Opportunist Realignment in Coalition Politics
The CPI(M)'s support for Pranab Mukherjee has come with the most bankrupt of arguments. Prakash Karat has now joined Buddhadeb Bhattacherjee to argue that the presidential poll should be delinked from the political battle against neo-liberal pro-imperialist policies! 'Oppose Pranab Mukherjee as Finance Minister but support him as President' is the AKG Bhavan's latest doublespeak. Karat also argues that Mukherjee should be supported as he already enjoys 'the widest acceptance' and the CPI(M) should therefore play ball and not spoil the party! He has also candidly reminded everybody that it has been his party's normal practice to support Congress candidates in presidential election, the only exception being the 2002 election when APJ Abdul Kalam was viewed as the BJP's candidate and hence opposed.
The CPI(M) decision to go with the Congress in the presidential poll has begun to create some ripples within the party with the convenor of the party's research cell resigning from the party in protest. Coupled with the ongoing crisis in Kerala and Prabhat Patnaik's salvo against what he calls the 'feudal-Stalinist' culture in Kerala CPI(M), the debate over the presidential poll may well herald another 'July crisis' for the CPI(M). For all those who had taken the CPI(M)'s Kozhikode Congress call for 'Left and democratic alternative' as sign of a 'leftward restoration and rectification' within the party, the recent Kerala developments and now the decision to support the Congress nominee in presidential election should serve as important 'reality checks'.
CPI(ML) GS Visits Bangladesh
Experiences of revolutionary communist movements in both countries were exchanged, and discussion took place on issues of bilateral and regional importance, and it was resolved to intensify united anti-imperialist struggle, sectoral cooperation and people-to-people contact and exchange. India's growing strategic proximity and partnership with the US, delay in resolving various issues of bilateral concern and lack of time-bound fulfilment of various commitments made by India in bilateral declarations and agreements are matters of serious public concern and anger in Bangladesh.
CPI(ML) Dharna on Emergency Day
CC Member Kavita Krishnan said that draconian laws are being enacted and existing laws amended to violate people's rights and suppress dissent. She cited the instance of Binayak Sen, and condemned the conviction of Seema Azad and Vishwavijay in UP under the clause of 'waging war against the State.' She said that in West Bengal, the CM Mamata Banerjee is jailing anyone who criticizes her – including schoolteachers, university professors and cartoonists! In the North East and Kashmir, the Armed Forces Special Powers Act is being used to protect men in uniform who indulge in the murder of civilians.
The dharna was also addressed by youth from Ramgarh village who spoke of the attack on dalits in their village; by Shivani Nag from JNU, Farhan from Jamia Millia Islamia; social activist Himanshu Kumar, RYA leader Aslam Khan, AICCTU leader Mathura Paswan, and many others, who called to intensify the protest against this undeclared Emergency, break the shackles and free democracy.
Struggle Against Attacks on Dalit Hostels in Ara
Following the death of Brahmeshwar Singh, his supporters attacked dalit hostels in Ara on June 1. There was widespread arson and loot, with police doing nothing to stop the miscreants. 16 ground floor rooms were fully burnt, and belongings looted. 100 students' marksheets, certificates, and other documents were burnt. 40-50 cycles and 3 motorcycles were burnt. Laptops, TV sets, gas cylinders, cookers, vessels were either destroyed or looted. A bust of Dr. Ambedkar was vandalised.
On 20 June, AISA and RYA held a militant demonstration to the Chief Minister, led by AISA State Secretary Abhyuday and RYA State Secretary Naveen Kumar. Students marched at noon, clashed with the police at Dakbangla crossing, broke the barricades and marched towards the IT crossing. They were stopped by police at Kotwali Thana and arrested. Inside the police station too they continued to demand to meet the CM. Late in the evening, an AISA-RYA delegation met the SC/ST Welfare Minister Jitanram Majhi, and also sent a letter to the CM, demanding that the hostel be properly rebuilt speedily, and legally allotted to students; students be compensated for the losses they suffered; degrees that were destroyed be reissued to students speedily; students be provided with full security, and provided with alternative living and food arrangements in the interim till the hostel is rebuilt. AISA also pointed out that the dalit hostels are in a sorry state all over Bihar, and demanded an investigation into the diversion of funds meant for SC/ST welfare, as well as the rampant scams in dalit students' scholarships.
Rickshaw Pullers' Protest at Bhubaneswar
AICCCTU Initiatives in Odisha
East Coast Railway Sweepers' Union conducted movements in Puri and Bhubaneswar. Members of the Puri sweepers' union wore black badges demanding that three comrades be taken back on the job and against retrenchment of two workers in Bhubaneswar railway station, as well as provision of PF, ESI, and 4 holidays in a month. After Cormades Dilip Samal, Mahendra Parida and Bharat Ghadei held talks, the workers were taken back on the job.
Convention of Xomox Employees' Union
Almost all factory level leaders of various corporate companies in Tiruchi addressed the convention. Workers of Sanmar group companies , TVS, Rane TRW, Shri Ram Fibres, Cethar Vessels and Ordnance Factory participated. A delegation of contract labour union of Rane who were on the strike for the last 140 days also attended.
Rally in Valsad (Gujarat) for Implementation of Forest Rights Act 2005
A large part of the Umargaon block of Valsad had been acquisitioned by the Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation long back, and now it has been turned into a big industrial zone. Now, whatever part of land is left is inhabited by the local tribal population who are consistently under the threat of land grabbers and goons. The adivasi living there for generations, have no land records in their names. The Gujarat govt. as well as land mafia both are using forged land records and goons to evict them. The CPI(ML) has been active and struggling for adivasi rights in the area since last five years. Last year there were even organised attacks on villages where party is having people's supprt. The Party continues to resist the land grab attempt going on very aggressively and on a massive scale in many panchayats including Punat, Sarigam, Dili, Malkhet, Manekpur, etc. in this block. There is perfect understanding between Congress and BJP at the grassroots level on how to grab the lands in favour of big capital-mafia nexus. The local MLA Raman Patkar is from BJP have a reputation of a successful land-grabber-cum-mafia. On the other hand, the biggest name in land grabbing is said to be of one Haju Sheikh in this region, who is a known Congress face and incidentally, also an accused in 'Bombay Blast' case.
As a trade union leader, and as a parliamentarian (he had been a Rajya Sabha MP from the CPI(M) for 12 years), he resisted the policies of privatization. He was known for his deep grasp of working class issues.
Comrade Dipankar Mukherjee's passing is a deep loss to the working class movement and the Left movement.