Wednesday, 26 February 2014

ML Update 09 / 2014

ML Update

A CPI(ML) Weekly News Magazine

Vol. 17, No. 09, 26 FEB – 04 MARCH 2014

Resist and Reject Political Opportunism

As the 2014 polls draw nearer, blatant political opportunism comes out in the open. Ram Vilas Paswan and his Lok Janshakti Party are now openly flirting with Modi. Udit Raj, Dalit leader of the Indian Justice Party, has already joined the BJP.

For the opportunists, anti-communalism is merely a convenient cloak that can be donned or doffed depending on the prevailing political winds. Nitish Kumar, who did not quit the NDA alliance in 2002, has broken his marathon alliance with BJP and now claims to be ‘secular’. Ram Vilas, who walked out of the NDA alliance in protest against the Gujarat genocide of 2002, is now cosying up to Modi. NCP leader Sharad Pawar too recently tried to indicate that the 2002 genocide was no longer an issue. Whether or not Ram Vilas or Pawar are merely seeking to increase their leverage with the Congress by showing that they have other options, the fact remains that ruling class parties have reduced anti-communalism to shameless, unprincipled opportunism. Earlier too, Chandrababu Naidu, convenor of the United Front, formed on a solely ‘anti-communal’ plank, had moved over to the NDA without a qualm. That history haunts us today, as the ‘Third Front has just held its meeting, and the CPI and CPIM are proclaiming this loosely cobbled coalition to be committed to resisting communalism and neoliberal economic policies. This ‘Third Front’ includes several parties who have been BJP allies or part of the BJP, some till very recently - JDU, BJD, AIADMK, and JVM(P) - and are now adopting a ‘secular’ posture. It also includes the Samajwadi Party which has mocked its secular pretensions by presiding over the worst communal riots and eviction of poor Muslims from villages in Muzaffarnagar and adjoining districts. Stitching together opportunists of various hues in the name of ‘anti-communalism’ can only erode the credibility of the essential, urgent struggle against communalism. And none of these so-called constituents of the ‘Third Front’ have any commitment to replacing pro-corporate economic policies with pro-poor policies. The BJD, for instance, is presiding over the worst forced land grab and corporate plunder in Odisha, unleashing repression on protesting adivasis and Left activists. To tout an alliance with such forces as an ‘alternative’ is a great disservice to people’s struggles against corporate plunder and communalism.

The Aam Aadmi Party claims to be above such opportunism – yet they too seem prone to reducing anti-communalism to selective posturing. Addressing Muslim academics and citizens at Indian Islamic Cultural Centre recently, Arvind Kejriwal observed that communalism is an even greater danger for the country than corruption. One wonders why the AAP can speak of this truth to an audience of Muslims, who are already acutely aware of the dangers of communalism because they are its worst victims, but will otherwise speak only of corruption, never of communalism? Why is the AAP calculatedly silent on the communal violence in Muzaffarnagar, not far from Delhi and Haryana where the AAP enjoys considerable political strength?

Even as Modi paints himself as a ‘political untouchable’, and highlights his backward caste status, Ram Vilas and Udit Raj, like Mayawati in the past, are out to prove that Dalit interests can be compatible with the BJP. The truth is that the RSS, to which Modi and BJP owe allegiance, had wanted the anti-dalit, anti-women Manusmriti to be the Constitution of India. And Modi has, on record, described manual scavenging by Dalits as a ‘spiritual activity.’ So, subservience of Dalits is the reality of what BJP calls ‘samajik samrasta’ (social harmony).

Opportunism is also glaringly visible in the competitive posturing between JDU and BJP over the issue of Special State status for Bihar. In the wake of the formation of Telangana, Seemandhra has received the status of Special State. JDU has responded by calling a Bihar Bandh, and BJP a rail roko, in protest, claiming that this is a ‘betrayal’ of Bihar’s demand for Special State status. The question is: when Jharkhand was formed during NDA rule in 2000, why did BJP, and then NDA Minister Nitish Kumar, not ensure Special State status for Bihar? The same BJP and JDU, which turned a deaf ear to the demand for Special State status for Bihar when it was raised by CPI(ML) then, are today claiming to be champions of the same!

The role of the revolutionary Left cannot be to cobble together power-hungry parties in opportunist coalitions – it must be to powerfully assert the genuine struggle against communal fascism and pro-corporate governance, because only from those struggles can any genuine ‘Third Front’ actually emerge.

Bihar Bandh Demands Rollback of Power Tariff Hike,

Revision Of Socio-Economic Census, Cancellation of Liquor Licences

The Bihar Bandh organized by the CPI(ML) on 23 February to demand rollback of hike in power tariff, revision of socio-economic census, and cancellation of liquor licences was a huge success. The major National Highways passing through the State including the GT roads at Barachatti in Gaya and Kamabigaha in Aurangabad were blocked from early morning, markets remained closed, and rail traffic at several places was obstructed.

At 11 AM in the capital Patna, thousands of bandh supporters led by senior Party leaders took out a procession from the Gandhi statue at Gandhi Maidan. Passing through Fraser Road, Dak Bangla crossing and station circle, the march returned to Dak Bangla crossing where a meeting was held. Bandh supporters from various parts of the city poured into the streets of Patna sporting red headbands.

In Patna the bandh was led by Party State Secretary Kunal, Politburo member Dhirendra Jha, Samkaleen Lok Yudh Editor Braj Bihari Pandey, and other leaders. Addressing the meeting at dak Bangla chowraha, these leaders along with 1000 bandh supporters were arrested and detained at the local kotwali thana. Around 5000 activists were arrested across Bihar.

Bandh participants expressed anger against the fake power bills and steep power tariff proposed by the Nitish Government. They pointed out that first the government sent false bills to the consumers and then slapped false cases on about 4000 consumers.

The speakers said that the issue of government licences to run liquor shops in villages and the decision to encourage continuous increase in liquor consumption is destroying rural life and has a very adverse effect on socio-economic development.

CPI-ML leaders said that apart from the above issues there are complaints of grave irregularities in the ongoing socio-economic census in Bihar. There is a big conspiracy afoot to distort the census and thus deprive large numbers of poor from their due benefits. In Patna and other places urban poor, handcart and footpath vendors are being evicted in the name of removing encroachments.

At Darbhanga bandh supporters stopped the Sampark Kranti Express in the morning itself and prevented its running for an hour. At Jehanabad and Ara trains were stopped and traffic on these rail section was completely paralysed. Trains were also stopped at Jhanjharpur, Islampur, Hilsa and Muzaffarpur causing obstruction for hours.

In Ara district bandh supporters closed main roads at Hasan Bazar, Bihata, Piro, Sandesh, sahar, Bihiya, Shahpur, Gadhani, Koilvar, Charpokhli and other places. Traffic on the NH-30 at Ara was obstructed and in Ara town CPI-ML LS candidate RYA President Raju Yadav led thousands of bandh supporters on to the streets. Roads were blocked at Vikramganj, Karup, Godari, Nasriganj, Dehri, Tilauthu, Dinara and Sasaram in Rohtas district. In Kaimur the bandh had pervasive effect at Bhabhua, Durgawati, Kunjra, Chainpur and Mohaniya. 240 bandh supporters were arrested while making the bandh successful at Ekta Chowk in Bhabhua. At Dumraon in Buxar road blocks were done at Dumraon-Vikramganj road, NH-30 in Sonbarsa, NH-28 in Brahmpur and Dinara-Buxar road in Dhansoi.

At Siwan about one thousand bandh supporters took to the streets in town. Apart from this main roads were blocked in Mairwa, Guthni chowraha, Aandar, Raghunathpur, Hasanpura, Tarwara, Badahiya and other places. At Betiya the bandh had widespread effect in Betiya, Narkatiyaganj, Belwa, Manjhariya, and Mainatand. Roads were blocked at 5 places in Gopalganj, traffic was obstructed on NH-28 and about 100 people were arrested. Road jams were done at Mirganj, Bhore, Dighwa, Dighauli and other places in Vijaypur block. Motihari bazaar was totally closed. A meeting was also held at Meenabazar chowk. Major commercial establishments of the town remained closed. At Chhapra the Nagarpalika chowk was blocked by hundreds of people for 1 hour. At Vaishali a 200-strong procession marched from the Party office to station golambar and blocked station chowk.

In Patna district, Dhanrua, Masaudhi, Bihata, Naubatpur, Paliganj bazaars remained fully closed. At Arwal NH-98 (Patna-Aurangabad road) and NH-110 (Arwal-Jehanabad road) were blocked after which a meeting was held on the road itself, attended by 1000 people. Main roads were blocked in Kurtha, Kaler, Karpi and other places. At Arwal Party State standing committee member Com. Mahanand led the bandh programmes. At both Jehanabad and Dhanrua traffic on NH-83 was blocked. At Jehanabad the markets in Shaho Bigaha, Ghosi, Jehanabad, Hulasganj were fully closed. About 350 bandh supporters were arrested at the Arwal mod in Jehanabad.

At Gaya traffic was paralysed on the Gaya-Islampur road at Khijarsarai, NH-83 at Belaganj, Gaya-Chatrara road at Dobhi, and other places. Party activists were on the streets from early morning at Imamganj, Gudaru, Manpur and District HQ’s. 150 people were arrested at Belapur. At Nalanda bandh supporters poured into the streets in Silao, Biharsharif, Hilsa and Islampur. There are reports of the arrest of about 500 bandh supporters in Silao. At Aurangabad road blocks were done on NH-98 in Obra and Gaya-Daoodnagar road in Pachrukhiya.

At Madhuban, Madhuban-patna and Madhuban-Phulparas roads were blocked. At Darbhanga traffic was paralysed on NH-57, Darbhanga-Jainagar, Darbhanga-Samastipur, Lehariyasarai-Bahedi, Darbhanga-Supaul and other roads. At Muzaffarpur NH-57, Gayaghat and Bochaha and Muzaffarpur-Shivhar road at Meenapur were blocked. From early morning CPI-ML activists were on the streets in town. At Purnea, Purnea-Bhagalpur road and Rupauli and Birauli markets were fully closed. At Beguserai NH-31 and Ballia and Gadhpura roads were blocked. At Bhagalpur marches were taken out in support of the bandh at Bhagalpur, Jagdishpur, kahalgaon and Navgachhiya. 70 bandh supporters were arrested while blocking the NH at Bhagalpur where the bandh was led by CPI-ML CC member Com. Saroj Choube. The effect of the bandh at Sitamarhi was also pervasive.

Massive Peasant-Worker Rally Marks 2nd National Conference of AIKM

Panjab Kisan Union and Majdoor Mukti Morcha Punjab jointly organized a massive ‘Majdoor Kisan Ekta Rally’ at Mansa on 24th February to mark the second national conference of All India Kisan Mahasabha. The rally was presided over by Ruldu Singh Mansa, President AIKM, and Dipanker Bhattacharya, General Secretary, CPI(ML) Liberation was the main speaker at the rally. The rally was also addressed by Mangat Ram Pasla, GS, CPM(Punjab), Gulam Mohammed Jaula, President, All India Kisan Majdoor Manch, Raja Ram Singh, GS AIKM, Bhagwant Singh Samao, President, Majdoor Mukti Morcha, Gurpreet Singh Rureke, GS of the brick workers' union Laal Jhanda Punjab Bhattha Majdoor Union (AICCTU).

Addressing the rally, Com Dipankar said that the ruling classes want to divert the attention of the masses from the real issue of reversing anti-people policies to that of choosing between individual leaders. He said that the people will have to thrust their agendas into the arena of political battle of 2014.

Comrade Pasla said that this rally of peasants and the agrarian workers is a fitting reply to the corporate funded rally organised by the ruling Akali Dal and BJP at Moga a day before. He also said that this is a time for the left and progressive forces to unite and advance the agendas of the working class struggle. He called upon the CPI and CPI(M) to distinguish clearly between friends and foes and not to go into opportunist alliances with discredited forces like Nitish Kumar, Jayalalita or Congress for a few parliamentary seats. A large number of delegates of AIKM from all over India were also present at the rally.

Anniversary of TU Strike: Workers' Protest Demanding Their Rights

Hundreds of workers gathered in front of City Magistrate Office in Noida (India) demanding the release of their fellow comrades falsely arrested during the nationwide trade union strike on February 21st 2013. Many workers belonging to various trade unions are still in jail and charged with false cases under the direction of UP Government to protect the vested interests of bourgeoisie industrialists. Also the workers protested against the exploitation under the hands of police-capitalists-government nexus and demanded their basic rights. The protest was organized under the banner of All India Central Council of Trade Unions (AICCTU) and Revolutionary Youth Association.

The protest was addressed by Santosh Rai, secretary of the Delhi unit of AICCTU, Aslam Khan, National Vice President of RYA, Rakhi Sehgal, Vice President, Hero Honda Theka Mazdoor Sangathan, Dharuhera (affiliated to NTUI), Farhan, from AISA's Jamia unit, Shivji of AICCTU (Noida) and Hareram Yadav, AICCTU (Khoda) who was jailed last year on false charges during the trade union strike. Later the workers submitted a memorandum to UP Chief Minister through the city magistrate with demands including: (1) End contract labour policy in both public and private sectors, (2) Give a deadline to provide pucca houses for the people living in jhuggis, (3)  Implement minimum wages/15000/8 hours, workplace safety norms, along with other labour laws in all companies, factories, hotels and shops in Noida, (4) Ensure that employers provide identity card to all workers, (5) Enact laws to guarantee urban employment with the provision for assured employment for 200 days along with the provision to provide compensation in case of unemployment for sustenance, (6) Ensure speedy issuance of Social Security card for all construction workers, (7) Give deadline for giving licenses and dedicated space for all the hawkers, feriwalas, vendors and rickshaw-walas in Noida, (8) Implement existing laws for women workers under which they can avail all the facilities including crèche and toilets at the earliest, (9) Enact Domestic Workers Law along the lines of the laws for domestic workers in Maharashtra, (10) Start a Workers helpline to address the workers’ grievances and special squads to ensure speedy action on these grievances, (11) Increase the number of labor inspectors, factory inspectors, etc to ensure that labor laws are adhered to in work places and provide a labor court in every industrial zone, (12) Ensure proper organization of ration shops and provide ration cards to all citizens at the earliest along with action against ration card fraud, (13) Ensure proper drainage of dirty water in all the jhuggies-basties of the area along with cleaning, repairing the supply of clean water, and road repairs.

CPI(ML) Announces LS Candidate from Garhwal

The CPI-ML candidate from the Garhwal Lok Sabha constituency for the 2014 LS elections will be Indresh Maikhuri. This was declared by Party State Secretary Com. Rajendra Pratholi at a convention organized by the party. Indresh has been a student activist, former President of the Garhwal University, and former National President of AISA. Trained as a journalist, Indresh writes regularly on many issues of people's concern, while being a whole time activist and member of the CPI(ML)'s State Committee.

AIPWA Convention

AIPWA held a Convention at Udaipur, on 'Women and Democracy', which was attended by a large number of women from different districts of Rajasthan, and also by many intellectuals from Udaipur.

The Convention was presided over by Srilata Swaminathan, National President, AIPWA. Speaking at the Convention, AIPWA Secretary Kavita Krishnan spoke of the need to break the shackles of patriarchy and struggle for women's freedom. She spoke of the political parties that continue to promote a patriarchal agenda of 'protection', which is a pretext to erode women's freedom.

AIPWA State President Bhanwari Devi said that women continued to be at the receiving end of feudalism and capitalism both. Usha Choudhary of Vikalp Sansthan said that women's struggle was to be recognised as human beings, not goddesses. Sarvatunissa Khan said that women are caught in cultural traps that exploit them. District Secretary of NFIW Sadhana spoke of domestic violence and the demeaning culture of 'kanyadan', and other struggles conducted in Rajasthan. Intellectual and activist Pragya Joshi spoke of the need for women to demand their rights and liberties as citizens, not only as human beings.

Delivering the concluding address, Srilata Swaminathan said that women's struggles are intensifying even as violence against women continues unabated. She spoke of what socialism means for the women's movement, and for the need for the women's movement to have a revolutionary perspective. CPI(ML) State Secretary Mahendra Choudhury, and others also addressed the Convention. Women students presented songs and a play on women's freedom. Convention was conducted by Sudha Choudhury, AIPWA's Secretary Rajasthan. Fakrunissa gave the vote of thanks.

Handloom Weavers' Rally in Puducherry

A rally of handloom weavers was held on 17 Febreuary in Puducherry. The rally was led by Com. S.Balasubramanian, State President of AICCTU, Puducherry. Hundreds of handloom Weavers mainly women workers took part in the rally. The rally passed through the main streets of Puducherry and culminated into a big demonstration infront of the state legislative assembly.

Com. P.Sankaran, Vice President, Com S. Motilal, State Gen. Secretary and com P.Murugan CWC member AICWF addressed the demonstrations. A delegation led by Com. S.Balasubramanian met the Chief Minister and submitted a charter of demands, including the demand for protection of handloom weavers, monthly minimum wages of Rs.15,000/, release of the outstanding amount of 2.5 core rupees to the apex Co-operative export development society, rebuilding of fallen sheds of Handloom Weavers society, Rs.10,000/- compensation to each woman worker who suffered due to roof collapse, gratuity, waiver of loans and a monthly pension of Rs.3000/ to handloom weavers, enhancing of rainy season relief, and free housing scheme.

Workers of NIMHANS Hospital, Bangalore, form Union

Unorganised workers of National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS) formed a union, 'NIMHANS Pragathipara Workers' Union', affiliated to AICCTU and its inaugural General Body was held on 22 Feb. 2014. The workers demanded same payment and other service conditions for the unorganised workers engaged in same and similar kind of work; regularisation of all unorganised workers and bring them under the pay rolls of NIMHANS; Service weightage; Hospital care allowance and Risk Allowance in addition to Privilege Leave, Casual Leave and Government Holidays; mandatory ESI to all and entitlement for treatment in NIMHANS Staff Clinic; Recruitment of more workers to reduce the work burden on existing lesser number of workers and to stick to Patient - Worker Norms for hospitals, etc. The General Body decided on the Demands Charter to be palced before the NIMHANS administration.

Dr. Pradnya Rajesh Bhargave of NIMHANS SC/ST Welfare Association, V Muthukumaran, Legal Advisor to NIMHANS Employees Association, Ravi R, Vice President of National Tuberculosis Institute Non Gazetted Staff Association addressed the gathering along with Com. Shankar, All India Vice President AICCTU among others.

The General Body also decided to send a Workers' Charter of Demands to be placed before the NIMHANS administration and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare of central government for speedy resolution.

NIMHANS is one of those handful of select medical institutions like AIIMS-Delhi, PGI-Chandigarh and JIPMER, Pondicherry. Recently, it has also won the status of a Deemed University. But, in spite of being a hospital run by the central government, none of the labour laws are in force. The central government, which is also an appropriate government, is showing utter neglect on unorganised workers' issues.

Obituary: Red salute to Com. Kankar Majumder!

Com. Kankar alias our beloved Chaka of Durgapur passed away on 19th February, 2014 night in a Hospital. He had been suffering from a serious bronchial infection. He was nearly 72.

Coming from a lower middle class background he became a steel worker in Durgapur Alloy Steel Plant (of SAIL) during late 60s. He soon became a vanguard and fighting worker in the industry, and was drawn to the ongoing revolutionary struggle led by CPI(ML). He became a regular CPI(ML) activist since the early 70s. His crucial role and contribution in cooperation with a batch of worker party activists and supporters in Durgapur will always be remembered. This was especially significant during the 1972-78 period, which was one of tremendous crackdown and setback. Durgapur was one of the important theatres of struggle where the party was rebuilt from scratch, and the significance of an industrial worker becoming a party vanguard at a time of white terror cannot be overstated.

He was arrested in late 70s and after his release, he opted for being involved in mass open work as a worker. In addition to working class or TU work he was also attached with different socio cultural activities like the Kotnis Committee and the Indo-China Friendship Society.

We can never forget his fine qualities like simplicity, deep rooted faith in the party, caring human relations with all comrades, and dedication. Naturally, a large section of people from different walks of life spontaneously assembled at his funeral.

Long live Com. Kankar!


Edited, published and printed by S. Bhattacharya for CPI(ML) Liberation from U-90, Shakarpur, Delhi-92; printed at Bol Publication, R-18/2, Ramesh Park, Laxmi Nagar, Delhi-92; Phone:22521067; fax: 22442790, e-mail:, website:

Friday, 21 February 2014

ML UPDATE 08 / 2014


A CPI(ML) Weekly News Magazine


Vol.  17            No. 08                                                                      19-25 FEB 2014



Corruption and Price Rise

Cannot Be Combated

Without Reversing

Pro-Corporate Policies of Privatisation


If the Jan Lokpal Bill united the Congress and BJP in opposition to it, recent statements by AAP leaders while addressing corporate houses have squarely placed the AAP in the same camp as the Congress and BJP on the question of neoliberal economic policies. In fact, in the tussle over the Jan Lokpal Bill, the most crucial aspect of the debate was rendered invisible. Both the Lokpal law enacted by Parliament and the Delhi Government’s Janlokpal draft are silent on the question of bringing corporate corruption under the ambit of the Lokpal legislation. Given that the most massive scams in the past two decades have benefited corporations above all, this omission is quite glaring.

The question of gas pricing illustrates the point amply. The gas pricing scam, after all, is not only one of blackmail and arbitrary raising of gas prices. The scam originates from the policy of handing over precious natural resources for private profit and plunder. It was the NDA regime that signed the contract with RIL in 2000, allowing it access to the precious KG Basin gas reserves. Since then, NDA and UPA both have colluded time and again with RIL to benefit the latter, in the process increasing the subsidy burden on the Government and the burden of higher fertiliser and power costs on farmers. The Radia tapes showed how even in Parliament in 2009, Mukesh Ambani could ensure that the then Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee would propose a tax exemption to benefit RIL alone, and could ensure that BJP leaders would not oppose it! The tapes showed that Ambani could ensure that the Government appointed pliant Petroleum Ministers and sacked less pliant ones; and that the main Opposition party would field pliant leaders to speak on issues relating to gas pricing in Parliament!

The gas pricing scam illustrates graphically how price rise and corruption are Siamese twins, born to the policy regime of pro-corporate privatisation. Governance and democracy are held in the stranglehold of corporations, thanks to this policy regime. Corporations have had a free hand to plunder natural resources and extort profits from basic services that ought to be publicly available people’s rights. Not only have the worst scams occurred in this backdrop, the worst state repression in the country’s poorest forest areas, too has taken place in defence of this policy regime of plunder. While tax waivers and handover of precious natural resources to the tune of several lakhs of crores are not termed ‘subsidies’, the neoliberal regime has sought to curtail entitlements like food rations on the pretext that subsidies to the poor are a burden on the exchequer!   

With this being the case, how can corporations – the biggest beneficiaries of such scams – be left out of the ambit of the Lokpal? How can price rise or corruption be tackled without reversing the policy regime that creates it? How can one usher in democracy without ensuring that people, rather than corporations, have control over natural resources?

The Congress and the BJP have, time and again, demonstrated their unbreakable loyalty to the policy regime of liberatisation and corporate loot. AAP’s symbolic gestures – such as the FIR against Mukesh Ambani in the gas pricing case - have raised hopes that they will actually challenge this regime of loot. But the pronouncements of AAP leaders on economic policies are not in tune with this symbolism. 

Speaking to the CII, Arvind Kejriwal declared that the Government had no business to be in business, and that business should be left to private players; creating jobs was not the job of the Government but of industry; and the Government should restrict itself to providing a security and rule of law, infrastructure, and corruption-free governance. This is unadulterated neoliberal doctrine. To say ‘the Government has no business to be in business’ begs the question: why should land, minerals, water, education, health and other natural resources and public services be a ‘business’ at all? And moreover, all over the world, capitalists have functioned only with the full blessings and proactive backing of the Governments!

Speaking at an investor conference in Mumbai and to a TV channel, Yogendra Yadav said that “Food subsidies should not be provided. Giving food directly to the person concerned is the most inefficient and expensive manner of serving the poor...The way to service the disadvantaged is not to even out poverty, social justice is about uplifting everyone by unleashing growth, encouraging manufacturing, good business practices and catching hold of the corrupt.” The idea that poverty is caused by a paucity of skills, that unleashing ‘growth’ or curbing corruption can be the answer to poverty, and that food rations or other forms of redistributive justice are ‘expensive’ or ‘inefficient’ is again, standard neoliberal doctrine. Manmohan Singh and Modi would both agree. Modi has in fact contrasted subsidies with ‘skills’, saying subsidies keep people dependent and he is instead committed to providing skills so that people can provide for themselves.  

Kejriwal declared that his party was not against capitalism, only against crony capitalism. This is a disingenuous statement. Crony capitalism in India has been the creation of the liberalisation era, a product of the policy regime that mandates Governments to be mere facilitators of primitive accumulation of natural resources by corporations. Kejriwal specifically distanced the party’s stance from that of AAP leader Prashant Bhushan’s, where he had said that “mines and minerals, oil and natural gas, land, spectrum and other natural resources would be vested with the public sector, and airports and power would be nationalised.” Yogendra Yadav too termed nationalisation of resources and services to be ‘ridiculous,’ saying that AAP is only opposed to ‘private monopolies.’ Again the model of co-existence and competition of private and public together, and of PPPs is nothing but disguised promotion of private players at public cost. The real point is that public resources and services should not be handed over to private profit-seekers; and public resources like land, water, forests and minerals should be under the control of the people.   

Price rise, corruption, state repression, and corporate stranglehold over democracy, have their roots in the policy regime of liberalisation and corporate plunder. If the 2014 elections are not to be about personalities but policies, the question of reversal of this policy regime of plunder must be the foremost priority for democratic forces.  


Jandavedari Rallies In Bihar

The series of Jandavedari rallies being organized in 14 Lok Sabha constituencies of Bihar began on 8 February in Samastipur with the biggest people’s mobilization ever seen at Patel Maidan. Huge rallies also took place on 9 February at Muzaffarpur, 10 February at Narkatiyaganj (Valmikinagar LS constituency), 11 February at Gopalganj, and 12 February at Siwan. 

Party General Secretary Com. Dipankar Bhattacharya and other senior Party leaders are addressing these rallies with a call to make the issues raised by the people at last month’s Jansamwad Yatra into the agenda for the upcoming elections. At Samastipur, Politburo member Com. Dhirendra Jha, and at the Siwan-Gopalganj and Narkatiyaganj rallies CC member Com. Nand Kishore Prasad were present with Com. Dipankar. AIPWA Gen Secretary Com. Meena Tiwari, Samkaleen Lokyudh editor-in-chief Braj Bihari Pandey also participated in the rallies at Muzaffarpur and Narkatiyaganj.

The participation of the landless poor, workers, women, minorities, and various sections of society at these District level rallies is noteworthy. At some places, forces of movements struggling for local issues joined the rallies and raised their voices in unison with the landless poor and workers. There was a huge mobilization of sugar cane farmers, displaced persons, and youth at Narkatiyaganj. On 9 Feb at Muzaffarpur, the Mukherjee Seminary Maidan saw a huge mobilization of people from the struggling sections of both urban and rural backgrounds, Muslim youth targeted in the name of terrorism, and people struggling against the danger of displacement due to the Bagmati Project. Noting the presence of leaders and activists from the Insaaf Manch and the Bagmati Project Displaced People’s Association, Com. Dipankar said that these are clear indications that the unity of ground level struggling forces is going to pave the way for the formation of a new Front which is welcome. Similarly, on 10 Feb at Narkatiyaganj (West Champaran) a huge rally resolved to take the struggle against the State and Central governments to the highest level for their criminal neglect of the rightful demands of sugar cane farmers. Taking this movement forward, the CPI-ML has called for a Champaran bandh on 20 Feb.

On 12 Feb, the rally at Siwan saw a veritable sea of people. More than 20,000 flocked to Gandhi Maidan holding the red flag aloft. On that day it seemed all roads in town led to Gandhi Maidan, and walking anywhere through the crowded streets was not an easy matter.

It may be recalled that the Party had organized a Jansamwad Yatra throughout Bihar in January, during which 3000 village sabhas were held and dialogue established with 3 lakh people, and questions and issues of the people were identified. The Party had put out a call to make February a “month of movements” on these issues. The Jansamwad Yatra brought to the fore the anger of the people against the governments in Patna and Delhi and against the local MLAs and MPs. The last 5 years brought many troubles but not once did the people’s representatives come to enquire about their problems. These rallies are being organized to call for a strong agitation on people’s issues and problems at district as well as state level, and to make people’s issues like the BJP’s communal conspiracy, Nitish Kumar’s failures, and the pro-corporate policies of the governments, the central agenda for the LS elections.

Two questions chiefly arising throughout Bihar are the issues of electricity and liquor promotion by the Government. Nitish had promised electricity for every village and every home. However, it has not happened anywhere. On the other hand, people are getting false bills – even where electricity lines have yet to be installed - and consumers are being arrested and jailed. Facilities such as drinking water and toilets have not materialized, but liquor has been arranged and is easily available at shops in every Panchayat. People in large numbers are submitting copies of false bills and petitions for cancelling liquor licences. Their demand is that the privatization of electricity should be revoked and every town, village, and home should get 24 hour electricity at affordable rates. Important issues raised include complete electrification of the “tolas” of the poor, 100 units free electricity for the poor, taking back of false bills, clean drinking water, and toilet arrangements in all homes, and an end to the state’s promotion of liquor.

People complained of huge loot in schemes for the poor. The MNREGA scheme exists, but there is either no work or if there is work, there is no payment. BPL and job card holders get neither minimum wages nor 100 days’ work. People are starving to death, and the Central government is claiming to have passed the Food Security Bill through which 75% of the poor will get food grains. Nitish goes a step further to say that 85% will get the benefits. But the Public Distribution System has totally collapsed and the ongoing socio-economic census is a complete conspiracy to show the number of poor as much lower than they actually are. Reports are coming from several places of instances where people without even a roof over their heads are recorded as owners of double-storied houses, thus conspiring to deny the all benefits. People’s issues in the forefront are demands for a stop to the displacement of urban poor without arrangements for alternate housing, total implementation of Food Security, guarantee of women’s freedom and dignity and an end to the government’s policy of hounding Muslim youth in the name of terrorism. People are flocking to the rallies to protest against the government’s treachery against educated youth, farmers, ASHA-Anganwadi workers, cooks, and midday meal workers on the issue of permanent employment, and conveying to the ruling Parties that this time the election will be not about “neta” (leaders) but “neeti” (policy). The Party slogan “Badlo Neeti Badlo Raj, Sansad mein Janta ki Awaz” is reverberating throughout Bihar.

The huge gathering at the Siwan rally was addressed, apart from senior Party leaders, by former MLA Amarnath Yadav, Siwan District Secretary Com. Indrajit Chourasiya, and State Committee member Com. Naeemuddin Ansari. Recalling the martyrdom of Com. Chandrashekhar, Party leaders said that just before elections attempts are being made at the instigation of the BJP to intimidate State Committee member and RYA National President Amarjeet Kushwaha and former MLA Satyadev Ram by foisting false cases against them, thus trying to put obstacles in the Party’s election campaign. They stressed that such attempts will get a fitting reply from the people and demanded that the false cases against the 2 leaders should be immediately taken back.

Addressing the rallies, Party General Secretary Com. Dipankar raised all the above issues and pointed out that the country was steeped in corruption and price rise, but the BJP can see no issue other than its PM candidate. The BJP says Manmohan Singh is silent, but on the other hand their own PM candidate suffers from the malaise of speaking too much and never ceases to praise himself and his “Gujarat model”, whereas in Gujarat a person who earns Rs. 10.80 is not counted as “poor”. He said that the “hand” of the Congress is not with the common man, and the Bihar CM enjoyed power for 17 years with the BJP, and when it came to the question of PM candidate he opposed Modi and broke with the NDA asking for Advani to be declared the leader instead, whereas he was silent in 2002 when the brutal massacres were being carried out in Gujarat.

Com. Dipankar said that the Delhi elections have shown that the people are taking forward their issues, therefore the LS elections will be fought not around leaders like Rahul-Modi but around policies and principles. Commenting on the ‘Third Front’ he said that there is definitely a need for a Third Front to combat the Congress-BJP but the forces currently attempting to form such a front lack credibility and can go into the pockets of the Congress or the BJP at any time. He called upon Left forces to unite on a single platform.

The rally at Samastipur was addressed, along with senior Party leaders, by District secretary Prof. Umesh Rai, Phool Babu Singh, Vandana Singh, Shankar Singh, Surendra Suman, Sukhlal Yadav, and other speakers. The Muzaffarpur rally was presided over by Com. Rambalak Sahni and addressed by Shatrughan Sahni, Sharda Devi, Manoj Kumar Yadav, Ramnandan Paswan, Iftekhar Alam of the Insaaf Manch, Mohd. Shoaib of the National Human Rights Association, Jitendra Yadav and other leaders. Some resolutions relating to significant issues were passed by the rally, including guarantee of rehabilitation and compensation for families displaced by the Bagmati Project, erosion, road widening, and embankments. The rally demanded that the Bagmati Dam Project should be suspended and a special review committee should be constituted with specialists and activists as members. The issues relating to benefits of minority welfare schemes, fishermen’s welfare programmes, and urban development schemes reaching the rightful beneficiaries, were also raised. After the rally Com. Dipankar spoke with over 100 people from the minority communities at a meeting organized by the Insaaf Manch.

A programme for agitation against exploitation of sugar cane farmers by the government and sugar mill owners was organized In Valmikinagar LS constituency and a resolution was passed for a Champaran bandh to be held on 20 Feb. Party leaders Virendra Prasad Gupta, Com. Vishnudev, Badruddin Doja and others participated in the Narkatiyaganj rally. The Gopalganj rally was addressed by District Committee member Com. Subhash Patel, AIPWA leader Reena Sharma, KHEMAS District President Ramnaresh Ram, RYA District President Jitendra Paswan, Alam Khan and others. The BJP MLA’s residence was gheraoed during the Gopalganj rally on the question of electricity. The rally was well attended by the public including intellectuals, teachers, workers, lawyers, and others.


Jan Vikalp Rally in Jharkhand Against Communal Forces

On 6 Feb the Jharkhand CPI-ML Ramgarh-Hazaribagh District Committee organized a Jan Vikalp rally at Prakhand Maidan in Ramgarh to protest against corporate fascism, loot and corruption, and for development, employment, and prosperity. The rally was flagged off from Mines Rescue Bhavan, Nai Sarai and was attended by the poor, workers, farmers, and women from remote villages in large numbers. The rally marched on foot for 3 km on NH 33 shouting slogans of “Kheti, khanij aur rojgar, Ladkar lenge har adhikar”, “Kare ghotala aur jansamhar, Woh hai PM ka davedar”, and “Mahangayi aur bhrashtachar, Congress Bhajapa dono jimmewar” to the accompaniment of drum beats, and reached Prakhand Maidan, where the meeting was presided over by District committee member Com. Sohrai Kisku and conducted by Raigarh District Secretary Com. Bhuneshwar Bediya.

A day before the rally, there had been an attempt by communal forces to incite riots and reap electoral benefits. Ramgarh had been converted into a police camp and the whole town was under section 144. Fascist forces, police and administration tried to put a spoke in the wheel of the CPI-ML rally but the people defied section 144 and made the rally a huge success, after which the situation in Ramgarh returned to normal. The rally was led by District Committee Secretary Bhuneshwar Bediya, JKMS member Devkinandan Bediya, AICCTU leader Baijnath Mistry, District member Sarju Munda, RYA leader Amal Ghosal, journalist Javed Islam, and other leaders. The march was also addressed by Party General Secretary Com. Dipankar Bhattacharya, Bagodar MLA Com. Vinod Singh, State Secretary Com. Janardan Prasad, and CC member Anant Prasad Gupta.

Addressing the meeting, Com. Dipankar congratulated the gathering for their presence which had defeated the forces trying to spread communal passions in Jharkhand, and said that today the people have emphatically told communal forces all over India, through the Jan Vikalp rally, that they will never be allowed to succeed. Riots were engineered in Muzaffarnagar only for electoral gains; we must remain alert. Narendra Modi had recently come to Jharkhand and sneered at the State’s poverty, saying, “Give BJP a chance, we will bring prosperity to Jharkhand. “ He had conveniently forgotten that the first government in Jharkhand was a BJP government and they ruled for 9 years but could not bring any prosperity to the State. On 7 Feb, Rahul Gandhi would be coming to Jharkhand to do a road show. At many places hoardings are to be seen boasting, “We have implemented the Land Acquisition Bill.” But this Land Acquisition Bill is not for the farmers, it is for the big and powerful corporate families! If not, why was there firing on the farmers in Keredarai?

On Hemant Soren’s watch as CM, the Keredarai firing took place; under Babulal Marandi’s watch the Doranda firing had taken place. Com. Dipankar stressed that we need to change the policies, we must reverse the pro-rich policies. The country needs new policies in place of the old policies which only encourage price rise and corruption, and benefit corporate families.

Com. Dipankar pointed out that the mood of the nation was changing. The Congress says there has been development; metros are running in Delhi. Earlier, votes were sought on this development plank but this time water, electricity, and regularising contract workers became the issues. It is on these issues that a new Party came to power. The 2014 election will be for the protection of coal and mineral wealth, for saving Jal-Jangal-Jameen (water, forest, land) from the present loot. In rural Gujarat, people earning Rs. 10.80 are not being counted as “poor”, and the man who is thus playing with the lives of the poor is now projecting himself as PM candidate. That is why we have given the call—“Badlo neeti badlo raj, Sansad mein janta ki awaz” and “Daam bandho kaam do, Kaam ka pura daam do”. 

Com. Dipankar said that the corporate houses all over India have united on the issue of Narendra Modi for PM. Earlier it used to be Tata-Birla but now Jindals, Mittals, Ambanis and other corporate houses have established their control over Jal-Jangal-Jameen. Having reaped benefits from Manmohan Singh they now want further benefits from Narendra Modi. The struggle against displacement cannot be suppressed; the united forces of labourers, farmers, and the working classes across the country will give a fitting reply to the capitalists. No doubt, we will not get a ready-made alternative on a platter. An alternative cannot be formed by the discredited leaders and exposed Parties of Bihar, UP and Jharkhand. The alternative will have to be formed by the youth, tribals, working class, and all justice-loving people of the country.


Abolish Death Penalty

The CPI(ML) welcomes the Supreme Court decision to commute the death sentences of the 3 convicted in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. The Supreme Court recently upheld the principle that delay in carrying out death sentences is ground for commutation. This ruling has brought relief in the Bhullar case as well as in the case of the 3 convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi case. But the question arises why Afzal Guru was denied the benefit of this principle, and why Guru’s death sentence was not commuted on similar grounds by the Supreme Court. The manner in which the hanging of Afzal Guru was carried out smacks of double standards.

The subjective standards for judging what is ‘rarest of rare’ and the rampant double standards of justice that exist, make it all the more urgent for the draconian death penalty to be abolished in India. More than 2/3rds of the countries of the world have got rid of the death penalty, either in law or in practice. India should declare a moratorium on the death penalty immediately, as a step towards its speedy abolition.    

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, 12 February 2014

ML UPDATE 07/ 2014

ML Update

A CPI(ML) Weekly News Magazine

Vol.  17                          No. 07               12-18 FEB 2014


Arrest Terror Mastermind RSS Chief Bhagwat:

Investigative Agencies Must Drop Double Standards

Swami Aseemanand, a key accused in five terror attack cases, has revealed in his interview with Caravan magazine that these terrorist acts were sanctioned by the RSS and its chief Mohan Bhagwat. He states that Bhagwat gave his blessings for the terror attacks, but warned him not to “link it to the Sangh.” He makes it clear that he is being represented by a battery of lawyers provided by the RSS.    


The response by investigative agencies and the Government to this revelation underlines the double standards inherent in handling terror investigations. It is routine for investigative agencies to declare people to be ‘masterminds’ in many terror cases – although in most such cases, the charges prove false. In the process, innocent people spend time in jail and face custodial torture. In this case, when a key accused names a conspirator in a recorded interview, why do the investigative agencies not make an arrest and interrogate the alleged conspirator?       


The NIA has said it cannot take Aseemanand's interview into cognisance unless Aseemanand chooses to record a statement with a magistrate. Why can't the NIA encourage Aseemanand to record his statement before a magistrate? 


In the Ishrat Jehan case as well, the CBI has charge-sheeted an IB officer but avoided pursing the case against Amit Shah, the former Home Minister of Gujarat, in spite of the evidence of that the killings happened with the latter’s full knowledge and approval.


In the past too, many indications of the Sangh’s involvement in terrorist attacks have not been probed by the investigative agencies. 


How can the linkages of the Sangh with terrorism, and the involvement of top BJP leaders with politically motivated fake encounters, ever be unravelled when key functionaries of the investigative agencies have a pronounced bias towards the BJP and the Sangh? There is already evidence of Army officers with affiliations to the Hindutva Brigade, like Lt Col Purohit. Recently, serving Mumbai Police Commissioner Satya Pal Singh has joined BJP at Modi's Meerut rally. Not long ago, former Home Secretary R.K. Singh (right hand man to the Home Minister of the country) joined the BJP on 13 December immediately after his retirement.


When men with such deep political and ideological links with BJP and the Sangh occupy senior positions in the police and investigative agencies, how can we possibly expect an impartial investigation of the Sangh's terror links?


Aseemanand, in his interview, is quite candid about the fact that the Sangh and its activists like himself, use violence routinely in the Dangs, Chhattisgarih, and other adivasi areas to spread Hindutva. He states quite clearly that he himself, like other members of the Sangh, instigated adivasis in Gujarat to ‘cleanse’ the area of Muslims in 2002. There, too, the same modus operandi was followed as in the blasts – i.e the violence was done by others while the Sangh masterminds went free: “the cleansing of Muslims from the adivasi areas, I was very active in that. I didn’t reveal myself at the time, so I went free. The work done in adivasi areas was done directly by the adivasis. I did not come forward. And no Muslim has returned there so far.”   


His words to describe BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate Narendra Modi are quite telling: “Main bhi karyakarta, woh bhi karyakarta. Woh bhi pracharak thhe. Ek hi kaam karna hain. (In the sense I am a worker, so is he. We do the same work.) A key accused in terror cases, is able to describe a candidate for India’s PM, as a man who does “the same work” as himself.


What, in fact, is Modi’s relationship to the violent ‘Hindu Nation’ agenda of the RSS? It should be noted that in June 2013, when Modi was in Goa at the BJP’s National Executive meeting where he was appointed Chairman of the party’s election management committee, he sent a message to the All India Hindu Convention organised by the Hindu Janajagruti Samiti at the same time. The Convention’s organisers (including the HJS which is implicated in Dabholkar’s murder) openly described it as “a step towards setting up a Hindu nation.” Modi’s congratulatory message to the Convention said, “Only by protecting our culture, the flag of dharma and unity can be kept intact. Organisations inspired by nationalism, patriotism and devotion for the nation are true manifestations of people’s power...Even though every Hindu conducts himself with love, compassion and intimacy with god, giving precedence to non-violence, truth and ‘sattvikta’, repelling demoniacal tendencies is in our destiny.” The Convention included organisations like the HJS and Pramod Muthalik of the Sri Ram Sene, implicated in violent acts against progressive individuals and women. Muthalik actually gave a speech at the Convention on how to prevent the culture of celebrating ‘Days’ like ‘Valentine’s Day’. Another session at the Convention was titled, “Uniting the Police and soldiers essential for the purpose of the establishment of the Hindu Nation”; an ominous subject, in the light of the involvement of Army officers in the terrorist blasts and the number of Sangh-minded cops ‘embedded’ in senior positions in the police.


Modi’s message makes it clear that he promotes outfits that commit violence in the name of ‘protecting culture’ and promoting ‘Hindu Rashtra.’ Further, Modi is a loyal leader of the same RSS, which Aseemanand reveals to be the mastermind behind terrorist blasts and the successful ‘cleansing of Muslims’ in Gujarat’s adivasi areas.


India's first terrorist killing - the murder of MK Gandhi by Godse - was also similarly done by a man from the Sangh stable, who had however taken care to "not link it to the Sangh." The ideological descendants of Godse continue to spread terror in the land. The struggle to bring the Sangh terrorists to book and lay bare the full web of the Sangh's terror linkages will continue.


Summary of Aseemanand’s Interview

(Based on a Press Release issued by The Caravan magazine, February 5, 2014)

Swami Aseemanand Says the RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat Sanctioned Terrorist Attacks


Swami Aseemanand, incarcerated in Ambala Central Jail for abetting terrorist attacks on various targets between 2006 and 2008—Samjhauta Express (February 2007), Hyderabad Mecca Masjid (May 2007), Ajmer Dargah (October 2007) and two attacks in Malegaon (September 2006 and September 2008)—which together took the lives of 119 people, has made a revelation toThe Caravan which has been published in the latest issue of the magazine. In the course of over two years, Aseemanand granted four exclusive interviews to The Caravan journalist Leena Gita Reghunath inside Ambala jail, the total duration of which ran into 09 hours and 26 minutes. In the last two interviews, Aseemanand repeated that his terrorist acts were sanctioned by the highest levels of the RSS—all the way up to Mohan Bhagwat, the current RSS chief, who was the organisation’s general secretary at the time.

Aseemanand told The Caravan that Bhagwat said of the violence, “It is very important that it be done. But you should not link it to the Sangh.” 


Extract from the 11,200-word-long The Caravan article:

Over the course of our conversations, Aseemanand’s description of the plot in which he was involved became increasingly detailed. In our third and fourth interviews, he told me that his terrorist acts were sanctioned by the highest levels of the RSS—all the way up to Mohan Bhagwat, the current RSS chief, who was the organisation’s general secretary at the time.Aseemanand told me that Bhagwat said of the violence, “It’s very important that it be done. But you should not link it to the Sangh.”


Aseemanand told me about a meeting that allegedly took place, in July 2005. After an RSS conclave in Surat, senior Sangh leaders including Bhagwat and Indresh Kumar, who is now on the organisation’s powerful seven-member national executive council, travelled to a temple in the Dangs, Gujarat, where Aseemanand was living—a two-hour drive. In a tent pitched by a river several kilometres away from the temple, Bhagwat and Kumar met with Aseemanand and his accomplice Sunil Joshi. Joshi informed Bhagwat of a plan to bomb several Muslim targets around India. According to Aseemanand, both RSS leaders approved, and Bhagwat told him, “You can work on this with Sunil. We will not be involved, but if you are doing this, you can consider us to be with you.”


Aseemanand continued, “Then they told me, ‘Swamiji, if you do this we will be at ease with it. Nothing wrong will happen then. Criminalisation nahin hoga (It will not be criminalised). If you do it, then people won’t say that we did a crime for the sake of committing a crime. It will be connected to the ideology. This is very important for Hindus. Please do this. You have our blessings.’

Chargesheets filed by the investigative agencies allege that Kumar provided moral and material support to the conspirators, but they don’t implicate anyone as senior as Bhagwat. Although Kumar was interrogated once by the CBI, the case was later taken over by the NIA, which has not pursued the conspiracy past the level of Aseemanand and Pragya Singh. (Joshi, who was allegedly the connecting thread between several different parts of the conspiracy—including those who assembled and those who planted the bombs—was killed under mysterious circumstances in December 2007.)


Sixty-three-year-old Aseemanand dedicated almost his entire adult life to the tribal arm of the RSS, the Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram (VKA). At the time he planned the terrorist attacks, he had been the national head of the VKA’s religious wing, the Shraddha Jagran Vibhag—a position created especially for him—for a decade. In honour of Aseemanand’s service to the Sangh, in December 2005, he was awarded a special Guruji Samman on the occasion of the birth centenary of MS Golwalkar. The award came with a one-lakh-rupee cash prize and the veteran BJP leader and former party president Murli Manohar Joshi gave the ceremony’s keynote address. Not only have the RSS and the BJP never disowned Aseemanand for his roles in the terrorist attacks, or taken back the awards, Aseemanand confessed to The Caravan that RSS-affiliated lawyers are providing his legal aid.


Knowing the national relevance of the sensitive information that Aseemanand revealed to The Caravan journalist, in an interview which was conducted with the full consent of Aseemanand, we place these facts in front of the public, along with a tape recording and transcript of parts of the conversation that mention Mohan Bhagwat. The full story is - See more at:


Aseemanand also states that his confession to involvement in blasts, recorded in front of a magistrate, was not done under torture:


“They brought me to Delhi. Then the judge asked me “Kya bata rahein hain aap? Yeh sab sahi hain kya? Main likh ke rakh raha hun yahan — ki aapko phaansi ho sakta hain, yeh aap ko pata hain? Yeh main aapse pooch raha hoon, aap kya jawab denge? So I said, haan main taiyyar hoon. (What are you saying? Is this the truth? I am writing this down here – that I have asked you this, whether you understand that you could be hanged for this. What is your answer to that? I said, I am ready for the consequences.) Then the Sangh’s lawyers told me, aapko hum ab bacha nahin payenge. (We can’t save you now.) Then they said that I should give a statement that I was tortured. I said write whatever you want, and I will sign it. But sahi mein torture nahin hua hain. (But in truth they didn’t torture me.)”


Aseemanand’s words on his work in Gujarat during the 2002 genocide is also significant: 


“Gujarat mein, main Hindutva ka kaam ke liye gaya. Aur aap ko kya main bataoon, 2002 mein jo Godhra aaya, Gujarat ke us adivasi area mein jo Mussalmano ka safaya kiya, usmein bhi main bahut active raha. Usme par main samne nahi aaya tha, isi liye me choot gaya. Adivasi area mein jo kaam kiya hain, woh direct adivasi ne hi kiya. Hum saamne nahi aaye. Abhi tak wahaan koi waapas nahi aaya. Baki sab jagah jo gaye woh waapas aaye. Yahaan pe aa hi nahin saktein. Dang mein nahi tha: par Panchmahal se leke uttar tak.


(I went to Gujarat for the work of Hindutva. Let me tell you this, in 2002, when Godhra happened, the cleansing of Muslims from the adivasi areas, I was very active in that. I didn’t reveal myself at the time, so I went free. The work done in adivasi areas was done directly by the adivasis. I did not come forward. And no one [no Muslim] has returned there so far. They’ve returned to all the other places. Here they cannot return. They weren’t in Dang, but from Panchmahal to the north.)”


Fact-finding team into Birbhum Gangrape


At Labhpur in Birbhum in West Bengal, on 21 January night, a 20-year old adivasi woman was gang-raped by 13man reportedly after a village ‘salishi sabha’ (akin to khap panchayat), decided to punish her for her relationship with a man from different community (a Muslim.)


A fact-finding team of AIPWA, AISA and district party members including CPI(ML) district Secretary Subodh Ruj and State Committee members Moloy Tewary and Indrani Dutta visited Labhpur on 26 January. The team felt that the villagers are under pressure of local power politics. The AIPWA leaders Indrani and Chandrasmita met the rape survivor and her mother at Seuri Hospital. The victim's mother said that they sought justice against the 13 accused.

An effigy of the Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was burnt, in a protest organised by AIPWA and CPIML on 27 January. Among others party State Secretary Partha Ghosh and AIPWA State Secretary Chaitali Sen took part in this program.


Jandaavedaari Rally at Samastipur


On 8 Feb 2014, as the first in a series of Jandaavedaari (People’s Assertion) Rallies in Bihar, a massive rally was held at Samastipur. The rally was attended by thousands of people, was held at Samastipur’s Patel Chowk.


At the rally, CPI(ML) General Secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya warned against the communal and corporate-backed fascist agenda of Narendra Modi. He pointed out that JD (U) leader and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is responsible for the growth of communal forces like the BJP in Bihar, thanks to a 17-year alliance. He also took on the RJD and LJP, guilty of tying up with the Congress, the Party largely responsible for the ruin of this country. He said that the CPI(ML) would fight the coming elections on the issues of price rise, corruption, and people’s rights.


The rally was also addressed by CPI-ML Politburo member Dhirendra Jha, State Secretary Prof. Umesh Rai, Party leaders Phool Babu Singh, Jeevach Paswan, Braj Kishore Singh Chouhan, Khurshid Khair, Mohd. Chand, Shivji Rai, Chandra Mohan Jha, Surendra Prasad Singh, Vandana Singh, Shivshankar Singh, Surendra Suman, Sukhlal Yadav, and other leaders.


Statement against Howrah Gang Rape


We the undersigned express our deep shock and outrage at the incident of gangrape in rural Howrah, West Bengal, on 4th February, where two women supporters of the main opposition party, CPIM, were reportedly gangraped by 8 cadres of the ruling Trinamool Congress. While seven of the accused have been arrested, the eighth person named in the FIR, Barun Makal, who is an election agent of a TMC MLA, is still absconding.


This incident comes as the latest in a series of horrific rapes in West Bengal, where the Government has displayed its utter insensitivity and lack of political will to the plight of women, and has protected the accused.


There have also been a series of instances of violent assaults by ruling party cadres on supporters and activists of Left parties.


The latest horror from Howrah is clearly an instance of rape being used as a tool of political vendetta. We condemn this incident and demand that the accused be arrested and punished. 


We support the ongoing struggles in West Bengal for accountability of the State in all instances of violence towards women. Impunity to perpetrators of rape breeds even more violence against women, and it is urgent for the State to accept its responsibility to end this impunity and act swiftly to ensure justice in all cases of rape.


Signatories include Kavita Krishnan (AIPWA), Subhashini Ali (AIDWA), Kavita Srivastava (PUCL), Ranjana Padhi (WSS), Ulka Mahajan (NAPM), Paramjeet (PUDR), Shabnam Hashmi (ANHAD), Akbar Chawdhary ( JNUSU President), Sucheta De (AISA), Jean Dreze, Sumit Sarkar, Tanika Sarkar, Amit Bhaduri, Seema Mustafa, Anand Patwardhan, Antara Dev Sen, Kamal Mitra Chenoy, Jawed Naqvi, Jyoti Punwani, Uma Chakravarti, Mallika Sarabhai, Badri Raina, Pamela Philipose, Madhu Bhaduri, Prabhat Patnaik, Utsa Patnaik, Jayati Ghosh and others.


Public Meeting on Political Challenges and Role of People’s Movements


On 10 February, a public meeting was organised by the CPI(ML) in GPF Auditorium in Delhi, on ‘Political Challenges, New Possibilities, and Role of People’s Movements.’ The meeting was addressed and attended by a range of intellectuals and activists.


Introducing the meeting, Kavita Krishnan, Politburo member of the CPI(ML), spoke of the communal-corporate fascist agenda represented by Modi, that was benefiting from people’s rightful urge to punish the Congress, UPA and other discredited forces for their regime of corruption, corporate plunder and repression. The crisis of credibility of the ruling class and people’s anger against two decades of neoliberal policies were factors that have produced the phenomenon of the AAP. For the revolutionary Left and for democratic forces and people’s movements, there is immense potential to shape people’s imagination for change, in the direction of reversal of the pro-corporate policy regime that had produced corruption, assertion of the rights of women, rejection of khap panchayats and moral policing, justice in communal and caste massacres and fake encounters like Batla House, Pathribal and Manorama’s rape and murder. This agenda of change should be asserted spiritedly, contending with those who wish to take ‘change’ in a fascist direction, and those who wish to confine the language of political change to mere modernisation of governance alone, avoiding the question of social and economic transformation. 


Addressing the meeting, Sunilam of Kisan Sangharsh Samiti spoke of his experiences during the Janlokpal struggle led by Anna Hazare, and his discomfort with the virtual merging of people’s movements with a political party, the AAP. Urmilesh, senior journalist, called to explore new ways for the Left in building mass support for its struggles and movements. Manindra Thakur of JNU stressed people’s urge for democratic political participation, especially the need for internal democracy in the functioning of people’s movements and political parties. Prof Manoranjan Mohanty critiqued any notion of ‘ideology-free’ change. The worst 2-G scam, he said, citing the example of Odisha, was that of corporate-driven ‘Growth’ and ‘Governance’, and true Swaraj could only be socialism. Albeena Shakil of Left Collective spoke of people’s disappointment with the AAP over its defence of racist vigilantism and its refusal to present even an outline of its social and economic vision. She stressed that it was self-defeating for the Left to join hands with thoroughly discredited forces like the SP, JD(U), Jayalalitha etc who have a shabby and shameful track record even on the question of combating communalism. Journalist Anand Pradhan said that the moment was ripe with potential for revolutionary Left forces to forge new slogans and build movements of workers and common people. AISA President Sucheta De spoke of students’ campaign in Delhi University to assert students’ right to affordable rent, transport, and roll back of the disastrous FYUP. She also spoke of the experience of intervention against the incident of racism at Khirki by a Delhi Minister. Shankaran of the AICCTU spoke of workers’ campaign for their rights, pointing out that the AAP Government in Delhi spoke of direct action and democracy in many things but when it came to keeping its promise to make contract workers permanent and enforce minimum wage laws, it resorted to delaying tactics like committees. Columnist Praful Bidwai pointed out that the AAP had avoided taking a consistent anti-communal stand, and did not speak of Modi’s communal character, because a large part of its support base coincided with Modi’s, and in Delhi it had gained mainly at the expense of Congress and BSP.


CPI(ML) Politburo member Swapan Mukherjee commented on the fact that CPI(M) GS Prakash Karat, at a rally the previous day, had remained silent on the Congress. He said that such tactics of defending indefensible forces in order to forge opportunist alliances was a proven recipe for disaster. While genuine participatory democracy was no doubt needed, he warned against the AAP’s model of governance through RWAs and mohalla sabhas, pointing out the possibility of majoritarian communal and regressive dominance. He called for the revolutionary Left to assert its agenda of people’s rights and democracy boldly with its identity and strength.


AISA’s  Mass Delegation to Delhi Secretariat

Demanding Better Transport Facilities, Reduction and Control of Room Rents

and Roll-back of FYUP


On 31/1/2014, hundreds of students from various colleges of Delhi University participated in a ‘Mass Delegation’ to the Delhi Secretariat organized by AISA, demanding better transport facilities, affordable accommodation, better infrastructure and immediate roll-back of FYUP. According to the feedback received from around 15,000 students from various DU colleges during a recent campaign organized by AISA, these issues were critical for a majority of DU students.


“The Delhi University students today suffer from massive problems of transport, absence of hostels and unbridled rent in private accommodations and of course, the mounting problem of infrastructure in Colleges. Imposition of FYUP has further aggravated the infrastructure crisis apart from ruining the quality and content of DU's cherished UG programme”, said Sunny Kumar, AISA leader in DU.


Student representatives met the Delhi government’s Ministers for Transport as well as the Education. They demanded running special buses in the evening/night for women specially for the Evening colleges in DU; increasing the number and frequency of DTC buses plying near both the North campus colleges, issuing concessional student passes in ALL Red DTC air conditioned buses as well as Cluster DTC buses; revamping the service of the University Special buses for Delhi University; issuing concessional student passes for all students plying by Metro and starting Metro Feeder facilities. The ministers assured for an Action Taken Report from the DTC and to see the feasibility of Metro concessional passes for students.


On the issue of exorbitant room rent and exploitation of students by the broker-landlord nexus, the Education Minister Manish Sisodia said that he was in ‘principle agreement’. However, according to him, the government was working out modalities of how to address the issue. The Minister also expressed support for the student’s demand to revoke FYUP in Delhi University.


AISA will go back to the Delhi government soon, to get a feedback on the action taken by the government on these crucial issues which are central to the idea of an affordable, inclusive and equitable educational institutions.

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: