ML Update 39 / 2013

MLUpdate

A CPI(ML) Weekly News Magazine

Vol. 16 No. 39 17 – 23 SEP 2013

Message of Student Elections in Delhi Campuses

On September 13, student elections were held simultaneously in JNU and DU – two premier centres of higher education in the national capital. JNU has once again voted in a big way for AISA, and equally significantly, students of Delhi University also extended huge support to the AISA panel, enabling it to emerge as a powerful contender against the ABVP and NSUI in the traditionally bipolar DU campus. This is the best ever showing for AISA in both the campuses and it clearly shows a growing aspiration among students for a powerful and progressive student movement. Refuting the media hype surrounding the so-called ‘role models’ and ‘youth icons’ of the Indian ruling elite, Rahul Gandhi and Narendra Modi, thousands of students have reposed their faith in AISA, the student platform of the revolutionary Left movement.

Two decades ago AISA had announced its arrival in campuses across the Hindi belt as a new beacon of hope for progressive students when the BJP was trying to drown the country in a communal bloodbath and bourgeois ideologues the world over were gloating over the collapse of the Soviet Union. Generations of AISA activists braved administrative hostility and even mafia violence to keep the flag high and fight for the unfulfilled dreams of their beloved martyr Comrade Chandrashekhar. Today when the country is reeling under a deep economic crisis, the legitimacy of the present government has been seriously dented by corruption and all-round non-performance, and the Sangh brigade is desperately trying to exploit this juncture to advance its communal- and corporate-fascist agenda, the advance made by AISA has come as a shot in the arm not only for the radical student movement but for all who care for democracy, secularism and social transformation.

Like agricultural land and mineral resources and rivers and forests, the sphere of higher education too is today facing a massive corporate-imperialist onslaught. From rampant commercialisation and fee hike to the FYUP (Four Year Undergraduate Programme) imposed on Delhi University students and teachers, there is a systematic attempt to subvert the process and content of higher education to suit corporate-imperialist interests. Simultaneously attempts are on to regiment the syllabus and curtail campus democracy. AISA has been in the forefront of the battle for democratisation of education and for academic freedom and excellence against the designs of corporate restructuring and saffronised subversion and regimentation. Its consistent struggle has been vindicated by the results.

The sphere of higher education is of course no isolated island, and the battle for campus democracy and academic freedom must therefore go hand in hand with the larger battle for people’s rights and social transformation. AISA has firmly upheld this principle, a principle rooted in the finest traditions of student activism whether in India or anywhere else in the world, and its agenda has always been informed by broader social concerns. In recent times, Delhi has emerged as a powerful bastion of people’s protests and AISA has been one of the most energetic, courageous and consistent platforms of popular activism. Whether against corporate plunder or assaults on women, AISA has been in the forefront of the battle for freedom, democracy and justice on every major issue. The vote for AISA has been a vote for this fusion of student movement with the larger people’s movement.

The performance of AISA in the September 13 elections promises a vibrant future for the progressive student movement. If AISA can sustain this momentum, it can well end the ABVP-NSUI monopoly in DU and free the aspiration and activism of students in the DU campus from the existing bourgeois political stranglehold. JNU is traditionally regarded as a bastion of Leftwing student politics, but it is AISA which has successfully stopped the right from making any major inroads in the campus in the era of pro-corporate economic reforms, communal and anti-Mandal frenzy, and post-Soviet bourgeois triumphalism. It was AISA’s powerful presence and the growing radical democratic mood of the campus that forced a revolt and split in SFI, the CPI(M) student wing. In the 2012 elections, JNU gave an opportunity to the SFI rebels, but the new organisation failed to champion the radical agenda of student movement. AISA has now emerged undisputedly as the leading banner of Left student movement in the national capital and it has to live up to this role.

The strengthening of AISA in Delhi raises hopes of exciting possibilities beyond the campuses. The anti-corruption movement and the youth upsurge in the wake of the brutal rape and murder of Nirbhaya have already revealed glimpses of these possibilities. The expansion of Delhi into the glittering National Capital Region of India is a story replete with retrograde and repressive features. It is a region marked by indiscriminate land acquisition and eviction, privatisation and denial of industrial democracy, khap panchayats and honour killings, communal violence and social oppression, and fake encounters, witch-hunt and suppression of dissent. To be sure, these instances of injustice and oppression are no longer going unchallenged. India looks forward to a bold assertion of student power in this broader arena of struggle which alone can be a true tribute to the legacy of India’s ultimate youth icon Bhagat Singh and his dream of ‘inquilab’.

CPI(ML) Statement on AISA Advance in Delhi

AISA’s Advance Is A Fitting Rebuff to the Myth of ‘Modi Magic’

The sweeping victory of AISA in JNU student union elections and the emphatic emergence of the organisation as a growing third force in Delhi university mark a great moment in the history of the revolutionary student movement in the country. It is a powerful rebuff to the myth of ‘Modi magic’ the BJP is trying to sell among the Indian youth and reflects the aspiration of young India for a progressive political shift in the country from the disastrous policies of the Congress and the communal fascist agenda of the BJP. In recent times Delhi has emerged as a citadel of popular democratic protests and AISA as the most energetic and consistent platform of student aspirations for progressive change. CPI(ML) Central Committee salutes the progressive students of Delhi and congratulates AISA on this great victory. The revolutionary student movement led by AISA must march ahead as a bulwark of popular resistance against the Congress legacy of scams and deepening crisis and the Modi mission of communal-and-corporate fascism.

Dipankar Bhattacharya

General Secretary, CPI(ML)(Liberation)

Landslide Mandate Once Again for AISA in JNUSU

AISA Bags All 4 Central Office Bearer Posts and a Majority of the Councillor Posts in JNUSU

AISA Registers Strong Presence As a Credible Students’ Alternative in DUSU

AISA swept JNUSU elections in a landslide win, with Akbar Chawdhury on President with 1977 votes with a margin of 1317 votes over his nearest rival from the DSF; Anubhuti Agnes Bara on VP with 1966 votes with a margin of 1052 votes over her rival from the DSF; Sandeep Saurav on GS with 1657 votes with a margin of 953 votes over his nearest rival from NSUI; and Sarfaraz Hamid on Joint Secretary with 1705 votes with a margin of 59 votes over his rival from the DSF.

In the recently held DUSU polls too, AISA made impressive advances, emerging as a strong third force. AISA Presidential candidate Anjali polled 3rd with 8229 votes, Ankit Pandey on VP with 6437 votes, Charul Negi for GS with 5702 votes and Md. Khan Siddiqui for Joint Secretary with 6621 votes. This is the first time in several decades that a Left organization has presented such a strong challenge in DU to the NSUI-ABVP duo.

Mandate for AISA: Rejection of Modi-Rahul Binary

The emphatic victory in JNU and unprecedentedly strong showing of a Left organisation AISA in DUSU polls is a mandate by common students for progressive students’ movements against the manufactured myths of Modi or Rahul Gandhi as ‘youth icons’. This mandate is a powerful rebuff to the pro-corporate corruption of Congress and corporate-communal fascism of the BJP. AISA’s role in the movements against corruption, against rape and for women’s freedom, and against the FYUP and other anti-student measures, have been appreciated and welcomed by students, who want to see more such powerful struggles in the future. It’s also a mandate for AISA’s track record in the JNUSU, of struggling for admission policies to open JNU’s doors to the marginalised sections, and for scholarships, hostels, library and other facilities and rights of students on campus.

NSUI tried its best to corrupt JNU’s political culture with a heavy influx of money and offering liquor and other doles – but they have been soundly rebuffed by students. The mandate is also a decisive rebuff to the political plank adopted by the DSF, the organisation that held the JNUSU President’s post after breaking away from the CPIM-backed SFI last year. When DSF broke away from SFI in protest against CPIM’s bureaucratic, undemocratic functioning and betrayal of Left politics, students gave them a chance to lead the Union. But the DSF and the JNUSU President proved to be a severe disappointment to students’ expectations of bold intervention on democratic issues and students’ struggles. In particular, JNU students felt that the former JNUSU President from DSF let down the struggle to reduce weightage of viva marks in admissions, and remained unforgivably silent on a range of burning issues including the arrest of a former JNU student on charges of being a ‘Maoist,’ and on struggles for Telangana and Gorkhaland. They were deeply disappointed by the way the JNUSU President from DSF had defied the JNUSU’s mandate and backed ABVP in its bid to falsely implicate the JNUSU General Secretary in a communally motivated way. The JNUSU President from DSF had also been apathetic to the need to mobilise strongly against Modi’s visit to Delhi University some months back.

Immediate Tasks for JNUSU

The newly elected JNUSU President Akbar Chawdhury, who himself hails from near Muzaffarnagar, has declared the JNUSU’s intention to intervene against the communal campaign in that region of UP. The JNUSU has also planned a struggle against UPSC’s decision to scrap foreign languages (including Arabic and Persian that have been taught in India for centuries, and are the languages in which much of Indian history is recorded) as optional subjects in the UPSC exam. The JNUSU has also declared its intention to support DU students in intensifying the struggle against the FYUP campaign.

In a statement issued after the JNUSU and DUSU mandate, AISA National President Sandeep Singh said, “We thank the JNU student community for reposing its faith in AISA to lead the JNUSU once again. AISA also thanks the DU student community for showing its trust and confidence in AISA as a force of students’ movements. AISA assures the students of JNU and DU that we will do our utmost to live up to their expectations, and defend students,’ women’s, and people’s rights against the ongoing assaults. In particular, AISA is committed to carrying forward the struggle against the FYUP that is playing with students’ future.”

AISA also condemned the raid on the DU professor GN Saibaba’s house and the earlier arrest of former JNU student Hem Mishra in the name of combating ‘Maoism’, describing these as acts of the “state’s crackdown on voices of dissent” under the notorious ‘Operation Green Hunt’.

Swabhiman Rally In Sasaram

Upholding the Legacy Of The Freedom Struggle And Against Feudal Attacks On Mahadalits

On 15 August (Independence Day) a brutal assault was unleashed on the mahadalits and poor of Baddi village in Shivsagar block of Rohtas district by feudal forces who, citing 1857 freedom fighter Nishant Singh, claimed that the benefits of Independence should be solely theirs and not be shared by mahadalits or landless poor. The latter, according to the feudal forces, deserve only oppression and should not aspire to dignity and the fruits of Independence. The Party has organized a series of protest movements against such attempts to taint the legacy of the dedicated anti-imperialist and anti-feudal struggle for independence which had taken place all over the country and especially in Shahabad, on the question of Baddi. In this series a Swabhiman yatra was taken out in the Shahabad area, which included interaction with villagers, evening meetings, and nukkad sabhas in market places and chattis. Establishing a lively dialogue with the people, the rising morale of feudal-communal forces during Nitish government, the betrayal of mahadalits and the question of their respect and dignity became the topics of discussion.

At several places the campaign team had to face threats from the feudal forces, despite which mahadalits and the poor from many villages joined the yatra in large numbers. The yatra started as padyatras from Katira dalit hostel in Ara, Bathani Tola, Daudnagar (Aurangabad), Mohaniyan (Kaimur) and Vikramganj (Rohtas) which converged on September 15 at Sasaram where the Swabhiman rally was organized.

On 15 September the entire Sasaram was inundated by red flags. By 11 AM people from every corner of Rohtas district as well as from Bhojpur and other districts had gathered at the Bal Vikas maidan where posters, banners and placards had been put up. Thousands braved the scorching heat to articulate their self esteem and the intention to confiscate the weapons of the feudal powers. The meeting commenced at 1 PM with the arrival of Party General Secretary Com. Dipankar Bhattacharya, Bihar State secretary Kunal, Politbureau member Com. Amar, National Secretary of All India Kisan Mahasabha Com. Rajaram Singh, AIPWA State secretary and Central Committee member Com. Shashi Yadav, State Standing Committee member Com. Anwar Hussain, former MLA and popular leader from Rohtas Com. Arun Singh, U. P. State secretary of AISA Com. Ramayan Ram, State secretary of Khemas Gopal Ravidas, AISA State secretary Ajit Kushwaha, RYA State joint secretary Manoj Manjil, Party leader from Bhojpur Kayamuddin, Rohtas Party secretary Com. Sanjay Yadav, Kaiser Nihal, Party leader from Kaimur Dukhi Ram and others.

At the outset Rohtas district secretary Com. Sanjay Yadav welcomed the gathering. Former MLA Arun Singh explained the context and backdrop of the Swabhimal yatra and rally. The meeting observed one minute’s silence to pay tribute to martyr Ramvilas Ram who lost his life in the Baddi violence. The first speaker was Tuntun Ram from Baddi village, who pointed out that as three acres of land were already allotted in the name of Nishan Singh memorial, there was no justification in breaking the statue of the dalit saint-poet Sant Raidas and building a memorial to Nishan Singh in its place. He stressed that the feudal forces were attacking the freedom of the poor in the name of Nishan Singh and the organization of this Swabhiman rally by the CPI-ML to fight for the rights of the Mahadalits is indeed welcome. Five team leaders from the Swabhiman yatra shared their experiences with the gathering, which was followed by the General Secretary’s address. The rally concluded with the passing of a six-point political resolution.

Resolutions Passed By The Rally

1. Licences for the weapons of the feudal forces in Baddi and the entire Bihar should be cancelled with immediate effect.

2. The killers of Ramvilas Ram in the Baddi incident should be immediately arrested and a memorial to him should be erected in front of the Sant Raidas statue.

3. A compensation of Rs 10 lakh to Ramvilas Ram’s family and Rs 2 lakh to the injured should be made.

4. A case under section 302 should be registered against the guilty Daroga in the Baddi incident and he should be immediately arrested.

5. The killers of mahadalit children in Nasirganj should be arrested without delay.

Protests in Bihar Against Communal Hate-Campaign By BJP-RSS

Observing the State-wide Anti-communal Day organized by the CPI-ML to protest against the inciting of riots in the country by the BJP-Sangh Parivar, protest marches were held in the capital Patna, Ara, Darbhanga and Betiya. A dharna was held in front of the District headquarters in Nawada and a protest march was conducted on September 14 in Siwan.

ML activists began their protest march from the Gandhi Maidan in Patna, marched through Dak Bungalow square and reached Station Golumbar where a protest meeting was organized. The march was led by CPI-ML State standing committee members Com. Santosh Sahar, Rajaram, State committee members Kamlesh Sharma, Rambali Singh Yadav, Naveen Kumar and others.

Carrying placards and posters, the activists shouted slogans against attempts by the BJP-Sangh Parivar to incite communal riots, against corporate-communal fascism, against CM Nitish who encouraged communal fascism and reiterated the readiness of the Party to fight communal forces.

Addressing the meeting at Station Circle, ML leaders said that the BJP-Sangh parivar, Congress and SP, all are responsible for the communal violence in Muzaffarnagar. The Collector and SP of Muzaffarnagar should be immediately removed and stern action taken against them. The SP is indulging in shadow boxing with the communal forces and the Akhilesh government is engaging in the politics of communal polarisation keeping in mind the forthcoming elections. This same attitude came to the fore again in the recent issue of the 84 kosi parikrama of the VHP.

The ML leaders also pointed out that the BJP-Sangh Parivar was behind the recent communal riots in Betiya, Nawada, and Gaya districts in Bihar. Needless to say, these communal forces have been nurtured by Nitish Kumar and therefore he and his government are equally responsible for the communal riots. The ‘secular’ Nitish government is victimising innocent Muslim youth under pretext of the Bodhgaya bomb blast and the Bhatkal arrest and trying to forcibly prove them to be terrorists. Darbhanga has in fact become the laboratory for the hate politics of the BJP-Sangh Parivar. The victims of the Forbesganj firing are yet to get justice whereas pressure is constantly being put on the witnesses by the DM to take back the case.

The speakers at the meeting said that the CPI-ML warns the feudal-communal-corporate forces not to meddle with the communal harmony in the country.

They pointed out that the darling of corporate fascism Narendra Modi and the BJP are going to organize a ‘Hunkar’ rally on October 27 at Gandhi Maidan to inflame communal passions but the people of Bihar will never allow such communal aspirations to flourish. The communal forces shall be roundly answered by the secular people of Bihar in the ‘Khabardar’ rally on 30 October.

The programme was attended by Ward councillor Tota Chowdhury, Khemas leaders Aklu Paswan, Ram Kalyan Singh, RYA leader Manish Kumar and others. Over 200 Party activists gave ‘dharna’ at the district headquarters in Nawada. The dharna was addressed by Party district secretary Surendra Ram, AIPWA leader Savitri Devi and others. The programme in Bhojpur was led by RYA leader Dilraj Pritam. A well-attended protest meeting was held in Siwan as well.

Memorial Meeting in Asandh

A memorial meeting was organised to pay tributes to Comrade Ramkishan, who died on 8 September 2013. The meeting was addressed by SUCI leader Kartar Singh Malik, CPI leader Shyamalal, CPI’s District Secretary Satpal Beniwal, CPI(ML) members and activists including Mahendra Chopra, Ramkumar, Krishna Saini, Lalit Saini, Satyawan, Rajendra Kashyap, Jagjiwan, Jainarayan and many others. People from Comrade Ramkishan’s village Uplana came to attend the meeting. CPI(ML) Haryana in-charge Prem Singh Gahlawat presided.

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: 22518248, e-mail: mlupdate, website: www.cpiml.org

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