Urging all progressive forces to join hands for the common struggle to empower the masses, the speakers at a public meeting organised by the SFI-JNU here on Sunday called for a political alternative which shuns the existing neo-liberal policies of the ruling United Progressive Alliance.

The meeting, held outside the Godavari Dhaba at the Jawaharlal Nehru University campus, was addressed by representatives of five Left groups from places as distant as Punjab and Tamil Nadu amidst shibboleths of Lal Salaam from a small but captive audience, the major chunk of which was constituted by students owing allegiance to SFI-JNU.

Asserting that the new alternative could only be a united and uncompromising Left force, the speakers emphasised on the need for reining in the reckless exploitation of natural resources by foreign and domestic corporate capital.

“As far as governance in the country is concerned, it seems as if the multi national corporations are running the show with the sole objective of plundering the country’s wealth and the corrupt UPA regime is acting as a facilitator by eulogising the virtues of capitalism,” said Mangatram Pasla of the CPM (Punjab).

Besides the ruling UPA, the principal opposition party the Bharatiya Janata Party also came under attack with speakers opining that if the party comes to power, it would not only follow the economic policies of the incumbent Congress but also add communal venom to the already vitiated political environment in the country.

Mocking the recent statements made by industrialists about the possibility of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi becoming the Prime Minister and his development model, which has scant regard for environmental or labour rights, Prasenjit Bose from Left Collective, Delhi said the employment growth in the state, hailed as “vibrant Gujarat”, between 2005 and 2010 was zero per cent.

The mainstream Left parties also came under attack from the members of SFI-JNU, a breakaway group formed last year after members form the JNU unit of the Students’ Federation of India opposed the Communist Party of India (Marxist)’s decision to support Pranab Mukherjee’s candidature for the post of President.

“We do not want a certificate from anyone about our commitment to the cause of the toiling masses and revolution. Let the people decide,” said V. Lenin Kumar who won the presidential post in the JNU Students’ Union elections held last year as a SFI-JNU candidate. He questioned why the CPM has sided with “opportunist political groups” such as Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party.

K. Gangadharan from the Marxist Party, Tamil Nadu accused the CPI (M) of double standards when it came to issues concerning the safety of common people such as the anti-nuclear protests at Kudankulam.

In the wake of the gang-rape incident in South Delhi last month that shook the country, the speakers also questioned existing patriarchal norms which lead to the oppression of women.

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