A rally was organised by the Left parties against communalism at Talkatora stadium in Delhi. The attendance was very good since the stadium was full. On the stage were various politicians and parties ranging from Mulayam Singh, Sharad Yadav and Nitish Kumar, Deve Gowda, others and the Left CPI(M), CPI, RSP, Forward Bloc and also small parties like Asom Gana Parishad from Assam, Babulal Marandi from Jharkhand and even Naveen Patnaik sent his representative. Anna DMK, DMK sent their representatives and NCP of Sharad Pawar also sent its representatives. The overall mixture of parties was very encouraging. However, this was only a rally against communalism. There was no talk of finding a common ground to make a non-Congress, non-BJP alternative which is OK because there are contradictions even among these parties. Moreover with Mulayam Singh there, Mayawati cannot come, if Left is there Mamata Banerjee cannot come, where Anna DMK is there DMK cannot come there are contradictions. The good part is that if all these parties and their supporters are prepared to vote against communalism at least the country’s one danger will be avoided. We cannot have a Prime Minister who is talking a language not only of communalism but also of fascism. The Prime Ministerial candidate of the BJP in his first speech after being declared as a candidate said the Army is a secular institution so we will use the Army to teach Pakistan a lesson. This is ridiculous. We don’t need democracy, we don’t need a Prime Minister. If we could deal with our neighbours through the Army then like Pakistan the Army Chief can run the country. What is important is to return back to a sane democracy which we had from 1947 to 1991. After 1991 we do have a democracy but in practice we’ve given up the rules to the corporate sector. It’s a very tough problem. On the one side we have the BJP who is pro corporate sector, who doesn’t see anything wrong with the corporates buying up everything and at the same time they want Hindu jingoism to crush the minorities. Tribals etc., they are not even concerned with, they do not even understand the subject. On the other hand the Congress party goes on pressing the old resolutions but acts in exactly the opposite manner. Of course they’ve started some MNREGA and certain schemes to help the poor. But overall they don’t understand the damage that they’re doing to the country. In 1991, the then Government decided to take a U-turn on the economic policies followed by the Nehru-Indira Gandhi regime. Okay, if you’re a elected Government you can do it. But if you’re changing the vision as given in the Constitution it is your duty to give a new vision to the country– that they’ve not given. After 20 years, in 2011 — for the first time, they decided to announce a National Manufacturing Policy. Earlier we had the Industrial Policy Revolution. In 1991 you gave it a go-by. Licensing system you discarded but you didn’t think it wise to put a new system in place. For twenty years they have been functioning without a policy. Anyway, now the manufacturing industry, doesn’t make a difference. Make a policy– unless you have a strong industrial base you cannot compete in the world. India has been saved not by the Government, not by the industrialist, but by the farmers and farmers are outside your control. It is the poor farmer who is toiling in the farms, who is growing food for 1/7th of the world’s population. The country is saved only because of poor farmers and the Government’s contribution is the least. Of course the Government’s got its old policies, like free power, fertiliser, seeds, etc., are still holding them in good stead. If the Government listens to the IMF and the World Bank then it stops subsidies to farmers and wants farmers to go to the market place. The country will be starved. We will become a beggar nation like so many other small countries. Fortunately that did not happen. And they do not understand statistics 75 per cent of the numbers of the farmers in the country do not have surplus to sell in the market. IMF and the World Bank are saying stop the subsidies and let the farmers sell at the market price. They don’t have surplus, they’re only growing to eat and if we stop the subsidies they will stop growing, they will be coming to the employment market. There will be a law and order problem in the country. I think now elections are coming, a new Government is coming they should give thought seriously to the social structure of this country you cannot change it. A lot of poverty is there, it will remain. How to control it? Minorities are there –at least 15 per cent of Muslims are there. How to give them hope, how to contain their anger that is the real problem. Not these two alternatives. The Congress party thinks industrialists can produce so much money then poverty can go. The BJP thinks Hindus can become so strong that Muslims can go –both these are wrong. We need parties to have compassion for the poor and compassion for the minorities, compassion for the tribals. If Maoism is there in so many districts it is because tribals are being badly treated. Unless you do something to give hope to the tribals Maoism cannot succeed. If police could wipe out terrorists, if the Army could settle issues then democratic Governments are not required, leadership is not required. The earlier people think sensibly the better.
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