NEW DELHI: In a massive mass mobilization against the Modi Government, hundreds of people marched from Mandi House to Sansad Marg, where they were addressed by the committee heads of Jan Ekta Jan Adhikhar Andolan (JEJAA).

On May 18 2018, JEJAA, an organization under which various organizations representing women, trade workers, students, farmers among others, took out the call for an all India protest against the 4 years of NDA government under the slogan ‘Pol Khol, Halla Bol.’ The call culminated in a mass protest on May 23.

The march began at 11am, with various organizations like All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), Students Front India (SFI), All India Tanzeem-e-Insaaf, among various others leading their members towards Sansad Marg.

The Citizen, spoke to various leaders across the protest, inquiring about the various reasons for their support towards this protest.

Mehmoona Mollah, member of All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA),told The Citizen stated her reason for standing against the government, “We demand employment for everyone, including women. The NDA promised to generate 2 crore jobs across sectors, however they failed to delivered even few lakh jobs.” She spoke about the issues of minimum wage. In her opinion instead of increasing the minimum wage, the government has aligned with the corporate houses. “We demand equal pay for equal work for women. We do not want empty promises instead we want implementation.”, she stated.

The association also talked about equal representation of women in every field, especially in decision-making bodies.

Prashant, secretary of SFI was also critical of the current government’s treatment of students as well as farmers and trade unions. “It is a common struggle for all.”, he stated.

He further went on to add, “If we see in the higher education sector, it began with the scrapping of funds for NET, making it inaccessible to certain sections of the society. The higher education institutes have been under constant attack by the government. Social science field has been ignored and funds have been cut, mainly because they do not cater to the market.”

The resentment against the NDA government runs deep across several sections of the society. Aside from the Presidents of these organizations, many others also came out to speak up against the injustice that they had been facing.

One such man was Anil Srivastava, a worker from Faridabad. “I have been working for 23 years in a steel plant. I work for 18 hours and I get paid for only 8 of those hours. I have also faced a lot of harassment from the goons of the owner of the plant. I took a leave for two days for my daughter’s wedding and when I went back to work, I was told to leave without compensation.”, he said, showing his calloused hands, from having worked for over two decades.

Prakash Devi, President of the Delhi Unit of All India Democratic Youth Organisation, in conversation with The Citizen, mentioned the problems faced by teachers in India. “Around 70% of the teacher positions are empty and are filled with guest faculty. The NDA government had promised jobs, however according to them, jobs have been cut instead of being created.” She also spoke about the correlation between jobless youth and rise of criminal activities in the nation.

Mohammad Muslim, a representative of All India Tanzeem-e-Insaaf spoke about the communal aspect of the current government. “The current government is bent on dividing Hindu-Muslims. Especially the force of RSS, which is the backbone of the BJP. The development of RSS is intrinsic for them. The issue of Babri Masjid/Ram Mandir was important for the government. However, it has failed to achieve its main motive to divide and rule.”

Mohammad was also vocal about the state of minorities in the country. “Dalits and religious minorities are under constant threat. Cows which belong to the Hindus, are kept by them, are becoming issues and Muslims are being killed.”

Narendra Sharma, president of Delhi-All India Save Education Committee, mentioned about the import

ance of primary and higher education and how the government is slowly destroying the wholez education system. He stated, “Lack of proper education will give rise to a fascist country. If the thinking capability of the youth is destroyed then in future we would not be any different than animals.”

The protest was not just about the organizations but saw a unity of many other different sections of society, who hadn’t experienced the injustice but came out to speak out against the injustices done to their fellow members of the society.

‘Pol Khol, Halla Bol’ was a mass mobilization against the atrocities of the NDA government. The protesters came from all classes and communities of the nation, united against the current government. They are asking for a change and stated that they will ensure that NDA government doesn’t come in power next year. The country will vote for a new party at the centre in 2019.