Thursday, August 8, 2013

ML Update 32 / 2013

ML Update
A CPI(ML) Weekly News Magazine
Vol.  16        No. 32                                           30 JUL-5 AUG 2013

UPA Government:
Stop Appeasing US Bosses!
The Parliament is scheduled to meet for the monsoon session in August and the government says it wants to transact serious legislative business in this last major session before the forthcoming general elections. As many as 99 Bills are pending in the two Houses of Parliament including the much talked about Food Security Bill which has already been promulgated as an ordinance. With the Parliament session just round the corner, parliamentary convention required the government to come up with the Bill first and not circumvent the parliamentary process by resorting to a Presidential Ordinance. Yet in its desperation to make electoral capital of the chronic problem of mass hunger, the UPA government has done precisely that.

The real moves of an utterly discredited and desperate UPA government are however not limited to the pretentious tokenism of a food security legislation. The government is working overtime to appease the American bosses hoping to impress the angry Indian electorate with an American certificate of 'good conduct and excellent performance'. With the exchange value of the Indian rupee nose-diving to 60 per dollar, India's import bill is becoming increasingly unmanageable. Short-term compulsions of debt repayment are also exerting great pressure on India's forex reserves. It was a similar scenario in early 1990s that led the Indian policy establishment to opt for the neoliberal package of liberalization, privatization and globalization. And after twenty-two years as the Indian economy finds itself in a deeper mess, Indian policymakers can think of no other course but to extend still greater concessions to global capital.

As elections draw nearer and the shadow of economic crisis grows darker and longer, frantic parleys are on between key architects of the Indian policy establishment and their American counterparts. Just as Chidambaram, Anand Sharma and Montek Singh Ahluwalia returned from their appeasement mission to the US, there came the announcement of an across-the-board hike in FDI limits in a dozen sectors of strategic importance including telecommunications, insurance and defence. This has of course made the US establishment hungry for more, as became glaringly evident from the wish list presented by US Vice-President Joe Biden during his recent visit to India. Biden's visit was preceded by the visit of US Secretary of State John Kerry and will be followed by another Manmohan-Obama meet in Washington later this year.
The Congress had signed the Indo-US strategic partnership and the subsequent nuclear deal during its first tenure. Before the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections, it now seeks to push the country deeper into the policy trap laid by the US. Biden's wish list gives us an idea of the kind of concessions the Americans are demanding and the Congress may well end up extending. The US wants not only greater FDI concessions in every sector but a lenient tax regime and still greater Indian reliance on American imports. In particular, the US wants India to completely open up the insurance sector, accept the intellectual property right claims of US pharmaceutical companies and weaken, if not altogether waive, the liability clause in civilian nuclear trade. The US-India Business Council has also written to President Barack Obama complaining about India's 'archaic laws in land acquisition'.

Economic interests apart, the US wants assured Indian assistance in implementing its AfPak policy. As the US and its NATO allies contemplate 'withdrawal' of their combat forces from Afghanistan by 2014, the US wants India to step in and fill the void. Indian involvement in Afghanistan in compliance with the US game-plan is fraught with dangerous consequences. It will make India an automatic target of Taliban resistance and terrorist attacks. And it will invariably open up another front of tension and possible conflict with Pakistan. It is one thing for India to extend assistance to Afghanistan within a framework of bilateral as well as South Asian cooperation, but India footing the economic, political and military bill of US design in Afghanistan is a completely different proposition.
The pro-corporate pro-US policies pursued by successive governments over the last two decades have already landed India into a deep economic and foreign policy crisis. The frantic election-eve measures now being taken by the UPA government can only aggravate the crisis. The country must resist these disastrous moves tooth and nail and get ready to vote out the discredited UPA government along with its entire policy baggage.

W Bengal Panchayat Polls: A Report

The spate of violence unleashed by the ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) leading to the death of at least 24 people in poll-related clashes in the nomination and voting phases continued in the counting phase too, as the blood-soaked five-phased Panchayat elections in West Bengal rolled to a close. Amidst widespread instances of booth jamming, snatching of valid votes, beating up counting agents of political opponents, the use of force, violence and terror seems to have been normalized, being fueled up by hate speeches from the TMC leadership perched on podiums. As results started emerging, it is clear that the TMC is all set to form Zila Parishads (upper tier of the 3-tiered Panchayati Raj) in 13 out of 17 districts - Nadia, West Midnapore, Howrah, Cooch Behar, South Dinajpur, Bankura, Burdwan, Birbhum, North 24-Parganas, South 24-Parganas, Purulia, East Midnapore and Hooghly. The CPI(M) and the Left parties are in a position to win ZPs of North Dinajpur and Jalpaiguri. The Congress is set to capture Murshidabad ZP, whereas in Malda, it's a hung verdict. There the Congress and CPI(M) are tied with 16 ZP seats each, whereas TMC has got just 6 ZPs in this district.

As overall trends, it is clear that the TMC has summarily routed the CPI(M) from its traditional rural citadels in South Bengal, which remained practically resistance-less in face of terror unleashed by the TMC during the entire run-up and election period. With the consolidation of Birbhum, the TMC completes its sweep that begun in the State Assembly elections of 2011. The Left Front partners are also confronted with major crisis. In Cooch Behar, Forward Bloc lost a lion's share of GPs to TMC, whereas the Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) conceded its hold over South 24-Parganas and South Dinajpur. The CPI, which had already lost grip over its areas of influence in North 24-Parganas and Midnapore, has no encouraging results either. The Congress is able to retain majority in Murshidabad only, amongst its traditional footholds.
CPI(ML) has been able to form the Gram Panchayat in Naupara 2 (in Dhubulia block of Nadia district), winning 7 out of 12 GP seats. In the Panchayat Samiti level (middle-tier), the party has won a seat in the same block and lost in another by a narrow margin of 12 votes. Naupara GP is witness to an ongoing land struggle. When the CPI(ML) was in power during 2003-2008 in this GP, people under the Party's leadership had distributed river banks among villagers. But after the change of guard in the state, TMC had captured the banks, and ever since CPI(ML) has been leading a struggle to wrest back the land that belongs to the people. The Party has also won six GP seats in Hooghly, but has lost the lone GP that it had formed in Goswami-Malopara in Hooghly. Apart from Nadia and Hooghly, CPI(ML) has won a new GP seat (Kelai-2) in Murshidabad - this area also witness to a long history of political struggle and sacrifice by activists - and two GP seats (Kalna-2 and Memari-2) in Burdwan. In North 24-Parganas, CPI(ML) candidates were leading and all set to win three GP seats (Khanarhat, Sibdaspur/VI and Sibdaspur/VII) in Sibdaspur Gram Panchayat of Barackpore-1 block. But armed TMC goons attacked CPI(ML)'s counting agents and forced them out while trashing a portion of the party's valid votes into the box of invalid ballots. A classic example of state power backing grassroots cadres to turn a democratic process into a complete farce. The candidates and district and state leadership of the party have registered complaints with the Election Commission and Regional and State administration demanding redress.

CPI(ML) Holds Protest In Front Of Bihar Assembly 

Holding the State government entirely responsible for the Mashrakh mid-day meal tragedy, CPI(ML) avers that the Government has no right to remain in power in Bihar. Instead of taking responsibility, Nitish Kumar is indulging in mischievous political blame games. This Government has attained the peak of irresponsibility, injustice, and insensitivity. Due to lack of rain, the whole of Bihar today is reeling under drought, but the Government shows no concern for this. Bihar must be declared a drought hit state without delay and farmers must be given immediate relief. These were some of the points raised by the leaders of the CPI(ML) addressing a one-day protest rally in front of the Assembly on R Block crossroads. The rally was addressed by CPI(ML) State secretary Com. Kunal, Politbureau member Dhirendra Jha, Chairman of Central Control Commission Ramjatan Sharma, Central Committee member Com. K.D. Yadav, General Secretary of All India Kisan Mahasabha and former MLA Rajaram Singh, AIPWA General Secretary Meena Tiwari, AIPWA State President and Secretary Saroj Choubey and Shashi Yadav, State Committee member and former MLA Arun Singh, Kamlesh Sharma, Com. Anita Sinha, Rita Baranwal, Chhapra District Secretary Com. Ram Iqbal, Sabhapati Rai, AIALA leader Gopal Ravidas and others. The meeting was chaired by State standing committee member Com. Rajaram and conducted by Com. Rambali Yadav.

CPI(ML) leaders pointed out that the Chief Minister has no compunctions about wasting public money in various yatras like Sewa Yatra, Nyay Yatra etc but he could not be bothered about reaching the scene of the tragedy in Mashrakh or visiting the victims in Patna Medical College Hospital in spite of being in Patna at the time. This is not the first time the Nitish Government has refused to accept accountability; rather, it has a long track record for this. They said that the Bihar Government has shown the greatest possible insensitivity in the Forbesganj, Madhubani,Paraiyya (Gaya), Bagaha, Purnea,and many other instances of brutal  Police firing cases. Till date no action has been taken on the police which is brutal and trigger-happy in dealing with common citizens, women demanding punishment for rapists, students and youth demanding educational and employment rights, teachers demanding regular wages, Mahadalits and tribals demanding their rightful  land, and minority youth; on the contrary the guilty police personnel have been rewarded with promotions. False cases have been slapped against AIPWA and CPI(ML) leaders protesting and demanding the release of hundreds of adivasis languishing in jail in Purnea. False cases have been lodged in Siwan against former CPI(ML) MLA Satyadev Ram and RYA National President Amarjeet Kushwaha whereas no action has been taken against the BJP MLA who brutally attacked Dalit landless people in Chilmakha village (Guthni), Siwan. The Bihar Human Rights Commission has found the Government guilty in the Aurangabad police firing case but instead of taking action against the guilty SP, this shameless Government is bent on oppressing the leaders of the protest. This Government has never acknowledged its accountability in any of the cases like deaths due to hunger, carnages, custodial killings, the tragedy during Chhat festival in Patna.

On the one hand the poor, dalits and minorities are being given injustice in the name of 'justice'; on the other hand, agricultural land is being taken away from farmers and adivasis and they are being jailed on false charges when they fight for their traditional rights. Crimes like jailing on false charges, rape, gang rape (even of children as young as 6 months), gouging out eyes, acid attacks, have become common in Bihar.

The Government is boasting about development in education and health fields but the Mashrakh incident has brought out the true and horrific conditions of these sectors. The school system is in tatters. 8600 schools in the State are without school buildings and open to the risk of major tragedy any day. This incident has also thoroughly exposed the failure of the medical and disaster management services of the Government. From the inspection of the mid-day meals to disaster management, the ugly truth of the bad governance of the Bihar Government stands exposed. The speakers pointed out that the Nitish Government surpassed even the previous Governments in corruption. Extensive and gigantic looting is going on through BIADA land scams, residential lands for mahadalits, MNREGA, and other development projects. The Mashrakh mid-day meal tragedy also indicates corruption and a scam of enormous proportions. The mid-day meals had a big part in the recent AC/DC scam. The Chhapra incident is not surprising; such incidents can occur any time anywhere in Bihar, for there is no Government worth the name in the State. The people of Bihar have long struggled against this unjust, irresponsible, and insensitive Government but the murder of the school children in Mashrakh has brought the failure of the Government into sharp focus. The Bihar Government has no right to remain in power as it has lost all credibility.

Comrade Charu Mazumdar Martyrdom Day

On 28th July this year, Com. Charu Mazumdar's martyrdom day was observed in Delhi and neighbouring States Rajasthan and Haryana as a Pledge-Taking Day.
A public meeting was organized in East Delhi and Party workers' meetings were conducted in Narela and Wazirpur areas of Delhi.

Addressing the meeting in Mandavali (East Delhi) Party Polit Bureau member Kavita Krishnan called upon the comrades of the East Delhi Party committee to make full preparations for organizing a people's resistance movement on issues concerning the common citizens. The meeting was also addressed by Delhi State Secretary Com. Sanjay Sharma, RYA General Secretary Ravi Rai, Surendra Panchal, Om Prakash Sharma, and was conducted by Com. VKS Gautam. 

In the Narela Party workers' meet a plan was put forward for strengthening the Party and people's organizations and also for organizing people's movements against the Congress' anti-people policies. In the Wazirpur Party workers' meet it was resolved to fulfill the objectives of increasing party membership, fixing accountability and gherao of errant people's representatives, increasing membership of general labour unions, and organizing a conference on August 28.

Addressing the party activists' meet in Asand block of Karnal district in Haryana, the Party in-charge of Haryana State Com.Prem Singh Gehlawat garlanded the portrait of Com. Charu Mazumdar. He said that proactive political steps have to be taken to counter the anti farmer-worker policies of the Congress for solutions to the present problems cannot be achieved without a strong organization. In this context a plan to strengthen the activities of the Party through the Asand block organization. Krishna Saini, Ishwar Pal, Satyavan, Johnny Kashyap, Ram Kumar, Lalit Saini, Prem Singh, Com. Balkar and others were present at the meet.

A convention was organized in Vuhana tehsil of Jhunjhunu  district in Rajasthan to commemorate the martyrdom day of Com. Charu Mazumdar. Attended in large numbers by activists and citizens the convention began with garlanding and paying tributes to Charu Mazumdar and other revolutionaries who were martyred for the cause of people's struggles. Conducted under the leadership of a 5 member board, the chief guest of the convention was Polit Bureau member Com. Prabhat Choudhary. The convention was also addressed by District Secretary Com. Phoolchand Dheba, national councilor of All India Kisan Mahasabha Ramchandra Kulahari and Om Prakash Jhadoda. On this occasion it was resolved to achieve the objective of forming 20 Party branch organizations for undertaking future work. The Party office in Vuhana tahsil was also inaugurated on this occasion.

AICCTU holds its First Punjab Level Convention

The Punjab unit of AICCTU held its first state level convention and a state level body was formed on 28th July, the Martyrdom Day of Com Charu Majumdar and Baba Bujha Singh. The session started with a minute long silence for the martyred comrades.

The twenty one member body was elected by a house of nearly one hundred fifty leading comrades representing various unions affiliated to AICCTU, namely The Sugar Mill Workers Union Punjab, The Textile Majdoor Union, The Foundry Workers Union, Krantikari Kamkazi Mahila Sangathan, Chandiagarh, PGI contract Workers Union, PEC Mess Employees Union, TBRL contract Workers Union, PGI Safayi Karamchari Contract Union, the Lal Jhanda Bhattha Majdoor Union, Construction Workers Union, apart from our groups working among the paramedical health workers, postal employees, palledars. The convention was inaugurated by AICCTU General Secretary Com. Swapan Mukherjee and was addressed by the leaders of various fraternal organizations including Ruldu Singh Mansa, president,
AIKMS, Jasbir Kaur Natt of AIPWA, Harvinder Singh Sema of Majdoor Mukti Morcha. Others among the speakers were Gurmeet Singh Bakhtpura, Gurpreet Singh Rureke, Kanwaljeet Singh, Gulzar Singh, Satish Kumar, Sukhdev Singh, Om Parkash, Eisha, Pritpal Singh, Gurjant Singh Mansa. The convention was also addressed by Com. Rajvinder Singh Rana, State Secretary of CPI(ML).

The convention elected Com Gurmeet Singh Bakhtpura as President, Gurpreet Singh Rureke as General Secretary and com Satish kumar as the treasurer.

Citizen's Gathering At Jantar Mantar Demands Truth and Justice for Batla House

Students from Jamia Millia Islamia, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi University and concerned citizens gathered today at Jantar Mantar at the call of AISA and RYA. Campus Front of India also joined the gathering. A march at the Jantar Mantar road also took place. Protesters also lit candles, symbolizing that the struggle for truth and justice would refuse to be extinguished.

Protesters said that the court's verdict on the involvement of Shehzad in the Batla 'encounter' case ignores the glaring gap in the prosecution story and leaves many questions unanswered. We still do not have a satisfactory answer – that meets all the facts - to the question of who killed Atif, Sajid, and Inspector Mohan Chand Sharma.
The prosecution failed to show any proof of Shehzad's presence in the L-18 flat on the day of the 'encounter.' They failed to show any spent bullet that could match with a gun that was not already accounted for among the guns attributed to Atif and Sajid (the two boys killed that day) and the police officers. Moreover, the prosecution's claim about how Shehzad 'escaped' from the flat unseen by anyone is ridiculous. He would have to be Spiderman to be able to leap from the fifth floor building. The defence asked the judge to come and view the building himself. The police testified that no one was seen coming down the stairs – how, then, could Shehzad have passed them, armed with his gun?     

The gathering was addressed by CPI(ML) Polit Bureau member Kavita Krishnan, Sandipan, AISA Delhi President, Sandeep, AISA National President, Shakeel, JNUSU General Secretary and others. The protesters, pointing out that the Supreme Court had set up a Commission to enquire into fake encounters in Manipur, asked that a similar Commission be set up to enquire into the Batla House 'encounter'. They condemned the doublespeak of the Congress party, whose leaders shed crocodile tears for the victims of the 'encounter', and demand a judicial probe, while their own Government and Home Ministry block the possibility of a probe and defend the 'encounter'!
Celebrate 100 years of the Great Ghadar Movement!
Uphold the Ghadar Movement's Legacy of Anti-Imperialism and Secularism!
To Commemorate the Centenary of the 
Ghadar  Movement
 11th August 2013
Mavalankar Auditorium
(Constitution Club, Rafi Marg, New Delhi)
 4 pm – 8 pm
 To be addressed by
Prof. Chaman Lal
Justice (Retd) Rajinder Sachar
JPS Kohli, Grandson of Ghadar Party leader Dr. Mathura Singh 
Dipankar Bhattacharya, General Secretary, CPI(ML)
Mangat Ram Pasla, Secretary, CPM Punjab,
Bhimrao Bansod, Lal Nishan Party (L)
and other scholars, activists, and Left leaders

(Posters and photographs of the Ghadar movement's glorious history will be displayed)

As we resist the anti-poor, anti-people, pro-imperialist policies today
As we fight for justice, truth, and the rights of all Indian citizens
As we fight for an India where minorities can have respect and equality, not fear and abuse,
Ghadar di goonj
still rings in our ears,
and strengthens our resolve to struggle for a truly free, democratic and secular India!

Please join a Convention to commemorate the Centenary of the Ghadar  Movement on 11th August 2013 at Mavalankar Auditorium, (Constitution Club, Rafi Marg, New Delhi), 4 pm – 8 pm.
- All India Left Coordination (AILC)

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