CPI(ML) HOME Vol.11, No.50 09 DEC -15 DEC 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

Assembly Elections Are Over –
the Battle Now Begins for the Lok Sabha

If the terror siege of Mumbai had left the country in a state of shock, the verdict of the recent Assembly elections should have a sobering impact.
The overall outcome of the Assembly elections held in Delhi, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram suggests gains for the Congress and losses for the BJP. Before the elections the Congress was in power only in Delhi, now apart from retaining Delhi it has regained Mizoram and Rajasthan. The BJP will have to content itself with Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
This election outcome has also challenged some rather well entrenched media perceptions about elections, the politics in these states and the present political situation in the country. The so-called ‘anti-incumbency factor’, invoked time and again by media analysts to explain election results and elevated to the status of almost an iron law, does not seem to have held good in these elections. The Congress has won in Delhi for the third successive time, the BJP in MP and Chhattisgarh for the second successive term. In the absence of powerful mass assertion and a viable electoral alternative, the ‘anti-incumbency factor’ by itself does not automatically lead to change even in a limited bourgeois context.
It was also commonly believed that the Amarnath land row in Kashmir and the issue of terrorism would yield considerable dividends to the BJP. In recent months, the BJP has once again been quite aggressive in invoking the bogey of ‘appeasement of Muslims’ and ‘persecution of Hindus’. It tried to justify the anti-Christian violence in Orissa, Chhattisgarh and elsewhere as a legitimate reaction to ‘religious conversion’ and the killing of an infamous VHP functionary in Orissa. The ATS investigation into the September 29 Malegaon blasts that led to the arrest of ‘Sadhvi’ Pragya Singh Thakur and Lt. Col Purohit was sought to be rubbished as a conspiracy to defame the Sangh and Hindu saints. And finally following the Mumbai terror siege, the BJP went into overdrive with its ‘fight terror, vote BJP’ call.
The results do not suggest that this entire campaign has yielded any electoral benefit for the BJP. No less instructive in this context is the debacle suffered by Uma Bharti and her BJSP, who only gave the BJP’s theme a more aggressive and shrill note.
A third hypothesis regarding the ‘bi-polar’ nature of politics in these states may still seem to hold good. But the gains made by the BSP and the relatively impressive performance put up by the CPI(M) in Rajasthan, where the party has won three seats for the first time, point to a growing third camp in a political environment otherwise dominated by the BJP and the Congress.
The script of the downfall of the BJP government in Rajasthan was being written for quite some time. The Raje government had become infamous for its feudal-monarchical arrogance, record of brutal repression and utter insensitivity to the problems of the masses. The anger of the peasantry and alienation of powerful social groups had made the end of the Raje regime a near-foregone conclusion. The repressive Raman Singh government of Chhattisgarh too deserved a similar fate, but in Chhattisgarh the Congress remained busy colluding with the BJP to sponsor the infamous Salwa Judum campaign and every other assault on democracy. The Congress thus had neither the organisation nor the necessary oppositional plank to oust the BJP in the state. In Delhi, the anger of the traders over the issue of sealing of shops had already been played out in the 2007 municipal elections, leaving the Congress on a stronger wicket vis-a-vis a confused, divided and faded BJP.
The refusal of the electorate to get swayed by the BJP’s high-voltage propaganda and fascist communal campaign has surely sent out a healthy message. But as long as politics in the country will remain polarised between the Congress and the BJP, and pro-US policies will dictate the economic and foreign policy agenda of the country, there can be no respite for the people in any key sphere of national life. As we begin a new year and start preparing for the coming Lok Sabha elections, we must make sure that the battle for reversal of existing policies and freedom from the American strategic stranglehold acquires an unstoppable momentum and takes the rulers to task for all their betrayals and lapses.


Jharkhand: Jan Sunwai against Loot-Repression & Deprivation

The aspirations with which people waged the long struggle for the state of Jharkhand have been completely shattered in the eight years since Jharkhand was formed. The four governments and six chief ministers in this period have waged war on the rights of the poor workers and tribal people.
In this context of rule of loot-repression and deprivation a Jan Sunwai (People’s Tribunal) was held on December 1, 2008 at Ranchi’s Vidhansabha grounds. The Jan Sunwai was called by Jharkhand Gramin Mazdoor Samiti (Jharkhand Rural Workers’ Committee – JGMS) and the dais was named after martyred Com. Kameshwar Yadav and Lalit Mehta, who were killed because they were fighting against corruption in NREGA. The Jury of this Jan Sunwai comprised of Com. Ibnul Hasan Basroo – Convenor Jharkhand Pradesh Kisan Sabha, Veteran Communist leader Com. Tridiv Ghosh, Dr. BP Kesri – well known intellectual and State President of Jharkhand Jan Sanskriti Manch, Dr. Sambhu Badal – formerly HoD of Hindi Dept. of Vinoba Bhave University and veteran journalist Faisal Anurag. Xavier Kujur who is a journalist was appointed to record the entire proceedings of Jan Sunwai. The proceeding was conducted by JGMS’ State Secretary Com. Anant Prasad Gupta. Vigorous participation of rural poor-tribal and mass leaders of movements from most rural areas and districts, activists of the anti-displacement movement, intellectuals-cultural personalities and representatives from the media was witnessed.
Before the proceedings began a Pledge was taken after a minutes silence in memory of the leaders who were martyred. JGMS General Secretary Com. Janardan Prasad placed the Jan Sunwai in the context of the ongoing struggles of the rural poor. JGMS leader Com. Parmeshwar Mahato read the people’s chargesheet against the Government. Its copies were distributed among Jury members and media representatives. Consequently people’s representatives representing different regions of the State while giving their approval to the chargesheet, elaborated giving examples of the rule of loot-repression and deprivation in their respective areas.
As the main speaker CPI(ML) General Secretary Com. Dipankar Bhattacharya asked the people what did they get in eight years of the State. He pointed out how people had deposed in the Tribunal about activists being killed for protesting against loot of public funds; how in Shibu Soren’s rule innocent children are being forced to die after consuming adulterated milk; a lakh of para-teacher on strike are threatened with ESMA; Tata is laying off workers. Soren claims to be the first true representative of Jharkhand – but his regime is proving to be the greatest betrayal. Instead of abrogating anti-Jharkhand MoUs Soren is promising to implement all MoUs. If this happens the people will lose whatever control they have on all the resources of the State. Acts like CNT and SPT will be rendered meaningless. The UPA and NDA which never had anything to do with Jharkhand movement have now become proprietors of the governance. The situation demands that proletarians and rural poor, tribals-dalits and women must unite and come forward once again in massive numbers to wage a battle for new Jharkhand under the banner of the Red Flag. He recounted that the JMM that had Vinod Bihari Mahato as its leader and AK Rai’s party of the red flag have today become agents and political managers of the capitalists.
CPI(ML)’s MLA in Jharkhand Com. Vinod Singh expanded the list of charges against the Government and made clear to the people that the Legislative Assembly which people expect to discuss and deliver on their pressing issues, neither entertains these questions nor these issues are allowed to be raised. Rather there is across the party unity on loot of NREGA fund and pro-rich issues. People attending the Jan Sunwai were moved emotionally when a young schoolgirl, child of martyred Com. Rajeshwar Das who was killed for exposing NREGA corruption, wept on the dais and demanded for justice to her family. Comrades Rajkumar Yadav from Giridih, Chandranath Bhai Patel from Hazaribagh, Geeta Mandal from Santhal Pargana, Kalicharan Mehta from Palamu and comrades recently freed from jail (they were jailed for fight against loot and corruption) Usman Ansari of Giridih, Sukhdev Munda of Paanch Pargana and other speakers added to the list of chargesheet against the Government.
On behalf of the Jury members, Dr. B P Kesri delivered the verdict - punishment for all those responsible for the rein of loot-repression and deprivation of people in the State, for the chief secretary and secretaries of various departments involved in massive scams in development projects and all corrupt politician-official-contractor-middlemen. Immediate punishment to the killers and those responsible for the death of Kameshwar Yadav, Lalit Mehta, Rajeshwar Das, Tapas Soren, Turia Munda, and others. He said that there should be no acquisition of land without people’s agreement for the same.top

3rd Conference of Jhamas

Post Jan Sunwai of 1st December the 3rd Conference of Jharkhand Gramin Mazdoor Samiti (Jhamas) began at Comrade Ashok Kumar auditorium. The dais was named Comrade Rajeshwar Das Manch. The Conference continued till the next day in which around 600 delegates participated
The Conference was inaugurated by its central observer and AIALA’s (All India Agricultural Labourers’ Association) national leader Com. Satyadev Ram. Emphasing on the need to organizationally strengthen Jhamas he made it clear that the impending challenges can only be dealt with if we have a strong and powerful organization.
Com. Dipankar – CPI(ML) General Secretary also addressed the delegates in the Conference and said that Jhamas can will play an important role in expansion of the Party and intensification of the movement. For this we have to weave a web of organizational network down-to panchayat and village level along with developing militant movement on the ground and he reminded movement and struggle are the pivot on which our identity rests. It is crucial that the members of Jhamas are organized in active organizational structures and equipped with political consciousness. Describing the global economic recession centred in the US, he said that the bubble of economic growth has burst. The pro-rich, anti-poor and pro-speculators policies of the ruling classes not only ignoring but destroying the modern productive forces across the world are responsible for this recessionary phase. This has demolished many of their castles built in air. The capital that ought to be invested in production for providing employment to 85 percent people was set aside for stock markets and speculative activities for the unproductive and gambling activities of the 15 percent of population. Therefore a resolute struggle for round the year employment and adequate wage is important for bringing the economy on track and this type of global recessionary cycle can only be prevented through workers control over production process. Therefore the workers and poor people have to create the pressure for employment and wage. They have to understand that it is their toil and money which is running and maintaining the entire affairs of the economy, Country and society. Therefore they must say that they be handed over their money and means of production. But these governments are doing the exact opposite- snatching everything from the poor and doling out to the rich, influential and powerful. Only a powerful struggle of the working people will ensure actual economic prosperity and stop the imperialist domination.
Comrade Janardan Prasad, General Secretary of the Jharkhand Grameen Mazdoor sabha (JGMS) presented the work report on which many delgates from different regions took part in debate-discussion. The Conference was conducted by a presidium comprising Comrades Parmeshwar Mahato, Akhtar Ansari, Hira Gope, Sukhdev Munda, Usman Ansari and Kanhai Singh. The Conference was also addressed among others by Comrades Subhendu Sen – AICCTU Jharkhand General Secretary, Rajaram – CCM, Nepal Vishwakarma – State Secretary of RYA and Xavier Kujur – State Jt.Secretary of Jharkhand Jan Sanskriti Manch. The work report was unanimously passed after wider debate-discussion. During the delegate session the central observer Satyadev Ram facilitated the election and formation of 79-member central council and 17-member executive council and vice presidents. Com. Anant Prasad Gupta was elected President and Com. Parmeshwar Mahato as General Secretary. The name Jharkhand Grameen Mazdoor Sabha was unanimously adopted replacing the earlier name Jharkhand Mazdoor Samiti. The artists from Jharkhand Jan Sanskriti Manch presented arousing cultural programmes and songs devoted to martyrs were sung in the beginning by them.top

CPI(ML) Sankalp March on 6 December

On 6 December, on the 16th anniversary of the Babri Masjid demolition, CPI(ML) held ‘Sankalp March’ programmes all over the country to pledge to intensify the struggle against the divisive forces of terrorism, communalism and regional chauvinism. Condemning the terrorist assault on Mumbai, the CPI(ML) protests on 6 December rejected all prescriptions of dictatorship, army rule, war with Pakistan and partnership with the US as ‘solutions’ to make us secure. They asserted that democracy, secular unity and independent anti-imperialist assertion are the best guarantee of security for India. They demanded punishment for the forces of Sanghi terrorism who seek to reap a political harvest from each terrorist attack – and even go to the extent of staging such attacks themselves. They demanded a delinking of India from the ‘strategic partnership’ with the US’ imperialist and racist policies, which is rendering India more vulnerable to terror.
In Delhi the Sankalp March started from Mandi House and culminated in a mass meeting at Jantar Mantar. The march was led by CPI(ML) Politburo member Swadesh Bhattacharya, AICCTU General Secretary Swapan Mukherjee, AIPWA National Secretary Kavita Krishnan, CPI(ML) Delhi State Secretary Sanjay Sharma, AISA General Secretary Ravi Rai, JNUSU President Sandeep Singh, along with many democratic individuals, workers, and students. The meeting was addressed by the above activists as well as by noted journalist Jawed Naqvi, Tanweer Fazal of the Jamia Teachers’ Solidarity Group and student activists of various universities in Delhi.
At Patna, the Sankalp March from Gandhi Maidan culminating in a meeting at Patna Junction Circle, was led by CPI(ML) General Secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya, Bihar State Secretary Nand Kishore Prasad, CCM K D Yadav, Saroj Chaube, Meena Tiwary, and BB Pande, AISA State Secretary Abhyuday, AICCTU State Secretary R N Thakur and AIPWA State Secretary Shashi Yadav. Apart from CPI(ML) leaders, the meeting was also addressed by Prof. Naval Kishore Chaudhury, Head of the Deptt of Economics, Patna University, former NIT professor Prof. Santosh Kumar, Prof. Amarnath Singh of Patna University, intellectuals and social activists like Arshad Ajmal, Father Philip Methra, Prakash Louis, Prof. Bharti S Kumar as well as Shri Kundan Singh, father of Rahul Raj, the young man from Bihar who was killed in a suspicious encounter in Mumbai.
The Sankalp March at Lucknow from Charbagh to the Assembly was led by UP State Secretary Sudhakar Yadav, as well as state committee members Kranti Kumar Singh, Madan Singh, Vidya Rajwar, Balmukund Dhuria, district secretary Shiv Kumar, Jan Sanskriti Manch convenor Kaushal Kishore, Ravindra Sinha, poet Shobha Singh, AIPWA National Vice President Tahira Hasan, PUHR General Secretary Dr. Brijbihari, AICCTU leader Hari Singh and many other activists.
Similar marches were also held at Varanasi, Gorakhpur, Allahabad, Moradabad, Mirzapur, Sonebhadra, Jalaun, Azamgarh and many other centres. An impressive March was held at Sikandarpur in Ballia, and marches were also held at two other centres in the same district.
Similar marches were held at Ranchi, Gumla, Giridih, Ramgarh, Hazaribagh, Dumka, Jamtara, Bundu, Bagodar and Barwadih in Jharkhand; and Agartala, Kailasahar, Udaipur, Dharampur and other towns in Tripura.top

CPI(ML) General Secretary’s Visit to the Flood Affected Bihar

Janhunkar (people’s battlecry) rally was held on 24th Nov 2008 in Purnea in which thousands of victims of flood and agricultural labourers participated. The rally was addressed among others by CPI(ML) GS Com. Dipankar Bhattacharya and Com. Madhavi Sarkar presided over the meeting. Addressing the gathering he said that Chief of the State has himself been an engineer and he does not requires telling how to secure the embankments. Later, the poor and flood affected were heaped upon with Mega joke when ‘Mega’ camps at Purnia, Supaul, Saharsa, Madhepura and Araria were provided only ‘Mini’ relief. Addressing the people Central Committee member Com. Prabhat Kumar pulled the attention on Nitish Government’s total failure in implementing any recommendation of the Bandhopadhya Commission on land reforms and Purnia is a major centre of land controversies. The speakers demanded that providing employment under NREGA round the year for people of flood affected regions be made mandatory at the rate of Rs.200/day.
This mass meeting was witness to many activists and cadres of BSP, JD(U) and JMM joining the CPI(ML). Com. Rupa Besra who came from Jharkhand and other Party leaders including District Secretary Pankaj Singh and Com. Islamuddin also addressed the assembly.
Prior to the meeting a motor-bike rally of youth in the leadership of Amit Sarkar, son of martyred communist leader Com. Ajit Sarkar, was taken out and this procession reached RN Shah chowk and garlanded the statue of Com. Ajit sarkar.
Muraligunj: most badly ravaged by the floods, this block is still cutoff from Dist. headquarters of rail and road links. A big demonstration was held here by CPI(ML) on 26 Nov 2008. The mass meeting was held at Block HQ. The Party has demanded that ration, kerosene for on year and ten thousand rupees as cash be paid to each family, fertilizers and seeds be distributed free of cost and embankments be repaired as soon as possible.
Madhepura: A huge dharna of flood victims was held here on 5th December on the above mentioned demands. The meeting was addressed by Comrades Vidyanand Vikal – AIALA, Pankaj Singh and Bharat Bhushan. The irregularities and corrupt practice in distributing compensation among flood victims was one of the issue of the dharna.
Araria: A protest march and mass meeting was held at the Raniganj block headquarters of Araria district on 29 November, to protest against the murderous assault on and abduction of the party District In-charge Satyanarayan Yadav. Comrades in this district had done exemplary work among the flood victims and are even now in the struggle against the corruption and callousness of block officials. Most shocking is the fact that in this district – one of the most backward in Bihar, and worst affected by the floods – job-card holders have got the least work, and NREG funds are being looted by contractors and officials. Comrade Satyanarayan was abducted and assaulted because CPI(ML) comrades had been highlighting this loot. He was released by the abductors only after protest and intervention by our party comrades.
The mass meeting was addressed by CCM Prabhat Kumar, AIALA National General Secretary Dhirendra Jha, Pankaj Singh, Islamuddin and Satyanarayan Yadav. At this meeting, many CPI comrades joined CPI(ML).
Supaul: On December 4, CPI(ML) General Secretary Comrade Dipankar addressed thousands of flood victims in a mass meeting. He said that the extreme callousness of the ‘engineer CM’ had resulted in the Kosi floods. Nitish appointed the Land Reforms Commission and a commission for implementation of the Common School System, but the recommendations of these commissions have been shelved. The meeting was also addressed by Pankaj Singh, Arvind, and others.top

Shaheed Mela in Bhagalpur

23 November is the martyrdom anniversary of Comrades Maheshwar Bhagat and Uday Bhagat, two party activists of Bhagalpur district who had been killed in 1990. On this occasion a 2-day Shaheed Mela was held in the Kadva Diyara area of Bhagalpur, in memory of many revolutionary activists who have been martyred in this region: including Comrade Mahendra Pandit and Viveka in 1981; Ganpat Mandal in 1981; Ganga Mandal in the land struggle of 1983 as well as Maheshwar and Uday Bhagat in 1990.
The Mela began with CPI(ML) General Secretary Comrade Dipankar hoisting the party flag and unveiling the newly erected Martyrs’ Memorial. Family members of the martyrs were honoured and presented with shawls as a mark of respect. Thousands of people of the Naugachiya subdivision attended the mass meeting at the Mela. Comrade Prabhat Kumar, CCM and Central Office Secretary, who had worked closely alongside most of the martyred comrades, addressed the mass meeting. Addressing the meeting, Comrade Dipankar said that even as Nitish Kumar was indulging in self-congratulatory celebrations of three years of his Government, touting faked claims of ‘good governance’ and ‘development,’ we are among the people who can show us the true picture of Bihar’s reality: who have been denied even the basic facilities of roads, electricity, bridges, water, health, and education. He said that the only forces truly concerned about development for the people were the revolutionaries who had taken up issues of land, wages and dignity – and many of whom were targeted and killed for that reason by the very feudal forces who are Nitish’s staunch supporters. He said Bhagalpur is not just synonymous with communal riots, crime and instances of barbaric police repression – rather Bhagalpur is also known for being a vibrant centre of the Left movement – beginning with the CPI and continuing under the banner of CPI(ML) today – and a site of peasant movement and the struggles of poor students and youth. The meeting was also attended and addressed by Bhagalpur District Secretary and SCM S K Sharma, Comrades Pradeep Jha, Katihar District Secretary Rambali Yadav, AIALA District Secretary Bindeshwari Mandal and AISA State President Rinku. On the second day of the Shaheed Mela – 24 November – a seminar was organized on ‘Naugachia’s Development and CPI(ML)’s Role’, inaugurated by Pradeep Jha and presided by Bindeshwari Mandal, in which many prominent local individuals and intellectuals participated. On both days of the Shaheed Mela, Hirawal presented plays and revolutionary songs.

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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