CPI(ML) HOME Vol.8, No.04 25-31 January, 2005

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:

Let us all Learn from Comrade Mahendra Singh

His existence posed a constant challenge to the BJP’s brutal rule in Jharkhand. Now his martyrdom has hit the last nail into the coffin of communal-fascist forces in the state. On 16 January, 2005, the day after he had filed his nomination to seek reelection for the fourth successive term from Bagodar Assembly constituency of Giridih district in Jharkhand, Comrade Mahendra Prasad Singh was gunned down by hired assassins just when he had finished addressing a village election meeting. “Yes, I am Mahendra Singh”, he assured his assassins as the cowards sprayed bullets into his body. Today, his last words are resonating in every corner of Jharkhand as the most glorious and inspiring statement of life against the merchants of death.

Comrade Mahendra will be remembered by generations to come not only for why and how he lived his life but also for the extraordinary revolutionary courage with which he faced his death. His was a life that constantly defied the forces of darkness and reaction to ignite the fire of social progress and political assertion in the hearts of the most oppressed and marginalised sections of our society. And now his martyrdom is destined to produce an impact that will be several times more powerful and enduring. Martyr Comrade Mahendra Singh’s legacy will intensify Jharkhand’s battle for justice and progress and inspire the Indian people’s forward march for a better tomorrow.

In the 81-member Jharkhand Assembly, Comrade Mahendra was the lone CPI(ML) legislator. But his was the most fearless and forceful voice that reared against every injustice and resonated equally powerfully both within and outside of the Assembly. He thus emerged as the most energetic embodiment of the popular yearning for freedom from the BJP’s corrupt and communal rule, as the most courageous and consistent crusader against mafia domination and state repression. The BJP government spared no attempt to persecute him and crush the movement, but the Party organisation successfully broke through every cordon under Comrade Mahendra’s inspiring and bold leadership.

Following the dastardly state-sponsored physical assassination of Comrade Mahendra, the state sought to kill him a second time by offering to arrange a state funeral with state ‘honours’. The Party organisation and the fighting people of Bagodar rejected this proposal with the contempt it deserved. The Chief Minister of a killer government had no right to stage a show of paying floral tribute to a revolutionary martyr. Representatives of an anti-people state had no right to temper with the mortal remains and political legacy of a revolutionary representative of the people. The state was forced to beat a retreat and the people of Bagodar gave a historic farewell to their most beloved comrade and leader. With clenched fists, tens of thousands of people resolved to protect and defend the revolutionary legacy of Comrade Mahendra and fulfil his unfulfilled tasks and dreams.

Comrade Mahendra’s life and struggles will remain an inexhaustible treasure of political education and revolutionary inspiration for every committed communist. Born into an ordinary peasant family, he left home at an early age in life and ventured out on a spiritual quest to find the meaning of life. Unsatisfied, he travelled to different parts of the country as a wanderer and migrant worker. His formal education did not cross the boundaries of school, but literature became his constant companion and life remained his greatest teacher. By the time he came in contact with the Party in the late 1970s, he already carried great promise as a man with a mission.

That was the period when the Party was in the midst of a thoroughgoing rectification campaign, a campaign that mobilised the entire Party against the fixed and frozen framework of dogmatism and challenged and invited comrades to explore new horizons of mass initiative and mass struggles, to tap the latent energies of the people and unleash their full initiative in multifarious struggles. Mahendra returned to his village (Khambhra village in Dondlo panchayat in Bagodar block) to translate this new mass line of the Party into creative and dynamic practice. Soon he united the youth, found amicable solutions to many of the petty quarrels that overshadowed life in the village, and turned the ideas and energies of the people against the basic problems of backwardness and oppression. Till the end of his life Bagodar would continue to serve as the most living laboratory for Comrade Mahendra’s creative imagination and constant experimentation with mass struggles.

In February 1990 Comrade Mahendra won his first victory in elections to the Bihar State Assembly and was entrusted with the responsibility of leading the seven-member team of IPF legislators. A new front of struggles opened up before him and Mahendra promptly began to master the art of using the floor of the Assembly as a powerful platform of exposure and agitation against the anti-people and anti-democratic Acts, policies and steps of the state and governments that direct its affairs. He also used his position as a member or chairperson of various Assembly committees as a weapon of struggle against corruption and injustice, including corrupt practices of other members of Assembly. Following the creation of Jharkhand and installation of a BJP-led government in the state, Mahendra emerged as the most determined and articulate voice of protest and democracy in Jharkhand Assembly.

In the history of communist participation and intervention in parliamentary institutions in India , Comrade Mahendra would be remembered as a shining star who excelled in using the laws and institutions of the bourgeois state for the revolutionary cause of the people. He knew that the ruling classes and their shrewd representatives would not miss a single opportunity to bribe and co-opt communist parliamentarians. Comrade Mahendra was ever alive to this danger and rejected every such attempt with utter contempt. On one recent occasion when the government and the opposition ganged up against him and tried to silence him in the name of upholding the privilege of the Speaker, he promptly submitted his resignation and vacated his flat in no time. On the insistence of the overwhelming democratic opinion in the state, the Speaker had to refuse to accept his resignation and Mahendra returned to the Assembly to resume his battle.

Comrade Mahendra’s unique contribution to communist experience of parliamentary struggle lay primarily in the matchless manner in which he combined his role within the Assembly and his role as a leader of the people’s movement raging outside. For all the fifteen years he functioned as an MLA, he continued to lead the movement from the front, looking after every live aspect of the movement and turning every adversity into an opportunity. There have been occasions when the movement has had to beat a retreat, but never did he fail to regain initiative and regroup the forces. He was repeatedly implicated in false cases and incarcerated on several occasions. In the 1980s, the lower court had even sentenced him to life imprisonment, but he was acquitted by the High Court with the comment that he had been falsely implicated as he fought for the oppressed and the downtrodden.

Comrade Mahendra had many original ideas about rural development and people’s participation in managing their own affairs and never hesitated to test those ideas in the crucible of practice. He would never view the people as passive beneficiaries or recipients of whatever growth and development corrupt officials and bourgeois politicians may allow to ‘trickle down’ to the villages. For him development meant transformation and the people were to be respected as the most active agent and dynamic designer and director of this process. The community centres, roads and irrigation facilities constructed in his constituency stand in glorious contrast to any ‘constituency development’ that any minister may boast of in Jharkhand. When everybody remained content by merely complaining about the government’s refusal to hold panchayat elections in Bihar and Jharkhand, he motivated and mobilised the people of Bagodar and Giridih to elect their own ‘parallel’ panchayats.

Comrade Mahendra’s passion for development and people’s participation was however not limited to the spheres of economy and politics. He fought equally powerfully for bringing about a radical cultural transformation and regeneration in the rural society. He would take on every obscurantist idea and practice, would challenge every feudal, communal and patriarchal prejudice, and explore every possible medium to promote secular democratic values among the people. He has rightly been described by a renowned journalist of Jharkhand as a modern-day Kabir even as we see in him traits of a worthy heir of Bhagat Singh. He was a deeply sensitive person and the poems he had started writing in the last decade of his life sprang from the depth of his human sensitivity and communist commitment.

Comrade Mahendra was an outstanding orator, but people would also remember him as one who used to listen to others, who was always open to ideas and receptive to criticism. He never suppressed his own communist identity and views, and yet he could attract people with different views and approaches and could easily work with them for any common cause. He combined both communist firmness and flexibility and showed how, in the quest for a new democratic India, communists should and must establish themselves both as resolute fighters as well as the most reliable and acceptable builders of united fronts.

We must all learn from Comrade Mahendra’s life and struggles and uphold his lustrous legacy by rededicating ourselves to the interests of the people and to the glorious goal of their liberation.

Protesting this Political Murder ...

A Sankalp Sabha in memory of Comrade Mahendra was organised on 24 January at Town Hall in Ranchi. Hundreds of people from various walks of life attended this memorial meeting. The meeting was addressed among others by CPI(ML) General Secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya, noted journalist and chief editor of Prabhat Khabar Harivans, CPI leader Khagendra Thakur, CPI(M) leader Gyan Shankar Mazumdar, BP Kesri, Daya Mani Barla, and Tridib Ghosh. A Citizen's Protest Forum was also formed in the meeting to further advance the movement. It was decided by the Forum to organise a protest march on January 27 in Ranchi against the killing of Comrade Mahendra.

People are organising Protest and Pledge-taking meets in almost every village, panchayat and block of Giridih district to avenge the killing of their beloved leader. They have pledged not to take rest till the perpetrators of the crime are punished. They have also pledged to give the killer nexus and the state a befitting reply by reelecting CPI(ML) nominee fourth time for the Assembly from Bagodar.

A Sankalp Sabha was organised at Delhi at Gandhi Peace Foundation on 21 January. Among those who attended and addressed the meeting were the prominent journalists and civil liberties activists Kuldeep Nayyar, Praful Bidwai, Gautam Naulakha, Anand Swaroop Varma, Abhay Dube and Anil Chamadiya, Delhi University Professors and activist Tripta Wahi, editor of Revolutionary Democracy, Vijay Singh, Manoranjan Mohanty from Delhi University, Hindi poet Alok Dhanwa, the cultural activist Shubhendu Ghosh, democratic rights activists like Nandini Sundar of PUDR and N D Pancholi of PUCL, General Secretary of Forward Bloc Debabrat Biswas, CPI leader Comrade D Raja, Prakash Rao of Communist Gadar Party of India, Surendra Mohan, Dr. Suneelam, MLA from the Samajwadi Party, Vijay Pratap, Thomas Matthew, NBA activist Chittaroopa Palit, AICCTU leader Santosh Rai, CPI(ML) CC Members Rajendra Pratholi and Kumudini Pati. The Meeting passed a resolution calling upon all democratic and justice loving forces to rise against this murder of democracy in Jharkhand, and demanded punishment for the killers – Deepak Verma, Superintendent of Police and Ravindra Rai, the Minister in Jharkhand's BJP government. The meeting also expressed shock over the Supreme Court's acquittal of real killers of Shankar Guha Niyogi.

Tamil Nadu: Urban and Rural Workers Reach Out to the Tsunami-affected People

The workers of Ambattur and Tiruvotriyur, the landless agrarian labourers of Cuddalore, Nagapattanam and Pudukkottai and the beedi and unorganised workers of Tirunelveli held meetings and held a yatra to reach out to the affected along with the lorries loaded with collected relief materials from Ambattur and Ayanavaram. The convoy picked up more relief materials from friendly organisations and one more vehicle joined on the way. The yatra reached Kancheepuram district and from there it went to coastal villages of Chemmancheri and New Kalpakkam and distributed materials to the affected people.

The comrades form Pondicherry also joined the convoy with another vehicle. In Pondy, relief materials were distributed in a fishing hamlet. Some relief materials were handed over to the party team working in Cuddalore for local distribution and then the yatra proceeded to Nagapattinam. On the way it was joined by another team from Namakkal, Salem , Karur and Viruddachalam led by CPI(ML), AICCTU and RYA comrades with a full lorry load of materials. In Sirkali another lorry of relief materials joined the convoy. Comrades from Pudukkottai, Tanjore and Tiruchi also joined in.

From there the convoy of motor cycles, vans, cars and lorries raced to Poompuhar and the nearly coastal villages. The Party and the AIALA had organised two camps there. There was a public meeting in the market place of Dharanikulam, Poompuhar. All the relief materials were stored in the camps. From there they were taken to different coastal villages and distributed. Similar measures were also initiated in the southern districts.

Local activists of Nagai and Tanjore and school teachers from Pudukkottai numbering 35 stayed back in Nagapattinam to continue their work in the local affected areas.

Comrades from CPI(ML), AICCTU, AIALA, AIPWA, RYA, AISA and Solidarity Council fanned out throughout Tamil Nadu and reached out even to remote areas where the government machinery did not even go. Within a few days they collected a huge quantity of materials and contributions up to Rs.5 lakhs. Now three teams are again going back to the affected areas. They will also assess the damage and relief measure undertaken.

The CPI(ML) is one of the few voices challenging the government and asking the people to rise in protest to ensure adequate relief. With the money collected, the Party has plans to construct reading room-cum-community halls with drinking water in at least two or three places in the affected areas. Till now, more than Rs. 10 lakhs have been collected and sent to the tsunami affected through party's own network and other benevolent organisations, especially in the areas where governmental relief work has not yet started or where dalits and other oppressed communities had faced discrimination by the governmental relief agencies.

Meanwhile, A team of 18 students left New Delhi on Jan 13 for Nagpattinam to participate in relief efforts among tsunami victims. The team comprised of students from JNU, DU, and Jamia Millia, organised by the All India Students Association and the Manipuri Students Association Delhi. The team will donate a relief amount of Rs. 50,000 collected by students all over Delhi, and will aim to work among dalit settlements which are being discriminated in official relief efforts. A team of students from West Bengal has also reached there for participating in the relief works.

Politics of Relief

Central government announced a relief of Rs. 1 lakh to the kin of the dead. Not a single person has been given money yet; Even 15 days after the disaster, central relief funds had not reached the state; The state government in Tamil Nadu has not identified the loss caused due to destruction of boats, nets, fishing instruments, movable properties and household articles; Rehabilitation work has not yet commenced . Fishing activities have not yet commenced; A great majority of the affected have not been identified as beneficiaries; In Nagapattinam district alone, more than 300 villages and 30000 acres of land have been affected due to the sea water entering the fields; Other than fisherfolk, dalits, Vanniyars and others are also affected in the coastal areas but they have received the least attention of the authorities; The government, in order to cover up its own inaction and criminal negligence, is trying to create contradictions among the people: i.e., among fisherfolk, and between fisherfolk and other downtrodden masses.

What do we ask?

* Rs. 5 lakh should be given to the families of the dead; employment should be given to the surviving members;

* Damages to movable and unmovable property should be compensated;

* Among the fisherfolk all the affected should be covered;

* Other sections of rural poor affected by the tsunami should also be covered;

* All those who lost agricultural land should be compensated; the lands should be desalinated to make them fertile again;

* Rehabilitation and relief should be done without delay.


[The list below is incomplete. Many candidates are yet to be finalised. The Party has announced that it would contest more than 100 seats in Bihar and around 30 seats in Jharkhand. We share with the readers the information available at the time of going to print.

AC Constituency Candidate
No. Name
1 72 Lohardagga (ST) Sukarana Bhagat
2 66 Mandar (ST) Aito Uraon
3 61 Silli Khudiram Munda
4 29 Bagodar Vinod Singh
5 28 Rajdhanwar Rajkumar Yadav
6 30 Jamua (SC) Satyanarayan Das
7 31 Gandey Rajesh Kumar
8 19 Koderma Ramdhan Yadav
9 20 Barkatta Mahendra Dash
10 81 Bhavnathpur Sogra Bibi
11 80 Garwah Jitendra Kumar Chandravanshi
12 73 Manika (ST) Jaiprakash Minj
13 75 Panki Vishwanath Singh
14 24 Mandu Parmeshwar Mahto
15 23 Ramgarh Devakinandan Bedia
16 22 Barkagaon Pairu Prakash Ram
17 39 Nirsa Upendra Singh
18 40 Dhanbad Dilip Rai
19 38 Sindri Meera Devi
20 42 Tundi Rohan Mahto
21 35 Bermo Dinesh Singh
22 34 Gomiya Budhan Karmali
23 8 Nala Babudhan Hembrum
24 9 Jamtara Jaiprakash Mandal
25 7 Shikaripara (ST) Sunil Marandi
26 10 Dumka (ST) Vakil Hansda
27 15 Devghar (SC) Vijendra Kumar Turi
28 13 Madhupur Kumar Vinod Singh
1 196 Sandesh Rameshwar Prasad
2 197 Barhara Latafat Husain
3 198 Ara Sudama Prasad
4 204 Jagadishpur Mitranand Singh
5 205 Piro Chandradeep Singh
6 206 Sahar (SC) Ramnaresh Ram
7 202 Rajpur (SC) Daroga Ram
8 201 Buxor Jitendra Ram
9 203 Dumraon Sushila Devi (F)
10 207 Karakat Arun Singh
11 208 Bikramganj Ashok Singh
12 209 Dinara Gopal Ram
13 215 Chenari (SC) Phula Devi (F)
14 217 Dehri Kaisar Nehal
15 211 Mohania (SC) Tetra Devi (F)
16 212 Bhabhua Vijay Yadav
17 219 Dev (SC) Munarik Ram
18 222 Obra Rajaram Singh
19 223 Goh Urmila Devi (F)
20 224 Arwal Anwar Husain
21 225 Kurtha Rajeshwari Yadav
22 226 Makhdumpur Shivratan Singh
23 227 Jehanabad Kamlesh Sharma
24 228 Ghoshi Kunti Devi (F)
25 229 Belaganj Ganesh Das
26 232 Gaya Shahar Shyamlal Prasad
27 233 Imamganj (SC) Bishundev Singh
28 236 Barachatti (SC) Ramdeep Paswan
29 240 Rajauli (SC) Bhola Manjhi
30 242 Varsali Ganj Pramod Yadav
31 149 Nath Nagar Devendra Mandal
32 150 Bhagalpur S K Sharma
33 151 Gopalpur Bindeshwari Mandal
1 74 Bisfi Rajendra Yadav
2 79 Pandaul Uttam Paswan
3 80 Jhanjharpur Vijay Shankar Jha
4 84 Manigachhi Upendra Paswan
5 86 Ghanshyampur Laxmi Nayak
6 87 Baheri Satyanarayan Mukhiya
7 88 Darbhanga-
Rural (SC) Satyanarayan Paswan
8 89 Darbhanga Shahar Shiban Yadav
9 90 Kevati Md. Jamaluddin Mansuri
10 92 Hayaghat Ramnandan Bhagat
11 93 Kalyanpur Sunil Suman
12 94 Varisnagar (SC) Jeevachh Paswan
13 95 Samastipur Prof. Umesh Kumar
14 96 Sarayranjan Md. Chand
15 99 Vibhutipur Phoolbabu Singh
16 102 Hasanpur Santosh Suman
17 103 Balia Noor Alam
18 108 Cheriabariyarpur Ram Balak Sahni
19 109 Bakhri (SC) Rajaram Arya
20 124 Rupauli D. N. Rai
21 125 Dhamdaha Dhirnarayan Jha
22 126 Banmankhi (SC) Nityanand Rishidev
23 138 Kasaba Rajendra Mandal
24 139 Purnia Madhavi Sarkar (F)
25 128 Narpatganj Jairam Mandal
26 141 Barari Bimal Mandal
27 142 Katihar Sanjay Besra
28 144 Barsoi Mahboob Alam
29 146 Manihari Sudhir Singh
30 169 Suryagarha Chandradev Yadav
31 174 Barbigha (SC) Nandlal Chaudhary
32 117 Sahrasa Name to be declared
1 13 Karnal Purna Chand
2 15 Gharaunda Sushma Kashyap (F)


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