The 14th martyrdom anniversary of Comrade Mahendra Singh – the CPI(ML) MLA in the Jharkhand Assembly much loved by the people, who was shot dead while campaigning for a fourth term in 2005 – was observed across Jharkhand as Sankalp Diwas (Pledge Day) to save democracy and save Jharkhand. A Sankalp Sabha was organized at the Bus Stand grounds in Bagodar, Giridih district which was attended by thousands of people.
Earlier, Comrade Mahendra Singh’s statue was garlanded at his native village Khambhra and at the Kisan Bhawan near the CPI (ML) District office. Large numbers of people flocked to the venue in rallies from various blocks in the district as well as from neighbouring districts like Koderma and Hazaribagh holding banners and flags and raising slogans. The meeting was presided over by PB member and District Secretary Manoj Bhakt and conducted by State Committee member Parmeshwar Mahto. The main speakers were CPI (ML) General Secretary Com Dipankar Bhattacharya, former MLA Vinod Singh, Rajdhanwar MLA Rajkumar Yadav, Marxist Coordination Committee leader Arup Chatterjee and other leaders.
Addressing the meeting, Com Dipankar Bhattacharya said that the country is going through the darkest times of communal hatred, and violence, and attacks on dalits, adivasis and minorities where the perpetrators are being protected by the police and the administration, the recent video-flaunted killing of an innocent Muslim worker in Rajasthan and the subsequent violence and hoisting of the saffron flag on the Udaipur High Court being only one case in point. The recent Press conference by 4 SC judges stating that the judiciary is in jeopardy is unprecedented and shows us that things have come to such a pass when instead of the people going to the courts for protecting democracy, the Supreme Court judges themselves have had to come to the people and ask them to save democracy. Now it is only the people who can fight fascism and save democracy and the Constitution.
Comrade Dipankar further said that today the people have not only to face unemployment, starvation and skyrocketing prices due to demonetization and GST but they are also faced by the prospect of banks looting their hard-earned savings. Starvation deaths due to Aadhaar-related exclusion are on the rise in Jharkhand and the rest of the country. The Jharkhand government had to back down from the amendments to the CNT-SPT Act but they have Save Democracy, Save Jharkhand Rally in Bagodarbrought the Land Banks as a system for looting land from adivasis and benefiting corporate companies. The Jharkhand government which had promised to generate 16 lakh jobs annually is now giving the youth of Jharkhand an incentive to migrate and seek employment in other States. In other words, there are no jobs to be had in Jharkhand; Jharkhand’s land, water and forests will be given to corporate houses and thus corporate-fascist Raj will be established. He said that the people must unite and determine to fight and defeat the fascist-communal-casteist forces in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Comrade Dipankar said that we will walk in the footsteps of Mahendra Singh and stand fearless in the face of bullets and ready to extend cooperation to any forces fighting fascism and communalism.
A Sankalp Sabha was also held at Ranchi addressed by social worker Fatherr Stan Swamy, Dayamani Barla,CPIM State Secretary Gopikant Bakshi, CPI (ML) District Secretary Bhuvaneshwar Kewat, AIPF leader Bashir Ahmed, INTUC leader Ajay Rai, people’s poet Yugal Kishore, Jagannath Oraon, Afzal Aneesh, Praful Linda, Mahabir Munda, Sudama Khalkho and others. The speakers said that Com Mahendra’s martyrdom would not go in vain and the people would fight and defeat the fascist-communal anti-democratic and anti-Constitution forces.
Sankalp Sabhas were also organized at Dhanad, Govindpur, Nirsa, Sindhri and Baghmara (Dhanbad district), Bokaro Steel city, Jangardih, Lalpaniya (Bokaro district), Badkakana (Ramgarh district), Garhwa district, Dadi (Hazaribagh district), Hazaribagh Central Jail, Palkot, Lesleyganj, Koiriyadih and Patan (Gumla district), Devghar, Godda and Dumka districts.