In the Wake of the London Blasts
and their Racist Aftermath
The blasts that rocked London on the 7 th of July, killing more than fifty persons and injuring nearly a thousand, have been rightly and roundly condemned across the world. The chain of explosions was timed to coincide with the G-8 jamboree at Gleneagles in Scotland where Bush, Blair and their buddies from six other rich and powerful nations had gathered to stage their annual muscle-flexing and (crocodile) tear-shedding tamasha. Seeking more profits from global poverty and environmental degradation, the gleeful G-8 summiteers must have been buoyed particularly by the recent victories won by Bush and Blair in their respective domestic elections. Outside the G-8 orbit, the common citizens of London , too, had their own cause for celebration – the city had just been chosen as the venue for the 2012 Olympics. The blasts suddenly changed all this euphoria into gloom and soaked London and the entire Western world deep into the uncertainties and insecurities of our terrorized times.
The blasts came as a rude reminder to the G-8 heads that four years after 9/11 they were still as clueless in taming terrorism as ever. If anything, their unending war on terror has only succeeded in reinforcing terrorism and making the US and its politico-military allies all the more vulnerable. Ever since the US launched the war on Afghanistan and Iraq , the world has repeatedly risen in protest against the American project of Empire-building. The city of London , in particular, has seen millions of anti-war marchers calling repeatedly for an immediate end to Bush and Blair’s Iraq war and withdrawal of British troops from Iraq . The growing anti-war voice has also been echoed in elections, most strikingly in the recent May elections to the British Parliament. Blair’s ‘New Labour’ dispensation has however been arrogantly indifferent to these voices of the people. Terrorism, for all its impotence as a weapon of protest, resistance and change, continues to grow and flourish on this soil of imperialist intransigence.
In the wake of the London blasts, the G-8 heads have predictably reiterated their resolve to intensify the ongoing ‘war on terror’. A desperate hunt is on for fresh targets. Apart from standard Arab targets, some Moroccan names are also being suggested. Is the war on terror now ready to spill over from Asia into Africa ? Have the architects of the imperialist thesis of ‘clash of civilisations’ now chosen to concentrate on new fault lines between the Western and the Afro-Asian (Oriental and African)? Meanwhile, gurdwaras and mosques are being targeted across Britain and people of Afro-Asian origin are experiencing heightened racist attacks and harassment. While mourning the blast victims, peace-loving people the world over will have to raise their voice against the growing racist and militarist overtones of dominant politics in imperialist countries.
As the second most populous country in the world, India has a major role to play in this developing international situation. During the US-led war in Afghanistan and Iraq , the overwhelming majority of the Indian people stood firmly against Washington ’s military offensive and hegemonic designs. Even the BJP-led NDA government had to heed this anti-imperialist voice of India and refrain from sending Indian troops to Iraq . But the UPA government seems to be rushing in precisely where even the NDA had feared to tread. The new ten-year treaty between US and India reduces India to a strategic stooge of US imperialism and makes it obligatory for India to participate in US-led ‘multinational operations’. This will only isolate India and degrade her image in the international arena and render India vulnerable to the kind of terrorist backlash currently visiting the US and its strategic allies.
Along with the G-8 heads of states, the Prime Minister of India too was present in the UK as a special invitee when the blasts rocked London and shook the entire world. The Indian PM waxed eloquent against the menace of terrorism, but kept quite on the insult and devastation inflicted by the US-led policies of war and imperialist globalization on the peoples of Asia and the developing world. What was worse, he went out of his way – in a manner completely unbecoming of the Prime Minister of a free people – to glorify the barbaric British colonial rule in India as a model of ‘good governance’ full of ‘beneficial consequences’ for India and her people. And while Singh was busy expressing his gratitude to his old masters and mentors, the people of Asian origin, Sikhs in particular, were being singled out for racist attacks in Blair’s Britain .
While condemning the London blasts and mourning their innocent victims, and expressing solidarity with the worldwide people’s voice against racism and war, the anti-imperialist people of India thus have the added task of resisting the pro-imperialist foreign policy of the UPA government and its dangerous ramifications for the future of India and the world.
CPI(ML) Demands Unconditional Apology from the PM for his Pro-Colonial Remarks
CPI(ML) condemns and rejects the praises showered by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on British imperialism with deserving contempt. By describing the barbaric and brutal British colonial rule in India as a model of ‘good governance’ full of ‘beneficial consequences’ for the Indian people, Manmohan Singh has insulted the glorious history and legacy of our freedom struggle and its great martyrs.
It is ironical that while Singh was busy expressing gratitude to British imperialism for ‘building’ India and ‘grooming and empowering’ her would-be rulers, Sikhs and Asians in Britain were bearing the brunt of racist attacks in the wake of the London blasts. The Indian Prime Minister waxced eloquent against terrorism, but had not a word of protest to condemn the racist streaks of imperialist politics.
Manmohan Singh’s remarks have thus once again revealed the true colours of the Congress, not only in terms of its past compromises with British imperialism during the colonial rule, but more importantly as a ruling party incapable of defending the national interests and dignity of a free country of one billion people.
It must also be noted that Singh’s remarks glorifying the British colonial rule in India come close on the heels of India ’s strategic partnership agreement with the US which reduces India to a strategic stooge of Washington ’s war campaign for global hegemony. As such, these remarks cannot be dismissed as a stray case of misguided diplomacy. They betray the true comprador mindset of India ’s rulers.
CPI(ML) joins all patriotic anti-imperialist Indians to demand an immediate and unconditional apology from the PM for his remarks that have let down the entire country.
Sharpen Exposure and Intensify Agitation against UPA Government’s Anti-People and Pro-US Imperialism Policies
(Circular of the Polit Bureau Meeting, Patna , 7-8 July, 2005)
1. The Polit Bureau calls upon the entire Party and mass organizations guided by the Party to conduct a month-long exposure and agitation campaign against the UPA government’s anti-people and pro-US imperialism policies from 25 July to 24 August. To mark the beginning of the campaign, dharnas and demonstrations will be organized on 25 July in Delhi as well as major state capitals and district headquarters to pressurize the government to enact the following legislations during the monsoon session of Parliament: (i) comprehensive round-the-year employment guarantee for the jobless all over the country, (ii) comprehensive central legislation for agricultural labourers, (iii) social security legislation for unorganized sector workers, (iv) debt remission and alternative agricultural policy for the distressed peasantry, (v) 33% reservation for women in Parliament and State Assemblies.
2. Intensive propaganda should be carried out all over the country on 6 August, the sixtieth anniversary of the infamous Hiroshima Day (US imperialism had wiped out two Japanese cities Hiroshima and Nagasaki through targeted nuclear explosion on 6 and 9 August, 1945), against the worldwide military offensive of US imperialism and demanding scrapping of the dangerous strategic partnership agreement between the US and India. The latest ten-year agreement signed between the two countries, it should be noted, reduces India to a strategic stooge of the US and makes it obligatory for India to join the US in its ‘multinational military operations’. No patriotic Indian can accept this strategic slavery which will weaken India both by increasing US intervention in India’s internal affairs and by degrading India’s image and role in international relations.
3. The concluding day of the month-long campaign should be observed as Sangharsh Diwas or Day of Struggle and marked by mass mobilization in rasta roko/rail roko/chakka jam/jail bharo struggles all over the country. State and district committees should chalk out detailed campaign schedules for vigorous implementation of the month-long campaign call in their concerned areas.
4. The Polit Bureau took note of the growing signs of ideological-political crisis and organizational disarray in the Sangh parivar. Advani’s recent statements mark a shrewd attempt to update, and not revise in any fundamental way, the Sangh’s Hindutva ideology and its political articulation. And as the latest Ayodhya-related incidents indicate, there is every possibility of the Sangh parivar seeking a way out of the present crisis through a desperate revival of its sectarian and communal chauvinist agenda. In this context, the PB also stressed the need to expose the ideological bankruptcy and political opportunism of the Congress. It is necessary, for instance, to question official statements describing the demolished Masjid (or ‘disputed structure’ in legal parlance) as Ram Janambhoomi complex and the Congress portraying the incident at Ayodhya as an attack on India’s ‘national pride’.
5. The PB has also taken note of the calculated and calibrated oppositional posturing by the CPI(M) vis-à-vis certain measures of the UPA government. The oppositional stances being adopted by the CPI(M) are dictated by the CPI(M)’s electoral calculations concerning the forthcoming Assembly elections in West Bengal and Kerala and mark no basic departure from the collaborationist framework of the CMP and the UPA-Left Coordination Committee. While exposing the CPI(M)’s opportunist policy and approach, we must focus our attention on the real and growing disillusionment and anger of the working people caused by the UPA government’s anti-people and pro-US policies. Left-dominated trade unions in particular are compelled to reflect this anger howsoever formally and symbolically. Our emphasis must be on sharpening the exposure of UPA policies, intensifying the people’s movement and expanding the influence of the revolutionary communist line among the fighting people.
6. The PB has condemned the London blasts and condoled the death of large numbers of innocent people. While the timing and the reasons underlying the blasts – Blair’s blind support for, and participation in, Bush’s policy of wars of aggression and occupation – are perfectly understandable, such terrorist incidents only help to confuse, divide and weaken the real anti-imperialist movement of the world people. By pointing the so-called needle of suspicion at some people in Morocco, the Bush-Blair axis has revealed its design of opening new fronts of war in Africa. After America, Europe too is now set to witness intensified racist attacks on immigrant and minority communities and more state-led assaults on citizens’ rights and liberties. As committed fighters against imperialist domination, we must strengthen the anti-imperialist movement in India and strengthen our ties of solidarity with the worldwide struggle against racism and imperialist war.
7. State Committees in election-bound states ( Bihar, Assam, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Kerala) must focus their attention on select constituencies so that we can conduct a powerful election campaign and put up an improved performance in the Assembly elections scheduled late this year or early next year. While expanding and galvanizing our base among the rural poor and the crisis-ridden middle peasantry, we must also lay urgent emphasis on improving our organizational preparations to ensure that all our voters are actually able to caste their votes.
Seminar in Patna
A Seminar on the 'Plight of Bihar' ( Bihar kidhar?) was organised by CPI(ML) Patna unit on the first day of the Patna District Conference on July 9 at the venue of the conference coined as Comrade Jharo Devi Hall (Anjuman Islamia Hall) and Comrade Mahendra Singh Nagar. This was addressed by CPI(ML) General Secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya, CPI State Secretary Badrinarayan Lal, senior leader of Lok Janshakti Party Dr. Ranjan Prasad Yadav, poet Madan Kashyap and others.
Comrade Dipankar Bhattacharya expressed hope for a third alternative that will raise the issues of the people and will in turn take Bihar towards a changed path of development. Such a front will in fact be a number one political force with a potential of providing a new orientation to the polity of not only Bihar but also of the whole country. He called upon all forces of struggle striving for change to unite to forge a third front.
Explaining the plight of Bihar in detail he said that the studies confirm that Bihar inhabits maximum number of poor in the country and even the World Bank data indicate largest number of landless in the state. The politicians, judiciary and bureaucracy have always prevented land reforms from becoming a reality and the fifteen years regime of Lalu Yadav has only added more salt to woes of the poor. Now the World Bank is forwarding its agenda of privatisation against land reforms. While the powerful nexus of 'landlords', 'lootlords' and 'crimelords' has made the slogan of social justice a cruel joke of the common people, it was the Naxalbari movement and the CPI(ML) which successfully led struggles to weaken the feudal forces in the state in spite of the united efforts of ruling class parties against the struggling poor. The targeted repression of communists by Lalu regime failed to contain the growing people's movement and their struggling unity, instead, it increased the people's quest for change as well as a third alternative. The state of uncertainty in the present parliamentary arena in Bihar is an expression of this quest and will continue till the people's agenda for a total change is accomplished, he added, and expressed need for a wider left unity to speed up this process in the fast changing scenario of Bihar .
The Seminar was conducted by Ramji Rai and Saroj Chaube welcomed the guests and the audience.
Eighth Patna City Conference
Two-day Eighth Patna City Conference of CPI(ML) concluded on July 10 with a resolve to intensify struggles against corruption and crime and to expand the organisation among various cross sections of the people, especially youth and women. The Conference strongly condemned systemic withdrawal of social security schemes meant for the most deprived and toiling people and decided to strengthen mass movement against the policies of the government.
The conference addressed by Bihar State Secretary Ram Jatan Sharma as the main speaker where he called upon to strengthen the Party and its mass organisations with an united and disciplined cadre force in order to expand the movement and to expand the unity among left and democratic forces in the state towards making the third force a primary political power in Bihar.
The Conference passes an eight-point resolutions which included demands like a central legislation for agricultural workers, separate comprehensive social security legislation for unorganised sector workers, to amend the proposed Employment Guarantee Bill, waiver of loans of peasants and an alternative agrarian policy, passage of Women's Reservation Bill and to repeal the recently arrived defence deal with America.
The Conference reelected Saroj Chaube as the Secretary. Party State Committee member Sunil Yadav addressed the Conference as observer.
2 nd District Conference in Bokaro
The second District Conference of Bokaro was held on 9-10 July. The venue of the conference was coined as Mahendra Singh Nagar and Major Nagendra Sabhagaar. It concluded with a resolve to strengthen the party organisation and to go in for bigger initiatives.
Party Polit Bureau member Swadesh Bhattacharya addressed the Conference and said that a large number of coal, steel and unorganised sector workers have the potential to give this district an important place in the working class movement of the country. He stressed the need to intensify initiatives to go in for bigger initiatives as the present situation provides an opportunity for wider expansion. And this certainly requires to develop struggles at the grassroots under the guidance of a strong committee. He also stressed that every member of the Party has an important role in achieving this end.
Besides discussing experiences in trade union struggles, the Conference also expressed concerns regarding stability in mass base in the rural areas of the district despite widespread popularity as well as developing protracted resistance movements in the face of increasing and continuous repression by the state and resolved to give, simultaneously, more emphasis in organisation building amidst struggles.
In all, 33 delegates spoke in the Conference which was concluded after the election of a new nine-member committee with Comrade Sunita as its Secretary. Party State Secretary Subhendu Sen and Janardan Prasad, Observer for the conference, also addressed the delegates.
CMWU Criticizes Unions for Calling Off Proposed Strike
Coal Mines Workers' Union criticizes the 'adhoc' compromise reached between five recognised trade union centres including AITUC, CITU, INTUC, HMS and BMS and Minister for State for Coal D. Narayan Rao saying that the agreement reached still contains many pertinent issues unanswered and the government has enough space to backtrack from its promises and to carry on with its agenda of liberalisation and privatisation in the coal industry. CMWU believes that the strike call of July 18-24 should have not been withdrawn unless there is a written agreement addressing all issues raised by the workers. Condemning 'official' unions hasty compromise, CMWU has called for protest dharna at CIL headquarters at Kolkata on July 18 if a complete and comprehensive wage agreement is not reached before that date.
In the present compromise employment on compassionate grounds is accepted as a temporary arrangement while the arrears of general workers in ECL and BCCL since 2001 will not be paid immediately as demanded, instead a 'revival package' will be formulated later. Recognised unions have also retreated from the issue of interim relief as demanded. Moreover, there have been large scale retrenchments which has not been addressed in the compromise. CMWU General Secretary Upendra Singh has said that this compromise is a surrender by the recognised unions before the government, against the wishes of the coal workers, as it doen't address wage-allowances-bonus-employment issue on a comprehensive basis.
Campaign Against Coca Cola Company in Tirunelveli
Coca Cola company is entering Tirunelveli district through South India bottling company in SIPCOT, in Gangaikondan. It is going to draw 9 lac litres of water per day from Tamirabarani river in Tirunelveli, which is the main water source for Tirunelveli, Kovilpatti and Sattur. Party has organized a campaign against the company.
The proposed plant will cause huge water depletion and pollution of agricultural lands in the area at a huge scale. Party has organized door to door campaign in some of the villages around the plant, from July 1 to 7 which was supported by local villagers despite the efforts to disturb and stop the campaign by some corrupted people having vested interests. On July 8, a protest march (pad yatra) with black flags and road roko was organized.
AIPWA Protests Rape and Murder
A hapless woman belonging to scheduled tribe was brutally tortured and raped in Sitarampura village of Tonk district in Rajasthan. Another woman belonging to scheduled cast was raped and murdered by the relatives of irrigation minister of Rajasthan in Bisalpur of the same district. Police tried to save the relatives of the minister. An AIPWA investigation team led by its President Srilata Swaminathan and Rajasthan unit Convener Bhanwari Bai visited the district and met the victims. After intervention of the AIPWA leaders the authorities had to order arrest of rapists in the incident of Sitarampura while AIPWA has demanded to reopen and reinvestigate the second case where police had tried to protect the rapists.
Protest against Delhi Govt.
CPI(ML) and All India General Kamgar Union held a protest demonstration in front of Delhi Chief Minister's office on July 4 opposing the electricity tariff hike, lack of basic amenities in rehabilitated colonies, corruption in PDS system, privatisation of electricity and water and various other issues. Hundreds of people participated in this protest and handed over a 17-point memorandum addressed to the Chief Minister. Party State Secretary Rajendra Pratholi and State Committee members VKS Gautam, Santosh Rai and Surendra Panchal addressed the protesters.
Land Struggle in AP
A dharna was organised by AIALA in Kakinada at Revenue Development Office on July 4 to press upon for the demand of immediate redistribution of ceiling surplus and other governmental lands to the rural poor. The dharna also condemned the fake and illegal distribution of land pattas by the Congress govt. in the district.
A protest dharna was also held at Prathipadu Mandal office demanding withdrawal of false cases framed on activists involved in the struggles of rural poor and the landless.
Arrest the Killers in Mewat
CPI(ML) has demanded arrests of killer landlords of Pathipaika village in Mewat district who killed two villagers in connivance with police. A Party investigation team visited the spot and demanded immediate arrest of the killers and strong action against the police officials in whose presence the whole incident took place.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org, website: www.cpiml.org