Thursday, January 1, 2015

ML Update | No. 01 | 2015

*ML* *Update*

*A CPI(ML) Weekly News Magazine*

Vol. 18 | No. 01 | 30 DEC 2014 - 5 JAN 2015

*Modi's 'Good Governance'*

*Authoritarian Pro-Corporate and Communal Offensive *

In an ominous sign for India's democracy, the Modi Government is displaying
contempt for all democratic structures and bodies, to ram through its
pro-corporate policies and its 'Hindu Rashtra' at one and the same time.

On the one hand, the RSS and its outfits, backed by prominent MPs of the
ruling BJP, are intimidating the minorities with the 'Ghar Wapsi' campaign.
The HRD Ministry, and then the Prime Minister himself, systematically
undermined Christmas by declaring that it would not be a holiday. Instead,
Christmas Day was hijacked and turned into a sarkari celebration of the
birthday of BJP leader Vajpayee and Hindutva ideologue Madan Mohan Malviya.
There are moves afoot to make statues and temples for Godse, even as a BJP
MP declared Godse to be a patriot. BJP leaders including a Cabinet
Minister, and Ramdev, Modi's most prominent Godman campaigner, issued
warnings and threats against the film PK, even as RSS outfits vandalized
movie halls. The systematic RSS infiltration of educational institutions is
happening at a fast pace.

There is no room any more for the illusion that Modi himself is 'distanced'
from the communal campaigns of a 'saffron fringe.' With Modi at the helm,
the so-called 'fringe' is now in the driving seat and is pursuing its
aggressive agenda of 'Hindu Rashtra' minus any brakes. The Hindu Rashtra
agenda of intimidating minorities and dissenting voices is very much part
of Modi's 'governance' package.

Meanwhile, the Modi Government is bypassing Parliament and taking the
'Ordinance' route to push through all kinds of controversial pro-corporate
decisions minus any debate or discussion. The Opposition is kept engaged in
fire-fighting the Hindutva muscle-flexing, while the Coal Ordinance,
Insurance Ordinance and now Land Acquisition (Amendment) Ordinance are
passed without a minute's debate.

The Coal Ordinance has opened up unbridled commercial coal mining for
private players, who can now mine coal and sell it in the open market. The
Insurance Ordinance will be a boon for beleaguered US insurance companies,
which were responsible in great measure for the 2008 economic crisis, and
which can now enter and exploit India's insurance market and jeopardize
India's economy.

The Land Acquisition Act 2013 was passed by the UPA Government following
massive agitations by farmers against land grab all over the country. Now,
the Modi Government's Ordinance is undermining key provisions of the Act,
to remove the protections to farmers and facilitate land grab for
corporates. For a Government to overturn and undermine a law that was
enacted in Parliament, by an Ordinance, is a brazenly authoritarian move.
Ordinances are meant to be for very sparing use in urgent situations. What
was the urgency to pass ordinances now in these crucial sectors? Clearly,
an undeclared Emergency is in place, where democratic processes are being
subverted to appease corporates' urgent demand for unbridled plunder.

The Government that is feeling urgency to facilitate corporate grab of
farmers' land, feels no urgency to curb the rising spiral of farmers'
suicides all over the country. Instead, a BJP MP in Maharashtra has
declared, 'Let the farmers die, if they cannot afford farming.'

Further, the Modi government ordered a cut of nearly 20 percent in its
2014-15 healthcare budget. India's public spending on health is already
among the lowest in the world, and Modi has now slashed it even further.
This means that key disease control initiatives will lose funding – leaving
India's poor people more vulnerable to killer diseases.

Modi's trademark Governance model is also displayed in its blatant
manipulation of the CBI to protect the BJP President Amit Shah – who was
accused in the heinous triple murder of Sohrabuddin Sheikh, Kauser Bi and
Tulsiram Prajapati. In an unprecedented move, a CBI court has decreed that
Shah has been exempted from facing a trial in these murders! For a lower
court to summarily declare that an accused is innocent, even before
evidence is examined carefully in a trial, is a travesty of the justice
system. And the CBI itself presented a weak case, and has yet to challenge
the ruling – making it clear that they are in on the game of saving Shah.

The New Year is going to be a challenging one for all Left and progressive
forces and people's movements. Onwards to a New Year of determined, united,
people's resistance against the communal and corporate offensive that is
threatening to overwhelm India's democracy!

*AIKM statement on Modi Government's ordinance *

*mending the Land Acquisition Act 2013*

The All India Kisan Mahasabha (AIKM) strongly condemns the recent decision
by the Modi government's Cabinet to approve an Ordinance amending the Land
Acquisition Act 2013. It is to be noted that the 2013 law, which the
current Ordinance seeks to amend, was itself the result of farmers'
agitations and a widespread recognition that farmers and peasants across
the country have been bearing the brunt of forcible land acquisition,
corporate land grab, displacement and state repression. The 2013 law on
land acquisition provided for some rights to landholders, by bringing
rehabilitation and compensation into the ambit of land acquisition and by
somewhat expanding the scope of peoples' and landholders' consent before
land acquisition is permitted. The recent amendments in this law put in
place by the Modi government's Ordinance are a direct assault on any
democratic content within the 2013 law.

The Ordinance seeks to do away with two crucial features of the 2013 Act –
which had mandated conducting Social Impact Assessments (SIAs) before land
acquisition in certain cases, and which also mandated consent of a certain
percentage of project affected people. The Ordinance, in removing and
diluting these clauses, is clearly delivering yet another death blow to
farmers' rights and democratic decision-making. The Modi government is
trying to justify these crucial dilutions by claiming that the Ordinance
will not affect the 'compensation' package available to landowners. The
fact of the matter is that not just the 'legal' landowners, but several
others depend on land for their livelihood. When the consent clause is
diluted or done away with for PPP and Private projects in certain sectors,
this not just makes land acquisition almost a fait accompli in a most
undemocratic fashion, it moreover affects several people dependent on the
local economy who are not even eligible for compensation since they do not
own the land acquired.

The Ordinance also reportedly removes the 2013 law's provisions for
retrospective application of the land acquisition act, which could provide
some relief to farmers who had been displaced without being adequately
compensated, or whose land were not utilised after acquisition. Removing
the provision for retrospective application in effect leaves several crores
of people displaced by various projects without any recourse for justice.

Moreover, the Modi government's choice of taking the undemocratic Ordinance
route, and bypassing discussions and deliberations in the Parliament is
highly condemnable. Such authoritarian moves of bypassing democratic
decision-making structures – clearly dictated by the needs and greed of the
corporate sector – are deeply dangerous to participative democracy. Clearly,
through this Ordinance, the Modi government has chosen to facilitate
corporate land grab of farmers' land, through hook or crook. It has no
intention whatsoever of addressing the urgent needs of farmers, even as
farmers continue to commit suicide every single day all over the country,
as a result of the government's economic policies. AIKM has called for
nationwide protests on Jan.2, 2015 to oppose this Ordinance on land
acquisition, and to press for farmers' rights in face of the pervasive
forced land acquisition and displacement.

*Sankalp Diwas observed on 16th anniversary of Com. Vinod Mishra*

18 December, the 16th anniversary of Com. Vinod Mishra, was observed as
Sankalp Diwas in different parts of the country. In Delhi, a cadre
convention was organized at the CPI(ML) headquarters Charu Bhavan. Com.
Sanjay Sharma presented a report on the Party's work in Delhi. The duties
and campaigns discussed by the Central Committee in its 28 July meeting
were reviewed.

In Haryana, a symposium was organized at Asand to observe Sankalp Diwas. It
was conducted by Com. Prem Singh. In Bihar, Sankalp sabhas were held
across the State and it was resolved to strengthen the Party by fighting
against pro-corporate feudal, communal forces. At the Party office in
Patna, a Sankalp sabha was organized. Sankalp Diwas was also observed in
different parts of Patna city, in Digha, Ashiyana, Malsalami, City chowk,
Gulzarbagh, Kankarbagh and Chitkohra. Com. VM's anniversary was observed in
Beur jail under the leadership of Sudama Paswan. The Sankalp sabha in
Fatuha was in the form of a workers' convention in Fatuha, where the need
to increase Party membership and to strengthen the Party at the booth level
was stressed. 27 new members took Party membership at the convention.

Memorial meetings were organized at various places in Darbhanga district
and public meetings were held at Alinagar and Viraul. Arrest and speedy
trial of the guilty in the Baleshwar Paswan murder case was demanded and a
call was made to work for the success of the 22 December bandh against the
contract and honorarium system of employment.

In Uttar Pradesh, programmes and general body meetings of cadres were held
in the capital Lucknow, as well as in several districts of the state. Party
classes as well as public meetings were also held in some places.

*AISA Statement on Resignation of IIT-Delhi Director*

Another Instance of Modi Govt Intimidating Academics and Infiltrating

Resist this Dangerous Trend of Subverting the Autonomy of Academic
Institutions for Partisan Ends!

Subverting every educational institution and education itself is one of the
pet agenda of the RSS brigade wherever and whenever they are in power. We
have seen it during the last NDA regime and the present Modi regime is
continuing with the trend with far greater arrogance and belligerence.

In the latest incident, IIT-Delhi director Prof. Shevgaonkar resigned on 26
Dec, with still two years to complete his tenure.

While Prof. Shevgaonkar, so far, has not spoken out and cited any reason
for his resignation, there are enough indications, provided by the BJP and
govt sources, to draw conclusions from. On the one hand, the HRD Ministry
denied widespread media reports that Shevgaonkar resigned under the alleged
MHRD pressure to accede to two demands--to provide the IIT ground for a
cricket academy and to pay nearly Rs 70 lakh to former IIT-D faculty and
now BJP leader Subramaniwan Swamy as his "salary dues" between 1972 and
1991. On the other hand, the BJP spokespersons, Swamy and the ministry have
gone on an overdrive to allege that IIT director must have resigned on
being questioned for signing an MoU to set up an extension campus of
IIT-Delhi at Mauritius keeping the Ministry in the dark.

*Diversionary Tactics*

But how credible are these 'explanations' from the BJP and the
govt? Firstly, the allegation of IIT-D director acting unilaterally on the
Mauritius MoU and keeping the ministry in the dark does not hold any water,
as is evident from the 21 Nov 2013 MHRD
<>*), which proudly
announced "India-Mauritius Sign Two MOUs to Boost Educational Ties" during
the Mauritius visit of MHRD Minister Pallam Raju during19-20 Nov, 2013. One
of these MoUs was the onebetween IIT-Delhi and Mauritius Research Council
for setting up of an International Institute of Technology Research Academy
(IITRA) in Mauritius, signed during the Mauritius visit of the then HRD

Secondly, so far MHRD pressure for settling Mr. Subramanian Swamy's 'dues'
is concerned, it has been put on record, by none less than Mr. Swamy
himself, that the new HRD ministry indeed held a meeting with Mr. Swamy and
IIT-Delhi director to settle his dues anda move was on for an out of court
settlement! (*
). *Well, if only views of DoPT and Finance Ministry were being sought by
the MHRD to clear Swamy's dues, why was a meeting organized between IIT
officials and BJP leader Subramanian Swamy and the Ministry*?

It has also emerged that Vijay Dahiya, Delhi Ranji Trophy coach and
assistant coach of the Kolkata Knight Riders, had proposed a cricket
academy on the IIT grounds. "Institute sources alleged the Centre had
pressured a reluctant Shevgaonkar to accept the proposal." (The Telegraph
30 Dec, 2014)

A senior member of the board of IIT-Delhi said, "Whatever be Shevgaonkar's
alleged involvement with off-shore campus in Mauritius, there is no denying
that he was under tremendous pressure from the HRD ministry. Such pressure
does not come in writing. He had told us a lot about what happened to him
when he went for a meeting to the HRD ministry…" (TOI, 30 Dec 2014)

It is obvious, the Mauritius MoU is a classic sarkari spin to confuse
people and the media on IIT-D director's resignation and deflect the focus
from the high-handed interference by the MHRD with regard to the Swamy's
'dues' and IIT grounds for the Cricket Academy.

If the Director really acted 'illegally', what stopped the govt from actual
enquiry and action? *It must be noted that both IIT-Delhi Alumni, IIT Board
members have strongly spoken out against MHRD's interference and attack on
institution's autonomy*.

*A Tell-All Contrast*

Contrast MHRD's attitude towards IIT-D director with their attitude towards
the DU VC. For years now, the teachers and students of DU had been
demanding action against the DU VC and have submitted voluminous records of
financial irregularities, administrative wrong doings, diversion of OBC
funds and corruption in Gyanoday Express by the DU VC. But the MHRD has
refused to act as *the DU VC after the FYUP fiasco has promptly switched
his loyalty and is implementing every diktat and whim of the new MHRD* !

Message from the Modi sarkar's MHRD is clear: *If the institutional heads
agree to surrender and kow-tow the MHRD diktats, they will be allowed a
free run, while upright academics who refuse to kow-tow MHRD diktats, will
be defamed and shunted out.*

Intimidation, Infiltration, Indoctrination

Indeed in the last seven months the saffron regime has wreaked havoc with
all premier educational, professional and research institutes in the

The Chief Vigilance Officer of AIIMS was removed at the behest of a BJP MP
Nadda, who subsequently became the Union Health Minister!

A few months ago, NCERT chief Parvin Sinclair had quit with two years left
to complete tenure. IGNOU V-C M Aslam has gone on 'leave' pending the
outcome of an inquiry against him regarding irregularities in his conduct.

Persons like Y S Rao, who has no worthwhile academic record to his credit
but believes caste system worked well in ancient India, was made the ICHR

The bizzare and communal books of the RSS cadres like Dinanath Batra are
being made official text books in govt run schools of Gujarat!

Not just this, by February, three Indian universities-Kalidas Sanskrit
University in Nagpur, Atal Bihari Vajpayee Hindi University in Bhopal, and
now Punjab Technical University (PTU) will be teaching Vedic mathematics,
by *signing MoUs* with none other than the RSS-backed Shiksha Bachao
Andolan of Dinanath Batra, who authored utterly absurd, obscurantist and
communal-racist textbooks! (HT, 29 Dec 2014)

Sanskrit being foisted as the compulsory third language in the Kendriya

Educational institutions have been forced to observe the birthday of Atal
Bihari Vajpayee and Madan Mohan Malviya as 'Good Governance day' on
Christmas Day!

The pattern is unmistakable: by manipulating appointments, shunting out
upright academics, and eroding institutional autonomy and imposing
obscurantist, majoritarian communal agenda, the RSS driven Modi sarkar and
its MHRD are using govt machinery to destroy the fabric of plural,
rational, democratic education and autonomy of educational institutions. It
is a mission of triple 'I' - INTIMIDATE academics, INFILTRATE institutions,
INDOCTRINATE young minds.

AISA calls upon students and teachers of IIT Delhi as well as the concerned
citizens to resist these bizarre attempts of subverting institutional
autonomy to further partisan goals. Autonomy of institutions and content of
our curriculum cannot be allowed to be subordinated to the whims of the
political regime. While the MHRD should be taking steps to ensure that
constitutional principles are followed by academic institutions,
ironically, it has always been seen that the MHRD itself is promoting the
violations of constitutional obligations of the institutions. It is high
time that educational institutions of the country are saved from being used
for promoting sectarian political ends.

*Protests against MHRD's 'Good Governance' day diktats*

AISA as well as the AISA-led JNU Students' Union protested against the
MHRD's diktats to observe 25 December as 'Good Governance' day. Even during
winter vacations in the University, several students participated in the
protest organized by JNUSU, AISA and other student organisations outside
the Convention Centre in JNU, where the JNU administration was holding
programmes on 'good governance'. Addressing the protest, JNUSU President
Ashutosh said that the students, teachers and karamcharis of JNU will not
compromise the academic autonomy of the University to suit the partisan
political interests of the ruling party. JNUSU General Secretary Chintu
also pointed out that the decision to forcibly impose good governance day
on educational institutions comes as part and parcel of the communal
package to try and scrap 25 December as a holiday and to threaten and
intimidate Christians and other minority communities.

The JNUSU also organised an exhibition named "Glimpses of Good Governance",
consisting of photos and cartoons showing the reality of 'good governance'
by the BJP government – on the farce of the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan,
demolition of slums, attacks on minorities, price rise etc. Later, JNUSU,
JNU Teachers' Association and JNU Staff Association jointly held a
convention which was also attended by DUTA president Nandita Narain,
several other teachers and office bearers of the JNU Staff Association. A
resolution was unitedly issued at the convention, critiquing the imposition
of Good Governance Day program on academic institutions.

*Campaign against slum demolition in Delhi*

This winter, in the biting cold, yet again there were attempts to demolish
slums in Delhi – but the attempts at demolition in Wazirpur were stalled by
the timely intervention and struggles by CPI(ML) and other democratic
forces. Early in the morning on 16 December, the Delhi Police came with
bulldozers to the Wazirpur area and started demolishing slums, destroying
homes, and physically throwing people (including old residents and
children) out of their homes. The Northern Railway, which ordered the
demolition, did not even give the mandatory notice to the slum dwellers
before starting the demolition.

As CPI(ML) activists received news of this demolition, AISA and AICCTU
comrades went to the Northern Railways office. Meanwhile, the bulldozers
were physically stopped by CPI(ML) activists and slum dwellers in Wazirpur.
A case was also filed in the Delhi High Court against further demolition of
the slum. Despite the fact that the demolition had been physically stalled
on 16 December, there were indications that the Police would come once
again on 20 December to enforce the demolition. Therefore, CPI(ML) called
for a protest at the Wazirpur slum on 20 December, to collectively oppose
any demolition drive. The unity of the slum dwellers and the consistent
struggles of CPI(ML) in the area ensured that the Delhi High Court finally
puts a stay order on the demolition, thus staying any immediate
displacement of the slum dwellers.

*Agitations for farmers' rights in Vaishali*

After the complete failure of crops due to spurious seeds and kits provided
by "Shri Vidhi" for paddy cultivation, the AIKM has been spearheading
farmers' struggles for compensation and justice in Vaishali. 200 farmers
staged an angry demonstration in front of the District Magistrate's office
on 20 November, demanding a compensation of Rs. 50,000 per acre. They also
demanded that legal cases be filed against the suppliers of the fraudulent
seeds and also against the district agricultural officers who procured
them. After the agitation, the DM assured the farmers that they would be
paid compensation and appropriate action would be taken.

On the same day, a rally was also held under the Kisan Mahasabha banner
against the false electricity bills handed out to thousands of consumers
and the bribes taken in the name of correcting the bills. The electricity
department officials promised the farmers that camps for receiving
applications regarding the false bills would be held on Nov 21, 22, and 23
and the bills would be corrected within a month. Following this agitation,
the camps were held on the said dates.

*Joint Left Workers' Protests in Tamil Nadu*

In the wake of 1 November call of 6 Left parties, the Left in Tamil Nadu
organized several campaigns and protests. On 5 December, State secretaries
D. Pandian, G. Ramakirshnan, Balasundaram, Rengasamy of CPI, CPI(M),
CPI(ML) and SUCI(C) respectively jointly declared the commencement of the
campaign in a well-attended Press Conference held in Chennai. On 8
December, the opening day of the campaign, a protest demonstration was held
in Chennai, near Valluvar Kottam.

On 9 December, an impressive roadside Dharna was held in Maduarai. Madurai
City Secretary of CPI(M) presided over the program. CPI and CPI(M)
legislators comrades Gunasegaran and Annadurai and the CPI(ML) state
secretary were the main speakers. On 14 December, a convention took place
in Villupuram. District leaders of the CPI(M), SUCI and CPI, as well as Com.
A S Kumar, Party state committee member and district secretary M.
Venkatesan participated in the convention.

In Salem, a well-attended mass meeting was organized, where leaders of
various Left parties participated. In Dindigul, one of the oldest centres
of the Left in Tamil Nadu, a protest demonstration was held on 15 December.
In Pudukkottai district, joint street corner meetings and motor cycle
jathas were held in 5 blocks. Joint fund collection also took place in
Kandarvakkottai. Street corner meetings, dharnas, and distribution of
pamphlets took place in the Cuddalore, Namakkal, Erode, Virudhunagar,
Tiruvallore Chennai, Kanyakumari, Tirunelveli, Kanchipuram and
Nagappattinam districts.

*Against carnage of Adivasis in Assam *

After the brutal massacre of nearly 70 adivasis from Assam's vulnerable tea
garden tribes, including small children and babies, by the National
Democratic Front of Bodoland (Songbjit) faction, CPI(ML) has been
consistently intervening to demand that the State Government and Central
Government take responsibility to provide immediate relief, and subsequent
rehabilitation and safety to the adivasis of Assam; also that they take
steps to ensure a political solution to pending territorial and ethnic
conflicts and insurgencies.

CPI(ML) has been pointing out that the policies of successive governments
in Assam and the Centre – including the present Modi government – is
essentially to pit vulnerable sections against each other, rather than
addressing long-standing conflicts and grievances. Assam has witnessed
political parties making opportunist deals with a variety of militant
groups, and using 'ceasefire' groups to unleash violence time and again.
The NDFB (S) had indulged in massacre of Muslim minorities earlier in 2014
during the Lok Sabha polls. At that time, the BJP sought to benefit
electorally from the massacre unleashed on Muslims by the NDFB (S). In
Assam, right from the day of the massacre, CPI(ML) has been holding
protests against the massacre and intervening to ensure immediate relief
and rehabilitation. In Delhi, the AISA-led JNUSU called for a protest at
Jantar Mantar against the massacre.

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:, website:

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