ML UPDATE 34 / 2011

MLUpdate

A CPI(ML) Weekly News Magazine

Vol. 14, No. 34, 16 – 22 AUGUST 2011

Corrupt and Repressive UPA Government Tries to Recreate Emergency –

Brought to Its Knees by People’s Movement

In a shameful assault on democracy, the very next day after Independence Day, the Congress-UPA Government launched an offensive on citizens’ freedom, and arrested anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare and others! Subsequently, a massive countrywide upsurge against this arrest and crackdown on democratic protest forced the Government not only to release Hazare, but also to give him permission to hold his fast at Ramlila Grounds. People have shown that they have the will to resist repression and defend democracy, and in less than 24 hours, their determination brought a corrupt and repressive Congress-UPA Government down to its knees.

The PM’s Independence Day speech had already shown the way for this crackdown, by warning against peaceful forms of protest, and branded democratic activists as ‘people who are trying to create disturbances.’ The President’s Independence Eve speech also warned that people’s movements could lead to ‘erosion of credibility and authority’ of Parliament. Earlier, the Home Minister P Chidambaram had argued that since the Lokpal Bill has been tabled in Parliament, any ‘extra-parliamentary protests’ on this issue would be ‘unconstitutional.’ The huge people’s protest that greeted the arrest of Anna Hazare is a signal of how thoroughly the people have rejected such dishonest arguments. The people have made it clear that if anything is unconstitutional and a threat to democracy, it is the government’s attempts to muzzle protest, and not people’s movements!

The PM’s speech in Parliament defending Anna’s arrest tried to argue that the decision to arrest was taken by Delhi police rather than by the Government. This argument is ridiculous, since it has been clear all along that the police and administrative response to Anna Hazare is being calculated and calibrated by the Congress party and the UPA Government.

The movement to defend the democratic right to protest has given a boost to the struggle for an effective Lokpal legislation. The sarkari Lokpal Bill has no provision to investigate or punish the lower bureaucracy or police which is responsible for most of the scams that affect the aam aadmi. It also keeps the PM and MPs out of the purview of the Lokpal. Such a Lokpal is nothing but a cruel joke with people’s aspirations for an effective anti-corruption law that can ensure punishment for the corrupt.

The CPI(ML)’s anti-corruption campaign stressed that privatization is the mother of most of the major scams we are witnessing, from 2G to Bellary to the KG-Basin gas scam. Students and youth of the CPI(ML) recently held a 100-hour Barricade at Parliament, in which they demanded the Janlokpal Bill, and raised the question of corporate loot of land and natural resources, as well as attacks on democracy, as integral aspects of the fight against corruption. Now, corporate plunder of resources and issues of state repression and democracy have emerged on the centre-stage of the anti-corruption movement. Activists who raised the Janlokpal issue are now having to confront the burning issues of firing on peasants who defend their land from grab by greedy corporate houses, and the Government’s assault on democracy.

CPI(ML) calls on the citizens of the country to rise up in protest against the sarkari Lokpal Bill, against the repression unleashed on people’s movements, and against corporate land grab. We must intensify the next phase of the CPI(ML) campaign to ‘Combat Corruption, Defend Land, Defend Democracy’!

Country-wide Protests by CPI(ML) on 16-17 August
against Congress-UPA Government’s Crackdown on Anti-corruption Movement

Countrywide protests were organised by the Party and its mass organisations on 16th and 17th August against the Congress-UPA Govt’s authoritarianism manifesting in a crackdown on the anti-corruption movement and arrests of anti-corruption activists including Anna Hazare.

Protesting the authoritarian attempts to muzzle democratic dissent, Party and mass organisations burnt effigies of Manmohan Singh and UPA Govt all over the Country, held protest marches and people’s conventions. At some places our activists were arrested and in Delhi AISA students were physically assaulted by goons of the Congress when AISA leaders showed black-flags to Kapil Sibbal and raised slogans.

Delhi: In the national capital, CPI(ML) activists burnt the effigy of the PM at Jantar Mantar, raising slogans demanding, ‘Corrupt and Authoritarian UPA Govt, Quit India!’
CPI(ML) CC Members Prabhat Kumar, Kavita Krishnan, CPI(ML)’s Delhi State Secretary Sanjay Sharma, AISA National General Secretary Ravi Rai, AISA President Sandeep Singh, AICCTU’s Delhi President VKS Gautam, artist Ashok Bhowmick, NAPM leaders Bhupender Singh Rawat, Madhuresh, and Rajendra Ravi, and other democratic activists participated in the protest.
On 16 August, the CPI(ML) also held a protest procession and street corner meetings at all markets of Narela. Procession and street corner meetings were held at Noida and Mandavali on 17 August, and Okhla, Khoda and Wazirpur on 18 August.

Bihar: Protest programmes and effigy burning was held at all the district HQs of Bihar demanding Manmohan Singh’s resignation. In Patna, several dozen Party members marched from Fraser Road to Dakbunglow Chauraha where the effigy was burnt. Similar programmes were held at Punpun, Fatuha, Bihta, Lakhna, Naubatpur, Fulwari Sharif, Dulhin Bazaar and Masaurhi under Patna Rural. Hundreds led by Comrade Mahanand (State Standing Committee) participated in Arwal. Marches and effigy burning also held at Jahanabad, Ghosi, Ratni Kako etc.

Marches and effigy burning led by senior Party leaders were also held at Siwan, Gaya, Muzaffarpur, Nalanda, Rohtas, Kaimur, Buxar, Nawada, Bhagalpur, Purnia, Samastipur, Darbhanga, Begusarai, Araria, West Champaran, Khagaria, Supaul, Madhepura, Motihari among other places.

Effigy was burnt at Arrah (Bhojpur) on the 16th and a District cadre convention on “Combat Corruption, Defend Land, Defend Democracy” was held on 17th August. After the convention a rally was taken out that covered the main streets of Arrah town.

Uttar Pradesh: The Party also initiated the nation-wide campaign “Wipe-out Corruption, Protest Land, Save Democracy” on 16th August apart from protests and effigy burning in the State including Lucknow where the Police were snatching the effigy but the protesters succeeded in burning it.

Protests were held at Gorakhpur and a meeting held at Town Hall. In Allahabad Party and AISA activists burnt effigy of UPA Govt near Shaheed Chandrashekhar Azad’s Statue and a torch-light procession was held by AISA in the evening at Salori Muhalla in which students and common citizens also participated which took the strength of the procession to about a thousand. In Varanasi a procession was taken out from Cantonment Railway Station to Bharat Mata Mandir where UPA’s effigy was burnt.

Protest marches and dharnas were held in three tehsils of Ghazipur – Jamania, Jakhania and Saidpur. In Deoria PM’s effigy was burnt at Collectorate Crossing after a march through town’s main streets. Dharna and effigy burning were held at Robertsganj, District HQ of Sonebhadra. In Mirzapur town as well as its blocks Patehara, Ahiraura and Jamalpur effigy was burnt. March was held in Mughalsarai bazaar and effigy burnt at Naugarh under Chandauli district.

At Pilibhit, the Party activists broke police cordon at Station Chauraha and held a meeting. Activists took to the streets at Puranpur and Majhola too. Similar protest programmes and effigy burning were also held in Lakhimpur, Ballia (Maniyar, Badagaon and Lakhnapar apart from Ballia town), Jalaun and Maharajganj districts apart from other places.

West Bengal:Protest rallies and effigy burning were held at– Kolkata, Siliguri, Howrah, Chuchura(Hoogly), Burdwan, Barasat (North 24 Parganas) and Bankura.

In Kolkata a protest march was organized from Subodh Mullick Square to Esplanade protesting against this arrest of anti-corruption activists. State Secretary Partha Ghosh and Kolkata district committee secretary Kalyan Goswami led the march in which a good number of students and youth participated. Effigy of Manmohan Singh was burnt at Esplanade crossing followed by half an hour road blockade. Comrade Partha addressed the gathering.

Karnataka: AISA organised a protest on 16 August at Harpanhalli.

Rajasthan:Effigy burning at Jhunjhunu and a delegation in Jaipur led by Comrade Srilata Swaminathan (Central Committee member) met the Governor of Rajasthan.

Gujarat:90 people courted arrest at Bhavnagar.

Andhra Pradesh:Protest programmes were held and effigies burnt at Prathipadu (East Godavari district), Kakinada, Vijaywada, Payakarao Peta (Vishakha).

Assam:Effigy burnt at Dibrugarh, Jorhat and Diphu

Jharkhand:Effigy burnt at 25 different centres spanning 17 districts.

Tamil Nadu: Effigy was burnt at Villupuram on 17th. State secretary Comrade Balasundaram and District Secretary Com. Venkatesan and other activists were arrested. Meeting was held at Villupuram Police Station. Comrades were later released on bail.

Uttarakhand:An impressive torch-light procession starting from Car Road Bindukhatta and ending at Lalkuan after covering 5km distance, was held on 17th August. Mass meeting was held after the march at Lalkuan Chauraha. The meeting was addressed by Com Raja Bahuguna among others.

Odisha:A protest rally was organised at Bhubaneswar condemning the arrest of anti-corruption activists. Around 100 CPI((ML) activists holding placards and effigy of Manmohan Singh marched to PMG Square where they burnt the effigy. The gathering was addressed by Party State Secretary Comrade Kshitish Biswal.

Students of AISA Show Black Flags to Kapil Sibal

Assaulted by Congress Goons

On 16 August, students of Delhi University and Jamia Millia Islamia under the banner of AISA showed black flags to Union HRD Minister Kapil Sibal in the national capital, in protest against the crackdown on democracy and arrest of Anna Hazare and other anti corruption activists.

Learning that Sibal had the audacity to come to address a public meeting on the sarkari Lokpal Bill at Mavalankar Hall this evening at 4 pm, after such a huge crackdown on democracy and constitutional liberties, AISA immediately gathered at the venue and showed black flags to Sibal, who has been among the most shameless and arrogant in defending the scams as well as the authoritarianism of the UPA Government.

Congress goons who had turned up to support Sibal assaulted the protesting students. The AISA held protests at many places in Delhi University and JNU today against the Government’s autocratic and draconian crackdown on the right to protest.

HISTORIC VICTORY FOR OBC RESERVATIONS:
Today SC Finally Declares ‘Cut-off’ to be defined as ‘Minimum Eligibility’,
Removes Central Reason for Non-fulfilment of OBC Seats!

Verdict Vindicates the Position that AISA Had Been Painstakingly Arguing Against All Opposition for the Last 3 Years.

AISA hailed the historic 18 August Supreme Court judgement on the cut-off criterion for OBC reservations.

The Supreme Court bench comprising Justices Raveendran and Patnaik clarified that ‘cut-off’ is synonymous with ‘minimum eligibility,’ and the 10% relaxation in cut-off for OBC candidates is to be calculated from the minimum eligibility mark, and NOT from the mark obtained by the last general category candidate to secure admission. This verdict has removed the main reason for non-fulfilment of OBC seats, and is a major blow to the agenda of anti-reservationist forces.

Dismissing the appeal by the YFE (youth for equality) and PV Indiresan against the Delhi HC verdict of 7 September 2010, the SC Bench upheld the Delhi HC verdict and ordered all universities and colleges which are in the midst of their admission process must make all necessary corrections, define eligibility marks as cut-off, and fill OBC seats accordingly by 31 August. This judgement will have far-reaching consequences not only in JNU but also in universities all over the country.

This verdict is a vindication of the struggle that was begun by the AISA-led JNUSU three years ago. In 2008, the JNU Administration, in order to ensure non-fulfilment of OBC seats, wrongly interpreted ‘cut-off’ as the marks obtained by the last general category student to secure admission, rather than as ‘minimum eligibility marks.’ The 10% relaxation for OBC students was calculated from this distorted benchmark; as a result OBC quota remained unfulfilled and most OBC seats converted to general category seats. Even other universities like DU and Allahabad University adopted this ploy created by JNU, in order to ensure non-fulfilment of OBC quota and diversion of OBC seats.

Right from the start, when JNU announced its 2008 OBC admission policy itself, AISA alerted everyone that this method of fixing ‘cut-offs’ was flawed and would never allow OBC seats to be filled. AISA waged a sustained struggle against this wrong definition of ‘cut-off,’ using admission data obtained through RTIs to prove the validity of our argument. In the three years that followed, AISA launched a sustained campaign and struggle to rectify the distorted implementation of OBC quotas in JNU and elsewhere. From 2008 up till the JNU AC meet in March 2010, all other student organizations in JNU ran a vitriolic campaign against AISA on this question, and refused to accept our point about the false definition of cut-off, or participate in a single protest programme or public meeting! Only many JNU teachers saw our point, supported the campaign and took bold positions in various forums like the AC or Dean’s Committee. Despite this hostility, AISA conducted a lone battle for correct implementation of OBC quota.

Eventually, in 2010, AISA’s stance was vindicated by the Delhi High Court in a landmark verdict. The YFE then filed an SLP (special leave petition) challenging the HC verdict in the Supreme Court. The 18 August verdict finally vanquished the anti-reservation forces even in the Supreme Court, which firmly upheld that ‘cut-off’ and ‘minimum eligibility’ were one and the same thing.

The episode also exposed the double standards of the Congress-UPA Central government on the question of OBC reservations. In the course of the struggle, we repeatedly approached the HRD Ministry and Social Justice Ministry, asking them to step in and settle the matter by clarifying how their own law on OBC reservations was to be interpreted. Not only did the Central Government fail to do so. In fact during the JNU case in the Delhi HC, the Counsel for Central Government actually argued in support of the JNU Administration and YFE advocates, arguing against our (correct) interpretation of ‘cut-off marks.’ It was only after the Delhi HC verdict vindicated AISA’s 3-year long struggle that the Central Government changed its posture.

During the 3-year long struggle, the political parties whose USP is ‘social justice’ and ‘OBCs’ welfare’ maintained a strange silence on the deliberate and open subversion of OBC quotas. Parties like the RJD and SP were allies of the UPA, and they used their power to stall 33% reservation for women, in the name of concern for OBC political representation. But they never used that power to ensure that the central government and Parliament intervened to correct the travesty of OBC reservations!

It is the AISA, with its record of consistently resisting commercialization and privatisation of education, which has also steadfastly defended OBC reservations and struggled to ensure just and correct implementation of the OBC reservation law.

4th State Conference of AIALA in UP

The All India Agricultural Labourers’ Association (AIALA) held its 4th Uttar Pradesh State Conference at Pilibhit on historical 28 July with revolutionary spirit and exuberance. 28 July is Comrade Charu Mazumdar’s martyrdom day. Comrade Charu Mazumdar awakened the oppressed peasantry and today agrarian labourers are fighting for their dignity, rights, life and against injustice with the red flag and teachings of Comrade Charu Mazumdar.

The Conference was inaugurated by CPI(ML)’s Politburo member and AIALA’s National Vice President Comrade Swadesh Bhattacharya who said that UP’s Mayawati led Govt. is no less than the BJP-Congress govts of other states or Nitish Govt of Bihar in its treatment of the oppressed dalits and other poor people and in its patronisation of criminals and looters. The Mayawati is deeply involved in looting the food-grains, housing and health-fund meant for the poor people. This Govt. has not even prepared a BPL list of the poor. All the criminals and mafias are in the Govt. and those fighting for poor and their democratic rights are in jail. He called upon all the delegates to spread and widen the struggle of poor people against price rise, repression, crime and all kinds of loot to every village and panchayat in the State. Comrade Sudhakar Yadav, CPI(ML)’s State Secretary also addressed the Conference.

Before the Conference began, a march was held from the railway station to Conference venue where veteran Party leader and Freedom Fighter Comrade Brij Bihari Lal hoisted the Flag. Everyone went into a minute’s silence to remember the martyrs. It was followed with a people’s convention. The Conference hall was named after Comrade Ram Naresh Ram. A presidium comprising comrades Krishna Adhikari, Rajesh Sahni, Arjunlal, Shankar Kol and Kashiram presided during the Conference. Comrade Sriram Chaudhary presented the document on behalf of the outgoing committee. The document outlined some tasks such as bracing AIALA organisation for independent political role, speeding-up the process for political consciousness and awareness of agrarian labourers, strengthening the organisational structure at every level i.e. state, district, block and panchayat, and building up wider and strong movement of rural poor against the UPA and Mayawti govts and for BPL list, against the scams in PDS, NRHM and food grains.

The Conference also decided to demonstrate at district HQs and court arrest coinciding with AISA-RYA’s 9 hundred hour “morchabandi” at the Parliament in Delhi. The Conference strongly demanded that Comrade Afroz Alam and others be immediately and unconditionally released from jail. The Conference also demanded that the CBI probe into NRHM and foodgrains scam be speeded up, not an inch of agricultural land to be taken away, and Mayawati must resign taking responsibility for assaults and rapes by his Party men and criminals on dalit and other women in the State.

Some more reports of
9th August Jail-bharo

Assam:Jail bharo was held in state capital Guwahati and different district HQs. of Assam. More than hundred people despite all communications cut-off, gathered in front of district library, Guwahati and started a procession. Police did not allow and arrested them. They were sent to the temporary jail at Sonaram field, Bharalu, where protesters held a protest meeting. Comrade Rubul Sarma, Biren Kalita, Bibek Das addressed the meeting. In Diphu, Karbi Anglong, a protest procession was organised in the main streets of Diphu town. Police arrested the protesters. Similarly protest programmes were held at Nagaon, Jorhat and Bargang and Behali. In Nagaon more than 300 people took part.

Puducherry: Campaign was carried out in Puducherry and Karaikal regions for the past one week that culminated into Jail bharo on 9th August at Puducherry and Karaikal. Hundreds of CPI (ML) and AICCTU activists thronged the streets of Puducherry and Karaikal and nearly two hundred courted arrest, later released in the evening. In Puducherry it was led by S Balasubramanian, State Secretary CPI (ML) and in Karaikal Com. E Jayabal, SCM.

Protesters demanded a state level legislation in line with Lokpal bill that includes Chief Minister, MLA’s and top Bureaucrats. They also demanded immediate suspension and arrest of Puducherry District Collector who allegedly conspired with then Chief Secretary of Puducherry Naini Jayaseelan and other top officers of PWD, Tsunami project implementations agency and a Hyderabad based construction major IVRCL with pecuniary interest to the tune of crores of rupees. The CBI booked an FIR against the District Collector Ragesh Chandra.

Madhya Pradesh: 150 were arrested in Bhind on 9 august at the DM’s office on the question of corruption and black money.

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

MLU-14-34.pdf

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One Response to “ML UPDATE 34 / 2011”

  1. Rajavelu Jayaraman Says:

    Workers are not responsible for the capitalist crisis. In all countries the rights and living standards of workers are under attack by capitalists and their governments desperate to increase profits. All workers now face some common problems. All workers need to fight back together for their common demands.

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