F OR THE PAST few years several union ministers have been visiting north Bihar. The reason: to consolidate the electoral feat in the last Lok Sabha elections, when NDA had won most of the seats in north Bihar. The Prime Minister came to inaugurate Koshi rail bridge at Nirmali, and Advani came to Darbhanga to inaugurate Maithili AIR broadcast, and eight union ministers also had to grace the occasion with their presence. Not only ministers, RSS chief Sudarshan also toured various districts of Mithilanchal. All this was only to communalise politics and destroy the secular fabric of the society. While the real issues of development were relegated to the background, issues like development of Maithili language brought to the fore. A number of “socialist” leaders of Mithilanchal too had turned accomplice in this schema of things. Laloo Yadav, the self-styled fighter against communal forces, had turned a blind eye to all this. Therefore, the onus of exposing the communal design fell on revolutionary communists, and flag demonstration by AISA before Advani did exactly that by highlighting the real issues of development. Moreover, as it turned out, in the bargain RJD’s sham anti communal stance was also blown to smithereens.
An unprecedented victory was registered in the two-month long movement to get released the students booked on sedition charges, as well as all those who were arrested during the collectorate gherao, during which a successful Mithilanchal Bandh was alos observed.
Now with a view to consolidate the broad impact of this movement for democracy and secularism, and to intensify movemental initiative on the question of regional development, CPI(ML) organised Mithilanchal Vikas Mahasammelan at Polo Grounds, Laheria Sarai in Darbhanga district of Bihar on 21 October. The main issues raised by the AISA demonstrators were voiced here too: the closure and acute sickness of Barauni Fertiliser, Ashok Paper Mills, sugar mills, jute and cotton mills, etc. A strategy was evolved to launch consistent movement on the basic issues of development and mobilise people’s strength to pressurise the governments in Patna and Delhi.
Addressing the people gathered there, the main speaker Party General Secretary Comrade Dipankar Bhattacharya said that Darbhanga has shown the way to the whole country and this victory of democracy has sounded the death knell to the communal forces and enemies of democracy. Central committee members Dhirendra Jha, incharge of Mithilanchal and Meena Tiwari, district secy. of Muzaffarpur also addressed the conference. The conference was presided over by veteran comrade RK Sahni.
A 9-point Manifesto was released at the conference, which covers problems related to flood, drought, education, development schemes, health, electricity, land reform and socio-cultural milieu. Prior to this, Comrade Dipankar garlanded the four AISA students Kesri Kumar Yadav, Ranjit Rai, Santoshanand Yadav and Sonu Yadav, who were put behind bars under the charge of sedition for showing black flag to LK Advani.
The manifesto emphasised the agenda of redemption of industries and their development, demanding bringing the paper mill back to public sector. It demanded an integrated plan for flood control, giving the privilege of water transport to Nepal for its total participation in the project and a special project for solving the problem of waterlogging in the region. Emphasising implementation of land to the tiller, the conference demanded that land question must be put in the 9th schedule of the Constitution so that the problem of redistribution of land becomes free of court litigations. It demanded a special commission to improve health services, and demanded modern educational institutions to fulfil modern requirements. The conference resolved to counter feudal ideology and culture and carry forward the literary and cultural tradition of Nagarjun and Fanishwar Nath Renu. Lastly, the conference announced to form Mithilanchal Vikas Sangharsh Samiti and appealed to all the progressive sections of the society to join it.