Sunday, 28 August 2011

ML Update 35 / 2011

ML Update

A CPI(ML) Weekly News Magazine

Vol. 14, No. 35, 23 – 29 AUGUST 2011


Combat Corruption, Protect Land, Defend Democracy


In a shameful assault on democracy, the very next day after Independence Day, the Congress-UPA Government launched an offensive on citizens' freedom, and arrested anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare and others. Subsequently, a massive countrywide upsurge against this arrest and crackdown on democratic protest forced the Government not only to release Hazare, but also to give him permission to hold his fast at Ramlila Grounds. People have shown that they have the will to resist repression and defend democracy, and in less than 24 hours, their determination forced a corrupt and repressive Congress-UPA Government to beat a retreat.

The PM's Independence Day speech had already shown the way for this crackdown, by warning against peaceful forms of protest, and branded democratic activists as 'people who are trying to create disturbances.' The President's Independence Eve speech also warned that people's movements could lead to 'erosion of credibility and authority' of Parliament. Earlier, the Home Minister P Chidambaram had argued that since the Lokpal Bill has been tabled in Parliament, any 'extra-parliamentary protests' on this issue would be 'unconstitutional.' The huge people's protest that greeted the arrest of Anna Hazare is a signal of how thoroughly the people have rejected such dishonest arguments. The people have made it clear that if anything is unconstitutional and a threat to democracy it is the government's attempts to muzzle protest, and not people's movements!

The countrywide resurrection of the anti-corruption movement in August has made it clear that the April 'upsurge' was no flash-in-the-pan media-created show. The degree of popular awakening and participation has only increased since April and the farcical way the government went about the whole process of drafting the Lokpal bill – virtually dismissing the joint panel – has only hardened the people's mood against the corrupt and treacherous powerlords of the discredited UPA regime. It is true that with the Baba Ramdev stream effectively pushed out of reckoning, the RSS network has started throwing its entire weight behind the Anna agitation, and the attitudes and views of many of Team Anna including Anna himself are often contradictory and inconsistent on many integral aspects of democracy or a progressive social vision. But that makes it all the more important for all in the progressive camp to step in with all their might and lead the popular anti-corruption awakening in a consistently democratic direction.

In April, it was the new idea of Lokpal which had captured the imagination of the popular anti-corruption campaign. Now the debate has clearly moved beyond Lokpal. With the government coming out with its own version of a farcical Lokpal bill, the anti-corruption movement has rightly called for its rejection even as debates continue about the preferred kind of Lokpal legislation. There are concerns over the prospect of concentration of too much power in the hands of the proposed 'Jan Lokpal', there are also concerns over the JLP bill's silence over corporate corruption given that corruption today thrives not just under the table in government offices but is fuelled most prominently by the private sector, whether thanks to outright privatisation or through the ubiquitous public-private partnership.

But beyond the specific content of Lokpal legislation, the government has made it into a people versus parliament debate and even some in the Left have fallen for the claim of saving parliament from the people or saving parliamentary democracy from the whims of mobocracy as they would like us to believe. Thus the movement has already progressed from 'Lokpal' to 'Loktantra' – from the specific turf of an ombudsman to the domain of democracy, be it resisting state repression or asserting the rights of the people's movement.

Whether one focuses on the issue of corruption or the defence of people's movement in the face of an overbearing corporate-dominated state and government, it is necessary to emphasise the organic links between the anti-corruption movement and the anti-corporate thrust of a whole range of ongoing people's struggles. With the rural development ministry releasing the draft of the proposed land acquisition bill, it is also clear that the government is bent upon legalising and accelerating the ongoing corporate war on farmland and forest and tribal-inhabited land. The anti-corruption campaign must therefore seek closer unity with the anti-privatisation struggles of the working class and students as well as ongoing people's movement in defence of land and livelihood.

The CPI(ML) seeks precisely to emphasise and embody the linkage between the anti-corruption movement and the broader resistance against corporate plunder of productive resources and state-inflicted denial of people's rights. The August 9 jail bharo agitation and the August 9-12 student-youth day-and-night barricade at Jantar Mantar marked both the culmination of one phase and the beginning of the next phase with the battlecry "Combat Corruption, Protect Land, Defend Democracy." Let us take this message to every corner of the country and mobilise the masses in their millions to oust the corrupt and authoritarian UPA government and reject and reverse the pro-corporate policies that are daily ravaging the country and the people.

Grave Findings by Kashmir SHRC

It's official now: thousands of 'disappeared' Kashmiri civilians did not vanish into thin air or across the border. They lie buried in unmarked mass graves – the victims of custodial murders by security forces in the Valley.

A probe by the Kashmir State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) establishes that more than 2000 bodies lie in 38 unmarked graves in northern Kashmir.

For the people of Kashmir, this is not a sensational discovery. They can only feel a grim sense of vindication of what they have long been alleging. The Association of Parents of Disappeared Persons, in March 2008, released a report, 'Facts Underground', that pointed to the presence of the unmarked graves. The SHRC enquiry was initiated in response to the APDP campaign.

In 2009 a report of the International People's Tribunal (IPT) on Human Rights and Justice documented 2,700 unknown, unmarked, and mass graves.

Now the SHRC has stated that "beyond doubt," 2156 bullet-ridden bodies have been found in 38 mass graves. Many of these were handed over by police to locals for burial as 'unidentified militants.' The SHRC report accepts that "There is every probability that these unidentified bodies may contain bodies of enforced disappearances." In light of these findings, the SHRC has ordered a state-wide investigation including exhumation of the bodies, DNA profiling and matching with relatives of disappeared people, and lodging of FIRs.

Some of the bodies were defaced; 20 were charred and five only had skulls remaining. 18 of the graves contained more than one body each. The report also suggests that "to stop the misuse of powers under AFSPA (Armed Forces Special Powers Act) and Disturbed Areas Act, it is necessary that wherever anybody is killed — whether he is a militant or an innocent civilian — his or her identification profile including DNA profile should be maintained properly." This suggestion itself is an admission of how the draconian AFSPA is being used – as a license to murder civilians and maintain a reign of terror over the people in the areas where it is deployed.

The APDP estimates that around 10,000 people 'disappeared' during the last couple of decades. In some of the cases, where the disappeared person had been picked up by police or army officials from his home, the families pursued the matter, and probes were even ordered against the concerned security officials. But such enquiries mostly came to naught. The APDP is headed by Perveena Ahangar, whose son went missing in police custody 17 years ago. She has called for international human rights groups and Indian authorities to identify the people buried in the mass graves.

The families of the disappeared seek closure for the terrible uncertainty and pain they have endured. They also seek justice and punishment for the unconscionable murders, by Indian security forces, of their loved ones.

It is imperative that an unbiased drive to identify the bodies be launched before there is any chance of destruction or further decay of the evidence. As ordered by the SHRC, FIRs must be lodged in the case of all disappeared persons, and pursued at a fast track.

In the unmarked mass graves lie buried the dark reality of civilian life in Kashmir under military jackboots. It is a stark reminder that every Kashmiri family lives in terror of their loved one 'vanishing' after being picked up arbitrarily by security forces. This state of terror can end only when the right to self-determination of Kashmiris is respected and a political solution acceptable to the Kashmiri people sought and found.

We publish below further reports of Country-wide Protests by CPI(ML) on 16-17 August against Congress-UPA Government's Crackdown on Anti-corruption Movement

Assam: As part of the movement against corruption and to demand an effective Lokpal Bill, the  CPI(ML) on 20th August launched agitations in Assam. In State capital Guwahati, CPI(ML) took out a protest procession in the main areas of Ambari, Dighalipukhuri, Cotton College, DC office and High Court. More than hundred members and supporters of CPI(ML) and members of AICCTU affiliated trade unions, marched in the main streets of the locality and later they joined a fast organized by 'Save Democracy Campaign Committee'.

In Jorhat, Party's district committee, organized a bicycle procession from Teokto Jorhat covering a long distance. The protesters shouted slogans against corruption, demanded 'save democracy, save India', called upon the people to root out corruption from all spheres.

In Jakhalabandha, Nagaon, Party's district committee, organized a torch light procession of one hundred protesters on the same demands.

On the other hand 'Save democracy save India', a joint forum comprising of All India Agricultural Labourers'Association (AIALA), Sangrami Chah Sramik Sangha, AIPWA, bank trade unions, Anti-Eviction and Development committees etc. organized a 24-hour fast on the footpath of Ambari from 11 am of 19th to 11 am following day. Different organizations extended their support to this programme.

Karnataka: Harapanahalli unit of All India Students' Association (AISA) organized a rally and demonstration in front of Taluk office on 16 August against corruption, corporate loot and for democracy. The rally was led by Prasad, AISA National Executive Committee member and was addressed by Manjunath, AISA NCM, Prakash, district convenor and Chowdappa, AIALA among others. Comrade Ramappa, state secretary of CPI(ML) lambasted the central government for arresting Anna Hazare and other anti-corruption activists. The students were called upon to continue fight against corruption till the neo liberal policies are reversed. The speakers also emphasised that Jan Lokpal is only a beginning and not an end of anti-corruption movement being spearheaded by CPI(ML).

On 17th, hundreds of students led by AISA staged 'rasta roko' against corruption for the second day.

In HDKote, CPI(ML) activists led by Javaraiah, SLTM, joined the struggle with other progressive organisattions on 16th. The demonstrators submitted a memorandum to the President through Tahsildar.

In Gangavati too, CPI(ML) and AICCTU activists led by AIALA State President Com. Bharadwaj participated in joint programmes with other progressive organizations.

Tamil Nadu: In Coimbatore, 400 Pricol workers held demonstrations at two factory gates on 16 August. On 18 August Pricol workers held a demonstration in City Centre too. Comrades Damodharan, SCM of the Party and N Krishnamurthy, Balasubramaniam and Gurusami led these protests.

In Chennai, over 100 TIDC workers immediately participated in a demonstration at the factory gate and raised slogans against UPA government demanding UPA to quit power, quit India and to stop repression. Following this demonstration, workers of another 4 factories held factory gate meetings immediately and demanded UPA government to give-up its policy of repression. In the evening over 100 workers and Party members held a demonstration at the busy Ambattur Market. In all these six centres about 500 workers participated on 16 August. These protests were led by comrades AS Kumar, SCM, Sekar, SCM and Palanivel, State Secretary of AICCTU. Comrades in government service released a pamphlet condemning UPA's repressive measures.

At High Court, Chennai, around 40 advocates participated in an 80-strong demonstration on 18 August. The demonstration was led by Com. K Bharathi, SCM of the Party.

On August 17, Comrades of Namakkal district held demonstrations at two centres with 100 power loom workers. Comrades Arumugam and KR Kumarasami led these demonstrations.

In Kumbakonam, a demonstration was held on 18 August in which around 50 rural poor participated. Comrades TKS Janardhanan, S Elangovan (SCMs), led the protest. In Tirunelveli also a demonstration was held on 19 August. In Kanyakumari and Salem poster campaign was taken up.

AICCTU Initiatives towards CPI(ML)'s August 9 Jail Bharo

All India Central Council of Trade Unions (AICCTU), Tamil Nadu, held its State Working Committee meet on July 9 – 10 and discussed in detail about preparations for QUIT INDIA DAY protests and for the forthcoming National and State Conferences of AICCTU. The SWC emphasized in reaching new sections of workers, with particular concentration on construction workers in big projects of MNCs, big government projects and migrant constructions workers in and around Chennai, among contract workers in Sriperumbudur, the Detroit of TN, and organizing unorganized workers, particularly women, in living areas. SWC decided to organize padyatras (march on foot) to reach these sections of workers to take up propaganda for QUIT INDIA DAY protests. To begin all this, the SWC decided to hold district level cadre meetings.

In the month of July, in Coimbatore, Chennai, Kanyakumari, Tirunelveli, Namakkal and Salem - district level cadre meetings were held and around 200 cadres and advanced activists attended these meetings.

In Coimbatore, Comrade S Kumarasami, PBM, camped for a month before August 9. He participated in all 24 padayatras held in Coimbatore in the workers localities in which around 150 workers were involved. 28,000 pamphlets were distributed. 550 workers participated in the jail bharo protest on August 9. Com. S Kumarasami courted arrest along with them in Perianaickenpalayam, a centre where the police denied permission even to hold a public meet on earlier occasions.

Before this campaign Com. S Kumarasami stayed in Pricol Workers' Union office for 15 days and met over 750 workers in groups of 5 to 20 and discussed with them about their views on union activities, political initiatives in the area and future course. This has led to enhanced participation of Pricol workers in July 26 public meet and the campaign toward August 9.

In Chennai, 30 padyatras were held in which 425 workers participated. 32,000 pamphlets were distributed and the campaign reached over 50,000 workers. New sections of construction workers were identified and membership campaign among them was taken up. Workers from Bihar and Jharkhand employed in a factory in Ambattur also joined the campaign. On August 9 around 250 workers participated in the Jail bharo protest. The protest was led by Com. Sekar, AICCTU State Scretary and Party District Secretary.

In Tirunelveli, on August 9 roads were blocked in two centres and over 100 courted arrest led by Comrades T Sankarapandian and Thenmozhi, SCMs of the Party. In the run up toward August 9, Beedi workers Conference and padayatras were held. In Kanyakumari, padayatras and vehicle campaigns were held and on August 9 over 100 courted arrested under the leadership of Com. Anthonimuthu, SCM of the Party and State Vice-President, AICCTU.

In Namakkal district also padayatras were held in the localities of power loom workers and on August 9 roads were blocked in two centres led by Com. A Govindaraj, State Secretary of AICCTU and SCM of the Party. In Kanchipuram on August 9 over 100 workers participated in the road block and courted arrest led by Com. C Eraniappan, State Secretary, AICCTU and SCM of the Party. In Salem a demonstration was held on August 9 in which around 100 workers participated. In all, over 1300 workers participated on August 9; 60 to 70 padayatras held; over 60,000 pamphlets released; campaign reached out to over 1 lakh workers.

AIPWA's Massive Demonstration in Nainital for Jan Lokpal Bill

Thousands of women and young people under the banner of the All India Progressive Women's Association (AIPWA) held a massive demonstration against corrupt Congress/UPA and for an effective lokpal bill at Lakuan in Nainital district on 21 August. The protest demonstration in the form of a rally started from Car Road, Bindukhatta, and marched through Lalkuan bazaar. The rally was led by AIPWA leaders comrades Vimla Rauthan (AIPWA's district convener), Kamla Joshi, Hema Joshi, Bachuli Devi, Kalawati Sijwali, Kamla Majara, Panuli Jeena, Anandi Joshi, AISA's Udham Singh Nagar Dist. Secretary Rubi Bhardwaj and Bhagirathi Joshi.

The women in rally vigorously demanded for the Jan Lokpal Bill to be passed before 30th August. The demonstrators raised slogans – "Murderer of Democracy, Manmohan Govt. Quit Power", "anti-nationals come to your senses, bring all country's money back", etc. The rally was addressed by CPI(ML)'s State incharge Comrade Raja Bahuguna who said that the movement and fight against corruption is linked with uprooting the whole rotten system and Jan Lokpal is but one stopover. Other CPI(ML) and Kisan Sabha leaders also participated in the rally.


Comrade BB Thapa

Comrade BB Thapa passed away on the morning of 21 August 2011 in Delhi. He was 82. Throughout his life he remained active in people's movements. During his service years he led the trade union movement and after retirement he joined IPF in the 90's and later CPI(ML). Afterwards, during Uttarakhand statehood movement he had left the Party and joined joint forum for separate State. He faced state-repression was in jail. State Party Unit of CPI(ML) expressed deep condolence on his demise.


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: 22442790, e-mail:, website:

Friday, 19 August 2011

ML UPDATE 34 / 2011

ML Update

A CPI(ML) Weekly News Magazine

Vol. 14, No. 34, 16 – 22 AUGUST 2011

Corrupt and Repressive UPA Government Tries to Recreate Emergency -

Brought to Its Knees by People's Movement


In a shameful assault on democracy, the very next day after Independence Day, the Congress-UPA Government launched an offensive on citizens' freedom, and arrested anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare and others! Subsequently, a massive countrywide upsurge against this arrest and crackdown on democratic protest forced the Government not only to release Hazare, but also to give him permission to hold his fast at Ramlila Grounds. People have shown that they have the will to resist repression and defend democracy, and in less than 24 hours, their determination brought a corrupt and repressive Congress-UPA Government down to its knees.

The PM's Independence Day speech had already shown the way for this crackdown, by warning against peaceful forms of protest, and branded democratic activists as 'people who are trying to create disturbances.' The President's Independence Eve speech also warned that people's movements could lead to 'erosion of credibility and authority' of Parliament. Earlier, the Home Minister P Chidambaram had argued that since the Lokpal Bill has been tabled in Parliament, any 'extra-parliamentary protests' on this issue would be 'unconstitutional.' The huge people's protest that greeted the arrest of Anna Hazare is a signal of how thoroughly the people have rejected such dishonest arguments. The people have made it clear that if anything is unconstitutional and a threat to democracy, it is the government's attempts to muzzle protest, and not people's movements!
The PM's speech in Parliament defending Anna's arrest tried to argue that the decision to arrest was taken by Delhi police rather than by the Government. This argument is ridiculous, since it has been clear all along that the police and administrative response to Anna Hazare is being calculated and calibrated by the Congress party and the UPA Government.
The movement to defend the democratic right to protest has given a boost to the struggle for an effective Lokpal legislation. The sarkari Lokpal Bill has no provision to investigate or punish the lower bureaucracy or police which is responsible for most of the scams that affect the aam aadmi. It also keeps the PM and MPs out of the purview of the Lokpal. Such a Lokpal is nothing but a cruel joke with people's aspirations for an effective anti-corruption law that can ensure punishment for the corrupt.
The CPI(ML)'s anti-corruption campaign stressed that privatization is the mother of most of the major scams we are witnessing, from 2G to Bellary to the KG-Basin gas scam. Students and youth of the CPI(ML) recently held a 100-hour Barricade at Parliament, in which they demanded the Janlokpal Bill, and raised the question of corporate loot of land and natural resources, as well as attacks on democracy, as integral aspects of the fight against corruption. Now, corporate plunder of resources and issues of state repression and democracy have emerged on the centre-stage of the anti-corruption movement. Activists who raised the Janlokpal issue are now having to confront the burning issues of firing on peasants who defend their land from grab by greedy corporate houses, and the Government's assault on democracy.
CPI(ML) calls on the citizens of the country to rise up in protest against the sarkari Lokpal Bill, against the repression unleashed on people's movements, and against corporate land grab. We must intensify the next phase of the CPI(ML) campaign to 'Combat Corruption, Defend Land, Defend Democracy'!
Country-wide Protests by CPI(ML) on 16-17 August
against Congress-UPA Government's Crackdown on Anti-corruption Movement
Countrywide protests were organised by the Party and its mass organisations on 16th and 17th August against the Congress-UPA Govt's authoritarianism manifesting in a crackdown on the anti-corruption movement and arrests of anti-corruption activists including Anna Hazare.
Protesting the authoritarian attempts to muzzle democratic dissent, Party and mass organisations burnt effigies of Manmohan Singh and UPA Govt all over the Country, held protest marches and  people's conventions. At some places our activists were arrested and in Delhi AISA students were physically assaulted by goons of the Congress when AISA leaders showed black-flags to Kapil Sibbal and raised slogans.
Delhi: In the national capital, CPI(ML) activists burnt the effigy of the PM at Jantar Mantar, raising slogans demanding, 'Corrupt and Authoritarian UPA Govt, Quit India!'
CPI(ML) CC Members Prabhat Kumar, Kavita Krishnan, CPI(ML)'s Delhi State Secretary Sanjay Sharma, AISA National General Secretary Ravi Rai, AISA President Sandeep Singh, AICCTU's Delhi President VKS Gautam, artist Ashok Bhowmick, NAPM leaders Bhupender Singh Rawat, Madhuresh, and Rajendra Ravi, and other democratic activists participated in the protest.
On 16 August, the CPI(ML) also held a protest procession and street corner meetings at all markets of Narela. Procession and street corner meetings were held at Noida and Mandavali on 17 August, and Okhla, Khoda and Wazirpur on 18 August.
Bihar: Protest programmes and effigy burning was held at all the district HQs of Bihar demanding Manmohan Singh's resignation. In Patna, several dozen Party members marched from Fraser Road to Dakbunglow Chauraha where the effigy was burnt. Similar programmes were held at Punpun, Fatuha, Bihta, Lakhna, Naubatpur, Fulwari Sharif, Dulhin Bazaar and Masaurhi under Patna Rural. Hundreds led by Comrade Mahanand (State Standing Committee) participated in Arwal. Marches and effigy burning also held at Jahanabad, Ghosi, Ratni Kako etc.

Marches and effigy burning led by senior Party leaders were also held at Siwan, Gaya, Muzaffarpur, Nalanda, Rohtas, Kaimur, Buxar, Nawada, Bhagalpur, Purnia, Samastipur, Darbhanga, Begusarai, Araria, West Champaran, Khagaria, Supaul, Madhepura, Motihari among other places.

Effigy was burnt at Arrah (Bhojpur) on the 16th and a District cadre convention on "Combat Corruption, Defend Land, Defend Democracy" was held on 17th August. After the convention a rally was taken out that covered the main streets of Arrah town.

Uttar Pradesh: The Party also initiated the nation-wide campaign "Wipe-out Corruption, Protest Land, Save Democracy" on 16th August apart from protests and effigy burning in the State including Lucknow where the Police were snatching the effigy but the protesters succeeded in burning it.

Protests were held at Gorakhpur and a meeting held at Town Hall. In Allahabad Party and AISA activists burnt effigy of UPA Govt near Shaheed Chandrashekhar Azad's Statue and a torch-light procession was held by AISA in the evening at Salori Muhalla in which students and common citizens also participated which took the strength of the procession to about a thousand. In Varanasi a procession was taken out from Cantonment Railway Station to Bharat Mata Mandir where UPA's effigy was burnt.

Protest marches and dharnas were held in three tehsils of Ghazipur – Jamania, Jakhania and Saidpur. In Deoria PM's effigy was burnt at Collectorate Crossing after a march through town's main streets. Dharna and effigy burning were held at Robertsganj, District HQ of Sonebhadra. In Mirzapur town as well as its blocks Patehara, Ahiraura and Jamalpur effigy was burnt. March was held in Mughalsarai bazaar and effigy burnt at Naugarh under Chandauli district.

At Pilibhit, the Party activists broke police cordon at Station Chauraha and held a meeting. Activists took to the streets at Puranpur and Majhola too. Similar protest programmes and effigy burning were also held in Lakhimpur, Ballia (Maniyar, Badagaon and Lakhnapar apart from Ballia town), Jalaun and Maharajganj districts apart from other places.

West Bengal: Protest rallies and effigy burning were held at– Kolkata, Siliguri, Howrah, Chuchura(Hoogly), Burdwan, Barasat (North 24 Parganas) and Bankura.

In Kolkata a protest march was organized from Subodh Mullick Square to Esplanade protesting against this arrest of anti-corruption activists. State Secretary Partha Ghosh and Kolkata district committee secretary Kalyan Goswami led the march in which a good number of students and youth participated. Effigy of Manmohan Singh was burnt at Esplanade crossing followed by half an hour road blockade. Comrade Partha addressed the gathering.

Karnataka: AISA organised a protest on 16 August at Harpanhalli.

Rajasthan: Effigy burning at Jhunjhunu and a delegation in Jaipur led by Comrade Srilata Swaminathan (Central Committee member) met the Governor of Rajasthan.

Gujarat: 90 people courted arrest at Bhavnagar.

Andhra Pradesh: Protest programmes were held and effigies burnt at Prathipadu (East Godavari district), Kakinada, Vijaywada, Payakarao Peta (Vishakha).

Assam: Effigy burnt at Dibrugarh, Jorhat and Diphu

Jharkhand: Effigy burnt at 25 different centres spanning 17 districts.

Tamil Nadu: Effigy was burnt at Villupuram on 17th. State secretary Comrade Balasundaram and District Secretary Com. Venkatesan and other activists were arrested. Meeting was held at Villupuram Police Station. Comrades were later released on bail.

Uttarakhand: An impressive torch-light procession starting from Car Road Bindukhatta and ending at Lalkuan after covering 5km distance, was held on 17th August. Mass meeting was held after the march at Lalkuan Chauraha. The meeting was addressed by Com Raja Bahuguna among others.

Odisha: A protest rally was organised at Bhubaneswar condemning the arrest of anti-corruption activists. Around 100 CPI((ML) activists holding placards and effigy of Manmohan Singh marched to PMG Square where they burnt the effigy. The gathering was addressed by Party State Secretary Comrade Kshitish Biswal.

Students of AISA Show Black Flags to Kapil Sibal

Assaulted by Congress Goons

On 16 August, students of Delhi University and Jamia Millia Islamia under the banner of AISA showed black flags to Union HRD Minister Kapil Sibal in the national capital, in protest against the crackdown on democracy and arrest of Anna Hazare and other anti corruption activists.

Learning that Sibal had the audacity to come to address a public meeting on the sarkari Lokpal Bill at Mavalankar Hall this evening at 4 pm, after such a huge crackdown on democracy and constitutional liberties, AISA immediately gathered at the venue and showed black flags to Sibal, who has been among the most shameless and arrogant in defending the scams as well as the authoritarianism of the UPA Government.

Congress goons who had turned up to support Sibal assaulted the protesting students. The AISA held protests at many places in Delhi University and JNU today against the Government's autocratic and draconian crackdown on the right to protest.

Today SC Finally Declares 'Cut-off' to be defined as 'Minimum Eligibility',
Removes Central Reason for Non-fulfilment of OBC Seats!

Verdict Vindicates the Position that AISA Had Been Painstakingly Arguing Against All Opposition for the Last 3 Years.

AISA hailed the historic 18 August Supreme Court judgement on the cut-off criterion for OBC reservations.

The Supreme Court bench comprising Justices Raveendran and Patnaik clarified that 'cut-off' is synonymous with 'minimum eligibility,' and the 10% relaxation in cut-off for OBC candidates is to be calculated from the minimum eligibility mark, and NOT from the mark obtained by the last general category candidate to secure admission. This verdict has removed the main reason for non-fulfilment of OBC seats, and is a major blow to the agenda of anti-reservationist forces.

Dismissing the appeal by the YFE (youth for equality) and PV Indiresan against the Delhi HC verdict of 7 September 2010, the SC Bench upheld the Delhi HC verdict and ordered all universities and colleges which are in the midst of their admission process must make all necessary corrections, define eligibility marks as cut-off, and fill OBC seats accordingly by 31 August. This judgement will have far-reaching consequences not only in JNU but also in universities all over the country.

This verdict is a vindication of the struggle that was begun by the AISA-led JNUSU three years ago. In 2008, the JNU Administration, in order to ensure non-fulfilment of OBC seats, wrongly interpreted 'cut-off' as the marks obtained by the last general category student to secure admission, rather than as 'minimum eligibility marks.' The 10% relaxation for OBC students was calculated from this distorted benchmark; as a result OBC quota remained unfulfilled and most OBC seats converted to general category seats. Even other universities like DU and Allahabad University adopted this ploy created by JNU, in order to ensure non-fulfilment of OBC quota and diversion of OBC seats.

Right from the start, when JNU announced its 2008 OBC admission policy itself, AISA alerted everyone that this method of fixing 'cut-offs' was flawed and would never allow OBC seats to be filled. AISA waged a sustained struggle against this wrong definition of 'cut-off,' using admission data obtained through RTIs to prove the validity of our argument. In the three years that followed, AISA launched a sustained campaign and struggle to rectify the distorted implementation of OBC quotas in JNU and elsewhere. From 2008 up till the JNU AC meet in March 2010, all other student organizations in JNU ran a vitriolic campaign against AISA on this question, and refused to accept our point about the false definition of cut-off, or participate in a single protest programme or public meeting! Only many JNU teachers saw our point, supported the campaign and took bold positions in various forums like the AC or Dean's Committee. Despite this hostility, AISA conducted a lone battle for correct implementation of OBC quota.

Eventually, in 2010, AISA's stance was vindicated by the Delhi High Court in a landmark verdict. The YFE then filed an SLP (special leave petition) challenging the HC verdict in the Supreme Court. The 18 August verdict finally vanquished the anti-reservation forces even in the Supreme Court, which firmly upheld that 'cut-off' and 'minimum eligibility' were one and the same thing.

The episode also exposed the double standards of the Congress-UPA Central government on the question of OBC reservations. In the course of the struggle, we repeatedly approached the HRD Ministry and Social Justice Ministry, asking them to step in and settle the matter by clarifying how their own law on OBC reservations was to be interpreted. Not only did the Central Government fail to do so. In fact during the JNU case in the Delhi HC, the Counsel for Central Government actually argued in support of the JNU Administration and YFE advocates, arguing against our (correct) interpretation of 'cut-off marks.' It was only after the Delhi HC verdict vindicated AISA's 3-year long struggle that the Central Government changed its posture.

During the 3-year long struggle, the political parties whose USP is 'social justice' and 'OBCs' welfare' maintained a strange silence on the deliberate and open subversion of OBC quotas. Parties like the RJD and SP were allies of the UPA, and they used their power to stall 33% reservation for women, in the name of concern for OBC political representation. But they never used that power to ensure that the central government and Parliament intervened to correct the travesty of OBC reservations!

It is the AISA, with its record of consistently resisting commercialization and privatisation of education, which has also steadfastly defended OBC reservations and struggled to ensure just and correct implementation of the OBC reservation law.

4th State Conference of AIALA in UP

The All India Agricultural Labourers' Association (AIALA) held its 4th Uttar Pradesh State Conference at Pilibhit on historical 28 July with revolutionary spirit and exuberance. 28 July is Comrade Charu Mazumdar's martyrdom day. Comrade Charu Mazumdar awakened the oppressed peasantry and today agrarian labourers are fighting for their dignity, rights, life and against injustice with the red flag and teachings of Comrade Charu Mazumdar.

The Conference was inaugurated by CPI(ML)'s Politburo member and AIALA's National Vice President Comrade Swadesh Bhattacharya who said that UP's Mayawati led Govt. is no less than the BJP-Congress govts of other states or Nitish Govt of Bihar in its treatment of the oppressed dalits and other poor people and in its patronisation of criminals and looters. The Mayawati is deeply involved in looting the food-grains, housing and health-fund meant for the poor people. This Govt. has not even prepared a BPL list of the poor. All the criminals and mafias are in the Govt. and those fighting for poor and their democratic rights are in jail. He called upon all the delegates to spread and widen the struggle of poor people against price rise, repression, crime and all kinds of loot to every village and panchayat in the State. Comrade Sudhakar Yadav, CPI(ML)'s State Secretary also addressed the Conference.

Before the Conference began, a march was held from the railway station to Conference venue where veteran Party leader and Freedom Fighter Comrade Brij Bihari Lal hoisted the Flag. Everyone went into a minute's silence to remember the martyrs. It was followed with a people's convention. The Conference hall was named after Comrade Ram Naresh Ram. A presidium comprising comrades Krishna Adhikari, Rajesh Sahni, Arjunlal, Shankar Kol and Kashiram presided during the Conference. Comrade Sriram Chaudhary presented the document on behalf of the outgoing committee. The document outlined some tasks such as bracing AIALA organisation for independent political role, speeding-up the process for political consciousness and awareness of agrarian labourers, strengthening the organisational structure at every level i.e. state, district, block and panchayat, and building up wider and strong movement of rural poor against the UPA and Mayawti govts and for BPL list, against the scams in PDS, NRHM and food grains.

The Conference also decided to demonstrate at district HQs and court arrest coinciding with AISA-RYA's 9 hundred hour "morchabandi" at the Parliament in Delhi. The Conference strongly demanded that Comrade Afroz Alam and others be immediately and unconditionally released from jail. The Conference also demanded that the CBI probe into NRHM and foodgrains scam be speeded up, not an inch of agricultural land to be taken away, and Mayawati must resign taking responsibility for assaults and rapes by his Party men and criminals on dalit and other women in the State.

Some more reports of
9th August Jail-bharo

Assam: Jail bharo was held in state capital Guwahati and different district HQs. of Assam. More than hundred people despite all communications cut-off, gathered in front of district library, Guwahati and started a procession. Police did not allow and arrested them. They were sent to the temporary jail at Sonaram field, Bharalu, where protesters held a protest meeting. Comrade Rubul Sarma, Biren Kalita, Bibek Das addressed the meeting. In Diphu, Karbi Anglong, a protest procession was organised in the main streets of Diphu town. Police arrested the protesters. Similarly protest programmes were held at Nagaon, Jorhat and Bargang and Behali. In Nagaon more than 300 people took part.

Puducherry: Campaign was carried out in Puducherry and Karaikal regions for the past one week that culminated into Jail bharo on 9th August at Puducherry and Karaikal. Hundreds of CPI (ML) and AICCTU activists thronged the streets of Puducherry and Karaikal and nearly two hundred courted arrest, later released in the evening. In Puducherry it was led by S Balasubramanian, State Secretary CPI (ML) and in Karaikal Com. E Jayabal, SCM.

Protesters demanded a state level legislation in line with Lokpal bill that includes Chief Minister, MLA's and top Bureaucrats. They also demanded immediate suspension and arrest of Puducherry District Collector who allegedly conspired with then Chief Secretary of Puducherry Naini Jayaseelan and other top officers of PWD, Tsunami project implementations agency and a Hyderabad based construction major IVRCL with pecuniary interest to the tune of crores of rupees. The CBI booked an FIR against the District Collector Ragesh Chandra.

Madhya Pradesh: 150 were arrested in Bhind on 9 august at the DM's office on the question of corruption and black money.


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: 22442790, e-mail:, website:

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

ML Update 33 / 2011

ML Update

A CPI(ML) Weekly News Magazine

Vol. 14, No. 33, 09 – 15 AUGUST 2011

Issues of Corruption, Price Rise, Land Grab Will Be Decided through People's Movements on the Streets,

Not Congress-BJP Deals in Parliament

Even as street protests against corruption and price rise intensify all over the country, Parliament is witnessing shadow boxing and match-fixing between the BJP-NDA and the ruling Congress-UPA.

On the burning question of price rise, there was much sound and fury by the BJP in Parliament, which claimed to have forced the Congress to hold a debate and voting on the question. But it emerged that behind the farce of 'debate' and 'voting' lay a pre-scripted consensus between BJP and the Government! A tame resolution was then moved by the BJP, which the Congress too supported. This resolution expressed 'concern' over price rise and failed to fix the Government's culpability for price rise.

Defending the 'deal' with the Government on price rise, BJP leaders said that "Consensus, not confrontation, is the soul of Parliamentary democracy." This indicates that on the question of corruption too, the BJP and Congress have a tacit agreement to settle matters within the confines of Parliament. 'Democracy' cannot be shackled in this ruling class formula of parliamentary consensus and compromise. Burning issues of price rise and corruption will be resolved, not through ruling class deals within parliament, but on the streets through people's movements.

Direct evidence is surfacing regarding the PMO's role in the 2G and CWG scams. The CAG report on CWG indicts Congress' Delhi CM Shiela Dixit for massive corruption, while a Vigilance Enquiry has ordered a probe into the Congress' Kerala CM Oomen Chandy's role in the palmolein scam. The Delhi Police tried, laughably, to claim that no politicians had any role in the cash-for-vote scam. The Supreme Court is not buying this argument, and has given the police a deadline within which to complete investigations. All-round scams, accompanied by the Government's toothless Lokpal Bill, are putting the Congress-UPA in the dock over corruption.

The Government's Lokpal Bill does not even put up a credible pretence of seriousness to combat corruption. Not only does it seek to keep the Prime Minister and MPs' conduct in Parliament out of its purview, it has no provisions for Lokayuktas and keeps state government officials out of its ambit. Lower rungs of the bureaucracy, as well as panchayat institutions will not be covered by the sarkari Lokpal. Not even the gram pradhan is covered by the sarkari Lokpal. It has been rightly pointed out that such a Lokpal would not be able to investigate any of the burning scams of our day – be it the scams in NREGA, PDS and rural welfare schemes; Bellary or Adarsh scams; or even the 2G or CWG scams.

Our call for a country-wide jail bharo on the question of corruption, price rise and state repression has evoked encouraging response across the country. The people are angry not only with the central government but various state governments too who are equally complicit in perpetrating loot and repression. Students and youth too have responded enthusiastically to the 100-hour Student-Youth Barricade against Corruption and Corporate Loot, and for Democracy.

After 9 August, we must keep up the momentum and intensify the struggle against corruption and land grab. The Government's proposed land acquisition bill thoroughly undermines the cry of the peasants and tribal communities for protection of cultivable and forest land and only seeks to facilitate and accelerate corporate land-grab while paying lip-service to the agenda of rehabilitation and resettlement. In the wake of August 9, we must therefore step up the countrywide campaign against loot and autocracy with the battlecry: "Make all cultivable and forest land out of bounds for acquisition! Bring all posts and institutions within the purview of the Lokpal!"

 AISA, RYA & Student Youth Campaign Against Corruption Began Their 100 Hour Long Barricade at Parliament Against Corruption and Corporate Loot, For Democracy

On 9 August (Quit India Anniversary) CPI(ML) held Jail Bharo and Courted Arrest against Corruption, Price Rise and State Repression in Various States Across The Country

Despite Crackdown, Resisting Arrest - Forcing The Police To Release!

Student-Youth Against Corruption and Corporate Plunder Reclaims Jantar Mantar- Continues100-hour Barricade!

9 Aug, on the very first day of the 100-hour Student Youth Barricade Against Corruption and Corporate Plunder, the police cracked down on the massive gathering of students and youth at Jantar Mantar at 8 pm. When the police arrived and insisted that the protestors would not be allowed to hold a continuous sit-in for 100 hours, we declared that we would not vacate Jantar Mantar and abandon the protest. With the threat of arrests, and continuous intimidation the police tried to break the gathering, but the students formed a huge human chain and not a single protestor left the spot. Even if arrested, we declared that we would continue the 100-hour Barricade inside jail! 

The police arrested the entire gathering, including a large number of women students, en masse and held them in Parliament Street police station. The students and youth refused to budge and continued their Barricade inside the police station.

The huge number and the firm determination to continue the barricade even inside the jail, eventually forced the police to release the protestors but warned them that they cannot return to Jantar Mantar to continue the barricade. Protestors rejected these completely unacceptable and draconian attempts by police to break the Barricade, and marched back in full strength to reclaim the Jantar Mantar site. Barricade is continuing uninterrupted for the second day. 

At Jantar Mantar on 9 August, around 3500 students from 20 states, including hundreds of students from DU, JNU and Jamia Millia Islamia, presented an inspiring sight on the first day of the 100-hour Barricade against Corruption and Corporate Plunder. From JNU itself, around 300 students participated in the Barricade. The police posted around Jamia Millia Islamia, showing immense high-handedness, prevented Jamia students from boarding the buses, even though the buses were outside the campus area. Eventually the students from Jamia had to come by public transport buses rather than the buses booked for the protest. Three busloads of students poured in from South and North campuses of Delhi University.      

The huge gathering, under the banner of AISA and RYA, raised slogans saying 'Pro-corporate policies and privatization are the root of corruption!'; 'Stop corporate plunder of our resources!'; 'Corporate-scripted laws and policies must go!'; 'Reject the sarkari Lokpal Bill, enact a genuine Janlokpal Bill!' and 'Defend our right to democratic protest!'

The huge gathering of students sang rousing songs in different languages, and were joined in their barricade by a variety of democratic citizens and activists. These included Pravin Gawankar of the Jaitapur Anti-Nuke Plant movement; Swami Agnivesh; Ramji Rai, Politburo member of the CPI(ML), AISF Vice-President and many others.

Having achieved a victory in the face of the police's attempts to force them to vacate Jantar Mantar and abandon the 100-hour Barricade, the students and youth will continue their protest at Jantar Mantar. We appeal to all students as well as teachers to join the Barricade site to protest the police's attempts to circumscribe a protest site like Jantar Mantar. Come to the Student-Youth Barricade to reclaim Jantar Mantar and assert our right to protest! Join them against any further police intervention today.               

The Student-Youth Barricade Against Corruption has successfully showed that young Indians, while supporting the need for a genuine Lokpal to end the impunity of the corrupt, also feels the need to reverse the pro-corporate policies that are breeding corruption and link the anti-corruption struggle with the broader struggle for a democratic India. It is highlighting the corrupt nexus of politicians and corporations that is plundering the precious resources of our country. Join them at the barricades, strengthen this struggle for a corruption-free, democratic India!

All over the country CPI(ML) activists courted arrest with the slogans "Combat Corruption, Save the Country!" "No to pro-corporate policies!", "Stop price rise!" "End pro imperialist policies!"

BIHAR: Thousands of CPI(ML) activists courted arrest in most districts of Bihar as well as at Patna. In addition to demanding Manmohan Singh's resignation over scams and price rise they also protested the Nitish government's role in BIADA scam and the Forbesganj firing.

At Patna, more than thousand participated in a spirited procession braving rains held from Gandhi Maidan to Kotwali police station. The jail bharo agitation here was led by Party's General Secretary Comrade Dipankar Bhattacharya, CC members KD Yadav, Ram Jatan Sharma, Meena Tiwari and Saroj Chaubey.

About 600 participated in Madhubani and 1000 in Darbhanga.

Uttar Pradesh: In UP thousands of CPLI(ML) activists protested in Lucknow against the central government scams and policies promoting corporate plunder, as well as medical scam involving murders of two CMOs, spate of rapes and murders of women, and repressive regime of the Mayawati government in the state. Jail Bharo agitations were held at Mirzapur, Sonbhadra, Chandauli, Gazipur, Gorakhpur, Maharajganj, Devaria, Balia, Pilibhit, Jalaun, Lakhimpur Kheri,  Muradabad and Varanasi.

Thousands courted arrest in Lucknow and various districts of the state. At Lucknow the agitation was led by State Secretary Sudhakar Yadav and CC member Krishna Adhikari. The two leaders also demanded immediate resignation of Mayawati.  In the eastern region of UP the agitation was held amidst heavy rains.

Uttarakhand: Various agitational programmes  including dharna, demonstration, marches, effigy burning and public meeting were held with slogans 'corrupt UPA government quit power", 'bring, PM, higher judiciary and conduct of MPs in parliament under the Lokpal', 'down down anti nationals, bring all the country's money back'.

Jail Bharo was held at Nainital, Almora, Pithorgarh, Chamoli, and Garhwal. In Haldwani hundreds of people held a spirited march and completely blocked the Nainital national highway in front of the SDM court. Large number of women participated in the blockade. The march was led by CPI(ML) in charge of Uttarakhand, Raja Bahuguna, who said that the current UPA government has proved to be the most pro-imperialist and corrupt in the history of India. This government has put the independence and sovereignty itself of the country at peril. An effigy of the UPA government and the government's version of the Lokpal bill were burnt.

West Bengal: 1500 were arrested in Kolkata. Jail Bharo was also held at Siliguri, Bankura, Murshidabad, North Dinajpur and other districts in West Bengal. Four hundred courted arrest in Siliguri with gusto. 14 people were injured in police crackdown and 2 people received serious injuries who were hit on the head. Programme received wide coverage.

Jharkhand: Jail Bharo agitation in six districts of the State with the largest participation at Giridih with 3000 people courting arrest in front of the DC. The entrance to the office of the DC was blocked by the protesters. Here it was led by CC member Manoj Bhakt and Party's representative in State Assembly Binod Singh apart from others. In Ranchi, people came from Ramgarh, Hazaribagh and Bokaro apart from Ranchi district. About 500 Party members marched from Ranchi Railway Station to Albert Ekka Roundabout amidst heavy downpour. Marchers were arrested here and detained at Jaipal Singh Stadium where they held protest meeting.

In Palamu, 2000 people courted arrest led by Anant Pd. Gupta and Ravindra Ram. The Dhanbad programme was led by AICCTU GS Subhendu Sen where 300 participated, at Koderma 400 courted arrest led by Rajkumar Yadav, road blockade by 400 people from Santhal Pargana region led by CPI(ML) State Committee members Geeta Mandal and Sukhdeo Prasad at Dumka.

Karnataka: More than three hundred people, almost half of them women, staged a 'rasta roko' at Gangavati of Koppal district on 9 August under the banners of CPI(ML), AIALA and AICCTU. The protestors demanded dissolution of the Karnataka State Government as the Lokayukta report has not spared any party including ruling BJP and the opposition Congress and the JD(S). They also demanded resignation of Manmohan Singh and P.Chidambaram for their involvement in 2G scam along with other major demands of rice mill workers. Rice mill workers and women took part in large numbers in the agitation. Police refused to arrest the protestors in spite of 'rasta roko' that brought traffic to standstill for more than an hour.

Com. Bharadwaj, SLTM of the party and the state president of AIALA along with comrades Umashankar, Virupaksha, taluk president of AICCTU, Basavan Gowda, taluk secretary and Shanta Kumari of AIPWA also addressed the protestors.

An impressive demonstration in front of Mysore District Commissioner's office was led by C Javaraiah, SLTM and state secretary of AICCTU. Construction workers of HDKote participated in good number. Com. Ayyappa Hugar, CCM of CPI(ML) Red Flag, construction workers union leaders Nanjunda, Mallikarjuna and Basavaraju addressed the demonstrators.

Maharashtra: The Mumbai Thane committee of CPI(ML) held a dharna at the historic Azad Maidan in Mumbai. More than two hundred fifty including BMC's sanitation workers, unorganized sanitation workers and the tribal people of Thane participated. What was significant is tribal people from Boisar, Dahisar and Kurgaon, which is about 100kms from Mumbai started for Mumbai at 7am to participate. Comrade Uday Bhat of Lal Nishan Party (Leninist) also participated and spoke at the Dharna.

A memorandum was also given to Maharashtra CM Prithviraj Chauhan on several demands of the safai workers and tribal people. Cultural organization Vidrohi Jalsa affiliated to Republican Panthers sang revolutionary songs which kept the spirits high of the participants.

Tamil Nadu: In Tamilnadu jail bharo was held at 14 centres including Chennai, Madurai, Kanyakumari, Villupuram, Kumbakonam (300 courted arrest) and other parts of Tamilnadu in which around 3000 activists courted arrest. About 200 courted arrest in Puducherry at two centres.

Andhra Pradesh: In East Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh people were stopped at local police stations while going to district headquarters.

Orissa: Programmes were held at Bhubaneswar, Rayagada, Kendrapara and Gajapati districts.

Chhattisgarh: 200 participated in a dharna at Raipur.

Rajasthan: Big rally at Jhunjhunu where 150 were arrested.

Assam: Guhawati and various districts in Assam.

Release Comrade Afroz Alam, Withdraw 'Gangster Act' and other false cases

On the face of it, Mayawati's government appears to be at loggerheads with the Congress in UP. But when it comes to the nexus with the land mafia in Pilibhit, the UP police and local Congress leaders have united to falsely frame and torture a young CPI(ML) activist.

Afroz Alam, member of the CPI(ML)'s state standing committee and National Executive member of the All India Kisan Mahasabha (AIKM) and seven other CPI(ML) activists who have been leading a struggle in the workers' settlement of Rahul Nagar for land titles, were called by the police station in Pilibhit on 2 July, on the pretext of talks. They were then arrested and serious false charges were filed against them – including arson (Section 436), and SC/ST Act. They were badly beaten and subjected to brutal torture using 'rollers' on their thighs. Eventually when the matter came to District Sessions Court and the Court questioned the police's conduct, 'Gangster Act' was invoked against Afroz and the others, ensuring that the hearing for that case will now take place in the 'Gangster Court', Bareilly.

Comrade Afroz, 34 years old, from a working class, Leftist family of Rae Bareilly and a left activist from his student days, he has led struggles of agricultural labourers against the eviction of settlements of the rural poor in the name of afforestation and the Tiger Project in Pilibhit. He has organized struggles for redistribution of thousands of acres of land, that had been illegally grabbed by land mafia, among agricultural labourers and poor peasants.

In 2010, he organised a popular struggle against the attempts by land mafia and poachers led by Congress leader B M Singh to evict the residents of Rahul Nagar Mazdoor Basti in Pilibhit, and turn it into a farm house. As a result of the struggle, B M Singh was jailed, but in a vindictive action, the police and administration had jailed Comrade Afroz too. (Details in previous issues of ML Update)

After his release from jail, Comrade Afroz organised a successful hartal (strike) by agricultural labourers under the banner of the All India Agricultural Labourers' Association (AIALA) demanding the redistribution of 1850 acres of village community land that had been grabbed by the land mafia in Bhara Pachpeda. As a result of the strike, the administration had been forced to have the land vacated. In the zila panchayat elections, the CPI(ML) candidate won as a result of the political assertion of the agricultural labourers.

On 15 August last year, a dalit youth Rampal was arrested for an inter-caste love affair and beaten to death in custody in Barkheda thana. The CPI(ML) in Comrade Afroz's leadership had spearheaded a struggle that resulted in the guilty police personnel being jailed. In particular, this incident has made the local police most vindictive towards Comrade Afroz and the CPI(ML).

When Mayawati visited the Trans Sharda area, which has a substantial dalit presence, she failed to announce any measures to protect the people from flooding of the Sharda river. Comrade Afroz had launched a struggle to demand the construction of a dam and distribution of land grabbed by the land mafia among those affected by the 'katan.' A hunger strike was to be started on these demands on 15 July. In order to thwart this struggle, revenge themselves for the jailing of police personnel in the Rampal case, and serve the interests of the land mafia, Comrade Afroz and other CPI(ML) activists have been arrested on false charges and tortured.

During the hearing in the District Sessions Court on 3 August, the Court asked the police why Afroz and the others had been tortured, and asked the police to respond within 2 days. Sensing the possibility that the Court might order their release, the police filed 'Gangster Act' on all the 8 CPI(ML) activists the very same evening. Now the Gangster Act case will have to be heard in the 'Gangster Court', Bareilly.

While corporate houses and mafia-criminal forces are grabbing land, minerals and other resources, leading to huge corruption, activists and movements that challenge this loot and defend the rights of the poor, are being arrested, jailed and tortured. Several protests in Pilibhit as well as a dharna in Lucknow have been held to demand the release of Comrade Afroz and other activists. In Pilibhit, the main issue of the Jail Bharo on 9 August will be the demand to release Comrade Afroz and the other CPI(ML) comrades.

We appeal the readers to sign the petition posted at the below mentioned website address to the Chief Justice, Allahabad High Court, acquainting him with the facts and appealing for his intervention to secure the release of Comrade Afroz and the other CPI(ML) activists, and the withdrawal of the fabricated cases against them.

Shiela Dixit Must Resign

CPI(ML)'s Delhi state committee has demanded Delhi Chief Minister Shiela Dixit's resignation owing to her involvement in Commonwealth games scam. The state secretary Sanjay Sharma said that the CM and various government officials of MCD, NDMC and other departments freely and in a planned way participated in the loot of public exchequer. The Games preparation were deliberately delayed and at the last moment citing the 'shortage of time' and 'national prestige'. All the due procedures were suspended and certain companies were favoured with contracts at bids multiples times higher than the actual. Apart from unrestrained loot and handing over of public transport to private companies the poor of the city were forcefully evicted from their dwellings and deprived of their livelihood. The Delhi CM is fully responsible for this utterly shameful scam.


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: 22442790, e-mail:, website:

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

ML Update 32 / 2011

ML Update

A CPI(ML) Weekly News Magazine

Vol. 14, No. 32, 02 – 08 AUGUST 2011

Scrap LARR Bill 2011 –

Protect Agricultural Land By All Means

Jairam Ramesh, the UPA government's Minister of Rural Development, has come up with a draft Land Acquisition and Rehabilitation and Resettlement Bill that will replace the notorious Land Acquisition Act, 1894. The draft bill clearly seeks to legalise and intensify the ongoing corporate land-grab campaign in the country even as it talks about addressing "the concerns of farmers and those whose livelihoods are dependent on the land being acquired".

Before being brought to the rural development ministry, Jairam Ramesh was in charge of the forest ministry where his greatest role was to give a green signal to the POSCO project in Odisha which seeks to acquire 4,000 acres of land in flagrant violation of the Forest Rights Act, 2006. And now as the Minister of Rural Development he has declared a veritable war on agricultural land and rural livelihood in the name of urbanization, industrialization and infrastructure development.

The new bill gives complete freedom to all kinds of private companies to purchase land without even bothering about seeking any consent of concerned land-owners. The provision of seeking and obtaining the consent of "at least 80 per cent of the affected families" applies only when land is acquired by the government either for "immediate and declared use by private companies" or "with the ultimate intent of transferring it for the use of private companies". And the government too is free from the consent clause when it acquires land for its own use whether for erecting dams, setting up nuclear plants, building military bases or constructing any project whatsoever.

The bill talks of carrying out social impact assessments (where acquired land exceeds 100 acres) and keeping irrigated, multi-crop land outside the purview of land acquisition, but only when land is acquired by the government. Who will determine whether some land is multi-crop or not? We have seen in the case of Singur how multi-cropped land was declared as mono-crop by the government. The bill promises compliance with existing land-related laws like PESA Act, 1996 or Forest Rights Act, 2006, or the land transfer acts in Schedule V (tribal-majority) areas. But the record of implementation of these two acts is marked by extensive violation as can be seen on the ground in states like Jharkhand, Odisha, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat or Maharashtra. In Odisha, the central and state governments are bent upon evicting as many as twelve villages to hand over 4,000 acres of land to the South Korean steel giant POSCO even as villagers are insisting on their land rights under the Forest Rights Act, 2006.

As for the Rehabilitation and Resettlement provisions of the bill, the corporate buyers will have to abide by them only when the size of the land acquired equals or exceeds 100 acres. The R&R provisions are also a big sham. It is common knowledge that sale deeds always hugely understate the market value of land and the new bill promises compensation to land-losers as multiples of average sale deed rate in the area. Apart from one-time compensation, the bill does promise annuity payment for twenty years, but an annuity of Rs. 2000 per month per affected family can hardly provide any meaningful assured income to a family that loses its all. There is talk of providing 'mandatory employment' for one person in every affected family, but if employment cannot be provided, a compensation of only Rs 200,000 will do! In other words, the UPA government's 'generous' rehabilitation and resettlement package assesses agricultural income at Rs 2,000 per month and the value of employment at Rs. 200,000!

Global capitalism today is passing through bouts of severe recession. Many manufacturing sectors the world over are in deep crisis. Real estate and construction, mining and commercial agriculture (dedicated more to bio-fuel and horticulture than food production) remain the few most lucrative sectors in these recessionary times. No wonder then that capital is going all out to grab more and more land – the gateway to assured windfall gains in times of acute uncertainty and prolonged recession. This is the twenty-first century version of the predatory colonial occupation and brutal primitive accumulation of early capitalism.

In the name of repealing the land acquisition act of the colonial era, the Indian state has now taken upon itself the task of spearheading and serving global capitalism's war on Indian land and Indian agriculture. The proposed LARR Bill 2011 is nothing but a manifesto of this war couched in deceptive phrases like 'informed consent', 'rehabilitation and resettlement', and 'partnership in development'. Even where the state will not be directly involved in acquisition, the peasantry and landless labourers will be left at the mercy of unmitigated corporate coercion, unleashed by a whole network of intermediaries and facilitated by a pro-corporate state and its administration.

Food security was a key promise of the Congress and the UPA in the last Lok Sabha elections. Today the notion of food security has been reduced to monthly supply of 35 kg foodgrains to families earning less than Rs. 15 per day in rural areas and less than Rs. 20 in urban areas. This is a complete mockery of any meaningful notion of food security for a country like India. If food security has to guarantee the nutritional requirements of 1.2 billion Indians, India needs to produce much more food, and this in turn needs more land for agriculture. There can be no public purpose which is bigger than this. Defending agricultural land from the clutches of capital and its state is therefore the greatest task today of every patriotic and democratic Indian. Not acquisition, but protection of agricultural and forest land by all means is the cry of democracy.

 28 July: Comrade Charu Mazumdar's 39th Martyrdom Anniversary

Odisha: On 39th smriti-diwas of CPI(ML)'s founder general secretary Comrade Charu Mazumdar, memorial meetings were held at various places across the Country. In Bhubaneswar, members of Bhubaneswar Basti Mahasangha, Rajdhani-Riksha Kooli Sangha and Party members assembled at Nagbhusan Bhavan to commemorate the anniversary. The meeting was addressed by Comrades Khitish Biswal (Odisha's Party State Secretary), Radhakant Sethi, Mahendra Parida, Yusdhistir Mohapatra and Srinibas Nayak. The speakers called for strengthening the Party in Bhubaneswar and Orissa to realise the dream of Comrade Charu Mazumdar - the dream of a classless and truly humane society.

In Koraput around 500 members of the Party held a big rally raising slogans to fulfil the drams of Comrade Charu Mazumdar. On the same day, i.e. 28 July, Comrade Zaga, Hika who was arrested and incarcerated for two years after being labeled a Maoist during the land struggle of Narayan Patna, came out of the jail. The rally was also to celebrate his coming out of the jail.

Memorial programmes were also held at Gajapati, Puri and Kendrapara.

Puducherry: On this occasion a protest demonstration was held in front of the Head Post Office, Puducherry. The protest highlighted all round corruption, state repression and threats to our democracy. The protest also demanded scrapping of draconian laws like sedition, AFSPA, UAPA and MCDCA.

The demonstrations also demanded from the Govt. of Tamilnadu to withdraw false cases against comrades Motilal, National Councillor (AICCTU) and Puducherry State Committee member, M Venkatesan, CPI(ML)'s Villupuram District Secretary, S. Datchanamurthy, District Secretary (AIALA) Villupuram, A M  Ismail, Vanur Taluk Secretary, CPI(ML).

The protest demonstration was led by P Sankaran, CPI(ML)'s Puducherry State Committee member, Balasundaram, CCM, Balasubramanian, State Secretary- CPI(ML), K Lenin, Central Committee member, RSP, S Saminathan, Puducherry Student Federation, Arumai Dasan, Naam Tamizhar Katchi, M A Kuppusamy, Tamizhar DKR Muruganandham, HRCPS, Shenbagavalli, AIPWA, Villupuram District Secretary, N M Tamilmani, Social activist and Advocate Jegan. The leaders also addressed the demonstration.

Bihar: GB Meetings of Party members on Ward Area basis was held on 28 July at different places in the State. Senior Party leaders attended and addressed the meetings at different places.

Comrade Tripati Gamango Released

Comrade Tripati Gamango, CPI(ML)'s Odisha State Committee Member, was arrested on 12th July by Odisha police who intentionally labeled him maoist and harassed him for 15 days in jail. Comrade Tripati Gamango is a popular leader of tribals and rural people. Protests were held in Bhubaneswar (State-level) and other districts demanding his unconditional release and action against the police officer(s) involved in this mala-fide intent leading to his 15 days incarceration in jail.

He was released on 27th July after a series of protests across Odisha.

AISA Demo at HPHalli Against Donations

AISA organized a rally and demonstration in front of Deputy Commissioner's office at Harapanahalli in Davanagere district on 25 July 2011 demanding return of donations illegally collected from students during admissions. More than 250 students marched on the streets of HPHalli, led by the state convenor Prasad and district convenor Prakash, displayed remarkable sense of unity and fighting spirit. It is more appropriate here to note that donations collected by some college administrations from hundreds of students were actually returned to them after the most vigorous and consistent struggle by AISA in the beginning of academic year.

Com. Ramappa, State Secretary of CPI(ML) called upon students to fight against corruption in high places and asked them to join the 100-hour barricade in front of Parliament being organized by AISA. Many students also volunteered, on the spot, to join the barricade on 9th August at Delhi to fight corruption.

AIALA Demo on 'Bagairhukum' Land Issue

Davanagere unit of AIALA organized a two day long demonstration in front of the District Commissioner's office at Davanagere on 28 July 2011 and also on the subsequent day demanding regularization of lands that are being cultivated by peasants for decades, yet not regularized or issued pattas and land records. The demo on the first day was attended by more than100 farmers and on second day farmers went to meet the DC but in vain. They resolved to resume the demonstration soon until the DC come and meet them at the demo spot and promise to resolve the issue.

Workers' Unity Defeats Management and BJP-JVM

On 20 July workers under the banner of Jharkhand General Mazdoor Union affiliated to AICCTU began a strike at Koderma Power Project on the demand of implementation of central minimum wages for the workers constructing the power plant. All of the 4000 workers went on strike at this under-construction power plant at Banjhedih in Koderma district. The management tried its best to break the strike by roping in the local BJP MLA Amit Yadav and JVM leaders. But they could not demoralize the workers. Finally on 27 July the management agreed to pay the workers as per central minimum wages.

To defeat this movement the BJP even tried to create a rift among the workers by fanning the issue of 'local' and 'outsider'. They even went to the extent of creating terror among Bihari workers forcing them to run away. Most of the workers here are from Bihar. But JVM-BJP had to taste defeat in the face of workers unity. This is not the first time when a workers' union affiliated to CPI(ML)'s trade union has been victorious at this plant but for the first time the management has been compelled to pay the workers as per central minimum wages. This incident has created confidence among displaced people who see our party as fighting for their rights. The JVM-BJP is not giving up its dirty tricks and false rumour mongering to create divisions among workers.

People's Convention against Corruption, Loot and State Repression Held Across States

A series of public conventions against corruption, loot and state repression were held across states at Bokaro, Lucknow, Delhi and Begusarai. The conventions at Begusarai, Lucknow and Bokaro were addressed by Party General Secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya. While the Delhi convention organized by Student –Youth Against Corruption and AISA was addressed by several noted personalities of Delhi, CPI(ML) CC member Comrade Swapan Mukherjee and AISA General Secretary Ravi Rai.

Bokaro: Convention was held on 31 July and was also addressed by Vinod Singh (Party's MLA from Bagodhar) and state secretary Janardhan Prasad. The community hall located at sector 12 was packed beyond its capacity demonstrating people's readiness and unity to take up fight against corruption and land plunder. After a long time local villagers have shown such enthusiasm and mass participation. Corporate houses have not shown even a scant regard for abiding the law and continue to plunder rural land. Whether it is the Mittals or PSUs like ONGC and SAIL, all are equally defrauding the displaced people. Tens of thousands of acres of land is being acquired at throwaway prices by deceit and con and no authority is willing to lend their ears to the peasants. At this moment when CPI(ML) is spearheading the fight against land loot has earned the trust of the rural communities to intensify their movement. Large number of people including women and tribal participated in the convention (about 700).

Begusarai: The convention was organized on 25 July at Madhyamik Shikshak Sangh Bhavan on the topic Anti-Corruption Movement and the role of the Left. Apart from party general secretary, the convention was also addressed by Central Committee member Dhirendra Jha and Prof. Rishikesh Jha of Sanskrit Dept. of Mithila University. Com Dipankar said that mere mention of things like corruption has always has been there, or capitalism in itself is a corrupt system means ignoring the specifics of today's corruption. In the current phase the nexus of government and ministers with corporate, global and foreign capital and bureaucracy has become stronger than before. Today the economy of public-private partnership is being laid out and government wealth is being looted. Due to this loot of government fund a Chief Minister like Madhu Koda has become the owner of wealth amounting to 4000 crores!

Delhi: The Student-Youth Against Corruption and All India Students' Association (AISA) on 28 July, 2011 organized a Convention titled 'Corruption, Corporate loot and Challenges before Democracy' at Seminar room, Hindu college. The speakers included Vandana Shiva, noted environmentalist, Prashant Bhushan, noted Supreme Court advocate, Paranjoy Guha Thakurta, senior journalist, Prof. Pulin Naik, Delhi School of Economics (DSE) DU, Swapan Mukherjee, CPI (ML) Central Committee member, Dr. Maninder Thakur, JNU, Shamsul Islam, Principal Satyawati College DU, P.K Vijayan, Hindu College, DU and Ravi Rai, AISA General Secretary.

The participants at the Convention stressed that in addition to anti-corruption legislation, there is an urgent need to hit at the roots of corruption – which lie in the pro-corporate policies of the governments. The Convention held that the resignation of the Karnataka CM after being named in the Lokayukta's report on illegal mining was a victory for the anti-corruption movement. It held that the Prime Minister and Home Minister, who have been named by the main accused in the 2G scam, must also resign.

Participants in the Convention rejected the draft of the Lokpal Bill that has just been approved by Cabinet, saying that in fact this Lokpal Bill makes the Lokpal a tame pet of the Government; it keeps the state-level corruption as well as the PM and judiciary out of the Lokpal's purview; it threatens complainants with jail for 'false complaints' and refuses to protect whistleblowers; corruption in PDS, panchayats, MNREGA etc has been kept out of the Lokpal's purview. Such a toothless Bill has been drafted by Ministers – Chidambaram, Sibal, Pranab Mukherjee - who are themselves tainted and accused of corruption.

P K Vijayan spoke of how corruption in India is a predominantly elite, ruling class phenomenon, in which the rich and powerful benefit at the cost of the rights of the poor and deprived. He emphasised that while anti-corruption legislation is required, laws alone cannot eradicate corruption, just as the Constitution of India has not been enough to guarantee equality and justice.

Vandana Shiva spoke of how in times of liberalisation, laws of the land meant to protect farmers and the poor are being undermined to benefit corporate interests. 'Regulators' are actually 'deregulators', and the very same corporations which are need regulation, have actually infiltrated the regulatory bodies. Thanks to corruption, land, seeds, water, minerals is being grabbed from the people and handed over the corporations.

Ravi Rai, General Secretary, AISA, spoke about the intensive campaign undertaken by students and youth – in favour of an effective Lokpal Bill, and also for a reversal of the policies of privatisation that are breeding corruption. He called for all citizens to participate in large numbers in the 100-hour Student-Youth Barricade at Parliament Street from 9-13 August.

Prashant Bhushan, member of the Lokpal Bil drafting committee and noted advocate and activist, analysed the examples of the Bellary scam, the Reliance oil-and-gas scam and the 2G scam, to explain how privatisation of natural resources has paved the way for megascams. He said that if the policies of liberalisation continued, India would become a failed, mafia state.

Paranjoy Guha Thakurta described how the Bellary brothers – mining mafia of Karnataka – have been bleeding the mines of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh thanks to a nexus that involved both BJP and Congress leaders in these states.

Swapan Mukherjee, Central Committee member of CPI (ML) Liberation and General Secretary of the AICCTU, said that in times of liberalisation, struggles of the workers, peasants, tribals are being brutally repressed when they stand up to resist corruption, corporate plunder and violation of land, forest and labour laws by corporations and governments. He called for students and youth to join the 9 August Barricade at Parliament and also to reach out to the people's movements going on all over the country.

The speakers in the convention emphasized on the fact that corruption today was not a moral issue, rather corruption today is legalized and institutionalized by the government itself. In conclusion, Ravi Rai thanked the participants and called upon all to make the 100-hour Student-Youth Barricade from 9-13 August a success.

AIKM Protest in Nainital

As part of the national programme of All India Kisan Mahasabha (AIKM) on 1 August the AIKM organized a dharna and public meeting at Lal Kuan (Nainital district) against land grab and for saving peasants and agriculture. After the meeting memorandums were sent to Chief Minister and Prime Minister.

The activists of AIKM marched in the form of a rally and upon reaching the Lal Kuan Police station they burnt an effigy of Uttarakhand's BJP Government against the new 'disaster and rehabilitation policy' that does more long term harm than help to the victims of calamities in this Himalayan State.

Addressing the meeting the AIKM's Nainital dist. President, Com. B S Jangi described the policy as downright anti-people. Under this policy the government will acquire agricultural land at the existing circle rate and offer the landholders of 233 affected villages only residential plots. In the hills of Uttarakhand agriculture and animal husbandry are traditional and ancestral professions. This policy will create issues of survival if the evicted people are not given land elsewhere in return for their land. Also without providing them cattle grazing grounds and basic facilities of forest panchayat land this policy is a kind of land grab. Therefore AIKM demanded that a new pro-people calamity and rehabilitation policy be reframed. On this issue the Congress, BSP and UKD are shamefully silent.


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: 22442790, e-mail:, website: