Thursday, 23 August 2012

ML Update 35 / 2012

ML Update

A CPI(ML) Weekly News Magazine

Vol.  15        No. 35                                                                 21-27 AUG 2012

Kokrajhar and After: Challenges for Democracy

The violence that broke out in Assam's Kokrajhar district in the latter half of July is acquiring murkier political overtones with every passing day. Had the state and central governments responded promptly, the violence could have been contained at a much earlier stage. But crucial time was lost as army intervention got delayed apparently on procedural grounds and violence was allowed to escalate. With the state found wanting in terms of administrative initiative and political will, fear and insecurity rapidly engulfed the lower Assam districts of Kokrajhar, Dhubri and Chirang. In an unprecedented instance of mass exodus nearly half a million people were compelled to seek shelter in relief camps. Low-key violence still continues to be reported from the area, taking the resultant death toll beyond 80 even as more people are dying in relief camps because of extremely poor sanitation and insufficient medical care in these camps.

Unlike previous instances of ethnic violence in Assam, the Kokrajhar incidents have had repercussions far beyond the state. The BJP was quick to smell a political opportunity in the Assam violence, blaming it on 'growing illegal immigration of Bangladeshi Muslims' and the Congress tradition of 'Muslim appeasement' and 'vote-bank politics'. Advani himself led the charge in the Lok Sabha and the BJP and RSS launched an aggressive propaganda blitzkrieg across the country against their pet theme of 'infiltration by Bangladeshi Muslims'. Some Muslim organizations in Mumbai organized a protest demonstration leading to clashes with the police leaving two persons killed and at least fifty injured.

And then began a vicious rumour campaign predicting post-Eid attacks on students and workers from the North-East in different parts of India. Thousands of panic-stricken workers and students began rushing back to Assam and other North-Eastern states from cities like Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Pune. As trains overcrowded with angry passengers returned to the North East, passing through the already tense and violence-affected areas of Kokrajhar and neighbouring districts, communal polarization was refuelled in the state with reports of fresh clashes and even passengers being thrown out of running trains. Once again we saw the cynical use of modern means of communication including the social networking sites on the internet and cellphone messages to stoke fear and prejudices all around.

Several real facts and legitimate concerns are thus being lumped together to construct a mega myth, spread fear psychosis and serve the politics of communal hate and sectarian fanaticism. There is a feverish propaganda that the native population of Assam is being systematically swamped by Bangladeshi Muslim 'infiltrators' overturning the delicate demographic balance in the state and making Assam vulnerable to the mythical project of a 'Greater Bangladesh'. The bogey of 'Bangladeshi infiltration' is then tagged to the issue of 'terrorism', demonized all too often as 'Islamic terrorism' and now through the sinister rumour campaign the whole thing is being sought to be pitted against the sense of humiliation and harassment that students and workers from Assam and the entire North-East often have to undergo in many parts of India, not the least in the national capital.

The discrimination and harassment felt by the common people of the North-East, whether in their home states or in course of education- or work-related migration to elsewhere in the country, is rooted primarily in the overwhelmingly bureaucratic nature of the region's integration with the narrowly perceived 'Indian mainstream', uneven development resulting in widespread unemployment and repressive measures like the draconian Armed Forces Special Powers Act throttling the democratic voice of the people. The theory of Bangladeshi infiltration taps into this real resentment and seeks to channelize it in a communal direction by portraying Bengali-speaking Muslims as the biggest internal threat to the North-East. 

Next only to Jammu and Kashmir, Assam has the second largest proportion of Muslims, roughly a third of the state's population and there is a significant concentration of Muslims in districts bordering Bangladesh. But much of this concentration happened historically primarily over two phases of mass migration, first during the period of India-Pakistan partition and second during the emergence of Bangladesh. The Assam accord has fixed 1971 as the cut-off year to decide the legality of immigration and a few thousand people have already been deported to Bangladesh over the last two decades. Many Muslims who have taken shelter in the relief camps have lost all their papers in the recent violence and now the Assam government talks of rehabilitating only those who have valid papers. Riots cannot and must not be legitimized as a method of turning people into 'foreign nationals'.

Census figures show that since 1971, the decadal growth rate of population in Assam has been lower than the all-India growth rate. This clearly refutes the theory of a large and continuing inflow of illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, yet the RSS-BJP propaganda machinery is working overtime to scare the people with the threat of a lethal mix of cross-border infiltration and terrorism. This, the BJP hopes, could provide the cutting emotive edge of its coming Lok Sabha election campaign.

Within Assam, the BJP has so far failed to make any decisive inroad thanks to the strong influence of regional sentiment and identity issues. But with the progressive weakening of regional forces like the AGP, the BJP sees the current turbulence as a great opportunity to communalise the Assam situation and emerge as a key political force in the fragmented and yet traditionally Congress-dominated political arena of the North-East. It is ironical that the party which dubs every opposition to AFSPA as anti-national and seeks to crush every impulse of self-determination of ethnicities or tribal communities by aggressive politico-military means and thus stands in virulent opposition to the real interests and democratic aspirations of the people of the North-East, and which espouses a 'cultural nationalist' ideology that is deeply inimical to the identity and rights of the people of the North East and minorities alike, is now trying to project itself as the champion of the region and reap a communal harvest from the intricacies of the present situation. This dangerous communal gameplan must be defeated and communal forces must not be allowed to vitiate the atmosphere and endanger people's unity and social harmony in any part of the country.   

The widely publicized exodus of workers and students from cities like Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Pune – some of these people are returning to Assam not just because of fear but pressure exerted by the landlords who are refusing to provide accommodation to people from Assam – has come as a jolt to these growing corporate centres. In the recent past, there have been cases of actual attacks on students and workers from Bihar, Jharkhand and UP in Maharashtra by MNS/Shiv Sena goons – yet ironically enough that never resulted in the kind of scare and exodus that has been witnessed in the wake of the sinister SMS campaign and rumour-mongering that is still going on.  Guarantee of the security and rights of migrant workers and students in any part of the country is central to the notion of national unity and rule of law and no organization or government can be allowed to play with the lives and rights of the people. Over the years Assam has historically evolved as a melting pot of people of diverse linguistic and religious communities and ethnicities and a harmonious co-existence of the people in Assam is absolutely central to the strength and viability of the larger social mosaic that is India.

Forbesganj Struggle Continues:

People Construct Bhajanpur-Sheetalpur Road

Thousands of villagers armed with traditional weapons offered 'shramdaan' and volunteered as labourers in order to construct the Bhajanpur-Sheetalpur road at Forbesganj, Bihar, on 16 August. This is a victory for the people's struggle, which has braved the severest repression and communal encirclement.

This public road, which has been in existence for the past 60 years or so, connects the Bhajanpur village (mainly inhabited by 1000 families of the minority community), to the Karbala, Idgah, hospital and local bazaar. Last year, on June 3, police fired on a demonstration by local people protesting against this same public road being blocked off for a private factory owned by the BJP MLC's son. The factory itself was being constructed on BIADA land that had been illegally allotted. Police not only fired on unarmed protestors, they also jumped viciously on fallen bodies, displaying communal hatred. Four people - Mustafa Ansari, Mukhtar Ansari, Sajmin Khatoon and 8-month old Naushad – were killed in the police brutality.

A whole year has passed – but the people of Forbesganj are yet to get justice. The one-man enquiry commission has barely taken off the ground. Following the firing, the villagers had already constructed the road once last year at the time of Ramzan. But under pressure from above, the road was again destroyed. And the road continued to remain destroyed in spite of repeated appeals to the local administration. Recently, even the Home Secretary was approached, but the Government and administration did not act. Faced with a Government that obstinately closed its ears to pleas for restoration of the road, the villagers decided to construct the road on their own.

Id was approaching, and this road was needed for the villagers to approach the Idgah. Because of the condition of the road, they were even unable to reach the Masjid, though it was the month of Ramzan.

The construction of the road took place in the presence of the large gathering of adivasis and minorities, as well as CPI(ML) central committee member and former MP Rameshwar Prasad, State Committee member and former MLA Mahboob Alam, State Committee member Pankaj Singh, as well as other CPI(ML) leaders and activists.

Addressing the mass meeting following the construction of the road, CPI(ML) leaders observed that the Bhajanpur-Sheetalpur road was not part of BIADA land, and had been forcibly grabbed by the local MLC Ashok Agrawal from the BJP. Yet, the Government had taken no action against the MLC and had instead unleashed repression on the villagers protesting the grabbing of a public road. Keeping a public road in a deliberate state of disrepair and destruction is in itself illegal, since the Government has not acquired the land on which the road stands. There is nothing illegal, in such circumstances, in constructing a public road. It is the Government which is upholding an illegal act of encroachment and land grab, under pressure from corrupt, communal, and powerful local politicians. The CPI(ML) leaders demanded that in public interest, the Government ought, in fact, to make the newly constructed road pucca without delay. Following the mass meeting, a victory procession marched from Bhajanpur through the main road of Forbesganj up to the railway station.

The BJP and Sangh Parivar are making all efforts to incite communal frenzy in the Araria district, in the name of preparing for 'Mahaviri Jhanda' to coincide with Id on 19 August. Local BJP and JD(U) leaders like Ashok Agrawal and Moolchand Golccha are terrorising the witnesses of the Forbesganj firing. 12-year-old Talmun Khatun, who got a bullet in her back in the firing, was due to stand witness before the enquiry commission on 18 July. But the BJP-JD(U) leaders threatened her father Mohd.Zaheer Ansari, warning against her giving evidence. Though Talmun Khatun did reach Araria, intending to give evidence, Ashok Agrawal and his goons chased her away. The Government, instead of ensuring protection for the witnesses, is protecting Ashok Agrawal and Moolchand Golccha. Ashok Agrawal has been arrested on charges of murdering his employee, but he is yet to be prosecuted on the murder charges relating to the Forbesganj firing, which took place at his instigation. The Court is yet to take cognisance of the case.    

The CPI(ML) has demanded that the judicial enquiry commission should hold hearings in Bhajanpur rather than Araria, so as to ensure greater security for the witnesses.

Release Comrade Tahir Ansari

Withdraw all Cases against Him

On 17th August 2012, Comrade Tahir Ansari, a fighting mass leader of the CPI(ML) in Garhwa district, Jharkhand, was arrested by police in Chana village of Nager block at 11AM.

Com. Tahir belongs to a very poor family. He made contact with the party as a kaleen (carpet) worker in the adjacent area of UP. At a very young age he joined our party and within short time he was actively leading anti feudal struggles, particularly land struggles, against  the Nager Untari Estate. He played a key role in mobilizing rural poor in large numbers to capture thousands of acres of land that was illegally occupied by upper caste feudal forces in Garhwa district.

Later, Comrade Tahir also took very effective initiatives alongwith other party activists to face the onslaughts of Maoists to wipe out CPI(ML) in this region. Our militant mass resistance forced Maoists to beat a retreat, though of course many of our valuable comrades had to sacrifice their lives in this struggle.

In this process Comrade Tahir and other leading cadres of this area had to face continuous police repression and harassment, including many fabricated criminal cases. Defying all these odds, Comrade Tahir sustained his mass work and mobilized thousands of the poorest of poor people towards their political assertion. In last assembly election, we secured nearly 20,000 votes in the Bhawnathpur segment.

After the arrest on 17 August, the police initially tried to deny it. But through our prompt initiatives like interaction with the media, pressuring the DGP  and Home Secretary, and most importantly, massive mass protest, the police was forced to declare Comrade Tahir's arrest. Thousands of people from villages came to the street to protest the arrest of their beloved leader in false cases, and the protest march turned into a big mass meeting  attended by 4000 people. 18 August was observed as a "protest day" throughout the state, and Garhwa and Palamu pramandal in particular witnessed vigorous protest. On the afternoon of 18 August, Comrade Tahir was prduced in the CJM court. Thousands of people entered the court premises to register their solidarity with Comrade Tahir. The appeal against his remand was rejected and he was sent to jail custody. The SP of Garhwa presented Comrade Tahir before the court as a terrorist, a criminal, a commander' etc, and he was falsely implicated in 32 cases including some cases of attacks by Maoists on the police.

Comrade Tahir's arrest is part of the political conspiracy, dictted from the top, against the CPI(ML) movement and leaders in Garhwa. Some months back, CPI(ML) activists were arrested on charges of abetting a Maoist blast follwoing the abduction of Zila Parishad Chairperson from CPI(ML), Comrade Sushma, and a CPI(ML) procession protesting the arrest was met with brutal police repression. On 21 August, a no-confidence motion against the Chairperson Comrade Sushma, was defeated in the Zila Parishad. The arrest of Comrade Tahir was meant to demoralise the party to face the no-confidence motion, but this ploy failed.

The CPI(ML) continues to battle the political conspiracy against its mass leaders with mass protests and political resistance. The party is now preparing for a massive Jail Bharo protest on 31 August against the arrest of Comrade Tahir.

August 31 Jail Bharo Preparations

Padyatras by AICCTU in TN

At the call of the AICCTU's State council, all affiliated unions throughout the state are preparing for the Aug 31 Jail Bharo agitation. The preparatory meeting at Kanyakumari district held on 12 August was attended by 55 leading cadres and campaign padayatras  were planned which will culminate on 31 Jail Bharo. In Tirunelveli district, General body meetings of all affiliated Trade Unions were held. General body meetings of Washermen union , Loadmen union of Iron merchant area, Construction union, Loadmen union of Suthamalli area , Loadmen union of Civil Supplies Corporation and Auto workers union were held between 5 and 12 Aug. A demonstration by construction workers was held on 12 Aug., condemning fatal accident of 10 migrant construction workers in a construction site at private college owned by education mafia Jeppiyar. In Beedi Industry branch level meetings are being organised at Pettai and Alangulam centres in the course of preparation for Jail Bharo.

In Salem, 60 activists of various unions met on 12 August and charted out campaign plan. It was planned to carry out 9 padayatras involving 100 workers to reach out to 20000 masses.

In Chennai, District level  GB  of AICCTU  was held on 15 Aug., attended by more than 200 workers  of various Trade Unions of Ambattur,  Ayanavaram, Sriperumputhur and Thirumullaivayal  areas. Com. Kumaresh presided over the meeting. Com.Jawahar, Honarary President of state AICCTU, dealt in detail about the Objective of the Aug 31 agitation. More than 50 padayatras were planned during the campaign. About 30 migrant workers of Northern states also participated. Com. Bharathi of AISA,  Com. Kuppa bai on behalf of AIPWA addressed the gathering.

In Coimbatore, GB of Pricol workers was attended by more than 500 workers. GB elected new office bearers in a democratic way and felicitated the Retired employees. Newly elected office bearers were  sworn in by taking pledge to carry forward working class struggles , keeping  closer relationship with all toiling masses. Com S. Kumaraswamy , National President of AICCTU and NK Natarajan, State President addressed the workers . GB resolved to take up more than 30 Padayatras to reach out with the campaign message.

60 workers including five women workers participated in GB of Namakkal district. KR Kumarasamy and Saravanan led the meeting. K. Govindaraj, State GS of Civil Supplies Corporation addressed this GB. About 20 Padatatras covering Kumarapalayam, Pallipalayam, Thattan kuttai and Perunthurai of Erode were planned. It was decided to ensure minimum 1000 workers  for Jail Bharo.

Demands for a Legislation for TU recognition by secret ballot, President's assent  for LA bill 47/2008 passed by TN legislature to regularise Trainees, Against Capitalist path of development and for  pro people development, and Against loot, corporate plunder  of natural resources and for strong Lokpal were included for the campaign.

Protest Against Sacking of Maruti Workers

On 17 August, thousands of workers from various automobile and other unions in the Gurgaon-Manesar-Dharuhera region held a massive protest march at Gurgaon against the sacking of the Maruti workers. AICCTU and AISA activists and leaders joined this march, holding placards, that showed corporations like Maruti pulling the strings of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Hooda.

Sandeep Singh, AISA President, along with other AISA activists, has been meeting the Maruti workers outside as well as inside the jail. Several of the Maruti union leaders and workers in jail were subjected to severe torture (including electric shocks, and rollers on the body) and demeaning acts while on remand. The workers' lawyer has moved court to demand a Medical Exam of the workers.

AICCTU's Countrywide Protest

On 22 August, the day the Maruti owner Osamu Suzuki visited India, AICCTU held a countrywide protest, burning the effigy of Bhupinder Hooda and Osamu Suzuki, and protesting the sacking of Maruti workers and deployment of police and paramilitary in and around the Maruti plant. At Delhi, the protest was held at Haryana Bhavan where a memorandum was also sent to CM Haryana.

We Stand By Maruti Workers

Below are excerpts of a statement that was distributed as a leaflet at the 17 August Rally.

"The events of 18th July demand a full and unbiased investigation. Why did the Maruti management introduce hired bouncers inside the factory? Why did the police do nothing to prevent the presence of bouncers inside the factory? Above all, the question needs to be asked – why has the Government of Haryana done nothing to ensure that Maruti and other factories comply with labour laws?

The denial of industrial democracy and violation of labour laws by corporations in collusion with governments is what has led to a spate of incidents similar to what happened at Maruti's Manesar plant: Pricol (Coimbatore), Graziano (NOIDA), and Regency Ceramic (Puducherry).

Why do the murders of an Ajit Yadav, a Niyogi, a Datta Samant, never evoke the same outrage from the media and the governments? Why is the death of workers at a Metro work site, or in corporation manholes, or in mines, or at construction sites – seen as acceptable, even routine? 

While 500 workers have been illegally terminated by the management, it is heard that fresh workers are being illegally recruited. Chief Minister Bhupinder Hooda has announced that many battalions of paramilitary forces with 6600 security personnel will be deployed around the Maruti factory. In addition, management has recruited ex-army personnel to be deployed right on the shop floor, fully armed. The already beleaguered workers' movement is now placed under the ominous shadow of the paramilitary forces! A new chapter is being opened in the history of India's industrial relations, post-liberalisation, where any talk of democracy, implementation of labour laws, workers' rights, dignified livelihood and equality will be seen as a threat to the state and Maruti workers will be made to work and assemble cars at gun-point on the shop floor!

The young workers at the Maruti factory breathed fresh energy into the labour movement in the country. We stand by them in their ongoing struggle for justice and for their rights. The defeat of the Maruti workers would mean the defeat of us all – and the victory of unbridled greed that sacrifices human dignity and rights at its altar. We cannot let the Maruti workers be defeated!"  

-- Aditya Nigam, Amit Bhaduri, Economist, Ashutosh Kumar, DU, Gopal Pradhan, Ambedkar University, Mohan Rao, JNU, Nivedita Menon, JNU, Prabhu Mahapatra, Labour Historian, DU, Sumit Sarkar, Historian, Tanika Sarkar, Historian, Achyutanand Mishra, poet, Badri Raina, Dr Hiren Gohain, Dunu Roy, Kavita Krishnan, Editor, Liberation, Mahtab Alam, civil right activist, Nandani Chandra, DU, Ranjana Padhi, Sandip Singh, President, AISA, Santosh K. Roy, Secretary, AICCTU, Satya Sivaraman, Shalini Gera (Chhattisgarh Mukti Morcha), Shankar Gopalkrishnan (Uttarakhand Nav Nirman Majdoor Sangh), Srinivasan Ramani, Sucheta De, President, JNU Students' Union, Thomas Kocherry, World Forum of Fisher Peoples, Dr. Uma Gupta, DU.

Dharna in Dadri

Revolutionary Youth Association held a protest dharna in Dadri town, in Gautam Buddh Nagar District, in 16 August and condemned the UP Govt. and district administration for its laxity in punishing the perpetrators of land grab and murderous attacks on RYA activists and members of dalit community. The protestors demanded that security be provided in dalit hamlet of Ramgarh village, administration take action and demolish the wall erected by village pradhan to encircle panchayat land reserved for dalits'  households, release of RYA activists jailed on false charges of attempt to murder, judicial inquiry into the incidents that led to bullet injury to a girl and kidnapping and amputation of both legs of RYA activist Tikaram alias Tinku. The dharna was addressed by Party CC member Kavita Krishnan, RYA leader Aslam Khan, AISA National President Sandeep Singh, Delhi University teachers Uma Gupta and Prashant, and JSM's Kapil Sharma, as well as Gaje Singh, Bhuvanesh, Prakashi Devi, and many other local activists. A memorandum was submitted through SDM with a charter of demands. SDM has promised to visit the village and take action, though he could not answer why no action has yet been taken against the  gram pradhan Kuldeep Bhati for grabbing dalit land and repeated assaults on dalits, in spite of repeated appeals and protests. 

Team Visits Disaster Hit Villages

A CPI(ML) team visited Bheti and Jhimargaon villages of Dharchula district in Uttarakhand which faced wrath of natural calamities and are still in danger. Many families have not been relocated even after three years of the disaster. Administrative officials never cared to visit the villages after the accident. Party has demanded proper relief and rehabilitation and provision for statutory assurance of relief in case of calamity. The team was led by CPI(ML) District Secretary Jagat Martolia.


Comrade Haricharan Teli

Comrade Haricharan Teli passed away on 12th August,2012, after a brief illness. He was around 90, and is survived by his son and three daughters. Another of his sons, Comrade Gobinda Teli, was assassinated along with 6 others on 25 February, 1980 at village Hurua, Dharmanagar, Tripura, by the police of Left front government headed by  CPI(M) Chief Minister Nripen Chakraborty. A leading activist from the tea tribe, Comrade Haricharan Teli was one of the few comrades in Tripura who joined CPI(ML) early in its underground  days. Party activists and leaders continue to feel at home in his house even today.

Comrade Gobinda Teli, while he was a school student in 1967-68, had been a leading activist of the Tripura Students Federation, which was the state unit of CPI(M)'s student wing before the formation of SFI.

After the Hurua massacre on 25 February, 1980, in which his son Gobinda was assassinated, he took an active role in forming the "Hurua Hatya Birodhi Sangram Samity", and led a mass rally four days after the massacre. It was under his initiative that the case was properly placed before the Enquiry Commission headed by Justice  A K De, which was able to conclude, based on the testimony and evidence, that the Harua killings were cold-blooded murders by the police. However, the report of the  Enquiry Commission was rejected by the CPI(M)-led Government, and the police officer who led the massacre received praise, as well as promotion and special honours from sucessive LF Governments. 

Comrade Haricharan was popular among masses, and he also earned respect from the intelligentsia who hailed his bold and persuasive initiatives. Comrade Haricharan Teli was hard working and even in his last days always felt very inspired by the spirit of the Naxalbari Movement and by the news of ongoing mass movements.

Party leaders  and activists as well as masses gathered at his house to bid final farewell to Comrade Haricharan Teli.

Red salute to Comrade Haricharan Teli!

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:

Thursday, 16 August 2012

ML Update 34 / 2012

ML Update

A CPI(ML) Weekly News Magazine

Vol. 15, No. 34, 14 – 20 AUGUST 2012

For the UPA Government,

Students and Youth and Democratic Protestors Are 'The Enemy'

Students and youth from all over the country marched to Parliament on 9 August, the anniversary of the Quit India movement, demanding that 'corporate plunderers Quit India', and equitable education and dignified employment as fundamental rights. These thousands of young activists found, however, that the barricades at Parliament Street are not manned only by Delhi Police. Instead, the Sashastra Seema Bal (central Armed Border Force) had been deployed in large numbers! Faced with the ominous sight of the SSB contingent in full gear, the students and youth did not baulk. They marched forward and stormed the barricades – and braved a brutal beating by the police and SSB. What can be clearer proof that for the UPA Government, the country's younger generation and democratic protestors have become an 'enemy' force?

A few days after that, a villager who interrupted a public meeting in West Bengal to ask the Chief Minister a question about steep fertiliser prices and irregularities in BPL rations, was branded a 'Maoist' by the CM and thrown in jail under non-bailable charges! Maruti workers in Haryana are facing a virtual witch-hunt, with attempts to brand them, too, as 'Maoists' in order to justify an all-out crackdown on their trade union struggle. Intolerance towards and brutal suppression of dissent and popular protest is marking the entire country today, with the Congress and UPA-led Governments leading the way.

Youth in particular are feeling let-down by the growing crisis of employment and education. According Census 2010 data, more than 50% of India's population is under 25 years; and 70% of the population is under 35 years. This makes India home to the world's largest youth population. The Government often seeks to justify disastrous pro-corporate policies – be it land acquisition, FDI in retail, or opening up of crucial sectors of the economy for corporate control – by claiming that they would promote 'growth', create jobs for Indian youth, and expand educational opportunities.

Facts, however, show that corporate-led 'growth' has proved to be an all-out offensive on the rights and potential of young Indians. Let us consider the period of 2005-2010: five years which saw some of the worst scams. This was also the worst offensive of neoliberal policies. The Government's own data, made available by the NSSO, shows that this was a period of jobless growth. While GDP was increasing at a 9% rate, employment grew at a negligible rate of just 0.22%. In agriculture, on which almost 60% of the population continues to be dependant, the employment rate was minus 1.60%. And the youth unemployed in India make up almost half (49%) of the total unemployed despite the fact that, the youth share of the total adult workers is only 21%.

What has been the quality of employment created? The facts show that Government policies have resulted in a dangerous casualisation of the workforce. Young workers in particular are insecure and exploited. 50% of the youth workers are 'self employed'; 35% of youth workers are casual labourers. 26% of youth employed suffer from poverty (around 22 million). Around 40% of youth population are categorised as 'vulnerable'.

Even in the organized, manufacturing sector, we find a shrinking share of wages and rising share of profit. The rise in labour productivity was 5 fold between 1980s-2010. But the wage bill declined from 30% of net value-added in 1980s, to 11.6% by 2009-10.

The UPA Government, aggressively pushing privatisation of education, argues that the Government suffers from a fund crunch and therefore, the further entry of private players in the education sector needs to be facilitated. But this claim of 'fund crunch' needs to be confronted with some startling facts. The education budget in the entire 9 years of UPA rule totals Rs. 3.52 lakh cr – virtually equivalent to the losses incurred in the 2G scam and the Coal scam, which together amount to Rs. 3.56 lakh cr. Further, revenues foregone by the UPA Government every year as tax waivers for corporate is Rs 5 lakh cr - more than what the UPA Government spent on education in nine years!

It is in this backdrop that students and youth under the banner of the AISA and RYA have raised the question of dignified employment and equitable education – in contrast to the prevailing policy of appeasement of corrupt corporates and corporate plunder.

The courage and determination of the students and youth was in sharp contrast to the farce enacted by Baba Ramdev. From the beginning, the Baba made it clear that he would steer clear of any sustained movement, opting instead for a 'symbolic' protest on black money and corruption. After an equally symbolic arrest, he ended his fast, merely demanding that black money and corruption find a mention in the Prime Minister's Independence Day speech! The real purpose of the Baba's platform was clearly not to conduct any movement or struggle against corporate corruption, black money, or corruption in high places. The Baba has given a call to 'Oust Congress' – echoed by top BJP and NDA leaders who shared his platform, and he also received expressions of support from the Samajwadi Party and the BSP. Undoubtedly, the UPA Government at the Centre has emerged as one of the most corrupt regimes, and there is need for an all-out movement to teach this corrupt and anti-people Government a lesson and oust it from power. But a coalition of equally corrupt political forces (state governments and top leaders of BJP, SP, BSP, are all riddled with major charges of corruption) on a reactionary platform can hardly lead any real anti-corruption movement or any alternative to the corrupt Congress-led regime at the Centre.

The likes of Baba Ramdev and his corrupt and communal political allies must be exposed – and it is democratic forces fighting corporate grab of resources, students and youth, and common people on a resolutely democratic and anti-corporate plank, that can lead the struggle against the corrupt and repressive UPA Government.

Students and Youth Storm Barricades at Parliament Street

Thousands of students and youth from all over the country, under the banner of All India Students' Association (AISA) and Revolutionary Youth Association (RYA), stormed the barricades at Jantar Mantar on 9th August, protesting corporate plunder and the UPA government's pro-corporate scams, and demanding equitable education and dignified employment.

Before the students and youth marched to Parliament, they held a massive meeting, which blockaded the Jantar Mantar road. Waving red flags, and colourful painted hoardings and banners, they raised slogans of 'Corporate Plunderers Quit India' and 'Shame on UPA Govt that Subsidises Corporates and Sells Out Students'. The hoardings said, "UPA Govt Spends on Education in Nine Years What It Allows to Corporates to Loot in Just 2 Scams", pointing out that the total amount looted in 2G and Coal scams amounted to Rs 3.56 lakh crores – more or less equal to the Rs 3.52 lakh crore that is the UPA Government's total education budget of the last nine years!

The mass meeting was addressed by national leaders of the AISA and RYA, and the main speaker was CPI(ML) General Secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya. He said that the battle against corruption not be waged by the likes of Baba Ramdev who hobnobbed with communal killers and made deals with ruling class parties, and who ran away when the police attacked. He also said that Anna Hazare too had failed to target corporate plunder as the root of corruption. He congratulated the students and youth for taking corporate plunder head on – by barricading Parliament Street last year, and now by storming the barricades.

After a rousing call by leaders of the AISA and RYA leaders, the students and youth began marching peacefully towards Parliament. This march to parliament was participated by AISA and RYA leaders and activists from several parts of the country, including Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Karbi Anglong, West Bengal, Darjeeling, Punjab, Maharashtra, UP, Uttarakhand, Bihar, Jharkhand, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Delhi. The student and youth wings of the Communist Party of Revolutionary Marxists (CPRM), DRSF and DRYF, also joined the March to Parliament. They broke down the first two barricades, braving a severe lathicharge by police and Sashastra Seema Bal in which more than 50 students suffered severe injuries.

One wonders what the Sashastra Seema Bal was doing at Jantar Mantar and why they attacked the students and youth with no warning or provocation. Several AISA and RYA activists from Delhi, UP, and Andhra Pradesh have sustained head injuries and a comrade from Madhya Pradesh has fractured his leg in the lathi charge. Several students (including young women) were manhandled by male police. The police also detained AISA and RYA's national leadership and some activists for a short while but had to release them soon under pressure from thousands of students and youth who refused to walk away from the barricades at Jantar Mantar.

The march to Parliament was led by AISA President Sandeep Singh and General Secretary Ravi Rai, RYA President Mohd. Salim and General Secretary Kamlesh, DRYF leaders Sekhar Chhetri, Rabin Rai, and Arun Ghatani, DRSF leaders Birendra Giri and S Chamling, JNUSU President Sucheta De, RYA leaders Amarjit Kushwaha, Bal Mukund Dhuria, AISA leaders Abhyuday, Malay, Bharati, Diganta, and other AISA and RYA leaders of several states.

 Demonstration against Death of Migrant Workers

Eleven migrant workers from Assam and Odisha died in 2 mega projects in and around Chennai. On 6 August 10 migrant workers engaged in construction of a private college of education baron Jeppiar in Kanchipuram district, died and 50 were injured when the under construction concrete beam collapsed and fell on them. The adjoining wall for supporting the concrete column was not built and further construction work was being carried out to meet a deadline without any structural safety. The tragedy occurred when the workers were standing near the column.

AICCTU released posters immediately all over the state demanding action against the college authorities, implementation of inter-state Migrant Workers Act 1979 and the TN rules of the Act and Rs.20 lakhs in compensation to the families of each deceased. On 7 August AICCTU State Secretary Comrade Eraniappan and CWC member Comrade Mohan visited the injured workers in the Government hospital. They also visited the accident site. Jeppiar, Mariam Selvam, director of the college, the contractor and the mason were arrested.

On 8 August a crane in Chennai Metro Rail project crashed injuring 10 workers from Odisha and one of them died in the hospital. L&T manager and contractor were arrested. AICCTU held a demonstration on 10 August before Kanchipuram Collectorate stressing the demands.

 Demonstrations in Tamilnadu

About 150 members of Tamilnadu Electricity Board (TNEB) Dr. Ambedkar Employees & Engineers Association affiliated to All India Central Council of Trade Unions (AICCTU) held a demonstration at Dharmapuri on 24th July, demanding regularisation of contract labourers and promotion of masthurs to helpers. Com. Chandramohan, State Vice President was the main speaker. The demonstration called on the employees of electricity board to participate en-masse in the August 25 State-level Demonstration to be held at Chennai. Com. Murugan, office bearer of Dharmapuri circle led the demonstration. Demonstrators, most of them are contract employees demanded regularisation of contract employees as per the 1998 court order.

In Chidambaram, on 19 July, a dalit masthur had a fatal accident and Caste biased administration suspended one masthur, one lineman and one woman Assistant Engineer, all belonging to dalit community, whereas the assistant engineer responsible for the accident was let scot free because he is a non-dalit. A 200 strong demonstration held on 26th July including employees of engineer cadre demanded immediate withdrawal of punishment orders and action against the AE responsible for the fatal accident. Demonstration made it clear that AICCTU will not allow caste prejudices in the TNEB to prevail. Comrade Chandramohan also recalled the experiences of revolutionary movement in dealing with casteist organisations like Ranveer Sena.

There was a negotiation with Chief Engineer at Villupuram. In turn, he ordered withdrawal of suspension orders. General Secretary of the union Comrade Subramanian and Comrade Murugan of Dharmapuri participated in the demonstration.

 Statewide Agrarian Strike in Bihar at the Call of AIALA

A Statewide agrarian strike was enforced on 26 July by the Bihar unit of All India Agricultural Labourers' Association (AIALA) bringing to halt agricultural and farm work in thousands of village. During the strike the AIALA activists and members also held demonstrations at more than two hundred blocks to demanding from the Bihar Govt to stipulate Rs. 300 as minimum wage, linking of the MNREGA with the agricultural work, CBI enquiry into the Mahadalit land scam and urgent initiation of drought relief work in view of the impending drought.

This is the 7th year in power for the Nitish-Modi Govt that talks about development with justice, but, in no village or panchayat of the State the minimum agrarian wage fixed by the Govt is abided by. The workers are not even getting ten days of work under MNREGA which is supposed to guarantee hundred days of work in a year, neither the daily wage of Rs.151 fixed by the Govt. Due to its anti-poor character and reluctance the Govt is extremely sloppy in execution of work under MNREGA and is not even able to spend the specified sum allocated to MNREGA. In a State with one crore and three lakh (10.3 million) job cardholders, a mere sum of Rs. 4000 crore per annum is also going unspent, whereas a State like Rajasthan spends Rs.8000 crore, and on average a worker gets 50 days of work under MNREGA annually. Out of the money spent in Bihar 70 percent is gobbled up by the nexus of the corrupt officials, politicians and contractors and only the remaining 30 percent trickles down to the poor households. The Govt has proved to be completely insincere and vacuous on its own announcement to allot 3 dismil (decimal) land for homestead to landless and Mahadalits and scam after scam is surfacing under this scheme. This has opened floodgate of opportunities for the land mafia, landlords, thugs and rural bullies to loot and swindle the homestead land. Areas, most unsuitable for dwelling, such as land falling under river bed, ponds, canals and land prone to water logging, is being allotted to them. Atrocities against the poor, daily wagers and dalits has risen in the State and they are subjected to injustice routinely. Unjust verdict of the Patna High Court in Bathani Tola case, death sentence to ten persons and life imprisonment to four from mushahar caste in Khagaria, killings by police in Forbesganj, growing incidences of killings of workers in Arwal-Jehanabad, brutally beating of a child from poor family under allegation of theft and the barbarity of hammering of a nail in the leg are all burning instances of the growing atrocities against poor, dalits and minorities. As a result of acquisition of land for Govt projects in the State and the boost the egos of zamindars and kulaks has received from the ruling dispensation, the landless and poor are being evicted from their settlements. The official announcements of enlisting 1.5 crore (15 million) families in the below poverty (BPL) list, ensuring monthly ration and fuel, and making the educational-health programmes reach the doorsteps of the poor have all got stuck in web of institutionalised loot and the Govt is seen running away from its responsibilities everywhere.

In light of the above the State Council of the AIALA decided to hold a one-day agrarian strike on 26 July. Organised under the leadership of agricultural labourers-rural poor, statewide campaign was conducted for propagating information about this strike. One lakh leaflets were distributed during the preparations, hundreds of campaign materials, and tens of conferences were organised to create a statewide atmosphere. Prior to the strike study/survey work was conducted in several villages and the conditions leading to migration were studied. During the course of campaign several irregularities in land distribution and swindling of fund meant for mahadalits were also unearthed by the campaign teams often led by AIALA leaders of the region. Intense campaigns were conducted against cruelty against workers especially in Jehanabad.

Through the strike the issue of linking of MNREGA with farm and agricultural work was made the number one priority. Along with Rs.300 as minimum wage as per the recommendations of various labour commissions, and the agricultural labourers working the land of financially exhausted poor-middle peasants and sharecroppers be paid with the help of MNREGA. This has had a positive impact and it was observed that it has created a new basis for a broader unity among the agrarian workers and small-middle peasants.

At some places the demonstrators also taught some lesson to the corrupt and irresponsible officials (BDOs). Rural poor also confronted the biased police at some places and forced them to release their arrested comrades. AIALA organised such a strike for the third time. The form of this movement challenging and encircling the Govt on the issues of rural poor-agrarian labourers has proved to be effective and a new phase of independent class assertion of the rural poor has taken shape. A lot remains to be done to develop this form of movement.

 CPI(ML) and Various Mass Organisations Held Dharna in Front of Bihar Vidhan Sabha

The Monsoon session of the Bihar State Assembly was extremely brief. When JD(U)-BJP were in opposition they had demanded to make the sessions longer (Left parties have always firmly insisted on longer sessions of the Assembly), but now the Nitish-Modi Govt too is shamelessly continuing the tradition of running the administration through the subjective decisions of the cabinet and keeping the sessions as brief as possible. In this brief session, the opposition inside the Assembly did not go in for vehement protest against the Govt on several issues except for raising the issue of a gang-rape of a student in Patna.

The CPI(ML) and its various mass organisations- AIALA, Inquilabi Muslim Conference, AIKM and AIPWA - as the real opposition outside the Vidhan Sabha, held protest demonstrations in Patna and series of dharnas in front of the Vidhan Sabha raising burning issues of the people of Bihar as continuance of the series of movements against the JD(U)-BJP Govt, for justice and democracy. The dharnas were addressed by Party's General Secretary among other Central and State leaders.


Comrade Haricharan Teli passed away on 12th August, 2012, after a brief illness. He was around 90, and is survived by a son and three daughters. His another son Comrade Gobinda Teli was assassinated along with 6 others on 25 February, 1980 at village Hurua, Dharmanagar, Tripura, by the police of Left Front Govt then headed by CPI(M)'s Chief Minister Nripen Chakraborty. Comrade Haricharan Teli was one of the few comrades in Tripura who joined CPI(ML) in its early underground days. His house provided one of the main shelters for Party activists and leaders; till today it continues to do so.

After Hurua Genocide where his son Gobinda was assassinated, he played an active role in the formation of Hurua Hatya Birodhi Sangram Samiti, and after four days of incident under his leadership a mass rally was organized against the killings by the police. As part of this initiative the Party was able to prove before the Justice A K De Inquiry Commission that the police murdered them in cold blood.

He also earned admiration and respect from other intellectuals for his bold and persuasive initiatives. Comrade Teli was hard working and even in his last days he always felt inspired by the spirit of the Naxalbari Movement and by news of other mass movements. Party leaders and activists as well as common people gathered at his house to remember and pay tributes to Comrade Haricharan Teli.

Red salute to Comrade Haricharan Teli


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, 8 August 2012

ML Update 33 / 2012

ML Update

A CPI(ML) Weekly News Magazine

Vol.  15             No. 33                                                                      7 - 13 AUG 2012


The End of Team Anna

On July 25 Team Anna launched yet another fast at Jantar Mantar. Spearheading the campaign this time was Arvind Kejriwal, demanding a Special Investigation Team to probe more than a dozen key members of the UPA cabinet including the Prime Minister and his erstwhile Finance Minister who had by then been elevated to the post of the President. The Anna agitation which had shot into fame in April 2011 as a non-party campaign for a stringent Jan Lokpal legislation was clearly on the lookout for a sharper political edge. Yet the fast could not generate the kind of mass interest that had been witnessed at Jantar Mantar in April 2011 or at Ramlila Maida in August 2011.

Ten days into the campaign, the fast was called off amidst talks of a transition from agitational mobilization to providing the people with a political alternative. Kejriwal promised to build a party through public consultation and stressed the need to intervene in the political process and enter the parliamentary arena to effect political changes while former Army chief VK Singh, the star attraction of the concluding day, delivered a speech that sounded an unmistakable readiness to face an electoral battle. Even as Team Anna members and supporters started debating the wisdom of this decision to go political and electoral, Anna announced that Team Anna's work was over and the Core Committee stood dissolved.

Ardent Anna supporters may liken this Anna decision to Gandhi's suggestion after 1947 to dissolve the Congress now that political independence had been won. The Congress of course paid no heed to Gandhi's suggestion and went on to consolidate itself as the premier ruling party with the full backing of the developing Indian bourgeoisie. But in Gandhi's case, he could rightfully claim that the colonial rulers had quit India, whereas for Anna and his now-dissolved Team even the limited goal of Jan Lokpal is still nowhere in sight. It should of course be noted that while dissolving Team Anna and its Core Committee, Anna too talks about providing a 'political alternative' by fielding honest candidates in the 2014 elections.

The difference between the two approaches – one being apparently advocated by Kejriwal and the other attributed to Anna – therefore boils down to the way the 'alternative' is to be constructed, whether by building a party and taking a plunge into electoral contests or by selecting and helping 'honest candidates' (probably cutting across parties) to win. Anna claims that he has already successfully applied this model in Maharashtra when 8 of 12 candidates supported by him won in Assembly elections. It would be instructive if Anna would let us know who these eight MLAs are and what kind of alternative they have provided in Maharashtra. The two contending dominant coalitions in Maharashtra and even parties like MNS that are formally not part of either coalition are all notorious for the worst kind of political venality marked not only by competitive corruption and criminalization, but also by communal and chauvinistic frenzy. Even if Anna's MLAs can boast of personal honesty, their politics has obviously failed to pose any kind of alternative or challenge to this dominant political paradigm.

While Anna and Kejriwal may differ in their specific modalities, both seem to agree that they have had enough of agitation and it was pointless to continue with the agitation against an apathetic and arrogant government. Well, what has happened in the name of agitation is a series of fasts in which the masses had little scope to participate. There have been talks of other agitational forms like 'jail bharo' but the calls have never been translated into action. The ultimate logic and strength of mass agitation lies precisely in exposing, challenging, isolating, and eventually compelling reluctant and arrogant rulers to concede the people's demands, yet for reasons best known to them, the Anna agitation has avoided the course of a decisive showdown with the powers that be. And now to argue that the agitation has already run its full course belies the hope, enthusiasm and anti-corruption spirit with which young India had welcomed the Anna agitation.

Equally unacceptable are the overtures and signals of a growing bonhomie between the Anna camp and Baba Ramdev. In the initial days of the Anna campaign, there were attempts to maintain some distance and demarcation from Ramdev and his ilk, but even as the Ramdev aura began to fade among his own supporters in the wake of last year's Ramlila Maidan episode and Ramdev began to hobnob openly with the likes of Narendra Modi, Anna Hazare has been making common cause with the dubious Baba.

The anti-corruption movement cannot be run on the lines of the so-called single-issue 'social movements' especially when corruption flows directly from the pro-market, pro-corporate policies of liberalization and privatization and flourishes in the corridors of power. The belated realization of Team Anna about the need to go political and intervene in electoral battles marks a welcome departure and evolution from its initial non-political and even anti-political protestations. But while the interest of people's politics demands a sustained intensification and broadening of the Jan Lokpal agitation in closer alliance with the entire range of anti-corporate pro-democracy struggles in the country, the decision to suspend the very agitation in the name of political alternative can only be treated as a negative lesson, a telling example of how not to go about politics.


Cadre Convention of Assam AIPWA


A state-level cadre Convention of the Assam unit of AIPWA was held on 22 July at Nagaon. 39 delegates from 6 districts participated in the Convention.


The Convention was conducted by a Presidium comprising Raju Barua and Bhadravati Gogoi. A perspective on the political situation in Assam and AIPWA's organisational situation was presented by the caretaker Secretary Minali Devi. CPI(ML) Politburo member Rubul Sarma and State Secretary Vivek Das addressed the Convention, and spoke of the challenges before the women's organisation, and the need to strengthen AIPWA.


AIPWA National Vice President Saroj Chaubey, addressing the Convention, spoke of the horrific instance of mob sexual assault on a schoolgirl in Guwahati. Not long ago, an adivasi girl protestor was stripped naked in Guwahati. Women in Assam and the North East are bearing the brunt of draconian laws like AFSPA and violence by security forces. Women workers are facing severe exploitation. She called for AIPWA to intensify the struggle against violence on women and for women's rights.  


At the Convention, a reorganised 17-member state committee of AIPWA was constituted, with Anju Borkataky as honorary President, Bhadravati Gogoi as President, Raju Barua as Vice President, Minali Devi as Secretary, Junu Borah as publication secretary. 


AIPWA Protest Against Violence on Women in Patna


Contrary to the hype about curbing of crime and empowerment of women in Nitish's Bihar, violence on women is on the rise. The murder of Neelam Sharma, Principal of Ankur Public School, by intruders who entered her home in broad daylight, in the state capital, was reminiscent of the murder of the Papiya Ghosh murder that took place in RJD rule. A woman mukhiya of Kurthaul panchayat near Patna also took place at the hands of intruders in her home in daylight. A schoolgirl was gangraped by four of her classmates, from prominent families in Patna, who circulated an MMS of the rape. They were arrested following an agitation.


An AIPWA fact-finding team headed by General Secretary Meena Tiwari visited the site of Neelam Sharma's murder. AIPWA called for a Patna bandh in protest against the murder. A team of AIPWA's Patna rural unit headed by district secretary Leelavati investigated the murder of the Kurthaul mukhiya, and held a protest in which the effigy of the Chief Minister was burnt. 


A joint dharna by women's groups was held in Patna against the MMS incident, which was addressed by Saroj Chaubey on behalf of AIPWA.


Martyrdom day of Comrade Saroj Dutta observed on 5th August

Revolutionary leader comrade Saroj Dutta was assassinated in a fake encounter in Kolkata during the black era of brutal state crackdown coming down heavily on the Naxalbari movement. Comrade SD's 41st martyrdom day was observed on the fifth of this month. A commemoration programme was held at 2 pm, adjacent to Curzon Park in Kolkata, where comrade Saroj Dutta's statue stands a few hundreds of meters away from Aryans Maidan, where police had shot him down in the early hours of 5th August 1971.


In the evening, Paschimbanga Gana Sanskriti Parishad organized a three-hour long discussion, in memory of the fearless journalist-writer-poet comrade SD, at the Mahabodhi Society Hall adjacent to College Square. The discussion focussed on examining the role of intellectuals, artists, singers, writers, filmmakers, scientists and journalists in a society where even basic democratic and civil rights are being threatened with impunity, and yet, a culture of sycophancy prevails in the 'mainstream' cultural arena, intellectuals and artists are sold out on the state payroll and all expressions of resistance are being routinely suppressed. That the need of the hour (in the present political climate of West Bengal) is to resist  this culture of sycophancy and abominable co-opting of public cultural space by building a united platform of all democratic and left cultural activists and groups was unanimously agreed. An appeal was made towards the realization of such a platform where people's voice, and not that of the ruling class, would be magnified. Prof. Amit Dasgupta, cultural activists and singers Nitish Roy, Bipul Chakrabarty, essayist Dr. Amitabha Chakrabarty, Shyamal Mukherjee (of Angan Mancha theater), Krishna Bandyoadhyay, Salil Biswas, Jayanta Sen, poet Anik Rudra and several others took part in the discussion.


Convention against eviction held by Nonadanga Sanhati Mancha

The ongoing eviction drive at Nonadanga has brought larger questions of urbanization-induced displacement to the fore. To protest recent eviction drives, imminent evictions, and share experiences of struggles against earlier forced displacements, a Convention was held on 27th July at Student's Hall, Kolkata. Bidhu Naskar, Maya Samaddar, Khokon Bar, Jaya Ghosh, Khokon Mandal, Prashanta Seth and other victims of eviction shared the dais. Prabir Das of Nonadanga Sanhati Mancha delivered the keynote address. Other notable speakers included Santosh Rana and Dhiresh Goswami.


Visit of violence-hit areas by CPI(ML) Team

A team of CPI(ML) leaders comprising of Assam State Secretary Com. Bibek Das, State members Com. Naren Borah and Arup Kr. Mahanta, Barpeta district committee members Dulal Sarkar, Babulal Sarkar, Mafijuddin, Harilal Das, Biren Ghosh visited violence-hit BTC areas and relief camps on 2nd August last. During the visit they met affected people of different cross sections of the society and heard about different incidents. Although the violence started on 19th July, the tension prevailed for the last one month or so. The Government totally failed to control the situation; and no effective administrative step was taken either on the part of the state Government or the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) to control situation and help the victims. It seems that there is no local authority to control the clash between Bodos and religious minorities. Administrative inaction, lawlessness, anarchy had permitted to quick spread of violence to the nearby districts.


At first, the killing of two leaders of All Bodoland Minority Students' Union, and there after killing of 4 ex-BLT members, worsened the situation. No prompt action was taken and no enquiry was ordered. As the Government remained inert, a wave of brutal killing and arson gripped Bodoland Territorial Autonomous Districts (BTAD). It is worth noting that illegal fire arms were widely used in the violence and the police officers in BTAD openly expressed their helplessness, and even the Sub-Divisional Police Officer of Bijni has sent his resignation letter to the higher authorities, pleading lack of adequate security forces.


Inmates in the relief camps complained of not receiving adequate food and access to safe drinking water. Low quality medicine is being supplied to some relief camps, due to which one person died in the relief camp. The team demanded punishment of the culprits and a high level enquiry into the matter. The inmates of relief camps want to go back to their villages, but due to lack of security of their life and property, they do not dare to move.


BTC Chief Hagrama Mohiliary resorted some provocative remarks alleging a 'Bangladeshi' hand behind this clash. It is nothing but a camouflage to cover up the total failure of the govt. Although Muslim people inhabited in violence-hit Kokrajhar, Chirang, Baksa (all under BTC, Odalguri, the last district of BTC is not affected) and Dhubri (outside BTC) district, they had no major clash earlier, but clashes started in the process of BTC formation. In BTC area, there is a strong feeling of insecurity among religious minorities, Adivasis and other non-Bodos, and some vested interested groups have been trying to use these sentiments. Similarly, on the part of Bodo leaders, no initiative has been taken to integrate with the minority and other non-Bodo people.


CPI(ML) holds the Tarun Gogoi Government and BTC responsible for the violence, arson and killings. The Tarun Gogoi Government has lost all moral right to continue in the power. CPI(ML) demands a CBI enquiry into the incidents of ethnic violence, and punishment of the culprits.


The party also demands adequate relief materials for the inmates of relief camps and supply of medicine and proper treatment, as well as timely and proper rehabilitation of the displaced people with adequate security in their villages and areas.


CPI(ML) is of the view that the problem of BTAD must be resolved through dialogue with different representatives of different ethnic groups so that the sense of insecurity can be overcome. Both the State Government and BTC administration have failed to show such political good will, thereby leading to aggravation of the problem.


AIPWA Protests At Kolkata

From Park Street to Gurap, from Barasat to Belpahari, from Shibani Singha who consumed poison after being raped by the Jangalmahal police, athlete Pinki Pramanik who underwent harrowing humiliation and sexual abuse in the name of 'medical tests to establish her gender (sic)', or Barun Biswas of Sutia who had organized the local people for more than a decade into a Pratibadi Mancha to stand up against more than 35 rapes of local women committed by a (politically protected) lumpen gang only to be martyred in broad daylight on July 5th: violence on women is escalating at an alarming pace in West Bengal. Instances of Police not registering FIRs of victims, the Chief Minister smelling "conspiracy against her regime", and TMC's elected representatives (of the likes of Chiranjeet) issuing veiled fatwas on women's dress code, perpetrators of each crime going scot-free while blaming and harassment of the victim has become order of the day. 


And now comes absolute intolerance of political opposition and the muzzling of protest. The police didn't give permission to AIPWA to hold a rally on August 1. AIPWA activists as well as women and men from Sutia were protesting against recent attacks on women, and had planned to march from College Square to Mahakaran to submit a deputation. Mamata's administration, scared by the proposed women's march, sent three police vans and arrested 34 protesters after initial slogans and even before the rally could begin, who were subsequently kept in Lalbazar lock-up till late evening. In spite of all the administrative paranoia and pre-emptive arrests, the women were spirited throughout. They burnt an effigy of the police and administration, and gave rejuvenating slogans till our release. A set of brilliant posters were on display, songs were sung and the walls of the lock-up painted with slogans and amazing 'jail art' by Anupam Roy. When they were let out, the women's steel resolve to carry the fight forward had only strengthened. 


Protests in Solidarity with Maruti workers

On 3rd August, at least 300 people, braving heavy downpour, marched from Subodh Mallik square to Camac street in Kolkata in solidarity with the fighting Maruti workers of Manesar plant. AICCTU, IFTU along with the worker's union from Hindmotor, Bauria cotton mill, Kalyani spinning mill, Garden Rich Ship Builders, and Hindusthan Lever participated in the march. A 5-member team met the regional head of Maruti-Suzuki company and submitted a memorandum demanding immediate release of all arrested workers, cessation of lock out etc. Outside the Maruti office a protest meet was organised. Basudeb Bose, State general secretary of AICCTU spoke on the occasion along with other TU leaders. On 26th July, another solidarity protest demonstration was organised by AICCTU along with NTUI and IFTU in the same venue. 


On 27th July 2012 the Democratic Advocate Association organized a demonstration in the Madras High Court campus to support the Maruti workers' struggle. This programme was headed by Bharathi (DAA Organizor) and it was addressed by senior advocates K M Ramesh, Ayyadurai, and M John Selvaraj (Organizer of Indian Lawyers Union). In this programme the protestors demanded release of the Maruti workers, and action against the Maruti management, and also demanded the Tamilnadu government to enact the trade union act and undertake the Nokia, Hyundai, Ford and other foreign and Indian companies.          


Protest Against Rape-Murder of Dalit Girl in Uttarakhand

In the early hours of 10 July, the raped dead body of 8 year old dalit girl Sanjana of Tiwarinagar village in Bindukhatta, abducted the night before, was found in the village itself. In spite of heavy police picketing and assurances by the police as well as Cabinet Minister Harishchandra Durgapal (who comes from the same region) that the culprits would be apprehended within 48 hours, no arrests were made even after 10 days.


The Party took steps in this matter and organized a public meeting attended by hundreds of villagers under the banner of the Bharatiya Kisan Mahasabha on 19 July. In spite of administrative pressure warning against participation in the meeting, 500 villagers including many women gathered at the Shaheed Smarak for the rally which arrived at the Tehsil by way of the main Bazaar. The demonstration vociferously demanded the immediate arrest of Sanjana's killers.


The meeting was addressed by CPI-ML State secretary Com. Rajendra Pratholi, Com. Raja Bahuguna, District secretary Com. Kailash Pandey, Com. Anand Sijwali, Com. Vimla Rauthan, Com. Man Singh Pal and others. The meeting was conducted by District President of Akhil Bharatiya Kisan Mahasabha Com. Bahadur Singh Jangi.


Symposium in Nagpur on Bathani Tola Massacre

A symposium on the Bahani Tola massacre was held on Saturday 14. 7. 2012 at the Hindi Sahitya Sammelan Mor Bhavan Auditorium in Nagpur.  CPI-ML (Liberation) Polit Bureau member Com.  Swapan Mukherjee was the chief speaker at the symposium.  Other speakers included CPI-ML (Liberation) Mumbai-Thane Committee secretary Com. Shyam Gohil, Com. C. H. Tumram of the Adivasi Vikas Sabha, Dalit litterateur Dr. Yashwant Manohar and Founder-President of All India Muslim Bahujan Samaj Javed Sheikh.  The symposium was presided over by Com. Saroj Meshram, member, CPI-ML (Liberation), Nagpur.  Com. Sandhya Talware of CPI-ML (Liberation) Nagpur welcomed the speakers and introduced them to the gathering.


The symposium commenced with the address of Com. Shyam Gohil who pointed out that the common factor in all the massacres like Bathani Tola massacre, Ramabai Ambedkar massacre in Mumbai, 92-93 riots, Khairlanji massacre was that till today the chief accused have not received punishment and are roaming freely with the full protection of the government. Com. C. H. Tumram elaborated upon the atrocities committed on dalits and backed his statements with relevant statistics. Javed Sheikh said that dalits who fight for their rights are branded Naxalites, just as muslims who fight for their rights are branded terrorists. Dr. Yashwant Manohar laid the blame for these massacres at the door of collusion of bourgeois ruling parties with feudal powers.


The chief speaker Com.Swapan Mukherjee pointed out that the real purpose of the Bathani Tola massacre was not just to kill dalits and muslims but to suppress the revolutionary red flag of CPI(ML). The Presidential address was given by Com. Saroj Meshram. Com. Jinda Bhagat of the Republican Aghadi proposed a vote of thanks.  The symposium was attended by intellectuals, workers, unorganized workers and other sections of Nagpur.


AIPWA Statewide Protests in UP

Violence against women has increased alarmingly in the SP regime in U.P. which claims to stand for social justice and security.  FIRs are not registered, women are raped inside police stations, high police officials publicly make anti-women statements, Khap panchayats pass anti-women diktats and the Chief Minister and police remain mute spectators. AIPWA organized protest meets in various parts of the State on 23 July to include women in a movement to form a new political alternative. These protests were held in Lucknow, Lakhimpur, , Pilibhit, Deoriya, Maharajganj, Gorakhpur, Varanasi, Gazhipur, Chakiya, Baliya, Mirzapur and Sonbhadra. AIPWA has submitted a 5-point memorandum of demands to the Governor.  Briefly, these demands are:


1.       The culprit arrested for the murder of AIPWA member Sunita Giri in Lakhimpur should be tried and punished, and Sunita's children should be provided free education.

2.       A central law should be passed immediately to safeguard women's safety and dignity and fast track courts should be set up to try related cases.

3.       Feudal and police attacks against poor tribal women have witnessed unprecedented increase.  The murder of the woman village Pradhan in Sukrit village by the privileged classes in connivance with the police is a case in point. AIPWA demands immediate punishment for the culprit policemen and legal rights for the State Women's Commission to take action in such matters.

4.       FIRs should be registered immediately by the police on the basis of women victims' complaints. Police staff who misbehave with women should be severely punished.

5.       Khap panchayats in Western U.P. which are issuing anti-women diktats should be banned and a central law should be passed against honour killing.


AIPWA Protest in Pilibhit

Incidents of barbaric violence against women have come to light in Pilibhit district of U.P. against which AIPWA has organized women in successful protest movements.

On 16 July in Susvar village, Jehanabad Thana, a minor girl was raped and her private parts and other limbs cut off by notorious goon Amar Singh, known to have links with the ruling SP and under protection of the police as well as the village Pradhan.  AIPWA leaders along with district panchayat member Rama Gaurela took steps to protest, which led to the arrest of the culprit.  AIPWA has further increased the level of protest to ensure that the culprit is not released from jail.

In Majhar Paun Acre village, Thana Madhotanda, a minor girl was raped and a video clipping of the incident is being circulated and viewed widely in Uttarakhand. On a complaint by the family of the girl, an FIR has been registered but no arrests have been made and the video has not been banned.  AIPWA district coordinator Rama Gaurela led an enquiry team which found that the girl's family had left the village out of shame and fear.


On 23 July AIPWA and CPI-ML staged a demonstration at the district headquarters of Pilibhit to protest against the tremendous increase in oppression on women. Com. Rama pointed out that atrocities against women were very high in the Mayawati regime and they have increased manifold in the present SP regime. AIPWA submitted a memorandum to the DM and avowed that unless the guilty are punished in the above incidents, the villagers would be mobilized into further protest and hunger strikes.

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:

Thursday, 2 August 2012

ML Update 32 / 2012

ML Update

A CPI(ML) Weekly News Magazine

Vol.15 No.32 31 JUL - 6 AUG 2012

Stop the Witch-Hunt of Maruti Workers

Uphold Labour Laws and Ensure Industrial Democracy

The fundamental questions raised by the Manesar tragedy, however, are being drowned out in the shrill accusations against, and ongoing witch-hunt of the Maruti workers. Maruti workers are being indiscriminately arrested (over a 100 are in jail); their families threatened; and even workers of other factories in Manesar are being subjected to illegal detention and searches. The Governments of Haryana and the Centre, the corporations, and much of the media are united in raising outraged cries against the workers, who are being painted as a murderous mob which hunted and lynched the hapless Maruti management. It should be noted that those baying for the Maruti workers' blood in this instance, are silent on the case of Ajit Yadav, the worker at the Rico Auto Factory at Gurgaon, who was thrown in a furnace and burnt to death by company officials and hired 'bouncers' in 2009: a case in which the killers are yet to be punished. In the Maruti instance too, the fact is that the management had introduced hired muscle to deal with a peaceful negotiation by the Union – leading to violent clashes between workers on the one hand, and the management and bouncers on the other.                 

What, after all, accounts for repeated instances of such violent clashes across the country, in most of India's industrial belts? At Maruti, as at Pricol, and in fact in all industries and MNCs in India, workers are forced to wage long, frustrating struggles simply to avail of the rights which are written into India's labour laws. These include the right to form a union of their own choice and the principle of 'equal pay for equal work' which mandates that contract workers, paid far less than permanent workers, cannot be employed in the core production processes of industry. Inevitably, in every instance, workers leading the peaceful struggles are laid off; the government and labour departments do nothing to uphold the labour laws; hired muscle is used to 'discipline' workers; illegal lockouts are resorted to; and even when legal battles are won, the laws are rarely implemented on the ground. Maruti workers too have time and again led peaceful agitations demanding the right to unionise. On the last occasion, the leaders of the struggle were bought off by the management. Eventually, the union (MSWU) was registered in March this year with the labour department after much delay. However, even now, the Maruti management, in violation of the law, insists that the Union cannot be affiliated to any central Trade Union, and the Haryana Government has failed to set up the legally mandated grievance redressal committee and labour welfare committee. Wages continued to be low, arbitrary penalties like loss of wages in case of leave were common; contract workers were being paid a fraction of what permanent workers received, for the same work; work conditions were being made more undignified and exploitative (for instance curtailment of tea and toilet breaks) in order to speed up the assembly line production. Permanent workers were repeatedly told that they had no right to raise the issue of contract workers' rights and violation of the provisions of the Contract Labour Act. Throughout, the Haryana Government and labour department condoned the violations by the Maruti management, and failed to act to defend the legal rights of workers. In a situation where the system stubbornly refuses to uphold labour laws and allows open violations to be the norm; where avenues for redressal of grievances are denied and union's functioning curbed; and where managements routinely introduce hired muscle, victimization, and corrupt means to deal with protesting workers, outbursts and clashes are inevitable.

Branding the workers as criminals while refusing to acknowledge or the correct the widespread violations of labour laws and denial of industrial dignity and democracy can only aggravate industrial unrest, never resolve it. Instead of correcting the widespread violations of labour laws, the corporate sector and Governments too are using the Maruti incident as a pretext to clamour for 'reform' of labour laws. In other words, they are seeking the legalization of the ongoing violations – and the freedom to exploit the workers without any legal impediment. 

The ray of hope in the dismal situation is the determination of the new generation of workers all over the country to agitate and defend their rights. In Pricol, the workers braved the all-out witch-hunt of 2009 to eventually emerge victorious and secure an agreement on their long-pending demands. It is encouraging that the workers of Pricol in Coimbatore and Honda in Gurgaon have staged demonstrations recently in solidarity with Maruti workers. India's working class and trade union movement must resist the attempts to criminalise the Maruti workers' struggle, and must continue and intensify the struggle for industrial democracy, equal pay for equal work, and workers' rights and dignity.            

Charu Bhawan Inaugurated and Book on CM Released

On 28 July 2012, the 40th anniversary of the martyrdom of CPI(ML)'s founding General Secretary and leader of the historic Naxalbari movement, Comrade Charu Mazumdar, the CPI(ML) inaugurated its Central Office 'Charu Bhawan,' and unveiled a bust of Comrade Charu Mazumdar at the office. A book in memory of Comrade Charu Mazumdar, Charu Mazumdar: The Man and His Legacy was released on the occasion.

The CPI(ML) Central Office, U-90 Shakarpur, was christened Charu Bhawan and inaugurated by the party General Secretary Comrade Dipankar Bhattacharya. A bust of Comrade Charu Mazumdar was unveiled by party Politburo member Comrade Swadesh Bhattacharya, who is also the sole surviving member of the CPI(ML) Central Committee which was reorganised on the second martyrdom day of Comrade Charu Mazumdar, 28 July 1974. The bust of Comrade CM was sculpted by Shri Bodhan Hansdah of Birbhum district of West Bengal. 
Anita and Madhumita, daughters of Comrade Charu Mazumdar, as well as his son, party Central Committee member Abhijit Mazumdar, were also present on the occasion.
Politburo and Central Committee members of the party, CPN(UML) Central Committee members Comrades Devi Gyawali and Guru Baral, Kalpana Wilson of the South Asia Solidarity Group (London), as well as veteran party leaders, former members of the party central committee, leaders of mass organisations, and leaders from various states, paid floral tributes to Comrade Charu Mazumdar's bust.

Cultural groups Hirawal from Patna and Ganasanskritik Parishad from Kolkata presented 'Shaheed Geet' (songs in memory of the martyrs). A condolence resolution was adopted, paying tribute to the martyred and departed comrades of the party's 1st Central Committee (elected in 1970), including Comrades Charu Mazumdar, Saroj Dutt, Sushital Roy Choudhary, Kanu Sanyal, Nagbhushan Patnaik, Appu, Vempatapu Satyanarayana, Adibatla Kailasam, Appalasuri, Shiv Kumar Mishra, and Soren Bose; martyrs of the first generation of the ML movement including Comrades Panchadi Krishnamoorthy, Panchadi Nirmala, Subbarao Panigrahi, Master Jagdish, Rameshwar Ahir, Baba Bhuja Singh, Daya Singh; party General Secretaries Comrade Jauhar (martyred in 1975) and Comrade Vinod Mishra (passed away in 1998); martyred and departed Central Committee members including Comrades Ram Naresh Ram and Mahendra Singh, and other martyred comrades from different fronts. Observing two minutes' silence, the gathering resolved to pay tribute to the departed and martyred comrades of the entire Indian communist movement and ML movement, and to carry forward their legacy of struggle and make their dreams a reality.

A book on Charu Mazumdar: Charu Mazumdar: The Man and His Legacy, was presented by Comrade Arindam Sen to Comrade Swadesh Bhattacharya who released it and dedicated it to the fighting people of the country. The book contains a short biography of Comrade Charu Mazumdar, a memoir by Comrade CM's daughter Anita Mazumdar, a collection of rare photographs culled from family albums, quotations from Comrade CM's writings, and some articles about the historical context and enduring relevance of Comrade CM's life and work. 
Comrade Abhijit Mazumdar greeted the gathering on behalf of the CPI(ML) Central Committee and Comrade Charu Mazumdar's family and called for carrying forward Comrade CM's legacy. Party General Secretary Comrade Dipankar Bhattacharya, speaking on the occasion, recalled that Comrade Charu Mazumdar and his comrades, bearing the worst brunt of state terror unleashed in the late 1960s and 1970s, had given new life and meaning to the country's communist movement and revolutionary peasant movement. Today, as the country faces a renewed assault on democracy and on the rights of peasants and the poor, the legacy of Comrade Charu Mazumdar becomes all the more relevant. He also said that this was a time when there was a debate ongoing in the country's communist movement. The entire country was in search of a political alternative to the loot and repression unleashed by the Congress and other ruling class parties, but at such a time, the CPI(M) was extending support to Pranab Mukherjee – a move which has sparked off widespread debate among CPI(M)'s own ranks. Hailing the young comrades who were speaking out boldly against the opportunism of the CPI(M), he expressed the hope that the country's Left movement would rebuff the opportunist and revisionist trends, and firmly uphold and defend the revolutionary tradition. He said that only a revolutionary Left movement to transform the country's corrupt and repressive regime could be a true tribute to Comrade Charu Mazumdar. The programme ended with a rousing rendering of the Internationale. 

Martyrs' Day Observed All Over the Country

All over the country, party units at district and local levels observed the martyrdom day of Comrade Charu Mazumdar. In Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, and Karnataka, 28 July was observed with cadre meetings and other programmes.
In Tamilnadu, 28 July was observed with programmes against the anti-people Jayalalithaa government, mobilizing people on their issues at the local committee levels. Serious efforts were taken by the district committees and various campaigns such as signature campaigns were taken up at the panchayat and area levels. On July 28 in 55 centers, around 7000 were mobilized on various issues from statutory wages for NREGA to garbage removal.
In Chennai, demonstrations were held in 5 points. Migrant workers organized a demonstration demanding implementation of Migrant workers Act and TN rules. Earlier they released a pamphlet in Hindi. Over 550 organized and unorganized workers were mobilized in these demonstrations. In Sriperumbudur meeting, a booklet on the issues of trainees was released.
In Coimbatore, comrades took up campaign in 5 centers but could hold demonstration in only one center as permission was denied in other centers. Over 100 participated in the demonstration.
 In Pudukottai protest demonstrations were held demanding Rs. 132 for NREGA work, against reduction of job cards and wages as per work completed (piece rate). In 13 panchayats of over 1200 were mobilized on these main issues and other panchayat based issues. In Kanyakumari in 6 centers 1500 were mobilized on house site patta and other local issues. In Tiruvallore district demonstrations were held in 4 centers with over 800 rural poor demanding Rs. 132 for NREGA work, unemployment allowances under nrega, renovation of group houses and house site pattas. In Nagapattnam-Tanjore district demonstrations were held in 5 centers and over 800 were mobilised in these demonstration on the issues of statutory wages of Rs.132 for NREGA, wage arrears for four months since the date of announcement, etc. In Manalur area, the BDO gave assurance for implementing statutory wages immediately.
In Villupuram, demonstrations were held in 5 centers on the issues of Rs.132 for NREGA work, compensation for Thane victims and local amenities. In three centers local AIADMK men attempted to disrupt our campaign right from the stage of pamphlet distribution. But inspite of this attempt around 1000 rural poor participated in the protests in these centers.
In Namakkal district demonstrations were held in 4 centers on the issues of inclusion of power loom workers in the BPL list, toilet facility for the power loom workers in the place of work and local amenities. In Tirunelveli, demonstrations were in 6 centers demanding scrapping KKNPP and other local issues. In Salem demonstrations were held in 3 centers with 250 on issues of local amenities.
In Odisha, programmes commemorating Martyrs' Day were held at Bhubaneswar, Rajkanika and Bhadrak with public meetings, rally and Sankalp Divas initiatives. At Bhubaneshwar, the programme was addressed by Comrades Radhakanta Sethi, Yudhistir Mohapatra and Mahendra Parida, who described the historic context and revolutionary role and continues relevance of Comrade Charu Mazumdar. The meeting was presided over by Comrade Janakirao. At Rajakanika AIPWA State Secretary  Comrade Sabita Baraj and party district secretary Comrade Bidhan Das addressed the meeting. A big rally was held at Bhadrak which was addressed by Comrade Samar Bal and Comrade Jayanti of AIPWA. These meetings gave a call for the 31st August Jail Bharo agitation against corruption, land grab, corporate loot, and price rise, and also resolved to take up special membership drives on all fronts to spread the party in Odisha.

CPI(ML) Statement on Riots in Assam

The tension and violence spreading from Assam's the Bodo Territorial Administered District and Kokhrajar has claimed over 50 lives, while an estimated 4 lakh are displaced, homeless, and forced into relief camps. The inaction and failure of Congress Government of Assam, the Central Government, and the Bodo Territorial Council Administration are squarely responsible for this escalating violence. In June 2012 itself, the warning signs of tension were there – but the Government both in Assam and the Centre have failed to act to preempt or contain the violence.  
The tension in these areas is no new phenomenon. In 1983, there were clashes between Bodo and non-Bodo people; in 1996, there were Bodo-Muslim riots, and 5000 families displaced at that time continue to remain in relief camps even today; there have been clashes between Bodos and adivasis; and again 1 lakh people were affected in violence in 2008. The Government of Assam and the Centre have, throughout, failed to resolve the pending political issues and questions of land security of the Bodos as well as minorities. Clearly, even the formation of the Bodo Territorial Council is inadequate and has failed to resolve the issues, aspirations and apprehensions of the concerned communities.      
The CPI(ML) strongly condemns the attempts by certain leaders of Assam as well as national leaders of the BJP to justify the violence and further foment tension by communalizing the issue and branding the Muslims who have been residing in the area for decades as 'foreigners'.
The CPI(ML) demands that the Government of Assam and the Centre take urgent measures to contain the violence; ensure the speedy rehabilitation of the displaced and compensation for all affected families; and come down firmly on any attempts to communalise the already volatile situation. The CPI(ML) appeals to the people of Assam and the secular and democratic forces to do all they can to stop further violence, rebuff divisive forces, and strive for a peaceful and amicable resolution of the issues of political identity and sharing of resources. 
On the ongoing ethnic violence in Assam: A Statement

(Excerpts from a Statement issued in Delhi on 27 July 2012, endorsed by a number of concerned organizations and individuals)

We the people from various parts of northeast residing in Delhi, along with concerned individuals, university members, various students', teachers', trade union, women's, civil and human rights organisations from Delhi, strongly condemn the ongoing ethnic conflict with serious communal undertone that has erupted in four districts (Kokrajhar, Dhubri, Chirang and Bongaigaon) of Lower Assam. This has been the most widespread and alarming conflict in the recent history of Assam.
We understand that the eruption of this conflict is not 'spontaneous'. Tensions between different communities have been prevailing, primarily over the questions of access to available resources. We understand that the Assam Government, the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) administration and the Central Government were very much in knowledge of the simmering tensions in this area. We believe that the lack of any action in abating pre-existing tensions has actively contributed in escalating the scale of violence. The massive spree of arson, violence and killings would not be possible without the knowing compliance of the state.
Both the Bodo and the Muslim population of this area have historically been at the margins of the 'Assamese society'. However the society at large and a section of the Assamese media as well as national media have been tendentiously pointing finger at 'illegal' immigration from Bangladesh as the root cause of this violence. We understand that these kinds of conflicts do not arise out of simple causalities. It is important for all of us that we steer clear from raising alarm bells of xenophobia.
We condemn the use of this moment of violence and mayhem by various groups with vested interests to drive home the longstanding demand of deporting Bangladeshi immigrants. We strongly condemn all acts of violence and destruction of human lives as a means for furthering any political interests.
We demand that:
1) The violence, arson and killings must immediately stop.
2) The Assam government, BTC administration and the Central Government take full responsibility for the loss of lives and livelihood and rehabilitate all those who have been displaced.
We appeal that:
1) All sections of Assamese society play a proactive role in stopping the mayhem in these districts of Lower Assam.
2) Leading organizations of various communities in these four districts call out for a collective resolution to restore peace and normalcy.
3) The media, both regional and national, should be responsible in their reportage so that communitarian animosities do not aggravate further.
The Statement was endorsed by several organisations including the Manipur Students' Association Delhi; Kuki Students' Organisation Delhi; Hmar Students' Association; Naga People's Movement for Human Rights; Campaign for Peace and Democracy (Manipur); Manipur Womens' Gun Survivors Network; Save Democracy Repeal AFSPA Campaign and AISA, as well as several intellectuals and activists. 

28 July Martyrs' Day:

Successful Jharkhand Bandh Against Land Grab
Forced acquisition of land from adivasis is all too common in Jharkhand. On 25 July, the entire state came to a standstill in response to a Bandh called by the CPI(ML) against land grab. Several other organisations also supported the Bandh call or gave independent calls for a Bandh on the same day. The Jharkhand Dishom Party independently called for a Bandh, and 21 organisations including the Adiovasi Jan Parishad, the Adivasi-Moolnivasi Chhatra-Yuva Sanghatan, the Sarna Prarthana Sabha, Nagdi-Chaura Zameen Bachao Morcha, and Ulgulan Mahila Manch actively participated in the Bandh, holding a torchlight procession in Ranchi on the eve of the Bandh, and holding a mass meeting on the evening of 24th July at Albert Ekka Chowk which effectively blockaded the Chowk for several hours.
The Bandh was called in the wake of the ongoing struggle of adivasis of Nagdi village near the capital Ranchi, against the attempt to grab 228 acres of fertile land. The Jharkhand Government plans to grab land of 35 villages for campuses of IIM, Law College and Triple IIT, and Nagdi was a test case. The land in question was acquired on paper way back in 1957 – but even then, adivasis waged a successful struggle, refused compensation, and retained effective control of the land. Since then the land has been cultivated every year by the adivasis, who even have proof of having paid land revenue till very recently. Some months back, the Government, seeking to regain control of the land, constructed a boundary wall around the proposed site. But the adivasis of Nagdi and all 35 villages launched a determined agitation. They began an indefinite dharna in end April, which was led by activist Dayamani Barla. On behalf of the party, AIPWA leader Comrade Guni Oraon centred in Nagdi to help lead the agitation.
The HC and SC rejected the adivasis' petition, but the adivasis refused to accept defeat. A massive protest meeting in May was addressed among others by CPI(ML) MLA Vinod Singh, Marxist Coordination Committee MLA Arup Chatterjee, and CPI(ML) leader Bhuneshwar Kevat. On 4 July, the Nagri adivasis broke the boundary wall – and faced a severe lathicharge. CPI(ML) held a protest march the next day in Ranchi, as did other Left parties and adivasi organisations. The Nagdi protestors blockaded the main road from 5-7 July; Vinod Singh was among those who addressed the mass meeting at the blockade site. On 9 July, the Nagri protestors held a militant Raj Bhawan March, where they clashed with the police, and it was only with Vinod Singh's intervention that their memorandum could be submitted to the Governor.   
On 12 July, the All India Kisan Sabha held a Convention against the corporate grab of land, forests, water, and minerals. Representatives of struggles against corporate loot as well as a range of mass organisations, intellectuals and social activists participated in the Convention, which emphasised the need for broad-based unity in the struggle against corporate plunder of resources and displacement of adivasis and peasants.
Addressing the Convention as the main speaker, CPI(ML) General Secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya said that earlier, the Government was instrumental in directly grabbing land to hand over to corporates. Faced with the political consequences of people's resentment against land grab, however, now the Governments are seeking to take a back seat and allow corporations to acquire land directly. There are changed political circumstances too. Today, Jharkhand is a separate state, several of its Chief Ministers are adivasis, and under their patronage, Jindals and Mittals are blatantly defying laws like CNT and PESA to grab and loot forests and land. Political forces bearing the 'Jharkhand' name, once the new state was established, have emerged as agents of corporates rather than champions of the true spirit of a separate Jharkhand. Congress and BJP which compete for pwoer at the Centre, are united on the question of corporate plunder in Jharkhand. Comrade Dipankar called for struggles against corporate plunder and eviction to be united on new principles and a new direction, inspired by the struggles and sacrifices of Siddo-Kano, Birsa Munda, and Mahendra Singh.
The Convention was also addressed by noted intellectual and Jharkhand Jan Sanskriti Manch President Dr. BP Kesri; Father Stan Swamy, a noted activist in struggles against displacement and state repression; CPI(ML) CC Member Bahadur Oraon on behalf of the presidium; Ramashray Singh, leader of the Ghatwar Adivasi Mahasabha who spoke of the struggles of those displaced by the Maithon DVC Project at Dhanbad; CPI(ML) leader Sarayu Munda who is heading an agitation against land grab by Jindal at Patratu in Ramgarh, who also spoke of the struggle against land grab by Reliance in Badkagaon area of Hazaribagh; AIPWA leader Geeta Mandal who reported about the notorious Devghar land scam; CPI(ML) leader Rajkumar Yadav who spoke of the anti-eviction struggles in Koderma; and noted poet and JSM's national Vice President Dr. Shambhu Badal. Comrade J P Verma proposed a 9-member Struggle Committee Against Eviction, which the Convention adopted unanimously. Comrade Chandranath Bhai Patel presented a set of political resolutions, and CPI(ML) State Committee member Anant Prasad Gupta thanked the gathering.
The Jharkhand Bandh of 25 July was very successful – and the capital Ranchi wore a deserted look, with shops, schools and transport halted, and protest marches held by various organisations. At Ranchi, the CPI(ML)'s protest march on the day of the Bandh was led by CCM Bahadur Oraon, State Secretary Janardan Prasad, State Standing Committee member Anant Prasad Gupta, Bhuneshwar Kevat, Anil Anshuman, Guni Oraon, Sarojini Bisht, and Rajendrakant Mahto. The scores of protestors were arrested at Firaylal Chowk, and taken first to the Women's Police Station at Bazaar, and later to the Jaipal Singh Stadium Camp Jail. Party leaders including State Secretary Janardan Prasad have been booked by the police under several sections, in a completely vindictive way.   
In Giridih, thousands of CPI(ML) activists made the Bandh successful. At Bagodar, the protests were led by Vinod Singh, and the GT Road was blockaded from 6 am to 1 pm. Road blockades were held at Rajdhanwar (led by Rajkumar Yadav); Bengabad (Rajesh Yadav); Jamua (Jaiprakash Verma) as wekk as Saria, Gandey, Tisri, Chatro, and several other places.
At Tilaiyya in Koderma, the Asansol-Varanasi Passenger was stopped for 1 hour. Blockades were held at Domchanch (in spite of heavy rain); Hazaribagh (led by Chandranath Bhai Patel); several places in Hazaribagh and Ramgarh districts as well as the NH-33 in Ramgarh. Hundreds of protestors at Ramgarh led by JHAMAS State President Devkinandan Bedia were arrested after a clash with the police. Blockades were held at several places in Bokaro district, and at Nirsa in Dhanbad, the National Highway was blockaded for 2 and a half hours. Protests were held at Devghar and Mohanpur in Santhal Parganas.   
CPI(ML) activists were arrested at Gumla; distributed leaflets at Tata; blockaded the NH at Bundu; and were arrested while implementing the Bandh at several places in the Palamu range. At Garhwa, protestors led by Kalicharan Mehta blockaded streets and railways.
This Bandh was the first ever political state-wide strike on the burning issue of land grab, corporate plunder, and eviction. Its success reflects the political assertion of the adivasis and rural and urban poor, their anger against corporate plunder and eviction; and their disillusionment and anger with the political parties that have enjoyed power in Jharkhand. The CPI(ML) is determined to expand the unity of fighting organisations on the issue of corporate plunder and eviction, and to prepare for even more powerful and effective statewide agitation on the issue.   
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: