Wednesday, September 30, 2015

ML Update | No. 40 | 2015

ML Update

A CPI(ML) Weekly News Magazine

Vol.  18 | No. 40 | 29 SEP - 5 OCT 2015

Modi's US Visit – 
And Unanswered Questions 
About 'Digital India' and Democratic India  

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has used his visit to the USA and especially Silicon Valley to sell India as an investment destination for digital services, in particular the Government's 'Digital India' programme. Beyond the hype and hard-sell of Modi's interaction with top CEOs, several urgent questions remain unanswered.  

Some of those questions were posed by protesters at Silicon Valley itself during the PM's visit. Under the banner of Alliance for Justice and Accountability, protesters raised their voices against growing communal, caste and gender violence in India, systematic erosion of environmental safeguards, and above all, the crackdown on freedom of expression and civil liberties, and the purging of diversity and dissent from academic and cultural institutions in the name of 'cleansing' foreign (read non-Hindutva) influences. The protesters also included LGBT groups that demanded that the Prime Minister break his silence on India's shameful Section 377 law that criminalizes homosexuality. Leading academicians from various US universities had also written an open letter raising many of these concerns. It must also be noted that Modi, on his visit to Ireland, chose to use Irish soil to take a dig at India's secular ethos and concerns.  

Ironically, at the venue, Modi supporters from the Hindutva camp confirmed many of the concerns being raised about the crackdown on dissent by abusing, intimidating and roughing up the protesters. It is indeed significant that while Modi poses with CEOs of social media and Internet-related service companies, the social media in India have become spaces where dissenting voices, especially voices criticizing the Prime Minister, his party, his organization the RSS or his Government are subjected to an organized campaign of intimidation and abuse by a virtual army of Modi supporters. In India, the police under Governments ruled by parties of most hues have been quick to arrest and harass dissenting voices on social media. Section 66A was the legal instrument for such arrests and harassment; it has now been outlawed by the Supreme Court but not before the Modi Government defended it in Court.        

The Modi Government has also, in recent times, been forced to retreat on several policy moves to undermine privacy and freedom of users of the internet and social media. The Department of Telecommunication and IT Ministry of the Modi Government had to backtrack on a proposal to introduce a draft encryption policy requiring users to preserve every WhatsApp, SMS or email message for 90 days and make these available to security agencies on demand, or else face a jail term. Similarly, the Government had to make a U-Turn on a misguided attempt to ban porn sites on the internet. And earlier, the DoT tried to undermine net neutrality in collusion with some Indian telecom corporations, but was forced to retreat.      

Modi's meeting with Facebook CEO Zuckerberg also raises the spectre of a threat to net neutrality. Zuckerberg's project is already under fire for its proposal to undermine net neutrality (i.e a free internet) by carving up the net into different saleable 'segments' or 'packages.' This project is being defended in the name of internet access for the poor: but the hidden agenda is to restrict the existing free access to the internet by compromising net neutrality.

In the name of providing important Wi-Fi in railway stations and broadband services in rural India, PM Modi has rolled out the red carpet to Google and Microsoft. But the question is, why can't such basic infrastructure be provided by Indian companies? Why allow MNC penetration in what is a potentially strategic area? More importantly, why is the Modi Government itself lagging behind drastically in implementing the National Optic Fiber Network plan to lay down the fibre optic cables required to ensure broadband access to 250,000 villages? The deadline for this plan has been delayed and extended several times even in the tenure of Modi himself. The 'Digital India' promise can only remain a mirage unless the Government delivers on such infrastructure.  

Another issue on which Modi's Silicon Valley visit was silent is the condition of the IT sector in India. This sector is today primarily one of brain drain, with Indian IT workers overworked and underpaid in exploitative and repressive conditions.

Modi's US visit throws up other areas of concern too. On Modi's past visit to the US and US President Obama's visit to India, there have been shadowy talks concerning pharmaceutical patents and nuclear liability. Both are areas which have grave implications for India's poor and common citizens. Yet the details of such discussions and agreements lack transparency and Indian citizens are kept in the dark.  

At home in India, Modi's graph is declining with his Government increasingly surrounded by questions about steeply rising prices, the control exerted by the RSS and corporations over the Government, meat bans, saffronization, the worrying spectacle of emboldened Hindutva terror groups that are assassinating secular and rationalist activists and intellectuals, and the Government's own harassment of activists and dissenting voices. Modi's 'development' rhetoric too is being questioned, since the promised 'good days' are yet to arrive for the poor and deprived while the corporations and MNCs bask in the Modi sun. The carefully scripted optics of Modi's foreign tours cannot get rid of these questions that are growing louder and demanding answers.

Declare Jharkhand Drought Affected Region

Even as entire Jharkhand has been severely affected by the drought, the BJP government headed by Raghuvar Das has so far shown no steps towards addressing those affected by the drought. As starvation, unemployment and forced migration continues to increase, the government apathy shows no signs of ending.   In view of the severe drought conditions affecting the entire state of the Jharkhand, CPI(ML) organized a series of protests in several districts across Jharkhand demanding that Jharkhand be declared a drought area.

On 19 September, the CPI(ML)'s Ranchi city committee organized a march, followed by a meeting to protest against Jharkhand not being declared a drought area and giving a call to observe a state-wide protest day against the increase in petrol prices. During the entire march, slogans were raised demanding- "Declare Jharkhand a drought area", "Start relief work", "Guarantee 200 days' work under MNREGA", "Roll back increase in petrol price" and "Pass employment guarantee law for urban poor". Addressing the meeting, Bhuvaneshwar Kewat, district secretary, said that despite continuous fall in prices of crude oil in the international market, the people of Jharkhand have received no relief; rather, they are burdened with increased petrol price and spiraling cost of living. The government is oppressing the people with more and higher taxes. People from villages across the State are being forced to migrate because of the government's failure to declare Jharkhand drought-affected despite continuous drought conditions and failure of maize and paddy crops.

Protests were also organized in other districts including- Garhwa,  Palamu, Latehar, Lohardaga, Gumla, Giridih, Ramgarh, Dhanbad, and Jamtara under CPI(ML) and AIPF banners.  In Dhanbad, about 100 farmers sat in dharna at fertilizer factory gate on 21 September, protesting the management's illegal takeover of farmers' lands, and demanding long pending compensation for land by the factory. In several districts memorandums were submitted to the Chief Minister through the local DMs.

CPI(ML) leaders warned that if the state of apathy continued, the agitation would be strengthened in days to come.

Five CPI(ML) leaders in Punjab Sentenced for Leading Anti-Land-Grab Struggle

On 19 September, the Fatehabad court sentenced five CPI(ML) leaders from Punjab, Sukhdarshan Singh Natt, Ruldu Singh, Gurjant Singh, Jasbir Kaur and Rajvinder Rana for three years in jail for their role in anti-land grab struggle in Punjab. In 2011, a series of 'kurkis' took place in Mansa district, by the money lenders whereby they grabbed the land of poor peasants against their pending debts. During one such incident, a moneylender fired at the peasant union activists who were resisting the land grab and a peasant leader Pirthi Singh was killed in the firing. The police refused to arrest the money lender, who had fired, for almost a month owing to considerable political pressure. It were only relentless protests by peasant organizations and CPI(ML) that the administration was forced to arrest the murderer eventually. When the murderer was brought to the court, amidst continued protest and raising of slogans against the delay in arrest, and some angry peasants and protesters manhandled the hated killer inside the court premises. The police took even this as an opportunity to act in favour of the usurer, land-grabber and murderer and revengefully slapped serious false criminal cases against CPI(ML) and other peasant leaders!

The five leaders have now been granted bail in order to appeal in the higher court.

The conviction of leaders of anti-land grab movement comes at a time when the government of the day is pushing hard the policy of land grab and displacement and brutally oppressing dissenting voices. CPI(ML)'s struggle against anti-poor, anti-peasant measures of the government will continue undeterred

Candle March against the Move to Make Bindukhatta a Municipality.

Hundreds of Bindukhatta residents came out on the streets once again on 23 September under the banner of the Akhil Bharatiya Kisan Mahasabha, for the campaign "Harish Rawat Sarkar, Jawab Do" and raising slogans against making Bindukhatta a municipality.

A meeting was held at Car Road, Bindukhatta in the evening. Addressing the meeting, Kisan Mahasabha State President Com. Purushottam Sharma said that the government has betrayed the people of Bindukhatta by making it a municipality. The people of Bindukhatta voted MLA Durgapal to a one-sided victory so that he could fulfill his election promise to make Bindukhatta a revenue village and give ownership rights to the farmers who had settled on lands here. But the MLA, by making this a municipality, has made full plans to enable the land mafia to loot the people's lands. Bindukhatta was made a municipality, waiving all laws, as it was not legally possible. As a result, the government has not even been able to file a reply in the ongoing case in the High Court. He pointed out that MLA Durgapal and his workers had been spreading misinformation among the people that it was not possible to make Bindukhatta a revenue village under the Forest Act. However, the Congress government is unable to explain as to how it is possible to make it a municipality if making it a revenue village was not permissible since the process for transfer of land revenue is the same in both cases. However, in view of the existence of a municipality, transfer of land in Bindukhatta will mean that the land will be considered "nazul" land whose owner will be the municipality. In order to get ownership rights to the land that they are settled in, the farmers will have to pay 25% of the circle rate and double the revenue amount, into the government account. Therefore, in order to get ownership rights, most of the villagers will have to sell their lands to the land mafia at throwaway prices. On the other hand, if Bindukhatta was to become a revenue village, it would be directly beneficial to the villagers as there is a provision for making up to 3 ¼ acres of land in the villagers' names without fees.

Purushottam Sharma further added that even if the government wishes to make it into a municipality, they must either first give the ownership rights of the lands to the farmers otherwise the municipality order should be revoked without delay.

Addressing the meeting, CPI (ML) district Secretary Kailash Pandey said that the State government is the government of the mafia. Under the Congress rule, only the land mafia and mining mafia are being strengthened. The land mafia has its eye on the lands of Bindukhatta, which is why the government wants to make it into a municipality. The people have been long agitating against this move but the local MLA, instead of replying to the High Court and listening to the people's demands, is trying to obstruct panchayats by sending goons to disrupt Kisan Mahasabha Panchayats. He further said that the fact that people have once again taken to the streets in hundreds after 1 April to protest against the municipality proves that however much the MLA and the Congress try to threaten, frighten, tempt and mislead the people, they will not be fooled and will not rest till they get ownership rights to their lands.

Convention in Support of Left Candidates in Bihar Elections

A convention of writers, cultural activists, and intellectuals was held on 13 September 2015 at the Madhyamik Shikshak Bhawan in Patna on the topic, 'Left Alternative in Bihar'. It was co-organized by Pragatisheel Lekhak Sangh (Progressive Writer's Association), Janvadi Lekhak Sangh, Janvadi Sanskritik Morcha, and Paigham Cultural Society. Addressing the convention, Chief Editor of Samkaleen Janmat, Ramji Rai said that the seeds of fascism, communalism, violence and brutality are present inside the neoliberal policies on which the governments of this country are running. The Modi government is implementing this policy even more aggressively. Even otherwise, there has always been a fascist tendency in the Indian ruling echelons. Narendra Modi is a product of a continuum. This is the reason the Left did not consider Modi's becoming the Prime Minister an ordinary phenomenon. Neither Lalu, nor Nitish, nor the SP, nor the BSP have the capacity to fight fascism. Time has placed this historic responsibility of fighting fascism on the shoulders of the Left, and it is this responsibility which has made possible the present unity among the Left parties. The seeds of a strong united Left in the future are present in this current unity.

Pragatisheel Lekhak Sangh national committee member and critic Khagendra Thakur said that the Left has played a historic role through its struggles in passing the Land reform act, Sharecroppers' Act, and other pro-people laws. The unity of the Left parties is a historic event which has filled Left activists with a new energy and enthusiasm. He appealed to litterateurs to write on political subjects also. He expressed the belief that they would also write articles in support of the Left.

Addressing the convention, Janvadi Lekhak Sangh Bihar State President Prof. Neeraj Singh said that this moment of Left unity has been long awaited. Writers in this country have always been predominantly fromthe Left, and the lack of unity among the Left parties has been a matter of concern to them more than to anyone else. That is why they always found themselves in a dilemma during elections. However, this time there is no dilemma. Writers are full of hope and enthusiasm with the unity among Left parties.

AISA protests against draconian UGC guidelines

Students from JNU, Jamia Millia Islamia, Ambedkar University and Delhi University staged a massive protest outside the UGC office under the banner of AISA, against the 'Guidelines on Safety of Students on and off Campuses of Higher Educational Institutions' issued on April 16th 2015'. The students express tremendous anger over the fact that in the name of security, UGC was trying to convert campuses into jails. The protest against this circular has also sparked off protests against moral policing in several campuses. Addressing the protestors, the National President of AISA, Sucheta De said that it is evident that the sole purpose of this circular is to curb students' voices and open doors for moral policing.  Students across universities and states ranging from engineering colleges in Tamil Nadu to Lovely University in Punjab have also conveyed their criticisms on the basis of their experiences. 

Prior to organising the protest outside the UGC, a massive signature campaign had also been launched to inform and warn students, youth and other progressive-democratic sections about the contents and implications of this circular. The signature campaign had received massive response from the students across the universities and in several campuses protests against this circular had already started. 

Comrade Sucheta pointed out how one after another anti-student policies were being undemocratically imposed by  UGC and MHRD and whenever students organized themselves and came out to protest, they were being labelled as anti-nationals. At a time when there major lacks in campuses in terms of - infrastructure, regular teachers proper implementation of provisions to ensure social justice, and basic infrastructural and educational tools to challenge patriarchal mindsets, it is outrageous that the UGC and the MHRD spend their time and resources to come out with such regressive measures.

The UGC circular includes guidelines such as construction of high walls with barbed wires surrounding girls' hostel that cannot be crossed, installation of CCTV cameras, presence of police forces and metal detectors on campuses, use of digital technology and biometrics to keep track of students' movements, regular parent-teachers' meeting, issuing conduct codes to students, monitoring of students' mobile phones, among others.

A delegation of students also met the UGC authorities. Sandeep Saurav, National General Secretary of AISA, who was a part of the delegation later informed the students that the UGC was bent on providing justification for the draconian guidelines citing a few incidents. However, considering that the UGC did not bother to consult any representatives from among the student and teacher communities, showed that they were least serious about the issues they claimed to be concerned about.

AISA Delhi unit President, Anmol Ratan asked if the UGC did not consider students studying in universities as citizens deserving of freedom, dignity and right to choose. Several guidelines included in the UGC circular contribute to the culture of victim blaming.

AISA leaders declared that the students' agitation against such draconian dictates will intensify in days to come. A government that is committed towards 'sell out' and marketization of higher education and towards curbing of democratic spaces in campuses by silencing dissent, will not be allowed to trample upon our freedom, dignity and choices!

Viren Dangwal

CPIML dips its flag in salute to noted Hindi poet Viren Dangwal who passed away in the morning of 28 September 2015, finally succumbing to a long battle with cancer. Viren Dangwal infused a fresh energy into progressive poetry, using a lucid idiom accessible to every common person. Always disarmingly humble and warm, Viren Dangwal associated himself with the Jan Sanskrit Manch and other progressive cultural platforms. His passing away is a tragic loss for all of us.

Red Salute to Comrade Viren Dangwal !

Lalan Thakur

Com. Lalan Thakur passed away on 7 September 2015 after a prolonged illness at the age of 70. He hailed from Patna. Com. Lalan was associated with the Party immediately after the spring rising of Naxalbari. He, along with other comrades, used to paint slogans on walls at night. He played a significant role in establishing the Party's base in Patna's Jakkanpur Mohalla at a time when the struggle had started in Jakkanpur against feudal domination. Com. Lalan was also arrested during this time and lodged in Ward No. 2 where all the prisoners associated with the Naxal movement were kept and not allowed to meet other prisoners. Com. Lalan played a significant role in initiating study, discussion and debates on political books and literature.

On coming out of jail, he was put to organizational work by the Party. After staying at Ranchi for a time, he came to Patna and worked in the Irrigation department first on a casual basis, and later as a regular employee. He continued to be associated with Party work. Very few people knew that he was a government employee, as he was active in all the Party programmes. Despite his transfer to Dehri, he stayed for the most part in Patna and made it clear to the authorities that his first priority was Party work.

Com. Lalan remained dedicated to the Party and continued to maintain contact with the Party base in the mohalla. During the several ups and downs seen by the Party,  saw he remained a firm and a strong pillar for the Party. Red salute to Com. Lalan Thakur!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

ML Update | No. 39 18 | 2015

ML Update

A CPI(ML) Weekly News Magazine
Vol.  18 | No. 39 18 | 22 - 28 SEP 2015

Delhi's Dengue Deaths:
India's Public Health System In Crisis

Delhi's annual dengue epidemic  is taking a deadly toll – in the process making a mockery of the tall claims of 'Swacch Bharat,' good governance and development by Central and State Governments that govern India's capital city. While the Delhi Government admits to 15 deaths, the actual count is likely to be higher, while several thousands are affected by dengue.

Compounding the crisis was the callousness of privatized health care. Tragically, two small children Avinash Rout and Aman Sharma died of dengue after being denied admissions in a series of private hospitals. Avinash's parents, traumatized by the loss of their son, committed suicide. Their suicide and the deaths of Avinash and Aman finally triggered a response from the hitherto apathetic Delhi Government, that ordered some belated measures.

It is well known that dengue cases peak during the monsoon months in Delhi. In spite of being forewarned, the Government, MCD and NDMC took no adequate measures to prevent, contain and cope with the epidemic.

Dengue epidemics are primarily an urban phenomenon; poorly planned urban growth, unregulated construction sites, poor drainage, congested colonies with poor civic amenities create ample breeding grounds for the Aedes mosquito. Contractualisation and casualization of the MCD services has meant that an abject failure to check homes and colonies to get rid of stagnant fresh water breeding grounds. The strength of the MCD staff responsible for inspecting and treating dengue and malaria breeding grounds is far short of what is needed. These workers are overworked, often denied salaries for months on end, denied gas masks, ear plugs or uniforms to protect them from mosquitoes and during fogging operations, and forced to handle poisonous substances like temefos granules and liquid, BTI, methylene, pyrethrum and malathion with bare hands.

Much is being made of the shortage of hospital beds. In reality, a network of local health centres equipped with laboratory facilities to monitor platelet counts could have coped ably with the bulk of the cases, requiring hospitalization only in the worse cases and averting the crisis entirely. In the absence of such basic facilities, hospitals overflow with patients. Public hospitals are eroded and emaciated by privatization, and their services are stretched to their limits. Private hospitals greedy for profits subvert their obligation to admit poor patients in EWS beds, while sucking other patients needlessly into the system with unnecessary tests and hospitalization. Private laboratories blatantly charge exorbitantly for tests.    

One of the key promises of AAP Government of Delhi was to ensure access to health services for all Delhi's citizens. But in health as in other public services, the AAP Government is unwilling to challenge or change the privatized system of health care. In fact the Government has slashed allocation for municipality-level health care. The share of allocations in the Delhi Government's 2015-16 health budget to counter vector-borne diseases was nearly halved (from 9% to 4.8%  of the total health budget) from 2012-13. Not only that, the Delhi Government reduced its demand for funds from the Centre from 260 crore in 2012-13 to 42 crore this year. Not to be outdone in callousness, the Modi Government allocated just 17 crore this year to Delhi from 50 crore in 2012-13.    

The apathy and callousness of Governments and policies of privatization have needlessly cost lives of people due to a disease which is both preventable and curable. The Delhi Government must urgently ensure that private hospitals comply with obligations to give free beds and treatment to EWS patients, and to ensure free sample collection and testing for suspected dengue cases.

Above all, it is imperative that the lessons of this year's dengue epidemic be learnt well to ensure that the crisis is not repeated against next year. Central and State Governments must ensure a network of well-equipped health centres across the city; and in fact all over the country. The two-tier system of health care (steeply-priced private health care for the rich and poor public health facilities for the poor) must be dismantled, and the Governments must invest to strengthen public health care systems, including not only hospitals and health centres but robust mechanisms to prevent and control epidemics.        

No more Avinashs and Amans must be left to the mercy of cruel profit-driven health care systems.
Left Parties' Joint People's Political Convention in Bihar:
Call of the Left – Employment and Land Reforms for All

Six Left parties organized a joint political convention in Patna, underlining their main aim of defeating the feudal, communal, pro-corporate alliance under the BJP as well as the opportunistic and deceitful JD (U)-RJD-Congress alliance. Over 5,000 activists from CPI, CPI(M), CPI-ML, SUCI, Forward Bloc and RSP from districts across Bihar attended this historic convention on 7 September 2015. Great enthusiasm and energy was witnessed, especially among the younger participants, as this was the first joint programme of its kind.

The convention began with revolutionary songs sung by Jan Sanskriti Manch and Hirawal. A 6-member board was constituted to chair the convention, consisting of CPI State secretary Satyanarayan Singh, CPI-ML State secretary Kunal, CPM State secretary Awdhesh Kumar, SUCI State committee member Arun Kumar, AIFB State Vice President Ashok Prasad, and RSP State secretary Mahesh Prasad Sinha. Senior Left party leaders A B Bardhan, Sitaram Yechury, Dipankar Bhattacharya, Chhaya Mukherjee, Devavrat Biswas, Avani Roy, and other leaders were present on the dais. These Left parties had prepared 'a joint Left appeal to the voters of Bihar and an alternative agenda for the pro-people development of Bihar', which was presented at the convention by Com. Dhirendra Jha. Com. Dhirendra pointed out that credit for societal change through agitations by the working class, poor, youth, students, teachers, goes to Left forces, and the Left must unite to conduct people's struggles so that this new agenda can become a reality. Com. Sarvoday Sharma and Ram Babu Kumar endorsed this view, and the 'appeal' was passed unanimously.

Addressing the convention, CPI leader Com. A B Bardhan called for the defeat of the two unholy alliances, the NDA alliance as well as the JD (U)-RJD-Congress alliance. The people of Bihar have seen through the Nitish and Lalu regimes of misrule as well as the anti-people, pro-rich Modi govt at the centre, he pointed out. He stressed that a united Left was the way to defeat these opportunistic and dangerous alliances. CPI(M) General Secretary Com. Sitaram Yechury  said that with this new Left unity, a three-cornered contest has been provided in the State: the first is the politics of communalism/feudalism  led by Modi and his false promises of 'achhe din'; the second is the 'throne' politics of power led by the so-called 'grand alliance' which has destroyed Bihar economically and socially over the past 25 years; and the third is the politics of 'people's rule' led by the Left which aspires to fulfill the needs of the people. He stressed that it is time to deny the pro-rich policies of these ruling class governments and choose the Left which aims to establish true 'people's rule'.

CPI-ML General Secretary Com. Dipankar Bhattacharya said that this welcome Left unity has come after a wait of many years and for the first time all Left parties will fight together, not just on separate issues but on a joint platform. He pointed out that 2014 was a year of 'jumlebaaji' and false promises, when Modi got a full majority on the strength of these false promises. With his coming to power the corporate houses thought that they would get full license to exploit the poor with amendments in the labour laws and the Land grab ordinance. However, neither of these could be implemented in the face of people's protests. The Land ordinance was forced to lapse, and the 2 September 2015 labour strike was a unique success in which even the RSS-affiliated BMS was obliged to join in certain places. It is time to defeat the saffron forces, but the JD (U)-RJD-Congress cannot do this as they are anti-poor and anti-dalit and are protecting perpetrators of carnages like the Ranveer Sena. The Nitish government dissolved the Amir Das commission to shield the Ranveer Sena-politician nexus, but the Cobrapost sting has exposed this nexus. The land reforms recommended by the Bandopadhyay commission have been put in cold storage by the Lalu and Nitish governments, as both pander to feudal and corporate interests. Modi and Nitish are both indulging in a fraudulent 'package war' but the basic rights of the farmers, workers, ASHA, midday meal workers and contractual workers are being denied. The Left must enter into these elections not to bargain for a few seats but to ensure a life of dignity for the people of Bihar.

The convention was also addressed by comrades Meena Tiwari, Rajaram Singh, Chhaya Mukherjee, Devavrat Biswas, Avani Roy, Satyanarayan Singh, Vijaykant Thakur, Arun Kumar, Amresh Kumar Singh, Akhilesh Kumar, Arun Kumar Mishra and others. 

Protest against Sexual Harassment

The students of Patna Women's College (PWC), AISA and AIPWA have been organising a spirited and sustained campaign against sexual harassment and victim blaming. In a recent incident, a student of the PWC complained against harassment by a faculty member. Shamefully, the college administration as well as the Principal, instead of addressing her complaint, launched into a full-fledged campaign of intimidation, victim blaming and character assassination. The complainant, as well as all those who chose to support her, were villified and openly threatened by the Principal, who said: "if you wear such clothes and wear your dupattas in such a style, [men's] attention will obviously go there. It is not their fault at all, it is all your fault. If I want, I can remove all of you in one moment, and not one person will know. I can completely ruin your reputations, and all you will be able to do is watch."

On 18th September, a massive protest was held at the PWC. The protesting girls blocked the Bailey Road for two hours. Yet, the Principal refused to meet the protesters, and various faculty members try their level best to break the protest and intimidate the protesters. Later, an AIPWA/AISA delegation led by AIPWA General Secretary Meena Tiwari met the Principal as well as representatives of the PWC. The delegation articulated the demands of the ongoing protests, and argued that democracy and women's freedom should be defended by the college administration. The following demands were made: an impartial enquiry should be instituted against the accused faculty member; a democratic atmosphere must be ensured in the college campus so that women feel free to express their grievances; a committee against sexual harassment should be instituted consisting of faculty members as well as students from all academic streams in the college; the rustication of the complainant should be immediately revoked and the campaign of intimidation and victim blaming against her should be immediately stopped; the accused faculty member should be suspended pending enquiry, and the notice of the same should be made public within the college. The college administration assured the delegation that these demands would be looked into. There are also protests in Darbhanga, Ara and other districts in solidarity with the students of the PWC.

Midday Meal Workers' Dharna

The Bihar State Vidyalaya Rasoiya Sangh and AIPWA staged a dharna on 26 August 2015, in front of the Collectorate in Gaya, to press for various demands.  A six point charter of demands was submitted to the Collector. The following demands were put forward: to increase the midday meal workers' honorarium from Rs 1,250 to Rs 15,000; to pay honorarium for all 12 months; to pay without delay arrears of 5-6 months pending in schools in the district; to regularize their employment; to guarantee safety and rehabilitation of rape victims; to start speedy trial of accused; to constitute an SIT to go into the incident of a daughter's molestation by her father in Fatehpur Neemi, and other demands. The dharna was led by AIPWA district secretary Rita Varnwal, Sheela Verma, Varti Chowdhury, Rasoiya Sangh leaders Vima Bharti, Mira Devi, Renu Devi, and others.

Initiatives have also been taken to organize the Rasoiya Sangh in Dobhi, Sherghati, and Tikari blocks in Gaya district. In Dobhi, a protest was held on 15 August and a memorandum submitted to the BDO. Over 300 midday meal workers participated in the protest. On 20 August a protest was organized in Sherghati in which about 350 rasoiyas participated. These protests were led by leaders from the CPI(ML), AIPWA, and Rasoiya Sangh. A meeting of women midday meal workers was held on 9 September in Tikari led by the Party and AIPWA. After the announcement of elections, women midday meal workers of Dobhi and Sherghati took the initiative and organized meetings. They welcomed the Party's fielding women candidates in the election and pledged full support to the CPI(ML) candidates.

Agitation by Para-Teachers in Jharkhand

The para teachers of Jharkhand started a "Ghera dalo Dera dalo" agitation at Mohrabadi Maidan near the Chief Minister's residence on 22 August 2015. Their main demands were the following: better and regular wage scales; employment guarantee till the age of 60; regularization and honorarium similar to that in Chhattisgarh; direct recruitment (without test) of TET qualified para teachers; promotion of 750 para teachers to the post of teacher. About 20,000 para teachers participated in the agitation led by General Secretary Vikrant Jyoti, Virendra Dubey, Sintu Singh and others. Thousands of para teachers remained at Mohrabadi Maidan throughout the night also. On 23 August (Sunday), many more para teachers joined the protest. Women para teachers also joined in large numbers and family members of para teachers were also present at the venue. The protesters remained at the venue throughout the next day and night.

The para teachers' agitation became a topic for discussion amongst political circles in the capital. On 24 August, this agitation led to the issue of para teachers and their demands being discussed inside the Jharkhand Assembly. CPI(ML) MLA Rajkumar Yadav played a major role in uniting the Opposition on the issue of para teachers and putting pressure on the government. JMM leader Hemant Soren tried to bring an adjournment motion till the para teachers' demands were fulfilled, but did not succeed. The Speaker and the BJP government did not show seriousness on the issue of para teachers. However, at Mohrabadi Maidan, the para teachers became more determined, and their numbers grew larger. On 24 and 25 August, CPI(ML) MLA Rajkumar Yadav held public meetings at Mohrabadi Maidan in support of the para teachers, after which the agitation gained in momentum. On that day also the Assembly echoed with voices which pointed out that governments changed, but the demands of the para teachers have never got fulfilled.

On 25 August, the para teachers' agitation at Mohrabadi Maidan was addressed by by 5 MLAs including Hemant Soren and Jaiprakash Verma. On 26 August another section of para Teachers led by Vinod Bihari Mahto staged a dharna at Birsa chowk. Now the Mohrabadi Maidan as well as Birsa chowk have become strongholds of the agitation in Ranchi. The Vinod Bihari section announced that they would wear black badges from 28 to 31 August, take out a mashal juloos on 31 August, and go on indefinite strike from 1 September. Scared of these announcements, the government was forced to bow down and on the evening of 26 August Education Minister Neera Yadav and Secretary Aradhana Patnaik held talks with a delegation led by Vikrant Jyoti. The Education Minister attempted to evade the issue of pay scales by citing the benefits of the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana and the Atal Pension Yojana but the para teachers refused to be fobbed off by these claims. Finally the Minister promised an immediate wage increase of 25% and a 10% increment every year from the year 2016. However, no agreement was reached on the issues of retirement at the age of 60, PF, pension, and eligibility-based honorarium. The Minister spoke of raising these issues later, and finally no written agreement was reached.

Therefore, the para teachers took back the "Ghera dalo, Dera dalo" agitation on 27 August and went on an indefinite strike from 28 August. Talks were again held with the Education Minister on 31 August. This time, there was a written agreement announcing an immediate 25% wage increase and 10% increment every year from 2016. As a scheme for recruitment of teachers is in process currently, the agitation was called off. However, as the Modi-Raghubar governments are clearly bent on encouraging privatization in education, a huge teachers' agitation in the future remains a distinct possibility.

Dharna for Housing and Toilets

Hundreds of women led by the CPI(ML) and AIPWA a gheraoed the municipal commissioner's office in Gorakhpur on 9 September 2015, to demand housing, toilets, and clean drinking water for the poor in the Gorakhpur city area. The protesters marched to the commissioner's office shouting slogans of "Stop the hypocrisy of Swachhata Abhiyan", "Housing, Toilets, and Drinking Water for All Poor", and sat on a dharna in front of the commissioner. A meeting was held at the venue which lasted till 3 p.m. The meeting was addressed by CPI(ML) district Secretary Rajesh Sahni, Sugreev Nishad, Nandu Prasad, Shyam Rathi Chouhan, Mira Sharma, Maryadi, and others. The speakers pointed out that in most of the wards of the city area, the poor are deprived of housing, toilets, and drinking water. The Swachhata Abhiyan has been reduced to a hypocritical posturing. There is a lot of talk but no work at the ground level. The municipality does not give a hearing to the voices of the poor.

As a result of the dharna, the commissioner held talks with protestors and gave an assurance that a survey would be conducted and all eligible people would be given housing and would be provided amenities of toilets and clean drinking water.

Meeting in Memory of Comrade Satish Yadav

The CPI-ML held a 'sankalp sabha' at Agiaon in Bhojpur in memory of martyred Comrade Satish Yadav. Addressing the meeting, Party General Secretary Comrade Dipankar Bhattacharya said that the politics of killing those who fought for the rights of the poor and oppressed has been going on in Bhojpur for the last 40-50 years. CPI-ML leaders have regularly been targeted – from comrades Manju, Bhaiyaram Yadav and Budhram Paswan, to the recent martyrdom of Comrade Satish Yadav. Even after 15 days of Comrade Satish's killing, no one has been arrested. On the other hand, the administration is very quick to slap false cases on CPI-ML leaders. Comrade Dipankar pointed out that the Cobrapost sting showed the perpetrators of carnages proudly owning their crimes, and also exposed the protection given to them by the BJP. After this, Prime Minister Modi came to Ara on 19 August 2015 and on 20 August 2015 Satish Yadav was killed. Clearly Modi and the BJP are morale boosters for killer feudal forces.

Comrade Dipankar said that the elections in Bhojpur would not be fought on Modi's 'package' or on Lalu's humorous anecdotes, but on issues of the farmers such as paddy price, seeds, irrigation and fertilizers. The BJP MP from Ara, BJP MLAs from Sandesh and Agiaon and the MLA from Tarari have never done anything for the poor. The CPI-ML flag must fly in the panchayats, PACS, and Vidhan Sabha in order to wrest dignity and rights for the poor from the feudal forces. He said that Modi had to face defeat in the matter of the Land grab ordinance, which he had to revoke in the face of stiff opposition from the people. The 2 September 2015 workers' strike was a unique success and showed the power of the working class, which would never allow the Modi to implement the anti-worker amendments to the labour law.

Bihar is at present going through a phase of struggles. Teachers, Midday meal workers, ASHA workers, contract workers, and even students have had to agitate for their rights. Land, electricity, education, paddy price, and sharecropping will be the issues in these elections. Comrade Dipankar pointed out that jandavedari sabhas are being held to determine the issues of each Vidhan Sabha constituency. On this basis, a manifesto will be announced for each constituency. It is while returning from one such jandavedari sabha that Satish Yadav was killed by the person against whom he was fighting to secure paddy payment for farmers. Comrade Dipankar said that in Satish Yadav we have lost a warrior who fought several battles for people's rights. We have to carry forward our comrade's fight and convert our anger and grief into agitation and victory for the people. One the one hand is the path of lies, loot, betrayal and anti-poor policies; on the other hand is the path of Comrade Ramnaresh Ram which is for truth, justice, and people's rights. By choosing this road we can pay fitting tribute to the martyrs who fought for the people.

The sankalp sabha was also addressed by Comrade Satish's wife Usha who pledged to carry forward her husband's fight. RYA President Comrade Raju Yadav, Manoj Manzil, Chandradeep Singh, Sudama Prasad, Raghuvar Paswan, Upendra Yadav, Indu Devi, Kamta Prasad Singh, Sidhnath Ram, Shah Shad, Vimal Yadav and other leaders also addressed the meeting. A huge public gathering attended the meeting, showing their love and honour for martyred Comrade Satish Yadav.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

ML Update | No. 38 | 2015

ML Update

A CPI(ML) Weekly News Magazine

Vol. 18, No. 38, 15 ­– 21 SEPTEMBER 2015

A Government Of The RSS, By The RSS, For The RSS


he Modi Government, instead of being a 'Government of the people, by the people, for the people,' is proving to be a 'Government of the RSS, by the RSS and for the RSS.'

Recently, the country has witnessed the Prime Minister and top Ministers of the elected Government of India reporting meekly to an unconstitutional, communal fascist authority – the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in a secretive session.

This summit proves that the Sangh leaders (Bhagwat, Togadia, and others) that declare India to be a Hindu Nation and indulge in hate speech against Muslims, Christians, Dalits and women, are not 'fringe elements' – they are the bosses of the Modi Government.

Reportedly, at the 'coordination meet' of the Modi Government with the RSS, the Culture Minister in the Modi Cabinet, Mahesh Sharma pledged to rid India's educational and cultural institutions of 'cultural pollution.' Later, the Culture Minister elaborated on what he meant by 'cultural pollution.' The Minister said that the Gita and Ramayana 'reflect India's soul' and must be taught in schools, while the Quran and the Bible are mere religious texts which are "not central to the soul of India." He declared that Hindi is India's "national language" and should be made compulsory in all Indian schools. According to him, "Indian culture" is defined by "women of three generations cooking in the same kitchen" and called for "protecting Indian culture" from pollution by "Western culture." He also supported the ban on meat imposed by several BJP State Governments during the Jain festival. The Minister claimed that his Government had a mandate for saffronization because "125 crore Indians had voted for the Modi Government knowing what is RSS, what is BJP." And he supported the renaming of Aurangzeb Road after APJ Abdul Kalam, saying that "Kalam was a great nationalist in spite of being a Muslim."

In other words, the Modi Government has made it clear that it shares the same view of 'Indian culture' that the RSS does. It equates 'Indian culture' with Hindu upper caste culture, Hindi language, Sanskrit, vegetarian diet, Hindu religious texts, and the Hindu joint family and specifically the domestic roles defined for women in such families. In this RSS vision of India, a Muslim or Christian can be an Indian citizen only 'in spite of' his/her religious identity; languages other than Sanskrit and Hindi cannot be 'national' languages; vegetarian diet of the tiny upper caste minority will be imposed on the vast majority of non-vegetarians; and women's freedom will be branded as 'Western culture'. And while the Bible and Quran are seen as representatives of only their respective religions, the Hindu religious texts will be taught as representative of 'Indian ideology' and 'Indian culture.'

What the Culture Minister left unsaid is the grim truth of what is being done to voices that challenge this bigoted model of 'Indian culture.' People like Prof Kalburgi, Narendra Dabholkar and Govind Pansare are killed for raising their voice against Hindutva bigots and conmen, writer MM Basheer is prevented from writing his version of the Ramayana, Hindutva goons use force to take AK Ramanujan's essay on the many interpretations of the Ramayana off University syllabi, films ranging from documentaries on communal violence to a popular film like PK are threatened with bans or vandalism, saffron vigilante groups mete out violence to women wearing jeans, inter-faith couples in public places or couples celebrating Valentine's Day.

Not long ago, VHP leader Pravin Togadia, one of the men to whom the Modi Government reported at the 'coordination meet' convened by the RSS, demanded that a law be enacted to criminalise any Muslim who has more than two children.

The Agriculture Minister in the Modi Cabinet has called for 'Yogic farming' to 'increase potency of seeds by positive thinking.' The RSS chief recently said that those Hindu values that "do not conform to scientific standards" should be discarded; but the problem is that the RSS claims various kinds of unscientific and obscurantist ideas to be 'scientific.' For instance the RSS ideologues claim that the figure of Ganesha proves that India invented plastic surgery, or that the myth of the Pushpak Viman proves that India invented aviation! Similarly, the Hindutva ideologues tend to proffer 'scientific' apologias for casteism and patriarchy. The manner in which Hindutva outfits have issued death threats to rationalists shows the hatred they have for science and rationality.

The Government is defending its 'coordination meeting' with the RSS by claiming that the RSS is a 'civil society organization.' The truth is that the RSS and its hydra-headed outfits are directly implicated in a wide range of communal pogroms and bomb blasts, assassinations of intellectuals and activists, caste massacres and violence against women's freedoms.

In the Lok Sabha election campaign, Modi sought votes based on a promise of 'development' and 'acche din' (good times). He did not state that he would be taking his orders from the RSS, or that his Government would be interfering in kitchens and classrooms. The Modi Government certainly cannot claim any mandate for their unconstitutional agenda of imposing the narrow and bigoted RSS vision of India on the whole country.

The RSS has come out onto the stage from behind the curtains and is now openly showing that it holds the reins of the Modi Government in its hands. Meanwhile, the Modi Government and its Ministers are all failing abjectly in the very areas for which they are responsible. The Environment Minister has recently announced that industry will be allowed to 'develop' degraded forest land; the Health Minister has done nothing to control the spate of dengue deaths in Delhi; the Railway Minister has no effective response to the twin train accident in Madhya Pradesh and the derailing of the Duronto in Karnataka occurring within a span of roughly a month; and the Agriculture Minister has blamed peasant suicides on love affairs and impotency. The entire Government has proved utterly incapable of curbing steeply rising prices. The enthusiasm and aggression with which Modi ministers are advancing the RSS agenda stands in stark contrast to the utter abdication of their actual ministerial responsibility.

 Midday Meal Workers Protest in Front of the Jharkhand Vidhan Sabha

On 25 August, over 15,000 midday meal workers employed by various government schools in Jharkhand protested in front of the Vidhan Sabha in Ranchi, demanding action on a 36-point charter of demands. The main demands are: Rs 233 per day minimum wage for cooks; midday meal workers not to be made to work for free, and adequate honorarium to be fixed; arrears due for over a year to be paid to cooks; and all 3 categories of midday meal workers to be regularized. It is to be noted that CPI(ML) MLA Rajkumar Yadav had previously raised these issues in the state Assembly, after which on 25 March 2015 the Education Minister Neera Yadav had announced an increase of Rs 500 in the honorarium for cooks. However, this was not implemented till 25 August 2015. Therefore, this issue too became a part of the workers' charter of demands.

5,000 protesters came from Hazaribagh district; 1,500 to 2,000 each from Ranchi, Simdega, Palamu, and Ramgarh; over 1,000 from Dhanbad-Kodarma; 500-1,000 came from Lohardaga, Khunti, Gumla, Chatra, Latehar, Chaibasa, Bokaro, Pakud, Godda, Garhwa, Dumka, Jamtada and Deogarh. AIPWA played a big role in mobilizing midday meal workers from Dumka, Deogarh, Jamtada and Garhwa. AICCTU mobilized workers from Kodarma, Ramgarh, Ranchi and Palamu. As a result of these interventions by AIPWA and AICCTU, the role of the Left in this crucial protest was established. The Assembly was in session at the time of the protest, and the echoes of the protest were heard inside the Assembly where MLA Rajkumar Yadav raised the issue.

A gate block and a 7-hour long meeting was conducted in front of the Vidhan Sabha. Addressing the meeting, MLA Rajkumar Yadav said that the BJP government in Jharkhand is working to benefit the corporate companies, which is the reason for privatization and saffronization of education. Government schools are the only option for the poor and the working classes, but these schools have neither quality nor a proper system for the students. The labour of 2.45 lakh midday meal workers in the state is being looted to ensure excess profits for corporates. The stronger the agitation against this loot, the better this issue can be fought inside the Assembly, reiterated comrade Rajkumar Yadav.

Addressing the meeting, AICCTU State General Secretary Shubhendu Sen said that one reason for the midday meal workers not getting the stipulated Rs. 1,500 honorarium or even the minimum wage, is Modi's 'Make in India' programme whose object is to create cheap land and cheap labour for corporate companies. Therefore, there is widespread contractualization of workers under a hire and fire policy, and services for the government are also being done under contract and honorarium systems.

Addressing the meeting, AIPWA leader Geeta Mandal said that the government must declare all midday meal workers as full-fledged workers and fix a proper pay scale for them. She stressed that the Midday Meal Workers' Association must join hands with AIPWA and para-teachers to fight a decisive battle for this. The Midday Meal Workers' Association State President Ajit Prajapati gave a brief recap of the long struggles on their demands: a dharna in front of the Vidhan Sabha on 24-26 March 2015; protests in front of 70 block offices in the state on 14 July 2015, and in front of district DCs' offices on 30 July 2015. The meeting was also addressed by Dayamani Barla, Anita Devi, Premnath Vishwakarma, JMM MLA Jagannath Mahto and others.

The Midday Meal Workers' Association demanded a monthly honorarium of Rs 6,000 on the lines of payments made by the Karnataka government. They also demanded that the retirement age be fixed at 60, 2 uniforms per year, a dietician in each school for food inspection, increase in funds for eggs, improvement in quality of rice, medical insurance, sheds in the schools for babies and toddlers, and other facilities. After the successful protest, the Jharkhand cabinet announced on 28 August that the increase of Rs 500 passed on 25 March 2015 has been implemented, and also announced a free insurance of Rs 5 lakh.

CPI(ML) State Conference held in UP

The 11th State Conference of the CPI(ML) Uttar Pradesh unit was successfully held between 30 August to 1 September 2015 in Ghazipur district, with the pledge to intensify struggles against the Modi government's pro-corporate policies, communalism and fascism, against the SP government's criminal-police raj, for democracy, employment, justice, and people's safety. 278 delegates (37 women) from 37 districts participated in the conference. 90 delegates took part in the discussion on the work report. A new 43-member State committee was formed under the supervision of the Politburo member and conference observer Comrade Swadesh Bhattacharya, and Comrade Ramji Rai was unanimously elected State secretary.

The conference began with flag hoisting by senior Party leader Comrade Hariwanshi Ram. Inaugurating the open session, CPI(ML) General Secretary Comrade Dipankar Bhattacharya stressed various aspects of the ongoing social, economic and political crisis – the agricultural crisis, farmers' suicides, grave levels of unemployment, further curtailing of employment opportunities, curtailing of labour rights and ensuring of corporate profits in the name of the government's "Make in India" project, ongoing corruption, inflation and skyrocketing price rise, ever-increasing repression and fascist curbing of dissent. While workers and farmers have always been exploited by various governments run by the BJP, Congress, JD(U), RJD, SP, and the BSP, at present, other kinds of struggles too are being suppressed. War veterans are agitating for pensions in Delhi; a community is agitating for reservations in Gujarat (albeit it is not certain how genuine this demand is), and in the process, the much-touted Gujarat model has unraveled as unemployed youth in Gujarat desperately looking for employment. Comrade Dipankar added that development as defined by the ruling classes has no meaning for the people since it is loot, corruption, and profiteering for capitalists. Basic needs of people such as roads, water, electricity, housing, toilets, health care, have become issues for agitation. Giving a leadership to the struggles of farmers, contract workers, ASHA workers, teachers, health workers and the beleaguered minority community has become a prime responsibility.

Left Agrarian Labour Organizations' Joint Protest in Haryana

Various agricultural labour organizations affiliated to the Left jointly organized a public meeting on 1 September 2015 at Karnal in Haryana, in front of the mini secretariat. This day was observed as 'Demand Day' by Left organizations, to protest against the anti-agriculture policies of the government. A memorandum of demands was submitted to the Prime Minister. The meeting was presided over by the All India Kisan Mahasabha (AIKM) Vice President Comrade Prem Singh Gehlawat. Comrades Sukhchain Singh, Jagmal Singh, Mahendra Singh Chopra and other leaders participated in the protest.

The memorandum gave details of the deteriorating conditions of rural agricultural labourers and artisans. The Congress govt's disastrous policies of liberalization have been implemented with further ruthlessness by the BJP govts at the Centre as well as the state, resulting in a grave agricultural crisis. Hundreds of farmers have committed suicide in Haryana in the past one year, this number being the highest in North India. Rising agricultural costs and shrinking incomes have put a heavy burden of debt on the farmers. Livelihood opportunities are shrinking and it is becoming impossible for the people to afford education of their child/ren.

The following demands were raised in the memorandum: revoke the Land ordinance 2015 and implement progressive land reforms; make a national land utilization policy; give a minimum pension of Rs 3,000 to agricultural labourers and artisans; free agricultural land from the clutches of the land mafia and real estate barons; make a national law to ensure social security of agricultural labourers; give 12 decimal land and Rs.5 lakhs house building grant to all landless families; guarantee crop purchase from farmers at a minimum support price of 50% above the cost price, as per the Swaminathan commission recommendations; implement an affordable PDS system for guarantee of food security; repeal the new anti-worker labour laws and protect the rights of child labourers; make adequate increase in governmental financial investment in the agriculture sector; ensure development of basic infrastructure and supply of agricultural materials at affordable rates in rural areas; end FDI in agriculture; unconditionally return to farmers unused land acquired under SEZ or other such projects; ensure 200 days work under MNREGA and minimum daily wages of Rs 300; give interest free agricultural loans to farmers, agricultural labourers and sharecroppers; make national crop insurance compulsory; protect crops, life and goods from wild animals; pay a minimum compensation of Rs 10 lakhs to families of farmers who have committed suicide; ensure education, employment and health rights to all citizens; stop the increasing violence against women, dalits, adivasis and minorities. The memorandum was submitted to the Deputy Commissioner at the mini secretariat.

Report on Bhagalpur Riots Released by Insaf Manch-AIPF in Patna

On 5 September 2015, the Bhagalpur AIPF unit released a report in Patna on the denial of justice to the Bhagalpur riot victims. The report was released by CPI(ML) General Secretary, Director of the Centre for Study of Society and Secularism Irfan Engineer, Rihai Manch UP President Shoaib Ahmad, Inquilabi Muslim Manch leader Sadar Mohd Salim and others. This report on the Bhagalpur riots was finalized after months of research by a team headed by Sharad Jaiswal. Bhagalpur riot victims took part in this symposium in large numbers.

Speaking on the report, Comrade Dipankar said that for the first 15 years after the Bhagalpur riots, the Lalu Yadav government was in power, elected on a slogan of "social justice and secularism". For the next 10 years, the Nitish Kumar government was in power, boasting of "good governance" and "development with justice". But during these 25 years, the Bhagalpur victims have only seen treachery, oppression, and injustice. He added that the Nitish government submitted the report of the commission constituted in 2006 on the last day of the Assembly session, clearly exposing its non-seriousness in the matter of securing justice for the Bhagalpur riot victims. It is astounding that the 2 commissions of 1995 and 2006 have both refused to fix responsibility on the administration for the death of hundreds of people and ruin of thousands of families, and have also turned a blind eye to the poisonous and offensive communal mobilization done by the Sangh Parivar. He further said that the High Court has acquitted all the accused in the dozens of carnages perpetrated by the Ranveer Sena on the oppressed and suppressed rural poor in South Bihar, and Nitish dissolved the Amir Das Commission constituted to find the nexus between the Ranveer Sena and their political protectors just before the Commission was about to table its report.

Speaking at the meeting, Irfan Engineer, Shoaib Ahmad, and Sadar Mohd Salim said that the RSS with its agenda of making India a Hindu Rashtra is the chief culprit in this matter and is working through the BJP as well as with the help of other parties. Earlier, the author of the report Sharad Jaiswal presented the detailed information contained in the report. He said that commissions formed by the government have worked to hide the truth of the riots. For instance, the government reports the number of those killed during the riots as 1,000, whereas in reality 2,000 lost their lives. After the riots, resources belonging to Muslims – including land, silk and industries – were captured by others.

Three-Day Hunger Strike by CPI(ML) in Fatuha Block

Comrades Umesh Singh (Party's SCM and AIKM NE member), Sailesh Yadav (Fatuha block secretary), Satyanand Paswan (Sampatchak secretary), Munna Pandit (AIARLA Fatuha secretary), Ravindra Yadav (peasant leader), and Bhola Das (AIARLA leader) sat on a 3-day hunger strike at the Fatuha block office from 17 to 19 August on burning issues like- (i) construction of roads to join nearby areas of Patna and various areas of Fatuha to main roads and rivers, (ii) repair and reconstruction of the dilapidated bridge over Dargha River on the road from Bir to Kajibigaha, (iii) resolution of problems of farmers, workers, and sharecroppers, permanent employment for honorarium workers, and (iv) security of mahadalits and women.

Addressing the meeting at the hunger strike, Com. Shiv Sagar Sharma said that the BJP, who was a partner in the government till recently, is now trying to come to power by taking advantage of the treachery committed upon the people for the last 10 years by the Nitish government. Though the BJP is continuously singing praises of the Central government led by Modi, the people have by now fully realized the deceit of the "achhe din" promised by Modi. Sky-rocketing prices, huge cuts in people's welfare schemes, anti-farmer and anti-agriculture policies have made life miserable for the people. He pointed out that, like Ramvilas Paswan, Jitan Ram Manjhi has also betrayed the dalits of Bihar by choosing to sit in the lap of the BJP which is the protector of the Ranveer Sena; the people of Bihar will not be fooled by these tricks. Com. Umesh Singh stressed the necessity of the hunger strike by saying that despite Fatuha Assembly constituency being so close to Patna, it appears to be the remotest part of Bihar due to lack of roads and civic amenities. The meeting was addressed by all the striking leaders.

Hundreds of rural women and men were continuously present at the strike venue. On 19 August, last day of the hunger strike, Patna Collector's representative ADM, BDO, CO, and local thana in-charge came to the venue for talks, considered the demands, and gave an assurance that whatever could be fulfilled at their level would be done, and a memorandum of the demands would be submitted to the government. After this assurance the striking leaders broke their fast by accepting juice from the hands of Party leaders Comrades Ramjatan Sharma, Amar, and Saroj Choube.

Addressing the concluding meeting, Party leaders said that the Centre and State governments are trying to distract attention from the main issues in the imminent Bihar elections and polarize the election. However, the CPI(ML) will fight the election on people's issues and all the Left Parties together will present a credible Left alternative to the people of Bihar.

AISA Statement on JNUSU and DUSU Elections

AISA congratulates the JNU student community for successfully electing a new JNUSU. The JNUSU mandate has largely reposed the faith in the left and inclusive politics that the JNUSU has been upholding. In the central panel, 3 out of 4 posts belong to the left. AISA congratulates Comrade Kanhaiyya, elected JNUSU President from the AISF. AISA also thanks JNU students for electing Comrade Shehla Rashid Shora and Comrade Rama Naga from AISA as the JNUSU VP and General Secretary respectively.

At the post of President, Com. Kanhaiyya Kumar from AISF secured 1029 votes and Com. Vijay from AISA finished second with 962 votes, with the margin being 67 votes. At the post of Vice President, Com. Shehla Rashid Shora from AISA secured1387 votes defeating ABVP's Valentina Brahma by a margin of 234 votes. Com. Rama Naga from AISA secured 1159 votes and was elected as the General Secretary defeating Devendra Singh Rajput of ABVP by 213 votes. At the post of Joint Secretary, ABVP's Saurav Kumar Sharma secured 1154 votes and won by a slender margin of 28 votes, with Com. Hamid Raza from AISA finishing second with 1126 votes.

The largely pro Left mandate of JNU students is all the more significant and welcome in the light of the ABVP surge representing the dangerous agenda of 'cultural cleansing' pushed by the Central Government and RSS. We must recognize our responsibility in the context of the fact that ABVP has managed to win the post of Joint Secretary and a couple of posts in SIS.

AISA is committed to carrying forward the JNUSU's legacy of students' movement for students' rights and campus democracy, and against commercialization and saffronization of education.

AISA also thanks the students of DU, who for a third year running, have shown their growing support for a Left alternative. AISA's performance, polling a very close third on Jt.sec and a very close fourth on all other posts, is most encouraging. AISA has achieved this on the basis of the initiative and enthusiasm of student volunteer alone who battled other groups backed by money- and muscle- power and the might of Government machinery. AISA pledges to continue to work with and for DU students, confident that we will indeed succeed in strengthening a powerful alternative student politics in DU.

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

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

ML Update | No. 37 | 2015

ML Update

A CPI(ML) Weekly News Magazine

Vol. 18, No. 37, 08 ­– 14 SEPTEMBER 2015

The Message of September 2: Secure Land & Labour Rights, Stop Sanghi Subversion

n September 2 India witnessed a powerful general strike cutting across most sectors of the economy and civil administration. The strike had been called jointly by central trade unions and supported actively by almost all sections of the Indian Left. Initially, the RSS-led pro-BJP Bhartiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) was also a signatory to the strike call. But at the behest of the RSS, the BMS eventually withdrew from the strike. But undeterred by the BMS backout and empty announcements made by the Prime Minister in the recent session of the Indian Labour Conference, millions of workers joined the strike and made it clear that the Indian working class would resist the Modi government's proposed anti-worker labour reforms tooth and nail.

The impact of the strike was huge in sectors like road transport, banking and insurance, and various mining and manufacturing units. Offices and educational institutions too remained virtually closed in many areas. But what made the strike really a mass action of the working class was the massive participation of contract and casual workers and honorarium- and incentive-based employees, and workers in the unorganized sector. The solidarity of students, peasants, small traders and shopkeepers transformed the workers' strike into a complete shutdown in several states. The Modi government's sinister attempt to justify its labour reform plan in the name of solving the unemployment problem and bringing benefits to the unorganised sector thus met with a resounding rebuff.

The strike came close on the heels of the Modi government's admission of defeat on the issue of the pro-corporate landgrab ordinance. Despite repeated re-promulgation of the ordinance, the government failed to convert it into law and eventually had to allow the ordinance to lapse or die. The fact that the government had to beat a retreat on an ordinance which was so central to Narendra Modi's 'Make in India' campaign must have inspired the working class with renewed confidence and courage in its battle with the Modi regime against the proposed labour reforms, the other core plank of Modi's economic agenda. Anger against the relentless rise in prices of essential commodities and services, the continuing spate of scams and various dictatorial moves of the BJP turned the strike into an emphatic expression of growing popular opposition to the Modi government.

In view of the popular support for the strike, even BJP-led state governments did not dare to crush it with a heavy hand. But it was the TMC government of West Bengal which unleashed severe repression on the strikers, with the police and TMC goons often working in tandem. There are reports of trade union leaders having been attacked on the eve of the strike, while on the day of the strike, TMC goons and the police visibly went berserk, brutally beating up and injuring strikers and leaders of various Left parties in several districts. Those who remember West Bengal of the mid-1970s during the reign of semi-fascist terror under Siddharth Shankar Ray, the TMC-police terror of September 2 rekindled memories of those days of unmitigated police repression and state-sponsored Youth Congress hooliganism and violence.

While the strike epitomised the bold resolve, courage and capacity of the working class to resist the anti-people offensive of the Modi government, what happened in Delhi immediately after the strike can only be described as a wake-up call for every citizen who cares for democracy in India. In one of his recent rallies in Bihar, Modi said people who are insisting on his accountability for his government's performance must wait till 2019. Only a few days later, the Prime Minister and key ministers of his cabinet deposed before the RSS in the national capital, subjecting the government's performance to scrutiny by the RSS top brass. So, the RSS, which was banned after the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi and the ban was lifted only after it gave a written undertaking declaring its loyalty to the Constitution and National Flag of India, has now come out of the shadows to impose itself as a super-government and super-cabinet openly calling the shots.

Just as we cannot allow the corporate brigade to plunder the precious resources of the country, we cannot allow the Sangh-BJP combine to play with the intellectual resources of the country and undermine the basic tenets of Indian Constitution. The supremacy of the people and the principles and institutions of democracy must prevail and the RSS campaign of institutional takeover and subversion must be stopped.

All India Workers' Strike against Modi Raj and Its Anti-Worker, Anti-People Policies

orkers across the country responded to the call of 10 central trade unions including AICCTU, as well as several workers' welfare associations and organized the first All India strike in the Modi regime for a 12 point charter of demands and against the current anti-people policies of the Central government. During the strike, the anger of the working class against the attempts of the government to amend labour laws in favour of corporates was particularly visible. These are amendments which would remove 70% of the workers from the ambit of the labour laws for which the workers have fought since British times and secured after great sacrifices. In addition, anger against spiraling prices, rising unemployment and retrenchment, and job insecurity made this countrywide strike a unique success.

In a joint statement the workers' organizations which called for the strike said that the strike was pervasively successful in the transport, coal, electricity, banking, insurance, state government personnel, port, defence, communication and automobile sectors. Lakhs of workers came out on the streets and expressed their anger in all small and big towns as well as in that national capital Delhi. The unions strongly condemned the police oppression on trade union activists in West Bengal and the attacks by Trinamool and Congress goons and termed it state sponsored terrorism. Worker-activists have also been arrested in other parts of the country and there has been lathi charge in several places. Despite all this, the strike has been hugely successful in these places.

In most states, government road transport workers joined in the strike; even private transport was partially affected. Roadways buses did not run in Delhi, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and other states. Defence production came to a standstill; about 5 lakh workers from this sector took part in the strike. The strike was 100% successful in major finance sectors like banking and insurance. About 20 lakh workers from public and private finance sectors participated in the strike. The strike was successful in coal mines and even the BMS had to join the strike in these places. The hartal was fully effective in iron ore, bauxite, copper, aluminum and other mines. The strike affected the steel sector also and for the first time workers struck work on a large scale at the Bhilai Steel Plant. The strike was successful in the postal department. Postal workers organized dharnas and meetings in front of their offices. There was a near total strike in the oil sector across the country. The strike had a wide spread effect in tea gardens in eastern and southern India.

Along with AICCTU, the Khet aur Gramin Mazdoor Sabha (AIARLA) put in all efforts for the success of the strike and both these organizations mobilized urban and rural workers on the day of the strike and brought them on to the streets. Activists of CPI(ML) and its student-youth organizations also came out on the streets to show support in solidarity with the workers.

Delhi: The strike was successful in all industrial areas of Delhi and NCR including Jhilmil, Wazirpur, Patparganj, Bhorgarh, Bawana and Noida. Protest rallies and processions were taken out in all places. A large section of auto-rickshaw drivers remained off the roads. Security workers affiliated to AICCTU organised a protest dharna at Jantar Mantar. Hundreds of construction workers took part in strike processions in various industrial areas. AICCTU held out a workers' march in Noida where many workers who were jailed for participating in All India General Strike of 2012 took part very enthusiastically.

The impact of the strike was so overwhelming that even non-unionized unorganised sector workers came onto streets. Trade unions also held a road block near ITO. More than a thousand contractual workers at JNU whose union is affiliated to AICCTU went on a total strike bringing work at the University canteen, library and sanitation office to a standstill. The protest was addressed by Comrades Urmila and Anju and supported by JNUTA, JNUSU and many student organizations on campus. All through the strike as well as during its preparations and propaganda, the issues of contract workers' regularisation and Minimum Wage implementation were raised emphatically besides other demands.

West Bengal: Workers and agricultural workers made the strike a success throughout the state despite threats and attacks from TMC goons, affecting work in jute, tea, engineering and other industries. Rallies and road blocks were held throughout the state. In Kolkata, central trade unions organized an impressive protest at Hazra crossing, and 17 Left parties held a huge joint rally at Moulali. AICCTU leaders addressed these programmes. CCW member Abhijeet Bhattacharya and 7 other comrades were arrested while protesting in Siliguri. On 1 September Congress goons had attacked AICCTU leader Pradeep Bhattacharya in Hooghly district while he was campaigning for the strike. CPI(ML) comrades were also arrested in Jalpaiguri.

Bihar: Over 50 unions including AIARLA and Bihar State Construction Workers' Union affiliated to AICCTU took out rallies in all districts. Agri and rural  workers, government school and midday meal workers in rural areas held block level protests. In Patna, protests, meetings, road and rail blocks were organized at Gandhi maidan, Deedarganj, Bankaghat station, Phulwarisharif (by workers of Sudha dairy), and Nalanda biscuit factory. Workers under the joint banners of AICCTU, CITU, INTUC, AIUTUC, AITUC and other central trade unions took out a successful march from Gandhi maidan despite autocratic efforts by the police to prevent it. A large number of women workers also joined the march and meeting. Hundreds of ASHA workers led by AIPWA leaders Shashi Yadav and Saroj Choube protested before the CM and expressed anger that the agreement reached after their state wide strike had not yet been fulfilled. By evening the officials assured the workers that the terms of the agreement would be implemented.

Khet workers, construction workers, midday meal workers, beedi workers, contractual workers and women workers, government and non-government workers, unorganized workers, came out on the streets in Fatuha, Jamui, Bhagalpur, Bihpur, Jagdishpur, Kahalgaon, Darbhanga, Jehanabad, Bhojpur, Vaishali, Chhapra, Muzaffarpur, Samastipur, Nalanda, Gaya, Aurangabad, Purnea, Supoul, Motihari, Betiya, and other districts. Large numbers of organized and unorganized workers in these places under AICCTU, CITU and other unions joined the strike and brought work to a standstill, conducting rallies, marches, meetings, and blocking roads and rail as well in some places. Government workers including bank and insurance workers also joined the strike.

Jharkhand: The strike was 100% successful in the coal-belt (koylanchal) of Jharkhand and coal production came to a complete standstill. Left unions took out a joint rally in Dhanbad. Midday meal workers and rasoiya associations also took out rallies. Coal outsourcing was also fully stopped. The Suvarnarekha express was stopped for 3 hours.

90% contract workers and 10% regular workers went on strike at the Bokaro Steel Plant. All three areas of Bermo colliery remained closed. Joint trade union marches, meetings, and effigy burnings of PM Modi were held at various places in Bokaro district. Production and transportation in CCCL areas including Ramgarh, New Karnapura, and Peeparvar and small industries in Ramgarh remained closed. At Ranchi there was a strike after a long gap at HEC in which even the BMS was forced to join. Strikes, protests, rail blocks and arrests also took place at Jamshedpur, Pakur-Malpahadi, Ranchi, Tata Petroleum depot, Sahibganj, Godda, Dumka, Gomiya, Latehar, Tori and Bundu. Medical representative unions throughout the state joined the strike.

Hundreds of construction workers in Ranchi and Gumla district joined the strike led by Com. Shubhendu Sen and Bhuneshwar Kewat. A march and meeting at Albert Ekka chowk was also joined by CPI student organization AISF. Kodarma thermal power workers and transmission line workers also went on strike. The strike was supported by non-gazetted workers' associations, and health workers' unions in CIP (Kanke). A rally was taken out in Giridih under the banners of CPI(ML), AICCTU, Jharkhand General Mazdoor Union and CMW. Motor transport workers in Bagodar joined the strike.

Uttar Pradesh: In Lucknow construction workers' unions affiliated to AICCTU took out a rally and meeting at Hazratganj chowk addressed by CPI(ML), AICCTU and JASAM leaders. In Kanpur joint trade union picketing, rasta roko, and hartal was held at Dadanagar Industrial area, Panki, Fasalganj, and Jajmau area tanneries. Marches, meetings, protests and effigy burnings were held at Faizabad, Moradabad, Allahabad, Varanasi, Ghazipur, Mughalserai (Chandauli district), Phulpur, Devariya (by ASHA workers) and other districts. Speakers addressing the meetings said that the country wide strike signifies the beginning of the end for the Modi government. They also pointed out the complicity of the SP government in UP in large scale corruption, nepotism, and anti-worker activities. They stressed the need for a united fight against the pro-corporate and anti-people policies of the central and state governments. CPI(ML), AICCTU, AIARLA, and AISA activists came out in large numbers to make the strike a big success.

Uttarakhand: Hundreds of banking, insurance, ASHA, anganwadi workers and workers from other sectors staged a dharna in Budhh Park at Haldwani (Nainital) under the initiative of AICCTU. Earlier, rallies were taken out by Uttarakhand ASHA health workers' union at Roadways bus station, ASHA unions and teachers' unions in Naiital town, Ramnagar, Betlaghat, and Lalkuan. Several trade unions jointly organized a huge meeting at Ambedkar Park in Udhamsingh Nagar district. ASHA union organized a rally in Bajpur. Protests by bus service workers and ASHA workers were also held at Ranikhet in Almora district, Bhikiyasain, Sult, Pithoragarh, Dharchula (by NHPC and ASHA workers), Garhwal zone, and Shrinagar. Protests could not be held in hill areas due to the strike by bus unions.

Chhattisgarh: For the first time in its history, there was such an effective strike by workers at the Bhilai Steel Plant, participated in by about 30% regular workers and 70% contract workers under the joint trade union banners including Centre for Steel Workers affiliated to AICCTU. Contractual workers of the Bhilai municipality also joined the strike. The strike was fully successful in Balco at Korba led by the newly formed Aluminium Kamgar Sangh affiliated to AICCTU. The strike was also successful in Rajnandgaon, Bilaspur, Balod, Kawardha, Raipur, Durg and other districts.

Odisha: In Odisha, life slowed down considerably and the people gave good support to the bandh. Contractual railway workers obstructed rail traffic at Puri, Bhubaneswar and Cuttack stations. Safai Karmachari Sangh held a rally up to Bhubneshwar railway station. The Dibrugarh-Bangalore express was stopped at Cuttack by sanitation workers. In Khurda industrial area workers led by AICCTU played a big role in the campaign against the Modi government's anti-people policies. Steel workers and construction workers joined the strike at the Rourkela Steel Plant.

Karnataka: AICCTU unit of Karnataka actively participated in all India strike on 2nd Sep. 2015 in various centres including Bangalore, Koppal, Mangalore, Mysore and Harapanahalli. BMTC and KSRTC transport services were completely off the road which made the strike total. The transport strike acted as a morale booster for the strikers. Auto and taxi drivers also participated in significant numbers. Public sector participation was also complete. All public sector units in Bangalore came to a grinding halt. Participation of bank and insurance employees was also significant. Many independent trade unions operating at various factory levels like Toyota also came out on the streets on the day of strike and joined the rally. Participation of contract workers and other unorganized workers like garments, construction, rice mill, brick kilns, etc., was also significant. Schools and colleges were also forced to close down because of non availability of bus services.

In Banglore, in addition to issuing formal strike calls in factories where AICCTU has trade unions, AICCTU also organized Strike Enforcement Rallies in areas surrounding the two major international centres of capital in Bangalore like International Technology park Ltd (ITPL) and Electronic City. AICCTU Workers marched through the streets of industrial estates, forced down the shutters in companies that did not give a heed to the strike call and thousands of workers were sent home back. Anticipating untoward incidents, many IT companies - corporate and MNCs - also declared leave for their employees. The strike enforcement rally around ITPL led by Com. Appanna was an independent rally by AICCTU while a similar independent rally led by Com. Mohan around Electronic City joined the culmination meeting held by all trade unions in the area. Readymix industry workers, street vendors and BOSCH contract workers of AICCTU played a significant role in enforcement of strike call in these two major centres in Bangalore.

Thousands of workers participated in the Joint central rally in Bangalore called by all trade unions in spite of absence of public transport services. In addition to sanitation workers, contract workers of Bangalore water supply, NIMHANS hospital, race course, construction, etc., joined the strike rally representing AICCTU. The participation of workers of the Federation of Bangalore Street Vendors, recently affiliated to AICCTU, was also significant. The rally from Bangalore Town Hall culminated in a public meeting near Freedom Park which was addressed by leaders of all central trade unions.

The bandh call was also successful in major centres in districts like Koppal, Gangavati and Karatagi. Thousands of workers participated in rallies in each centre. Participation of rice mill workers, sanitation workers and other unorganized workers were quite significant in the implementation of strike call in the district. In Mangalore, AICCTU organized an independent rally enforcing strike in Baikampady Industrial Estate. The rally started from BPCL, LPG Plant, marched through the streets of the industrial estate and culminated in a public meeting at Baikampady town.

A joint central rally held in Mysore was joined by workers of Lafarge, Mysore race Course and also AIARLA. Unorganised workers and agricultural labourers of AIARLA also participated in the joint rally and public meeting organized by all trade unions in Harapanahalli.

Puducherry: A well planned joint action Committee of all central trade unions like AICCTU, AITUC, CITU, TUCC, AIUTUC, INTUC, BMS and other regional Trade Unions such as LPF and PLLF (affiliate of VCK) was formed way back in the first week of August '2015 to highlight 12 points charter as resolved in the Central convention held at New Delhi. It was also decided to incorporate state level demands of Puducherry Working Class and to attack the anti-labour policies of ruling AINRC government led by N.Rangasamy. On 13th August a state level workers convention was organized to gear up the workers for the September'2 general strike. On 17th August CPI(ML), CPI(M) and CPI held an open convention on "Make September 2 General strike a grand success and oust the autocratic and anti labour Rangasamy AINRC government". A large section of working people and democratic forces attended the convention.

On 2 September, a total bandh was observed in Puducherry and Karaikal regions of Puducherry UT. All shops and establishments including private schools and Colleges declared holiday. Students' attendance in government schools and colleges were near zero. All affiliated unions of AICCTU and construction industry workers struck work. Agriculture and rural workers also did not turn to work. Road roko was held in 14 places of Puducherry and Karaikal. Thousands of workers actively participated in picketing and courted arrested.

AICCTU played a leading role in organizing total strike in Sederapet Industrial Estate which is the biggest industrial area of Puducherry UT. CPI(ML), AICCTU, AICWF, AIARLA held road roko in five places. In Puducherry town the contingent was led by Com. S. Balasubramanian, State Secretary CPI(ML) and Com. S. Purushothaman, State Secretary, AICCTU. Hundreds of workers took out a big rally on the strike day in Sederapet Industrial area. The biggest contingent of striking workers was led by Com. S. Motilal, State Committee Member, CPI(ML) and Com. R. Saravanan, State Secretary AICCTU.

Private transport was off road completely and there were skeleton services of State Transport Corporation. Banking, Insurance Postal services were totally hit. BSNL employees struck work. Puducherry state government employee's federations supported the bandh and strike. Confederation of state government employees gave a strike call and took out a rally and courted arrest near Head post office. Another Federation of state government employees staged a big demonstration in support of 12 points charter and Railway employees also held a demonstration in the evening.

Rest of the Country: The strike was also successful in Boisar (Mumbai), Chandigarh, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, and Assam. In Tamilnadu, unions influenced by AICCTU joined in the strike at Chennai city and Ambattur industrial areas. A joint rally of 2,000 workers was taken out in Coimbatore in which AICCTU played a significant role. Sanitation workers and women workers joined the rally in large numbers. Rallies werealso taken out in industrial areas of Salem, Tiruvallur, Tirunelvelli, Kanyakumari, Tiruchi and Karur in which workers associated with AICCTU took part.

AICCTU Press Relelase

In a press statement AICCTU congratulated the working class of India for the unprecedented success of the general strike. It said- ''This first one-day all-India workers' strike against Modi govt. was befitting response to the blatant anti-worker policies of this govt. particularly its anti-worker amendments in labour laws.

AICCTU strongly condemned the attacks and repression let loose on striking workers and their leaders by TMC goons and police administration in West Bengal. It also deploresd the arrest of workers and leaders of various trade unions by police including lathi-charge in various states.

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