Test Case for India's Secularism, Democracy and Justice
As we write, the Supreme Court has dismissed the petition seeking a stay on the Allahabad High Court verdict in the Ayodhya title suit dispute. The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court is due to pronounce its verdict on 30 September.
For the past 60 years, and especially for the past couple of decades, the Ayodhya issue has been at the centre of the worst communal politics and violence against the minority community. The BJP, riding a wave of communal politics in the wake of its 'Mandir' agitation in the late 1980s and the decade of the 1990s, increased its strength considerably and even enjoyed a long stint in power. Subsequently, however, the BJP and communal politics at large have been badly exposed and their strength and appeal stand considerably eroded. Now in the name of the Supreme Court verdict, the Sangh Parivar and the BJP are trying once again to recreate the 'Mandir' frenzy to fuel the communal chariot that has run out of steam. Kalyan Singh visited Ayodhya, and Advani and Uma Bharati have visited the Somnath temple – but as yet, such attempts have not received much public support. It is in this charged backdrop that the outcome of the Allahabad High Court verdict is awaited.
What is beyond doubt is that the Babri Masjid was mosque built in medieval times by a lieutenant of Babar's, and the mosque and land had since, till 1949, been the property of the waqf for nearly five centuries. The seeds of communalism at Ayodhya were sown by the British colonial state and its ideologues, following its policy of divide and rule.
In independent India, a communal myth was manufactured (again, without any basis in historical facts) that the Babri mosque had replaced a Ram temple marking the 'birthplace of Ram.' Precisely because they lacked the legal basis to prove any claim to the Babri Masjid site, the communal forces resorted to a series of surreptitious or openly illegal acts of encroachment and violence, in the hope that the courts and governments would then accept the fait accompli. From the Faizabad district magistrate who in 1949 colluded with communal forces to smuggle idols of the 'Ram Lalla' into the mosque; to the Congress Government headed by Rajiv Gandhi which in 1985 opened the gates to the mosque; to the demolition of the mosque in 1992 by the BJP and Sangh Parivar in a flagrantly fascist act – facilitated by the BJP-ruled UP Government and unchecked by a Congress Government at the Centre: the Babri Masjid saga has been a shameful one of steady erosion of the legal rights of the minority community over their land and place of worship – all with the connivance and collusion of various arms of the State. The judiciary's role too has so far been far from exemplary or reassuring. When the Central Government enacted legislation to acquire the mosque site in the name of "public order" a majority bench of the Supreme Court (overriding the opinion of the two Muslim judges comprising the minority bench) upheld that such an acquisition of a mosque by the government did not represent a violation of the Constitutionally guaranteed right to worship because a mosque was not essential to the practice of Islam!
The case in the Allahabad High Court pertains to the title suit of the Babri Masjid site. What is at stake is whether justice can be done and legal rights (backed by relevant legal documents and provable facts indicating ownership) can be upheld without succumbing to the pressures created by aggressive communal mobilisation. All those who are concerned for democracy and secularism in the country are eager for a verdict that will undo, in some measure, the grave injustice done to the minority community, and will be a step in the direction of healing the deep scars that communal politics and fascist violence have inflicted on society.
As the verdict approaches, communal elements have tried to raise their ugly heads. Ominously, instead of taking firm measures to ensure that attempts at communal violence are nipped in the bud, the BSP Government of Uttar Pradesh has instead taken to profiling and harassing secular activists and the minority community! A shocking instance was a recent notice served to CPI(ML)'s Mirzapur leader and RYA President Mohd. Salim, apprehending his role in communal violence and asking him to provide surety. In the notice, Comrade Salim's name heads a list that includes notorious communal VHP/Shiv Sena leaders and criminal elements. The CPI(ML) has strongly condemned this insult to the very forces that have most steadfastly upheld secularism, and demanded that this notice (which exposes the biased and mischievous role of the Mayawati Government) be withdrawn immediately.
The people of the country must remain vigilant and foil all attempts to whip up violence in the wake of the verdict. We must create democratic pressure on Central Government and various State Governments to ensure security for the minority community. The Court verdict on September 30 will be an important test case for whether secularism, justice and democratic rights can be upheld, thereby closing a grievous and painful chapter in India's life as a democracy.
Mirzapur Police & Administration Once Again Try to Threaten & Implicate CPI(ML) Leader
n a blatantly malicious move and with ill-motivated intent the Mirzapur Magistrate served a notice to Comrade Salim (RYA's National President) under sections 111 of the IPC implicating him under charges 107/116 of the IPC. The notice with the heading "The State vs. Mohd. Salim" bears his name on top of a list of names of VHP and RSS functionaries. Shocking as it is, what is venomous is that the notice asks him to provide surety of not inciting communal violence in the wake of Ayodhya verdict. It implies as if he has a prior knowledge of such a scenario and that he's to take responsibility of the actual communal forces like the VHP and RSS notorious for not missing any opportunity to incite communal tensions.
The CPI(ML) has strongly condemned this move. Comrade Salim who is a revolutionary leader and National President of the Revolutionary Youth Association (RYA) is also well known for his courageous initiatives for foiling the designs of communal organisations aimed at battering the secular-democratic fabric. Presenting himself before the Magistrate on 23rd September, he handed his written reply in which apart from challenging the basis of the notice and insults hurled at him, he asked him to arrest him then and there as he is not going to provide any surety or bond (jamanat) for such mischievous abuse of the magisterial powers, which would only embolden the communal-fascists. In the same letter he also said that "sending of such a notice by you on a report by the police raises a question mark over your (Magistrate's) intelligence", and that it was being done under the guidance of communal-feudal forces.
The move is an attempt to frighten the pro-people and secular activists in UP who are resisting State's pro-corporate and authoritarian policies. Very recently, the same administration had couriered a letter signed by 'Incharge, Naxal Cell' to Comrade Salim, in a manner of show-cause notice alleging him for hosting a meeting of banned Maoist leaders. The meeting being referred was CPI(ML)'s Central Committee meeting held on 1-3 July, 2010, at Mirzapur. Text of the firm reply to that mischief was published earlier in this bulletin.
8th State Conference of West Bengal AIPWA
he 8th State Conference of the West Bengal unit of AIPWA was held in Kolkata on 25-26 September 2010 with the slogan of 'Food, Democracy, Equal Rights.' On the first day, a massive public meeting was held at College Street, in which hundreds of women workers (including anganwadi, mid-day meal, health (ASHA) workers, school teachers and domestic workers) from various districts, as well as women students of the State participated. The dais was named after Tapasi Malik, the young woman activist of Singur who was raped and killed by CPI(M) goons. The meeting was conducted by Comrade Indrani Dutta, and was addressed by veteran Comrade Gita Das, AIPWA State Secretary Chaitali Sen, AIPWA National Secretary Kavita Krishnan, as well as leaders of AISA and RYA and CPI(ML) State Secretary Partho Ghosh. After the meeting, an impressive march (decorated with banners and slogans on the theme of the Conference) was held which culminated at the Conference venue of Moulali Yuva Kendra. There, the procession blocked traffic briefly, and formed a circle with 8 burning torches at the centre, singing 'We Shall Overcome.' The 8 torches were held by comrades representing the continuity between the older and younger generation, as well as those representing various sectors of AIPWA's work.
On the second day of the Conference, the AIPWA flag was hoisted and tributes paid to the martyrs of the revolutionary movement and women's movement. The delegate session began with rousing revolutionary songs. AIPWA National Secretary Kavita Krishnan and CPI(ML) Politburo member Comrade Kartick Pal greeted the Conference. In particular, delegates were inspired by Comrade Gita Das, who, undeterred by age, greeted the Conference with great enthusiasm and spirit. Following that, Comrade Chaitali Sen presented the document for discussion in the house. Around 200 delegates from 15 districts of the State participated in the session. The delegate session was lively: ASHA, anganwadi, mid-day meal, and domestic workers spoke of their experiences of struggle for work, equal and dignified wages, and rights; women students spoke of the issues of privatisation and sexual harassment on college and university campuses; and all delegates reflected on the challenges of the women's movement in W Bengal, where the CPI(M)-led LF Government was unleashing corporate land grab and state terror of which women bore the brunt. Delegates pointed out that while the Trinamool Congress was promising 'change' in W Bengal, its leader was a Minister in the same central Government which was unleashing state terror (which women are resisting) in Kashmir and the North East as well as in the shape of Operation Green Hunt in the rest of the country.
The Conference elected a 47-member Council and a 19-member Executive. Comrade Gita Das was elected President, Comrade Gouri De Working President, Comrade Chaitali Sen as Secretary, Comrades Indrani Dutta and Archana Ghatak as Assistant Secretaries, Comrade Kalyani Goswami as Treasurer and Comrade Chandrasmita Choudhury as Office Secretary.
CPI(ML) leaders Protesting Custodial Torture of Dalit Youth in Pilibhit Arrested
Rampal, a dalit youth while in custody was so severely assaulted by the Pilibhit police that extinguished his life, later in a hospital on 23rd September. The CPI(ML) leaders soon saw another episode of this lawlessness and cruelty of Pilibhit police when they were arrested and thrown behind bars because they were protesting the (almost custodial) killing of Rampal next day by going on a dharna along with his deceased body to demand arrest of all accused policemen and compensation to his family. Comrades Afroz Alam, (UP State Committee member) Kishanlal Advocate (also dist. panchayat member), Devashish (dist. committee member), Gopal Mishra and Rama Devi have been arrested.
Dalit youth Rampal hailing from Jarkallia village under Barkhera police station in Pilibhit dist. and a girl from Muslim family together fled from their village as their love was being opposed. Later, the police traced them. However, the families of both mutually compromised and agreed to withdraw cases. The girl returned to her family. The police refused to accept the compromise of the families and forcibly took Rampal, his father and brother to police station when their demand of Rs.25000 from Rampal's family was not fulfilled. Rampal was detained and his father and brother let off after the family somehow managed to arrange Rs.19000 and gave to the policemen. Just because his family could not arrange the remaining money for policemen's unlawful and criminal demand, he was assaulted on 15th August (on India's Independence Day, ironically) inside the Barkhera PS. He slipped into coma and could not recover.
When the news spread, CPI(ML) activists along with Rampal's village people blockaded the Bareily-Pilibhit highway on 16 August to demand immediate arrest of the assaulter policemen. This action resulted in slapping of attempt to murder charges and Dalit Act against the assaulters. Amidst all this, policemen hurried Rampal's battered body to hospital on 15th August where he remained in coma before being declared dead on 23rd September.
So far the Dist. Administration has neither arrested the culprits nor granted the Rs.10 lakh compensation. At one point, BJP and Varun Gandhi's supporters tried very hard to give this incident a communal turn, which was foiled due to our alertness. The incident also bares the true character of Mayawati's regime in the State where policmen can kill dalit youth with impunity. CPI(ML) State Secretary Com. Sudhakar Yadav has asked the administration for a high-level probe and immediate arrest of the policemen under murder charges.
CPI(ML) & Left Forces in Bihar Assembly Election
The Left in Bihar comprising of CPI(ML), CPI and the CPI(M) have agreed on seat-adjustments on 116 Assembly seats out of a total 240 in Bihar. Out of this, 78 will be contested by CPI(ML),CPI on 28 and CPI(M) 20. Apart from these 116 seats all the three parties are free to contest any number of remaining 124 seats. CPI(ML) will contest on 105 seats in total.
140 seats in 19 districts are going to polls in the 1st, 2nd and 3rd phase. CPI(ML) is contesting 16 in each of the three phase. Out of the 48 seats being contested in 16 districts, 10 seats are reserved for Scheduled Castes and one for the Scheduled Tribe. A total of 15 SC and ST candidates are contesting in these 3 phase. 4 SC/ST candidates are contesting from general category seat. Apart from this, there are 6 Muslim candidates and 4 women candidates. 40 out of the 48 candidates belong to the youth category whose age is in the range of 25-45. Of the 48 seats, 36 seats have only CPI(ML) candidates, on other 12 seats 7 has CPI and 5 of CPI(M) in addition to our candidates. All candidates of CPI(ML) are leading figures of Party and its mass organisations in their respective district. A list of the same is published on the next page.
Stand with the fighting people of Bihar in their struggle for genuine transformation and real democracy
Strengthen CPI(ML)'s Campaign for Land Reforms, for end to a regime of Loot and Lies, for end to a state of Starvation and Unemployment, for a New Bihar
Contribute Generously to the CPI(ML)'s Bihar Election Fund
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:firstname.lastname@example.org, website: www.cpiml.org