Sunday, April 28, 2013

ML Update 18 / 2013

ML Update

A CPI(ML) Weekly News Magazine

Vol. 16, No. 18, 23 – 29 APRIL 2013

Fresh Wave Of Protests Demanding Action to Curb Rape and Ensure Accountability of the Police

ven as Delhi and other parts of the country witness a fresh wave of protests against the rapes of minors and the dereliction of duty and highhandedness on part of the police, Justice JS Verma passed away. Justice Verma had headed a committee that had, in January, in consultation with citizens as well as activists from India and beyond, drafted a comprehensive report on tackling the menace of sexual violence and crimes against women. Protestors are paying warm tribute to Justice Verma for a Report that became a veritable manifesto for the people's movement against rape. But the continuing trail of crimes against women and children, aided and abetted by police apathy and misogyny is stark evidence that the Central and State Governments have not bothered to even attempt to seriously read, let alone implement, the Justice Verma Report.

What has triggered the current wave of protests is not just the heinousness of the rapes of minors, but the fact that these were crimes that prompt police action could possibly have prevented. Adding insult to injury, the police responded with corruption and criminal abuse of power that reeks of arrogance borne of a sense of impunity. In the Delhi case, the little girl was abducted by a neighbour. Had the police not delayed in filing the FIR and been serious about searching for the child, they could certainly have rescued her before she came to grievous harm. After she was found, the police tried to bribe the father into suppressing the complaint. And when people protested, a senior police officer was caught on camera repeatedly slapping a young schoolgirl protestor. In another case in Aligarh, the police refused to file an FIR in the case of a missing Dalit little girl, and later her body was found, raped and murdered. When the family protested, they were viciously assaulted by a police officer – again, caught on camera. Yet, the UP Government has failed to lodge an FIR against the Aligarh cops for delay in filing a case and for assault; similarly, FIRs are yet to be filed against the Delhi Police cops responsible for dereliction of duty or for assault. In another case in Bihta in Bihar, a 7-year old girl was raped and killed – but the police did not file an FIR for 5 days, clearly trying to protect the rapists.

The movement's demand for sacking of the Delhi Police Commissioner is entirely justified: because the Commissioner is guilty of protecting his junior officers. He claims that the suspension of the accused Delhi cops pending enquiry is 'due process' and is adequate action. When police officers break the law and commit a crime, they must not be spared: action as mandated by the law must follow just as it would in the case of a common citizen. And the law mandates that a police officer who is derelict in duty in a sexual violence case must face criminal charges that, if proved, could lead to between 6 months and 2 years in jail. Similarly, assault of an unarmed citizen by a police officer is a crime – why the delay in lodging an FIR against a crime, just because the perpetrator is a cop, that too when video evidence stands testimony to the crime?

In February this year, the Supreme Court has commented on the apathy of the Centre and State Governments towards the epidemic of missing children. Every day some 100 children go missing in India, and only a small proportion of them are recovered. The apex court had ordered that every missing child complaint must be automatically turned into an FIR, and be followed by exemplary investigation and efforts at recovery. It is clear that the Home Ministry and the various State Governments are yet to ensure that the police abide by the Supreme Court's order in this regard.

The Delhi Police CP has declared that his stepping down cannot bring down rapes. The fact is that accountability on part of the police is crucial in curbing rapes and other crimes against women. And accountability can be ensured only by a zero tolerance policy for wrongdoers in uniform. If action is not taken – both in the case of the Delhi and UP and Bihar cops – the UP and Bihar Governments and the Home Ministry are condoning criminal misconduct on part of the police, due to which cases of missing children turn into cases of rape and murder. It is clear that such cases are on the rise in all states, with BJP-NDA-ruled states like Bihar and Madhya Pradesh being no exception.

The Central Government and State Governments must immediately take steps to ensure strictest possible accountability on part of the police and other institutions, and implementation of the Justice Verma Report's comprehensive recommendations towards both preventing and punishing sexual offences.

Nitish Must Quit NDA and Apologise for Long Alliance with BJP Before Claiming to Be Anti-Communal

New Delhi April 18 2013 :

Nitish Kumar's anti-Modi posturing while remaining firmly in the NDA as a long-standing ally of the BJP reeks of hypocrisy and deception. As a Minister in the NDA Government in 2002, Nitish Kumar never uttered a word against Modi or the Gujarat genocide. He has remained among the staunchest allies of the BJP for well over a decade.

On his watch as Bihar CM, feudal-communal forces have asserted themselves with the full patronage of the police and administration. The result has been a communal atrocity at Forbesganj and attacks on Dalit students by mobs following the death of Ranveer Sena chief Brahmeshwar Singh with the approval of the police, and emergence of Darbhanga as the new centre of witch-hunt of innocent minorities in the name of investigating terror. Nitish Kumar himself gave the green signal for the feudal-communal assertion by winding up the Amir Das Commission that would have exposed the links of BJP-JDU leaders to Ranveer Sena, and backtracking on the agenda of land reform.

Nitish must stop insulting people's intelligence and democratic sensibilities by claiming that Modi is communal while BJP and leaders like Advani are secular. Nitish Kumar owes an apology to the people of Bihar and the country for his long-standing and continuing alliance with communal forces. He must quit the NDA and apologise for his opportunist support of communal forces before he can make any claim to be anti-communal.

Dipankar Bhattacharya, General Secretary, CPI(ML)

Protests Against Rape of Minors and Cops' Criminality

In Delhi, the AISA, RYA and AIPWA played a leading role in organizing a vigil outside AIIMS hospital on the evening of 19th April for the 5-year old girl who suffered a brutal rape, and in spirited protests at the Delhi Police Headquarters at ITO on 20th April along with a range of women's and students' groups including AIDWA, Saheli, Jagori, JNU Students' Union, SFI, AISF, and DSF. On 21st April, the JNUSU and AISA called for a protest demonstration at India Gate. However, the police turned India Gate into a virtual fortress. One of the protestors described what followed: "The young men & women of Delhi proved that resolve matters more than numbers. Fifty odd protestors who were intercepted right outside the Central Secretariat Metro Station marched all the way till India Gate, overcoming the combined strength of the Delhi Police, the RAF & the BSF. And soon the crowds swelled – many joined us who had come to spend their evening at India Gate with family & friends. It all culminated at the ITO junction that echoed with songs of comradeship, freedom and equality." At the ITO junction, many student activists addressed the protestors, including Sucheta De of AISA.

On 22 April, a demonstration was held by a range of women's groups at Jantar Mantar, demanding sacking of the Police Commissioner and FIRs against the errant cops. The demonstration was conducted by Sehba Farooqui of AIDWA, and addressed by Annie Raja of NFIW, Ranjana Kumari, Kavita Krishnan of AIPWA. The protest was attended by representatives of Citizens' Collective against Sexual Assault, Nirantar, Saheli, Jagori, Purogami Mahila Sanghatan, Swastik Mahila Samiti, Women against Sexual Violence and State Repression, Stree Mukti Sanghathan, New Socialist Initiative, Pragatisheel Mahila Sanghathan, and many others. A memorandum was sent to the Home Minister and the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi.

On 21st April, AIPWA's UP unit held protests and burnt the effigy of the UP Chief Minister all over the state, in protest against the rape and murder of a dalit child followed by police brutality against protestors including aged dalit women in Aligarh. Protests were held at Lucknow, Sitapur, Kanpur, Pilibhit, Lakhimpur, Deoria, Gorakhpur, Banaras and Mirzapur, while AIPWA leaders were detained during the protests at Kanpur and Mirzapur.

On 22nd and 23rd April, AIPWA held protests all over the country at several places. On 22nd April, AIPWA, AISA and RYA held a protest march at Patna, protesting against the Bihta rape as well as the incidents in Delhi and other parts of the country.

Defying and Challenging TMC Terror in WB

On April 3, a day after Sudipto was killed, a spirited protest march was organised by AISA along with a few other progressive students' organisations. The march started from College Square and ended in Subodh Mallik square. On that same day, AFSU (Arts Faculty Students' Union of Jadavpur University) took out a protest march in Jadavpur.

On April 6, when lumpen forces unleashed by the TMC went on a terrorizing spree, ransacking offices of Left parties one after the other, the CPI(ML)'s Jatin Das Nagar branch office in Belgharia in North 24 Parganas was also attacked. Even the local Police Station cowered under political pressure and refused to register a FIR of the incident of vandalism which took place openly in public! Our comrades have since reinstated the ransacked office fully by April 12.

On April 9, student-youth demonstrators protesting Modi's visit to Kolkata were severely lathi-charged by the Police in front of Grand hotel near Esplanade, and Suvajit Maity (AISA activist) had to be hospitalized having suffered injuries. 22 protesters including Joyraj Bhattacharya (actor and noted theater activist) were detained in Lalbazar police headquarters, and only released when Modi had left the city. A spirited protest march condemning such police high-handedness was organized by AISA and other left and democratic organizations in College street. Protesters blockaded the busy College street-MG Road 4-point crossing for well above half-hour. On the same day, TMC goons brandishing firearms attacked and ransacked a street corner meeting organized by AISA-RYA-AIPWA in Siliguri in protest against Sudipto's custodial killing and Modi's visit, injuring Pulak Ganguly, a district committee member.

After the shocking vandalism and violence in Presidency University (which was presided over and supervised by the local TMC councillor, and other TMC leaders), the city witnessed several spontaneous protests by students and democracy-loving people. One such march was organised by AISA in College Street on the April 18.

Protests Demanding Justice for Gangaram Koal

On 11th April there was a commemoration meeting for Com. Gangaram Koal at Panitola with participation of 42 organisations and nearly 4000 people. Organisations like the Mottok Yuba Chhatra Parishad, All Assam Moran Students' Union, Asom Chah Janajati Jatiya Mahasabha, the Assam Tea Labour Union, the Brihattar Asamiya Juba Manch, the AASU, the AIPWA, the AICCTU, All Assam Bengalee Juba Chatra Parishad and others. On 12th April there was a Citizens' convention at the Guwahati Press Club convened by CPIML, Sadou Asom Janasangskritik Parishad and People's Forum for Democracy. Noted left intellectuals like Dr. Hiren Gohain, Paramananda Mazumder, Nalini Dhar Bhattacharjee were amongst the participants besides leaders of NEROWCC, APBEA, the UTCC, ASPWU, the Assam Juba Parishad, Assam Juba Control, the AAWU, the Ganakantha, AICCTU etc. Spontaneous movements were also organised even where the AICCTU or CPI(ML) do not have any organisation or political activities.

Convention Held in Solidarity With Arrested NOIDA Workers

AICCTU hosted a Convention on 23 April, at Gandhi Peace Foundation in Delhi, in solidarity with the workers of NOIDA who have been in jail ever since the February 20-21 All-India Strike. The Convention was addressed by leaders of many of the Central Trade Unions that had called for the Strike, and by noted intellectuals.

The Convention was conducted by AICCTU National Secretary Rajiv Dimri and presided by AICCTU Delhi President VKS Gautam.

Introducing the convention, Aslam Khan, RYA activist who has been closely involved with the workers' struggles in NOIDA said that workers in NOIDA are being punished for the remarkable success of the all-India Strike, with their democratic rights under an all-out assault by the police and administration, under pressure from the industrialists' lobby. In NOIDA, workers were picked up by police from trade union offices, homes, streets. Trade Union members all over NOIDA were targeted, while innocent workers were also picked up at random. The arrested workers have remained in jail ever since. They were denied bail in the Sessions Court, in spite of the fact that the FIRs against them are blatantly, obviously false.

Aslam Khan said, "The police claimed they had a video clipping of the violence that took place on February 20th. The counsel for the AICCTU members asked to see the video footage with the Sessions Judge, and also provided photographs of the AICCTU members to match with the faces of people in the video. We did this, knowing full well that there was no way any of these men were anywhere near the spot where the violence took place on the 20th February. However, the video was not shown to us – it was seen by the Judge in her Chambers, accompanied by the police. Subsequently, the Additional Sessions Judge passed an order denying bail. That order states that the accused causes crores of rupees of property to be destroyed in 200 factories; that they set fire to vehicles and factories; and that the police arrested the workers having recognised them in the video clipping! The bail rejection order states that "the accused have indulged in anti-people activity and have caused damage to public property." In a blatantly biased and illegal way, the bail rejection order deems the accused to be guilty even before the trial has been held – on the basis of a video clipping which would in fact go to prove the innocence of these workers!"

Comrade Shivji, AICCTU activist in NOIDA, spoke of the virtual emergency in place in NOIDA in the working class localities, and there is palpable fear in working class settlements. He said, "On 20 April, some students from Delhi and the CPI(ML)'s Delhi State Secretary went to NOIDA to campaign for a Convention to be held in Delhi on the 23rd April and for a March to the NOIDA DM's office on the 25th April. Even before they arrived, the SHO of the Sector 20 Police Station herself came with her team and sat near the AICCTU office in Sector 10 for a long time, warning workers that there would be more arrests if they distributed any leaflets or campaigned in any way!" The NOIDA SSP, when contacted, asked to know "the content of the leaflet" to be distributed. Activists asked if it has become the job of the police to enforce a gag order on any criticism of factory owners or police by workers and trade unions?

The Convention was addressed by Hind Mazdoor Sabha Secretary RA Mittal, CITU's Delhi General Secretary ML Mankotia, TUCC leader Devarajan, UTUC Secretary Abani Roy, and Swapan Mukherjee, General Secretary of AICCTU, as well as noted intellectual and activist Aditya Nigam, and Prof. Atul Sood of JNU.

The leaders of the CTUs called for united protests against the assaults on the working class in NOIDA and the Delhi-NCR region. They spoke of the rampant violations of labour laws all over the country, and the assault on the right of the workers to raise their voice or organize in unions.

Aditya Nigam said that the assault of capital was apparent not only on workers but on poor peasants and adivasis in corporate land grab, as well as other sections of society. He said there was a need for a powerful trade union movement that would break economistic boundaries and unite with other sections of society in confronting capital. Prof. Atul Sood spoke of the fact that the official statistics show that Gujarat tops Indian States in lock-outs and strikes. Yet capital flocks to Gujarat and backs Modi, not because labour unrest or labour's confrontation with capital is any less there, but because they are assured of a repressive state. He said that the line between organized and unorganized workers was being blurred rapidly, with most new jobs being highly unorganized and casualised in character. New segments of the working class – including a large number of women – are being employed in these casualised and unorganized jobs, deprived of the right to organize. This posed a new challenge for the working class movement, which must pay special attention to organizing the unorganized sector of workers.

CITU's Delhi General Secretary ML Mankotia proposed a joint convention by the CTUs in Uttar Pradesh, and joint actions in Greater NOIDA to ensure release of the workers. Swapan Mukherjee, AICCTU GS, said that the All-India Strike was especially effective in North India this time, and it was in retaliation for this that there was an all-out assault by capitalists and the UP Government and central government on the NOIDA workers. He said that the CTUs who gave the Strike call must unitedly organize a series of protests in defence of the NOIDA workers.

At the end of the Convention, Kavita Krishnan, Polit Bureau member of the CPI(ML), called for citizens of Delhi including students, teachers, and workers to join the Protest March on 25th April to the Greater NOIDA DM's office at Surajpur. Com. VKS Gautam gave a vote of thanks on behalf of AICCTU.

Struggles Mark 44th Party Foundation Day in Punjab

On the eve of Comrade Lenin's birth anniversary and Party foundation day General body meetings were organized in Mansa, Batala, Barnala and Chandigarh distts of Punjab. In Punjab a state wide strike of Brick Kiln labourers is going on for increase in wages and our unions are leading the strike in Mansa, Bathinda, Barnala, Sangrur and Gurdaspur. In Mansa, on 22nd April, goons of a brick kiln owner attacked Com. Gursewak of Mansa Distt committee member at a brick kiln in village Kot Dharmu when he went to stop owner from forcefully taking away bricks. Injured Comrade was rushed to hospital and a complaint to police was made for the same. The alleged brick kiln owner also admitted one of his goons in hospital with faked injuries and made a counter complaint. The Police in nexus with brick-kiln owner registered a FIR under IPC 323, 324 against Comrade Gursewak. Later on orders of SSP, Punjab state secretary Com. Rajwinder Rana, Com. Bhura Mann of PKU and Com Happy Mann of RYA were illegally detained and police took them to Kot Dharmu Police station under Mansa distt. As the news of arrest spread, more than 500 brick-kiln labourers and party activists gathered outside Police station and entrance was blocked for nearly 3 hours. Later SSP and 2 DSPs reached the police station. The brick-kiln owner was also called on the spot. Police bowing down to the labour demands released the leaders immediately and a meeting was fixed on 24th April for other demands of labourers. So, party foundation day was observed on 23rd April and jointly for distt. Mansa and Bathinda in Mansa party office. Call from Party's central committee was read and also discussion was done on coming Panchayat elections.

In Barnala, the general body meeting was organized on 22nd April in Tapa. Com Gurpreet Rudeke, distt secretary read out the central committee's call and also discussed the life and contribution of Com Lenin.

In Gurdaspur, the general body meeting was organized in Batala office. Com Gurmeet Bakhtpura, distt secretary read the call to party members.

In Chandigarh, the general body meeting was observed in Dhnas office. The central call was read by Com Hasmeet and discussion on spreading party base to new areas was also done. A protest march against the 'Delhi Rape' case was also held after meeting in which women and children participated in large numbers.

Jan Sanskriti Manch Against Arrest of Kabir Kala Manch Activists

On 17th April, Jan Sanskriti Manch issued a statement calling for immediate release of the cultural activists Sheetal Sathe and Sachin Mali of Kabir Kala Manch of Maharashtra. Sheetal Sathe and Sachin Mali and the Kabir Kala Manch are remarkable public performers of revolutionary music against caste, class and gender oppression, corporate land grab, and state repression. Their organization has been branded a Maoist outfit and its activists had been pushed underground for a long time. Recently, they defied the ban on their organization and performed openly, after which Sheetal and Sachin were arrested. Sudhir Suman, Joint Secretary of JSM, called for protests all over the country against this attempt to silence the revolutionary music of KKM.

On 22 April, Hirawal organized a musical protest at Gandhi Maidan against the incarceration of Kabir Kala Manch activists. Hirawal on this occasion performed Sheetal Sathe's song Bhagat Singh Tum Zinda Ho, followed by several other revolutionary songs. Hirawal will conduct a campaign from May 1-5, during which they will distribute leaflets and perform music among people, demanding that the voices of Sheetal and Sachin be freed.

JSM and AISA held a protest march in Allahabad against the arrest of Sheetal and Sachin and against rape and sexual violence, in which Janmat editor Ramji Rai, JSM General Secretary Pranay Krishna, Meena Rai, manager of Janmat, Prof. Rajendra Kumar, AISA leader Ramayan Ram participated.


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, April 17, 2013

ML Update 17 / 2013

ML Update

A CPI(ML) Weekly News Magazine

Vol. 16, No. 17, 16 – 22 APRIL 2013

Expose the Charade of Nitish Kumar's 'Anti-Modi' Posturing

peaking at the JDU National Executive meeting recently, Nitish Kumar has once again repeated his veiled anti-Modi remarks, suggesting that Narendra Modi would be unacceptable as NDA's PM candidate. Nitish Kumar seems to have woken up a little late in the day to the fact that Narendra Modi is synonymous with a communal pogrom. Why didn't Nitish speak out against Narendra Modi in 2002, when the Gujarat massacre took place? Why did Nitish remain a Minister in the NDA Government at the Centre at that time?

Nitish Kumar conveniently claims that Vajpayee was a genuinely secular and inclusive leader, who upbraided Modi for failing to uphold Rajdharma in 2002. Can the country forget, though, that Vajpayee himself, following the Sangh-scripted Rajdharma, looked benignly on when the minorities of Gujarat were being massacred? Nitish Kumar, who remained hand-in-glove with the BJP, cannot shed the taint of the innocent blood spilt by the Modi Government in 2002. Claims of the NDA Government upholding 'Rajdharma' are nothing but a fig-leaf that fails to hide Vajpayee's and Nitish's shameless collusion in the Gujarat massacre.

For well over a decade, Nitish Kumar has been a staunch ally of the BJP, while Modi has been one of the most prominent icons of the same BJP. Nitish himself has appeared on public platforms in great camaraderie with Modi. Why, then, is Nitish shy of acknowledging the bond with Modi in Bihar? In Bihar, Nitish feels compelled to project an artificial divide between the BJP-NDA and Modi, to avoid being bracketed with communal forces. And therefore Nitish peddles the fiction that 'BJP is secular but Modi is communal.' Ironically, Nitish in his latest speech, implied that Advani would be more acceptable than Modi as an NDA candidate for PM! Advani's own record – he continues to be a key accused in the Babri Masjid demolition case – is conveniently forgotten by Nitish.

Nitish's anti-Modi posturing cannot wish away the fact that Nitish's Government has calculatedly allowed the feudal and communal forces and their most aggressive representative, the BJP, the most fertile grounds to flourish. When Nitish came to power, one of his first actions was to wind up the Amir Das Commission that was probing the links of BJP-JDU leaders to the Ranveer Sena, architect of several feudal-communal massacres in Bihar. In Forbesganj, a virulently communalised police force, patronised by BJP leaders, unleashed brutal atrocities and firing on poor Muslims resisting land grab.

Nitish's top police personnel looked on after the killing of Brahmeshwar Singh as Ranveer Sena supporters unleashed violence on Dalit students and indulged in arson and looting in Ara and Patna. Bihar's DGP justified the police inaction, stating that had Ranveer Sena supporters not been allowed to vent their anger, the violence might have spread across the State! In allowing Ranveer Sena violence a free run, was Nitish Kumar not following in the footsteps of Modi's model of genocidal governance that Gujarat experienced in 2002?

Nitish Kumar backtracked on the question of land reforms in Bihar: again, proving his loyalty to the feudal forces who are the mainstay of the BJP-JDU mass base. Darbhanga has emerged as the new centre of minority witch-hunt in the country: with the Bihar CM silent on the arrest and torture of minority youth from the State on flimsy and fabricated charges of terror. In Nitish's Bihar, BJP's communal assertion has grown by leaps and bounds, unfettered by the Nitish Governmment.

Pro-Nitish ideologues have attempted to manufacture a difference between Nitish's and Modi's models of governance. In reality, there is much that both models have in common: both are darlings of the corporate world, both represent an aggressive feudal-communal and anti-poor agenda in the guise of 'development' and the 'asmita' (identity/pride) of the State they rule. Nitish attempted to mask his essential commitment to the feudal-communal forces with his 'mahadalit' and ' ati-pichhda' (extremely backward castes) posturing; today, ironically, Modi is also tacitly projecting his 'EBC' identity as a foil for his communal brand image.

In Bihar, it is the CPI(ML) which has boldly resisted the growing BJP assertion and taken the communal-feudal agenda head on. Be it the assault on minorities at Forbesganj or Dalit students at Ara, the witch-hunt of minorities at Darbhanga or the question of land reforms, parties like the RJD and LJP have been marked by abject surrender and pandering to communal-feudal sentiment, while the CPI(ML) has been at the forefront of resistance. At this juncture, the Left's task must be to expose Nitish Kumar's hollowness of 'secular' posturing and Modi's 'development' mask alike, and spearhead a genuine resistance to communalism and pro-corporate policies.

If and when Nitish Kumar and the BJP will actually part ways is a matter of speculation. If they do, it will be due to pragmatic political calculations on the part of Nitish Kumar. Nitish Kumar is aware that real life has utterly exposed the bitter truth of his promised 'development with justice' – his rule has now become notorious for 'injustice with loot'. He is therefore desperately seeking a new plank to pull the wool over the eyes of the people of Bihar – 'special category state' and 'Narendra Modi' are the new escape routes he is seeking to evade accountability on the promises of development and justice. We must not allow Nitish Kumar this 'emergency exit' and hold him accountable for all his acts of opportunism and betrayal.

TMC Terror in West Bengal

he custodial killing of student activist Sudipto Gupta in West Bengal sparked off protests all over West Bengal and beyond. Since then, a veritable reign of terror of the ruling TMC has been unleashed in West Bengal. Offices of Left parties, including several CPI(M) offices and at least one CPI(ML) office, have been torched and vandalised in the State. And the attack by TMC cadres on Presidency University (presumably because of the fact that many Presidency students have been vocal and active against several acts of high-handedness by the TMC Government) has underscored that the TMC Government is at war with dissent and democracy.

At Presidency, TMC cadre armed with weapons not only ransacked the college and beat up students and teachers, they also threatened women students with rape. Mamata Banerjee is yet to take responsibility for the violence by her party's cadre. Instead, a TMC student wing leader has registered a case against one student and one former student of Presidency.

The West Bengal Governor too has displayed blatantly partisan behaviour. He failed to chide the State Government either for the custodial killing of Sudipto Gupta or for the attack on Presidency University. While personally apologising for the Presidency violence, he took it upon himself to assure students of the CM's anguish. However, the Governor expressed disproportionate condemnation at a protest by CPI(M) cadre in Delhi during Mamata Banerjee's visit to the Planning Commission, in which the West Bengal Finance Minister was heckled and manhandled by some of the protestors who were demanding justice for Sudipto and were angry at the CM's remark dismissing the custodial killing as a 'petty matter'.

The Governor chose to declare this incident to be an 'unprecedented' and 'premeditated' attack on elected representatives, and a 'blot on India's democratic values'. There is no evidence that the incident was premeditated. On the contrary, it seems that the CM and her Ministers chose to defy the advice of the police to enter the Planning Commission by car through an alternative gate; and instead alighted from the car to deliberately confront the protestors. While the incident involving Finance Minister Amit Mitra was avoidable and unfortunate, the footage shows that it is mainly unarmed women workers who confronted Mitra. The Governor's claim that the protestors were armed does not appear to be borne out by facts.

The question then arises: why does the Governor see a threat to democracy in the anger of grieving protestors, but fail to see custodial killings of student activists and assaults on educational institutions and offices of rival parties as a 'blot on democratic values'?

The entire spectrum of democratic and Left voices is now at the receiving end of all-out attacks by the ruling TMC in West Bengal. However, West Bengal cannot forget that the CPI(M) too is complicit in the political culture of eliminating rival activists. Abdul Halim, a young activist and former SFI leader who had left the CPI(M) in Burdwan district to join CPI(ML), was brutally attacked and eventually killed by CPI(M) cadre in the 1990s. During the Singur agitation a young woman activist Tapasi Malik was raped and killed, again by CPI(M) cadre. Violence on campuses by SFI against rival student groups was rampant during CPI(M) rule.

The struggle in WB now, therefore, is not a struggle for restoration of a past order of things, but a struggle to get rid of the entrenched culture of political violence and assaults on democracy. CPI(ML) and its mass organisations have arisen in defence of democracy in West Bengal, and are at the forefront of the protests, alongside progressive intellectuals, students, and activists.

The Call of April 22, 2013

Carry Forward the Achievements of the 9th Congress

April 2013 marks the 44th anniversary of the foundation of CPI(ML). This year as we observe this historic day and rededicate ourselves to the revolutionary tasks and goals the Party was formed to fulfil, we draw strength and inspiration from the success of the recently concluded 9th Congress of the Party. Hosting a weeklong Congress of 1200-plus delegates, observers and guests in Ranchi was a major organisational challenge and the Party in Jharkhand proved it was equal to the task. With the Congress just a few weeks away municipal elections were suddenly announced in Jharkhand on 7 April – and for Ranchi on 8th April – forcing us to change the date and venue of the post-Congress Jan Vikalp Rally. To top it all, Maoists declared a 48-hour bandh in Bihar and Jharkhand on 6-7 April disrupting transport. Yet the entire Congress was conducted smoothly and the turnout in the April 7 rally once again proved the determination of the people to march ahead and defy all the odds.

On the eve of the Congress we lost Comrade Gangaram Kol, General Secretary of our tea garden workers' union in Assam and a popular and resolute leader of the people and the Party. Powerful protests organised by the Party and supported widely by the people and various opposition forces forced the Assam Govt to order a CBI probe into the murder. Comrades of Dibrugarh and Tinsukia districts stayed back to carry on the agitation. While the Congress was on, news came from Karbi Anglong of the passing of Comrade Monsing Bongrung, President of the KANKIS in Langsomepi Block, and the house paid him homage. And on 3rd April evening we lost one of our delegates from Siwan district of Bihar. Comrade Ghugli Prasad, member of Siwan District Committee of the Party and popular leader of the rural poor in the district, succumbed to cardiac arrest and the entire Congress bade him a solemn farewell as the comrades of Siwan had to leave the Congress midway to organise the funeral of their beloved comrade. The grief caused by the loss of these comrades strengthened the resolve of the Congress and the Party.

The 9th Congress paid glowing tributes to all our martyrs and departed leaders and reiterated its resolve to fight for the release of all Party leaders and members who are imprisoned in various jails of Bihar and Jharkhand. Comrades Shah Chand, BN Singh, and Pradip Vishwakarma who are currently lodged in jails in Bihar and Jharkhand, sent inspiring messages to the Congress. The Congress brought to the fore the rich experiences of ongoing struggles led by our comrades on a variety of issues and in newer areas. The spirited participation of large number of young delegates – for many of whom this was the first opportunity to attend a Party Congress – indicated the potential of a new generation of revolutionary activists. Likewise, the participation of women delegates in the Congress deliberations left a noteworthy impact. The presence and participation of veteran comrades who defied age and health factors left an inspiring imprint.

The presence of leading comrades from various AILC constituents marked the growing understanding and cooperation within AILC even as the inaugural session stressed the need for a new model of broad-based and fighting unity of the Left and development of closer ties of cooperation between the Left and various adivasi streams in Jharkhand in anti-corporate anti-displacement struggles. The presence of fraternal delegations from Nepal, Bangladesh and Australia and messages of greetings received from Venezuela, France, US, Philippines and Sri Lanka struggle brought home the renewed appeal of socialist imagination in the era of deepening crisis of global capitalism.

The Congress has called upon the entire Party to take the lead in building and spearheading popular struggles over various democratic demands of the people and give a fitting rebuff to the growing corporate-fascist clamour in the country to make Narendra Modi India's next PM and rob the people of all their resources and rights. The fact that Modi has been allowed to get away with the Gujarat genocide and emerge as a corporate darling by riding roughshod on the aspirations and rights of the people of Gujarat despite a decade of UPA rule at the Centre makes it amply clear that the UPA is no answer to Modi. Nor can Nitish Kumar claim to provide an alternative having been hand in glove with Modi's party since the inception of NDA. It is height of opportunism to claim to fight Modi while sharing power with his party in Bihar and serving the communal and feudal agenda embodied by the BJP. While targeting the NDA and UPA we will also boldly expose the opportunism and betrayal of regional parties in power. The Left movement must vigorously oppose the TMC in West Bengal, JD(U) in Bihar, SP in UP, BJD in Odisha and AIADMK in Tamil Nadu.

We must understand that Modi has not dropped from the sky, he has grown precisely on the economic and political soil cultivated by our ruling classes; he is the most aggressive face of the pro-corporate anti-people policies imposed on us by NDA-UPA coalitions at the behest of US imperialism. Modi can therefore never be weakened or defeated without a rollback of the present policies that fatten corporate coffers while depriving and dispossessing the people. The present juncture therefore calls upon us to carry forward the battle against corruption and corporate plunder and for democracy and people's rights over national resources. CPI(ML) must increase its strength and expand its role and initiative at this juncture to emerge as the most powerful voice of popular assertion, at the helm of a whole range of class and mass struggles of various sections of the Indian people.

The Party will have to face major electoral battles in the coming months. Beginning with the Assembly elections in Karnataka and panchayat elections in West Bengal and Punjab, the forthcoming electoral battles will include elections to several State Assemblies as well as the Lok Sabha. The Party must seize this opportunity to boldly raise the voice of the people and strengthen the people's movement by all means. Undeterred by the electoral reverses suffered in 2009 and 2010, the Party exhibited its growing strength and determination through powerful mobilisation in political struggles. And now the 9th Congress has demonstrated the growing organisational capacity and political maturity of the Party. Every member and every branch of the Party contributed to the success of the 9th Congress. The increased strength and resolve of the Party must now lead to an improved performance in electoral battles too.

Armed with the achievements of the 9th Party Congress, we must now once again mobilise the entire Party and the revolutionary masses, strengthen and streamline the Party organisation on every level and intensify the movement on every front.

Red Salute to all our Great Martyrs and Departed Leaders!

Let us Give our Best for Bigger Victories in the Coming Battles!

Central Committee, CPI(ML), 22 April 2013

Commute DS Bhullar's Death Sentence

Abolish Death Penalty

The Supreme Court verdict rejecting the plea for commutation of death sentence for DS Bhullar is most unfortunate. The case against DS Bhullar rested almost wholly on custodial confession. In 2002, when the majority bench of the SC upheld the death penalty for him, Justice Shah in his minority judgement had actually argued for acquittal, on the grounds that custodial confession was inadmissible as evidence. In a case where even guilt is in such doubt, there can be no justification for the death penalty.

In the past the Supreme Court has held that long delay in carrying out the sentence could be grounds for commutation of the sentence of death into life imprisonment. However, the Supreme Court this time has held otherwise. In doing so, the apex court, instead of judging the matter on the grounds of principles of justice, has instead invoked the growth of terrorism "in recent years." How can a matter of principle be subject to change on the grounds of subjective opinions and assertions of judges?

The SC has also chosen to make comments against human rights activists, accusing them of raising "the bogey of human rights." In the case of Bhullar, it was a judge of the Supreme Court, not a human rights activist, who had called even his conviction into doubt on the grounds of insufficient evidence! If the Supreme Court considers 'human rights' as a 'bogey', which institution is there to check the state from riding roughshod on human rights?

Last year, 14 retired judges wrote to the President of India, admitting that the Supreme Court had wrongly awarded the death sentence to 13 people. It is unacceptable in a democracy to risk such grave miscarriage of justice. Moreover, it is overwhelmingly those from marginalised sections of society who face the death penalty: offenders from privileged sections are rarely subjected to such punishment.

In the interests of justice, CPI(ML) demands that DS Bhullar's sentence should be commuted. In the light of the inconsistency and bias in awarding of death sentence and grave errors in this regard admitted by retired judges of the Supreme Court, CPI(ML) supports the growing demand that India abolish the death penalty or at least honour the UN resolution to uphold a moratorium on death penalty with a view to its eventual abolition.

Excerpts from PUCL Statement on SC Verdict 

on Bhullar's Mercy Petition

The recent judgment of the Supreme Court rejecting the mercy petition of Devender Singh Bhullar is shocking. The Court has remarked that human rights activists have failed in their persistent attempt to persuade the Central Govt. to abolish death penalty because "In recent years the crime scenario has changed all over the world" and that " monster of terrorism has spread its tentacles in most of the countries". The Court relied in this context on the case of 'Kartar Singh Vs. State of Punjab (1994) 3 Sec 569' which upheld the validity of 'TADA'. However, unfortunately the Court failed to appreciate that in spite of Court's approval of TADA, the Central Government had to withdraw it soon after because this law had turned out to be unjust and counter-productive. And Bhullar was convicted under this unjust and lawless law!

The remarks of the Court that "It is paradoxical that the people who do not show any mercy or compassion for others plead for mercy" and that "many others join the band wagon to espouse the cause of terrorists involved in gruesome killings and mass murder of innocent civilians and raise the bogey of human rights" are very disturbing. Filing petition U/s 72 of the Constitution by a death convict for reprieve/mercy is a constitutional right which is available to all and there is nothing paradoxical in availing a constitutional right.

So far as the remark about the 'bogey of human rights' is concerned' one of the reasons for the demand of the human rights activists for abolition of death penalty is about possibility of error in judicial pronouncements. The five judges bench of the Supreme court itself, in the matter of 'Kehar Singh Vs. U.O.I : AIR 1989 SC 653' has quoted: "The administration of justice by the Courts is not necessarily always wise". Therefore in such an uncertain situation involving the issue of life and death of a person, the punishment of 'death penalty 'is considered totally undesirable. Such generalized remarks by the Court casting aspersions on the human rights activists are totally uncalled for and unwarranted. The human rights movement in the country has rendered great service to the nation and it is unfortunate that the Supreme Court has passed such remarks against it. It is hoped that the Court will review its judgment giving relief to Bhullar and expunge the un-necessary remarks regarding human-rights activists.

ND Pancholi, President, PUCL

Welcome Nicolas Maduro's Victory in Venezuela

CPI(ML) welcomes the victory of Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela's Presidential polls. In the challenging times ahead, we are hopeful and confident that the Venezuelan people will successfully defend and safeguard Hugo Chavez's legacy of the Bolivarian Revolution and defeat all attempts by imperialist forces to destabilise it.

Odisha BDO Makes a Sexist Remark Against Women Protestors, Police Out to Arrest AIPWA Activist For Raising Voice of Protest

On 8th April, AIPWA's Odisha Secretary Sabita Baraj along with 60 women activists of Rajkanika block, went to the local block office to protest regarding several local issues on the 'grievance day' declared by the local administration and Government. When they reached the Block office they found the gate closed, forcing them to wait outside in the severe heat. After two hours, the Block gate was opened by a peon and all the activist asked the BDO (block development officer) why the gate was closed on 'grievance day'? The BDO told them, "Being women how can you dare to ask this question?" The women strongly protested this sexist comment by the BDO, and Comrade Sabita filed an FIR against the BDO. After four hours the BDO filed cases against all the women activists. But the police took no action against the BDO, and instead attempted to arrest Sabita Baraj and the other women activists based on the delayed FIR filed by the BDO. On 11th April, 300 women activists of AIPWA held a protest meeting which was addressed by AIPWA activists as well as CPI(ML) state committee member Bidhan Das. The police continues to conduct raids on the homes of CPI(ML) and AIPWA activists, searching for Sabita Baraj.

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

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Fwd: ML UPDATE 15-16/ 2013

ML Update

A CPI(ML) Weekly News Magazine

Vol. 16, No. 15-16, 09 – 15 APRIL 2013

The Message of the CPI(ML)'s 9th Congress

he CPI(ML)'s 9th Congress, just concluded at Ranchi, Jharkhand, was a powerful assertion of the Left agenda and response to the challenges of today's India. The theme of the Congress – calling for a defence of ' People's Resources, People's Rights' against corporate plunder, smashing of the 'Business-Politics Nexus' and strengthening of a 'People's Politics' emerging from people's struggles – resonated strongly in the context of the daily mega-scams involving top corporate houses and politicians. It was especially apt in Jharkhand, where for over a decade since the formation of the State, ruling political parties and coalition governments of various hues have been united in facilitating corporate plunder of resources by evicting the resisting indigenous adivasis through ruthless repression. The CPI(ML)'s 9th Congress underlined the foremost task of the Left at such a juncture – to unite with people's movements and seek to assert a people's political alternative rooted in people's resistance.

In Ranchi, the 9th Congress began appropriately by saluting the legacy of the legendary adivasi anti-colonial hero Birsa Munda at the premises of the old Central Jail where he had been martyred. This legacy has the utmost significance now when the adivasi people are resisting corporate grab of land and resources in Jharkhand as well as other parts of the country. The 9th Congress also declared a resolution to observe the centenary of the historic Ghadar movement of 1913-14, which represented the finest secular, democratic, and fighting traditions of the freedom movement, and was one of the rich wellsprings of the Left movement in India.

The inaugural session of the CPI(ML)'s 9th Congress was addressed by leaders of a range of Left parties – the CPI, CPI(M), CPRM, Lal Nishan Party (Leninist), Forward Bloc, CPM Punjab, and Revolutionary Socialist Party - as well as representatives of the Jharkhand movement, and together asserted the spirited of united assertion of Left and people's movements.

International guests at the 9th Congress – especially the representatives of Left parties from Bangladesh and Nepal – underlined the need for international anti-imperialist solidarity and action, especially in South Asia. The 9th Congress demanded justice for the victims of the war-crimes during the Bangladesh war of 1971, and the genocide of Tamils in Sri Lanka. The 9th Congress also committed itself to uphold the legacy of Hugo Chavez – who had fired the imagination of the Left worldwide with his bold anti-imperialist resistance, his assertion that socialism is possible, and his model of regional and neighbourly solidarity instead of war-mongering, all of which is especially relevant for the people of India and the sub-continent.

Around 1000 delegates from 20 states deliberated on the political situation in the country and major international developments, updated the Party programme, and assessed the Party organization. At the 9th Congress, delegates and observers discussed a wide range of issues and adopted resolutions that would guide the party's practice on these questions – including the working class movement, agrarian and other rural struggles, women's movement, student-youth movement, intervention in panchayats, the urban work of the Party, media and culture and environmental protection and people-centric development.

The 9th Congress concluded with a massive 'Jan Vikalp (People's Alternative)' rally on April 7th. The enthusiastic turnout at the Rally, defying a bandh called by the Maoists, was a powerful assertion of the slogan – 'One Path, One Resolve – People's Struggles, People's Alternative'. The Rally identified the pro-corporate, pro-imperialist policies pursued by the UPA Government as the fountainhead of corruption. Therefore, while calling for rejection of UPA rue, it also rejected the corporate clamour for Narendra Modi as PM, pointing out that Modi was an icon, not only of the worst communal fascism but equally, also of unbridled corporate rule. The Rally exposed the 'development' claims of Nitish Kumar as a smokescreen for corporate exploitation of Bihar, rather than any genuine empowerment of the Bihari worker or student. The Rally demanded a judicial enquiry into the fake encounter at Chatra in Jharkhand, condemned the state repression on a student protest in West Bengal that claimed the life of a student activist, demanded immediate elections in Jharkhand and an end to back-door Congress rule in the name of President's Rule, expressed solidarity with various people's movements (at Nagari near Ranchi, against POSCO, and of fisher-people at Chilika Lake and workers' movement in NOIDA) and condemned state repression on these struggles.

The CPI(ML)'s 9th Congress was a rousing call for united Left assertion for people's resistance to pro-corporate policies, and for a genuine people's alternative to corrupt, anti-people politics and policies.

Report of the 9th Party Congress of CPI(ML) Liberation

PI(ML) Liberation's 9th party Congress began on April 2nd at Ranchi, with floral tributes to Birsa Munda at the old Birsa Munda Central Jail campus, where the legendary adivasi freedom fighter was killed in colonial police custody. CPI(ML) general secretary Comrade Dipankar Bhattacharya addressed the gathering at the old Birsa Central Jail. Calling Birsa Munda the Bhagat Singh of the 19th century, he said that the historical legacy of the anti-imperialist resistance of adivasis and Birsa Munda is all the more relevant in the context of plunder by corporations and foreign MNCs, Operation Green Hunt and repression on all kinds of people's movements today. Slamming the proposal to convert the historic jail where Birsa Munda was killed into a shopping mall, Comrade Dipankar Bhattacharya also demanded that this jail be converted into a museum of adivasi struggles and a memorial to Birsa Munda and his legacy.

CPI(ML) leaders and delegates from twenty states, leaders of various left parties as well as foreign guests from Bangladesh, Australia and elsewhere then marched from the old Birsa Central Jail to the Birsa Samadhi and offered floral tributes. The march then proceeded to the Zila School grounds, the venue of the 9th party congress. The red flag was hoisted at the Zila School grounds by Central Committee member Comrade Khitish Biswal, and floral tributes were paid at the martyrs' memorial by the foreign guests, CPI(ML) politburo members and leaders of left parties.

Ishwar Pokhrel, general secretary of the CPN(UML), Saiful Haq, general secretary of the Revolutionary Workers' Party (Bangladesh) as well as Comrade Bahnishikha from RWP Bangladesh, and Sue Bolton from Socialist Alliance party in Australia attended the inaugural session. At the inaugural session of the congress, condolence resolutions in memory of various left leaders, progressive intellectuals, cultural figures and CPI(ML) leaders who passed away or were martyred were passed. The inaugural session was addressed by B.P. Kesri, Chairperson of the Reception Committee, who welcomed all delegates and guests on behalf of the Ranchi-based reception committee. Prof. Nirmal Minz, ideologue of the Jharkhandi movement, talked of the need for a militant assertion of tribal identity and rights – and expressed hope that CPI(ML) would continue to strengthen movements for tribal rights and identity.

Apart from the CPI(ML) General Secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya, the inaugural session was addressed by CPI General Secretary Sudhakar Reddy, and CPI(M) central committee member comrade JS Majumdar read out a message from CPI(M) General Secretary Prakash Karat. Comrade RB Rai (former Lok Sabha MP and CPRM leader), Forward Block General Secretary Debabrata Biswas, CPM(Punjab) General Secretary Mangat Ram Pasla, RSP leader Manoj Bhattacharya, Vijay Kulkarni leader of Lal Nishan Party (Leninist), and Haladhar Mahto from Marxist Coordination Committee addressed the session. Veteran RSP leader Abani Roy was also present at the inaugural session.

Comrade Swadesh Bhattacharya, politburo member CPI(ML), thanked the participants and guests of the inaugural session, and especially thanked the people and citizens of Ranchi for extending their warm welcome to the CPI(ML) delegates.

International guests addressed the 9th Congress on the night of April 2nd. Solidarity messages came from the Ambassador of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, the Unified Communist Party of Nepal Maoist (UCPNM), New Democratic Party of Sri Lanka, the Communist Party of France (PCF), National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), Revolutionary Organization of Labor, USA, and Socialist Alternative, Australia.

From 2 to 6 April, 1024 delegates and 163 observers deliberated on and adopted a wide range of policy resolutions. Late at night on April 6, the CPI(ML)'s Party Congress elected a new 58-member Central Committee (list attached), which in turn elected a 17-member Polit Bureau and re-elected Dipankar Bhattacharya as General Secretary. The CPI(ML)'s 9th Congress concluded on April 7, 2013 with a massive 'People's Alternative Rally' at the Vidhan Sabha Maidan at Ranchi. The rally called for a people's political alternative to the UPA-NDA model of pro-corporate and anti-democratic governance. The Rally was addressed by CPI(ML) General Secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya, Revolutionary Workers' Party of Bangladesh General Secretary Saiful Haq; Sue Bolton of Socialist Alliance; Mangat Ram Pasla, Secretary of CPM Punjab; RB Rai, President of CPRM; and Vijay Kulkarni, Central Committee member of the Lal Nishan Party (Leninist); CPI(ML)'s MLA in the Jharkhand Assembly and newly elected CC member Vinod Singh; All India Kisan Mahasabha General Secretary Raja Ram Singh; and CPI(ML) Politburo member Kavita Krishnan.

Central Committee and Polit Bureau Elected by CPI(ML) 9th Congress

Comrades - Dipankar Bhattacharya (PB), Swadesh Bhattacharya (PB), Kartick Pal (PB), DP Buxi (PB), Rubul Sarma (PB), S. Kumaraswamy (PB),      Ramji Rai (PB), Amar (PB), Arindam Sen (PB), Swapan Mukherjee (PB), Kunal (PB), Dhirendra Jha (PB), Janardan Prasad (PB), Manoj Bhakta (PB), Partha Ghosh (PB), Kavita Krishnan (PB), Prabhat Chaudhary (PB), Nand Kishore Prasad, N. Murthy, B B Pandey, Rameshwar Prasad, Meena Tiwari, S. Balasundaram, V. Shankar, Malleshwar Rao, Bangar Rao, Rajendra Pratholi, Krishna Adhikari, KD Yadav, Saroj Chaube, Shubhendu Sen, Mrinmoy Chakravarty, Sanjay Sharma, Kalyan Goswami, Abhijit Mazumdar, Sudhakar Yadav, Rajaram Singh, Raja Bahuguna, Rajwinder Rana, Gurmeet Singh, Balasubramanian, Bhuvana, Shashi Yadav, Mahboob Alam, Ishwari Prasad Kushwaha, Mohd. Salim, Salil Datta, Prabir Haldar, Yudhishthir Mahapatra,   Mahendra Chaudhary, Partho Karmakar, Bibek Das, Pratima Ingheepi, Rabi K. Phangcho, Anant Prasad Gupta, Vinod Singh, Rajiv Dimri,  and Ravi Rai.

 Let us Unite and Rise to the Occasion

(Address of Comrade Dipankar Bhattacharya, at the Inaugural Session of the 9th Congress of the CPI(ML), Comrade Ram Naresh Ram Auditorium (District School Ground), Birsa Nagar (Ranchi), 2 April 2013)

Members of the outgoing Central Committee and Central Control Commission of the Party, comrades from various constituents of the Indian Left movement, esteemed guests from the communist movement in Nepal, Bangladesh and Australia, friends from the Reception Committee, activists from various ongoing people's struggles in Jharkhand, friends from the intelligentsia and media, and delegates and observers participating in the 9th congress of the CPI(ML),

It is a moment of great pleasure and honour for me to extend my revolutionary greetings and a very warm welcome to all of you. The campus of the 9th Congress of the CPI(ML) is dedicated to the memory of our beloved leader Parasji, Comrade Ram Naresh Ram, and the stage is named after Comrade Ibnul Hasan Basru, two members of the CC elected by the 8th Congress who are unfortunately no longer with us but their legacy will continue to inspire us in the days to come.

We meet here in the midst of a very challenging situation. Hugo Chavez, a towering leader of the international socialist movement of our times, died prematurely a month ago and his country will elect the next President on the coming 14th of April. At a time when socialism was sought to be discredited and declared dead in the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union, Chavez had rekindled the socialist imagination by tapping the storehouse of people's strength and energy to take on US imperialism and project a vision of socialism pulsating with the spirit of participatory democracy. We are confident that the Venezuelan people who defeated the US-backed coup attempt in 2002 will once again defeat the US design to destabilise Venezuela and carry forward the shining legacy of their dear leader.

The US and its allies have now taken their war campaign to Africa even as Washington's Iraq war has entered its second decade and the US-Israel nexus continues to target one inconvenient regime after another in the Arab world. War, colonisation and fascism have historically been the desperate escape-route sought by capital in crisis and once again we can see the global capitalist crisis threatening to escalate along this dangerous trajectory.

The crisis is however pregnant with great opportunities and glorious possibilities. Worldwide there is a renewed upswing in popular anti-capitalist assertion and anti-imperialist resistance. From the Occupy movement to anti-austerity struggles, from Tahrir Square to India Gate and Shahbagh, the air is once again thick with popular aspiration for change and progress. There is a definitive rekindling of the socialist imagination, and the Left is once again advancing in varied forms.

From the platform of the 9th Congress of the CPI(ML) we reiterate our solidarity with the international working class movement and with popular struggles for freedom, democracy, justice and socialism in every part of the world. We are very happy to have in our midst comrades from Nepal, Bangladesh and Australia and extend our warmest wishes to them for bigger victories in the coming days. We are also inspired by the messages of greetings we have received from comrades from Pakistan, Philippines, France, Greece and Venezuela. We look forward to developing closer ties of solidarity with progressive forces worldwide and especially in South Asia.

We are also happy that this inaugural session is being addressed by a broad spectrum of organisations of the Indian Left. Closer political understanding among various organisations of the Left and effective united action is the need of the hour. The Indian Left needs a new model of united struggle and we hope the coming together of such a broad spectrum of Left organisations and leaders in the inaugural session of the CPI(ML)'s 9th Congress will facilitate the process of building broad-based fighting unity of the Left. We also seek cooperation with a whole range of democratic forces who are engaged in fighting against the corporate-imperialist invasion of our economy, against the repressive measures of the state and against feudal, patriarchal, communal and sectarian violence.

Indeed, vast sections of the Indian people are daily exhibiting their readiness and resolve to fight for an end to injustice and oppression, for a more meaningful democracy with real rights for the people. In recent months we have seen powerful upsurges of the Indian people against corruption and corporate plunder and for freedom of women from patriarchal violence. The participation of more than 100 million workers in an unprecedented two-day general strike on 20-21 February marked a new high in India's working class movement. And the peasant-adivasi resistance on the ground to the corporate land-grab offensive shows the depth of determination of the people. The Left and democratic forces must rise to the occasion and lead the people's quest for an alternative to a decisive victory.

The scam-tainted and US-worshipping government at the Centre has lost all credibility and survives on outside support manipulated through a carrot and stick strategy – carrots of special packages and sticks of CBI raids. Yet it goes on inflicting blow after blow on the survival of the people. With elections approaching, we must get ready to vote out this regime of loot and repression. But it is not enough to vote out this government – we also have to vote out the government-in-waiting and give a fitting rebuff to the corporate-fascist clamour to make Narendra Modi India's Prime Minister and replicate the Gujarat model on an all-India scale. We have to vote out the pro-corporate policies that have spawned such a huge web of corruption and put the resources of the country and the livelihood of the people at stake. We have to vote out this non-transparent unaccountable culture of governance and establish the principle of accountability and primacy of people's welfare and people's rights over every other consideration.

Jharkhand has been the most tragic victim of the politics and economics of corporate plunder. Since it was formed in November 2000, this resource-rich state which is currently under president's rule has already had four Chief Ministers and all sorts of coalitions involving the BJP or the Congress on the one hand and various regional parties on the other. More than a hundred MOUs have been signed by these governments to satisfy corporate greed completely disregarding the interests and opposition of the indigenous and local people and making an utter mockery of the legal safeguards that are already in place.

In order to transform the state into a laboratory of loot, successive governments have unleashed brutal repression killing and jailing leaders and evicting the people. Comrade Mahendra Singh, the legendary CPI(ML) leader who had challenged this order of loot and repression was killed in a political conspiracy in January 2005 and till date the conspirators have not been brought to justice. Hundreds of our activists and elected people's representatives have been implicated in false cases and many are in jail. Yet the movement has marched on and the fact that we are able to hold our 9th Congress today in Jharkhand is a testimony to the strength and resilience of the people and the revolutionary movement.

From the podium of the 9th Congress of the CPI(ML), we rededicate ourselves to the task of freeing Jharkhand and the whole country from the corporate clutches and securing the greatest democratic rights of the Indian people. We thank all our friends in the Indian and international communist and Left movement for their solidarity and encouragement. We thank all our supporters and well-wishers in Jharkhand and rest of the country who have extended their valuable support to enable us to organise this 9th Congress in Ranchi, the capital of Jharkhand which we have renamed for the occasion as Birsa Nagar in memory of Birsa Munda, the legendary fighter for freedom and emancipation.

The 9th Congress of our Party will discuss and adopt a series of resolutions and reports to guide our practice in the coming days. We will discuss the political situation in the country and major international developments, we will take a fresh look at our Party programme and take stock of the Party organisation, and we will adopt policy resolutions dealing with the working class movement, agrarian and other rural struggles, women's movement, student-youth movement, intervention in panchayats, the urban work of the Party, media and culture and the increasingly important agenda of environmental protection and people-centric development. We will also elect a new central committee and a new central control commission to lead and regulate the Party in the coming days.

We hope with your cooperation and support the Congress will succeed in conducting its agenda successfully, equipping the Party with fresh ideas, energy and determination in fulfilling its responsibilities, the expectations of the people and the demands of the situation with all its strength.

Red Salute to our great martyrs and departed leaders!

Long live progressive international solidarity!

Down with imperialism! Long live revolution!!

Resolutions Adopted at Jan Vikalp Rally

1.         UPA, NDA and all ruling class parties are busy pushing the neoliberal pro-corporate and pro-imperialist policies and covering up people's questions with leaders' faces. These Governments have ruined the country and imposed a huge burden on common people. At the conclusion of its 9th Congress, the CPI(ML) through this massive People's Alternative Rally calls for a countrywide people's movement against corporate plunder and assaults on people's livelihood, land, and democratic rights. At this rally the CPI(ML) declares its unshakeable commitment to strengthen unity among Left parties on struggles on people's issues and to strengthen people's movements. This rally calls to assert a people's alternative to ruling class politics, policies, and assaults by strengthening and consolidating people's movements.

2.         This massive gathering of the people of Jharkhand strongly condemns the ploy to hand over resources to corporate plunderers, intensify repression, and impose Congress rule by the backdoor in the name of President's Rule. This gathering demands that Assembly Elections be held in Jharkhand without any delay, and ensure a democratically elected Government.

3.         This rally calls condemns in the strongest terms the heinous state-sponsored massacre at Chatra which is being falsely painted as an encounter, and demands an impartial and time-bound judicial enquiry to establish the truth and ensure punishment for the perpetrators.

4.         This rally condemns the brutal killing of Comrade Gangaram Kol, popular leader of tea garden workers' struggles, by hired goons of the Congress in Assam, and expresses outrage at the fact that the accused are yet to be arrested. This rally demands that the CBI enquiry into this killing complete its enquiry in a time-bound manner.

5.         This rally expresses outrage at the brutal lathicharge in West Bengal on protesting students in which SFI leader Sudipto Gupta was killed, and condemns in the strongest terms the Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee's statement terming the killing a 'minor' affair. This rally calls for a powerful people's resistance to the state terror being unleashed by the TMC Government to crush people's movements.

6.         This rally condemns the firing at Chilika Lake in Odisha, by prawn mafia gangs enjoying the patronage of the Odisha Government on fisher-people who were fishing near the gherries. 22 fishermen have been injured in this firing. This rally demands that the rights of the fisher-people be protected and stern action be taken against the prawn mafia gangs.

7.         This rally warmly hails the ongoing struggle by adivasis against land grab at Nagri near Ranchi, and declares its fullest support in carrying forward the struggle. This rally also declares its support for the ongoing struggle of Odisha's adivasi villagers against eviction in favour of the Korean mining company POSCO, and warns the Odisha Government not to continue with its plan to forcibly acquire land there.

8.         This rally hails the historic two-day All-India Strike on 20-21 February as a powerful assertion of the working class against corporate plunder, price rise and assaults on workers' rights. This rally condemns the crackdown in NOIDA on workers in the wake of the successful Strike, in the form of false cases and wholesale arrests against ordinary workers and trade union leaders. This rally demands the release of all the arrested workers and withdrawal of false cases without any delay.

9.         The Nitish Government of Bihar, which has been making a show of demanding special status for Bihar's development, has exposed its true colours by cutting MNREGA wages by Rs 20 and by the CAG revelation of irregularities in AC-DC bills to the tune of Rs 50,000 crore. CPI(ML) reiterates its demand for a CBI enquiry into the AC-DC scam and roll back of the cuts in MNREGA wages.

10.      This rally demands punishment for the perpetrators of genocide during the Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971 and of the genocide against Tamils in Sri Lanka by the Sri Lankan Government and Army.

Brutal Police Lathicharge in Kolkata on Students Protesting against Modi's Visit

 Mamata Banerjee's police brutally cracked down on anti-Modi protestors in Kolkata on April 9th. The police unleashed a brutal lathicharge on hundreds of students and activists who had gathered for a peaceful protest against Modi in front of The Grand Hotel, where Modi was addressing a meeting convened by the corporate honchos of Bengal.

Comrade Suvajit Maity of AISA, and Joyraj Bhattacharyya, actor and theatre activist, were severely injured in this lathicharge, and later more than 20 students and activist of AISA, USDF, IC and some other organizations were assaulted and later arrested.

Ever since the TMC has come to power in West Bengal, it has used the state machinery routinely to crush all democratic voices. Be it the forced eviction of poor citizens in Nonadanga, the killing of farmers in Dubrajpur, or the recent killing of an SFI activist by police brutality, Mamata Banerjee's government has always resorted to police crackdown of popular protests.

In his bid to fulfil his Prime Ministerial ambitions, Narendra Modi has been systematically touring various parts of the country, peddling his model of corporate plunder, corruption and mass murder as 'Development'. But everywhere he has had to face fierce protests from left and democratic sections of society. Back in Delhi, we saw how students and teachers protesting Modi's attempt to use academic spaces to legitimize his fascist agenda were met with severe lathicharge, rounds of water-cannons, fake cases against the activists, and beating and abuse by ABVP goons, with the help of Delhi Police.

While the progressive forces are rejecting Modi in one voice braving worst forms of state repression, various state governments, whether it is the Congress Government in Delhi or the TMC Government in Kolkata, despite their self-styled claims of 'secularism,' have been facilitating the Prime Ministerial ambitions of the mastermind of the Gujarat genocide.

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: