Article Type: Feature

An Overwhelming Mandate to Left Unity Panel in JNU

The recent elections to the students union in JNU happened at a time of unprecedented attacks on JNU and universities across the country. There is a concerted effort to limit the accessibility of affordable quality education by implementing seat cuts in research and other programmes and imposing massive fee hikes. These have been accompanied by increasing attempts to saffronize education through revising content and appointing people close to the Sangh in institutional positions. The democratic spaces of debate, dialogue and critical thinking within and outside campus have been subjected to brutal crackdowns and violence. Legally mandated reservations and hard-won...

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Loot in MNREGA Funds

The CPI (ML) held a dharna on 22 August 2017 at Bagodar on the issues of loot in MNREGA in Birni and other places, repressive policies of BJP against dissent, arrest and jail of Sarita Sao when she opposed poor quality toilet construction in Bagodar, and other issues. The main demands of the dharna were: 1. Revoke Land Acquisition Amendment Bill 2. Revoke the anti-adivasi-dalit-minority Jharkhand Religious Freedom Bill 3. Take back false cases slapped against people’s representatives who raise their voice against corruption; release Bagodar Deputy Pramukh Sarita Sao 4. Register case against former Birni BDO implicated in...

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Bihar: Abduction Of A Mandate

In a display of breathtaking hypocrisy and political corruption, Nitish Kumar abandoned his Mahagatbandhan ship and shifted midstream to the BJP-NDA one. The Grand Alliance that had won a massive mandate in 2015 on a primarily anti-BJP plank – but Nitish cited honourable concerns about corruption allegations against the then Deputy CM Tejashwi Yadav as a pretext to ditch the GA Government and get into BJP’s lap. Since then, political events have moved fast – exposing Nitish’s pretext as well as the real BJP-controlled character of the current regime. The Srijan scam has come to light – a massive,...

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Protest March against Draconian Anti-liquor Law

The CPI(ML) Jehanabad District Committee held a protest in front of the Jehanabad Collectorate on 21 July 2017 against the draconian provisions of the Anti-liquor Law and the arrest of Mastan Manjhi and Painter Manjhi and demanded the revoking of the draconian anti-liquor law. The Party leaders said that the government is oppressing dalits in the name of this law and criminalizing those poor people who consume alcohol. Politicians, administrations, and liquor mafia are conspiring to punish and oppress dalits under the excuse of this law. The protest march started from the ML office, traversed through various roads of the city and culminated in a meeting at Kako chowk. The effigy of CM Nitish Kumar was burnt during the march which was led by State Committee member Rambali Singh Yadav and District Secretary Shrinivas Sharma and State Standing Committee member Mahanand. In a very short time, more than 45,000 poor have been made victims of this law and falsely trapped. The protest was attended by Wasi Ahmad, Kunti Devi, Santosh Kesri, Bitan Manjhi, Renu Devi, Sonfi Devi, Jagdish Paswan, Ganesh Das, Mukesh Paswan, Gariban Das and others. Poor workers who earn their livelihoods by pulling hand-carts or by doing daily labour are going through a deep crisis today. Their families are on the brink of starvation, but the Bihar government is treating them as if they are hard-core criminals....

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Protests And Convention Against Betrayal Of Mandate

The CPI (ML) organized a statewide ‘Dhikkar Diwas’ on 27 July 2017 against the blatant betrayal of the people’s mandate and the political coup in Bihar. PM Modi’s and CM Nitish Kumar’s effigies were burnt at Kargil Chowk in Patna. Dhikkar marches, meetings, and effigy burnings were also held at Ara, Samastipur, Purnea, Siwan, Patna (Rural), Muzaffarpur, Bhagalpur, Betiya, Nalanda, Nawada, Gopalganj, Jehanabad, Arwal, Darbhanga, Vaishali, at block and district levels. The CPI(ML) organized a people’s Convention on 8 August 2017 at the Bharatiya Nritya Kala Mandir against the betrayal of the people’s mandate, the politics of hate and...

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Flood Wreak Havoc In North Bihar

Floods have wreaked havoc on the lives of people in North Bihar, as in previous years. But the government, despite its tall claims, has failed in its disaster management and lakhs of people have been rendered homeless. Neither the Central government nor the State government wants to find a permanent solution to the flood problem. Nitish Kumar has always run away from the problem by holding the Farakka dam responsible. But now his government is in power at the Centre as well as in Patna and he cannot shirk the responsibility of finding a sustainable solution to the flood problem. CPI(ML) had warned that heavy destruction is caused by building embankments on the Farakka, Bagmati and other rivers. But the embankment construction continues despite the objections of the people. The report from Champaran sent by CPI(ML) leader Virendra Prasad Gupta on the devastating floods reveals an extremely grave situation. There has been tremendous loss of life and property in entire Champaran, particularly the Narkatiyaganj sub-division but the BJP-JD (U) government remains totally insensitive. In Champaran alone there have been dozens of deaths. Right under the nose of the Narkatiyaganj administration in NandpurMohalla Ward No 2 two boys drowned to death while they were trying to save a woman; the body of one of them, Mahtab Alam, has been recovered but the body of Ajay Kumar is still missing. From...

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November Revolution, Naxalbari, and the Fight against Fascism

— Arindam Sen (The article is based on a presentation at a study class held at Vijaywada on 15 August 2017.) Comrades, 2017 marks the centenary of the epoch-making November Revolution (NR) and the 50th anniversary of the great Naxalbari uprising and we have assembled here today to rearm ourselves with the spirit of the two historical breakthroughs in the ongoing struggle against saffron fascism. Historically there has always been an intense animosity between fascism and communism. Hitler saw communists as his political bête noire and eventually it was the power of communism in alliance with other anti-fascist forces that crushed him. At a much smaller scale perhaps, we the revolutionary communists in India are on a similar mission today: to arrest, in cooperation with genuine democratic forces of our country, the marauding march of Modi’s men. In this context, let us look back on NR and Naxalbari – the two great great sources of inspiration and guidance. November Revolution: No Longer Relevant? A hundred years have elapsed since the revolution, and the international situation has changed drastically. The most tangible direct result of NR – the Soviet Union – is no more. Then why should anyone celebrate the centenary of a trial that apparently failed? Well we should, because NR entailed the most radical rupture with evils of the past and the simultaneous initiation of an international Long...

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Illegally Locked Out Tea Garden Workers Hoist Tricolour, Assam Police Books Them For “Disrespect To The Indian National Flag”!

Workers protesting the prolonged illegal lockout in Bargaon tea garden in Bishwanath district, Sonitpur, Assam observed Independence Day by hoisting the national tricolor – with male workers keeping the upper body uncovered to symbolize their poverty and destitution. Appallingly, the Assam Police under the Sarbananda Sonowal Government have booked the workers under Section 2 of The Prevention Of Insults To National Honour (Amendment) Act, 2003, i.e “disrespect to the Indian National Flag.” If poor Indians – who lack clothes to cover the upper half of their bodies – hoist the tricolour, is it “disrespect to the National Flag’? By that token, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, who kept the upper half of his body naked in solidarity with poor Indians, also disrespected the National Flag! Organising under the banner of the Sadau Assam Sangrami Cha Shramik Union, workers of the Bargaon tea garden have been demanding that the management pay the firewood which is legally due to the workers but has not been paid for three years; and also provision of an ambulance and nurse in the tea garden. A year ago – on August 31 2016, the management signed an agreement with the Union in the presence of the Labour Officer promising to meet these demands by December 2016. In June 2017, the tea garden workers protested because the agreement has been flouted blatantly. Rather than honour the agreement and...

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Serial Sewer Deaths and the Swachh Bharat Sham

PM Modi launched his Swachh Bharat mission on Independence Day – 15 August 2014. In the weeks immediately before and after 15 August 2017, a series of Dalit men have died cleaning sewer lines in India’s capital city Delhi. In July 2017, it was estimated that 39 men had died in Delhi sewers in 100 days. The story is the same in all Indian cities. The Swachh Bharat campaign, while unleashing draconian, coercive and violent measures on people in the name of ending open defecation, is making no effort to enforce the 2013 law forbidding manual scavenging – instead the campaign by encouraging the building of toilets with septic tanks are actually tacitly perpetuating and encouraging manual scavenging. The Central government has reduced funds for the self-employment scheme for the rehabilitation of manual scavengers from Rs 448 crore in the 2014-15 budget to Rs 5 crore in 2017. There is simply no attempt to enforce laws that ensure safety equipment for sanitation workers anywhere in the country. Unofficial manual scavenging continues to be rampant in the Indian Railways, run by the Central Government. In Delhi, the Aam Aadmi Party Government also bears a large share of responsibility for its apathy towards ending manual scavenging. In the case of the latest three victims of sewer deaths, the AAP Government is adding insult to injury with the Delhi Jal Board washing...

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Illegally Locked Out Tea Garden Workers Hoist Tricolour and Face the Allegation of “Insulting the National Flag” !

Workers protesting the prolonged illegal lockout in Bargaon tea garden in Bishwanath district, Sonitp, Assam observed Independence Day by hoisting the national tricolor – with male workers keeping the upper body uncovered to symbolize their poverty and destitution. Appallingly, the Assam Police under the Sarbananda Sonowal Government have booked the workers under Section 2 of The Prevention of Insults to National Honour (Amendment) Act, 2003, i.e. “disrespect to the Indian National Flag.” If poor Indians – who lack clothes to cover the upper half of their bodies – hoist the tricolour, is it “disrespect to the National Flag’? By...

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CPI(ML) Condemns Bihar State Government’s Indifference to Flood Situation in Bihar

CPI(ML) Bihar State Secretary Kunal stated on 14 August 2017 that floods have wreaked havoc on the lives of people in North Bihar, as in previous years. But the government, despite its tall claims, has failed in its disaster management and lakhs of people have been rendered homeless. Many people have died so far and large numbers of cattle have been lost but the government remains indifferent to the grave flood situation. He added that neither the Central government nor the State government wants to find a permanent solution to the flood problem. Nitish Kumar has always run away from the problem by holding the Farakka dam responsible. But now his government is in power at the Centre as well as in Patna and he cannot shirk the responsibility of finding a sustainable solution to the flood problem. We had said even earlier that heavy destruction is caused by building embankments on the Farakka, Bagmati and other rivers. But the embankment construction continues despite the objections of the people. Report on Champaran Flood Disaster The flood report from Champaran sent by CPI(ML) leader Virendra Prasad Gupta reveals an extremely grave situation. There has been tremendous loss of life and property in entire Champaran, particularly the Narkatiyaganj sub-division but the BJP-JD (U) government remains totally insensitive. In Champaran alone there have been dozens of deaths. Right under the nose of...

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Serial Sewer Deaths and the Swachh Bharat Sham

PM Modi launched his Swachh Bharat mission on Independence Day – 15 August 2014. As we approach 15 August 2017, three more Dalit men have died cleaning sewer lines in India’s capital city Delhi. In July, it was estimated that 39 men had died in Delhi sewers in 100 days. The story is the same in all Indian cities. The Swachh Bharat campaign, while unleashing draconian, coercive and violent measures on people in the name of ending open defecation, is making no effort to enforce the 2013 law forbidding manual scavenging – instead the campaign by encouraging the building of toilets with septic tanks are actually tacitly perpetuating and encouraging manual scavenging. The Central government has reduced funds for the self-employment scheme for the rehabilitation of manual scavengers from Rs 448 crore in the 2014-15 budget to Rs 5 crore in 2017. There is simply no attempt to enforce laws that ensure safety equipment for sanitation workers anywhere in the country. Unofficial manual scavenging continues to be rampant in the Indian Railways, run by the Central Government. In Delhi, the Aam Aadmi Party Government also bears a large share of responsibility for its apathy towards ending manual scavenging. In the case of the latest three victims of sewer deaths, the AAP Government is adding insult to injury with the Delhi Jal Board washing its hands off the death by...

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Mandsaur To Jantar Mantar: Kisan Mukti Yatra

The ‘Kisan Mukti Yatra’ (March for Peasant Liberation) by the All India Kisan Sangharsh Samanvay Samiti (All India Farmers Struggle Coordination Committee) in memory of the farmers killed in police firing in Mandsaur began from Pipalyamandi in Mandsaur on 6 July. The Yatra, raising the issues of loan waiver and minimum support price at 1 ½ times the cost of crop production, proceeded through Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana and reached Delhi on 18 July, culminating in a massive Kisan Mukti Sansad (Peasant Liberation Parliament) at Jantar Mantar (Parliament Street). The two main demands raised...

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Wave of Protests Against Spate of Communal Mob Lynchings

On 22 June evening 15-year-old Junaid was lynched to death near Ballabhgarh on a Mathura-bound train from Delhi. Junaid and his brothers were returning home after doing some shopping for Eid in Old Delhi. But the festivity of Eid was not for Junaid’s family in Khandawali. The spate of lynchings that had begun in 2015 with the killing of Abdul Ghafoor Quraishi in Nagaur and Mohammad Akhlaque in Dadri has now become almost an everyday national phenomenon. The rumours of beef consumption, cattle-theft and cow slaughter are no longer necessary as a pretext. Zafar Khan was killed because he...

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‘Azaadi Kooch’ Marks One Year of Una Resistance To Gau-Goons

Marking one year since the public stripping and flogging of Dalits by a mob of cow-goons in Una, Gujarat, the Rashtriya Dalit Adhikar Manch (RDAM) called for an Azaadi Kooch (March For Freedom) in Gujarat. Activists from all over the country, including RDAM leader Jignesh Mevani, Bihar AISA Secretary Shivprakash and President Mokhtar from Bihar, and National Vice President of AISA Farhan from Delhi; CPI(ML) activists Anwar Alam from Bihar and Aslam from Delhi; and RYA Vice President Navkiran Natt, as well as former JNUSU President Kanhaiyya Kumar and Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) leader Reshma Patel, activists of...

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