brings tougher struggles and enormous challenges –
v Our struggle against gigantic cement multinational Holcim-Lafarge has reached a crucial point with the old ACC Jamul plant employing hundreds of contract workers to be closed and a huge new expansion plant to be commissioned. Pragatisheel Cement ShramikSangh is fighting hard against retrenchment, victimization and bias against local workers, and to unite cement workers across unions to protect the gains of the Cement Wage Board agreement for contract workers.
v CMM (MazdoorKaryakarta Committee) is a part of the struggles of the peasantry of Bhilai-Durg and Rajnandgaon against the pro-corporate plans of industrial corridor and smart city. It is actively participating in the struggles of the larger anti-displacement platform Chhattisgarh BachaoAndolan fighting for rights of tribals under PESA and FRA and against polluting and ecologically devastating mining in Raigarh and Sarguja, diversion of land and water from agriculture, and unnecessary and unsustainable mushrooming of power plants in Janjgir and Korba, and neglect of adivasi interests in the loot of minerals in Bastar.
v The MahilaMuktiMorcha continues the struggle for a strong working class women’s movement, fighting patriarchy within the bastis and the union, and sexual violence and repression in the society at large. Women’s solidarity could resist several incidents in Bhilai, Raipur andRaigarh.
v The MehanatkashAwasAdhikarManch is solidly standing with slum dwellers in Mazdoor Nagar, Amlidih, Hospital Sector, Ghasidas Nagar….and many more, resisting eviction, fighting for basic amenities. The Shaheed School, with its young women teachers from the bastiis trying to evolve teaching methods that are scientific, fun and liberating for working class children.
v CMM is deeply aware of the growing attacks on dalits and minorities in Chhattisgarh in the present political scenario, and participates actively in all efforts to protest such attacks and act in solidarity. We are making conscious efforts to educate our union members regarding these issues.
v Participating in the “Sanyukt Trade Union Manch”, CMM is a part of militant collective efforts to oppose the changes in labour laws designed to dilute rights and weaken unions. Particularly in Chhattisgarh, the industrial working class is a significant force, and can lead a struggle for just use of rich resources for the people of Chhattisgarh as Comrade Niyogi envisaged.
v Even as numerous large and small movements arise in Bastar to oppose mega steel plants, Bailadila expansion, Polavaram dam and iron ore mining in Rowghat; the increase in security forces being deployed, setting up of an Army command area in ChakarbhataBilaspur and air base for UAVs in NandiniBhilai point to an upscaling of the “war” against Bastar. While the Indian Govt refuses to accept the conflict in Bastar as an “internal armed conflict” in theinternational arena, as that would mean accepting international monitoring, it continues to treatit as the “greatest internal security threat”. This is indicated by the ratio of security forces per lakh of population – more than 1770 in Bastar as compared to 139 in India, 169 in Chhattisgarh and about 800 in Kashmir. The recent statement of DG CRPF Prakash Mishra made in Koraput that “drones may be used to target Maoist camps deep inside jungles” belies the official theory that India, the largest purchaser of both surveillance and fighter drones in the world this year, is only going to use these for intelligence.
“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” CMM has been opposing the long incarcerations of ordinary adivasis, fake encounters and surrenders, and targeting of human right defenders in the name of combatting Naxals in Bastar. It will stoutly continue to do so, in the even more difficult days to come.
Friends, on this 1st July we also mourn the death of Comrade PhaguramYadav of DalliRajhara – an iron ore miner, talented folk singer and the voice of the working class struggle, close comrade of Shankar GuhaNiyogi, who passed away in the month of June 2015.
CMM could not have withstood the repression it has faced in terms of criminal cases and arrests of its leaders, and the tough class battle that is on with a multinational of the size of Holcim-Lafarge;or been able to chart out new organizational ground among working class women; or been able to persist with its programmes of “Nirman” like the Shaheed School without the solidarity, support and critical engagement with all of you. That is our most precious resource.
Please join us on 1st July Shaheed Divas at Bhilai. The rally will begin at Comrade Niyogi’s statue in Bhilai Industrial Area at 12 noon and the mass meeting will be at BachatStambh, near Powerhouse Railway station (where 17 comrades were martyred on 1st July 1992) at about 3 pm.LalJohar!
Ham banabonavaapehchaan, Raj karhimazdoorkisaan!
Looteronkijageernahi, Chhattisgarh hamarahai!
BansiSahu, LakhanSahu, KaladasDehariya, Saraswati, RamakantBanjare, RajkumarSahu, Mahesh, Kaushal, Kalyan Patel, Neera, Shreya, Rinchin, Shalini, SudhaBharadwaj
Pragatisheel Cement ShramikSangh, JanAadharit Engineering Mazdoor Union,
MahilaMuktiMorcha, MehanatkashAwaasAdhikaarSangh, UdyogPrabhavitKisaanSangh
Chhattisgarh MuktiMorcha (MazdoorKaryakarta Committee)
Contact – LakhanSahu 09827057549, KaladasDehariya 08435549641, (Bhilai) Kalyan Patel 09826689317 (Raipur), RamakantBanjare 09926943917 (Rajnandgaon), Rinchin 09425377349 (Raigarh), SudhaBharadwaj 09926603877 (Bilaspur).