Western Jatha Enters Madhya Pradesh

On the fourth day after flag off, the Western Jatha entered Madhya Pradesh state on the afternoon of Monday, March 11 through Bharwani district bordering Maharashtra. The jatha was received at the border point by Party comrades from Madhya Pradesh state committee. Maharashtra state secretary Ashok Dhawale and AIKS state secretary Kisan Gujar accompanied the jatha till the border, from where they returned back.

After the first meeting in Rajnagar in Bharwani district of Madhya Pradesh, again a tribal region, the jatha moved on to Mhow, the birthplace of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar. After paying tributes to Ambedkar at the statue erected near his ancestral home, Yechury addressed the public meeting. He started by saying that one of the main intentions of the jatha is to underline the need for struggles to resolve the basic contradiction pointed out by Babasaheb Ambedkar when he presented the draft of Indian Constitution to the Constituent Assembly. Ambedkar had warned that unless socio-economic inequalities, where one man does not possess one value, are not removed, our political structure, where one man has one vote, will be blown asunder. Yechury said today socio-economic inequalities are growing at a fast pace in the country. He called for intensifying struggles against the neo-liberal economic policies that are the root cause of such growing inequality.

Earlier in the morning, the jatha's Maharashtra leg of the journey concluded with an impressive public meeting in Prakasha village in the tribal dominated Nandurbar district with over 4000 tribals attending it. As was recurrent through out this leg, tribal women dominated in numbers. The jatha was received few kilometres from Prakasha by a contingent of around 100 red volunteer motorcyclists.

As the convoy reached the venue, it was greeted by a large group of tribal men and women with traditional music and dance. The rhythmic beat from two huge drums, accompanied with howling sounds of the youth and the gracious steps of women, both old and young, charged the atmosphere. Yechury, Nilotpal Basu, Mohd Salim, Mariam Dhawale and Ashol Dhawale walked with the sloganeering crowd for around a kilometre to reach the venue. The leaders were given traditional tribal headgear before the start of the meeting. Yechury called upon the gathering to come and join the March 19 public meeting in Delhi which would give a clarion call for struggles to better the lives of common masses. Others also addressed the gathering.

At a press conference at the government rest house in Nandurbar town, Yechury said there is growing pressure from below within political parties that were pursuing neo-liberal economic policies to change course. He cited the case of Samajwadi party that had protested on the streets against FDI in retail but supported the government in parliament on the same issue. He said the struggles outside would help in forcing such parties leadership to change course.

The fourth day of jatha concludes with a public meeting in the night in Indore city.