ML UPDATE 15-16/ 2013

MLUpdate

A CPI(ML) Weekly News Magazine

Vol. 16, No. 15-16, 09 – 15 APRIL 2013

The Message of the CPI(ML)’s 9th Congress

T
he CPI(ML)’s 9th Congress, just concluded at Ranchi, Jharkhand, was a powerful assertion of the Left agenda and response to the challenges of today’s India. The theme of the Congress – calling for a defence of ‘ People’s Resources, People’s Rights’ against corporate plunder, smashing of the ‘Business-Politics Nexus’ and strengthening of a ‘People’s Politics’ emerging from people’s struggles – resonated strongly in the context of the daily mega-scams involving top corporate houses and politicians. It was especially apt in Jharkhand, where for over a decade since the formation of the State, ruling political parties and coalition governments of various hues have been united in facilitating corporate plunder of resources by evicting the resisting indigenous adivasis through ruthless repression. The CPI(ML)’s 9th Congress underlined the foremost task of the Left at such a juncture – to unite with people’s movements and seek to assert a people’s political alternative rooted in people’s resistance.

In Ranchi, the 9th Congress began appropriately by saluting the legacy of the legendary adivasi anti-colonial hero Birsa Munda at the premises of the old Central Jail where he had been martyred. This legacy has the utmost significance now when the adivasi people are resisting corporate grab of land and resources in Jharkhand as well as other parts of the country. The 9th Congress also declared a resolution to observe the centenary of the historic Ghadar movement of 1913-14, which represented the finest secular, democratic, and fighting traditions of the freedom movement, and was one of the rich wellsprings of the Left movement in India.

The inaugural session of the CPI(ML)’s 9th Congress was addressed by leaders of a range of Left parties – the CPI, CPI(M), CPRM, Lal Nishan Party (Leninist), Forward Bloc, CPM Punjab, and Revolutionary Socialist Party – as well as representatives of the Jharkhand movement, and together asserted the spirited of united assertion of Left and people’s movements.

International guests at the 9th Congress – especially the representatives of Left parties from Bangladesh and Nepal – underlined the need for international anti-imperialist solidarity and action, especially in South Asia. The 9th Congress demanded justice for the victims of the war-crimes during the Bangladesh war of 1971, and the genocide of Tamils in Sri Lanka. The 9th Congress also committed itself to uphold the legacy of Hugo Chavez – who had fired the imagination of the Left worldwide with his bold anti-imperialist resistance, his assertion that socialism is possible, and his model of regional and neighbourly solidarity instead of war-mongering, all of which is especially relevant for the people of India and the sub-continent.

Around 1000 delegates from 20 states deliberated on the political situation in the country and major international developments, updated the Party programme, and assessed the Party organization. At the 9th Congress, delegates and observers discussed a wide range of issues and adopted resolutions that would guide the party’s practice on these questions – including the working class movement, agrarian and other rural struggles, women’s movement, student-youth movement, intervention in panchayats, the urban work of the Party, media and culture and environmental protection and people-centric development.

The 9th Congress concluded with a massive ‘Jan Vikalp (People’s Alternative)’ rally on April 7th. The enthusiastic turnout at the Rally, defying a bandh called by the Maoists, was a powerful assertion of the slogan – ‘One Path, One Resolve – People’s Struggles, People’s Alternative’. The Rally identified the pro-corporate, pro-imperialist policies pursued by the UPA Government as the fountainhead of corruption. Therefore, while calling for rejection of UPA rue, it also rejected the corporate clamour for Narendra Modi as PM, pointing out that Modi was an icon, not only of the worst communal fascism but equally, also of unbridled corporate rule. The Rally exposed the ‘development’ claims of Nitish Kumar as a smokescreen for corporate exploitation of Bihar, rather than any genuine empowerment of the Bihari worker or student. The Rally demanded a judicial enquiry into the fake encounter at Chatra in Jharkhand, condemned the state repression on a student protest in West Bengal that claimed the life of a student activist, demanded immediate elections in Jharkhand and an end to back-door Congress rule in the name of President’s Rule, expressed solidarity with various people’s movements (at Nagari near Ranchi, against POSCO, and of fisher-people at Chilika Lake and workers’ movement in NOIDA) and condemned state repression on these struggles.

The CPI(ML)’s 9th Congress was a rousing call for united Left assertion for people’s resistance to pro-corporate policies, and for a genuine people’s alternative to corrupt, anti-people politics and policies.

Report of the 9th Party Congress of CPI(ML) Liberation

C
PI(ML) Liberation’s 9th party Congress began on April 2nd at Ranchi, with floral tributes to Birsa Munda at the old Birsa Munda Central Jail campus, where the legendary adivasi freedom fighter was killed in colonial police custody. CPI(ML) general secretary Comrade Dipankar Bhattacharya addressed the gathering at the old Birsa Central Jail. Calling Birsa Munda the Bhagat Singh of the 19th century, he said that the historical legacy of the anti-imperialist resistance of adivasis and Birsa Munda is all the more relevant in the context of plunder by corporations and foreign MNCs, Operation Green Hunt and repression on all kinds of people’s movements today. Slamming the proposal to convert the historic jail where Birsa Munda was killed into a shopping mall, Comrade Dipankar Bhattacharya also demanded that this jail be converted into a museum of adivasi struggles and a memorial to Birsa Munda and his legacy.

CPI(ML) leaders and delegates from twenty states, leaders of various left parties as well as foreign guests from Bangladesh, Australia and elsewhere then marched from the old Birsa Central Jail to the Birsa Samadhi and offered floral tributes. The march then proceeded to the Zila School grounds, the venue of the 9th party congress. The red flag was hoisted at the Zila School grounds by Central Committee member Comrade Khitish Biswal, and floral tributes were paid at the martyrs’ memorial by the foreign guests, CPI(ML) politburo members and leaders of left parties.

Ishwar Pokhrel, general secretary of the CPN(UML), Saiful Haq, general secretary of the Revolutionary Workers’ Party (Bangladesh) as well as Comrade Bahnishikha from RWP Bangladesh, and Sue Bolton from Socialist Alliance party in Australia attended the inaugural session. At the inaugural session of the congress, condolence resolutions in memory of various left leaders, progressive intellectuals, cultural figures and CPI(ML) leaders who passed away or were martyred were passed. The inaugural session was addressed by B.P. Kesri, Chairperson of the Reception Committee, who welcomed all delegates and guests on behalf of the Ranchi-based reception committee. Prof. Nirmal Minz, ideologue of the Jharkhandi movement, talked of the need for a militant assertion of tribal identity and rights – and expressed hope that CPI(ML) would continue to strengthen movements for tribal rights and identity.

Apart from the CPI(ML) General Secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya, the inaugural session was addressed by CPI General Secretary Sudhakar Reddy, and CPI(M) central committee member comrade JS Majumdar read out a message from CPI(M) General Secretary Prakash Karat. Comrade RB Rai (former Lok Sabha MP and CPRM leader), Forward Block General Secretary Debabrata Biswas, CPM(Punjab) General Secretary Mangat Ram Pasla, RSP leader Manoj Bhattacharya, Vijay Kulkarni leader of Lal Nishan Party (Leninist), and Haladhar Mahto from Marxist Coordination Committee addressed the session. Veteran RSP leader Abani Roy was also present at the inaugural session.

Comrade Swadesh Bhattacharya, politburo member CPI(ML), thanked the participants and guests of the inaugural session, and especially thanked the people and citizens of Ranchi for extending their warm welcome to the CPI(ML) delegates.

International guests addressed the 9th Congress on the night of April 2nd. Solidarity messages came from the Ambassador of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, the Unified Communist Party of Nepal Maoist (UCPNM), New Democratic Party of Sri Lanka, the Communist Party of France (PCF), National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), Revolutionary Organization of Labor, USA, and Socialist Alternative, Australia.

From 2 to 6 April, 1024 delegates and 163 observers deliberated on and adopted a wide range of policy resolutions. Late at night on April 6, the CPI(ML)’s Party Congress elected a new 58-member Central Committee (list attached), which in turn elected a 17-member Polit Bureau and re-elected Dipankar Bhattacharya as General Secretary. The CPI(ML)’s 9th Congress concluded on April 7, 2013 with a massive ‘People’s Alternative Rally’ at the Vidhan Sabha Maidan at Ranchi. The rally called for a people’s political alternative to the UPA-NDA model of pro-corporate and anti-democratic governance. The Rally was addressed by CPI(ML) General Secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya, Revolutionary Workers’ Party of Bangladesh General Secretary Saiful Haq; Sue Bolton of Socialist Alliance; Mangat Ram Pasla, Secretary of CPM Punjab; RB Rai, President of CPRM; and Vijay Kulkarni, Central Committee member of the Lal Nishan Party (Leninist); CPI(ML)’s MLA in the Jharkhand Assembly and newly elected CC member Vinod Singh; All India Kisan Mahasabha General Secretary Raja Ram Singh; and CPI(ML) Politburo member Kavita Krishnan.

Central Committee and Polit Bureau Elected by CPI(ML) 9th Congress

Comrades – Dipankar Bhattacharya (PB), Swadesh Bhattacharya (PB), Kartick Pal (PB), DP Buxi (PB), Rubul Sarma (PB), S. Kumaraswamy (PB), Ramji Rai (PB), Amar (PB), Arindam Sen (PB), Swapan Mukherjee (PB), Kunal (PB), Dhirendra Jha (PB), Janardan Prasad (PB), Manoj Bhakta (PB), Partha Ghosh (PB), Kavita Krishnan (PB), Prabhat Chaudhary (PB), Nand Kishore Prasad, N. Murthy, B B Pandey, Rameshwar Prasad, Meena Tiwari, S. Balasundaram, V. Shankar, Malleshwar Rao, Bangar Rao, Rajendra Pratholi, Krishna Adhikari, KD Yadav, Saroj Chaube, Shubhendu Sen, Mrinmoy Chakravarty, Sanjay Sharma, Kalyan Goswami, Abhijit Mazumdar, Sudhakar Yadav, Rajaram Singh, Raja Bahuguna, Rajwinder Rana, Gurmeet Singh, Balasubramanian, Bhuvana, Shashi Yadav, Mahboob Alam, Ishwari Prasad Kushwaha, Mohd. Salim, Salil Datta, Prabir Haldar, Yudhishthir Mahapatra, Mahendra Chaudhary, Partho Karmakar, Bibek Das, Pratima Ingheepi, Rabi K. Phangcho, Anant Prasad Gupta, Vinod Singh, Rajiv Dimri, and Ravi Rai.

Let us Unite and Rise to the Occasion

(Address of Comrade Dipankar Bhattacharya, at the Inaugural Session of the 9th Congress of the CPI(ML), Comrade Ram Naresh Ram Auditorium (District School Ground), Birsa Nagar (Ranchi), 2 April 2013)

Members of the outgoing Central Committee and Central Control Commission of the Party, comrades from various constituents of the Indian Left movement, esteemed guests from the communist movement in Nepal, Bangladesh and Australia, friends from the Reception Committee, activists from various ongoing people’s struggles in Jharkhand, friends from the intelligentsia and media, and delegates and observers participating in the 9th congress of the CPI(ML),

It is a moment of great pleasure and honour for me to extend my revolutionary greetings and a very warm welcome to all of you. The campus of the 9th Congress of the CPI(ML) is dedicated to the memory of our beloved leader Parasji, Comrade Ram Naresh Ram, and the stage is named after Comrade Ibnul Hasan Basru, two members of the CC elected by the 8th Congress who are unfortunately no longer with us but their legacy will continue to inspire us in the days to come.

We meet here in the midst of a very challenging situation. Hugo Chavez, a towering leader of the international socialist movement of our times, died prematurely a month ago and his country will elect the next President on the coming 14th of April. At a time when socialism was sought to be discredited and declared dead in the wake of the collapse of the Soviet Union, Chavez had rekindled the socialist imagination by tapping the storehouse of people’s strength and energy to take on US imperialism and project a vision of socialism pulsating with the spirit of participatory democracy. We are confident that the Venezuelan people who defeated the US-backed coup attempt in 2002 will once again defeat the US design to destabilise Venezuela and carry forward the shining legacy of their dear leader.

The US and its allies have now taken their war campaign to Africa even as Washington’s Iraq war has entered its second decade and the US-Israel nexus continues to target one inconvenient regime after another in the Arab world. War, colonisation and fascism have historically been the desperate escape-route sought by capital in crisis and once again we can see the global capitalist crisis threatening to escalate along this dangerous trajectory.

The crisis is however pregnant with great opportunities and glorious possibilities. Worldwide there is a renewed upswing in popular anti-capitalist assertion and anti-imperialist resistance. From the Occupy movement to anti-austerity struggles, from Tahrir Square to India Gate and Shahbagh, the air is once again thick with popular aspiration for change and progress. There is a definitive rekindling of the socialist imagination, and the Left is once again advancing in varied forms.

From the platform of the 9th Congress of the CPI(ML) we reiterate our solidarity with the international working class movement and with popular struggles for freedom, democracy, justice and socialism in every part of the world. We are very happy to have in our midst comrades from Nepal, Bangladesh and Australia and extend our warmest wishes to them for bigger victories in the coming days. We are also inspired by the messages of greetings we have received from comrades from Pakistan, Philippines, France, Greece and Venezuela. We look forward to developing closer ties of solidarity with progressive forces worldwide and especially in South Asia.

We are also happy that this inaugural session is being addressed by a broad spectrum of organisations of the Indian Left. Closer political understanding among various organisations of the Left and effective united action is the need of the hour. The Indian Left needs a new model of united struggle and we hope the coming together of such a broad spectrum of Left organisations and leaders in the inaugural session of the CPI(ML)’s 9th Congress will facilitate the process of building broad-based fighting unity of the Left. We also seek cooperation with a whole range of democratic forces who are engaged in fighting against the corporate-imperialist invasion of our economy, against the repressive measures of the state and against feudal, patriarchal, communal and sectarian violence.

Indeed, vast sections of the Indian people are daily exhibiting their readiness and resolve to fight for an end to injustice and oppression, for a more meaningful democracy with real rights for the people. In recent months we have seen powerful upsurges of the Indian people against corruption and corporate plunder and for freedom of women from patriarchal violence. The participation of more than 100 million workers in an unprecedented two-day general strike on 20-21 February marked a new high in India’s working class movement. And the peasant-adivasi resistance on the ground to the corporate land-grab offensive shows the depth of determination of the people. The Left and democratic forces must rise to the occasion and lead the people’s quest for an alternative to a decisive victory.

The scam-tainted and US-worshipping government at the Centre has lost all credibility and survives on outside support manipulated through a carrot and stick strategy – carrots of special packages and sticks of CBI raids. Yet it goes on inflicting blow after blow on the survival of the people. With elections approaching, we must get ready to vote out this regime of loot and repression. But it is not enough to vote out this government – we also have to vote out the government-in-waiting and give a fitting rebuff to the corporate-fascist clamour to make Narendra Modi India’s Prime Minister and replicate the Gujarat model on an all-India scale. We have to vote out the pro-corporate policies that have spawned such a huge web of corruption and put the resources of the country and the livelihood of the people at stake. We have to vote out this non-transparent unaccountable culture of governance and establish the principle of accountability and primacy of people’s welfare and people’s rights over every other consideration.

Jharkhand has been the most tragic victim of the politics and economics of corporate plunder. Since it was formed in November 2000, this resource-rich state which is currently under president’s rule has already had four Chief Ministers and all sorts of coalitions involving the BJP or the Congress on the one hand and various regional parties on the other. More than a hundred MOUs have been signed by these governments to satisfy corporate greed completely disregarding the interests and opposition of the indigenous and local people and making an utter mockery of the legal safeguards that are already in place.

In order to transform the state into a laboratory of loot, successive governments have unleashed brutal repression killing and jailing leaders and evicting the people. Comrade Mahendra Singh, the legendary CPI(ML) leader who had challenged this order of loot and repression was killed in a political conspiracy in January 2005 and till date the conspirators have not been brought to justice. Hundreds of our activists and elected people’s representatives have been implicated in false cases and many are in jail. Yet the movement has marched on and the fact that we are able to hold our 9th Congress today in Jharkhand is a testimony to the strength and resilience of the people and the revolutionary movement.

From the podium of the 9th Congress of the CPI(ML), we rededicate ourselves to the task of freeing Jharkhand and the whole country from the corporate clutches and securing the greatest democratic rights of the Indian people. We thank all our friends in the Indian and international communist and Left movement for their solidarity and encouragement. We thank all our supporters and well-wishers in Jharkhand and rest of the country who have extended their valuable support to enable us to organise this 9th Congress in Ranchi, the capital of Jharkhand which we have renamed for the occasion as Birsa Nagar in memory of Birsa Munda, the legendary fighter for freedom and emancipation.

The 9th Congress of our Party will discuss and adopt a series of resolutions and reports to guide our practice in the coming days. We will discuss the political situation in the country and major international developments, we will take a fresh look at our Party programme and take stock of the Party organisation, and we will adopt policy resolutions dealing with the working class movement, agrarian and other rural struggles, women’s movement, student-youth movement, intervention in panchayats, the urban work of the Party, media and culture and the increasingly important agenda of environmental protection and people-centric development. We will also elect a new central committee and a new central control commission to lead and regulate the Party in the coming days.

We hope with your cooperation and support the Congress will succeed in conducting its agenda successfully, equipping the Party with fresh ideas, energy and determination in fulfilling its responsibilities, the expectations of the people and the demands of the situation with all its strength.

Red Salute to our great martyrs and departed leaders!

Long live progressive international solidarity!

Down with imperialism! Long live revolution!!

Resolutions Adopted at Jan Vikalp Rally

1. UPA, NDA and all ruling class parties are busy pushing the neoliberal pro-corporate and pro-imperialist policies and covering up people’s questions with leaders’ faces. These Governments have ruined the country and imposed a huge burden on common people. At the conclusion of its 9th Congress, the CPI(ML) through this massive People’s Alternative Rally calls for a countrywide people’s movement against corporate plunder and assaults on people’s livelihood, land, and democratic rights. At this rally the CPI(ML) declares its unshakeable commitment to strengthen unity among Left parties on struggles on people’s issues and to strengthen people’s movements. This rally calls to assert a people’s alternative to ruling class politics, policies, and assaults by strengthening and consolidating people’s movements.

2. This massive gathering of the people of Jharkhand strongly condemns the ploy to hand over resources to corporate plunderers, intensify repression, and impose Congress rule by the backdoor in the name of President’s Rule. This gathering demands that Assembly Elections be held in Jharkhand without any delay, and ensure a democratically elected Government.

3. This rally calls condemns in the strongest terms the heinous state-sponsored massacre at Chatra which is being falsely painted as an encounter, and demands an impartial and time-bound judicial enquiry to establish the truth and ensure punishment for the perpetrators.

4. This rally condemns the brutal killing of Comrade Gangaram Kol, popular leader of tea garden workers’ struggles, by hired goons of the Congress in Assam, and expresses outrage at the fact that the accused are yet to be arrested. This rally demands that the CBI enquiry into this killing complete its enquiry in a time-bound manner.

5. This rally expresses outrage at the brutal lathicharge in West Bengal on protesting students in which SFI leader Sudipto Gupta was killed, and condemns in the strongest terms the Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s statement terming the killing a ‘minor’ affair. This rally calls for a powerful people’s resistance to the state terror being unleashed by the TMC Government to crush people’s movements.

6. This rally condemns the firing at Chilika Lake in Odisha, by prawn mafia gangs enjoying the patronage of the Odisha Government on fisher-people who were fishing near the gherries. 22 fishermen have been injured in this firing. This rally demands that the rights of the fisher-people be protected and stern action be taken against the prawn mafia gangs.

7. This rally warmly hails the ongoing struggle by adivasis against land grab at Nagri near Ranchi, and declares its fullest support in carrying forward the struggle. This rally also declares its support for the ongoing struggle of Odisha’s adivasi villagers against eviction in favour of the Korean mining company POSCO, and warns the Odisha Government not to continue with its plan to forcibly acquire land there.

8. This rally hails the historic two-day All-India Strike on 20-21 February as a powerful assertion of the working class against corporate plunder, price rise and assaults on workers’ rights. This rally condemns the crackdown in NOIDA on workers in the wake of the successful Strike, in the form of false cases and wholesale arrests against ordinary workers and trade union leaders. This rally demands the release of all the arrested workers and withdrawal of false cases without any delay.

9. The Nitish Government of Bihar, which has been making a show of demanding special status for Bihar’s development, has exposed its true colours by cutting MNREGA wages by Rs 20 and by the CAG revelation of irregularities in AC-DC bills to the tune of Rs 50,000 crore. CPI(ML) reiterates its demand for a CBI enquiry into the AC-DC scam and roll back of the cuts in MNREGA wages.

10. This rally demands punishment for the perpetrators of genocide during the Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971 and of the genocide against Tamils in Sri Lanka by the Sri Lankan Government and Army.

Brutal Police Lathicharge in Kolkata on Students Protesting against Modi’s Visit

Mamata Banerjee’s police brutally cracked down on anti-Modi protestors in Kolkata on April 9th. The police unleashed a brutal lathicharge on hundreds of students and activists who had gathered for a peaceful protest against Modi in front of The Grand Hotel, where Modi was addressing a meeting convened by the corporate honchos of Bengal.

Comrade Suvajit Maity of AISA, and Joyraj Bhattacharyya, actor and theatre activist, were severely injured in this lathicharge, and later more than 20 students and activist of AISA, USDF, IC and some other organizations were assaulted and later arrested.

Ever since the TMC has come to power in West Bengal, it has used the state machinery routinely to crush all democratic voices. Be it the forced eviction of poor citizens in Nonadanga, the killing of farmers in Dubrajpur, or the recent killing of an SFI activist by police brutality, Mamata Banerjee’s government has always resorted to police crackdown of popular protests.

In his bid to fulfil his Prime Ministerial ambitions, Narendra Modi has been systematically touring various parts of the country, peddling his model of corporate plunder, corruption and mass murder as ‘Development’. But everywhere he has had to face fierce protests from left and democratic sections of society. Back in Delhi, we saw how students and teachers protesting Modi’s attempt to use academic spaces to legitimize his fascist agenda were met with severe lathicharge, rounds of water-cannons, fake cases against the activists, and beating and abuse by ABVP goons, with the help of Delhi Police.

While the progressive forces are rejecting Modi in one voice braving worst forms of state repression, various state governments, whether it is the Congress Government in Delhi or the TMC Government in Kolkata, despite their self-styled claims of ‘secularism,’ have been facilitating the Prime Ministerial ambitions of the mastermind of the Gujarat genocide.

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

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