Framing of charges under UAPA against youth who raised slogans and discharged harmless smoke inside and outside Parliament on December 13 to highlight certain people’s issues must be thoroughly condemned by all progressive and democratic forces. They should demand withdrawal of UAPA cases against them and stand against their prosecution and in solidarity with them.
Four youth have been arrested in the case. Two of them had managed to go inside the Parliament. While one of them jumped on tables in the Parliament and released harmless smoke from a small canister carried by him, the other raised slogans on issues like unemployment, price rise and anti-people policies of Modi Govt. besides Inquilab Zindabad and Bhagat Singh Amar Rahen. The youth who released smoke from the canister continued to hold it in his hand, ostensibly to demonstrate its harmless nature. Outside Parliament two youth raised slogans against unemployment, Modi’s dictatorial rule, women’s oppression and the like besides slogans hailing Bhagat Singh, and they too released harmless smoke from a similar canister. These two were arrested from outside the Parliament building. Two other names are also being mentioned and are to be arrested for being their accomplices and having facilitated their action.
The intent of these educated youth was to highlight some people’s issues in a demonstrative way. These youth were drawn from four corners of India to show the pan India nature of the issues they were raising.
The youth have obviously been inspired by the act of Shaheed Bhagat Singh and Batukeshwar Dutt who had thrown leaflets and lobbed a smoke bomb from the gallery on to empty benches in the Central Legislative Assembly on April 8, 1929. Shaheed Bhagat Singh and his comrades continue to inspire countless people especially youth in the country in their strivings against exploitation, oppression and repression. These youth with some others had come together under the banner of Bhagat Singh. The dreams for which Shaheed Bhagat Singh and other martyrs laid down their lives remain unfulfilled and their vision continues to be a source of inspiration.
Fascist RSS-BJP Govt. has termed and treated this demonstrative act as an act of terror. This is wholly baseless and meant to subject these youth and their friends to blatantly repressive UAPA and also to divert attention from the issues raised by these youth.These issues are agitating the youth throughout the country. Parliamentary opposition parties on the other hand have focused on the question of ‘security breach’, demanding a statement from the Union HomeMinister. They too have not spoken on the issues highlighted by these youth, which shows that on the issues they do not have much different to say.
While all the issues raised by these youth are the issues agitating the people of the country, the issue of Unemployment has grown to explosive extent. Such is the level of unemployment and underemployment that youth, including educated youth, find themselves superfluous in society and their lives redundant. They are deprived of the means of making meaningful contribution to society. Ruling class parties focus on doling out pittances rather than providing employment. Rather, they are driving youth to lumpenism, drug abuse, suicides; the ruling dispensation channelizing their energies into communalism including goonda attacks against minorities. Educated youth in particular stake their all- family assets and their own lives- to migrate to other countries to seek gainful employment highlighting lack of such opportunities in the country.
While acts such as the one done by these youth, highlight the issues including the issue of unemployment in particular, the real need is to build a broad-based and militant movement against rising unemployment and underemployment. All organizations, youth and student organizations in particular, should build such a movement against policies responsible for this gross unemployment. Issue of Unemployment is an issue waiting to explode. This will challenge the whole policy paradigm of the ruling classes.
Protest against terror charges against these youth.Stand against their persecution and demand their immediate release. Move to build a powerful movement against Unemployment.
December 15, 2023