Published fortnightly from Kolkata
Vol. 50 No. 21 June 15, 2017
In this issue
SUCI(C) condemns ghastly killing of peasants by police firing in Madhya Pradesh, calls for building up powerful movement under correct revolutionary leadership to realize just demands
SUCI(C) vehemently condemns cowardly attack on CPI (M)’s press conference by alleged allegiants to RSS
General Strike call in West Bengal on 17 July demanding immediate reintroduction of Pass-fail System from class I
Recent notification to impose virtual ban on cow slaughter : Underlying design and implication
Thwart the arch communal and fascist forces : Comrade Asit Bhattacharyya’s fervent appeal at the 69th Party Foundation Anniversary at Guwahati
NEWS & VIEWS
SUCI(C) condemns ghastly killing of peasants by police firing in Madhya Pradesh, calls for building up powerful movement under correct revolutionary leadership to realize just demands
Comrade Provash Ghosh, General Secretary, SUCI(C), issued the following statement on 8 June, 2017 :
We severely condemn killing of five peasants and grievous injury to many others when the police of the BJP-led Madhya Pradesh (MP) government opened fire on the agitating farmers on 5 June last at Mandsaur district of Madhya Pradesh which the BJP leaders often project as a model of agricultural progress. The farmers were legitimately demanding that the government grant them a loan waiver and set a minimum support price (MSP) for their farm produce. Not only MP, the suffering peasants of neighbouring Maharashtra, far-off Tamil Nadu or the states of UP, Gujarat, Haryana, Rajasthan and Punjab are seething in discontent and organizing movements in various forms demanding debt relief and remunerative price for their produce. Maharashtra peasants observed a 2-day bandh, and the drought-hit Tamil Nadu peasants staged a 40-day protest dharna in Delhi. To hoodwink the peasants, the various state governments are announcing MSPs for selective crops with stringent conditions so that benefits remain ever-eluding to the poor peasants. The recently announced farm loan waiver by the UP government is equally deceptive as the misery-stricken impoverished peasants would hardly be able to comply with the stipulated conditions. And now when the peasants are forced to agitate for their legitimate demands, the government responds with bullets and despotic leaders like the union home minster asks the MP government to have a crackdown on those “spreading unrest”. While the government could liberally grant tax waiver and concession to the tune of Rs 9 lakh crores to the big industrial houses and money bags in last fiscal year, its spokespersons are now shamelessly opposing farm loan waivers on the plea of denting the economy. This is the spectacle of achhe din that the BJP had promised to the countrymen.
SUCI(C) calls for All India Protest Day
While giving call for observing a countrywide protest day on 14 June against the horrifying MP firing incident, demanding adequate compensation for the victims and stringent punishment of the police officers and political elements guilty of this ghastly crime, the Party calls upon the struggling peasants not to be misled by the cajoling words or apparent belligerence of the reactionary and compromising forces and instead organize united powerful prolonged conscious movement under correct revolutionary leadership to take their just struggle to its logical culmination.
SUCI (C) vehemently condemns cowardly attack on CPI (M)’s press conference by alleged allegiants to RSS
Comrade Provash Ghosh, General Secretary, SUCI(C), issued the following statement on 8 June, 2017:—
We vehemently condemn the most cowardly attack by two miscreants allegedly allegiant to RSS on a press conference convened by Sitaram Yechury, General Secretary of the CPI (M), on 7 June, 2017 at their Delhi headquarters. This bears testimony to the fact that the RSS is now out to muzzle opposition voice by flexing brute muscle power which is typical of any reactionary force treading fascistic path to impose its ideological-political domination.
All right-thinking democratic-minded people should condemn this reprehensible attack and close their rank to build up a united organized conscious movement to inflict crushing defeat on the fascist forces.
General Strike call in West Bengal
on 17 July demanding immediate reintroduction of Pass-fail System from class I
Comrade Saumen Basu, Member, Central Committee and West Bengal State Secretary, SUCI(C), announced in a press conference held in Kolkata on 2 June, 2017, that the party has given call of a 12 hour General Strike and Hartal throughout the state on 17 July in demand for immediate reintroduction of pass-fail system right from class I. Elaborating further, he said 37 year back the then CPI (M) government had abolished English and pass-fail system from primary level. In 2009, the then Congress-led central government in the name of ensuring right to education extended elimination of pass-fail system upto class VIII. Based on that, the present TMC government of the state enforced this no detention upto class VIII in 2011.
Our Party right from the beginning had launched sustained powerful save education movement both at state as well as national level against this brazenly anti-people education policy. A galaxy of luminaries, educationists and intellectuals as well as education-loving people not only supported this just movement but came out on the street to protest the pernicious move of the government. On 3 February, 1998, our Party had given call for a General Strike and Hartal in the state to press for these legitimate demands. It was a runaway success indicating massive support of the people behind the demand. Under pressure of the movement that continued for 19 long years, the erstwhile CPI (M) government was forced to reintroduce English at primary level. But the demand for restoring pass-fail system pending which there is a mockery of education and future of the children is on the precipice of doom, is not yet realized. We know that education-loving people, teachers and guardians can no more afford to allow this ruinous policy to persist. So, as part of the ongoing escalated movement, we are calling upon people to make the strike on 17 July a complete success and compel the government to yield to the demand for reintroduction of pass-fail system from class I.
Recent notification to impose virtual ban on cow slaughter : Underlying design and implication
The toiling Indian people groaning under yoke of ruthless capitalist oppression with every sphere of life becoming more and more nightmarish with every passing day are astonished to find that the BJP-led government instead of giving them rudimentary relief from growing misery, penury and destitution have become frenziedly hyper-active over cow vigilantism. Shamelessly the BJP ministers are declaring that protecting cows and not rescuing suffering humanity is their top priority. Making that as a plea, top-notch RSS-BJP leaders have been provocatively spewing venom against the Muslim minorities over beef eating. When people are deprived of elementary healthcare, a fleet of ambulances has been provided to transport sick cattle to veterinary hospitals. Even aadhar card made mandatory for Indian people as ‘authentic identity of citizenship’ is extended to cows also sending out a weird message that human beings and cows rank pari passu. To the frenzied champions of so-called Hindutva, a Muslim who consumes beef is portrayed as a butcher while the animal cow is conferred status of not just humanity but godliness. With this inversion, the cow becomes a person while a Muslim becomes a non-person. “A single drop of cow blood falling on earth pains Hindus”, said a BJP minister of Gujarat bringing out clearly the communal undertone of brimming concern for cows. As a sequel to all these, incidents of persecuting, torturing even ghastly killings of Muslim minority people have been rising menacingly. In order to launch a proxy war against Muslims, the Hindutva brigade have now floated self-styled arms-brandishing gau rakhshak (cow protector) groups as watchdogs and licensed to do anything to whomever they consider violators of cow vigilantism. These mushrooming gau rakhshak groups say they “feel empowered” because of the BJP governments at the Centre and in different states. Hence, the police-administration everywhere is found to be not just passive but indulgent onlooker to their dastardly attacks on and lynching of the targeted communities. Planted bigotry as well as organized violence, and not some misguided ‘sacred’ zeal, is the subtext that ties all the attacks together. Alongside, the monopoly-controlled media, the government’s propaganda machinery and some motivated Hindutva protagonists have released an orchestrated high-pitch campaign to instil in public mind “how the cow has always been holy and revered by the Hindus.” More intense has been this campaign, more frequent and diabolic have been the attacks on the Muslims over allegations of trafficking and slaughtering cows as well as eating beef. Not just Muslims. Even the downtrodden dalit populace who profess Hinduism but somehow earn their bread by undertaking so-called lower-end jobs including transporting and disposing of dead cows, taking out the skin of dead cattle, etc., are not spared. Often they are also attacked and lynched in public for this by the so called cow vigilantes.
Administrative order passed to legitimize cow vigilantism
To make things worse, the BJP-led central government has now issued an administrative order titled
‘Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Regulation of Livestock Markets) Rules, 2017’, to legitimize cow vigilantism. This order, as is the practice of late, has been issued merrily bypassing parliament which sought to be perceived as sovereign by the ruling capitalist class and bootlickers. The government order has prohibited sale of bovine animals for slaughter or religious sacrifice at livestock markets and animal fairs. This administrative fiat which is tantamount to blanket ban on cow slaughter and imposition of dietary prescription is glaringly subversive of people’s right to food and autocratic in every sense. What would any sensible man call it, insanity par excellence or organized devilry! What is going to be the fallout of this executive sermon and what is the underlying design? Does it have anything to do with religion or there is some other axe to grind? Democratic-minded thinking people need to probe deep and ferret out the truth.
Spate of lies to justify cow vigilantism
The RSS-BJP-Sangh Parivar, as has not escaped notice of any discerning person, have been for long indulging in a spate of lies and false claims to sing glory to cow. These claims are so bogus and ridiculous that one feels embarrassed to even utter, let alone comment in writing. Cow releases oxygen during breathing, drinking cow urine and eating cow dung keep one healthy even at old age and ensures normal delivery of any pregnant woman, cow excreta can cure many deadly diseases including cancer, cow dung has the power to absorb harmful radioactive emission and so forth. Can any thinking mind or sensible person accept such trashes? Cunningly the RSS and its affiliates have added a rider that such ‘miraculous’ power vests only with desi (native) cows and not with the Western cows whose milk and dung are poisonous. Incredible indeed! And now Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), a Sangh Parivar constituent, has made an industry out of shuddh desi (pure domestic) bovine excreta and urine products ranging from toiletries to medicines under ‘Kamdhenu’ brand. A classic example of how to foment blind faith and bigoted beliefs, vend fake claims riding on people’s ignorance and then simultaneously reap roaring commerce benefits out of it. The order has been issued in this backdrop.
When any government with minimal democratic content ought to have withdrawn the order honouring legitimacy of the surging protest against it, the RSS-BJP and their government have instead been busy assembling and dishing out hollow arguments to cover the blatant lies they are indulging in to cover the hideous underbelly of their agenda of cow vigilantism and malevolence of the administrative edict. Their spruced up logic of regulating the livestock market or ending cruelty to the animals has no taker. Rather those conversant with objective reality are prompted to mock at such claims and lampoon the caricature of mandating ‘special citizen’ status to cow when people are dying of hunger and malnutrition. Caught in its own web, the government is now crying hoarse to assure people that the order does not impose any ban on beef. But that too is rejected lock, stock and barrel as a blatant lie by the discerning countrymen who find innocent citizens are lynched and assaulted even over false allegation of consuming beef.
Adverse economic impact particularly on the distressed peasants
Next is the question of extremely adverse impact the autocratic fiat would have on the economic life of the poor particularly the penury-stricken half-fed half-clad peasantry. Right from the day domesticated animals were recognized as stable property and helpful in life and livelihood, animal husbandry became a familiar household practice. These domesticated animals including cow besides helping in ploughing, in grinding oil seeds, in pulling carts and other utilities also served as food when found redundant. Ancient Indian literatures including epics also vouch for that. In his masterly work ‘The Myth of the Holy Cow’, Dr D.N. Jha has cited religious scriptures and ancient texts to show that Hindus did consume beef in ancient India. As this flew against the assertion of the RSS-BJP-Hindutva camp that beef-eating arrived in India with the coming of Islam, Dr Jha was threatened after the book was published. But then when logic ceases to weigh one is apt to choose the other way.
Coming back to the present, the life cycle of cattle provides farmers with a sustainable economic model. Most farmers do not keep cattle beyond 8-9 years of age. Also, the cattle price has gone up substantially indicating more demand than supply because of falling cow production. Equally prohitive have been prices of fodder and other articles necessary for maintenance of cattle. Moreover, artificial insemination is doing the job of breeding bulls. Hence, the farmers sell the redundant bovines and use the sale proceeds to cover part cost of acquiring a fresh animal. If this option is taken away from the farmer, how would he afford maintaining the redundant animal when he himself cannot manage his bare sustenance? Moreover, at times of distress, sale of cattle is one important option through which the farmers could overcome the financial difficulties to some extent. With that choice also being taken away, the farmers will be further pushed to debt. The new order stipulates that one cannot sell the cattle for six months from the date of purchase or cannot sell infirm cattle. This would again aggravate the distress of the farmers in drought-like situations. Authorities have also been given powers under new law to seize the animal and detain it in a separate enclosure if the animal is found to be unfit for sale by veterinarian. This also is another blow to the suffering peasants.
Thus, even cow production would be severely affected and plummeted. When a sizeable number of distressed populace is desperately trying to somehow survive in mercilessly oppressive capitalist rule, the number of farmers’ suicide has exceeded 3.5 lakhs and eviction, marginalization and pauperization have been wreaking havoc in the life of peasants, can anyone with a trace of human element afford to take away even that little means of livelihood from them? Is it not akin to slaying the slain? Is it not that in the name of preventing ‘cruelty’ to cow, the order metes far more cruelty to the peasants?
Similarly, the order would have a perilous impact on the Rs 1 lakh crore strong meat and allied industries of India which provides livelihood to a good number of people. Only 30% of cattle slaughtered in India are used for meat – either local consumption or export – while 70% of the carcass is traded for industries that deal in the three-dozen other items of daily use including leather shoes and bags. Most of the 30% cattle slaughtered, of course, is the water buffalo and Indian buffalo meat industry besides exporting worth over $4 billion (Rs 280 bn) annually, also supply raw hide to leather units that account for another $5.5 billion (Rs 385 bn). This industry relies on animal markets for 90% of its supply. With the new order crimping supplies to the industry, a large chunk of people would lose their means of livelihood and add to the already swelling number of unemployed. What economic logic is that to protect cow, human beings are to be dislodged from survival? Rather it is a glaring case of sacrificing human beings at the altar of cow protection which smacks of medievalism or diabolic pleasure oppressive Roman Kings used to derive by letting loose ferocious animals on chained slaves? Do the apologists of cow protection think that people are so fool as not to understand this? On the other hand, would it not pave way for a thriving black market of beef and sourcing other raw material pertaining to cow-related industries? Alongside, would it not throw open a new opportunity to the big MNCs, corporate behemoths and retail giants to make foray into this trade?
Does Religion mandate this?
Thus, it is clear how the new order would bring devastation to the already devastated life of the downtrodden poor. And this is done in the name of religion. The ruling dispensation claims that these measures are in keeping with the sentiment of the majority of Indians who profess Hinduism where cow is held ‘sacred’ and hence ‘worshipped as mother’. How sound is this logic from socio-historic perspective? Scientific analysis of history and social-development has shown that, religion just like the concept of god, arose at a particular juncture of history in a particular condition to meet a particular social need of that time. Religion then served the purpose of providing a framework of ethics and morality to the society, specified ‘dos and don’ts’ and assumed the form of an all-encompassing doctrine. Each of the religious preachers proclaimed their respective religions by persuasion and explaining their viewpoints patiently with their respective bents of logic. Of course, there were differences among the various religions. But none of them, whether Buddha, Mahaveera, Chaitanya, Jesus Christ, Hazrat Mohammed, Confucius or any other honest preacher of religion, ever sought to convert people to their respective religions by wielding sword or spewing venom against other religions. All the religions existed side by side and a spirit of tolerance prevailed. Only, there had been some stray incidents where some of those who succeeded the aforesaid religious preachers had, in order to become influential or increase domestic property, used force for religious conversion. But these isolated instances were all aberrations. Tolerance and peaceful coexistence of all religions was the main trend and widely accepted norm. It was no accidental a phenomenon but was intended by the religious preachers and their honest followers. Such was the extent of tolerance as part of self-governance. In this regard, there is a famous saying of Ramakrishna that more are the religions, more are the paths. Vivekananda while paying glorious tributes to Christ and Hazrat Muhammad said in no unequivocal a term that it was quite possible for his son to be a Buddhist, wife a Christian and he himself a Muslim. Did they not uphold the spirit of tolerance? Did not Hazrat Muhammad speak against the idea of forced conversion to Islam? Then where is the sanction in any religion to hate or smash other religions and coerce the believers in other religions to accept the so called edicts of one particular religion? Though religion in course of social progress and in the changing panorama has now become obsolete in the age of scientific reasoning, yet, in the context, this brief discussion has been necessitated to show that when religion was relevant in the society, impatience against or intolerance towards other religions was never observed.
Abject violation of human rights
It bears recall that when thoughts of renaissance emerged as spiritual superstructure of rising capitalism based on some epoch-making scientific discoveries which fostered a scientific bent of mind and spirit of enquiry, religion and religion-based thoughts and beliefs began losing ground. Age of reason, of course in bourgeois sense, had set in and the concept of god as well as efficacy of religion started facing challenge. At that time also, religion was not smashed with force nor was the believers of religion persecuted, harassed or lynched. The exponents of secularism which was based on non-recognition of super-natural entity also clearly stated that religion would remain as a matter of personal belief and would not intervene in socio-political fields. Thus, the spirit of tolerance prevailed. So also prevailed peaceful co-existence of theism and atheism as well as of different religions. Tolerance constituted the pillars of bourgeois humanism and democracy which was then in its days of advent championing lofty concepts equality, fraternity and liberty. All these concepts, norms and practices evolved in those days of rising capitalism were in consonance with the then social interest notwithstanding the fact that bourgeois democracy has a class basis. But at that period, bourgeois democracy triggered social progress, provided certain fundamental rights to the people like right to eat, right to be a believer or non-believer in god, right to profess religion of one’s belief in personal life and so forth as well as brought the broader concept of Human Rights. These rights were no gratis but granted to spur growth and development of individual human beings and human society albeit with reasonable restriction so that no one could misuse or abuse the rights forgetting that rights imply obligation and freedom does not mean anarchy or license to do anything. How could those rights be scrapped today just by issuing an administrative fiat? If these rights are taken away one after another and the government begins to dictate what to eat, what to wear, where to stay, which religion to be followed, whom to marry, whom not to talk to in public, which street to walk on, to what extent should one breathe and forth, then where will be the end? Would it not completely negate democracy itself? And if democracy ceases to exist, will not fascism take over? What would happen to civilization then?
Crass communal Hindutva is euphemized as cow vigilantism
It is therefore clear that the inhuman draconian acts or fiats of the RSS-BJP have nothing to do with religion. These servitors of ruling reactionary capitalism are using religion for buttressing a heinous political agenda. When religion is used or abused for narrow sectarian vile political gains, it is called fundamentalism which foster all such rotten thoughts, trashes and bigoted frenzy as is seen with the RSS-BJP. Facts will speak. Top notch leaders of RSS-BJP are intentionally and in a calculated manner uttering provocative words to communally surcharge the atmosphere and ensure that a sense of fear and insecurity creeps into the daily life of the Muslim minorities so that they could bullied to submission and that could then be trumpetted as victory of so-called Hindutva to incite Hindu communal passion and brighten electoral prospects. And in pursuit of this ulterior motive, the RSS-BJP, obviously at the behest of the ruling capitalist class, have been trampling underfoot the spirit of tolerance and instead fomenting fanaticism and hostility disregarding what religion as well as bourgeois democracy in its rising period had upheld as embodiment of public welfare and civility. In fact, the new order is a crafty way to incite communalism further and justify fundamentalism euphemised as cow vigilantism as an act of governance! Viewing it from another angle, it can be said that the truth about the affability and plurality of Hinduism which the respected religious preachers of ancient time espoused and practised being guillotined by the ‘puritanism’ of vile doctrine of so called Hindutva doctrine, would not remain veiled. With such atrocious acts going on unabated, can it be said that even whatever traces of democracy exist today would remain anymore? Can these advocates of so called Hindutva or cow-vigilantism be regarded as civilized by any stretch of imagination?
Why this ruinous prescript?
Obvious question is when common people are reeling to have both ends meet, starvation deaths are mounting, poverty is rising alarmingly, wails and screams of the wretched and hapless are renting the air, what prompts the government to focus all attention on cow vigilantism? A probing eye would bring to the fore that the principal motive behind this move is to fulfil a vile political objective. The first point to be realized is that all the evils, disparities, deprivations and aberrations in the economic-political-social-cultural spheres are inseparably linked with the decadent, moribund capitalism. Capitalism is the root of all evils. The government is a caretaker of the capitalist state. It is these ruling capitalists who decide keeping a façade of democracy which party or combination should be installed in governmental power and implement their noxious design totally opposed and highly inimical to the interest of the oppressed people irrespective of the caste, creed, religion, region or ethnicity. Round the clock, the bourgeois government and the lackeys of ruling exploitative capitalism are busy working out which trickeries should be adopted to keep people in the dark, what kind of deceptive overtures would suit best to hoodwink people, how best can people’s ignorance be sustained so as to ride on that for working out their crooked machinations, how can these trickeries and deceptions be dished out on a suitably designed defrauding platter. Why is it so?
Because, following inexorable law of history, capitalism is now in its death throes. It has now turned utmost reactionary, cruel, corrupt, despotic and at the same time overbearingly cunning and deceptive. To prolong its mutilated existence, capitalism-imperialism has no way but to clamp fascism under the garb of democracy on every sphere, economic-political-social-cultural. Its most obedient political servants are now entrusted with the task of baring the fascist fangs in diversified fields. Every moment, ruling capitalism is weaving ploys to defraud and mislead people, taking all care to ensure that truth remains ever elusive to them. Because, if people come to know the lurking truth, they would refuse to be taken for a ride anymore and seek emancipation from this gruelling capitalist oppression and repression. Historically determined course to emancipation is accomplishment of anti-capitalist socialist revolution on fulfilment of the scientifically deduced subjective and objective conditions. Hence, the ruling monopolists, as pointed out by great Marx, are haunted by the spectre of anti-capitalist revolution. Fulfilment of the stipulated conditions and achievement of the revolution are contingent upon people’s conscious realization of this historical course of social progress and acting accordingly. So, the ruling class has been arraying its entire arsenal to cripple people’s mind and thinking, plunge them into the dungeon of regimentation, inertia and infirmity with a view to prohibiting them from enquiring into the cause of their growing misery and taking conscious initiative to crystallize their accumulated grievances into organized sustained powerful movements under correct revolutionary leadership to bring about the cherished revolution.
Absence of powerful democratic movement has turned India into a fertile soil for communalism-fundamentalism to thrive and thump around
In India, due to definite socio-historic reasons that Comrade Shibdas Ghosh, our leader, teacher and guide and one of the foremost Marxist thinkers of the era, had thoroughly elaborated, the task of democratization of the society against feudal thoughts, feudal disunity and religious bondage was not undertaken in right earnest by the Indian nationalist leadership during the freedom movement. So, though India emerged politically as a nation, the Indians remained disunited by religion, caste, nationality, race and language. Notwithstanding this inherent weakness, whatever little of democracy and democratic values could develop in course of national independence struggle is also gravely threatened today by the arch communal RSS-BJP. This crass divisiveness centred on caste-religion-region-language that independent India has inherited as weakness of the freedom struggle has come handy to them in perpetuating disunity among the toiling Indians, throwing a spanner in their solidarity, unsettling their fraternity, precipitating disaffection, distrust and animosity among them and keeping one section of the toiling people permanently pitted against another and thereby embroiled in fratricidal bloodbath and mutual killings. More accentuated is the oppression and repression on the people, more are such sentiments and passion fomented by the communal-fundamentalist RSS-BJP to divide, disunite and polarise oppressed people on religious line, inculcate religious fanaticism and bigotry in the minds of the people, incite revivalism and restore age-old obsolete creeds, precipitate hatred towards the Muslim minority among the Hindu community, promote fundamentalism, incite communal passion, destroy scientific bent of mind and rational approach, blunt the thought process and turn the mindset into mystic alley of blindness and obscurantism, to serve the sinister class interest of ruling capitalism. Sensing from their class instinct that nothing better than this communal-fundamentalist frenzy and intoxication of people’s mind with communal venom and obscurantism-bigotry can serve the ruling class interest, the ruling capitalists made a concerted effort to install the BJP into power, project its leader Narendra Modi as an efficient statesman and wholeheartedly back the rabid doctrine of so-called Hindutva which glaringly militates against basic prescripts of even Hinduism. The latest over-activism over cow vigilantism and legislating literal ban on cattle slaughter is to be viewed in this background.
Ploy to divide people, divert attention
As we have said, the most obedient political servants of decadent moribund capitalism are now entrusted with the task of baring the fascist fangs in diversified fields. The BJP too is engaged in that task. Before coming to power, the BJP like any other rotten bourgeois party sought to befuddle people with catchphrases like achhe din (good days), sabke saath, sabke vikas (carrying all together, prosperity to all) and so forth. With passage of time, all these have proved to be damp squibs. Economic onslaughts in varied forms are holding toiling people into ransom. Despite a slew of manipulating exercises, statistical juggleries, stunts and gimmicks, the rickety face of the economy is surfacing with all virulence. From their life’s experience, people are gradually coming to understand what big a bluff has been all such promises and conciliatory speeches of the government, ministers and ruling party leaders. Discontent is brewing among the toiling masses. Often, it is manifest in the stirs and agitations surging forth in the various parts of the country. The ruling class and its government cannot afford to allow this mounting discontent and accumulated grievances to crystallize into united organized conscious mass struggles under correct leadership and pave way for anti-capitalist revolution. So the BJP as the most trusted party of the ruling class now knows very clearly what its master’s need is at the present juncture. Hence, it is going full throttle with its rabid rotten communal agenda, orchestrating a hate campaign against the religious minorities, destroy people’s unity, distract them from finding common cause and divert their attention. Hence is the frenzy over cow protectionism and culling ludicrous justifications in its favour.
Thwart this pernicious move, expose the hideous conspiracy
This, in brief, is the gamut of high-pitched cow vigilantism and singing paean to the cow. It is imperative that suffering people do not fall prey to this mischievous orchestration by the merchants of reaction. When the atmosphere is so surcharged and communal vipers are raising their hood to poison the society, it is shocking that none of the political parties craving for staying afloat in the corridors of power by remaining in the good books of the ruling capitalists is caring to resist this pernicious move with all their might. Their feeble voice of protest or customary belligerence in media glare is only limited within the confines of bourgeois vote politics that sustain them with bread and butter.
In view of this, the suffering people of the country need to correctly realize what a portent looms large in their life. If they remain silent, this death dance of the communal-fundamentalist forces would be more furious to tear them apart. Only deterrent lies in cementing their unity rising above all divisiveness and then releasing a powerful movement under correct revolutionary leadership to stall this impending danger. Alongside, there ought to be an intense ideological battle against the heinous doctrine of communalism-blindness-fanaticism-revivalism and blunting rational thinking, all these cooked up odes and hymns, bogus fradulent references to religious texts and epics and deliberate distortion of facts and history. The perpetrators of this unpardonable crime of turning the entire country into a slaughter house in the name of banning cow slaughter should not escape unscathed and unexposed. History would dig the grave of those who dare to ignore the verdict of history. It is people’s iron will and determination that matters most.
Thwart the arch communal and fascist forces
Comrade Asit Bhattacharyya’s fervent appeal at the 69th Party Foundation Anniversary at Guwahati
[On 24 April last, 69th Party Foundation Anniversary was observed in different districts of Assam. Under the auspices of the Assam State Committee, a state-level meeting presided over by Comrade Chandralekha Das, Assam State Secretary, was organized on 28 April at the District Library Auditorium at Guwahati. Comrade Asit Bhattacharyya, Member, Polit Bureau of the Party, addressed it as the main speaker. We give below the English translation of the gist of his speech delivered in Assamese. The responsibility of translation error as well as inadequate representation, if any, solely lies with the Editorial Board of Proletarian Era.]
Elaborating upon why we observe the foundation day of the Party with due solemnity, Comrade Asit Bhattacharyya pointed out that 24 April is a historically significant day in our Party life. On this date in 1948, Comrade Shibdas Ghosh, the great leader of the Proletariat founded SUCI (Communist) as a necessary weapon in the hands of the exploited Indian people to achieve emancipation. It won’t be a tall claim to make that to the exploited masses of India it is this Party which is now gradually getting accepted as the only force they can depend upon. On this very backdrop, each day we take the pledge for making this Party stronger, developing it further and thereby hastening the course to overthrow the capitalist class from power as early as possible. Over and above that, on this very particular day of 24 April, all over the country and all of us together, the Party members and supporters as well as toiling people, we resolve afresh to ascertain our tasks on the strength of threadbare analysis of national and international situations in the light of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh Thought. And through this we renew our pledge to take the Party further ahead.
Backdrop of building up SUCI(C)
In a very brief outline of the background upon which the SUCI (Communist) was founded, Comrade Bhattacharyya showed that independence struggle against the British imperialist rulers started in this country towards the end of the nineteenth century, and became considerably powerful in the beginning of the twentieth century. He added that two mutually opposing trends had clearly emerged in this independence movement. One was a compromising trend while the other was uncompromising. The compromising trend led by Gandhiji looked ahead for a transfer of political power through an understanding with the British imperialists. In opposition to it, those upholding the uncompromising trend had realized that the compromising trend was sure to prove fruitless, as it would not be able to bring in real independence the people were aspiring for. Contrarily, it would push the country towards precipice of ruination. The uncompromising trend had Netaji Subhaschandra Bose at its helm. Primarily because of the people’s upsurge centred on this uncompromising attitude for attaining independence of the country, the British imperialists felt that they would not be able to continue their rule in this country for long. And that was the reality too. The impact of this upsurge forced the British imperialists leave this country.
In course of this discussion, Comrade Bhattacharyya made it clear that the compromising leadership of the Congress did never wage any ideological campaign to make people aware of what the essence of independence was, or, what would be the real character of independence. Netaji Subhaschandra Bose had started a campaign on how could emancipation from all kinds of exploitation be attained, how should the country be built up after independence. But, because of definite historical reasons, even these thoughts could not make any deep and decisive inroad into the masses. Another reason was the absence of any genuine communist party in the country upholding Marxism-Leninism. In consequence, though it was possible to achieve political independence giving defeat to the mighty British imperialist power in all its aspects, the root cause of people’s plight that is exploitation of man by man could not be eradicated. Not only such exploitation was not ended with the Indian national bourgeoisie usurping the state power, the situation turned worse with exploitation tending to aggravate further.
On this backdrop, a question struck a section of those ardent fighters who had engaged themselves in the independence movement putting their life at stake, having aflame in their heart the urge for emancipation from all kinds of exploitation. They sought for the answer as to what would be the outcome of this independence which was being achieved through a compromise with the British imperialists? They could not get the correct answer at that time. Even though there was a party carrying the name of the Communist Party of India, people could not obtain the answer from it. It was under those circumstances that Comrade Shibdas Ghosh emerged to discharge a historic role. He presented to his countrymen an outstanding analysis of what was going to be the situation after the country became politically independent. He pointed out that through a compromise with the British imperialists the Indian national bourgeoisie had usurped the state power. With that, the country had become politically independent, but people’s aspiration for emancipation from all kinds of exploitation remained unfulfilled.
Ninety-five percent of the Indians comprising the workers, peasants and other sections of toiling masses made extreme sacrifice, laid down their lives in thousands for fulfilling the dream of achieving total emancipation from all sorts of exploitation. But with the national bourgeoisie installed in state power, that cherished dream of theirs was completely shattered. Comrade Shibdas Ghosh also showed that there had been no attempt at all to expose and foil the grave conspiracy hatched by the aspirant national bourgeoisie and its servitors to usurp power. To combat and thwart this conspiracy, it was necessary to lead the independence struggle with the goal of establishing a society free from exploitation and making people conscious of that goal and the path to achieve that. Theoretically, this responsibility lay with a genuine communist party. But on the question of conducting a two-fold struggle simultaneously— one of ending with the imperialist rule and exploitation and the second of foiling the design and desire of the national capitalist class to usurp power. But the CPI carrying the signboard of Communist Party took such a position that, let alone forging unity of all sections of exploited masses, only helped the capitalist class to grab power. Explaining the root cause of this failure, Comrade Ghosh elaborated that abject failure of the undivided CPI in developing into a genuine communist party following strictly the Leninist methodology of party formation, was the main reason which caused this debacle. As an inevitable consequence, the CPI growing with a communist name board actually turned into a typical petty bourgeois party. Leave aside performing a correct role in independence movement— which remained a far cry—its flaws and mistakes in deducing correct political line only brought about utter disaster.
Struggle imperative for developing a genuine communist party
Comrade Asit Bhattacharyya then highlighted the outstanding struggle Comrade Shibdas Ghosh conducted to form and develop a genuine communist party based on Marxist- Leninist understanding and in the process provided invaluable teaching in this regard. In his explanation, Comrade Bhattacharyya added that a genuine communist party cannot develop without following correct Leninist methodology. It does not make a communist party, if a few individuals with desire to form a party assemble, fix up a conference and from there announce the formation of the party. Following the teachings of the great leader Marx and drawing appropriate lesson from the history of development of the Soviet Communist Party under the leadership of Lenin based on these teachings, Comrade Shibdas Ghosh showed that those who would come forward to build up a genuine communist party must first generate an all-embracing arduous socialist movement covering all aspects of their life to imbibe essence of Marxism-Leninism and thereby attain ideological centralism. This movement for attaining ideological centralism should be carried on for a considerable time forming a platform of struggle before giving a final organizational shape or formal structure of the party. And the movement must also involve the exploited toiling masses. On both theoretical and practical aspects the purpose of this movement would to be free oneself from the private property as well as private property mental complex. This is necessary, as here lies the living soul, the inner kernel of communist ideology. Marx had succinctly expressed this concept in his beautiful enunciation: Communism is humanism minus private property. This concept, this idea must also be carried to the workers, peasants and other sections of exploited people and mass movements will have to be waged on its basis. The toiling millions must be imbued with class consciousness. If such a movement is conducted successfully for a considerable period of time, it would clearly reveal to what extent those engaged in this struggle could advance and bring out the relative positions of each of them in the graph of progress. With a note of caution Comrade Shibdas Ghosh made it explicit that a communist party cannot be formed bypassing this struggle.
Secondly, in order to found a genuine communist party it is required to concretize revolutionary working class thought on the concrete situation of the concerned country. Working class thought and bourgeois class thought are fundamentally opposed to each other. In course of establishing working class thought, all bourgeois thoughts and ideas will have to be wiped out. And while conducting this struggle for firming up working class thought, ideological centralism will have to be created covering the entire realm of thoughts and ideas. It means that in the process the party will have to develop one process of thinking, one process of movement, oneness in approach, uniformity of thinking and singleness of purpose within it.
Comrade Shibdas Ghosh said that honesty of purpose, sincerity of desire and aspiration for becoming a communist merely indicate the augury of this struggle. How will it be ensured that the struggle for attaining communist character is advancing correctly towards its goal? He added that it would depend upon whether the struggle is being conducted based on correct methodology. To change the ever-changing world, one should have correct idea about which is the correct process or methodology for a specific act at a specific situation. The question of following the ‘correct methodology’ is extremely vital. And in this regard, developing collective leadership based on collective knowledge is indispensible. For any individual, the success in the struggle for freeing oneself from private property, private property mental complex, self –centrism and bourgeois individualism will hinge upon successful conduction of the struggle based on correct methodology and under collective leadership. These are imperative tasks that must be performed unfailingly. Only then it can be possible to proceed towards adopting necessary steps towards building up a communist party. Judging the activities of the CPI on this yardstick, Comrade Ghosh showed that the undivided CPI could never grow as a genuine communist party. One must not fail to note that when Comrade Shibdas Ghosh was elaborating and enriching these fundamental conditions of founding a communist party, the world communist movement was passing through its glorious times. At that time, the Russian revolution as well as remarkable progress of the Soviet socialism had not only been attracting the working class and genuine intellectuals of the entire world towards socialism, it had also created a passion, an urge for socialism and even communism in them. This was the backdrop upon which workers and toiling people of India were once drawn towards the undivided CPI. This was the reason behind growth of that party for a certain period. And see, even in such a situation Comrade Shibdas Ghosh pronounced with great wisdom and firmness that the CPI was not a genuine communist party. A genuine communist party must be founded in India. This is the background in which the SUCI (Communist) was founded.
SUCI(C) is fast receiving acceptance as genuine communist party
Comrade Bhattacharyya said again, this Party founded, reared and steered by Comrade Shibdas Ghosh, is now being increasingly acclaimed today as the genuine communist party by the Indian people. In different states of the country, people in increasing number are being drawn towards this Party. You are aware of the inconceivably arduous struggle that Comrade Shibdas Ghosh conducted to build up the SUCI (Communist). Referring to another important aspect, Comrade Bhattacharyya said: While conducting the struggle for building the SUCI (Communist) as a genuine communist party, Comrade Shibdas Ghosh correctly realized that deceitful political activities devoid of any values and ethics, rather smacking of sheer hypocrisy had made a large section of the people of the country averse to all kinds of political activities. This is the context in which Comrade Shibdas Ghosh called upon all to not forget that politics calls for noble feelings of heart. Nobler still is the feeling that spurs on to revolutionary politics. On this realization itself, Comrade Ghosh said in an address in 1975 that he had desired for building up a party of completely different mettle. In absence of the great leader Comrade Shibdas Ghosh, it devolves upon the leaders and cadres of the Party to keep that thought living. When can this task be shouldered in right earnest? It can be shouldered successfully only when those aspiring to become communists would imbibe the indispensability of conducting the struggle for changing themselves from within with every passing day. It bears recall the teaching of Marx that before educating others the educators will have to change themselves. These words clearly indicate that on this question each and every individual has a historic role to play in developing this struggle. The communists are like teachers. Leaders and cadres of a genuine communist party bear the responsibility of helping exploited people to acquire correct knowledge and consciousness. In these regards, the undivided CPI could play no role at all. How could they do it even? As I have mentioned earlier, they tried to build up a party without paying any attention to the fundamental aspects of forming a genuine communist party following Leninist methodology and thus they avoided the struggle for changing themselves covering all aspects of all life including sex as well as for the imperativeness of launching this ideological struggle involving the masses. In consequence, the undivided CPI and later CPI (M) or the other breakaway groups of the undivided CPI have ultimately reached today the stage where they were destined to. It would not be wrong to say that they have found refuge in serving capitalism today. Comrade Ghosh did not live to see the recent activities of these parties. But see, even as far back as in 1948, the profound wisdom and far-sightedness of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh did not fail to identify the non-Marxist character of this party. In course of his struggle for building up the party, Comrade Ghosh presented this correct scientific analysis, then founded the SUCI (Communist) Party as the instrument of struggle for emancipation of the working class through an unthinkably firm and arduous struggle following Leninist methodology and by picking up and developing Party workers one by one. Today Comrade Shibdas Ghosh is no more with us. Yet after his demise, the growth of the Party has been remarkable. Armed with Comrade Shibdas Ghosh Thought, those like us who are striving hard to expand the Party organization further are definitely noting the fact that to whatever extent we are able to carry his thoughts to people of various states of the country, the exploited masses, progressive intellectuals, students and youth are feeling magnetic attraction towards the Party. People are gradually getting convinced that it is the SUCI (Communist) which alone is holding aloft the noble the banner of Marxism-Leninism. Even beyond this country, wherever and to whatever extent we have been able to reach out his thoughts, it is receiving attention and even acceptance by the communists of the world.
Weakening of social democratic forces has created favourable situation for democratic movement to surge forth
Dwelling upon the latest political situation of the country, Comrade Bhattacharyya elaborated that the more the reactionary capitalist forces are becoming despotic, the more horrific is becoming the situation inside the country. Side by side, people’s grievances are also growing and accumulating. Discontent and hatred of exploited people are increasing gradually, be it against the abject misrule of those who were earlier in power or of those who are now running the state or the Central governments. This in turn is creating a favourable situation for our Party to grow. On the other hand, a matter of grave concern is that the rise of extremely reactionary bourgeois communal forces is giving birth to a horrible situation. We shall have to conduct intense struggle against such forces. There can be no two words about it. Alongside we must take note of another development. The social democratic parties like the CPI, CPI (M) which as compromising force between labour and capital backstab working class movements from within and thereby help capitalist class to prolong its oppressive rule, are losing strength considerably. Days on, they are getting isolated from people. Once, the activities of these social democratic parties stood as stumbling blocks before building up revolutionary working class movements as well as mass struggles. That hindrance no longer exists to the extent as before. Under these circumstances, we should make full use of the attraction towards communism that exists still among the exploited masses, even among the progressive intellectuals. But that presupposes that we conduct arduous struggle in right earnest in both theoretical and practical fields, harnessing all our strength both at the individual as well as collective levels, build up class and mass struggles. This is very important. But on the question of conducting struggle with all our might, those of us within the Party are not at the same stage of development. Here again the question of the role of an individual comes in. And I mention Marx once again. It is essential to remember every moment, Marx’s basic teaching as to how to grow up as MAN worth the name. Lenin and Stalin have also repeatedly mentioned that in the course of social revolution, on the question of giving concrete shape to the noble ideology of communism, the role of each individual is unquestionably important. It means each individual every day at each moment must strive to intensify his or her struggle more and more. What I mean we must carry out all-out struggle to identify the unaccomplished aspects of struggle, first in our own life and then in the life of others. Every individual will then be able to perform his or her historic role, if the struggle against private property, private property mental complex and bourgeois individualism is conducted following correct process and covering all aspects of life including sex.
On this occasion I would like to raise another significant issue. To widely disseminate the ideology of communism among people in the present favourable condition, we require competent propagandists. Lenin said that a communist must be a good propagandist. Who can be such a propagandist? On this point Comrade Shibdas Ghosh taught that good propagandists can develop only if the leaders and cadres of the party can raise their ideological and thinking standard to higher and higher levels through day to day struggle.
Undivided CPI spread a false notion that people do not understand intricate theories
Dwelling upon world communist movement in brief, Comrade Bhattacharyya said: In these days of decadent capitalism, modern revisionism has caused immense harm to socialism, though temporarily. Capitalism has been reinstated in the erstwhile socialist countries. If one intends to combat this situation effectively, one must understand and grasp the latest concrete and enriched understanding of Marxism-Leninism contained in Comrade Shibdas Ghosh Thought. One must find out which are the aspects Comrade Ghosh had emphasized upon during his struggle for founding the Party, which are the issues and points where he developed and elaborated the understanding of Marxism- Leninism. Clear and precise grasping of these enriched understandings is required for freeing the communist movement from the tangles of modern revisionism. And our Party will have to take the leading role in accomplishing this historic task. How far we will succeed will depend upon the organizational strength of the Party. And this is the reason why Comrade Shibdas Ghosh had repeatedly stressed on the extreme importance of developing mass contact at individual initiative. So, if we can go to the masses by assimilating the essence of his thoughts, teachings and guidelines and in the process continuously changing ourselves, the Party would be able to penetrate among the masses. In fact, the Party is penetrating among the oppressed people. The undivided CPI had created a false notion that the masses do not understand or follow the finer intricacies of theories. Comrade Ghosh refuted it to say that it was totally wrong. If the theoretical aspects can be correctly placed and explained, even an illiterate person would acquire advanced understanding of Marxism. We have such instances in our Party. But what is important here is that one must himself have profound understanding of the ideology to make people understand it.
Revisionist deviation and standard of good communist
Another point I would refer here. You all know that modern revisionism is nothing but sheer and out-and out capitalist thinking under the garb of socialist phrase-mongering. Gripped by such anti-Marxist thoughts, many socialist states fell victim to deviation and ultimately got dismantled. Comrade Shibdas Ghosh pointed out that the main reason of this is attributable to the failure to elevate the standard of communist thinking with the passage of time. The treacherous inroad of modern revisionism cannot be checked if the ideological standards of the leaders, cadres and people are not continuously raised to higher levels through continuous development of ideology and theory. Comrade Shibdas Ghosh has repeatedly cautioned us that today in the present days of decadent capitalism, modern revisionism which has overwhelmed communist movement in many countries cannot be thwarted by cultivating bourgeois humanism. He reminded us that bourgeois humanism is totally exhausted today. At a time when bourgeois humanism could inspire people, cast positive influence on them even to some extent, the standard of a good communist was determined by subordinating individual interest to social interest. But now in dying capitalism, the minimum standard of the highest communist character is defined as total identification of individual interest with collective or social interest.
Comrade Ghosh showed that the Cultural Revolution of China drew close to this thought, but could not give shape to it in proper articulate theoretical expression. Even after hailing Chinese Cultural Revolution as magnificent, Comrade Ghosh did point out its marked limitations. So, I am sure, you would feel how urgent it is to spread this extremely significant thought of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh for reviving and revitalizing the world communist movement. We cannot allow ourselves, you, me and all of us, to slacken our vigilance over performing the role history has adjured to us in this regard.
Prevailing international situation and conspiracy of ruling capitalism
Elaborating the present highly explosive international situation, Comrade Asit Bhattacharyya said: the entire capitalist-imperialist world, including the USA and the European powers, are sunk in grave economic, political, social and cultural crises. In a word, it is in an all-out crisis. The USA was once the richest country. Even it is now in the grip of deep economic crisis. Crippling capitalist exploitation and rule have made life unbearable for US people. Different countries of Europe are also similarly afflicted by crises. In many of the western countries as also elsewhere, people’s resentment is bursting forth spontaneously. But due to absence of leadership of genuine communist parties over these movements these are not led to their logical culmination. As a result, mounting rage and discontent are not crystallizing into a well- organized movement. So it has become a historical necessity all over the world to organize the exploited toiling masses under the leadership of their respective genuine communist parties. But the sad reality is that, in most of countries of the world it has not so far been possible to form genuine communist parties following correct methodology of party formation. At the same time, it is also being realized that all over the world, the condition is ripened for building up genuine communist parties. On the one side, the oppression and arrogance of extremely reactionary forces, that is the exploiting capitalist ruling class, are bringing people’s life to the limit of bearing with it. On the other side, it is also true that from their own day-to-day experience people are becoming more and more averse to the ruling capitalism. To ensure that the situation does not go out of control, the ruling capitalist class and their subservient political parties are hatching thousand and one hideous designs. They are frantically trying to disunite exploited masses of people based on race, religion, colour, language and such other divisive traits. It is also being noted that the bourgeois election almost stripped of its democratic content is acting as a powerful weapon in their hands to hoodwink people. Taking advantage of the fact that the exploited masses are not positively yet disillusioned about election, the ruling class is enmeshing the masses into the trap of election. It has become a common experience to see that whenever people’s resentment against the unbearably oppressive rule and exploitation of one bourgeois party in power mounts to burst forth, the ruling capitalist class and their agents are using election as a most effective treacherous tactics to divert people’s attention and douse their resentment. Whenever they face a new crisis, they are declaring fresh election simply as a diversionary tactics, creating hype against highly discredited party in power and cunningly replacing it by another subservient party of theirs. This is the way the capitalists are holding on to power in all capitalist countries of the world. Needless to say, it has become imperative to free people from illusion about bourgeois elections, not negatively but positively. For that, the correct course of action is to develop powerful mass movements one after another on burning problems of life.
Rise of BJP denotes a renewed effort of capitalism to hold on to power
In his brief reference to the national scenario, Comrade Bhattacharyya said: The condition here also has become unthinkably murky. Menacing rise of communal BJP has created a dangerous situation. But what I want to point out is that rise of the BJP is not simply a political upsurge of BJP or RSS. It represents a new effort on the part of capitalism to survive. Not only BJP or RSS, all the parties barring our Party are now in the clutches of the capitalist class. Here I would request you to recall an important teaching of Comrade Shibdas Ghosh. Repeatedly pointed out to the people and finally categorically spelt out at a mass meeting in 1975 that though apparently there are many forces in the country, in reality there are only two forces. On the one side are all the bourgeois parties opposed to revolution and on the other the SUCI (Communist), the party to lead revolution. Excepting us, each and every party is trying to shield the capitalist class. On the other hand the SUCI (Communist) is pursuing revolutionary line of overthrowing capitalism, cultivating revolutionary theory and carrying revolutionary thoughts to the masses. These are the two opposite camps. Right now, the RSS-BJP are spreading fascist thinking and worst form of communalism throughout the country. This is posing grave danger. Even in West Bengal, we can see that taking advantage of the absence of powerful mass movements, the RSS-BJP have become frantic in their attempts to propagate their rabid communal thoughts. It is extremely disturbing to see that no party other than ours, seem to be eager to come forward to firmly stand up against the dangerous fascist forces like RSS-BJP. The CPI(M), CPI have all surrendered to the capitalists. Here in Assam too the BJP has been installed in power. With that, what a horrific situation has been created in the state! Communal and fanatic provincial forces are constantly instigating one section of worker-peasants-poor people against another. Fratricidal clashes are resulting from these. Tragic death stares at the religious and linguistic minorities. But whatever be the situation, we must combat it. People of religious and linguistic minority communities should understand that this is not an attack only on them. These forces are misleading even the common Assamese-speaking people. Here also, capitalism is shielding itself behind these servitor political parties and forces. Long back, Comrade Shibdas Ghosh said that today capitalism cannot survive without taking recourse to fascism. Today the symptoms are becoming vivid. The ruling bourgeoisie is consolidating economic and political powers. They are trampling underfoot people’s democratic rights every moment everywhere. They are spreading blindness and bigotry in the name of Hindutva. Under such circumstances the only course is to move forward by developing united democratic movements involving all sections of exploited people cutting across race-religion- caste-language-region-ethnicity. And to perform this historic task, we have to make bold stride ahead with firm resolve.
NEWS & VIEWS
AIKKMS condemned Mandsaur killing, called for all India protest on 8 June
In a press statement on June 6, 2017, Comrade Sankar Ghosh, General Secretary, All India Kisan Khet Mazdoor Sangathan (AIKKMS) severely condemned killing of five peasants and causing serious injuries to many more when the police of BJP-led Madhya Pradesh opened fire on a protest rally organised by the peasants at Mandsaur district to voice their burning demands. He demanded 1) Adequate compensation for the dead and wounded peasants and 2) Exemplary punishment to the police officers and political leaders directly or indirectly involved in this heinous act. He also called upon all the toiling and democratic minded people to raise their voice of protest and observe a protest day on June 8, 2017 all over the country”.
In another statement dated 11 June, 2017, AIKKMS deplored the arrest of Medha Patekar, noted social worker and Comrades Lokesh Sharma, Sonu Sharma and Mohan Singh, Madhya Pradesh State leaders of AIKKMS when they were going to Mandsaur and demanded their immediate release.
AIUTUC condemns Mandsaur firing
In a statement issued on 7 June, 2017, Comrade Sankar Saha, General Secretary, AIUTUC, strongly condemned the police firing on agitating peasants over just demands at Mandsaur, Madhya Pradesh, and said that while the government could merrily waive huge bank loans to corporate houses, it does not bother least to consider the genuine demands of the farmers for, among others, waiver of loans, instead counter them with bullet. He called upon the democratic minded people to stand by the struggling farmers of Madhya Pradesh and in other parts of the country.
Students-youth-common people demand re-introduction of Pass-Fail system
Abolition of Pass-Fail system (alternatively known as No- Detention Policy) is bringing about devastating effects in school education all over the country. Despite protests from all levels and even after the governments, including the Union government admitting the reality, the Policy continues on different pretexts in different states. Latest the Union government has thrust the onus on to the state governments.
On this background, recently the AIDSO have waged the movement afresh for realizing the demand of reintroduction of the Pass- Fail System right from the class I as also other vital demands of education. In West Bengal, the AIDSO staged a demonstration in front of the Assembly House in Kolkata. The demonstration was brutally attacked by the police of the TMC government of the state with indiscriminate baton charge and arrest causing severe injuries to many. But such repression simply attracted massive support of common people, revealing how sensitive people have become on this issue which is miserably affecting every children of every family of the common masses. On 31May a demonstration was held in front of Ravenshaw University, at Cuttack in Odisha to condemn police atrocities on students in Kolkata . The demand for the re-introduction of pass-fail system from class 1 was reiterated by the Odisha students. In Delhi, AIDSO staged a demonstration at Jantar- Mantar on 2 June, and submitted a memorandum to the Union Human Resources Department Minister on protest of the No-Detention Policy as also against privatization and commercialization of education. A public meeting was also held on the occasion that was addressed by leaders of AIDSO, AIMSS and others. In different districts of Haryana, namely in Hisar, Rohtak, Bhiwani and Rewari programmes including Dharnas, and protest demonstrations were held by AIDSO, at places jointly with AIDYO. Everywhere the organizations and their activists pledged to continue the struggle till the demand is realized.
Rallies in Tamil Nadu in demand for expediting drought relief
A protest rally demanding of both the state and central governments to expedite drought relief measures , supply of drinking water to all drought-affected people, and providing adequate quantity of essential items to all through Public Distribution system on war-footing was held in Chennai and Madurai on 12 June by Tamil Nadu State SUCI(C). Comrade A. Rengasamy, Tamil Nadu State Secretary and other state leaders addressed the rallies.
Tens of thousands marched for science in more than 600 cities on 6 continents
More than 600 marches, largely concentrated in the US, Europe, South America and Australia, began amid warnings from organisers that science is “under attack”. Chants asked: What people wanted? “Science”, the marches bellowed. “Because attacks on science don’t just hurt scientists, they hurt scientists’ ability to protect the people, and climate change epitomises that. When politicians cater to fossil fuel interests by denying the basic realities of climate science and pursuing anti-science climate policy, they endanger the jobs, justice, and livelihoods of ordinary people everywhere ….” Fundamental, basic science really underlies all of modern life these days. We have taken it so for granted.”, observed the marchers. Some scientists have criticised their colleagues for throwing themselves into the political fray by openly touting the benefits of science. “Science has always been political but we don’t want science to be partisan…Objective truths have become set aside and diminished… scientists are in a “dangerous place” and must speak out”, said one science communicator (Guardian 22-04-17)
Peoples’ movement against POSCO achieves significant victory
Under pressure of a 12 year- long massive organized and sustained people’s movement, Pohanga Steel Company, a South Korean MNC had to ultimately withdraw its proposed steel plant project from Odisha, scrapping its agreement with the Odisha state government on 29 April 2017 and returning 1700 acres of land to the latter.
The 4000 acres of land (of which 3000 acres were under the forest category) purportedly allotted to the POSCO by the Odisha state government for setting up a mega steel plant alongwith a private port is located in the Erasama-Paradeep Coast of the Bay of Bengal in district of Jagatsinghpur . The land is very fertile and has thousands of betel vines with orchids, coastal jungle including mangrove forests as well as a close network of waterways. More than twenty five thousand people, mainly small peasants, khet mazdoors (agro-labours), small artisans and fishermen earned their livelihood. Naturally right from the signing of the agreement for the project, the villagers stood up against their forced eviction. Villagers of three Panchayats , namely Dhinkia, Gadakujanga and Nuagaon formed their own instrument of struggle i.e. ‘Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti’ for conducting sustained organized movement against the brazenly anti-people role of the Odisha state and Union governments.
As the movement started crystallizing, two official panels of experts were sent to the area by the Union forest and environment ministry to assess the impacts of the project upon the forest, environment and the community as a whole. In their reports to the Union government, the panel members had clearly stated that the project would seriously affect the environment as well as the community. But, ignoring the panel reports, both the Union and the state governments sent large contingent of armed police and para-military forces to grab the land at gunpoint. The armed forces let loose a reign of terror and brought down all sorts of medieval oppression upon the poor villagers including women and children. They dismantled 10,000 betel vines; destroyed orchids and crops. 2 lakh trees were felled. The entire area was ransacked by the armed forces, as well as a bunch of hired goons and hooligans. Thousands were injured at indiscriminate baton charge, tear gas shelling, rubber bullet firing and inhuman torture. 4 villagers were killed by bomb blast perpetrated by the hired criminals of the ruling party.
But no oppression, no amount of brutality could deter people’s determined resistance. Rather, it took deeper and deeper roots into the all sections of people even beyond the affected villages. Undaunted, the struggling people resisted the land-grab attempt boldly through democratic means at the cost of their life and property. In support of this exemplary movement, conventions, dharnas (squatting), demonstrations were held in the state capital Bhubaneswar as well as in the field. Protest movements were organized in Delhi, Bengalauru, Hydrabad, Chennai even at London. Important personalities who stood by the struggling people included renowned social activists like Medha Patekar, Bandana Shiva, P. Sainath, well-known columnist and commentator, Prof. B.D. Sharma, Chhaya Mukherjee, President AIMSS, Members of the Parliament like Dr. Tarun Mondal, D.Raja, Gurudas Dasgupta, Basudev Acharya and departed A.B. Burdhan. A host of other social-political organizations also came forward in fraternity with the cause of the eviction-victim villagers. Our Party SUCI(Communist) was actively involved all through the movement; its leaders and cadres were arrested, brutally tortured and booked in several false cases. With the victory achieved partially, the Party is now taking initiative to organize people again for getting their land back. A struggle committee has been formed in April 2017 which has Comrade Sadasiva Das, Odisha state committee member of the SUCI (Communist) as a leading organizer. It was decided that the committee would organize people right from the grassroot level to launch struggle for getting back their land, rebuild betel vines and resume cultivation. They would also resist vile attempt the state government to keep the grabbed land in the land bank, wait for the tension to settle down and then allot it to other corporate behemoth for some such project. The brave villagers are pledge-bound to take their just struggle forward.
SAUDI ARABIA, WHICH BEHEADS WOMEN IN PUBLIC, NOW A MEMBER OF ‘WOMEN’S RIGHTS COMMISSION’ OF UN
After the scandal of re-electing Saudi Arabia to the UN Human Rights Council in 2016, that same Saudi Arabia which has been indiscriminately bombing Yemeni civilians for more than two years, now gets ‘elected’ to the new position of Women’s Rights Commission for 2018-2022 term by the United Nations’ premier human rights body. The Saudi Arabia that publicly beheads women and dangles bodies from cranes is now one of 45 countries sitting on a panel “promoting women’s rights, documenting the reality of women’s lives throughout the world, and shaping global standards on gender equality and the empowerment of women,” according to the UN. In Saudi Arabia, brutal executions are so frequent that one large public space is nicknamed ‘Chop Chop Square’ due to the sheer number of state-sanctioned killings there. There, a woman’s life is controlled by a man from birth until death. Every Saudi woman must have a male guardian, normally a father or husband, but in some cases a brother or even a son, who has the power to make a range of critical decisions on her behalf. Every Saudi woman, regardless of her economic or social class, is adversely affected by guardianship policies. Adult women must obtain permission from a male guardian to travel, marry, or even open a bank account. They may be required to provide guardian’s consent in order to work or access healthcare.
The Geneva-based human rights group UN Watch condemned the U.N.’s election of Saudi Arabia, “the world’s most misogynistic regime.” on its Commission on the Status of Women, the U.N. agency “exclusively dedicated to the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women.” “Electing Saudi Arabia to protect women’s rights is like making an arsonist into the town fire chief,” said Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch. “It’s absurd — and morally reprehensible.” “This is a black day for women’s rights, and for all human rights,” said Neuer.
But what worked behind such a weird step? A couple of facts will be revealing. The first country Donald trump visited after taking over as President of USA has been Saudi Arabia. He announced $350bn arms deal with Saudi Arabia – one of the largest in history. Saudi officials repeatedly described United States President Donald Trump’s visit to Riyadh as “historic”, calling his meeting with rulers of the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council a “landmark event”. American counterparts, however, opted for the word “reset,” suggesting that the two nations are resetting ties since US needs Saudi Arabia as an ally in containing Iran, Syria and other Arab countries refusing to bend before US dictates. 193-member strong UNO which was created in 1945 as an intergovernmental organization to promote international co-operation and to create and maintain international order in post-World War Two period has long abandoned its expected neutrality in resolving international disputes, maintaining international peace and security, developing friendly relations among nations and promoting social progress, better living standards and human rights. Instead it has turned into a rubber stamp of US imperialism, acting at its behest and approving every tyrannical step of this worst enemy of mankind with alacrity. If UN can grant US imperialism the title of apostle of global peace, promoter of human right and international gendarme, there is no surprise that Saudi Arabia is held suitable for championing women’s right. This is the farce of UNO in unipolar world. (Source : — Human rights watch 16-07-16, The Guardian 26-09-16, The Independent -24-04-17, The Independent 18-05-17, scroll.in 28-05-17)