Wednesday, 26 August 2015

ML Update | No. 35| 2015

ML Update

A CPI(ML) Weekly News Magazine

Vol. 18, No. 35, 25 ­– 31 AUGUST 2015

Intensify People's Resistance against the Aggression of the BJP-Ranveer Sena Nexus

Cobrapost reporters caught commanders of the Ranveer Sena on camera boasting about how they perpetrated serial massacres of the fighting rural poor in Bihar with the blessings and patronage of senior BJP leaders, the clips did not just dig up the ugly truth about a sordid chapter of Bihar from the recent past. They also brought to the fore the glaring weaknesses and biases in the judicial process where massacre perpetrators go scot-free and victims are denied justice. And most crucially, the revelations exposed the rotten feudal core of the BJP in a state like Bihar and the complicity and appeasement on the part of the JD(U)-RJD leadership that allowed the BJP-Ranveer Sena nexus to get away with its politics of feudal violence.

The Cobrapost released its video investigation about the Ranveer Sena in Delhi on 17 August. The very next day we saw Modi address a rally at Ara in Bhojpur, and quite characteristically Modi attempted to brush the entire truth about the BJP-Ranveer Sena nexus under the carpet with the theatrical announcement of the so-called Rs. 125,000 crore Bihar package. But the truth was out again after forty-eight hours when BJP-Ranveer Sena goons killed CPI(ML) leader Comrade Satish Yadav near Agiao. The BJP's campaign for the Bihar Assembly elections had begun, much the same way as during the Lok Sabha elections, when Comrade Budhram Paswan, another popular leader of the CPI(ML) was killed in a similar fashion.

Comrade Satish Yadav was a young popular leader of poor peasants and sharecroppers. He was a key leader of the recent agitation conducted by the CPI(ML) and All India Kisan Mahasabha to compel the administration to procure paddy from small farmers and sharecroppers. The procurement agitation was followed by a second round to secure payment of dues for the paddy sold. Be it the issue of irrigation for farmers, ration for the poor, electricity supply to the hamlets of the poor, education for local children or dignity of the oppressed, Comrade Satish was always in the forefront of the campaign to serve the people and fight for their rights.

The Ranveer Sena has always sought to justify its murderous campaign against the rural poor in Bihar in the name of 'protecting the interests of the peasantry'. But once again it has been caught red-handed killing a popular leader who fought as much for the peasantry as for rural labourers and stood for the broader unity of the aggrieved agricultural population. When they could no longer sustain the politics of massacres, the feudal-criminal nexus epitomised by the Ranveer Sena began targeting individual CPI(ML) leaders. It started with the assassination of Comrade Manju in Arwal in November 2003, and more recently we have lost Comrade Bhaiyaram Yadav (member of Party State Committee and secretary of Rohtas District Committee), Comrade Budhram Paswan (member of Bhojpur District Committee), and now Comrade Satish Yadav. Comrade Upadhyay Yadav, popular leader and Zila Parishad member of Jahanabad district survived a lethal attempt on his life in May this year and is now recovering from serious bullet injuries.

Serial massacres, targeted killings of CPI(ML) leaders and activists, attacks on Dalit students and hostels in the wake of the killing of Brahmeswar Singh, brutal assaults on women (the gangrape of Mahadalit girls in Kurmuri of Bhojpur in October 2014 and the recent attack on dalit women in Shiromani Tola in Parbatta block of Khagaria on 27 July this year are two horrific instances in recent months) – such has been the track record of the feudal-criminal forces patronised by the BJP in Bihar.  And the BJP in turn has been appeased by the JD(U) till as recently as 2013 – the disbanding of the Amir Das Commission and the dumping of the Land Reforms Commission Report having been two most conspicuous examples.

Even when the RJD and now the JD(U) have been claiming to oppose the BJP, more often than not they have capitulated to the BJP, if not connived with it, in targeting the fighting rural poor and the Left, CPI(ML) in particular. The BJP in Bihar is not imported from Gujarat, nor is it an external power represented by the Modi government at the Centre. First and foremost, the BJP is the organic political representative of feudal power in Bihar. It is easy to treat the BJP as an external power and talk of Bihari pride; but challenging the feudal-communal roots and designs of the BJP within Bihar and resisting the growing corporate-communal offensive that it is unleashing on a countrywide scale is an altogether different proposition. Those who collaborate and connive with forces like the Ranveer Sena can only pay lip-service to the task of checking the BJP.

Ever since its inception, the CPI(ML) has challenged the domination of  feudal forces in Bihar most courageously, comprehensively and consistently. The Janata Dal of course emerged as the dominant political force in the post-Congress political order of Bihar, but its record of complicity with the anti-poor anti-Dalit offensive of the feudal camp has only emboldened the feudal forces to rally more aggressively around the BJP. But the people of Bihar are not going to take this feudal aggression lying down and we have witnessed intense popular anger against each and every recent instance of feudal violence – be it the attack on Comrade Upadhyay Yadav in Jahanabad, the assault on the women of Shiromani Tola in Khagaria or the killing of Comrade Satish Yadav in Bhojpur.  The CPI(ML) and the Left must transform this anger and resolve of the people into a powerful political force against the aggressive BJP-NDA and the opportunist JDU-RJD-Congress combine.

Comrade Satish Yadav Killed in Bhojpur by Feudal Forces

Sea of People Join Final Journey, Bid Farewell

On 20 August 2015, CPI (ML) leader comrade Satish Yadav was ambushed and brutally killed by Ranveer Sena goons as he was returning at around 6 pm from Badgaon in the Agiaon assembly segment after conducting a 'Jan davedaari  Sabha'. The rising political claims of the poor, just before the Bihar elections, has clearly created frustration and disquiet amongst the feudal forces in the state. These forces, operating with impunity under the patronage of the BJP as well as some leaders from the grand 'secular' alliance, are hell-bent on stopping the increasing mobilization the poor, dalits, farmers, and working sections of society at any cost. They are thus once again training their guns on CPI(ML) leaders in their frustration. A few months ago, a popular CPI(ML) leader, comrade Upadhya Yadav, was mortally attacked by feudal criminal forces in Jehanabad. In this latest incident, popular Party leader from Bhojpur comrade Satish Yadav has been murdered by Rinku Singh's gang, known to have close links with the Ranveer Sena as well as the BJP.

This killing has come at a time when strong agitations across the state have been demanding the arrest of Ranveer Sena leaders who have openly confessed their roles in the mass carnages of Laxmanpur Bathe, Bathani Tola and other gruesome massacres. The recent Cobrapost sting reveals the open secret of the role of the Ranveer Sena in these massacres, and also of their patrons in the BJP such as BJP leaders Sushil Modi, CP Thakur, and others. A few days ago Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a public meeting in Ara, which served to boost the morale of feudal criminals and comrade Satish Yadav's murder only highlights the chilling arrogance and impunity with which feudal-casteist forces seek to instill terror. Eyewitnesses say that the killing was done with the connivance of the Ajeemabad police station in-charge Shyamdev Singh. When Satish Yadav made his way from the jan davedaari sabha in Badgaon, the police followed on the same road just a few minutes later. They went into the village, and almost immediately news came of comrade Satish's murder. Clearly, people's leaders are being regularly attacked and killed with the connivance of the BJP and the Nitish government's police.

The news of comrade Satish's killing left people stunned, and a wave of grief spread throughout the entire district of Bhojpur. CPI(ML) called for a Bhojpur bandh on 21 August, and demanded the immediate arrest of the killers. His final journey took place on 22 August, and it was an unprecedented event. It began at the Ara Party office where Party leaders (including PB member Swadesh Bhattacharya, State Secretary Kunal, PB member comrade Amar, CCW member and former State secretary Nand Kishore Prasad, district secretary Jawahar Lal Nehru, Sudama Prasad, Raju Yadav, Manoj Manzil and others) paid floral tributes to the beloved departed leader.

The last voyage then began. From Ara to Ajeemabad, hundreds of motorcyclists led the way, a convoy of cars followed, and people lined both sides of the road to catch a last glimpse of their beloved leader.

Comrade Satish Yadav: A Life Sketch

Comrade Satish Yadav, who was killed by feudal-casteist forces, was only 40 years old. At this young age, he had already become very popular amongst the people due to his commitment to struggles. Comrade Satish was born in the Kamariya village of Agiao block in a farmer's family. His father, comrade Judge Yadav, was a popular leader and in 1990 he fought the elections as a Party candidate from the Badhara seat and secured about 25,000 votes. From childhood, comrade Satish came into contact with the struggles by the poor, led by the CPI(ML). That was the time when the historic Baga Math fight took place, which left a strong impression on the young Satish and resulted in his decision to dedicate himself to revolutionary struggles. He became a member of the CPI(ML) in 1995. That was the phase when the bloodthirsty Ranveer Sena was spreading terror in Bhojpur and carnage after carnage was being perpetrated. Comrade Satish took up the fight against the Ranveer Sena and fought several historic battles as part of the Party's propaganda squad. His capabilities soon made him a popular leader within the Party as well as with the people.

After the decline of the Ranveer Sena phenomenon, he led several movements and struggles for basic issues of workers and farmers, against crime, and for developmental issues of the area. His initiatives, not only on issues concerning the poor, but also on issues concerning the middle class, became a talking point. Last year when the paddy crop in Ajeemabad was withering due to drought-like conditions, Comrade Satish led a 4-day road block agitation by farmers demanding that water be released into the canal. Under pressure from this agitation, the canal from Nonaur to Ajeemabad was replenished and water came to the fields. The administration, under pressure, also sent their work proposal for implementing the Dedhua pump canal project, a long standing demand of the farmers. Comrade Satish emerged as a popular leader among the farmers. When the paddy crop was ready, he led a historic struggle for its purchase in Agiao and forced the administration to purchase 30,000 quintals of paddy from sharecroppers and small farmers.

Ranveer Sena leader Rinku Singh, a BJP leader and also the President of the Badgaon panchayat PACS, was also pressurized by Comrade Satish to purchase paddy from farmers. Even now, he owes Rs 8 lakhs to the farmers as purchase arrears, for which comrade Satish was incessantly fighting. By killing comrade Satish, the BJP has snatched away a beloved young leader from the farmers. This clearly exposes the anti-farmer character of the BJP and its protégé the Ranveer Sena.

Comrade Satish led several struggles in the area for development, and against crime. A case was filed against him in the Pawana agitation for electricity. He was also charged in the Narayanpur agitation against murder of a father-son tradesmen duo by feudal criminals. He carried out strong agitations on the issue of electricity in Narayanpur, Akauna, Pawana, Madanpur and other villages, after which electricity first came to the Mahadalit tolas. He also mobilized sand workers who were losing their livelihoods because of sand mining using JCB machines by the dominant forces in the Ajeemabad sand ghat, resulting in the ultimate victory of the sand workers. He led struggles on the issues of registering names of the poor in the BPL lists of Agiaon panchayat, and issues of ration. He was also active in agitations regarding schools and roads. He successfully led the agitation for reinstatement of teachers in the school at Poswa.

Students Demand Revocation of CBCS in AISA's "Opinion Dhamaka" in Delhi University

On 21 August 2015, hundreds of students of the Delhi University (DU) marched against the Choice Based Credit System (CBCS) in AISA's "Opinion Dhamaka" rally. AISA had been conducting a "Students' Opinion on CBCS" campaign in 38 colleges of the Delhi University from 11 August 2015. During this campaign, AISA activists collected responses on different aspects of the CBCS from 24,780 students who have joined DU under the CBCS program. The results of the survey show a resounding mandate against the CBCS, and a growing disappointment with the content of the courses which have been introduced in a hurried manner in DU at the behest of the UGC and the MHRD.

A whopping 93% of students (23045) opposed the CBCS, and most students enrolled in various Honours programs reported that CBCS has devalued their courses by reducing the number of Honours papers to 14 from 18-20. 87% students complained that there was no clarity regarding text books in the Generic Elective courses. 95% felt there was no clarity regarding the method of evaluation and credit distribution for assessment. Almost all the students agreed that the colleges are not offering the choices given in the UGC course outline.

Around 600 students attended a rally in Delhi University following the announcement of the results of the survey on CBCS. Many students who attended the rally spoke of the dilution of quality, and the restriction of internal choices within the Honours degree. They also highlighted the complete chaos in the implementation of CBCS in Delhi University, and the lack of any clarity on course content and evaluation.

Dharna in Sampatchak against Increasing Crimes

The CPI(ML) Sampatchak block unit organized a dharna on 25 July 2015 at the block office on the issue of the growing number of crimes in the Sampatchak area, demanding action against criminals. The dharna was presided over by comrade Hriday Narayan Rai and the proceedings were conducted by block secretary comrade Satyanand Paswan. Hundreds of poor men and women participated in the dharna. Addressing the meeting, comrade Umesh Singh pointed out that on 6 July, Naresh Choudhry, a mahadalit, was killed in village Jaibar but the culprits, protected by the police, tried to pass it off as an accidental death. On 12 July a mahadalit woman midday meal worker was beaten up and injured by a school teacher Alok Krishna in Faislabad (Bhelwada). Similarly, a schoolgirl in Ajeemchak was molested by her teacher who tried to rape her. In all these matters, even the registering of a simple FIR had become a difficult task and could be done only after dharnas and protests were held at the police stations. The arrest of the culprits was still a very far cry. The speakers stressed on the need to organize all poor and marginalized sections against the government and the administration in a united struggle to give them a befitting lesson in the forthcoming elections.

AIPF's Convention in Tripura

On 19 August 2015, a convention was organised by AIPF and the "Tripura Border Road Organisation Civil Workers Association" at Kumarghat, in Unakoti district of Tripura.  Around 175 workers attended this convention.  A mass meeting was also held after the convention, which was attended by comrade Mrinmoy Chakraborty from AIPF, district secretary CPI(ML) comrade Joydeep Roy, and newly elected secretary of the TBCWA comrade Biswajit Shilsarma.

Since the past 35 years, the national highways in Tripura have been maintained by the Border Road Organisation (BRO, a Central government organisation). Around 10,000 workers from Tripura were employed as permanent or casual workers in this organisation. In 2014, the Tripura state government entered into a contract with Central government, and since then the state government has maintained the national highway in Tripura. When the BRO handed over the works to the state government, all the workers lost their jobs. The AIPF has been organising these workers.

Protests Demanding Arrest of Ranveer Sena Criminals and Their Protectors

The CPI(ML ) declared a two-day Vishwasghat Diwas on 19-20 August 2015 demanding immediate arrests of Ranveer Sena criminals as well as BJP, JD(U) and other Party leaders exposed by the recent Cobrapost sting. In the Cobrapost sting, various Ranveer Sena leaders openly admitted that they had perpetrated dalit massacres in Bihar in the 1990s; the role of various BJP/JD(U) leaders in supplying money and arms to the Ranveer Sena was also exposed.

The Vishwasghat Diwas was observed across Bihar, especially in Patna, Arwal, Ara, Jehanabad, Patna rural, Gaya, Rohtas, Nawada, Bhagalpur and other districts in south Bihar. In the capital Patna, a protest march from the Radio Station culminated in a meeting at JP chowk, led by Saroj Choube, Santosh Sahar, Murtaza Ali, Sudhir, Gurudev Das, Santosh Jha, Rakesh Manjhi and other leaders. Addressing the meeting, CPI(ML) leaders pointed out that once again the names of BJP/JD(U) leaders have been exposed in connection with protecting the Ranveer Sena. It is also clear that Nitish Kumar dissolved the Amir Das commission for the benefit of the Ranveer Sena criminals. They demanded that after this exposure, Prime Minister Narendra Modi should apologise to the people of Bihar and expel from BJP all those whose names have been exposed in this connection. It is significant that after the Cobrapost expose, Modi maintained a complete silence on this issue when he addressed a public meeting in Ara. In fact, one of the prime protectors of the Ranveer Sena, Sushil Modi, was present on the dais with Modi on that day. The speakers at the CPI(ML) rally demanded the immediate arrest of CP Thakur, Sushil Modi, Shivanand Tiwari and Arun Kumar and guarantee of justice to the poor.

In Jehanabad, hundreds of Party supporters marched from the Party office to the railway station and participated in a meeting. Protest marches, meetings, and effigy burnings of Nitish Kumar were also held at Arwal and at Ara, Nawada, Bhagalpur, and Bihata in Patna rural district. A two-day hunger strike was also held at Arwal, Ara, Jehanabad, Gaya, Rohtas, and Bhojpur.

On 19 August 2015, the CPI(ML) organized a protest march at Jantar Mantar in Delhi demanding the immediate arrest of the Ranveer Sena criminals and their BJP protectors exposed in the Cobrapost sting. CPI(ML) demanded reinstatement of the Amir Das commission and that its findings should be made public. The meeting was addressed by PB members Swapan Mukherjee, Kavita Krishnan and other leaders.

Agitation for Road Construction in Chandauli

The All India Khet Mazdoor Sabha (AIKMS) and CPI(ML) organized a dharna on 22 June 2015 at the Shahabganj BDO office in Chandauli district to demand construction of an access road to the dalit basti in Baraon village. The dharna also demanded construction of other roads, issue of pattas for the landless in all villages, and a social audit to enquire into the MNREGA scam in Hadaura. AIKMS and CPI(ML) have been raising these issues for some time now. On 17 July 2015, several CPI(ML) workers including Karail area local committee member comrade Sanjay Kharwar, Branch Secretary Gorao Prasad, Shabbir Ahmad, and Narad Vishwakarma sat on an indefinite dharna. Hundreds of villagers participated in the dharna.

Even though the local Administration tried to disperse the agitation by citing section 144, the agitation and mobilisation only increased. More than 600 villagers participated. Subsequently, owing to public pressure, the BDO acting under instructions of the ADM gave a written assurance for the road construction, after which the dharna ended.

Protest for Implementation of Forest Rights Law

On 22 July 2015, AIKMS and CPI(ML) protested at the office of the ADM, Chakiya in Chandauli district demanding proper implementation of the forest rights law. The Forest Department is currently digging pits and organizing tree plantation with the clear intent of displacing adivasis and forest dwellers who have for generations engaged in agriculture on these lands.

Addressing the dharna, CPI(ML) district secretary comrade Shashikant Kushwaha said that with the connivance of the Forest Department, the land mafia has captured thousands of acres of forest land in Naugarh. Adivasis and forest dwellers participated in the dharna, and demanded 4.5 acres of land due to them under the forest rights law. Under pressure from the people, the ADM was obliged to come to the dharna venue and he assured the people that action would be taken against the land mafia and the poor would not be displaced. The dharna was presided over by AIKMS district President comrade Ramkrit Kol and proceedings were conducted by Anil Paswan.

Red salute to comrade Ramapati Yadav!

CPI(ML) Beguserai district committee member and Akhil Bharatiya Kisan Mahasabha district secretary comrade Ramapati Yadav passed away after suffering from a cardiac arrest at a private clinic in Beguserai on the night of 7 August 2015. His mortal remains were brought to Shrichandrapur village in Sahebpur Kamal block, where CPI(ML) and Kisan Mahasabha leaders paid their tribute. Hundreds of farmers and workers accompanied comrade Ramapati on his 5-km long last journey.

Comrade Ramapati was born on 19 December 1952, in a middle farmer's family. He was a graduate in Science. Party leaders said that his untimely death is an irreparable loss and his honesty, hard work, and dedication to the people and the Party will always remain a source of inspiration. A sankalp sabha was organized at his village on 19 August 2015. 

  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 August 2015

ML Update | No. 33 | 2015

ML Update

A CPI(ML) Weekly News Magazine

Vol.  18 | No. 33 | 11 - 17 AUG 2015


Bhagalpur Riots Revisited : 
A Quarter Century of Deception and Injustice

On the concluding day of the last session of the Bihar Assembly before the forthcoming elections, the Nitish Kumar government tabled the report of Justice NN Singh commission on the 1989-90 Bhagalpur riots. The government had received the report in February, but it evidently waited till the final day of the Assembly to prevent any discussion in Assembly over the report and over the continuing apathy and inaction of successive governments in ensuring justice and rehabilitation for the hapless riot-affected families.

The Justice NN Singh commission was set up in February 2006 soon after Nitish Kumar had come to power with the support of BJP. The terms of reference of the commission included inquiry into 'the conduct and performance of the investigating and prosecuting agencies of cases arising out of Bhagalpur Riot 1989-90' and suggestion of relief and rehabilitation measures for the riot survivors. The commission was required to submit its report within six months of its first sitting. As it happened, the commission submitted an interim report on 28 August 2007 and the full report only in February 2015.

Twenty years before the NN Singh commission submitted its report we had the report of the first commission on Bhagalpur riots set up under the chairmanship of Justice Ramanandan Prasad in December 1989 and reconstituted in September 1993. The first report had effectively absolved the district administration of all culpability, blaming only the 'inexperience' of the then DM Arun Jha and SP KS Dwivedi. The second commission has taken the same line, saying "I refrain from making any comment on the conduct" of the DM and SP, even as it compares the Bhagalpur riot to the November 1984 anti-Sikh riot in terms of "their enormity, extent, barbarism, devastation and loss of life and property." Indeed, the only new point made by the second commission is recommendation of compensation to Bhagalpur victims on the lines of the 2006 package announced by the UPA government for 1984 riot victims.

The reports of the two commissions not only refuse to fix administrative responsibilities for the riots that claimed hundreds of lives and ruined thousands of families, they are also shockingly oblivious of the specific context of the vicious and aggressive communal mobilisation by the Sangh Parivar which resulted in a veritable communal bloodbath that began in Bhagalpur and went on through the demolition of Babri Masjid till the post-demolition riots in Surat and Mumbai. The commissions go back to the history of Partition to explain the context of the riots, and effectively accuse Muslim organisations and leaders of virtually 'inviting' the riots, but give a clean chit to the BJP despite noting the involvement of members of VHP and RSS. The 1995 commission report even sanctifies the Sangh Parivar's scheme of 'division of labour': "the political wing cannot be blamed for any misdeed of the social wing,"

Bhagalpur was the most decisive turning point that triggered the downfall of the Congress in Bihar and catapulted Lalu Prasad to the seat of power. Both VP Singh in Delhi and Lalu Prasad in Patna then enjoyed the support of the BJP, and Lalu Prasad never showed any urgency to expedite the cause of justice for the riot survivors of Bhagalpur or even to expose the BJP and Sangh brigade's sinister role in the massacres of Muslims in Bhagalpur. Kameswar Yadav, one of the key accused of Bhagalpur riots who contested the 1990 Assembly elections on Hindu Mahasabha ticket from Nathnagar in Bhagalpur district, went on to receive the political patronage of Lalu Prasad in later years. Arun Jha and KS Dwivedi, the then DM and SP of Bhagalpur who are held centrally responsible by many in Bhagalpur for the scale of violence and killings, went on to secure promotions and plum postings. When Nitish Kumar came to power with a changed social equation, his government reopened the case against Kameswar Yadav only to reward another key accused of Bhagalpur riots, Ratan Mandal, with the position of the chairperson of the Bihar Extreme Backward Castes Commission.

The survivors of Bhagalpur have also been subjected to tremendous hardship on the economic front. Systematic ruin, and not rehabilitation, has been the bitter real life experience for most of them. Under distress and duress, thousands of Muslim families from more than two hundred villages/mohallas have had to sell their houses and plots of land at nominal rates, leading to enforced displacement and ghettoization. Effective rehabilitation in all these cases must include compensation at current market rate. Many in Bhagalpur who got some initial financial assistance to resume their business and other occupational activities were later charged with non-repayment of 'loans' and even sent to prison. The enhanced compensation and monthly pension recommended by Justice NN Singh commission in its 2007 interim report remain just another promise on paper for most riot survivors in Bhagalpur.

Several senior journalists and officials in the know of the actual scale and events of Bhagalpur riots have all along maintained that had the government acted immediately on the basis of the findings reported by Ajit Dutt, DIG of Bhagalpur (rural), the guilty could have been punished and survivors rehabiltated without much delay. The commissions have not only delayed justice by consuming crucial time but also ended up understating the scale of killings and devastation - it is popularly believed in Bhagalpur that more than 2,000 people had perished in the massacres as opposed to the figures of 900 Muslims and 100 Hindus put out in the 1995 commission report - and cushioning the guilty.

Of the twenty five years that have elapsed since Bhagalpur, the first fifteen saw Lalu Prasad at the helm of Bihar with his slogan of social justice and secularism, while the last ten have been the Nitish era of 'good governance' and 'development with justice'. For the victims of Bhagalpur, the entire period has been a period of protracted betrayal and injustice. And the feelings of the Bhagalpur survivors are shared equally by victims of injustice elsewhere in Bihar, most notably the oppressed rural poor in today's south Bihar who suffered dozens of massacres by the infamous Ranveer Sena. In the latter case, the culprits have all been acquitted by the High Court and the commission which was asked to probe the political patronage behind Ranveer Sena was disbanded by Nitish Kumar before it could submit its report. This was around the same time Nitish Kumar set up the Justice NN Singh commission on Bhagalpur!

Evidently, the battle for justice can win victory by defeating not just the perpetrators of riots and massacres but also the forces that deceive, delay and deny justice in the name of delivering it.

CPI(ML) Condemns Brutal Killing of Blogger Niloy Neel in Bangladesh

CPI(ML) strongly condemns the brutal murder of Niloy Neel, a 40 year old secular blogger in Bangladesh. He was hacked to death in his apartment in Dhaka on 7 August. Niloy Neel was known to raise voice against Islamic fundamentalism in Bangladesh and in defence of the rights of women and minorities. He is the fourth secular and an atheist blogger to be killed this year in Bangladesh, following brutal killings of Avijit Roy in February, Washiqur Rahman in March and Ananta Bijoy Das in May. The spate of attacks on secularists in Bangladesh who have consistently raised voice against religious fundamentalism reflects the failure of the current Bangladesh government to rein in the fundamentalist forces. These groups have been issuing open threats to anyone who is seen as a rational anti-fundamentalist voice and brazenly carrying out the threats. There is an urgent need that the government of Bangladesh takes strong action against such forces and sends out a strong message to them.

The increasing number of attacks on those speaking out against religious fundamentalism in the sub continent and across the world calls for a strong unity against any form of religious fundamentalism across religions and countries.

CPI (ML) extends solidarity to grieving family and friends of Niloy Neel and salutes his courage for standing up for democratic and secular values in Bangladesh.

CPI(ML) & AIPWA hold Statewide Protests against Oppression and Rape of Dalits in Bihar

The organized and open attacks on Dalits and women in Shiromani Tola of Parbatta block in Khagariya district in Bihar on 27 July 2015 have exposed the Nitish government's hollow claims of bringing about a "Naya Bihar". It has also exposed the true face of the power hungry BJP. On that day, an organized gang of about 250 people from the dominant Bhumihar community attacked the Dalit Tola openly, but the government, eager to appease the upper caste feudal forces, did not think it fit even to bring out a statement on this heinous attack.

Earlier, a bandh in Parbatta on 1 August and a dharna in Khagariya on 3 August were organized, in which state Party leaders. The police resorted to brutal lathi charge during the Parbatta bandh and arrested 4 Party leaders. A fact-finding team from the CPI (ML) visited Shiromani tola on the day of the bandh. The team included former MP from the Party Com. Rameshwar Prasad, AIPWA Gen Secrteray Com. Meena Tiwari, State committee members comrades Nawal, Rinku, AISA State President, Com.  Rinki, AIPWA leader Com. Renu and Party district convenor Com. Arun Kumar Das.

The report prepared by the enquiry revealed that the background of the incident was the love which had sprung up between Prince Kumar Sharma, a boy from the tanti caste in Shiromani tola of Nayagaon and a girl from the Bhumihar caste in the same village. The couple had eloped in March but later returned under pressure. The girl's family got her married in Beguserai after 2 or 3 months but the girl went away from her in-laws' place. A case was registered in Beguserai thana against Prince and other boys of the tanti caste, and 2 were arrested. On 26 July the girl came to Beguserai thana in defence of the boys. The girl's family got this news and the son of the village mukhiya and the sarpanch, along with some women of the tanti caste, came to Beguserai thana and tried to put pressure on the boy and girl, but the girl refused to return with them.

On 27 July the feudal forces called a meeting near the Durga sthan after which they, about 250 in number, launched an attack on Shiromani tola with cries of "Jai Maa Durga". The attackers beat and threw children around. They crossed all limits with the women, particularly young women. They dragged, beat, and crushed them, and assaulted their private parts. A pregnant woman was so severely beaten that she started bleeding and is still in hospital. Despite all this, MLA RN Singh tells the victims to forget what has happened and return to the tola, as the fault was theirs. The BJP also holds the tanti caste guilty. Clearly, this attack was perpetrated to maintain social dominance and to tell the boys from the mahafalit caste that they should not dare to love or marry girls from upper castes.

After the incident, the police arrived at the village but a fresh attack was launched in the presence of the police. Even journalists were beaten up. Homes were looted and those who had escaped in the earlier attack were beaten up this time. Certificates were torn, jewellery looted, and mobiles snatched. A total of 3 attacks were made in all.

The victim families are currently taking shelter in a private school in neighbouring Goriyari village. The administration has sent nothing but some poor quality rice and wheat for their sustenance. 25 women and 15 men have been seriously injured in the attacks. The role of the local JD (U) leaders, the mukhiya's son, and the sarpanch and the BJP leaders has exposed the continuing power of feudal forces in Bihar and the anti-Dalit face of the Nitish government.

Protest marches were taken out on 4 August in different districts of the State. The effigy of CM Nitish Kumar was burnt at several places.

A "Nyay March" was also taken out in Patna on 4 August. The march started from Station Golamber and reached Kargil Chowk where it culminated in a public meeting. Addressing the meeting, the speakers said that in spite of the tall claims of the Nitish government touting justice with development, empowerment of mahadalits, and encouragement for inter-caste marriages, there is absolutely no safety or security for couples who marry out of their caste as well as for the  mahadalits. The speakers put forward the following demands: government jobs and social security for the affected boy and girl, evaluation of the loot during the incident and 5 lakhs compensation and rehabilitation of each victim, and immediate arrest, speedy trial and punishment for the guilty. They also demanded the release of the Party leaders arrested during the Parbatta bandh.

AIPF Protest for Tribal Rights in Chennai

Following the protest demonstration for tribal rights held on Hul Diwas on 30 June at Villupuram, AIPF-Tamil Nadu organized one day hunger strike at the Tamil Nadu state headquarters in Chennai on 7 August demanding Tamil Nadu government's immediate intervention for the release of more than 2000 Tamil tribals languishing in Andhra Pradesh jails on false cases.  Even though the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes advised that the AP Government must release the innocents including Tamil tribal who have been languishing in the Andhra jails since 2010, so far it has not been implemented. To avoid the migration of Tamil tribal workers in search of jobs to Andhra- Tirupati forests, that has become a killing field, AIPF demanded the speedy implementation of NCST's 24 April recommendations, ensuring the land rights & livelihood of Tamil tribal people and implementation of Forest Rights Act-2006 in Tamil Nadu.

More than 200 participated in the programme including 150 people from the tribal communities,-majority of whom were women.  Close relatives of the jailed workers travelled all the way from far off, hilly and ill connected villages from Villupuram, Salem, Dharmapuri, Tiruvannamalai districts to join the one day hunger strike of AIPF.

Com. Jawahar, state President, AICCTU, presided over the program while CPI (ML) Chennai district secretary, Com. Shekar inaugurated the programme. Main speakers were included Com. S. Kumarasami, PB member-CPI (ML), Dr. Suresh, Gen. Secretary, PUCL, Com. A. Marx, campaign committee member, AIPF, Sujatha Modi, National Secretary. NTUI, R. Sampath, Vice President, WPTUC, Lawyer.  Muthusami, T.N. Scheduled Tribe Malayalee Peravai, Com. Venkatesan State Gen. Secretary, AIARLA, Com. Gajendran RYA State committe member, Com. Arivalagan, AIPF, Athiyaman of Democratic Lawyers Association. Com. Balasundaram, State secretary CPI (ML) gave the concluding speech. Three tribal women speakers narrated their pathetic conditions of life in the hills as the breadwinners of the family were locked in Andhra jails. As a mark of solidarity, Unorganized Workers Confederation leaders, comrades Jayalskshmi and Chandrika also participated. Many speakers appreciated AIPF's initiative on this grave issue that other political parties had failed to address. They also extended their solidarity.

Education Parliament Held in Delhi 

Students and teachers gathered on 5 August 2015 in hundreds from all over the country at the Education Parliament hosted by the JNU Students' Union, to make the parliamentarians hear their voice of protest against commercialisation and saffronization of education by the Modi Government.

The JNUSU President Ashutosh Kumar, welcoming close over 1000 participants, said that Parliament is in session and is not addressing our concerns about the Modi Government's assaults on quality and autonomy of institutions and democratic rights on campuses. He highlighted the issues of saffron and substandard appointments at FTII, NCERT, ICHR, ICCR, DU and various Universities, the humiliation of noted intellectuals and scientists such as Amartya Sen and heads of IITs and IIMs, the attempt to ban the Ambedkar-Periyar group, the assault on protesting students at Pondicherry University, and violent attacks by ABVP to curb freedom of expression on many campuses from Lucknow to Delhi to Pune and Hyderabad.

Addressing the Education Parliament, the DUTA President Nandita Narain said that the CBCS is being imposed in spite of the opposition by students and teachers. This proves that CBCS has nothing to do with providing 'choices', and everything to do with opening up space for private profit by restructuring and destroying the quality of public-funded universities.  JNUTA President Sachidanand Sinha said that we have five months in hands to resist surrender to WTO, and we must all pool our strength and unite to resist the binding commitments to the WTO.

Vikash, a student of Magadh University, said, "Authorities threaten us if we talk about politics, and tell us that as students our task is only to study. We ask, how do we study, where are the teachers to teach us? Mukhtar from Patna University said that only 30 percent faculty posts are filled in Patna University. Nachi Muttu, President of the FTII Students' Union spoke about the ongoing agitation at FTII, saying that the support from all sides gives them hope and strength. Shahzeb Ahmad Aashu, Secretary, AMUSU spoke about the denial of democratic rights at the AMU. Vitthal from Savitri Bai Phule Pune University said that the Govt is slashing scholarships for SC/ST students and self-financed courses and education loans are the order of the day in Maharashtra.  

Students from Allahabad Univ, Andhra Univ, Assam Univ(Diphu Campus), Adikavi Nannaya Univ, Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar Bihar University (Muzaffarpur), Bhagalpur Univ, BHU, Bundelkhand Univ (Jhansi), Calcutta Univ, Devangere Univ, Diphu Govt College, Dr. Bhimrao Ambendkar Univ(Agra), Delhi Univ, Eastern Karbi Anglong College, FTII,    J P Univ(Chhapra), Jadavpur Univ, Jamia Millia Islamia, JNU, Kannada Univ, Lalit Narayan Mithila Univ (Darbhanga), Lucknow Univ, Magadh Univ, Mahatma Gandhi Kashi Vidyapeeth, Mumbai Univ, Osmania Univ, Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhayay Univ(Gorakhpur), Patna Univ, Punjab Univ, Ram Manohar Lohiya Awadh Univ, Ruhelkhand Univ(Bareily), Thong Nokbe College, Uttar Pradesh Pravidik Univ, Veer Kunwar Singh Univ (Ara), West Bengal State Univ shared their experiences.

Among the teachers and educationists who spoke about the massive policy attacks on education by the present Government were Prof. Anil Sadgopal, AIFRTE, Prof. Roop Rekha Verma, former VC, Lucknow University, Prof. Harbans Mukhia, noted historian, Prof. Satish Deshpande, DU, Prof. Anup Dhar, AUD, Prof. Vinod Singh, President, LUTA, Prof. Prasenjit Biswas, NEHUTA, Prof. Manoj Pandey, LUACTA, Prof. M.S. Bhatt, Jamia TA, Prof. Mustafa Zaidi, Secretary, AMUTA, Prof. Saraswat, President. IGNOU TA, Prof. Shiv Mohan, Gen. Secretary, AUTA.

Rain pouring down towards the end of the programme could not put a dampener on the enthusiasm, with participants raising slogans under a tent for a full hour. The Education Parliament also adopted resolutions to intensify the struggle against WTO dictated educational policies, imposition of CBCS, attempts to centralize higher education and dilute the autonomy of educational institutes under the garb of the Central University Act and Rashtriya Uchchatar Shiksha Abhiyan (RUSA), attempts to saffronize education by way of tampering with content of education and through partisan  appointments in various institutes and also against all attempts to curb campus democracy by encouraging the culture of bans and suspensions and through implementation of provisions such as the Lyngdoh Committee Recommendations. The Education Parliament also resolved to support ongoing student agitations in Pondicherry University, FTII, as well as several other campuses.

Convention on CM Martyrdom Day

A party cadre convention was organized at Mughalserai in Chandauli (Uttar Pradesh) on the occasion of the martyrdom day of Party Founder Secretary Com. Charu Mazumdar. Before the start of the convention, senior Party leader Com. Satyanarayan Singh raised the Party flag at the Party district office. The cadre convention commenced with a 2 minute silence. District committee members Com. Ramesh Rai and Com. Shrawan Maurya presented the roadmap for the national workshop and the approach paper, respectively. This was followed by a discussion in which 31 people participated. The proceedings of the cadre convention were conducted by a 3 member presiding board consisting of Com. Anil Paswan, Com. Satyanarayan Singh, and Com. Anita.

Cadre Workshop in Andhra Pradesh

State level Workshop of Andhra Pradesh was held at Vissannapeta Mandal of Krishna District on 1 and 2 August 2015. Comrades from various districts participated in the workshop. Workshop discussed various issues and also made a plan for immediate tasks as per the Lucknow workshop guidelines. The workshop helped develop clarity on the political situation at the national and the state level among the comrades who felt enthused after the conference. The workshop concluded with resolve to fight the BJP and TDP duo at the Centre and State level.

Dharna against Atrocities on Mahadalit Widow

Local land mafia and criminals committed atrocities against a mahadalit (musahar) widow, Tileshwari Devi in village Anion, Mansingpur Panchayat, Fatuha block of Patna district, for the purpose of capturing her house and lands. The culprits set fire in her home, looted it, and beat her up. A CPI(ML) enquiry team led by Umesh Singh enquired into the incident that occurred on 4 July 2015.

The team found that Tileshwari Devi's family was residing in the said place since 1945 and this land (9 dismil residential and 57 dismil agricultural land) has been in her father-in-law Janki Manjhi's name since 1972. The revenue receipt for this land is currently being made out in the name of Tileshwari Devi. The Deputy Mukhiya Yogendra Ram made false papers in order to capture this land and on the night of 15 May 2015, they set fire to the premises, looted the property and beat her up, causing injuries. When the Gaurichak police station failed to register a complaint, Tileshwari Devi  went to the Janta Darbar of the Senior Superintendent of Police and registered an FIR there. However, the station has not so far arrested the culprits. Since then the accused have been oppressing Tileshwari Devi and her family members and trying to drive them away from the place.

The CPI (ML) Fatuha block committee organized a dharna at the Fatuha block office on 11 July 2015 on the issue of justice for Tileshwari Devi, in which hundreds of poor and mahadalits participated. At the end of the mahadharna a memorandum addressed to the Chief Minister was submitted through the BDO, demanding arrangements for full safety and security of the life, property and lands of Tileshwari Devi and her family members; immediate arrest of Deputy Mukhiya of Mansingpur Panchayat, Yogendra Ram and other culprits; and an investigation into the nexus between the Gaurichak thana police and the land mafia and criminals. The mahadharna was presided over by Com. Shailendra Yadav. Tileshwari Devi was also present along with her family members.

Temple Stampede in Deoghar Exposes Inhuman VIP Culture

CPI(ML) expresses deep condolence over the death of 10 people in the stampede that took place in Deoghar and expresses its sympathies and solidarity with the grieving families. This incident has exposed the inhuman apathy of the state government and the administration towards the devotees coming from different places. On the pretext of special arrangements for the worship by the VIPs, the common devotees are made to stand in long queues for several hours and they are allowed to enter the temple only after the VIP pujas are over. The preparations made by the state have no place for the basic facilities for those standing in long queues. This situation increases the possibilities for such incidents. In 2013, a similar stampede had taken place during a satsang in Deoghar itself in which nearly a dozen people had lost their lives. CPI(ML) demands that besides providing compensation to the families of the victims, the state government also makes provisions for basic facilities for the common people and put an immediate stop to the VIP worship.

Thursday, 6 August 2015

ML Update | No. 32 | 2015

ML Update

A CPI(ML) Weekly News Magazine

Vol.  18 | No. 32 | 4 - 10 AUG 2015

Yakub Memon's Hanging Exposes Double Standards   

Blatantly disregarding fresh evidence from Indian Intelligence sources of his cooperation, appeals from mercy from a wide range of Indian citizens as well as an initial split verdict by a Supreme Court bench, Yakub Memon, convicted in the 1993 Bombay Blasts case, was hanged to death.

Yakub Memon maintained till the end that it was his brother Tiger Memon, not himself, who was the mastermind of the blasts. Evidence for Yakub's own involvement rests on the weak ground of a police approver's testimony and the retracted custodial confessions of two co-accused people. Yakub not only escaped ISI protection in Pakistan to return to India but also brought members of his family back to India, trusting in the assurance that the Indian justice system would treat them fairly. Instead, Yakub been executed after being jailed for 22 years.

In the wake of Yakub's hanging, many have raised the very valid objections to capital punishment itself as unjust and vengeful. But the point must also be made that Yakub's case did not meet the bar of 'rarest of the rare' even by the guidelines laid down for death penalty by Indian Courts. Evidence emerged from intelligence agents themselves suggesting strong mitigating circumstances; it is only by ignoring these mitigating circumstances that Yakub was executed.    

Yakub's hanging underlines the systematic injustices, biases and double standards built into India's judicial and political systems. It starkly underlines the utter failure of the State to punish the guilty of the 1992-93 Mumbai riots, which killed more than 900 people. The 1993 blasts were perpetrated in the name of avenging the Mumbai riots. The Sri Krishna Commission named Shiv Sena and BJP leaders as well as policemen who perpetrated the riots – yet these guilty were never prosecuted and punished. Instead, the mastermind Bal Thackeray received a state funeral and a memorial in Mumbai.

Similarly, the perpetrators of the Gujarat genocide of 2002 enjoy power. Even those convicted for the Naroda Patiya massacre in 2002 – such as Babu Bajrangi and BJP's ex-MLA Maya Kodnani – are out on bail, and Kodnani's life sentence was suspended recently by the Gujarat High Court. How come the perpetrators of the Hashimpura massacre of Muslims or Bathe and Bathani massacres of the oppressed castes get mass acquittals? Why such lenience for those perpetrators of mass killings who enjoy political support? Why does 'rule of law' become so flexible for Kodnani and Bajrangi and the Hashimpura or Bathe-Bathani convicts, and rigid when it comes to Yakub Memon?  

The case of the blasts perpetrated by Sanghi terror groups is even more shameful. A series of such cases are being sabotaged by investigative agencies in the Modi regime. A Public Prosecutor in the Malegaon blasts case, Rohini Salan, has gone on record to say that the NSA was pressurizing her to weaken the case. A witness in the Ajmer blasts case, Randhir Singh, turned hostile – and was rewarded with a Ministerial berth in the Jharkhand BJP Government's Cabinet! The entire file of the Jammu and Kashmir mosque attack case has disappeared. Blasts cases involving Muslim accused are accompanied by a high-pitched patriotic media rhetoric branding any demands for due process or appeals for mercy as 'anti-national' or 'support for terrorism'. Barring a few honourable exceptions, the media is largely silent on this open, systematic sabotage of justice in the Sanghi terror cases.        

The Tripura Governor Tathagata Roy branded the mourners in Yakub Memon's funeral procession as 'potential terrorists,' followed by BJP MPs like Sakshi Maharaj who said all such mourners should be sent to Pakistan. Many BJP leaders have branded all citizens who opposed the hanging and pleaded for mercy, as 'anti-nationals.' It is condemnable that Roy should be allowed to occupy a Constitutional post after his communal tweet. And the BJP leaders making such statements need to be asked why they don't find perpetrators of communal and caste massacres and Sanghi terror – and their political protectors in their own party and Government – as anti-national.  

The stance of the non-BJP and self-proclaimed 'secular' political spectrum on the Yakub hanging was also shameful. While the Congress and SP toed the BJP line, there was deafening silence from the RJP, JDU and other parties. The united position of the Left parties that boldly mobilized opinion against the hanging was encouraging.

Yakub's hanging, with its message of the untrustworthiness and double standards of the Indian State, has left a deep scar on the Muslim psyche, comparable to the wound caused by Operation Bluestar and the anti-Sikh pogrom of November 1984 or the demolition of Babri Masjid and subsequent Mumbai-Surat riots and Gujarat genocide.

Democratic forces must take up the challenge of turning the alienation of India's minorities and oppressed sections including Dalits, workers and women, and their anger at double standards, into a shared revolutionary resolve for democracy and justice. Yakub's hanging has revived and strengthened demands for abolition of death penalty and for bringing the guilty of communal riots and caste massacres to justice. This growing democratic voice shows the way forward to broaden and intensify the resistance to the Modi regime's assault on democracy.

14th National Conference of Jan Sanskriti Manch

The two day 14th national conference of JSM was held on 31 July and 1 August 2015 in Nabarun Bhattacharya Hall, Hindi Bhawan, New Delhi. More than 200 delegates from Bihar, West Bengal, Odisha, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Gujarat and other states participated in the conference.

Renowned painter, Ashok Bhowmik, welcomed the delegates and guests during the inagural session. The session was chaired by Prof. Manager Pandey and conducted by Com. Radhika Menon.

Highlighting the impact of the economic scenario of the current times in his keynote address during the inaugural session, Prof. Arun Kumar said that post 1991, the state had relinquished its responsibility of ensuring the welfare of the people and the people had been left to fend for themselves. The principles of the market dictated that people should not be viewed as poor or rich but only as potential consumers. The market was least interested in moral concerns and even as several technological advancements had been made, the societal transformation had been left behind. Poet-scientist Laltoo expressed concerns regarding the much talked about Indian Consciousness and if it were not merely an illusion. He particularly stressed the need for the activists working on cultural fronts to focus on language issues and the need to strengthen the culture of science. The cultural activists must try to strengthen rational and scientific thinking among people and at the same time also try to forge strong emotional ties with people. Ali Jawed and Murli Manohar Prasad Singh, in their address during the inaugural session focussed on the threats posed by fascist designs of the Sangh Parivar. Karamsheel Bharti of the Dalit Lekhak Sangh said that the India cannot rise only if it rises against casteism and religious discrimination. The chair of the inaugural session, Prof. Manager Pandey said that five kinds of power existed in Indian society- power of the ruling establishment, power of the corporate and the capitalists, power of caste, power of religion and power of men. These powers did not tolerate any kind of disagreement and even as they raise slogans of democracy, they only work to destroy it. He stressed the need for the activists to fight on all these five fronts. A resolution was also passed in the support of activist Teesta Setalvad.

The cultural session saw performances by Hirawal and an audio visual presentation on progressive writers by Saman Habib and Sanjay Mattoo titled- 'Aasman hilta hai jab gaate hain hum" (The sky shakes when we sing). Paintings by Com. Anupam Roy were also displayed at the conference venue.

In the delegate sessions that took place during the two days, draft papers on – drama, painting, media, cinema, education, poetry, people's languages and stories were presented, followed by an intense discussion on the same. In order to intervene creatively in these areas and intensify the debates, new convenors were selected in these areas. A call was given to intensify the struggle against the right wing assaults on social and cultural activists.

The conference ended with constitution of 151 member National Council and 49 member National Executive. Prof. Rajendra Kumar, poet and critique, was elected as the new President and Com. Pranay Krishna was re-elected as the General Secretary.

FTII Students March to the Parliament

The students of FTII have been waging an inspiring and a determined struggle against the sub-standard, partisan and saffronized appointments in FTII for almost 2 months now. These include appointment of Gajendra Chouhan as the chairperson of FTII and appointments of Anagha Ghaisas, Shailesh Gupta, Narendra Pathak, Pranjal Saikia and Rahul Solapurkar to the FTII governing council and FTII society. The selection of the aforementioned persons was made not on the basis of their creative contributions in the field, but solely on the basis of their loyalty to the RSS–BJP brigade. On the 53rd day of their strike, the students of FTII came from Pune to New Delhi to March to the Parliament in order to have their concerns heard and addressed. JNUSU and AISA, extending solidarity with the students of FTII gave a call urging all the progressive sections to join this march. Besides several other progressive and left organizations, the march was also attended by Kavita Krishnan, PB member CPI(ML), JNUSU president Ashutosh, AISA National President Sucheta De. Com. Kavita while addressing the protestors said that filmmakers were often known to provide different lenses with which one could view the world, however, the current lot which had appointed to crucial posts in FTII, were known more for their preference for only a saffron lens and more often than not breaking any other lens that allowed an alternative perspective. The cultural groups Sangwari and the Hirawal team of Jan Sanskriti Manch also performed during the protest. However, even as the students marched peacefully, the Delhi police once again tried to silence a peaceful march by detaining students and seizing the cameras and mobile phones of those participating in the march. Such acts of brute force to silence voices of dissent are extremely condemnable. CPI(ML) and its fronts will continue to stand in solidarity with the students of FTII as they wage a brave struggle against saffronization of education and dilution of quality of higher education. 

Left Parties Protest in Uttarakhand 

On the call of the main left parties to observe a nationwide protest day on 20 July 2015, CPI, CPI (M), CPI (ML) and SUCI (C) organized a protest march in the state capital of Uttarakhand, Dehradun. The massive protest march was followed by burning the effigy of the Modi government at the Lansdown Chowk.

The left leaders addressing the protest said that though the BJP government had come to power riding on the anti-corruption wave against the Congress, having completed only one year in office, the involvement of some of its own ministers in various acts of corruption and scams have become already become a major talking point. In the Lalitgate, the Union Minister for Foreign Affairs and the Chief Minister of Rajasthan who have been found involved along with their family members. The Vyapam scam in Madhya Pradesh has turned into a killer scam in which the direct involvement of the MP Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and several RSS leaders has been brought to light.

The speakers said that with several scams involving Centre and state governments of BJP, Congress and other parties seems to suggest as if the various central government and the state governments are in competition with each other as to who can create bigger records in looting the masses.  They also said that in Uttarakhand too, the Harish Rawat led Congress government too has been found involved in serious cases of corruption. The corruption during the relief efforts following the 2013 calamity has already been exposed through R.T.I. Now the government is trying to do a major cover up. The report on the disaster relief related scam by the Chief Secretary appears to be one such attempt towards cover up.

The public meeting following the protest march was addressed by the comrades Bacchiram Konswaal, Surendra Singh Sajwaan of CPI (M), comrades Samar Bhandari and Jeet Singh of CPI, Com. Indresh Maikhuri, State Committee Member of CPI (ML) and Com. Mukesh Semwaal from SUCI (C). The meeting was moderated by the district secretary of the CPI (ML), Com. Rajendra Singh Purohit.

CPI (ML) Protests Communal Statement by the Tripura Governor

While on one hand the BJP government was quick to dismiss the voices that called for the abolition of death penalty and pointed out various lacunae in the justice system in general, and particularly in the case against Yakub Menon, there also have been several prominent people associated with the BJP that have been quick to term those who mourned the miscarriage of justice as terrorists. The governor of Tripura, Tathagat Roy who had been a senior BJP leader before he was appointed to the post had tweeted following Yakub's hanging that "Intelligence should keep a tab on all (except relatives & close friends) who assembled before Yakub Memon's corpse. Many are potential terrorists". To call all those who mourn this travesty of justice and act of revenge by the state –'potential terrorists', reflects Tathagat Roy's disdain for voices of reason.  Further, the selective terming of only those who mourn the death of Yakub as potential terrorists while choosing to remain silent on those who carry forward or support the agenda of a Hindu nation or are known to have close links with those convicted for their role in Gujarat riots, exposes his own double standards. The CPI (ML) Tripura unit organized a protest on 1 August at Jagannath Dighi of Udaipur, Tripura, where the effigy of the governor was burnt. The protest meet was addressed by the state CPI(ML) secretary Partha Karmakar and Lokman Hussein and Swapan Banik.

AICCTU State Conference in Puducherry

The 7th AICCTU state conference of Puducherry (UT)  was held on 5 July 2015 at Puducherry. The conference started with a massive worker-peasant solidarity rally. The rally was led by Com. S. Balasubramanian, state president AICCTU and Com. P. Murugan, state secretary Jananayaga Kattumana Thozhilalargal sangam (AICWF). The rally passed through main thoroughfares of the town.

The conference town Puducherry was named as Com. Murali Mohan Nagar and the Conference hall was named as Danasekar hall. The conference flag was hoisted by Com. G. Palani and all the participants paid homage at the martyrs column set at the conference venue.

Com. S. Mothilal gave the welcome speech in the opening session. Com. S. Balan, All India Vice President of the AICCTU was the central observer and he gave rousing speech. The others who addressed the gathering were Com. . S. Balasubramanian, State secretary CPI(ML), Puducherry, Com. G. Danavel, district secretary CPI(ML) Cuddalore Tamilnadu, R. Mangayarselvan, campaign committee member AIPF, P. Murthy, Ex-MLA AIPF, Manjakkal Upendran AIPF, and R.V Lenin, organizer AIARLA.

The delegate session started after the lunch. 74 delegates and 5 observers took part in the conference. Detailed discussions and deliberations were held in the entire session. The conference unanimously elected a 31 member state council including 9 office bearers. Com. S. Balasubramanian was elected as president and Com. S. Purushothaman was elected as the state general secretary along with three vice-presidents and four secretaries.

The conference passed 22 points resolutions. The important resolutions were as follows.

1.            The conference strongly condemned Modi government's proposed amendments in various labour legislations in favor of employers.

2.            The Conference demanded National minimum wages to be fixed as Rs 17000/- per month.

3.            Reopening of all closed state public sector mills, Co-operative Mills and private industries.

4.            The conference called for the working class of Puducherry to oust corrupt, anti labour and anti people four years old N.R. Congress from power.

5.            The conference demanded a minimum pension of Rs 3000/- for all unorganized workers.

6.            Conference demanded the state and central government to protect the handloom workers and the industry.

Voices from the Midday Meal Workers' Struggles

The midday meal workers in Bihar went on a three day long hunger strike from 8th to 10th July 2015 demanding regularization, a monthly honorarium of at least Rs.15000/- besides other necessary provisions that they should be entitled to. The call for the hunger strike received a massive response from the midday meal workers. Some of the experiences voiced by women midday meal workers' who joined the 3 day strike have been shared below:

Sona Devi, a midday meal worker, who till 6 months back was too shy to speak in public, delivered a long speech in midst of her fellow workers as the joint secretary of the Bihar Rajya Vidyalay Rasoiya Sangh. She recalled that she had spent her early childhood years in the Masaurhi block of Patna district, and the anti-feudal struggles of the CPI(ML) in that area left a lasting impact on her. This memory, sleeping within her, was revived after she came into contact with the party again in the past few months.  She began her speech with a song – 'Jhuki jhuki piyava goliya chalave, shaheedva bhaiya ho nanadi' – about the militant anti-feudal resistance.  She used the song to tell her fellow workers that the militant Left activists had sacrificed their lives in the movements of the 1980s, thereby achieving increased wages of agricultural workers from 1 kg to 5 kgs of grain. She said, "We can achieve an increase in our wages today by being part of this same movement and radical Left politics. The Government can kill one, it can't kill a united and strong organisation." 

Kalavati Devi, Secretary of the Maner block unit of the BRVRS union, said in her address to the other mid day meal workers- "We should neither support Modi nor Nitish. We should support and strengthen AIPWA that is with us in our struggle". Kalavati had contacted AIPWA after reading newspaper reports about the mid-day meal workers' struggles.

A mid-day meal worker hailing from East Champaran, holding a  small baby in her arms, had joined the protest demonstrations in the burning June sun and the July monsoon rain. She did not get a chance to speak publicly at Patna because there were so many other speakers, but after the dharna she came up to Com. Saroj Chaubey, state president of the Rasoiya Sangh and said "Didi, being part of the struggle with you has opened my eyes. I'm ready to come anywhere to be part of the movement."

Kamli Devi, the joint secretary of Fatuha block has established herself in her school as a fiery activist, whose very presence deters authorities from wrong-doing. She said, "We became mid-day meal workers expecting that the Government would recognise us as Government employees. After 8 years of toil, we find that the Government has just ignored us. We are not begging for charity – we are demanding what is our right. If any administrative officer makes food at my house I will pay them Rs 2000 – I expect them to pay us for cooking in Government schools!"      

Several of the midday meal workers displayed remarkable leadership qualities during the course of the struggle and showed tremendous enthusiasm towards mobilization for the next phase of the struggle. The next agitation has been planned for 5,6,7 August when the assembly is in session.