The farmer-worker march to Parliament here on Wednesday displayed the growing discontent and anger against the Modi government’s policies, the CPI-M mouthpiece People’s Democracy said on Thursday.
In an editorial, the journal said the rally was also a “concrete manifestation of the worker-peasant alliance” that is beginning to take shape. The rally set a new benchmark in worker-peasant unity.
Organised by the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) and All India Agricultural Workers Union (AIAWU), the rally raised demands that concern the three sections of the basic classes, the journal said.
These include land reforms, MSP based on the formula proposed by the Swaminathan Commission, Central legislation for agricultural workers, equal pay for equal work for women, minimum wages of at least Rs 18,000 for workers and the scrapping of anti-worker labour laws.
There are also demands common to all sections of the working people, such as curbing price rise, universalising the public distribution system, food security and education and health for all. All of these demands are raised within the overarching demand for the reversal of neo-liberal policy, the party write-up said.
“In the past two-and-a-half decades, there has been the relentless onslaught of the neo-liberal policies by successive governments. This has been accentuated during the four years of Modi government. There has been a twin assault – on the livelihood and meager resources of the workers and peasants and concerted attacks on their trade unions and democratic rights,” the party said.
The attacks have been “ferocious” against particular sections of the working people – the adivasis who have been dispossessed of their lands and the poor who stood up to protect their rights.
“Neo-liberalism and Hindutva authoritarianism go side by side,” according to the CPI-M.
The party said the BJP-RSS combine was out to disrupt the unity of workers and divide them.