CPIML Liberation Karnataka

CPIML Liberation Karnataka

ಗುರುವಾರ, ಡಿಸೆಂಬರ್ 31, 2015

ML Update | No. 01 | 2016

ML Update

A CPI(ML) Weekly News Magazine

Vol. 19, No. 01, 29 DEC 2015 ­– 04 JAN 2016

Agenda 2016:

Defend Democracy, Resist the Fascist Offensive

If there is one message that resonated across India all through 2015, a resonance that can only grow in the coming days as the Indian people battle their way against the continuing assault of the Modi government, it is the resolve to save democracy and save India. Only nineteen months ago Modi had flown from Ahmedabad to Delhi in that private aircraft of Adani after winning an unprecedented majority for his party in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. According to the mythology propagated by Modi and his bhakts, these nineteen months were supposed to have heralded the much promised 'achchhe din', but instead of the much awaited 'good times' what India got has rekindled the memories of the nineteen months of the infamous Indira era Emergency.

As during the Emergency, personality cult and sycophancy once again reign supreme. 'Modi-fication' is the keyword in every sphere of governance. Newspapers and television channels are full of propaganda about the leader who very much believes that the post-Independence history of this vast and diverse country was actually barren till he leapt out of the pages of mythology with his grand 'rescue mission' and 'digital vision'! And while there is no explicit media censorship today, there is veritable voluntary censorship, with large sections of the mainstream corporate media systematically reducing news to advertisement and eulogy of the ruling establishment, giving a complete go-by to the critical role of investigative and interrogative journalism in speaking truth to power and subjecting the state and the ruling dispensation to a degree of public accountability.

There are of course a couple of crucial added dimensions to the ongoing 'elected' tyranny of the Modi rule compared to the 'constitutional' Emergency of the mid-1970s. Under Modi, India has now become a key ally of the US-led world order on both domestic and foreign policy fronts, subjecting India to an unprecedented level of predatory corporate plunder and strategic imperialist intervention and yoking India firmly to the vagaries and horrors of the Western war of neo-colonial occupation and domination camouflaged as a 'war on terror'. And then there is the vicious RSS agenda of subverting the ideas and institutions of modern India to subject the country to its vision of Hindutva majoritarianism, which the RSS and its innumerable affiliates and allies are now brazenly enforcing with total impunity and complete complicity of the Modi government.

2015 has however made it abundantly clear that the people of India are not amused and are determined to resist the calamitous Modi misrule with all their might. No government in recent memory became so hugely unpopular in such a short period of time. Peasants have already forced the government to withdraw the land acquisition ordinance, workers have gone on a massive countrywide strike against the proposed anti-worker labour law amendments, students are uniting against cutbacks in scholarships and the WTO-dictated commercialisation of higher education, and in an unprecedented show of collective assertion, prominent writers, scientists, film-makers, historians and other intellectuals, have indicted the government for promoting a climate of intolerance, bigotry and fear in the country. And the protests and resistance of the people have begun to find emphatic expressions in the electoral arena as well, delivering blow after blow to the BJP's ambitious expansion plans. From Delhi to Bihar and UP to Gujarat, this has been the real big story of 2015.

We thus have a challenging stage set for 2016 to confront the Modi government with more determined opposition on every front and defeat the Sangh's design of orchestrating communal hate and turning India into a laboratory of aggressive majoritarianism. The BJP has ambitious expansion plans for the states that go to the polls in the first half of 2016 – Assam, West Bengal, Kerala and Tamil Nadu – and it will be important to check the party in each of these elections. The BJP story of the last thirty years tells us two things – that wherever the party gets hold of political power, it uses it to the hilt to advance the RSS agenda, and also that the party keeps coming back to power by exploiting every hint of political vacuum. The challenge therefore is to build on the growing anger and disillusionment of the people and the multitude of ongoing struggles against the Modi order, and shape a powerful Left resurgence.


Protest in Karnataka against Communal Organisations

The CPI(ML) and AIPF units in Karnataka have strongly condemned the threat issued by the communal fascists, and have demanded from the State's Congress Government to take urgent action against those threatening Vidya Dinker. Party and AIPF have also demanded swift action in all pending cases of communal violence and intimidation in Mangalore and Karnataka.

Vidya Dinker, a social activist and one of the National Campaign Committee member of the AIPF has lodged a police complaint against Bajrang Dal and other Sangh Parivar members for preventing the screening of a film (Dilwale) in Mangalore. After this he started receiving threats. VIdya Dinker has received similar threats in the past also for opposing the fascists and communal forces. The Congress Govt has not taken any action against the goons so far.

This is yet another instance of Congress condoning communal incidents in Karnataka, in effect, trying to appease the communal forces in the state. The incident also reflects the complete ineffectiveness of the state government and growing saffronisation of police machinery in the State and particularly in Dakshin Kannada district. CPI(ML) (Liberation) and AIPF have decided to organise protests against the growing acts of communal intolerance and intimidation in the state, including extending unflinching support to protest actions in support of Vidya Dinker. 

Jharkhand Panchayat Elections

CPI(ML) Emerges as the Biggest Party in Terms of Seats in Giridih District

The three stage panchayat elections in Jharkhand concluded on 12 December and results were out by 24 December. CPI(ML) candidates secured total 14 Zila Parishad seats including 11 in Giridih, 1 in Koderma, 1 in Dhanbad and 1 in Jamtada,  but in terms of votes and seats-wise performance our party's profile has certainly improved from the last time.

In Giridih CPI(ML) emerged as the single largest party and won 11 Zila Parishad seats. The party has won 6 out of 9 seats in Bagodar, while it was second on two seats and third in one seat; In Dhanwar we have won 3 of the 9 seats, second by a narrow margin on 4 seats and third on 2 seats; and won 2 seats in Jamua, and lost by narrow margin on 3 seats, and were in contest in the remaining 4 seats too. In the 3 assembly constituencies of Giridih CPI(ML) was emerged as the leading party both in terms of seats as well as total votes, and as the biggest party in Giridih.

In the Dhanbad district's Nirsa constituency we have won on one seat whereas we are second on 2 seats, while won on one seat in Koderma, and lost on one by a narrow margin.

Party candidates have secured more than 20 thousand votes only from two council seats in Koderma. In Barkatta, we have got more than 10 thousand votes. We were in contest on 3 of the 8 seats contested in Panki of Palamu district and here too more than 10 thousand votes.

In the three-tier panchayati system in Jharkhand, the lowest tier is that of panchayat whose elected candidate is called a mukhiya. As a continuation of ruling class parties' political culture of money-muscle power, highest aspiration has been seen in this tier only regarding getting elected as a mukhiya. Barring a few exceptions, this post has seen most rampant corruption. The Party, on the contrary views these elections as an opportunity to transform the panchayati system into a people's welfare forum, by simultaneously using it as a platform of sharpening the struggles of rural poor against the existing political hold of the vested interests. At this level various kinds of power brokers and government officials form a nexus for corruption to flourish. CPI(ML) encourage mukhiyas to publicy declare their commitment towards fighting corruption. A strong presence or our control in panchayat samitis helps people in sharpening the struggle against corruption.

The panchayat and zila parishad (district council) elections in Jharkhand are officially not conducted on political party banners. This gives ample space to allow money power to be able to wrest control on important posts. The candidates elected by the people for panchayats, vote further to elect District President and Block Pramukh. These posts should also be demanded to be voted for directly by the people. Though not overtly violent, the stakes in these elections of vested interests have resulted in reports of arson, murdering opposing candidates and even few incidents of rape of the children of candidates as per reports from the State.

CPI(ML) candidates tried to present a wholesome agenda for the entire panchayats. This emphasis was most successfully manifested in Giridih poll outcome where it has won 101 panchayat samiti seats and is now hopeful of successful contests towards block pramukh posts in Bagodar, Birni, Dhanwar and Ganwan. The BJP is trying its bit to foil people's manifested unity and rising aspirations at panchayat level.

The Party has registered itself as a winning, second or third force in about 300 panchayats. People's expectations from us have increased. Now we have to utilize all this experience in expanding the Party and making local committess a well-functioning Party structure.

This panchayat election too reflects the overall negative mood for the BJP as it had to suffer defeat in various districts. In Giridih and Koderma, from where the BJP has both the MPs and some MLAs, it has become a third or fouth force in these panchayat elections. The anti-BJP mood was reflected in Lohardaga Assembly by-election also.            

CPI(ML) in UP Panchayat Elections

In the panchayat elections held from October to December in Uttar Pradesh, the Party has won one zila panchayat member, 14 BDC and 12 village pradhans. The districtwise tally is like this - Deoria – 1 DDC, 2 BDC and 2 pradhans; Gazipur – 6 BDC and 1 pradhan; Lakhimpur Khiri – 2 BDC, 1 pradhan; Sonbhadra – 1 BDC and 1 pradhan; Chandauli – 3 pradha; Gonda – 2 pradhans, one BDC each in Balia, Maharajganj and Faizabad, and one pradhan each in Ambedkar Nagar and Jalaun.

Besides these, the party candidates were on 2nd position on four seats; two in Deoria, and one each in Sitapur and Pilibhit.

Now the indirect election will be held to elect zila panchayat president and block chiefs. The Party has campaigned for establishing the role and agendas of the poor in panchayat elections, rallying the people against money and muscle power, it will similarly ensure that its elected candidates will keep their vote secure and will not let it be influenced by money and muscle.


18 December Pledge Day

Comrade VM's 17th Smriti Diwas

Uttar Pradesh: 18 December was observed as Pledge Day in UP in memory of Comrade Vinod Mishra. On this occasion cadre meetings were organised in different districts of UP. The Central Committee's Pledge Day call was read in the meetings everywhere and discussions were held after paying tributes to Comrade VM and observing two minutes silence in his memory.

At Allahabad a Pledge meeting was held on the day which was attended by party members and many people from intelligentsia and student-youth of the city along with the members of party State Commitee who had been there to attend the State Committee meeting. The meeting was addressed by Party's General Secretary Comrade Dipankar.

He said that Comrade VM along with several comrades mobilised lots of people in giving birth to various people's movements and building the Party in the process. He also said that enthusiasm generated among our supporters after Bihar election verdict must be utilised in expanding the Party as only an expanded and bigger Party can effectively counter communal and capitalist forces. Comrade Dipankar also answered questions from the students-youth attending the Pledge meeting.

Comrade Pranay Krishna, General Secretary of Jasam (JSM), commented on the returning of awards by a wide range of writers, cultural personalities, scientists protesting intolerance, he said that it has happened for the first time in history that such a large number of renowned intellectuals all across the country have returned their awards. The programme was conducted by UP State Secretary Comrade Ramji Rai.

Jharkhand: The Jharkhand State Level Cadre Convention concluded with the pledge to transform the Left movement in the Country into a powerful communist-led nation-wide movement and political force. About two hundred Party activists from districts of Jharkhand attended the convention and Pledge Day and reiterated their resolve to strengthen the communist movement and place the Party firmly in command of the political situation.

Some of the senior leaders present in the convention were Comrades Swadesh Bhattacharya, Politburo member, State Secretary Janardan Prasad, CC members Subhendu Sen and Manoj Bhakt, Vinod Singh, Anant Prasad Gupta, and MLA Rajkumar Yadav.

Addressing the convention, Comrade Swadesh said that the promise of good days by the Modi Govt has been exposed as hollow and empty promises for electoral gains by lying to the people.

Puducherry: Pledge day 2015 was observed in Puducherry and Karaikal regions. The State Committee organized cadre meetings at Puducherry and Karaikal. At Puducherry this was attended by all leading cadres where the State Secretary Comrade S Balasubramanium elaborated on the CC's call for pledge day 2015. Many new members also joined the Party on this occasion.

At Karaikal the meeting was led by A.S. Singaravelu, State Committee member. R. Alagappan, Local committee member explained the CC call to the cadres.

The meetings also resolved to continue the relief and rehabilitation work tirelessly among the people who have been affected by the recent rains and floods. 

All India Kisan Mahasabha Uttarakhand State Conference

The AIKM Uttarakhand State Conference was held on 16-17 December at Lalkuan in Nainital district. An impressive rally of peasants was also organised on the inaugural day on 16th as a mark of people's organised assertion and unity.

The rally was addressed by Kisan Mahasabha's all India President comrade Ruldu Singh who strongly criticised government's pro-big capital anti-peasant policies. He said that the government is bringing new schemes every other day to grab the peasants' lands, while farmers' suicides are increasing and the crisis is spreading in the far corners of the country. He also criticised Uttarakhand govt. for not declaring Bindukhatta a revenue village, instead has made it a municipality which will deprive peasants of their due land entitlements.

AIKM's Uttarakhand President Purushottam Sharma demanded to withdraw cases imposed on activists for leading struggles of the Bindukhatta peasants. Veteran revolutionary peasant leader comrade Bahadur Singh Jangi thanked the people who assembled there in large number to express their resentment against state government's decisions and policies.

Comrade Awatar Singh, CPI(M)'s peasant leader emphasised on the unity of the left forces to address today's challenges and said that people's struggles are the key for the greater unity. Md. Yamin 'Binni', a leader of Van Gujjars, a struggling tribe, also spoke in the rally, where he criticised state government for discriminating between hill and terai regions by depriving terai gujjars from cultivation rights. He said that state government is violating Forest Rights Act 2006 by stopping gujjars from cultivation in forest villages on the one hand, and by not rehabilitating them as per the rule. The leader of Winsor Sanctuary movement Ishwar Joshi deplored the fact that in a state which was formed as the result of a strong people's movement is now facing loot of people's precious resources like water, forests and land owing to govt. policies. Many more speakers also addressed the rally which was conducted by Vimal Rauthan and Bhuvan Joshi.

The rally was followed by the delegate session of the Conference. The conference venue was rechristened after comrade Man Singh Pal who was a leading piller of Bindukhatta land struggle. A draft document was presented by com. Purushottam Sharma. AIKM leader from Punjab comrade Gurnam Singh was the central observer for the conference. He highlighted the need to expand the organisation in state and to learn from the experiences of various peasant struggles.

CPI(ML) Uttarakhand Secretary Rajendra Pratholi addressed the conference and emphasised on the stronger organisation for bigger struggles at a time when peasants and workers are facing attacks on their livelihood. He hailed Bindukhatta's peasant movement which has now become examplary for being vibrant and consistent since last 40 years by incorporating new dimensions in it with changing times.

Raja Bahuguna, CPI(ML) Central Committee member, said that Modi's foreign tour is going on amidst falling exports, ruining economy and growing revenue of capitalists like Adani, who is now 49% richer in just one year. He reminded delegates that the very first blow this govt. received was from the peasants of the country who forced Modi govt. to withdraw the land acquisition ordinance. He also said that the Congress Govt. in state and BJP Govt. in centre are following same pro-corporate policies.

The Conference elected a State Executive and a State Council with Purushottam Sharma as President and Atul Sati as Secretary and Bahadur Singh Jangi as Vice President. 

Edited, published and printed by S. Bhattacharya for CPI(ML) Liberation from U-90, Shakarpur, Delhi-92; printed at Bol Publication, R-18/2, Ramesh Park, Laxmi Nagar, Delhi-92; Phone:22521067; fax: 22442790, e-mail: mlupdate@cpiml.org, website: www.cpiml.org

ಗುರುವಾರ, ಡಿಸೆಂಬರ್ 24, 2015

ML Update | No. 52 | 2015

ML Update

A CPI(ML) Weekly News Magazine

Vol. 18 | No. 52 | 22 ­– 28 DECEMBER 2015

A Government-Made Disaster

The severe rains and subsequent flooding that have devastated Chennai, parts of coastal Tamil Nadu, and Puducherry have now subsided. But the many questions that the floods raised as to the culpability of successive Governments and disastrous policies must not be allowed to subside.

Even when it came to basic rescue and relief work, the callousness of Governments of TN and Puducherry as well as the Centre were in stark contrast to the remarkable display of selfless voluntary efforts by citizens. As many have remarked, the city of Chennai in particular showed its best side in its worst crisis - with people rising above differences of faith to help each other. The Chief Minister Jayalalithaa has issued an appeal on media and social media - an appeal which is an exercise in building up her own image as a 'caring Mother' of the citizens, while her party insisted on putting photos of the CM 'Amma' on relief packages. Such shameful and self-serving advertisements have only rubbed salt into the wounds of people who - so long after the disaster - are still unable to return to their homes and have lost everything.

It is clear by now that the calamities that struck Uttarakhand, Kashmir and now Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, are not mere 'natural disasters' - they are very much a product of the 'development' policies of Governments. Elected Governments are not needed to be 'mothers' (Amma) or 'parents' (mai-baap) to citizens - they are required to take responsibility and be accountable. There is no getting away from the fact that the floods were not an act of God, as claimed by the Chief Minister who declared that "Losses are unavoidable when there's very heavy rain." Rather, the floods were made by successive Governments - and the Government must be held accountable for the losses suffered by people. Compensation in such a disaster cannot then be an act of charity - it must be a penalty on the Government for having left people not only unprotected but more vulnerable than usual.    

It is now widely recognised that the release of excess water from the Chembarambakkam Lake, which supplies water for Chennai, was the main reason for the havoc Chennai faced. The failure of DMK and AIADMK Governments to increase the capacity of the lake to match the needs of growing urbanisation was one of the main reasons for the disaster. Moreover, 'development' and 'modernisation' that has pandered to real estate mafias backed by political rulers, has meant rampant violation of the coastal regulation laws, unchecked construction on environmentally sensitive land, and blocking of natural drainage systems.

Even now, in the name of correcting this mess in the wake of the floods, the Government is refusing to act against the builders and real estate mafia who are responsible for the worst encroachments on environmentally sensitive land. Instead, it is preparing to use the floods as a pretext to evict the shanties of the poor on riverbeds, and, in the name of 'rehabilitation', is preparing to shift vast masses of the urban poor far away from the city centre.        

The Governments and ruling parties in TN and Puducherry are trying to brand any criticism as an insensitive attempt to 'politicise' a natural disaster. But this ploy to deflect criticism is failing badly. Increasingly, people are demanding that the Government take responsibility for having caused the worst of the devastation, failed to provide safe homes for the poor, and failed to rescue, give relief to or rehabilitate those affected. It is increasingly clear that it is the Government of Tamil Nadu that has 'politicised' the very work of relief and rehabilitation, using it not only to project the Chief Minister as a benevolent Mother but also to further attack the rights of the poorest and most vulnerable.

The Central Government too has not been far behind in its callous and self-serving response. The Prime Minister's own official social media team came in for flak when it photo-shopped an image of the PM viewing the flooded areas from a helicopter. Just as in the case of the Nepal quake, the PM's attempts to turn the TN and Puducherry floods into a PR-exercise to boost his image boomeranged spectacularly. What is inexcusable is that the Centre has refused to declare the floods a national calamity, instead restricting it to a 'disaster of severe nature.' This play of words is actually playing with lives.  

It is time the Centre and State governments are forced to take measures for adequate compensation for all sections of people affected by the floods and for complete rehabilitation assistance. The disaster should be declared a national calamity and a compensation commensurate with the loss should be released.

Sankalp Diwas Observed on the 17th Memorial Day of Comrade VM

December 18, the 17th anniversary of the death of former party General Secretary Comrade Vinod Mishra was observed by CPI(ML) all over the country as Sankalp Diwas (pledge day) to expand the party and strengthen the communist movement. The Call issued by the Central Committee was collectively read. The sankalp sabhas were held in all places across states as comrades gathered to pay tributes to Com. Vinod Mishra and reaffirmed their pledge to carry forward Comrade VM's legacy with powerful advances on every front.

 One-day Strike in Bokaro Steel Plant

On 3 December 2015, a successful one-day strike was observed in the Bokaro steel plant. Nearly 3000 workers participated in the strike. Since several days an intense brainstorming had been happening among the workers. Nowadays, in SAIL (Steel Authority of India Limited) a lot of issues are being determined in forums like NJCS (National Joint Committee for Steel). This forum includes CITU, AHMS, INTUC and BMS. Though each of these have been recognized in some or the other unit of SAIL, whenever there is a dialogue with the SAILS administration regarding the questions of the workers, there is always a cutting down in the rights of the workers. This has been happening for the past one year. Hence the credibility of the NJCS has fallen down among the workers. For instance, we can see that earlier there was no sealing on the gratuity of the workers but now the limit has been set at 10 lakhs. More recently even the health facilities have been withdrawn from the dependents who are 25 years of age. Now, when the time for the bonus is near, it is already being spread through the media that since SAILS has suffered loses, there will be no bonus. The NJCS has failed to refute this even though the Bokaro steel plant made a profit of 451 crores last year. As a result of this, the anger of the workers against the NJCS leaders and it is in view of this situation that we decided to form a forum of a non NJCS unions. These include- AICCTU, JMS, Bokaro Mazdoor Samaj, Akhil Jharkhand Shramik Sangh and Jharkhand Krantikaari Mazdoor Union (PCC-CPIML).

This non NJCS front immediately raised four key issues: (i) temporary workers be paid a bonus equivalent to the last year before Dusshehra, (ii) 20% bonus be given to contractual workers, (iii) medical facilities be renewed for the dependents aged 25 years and (iv) an end be put to cut in all the facilities. Since usually NJCS negotiates on these issues, the talks with SAILS management has started in Delhi, but even though the practice is to give bonus before Dusshehra, the entire Dusshehra period went in the talks. During this time the front intensified its campaign and warned the management of a lunching a movement if the justice was not done to the workers. Even NJCS warned the management of strike anytime after 3 November. The SAILS management immediately sent Rs.9000/- to the account of all the workers, however during this period, the workers were able to obtain a copy of a document that had been signed by the NJCS in which there had been an agreement on the ending of medical facilities to the dependents aged 25 years. The front also came to know that the NJCS had been hiding the information that SAILS management had proposed a cut in several facilities provided to the workers. As the anger of the workers increased, NJCS decided to issue a notice of strike on 19 November, and realising the urgency of the situation the front also gave a call for a strike on 19 November. One day before the strike, regional labour commission called unions for a talk. There were also reports in the newspaper about talks on 25 November because of which there is was a situation of confusion. NJCS shifted the date of strike to 3 December, and to ensure that there was no disruption of workers' unity, the front also gave a call for 3 December. However, Krantikari Ispat Mazdoor Sangh (KIMS), which is run under the leadership of local MLA Samresh Singh, only announced a delay in strike without giving the call for strike. In other situations, they tried to create confusion among workers. On the other hand, BMS and INTUC took back the call for the strike.

In such a situation, the front intensified its campaign and even took out a cycle rally in the last phase preceding the strike to mobilize the workers. During this time, the front also came to know that the news about talks on 25 November had only been circulated to delay the strike and there was no such plan. The front exposed the unions that had used this as a pretence to call off the earlier strike and who had ensured the management that there would be no strike. The front had called for a Sabha on 2 December which the Samresh Singh lead KIMS tried to disrupt. However, the front ensured that the massive was sabha was held. The next day, there were attempts to mobilize those against the strike to disrupt the strike, however, the front ensured that the strike was successfully held. The strike held on 3 December 2002 is remembered till date as a historic event in the movement of Bokaro steel plant workers, however, the strike on 3 December 2015 broke all records. It also showed the workers the way for the future. The intensity and enthusiasm that the strike inspired must be sustained and carried forward. 

Protest in Begusarai

Under the joint banner of CPI (ML) and AIARLA, agricultural labourers and students and youth took out a march to the Balia subdivision office. The protestors carried several flags and placards and held an angry demonstration outside the subdivision office, handing memorandum to the officials. The demands contained in the memorandum included-  (i) to ensure land to 132 parcha holders in the Meeralipur, Maksudanpur and Shahpur areas of Balia zone, (ii) legal action on anti-social elements who displaced parcha holders from their lands in violation of the law, (iii) implementation of the recommendations of the land reform commission, (iv) guarantee 3-3 dismal land for accommodation and employment for the poor landless and investigation and action on the ration scam that took place under the food security scheme, (v) improvement of health and education situation, (iv) correction in electricity bills, (vii) registration of sharecroppers and issuing them identity cards whereby they can benefit from government grants, and several other demands. Addressing the protestors, CPI (ML) district secretary, Com. Diwakar Kumar said it was the result of consistent movements that the district official was forced to issue an order rejecting the false claims of anit-social and feudal elements and in support of the parcha holders, in case of 120.68 acre lands. The protests were led by CPI (ML) block secretary Com. Noor Alam and AIARLA, district secretary, Com. Chandradev Verma, along with other leaders.

 AISA Organizes People's Vigil on WTO Meet

In view of the Indian Government's participation in the 10th Ministerial Conference of WTO which was scheduled from 15th to 18th at Nairobi, Kenya and the promise made 10 years back during Doha Round of WTO on Higher Education according to which the Indian Higher Education will become a tradable service in the global market leaving it open for plunder by private and global capital, AISA organised a people's vigil from 15 to 18 December 2015. The purpose of the vigil was to send a clear and a loud message to the government that the students and youth of this country were resolutely against the sell out of higher education. In a press statement issued prior to the vigil, Delhi State Secretary of AISA, Com. Ashutosh Kumar said, "We will not let the Government of India to silently sell out education, future and sovereign decision making power of our country to WTO. We are going to hold mass public demonstrations during 15th to 18th December when the WTO Ministerial Conference is held at Nairobi."

As a part of this campaign that had earlier seen huge mobilizations in Delhi on 8th and 9th, the following programmes took place from 15th to 18th December.

On 15 December 2015, AISA appealed all to join the Bhumi Adhikar Andolan's 'Chetvani Rally' against corporate takeover of our land, forest and education at Sansad Marg, Jantar Mantar.  On 17 December 2015, a massive human chain was formed at 2 pm at Central park in Connaught Place. Initially the Delhi Police tried to prevent the human chain from being formed and issued a letter to JNUSU Gen Secretary, Com. Rama Naga that there was no permission. However, the students resolutely asserted their right to protest and ensure the inclusiveness and accessibility of higher education in India and continued their protest and a massive human chain was formed despite all obstacles. On 18 December 2015, which was to be the last day of the WTO negotiations, a protest demonstration was called Ministry of Commerce and Industry (Udyog Bhawan) to stop the commerce minister from committing Higher Education to be converted into tradeable service for profit making. During the protest, Com. Sucheta De, National President of AISA said that, "In spite of mass dissent against the India's impending negotiations with WTO, the GoI has not even responded to the protesting students and academicians. Why the public is not being told about India's promises and commitments to WTO? What is there to hide?" Despite heavy barricading by the police, a determined protest was held and the students vowed to continue their agitation against sell out of higher education. 

AISA Wins President's Post in Chennai Bharathi Women's College

Bharathi college is a women's college in Chennnai with nearly 4500 students. Com. Seetha of AISA, a student of this college has been in the forefront in taking up issues of students for basic amenities like potable drinking water, canteen and clean toilet facilities. Several campaigns undertaken under the leadership of AISA activists resulted in the administration being forced to undertake some immediate steps for the benefit of the students. AISA continues to struggle for permanent solutions to these basic issues. Com. Seetha has played a crucial leading role in several of these campaigns and initiatives. As per college norms only 3rd year UG students are allowed to contest elections along with various undemocratic stipulations like 90% attendance etc. When Com. Seetha reached 3rd year, she filed her nomination to contest the Presidential post, but her candidature was rejected citing certain stipulations. Challenging this undemocratic move Com. Seetha filed a writ petition in the High court of Madras, which allowed her to contest elections. However, she was able to obtain the order of the judgement only on 19th Aug 2015, a day before the date of election. She still contested despite losing several campaign days. Annoyed by her action, the college management = withheld the results of the post of President. Com. Seetha approached the Court again, which directed the management to announce the results and declare the victory of Com. Seetha for the post for President. The students have reposed their great faith in Com. Seetha of AISA in fighting for campus democracy and these pro-student struggles would be intensified in the days to come. 

AIPWA and AISA Statement on Demands for Lowering the Age of Juvenility in Selected Cases of Rape

'Treating Juveniles as Adults Will Not Deter Rape - Ensuring Justice in Every Rape Case Will Deter Rape'

AIPWA and AISA express concern at the outcry to lower the age of juvenility in selected cases of rape. We strongly oppose such moves, which are not in the interests of justice for women. We appeal to all to consider the facts, and to recognise the real issues that confront the struggles for justice in rape cases.

We would like to remind that the Justice Verma Committee rejected both death penalty and sending juveniles into the adult Courts and jails. The Committee, quoting extensively from studies of international experience, and praising the maturity of women's organizations on the issue, noted: "We have heard experts on the question of reduction of the age of a juvenile from 18 to 16 for the purpose of being tried for offences under various laws of the country. We must confess that the degree of maturity displayed by all the women's organisations, the academics and a large body of thinking people have viewed this incident both in the criminological as well as societal perspective humbles us....We are of the view that the material before is sufficient for us to reach the conclusion that the age of 'juveniles' ought not to be reduced to 16 years."

There is a false hype being created that rape by juveniles is 'increasing'. The fact is that juveniles are accused in a very small percentage of total rape cases. And of those cases, a very large proportion comprises of cases of consensual love among teenagers, in which parents of the girl have falsely filed 'rape' charges. Many of such boys tend to be from oppressed castes.

The 'common sense' logic is: 'rape is an adult crime', and if anyone is mature enough to rape, he should be mature enough to be punished. This is a mistaken understanding of the concept of 'maturity'. Sexual impulses, and the ability to commit a murder or a rape, can develop in children as young as 10 years old. But the fact is that this ability does not signify 'maturity.' Based on scientific studies, it is now internationally accepted that in adolescents, the frontal cortex of the brain – called the CEO of the brain – that controls the ability to plan, take decisions, correctly assess risks and set long term goals, is not fully developed. This is why young persons must not be treated as adults.

Sadly, an argument is being constructed that we need a change in the law to allow us to selectively punish juveniles in some cases – i.e the cases which receive media hype and selective outrage. Our stance is that treating some rapes as 'extraordinary' allows us to treat most rapes as 'ordinary'. The same BJP leader Subramanian Swamy who is demanding lowering of the age of juvenility in the December 16th case, is the one who is branding the 16-year old victim of Asaram as a liar!

We teach young boys in our society that 'real' rapes are committed by some 'animals' who deserve brutal punishment. But at the same time, the same young boys learn from adults that rape is no big deal. When police in Bastar rape a 14-year-old girl, they see no media or political outrage. They see the rapists of Dalit girls in Bhagana escape. They see how the rapists of Muzaffarnagar are treated as heroes and openly defended by a Minister (Sanjeev Balyan) in the Modi Government. They see how witnesses in the Asaram rape case are killed – and how thousands of his supporters openly propagate that the rape laws 'break society.' They see how the women who came forward to complain against Tejpal or Pachauri are blamed and shamed while the men they accused remain untouched by the law. So our young boys do not learn that rape is morally wrong and is a crime followed surely by punishment – instead they learn that some rapists are animals who deserve to be punished; while most rape complainants are liars; and most responsibility to prevent rape lies with women not with men. As long as our system and our society teaches these lessons, we cannot deter rape and sexual harassment.

The system has failed to deliver justice for most complainants who came forward to seek justice under the new rape laws. Yet those who rule the system – instead of implementing existing laws and ensuring justice in each case – prefer to divert attention towards yet another new 'severe' law.

Several studies have shown how in the US, sending juveniles in selected cases to the adult courts and jails has not deterred crime. Instead, it has deterred reform and encouraged the juveniles to become criminals. As a result of this experience, between 2005 and 2010, fifteen US states enacted laws to prevent young people from entering the adult criminal justice system.

What is needed is better reform and rehabilitation measures both for juvenile and adult offenders – such measures will make our society safer.

We repeat – do not make regressive changes in juvenile laws in the name of women. Implement existing laws and safeguard women's freedoms.

ಶನಿವಾರ, ಡಿಸೆಂಬರ್ 19, 2015



ML Update | No.51 | 2015

ML Update

A CPI(ML) Weekly News Magazine

Vol. 18, No. 51, 15 ­– 21 SEPTEMBER 2015

CC Call for Pledge Day 2015: 

Seize the Moment, Expand the Party and 

Strengthen the Communist Movement

(In lieu of editorial)

(Seventeen years ago, on December 18, 1998, we had lost Comrade VM right in the midst of a meeting of the Party Central Committee in Lucknow. Every year since then the Party has been observing this day as the annual Pledge Day, launching the annual membership renewal campaign and renewing the pledge to accomplish the revolutionary mission of the party.)

Seventeen years ago when we had lost Comrade VM, the country had just begun to grapple with the first NDA government and the ideological-political implications of having a BJP-led government at the Centre. Under Com. VM's leadership, the whole Party had launched a determined ideological counter-offensive against the BJP's saffronisation agenda and a powerful "Oust Saffron, Save the Nation" mass campaign. The first NDA government did not last long, but it did return to power with a bigger coalition in 1999. However, in the first opportunity after the Gujarat genocide of 2002, the country managed to get rid of the disastrous NDA regime.

Today, seventeen years later, we can see the contours of a full-scale corporate-communal offensive unleashed by yet another BJP-led government, this time back in power with a bigger majority. But we can also say that we are witnessing the potential of Comrade VM's vision of a powerful revolutionary-democratic resistance. If 2014 was a year of major setback for the Indian people, when Narendra Modi rode a wave of demagogy to central power to systematically unleash the entire gamut of the disastrous saffron agenda, 2015 has indeed been a year of the Indian people striking back.

And between the February washout of the BJP in Delhi to the November drubbing in Bihar, it has indeed been a great fightback on every front. Opposition by peasant organisations and the common people compelled the Modi government to go back on the land acquisition ordinance even after repeated promulgations. The massive September 2 strike by trade unions including large sections of unorganised and contract workers signalled a determination to fight hard to defeat the Modi government's attempts to subvert labour laws and abolish industrial/workplace democracy.

The successful battle for the restoration of the Ambedkar-Periyar Study Circle in Chennai IIT, the FTII strike and now the Occupy UGC campaign have exposed the myth of a Modi wave among the educated urban youth. And the campaign initiated by the country's eminent writers, film-makers, scientists to return awards and resign from posts marked a new high of collective assertion by intellectuals, playing truly the role of public intellectuals representing the pluralist ethos and democratic conscience of India.

The Bihar elections were a key battle for the CPI(ML) and other Left forces in Bihar. The consistent role of the CPI(ML) as the leading centre of people's struggle and the pivot of Left politics helped in bringing together the Left to fight this crucial battle as a united and independent bloc. It is a battle that we had to fight against all odds. After twenty years of uninterrupted presence in the Assembly, in 2010, the Party had failed to win a single seat. The media and the outside political world had written us off. But the Party in Bihar successfully summoned all its strength and led the 2015 battle.

After the 2010 setback, the Party paid renewed attention to strengthening its ties with the people and overhauling the Party organisation. The Party's poll performance in Bihar could not however improve in the 2014 LS election and for the first time we could not poll one lakh votes in any of Bihar's Lok Sabha seats. The Party organisation took up the challenge, launched a massive socio-economic survey, unleashed a whole series of local struggles and put in serious efforts to expand and streamline the Party network on the ground.

The result is now before all of us. In the extremely bipolar elections of Bihar, the Party has successfully stood its ground, improving its performance in almost all major seats and winning three seats amidst highly keen contests. The Party has managed to secure more than 10,000 votes in sixteen seats, crossing the one-lakh mark again in Bhojpur and Siwan.

The Bihar elections have re-established the Party as the leading Left force in Bihar and coupled with our base in Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh, this can surely help us strengthen our role as a growing centre of people's struggles and Left politics in the entire Hindi belt and intervene in the whole range of ongoing protests and struggles against the corporate and communal fascist offensive of the Modi raj.

The unleashing of the entire gamut of the RSS agenda in tandem with the most brazen appeasement of foreign capital and corporate power and strategic subservience of Western imperialist powers has made the spectre of fascism a growing real threat. But we must not rush into making any alarmist reading of the situation and must not fall prey to defeatist ideas and strategy. The massive and wide-ranging protests have made it clear that the people are alive to the threat and will not allow the BJP to hijack and destroy the country. We must make use of every democratic avenue to raise our voice and strengthen the resistance and unite and cooperate with every positive initiative and struggle to combat the fascist danger.

If the BJP is taking the fullest advantage of the decline of the Congress, if a completely new force like AAP is now ruling in Delhi and making its presence felt in Punjab, the challenge before the communists is, first and foremost, to shape a powerful communist resurgence on every major plane of class struggle – ideological, political and organisational. And to do this we must combat the defeatist liberal idea that fails to address this key question and seeks to reduce the battle against the fascist danger to a bankrupt defence of the status quo.

At the same time we must concretely grasp the challenge of expanding the Party organisation and strengthening its role at the present juncture. The Ranchi Congress and the Lucknow Workshop have delineated the appropriate policy framework and key organisational tasks and targets. The entire Party must now rise to the occasion with powerful advances on every front. On the seventeenth anniversary of the demise of our beloved visionary leader, let us rededicate ourselves to Comrade VM's dream of making CPI(ML) the biggest communist party of India and making the communist movement a powerful national political force.

Joint protests against communalism by left parties on 6 December

Six Left parties organized a joint campaign from 1 to 6 December on the 23rd anniversary of the Babri Masjid demolition against the Modi govt's drive to spread communal hatred and destroy the secular fabric of the country. Reports received so far from different states are as follows:

Bihar: CPI(ML), CPI(M), CPI, SUCI (C), Forward Bloc, and RSP held anti-communal protest marches and meetings in Patna and many other places in Bihar.

In Patna, with the permission being refused in the main regions, the march was taken out from the public library and it culminated in a meeting at Gardanibagh thana. Addressing the meeting, Com. Dipankar Bhattacharya said that in spite of electoral debacles in Delhi and Bihar, the BJP continues to pursue its agenda of communal hatred; recently Home Minister Rajnath Singh even questioned the Country's secularism. He pointed out that the Babri demolition was part of a chain of events which started with the Bhagaplur riots and ended with the Surat and Bombay riots. Today those very people are in power and we must unite to oppose their communal agenda. The Bihar Govt, showing scant respect for the peoples' verdict, is not playing the role it should, and even refused permission for the protest meeting to express the peoples' protest against the communal agenda of the BJP. Comrades Sarvoday Sharma (CPI-M), Arun Kumar Singh (FB), TN Azad (SUCI (C)) also addressed the meeting. CPI(ML) PB member Com. Dhirendra Jha conducted the meeting.

In Bhagalpur a protest march and a meeting were held, latter at Shaheed Bhagat Singh memorial in which activists from the 6 Left parties participated, shouting slogans and carrying banners against the attacks on secularism, assault on the Constitution, politics of hate, attacks on education, and the fascist-communal attempts to destroy secularism and transform India into a Hindu-rashtra.

In Supaul protest march culminated in a meeting presided over by Com. Jitendra Chowdhury. Speakers said that the RSS and Modi Govt are going all out to destroy the Country's Ganga-Jamni culture of diversity, curb the freedom of educational and cultural institutions, and intimidate and attack free thinking intellectuals. The workers, farmers, youth and intellectuals of the country must unite to fight this evil design. Protests were also held in Arwal, Muzaffarpur, Bhojpur, Sasaram, Masaurhi, Gaya, Jehanabad, Darbhanga, Gopalganj, Champaran, Nawada, Purnea, Paliganj, and other places. In Siwan, a protest meeting was held at martyr Comrade Chandrashekhar's memorial.

Uttar Pradesh: Anti-communal protests were held in the midst of panchayat elections (7 Nov-13 Dec) in many districts of UP including capital Lucknow. In Lucknow hundreds of activists from Left parties and peoples organizations, workers, farmers, students, youth, women, writers, and intellectuals protested vociferously against the Sangh's hate campaign and in favour of India's collective culture and collective heritage. The meeting was presided over by Com. Ramesh Sengar of CPI(ML), Com. Madhu Garg (CPI-M), Com. Asha Mishra(CPI), and it was conducted by Com. Jayprakash of the SUCI (C). The protest meeting was addressed by leaders from the Left parties as well as organizations like IPTA, JASAM, AIDWA, AIPWA, PRALES, JALES, Mahila Federation, KALAM, SFI, AISA, DYFI, CITU, AITUC, AICCTU, Nirman Mazdoor Union, and Dalit Soshan Mukti Manch.

In Kanpur a dharna was staged at the Gol Chauraha Park on 5 December under the aegis of Trade Union Ekjutta Manch to protest against injustices towards dalits, minorities, and workers. Activists from 7 trade unions participated in the dharna. Com. Arvind Kumar and Hari Singh addressed the dharna.

Joint Left protests, marches, and meetings were also held in Mau, Ghazipur, Allahabad, Varanasi, and Lakhimpur Kheeri.

Jharkhand: CPI(ML) and AIPF jointly organized a meeting and discussion on Politics of Intolerance and the Left in Giridih on 6 December, presided over by Com. Manoj Bhakt. He said that the BJP is doing this as a conspiracy to divert attention from people's issues such as price rise, education, health and employment where the govt. has cheated and betrayed the people. The meeting was also addressed by Rajesh Sinha of AIPF.

Assam: A convention against communalism was organized by 4 Left parties– CPI(ML), CPI(M), CPI, and SUCI(C) at Nagaon. The meeting was presided over by a 4 member presidium. Comrades Rubul Sharma, Iftaqur Rahman, Achyut Akerya, Jyotirmay Jana and others addressed the convention, which was followed by an impressive rally.

Haryana: Left parties jointly conducted a campaign against the politics of communal hatred being carried out in the Country as well as the State. Sankalp marches were taken out in Yamunanagar on 5 December and in Karnal on 6 December. Presiding over the Yamunanagar march, Com. Prem Singh Gehlawat said that the BJP Govt. is carrying on a reign of loot and divisiveness; their narrow thinking and fawning over the rich stands exposed thoroughly. Intolerance and hatred in the State have risen sharply since the Khattar Govt. came to power, but the people will fight and oppose this and put an end to this divisive agenda. Com. Jarnail Singh Sangwan, Dharam Pal Chauhan and Mahendra Singh Chopra highlighted the anti-poor and anti-workers/farmers character of the govt. The Karnal rally on 6 Dec was attended in large numbers by women, and addressed by Com. Gehlawat, Com. Jagmal, Shyam Lal Jaisinghpura, Kartar Singh, and others.

Joint protests against communalism and growing intolerance were also held in Delhi and Chandigarh.

Students, Academicians and Cultural Activists from across the country join 

AISA's National Convention 

Against the sell-out of Indian Higher Education in WTO!!

Thousands of students brave police brutalities during OccupyUGC march to Parliament!!

Today when the govt. elected by people is gearing up to sell the future of students of this country by submitting Indian Higher education in WTO as a commodity of free trade, thousands of students are today out in the streets to remind the govt. about its responsibility to ensure quality and affordable education for all Indian citizens. If sell out of coal and 2G against peoples interest can put UPA out of power, then sell out of education can also throw NDA out of power, said Sucheta De, AISA's National President, at the mass students rally on the morning of 8 December.

More than 1500 Students from JNU, DU, AMU, Allahabad University, HCU, EFLU, Jadhavpur University and numerous universities marched on the streets of Delhi and raised slogans against fund-cut and sellout of Indian higher education. The students reached the site of OCCUPY UGC movement early morning and marched into the streets of central Delhi and reached Jantar Mantar where the National Convention began from 1.30 pm and went on till after 7 pm. The convention was a part of the ALL INDIA RESISTANCE CAMP against WTO, organized by All India Forum for Right to Education (AIFRTE).

Students were joined by prominent intellectuals and activists such as Medha Patkar (Narmada Bachao Andolan), Yogendra Yadav (Swaraj Abhiyan), Nandita Narain (President DUTA and FEDCUTA), Anand Teltumde (Dalit intellectual and activist), Kavita Krishnan (Woman Rights Activists and Gen Sec, AIPWA), Tanika Sarkar and Harbans Mukhia (historians), Anil Sadgopal (President, AIFRTE), Aditya Nigam (Political Scientist, CSDS) and others who also addressed the convention.

Addressing the National Convention Medha Patkar said, since three decades our govts have been shamelessly destroying the resources of this country so that some people can make enormous profits. Prof. Yogendra Yadav, from Swaraj Abhiyan addressed the students and pledged his full support to the OCCUPY UGC movement. Apart from these scholars and activists, many cultural activists like Sambhaji Bhagat (Maharashtra), Hirawal (from Patna), Ambedkar Periyar Study Circle (Tamilnadu), Sangwari (Delhi) performed at the Convention. DUTA president Nandita Narain mesmerized the students by singing Faiz's poem "Hum dekhenge". The programme ended with a Dastangoi performance (Dastan-e-Awaargi) by Ankit Chadha and Himanshu Bajpai.

On 9 December, thousands of students from all over the country gathered in Delhi. As the students began their march to Parliament, they were brutally assaulted by the Delhi Police. This shameful and cowardly crackdown on OCCUPY UGC march to parliament received unequivocal criticism from all across the country as photographs and videos of unprovoked lathi-charge, tear shells and water-cannon went viral on social media. Several students were seriously injured. On 12 December, a protest was called against the police brutalities. Comrade Ashutosh Kumar, AISA State President speaking at the protest said that we will not let the just demands of the millions of students of the Country be silenced by such brutal attacks. Students from all across the country cannot be so brutally beaten up on the streets of Delhi by the Police without the BJP governments nod.

As the WTO negotiations are starting from 15th December, AISA has given a call of people's vigil on WTO meet through series of protest actions from 15th to 18th December. In press statement, Com. Anmol Ratan, Delhi State President, AISA said- We will not let the Government of India to silently sell out education, future and sovereign decision making power of our country to WTO. We are going to hold mass public demonstrations during 15-18 December when the WTO Ministerial Conference is held at Nairobi.

AICCTU Protest in New Delhi in Solidarity with PRICOL Workers' Struggle

All India Central Council of Trade Unions (AICCTU) organised a protest on 8 December in solidarity with the 8 workers of Pricol Ltd, of an auto company in Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu outrageously sentenced to 'double life-term sentences' by a Trial Court in Coimbatore in connection with a case of tragic death of the Company's HR vice-president, without any evidence whatsoever. For the past decade Pricol witnessed a massive workers' movement against the Company for its notorious anti-worker, anti-union activities, continuous exploitation, arbitrary dismissal, wage cuts, employing contractual labour in core production and so on. The company management as part of its ploy to crush and deny industrial democracy, tried to frame the Trade Union including AICCTU All India President S Kumarasami for the tragic death of the HR vice president in 2009.

The Pricol movement was part of the nationwide labour struggles against the increasing exploitative and anti-worker and violation/erosion of labour laws seen from Pricol to Regent Cements (Puducherry) to Maruti Manesar and so on. Since the Maruti Manesar struggle the country has witnessed quick and 'pro-corporate' judgements and observations like "denying bail to workers because it affects the investment atmosphere". And at the same time, millions of Indian workers are reeling under the intense anti-worker environment perpetuated by the government- judiciary- corporate nexus in India. Comrade Agnitra from AICCTU giving a brief about the Pricol movement spoke on the increasing worker exploitation and changes in labour laws. Comrades Nayanjyoti from KNS, Vasudevan of NTUI, and Santosh Rai of AICCTU expressed their solidarity with the struggling workers of Pricol and that the trade unions will fight against the anti-labour laws and assault on rights of workers. The increasing confrontations between workers and company management are results of attempts to change the already anti-worker atmosphere drastically in the favour of corporate companies by enacting anti-worker and anti-trade union rules and regulations.

CPI(ML)s Save Democracy, Save People Campaign throughout Tamil Nadu on 8 December 2015

At a time when many parts of Tamil Nadu have been devastated by deluge and several have lost their lives and livelihoods because of the maladministration of the government of Tamil Nadu, at a time when most of the water bodies and canals that carry flood waters are occupied by land mafia enjoying political patronage even as the ruling Jayalalitha government continues to be inept with relief operations and at a time when the Coimbatore sessions court has sentenced 8 of the Pricol workers with double life imprisonment, the CPI(ML) has taken up the Save Democracy, Save People campaign in Tamil Nadu.

In keeping with this campaign, on 8 December 2015, a massive demonstration was held at Plant 1 and Plant 3of the Pricol factory. About Rs.4 lakhs were collected for flood relief from the workers at the gate of the factory itself. Shanthi gears also witnessed powerful demonstration which was addressed by Com. S .Kumaraswamy, PB member of CPI(ML). In Chennai in spite of the heavy showers, workers demonstrated at Ambattur demanding relief work on war footing. The workers also expressed their solidarity with Pricol workers. Com. Munusamy led the protest. Currently, there are many teams collecting relief material both in cash and kind from the residential areas and both collection and distribution of relief material are being taken up. In Tiruvellore, more than 600 people were mobilsed in front of the BDO office demanding relief as part of the campaign. In Vandalur of Kanchipuram district, flood affected people were mobilised in front of the Tahsildars office, as a result of which he immediately distributed dhotis and sarees. In the demonstration held in Salem, the protestors demanded Industrial democracy and the right to form unions and bargain collectively in the wake of the Pricol verdict. Leaders of AITUC, HMS , Pattali thozhir sangam also joined with us. At Viluppuram also, hundreds of people were mobilised demanding relief and rehabilitation. The Viluppuram protest was addressed by the state secretary of CPI(ML), Com. Balasundaram.

In Sriperumbudur, a memorandum demanding Rs.20,000 for unorganised workers was submitted, since they have been unable to go for any work. Demonstrations were also held at Tirunelveli, Mayiladuthurai, Karur, Pallipalayam and Kanyakumari. The RYA leaders and activists aided in removal of encroachments in water bodies.

Construction workers of Puducherry UT 
demand lean period relief (rainy season relief) of RS 15000/-

In the past many years construction workers Puducherry UT were demanding lean period relief to all members enrolled in the welfare Board. In the last two months due to inundation of all low lying areas of Puducherry and Karaikkal regions where the majority of construction workers lived, caused by incessant rains, all work came to a standstill and workers' dwellings were lost.

Almost all workers are now jobless. The ruling ALL INDIA NR Congress government showed scant attitude towards the just demands of workers. On 10th December AICWF of Puducherry unit organized a big demonstration in front of the Construction Workers Welfare Board. The demonstration was led by P Murugan, AICWF working committee member. A large number of women workers participated. A memorandum was submitted to the Chief minister through the labor commissioner cum member secretary Puducherry building and other construction workers welfare Board. The labour commissioner had conveyed that to the agitating leaders that the government had agreed to extend relief to all welfare board members.

Huts of the Poor in Delhi Once Again Razed; Demolition Kills One Child

CPI(ML) Liberation held a protest demonstration and burnt Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu's effigy at Jantar Mantar on 15 December to protest against the inhuman demolition in Shakurbasti. The party condemned the anti-people move by the government and submitted a memorandum to the General Manager, Northern Railways listing its main demands. The party demanded that all the affected people be provided proper houses by the government without delay and strict action be taken against officials involved in conducting such drives in Delhi be it in Shakurbasti, Wazirpur or Mansarovar Park.

Mathura Paswan, State Committee member, CPI ML said , "The sad demise of a child happened during the demolition drive which started at 9 am. This government takes care only of the rich and not only neglects but kills the poorest." Sucheta De, National President, AISA and CPI ML state committee member described the incident as being similar in nature to earlier demolition drives conducted by the railways in Mansarovar Park and Wazirpur. She said, "After all in whose interest is a child being killed and people rendered homeless? It is the duty of the government to ensure right to shelter for all, in which it has miserably failed".

Earlier CPI(ML) team led by State Committee members Mathura Paswan, Amarnath Tiwari, Rooplal, VKS Gautam and Ajay had visited Shakurbasti. While talking to the affected people forced to stay outdoors in the chilling winters of Delhi team had found that the people were very angry with the state government as well as the Railways. Javed, a migrant worker from Bhagalpur, Bihar while talking to the team narrated the demolition as happening without prior information. "Humlogon ko mauka hi nahin mila, JCB lekar sab aa gaya aur bhagdad mach gaya" said Javed, which clearly describes the way the poor are being shattered by the government.

The team also found out that the stretch of dwellings which have now been razed to ground were shelters for migrant workers from mostly Bhagalpur, Araria, Khagaria districts of Bihar as well as Jhansi, UP and Bilaspur, Chattisgarh. Most of the people are engaged in loading and unloading goods trains on daily wages, many women are employed as domestic workers in nearby colonies. Md. Moinuddin, a tea shop owner who has been a resident of the area for more than two and a half decades accused the AAP government of playing with people's emotions. "It is our home that we demand not their alms- they are distributing AAP caps, what will we do with that, just let us be in peace." The team saw the precarious condition of relief facilities with water tankers having long queues and tussle among local people for essential commodities like blankets and ration packets.

The protest was attended by people who had been affected by demolitions in Wazirpur area as well. One of the residents of Wazirpur, narrated how the residents of Wazirpur have been forced to live in constant fear of getting displaced since the railways bulldozed their homes without notice an year ago. The protest also saw participation of students from JNU, Jamia Milia Islamia and DU. 

ಮಂಗಳವಾರ, ಡಿಸೆಂಬರ್ 8, 2015

ML Update | No. 50 | 2015

ML Update

A CPI(ML) Weekly News Magazine

Vol. 18 | No. 50 | 8 - 14 DEC 2015

Signs of Revival of the Sangh's Communal Ram Mandir Agenda

Twenty-three years after the vandals of the Sangh Parivar had demolished the Babri Masjid in brazen defiance of India's history of composite culture and every tenet of the rule of law, the Sangh brigade seems desperate to rake up the Ram Mandir issue all over again. On the eve of the twenty-third anniversary of the demolition, Mohan Bhagwat renewed the Mandir call first at the funeral of Ashok Singhal in Delhi and then again in another meeting in Kolkata. The VHP wants the Modi government to legislate in favour of the temple. The Shiv Sena, the closest ideological ally of the BJP, is of the same opinion. Even Nitish Kumar, the estranged BJP ally who has retained power for the third successive term in Bihar riding on a powerful anti-Modi vote, misses no opportunity to teasingly ask the BJP to fix a time-frame for the construction of the temple.

Is the Sangh contemplating a return to the Ayodhya agenda after the humiliating electoral debacles of Delhi and Bihar and to prepare for the crucial UP elections of 2017?  The aggressive and hugely emotive mobilisation around the Ram Mandir issue had yielded massive electoral dividends for the BJP in the late 1980s and early 1990s, catapulting it to power for the first time in UP. The rise of 'Hindutva' helped the BJP broaden its base beyond its traditional 'forward' caste core and contend with the empowerment appeal of the Mandal Commission among the backward caste population. Since then the BJP has tried hard to expand and consolidate its 'Hindutva' constituency through its sustained campaign of aggressive communalism and Islamophobia, punctuated periodically by riots, massacres and other forms of targeted violence. Recent reverses however indicate diminishing returns for this strategy of 'low-intensity warfare', prompting perhaps a rethink and a possible return to the 'proven blessings' of Ram.

For the ideologues and political managers of the Sangh parivar, the 'Ram Mandir' campaign was a multi-dimensional exercise aimed simultaneously at reinventing Hinduism, reinterpreting Indian nationalism and redesigning governance on a majoritarian plank. Defying Brahminical regimentation, Hinduism has evolved as a non-regimented religion with an amazing diversity of beliefs and practices. By projecting Ram as the ultimate warrior and the foremost Hindu symbol, the Ram Mandir campaign sought to impart a decisive military muscle to the otherwise diverse and rather amorphous Hindu religious persona. The territorial and historical evolution of Indian nationalism as a modern cementing force against British colonial rule was sought to be redefined as something traditional and even eternal, revolving primarily around this aggressive Hindu identity and invoking the pride and glory of a mythical past and the injured sense of a perceived Hindu victimhood through the medieval period.

The mob vandalism that demolished the mosque in broad daylight was no 'uncontrollable momentary excess' but very much part of the script and the celebratory smiles on the faces of the leaders present on the spot revealed it all. Had the demolition been carried out on an unscheduled date and in the absence of these leaders, the BJP could have even tried to pass it off as an 'accident' on the lines of the recent incident of Dadri mob lynching. Apart from achieving the immediate and direct objective of demolishing the mosque, the Ayodhya expedition of the Sangh brigade was also intended to challenge and test the institutional fabric of the constitutional Indian republic. While the BJP had to pay an immediate price in the form of dismissal of its governments in UP and three other states and a temporary ban on the RSS, VHP and Bajrang Dal, it gained enormous confidence in terms of impunity for the criminal act of demolition and a clear shift in the post-demolition legal-juridical discourse and framework that privileged Ayodhya as a special case and exempted it from the ambit of the subsequent legislation that guarantees the character of places of worship as on 15 August 1947. The BJP used these 'gains' from Ayodhya to the hilt in Gujarat to consolidate its rule through a genocide followed by serial staged encounter killings and a corporate-cheered quasi-privatised mode of governance driven by the NaMo-bhakti cult. By 2014, the BJP had managed to create a veritable mythology of a 'Gujarat model' and win its first ever majority at the Centre with the promise of replicating the 'Gujarat model' on a countrywide scale!

The renewed Sanghi call for 'Ram Mandir' must be seen in this larger perspective and not just as another twist or turn in the protracted Ayodhya dispute. The Ram Janambhoomi campaign has always been a pivotal rallying point for the Sangh's vision of Hindu Rashtra and from the vantage position of central power, the Sangh brigade has now launched an all-out assault on India's pluralistic heritage and ethos and the constitutional values, ideas and institutions of modern India. But the developments of 2015 - powered by the resistance of India's peasants to land acquisition and agrarian crisis, the opposition of trade unions and the working class to the attack on labour rights, the spirited protests of students against the ongoing sale of higher education to the dictates of global capital, the unprecedented collective assertion of the democratic conscience of India's writers, artists and scientists, and most tellingly, by the verdicts of Delhi and Bihar Assembly elections and now the Gujarat local polls - have made it quite clear that the Indian people have begun to see through this Sanghi game-plan and are determined to foil it with all their might.

Convention on 'People's Verdict 2015: The Role Of The Left'

The CPI(ML) Bihar State committee organized a people's convention in Patna on 3 December to discuss the implications of the recent Bihar election results and the role of the Left parties in terms of the challenges and responsibilities that lie ahead. Other Left parties as well as progressive individuals were also invited to the convention.

Dhirendra Jha on behalf of the Presidium invited leaders to the dais which included Comrades Dipankar Bhattacharya, Swadesh Bhattacharya, BB Pandey, Pradeep Jha, Sandeep Saurav, Arun Kumar Mishra, and Akhilesh Kumar Singh. The convention started with a commemorative song by Hirawal as a tribute to Com. Bindeshwari Singh and well-known journalist Arun Kumar.

RYA President, Com. Raju Yadav and AISA State Secretary Ajit Kushwaha spoke of the need for a pervasive agitation on student issues such as the dismal condition of education, scarcity of jobs, lack of campus democracy, and exorbitant fees due to privatization of education. AICCTU leader Com. Ranvijay Kumar said that the Nitish government has always suppressed the legitimate demands of workers, such as ending of contractual labour, equal pay for equal work, and regularization of service; these issues remain unresolved and we must unite and agitate to force the Mahagathbandhan government to address them. KHEGAMAS President Com. Rameshwar Prasad said that those fighting for dalit rights are being slapped with false cases and thrown into jail, which is why Com. Satyadev Ram, Com. Amarjeet Kushwaha, and Com. Manoj Manzil had to fight the elections from inside jail. He stressed that KHEGRAMAS would continue the struggle for vaas-awaas, labour and land issues.

AIPWA State secretary Com. Shashi Yadav and National Vice President Com. Bharati Kumar said that women workers on contractual and honorarium basis would be further organized and their struggle carried forward. Tarari and Balrampur MLAs comrades Sudama Prasad and Mahboob Alam said that the Party has won in three Assembly constituencies in spite of extreme polarization; they vowed to raise the issues of irrigation, sharecroppers' rights, agrarian reforms, false cases on activists, and other important issues inside the Assembly as well as outside on the streets.

CPM and CPI leaders Arun Kumar Mishra and Akhilesh Kumar said that the Bihar elections have brought the Left as a viable third force in India. Nitish and Lalu cannot be relied upon to stop fascist forces; this can be accomplished only by a concerted effort of the united Left. Well-known doctor and public health activist Dr P. N. P. Pal and retd. Lt. Gen USP Sinha appealed for a united struggle for the rights of the poor, dalits, farmers, and minorities and reforms in labour, agriculture, education and health.

Kisan Mahasabha General Secretary Com. Rajaram Singh said that the people of Bihar have shown a high level of consciousness and have thrown out the fascist BJP; the poor and marginalized have put their trust in the Left. The basic questions of justice are still unresolved and we cannot pin our hopes on this new government. It is for the united Left to fight and get justice for the poor, dalits, and minorities.

CPI (ML) General Secretary Com. Dipankar Bhattacharya saluted the people of Bihar for shattering the BJP's dream of furthering their agenda of destroying the country's democratic and multicultural fabric. He pointed out that this result is not the outcome of one single day. Over the last 10 years Nitish has been instrumental in encouraging the growth of the BJP in Bihar. The poor, dalit, working class, students, women, and minorities in Bihar were not happy with this and had always protested, creating the climate for the present mandate. There was anger against the undeclared emergency in the country, earlier expressed by intellectuals returning awards, and now expressed by the people of Bihar. He said that the 'Mandal-2' and 'development' promises of the Mahagathbandhan government are false promises. Culprits in carnages have been acquitted in spite of overwhelming evidence, activists have been jailed with false cases slapped on them, education and land reforms have been put in cold storage, industries are shutting down, and privatization is rampant in education, health and other sectors. The Left must unite and fight strongly on all these issues. The convention concluded with the Party State committee passing a 5-point resolution and political proposal.

Left Campaign against Communalism

Six Left parties- CPI (ML), CPI, CPI (M), SUCI (C), MSS and RSP organized a Sadbhavna march and a protest meeting in Ranchi on 2 December 2015 under the campaign against communalism undertaken from 1 December to 6 December to protest against rising intolerance and communal frenzy.

The march which started from Sainik Bazar in Ranchi under the leadership of Com. Shubendu Sen from CPI (ML), Com. Gopikant Bakshi from CPI (M), Com. K D Singh from CPI, human rights activist Fr. Stane Swami, Com. Siddheshwar Singh from SUCI (C), Com. Sushant Mukherjee from MSS, Com. Eti Tirkey from AIPWA, Com. Xavier Kujur from JASAM, and Com. Nadeem from AIPF, culminated in a protest meeting at Albert Ekka chowk.

Addressing the meeting, Com. Shubhendu Sen said that one chief reason for the increasingly vitiated atmosphere in the country is the conspiracy by the Modi government to implement the Sangh parivar's communal agenda by inflicting Hindu nationalism on the country. That is why their Ministers, MPs, Chief Ministers, and even Governors are making communal statements on the one hand, while on the other hand the saffron brigade is running riot. It is the Left which must take up the responsibility to stop this. CPI (M) Secretary alleged that the Jharkhand government is responsible for the recent communal tensions in Jamshedpur and Ranchi as troublemakers were not reined in on time. The CPI leader said that the Left will not allow any conspiracy to destroy or weaken the Ganga-Jamuni culture of the country. Com. Siddheshwar Singh said that this fanning of communal tensions is an attempt to divert attention from the failure of the Modi government to bring "achche din". Fr. Stane Swami said that the country is today faced with grave dangers which can be combated only by the united struggles of people's organizations.

Conducting the programme, Com. Anil Anshuman of JASAM said that the ideology which contributed nothing to the country's independence and nation-building is today setting itself up as the watchdog of patriotism. Other people's organizations as well as hundreds of workers from construction workers' unions also participated actively in the campaign.

Convention against Communalism in Nagaon, Assam

In the lead up to the programme of 6 December 2015, a convention was organized by four left parties- CPI, CPI (M), CPI (ML) and SUCI (C) at Nogoan in Assam.  The convention was against communalism and increasing intolerance in the country. The convention was presided by 4 member  presidium comprising of Com. Mridupaban Bora of CPI (ML), Com. Amarendra  Sharma of CPI (M), Com. Sunaram Bora of (CPI)and Com. Lakhan Mirdha of SUCI (C).Speakers in the convention included Com. Ifakur Rahman from CPI (M), Jutirmoy Jana, teacher and writer, Com. Rubul Sarma of CPI (ML)l, Com. Achute Aceryya from SUCI (C), Abdul Aalam, an ex teacher. After convention an impressive procession also took place in the Nagaon town.

Protest by Left Parties against Communalism & Demolition drives in Chandigarh

On 6 December 2015, a joint march was called by CPI, CPI (M), CPI (ML) and CPI (Punjab) against growing communal intolerance and also against the continued demolition drives in Chandigarh even in this cold winter season.  Hundreds of people on foot, bikes and auto rickshaws participated in the joint march. Besides protesting against the growing communalism and intolerance, the march jointly called by the left also demanded that the Chandigarh administration immediately stop its demolition drive in this cold winter. Only recently, On 3rd and 4th December, the administration had demolished 500 shanties of poor people secretly. The announcement regarding demolition was made in the night and the demolition carried out in the morning, denying any chance to the poor people to organize resistance. Comrades visited two such demolition sites during the 6th December march and expressed solidarity with people who had been rendered homeless. Comrades from CPI (ML) also independently visit another site in the form of caravan, where the administration is likely to start demolition a few days later. More than five hundred houses are in this area and the people living here have expressed willingness to start a struggle under the leadership of CPI (ML). The CPI (ML) leaders will meet the advisor to the Union territory of Chandigarh to pursue the matter of ending demolition.

40th Martyrdom Anniversary of Comrade Jauhar Observed in Puducherry

On 29th November 2015 Puducherry state committee organised meetings to observe the 40th Martyrdom anniversary of Com. Jauhar former General Secretary, Com Nirmal and Com. Ratan at Puducherry. Com. S.Balasubramanian, State Secretary, recollected Com. Jauhar's heroic role in the revolutionary peasant upsurge in the battle of Babubandh.  He also gave a speech about brief history of our party's evolution to the new comers.

CPI(ML) Statement on Pricol Case Judgement

Eight AICCTU activists who are employees of a private company Pricol were sentenced to double life imprisonment on this Thursday in a shocking judgement of the sessions court case that began following the militant agitation by workers in September, 2009. CPI (ML) and AICCTU extend their wholehearted support to the Pricol workers who have decided to file an appeal against the double life imprisonment meted out to 8 of their co-workers by the sessions judge of the bomb blast cases court. Making use of the tragic death of Mr. Roy George, Pricol's HR Vice President, the police foisted a criminal case against 27 persons including Com. S. Kumarasami, National President of AICCTU and Polit-bureau member of CPI(ML). This was done to crush the majority trade unions which were fighting for recognition. The workers of Pricol Limited have decided to seek justice not only in the courts of law but also in the people's court pointing out the facts that the judgment is completely against the evidence on record and that it is only based on assumptions and conjectures. The said judgment does not deal with many of the arguments submitted by the defence. This judgment only sends a message that struggling workers and trade unions will be penalized. The hasty and hurried manner in which this judgment has been announced it is quite clear that the verdict is a product of the inherent class prejudice and bias of the capitalist system against the workers.

The CPI (ML) and AICCTU have launched a campaign to "Save People; Save Democracy". The CPI (ML) and AICCTU call upon the workers, trade unions, left, democratic and progressive forces to extend solidarity to the Pricol workers in their struggle for justice. Massive demonstrations in the district headquarters were held by AICCTU in support of the jailed Pricol workers. Also in rain-battered and power- starving Chennai, our comrades held a huge demonstration.

In this hour of massive distress, Pricol workers not only took resolve to fight for justice for their fellow comrades, but also have decided to extend a helping hand to the rain and flood affected people in Tamil Nadu.

Red Salute to the indomitable fighting spirit of Pricol Workers!

Protest to Demand Relief for Flood Affected in Puducherry

The State Unit of CPI(ML) organised a massive demonstration on 27th November in front of the Deputy Collector's Office, Villianur, Puducherry condemning the total inaction and criminal negligence on the part of ruling AINR Congress government of Puducherry UT led by Rangasamy. The government had completely failed in alleviating people's pain and loss of properties and crops due to the continuing heavy rains and floods in Puducherry and Karaikal districts.  The protestors demanded immediate relief to all who were affected by the rains and floods. The demonstration was led by Com. P. Murugan, State Committee member CPI(ML).

The major demands made by the protestors from the government:

i.         Rs.30,000/- compensation per acre to the farmers for the loss of standing crops.

ii.        Rs.10,000/- compensation to each unorganised worker who lost his livelihood due to the continuing rains and floods.

iii.       Constitution of State level Disaster rehabilitation and relief fund.

iv.       Rs.5 lakhs compensation to the victim families who lost their lives in the rains and floods.

v.        Immediate removal of encroachments of water bodies and water ways which caused the floods

vi.       Declare Puducherry and Karaikal Districts as flood hit and extend relief accordingly.

A large numbers of Urban and rural poor and farmers took part in the demonstrations and an eighteen points charter was submitted to the Chief Minister through the Collector for immediate redressal.

Bindeshwari Singh

Comrade Bindheswari Singh, a veteran communist leader and the District Committee member of CPI (ML) Bhojpur unit, passed away on the morning of 3 December 2015. He was suffering from cancer. Com. Bindheswari hailed from Tarari and had played great role in the Bhojpur movement.

The Party along with thousands of masses pay homage to the departed leader !

Red salute to comrade Bindeshwari Singh !

Dr. B. D. Sharma

Dr. Brahm Dev Sharma, a committed defender of the rights of Adivasis and the 5th schedule areas, passed away on 6 December 2015. He was 86. An IAS officer, he committed his life fighting the oppression and exploitation of the poor, particularly the adivasis. His contribution to democratic movements and official policies aimed at strengthening democracy at the grassroots and defending the rights and livelihood of those in the forest areas was remarkable and will always be remembered. He played an instrumental role in framing of several key policies affecting the lives of poor living in rural and forest areas, such as the Forest Rights Act and the Panchayat Extension of Scheduled Areas Act (PESA) which enables the Gram Sabhas to govern their own resources in scheduled areas. He also served as the Vice Chancellor of the North-Eastern Hill University (NEHU) in Shillong in Meghalaya and as the commissioner of the National Scheduled Caste and Scheduled tribe Commission, after resigning from the government.

In times of increased assaults on lives and livelihoods of people by way of policies like land acquisition and open invitation to the corporate to loot the natural resources especially in the forest regions, a real tribute to Dr. B. D. Sharma's legacy would be by strengthening the movements against anti-people policies of the government and for defending people's rights and livelihood.

CPI (ML) salutes the legacy of Dr. B.D. Sharma.

Red Salute to People's Poet Vidrohi !

    Inimitable revolutionary poet Vidrohi passed away on 8 October. Ever since his days as a JNU student several decades ago, he dedicated himself and his poetry to students' and people's movements. He was a constant presence in JNU, and no struggle or protest in Delhi was complete without Vidrohi ji's sharp and honest poetic voice. Fittingly, he spent his last days and hours among his beloved students, with the Occupy UGC movement, and he came to the UGC to join AISA in the all India March to Jantar Mantar. All students at the anti-WTO Convention today observed two minutes silence in Vidrohi ji's memory.

Vidrohi ji was also active with  the Jan Sanskriti Manch, and an award winning  documentary film had been made by young filmmaker Nitin on him, titled 'Main tumhara kavi hun'  (I am your poet).

Vidrohi never wrote his poems, only recited them. But his poems will never be forgotten, his voice, challenging every power boldly, from rulers to gods, will inspire movements always!