Vol. 19, No. 03

Obituary

Com. Kaali Prasad Com. Kaali Prasad, who was better known among people as KP Bhai, took his last breath on 5pm at his home in Pratapgarh. Com. K.P. Bhai, was born on 4 July 1951 in Pratapgarh. He completed his schooling there and then went to Allahabad for his higher education. The radical left wing student organization, PSO, used to organize regular study circles. It is through them that he came to understand Left ideas. After completing his education, in 1976, K. P. Bhai started his job in A.G. office and continuing his political activism, was elected to the workers’ union there. He played a crucial role in the forming of unions in several other areas and departments of the city and formed a coordination of workers of U.P. education board, Indian telephone industry, ITI, Cotton mill, Triveni Sheets and others. He was suspended in 1996 for his role in the workers’ struggles but he remained undeterred. He also remained in leadership positions of AICCTU after its formation. He used to implement the party policies and remained active with tremendous enthusiasm. Outside the party also he was respected as a left ideologue and a very powerful speaker among various organisations working among the oppressed sections. He retired from his services in 2011 and after that Pratapgarh became the centre of his party activities. Throughout his life he followed left...

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Students Protest against AVAP Event on ‘Ramjanambhoomi’ in Delhi University

AISA along with other student organizations staged a massive protest on the first day of a ‘seminar’ organised by Arundhati Vashishtha Anusandhan Peeth (AVAP) on the issue of ‘Ramjanmbhoomi’. Around 700 students from different organizations joined together in front of the Arts Faculty which was heavily policed and was almost turned to a police cantonment with armed forces covering the way to the seminar hall. The policemen even used force to keep the students intact inside the barricades. It was shameful that barricading and deployment of the armed forces were done not to protect the defenders of secularism and the University’s autonomy but rather to protect the hate mongers sitting inside the conference hall seeking to divide the country and provoke violence in the name of ‘Ram Mandir’. AISA condemned the manner in which DU gave permission for this communally provocative ‘seminar,’ while on many occasions it has refused permission for seminars or discussions organised by student groups. This is an instance of state power being used to impose communal ideas on academic spaces. A large number of students and teachers had demanded the cancellation of the event, pointing out that a University should not play host to communal politics, and also pointing out that the event was not a ‘seminar’ in any academic sense. Sucheta De, National President of AISA said, “this is not only the case with...

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Movement of Poor in Begusarai

On 21 December when administrative officials of Begusarai district went to Balia block along with the police force to ensure occupancy for the holders of land papers at Mor Alipur, Masudanpur and Shaahpur, the local goons attacked the poor, in which Bhattu Ram was injured.  The holders of land papers also by way of organised resistance, forced the goons back and forced the officials to do the needful.  The 5 tractors which were on the way to help the holders of land papers plough the land were also stopped on the way and were released after exerting pressure on the administration. The occupancy process was then started. However, despite that occupancy could not be ensured for 134 holders of land papers on 120 acre 68 dismil land. On the second day, when the administration started dilly dallying, the holders of land papers sat on an indefinite dharna in front of the block officials. The protestors were issued threats that cases would be filed against them, however they remained undeterred. CPI (ML)’s district secretary, com. Divakar Kumar, block secretary, Com. Noor Alam, and other local party leaders addressed the dharna and expressed solidarity with the agitators. The people spent the cold night at the site of the protest and when on the following day, the number of protestors increased, the block officials came under pressure and were forced to reach...

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CPI (ML) activists protest demanding arrest of notorious tea tycoon G.P. Goenka

The closure and non-functioning of tea gardens owned by notorious tea tycoon G.P. Goenka had claimed nearly 360 lives by the end of 2015. The 16 non-functioning tea gardens were once a source of livelihood for nearly 29,680 permanent workers who worked there and the over one lakh dependents who depended on these workers for their sustenance. Lakhs of people, either working in the tea gardens or dependent on the workers’ income have been left starving as they continue to remain deprived of wages, rations, and health care facilities. On 6 January 2015, hundreds of CPI (ML) activists led by Com. Abhijit Mazumdar protested in Siliguri demanding the arrest and confiscation of the properties of the notorious corporate tea tycoon G.P. Goenka. They also courted arrest after a brisk scuffle with a posse of state policemen at Siliguri court. The protesters also demanded promulgation of minimum wages, proper implementation of Food Security Act and entitlement of homestead land to the workers’ families etc. In 4 other North Bengal districts namely South Dinajpur, North Dinajpur, Jalpaiguri and Coochbehar also National Highways were blocked for 1 hour from 11 a.m. through to 12 p.m. The activists were released later and they will continue the struggle till the demands are...

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State-wide Protests by AIARLA in Bihar

Against attacks on Dalits, Demanding Release of CPI(ML) MLA Com. Satyadev Ram and other leaders On 5 January 2016, AIARLA held protest demonstrations in front of several district and block headquarters across Bihar on the question of increasing attacks on the Dalits and the poor in the state, and also to demand the release of CPI (ML) MLA from Darauli, Com. Satyadev Ram and other leaders. Leading the protests in Dhanarua in Patna district, the General Secretary of AIARLA, Com. Dhirendra Jha addressed the protestors and said that it was clear from the Bihar election mandate that people of Bihar want justice. However, the Nitish government is trying to frame the leaders leading pro-people agitations on various false charges and putting them in jail. We will not tolerate the incarceration of leaders who are popular among the poor and have been known to raise their voice for them. Leaders like Com. Satyadev Ram, National President of RYA, Com. Amarjeet Kushwaha and the state Joint Secretary of RYA, Com. Manoj Manzil have been put in jail on false charges following their crucial role in the Land rights struggle of the poor and they must be released without any delay. He added that post elections, the attacks on the poor and Dalits have increased and the rate of crimes has also increased. Killings of Puttu Manjhi in Hilsa and the beating...

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AIPWA’s for Complete Implementation of Liquor Ban in Bihar

When Nitish Kumar first came to power in 2005 with the help of the BJP, his Government implemented the existing liquor policy, doubling the number of liquor licenses issued. As a result, liquor began to be sold in streets, colonies and even ration shops. The liquor shops began to mushroom even in the restricted areas surrounding schools, religious places and residential areas. While the closed sugar mills remain shut, land suited for agriculture was given away to liquor barons like Vijay Mallya to open liquor factories. AIPWA and several other women organisations started campaigns and movements demanding liquor ban. CPI (ML) along with several other left parties has been raising the demand of the complete liquor ban. The liquor is not only engulfing an entire generation of youth, it also aggravating domestic violence against women. Ten years later, during the 2015 assembly elections, Nitish Kumar declared that if he came to power again he would implement a complete liquor ban. After being re-elected with a complete majority, he declared that a complete liquor ban would be effected from 1 April. However, after the liquor mafia started exerting pressure, the government began talking about a stage-wise ban, with a ban first being effected on illegal and local liquor and only later on foreign liquor. AIPWA organised a state-wide demonstrations and marches from 28 to 29 December, raising slogans like- “Stop...

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Lapses in Pathankot Episode Must Be Probed

The Pathankot epidode has exposed the incoherence and irresponsibility of the Modi Government when it comes to questions of national security as well as the country’s foreign policy. The Government’s handling of the episode is symptomatic of the over-centralization and lack of responsibility and accountability that has become a hallmark of the Modi model of governance. The episode raises many questions that demand an answer – if any effective lessons are to be learnt by the country. In spite of prior intelligence inputs, terrorists were able to breach the perimeter of India’s largest Air Force base, and the lives of seven Indian personnel were lost. It is glaringly apparent that the security of the Air Force base, and the borders, are severely compromised by the drug trade in the area, in which BSF and Punjab Police personnel seem complicit. The role of the SP and his companions who were apparently abducted and then let off by the terrorists after their car was hijacked, is under a cloud of suspicion. But it remains that even after this incident was reported, and it was clear that unauthorized persons had access to an official vehicle, the Punjab Police failed to act with any sense of urgency. What is highly questionable is that the entire Pathankot operation was headed by the National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister, Ajit Doval. To which Ministry...

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