Eastern Jatha Enters U.P.

After five days of criss-crossing through the towns and villages of Bihar and addressing thousands of people, eastern Jatha entered Uttar Pradesh on Monday. Jatha was received in Noubatpur in Chandouli district, by CPI(M) Uttar Pradesh state secretary SP Kashyap and other state leaders.

Chandouli, which was a part of Varanasi district till a few years back has a long and courageous history of struggle. In Chakia, in this district, landless agricultural labourers and adivasis seized the land of Maharaja of Kashi, the most powerful feudal royal family in the entire area. The land should have been vested by the government much earlier which was not done. Twenty years back, people revolted under the red flag and seized more than 600 bighas of land in Musha Khan, Barat farm and Shadapur. The fight has its history of blood letting too. Poorest of the poor Musharas, Kols and dalits fought squarely every single attack for last two decades to retain their possession. In Shadapur, in 2005, royal family tried to evict them and forcibly ran tractors in the 200 bighas possessed by the peasants. A brave resistance followed in which Ganga Devi and Triloki laid down their lives. However, the peasants still retain possession. In these places the peasants do farming, though the produces are low. No legal documents of possession have been given to them yet. There is a lack of irrigation facilities and no government facilities are available. Apart from farming, their livelihood is dependent on forest produce. But poverty has not cowed them down. With red flags on their shoulder, they are always alert so that the land is not lost.

Chakia has another distinction. Adivasis and workers have seized stone hillocks or Khadans too. These hilly rocks were given to private profiteers by the government for stone crushing. There was a rebellion of sorts and workers now directly cut and crush stones in a large area.

These brave peasants and workers came in large numbers to Mughalsarai to attend the public meeting held in connection with the Sangarsh Sandesh Jatha. The meeting in the field of the Railway Institute was also attended by agricultural workers in quite a good number.

Prakash Karat, addressing the meeting emphasized once again that though activities for next
year’s Lok Sabha elections have already started, this Jatha has nothing to do with elections. Until and unless an alternative based on alternative policies is not formed it will be of no use for the people. CPI(M) is trying to mobilize people on alternative policies.

The next destination of the Jatha will be Varanasi.