Published fortnightly from Kolkata
Vol. 52 No. 6 November 1, 2018
In this issue
Refrain of ‘Development’ by bourgeois governments and parties — heinous design to bluff people
Madhya Pradesh on the eve of assembly elections : Presents wretched instance of ruthless capitalist exploitation
Fight out pro-monopolist anti-people policies of the BJP, opportunistic vote politics of Congress and other parties in the ensuing Chhattisgarh Assembly election
Comrade Bhawani Shankar Ghosh passes away
State Conferences before ensuing 3rd Party Congress
Refrain of ‘Development’ by bourgeois governments and parties — heinous design to bluff people
The latest catchphrase in the parlance of vote-based bourgeois politics in India and for that matter, the entire capitalist-imperialist world, is ‘development’. All bourgeois petty-bourgeois parties including the social democrats, whether in power or in the race for power, be it in a parliamentary system or otherwise, have made this a common refrain. When the people of the country are pushed more and more towards the precipice of utter ruination, the parties serving the sinister class interest of the ruling bourgeoisie have indeed found a convenient tool in the slogan of ‘development’ to hoodwink the oppressed masses. In fact, there is a competition going on among these parliamentarian parties irrespective of hues as to who could prove itself to be a better draftsman of this newly-fangled scheme of ‘development’. The entire monopoly-controlled media is pressed to drumbeat how ‘development’ is sweeping across the country. As proof of this spree of ‘development’, the ministers, ruling party leaders, analysts-columnists-commentators subservient to the power that be, highlight certain economic indicators, suitably modified as per convenience, a number of ‘iconoclastic’ achievements that have been ‘brightening the image of the country throughout the world’ or a few propped up, if not bogus and irrelevant, issues. While any of the bourgeois governments, whether at the Centre or in the states, give an account of how much ‘development’ has been achieved during its rule, it hardly refers to any of the burning problems devastating the life of the common people. Rather, with the help of a strong propaganda machinery which is adept in turning night into day, showing black as white and embellishing trash and bogus as a matter of substance, the bourgeois governments try to make people forget the pangs of their misery and penury and instead take ‘pride’ in the cavalcade of ‘development’, defined, designed and fostered by these order-takers of the ruling class. Because the ruling parties know that so long people could be foxed by the watchword of ‘development’, winning elections and riding to power would be easier for them. It is for this reason that these vote-based bourgeois petty bourgeois parties vying for pelf and power are on a mission to finetune the ostentation of ‘development’ in every possible way with passage of time.
Saga of much-touted development
But, paradoxically, more they wax eloquent about ‘growth and development’, more people find their wretchedness and deprivation increasing by leaps and bounds. Citing 8.2% GDP growth in the first quarter of 2018-19 as per data released by Central Statistics Office, the union finance minister boasted that this represented potential of New India in an environment of global turmoil. But, when such a claim is trumpetted, it is also revealed by official data that 77% of Indian population live below poverty line (BPL) and India is the home of 1/3rd of global poor. The agricultural ministry in last February claimed that India’s foodgrain production was expected to increase 0.9% to 277.49 million tonnes, exceeding the previous record of 275.11 million tonnes during 2016-17 and thus creating a record. But parallel to it, India ranked 103 out of 119 countries on the global hunger index with 230 million Indians going hungry daily and 7,000 persons dying every day because of starvation. The Prime Minister informed the countrymen that his government has added more jobs than promised and referred to rise in the number of Provident Fund accounts as proof. The governments also often furnish data as to how much investment of capital has taken place in this or that sector and how many MOUs (Memorandum of Undertakings) have been signed as preliminary step of receiving further huge investment, both from the monopolists from within and outside the country. The underlying implication is that more would be the investment, more would be generation of employment. The central government also said on 16 October last that India has attracted $22 billion of FDI flows in first half of 2018. But there is no official announcement as to how many new jobs have been created. On the contrary, soaring unemployment is attested by a plethora of facts. It came in the media in 2016 that 23 lakh applications from 255 doctorates and a huge number of post-graduates and doctorates were received for 368 posts of peons in UP. It was further revealed on 30 August last that 3,700 Ph D holders, 50,000 graduates, 28,000 Post Graduates have applied for 62 posts of messengers, a class IV post, in UP police. More than 2.5 crore people, a number greater than the entire population of Australia, are reported to have applied for about 90,000 positions in India Railways. Official figures stated that in 2011-15, economic growth had been 6.8% but creation of new jobs was 0.6%. During 2013-15, 70 lakh jobs have been lost. The BJP government has not filled more than 400,000 vacancies in the central government. More than 10 per cent of the 3.6 million-strong central government positions are lying vacant for years. According to an ILO report, the unemployment rate would rise by 3.5 per cent in 2018-19. All these prove how fake is the claim of employment generation and how big a gimmick was the pre-poll promise of creating millions of jobs by the incumbent BJP Prime Minister. Even the former President of India could not but admit that 65 crores out of 121 crore Indians constitute the army of jobless people. When the governments talk of setting up new industries, unofficial sources indicate closure of over 70 thousand industries in the last two decades throwing millions out of job. As the manufacturing sector is virtually stagnated despite the loud slogan of “Make in India” by the BJP government which attempted to woo the big foreign corporations to open their manufacturing units in India with less manpower hired in lieu of a paltry sum and more technological investment, the unemployment problem is taking an epidemic proportion. It was reported in Rajya Sabha that as many as 28 jute mills employing over a lakh of workers had been shut down during 2015-16. Union textile minister told the Lok Sabha that as many as 682 textile mills were closed as on June 2017. Every day, shutters are downed on this mill or that factory. Retrenched workers are begging on the streets, selling children for a pittance or committing suicide. One could well imagine how acute is the economic destitution when one finds girls including housewives are initiated into flesh trade for bare subsistence.
While presenting last year’s budget, the union finance minister like his predecessors or counterparts in the states claimed that number of measures were on the anvil to bolster agricultural growth and betterment of the farming community. But anyone privy to the objective situation in rural India know that a huge number of Indian peasants, paralyzed by low productivity, escalating cost of agricultural inputs, heavy loss of crops, denial of remunerative price of the produce with an unholy nexus controlling procurement machinery and forcing them to distress sale resulting in depletion in earning, lack of post-harvest storage facilities, inability to hold on to their land, growing pauperization coupled with inability to stand the competitiveness of international market, are offering themselves as labour in any manual job. Many are becoming migrant labourers, turning into ragpickers or street beggars and dying on the streets of the cities like cats and dogs. Unable to pay back loan, over 3.5 lakh of peasants have already committed suicide. On an average, about 5 peasants and manual workers commit suicide in India every hour. Rudimentary healthcare, access to minimum education, availability of potable water elude most of the Indians. Regular cycle of flood, drought, other calamities and even forcible landgrab for so called ‘industrialization’ or set up of realty projects have been evicting millions and millions from their home and hearth, dispossessing them of whatever little movable or immovable properties they could manage to possess through hard toil over the years. On the one hand, avenues for earning to eke out a bare living are shrinking, if not totally disappearing, while on the other hand prices of essential commodities are rising sky high to make people bleed white profusely. Epidemics are spreading like anything and taking a heavy toll of life. Social security is virtually abolished. Is it a mark of ‘development’ as touted so vociferously?
Contrast this picture with the astronomical growth and prosperity of the super-rich. The wealth of India’s richest 1% increased by over Rs 20.9 lakh crore during 2017 — an amount equivalent to the total budget of the central government in 2017-18. Mukesh Ambani, the top monopolist and the richest person of India increased his wealth by Rs 300 crore daily last year to take his net worth to as high as Rs 3,71,000 crore as on July 31, 2018.The cumulative wealth of the 831 super-rich Indians individuals at $719 billion (Rs 50, 33,0 00) – amounting to a quarter of Indian GDP of $2,848 billion. Even the parties and political leaders subservient to the ruling monopolists have also fortunes showered on them. For example, wealth of none other than the present President of the ruling BJP, Amit Shah, has gone up by 300% during the last four years of the rule of his party. The wealth of his son, Jay Shah has registered a rise of 16, 000%. A report on the richest world leaders placed net worth of Sonia Gandhi former Congress President at USD 2 billion. If the personal wealth of other bourgeois party leaders, ministers and their relatives are looked into, the picture would be similar. Even a panchayat office-bearer amasses enough wealth in one term to fend for his next five generations. Recently, another factor for rejoicing has been that top Indian industrialists have made it to the list of the richest persons of the world and the number of billionaires in India has crossed 100. Then whose ‘development and prosperity’ the bourgeois governments and their drumbeaters are celebrating? The handful of super-affluent monopoly houses and their bootlickers or the billions of toiling masses who are dragged to the dregs?
Of late, there is so much hullabaloo in the monopoly-controlled media and official quarters that as per World Bank report, India is now the world’s sixth largest economy having overtaken France and would soon surpass Great Britain to ascend a further rung to become the fifth largest economy. This ‘economic growth’ is catalogued in ‘spectacular’ rise in GDP growth and increase in per capita GDP figures. Upswing of stock market indices and soaring corporate profits are also projected as a barometer of India’s onward march of economic growth.
False claim and fudging of data
But are these claims bona fide and even the furnished data authentic? Does GDP growth confirm ‘development’ of the people at large? GDP is a measure of wealth produced in the given economic system. But does mere statement of GDP growth give any idea about the pattern of distribution or accumulation of wealth so created by human labour among the citizens? The answer is no, it does not. With dip in productive economic activity in dying capitalism, even rate of GDP growth is on a decline. So the ruling bourgeoisie and its pliant circle needed some manipulation to hide this fact. Accordingly, the BJP government in order to cater to the class need of its masters, changed the base year of calculation of GDP from 2004-05 to 2011-12. Even the very method of calculation was suitably modified to ensure artificial inflation of the growth figure. As a result, a growth of 4.7% could be overblown to 6.95%. What a height of falsehood and deception! Similarly, it is claimed that per capita GDP has risen to roughly Rs 350 a day which indicates that poverty in India has come down and income level is rising confirming overall ‘development’. This is another bluff using statistical jugglery and flaws. What is per capita GDP? It is a statistical average. If GDP is, say, Rs 100 crore and there are 10 lakh people, then per capita (100 crore divided by 10 lakh) is Rs 1000. Does that mean that every one of the 10 lakh population possesses Rs 1000? No. If 10000 or 1% of 10 lakh people possess Rs 95 crores and the balance Rs 5 crores distributed among the rest 99%, then also the per capita would be Rs 1,000. Exactly that is corroborated by even the official statistics which says 80% of Indians make less than Rs 350 per day. That means a large section of India’s population is very vulnerable and lacks significant disposable income to eke out a bare living. Similarly, upswing in stock market indices is no barometer of ‘economic development’. Rather it denotes sickness of economy. As against deployment of capital in productive investment, surplus capital is injected in stock market speculation in increased proportion. With this high dose of capital injection, too much of money chase prices of the selected stocks or shares forming the stock market index. Naturally, the index rises when money is pumped into speculation and dips when money is withdrawn from it. It has no connection with economy in general. Thus, highlighting wrong yardstick of measuring economic growth and fudging data at will, the catalogue of ‘development’ is prepared to fool the suffering people by the bourgeois quarters.
What ought to be the yardstick of true development
Obvious question that follows is would this objective reality be called ‘development’ of the country—if by country we mean its overwhelming masses of toiling people and not a handful of industrial barons, rural kulaks, corporate behemoths, MNCs and their freebooters? If so, then what ought to be the yardstick of measuring development? Stated simply and precisely, continuous rise in the all-round standard of life of the common people—economic-political-social-cultural, progressive reduction in the gap between the rich and the poor by way of ensuring more and more equality in the distribution of wealth and benefits created by collective human labour marks genuine growth and development of a country.
If this is accepted as the yardstick, then can it be said that the ‘development’ so loudly clamoured by the quarters of establishment has raised the standard of life of 90% of the toiling millions even by a whit? Or is it a saga of ever widening gap between a handful of super rich sitting on heaps of wealth and myriads of common people unable to make both ends meet even after toiling hard, rather struck with horror of losing the minimum means of livelihood at any moment not to speak of the huge army of the unemployeds? Globally, 82 percent of the wealth generated last year has got concentrated in the hands of richest one percent of the global population, while 3.7 billion people that account for the poorest half of the world saw no increase in their wealth. Above, we have already shown the facts and figures of such concentration in this country. As Rabindranath Tagore had once observed, if the entire blood of the body gets accumulated in the mouth, it cannot be called a sign of health.
But then the apologists of global imperialism-capitalism carefully underplay such vital facts and instead hoodwink people with the slogan of ‘inclusive growth’, ‘trickle-down economics’ (a proposition that tax cuts and other financial benefits to corporate houses, big businesses and rich individuals will indirectly benefit the broader and poor population as economic growth flows from the top to the bottom) and so forth. In other words, their model of ‘development’ implies that the rich would continue to become richer and the pauperized millions would have to remain content with whatever crumbs are thrown to them or whatever is given to them gratis.
Politics of ‘doles and freebies’
Besides so called economic factors and large scale manipulation of data, the list of fake ‘development’ has further additions as well. Off-beat issues like introduction of bullet train, firing of sophisticated missiles, successful launching of modern spacecrafts, sending of an astronaut into space by 2022 are showcased as ‘mark of progress and development’. Construction of some roads, bridges, flyovers, community centre halls or converting mud-roads into concrete roads, widening of roads and installing deep tubewells, even organizing carnival rom public exchequer are also loudly proclaimed as ‘development’. Under people’s pressure, the government-administration are often forced to do these, and in that context, these are no doubt considered as new facilities. But do they signify ‘development’ in the truest sense of the term? Of late, bifurcation of states or districts, formation of more number of government boards, committees and mere announcements of doing this or that are also passed as achievements in boosting ‘development’. Even many regional bourgeois parties in power proudly refer to distribution of freebies and doles as ‘developmental’ activities. One should not miss the inherent deception. Crores of rupees are collected as revenue by squeezing even the last drop of blood of the suffering people through hike in indirect taxation, realizing higher fuel prices etc. Moreover, the middlemen, touts, contractors, promoters, corrupt officials and functionaries of various municipal bodies, panchayats and other government semi-government bodies pilfer a huge sum from the government coffer or from what is legally due to or sanctioned for the common people. Who does not know that even for securing job under the 100-day rural employment scheme (MNREGA), the have-nots need to pay cut-money to the labour contractors? Even for obtaining a ration card or an MNREGA job card, opening a bank account under much-trumpeted ‘jan dhan scheme’ or securing government grant for building a house, poor people need to pay the middlemen. What is common now in the country particularly in the rural belt is “politics of doles”. The ruling party leaders have made it a convention that they would arrange receipt of some benefits, either in cash or kind, provided they in turn are voted to power or entitled to ask anything in return. Poverty-stricken hapless people find no other way but to fall in their trap and virtually consent to becoming their yes-men in lieu of receiving freebies or doles. With one hand, the government fills the exchequer by exploiting people in every possible way. And with the other , then a paltry sum out of that huge accretion is thrown to the exploited people as sops or benevolence and the ruling party arrogates to itself the title of ‘harbinger of development’ and messiah of poor countrymen. This is how the bourgeois governments, the ruling parties and their hang-ons are foxing people over the question of ‘development’. This deception began right from the days of independence with the Indian monopolists capturing state power and their servitor parties running the government. Dimensions went on being added to this saga of deception with every passing day. And the people continued to be on the receiving end.
Basic law of capitalism is impeding people’s development
Why are the people hoodwinked repeatedly over the question of ‘development’, why is ‘development’ eluding them, why are they taken for a ride by the vote-based parties and what is the remedial course? To seek answers to these vital questions, oppressed people need to imbibe a basic truth. The capitalist system we are living in is based on exploitation, oppression, deprivation and inequality. Based on his deduction of the genesis of capitalism using scientific methodology of analysis, Marx conclusively showed that in capitalism, the character of production is social but the ownership of the means of production (i.e. instrument, machine or land) is private. The motive force of production is not to satisfy social need, but to earn profit for the capitalist owners. Economic law of capitalism is based on capitalist-wage labourer production relation. The capitalist class which owns the means of production, whether land or industry, invest capital in either industrial or agrarian production with the sole aim of multiplying capital through profit making. How do they do that? They sell goods in the market at a price which is in excess over the invested capital and this excess is accumulated in their coffer as profit by way of exploiting the labour-power of the workers, depriving the latter of their due wage or what Marx showed, by appropriating the ‘surplus labour’ of the workers. Because of the inherent antagonism of labour and capital in the economic system, the class interests of the capitalists and the proletariat are irreconcilable. The contradiction between the capitalists (bourgeoisie) and the proletariat or between labour and capital is the main class contradiction of capitalist society. Lenin, ardent student and worthy continuer of Marxism, further explained that once capitalism entered the moribund decadent stage or the stage of imperialism, the motive force of production did not remain to earn just profit, but maximum profit. Maximum profit means maximum exploitation and deprivation. This special feature that the production and labour power have become social in character whereas ownership has remained individual in character — is the root cause of the basic inconsistency, inequality, deprivation, discrimination, oppression, repression, deception and all unjust acts and injustices. It is a class divided society where interest of the oppressive capitalist owners is implacably opposed to the interest of the oppressed millions including the proletariat. So, if one expects that this worn out inhumanly oppressive capitalism would beget ‘development’ in the life of the common people, it would be akin to running after a mirage.
How capitalism impedes people’s ‘development’
Let us be a bit more illustrative to show why it is futile to expect ‘development’ from the dying capitalism system. The ruling capitalist class is garnering super profit by squeezing out even the last drop of blood of the working people. The bourgeois governments are swelling their coffers by raising indirect taxes and imposing additional duties and cess (just like the way repeated bouts of slapping higher excise duties and cess on fuel has pushed up the retail tariff of petrol-diesel beyond sky and cascading effect of which is discernible in unbridled escalation of prices in general) making people further back-broken. As a result of such gruelling capitalist eploitation, oppressions and fiscal savagery, purchasing power of people is steadily going down and they are unable to buy goods in the market. That in turn is shrinking the market of the capitalists and giving rise to ‘market crisis’ for the capitalist class. Finding profit opportunities going down in such shrinkage of their market, the capitalists are closing down industries and throwing people out of job. This is further squeezing their market as the people losing job cease to be buyers. This is the vicious cycle and inner-contradiction of capitalism. It is because of this cobweb of crisis that capitalism breeds as well as is enmeshed in, that the unemployment problem is accentuating. While capitalism is caught in its own cobweb, the common people are bearing the brunt in the form of increasing pauperization and destitution. So, if anyone says that industrialization (meaning setting up of more and more productive industries generating gainful employment and enabling people to earn enough to purchase industrial goods and agricultural produce in sufficient quantity to meet their necessities and thereby raise their standard of life) is possible in capitalism today, would that be viewed as truth or a decoy? Similarly, can crisis-ridden utterly corrupt capitalism undertake modernization of agriculture and improve the lot of rural poor by ensuring abundance in production at affordable cost, remunerative sale price through corruption-free procurement and proper distribution of the agricultural produce among the common people at reasonable price without intermediation of hoarders, black marketeers and middlemen who all are part and parcel of the very capitalist system? Facts stand otherwise and any such expectation would be dreaming of a square peg in a round whole. If the very root of the tree is rotten, how can it bear fruits and flowers? Absurd.
How the issue of development is confused or diverted
Since scope for profit maximization through productive investment is eroding fast, the capitalists are shifting investment in stock market speculation, as referred to earlier, to most unproductive arms manufacturing for artificially stimulating the market and somehow stave off the crisis with no benefit accruing to the people. To hide this trickery. ‘development’ is claimed in rising stock market index or building as well as possession of sophisticated armoury. To further guard the deception, the scarecrow of foreign aggression is used to incite national jingoism relegating the issue of ‘development’ to the back.
When that too falls short of the required amount of deception to befuddle people, the ruling class with its political managers as foot-soldiers fire on all cylinders to foment and precipitate various kinds of divisive thoughts to drive a wedge among the various sections of people and create an impression that ‘development’ of one section of people is hindered because of the other section of people. Muslims are stalling ‘development’ of Hindus, non-Sikhs are impeding ‘development’ of the Sikhs, Bengalis are obstructing ‘development’ of the Assamese-speaking populace, influx of South Indians and north Indians is hampering ‘development’ of the Maharashtrians and so forth. Already in our country, seeds of such divisions abounded, because of non- democratization of the society due to definite socio-historical reasons and attainment of political independence through compromise. So with the soil being fertile, such divisiveness once incited cunningly, began to disrupt the unity of the toiling people and create mutual distrust and hatred and diverted people’s attention from the real issues; instead being involved in internecine conflicts as if ‘development’ of one section of oppressed people is being snatched away by another section of the oppressed people. More such divisive thoughts grip the people, more insulated feel the bourgeois governments and the ruling parties from being attacked for having not delivered the promised ‘development’. So, it has been a two pronged attack from the ruling capitalist class and its political agents and bootlickers. In one breath, the people are promised ‘development and prosperity’ by the bourgeois petty bourgeois parties to secure votes and ride to power while in the other breath, the same parties in order to serve sinister bourgeois class interest take recourse to all sorts of manipulations, manoeuvres, trickeries, double-speak, falsehood and deceiving ploys to make mockery of that very ‘development’ and thereby commit an unpardonable crime on the toiling masses. What is noteworthy is that despite all such efforts, the very fact that no ‘development’ of the people is taking place is acknowledged even by a section of the bourgeois quarters. World Economic Forum, an agency of global capitalism-imperialism, hold that there ought to be an objective estimation as to how far the poor have derived benefit of the proclaimed ‘economic growth’, how far the debt burden has reduced from generation to generation (meaning lowering of family debt and better care of the aged and old).
People must puncture this balloon of ‘development’
But why are people taken for a ride by the ruling bourgeoisie and its servitors? It is because of absence of proper political consciousness which the common toiling masses could have acquired only if the correct revolutionary party struggling to uphold genuine cause of the people based on higher revolutionary theory-ethics-morality-culture could have established adequate ideological-organizational influence over them, overcoming all obstacles and impediments, this truth has remained elusive. Taking advantage of this situation, the servitors of the ruling oppressive bourgeoisie and freebooters of most unscrupulous utterly degenerated parliamentarian politics are merrily mesmerizing the people with their bait of ‘development’ using their powerful propaganda machine and using that as carrot for securing votes and winning elections.
As Comrade Shibdas Ghosh, Founder General Secretary of the SUCI(C) and one of the foremost Marxist thinkers had once commented, if people are not armed with the strength of a conscious organization, not in the midst of struggle and do not have their own class organization, they would easily get swayed by the hype created over election just like the way reeds get swamped by rush of water. After each election, this or that party or combination allegiant to the ruling class rides to power chewing the cud of ‘development’, go on buttressing the agenda of self-aggrandizement by squeezing the blood of the toiling masses whose perils and pauperization instead of being abated multiply more viciously. The ruling parties, no matter which epaulet they put on, dangle the carrot of ‘development’ to keep people inert so that they could safely, without any hindrance, pick the pockets of the people and inflate the coffers of theirs and their masters.
Should the people be passive onlookers to such a fraud and crime committed on them without any relent? Should they continue to nurture parliamentary illusion, fooled and conned repeatedly by the perpetrators of that illusion and thereby remain as pawns in the hands of the vote-seeking parties? In that case, they would only invite more and more onslaughts even of higher magnitude on them. No one, whether he is a worker or peasant or middle-class person, student or youth, literate or illiterate, male or female, Hindu or Muslim, Tamil or Bihari, born in an upper caste or a dalit family—will be spared. The vote-based parties are humble servants of the capitalist class. They are identified with bourgeois class interest and hence inimical to the interest of the oppressed toiling people. They are all mischief-mongers. No one other than a correct revolutionary party of the proletariat with a clear base political line of accomplishing anti-capitalist socialist revolution by way of relentlessly developing and intensifying class and mass struggles based on higher proletarian ethics-culture-morality can uphold the cause of the people today. Deprived and deceived countrymen need to imbibe this truth in right earnest, free themselves from the clutches of bourgeois vote politics and its salesmen, come forward to spearhead a powerful current of united organized democratic movement under correct revolutionary leadership in demand for redressing the burning problems of life which would shake the very base of the oppressive capitalist system, puncture the balloon of ‘development’ and in the process accelerate the process of preparing for the inevitable revolution.
Madhya Pradesh on the eve of assembly elections : Presents wretched instance of ruthless capitalist exploitation
Madhya Pradesh, a state ruled by the BJP for last three terms, would go to polls on 28 November 2018. The publicity-savvy BJP chief minister claims that he has turned the sick state into a developed one. But facts speak otherwise. Even media report and official statistics disapprove the claim of the chief minister. While the people have been reeling under rising poverty, illiteracy, insecurity, criminal activities as well as rampant corruption and mafiadom, the capitalist-corporate- big business have reaped a rich harvest. While official rate of inflation in the country is 107%, in MP it is nearly double at 197%. The state is only second to Maharashtra in slapping state tax on diesel, petrol and LPG. As per National Crime Record Bureau, in 2017 MP stood first in rape. 4279 women and 2260 minors were raped and 248 gang- raped in 2016-17. While crime on women has recorded a steady rise in the last 4 years, the general crime rate of MP is 338 per lakh much higher than the national average of 234 per lakh. Between January 2016 to January 2018, 57, 000 children died due to malnutrition while 157 lakh tonnes of foodgrains got rotten in the state warehouses in the last 2 years. Sheopur district is nicknamed ‘Ethiopia of India’ with 116 malnutrition deaths in the month of September 2016. The state has highest infant mortality rate and ranks second in maternal mortality. There is only one doctor per 25,000 people and only 1 community health centre per a population of 2 lakhs. Unemployment has increased sharply by 53% in the last 2 years with the number of educated jobless youths registered in the employment exchange rising from 15.6 lakh to 23.70 lakh in 2017. 48 employment exchanges in the state could provide jobs only to 334 people. PhD holders, MBAs, engineers and post-graduates are applying for posts of peons. But, there are more than 7 lakh child labourers. Only 129 youths got job in 2016 as reported by a survey in the state assembly. Paradoxically, the government makes hefty revenue by charging Rs 500-1000 for filling up forms of competitive examinations many of which are not even conducted. The government boasted of inking 1,751 MOU’s for investment worth Rs 11 lakh crores until 2012. But as only a miniscule of the projects materialized, the government as a face-saving renamed the MOUs as ‘Investment Intents’ in 2014. Suicide rate of unemployed youth from 2005 to 2015 was 4 per day and that has, of late, shot up by 2000 %.
The state which boasts a record 25.81% growth in crop production ranks third in farmer’s suicide. 6017 peasants committed suicide from 2011- 2016, 1982 between February 2016 and February 2017. Though the government spoke of ensuring Minimum Support Price, most of the peasants were pushed to distress sale by a most corrupt nexus of government officials-hoarders-blackmarketers-ruling party leaders. In Neemuch, a big onion market, procurement price of onions was hovering around Rs 15-20 per kg a few days ago but on the pretext of bumper harvest, it dropped to just 30-50 paise per kg. Farmers came down on the streets of Mandsaur district on 6th June 2017, demanding fair price for their produces, throwing their produce on roads in protest and agitating. Instead of talking to farmers and finding a solution, the government opened fire on the demonstrating peasants killing 6 on the spot and grievously injuring many more. Brutal Mandsaur killing stirred not only MP but the whole country. The Public Distribution System (PDS), too, is in the grip of notoriously corrupt racket.
Wheat production in MP was expected to be 213 crore metric tonnes in 2017-18. Only 30 to 40% of that production was targeted for procurement for PDS. But, in reality, less than 50% of the target was sold through ration (PDS) shops across the state at the subsidised rate of Re 1 a kg. The Chairman of Madhya Pradesh State Civil Supplies Corporation himself admitted that unscrupulous traders were buying wheat from PDS outlets at Rs 5 per kg and then selling that stuff at the mandis at the Minimum Support Price (MSP) or even at higher than that. 90 per cent of wheat procured for PDS was so diverted illegally. This two-end corruption helped the BJP government to spuriously claim inflated wheat production. But on the pretext of ending this corrupt practice aided and abetted by itself, the BJP government is now talking of dismantling the PDS giving seemingly fake assurance of directly crediting the subsidy amount to the bank accounts of 5.34 odd PDS card holders which, in effect, would replace PDS by a hunting ground of hoarders and black marketers and facilitate corporate entry into retail crop sale business.
Corruption is endless, from rampant illegal mining to the tune of several tens of thousands of cases, flattening of mountains by stone mafias, small hills converted to lakes by the illegal mining of red mud locally called ‘murum’, plundering of sands from river beds by sand mafia, all done with impunity with full political patronage from the ruling party in the main and the nexus of the police, revenue, and forest officials. Any media coverage is thwarted by launching attack on the media-persons. The Chief Minister has spent millions of rupees in visiting villages on the banks of Narmada. But he is mute on the plight of around 40,000 evicted families of hundreds of such villages living in small tin-sheds without any basic amenities and reckless corruption centring around disbursement of proper compensation and rehabilitation of the evicted.
The education scenario is equally dismal. 60,000 teaching posts lie vacant. 5000 government schools do not have a single regular teacher. Only about a third of class V students could read class II text books properly or do simple sums. Now, the government has closed 1,08,000 out of 1,20,000 government schools citing lack of funds while number of private schools charging high fees has risen to 40,000. A recent enquiry revealed that some big private schools have siphoned off 600 crores under Right to Education scheme by providing fake data of the enrolled students.
MP has shot to limelight for record spurt in scandals and financial scams. Apart from 156 major scandals including Dumper scam, Sugani Devi land scam, illegal sand excavation, what shook the country was the scam in VYAPAM (Vyavasik Pariksha Mandal), a recruitment board responsible for controlling recruitment to 40 departments and boards. This scam unfolded that hundreds of crores of rupees were received as bribe for clearing higher education admissions and government recruitments. Once the episode came to light, 51 to 156 ‘unnatural deaths’ of accused persons and suspects including senior officials and the state Governor’s son took place under mysterious circumstances. Nearly 200 suspects filed petitions requesting protection as they feared for their life. Bigwigs whose names featured so far on the list of suspects include the state Governor, the Chief Minister, a national spokesperson of the ruling BJP, and two of the seniormost RSS leaders. Though the case is with the CBI, now itself enmeshed in inner-conflicts and allegations of misconduct, no one knows when and whether the probe would end. The accused who were even booked by the state SIT, has been released by the lacklustre probe of CBI. But the moot question is what would happen to those millions of students who have been so cheated and deprived of education and jobs due to this scam? Can any authority compensate it or the money they spent even at the cost of their precious savings or minimum landed property?
Unquestionably, all these maladies and problems stem from the prevailing capitalist system, in which the governments of bourgeois –petty bourgeois parties act as the political manager of the ruling class, the all-powerful monopolists. With capitalism turning into utterly decadent force today, the government policies reflect the decadence in every sphere. As an integral part of the Indian capitalist state, Madhya Pradesh displays all the rots and filths of dying capitalism in worst possible ways and common toiling people bearing the brunt dearly. Madhya Pradesh is extremely rich in natural resources, forestry and fuels. But it abounds in abject poverty, pathetic lack of employment-education-health facilities and basic amenities of life to register itself as an under-developed state virtually all through the years of independence. During its 15-year long rule, the BJP government, one of the most trusted political agents of ruling capitalism, has brought things from bad to worse, fuelling arch communal-casteist feelings to divide people, engineer fratricidal bloodbaths and making cow-vigilantism, religious fanaticism and anti-minority hatred and violence having primacy over people’s growing distress. Posing opposition to the BJP purely from parliamentary angle, the Congress, another trusted agent of the ruling class alongwith regional bourgeois outfits like SP, BSP and others have also been maintaining eerie silence on all the vital people’s issues and only showering customary pre-election promises to secure votes. The pseudo-Marxists like the CPI, CPI (M) instead of taking any initiative to put in place a united struggling left-democratic opposition against the bourgeois vote-merchants too are also solely for gaining some electoral benefits by either aligning with the Congress or combining with the casteist-regional parties in the name of fighting communalism and fascism.
As against such bourgeois opportunism and social democratic betrayal, our Party, the SUCI(C) has been single-handedly pursuing the revolutionary base political line and developing class and mass struggles relentlessly involving various sections of the toiling masses and trying to make them politically conscious to rise firmly against the bourgeois oppression, repression and deception. But our Party is also making utmost attempt to rope in other leftist parties for strengthening united struggle and not for building up an opportunistic electoral alliance. Besides developing a powerful joint movement with other left parties against the VYAPAM scam including calling a bandh and vehemently opposing alongwith other left parties the fascistic move of the BJP government towards imposing section 144 in the state permanently to curb the voice of protest of the people and the including call for a bandh our Party on its own had organized protests against government’s high handedness in crushing the teachers and other government employees’ movements or dissolution of government-run schools, demonstrations supporting the movement of the people displaced by the Sardar Sarovar Dam and in demand for their proper rehabilitation and compensation. AIKKMS, our peasant wing, was at the forefront of the protest movement against Mandsaur killing including organizing a state-wide bandh. Our Party and AIKKMS also built up struggles in demand for ensuring remunerative prices to the peasants. The Party also launched movement against privatization of electricity distribution and against sending inflated electric bills to BPL people. Under the pressure of the movement, the government had to withdraw the decision, and finally announcement was made to withdraw all fake cases and forged bills. All India Mahila Sanskritik Sangathan (AIMSS) has been staging regular protests against atrocities on women and children and has demanded complete liquor ban. Jointly with AIDYO and AIDSO, it organised an anti- liquor procession in the state named ‘Sharab bandi Yatra’, which covered 16 districts. The movement with enormous public support compelled the otherwise unbending Chief Minister to commit to close all the liquor shops in the state. AIDSO regularly organises movements against anti-education policies like fee hike, privatisation, commerciali-zation, communalization, deteriora-ting quality of education, corruption in educational institutions. Ruinous semester system which was introduced in the state in 2008-09 to destroy the inner kernel of education was opposed by the students and teachers of the state alike. AIDSO took lead in organizing this voice of protest and an 8 yearlong anti-semester movement culminating in a state-wide ‘Semester Hatao Yatra’, covering all the 7 universities of the state. As a result the issue was brought to fore and finally the government had to withdraw the semester system from the undergraduate courses. AIDYO also has been regularly organising movements against unemployment problem, and other problems of the youth, demanding permanent employment and filling vacant posts in all government departments. AIUTUC units have also been active in developing legitimate working class movements in various industries. In this way, the SUCI(C) and its various class and mass fronts have carved out a space in the minds of the people as a genuine revolutionary force who does not practise politics of pelf and power but views Marxism-Leninism as a comprehensive life philosophy based on higher ethics-culture-morality that spurs on to take up cudgels against oppression and injustice. In elections the Party participates upholding the revolutionary line of struggle so that if its candidates win, they could reflect the voice of extra-parliamentary movements within the legislature. With this clear revolutionary objective, the MP State Committee of the Party has decided to contest the following seats and makes appeal to people of the state to make them victorious.
1. Bhopal (Govindpura) Comrade Jolly Sarkar
2. Gwalior (South) Comrade Rachna Agrawal
3. Guna Comrade Seema Rai
4. Dewas Comrade Himanshu Shrivastav
5. Sagar 1 Comrade Sona Kushwah
6. Ashoknagar Comrade Shyam Shakya
Fight out pro-monopolist anti-people policies of the BJP, opportunistic vote politics of Congress and other parties in the ensuing Chhattisgarh Assembly election
Chhattisgarh, which has been under the BJP rule for the last 15 years, now faces its eighth Assembly election for 90 constituencies to be held in two phases on 12 and 20 November 2018. The present BJP government replaced the anti-people Congress government led by Shri Ajit Jogi, known as the most corrupt chief minister the state ever had. And as it could be expected, in course of its rule, the government of the BJP, another most trusted party of the ruling bourgeoisie like the Congress, had made people’s life more miserable in the state. Industries are closing down unrelentingly day after day. Unemployment, poverty and all other maladies associated with the capitalist system of the country, have only recorded manifold increase bringing people to the brink of ruination. In the capital city of Raipur, industrial workers are forced to work for 100 to 125 rupees a day, whereas more than 15000 crore rupees have been spent by the BJP government in the last few years on the plea of development, in the name of building a New Raipur City. All the central and state government organizations are running with employees recruited on contractual basis or with their activities being handed over to private owners. More than two lakhs of posts lie vacant in state government departments. Wages are miserably low not only in private industries and organizations but also for contractual workers in government institutions. With peasants evicted from their land and turned into landless labour, agricultural land is speedily being gifted out to the handful rich. Those peasants who could still hold on to their land, are mercilessly denied of sufficient price for their crop. The horrid situation becomes evident from even the conservative record of 11500 peasants committing suicide in the last 15 years. Despite severe drought in the last year, the peasants did not receive any insurance benefit from the government. On the contrary, they were forced by the government to avail of crop insurance from private companies. And the scene is just the opposite for the privileged, the rich and the capitalists. The state is well known for its rich resources of minerals. Now the BJP government is unhesitatingly handing over to the capitalists all the mines and other related industries which hitherto were state-owned. The process, only adding fuel to the fire, has whipped up unemployment and all sorts of exploitation, adding heaps of profit to the private owners. The unbearable sting of unemployment and poverty is forcing lakhs of poor people to go out of the state all through the years in search of work anywhere, at any cost. Already lakhs of such hapless people, naturally predominantly young, have already permanently migrated.
Government schools are being closed in several thousands or are being handed over to private owners. So are the hospitals being privatized. On the other hand, liquor business which has hitherto been in private hands is finding the government taking it over enthusiastically during the last two years on the plea of earning revenue. As a result, the state has earned the distinction of amassing a revenue of 5800 crore in 2017-18, higher than the amount in many states. But in consequence, the rampant use of liquor is destroying life in families and of people. There was a spontaneous movement of aggrieved people against this horrible spread of liquor consumption in society. Our party also organized movements in some areas demanding total ban on liquor. But this government simply turned a deaf ear to the frantic appeals of people. This is how the BJP government which boasts of being value-based, pushes people to immoral acts and living. It does not end here. The same BJP government is involved shamelessly in so many scams, namely the PDS (Public Distribution Scheme) scam, alleged to have gone to the limit of several thousand crore of rupees, coal block scam, Augusta Westland helicopter scam, etc. Raman Singh, the chief minister himself asked his ministers and party leaders to stop grabbing ‘commission’ at least for a year to help the BJP refurbish its image and continue its rule for 30 years. However, his son and BJP MP Abhishek Singh’s name figured out in the infamous Panama papers. Such a ‘value-based’ party has taken to alluring and bribing voters with freebies. To gain some mileage in vote politics, the BJP government has distributed fifty thousand android mobile phones to college students and BPL families throughout the state using few hundred crore of rupees from public exchequer. The BJP’s rise to power has been accompanied by manifold increase in communal hatred. There is also a fanning up of the chauvinistic regionalism. At the same time, it is launching false propaganda against leftism and Marxism. In the name of tackling so- called Maoist problem, the government with all its coercive machineries are coming down heavily upon tribal people, killing them with impunity. Media people who have dared to come forward and expose the misdeeds of the BJP government and its administration, are being implicated with fabricated charges, even forced to leave the state. Media are being made not to publish any news against the government and the capitalists. Virtually a total undeclared press censorship is clamped upon the state.
The Congress had preferred to remain practically inactive and silent against the misdeeds of the BJP. Rather, overtly and covertly standing in support of the pro-monopolist policies of the BJP government, the Congress is preparing to contest the BJP in the vote politics to gain control of power and pelf. The CPI and the CPI(M), still claiming to be big left parties are also practising only parliamentary politics for immediate gains without caring for developing formidable people’s movement to wrest some relief for people in the least. In 2008 Assembly polls the CITU openly distributed a leaflet supporting Congress candidate for the Bhilai constituency, even though CPI had put up its candidate there. Later, in the 2013 Assembly election, the CPI and the CPI(M) made alliance with a parochial regional party floated by a BJP leader, expelled from the party, after being two times MLA and four times MP from the BJP. This time in the 2018 Assembly polls, both the CPI and the CPI(M) had decided that ousting the BJP from power was their prime target and their policy in the polls. And to reach this end, they decided to support the possible second winning candidate in each seat, which in the state would, in all likelihood, be the Congress. Earlier they had declared that the Congress is the alternative to BJP. They had tried to make alliance with the Congress, which latter however, did not respond favourably for them. But after all these maneuvering the CPI suddenly joined the alliance of BSP and a party based on regionalism newly formed by the corrupt erstwhile chief minister from the Congress. A morcha or combination of the left parties was formed with our party, CPI, CPI(M) and CPIML- Liberation. The combination decided to contest in about 25 seats. But CPI finding their new allies in the BSP – Cong(J) combination, withdrew from 13 seats and decided to go for 2 seats. Following this, the CPI(M) asked the CPI(ML) not to fight for the Bhilai seat as in that case the CPI(M) would ensure their support to the Congress, instead of supporting the CPI(ML) candidate. This is the muddled ugly scene that these so-called Marxist parties are creating for petty parliamentary gains.
As revolutionary party of the country, armed with Marxism- Leninism- Shibdas Ghosh Thought, our Party has unceasingly tried to build up people’s movement on different important burning problems of people’s life with whatever might we have . We mustered our strength in organizing movement in demand of total ban on liquor. Two leaders of our Party were arrested on that issue. Besides we organized many cultural programmes as against the deepening cultural degeneration in the state, as elsewhere in the country. Along with these extra-parliamentary movements, to raise people’s voice in the parliamentary forum, the Party contesting in the ensuing election in Durg City and Ahiwara constituencies with Comrades Aatmaram Sahu and Padma Patil, as respective candidates. We appeal to people to make SUCI( C ) candidates dvictorious and where the Party has no candidate, to vote for a left party candidate who may be available with a view to raising people’s voice in the Assembly.
Comrade Bhawani Shankar Ghosh passes away
Comrade Bhawani Shankar Ghosh, former member of Madhya Pradesh State Organizing Committee of SUCI (C), breathed his last on 12 October 2018 at Calcutta Heart Clinic and Hospital at the age of 71 He had been suffering from various ailments since 2010.
Comrade Bhawani Shankar Ghosh was born at Joynagar-Majilpur, in South 24 Parganas district of West Bengal in the year 1947. At boyhood, due to acute financial crisis, he went to his elder sister’s home at Tarakeshwar in Hoogly district, West Bengal, and stayed there to continue his studies. After passing out Higher Secondary examination in 1966, he came back to Joynagar-Majilpur and started various social and cultural activities along with his friends and neighbours. He first came in contact with Comrade Shibdas Ghosh Thought through Comrade Gobardhan Pramanik, one of his childhood friends. Comrade Pramanik took him to Comrade Sachin Banerjee, the then Polit Bureau member of the Party. After thorough discussions with Comrade Sachin Banerjee, he decided to join in the Party. In 1969, Comrade Bhawani Shankar Ghosh joined Gun Carriage Factory in Jabalpur, MP, a Central Government undertaking.
In 1973, he attended a political class in Kolkata which was conducted by Comrade Shibdas Ghosh, the great leader of the proletariat and founder General Secretary of our Party. This class made him freshly imbued with the lofty ideology of Marxism-Leninism-Shibdas Ghosh Thought and he started Party work anew in Jabalpur by organizing his friends’ circle. He also started trade union activities at Gun Carriage Factory. Along with these, he took initiative in developing various people’s movement and progressive cultural activities. Besides these, he constantly tried to acquaint his relatives with Comrade Shibdas Ghosh Thought and made utmost effort to associate them with the Party.
In 1976, Comrade Bhawani Shankar Ghosh alongwith others organized ‘Saratchandra Birth Centenary Programme’ in Jabalpur. In one of these programmes, Comrade Manik Mukherjee, now a Polit Bureau member of our Party, went to Jabalpur as the main speaker. After the programme, the Jabalplur District Organizing Committee of the Party was formed in presence of Comrade Manik Mukherjee with Comrade Bhawani Shankar Ghosh as the in-charge.
During that period, Party activities also commenced in Sagar and Bhopal districts. In 1980, MP State Organizing Committee was formed, and Comrade Bhawani Shankar Ghosh became a member of that Committee. He also became a member of AIUTUC, Madhya Pradesh State Organizing Committee.
In 1989, Comrade Bhawani Shankar Ghosh resigned from his service to devote himself for full time Party work. He was very popular among different sections of the people of Jabalpur, both the toiling masses as well as the intellectual community. He was very proficient in Fine Art and had a commendable knack for studying various political, social and literary subjects in singular pursuit of creative knowledge. He was very endearing to all because of his simplicity as well as unassuming and amiable nature.
In 2010, due to severe illness, he was shifted to Kolkata for long-term medical treatment. Since then, he was staying at a Party Centre in Kolkata. Notwithstanding his severe ailment, he continued his Party activities, ungrudgingly and smilingly accepted criticism, always subjected himself to self-criticism and had no hesitation whatsoever to work under the leadership of very young comrades. He had an indomitable quest for knowledge and was a voracious reader. He was very keen to ensure that the Party comrades develop purposive reading habit to equip themselves ideologically. In his place of stay, he was also engaged in various social services with revolutionary purposiveness. Even on the very day of his hospitalization, he attended the free coaching class of the school students run by the local Party committee. On the eve of the 3rd Party Congress, he was a delegate to the Kolkata District Conference. Throughout his life, he maintained exemplary cultural and ethical values which ought to be inspiring to all involved in the task of building up revolutionary class and mass struggles.
Memorial meeting was held in Bhopal on 23 October last where Comrade Sankar Saha, Member, Central Committee, SUCI(C) and General Secretary, AIUTUC, spoke about the various laudable aspects of Comrade Bhawani Ghosh’s revolutionary life. Another meeting in his memory was organized in Kolkata on 30 October.
Red Salute Comrade Bhawani Shankar Ghosh.
State Conferences before ensuing 3rd Party Congress
[In last issue, we published news of state conferences of Assam, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Bihar and Delhi. In this issue, we are covering 8 more states ]
Gujarat State Convention was organized in Ahmedabad on 15 October 2018 in the presence of Comrade Sankar Saha, Member, Central Committee. A new Gujarat State Organising Committee comprising 18 members was formed with Comrade Meenakshi Joshi as the Secretary.
Mumbai District Convention was held on 07 October 2018 in the presence of Comrade Dwarika Nath Rath, Staff Member, as central observer. The delegates participated in the discussions on the draft national and international theses as well as organizational report. A new 4-member District Committee with Comrade Anil Kumar Tyagi as Secretary was elected.
Second Jharkhand State Convention was held in Ranchi on 23 October 2018 in the presence of Comrades Saumen Basu, Member, Central Committee, Dhurjati Das, Odisha State Secretary and Arun Kumar Singh, Bihar State Secretary. Comrade K D Singh, State Secretariat Member, presided over. A 13-member State Organizing Committee with Comrade Rabin Samajpati as Secretary was unanimously elected.
The 3rd Odisha State Conference was held on 27 and 28 October in Bhubaneswar. Comrades Saumen Basu, Member, Central Committee, Comrades Swapan Ghosh and Chandidas Bhattacharyya, West Bengal State Secretariat Members and and Kantimoy Deb, Assam State Secretariat Member were present as central observers. The conference was conducted by a presidium comprising Comrades Bishnu Das, Binapani Das and Raghunath Das, all Odisha State Committee Members.. The conference elected a 30-member strong new State Committee with Comrade Dhurjati Das as Secretary.
The 3rd Kerala state conference of our Party was held at ‘Sahithya Academy Hall’ in Trichur city on 12, 13 and 14 of October 2018. Comrades K Radhakrishna, Member, Central Committee, Amitava Chatterjee and Subhas Dasgupta, Members, West Bengal State Secretariat, were present as central observers. Due to prolonged illness Comrade C. K. Lukose, Member, Central Committee and Kerala State Secretary, could not attend the conference. A medical bulletin regarding his health condition was read out. A condolence resolution, paying tribute to the departed leaders and organisers of the Party including Comrades G. S. Padmakumar and A. Jalaludeen was placed by Comrade Mini K Philip. A 20-member strong State Committee with Comrade V. Venugopal as Secretary was unanimously elected.
UP State Convention was held on 28 and 29 October 2018 in Moradabad. Comrades Satyawan, Member, Central Committee, Arun Kumar Singh, Bihar State Secretary, and Rabin Samajpati, Jharkhand State Secretary, were present as central observers. A 26-member strong State Organizing Committee with Comrade Pushpendra Vishwakarma as Secretary was elected from the convention.
Andhra Pradesh State Convention was organized in Anantapur on 27 and 28 October 2018. Comrades K Radhakrishna, Central Committee Member, K. Sridhar, Staff member, K. Uma, Karnataka State Secretary and Amitava Chatterjee, West Bengal State Secretariat Member attended the convention as central observers. The Convention elected a 7-member strong State Organizing Committee with Comrade B S Amarnath as Secretary.
Tamil Nadu State Convention was held at the Madras Reporters Guild Hall at Chepauk in Chennai on 21 and 22 October 2018. Comrades K Radhakrishna, Member, Central Committee, Shankar Ghosh, West Bengal State Secretariat Member and K Sridhar, Staff Member, were present as Central observers. Comrade A Rengasamy, Tamilnadu State Secretary of the Party, presided over. After detailed deliberations on two draft theses on national and international situations as well as organizational report, the convention elected a 12-member State Organizing Committee with Comrade A Rengasamy as Secretary.