ML Update 50

MLUpdate

A CPI(ML) Weekly News Magazine

Vol. 12 No. 50 08 – 14 DECEMBER 2009

Stop Atrocities on Migrant Workers

O

nce again, migrant workers, predominantly from Bihar, have been at the receiving end of brutal attack by criminal goons in collusion with the police – this time in Ludhiana in Punjab ruled by the Akali-BJP government.

The migrant workers in the industrial town of Ludhiana were protesting against the refusal of the police to lodge complaints or take action in cases of rampant crime against them. Monthly wages of the workers were regularly snatched by criminal gangs in collusion with the police. When workers protested against apathy and inaction by the police, the police encouraged criminal goons to attack them with swords and iron rods. Shamefully, the Akali-BJP Govt is responding to the workers’ genuine resentment by trying to recreate the chauvinistic frenzy against the workers that has been witnessed by the MNS and Shiv Sena in Congress-ruled Maharashtra.

This is not the first time such violence against migrants is being witnessed in Punjab. In Punjab, migrants have always played a major role in both agriculture and industry and there is a history of amicable cooperation between local workers and migrant workers. But in the past few years there have been growing instances of targeting of migrants; there had once been a bomb blast in a cinema hall featuring a Bhojpuri film, and in 2005, migrant workers were badly beaten up by the police. Such attempts to sully the atmosphere are nothing but a ploy to divide the working class and crush the voice of protest of all workers.

In Ludhiana the CPI(ML) and youth activists of the Revolutionary Youth Association (RYA) have played an active role in challenging the attempts to whip up chauvinism, restoring peace and supporting the struggle of the migrant workers. It must be remembered not long ago, the same Akali government jailed hundreds of protesting agricultural workers, and now it is seeking to crack down on migrant workers by whipping up chauvinism and hatred against the migrants.

The episode has also exposed the hypocrisy and opportunism of various political formations. The role of the Shiv Sena in Ludhiana is particularly condemnable. The same Shiv Sena which targets Hindi-speaking migrants in Maharashtra is trying to pose as the representative of migrants in Punjab and trying to give the whole issue a communal turn. And there is also the fact that the Shiv Sena is part of the same sisterhood of saffron fascists as the BJP which is a partner in the Akali Government whose police instigated the attack on the migrant workers.

The Nitish Kumar Government of Bihar too has adopted an attitude of ostensible concern for the workers’ safety and has sent a team to Punjab. But these empty gestures cannot hide the fact that Punjab is ruled by the Akali-BJP combine – an NDA regime like that of Nitish’s own. Nitish needs to be taught a lesson by the people of Bihar – that his façade of ‘protector of Bihari workers’ is a farce when the discrimination and violence is being unleashed at the behest of his own political allies.

The incident in Ludhiana has also highlighted the need for protective legislation and institutional measures to defend the rights of migrant workers. The UPA Government must urgently address the long-pending demand of workers to form a National Commission for Migrant Workers and bring about legislation, on the lines of the Act forbidding atrocities on scheduled castes and tribes, to protect the democratic rights and basic dignity and interests of migrant workers.

Delhi Workers Burn Effigy of Akali Govt in Protest

Workers in Delhi under the banner of the All India Central Council of Trade Unions (AICCTU), burnt an effigy of the Akali-BJP Govt. of Punjab headed by Prakash Singh Badal, in protest against the police brutality and assault by criminals on migrant workers in Ludhiana. The effigy burning was preceded by a protest meeting at Parliament Street on 7th December.

Addressing the meeting, CPI(ML)’s Delhi State Secretary Com. Sanjay Sharma said that the Party views the situation with extreme concern, since this is not the first time such violence against migrants is being witnessed in Punjab. The party is sending a team of leaders from Bihar to meet the migrants and address the situation. Meeting was also addressed by AICCTU Secretary Santosh Rai, AICCTU Delhi Secretary VKS Gautam, AISA leader from JNU- Abhishek, and it was conducted by Com. Ardhendu Roy.

The truth is that the Akali Govt is completely anti-worker – be it Punjabi or Bihari workers. Not long ago, the same government jailed hundreds of protesting agricultural workers, and now it is seeking to crack down on migrant workers by whipping up chauvinism and hatred against the migrants.

In Punjab, AICCTU and youth activists of the Revolutionary Youth Association (RYA) have played a major role in bringing peace in Ludhiana and supporting the struggle of the migrant workers. Pointing out that the incident has highlighted the need for protective legislation and institutional measures to defend the rights of migrant workers, the AICCTU submitted a memo to the Home Minister demanding that the UPA government form a National Commission for Migrant Workers and bring about legislation, on the lines of the Act forbidding atrocities on scheduled castes and tribes, to protect the democratic rights and basic dignity and interests of migrant workers. A memo was also submitted to the Punjab Governor through the Resident Commissioner in Delhi demanding immediate actions to stop the atrocities on migrant workers.

CPI(ML) Protest March on Babri Demolition Eve Demands Action on Liberhan Commission Report

Inaction in the Name of ‘ATR’ will Not Do

UPA Govt Punish the Perpetrators of the Babri Masjid Demolition

CPI(ML) units across the Country observed December 6, 17th anniversary of Babri Mosque demolition, as a black day and took out protest marches and processions demanding swift punishment to all those named in Liberhan Commission’s Report as responsible for demolishing the Babri Masjid.

In New Delhi, the Party and All India Students Association (AISA) held a protest march from Mandi House to Parliament Street on 5th December, raising the slogan, “UPA Govt’s inaction in the name of ‘ATR’ will not do – Punish the Perpetrators of the Babri Masjid Demolition!” Students from Delhi University, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Jamia Millia Islamia, cultural activists under the banner of Jan Sanskriti Manch as well as workers participated in the march, which culminated with a protest meeting at Parliament Street.

Com. Prabhat Kumar, CPI(ML) Central Committee member, said, “The Liberhan Commission, submitted after a 17-year delay, states the facts that are not new to the Indian people: the demolition of the Babri Masjid was a pre-meditated crime – masterminded by the RSS and the BJP, including L K Advani, who fanned up communal flames for political gain. But the questions remain: Why does the Commission absolve the Narasimha Rao government at the Centre of failure to prevent the demolition? Why was the report ‘leaked’ to the media? Why did the Congress Government at the Centre not table the report months ago, when it was first submitted? And why, in spite of its so-called ‘Action Taken Report,’ has the UPA Government taken no action against those guilty of the demolition?” Tanweer Fazal, Convener of Jamia Teachers’ Solidarity Association, said, “History will hold the Sangh-BJP leadership responsible for the fascist act of demolition of the Babri Masjid and the communal trail of blood that preceded and followed it. History will also not forgive the Congress Government at the Centre for its culpability – through criminal inaction – for the demolition.” Ravi Rai of AISA, Bhasha Singh, Delhi State Convenor of the Jan Sanskriti Manch, and AICCTU leader Santosh Rai among others also addressed the gathering. The meeting was conducted by CPI(ML) Central Committee member Com. Kavita Krishnan.

Uttar Pradesh: 450 CPI(ML) members arrested in Varanasi while taking out protest march. Protest marches and black day was observed on 6th December across UP. Protest procession was taken out in Lucknow, Varanasi, Devaria, Ballia, Robertsganj (Sonbhadra), Urai (Jalaun) and Madihan and Shahganj in Mirzapur. Dharna and demonstration was held various places in the State including Padrauna (Kushinagar).

The CPI(ML) members vehemently protested the inaction by Congress-led UPA Govt. against the communal-fascist forces even after 17 years of Babri Masjid demolition. Party State Secretary Com. Sudhakar Yadav led the march in Lucknow. Party members shouted slogans – compromise with communal forces and betrayal of secularism and justice will not be tolerated, Babri demolishers will have to be punished etc. Com. Sudhakar said that Liberhan Report may have exonerated the Congress Govt. as Centre in 1992, but the history will never forgive it for its complicity in the crime. He also exposed the incapability of the Mayawati Govt., who has twice formed her Govt. with BJP’s support and even canvassed for Narendra Modi in Gujarat, in seeking any punishment for the fascist BJP and Sangh Parivar. CPI(ML) leaders Afroj Alam, Ramdaras etc. also addressed the meeting.

Bihar: Secular March was held at many district headquarters of Bihar including Patna demanding stringent punishment for those responsible for the demolition, stop playing politics with the Report, immediate arrest of all those named in the Commission’s Report, demand from Nitish Govt. to dissociate itself from communal forces and to punish the perpetrators of Bhagalpur riots. In all of these marches which later turned into public meetings, pledge was taken to struggle for a modern, democratic and truly secular India.

A massive Secular March was taken out from JP Round-about to the Patna Junction Railway Station led by senior Party comrades: Nand kishore Prasad- CPI(ML) State Secretary, Ram Jatan Sharma and Ramji Rai- PBMs, Kunal and Saroj Chaubey- CCMs, AIPWA’s General Secretary Meena Tiwary and social worker Sudha Verhese.

Com. Ramji Rai said that the Liberhan Report is merely a mirror which reflects the ugly faces of commnal-fascist forces of this Country. Without crushing their fangs it’s not possible to build a democratic, secular and modern India. These forces which are in collusion with imperialist powers must be widely exposed and intensive struggle need to be launched against them.

Marches were held at Maner; Paliganj; Masaurhi; Bikram; Arrah, Piro, Jagdishpur, Sandesh, Sahar, Azimabad and Charpokhri in Bhojpur dist.; Biharsharif, Samastipur, Hajipur, Siwan, Muzzafarpur, Gaya, Begusarai, Bhagalpur, Darbhanga, Sasaram among other places. At all these places senior Party leaders, Party’s elected representatives and leaders of our mass organisations led the Secular marches.

‘Arrest the Babri Masjid demolishers’: Rally at Gangavati

In Karnataka’s Gangavati Dist. a rally was organised from APMC yard to Bus stand at Gangavati. The Thousand strong rally demanded arrest of Advani and other accused BJP leaders in Liberhan Commission Report along with Bal Thackarey and Vajpayee; Ban on Bajrang Dal, VHP and Sri Rama Sene; Resignation of Karnataka state government led by the communal BJP; Action on leaders of Bajrang Dal and VHP of Gangavati who constantly conspire to divide the secular fabric of the society in the district. The rallyists burnt the effigies of Advani, Bal Thackarey and Vajpayee. Muslims participated in large numbers in the rally for secularism led by CPI(ML) and its state leading team member J.Bharadwaj. Comrades D.Chowdappa, State Secretary of All India Agricultural Labourers’ Association (AIALA) and Parasuram of Harappanahalli also participated in the rally.

Basavaraj Soolibavi of Karnataka Souharada Vedike, Basavaral Selaventer, Koppal District President of AITUC, Lecturer Peer Basha, Advocate Ashamuddin also addressed the rally along with Gangavati Taluk Secretary of CPI(ML) Uma Shankar, AIALA Taluk Secretary Lingan Gowda and AICCTU State Committee member Ismail.

Andhra Govt’s Repression of Students in Telengana Agitation is Condemnable

The demand for a separate state of Telengana is a long-pending one, emerging from the uneven development leading to tremendous backwardness in that region of Andhra Pradesh. In the past week, the agitation for a separate Telengana has gained ground and attracted the support of a huge upsurge of students all over the State, especially in Osmania University campus of Hyderabad. The Andhra Pradesh Govt has responded with severe repression.

Thousands of protesting students in Osmania University were lathicharged, and when students all over the state erupted in protest over this, the Government announced a two-week closure of all educational institutions in the State. Initially they also announced forcible evacuation of all hostels but in the face of students’ declaration that they would not vacate the hostels, the Government has been forced to withdraw that order. There are reports, however, that women students are not being allowed to leave their hostels. Police have turned the University into a virtual barracks. The students’ agitation has given a mass dimension to the struggle for separate statehood. In many factories, workers are now striking in support of the struggle.

The Telengana issue has also witnessed the rank opportunism of a variety of political formations. The Congress played with pro-Telengana sentiment, and tied up with TRS in the 2004 Parliamentary elections, only to vacillate later. This political opportunism only further fuelled the aspirations for a separate Telengana. Today again, in the face of protests, the Congress is trying to say they have no objection to the separate Telengana demand, but are seeking a ‘consensus.’

Today the BJP is trying to take advantage of the situation by proclaiming its support for the agitation, and the TDP too has come out in ostensible support of the demand for a separate Telengana. Of course, the BJP has no answer to the question – why did the AP Government headed by NDA ally Chandrababu Naidu oppose the demand for separate Telengana? Why did the Central Govt headed by Vajpayee never heed this demand? Naidu, on the eve of the recent Lok Sabha elections, and in light of the decision of the TRS to join the NDA, proclaimed his party’s support for Telengana – a total reversal of stance he held as Chief Minister!

The Congress, being in power in both the state and the Centre must recognize the popular aspiration and grant a separate state at the earliest. The UPA Government must immediately constitute a second State Reorganisation Commission to address the demand for a separate Telengana as well as other pending separate statehood demands. The AP State Government must immediately withdraw forces from the Osmania University campus, end the repression, and initiate dialogue with the agitators.

Pricol Update

Pricol workers are preparing for celebrating the Thousandth day of their struggle that is to be held on December 20. The workers have decided to organise 20 living-area meetings and to meet 1000 Pricol workers in these meetings. So far (7th Dec) 14 meetings were held in which over 600 workers participated. Two of these meetings were organised by women workers. These meetings were held in an atmosphere where the police have sought to arrest 2 more women workers (after over 70 days of the previous arrests). These attempts by the police failed to scare the workers away from these living-area meetings. The workers declared their strong unity in the face of attempts of the police to create a terror among them. They said that their 1000th day celebration will be a fitting reply to the management which made all out attempts to break their union and crush their struggle. They also said that by making the 1000th day celebration a big success they will convey to the people of Perianaickenpalayam, people of Coimbatore that their struggle for their rights is continuing and that they have emerged more strong and more united. They decided to reach 1 lakh people in and around Perianaickenpalayam and carry the message of their struggle and to highlight the demands of working people.

Reports from Karnataka

‘BJP Govt in Karnataka Must Resign’

State level campaign

CPI(ML) organized a state level campaign demanding resignation of the communal, corrupt, non-performing, pro-rich and anti-people BJP government in Karnataka. Many padayatras and local level street corner meetings preceded the weeklong campaign from 18-25 November 2009.

The campaign culminated in a massive rally and Rasta Roko at Gangavati on 25 Nov. The rallyists also demanded flood relief to the neglected people in the taluk, particularly in some wards from where hundreds of people have joined CPI(ML). The rally was led by J.Bharadwaj, CPI(ML) State Leading Team (SLT) member and was addressed by comrades Uma Shankar, Ismail and Lingan Gowda.

The rally at HD Kote was also very impressive where hundreds of people gheraoed the Taluk office and shouted slogans against the Administration. Com. C.Javaraiah, SLT member of the Party led the rally and demonstration. Comrades Rati Rao, all-India VP of AIPWA, Ramesh from AISA, Thimmaiah and Nanjunda of AIALA addressed the demonstration along with Mallamma, Shivamma and others.

Bangalore RMC Workers Donate Flood Relief

The entire State’s industry and humanists have donated generously to the State Govt. to tackle the flood related problems of the affected people. But the State Administration is not spending the money on the actually affected people but on the BJP members and to the sympathizers of Sangh Parivar. The Govt. has completely neglected the people of some wards in Gangavati town, from where the affected people joined AICCTU, dissatisfied with the government. CPI(ML) and its mass organizations have been agitating continuously in various forms, including gherao of local MLA and Tahsildar on different dates, demanding justice to the affected people.

Workers of RMC Readymix (India) Pvt. Ltd, a branch of Karnataka General Labour Union, an affiliate of AICCTU contributed their one day’s salary towards flood relief. Workers refused to donate the amount to the government kitty, most of which is involved in scams and scandals. Rather, workers chose to send their leaders to Gangavati to directly undertake distribution of flood relief materials purchased out of workers’ salary.

On 4th, a flood relief distribution programme was organized at Gangavati by local AICCTU unit. Worker leaders from Bangalore visited the spot and distributed the flood relief materials to the actually affected people directly. Com. G.Somu, president of RMC unit of KGLU, Bangalore, addressed the affected people along with Comrades J.Bharadwaj, Ismail and others. The workers’ delegation from Bangalore included G.Somu- President, M.Narayana Swamy- Vice-President, MS Thomas- Secretary, Kishore Sethy- Organising Secretary, Mani- Treasurer and Raghavendra- Committee member.

Gangavati Bar Council also donated clothes to the affected people and was distributed by its president Kanakaraya, secretary Sharanappa and advocate Ashamuddin in the same programme organized by AICCTU.

Activists’ Study Circle at Harappanahalli

In order to ideologically equip activists and illiterate comrades, Harapanahalli unit of the Party has launched a study circle to discuss various political and ideological issues concerning the Party. The circle is running successfully every Sunday for the last 6 weeks. The activists have started reading important pieces from Mao’s writings. Comrade Ramappa is leading the study circle. The size of the circle keeps growing every week with increased interest from all areas of the Party in the Taluk.

New AIALA Units in HD Kote

As part of a decision to form new branches of at least 300 members in 10 panchayats of each taluk, HD Kote in Mysore has taken the lead. One new branch was formed in Antharasanthe Panchayat on 5 December and also another new branch was formed at Sogalli on 8th. This has followed formation of new branches in 3 panchayats in the past two months. Significantly, women are being enrolled in large numbers in all these branches. The joint functioning of AIALA and AIPWA has also been initiated in all these branch areas. Com. Javaraiah, District Secretary of the Party, Thimmaih- State Jt. Secretary of AIALA and Ramesh- DLTM are taking the lead in forming new branches. Com. Gandhimathi, State Secretary of AIPWA inaugurated the branch at Hirehalli.

Women Workers’ Rally in Pondichery

Demands Day demonstration of working women was held in Puducherry on 28th November 2009. All India Day on 23rd November could not be observed in Puducherry due to the clamping of 144 by the Congress led Govt. of Puducherry on flimsy grounds. A massive demonstration was led by comrades A.Saroja, Malathi Chandra and others. Apart from all India demands, some of the specific demands here are: declare hourly wage of Rs 25/- for domestic helps; enroll all domestic workers as member in the unorganized workers welfare society; stop Continuous video-recordig of women workers at their work place at DNX Herbal Pvt Ltd, etc.

India is one of the Biggest

Contributor to the number of

Globally Starving People

There are now one billion hungry people on the globe, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said recently. A statistic that is shameful and shocking at the same time. The global financial crisis too has led to a dramatic rise in hunger across the world. "This day, more than 17,000 children will die of hunger. One every five seconds! The world has more than enough food. Yet, today, more than one billion people are hungry," he said.

The Global Hunger Index 2009 says that countries that have scored between 20 and 30 points are in an alarming condition. The index ranked countries on a 100-point scale, with zero being the best score having no hunger and 100 being the worst. The index measures global hunger by ranking countries on three leading indicators and combining them into one index. The three indicators are prevalence of child malnutrition, rates of child mortality, and the proportion of people who are calorie deficient.

India, Rank 65: According to the 2009 Global Hunger Index, India ranks 65th out of 88 countries, with a hunger rate of 23.9. India, which was largely unaffected by the severe recession, however appears to have made little progress in tackling hunger and malnutrition issue. The situation remains ‘alarming’ in the country on this front, according to the Global Hunger Index 2009.

Countries like Uganda (38th); Mauritania (40th); Zimbabwe and Pakistan (58th); Sri Lanka (35th) and many others have a better record than India on this front. With a hunger rate of 5.2 per cent, Syrian Arab Republic is one of the least hungry nations on the planet with Rank 1. Even war-torn nations have managed to combat the scourge of hunger quite well, while India — even though it boasts of being the second fastest growing economy in the world — languishes far behind and millions in the country go hungry. China, which is the fastest growing economy, has improved its hunger situation jumping from 15th in 2008 to 5th now with hunger rate improving from 7.1 to 5.7 respectively. Bangladesh at Rank 67 is one of the poorest and most corrupt nations in the world. It is also one of the hungriest with a hunger rate of 24.7. Millions in these nations are going hungry every day, while elsewhere in the world, many people continue to waste food.

Shaheed Mela in Bhagalpur

In the remote rural areas called Kadwan in Navgachhia block under Bhagalpur Dist. during the anti-feudal struggles between 1973-1990, Comrades Mahendra Pandit, Viveka, Ganpat Mandal, Ganga Mandal, Maheshwar Bhagat and Uday Bhagat sacrificed their lives fighting the feudal-criminal-police nexus. A martyr’s memorial was erected last year and inaugurated by CPI(ML) General Secretary Com. Dipankar Bhattacharya on 23rd November 2008, in memory of these comrades who made supreme sacrifice. Shaheed Mela (Martyr’s festival) is since being organised and to keep alive the tradition of the martyr’s, local Party unit has decided to continue the Mela every year. The Memorial has been erected with the help of local people.

This year, on 23rd November, after paying tributes to the martyr’s, Party members pledged to strengthen and intensify the struggle against crime and plunder, for land, democracy and development, to realise the dreams of the great martyr’s. Due to the Bihar bundh called by CPI(ML) on 24th November, the festival continued from 25th to 26th November. The Mela became quite popular as evident by huge participation of the local people. Local traders, businessmen and shopkeepers had put up stalls and there was a lot of entertainment for children also. A people’s convention on local developmental challenges was also organised besides other similar programmes. The main entry gate was named after martyred Com. Brajesh. Various cultural performances were given by different artists and groups. Many senior leaders of the Party attended the Shaheed Mela.

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