Use Your Vote to End Inequalities in Politics and Society

The months-long Bharat Jodo Yatra concluded at Mumbai on 17 March 2024 with a mega rally at Shivaji Park called the Bharat Jodo Nyay Manzil. Graced by the whole gamut of INDIA leaders, the rally unitedly called upon the Indian people to treat the upcoming Lok Sabha election as their chance to save the constitution and save democracy.

Dipankar Bhattacharya, General Secretary of the party, addressed the Bharat Jodo Nyay Manzil alongside other INDIA leaders on 17 March. He reiterated the need for peoples’ unity at this difficult hour. Here is a summarised version of his speech.

The Bharat Jodo Yatra has sent a powerful message of love against hatred, of justice in the face of injustice, about the need to save the constitution and democracy against the ongoing attack against both, and about the rights of ordinary citizens. This is a very important message, and it has been delivered at the right time.

Our friends in Maharashtra, I have come here to tell you that today the eyes of the entire country are focused on 2-3 crucial states. One of them is Bihar, the state where the opposition unity kickstarted and where the INDIA alliance held its first meeting. You all know what a clever game the BJP has played since then. Nitish Kumar has gone over to that side. But I have come here to tell you that Nitish Kumar’s volte-face has not affected opposition unity one bit. On 3 March, a huge Jan Vishwas Rally at the Gandhi Maidan in Patna showcased the immense strength of our alliance.

I have come here to say that we are all aware of games that have been played in Maharashtra. The whole country is hoping that the people of Maharashtra will reject these games. Bihar, Maharashtra and West Bengal have a large number of seats where there will be a tough contest. We hope that in Maharashtra the massive opposition unity, and the unity of the people on the ground, will be kept strong at all costs.

We must give them a rebuff. They have played the money game – through electoral bonds, through electoral trusts, they have money speaking for them. In the face of their money, we have peoples’ unity, we have our sweat and blood. Our sweat, the sweat of the farmers who they tried to stop through barricades, nails, and killings, will beat their money.

Recently in Delhi’s Ram Lila Maidan, farmers’ unions and trade unions came together to voice their united demands. The Dalit Bahujan communities and their movements are all united. Half of India’s population – the women – came together on 8 March and raised their voices. The students and youth are united everywhere, like in Jawaharlal Nehru University of Delhi. The students and youth are united everywhere, like in Jawaharlal Nehru University of Delhi. JNU is a university that they have tried to defame and destroy but the youth of JNU have always given a fitting reply to these regressive forces.

We are trying in all possible ways – through peoples’ movements as well as through elections. They have the anti-constitution electoral bonds but our strength is the constitution itself. The constitution has given us the strength to vote. Babasaheb said that each vote is a vote for political equality, to end inequalities in politics and society. We must use that one vote well. That one vote will save Babasaheb’s constitution, protect the Ganga Jamuni Tehzeeb. Over the last 75 years, we have struggled to build a modern democratic Hindustan, a secular Hindustan – that is the spirit of the Constitution which they want to destroy. They have tried to destroy the constitution through the CAA, which will deprive the poor of citizenship. Friends in Maharashtra, friends in Mumbai must stand up against this and make their votes count.

Mumbai is not a city; it is a microcosm of Hindustan. Workers from Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, the Southern states, all come here. Through them we wish to send across our message to the whole country. The voices emerging from Gandhi Maidan, Ram Lila Maidan and Shivaji Park are one the same: this is a united voice, raised to save the country, save the constitution and save democracy. In 2004 such a united voice strongly rebuffed the false claims of the India Shining campaign and showed the door to Atal Bihari Vajpayee. In 2024 let us expose the false claims of Amrit Kaal, the deceptive dreams of 2047, let us question them for their misdoings of the last 10 years, and demand an answer.

I thank all of you. Your enthusiasm, spirit of unity, is commendable. I salute you on behalf of the entire Communist tradition of India, the traditions of social justice, socialist traditions and the Congress tradition – all those which were part of the glorious freedom struggle whose achievements BJP-RSS want to destroy.

Inquilab Zindabad!

Jai Bhim, Lal Salaam!

bharat Joddo