Militants torched police cars and threw molotovs at pigs in Malda, Bengal, as millions of workers and students throughout India went on strike against the policies of the fascist Modi regime on Wednesday.
The widespread action was in opposition to what unions called the “anti-worker and anti-people policies” of far-right wing Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
They highlighted the recent privatisation of public firms and natural resources and demanded a rise in the minimum wage and pensions.
Farmers and students joined some of the protests called by 10 trade unions who claim 250 million members between them.
The nationwide strike comes amid a boycott of classes by students in many universities and colleges across India in solidarity with the students of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Jamia Millia Islamia (JMI) university and Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) who have come under attack from police, other state forces and fascist groups.
Militants blocked roads and railway tracks, while those at rallies also chanted slogans against the Hindu nationalist government’s new anti-Muslim nationality law that has sparked widespread demonstrations.
In West Bengal state, strikers targeted railways and key highways and burned tires on a main road in the state capital of Kolkata. Protesters carried red flags at rallies in the city.
People also participated in the strike in the eastern states of Bihar and Odisha, Maharashtra in the west, Haryana in the north and Kerala and Karnataka in the south.
Workers at state-run oil and coal firms joined the strike, as they oppose government plans to privatise state-run companies. Bank employees are also participating in the strike against the proposed merger of public-sector banks.
Resistance to the fascist Modi regime has been growing, as widespread protests have taken place against the nationality law, passed on December 11. More than 25 people have been killed in protests. Growing unrest in universities has added to social tensions.
“The attitude of the government is that of contempt towards labor,” said the Centre of Indian Trade Unions, one of the groups organising Wednesday’s 24-hour strike.
Thousands of people have lost jobs in the manufacturing and construction sectors and debt-ridden companies have cut their investment plans.
While the fascist Modi regime remains in power for now, momentum is growing for anti-fascist and revolutionary movements in India.