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Friday, January 17, 2020


By Harsh Thakor


The democratic organizations of Punjab continue to heroically shimmer the anti-fascist torch in Punjab. The Punjab Students Union and the Naujwan Bharat Sabha belonging to the trend of the Communist Party India (Marxist Leninist) New Democracy organized a series of political conferences where the NRC and CAA were vociferously condemned. Significantly they joined hands with Muslim organizations in both rallies which were instrumental in giving the Muslim community a sense of belonging in a society where they have become totally segregated or marginalized. At Malerkotala on 4th January 20,000 people congregated creating the impact of a tornado. At Chandigarh around 4000 people assembled in spite of strong police barricade. It was heart touching witnessing the lifting of morale of the Muslims who reposed great sense of confidence in the organizing student and youth forces. Very positive and significant that the forces of the Communist revolutionary camp could penetrate into the targeted Muslim minority community and create a base for a united anti-fascist front. Speaks volumes of the great potential or untapped energy of the revolutionary students and youth of Punjab in becoming a major thorn in the flesh to the dictates of Hindutva fascism. NBS (Naujawan Bharat Sabha, transl. Youth Society of 
India) leader Rupinder Singh Chaunda felt the rallies were most impactful in elevating secular political consciousness and creating a platform for secular resistance against the fascist NRC and CAB (Citizenship Amendment Bill) laws.

On 11th January a large contingent of Punjab Students Union and Naujwan Bharat Sabha activists stormed into Chandigarh in the manner of an army procession. Supported by various retired Indian Administrative Services (IAS) officers, including S R Ladhar, a human chain was formed along the Airport road in front of Singh Shaheedan Gurdwara to raise voice against the CAA.

Led by Ranbir Randhawa, leader of Punjab students’ union, and Rupinder Chaunda, leader of Naujwan Bharat Sabha, supported by hundreds of students, took siege of the road leading to Chandigarh where they were stopped by the Chandigarh police. The protestors wore black ribbons holding placards depicting anti-CAA bill slogans. 

However, the protest was called off after a memorandum addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi was handed over to the special officer deputed by the Punjab government. Mohali: Various students unions of Punjab take to streets in Mohali on Saturday in protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). The unions of Punjab students’ union and Naujwan Bharat Sabha staged a protest and took siege of the road near the YPS crossing.They held the protest for around 4 hours. The protesters said the Act was anti-secular and anti-constitutional. The Act would single out a community which was against the secularism.  

A bandh was observed on Friday against CAA-NRC in Muslim-dom .

Earlier on 4th January a bandh was observed on Friday against CAA-NRC in Muslim-dominated Malerkotla town. Former JNU (Jawaharlal Nehru University) student leader Umar Khalid addressed the gathering as the protesters raised slogans against UP police and criticized it for “atrocities” on people there.
Owner of a badge making unit at Kamal Cinema road, which was the epicentre of protests, Tahir Rana said the bandh was complete in Malerkotla. He added that after Friday prayers, protesters gathered on the same road and various speakers addressed the gathering. Another resident Muhammad Zulfikar said a sea of protesters was witnessed between Delhi Gate and Kamal Cinema road.

Khalid said he it was good that protests had started in the land of Baba Farid, Guru Nanak Dev, Guru Govind Singh, Kartar Singh Sarabha, Shaheed Bhagat Singh and Shaheed Udham Singh. In 2019, the Prime Minister returned to power, but in 2020, he would get a befitting reply from Punjab, he added.

Khalid thanked people of Punjab and Sikh community for standing against atrocities. He said when rights of people in Kashmir were being attacked after abrogation of Article 370, people of Punjab stood against “utterances” against Kashmiri people, especially the women there.

The former student leader alleged that Union home minister Amit Shah has said that Muslims shouldn’t have any fear, and with Sikh brothers supporting them they actually didn’t feel scared. Khalid also recalled the Partition and how Malerkotla gave shelter to people at that time.

On January 15th activists of the Lok Morcha Punjab, Bharatiya Kisan Union (Ugrahan), Punjab Khet Mazdoor Union, Naujwan Bharat Sabha and Punjab Students Union (Shaheed Randhawa) stormed into the capital city of Delhi in Shaheen Bagh igniting the spark to give solidarity to the oppressed Muslim community in struggle against NRC and CAA .Around 500 persons assembled from Bathinda, Sangrur, Mansa, Faridkot and Moga. Constituting peasants, landless labourers, students and youth .The sword of anti-fascist resistance was effectively sharpened. Comrade Shireen, Jagmel Singh, Sukhdev Singh Khokri Kalan and Ashwini Gudda addressed the gathering. In a most qualitative manner the speakers summarized the very fascist essence of the NRC, CAA laws and how only by organized protest for their removal can the tide of fascism be confronted. The success of the protest spoke volumes of the consistent mass political work done by such forces and great discipline and planning. Without doubt one of the most qualitative protests ever organized by revolutionary forces from Punjab in Delhi, with significant participation on women and children.

With great Organization the famers set up a Langar or kitchen which would feed people for some days. The food items like flour, sugar, rice and vegetables were donated by the villagers in large quantities. The ration was meant to last several days.

Top leadership of the Bharti Kisan Union (Ekta-Ugrahan), led by its president Joginder Singh Ugrahan and general secretary Sukhdev Singh Kokri Kalan, with hundreds of their supporters, declared complete support to anti-CAA movement and said they will also organize a Punjab-level massive protest on the issue very soon. Activists of Lok Morcha Punjab, Naujawan Bharat Sabha and Punjab Students Union (Shaheed Randhawa) also landed at South Delhi's Shaheen Bagh on Wednesday morning. A smaller group of activists led by Joginder Singh Ugrahan also reached the JNU campus to express solidarity with the protesting students and demanded immediate resignation of the vice-chancellor.Meanwhile, the top leadership of Shiromani Akali Dal (Taksali), led by its president Ranjit Singh Brahmpura and including Ratan Singh Ajnala and Sewa Singh Sekhwan as well as Bir Devinder Singh, will be landing at the Shaheen Bagh on January 19.

Speaking to Punjab Today, Sukhdev Singh Kokri Kalan said the BKU activists are busy planning a massive agitation on the issue of parali burning in Punjab next week, on Jan 20 and 21, and after that, a major demonstration is being planned on the CAA-NRC issue. "Let India's rulers listen to this simple fact: 'We the farmers' are an integral part of  'We the people' and we shall not allow communal forces to divide the people. On one side, these communal and crony-capitalist forces are hand in glove, and on the other side, there is the unity of students, youth, farmers, workers, teachers, professionals and all progressive, right-minded people. This is a battle we will fight to the finish," Sukhdev Singh Kokri Kalan declared to loud cheers at the Shaheen Bagh.Among other farmer leaders at Shaheen Bagh on Wednesday were Jhanda Singh Jethuke, Hardip Singh Tallewal, Jaswinder Singh Longowal and Harvinder Kaur Bindu, who also led a group of women from Punjab in sisterly solidarity with the Muslim women. The Lok Morcha Punjab group was led by Jagmel Singh, the Naujawan Bharat Sabha group was led by Ashwani Ghudda.

Shireen, of Lok Morcha Punjab, narrated how each ruling class party simply wished to steal the votes of the people with rule and divide politics and essential part of its agenda to divert the toiling people from their genuine struggles. She summarized the link between pro-corporate government land seizure actions like in Nandigram, Singrur or Niyamgiri and its relation with the economic agenda of fascist laws like NRC and CAA. The courageous protests, particularly of Muslim women were applauded by her, in light of how fascism was taking shape in a form of its own in India. History of past Communal massacres was also touched upon.

Secretary of Lok Morcha Punjab, Jagmela Singh, recounted how government institutions were being sold and how scrapping of 370 and the Kashmiri people of all their rights. He also summed up how taxes were cut for the corporates and how the Modi government was waging an economic war against the common people.

Harinder Bindu, a woman leader, said that Punjab’s women are standing like a rock behind the women of Shaheen Bagh who have been protesting against the discriminatory CAA for over a month now.

“We have come to Delhi to show solidarity with our sisters who are braving cold and other hardships during their protest,” Bindu said.

“Tum Bagh me hum Punjab me,” Malan Kaur, an elderly woman from village Kotha Guru of Bathinda, raised the slogan. Kaur has spent 13 days in Faridkot jail and 19 days in Bathinda jail on different occasions for taking parts in protests against various issues.
Amandeep Kaur, a class 12 student from village Lehra Dhoorkot said that she wants to show solidarity with JNU students. She was accompanied by several other students. Kaur had staged a sit in protest in front of Rampura police station to get justice for her father in suicide case.

Adeeb, a 12-year-old boy studying in class 7 is also part of the group. He fully understands what the protest is all about.

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