ML Update | No. 41 | 2015

October 6, 2015


A CPI(ML) Weekly News Magazine

Vol. 18 | No. 41 | 6 12 OCT 2015

Dadri Lynching

Modi Government and BJP Are Promoting

A Murderous Politics of Hate

The murder of a Muslim man by a communal lynch mob on the pretext that he had ‘eaten beef’ should be an urgent wake-up call for the country to recognize and reject the dangerous divisive politics being systematically fostered by the ruling party and Central Government.

In Bisahda village of Dadri district in Western Uttar Pradesh, close to Delhi, a mob forced its way into Akhlaque’s home, molested his wife and daughter, beat his mother, dragged Akhlaque and his son Danish away, and beat them up with stones, bricks and a sewing machine. Akhlaque was killed, while Danish is still struggling to survive after two brain surgeries. The pretext being offered by Sangh Parivar and BJP leaders for this ghastly murder has been that the mob believed, thanks to an announcement from a temple, that Akhlaque had ‘stolen and killed a cow’ or ‘eaten beef’ and thereby inflamed Hindu sentiments.

Facts however point to a larger conspiracy and an organized communal mobilization, with ‘beef’ and ‘cow’ being a mere pretext to kill Muslims and incite communal violence. The ‘Samadhan Sena,’ one of the many saffron armies of the hydra-headed Sangh Parivar, has been spreading communal venom in the area for a long time.

The deafening silence of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and the spate of statements by Modi Government Ministers, BJP MPs and MLAs and RSS leaders rationalizing the lynching, all make it clear that the lynching was part and parcel of the BJP’s politics of hate-mongering.

VHP leader Sadhvi Prachi has warned that all those eating beef will meet the same fate as Akhlaque; local BJP leaders have demanded that a case of cow slaughter be registered against the survivors of the lynching; Modi’s Culture Minister Mahesh Sharma has called the lynching a mere ‘accident’ for which no one should be punished; BJP MP and former editor of the RSS mouthpiece Organiser Tarun Vijay wrote a piece playing down the Dadri lynching. Mahesh Sharma, even more outrageously, praised the lynch mob for its restraint in ‘not lifting a finger against the 17 year old daughter’ of Akhlaque! It is clear that the Culture Minister, who seeks to ‘cleanse’ India’s culture of ‘pollution’, needs to cleanse his own mind of crass rape culture.

Modi himself is the fountainhead of the provocative hate-speech around ‘cow slaughter.’ In his election speeches during the Parliamentary elections, he repeatedly stoked emotions against eaters of beef and meat, referring to the killing of animals as ‘murder’ (hatya) and calling the meat industry ‘Pink Revolution.’

India is a vast country, where people have very diverse diets and food cultures. To impose Brahminical Hindu taboos on beef or meat on the rest of the population – through ever-proliferating food bans in various states – smacks of totalitarianism. It needs to be recognized, however, that ‘beef’ is one pretext among many others, for inciting murderous communal violence against minorities and casteist violence against Dalits.

The Dadri episode and its aftermath also makes a mockery of the ‘secular’ claims of the Samajwadi Party and its Government in Uttar Pradesh. The UP police not only failed to prevent the lynching. It began its investigation by sending the meat in Akhlaque’s fridge for forensic examination, to check whether or not it was beef, thereby turning the victim into the accused. BJP MLA Sangeet Som, accused of stoking the Muzaffarnagar riots with inflammatory speeches accusing Muslim youth of ‘love jehad’, has made violent provocative speeches in Bisahda village, threatening violence if the arrested members of the lynch mob are not released. Why was Sangeet Som, with a known history of provocative speech-making and riot-mongering, allowed by the UP Government and Police to violate Section 144 and make provocative speeches in the wake of a communal mob lynching? Clearly the SP Government of UP has learned no lessons from Muzaffarnagar, and is doing nothing to protect vulnerable minorities and curb communal forces.

What is most ominous of all is that Dadri is no isolated incident, but part of a disturbing and dangerous pattern. Just days before the Dadri lynching, a Muslim man was lynched to death in Kanpur on the strength of a rumour that he was a ‘Pakistani terrorist.’ In August this year, three young Muslim men were lynched to death by a mob in the same Dadri district on the pretext that they were ‘stealing cows.’ Last year in August, in Delhi’s Najafgarh bordering Western UP, a Dalit man was lynched to death on the pretext that he was found skinning a cow. The excuse proffered by the local BJP Councillor on that occasion that the mob has mistaken him for a Muslim who had stolen a cow! There have been many recent incidents in various parts of India where Muslim youth have been stripped, beaten or lynched to death on the allegation that they have befriended/loved/married/‘raped’ Hindu women. In the past couple of weeks, Sangh Parivar elements fomented communal tensions in Ranchi and Banaras. In the latest Cobrapost sting operation, leaders of Sangh outfits confessed on camera how they use false cases of ‘love jehad’ to foment communal tensions, how they indulge in ‘Hindutva terrorism,’ and how they “are sad when they fail to kill a Muslim and hold celebrations the day they succeed.”

And can we forget that in 2002, five Dalits were killed in Jhajjar in Haryana on the pretext that they had killed a cow. The VHP leader Giriraj Kishore had then answered the question ‘Is a Dalit’s life worth less than that of a cow?’ with the words “The scriptures say that the life of a cow is priceless.”

Such lynch mobs are not spontaneous ‘reactions to rumours’ – they represent a planned, systematic injection of communal poison into the very fabric of Indian society. And the purpose of this poison is to promote the politics of the BJP and the Sangh Parivar that make no secret of their aim to transform India from a secular country into a Hindu Nation. The Prime Minister himself, while on foreign tours, openly mocks at India’s secularism and secular values.

The Prime Minister who calls the eating of beef and non-vegetarian food ‘murder’, needs to tell us if he considers the lynching to death of a human being, murder? His calculated silence on the Dadri lynching and his inability even to issue a simple condemnation of the murder, is screaming out to the whole world his approval for and promotion of the politics of divisiveness, hate-mongering and communal violence.

Citizen’s Protest against the Dadri and Kanpur Communal Lynchmob Killings!

On 28 September, hardly an hour from India’s capital Delhi, a 50 year old Muslim man Mohd. Akhlaq was killed by a lynch mob and his 22 year old son brutally injured after the local temple announced that his family has eaten beef. The son was admitted to the hospital in state of coma. Less than a week ago another Muslim man was beaten to death by a lynch mob based on rumors that he is a ‘Pakistani Terrorist’.

Outraged by the brutal killings, the continued silence of the Prime Minister and the shameful attempts of the BJP leaders to justify the violence, more than 500 protesters gathered at Jantar Mantar on 2 October 2015 and registered a massive protest against the lynch mob killing of Muslims in Dadri and Kanpur. Several organisations such as AISA, AICCTU, AIPF, CPI (ML), KYS, NSI and PUDR along with noted activists like Kiran Saheen, Kumar Sundaram participated in the united protest.

Addressing the protestors, Com. Rama Naga, JNUSU general secretary and AISA leader asked, “Thousands gathered to attack a Muslim family, killing an old man, brutally injuring his son, unleashing violence on the women members of the family. Did so many attackers gather only on the basis of a rumor? Organised hate mongering against Muslims either in the name of Beti-bachao or Gow Mata, from Muzzafarnagar to Dadri is going on. Don’t we know who the mastermind is? Don’t we know that the RSS and BJP machinery have been systematically manufacturing hate and violence through mahapanchayats, whatsapp messages, youtube videos?”

Gautam Navlakha from PUDR pointed out that “Even after the killing and violence, BJP leaders are spreading further hatred against Muslims. Mahapanchyats are being convened, hate-speeches are being delivered by well known BJP leaders. Manufacturing of riot is going unabated. How much blood of minorities is needed to get the security act on punishing hate-mongers?”,

On behalf of AIPF, Com. Girija Pathak said, “The PM says in America Ahimsa Parama Dharma, while violence is being organised on minorities in India. His party leaders and ministers continue to spread venom. He must speak up.” Kiran Saheen, while addressing the protest, said- “Why has meat of animal been sent to forensic lab after the killing of human beings? Rather than acting on the well known leaders who are further spreading hatred and communal tension, why is the security busy in feeding into communal division based on food preference?”

The protesters demanded punishment of those engaged in the lynch mob killing and those who made the announcement from the temple about beef being eaten. Protesters also demanded that action must be taken against the well known leaders who are continuing to spread communal hatred and justifying the killings.

Earlier, on 1 October 2015, a fact-finding team that included CPI (ML) leaders Com. Girija Pathak, Com. Aslam and National Secretary of RYA, Com. Omprasad visited Bisada village to meet the family of Late Mohd. Akhlaq’s and other villagers. After talking to the family of Mohd. Akhlaq and other villagers it came became clear that the murder of Mohd. Akhlaq was a planned communal attack using the pretext of the ongoing hate campaign being run by the Sangh Parivar and BJP around beef eating and cow slaughter. A detailed report has been prepared by the fact finding team.

Campaign in Punjab For Land Rights and Employment

In rural Punjab, there are several acres of common land meant for the purpose of animal grazing that has been illegally occupied by kulaks. In 2009, CPI (ML) fought for the housing rights of Dalits and rural poor on this land and occupied some parts of the land for the purpose. The movement was met by severe repression and crackdown. Unfazed by the repression, the movement was continued and in 2009, thirty percent of this land was legally granted for the purpose of housing of the rural poor and Dalits. However, the proper implementation of the same has not been ensured till date. Additionally, reduced wages in MNREGA and massive corruption in implementation of the scheme have also added to the misery of the rural poor in the state. In light of the deteriorating situation in rural Punjab, CPI (ML) and All India Agricultural and Rural Labourers’ Association (AIARLA) undertook a month long campaign in several districts of Punjab on the issue of land rights and employment.

The month long campaign involving district level mobilization by CPI (ML) and AIARLA leaders and activists culminated in the form of massive rallies that were organized on the issue of land rights and proper implementation of MNREGA in Bhatinda, Mansa, Barnala, Sangrur, Gurudaspur and Amritsar. The campaign was met with encouraging response from the people. Thousands of farmers and youths participated in these rallies.

DTC Contract Workers’ March to Delhi Secretariat

In February 2015, the Aam Aadmi Party came to power in Delhi riding high on expectations of common people. Among several of its promises, a key promise was to end the saga of contractualization and ensure regularization of workers in various sectors. Unfortunately, seven months since coming to office, the AAP government has not taken any initiatives towards the fulfillment of this key election time promise.

Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) too has continued with process of recruiting young workers through the process of contractualisation. On 30 September 2015, several young contract workers working in DTC mobilized under the AICCTU banner marched to Delhi Secretariat demanding that they be made regular and their wages be fixed accordingly. The DTC workers have also been raising concerns regarding the pension provisions and the massive corruption that takes place during wage payment and other provisions. Additionally, the workers also expressed anger with the Kejriwal led AAP government that far from addressing their concerns has instead chosen to crackdown on their right to protest and strike. In May 2015, when the DTC workers had gone on strike demanding compensation for the family of a driver who had been beaten to death in a road rage incident, the Delhi Government had responded by imposing Essential Services Maintenance Act (ESMA) against the agitating staff.

The workers demanded that the Delhi Government explain its betrayal of election time promises and take concrete initiatives to meet their grievances.

Kisan Mahasabha for Vaishali as Drought-Stricken District

More than 100 farmers sat on a dharna outside the Bidupur block office in Vaishali district, Bihar on 11 September 2015 under the Kisan Mahasabha banner with the following demands- (i) to declare Vaishali district drought-stricken; (ii) to give free ration-kerosene to farmers until the next crop; (iii) to waive agricultural loans up to Rs 1 lakh; (iv) to give farmers and sharecroppers interest-free loans for farming the next crop; (v) to associate MNREGA with agriculture and to give MNREGA workers 200 days’ work in farmers’ fields at Rs 300 per day; (vi) to restart all State hand pumps and to repair derelict canals and release water into them; (vii) to electrify farmers’ private hand pumps and give free electricity for irrigation; (viii) to set up camps in villages and insure the crops of all non-loan farmers including sharecroppers on the basis of physical verification; and (ix) to give farmers including sharecroppers immediate diesel subsidy. A memorandum with these demands was submitted to the Block Development Officer. It may be noted that up to September this district had recorded only 435 mm rainfall as against the normal average of 790 mm which amounts to a deficit of 45%.

Earlier, on 6 August more than 400 farmers had protested in front of the District headquarters with the same demands and had submitted a memorandum to the Chief Minister through the Collector. Again, on 1 September, jointly with other Left farmers’ organizations, ‘Farmers’ Demand Day’ was observed and a memorandum was submitted to the Prime Minister through the Collector, with 11 demands that included- (i) declaration of Vaisahali as a drought-stricken district, (ii) laws to be made to protect agricultural land, and (iii) a pension of Rs 3,000 per month for farmers and sharecroppers. These programmes, led by State President Com. Vishveshwar Prasad Yadav, were addressed by Kisan Mahasabha district President Com. Pradeep Rai, Secretary Com. Arvind Kumar Choudhury, Joint Secretary Com. Suman Kumar, Com. Harinarayan Singh, Com. Ramyatna Rai, and other peasant leaders.

11-Day Jan Adhikar Yatra in Jharkhand

An 11 Day Jan Adhikar Yatra (People’s rights rally) called by various people’s fronts and movements including All India People’s Forum (AIPF), Bharat Gyaan-Vigyaan Samiti, Adivasi-Moolvasi Astitva Raksha Manch, Jharkhand unit of Jan Sanskriti Manch, NREGA watch, Jungle Bachao Andolan, Bharat Jan Andolan, Gram Swaraj Abhiyaani and several others, begin in from Bagodar, in Giridih district on 1 October 2015. The 11 day yatra has been called to highlight the consistent attack on people’s rights by the BJP led state and central governments. The various issues that will be raised during the course of the Jan Adhikar Yatra include- implementation of Food Security Act, rolling back of cuts in MNREGA, ensuring provisions of social security pension, proper implementation of Forest Rights’ Act, protesting against assaults on people’s rights and movements and also against the unbridled loot of forests, land and resources. The Yatra started in the form of a massive people’s rally and covering a lot of areas transformed into a public meeting near Bagodar Bus stop. The public meeting was chaired by Com. Sandeep Jaiswal, member of the national executive of the RYA. Addressing the public meeting as one of the chief speakers, Com. Vinod Singh, CPI (ML) leader and ex-MLA from Bagodar pointed out how the assaults on common people’s rights had been increased under the chief ministership of Raghuvar Das. Concerted efforts were being made to instigate communal tensions in several parts of the country including Jharkhand.

The Jan Adhikar Yatra will cover various villages in forest areas and hilly terrains of Jharkhand and will culminate in Ranchi on 11 October in form of a massive public meeting where roadmap for strengthening people’s movements will be chalked out.

Fact Finding Team from AICCTU Visits Protesting Manesar Workers

On 26 September 2015, brutal lathi-charge and crackdown was unleashed on the protesting Maruti workers in Manesar. In early hours of 26 September, nearly 2000 casual workers had sat on a strike at the factory gate protesting against the anti-worker attitude of the Maruti administration. The management of the Maruti Factory in Manesar had been regularly deploying fraudulent ways to take work from the casual workers. The management had been taking work from them on the assurance that they would be made regular after a period of six months, but several of these workers had finished several such six month periods without being made regular. The workers expectedly were feeling cheated the management. The workers had also been unhappy and angry about the failure of the government to ensure ‘equal wages for equal work’ under the labour laws.

An AICCTU fact finding team that included Delhi AICCTU President, Com. V.K.S. Gautam and members of the JNU unit of All India Kaamgaar Union, Com. Lillu and Com. Satyawaan, visited the Maruti plant in Manesar on 27 September 2015.

During the interaction with the fact finding team, the workers shared that the management once again proved its anti-workers attitude when all the causal workers were kept out of the provisions of the wage agreement that took place prior to the 26 September strike. It must be noted that these casual workers, who are being made to work using fraudulent means and false promises, constitute a major part of the production process that contributes to the increasing profits of the Maruti.

There are 5-6 casual workers and 2 apprentices per every two permanent worker in the Maruti factory. By using various terminologies such as permanent, casual, apprentice, contractual worker, etc., workers are being recruited and subjected to severe exploitation. The workers also continue to be angered and pained by the refusal of the Maruti management to take back nearly 2300 workers who were illegally thrown out in August 2012.

During the interactions with the fact finding team, the workers shared that on the morning of 26 September, the Maruti management called for bouncers from nearby areas and instructed them to assault the peacefully striking workers. Several strikers were brutally injured. Most of the casual workers who were ruthlessly beaten were 17-20 year old youths. Haryana police which on earlier occasions has also demonstrated its loyalty to the factory owners by always siding with them, continued to display the same attitude as soon after its arrival it immediately arrested two comrades- Jeetendra and Khushiram, while failing to protect from them from being beaten up. Worse, the arrested workers were again severely beaten up by the police in custody. In the lathi-charge unleashed by the police also several workers were gravely injured.

It is not new for the Haryana government to stand in solidarity with the capitalists who have frequently made mockery of labour laws. The actions of police controlled by the BJP government in Haryana are no different from the actions of the police during the rule of the Congress government. It is clear that be it Congress or BJP, both are only too eager to act as agents of the capital and will not refrain from oppressing the working class. Earlier, on 2 September 2015, during the All India Workers’ Strike, thousands of workers of Maruti Factory had participated in the strike proving that no amount of oppression can deter them from fighting for their rights. During the fact finding team’s visit, Com. Gautam pledged AICCTU’s solidarity with the workers of the Maruti factory and assured them that in coming days AICCTU will stand with them and fight along with them in order to intensify the movement.

Cultural Activists’ Convention in Ara on ‘Left Alternative in Bihar’

Continuing with their initiatives to mobilize the cultural activists and intellectuals in support of the Left Alternative in Bihar, Pragatisheel Lekhak Sangh, Janvadi Lekhak Sangh, and Jan Sanskriti Manch organized a convention on ‘Agenda 2015: Left Alternative in Bihar’ on 20 September 2015 in the Red Cross auditorium, Ara, in which cultural activists and intellectuals declared their support for CPI (ML) candidates in all the Bhojpur district seats and Left candidates in the entire Shahabad area. A similar convention had earlier been organized in Patna on 13 September 2015.

Speakers from Janvadi Lekhak Sangh, Pragatisheel Lekhak Sangh, Jan Sanskriti Manch, Hirawal, Insaaf Manch, Bihar State Primary Teachers’ Association (Gope group) and All India Students Association stressed on the need to unite against forces instigating communal passion, strengthening feudal oppression, and acting on the instructions of pro-corporate forces.

Poet Sunil Shrivastava said that capitalism only creates a false glitter, but actually spreads a web of trickery and cheating. The corporate also throws political alternatives in front of us, and it is because of the choice being limited to these alternatives that the character of governments remains unchanged, no matter who wins. It is necessary to strengthen the forces engaged in building a correct and viable alternative for the people.

Story writer Anant Kumar Singh, speaking on the recent circular issued by the Maharashtra BJP government, said that now they are threatening to charge those with sedition who criticize MLAs or MPs or Ministers. Why should the people elect such persons? He said that with the coming of the Left alternative, the people will not be faced with the dilemma of choosing between the devil and the deep sea. He also sent out the message of support sent by novelist Sheen Hayat. Expressing concern over the election-time polarization in favour of casteist-feudal forces, Prof. Tungnath Choudhury said that this time a new synergy will be generated through Left unity.

Ashutosh Kumar Pandey read the 3 point resolution of the convention – (i) to support the Left alternative; (ii) to support the FTII students’ agitation (a poster marking the completion of 100 days of the agitation was signed by cultural activists, students, and intellectuals; (iii). to strengthen the protest against the attack on progressive, intellectual and rationalist thinkers by the RSS and its satellite organizations.

ML Update | No. 40 | 2015

September 30, 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!

ML Update | No. 39 18 | 2015

September 23, 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.

ML Update | No. 38 | 2015

September 16, 2015


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: mlupdate, website:

ML Update | No. 37 | 2015

September 9, 2015


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: mlupdate, website:

ML Update | No. 36 | 2015

September 2, 2015


A CPI(ML) Weekly News Magazine

Vol. 18, No. 36, 01 ­– 07 SEPTEMBER 2015

Deepening Crisis, Growing Mass Unrest, And A Great Victory against Modi’s Landgrab Fiat

e BJP has all along been keen on invoking and appropriating the legacies of some leaders of the Congress. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and Lal Bahadur Shastri are two such key names. Building the world’s tallest statue in memory of Patel was a key theme of Narendra Modi’s 2014 election campaign. And the Modi government never misses an opportunity to remind us that 2015 marks the 50th anniversary of the 1965 Indo-Pak war and the demise of Lal Bahadur Shastri. But as mass anger catches up with the Modi government for every betrayed promise, the symbolism of Patel and Shastri has begun to acquire a new quirky connotation.

In India’s public memory, the name of Lal Bahadur Shastri remains firmly associated with the slogan "jai jawan, jai kisan’. The organic link between the peasantry and the army underpinned many glorious chapters of India’s modern history. From the upsurge of 1857 and other peasant-adivasi revolts of that period to the communist-led peasant war of Telangana, the peasant-military organic connection has always been a key dimension of popular anti-feudal anti-colonial resistance in India. Lal Bahadur Shastri had effectively turned this organic relation into a social doctrine of national security for the Indian state. However much Modi may try and invoke the legacy of Lal Bahadur Shastri, the glaring truth of 2015 is that both peasants and (ex)-soldiers are today feeling badly betrayed and are up in arms against the apathy of the Modi regime.

"One Rank, One Pension" (OROP) has been a long-standing popular demand in the Indian army, and the BJP and the Congress both highlighted this demand as a prominent promise in their 2014 election campaign. But much as Narendra Modi the campaigner had promised it, Modi the Prime Minister continues to treat the ongoing OROP agitation of ex-soldiers with contemptuous apathy and repressive arrogance. For Modi and Shah OROP may well be just another ‘chunavi jumla’ or empty electoral rhetoric, much like the fake promises of repatriation of black money, scam-free governance and ‘achchhe din’, but for the thousands of former soldiers and war veterans agitating for OROP defying governmental apathy and police high-handedness, OROP is a shocking case of betrayal by a regime of tall talk and zero delivery.

India’s distressed farmers fare even worse than these retired soldiers as victims of the government’s flawed policies and utter insensitivity. The government has just acknowledged the ‘death’ of Modi’s favourite land-grab ordinance after promulgating it as many as three times and yet failing to convert it into law. While this does mark a victory for the popular resistance against thie government’s draconian anti-farmer pro-corporate offensive, the attack on agriculture and agricultural land continues relentlessly. Added to this injury is the insult of brazen official conspiracy to brush aside the most shameful and alarming fact of peasant suicides through statistical sophistry and spurious psycho-analysis. To be sure, farmers are not going to accept this insult-laden injury inflicted by India’s most corporate-friendly regime, and the simmering rage of rural India is bound to assert itself as a growing political reality.

The shadow of agrarian distress can be seen clearly in the sensational rise of Hardik Patel with the war-cry of "Jai Sardar, Jai Patidar". This young crowd-puller from the powerful Patel community of Gujarat has begun to rattle Modi with a new twist in the tale of Sardar Patel which Modi thought he had masterfully monopolised. The absurd demand for reservation for one of India’s most powerful social groups may well be a ploy to subvert the entire system of reservation as it has evolved over the years, but the fact that it has managed to rally hundreds of thousands of Patel youth in Modi’s own state clearly reflects the hard economic reality underlying the myth of Modi’s globalized Gujarat. This is not the mythical Gujarat of milk and honey that Modi has been painting in his election speeches, this is the Gujarat of deepening agrarian crisis and farmer suicides. Not the vibrant Gujarat Modi has been smartly marketing to greedy investors, but the Gujarat of real life where millions of young people remain unemployed or slave away for paltry wages. Not the globalized Gujarat driven by the monetary muscle of prosperous NRIs, but the Gujarat of corporate plunder and economic crisis where the Adanis and Ambanis rule the roost even as diamonds lose their glitter in global markets.

It is of course too early to say how the Hardik Patel show will pan out in the coming days – whether his big-bang beginning will fade away with a whimper or we are here to see the rise of a new political force akin to a Gujarati version of Raj Thackeray, or a new version of the Navnirman movement of yesteryears. Socially and ideologically, this "Jai Sardar" campaign also appears to be very much compatible with the Sangh-BJP agenda, and the assertion of ‘Patel power’ may therefore well end up being co-opted or subsumed within the Sanghi scheme of saffron politics. But there can be no mistaking the definitive signs of a powerful social unrest brewing all around us.

The challenge facing the revolutionary communists and other forces of people’s struggles is to boldly intervene in this critical juncture and unleash a powerful democratic resistance. The movement against the land-grab ordinance has won a major victory; through the 2 September countrywide mass strike trade unions have also declared their resolve to defeat the proposed anti-worker labour law amendments, and the voices of reason and resistance are getting louder against every assault on democracy in every sphere of life. We must unite these multiple streams of protest into a decisive assertion of the people against the corporate-communal offensive of the Modi regime and for the fulfillment of people’s basic needs and democratic aspirations.

JMS Dharna in Ramgarh on Issues of Pattas and Compensation

A day-long dharna was held at Argada (Ramgarh, Jharkhand) area by unit of the Jharkhand Gramin Mazdoor Sabha, on 5 August in front of the General Manager, CCL Argada, participated by hundreds of villagers. The dharna was presided over by Com. Kuldip Bediya and conducted by Com. Dhanelal Bediya. Speakers addressing the dharna, spoke at length about the history of the land acquisition law in India. They said that many tribal villages in Ramgarh district—Chanakya, Kahuabeda, Teliyatandu, and other tolas and mohallas—were displaced during the 1974 process of nationalization of private coal mining, but the residents never got adequate rehabilitation, compensation, employment and development. Today these displaced people are carrying on a struggle for identity, employment, and existence.

Now once again CCL is planning an extension of collieries in Argada area and increase coal production. It has issued a notification for acquisition of 763 acres of raiyati gair-majrua forest land in rural raiyats of Argada, Manua-Phulserai, Kanjagi, Chapri, Bumri, Padariya, Tongi and other villages, not for the development of villagers but to increase displacement and emigration from rural raiyyats. The government is talking of giving employment to only 86 raiyyats on 185 acres of land, which is negligible as per the declared policy of CCL.

Earlier, CCL had snatched away the future and employment of adivasis by making false documents on local raiyyati lands. In 1990, as a result of agitations under the banner of CPI(ML)-IPF, CCL had agreed that a CPI(ML) representative would be present in the tripartite talks, development works would go on, employment would be provided, and permission would be given to open a manual coal cell. However, the CPI(ML) representative was not called for community development meetings. Residents within a radius of 8 km have so far not got water, electricity, roads, education, technical education, health and other benefits, whereas CCL is earning crores in annual profits. Earlier CCL used to work in a radius of 8 km under the community development plan; now, under CSR, corporate houses have been given the responsibility of development of area within a radius of 15 km and they have been directed to spend 2% to 5% of their profits for local rural development. In other words, the lion has been made the keeper of the lamb!

JMS put forth the following demands from CCL through the dharna: (1)Guarantee of pattas to adivasis who are ploughing the gair-majrua and forest lands of Argada, Manua-Phulserai, Kanjagi and Chapri villages. Camps should be held in the villages for verification, and false documents should be scrapped immediately, (2) All raiyyat displaced and affected persons should be given employment and 4 times compensation, and development should be guaranteed, (3) displaced people should be first rehabilitated and mining should begin only after this is done, (4) All affected villages should be given amenities like water, electricity, education, health and medical facilities, (5) Arrangements for employment should be made in all affected villages, and all small and big contract works should be given to local unemployed persons; outside agencies should be excluded, (6) A Labour Coal Cooperative Cell should be established in Argada to generate employment, (7) As per the tripartite agreement of 1990, CPI(ML) representatives should be included in the committees, (8) Action should be taken against the persons who have secured employment by producing false papers regarding the land of Saheb Ram Bediya, Adivasi Khata No. 19 of village Tongi, and employment and compensation should be given to the true heirs of the raiyyat.

Construction Workers’ Protest at District Labour Offices in Bihar

As decided by the State Committee of the Bihar State Construction Workers’ Union, a 10 point charter of demands was sent to the Labour Minister through a dharna by construction workers in front of district labour offices on 27 July 2015. The following demands raised included- (i) speedy passing of the amendments proposed in the manual by the Welfare board; (ii) general death benefits to be raised to Rs 50,000 and accident death benefits to be raised to Rs 2 lakhs; (iii) maternity benefits to be made Rs.20,000, old age pension to be fixed at Rs. 3000 per month and marriage benefits to be made Rs. 50,000; (iv) increase in scholarship amounts; (v) strict implementation of labour laws, controlling corruption, putting a total stop to terms of contracts through brokers and agents and deciding terms of contracts through unions instead; (vi) minimum wage per day of Rs 500 for unskilled workers and Rs 800 for skilled workers; (vii) proper arrangements for payment of arrears; and(viii) putting a stop to the attempts to introduce anti-worker amendments to the labour laws. Apart from these, local demands were also included in talks at different places. Talks on these demands were held with labour superintendents in all districts and assurances on fulfilling local demands were obtained.

Due to the RJD ‘Bihar bandh’ on 27 July, the workers had to face many difficulties in reaching the protest venues, however, despite these obstacles, people participated in large numbers in protests in all districts and submitted the charter of demands. In Motihari over 1,000 workers led by Com. Rajesh Kumar and Com. Bhupesh Yadav took part in the protest during which the labour superintendent and other personnel closed the office and ran away. The protesters informed the DM about this and submitted the charter of demands to him. After the protest, meetings were held in all the districts in which the anti-worker character of government policies was exposed. It was declared that on 18 August 2015 construction workers would hold a State level protest in Patna.

AICCTU March to Secretariat in Delhi against Kejriwal’s Betrayal of Promises

AICCTU organized a march from Rajghat to the Secretariat in Delhi on 19 August to protest against the betrayal of promises made by the Kejriwal government to workers. Hundreds of workers from DTC, health sector, and unorganized sectors participated in the march with slogans of “Poori mazdoori-Pakka rozgar, Apna ghar sabka Adhikar” (Full wages, regular employment, own house is each person’s right), Jan Jan ki hai Awaz, Nahi chalega Company Raj (Voice of all common people- No to Company Rule)”.
Addressing the meeting near the Secretariat, AICCTU Vice President and CPI(ML) leader Com. Swapan Mukherjee said that the workers of Delhi had defeated the BJP and voted the Kejriwal government to power believing in the promises made by the AAP to regularize all contractual workers, to provide pucca housing for all workers, to put a stop to razing of slums, and to provide affordable schooling, hospitals, transport and other basic necessities. But the “Aam Admi” Chief Minister has failed to take effective measures on any of these matters. There is no concrete plan to regularize DTC, hospital, sanitation, and education sector workers. AICCTU Delhi State secretary Com. Santosh Rai said that the Delhi government which says it believes in ‘dialogue’ has put ESMA on DTC and hospital workers and put an end to the need to talk to trade unions. The government which made tall claims of fighting corruption is doing nothing to fight the biggest corruption of them all—the loot of minimum wages of the workers. The guarantee of minimum wages for the worker does not figure anywhere in current discussions. No steps have been taken for the security of women, right to housing, toilets and other basic necessities. Instead of taking measures to run public transport effectively, plans are afoot to privatize the DTC. CPI(ML) Delhi State secretary Com. Ravi Rai said that on hand the AAP government is making a big hole in the working people’s pockets by increasing VAT and on the other hand, a budget of 524 crores is being spent for the propaganda of government work. He termed this a cruel joke on the working class. He further said that the workers are seeing the murder of every promise made to them before the Delhi elections. Disillusionment is taking them towards a massive agitation. He assured the workers of every possible support and help by the CPI(ML) in their struggles.
A representation met the secretary to the CM and submitted a memorandum that included the following demands: (i) ending wage loot in Delhi and guaranteeing 15,000 per month as minimum wages; (ii) non-compliance of minimum wages to be made a cognizable and non-bailable offence with provision for 3 years’ imprisonment; (iv) contract workers’ law to be amended to give equal pay for equal work; (v) reconstitution of the Delhi Contract Workers’ Welfare Board and redressal of past grievances; (vi) implementation of current labour laws strictly in Delhi and registering criminal cases against those who break them; guarantee of daily work under a scheme like MNREGA for the lakhs of construction workers in Delhi; (vii) housing in Delhi for construction workers registered under the Welfare Board; (viii) unconditional and immediate regularization of all DTC contractual drivers and conductors; (ix) the number of buses in DTC to be increased to a minimum of 10,000; (x) employment security for private security personnel; (xi) constitution of domestic workers’ welfare board and ending their dependence on placement agencies; (xii) giving license to each and every vendor; (xiii) increasing the ratio of vendors’ representatives in town vending committees, along with other demands.

Two-Day Hunger Strike in Patna for Justice

CPI(ML) Patna rural and city committees jointly organized a two-day hunger strike on 25-26 August in Gardanibagh, Patna, to demand the arrest of Ranveer Sena leader Rinku Singh, the killer of popular CPI(ML) peasant leader from Bhojpur, Com. Satish Yadav, along with other Ranveer Sena terrorists and perpetrators of carnages and also leaders of the BJP and other parties who continued to protect these killers. Leaders who sat on hunger strike included Party State standing committee member Com. Anwar Hussain, State committee member Com. Umesh Singh, Khemas leaders- Comrades Gopal Ravidas, Jaiprakash Paswan, Devendra Verma, Nawal Bharti, Gopal Singh, Kamlesh Kumar and Vidyanand Bihari. Politburo member Com. Amar Yadav and senior Party leaders were continuously present at the strike venue for two days.
On 25 August former Party MP Com. Rameshwar Prasad garlanded the striking leaders to mark the commencement of the hunger strike. The first day’s proceedings were presided over by State committee member Com. Rambali Yadav and conducted by RYA State secretary Com. Naveen Kumar. Addressing the meeting on the second day, Com. Kunal said that Nitish Kumar has joined hands with the most barbaric killers in the history of Bihar who have perpetrated carnages on dalits, women, and children. After the killing of Bhrahmeshwar Mukhia, Nitish had given a free hand to Ranveer Sena goons for launching destruction, terror, and attacks on dalit hostels in Patna and Ara. The very same Nitish Kumar today calls himself ‘secular’ and pretends to be opposed to the communal BJP. This very Nitish Kumar is responsible for the shameful murder of justice, and for treachery against victims of carnages and their families. He is the one who dissolved the Amir Das commission and protected the communal-casteist BJP and shielded their leaders. Even today feudal forces are bent upon killing leaders of people’s movements. PB member Com. Dhirendra Jha said that so-called dalit and mahadalit leaders like Ramvilas Paswan and Jitan Ram Manjhi who are today sitting in the lap of the BJP will have to answer why they have joined hands with the killers who lose no opportunity to insult the poor.
The morale of the Ranveer Sena leaders appears to have actually risen after the Cobrapost sting exposure in Delhi on 17 August as was reflected in the killing of Com. Satish Yadav, who was killed during an agitation demanding the arrest of Ranveer Sena terrorists.
Other speakers pointed out that Cobrapost has once again brought the truth to the fore that top BJP leaders gave political protection to the Ranveer Sena, and also provided money for buying arms and carrying out carnages. The sting has exposed BJP leaders Sushil Modi, CP Thakur, RLSP MP Arun Kumar, and JD(U) leader Shivanand Tiwari as aiding and abetting the Ranveer Sena.
The speakers further said that the BJP and the Mahagatbandhan people may overtly seem to be campaigning against each other, but the truth is that even today the BJP-JD(U) combination is very much alive on the ground level. The recent attacks on dalit women in Parbatta (Khagariya) have exposed this. The speakers called upon the people of Bihar to carry forward the fight for justice, dignity, and rights of the poor and to defeat such treacherous forces.

CPI(ML) Condemns the Murder of Renowned Kannada Scholar Prof MM Kalburgi

CPI(ML) condemns the murder of renowned Kannada scholar and ex-Vice Chancellor of Hampi University, Prof MM Kalburgi. Prof Kalburgi was shot dead at his residence in Dharwad.

Prof Kalburgi, 77, had been the target of abuse and threats by the RSS outfits like Bajrang Dal because of his rationalist views and his support for the late UR Ananthamoorthy, whose death had been celebrated by these outfits. After Narendra Dabholkar and Govind Pansare, Prof Kalburgi is the third rationalist and anti-superstition activist to be murdered following threats by Hindutva outfits. A local Bajrang Dal leader hailed Prof Kalburgi’s assassination and warned another rationalist KS Bhagwan of the same fate.

The Sanghi terrorists have been feeling emboldened by the Modi Government which had been weakening many terror cases against them. The BJP Government of Maharashtra had been delaying the provision of staff to the CBI to aid the probe into Dabholkar’s murder. The Modi Government and investigative bodies themselves have been harassing anti-communal activists like Teesta Setalvad. A range of anti communal and progressive activists is routinely subjected to threats of violence by Sangh cadres on social media.

CPI(ML) demands a speedy probe into Prof Kalburgi’s murder, and thorough measures to probe the funding and training of Sanghi terror outfits, and judicial intervention to prevent the weakening of the Sanghi terror cases by the NIA at the behest of the Modi Government.

Obituary : Comrade John Percy

Tireless Socialist and A Friend of India’s Revolutionary Left

Comrade John Percy, leading socialist organizer in Australia, passed away on August 19th, 2015 in Sydney after a severe stroke. His passing is a great loss to the Australian socialist movement and to the international revolutionary Left movement, for whom Comrade John Percy was a firm friend.

John along with his brother Jim had been radicalized during the student movement against the Vietnam War in the 1960s, being influenced by the Trotsyist movement. Ever since then they had both striven to build a revolutionary mass party with firm internationalist foundations. To remember John’s life is to turn the pages of Australia’s revolutionary Left movement.

John and Jim Percy had by the 1970s built a youth organization called Resistance (also called Socialist Youth Alliance for some time) and then the Socialist Workers League, which later became the Socialist Workers Party and then finally the Democratic Socialist Party and Democratic Socialist Perspective.

In an obituary in Red Flag, Allen Myers writes of him, “John himself led many different areas of party work, including being a branch organizer, editor, writer, national president, national secretary and public speaker. He was widely known both inside and outside the DSP as the partisan of a regular, attractive and party-building revolutionary press. Over the years, literally thousands of people met John selling a revolutionary paper on the streets of Melbourne or Glebe, at demonstrations or picket lines, wherever he could come into contact with people who might be thinking about politics.”

As National Secretary of the DSP in the 1990s, Comrade John visited India to attend the CPI(ML) Liberation’s Sixth Party Congress in Varanasi, October 1997 as a guest, and won great respect of all delegates with his warm smile, revolutionary optimism and great internationalist commitment. In John Percy and the Democratic Socialist Party of Australia the CPI(ML) and the revolutionary Left movement of India found a new friend.

He helped establish Links, an international journal where comrades from different Leninist streams across the world could exchange ideas. The DSP hosted a series of international conferences which allowed revolutionary Left activists from different countries and streams to interact and learn from each other in Australia.

The DSP subsequently went through many changes. In 2008, Comrade John Percy along with other comrades formed the Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP), which later merged with Socialist Alternative (SA). But the CPI(ML)’s ties with the radical Left movement of Australia have remained intact. Since 1990s several of our leading comrades including Comrades Dipankar Bhattacharya, Sivaraman, Jayanta Rongpi, Srilata Swaminathan, Kavita Krishnan visited Australia to attend Asia-Pacific solidarity conferences and came back with great memories of the time spent with Comrade John Percy and his partner Comrade Eva.

Comrade John Percy we will continue to remember you in our struggles and dreams for our shared socialist future!

Red Salute

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:


ML Update | No. 35| 2015

August 26, 2015


A CPI(ML) Weekly News Magazine

Vol. 18, No. 35, 25 ­– 31 AUGUST 2015

Intensify People’s Resistance against the Aggression of the BJP-Ranveer Sena Nexus

Cobrapost reporters caught commanders of the Ranveer Sena on camera boasting about how they perpetrated serial massacres of the fighting rural poor in Bihar with the blessings and patronage of senior BJP leaders, the clips did not just dig up the ugly truth about a sordid chapter of Bihar from the recent past. They also brought to the fore the glaring weaknesses and biases in the judicial process where massacre perpetrators go scot-free and victims are denied justice. And most crucially, the revelations exposed the rotten feudal core of the BJP in a state like Bihar and the complicity and appeasement on the part of the JD(U)-RJD leadership that allowed the BJP-Ranveer Sena nexus to get away with its politics of feudal violence.

The Cobrapost released its video investigation about the Ranveer Sena in Delhi on 17 August. The very next day we saw Modi address a rally at Ara in Bhojpur, and quite characteristically Modi attempted to brush the entire truth about the BJP-Ranveer Sena nexus under the carpet with the theatrical announcement of the so-called Rs. 125,000 crore Bihar package. But the truth was out again after forty-eight hours when BJP-Ranveer Sena goons killed CPI(ML) leader Comrade Satish Yadav near Agiao. The BJP’s campaign for the Bihar Assembly elections had begun, much the same way as during the Lok Sabha elections, when Comrade Budhram Paswan, another popular leader of the CPI(ML) was killed in a similar fashion.

Comrade Satish Yadav was a young popular leader of poor peasants and sharecroppers. He was a key leader of the recent agitation conducted by the CPI(ML) and All India Kisan Mahasabha to compel the administration to procure paddy from small farmers and sharecroppers. The procurement agitation was followed by a second round to secure payment of dues for the paddy sold. Be it the issue of irrigation for farmers, ration for the poor, electricity supply to the hamlets of the poor, education for local children or dignity of the oppressed, Comrade Satish was always in the forefront of the campaign to serve the people and fight for their rights.

The Ranveer Sena has always sought to justify its murderous campaign against the rural poor in Bihar in the name of ‘protecting the interests of the peasantry’. But once again it has been caught red-handed killing a popular leader who fought as much for the peasantry as for rural labourers and stood for the broader unity of the aggrieved agricultural population. When they could no longer sustain the politics of massacres, the feudal-criminal nexus epitomised by the Ranveer Sena began targeting individual CPI(ML) leaders. It started with the assassination of Comrade Manju in Arwal in November 2003, and more recently we have lost Comrade Bhaiyaram Yadav (member of Party State Committee and secretary of Rohtas District Committee), Comrade Budhram Paswan (member of Bhojpur District Committee), and now Comrade Satish Yadav. Comrade Upadhyay Yadav, popular leader and Zila Parishad member of Jahanabad district survived a lethal attempt on his life in May this year and is now recovering from serious bullet injuries.

Serial massacres, targeted killings of CPI(ML) leaders and activists, attacks on Dalit students and hostels in the wake of the killing of Brahmeswar Singh, brutal assaults on women (the gangrape of Mahadalit girls in Kurmuri of Bhojpur in October 2014 and the recent attack on dalit women in Shiromani Tola in Parbatta block of Khagaria on 27 July this year are two horrific instances in recent months) – such has been the track record of the feudal-criminal forces patronised by the BJP in Bihar. And the BJP in turn has been appeased by the JD(U) till as recently as 2013 – the disbanding of the Amir Das Commission and the dumping of the Land Reforms Commission Report having been two most conspicuous examples.

Even when the RJD and now the JD(U) have been claiming to oppose the BJP, more often than not they have capitulated to the BJP, if not connived with it, in targeting the fighting rural poor and the Left, CPI(ML) in particular. The BJP in Bihar is not imported from Gujarat, nor is it an external power represented by the Modi government at the Centre. First and foremost, the BJP is the organic political representative of feudal power in Bihar. It is easy to treat the BJP as an external power and talk of Bihari pride; but challenging the feudal-communal roots and designs of the BJP within Bihar and resisting the growing corporate-communal offensive that it is unleashing on a countrywide scale is an altogether different proposition. Those who collaborate and connive with forces like the Ranveer Sena can only pay lip-service to the task of checking the BJP.

Ever since its inception, the CPI(ML) has challenged the domination of feudal forces in Bihar most courageously, comprehensively and consistently. The Janata Dal of course emerged as the dominant political force in the post-Congress political order of Bihar, but its record of complicity with the anti-poor anti-Dalit offensive of the feudal camp has only emboldened the feudal forces to rally more aggressively around the BJP. But the people of Bihar are not going to take this feudal aggression lying down and we have witnessed intense popular anger against each and every recent instance of feudal violence – be it the attack on Comrade Upadhyay Yadav in Jahanabad, the assault on the women of Shiromani Tola in Khagaria or the killing of Comrade Satish Yadav in Bhojpur. The CPI(ML) and the Left must transform this anger and resolve of the people into a powerful political force against the aggressive BJP-NDA and the opportunist JDU-RJD-Congress combine.

Comrade Satish Yadav Killed in Bhojpur by Feudal Forces

Sea of People Join Final Journey, Bid Farewell

On 20 August 2015, CPI (ML) leader comrade Satish Yadav was ambushed and brutally killed by Ranveer Sena goons as he was returning at around 6 pm from Badgaon in the Agiaon assembly segment after conducting a ‘Jan davedaari Sabha’. The rising political claims of the poor, just before the Bihar elections, has clearly created frustration and disquiet amongst the feudal forces in the state. These forces, operating with impunity under the patronage of the BJP as well as some leaders from the grand ‘secular’ alliance, are hell-bent on stopping the increasing mobilization the poor, dalits, farmers, and working sections of society at any cost. They are thus once again training their guns on CPI(ML) leaders in their frustration. A few months ago, a popular CPI(ML) leader, comrade Upadhya Yadav, was mortally attacked by feudal criminal forces in Jehanabad. In this latest incident, popular Party leader from Bhojpur comrade Satish Yadav has been murdered by Rinku Singh’s gang, known to have close links with the Ranveer Sena as well as the BJP.

This killing has come at a time when strong agitations across the state have been demanding the arrest of Ranveer Sena leaders who have openly confessed their roles in the mass carnages of Laxmanpur Bathe, Bathani Tola and other gruesome massacres. The recent Cobrapost sting reveals the open secret of the role of the Ranveer Sena in these massacres, and also of their patrons in the BJP such as BJP leaders Sushil Modi, CP Thakur, and others. A few days ago Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a public meeting in Ara, which served to boost the morale of feudal criminals and comrade Satish Yadav’s murder only highlights the chilling arrogance and impunity with which feudal-casteist forces seek to instill terror. Eyewitnesses say that the killing was done with the connivance of the Ajeemabad police station in-charge Shyamdev Singh. When Satish Yadav made his way from the jan davedaari sabha in Badgaon, the police followed on the same road just a few minutes later. They went into the village, and almost immediately news came of comrade Satish’s murder. Clearly, people’s leaders are being regularly attacked and killed with the connivance of the BJP and the Nitish government’s police.

The news of comrade Satish’s killing left people stunned, and a wave of grief spread throughout the entire district of Bhojpur. CPI(ML) called for a Bhojpur bandh on 21 August, and demanded the immediate arrest of the killers. His final journey took place on 22 August, and it was an unprecedented event. It began at the Ara Party office where Party leaders (including PB member Swadesh Bhattacharya, State Secretary Kunal, PB member comrade Amar, CCW member and former State secretary Nand Kishore Prasad, district secretary Jawahar Lal Nehru, Sudama Prasad, Raju Yadav, Manoj Manzil and others) paid floral tributes to the beloved departed leader.

The last voyage then began. From Ara to Ajeemabad, hundreds of motorcyclists led the way, a convoy of cars followed, and people lined both sides of the road to catch a last glimpse of their beloved leader.

Comrade Satish Yadav: A Life Sketch

Comrade Satish Yadav, who was killed by feudal-casteist forces, was only 40 years old. At this young age, he had already become very popular amongst the people due to his commitment to struggles. Comrade Satish was born in the Kamariya village of Agiao block in a farmer’s family. His father, comrade Judge Yadav, was a popular leader and in 1990 he fought the elections as a Party candidate from the Badhara seat and secured about 25,000 votes. From childhood, comrade Satish came into contact with the struggles by the poor, led by the CPI(ML). That was the time when the historic Baga Math fight took place, which left a strong impression on the young Satish and resulted in his decision to dedicate himself to revolutionary struggles. He became a member of the CPI(ML) in 1995. That was the phase when the bloodthirsty Ranveer Sena was spreading terror in Bhojpur and carnage after carnage was being perpetrated. Comrade Satish took up the fight against the Ranveer Sena and fought several historic battles as part of the Party’s propaganda squad. His capabilities soon made him a popular leader within the Party as well as with the people.

After the decline of the Ranveer Sena phenomenon, he led several movements and struggles for basic issues of workers and farmers, against crime, and for developmental issues of the area. His initiatives, not only on issues concerning the poor, but also on issues concerning the middle class, became a talking point. Last year when the paddy crop in Ajeemabad was withering due to drought-like conditions, Comrade Satish led a 4-day road block agitation by farmers demanding that water be released into the canal. Under pressure from this agitation, the canal from Nonaur to Ajeemabad was replenished and water came to the fields. The administration, under pressure, also sent their work proposal for implementing the Dedhua pump canal project, a long standing demand of the farmers. Comrade Satish emerged as a popular leader among the farmers. When the paddy crop was ready, he led a historic struggle for its purchase in Agiao and forced the administration to purchase 30,000 quintals of paddy from sharecroppers and small farmers.

Ranveer Sena leader Rinku Singh, a BJP leader and also the President of the Badgaon panchayat PACS, was also pressurized by Comrade Satish to purchase paddy from farmers. Even now, he owes Rs 8 lakhs to the farmers as purchase arrears, for which comrade Satish was incessantly fighting. By killing comrade Satish, the BJP has snatched away a beloved young leader from the farmers. This clearly exposes the anti-farmer character of the BJP and its protégé the Ranveer Sena.

Comrade Satish led several struggles in the area for development, and against crime. A case was filed against him in the Pawana agitation for electricity. He was also charged in the Narayanpur agitation against murder of a father-son tradesmen duo by feudal criminals. He carried out strong agitations on the issue of electricity in Narayanpur, Akauna, Pawana, Madanpur and other villages, after which electricity first came to the Mahadalit tolas. He also mobilized sand workers who were losing their livelihoods because of sand mining using JCB machines by the dominant forces in the Ajeemabad sand ghat, resulting in the ultimate victory of the sand workers. He led struggles on the issues of registering names of the poor in the BPL lists of Agiaon panchayat, and issues of ration. He was also active in agitations regarding schools and roads. He successfully led the agitation for reinstatement of teachers in the school at Poswa.

Students Demand Revocation of CBCS in AISA’s “Opinion Dhamaka” in Delhi University

On 21 August 2015, hundreds of students of the Delhi University (DU) marched against the Choice Based Credit System (CBCS) in AISA’s “Opinion Dhamaka” rally. AISA had been conducting a “Students’ Opinion on CBCS” campaign in 38 colleges of the Delhi University from 11 August 2015. During this campaign, AISA activists collected responses on different aspects of the CBCS from 24,780 students who have joined DU under the CBCS program. The results of the survey show a resounding mandate against the CBCS, and a growing disappointment with the content of the courses which have been introduced in a hurried manner in DU at the behest of the UGC and the MHRD.

A whopping 93% of students (23045) opposed the CBCS, and most students enrolled in various Honours programs reported that CBCS has devalued their courses by reducing the number of Honours papers to 14 from 18-20. 87% students complained that there was no clarity regarding text books in the Generic Elective courses. 95% felt there was no clarity regarding the method of evaluation and credit distribution for assessment. Almost all the students agreed that the colleges are not offering the choices given in the UGC course outline.

Around 600 students attended a rally in Delhi University following the announcement of the results of the survey on CBCS. Many students who attended the rally spoke of the dilution of quality, and the restriction of internal choices within the Honours degree. They also highlighted the complete chaos in the implementation of CBCS in Delhi University, and the lack of any clarity on course content and evaluation.

Dharna in Sampatchak against Increasing Crimes

The CPI(ML) Sampatchak block unit organized a dharna on 25 July 2015 at the block office on the issue of the growing number of crimes in the Sampatchak area, demanding action against criminals. The dharna was presided over by comrade Hriday Narayan Rai and the proceedings were conducted by block secretary comrade Satyanand Paswan. Hundreds of poor men and women participated in the dharna. Addressing the meeting, comrade Umesh Singh pointed out that on 6 July, Naresh Choudhry, a mahadalit, was killed in village Jaibar but the culprits, protected by the police, tried to pass it off as an accidental death. On 12 July a mahadalit woman midday meal worker was beaten up and injured by a school teacher Alok Krishna in Faislabad (Bhelwada). Similarly, a schoolgirl in Ajeemchak was molested by her teacher who tried to rape her. In all these matters, even the registering of a simple FIR had become a difficult task and could be done only after dharnas and protests were held at the police stations. The arrest of the culprits was still a very far cry. The speakers stressed on the need to organize all poor and marginalized sections against the government and the administration in a united struggle to give them a befitting lesson in the forthcoming elections.

AIPF’s Convention in Tripura

On 19 August 2015, a convention was organised by AIPF and the "Tripura Border Road Organisation Civil Workers Association" at Kumarghat, in Unakoti district of Tripura. Around 175 workers attended this convention. A mass meeting was also held after the convention, which was attended by comrade Mrinmoy Chakraborty from AIPF, district secretary CPI(ML) comrade Joydeep Roy, and newly elected secretary of the TBCWA comrade Biswajit Shilsarma.

Since the past 35 years, the national highways in Tripura have been maintained by the Border Road Organisation (BRO, a Central government organisation). Around 10,000 workers from Tripura were employed as permanent or casual workers in this organisation. In 2014, the Tripura state government entered into a contract with Central government, and since then the state government has maintained the national highway in Tripura. When the BRO handed over the works to the state government, all the workers lost their jobs. The AIPF has been organising these workers.

Protests Demanding Arrest of Ranveer Sena Criminals and Their Protectors

The CPI(ML ) declared a two-day Vishwasghat Diwas on 19-20 August 2015 demanding immediate arrests of Ranveer Sena criminals as well as BJP, JD(U) and other Party leaders exposed by the recent Cobrapost sting. In the Cobrapost sting, various Ranveer Sena leaders openly admitted that they had perpetrated dalit massacres in Bihar in the 1990s; the role of various BJP/JD(U) leaders in supplying money and arms to the Ranveer Sena was also exposed.

The Vishwasghat Diwas was observed across Bihar, especially in Patna, Arwal, Ara, Jehanabad, Patna rural, Gaya, Rohtas, Nawada, Bhagalpur and other districts in south Bihar. In the capital Patna, a protest march from the Radio Station culminated in a meeting at JP chowk, led by Saroj Choube, Santosh Sahar, Murtaza Ali, Sudhir, Gurudev Das, Santosh Jha, Rakesh Manjhi and other leaders. Addressing the meeting, CPI(ML) leaders pointed out that once again the names of BJP/JD(U) leaders have been exposed in connection with protecting the Ranveer Sena. It is also clear that Nitish Kumar dissolved the Amir Das commission for the benefit of the Ranveer Sena criminals. They demanded that after this exposure, Prime Minister Narendra Modi should apologise to the people of Bihar and expel from BJP all those whose names have been exposed in this connection. It is significant that after the Cobrapost expose, Modi maintained a complete silence on this issue when he addressed a public meeting in Ara. In fact, one of the prime protectors of the Ranveer Sena, Sushil Modi, was present on the dais with Modi on that day. The speakers at the CPI(ML) rally demanded the immediate arrest of CP Thakur, Sushil Modi, Shivanand Tiwari and Arun Kumar and guarantee of justice to the poor.

In Jehanabad, hundreds of Party supporters marched from the Party office to the railway station and participated in a meeting. Protest marches, meetings, and effigy burnings of Nitish Kumar were also held at Arwal and at Ara, Nawada, Bhagalpur, and Bihata in Patna rural district. A two-day hunger strike was also held at Arwal, Ara, Jehanabad, Gaya, Rohtas, and Bhojpur.

On 19 August 2015, the CPI(ML) organized a protest march at Jantar Mantar in Delhi demanding the immediate arrest of the Ranveer Sena criminals and their BJP protectors exposed in the Cobrapost sting. CPI(ML) demanded reinstatement of the Amir Das commission and that its findings should be made public. The meeting was addressed by PB members Swapan Mukherjee, Kavita Krishnan and other leaders.

Agitation for Road Construction in Chandauli

The All India Khet Mazdoor Sabha (AIKMS) and CPI(ML) organized a dharna on 22 June 2015 at the Shahabganj BDO office in Chandauli district to demand construction of an access road to the dalit basti in Baraon village. The dharna also demanded construction of other roads, issue of pattas for the landless in all villages, and a social audit to enquire into the MNREGA scam in Hadaura. AIKMS and CPI(ML) have been raising these issues for some time now. On 17 July 2015, several CPI(ML) workers including Karail area local committee member comrade Sanjay Kharwar, Branch Secretary Gorao Prasad, Shabbir Ahmad, and Narad Vishwakarma sat on an indefinite dharna. Hundreds of villagers participated in the dharna.

Even though the local Administration tried to disperse the agitation by citing section 144, the agitation and mobilisation only increased. More than 600 villagers participated. Subsequently, owing to public pressure, the BDO acting under instructions of the ADM gave a written assurance for the road construction, after which the dharna ended.

Protest for Implementation of Forest Rights Law

On 22 July 2015, AIKMS and CPI(ML) protested at the office of the ADM, Chakiya in Chandauli district demanding proper implementation of the forest rights law. The Forest Department is currently digging pits and organizing tree plantation with the clear intent of displacing adivasis and forest dwellers who have for generations engaged in agriculture on these lands.

Addressing the dharna, CPI(ML) district secretary comrade Shashikant Kushwaha said that with the connivance of the Forest Department, the land mafia has captured thousands of acres of forest land in Naugarh. Adivasis and forest dwellers participated in the dharna, and demanded 4.5 acres of land due to them under the forest rights law. Under pressure from the people, the ADM was obliged to come to the dharna venue and he assured the people that action would be taken against the land mafia and the poor would not be displaced. The dharna was presided over by AIKMS district President comrade Ramkrit Kol and proceedings were conducted by Anil Paswan.

Red salute to comrade Ramapati Yadav!

CPI(ML) Beguserai district committee member and Akhil Bharatiya Kisan Mahasabha district secretary comrade Ramapati Yadav passed away after suffering from a cardiac arrest at a private clinic in Beguserai on the night of 7 August 2015. His mortal remains were brought to Shrichandrapur village in Sahebpur Kamal block, where CPI(ML) and Kisan Mahasabha leaders paid their tribute. Hundreds of farmers and workers accompanied comrade Ramapati on his 5-km long last journey.

Comrade Ramapati was born on 19 December 1952, in a middle farmer’s family. He was a graduate in Science. Party leaders said that his untimely death is an irreparable loss and his honesty, hard work, and dedication to the people and the Party will always remain a source of inspiration. A sankalp sabha was organized at his village on 19 August 2015.

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:



ML Update | No. 34 | 2015

August 20, 2015


A CPI(ML) Weekly News Magazine

Vol. 18, No. 34, 18 ­– 24 AUGUST 2015

Bring the BJP-Backed Ranveer Sena Terrorists To Justice

Arrest Terrorists and Top Politicians Exposed by Cobrapost Sting and Amir Das Report

e Cobrapost sting operation has confirmed what was already an open secret. The terrorist feudal outfit Ranveer Sena, backed by the Bhartiya Janata Party, slaughtered poor labourers from the Dalits and oppressed castes in Bihar in the 1990s, mostly unarmed women and children, to teach them a lesson for their struggles for wages and dignity and political assertion in the form of the CPI(ML) Liberation. The police and administration under the then Chief Ministers Laloo Prasad and then Rabri Devi, colluded with the terrorists, allowing them to massacre with impunity. The Commission headed by Justice (Retd.) Amir Das set up to probe the political linkages of the Ranveer Sena, received no cooperation from the Rabri Devi regime, and when it prepared its report in the face of all odds and was on the point of submitting its findings, it was disbanded by the JDU-BJP Government headed by Nitish Kumar.

In a series of shocking verdicts between 2012-2013, the Patna High Court overturned sessions court verdicts and acquitted each and every one of those who had been convicted for the massacres at Bathani Tola, Laxmanpur Bathe, and Miyanpur. In 2014, a sessions court acquitted all the accused in the Shankarbigha massacre. The Patna High Court in the Bathani Tola case held that eyewitnesses were ‘lying’ and ‘spinning tales’, and had held eyewitnesses in the Laxmanpur Bathe case to be ‘unreliable.’ The Cobrapost reporter caught some of the acquitted men on his secret camera, in which they openly, brazenly boast of having perpetrated the massacres, and also confirm what the witnesses had maintained – that the mastermind of the massacres was Brahmeshwar ‘mukhiya’, the Ranveer Sena chief. Six Ranveer Sena commanders caught on camera by Cobrapost, openly and readily give details of their role in the Bathani Tola, Bathe, Sarthua, Miyanpur, Shankarbigha and Ekwari massacres.

How come the police failed to do what an investigative journalist has done? How come these terrorists have escaped justice and enjoy impunity?

Some of the answers to these questions also can be found in the Cobrapost interviews of the Ranveer Sena terrorists. These terrorists declare that powerful politicians – including former Prime Minister Chandrashekhar, former Finance Minister and senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha, former HRD Minister from the BJP Murli Manohar Joshi, BJP leaders Sushil Modi and CP Thakur and several others – helped them procure sophisticated arms to which only the Indian Army has access. They received training from Army men – either retired or on leave. They also say that criminal politician Anand Mohan Singh and JDU leader Shivanand Tiwari offered them material support. They say that Murli Manohar Joshi intimidated the investigative officers and LJP MP Arun Kumar helped them escape the police.

It is also significant that the Ranveer Sena terrorists tell Cobrapost that theirs were not stealthy operations. The date of the massacres were often announced in advance, to strike terror – and the Bathani Tola massacre, thus announced, was even conducted in broad daylight. Survivors of the massacres told Cobrapost how police and prosecution in the Laloo-Rabri regimes failed to act even when warned that massacres had been announced. Police posts a stone’s throw away from the targeted villages would look the other way until the massacre was over. Evidence was destroyed by the police, and prosecution deliberately weakened cases.

The Cobrapost has also spoken to Justice (Retd.) Amir Das, and has also acquired a copy of the Amir Das Commission report. Justice Amir Das states that witnesses deposed before his Commission, testifying to the involvement of several prominent politicians, mostly from the BJP. This is why his Commission was abruptly wound up by Nitish Kumar, when the JDU-BJP Government came to power.

It is clear that from police to prosecution to judiciary, from the Laloo-Rabri regime to Nitish regime to the BJP, all are implicated in the massacre of the poor and the massacre of justice.

Narendra Modi talks of ‘jungle raj’ in Bihar – but can he deny that the BJP-backed Ranveer Sena terrorists were the most dangerous man-eaters in the jungle, that preyed on the weakest, the poorest, women and children? Will BJP’s Giriraj Singh tell us why he called the terrorist Brahmeshwar Singh – mastermind of all the massacres – Bihar’s Gandhi?

Nitish Kumar is trying to claim that the decision to disband the Amir Das Commission was taken before he assumed power. This is a false and specious argument: after all, if so, why did he not reverse that decision and refuse to announce the disbanding? Why in the past decade has he refused to re-promulgate the Amir Das Commission in spite of CPI(ML)’s demands to this effect?

The truth is that Nitish Kumar disbanded the Commission that would have revealed the truth about BJP’s backing of the Ranveer Sena, because he did not want Bihar’s people to ask why he had joined hands with the butchers of Bihar’s poor Dalits, women and children.

Moreover, after Brahmeshwar’s killing, why did Nitish Kumar allow Ranveer Sena goons to go on a rampage in Ara, attacking Dalit hostels? Today, Nitish Kumar claims to be ‘secular’ and against the communal BJP. But it is Nitish Kumar who is responsible for the shameful denial of justice and betrayal of the massacre survivors and victims’ families, because it is he who shielded the communal-casteist BJP by disbanding the Amir Das Commission. And even today, the JDU Administration and BJP leaders today operate in a tacit nexus to shield the perpetrators of the sexual assault on Dalit women at Parbatta: an assault that was organized and led by a local BJP leader.

Those self-proclaimed leaders of Dalits, mahadalits and backward communities of Bihar who are shamelessly allying with the BJP, must answer to Bihar’s people about why they are insulting Bihar’s poor and oppressed by joining hands with their killers.

The struggle for justice must seek the arrest of the Ranveer Sena commanders who have confessed to the massacre; the arrest of all the politicians including BJP top brass who are named by the Ranveer Sena commanders and the Amir Das Commission report; and investigation and arrest of the Army and ex-Army leaders who trained and armed the banned Ranveer Sena terrorists.

AIPF Mahapanchayat in Jharkhand to Mark August Kranti Diwas and World Adivasi Day

9 August is observed as August Kranti Diwas and, since 1995, also as World Adivasi Day when indigenous people all over the world celebrate their identity and their rights. This year the BJP govt in Jharkhand played the drama of celebrating World Adivasi Day on a governmental level, whereas the truth is that this very govt is attacking the rights of adivasis over jal-jangal-jameen and progress through its pro-corporate policies. The AIPF organized a huge mahapanchayat in Ranchi, attended by the CPI-ML and dozens of people’s organizations, and thousands of adivasi people whether women, workers, farmers, youth, students, in their traditional attire.

Addresing the mahapanchayat, CPI-ML General Secretary Comrade Dipankar Bhattacharya said that this mahapanchayat would become the voice of the adivasis for their rights, against the anti-people policies of the govt. He pointed out the irony that on this August Kranti Diwas, the reins of the country are in the hands of those who belong to a political stream which took no part in the Independence struggle and who are today hell-bent on imposing Company Raj on the country. He said that World Adivasi Day is celebrated, with UN approval through the efforts of Dr. Ram Dayal Munda and Jharkhandvasis, to protect the adivasis’ fundamental rights and as a symbol of adivasis’ right to take their own decision regarding jal-jangal-jameen, but this pro-corporate govt is violating all the rights of the adivasis, including hard won legal rights such as CNT, SPT, PESA, and the 5th Schedule and the Govt was bent upon giving their jal-jangal-jameen away to the corporate houses. The rights of the poor are also dwindling with cuts in MNREGA and food security. Workers’ rights are also in grave danger with the govt weakening labour laws. The govt has been forced to back down on the Land Ordinance because of people’s protest, but their attempts are still on. The AIPF must stand strong on the rights of adivasis, and also must work for the success of the September 2 All India strike called by trade unions to oppose the weakening of labour laws.

The mahapanchayat was also addressed by AIPF leader Kavita Krishnan, Kisan Mahasabha General Secretary Rajaram Singh, human rights activist Fr. Stane Swami, Forum steering committee member Dayamani Barla, MLA Rajkumar Yadav, AIPF leader Yugal Pal, Insaf Manch leader Nadeem Khan, AIPWA leader Geeta Mandal, anti-displacement activist Damodar Turi, adivasi leader Nande Pahan, Left activist Tridib Ghosh, JMS leader Devki Nandan Bediya, Rajesh Sinha and other leaders. Earlier, Forum Advisory committee member and well-known journalist Faisal Anurag gave the keynote address and stressed the need for AIPF to fight against the anti-adivasi policies of the govt. Former MLA Vinod Singh conducted the proceedings and CPI-ML CCW member Anant Prasad Gupta welcomed the participants of the mahapanchayat and read out the 21 point political proposition. Anil Anshuman read out the declared programmes of the AIPF and proposed a vote of thanks. The Jharkhand JASAM team Prerna presented jangeet. Filmmaker Meghnath, social activist Prof. Hasan Raja, right to food activist K Balram, and members of the Forum steering committee also participated in the mahapanchayat which concluded with the constitution of a 21 member Jharkhand State committee executive and a 43 member State council.

The following organizations joined the mahapanchayat: 1. Adivasi-Mulvasi Astitva Raksha Manch; 2. Jangal Bachao Andolan; 3. Bagaicha; 4. Bhoomi Raksha Manch; 5. Visthhapan Virodhi Jan Vikas Andolan; 6. HEC Hatiya Visthhapit Parivar Samiti; 7. Jharkhand Para Shikshak Sangh; 8. Jharkhand Jan Sangram Morcha; 9. United Milli Forum; 10. Dalma Raiyyat Suraksha anch; 11. Jharkhand Minority Forum; 12. Jharkhand Andolankari Morcha; 13. Bermo Coalfield Visthhapit Mazdoor Union; 14. Jharkhand Petroleum Transport Shramik Union; 15. Rajhara Bachao Sangharsh Samiti; 16. Akhil Bharatiya Kisan Mahasabha; 17. AICCTU; 18. AIPWA; 19. Jharkhand Jan Sanskriti Manch; 20. AISA; 21. RYA; 22. AKHDA ; 23. Insaf Manch; 24. Jharkhand Gramin Mazdoor Samiti; 25. APCR. During the mahapanchayat many other people’s organizations also joined the Jharkhand AIPF.

Protest by Adivasis in Gujarat

On 10 August 2015, the day following World Adivasi Day, a strong protest was organized under the leadership of CPI-ML at Umargam taluka in Valsad district of Gujarat, in which hundreds of adivasi women and men participated. At the end of the protest a 7-member delegation met the tehsil officer and submitted a charter of demands.

Their chief demands are: 1. The anti-people land acquisition law (especially in adivasi areas) should be immediately repealed; 2. Adivasis should be given ownership rights as per the forest rights act (which many whose forefathers had ploughed the land have not yet got; some adivasis in this plight were presented before the tehsil officer); 3. Adivasi families should be given BPL cards, and adivasis engaged in agriculture should get insurance without premium; 4. Corruption in distribution of MNREGA job cards and work to adivasis should be investigated immediately and this process should be properly and quickly completed; 5. Each family should be provided food grains at Rs 2 per kilo under the food security act; 6. Contract labour supply system in factories under the Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation should be stopped immediately and contractual workers (most of whom are local adivasis) should be made permanent employees; 7. There are several small chemical factories here whose effluents are polluting both land and drinking water in this area; these factories should be banned immediately and their owners punished.

Hundreds of adivasi women and men from Malkhet, Nagam, Jharoli, Khatalvad, Bharoli, Dhodhipara, Manda, Mohangaon, Angaam, Kaprada, and other villages participated in the demonstration. The rally attracted large numbers in spite of heavy rain and the fact that the majority of fishermen were out at sea on work. The rally was led by Politburo member Prabhat Kumar, Gujarat Party in-charge Ranjan Ganguly, RYA National Secretary Amit Patnawadia, District secretary Laxmanbhai Patnawadia, women leaders Jayantiben, Sushilaben, and others. Disabled persons also participated in the rally led by disabled persons’ union leader Com. Haresh Bhai. Speakers addressing the rally called for widening the agitation for land, employment, and food. It was resolved at the rally to make full preparations for the success of the forthcoming All India strike on 2nd September.

Protest Meeting against Parbatta Incident

A people’s protest meeting was organized near Kabir Math in Parbatta on 11 August to protest against the attacks on dalits and women at Shiromani tola in Parbatta block of Khagariya district. Party Politburo member Com. Kavita Krishnan, former MP Com. Rameshwar Prasad, AISA State President Rinki and other leaders participated in the protest meeting. Earlier, Party leaders had met and spoken with the victims’ families.

Addressing the protest meeting, Com. Kavita Krishnan said that the Nitish govt in the State and RJD supremo Lalu Yadav are protectors of the people who perpetrate injustice and attacks. They are also the nurturers of feudal forces. After the 80’s, now women are taking steps forward but they are being subjected to violent attacks. The JD (U) and BJP are both shielding the culprits. Under the protection of these two Parties, feudal forces joined together to attack Nayagaon Sharma tola on 27 July 2015. Homes of the poor were destroyed, property was looted, and even children and the old were not spared from barbaric attacks. The victims were not given protection and shelter by the govt but by the poor people. The administration tried to put pressure to force them back. Com. Kavita raised the question of why no medical investigation of the victims was done. She pointed out that while the JD(U) local MLA is protecting the feudal oppressors, BJP leader Mithilesh Choudhury is the mastermind in the incident. At the same time Jan Adhikar Party leader and MP Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav is shedding crocodile tears prodded by the BJP. All these Parties are playing politics for votes. It is only the CPI-ML which is fighting for justice.

Former MP and CCW member Com. Rameshwar, AISA State President Rinki, Mukesh Kumar, Bindeshwari Mandal, Naveen, Akhilesh Bharti, Arun Das, and other leaders also addressed the meeting.

People’s Kabja on 22 Bighas of Land In Bhojpur

On 12 July 2015 the poor people set a laudable precedent in the vaasbhumi andolan by setting up 1,700 huts and taking control of 22 bighas of land in Padhariya Mauja coming under Gadahani block of Bhojpur district, where Ara town resident absentee landlord and notorious capitalist of the district Vinay Jain had kept the said land under his illegal kabja. No administrative officer dares to go there in the face of the people’s courage and unity. This has increased the enthusiasm and belief of the people in the Party.

Vinay Jain owns several properties in Ara town. The land in question was earlier the property of the Bihar govt. The revenue officer of this Mauja used to live in Vinay’s house, and with his connivance Vinay’s family made documents through fraudulent means to get kabja of this land. Local sharecroppers used to farm this land. For the last 30 years this land has been fallow (parti). In 1992 flags were planted under the Party leadership and it was declared that the land would be freed.

Recently, after a series of fraudulent attempts by various fraudsters to claim the ownership of land the Party decided not to let the land remain ‘parti’ any more, but to let the neighbouring poor people settle on the land. On this basis the landless poor of Gadahani, Padhariya, Suari and Dhamniya villages were mobilized and on 12 July hundreds of them gathered to put up huts on the land and establish Nirmal Nagar there. Gradually, 1,700 jhopdis in all have been put up there. The authorities are silent, and the media is also largely silent. Regardless of what the govt or the media does, the people’s need for dwelling is so acute and urgent that they are ready to face anyone who challenges them.

The land now bears an air of celebration. Passers-by stop to take in the scene. Even now people are coming to see this and the people who have taken its kabja. They are being told that all villages have similar lands; they are being urged to find out such lands and take kabja there also. Nothing will be achieved by depending on the govt for land or housing. It is better to mobilize the people under the leadership of the CPI-ML and free gairmajrua and ceiling lands of the Bihar govt from feudal and dominant forces, and take kabja by putting up jhopdis. Preparations are under way for mobilizing the people under the Party flag and putting up jhopdis in various other villages in the future.

Karyakarta Conventions in Major Assemby Constituencies

Preparations are under way for the Bihar Assembly elections. In the first phase, karyakarta conventions were organized in some major Assembly constituencies in South Bihar which is of significance for the Party. The Party General Secretary Com. Dipankar Bhattacharya was the chief speaker at the conventions. Assembly level karyakarta conventions were organized on 5 August at Karakat, on 6 August at Arwal, and on 7 August at Paliganj. Along with the General Secretary, Politburo member Com. Amit also participated in the conventions. On 10 August conventions were organized in different Assembly constituencies of Bhojpur, in which senior Party leader Com. Swadesh Bhattacharya, State Secretary Kunal, Bhojpur district secretary Com. Jawahar Singh, and other leaders participated. Through these conventions the karyakartas resolved to work with full dedication and strength for the coming Bihar Assembly elections.

Bihar Rasoiya Sangh Plays Significant Role in 3 Day Strike By Contractual-Honorarium Workers

A concerted struggle has been on for the past 7 months under the banner of Bihar Rajya Vidyalaya Rasoiya Sangh for a 17 point charter of demands including the declaration of rasoiyas as govt employees, Rs 15,000 per month honorarium, and guarantee of safety and dignity. A protest in front of the CM on 31 March also did not yield any positive response. On 27 July Nitish Kumar announced that other than tola sewak and kisan salahkar, a grant of Rs 4 lakhs would be paid in case of death of any honorarium worker during tenure of service. This is a cruel joke on honorarium workers as they have neither appointment letter nor, in most cases, is their signature taken anywhere. So with what evidence can the families claim this grant for death-in-service? This announcement is nothing but an electoral carrot; realizing this, they took part in large numbers in the 5-6-7 August strike.

In Siwan around 2,000 rasoiyas took part in a rail chakka jam. The administration has registered cases under several sections against leaders Sohila Gupta and Manjeeta Kaur. Earlier, protests were held in 11 blocks on 5 August and in 3 blocks on 6 August and effigies of Modi and Nitish were burnt. 1,500 rasoiyas protested in front of the Collectorate in East Champaran and held a meeting inside the gates of the Collectorate. On the 2nd and 3rd days protests were held in front of education officers and in all 27 blocks. Earlier a protest had been held on 24 July and a memorandum submitted to PM Modi.

In Nalanda, after an earlier protest on 24 July and a cadre convention on 2 August, Protests were held on 5 August in front of the Collector, on 6 August in front of Education officers, and on 7 August in all blocks. Rallies were taken out on 5 and 6 August. In Muzafffarpur a protest was held at the Collectorate on 24 July. On 5 and 6 August protests and dharnas were held in the blocks. Rasoiyas were gathering in large numbers, and as a result on 7 August. the protests were joined in by rasoiyas and small organizations from areas where the Party is not so active. In Jehanabad, in which 500 women participated, protest was held on 5 August in front of midday meal authorities. An 800 strong Akrosh march was taken out on 6 August and PM Modi’s effigy was burnt on the 3rd day when maximum numbers were present. Block committees of the Rasoiya Sangh are now being constituted.

Protests were held in all 10 blocks of Jamui district by over 500 rasoiyas. In Arwal protests were held on 7 August in which 500 rasoiyas participated. They protested at the Collectorate. Protests were also held at Nawada, Roh, Darbhanga, and Samastipur. Protests in Bhojpur took place on 5 August in front of the Collectorate in which 150 women took part. On 7 August protests were held at Udwantnagar, Jagdishpur and Shahpur block offices.

It was decided to organize protests daily at Kargil chowk in Patna, but the administration did not give permission for this. There was a curfew-like atmosphere in Patna, despite which a rally was taken out on 6 August from Buddha Park which culminated in a meeting at Kargil chowk. Marches and meetings were held on 6-7 August also. Protests and effigy burning of Modi and Nitish were held in fatuha block of Patna rural on 6 August and a road jam was organized on 7 August. Protests and effigy burnings were also organized in Masaurhi, Dhanrua, Bihata, Maner, and Paliganj.

This hartal once again showed the great dissatisfaction and anger amongst the rasoiyas who responded voluntarily to the call for the bandh. The hartal declared 8-9-10 August. to be observed as “Black Day” to protest against the indifference of the govt and the oppression unleashed on those agitating for their rights. Further preparations are on for bigger agitations.

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:



ML Update | No. 33 | 2015

August 12, 2015


A CPI(ML) Weekly News Magazine

Vol. 18 | No. 33 | 11 – 17 AUG 2015

Bhagalpur Riots Revisited :
A Quarter Century of Deception and Injustice

On the concluding day of the last session of the Bihar Assembly before the forthcoming elections, the Nitish Kumar government tabled the report of Justice NN Singh commission on the 1989-90 Bhagalpur riots. The government had received the report in February, but it evidently waited till the final day of the Assembly to prevent any discussion in Assembly over the report and over the continuing apathy and inaction of successive governments in ensuring justice and rehabilitation for the hapless riot-affected families.

The Justice NN Singh commission was set up in February 2006 soon after Nitish Kumar had come to power with the support of BJP. The terms of reference of the commission included inquiry into ‘the conduct and performance of the investigating and prosecuting agencies of cases arising out of Bhagalpur Riot 1989-90’ and suggestion of relief and rehabilitation measures for the riot survivors. The commission was required to submit its report within six months of its first sitting. As it happened, the commission submitted an interim report on 28 August 2007 and the full report only in February 2015.

Twenty years before the NN Singh commission submitted its report we had the report of the first commission on Bhagalpur riots set up under the chairmanship of Justice Ramanandan Prasad in December 1989 and reconstituted in September 1993. The first report had effectively absolved the district administration of all culpability, blaming only the ‘inexperience’ of the then DM Arun Jha and SP KS Dwivedi. The second commission has taken the same line, saying "I refrain from making any comment on the conduct" of the DM and SP, even as it compares the Bhagalpur riot to the November 1984 anti-Sikh riot in terms of "their enormity, extent, barbarism, devastation and loss of life and property." Indeed, the only new point made by the second commission is recommendation of compensation to Bhagalpur victims on the lines of the 2006 package announced by the UPA government for 1984 riot victims.

The reports of the two commissions not only refuse to fix administrative responsibilities for the riots that claimed hundreds of lives and ruined thousands of families, they are also shockingly oblivious of the specific context of the vicious and aggressive communal mobilisation by the Sangh Parivar which resulted in a veritable communal bloodbath that began in Bhagalpur and went on through the demolition of Babri Masjid till the post-demolition riots in Surat and Mumbai. The commissions go back to the history of Partition to explain the context of the riots, and effectively accuse Muslim organisations and leaders of virtually ‘inviting’ the riots, but give a clean chit to the BJP despite noting the involvement of members of VHP and RSS. The 1995 commission report even sanctifies the Sangh Parivar’s scheme of ‘division of labour’: "the political wing cannot be blamed for any misdeed of the social wing,"

Bhagalpur was the most decisive turning point that triggered the downfall of the Congress in Bihar and catapulted Lalu Prasad to the seat of power. Both VP Singh in Delhi and Lalu Prasad in Patna then enjoyed the support of the BJP, and Lalu Prasad never showed any urgency to expedite the cause of justice for the riot survivors of Bhagalpur or even to expose the BJP and Sangh brigade’s sinister role in the massacres of Muslims in Bhagalpur. Kameswar Yadav, one of the key accused of Bhagalpur riots who contested the 1990 Assembly elections on Hindu Mahasabha ticket from Nathnagar in Bhagalpur district, went on to receive the political patronage of Lalu Prasad in later years. Arun Jha and KS Dwivedi, the then DM and SP of Bhagalpur who are held centrally responsible by many in Bhagalpur for the scale of violence and killings, went on to secure promotions and plum postings. When Nitish Kumar came to power with a changed social equation, his government reopened the case against Kameswar Yadav only to reward another key accused of Bhagalpur riots, Ratan Mandal, with the position of the chairperson of the Bihar Extreme Backward Castes Commission.

The survivors of Bhagalpur have also been subjected to tremendous hardship on the economic front. Systematic ruin, and not rehabilitation, has been the bitter real life experience for most of them. Under distress and duress, thousands of Muslim families from more than two hundred villages/mohallas have had to sell their houses and plots of land at nominal rates, leading to enforced displacement and ghettoization. Effective rehabilitation in all these cases must include compensation at current market rate. Many in Bhagalpur who got some initial financial assistance to resume their business and other occupational activities were later charged with non-repayment of ‘loans’ and even sent to prison. The enhanced compensation and monthly pension recommended by Justice NN Singh commission in its 2007 interim report remain just another promise on paper for most riot survivors in Bhagalpur.

Several senior journalists and officials in the know of the actual scale and events of Bhagalpur riots have all along maintained that had the government acted immediately on the basis of the findings reported by Ajit Dutt, DIG of Bhagalpur (rural), the guilty could have been punished and survivors rehabiltated without much delay. The commissions have not only delayed justice by consuming crucial time but also ended up understating the scale of killings and devastation – it is popularly believed in Bhagalpur that more than 2,000 people had perished in the massacres as opposed to the figures of 900 Muslims and 100 Hindus put out in the 1995 commission report – and cushioning the guilty.

Of the twenty five years that have elapsed since Bhagalpur, the first fifteen saw Lalu Prasad at the helm of Bihar with his slogan of social justice and secularism, while the last ten have been the Nitish era of ‘good governance’ and ‘development with justice’. For the victims of Bhagalpur, the entire period has been a period of protracted betrayal and injustice. And the feelings of the Bhagalpur survivors are shared equally by victims of injustice elsewhere in Bihar, most notably the oppressed rural poor in today’s south Bihar who suffered dozens of massacres by the infamous Ranveer Sena. In the latter case, the culprits have all been acquitted by the High Court and the commission which was asked to probe the political patronage behind Ranveer Sena was disbanded by Nitish Kumar before it could submit its report. This was around the same time Nitish Kumar set up the Justice NN Singh commission on Bhagalpur!

Evidently, the battle for justice can win victory by defeating not just the perpetrators of riots and massacres but also the forces that deceive, delay and deny justice in the name of delivering it.

CPI(ML) Condemns Brutal Killing of Blogger Niloy Neel in Bangladesh

CPI(ML) strongly condemns the brutal murder of Niloy Neel, a 40 year old secular blogger in Bangladesh. He was hacked to death in his apartment in Dhaka on 7 August. Niloy Neel was known to raise voice against Islamic fundamentalism in Bangladesh and in defence of the rights of women and minorities. He is the fourth secular and an atheist blogger to be killed this year in Bangladesh, following brutal killings of Avijit Roy in February, Washiqur Rahman in March and Ananta Bijoy Das in May. The spate of attacks on secularists in Bangladesh who have consistently raised voice against religious fundamentalism reflects the failure of the current Bangladesh government to rein in the fundamentalist forces. These groups have been issuing open threats to anyone who is seen as a rational anti-fundamentalist voice and brazenly carrying out the threats. There is an urgent need that the government of Bangladesh takes strong action against such forces and sends out a strong message to them.

The increasing number of attacks on those speaking out against religious fundamentalism in the sub continent and across the world calls for a strong unity against any form of religious fundamentalism across religions and countries.

CPI (ML) extends solidarity to grieving family and friends of Niloy Neel and salutes his courage for standing up for democratic and secular values in Bangladesh.

CPI(ML) & AIPWA hold Statewide Protests against Oppression and Rape of Dalits in Bihar

The organized and open attacks on Dalits and women in Shiromani Tola of Parbatta block in Khagariya district in Bihar on 27 July 2015 have exposed the Nitish government’s hollow claims of bringing about a “Naya Bihar”. It has also exposed the true face of the power hungry BJP. On that day, an organized gang of about 250 people from the dominant Bhumihar community attacked the Dalit Tola openly, but the government, eager to appease the upper caste feudal forces, did not think it fit even to bring out a statement on this heinous attack.

Earlier, a bandh in Parbatta on 1 August and a dharna in Khagariya on 3 August were organized, in which state Party leaders. The police resorted to brutal lathi charge during the Parbatta bandh and arrested 4 Party leaders. A fact-finding team from the CPI (ML) visited Shiromani tola on the day of the bandh. The team included former MP from the Party Com. Rameshwar Prasad, AIPWA Gen Secrteray Com. Meena Tiwari, State committee members comrades Nawal, Rinku, AISA State President, Com. Rinki, AIPWA leader Com. Renu and Party district convenor Com. Arun Kumar Das.

The report prepared by the enquiry revealed that the background of the incident was the love which had sprung up between Prince Kumar Sharma, a boy from the tanti caste in Shiromani tola of Nayagaon and a girl from the Bhumihar caste in the same village. The couple had eloped in March but later returned under pressure. The girl’s family got her married in Beguserai after 2 or 3 months but the girl went away from her in-laws’ place. A case was registered in Beguserai thana against Prince and other boys of the tanti caste, and 2 were arrested. On 26 July the girl came to Beguserai thana in defence of the boys. The girl’s family got this news and the son of the village mukhiya and the sarpanch, along with some women of the tanti caste, came to Beguserai thana and tried to put pressure on the boy and girl, but the girl refused to return with them.

On 27 July the feudal forces called a meeting near the Durga sthan after which they, about 250 in number, launched an attack on Shiromani tola with cries of “Jai Maa Durga”. The attackers beat and threw children around. They crossed all limits with the women, particularly young women. They dragged, beat, and crushed them, and assaulted their private parts. A pregnant woman was so severely beaten that she started bleeding and is still in hospital. Despite all this, MLA RN Singh tells the victims to forget what has happened and return to the tola, as the fault was theirs. The BJP also holds the tanti caste guilty. Clearly, this attack was perpetrated to maintain social dominance and to tell the boys from the mahafalit caste that they should not dare to love or marry girls from upper castes.

After the incident, the police arrived at the village but a fresh attack was launched in the presence of the police. Even journalists were beaten up. Homes were looted and those who had escaped in the earlier attack were beaten up this time. Certificates were torn, jewellery looted, and mobiles snatched. A total of 3 attacks were made in all.

The victim families are currently taking shelter in a private school in neighbouring Goriyari village. The administration has sent nothing but some poor quality rice and wheat for their sustenance. 25 women and 15 men have been seriously injured in the attacks. The role of the local JD (U) leaders, the mukhiya’s son, and the sarpanch and the BJP leaders has exposed the continuing power of feudal forces in Bihar and the anti-Dalit face of the Nitish government.

Protest marches were taken out on 4 August in different districts of the State. The effigy of CM Nitish Kumar was burnt at several places.

A “Nyay March” was also taken out in Patna on 4 August. The march started from Station Golamber and reached Kargil Chowk where it culminated in a public meeting. Addressing the meeting, the speakers said that in spite of the tall claims of the Nitish government touting justice with development, empowerment of mahadalits, and encouragement for inter-caste marriages, there is absolutely no safety or security for couples who marry out of their caste as well as for the mahadalits. The speakers put forward the following demands: government jobs and social security for the affected boy and girl, evaluation of the loot during the incident and 5 lakhs compensation and rehabilitation of each victim, and immediate arrest, speedy trial and punishment for the guilty. They also demanded the release of the Party leaders arrested during the Parbatta bandh.

AIPF Protest for Tribal Rights in Chennai

Following the protest demonstration for tribal rights held on Hul Diwas on 30 June at Villupuram, AIPF-Tamil Nadu organized one day hunger strike at the Tamil Nadu state headquarters in Chennai on 7 August demanding Tamil Nadu government’s immediate intervention for the release of more than 2000 Tamil tribals languishing in Andhra Pradesh jails on false cases. Even though the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes advised that the AP Government must release the innocents including Tamil tribal who have been languishing in the Andhra jails since 2010, so far it has not been implemented. To avoid the migration of Tamil tribal workers in search of jobs to Andhra- Tirupati forests, that has become a killing field, AIPF demanded the speedy implementation of NCST’s 24 April recommendations, ensuring the land rights & livelihood of Tamil tribal people and implementation of Forest Rights Act-2006 in Tamil Nadu.

More than 200 participated in the programme including 150 people from the tribal communities,-majority of whom were women. Close relatives of the jailed workers travelled all the way from far off, hilly and ill connected villages from Villupuram, Salem, Dharmapuri, Tiruvannamalai districts to join the one day hunger strike of AIPF.

Com. Jawahar, state President, AICCTU, presided over the program while CPI (ML) Chennai district secretary, Com. Shekar inaugurated the programme. Main speakers were included Com. S. Kumarasami, PB member-CPI (ML), Dr. Suresh, Gen. Secretary, PUCL, Com. A. Marx, campaign committee member, AIPF, Sujatha Modi, National Secretary. NTUI, R. Sampath, Vice President, WPTUC, Lawyer. Muthusami, T.N. Scheduled Tribe Malayalee Peravai, Com. Venkatesan State Gen. Secretary, AIARLA, Com. Gajendran RYA State committe member, Com. Arivalagan, AIPF, Athiyaman of Democratic Lawyers Association. Com. Balasundaram, State secretary CPI (ML) gave the concluding speech. Three tribal women speakers narrated their pathetic conditions of life in the hills as the breadwinners of the family were locked in Andhra jails. As a mark of solidarity, Unorganized Workers Confederation leaders, comrades Jayalskshmi and Chandrika also participated. Many speakers appreciated AIPF’s initiative on this grave issue that other political parties had failed to address. They also extended their solidarity.

Education Parliament Held in Delhi

Students and teachers gathered on 5 August 2015 in hundreds from all over the country at the Education Parliament hosted by the JNU Students’ Union, to make the parliamentarians hear their voice of protest against commercialisation and saffronization of education by the Modi Government.

The JNUSU President Ashutosh Kumar, welcoming close over 1000 participants, said that Parliament is in session and is not addressing our concerns about the Modi Government’s assaults on quality and autonomy of institutions and democratic rights on campuses. He highlighted the issues of saffron and substandard appointments at FTII, NCERT, ICHR, ICCR, DU and various Universities, the humiliation of noted intellectuals and scientists such as Amartya Sen and heads of IITs and IIMs, the attempt to ban the Ambedkar-Periyar group, the assault on protesting students at Pondicherry University, and violent attacks by ABVP to curb freedom of expression on many campuses from Lucknow to Delhi to Pune and Hyderabad.

Addressing the Education Parliament, the DUTA President Nandita Narain said that the CBCS is being imposed in spite of the opposition by students and teachers. This proves that CBCS has nothing to do with providing ‘choices’, and everything to do with opening up space for private profit by restructuring and destroying the quality of public-funded universities. JNUTA President Sachidanand Sinha said that we have five months in hands to resist surrender to WTO, and we must all pool our strength and unite to resist the binding commitments to the WTO.

Vikash, a student of Magadh University, said, “Authorities threaten us if we talk about politics, and tell us that as students our task is only to study. We ask, how do we study, where are the teachers to teach us? Mukhtar from Patna University said that only 30 percent faculty posts are filled in Patna University. Nachi Muttu, President of the FTII Students’ Union spoke about the ongoing agitation at FTII, saying that the support from all sides gives them hope and strength. Shahzeb Ahmad Aashu, Secretary, AMUSU spoke about the denial of democratic rights at the AMU. Vitthal from Savitri Bai Phule Pune University said that the Govt is slashing scholarships for SC/ST students and self-financed courses and education loans are the order of the day in Maharashtra.

Students from Allahabad Univ, Andhra Univ, Assam Univ(Diphu Campus), Adikavi Nannaya Univ, Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar Bihar University (Muzaffarpur), Bhagalpur Univ, BHU, Bundelkhand Univ (Jhansi), Calcutta Univ, Devangere Univ, Diphu Govt College, Dr. Bhimrao Ambendkar Univ(Agra), Delhi Univ, Eastern Karbi Anglong College, FTII, J P Univ(Chhapra), Jadavpur Univ, Jamia Millia Islamia, JNU, Kannada Univ, Lalit Narayan Mithila Univ (Darbhanga), Lucknow Univ, Magadh Univ, Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapeeth, Mumbai Univ, Osmania Univ, Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhayay Univ(Gorakhpur), Patna Univ, Punjab Univ, Ram Manohar Lohiya Awadh Univ, Ruhelkhand Univ(Bareily), Thong Nokbe College, Uttar Pradesh Pravidik Univ, Veer Kunwar Singh Univ (Ara), West Bengal State Univ shared their experiences.

Among the teachers and educationists who spoke about the massive policy attacks on education by the present Government were Prof. Anil Sadgopal, AIFRTE, Prof. Roop Rekha Verma, former VC, Lucknow University, Prof. Harbans Mukhia, noted historian, Prof. Satish Deshpande, DU, Prof. Anup Dhar, AUD, Prof. Vinod Singh, President, LUTA, Prof. Prasenjit Biswas, NEHUTA, Prof. Manoj Pandey, LUACTA, Prof. M.S. Bhatt, Jamia TA, Prof. Mustafa Zaidi, Secretary, AMUTA, Prof. Saraswat, President. IGNOU TA, Prof. Shiv Mohan, Gen. Secretary, AUTA.

Rain pouring down towards the end of the programme could not put a dampener on the enthusiasm, with participants raising slogans under a tent for a full hour. The Education Parliament also adopted resolutions to intensify the struggle against WTO dictated educational policies, imposition of CBCS, attempts to centralize higher education and dilute the autonomy of educational institutes under the garb of the Central University Act and Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA), attempts to saffronize education by way of tampering with content of education and through partisan appointments in various institutes and also against all attempts to curb campus democracy by encouraging the culture of bans and suspensions and through implementation of provisions such as the Lyngdoh Committee Recommendations. The Education Parliament also resolved to support ongoing student agitations in Pondicherry University, FTII, as well as several other campuses.

Convention on CM Martyrdom Day

A party cadre convention was organized at Mughalserai in Chandauli (Uttar Pradesh) on the occasion of the martyrdom day of Party Founder Secretary Com. Charu Mazumdar. Before the start of the convention, senior Party leader Com. Satyanarayan Singh raised the Party flag at the Party district office. The cadre convention commenced with a 2 minute silence. District committee members Com. Ramesh Rai and Com. Shrawan Maurya presented the roadmap for the national workshop and the approach paper, respectively. This was followed by a discussion in which 31 people participated. The proceedings of the cadre convention were conducted by a 3 member presiding board consisting of Com. Anil Paswan, Com. Satyanarayan Singh, and Com. Anita.

Cadre Workshop in Andhra Pradesh

State level Workshop of Andhra Pradesh was held at Vissannapeta Mandal of Krishna District on 1 and 2 August 2015. Comrades from various districts participated in the workshop. Workshop discussed various issues and also made a plan for immediate tasks as per the Lucknow workshop guidelines. The workshop helped develop clarity on the political situation at the national and the state level among the comrades who felt enthused after the conference. The workshop concluded with resolve to fight the BJP and TDP duo at the Centre and State level.

Dharna against Atrocities on Mahadalit Widow

Local land mafia and criminals committed atrocities against a mahadalit (musahar) widow, Tileshwari Devi in village Anion, Mansingpur Panchayat, Fatuha block of Patna district, for the purpose of capturing her house and lands. The culprits set fire in her home, looted it, and beat her up. A CPI(ML) enquiry team led by Umesh Singh enquired into the incident that occurred on 4 July 2015.

The team found that Tileshwari Devi’s family was residing in the said place since 1945 and this land (9 dismil residential and 57 dismil agricultural land) has been in her father-in-law Janki Manjhi’s name since 1972. The revenue receipt for this land is currently being made out in the name of Tileshwari Devi. The Deputy Mukhiya Yogendra Ram made false papers in order to capture this land and on the night of 15 May 2015, they set fire to the premises, looted the property and beat her up, causing injuries. When the Gaurichak police station failed to register a complaint, Tileshwari Devi went to the Janta Darbar of the Senior Superintendent of Police and registered an FIR there. However, the station has not so far arrested the culprits. Since then the accused have been oppressing Tileshwari Devi and her family members and trying to drive them away from the place.

The CPI (ML) Fatuha block committee organized a dharna at the Fatuha block office on 11 July 2015 on the issue of justice for Tileshwari Devi, in which hundreds of poor and mahadalits participated. At the end of the mahadharna a memorandum addressed to the Chief Minister was submitted through the BDO, demanding arrangements for full safety and security of the life, property and lands of Tileshwari Devi and her family members; immediate arrest of Deputy Mukhiya of Mansingpur Panchayat, Yogendra Ram and other culprits; and an investigation into the nexus between the Gaurichak thana police and the land mafia and criminals. The mahadharna was presided over by Com. Shailendra Yadav. Tileshwari Devi was also present along with her family members.

Temple Stampede in Deoghar Exposes Inhuman VIP Culture

CPI(ML) expresses deep condolence over the death of 10 people in the stampede that took place in Deoghar and expresses its sympathies and solidarity with the grieving families. This incident has exposed the inhuman apathy of the state government and the administration towards the devotees coming from different places. On the pretext of special arrangements for the worship by the VIPs, the common devotees are made to stand in long queues for several hours and they are allowed to enter the temple only after the VIP pujas are over. The preparations made by the state have no place for the basic facilities for those standing in long queues. This situation increases the possibilities for such incidents. In 2013, a similar stampede had taken place during a satsang in Deoghar itself in which nearly a dozen people had lost their lives. CPI(ML) demands that besides providing compensation to the families of the victims, the state government also makes provisions for basic facilities for the common people and put an immediate stop to the VIP worship.

ML Update | No. 32 | 2015

August 5, 2015


A CPI(ML) Weekly News Magazine

Vol. 18 | No. 32 | 4 – 10 AUG 2015

Yakub Memon’s Hanging Exposes Double Standards

Blatantly disregarding fresh evidence from Indian Intelligence sources of his cooperation, appeals from mercy from a wide range of Indian citizens as well as an initial split verdict by a Supreme Court bench, Yakub Memon, convicted in the 1993 Bombay Blasts case, was hanged to death.

Yakub Memon maintained till the end that it was his brother Tiger Memon, not himself, who was the mastermind of the blasts. Evidence for Yakub’s own involvement rests on the weak ground of a police approver’s testimony and the retracted custodial confessions of two co-accused people. Yakub not only escaped ISI protection in Pakistan to return to India but also brought members of his family back to India, trusting in the assurance that the Indian justice system would treat them fairly. Instead, Yakub been executed after being jailed for 22 years.

In the wake of Yakub’s hanging, many have raised the very valid objections to capital punishment itself as unjust and vengeful. But the point must also be made that Yakub’s case did not meet the bar of ‘rarest of the rare’ even by the guidelines laid down for death penalty by Indian Courts. Evidence emerged from intelligence agents themselves suggesting strong mitigating circumstances; it is only by ignoring these mitigating circumstances that Yakub was executed.

Yakub’s hanging underlines the systematic injustices, biases and double standards built into India’s judicial and political systems. It starkly underlines the utter failure of the State to punish the guilty of the 1992-93 Mumbai riots, which killed more than 900 people. The 1993 blasts were perpetrated in the name of avenging the Mumbai riots. The Sri Krishna Commission named Shiv Sena and BJP leaders as well as policemen who perpetrated the riots – yet these guilty were never prosecuted and punished. Instead, the mastermind Bal Thackeray received a state funeral and a memorial in Mumbai.

Similarly, the perpetrators of the Gujarat genocide of 2002 enjoy power. Even those convicted for the Naroda Patiya massacre in 2002 – such as Babu Bajrangi and BJP’s ex-MLA Maya Kodnani – are out on bail, and Kodnani’s life sentence was suspended recently by the Gujarat High Court. How come the perpetrators of the Hashimpura massacre of Muslims or Bathe and Bathani massacres of the oppressed castes get mass acquittals? Why such lenience for those perpetrators of mass killings who enjoy political support? Why does ‘rule of law’ become so flexible for Kodnani and Bajrangi and the Hashimpura or Bathe-Bathani convicts, and rigid when it comes to Yakub Memon?

The case of the blasts perpetrated by Sanghi terror groups is even more shameful. A series of such cases are being sabotaged by investigative agencies in the Modi regime. A Public Prosecutor in the Malegaon blasts case, Rohini Salan, has gone on record to say that the NSA was pressurizing her to weaken the case. A witness in the Ajmer blasts case, Randhir Singh, turned hostile – and was rewarded with a Ministerial berth in the Jharkhand BJP Government’s Cabinet! The entire file of the Jammu and Kashmir mosque attack case has disappeared. Blasts cases involving Muslim accused are accompanied by a high-pitched patriotic media rhetoric branding any demands for due process or appeals for mercy as ‘anti-national’ or ‘support for terrorism’. Barring a few honourable exceptions, the media is largely silent on this open, systematic sabotage of justice in the Sanghi terror cases.

The Tripura Governor Tathagata Roy branded the mourners in Yakub Memon’s funeral procession as ‘potential terrorists,’ followed by BJP MPs like Sakshi Maharaj who said all such mourners should be sent to Pakistan. Many BJP leaders have branded all citizens who opposed the hanging and pleaded for mercy, as ‘anti-nationals.’ It is condemnable that Roy should be allowed to occupy a Constitutional post after his communal tweet. And the BJP leaders making such statements need to be asked why they don’t find perpetrators of communal and caste massacres and Sanghi terror – and their political protectors in their own party and Government – as anti-national.

The stance of the non-BJP and self-proclaimed ‘secular’ political spectrum on the Yakub hanging was also shameful. While the Congress and SP toed the BJP line, there was deafening silence from the RJP, JDU and other parties. The united position of the Left parties that boldly mobilized opinion against the hanging was encouraging.

Yakub’s hanging, with its message of the untrustworthiness and double standards of the Indian State, has left a deep scar on the Muslim psyche, comparable to the wound caused by Operation Bluestar and the anti-Sikh pogrom of November 1984 or the demolition of Babri Masjid and subsequent Mumbai-Surat riots and Gujarat genocide.

Democratic forces must take up the challenge of turning the alienation of India’s minorities and oppressed sections including Dalits, workers and women, and their anger at double standards, into a shared revolutionary resolve for democracy and justice. Yakub’s hanging has revived and strengthened demands for abolition of death penalty and for bringing the guilty of communal riots and caste massacres to justice. This growing democratic voice shows the way forward to broaden and intensify the resistance to the Modi regime’s assault on democracy.

14th National Conference of Jan Sanskriti Manch

The two day 14th national conference of JSM was held on 31 July and 1 August 2015 in Nabarun Bhattacharya Hall, Hindi Bhawan, New Delhi. More than 200 delegates from Bihar, West Bengal, Odisha, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Gujarat and other states participated in the conference.

Renowned painter, Ashok Bhowmik, welcomed the delegates and guests during the inagural session. The session was chaired by Prof. Manager Pandey and conducted by Com. Radhika Menon.

Highlighting the impact of the economic scenario of the current times in his keynote address during the inaugural session, Prof. Arun Kumar said that post 1991, the state had relinquished its responsibility of ensuring the welfare of the people and the people had been left to fend for themselves. The principles of the market dictated that people should not be viewed as poor or rich but only as potential consumers. The market was least interested in moral concerns and even as several technological advancements had been made, the societal transformation had been left behind. Poet-scientist Laltoo expressed concerns regarding the much talked about Indian Consciousness and if it were not merely an illusion. He particularly stressed the need for the activists working on cultural fronts to focus on language issues and the need to strengthen the culture of science. The cultural activists must try to strengthen rational and scientific thinking among people and at the same time also try to forge strong emotional ties with people. Ali Jawed and Murli Manohar Prasad Singh, in their address during the inaugural session focussed on the threats posed by fascist designs of the Sangh Parivar. Karamsheel Bharti of the Dalit Lekhak Sangh said that the India cannot rise only if it rises against casteism and religious discrimination. The chair of the inaugural session, Prof. Manager Pandey said that five kinds of power existed in Indian society- power of the ruling establishment, power of the corporate and the capitalists, power of caste, power of religion and power of men. These powers did not tolerate any kind of disagreement and even as they raise slogans of democracy, they only work to destroy it. He stressed the need for the activists to fight on all these five fronts. A resolution was also passed in the support of activist Teesta Setalvad.

The cultural session saw performances by Hirawal and an audio visual presentation on progressive writers by Saman Habib and Sanjay Mattoo titled- ‘Aasman hilta hai jab gaate hain hum” (The sky shakes when we sing). Paintings by Com. Anupam Roy were also displayed at the conference venue.

In the delegate sessions that took place during the two days, draft papers on – drama, painting, media, cinema, education, poetry, people’s languages and stories were presented, followed by an intense discussion on the same. In order to intervene creatively in these areas and intensify the debates, new convenors were selected in these areas. A call was given to intensify the struggle against the right wing assaults on social and cultural activists.

The conference ended with constitution of 151 member National Council and 49 member National Executive. Prof. Rajendra Kumar, poet and critique, was elected as the new President and Com. Pranay Krishna was re-elected as the General Secretary.

FTII Students March to the Parliament

The students of FTII have been waging an inspiring and a determined struggle against the sub-standard, partisan and saffronized appointments in FTII for almost 2 months now. These include appointment of Gajendra Chouhan as the chairperson of FTII and appointments of Anagha Ghaisas, Shailesh Gupta, Narendra Pathak, Pranjal Saikia and Rahul Solapurkar to the FTII governing council and FTII society. The selection of the aforementioned persons was made not on the basis of their creative contributions in the field, but solely on the basis of their loyalty to the RSS–BJP brigade. On the 53rd day of their strike, the students of FTII came from Pune to New Delhi to March to the Parliament in order to have their concerns heard and addressed. JNUSU and AISA, extending solidarity with the students of FTII gave a call urging all the progressive sections to join this march. Besides several other progressive and left organizations, the march was also attended by Kavita Krishnan, PB member CPI(ML), JNUSU president Ashutosh, AISA National President Sucheta De. Com. Kavita while addressing the protestors said that filmmakers were often known to provide different lenses with which one could view the world, however, the current lot which had appointed to crucial posts in FTII, were known more for their preference for only a saffron lens and more often than not breaking any other lens that allowed an alternative perspective. The cultural groups Sangwari and the Hirawal team of Jan Sanskriti Manch also performed during the protest. However, even as the students marched peacefully, the Delhi police once again tried to silence a peaceful march by detaining students and seizing the cameras and mobile phones of those participating in the march. Such acts of brute force to silence voices of dissent are extremely condemnable. CPI(ML) and its fronts will continue to stand in solidarity with the students of FTII as they wage a brave struggle against saffronization of education and dilution of quality of higher education.

Left Parties Protest in Uttarakhand

On the call of the main left parties to observe a nationwide protest day on 20 July 2015, CPI, CPI (M), CPI (ML) and SUCI (C) organized a protest march in the state capital of Uttarakhand, Dehradun. The massive protest march was followed by burning the effigy of the Modi government at the Lansdown Chowk.

The left leaders addressing the protest said that though the BJP government had come to power riding on the anti-corruption wave against the Congress, having completed only one year in office, the involvement of some of its own ministers in various acts of corruption and scams have become already become a major talking point. In the Lalitgate, the Union Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Chief Minister of Rajasthan who have been found involved along with their family members. The Vyapam scam in Madhya Pradesh has turned into a killer scam in which the direct involvement of the MP Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and several RSS leaders has been brought to light.

The speakers said that with several scams involving Centre and state governments of BJP, Congress and other parties seems to suggest as if the various central government and the state governments are in competition with each other as to who can create bigger records in looting the masses. They also said that in Uttarakhand too, the Harish Rawat led Congress government too has been found involved in serious cases of corruption. The corruption during the relief efforts following the 2013 calamity has already been exposed through R.T.I. Now the government is trying to do a major cover up. The report on the disaster relief related scam by the Chief Secretary appears to be one such attempt towards cover up.

The public meeting following the protest march was addressed by the comrades Bacchiram Konswaal, Surendra Singh Sajwaan of CPI (M), comrades Samar Bhandari and Jeet Singh of CPI, Com. Indresh Maikhuri, State Committee Member of CPI (ML) and Com. Mukesh Semwaal from SUCI (C). The meeting was moderated by the district secretary of the CPI (ML), Com. Rajendra Singh Purohit.

CPI (ML) Protests Communal Statement by the Tripura Governor

While on one hand the BJP government was quick to dismiss the voices that called for the abolition of death penalty and pointed out various lacunae in the justice system in general, and particularly in the case against Yakub Menon, there also have been several prominent people associated with the BJP that have been quick to term those who mourned the miscarriage of justice as terrorists. The governor of Tripura, Tathagat Roy who had been a senior BJP leader before he was appointed to the post had tweeted following Yakub’s hanging that "Intelligence should keep a tab on all (except relatives & close friends) who assembled before Yakub Memon’s corpse. Many are potential terrorists”. To call all those who mourn this travesty of justice and act of revenge by the state –‘potential terrorists’, reflects Tathagat Roy’s disdain for voices of reason. Further, the selective terming of only those who mourn the death of Yakub as potential terrorists while choosing to remain silent on those who carry forward or support the agenda of a Hindu nation or are known to have close links with those convicted for their role in Gujarat riots, exposes his own double standards. The CPI (ML) Tripura unit organized a protest on 1 August at Jagannath Dighi of Udaipur, Tripura, where the effigy of the governor was burnt. The protest meet was addressed by the state CPI(ML) secretary Partha Karmakar and Lokman Hussein and Swapan Banik.

AICCTU State Conference in Puducherry

The 7th AICCTU state conference of Puducherry (UT) was held on 5 July 2015 at Puducherry. The conference started with a massive worker-peasant solidarity rally. The rally was led by Com. S. Balasubramanian, state president AICCTU and Com. P. Murugan, state secretary Jananayaga Kattumana Thozhilalargal sangam (AICWF). The rally passed through main thoroughfares of the town.

The conference town Puducherry was named as Com. Murali Mohan Nagar and the Conference hall was named as Danasekar hall. The conference flag was hoisted by Com. G. Palani and all the participants paid homage at the martyrs column set at the conference venue.

Com. S. Mothilal gave the welcome speech in the opening session. Com. S. Balan, All India Vice President of the AICCTU was the central observer and he gave rousing speech. The others who addressed the gathering were Com. . S. Balasubramanian, State secretary CPI(ML), Puducherry, Com. G. Danavel, district secretary CPI(ML) Cuddalore Tamilnadu, R. Mangayarselvan, campaign committee member AIPF, P. Murthy, Ex-MLA AIPF, Manjakkal Upendran AIPF, and R.V Lenin, organizer AIARLA.

The delegate session started after the lunch. 74 delegates and 5 observers took part in the conference. Detailed discussions and deliberations were held in the entire session. The conference unanimously elected a 31 member state council including 9 office bearers. Com. S. Balasubramanian was elected as president and Com. S. Purushothaman was elected as the state general secretary along with three vice-presidents and four secretaries.

The conference passed 22 points resolutions. The important resolutions were as follows.

1. The conference strongly condemned Modi government’s proposed amendments in various labour legislations in favor of employers.

2. The Conference demanded National minimum wages to be fixed as Rs 17000/- per month.

3. Reopening of all closed state public sector mills, Co-operative Mills and private industries.

4. The conference called for the working class of Puducherry to oust corrupt, anti labour and anti people four years old N.R. Congress from power.

5. The conference demanded a minimum pension of Rs 3000/- for all unorganized workers.

6. Conference demanded the state and central government to protect the handloom workers and the industry.

Voices from the Midday Meal Workers’ Struggles

The midday meal workers in Bihar went on a three day long hunger strike from 8th to 10th July 2015 demanding regularization, a monthly honorarium of at least Rs.15000/- besides other necessary provisions that they should be entitled to. The call for the hunger strike received a massive response from the midday meal workers. Some of the experiences voiced by women midday meal workers’ who joined the 3 day strike have been shared below:

Sona Devi, a midday meal worker, who till 6 months back was too shy to speak in public, delivered a long speech in midst of her fellow workers as the joint secretary of the Bihar Rajya Vidyalay Rasoiya Sangh. She recalled that she had spent her early childhood years in the Masaurhi block of Patna district, and the anti-feudal struggles of the CPI(ML) in that area left a lasting impact on her. This memory, sleeping within her, was revived after she came into contact with the party again in the past few months. She began her speech with a song – ‘Jhuki jhuki piyava goliya chalave, shaheedva bhaiya ho nanadi’ – about the militant anti-feudal resistance. She used the song to tell her fellow workers that the militant Left activists had sacrificed their lives in the movements of the 1980s, thereby achieving increased wages of agricultural workers from 1 kg to 5 kgs of grain. She said, “We can achieve an increase in our wages today by being part of this same movement and radical Left politics. The Government can kill one, it can’t kill a united and strong organisation.”

Kalavati Devi, Secretary of the Maner block unit of the BRVRS union, said in her address to the other mid day meal workers- “We should neither support Modi nor Nitish. We should support and strengthen AIPWA that is with us in our struggle”. Kalavati had contacted AIPWA after reading newspaper reports about the mid-day meal workers’ struggles.

A mid-day meal worker hailing from East Champaran, holding a small baby in her arms, had joined the protest demonstrations in the burning June sun and the July monsoon rain. She did not get a chance to speak publicly at Patna because there were so many other speakers, but after the dharna she came up to Com. Saroj Chaubey, state president of the Rasoiya Sangh and said “Didi, being part of the struggle with you has opened my eyes. I’m ready to come anywhere to be part of the movement.”

Kamli Devi, the joint secretary of Fatuha block has established herself in her school as a fiery activist, whose very presence deters authorities from wrong-doing. She said, “We became mid-day meal workers expecting that the Government would recognise us as Government employees. After 8 years of toil, we find that the Government has just ignored us. We are not begging for charity – we are demanding what is our right. If any administrative officer makes food at my house I will pay them Rs 2000 – I expect them to pay us for cooking in Government schools!”

Several of the midday meal workers displayed remarkable leadership qualities during the course of the struggle and showed tremendous enthusiasm towards mobilization for the next phase of the struggle. The next agitation has been planned for 5,6,7 August when the assembly is in session.


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