Published fortnightly from Kolkata
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Vol. 52 No. 19 May 15, 2019
In this issue
- Recent blasts in Sri Lanka and New Zealand : Portends danger of growing curse of global terrorism and horrendous crimes of its imperialist sponsors
- Farce of election in so-called biggest democracy: Wherefrom sky-high costs are met with, to benefit whom?
- ELECTION OR NO ELECTION : SUCI(C) is in the streets upholding people’s demands
- West Bengal State SUCI(C) cries shame on vandalization of Vidyasagar’s statue by BJP goons
- ‘Beti Padhao, Beti Bachao’ slogan of BJP and reality
- Tales of the BJP : Believe it or not
- ‘Pragya Thakur’s nomination is an insult to the memory of Hemant Karkare,’ say 71 former bureaucrats
- CPI (M) leadership needs to introspect
Recent blasts in Sri Lanka and New Zealand
Portends danger of growing curse of global terrorism and horrendous crimes of its imperialist sponsors
A string of eight well-coordinated and planned blasts ripped through churches and high-end hotels on 21 April in Sri Lanka capital leaving at least 290 people dead and more than 500 injured. It happened just a month after the barbaric killing of 50 people in two mosques in the city of Christchurch in New Zealand on 15 March. While six suicide bombers belonging to the IS (Islamic State), the dreaded Islamic fundamentalist organization, are stated to have executed the Sri Lanka massacre, a man having link with white supremacist groups has been charged for the New Zealand mass murder. Earlier, there were a series of blasts and indiscriminate shootings in various European countries. In 2005, terrorists attacked London transit system at rush hour. The synchronized suicide bombings killed 56 people and injured another 700. Again, a ‘Bucket Bomb’ struck London’s vulnerable underground train in September 2017, inflicting serious injury to 29. It was the fifth terrorist attack in Britain that year. In November 2015, a group of gunmen and suicide bombers hit a concert hall, a major stadium, restaurants and bars in Paris almost simultaneously, killing 130 and leaving hundreds wounded. After suffering a series of terror attacks in the summer of 2016 which took away over 80 lives, Germany remained in fear of further violence. At least 31 people were killed and many grievously injured in terror attacks at Brussels international airport and a city metro station in Belgium. In India, two major terror attacks took place—both in Mumbai — one in 1993 and the other in 2008, sniffing out many innocent lives. Casualty in the massive blast caused by planted explosives in Delhi-Lahore Samjhauta Express in 2007 included 68 dead and many more critically injured. Two blasts in the vicinity of a mosque in Malegaon, a town in Maharashtra, in September 2006 and 2008 respectively had a death toll of over 50. Two more explosions in Mecca Masjid (mosque) in Hyderabad in May 2007, another major blast in Ajmer Dargah Sharif in Rajasthan left more than 20 dead. In December 2014, six armed terrorists sneaked into the Army Public School in the north-western Pakistani city of Peshawar and gunned down 149 people, including 132 schoolchildren, ranging between eight and eighteen years of age. To date, thousands of terrorist attacks have happened in countries such as Afghanistan, Kenya, Nigeria, Somalia, Iraq, Libya, Mali, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, and Syria. Besides such major incidents, there have been a slew of sporadic blasts like the recent one near a religious shrine in Lahore and indiscriminate shootouts by trigger-happy maniacs and even teenager students in various parts of the globe including US and Western imperialist countries, as if mindless killing of innocent citizens are acts of triviality. The sign is ominous and situation extremely grave and worrisome.
Outfits behind such mindless violence and killing spree
When we use the terms ‘terrorist’ or ‘terrorism’, it should be clearly understood that such are meant to point at those who indulge in mindless violence and heartless killing of innocents to settle score with whomever they consider as opponents or enemies and swagger their might and acumen of undertaking secret operations. Outwardly, the cause of this horrific rise in terror-strikes is attributed to growing religious extremism, racial-communal hatred and the evil of anti-Semitism. Because, the outfits who subscribe to such deformed and spiteful thoughts, proudly boast of having orchestrated most of such incidents of planted violence and organized mass killings. Moreover, it is observed that such acts of secret blasts are now extending to religious installations and shrines indicating involvement of fundamentalist-communal groups, though terrorism or fundamentalist outrages is not limited to any particular religion. It has now become common among all shades of religious-racist fanaticism. Besides, Islamic fundamentalist organizations like Taliban, Al-Qaeda, IS, Al-Shabaab, Lasker-e Tayyaba, Boko Haram, Jaish-e-Mohammed and Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), the infamous white supremacist Ku Klux Klan, a few surging neo Nazi groups in Germany and other places, chauvinist outfits like LTTE and Hindu fundamentalist groups affiliated to RSS-led Sangh Parivar like Avinav Bharat are all found involved in planting blasts and targeted killing of innocents including women and children. So terrorist violence is no exclusive preserve of Islamic fundamentalists, as is commonly made to believe by interested quarters but is tardily applied to similar violence by racist groups, ethnic fanatics, chauvinist wrong-heads as well as Hindutva criminals. Moreover, apart from a few known global terrorist groups, many racist-parochial-chauvinist-secessionist — fundamental-commu-nal outfits as well as extremist groups at local levels in many countries, including India, are also found to be behind a number of blast cases as a means to achieve their ends.
Underlying cause behind such spurt in terrorist acts and outfits
One after another incident of planted violence and brutal bloodshed taking innocent people as soft targets, did spark outrage and mourning around the globe. But it would not be enough to solely grieve and stand in solidarity with those who mourn after each of these tragedies as such vacuous responses to these orchestrated mass killing would not put a rein in such brutality. Because, global terrorism has not been clutched out of thin air but is a product of a definite cause. We need to go into the genesis of this growing terrorist violence based on the anvil of historical facts and rational analysis of those facts with due linkage to the obtaining socio-political context and sequential developments in history. Only then we shall be able to identify the appropriate remedial course.
It does not need much intelligence to understand that man can indulge in such savage acts including detonating himself so easily only when he is stripped of human essence and rational thoughts and instead is encumbered in or indoctrinated with orthodoxy of blind faith and insane preachings. So, we need to first go into the roots of such dehumanization and appalling crisis of values. For that we need to trace a bit of history. As we all know, we are living in a capitalist society euphemized as democracy. When capitalism was a rising force and establishing itself as a new socio-economic-political system by accomplishing bourgeois democratic revolution overthrowing the obsolete absolutist feudal-monarchical regime which was premised on religious blindness and obscurantist thoughts, it brought in its wake a new set of humanist values and moral-ethical structure which negated hitherto existing religious codes, creeds and divine beliefs. Renaissance, which preceded accomplishment of bourgeois democratic revolution as the cultural superstructure of rising capitalism, championed these humanist values and encouraged scientific outlook as against orthodox absolutistism as new enlightenment to guide and pattern life in a democratized society based on the cherished concepts of ‘equality, fraternity and liberty’ and recognition of freedom of individual, freedom of women and freedom of love. Secular humanism which constituted the most advanced outlook of the sprouting philosophy of bourgeois humanism firmly espoused non-recognition of any supernatural entity with exponents of bourgeois democracy clearly stating that religion would not intervene in socio-political life or state affairs. It would remain confined within the domain of personal belief. Believers and non-believers both would stand equal in the society and coexist happily and in due fraternity.
Such a professed egalitarianism however has been short-lived. Because though capitalism was a progressive force in comparison with outmoded reactionary feudalism and hence propelled social advancement at a given juncture of history, it too was based on exploitation of man by man. As against feudal lords and monarchy, the rising bourgeoisie established ownership over the means of production and hence controlled the economy which operates with the motive of earning profit for the bourgeois owners. So, there has been an inherent inequality in the capitalist system itself. And any student of political economy knows that those who control the economy also controls politics, social life and culture. In the initial phase of capitalism, there was free competition among the capitalists. During this free competition period or the stage of laissez faire economy, some equality or freedom in the bourgeois sense was granted and religious obduracy and other backward thoughts were fought by the capitalist rulers.
But once capitalism following inexorable course of history, stepped into the stage of monopoly, it marked the beginning of decadence of capitalism as a system. Its progressive role began to ebb. So all the democratic values, concepts, principles and practices including fight against religion which the bourgeoisie itself championed during the days of its advent, began to be trampled underfoot. When capitalism entered the stage of imperialism in sequence, it turned moribund, utterly reactionary and a tumbling block before social development. Haunted by the fear-complex of anti-capitalist socialist revolution, which great Karl Marx, based on irrefutable scientific analysis proved to be an inevitability as per law of social development, the ruling bourgeoisie began arraying its entire arsenal to thwart this revolutionary upsurge. The bourgeoisie knew that unless the moral backbone of the people, particularly the working class historically ordained to lead the revolution, is shattered, thinking process of theirs is blunted and human qualities, human essence and finer feelings are made to disappear from socio-political life and a permanent divide precipitated among the toiling masses, it would not be possible to stem the inevitable revolt. So, the bourgeoisie began to bring back religion and allied backward thoughts it itself once fought against, began fanning them up with all possible means and destroying scientific bent of mind to prepare the ground for establishing fascism.
But then success of Soviet revolution and the dawn of a new era threw a spanner into that bourgeois machination. Soviet socialism was hailed by one and all including the luminaries of that time like Romain Rolland, Einstein, Bernard Shaw, Rabindranath and others as the new civilization mankind was aspiring for. Subsequently, a mighty socialist camp appeared as the desired alternative to oppressive reactionary capitalism-imperialism. When Soviet socialism was in full bloom and the socialist camp existed with all its might and glory, the noble ideology of Marxism-Leninism began to rouse the multitudes of oppressed round the globe against imperialist-capitalist onslaught. International communist movement was picking up momentum and the anti-imperialist national liberation struggles in the colonies were achieving victories after victories. Toiling people round the world were in ferment in their struggle against all kinds of oppression and repression. In the ambience of such sprouting people’s movement, cultivation of higher human values, higher proletarian ethics and morality also elevated the cultural-moral standard among people. This proved to be a deterrent to the imperialist-capitalist design of crippling people from within and plunging them into the dungeon of obscurantism.
However, after renegade counter-revolutionary Khrushchevite clique usurped power in Soviet Union following demise of great Stalin in 1953, the worthy disciple of great Lenin, architect of socialist reconstruction, vigilant defender of socialism and a great leader of the proletariat, the world situation began to take a reverse turn. This counter-revolutionary clique was formed and backed by the defeated but not destroyed bourgeoisie on Russian soil. This reactionary clique began to surreptitiously implement a definite gameplan of achieving counter-revolution and restoring capitalism by reversing the socialist principles and policies and passing on all sorts of counter-revolutionary ideas as Marxism-Leninism creating confusion among the Soviet people. Alongside, the clique released a malicious campaign against great Stalin to undermine his authority and took a slew of measures to erase great Stalin from public memory. Comrade Shibdas Ghosh, Founder General Secretary of the SUCI(C) and one of the foremost Marxist thinkers of the era could instantaneously notice and caution world communist movement and the Soviet people about the dark and black moves of the counter-revolutionary Khrushchevite clique and pointed out that undermining Stalin would “objectively uncrown Lenin himself”. The warning proved prophetic as after installation of the counter-revolutionary clique in power, the spread and fervour of international communist movement as well as anti-imperialist movements began to be on the ebb. Obviously absence of the cultural milieu of surging movements and the concomitant frustration among the struggling masses, now rudderless because of the counter-revolutionary clique being saddled in power, provided a fertile ground for reactionary thoughts to creep in and emasculate people from within. This ascendancy of the counter-revolutionary clique at the helm of Soviet party and Soviet state coupled with the crisis of values gave a new impetus to the imperialist-capitalist in pursuit of their evil strategy of fostering all kinds of revivalist and side by side obscurantist and orthodox thoughts and side by side bring down all-out attack on the realm of ethics-morality-values and chalk out newer ploys to extend their influence and control over the entire world. Finally, the mighty international communist movements and anti-imperialist struggles in the colonies and other parts of the world received a immense setback and almost fizzled out. Thus, the beacon which the new civilization provided to the world faded and so also the immense hope it had raised. As a result, the oppressed masses had plunged in despondency.
Birth of terrorism has been in the stable of imperialism-capitalism
It is at this juncture of history that fostering terrorism, ethnic-communal-racist clashes, launching direct military assault on this or that country under flimsy pretexts, engineering coup d’état to change regimes, precipitating civil war and all such felonious acts started featuring on the agenda of the imperialists- capitalists headed by the US imperialists. In fact, entire Africa and Latin America have been witnesses to the large scale piracy and savagery of the US imperialists and their allies right from the end-1950s. Spreading a false propaganda that Africa has been trapped in a never-ending cycle of ethnic conflict and hence was needed an international intervention to set up democracy there, the US imperialists and their fellow travellers having an eagle’s eye on the rich reserve of natural resources including unending deposits of gold, diamond and other valuable metals, played all tricks to entangle the local population in internecine conflicts by continuously fomenting the ethnic divides and keeping the poor common Africans as far away as possible from enlightenment and modern democratic life lest they should unitedly rise against such untrammelled imperialist loot, plunder and inhuman oppression. Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, northern Nigeria, Côte d’Ivoire, —the saga of imperialist machinations encompassed all. Anyone daring to oppose US domination or expansionist steps were either dethroned by force or simply assassinated with the help of the notorious CIA-led espionage and sabotage network. Inspired by the surging national liberation struggles in the various African colonies, Patrice Lumumba, renowned leader of the independence movement, first prime minister of liberated Congo and a pivotal figure of anti-imperialist national liberation struggles of Africa was brutally murdered in 1958. While appearing as witness to the crime before the investigating ‘church committee’, former deputy director of CIA admitted that US president asked CIA to kill Lumumba.
Latin America too has been a hunting ground for the US imperialist vultures who have all along been working overtime to transform terrorism as a weapon to elicit subjugation in that part of the world. In Fort Benning Georgia, US rulers have established a school known as Academy of torture or School of the Assassins. Its one-time director Col. Buston admitted that they give training, including military training, so that in Latin America they could create some rulers who would be able to govern in accordance with the US interest and its defence needs. Manuel Antonio Noriega Moreno, Panama’s infamous de facto killer president, Hector Gramaze, who conducted the genocide in Guatemala in the 1980s, Leopoldo Fortunato Galtieri, Argentine General and President during the last military dictatorship there, were all trained in that school. Father Martin- Baro, one priest of El Salvador who showed courage to point out “international terrorism” of the US imperialists and their allies was brutally assassinated that same November. The death squads of Peru and Honduras were also skilled in the aforesaid Fort-Benning school. Tonton Macoute, secret assassination police chief of Haiti who killed 2.5 lakh of Haitian citizens was groomed by the CIA. There were 180 regime changes in Bolivia at US dictates. These are only a few references which bear testimony of how the US imperialists and their allies were associated with various terrorist activities and sabotages even in the bipolar world. More the counter-revolutionary Khrushchevite clique of the Soviet Union followed anti-socialist politics, more impetus the US imperialists got to operationalize their heinous policies of ‘cash and violence’ and ‘exporting democracy at gunpoint’.
Proliferation of global terrorism in unipolar world
But after sad dismantling of Soviet socialism and subsequent collapse of the mighty socialist camp because of revisionist conspiracy aided and abetted by world imperialism-capitalism, the imperialists-capitalists headed by the US imperialists became unbridled in implementation of their sinister class design to oppress and repress people by adopting every kind of foul means. With renewed vigour, they intensified murderous attack on the realm of culture, values, ethics and morality to robotise people. The very move to shatter the moral backbone of the people, particularly the young generation, blunt the thinking process, muffle the voice of rationality and wipe out even the last trace of human qualities, human essence and finer feelings from the socio-political life went full-throttle. Alongside rolling out a sinister plan to paralyze the thinking process and stuff human mind with every kind of rotten thoughts, the imperialist-capitalists also sought to drive a wedge into the unity of the toiling masses by precipitating various divides among them based on religion-caste-race-ethnicity and so forth. They knew that an irrational mind devoid of values and human essence would fall an easy prey to sectarianism, fanaticism, moral depravity and even injected violence. Once such bluntness and blind passion grip the people and they are prone to divisive and warped mindsets, it helps them to keep the inevitable revolt against the exploitative capitalist-imperialist order at bay as far as possible.
So, people are on the receiving end from both the sides. On the one hand, ruthless economic assault of imperialism-capitalism is pushing them to the precipice of utter ruination. Rising penury and misery is also dooming them to either abject helplessness or fatalism or driving them towards aimless desperateness. Alongside, bourgeois individualism, now turned into a privilege in dying capitalism, is eating into the very vitals of life, alienating people from the society, making them indifferent to social problems and nurture a thought of doing anything and everything as per personal likes and dislikes without caring for the consequences both in their own lives as well as on the society. All these have been culminating in self-destruction. Ethical and moral crippling and wanton crisis of values are facilitating the process of such self-destruction. It is on this planned destruction of human essence and rapidly proliferating crisis of values, that the imperialists-capitalists are working out their stratagem of which spread of global terrorism and terrorist outfits is an indispensable part.
This is the backdrop to the emergence and rapid spread of global terrorism. More rapaciously the imperialist-capitalists, particularly the US imperialists are in pursuit of their expansionist policy and baring their brutish teeth and claws to bully others to submit to their dictates, more one finds formation of one after another notorious inhuman terrorist outfits and gush in their heinous activities around the world. After Africa and Latin America, the prime target of the US imperialists and their allies has been the oil-rich Middle East region. Alongside capturing the oil fields by force, they have also been having a bull’s eye on the countries which are strategically located from geo-political point of view. It started with dislodging of a democratically elected Soviet-backed government in Afghanistan by the US imperialists. Taking advantage of the utterly incorrect policies and flawed stand of the counter-revolutionary Khrushchevite clique, the US imperialists sneaked into Afghanistan and started meddling in its internal affairs with the help of their espionage network in the 1970s. First of all, they vanquished the secular and democratic forces in Afghanistan. Then they began fanning up the already existing fundamentalist thoughts and sought to integrate the militancy of Afghan people with such religious bigotry and obscurantism. In course of this vile effort, the Mujahedeen, an alliance of Islamic fundamentalist groups, was born with overt and covert support of the CIA. Finally, as admitted in the CIA’s own documents, the Pentagon rulers kept on instigating the mutually warring rebellious warlords as well as the different factions of the Mujahedeen by liberally providing them with arms, money, satellite reconnaissance and intelligence data and even arranging for recruitment from among the Afghan refugees and their military training, often with the help of Pakistan. In 1988, Osama bin Laden, a non-Afghan Mujahedeen, founded the Al Qaeda, another conglomerate of rabid Islamic fundamentalists with not only full knowledge but also backing of the US imperialists and worked on funds from Saudi Arabia and US. Al Qaeda maintained close ties with the CIA right from inception. Afterwards, it started spreading its wings to different parts of the world promoting fanatic Muslim fundamentalism based on utterly reactionary, obscurantist ideas and thoughts and thereby sought to trounce all kinds of progressive thoughts and annihilate any opposition to its views. While Afghan land was under their control, and global terrorist groups dependent on their aids and support were fully operational, a new vista opened before the US imperialists in extending their stranglehold on the entire Middle East, using strategically important Afghan land as springboard and engaging the fundamentalist groups like the Mujahedeen and Al-Qaeda to stall germination of any progressive thought in the region. Robin Cook, former British Foreign Secretary, told the House of Commons that Al Qaeda was unquestionably a product of Western intelligence agencies like CIA and funded by the Saudis. Though a government supported by the Mujahedeen was installed in Afghanistan in 1980s, recurrence of terrible power struggle among the warlords resulting in sustained armed clashes created severe political chaos and finally disintegration of the country into isolated fiefdoms dominated by local despotic warlords. Amidst such turmoil, the Taliban militia came into existence in the mid-1990s once again with the blessings, patronage and support of the US imperialists as well as of the Pakistani rulers. Finally, the Taliban which matched perfectly with the fundamentalist tunes and oppressive methods of the Al Qaeda captured governmental power in Afghanistan. While on a mission to exacerbate flourishment of terrorism in the Middle East, the US rulers also incited the Shia-Sunni divide prevalent among those professing Islam to pit one section of the Arab people against another and thereby frustrate the growing anti-imperialist movements in the Arab world and douse the emerging spirit of Pan-Arab nationalism.
IS — the latest on the list of US-sponsored dreaded terrorist outfits
That terrorism is the symptom and US imperialist machinations in the Middle East is the cancer is proved once more in the formation of the ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq), now renamed as IS (Islamic State). The group began in 2004 as Al Qaeda in Iraq, before rebranding as ISIS two years later. Within no time, it became the most dreaded terrorist outfit for bestial killings, domineering arrogance, rabid fundamentalism, kidnapping, selling and raping women and children and possession of all kinds of sophisticated arms. The IS militants have justified their actions — like the beheadings of journalists and aid workers, gunning down and killing of innocent civilians simply for not subscribing to its extreme take on the Sharia law and enslavement of non-Muslim women and children and sexual intercourse with them, — in god’s name. IS also occupied for long a large territory first in Iraq and then in Syria powered by most modern weapons. It appears as if this hound-like terrorist outfit is itself a state doing whatever it wants. Though outwardly, the Pentagon war-mongers feigned to launch a war against IS and other terrorist organizations, but facts show that they themselves have been silently arming and financing IS.
As is known to all, after occupying Iraq, the US imperialists turned to Syria whose Assad-led government did not give in to their dictates. So alongside planting armed rebel groups in Syria to trigger a civil unrest and describing that government as an “Alawite regime” that rules and oppresses the Sunnis, the US imperialists very shrewdly engaged IS to topple the Assad government. From the time US targeted Syria to secure economic and political gains, evidences started pouring in in abundance to show how the Pentagon rulers and the CIA have been funnelling weapons and money to IS and Al-Qaeda through their ‘friendly’ countries like Saudi Arabia and Turkey. A group of Iraqi popular forces shot down an US Army helicopter that was found carrying weapons for the IS. Head of the Iraqi Parliament’s National Security announced that he had documents and photos showing the US Apache helicopters airdropping foodstuff and advanced weaponry, including anti-aircraft weapons for the IS. Reports are cited that MI6 (British Intelligence Agency) had cooperated with the CIA on a “rat line” of arms transfers from Libyan stockpiles to the Syrian rebels (meaning IS) in 2012 after the fall of the Gaddafi regime. Like what we have already stated above, US imperialists are using IS to attack their enemies in the Middle East, to serve as a pretext for US military intervention abroad, and to foment at home a manufactured domestic threat so as to justify large scale militarization of economy and the unprecedented expansion of invasive domestic surveillance.
Thus it is clearly proved that global terrorism is a product of imperialism-capitalism and its ferocity and feral activities have received a boost in the unipolar world, that is, a world without the socialist camp which hitherto, notwithstanding all limitations in the post-Stalin post-Mao period, had, in the main, provided the deterrent. The fast disappearance of human values and human essence which, as we have indicated above, the imperialists-capitalists are spot on to arrest them in the blind alley of all kinds of venomous obscurantist-fundamentalist-commu- nal-racist mindsets, is facilitating surge of and spurt in global terrorism. Cunningly, religion is being made synonymous with fundamentalism and bigotry. This fundamentalist frenzy has reached such a height that even persons professing same religion are killing each other. A good number of youth whose life is plagued by economic sufferings, insecurity, uncertain future, haplessness and crisis of values, who are wandering in aimless desperateness and increasingly driven towards drug consumption, sex perversion and such other self-destructive conducts are also developing a criminal psychology. These youth are being trapped by the terrorist groups, intoxicated with communal-fundamentalist-racist spite and then assigned the jobs of planting blasts, violence and undertaking mindless killings. Fanaticism, indifference, indoctrination of fundamentalism and murder psychology have been so deeply inculcated in their mind that killing of innocents or even slaughtering a group of people make no waves in heart, no conscious pricking. Even detonating themselves in the process is considered apt by these youth. This dehumanization process is the mooring of fascism which is the last resort of the imperialists-capitalists to prolong their oppressive rule and is now observed as a general feature in all imperialist-capitalist countries.
How the terror outfits helped operationalizing imperialist machinations
In fine, the US imperialists and their espionage network found in the proliferation of terrorism a convenient tool to achieve their ends. The other imperialist powers also found this strategy conducive to their vile class interest as well. First of all, they could step up their neo-colonial exploitation in different Islamic states of the Middle East. Secondly, they could thwart surge of any progressive people’s movement by arresting the people’s mindset within the blind confines of obscurantism-fundamentalism and creating an ambience of fear of anytime occurrence of terror-acts. Thirdly, by raising the bogey of terror attack, they could arrogate to themselves the licence to bring down brute military assault on any country whose rulers refused to bend before them. Fourthly, they could conveniently pass on the blame of any covert operation of theirs like engineering coup d’état, civil war, ethnic conflict or regime change in any country squarely on the terrorist outfits and then hypocritically feign opposition to such heinous acts, as if those were undertaken by such outfits. Fifthly, with the terrorist organizations opening up a new market for selling arms whose production has gone up immensely following increasing militarization of economy, the industrial-military complex of the ruling US himperialist has found a new conduit for releasing stockpiles of weapons. Finally, the so-called “War on Terror” slogan is in fact a readymade pretext for maintaining a dangerously oversized highly sophisticated US military and justifying so called pre-emptive strikes. Since George W. Bush, the former US President, declared the “War on Terror” in October 2001, it cost the American taxpayer approximately 6.6 trillion dollars. Thus, it is evident that flourishment of the terrorist organizations has been paying both economic and political benefits to the US imperialists and their fellow travellers.
Phenomenal rise in state-terrorism
While seeking to arrive at the genesis of the problem of surging terrorism and evolve correct way to resolve the same, it is extremely important to take cognizance of a very pertinent aspect— spurt in state- terrorism which is now being resorted to more often than not by the imperialist-capitalist rulers for suppressing voice of dissent. Surfeit of fake encounter killings, secret murders, inexplicable death of inmates inside the jails or in custody— all represent state terrorism. Even organized killing or pogroms abetted by the government also fall in the category of state terrorism. People of India as well as many other capitalist-imperialist countries in the world are witness to such acts propelled by state terrorism. So, terrorism is a product of ruthlessly exploitative and utterly reactionary and inhuman imperialism-capitalism and is on the rampage undeterred in the unipolar world. When viewed from the perspective of people’s cause and interest, rise of dreaded terrorist groups to spread violence and rotten divisive thoughts has been a part of the broader capitalist-imperialist machination to thwart anti-capitalist socialist revolution.
United organized conscious powerful people’s movement alone can provide the bulwark
In this connection, it merits drawing attention to another kind of violence or sabotaging acts which also, when judged in terms of harm those cause, fall in the category of terrorism. Continuous persecution, denial of justice, exclusion or discrimination on the basis of ethnic origin, race or religious belief and violent government crackdowns on legitimate protest agitations of suffering people often trigger retaliation in the form of terrorist violence. Moreover, the failure of many countries to integrate the minorities or immigrants into the mainstream of social life induces a feeling of alienation and marginalization in them. That in turn, creates grievances which often, in absence of proper guidance and democratic channels to express discontent and pursue alternate policies, leads some groups to resort to violent means and terrorism. So, the imperialism-capitalism sponsored terrorism and terror-acts by the confused, misguided and disgruntled people pressed under the grinding wheel of capitalist oppression ought not to be viewed as similar and hence need to be handled differently. Terrorism born in the stable of imperialism-capitalism to keep people divided and make truth ever elusive to them is to be viewed and understood as a handiwork of the arch-enemy of the mankind and hence needs to be fought by releasing counter-current of united organized sustained conscious class and mass struggles of the oppressed people rising above all differences in religion, ethnicity, language, race, etc., under correct revolutionary leadership and based on higher proletarian ethics and culture. When the urgent need of the hour is to launch and step up such united massive struggles of all sections of toiling people against ruling capitalism-imperialism, the common enemy of all, the pointless violence, helpless death and bitter enmity simply cleave apart the unity, only to impede such struggles from crystallizing and growing. Conscious uprising against this capitalist-imperialist conspiracy would be possible only when the people would become conscious of the enlightened thoughts of Marxism-Leninism further enriched and developed by Comrade Shibdas Ghosh, one of the foremost Marxist thinkers of the era. With that more cemented would become their struggling unity, solidarity and fraternity. These movements of the people along right track and conducive to anti-capitalist socialist revolution would provide in the unipolar world the necessary bulwark against any kind of terrorist violence by the imperialism-sponsored fanatic outfits. At the same time, once such people’s movements, including anti-imperialist militant peace movements, surge forth and pick up momentum, a spirit of cooperation and friendship would be fostered among the toiling masses irrespective of caste, creed, religion or ethnicity and generate a sense of oneness would be generated in them. The cultural milieu of this movement will be conducive to eradicate all kinds of warped mindset and divisive mentalities that the ruling class and its servitors are increasingly injecting. Also that section of the oppressed masses who, being dragged into disgust and frustration, has now been nurturing the thought of retaliating against the growing onslaught and unleashing of worst form of state terrorism to suppress them would imbibe the truth—the truth that the route of terror and mindless violence would not bring them any solution. This proper understanding and due political consciousness would also help them to be freed from all misgivings and vulnerability to the misguidance of the communal-fundamentalist-racist-chauvinist-parochial-secessionist groups. So, instead of being cowered by terrorism, let the myriads of oppressed suffering people take up the cudgel against imperialism-capitalism by asserting their struggling unity and conscious action.
Farce of election in so-called biggest democracy
Wherefrom sky-high costs are met with, to benefit whom?
Elections to legislative bodies are projected as among the greatest events—a festivity— in bourgeois parliamentary democracies. In India, the largest of multi-party bourgeois democracy as per boastful claim of the ruling bourgeois quarters, the ensuing elections to Lok Sabha (parliament) are presently being fondly nicknamed as the ‘dance of democracy’. However, this dance is also accompanied by a score of mind-boggling revelations and piercing questions in regard to how costly the dance has become. While people are experiencing it directly before their eyes, finer details are being brought out by searching columnists, research –experts and independent surveys by think-tank organizations. People need to be acquainted with these revelations and so this write-up.
The first questions that may be addressed, is: What precisely is the cost? To what extent has it changed with years?
In the present election to the 17th Lok Sabha, expense per voter is roughly $8 (currently $1 is around 69 – 70 Indian rupees as per Reuters report dated 01-05-19), whereas about 60% of the population in India lives on around $3 a day or less. This is what a Delhi-based Centre for Media Studies held. It added that the cost of the current election has reached an unprecedented $7 billion (that is nearly 50000 crore rupees), which amount is higher than the figure of $ 6.5 billion spent during the US presidential and congressional races in 2016. A US think-tank Carnegie Endowment for International Peace estimates that the total expense in this year’s election in India may shoot up to $10 billion which is double the amount of the $5 billion spent during India’s 2014 Lok Sabha polls. So India can now jolly well claim for holding the costliest election in the world, though it stands at 103rd position among 119 countries of the world in the measure of hungry population. sliding down from its previous 100th position in just a year.
A few more comparative figures may be further striking. The electoral cost in 2014 represented a rise of 131% over the expenses in 2009, which again recorded a 20-fold increase in 2009 when compared with cost of the first polls held in 1952. In simple terms then, cost of election has been far outperforming the spiralling rise of inflation. In the first six Lok Sabha polls, cost per elector was less than a rupee, which increased massively in later elections. Figures given above show how phenomenal the rate of increase has been in the recent years. And such sky-high expenses as they were in 2014, are equal to the amount of that year’s budgetary allocation of the Union government towards areas of public welfare like education, health and family welfare etc. But more interestingly, it was in the last 16th Lok Sabha election in 2014, that the present ruling party BJP led by Narendra Modi made its sensational dash to power accompanying the steep escalation of the cost. Once in power, the BJP has now grown into the richest political party in the country, with an income of Rs 10.03 billion ( more than Rs 1000 crore) and an expenditure of Rs 7.1 billion during 2016-17, as the party claimed officially [Reported by the Association of Democratic Reform, a Delhi-based organization : Business Standard-11-04-18] . So, the triad is complete. BJP rose to power riding on high election cost, became the richest political party seated in power and when it aspires for the second term, India is conducting the costliest election in the world!
Naturally, the next question is: Where does all this money come from and where does it go to?
Let us again base on some published facts. On the basis of a detailed study on elections in India, Simon Chauchard, a Columbia University lecturer concluded that legal and accounted expenses of candidates of major parties, national or regional, represent only a minuscule fraction of their real expenses—frequently less than 1/30th or 1/50th of the overall amount. Thus there is an exorbitant sum of unaccounted money which even the Election Commission does not seem to be that bothered in investigating and revealing notwithstanding its long-playing refrain of conducting free and fair elections which goes on sounding like prattles. In 2016, the Reserve Bank of India had also rung a warning bell, when it stated there was a surge of Rs 60,000 crore (Rs 600 billion) in cash in the states going to polls that year. Those were assembly elections, and now there is parliamentary election. So the cash flow is also higher. The point is: who withdraws such huge amount of cash from the banks? Even the monopoly-sponsored media had to admit that the “unaccounted for” money is pumped out of the Bank and shoved into the election expenses by “crorepati” or multi-millionaire candidates (number of which is soaring with every election these days) and their parties, corporate houses of monopolists and contractors-business houses to push up the expenditure. (PTI; The Hindu, 13 May 2014, 23 May 2016) Obviously, there cannot be any concrete data on who withdraws how much and spends it in what. One can only study the symptoms and guess how far the disease has penetrated the body of electioneering.
Simon Chauchard and other columnists enumerated a few such symptoms. Indian people, politically attached or not, are now quite familiar with the terms ‘vote bank’ and ‘vote buying’. The former refers to a mass or community of voters who are coupled to a particular party through definite sinister plans and measures. The measures may include playing on some sentiment, which may be even casteist, communal or such others, or distribution of some freebies or doles which are nothing but carrots to people incessantly squeezed and pulverized under capitalist exploitation and concomitant joblessness, poverty and insecurity of life and livelihood. Whatever they be, in essence those measures are no more than ‘bribes’ or the means to ‘buy’ votes. Chauchard identifies such bribing to be on the rise, the parties spending 19 to 64% of their budgets on gifts to voters. Such gifts may be in cash, or in the form of free supply of alcohol or drug, sumptuous food for a day or two or other personal or household goods like blenders, television sets, cycles for girls, shoes for village students and occasionally even goats, which are poured in more virulently during the waning moments of the campaign. Cash may be disbursed through a lump-sum payment to influential citizens such as housing society officials or regional, community or caste association leaders or even local party bosses to send the trickles down the party network. Media reports exposed distribution of hard cash wrapped inside rotis or chapatis or inside food packets to poor voters for buying their support. Then there are the ‘numbers’ of “paid political participation”, which accounts for the money on hired crowds participating in processions, rallies, and meetings. All this may range between 10 and 40% of the total expenses of the candidate.
Of course, these disbursements or give and take occur behind the curtain and make a well-greased industry. On the surface, people find major political parties vying with each other in holding rallies termed ‘historic’, ‘mammoth’ or else, youth busy in so-called political activities, shorn, however, of any real political expressions, implications or intent. From these, the onlookers, that is the voters fix their choice in their own ways. They can also guess the huge amount of money required to make these rallies in their respective areas to be successful in terms of crowd participation, to ferry the participants back and forth, to help the leaders and speakers run hectically across the country in helicopters and to pay the party workers short term wages, incentives through food-liquor-drug and other kinds of intoxicating ‘entertainments’ etc. But the party workers so recruited based on the lure of benefits and short term gains remain ignorant of the countrywide massive flow of money-material behind these electioneering processes. With constituencies increasing in size, target population becomes larger, workforce for campaigning needs to be fattened, updated campaigns need to be bigger, gaudy, dazzling, more ambitious, sophisticated, professional, and competitive. Leaders tend to use helicopters more often than before. More and more buses and lorries are requisitioned for crowd-building. Spending on social media, including costs for buying slots in TV and radio, pages after pages in print media or such other means, have sky-rocketted in 5- year time, rising from 2.5 billion rupees in 2014 to 50 billion rupees in 2019. Similarly more than double the 2014 figure of 12 billion, is likely to be spent on advertising this year, bringing the figure to 26 billion rupees. To keep up with time, the western world, rather the US style of throwing fund-raising dinners are being organized, though still not frequently. As these campaigns generally do not bear any substantial political content, these only need to be made more catchy, more alluring and more massive. And, obviously the richest political party, the BJP, leads this rat race. The single inevitable consequence is increase in costs. Sometimes as a face-saving measure, the Election Commission makes show of seizure of gold, alcohol, drugs and cash. This year such the stated seizure was worth about $456 million since 26 March, more than twice the seizure amount of seized in the entire 2014 election. But that is just the tip of the ice-berg. Besides, one cannot overlook that the government has itself exorbitantly raised all fees, deposit amounts etc. and has made the electioneering processes more and more expensive, outwardly elaborate and extremely cumbrous. It appears that the cumulative effect of all these makes it more and more difficult for any party or any independent candidate to contest elections without spending a lump-sum amount, officially fixed by the Election Commission at 70 lakh rupees, but in reality needing far more. And what is further worth noting is that besides raising the electioneering cost to skew it in favour of a few parties having patronage from moneybags, a thought is being spread surreptitiously that presence of so many parties in the polls is unnecessary, entailing cost and hence need to be curbed through suitable administrative measures. In other words, contesting election is sought to be made exclusive preserve of a few parties of the establishment.
But over and above these, there are more ominous symptoms. Traditionally, parties used to receive funds in cash, cheques, and electoral trusts. Beginning in 2017, the BJP made several changes to election contribution rules. These are as follows. The upper limit on corporate donations to political parties was removed. Companies with partial foreign ownership were allowed to donate. And firms were no longer obliged to disclose which parties they were financially backing. The more striking were the ‘electoral bonds’. These allow individuals or companies to purchase as many bonds as they please to deposit funds in a political party’s bank account in the State Bank of India. Donors identity is not revealed, though political parties are supposed to declare the amount of money they have received through the bonds. These bonds have thus not only made corporate funding easier, these have made the entry of foreign capital smoother in Indian election, as it has allegedly been in USA or France. Also it is a convenient route of ‘beneficial’ use of black money.
One may ask the BJP to explain how far these measures are related to solving any of the burning problems people face in their life. But there is no ambiguity in asserting that these measures are going to make the path smoother for the rich, the big business and industrial houses, the corporate houses of the monopolists to extend their favour through hefty donations to the party of their choice. It does not need many words to say that in these days of acute market crisis and recession and total decadence of the prevailing capitalist system, these donors will never consider their donations anything other than investments to reap profit, as and when time comes. And in this nefarious game too, the BJP has taken the lead.
This brings us to the last question for the present. What for is then this extravagant ‘dance of democracy’, rather the ‘gala circus of bourgeois election’? Here we need to leave the present and go back to far past. More than a century back, Vladimir Lenin, the great leader of the Proletariat, while fighting against distortions and deviations of teachings of Marx and Engels by the opportunists spelt out clearly: “A democratic republic is the best possible political shell for capitalism, and, therefore, once capital has gained possession of this very best shell, …. it establishes its power so securely, so firmly, that no change of persons, institutions or parties in the bourgeois-democratic republic can shake it…. To decide once every few years which members of the ruling class is to repress and crush the people through parliament – this is the real essence of bourgeois parliamentarism, …. in the most democratic republics.” (The State and Revolution, 1917)
Today, all the major parliamentary parties of the country, national or regional, professing rightist or even so-called Marxist views have taken it upon themselves to get engaged in the farcical exercise of parliamentary elections in the bourgeois democratic republic of India with a view to proving themselves faithful page-bearers of the ruling monopolists and by that enjoying power and pelf. So they are enthusiastically performing their role as contestants in the elections through mutually slanderous campaigns refraining themselves from dealing with any serious political questions, any question on why the election is going day by day out of reach for any candidate , any party which stands for toiling people and does not enjoy any corporate- monopolist patronage. Many honest are baffled as to why the political parties are keeping mum at this vulgar extravagance in elections. And here the SUCI (C) provides the answer. All the parliamentary parties are enjoying the booty, some more, some less, depending on their respective positions vis-a-vis the corridor of powers. So none of them dares to speak out and waits for its chance. The SUCI (C) further pronounces emphatically that in this election, it has brought out an elaborate discourse on how should the election be viewed from the perspective of people’s interests laid down by the General Secretary Comrade Provash Ghosh. It emphasizes that people must realize the truth, the ‘real essence of bourgeois parliamentarism’, as enunciated by Lenin. It also brings back that today conscientious people even in bourgeois media are worried with the trend. But armed with Marxism- Leninism and the revolutionary thoughts of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh, the founder General Secretary of the Party and one of outstanding Marxist thinkers of the day, the Party had pointed out the trend emerging even decades back. Thus in reference to the mid-term poll for the 7th Lok Sabha, the Party warned people : “The poll exercise was a costly one with hundreds of crores of rupees , black or white, spent on it either officially or unofficially by the monopoly houses , the industrial and the rural bourgeoisie and even by foreign powers.” [P. Era, vol. 13, no 9, 15 February 1980]. A decade later, the Party reiterated: “The electoral results are now determined by money and muscle power, by adopting foul means….. The newspapers controlled by the monopoly houses and the govt- controlled electronic media are openly misused to project this or that party of combination… as is the choice of the ruling class…”.[ P. Era, v. 23 , no 18 , 2 June 1990] The situation has only worsened. According to a report in Times of India of 12 May last, total cash seized so far during electioneering is Rs 812 crores and total confiscation figure including drug, liquor and precious metals is Rs 3,370 crores. If these are the published figures, one can easily guess how many times more are the real numbers. So the Party now urges democratic-minded conscientious people to raise their voice against this menacing trend of winning elections by money only to help serve the biggest donor, that is, the ruling monopolists. This protest is a part of the parliamentary electoral battle itself, which latter is part and parcel of extra-parliamentary democratic movements on people’s thousand and one problems. Besides these, people have no choice left.
ELECTION OR NO ELECTION
SUCI(C) is in the streets upholding people’s demands
Grave blunders of the Board of Intermediate (BIE) of the Telangana state resulted in the tragic death of more than 20 students. Mistakes in evaluation and tabulation were rampant. Hundreds of students were marked absent despite having appeared in the exams. This BIE goof-up has triggered furore in the state. Students and parents have been staging protests as about 3.28 lakh students have failed in the examinations. One student who was the topper in the first year has been awarded zero marks in Telugu in the second year. Evaluation and tabulation has been handed over to an inexperienced private agency which was incapable of handling the volume of the job. As a consequence of this criminal negligent act of the BIE and the TRS government of Telangana, lakhs of students have been worst casualties and unable to bear the shock, more than 20 among them have committed suicides. In protest against this wanton criminality of playing with the future of lakhs of students, a joint rally was organized by Telangana AIDSO and other students’ organizations on 29 April last in Hyderabad demanding compensation of Rs.50 lakh to the parents of the students who have committed suicide, immediate stopping of outsourcing of functions of Board of Intermediate Education and stringent punishment to those responsible for such grave anomalies in the Intermediate results. Extending support to the protest movement, Professor P L Vishewswara Rao, President, All India Save Education Committee, Telangana chapter, in a press conference held in Hyderabad held the BIE authorities squarely responsible for such an utterly irresponsible and highly anti-student anti-education act and demanded justice for the victims.
Kerala State AIDSO held a protest march to University College in Thiruvananthapuram on 6 May demanding stringent measures against the SFI goons whose harassment led to an attempted suicide by a girl student in that college. The rally also protested motivated actions of the college authorities and the police in shielding the culprits. When the protest rally reached a place called Palayam, the police blocked the road to the college. The protesters then sat on the road and continued voicing protest. Addressing the rally, Comrade Binu Baby, President, Kerala State AIDSO said that it is not only in University College, but in every college where the SFI has strong presence, they have been flexing muscle power, abusing governmental power and resorting to other nefarious practices to silence other organizations and students. This suicide attempt revealed that SFI’s wrong- doings have turned the campuses into literal gallows. In her suicide note, the girl student clearly mentioned that those affiliated to SFI were harassing her only because she dared to protest against their wrong practices. The fact that the SFI have been unleashing brutal attacks on any dissenting voices has already come to light on many occasions. AIDSO has demanded immediate end of such overlordism and misdeeds of the SFI, exemplary punishment to the culprits, withdrawal of false cases registered against the victim girl student, a judicial enquiry into the incident and restoration of democratic atmosphere in the campuses.
On 6 May last, Gujarat State SUCI(C) organised a public demonstration at Collector office, Ahmedabad on various burning issues of people’s life like drought, water crisis, farmers’ problems, autocracy of multinational company PEPSICO who recently sued at least nine Gujarat farmers asking them to pay 1.05 crore each as damages for ‘infringing its rights’ by growing the potato variety used in its Lay’s chips, most heinously, rising incidents of rapes and gangrapes etc. A delegation submitted a memorandum to the Chief Minister of Gujarat through the Ahmedabad district collector.
On 6 May, AIDSO organized a protest demonstration in front of the office of the West Bengal Education Department office against the most the devastating decision of the TMC government of keeping the govern-ment and government-aided schools closed for two long months which would seriously harm the students. In a memorandum to the education minister, AIDSO demanded imme-diate withdrawal of the decision.
Haryana AIKKMS demanded compensation from the Haryana government
In a Press Note by Anup Singh Matanhale, President, and Jaikaran Madhauthi Haryana state Committee of All India Kishan Khet Mazdoor Sangathan, issued on 27 April 2019, it was mentioned that in hundreds of villages in districts of Rohtak and Jhajjar wheat crop of hundreds of acres of land have been totally burnt to ashes. Devastation was so pervasive, that not even the minimum amount of the crop for the family as also fodder for the cattle could be saved. Every year during this season, crops are destroyed by fire ignited from sparks from the overhead high tension wires, leaving farmers helpless. In the Note the demands were made to the Haryana government to immediately provide compensation to the farmers at the rate of of Rs 40,000 per acre. In a situation in which all the necessities like seeds, fertilizer, pesticides, diesel etc. are becoming costlier every day and on the contrary, the farmers do not get the minimum price for their crops, this kind of unwarranted calamities must be compensated for. Otherwise the farmers would be forced to launch more powerful struggles in future.
West Bengal State SUCI(C) cries shame on vandalization of Vidyasagar’s statue by BJP goons
In a statement, Comrade Chandidas Bhattacharjee, West Bengal State Secretary, SUCI(C) vehemently cried shame on the most criminal act of vandalizing the statue of great Vidyasagar, the doyen of Indian Renaissance as also vandalizing the campus and students’ hostel of Vidyasagar college in Kolkata by the BJP goons during the roadshow of Amit Shah, the BJP President, on 14 May afternoon. He called upon all to vehemently condemn such politics of vandalism and gangsterism by the BJP.
In observance of the Protest Day on 15 May, SUCI(C) took out a protest rally in Kolkata early morning and Comrade Soumen Basu, member, Polit Bureau, garlanded the broken statue of Vidyasagar.
‘Beti Padhao, Beti Bachao’ slogan of BJP and reality
“Hardened policemen were nearly moved to tears as they conducted a preliminary examination of the ravaged body and carried it away in a little bundle.” It was a four month old baby-girl violated and murdered. The place of occurrence was Madhya Pradesh in 2018.
The little girl is one among the hundreds of thousands in the apparently never-ending series who are lost in the hands of the beasts among humans. Only a few fight back, but they are too few and the rest are buried underneath cruelty- indifference-even hatred of also humans who are variously placed in the corridors and rungs of power. These latter may be the police-military, the strong-arm criminals, socially powerful rich, even MLAs, ministers or their accomplices, or anybody in administration- even judiciary. And many times more are the hapless girls, mothers, even centenarian mother who are never reported suffer from life-long torment, if not murdered.
There may be thousand and one ways that make life hell for women of any age. It starts from the generally talked about rapes and gang-rapes that is sexual violence, acid attack, forced sex slavery, forced labour, dowry murders, domestic servitude, forced begging, forced drug peddling, forced prostitution, child pornography, female foeticide, female infanticide, humiliation and torture for girl child birth, torture for nil child birth, deaths from unsafe abortions, pressure for male child birth, least education for girls, honour killings, child bride, child marriage, greater exploitation of women workers. What more horror our daughters and mothers are to face? Is it a civilized society we live in?
A few palpable statistics are given below. The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) states that in 2015, as many as 7,634 women died in the country due to dowry harassment. Either they were burnt alive or forced to commit suicide over dowry demand. For crimes against women overall, pending cases increased from 1,081,756 to 1,204,786. The horror of Kathua and Unnao rapes have once against brought into focus the safety of women in India, and especially that of children. Looking back at the latest data available, in 2016, India recorded 106 rapes a day and four out of every ten victims were minors. According to the NCRB, between 2014 and 2015 alone, the number of honour killings in India leapt by 798 per cent. States such as Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh are leading in such extra-judicial killings. In a recent report it has been observed that in 2017 about 6, 00,000 infanticide have been perpetrated. The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has acknowledged that illegal abortions still outnumber legal abortions. According to the Population Research Institute, at least 12,771,043 sex-selective abortions had taken place in India between 2000 and 2014. Human trafficking is on the rise and it is more “horrific” than ever, a United Nations agency found. In a new report on human trafficking, the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) found that the global trend has increased steadily since 2010 around the world. Women and girls are especially vulnerable, making up 70 per cent of detected victims worldwide. India, among a few countries can claim distinction in holding high rank in human trafficking in recent times. These are but a few statistics, the tip of a massive iceberg.
The point is why is it so? Why has there been such a spurt of atrocities against women particularly during the recent past. The data presented above speak of the trends between the years 2014 and 2016 or later. One cannot miss that during this period the country has been under the rule of the BJP led by the prime minister Narendra Modi. And one of the most favourite slogans of this government has been Beti Padhao, Beti Bachao (educate girls, save girls). And this is the condition how the girls are being saved. Not only that, in cases like Kathua and Unnao, among the accused, there were leaders- activists- associates of the BJP, even a BJP MLA. Coolly and calmly, they were not only not apprehended, even the party brought out procession in support of the accused to create pressure upon the administration that it does not take steps against them. BJP candidate Shobha Chauhan from Sojat seat in Pali district of Rajasthan openly promised voters that police will not interfere in child marriages if she wins. She was highly applauded by the assembled BJP workers. Is it then not a case of sheer hypocrisy?
But why is it that the BJP does not feel the least compunction at this exposure of the reality? Here it may not be irrelevant to bring back a piece of history. In the days of the renaissance, the democratic revolution, the bourgeoisie led for bringing the change in society issued the call for individual liberty and freedom, which also implied equality of man and woman. So call for women’s liberation from abject patriarchal domination of the feudal society was an important issue at that time. But the capitalist society that was established in the process remained still a society based on exploitation and discrimination, not only in economic fields, but also in social-cultural fields and every-where. So patriarchal domination or misogynist attitude towards women persisted in the society along with exploitation of both toiling men and women in the hands of the capitalists, the owners, the rich. To add fuel to fire, in our country the democratic revolution was left in a half-baked, truncated manner. With independence, a sovereign capitalist country was established politically. But in the cultural-social –ethical fields the task of democratization remained unfulfilled. The past legacies not only remained, they gradually raised their heads, as the Indian capitalism as an inalienable part of the most decadent world capitalism assumed a moribund reactionary shape with each passing day. The governments which take up the charge of governance of the country, merely act as the political manager set to keep this exploitative, discriminatory decadent capitalist rule running. The BJP, as the trusted representative of the Indian monopolists, have proven in all aspects of social-political-economic activities, that they are efficient subservient agents of the ruling capitalist class. Hence all their pro-people slogans and gestures are mere jumlas (rhetoric), as their president has himself admitted with respect to their electoral pledges. And this is the reason why on one side, they call out Beti Padhao, Beti Bachao, on the other side they do not hesitate to stage demonstration to hammer out that the accused in the gang-rape of a poor child, is really innocent. It is for the people to note and judge this hypocritical face of the BJP, which once claimed to be a value-based party and the task is to organize themselves to develop strong movements against it.
Tales of the BJP : Believe it or not
Crediting Rs 15 lakh to each bank account
Narendra Modi said that every poor person will get 15 lakhs if black money is brought back (Truth of Gujarat 03-11-14). Amit Shah said : Modiji’s statement on Rs 15 lakh returning was a political jumla (ABP News-05-02-15). Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh told to ANI in an interview: “Never said Rs 15 lakh will come (to accounts of people). We had said that we will take action (karyawahi) against black money (Business Today 09-04-19)Rajasthan BJP chief Madanlal Saini said that apart from 3 lakh government jobs, people have got employment opportunities in road construction projects, industrial hubs, through skills development, entrepreneurship, etc. If one does the total, the number of jobs comes out to be over 15 lakh, he adds. This was in explanation of the rationale behind the BJP leader’s claim, during an interview with the Hindustan Times, where he had said that under the Modi government’s several schemes, people got benefits worth over Rs 15 lakh. (Business Today-18-07-18)
All EVM buttons record vote for BJP
Voters at a polling booth in Meerut erupted in loud protests that went on for most part of the day after one of them discovered that an Electronic Voting Machine (EVM) was recording votes only for BJP, irrespective of the button that was being pressed. (Times of India-23-01-17)
Modi has fitted cameras in every booth
Ramesh Katra, BJP MLA from Gujarat, said in a public meeting that Modi has fitted cameras in every booth to detect who are not voting for the BJP. (Ananda Bazar Patrika, 18-04-19)
No word against Hindu Terror
Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, an accused in the 2008 Malegaon blasts and now on bail, who is contesting as the BJP candidate from Madhya Pradesh’s Bhopal, said, “Anyone talking about bhagwa (saffron) and terror or Hindutva and terror, be warned. Anyone talking against the country be warned”. (NDTV 18-04-19) She further said in a TV interview: “We will build a Ram temple and we will build an imposing (temple). We had gone there to demolish the structure. I climbed up on the structure to raze it and I feel proud of this. God had given strength to us and we removed a scar on the face of the country.” (Hindustan Times 21-04-2019)
If you won’t vote for me, do not come to ask for work
While speaking at a rally in Sultanpur, Maneka Gandhi said she will not be ‘inclined’ to offer jobs to Muslims if they don’t vote for her. “I am going to win for sure. If Muslims won’t vote for me and then come to ask for work, I will have to think, what’s the use of giving them jobs?” she is seen saying in a 3-minute video clip that is going viral. She goes on to add, “You will need me, and I will have booth-wise details (of how many votes I got).” (India Today-12-04-2019)
Don’t vote BJP
Don’t vote for BJP: Ishwar Chand Sharma, Uttarakhand farmer, writes in suicide note. He was under heavy debt and he held the government responsible for his death. He committed suicide in the early hours of April 8 by consuming poison. (India Today-10-04-2019)
I am a monk, vote me, else face divine displeasure
“I am a monk, vote me, else face divine displeasure”, warns the BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj from Unnao, UP, and now seeking re-election. Maharaj said, “I am a sannyasi. I am here to beg at your door, if you refuse a sannyasi, I would take away your family’s happiness and will curse you”. “If you make me win, I will win. Else I will do bhajan and kirtan in a temple.” (nwsd.in 13-04-2019)
‘Pragya Thakur’s nomination is an insult to the memory of Hemant Karkare,’
say 71 former bureaucrats
Seventy-one former bureaucrats have signed an open letter urging Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the Bharatiya Janata Party to withdraw Malegaon blasts accused Pragya Thakur’s candidature for the Lok Sabha polls, PTI reported. The civil servants, including former Mumbai Police Commissioner Julio Ribeiro, said her nomination is an insult to the memory of former Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad chief Hemant Karkare. Thakur had claimed that she had cursed Karkare leading to his death in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks. The bureaucrats said the party’s decision to select Thakur as its candidate for the Bhopal parliamentary seat propounds her “brand of bigotry”. “This decision [Thakur’s candidature] could have been dismissed as yet another example of political expediency but for the enthusiastic endorsement by no less a person than the Prime Minister of India [Narendra Modi], who has termed her candidature as a symbol of our civilizational heritage,” the letter said. (scroll.in 25-04-19)
CPI (M) leadership needs to introspect
Comrade Chandidas Bhattacharyya, West Bengal State Secretary, SUCI(C), in course of a statement issued on 6 May said: At last, in the last phase of electioneering, former CPI (M) chief minister of West Bengal urged his party workers not to jump “fromthe frying pan into fire”. People of this state, however, could witness right from the beginning that a sizeable section of the CPI (M) leaders and cadres have been campaigning and casting vote in favour of the BJP despite there being either the CPI (M) or its Front candidates in the fray. There has also been Hindu-Muslim polarization within their party. Question has arisen whether all these have been happening under the direction of the leaders or by ignoring the top leadership. If that be the case, then how could such sordid be the state affairs within the CPI (M) after propagating leftism for long years and running the state government for 34 years without break. We hope the CPI (M) leadership would introspect.