Liberation Archive  
VM's Selected Writings
Thirty Years of Naxalbari

August 2007

Lib Cover August

Previous -ISSUE- Next






Special Feature


Film Review






We Don’t Need US Advice, US Warships or the Anti-Nation N Deal

The US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has almost promised that the US-India nuclear deal would be finally concluded by the end of this year — if only India dumps the non-aligned movement (NAM) and toes the US line on the Doha round of trade negotiations. The NAM had “lost its meaning” and India should “move past old ways of thinking and old ways of acting”, she tutored us. Well, before telling this to others, should not the US do the same itself?......Full text


Conscience and Cross-Voting in the Presidential Polls

The ironies of “conscience” in our parliamentary and public life played out dramatically in the Presidential elections. The CPI(M) vouched for the secular conscience of the Congress nominee. The BJP leadership appealed to voters to heed the “voice of their conscience” to vote across party lines. And wonder of wonders, it was the communal conscience of that Shiv Sena, the closest ideological ally of the BJP in the NDA, which was moved to support the secular candidate selected from among various Congress possibles by the CPI-CPI(M)!.......Full text

Woman President Equals Women’s Empowerment?

It appears that Indian women are poised to become even more ‘empowered’ with the triumphant victory of the UPA candidate, Pratibha Patil. The election of Patil, we are being told by the Congress, Left and other assorted secular allies, is a truly historic one. Sonia Gandhi has already made it to the Time’s list of most powerful people in the world. Indian women can presumably now take consolation from these and give up their demand for greater political representation—the slogan of 33 percent reservation can now be consigned to the dustbins of history......Full text


1857: Some Reflections

We are in the 150th anniversary year of 1857. The debate over how to characterize it continues, though its aspects have changed. Earlier the dominant debate was over whether or not 1857 had a national character. However, the debate has transcended Mutiny or Gadar paradigm. It is now broadly accepted as National revolt or First War of National Independence. Now there are some attempts to reject it by branding it as a feudal reaction....Full text


Corruption in Kerala CPI(M) – Is it an Aberration?

A corruption scandal is rocking the CPI(M) in Kerala. The CPI(M)’s Malayalam organ Deshabhimani has accepted two crores of rupees out of total 3.2 crores, popularly known as “bonds”, from a lottery tycoon, S Martin who is accused of illegal operations and faces criminal charges. The dispute is not about raising money for the organ or the ‘quantum’ of the funds but its dubious source and, in turn, its policy of not relying on toiling masses for the expenses incurred by the state organ of a communist party....Full text


Punitive Purges of Student Activists

The public lynching of Prof. Sabharwal on an Ujjain campus is the symbol of ‘student politics’ at its worst – and it is this image that University authorities evoke as justification for punitive strikes and purges of student leaders. But recent punitive purges of student activists on campuses like Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi and Kashi Vidyapeeth in Varanasi indicate that rather than criminal elements, it is socially committed student movements that are at the receiving end of a crackdown....Full text

Mining Policy: A Few Burning Questions

While post-liberalisation, metal companies sell their product based on international market price, they continue to get access to minerals at royalty fixed historically at an abysmally low rate in comparison to the market price of the minerals.The royalty that is recovered for it is less than 1% of its market price It is urgent that this huge and unjustifiable subsidy be checked by linking the royalty for all the minerals with the market price, and making public the process of awarding and renewal of mining rights....Full text

Dollar Nationalism, Dollar Secessionism

An annual global study conducted by Merrill Lynch and Capgemini, two global financial advisories, has some good news for India. Globalisation and the much-vaunted New Economic Policies are finally taking India places. India now has more than 100,015 ‘dollar millionaires’ – individuals who are termed as ‘High Net Worth Individuals’ because their net worth is over a million dollars. This “close-knit community” guides the way in which India’s rulers view the dollar daddy USA. Both in India and in the USA, this sizeable class is a force in shaping Indo-US relations....Full text

Delhi Government’s Transport and Road Policy: Urban Planning for Whom?

The Delhi government’s sudden attempts to change the face of the nation’s capital at the cost of the city’s poor have exposed the anti-people character of the Congress. The beautification drive with the slogan of ‘Clean Delhi, Green Delhi’ has created islands of greenery that remain cocooned amidst sprawling shopping complexes and mega malls, multiplex theatres and big flyovers, sky buses and fast track cars where the common man has no place....Full text


People’s Hero of Champaran: Comrade Gambhira Sah

On July 3, 1977, when Com. Gambhira Sah embraced martyrdom in police custody Blitz commented ‘Gandhi’s Champaran has now turned into Gambhira’s Champaran’. As the news of his martyrdom spread, peasants came out with whatever traditional weapons they could get hold of, and vowed to complete the unfulfilled tasks of Comrade Gambhira Sah....Full text


Red Salute to Comrade Jita Kaur

Comrade Jita Kaur passed away on 23 June after a battle with cancer. She was a mass leader whose life’s work in the party spanned a wide range – from Gorakhpur in eastern UP, to Lucknow and Delhi and finally in rural Punjab – that would be unusual for anyone, and is especially remarkable for a woman.....Full text

  Special Feature

Bhoodan Unmasked

Many states have already passed laws amending the land ceiling laws; some like West Bengal have attempted to do so, but have failed to push through such amendments. In such an atmosphere, the Nitish Government’s announcement to set up a Land Reform Commission appeared to go against that trend. Similarly, as a result of talks with the Maoists, the Andhra Pradesh Congress Government set up a committee to look into implementation of land reforms in the state. These measures only proved that land remains a burning political question, defying all attempts to declare it irrelevant......Full text


When Workers Challenge Violations of Labour Laws, Government Brands Them ‘Anti-Development’

The industrial area demarcated by the State Industrial Development Corporation of Uttaranchal Ltd. (SIDCUL) in Pantnagar, Uttarakhand, may not be an SEZ – but it is certainly a ‘special’ new type of ‘integrated’ industrial estate – the kind where massive workers’ protests are taboo as is unionisation. Since June, workers of the Bhaskar Energy Ltd. (which produces generators under the brand name Kirloskar) have been involved in a movement which has since spread to involve workers of most of the factories in the region, and this movement in the face of all odds, is challenging the unspoken ban on workers’ struggles in this industrial area.....Full text

UP Diary

Along with the continuing spate of assaults on dalits, women, and other weaker sections of society, recently, two major incidents rocked the state: gangrape of Muslim women in Shravasti and the showdown on the issue of the Ambedkar Stadium......Full text

A Nandigram in Karnataka

The era of globalization has seen Karnataka, particularly Bangalore as a hub of Electronic revolution and now SEZ occupying the centre stage of new economic policy. It is in this region that the government of Karnataka wants to establish a mega multi-product SEZ promoted by Skil Infrastructure, which has attained notoriety in Navi Mumbai, where it has failed to execute a project and sold the same to Reliance. The people are resisting vehemently and have said a firm No to land acquisition.......Full text

Free Binayak Sen! Resist the Crackdown on Dissent and Democracy!

The arrest and detention of paediatrician and human rights activist Binayak Sen in Chhattisgarh indicates the desperation and extent to which the BJP government is willing to go to quash all forms of democracy in its quest to implement neo-liberal policies......Full text

Seminar at Jhunjhunu to Commemorate 1857

As part of the nationwide campaign in the 150th year of 1857, RYA held a seminar at Jhunjhunu in Rajasthan on July 14, at the Rehmania Academy......Full text

Killer Ship Go Back: Demonstration in Chennai

Nuclear powered aircraft carrier, the killer ship USS Nimitz, infamous for its role in world politics since World War II, reached Chennai port on July 2 for the ‘rest and entertainment’ of the inmates of the ship and was anchored over there until July 5. The ship was greeted by widespread criticism and protests from all quarters, including environmental organizations to various kinds of political parties......Full text

Joint Women’s Convention at Guwahati

A joint women’s convention of AIPWA and other tribal women organizations – KNCA (Karbi), MMK (Mising), Sonowal-Kachari and Tiwa was held at Guwahati’s Tirthanath Sarma Sabhaghar on 14th July, 2007 to chalk out an immediate agenda for the women’s movement in Assam. The Convention focused on the widespread state terror against women by the Army and the growing instances of violence on women......Full text

Film Review

Periyar: DMK’s Attempt to Appropriate the Legacy

Several controversies have shrouded the release of Periyar, a film on the life of the great rationalist thinker and social reformer, who hailed from Tamil Nadu. However, the film is a long overdue tribute to the exemplary visionary and the progressive traditions cherished by E V Ramaswamy Naicker (Periyar). Not only this, in the context of the degeneration of Dravidian party politics in the state, the growing atrocities on lower castes – Papparpatti, Keeripatti and such other incidents and the assertion of rightwing reactionary forces at the national level, a film on the legacy of Periyar is welcome.....Full text


Overcoming the Conspiracy Against Palestine

“Be certain that Yasser Arafat’s final days are numbered, but allow us to finish him off our way, not yours. And be sure as well that ... the promises I made in front of President Bush, I will give my life to keep.” Those words were written by the Fatah warlord Mohammed Dahlan, whose US- and Israeli-backed forces were routed by Hamas in the Gaza Strip last month. Abbas is now Israel’s last best hope in the struggle against democracy. Such a pathetic coalition cannot stand in the way of liberation...Full text

Pakistan: US War on Terror Enters the Subcontinent

Few can forget the threat issued in the wake of 9/11 by Richard Armitage, then US Secretary of State to Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf: “Join the War on Terror or be bombed back to the Stone Age.” That voice of a brazen bully echoes ironically in Pakistan today: in the hushed silence after the bloodshed at Lal Masjid, and in the blasts and a suicide bombing attack on a pro-democracy meeting that have followed in the wake of the Lal Masjid episode. The border tribal regions of Pakistan have also erupted in blasts in angry reaction to the Lal Masjid operation. And that in turn has led to fresh threats of US military strikes on Pakistan....Full text

Britain: Brown seeks support for further attacks on civil liberties

Under the guise of "consultation" and "non-partisan" government, the measures being implemented by Brown on the pretext of combating terrorism will escalate and deepen the erosion of democratic freedoms pioneered under Blair. The embrace of these policies by the opposition parties and some prominent civil rights campaigners -and their participation in drawing them up-is not an expression of greater democracy. It demonstrates, rather, their failure to provide any genuine opposition to the curtailing of democratic rights and their readiness to uphold the political requirements of British imperialism at home and abroad....Full text

Haneef Frame-up: Why "Terror" Laws Should be Repealed

The ongoing detention of 27-year-old Dr Mohamad Haneef, despite a court granting him bail, has further exposed the Howard government's extremist disregard for civil rights and the rule of law, and the dangers inherent in the so-called anti-terror laws. Haneef, an Indian citizen working as a registrar at the Gold Coast Hospital, was arrested at Brisbane Airport on July 2 and detained without charge. On July 14 he was finally charged with "providing support to a terrorist organisation"....Full text