Students and Youths Organise Cycle Rally to Commemorate Golden Jubilee of Food Movement

A 3-day long cycle rally was organised from 2nd to 4th March 2016 from Swarupnagar (North 24 Parganas district) to Krishnanagar (Nadia district) to commemorate the golden jubilee of the historic food movement and relate with it the present context. Nurul Islam, a high school student of Tentulia High School (near Swarupnagar) and AnandaHait, another high school student from Krishnanagar was shot dead while participating in the procession demanding food for subsistence in 1966. 50 years since, on 11th February 2016, Swapan Malik, a sharecropper from Raina (Burdwan district) was killed by bombs hurled by goons belonging to the ruling Trinamool Congress while demanding ration from a demonstration outside the local BDO office. This cycle rally organised by 12 leftist students’ and youth organizations, apart from commemorating the golden jubilee, demands that instead of harassing people in the name of digital ration cards, distribution of 35 kg of rice or wheat should be ensured to every poor people. 

Nepal Deb Bhattacharjya, the former General Secretary of the Students’ Federation of India, inaugurated the cycle rally at 11 AM sharp by waving off the white flag after a brief speech. Peasant leader Com. Mohammed SelimGayen, Com. Niharendu Chatterjee, trade union leader Com. Hamaluddin Ahmed, former youth leader Com. Tanmoy Bhattacharyya paid homage to the Martyr Com. Nurul Islam. DYFI State Secretary Com. ZamirMolla, Com. Rajib Biswas, SFI State Secretary Com. Debajyoti Das, SFI North 24 Parganas District President Com. ArkaprovaSanyal, District Secretary Com. PriyankaSarkhel also paid their salutations to the martyr. Subrata Ali Mollah, a younger brother of Martyr Nurul Islam, attended the inaugural ceremony of the cycle rally. Com. SayandeepMitra, former SFI State President and presently the President of DYFIWest Bengal State Committee presided over the meeting.

About 350 students and youths participated in the cycle rally. On the 1st day, after crossing the Ichhamati river bridge, hundreds of people greeted the rally at Ramchandrapur Bazar with food, drinking water and flowers. The cycle rally pedalled further to Narkelberia where the students and youths paid homage to Syed Mir Nissar Ali (popularly remembered as Titu Mir), who laid down his life in the village on 19th November 1831 after organising an armed peasants’ movement against the landlords and British rulers. Com. Tanmoy Bhattacharyya, former DYFI leader, delivered a brief speech at the village. 

The cycle rally, led by a decorated tableaux and trailed by an ambulance, showed its vigour and zeal in the slogans and chanting of the ‘We Shall Overcome’ song. Greeted by people at various localities, it had a break at Ashoknagar, and came to a halt on the 1st evening at Barasat after a journey of 60kilometers. To mark the beginning of this historic rally, a blood-donation camp, inaugurated by Com. SumitDey, was organised at the end-point Krishnanagar on 2nd March.

Com. MadhujaSenroy, the President of SFI West Bengal State Committee, inaugurated the journey of the rally on the 2nd day at Barasat. The journey halted for a brief meeting at Barajaguli to enter Nadia district. After the break, the cycle rally moved on through Chakdah, Ranaghat to reach Taherpur. A felicitation meeting was organised at Taherpur where Com. MadhujaSenroy, Com. Jahangir Ali Biswas, Com. Parwezur Rahman Biswas, Com. Sumit Biswas, Com. DilipSaha, Com. Supratip Das among others delivered short speech. The rally was also greeted by people at Kalyani, Chakdah, Ranaghat.

The rally reached Krishnanagar through Badkulla, Jalalkhali. The rally concluded at the Post Office More where a huge meeting was organised. Com. SujanChakraborty, a former General Secretary of the Students’ Federation of India, was present. 

5th March, 2016