Wednesday, September 23, 2015

ML Update | No. 39 | 2015

ML Update

A CPI(ML) Weekly News Magazine
Vol.  18 | No. 39 18 | 22 - 28 SEP 2015

Delhi's Dengue Deaths:
India's Public Health System In Crisis

Delhi's annual dengue epidemic  is taking a deadly toll – in the process making a mockery of the tall claims of 'Swacch Bharat,' good governance and development by Central and State Governments that govern India's capital city. While the Delhi Government admits to 15 deaths, the actual count is likely to be higher, while several thousands are affected by dengue.

Compounding the crisis was the callousness of privatized health care. Tragically, two small children Avinash Rout and Aman Sharma died of dengue after being denied admissions in a series of private hospitals. Avinash's parents, traumatized by the loss of their son, committed suicide. Their suicide and the deaths of Avinash and Aman finally triggered a response from the hitherto apathetic Delhi Government, that ordered some belated measures.

It is well known that dengue cases peak during the monsoon months in Delhi. In spite of being forewarned, the Government, MCD and NDMC took no adequate measures to prevent, contain and cope with the epidemic.

Dengue epidemics are primarily an urban phenomenon; poorly planned urban growth, unregulated construction sites, poor drainage, congested colonies with poor civic amenities create ample breeding grounds for the Aedes mosquito. Contractualisation and casualization of the MCD services has meant that an abject failure to check homes and colonies to get rid of stagnant fresh water breeding grounds. The strength of the MCD staff responsible for inspecting and treating dengue and malaria breeding grounds is far short of what is needed. These workers are overworked, often denied salaries for months on end, denied gas masks, ear plugs or uniforms to protect them from mosquitoes and during fogging operations, and forced to handle poisonous substances like temefos granules and liquid, BTI, methylene, pyrethrum and malathion with bare hands.

Much is being made of the shortage of hospital beds. In reality, a network of local health centres equipped with laboratory facilities to monitor platelet counts could have coped ably with the bulk of the cases, requiring hospitalization only in the worse cases and averting the crisis entirely. In the absence of such basic facilities, hospitals overflow with patients. Public hospitals are eroded and emaciated by privatization, and their services are stretched to their limits. Private hospitals greedy for profits subvert their obligation to admit poor patients in EWS beds, while sucking other patients needlessly into the system with unnecessary tests and hospitalization. Private laboratories blatantly charge exorbitantly for tests.    

One of the key promises of AAP Government of Delhi was to ensure access to health services for all Delhi's citizens. But in health as in other public services, the AAP Government is unwilling to challenge or change the privatized system of health care. In fact the Government has slashed allocation for municipality-level health care. The share of allocations in the Delhi Government's 2015-16 health budget to counter vector-borne diseases was nearly halved (from 9% to 4.8%  of the total health budget) from 2012-13. Not only that, the Delhi Government reduced its demand for funds from the Centre from 260 crore in 2012-13 to 42 crore this year. Not to be outdone in callousness, the Modi Government allocated just 17 crore this year to Delhi from 50 crore in 2012-13.    

The apathy and callousness of Governments and policies of privatization have needlessly cost lives of people due to a disease which is both preventable and curable. The Delhi Government must urgently ensure that private hospitals comply with obligations to give free beds and treatment to EWS patients, and to ensure free sample collection and testing for suspected dengue cases.

Above all, it is imperative that the lessons of this year's dengue epidemic be learnt well to ensure that the crisis is not repeated against next year. Central and State Governments must ensure a network of well-equipped health centres across the city; and in fact all over the country. The two-tier system of health care (steeply-priced private health care for the rich and poor public health facilities for the poor) must be dismantled, and the Governments must invest to strengthen public health care systems, including not only hospitals and health centres but robust mechanisms to prevent and control epidemics.        

No more Avinashs and Amans must be left to the mercy of cruel profit-driven health care systems.
Left Parties' Joint People's Political Convention in Bihar:
Call of the Left – Employment and Land Reforms for All

Six Left parties organized a joint political convention in Patna, underlining their main aim of defeating the feudal, communal, pro-corporate alliance under the BJP as well as the opportunistic and deceitful JD (U)-RJD-Congress alliance. Over 5,000 activists from CPI, CPI(M), CPI-ML, SUCI, Forward Bloc and RSP from districts across Bihar attended this historic convention on 7 September 2015. Great enthusiasm and energy was witnessed, especially among the younger participants, as this was the first joint programme of its kind.

The convention began with revolutionary songs sung by Jan Sanskriti Manch and Hirawal. A 6-member board was constituted to chair the convention, consisting of CPI State secretary Satyanarayan Singh, CPI-ML State secretary Kunal, CPM State secretary Awdhesh Kumar, SUCI State committee member Arun Kumar, AIFB State Vice President Ashok Prasad, and RSP State secretary Mahesh Prasad Sinha. Senior Left party leaders A B Bardhan, Sitaram Yechury, Dipankar Bhattacharya, Chhaya Mukherjee, Devavrat Biswas, Avani Roy, and other leaders were present on the dais. These Left parties had prepared 'a joint Left appeal to the voters of Bihar and an alternative agenda for the pro-people development of Bihar', which was presented at the convention by Com. Dhirendra Jha. Com. Dhirendra pointed out that credit for societal change through agitations by the working class, poor, youth, students, teachers, goes to Left forces, and the Left must unite to conduct people's struggles so that this new agenda can become a reality. Com. Sarvoday Sharma and Ram Babu Kumar endorsed this view, and the 'appeal' was passed unanimously.

Addressing the convention, CPI leader Com. A B Bardhan called for the defeat of the two unholy alliances, the NDA alliance as well as the JD (U)-RJD-Congress alliance. The people of Bihar have seen through the Nitish and Lalu regimes of misrule as well as the anti-people, pro-rich Modi govt at the centre, he pointed out. He stressed that a united Left was the way to defeat these opportunistic and dangerous alliances. CPI(M) General Secretary Com. Sitaram Yechury  said that with this new Left unity, a three-cornered contest has been provided in the State: the first is the politics of communalism/feudalism  led by Modi and his false promises of 'achhe din'; the second is the 'throne' politics of power led by the so-called 'grand alliance' which has destroyed Bihar economically and socially over the past 25 years; and the third is the politics of 'people's rule' led by the Left which aspires to fulfill the needs of the people. He stressed that it is time to deny the pro-rich policies of these ruling class governments and choose the Left which aims to establish true 'people's rule'.

CPI-ML General Secretary Com. Dipankar Bhattacharya said that this welcome Left unity has come after a wait of many years and for the first time all Left parties will fight together, not just on separate issues but on a joint platform. He pointed out that 2014 was a year of 'jumlebaaji' and false promises, when Modi got a full majority on the strength of these false promises. With his coming to power the corporate houses thought that they would get full license to exploit the poor with amendments in the labour laws and the Land grab ordinance. However, neither of these could be implemented in the face of people's protests. The Land ordinance was forced to lapse, and the 2 September 2015 labour strike was a unique success in which even the RSS-affiliated BMS was obliged to join in certain places. It is time to defeat the saffron forces, but the JD (U)-RJD-Congress cannot do this as they are anti-poor and anti-dalit and are protecting perpetrators of carnages like the Ranveer Sena. The Nitish government dissolved the Amir Das commission to shield the Ranveer Sena-politician nexus, but the Cobrapost sting has exposed this nexus. The land reforms recommended by the Bandopadhyay commission have been put in cold storage by the Lalu and Nitish governments, as both pander to feudal and corporate interests. Modi and Nitish are both indulging in a fraudulent 'package war' but the basic rights of the farmers, workers, ASHA, midday meal workers and contractual workers are being denied. The Left must enter into these elections not to bargain for a few seats but to ensure a life of dignity for the people of Bihar.

The convention was also addressed by comrades Meena Tiwari, Rajaram Singh, Chhaya Mukherjee, Devavrat Biswas, Avani Roy, Satyanarayan Singh, Vijaykant Thakur, Arun Kumar, Amresh Kumar Singh, Akhilesh Kumar, Arun Kumar Mishra and others. 

Protest against Sexual Harassment

The students of Patna Women's College (PWC), AISA and AIPWA have been organising a spirited and sustained campaign against sexual harassment and victim blaming. In a recent incident, a student of the PWC complained against harassment by a faculty member. Shamefully, the college administration as well as the Principal, instead of addressing her complaint, launched into a full-fledged campaign of intimidation, victim blaming and character assassination. The complainant, as well as all those who chose to support her, were villified and openly threatened by the Principal, who said: "if you wear such clothes and wear your dupattas in such a style, [men's] attention will obviously go there. It is not their fault at all, it is all your fault. If I want, I can remove all of you in one moment, and not one person will know. I can completely ruin your reputations, and all you will be able to do is watch."

On 18th September, a massive protest was held at the PWC. The protesting girls blocked the Bailey Road for two hours. Yet, the Principal refused to meet the protesters, and various faculty members try their level best to break the protest and intimidate the protesters. Later, an AIPWA/AISA delegation led by AIPWA General Secretary Meena Tiwari met the Principal as well as representatives of the PWC. The delegation articulated the demands of the ongoing protests, and argued that democracy and women's freedom should be defended by the college administration. The following demands were made: an impartial enquiry should be instituted against the accused faculty member; a democratic atmosphere must be ensured in the college campus so that women feel free to express their grievances; a committee against sexual harassment should be instituted consisting of faculty members as well as students from all academic streams in the college; the rustication of the complainant should be immediately revoked and the campaign of intimidation and victim blaming against her should be immediately stopped; the accused faculty member should be suspended pending enquiry, and the notice of the same should be made public within the college. The college administration assured the delegation that these demands would be looked into. There are also protests in Darbhanga, Ara and other districts in solidarity with the students of the PWC.

Midday Meal Workers' Dharna

The Bihar State Vidyalaya Rasoiya Sangh and AIPWA staged a dharna on 26 August 2015, in front of the Collectorate in Gaya, to press for various demands.  A six point charter of demands was submitted to the Collector. The following demands were put forward: to increase the midday meal workers' honorarium from Rs 1,250 to Rs 15,000; to pay honorarium for all 12 months; to pay without delay arrears of 5-6 months pending in schools in the district; to regularize their employment; to guarantee safety and rehabilitation of rape victims; to start speedy trial of accused; to constitute an SIT to go into the incident of a daughter's molestation by her father in Fatehpur Neemi, and other demands. The dharna was led by AIPWA district secretary Rita Varnwal, Sheela Verma, Varti Chowdhury, Rasoiya Sangh leaders Vima Bharti, Mira Devi, Renu Devi, and others.

Initiatives have also been taken to organize the Rasoiya Sangh in Dobhi, Sherghati, and Tikari blocks in Gaya district. In Dobhi, a protest was held on 15 August and a memorandum submitted to the BDO. Over 300 midday meal workers participated in the protest. On 20 August a protest was organized in Sherghati in which about 350 rasoiyas participated. These protests were led by leaders from the CPI(ML), AIPWA, and Rasoiya Sangh. A meeting of women midday meal workers was held on 9 September in Tikari led by the Party and AIPWA. After the announcement of elections, women midday meal workers of Dobhi and Sherghati took the initiative and organized meetings. They welcomed the Party's fielding women candidates in the election and pledged full support to the CPI(ML) candidates.

Agitation by Para-Teachers in Jharkhand

The para teachers of Jharkhand started a "Ghera dalo Dera dalo" agitation at Mohrabadi Maidan near the Chief Minister's residence on 22 August 2015. Their main demands were the following: better and regular wage scales; employment guarantee till the age of 60; regularization and honorarium similar to that in Chhattisgarh; direct recruitment (without test) of TET qualified para teachers; promotion of 750 para teachers to the post of teacher. About 20,000 para teachers participated in the agitation led by General Secretary Vikrant Jyoti, Virendra Dubey, Sintu Singh and others. Thousands of para teachers remained at Mohrabadi Maidan throughout the night also. On 23 August (Sunday), many more para teachers joined the protest. Women para teachers also joined in large numbers and family members of para teachers were also present at the venue. The protesters remained at the venue throughout the next day and night.

The para teachers' agitation became a topic for discussion amongst political circles in the capital. On 24 August, this agitation led to the issue of para teachers and their demands being discussed inside the Jharkhand Assembly. CPI(ML) MLA Rajkumar Yadav played a major role in uniting the Opposition on the issue of para teachers and putting pressure on the government. JMM leader Hemant Soren tried to bring an adjournment motion till the para teachers' demands were fulfilled, but did not succeed. The Speaker and the BJP government did not show seriousness on the issue of para teachers. However, at Mohrabadi Maidan, the para teachers became more determined, and their numbers grew larger. On 24 and 25 August, CPI(ML) MLA Rajkumar Yadav held public meetings at Mohrabadi Maidan in support of the para teachers, after which the agitation gained in momentum. On that day also the Assembly echoed with voices which pointed out that governments changed, but the demands of the para teachers have never got fulfilled.

On 25 August, the para teachers' agitation at Mohrabadi Maidan was addressed by by 5 MLAs including Hemant Soren and Jaiprakash Verma. On 26 August another section of para Teachers led by Vinod Bihari Mahto staged a dharna at Birsa chowk. Now the Mohrabadi Maidan as well as Birsa chowk have become strongholds of the agitation in Ranchi. The Vinod Bihari section announced that they would wear black badges from 28 to 31 August, take out a mashal juloos on 31 August, and go on indefinite strike from 1 September. Scared of these announcements, the government was forced to bow down and on the evening of 26 August Education Minister Neera Yadav and Secretary Aradhana Patnaik held talks with a delegation led by Vikrant Jyoti. The Education Minister attempted to evade the issue of pay scales by citing the benefits of the Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana and the Atal Pension Yojana but the para teachers refused to be fobbed off by these claims. Finally the Minister promised an immediate wage increase of 25% and a 10% increment every year from the year 2016. However, no agreement was reached on the issues of retirement at the age of 60, PF, pension, and eligibility-based honorarium. The Minister spoke of raising these issues later, and finally no written agreement was reached.

Therefore, the para teachers took back the "Ghera dalo, Dera dalo" agitation on 27 August and went on an indefinite strike from 28 August. Talks were again held with the Education Minister on 31 August. This time, there was a written agreement announcing an immediate 25% wage increase and 10% increment every year from 2016. As a scheme for recruitment of teachers is in process currently, the agitation was called off. However, as the Modi-Raghubar governments are clearly bent on encouraging privatization in education, a huge teachers' agitation in the future remains a distinct possibility.

Dharna for Housing and Toilets

Hundreds of women led by the CPI(ML) and AIPWA a gheraoed the municipal commissioner's office in Gorakhpur on 9 September 2015, to demand housing, toilets, and clean drinking water for the poor in the Gorakhpur city area. The protesters marched to the commissioner's office shouting slogans of "Stop the hypocrisy of Swachhata Abhiyan", "Housing, Toilets, and Drinking Water for All Poor", and sat on a dharna in front of the commissioner. A meeting was held at the venue which lasted till 3 p.m. The meeting was addressed by CPI(ML) district Secretary Rajesh Sahni, Sugreev Nishad, Nandu Prasad, Shyam Rathi Chouhan, Mira Sharma, Maryadi, and others. The speakers pointed out that in most of the wards of the city area, the poor are deprived of housing, toilets, and drinking water. The Swachhata Abhiyan has been reduced to a hypocritical posturing. There is a lot of talk but no work at the ground level. The municipality does not give a hearing to the voices of the poor.

As a result of the dharna, the commissioner held talks with protestors and gave an assurance that a survey would be conducted and all eligible people would be given housing and would be provided amenities of toilets and clean drinking water.

Meeting in Memory of Comrade Satish Yadav

The CPI-ML held a 'sankalp sabha' at Agiaon in Bhojpur in memory of martyred Comrade Satish Yadav. Addressing the meeting, Party General Secretary Comrade Dipankar Bhattacharya said that the politics of killing those who fought for the rights of the poor and oppressed has been going on in Bhojpur for the last 40-50 years. CPI-ML leaders have regularly been targeted – from comrades Manju, Bhaiyaram Yadav and Budhram Paswan, to the recent martyrdom of Comrade Satish Yadav. Even after 15 days of Comrade Satish's killing, no one has been arrested. On the other hand, the administration is very quick to slap false cases on CPI-ML leaders. Comrade Dipankar pointed out that the Cobrapost sting showed the perpetrators of carnages proudly owning their crimes, and also exposed the protection given to them by the BJP. After this, Prime Minister Modi came to Ara on 19 August 2015 and on 20 August 2015 Satish Yadav was killed. Clearly Modi and the BJP are morale boosters for killer feudal forces.

Comrade Dipankar said that the elections in Bhojpur would not be fought on Modi's 'package' or on Lalu's humorous anecdotes, but on issues of the farmers such as paddy price, seeds, irrigation and fertilizers. The BJP MP from Ara, BJP MLAs from Sandesh and Agiaon and the MLA from Tarari have never done anything for the poor. The CPI-ML flag must fly in the panchayats, PACS, and Vidhan Sabha in order to wrest dignity and rights for the poor from the feudal forces. He said that Modi had to face defeat in the matter of the Land grab ordinance, which he had to revoke in the face of stiff opposition from the people. The 2 September 2015 workers' strike was a unique success and showed the power of the working class, which would never allow the Modi to implement the anti-worker amendments to the labour law.

Bihar is at present going through a phase of struggles. Teachers, Midday meal workers, ASHA workers, contract workers, and even students have had to agitate for their rights. Land, electricity, education, paddy price, and sharecropping will be the issues in these elections. Comrade Dipankar pointed out that jandavedari sabhas are being held to determine the issues of each Vidhan Sabha constituency. On this basis, a manifesto will be announced for each constituency. It is while returning from one such jandavedari sabha that Satish Yadav was killed by the person against whom he was fighting to secure paddy payment for farmers. Comrade Dipankar said that in Satish Yadav we have lost a warrior who fought several battles for people's rights. We have to carry forward our comrade's fight and convert our anger and grief into agitation and victory for the people. One the one hand is the path of lies, loot, betrayal and anti-poor policies; on the other hand is the path of Comrade Ramnaresh Ram which is for truth, justice, and people's rights. By choosing this road we can pay fitting tribute to the martyrs who fought for the people.

The sankalp sabha was also addressed by Comrade Satish's wife Usha who pledged to carry forward her husband's fight. RYA President Comrade Raju Yadav, Manoj Manzil, Chandradeep Singh, Sudama Prasad, Raghuvar Paswan, Upendra Yadav, Indu Devi, Kamta Prasad Singh, Sidhnath Ram, Shah Shad, Vimal Yadav and other leaders also addressed the meeting. A huge public gathering attended the meeting, showing their love and honour for martyred Comrade Satish Yadav.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

ML Update | No. 38 | 2015

ML Update

A CPI(ML) Weekly News Magazine

Vol. 18, No. 38, 15 ­– 21 SEPTEMBER 2015

A Government Of The RSS, By The RSS, For The RSS


he Modi Government, instead of being a 'Government of the people, by the people, for the people,' is proving to be a 'Government of the RSS, by the RSS and for the RSS.'

Recently, the country has witnessed the Prime Minister and top Ministers of the elected Government of India reporting meekly to an unconstitutional, communal fascist authority – the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in a secretive session.

This summit proves that the Sangh leaders (Bhagwat, Togadia, and others) that declare India to be a Hindu Nation and indulge in hate speech against Muslims, Christians, Dalits and women, are not 'fringe elements' – they are the bosses of the Modi Government.

Reportedly, at the 'coordination meet' of the Modi Government with the RSS, the Culture Minister in the Modi Cabinet, Mahesh Sharma pledged to rid India's educational and cultural institutions of 'cultural pollution.' Later, the Culture Minister elaborated on what he meant by 'cultural pollution.' The Minister said that the Gita and Ramayana 'reflect India's soul' and must be taught in schools, while the Quran and the Bible are mere religious texts which are "not central to the soul of India." He declared that Hindi is India's "national language" and should be made compulsory in all Indian schools. According to him, "Indian culture" is defined by "women of three generations cooking in the same kitchen" and called for "protecting Indian culture" from pollution by "Western culture." He also supported the ban on meat imposed by several BJP State Governments during the Jain festival. The Minister claimed that his Government had a mandate for saffronization because "125 crore Indians had voted for the Modi Government knowing what is RSS, what is BJP." And he supported the renaming of Aurangzeb Road after APJ Abdul Kalam, saying that "Kalam was a great nationalist in spite of being a Muslim."

In other words, the Modi Government has made it clear that it shares the same view of 'Indian culture' that the RSS does. It equates 'Indian culture' with Hindu upper caste culture, Hindi language, Sanskrit, vegetarian diet, Hindu religious texts, and the Hindu joint family and specifically the domestic roles defined for women in such families. In this RSS vision of India, a Muslim or Christian can be an Indian citizen only 'in spite of' his/her religious identity; languages other than Sanskrit and Hindi cannot be 'national' languages; vegetarian diet of the tiny upper caste minority will be imposed on the vast majority of non-vegetarians; and women's freedom will be branded as 'Western culture'. And while the Bible and Quran are seen as representatives of only their respective religions, the Hindu religious texts will be taught as representative of 'Indian ideology' and 'Indian culture.'

What the Culture Minister left unsaid is the grim truth of what is being done to voices that challenge this bigoted model of 'Indian culture.' People like Prof Kalburgi, Narendra Dabholkar and Govind Pansare are killed for raising their voice against Hindutva bigots and conmen, writer MM Basheer is prevented from writing his version of the Ramayana, Hindutva goons use force to take AK Ramanujan's essay on the many interpretations of the Ramayana off University syllabi, films ranging from documentaries on communal violence to a popular film like PK are threatened with bans or vandalism, saffron vigilante groups mete out violence to women wearing jeans, inter-faith couples in public places or couples celebrating Valentine's Day.

Not long ago, VHP leader Pravin Togadia, one of the men to whom the Modi Government reported at the 'coordination meet' convened by the RSS, demanded that a law be enacted to criminalise any Muslim who has more than two children.

The Agriculture Minister in the Modi Cabinet has called for 'Yogic farming' to 'increase potency of seeds by positive thinking.' The RSS chief recently said that those Hindu values that "do not conform to scientific standards" should be discarded; but the problem is that the RSS claims various kinds of unscientific and obscurantist ideas to be 'scientific.' For instance the RSS ideologues claim that the figure of Ganesha proves that India invented plastic surgery, or that the myth of the Pushpak Viman proves that India invented aviation! Similarly, the Hindutva ideologues tend to proffer 'scientific' apologias for casteism and patriarchy. The manner in which Hindutva outfits have issued death threats to rationalists shows the hatred they have for science and rationality.

The Government is defending its 'coordination meeting' with the RSS by claiming that the RSS is a 'civil society organization.' The truth is that the RSS and its hydra-headed outfits are directly implicated in a wide range of communal pogroms and bomb blasts, assassinations of intellectuals and activists, caste massacres and violence against women's freedoms.

In the Lok Sabha election campaign, Modi sought votes based on a promise of 'development' and 'acche din' (good times). He did not state that he would be taking his orders from the RSS, or that his Government would be interfering in kitchens and classrooms. The Modi Government certainly cannot claim any mandate for their unconstitutional agenda of imposing the narrow and bigoted RSS vision of India on the whole country.

The RSS has come out onto the stage from behind the curtains and is now openly showing that it holds the reins of the Modi Government in its hands. Meanwhile, the Modi Government and its Ministers are all failing abjectly in the very areas for which they are responsible. The Environment Minister has recently announced that industry will be allowed to 'develop' degraded forest land; the Health Minister has done nothing to control the spate of dengue deaths in Delhi; the Railway Minister has no effective response to the twin train accident in Madhya Pradesh and the derailing of the Duronto in Karnataka occurring within a span of roughly a month; and the Agriculture Minister has blamed peasant suicides on love affairs and impotency. The entire Government has proved utterly incapable of curbing steeply rising prices. The enthusiasm and aggression with which Modi ministers are advancing the RSS agenda stands in stark contrast to the utter abdication of their actual ministerial responsibility.

 Midday Meal Workers Protest in Front of the Jharkhand Vidhan Sabha

On 25 August, over 15,000 midday meal workers employed by various government schools in Jharkhand protested in front of the Vidhan Sabha in Ranchi, demanding action on a 36-point charter of demands. The main demands are: Rs 233 per day minimum wage for cooks; midday meal workers not to be made to work for free, and adequate honorarium to be fixed; arrears due for over a year to be paid to cooks; and all 3 categories of midday meal workers to be regularized. It is to be noted that CPI(ML) MLA Rajkumar Yadav had previously raised these issues in the state Assembly, after which on 25 March 2015 the Education Minister Neera Yadav had announced an increase of Rs 500 in the honorarium for cooks. However, this was not implemented till 25 August 2015. Therefore, this issue too became a part of the workers' charter of demands.

5,000 protesters came from Hazaribagh district; 1,500 to 2,000 each from Ranchi, Simdega, Palamu, and Ramgarh; over 1,000 from Dhanbad-Kodarma; 500-1,000 came from Lohardaga, Khunti, Gumla, Chatra, Latehar, Chaibasa, Bokaro, Pakud, Godda, Garhwa, Dumka, Jamtada and Deogarh. AIPWA played a big role in mobilizing midday meal workers from Dumka, Deogarh, Jamtada and Garhwa. AICCTU mobilized workers from Kodarma, Ramgarh, Ranchi and Palamu. As a result of these interventions by AIPWA and AICCTU, the role of the Left in this crucial protest was established. The Assembly was in session at the time of the protest, and the echoes of the protest were heard inside the Assembly where MLA Rajkumar Yadav raised the issue.

A gate block and a 7-hour long meeting was conducted in front of the Vidhan Sabha. Addressing the meeting, MLA Rajkumar Yadav said that the BJP government in Jharkhand is working to benefit the corporate companies, which is the reason for privatization and saffronization of education. Government schools are the only option for the poor and the working classes, but these schools have neither quality nor a proper system for the students. The labour of 2.45 lakh midday meal workers in the state is being looted to ensure excess profits for corporates. The stronger the agitation against this loot, the better this issue can be fought inside the Assembly, reiterated comrade Rajkumar Yadav.

Addressing the meeting, AICCTU State General Secretary Shubhendu Sen said that one reason for the midday meal workers not getting the stipulated Rs. 1,500 honorarium or even the minimum wage, is Modi's 'Make in India' programme whose object is to create cheap land and cheap labour for corporate companies. Therefore, there is widespread contractualization of workers under a hire and fire policy, and services for the government are also being done under contract and honorarium systems.

Addressing the meeting, AIPWA leader Geeta Mandal said that the government must declare all midday meal workers as full-fledged workers and fix a proper pay scale for them. She stressed that the Midday Meal Workers' Association must join hands with AIPWA and para-teachers to fight a decisive battle for this. The Midday Meal Workers' Association State President Ajit Prajapati gave a brief recap of the long struggles on their demands: a dharna in front of the Vidhan Sabha on 24-26 March 2015; protests in front of 70 block offices in the state on 14 July 2015, and in front of district DCs' offices on 30 July 2015. The meeting was also addressed by Dayamani Barla, Anita Devi, Premnath Vishwakarma, JMM MLA Jagannath Mahto and others.

The Midday Meal Workers' Association demanded a monthly honorarium of Rs 6,000 on the lines of payments made by the Karnataka government. They also demanded that the retirement age be fixed at 60, 2 uniforms per year, a dietician in each school for food inspection, increase in funds for eggs, improvement in quality of rice, medical insurance, sheds in the schools for babies and toddlers, and other facilities. After the successful protest, the Jharkhand cabinet announced on 28 August that the increase of Rs 500 passed on 25 March 2015 has been implemented, and also announced a free insurance of Rs 5 lakh.

CPI(ML) State Conference held in UP

The 11th State Conference of the CPI(ML) Uttar Pradesh unit was successfully held between 30 August to 1 September 2015 in Ghazipur district, with the pledge to intensify struggles against the Modi government's pro-corporate policies, communalism and fascism, against the SP government's criminal-police raj, for democracy, employment, justice, and people's safety. 278 delegates (37 women) from 37 districts participated in the conference. 90 delegates took part in the discussion on the work report. A new 43-member State committee was formed under the supervision of the Politburo member and conference observer Comrade Swadesh Bhattacharya, and Comrade Ramji Rai was unanimously elected State secretary.

The conference began with flag hoisting by senior Party leader Comrade Hariwanshi Ram. Inaugurating the open session, CPI(ML) General Secretary Comrade Dipankar Bhattacharya stressed various aspects of the ongoing social, economic and political crisis – the agricultural crisis, farmers' suicides, grave levels of unemployment, further curtailing of employment opportunities, curtailing of labour rights and ensuring of corporate profits in the name of the government's "Make in India" project, ongoing corruption, inflation and skyrocketing price rise, ever-increasing repression and fascist curbing of dissent. While workers and farmers have always been exploited by various governments run by the BJP, Congress, JD(U), RJD, SP, and the BSP, at present, other kinds of struggles too are being suppressed. War veterans are agitating for pensions in Delhi; a community is agitating for reservations in Gujarat (albeit it is not certain how genuine this demand is), and in the process, the much-touted Gujarat model has unraveled as unemployed youth in Gujarat desperately looking for employment. Comrade Dipankar added that development as defined by the ruling classes has no meaning for the people since it is loot, corruption, and profiteering for capitalists. Basic needs of people such as roads, water, electricity, housing, toilets, health care, have become issues for agitation. Giving a leadership to the struggles of farmers, contract workers, ASHA workers, teachers, health workers and the beleaguered minority community has become a prime responsibility.

Left Agrarian Labour Organizations' Joint Protest in Haryana

Various agricultural labour organizations affiliated to the Left jointly organized a public meeting on 1 September 2015 at Karnal in Haryana, in front of the mini secretariat. This day was observed as 'Demand Day' by Left organizations, to protest against the anti-agriculture policies of the government. A memorandum of demands was submitted to the Prime Minister. The meeting was presided over by the All India Kisan Mahasabha (AIKM) Vice President Comrade Prem Singh Gehlawat. Comrades Sukhchain Singh, Jagmal Singh, Mahendra Singh Chopra and other leaders participated in the protest.

The memorandum gave details of the deteriorating conditions of rural agricultural labourers and artisans. The Congress govt's disastrous policies of liberalization have been implemented with further ruthlessness by the BJP govts at the Centre as well as the state, resulting in a grave agricultural crisis. Hundreds of farmers have committed suicide in Haryana in the past one year, this number being the highest in North India. Rising agricultural costs and shrinking incomes have put a heavy burden of debt on the farmers. Livelihood opportunities are shrinking and it is becoming impossible for the people to afford education of their child/ren.

The following demands were raised in the memorandum: revoke the Land ordinance 2015 and implement progressive land reforms; make a national land utilization policy; give a minimum pension of Rs 3,000 to agricultural labourers and artisans; free agricultural land from the clutches of the land mafia and real estate barons; make a national law to ensure social security of agricultural labourers; give 12 decimal land and Rs.5 lakhs house building grant to all landless families; guarantee crop purchase from farmers at a minimum support price of 50% above the cost price, as per the Swaminathan commission recommendations; implement an affordable PDS system for guarantee of food security; repeal the new anti-worker labour laws and protect the rights of child labourers; make adequate increase in governmental financial investment in the agriculture sector; ensure development of basic infrastructure and supply of agricultural materials at affordable rates in rural areas; end FDI in agriculture; unconditionally return to farmers unused land acquired under SEZ or other such projects; ensure 200 days work under MNREGA and minimum daily wages of Rs 300; give interest free agricultural loans to farmers, agricultural labourers and sharecroppers; make national crop insurance compulsory; protect crops, life and goods from wild animals; pay a minimum compensation of Rs 10 lakhs to families of farmers who have committed suicide; ensure education, employment and health rights to all citizens; stop the increasing violence against women, dalits, adivasis and minorities. The memorandum was submitted to the Deputy Commissioner at the mini secretariat.

Report on Bhagalpur Riots Released by Insaf Manch-AIPF in Patna

On 5 September 2015, the Bhagalpur AIPF unit released a report in Patna on the denial of justice to the Bhagalpur riot victims. The report was released by CPI(ML) General Secretary, Director of the Centre for Study of Society and Secularism Irfan Engineer, Rihai Manch UP President Shoaib Ahmad, Inquilabi Muslim Manch leader Sadar Mohd Salim and others. This report on the Bhagalpur riots was finalized after months of research by a team headed by Sharad Jaiswal. Bhagalpur riot victims took part in this symposium in large numbers.

Speaking on the report, Comrade Dipankar said that for the first 15 years after the Bhagalpur riots, the Lalu Yadav government was in power, elected on a slogan of "social justice and secularism". For the next 10 years, the Nitish Kumar government was in power, boasting of "good governance" and "development with justice". But during these 25 years, the Bhagalpur victims have only seen treachery, oppression, and injustice. He added that the Nitish government submitted the report of the commission constituted in 2006 on the last day of the Assembly session, clearly exposing its non-seriousness in the matter of securing justice for the Bhagalpur riot victims. It is astounding that the 2 commissions of 1995 and 2006 have both refused to fix responsibility on the administration for the death of hundreds of people and ruin of thousands of families, and have also turned a blind eye to the poisonous and offensive communal mobilization done by the Sangh Parivar. He further said that the High Court has acquitted all the accused in the dozens of carnages perpetrated by the Ranveer Sena on the oppressed and suppressed rural poor in South Bihar, and Nitish dissolved the Amir Das Commission constituted to find the nexus between the Ranveer Sena and their political protectors just before the Commission was about to table its report.

Speaking at the meeting, Irfan Engineer, Shoaib Ahmad, and Sadar Mohd Salim said that the RSS with its agenda of making India a Hindu Rashtra is the chief culprit in this matter and is working through the BJP as well as with the help of other parties. Earlier, the author of the report Sharad Jaiswal presented the detailed information contained in the report. He said that commissions formed by the government have worked to hide the truth of the riots. For instance, the government reports the number of those killed during the riots as 1,000, whereas in reality 2,000 lost their lives. After the riots, resources belonging to Muslims – including land, silk and industries – were captured by others.

Three-Day Hunger Strike by CPI(ML) in Fatuha Block

Comrades Umesh Singh (Party's SCM and AIKM NE member), Sailesh Yadav (Fatuha block secretary), Satyanand Paswan (Sampatchak secretary), Munna Pandit (AIARLA Fatuha secretary), Ravindra Yadav (peasant leader), and Bhola Das (AIARLA leader) sat on a 3-day hunger strike at the Fatuha block office from 17 to 19 August on burning issues like- (i) construction of roads to join nearby areas of Patna and various areas of Fatuha to main roads and rivers, (ii) repair and reconstruction of the dilapidated bridge over Dargha River on the road from Bir to Kajibigaha, (iii) resolution of problems of farmers, workers, and sharecroppers, permanent employment for honorarium workers, and (iv) security of mahadalits and women.

Addressing the meeting at the hunger strike, Com. Shiv Sagar Sharma said that the BJP, who was a partner in the government till recently, is now trying to come to power by taking advantage of the treachery committed upon the people for the last 10 years by the Nitish government. Though the BJP is continuously singing praises of the Central government led by Modi, the people have by now fully realized the deceit of the "achhe din" promised by Modi. Sky-rocketing prices, huge cuts in people's welfare schemes, anti-farmer and anti-agriculture policies have made life miserable for the people. He pointed out that, like Ramvilas Paswan, Jitan Ram Manjhi has also betrayed the dalits of Bihar by choosing to sit in the lap of the BJP which is the protector of the Ranveer Sena; the people of Bihar will not be fooled by these tricks. Com. Umesh Singh stressed the necessity of the hunger strike by saying that despite Fatuha Assembly constituency being so close to Patna, it appears to be the remotest part of Bihar due to lack of roads and civic amenities. The meeting was addressed by all the striking leaders.

Hundreds of rural women and men were continuously present at the strike venue. On 19 August, last day of the hunger strike, Patna Collector's representative ADM, BDO, CO, and local thana in-charge came to the venue for talks, considered the demands, and gave an assurance that whatever could be fulfilled at their level would be done, and a memorandum of the demands would be submitted to the government. After this assurance the striking leaders broke their fast by accepting juice from the hands of Party leaders Comrades Ramjatan Sharma, Amar, and Saroj Choube.

Addressing the concluding meeting, Party leaders said that the Centre and State governments are trying to distract attention from the main issues in the imminent Bihar elections and polarize the election. However, the CPI(ML) will fight the election on people's issues and all the Left Parties together will present a credible Left alternative to the people of Bihar.

AISA Statement on JNUSU and DUSU Elections

AISA congratulates the JNU student community for successfully electing a new JNUSU. The JNUSU mandate has largely reposed the faith in the left and inclusive politics that the JNUSU has been upholding. In the central panel, 3 out of 4 posts belong to the left. AISA congratulates Comrade Kanhaiyya, elected JNUSU President from the AISF. AISA also thanks JNU students for electing Comrade Shehla Rashid Shora and Comrade Rama Naga from AISA as the JNUSU VP and General Secretary respectively.

At the post of President, Com. Kanhaiyya Kumar from AISF secured 1029 votes and Com. Vijay from AISA finished second with 962 votes, with the margin being 67 votes. At the post of Vice President, Com. Shehla Rashid Shora from AISA secured1387 votes defeating ABVP's Valentina Brahma by a margin of 234 votes. Com. Rama Naga from AISA secured 1159 votes and was elected as the General Secretary defeating Devendra Singh Rajput of ABVP by 213 votes. At the post of Joint Secretary, ABVP's Saurav Kumar Sharma secured 1154 votes and won by a slender margin of 28 votes, with Com. Hamid Raza from AISA finishing second with 1126 votes.

The largely pro Left mandate of JNU students is all the more significant and welcome in the light of the ABVP surge representing the dangerous agenda of 'cultural cleansing' pushed by the Central Government and RSS. We must recognize our responsibility in the context of the fact that ABVP has managed to win the post of Joint Secretary and a couple of posts in SIS.

AISA is committed to carrying forward the JNUSU's legacy of students' movement for students' rights and campus democracy, and against commercialization and saffronization of education.

AISA also thanks the students of DU, who for a third year running, have shown their growing support for a Left alternative. AISA's performance, polling a very close third on Jt.sec and a very close fourth on all other posts, is most encouraging. AISA has achieved this on the basis of the initiative and enthusiasm of student volunteer alone who battled other groups backed by money- and muscle- power and the might of Government machinery. AISA pledges to continue to work with and for DU students, confident that we will indeed succeed in strengthening a powerful alternative student politics in DU.

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:

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

ML Update | No. 36 | 2015

ML Update

A CPI(ML) Weekly News Magazine

Vol. 18, No. 36, 01 ­– 07 SEPTEMBER 2015

Deepening Crisis, Growing Mass Unrest, And A Great Victory against Modi's Landgrab Fiat

e BJP has all along been keen on invoking and appropriating the legacies of some leaders of the Congress. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel and Lal Bahadur Shastri are two such key names. Building the world's tallest statue in memory of Patel was a key theme of Narendra Modi's 2014 election campaign. And the Modi government never misses an opportunity to remind us that 2015 marks the 50th anniversary of the 1965 Indo-Pak war and the demise of Lal Bahadur Shastri. But as mass anger catches up with the Modi government for every betrayed promise, the symbolism of Patel and Shastri has begun to acquire a new quirky connotation.

In India's public memory, the name of Lal Bahadur Shastri remains firmly associated with the slogan "jai jawan, jai kisan'. The organic link between the peasantry and the army underpinned many glorious chapters of India's modern history. From the upsurge of 1857 and other peasant-adivasi revolts of that period to the communist-led peasant war of Telangana, the peasant-military organic connection has always been a key dimension of popular anti-feudal anti-colonial resistance in India. Lal Bahadur Shastri had effectively turned this organic relation into a social doctrine of national security for the Indian state. However much Modi may try and invoke the legacy of Lal Bahadur Shastri, the glaring truth of 2015 is that both peasants and (ex)-soldiers are today feeling badly betrayed and are up in arms against the apathy of the Modi regime.

"One Rank, One Pension" (OROP) has been a long-standing popular demand in the Indian army, and the BJP and the Congress both highlighted this demand as a prominent promise in their 2014 election campaign. But much as Narendra Modi the campaigner had promised it, Modi the Prime Minister continues to treat the ongoing OROP agitation of ex-soldiers with contemptuous apathy and repressive arrogance. For Modi and Shah OROP may well be just another 'chunavi jumla' or empty electoral rhetoric, much like the fake promises of repatriation of black money, scam-free governance and 'achchhe din', but for the thousands of former soldiers and war veterans agitating for OROP defying governmental apathy and police high-handedness, OROP is a shocking case of betrayal by a regime of tall talk and zero delivery.

India's distressed farmers fare even worse than these retired soldiers as victims of the government's flawed policies and utter insensitivity. The government has just acknowledged the 'death' of Modi's favourite land-grab ordinance after promulgating it as many as three times and yet failing to convert it into law. While this does mark a victory for the popular resistance against thie government's draconian anti-farmer pro-corporate offensive, the attack on agriculture and agricultural land continues relentlessly. Added to this injury is the insult of brazen official conspiracy to brush aside the most shameful and alarming fact of peasant suicides through statistical sophistry and spurious psycho-analysis. To be sure, farmers are not going to accept this insult-laden injury inflicted by India's most corporate-friendly regime, and the simmering rage of rural India is bound to assert itself as a growing political reality.

The shadow of agrarian distress can be seen clearly in the sensational rise of Hardik Patel with the war-cry of "Jai Sardar, Jai Patidar". This young crowd-puller from the powerful Patel community of Gujarat has begun to rattle Modi with a new twist in the tale of Sardar Patel which Modi thought he had masterfully monopolised. The absurd demand for reservation for one of India's most powerful social groups may well be a ploy to subvert the entire system of reservation as it has evolved over the years, but the fact that it has managed to rally hundreds of thousands of Patel youth in Modi's own state clearly reflects the hard economic reality underlying the myth of Modi's globalized Gujarat. This is not the mythical Gujarat of milk and honey that Modi has been painting in his election speeches, this is the Gujarat of deepening agrarian crisis and farmer suicides. Not the vibrant Gujarat Modi has been smartly marketing to greedy investors, but the Gujarat of real life where millions of young people remain unemployed or slave away for paltry wages. Not the globalized Gujarat driven by the monetary muscle of prosperous NRIs, but the Gujarat of corporate plunder and economic crisis where the Adanis and Ambanis rule the roost even as diamonds lose their glitter in global markets.

It is of course too early to say how the Hardik Patel show will pan out in the coming days - whether his big-bang beginning will fade away with a whimper or we are here to see the rise of a new political force akin to a Gujarati version of Raj Thackeray, or a new version of the Navnirman movement of yesteryears. Socially and ideologically, this "Jai Sardar" campaign also appears to be very much compatible with the Sangh-BJP agenda, and the assertion of 'Patel power' may therefore well end up being co-opted or subsumed within the Sanghi scheme of saffron politics. But there can be no mistaking the definitive signs of a powerful social unrest brewing all around us.

The challenge facing the revolutionary communists and other forces of people's struggles is to boldly intervene in this critical juncture and unleash a powerful democratic resistance. The movement against the land-grab ordinance has won a major victory; through the 2 September countrywide mass strike trade unions have also declared their resolve to defeat the proposed anti-worker labour law amendments, and the voices of reason and resistance are getting louder against every assault on democracy in every sphere of life. We must unite these multiple streams of protest into a decisive assertion of the people against the corporate-communal offensive of the Modi regime and for the fulfillment of people's basic needs and democratic aspirations.

JMS Dharna in Ramgarh on Issues of Pattas and Compensation

A day-long dharna was held at Argada (Ramgarh, Jharkhand) area by unit of the Jharkhand Gramin Mazdoor Sabha, on 5 August in front of the General Manager, CCL Argada, participated by hundreds of villagers. The dharna was presided over by Com. Kuldip Bediya and conducted by Com. Dhanelal Bediya. Speakers addressing the dharna, spoke at length about the history of the land acquisition law in India. They said that many tribal villages in Ramgarh district—Chanakya, Kahuabeda, Teliyatandu, and other tolas and mohallas—were displaced during the 1974 process of nationalization of private coal mining, but the residents never got adequate rehabilitation, compensation, employment and development. Today these displaced people are carrying on a struggle for identity, employment, and existence.

Now once again CCL is planning an extension of collieries in Argada area and increase coal production. It has issued a notification for acquisition of 763 acres of raiyati gair-majrua forest land in rural raiyats of Argada, Manua-Phulserai, Kanjagi, Chapri, Bumri, Padariya, Tongi and other villages, not for the development of villagers but to increase displacement and emigration from rural raiyyats. The government is talking of giving employment to only 86 raiyyats on 185 acres of land, which is negligible as per the declared policy of CCL.

Earlier, CCL had snatched away the future and employment of adivasis by making false documents on local raiyyati lands. In 1990, as a result of agitations under the banner of CPI(ML)-IPF, CCL had agreed that a CPI(ML) representative would be present in the tripartite talks, development works would go on, employment would be provided, and permission would be given to open a manual coal cell. However, the CPI(ML) representative was not called for community development meetings. Residents within a radius of 8 km have so far not got water, electricity, roads, education, technical education, health and other benefits, whereas CCL is earning crores in annual profits. Earlier CCL used to work in a radius of 8 km under the community development plan; now, under CSR, corporate houses have been given the responsibility of development of area within a radius of 15 km and they have been directed to spend 2% to 5% of their profits for local rural development. In other words, the lion has been made the keeper of the lamb!

JMS put forth the following demands from CCL through the dharna: (1)Guarantee of pattas to adivasis who are ploughing the gair-majrua and forest lands of Argada, Manua-Phulserai, Kanjagi and Chapri villages. Camps should be held in the villages for verification, and false documents should be scrapped immediately, (2) All raiyyat displaced and affected persons should be given employment and 4 times compensation, and development should be guaranteed, (3) displaced people should be first rehabilitated and mining should begin only after this is done, (4) All affected villages should be given amenities like water, electricity, education, health and medical facilities, (5) Arrangements for employment should be made in all affected villages, and all small and big contract works should be given to local unemployed persons; outside agencies should be excluded, (6) A Labour Coal Cooperative Cell should be established in Argada to generate employment, (7) As per the tripartite agreement of 1990, CPI(ML) representatives should be included in the committees, (8) Action should be taken against the persons who have secured employment by producing false papers regarding the land of Saheb Ram Bediya, Adivasi Khata No. 19 of village Tongi, and employment and compensation should be given to the true heirs of the raiyyat.

Construction Workers' Protest at District Labour Offices in Bihar

As decided by the State Committee of the Bihar State Construction Workers' Union, a 10 point charter of demands was sent to the Labour Minister through a dharna by construction workers in front of district labour offices on 27 July 2015. The following demands raised included- (i) speedy passing of the amendments proposed in the manual  by the Welfare board; (ii) general death benefits to be raised to Rs 50,000 and accident death benefits to be raised to Rs 2 lakhs; (iii) maternity benefits to be made Rs.20,000, old age pension to be fixed at Rs. 3000 per month and marriage benefits to be made Rs. 50,000; (iv) increase in scholarship amounts; (v) strict implementation of labour laws, controlling corruption, putting a total stop to terms of contracts through brokers and agents and deciding terms of contracts through unions instead; (vi) minimum wage per day of Rs 500 for unskilled workers and Rs 800 for skilled workers; (vii) proper arrangements for payment of arrears; and(viii) putting a stop to the attempts to introduce anti-worker amendments to the labour laws.  Apart from these, local demands were also included in talks at different places. Talks on these demands were held with labour superintendents in all districts and assurances on fulfilling local demands were obtained.

Due to the RJD 'Bihar bandh' on 27 July, the workers had to face many difficulties in reaching the protest venues, however, despite these obstacles, people participated in large numbers in protests in all districts and submitted the charter of demands. In Motihari over 1,000 workers led by Com. Rajesh Kumar and Com. Bhupesh Yadav took part in the protest during which the labour superintendent and other personnel closed the office and ran away. The protesters informed the DM about this and submitted the charter of demands to him. After the protest, meetings were held in all the districts in which the anti-worker character of government policies was exposed. It was declared that on 18 August 2015 construction workers would hold a State level protest in Patna.

AICCTU March to Secretariat in Delhi against Kejriwal's Betrayal of Promises

AICCTU organized a march from Rajghat to the Secretariat in Delhi on 19 August to protest against the betrayal of promises made by the Kejriwal government to workers. Hundreds of workers from DTC, health sector, and unorganized sectors participated in the march with slogans of "Poori mazdoori-Pakka rozgar, Apna ghar sabka Adhikar" (Full wages, regular employment, own house is each person's right), Jan Jan ki hai Awaz, Nahi chalega Company Raj (Voice of all common people- No to Company Rule)".
Addressing the meeting near the Secretariat, AICCTU Vice President and CPI(ML) leader Com. Swapan Mukherjee said that the workers of Delhi had defeated the BJP and voted the Kejriwal government to power believing in the promises made by the AAP to regularize all contractual workers, to provide pucca housing for all workers, to put a stop to razing of slums, and to provide affordable schooling, hospitals, transport and other basic necessities. But the "Aam Admi" Chief Minister has failed to take effective measures on any of these matters. There is no concrete plan to regularize DTC, hospital, sanitation, and education sector workers. AICCTU Delhi State secretary Com. Santosh Rai said that the Delhi government which says it believes in 'dialogue' has put ESMA on DTC and hospital workers and put an end to the need to talk to trade unions. The government which made tall claims of fighting corruption is doing nothing to fight the biggest corruption of them all—the loot of minimum wages of the workers. The guarantee of minimum wages for the worker does not figure anywhere in current discussions. No steps have been taken for the security of women, right to housing, toilets and other basic necessities. Instead of taking measures to run public transport effectively, plans are afoot to privatize the DTC. CPI(ML) Delhi State secretary Com. Ravi Rai said that on hand the AAP government is making a big hole in the working people's pockets by increasing VAT and on the other hand, a budget of 524 crores is being spent for the propaganda of government work. He termed this a cruel joke on the working class. He further said that the workers are seeing the murder of every promise made to them before the Delhi elections. Disillusionment is taking them towards a massive agitation. He assured the workers of every possible support and help by the CPI(ML) in their struggles.
A representation met the secretary to the CM and submitted a memorandum that included the following demands: (i) ending wage loot in Delhi and guaranteeing 15,000 per month as minimum wages; (ii) non-compliance of minimum wages to be made a cognizable and non-bailable offence with provision for 3 years' imprisonment; (iv) contract workers' law to be amended to give equal pay for equal work; (v) reconstitution of the Delhi Contract Workers' Welfare Board and redressal of past grievances; (vi) implementation of current labour laws strictly in Delhi and registering criminal cases against those who break them; guarantee of daily work under a scheme like MNREGA for the lakhs of construction workers in Delhi; (vii) housing in Delhi for construction workers registered under the Welfare Board; (viii) unconditional and immediate regularization of all DTC contractual drivers and conductors; (ix) the number of buses in DTC to be increased to a minimum of 10,000; (x) employment security for private security personnel; (xi) constitution of domestic workers' welfare board and ending their dependence on placement agencies; (xii) giving license to each and every vendor; (xiii) increasing the ratio of vendors' representatives in town vending committees, along with other demands.

Two-Day Hunger Strike in Patna for Justice

CPI(ML) Patna rural and city committees jointly organized a two-day hunger strike on 25-26 August in Gardanibagh, Patna, to demand the arrest of Ranveer Sena leader Rinku Singh, the killer of popular CPI(ML) peasant leader from Bhojpur, Com. Satish Yadav, along with other Ranveer Sena terrorists and perpetrators of carnages and also leaders of the BJP and other parties who continued to protect these killers. Leaders who sat on hunger strike included Party State standing committee member Com. Anwar Hussain, State committee member Com. Umesh Singh, Khemas leaders- Comrades Gopal Ravidas, Jaiprakash Paswan, Devendra Verma, Nawal Bharti, Gopal Singh, Kamlesh Kumar and Vidyanand Bihari. Politburo member Com. Amar Yadav and senior Party leaders were continuously present at the strike venue for two days.
On 25 August former Party MP Com. Rameshwar Prasad garlanded the striking leaders to mark the commencement of the hunger strike. The first day's proceedings were presided over by State committee member Com. Rambali Yadav and conducted by RYA State secretary Com. Naveen Kumar. Addressing the meeting on the second day, Com. Kunal said that Nitish Kumar has joined hands with the most barbaric killers in the history of Bihar who have perpetrated carnages on dalits, women, and children. After the killing of Bhrahmeshwar Mukhia, Nitish had given a free hand to Ranveer Sena goons for launching destruction, terror, and attacks on dalit hostels in Patna and Ara. The very same Nitish Kumar today calls himself 'secular' and pretends to be opposed to the communal BJP. This very Nitish Kumar is responsible for the shameful murder of justice, and for treachery against victims of carnages and their families. He is the one who dissolved the Amir Das commission and protected the communal-casteist BJP and shielded their leaders. Even today feudal forces are bent upon killing leaders of people's movements. PB member Com. Dhirendra Jha said that so-called dalit and mahadalit leaders like Ramvilas Paswan and Jitan Ram Manjhi who are today sitting in the lap of the BJP will have to answer why they have joined hands with the killers who lose no opportunity to insult the poor.
The morale of the Ranveer Sena leaders appears to have actually risen after the Cobrapost sting exposure in Delhi on 17 August as was reflected in the killing of Com. Satish Yadav, who was killed during an agitation demanding the arrest of Ranveer Sena terrorists.
Other speakers pointed out that Cobrapost has once again brought the truth to the fore that top BJP leaders gave political protection to the Ranveer Sena, and also provided money for buying arms and carrying out carnages. The sting has exposed BJP leaders Sushil Modi, CP Thakur, RLSP MP Arun Kumar, and JD(U) leader Shivanand Tiwari as aiding and abetting the Ranveer Sena.
The speakers further said that the BJP and the Mahagatbandhan people may overtly seem to be campaigning against each other, but the truth is that even today the BJP-JD(U) combination is very much alive on the ground level. The recent attacks on dalit women in Parbatta (Khagariya) have exposed this. The speakers called upon the people of Bihar to carry forward the fight for justice, dignity, and rights of the poor and to defeat such treacherous forces.

CPI(ML) Condemns the Murder of Renowned Kannada Scholar Prof MM Kalburgi

CPI(ML) condemns the murder of renowned Kannada scholar and ex-Vice Chancellor of Hampi University, Prof MM Kalburgi. Prof Kalburgi was shot dead at his residence in Dharwad.

Prof Kalburgi, 77, had been the target of abuse and threats by the RSS outfits like Bajrang Dal because of his rationalist views and his support for the late UR Ananthamoorthy, whose death had been celebrated by these outfits. After Narendra Dabholkar and Govind Pansare, Prof Kalburgi is the third rationalist and anti-superstition activist to be murdered following threats by Hindutva outfits. A local Bajrang Dal leader hailed Prof Kalburgi's assassination and warned another rationalist KS Bhagwan of the same fate.

The Sanghi terrorists have been feeling emboldened by the Modi Government which had been weakening many terror cases against them. The BJP Government of Maharashtra had been delaying the provision of staff to the CBI to aid the probe into Dabholkar's murder. The Modi Government and investigative bodies themselves have been harassing anti-communal activists like Teesta Setalvad. A range of anti communal and progressive activists is routinely subjected to threats of violence by Sangh cadres on social media.

CPI(ML) demands a speedy probe into Prof Kalburgi's murder, and thorough measures to probe the funding and training of Sanghi terror outfits, and judicial intervention to prevent the weakening of the Sanghi terror cases by the NIA at the behest of the Modi Government.

Obituary : Comrade John Percy

Tireless Socialist and A Friend of India's Revolutionary Left

Comrade John Percy, leading socialist organizer in Australia, passed away on August 19th, 2015 in Sydney after a severe stroke. His passing is a great loss to the Australian socialist movement and to the international revolutionary Left movement, for whom Comrade John Percy was a firm friend.

John along with his brother Jim had been radicalized during the student movement against the Vietnam War in the 1960s, being influenced by the Trotsyist movement. Ever since then they had both striven to build a revolutionary mass party with firm internationalist foundations. To remember John's life is to turn the pages of Australia's revolutionary Left movement.

John and Jim Percy had by the 1970s built a youth organization called Resistance (also called Socialist Youth Alliance for some time) and then the Socialist Workers League, which later became the Socialist Workers Party and then finally the Democratic Socialist Party and Democratic Socialist Perspective.

 In an obituary in Red Flag, Allen Myers writes of him, "John himself led many different areas of party work, including being a branch organizer, editor, writer, national president, national secretary and public speaker. He was widely known both inside and outside the DSP as the partisan of a regular, attractive and party-building revolutionary press. Over the years, literally thousands of people met John selling a revolutionary paper on the streets of Melbourne or Glebe, at demonstrations or picket lines, wherever he could come into contact with people who might be thinking about politics."

As National Secretary of the DSP in the 1990s, Comrade John visited India to attend the CPI(ML) Liberation's Sixth Party Congress in Varanasi, October 1997 as a guest, and won great respect of all delegates with his warm smile, revolutionary optimism and great internationalist commitment. In John Percy and the Democratic Socialist Party of Australia the CPI(ML) and the revolutionary Left movement of India found a new friend.

He helped establish Links, an international journal where comrades from different Leninist streams across the world could exchange ideas. The DSP hosted a series of international conferences which allowed revolutionary Left activists from different countries and streams to interact and learn from each other in Australia.

The DSP subsequently went through many changes. In 2008, Comrade John Percy along with other comrades formed the Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP), which later merged with Socialist Alternative (SA). But the CPI(ML)'s ties with the radical Left movement of Australia have remained intact. Since 1990s several of our leading comrades including Comrades Dipankar Bhattacharya, Sivaraman, Jayanta Rongpi, Srilata Swaminathan, Kavita Krishnan visited Australia to attend Asia-Pacific solidarity conferences and came back with great memories of the time spent with Comrade John Percy and his partner Comrade Eva.

Comrade John Percy we will continue to remember you in our struggles and dreams for our shared socialist future!

Red Salute


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: