CPI(ML) HOME Vol.11, No.35 26 AUG - 01 SEPT 2008

The Weekly News Bulletin of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist)(Liberation)
U-90, Shakarpur, Delhi 110092. Tel: (91)11-22521067. Fax(91)11-22518248


In this Issue

Sangh Parivar Sets Orissa on Fire Again

The burning alive of Graham Staines and his little sons is being relived in Orissa again – with an orphanage being set on fire and a Christian woman being burnt alive by Sangh Parivar brigades. The ostensible pretext for this fresh reign of terror is the recent murder of 5 VHP leaders recently, including Swami Lakhanananda who had led a terror campaign against Christians – torching their homes and establishments and chasing entire villages out – in December 2007. More than 3000 people were forced to flee to refugee camps – and most of them remain there even today.
It was clear too all observers that the murder of the VHP leaders would be seen as a Godhra-like golden opportunity for the Sangh Parivar to revive communal violence against the Christian community. In spite of this, the BJD-BJP Government did nothing to protect the poor Christians of Kandhamal, and to preventively arrest the makers of communal mayhem. The Navin Patnaik’s Government is guilty of tacitly allowing the saffron goons to wreak communal terror – and therefore has no moral authority to continue in Government.
In fact, the failure and refusal of the BJD-BJP Government to arrest and prosecute Swami Lakhanananda and his cohorts after the violence in December 2007, and its failure to ensure safe return for the Christian villagers who had been chased out, had given the message that communal killers enjoyed impunity in Orissa and the Government would turn a blind eye to ethnic cleansing. It is this situation that was responsible for the killings of the VHP leaders. Instead of facing up to facts, the Navin Government is raising the ‘Maoist’ bogey while the VHP is baselessly blaming and targeting the entire Christian community. We can recall the Navin Government had tried to blame the December 2007 communal violence, too, on ‘Maoists’!
The Sangh Parivar is doing its best to turn Orissa into another laboratory for Hindu majoritarian fascism, even as the ruling class parties share a consensus on robbing Orissa’s people of their mineral and environmental wealth and land for corporate greed. Police firing and lathis on poor tribals protecting their land is routine – while communal forces can indulge in murder and mayhem with impunity. Democratic and secular forces in Orissa must unite to demand stern action against all those guilty of violence against the Christian community.top
CPI(ML) Condemns Crackdown on Protestors in Kashmir
(From Party's Press Statement)
The lakhs of people protesting on the streets of Kashmir has been met, time and again, with brutal firing and killing by police and paramilitary. There was wanton firing even in hospitals and ambulances. Now, curfew has been imposed, and Kashmiri leaders arrested. CPI(ML) condemns this crackdown on the mass protest. The fact the Kashmiri struggle had taken the form of mass protest by lakhs of people, rather than armed militancy, is a positive and welcome sign – one that the Indian State can ignore only at its own cost. To continue to brand this enormous mass of common Kashmiris as ‘terrorists’ to justify the state-sponsored police firing is unforgivable on part of the Indian Government. In contrast, the violent protests in Jammu, including destruction of Government facilities, has been handled with kid gloves – on the dubious claim that the protestors are ‘nationalists’! The CPI(ML) demands that the Central Government release the leaders of the mass movement in Kashmir without further delay, and initiate sustained dialogue without any preconditions.top
Reports from CPI(ML)’s Nationwide Jail Bharo on 20th August
UTTAR PRADESH: Thousands of activists of the Party courted arrest in various parts of UP against the Indo-US Nuclear Deal, growing assaults on democracy and the killing of peasants in Greater Noida. CPI(ML) had declared 20th August Nationwide jail bharo as part of its month long campaign starting 23rd July coinciding with the all-India general strike call by central trade unions.
Hundreds of activists led by CPI(ML)’s Polit Bureau member Com. Ramji Rai courted arrest in Allahabad. Party’s State Secretary Com. Sudhakar Yadav courted arrest along with hundreds of activists at Robertsgunj in Sonbhadra. At Pilibhit one thousand people marched led by Central Committee member Com. Krishna Adhikari and courted arrest. About thousand Party members each at Ghazipur and Mirzapur courted arrest. In Lucknow, about 50 Party members, including state standing committee member Arun Kumar, Dist.Secy. Shiv Kumar and Secretary of Construction Workers’ Union Raghunath Prasad sitting on dharna in front of the UP Assembly were arrested and sent to police line as soon as they started to march towards District Collectorate. Thousands of Party members courted arrest also at Chandauli, Ballia, Devaria, Gorakhpur, Azamgarh, Mau, Ambedkar Nagar, Sitapur, Khiri, Jalaun, Varanasi, Gonda, Faizabad, Maharajgunj, Muradabad, Bijnaur and various other places.
Through the jail bharo programme in the State, the Party has demanded to lodge cases of murder against those responsible for deaths of peasants in police firing at Greater Noida, adequately compensating the family members of the deceased and withdrawing all cases filed against the peasants protesting against the forceful acquisition of their land, reining in inflation and abrogating the anti-National Indo-US Nuke Deal.
JHARKHAND: About twenty thousand Party members and activists courted arrest in Jharkhand to protest the Indo-US Nuke Deal and rising prices. Ten thousand of these courted arrest at Giridih alone. At Ranchi Party’s State Secretary Com. Janardan Prasad, CC member Rajaram, Party’s State Spokesperson Jaiprakash Minz, SCM Anant Prasad Gupta, Anil Anshuman, Ashish Bhowmik, Shanti Sen, Singi Khalko, Pratap Chowdhury, Kaushal Kishore and many other leaders of the Party courted arrest. Leading thousands in Giridih, Party leaders DP Bakshi, Ibnul Hasan Basroo and Vinod Singh courted arrest. At Bokaro CCM Subhendu Sen, SCM Devdip Singh Diwakar, Bhuneshwar Kewat, at Dhanbad AICCTU’s General Secretary Swapan Mukherjee and SCM Sukhdev Prasad, at Ramgarh AIPWA’s State Secretary Sunita and State Standing member Devkinandan Bedia, at Hazaribagh Party leaders Chandranath Bhai Patel and Pachhu Rana, at Garhwa SCM Kalicharan Mehta and Akhtar Ansari courted arrest with hundreds of Party activists.
 ASSAM: All India Strike and Jail Bharo were successful in different places of Assam including Guwahati. In Guwahati some 150 activists including Viren Kalita, Pankaj Das, Naren Borah, P. K Barman, Janik Barman of AICCTU and its affiliated organizations were arrested from Guwahati Refinery entrance. In Behali of Sonitpur district nearly 500 activists were arrested when they took out a procession, most of them were tea workers. In Dibrugarh closure at 10 tea estates were total and partial in others. 150 odd activists were arrested when they tried to bring out a protest procession at Dibrugarh Town. In Nagaon more than 100 activists took out a procession and were arrested. Strike and jail bharo was successful at Jorhat, Tinsukia and Silchar also. AISA’s all-India students’ strike was successful at Nagaon and Jorhat where bandh was total. AISA activists had campaigned in favour of the strike in Jorhat.
PONDICHERRY: The State units of Puducherry CPI(ML) and AICCTU held road roko at three locations namely Puducherry, Karaikal and Madagadipattu on 20th August. At Puducherry it was led by State Secretary Comrades S. Balasubramanian, P. Sankaran CWC member AICCTU, S. Motilal, State Secretary and RYA State Convenor P. Ravikumar. Nearly 150 activists were part of the blockade. 102 Party and AICCTU activists were detained by the Police. At Karaikal the agitation was led by Com. E. Jayabal, District Secretary CPL(ML) and nearly 50 Party activists were detained. At Madagadipattu it was led by Comrade S. Purushothaman State Vice President of AICCTU.
ANDAMAN: AICCTU and all its affiliated trade unions served notices to the Chief Secretary, Andaman & Nicobar Administration on 4th August and to all heads of departments/Employers declaring general strike on 20th August, 2008. Though it was not full and effective, several workers in various departments participated in strike by absenting from work on the 20th. A protest procession also took place from Main Bazar, Port Blair to the Secretariat at 3.30 p.m. and a demonstration was held at the gate of the Secretariat. Public meeting was held at Tiranga Park in the evening in which Com. M. Sadasivan, Com. NKP Nair and Com. Arvinder Rai Sharma addressed the gathering and explained to the workers about the anti-working class and anti-national policies of UPA Govt. and also the treacherous act done by CPI(M) MPs keeping mum while giving guidelines to the 6th Central Pay Commission for preparing anti-working class reports like abolition of Group-D, 12 hrs. duty etc. at the time of constituting 6th CPC. The current stand of the CPI(M) and its trade union CITU to fight the derogatory and discriminatory recommendations of CPC only shows CPI(M)’s late and opportunist responses in matters of the working class.
TAMIL NADU: Around 6000 organized and unorganized workers, agrarian laborers, students and women participated in the Jail Bharo at thirty places. Defying the efforts of the management to prevent the Pricol workers from participating in the general strike and the jail bharo, around 1200 Pricol workers blocked the road for half an hour in Thudiyalur of Coimbatore. The local police put them in a place which could not accommodate all the workers who were arrested. Com. N.K.Natarajan, GS, AICCTU, and Com. Krishnamurthy, State Secretary, AICCTU courted arrest with the Pricol workers. In Coimbatore unorganised sector workers courted arrest in Goundampalayam. Com. Damodaran, State Secretary, AICCTU and Com Govindaraj, state council member, AICCTU led the agitation.
Com.S.Kumarasami, PBM, courted arrest with 350 construction and unorganized workers of Kanyakumari. He called upon the workers to make an all-out offensive against the attempts of the rulers to mortgage the country to USA and demonstrate the political will of the Indian workers’ struggle of 1908.
Com.Balasundaram, CCM, was arrested along with the rural poor and agrarian workers of Nagai and Tanjore districts in Kumbakonam. He called upon the rural poor to join in large numbers in the demonstration to be held in Chennai on August 23 against the police attack on the agrarian workers of Rettanai of Villupuram district who demanded Rs. 80 for NREGA work and against the state oppression on the struggles of the rural poor. Around 200 rural poor and agrarian workers participated in the jail bharo here. In Sirkazhi also rural poor and agrarian workers courted arrest. Com. Gunasekaran, SCM was arrested along with them.
In Chennai, around 500 workers participated. Com. S.Sekar, led the workers. They blocked the road for more than half an hour. They were then arrested. Com.A.S.Kumar, courted arrest with more than 1000 workers in Chennai, in a Joint struggle along with leaders and workers of CITU, AITUC and AITUC. In Saidapet of Chennai, in a joint programme, Com. Eraniappan, SCM, courted arrest.
In Tiruvallore District, more than 600 rural poor participated in the jail bharo which was led by Com. Janakiraman, SCM. Here, the local police was not prepared to arrest the workers who blocked the main road in the market. The arrested workers were first taken to one hall and they were then shifted to another hall. These transits were in 3 of the police vehicles through the crowded market with the participants waving red flags and raising slogans against the central and state governments.
In Tirunelveli, at two places, more than 300 beedi, construction and other unorganized workers courted arrest. Com. Sankarapandian, SCM, led the protests. Here 15 women beedi workers, demanded the police to arrest them too. But the police was not ready to arrest them. In Madurai, around 150 rural poor courted arrest. They were led by Com. Mathivanan, district in charge. In Rajapalayam and Tuticorin around 100 workers blocked the road and courted arrest. Com. Ponraj, district in charge led the road block.
In Villupuram, roads were blocked at 4 places. Around 330 rural poor and agrarian workers joined the protest. Com.Venkatesan, district in charge, led the protest. In Cuddalore, around 200 rural poor joined the road block at 2 places. Com. Ammayappan courted arrest with them.
In Pudukottai, scores of rural poor and agrarian workers courted arrest. Com Aasai Thambi, dist secretary of the party led the road block. In Trichy, Com. Desikan, State Secretary, AICCTU, along with 76 contract workers of OFT, courted arrest in a joint program. In Tanjore, around 120 workers blocked the road.
In Namakal district, around 120 power loom workers were arrested. Com. A.Govindaraj, state secretary, AICCTU and Com.Thenmozhi, State Organizer AIPWA led the struggle.
In Krishnagiri, around 150 workers blocked the road and courted arrest. They were led by Com.Babu, district in charge. In Salem, Com Chandramohan, SCM, courted arrest in a joint program with CITU and AITUC. In Karur, a demonstration was held in which many workers participated. top
Militant Agitation In Rajasthan & Massive Public Meeting
A huge public meeting was held at Salumber’s High School ground on 23rd August, addressed by CPI(ML)’s General Secretary Com. Dipankar Bhattacharya. The agricultural labourers of this Tribal-populated region are agitating since many months for 100 days of work, Rs.100/- minimum wage and against deep rooted corruption in NREGA. The Tribal labourers of this region have neither got job cards so far neither their due wages for past several months and other depressing fact is that their wage is only Rs.45/-.
Addressing the huge public gathering, mainly Tribal labourers in the meeting, Com. Dipankar held State’s BJP Govt. primarily guilty of the large scale corruption in the NREGA and called upon the people to accelerate the movement against corruption. He said that the CAG’s report on the status of NREGA implementation exposes the truth of these Govts. He reminded that whenever the agricultural labourers and peasants of Rajasthan have agitated for land, water, wage and electricity they have been fired at and killed. It was now high time that such killer Govt. be uprooted and a powerful Left assertion be put forth in the leadership of CPI(ML). He also called upon the people to continue their opposition to the Indo-US Nuke Deal. He said that the agrarian crisis is deepening and more than 1.5 lakh peasants have committed suicide. Inflation has spiralled and the local Govt. has failed completely in reining it. No schemes for the poor are being implemented with any seriousness. On top of all this BJP and Congress Govts are trying to fan communal fire in Kashmir and other parts of the Country on the eve of elections.
He further said that the BJP Govt of Rajasthan has even failed in reining terror attacks and in the name of controlling it some innocent students are made victims of severe repression. General Muslim students are being harassed without any concrete eveidence and the communal elements are given free hand to enact macabre incidences.
The meeting at Salumber was also addressed by Party’s CCMs Prabhat Kumar and Srilata Swaminathan. Comrades Mahendra Singh Chaudhary and Chandradeo Ola also addressed the mass meeting. The meeting was conducted by Prof. Himanshu, Party’s Udaipur Dist. Secretary. Immediately after the meeting the Tribal peasants under the leadership of Comrades Chandradeo Ola and Shambhu (Secretary of Pratapgarh Dist.) began a militant blockade of the SDO of Salumber demanding their due wages for NREGA work and the SDO was compelled to come and assure the protestors of justice. He promised the demands to be fulfilled in 3-days. The leaders also demanded to make 200-days of work and minimum wage to be raised to Rs.200/- for NREGA work.
On 23rd evening, Com. Dipankar and other Party leaders also addressed a press conference in which they exposed the communal designs of the UPA and NDA on the eve of the general elections to throw the entire Nation in communal fire.top
Beijing Olympics : Some Observations
The Beijing Olympics 2008 has closed just as impressively as it opened – and it is time now, perhaps, to reflect on what we’ve seen in the past few weeks. The Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony was no mere cultural performance: with it, China showcased its ancient civilisation as well as the remarkable technological prowess achieved by a third world Asian country. The opening ceremony was, beyond doubt, a political assertion, loud and clear, against the arrogance and racism of the West and expressed the sentiment of Chinese nationalism deeply felt by its people. The enthusiasm and involvement of Chinese people in the Games is also quite palpable and visible; and it is the human resources of China that stole the Beijing Olympics show both in terms of quantity (by far the highest number of performers in any Olympic Ceremony, most from the PLA, and over 6 lakh young volunteers) and quality (artistic excellence, perfect synchronisation and discipline). China’s impressive medals tally has also spoken for itself – China’s haul of gold medals is the largest for any single country since the erstwhile Soviet Union; and Chinese sportspersons have broken all the racial myths about sports by making inroads into virtually every bastion of sports – even those that are not ‘traditionally’ Asian, and emerging triumphant more often than not. As a mainstream newspaper in India reported, what was most striking about China’s medals tally was that it was “not the stars but the system” that delivered the miracle.
For India, the comparison (and contrast) with China is almost inevitable. India feels justifiably proud of those who won three medals – one gold in shooting, and two bronzes each in wrestling and boxing. But what comes through clearly is that those achievements have happened in spite of the entrenched apathy, neglect, and corruption of the Indian sporting establishment. In Abhinav Bindra’s case, the necessary infrastructure and training was provided by the private efforts of his industrialist father who provided for a state-of-the-art shooting range, and international coaching and training facilities. The story is much the same in the case of India’s few tennis pros – only those who have the private means for proper training have been able to make it to international competition. However, the showing of boxers and wrestlers from humble rural backgrounds of Bhiwani (Haryana) and Najafgarh (Delhi) – not just the medal-winners but also those who who exhibited potential for international sporting excellence – is a reminder that India no doubt has a wealth of sporting talent that, in most cases, remains untapped when it is not backed by private means. What makes the achievement of these boxers and wrestlers all the more remarkable is their ability to overcome the odds of elementary and primitive training conditions.
In the past too, the performance of Indian athletes like Milkha Singh, P T Usha as well as hockey players like Dhyanchand and Dhanraj Pillai have been eloquent proof of the fact that ordinary Indians can have extraordinary sporting talent – but in most cases, the Indian sporting establishment has displayed shocking lack of the most basic respect for these figures. The legendary Dhyanchand who gave us a first Olympic gold in hockey died in penury; P T Usha was not even invited to bear the Olympic torch – passed over for film celebrities.
The Indian Olympic foray this year, for all the well-deserved medal shine, is also tarnished by the episode in which weightlifter Monika Chanu from Manipur was dropped from the team on charges of doping. Though later cleared of the charges following her vehement protests and allegations of foul play, it was too late to go to Beijing. The episode has understandably sparked off loud and angry protests in Manipur – adding a fresh edge to the already deep feelings of alienation among Manipuri people.
Coming back to China, there are some matters of deep concern for observers. The reports that 300,000 people were evicted from their homes (many have reportedly struggled demanding proper rehabilitation but were arrested) to prepare Beijing for the Games are disturbing, as are the reports that migrant workers (who built the impressive stadium and other buildings for the Games) have been unceremoniously ‘relocated’ from the city, and protestors arrested and tucked away out of sight. As Delhi gears up for the Commonwealth Games, the same fate and worse is in store for the slum dwellers and migrant workers of India’s capital city.
Self-righteous criticisms of the ‘lack of authenticity’ of some aspects of the televised Opening Ceremony (the ‘footprints’ in fireworks from Tianenmen Square to the Bird’s Nest stadium were not simulated – but TV viewers, due to technical difficulties, could not see the real thing, and instead saw a pre-recorded version) smack of hypocrisy; such critics should ask themselves if they objected when the US ‘free’ media helped the US Army stage a faked ‘rescue’ by US Marines of a Private Jessica Lynch from ‘evil Iraqi’ hands during the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

Another episode that was cause for concern was the one involving a nine-year-old girl who won international acclaim when she sang an ‘Ode to the Motherland’ with great feeling at the Beijing Opening. It turned out that we were not hearing her voice at all – the 7-year-old whose voice we heard did not appear because her ‘image’ was deemed unsuitable to represent the nation – she had uneven teeth! In this instance too, the moral outrage of the US media who treat the episode as proof of typically ‘communist’ inhumanity are displaying obvious hypocrisy – given that American girls grow up fending off the role model of Barbie and Hollywood and capitalist ad culture are the kings of the cult of feminine ‘cuteness’ in girl children! However, it is significant that there has been a storm of outrage within China itself against the episode. Chinese people and well-wishers of socialism everywhere, who are aware of and appreciate China’s strides in women’s rights, and felt pleasure that the Beijing Opening seemed to give children rather than celebrities pride of place, are deeply disappointed to note that China too judges its children on the ‘perfection’ of their teeth and decrees that Olympic ‘medal hostesses’ must not have ‘big bottoms’ and must conform to rigid, patriarchal notions of ‘beauty’ – much in the same way as ‘air-hostesses’ in India lose their jobs for being overweight. It is unfortunate that the People’s Republic of China could not rise above the sexist commercialised values that mark bourgeois culture.

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@cpiml.org, website: www.cpiml.org
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