Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Fwd: ML Update 36 / 2013

ML Update

A CPI(ML) Weekly News Magazine

Vol.  16            No. 36                                                              27 AUG- 2 SEP 2013


Rape Culture Rears Its
Ugly Head Again

In the wake of the gangrape of a young photojournalist in Mumbai, there have once again been encouraging protests by people, expressing anger against sexual violence faced by women. Women have refused to allow fear to rule their lives, and have demanded that the Government take responsibility to safeguard women's freedom. 

While the courage of the rape survivor and determination of Mumbai's and India's women not to give up their struggle for unqualified freedom without fear are inspiring, the recent times have also seen an ugly display of rape culture, especially in the political response to rape.

Staring us in the face is a naked display of double standards in the treatment of rape, depending on the power and clout of the accused. In the case of the Delhi and Mumbai rapes, the accused, based on identification by the survivor, were arrested and charged with rape. But godman Asaram charged by a minor girl with sexual assault in the custody of his ashram in Jodhpur, is yet to be arrested, 10 days after the complaint! BJP leaders are openly defending him and his supporters are intimidating the complainant. And the Congress Government of Rajasthan and its police are shamelessly delaying his arrest, on the pretext of 'investigation'. By failing to arrest him, are they not allowing him to use his clout to intimidate witnesses? Are they not demoralising the complainant? Asaram ought to be immediately charged with aggravated sexual assault under the Prevention of Child Sexual Offences Act, and immediately arrested. 

In the wake of the Delhi gangrape, Asaram had met with angry protests for suggesting that the victim was also responsible for the rape, which she could have prevented by calling her assailants 'brother' and begging them to spare her. After the Mumbai gang rape, we have been subjected to a spate of victim-blaming and sexist remarks by politicians and ex-cops.

Samajwadi Party leader Naresh Agrawal has blamed rape on women's lifestyle, food habits and clothes. His party colleague Abu Azmi has declared that women are 'like gold' – they are bound to be looted unless kept safely locked up. Azmi has blamed women's clothes for provoking men to rape.

Maharashtra Home Minister RR Patil, notorious for his obsession with banning women from dancing in bars, and his support for Mumbai cops who indulge in moral policing, has promised 'police protection' for women journalists. And Laloo Yadav declared that girls who choose to become journalists ought to 'inform police' when they visit 'dangerous areas'! Laloo Yadav's remark shows just how such Patil's 'police protection' will take away the rights of women journalists and be used to blame them for 'risking' rape.

The Shiv Sena tried to use the fact that some of the rape-accused are Muslims, to raise a bogey against the minorities, whom they brand as 'Bangladeshis'. The irony is that just a day before the rape, a Shiv Sena MLA had threatened to have women staff at a toll booth publicly stripped. When an Asaram is accused of sexual assault, the saffron brigade leaps to his defence – but when an 'Abdul' is accused of rape, the same saffron forces try to paint the whole minority community as potential rapists. This communal design must be exposed and resisted tooth and nail, emphasizing that rapists' religion is irrelevant. MNS' Raj Thackeray predictably used the rape to rant against migrants, and suggested that bangles be offered to RR Patil (implying that he's not 'man enough' to 'protect' women). The sexism and misogyny implicit in equating bangles worn by women with lack of courage and political will, escapes the MNS. And of course how can we forget that the ideological forefather of Shiv Sena and MNS, Bal Thackeray, in a Saamna editorial in 2005, had justified the rape of a girl by a cop on Marine Drive, by suggesting that men could not be blamed if they were 'incited' by women wearing jeans!        

The irony is that all these ruling class politicians are united in their cry for death penalty for rape. The hypocrisy and bankruptcy of this demand is apparent when we see the same politicians openly glorifying men accused of sexual assault: be it Asaram or Chhattisgarh SP Ankit Garg; and blaming women for rape.

Confronted with NCRB figures for 2012-13 showing high rates of rape in Mumbai, an ex-cop YP Singh claimed that the bulk of rape complaints are 'technical rape' or 'false rape' – i.e, cases of live-in relationships or prostitution deals gone wrong. And to justify this outrageous claim, he explained that most rape complainants do not have serious injuries necessitating hospitalization! Ever since the Mathura rape case of 1980, the women's movement has struggled against the dangerous idea that rape is 'genuine' only if it results in grievous injuries; and even the law no longer holds this view – yet cops entrusted with upholding the law continue to peddle such notions.       

The media coverage of the Mumbai rape is also disturbing in its total lack of sensitivity and responsibility. For one thing, the media largely ignores rapes happening in rural India, rapes accompanying caste atrocities and communal violence; or those committed by security forces. The media focuses almost exclusively on some gangrapes, also downplays and even questions the veracity of the daily misogyny and violence faced by women in their 'normal' lives. In their quest for sensation, media houses covering the Mumbai rape have chosen to reveal the name of the magazine for which the survivor worked; and have alerted the neighbours and staff in the survivor's apartment complex that she has been raped. One reported even tried to climb 16 floors to interview the survivor in hospital. There is nothing shameful about being a rape survivor: but the survivor has the right to privacy, so that her identity and her life need not be marked forever by this act of violence. This appalling violation of the survivor's privacy, and the sensational attention to graphic details of the rape by the media is highly condemnable. 

The battle cry of women's right to 'freedom without fear' is what we must continue to raise and emphasise, as we expose and challenge the rape culture of those blaming women for sexual violence and protecting powerful rapists.    

Bihar State Committee Announces Several Major Programmes in the Next Two Months

The CPI(ML) Bihar State Committee meeting held in Gopalganj on 20-21 August announced several major initiatives for the months of September and October. The State Committee took serious note of the growing incidence of feudal-communal violence in Bihar and resolved to launch a statewide mass awakening and resistance campaign to counter this danger. Following a daylong dharna in the state capital, the Party will launch an intensive Swabhiman Yatra in the central Bihar districts of Rohtas, Kaimur, Bhojpur and Aurangabad which will culminate in a massive Swabhiman Rally at Sasaram on 15 September. Terming the incident of Independence Day attack on dalits at Baddi village in Rohtas district an alarming assault on the freedom, dignity and security of dalits as well as an insult to the glorious legacy of freedom movement in Shahabad and Bihar, the Party State Committee has called for a powerful counter-mobilisation against the forces of social oppression and injustice. 

Along with renewed feudal offensive, Bihar is also witnessing a spurt in communal violence and minority witch-hunt. Like Sanjarpur in Ajamgarh district of UP, Bar-samela village of Darbhanga seems to have been specially singled out for carrying out indiscriminate arrests of Muslim youth on trumped up charges. A 'Rihai Sammelan' will be held in Darbhanga on 19 October to demand an immediate halt to this witch-hunt, withdrawal of all false cases and release of all those who are languishing in Bihar jails on fabricated charges.

Finally on October 30, the Party will organise a state-level rally on the historic Gandhi Maidan of Patna to raise the people's voice against the growing failure and betrayal of the Nitish Kumar government on one hand and the communal campaign of the BJP on the other. The rally will also highlight the Left agenda in the national context and press for a reversal of the pro-corporate policies that have pushed the country into acute economic crisis and alert the people against the competitive attempts by the BJP and the Congress to deflect and divert the people's attention from the real crisis by raking up emotive issues like Ayodhya and war-mongering against Pakistan. In view of this overall context, the Bihar State Committee has decided to christen the October 30 rally as Khabardar Rally to sound the bell of warning against the growing crisis. Incidentally, the rally will be preceded by the BJP's first post-split show of strength in Bihar, the 'Hunkar Rally' which is scheduled to be held on October 27 and addressed by Narendra Modi.

AISA Holds Historic Referendum in Delhi University

More than 10,000 students of Delhi University participated in a Referendum on the Four Year Undergraduate Programme (FYUP) which had been arrogantly imposed in Delhi University, overriding the concerns of teachers, professors, and students alike. The AISA conducted this Referendum on 22nd August, and more than 91% of the participants voted a resounding "NO" to the FYUP. This referendum was historic because for the first time students of stood up to say: "We do have a right to give OUR opinion on OUR University, OUR courses, OUR future...."

Today, as the FYUP unfolds, its dismaying impact is obvious to all. The first year students are clueless and frustrated. It has been more than three weeks but still there is no attempt by authorities to listen to their issues and queries. Newspapers have carried extensive reports on the ridiculous content of the foundation courses, the students' sense of being forced to waste time on courses that yield no knowledge, the chaotic situation of infrastructure, the frustration of teachers and massive downsizing of workload and employment avenues for early career teachers - and also the DU Administration's enforced silencing of all these questions.

The TOI reported recently (15th August) that at a meeting with teachers, the DU VC declared that there could be 'no further discussion on FYUP' and that 'the damage has been done, and nothing can be done about it now.' In interaction with students, the DU VC has recently snubbed a query from a perturbed student by asking her why she chose DU when she was free to take admission elsewhere!

In this situation, if teachers are feeling silenced, students were feeling even more so. Education, after all, is not a product which students can 'return' or 'exchange' or even buy a new one if unsatisfied! The FYUP is playing a cruel experiment with their future, even as they acutely feel its impact. And their voice and opinions on the education that will affect them worst of all goes unheard even though thousands of them participated in the class boycott and protest rally on 7th August.

It is in this backdrop that AISA decided to hold the Referendum. We did so, relying on common students to volunteer and make the Herculean effort possible, knowing full well that the NSUI-ABVP led DUSU is in the pocket of the DU VC and has supported the FYUP.

The result was overwhelming. 11,556 students from 20 colleges cast their votes, defying administrative and police intimidation. The total number of votes polled was 11,556, of whom 10,519 voted NO to FYUP, 936 voted YES, and 101 were invalid. Newspapers reported that even those 1st year students who voted 'YES', had not voted approving of FYUP, but rather for fear that if the FYUP were scrapped, theirs might be the only generation forced to be the 'guinea pigs' of the experiment gone wrong, while future generations would escape it.

Nearly 20 colleges polled in the process and this did not include most of the evening colleges. Many teachers were observers through the process of voting and counting. In spite of all the hurdles and administrative and police intimidation, there was an overwhelmingly high-level of participation in the first hour of the Referendum itself. Many students eagerly stood in long queues to be able to finally be heard in a system that had chosen to let their and their teachers' cries against the FYUP fall on deaf ears.

This transparent and most peaceful exercise of direct democracy was one that alarmed the DU administration and the Vice-Chancellor so much that it sent College Principals and Delhi Police at several places to snatch the ballot boxes, and remove the polling booths and shut them down. Even as the result was declared, the police continued to surround the students counting. Indeed, Satyawati College Principal confiscated one of the ballot boxes and even now, as the result is declared, the box is still in his office.

This reign of terror and intimidation where the Police and the Principals, at the instruction of the VC, collude silence the voice of the students from coming to the fore tells us about the edifice of lies on which the FYUP's so-called 'popularity' is based.

At a time when the concerns of large sections of the university community were being silenced, students had no other method to speak up against FYUP through this Referendum. This Referendum was the students' creative and democratic response to the stifling of their voices against FYUP. We have demanded that the VC accept the results of this referendum and roll-back the FYUP, not scuttle students' voices. Students will not accept being treated as guinea pigs for experimentation in a course with bad syllabus and no infrastructure!

AIALA Initiatives in Puducherry

On 19th August 2013 All India Agricultural Labours Association (AIALA) units in Puducherry and Karaikal districts of Puducherry Union Territory went on a big demonstration infront of District Magistrate Offices of Puducherry and Karaikal respectively.

At Puducherry the demonstrators took out a procession and culminated with a demonstration demanding complete food security to all families/individuals who live below poverty line and inclusion of all rural workers as well as all construction workers including unorganised workers below poverty line list. They also demanded Rs. 3,000/- as monthly pension to all unorganised workers. The demonstrators also insisted right to livelihood and political rights to the unorganised workers and rural poor. In Puducherry the demonstration was led by R. V. Lenin, District Organiser, AIALA, S. Balasubramanian, National Secretary AICCTU, G. Palani District Secretary CPI (ML), AICCTU Puducherry State Secretary S. Motilal, P. Murugan, Co-Organiser AIALA and M. A. Akbar (AICWF) addressed the protestors, Com. J. Sakthivelu, Organiser Movement for protection of roofless flagged off the procession. A detailed memorandum was submitted to the Chief Minister of Puducherry through the District Magistrate.

At Karaikal the demonstration was led by Com. Ramesh District Secretary Movement for protection of roofless P. Sankaran, Vice President AICCTU, A. S. Singaravelu Local Committee Secretary CPI (ML) and others spoke among the demonstrators.

Initiatives Against Dalit Atrocity at Baddi

A successful bandh in the Shahabad belt of Bihar was observed on 19th August against the Independence Day atrocity at Baddi, Bihar, with rail and road blockades being witnessed at Ara, Khutha, Fatepur (Tarari), Piro, Agiaon, Sahar, Shahpur, Jagdishpur, Gadhani, Charpokhri, Sasaram, Vikramganj, Dinara, Tilauthu, Dumraon, Sonbarsa, Brahmpur (Buxar), Kaimur and other places.

Around 3000 people protested and submitted demand petitions to the SDO in Masaudi sub-division of Patna. Similar demands were also made at Sampatchak, Phulwari, Paliganj, Naubatpur, Futha and Danapur in Patna. CPI(ML) and Khemas activists protested in Jahanabad and 1000 people blocked the Patna-Gaya road. Protests were also held in Arwal, Nalanda, Nawada, Darbhanga, madhubani, Samastipur, Arariya, Supaul, Khagadiya, Saharsa, Champaran, Muzaffarpur, Bhagalpur, Gopalganj and other places.

On Rail Tragedy in Bihar

CPI(ML) expressed deep grief at the death of 40 persons in the Rajdhani Express rail tragedy on the Saharsa-Patna sector and extended heartfelt condolences to the victims and their families and demanded proper medical care for the injured. The Party also demanded a high level enquiry into the tragedy.

Attack on CPI(ML) Leader by UP Mining Mafia

Senior leader and member of the CPI(ML)  State Standing Committee of UP Ramesh Senger was grievously injured when mining mafia attacked him at the Bakshi ka Talab Teshil, barely 30 km from the state capital Lucknow on 24th August while he was returning with few other comrades from a mass contact campaign in a neigbouring village. He suffered multiple fractures in his leg and hands.  Others injured in the attack include AICCTU leaders Surendra Prasad, Keshav Mishra and Santosh Kushwaha.

 Of late the party had started its political work in this region adjacent to the state capital. On 10th August, a mass meeting was held to raise the burning issues of the rural poor of the region including illegal land grab of GS land, atrocities on Dalits and the rampant illegal mud mining going on with the connivance of the local police in the region. News about the ongoing illegal mining in the area was prominently  covered by the press two days  later. This angered the local Mafia Sarabjit Yadav who threatened ML leaders with dire consequences.  On 14th August, he along with his dozen henchmen attacked the house of a local ML cadre Ramsewak Rawat who hails from a Dalit origin.The report of this attacked was lodged in the Madiyoan police station. SC-ST Act along with other serious charges were registered in the case but the police did not dare to arrest the mafia. Emboldened by police patronage, Sarabjit again attacked Com. Ramsewak's house on 15th August, ironically, the Independence day. To protest against the repeated attacks and police inaction, a two day sit-in was organized in front of the DMs office on 16-17 August.  A memorandum was presented to the DM demanding action against the belligerent Mafia. Here too, there was no action taken by the district administration.

Although a named FIR has been registered against the Mafia and his men, only two arrests have been made so far while the Mafia continues to roam around freely. Such is the state of the rule of law in 'Akhilesh Sarkar'. After the Durga Shakti episode about the rampant illegal mining activities going on unabated in UP made headlines, the Mr.Akhilesh Yadav went on record saying that his government would leaving no stone unturned in ensuring that such illegal activities are stopped. His government claimed that there is no illegal mining activity going on in UP and the allegations against the state government were baseless.

In the meanwhile, to press for the arrest of the Mafia, a two day fast was observed in front of the state secretariat (Vidhan sabha) on 26 th August. Com. Surendra, Sudhanshu, Ramsewak, Ramkali , Naumilal and Sarabjit sat on the fast. A state wide protest was organized by CPI(ML) to press for the arrest of the mafia and against the continuing police protection to the attackers. Protest marches and sit-ins were organized at Ghazipur, Chandauli, Mirzapur, Sitapur, Allahabad, Bijnor, Saharanpur and Moradabad. A memorandum addressed to the Governor of UP has also been sent from different centers of protest. It has been demanded that (1) The Mafia be immediately arrested (2) The Station Officer of Madiyoan police station be suspended for protecting the Mafia and (3) protection be provided to Com.Ramsewak Rawat who is facing threats from the mafia.

AIKM Demonstration at Dharchula, Uttarakhand

Villagers of 3 villages of the Gothi town of Dharchula, survivors of the devastating natural calamity in Uttarakhand, held a protest demonstration at Dharchula under the banner of the All India Kisan Mahasabha.

On August 1st, villagers had held a mass hunger strike to demand rations and a new transformer to end the erratic electricity supply. The district administration turned a deaf ear for 25 days.

So on 26th August they gheraoed the Tehsil and raised slogans against the district administration and the State Government. They gave an ultimatum to the SDM Pramod Kumar, who was absent from his office, to present himself within an hour, declaring they would otherwise put a lock on the tehsil premises. When the SDM failed to assure the villagers of action within the stipulated time, the demonstrators announced that they would blockade the National Highway at Gothi on September 5th.  

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: 22518248, e-mail:, website:

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

ML Update 35 / 2013

ML Update


A CPI(ML) Weekly News Magazine

Vol.  16               No. 35                                                                                                                         20-26 AUG 2013

Independence Day 2013:

Rhetoric versus Reality

August 15, 2013 marked the 66th anniversary of India's Independence. For the rulers, the Independence Day has always been an occasion to revel in self-congratulatory eloquence seeking to give a sweet coating to the harsh reality experienced by the people at large. While the President traditionally presents a statesman-like view from above in his Independence Day eve address, the Prime Minister uses his speech from the ramparts of the Red Fort to beat his government's drum.  2013 has been no different except that this year we had the Gujarat CM throwing his hat into the ring hoping that his rhetorical counterpoint would catapult him from his blood-stained provincial throne to the coveted seat of central power.


In his Independence Day eve address this year, President Pranab Mukherjee did touch upon some of the problems ailing the country, but he had no solution to the problems other than the worn-out plea to the people to utilise the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections to elect a stable government. This was a throwback to the old Indira era even as it sounded anachronistic in a situation where the two dominant ruling class coalitions are projected to finish around hundred seats short of the majority mark. Perhaps this was the President's way of responding to the pre-poll surveys predicting a hung Parliament. Interestingly enough, Narendra Modi seems to believe that the call for a strong and stable government could benefit the BJP rather than the Congress and he was prompt to laud the President's address while rubbishing the Prime Minister's speech.


Manmohan Singh's speech this year dealt more with the history of the legacy of Nehru, Indira and Rajiv Gandhi – a clear pointer to the fact that the government is desperately trying to run away from owning up its responsibility for the current crisis. Perhaps it also reflected his premonition that the days of his government are numbered and hence the attempt to put his government in historical context. Of course he did not shy away from tomtomming his government's so-called record of 'growth' and 'empowerment' even as the country reels under an explosive economic crisis and democracy is daily defrauded by an increasingly repressive and intrusive state.


The Indian rupee that stood equal to the American dollar in 1947 has plummeted to an alarming Rs 64 to a dollar, leaving the country clueless as to how it could repay foreign debts or foot the import bill. But the 'solution' peddled by our rulers is to subject the country to still greater external dependence, leaving us 'free' only to survive at the mercy of foreign capital and its domestic collaborators. The current policy regime of liberalisation, privatisation and globalisation had been launched in 1991 in the name of saving India from economic crisis, but after two decades of blind pursuit of that policy trajectory India now finds herself in the grip of a still more severe economic ruin. It has been a disastrous jump from the frying pan to fire.


If the Congress is busy appeasing the American bosses by mortgaging the economy, Modi believes he can overtake the Congress by flexing muscles against Pakistan. Appeasement of America and war-mongering against Pakistan remain the two cardinal principles of bourgeois nationalism in India and the BJP is once again trying its best to whip up a jingoistic frenzy against Pakistan. In the name of avenging the killing of Indian soldiers on the LoC, the BJP would like to aggravate the incidents of violation of ceasefire on the LoC into yet another full-scale war with our western neighbour. Sixty-six years ago 'Independence' had come to the subcontinent soaked in communal bloodbath and bifurcation of the country. It was a disaster that badly affected both India and Pakistan and the two countries have had to pay a heavy price for this tragedy in innumerable ways. Today while the majority of the people in India and Pakistan want to move on as friendly neighbours committed to bilateral peace and partnership, the BJP is desperate to perpetuate the legacy of mutual distrust and war.


The competitive 'big power' rhetoric of the ruling classes cannot however suppress the fact that for vast sections of the Indian people everyday reality remains one of unfreedom. And this bitter truth was once again revealed most shockingly on this year's Independence Day in a Bihar village. In Baddi village of Shivsagar block in Rohtas district an elderly dalit resident Vilas Ram was beaten to death, several injured, two dalit houses torched, a Ravidas temple vandalised and the statue of Ravidas disfigured by an armed mob of upper caste feudal gentry – all in broad daylight while Independence Day celebration programmes were underway across the country.


The armed mob wanted to get rid of the Ravidas temple and usurp the land and they chose the temple complex to hoist the tricolour. Vilas Ram and some other people from the dalit hamlet of Baddi protested against this move and this was 'instigation' enough for the armed mob to go berserk. Incidentally the local police outpost is quite nearby and the village comes under high profile Lok Sabha constituency Sasaram that is currently represented by Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar and was the traditional seat of her father and well-known dalit face of the Congress, Babu Jag Jivan Ram.


India cannot be misled by Manmohan Singh's false assurances or Modi's fascist rhetoric. The country must wake up to the grim reality of economic and environmental crisis that has been imposed on us by the ruling classes and the lack of freedom that still vitiates the social existence of millions of Indians. The reality of people's movement for change must prevail over the rulers' rhetoric of deception.  


Fact-finding Report:
Baddi Dalit Atrocity


A CPI(ML) team comprising All India Kisan Mahasabha General Secretary Rajaram Singh and Arun Singh, former MLA from the Karakat assembly constituency, visited Baddi on the day of the attack, to find out the facts. Excerpts from their report:


The Background


Baddi village, in Shivsagar block of Rohtas district, about 15 kilometres from Sasaram, has about 80 Mahadalit (Ravidas) homes, and 100 Rajput homes. A pucca road leads to the village, one fork towards the dalit tola (hamlet) and one towards the Rajput tola. Near the dalit tola, on the roadside, is a two-storey temple dedicated to Sant Ravidas, after whom the community is named.       


In June this year, an idol of Ravidas was installed in the temple; before this, the Dalits used to worship a photograph. The Dalits had collected Rs 1.5 lakh to install a marble idol instead. The Sant Ravidas temple is, undoubtedly, a symbol of the Dalit community and its sense of identity.   


The Ravidas temple standing at such a prominent place in the village was resented by the powerful upper castes in the village. For quite a while, they had been trying to wrest control of the 6 dismil of gair mazarua land on which the temple stood. And the pretext for doing so was that they sought to replace the Ravidas temple and idol with one of the freedom movement martyr Nishan Singh. Nishan Singh, a Rajput landowner of the same village, had been active in the 1857 First War of Independence and had been executed by the British. When Nishan Singh's descendants had sought to install his statue on the same piece of land where the Ravidas temple stood, the Dalits had argued that these descendants already owned quite a bit of land, while the Dalits could only use gair mazarua public land. There was another plot of 3 dismils of land at a short distance that was available for a statue of the freedom fighter. Why distort and diminish the stature of the freedom fighter and martyr to that of a symbol of anti-Dalit feudal dominance, by pitting his statue against the temple of the Dalit saint?    


A couple of days before 15th August, the Dalit villagers had informed the Baddi police outpost and the SP too, of the impending attempts to forcibly grab the land on which the temple stood, on the pretext of installing a statue of Nishan Singh. 


The Incident


It was the practice, at 8 am on Independence Day every year, for the Dalits to hoist the tricolour flag at the flagpole near the temple. This year, the Bihar CM Nitish Kumar had ordered that the tricolor be hoisted officially in all Mahadalit tolas, and so the Baddi Dalits were expected to wait for the BDO to hoist the flag. The BDO had told the Dalits that he would come at 10 am.


At 8 am, however, the Rajputs came, and on the pretext of hoisting the national flag, began digging to install the statue of Nishan Singh. The Dalits spotted this, and gathered to protest, realizing that if the statue were installed there, it would mean the loss of their control over the plot of land and the temple. They informed the police, and the digging stopped.


The Rajputs went to the police outpost, and sat there for some time. Then, clearly with the blessings of the local police, they returned at around 9 am, armed to the teeth, to attack the Dalit tola and temple with firearms and iron rods. Vilas Ram was dragged off, badly beaten, and shot dead. Women, children, and elderly folk were brutally thrashed with iron rods. The heavy iron gate to the Ravidas temple was broken, the temple set on fire, and the hand of the idol broken. Two Dalit homes were burnt down, with all their belongings. Two teenage schoolgirls were being dragged off by the assailants, but their schoolteachers intervened to rescue them. The water pump and solar light were vandalized.  


The SP had been called when the attack began, and he arrived at Baddi withing one and a half hours. His arrival averted an even bigger massacre. However, there has been an obvious attempt to cover up the atrocity, and the collusion of the local police outpost with the assailants. The BDO had the idol and various blood stains cleaned up, thereby destroying important evidence.   


Around 40 people were injured badly enough to require hospitalization; some of them were taken to hospital in Sasaram, and 12 of them who were seriously injured were admitted in the PMCH at Patna.      


Feudal Assertion in the Shahabad Region


The Shahabad belt of Bihar, especially the Rohtas district, have witnessed a bid at feudal reassertion during the Nitish Kumar tenure. CPI(ML)'s Rohtas Secretary Bhaiyyaram Yadav was killed last year by feudal forces when he protested against the rape of a dalit girl child.


The incident shows that in today's Bihar, where the CM is being hailed by the corporate media for having 'changed the subject' of feudal upper caste violence and ushered in an era of progress, feudal forces actually feel emboldened. The subject is far from changed. In the Baddi incident, it is significant that the forces of upper caste feudal reaction chose to cloak themselves in the garb of nationalism. The Dalit symbol of Sant Ravidas, like the statue of Dr Ambedkar in other parts of the country, is targeted for violence. The act of wresting land legitimately controlled by Dalits was sought to be done in the name of hoisting the national flag on Independence Day, and installing the statue of a freedom fighter and martyr. This is part of the same pattern where the communal and feudal forces seek to disguise their anti-Muslim and anti-Dalit fascist agenda as 'patriotism.'


Throughout Nitish Kumar's tenure, successive events have given the feudal forces a sense of entitlement and impunity: the scrapping of the Amir Das Commission (set up to probe political links of the Ranveer Sena); the betrayal of the Land Reforms Commission report; the acquittal of the perpetrators of the Bathani and Nagari massacres and the violence unleashed after Brahmeshwar Singh's killing. In Baddi and Raghunathpur, too, the failure to arrest the assailants continues to send a message of protection to the feudal forces.


Deceit at the Hospital of Truth


Sanitation Hospital Workers Strike at a Delhi Hospital over Non-Payment of Minimum Wages


Sanitation workers of the Satyavadi Raja Harishchandra Hospital, Narela in Outer Delhi have started an indefinite dharna since 8th August, to protest their unjust dismissal when they asked to be paid the statutory minimum wage for unskilled work declared by the Delhi Government, Rs 7254 per month.


They were instead being paid nearly half this amount – just Rs 3500 pm. Further, the workers had not received any salary at all for the past 5 months – since March 2013. The dharna is being organized by the workers under the banner of their Union, the All India General Kamgar Union affiliated to the AICCTU.The Hospital is a 200-bed hospital run by the Delhi Government. Its Chairman is the local MLA of the area, Jaswant Rana of the Congress party. The Medical Superintendent (MS) is Dr. Chandrakant.


It is shocking that minimum wage laws and contract labour laws are being blatantly violated in a hospital run by the Delhi Government, whose Chairman is an MLA of the ruling party.

There were 25 safai karamcharis (sanitation workers) employed by the Hospital. Although the work they do is a permanent nature, they are all contract workers. The contractors change from time to time, the workers have remained the same for years. This is a blatant violation of the Contract Labour Regulation and Abolition Act (CLARA Act). The Contract Labour Act also stipulates that contract workers must be paid the same as permanent ones for the same work, according to the principle of 'Equal Pay for Equal Work'.


If these sanitation workers were to be paid at the same rate as permanent workers, they would be paid Rs 25000 a month. Moreover, each worker did the work of two – cleaning two wards instead of one. In July, the workers complained to the Labour Department of North West district, asking to be paid minimum wages, as well as their pending salaries.


On the 31st of July, the contractor said he would no longer work at the Hospital, and since 3rd August, the workers were told that they were dismissed. The principal employer is the Hospital, and according to the Contract Labour Regulation and Abolition Act (CLARA Act), the principal employer must guarantee payment of minimum wages to all workers, taking the amount from the contractor's payment if the contractor refuses to pay the minimum wage. Instead, the MS of the Hospital is openly threatening the workers with arrest on false charges of theft.


On the 3rd of August, the workers were told by a guard that the MS wished to meet their representatives at 6 pm. Two workers, Shiela and Sunil went to meet the MS. He told them they had the option of accepting a Rs 200 wage hike, and working 12 hours a day instead of 8, if they wanted to stay on. If not, he said, they - "should not be seen on the premises, or else I will have the SHO arrest you on false charges of theft."


The Hospital has also removed the Board of the Delhi Sanitation Workers Commission displaying the statutory minimum wages, which by law the Hospital is required to display. Since the workers have been illegally laid off, there is a sanitation crisis in the Hospital, with garbage stinking on the premises. One sanitation worker Praveen Jain said that the MS called him on the phone, asking him to take Rs 500 to throw away the garbage bags. He refused, saying that the Hospital should instead uphold the law and give the workers their legal and rightful wages and rights.


Recently the local MLA visited the dharna spot and promised action, but he failed to persuade the workers to lift the dharna. The workers demanded that they be reinstated first, with arrears paid and minimum wages guaranteed, and then they would raise the dharna. Delhi Sanitation Workers Commission has also been approached by the workers seeking their intervention.


South Asia Solidarity Group Statement

No UK Visa for Mass Murderer Narendra Modi!
Withdraw the invitation to Modi


South Asia Solidarity Group condemns the invitation to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi to address the

House of Commons issued by the Labour Friends of India and the Conservative Friends of India. We strongly believe that Narendra Modi, who is responsible for the 2002 genocidal attacks in which over 2,000 men women and children from Gujarat's Muslim minority community were systematically killed, must not be allowed to visit the UK. Modi's past visits to the UK have been used to raise extensive funds and support for communal violence, and a visit at this time when Modi is launching a campaign to become India's next Prime Minister, and continues to try to gain votes using openly fascistic and anti-minority rhetoric, would be particularly dangerous. 


In the wake of the 2002 genocide and the extensive documentation of Modi's role in co-ordinating and sponsoring it. the UK, other EU, and US governments were compelled to  distance themselves from Modi and the Gujarat state government. However recently we have seen David Cameron take steps to rehabilitate Modi, as evidenced by meetings between the British High Commissioner and Modi in Ahmedabad. This puts the interests of British corporates wishing to invest in Gujarat ahead of any concerns for human rights and justice, and makes a mockery of the rights of the three British citizens who were murdered during the genocide and whose families are yet to see justice. We condemn this collusion in Modi's attempts to deny his role as a mass murderer. We demand that the invitation to Modi is withdrawn and he is refused a visa to the UK.


Pithoragarh villagers stage hunger strike


 (From The Hindu, dt 14 August 2013, by C. K. Chandramohan)


Starving and irate residents of about 13 villages staged a token hunger strike before the office of the Sub-Divisional Magistrate, Munsyari, in Pithoragarh district of Uttarakhand on 13th August to protest against the failure of the Government to provide food and essential supplies to them even after two months of the mid-June deluge and landslips.


Hundreds of residents of villages Senar, Pyanti, Kultham, Dilam, Tall Dummar, Jimighat, Dhapa, Ranthi, Gardhaniya, Bhadeli and Patharkhani are living without proper shelter and food with the local administration seemingly failed to provide them rations, tents, medicines and other supplies, said Sita Martolia and others from various flood and landslip ravaged villages.


The villagers accused the SDM of carrying out relief works only in villages pointed out by the local Congress MLA Harish Dhami. "We hope the Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna would order the District Magistrate to end this step-motherly treatment to us," said Jagat Martolia district secretary of the CPI (ML).


Describing the recent flash floods as a result of illegal riverbed mining by unscrupulous elements, the villagers accused the MLA of supporting the mining mafia instead of helping the hapless victims.


Another villager Ram Singh Ghangaria said the victims would be forced to launch an indefinite fast at the SDM's office if relief was not sent to the flood-ravaged villages within a week.


Reports of food scarcity have also come in from various cut-off villages of interior Uttarkashi where the authorities were sending rations and other essential supplies to the villages that were near the road head. "Why can't the authorities repair the mule tracks so that rations could be transported to cut-off villages of Bhatwadi and Dunda," asked Sanjay Negi, a social worker in Uttarkashi.


AIALA Unit in Odisha Demands Proper Policy For Agricultural Labourers


AIALA Odisha observed the national agitation day in different districts of the state, demanding a proper policy with homestead land rights to all agricultural laborers throughout the state. The demonstration took place in Puri, Rayagada, Kalahandi, Bhadrak, Kendrapara and Keonjhar. AIALA state units distributed around 10,000 leaflets in different districts. Around 5000 workers participated in the protests. In Puri, Yudhistir Mohapatra, CPI(ML) CC member, Ashok Pradhan, and Satyabadi Behera, President, AIALA Odisha addressed the protesters in front of the district collector of Puri. Protesters demanded proper PDS, and Rs 250 as wages per day to the agricultural laborours. The protesters criticised the BJD government and UPA Government for failing to provide 100 days work to rural workers in the state as well as in the country. In Kalahandi, Nilanjan Bhattacharya, in Rayagada Tirupati Gamango, Brundban Bidika, in Bhadark Comrade Samarbal and Kendrapara Comrade Bidhan Das submitted a memorandum to the district administration.


Public Meeting Demanding Justice at Batla House


The AISA and RYA held a public meeting at the Khalilullah Masjid, Batla House, titled 'Conviction of Shehzad: Question Mark on Justice'. The meeting was well attended by students of Jamia Millia Islamia as well as local residents.


Addressing the meeting, Shehzad's lawyer Satish Tamta outlined the glaring holes in the prosecution case against Shehzad, and in the police version of the Batla House 'encounter' generally. He showed how the police had failed entirely to prove Shehzad's presence in the L-18 flat, his manner of escape, or evidence of him having fired a gun, let alone shot anyone. He expressed concern about the verdict's observations explaining away the police's lack of independent witnesses by implying that members of the minority community would not be reliable witnesses.


Kavita Krishnan, PB member of CPI(ML), said the verdict had only added fresh questions to the burning questions about the Batla House 'encounter.' Challenging the communal campaign that those raising questions about the genuineness of the 'encounter' were anti-national, she spoke of the former Karnataka DGP's observations in the Santosh Hegde commission of enquiry set up by the Supreme Court in the Manipur fake encounter cases. The former cop has said that local people always know when an encounter is fake, and fake arrests and encounters make us less, not more secure as a country. She suggested that a commission of enquiry similar to the Hegde Commission be set up to look into the Batla House encounter. She spoke of BJP's politics of communal pogroms and fake encounters, as epitomized by Modi. "Digvijay Singh and Salman Khursheed of the Congress shed crocodile tears for the martyrs of Batla House and Azamgarh: but it is their own Congress-led governments, their own P Chidambaram, who blocks any enquiry into the Batla House encounter," she said.

The meeting was conducted by Farhan of AISA, and also addressed by Zeeshan of RYA and Sandipan of AISA. 


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: 22518248, e-mail:, website:


Thursday, August 15, 2013

ML Update 33-34 / 2013

ML Update

A CPI(ML) Weekly News Magazine

Vol.  16                          No. 33-34                                                                                                        13-19 AUG 2013

Be Alert to Rebuff Communal Violence

Instances of communal violence are flaring up in various parts of the country, and it is important to remain alert to and rebuff the efforts of certain political forces to make communal capital by fomenting violence. 

In Kishwar in Jammu and Kashmir, a communal conflagration has claimed four lives, left many injured, and devastation of houses, shops, and property. In spite of intelligence alerts warning of communal violence, the J&K Government failed to take steps to avert the violence. The Home Minister of the State, Sajjad Kitchloo, who is also the MLA from Kishtwar, has rightly had to resign in the wake of the violence.

Whether the initial clashes with an Id procession were spontaneous or engineered by political forces must be investigated. It is all too clear that the BJP and the Sangh Parivar are making an all out effort to fan the flames of communal violence. The BJP's effort is to capitalise on the J&K clashes in order to put communal wind in the sails of its election campaign towards the next Lok Sabha polls. Every communal conflagration for the BJP, especially one in J&K, is an occasion to boost its hate campaign that paints the Muslims as 'enemies of the nation.' Anti-Pakistan jingoism therefore goes hand in hand with their attempts to foment communal hatred by identifying Muslim minorities with Pakistan.    

In other states as well, there is a rise in instances of communal violence. In Nawada in Bihar, communal violence has flared up in an organized way, and is still ongoing. In Bhojpur too, there was an incident of communal mischief recently, where CPI(ML) comrades played an important role in resisting the communal campaign and maintaining harmony. There have been other instances of communal violence in Bettiah, Khagaria and Jamui. 

A news daily has reported that in the six weeks since the JD(U)-BJP split, two dozen instances of communal clashes have been reported in Bihar, several times the average for the state in recent years. In July alone, Bihar reported 16 cases of communal violence. It is impossible to ignore the political implication of this sharp rise in communal violence. When the JD(U) and BJP were in alliance for the past 8 years, the BJP ran a calculated and concerted campaign of communalization in the state, especially in North-east Bihar, with the approval and patronage of its ally the JD(U). The Sangh held several conferences of backward and even adivasi and dalit communities during this period, seeking to communalise. The police brutality in Forbesganj, backed fully by local BJP leaders, bore the stamp of this communal campaign. The spate of arrests, torture, and even custodial death of Muslim youth of Darbhanga on extremely flimsy and questionable terror charges went without protest by the Bihar CM, who failed to speak for the rights of these sons of Bihar. The Sangh Parivar's student wing ABVP ran a vicious campaign against the proposal to set up a branch of the Aligarh Muslim University in Bihar. Just last year, Nitish Kumar, contrary to his secular posturing today, inaugurated a Sangh-backed event at Srikrishna Memorial Hall in Patna to commemorate the centenary of Sangh founder Golwalkar. Now, after the split, the BJP has intensified its communal offensive, while the JD(U) hopes to benefit from the communal polarisation and the resulting insecurity of the minorities.

In Uttar Pradesh too, there has been a recent instance of communal violence at Meerut, and an escalation in communal violence ever since the Samajwadi Party Government came to power. The Samajwadi Party's own politics of opportunist hobnobbing with communal forces and attempts to foster communal polarisation are to blame, as are the efforts of the Sangh Parivar and BJP – including its top national leadership – to revive its cow protection and Ram Mandir campaigns. There were 27 instances of communal violence in UP between March and December 2012, and 24 instances between January and March 2013. The Samajwadi Party's complete failure to act against communal forces and curb communal violence can be contrasted with their opportunist attempts to give an anti-communal spin to their vindictive action against an IAS officer who had been acting against the sand-mining mafia.        

Those responsible for fomenting communal violence in J&K, Bihar and UP must be identified and brought to book. With the Lok Sabha polls approaching, it is important for all people to remain alert to expose and rebuff any attempts to whip up communal tensions and engineer communal violence by vested interests.   

Convention Held To Commemorate
the Centenary of the Ghadar  Movement

With Independence Day approaching, a National Convention was held in Delhi to commemorate the Centenary of a unique chapter in India's freedom struggle – the Ghadar Movement. The Convention, organised by the All India Left Coordination (AILC) at Mavalankar Hall, was marked by the presence of descendants of the Ghadarites, audio-visual presentations by historians on the Ghadar Movement, and addresses by Left leaders of the CPI(ML) and CPM Punjab on the contemporary relevance of the Ghadar legacy for people's movements in India today. 

A cultural group from the Deshbhakt Yadgar Committee, Jalandhar, presented revolutionary songs at the outset. Among those on the stage were renowned and veteran Marxist scholar and political scientist Prof. Randhir Singh, Justice (Retd) Rajinder Sachar, Savitri Sawhney, daughter of Ghadar Party leader Pandurang Khankhoje, and JPS Kohli, grandson of Ghadar Party leader Dr. Mathura Singh.

Prof. Chaman Lal made an impressive presentation of the remarkable history of the Ghadar movement, with the help of slides with historic photographs. He showed how a 100 years ago, Indian revolutionaries living as immigrants in North America and Canada formed the Ghadar Party to fight for India's independence from British rule. The movement intensified in mid-1914 when a ship, the Kamagata Maru, full of Indian immigrants was turned back at Canada, and several of the passengers killed and arrested on its return to India in the clash with the colonial police. The Ghadar Party declared the Ailan-e-jang (Proclamation of War) in this backdrop, inspiring thousands of Indian immigrants to return to the homeland to organize an armed rebellion. But in spite of widespread support, the movement was ruthlessly crushed. In Singapore, 37 Ghadar supporters were executed and 41 transported for life. In the conspiracy trials, 45 Ghadar leaders were sentenced to death and more than 200 to long prison terms. The Ghadar movement's legacy was carried forward by revolutionaries like Shaheed-e-Azam Bhagat Singh, and many Ghadarites became communist party organisers.     

Historian Prof. Shamsul Islam spoke about the anti-imperialist and staunchly secular legacy of the Ghadar movement, which is in glaring contrast to the role of the Hindutva forces which remained aloof from the freedom struggle.

CPM Punjab Secretary Mangat Ram Pasla said that today, the Ghadar movement's anti-imperialist legacy has more relevance than ever, when India's Government shamefully serves the interests of American imperialism, opening up India to plunder through FDI, and telling Indian people to eat meals on Rs 5 a day. He called upon India's people to complete the unfinished task of the Ghadar movement.

CPI(ML) General Secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya asked if India could really call itself free when the US Government can spy on India, and when India's is the only Government in the world that is loyal enough to American masters to defend US spying?

Comrade Dipankar said that the Ghadar movement's legacy shows us that true patriotism can only be secular and anti-imperialist, in stark contrast to the communal and corporate-backed fascist agenda being peddled by Narendra Modi and the BJP.

A film in memory of the Ghadar movement was screened at the end of the Convention, and a resolution was adopted vowing to hold events commemorating the Ghadar legacy all over the country, and to continue the Ghadar revolutionaries' struggle for a truly free, self-respecting, and democratic India. Resolutions were also adopted condemning the repression unleashed on people's movements in Uttarakhand and Karbi Anglong, and supporting the struggles of the Indian Gorkhas of Darjeeling for Gorkhaland, and of Karbi Anglong and Dima Hasao for an autonomous state under Article 244A.   

Resolution Adopted At Ghadar Centenary Convention

1. This Convention calls upon the people of India to celebrate 2013 as the centenary year of a glorious chapter in our freedom struggle: the great Ghadar movement. It was a unique agitation that emerged from the Indian, mainly Punjabi, immigrant community in North America and spread back to India with a heroic passion to liberate the enslaved motherland. As our country continues to suffer from stark colonial hangovers and remains to be emancipated from the oppressive alliance of imperialism, big capital and stubborn feudal remnants, Ghadar di goonj (the call of rebellion) still rings in our ears and enjoins on us to speed up our struggle for liberation. This Convention appreciates the consistent efforts of various individuals and groups in Punjab and in the world who have striven to preserve and promote the historical legacy of the Ghadar movement, and resolves to intensify these efforts   

2. During the first decade of the 20th century, a large number of poor but highly enterprising Punjabi peasants, agrarian labourers and workers went to the USA and Canada in search of livelihood. Many were refused entry; those who managed to settle there were routinely subjected to all sorts of racial contempt, discrimination and even physical attacks which are so common today, but on a much larger scale than at present. Repeated appeals were made to the British authorities to take up these matters with the US and Canadian governments on behalf of the migrants, but in vain. The British authorities actually encouraged these restrictions and attacks, because they did not like the prospect of more and more of their subjects going to Europe and America and get 'infected' with ideas of liberty and socialism.

3. Learning from experience and aroused by intensification of activities of national revolutionaries back home (in particular, a bomb attack on Lord Hardinge, Viceroy of India, in Delhi on 23 December, 1913) the immigrant community came to feel more strongly about armed rebellion as the only path of liberating the motherland. Among the first preachers of this doctrine was Bhagwan Singh, who came to Vancouver in the early 1913, but only to be externed by the Canadian government very soon.

4. A more sustained and broad-based agitation was started in the USA under the leadership of Sohan Singh Bhakna, Lala Har Dayal, Bhai Premanand and others. In the inaugural meeting of the Hindi Association of Pacific Coast held in May 1913 in Portland, Har Dayal, who had served as Secretary of the San Francisco branch of the Industrial Workers of the World and was probably the first Indian to write an article on Karl Marx (published in the Modern Review, Calcutta, in March 1912), set forth a plan of action: "Do not fight the Americans, but use the freedom that is available in the US to fight the British; you will never be treated as equals by the Americans until you are free in your own land; the root cause of Indian poverty and degradation is British rule and it must be overthrown, not by petitions but by armed revolt; carry this message to the masses and to the soldiers in the Indian Army; go to India in large numbers and enlist their support." Everybody agreed and a headquarters called Yugantar Ashram was set up in San Francisco and a weekly paper – Ghadar – began to roll out from November that year, first in Urdu and Gurumukhi and gradually in some other Indian languages too. Soon the movement came to be known by the name of this highly popular magazine.

5. The Ghadar systematically exposed British rule in India and propagated the views and activities of revolutionary nationalists. It also highlighted the daring deeds of revolutionary nationalist groups in Bengal and other parts of India. Over and above revolutionary zeal, the articles and the many poems (also published separately as Ghadar di goonj) conveyed a robust secularism that stood in bright contrast against the Hindu religious overtones which often marked the nationalist discourse.

6. When World War I broke out in 1914, the Ghadarites decided to utilise Britain's difficulty as India's opportunity. Their passions were inflamed further by the Kamagata Maru episode in mid-1914. A ship bearing this name and carrying 376 Indian (mainly Punjabi – Sikhs and Muslims) would- be immigrants to Canada were turned back from Vancouver Port. During the ship's months-long journey to Canada and back, lectures and agitations were organised by Ghadar activists and others at various ports of call voicing solidarity with the harassed passengers. After a tiring continuous journey back home, the ship reached Budge Budge on the Ganga near Calcutta on 29 September 1914. A clash with the police ensued, nearly 20 passengers were killed and 202 arrested.

7. It was in a charged situation like this that an Ailan e -jang (Proclamation of War) was declared. Ghadar leaders addressed a series of public meetings, urging Indians to go back to India and organise an armed rebellion there. Capable organisers were also sent to countries like Japan, China, the Philippines etc to persuade Indians to do the same. Responding to this call, around 8000 immigrants returned to India. The Government of India arrested the "most dangerous" among them and restricted a good many to their villages. Others toured and lectured a lot to rouse the people but the response of ordinary Punjabi peasants to the call of armed insurrection was rather lukewarm. To make matters worse, the Chief Khalsa Diwan declared the Ghadar followers to be 'fallen' Sikhs and criminals and helped the authorities to find them out. A few attempts made in late 1914 to rouse Sikh Army units to revolt also did not succeed.

8. Ghadar leaders then invited Rash Bihari Bose to help organise a coordinated mutiny in several army units in Punjab, UP and certain other places on a single day. But the plan was leaked out and most of the leaders got arrested, although Bose made good his escape to Japan. A few scattered mutinies were ruthlessly crushed, e.g., in Singapore where 37 were executed and 41 transported for life. Conspiracy trials were held, 45 Ghadar leaders were sentenced to death and more than 200 to long prison terms. Some attempts were then made to organise a revolt in Indian troops stationed abroad, but again in vain.

9. Despite the apparent failure, the Ghadar was eminently successful in spreading an intense patriotism and spirit of sacrifice among all Indian immigrants – not only in North America but also in other countries – and that on a strong secular, democratic and egalitarian foundation. Among the leaders and martyrs of the Ghadar movement there were Sikhs, Muslims and Hindus from different regions of India. As Sohan Singh Bhakna, one of the top leaders who would become an important leader of CPI, said later, "We were not Sikhs or Punjabis. Our religion was patriotism." The same feeling was expressed by the young Abdullah, one of the rebel sepoys executed in Ambala, who when lured by the authorities to betray his kafir (non-Muslim) comrades, retorted: "It is with these men alone that the gates of heaven shall open to me."

10. Ghadar leaders and activists held the first war of independence in high esteem. They were imbued with a broad internationalist outlook, drawing inspiration from Irish, Mexican and Russian as well as Indian revolutionaries. The movement based itself on the fine revolutionary traditions of Indian freedom struggle and left for future generations of Indians within the country and abroad a noble legacy of uncompromising struggle against colonialism and imperialism. Among those who carried the torch forward even after the movement was physically annihilated were the Kirti Kisan Party, Babar Akali movement, and the Naujawan Bharat Sabha led by Shaheed-e-Azam Bhagat Singh, while many of the Ghadar leaders and activists later developed into peasant organisers and communists.

11. The Ghadar movement has more relevance than ever, when India's Government shamefully serves the interests of American imperialism, while its leaders tell Indian people to eat meals on Rs 5 a day. The Government is hell bent on opening up every sector to FDI, allowing foreign and Indian corporations to plunder the country's resources and rob people of land, forests, and livelihood, and brutally repress every people's movement. Edward Snowden revealed that the America Government spies on the world, including India – but India is shamefully the only Government in the world that is loyal enough to American masters to defend US spying. At such times, we know that the battle of the Ghadar heroes is far from over – and this Convention resolves to continue their struggle for a truly free and self-respecting India.

12. Today, we see politicians of India's ruling parties defending massacres of Muslim, Sikh and Christian minorities. Narendra Modi, directly implicated in massacres and fake encounters, is being promoted as a potential PM. Corporations are backing Modi because his rule in Gujarat represents a 'successful' model of corruption, corporate plunder and repression, while his aggressive politics of communal hatred has helped him to avoid the political consequences that other corrupt and repressive governments have faced. The Sangh Parivar projects itself and its representative Modi as 'nationalist' heroes. The fact, though, is that the RSS never played any role in the freedom movement, and true revolutionaries in the freedom movement – including the historic Ghadar movement, resolutely rejected any notion of 'Hindu nationalism', and robustly defended secular values. This Convention calls upon democratic people of India to resist communal and corporate fascism with all their might, doing justice to the principles of secularism, democracy and anti-imperialism that we have inherited from the Ghadar revolutionaries.   

On the occasion of the centenary of this great movement, we pay deep tributes to the courage, commitment and self-sacrifice of Ghadar fighters and rededicate ourselves to the great cause they fought for.

Further Resolutions Adopted at Ghadar Centenary Convention

1.       This Convention holds the devastating natural calamity in Uttarakhand to be the result primarily of the policies of corporate plunder followed by its successive governments. This Convention condemns the Uttarakhand Government's complete apathy towards the urgent question of relief work, due to which the affected are yet to receive comprehensive medical care, relief and rehabilitation. This Convention condemns the repressive approach of the Uttarakhand Government towards people's movements, especially the move by the Nainital police and administration to brand the popular peasant leader and CPI(ML) leader Bahadur Singh Jangi as a Maoist and threaten to charge his associates with sedition; and to book AISA activists for a draconian 1932 law against effigy-burning. The Convention demands the immediate suspension of Nainital SSP Sadanand Date and withdrawal of the cases lodged against AISA activists.

2.       This Convention condemns the repression unleashed on the people's movement for autonomous statehood in Karbi Anglong, and demands the immediate release of all arrested activists including CPI(ML) CCM Rabi Kumar Phangcho. This Convention demands that the UPA Government without further delay honour the aspirations of the people of Karbi Anglong and Dima Hasao for an autonomous state under Article 244A and of the people of Darjeeling and Indian Gorkhas for a separate state of Gorkhaland.     

Repression on People's Movement for Autonomous Statehood in Karbi Anglong

The repression unleashed by the Assam Government on people's movement activists, especially CPI(ML) activists, in Karbi Anglong continues. Meanwhile the local unit of the Congress party poses as a supporter of the cause of autonomous statehood, remaining unscathed by repression, even as its governments at Assam and at the Centre reject the demand for autonomous statehood, provision for which already exists in the Constitution under Article 244A! 

On 1st August, Comrades Laichan Engleng, President, KSA, Binod Rongphar, General Secretary, KSA and Sander Terong, Finance Secretary, KSA were arrested and beaten badly in custody. Subsequently, Comrade Rabi Kumar Phancho, Central Committee Member of the CPI(ML) went to the DC office to submit a memorandum for their release, and was arrested on his way back! Not only that, the CPI(ML) office was raided in the night, and all those present in the office were arrested and jailed, including Comrade Rabi Phancho's teenage son Jeebo, who was merely waiting in the hope of his father's return.

A total of 18 comrades of Karbi Anglong are now in Assam jails. Many of them have been transferred from Diphu jail to Nagaon jail, outside the district, far from their families. On 13th August, Comrade Rabi Phangcho (still in Diphu jail) was produced in Court, where 6 additional sections were added to the 12 sections under which he had already been booked.

On 8th August, severe repression was unleashed on the CPI(ML)'s silent procession in Diphu. The police lathicharged the protesters, more than 80% of whom were women, and fired blanks. Assam State Secretary Bibek Das, Polit Bureau member Rubul Sarma, Assam State Committee Member Arup Mahanta, and Hill Party Committee members Khorsing Sinner and Sam Kiling were among the 27 comrades including 15 women who were severely lathicharged. Comrade Bibek Das was arrested and jailed, and released the next day.

To protest the repression, a procession was held in the Assam capital Guwahati on the 12th, in which 500 people marched from Guwahati Railway Station to the DC office at Kamrup. A memorandum was submitted to the Governor and Union Home Minister demanding the unconditional release of all arrested activists and leaders, autonomous statehood for Karbi Anglong and Dima Hasao districts under Article 244A, and immediate tripartite talks between Assam and Central Governments and movement leaders on the question of autonomous statehood. 

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: 22518248, e-mail:, website:


ML Update A CPI(ML) Weekly News Magazine U-90 Shakarpur Delhi - 110092 INDIA PHONE: 91 11 22521067 FAX: 91 11 22442790 Web: