A CPI(ML) Weekly News Magazine
Vol. 16 No. 40 24-30 SEP 2013
Lethal Mix of
Communal and Corporate Fascism
The BJP has predictably completed the formality of anointing Narendra Modi the party's PM candidate for 2014 and once again LK Advani has gone through the motions of sulking and falling in line. However much the love-hate display of this special Guru-Shishya relationship may amuse the public, it does not have the potential of triggering any major rift within the BJP at this stage.
The poll strategists of the Sangh Parivar have deliberately chosen to name Modi as the PM nominee even at the risk of angering Advani and alienating an old ally like Nitish Kumar. The BJP wants to reduce the contest among parties to a personality-based one, much like the pattern of the American presidential contest. It is aware that the BJP has little to distinguish itself from the Congress in terms of either policies or performance. But in general public perception, Modi easily scores over the likes of Manmohan Singh or Rahul Gandhi in a personality-based contest. And the non-BJP non-Congress camp remains rather faceless as it cannot possibly project a commonly accepted face despite the presence of several powerful regional leaders.
Within the BJP, Modi is of course regarded as the most organic, authentic and aggressive leader of the Sangh stable in current reckoning. Following his projection at the helm of the BJP's campaign for grabbing power at the Centre in 2014, the Sangh brigade has already begun to bare its venomous communal fangs and the result can be seen most glaringly in the ongoing violence in UP. When the brigade could not have its way with the Ayodhya parikrama, it unleashed the worst communal violence in the state in the post-1992 phase. Uma Bharti daring the UP police right in front of the state Assembly in Lucknow to arrest the BJP leaders accused of instigating and choreographing the violence in Muzaffarnagar brought back memories of 6 December
1992 when she had gleefully cheered on the mob of vandals demolishing the Babri Masjid.
The Indian state has been seen to be pathologically weak in dealing with rabid communal violence. From the managers of the November 1984 anti-Sikh pogrom to the architects of Babri Masjid demolition and the accompanying communal bloodbath and the cold-blooded executioners of the genocide and fake encounters in Gujarat, the state has failed to punish any major communal killer. It is this impunity which has emboldened the Sangh brigade. Had the state been not so glaringly devoid of political will in dealing with communal violence, today Modi would have been rotting behind the bars and not bidding for power. The Congress-BJP collusion in Parliament ensures easy passage for anti-peasant anti-worker legislations like the recent ones to promote land acquisition and opening up of pension funds for foreign investment, but the bill to stop and punish communal violence remains permanently consigned to cold storage.
As we have already noted, the rise of Modi has not happened overnight, or just along the trajectory of aggressive and violent communalism. Modi has endeared himself to the ruling classes and the corporate world with his policy of fetters for the people and unfettered freedom for capital. Look at the way he is being daily glamourised by the same corporate media, sections of which had exposed and questioned him quite seriously in the wake of the carnage of 2002. Look at how the US and UK are changing their own stance to reach out to India's provincial Hitler who is now desperately aspiring for national status and global recognition. If Modi has overtaken Advani in terms of communal and administrative mischief and unscrupulousness, he has also left behind the likes of Manmohan Singh and Chidambaram in terms of advocacy and implementation of pro-corporate governance. The strands of communal and corporate fascism have found their most lethal fusion in today's Narendra Modi.
Having lent all kinds of strength and legitimacy to Modi for all these years, the likes of Nitish Kumar today rely on Advani and the presumed anti-Modi faultline within the BJP to take on Narendra Modi. And the Congress relies on Nitish Kumar to check Modi. Instead of pursuing the bankrupt idea of collaborating with the Congress and the likes of Nitish Kumar in the name of fighting against the danger of a rising Modi, the Left must intensify its own battle against the BJP-led campaign of communal venom and corporate appeasement. The encouraging results of student union elections in Delhi and the initial signs of mass response to the CPI(ML)'s call for the October 30 'Khabardar Rally' in Patna - close on the heels of the BJP's October 27 'Hunkar rally' scheduled to be addressed by Narendra Modi - clearly show that the democratic people of India will not be misled by the pre-poll Modi hype and communal frenzy.
CPI(ML) GS Addresses Week-long Dharna in Lucknow
The General Secretary of the CPI(ML) Dipankar Bhattacharya while addressing a week-long Dharna on 21 September in Lucknow accused the Samajwadi Party of giving a free hand to the perpetrators of the communal violence in Muzaffarnager which lasted for about 15 days and led to the death of more than 50 people. Such a prolonged and large scale violence could not have happened without the patronage of the state government. The SP allowed Muzaffarnagar to burn in a manner similar to what Modi did in Gujarat. The people of the state and the country will ask for an explanation from the SP government on this issue.
He said that the BJP was preparing for the 2014 general elections and inciting communal riots as its planned strategy. Lot of home work was done before Muzaffarnagar riots. A fake video clip was circulated on the social media. After the demolition of the Babri Masjid, BJP had lost ground which it is now trying to regain. Acting on this plan, the BJP and the Sangh Parivar are trying to project Modi and Amit Shah. Once again, UP is being made a laboratory for communal polarisation.
He said that three days ago, Uma Bharti had created a ruckus in the UP Vidhan Sabha threatening of dire consequences if BJP MLAs were arrested for their role in the riots. He demanded that the government should not bow before the communal forces and whosoever is responsible for the riots, whether BJP or others, should be booked and the law should be allowed to take its own course.
He said that the Indian state does not have the will to fight communalism with grit otherwise how could people like Advani, Modi, Amit Shah and Uma Bharti be moving freely rather than being in jail.
He added that connivance between the BJP and the Congress inside the Parliament led to the passage of the Land Acquisition Bill which is more retrogressive and anti-farmer than the law made by the British. The capitalists and corporates have been given a free hand to usurp farm lands. To protest against this Act and to save farm lands, a protest of farmers will be organised in Delhi on 30th September.
Com. Dipankar accused the SP govt. of cheating the people. Promises of employment to youth, unemployment allowance, loan waiver to farmers were made but nothing has been fulfilled. Law and order is in a poor shape in the state. Hundreds of workers of Noida are languishing in jail. Mining Mafia brutally attacked our leader Com. Ramesh Senger and in lakhinpur Kheri, peasant leader Narottam Singh was murdered. Muslim youths and tribals are facing custodial deaths. Akhilesh government has failed on all fronts.
He said that neither Modi nor Rahul Gandhi can be an alternative. Rather, mass movements will build a new alternative. The Students' Union Elections in JNU have demonstrated that Shaheed-e-Azam Bhagat Singh remains the role model of the youth of the country. The coming days will be the days of mass movements. He said that we will again return to Lucknow on 21st October and demand an answer from SP government in the 'Jawab Do' rally. Modi is organizing a 'Hunkar Rally' in Patna on 27th October and CPI(ML) will respond with a 'Khabardar rally' on the 30th in same month.
Others who addressed the dharna included PB member Ramji rai, CC members Krishna Adhikari, Iswari Prasad and State Secretary Sudhakar Yadav. A notable feature of the Dharna was the presence of large number of women activists.
A 6-point resolution on communalism, Muzaffarnagar riots, illegal mining, attack on party leader Ramesh Singh Sanger by the mining mafia, displacement of people by Project Tiger, police atrocities on dalits, adivasis and minorities, killing of CPI(ML) activist Narottam Singh, and of displaced peasants whose lands were drowned in Sharda river floods was passed at the conclusion. Fresh spate of attacks by the killers of comrade Sanger who are out on bail now was condemned and it was demanded to cancel the bails of all the accused. The dharna was concluded after the call of 'Jawab Do' rally a month later on 21 October in the state capital.
AIKM Demonstration for Power Restoration in Disaster Affected Areas
The villagers of Galati village in Dharchula block demonstrated before the office of Electricity Corporation on 20 September under the banner of All India Kisan Mahasabha. The villagers are compelled to live without electricity for last three months due to the indifferent and callous attitude of administration, government and local MLA.
The demonstration was addressed by the Pithoragarh district secretary of CPI (ML) Jagat Martolia and leaders of Kisan Mahasabha including Gandi, Ganesh Ram, Nain Singh and Harak Singh. Lambasting the government and local administration, the speakers said that after the local power station was washed away in the tragedy that struck Uttarakhand three months back 3282 families of the village are compelled to live in dark without electricity as the administration is not making any arrangement for power supply from neighbouring Ramtoli area despite several representations to district authorities from the affected villagers. The concerned officer came to assure fulfilment of demand within 10 days. The protesters warned to block the national highway if the assurance proved to be false in stipulated time.
Demonstration against Declaring the Collectorate a 'Silent Zone' !
The CPI(ML) held a demonstration and burnt effigy of Uttarakhand's Congress government in Pithoragarh on 21 September to protest the declaration of Collectorate office area as "Silent Zone". The demonstrators termed this move 'murder of democracy.'
Party's district secretary Jagat Martolia said fearing the ever-growing people's movements in Uttarakhand the government is taking anti-people, anti-democracy steps. He further said if this anti-democratic decision is not withdrawn the Party along with other social and people's organizations will go for bigger movement. Govind Kafalia told the protesters that Noise Pollution Act 2000 does not apply to DM Office as the said area is not notified as court and so this Act has been wrongly interpreted. The convenor of Pithoragarh Janmanch, Bhagwan Singh Rawat expressed solidarity. The demonstration was also addressed by Sushil Khatri, AISA leader Hemant Khati, Kisan Mahasabha leader Heera Singh Mehta among others.
Left Parties Meet to Review
Post-disaster Situation in Uttarakhand
A joint meeting of three left parties CPI, CPI (M) and CPI (ML) was held in Dehradun to review the post-disaster situation in Uttarakhand. Raja Bahuguna, the Central Committee member of CPI (ML), Samar Bhandari, the National Council member of CPI and Vijay Rawat, State Secretary of CPI(M) criticised the Uttarakhand government for its inefficiency in handling the post-disaster situation and expressed their anguish over the sorry plight of disaster affected regions. They said that even after a lapse of two months neither the roads have been reconstructed nor the relief material coming from state and outside the state has reached the affected people.
The leaders of three parties raised the issue of rehabilitation of people, demanded houses and land to those who have lost them and that the rehabilitation should include the agricultural and grazing lands, etc. In the wake of annulment of government order of 1893 the government in hills should handed over lands to the Gram Sabhas for rehabilitation purpose. Apart from this, in Terai (plain) region of Uttarakhand, ceiling surplus land, hundreds of acres of which is in control of big landlords, should be acquired and used for rehabilitation. Also, the big farms whose lease has expired should be used for rehabilitation, instead of handing them over to big corporate houses in the name of developing industrial areas, as has happened in the case of Khurpia Farm that constitutes many thousands of acres.
The leaders also demanded transparency in relief, rehabilitation and expenditure from money collected for disaster relief in Chief Minister's Fund and other accounts. They also demanded reversal of anti people model and policies of development for the reconstruction of Uttarakhand in the aftermath of disaster. They resolved to make effective intervention of left-democratic forces through broader mobilisation on the issues of relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction.
14th Shaheed Mela in Lasarhi, Bhojpur
A large number of people gathered at the memorial of twelve martyrs of Lasarhi on 15 September. This memorial was erected in 2000 from the MLA fund of Comrade Ramnaresh Ram. Since then people from nearby villages and far gather to commemorate the rich legacy of these martyrs of 1942 Quit India Movement.
CPI(ML) Politburo member Swadesh Bhattacharya addressed the Mela and said that such memorials always remind us to carry forward the unfinished struggles of our martyrs against the wishes of ruling establishment which try to undermine the rich legacy of people's struggles in the Independence Movement. He said that be it 1857 or 1942, people in India resolutely fought against imperialist forces, and today again they are resisting the forces of feudal-communal reaction in nexus with corporate-imperialist looters.
Party's Bhojpur district secretary Jawaharlal Singh said that for the people of Bhojpur this occasion is to reiterate our pledge to defend the freedom and democratic rights. Siddhanath Ram, Raju Yadav, Raghuwar Paswan, Vimal Yadav, Upendra Yadav and many others also spoke. They called upon to make the forthcoming 30 October CPI(ML) rally in Patna a great success.
Struggle against Polluting Chemical Industry in Madurai
On 19 September hundreds of villagers from Poigaikaraipatti, Nayakkanpatti, Valayapatti and Moonur rallied under the banner of CPIML in front of Madurai Collectorate to protest the pollution and violation of environmental protection norms by Abhilash Chemicals Private Limited factory. The effluent of the factory is causing serious contamination to the surface as well as ground water damaging the crops, livelihoods and health. Ironically the TNPCB had 'certified' this factory as 'Zero Waste" industry. The pollution has caused many women to get uterus removed due to reproductive organs disorder, retarded children, even death due to renal failure and other disorders. Almost every villager in this area is facing one or the other discomfort. The protest was addressed by CPI(ML) TN State Secretary Balasundaram, Mathivanan and P. Kalidoss. Many political parties including CPI, MDMK also came forward in support and their leaders also addressed the protesters. A detailed investigation of this factory's pollution is also being conducted by the Party unit in Madurai.
It was demanded from the Collector to order the closure of the factory. The speakers criticised the officials of the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board and Tamil Nadu Water Supply and Drainage Board for ignoring the villagers' complaints.
AISA Wins at VP in Rudrapur
All India Students' Association candidate Kavita Verma won by a huge margin of 800 votes in the Student's Union election in Rudrapur Govt. Degree College in district Udham Singh Nagar.
Protest against Trafficking in Ranchi
CPI(ML) and AISA held a protest march and mass meeting against unabated trafficking of women labourers from Jharkhand and demanded stern action against various agents active in the name of so called placement agencies. Speakers condemned Jharkhand's Hemant Soren Govt. for remaining a mute spectator. Meeting was addressed by Bhubaneshwar Kewat, Ranchi district secretary of CPI(ML). He told that more than 40,000 minor girls and women have been trafficked out of the state and sold during last five years. They have disappeared and being subjected to inhuman exploitation. These crimes are being perpetrated with the help of a network involving local police. This is continuing since the tenure of earlier governments. Sukhdev Munda, Jagmohan Mahato, Bhishma Mahato, Santosh Munda, Sudama Khalko, Shobha Prasad, Dilip Manjhi, Indu Devi, Chaiti Devi also addressed the protesters. They said that lack of employment opportunities and government's nexus with big corporates is creating a favourable environment for such crimes while state government remains insensitive towards its own people.
Dharna against Hydro-electric Projects and BRO
CPI(ML) and AISA held a protest in Shrinagar in Uttarakhand to demand criminal action against various hydro-electric corporations and BRO as they are responsible for the escalation of the devastation.
The protest was addressed by KP Chandola, Yogendra Kandpal, Madan Mohan Chamoli, PB Dobhal, Atul Sati, Mukhtar Ansari and many others. They said that ruling Congress and main opposition BJP both are united in protecting actual culprits. Even after three months of devastating floods in Uttarakhand people are still waiting for relief and rehabilitation, while the government is yet to ascertain the reasons behind highly mismanaged and neglected relief operations. The disaster management mechanism proved completely ineffective.
The large number of hydro-electric projects and violation of environmental norms led to escalation of the impact of the disaster. The explosions done by Border Roads Organisation also played in devastation. The state govt. is highly unwilling to conduct an inquiry into the role of these agencies even after a huge loss to the public and private property as well as to the lives.
First State Conference of Unorganised Workers' Federation in Bihar
Asangathit Kaamgar Mahasangh affiliated with AICCTU held its first Bihar state conference on 11 September in Patna. The conference was inaugurated by AICCTU's State President Shyamlal Prasad while State General Secretary RN Thakur spoke as the chief guest. They emphasised on the need for struggle for regularisation, equal wages and legal rights of contract workers, implementation of social security schemes, provident fund, old age pensions and equal pay for equal work. The conference demanded regularisation of contract workers employed in jobs of permanent nature.
The conference condemned the massacre of dalits on the day of Independence, 15 August, terming it an outcome of Nitish government's increasing nexus with the feudal forces of reaction in the state.
AICCTU Bihar state secretary Ranvijay Kumar and Mahasangh (Gope group) treasurer Kanti Singh also addressed the conference. Mahasangh's Bihar President SK Sharma hoisted the flag which was followed by the presentation of the report. Delegates enthusiastically took part in the deliberations. A 29-member Executive was unanimously elected with SK Sharma as President and Chandradeo Prasad as General Secretary. 239 delegates, including 104 women comrades, from 14 districts of Bihar took part in the Conference.