Guwahati, Mar 23: Youth leaders Jignesh Mevani and N Sai Balaji today hit out at the BJP-led Central government, alleging that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s strings are being pulled by the likes of industrialists Adani and Ambani.
They also criticized the government for failing to create employment opportunities for the youth and trying to suppress any voice of dissidence against the ruling regime.
Taking part in a National Youth Conclave here, social activist Jignesh Mevani said, “The issues in the election should not be ‘mandir-masjid’ (temple-mosque), but it should be health education, employment. The slogan should be ‘chahe jis ki bhi bane sarkar, hume chaihiye rozgar’ (whoever forms the government, we should get jobs).”
“The people should seize this opportunity to throw this fascist, feudal, medieval, casteist forces in the dustbin of history,” he added.
Alleging that the prime minister is working on the behest of Adanis-Ambanis, Mevani maintained that the problems of the ‘mazdoor’ (worker), who is at the base of the production line, are being ignored.
He said, “The word ‘mazdoor’ is being excluded from the political discourse now. Someone toils and the profit goes to someone else. As many as 84 crore people survive in less than Rs 20 per day, 50 crore people have no houses and minimum wage is denied to even more.”
“Families cannot sustain by verbally bashing up Pakistan. Terrorism should definitely end, but so should caste system that sucks the life out of Dalits. Terrorism should end, but should end inflation and unemployment,” he added.
Mevani also took a swing at the Opposition parties, questioning why they have failed to promise filling up to all 24 lakh government vacancies or increasing minimum wage days from 100 to 200 under MGNREGS, if voted to power.
Mevani, who is a first-time Independent legislator from Gujarat, further alleged that Narendra Modi, who had served as the Gujarat CM before taking up the position of the prime minister, has done nothing to fight untouchability and caste system in his home state.
“There are 98 forms of untouchablilities in Gujarat and not a single FIR has been lodged against these. This government wants untouchability to persist, it wants manual scavenging to continue, it wants people to die while cleaning gutters and sewers,” he added.
Mevani pointed that the Arvind Kejriwal government in Delhi has bought vehicles to stop manual scavenging, while a robot worth Rs 11 lakh has been invented in the country for the purpose.
He, however, lamented that the Central government has not bothered to buy a single such robot.
He further said everyone is aware of the real issues at hand but these issues cannot be kept confined to conclaves and meetings and urged all present at the conclave to take these issues to every household so that people take an informed decision while casting their votes.
Continuing in the same jibe, Jawaharlal Nehru University students union president N Sai Balaji alleged any voice of dissidence is being crushed by the government.
He cited the instances of leading intellectual of Assam Dr Hiren Gohain being slapped with sedition charges while opposing the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019, and also Punjab University students facing similar charges while opposing fee hike.
Pointing that the names ‘mazdoor, kisan, naujawan’ (workers, farmers, youth) are being left out of the public discourse, he said employment is must for real development, adding, “We want jobs, we are getting mobs.”
Hitting out at Modi’s gesture of cleaning feet of sanitary workers recently, Balaji said, “If Modi actually wants to know about their lives, he should go and clean a toilet and get into gutters without any hand gloves or boots.”
“If there is Modi, development is not possible,” the student leader claimed.
The National Youth Conclave on ‘State of the nation today and the way forward’, organized by Asom Nagarik Samaj, was attended by youth leaders from Assam, including RTI activist and peasant leader Akhil Gogoi, writer Parvin Sultana and Palash Changmai. (UNI)