Wednesday, May 26, 2010

ML UPDATE 22 / 2010

ML Update

A CPI(ML) Weekly News Magazine

Vol. 13, No. 22, 25 – 31 MAY 2010

UPA Unmasked: Intensify Mass Struggles against this Corrupt, Callous

and Repressive Regime

It has now been one year since the incumbent UPA government assumed office in May 2009. Going by the poll-time promises and pronouncements of the Congress, "inclusive development" was to have been the keyword for the UPA-II. A government that cares for the aam aadmi, a government that would deliver essentials like employment guarantee and food security – this was the great promise that saw the UPA comfortably return to power in the last Lok Sabha election. But at the end of the first year, the poll promises are mostly forgotten – the rhetoric of food security has been overshadowed by the grim reality of unprecedented food inflation even as the government is preoccupied with Operation Green Hunt, threatening to gag every dissenting voice under the draconian UAPA. It's time the ruling coalition renamed itself as the UAPA government!


The big promise of food security turned into the UPA's biggest act of betrayal. On the one hand, agricultural growth rate went further downhill, turning negative last year, and on the other hand, food prices kept spiraling away. Just when the threat of starvation loomed larger and larger and more and more people badly needed some food support, the UPA government stopped paying even lip-service to its food security rhetoric! A shameless UPA government even went so far as to cite food inflation as the reason for delaying the food security legislation! And the draft of the government's intended food security framework indicated a further dilution of the existing PDS provisions, with no signs of any serious correcting move to end the BPL fiasco.


Along with food prices, fuel prices too contributed heavily to the general surge in prices of almost all essential commodities. Fertiliser prices were hiked on the eve of the budget, while the budget itself announced yet another major increase in fuel prices. Having survived the cut motion voting in parliament, the government has again returned to announcing fresh hikes in fuel prices. As a special anniversary gift to the people, the government has already announced a massive hike in CNG and piped gas prices and an Empowered Group of Ministers headed by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee is scheduled to meet on June 7 to decide on freeing petrol and diesel prices! As the UPA completes the first year of its second term, the people can expect celebratory fireworks in the form of a fresh surge in prices.


Corruption has emerged as another hallmark of this government. When the country was reeling under back-breaking inflation, UPA ministers were busy with the money-spinning corporate carnival of the IPL. By easing the flamboyant Sashi Tharoor out of office, the government hopes to hush up the entire IPL racket, but the chinks are clearly showing in the armour of different ministries. From A Raja of DMK to Sharad Pawar and Praful Patel of the NCP, the list of tainted ministers is getting longer.


Even after the Central Vigilance Commission recommended a CBI probe into the 2G spectrum scam and the CBI raided telecom minister A Raja's office in October 2009, the UPA government has been protecting the minister in the name of 'coalition dharma'. And now they are trying to brush the 2G scam under the 3G carpet by pointing to the 'unexpected' earnings of Rs. 67,710 crore in 3G auction. Let us however note that even the 3G booty is pretty small by global standards – a similar auction in the UK had fetched almost three times as much amount way back in 2000 (£22.47bn in 2000 as against £8.3 billion yielded by the 3G auction in India in 2010). And if the 3G license could be auctioned through competitive bidding why on earth did the ministry issue the 2G license on a hush-hush first-come-first-served basis?


This corrupt corporate-friendly government is also proving to be extremely callous and arrogant. When Shashi Tharoor equated economy class to cattle class, many might have thought it was a slip of the tongue (keyboard?) on the part of an inexperienced politician who is yet to master the language of mass communication. But what about a seasoned politician like Sharad Pawar who advised the people to stop taking sugar if they found sugar prices too high? Or for that matter, what about the 'leader of the masses' Mamata Banerjee who blames passengers for a stampede caused by the criminal inefficiency and negligence of her own department? These are not aberrations, but characteristic glimpses of governance, UPA style!


The BJP often accuses the UPA government of speaking in multiple voices while some media analysts paint a picture of drift and disarray. Well, Jairam Ramesh's statement issued in China, describing the Home Ministry's attitude to Chinese telecom companies operating in India as "alarmist and paranoid", was surely sacrilegious not only for the Congress but for the entire Indian ruling elite – and Ramesh will surely have to pay a price as Tharoor has had to do for his acts of indiscretion. But to try and find a real contradiction between Digvijay Singh and P Chidambaram, or what is even more ridiculous, between Sonia Gandhi's article in "Congress Sandesh" and the Manmohan-Chidambaram take on Maoism and internal security is only height of wishful thinking. The BJP would of course like to push the discourse further rightward and towards a harder state so it can regain its lost initiative and brush up its faded identity, but the Left and democratic forces will only be befooled if they take the so-called 'differences' within the Congress too seriously.


Behind all these 'multiple voices' there is a singularity of purpose – to confuse the opposition and the people and hold on to power. The way the Congress first accepted the Telangana statehood demand and then referred it to Justice Sri Krishna Committee, not to mention the divisive game it played on this issue by whipping up people's sentiments, or the way it got the women's reservation bill passed in the Rajya Sabha only to put it back in cold storage are no ordinary flip-flops. These are all characteristic features of an unscrupulous power game that India's oldest ruling party is quite adept in playing. It played it at the time of the nuke deal vote in 2008 and it played it again to defeat the cut motions on April 27.


The people of India are however not amused and will certainly not remain silent spectators to the Congress power games. The popular response to the April 27 Bharat Bandh, the renewed spurt in worker-peasant struggles in different parts of the country and the voices of protest against the UPA's UAPA-OGH regime are a clear pointer to the shape of things to come.


The Network of
'Hindutva' Terror


Almost a year and a half after the Maharashtra ATS arrested Sadhvi Pragya and a serving officer in the Indian Army, Lt. col. Purohit, for their alleged involvement in the Malegaon bomb blasts of 2008, the Rajasthan ATS arrested Devendra Gupta and Chandrashekhar Barod, men with close links to the RSS and its assorted organizations, as key suspects in the Ajmer Sharif blasts of 2007. The CBI has now revealed that in fact Hindutva groups may have been behind all the blasts that rocked the country that year—from the Samjhauta Express (February 2007) to Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad (May 2007) to the Sufi shrine in Ajmer (October 2007). The CBI joined the dots between the three blasts on the basis that all bombs had the same arming devices, which were procured from Indore; further the nature of phone timer devices, kinds of explosives used, common identity proofs used to obtain sim cards point to the links between these blasts.


These 'unusual' suspects in the form of serving and retired army officers, sadhus and sanyasin, and members of groups that go by the names of Hindu Sansathan, Jai Vande Matram Kalyani Samiti and Abhinav Bharat could not be farther removed from the Bashars and Falahis who are routinely rounded up by various anti-terror agencies, to be paraded as prize catches and 'masterminds'. Unusual the CBI's revelations may look initially, but really, civil rights groups have been arguing for a while now that the Pavlovian response of the police and security agencies – of declaring the culpability of a 'Jihadi' organization followed by rampant detention and torture of Muslim youth after every bomb blast – reeks of rank communal profiling. There has been a consistent refusal to acknowledge the presence, extent and scale of Hindutva terror outfits. (And one is talking here of just the plain, mainstream definition of the term terrorism – as in bomb blasts – discounting Hindutva's indulgences in cleansing minority populations, bringing down mosques, burning down churches, forcibly breaking inter community marriages, and attacking women in pubs etcetera).


Our political discourse, in a desperate imitation of the US' 'war on terror', normalizes the use of 'Islamic' in conjunction with 'terrorism', and legitimates witch hunt as an act of national security. No wonder, Raj Kumar Pandiyan, the IPS officer accused of killing Sohrabuddin in cold blood and passing it off as an 'encounter' of a terrorist on his way to 'eliminate' Narendra Modi, lamented after his arrest that he should have been honoured, not hounded. Seeking bail from the Supreme Court, Pandiyan's counsel argued on his behalf that "I am supposed to have killed the most notorious criminal…Maybe he [Sohrabuddin] is killed in a fake encounter, but for that the process of law cannot be subverted" [i.e., his bail application ought not to be rejected on the mere ground that Sohrabuddin was killed by him in a fake encounter]. No wonder too, that the Congress and BJP wish to outdo each other in demonstrating their iron will to combat 'terror': the Congress scored a Batla House against Modi's harvest of encounters; not wanting to sound partisan when it came to matters of national security, the Union Home Ministry's affidavit seconded the Gujarat government's claim that the teenaged college girl Ishrat Jehan was a Lashkar e Tayyiba operative. But what can be surprising is how supposedly secular and respectable media houses such as the Hindu can become willing partners in this propaganda (just google for all the Hindu columns that were written in the aftermath of the Mecca Masjid and dargah blasts, which screamed HUJI and Lashkar connections).


But to return to the recent revelations, this is not the first time that such a link between the three blasts has been suggested. In November 2008 itself, soon after Hemant Karkare's ATS made these daring arrests, Mahant Amritanand alias Dayanand Pande, an aide of Pragya and Purohit, had been questioned in connection with the Samjhauta Express blasts by the Haryana ATS. There were other clues too: the suitcase in the Samjhauta Express was traced to Indore—the epicenter of Hindutva activities (along with Dangs); in 2008 itself the Maharashtra ATS had communicated to the Hyderabad police the sensational claim by Purohit that he had provided the RDX used in Mecca Masjid blast (Times of India, May 06, 2010). Purohit had been chargesheeted for procuring the RDX from the army inventory when he was posted in Jammu and Kashmir in 2006. However, there was no willingness to question and disturb the neat and easy connections between 'terrorism' and 'Jihadist' groups.


The Hyderabad police, already having arrested, illegally detained and tortured scores of Muslim men at private farm houses was in no mood to investigate the Purohit angle. It refused even to take custody of the man for questioning (contrast this with the manner in which various blasts accused linked to a shadowy organization called Indian Mujahideen were made to shuttle between states, as various state police vied to question them). The blame for the Mecca Masjid blasts was conveniently laid at the doors of Harkat-ul-Jihad-e-Islami (HUJI). Indeed, the Maharashtra ATS was asked not to make this public. Similarly, the attack on the dargah in Ajmer was shown to be the handiwork of hardline jihadists waging war against popular Islam. This is likely where the Pune blasts investigations are headed. After pursuing the Hindutva angle for a month, facing heat from an angry opposition, the Maharshtra Home Minister dropped Raghuvanshi as the ATS chief in favour of Rakesh Maria, who since has faithfully deflected the investigation back to the usual track of Indian Mujahideen. Maria, it will be recalled is the man accused by Vinita Kamte, widow of the slain ATS officer Ashok Kamte, of ignoring the then ATS chief Hemant Karkare's calls for reinforcement on the night of 26/11. The trumpeting of the IM angle in Pune is all the more suspect given that the recent chargesheets filed by the NIA in the Goa blast case of 2009 lead to the radical saffron outfit Sanatan Sansthan in Pune.


As the details of the extensive network of Hindutva terror emerge as also the reality that there has been willful suppression of their activities by the investigating agencies – helped along no doubt by the prevailing political climate – all previous investigations need to be revisited. In particular the Malegaon blasts of 2006, where all contrary evidence such as the recovery of fake beard by a local tailor from the dead bodies, were ignored; the ATS' claim at that time that "RDX is only available to Islamic terrorist outfits" was also belied by Purohit's access to RDX. In a severe and damaging rebuff to the prosecution in the Jaipur blasts case of 2008, as many as eleven witnesses have turned hostile, accusing the Rajasthan police of pressuring them to sign statements under duress.


What is required urgently is a thoroughgoing enquiry into all the bomb blasts that have taken place in the last few years: from the blasts in UP, Mumbai train blasts, Delhi, Jaipur, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad as well as Modasa and Nanded, and a strict scrutiny of the Hindutva organizations and their links to the RSS. But above all, there must be an end to impunity. All those who have falsely framed innocents in terror cases, inflicted torture, forged evidence, bullied witnesses, and misrepresented facts in chargesheets ought to be prosecuted. The Special Cells, the ATS, STFs and police departments must be made to realize – through punishments and convictions – that they simply have not been handed a blank cheque, which they can encash every time they spot a Muslim after a bomb blast.


Lalkar March at Mansa


Completion of one year of historic Mansa land struggle was celebrated on May 21st, 2010, with a Lalkaar (defiance) march participated by huge number of landless labourers and Party leaders. The march was welcomed by labourers in each village with great enthusiasm. Vehicles with red flags and revolutionary slogans passed through most of the villages where landless labourers had risen up in assertion for their land rights. In five major villages of the last year's land struggle- Barnala, Nandgarh, Hakam Wala, Gurne Kalan and Khiala -rallies were also held. State Secretary of Mazdoor Mukti Morcha, Bhagwant Singh Samaon and State Secretary of CPI(ML) Com. Rajwinder Rana led the march. AICCTU General Secretary and CC member of CPI(ML) Com. Swapan Mukherjee was the special guest and one of the main speakers. The comrades who were jailed last year were honoured at the occasion. At every rally progressive plays were performed by Punjab Kala Kendra of Surjeet Gami fame. Sukhdarshan Natt, Convenor of Radical People's Forum, AIPWA leader Jasveer Kaur Natt, RYA State Secretary Hasmeet Singh and many other State-level leaders were also present. The successful event was realised through the persevering efforts of many a district level and mass organisations' comrades.


Autonomous State Demand Day in Karbi Anglong


The 24th Anniversary of Autonomous State Demand Day was observed in Karbi Anglong on 17 May – as it has been since the beginning of the Autonomous State movement in hill districts of Assam. This time, CPI(ML) and ASDC(P) jointly observed Autonomous State Day with a colourful procession in Diphu town, starting from the ASDC(P) office premises and marching to the DC office. There a memorandum addressed to the Union Home Minister, P. Chidambaram was submitted to the DC, demanding immediate implementation of Art. 244(A) of the Indian Constitution. After marching through the main roads of the town, the procession culminated in a mass meeting at the ASDC(P) office ground. This meeting was conducted by the secretary of the Diphu district committee of CPI(ML) Com. Daniel Teron and was addressed by KSA President Com. Laisen


Inghi, KNCA General Secretary Com. Pratima Inghipi, CPI(ML) State Secretary and PB member Com. Rubul Sarma, and ASDC(P) President Com. Chandrakanta Terang. Nearly 1000 people participated in the procession and the meeting.


Speakers at the meeting reiterated their resolve never to compromise on this constitutional right of the hill peoples of Assam and warned the Government of intensified struggle if the demand was not met. Addressing the meeting Com. Rubul Sarma said that it was only the CPI(ML) and ASDC(P) combine that was carrying forward the true spirit of "No Autonomous State No Rest." In this long journey of two and a half decades many of the leaders neither rested nor compromised with the Government. During this period some armed outfits were formed demanding self-rule, implementation of Article 3 of the Constitution and even an independent Karbi Anglong. These forces have also come to the ceasefire agreement with the government. On the other hand some breakaway leaders of the Autonomous State Movement, including former RS MP Prakanta Warisa joined the ruling Congress.


The Congress stands exposed as a force fundamentally opposed to Autonomous Statehood. In spite of leading governments both at the centre and the state as well as in the Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council and having enough scope and power to grant Autonomous Statehood, is indifferent to the issue of implementation of 244(A), even after announcing a new Telengana state. On the other hand rampant corruption in the Congress-led Autonomous Council has rocked the whole of Assam. The CPI(ML) is also fighting against this corruption and against the soaring prices – another gift of the Congress to the people.


Contrary to the consistent and principled movement of the CPI(ML), the renegade ASDC always displays political opportunism and joins forces sometimes with BJP and other times with Congress. Even in the last RS election on 26/03/10, the lone ASDC MLA Jagat Singh Engti voted for Congress candidate. Thus the ASDC is suffering from an identity crisis.


The militant group UPDS, which is under a cease-fire agreement with the Government, has formed a mass platform, PAPA (Peoples Alliance for Peace Agreement) comprising of ASDC, BJP, NCP etc. In the wake of the announcement of a new separate Telangana state, the demand for implementation of constitutional rights in the form of Autonomous Statehood has gained a new impetus. The enthusiastic participation of people in the Autonomous State Day programme this year reflects their aspirations and their determination.


Kidnapped CPI(ML) Leader Released

after Powerful Mass Protests


Com. Rupesh Kumar Singh, CPI(ML)'s Bhagalpur District Committee member and Revolutionary Youth Association's (RYA) District Secretary's kidnapping and subsequent gherao and protests was reported in this newsletter last week. The gherao continued throughout the night and next day Naugachhia observed a daylong bandh. The Party also organised a protest march in Bhagalpur town while the RYA organised statewide protests. Thanks to prompt protests and concerted efforts of comrades in Bhagalpur, Katihar and Purnea districts, Com. Rupesh was eventually recovered near Purnea railway station on the night of 19 May. The Party has filed an FIR and attempts are on to get the administration to act on it.


Conference of Rickshaw Pullers in Noida


The Delhi State Committee of CPI(ML) successfully organised the 1st Conference of cycle-rickshaw pullers at Sec.25 in Noida, adjacent to Delhi. Two hundred rickshaw pullers participated in the Conference. A 15 member committee with Comrades Shyam Kishore Yadav and Suresh Paswan as President and Secretary respectively were elected through the Conference. AICCTU General Secretary Com. Swapan Mukherjee was the chief guest and speaker along with Delhi State Secretary and CPI(ML) CCM Com. Sanjay Sharma.


The Conference passed resolutions on the immediate necessities of the rickshaw pullers. It demanded – (i) to grant licences and recognition to all the pullers along with covering them under BPL and social security, (ii) construction of cycle-rickshaw stands with shades and drinking water amenities, (iii) grant of easy loan and micro credits from banks to free them from usurers and stop all harassment by the police and administration and (iv) not the least, recognise their service as contribution to environment and ecological sustainability.


Dhikkar Saptaah against BJP-Congress in Jharkhand


The BJP which was voted out by the people in Jharkhand just a few months back tried to hold onto power by supporting a JMM-led Govt., and recently sensing an opportunity tried to wrest the CM's chair by enacting a drama of withdrawal from the Govt. and then putting its withdrawal on hold to get the chief ministership. The CPI(ML) launched a week long dhikkar saptaah (condemnation week) from 18th May to orient people's anger into a political force to end this extremely opportunist regime devoid of any commitment to people's aspirations.


Meeting was organised in Chakradharpur on 18th May led by Com. Bahadur Oraon- CC member, and on the same day Party workers marched with black badges in Ramgarh. Protest march and meeting was held at Chhatarpur in Palamu. Dharnas, demonstrations, street corner meetings and effigy burning were held at many places in various districts. Meetings were held in front of block headquarters at Bagodar, Saria, Birni, Rajdhanwar, Ganwa, Teesri, Jamua, Dewri, Bengabad, Gandeya and Giridih in Giridih dist on 24 and 25 May. On these same days similar programmes were held at Nirsa, Chirkunda, Govindpur, Baliapur and Patlabari and block level dharna at Nirsa, Govindpur and Baliapur in Dhanbad dist. Effigy burning and meeting was held at Mohanpur block in Devghar, Jarandih and Gomia in Bokaro dist. and street corner meeting at Chandankiyari and Nayamore in Bokaro. Othere places where similar programmes were held are – Tilaiya and Domchanch in Kodarma district, Kisko block and Lohardaga town, Vishunpur, Ghaghra and Gumla town in Gumla dist, dharna at Hazaribagh dist. HQ, marches and meetings at Topa, Argadda, Bhurkunda, and Rangarh town in Ramgarh dist., Panki in Palamu, dharna and emonstrations at Garhwa town, Nagar Untari, Ramuna, Dhurki, Sagma, Bhawnathpur, Ketar and Bishunpura. March was taken out from State Office to Albert Ekka roundabout in Ranchi.


Congress seems to be gaining the upper hand in the current power tussle and it also seems that the whole situation was engineered by the Congress to grab the reins of government in Jharkhand. We have been exposing this game of Congress and involved parties. Party has decided to organise a massive protest the day Congress assumes power in the State.



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:, website:

Thursday, May 20, 2010

ML UPDATE 21 /2010

ML Update
A CPI(ML) Weekly News Magazine
Vol. 13, No. 21, 18 – 24 MAY 2010

Resist Operation Green Hunt, Reject ‘Maoist’ Anarcho-Militarism!

After ambushing 75 CRPF men in early April, Maoists have struck again in Dantewada. On 17 May afternoon, a passenger bus was blown up in a landmine blast that left more than 30 passengers killed and at least another 15 passengers seriously injured, some of them reportedly quite critical. The bus was carrying some 50 odd passengers including some Special Police Officers (recruited by the state in the course of the Salwa Judum campaign), but there were no state police or CRPF personnel. In 2003, the PWG had targeted a bus in Warangal in Andhra Pradesh, for which they had subsequently offered regrets and apologies, but this time around the Maoists have feigned their ignorance about civilians being present in the bus.

In terms of casualties, this is the fourth major Maoist action since February. While two of these actions concerned only the state forces (the attack on the EFR camp in Silda in West Bengal in February and the ambush of CRPF personnel in April), the other two incidents, a massacre in a village in Bihar’s Jamui district and the blowing of the passenger bus in Dantewada, involved large numbers of civilian casualties, including many poor adivasis. Such indiscriminate attacks, divorced from any immediate context of people’s struggle, and the resultant large-scale loss of human lives, are clearly indefensible. Removed from the issues and struggles of the people, such incidents only alienate the broad masses and end up strengthening the very state and its repressive campaign the Maoists claim to be fighting.

The state has indeed been quick to exploit the situation. In an interview to NDTV, Chidambaram called for a ‘larger mandate’ to tackle Maoist insurgency that would possibly involve air-support. He said security forces and concerned chief ministers all had been demanding air-support for anti-Maoist operations. The same channel also cited a survey which indicated considerable ‘popular’ support for army intervention. Chidambaram said the ‘people’ were ready for harder options while it was only the government which was exercising caution and restraint! While some Congress leaders, Digvijay Singh in particular, attribute the Chhattisgarh incidents to the utter failure of the BJP government in the state on the ‘development’ front, the BJP is accusing the Congress of pursuing a soft and half-hearted line.

By all indications, there is a growing ruling class consensus for a more aggressive military campaign even while ruling out the option of direct army deployment in the immediate context. The issue of anti-Maoist strategy however figured quite prominently in the May 17-19 Army commanders’ conference in New Delhi, and the Army is clearly getting ready for a larger and more central role, however indirect. Television channels too have lost no time to project the Dantewada episode as a ‘turning point’ in the ongoing operation. The so-called Digvijay Singh school of ‘democratic’ opinion in the Congress is no dissenting voice giving primacy to development and political solution – it is essentially a contention between two repressive strategies, the BJP’s discredited and defeated Salwa Judum model of Chhattisgarh model versus the Andhra model of the Congress.

Meanwhile, the Home Ministry has intensified its campaign against human rights activists and civil society organizations that have questioned the theory and practice of Operation Green Hunt. Chidambaram misses no opportunity to threaten dissenting intellectuals with dire consequences under the draconian UAPA. After the latest incident in Dantewada, he immediately demanded an answer from the intellectuals and civil society activists as if they were responsible for the incident! The May 22 issue of Tehelka talks of some IB communiqué listing 57 organisations including prominent civil liberty organizations like PUCL, PUDR and APDR and well-known communist parties like CPI(ML)(Liberation) as ‘front’ organizations for Maoists! With every passing day, Operation Green Hunt is increasingly turning out to be nothing but Operation Witch Hunt!

This witch hunt will certainly have to be resisted, and resisted by insisting on and carrying forward the logic of people’s struggle and democracy. It is true, that peaceful protests are often considered weak and subjected to state repression, as is happening right now in Orissa where the government is trying to crush all opposition to the Tatas in Kalinganagar and POSCO in Jagatsinghpur by unleashing state repression and state-sponsored corporate coercion. But this cannot justify the indiscriminate acts of the Maoists which only alienates the masses and ultimately ends up weakening people’s movements and strengthening the state. The resistance to operation green hunt will therefore have to go hand in hand with the rejection of Maoist anarcho-militarism.

Handout issued by CPI(ML) General Secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya at press conference held in the Party’s Bihar State Office in Patna on 16 May

1. The CPI(ML) strongly condemns the unprovoked firing and arson carried out by the Orissa state police yesterday (15 May, 2010) against a peaceful dharna of farmers and fisherfolks opposed to the proposed POSCO steel project in Jagatsingpur district. Over 100 people have been injured and many shops and houses in Balitutha village, the site of the dharna, have been set on fire by the policemen. It should be noted that hundreds of villagers had been sitting in a peaceful dharna since 26 January 2010 to express their dissent against the proposed plant.
The police assault on the PPSS (Posco Pratirodh Sangharsh Samiti) activists is only the latest example of a continuing reign of state terror and corporate coercion in Orissa. In Kalinganagar region too, people opposed to the Tata plant and demanding justice for Kalinganagar massacre victims, are faced with daily doses of police raids, intimidation and assault.

The Orissa unit of CPI(ML) has announced a series of mass protest actions in Orissa. The CPI(ML) appeals to trade unions, peasant and agriculture labour associations and all democracy-loving people to rise in protest against the Orissa government’s repressive campaign.

2. The opportunist NDA government in Jharkhand has pushed the state into the abyss of anarchy. The BJP first talked of withdrawing support and then shamelessly put the proposal on hold to explore the possibility of foisting some BJP leader as the next Chief Minister! The power-hungry politics of the BJP has thus been fully exposed in
Jharkhand. The CPI(ML) has called upon the Jharkhand Governor to take steps for convening an immediate session of the State Assembly. The party will observe “dhikkar saptah” in Jharkhand from 18 to 25 May to mobilize public opinion against the ongoing mockery of democracy in Jharkhand.

3. The CPI(ML) congratulates the poor and middle peasants and small tenants and sharecroppers of Bihar for their overwhelming response to the ongoing movement for land and tenancy reforms. Following the successful March 30 Jan Adhikar Rally in Patna and the May 10 founding conference of All India Kisan Mahasabha, the CPI(ML) Polit Bureau, which met in Patna on 11-12 May, has called for countrywide intensification of the battle for land and tenancy reforms, food and social security and greater employment guarantee and increased wages under MNREGA. In this context, the party welcomes the AIALA’s move for a one-day countrywide rural strike on 7 July and appeals to all mass organizations of the working people to extend full support to this proposed strike.

4. The CPI(ML) welcomes the recent verdicts on Laxmanpur-Bathe and Bathanitola massacres as an elementary victory in the protracted battle for justice. But for the courage shown by the fighting poor in these villages and the sustained involvement of the CPI(ML), the battle for justice could not have been brought to this point. While the masterminds of the Ranvir Sena are yet to be brought to justice, the punishment awarded by the lower court to even a few of the perpetrators of these heinous massacres amounts to a strong indictment of the previous as well as current government. While Lalu Prasad’s government had allowed the Ranvir Sena to kill with impunity, Nitish Kumar disbanded the Amir Das commission to protect the political patrons of this killer gang. The CPI(ML) therefore appeals to the justice-loving people of Bihar to intensify the battle for justice and give a fitting political rebuff to all the forces who have been responsible for perpetrating and patronizing such brutal mass killings.

Protest against Kalinganagar firing and Posco crackdown in Delhi

Scores of CPI(ML) members held a protest demonstration at the Orissa Bhawan in New Delhi on 19 May to protest the highhandedness of police and administration and crackdown on the peaceful protests in Kalinganagar and Jagatsinghpur. A five-member delegation from the protesters handed a memorandum for Orissa’s Governor to the resident commissioner of Orissa at Orissa Bhawan.

The Governor, Orissa.

Subject: Request for urgent intervention to stop police atrocities on peaceful protestors against corporate land grab in Orissa

Dear Sir,

We gathered today at Orissa Bhavan in the national capital to protest against the recent spate of police firing and atrocities on peaceful protestors in Orissa to facilitate the loot of land and resources by corporations like Tata and POSCO.
Since May 15, there has been a massive armed assault by 25 platoons of the Orissa police, deploying crude bombs, bullets and batons against a dharna that thousands of peaceful villagers have held since January 2009 against forced displacement to make way for the proposed steel plant of South Korean MNC POSCO in Jagatsinghpur district, Orissa. More than 100 people, including women and children, are reportedly injured, five of them seriously. Those (such as the local CPI MP) attempting to visit the area in solidarity with the protestors are being arrested.

Two days before that, Orissa police opened fire on villagers in Kalingangar agitating against proposed displacement to make way for a Tata steel plant. One person was reportedly killed and several injured.

In both Kalinganagar and Jagatsinghpur, the villagers have been carrying out peaceful agitation against their displacement for the last five years. Goons patronized by the government and corporations have been attacking the peaceful agitations - looting houses and burning foodgrain on March 30 in Kalinganagar and throwing crude bombs of kerosene and petrol amongst the protesters on dharna at Jagatsinghpur.

It is strongly condemnable that the Orissa Government’s stock response to any mass agitation is a cold and calculated strategy of outright repression. This was witnessed at Narayanpatna some months back, when tribals agitating for land rights promised by the Government and against atrocities on women during a police raid were fired upon and their leaders shot dead. The police firing at Kalinganagar and Jagatsinghpur are further proof of the same policy. Worse, sections of the local population are being mobilized in gangs patronized by government, ruling parties and corporate houses, in a style reminiscent of Salwa Judum as well as of attacks by the ruling party in Singur and Nandigram, to launch armed attacks on the peaceful protestors.

We wonder if the present spate of attacks is an extension of Operation Green Hunt in Orissa – combining as it does the multiple aims of facilitating corporate land grab, suppression of people’s movements and branding of the latter as ‘terrorist.’
We demand your urgent intervention to put a stop to the state repression and corporate coercion in Orissa.

Stampede in New Delhi Station: Mamata Must Resign

The CPI(ML) deeply condoles the death of two passengers in a stampede in New Delhi railway station on 16 May afternoon. The stampede, caused by a last-minute announcement of change of platform of two Bihar-bound trains, also left scores of passengers injured. In the past too, New Delhi station has witnessed such stampedes. Instead of investigating the reason behind this lapse and taking steps to check its recurrence, the railway ministry is trying to deny the stampede itself, let alone the lapse on the part of the railway administration that triggered it, instead blaming the passengers themselves for the deaths and injuries. It is widely known that the Minister for Railways, Ms Mamata Banerjee, pays little attention to her ministry and remains preoccupied with West Bengal politics. Even after this completely avoidable tragedy she refused to express any regret or listen to any criticism, arrogantly claiming that she was least bothered about whatever may happen in Delhi! The CPI(ML) therefore demands her immediate resignation as railway minister.

“The Crisis of the Left and Prospects of Future” - Seminar by Left Coordination Committee of Kerala

A national seminar on “The Crisis of the Left and Prospects of Future” was organized by the Left Coordination Committee (LCC) of Kerala at Calicut on 14 May 2010. Com. Muralidharan, State Secretary of LCC, chaired the inaugural session and Com. Mangatram Pasla, General Secretary of CPM (Punjab), inaugurated the seminar. Pasla said that the CPI(M) has deviated from 1964 party programme and from its own commitments. He called upon all Left forces to come together to fight CPI(M)’s opportunism. Com. Chandrashekar, State President of LCC, welcomed the gathering and Advocate Kumaran Kutty introduced the topic.

Speaking in the second session, Com. V. Shankar, CCM of CPI(ML), called for revitalization and rejuvenation of the Left movement in the present juncture of major crisis in the social democratic Left camp. He proposed the formation of a platform of alternative Left forces, which would act as a platform of people’s struggles and provide a radical alternative to social-democratic bankruptcy and betrayal. At the present juncture, such a forum could focus on a common agenda that might include burning and basic issues like price rise, land reform and state repression and corporate coercion. He cited the April 27 Bharat Bandh in which CPM(Punjab) led by Com. Pasla and LNP(L) of Maharashtra had joined hands with the CPI(ML)(Libertion).

Com. Alok Mukherjee of CPI(ML) (Janshakti) also spoke in this session and he dealt with some of the major issues confronted by the Left, including caste question and democratic centralism. The session was chaired by Com. Sugathan, state functionary of LCC.

The seminar was also addressed by comrades MM. Somasekharan, one of the prominent and former leaders of the erstwhile CPI(ML) (Red Flag), Dr. KN. Ajoy Kumar, former leader of CPI(ML) (Red Star) led by KN Ramachandran, KC Umesh Babu and KS Hariharan, Editor of Janashakthi, the magazine of LCC.

The seminar was followed by a state level organizational convention of the LCC on the following day. The convention decided to intensify its efforts to form a platform of alternative Left forces in the country and to float its own mass organization of workers and youths. The convention also discussed its strategy for the forthcoming panchayat elections.

The determination to hold on to the Left ground in Kerala against the CPI(M)’s wish of dissident forces getting frittered away reverberated through the entire programme. The Left Coordination Committee comprises of former CPI(M) members and activists in Kerala all of whom have left the party in the recent past. The LCC also intends to bring together all Left forces in the state on a common platform to provide a Left alternative to the CPI(M)-led LDF.

Colourful and militant Processions in Assam

May day celebrations were reported in an earlier issue of this news letter. Here are some updates. AICCTU and its affiliated trade unions observed May Day in different districts of Assam. In Tinsukia an impressive colourful procession of 3000 workers, particularly tea garden, rural, unorganized, contractual, ASHA and power workers was organized under AICCTU led May Day Celebration Committee comprising of different trade unions, and a meeting was held under the President-ship of Comrade Subhas Sen. Jhumur dance and Bihu dance were performed in the procession that added a new dimension to the programme. In Dibrugarh, meetings were held at two places- Lahowal and Tingkhong, where main participants were also tea workers and rural and agrarian workers. In Bihali, Sonitpur district, AICCTU affiliated Assam Sangrami Chah Sramik Sangha (ASCSS) and AIALA organized a massive colourful procession and a mass meeting in New Ketela field (tea garden) and it was presided over by CPI(ML) leader Com. Dharmakanta Haloi and addressed by Com. Bibek Das, Lila Sarma, Lakshi Kurmi etc. and performed Jhumur and Bihu dance and other cultural programmes. In Guwahati May Day meetings were held at Bonda and Guwahati Refinery. Apart from these meetings a joint meeting and a procession of central trade unions including the AICCTU were organized in Guwahati city. In Nagaon, meetings and processions were organised in Nagaon town and Jakhalabandha. In Barpeta district AIALA and CPI(ML) organized a meeting and a procession in Barpeta. In Silchar May Day was observed jointly with different central trade unions. In Jorhat ASCSS and AIALA organized a procession of more than 1000 workers and peasants in Kakajan through NH-37 and held a meeting in Kakajan Kala Krishti Kendra. In Karbi Anglong May Day was observed in Diphu party office, Disobai, Dakmoka, Kheroni, Rongbong way and Hariharjan. CPI(ML), ASDC(P), KANKIS, KSA leaders delivered their speeches in these meetings.

In this year’s May Day programmes, main participants were tea, rural and workers of unorganized sectors, which are worst affected by the pro-corporate policies of the Government. It demands urgent steps to organize and unite these sections of the working class.

Pledge Day in Chhatisgarh

Twentieth shahadat diwas (martyrdom day) of Shaheed Darasram Sahu was observed on 6th May as Sankalp diwas (pledge taking day) at Lal Khadan in Bilaspur. CPI(ML)’s Chhatisgarh Secretary Com. Brijendra Tiwari garlanded the Martyr’s statue and hoisted the flag. Com. Darasram’s wife Sushila Bai presided over the meeting organised in the Party office. Meeting was addressed by CMM’s Bhamudas Vaishnav, Keshav sahu from Raipur, Bilaspur’s Party Secretary Lalan Ram, Bhagwat Pal, Uma Pal, Abhay Narayan Rai and Brijendra Tiwari. Workers from Sipat’s Hind Energy Coal Company also attended the meeting. Post meeting, an 8-member convening body of AICCTU in Bilaspur was also formed. The meeting resolved to intensify the struggle against repressive BJP Govt. in the State and pro-corporate and anti-common man UPA Govt. Meeting also demanded immediate arrest of the kidnappers and assaulters of Comrade AG Quraishi.

CPI(ML) Youth leader Kidnapped in Bihar

Comrade Rupesh Kumar Singh, CPI(ML)’s Bhagalpur District Committee member and Revolutionary Youth Association’s (RYA) Dist. Secretary was kidnapped at noon from Naugachhia Bus Stand on 18 May 2010. Soon 200 Party and RYA members reached the Naugachhia Police Station and have been since continuing to gherao it. Although the police have conducted searches but no clue has yet been uncovered. The gherao of the Thana is on.

JSM Organises Kavita Paath in Delhi

Jan Sanskriti Manch (JSM) organised a poetry recital and seminar on Hindi Poetry at Gandhi Peace Foundation on 16 May in New Delhi. Poet Manglesh Dabral noted that though the reporting and detailing in today’s poetry is more than enough but their tone and tenor is apolitical and that hope cannot be sustained and saved through artificial means.

JSM’s Delhi Secretary Bhasha Singh read out a resolution condemning the threat of arrests issued by Home Minister P Chidambaram to intellectuals and cultural activists for their opposition to Operation Green Hunt and corporate loot. This resolution as well as another one to demand justice for Nirupma Pathak and punishment for her relatives accused of murdering her were passed unanimously by the poets and cultural activists. Many well known poets recited their poetries and it was followed up with lively discussion on “Hindi Kavita – Samkalinta se Aagey”. The proceedings were conducted by Sudhir Suman.


Comrade Brajendranath Pandey and his wife Saroj Pandey were murdered at 2.30 am on 12 May 2010. This tragic incident took place in the course of a family dispute over land. Comrade Pandey was 80. He had participated in the freedom struggle and been jailed during the Emergency. He joined the CPI in 1959 and when the CPI split in 1964 he joined the CPI(M). In 1994 he joined the CPI(ML) and remained a member till the end of his life. He attended the Party Congresses at Varanasi and Patna and was a member of the Madhya Pradesh State Committee of the party. Comrade Pandey always raised his voice against deprivation and feudal oppression in Rewa.
His funeral was attended by Central Committee member Comrade Rajaram and Comrade Surendra Tiwari, who bid farewell to him with the red flag. On 14 May a memorial meeting was held in Kothi Compound, Rewa, where his photograph was garlanded and a minute’s silence observed. A condolence resolution was read out by Chhattisgarh State Secretary Comrade Brijendra Tiwari. Apart from his family members, many local people attended the meeting. The meeting was addressed by Comrade Rajaram, the UP AICCTU State Secretary Anil Varma and Allahabad district Secretary Dr. Kamal as well as CPI(M)’s MP State Secretary Comrade Badal Saroj and many lawyers. The meeting demanded the sternest punishment for the killers. The meeting was presided over by Ajay Khare of the Samajwadi Jan Parishad, and conducted by socialist activist Subhash Srivastava.

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:, website:

ML UPDATE 20 / 2010

ML Update
A CPI(ML) Weekly News Magazine
Vol. 13, No. 20, 11 – 17 MAY 2010

Inaugural Speech by CPI(ML) General Secretary at the Founding Conference of All India Kisan Mahasabha at Patna on 10 May, 2010
(In lieu of editorial)

Comrades and friends, It gives me immense pleasure to inaugurate this important all-India assembly of revolutionary peasant activists. On behalf of the Central Committee of CPI(ML), I extend my warm revolutionary greetings to all of you assembled here, delegates from the four corners of the country and our esteemed guests from Maharashtra and our close eastern neighbour, Bangladesh. Special thanks are also due to our comrades outside of this hall, especially comrades of Bihar who have defied all odds to organize this conference.

Today is the 153rd anniversary of the great uprising of 1857, the first war of India’s independence which was a powerful peasant war in its essence. And this state of Bihar and its capital Patna were among the leading theatres of that glorious national awakening. We recall this legacy with great pride, and resolve to carry forward the great spirit of peasant revolts against imperialism and feudalism, for real freedom and democracy.

Indeed, 1857 signalled the beginning of a long history of militant peasant struggles in Bihar and several other parts of the country. Bihar also served as an early Gandhian laboratory where Gandhi got the impetus to impart a mass peasant dimension to an otherwise elitist Congress. The peasant masses in Bihar however soon began to get disillusioned with the compromising pro-feudal politics of the Congress. From passive supporters of Congress politics, peasants began to turn into active fighters for social transformation and national liberation.

Leading this transition in Bihar and UP were Swami Sahajanand and his comrades. Communist organizers were also engaged in a similar mission in different parts of the country. Against this backdrop, the foundation of the All India Kisan Sabha in 1936 laid a powerful basis for a broad-based anti-imperialist unity of Left forces and gave a fillip to organized and militant peasant struggles across the country. We salute and inherit this rich legacy of peasant mobilization and organization.
It was this legacy that lay behind the historic Telangana uprising in the 1940s and the great Naxalbari and Srikakulam uprising two decades later. Just when the Indian state thought it had snuffed out the fire of Naxalbari, Bhojpur and soon the whole of Bihar rose in revolt unfurling the banner of dignity and democracy. Defying any number of massacres perpetrated by the state or by private armies operating under state patronage, the fire of revolutionary peasant struggle has continued to spread in Bihar and today it simmers across the country from Punjab to Orissa, and Bengal to Andhra. As we assemble here to launch an all-India organization of the labouring and fighting peasantry, we pay our heartfelt tributes to all our great leaders and martyrs who blazed this great trail of radical peasant assertion in India.

If Indian agriculture has managed to overcome the worst shackles of landlordism, bondage and usury, the achievement must be attributed above all to this live legacy of peasant assertion. It was the great Telangana uprising and the host of struggles against landlordism during the first half of the previous century that forced the agenda of elimination of landlordism on the post-colonial Indian state. Likewise, it was the Naxalbari-inspired revolts of the rural poor which compelled the state to go for land ceiling legislation and legal protection of tenancy and share-cropping.
Yet, the state always limited and subverted the land reform agenda in the interest of the landed gentry. Land apart, the landed rich also derived maximum benefits from whatever agricultural and allied infrastructure was developed through public investment while the landless poor and the small peasantry were left to fend for themselves. The green revolution further intensified the socio-economic inequalities and regional disparities, and when under WTO Indian agriculture was subjected to unequal competition with the highly developed and heavily subsidised capitalist agriculture of the western world, the result was an unprecedented agrarian crisis.
Over the last two decades, the crisis has engulfed almost the entire agricultural economy in the country. Even as successive governments boast of 8% economic growth, during the last ten years agriculture has been stagnating at less than 2% annual growth. In the last two years, the rate has actually dropped to 1.6% and minus 0.2% respectively. Peasant suicides have been continuing unabated – whether there is a crop failure or there is a glut in the market, miseries continue to mount for peasants driving many to a suicidal end. And to top it all, now we have an unprecedented 20% food inflation, which hurts most peasants as much as it hurts the non-agricultural working people.

What has been the state’s response to this deepening agrarian crisis? Only a one-off loan waiver before the 2009 Lok Sabha election which certainly helped the Congress retain power but did little to arrest, let alone resolve, the crisis. The Congress had projected the loan waiver as a decisive boon for marginal and small farmers, but the fact remains that the waiver could hardly make any dent into the problem of indebtedness. According to a study done by Professor Harjinder Singh Shergill of Institute for Development and Communication, Chandigarh, the average indebtedness in Malwa region of Punjab actually grew from Rs. 52,000 in 1997 to Rs. 139,000 in 2008. He estimates Punjab’s total farm debt to have gone up from Rs. 5700 crore to Rs. 30,394 crore over this period.

Contrast the government’s indifference to the issues of agrarian crisis and food inflation to its concern for saving Indian big capital from any possible adverse impact of the global economic crisis. In three instalments of bailout package, the government pumped in no less than Rs. 3.5 lakh crore, and this when the number of Indians in the global list of billionaires doubled from 24 in 2008 to 49 in 2009! Add to the bailouts the direct tax exemptions the government hands out in a routine manner in every budget to corporate tax payers (Rs. 2,08,000 crore in last three budgets) and it could fund as many as eight loan waivers in last three years!
The government’s indifference to the agrarian crisis is actually driven by a cynical calculation. The crisis is being sought to be used as an instrument to compel more and more peasants to move out of agriculture, or in any case to give up independent agriculture, thereby facilitating increasing corporate appropriation of resources involved in the agricultural and rural economy. The enactment of the SEZ Act, the state-corporate combined drive for forcible land acquisition, the introduction of GM crops and MNC seeds, steps towards privatization of water resources are all happening against the backdrop of the raging agrarian crisis.

The new agricultural policy of the Indian government and every aspect of Indo-US cooperation in the agricultural field are aimed at intensifying this drive towards corporate restructuring of Indian agriculture. US penetration in Indian agriculture has not yet attracted the kind of public attention and debate that we saw in the case of the nuclear deal, but in terms of scale and implications, the growing US intervention in Indian agriculture is no less detrimental to the interests of India and Indian people.

Under the Indo-US Knowledge Initiative in Agriculture (KIA), signed during the Bush presidency, Indian agricultural knowledge and research has virtually been mortgaged to the US research establishment and it is well known that the interests of US MNCs are closely associated with this venture. Representatives of notorious US agribusiness MNCs Monsanto and Cargill are on the board of directors of KIA. And now the UPA government has initiated a new Agriculture Dialogue with the Obama regime aimed at a comprehensive deal on “Agricultural Cooperation and Food Security” which talks of ‘robust cooperation between the governments’ in a whole range of areas from ‘crop forecasting, management and market information’ to ‘expanding private sector investment in agriculture’.

In the 1960s when India was faced with a major food crisis, the Indian state had peddled the US-sponsored Green Revolution as the answer to that crisis. Today when the green revolution model has collapsed, and India’s food security and food sovereignty are at stake, the Indian state has ironically once again turned to the same American establishment for so-called second generation green revolution and food security! This is the sure recipe for subjugation and destruction of Indian agriculture.

For capital, agriculture is just another source of profit, and appropriation of natural resources is a proven way to gain greater economic control and rapid accumulation of wealth. At the other end of the spectrum, for the vast majority of agricultural population, agriculture is the only or primary source of livelihood. And in spite of the declining share of agriculture in the country’s GDP, a vibrant agricultural economy can be the only reliable foundation for food security and food sovereignty of a populous country like India. The peasant movement today is essentially a battle between these two contending visions of Indian agriculture – it is a broad-based patriotic-democratic answer to the narrow corporate-imperialist blueprint of corporatized agriculture.

Immediate completion of the unfinished agenda of land reforms, comprehensive and timely assistance for people who are directly involved in agriculture, increased public investment in agriculture and adequate indigenous research and extension service to suit the diverse needs of peasants in different fields – these are the four key components of a pro-peasant alternative direction of agricultural development in today’s India. In fighting for this alternative direction, fighting peasants – call them poor and middle peasants or marginal and small farmers – must make common cause with both agricultural labourers and tenant-farmers or share-croppers.

Agricultural economy in India is marked by uneven development of capitalism, and agriculture being most closely linked to the rural society, the peasant masses also have to contend with well entrenched feudal forces on different levels. The fighting peasants and their allies thus invariably find themselves pitted against the combined might of the old feudal forces as well as the emerging kulak-corporate nexus. In spite of uneven economic development and socio-cultural diversities, the agrarian crisis today looms large over the entire country, providing a new sense of urgency and unity among the fighting peasant forces across the country.
In the heydays of green revolution, the rich peasants in relatively advanced areas were quite vocal in advocating liberalization of Indian agriculture. Today the ideologues of rich peasants have either become outright advocates of corporatization or have lost all initiative in the face of acute agrarian crisis. Maharashtra, which had emerged as the cradle of the rich peasant movement led by Sharad Joshi, has today turned into the number one graveyard of Indian farmers even as another leader of Maharashtra kulaks and sugar lobby officiates as the country’s agriculture minister. The crisis has broken down the wall between the so-called advanced capitalist areas and backward feudal regions and the ground is now ready for revolutionary peasant activists from all over the country to take the lead in forging a nationwide peasant resistance.

I wish the conference every success in this direction. May your proposed All India Kisan Mahasabha emerge as a powerful platform of peasant unity and peasant struggle, linking backward regions with advanced areas, peasants with workers, and the peasant movement with the wider current of patriotic-democratic assertion of the Indian people. Since its inception, the CPI(ML) has drawn its greatest sustenance from the revolutionary peasant movement in the country and may I conclude by reiterating the Party’s resolve to march ahead along this path of protracted people’s struggle through every future twist and turn.

Red salute to the fighting legacy and spirit of the Indian peasantry!

Conference Report

National peasant conference held at Patna in SriKrishna Memorial Hall on 9-10 May successfully concluded with the founding of “Akhil Bhartiya Kisan Mahasabha” (all-India peasant alliance). The venue for the historic occasion was named Comrade Master Jagdish Hall, Swami Sahajanand Saraswati Nagar. Well-known peasant leader Ruldu Singh from Punjab and CPI(ML)’s Central Committee member and an ex-MLA Rajaram Singh were elected its President and General Secretary respectively. The Conference also elected a 101 member National Council and a 35 member National Executive.
The Conference has also elected eight vice presidents and seven national secretaries among whom are many well known faces from West Bengal, Bihar, Orissa, Chhatisgarh, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand, Maharashtra and Rajasthan. The eight VPs are Comrades Kartik Pal (W.Bengal), Kshitish Biswal (Orissa), KD Yadav and Rajaram (Bihar), Heera Gope (Jharkhand), Prem Singh Gahalawat (Haryana), DS Chauhan (Chhatisgarh) and Subhash Kakupte (Maharashtra); and the seven national secretaries are Comrades Ishwari P.Kushwaha (UP), Arun Singh (Bihar), Puran Mahto (Jharkhand), Suvimal Sengupta (WB), Ashok Pradhan (Orissa), D Harinath (Andhra Pradesh) and Purushottam Sharma (Uttarakhand).

Apart from the above, the 35 member NE includes names of Gurunam Singh Bhikhi (Punjab), Ramchandra Kulhare (Rajasthan), Rajendra Bhawake (Maharashtra), Jay Prakash Verma, Chandranath Bhai Patel and Anwar Hussain (Jharkhand), Ananda Prasad Bhattacharya, Pavitra Singh and Tapan Batbyal (WB), Afroz Alam (UP), Jagat Martoliya (Uttarakahnd), Suvirjit Sinha (Tripura) and Amarnath Yadav, Ramadhar Singh, Sudama Prasad, Chandradeep Singh, Shivsagar Sharma, Rajendra Patel from Bihar.
The participants to the National Peasant Conference included 1475 delegates from 16 states, 251 guests and 500 observers. Renowned historian RS Sharma and senior lawyers in the Patna High Court SP Mukherjee and Indu Shekhar Singh sent their compliments for the Conference. Peasant leader from Bangladesh Abdussalam addressed the Conference and delegates from Maharashtra’s Lal Nishan Party (Leninist) declared themselves allied with AIKM for working for peasants’ movement nationally.
The Conference was inaugurated by CPI(ML) General Secretary Comrade Dipankar Bhattacharya. The flag for this founding Conference was hoisted by veteran CPI(ML) leader Comrade Ram Naresh Ram. Celebrated leaders of peasant movement – Nemo Singh (Naxalbari), Com. Triveni Sharma Sudhakar, Ramswarup Singh, Azad ji and guests from Bangladesh and Maharashtra were felicitated by the Conference. Comrade Swadesh presented them mementos.

Well known economist Prof. NK Chaudhary welcomed the delegates and guests to the Conference on behalf of the 25 member welcome committee constituted of senior citizens of Patna. Apart from peasant leaders and delegates, Dhirendra Jha, GS of All India Agricultural Labourers’ Association (AIALA), AIPWA’s GS Meena Tiwari, RYA’s National President Mohammad Salim among others also addressed the Conference.
CPI(ML)’s state secretaries from different states were also present- Comrades NK Prasad (Bihar), Sudhakar Yadav (UP), Rubul Sharma (Assam), N Murthy (AP), Kumaraswami (TN), and also senior Party leaders – Comrades RJ Sharma, Ramji Rai, BB Panday, Bangar Rao and K Krishnan.

The proceedings of the Conference were conducted by a team of Comrades IP Kushwaha, Rajaram Singh, Shivsagar Sharma, Purshottam Sharma and other peasant leaders. Conference concluded with Com. KD Yadav giving the vote of thanks. The Conference also passed the Manifesto, Constitution and 7-point political resolution of the All India Kisan Mahasabha.

Other highlights of the event

The Conference began by garlanding the statue of hero of 1857 in Bihar- Kunwar Singh. From there and enroute Conference venue the delegates in the form of a procession stopped at Gandhi Maidan where Shaheed Peer Ali was martyred and garlanded his photo. The procession then stopped at Bhagat Singh crossing where his statue was garlanded. At the Conference venue Swami Sahajanand Saraswati’s picture was garlanded and a giant welcome gate in the name of martyr Peer Ali was erected.
A large number of places in Patna that were hosting the delegates and guests were all renamed for the occasion after great martyrs of peasant, communist and radical movements. Memories of many martyrs not so well known outside of revolutionary left movement were resurrected through renaming of dozens of venues. Apart from the above mentioned venues, welcome gates, dais, guest houses, lodging places, registration halls, youth hostels, MLA guest house, women’s hostel were all renamed for the historic occasion in the names of martyrs- Comrades Rameshwar Yadav (comrade with Master Saab), Gambhira Shah (peasant leader, Champaran, 1970’s), Bachchan Singh (Bhojpur-Rohtas, 1980’s), Rajeshwar Mochi (martyred by RJD-PWG goons in 2004 in Paliganj), Birda Manjhi (Patna, 1970’s), Ramayan Ram (Bhojpur, 70’s), Karyanand Sharma (associate of Swami Sahajanand) and the three student-youth leaders who fearlessly sacrificed their lives for Bihar’s progress- Prashant Chaudhary (martyred during Bhagalpur jailbreak, 70’s), Brajesh Mohan Thakur (killed by feudal lords of Purnia, 80’s) and Chandrashekhar (killed by Shahabuddin’s goons in 1997); Virendra Vidrohi (cultural fighter who blackened the face of then CM Bhagwat Jha Azad to protest a series of massacres), Rameshwar Muni (people’s poet, Magahi), Santu Mahato (peasant leader of North Bihar), Mahendra Singh (fierce voice of oppressed and common people of Bihar and Jharkhand, 2005), Nakshtra Malakar and Ajit Sarkar (people’s leaders in Koshi region), Lahari and Sheela (women comrades martyred by marauding police’ bullets in 1970’s) and Manju (CPIML leader and Dist. Councilor martyred in 2002 by Ranveer Sena).

Entire streets and street corners in Patna were decorated with flags and banners.
Backdrop: The Conference was held in the backdrop of a concerted ruling class mobilisation across parties in Bihar against the implementation of the D Bandopadhyaya Commission recommendations on land reform and sharecroppers' rights. The CPI(ML) has been campaigning for implementation of land reform - and has exposed the Nitish Government which, under pressure from feudal forces has betrayed its promise of implementing the Bandopadhyaya Commission recommendations. The CPI(ML) has succeeded in making land reform the key political issue in Bihar today. Just one day before the All India Peasants Conference, various feudal leaders across parties (including the ruling JD(U) as well as RJD and Congress held a 'Kisan Mahapanchayat' in Patna aggressively announcing their fierce opposition to land reform and sharecroppers' rights. The Conference was a fitting answer to the feudal resistance to land reform and an exposure of Nitish Kumar's anti-feudal pretensions.

IIMS Sessions at Trivandrum and Calicut in Kerala

Indian Institute of Marxist Studies (IIMS) Kerala organized a couple of interactive sessions comprising radical and progressive people representing various sections of Kerala intelligentsia with the General secretary of CPI(ML), during his visit to Kerala from 2-4 May. Com. KM Venugopalan, State Convener of IIMS, chaired the sessions.

Com. Dipankar made a presentation on ‘Contending Trends in Indian Communist Movement (ICM) and the Challenges in India Today’ at the session at Kozhikode on 2nd evening. He made a distinction between three major strands of the ICM, viz., social democracy, revolutionary Left and anarcho-militarist. The presentation was followed by a serious discussion. Many thought provoking ideas on various issues ranging from Marxist approach towards caste and class, bourgeois parties, participation in parliament and the role of armed struggle came up in the course of the debate. The discussion was very lively and participatory. Some important senior activists of ML movement of the ‘70s also took part in the discussion.

The session at Trivandrum on 4th too was quite lively. Activists from various backgrounds ranging from feminist movement to trade union movement and also some academics took part in the discussion. In the course of discussion Com. Dipankar said that looking at Marxism through the prism of ‘Marxists’ in Kerala should be done away with. He also said that revolutionary communist movement is theoretically quite capable of handling complexities of caste and class. He said that identity based struggles too can form part of larger class struggle because class struggle is not merely an economic category. In a country like India with stubborn feudal remnants, class is not always expressed in pure form and hence, feminist movements to dalit movements play a role in anti-feudal struggle in various ways. He said that class differentiation within caste is also assuming significant proportions in the process of capitalist development today.

Onchiyam Martyrdom Day Observed by Left Coordination Committee in Kerala

Left Coordiantion Committee in Kerala comprising various organizations floated by forces which have come out of CPI(M) in recent past, considered to be dissenters and detractors of CPI(M), organized Onjium Martyrdom Day. Onjium village, near Vadakara and part of Kozhikode district, has a significant place in the history of peasant struggles in Kerala along the lines of Punnapura Vayalar and Kaiyur struggles. More than 10 peasants from Onjium village became martyrs in the course of peasant struggle. This time around, Com. Dipankar was the Chief Guest in Onjium Martyrs Memorial Convention organized by the Left Coordination Committee while, quite ironically, Pinarayi Vijayan, state secretary of CPI(M) was the Chief Guest in a similar programme organized by their party in the same village. The seminar was a culmination of a week-long campaign in memory of the martyrs and was attended by more than 1000 people.

Com. Dipankar called upon genuine Left forces in the State to join the struggle for rejuvenation of the Left movement in the State against the political opportunism and degeneration of the government-centric CPI(M) and the forces of social democracy. Comrade Chandrasekar, president of the Left Coordination Committee and Com. Hariharan, State Committee member and editor of Janshakthi, their magazine, also addressed the convention. Com. Hariharan called for the formation of broad Left forum for the revival of the Left movement in the state.

Comrades Shankar, CCM, John K Erumeli, state secretary of CPI(ML), Joy Peter, SLTM, Venugopalan of IIMS, Balasubramanian and Jayaprakash, working class vanguards from Pricol, Coimbatore also participated in the convention.

Tamilnadu Reports

AICCTU held solidairty meetings and demonstrations on May 10, the day AIKM is being founded. In Chennai, a small public meeting was held in Ambattur Industrial Estate. Speakers lambasted the TN govt, for going back on its promise to allot 2 acres of land for the rural poor and remaining a mute spectator in the Judge Dinakaran illegal land grab issue. Com. Devaki, State VP of AIPWA demanded equal wages be paid for women in NREGA. In Tirunelveli, a demonstration was held in Kallur of Suthamalli panchayat, where agricultural workers live in large numbers. In Kanyakumari, a demonstration was held, in which around 100 unorganised workers participated.

AISA Shows Black Flag to Chidambaram

Hundreds of students participated in a massive protest demonstration on the night of 5th May 2010 in JNU, greeting Home Minister P. Chidambaram with black flags and slogans when he came to address an NSUI public meeting on 'Naxalism: A Threat to Indian Democracy and Internal Security'. A large number of students spontaneously responded to All India Students' Association's (AISA’s) call to protest Chidambaram’s visit. Some other groups including the DSU too called for a protest.
The students protested Operation Greenhunt, draconian acts like the UAPA and AFSPA, the Home Ministry’s refusal to allow a judicial enquiry into the Batla House ‘encounter,’ and reluctance to ban terror-tainted Sangh outfits like Abhinav Bharat, and inaction in bringing those responsible for the Babri Masjid demolition and communal violence to justice.

During the Home Minister's visit to JNU, he found support from activists of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) - who raised slogans in favour of the Operation Green Hunt.

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:, website:

ML UPDATE 19 / 2010

ML Update
A CPI(ML) Weekly News Magazine
Vol. 13, No. 19, 04 – 10 MAY 2010

May Day 2010: Working Class Actions for Wages, Work and Industrial Democracy

Workers all over the country observed the historic May Day this year with protests against anti-worker policies, price rise and state repression. It has been apparent for some time that we are witnessing growing working class assertion against the erosion in wages, shrinking livelihood and curbing of trade union rights. As working class militancy was being declared a thing of the past, workers from Mumbai to Coimbatore to Gurgaon have time and again demonstrated the indomitable spirit of working class struggles and the power of working class actions.

The AICCTU in Tamil Nadu had declared a working class padayatra (Long March) on the issue of trade union rights, to start from Coimbatore – the scene of Pricol workers’ struggle for industrial democracy in the face of repression – and to travel across the state to culminate on May Day at the state capital, Chennai. The TN Government and police, in keeping with their efforts to keep Coimbatore as a ‘No-Trade-Union Zone’ and ‘No Workers’ Protest Zone’, did all they could to ban the padayatra from being launched at Coimbatore. But the workers eventually emerged triumphant and the padayatra was launched in a huge mass meeting at Coimbatore on April 23. The workers’ March then made its way across several districts to culminate in a massive pledge-taking meeting at Chennai on May Day, in which some 4000 workers from across the state participated. The success of the padayatra reflected the working class’ determination to uphold their right to unionise and struggle.

In Mumbai, there was yet another demonstration of workers’ solidarity and struggle with the railway motormen’s hunger strike on the issue of wage revision and filling up of vacant posts. These demands of Mumbai motormen had been pending since January 26 this year, when their first strike was averted by the Railway authorities’ assurance that a fast track committee would look into their demands. The motormen had then warned of a strike in May if the demands were not resolved. The fast track committee reportedly did not meet the workers even once and the motormen then announced an indefinite hunger strike. Just a few hours of hunger strike brought Mumbai to a grinding halt. The Maharashtra Government invoked Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA), dismissed 10 motormen and arrested 170 – but the workers’ action continued nevertheless. The Government was forced to come to the negotiating table, and the hunger strike was called off after Maharashtra Home Minister R R Patil assured that a special fast-track committee set up by the Railways would consider the demands of the motormen and will submit its report by June 15, and that dismissed motormen would be taken back.

The Mumbai strike highlighted the burning wage question in workers’ struggles today. In the backdrop of soaring prices, workers’ wages, instead of being increased, are shrinking. Wages are being linked with the productivity, recruitments are being reduced and workers are bearing the burden of increased workload and erosion in real wages. In the light of this, AICCTU raised the demand for monthly wages of Rs. 11,000 to be accepted as a national floor level minimum wage and Rs. 2,000 as monthly pension for all unorganized workers.

The signs of growing working class resistance and solidarity are welcome and the revolutionary working class movement must prepare to honour its May Day resolve and wage bigger and stronger battles for wages, livelihood, social security, rights and dignity.

Jharkhand Crisis: New Act in the Political Theatre of Opportunism and Corruption

Jharkhand is witnessing a new act in the theatre of the absurd that has marked the state’s politics in the decade since its formation. In the past ten years, the state saw seven governments, with the state’s ruling parties appearing willing to display dizzying political gymnastics in keeping with every opportunistic compulsion. Once again, the Jharkhand government stands racked by crisis and uncertainty as various ruling class political players including JMM leaders, the BJP and the Congress explore new and more advantageous political alignments. In a short span of time, all these political forces displayed their total absence of scruples and principles as they blithely made and unmade partnerships.

The drama began with the Chief Minister and JMM Chief Shibu Soren (who is the Dumka MP and yet to be elected an MLA) unaccountably led his party to vote in support of the Central Government on the cut motion moved by the Opposition. The JMM’s alliance partner in the Jharkhand Government, the BJP, reacted to this “betrayal” by announcing its withdrawal of support.

Four months ago, the JMM, erstwhile UPA partner, had struck an alliance with the BJP to form Government. The Government founded on opportunism is now witnessing a series of new opportunistic twists. The BJP, having announced withdrawal of support, was then seen eating its own words. Even as the Congress hinted at a new alignment of the JMM-Congress-JVP, the BJP restored its partnership with the JMM based on the promise of a BJP Chief Minister. Shibu Soren offered an absurd explanation for his cross-over on the floor of Parliament by pleading confusion induced by Alzheimer’s! Subsequently, the BJP was seen to reconcile itself to a JMM Chief Minister, and as of now Shibu Soren continues as CM.

Meanwhile a factional struggle within the JMM also unfolds, with various contenders vying for the CM post and five JMM MLAs raising the banner of revolt against JMM’s cross-voting on the cut-motion. Time is running out for Shibu Soren to get himself elected to the Jharkhand Assembly – which he must do by June 30 if he is to remain CM. As of now he is finding it difficult to get anyone to vacate a seat for him to contest.

The Jharkhand political drama is far from over. No matter what alignment is in power once the dust settles, the present episode has underlined the self-serving and corrupt character of ruling class politics in the state. Before the last Assembly elections, the multi-crore mining scam involving former CM Madhu Koda had exposed how the entire ruling structure in Jharkhand is mired in corruption and implicated in facilitating corporate grab of the state’s precious resources at the cost of the livelihood and lives of its adivasi people. As Jharkhand’s people and its democracy are again the casualty while its rulers continue to indulge in unprincipled and corrupt political gymnastics, the CPI(ML) and its lone MLA in the Jharkhand Assembly are once again the only consistent force in the State to voice the aspirations of the people for justice, development and dignity.

1st May – International Workers’ Day

The historic May Day (in 1886, when the workers of the world organised and declared that they will only let eight hours of their labour power to be appropriated by Capital a day) was observed by CPI(ML) and All India Central Council of Trade Unions (AICCTU) in India with different initiatives.

Delhi: Raising slogans to Provide Livelihood & Jobs to All; Rights & Dignity for each member of the Working Class & Peasantry; Guarantee Rs.11,000 in Monthly Wages and Social Security; Curb Price Rise- thousands of workers in Delhi and the NCR organised under the banner of CPI(ML) and AICCTU held demonstrations, meetings and colourful rallies exposing the pro-rich, anti-people and anti-workers policies of the Centre’s UPA and Delhi’s Sheila Dikshit Govt., and demanding immediate roll-back of these policies and implementation of the promises made to the poor.
Raliies and other May Day programmes were held at Patparganj industrial area and Kondli in East Delhi. Procession was held at Mandawli in the evening (7 pm). At
Noida one hundred rickshaw pullers took out a rally with their cycle rickshaws well decorated with red flags and sharply criticizing both the UPA and Mayawati’s Govt. While another rally was held at Jaitpur near Badarpur at 9 am. The DTC workers and technicians held gate meetings at Central Workshop (2nd) at 12 pm condemning the anti-people transport policies of Sheila Dikshit Govt. and the attempts to privatize the DTC. At Wazirpur and Bhorgarh industrial areas (Narela) in north Delhi workers held rallies and meetings at 8 am. It is notable that Delhi State Committee decided to hold May Day rallies and programmes locally at several places in Delhi in contrast to the long practiced joint May Day rallies. This has helped in consolidating our working class membership and also boosted the confidence of workers while simultaneously highlighting boldly the local issues with wider issues. Hundreds of workers and Party members participated in the programmes.

Orissa: 100 members of different workers’ union participated in a day long programme organised by the AICCTU at the Nagbhushan Bhawan in Bhubaneswar. The AICCTU flag was hoisted by Com. Khitish Biswal Orissa’s State Secretary of CPI(ML) followed by a public meeting which gave a call to all unorganised and organised workers for intensification of struggle for fixing minimum wages at Rs.200/day, social security and comprehensive health cover for all workers.
AICCTU also observed May Day at Rourkela, Gunupur, Rajkanika, Bhadrak and Puri. Com. Radhakant Sethi addressed the meeting at Rajkanika and Com. Tirupati Gamango addressed at Gunupur.

Tamil Nadu: May Day meet was attended by over 4000 workers from all over the State. The meeting was presided over by Com. T Sankarapandian, State Vice-President, AICCTU. Com. KG Desikan, State Secretary, AICCTU, read out the pledge and the participants repeated aloud the pledge to gear toward preparations for a more vigorous struggle against the pro-corporate policies of the Govt. Party’s General Secretary Com. Dipankar Bhattacharya honoured the padayatris and presented them a set of 8th Party Congress Documents.
Com. S Kumarasami, PBM and AICCTU’s All India President said that the demand for Trade Union (TU) Recognition Act was first raised by Pricol workers and now the Tamilnadu assembly has shown its intentions to amend TU Act to provide for recognition of TU with majority of workers. He said the TN police attempted to decimate AICCTU in TN, but, AICCTU thwarted all its attempt and has successfully completed the journey from Coimbatore to Chennai raising workers issues all through. He said that the attempts of the TN police to portray those disseminating Marxist–Leninist ideology in TN as criminals and the ideology to be something afraid of, the workers vigorous participation and firm adherence to the principles and fight for justice along with CPI(ML) and AICCTU has squarely foiled their designs, and the workers of the State now know that it is their main hope for securing justice and their fundamental rights.

Com. Dipankar said that if the Centre and State governments are relentless in developing no-trade-union-zones in the country, every factory in the Country will become a zone of struggle. He called upon the workers to rise in struggles and let it known that they will not allow the Govt. to hand over the wealth of the country to the corporates and that all mineral wealth must be nationalized. He said that the Pricol workers have taken up the padayatra on the issues of working people of all sections and did not limit it to their own demands and such a move was sure to take the unity and struggle of Indian working class to newer heights.

Uttar Pradesh: May Day was observed in several districts of the State including Lucknow. A large number of construction workers affiliated to AICCTU took out a rally from Gomti Nagar to Patrakarpuram in Lucknow led by Com. Balmukund Dhuria. Meeting followed the Flag hoisting. The extremely exploitative condition of construction workers was highlighted and the speakers held Mayawati Govt. directly responsible for continuation of such situation.
A public meeting was organised by CPI(ML) and All India Agricultural Labourers’ Association (AIALA) at Bhadaura and Jakhania in Gazipur dist. AICCTU held a march in Allahabad. AICCTU leaders addressed a meeting of workers following the Flag hoisting at Kanpur. AICCTU and its affiliate Kamgar Union respectively held marches at Ayodhya and Maya Bazaar in Faizabad. Martyrs were paid tributes in many other districts.

Assam: May Day programmes were organised with great enthusiasm at many places in the State. At Borgong in Sonitpur dist. the Asom Sangrami Chah Shramik Sangha (ASCSS) mobilized two thousand workers, mostly tea workers. At Tinsukia too, the joint organisation committee headed by AICCTU mobilized more than 2000 workers. Highlight of the programme was 200 ASHA workers in their uniform and specially prepared umbrellas and carrying hundreds of placards and red flags that made the rally very colourful. Many cultural performances were part of the entire procession. The ASCSS and Sadou Asom Gramin Shramik Santha (SAGSS) jointly organised May Day in Jorhat. More than 200 workers each mobilized by ASCSS participated in programmes at Maijan and Tingkhong in Dibrugarh Dist. At Myang and Bonda SAGSS and AICCTU mobilized 200 and 300 workers respectively. Large number of workers from United Workmen’s Union (affiliated to AICCTU) gathered at the gates of Guwahati Refinery for May Day meeting. In Nagaon also programmes were held at 2 places.

Chhatisgarh: One thousand workers from Raipur, Bilaspur, Durg, Rajnandgaon, Mahasamund and other districts participated in the ten kilometer long May Day rally starting from Bilaspur railway station to the DM’s office. The rally was organised by Chhatisgarh Mukti Morcha and AICCTU. After the rally the meeting was addressed by AICCTU National Secretary Com. Brijendra Tiwari and CMM’s President and AICCTU’s National VP Com. Bhimrao Bagde among many others. After the meeting a memorandum and demand letter for the Chief Minister was handed over to the SDM demanding immediate arresting and action on those who kidnapped and assaulted Com. AG Quraishi, injured workers be compensated immediately among other demands. The speakers said that loot and repression has become a hallmark of the Raman Singh Govt. The Administration tried to disrupt the programme but the participants thwarted their attempt.

Rally comprising 350 workers was held in Bhilai demanding restitution of the workers who were sacked just for demanding payment of minimum wages. May Day was observed in rock mines at Mura in Raipur and Jagdalpur in Bastar where 150 workers participated. TUCI was a joint organiser here.

Madhya Pradesh: Meetings of workers took place at Gwalior and Bhind participated by hundred workers at each place. Com. Rajaram attended the meeting at Gwalior and Com. Devendra Singh Chauhan was present at Bhind.

Gujarat: At Vilad in Valsad Dist. hundred workers from Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation participated in the May Day programme addressed by Com. Prabhat Kumar, CCM. At Himmat Nagar, headquarter of Sabarkantha Dist. Com. Ranjan Ganguly addressed a meeting of hundred workers on May Day.

Workers’ Padayatra Continues

In the last issue this newsletter reported about Pricol workers’ padayatra to highlight the issue of working class in Tamilnadu. Update on that Yatra follows.
Yatra reached Sriperumbudur on April 28. A public meeting was held in the evening in which over 150 workers participated. CITU and AITUC leaders also addressed the meeting in Sriperumbudur. Com. Thamizharima presided over the meeting. CITU leader E. Muthukumar said that Pricol workers have created a model in the working class movement of TN and that they have taken the initiative on TU Recognition Act and on issues of trainees in TN. He also said a joint struggle of AICCTU, CITU and AITUC should be taken up to carry the struggle for these demands forward.

On April 29, padayatris reached Redhills of Tiruvallore district welcomed by the Tiruvallore comrades at the bus terminus. A 500-strong rally and a public meeting were held. Com. S Janakiraman, SCM, presided over the public meet. The comrades reached Ambattur on April 30 at the public meeting venue after a rally held along the areas where unorganized workers live in large numbers. Com. Sekar, AICCTU State Secretary, led the rally and Com. Mohan, AICCTU State Executive Committee member, presided over the public meeting in which 250 workers participated. In all these meetings, Com. Krishnamurthi, President, Pricol Workers’ Union and State Secretary, AICCTU, Com. Janakiraman and Com. Gurusami of Pricol Workers’ Union addressed the meetings. Com. S Kumarasami, AICCTU’s National President, addressed all these meetings.

Reports from Puducherry

A State level Party School was organised by the Puduchery unit of CPI(ML) on 24th April 2010 on the occasion of the 41st anniversary (22nd April) of CPI(ML). The subject for the School was ‘Communist Movement and Maoism’. Party State Committee members, local committee secretaries and its members, branch secretaries, and branch leading team members and a few mass organisations’ leaders took part in the Party education camp.

The day long camp was conducted by the CCM Com. V. Shankar, Com. S. Balasubrmanian State Secretary of the Party explained the salient features of the April 22nd call and underlined the emphasis given in the call for its effective practice at all levels. A lively debate ensued in the second session with most students participating.

The nationwide general strike called by the Party was implemented in the State with much enthusiasm. All the affiliated unions of AICCTU observed a total strike on that day. Previously the unions issued notice of strike to their respective managements and handed over a 10 point demand charter. CPI(ML) and AICCTU conducted street corner meetings in and around places of Puduchery town appealing people for participating in the strike and making it successful. On the strike day 27th April, a protest demonstration was led by the State Secretary of CPI(ML) Com. S Balasubramanian. All the shops in Puduchery and Karaikal regions including Mahe and Yanam were voluntarily closed by the traders. Autoricshaws, private stage carriers were off the road.

AIALA’s Intervention for Social Auditing of NREGA in Madurai

The District Committee of the Party has formed three Local Committees in Vadipatti Union of Madurai district. It decided to strengthen the committees by involving them in organizing AIALA work at Panchayat Level. May 1 is the customary day of Social Auditing of NREGA. AIALA decided to intervene in it. A Work Shop on NREGA and Social Auditing was held for selected comrades on 25th April. The workshop decided to concentrate in a single panchayat- Kachakatti. We prepared 10 questions regarding implementation of NREGA and distributed leaflets in all the panchayats where we have work. All the leaders of the Local Committee met people in every street, conducted 'thinnai meetings' as summer rain was lashing the area.

On May 1 people started towards the Panchayat Office and found no one there. The Panchayat did not do anything to conduct a Gram Shaba meeting. As more than 200 men and women assembled and the police-Union Officer reached the spot, the Panchayat woke up late and shifted the venue to near by community hall. There were a lot of scuffles as the Panchayat could not answer any of the question raised by our comrades and general public. They said that they measure volume of work allotted to the workers but they never scaled the volume of the work done. When people asked, “and then how you pay by volume?”, the Panchayat authorities remained silent. This initiative helped us to thoroughly expose the DMK Government which is ruling one of the Model state in implementing NREGA. AIALA is planning to bring out a leaflet containing the fact brought out during the Gram Sabha. Comrades Muthamma and Pambaiamma wee leading the agitations.

Party Foundation Day in Haryana

Party foundation day was observed in Upalana village of Asandh block of Karnal district in Haryana. After Flag hoisting party's call was read and discussed. Comrade PS Gahalawat addressed the meeting. Haryana Pradesh Mazdoor Kisan Sangathan's Asandh block conference was also held on that day in Upalana. The Conference was inaugurated by Com. PS Gahalawat. A five-member body was elected with comrades Ishwar Pal as President, Satpal as Vice President, Secretary Karmavir, and Cashier Satyawan. During the campaign a membership of 795 was achieved in various villages of this block.

CPI(ML)-led Struggle is Victorious in Mirzapur

Mansa Devi’s 3-year old son Rohan died due to drowning when she was working at the site digging pond as part of Mahatma Gandhi NREGA work. Had the rules been followed for arrangement of caretaker/balwadi for workers’ children at the worksite, Rohan would have been alive and such tragedy may have been avoided. Demanding action against those responsible for violating the rules and compensation for Mansa Devi, CPI(ML), All India Progressive Women’s Association (AIPWA) and other mass organisations were on a dharna at Jamalpur block since 27 March 2010. Initially, the Administration tried its best to shrug off its accountability by ignoring the dharna. But it had to relent in the face of continued dharna and compensation was finally awarded and announcement was made for removal of Panchayat Secretary and BDO was publicly reprimanded.

In another incident from Mirzapur earlier reported in this newsletter, where musclemen of Atari village had beaten up women on 17 April on the issue of filling water from a handpump, and that the police adding insult to injury had again got the women beaten up when it came to the village after a complaint was filed against the goons, a couple Usha Sharma and her husband Rajendra Sharma have been critically injured in this repeat assault and are in district hospital for 10 days. CPI(ML) recently organised a protest demonstration at the DC office for urgent action and punishment to the goons and irresponsible policemen.

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:, website: