Archive for April, 2011

ML UPDATE 18 / 2011

April 28, 2011

MLUpdate

A CPI(ML) Weekly News Magazine

Vol. 14, No. 18, 26 APRIL – 02 MAY 2011

West Bengal Poll Campaign:

CPI(M)’s Shameful Recourse to Patriarchal Abuse

In the ongoing Assembly polls in W Bengal, the survival of CPI(M)’s more than three decades old rule is at stake. Faced with a formidable challenge by the TMC led by a woman leader, the CPI(M)’s political discourse took a shockingly patriarchal and abusive turn.

A senior leader of CPI(M), Anil Basu, in the crudest possible attempt at sexualised humiliation, compared Mamata Banerjee to sex workers and suggested that the US was her ‘client.’ Why is it that when an opponent is a woman, the CPI(M) is unable to keep its discourse political and is instead reduced to age-old feudal-patriarchal abuses?

Subsequently, the CPI(M) issued a condemnation and debarred Basu from further campaigning, and Basu himself issued an apology. The apology, however, is merely for what he calls ‘careless comment,’ not for patriarchal abuse. Videotapes of Basu’s speech make it clear that his remarks were no mere slip of the tongue. Nor was it a matter of a single objectionable word. In his speech, Basu repeatedly and elaborately invoked the patriarchal metaphor of sex work, accompanied by crude gestures. The whole episode reveals his deep-seated patriarchal mindset and cannot be explained away as a ‘careless comment.’ His ‘apology’ only reflects a realisation of the political cost of his remark, rather than any serious realisation or regret for his anti-woman ideas.

Meanwhile the CPI(M) and CPI leaders have tried to argue that while Basu’s remarks are indefensible, the media is not adequately covering the foul language and personalised attacks used by TMC leaders. In the West Bengal elections this time, Mamata and her campaigners too are indeed indulging in foul and intemperate language on many occasions. But this fact cannot be used to trivialise the far more serious question of patriarchal insult aimed at humiliating a woman leader. Nothing short of swift and strong punitive action by the CPI(M) party and West Bengal authorities against Basu can be accepted by democratic opinion.

Basu’s patriarchal abuse occurred in the context of the CPI(M)’s attacks on Mamata’s use of a helicopter for campaigns, and their allegations of her dubious sources of funding. One wonders why the CPI(M)’s campaign remains so obsessed with Mamata Banerjee as an individual? From the early accusations of her fake degree to the latest attacks on her election funding and her helicopter, Mamata has emerged stronger from every such personal attack by the CPI(M). Such personalised attacks only end up underlining the weakness, defensiveness and bankruptcy of the CPI(M)’s political plank.

The CPI(M) has made much of the Wikileaks cable referring to Mamata Banerjee. The cable reads as an assessment by the US of Mamata’s electoral chances and her political persona, and ends with the hope that the TMC’s “public rhetoric, devoid of any anti-Americanism” as well as private outreach to US officers will mean that a TMC-led Government may be more friendly to the US. It contains no revelation of an admissions or statements by Mamata herself.

In contrast, the Wikileaks cable referring to the meeting of US Treasury Secretary Paulson with CPI(M)’s West Bengal CM is far more disturbing. That cable quotes Buddhadeb as assuring US representatives that communist parties are changing in times of globalization; that the need for economic liberalization must be realised, and that Communists must “reform or perish.” While Buddhadeb has often expressed such views in interviews and speeches at corporate events, it is certainly a serious matter when he shares these views with the foremost perpetrator of imperialist globalization – the US. What is worse, Buddhadeb is quoted as offering his personal services in helping to clear hurdles for Dow’s investment in India and West Bengal, because he “wanted Dow Chemical to invest in West Bengal and the state’s proposed chemical hub” and “did not understand why Dow should be saddled with Union Carbide’s liabilities from the Bhopal accident.” Even more serious is the cable’s reference to the Treasury Secretary’s private, secret meeting with Buddhadeb to discuss the Nuke Deal. The cable does not reveal the content of that private conversation. But the question does arise – why did a CPI(M) leader oblige the US Treasury Secretary with a private, hush-hush conversation on the Nuke Deal?

The CPI(M) is suffering a serious electoral erosion and setback since its policies of corporate land grab and severe repression at Singur, Nandigram and Lalgarh. The CPI(M) initially brazenly defended those policies, but after the electoral setback in the Parliamentary the party attempted to stem the decline with promises of rectification and course-correction. The content and character of their election campaign, however, only shows that they are in no mood to gracefully accept whatever the people’s verdict is on their mistakes. Instead, their violent and arrogant response is further discrediting and disgracing them.

Meanwhile Mamata, in her campaign for prominent corporate representative Amit Mitra, has hinted that he would be her choice for industry or finance minister, with the role of attracting investment to the state. At the same time, she has branded the leader of the Lalgarh anti-repression struggle, Chhatradhar Mahato, as a CPI(M) agent because he is contesting elections as an independent. The CPI(ML) has declared its support for Chhatradhar Mahato as a gesture of solidarity with the Lalgarh people’s struggle against police atrocities. Even before attaining power, Mamata has begun jettisoning her pro-peasant, pro-people, anti-repression posturing, to betray people’s struggles and pander to corporate interests.

CPI(ML)’s 42nd Foundation Day

Lenin’s 141st Birth Anniversary

The Party celebrated and observed its 42nd Foundation Day on 22 April across the Country. Diverse political programmes were organised to commemorate the Foundation Day and the anniversary of one of the greatest emancipator of the proletariat and revolutionary of all times- Vladimir Lenin. The CPI(ML) and all its committees and members rededicated themselves on this day to the cause of democratic revolution and socialism in India.

Party’s AP State Conference

Andhra Pradesh Party State Conference was held at Kakinada, east Godavari, on 22-23 April. Followed by flag-hoisting, homage to martyrs, pledges to uphold the Party Foundation-Day call, and colourful and rousing revolutionary cultural performances, the Conference was inaugurated by Politburo member comrade DP Bakshi. Briefing the present day international, national and Andhra situation, comrade Bakshi called upon the delegates to make full use of the situation for speedy and greater advances and focus on the great potential of the anti-corruption movement today. The work report and the deliberations centred on intensifying struggle further against corporate plunder of national resources coupled with large scale evictions; farmers’ suicide, starvation, migration as a fallout of imposed agrarian crisis; MFI driven suicides of poor womenfolk while continuing movement on the issues of land, food security, MNREGA, housing, health, education, etc.

The central observer and other speakers pointed to the fact that corruption has engulfed all walks of our life and naturally the struggle against corruption of the day is not something isolated, it is integrally linked with the ongoing struggle against ‘globalisation-liberalization-privatization’ and its disastrous effects on our national economy and all walks of public life– price hike, unemployment, agrarian crisis, MNREGA, food security, health, housing, education, et al.

There are no dearth of tall talks and claims, but a cursory look into the current budget, the speakers added, is enough to see the corporate face of our government. Budget allocations on MNREGA, food security, health, Indira Awas, education amounts to 1,88,386 crore only, while, for the corporates who are given an open hand to plunder our national resources and national wealth the budget provides tax subsidy of 86,000 crore(!); from 2005-2011, waivers given in customs duty, excise duty, and corporate income tax amounts to 23 lakh crores(!), whereas, our governments run short of funds (!) for agriculture, sick industries or for MNREGA, food security, health, housing, education,…!, the 2G scam alone mops up 1.76 lakh crores, nearer to the budget allocation of five basic sectors of public life; what to talk of the drainage of our money to Swiss bank that runs 1.5 times of our GDP(!)

The conference called for an all out anti-corruption campaign throughout the State to draw cross-section of people in the movement and expand our area of operation. It targeted larger mass membership of class/mass organisations, systematic Party education and strengthening the Party organisation to take the challenge of left-democratic movement in the State. The conference was attended by 238 delegates (women 63) from 13 districts- from Srikakulum to Telangana region. The conference elected a 23-member State Committee.

Orissa:Party Foundation Day was observed at Nagbhusan Bhawan in Bhubaneswar, Puri, Rayagada and Kendrapara with focus on intensifying the struggle to eliminate corporate loot, corruption and price rise. Around 100 comrades of Bhubaneswar local committee were present at Nagbhusan Bhawan for the meeting. Comrade Khitish Biswal, Party’s State Secretary, remembering the great revolutionary sprit of Comrades Charu Mazumdar and Vinod Mishra called upon the Orissa comrades to strengthen the Party organisation in Orissa by organising all sections of the masses- workers, youth, student, women and common people in every part of the State.

Members of Rickshaw Kooli Sangha, Basti Basinda Mahasanghs and Party members attended the meeting. Comrades Radha Kant Seti, Mahendra Parida, Janaki Rao, Seema Sethi and Nilanjal Bhattacharya also addressed the Foundation Day meeting. All the speakers stressed on intensifying the struggle and State-wide campaign to end corporate loot and corruption.

Comrades Ajaya Mandhata, Litulal of AISA and Com. Tirupati Gamango addressed the cadre meetings at Puri and Rayagada.

Statewide Celebration in UP

42nd Foundation Day was observed in various districts of Uttar Pradesh marked by varieties of programmes- mainly cadre meetings, homage to martyrs, CC’s Foundation Day Call was read, discussions on burning issues of the day including corporate loot and corruption and pledges to strengthen the Party. In some districts, workshops/Party education classes were held to educate our members.

Cadre Convention was organised at Baradih village under Niyamtabad Block of Chandauli dist. Cadre meet were organised at four blocks of Mirzapur namely- Narayanpur, Jamalpur, Rajgarh and Patehara. At Sonebhadra, Party’s District Conference was held on 21-22 April. 17 member District Committee was elected.

Education class was organised at Sitapur on Party’s programme and constitution documents. Programmes were held in different blocks of Lakhimpur Khiri. Meetings were held at Pilibhit and Puranpur. Demonstration will be held at Pilibhit on 1st May. GBM’s of Party members were held at four centres of Gazipur dist.- Jamania, Sadar, Saiedpur and Jakhania. CC’s call was read and discussed at SIkandarpur, Maniyar and Belhari (Haldi), all three blocks in Ballia dist.

Apart from workshops at Bansgaon and Uruwa in Gorakhpur, revolutionary films were also screened at these places. GBM was held at Korabar. Cadre meet was organised at Siswan Block of Maharajganj dist. Programmes were also held in Benaras, Bhadohi and Mau.

Seminar was held at Lucknow’s Lenin Book Centre. Two-day long GBM of Party members was held at Gonda. Discussion was also held on Party’s course and programmes in the district. Meetings were also organised at Ambedkar Nagar, Kanpur, Jalaun and other districts to observe the Foundation Day.

Tamil Nadu: 42nd Party Foundation Day meeting was observed all over the State in Tamil Nadu. District level cadre meetings and committee meetings were held almost in all districts. A pledge taking meeting of DLT and DOC members of Tanjore, Nagapattinam, Cuddalore and Villupuram dists was held in Myladuthurai. The meeting discussed Party Central Committee’s 22 April Call along with the Editorial of the ML Update and Party’s circular on struggle against corruption and our tasks.

After flag hoisting and paying homage to the martyrs and departed leaders the meeting actively discussed the Party Call. Strengthen the Party to develop people’s struggle was the central theme. Disseminating the Central Committee Call to all members, making lower level party structures more dynamic, recruiting new Party members, timely collection of Party levy and developing and building panchayat level mass initiatives and AIALA organization were the tasks decided. The meeting has also decided to conduct a mass political campaign against corruption starting from panchayat to town centres. Party SCM and State President of AIALA hoisted the Party Flag. State Secretary Comrade Balasundaram and SCMs from the respective dists participated.

Similar meetings were held in Tiruvallore, Chennai, Salem, Namakkal, Pudukkottai, Madurai, Tirunelveli and Kanyakumari. All the SCMs and dist Party cadres, activists participated actively. In Urban centres May Day programmes were also planned. Poster campaign was also undertaken. Active political campaign and electioneering in the just concluded Assembly elections best reflected in the meeting. First round of election review was also done in the meetings.

Puducherry:State level cadre meeting was held in Puducherry where 22 April Call was discussed. May Day programmes were decided. State Secretary Balasubramanian, SCMs Shankaran, Selvam, Motilal and Jayabal and others participated. Meeting also reviewed the just concluded Assembly election. The meeting also planned a protest demonstration against the Puducherry Governor for his corrupt practices.

Rajasthan:Foundation Day was celebrated in all five districts of Rajasthan where the Party is active- Pratapgarh, Udaipur, Ajmer, Jaipur and Jhunjhunu. Mainly, cadre and member meetings were held in all the places to observe the Foundation Day. In both Pratapgarh and Udaipur it was celebrated in two places in the main district headquarters of Pratapgarh and Udaipur and in the rural area of Dhariavad and Salumbar. Meeting was held in Pratapgarh that was addressed by Party’s State Secretary Com. Mahendra Chaudhary. Dhariavad meeting was addressed by Pratapgarh-in-charge Com Kantilal Koted, Ajmer meeting by district secretary Com. Bhavri Bai, Udaipur by District Secretary Com. Chandradev Ola, Salumbar by Com. Gautumlal Meena, the Jaipur meeting was presided by CC Member Com. Srilata Swaminathan and the main speaker was Com. Anand Dheva while the Jhunjhunu meeting was addressed by Com. Phoolchand. All the meetings were attended by party cadres and the main topic was the strengthening of the Party.

Jharkhand:Foundation day was observed with full enthusiasm and involvement in almost all the districts of the State. 300 cadres of the Party attended the GBM held at Jamua block of Giridih dist. After flag hoisting the GBM was conducted by District Secretary Com. Manoj Bhakt. 22 April Call by Party’s Central Committee, State Committee Circular and a report prepared by the Dist. Committee was read and discussed. All the Dist. Committee members put forth their views and State Secretary Comrade Janardan Prasad summed up the meeting. Corporate plunder, anti-corruption crusade were the main topics and all the members took pledge to strengthen the Party to meet the challenges. Party cadres planned to increase the membership of the Party significantly. It was also decided to mobilize ten thousand people in each district to demonstrate at the Dist. HQs on 29 May. All the comrades participated in discussion on making panchayats the platform of people’s struggles and establishing people’s role in monitoring and vigilance of the panchayats.

GBMs were organised at different blocks under Garhwa dist. 200 Party members attended the GBM at Dhurki, 150 members each at Nagar, Sagma and Dandai and about 100 at Bhavnathpur. Panchayat level demonstrations have been planned for 1st May and conducting membership campaign among rural poor enrolling them under Jharkhand Mazdoor Samiti from 2-15 May. Discussions were also held to systemize and streamline Party organisation by June this year. Foundation day was also observed at Daltonganj, Panki, Lesliganj,

Party Foundation Day was celebrated at State Office in Ranchi where 70 Party members assembled. The gathering in the form of GBM was addressed by Comrades Subhendu Sen, Bhubaneswar Kewat and Sunita. Condemning the Government’s action of evicting the poor from Ranchi the meeting made plans to successfully organise 25 April Rajbhawan March of Left parties.

Foundation day was observed at Hesalog and Vishungarh in Hazaribagh Dist. Seven places in Ramgarh Dist.- Kajangi, Bhurkunda, Sosho, Argada, Ara, Kedla, Topa (each attended by about 200 members). Apart from many other discussions, it wa decided to hold a big march on 20 June in Ramgarh. Foundation Day was also observed at Mohanpur in Devghar, Lohardaga (where a District Leading Team was constituted from the GBM), Bokaro, Dhanbad, Dumka, Jamtada, Ranchi rural and Gumla.

Uttarakhand:42nd Foundation Day of CPI(ML) was observed with a lot of enthusiasm at different centres in the State. CC’s 22 April Call was read and discussed everywhere. In Nainital Dist, main programme was held at Bindukhatta which was addressed by CC member Comrade Rajendra Pratholi who underlined the concrete task before the Dist. Committee in order to fulfill the pledge of strengthening the Party. He said that all the basic level (lower) branches must be made dynamic and strengthened, their meetings and political education to be held on a regular basis, enrolling newer members especially women, increasing the circulation of Party organs like Lokyuddha and Liberation, timely collection of Party levy (every 3-months) and erecting a lively Party structure in order to realize the task of overall Party strengthening. He also said that it was important to focus equally on broadening the base of movements and bringing the leading and advanced sections within that movement into the communist party.

The meeting was also addressed by Comrades Raja Bahuguna and others. He called upon the party members to successfully organise upcoming demonstration of Khattavasis, forest-dwellers and the peasantry at Dehradun on 18 May. The Foundation Day was also observed at Nainital city, Munsyari and Pithoragarh in Pithoragarh Dist, Taleswar in Almora Dist, Srinagar and Pauri in Garhwal region. Chamoli District Conference of All India Kisan Mahasabha (AIKM) was held at Karna Prayag on this occasion. Comrade Indresh Maikhuri was the main speaker here. It was decided to intensify the membership campaign of AIKM in the coming days.

Delhi:Party Foundation Day was celebrated in Delhi with programmes at six places representing different districts of Delhi. Flag hoisting and homage to martyrs were common to all the programmes which were held at Okhla, Wazirpur, Narela, Noida, Mandawli and Moti Nagar. State Secretary Com. Sanjay Sharma and other Party leaders led the programmes at different places.

West Bengal:A cadre meet was organised at Kolkata in the Party’s State Office which was attended by Party General Secretary Comrade Dipankar Bhattacharya. Later, the party cadres and Comrade Dipankar went to Esplanade/Dharmatala where Comrade Dipankar garlanded Lenin’s Statue. At other places in the State the Foundation Day programmes were part of the ongoing election campaign.

Bihar:The Foundation Day was observed throughout the State where the panchayat elections are to be held shortly. The Day was observed also at panchayat levels with pledges to transform the panchayats into a platform of struggles against corruption and state repression.

Chhattisgarh:Dharna was held at Supela Bus Stand in Bhilai from 12-4 p.m. as part of Foundation Day against corporate loot and massive corruption. The dharna was led by State Secretary Comrade Brijendra Tiwari. The dharna also remembered the rich revolutionary legacy of Lenin and pledged to end corporate loot and state repression. Apart from Party cadres, unorganised sanitation workers and contractual workers of Bhilai Steel Plant also attended the dharna.

Karnataka:Cadre meet was organised at Davangere and Koppal districts as part of Foundation Day. CC member Com. Shankar was present at both the meetings.

Haryana:A cadre meeting was held in Gurgaon on 22 April to commemorate the CPI(ML) Foundation Day. The meeting was addressed by Com. Prem Singh Gahlawat.

Bring Modi to Book for Gujarat Genocide

At long last, there is concrete evidence of Narendra Modi’s direct role in perpetrating genocide against minorities in Gujarat 2002. In a welcome development, a senior IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt, posted in the Intelligence Department in 2002, has filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court declaring that he witnessed a meeting at the CM’s residence, in which Modi ordered senior police officers to “allow Hindus to vent their anger” and do nothing to protect minorities and prevent communal violence.

Bhatt’s affidavit is damning evidence of Modi’s direct complicity in the terrible genocide of Muslim minorities. It also points to disturbing signs of a cover-up by the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team (SIT). Bhatt’s affidavit states that the SIT ignored evidence provided by him and intimidated other witnesses who were willing to testify to Bhatt’s presence in the fateful meeting at Modi’s house. He has also pointed out that his life is in danger, since far from providing extra protection, the Gujarat government has in fact withdrawn any existing protection.

It must be recalled that BJP leader and former Gujarat Home Minister Haren Pandya had also testified to reports of a similar meeting at Modi’s house. Pandya was later assassinated in mysterious circumstances. Bhatt must be provided the highest protection and efforts made to speed up the enquiry and prosecution into the Gujarat genocide case. Nine years is too long – no more time must be wasted in bringing Modi to book.

The anti-corruption movement has in recent times increased the public respect for whistleblowers who take risks to expose wrongdoing by the powerful. A cover-up of a CM’s role in the Gujarat genocide would indeed be the worst form of corruption. Sanjiv Bhatt’s courage and integrity in blowing the whistle on this cover up at great personal risk must be hailed as a model to be emulated.

Protest Continue against Jaitapur Nuclear Power Plant

On 23 April 2011, a three-day Tarapur-Jaitapur anti-nuclear plant yatra was stopped the moment it began and hundreds of activists were detained at the Boisar police station. Activists and supporters, including Admiral (retd) L Ramdas, Justices (retd) PB Sawant and BG Kolse Patil, social activist Vaishali Patil and others were whisked away in police vans from Panchmarg Tarapur, where they had addressed a public meeting in the morning. They were brought to the Boisar police station around 4.30 p.m. In all 134 protestors were detained under Section 68 of the Bombay Police Act. It is to be noted that while Uddhav Thackeray is being alowed to visit Jaitapur but not this team of democratic activists!

Comrade Sandeep Singh (AISA National President) and various LNP(L) leaders were also part of the whole march. Sandeep and some others are still trying to make it to Jaitapur in a dispersed way. On 21 April, several dozen activists including many AISA members and various other groups assembled at Maharashtra Bhawan in New Delhi to protest against Jaitapur plant. On 25th, again a protest at Maharashtra Bhavan was held by various groups including AISA against the arrest of marchers.

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: mlupdate, website: www.cpiml.org

ML UPDATE 17 / 2011

April 21, 2011

MLUpdate

A CPI(ML) Weekly News Magazine

Vol. 14, No. 17, 19 – 25 APRIL 2011

Binayak Gets Bail – When Will All our Binayaks Get Justice?

Dr. Binayak Sen has finally got bail following a favourable directive from the Supreme Court. In granting him bail, the apex court has also questioned the flimsy basis on which the Chhattisgarh government has charged him with sedition. The judges, Justice Harjit Singh Bedi and Justice Chandramauli Kumar Prasad, are reported to have said that Binayak may well be a Maoist sympathizer but that does not automatically attract charges of sedition. They have also said that just as mere possession of Gandhi’s autobiography does not make one Gandhian, the same also holds good for the works of Marx, Lenin or Mao. It should however be noted that the comments made on the issue of sedition, though made in open court and reported widely in the media, are not part of the court’s order. In fact, the judges did not give any reason "lest they prejudice any party" in the case!

It is nevertheless refreshing to hear such words of sanity from the apex court at a time when the state has identified ‘Maoism’ as the biggest threat to internal security and cutting across ideological divides, central and state governments are joining hands to wage a veritable war on democracy in the name of combating the Maoists. Indeed such sanity is quite rare and on plenty of occasions the apex court has just upheld lower court verdicts without giving any relief to victims of state repression and lower court injustice. To remind our readers of just one such case, Comrade Shah Chand and thirteen others from Jahanabad district in Bihar who had been sentenced for life by a TADA court in Bihar in 2003 got no justice from the Supreme Court. No arms were recovered from these comrades; the inventory of articles found with them included copies of the Communist Manifesto, Mao’s articles and manuals of Bihar Pradesh Kisan Sabha and studies on Bihar’s agrarian economy. The TADA court had dubbed this literature ‘terrorist’ and the Supreme Court merely upheld this fiat of the TADA court!

Let us not forget that even in Dr. Binayak Sen’s case, he has just got bail and acquittal is still a long way off. It took nearly two years and a sustained campaign across the country and an international outcry by human rights campaigners to secure the first bail after Sen had been arrested in May 2007 on charges of ‘sedition’. Yet we know the Raipur trial court went on to convict him and once again the High Court rejected the bail plea. And let us also remember that while Dr. Sen has been granted bail there are many languishing in Chhattisgarh jails on sedition charges including tribal activists Kopa Kunjam and Kartam Joga and businessman Piyush Guha and hundreds of tribal people from entire Chhattisgarh villages designated as hotbeds of sedition! In spite of periodic interventions by the Supreme Court and repeated directives to the Chhattisgarh government to disband the unconstitutional Salwa Judum campaign, Chhattisgarh remains a veritable graveyard of human rights.

In the second week of March, Chhattisgarh police claimed to have fought an encounter battle with Maoists in the jungles of Dantewada. A fact-finding team visiting Chintalnar, Morapally, Timmapuram and Tadmetla villages in that area found the police claim to be nothing but a hoax. They said what had happened in reality was a full-scale rampage by state-sponsored Koya commandos and the "CoBRA" unit of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) from March 11 to 16 in the course of which at least three tribals were killed, three women were raped and over 300 houses/huts, granaries and other properties were set on fire. A few days later when Swami Agnivesh took a relief team to the villages, he was attacked forcing the NHRC to take notice and the Supreme Court to call for yet another hearing on the Salwa Judum case which is going on for four years now. And the latest SC hearing once again brought out the real truth that Chhattisgarh is experiencing a systematic war on human rights and that the war is being jointly sponsored by the state and central governments.

While welcoming the bail granted to Dr. Binayak Sen and the remarks made by the judges, the human rights movement cannot lose sight of this larger ongoing war. In fact, the time is now absolutely ripe for a powerful countrywide people’s movement for democratic rights. The draconian laws – some of them archaic, and some are of recent origin – must go. The sedition law (Section 124A of IPC), the AFSPA, the Chhattisgarh Special Public Security Act 2005, the sweeping and draconian provisions of the UAPA – these are all utterly incompatible with the notion of a functional democracy. The awakened public opinion which has forced on the government the agenda of drafting an anti-corruption legislation must also call for repealing all these terrible laws which make a complete mockery of our constitutional liberties and rights. Let anti-corruption campaigners and human rights activists march together and unfurl the common banner of a democratic India free of corruption and repression.

Stop the Smear Campaign against Anti-corruption Campaigners

(Statement to the Press on 19 April in New Delhi)

The anonymous circulation of a CD claiming to implicate noted anti-corruption campaigners and members of the Lokpal Bill drafting committee, Shanti Bhushan and Prashant Bhushan, is cause for concern. The timing of the CD (released on the eve of the first meeting of the Lokpal Bill drafting committee), accompanied by a concerted attack on the lawyer duo by Congress General Secretary Digvijay Singh as well as Amar Singh, is suspicious.

Prashant Bhushan is fighting numerous PILs and cases against corrupt Governments and powerful corporations. He has stressed that the fight against corruption will require not only an effective Lokpal Bill but an end to the policies of privatisation that create incentives for corporate plunder and corruption. Corporations and corrupt political forces therefore have a huge interest in undermining the credibility of the Bhushans. The smear campaign against the Bhushans is a reminder that the anti-corruption movement will face the most virulent and underhand attacks when it takes on pro-corporate and pro-liberalisation policies that are at the root of corruption.

Amar Singh, implicated in a host of corruption charges, has joined the Congress in attacking the Bhushans. He has also declared that the Congress has taken exemplary action in the case of every recent scam.

A scam-tainted UPA Government, opportunistically making common cause with the dubious Amar Singh to target such public-spirited individuals as the Bhushans, only further lowers its own already beleaguered credibility. Those responsible for the fabricated CD should be identified and sternly penalised.

Condemn the Firing and Repression on Jaitapur Protestors

No Fukushima on Indian Soil – Scrap the Jaitapur Project

(Statement to the Press on 20 April in New Delhi)

The CPI(ML) condemns the police firing and brutal repression on people protesting the Jaitapur nuclear power plant in Maharashtra. The firing has claimed one life while many, including women, have been brutally assaulted by the police.

After Fukushima, people all over the world are reviewing the question of nuclear energy. In Jaitapur, the proposed nuclear plant in a earthquake-prone zone and near the seashore. Not only that, the design of the Jaitapur plant by French company Areva is completely untested. In such a situation, Union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh’s statement refusing to reconsider the nuclear plant at Jaitapur is absolutely unacceptable.

Simply in order to honour its commitment to the US-sponsored Indo-US Nuke Deal, the Central Government and Maharashtra Government cannot expose the people of Jaitapur to a risk of a nuclear accident. Farmers and fisher-people of villages in the Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra have been protesting against the Jaitapur nuclear project for long.

We stand in solidarity with the struggling people of Jaitapur and demand an immediate scrapping of the proposed nuclear plant at Jaitapur. Sandeep Singh, President of the All India Students’ Association (AISA) will be representing the CPI(ML) in a people’s March from Tarapur to Jaitapur from 23-25 April in solidarity with the Jaitapur struggle.

CPI(ML) Central Committee

State-wide Massive Mahadharna to Demand CBI Enquiry into Treasury Loot

Thousands of Agricultural Labourers-Peasants Assembled at all District HQs including Patna Declare Decisive Movement against Corruption

Nitish’s is a Govt of Corporate-Mafia-Contractors and Betrayer to the Poor

Terming the Govt of Nitish Kumar in Bihar as Govt of Corporates-Mafia-Contractors the CPI(ML) said that Nitish Kumar is only masking as anti-corruption Govt where as the fact is that corruption has scaled new heights in the State.

Intensifying its campaign against corruption in Nitish rule the CPI(ML) organised massive dharnas at all the district headquarters including Patna on 15 April to demand a CBI enquiry into rampant treasury loot that is continuing over the years and strict punishment to the ministers and officials involved in this loot.

CPI(ML) leaders addressing the maha-dharna led by Comrade Umesh Singh at Shaheed Bhagat Singh Statue (at Gandhi Maidan) in Patna said that the CAG report has once again exposed the issue of non-submission of accounts by Nitish Govt for an expenditure to the tune of 11,854.08 crores (118 billion rupees approx) and which must be investigated by the CBI.

CPI(ML) Central Committee member Comrade KD Yadav and other comrades- Shashi Yadav (AIPWA’s Bihar Secretary), Kamlesh Sharma (RYA General Secretary) and Tota Chaudhary (Ward Councillor) addressing the dharna said that the massive plunder of the funds meant for welfare schemes in Bihar is also one of the reason of the growing number of poor in the State.

Dharna was organised at Jahanabad led by Polit Bureau member Comrade Ram Jatan Sharma, at District Magistrate’s office in Arrah led by Comrade Rameshwar Prasad (AIALA President and also ex MP), at Darbhanga led by AIALA Genral Secretary Comrade Dhirendra Jha who said that during Nitish rule even feudal oppression has risen and life and dignity of dalits, EBCs and women have become endangered. Thousands of agricultural labourers, peasants, students-youth and women participated in dharna held at Sasaram, Bhabhua, Buxar, Siwan, Bettiah, Motihari, Gopalganj, Aurangabad, Gaya, Arwal, Biharsharif, Nawada, Purnia, Chhapra, Begusarai, Samastipur and Muzaffarpur among other places. The protesters pledged to root out corruption from Bihar and launch decisive battle against it from Panchayats to Patna.

Fact-finding report of CPI(ML)’s Team

A high level fact finding team of CPI(ML) has released a detailed report of its fact finding into loot and arson at Harchanda village of Darbhanga dist. The team comprised of Comrades Baidyanath Yadav (CPIML State Committee member), Shivan Yadav (Darbhanga Dist. Committee member and AIALA Convenor), Jagdish Ram and Vishnudev Paswan among others.

About the incident the team said that loot and arson were perpetrated by the henchmen of a dominant candidate because the poor of that village had refused to vote for him in the upcoming panchayat election. On 13 April there was a verbal spat between the villagers and Rajiv Kr. Chaudhary, son of the Mukhiya. On 14 April, Rajiv misbehaved with the Muslim women and burnt their baskets when they were collecting leaves in a mango orchard at Panchom.

This was followed up with a bigger assault on Harchanda village led by Rajiv Chaudhary and comprising more than 200 armed men, burning 24 houses and looting 54. Among the victims are various EB caste people like Sonar, Tatma, Teli, Koiri, Kumhar and others. The looted amount is to the tune of one crore rupees. From Rajendra Shah’s house alone a bicycle, two motorcycles, 70g gold and 35 thousand in cash was looted.

The team also said that the attack was perpetrated on the day of Ambedkar Jayanti and his statue too locates at Harchanda chowk was vandalised. Bhuiyan caste people also bore the brunt of this attack. The same criminals of Panchom village had also attacked Kajiyana Chaupal Tola under Jalwar panchayat three months back and led by same Rajiv Chaudhary. Prior to this Mushahars of Basuham in Benipur block have also been attacked.

The team said that attacks by dabang (dominant) candidates owing allegiance to the ruling parties have increased on Dalits, EBCs and poor and Nitish Kumar’s NDA Govt has completely failed in providing security to these communities and people. They also said that Nitish Govt has emboldened these feudal interests and criminal elements in them. The Party has demanded immediate arrests of those involved in loot and arson and has appealed to the people of Bihar to intensify the struggle against the rising assaults on dalits, EBCs and poor.

AIPWA’s workshop in Rajasthan

All India Progressive Women’s Association’s (AIPWA’s) 2-day long workshop was organised at Pushkar in Rajasthan on 15-16 April. 35 women from 6 districts – Jaipur, Udaipur, Ajmer, Pratapgarh, Tonk and Bhilwara participated in the workshop. AIPWA leaders Comrade Srilata Swaminathan (National President) discussed "International Situation and Communist Party and Women", and AIPWA’s National Vice President Comrade Saroj Chaube discussed "Difference between Different Women’s Organisations and AIPWA" and "AIPWA’s Role and Direction in the Present Situation." Women asked several questions emanating from their daily experiences. In this way the workshop became very lively.

In view of AIPWA’s National Conference to be held in February 2012, discussions were held on how to organise working and daily wage women like ASHA, Aanganbadi, house maids etc. AIPWA’s movement has also seen the issues highlighted by it being raised and debated in the State Assembly. Decision was taken to enroll ten thousand members before December 2011 when State Conference is to be held. District conferences have also been planned. Detailed membership targets were finalised in the meeting. Comrades in the workshop emphasised on equal attention to organisation, movement/campaign and propaganda.

CPI(ML)’s Area

Conference in Delhi

CPI(ML)’s Patparganj (Delhi)-Ghaziabad-Noida area conference was held on 10 April. 50 delegates took part in the conference. About a dozen delegates contributed in the form of debate on the work report. Comrade Sanjay Sharma, Delhi’s State Secretary was present as guest and Comrade VKS Gautam, AICCTU General Secretary was present as State Committee’s observer for the conference. An eleven member area committee was elected.

On 12 April a protest demonstration was held in which the protesters marched from Noida Sector 9 jhuggi camp 20 to the Police Thana. The protest was part of campaign against corruption and campaign for dignity and basic rights in the Delhi metropolitan for the rickshaw pullers, street vendors, house maids and working women and men. The demonstration was led by Comrade Nand ji Yadav.

Builder from JD(U) Fires Indiscriminately at Mushahar Settlement in Patna

Police Unmoved and State Govt Takes no Action

Militant Protest Held

On 5 April 2011, goons of building company Amit Constructions and owing allegiance to JD(U), in the presence of police personnel from four different police stations shot indiscriminately at Jagdev Path (Siddhartha Nagar, Patna) located Mushahari basti with the intention to evict the residents and grab the land. One woman- Butti Devi (25 years) was killed in this firing and five others were injured.

A Chief Minister who wears the mask of love for Mahadalits, under his very nose a builder from his very own Party JD(U) fires indiscriminately at Mahadalits in the presence of police from 4 stations- is an example of the fact that how brazen and emboldened are criminals in Nitish rule who dare to perpetrate such massive crimes against an entire settlement and an entire community of people. And they think that they can evict and grab land with impunity.

However, during all this the Mushahars did resist this brazen aggression and burnt the builder’s vehicle, while police remained unmoved. After this Bailey Road was blockaded for two consecutive days by the people.

On 6th April, CPI(ML) Patna city committee members Comrades Navin Kumar, Murtaza Ali and Dharmendra Kumar visited the settlement and spoke to the victims families and other people from Mahadalit community. On the 3-quarter of an acre of land (24 Katthas) the Mushahar families have been living since 100 years and they have been using it as cemetery as well as lavatory apart from their dwelling place. Now, the descendants of old zemindars are trying to evict them through the builders and they have succeeded in encircling 60 percent of this land. In their design to snatch remaining land (10 Katthas) this firing was perpetrated.

Other such Mahadalit settlements (more than a dozen) in Patna too have faced such a fate or are faced with possible scenarios. It is obvious that these people have no papers for the land and builders are hawkish on these properties. Others who have already been evicted in similar incidents are spending life on streets and footpaths. They don’t have any security in life not even that of drinking water. In such a situation they become easy prey for exploiters.

On 7 April, the Sahari Garib Morcha (a front for the poor of the city) held a protest march led by its convenor Comrade Ashok Kumar and demanded slapping of Sec. 302 on the criminal builders and burnt an effigy of CM Nitish Kumar. This protest was followed up with another similar protest on 8th April. On 9 April a militant march was held against this land grab. The demonstration and leaders have demanded handing of proper land documents to the poor and Mahadalits of Siddhartha Nagar. They also demanded all basic amenities to be provided in these settlements.

A Study Camp at Davanagere

Two-days Study Camp was organized by the party on 9-10 April at Harapanahalli. Indian Institute of Marxist Studies (IIMS) State Convenor Laxmi spoke on Lohiaism, Ambedkarism and Marxism. AIPWA Vice-President E Rati Rao spoke on International Women’s Day and issues of women agricultural labourers. E Ramappa, state secretary of the Party presented some major propositions of Mao on party building. V Shankar, CCM presented a comprehensive picture of national and international developments ranging from Nepal, Egypt to Libya.

Com. Javaraiah, SLTM conducted the 2-day session. Com. J Bharadwaj, SLTM, described the series of struggles by various organizations in solidarity with agricultural labourers who were brutally lathicharged during a demonstration demanding disbursal of wages under NREGA. AISA NECM Prasad, NCM Manju also spoke.

Release of Booklet ‘Mahila Chaluvali Mattu Communist Paksha’

Kannada version of the English booklet ‘Women’s movement and Communist Party’, titled as ‘Mahila Chaluvali Mattu Communist Paksha’ was released by Com. Rati Rao and the first copy was received by a local woman activist. This is the first booklet in the series of Party publications planned for 2011. The booklet was translated by N Divakar, PUCL, and was further enriched by Professor Laxminarayana. The book was released on 10 April in the study camp itself.

CPI(ML) Candidates in West Bengal Assembly Elections

1. Alipurduar (Jalpaiguri district) – Chanchal Das

2. Mainaguri (SC) (Jalpaiguri dist.) – Haripada Roy Laskar

3. Phansidewa (ST) (Darjeeling district) – Kandra Murmu

4. Itahar (North Dinajpur district ) – Suleiman Hafizi

5. Kaliaganj (SC) (North Dinajpur dist.) – Jagadish Rajbhar

6. Tapan (ST) (South Dinajpur district) – Raimon Kisku

7. Kushmandi (SC) (South Dinajpur dist.) – Sudesh Sarkar

8. Gajole (Maldah district) – Manabendranath Ray

9. Mothabari (Maldah district) – Rajab Ali

10. Rampurhat (Birbhum district) – Pradyut Mukherjee

11. Kandi (Murshidabad district) – Monirul Islam

12. Khargram (SC) (Murshidabad district) – Sadhn Marjit

13. Krishnanagar North (Nadia district) – Amal Tarafdar

14. Krishnanagar South (Nadia district) – Ansarul Huq

15. Nakashipara (Nadia district) – Pradeep Dutta Gupta

16. Kaliganj (Nadia district) – Altaf Hussein

17. Chapra (Nadia district) – Bijoy Saha

18. Nabadwip (Nadia district) – Parikshit Pal

19. Bardhaman Sadar (SC) (Bardhaman dist.)–Tarun Majhi

20. Kalna (SC) (Bardhaman district) – Piyush Sahana

21. Purbasthali North (Bardhaman dist.)–Ashok Chowdhury

22. Purbasthali (Bardhaman district) – Irai Sheikh

23. Monteswar (Bardhaman dist.)–Annada Pd. Bhattacharya

24. Dhanekhali (SC) (Hooghly district) – Tarun Baul Das

25. Saptagram (Hooghly district) – Sadhan Mal

26. Pandua (Hooghly district) – Subhasish Chatterjee

27. Balagarh (SC) (Hooghly district) – Gautam Mandal

28. Ashoknagar (North 24 Parganas district) – Jayashri Das

29. Naihati (North 24 Parganas district) – Subrata Sen Gupta

30. Bangan (North 24 Parganas dist.) – Himangshu Biswas

31. Kamarpara (North 24 Parganas dist.)–Nabendu Das Gupta

32. Saatgachhi (South 24 Parganas district) – Dilip Pal

33. Jadavpur (South 24 Parganas district) – Malay Tewari

34. Bagnan (Howrah district) – Debabrata Bhakta

35. Onda (Bankura district) – Baidyanath Cheena

36. Ranibandh (ST) (Bankura district) – Sudhir Murmu

37. Chhatna (Bankura district) – Abhijit Hansdaa

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: mlupdate, website: www.cpiml.org

MLUPDATE 17 2011.pdf

MLUPDATE 16 / 2011

April 15, 2011

MLUpdate

A CPI(ML) Weekly News Magazine

Vol. 14 No. 16 12 – 18 APRIL 2011

CPI(ML) Central Committee’s Message

to the entire Party

on the occasion of

the 42nd Anniversary of Party Foundation

Dear Comrades,

We all are aware how unbridled corruption and corporate plunder are ravaging our precious national resources while the democratic voice is being gagged systematically by the state. But every cloud has a silver lining and all around us we can see and feel a growing popular mood to punish the rulers, root out corruption and reverse the disastrous policies that have pushed the country deep into all-round crisis.

This April 22 as we observe the 42nd anniversary of the foundation of the CPI(ML), let us resolve to take all-out initiative and make every possible effort to intensify the people’s struggle and carry it forward to victory. Let us strengthen and equip our beloved Party in every way so we can rise to the occasion, fulfil the expectations of the people and carry forward the unfinished tasks of our martyrs and departed leaders.

Long live CPI(ML)!

Dare to fight, dare to win!

Victory to the brave and fighting people of India!

With warm revolutionary greetings to all Party members and sympathizers on the occasion of 42nd Anniversary of Party Foundation,

Central Committee,

Communist Party of India

(Marxist-Leninist)

Onward to a More Determined Assault on the Citadels of Corruption and Corporate Plunder

The indefinite fast launched by Anna Hazare on April 5 demanding a Jan Lokpal Bill (JLB) has ended in an initial victory. The fast has been withdrawn after 98 hours following an agreement between the UPA government and some leading JLB campaigners. A 10-member drafting committee has been constituted with as many members from the government side as from the JLB campaign. The draft of the Bill will presumably be ready by June 30 and Anna Hazare says he would like to see the legislation become effective by August 15. This is surely an encouraging moment for the anti-corruption movement in the country.

The idea of a Lok Pal (ombudsman) has been discussed time and again since the 1960s. Every time corruption in high places has hit the headlines, the idea has been mooted and then shelved. Since 1968, there have been ten instances of a Lok Pal bill being introduced and then being allowed to get lapsed. The Lok Pal bill can thus be described as the oldest member of the club of long-awaited legislations like right to work, reservation for women in State Assemblies and Parliament and comprehensive legislation for agricultural labourers.

How could an idea which has been shelved for decades get ‘clinched’ in less than a week? This can be attributed primarily to two factors – the intolerably high levels of corruption and the groundswell of popular support and activism which would have surfaced much more pronouncedly if the fast were to continue any longer and if it were to move on to the subsequent phase of a countrywide ‘jail bharo’ agitation. The Indian ruling classes and the scam-studded UPA government could not possibly risk a protracted stalemate or a direct showdown on the issue, especially in view of the ongoing Assembly elections in five states and the ‘alarming’ examples of contemporary mass upsurges from Nepal to Egypt.

If the rulers have demonstrated such ‘maturity’ and corrupt leaders and corporate honchos all are now itching to wear the anti-corruption mask, activists of the anti-corruption movement and the people at large will also have to demonstrate their resolve to step up the battle and snatch bigger victories.

We must remember that behind the pleasant surprise of this quick initial victory lay the people and their growing anger against corruption. The people are not particularly concerned about the nitty-gritty of a Lok Pal or the composition of the drafting committee, what they want is rooting out of corruption and firm action against the corrupt. The Jan Lok Pal can of course be an important institutional mechanism in this context and pressure must be kept up to make sure that the country indeed gets an effective anti-corruption legislation and a functional and credible institutional mechanism to prosecute and punish the guilty.

India has not yet ratified the UN Convention against corruption and the government is taking no step either to bring back the money that has been drained out of the country or to confiscate the enormous amount of black money and ill-gotten wealth accumulated within the country. We must insist on immediate and decisive action on all these issues.

While fighting for new laws and institutions we must also realize why the existing laws and institutions are not delivering. The answer clearly lies in the growing shadow of corporate power and the obnoxious complicity between the ruling parties/coalitions and dominant corporate interests. The anti-corruption movement must therefore also take on this growing corporate power and the nexus between the governments, the corporations and US imperialism, the military flagship of global capitalism.

The corporate media, especially most 24 hour television channels, are known to treat every major issue or event as a grand spectacle. Even when they have to deal with a people’s movement, they invariably zero in on personalities – be it an Anna Hazare or a Baba Ramdev – and obliterate the people, and subject complex questions and democratic debates to a simplistic hype. But the forces of people’s movement must not get distracted and seize the moment to launch a more determined mass assault on the citadels of corruption and corporate plunder.

Press Statement

Anna Praise for Modi and Nitish Unfortunate

New Delhi, 11 April

Anna Hazare’s remark praising Narendra Modi and Nitish Kumar on their rural development work is highly unfortunate and unwarranted.

Narendra Modi as Gujarat CM faces charges of having deployed state machinery to orchestrate communal genocide in 2002. Top Ministers and police officials in the state face serious charges of fake encounters which have been linked to mafia interests; the Sohrabuddin encounter being probed by the CBI currently is suspected to have been a contract killing at the behest of marble mafia. Can such a Government and CM make any pretensions to supporting the cause of the struggle against corruption?

Nitish Kumar evaded facing a CBI probe on the multi-crore treasury fraud in Bihar. The latest CAG report on the state of finances in Bihar has again indicted the Nitish Government, showing that there are no DC (detailed contingency) bills against AC (abstract contingency) withdrawal amounting Rs 15,850.41 crore. DC bills submitted hastily after the High Court ordered a CBI probe have been found to be full of discrepancies. A Government that is itself facing such serious charges of corruption and evading even a CBI probe cannot be allowed to bask in the borrowed limelight of the anti-corruption struggle.

Anna Hazare has got widespread support on the issue of corruption, and is now a member of the drafting committee on the Lokpal Bill. Statements from him seeming to legitimize NDA Chief Ministers like Modi and Nitish Kumar are not in the best interests of the anti-corruption movement. Such remarks are liable to be used by discredited rulers while undermining the spirit of the fighting people.

- CPI(ML) Central Committee

Nationwide Solidarity Initiatives by CPI(ML) in Support of

Struggle for an Effective Jan Lokpal Legislation

The CPI(ML) Liberation, extending support to the movement led by Anna Hazare for an effective Jan Lokpal Bill, held a solidarity dharna at Jantar Mantar as well as daylong solidarity fasts at several places all over the country including Patna, Ranchi and Lucknow on 8 April.

Party General Secretary Comrade Dipankar Bhattacharya participated in the solidarity fast against corruption at Ranchi, while Comrades Rameshwar Prasad, President of the All India Agricultural Labourers’ Association (AIALA), Rajaram Singh, General Secretary of the All India Kisan Mahasabha (AIKM), Comrade Saroj Chaubey, Vice President of the All India Progressive Women’s Association (AIPWA), Comrades Satyadev Ram, Arun Singh and Kamlesh Sharma sat on the solidarity fast at Patna.

In Uttar Pradesh dharna, hunger fast and marches were organised by CPI(ML) on 8th April in different districts including Lucknow in support of Anna Hazare’s hunger fast for Jan Lokpal Bill in Delhi. In Lucknow Party activists and members sat on a dharna at the Jhulelal Park on the banks of Gomti. Dharna was organised at Shaheed Bhagat Singh’s statue in Allahabad and at Ramashray Park in Kanpur. Party members held similar programmes at Varanasi, Chandauli, Mirzapur, Sonebhadra and Lakhimpur Khiri among other places. Anti-repression and anti-corruption march was held at Jamania in Gazipur which was addressed by Party’s State Secretary.

In Delhi hundreds of students and workers under the banner of All India Students’ Association (AISA) and All India Central Council of Trade Unions (AICCTU) joined the CPI(ML)’s solidarity dharna at Jantar Mantar in Delhi. The dharna was led by Delhi State Secretary of the CPI(ML), Sanjay Sharma, Central Committee members Swapan Mukherjee, Prabhat Kumar and Kavita Krishnan, AISA National General Secretary Ravi Rai, AICCTU leader Santosh Ray, Girija Pathak and many others. Following this, the gathering marched through Jantar Mantar, raising slogans against corporate plunder and corporate-driven policies and distributing leaflets outlining the party’s perspective on anti-corruption struggle.

The CPI(ML) Liberation welcomed and supported the initiative for a genuine and effective Jan Lok Pal Bill taken by civil society activists. The UPA Government initially arrogantly dismissed the demand for civil society participation in drafting the Lokpal legislation had to buckle down in the face of tremendous public support for that demand. The party said that even if the UPA Govt meets this demand eventually, the struggle against corruption has to march ahead to take on the entire web of corrupt institutions and practices, mainly the privatisation policies that have opened the doors for an unprecedented scale of corruption in the shape of massive corporate loot of the country’s precious resources like land and minerals. The Radia tapes and Wikileaks have shown us that corruption has reached the extent where corporations and imperialist forces are able to get Ministers appointed and policies passed in their favour. Apart from UPA and Congress leaders, the BJP Government in Karnataka too brazenly remains in power even though it has a CM accused in land scam and Ministers who are mining mafia.

Hailing the popular awakening against corruption in the country, the CPI(ML) called for the anti-corruption movement, for which the starting point has been the agitation for Jan Lokpal legislation, to take the struggle forward to encompass the following range of demands as well:

• Blacklist and prosecute corporate houses that have been implicated in corruption or violations of law – be it Tata, Reliance, Vedanta, Dow, etc

• Make public the names of all those with black money stashed in Swiss banks, bring every rupee of black money back to the country to be used for public welfare, and plug every route (like Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement with Mauritius) for the daily outflow of black money without an instant’s delay.

• Bring to trial each of the top army officials involved in Adarsh scam and other scams in defence deals and army land

• Reverse the policies of privatisation and commercialisation that has created fertile ground for corporate loot and corruption

• Review all government decisions and appointments behind which the pressure of corporate houses and imperialist forces is apparent

The CPI(ML) appealed to students, youth, workers, women, democratic citizens to resolve to carry forward the battle till corruption is rooted out!

Anti-Liquor Movement in Pithoragarh

All India Kisan Mahasabha (AIKM) has been in the news recently in Pithoragarh for its various social initiatives. On 1st April more than four hundred women under the banner of AIKM held a militant demonstration for closing of shops selling liquor. Nothing could come in the way of angry women that day as they consigned to flames belongings of liquor businesses. Police has filed charges against AIKM leader Surendra Singh Brijwal (Block President) after this protest demonstration. He was arrested at midnight on 7th April but got bail the following day. After his release the women, 250 in number, once again held a demonstration same day vowing to continue their struggle and supporting the released leader. The administration’s sense of desperation was palpable as more support from the local people poured in in the form of numerous monetary donations for the movement when the demonstrators held meeting on 8th April after AIKM leader’s release.

On the other hand, leaders of the BJP, Congress and local outfit UKD openly sided with the liquor shops and demanded arrest of Com. Brijwal. The angry women in large numbers burnt effigies of these leaders at the prominent spot in Munsyari town. People of Munsyari, meanwhile, have decided to publicly felicitate Com. Brijwal on 20 April.

Thousands of workers in the US Protest against anti-worker laws

On 4 April, thousands of workers across the US held rallies and marches in protest against attacks on their collective bargaining rights. 4 April marked the 43rd anniversary of the assassination of civil liberties crusader Rev. Martin Luther King Jr, who had been shot dead in 1968 when he was participating in a strike called by sanitation workers in Memphis, Tennessee.

Recently, workers at Wisconsin held a remarkable, sustained agitation against the Repblican Governor’s move to bring a law curbing their collective bargaining rights. The law was eventually passed but in the process, workers’ resistance seems to have been unleashed across the US.

In the marches held to commemorate the anniversary of King’s assassination, labour and civil rights activists held placards that read, "Stop the war on workers" and "Unions make us strong." Participating in the march at Atlanta, the son of the slain leader compared his father’s struggle for the dignity and rights of black people and workers to today’s battle over collective bargaining rights in US states including Wisconsin, Indiana and Ohio.

National polls have shown that most Americans support collective bargaining rights, which Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and other leaders have sought to reduce or strip. Laws pushed by these leaders seek to ban public worker strikes, eliminate binding arbitration and restrict bargaining for public employees. On activist, referring to the attack on collective bargaining rights, said, “They say it’s about balancing budgets, but we know it’s about union busting.”

Working Class Carries on the Battle for Democracy in Egypt

Tens of thousands filled Tahrir Square once again on April 1, emphatically demonstrating the utter failure of prolonged attempts by Egypt’s military government to demobilize and demoralize the pro-democracy movement.

Fifteen thousand people, already attending the Friday Muslim prayers in Tahrir Square, were joined later in the afternoon by twice as many protesters jamming the central Cairo plaza. In what was called “The Friday for Rescuing the Revolution," protesters demanded bringing to trial deposed President Hosni Mubarak and his cronies, ending the official state of emergency and releasing all political prisoners.

In fact, important sections of the population continue to call for serious and fundamental democratic reforms, going far beyond the transparently shallow changes to Mubarak’s discredited constitution recently suggested by the top generals.

Nonetheless, the military did successfully cast the March 19 constitutional referendum as the best chance to stabilize the economy and to move more quickly toward civilian rule, thus producing very large voter turnout and approval.

This despite the fact that many leading democracy activists attacked the government’s amendments as a tepid rewrite of a few clauses in the dictator’s carried-over constitution, minus any additional firm guarantees of civil liberties.

The Egyptian Center for Trade Union & Worker Services (CTUWS), a leading advocate of the newly-formed Egyptian Federation of Independent Unions (EFITU), produced a leaflet urging people to vote against amendments that were the very same “previously proposed by the deposed President Mubarak….[and] to demand a new constitution that lays the foundations for a new Egypt.”

The CTUWS also organized “a ‘Vote No’” demonstration of around 3,000 students, human rights activists and trade unionists in Tahrir Square on March 27. Furthermore, the AFL-CIO-supported Solidarity Center (SC) in Washington DC pointed out that “yes” numbers were boosted significantly because separate votes were not allowed on any of the nine proposed amendments.

The opposition in Egypt actually sought a whole new alternative constitution that could be developed by a broad cross-section of the movement. But, activists felt, there was insufficient debate, and “people thought they were voting for a little bit more democracy so it passed overwhelmingly.”

Reforming the constitution while banning strikes?

Even more dangerous than this apparent constitutional deception, however, is last week’s proposal by cabinet ministers to ban strikes and protests. It includes onerous fines and gruelling prison terms for any violations. This draft legislation is now under serious consideration by the ruling Supreme Military Council.

If eventually ratified and enforced, all organized government opposition would be silenced. These ominous threats have, as a result, accelerated demands to suspend the state of emergency in effect since 1981 and under which such restrictions could legally be enacted. This was one of the central demands of those assembled on April 1.

On the one hand, the Supreme Council desperately attempts to demobilize and malign the reform movement either through malicious accusations of economic sabotage or through actual physical threats. At the same time, the ruling Council periodically concedes a number of important reform demands, many of which are prudently announced several days before major protests.

After rebellion comes confidence

In the country’s large industrial and commercial sectors, incredibly massive organized protests involved significant sections of the working class and poor. Their participation left a larger political footprint than other recent social explosions in the Middle East.

“You cannot understand events in Egypt today without understanding the absolutely critical role of the working class – both before, during and after the Tahrir Square events,” according to prominent labour lawyer Khaled Ali in a televised interview. “For example, there is absolutely no doubt that the isolation of the students and young people in the Square was ended once workers began conducting strikes and protests, about 30-40 a day throughout the country during the revolutionary Tahrir days and in the immediate days following. The role of the working class was absolutely decisive to our victory,” concluded Ali. Massive working class involvement in the rebellion has provided much-needed confidence for its participation in the next stage of the struggle.

Today, different classes, sectors and strata of society that stood shoulder to shoulder in Tahrir, Alexandria and in the Suez, are now quite naturally each promoting their own specific social, political and economic programs.

Democratic rights won by the revolution have allowed this immensely important debate to occur openly and the results will determine whether the gains of the people’s uprising will be limited to the business sector and upper classes or extended also to the working class and poor majority.

What next?

Judging by the large turnout and overwhelming approval numbers during the constitutional referendum, the army was successful in sidetracking discussion away from self-organization of the people and into the safer and more familiar terrain of parliamentary reforms where, as noted earlier, the traditional elite can more easily reassert themselves through their existing political parties and economic structures.

For example, the rarely-enforced minimum wage is still only a paltry $74 a month after recently seeing its first increase since 1984, where it remained at $6.50 a month for 26 years.

Millions continue to languish in poverty, forced to work several jobs in the informal sector as street vendors or in one of the Qualifying Industrial Zones, exclusively reserved for U.S. companies where wages are low, benefits non-existent and unions severely repressed.

But, on the other hand, the steady presence of independent unions is growing stronger each day. Teachers, healthcare workers, textile workers, transport workers, tax collectors and other sectors continue to form unions, breaking from the government-controlled official union and joining the independent union federation, EFITU, only just formed on March 2. “We are concentrating most on organizing the working class because we know that ultimately this is the only way to gain our share of democracy and a decent standard of living,” an activist declared. “Workers here have no experience with free and independent unions, it is all new to us. But we are very, very happy with our progress so far.”

As long as the debate on Egypt’s future continues with full participation of an organized working class and its allies among the poor, students and middle classes, so also will the uprising’s social, economic and political goals stay on track and become more possible to achieve.

(Based on a report by Carl Finamore, a US Labour activist who has made a short video on labour’s role in the Egyptian revolution [Untold Story of the Egyptian Revolution, which can be viewed at “><a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=frtpwNYc980%5D%5D).

Edited, published and printed by S. Bhattacharya for CPI(ML) Liberation from U-90, Shakarpur, Delhi-92; printed at Bol Publication,
R-18/2, Ramesh Park, Laxmi Nagar, Delhi-92; Phone:22521067; fax: 22518248, e-mail: mlupdate, website: www.cpiml.org

ML UPDATE 15 / 2011

April 7, 2011

MLUpdate

A CPI(ML) Weekly News Magazine

Vol. 14, No. 15, 05 – 11 APRIL 2011

Census 2011: False Alarms and Real Challenges

The provisional figures of the 2011 census, released on March 31, raise several questions while demolishing several population-related myths. With a total population of 1.21 billion, India has now inched closer to China, the most populous country in the world. According to current projections, India may well surpass China by 2025. Those who see India’s population figures as the biggest problem facing the country will of course continue to raise a huge alarm; but census 2011 clearly tells us that the rate of growth of Indian population is slowing down. In terms of annual rate of growth, India with a growth rate of around 1.4% is ranked 93rd in the world. In decadal terms, the growth rate during 2001-11 stood at 17.64%, down from 21.5% during 1991-2001. Even in absolute terms India actually added less people between 2001 and 2011 than in the previous decade.

The Sangh brigade never misses an opportunity to talk of growing infiltration from Bangladesh as a key factor propelling India’s population growth. Indeed, the issue of ‘foreign nationals’ remains an explosive topic in the northeastern state of Assam, with both Sonia Gandhi and Narendra Modi promising ‘to do everything to deport foreign nationals’ in the ongoing election campaign in the state. But the 2011 census figures tell us that the decadal population growth rate in Assam remains lower than the all-India rate – in 2001 it was 18.92% (as against the all-India figure of 21.5%), in 2011 it is 16.93% (as against the all-India figure of 17.64%). In neighbouring West Bengal, another state where the bogey of Bangladeshi infiltration is being invoked increasingly, the growth rate has come down from 17.77% to 13.93%.

The biggest real question raised by the census figures concerns an acute gender imbalance, driven by a growing disappearance of India’s daughters in the 0-6 age group. The sex ratio may have recorded a marginal improvement from 933 to 940 (Modi’s Gujarat and Nitish Kumar’s Bihar being two notable exceptions where the sex ratio further declined), but the number of girls in the 0-6 age group has fallen from 927 to an alarming 914, an all-time low since independence. Haryana (830), Punjab (846) and Rajasthan (883) continue to be the biggest offenders on this score, but alarmingly enough as many as 27 states and UTs recorded a decline in child sex ratio. At a time when Indian rulers boast of rapid economic growth and social advance and closer integration with the global economy and culture, India’s daughters are finding the country to be increasingly inhospitable, nay downright hostile.

The National Commission for Women has demanded stricter prohibitive action in terms of both legislation and enforcement. The PC & PNDT Act (Pre-conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques Act, 1994) has clearly failed to have any deterrent effect – the number of cases registered and convictions under this Act has been utterly negligible. But the issue cannot be seen merely as a case of weak legislation and law enforcement, nor can it be hoped to be overcome through official campaigns of ‘awareness and empowerment’. It is clearly part and parcel of a larger multi-layered phenomenon of violence against women. If Haryana, Punjab and Rajasthan are the capital of female foeticide and infanticide, the region also witnesses the largest number of killings of women in the name of protecting the honour of family/caste/clan. States like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar remain traditionally notorious for cases of rape and other feudal patriarchal assaults on women. If the number of women per 1000 men has still increased from 933 to 940, it is surely because women are putting up a more effective resistance to this patriarchal violence and not because of the state’s false claims of women’s empowerment.

There is also a lot of loose talk these days about India’s so-called ‘demographic dividend’ with more than half of Indian population being younger than 30 years. But India’s policy-makers and rulers hardly talk about the challenge posed by this demographic profile – the challenge of fulfilling young India’s basic needs for education and jobs, not to talk about meeting the aspirations for a better life. As it is, there is a growing demographic divide in India with northern and eastern India accounting for the lion’s share of population growth (Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan accounting for 52% children in the age group of 0-6 years) and yet lagging way behind in terms of literacy and employment, even as the southern and western states race ahead in terms of economic growth without however creating enough job opportunities. The findings of the 2011 census have only corroborated this divide which threatens to negate much of the so-called demographic dividend.

Census 2011 has shown a slow improvement in literacy levels among both men and women, more among women than men. The effective all-India literacy rate has now risen to 74.04%, up from 64.83% in 2001. In fact, female literacy rate grew by 11.8% (up from 53.67% to 65.46%) while male literacy rate registered an increase of only 6.9% (up from 75.26% to 82.14%). The gender gap on literacy front is evidently still pretty huge, while the Planning Commission would like to see the gap brought down to 10 percentage points by 2011-12, it is still as high as 16.68. And in states like Rajasthan and Bihar, the female literacy rate is still as low as 52.66% and 53.33%. But surely the time has come when the focus should shift from mere literacy to at least basic education and on this score the situation still remains absolutely alarming with low enrolment and high dropout rates.

Neo-liberal ideologues wax eloquent about economic growth and accumulation of wealth, viewing the ordinary people at best as a prospective market and at worst as an avoidable burden. Any meaningful notion of development with democracy and dignity must treat the population not only as crucial human resource but also as the focal point of development. As we await the final and detailed census figures, we must intensify the battle for a more democratic people-oriented model of development which will also ensure a more equitable distribution of the fruits of development. This alone can ensure a comprehensive and qualitative improvement in India’s demographic profile.

Student-Youth Parliament in Patna Declare “Ghera Daalo – Dera Daalo” in Delhi

The All India Students’ Association (AISA) and the Revolutionary Youth Association (RYA) jointly organised an Indian Student-Youth Parliament against the corporate loot, corruption and assaults on people’s rights on 29 March 2011 inside the campus of Patna College in Patna. The student-youth parliament declared that the way in which Tahreer Square has emerged as centre of politics for change, in the same way the students and youth of India along with other sections of the people will transform Delhi into a centre of historical action for uprooting pro-corporate and pro-US policies along with ending the scam and corruption ridden governance of all colours of governments to establish a true democracy in this Country. To this end the Student-Youth Parliament declared to mobilize and galvanize people from villages, muhallas, hamlets, students and youth in universities, common citizens, women, peasantry and workers into “ghera daalo-dera daalo” at the Parliament in Delhi on 9th August.

Addressing the meeting in Patna, CPI(ML) General Secretary Comrade Dipankar Bhattacharya said that such action is the need of the hour and recalled the student-youth actions of 1974 against corruption and the autocracy of Indira Gandhi had shown the path to the whole Country and the forces that were bent upon establishing dictatorship in this Country were defeated. He said that once again there is tremendous anger inside people’s heart and student-youth are once again being looked upon to show the right path to the Country.

The Student-Youth Parliament was also addressed by RYA’s National President Comrade Salim, General Secretary Kamlesh Sharma, Prof. Santosh Kumar, AISA’s National President Sandeep Singh and General Secretary Ravi Rai apart from many other AISA and RYA leaders from Bihar, UP and Jharkhand. Comrade Dhirendra Jha, General Secretary of All India Agricultural Labourers’ Association (AIALA) also addressed the meet. Prior to the meeting thousands of students and youth from different states marched from Bhagat Singh Square located near Gandhi Maidan to Patna College. The meet also decided to hold anti-corruption big conventions at one hundred centres across the Country before 9th August programme in Delhi.

Farmer Suicide in UP and Callous Mayawati Govt

CPI(ML) Teams Visit Gonda and Ambedkar Nagar

A 30 year young man Ved Prakash Pandey burnt himself to death at the Gonda District Magistrate’s residence on 27 March. The CPI(ML) team that visited the village found that the youth’s father who’s a farmer had been arrested for failure to repay a loan of Rs. 2.5 lakh. The loan was taken to buy a tractor. Disturbed at the arrest of his father and insensitiveness of District Officials the youth had been knocking on every Govt. officials’ door including the SDM, requesting them to release his father. He had also arranged one installment of the loan and even assured those officials that he would arrange the remaining amount in due course. Perceiving the insensitive and unhelpful nature of those officials he even warned them that he would take his own life if his father was not released.

Expressing grief at the death, CPI(ML)’s Uttar Pradesh State Secretary Com. Sudhakar Yadav issuing a statement in Lucknow said that the Mayawati Govt. which is so engrossed in recovery of the loans is not caring for the lives of innocent farmers and their families. If the Dist. Administration had shown even a slight flexibility, Ved Prakash could have been alive. But the Govt’s insensitiveness has reached such a level that it is not bothered about the lives and suicides by farmers and peasants. He said that Mayawati Govt.’s anti-farmer and anti-peasant policies are squarely responsible for this arrest of a farmer and death of his young son.

Gonda’s incident points to an emerging reality that this Govt. can give all sorts of support to scamsters, corrupt officials and ministers and mafias, but not to debt-trapped farmers. The month of February and March has been specially harsh on such farmers. The administration released the father in panic hearing the death of the son. CPI(ML) State Secretary has demanded fixing of responsibility for this death and strict action against those found culprits, adequate compensation to the family members of the deceased and general amnesty for all small and medium scale farmers trapped in debt. Gonda’s Party unit too has written to Divisional Commissioner and demanded justice.

Another team of CPI(ML) toured Ambedkar Nagar’s Tilaktanda village in Jahangirganj PS led by Comrade Rambharos, Party’s Dist. Incharge. Here, a 15 year girl student Pratigya who was studying in class 9th was kidnapped on 21st March, sexually assaulted for three days and burnt to death by the rapists. Members of the team met the father and mother of the deceased girl and found that when the parents found their burnt daughter on 24 March from a pond in the village she was still alive and by the time they rushed with her to a nearby hospital she had become severely critical and lost her life shortly after. She narrated the ghastly crime to her mother before she died. She named the villagers involved in assaulting and burning her. Same night the father of the victim reported this in the Police Station but the police did not write an FIR. Only when much pressure was put by people that the police registered a complaint.

CPI(ML) said that there has been steep rise in such incidents of crime against women and young girls that goes to show how safe and secure women and girls are in Mayawati’s rule. The rapists have shed all fear as the police can be bought to their side. In Badayun, one BSP MLA, declared wanted by the Court for assaulting another girl student, is absconding in police record even when he is addressing public meetings. Party has demanded immediate arresting of the criminals and urgent action against all the accused.

CPI(ML)’s All India

Campaign in Gujarat

As part of the nation wide campaign against corruption, price rise and state repression campaigns and programmes were held in districts Valsad, Himmat Nagar & Ahmedabad from 15 Feb to 31 March.

On 31 March a huge demonstration took place at Valsad District Collector’s office. Hundreds of rural Adivasi people from several of the talukas of the district, in which more than 500 were women participated in the demonstration. The Adivasi people from Umargaon, Bhilad, Karambele, Sanjan, etc. reached the Valsaad District HQ by railways. The rallyists carrying red flags and banners marched through the main streets of Valsad town and shouting slogans reached the Collector’s office after covering 3kms on foot.

A memorandum was handed over to the District Collector by a delegation of CPI (ML) leaders. The memorandum demanded strengthening of PDS and curbing corrupt practices in it as well as in NREGA, fully implementing the Adivasi Forest Rights Act, stopping all forceful acquisition of tribal land in the name of industrialization by the GIDC, checking the proliferation of land mafias who are tricking the tribals into giving their lands by forging documents and getting signatures from illiterate tribals, constituting a special investigative team (SIT) to investigate these fraud cases and nab the land mafias, etc.

The rally transformed into a mass meeting which was held inside the campus of the Collector’s office. The meeting was addressed by Comrades Prabhat Kumar (CC Member), Ranjan Ganugly (Party Incharge, Gujarat), Amit (RYA leader) and Laxman Warli apart from many others. The meeting was also addressed by CPI(ML) leaders from Mumbai Comrades SN Gohil and Dheeraj Rathore.

Himmat Nagar (District Sabarkantha)

Campaigns were organized between February 15 -10 March at several places in the District including Khairbrahma, Dantral, Peepalsari, Kheroj, Meghraj and Vijaynagar. Mass meetings were organized in all these places. Apart from central demands, several local issues were also part of the campaign such as – stopping eviction of Adivasi and other backward caste people from forest land and making provisions for drinking water and other basic necessities. Several party members from this District led by Comrade Dhashrath Singhali had also participated in the All India Left Coordination march in Delhi on 14 March.

On 25 March a rally and a militant demonstration was held at Himmat Nagar District Collectorate. About 250 women and men from different talukas participated in this demonstration. Here also the rallyists marched through the main streets of the town before reaching the Collectorate. Mass meeting was addressed by Comrade Ranjan Ganguly, Dhashrath Singhali and others. Later a memorandum was handed over to the Collector.

23 march Shahadat Divas – Ahmedabad

On the martyrdom day of Shaheed-e-Azam Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev an impressive rally, public meeting and cultural programme was organized by CPI(ML) Ahemdabad’s District Unit. Rally starting from Amraivadi to Hatkeshwar Circle was held in the evening in which workers and youth participated. CPI(ML) district secretary, comrade Laxmanbhai Patanwadia was also present at the programme. The participants garlanded the statue of Bhagat Singh before beginning the cultural event. The mass meeting addressed by youth leaders including Comrade Amit lambasted UPA govt as well as Narendra Modi led BJP Govt in the state for state repression, black money, corruption and high unemployment of the youth. After the meeting an impressive cultural programme was held at the Azad Chowk in which revolutionary songs were rendered.

Statewide Campaign in Uttarakhand

All India Kisan Mahasabha (AIKM) members organised a rally in Munsyari on 23rd march commemorating the great martyrs and demanded closing of alcohol businesses in the State. Throughout the State people’s campaign was organised between 23-31 March against corruption, black money, loot and state repression. A convention was organised in Rudrapur on 23rd March addressed among others by Comrade Rajendra Pratholi.

UPA Govt’s effigy was burnt and a mass meeting held at Deghat in Almora on 23rd March. Comrade Purushottam Sharma led the programme.

AISA organised a torch-light procession at Srinagar in Garhwal. Despite examination going on, there was thick and enthusiastic participation of students. The programme was led by Comrade Indresh Maikhuri. Public meetings were organised in Gautar, Karnaprayag and Gairsain on 24, 25 and 26 March. On 31 March, effigies of Central and State govts were burnt at Srinagar.

On 31 March a march was held at Haldwani well decorated with red flags and banners on the concluding day of the campaign. Comrade Raja Bahuguna led the march apart from other State leaders.

Shaheed Chandrashekhar Remembered

AISA and RYA jointly held a demonstration at Agartala in Tripura to commemorate the 14 martyrdom anniversary of Comrade Chandrashekhar who was assassinated by RJD’s Shahabuddin in Siwan on 31st March 1997.

Delhi: Various programmes were organised in JNU from 23-31 March as part of Shahadat Saptah (Martyrdom Week) that is held every year.

Begusarai: Cultural programme was organised by Jasam in Begusarai on 23rd March commemorating the martyrdom of Bhagat Singh, Rajguru, Sukhdeo and people’s poet Avtaar Singh ‘Paash’.

Sand Labourers Demonstrate in Front of Bihar Assembly

For the second time in 6 months, the sand labourers from different sand mining districts of Bihar, who are subjected to intense exploitation and are being threatened by loss of employment to sand extraction machines, held a militant demonstration in front of the Bihar Vidhan Sabha on 28 March. The angry workers even smashed the gate at R-Block meant to prevent them from advancing. AICCTU’s National Secretary Comrade RN Thakur addressed the massive assembly of sand workers as the main speaker. The rally also raised the issue of severe environmental degradation due to excessive sand extraction due to extraction by machines. Despite the villages and people resisting the ecological catastrophe being made by the sand businesses and mafias there has been no serious action by the Nitish Govt. and rivers are fast losing their historical richness thus adversely affecting many villages.

Third Odisha Party Conference at Bhubaneswar

The Third Odisha Party Conference was held at Nagbhushan Bhavan, Bhubaneswar, on 2-3 April 2011. The Conference began on 2 April with the hoisting of the red flag outside the Conference Hall by Party Politburo member Comrade Swadesh Bhattacharya. Tributes were then paid to the martyrs’ memorial and two minutes silence observed for departed comrades.

A six-member presidium was formed to conduct the proceedings. The Conference was inaugurated by Comrade Swadesh Bhattacharya, who in his inaugural address outlined the challenges before the Odisha party. Odisha was one of the major centres of corporate loot of land and resources that was the defining feature of corruption in the liberalised economy, he said. People’s resistance against corporate loot was facing severe state repression that the Government was attempting to legitimise in the name of combating Maoists. This corporate plunder and war on the people is directly targeting the livelihood and survival of the adivasis and poorest people in the state. The CPI(ML) faced the challenge to build a powerful people’s movement against this all out plunder and repression – and Comrade Swadesh Bhattacharya called on the Odisha party to rise to the occasion.

Comrade Khitish Biswal, outgoing State Secretary, placed a work report document for discussion in the house. Over the course of the two days, around 130 delegates from many districts of Odisha participated in the Conference, many of whom enthusiastically participated in the discussion on the document. On the second day, Comrade Khitish Biswal responded to the issues raised in the deliberations, and the house unanimously adopted the draft document. Politburo member Comrade D P Buxi addressed the Conference, calling upon the delegates to build people’s struggles and a party organisation fitted to respond to the situation.

The house then elected a 25-member State Committee with Comrade Khitish Biswal re-elected as Secretary. CC member Comrade Kavita Krishnan, who was the Central Observer for the Conference, gave the concluding speech.

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: mlupdate, website: www.cpiml.org

MLU-14-15.pdf


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