Friday, March 30, 2012

ML Update 14 / 2012

ML Update

A CPI(ML) Weekly News Magazine

Vol. 15, No. 14, 27 MARCH – 02 APRIL 2012

Bihar 'Centenary': Official Myth and People's Reality

22 March, 2012 marked the first centenary of Bihar as a separate administrative unit. After the British colonial rulers were forced to undo the partition of Bengal, they shifted the capital from Kolkata to Delhi and downsized Bengal by according the status of separate states to Bihar and Odisha. Before quitting India in 1947, the British colonialists of course saw to it that Bengal was partitioned into not just two states but two countries. The march of history and the process of administrative reorganisation have however not stopped with the exit of the British. East Bengal did not accept the absurdity of being called East Pakistan for long and emerged as the independent republic of Bangladesh in December 1971. The geographical boundary of Bihar too has not remained the same, the southern part of the twentieth century Bihar has become Jharkhand in the twenty-first century.

Is there really much point then in celebrating a centenary of an administrative event, especially in a state like Bihar which has a rich and glorious history spanning not only centuries but millennia? The current rulers of Bihar are of course bent upon seizing the centenary as a 'windfall gain' gifted by history. Nitish Kumar is using the centenary celebration to project himself as a beaming beacon of light for Bihar, the grandest thing to have happened to Bihar since the halcyon days of the great Nalanda University. The propaganda blitzkrieg unleashed by the Bihar government reveals the plot with giant billboards virtually limiting the century to the last seven years and lauding Nitish Kumar for engineering 'waves of revolution restoring the lost glory of the state'!

It will however be wrong to see the centenary celebration as just yet another image-building exercise by the ruling regime of Bihar. It is also not just another platform for Nitish Kumar to project himself as the champion of Bihar against the Centre and stake his claim in the national political arena. What Nitish Kumar is trying to do is something much more insidious – he is trying to rewrite the history of Bihar and reconstruct and reinterpret the Bihari identity. He would like us to believe that it is only with the rise of his government that Bihar has got something to pride itself on, and his biggest contribution to the cause of Bihar is the replacement of the erstwhile stigma of 'shame' with a new-found sense of 'pride'. His halo of 'pride' thus rests on the acceptance and internalisation of the 'shame'.

Let us take a closer look at this so-called theory of shame and pride. All through the feudal-colonial era, Bihar has been known as the land of labour. From the days of the indentured labourers transhipped from Bihar to foreign destinations along the colonial trajectory and early internal export of labour to the tea gardens and jute mills of Assam and Bengal to the more recent migration to green revolution pastures of Punjab and Haryana and the continuing exodus of labour to virtually every corner of India, labour has been the biggest motive force in the modern history of Bihar. And in an environment of decadent feudalism and retarded capitalism, this labour has historically been denied its basic freedom and dignity.

If the migrant labourer from Bihar has had to battle constantly against insecurity and indignity, those labouring within Bihar, agrarian labour as well as the labouring peasant, have had to face much fiercer modes of oppression and exploitation and patterns of bondage and feudal-patriarchal violence. The brutalities inflicted on the toiling and oppressed people of Bihar should be a matter of shame for anybody who values freedom and dignity. This shame is not Bihari but universal human shame, and it does not lead to a sense of guilt to be expiated by some benevolent ruler, rather it arouses anger against injustice and steels the resolve to fight it.

It is no wonder then that Bihar has been a key battleground in modern India's quest for dignity and emancipation. If the rulers have been treating Bihar as a labour-exporting internal colony tied down to the feudal-colonial yoke, the people of Bihar have never missed an opportunity to rise in anti-feudal, anti-colonial struggles and challenge the chains of bondage and backwardness. Whether one looks at major pre-independence milestones from the revolt of 1857 and Gandhi's peasant satyagraha to the Quit India movement of 1942 and the radical assertion of Sahajanand Saraswati's Kisan Sabha, or post-1947 upheavals like the early communist-led peasant movement, the 1974 student-youth movement or the CPI(ML)-led battle for social transformation and the emancipation of the oppressed, Bihar has always stood out as the bastion of mass uprising.

There can be no talk of a Bihari identity removed from this historical reality. If one has to discuss the physiognomy of this identity, it is labour which constitutes its core, its face lit up by the glow of resilience in the face of adversity, both natural and man-made, and its heart beating to the pulsating rhythm of the drumbeats of struggle. The stigma of shame has no place in it.

Equally facile and fictitious is Nitish Kumar's empty talk of pride. While his government has done everything to block the passage of land reforms and deny a life of opportunities and dignity to the toiling millions, it is presiding over a regime of land scam and treasury loot bolstered by bureaucratic control, feudal-communal offensive and police brutalities. While he has been waxing eloquent about record-breaking economic growth, in the last seven years another five million people have been pushed below the poverty line which itself has been reduced by our Planning Commission to the level of what can only be described as the starvation line.

Bihar has always fought simultaneously against external invasion and deprivation as well as internal loot and bondage. Behind the veil of the benevolent ruler delivering Bihar from 'shame' to 'pride', Nitish Kumar is actually busy colluding with the forces, both within and outside of Bihar, that have historically sought to hold Bihar back. Bihar is therefore little amused by the state-sponsored spectacle of an administrative centenary and the attempted construction of a synthetic Biharipan (Bihariness ) which is singularly devoid of the fighting spirit of Bihar.

The vision of a New Bihar is inseparably intertwined with the vision of a New India and this newness can only emerge and flourish on the basis of a decisive victory over the forces and policies of bondage and backwardness. Just as the British colonialists had propped up and colluded with the feudal gentry to suppress the great war of 1857, today once again global capital is seeking to exploit and suppress Bihar in local alliance with feudal-communal forces. Nitish Kumar's slogan of regional pride seeks to mask the truth of this dangerous alliance and sacrifice Bihar's aspiration for development at the altar of institutionalised loot. The toiling and fighting millions of Bihar will reject this misleading trap and move ahead in their battle for a life of freedom and dignity and development and democracy, to realise the dream of a people's Bihar in people's India.

On Coal Scam

Barely one and a half years after the 2G spectrum scam, yet another massive scam has been unearthed by the CAG. In both cases, the CAG has pointed out the same underlying problem – loss to the public exchequer due to a policy of handing over precious natural resources on a "first-come-first-serve" basis rather than being auctioned. Out of the estimated loss of Rs 10.7 lakh crores to the state exchequer from the allocation of 155 coal blocks without competitive bidding, private steel and power companies have benefited to the tune of Rs 4.79 lakh crores. These allocations took place when the coal ministry was in the hands of the Prime Minister.

In the case of an exhaustible natural resource like coal, the issue is not merely one of pricing. The allocation of coal blocks to public sector is justified in the public interest. But private players cannot be allowed to own and exhaust coal, mineral, or gas reserves for profit, robbing future generations of these precious natural resources.

The privatisation of mining policy must be reversed, and mining policies amended to ensure that private corporations are not allowed to own coal blocks, mines or gas reserves. There must be a transparent process of companies buying raw materials including minerals from the government.

The coal scam is the latest in the series of huge scams and cases of corporate plunder of natural resources that have taken place during the UPA Government's regime. Necessary action must be taken on the basis of the CAG's findings, to restore the losses to the national exchequer and punish all those responsible for the scam.

On Army Chief's Statement and Defence Scams

The Army Chief's statement alleging that a 14 crore bribe was demanded over procurement of trucks in 2010 has once again brought to the fore the  continuing reality of defence scams in India.

India is the largest arms importer in the world, and the national capital is hosting a huge Defence Exposition in which hundreds of Indian and foreign armament firms are flocking to secure thousands of crores worth of contracts. Undoubtedly such huge procurements bring kickbacks and scams in their wake.

The CPI(ML) demands measures to ensure strict accountability and transparency in defence expenditure; and reduction in defence budget which is clearly inflated to make allowance for overpriced purchase of armaments.

CPI(ML)'s Jharkhand State Conference

CPI(ML)'s fourth Jharkhand State Conference was held at Koderma on 23-25 March. The town had been rechristened Comrade Mahendra Singh Nagar, and the Conference venue was named after Comrade Ibn-ul Hasan Basru.

The Conference was preceded by an impressive 'Rally Against Loot, Repression, Displacement' on 23 March. Thousands of women and men marched to gather at the rally ground, raising slogans against the rampant corporate loot of natural resources, and repression and displacement of adivasis and poor peasants. Gates dedicated to Bhagat Singh and other revolutionary martyrs, and red flags decorated entire town of Koderma.

A day before the rally, on 22 March, the brother of the local BJP MLA Amit Yadav deliberately vandalised red flags. Resisting attack by BJP goons, party supporters broke down the compound wall of the MLA's brother's house.

The rally was presided over by the party's Central Committee member Comrade Bahadur Oraon, and conducted by the Koderma district secretary Comrade Prem Prakash. Speakers at the rally included elected Party's MLA in Jharkhand Assembly Comrade Vinod Singh, Zila Parishad members Comrades Basudev Yadav and Ramdhan Yadav, and Vice-Pramukh Shyamdev Yadav, AICCTU State President Devdeep Singh Diwakar, JHAMAS (agricultural labourers' organisation) State Secretary Parameshwar Mehto, AIPWA leader Geeta Mandal, Garhwa Zila Panchayat Chairperson Sushma Mehta, and party State Committee member Comrade Rajkumar Yadav. Comrade Kavita Krishnan, CC member was the main speaker at the rally.

The rally passed several political resolutions presented by Comrade Bhuneshwar Kewat, secretary of the party in Ranchi, condemning the anti-people Union Budget, demanding a speedy probe into the coal scam, condemnation of the horse-trading that took place as all the ruling parties vied to woo Jharkhand MLAs over the Rajya Sabha elections, and demanded intervention by the Governor to ensure a probe and appropriate punishment for the corrupt MLAs among others.

The delegate session of the Conference began 23rd March evening. Two minutes' silence was observed in memory of the martyrs. Inaugurating the Conference, Politburo member Comrade Swadesh Bhattacharya called on the CPI(ML) to emerge as a powerful revolutionary force of resistance to corporate plunder and struggle for people's rights in Jharkhand. Outgoing state secretary of the party, Comrade Janardan Prasad, presented the draft document for discussion at the Conference.

On 24 March, delegates discussed and debated the document, which discussed the party's work since the last conference, the political situation, and the political and organizational tasks and challenges facing the party. In the course of the day, several guests also addressed the conference, including Lokyuddh editor and Central Committee member BB Pandey, Liberation editor and CCM Kavita Krishnan, Central Control Commission member Comrade Rajaram, and Politburo member Comrade DP Buxi. The presidium read out a moving and inspiring letter by CPI(ML)'s Garhwa leader Comrade BN Singh, sent from Hazaribag Jail where he has been incarcerated since 2003 on false charges by feudal forces.

Teams and individual singers of the Jharkhand Jan Sanskriti Manch presented rousing revolutionary songs. At the end of the day, Comrade Janardan concluded the debate on the document, responding to many questions and issues raised, and following this, the document was unanimously passed by the house. Addressing the delegate session, party General Secretary Comrade Dipankar Bhattacharya called upon the party in Jharkhand to overcome all the attacks by ruling forces and its own subjective weaknesses, and to prepare with all vigour for the party's Ninth Congress which is to be held in Ranchi next year.

On 25 March, the house elected a 39-member State Committee, which reelected Comrade Janardan Prasad as Secretary. The Central Committee observer of the Conference, Comrade Prabhat, addressed the delegates, congratulating the party on its successful Conference and looking forward to the party's growing assertion in the state.

Delivering the concluding speech, party General Secretary Comrade Dipankar Bhattacharya said that after the Assembly poll results, the powerful response to the All India Strike and the protests against the Union Budget, in the situation with a weakened UPA and NDA, has led some to talk of a non-Congress, non-BJP Third Front. However, even if such a Front were to materialize, comprising erstwhile constituents of the UPA and NDA, could not possibly provide any genuine alternative or resistance to the neoliberal, anti-people policies, corporate plunder and repression. The only hope for a genuine political alternative, could emerge only from intensifying people's resistance to these policies. In Jharkhand, CPI(ML) has always been at the forefront of such resistance on the streets, and has been the sole voice of revolutionary opposition within the Assembly. The party must take up the challenge of consolidating our expansion and increasing our political assertion in Jharkhand. He said that the preparations for the Ninth Congress of the party to be held in Ranchi in 2013 presented not just an organizational but also a political challenge – as could be gauged by the repression unleashed on the party in Garhwa, and the attacks by BJP goons on party supporters in Koderma in the course of preparations for the state conference.

Volunteers were felicitated and thanked for their efforts in making the Conference successful. The Conference passed a series of political resolutions, including a detailed plan of political campaigns, mass organization conferences, fund collection, and other preparations for hosting the Ninth Congress. The Conference concluded with the rendering of the Internationale, and with rousing slogans.

On Verdict in Comrade Chandrashekhar's Murder

Former JNUSU President Comrade Chandrashekhar was shot dead on 31 March 1997, at the behest of RJD MP Mohd. Shahabuddin, while addressing a street-corner meeting at JP Chowk, Siwan, for a Bihar Bandh called by CPI(ML). Another CPI(ML) activist Comrade Shyam Narain Yadav, and a street vendor Bhuteli Mian too were killed. The murders were followed by a huge movement of students and civil society, and eventually the Central Government was forced to order a CBI enquiry.

On 23 March this year, 15 years after the murder, the CBI Court in Patna pronounced three of the killers – Dhruv Kumar Jaiswal, Sheikh Munna, and Iliyas Warsi – guilty, sentencing them for life. Another accused, Riyazuddin, died during trial, and a fifth, Rustam is still facing trial. This verdict can only be termed deeply disappointing and inadequate – because it fails to recognize the political character of the killing and nail the real political mastermind – criminal politician Shahabuddin – behind the murder.

All the shooters were well known to be Shahabuddin's henchmen. The FIR had named the five men chargesheeted by the CBI, and also Shahabuddin, whom CBI is yet to chargesheet. Shahabuddin is currently serving a life sentence for the abduction and suspected murder of another CPI(ML) activist, and he was behind the killings of a large number of CPI(ML) activists in Siwan. It is high time that the CBI charge-sheet Shahabuddin as a conspirator in the assassination of Comrade Chandrashekhar. The delay in charge-sheeting Shahabuddin points to a political motive on part of the CBI, to protect the criminal politician who is known to have been a right-hand man of the RJD chief Laloo Prasad Yadav.

The student movement demanding that Shahabuddin be punished for the assassination of Chandrashekhar, became a landmark struggle against criminalization of politics. Now, 15 years after the murder, there can be sense of closure or justice until and unless the mafia politician Shahabuddin, the mastermind and main conspirator behind the assassination, is charge-sheeted, convicted, and awarded the sternest punishment.

AISA has called for countrywide protests on 31 March, including a Protest Sit-In at Jantar Mantar (3 pm onwards) to assert that the struggle for justice for Comrade Chandrashekhar will not end until Shahabuddin's role as the key conspirator is recognized, and he is convicted.

CPI(ML) to Gherao Bihar Legislative Assembly to Demand CBI Probe in Comrade Bhaiyaram Yadav's Murder

Massive Sankalp Sabha Held on 23rd March

On historic 23rd March- Bhagat Singh's martyrdom day- a massive turnout of people at Nasriganj in Rohtas district (Bihar) paid tribute to martyred Comrade Bhaiyaram Yadav at the Sankalp Sabha and pledged to resolutely carry forward and further the struggles that he sacrificed his life for, especially the struggles to end the reign of social oppression and exclusion, poverty, crime, corruption and loot in Bihar.

Comrade Bhaiyaram was shot when he was returning after supervising work for installation of Shaheed-e-Azam's statue. The people led by district and state leaders of CPI(ML) first marched to his in-laws village where his family members had assembled along with other comrades. Then the march proceeded to the huge compound of community centre where the statue of Bhagat Singh was installed through Comrade Bhaiyaram's efforts. It was unveiled by CPI(ML)'s Politburo member Comrade Ramji Rai in presence of thousands of people and amidst resounding slogans of Red Salute to Shaheed-e-Azam Bhagat Singh, Red Salute to Comrade Bhaiyaram and Long Live Comrade Bhaiyaram, Long Live all our Martyrs.

The Sankalp Sabha began with observing a minute's silence to mark the martyrdom of Comrade Bhaiyram followed with rendering of revolutionary songs sung by Nirmal Nayan, Santosh Jha and KK Nirmohi. Thereafter, the meeting was conducted by CPI(ML) leader (and ex-MLA) Comrade Arun Singh. He said that Bhaiyaram's murder is a political conspiracy at the behest of a politician-police-criminal nexus and this nexus is patronised by Nitish Kumar. Comrade Bhaiyaram had challenged the extreme excesses perpetrated by this nexus such as raping young girls and women, he had also organised struggles for ensuring voting rights of the poor. The feudal-criminal section who have been emboldened in Nitish's rule thought their excesses could not be challenged in JD(U)-BJP rule and assassinated him.

Comrade Jawaharlal Yadav, district committee member of CPI(ML) confidently declared that the people will overcome this nexus and their feudal arrogance will be smashed. Party's Bihar State Secretary Comrade NK Prasad said that it is an attempt to murder the struggles and movements of the poor of Bihar and Bhaiyaram's killers will have to pay the price along with the Nitish Govt that patronises them. Drawing parallels between this and Chandrashekhar's murder in Siwan in 1997, Comrade Ramji Rai said that the recent incident is similar to the 1997 attempt at killing the potential of political leadership of the poor. In Rohtas itself 17 years back same attempt had been made with the assassination of Comrade Mani Singh. All India Kisan Mahasabha's GS Comrade Rajaram Singh exposing the hollowness of Bihar's centenary celebrations said that those who have been the real heroes of socio-economic empowerment of the millions of poor and oppressed classes in Bihar find no mention in the centenary celebrations. No one there is even mentioning of the historic roles of Master Jagdish, Rameswar Ahir and Vinod Mishra. Comrade KD Yadav, Party's CC member and Kaiser Nihaal also addressed the Sankalp Sabha.

CPI(ML) General Secretary Comrade Dipankar addressing the massive assembly said that Comrade Bhaiyaram's murder is a larger political conspiracy. Nitish Kumar, upon becoming the CM had immediately given a hint of his political intentions by quickly disbanding the Amirdas Commision that had been constituted to expose the politicians that provide patronage to those that have killed vast number of poor and workers through planned massacres. After that he further emboldened the anti-poor pro-feudal class politics by nominating murderer and criminal Sunil Pandey from the assembly constituency of Comrade Ram Naresh Ram. Presently, such criminals are ruling the roost at different places in Bihar and the police provide them protection. While the Govt is squandering crores of rupees on centenary celebrations the number of poor in Bihar, as per Planning Commission's report, has gone up by fifty lakhs. Comrade Bhaiyaram was empowering these poor of Bihar that are daily victims of these criminals protected by Bihar Govt and that is why he had to sacrifice his life. But no one can stop the struggles and forward march of poor through repression and murders and Shahabad's history is a witness to this. General Secretary called upon the entire gathering and whole Party to carry Bhaiyaram's message to every village. He called upon to gherao the Bihar Legislative Assembly on 30 March to demand for a CBI probe into this murder.

Comrade Bhaiyaram's wife Comrade Usha Yadav spoke to the assembled masses and very resolutely said that his dreams are unfulfilled that must be realised. He has laid down his life for the issues of struggling people. This confidence and militant mood is the identity of Bihar's struggling poor and it was quite apparent on every face at the Sankalp Sabha.

Rajasthan: 23 march, Bhagat Singh Divas was celebrated by a cadre meeting in the Jaipur State Office in which Party's State Secretary Comrade Mahender, Srilata, Mahesh Chaumal, Usha and many others participated in a lively discussion on the relevance of Bhagat Singh in the present times vis-à-vis corruption, the various scams, the budget etc.

23rd March was observed by almost all Party units  all over the country through different programmes.


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:

Friday, March 23, 2012

ML Update 13 / 2012

ML Update

A CPI(ML) Weekly News Magazine

Vol. 15, No. 13, 20 – 26 MARCH 2012


Comrade Bhaiyyaram Yadav's Murder:

Feudal Criminality Behind Nitish Government's Façade of 'Good Governance'

Much media hype has been manufactured about Bihar's Nitish Government's model of 'good governance' (sushasan) and development, which have supposedly made the notorious criminality and feudal violence things of the past. The murder of Comrade Bhaiyyaram Yadav, CPI(ML)'s Rohtas District Secretary, by feudal criminals enjoying BJP-JD(U) patronage, has busted such hype, proving that feudal forces and criminals are striking back with renewed confidence in Nitish's Bihar.

Comrade Bhaiyyaram Yadav was shot dead in Nasiriganj, by armed assailants on 14 March evening. The police had failed to come to the spot even after being informed of the shooting, and the accused assailants are yet to be arrested.

A member of the CPI(ML)'s State Committee, Comrade Bhaiyyaram had been leading several struggles against instances of feudal atrocities and criminal violence. He had organized a major struggle demanding punishment for the notorious feudal strongmen responsible for the gang-rape and murder of a 6-year-old dalit girl late last year. However, the rapists, who are known to be close to the ruling BJP-JD(U), brazenly roam free in Rohtas. Instead, Comrade Bhaiyyaram had been jailed on cooked-up charges of assault. He was killed soon after being released on bail – at the behest of the same feudal criminals backed by the ruling combine whose arrogance and atrocities he had been challenging.

One of Nitish Kumar's first acts, on becoming CM for the first time, had been to disband the Justice Amir Das Commission that was about to submit its report on the links of political parties to the feudal private army, the Ranveer Sena, that had perpetrated massacres against dalit landless poor. Since then, the Nitish Government has displayed its loyalty to its primary support base of feudal sections, time and again. While the Nitish Government's promises to mahadalits, MBCs, and sharecroppers stand betrayed, it is the feudal forces which have felt emboldened. In Nitish's Bihar, Ranveer Sena chief Brahmeshwar Singh goes scot free, but a popular mahadalit leader, along with nine other mahadalits, has been sentenced to death on flimsy grounds for the Amausi massacre.

In sharp contrast to such blatant hypocrisy and opportunism, Comrade Bhaiyyaram represented the idealism of young people inspired by the values of Bhagat Singh. Just before his death, Comrade Bhaiyyaram was in fact supervising preparations for installation of a Bhagat Singh statue on 23 March.

From Bhagat Singh to Bhaiyyaram, the ruling classes have killed revolutionaries but failed to stifle their ideas and politics. Defying murder and repression, the legacy of Bhagat Singh will continue to live in the example of youth like Comrade Bhaiyyaram and Comrade Chandrashekhar – inspiring future generations of young people!

CPI(ML)'s Press Releases on Railway and General Budget

Union Budget 2012-13: All-out Attack on Common People

CPI-ML demands Rolling Back of Hikes and Restoration of Subsidies

New Delhi, 16 March: After the massive fare hikes announced in this year's Railway Budget and the 1.25% reduction in the interest rate on Employees' Provident Fund, the General Budget marks the third successive blow on the common man in the ongoing budget session. While the Finance Minister has taken every care to appease the rich and the corporate sector by refusing to increase corporate tax or income tax on higher income brackets, he has come down heavily on the common man by slashing subsidies and effecting an across-the-board hike in service tax from 10 to 12 per cent.

Priority sectors like agriculture, public health and education have once again been neglected. No improvement has been made in MNREGA provisions nor has any announcement been made for the urban unemployed. Public health workers like those involved in ASHA and Anganwadi schemes have once again been taken for a ride. There is also no provision for adequate and universal food security. By contrast, the already high defence outlay has been raised further by 17%, taking India's defence budget to an incredibly high level of nearly Rs. 200,000 crore.

The Budget makes no serious attempt to bring back black money or penalize tax evaders. Despite every evidence pointing to the disastrous consequences of the policies of liberalisation, privatisation and globalisation, the budget has again announced a whole set of measures to further open up the economy for global capital and the corporate sector. The civil aviation sector is being opened up for foreign airlines and private airlines have been allowed to borrow foreign funds to the tune of 1 billion dollars. The government also continues to push for backdoor privatisation by setting a high disinvestment target of Rs 30,000 crore.

The CPI (ML) calls upon the working people and all sections of small producers, traders and consumers to mount pressure on the government to roll back the hikes affecting the common people, expand MNREGA and PDS provisions, restore subsidies and increase allocation for social sectors and especially health and education by increasing taxes on companies and higher income groups and reducing defence outlay.

Withdraw Hike in Railway fares

New Delhi, 14 March 2012: The Communist Party of India (Marxist Leninist) demands immediate withdrawal of hike in railway passenger fare and freight. The Railway Budget 2012-13 presented today in Lok Sabha has announced massive and all round increase in Railway fares which is a crushing burden on common people, who are already reeling under unprecedented price rise for last many years. 'The first railway fare hike in ten years' has turned out to be an accumulated hike in railway fares even though the travelling by trains continued to become costlier in these years by other means. Not even platform ticket fare has been spared.

The Railway Minister's logic of 'Increasing fares to accumulate funds for improving the safety and amenities of Railway passengers' is a cruel joke on common people, and is nothing but a logic of liberalization. Further, The Railway Minister's explanation of this hike as a few paisa per kilometer and nothing more is an insult to the intellect of common people.

With Assembly Polls out of the way, the UPA Government now feels safe in imposing this massive fare hike without political consequences. The UPA ally, TMC, is claiming to oppose the hike – which none other than the Railway Minister from its own party has introduced!

Immediate withdrawal of the hike in fares is the only solution that can be acceptable to the common citizens.

CPI(ML) Liberation

Central Committee

Protests against scaling down of EPF Interest Rates, Rail and General Budget

Delhi: Workers from both organized and informal sector gathered at Jantar Mantar and burnt the effigy of anti-poor, pro-rich Budget and held a demonstration. The students of AISA also participated in the demonstration.

The demonstration was addressed, among others, by Swapan Mukherjee, General Secretary of AICCTU; Santosh Roy, Delhi State Secretary of AICCTU; Sanjay Sharma, State Secretary of CPI-ML, AICCTU leaders Ardhendu Roy and Sankaran.

Terming the both Budgets as an all-out attack on common people and demanding the withdrawal of hikes and deduction in interest rate of EPF and restoration of subsidies, Swapan Mukherjee said that after the massive fare hikes announced in this year's Railway Budget and the 1.25% reduction in the interest rate on Employees' Provident Fund, the General Budget marks the third successive blow on the common man in the ongoing budget session.

West Bengal: As a part of national protest day by CPI(ML), several district units in West Bengal organized protest rallies. Rallies were taken out at Howrah Maidan in Howrah, Jadavpur and College Street in Kolkata, Dharmada bazar and Bethuadahari in Nadia, Burdwan proper and Kalna in Burdwan and Siliguri in Darjeeling district. At Hashmi Chawk in Siliguri, an effigy of Manmohan Singh was also burnt. At College Street student activists burnt draft copies of the general budget.

Maharashtra: Protest demonstration was held by Maharashtra Sarva Shramik Mahasangh and AICCTU in front of the Dadar Station in Mumbai on 19 March. About 200 workers- textile, domestic women and others – participated in this demonstration that was addressed by Comrades Uday Bhatt, Mahendra Sagar, Shyam Gohil and Dheeraj.

Tamil Nadu: On 15 March itself Party's Villupuram unit held a demonstration against the anti-people railway budget and the general budget. The demonstration was led by Com. Kaliamurthi, member of the District Committee. Com. M Venkatesan, State Committee member addressed the demonstration.

On 19 March 2012 protests were held all over Tamilnadu against the anti-people budget, reduction in EPF interest rate and for Indian govt's support for resolution against Srilanka. In Coimbatore gate meetings of Pricol workers were held in two units in which over 1000 workers participated. Com. S Kumarasami, Politburo member of the Party addressed this meeting. In Chennai a public meet was organized by the Party which was presided over by Com. S Sekar, City Committee Secretary of the Party. Com. Thenmozhi, State President of AIPWA and Com. Jawahar, State President AICCTU addressed the meeting.

In Namakkal, a demonstration was held on 19 March that was led by Com. Pugalendhi, DC member. Com. A Govindaraj, SCM, addressed the demonstration. In Salem also a demonstration was held for two hours with Com. Velmurugan presiding over and Com. Chandramohan, SCM, Com. Viswanathan, AICCTU State working committee member addressing the protesters. In Cuddalore demonstrations were held at 2 places. Com. Ammaiappan, SCM attended these protests. Posters were released in Tiruvallore district.

Assam (19 March) - Dharna was held at Guwahati and Tinsukia, street corner meeting and effigy burning took place at Dibrugarh.

Jharkhand: A protest march was held on 15 March condemning the massive fare hike in the railway tickets. The march culminated in a mass meeting at the Albert Ekka roundabout that was addressed by Party leader and CC member Comrade Subhendu Sen.

Demonstration in TN Demanding arrest of Policemen who Raped Adivasi Women

On 20 March, a demonstration was organised by the All India Progressive Women's Association (AIPWA) in Villupuram, as part of the sustained protest demanding arrest of policemen who raped Adivasi women. Com. Thenmozhi, State President of AIPWA, and Com. Shenbagavalli, State Secretary of AIPWA, led the demonstration. Com. M Venkatesan, SCM also addressed the gathering.

Martyr's day observed in Siliguri

Darjeeling District committee commemorated on 19 March 2012 the 10th death anniversary of Com. Tapan Chakraborty (Sona), the then west Bengal state committee member and Darjeeling district secretary of cpiml, who passed away way back in 2002. In a befitting manner district and local committee leaders gathered at district party office and paid homage to the revolutionary ideals of their deceased leader. Among the state and district party organizers Com. Basudeb Bose, Com. Nabendu dasgupta,Com. Gouri Dey, Com. Abhijit Mazumdar, Com. Sarat Singha, Com. Apu Chaturvedi, Com. Mojammel Haque , Com. Pulak Ganguly, Com. Paisanju Singha spoke on the present political challenges and our tasks. A minute's silence was observed.

Meeting of ML Parties in Mumbai

Four ML parties – Liberation, Red Flag, Red Star and New Democracy – held a joint meeting in Mumbai's Dadar area on 18 March to discuss and decide on a joint movement in Maharashtra and to mobilise support for the movement against Shahi Dam in Shahpur, on which the State Govt has let loose repression. The meeting discussed the large scale displacement taking place of peasants and common people through various Govt projects in the State. The meeting emphasised on united movement of ML parties against such projects as Jaitapur atomic power project and participating in the ongoinf movements. A coordination committee will be formed next month after inviting more Left and democratic forces.

Odisha: Movement of Sanitation Workers

East Coast Safai Karmachari Sangha of Puri Railway Station are agitating for minimum wages, EPF, ESI and proper recreation and other benefits by the contractors as well as the principal employers. The movement has been on for over a week now under the banner of AICCTU. The contractor is denying minimum wages i.e. Rs. 171 per day at Puri. The RPF (railway police) is threatening workers of preventing their entry into station premises and the contractor is trying to employ other workers through local goons. The situation is very tense, however the AICCTU is in soliadrity with the movement of Safai Karamcharis. The AICCTU also held dialogues with the railway authorities to find a solution.

CPI(ML)'s 4th Ranchi District Conference

CPI(ML)'s 4th District Conference against Corporate Loot, Revision in CNT Act and Repression was held on 11-12 March at Shaheed Mahendra Singh Smriti Bhawan in Parmeshwar Singh Munda Nagar, Ranchi . The Conference began with paying homage to the martyrs of communist movement. The inaugural session was addressed by State Secretary Comrade Janardan Prasad who said that Jharkhand has become hotbed of corporate loot, for the continuation of which a revision in the CNT Act is being considered after doing away with the Urban Ceiling Act.

53 delegates from Ranchi, Bundu, Tamad, Rahey, Adki, Namkum, Ormanjhi and Burmu blocks participated in the conference. Comrade DP Bakshi (incharge for Jharkhand) and CCM Comrade Bahadur Oraon were present among others. The Conference elected a 15 member District Committee with Comrade Bhuwaneswar Kewat as the new Secretary.

Protests against Murder of Comrade Bhaiyyaram Yadav

Bihar: Protests were held all over the State on 15th March demanding arrest of the criminals without any delay. Hundreds of infuriated protesters in Patna marched from JP Chowk to Station where a protest meeting was held. This meeting was addressed by Party's Central Committee member Comrade Saroj Chaubey, AIPWA General Secretary Comrade Meena Tiwari among others. In SIwan more than 300 people led by Party leader (and ex-MLA) Comrade Amarnath Yadav marched in protest. At Darbhanga hundreds of protesters were led by Comrade Dhirendra Jha, CC member. Comrade Niranjan Kumar – District Secretary of Gaya – led the protest march in Gaya, at Nalanda it was led by District Secretary Comrade Surendra Ram and at Bhagalpur it was led by Comrade SK Sharma. Protest demonstrations were also held at Bhojpur, Buxar, Aurnagabad, Arwal, Jehanabad, Nawada, Samastipur, Lakhisarai, Sheikhpura, Munger, Gopalganj, Begusarai apart from other district headquarters on 15th March.

On 17 March, a bandh was called in the Shahabad region that comprises of four southern districts of Bihar. The bandh was total in the region and a Sankalp Sabha (pledge meeting) will be held on 23rd March (Bhagat Singh's martyrdom anniversary) at Nasriganj to be addressed by CPI(ML) General Secretary.

Jharkhand: A protest rally was held that marched to Albert Ekka roundabout in Ranchi.

Delhi: Protest demonstration was held at Jantar Mantar on 17 March, against the murder of the party's Rohtas (in Bihar) District Secretary, Comrade Bhaiyyaram Yadav by BJP-JD(U)-backed criminals. The protest in the national capital coincided with the party's call for a bandh in the Shahabad region of Bihar (comprising the districts of Bhojpur, Rohtas, Kaimur, and Buxar).

Addressing the protest demonstration at Jantar Mantar, the party's Delhi State Secretary Sanjay Sharma said that Comrade Bhaiyyaram Yadav was killed by feudal forces backed by the ruling BJP-JD(U) combine, because he had been at the forefront of people's struggles in the area against feudal violence. AISA General Secretary Ravi Rai, addressing the demonstration, said that the murder of a young activist like Comrade Bhaiyyaram, who was committed to Bhagat Singh's ideals, at the hands of criminals patronized by BJP-JD(U), has exposed the reality of the Nitish Government's claims of 'Sushasan' (Good Governance). In Nitish's Bihar, those protesting against feudal atrocities and crimes on women were being assassinated, while the perpetrators of such crimes were protected by the administration and police.

After the demonstration, a delegation went to submit a memorandum to the Governor of Bihar (via the Resident Commissioner at New Delhi) demanding that the killers named in the FIR be arrested without delay, and the DM and SP of Rohtas district be penalized for protecting rapists and criminal killers. The memorandum demanded that the JD(U)-BJP Government of Bihar stop protecting the criminals who, confident of the patronage of the ruling BJP-JD(U) combine, were killing activists who challenged their feudal reign of terror.

Red Salute to Comrade Bhaiyyaram Yadav

Comrade Bhaiyyaram Yadav was shot dead in Nasiriganj, by armed assailants on 14 March evening. He had just been supervising the preparations for installation of a statue of Bhagat Singh (to be inaugurated on 23 March), and was returning to the party office, when he was shot in the gut by armed men on motorbikes. Even after being intimated that Comrade Bhaiyyaram was shot and lay injured, the police did not come to the spot.     

Comrade Bhaiyyaram Yadav was killed by feudal forces backed by the ruling BJP-JD(U) combine, because he had been at the forefront of people's struggles in the area against feudal violence. Notably, Comrade Bhaiyyaram had been active in organizing a powerful struggle against the gang-rape and murder of a 6-year-old dalit girl in December 2011 by feudal forces (the rapists included the Rajput strongman Luv Singh, known to be close to the BJP and JD(U)). The local police and administration have yet to arrest the accused rapists.

On 9 February, former pramukh Anil Singh and his brother, ex-Zila Parishad member Babhan Bahadur Singh, also well-known to be close to BJP-JD(U), were involved in a shoot-out against those from oppressed castes who objected to their riding motorbikes at high speed in residential areas. The police, instead of arresting the instigators falsely implicated Comrade Bhaiyyaram in this case on cooked-up charges of assault, and had him jailed. Once Com. Bhaiyyaram was released on bail, the feudal forces in collusion with BJP-JD(U) leaders and local administration, have assassinated him.

Bhaiyyaram joined the CPI(ML) in 1986, inspired by the party's resistance to feudal terror in Nasiriganj (Karakat) and Bhojpur. As an activist of the party and youth organization, he helped organize the youth from among the rural poor. Since 2007, he was the Secretary of the party's Rohtas District Committee, and in 2008, was elected to the Bihar State Committee.

Hundreds of local youth and common people joined the funeral procession of their beloved 'Bhaiyya', and protests were held all over Bihar on 15 March. The CPI(ML)'s bandh in the Shahabad region (districts of Ara, Rohtas, Kaimur, Buxar) on 17 March evoked a good response and support from people. On the same day, a protest was held at Parliament Street in New Delhi, demanding that the JD(U)-BJP Government of Bihar stop protecting the killers, and take action against the DM and SP of Rohtas district.


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:

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

ML Update 12 / 2012

ML Update

A CPI(ML) Weekly News Magazine

Vol. 15, No. 12, 13 – 19 MARCH 2012

The Message of the Assembly Elections Mandate


The Assembly elections to the five states of Punjab, Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Manipur and Goa were projected to be the biggest electoral test in the run-up to the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. The Congress and the BJP, the two biggest all-India parties, both had significant stakes in these elections. The results show that while the Congress has emerged as the biggest loser, the BJP has not gained much either. Uttar Pradesh, where both the Congress and the BJP were hoping to improve significantly upon their 2007 positions, has produced the biggest setback for both these parties. While the BJP's tally has been reduced to 47, the Congress could win only 28 seats, losing heavily even in places like Raibareli and Amethi, the pocket boroughs of the Gandhi-Nehru family.

The NDA's surprise victory has come from Punjab, where for the first time in the state's electoral history, an incumbent government has been voted back to power. But this could happen on the basis of an improved performance by the Akali Dal, which succeeded in increasing its tally to 56 seats, just three short of the majority mark in the state Assembly. The BJP's presence came down from a record 19 seats in the outgoing Assembly to a more modest 12 seats. Clearly, it is the BJP which had to bear the brunt of corruption charges against the Akali-BJP government. The Congress blames its unexpected defeat on flawed choice of candidates, which led to rebel candidates damaging the party's prospects in several places, and the rise of the Punjab People's Party in Malwa region which walked away with sizable chunks of anti-Akali votes.

In Uttarakhand, the BJP managed to do a high degree of damage-control by replacing the widely discredited and notoriously corrupt CM Mr. Pokhriyal on the eve of the polls, bringing back the erstwhile CM Mr. Khanduri. The BJP fought the poll with the slogan "Khanduri zaroori hai" (Khanduri is necessary), yet it finished one short of the Congress tally of 32 with Khanduri himself failing to retain his seat, which is widely attributed to infighting within the BJP. The Uttarakhand Assembly remains tantalisingly hung where the three victorious Congress rebels, three MLAs of the BSP and the lone winner of the Uttarakhand Kranti Dal are now expected to have a decisive say in the emerging power equations in the state.

The two other small states that went to polls in this round – Goa and Manipur – have produced clear verdicts. The Congress government in Goa had been thoroughly discredited on account of corruption, illegal mining and growing influence of a handful of Congress families in the economy and politics of Goa. For the first time, the BJP succeeded in winning a clear majority in the state, expanding its base among the traditionally pro-Congress Christian community as well. In Manipur, the Congress retained power with more than two-thirds majority; what was interesting was the emergence of the Trinamul Congress as the second largest party with as many as 7 seats in the 60-member Assembly. Mamata Banerjee deftly exploited the anti-AFSPA sentiment of the Manipuri people, visiting Irom Sharmila before launching her high-profile campaign, even as her own government in West Bengal continues to spearhead Operation Greenhunt against the fighting adivasi people of West Medinipur, Bankura and Purulia.

In Uttar Pradesh, the Samajwadi Party, which was widely predicted to emerge as the biggest claimant for power, secured a comfortable majority, ending speculations of imposition of President's Rule in the state or the compulsion of a Congress-Samajwadi Party tie-up. The outright majority secured by the Samajwadi Party in these elections has been as surprising as was the BSP coming to power on its own in the previous election. The two successive election results indicate a growing trend of polarisation between the two dominant regional parties even though the two big all-India parties retain their presence and newer parties continue to emerge and make their presence felt in various parts of this big state. Comparisons have accordingly begun to be made between the electoral political patterns in Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh, but it must be remembered that unlike the DMK and the AIADMK in Tamil Nadu, the regionally dominant parties in Uttar Pradesh – the SP and the BSP – are not products of regionalism.

There has also been a lot of media hype about the so-called 'generational metamorphosis' of the Samajwadi Party, the term 'dynastic succession' apparently being reserved only for the Gandhi-Nehru family. But the hype already stands exposed with SP goons letting loose violent assaults on journalists, dalits and supporters of other parties in different parts of the state. Bourgeois political analysts and the corporate media always go overboard in their attempts to legitimise and even idolise new regimes as epitomes of 'democracy' and 'development'. But real life does not take long to unmask these new regimes and shred their pretentions. Whether it is Nitish Kumar in Bihar or Mamata Banerjee in West Bengal or earlier Mayawati in UP, popular expectations have been shattered everywhere and the people are back on the path of struggle for their basic interests and rights.

Uttar Pradesh has been witness to massive corporate land-grab even as vast sections of the people languish in crippling poverty and unemployment. If the youth have rallied around the SP in a big way, it is not because of any 'charisma' of Akhilesh Yadav, but because of the SP's promise to provide jobs and unemployment allowance. In the run-up to these elections, employment exchanges in UP have recorded a surge in the numbers of young people seeking jobs in the state and that tells us what has moved the youth. It is significant that neither the Congress attempts to hoodwink Muslim voters with election-eve promise of insultingly low levels of reservation nor the BJP's dreams of harvesting Hindu votes by stoking anti-reservation prejudices have worked in UP. Basic issues like land, employment opportunities, accountability of public expenditure and dignity and security of the common people have relegated caste and communal prejudices considerably to the background.

Trends in Assembly elections are determined primarily by state-specific contexts, but the overall situation in the country also has a bearing on elections in major states. The election results have clearly revealed a popular anti-Congress mood of the electorate across the states. Equally evident is the lack of credibility of the BJP. If the Congress is now likely to find it increasingly difficult to run the show at the Centre and control the UPA coalition, as of now, there is little prospect for the BJP to attract more support and expand the NDA net either. The renewed rise of the SP in UP coupled with the restiveness of combative UPA allies like the TMC or NCP has revived speculations regarding the prospect of a non-UPA non-UDA third front or federal front. But we must remember even a loose federal front needs a centre and as of now no single non-Congress non-BJP party or leader within or outside the UPA/NDA folds seems to have reached that level of strength or acceptability.

The message of these elections therefore is clearly twofold – while both the UPA and NDA will face pressures of political realignment, the situation is ripe for intensification of popular struggles on the basic and burning issues facing the people. The outcome of the Assembly elections must be seen in conjunction with the popular participation in the February 28 strike. As a weakened Congress and a weakened UPA get ready for the budget session of Parliament, the fighting forces of the working people must also get ready for a showdown with the regime and fight hard for a reversal of all pro-corporate policies and for a check on corruption and soaring prices.

CPI(ML)/AILC performance in Assembly elections

Punjab: CPI(ML) and CPM Punjab had put up respectively 7 and 6 candidates in Punjab. The 7 candidates of CPI(ML) polled approximately 14,000 votes while the 6 candidates of CPM Punjab polled around 18,000 votes. The highest vote polled by CPI(ML) candidate has been approximately 4,000 from Mansa, while CPM Punjab nominee from Bhoa polled more than 5,500 votes. CPI and CPI(M) had contested these elections as junior partners of the Punjab People's Party led by former Akali Finance Minister Manpreet Singh Badal. Total votes polled by the 9 candidates of CPI(M) have been above 21,000 while the CPI polled more than 100,000 votes by fielding 14 candidates.

Uttarakhand: CPI(ML) had fielded 5 candidates in Uttarakhand – the party had seat adjustments with the CPI and CPI(M) (the latter however did not have complete adjustments among themselves). Uttarakhand Assembly seats are smaller than UP seats (3 seats in Uttarakhand are roughly equivalent to one Assembly seat in UP) and in some seats winning candidates poll only about 20,000 votes. Here, the highest vote polled by CPI(ML) has been close to 2,000 from Dharchula in Pithoragarh district. None of the other four candidates however managed to cross the 1,000 mark.

Uttar Pradesh: In UP, the party had put up 41 candidates in all, and total votes added up to a little above 50,000. Highest vote polled was more than 5,600 (Comrade Salim finished fifth from Mirzapur seat, ahead of the Congress candidate). But many candidates could not even poll 1,000 votes.

In all these three states votes showed a very slight overall increase from the 2007 level. While votes generally improved almost everywhere in Punjab and Uttarakhand, UP witnessed a drop in votes in several constituencies despite recording an overall increase of 10,000 votes.

All India Left Coordination's Statement on

Justice for Journalist Syed Mohammed Kazmi

The arrest of senior journalist Syed Mohammed Kazmi in connection with the attack on an Israeli diplomat's wife last month is condemnable, based as it is on accusations that carry little credibility.

Mr Kazmi is a journalist of very high repute, and was currently working with an Iranian News agency, which naturally required him to be in touch with his Iranian employers.

Israel was quick to implicate Iran in the attack on the Israeli diplomat's wife and has been pressurizing India to do so. India however is yet to name Iran as being behind the attack. However, the arrest of Mr. Kazmi seems to be clearly at the behest of the Israeli Government and investigators, who have a vested interest in establishing an Iranian connection with the attack.

A large number of journalists and citizens have come forward to protest Mr. Kazmi's arrest and demand his freedom and justice.

Mr. Kazmi must be released on bail without delay and be given a full opportunity to clear his name.

CPI(ML)'s Statement on War Crimes in Sri Lanka

The recently revealed footage of the brutal execution of the 12-year-old son of LTTE leader Prabhakaran is only the latest evidence of the genocide and war crimes on a mass scale committed by the Sri Lankan Army against the Tamil people.

It is shameful that even after such irrefutable evidence, India continues to maintain a dubious silence on war crimes in Sri Lanka, and is yet to commit to supporting a resolution against war crimes in Sri Lanka, to be introduced in the UN Human Rights Council soon.

It is true that the resolution on Sri Lankan war crimes is being moved by the US – which itself stands implicated in war crimes and continuing crimes against humanity in Iraq and Afghanistan. Even recently, the US armed forces have been guilty of a massacre of civilians in Afghanistan. However, that is no excuse for India's vacillation and Sri Lankan impunity on the question of war crimes in Sri Lanka. India, while supporting the resolution on Sri Lankan war crimes, ought in fact to move resolutions against the war crimes by US and its allies in Iraq and Afghanistan.

 A five-member AILC delegation comprising Comrades Mangat Ram Pasla (Secretary of CPM Punjab), Bhimrao Bansode (General Secretary of LNP(Leninist) Maharashtra), Taramani Rai (General Secretary of CPRM), Dipankar Bhattacharya (General Secretary of CPI(ML)Liberation) and Prem Singh Gehlawat (Party's incharge for Haryana) presented the following memorandum at the Rashtrapati Bhawan.



The Hon'ble President,

Union of India

Subject: Pressing Legislative and Policy Issues Facing the Country

Respected Madam,

At the outset of the Budget Session of Parliament, the All India Left Coordination would like to bring to your attention several urgent legislative and policy issues requiring consideration in Parliament.

1. Anti Corruption Legislation: The Lokpal and Lokayukta Bill passed by the upper house has serious flaws and shortcomings that will render it completely incapable of combating the deeply ingrained cancer of corruption. In its present form, the Bill does not allow for a Lokpal/Lokayukta that is truly independent of the ruling regime of the day, nor one that has the requisite authority and force to independently probe and pursue complaints of corruption. It fails to cover a large range of public functionaries, while its clauses against 'false complaints' intimidate whistleblowers and anti-corruption activists. Further, it has no specific safeguards to discourage and penalise crony capitalism and corporate plunder of natural resources – that is the dominant characteristic of most big-ticket scams in India today. We submit that the Lokpal and Lokayukta Bill be redrafted to ensure full independence, autonomy, and investigation powers of the Lokpal/Lokayukta institutions; bring all public functionaries from the Prime Minister to the pradhan under the purview of the Lokpal/Lokayukta; provisions to protect rather than discourage and intimidate anti-corruption activists and whistle-blowers; and provisions specifically targeted against the beneficiaries (both corporate and public servants) of corporate plunder of natural resources and crony capitalism.

2. Food Security: Prices of food, essential commodities and fuel have been constantly on the rise, imposing an unbearable burden on the common man. Widespread hunger and malnutrition mock our claims of progress and development. The UPA Government's Food Security Bill, far from protecting the common people in these tough times, will, if passed, actually render them more vulnerable. The Bill continues the discriminatory and exclusionary policy of targeting, dividing the needy into 'priority' and 'general' households. It proposes to replace food rations with cash transfers – a move which can only benefit corporate and MNC retailers and rob farmers of MSP by doing away with procurement. The Government needs to acknowledge that the vast majority of Indians are needy, and the PDS and other social schemes must be universalised to provide any real measure of food security for all. Only the topmost layer of upper middle class and rich must be excluded from the benefits of PDS: all other households must get 50 kg of food grains at subsidised rates, as well as subsidized supply of other essential requirements like dal, cooking oil, vegetables and milk, while the poorest households and those in especially vulnerable situations must get additional protection. We seek an amendment of the Food Security Bill to this effect.

3. Right to Employment: With jobless growth being aggravated by the economic crisis, job cuts and retrenchment are creating great anxiety and insecurity for youth. Those jobs that have been created are casual, contractual, highly exploitative and insecure and lacking in basic dignity and rights. It is high time that the Government recognised the Right to Work as a fundamental right. Right to Work must be defined as the right to dignified and remunerative work, and calls for an end to exploitation of casualised and contract labour and violation of labour laws, upholding the principle of equal pay for equal work and ensuring fullest democracy at the workplace. In case of inability to provide dignified and secure employment, the Government be obligated to pay adequate and reasonable unemployment allowance.

4. FDI in Retail: The disturbing attempt by the Government to introduce FDI in retail, bypassing Parliament, has been temporarily put on hold. We submit that FDI in retail, far from opening up avenues for employment as the Government promises, will actually rob millions of Indians, currently surviving as small vendors, shop employees etc, of their already precarious means of livelihood and survival. We therefore ask that the proposal of FDI in retail be withdrawn.

5. Land Acquisition: Corporate land grab and forced eviction of peasants and tribals has emerged as a burning issue all over the country. This is a matter of concern, not only from the point of view of peasants' and tribals' rights to land and livelihood, but also from the angle of the country's food security and protection of precious natural resources. The Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (LARR) Bill 2011, introduced to replace the notorious 1894 Land Acquisition Act, seems to be founded on a completely misplaced premise. Its fundamental thrust appears to be to facilitate land acquisition, rather than to safeguard food security and peasants' and tribals' rights. Not only does it not have any will to prevent forcible land acquisition or protect fertile and forest land; its provisions for compensation, rehabilitation and resettlement are also extremely weak and inadequate. We therefore demand that the LARR Bill 2011 be withdrawn, and instead a fresh legislation be drafted, that will impose severe restrictions and safeguards against indiscriminate acquisition or purchase of fertile and forest land; prevent any forcible land grab (whether through acquisition or purchase) by making people's informed consent mandatory; prevent any land acquisition for private companies; and ensuring adequate compensation and R&R for land holders as well as affected agricultural labour and other toiling people who lose their livelihood, both in cases of land purchased by private companies or land acquired by the government.

6. Second State Reorganisation Commission: Long-pending popular movements for separate statehood in many parts of the country, most notably Telangana and Gorkhaland, continue to await any satisfactory resolution. The Centre's policy towards such issues has been marked by vacillation, double standards, and backtracking on promises – aggravating the situation. In this light, we demand that a Second State Reorganisation Commission be set up at the earliest, for a sympathetic resolution to such long-pending questions of separate statehood.

7. Six Bills on Higher Education: We note with concern a package of six Bills on higher education, which are being introduced in the name of reforming the manifest ills of anarchy and corruption in higher education. However, these Bills, instead of addressing these rampant problems that exploit and cheat students and rob them of their right to education, are designed to aggravate the problem by giving a freer hand than ever before to private, commercialised and foreign educational institutions. The Foreign Educational Institutions (Regulation of Entry and Operation) Bill, 2010, the Universities for Innovation Bill 2010, the Prohibition of Unfair Practices in Educational Institutions Bill, 2010, the Educational Tribunals Bill 2010, the National Commission for Higher Education and Research (NCHER) Bill 2010, and the National Accreditation Regulatory Authority for Higher Educational Institutions Bill 2010, all have clauses exempting private and foreign 'education providers' from regulatory norms, and in fact these Bills fail to lay down any adequate norms – relating to cap on fees, infrastructure and teaching, compliance with reservation for students from deprived backgrounds - or penalties for violation of such norms. We therefore demand that all these Bills be withdrawn with immediate effect, and fresh legislation be drafted as required in consultation with educationists and students' and teachers' groups.

8. National Counter-Terrorism Centre (NCTC): The proposed National Counter-Terrorism Centre (NCTC) has been opposed by Chief Ministers, mainly on the grounds of violation of federal principles. In addition to these federal concerns, we feel that the proposed NCTC confers several draconian and invasive powers on the Intelligence Bureau, that are a matter of serious concern for democracy and civil liberties in India. We therefore demand withdrawal of the proposed NCTC. In addition, we also demand the scrapping of several draconian legislations – including the UAPA and the Armed Forced Special Powers Act (AFSPA), which violate principles of democracy and civil liberties.

9. Koodankulam: We note with outrage the attempts by the Prime Minister himself to intimidate protestors against the Koodankulam Nuclear Plant in Tamilnadu, by insinuating that they are pawns of a 'foreign hand.' Such statements are an insult to the democratic principles that allow citizens full freedom to protest and voice their opinions on policy issues. In fact, what is of concern that our country's energy policies seem to be tailored more to serve the interests of foreign nuclear corporations and industry, rather than to prioritise the safety and interests of India's own people. We demand that the Koodankulam project be cancelled, with view to the prevailing concerns about public safety posed by it.

10. Dow Sponsorship of Olympics: The brazen refusal of the London Olympics Organising Committee to cancel the sponsorship of Dow Chemicals (which, after taking over the infamous Union Carbide, is yet to acknowledge its commitments towards compensation and clean-up of the Bhopal gas disaster), and the British Prime Minister's defence of Dow's sponsorship, is a matter of outrage for the vast majority of Indians. We demand that the Indian Parliament honour the sentiments of Indian citizens, and adopt a resolution demanding cancellation of Dow's sponsorship.

We hope that you will bring the above matters, of concern to the common people, to the notice of the Government for speedy action.

Thanking you,


Dipankar Bhattacharya, General Secretary, CPI(ML)(Liberation)

Mangat Ram Pasla, Secretary, CPM Punjab    

Bhimrao Bansod, General Secretary, Lal Nishan Party (Leninist) Maharashtra

KS Hariharan, Secretary, Left Coordination Committee, Kerala

Taramani Rai, General Secretary, Communist Party of Revolutionary Marxists (CPRM)


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:

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

ML Update 11 / 2012

ML Update

A CPI(ML) Weekly News Magazine

Vol. 15, No. 11, 06 – 12 MARCH 2012

The Mandate from JNU Students: AISA, March on!

After a gap of four years, Jawaharlal Nehru University students voted on March 1 to elect their union, and the verdict could not have been more emphatic in favour of the All India Students' Association (AISA), the flag-bearer of radical student politics in the campus. For the second successive term, AISA candidates swept the central panel. What was more, they all won by a thumping margin with the Presidential candidate polling more than 2000 votes leaving her SFI rival way behind, and for the first time AISA also secured a clear majority in the council, its candidates dominating the three biggest centres accounting for the largest number of students in the campus.

On one level, the outcome of the JNUSU election may be seen as just yet another corroboration of the well-known and deeply entrenched Left tradition of the JNU campus. For the last two decades AISA has had a fairly prominent presence in the campus, winning as many as seven presidential elections since its first historic rise in 1993. If it was the SFI-AISF combine which dominated the campus in the 1970s and 1980s, it is AISA which has been the main contender since the 1990s; and over the last few years AISA has also succeeded in reinforcing its ideological-political influence with adequate organisational network and sustained initiatives on every major issue that mattered for the students.

But if we look at the outcome in the context of the ongoing neo-liberal assault on and restructuring of higher education and the developing political situation in the country, the victory clearly sends out a much bigger message than a mere reiteration of JNU's traditional preference for the Left. The arena of higher education has been witnessing massive commercialisation making it increasingly impossible for students from disadvantaged socio-economic backgrounds to receive quality education or pursue careers of their choice. This implicit pro-rich and elitist bias is now being sought to be reinforced by a targeted truncation of campus democracy and student participation in politics. The Lyngdoh recommendations are essentially aimed at insulating the student community from the larger socio-political environment in the country. The JNU verdict has come as a resounding rebuff to this neoliberal restructuring of higher education.

AISA has been consistently campaigning against the neoliberal assault on higher education and within JNU AISA has emerged as the rallying centre for students fighting against the implicit elitist bias as well as the explicit authoritarian agenda of this neoliberal design. It is significant that the emphatic mandate for AISA has effectively marginalised every rightwing trend in student politics, be it the RSS-affiliated ABVP, the pro-Congress NSUI or the anti-reservation platform Youth for Equality.

The election of the JNUSU coincided on the one hand with the Assembly elections in the five states of Punjab, Uttarakhand, Manipur, Goa and Uttar Pradesh and the February 28 all-India industrial and rural strike called by trade unions and agricultural labour organisations. The AISA campaign in JNU, which clearly marked the leading voice in JNUSU election, effectively combined the immediate concerns of JNU students with the democratic demands and aspirations of the people joining the February 28 strike and participating in these Assembly elections. The campaign pulsated with the spirit of the growing popular resistance to corporate land-grab and illegal mining, mega scams and rampant loot of development funds, and repressive steps like Operation Greenhunt and the Armed Forces Special Powers Act that are propelling the Indian state's war on human rights.

The mandate for AISA also meant a clear rejection of SFI/CPI(M) in the celebrated citadel of Leftwing student politics. After West Bengal, Kerala and Tripura, JNU is known as the fourth key bastion of the CPI(M). In 2007 in the wake of Singur and Nandigram, JNU had rejected the SFI/CPI(M) attempt to defend the indefensible. As the CPI(M) gets ready for its 20th Congress, it is quite clear that the CPI(M) remains adamant and refuses to acknowledge the disgrace it has brought to the glorious history of communist-led peasant movement in the country and learn any real lesson from the debacle it has suffered in West Bengal. The JNU verdict clearly suggests that the CPI(M)'s own ranks, let alone the broader intelligentsia, remain unconvinced and critical of the CPI(M) leadership's arrogant refusal to acknowledge its basic mistakes.

It is indeed inspiring to note that while the corporate media have been busy peddling the likes of Rahul Gandhi and Akhilesh Yadav as youth icons for the new generation, the student community in JNU has reiterated its overwhelming commitment to the legacy of Bhagat Singh and Chandrasekhar. AISA must now consolidate the gains and use this mandate to strengthen and radicalise the student-youth movement and forge stronger links with the broader democratic movement in the country. That can be the only true tribute to the legacy of Bhagat Singh, modern India's greatest youth icon, and our very own Chandrasekhar who was killed simply because he tried to connect the student radicalism of JNU to the peasant militancy in Bihar. AISA must march on.

AISA's Victory in JNUSU 2012

In the President's post, Sucheta De from AISA polled 2102 votes – probably the highest ever by a JNUSU candidate – defeating her nearest contender, Zico Dasgupta from SFI (who got 751 votes) with a colossal margin of 1351 votes. In the Vice President's post, Abhishek Kumar Yadav from AISA polled 1997 votes, defeating Anagha Ingole from SFI who got 1357 votes. In the post of General Secretary, Ravi Prakash of AISA polled 1908 votes as against the AISF candidate Durgesh Tripathi who got 989 votes. For the post of Joint Secretary, AISA's Mohd. Firoz Ahamed polled 1778 votes, as against Mohd. Altamash from SFI who got 1199 votes. The candidates from Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) – affiliated to the RSS and the BJP – polled a distant third on most posts.

In JNUSU, students directly elect the entire Students' Council, comprising the four office-bearers and Councillors representing various Schools or Centres. This time, AISA won 14 of the 29 Councillor seats in different Schools and Centres of JNU. The three biggest Schools in JNU, each with 5 Councillor posts, are the School of Language, Literature and Culture Studies (SLL&CS), School of Social Sciences (SSS), and School of International Studies (SIS). By winning a majority of Councillor posts, AISA secured the post of School Convenor in each of these Schools. In SLL&CS, AISA candidates defeated ABVP to sweep all 5 Councillor posts. In SIS and SSS, AISA won four of the 5 seats, with the fifth seat going to SFI. This is the first time the SFI has lost the Convenor-ship of the School of Social Sciences in the past two decades, possible much longer. AISA also won the post of Convenor in the School of Arts and Aesthetics.

The Lyngdoh norms and suspension of elections for the past four years was a deliberate ploy on part of the ruling establishment to foster depoliticisation among JNU students. Indeed, the stay on elections had led to disarray and passivity among other student groups in JNU. AISA, though, had remained very active – mobilising students in several landmark struggles in this period, in spite of there being no elected JNUSU. Key struggles in recent times, in which AISA played a leading role, include a sustained struggle against the Lyngdoh recommendations; a massive agitation against attempts to commercialise various facilities like electricity and levy 'user charges'; a long and successful struggle resulting in a landmark Supreme Court verdict with national implications, correcting the faulty definition of 'cut-off' marks in implementation of quotas for Other Backward Classes; and a successful struggle for recognition of madarsa certificates in JNU admissions.

Other significant struggles between 2004-2006, with a lasting impact, in which AISA played a leading role, include an agitation for the rights of contract workers on the JNU campus, and a struggle to get rid of a Nestle outlet on the campus, which threatened the livelihood of small tea vendors.

AISA has also campaigned and mobilised students in large numbers to challenge the UPA Government's package of education-related legislation that are a blueprint of privatisation. Hundreds of JNU students participated in AISA's August 2011 barricade at Parliament Street against corruption and corporate plunder. AISA stood in solidarity with people's movements at Jagatsinghpur against the POSCO steel plant, at Jaitapur and Koodankulam against nuclear plants, and mobilised students against the draconian Armed Forces Special Powers Act, communal violence, against state repression, fake encounters and custodial killings in the North East, Kashmir, forest areas, and other parts of the country.

The mandate for AISA is a mandate for all these consistent struggles and initiatives over the years.

Road Blockade in Tripura

On 22 February, CPI(ML)'s South Tripura DC and the District Unit of AIKM organized a road-blockade in Udaipur-Kankaban in support of the demand for compensation to flood-affected peasants, support-price for paddy, 65% NREGA fund for agricultural activities, and other demands. The blockade continued till the SDM came to the spot and assured a tripartite-meet to discuss the issues and find a solution. This blockade was a culmination of protests and deputations for the last six months. The Party DCS Com. Parths Karunakar, AIALA state president Com. Gopal Roy, Com. Lokman Hossain, Babul Duta and other led the agitation.

Some More Reports of the All India Strike

In Tamilnadu, AICCTU participated in the February 28th strike in all important industrial centres and areas of our work. In Chennai, AICCTU participated in a total of 3500 strong joint demonstration in two centres with 300 members. A 100% strike was ensured in all industries under AICCTU's leadership. The workers under the banner of AICCTU also ensured the participation of workers of TVS and TI groups in the strike. At Thiruvottiyur, another centre of big industries, AICCTU's presence ensured strike in almost all industries. There was an overwhelming response among transport workers and only very few buses were plying in the metro. AICCTU leaders Sekar, Palanivel , Jawahar , Kumaresh and Bharathi led the Strike initiatives.

In neighbouring Guduvancheery, AICCTU participated in a joint Rally along with AITUC with 80 members. In Thiruvellore, a Rally of 300 members under the banner of AIALA marched and 150 courted arrest. It was led by Janakiraman, state GS of AIALA and Bhuvana, Deputy GS of AICCTU.

In Coimbatore, the strike in Pricol, ITPL and Suba plastics was total. Traders in the Periyanayackanpalayam area also closed their shutters in response to our call. In Salem, 100 workers of AICCTU, the majority of them women, participated under the leadership of Chanramohan, state vice president of AICCTU. In Kuppanur of Salem, 16 AIALA members were arrested for picketing. Comrades Gopi and Ayyandurai led the agitation.

In Dindigul, a 250 strong rally was held which went through important roads and culminated in a mass meeting under the leadership of K G Desikan, state secretary AICCTU , Manivel, state executive member AICCTU, and Jayaveeram, District organising secretary of CPI(ML).

In Tanjore town, more than 100 members participated in a joint rally of 300 workers under the leadership of AICCTU state secretary Rajan. In Tanjore and Nagapatnam districts, there were demonstrations and road roko agitations at 6 centres in which more than 650 members took part.

In Namakkal dictrict , AICCTU participated at 3 centres in a joint rally. In Gandarvakottai of Pudukottai about 150 members participated in a rally organized by AIALA under the leadership of Comrade Valathan.

In Villupuram, 175 AIALA members courted arrest at Thirunavalur led by Comrade Venkatesan and 90 members courted arrest at Chenji. In a joint demo at Nagarkoil in Kanyakumari district, 100 members of AICCTU took part under the leadership of Comrade Antonymuthu.

About 200 Contract labours of the Ordnance Factory, Tiruchi went on strike and 50 members participated in a joint TU demo at Tiruverumbur. In Karur also AICCTU participated in a joint TU rally.

In Tirunelveli, more than 100 AICCTU workers participated in a joint demonstration. There was a scuffle when police, after giving permission for demonstration, tried to arrest the workers citing election code for the by-election in Sankarankoil in the district. It was led by Sankarapandian, state GS, Ramesh, state vice president and Ganesan, state EC member.

In Assam, the All India General Strike took the Shape of Assam Bandh. In Silchar, out of the 250 arrested while picketing the Deputy Commissioner's Office, more than 150, most of whom were ASHA women, were affiliated to AICCTU. At Badarpur Railway junction, Rail traffic was totally disrupted.

The oil sector too witnessed significant participation. The Digboi and the Numaligarh Refinery were totally at strike. The most remarkable was the scene in Oil India Head Quarter at Duliajan where the main organizer was the contractual and Motor Shramik Worker's Unions and unrecognized unions of regular workers. In Guwahati Refinery, the INTUC-affiliated Guwahati Refinery Workers' Union betrayed totally and was also exposed. However, the strike was 50%, due to efforts of AICCTU-affiliated united workmen's union – the only struggling contractual workers' union.

The all Assam contractor workers' union affiliated to AICCTU took active part in paralyzing works in Dinjan Army cantonment, Chabua Airforce Station and Mohanbari Air Port (partly).

Throughout the state, at various points, there was a road blockade. The Jorhat road-block was a joint initiative of AISA, AICCTU, ASCSS etc. and 50 were arrested. Due to call of strike by various transport workers union the General Strike took here a complete shape.

March to Assembly Against Death Sentence for Innocent Mahadalits in Amausi Case

On 21 February, the CPI(ML)led a massive protest march to the Bihar Assembly in Patna, to protest the recent verdict of death sentence to 10 and life sentence to 4 Mahadalits in the Amausi (Khagaria) massacre of 2009. Large numbers of mahadalits participated in the march, expressing angry protest against the biased verdict and the attitude of the Nitish Government towards the most oppressed mahadalits.

The Amausi carnage of 2009 was a fallout of the Nitish Government's adamant refusal to implement land reforms and give the mahadalit musahars the land that was their due. But instead of identifying the real masterminds of the massacre, the verdict of the local court in Khagaria has passed a death sentence on 10 innocents, including the popular mahadalit leader Bodhan Sada, and life sentence to 4 others. Participants in the March protested this verdict as reflective of deep bias and injustice.

The March began at JP roundabout and concluded at the Station roundabout. The procession was led by CPI(ML) leaders Arun Kumar Das from Khagaria, Ramesh Manjhi and Sharifa Manjhi from Patna district, AIPWA National General Secretary Meena Tiwari and State President Saroj Chaubey, RYA General Secretary Kamlesh Sharma and State Secretary Naveen Kumar, AISA State President Abhyuday, Patna city councillor Tota Chaudhury, workers' leader Murtaza Ali, Anita Sinha of AIPWA and others.

Scores of mahadalit women participated in the march, with placards and slogans saying, "Atrocities on Mahadalits, Shame on Nitish Govt", "Reality of Nitish's 'Sushasan' – Death Sentence for Mahadalits, While Ranveer Sena Chief Brahmeshwar Singh Goes Free", and "Nitish Kumar Come to Your Senses – Keep Promises to Mahadalits".

The protestors demanded a judicial enquiry into the Amausi massacre and a strong punishment for the real perpetrators. The death sentence to Bodhan Sada and the other convicts is a mockery of justice.

Speakers who addressed the gathering pointed out that Bodhan Sada is being painted as a 'Maoist Area Commander' and a ruthless killer – but the fact is that he is a popular mahadalit leader. His wife Amla Devi had been elected mukhiya from Barai panchayat, and had been killed by a Maoist squad, and the killers of Amla Devi are yet to be punished.

There are dozens of cases of land dispute in Khagaria district. Years ago, mahadalits got the land papers for ceiling surplus land that had belonged to absentee landlords, yet they are yet to get custody of the land. Instead these lands have been grabbed by others. And there are innumerable cases of false charges on mahadalits, of which the most common charge is that of being a Maoist extremist. Clearly the 'Maoist' tag is being used to deprive mahadalits of their rightful share of land. The protestors demanded a Legal Commission to investigate cases of land dispute and ensure justice for mahadalits.

The struggle against the unjust conviction of mahadalits in the Amausi case will continue.


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: