RESPONDING to a joint call by AISA and RYA, 29 January 2019 was observed as Protest Day against the Modi government’s incessant attempts to end reservation for SC/ST/OBC in education and employment. Thousands of students, youth, and AISA-RYA activists protested across the country, calling for acceleration of the struggle against the eviction of the ‘bahujan’ from educational institutions and the increasing attacks on the Constitution. The protests reverberated with slogans against the 13-pont roster system, 10% reservation for the general category, and the well-planned way in which SC/ST/OBC reservations are being finished.
Protest marches were held and the effigies of Prime Minister Modi and HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar were burnt at various places across the country including capital Delhi, Patna, Arwal, Nawada, Jehanabad, Ara, Siwan, Darbhanga, Samastipur, Nalanda (Bihar), Lucknow, Allahabad, Varanasi, Gorakhpur, Ballia, Ghazipur, Azamgarh, Mau, Sonbhadra, Chandauli, Sitapur, Lakhimpur Kheeri, Jalaun (Uttar Pradesh), Jaipur (Rajasthan), Giridih, Bagodar (Jharkhand), and Karbi Anglong (Assam).
In Bihar, a protest meeting was organized led by AIPWA State president Com. Shashi Yadav, CPI (ML) City Secretary Com. Abhyuday, labour leader Com. Rambali Prasad and others in Patna. Protest meetings andmarches were also held at Arwal, Nawada, Ara, Jehanabad, Siwan, Darbhanga, Samastipur, Nalanda, Punpun, and other District and Block HQs.
At Bagodar (Giridih) in Jharkhand, AISA-RYA organized a march starting from Kisan Bhavan in Sariya Road, led by RYA National Secretary Com. Sandeep Jaiswal. A march was also held at Birni Block in the District. An AISA-RYA protest march and effigy burning of Prime Minister Modi was held at Gawan led by RYA National Council member Com. Ashok Mistry. The protest march and Nukkad meeting at Jamua were led by RYA leader comrades Mohd Asgar Ali and District Council member Munavvar Hassan Bunty. A student-youth protest was also organized at Tisri.
The CPI (ML) Uttar Pradesh State unit observed 31 January 2019 as statewide protest day in response to the national call given by the Party against decisions to weaken the Constitution, end SC/ST/OBC reservation in a well-planned way, implement the 13 point roster system and 10% reservation on an economic basis.
On 31 January, a dharna was organized in front of the Ambedkar statue at Hazratganj in capital Lucknow. The dharna was addressed by Party District in-charge Com. Ramesh Singh Sengar, State Committee member Com. Radheshyam Maurya, and AICCTU and AISA leaders. Earlier on 28 January AISA organized effigy burnings of UGC Chairman DP Singh and the central government at the Allahabad University Students Union office, followed by a meeting addressed by AISA Unit Secretary Com. Sonu Yadav.
Strongly condemning the Modi government’s meddling with the Constitution, the speakers said that from the time of Independence till date, the participation of SC/ST/OBC in higher education institutions has been negligible. Whatever opportunities were there will also be completely finished by the 13 point roster system; therefore, it cannot be tolerated at any cost. They pointed out that the Modi government had promised 2 crore new jobs every year; but far from creating new jobs, 1.10 crore people have lost their livelihoods in a single year. To divert the anger of the youth, the Modi government has thrown out this new ‘jumla’ of 10% economic reservation. The dharna demanded that the Modi government enact a law to implement the 200 point roster system. The dharna also cautioned the government that if they do not do so, the people will teach them a sound lesson in the 2019 elections.
Activists from the CPI (ML) and people’s organizations took to the streets at Allahabad, Banaras, Gorakhpur, Ballia, Ghazipur, Azamgarh, Mau, Sonbhadra, Chandauli, Sitapur, Lakhimpur Kheeri, Jalaun and other Districts and attacked the Modi government’s ploys to render meaningless the reservation provided by the Constitution. After the protest marches and dharnas held at District HQs, a memorandums addressed to the president were submitted, demanding a law to reinstate the of the 200 point roster system.
In Puducherry on 5th February a joint protest was organised against 10% reservation to EWS and 13-point roaster by CPI(ML), CPI, DMK, VCK, DK and other social organizations in front of Head Post Office Puducherry. Balasubramanian State Secretary CPI(ML) addressed this protest.