ml_update_taxonomy: Vol. 20, No. 08

Obituary: Red Salute to Comrade Baleshwar Choudhury

The TADA Act enacted during the phase of terrorism in Punjab is no longer in force, but social activists of Bihar jailed under this Act in Bihar are dying one after the other in Bihar’s jails. The government which boasts of social justice refuses to review this situation. Comrade Baleshwar Choudhury aka Pahalwan Ji was a resident of Ibrahimpur. He passed away in jail on 30 January 2017 at the age of 82. He had been in jail from 2003 for the Bhadasi TADA incident. He used to farm singharas (water chestnuts) in the Bhadasi pond when he was framed on false charges and jailed under TADA.  5 of the 14 TADA convicts have died due to negligence by the government and the administration. 9 people are still in jail. Some of them are old and some ailing. They have completed the terms of their sentences, but the government has not released them. These include Comrade Tribhuwan Sharma, Comrade Chudaman Bhagat, Comrade Dr Jagdish Yadav, Comrade Arun Bharti, Comrade Laxman Choudhury, Comrade Shyam Choudhury, Comrade Ajit Kumar, Comrade Arvind Kumar and Comrade Madho Choudhury. Red salute to Comrade Baleshwar...

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Rural and Tea Garden Workers Protest in Guwahati

Odou Asom Gramin Shramik Sanstha and AIARLA held a protest demonstration at Dighalipukhuri at Guwahati. About a thousand rural workers/tea garden workers raised demands of land and food rights. They strongly demanded a stop to inhuman eviction of landless poor people. Currently, thousands of acres of land is being handed over to corporate houses and people close to the BJP-RSS such as Baba Ramdev. The protestors demanded an end to this continuing land alienation and corporate land grab. Regarding food security, the protestors demanded that food and not cash should be distributed to the poor. There is currently a conspiracy to abolish or curtail the distribution of food, and this needs to be resisted. Moreover, it was noted that communal politics was ripping apart the social fabric of society in Assam, a process which is being exacerbated with the BJP government in power. Protestors also demanded the enactment of a new policy to ensure land for the landless. The Sanstha sent a memorandum to the Chief Minister of Assam through the Deputy Commissioner of Kamrup district. The rally was addressed by CPI(ML) Assam state secretary comrade Rubul Sharma, AICCTU Assam state secretary comrade Subhas Sen, AIARLA national Vice President comrade S. Bardhan, Gramin Shramik Sanstha’s state President Pankaj Kumar Das, Gramin Shramik Sanstha’s state secretary Arup Kumar Mahanta and prominent singer Loknath...

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Killings by “New Ranveer Sena”

The CPI(ML) staged a dharna in front of the Motihari Collctorate on 23 January 2017 to protest against 3 murders committed within the space of a fortnight. All 3 victims were young men under 35 years, and belonged to Dalit, poor, and backward communities. The killers are professional killers with feudal backgrounds who alternatively call themselves “Azad Hind Fauj” or “New Ranveer Sena”. They possess considerable political and administrative clout due to which they are able to perpetrate their crimes with support from a strong network within and outside jails. They inspire such terror that traders, Dalits, backward classes and the poor in the entire district live in an atmosphere of fear and insecurity. The police on their part are merely slapping false cases on people from the weaker sections, rather than address the situation of intimidation and violence. This makes the Nitish government, which claims to champion social justice, stand exposed as its administration and its police openly support feudal and criminal forces. In the meanwhile the BJP MP and MLA shed crocodile tears and are busy protecting their vote bank. The CPI(ML) held a protest dharna outside the Motihari Collector’s office and made the following demands: suspension of Motihari SP Jitendra Rana for failure to control crime; a high level enquiry into the political connections of the various armed vigilante armies (Senas); punishment for all the police...

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Struggle For Justice for Minor Muslim Rape Victim

In the Musahar basti of Govindpur Diyara (Bihpur block) in Bhagalpur, Prabhash Choudhury, a forward caste criminal protected by the RJD-BJP, raped a 7-year old minor Muslim girl who was alone in her hut on 21 January 2017. When she protested, he brutalized and injured her and she is currently in hospital battling for life. The rapist Prabhash Choudhury is notorious in the region for atrocities against Dalits and minorities and is wanted in several cases of atrocities. Yet, the police has not yet arrested him. A CPI(ML) enquiry team visited the site of the incident on 24 January 2017. Govindpur is inhabited almost entirely by mahadalit Musahar families. The victim girl’s family is the sole minority Muslim family whose hut, a “bansa” to keep a watch on the fields, is far away from the main population. The irony is that men and women from most Musahar families had gone to Bihpur to take part in Nitish Kumar’s “anti-liquor human chain” on that day. The rapist has offered Rs 1 lakh as bait to hush up the matter. Although a case has been registered in the Naugachhiya Mahila thana, no action has been taken so far. The CPI (ML) took out a protest rally against the rape on 24 January and submitted a memorandum to the district officer demanding action. Party leaders said that the Nitish government turns a...

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Sangharsh Yatra in Ranchi

The CPI(ML) Sangharsh Yatra from Ulihatu to Ranchi culminated in a Sangharsh Sabha in front of the Raj Bhavan on 8 February 2017. Thousands of people including adivasis, Sadans (non-adivasi original Jharkhandis), and urban poor participated in the yatra, to protest against the amendments to the CNT-SPT Act and to demand ownership rights to gair-majurwa and forest lands. A 7-point charter of demands with 50,000 signatures was submitted to the Governor. The meeting began with tributes and a 2-minute silence for late Comrade Srilata Swaminathan and the martyrs of the Bundu, Gola and Badkagaon police firings. The meeting was addressed by former Bagodar MLA Vinod Singh and other leaders. The speakers said that the BJP government in the state has perpetrated the most number of attacks on adivasis and their land – Tapkara, Koyalkara, Khunti, and Bokaro incidents being some examples. The CNT-SPT Act had come into being after long struggles such as the Santhal agitation and the Birsa Ulgulan, and protesters asserted that they would not allow the Raghuvar government to snatch away the lands, water and forests of Jharkhand and subsequently hand these over to corporate houses. The government’s ‘Global Investment Summit’ is a fresh chapter in the series of land loot, the speakers pointed out. The displaced receive police batons instead of employment and compensation. The issues of workers and farmers are absent from Raghuvar-Modi’s “achhe...

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CPI(ML) Releases Manifesto for UP Elections 2017

CPI(ML) released its election manifesto for the UP Assembly elections On 2 February 2017 in Lucknow. These elections are to be held in 7 phases from 11 February to 8 March. The 6-page manifesto states that for the first time in the State, 6 Left parties would fight the election jointly and fight for people’s issues. The Party manifesto exposes the BJP which, realizing that its ploys such as the note ban have failed, is back to its old tricks of creating communal polarization by inciting pseudo-nationalism, spreading rumours on forced migration of Hindus from Kairana, circulating Muzaffarnagar riot CDs, and playing the Ram Mandir card. The manifesto criticized the Akhilesh government in the state and said this government has cheated farmers, youth and minorities. The shadow boxing between the SP and BJP resulted in the lynching of Akhlaq and many other atrocities on minorities, with no concrete action being taken by the state government against the culprits. The manifesto also pointed out the opportunism of the SP-Congress alliance. The manifesto exposed the hypocrisy of the BSP, whose claims to work for Dalits were only words and does not get translated into action. The BSP claims to fight against crime, but it has welcomed criminals and mafia goons into its fold and has even given them tickets to contest elections. CPI(ML) which is fielding candidates in 32 Assembly constituencies...

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BSSC Scam: CPI(ML) Demands High-Level Judicial Enquiry

CPI(ML) has been leading protests across Bihar on the issue of the massive scam in the Bihar Staff Selection Commission (BSSC)’s job examinations. As a result of the protests, the Bihar government has been forced to cancel the BSSC examinations. CPI(ML) State Secretary Comrade Kunal pointed out that while this cancellation was the outcome of pressure from students’ agitations, it was necessary to ensure that the real culprits who are being shielded by the Nitish government are held accountable and punished. From the topper scam to the BSSC scam, it is evident that education and employment have been reduced to a mockery in Bihar. Students from marginalized backgrounds are the worst affected and bear the brunt of this situation. Nitish Kumar has converted the entire education system in the state into a business, and children of the poor have no place in this ‘business’. The current government which makes tall claims of social justice is actually a government of social injustice. Comrade Kunal pointed out that there is ample reason to believe that the government is working to shield the true culprits. CPI(ML) has demand that there should be a high level judicial probe investigating the possibility of political protection in this matter. Such a scam would not be possible without political protection. CPI(ML) demanded immediate withdrawal of all false cases slapped on AISA leaders who have been protesting...

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Insaf Convention At Ranchi

The Awami Insaf Manch, Jharkhand organized an Insaf Convention on 30 January 2017 (Gandhiji’s martyrdom day)in Ranchi as an initiative for justice in the cases of atrocities on the minorities, adivasis, and dalits in the State. The Convention was attended by family members of the victims of injustice and more than 300 delegates from various districts of the State including activists from people’s organizations and people from socio-political walks of life. The convention began with tributes to Gandhiji and the victims of injustice and atrocities, after which senior journalist Javed Islam presented the keynote address in which questioned the Modi and Raghuvar governments for condoning incidents of communal violence and not acting against the culprits; he pointed out incidents such as the hanging of 2 innocent people including a 12 year old boy by so-called “gau-rakshaks” in Latehar, the beating to death of Minhaj Ansari and dalit Rupesh Swansi in Jamatada and Bundu police thanas, and other instances of atrocities on minorities and dalits. Addressing the convention Party General Secretary Com Dipankar Bhattacharya said that the challenge facing us today are not just isolated incidents; it is the pervasive atmosphere of hate and communalism being nurtured in the entire country. Our challenge is to unite and struggle to change this atmosphere of hate. This atmosphere is not confined to our country alone. The Trump phenomenon is in evidence in...

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Adhikar Yatra for Social Justice and Rights

Towards the Adhikar Rally on 19 February called by the CPI (ML) Bihar State unit, Adhikar Yatras are being organized across Bihar between 11 and 17 February. The Yatra includes street meetings, marches, and village meetings to disseminate the Rally’s slogans and agenda. The main Yatra started from Beguserai on 11 February led by Party General Secretary Comrade Dipankar Bhattacharya, Dhirendra Jha, Rameshwar Prasad, Prabhat Kumar Choudhury, Shiv Prakash Ranjan (AISA), Suraj Kumar Singh (Insaf Manch) and other leaders. Hirawal convener Santosh Jha and people’s poet Nirmohi Ji are also participating in the Yatra. The Yatra began at Beguserai where 5 Left leaders including three from the CPI (ML) were killed by feudal criminals. Addressing the public meeting at Begusarai on 11 February, Comrade Dipankar spoke about the havoc wreaked by the Note Ban on the poor and working class across the country, who have lost their livelihoods and jobs. At the same time, he said, Bihar is daily witnessing incidents of social oppression even as the Modi and Nitish governments are singing a duet praising each other’s Note Ban and Liquor Ban. Mahadalits and minorities are being targeted; mahadalits are being evicted from their lands, but the Chief Minister pretends to be unaware and the Opposition BJP is lending implicit support within the Assembly. In these circumstances it is the CPI (ML) which will play the role of...

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A Year On: Assaults on JNU and Rohith Vemula’s Legacy Continue

It has been a year since the institutional murder of Rohith Vemula and the offensive against Jawaharlal Nehru University, both sponsored by the Modi Government in collusion with ABVP and the respective administrations of HCU and JNU. In the year that has passed, the offensive on university campuses has only intensified. A research student Najeeb Ahmad disappeared from the JNU campus after being publicly thrashed by members of the ABVP. JNU faculty members have faced threats of action for speaking in solidarity with students. A series of student activists have faced various kinds of disciplinary action for expressing peaceful dissent against the Modi Government and the Sangh Parivar, even as ABVP members who beat up Najeeb have been shielded. In the latest move the JNU Vice Chancellor has declared the virtual indefinite closure of annual admissions to MPhil/PhD programmes in JNU, on the pretext that the student-supervisor ratio in these programmes exceeds the ideal ratio suggested in a UGC notification. Even as JNU wins the Visitor’s Award for the country’s best Central University, the JNU Vice Chancellor acting on behalf of his bosses in the Modi Government and Sangh Parivar, is out to destroy the research programmes and inclusive admission policy which are the basis of JNU’s track record of excellence. Meanwhile, even as those responsible for the institutional killing of Rohith go scot free, the Guntur Collector has...

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BJP’s Poisonous Poll Campaign

IN THE ONGOING ASSEMBLY ELECTION CAMPAIGN in various states, most notably the state of Uttar Pradesh, the BJP has once again unleashed a communal campaign aimed at consolidating Hindu voters against the imaginary Muslim enemy. The BJP Manifesto for Uttar Pradesh promises to set up ‘anti-Romeo quads’ outside college campuses. While the BJP President Amit Shah claims these are aimed at curbing incidents of sexual harassment of women students, the BJP’s national co-convenor Sunil Bharala has made the communal and anti-women agenda of ‘anti-Romeo squads’ amply clear. Bharala declared that the squads are aimed at acting against Muslim men involved in “love jehad” – the BJP’s term for consensual relationships between Muslim men and Hindu women. This is not the first time the BJP has invoked the bogey of “love jehad” in an election campaign. Bharala also recalled that danger of “love jehad” was the rallying cry for the communal violence of Muzaffarnagar in 2013 that had helped Modi win the 2014 polls. During the 2014 poll campaign, BJP President Amit Shah had invoked the Muzaffarnagar communal violence to ask the Jat community to vote BJP, saying “people are forced to riot” when “a community violates the honour of our daughters and sisters.” A recently leaked audio clip also revealed Amit Shah appealing to the Jat community not to desert the BJP in 2017, reminding them that their proximity...

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LIBERATION NOVEMBER 2017 COVER