ml_update_taxonomy: Vol. 20, No. 24

Their Design of ‘Rule by Fear’ versus Our Right to ‘Freedom from Fear’

An economy in deep crisis and a government on a rampage. Modern history will tell us that this dangerous combination often presaged a definitive eclipse of democracy in many countries. India 2017 is faced with precisely such an ominous juncture. The GDP growth rate, the statistic that is most often flaunted by politicians in power and establishment economists, has been on a steady decline for the last four successive quarters. At 6.1% in the last quarter (the first post-demonetisation quarter), the Indian economy lagged significantly behind the Chinese economy which grew at 6.9%, thereby clearly belying the ‘fastest growing economy in the world’ claim that the BJP leaders are so fond of making. Per capita income growth rate in real terms slowed down to 5.7% in FY2016-17 compared to 6.8% in the previous year. Employment generation has hit an all time low with even the IT sector now reporting huge layoffs across the board. The government can only offer some fake explanations – like describing GDP decline as the wiping out of black money or passing off the growing non-availability of jobs as ‘voluntary unemployment’ – but nothing to bring about any improvement in the situation. Meanwhile, it is working overtime to divide the people and suppress dissent by all possible means. Soon after the BJP came to power in May 2014, we saw a sudden mushrooming of so-called...

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Workers’ Protest in Ranchi

All India Central Council of Trade Unions (AICCTU) held a protest at the Jharkhand Labour office in Ranchi on 30 May 2017, protesting against the pro-corporate changes in the labour law and highlighting several demands including equal pay for equal work and guarantee of minimum wage of Rs 18000 to all unorganized workers. Members of several unions including the Jharkhand Construction Workers’ Union, Jharkhand General Workers’ Union, Coal Mines Workers’ Union, Janvadi Mukti Morcha and Centre of Central Workers’ Union participated in the protest. The unions affiliated to AICCTU began the protest march from the Ranchi Railway station. The...

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Protest in Koderma Against Attack on Bhubaneshwar Paswan

On 27 May 2017, CPI(ML) organized a protest demanding the arrest of BJP leader Surendra Yadav, who is accused of attacking CPI(ML) leader Bhubaneshwar Paswan. Yadav, who is the mukhiya of the Hiradih panchayat, is a known feudal element in the region. Bhubaneshwar Paswan, a resident of Rebhanadih village in the Jayanagar block of Koderma, had recently left the BJP to join CPI(ML). He is a security guard in-charge in a factory in Hiradih, which has been shut down for the past two months. In the meanwhile, as part of his duties as security guard in-charge, Paswan caught a...

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Fuedal Violence in Palamu

Emboldened by the growing assertion of feudal forces in Uttar Pradesh with the appointment of Yogi Adityanath as chief minister, incidents of feudal violence are on the rise in Jharkhand too. On 10 May, there was a small altercation happened between a Dalit boy (from the Paswan caste) and a Rajput boy over plucking mangoes in a mango orchard. This innocuous episode however led to serious consequences. At about 9 pm on the same day, fuedal forces filed a complaint of sexual harassment against some Dalit boys in the village.  Subsequently, two Dalit boys were arrested by the police the next morning. The police then also went to the mango orchard to investigate the matter. Many boys of the village had gathered there, when in the presence of the police, some Rajput men beat up a Dalit boy. This was followed by an attack on a Rajput boy. Soon afterwards, 150-200 Rajput men, in the presence of the police, launched an attack on a Dalit hamlet with around 25 dalit families. Children, women and elders were brutally beaten. A man was thrown down from a 2-story house, and sustained major injuries as a result. Doors and windows were broke, food and vessels were destroyed. The motorcycles and tractors in the hamlet were also destroyed. Dozens of people were injured. The sitting MP B.D. Ram, who happens to be a...

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AISA Activists Arrested in Allahabad

Yogi Adityanath could not put up with AISA’s peaceful protest demonstration in Allahabad when he visited the city on 4 June. AISA activists- including State Sec. Sunil Maurya, Allahabad University office bearers Shakti Rajwar, Ranvijay Vidrohi, ex-AUSU Vice President Shalu Yadav, Amisha Anand, Rashmi Singh, Shivani Jaiswal, Devesh Mishra, Srijan, Niranjan, Vishnu, Ashutosh, Vivek Gautam and Shahbaaz Malik- were arrested for protesting against UP government’s inaction in the Saharanpur anti-Dalit carnage, increasing assaults on women, attacks on minorities, crackdown on livelihood and employment opportunities through slaughter house ban. In a state where cow-goons are given free hand, anti-Romeo squads...

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CPI(ML) Condemns Killing of Striking Farmers in MP

The CPI(ML) condemns the government of Madhya Pradesh for killing five agitating farmers and injuring many in Mandsaur district on 6 June 2017. The farmers are agitating in all parts of the country and they are on a historical strike in MP and Maharashtra for the last one week demanding loan waivers and minimum support price that ensures 50 percent profit margin above costs. It is criminal on the part of the MP Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan and his ministers to deny that security forces have fired on the farmers and instead blame it on ‘anti-social’ elements, while local officials have clearly stated that the firing was done by forces. Such lies and deceitful statements are quite characteristic of the RSS school of propaganda. Equally condemnable are the repressive measures adopted by the MP government which included imposition of curfew in Mandsaur and a ban on internet and social media in many parts of the state. The repression on striking farmers was preceded by the BJP establishment’s obstinate undermining of farmers’ demands arising out of the deep agrarian crisis. Instead the BJP tried to divide the united farmers’ agitation in two states by roping in the RSS-backed farmers’ organisation against the striking farmers’ organisations. But farmers continued with the strike despite the MP and Maharashtra chief ministers’ announcements that a compromise formula had been achieved and the strikes...

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CBI Raid on NDTV is Vindictive

The CBI raid on the NDTV offices and home of the promoters, without even a preliminary enquiry, smacks of a vindictive attempt to intimidate the media. It is reminiscent of the midnight knocks of the Emergency. The CPIML condemns such attempts by the Central Government to single out and punish sections of media that have retained a measure of independence and professionalism at a time when vast and influential sections of the media are lending themselves as tools of fascist propaganda. Terming this vengeful act an attack on democracy and freedom of speech CPI(ML) Politburo member Kunal has said that the CBI has been appropriated as a tool in the hands of Modi gov. to take revenge against its political opponents, while at the same time likes of Vijay Mallya are enjoying cricket matches in Britain with full impunity. This is highly dangerous for a democratic country that such institutions have been reduced to serve the sectarian political interests of the ruling party, he...

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Left Protest in Delhi Against Saharanpur Violence

Left parties organized a protest sit-in at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on 5 June 2017, after one month of inaction in booking the perpetrators of atrocities on dalits in Saharanpur. The parties condemned the Yogi government in UP for its complicity in protecting the upper caste attackers and submitted a memorandum to the Union Home Minister demanding to punish the perpetrators and to stop the witch-hunt of dalits. Left parties also demanded to take stern action against the officials whose complicity is evident in their irresponsible statements and inaction which gave a free hand to the attackers. UP’s ruling establishment is creating an atmosphere of hatred disturbing the amity and peace in the society. The incidents of mob attacks, lynching and violence by upper castes have increased in the state. Crimes against minorities, women and dalits have increased multifold. In spite of countrywide protests and condemnations of UP government, fascist criminals are enjoying a free hand. Such a situation demonstrates the deep rooted feudal hatred prevailing among ruling establishment against dalits and other oppressed sections of society. The Dharna was addressed among others by CPI(M) Delhi Secretary KM Tiwary, CPI(ML) Delhi state committee member Santosh Roy, RK Sharma of SUCI(C) and Dharmendra Verma of Forward...

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Protest in Bangalore against Restrictions on Cattle Trade

Protesting the BJP government’s anti-people restrictions on cattle trade and on people’s right to choose food of their will and choice, CPI(ML) along with several organizations (including SDPI, New Socialist Alternative, Anti-Imperialist Movement and Karnataka Tamil Makkal Iyakkam) held a demonstration in Bangalore Town Hall on 2 June 2017. Around 20 leaders including CPI(ML) leaders Balan, Clifton Rozario, Appanna, Vinay, Rajith and Shankar were arrested during the protest and placed under police custody. Subsequently, activists protested the detention of those taken under custody. Several issues were highlighted by the protestors. The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2017 notified by the Central Government goes against the letter as well as the spirit of the Constitution. This notification, moreover, has led to an emergency-like situation across the country. These Rules which claim to just regulate “livestock markets” have had the effect of banning the sale of bulls, bullocks, cows, buffaloes, steers, heifers and calves and camels. This is because animals can be sold at the markets only with great difficulty, and anyone wanting to purchase an animal for slaughter must effectively go to each farmer’s doorstep. Every cattle owner must possess ID cards of the cattle to be sold, and, further every owner and purchaser must provide an undertaking that the cattle is not being sold/bought for slaughter. Also, it allows only farmers who own land...

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Protest Against Thermal Power Project in Koderma

The village of Koriyaba in the Jaynagar block of Koderma district in Jharkhand has seen a spirited protest since 30 May 2017, against the construction of a flyash pond by the Banjhedih Thermal Power Plant. The villagers in this area have been opposing the proposed flyash pond for a long time now. According to the regulations set by the Pollution Control Board, the flyash pond should be located at least 600 metres away from the village. These regulations are in place to ensure that the air pollution caused by the pond will not affect agricultural production in the village, and also will not cause heath-related problems to the villagers. However, the Damodar Valley Corporation (DVC) which owns the thermal power plant, has chosen to violate these regulations. With the help of the local police and administration, it is trying to forcibly construct a flyash pond right next to the Koroyaba village. When DVC tried to commence with the construction work, villagers sat on a dharna to protest and stop the work. The police then brutally lathi charged the protestors, injuring dozens of people. A CPI(ML) fact-finding team reached the village the same evening to understand the situation and to plan for the future course of action. On 1 June, the situation was very tense. Those displaced by the project and the district administration faced off against each other. The...

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Atrocities on Poor in Name of Liquor Ban in Bihar

The people of Bihar wanted to be rid of the liquor industry and the menace of alcoholism in the state. However, the liquor-ban legislation in its current state has begun to reveal its true shape. It is being used to exploit the poor and the Dalits in Bihar. The legislation is drafted in such a way that the liquor mafia has been allowed some loopholes to escape from the ban, while the poor bear the full brunt. In Musahar and Dalit hamlets, women are being made the targets. There have been thousands of arrests; more than 40,000 cases are ongoing across the state. Despite all this, the illegal business of manufacturing and distributing liquor is still operating. This is not happening due to the poor and the Dalits. Rather, the administration and the liquor mafia is responsible for the continuing trade in liquor. Protests are also happening in many places against this. On 18 May, thousands of women gathered in Bihta to gherao the police station, and to demand answers for the current situation regarding the liquor ban. They demanded that women should not be harassed under the garb of the liquor ban. The main gate of the police station was blocked for several hours during the protest. CPI(ML) leader Gopal Singh said that the police conducts raids in the name of enforcing the liquor ban, and during these...

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LIBERATION NOVEMBER 2017 COVER