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CPI(ML) Statement on Maoist Attack in Sukma

New Delhi 25 April, 2017. The killing of 25 CRPF personnel by Maoists in Sukma, Chhattisgarh, is the latest incident in the unfortunate and condemnable spiral of violence in Bastar. The State’s militarized response to the Maoist insurgency has resulted…

ML Update

A CPI(ML) Weekly News Magazine

Vol. 20 | No.13| 21- 27 March 2017

Adityanath As UP CM Exposes Communal Core Of Modi’s Pro-Corporate ‘Development’ Agenda

The BJP won decisive victories in the Uttarakhand and Uttar Pradesh Assembly polls. However, in Goa, the mood of the mandate was certainly against the ruling BJP, with six of eight sitting BJP Ministers including the outgoing CM losing the elections and the Congress emerging as the single largest party. The BJP however effected a virtual coup in Goa, patching together a post-poll coalition with the legislators of the Gowa Forward Party that had projected itself as a staunchly secular party, as well as the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) and several other MLAs who had contested the elections on a specifically anti-BJP plank. In a shocking breach of propriety, the Goa Governor admitted that she consulted the Union Finance Minister and BJP leader Arun Jaitley before choosing to invite the BJP to form Government in Goa. In Manipur also, where there was a hung Assembly with the Congress as the single largest party, the BJP cobbled together an opportunist post-poll alliance with some MLAs to stake claim to form government, with the cooperation of the Governor. In Uttar Pradesh as well, the BJP’s choice of Chief Minister amounts to an attempt to manipulatively interpret the mandate as being for an explicit agenda of aggressive Hindutva. The BJP’s poll campaign sought a mandate based on overt promises of pro-poor ‘development’ and ‘Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas’ (Inclusion and Development For All), accompanied with calculated doses of communal dog-whistles about ‘Romeo squads’ or ‘shamshan vs kabristan.’ The choice of Yogi Adityanath as Chief Minister mocks any notion of inclusiveness or development, since Adityanath’s only USP is naked, blatant communal, casteist, and patriarchal hate-mongering and violence.

The BJP has tried to soften the decision by appointing two Deputy CMs including Keshav Prasad Maurya, whose appointment as BJP State President had helped win the support of many backward castes for the BJP. But it is starkly clear that Adityanath’s appointment as CM, far from signaling a nod to voter fatigue with ‘caste-based politics’ or to inclusion of the hitherto marginalized non-Yadav BCs and non-Jatav Dalits, on the contrary signals a return to upper caste consolidation in Uttar Pradesh politics.

Yogi Adityanath has earned notoriety as a communal bigot, whose private militia Hindu Yuva Vahini is responsible for fomenting communal violence all over eastern Uttar Pradesh. Adityanath himself has several serious criminal charges pending against him.

In a series of inflammatory speeches over the years, he has threatened to “kill 100 Muslims for every Hindu killed”; “get 100 Muslim girls into the Hindu fold for every Hindu girl who marries a Muslim”; “install statues of Gauri and Ganesh in every mosque”; he has advised those who do not do yoga or worship Lord Shankar to “leave the country”; to organize a boycott of actor Shah Rukh Khan’s films which would reduce him to “wandering on the streets like an ordinary Muslim.” He has publicly recommended curbs on Muslim population so as to avoid riots. In his approving presence his supporters have made public speeches calling for stripping Muslims of the right to vote and raping the corpses of dead Muslim women.

Till recently, prominent defenders and ideologues of the Modi Government were prone to argue that Modi stood for a lofty ideal of ‘development’ while it was only a ‘lunatic fringe’ represented by the likes of Adityanath who indulged in communal hate-speech and violence. Some of Modi’s most ardent supporters had even gone to the extent of demanding publicly that Adityanath be thrown out of the BJP and jailed. BJP’s choice of UP Chief Minister has put paid to all such claims of tensions in the saffron camp between the ‘development’ agenda and the communal one. It underlines the basic unity and continuity in agendas of the Prime Minister, the central government, and the RSS, marked by a simultaneous pursuit of aggressive pro-corporate and communal Hindutva goals. Essentially, the so-called saffron Hindutva ‘fringe’ actually constitutes the core of BJP’s and the Modi Government’s politics, where communal rhetoric coexists with rhetoric of corporate-led development and digitalization.

Adityanath is on record opposing women’s reservation in political forums on the grounds that this has a bad impact on their primary roles as mothers and wives and adopting ‘masculine roles’ turns women into ‘demons.’ He has argued openly for women to be kept under masculine restrictions and regulation by their father, husbands or sons. He is also on record asking for restrictions on SC/ST and OBC reservations. Such views are a reminder that the ‘New India’ goal that Modi speaks of is nothing more or less than the Hindu Rashtra, where the obscurantist and hierarchical worldview of the RSS constitutes the core of all the BJP’s rhetoric of modern economic ‘empowerment’ and ‘development.’ That worldview, apart from being inimical to the identity and rights of Muslims and various other minority communities as equal citizens, is intensely hostile to bids for equality and dignity of women or oppressed and backward castes.

Ever since Modi became Prime Minister in May 2014, his agenda of corporate-communal fascism has been met with powerful all-round resistance and democratic assertion, every step of the way. March 2017 will in no way dampen this resistance and assertion, and will instead unleash new waves of people’s struggles.

AICCTU Unions in TN in Solidarity with Convicted Maruti Workers

On 17 March, AICCTU units in Tamil Nadu organised a day long fasting programme at Ambattur and Chennai in support of Maruti workers and against their conviction by sessions court. Workers from On Load Gears, Ti Diamond chain, Sanmina, C&F automotive and Oragadam took part in the programme. AICCTU state secretary Com. Palanivel presided over the programme. Com. Kumarasamy, National President of AICCTU, Com. A. S. Kumar, state president of AICCTU and Com. Sekar, District Secretary of CPI(ML) addressed the participating workers. Workers boycotted food inside the factory. Workers from Sai Meera and Caterpillar also joined the fast. Com. Gunabalan, one of the Pricol 8 who was in prison and later acquitted by High Court also shared his experience.

In Coimbatore, workers in Pricol Plant 1 and 3 and Shanthi Gears boycotted food in solidarity with Maruti workers and held demonstrations in front of their respective gates during the lunch time. Com N. K. Natarajan, national secretary of AICCTU, Com. Saminathan, General Secretary and Com Jaya Prakash, Treasurer of Pricol union addressed the workers.

AIPWA Vidhan Sabha March in Bihar

Thousands of women demonstrated under the banner of AIPWA in front of the Chief Minister on 19 March on the issues of education for women students, especially from dalit and weaker sections, increasing violence against women and attempts by the administration to shield the culprits, and justice for the victims. The protest march started from Gate Public Library, proceeded to the Vidhan Sabha and culminated in a meeting at Gardanibagh addressed by AIPWA leaders Comrades Meena Tiwari, Shashi Yadav, Saroj Choube, Anita Sinha, and Sohila Gupta, Rita Barnwal, Savitri Devi, Madhuri Gupta, Madhu, Indu Singh, Sona Devi, Pramila Devi, Sanichari Devi, Malati Ram, Juhi Alam, as well as Kusumi Devi, mother of Dika Kumari, the student killed recently in a Bihar school.

The speakers said that contrary to the Nitish government’s claims of empowering women, they are actually being attacked in various ways. Lack of adequate number of schools, lack of facilities in existing schools, insufficient number of higher education institutes in districts and inability of guardians to send their daughters to cities for higher education, and paucity of infrastructure and teachers in district level institutions are serious deterrents to women’s education in the State. Moreover, several cases of rape, murder, death due to lack of medical facilities, and molestation have come to light in Ambedkar and Kasturba Vidyalayas. In the Dika rape and murder case the police failed even to add sections under POCSO and gang rape and no charge sheet has been filed even two and a half months after the incident. The Nawada girl student was even forced to change her statement under threat. The speakers stressed their determination to continue the struggle on the issues of education, dignity and security. CPI (ML) MLAs comrades Mehboob Alam and Sudama Prasad as well as AIKM General Secretary Rajaram Singh also addressed the protestors.

The following are the demands of the protest:

1. Education up to Class 10 should be made available in all Kasturba Vidyalayas in Bihar.

2. Ambedkar Vidyalayas should be upgraded to class XII.

3. Arrangements for adequate number of teachers and resources in government schools.

4. Girls’ colleges to be opened in every block; teachers, libraries and laboratories for existing colleges.

5. Women’s Polytechnic Colleges in each district

6. Arrest without delay of the Principal of Ambedkar Residential School, Hajipur, who remains free today even after FIR in the Dika rape-murder case; steps to be taken to add sections under POCSO and gang rape laws in the case.

7. Guarantee of charge sheet by police in the Dika case and justice for the victim family members.

8. Justice for victims in Narhat Kasturba Vidyalaya (Case No. 8/17 Hisua, Nawada); Akbarpur Thana Case No. 33/17; Bhagwanpur Thana (Vaishali district) Case No. 45/17; Desri Thana Case No. 45/17; Sahdei Thana Case No. 39/17; the 11February 2017 case in Pothiya, Katihar; and all other such cases.

9. Recognise honorarium workers as government employees and increase their honorarium to Rs 18000

Bihar Land Rights Satyagraha to mark Champaran Satyagraha Centenary

CPI (ML) State Secretary, Com. Kunal, AIARLA National General Secretary Com. Dhirendra Jha and Akhil Bharatiya Kisan Mahasabha National General Secretary Com. Rajaram Singh have issued a joint statement to say that these three organizations will hold a state-wide land rights week from 25-31 March 2017 to mark the Champaran Satyagraha centenary year.

Com. Kunal said that today the Bihar government is trying to end the inherent identity of Champaran and publicize it as a a mere tourist attraction, whereas our Party will observe the centenary year of the Champaran Satyagraha by observing it in its true identity. The Champaran Satyagraha is an example of the historic fight of farmers against the British Raj and its atrocities. This fight continues even today. It is the biggest irony that lakhs of families do not have land to live on, and more than 60% people are landless. Nitish Kumar, following the footsteps of his predecessors, has washed his hands of land reform. Not only are the poor and dalits deprived of their right to thousands of acres of ceiling, bhoodaan and other such lands, but they are even being driven away from their ancestral lands. In this situation, CPI (ML) has called for observing the Champaran Satyagraha centenary as the year of land reform agitations.

The land reform satyagraha is being organized from 25-31 March with the following demands: implement land reform recommendations; 5 decimal housing land for all landless people; parchas to be given to poor who have settled on lands; new urban land ceiling law; all urban poor to be given housing land; stop eviction of poor without first making proper alternative arrangements; parchas for dalits and poor on dakhal-kabja lands; all forest dwellers to be given legal rights to lands as per forest land rights law; registration of and all government facilities for sharecroppers; stop eviction of Sikmi sharecroppers and give them their ancestral land rights.

Protest Against Land Grab in Guntur District

A protest rally and dharna of poor peasants under the leadership of CPI (ML) was organized on 20 March in Guntur District of Andhra Pradesh. The rally and dharna were in protest against land grab by the henchmen of TDP MLA from Vinukonda constituency. The protest was registered outside the Mandal Revenue Office in Vinukonda. Comrades Nagmani, Ramdev, Anjaneyulu, Prabhakar and other district members of CPI (ML) addressed the agitators and submitted memorandum to the mandal Revenue officer.

Bihar State Local Bodies Workers Association 10th State Conference

The Bihar Rajya Sthaniya Nikaaya Karmachari Mahasangh held its 10th State conference on 25-26 February 2017 in the Niren Hari auditorium at Swapan Mukherji Nagar, Raksaul. The conference began with a rally from the railway station in which delegates, guests and local sanitation workers including 100 women and their family members participated in large numbers. The rally, resonating with slogans and festooned with red flags, passed through the town and arrived at the conference venue.

The open session of the conference started with tributes being paid to all the martyred comrades and flag hoisting by Nikaaay Karmachari Mahasangh President Com. R.N. Thakur. Inaugurating the session, AICCTU General Secretary Com. Rajiv Dimri said condemned the anti-worker policies of the Modi government and called for a strong struggle against the government to save livelihoods and employment. He stressed the need to agitate against the contract-system for the regularization of sanitation workers. The session was also addressed by AIARLA State Committee member Com. Virendra Gupta, Com. Arjun Singh, construction workers’ leader Com Rajesh Kumar, and others.

Inaugurating the delegates’ session, All India Construction Workers Federation General Secretary Com S. K. Sharma said that workers must arm themselves with political consciousness in order to fight the anti-worker policies of the Modi and Nitish governments. Mahasangh General Secretary Shyam Lal Prasad and Treasurer Chandra Kishore Prasad presented the work report and accounts report respectively. The report was passed unanimously after discussion. 185 delegates from 17 municipal corporations, city councils and city panchayats took part in the conference. The conference elected a 35 member executive with Com. R. N. Thakur as President and Com. Shyam Lal Prasad as General Secretary. The conference concluded with a vote of thanks to the sanitation workers and the people of Raksaul for its successful conduct.

Reliance Jio Workers Protest in Jaipur

As per the decision taken earlier, hundreds of JIO workers protested on March 19 in front of the Reliance JIO Jaipur office situated at VKI Road No. 12 against the illegal retrenchment of several workers over the past one year, especially after the successful launch of Reliance JIO. The retrenched workers were joined in the protest by current workers who are also in imminent danger of retrenchment. The main demands of the workers are: reinstatement of the retrenched workers or payment according to law; overtime payment; provident fund; ending irregularities in salary payment; basic workplace facilities; and implementation of labour laws.

Under pressure from the previous day’s announcement that the protest would begin at 6 AM, the management changed the shift timings from 6-8 AM to 9 AM. In spite of this and attempts by the management to lure the workers, about 200 workers participated in the protest. After intervention by the administration a 6 member delegation comprising Rahul Choudhury, Khem Singh Shekhawat, Dushyant Khuteta, Vikram Singh, Dipendra Singh Shekhawat, and Sunil Kumar met the management for talks which lasted for 3 hours. A 13-point demand letter was then prepared for submission to the Reliance JIO management. However, Reliance JIO refused to officially accept the letter of demands saying that the workers were employed by NSB BPO Solutions Pvt Ltd. This came as a shock to the workers because they had all worked for 12-14 hours per day for over one year in order to launch Reliance JIO. When the management remained adamant, the workers said that even if the work was contractual, Reliance JIO, as the principal employer, was accountable and should show their registration under the Contract Labour (Abolition and Regulation Act) 1970. However, neither Reliance JIO nor NSB BPO Solutions Pvt Ltd could show registration under the Contract Labour (Abolition and Regulation Act) 1970.

Sunil Kumar said that when it became clear that the entire system is being run illegally which is why the management is refusing to officially accept the workers’ demand letter, the workers held a meeting and decided that merely a “Received” acknowledgement from NSB BPO Solutions Pvt Ltd in response to their demand letter was not acceptable to them. They decided that all the workers would move forward in the direction of forming a Union, after which they would take the matter to the Labour Court and make preparations for massive protests in the time to come.

The workers said that in order to achieve the launch in a record time the workers had been made to work for 12-14 hours per day without any overtime. But after the successful launch of JIO the retrenchment of workers began. Just from the Jaipur regional office more than 2500 workers have been sacked in the past one year. Even while they were working they were subjected to inhuman conditions with continuous long working hours and were chastised if they took a break. Chaudhury said that 800 workers were employed in his department out of whom more than 500 have been removed. No legal notice is given before removing a worker and hence he does not have time to find new employment. The laid off workers had been working in the regional verification centre of JIO. Most are graduates or are studying to be graduates and also have qualifications in professional computer skills, but they are suffering the trauma of unemployment due to this illegal retrenchment by Reliance JIO.

With the objective of forming a Union and strengthening the agitation, Reliance JIO workers formally constituted a 35 member Executive Committee with Rahul Choudhury as Patron, Khem Singh Shekhawat as President, Dushyant Khuteta as Vice President, Jitendra Sharma as Secretary and Sunil Kumar as Joint Secretary.

Baghmati Dam Construction Stayed Under People’s Pressure

Thousands of workers, farmers, and common citizens blocked the NH 57 at Benibad (Muzaffarpur) and NH 50 at Vishupur (Darbhanga) on 9 March 2017 on the issue of stopping work on the destructive Baghmati dam construction, responding to a call by the CPI (ML) and the ‘Chaas Vaas Jeevan Bachao-Baghmati Bachao Sangharsh Morcha’. Earlier, about 5000 people led by Comrades Dhirendra Jha, Laxmeshwar Mishra, Jitendra Yadav and Krishna Mohan blocked the NH-57 at Benibad, paralyzing traffic in several districts.

Com Dhirendra Jha said that some time ago a satyagraha had been held on the issue of stopping the dam construction, review of the project, and taking back the false cases slapped on the agitators, after which the DM had given the assurance of staying the dam construction work but he went back on his word and the construction work continued; the people’s anger against this broken word has resulted in today’s blockade. He said that the BDO had come to the venue on behalf of the DM and assured that the construction work would be stopped, after which the road block has been ended.

Morcha convener Jitendra Yadav announced that a ‘Jansunwai’ (people’s hearing) would be held in Patna on 29 March. The Darbhanga blockade was led by Comrades Baidyanath Yadav, Sunil Yadav, Pappu Paswan, Surendra Paswan, Lallan Choudhury, Shivsagar Choudhury and others.

Rally in East Godavari Against Fake Tribal Certificates to Non Tribals

A rally was organized by CPI (ML) unit in East Godavari District in Andhra Pradesh to protest against the abuse of Tribal certificates in the area of Rampachodavaram. The Mandal Revenue Officers and other concerned authorities have issuing fake tribal identity certificates for Non-tribals and thereby denying the tribal students and unemployed youth of their rights and opportunities meant for them. The certificates while being issued to the non tribals, are being denied to the deserving tribes locally as a result of which the non Tribals are making use of the provisions and opportunities that are meant to benefit them. The rally was organised at Rajavommangi Mandal of east Godavari district.

Dharna on the Issue of Farmer’s Suicide in Rajasthan

Driven to despair by the burden of bank loans and the constant pressure from bank officials, Nagarmal Meghwal, a farmer from Sonthli village in Jhunjhunu district of Rajasthan, committed suicide on February 20. Farmers sat on dharna in front of the State Hospital at Gudha Gorji for 3 days, and people’s representatives led by Nawalgarh Pradhan also sat on a hunger strike. People’s organizations including Akhil Bharatiya Kisan Mahasabha, Akhil Bharatiya Kisan Sabha, Desh Bachao Kisan Bachao Sangharsh Samiti, and Maru Pradesh Morcha also participated in the dharna. On 23 February, thousands of farmers gathered at the dharna venue outside Gudha Gorji Hospital. The State Sainik Welfare Board President Prem Singh Bajaur came to the dharna venue at 7 PM along with the District Collector and the SP. At the dharna venu,e the officials promised that the entire loan of the victim family would be waived and the widow of Nagarmal Meghwal would be given employment in the Anganwadi. Only after these assurances were made, the dharna was called off.

Protest in Salem demanding Rohith Act and
Probe In Death of JNU student Muthukrishnan

A protest was jointly called by AISA, RYA, AISF and AIYF in JNU student Muthukrishnan’s home district Salem, Tamil Nadu against the systematic alienation of un-privileged students from higher education and denial of equal opportunity to them. The students and youth who joined the protest also demanded Rohith Act, and a thorough inquiry to probe JNU student Muthukrishnan's death. Muthukrishnan had been active in the movement against UGC notification of 2016 which threatens to end the dreams of several youth belonging to marginalised backgrounds to pursue Higher Education and had also been actively writing against discriminatory viva voce weightage in entrance exams. The students resolved to carry forward Rohith and Muthukrishnan’s dream of a socially just education system.
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