Martyrs’ Day, March 23
Martyrs’ Day Commemorated Amidst the Struggle of Indian Farmers
– J. Singh –
March 23 is the 90th anniversary of martyrdom of Rajguru, Sukhdev and Bhagat Singh. Youth from across India have come to the farmers protest surrounding Delhi. All across India, people are holding rallies and commemorations to mark this anniversary. Indians living abroad are also holding meetings, webinars and cultural events to commemorate Martyrs’ Day. In Canada, the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) has always commemorated the sacrifice of Rajguru, Sukhdev and Bhagat Singh, those of all martyrs of the Indian people and honoured their memory.
Bhagat Singh and his comrades continue to inspire people in South Asia, specially the youth. Their indomitable courage in fighting the British, the boldness of their actions, their integrity and fidelity are qualities which characterize the struggle of the people today.
Bhagat Singh’s statements and analysis in the court of the Raj proved prophetic. The struggle of the people against exploitation and oppression will continue, no matter whether their exploiters are the British or their native collaborators, he said. The last 75 years after formal independence have borne out the truth of his statement. Farmers have raised a slogan expressing their sentiments:
Pahle Larde The Goron Se, Ab Lardenge Choron Se
The admiration for Bhagat Singh imbues the Indian psyche to such an extent that the government of India was forced to recognize his sacrifice and has erected statues to his memory.
Nonetheless, in Bhagat Singh’s village, villagers and family members have always been critical of different political parties holding separate meetings in the village dividing people on that basis. This year such practices are no longer permitted. A massive rally took place with many farmers and youth speaking in their own name.
At the farmers protest sites surrounding Delhi celebrations have been going on for several days. Well known artists have been performing and amplifying the message of resistance against tyranny.
On March 21, they also celebrated the anniversary of Peer Buddhu Shah and his sons who in the Battle of Bhangani fought alongside Guru Gobind Singh against the Moghul emperor and Rajput Rajas of the hills. Four of his sons and 700 followers were killed in that battle. On March 19, martyrs of farmers and peasant movements in Telangana and Punjab were celebrated. In Kishangarh, Punjab in the 1950s, the Indian government sent in the army with tanks to crush the landless farmers.
Leaders of farmers are travelling all across India to mobilize people against the anti-farmers laws. They are also calling on people not to vote for BJP in those states where elections are taking place. Farmers are showing their determination and resolve to continue their struggle. They are using elections in five states to consolidate their organizations and ideo-political positions. Their movement has become a people’s movement against the neo-liberal anti-social offensive and the government of thieves. Leaders of political parties are being boycotted by villagers and party officials are warned not to enter their villages. Farmers have steeled themselves in the course of their struggle, against diversions, persecution, defamation, treachery and repression. As they prepare the entire country for the All-India shut down on March 26, 2021, they are reinforcing their demands for the repeal of the farm laws, bracing themselves to withstand all attempts of the government to weasel out of its predicament or attack their movement or any one of the heroic people fighting for their future and the future of India.
Amongst other things, the central government has tabled a bill in the parliament that will completely take away the powers of the local Delhi government and assembly. The Lieutenant Governor will concentrate all the powers in their hands. The measure is being met with broad opposition. Like the anti-farmer laws, it is the further concentration of political powers in the hands of the big monopolies such as Ambani, Adani, Tata and others and the oligopolies they have formed which operate as cartels and coalitions to steal everything they possibly can. Since the anti-social onslaught of the neo-liberal offensive began, one of its features has been the assault on the rights of states to eliminate any competing authorities. This has accelerated in the last six years with Demonetization, GST and the anti-farmer laws.
In the commemorations of the martyrdom of Rajguru, Sukhdev and Bhagat Singh, as in their struggle for the withdrawal of all anti-farmer laws, the people are presenting the real issues they are fighting for, giving impetus to the striving of the Indian people for true national and social liberation.
Today’s struggle against the farm laws confirms once again that only the success of the people’s power will emancipate and materially mend the social condition of the mass of the people.