ML UPDATE 20 / 2011

MLUpdate

A CPI(ML) Weekly News Magazine

Vol. 14, No. 20, 10 – 16 MAY 2011

Osama Is Dead –

But US Imperialism’s World Wide War Lives On

The US has proclaimed its success in its decade-long hunt for Osama bin Laden, culminating in the killing of Laden by US military operatives in a house in Abbotabad in Pakistan. As the televised triumphalism and images of hyper-nationalist celebrations in the US fade, however, the US’ heroic narrative is being subjected to uncomfortable questions.

Ironically, Osama’s death has come, not in the wake of 9/11 when he was at the peak of his strength, but at a time when Osama and his al-Qaeda were effectively sidelined in an Arab world that is witnessing a democratic awakening and upsurge. This fact too robs the US narrative of some of its sheen.

The US itself has put forward conflicting versions of the night-time raid by its military team. The initial US claim of an intense fire-fight has now been discarded, with the US admitting that in fact, only one man opened fire on the US operatives. The claim that Osama himself opened fire too has been withdrawn, and the US has admitted that he was in fact unarmed. Osama’s killing is said to have been witnessed by his 12-year-old daughter. Apart from Osama and his son (whose bodies were speedily disposed off in the sea), at least three other men and one woman were killed, while many have been injured.

Why was it necessary to kill an unarmed Osama rather than arrest him and bring him to justice? Why has his body been hurriedly disposed off in a way designed to prevent the possibility of any closer scrutiny of the manner and circumstances of his death? The US has yet to answer these questions convincingly. Moreover, an armed attack on a sleeping household including several children, the killing of an unarmed terrorist in the presence of his child, and the killing of other unarmed men and a woman – these are not the stuff of a heroic encounter with a dreaded terrorist.

US President Obama has claimed the killing of Laden to be the crowning achievement in the war on terror. Some have even tried to glorify it with comparisons to the end of Hitler and the defeat of fascism. Such inflated claims are quite baseless. The end of Hitler did mark the end of WWII and a world historic defeat and decline of fascism. The killing of Osama, in contrast, spells neither the end of terrorism as a phenomenon nor the end of the US imperialist ‘war on terror.’

Osama bin Laden and the al-Qaeda are known to be the most dangerous by-products of the anti-Soviet strategy pursued by the US in the 1980s using the popular resentment in Afghanistan and the Islamic world against the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan. Modern-day terrorism is largely a US strategy that has backfired, and this cannot be contained or ended by the end of Osama. Rather, continuing US occupations in Iraq and Afghanistan and wars on Libya are likely to keep spawning more terrorism.

The most immediate political effect achieved by the Osama killing is the sharp rise in popularity ratings of Obama, who is soon to face elections. The Osama coup has effectively taken the wind out of the sails of the aggressive Republican/Tea Party campaign that had been gathering momentum in the backdrop of growing unemployment and continuing economic crisis in the US and the huge politico-economic costs of the US misadventure in Iraq and Afghanistan. Now, Obama’s claim to have avenged 9/11 may well outweigh the propaganda of his rivals.

There are indications that the despotic Saudi rulers, threatened by the Arab uprising and seeking a convergence of Arab ruling interests and those of US imperialism and Obama in particular, helped deliver Osama to the US.

Pakistan’s military establishment is facing tough questions within its own country about how much it knew and concealed of Osama’s hideout, which was a stone’s throw away from a military academy. The Raymond Davis episode, Wikileaks revelations of Pakistan’s rulers’ doublespeak on US drone attacks, and now the Osama episode have created some ferment in Pakistani society about the nexus between the Pakistani ruling class, military establishment, terrorism and US imperialism.

The Pakistani rulers and military as well as the US are wary of possible reverberations of the ‘Arab spring’ in Pakistan. Whether Pakistan will indeed witness some version of an ‘Arab spring’ remains to be seen, but it must be stressed that only a democratic and anti-imperialist awakening of the people can be an effective answer to both imperialism and terrorism (which, after all, is nothing but an imperialist ploy gone berserk).

In India, we are witnessing some hawkish clamour to use the US’ Osama operation as a precedent for unilateral action to hunt down the masterminds of 26/11 inside Pakistan. The Indian Army and Air Force Chiefs have indulged in irresponsible statements about India’s preparedness for a similar operation against terrorists in Pakistan. Instead of indulging in such misplaced jingoism, India should re-examine its own relationship with the US in the light of the US treatment of Pakistan.

The Osama operation, like the Raymond Davis episode, has underscored the sheer contempt the US has for the sovereignty and independence of its so-called allies and partners. All US ‘partners’ including new members of the club like India should be warned. Terrorism and imperialism pose similar threats to both Pakistan and India. With the increased US presence in South Asia, with its accompanying spiral of terrorism, people of both countries need to recognise the need to come closer to tackle these twin challenges of terrorism and imperialism effectively.

OBITUARY

Comrade J Shankaran, former Party Secretary of Karnataka, passes away

Comrade J Shankaran, former Party secretary of Karnataka, breathed his last on 5th May. He was suffering from lung cancer. Comrade J Shankaran leaves behind four decades of dedicated association with the Party. He was the secretary of the Party for two decades, spanning the tumultuous days of Emergency and underground days of the Party. He hailed from the modest background of a migrant Tamil worker in Indian Telephone Industries (ITI). His unwavering commitment to the left movement and working class served as the foundation for the Party which in later years spread its roots in the local culture and politics. Even though Party had only a small group of activists then in Bangalore, he held the party banner high during anti-Emergency actions. During the Public Sector working class struggles in the 1980s, Com. Shankaran played an active role.

He felt very happy and inspired when contacts were established in the late 1970s with the Party centre under the leadership of Comrade Vinod Mishra and distributed more than 100 copies of booklets on Bhojpur struggle and a collection of articles of Charu Mazumdar among the workers and progressive activists in Bangalore in 1977. In 1978, under extraordinary organizational circumstances, Shankaran and a few workers stood with the Party firmly, upholding Comrade CM’s exhortation to build the Party among workers and landless peasants and to keep it alive amidst enemy repression and organizational disturbances. In spite of his ailing physical conditions, he displayed an exemplary communist spirit till the end. He was very happy to see the Party’s recent growth in Karnataka, especially the first major political march organized under Party banner on March 14 this year demanding resignation of the corrupt BJP government in the state.

Comrade Shankaran played an important role as a popular worker organizer during the public sector workers’ struggle in Bangalore during the early 1980s, especially against the goondaism sponsored by the then Congress CM Gundu Rao. After the July 1983 massacre of Tamils in Sri Lanka, Shankaran emerged as a key organiser for the Tamil cause in Bangalore. He used to organize Tamil literary meetings almost every month. Invoking the rich cultural and literary heritage of Tamils, he gave migrant Tamil workers in the burgeoning metropolis of Bangalore an identity based on progressive left ideals and values. He also spent a good part of his earnings to help the education of many poor slum children, especially from Kannadiga background, striving constantly for the class unity of all sections of the poor and working class.

Before joining Indian Telephone Industries, even while working as a day-labourer and earning meagre wages to support his family as the main breadwinner, he used to spend whatever little money he could save to buy books on classic Sangham literature and Marxist classics. His collection of books eventually grew into the People’s Library which in turn became a major centre for Marxist-Leninist activists and sympathizers in Bangalore.

His warm ties with the people extended beyond Party circles. He was always known for his affection, kindness and cordial nature. He gave everything to the Party and the needy people and has set an example for working class comrades to follow. Com. Shankaran will always be remembered as a leading architect and torch-bearer of the Party and working class movement in Karnataka.

Red salute, Comrade J Shankar!

Condolence Meeting at Bangalore

Spontaneous participation of workers, party and Tamil activists in the funeral of Comrade J Shankaran who departed from us in the early hours of 5 May 2011 in Bangalore was really moving for bystanders. The condolence meeting at the place of funeral of Com. J Shankaran, in itself was an indication of the goodwill and respect that he enjoyed among the people and the activists. All activists who addressed the condolence meeting recalled fond memories of their association with the departed Comrade and the famous ‘People’s library’ that played a key role in spreading Left ideas in the period of repression on ML movement and on Tamil movements. One Comrade recalled how the People’s Library was the centre in shaping up his own revolutionary and progressive ideas in his youth. Another Comrade recalled the publication of progressive books in that period. Com. Ismail, Bellary District Secretary of AITUC said the ideals of comrade J Shankaran should be taken forward. Comrade Rajan of Karnataka Tamil People’s Movement said that demise of Com. Shankaran is a great loss. Com. Marudhu, the poet fondly recalled the ever-smiling and humane nature of a revolutionary comrade. Iraiyadiyaan, another poet and a close associate circulated copies of poems of Com. Shankaran from his earlier period.

Comrade V. Shankar, CPI(ML)’s Central Committee member said that this is not the time to be upset and frustrated but to learn from the model of a working class comrade whose love towards Tamil language and people transformed him into a Marxist–Leninist and a revolutionary. He also said that Comrade Shankaran was one among very few who are capable of writing the history of Marxist–Leninist movement in general and CPI(ML) (Liberation) in particular. He also recalled that the library was not only a place to read books but also a centre for revolutionary Left and progressive forces in Karnataka.

Comrade Selvaraj from ITI Employees’ Union, Rajan from Karnataka Tamil Makkal Iyakkam, Celene of Vimochana, Prabhakar, a civil rights activist, close friends Manivannan, Karthiyayini and Alphonse also addressed the gathering along with AICCTU Bangalore district leaders Somu, Manju, Gaddappa, Ashok and comrades Arumugam and Baskar. The condolence meeting was conducted by Com. VK Sekar, former State Secretary of the Party.

Shahid Darash Ram Sahu’s 21st Martyrdom Day in Chhattisgarh

On 6 May, Shahid Darash Ram Sahu’s 21st martyrdom day was observed by CPI(ML)’s Bilaspur unit. The Sankalp Sabha was organised at Lalkhadan Darash Ram Sahu Bhawan. Comrade Raja Ram, CCM, hoisted the red flag followed by garlanding on Martyr’s photo.

Comrade Darash Ram Sahu was a popular leader of workers, CPI(ML) leader in Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh and was also a sarpunch. He was killed by land mafias. Other leaders present at the martyrdom day celebrations were Comrades Sushila Bai, Lalan Ram, Bhagat Pal, Uma Pal and Majnu Nishad.

CPI(ML) Observes Black Day in UP against Police Firing on Farmers in Gr. Noida

CPI(ML) observed balck day throughout the state of Uttar Pradesh on 9th May to protest the police crackdown on farmers’ agitation. The Party stated that the incident took place because of dictatorial behaviour of Mayawati Govt on the sensitive issue of land acquisition. This Govt has no right to stay in power after this incident of firing in which 3 farmers and 2 policemen were killed, for which Mayawati Govt. is wholly responsible.

The Party has said that Mayawati Govt. has always been insensitive on the issue of land acquisition. This Govt. has been forcefully acquiring fertile land of farmers at throw away prices and without making proper alternate arrangements for their rehabilitation, while handing over the land to capitalists. The farmers of Bhatta Parsaul had been on dharna for last four months asking for better compensation, but the Govt remained deaf to their plight.

CPI(ML) has strongly condemned the attack on farmers’ dharna, use of force and burning of their fields and properties by the policemen. Many peasants are still missing and Govt. should immediately declare about their whereabouts and conditions.

Observing the black day, CPI(ML) members throughout the state wore black bands, held protest meetings at district HQs and handed over memorandum meant for the Governor to district administration. Party has also demanded high level judicial enquiry of the incident of 7 May attack on Bhatta Parsol. Black day programmes were held at Ballia, Lakhimpur Khiri’s Palia block, Ghazipur, Jamania, Saidpur, Mirzapur, Jamalpur, Sonbhadra, Jalaun, Lucknow and Muradabad among many other blocks and districts.

Some More Reports of May Day Celebration

(In the last issue of ML Update, we published May Day reports of various states. Below is the remainder report of May Day celebrations)

March in Aurangabad on the Occasion of May Day and Maharashtra Din: Men and women workers went on a march through Aurangabad, on 1 May, labour day and the anniversary of the Sanyukta Maharashtra movement. The march, which started at 6 pm from Paithan Gate, went through Gulmandi, City Chowk, Sarraffa, Gomatesh Market, to return to Paithan Chowk. Around 200 industrial workers, both men and women, participated in the march. Slogans about workers’ unity and about workers’ demands, as well as political slogans were raised during this march. An open meeting was held at the end of the march. During the meeting, on behalf of the Joint Committee of the Kamgar Karmachari Sanghatan, Com. Praveen Wagh, addressed the participants, along with Comrades KN Thigale, Bhawalkar, Buddhinath Baral and Bhimrao Bansode.

Uttarakhand: May Day programmes were organised at Nainital, Pithoragarh, Ramnagar, Rudrapur in Kumaon region and Srinagar in Garhwal. The programmes at all the places save Rudrapur were jointly organised with other TUs. The rally at Nainital was one of the biggest in its history and employees rally were held at Ramnagar and Srinagar. Comrade Raja Bahuguna attended the Nainital as well as Rudrapur programmes on the same day.

Karnataka: Hundreds of workers marched on the streets of Gangavati on 8 May 2011 as a part of May Day celebrations of AICCTU in Karnataka. The rally that marched through main roads of Gangavati town culminated in a public meeting at Gandhi Chowk. The rally was held in the backdrop of successful struggles of rice mill workers in contrast to the opportunism and collaborationism of social democratic trade unions. Various sections of unorganized workers including auto mechanics, construction labourers and tractor drivers participated in the rally.

Comrade Ayyappa Hugar of CPI(ML) (Red Flag), Vittappa of Koppal Bachao Andolan, Basavaraj Soolebhavi of Ladai Publications addressed the gathering along with E.Ramappa, state secretary of the party, C.Javaraiah, state secretary of AICCTU and J Bharadwaj, district secretary of the party, who played an active role in organizing the successful rally.

AIKM Holds Kisan Diwas in Kurukshetra

Coinciding with the 154th anniversary of 1857’s freedom struggle and great peasant uprising, the All India Kisan Mahasabha held a Kisan Diwas on 10th May at Kurukshetra in Haryana. The programme that went on for two hours was addressed by Comrade Prem Singh Gehlawat. The meeting raised and discussed various issues- especially corruption, price rise and state repression.

Dharna in front of Mumbai Municipal Council

A day long dharna was organised by Municipal Kamgar Karmachari Purogami Union on 5 May at Azad Maidan in front of Mumbai Mahanagar Palika to press for housing units for safai karmacharis (sanitation workers). Sanitaion orkers from various other unions were also present at the dharna in large numbers.

"Young India against Corruption – Young India for Democracy"

Join the Nationwide Student-Youth Movement for a Corruption-free Democratic India

All India Students’ Association || Revolutionary Youth Association

(AISA) (RYA)

Contacts: aisahq

U-90 Shakarpur, Delhi – 110092

Phones: 9868661628, 9431432549, 9868033425, 9451942989

Delhi: 9899957032, Patna: 9308140053, Ranchi: 9835909935, Allahabad: 9415794856, Varanasi: 9616490072, Kolkata: 9830893263, Dehradun: 9411538738,

Guwahati: 9435209662, Chennai: 9841399900, Pune: 9850465898, Siwan: 9801950010, Diphu: 9577067365, Ahmadabad: 9898191979, Chandigarh: 9878134728

Sign up as a Volunteer in the Student-Youth struggle

for a corruption-free India!

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

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s