A CPI(ML) Weekly News Magazine
Vol. 3; No.13;5-4-2000
Clinton came and saw, but he did not have to conquer. The slavish Indian state and media establishment had in fact prostrated itself like the proverbial red carpet for Mr. Clinton to tread on. On the other hand, there is this other India which belongs to and comprises its toiling millions and all its self-respecting citizens and genuine patriots, which no Clinton can ever conquer. Braving police lathis and water canons and the contemptuous arrogance of the US securitymen and their Indian counterpart, this other India spoke out loudly against all that it considered unbecoming of and inimical and insulting to India's legacy and interests.
Clinton and his entourage have left. But more guests will keep coming periodically to monitor the fate of Clinton's mission. The first such visitor will be Mr. Free, chief of US investigation agency FBI. Indian rulers have not bothered to inform Indian citizens or even Indian Parliament as to why FBI is being allowed to set up shop in Delhi. Obviously, FBI is not coming here to measure the growth of the sapling planted by Clinton at Gandhi's Rajghat. It will be FBI today and CIA tomorrow. Probably to keep an eye on ISI! The country has already got some taste of US security service. Chief Minister and Governor of Rajasthan and several Indian dignitaries were subjected to humiliating experiences and one senior correspondent of India Today was harassed and grilled because he was recorded by Clinton's securitymen in Agra to have uttered Osama Bin Laden's name! More should now perhaps be expected from the proposed nexus between FBI and CBI!
Souvenirs of Clinton Yatra gifts are however not limited to the security front. Even as the nation was being held hostage to the government-sponsored euphoria and frenzy of Clinton's visit, Union Petroleum Minister Ram Naik announced drastic hikes in the prices of Kerosene and LPG. It is a sign of the changing times that hikes in prices are referred to as mere cuts in subsidies! And now Murasoli Maran has freed more than 700 import items from any kind of quantitative restriction. Yashwant Sinha's budget had already announced liberal reductions in Customs Duty.
If anybody was foolish enough to expect either large dollops of American technology, investment or liberalisation of American economy for Indian exports or labour or even promise of a permanent berth for India in an enlarged UN Security Council, Clinton had little time for such naive feelings of his Indian fans. He of course got a loud applause from BJP and Congress MPs for condescendingly granting India the right to determine its own future. Clinton was literally being mobbed like some pop cultural icon as MPs vied among themselves to get a lifetime opportunity to shake hands with Clinton. An RK Laxman cartoon said it all: an overwhelmed Clinton-charmed MP refusing to wash his hands to preserve that glorious touch!
Obviously, genuine patriots will have to wage a vigorous battle not only against the Clintons but also all their Indian fans to preserve India's national dignity and independence.
CPI(ML) Demands Action against Bhojpur SP
A CPI(ML) delegation comprising Politburo member Com. Ram Naresh Ram, State Party Secretary Com. Ramjatan Sharma, CC member Com. K.D. Yadav and State Committee member Com. Santosh Sahar met Chief Minister Rabri Devi on 2 April. The delegation demanded immediate action against Rajkumar Mallik, SP of Bhojpur who maintains close links with the banned Ranvir Sena. It was in relation to the killing of three ML supporters in Sonbarsa village of Bhojpur district by Ranvir Sena on 27 March. The SP had appointed a Ranvir Sena supporter Sub-inspector Vishwanath Tiwari as incharge of Narhi camp, where the plan of Sonbarsa massacre was chalked out. The FIR lodged by the dependents of the deceased persons had the names of Ranvir Sena chieftains on it, but the SP got it replaced by a fake FIR. The CM admitted that serious irregularities had been there in the case and SP's role was dubious. She ordered to lodge an FIR in this regard and assured to take action against the SP immediately. She also promised to pay compensation to the families of the deceased and to ensure employment to one person from each family. A march was taken out on 2 April in Patna on the demand of removal of SP of Bhojpur and institution of a case under Sec.302 against him.
Earlier when Com. Ram Naresh Ram went to meet the family of the deceased in Sonbarsa, Laloo Yadav, minister Shivanand Tiwari and the DGP also reached there. Thousands of villagers gheraoed Laloo Yadav and the DGP demanding institution of murder case against the SP. In a statement before the DGP they named 17 Ranvir Sena men identified to be in the gang that perpetrated Sonbarsa killing.
Nationwide Protest Against Clinton's Visit
In West Bengal, Party adopted a week-long programme beginning on 15 March to oppose Clinton's visit to India. Under this programme, Clinton's effigy was burnt at block headquarters in almost all districts of the state. On 19 March RYA observed Holikadahan by burning Clinton's effigy. On 21 March a 500 strong demonstration was brought out in Calcutta, led by Comrades Kartik Pal, D. Buxi, Sankar Mitra, Arindam Sen, Partha Ghosh and Meena Paul. Police resorted to brutal lathicharge and arrested 18 demonstrators. The same day demonstrations were held at Krishnanagar, Raiganj, Siliguri, Jalpaiguri, Bardhaman and other places. The next day, people protested against the police lathicharge and arrest throughout the state. On 23 March, communist revolutionaries jointly protested the lathicharge in which 3000 people participated.
The Guwahati unit of CPI(ML) burnt the effigy of Bill Clinton at Judges Field, Guwahati on 18 March in protest against his visit to India.
At Agartala, SUCI, PDF and CPI(ML) jointly burnt the effigy of Clinton on 22 March. Party comrades also burnt Clinton's effigy at Udaipur on 20 March.
In Buhvaneshwar, a procession was taken out by CPI(ML) on 23 March which culminated in a mass meeting, addressed by Com. Khitish Biswal and other leaders.
Clinton and Vajpayee's effigies were burnt in Arrah and Samastipur in Bihar on 22 March. On 23 March RYA, AISA and AIPWA organised a protest march.
CPI(ML) and AICCTU organised a demonstration against Clinton's visit in Chennai on 22 March. The same day Clinton's effigy was burnt in Pudukottai. On 23 March party activists in Nellai were arrested while burning Clinton's effigy, while in Salem Clinton's effigy was burnt, in Dindigul and Coimbatore black flag demonstrations were taken out, and in Chennai RYA and AICCTU comrades were arrested while burning Clinton's effigy.
In Hyderabad, 6000 people marched under the alliance of 9 Left parties to oppose Clinton's visit and courted arrest. Around 500 of our comrades got arrested at stations in Kakinada while boarding the train to Hyderabad. Earlier, district level joint conventions were held on 15 March everywhere in Andhra, our Party participating in Krishna, Visakhapatanam and East Godavari and Chittur.
Observing Martyrs' Day on 23 March, Bhagat Singh's martyrdom day, a massive demonstration was organised by CPI(ML) at Pilibhit in UP. Participated by more than 1,000 people, it was addressed by Com. Krishna Adhikari, member of Party CC, it adopted a 6-point resolution. A procession was organised in Kheri district on 25 March. In many districts of U.P. Clinton's effigy was burnt.
Clinton's effigy was burnt at several places in Uttarakhand region of U.P. on 22 March. On 23, a procession cum mass meeting was held at Nainital. At Rudrapur, CPI and our Party held a joint demonstration.
At Jaipur, CPI, CPI(M), MCPI and CPI(ML) jointly organised burning of Clinton's effigy on 23 March.
In Delhi, week-long campaign was organised from 13-20 March. At Okhla, effigy of Clinton was burnt on 19 March. On 22 March, our MP Com. Jayanta Rongpi stayed out of the joint session of Parliament addressed by Clinton. In the march to Parliament organised that day by CPI(ML), Abani Roy, RSP Member of Rajya Sabha also participated. Led by Party General Secretary Com. Dipankar Bhattacharya, PB member Com. B. Sivaraman, CC members Com. Kumudini Pati, Jayanta Rongpi and others, more than 200 demonstrators marched from Mandi House to Parliament Street and broke the police barricade following which police lathicharged and arrested the demonstrators. Party leaders addressed the meeting held at Parliament Street Police Station.
Resistance Struggle in Siwan
In Gambhirpur village of Nautan P.S. in Mairwa block of Siwan district, a Bihar Military Police contingent camping there illegally arrested Com. Premchand. In a widespread mass resistance that followed, people rescued him from the police station. In a retaliation on 24 March, police resorted to indiscriminate firing in which a party activist Com. Amrika Baitha was killed. Party observed Mairwa bandh on 25 March to protest the police high-handedness.
Satish Pandey gang killed two party activists Com. Ganesh Ram and Jaiprakash in Babhnauli village in Darauli block on 24 March. People retaliated and caught four goons of Satish Pandey gang and punished them to death.
Gadar Party Foundation Day Celebrated
The Jalandhar-based Deshbhagat Yadgar Committee celebrated the 88th foundation anniversary of the Ghadar Party on April 2 with an impressive meeting of Left ranks addressed by senior Left leaders from different parties. Perhaps for the first time, this meeting brought together the general secretaries of CPI, CPI(M) and CPI(ML) and leaders of several other communist formations on a common platform. Inaugurating the meeting, Baba Bhagat Singh Bilga, the nonagenarian president of the committee and a comrade of Bhagat Singh, made a passionate plea to all supporters of the Red Flag to close ranks and defend Bhagat Singh's legacy in the face of the mounting saffron offensive. In his address, Comrade Dipankar dwelt on the challenges facing today's patriots. Referring to the glorious legacy of Indian freedom movement, Com. Dipankar said, "The colour of patriotism in India, if not always red, has never been saffron in India. Today, pseudo-patriots, who are unabashed worshippers of US imperialism and who take pride in their rabid communal and rightwing agenda, have declared a war on all genuine patriots." He called upon the Left to organise and lead a new patriotic resurgence in the country to save India from the imperialist plunderers and their domestic collaborators.
Protest Against Price Hike
Observing "Dam bandho kam do" campaign, around a hundred people under Party's Mandawali unit in Delhi brought out a procession on 2 April. The procession culminated in a mass meeting at Mandawali market addressed by Com. Rajendra Pratholi, Sunita, Ravindra Sharma, Rajeshwari, Samunder Paswan, Braj Kishore, Kameshwar, Shashi Bhushan, and Gauri Shankar.
Protesting against hike in LPG and kerosine prices, around 100 workers in Ambattur in Chennai burnt the effigy of Vajpayee govt. on 23 March. Com. A.S. Kumar, Palaniappan and other workers were arrested during the protest.
In the whole of Bihar, widespread protest against rise in kerosine and LPG prices was observed on 25 March. Apart from protest marches, effigy of Vajpayee govt. was burnt in Muzaffarpur, Bihar Sharief, Arrah, Bikramganj, Gaya, Nawadah and Jahanabad.
Protest Against Budget
Shouting slogans against the Centre and State Government, RYA burnt effigies of Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Prakash Singh Badal on 28 March at bus stand, Mansa in Punjab to protest against union budget. Party state secretary Com. Rajvinder Singh Rana, Com. Bhagwat of RYA, Com. Harbhagwan of AISA, Com. Jasvir Kaur of AIPWA and others addressed the gathering.
Protest Against Anti-Education Policies
AISA organised a demonstration against government education policies on 30 March at Budhlada in Mansa district. Addressing the gathering Com. Harbhajan, state president of AISA said that Akali govt. is stepping up privatisation of education under the guidance of new economic policy and snatching right to education from students.
Anti-Terrorism Women Rally by KNCA
Women rallies were taken out by KNCA in different parts of Karbi Anglong to protest against the terror unleashed by KNV-KPF. On 25 March, 2000 women participated in rally held by Dolamara unit of KNCA, and over 3000 women participated in the rally held by Satgaon unit on 28 March. Com. Hemsing Tisso, Secy. of Party's Karbi Anglong Party Committee participated in both. Com. Babu Rongpi, Chairperson of Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council participated in the rally held by Longnit unit in which 3000 women participated. The same day Com. Rabi Kr. Phangcho, Executive Member of KAAC participated in rally organised by Dhentaghat unit. Another rally was held by Panjan unit where 3000 women participated. It was attended by Com. Jotson Bey, Chief Executive Member of KAAC.
AIPWA Demo in Chennai
On 27 March, AIPWA staged a demonstration in Chennai against dowry killing, in which a husband pushed his wife and child in front of a running train but police refused to file a murder case against him. AIPWA demanded arrest of the culprit and a high-level enquiry into the incident. It was led by Com. Devki.
In Bhuvaneshwar of Orissa, CPI(ML), RYA and AISA observed 23 March, Bhagat Singh's martyrdom day, as anti-imperialist day and protested Clinton's visit to India. A rally was brought out from Party office to Vidhan Sabha. It was led by Com. Khitish Biswal, Secy. of Orissa State unit, Srinibas Naik, state RYA President and Ajoy Mandhata, State Convenor of AISA. After the mass meeting addressed by Party and mass leaders, lastly the effigy of war-monger Clinton was set on fire.
In Delhi, RYA and Gramin Vikas Panchayat of Narela organised a seminar on "India of Bhagat Singh's dreams". Com. Ashok Kumar was the main speaker. Earlier a "memorial yatra" was taken out in the morning.
In Bhilai of M.P., JSM and RYA organised a seminar on "Bhagat Singh's martyrdom and imperialism" It was presided over by Indu Shankar Manu, president of local JSM unit.
Observing anti-imperialist day in Ranchi, CPI(ML) and Jharkhand Sanskritik Manch staged cultural programmes and held a mass meeting.
Tea Workers March to Assembly
On 29 March ASCSS staged a march to Assembly to demand immediate scrapping of the recently concluded wage agreement between INTUC-led ACMS and tea planters, payment of Rs. 49 as daily wage, payment wage of Sunday leave and other important issues. Above 1,000 agitating tea workers of ASCSS clashed with a joint contingent of police and CRPF in front of the Assembly, as they were barred entry into the restricted area.
The protest meeting held at Dispur Last Gate was addressed by Com. Bibek Das, State Party Secy., Biren Kalita, State president of AICCTU, Subhash Sen and Brij Pradhan, president and general secretary of ASCSS.
Power Workers' Dharna
On 27 March Joint Action Committee of Assam State Power Workers Union and Power Engineers Association staged dharna in front of Assam Assembly at Dispur to stop implementation of privatisation and reform policies.
National Convention of RYA in Lucknow
More than a thousand youth participated in the National convention of Revolutionary Youth Association held in Lucknow on 31 March, the day Com. Chandrashekhar embraced martyrdom three years back in 1997. Before the convention started, a large mass meeting was held in front of Vidhan Sabha, addressed by Party General Secretary Com. Dipankar Bhattacharya who held Vajpayee's economic policies responsible for price rise and unemployment and accused it of unleashing cultural and intellectual terrorism in the country. He called upon youth as well as all the left, democratic and progressive forces to intensify "Dam bandho, Kam do" campaign to counter the saffron onslaught. The meeting was also addressed by journalist Akhilesh Mishra, JSM Vice President Ajay Singh, educationist Krishnavatar Pandey and youth leaders. The meeting was culmination of a march from Char Bagh to Vidhan Sabha, led by Comrades Rajaram Singh and Lal Bahadur Singh, President and General Secretary of RYA.
Following its inauguration by Com. Dipankar at Shaheed Chandrashekhar Memorial Hall in the evening, the convention discussed a draft presented by Com. Lal Bahadur. It adopted a 10-point resolution, important among them being organising student-youth parliament on 28 April in Delhi and making 11 May general strike a success.
Demonstration against Religious Places Bill
Thousands of people participated in a massive demonstration brought out under the banner of Akliat (Minority) Action Committee to protest against the U.P. Religious Places Bill in Mirzapur on 10 March. Eminent personalities from various communities took part in the demonstration. Reaching the district headquarters, the demonstrators sent a memorandum to the President.
Allowance to Jute-workers
Left Front Govt. in West Bengal had not given any allowance to jute workers of the closed mills. Our union in Gauripur area launched a movement and secured Rs.500 for around 4,000 workers of closed jute mills.
LPP Demo against Clinton
Defying the ban, Labour Party of Pakistan organised a demonstration in front of American Consulate in Lahore on 22nd March against Clinton's visit to Pakistan. All religious groups had already welcomed Clinton's visit. Though no arrests were made at the demonstration, after a few hours, the police started raiding the different places to arrest LPP General Secretary Farooq Tariq and other leaders. Party headquarters and the office of its weekly Mazdoor Jeddojuhd were raided several times. Labour Party leaders remained underground for four days. Hina Jelani, General Secretary of Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, condemned the raids and declared to give full legal and other support to LPP. 145 messages of support arrived in from international Labour movement. Pakistani pro-democracy activists picketed in London before Pakistan High Commission on 23 March under the banner of "Aaj key Naam", with British MP Jermy Corbyn, demanding immediate return to democracy. In their different statements, the office bearers of Pakistan Workers Confederation, All Pakistan Trade Unions federation. Oil Tankers Transport Workers Union and Mutehida Labour Federation Pakistan urged the government not to harass protesters.
Working Class Spring Offensive
Under the programme "April 16" tens of thousands of workers will converge on Washington in the largest ever held protest march and demonstration against the IMF and World Bank. On 16 and 17 April, the heads of WTO, IMF and WB are joining with the heads of Central Banks and Finance Ministers in Washington in a semi-annual meeting. Demonstrations are being planned in several cities all over America. The workers coalition consisting of powerful unions has termed their protest as Seattle-II, inspired by the battle in Seattle in the last December.
In fact the protest had already started when the forty feet massive banner dipicting two bloody Corporate hands squeezing the life out of global south with the caption "World Bank + IMF = Corporate Colonialism" was unfurled on March 30 at New Jersey. April 2-3 demonstration in front of White House and Capital Mall rally on April 9 will be the grand rehearsal for "April 16". A leader of the Workers coalition commented: "We share a common vision and believe that our communities and the communities all around the world are more qualified to determine our future. The global financial institutions are totally undemocratic, un-elected and unaccountable to the people."
Homage to Chandrashekhar
On 30 April, on the eve of Com. Chandrashekhar's martyrdom day, Jan Sanskriti Manch and AISA jointly organised "cultural pledge" at Mandi House in Delhi. Cultural teams Jagriti and Lok Swar and Sumanta Sengupta, Shubhendu and Jaya Srivastava and others recited revolutionary songs. Asmita, a theatrical group, staged a programme based on Brecht's songs and Delhi University JSM branch staged a drama. Noted poet Mangalesh Dabral, Ibbar Rabbi and Kuber Datt recited their poems. This gathering of students, cultural activists and intellectuals demanded a speedy CBI inquiry and punishment to the murderers, and expulsion of the main culprit Shahabuddin from Lok Sabha. JSM Delhi convenor Bhasha initiated the programme and Prakash Chaudhry conducted it.
In J.N.U., hundreds of students under AISA brought out a procession and held 'resistance meeting' on 31 March.
Observing martyrdom day of Com. Chandrashekhar, a Shaheedi Samagam (Gathering in the memory of martyrs) was organised by AISA on 31 March at ITI, Mansa in Punjab. Students pledged to fulfil Chandrashekhar's dreams and foil the government design to communalise and privatise education. The occasion was addressed by AISA leaders Ajaib Singh, Balvir Singh, Awatar Singh and others.
Dam Bandho, Kam Do Campaign
Party Central Committee meeting held in Delhi on 27-30 March decided to intensify "Dam bandho, Kam do" campaign to focus on the twin issues of price rise and unemployment, which will culminate in a general strike on 11 May. The campaign is already going on in Ghazipur, Balia, Chandauli, and other districts of Eastern UP, the whole of Bihar, Delhi, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and other parts of the country.
The CC has called upon the entire Party to conduct a comprehensive and sustained "Strengthen the Party " campaign from April 22. The main points of the campaign are : (i) Consolidate the Party Committee System, (ii) Revitalise Mass Work, (iii) Streamline Party Propaganda, (iv) Systematise Basic Party Education, (v) Regularise Party Branches, and (vi) Develop the Capacity of Mass Resistance.
CPI(ML) Opposes New Exim Policy
CPI(ML) strongly opposed the provisions of new exim policy announced by Murasoli Maran on 31 March by which the government has lifted quantitative restrictions on import of 714 items and proclaimed to set up special economic zones free from any government control.