Wednesday, July 30, 2014

ML Update | No. 31 | 2014

ML Update

A CPI(ML) Weekly News Magazine

Vol.  17 | No. 31 | 29 JUL - 4 AUG 2014

Saffron Downgrading of Education Rears Its Head Again


The Modi Government has been in power for a very short time – and already, we can see the disturbing signs of saffron forces downgrading the quality of schooling, higher education and research.

The appointment of Y Sudarshan Rao as Chief of the Indian Council of Historical Research is the first signal that the Government is allowing saffron ideology rather than academic worth be the criterion for heading academic institutions.  

Rao lacks publications in peer reviewed journals, and his academic work is confined to blog posts. Without such academic publications, Rao's writings are no better than ideologically-coloured opinions. And those opinions in themselves are cause for concern. Rao in his articles has declared that in ancient times the caste system worked well, and that this system in the historical past should not be viewed through the lens of modern democratic values.

This justification of a Brahminical hierarchy that epitomises discrimination is nothing new for Sangh ideology. Sangh founder Golwalkar rationalised caste hierarchy by comparing it to different limbs of the body: "If a developed society realizes that the existing differences are due to the scientific social structure and that they indicate the different limbs of body social, the diversity would not be construed as a blemish." (Organiser, 1 December 1952, p. 7) Deendayal Upadhyaya, another prominent RSS figure, similarly argued, "In our concept of four castes (varnas), they are thought of as different limbs of virat purush (the primeval man)…These limbs are not only complimentary to one another but even further there is individuality, unity. There is a complete identity of interests, identity, belonging…If this idea is not kept alive, the caste instead of being complimentary can produce conflict. But then that is a distortion." (D. Upadhyaya, Integral Humanism, New Delhi, Bharatiya Jansangh, 1965, p. 43) Now, this open rationalisation of the unconstitutional and discriminatory caste system will head of India's premier historical research body.

Even more disturbing is the fact that Rao's writings extol the ideas of those who have openly called for India to relinquish its secular Constitution and become a Hindu Rashtra (Hindu Nation).      

It has come to light that the Gujarat Government has printed textbooks authored by Dinanath Batra on a mass scale, with a foreword by former Gujarat CM Narendra Modi (who is PM today), and has made them mandatory supplementary reading in Gujarat schools.    

The content of these textbooks would be laughably absurd – except that when they carry the endorsement of the PM and a State Government uses taxpayers' money to promote them, it is no longer funny. It becomes a cruel joke with the minds of young impressionable students.  

It is embarrassing that the man who is India's Prime Minister today, officially endorses textbooks that teach students to reject the map of India and instead learn to draw the map of the Sangh fiction of 'Akhand Bharat' that includes India's neighbouring countries and regions.    

Batra's books claim to promote 'Indian culture' instead of 'Western culture', but only promotes caste Hindu rituals of North India. Why are the cultural practices of dalits, minorities, or of various Indian regions, not considered Indian culture by him?

Worse still, his textbooks include stories that would be considered offensively racist and communal by any professional educationist. These stories refer to a Black person as a 'negro' and compare him to a 'buffalo'; to Indians' colour being that of 'a roti cooked right' as opposed to being 'burnt' like that of Blacks; comparing 'foreigners' to the shoes on the feet of an Indian; and suggesting that a Muslim freedom fighter's objection to Vande Mataram made him anti national. Batra is also on record objecting to the use of ordinary spoken Hindustani words which he claims are words of 'foreign' origin. 

Apart from these, the books are full of historical absurdities that claim ancient Indians invented cars, stem cell therapy, and so on.

Batra has boasted that the HRD Minister has promised to introduce his proposed changes in syllabi on a national scale. Parallel to the Modi Government's move to set up a commission to reform education, Batra has set up a Non-Governmental Education Commission (NGEC) that is pushing the Government to 'Indianise' education.   

The Prime Minister needs to break his silence and explain why his name is used to endorse and promote Batra's absurd books. And the HRD Minister needs to tell the country what her Ministry's stand is on the Gujarat Government's promotion of obscurantist, unscientific, communal and racist material among young children.

The Gujarat Model was promoted by Mr Modi at corporate expense, as the epitome of 'development' and 'progress.' Today, Gujarat's model of school education stands exposed as the worst joke with the country's students. We have seen Shiv Sena MPs shamefully force feed a Muslim man to make him break his fast, with no action taken against them. The Modi Government cannot be allowed to force feed the myths and falsehoods of the RSS shakhas, to the country's children in the name of education. 

CC Call for 28 July 2014:

Expand and Strengthen the Party for Effective Resistance against the Modi Regime's Corporate-Communal Offensive

July 28, 2014 marks the 42nd anniversary of the martyrdom of our founder leader Comrade Charu Mazumdar. It also marks the 40th anniversary of the reorganisation of the Party in the wake of the setback suffered in the early 1970s. As we face India's first BJP-majority government at the centre, which in its first two months in power have already given us unmistakable glimpses of its thoroughly corporate-friendly agenda and authoritarian and communal character, we are reminded of the last words of Comrade Charu Mazumdar and the lessons we learnt in our battle with Indira autocracy in the 1970s and early 1980s.

Riding on the appeal of bank nationalisation and the call of 'garibi hatao', Indira Gandhi had secured a clear mandate in 1971 defeating the Congress old guards. She then went on to consolidate her power with the victory over Pakistan in the Bangladesh war which had left the RSS awe-struck and led Vajpayee to compare Indira Gandhi with the demon-slaying image of goddess Durga. History tells us how quickly this 'garibi hatao' mandate and the nationalist appeal had translated into a brutal paramilitary crackdown on the CPI(ML) and gone on to envelope India's parliamentary democracy in the darkness of Emergency.

Comrade Charu Mazumdar had clearly sensed this danger when days before his martyrdom he called for broad-based unity against the onslaught on the people, asserting that the interests of the people were the interests of the party. The reorganisation of the Party Central Committee on 28 July 1974 and the subsequent revival of the party upheld the spirit of CM's powerful last words through waves of peasant awakening, all-out mass initiatives and bold assertion of the agenda of radical social transformation and consistent democracy. A rejuvenated CPI(ML) successfully resisted the autocratic onslaught of the ruling classes, building brick by brick a committed communist party organisation dedicated to the interests and struggles of the people.

The situation today is both markedly similar and dissimilar to the situation four decades ago. Indira Gandhi was full of Left pretensions and socialistic rhetoric. Narendra Modi flaunts his rightwing politics and intimate corporate ties with great pride. The Congress under Indira Gandhi's stewardship was busy writing the obituary of the CPI(ML). Modi's mission of a 'Congress-mukt Bharat'  seeks to establish and consolidate rightwing hegemony under the exclusive leadership of the BJP, he would love to see India purged of the entire array of Left forces, marginalising in the process even various non-Left liberal streams of social and cultural discourse.

Just as Indira Gandhi, backed by her own coterie of close confidantes, wanted to rule with an iron hand, Modi too would like to rule as a supreme leader enjoying the unabashed adulation of his bhakts and allegiance of his colleagues. And to be sure, the nationalist demagogy is central to the rhetoric employed by the two leaders – while Indira's accent was on 'national unity and integrity' and officially proclaimed 'secularism', Modi's nationalism is openly majoritarian and the emphasis is on a hard state that curbs liberties in the name of 'national security' and corporate-led developmentalism that would bulldoze every voice of dissent and sanctify every destruction of natural resource and people's livelihood in the name of economic growth.

Our job today is to rise against this mounting rightwing onslaught and corporate-communal offensive. We have to bounce back against the triumphalist rightwing clamour of marginalisation of the Left. And as we take up this challenge, we must go deep among the people and organise and mobilise them on their everyday issues. We must pit the aspirations of the people, which the BJP had invoked in the election campaign to come to power, against the BJP's rapidly unfolding corporate-communal agenda and the harsh reality of rising prices and growing mockery of people's welfare. When the rhetoric of 'achchhe din' (good days) turns into the reality of 'bitter pill', fight back the people will and the CPI(ML) must discharge its role in the frontlines of people's struggle.

As the Modi government unleashes its authoritarian mode of governance and seeks to impose its corporate-communal agenda, we can hear the voices of disenchantment and dissent all around us. From the man on the street complaining about the soaring prices to the Chief Justice of India slamming the government for its interference in the appointment of judges – protests can be heard everywhere. This is the time to reach out to various fighting forces and build the broadest possible unity in struggle.

Today the opposition in Parliament has evidently become quite weak and most sections of the opposition have no credibility when it comes to the question of defending the rights and livelihood of the people, the pluralist fabric of the country and the autonomy of various institutions.  Regardless of the role of the Opposition inside Parliament and the response of various institutions to the challenges posed by the Modi government, the voices of protest and resistance must be raised boldly on the streets. Extensive interaction with various progressive democratic forces and effective solidarity and cooperation with wide-ranging struggles of the people are the needs of the hour.

And sure enough, we need a stronger party organisation than ever before. When the Central Committee was reorganised in July 1974, we had to begin the task of Party reorganisation from above, starting almost from scratch. Today, after nine Congresses we are on a much stronger footing with a Party membership of more than one lakh and presence of Party organisation in more than 20 states and 100 districts. But the recent elections have once again made it clear that we need a much more effective Party organisation at the grassroots. We have a nearly 3-million-strong organised mass membership, but our votes barely crossed one million which clearly shows our weakness in terms of political and electoral mobilisation of our members and supporters.

All said and done, polling booths are the key site of electoral struggles. The money-, muscle- and media-power and social engineering equations of dominant ruling class parties play themselves out through booth level mobilisation of the electorate. Given that the electoral domain is no level-playing field and the power balance in electoral struggles is heavily tilted against the poor and working people, it becomes all the more imperative that communists are able to put up effective ground-level resistance against the politics of the ruling classes through intensive counter-mobilisation at the grassroots.

The grassroots organisation that won big victories in the struggle against feudal domination and state terror in the formative years of our Party is also our main weapon in the battle in the electoral arena. It must be understood that unlike the Congress and various identity-based parties, the BJP is a cadre-based party which pays serious attention to its organisation and propaganda and indoctrination campaign at the grassroots. Communist resistance to the BJP must therefore be waged most decisively in the sphere of organisational and ideological-political mobilisation at the grassroots. On the 40th anniversary of Party reorganisation, let us resolve to raise our grassroots organisation to a higher level in terms of mass strength as well as political mobilisation and organisational functioning. The battle against the corporate-communal fascist threat must be won decisively by powerful communist organisation of the working people working in tandem with broader democratic forces on every front of people's struggle.

42nd Martyrdom Anniversary of Comrade Charu Mazumdar

The 42nd anniversary of Comrade Charu Mazumdar's martyrdom was observed all over the country by party members.

In Delhi, a Cadre Convention was held at Charu Bhavan, which began by paying floral tributes to Comrade Charu Mazumdar's statue.

Subsequently, Comrade Sanjay Sharma (Delhi State Secretary) and Kavita Krishnan (PB member) elaborated on the CC's Call, outlining the orientation of building a mass movement and democratic unity against the anti people policies of the Modi Government and strengthening and expanding the party. The Convention was attended by PB member Prabhat Kumar, CCMs Rajiv Dimri and Ravi Rai, and was addressed by a range of CPI(ML) activists working in Delhi.    

In Haryana, the occasion was marked by a protest dharna at Sonepat against Dalit atrocities. Many activists from various Haryana districts participated in the dharna, against the attack on a Dalit Sarpanch of the Janti Khurd village. The protesters demanded to know from the local administration why there was a delay in acting against the perpetrators. The dharna was led by Prem Singh Gehlawat, party in charge for Haryana. 

The Bangalore unit of the party and AICCTU organised a Public Hall Meeting on 28 July 2014 in memory of Comrade Charu Mazumdar. The speakers spoke on the "Corporate, Communal Fascism and the Role of the Left".

Dr. Venkataramaiah Lakshminarayana, Professor Lakshminarayana, AICCTU State Organising Secretary Clifton addressed the gathering while Com. Shankar, Central Committee Member of CPIML Liberation presided over the meeting

and Com. Bharadwaj, Karnataka state secretary of the​
​party introduced the agenda.

Worker activists from various public and private sector companies (national and multinational) and government departments participated in the programme with enthusiasm. Similar Programmes were held at Harapanahalli and Gangavati as well.

Left Parties Will Unite for Bihar Assembly By-Elections 

At a joint press conference on 29th July in Patna, the CPI(ML), CPI and CPI(M) announced their intention to contest the Bihar Assembly by-polls in a united way. The Left parties said that this unity was forged in the backdrop of the urgent need to counter communal and corporate fascism, and to assert a  people's alternative against the offensive of price rise, unemployment and assaults on democracy.   

CPI will contest 2 seats (Jale and Banka), CPI(M) 3 (Chhapra, Mohiuddinnagar, Parbatta), and CPI(ML) 5 seats (Narkatiyaganj, Rajnagar (SC), Bhagalpur, Hajipur, Mohania (SC)) in the by polls.

The Press Conference was addressed by CPI(ML) State Secretary Comrade Kunal, CPI State Secretary Comrade Rajendra Prasad Singh and CPI(M) State Secretary Comrade Vijaykant Thakur.

Outlining the dangers of the Modi Government's policies and the BJP's communal offensive in Bihar, Comrade Kunal said that the front of Congress, RJD and JDU was an opportunist one. The Congress was highly discredited in Bihar and the rest of the country; and the JDU is responsible in large measure for allowing BJP to gain a foothold in Bihar and pursue its communal agenda. And the RJD's rule in Bihar is also one in which communal and casteist forces had a free run and indulged in massacres of rural poor. Moreover the BJP and the Congress, JDU, RJD are all united by the commitment to pro-corporate, anti poor policy that are devastating Bihar and the country. Such an opportunist front cannot counter the saffron offensive and defend people's interests, rights and secular values. The unity of Left forces was the need of the hour, and the decision to contest by-polls together is a welcome one.   

CPI(ML)'s Homage to Comrade D Prempati

CPI(ML) deeply condoles the passing of Comrade D Prempati, a relentless campaigner for democracy, secularism, social justice and human dignity who stood consistently by a whole array of revolutionary struggles of the Indian people. He was a Marxist who was closely acquainted with the writings and thoughts of Ambedkar, Periyar and Phule and drew on his insightful studies and observations to vigorously challenge Brahminical propaganda and resist feudal-communal onslaughts.

We in CPI(ML) cherish fond memories of Comrade Prempati's consistent contribution to the party's multifarious activities and initiatives in the 1980s, especially in the launching of Indian People's Front and a Marxist theoretical periodical called Marxism Today, of which he was the editor. He was one of the Convenors of the Nagbhushan Patnaik Release Committee in the early 1980s, and he enjoyed a close and warm relationship with Comrade Nagbhushan after the latter's release from jail.

Comrades visiting his house at any hour of the day in connection with any work always received the warm hospitality of Comrade Prempati and his family. For generations of his students in Delhi College of Art he was an affectionate teacher of English literature, and for activist circles in Delhi and elsewhere he was a comrade they could look to for guidance and cooperation.

Whether it was the aftermath of Indira Gandhi's assassination when Delhi witnessed a horrific pogrom against the Sikh community, the days of casteist frenzy against the adoption of the Mandal Commission report, the barbaric demolition of Babri Masjid and the riots that preceded and followed in its wake or the state-sponsored genocide in Gujarat in 2002, Comrade Prempati could be seen and heard in every protest meeting as a courageous and tireless campaigner for sanity, social justice and human rights.  

We have lost Comrade Prempati at a crucial juncture in India's political and social life. As we rally today in defence of our hard-won democratic rights, social dignity and pluralistic legacy, he will be sorely missed, but his writings and memories will continue to inspire activists in a whole range of circles to better understand the country and fight harder for our cherished goals of social transformation and human dignity. On behalf of the CPI(ML) Central Committee, I pay my heart-felt homage to Comrade Prempati. His legacy of study, analysis and activism will live on and inspire us in all our struggles for a better tomorrow.

Dipankar Bhattacharya

General Secretary, CPI(ML)

Tribute To Writer Madhukar Singh

Eminent Hindi litterateur Madhukar Singh, who led 'Samantar Kahani Andolan' in story writing along with noted writer Kamleshwar and others in the 1970s, died at his residence at native village Dharahara, on the outskirts of Ara in Bhojpur district, on 15th July. He was 87.

CPI(ML) and progressive cultural organisations were part of his final journey, and paid tribute to this pride of Bhojpur and Bihar.  

The final journey of writer Madhukar Singh started from Dharhara on 16th July morning. Earlier, CPI-ML Patna State secretary Com. Kunal, Politbureau member Com. Amar, State standing committee member Santosh Sahar, writers  Ashok Kumar and Shivnarayan met and consoled the bereaved family.

Poet Shriram Tiwari, story writer Anant Kumar Singh, CPI-ML leader Sudama Prasad and many others were present. On behalf of the Dharhara branch of CPI-ML, the Party flag was placed over the body of the departed writer, after which the final journey started. At Dharhara the body was brought to the CPI-ML district office where Party workers, litterateurs, and cultural activists including Com. Kunal, Com. Nand Kishore Prasad, Com. Amar, and Com. Santosh Sahar paid tribute to him.

Addressing the condolence meeting, CPI-ML State secretary Com. Kunal said that Madhukarji wrote lifelong about people's struggles. He was against the system of people's oppression, and his dream was to establish the rule of the poor and the working class. 

Com. Santosh Sahar said that Madhukarji was the pride of Bihar. Along with the Soviet Land Nehru award he was also the recipient of Bihar's highest award. But the irony is that no representative from the government or the administration has come to pay tribute to this pride of Bihar.

Last year the Jan Sanskriti Manch and the people of Bhojpur not only honoured Madhukarji but also organized an important programme to highlight his literary contribution. The people of Bhojpur proved that a people's writer is not beholden to any government for help.

Com. Sudama Prasad said that Madhukar Singh wrote stories about the poor and dalits fighting against imperialistic oppression. Poet Jitendra Kumar pointed out that when the poor and the working class started their political struggle in the 70's, Madhukarji helped to develop their cultural tools. Raju Yadav said that Madhukarji would remain immortal in the people's struggles. Janmat editor Sudhir Suman recollected that Madhukarji was a teacher at the Jain School along with the founder of the Bhojpur movement Jagdish Master. From those early days he had a deep association with Jagdish Master, his comrades and his Party the CPI-ML. In the 90s he became a member of the Party and retained his membership throughout his life. 

The funeral procession which began from the Party office proceeded through the main roads and reached Sinha ghat where Madhukarji was given a final farewell and his younger son Jyoti Kalash lit the funeral pyre at 3 in the afternoon. His second son Ajitabh, grandsons, relatives, and many people from his village were also present.

The All Bihar Progressive Advocates' Association President Amit Kumar Bunty also paid tribute to Madhukar Singh.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

ML Update 30 | 2014

ML Update

A CPI(ML) Weekly News Magazine

Vol.  17 | No. 30 | 22 - 28 JUL 2014

BRICS Summit

Potential and Inherent Limitations

The sixth BRICS summit was held at Fortaleza, Brazil on 15 July 2014 in the immediate aftermath of the World Cup football tournament, also hosted by Brazil. The Fortaleza summit produced a 72-point declaration and a 23-point action plan, and was followed by a larger meeting with leaders of UNASUR, the regional forum of South American nations including Brazil. The highlight of the sixth BRICS summit has been the announcement of the agreement to launch the BRICS bank, called the New Development Bank (NDB), and a common fund called the Contingent Reserve Arrangement (CRA), to help member countries cope with any possible short-term balance of payments pressure.

BRICS is a unique cross-continental grouping of five countries with little in common in terms of their specific historical, cultural or geo-political background. It is a peculiar reflection of the developing situation where the former number two and current number two of the world economy – Russia and China – have joined hands with three emerging economies across continents to defend their shared economic interests. It is significant that the grouping has taken shape in the backdrop of the global financial crisis which has had a more adverse impact on the three traditionally dominant centres of post-War global capitalist economy – the US, Western Europe and Japan – than these emerging players.

It is futile to look for signs of any radically alternative economic policy approach in BRICS declarations. All five members of BRICS are closely integrated with the existing processes of economic globalisation. But the commitment to the UN and multilateralism as against the unilateral domination of the US and other western powers, the quest for greater freedom for developing countries from the domination of dollar and the Fund-Bank establishment, and the stress on infrastructural investment and state-owned firms and small and medium enterprises as opposed to the unmitigated domination of speculative finance and MNCs do mark some areas of contention within the ongoing processes of globalisation.

The real challenges to the development of the BRICS potential come from the conflicting strategic priorities of member countries, particularly India. If BRICS really has to emerge as a platform of economic cooperation for the global south in opposition to the disastrous hegemony of the Fund-Bank establishment, the spearhead must be directed consistently against the US. Yet, the Indian ruling classes remain bound by the dictates of New Delhi's strategic partnership (a euphemism for subservience) with Washington. The insistence on a pro-US foreign policy reinforcing the Indian ruling classes' growing integration with the structures of neoliberal globalisation undermines India's potential as a responsible contributor to BRICS.

The contrast between Modi's BRICS braggadocio and India's shameful silence and advocacy of neutrality on the issue of Israel's war on Gaza has once again exposed the foreign policy hypocrisy of the Indian ruling classes. The BJP's inability, nay refusal, to boldly advocate and stand by the Palestinian people's integral right to peace, dignity and independence in the face of the US-backed Zionist offensive of Israel, only goes to expose the hollowness of India's pro-global south posturing in the global economic arena.

While BRICS remains relevant in the context of the growing worldwide quest for multipolarity and freedom from the oppressive domination of the Fund-Bank establishment and the hegemony of dollar, popular pressure must be developed within India for reorienting India's economic and foreign policies in correspondence with the BRICS theme of greater assertion of the global south. Brazil is trying to dovetail its role in BRICS with the perspective of greater economic and political cohesion with other South American countries; India must also combine her commitment to BRICS with closer cooperation with SAARC and other Asian countries.

Dharna at Lucknow Against Rape and Murder

AISA activists held a dharna at Saraswati Vatika in Lucknow University on 22 July 2014 to protest against the brutal incident of rape and murder in Mohanlalganj, the subsequent attempts by the administration to cover up the incident with false stories, and attempts of the Samajwadi Party leaders to hide behind false statistics.

Addressing the dharna AISA State President Sudhanshu Bajpayi said that today the incidents of sexual violence in the State as well as the country are on the rise. Putting the central government also in the dock he said that our Prime Minister is silent on such an inhuman crime, and these crimes are being perpetrated on the very home ground of the Home Minister, and yet our Home Minister remains silent. Cornering the State government he said that it is evident from the manner in which the top officials of the administration are giving evasive reports about the incident, that the administration is bent on shielding the criminals.

Sudhanshu Bajpayi also strongly opposed the ploy of hiding behind false statistics by the Samajwadi Party leaders. He pointed out that the State government has totally failed to maintain the law and order system in the State; moreover, the SP leaders are defending their failure by saying that in a State with such a high population like U.P., these incidents are actually quite low. He said that if the government is incapable of maintaining the law and order system, it has no right to remain in power.

AISA campus secretary Nitish Kanaujiya, campus Vice President Ashwini Yadav, Apoorva Verma, Shalini, Chandrakant, Rajiv Gupta, Sushant and others participated in the dharna.

Ramgarh's Dalits Threatened As They Testify in Court Against Attack

Dalits of Ramgarh village (Dadri, UP), have begun testifying in court against the gram pradhan Kuldeep Bhati and his henchmen, who had subjected them to a murderous attack on March 14, 2012. They have been waging their battle for justice under the banner of the CPI(ML). To prevent them from testifying in court, or to pressure them to turn hostile, the gram pradhan and his men have intensified their campaign of intimidation. 

A CPI(ML) team comprising PB member Kavita Krishnan, State Committee members Aslam Khan and Shyamkishor, as well as Anas Kidwai, Mohit Kashyap, Rituparna Biswas and Prashant Gupta of RYA, Susanne Adley visited Ramgarh on July 20, 2014. 

The March 14th Attack

On March 14, 2012, the Dalit Jatav families of Ramgarh (Dadri, UP) had been subjected to an assault by the gram pradhan Kuldeep Bhati, and his henchmen. This attack, happening soon after the UP Assembly poll results, had the purpose of punishing the Jatavs from having staked claim to panchayat land that had been allocated to Dalits as homestead plots.   

Men, women and even old people were attacked with rods and axes in their houses, which left dozens of them with broken bones and skull injuries.

One of the youths who had been at the forefront of this battle, Tikaram, had his legs chopped off in July 2013 by Bhati and his supporters.

Fresh Intimidation

The first testimony in the case against the perpetrators of the 14th March, 2012 attack, was registered in the Gautam Budh Nagar District Court (Surajkund) on 2nd June, 2014. Brahm Jatav was to appear in court again on 23rd July, where the lawyer for six of the accused would cross-examine him.

Brahm is the first and one of the key witnesses in the whole case. There are 19 other witnesses from the Dalit community, apart from the police witnesses. Now, 'Operation Intimidation' is on, to silence their voice.

Brahm told us that the Dalits were asked to attend a Gujjar Panchayat on 8th June to 'settle' the 'dispute'. He and other Dalits were reluctant to go, but some of Bhati's men came to Brahm's home and pressurised him and other Dalit youth to attend. Brahm asked that the Panchayat be held on neutral ground. Instead it was held in an area completely populated by the dominant caste, locally known as the Dak Bangla. 

At Brahm's home, Bhati's men accused Brahm, Tikaram's brother Bhuvanesh and other Dalits of 'harbouring Pakistani terrorists' in their homes. This was a transparent insinuation against CPI(ML) activists Aslam Khan as well as RYA activists Anas Kidwai and others who happen to be Muslim. At that time, RYA activists Anas Kidwai and Prashant Gupta were at Tikaram's house. Seven of Kuldeep Bhati's henchmen, packed with pistols, arrived there to 'meet' Anas and Prashant. Barely veiling their threats, they told Anas and Prashant, "Why are you interfering in village matters? We would not like something bad to happen to you. There are more than a 100 of us gathered close by." The henchmen then coerced seven of the Dalit youths to go to the panchayat. 

This was the day after the murder, in Dadri, of BJP leader Vijay Pandit. As a consequence, Section 144 was imposed in the area, prohibiting mass gatherings. Yet, when Brahm and the handful of Dalit youth arrived at the panchayat, they found 150 people gathered there. This was a gathering of dominant caste men, from a total of 12 villages. Though this massive armed gathering was in clear violation of Section 144, the police were nowhere to be seen; they had turned a tacit blind eye.   

"They had lathis and pistols with them," said Brahm, "The gathering was menacing and did not inspire confidence in us." The panchayat began by reminding the Dalits of the borrowed money they owed to the dominant case lenders. They asked for the money back, on the spot: "We'll tie you here and keep you till you pay." Having begun on an offensive note, they then began to talk of a 'compromise.'

Bhati's men said that they would clear the occupation of the 4.75 bighas of panchayat land, and would pay medical expenses incurred by the Dalits injured in the attacks, and in return the Dalits must agree to sign an affidavit on a 'stamp paper', stating their willingness to withdraw statements against the accused in the 14 March 2012 attack. They were told that they could be killed anywhere as they had nowhere to go, being surrounded by villages that are dominated by the Gujjars: "Even if some of us go to jail, we will still manage to kill you from inside the jail." The Dalit youth, fearing for their lives, stated their agreement but resisted the pressure to sign the affidavit then and there, saying they would do so the next day.

In the next couple of days, immense pressure was brought on Brahm and others to sign the compromise affidavit. He stalled, asking for the land to be cleared of illegal occupation first. As a gesture that he was willing to clear the land of occupation, Bhati had an illegal shop demolished, that had been blocking the road used by the Dalits to access the panchayat land. But Bhati's emissaries then told Brahm and his father Harpal that they would have to pay Rs 2 lakh for the demolition of the shop!

On 20th July, the Dalits, though clearly disturbed and terrorised, expressed their intention to stand firm and not give in to the intimidation and pressure to 'compromise'. Prakashi, one of those worst injured on March 14, 2012, declared, "I'll identify the accused in court and face the consequences. I refuse to be scared of them. We do need the land, but we know they'll never clear the occupation or let us use it. It's a fight for our dignity now."

A young man, Virpal said, "They too are scared of us, else they would never have to collect 150 people in order to talk to us! They are scared that we might stop fearing them. And their fear is justified." He recounted an instance where he and another youth were accosted by some powerful men of the dominant caste. In such an altercation, in normal circumstances, the latter would have slapped the Dalit boys. But this time, Virpal said, they did not, and that only indicated that the court case was acting as a fetter on Bhati's henchmen.

Vikas, an RYA activist from the village, said, "We all know they'll never let us have the land. Moreover, the 'affidavit' they're asking us to sign is meaningless, since it is the State that files the case, not us. So the affidavit, even if we were to sign it, would not end the case, but it would merely weaken our side of it. It would require us to lie and turn hostile in Court. We are not going to do that."


1.     It is clear that the UP police and administration have taken no lessons from Muzaffarnagar. How come dominant caste 'panchayats' of armed people are allowed to gather in defiance of Section 144, in an sensitive area where horrific violence has already taken place many times? Section 144 is used often enough to prevent peaceful protests; yet it is not enforced to prevent actual rioting and organised violence!

2.     Moreover, the echoes of Muzaffarnagar can be heard in the ugly insinuations against activists who happen to be Muslim. The ease with which such activists can be branded as 'Pakistani terrorists' and threatened with violence is of great concern.

3.     The coercive nature of the caste 'panchayats' is also underlined by the episode. We often hear khap panchayats legitimised as a community's way of dispute resolution, avoiding litigation. The actual nature of such 'dispute resolution' is exposed by this episode, whereby Brahm and his Dalit friends did not have a real choice not to attend the 'panchayat.' Note, this was a dominant caste panchayat where the Dalits were 'summoned'; this was no dispute resolution between 'equal' members of a rural 'community'. The Dalits were outnumbered by an intimidating gathering of armed men from the dominant caste. The Gujjar 'panchayat', in the name of dispute resolution, was staged to threaten the Dalits into turning hostile as witnesses in an atrocity against Dalits. And the sheer absence and apathy of the police and local administration gave the Dalits an unmistakeable message that they are isolated, and left to fend for themselves. The police apathy creates a situation where it is possible for perpetrators of unmistakeable crimes – a daylight assault on Dalits and dismemberment of a Dalit youth – to force the victims to 'compromise' in the name of dispute resolution rather than stand their ground in Court.              


It is clear that there is an immediate threat of fresh violence against the Dalit witnesses and their families.

1)     We demand that the witnesses in the 14th March 2012 attack case, and their families, be provided with police protection, as they face very serious threats to terrorize them into not appearing in court.

2)     We also demand that the occupied land be immediately cleared of occupation and handed over to the rightful claimants of the Jatav community.

Dalits Observing Memorial Day for Ilavarasan Face Brutal Repression in Dharmapuri, TN

A public hearing was held in Salem on 13th July, in which Dalits of Natham Colony testified to the brutal police repression unleashed on them by the Dharmapuri police. The repression was unleashed when they attempted to observe the first death anniversary of Ilavarasan, a dalit youth, who was found dead in mysterious circumstances on 4thJuly last year after he married a Vanniar girl, Divya. The marriage of Ilavarasan and Divya was used as a pretext by the Pattali Makkal Katchi party to organise arson and violence against dalit villages in Dharmapuri. 

When Ilavarasn's family members and the people of Natham village began talking about observing the first death anniversary of Ilavarasan, the Dharmapuri police clamped Sec 144 on June 27th in Dharmapuri block, and latter expanded it to the entire district. Six members of the village, illegally held in the police station, later had several cases slapped against them. They were jailed on charges of engaging in a conspiracy to eliminate PMK leaders, possessing lethal weapons, and getting arms training with Naxalites. After 11 days, the arrested Dalit youth were charged with NSA!

More than 1500 police were engaged to encircle the entire village. From dawn to dusk, houses were 'searched'. Members of the villages and relatives were restricted from even entering or leaving the village.

The women, elders and children spent several sleepless nights. The family members, mostly women, ran from pillar to post to every police station to know if their loved ones were alive. From every police station they got only arrogant responses and threatens.

Women in large numbers with their children approached the district collector and demanded to stop the police brutality. If not, they declared, they would surrender their voter ids and family cards and walk out of the village. Even then the inhuman police repression continued.

The village people approached the high court for a remedy, seeking to be allowed to observe the memorial day. Instead of upholding civil and democratic rights enshrined in the constitution, the HC placed restrictions, stating that only Ilaravarasan's immediate family members could observe the memorial day from 3-4 pm, and other relatives could join from 4-5 pm! Moreover, the HC banned political parties and organizations entering the district even! In such a background, the public hearing was held in Salem.

The jury of the public hearing comprised Rathinam, a senior HC advocate, Balamurugan, an advocate and novelist and Murugavel, an advocate and writer.

Six women from Natham colony deposed before the jury. Ramani, a native of the village, who is also an SCM of Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist)(People Liberation), said that the repression was staged under the direct supervision of the District SP Asra Garg. When the women complained about the brutality, he arrogantly replied, "I will plant bombs in your houses and send you all to jail." She also revealed the police-PMK nexus. Even before the FIR could be filed before the magistrate's court, PMK founder Ramadoss and his newly elected MP-son Anbumani Ramadoss were reading out the FIR in their press conference, she said.

Sumathi, Saalammal and Selvi, residents of the Natham colony, who were leading the women in the trying times, narrated the police brutalities with tears in their eyes.

Sumathi said, "The police called our kith and kin to the station for a routine enquiry on 27th June around 12 noon, but illegally held them. We were made to run to every police station to look for our people but in vain. Starting from 1 pm of 27th June to 4 am of 28th June, we ran from one police station to another. Several of us fainted, unable to withstand hunger, thirst and sleeplessness.  While our people suffering inhuman tortures inside the police lock-up, we were subjected to intimidation and insult by the women police outside the police station! And when we were able to see through the window, six policemen were standing on the knees and thighs of our people, and beating them all over, even as they shouted out in unbearable pain." 

Selvi said, "On Nov 7, 2012, the fatal day when our villages was razed to the ground by the frenzied mob of PMK, AIADMK, and DMDK men, the police was a mere mute spectator. But now when we just wanted to observe the death anniversary of Ilavarasan, we have been subjected to such inhuman tortures. Don't we have even the right to observe death anniversary of our loved one?"

Ramachandran of Karur spoke about the role of the police and administration in another incident. Instead of arresting the culprits who did the heinous crime of rape and murder of a dalit student in the area, the police harassed the friends of the victim in the name of inquiry, and planted stories assassinating the character of the victim!

Rajasankar from Cuddalore district narrated their fact finding report about attacks on Dalits in Vadakkumangudi village, that took place to deter Dalits from voting for Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi (the party allied with DMK and headed by Tirumavalavan) and to tilt the balance in favour of PMK in this reserved constituency.

One participant, Venkatesan from Villupuram district, recounted how an upper caste (Thevar) DSP had encouraged the Vanniar mob to attack a Dalit colony there, when the Dalits of Kunnathur claimed their due share of drinking water from the panchayat president. Throughout the attack, the said DSP simply sat in his jeep, having tea and biscuits.

A college girl Sofia, narrated her bitter experience of humiliation and castiest slurs even in the city of Salem.

After the depositions, Balamurugan on behalf of the Jury concluded that the Dharmapuri police' case against Dalits is a fabricated one. He pointed out a gaping hole in the police FIR: the named accused are in police custody right from 27th June onwards, but the FIR says the accused were apprehended on 28th June.  The cases framed are illegal and the repression unleashed is totally against constitutional rights.

The Public Hearing was organized by CPIML (Liberation), Marxist Party and Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist) (People Liberation). Gunasekaran of Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist) (People Liberation), Gangadaran of Marxist Party and Balasundaram State Secretary of CPIML also spoke at the hearing.  CPIML SCM Chandramohan, District secretary Mohanasundaram also participated.

Resolutions were passed condemning the police repression and demanding a judicial enquiry; that the November 7th 2013 attack on 3 dalit villages by a PMK mob be tried by a fast track court and the culprits punished speedily; all the police excesses in Kodiyankulam, Tamirabarani, Paramakudi and Dharmapuri, Chidambaram must be re-enquired by a special Judicial Commission and the culprits punished.

Several Left and Dalit intellectuals, professors, students, TU activists, CPIML activists, and women in large numbers participated in the hearing.

More Protests Against Attack on Gaza

CPI(ML) held protests demanding an end to the attack on Gaza in Puducherry, Chennai and Kanyakyumari. In Kanyakumari, the CPI also joined the demonstration. The Chennai demo was addressed by Politburo member Comrade Kumarswamy, State Secretary Balasundaram, and the Chennai City Secretary Sekar. The Government's refusal to allow a Parliament resolution condemning Israel's attack was strongly condemned by the protestors. 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

ML Update | No. 29 | 2014

ML Update

A CPI(ML) Weekly News Magazine

Vol.  17 | No. 29 |15 - 21 JUL 2014

Indian Government Must Break Its Silence

And Demand End to Israel's Racist Genocide in Gaza

The ongoing Israeli assault on Gaza has now claimed nearly 200 lives of Palestinian civilians, and still counting. The abduction and killing of three Jewish young boys in the occupied West Bank is condemnable. But, instead of identifying those responsible, Israel used this crime as a pretext for yet another massacre of the Palestinian people.

The fact that the abduction and killing are only a pretext is underlined by the words of Israeli hardliners who in 2012 had referred to the annual massacre of Palestinian civilians by the Israeli state, as "mowing the lawn." Israeli political leaders have a long history of using such language to dehumanize the Palestinian people and justify occupation and genocide. In 1969, Israeli PM Golda Meir had declared that Palestinians 'didn't exist.' In 1982, Israeli PM Menachem Begin described Palestinians as "beasts walking on two legs." In 1988, another Israeli PM Yitzhak Shamir declared that the Palestinians "would be crushed like grasshoppers."

Even as major world powers maintain a shameful silence on this massacre, the Israeli PM Netanyahu has declared that "world pressure will not stop us...there is still more to go." The Israeli PM has openly and shamelessly justified deliberate bombardment of homes, hospitals, and other civilian locations. Yet, this blatant admission of war crime has invited no serious action from the United Nations to ensure an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, even as the UN reports that the 80% of those killed in Gaza are civilians.

The silence of the Indian Government on the ongoing genocide is a mockery of India's long history of solidarity with the Palestinian struggle. Indian solidarity with Palestine is forged in India's own experience of anti-colonial freedom struggle. This is why India's freedom fighters, including Gandhi, unequivocally recognised and resisted the colonial occupation of Palestine. Gandhi famously declared that "Palestine belongs to the Arabs as England belongs to the English or France to the French." This is the understanding that informed India's long standing foreign policy approach to Palestine. As India's ruling class drew closer to the US imperialist regime in the past couple of decades, it began advocating a 'pragmatic' relationship with Israel. During the last NDA Government, this relationship acquired even closer ideological affinities, with Zionism and Hindutva echoing each others' Islamophobia. And of course, cementing the bonhomie between Israel andIndia's rulers from both Congress and BJP, is India's position as the biggest client of Israel's arms industry. Now, with the Modi Government in power, the cadres of Sangh Parivar are striving to erase the memory and legacy of the strong shred anti-colonial ties between India and Palestine. By doing so, they are seeking to mould India in Israel's image in the subcontinent – both in its treatment of neighbours and of its own minority populations and oppressed nationalities.

At such a time, it is crucial to underline that ordinary Indians who protest the Israeli occupation and aggression, are in fact defending the highest traditions of India's own freedom struggle. And they are also standing by the millions of people across the globe who are resisting their own governments' support for the Israeli occupation and calling for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel.

The Indian Government cannot be allowed to play havoc with India's precious anti-colonial legacy and conscientious foreign policy towards Palestine. Democratic and anti-imperialist Indians must demand that the Indian Government immediately condemn and call for a halt of the Israeli aggression, convey relief to the Palestinian people, and appeal to the UN to intervene to enforce an immediate ceasefire. The Indian Government must also reaffirm its commitment to support the cause of a free Palestine, and must walk the talk of this commitment by ending arms purchases from Israel.

Palestine today is the longest ever people's resistance to colonialism, occupation, and racism. It is ironic that the Israeli state, supposedly a monument against Nazi racism and genocide, is itself the worst perpetrator of racism and genocide in today's world. Ending this racist occupation and genocide is a call for conscience for the whole world. 

Delhi Police Assaults Peaceful Protesters at Israel Embassy

Nearly 100 people peacefully gathered on July 14th near Hotel Claridges on Auragzeb Road to protest against the Isreal's bombardment of Gaza.

Protesters from JNUSU, AISA, AISF, RYA, NAPM, DSG and many other civil society organisations marched from Hotel Claridges towards the Israel Embassy. The Delhi police made all-out attempts to stop the bus carrying the protesters from leaving JNU.

Finally, the bus was forced to stop around 2 kilometres from the Embassy, from where the students marched on foot towards the Embassy. On way to the Embassy, the police tried to stop protesters by the use of force and lathicharge. The police beat up activists ruthlessly and when some students reached the embassy, they were not allowed to stage a silent sit in! Women activists were roughed up and manhandled, and male activists were thrashed, leaving several injured. The protesters were forced into a bus and taken to Tughlaq Road police station where they were greeted by abusive language, use of unprovoked force and hostile treatment. Student leaders were thrashed without any reason. All this took place on the orders of the DCP.

Kavita Krishnan, secretary of the All India Progressive Women's Association, and Politburo member, CPI(ML), was dragged away from in front of the Embassy and hit on her lip by a policewoman's helmet when she raised a slogan.

In all, nearly 100 people including JNUSU President Akbr Choudhury were bundled together in two police vans and taken to Tughlaq Road police Station. Inside the thana, Kavita Krishnan was also stopped from talking to the press, was dragged inside and verbally abused. When the JNUSU President questioned the language that was being used, he was also slapped and abused – all this in the presence of and on the orders of the SHO Pramod Joshi.

Activists from several organisations were injured, and clothes were torn. Inside the thana, the police selectively asked students with beards (presumed to be Muslims) for identity cards. 

It is to be noted that, while protests at the embassy were allowed the day before, JNU students were specifically targeted, halted, beaten up and misbehaved with. The police were heard saying, inko sabak sikhao, inko mat chodna, baar baar aa jaate hain (teach them a lesson, don't spare them, they repeatedly return to protest). The JNU students in particular are being targeted repeatedly by the Delhi police in the past month. 

Two activists from AISF, who were returning home after the detention was over, were targeted outside the police station, and one of them was beaten up. This is a totally unprovoked attack on two citizens who were simply going home. It is a shame that present political establishment in India,  known for its pro-Israeli stance, has not only failed to condemn the Israeli war offensive on Gaza, but are going the extra mile of cracking down on democratic protests by Indian people against this racist offensive. However, these attacks on activists cannot silence the voice for justice and democracy.

The protesters were eventually released in the evening. Another joint protest will be held at the Israel embassy on 17th July.

CPI(ML) Statement on Union Budget

The Modi Government's first Union Budget has continued and severely intensified the offensive on common people and benefits to corporations that marked the previous UPA-II regime.   

The Budget has opened the floodgates of disinvestment of PSUs to the tune of 43000 cr, with FDI being increased to 49% in defence, insurance and e-commerce.

The Budget is remarkably silent on MNREGA and Food Security that directly affect the poorest sections, also on concrete measures to quell inflation, such as taking essential items off the list of commodities that can be traded in the futures and forward trading market. The Finance Minister, on being asked, said that the existing allocation for MNREGA will stand. Allocations for MNREGA have not been increased for years, in spite of steep inflation, and the Modi Government has continued with the same policy.

Total social sector expenditure has plummeted steeply from 10.8 % in 2013-14 to 4.42 % of the total budget in 2014-15, and from 26.7 % in 2013-14 to 16.7 % in 2014-15 of total planned expenditure.

The huge infrastructure outlay in railways, roads, and ports has been allocated in the PPP framework. Experience has shown that PPP has been a system which has involved huge corruption, and which has meant private profits at public cost. In this case, the huge outlay will prove a bonanza for the real estate sharks who will use the PPP model to milk profits.

The allocation for schooling and higher education is highly inadequate and reflects the Modi Government's lack of any concern for the country's youth. The Budget allocates a mere 500 cr for 5 new IITs – contrast this with the 200 cr allocation for a single statue of Sardar Patel, a pet project of Modi's Gujarat Government that the Centre has now adopted! The Budget indicates that education will be left to predatory mercies of privatisation, which will put it out of reach of the vast majority of students in the country.

When it comes to employment too, the Budget fails to recognise the vast army of para teachers, ASHA, anganwadi and other rural health and education workers as government employees. The Modi Government continues with the model of insecure, casualised employment that exploits youth and women and also affects the quality of education and health services.    

Similarly, the Budget allocates a mere 500 cr for 5 new AIIMS like medical institutions in 5 states. Again, this amount can be put in perspective by contrasting it with the 200 cr allocation for a single statue. 

Some of the Budgetary decisions have immediate benefits to specific corporations.  FDI in e-commerce has also been introduced; this in spite of an earlier white paper by the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP) stating that FDI in E-commerce would go against the spirit of restrictions imposed on FDI in multi-brand retail. BJP's posture has been one of opposition to FDI in multi-brand retail, yet it is allowing it in by the back door with FDI in e-commerce. Modi's team is known to have close connections with the e-commerce giant, eBay CEO Pierre Omidyar, with BJP MP Jayant Sinha having earlier served as head of the Omidyar Network in India.      

The Finance Minister has also virtually put a hold on the restrospective taxation legislation that was enacted after the Supreme Court's ruling in favour of Vodafone in 2012. This legislation allowed for retrospective taxation of overseas transactions which involve assets primarily in India. Now, the Finance Minister has set up a high-powered committee to vet each case before invoking this law. It may be remembered that the Finance Minister Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley recently recused himself from matters pertaining to the Rs. 20,000 crore Vodafone tax dispute and delegated decisions in this matter to his junior Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. It may be presumed that he recused himself because of a conflict of interest emerging from possible prior association with the corporation in his capacity as a lawyer. Surely a conflict of interest is also indicated if the retrospective taxation legislation that directly pertains to the Vodafone case and similar matters, is weakened by the present Finance Minister?

The Budget extends the 10-year tax holiday to power companies.

The Finance Minister has also indicates that 'hurdles' in the path of mining will be removed and mining will receive a boost. Those hurdles, of course, have been the adivasis fighting for their survival and their rights to forests and land. The need of the hour was the nationalization of mining, to end to open plunder of our precious mineral resources by corporations and MNCs, resulting in huge corruption. Instead the Budget Speech indicates that hurdles in the path of this plunder will further be removed.

The Economic Survey also indicates a shift to a regime of cash transfers and erosion and undermining of the MNREGA.

All in all, the Modi Government's first Budget is openly pro-corporate and anti-poor in its orientation, and does nothing to alleviate price rise and usher in the relief promised to the people by Modi's election campaign. 

-- CPI(ML) Central Committee

Protest Against Modi Govt's Union Budget

Activists of CPI(ML) held a protest demonstration at Jantar Mantar on July 11th against the pro-corporate, anti-people Union Budget, and burnt an effigy of the Budget.

Protesters raised slogans saying that the Modi Budget had bought 'good times' (acche din) for corporations through the FDI, PPP and exemptions route, but for the vast majority of ordinary people, there was only price rise, unemployment, and suffering in the absence of basic rights like health, education, food and water.

The protest was addressed by CPI(ML) State Secretary Sanjay Sharma, Politburo member Kavita Krishnan, RYA GS Ravi Rai, AICCTU leaders Rajiv Dimri, VKS Gautam and Santosh Roy and others.

Massive Corporate Bailout in Budget

The revenues foregone in 2013-14 could fund the rural jobs scheme for three decades or the PDS for four and a half years.

By P. Sainath

It was business as usual in 2013-14. Business with a capital B. This year's budget document says we gave away another Rs. 5.32 lakh crores to the corporate needy and the under-nourished rich in that year.  Well, it says Rs. 5.72 lakh crores but I'm  leaving out the Rs. 40 K crore foregone on personal income tax since that write-off benefits a wider group of people. The rest is mostly about a feeding frenzy at the corporate trough. And, of course, that of other well-off people. The major write-offs come in direct corporate income tax, customs and excise duties.

f you think sparing the super-rich  taxes and duties worth Rs. 5.32 lakh crores  is  a trifle excessive, think again.  The amount we've written off for them since 2005-06 under the very same heads is well over Rs. 36.5  lakh crore.  (A sixth of that in just corporate income tax). That's Rs. 36500000000000 wiped  off for the big boys in nine years.

With  Rs. 36.5 trillion     for that is what it is     you could:

       Fund the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme for around 105 years, at present levels.  That's more than any human being could expect to live. And a hell of a lot more than any agricultural labourer would. You could, in fact, run the MNREGS on that sum, across the working lives of two generations of such labourers. The current allocation for the scheme is around Rs. 34,000 crore.

       Fund the Public Distribution System for 31 years. (current allocation Rs. 1,15,000 crores).

By the way, if these revenues had been realized, around 30 per cent of their value would have devolved to the states. So their fiscal health is affected by the Centre's massive corporate karza maafi.

Even just the amount foregone in 2013-14 can fund the rural jobs scheme for three decades. Or the PDS for  four and a half years. It is also over four times the 'losses' of the Oil Marketing Companies by way of  so-called 'under-recoveries' in 2012-13.

Look at some of the exemptions under customs duty.  There's a neat Rs. 48,635 crore written off on 'Diamonds and Gold.' Hardly aam aadmi or aam aurat items. And more than what we spend on rural jobs.  Fact: concessions on diamonds and gold over the past 36 months total Rs. 1.6 trillion.  (A lot more than we'll spend on the PDS in the coming year).  In the latest figures, it accounts for 16 per cent of the total revenue foregone.

The break-up of the budget's revenue foregone figure of Rs. 5.72 lakh crore for 2013-14 is interesting.  Of this, Rs. 76,116 crore was written off on just direct corporate income tax.  More than twice that sum (Rs.1,95,679 crore)  was foregone on Excise Duty. And well over three times the sum was sacrificed in Customs Duty (Rs. 2,60,714 crores).

This, of course, has been going on for many years in the 'reforms' period. But the budget only started carrying the data on revenue foregone around 2006-07. Hence the Rs. 36.5 trillion write-off figure. It would be higher had we the data for earlier years. (All of this, by the way, falls within the UPA period). And the trend in this direction only grows. As the budget document itself recognizes, "the total revenue foregone from central taxes is showing an upward trend. "

It sure is. The amount written off in 2013-14 shows an increase of 132 per cent compared to the same concessions in 2005-06.

Corporate karza maafi is a growth industry, and an efficient one.

(- Source:

Sanitation Workers Protest in Bangalore

Contract Sanitation workers of Koramangala and surrounding areas of Bangalore are worried about the unpaid DA of Rs.32.50 declared by the government, non-payment of monthly and minimum wages and are preparing for a struggle for their regularisation while careerist unions are preparing to honour the CM for the announcement of the mirage of appointment of 4000 sanitation workers. CM Siddaramaiah has staged a game of deception by declaring 22% reservation for dalits in scavenging work. It is nothing but a cruel joke. Can the CM or any of his stooges show us people of any caste other than dalits involved in scavenging work in any part of our country?

A meeting of sanitation workers was addressed by Com. Balan, state president of AICCTU in Karnataka on 9th July 2014. AICCTU is demanding regularisation of all contract sanitation workers, presently on employment, without any age bar.

Tamilnadu Reports

The Chennai City committee of CPI(ML) organised a demonstration against petrol price hike by Modi Government at Ambattur on 1st July 2014.It was presided by Com Mohan City committee member and attended among others by com.Venugopal, Lilly, Pasupathy, Munusamy, Jeevanandham, Kannan and Dhanasekar.Com Sekar, City committee secretary addressed the meeting.

Branch secretaries meeting at Chennai.

The meeting began after paying homage to victims of Moulivakkam and Edapalayam construction site accidents. It was attended by Com Bharathi and Com Iraniappan SCMs  of CPI(ML). Secretaries from 20 branches attended. It was decided to organise all branch meetings on 28th of July,conduct study circles twice a month on party's Tamil organ Theepori , published fortnightly. Settling central and state levies fully before 28 th July, Completion of membership drive by that time. It was also decided to involve each member during the campaign

Demonstration for implementation of Migrant Labour Act

After a series of accidents involving death of migrant workers from Andhra and Odisha, State government is not serious enough to implement Migrant Labour Act which gives minimum protection to migrant labours. Demanding its strict implementation demonstration under the leadership of Com Palanivel, district President of AICCTU was held at Ambattur. Workers from units like Sai Meera, drill jig bushing, MKP Joy engineering etc took part.

Gherao against absconding Assistant commissioner of labour

About 50 workers of closed drill bush company gheraoed the office of the Assistant Commissioner of labour at Chennai. It continued until the Joint commissioner of labour met the workers and assured them to their case on his own behalf.Com Palanivel led the agitation. The District President Mohan along with other leaders took part.

Regional Joint Statement

End Offensive on Gaza

In the past week, Israeli military forces have escalated their offensive on the Gaza Strip. Israeli warplanes have increasingly targeted houses, civilian-populated areas and civilian facilities in the Gaza strip. Israeli warplanes have destroyed a number of houses while their residents were inside, without any prior warnings, killing and wounding many Palestinian civilians.

The Israeli government has cynically exploited the killing of three Israeli youth and used this to whip up a racist hysteria against Palestinians and the Hamas government in Gaza. It has done this without producing any evidence about who was responsible for those killings. A campaign of indiscriminate violence against Palestinians has been incited and one Palestinian boy has been tortured and burnt to death. Now even more indiscriminate retribution has been inflicted on the civilian residents of Gaza. Collective punishment is a violation of international humanitarian law.

The ruthless military offensive conducted by Israeli forces has nothing to do with "self-defence", but a genocidal aggression on Gaza and intensification of bloody repression against Palestinians who had been constantly denied their right to self-determination by the Zionist regime.

The undersigned organisations:

         Strongly condemn Israel's latest attack on Gaza, Palestine and demand that it stop its attacks on Gaza and respect international law including the UN resolution 242 which demands Israel withdraw from the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and East Jerusalem, territories which Israel has illegally occupied since 1967.

         Call upon all governments to immediately withdraw their ambassadors from Israel, cut diplomatic ties and end all military and defence ties with Israel.

         Call for the intensification of the economic boycott, disinvestment and sanctions campaign against Israel.

Initiating signatories--

Socialist Alliance, Australia

Socialist Party of Malaysia (PSM), Malaysia

Partido Lakas ng Masa (PLM), Philippines

Socialist Aotearoa, New Zealand

Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation

Partai Rakyat Pekerja (Working People Party), Indonesia

Socialist Alternative, Australia

Partai Rakyat Demokratik (PRD), Indonesia

Solidarity, Australia

Awami Workers Party, Pakistan

Fightback, Aotearoa/New Zealand