A CPI(ML) Weekly News Magazine
Vol. 16, No. 42, 08 – 14 OCTOBER 2013
India Must Reject the Manmohan Legacy of
Shameful Subservience to US Interests
Ahead of the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, Manmohan Singh had clinched the Indo-US nuclear deal with George Bush in 2008. Five years later, as India awaits the general elections of 2014, Singh was back in America to open up India's national exchequer to American companies in mega defence and nuclear purchase agreements. The joint statement issued after the third Obama-Manmohan meeting (ignoring the occasions when the two have met on the sidelines of multilateral summits) talks of enhanced defence, economic and of course foreign policy cooperation between the two countries.
The Obama-Manmohan summit produced a separate Joint Declaration on Defence Cooperation expanding on the 2005 Framework Agreement, with the US promising to treat India as one of its 'closest partners' in matters of defence technology transfer, trade, research, co-development and co-production of defence articles and services, including the most advanced and sophisticated technology. India has agreed to participate in the 2014 Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) naval exercise in Hawaii, the world's largest multilateral maritime exercise to be hosted by the US Pacific Command, signalling a new readiness to integrate India more closely fully with America's strategic goals and operations. Ten years ago, Indo-US defence trade was worth just $100 million which has since risen to $10 billion, and the US is obviously looking gleefully at India's burgeoning defence budget.
Manmohan Singh's 'short working visit' also finalised initial agreements for India to purchase exorbitantly expensive and technologically untested nuclear reactors from the US. Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited is setting up nuclear reactors in Mithi Virdi of Gujarat and Kovvada of Andhra Pradesh in collaboration with US companies Westinghouse and General Electric-Hitachi respectively. While Manmohan Singh avoided committing to any formal and explicit dilution of the liability clause for nuclear suppliers, he had already reassured the latter that their 'profits will tell the true story'. In other words India is already 'compensating' American companies for their possible 'liability burden' by agreeing to pay much higher prices. According to an estimate, the tariff of power generated by these plants would be as high as Rs 15 per unit, which is more than double the price at which the Russian reactors at Kudankulam are expected to produce electricity.
While the Manmohan-Obama joint statement described Indo-US ties as a defining partnership for 21st Century, the degree of Indian subordination to American strategic control is becoming increasingly obvious. A glaring case in point is India's shameful silence on the issue of American surveillance on India's domestic politics and strategic and commercial interests and even on Indian diplomatic posts in America. Following Edward Snowden's sensational revelations, it is now well known that the PRISM programme of the US National Security Agency taps live communication as well as stored information related to India's geopolitical and economic interests including nuclear and space research programmes. US calls India a valued and key ally, but subjects India to intrusive surveillance and Manmohan Singh just did not have the courage to raise this crucial issue during his meeting with Barack Obama.
India's growing economic and strategic subservience to US imperialism has only deepened the country's economic and political crisis. As Finance Minister in 1991, Manmohan Singh had begun the opening up of the Indian economy for foreign and Indian corporate interests, and as Prime Minister since 2004, he has subordinated India's foreign policy to the strategic goals and priorities of US imperialism. His latest trip to Washington may well have been his last tribute as PM to his American bosses, it is now up to the Indian people to end this shameful legacy and roll back the entire gamut of pro-corporate pro-US policies pursued by UPA and NDA governments.
Assam: Residence of Congress MLA Raju Sahu Surrounded
In continuation of protest programmes demanding arrest and exemplary punishment to the murderers of Comrade Gangaram Kol, CPI(ML) and its mass organizations surrounded the residence of Congress MLA Raju Sahu, an accused in the murder, on 15th September, 2013. Nearly a thousand people across Tinsukia district, gathered in Durgabari Hall at around 12 noon and started a militant procession towards Raju Sahu's house. On the way police tried to prevent the protesters by erecting barricade, but the militant protesters marched ahead by breaking police cordon. Finally protesters staged a dharna just 100 meters away from Raju Sahu's residence. In the clash with police Comrade Subhas Sen, Arup Mahanta and Jiten Tanti were slightly injured.
A protest meeting was also held there and different leaders including Party's District Secretary Subhas Sen, Secretary of Gramin Sramik Santha leader Arup Kr. Mahanta, Asom Chah Sramik Sangha's General Secretary Jiten Tanti, wife of Comrade Gangaram Kol Sakhila Munda, Rajen Bhumij, and AICCTU district leader Brajen Konwar addressed the militant protest. They reiterated the demand for immediate arrest of perpetrators of the murder including Raju Sahu. Protesters also burnt the effigy of Raju Sahu.
At last Circle Officer of Tinsukia Circle met the protesters and received a memorandum addressed to the Governor of Assam. The circle officer had to listen to the angry protesters. He had to admit the failure of the police-administration in nabbing the culprits and assured the people to clarify the causes of failure within a period of 15 days. Protesters returned to Durgabari Hall and held a meeting there.
AICCTU's 6th UP State Conference Held
All India Central Council of Trade Unions (AICCTU) successfully held its 6th Uttar Pradesh State Conference on 14-15 September 2013 at Nirala Auditorium in Allahabad. AICCTU's National Councillor and veteran working class leader Comrade Anantram Vajpayee hoisted the red flag after which a two-minutes silence in the memory of martyrs was observed.
The open session of the Conference was inaugurated by CPI(ML) State Secretary Comrade Sudhakar Yadav who said in his inaugural speech that the Conference being held in the backdrop of a climate of communal violence and attacks on the workers by corporates and mafias is a challenging thing to do when you have to strengthen the fight of workers and employees and solidly stand with them in their struggles. This has been the case in the struggles right from Greater Noida, Ghaziabad, Kanpur, Lucknow, Pilibhit, Allahabad and up to Deoria.
It is well known that the mining mafia has been calling the various shots in the Akhilesh Yadav Govt. There has been various attacks on pro-people leaders including a murderous attempt on CPI(ML) leader Comrade Ramesh Singh Sengar. The AIALA State Secretary addressing the open session said that the workers and employees will not be intimidated by such heinous attempts, rather they will organise themselves with their traditional arms and resist and repel every attack.
Leaders of several central trade unions also addressed the open session. AITUC leaders Comrades Ramsagar and Naseem, Comrade Harish Chandra Dwivedi of CITU, RC Bahadur of HMS, RC Kaithal from LIC. Others who spoke are National Vice President of AICCTU Comrade Premlata Pandey, AICCTU State President Comrade Hari Singh, AICCTU National Secretary Comrade Rajiv Dmiri, Jasam General Secretary Comrade Pranay Krishna, Comrade KK Pandey of Jasam and Comrade Raghunandan of AISA among others.
The Conference had 72 delegates and 24 observers from various districts of UP. A 42-member State Council and 19-member State Executive Committee was formed with Comrade Hari Singh as State President and Comrade Anil Verma as State Secretary of AICCTU.
Mathura Party Committee Warns the State Govt
Against Forces Trying to Foment Communal Tensions in Mathura
CPI(ML) district unit of Mathura in western Uttar Pradesh has cautioned and warned the State Govt and District Administration against attempts being made to foment communal tensions similar to Muzzafarnagar by communal forces in the district. Comrade Nazir Shah, District Convenor of CPI(ML) wrote to the Governor and District Administration citing recent incidents in Kosi block of Mathura where due to failure of district administration to respond on time had led to communal riots.
The Sri Krishna Janma Bhumi and Shahi Masjid are adjacent to each other and communal forces are trying to create tensions emboldened by the Muzzafarnagar designs. It is well known that Narendra Modi's aide Amit Shah is campaign incharge for Uttar Pradesh and the fascist forces are willing to plunge the State to any depth in their game-plan 2014. The memorandum has demanded immediate action to identify the communal and anti-social elements and their arrest to maintain communal harmony in the district. A CPI(ML) delegation met the DM of Mathura and handed over the memorandum asking him to send it to the Governor.
Rallies and Demos on the National Call of Central Trade Unions
On the call of Central Trade Unions for rallies and demonstration on 25th September 2013, AICCTU and its affiliated organisations participated vigorously along with workers affiliated to various CTUs in joint demonstrations on the 10-point charter of demands: (1) minimum wage of unorganized sector worker to be Rs.10,000 per month, (2) concrete steps to curb price rise, (3) all workers to be covered under social security, (4) pension for all workers and employees, (5) equal pay for equal work, contractual worker same pay as permanent worker and women worker to be paid same wage as male worker for same work, (6) concrete action for employment generation, (7) trade unions to be registered within 45 days, etc.
A rally was taken out from Ranchi Railway Station that passed through important landmarks of the city, through main roads and reached Rajbhavan. Thousands of workers affiliated to AICCTU, CITU, AITUC, BMS, AITUC, HMS etc. participated in the march to Rajbhavan. AICCTU's Ranchi Town Committee also took out a Mazdoor-Adhikar Rally from Jaipal Singh Stadium separately comprising 500 building workers. The workers raised resounding slogans like "Better Wages-Regular Work, We Will Fight for Social Security and Dignity" throughout the distance of the rally.
The workers' rights assembly at the Jharkhand Rajbhavan was addressed by AICCTU's State Secretary Comrade Subhendu Sen among others who said that the economic policies of the UPA Govt and previously of the BJP-led NDA Govt has been dangerous for the country and is responsible for the price rise, unemployment, retrenchment and assaults on workers' rights. He called upon the workers to intervene strongly in the political order to thwart the destructive economic policies of the two hobnobbing political parties Congress and the BJP. Comrades DS Diwakar (AICCTU State President), Geeta Mandal, Sushila Tigga, Francis Minz, Munna Uraon, Ishwari Rana, Meena Lakda, Roslyn Lakda, Indu Devi, Guni Uraon led the rally from AICCTU. Bhuvaneshwar Kewat of AICCTU also addressed the meeting.
A five-member delegation on behalf of the participating CTUs met the Governor and gave him a memorandum of demands including the demand to immediately release labour leader Ramendra Kumar who has been framed under false charges.
Construction workers participated in huge numbers and despite rain the workers did not budge. The Jharkhand Construction Workers' Union affiliated to AICCTU had a prior plan to encircle the Labour Commissioner's Office against the attacks on labour rights and hence the mobilisation was thick.
Puducherry: A massive joint demonstration took place on 25th September 2013 at Puducherry by Central Trade Unions comprising AICCTU, AITUC, INTUC, CITU, LPF, BMS, NFTE, BSNLEU, AIIEA, AIBEA and Confederation of State Govt. The joint demonstration was presided by VS Abizhegam, State Secretary of AITUC. Leaders from AICCTU, AITUC, INTUC, CITU, LPF, BMS, NFTE, BSNLEU, AIIEA, AIBEA and Confederation of State Govt. employees Unions addressed the demonstrators. AICCTU contingent was led by Comrade S Mothilal, State Secretary. P Sankaran, State Vice President spoke among the demonstrators on behalf of AICCTU. Workers of All Central Trade Union organizations took part in the demonstration in large numbers.
Developments in Tripura
In East Tripura Parliamentary constituency in Unakoti District in Kumarghat Subdivision political work has been started recently. In North Tripura District a new area under Damcherra Block is also linked up with party work. Another recent development is in Dharmanagar North, among scheduled tribes and the religious minorities. The second Tripura State Conference of All India Progressive Women's Association (AIPWA) was held on October 1st & 2nd. They completed their membership before the conference. All the party comrades devoted all their time for the AIPWA conference. The target taken by the committee in respect of branch committee formation will be within November.
From the Circular of the Politburo:
Threat of US Military Aggression on Syria:
PB expresses satisfaction over the fact that the pressure of international public opinion has succeeded in averting the threat of an immediate US-led war on Syria. The defeat of the pro-war motion in British parliament, the retreat of the Obama Administration from seeking Congressional authorisation, and the eventual agreement between Washington and Moscow over Syria mark a major blow to the American drive for unilateral global hegemony. It is significant that the same Obama Administration which had unilaterally and arrogantly cancelled the Obama-Putin summit in the wake of the Snowden episode had to eat a humble pie and return to the negotiating table with Russia and accept the UN Security Council as the appropriate platform to decide on intervention in and resolution of any international dispute. PB of course cautions against any kind of complacency and calls for sustained vigilance against the US-led war campaign.
Muzaffarnagar Riot and the BJP's Campaign of Communal Frenzy:
The violence in Muzaffarnagar which was allowed to escalate in spite of curfew has rekindled memories of Gujarat across the country. While fighting for peace, harmony and rehabilitation, we must lay the greatest of emphases on bringing the guilty to justice and exposing and resisting the BJP's campaign of communal frenzy and politics of communal polarisation. We should also organise the people against the Indian state's pathological weakness in dealing with rabid communal forces and the politics of appeasement of communal forces and competitive communalism pursued by the Congress and many so-called 'secular' parties. The most glaring example of this politics is the dumping of the Bill to prevent communal violence even as the Congress secured the BJP's support to pass anti-people measures like land acquisition bill or the bill to allow FDI in pension fund. Our campaign against communalism is not limited to defence of secularism, it challenges all kinds of deprivation, discrimination and witch-hunt that minority communities are subjected to and thus integrates the question of secularism with the battle for democracy.
Withdrawal of the Ordinance to Protect Convicted MPs/MLAs
and the Verdict on Fodder Scam:
PB welcomes the withdrawal of the obnoxious ordinance brought by the UPA to protect convicted lawmakers from the threat of disqualification as mandated by the Supreme Court. This is a victory of the powerful anti-corruption public opinion and struggle of the people even though the Congress tried to make political capital of this compulsion by first letting Rahul Gandhi rubbish the ordinance before withdrawing it. Following the Supreme Court verdict three sitting MPs - Lalu Prasad of RJD, Jagdish Sharma of JDU and Rasheed Masood of Congress are slated to lose their membership. The fodder scam story is a great political leveller which exposes leaders of Congress and BJP, and RJD and JD(U) to be members of the same corrupt club. We have raised the issue as to why leaders like Nitish Kumar, Shivanand Tiwari and Lallan Singh who all are named as recipients of fodder scam money in the testimonies of senior officials of animal husbandry department spared by the CBI. The BJP which is now targeting Nitish Kumar on this score is clearly guilty protecting him to save the NDA rule at the Centre and later in Bihar.
The BJP and the Congress – the two parties responsible for major scams and the pro-corporate policies that have strengthened the corporate-politician nexus and facilitated unbridled corporate plunder – are shamelessly trying to utilise the latest developments to their political advantage. We must counter this conspiracy and use the present juncture to further expose and challenge the complicity and collusion of major ruling class parties and the pro-corporate policies responsible for the recent spurt in scams.
Repression on the Autonomous State Movement in Karbi Anglong:
The Congress government of Assam has virtually imposed an undeclared state of Emergency in Karbi Anglong, suspending all democratic activities and unleashing severe repression to silence the renewed popular demand for implementation of Article 244A. A student activist was killed, CPI(ML) office was raided and more than a dozen leaders and cadres of our Party, including Comrade Rabi Phangcho, CCM and Secretary of HillParty Committee, were arrested and even tortured. The administration has since gone on to slap any number of false cases on our comrades to deny them bail and detain them for as long as possible. While resisting this repression and fighting for the release of our comrades we must build on the new momentum generated in the movement and the renewed credibility of CPI(ML) established through the courage and determination with which our comrades have borne the brunt of state repression in this phase.
Unrest in Seemandhra over Telangana:
The UPA government's opportunist piecemeal approach and dilatory tactics in dealing with various statehood demands, especially on the issue of Telangana, has created massive unrest in the country. PB condemns this approach and the use of repressive measures in dealing with popular agitations on statehood issues. The demands should have been referred to a second States Reorganisation Commission for a well-considered, comprehensive and time-bound decision over statehood demands. If Jharkhand, Uttarakhand and Chhattisgarh could be formed without much friction, there is no reason why the issues of Telangana, Gorkhaland or a Hill State/Autonomous State in Assam cannot be solved in an amicable manner. We must insist on an early settlement of pending statehood demands without fomenting sectarian division and violence along linguistic/regional lines.
AISA's 7th UP State Conference
All India Students' Association (AISA) held its 7th Uttar Pradesh State Conference on 28th September, Bhagat Singh's birth anniversary, at Lucknow University campus. AISA leaders said that the State Chief Minister doesn't let go a chance to launch attack on students, youths and intellectuals while he is more than at ease to give free reins to communal hate mongers and rioters as in Muzzafarnagar incidents. Higher education is breathing its last in the State and the State Govt is making every sort of mockery of education and demand for employment. The open session was organised at the Shaheed Square of the Lucknow University where hundreds of students listened to the AISA leaders.
The Conference elected 19-member executive committee with Sudhanshu Vajpayee as State President and Sunil Maurya as State Secretary.
RYA Rally and Public meeting in TN
After campaigning on various demands of the youth in Sriperumputhur, which is an automobile manufacturing hub in Tamilnadu, RYA organised a rally and public meeting remembering the icon of revolutionary youth Shaheed-e-Azam Bhagat Singh on his 106th birth anniversary. Demands include enactment of an act to recognise trade union represented by majority workers, unemployment allowance of Rs.5000 per month, equal wages for equal work (applicable for both women workers and contract labourers doing the same kind of work as permanent workers), Presidential ascent for LA Bill 47 passed in Tamilnadu legislature with respect to trainees, abolition of contract labour system and right to employment.
More than 300 young workers, both permanent and contract from Asian Paints, Hyundai, Fenner, C&S, C&H, Teneco and TI Diamond chain took part. The programme was conducted by Comrade Rajaguru, Kanjipuram District President of RYA. It was addressed by Comrade Bharathi, National Vice President of RYA, Comrade Seetha of AISA and Comrade Iraniappan, State Committee member of CPI(ML).
Reports from Chhattisgarh
The Chhattisgarh Mukti Morcha held a rally on 28th September, Comrade Shankar Guha Niyogi's martyrdom day and incidentally also Bhagat Singh's birth anniversary, in Raipur. The rally reached Gandhi Maidan and culminated into a public meeting. About one and half thousand workers from Durg, Raipur, Bilaspur, Rajnandgaon and Kardha participated.
A workers convention was held on 29th September by Centre of Steel Workers (affiliated to AICCTU). Comrade Subhendu Sen was the chief guest and a 41-member executive committee was elected.
Edited, published and printed by S. Bhattacharya for CPI(ML) Liberation from U-90, Shakarpur, Delhi-92; printed at Bol Publication, R-18/2, Ramesh Park, Laxmi Nagar, Delhi-92; Phone:22521067; fax: 22442790, e-mail: email@example.com, website: www.cpiml.org