Pune trade unions protest, appeal boycott of Jio

Trade unions have asked people to boycott Jio and other Reliance subsidiaries.

Credit : Indie Journal

Pune: In a massive protest against the three farm laws, protesters from Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC), Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), and Kamgar Sanghana Sanyukta Kruti Samiti (Pune) condemned the conglomerate duo of Ambani-Adani and asked people to boycott Jio and other Reliance subsidiaries.

Protesters across the nation have stated that for a long time, the government has been taking several decisions that benefit the businesses of the two entrepreneurs. These decisions have in turn affected most of the minority sections across the country and caused a dent in the common man’s pocket. “Modi is being controlled by Ambani and Adani. And we will fight until he is no more under their control. We won’t accept company sarkaar anymore,” said one of the protesters today at the ‘anti-Jio protests’ that were held in Pune. The protests were attended by Kailas Kadam, Raghunath Kuchik, Ajit Abhyankar, Dilip Pawar, Raghunath Rasane, Vasant Pawar, Kiran Moghe, Shubha Shamim and others.

‘Boycott Jio’, ‘Boycott Ambani-Adani’, ‘Boycott Modi’ were some of the slogans used at the protest today. “They are messing with our livelihoods with these three farm laws. One of the three laws says that traders can stock up produce, which wasn’t allowed earlier. Now, outlets like Jio mart, Reliance Fresh, Big Bazaars will stock up on these essential goods. And when there is a huge demand for these goods with less supply in the market, the prices will automatically go up. This is when the rich outlets will benefit as they sell the stocked commodities for higher prices. Who is going to suffer? Not Modi, not Ambani! Only the farmers and the common man,” said Datta Patil, one of the protesters.

The protesters stated that when the rich people are messing with the farmers, the farmers need to retaliate by boycotting Ambani’s products. “Stop using Jio. Port to another SIM. Give these people a shock and let them know that the common man holds the power, not the government, not the businessmen,” he said.

The protesters held that the way these farm bills were passed was unconstitutional which is extremely unfair towards the farmers and the common man. “Without discussing with the farmers or agriculture experts, the three bills were passed with a voice vote amidst a lot of chaos in the parliament. What was the hurry? The laws don’t benefit the farmers. These laws will monopolise the entire agriculture sector eventually where the only beneficiaries will be the likes of Ambani and Adani. This is why we need to fight the laws and support our farmers.”

The government has also been accused of not understanding the problems of the farmers, and is instead inflicting violence on the protesting farmers for merely demanding their rights. “They attacked the farmers with water cannons, didn’t listen to the farmers and made them sit on the road in the Delhi winter, even sent the police and armed forces after them. The people in the government are not deshbhakts. They are enjoying the power and pretending to be deshbhakts, just to keep the power with themselves,” the protesters said.

Kiran Moghe, one of the speakers at the protest said, “It's not only the rich farmers who are protesting. The farm laws affect all of us and it is our duty to support the protesting farmers. We should understand their problems, stand with them and help them fight against Modi’s draconian laws.”

Another protester claimed that the government is the helping Ambani-Adani duo to rob us in broad daylight. “Look at the rates of petrol. We have almost reached Rs 100/litre now. Look at the taxes we are paying for every litre of petrol. Who is controlling these prices and who is profiting off the petrol prices? It’s Modi’s govt and Ambani-Adani. So, as long as the protests are on, we will be supporting the farmers from here. We are against this kind of robbery,” he said.

More than 1,500 towers were damaged in Punjab this week, which affected the telecom services majorly. However, 80 percent of these towers have been restored within 48 hours. While Jio officials have already registered FIR against several protesters who were responsible for the vandalism, they have also approached senior officials of Punjab, including Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh and the DGP, seeking security for the telecom services in the state.