A CPI(ML) Weekly News Magazine
Vol. 16, No. 45, 29 OCT – 04 NOV 2013
Shame on Rahul, Modi's Competitive Communalism
Addressing a rally recently, Congress' leading campaigner Rahul Gandhi made the claim that Muzaffarnagar's riot victims have been contacted by Pakistan's ISI. It is difficult to imagine a more insensitive, factually unfounded, and insulting remark for the riot-affected, who are yet unable to leave the refugee camps, and are too terrorised to return to their villages.
Rahul's apologists say that his was not a communal remark - it was merely a clumsy but well-meant attempt to underline that the BJP, by engineering riots, creates a fertile ground for terrorism to breed. But this excuse does not hold water. Because painting riot victims as potential terrorists who are in touch with the ISI can be nothing but crude communal stereotyping.
For one thing, neither the UP Government nor the Home Ministry have admitted any intelligence inputs to back Rahul Gandhi's claim. For him to suggest that the refugee camps are targets for ISI recruitment is actually to reinforce the communal stereotype that will stigmatise the people who, destitute and homeless, are trying to rebuild their lives after the communal violence.
Besides, the plight of the riot-refugees in the UP camps, vulnerable to hunger, homelessness and epidemics, is equally an indictment of the sheer apathy and neglect of the State and Central governments. After all, what stopped these Governments from acting to prevent the communal pogrom? And what stops them today from ensuring adequate relief, full compensation and timely rehabilitation for the riot-affected? The riot-affected lost their homes, their means of survival and loved ones. What have the Governments at the state and Centre done - ruled by the Samajwadi Party and Congress-UPA respectively - to ensure that those affected can return to a stable and secure life?
The UP Government has mocked the riot survivors with a report of its high-level committee claiming that "additional facilities" that victims of the riots are receiving in relief camps is "a reason for them to not go back to their homes".
Can Rahul's remark be brushed aside as a mere gaffe, an embarrassing but well-intentioned faux-pas by him? Unfortunately, the track record of Congress governments at the Centre and in states like Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra show otherwise. These Governments and their police and intelligence agencies have indulged in the same policy of witch-hunt of innocent Muslims - refusing to free such innocents even when faced with evidence that the blasts (like Malegaon, Ajmer Sharif, Samjhauta or Mecca Masjid) were the handiworks of the outfits linked to the hydra-headed Hindutva brigade. These governments have avoided compensating or apologising to those innocents who continue to be victims of witch-hunt, with their families and future ruined. Rahul's remark only reflects the communal common sense ingrained by the Congress in its cadres.
While the Congress and Samajwadi Party compete to add salt to the wounds of the riot-affected, Narendra Modi's attempts to cash in on Rahul Gandhi's statement and attack him for 'questioning the patriotism of Indian Muslims' reek of hypocrisy. Mr. Modi needs to be reminded that he had referred to the refugee camps housing those rendered homeless by the 2002 Gujarat carnage, as 'baby producing factories'. And his bosses in the RSS, with elections in mind, have recently trotted out the bogey of 'Muslims breeding too many children', by instructing Hindus to have at least 3 children.
Not only that, there are still more than 20000 of Gujarat's riot-affected minorities living in 'transit camps' - the Gujarat Government is trying to forcibly evict them while they have no homes to go back to, and those who committed the massacre still roam free, creating an atmosphere of terror. In this situation, Modi's attempts to score points against Rahul by shedding crocodile tears for the dignity of the Muzaffarnagar victims are shameful. Moreover, Modi's invoking of the 'national security' plank in the context of Rahul's remark again contributes to the profiling of the minority community and especially its riot-affected.
The attempts of the BJP, Congress and SP to use the plight of the riot-affected as political fodder, and to demean and insult them in the process, must be firmly rebuffed. While BJP's bloody track record of communal pogroms and political campaign of stereotyping Muslims as potential 'terrorists' cannot be covered up with the fig leaf of Modi's carefully scripted 'Muslim references' in his speeches, we cannot allow the question of secularism to be trivialised and demeaned by the Congress, SP and other self-styled 'secular' opportunists.
Patna Blasts Condemnable, Credible Probe Needed
New Delhi, 27 Oct 2013.
CPI(ML) strongly condemns the series of blasts in Patna ahead of BJP rally which have killed 6 and injured scores of people. CPI(ML) expresses condolences to the families of those killed in these blasts.
The timing and context of the blasts point to a political motive for the blasts. A thorough, timely, and credible probe is called for to establish the truth behind these blasts that have taken innocent lives.
Prabhat Kumar, for CPI(ML) Central Committee
Party's Demonstration in Valsad for Land to the Tribal People
Kapdala taluka in Valsad district of Gujarat is inhabited mainly by tribal people and they rely almost completely on tilling the land for their survival. For generations the land they have been tilling and that belonged to their ancestors is not legally theirs yet, despite the Act (Forests Rights Act 2005) being in force for 8 years now.
Gujarat is almost at the bottom (21st position) when it comes to implementation of this Act. The Official report itself says that of the lakhs of applications of tribal people only 1,52,592 cases have been accepted as correct and out of which only 42,752 tribal people have been granted land rights; i.e. only 22.31 percent. The grounds of rejection of hundreds of thousands of applications is purely subjective and cannot be justified in anyway. The Modi Govt of Gujarat has kept hundreds of thousands of families who till the land in forest areas from even knowing about this Act.
In June 2013, CPI(ML) had held demonstration at the District Collector's office on the issue and had submitted a memorandum. At the time the administration had assured that action will be taken. The administration conducted surveys in a few panchayats – Moti Palsan, Silda, Bamanvada, Eklara Astal etc. – and even began the process for filling up of the forms for land allotment. But only two months later the Forest Dept. went in for tree plantation in those panchayats and using it as a pretext fenced off the surveyed area with barbed wire. Deep pits were dug around the fence and the tribals were warned that damage to any tree would send them to jail and a fine of upto Rs.20,000.
The CPI(ML) conducted a mass campaign against this conspiracy of administration and forest dept. and the local people reclaimed their cultivable land by uprooting the fence and saplings planted by the forest dept. BJP and Congress opposed this move of ours and pressurized the administration to stop it. They also tried to threaten and frighten the tribal people through goons and agents in the villages. Incidentally, Narendra Modi's meeting was also scheduled in Kapdala on 21st October in which he targeted the CPI(ML) indirectly by saying that extremism is the biggest danger for development.
The very next day of Modi's rally in Kapdala, we held protest demonstration at Tehsil's Magistrate office. Hundreds of tribal people from several panchayats assembled at Kapdala under the banner of CPI(ML) and held an impressive public meeting in Mandwa grounds. A large number of local tribal people also participated in this programme. The assembly was addressed by Party's Gujarat incharge Comrade Ranjan Ganguly among others. He said that CPI(ML) is fighting all over the country against the Congress and BJP-led plunder of people's resources. Here in Valasd the BJP Govt is bent on snatching away the rights of tribal people to their land, forests, and water. The Congress i.e. is in opposition in Gujarat is merely paying lip-service in the name of opposing this loot of tribal people and is indirectly supporting the Modi Govt on this matter.
The Party has decided to intensify the mass campaign to expose the Congress-BJP double dealing on this issue. Several meetings have been planned in different villages in the coming days to be addressed by State-level Party leaders as well. The meeting at Kapdala on 22 October was also addressed by Comrades Amit Patanwadia, Laxmanbhai Warli (both members of State Leading Team), district committee members Comrades Kamlesh, Agubhai, Warjul, Lanabhai among others. It is noteworthy that the people of Kapdala were seeing a communist party rally decorated with red flags and banners for the first time here. A memorandum was also handed over the Collector regarding the land issue of the tribal people and demanding action on several issues in the area.
Demonstration for the Release of Comrade Jagat Martoliya
We reported about the arrest of Comrade Jagat Martoliya in Dharchula and the consequent protests against this arrest in several parts of Uttarakhand in the last issue of ML Update. The arrest was not only to ensure no protests by calamity-affected during the visit by State CM Vijay Bahuguna, but also to find some way to frame Comrade Jagat and jail him for longer period. He was not given bail despite the slapped charges being 107, 116 and 151 of the IPC, whereas the magistrate can grant bail in such cases. It is to be noted that the local MLA Harish Dhami had been arrested owing to his criminal activities but not before Comrade Jagat led the campaign to expose him and demand for his arrest. The local administration acting on the MLA's diktat planned to put Comrade Jagat in jail for a lengthy period and that would also ensure, in their eyes, the termination of movement of calamity affected people for rehabilitation and compensation. He was sent into judicial custody till 3rd November.
However, due to State-wide protests by the Party and specifically by the disaster-affected people of the State protesting his arrest the administration was pressurized into releasing him on 23rd October itself. CM's effigy was burnt at several places. Protests and effigy burning took place in Lalkuan in Nainital, Munsyari, Bhikiyasaind and Deghat in Almora, the Party and Kisan Mahasabha activists and calamity affected gheraoed the administration in Pithoragarh and Dharchula, and a memorandum was submitted to the CM in Dehradoon.
Demonstration for Declaring Bindukhatta Area as a Revenue Village and Holding Panchayat Election
The 65 thousand people of Bindukhatta area in Nainital district, despite being settled in the area for 38 years, are yet to get any basic facilities in the absence of recognition of their villages as revenue villages. The successive Govts have refused to grant this basic status and allow panchayat elections here. The CPI(ML) has held series of struggles and raised the demand for revenue villages constantly which have also been reported in the ML Update several times.
On many occasions the MLAs of Congress and BJP have been from the region and they have had their Govts both in the State as well as Centre, despite that nothing has happened to acknowledge the villages in official records as revenue villages. This exposes the true face of development model of both Congress and BJP, where such a large number of people do not even have a panchayat of their own and are deprived of very basic facilities. The Party recently organised a broader campaign that also raised the urgent demand for holding panchayat election in Bindukhatta. The campaign culminated in a demonstration and dharna at Lalkuan tehsil on 23rd October 2013.
Addressing the dharna, CPI(ML) State Secretary Comrade Rajendra Pratholi said that whatever has been achieved by the people of Bindukhatta so far has been so purely on the strength of their struggles and all that is being demanded including the revenue village status and panchayat election will also have to be fought for. Local MLA and Labour Minister in the current Govt, Harish Chandra Durgapal who won the election by promising revenue village status to Bindukhatta, is now trying to dodge the issue, let alone any effort to move resolution in the State Legislative Assembly for fulfilling his election promise. He has also been trying to fool the people on this issue by creating confusion and trying to shield his anti-people character. Comrade Pratholi said that along with conducting ruthless campaign against Congress and BJP we will also have to ensure much larger membership for Kisan Mahasabha, peasants agitation and constant and regular Party initiatives in people's issues. Party's CC member Comrade Raja Bahuguna also addressed the dharna, apart from several other Party leaders and activists. Comrade Kailash Pandey conducted the meeting and memorandum for CM was handed over to the tehsildar with a warning that if the demands are not looked into urgently, bigger agitations will be organised.
Bareilly: 24 Hour-long Hunger Strike against Arrests of Peasant Leaders and Peasants
CPI(ML)'s Central Committee member Comrade Krishna Adhikari sat on a 24-hour hunger strike beginning 25 October to demand immediate and unconditional release of peasant leaders Dr. Mohd. Israr Khan, who is also a teacher in Ruhelkhand University, Harnandan Singh, Birendra Yadav, and several other arrested peasants. The hunger strike also demanded action against those responsible for the lathi-charge on peasants in Bhuda, and dignified and adequate compensation for those who have lost their land in the bada bypass. At the end of the hunger strike i.e. on 26th October a huge public meeting was held and a memorandum for the Governor was handed over to the Magistrate.
Peasant leader and Party's Haryana incharge Comrade Prem Singh Gehlawat also attended the public meeting. He also talked to the administration on the arrests and other demands. He addressed the meeting and said that the Samajwadi Party Govt has thoroughly bared its oppressive methods since coming to power 18 months back. Peasants' movement cannot be suppressed by jailing their leaders and lathi-charging the peasants in Bareilly.
Comrade Krishna Adhikari said that whether it is orchestrating a communal riot in Muzzaffar Nagar or suppressing the peasants in Bareilly, the SP and BJP are together in this. It's the peasants who are paying the most for the loot and plunder of the State Govt and the aggression of the communal forces.
A huge rally has been planned for 29th October on these issues
Rajasthan Election Preparation
The CPI(ML)Liberation Rajasthan State Committee has issued the first list of candidates for the State Assembly election on 21st October 2013. The Party has decided to contest the election on its own without any seat adjustments or alliances with any Party. Releasing the list Party's State Secretary Comrade Mahendra Chaudhary said that the CPI(ML) will centre its electoral campaign against the patrons of feudal forces, corporate looters and mafia – the Congress and the BJP. The Party will fight on the issues of the working class, peasants and common people.
Meeting of Asia-Pacific Region of WFTU
Adopts MALAYSIA DECLARATION
This Asia-Pacific Regional Meeting of the WORLD FEDERATION OF TRADE UNIONS (WFTU) was held on 25-26 Oct 2013 in Port Dickson, Malaysia. This well-attended meeting, hosted by National Union of Bank Employees (NUBE) and other unions of Malaysia, was participated by 132 leaders of affiliated and friendly Trade Unions from 13 countries of this most populous region of the globe, such as India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Cambodia, Malaysia, Iran, Taiwan besides China (Sudan & Argentina were present as observers) and a number of Sectoral Trade Union Internationals such as TUI–Finance, TUI–Construction, TUI–Public Services, TUI-Energy and others.
On behalf of AICCTU Comrades Rajiv Dimri, National Secretary and Biren Kalita, Vice President, attended the meeting, and Rajiv Dimri presented the country report. The meeting after thoroughly discussing the condition of working people in this region focusing on "Right To Livelihood" of the working people, the attacks of policies of LPG on them and their struggles against these policies, adopted a declaration called "Malaysia Declaration", which gave a clarion call to the working men and women of the Asia Pacific Region to campaign, organize and agitate to achieve the following:
Full employment for all, aiming towards eradication of poverty, with need based salary and wages and with full security including statutory pension for all; Ratification and implementation of ILO Core Conventions including Right to Organize and Right to collective bargaining, unfettered trade union rights for all workers; Stop privatization and dismantling of Public sector/ public services; Stop sub contracting, out sourcing and off loading; Protect sovereign rights of nations against imperialistic hegemony/market driven policy under WTO, WB, and IMF dictates; Stop unjust imperialist interventions in Syria, DPR Korea, Iran, Afghanistan etc; Respect self determination of political system and self-reliant economic growth without the intervention of imperialists, financial and multinational economic institutions; Ensure women empowerment through various progressive policies and extend maternity benefits to all working women, provide equal wage for equal work without gender bias; Ensure working rights and social security for all migrant workers, as per UN charter. Abolish 'bonded labour' in any form and guarantee alternate employment to them, ensure protection of migrant workers by Governments; Introduce comprehensive low for social protection, to protect the rights of informal workers including agricultural workers, Stop degradation of environment in the name of development and protect natural resources for the benefit of mankind; Ensure occupational safety, health, environmental protections of the workers and community, MNCs/TNCs should be subjected to implement the Code of Conduct strictly; Stop job cuts, closures, layoffs and all atypical forms of employment including part time employments, Abolish child labour and guarantee free, quality education to all children; Fight against communalism, religious fundamentalism and their pernicious methods that divide the working class; ILO should shed its partisan attitude and treat all International Trade Unions judiciously.
The meeting adopted resolutions including demand of immediate release of all workers of Maruti-Suzuki, India who are in Jails for last more than one year.
The meeting also declared that a day (yet to be decided) will be observed by all trade unions in the Asia Pacific Region as "DEMANDS DAY" by conducting demonstrations, marches, rallies, public meetings etc.
Edited, published and printed by S. Bhattacharya for CPI(ML) Liberation from U-90, Shakarpur, Delhi-92; printed at Bol Publication, R-18/2, Ramesh Park, Laxmi Nagar, Delhi-92; Phone:22521067; fax: 22442790, e-mail: email@example.com, website: www.cpiml.org