Liberation Index 2005  
Liberation Index  
Vinod Mishra:
Selected Writings
Thirty Years of Naxalbari


June 2005

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Cover Feature

In Focus





Film Review


Bihar’s Unstoppable Battle for Change

The first anniversary of the UPA was eventually marked by a series of explosions, actual as well as political. After years of relative peace, on 22 May evening the capital experienced a couple of major convulsions as bombs went off in two cinema halls screening the controversial film ‘Jo Bole So Nihaal’. And before the country could come to grips with this tragedy, came the news of a farce from Bihar . The State Assembly which had been constituted only notionally, with MLAs yet to be administered their oaths of allegiance to the Constitution, was dissolved in an utterly intriguing fashion. An emergency meeting of the Union Cabinet was held at the dead of the night to recommend dissolution of the Bihar Assembly and the President of India, who was away from the country on a foreign trip, reportedly sent his approval from faraway Moscow !...Full text


UPA’s Anniversary Celebration: Is Anybody Counting the Corpses?

Six out of ten. We are told that is how Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has rated his government’s performance during its first year in office.

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Governments may change, but scams go on forever

Scams are no longer restricted to financial swindles, and scamsters no longer believe in remaining incognito. Today’s scamsters are “confidence tricksters” (con-men) in the truest, most literal sense of the word: they exploit the confidence of the public, they sell themselves as heroes defending national security, as messiahs bringing relief from flood and famine. . . . . Full text

Marriage With One’s Rapist: “Life Sentence” for the Rape Victim!

When the courts propose the marriage of the victim with her rapist, what does it signify? Far from recognising that rape is a brutal assault of patriarchal power against women’s right to their own body and sexuality, the judiciary is all too ready to deliver the woman into her rapist’s power for life. In other words, the rapist’s crime was not that he brutally assaulted his victim’s body and dignity; but merely that he did so to a woman who did not legally “belong” to him! . . . . Full text

When Rape becomes Yet Another Excuse to Remind Women to ‘Keep Within Their Limits’...

When a young girl gets abducted and raped minutes away from a Police Thana, and is brave enough to keep her head and fight to bring the rapists to justice, how does the capital city and its custodians respond? ... Full text

UPA allows greater role for MNCs in the banking sector

P.Chidambaram tabled the Banking Regulation (Amendment) Bill and the Reserve Bank of India (Amendment) Bills in the Parliament and they were referred to the ... Full text

The Reality Behind ‘Poll Boycott’ – Maoists’ Deal With NDA in Jharkhand

Recently, a letter by a police officer in Jharkhand, the IG (Operation) R C Kaithal, has revealed that Maoists worked to help JD(U) candidate Ramesh Singh Munda ... Full text

CPI(ML) Protests Against Posting of Killer SP Dipak Varma at Garhwa

It is a shock to all those who protested against the shocking murder of Mahendra Prasad Singh, CPI(ML) MLA from Jharkhand, to learn that the SP accused in his murder, Deepak Varma, has recently been posted as SP of Garhwa district in Jharkhand ... Full text

    Cover Feature

Rural Poor March to Parliament against UPA Government’s One Year Of Betrayal

Even as the UPA government was busy preparing for the celebrations of its first year in power, thousands of the poorest of the poor of our villages, living on the brink of acute malnutrition and starvation, thronged Parliament Street to remind the Congress-led UPA Government of its slogan 'Aam Aadmi Ke Saath' (With the common man), issued one year back, and the subsequent one year of betrayal of the same ‘Aam Aadmi'. . . Full text

Sixth All-India Conference of AICCTU

It was an exceptional, different and historic gathering for Guwahati, in fact for the whole North Eastern region. Guwahati witnessed the first ever all- India trade union conference, and that too from a revolutionary trade union organization. .. . . Full tex

The Trade Union Movement Can and Must Play a More Assertive Social and Political Role

- Dipankar Bhattacharya

The trade union movement in the country is faced with a paradoxical situation. On the one hand, employment in the organised sector is rapidly declining. Every major organised industrial or service sector has shed hundreds of thousands of jobs over the last one decade.. .. . . Full text

May Day Rallies in different cities

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  In Focus

Neo-liberal Reforms in the Pension System

Tens of thousands of women garment workers of Peenya Industrial Estate in Bangalore spontaneously marched on the streets in 2001 against reported prohibition of early withdrawals from and settlement of PF accounts... Full text


Remembering May 25, Naxalbari Day

The Naxalbari peasant uprising, “the Spring Thunder”, reasserted the focus on the agrarian revolution; brought to the fore the tremendous potential of the rural labour and the poor peasant not only as a force of revolutionary peasant uprising but also as a core force of revolutionary power. The movement which spread like “a prairie fire” throughout the country has passed through many ups and downs since then. And, today, we are again on the verge of a new spate of peasant movements . . . Full text

New Testament of Social Democracy

“... the nation-State is the only instrument that third world societies can use against imperialist exploitation.”

“The crux of any revolutionary political praxis in India is the defence of parliamentary democracy.”

Willing to admire gems like these? Go get Social Scientist (January-February 2005) and go through the lead article by editor Prabhat Patnaik: “The Communists and the Present. The noted CPI(M) theoretician and JNU professor has, many times in the past, enthralled us with novel ideas on the great prospects lying hidden in new situations and on the lofty tasks of the Left. Thus, last summer, he went euphoric over the just-announced Common Minimum Programme of the UPA and declared: . . Full text




The Poverty Statistics Fiddle: Erasing the Presence of the Poor In India

(In India , who should be categorized as “poor”, by what criteria? Can limited “Food-for-Work” schemes in select districts alleviate poverty and hunger? Just as Governments shy away from admitting the reality of starvation deaths, they also avoid admitting the real dimensions of poverty in India – and this allows them to justify their policy. We carry excerpts from a paper on ‘Poverty in India ’ by Jaya Mehta, reproduced from Revolutionary Democracy, Vol.XI, No.1, April 2005. – Ed.)

The 55 th round results (1999-2000) [of the National Sample Survey Organisation – NSSO] took everyone by surprise. The poverty ratio came down from 36% in 1993-94 to 26% in 1999-2000 – a 10% decline in just 5 years. The reform programme of the government was a magic wand. Did it actually physically annihilate the poor and the marginalized? . . . Full text

BIHAR: Famine in Jehanabad, Agricultural Workers Starve to Death

Starvation deaths, the 'proud' legacy of Laloo-Rabri raj continue unabated even during the President’s rule. Reports of such deaths pour in from all corners of Jehanabad, adjoining Patna , the capital city of Bihar . However Jehanabad is no exception - the dark shadow of famine looms large over a vast area of the state, even as the ruling class parties and the self-styled messiahs of social justice, dalits and minorities are busy with their game of petty politicking. People’s resistance, led by CPI(ML) is gaining momentum with every passing day. ... . . . Full text

West Bengal: The Wretched of the Land

Starvation and Good Governance!

[Excerpts from a report on starvation deaths in West Bengal brought out by Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha]

The memory of Amlashol has not faded into oblivion. The sordid saga of the hunger-starvation and death does exist among the adivasis and marginal peasants in Sandeshkhali or Hasanabad in North 24 Parganas to the areas of Canning and Basanti in South 24 Parganas, tea gardens of North Bengal or drought-affected areas in Bankura and Purlia districts, victims of land erosion in Murshidabad and Malda, dalits of Belillous Park in Howrah in the state [of West Bengal] ... . . . Full text

Activities ... . . . Full text




Communalism and the Congress

Mani Shankar Aiyar, Confessions of a Secular Fundamentalist, Penguin/Viking, Delhi , 2004, pp xix + 290, Rs 425.

Radhika Desai, Slouching Towards Ayodhya: From Congress to Hindutva in Indian Politics, (Second Edition), Three Essays Collective, Delhi, 2004, pp xxv + 147, Rs 375 (Hb); Rs 175 (Pb).

The Indian political experience has invested certain terms with a special depth of meaning. Secularism and communalism are two such, accepted in common discourse as opposite ends of the political spectrum, yet apt on closer examination to reveal several layers of ambiguity. Conceptual clarity is not aided by the ease with which these words have lent themselves to impassioned political sloganeering. In the turbulence of political contestation, secularism is quite simply, a matter of faith. . . . Full text




The British Election, the War on Terror and the ‘Muslim vote’

For the first time, imperialism has been a key determining factor in a British election. Bush and Blair’s ‘war on terror’ and in particular the invasion of Iraq attracted massive opposition in Britain and was the major factor in reducing New Labour’s majority to a mere 67 seats, with many openly pro-war Blairite MPs losing previously secure seats. ... Full text


Film Review


Desires and upheavals in Hazaron Khwaishein Aisi

 The betrayal of the Nehruvian dreams, the Naxalbari movement and the subsequent upheaval in society redefined  language, ideas and attitudes  of people. As urban activists engaged with the rural poor as comrades in arms, the convergence of two cultures transformed the other. Full text