Liberation Archive  
VM's Selected Writings
Thirty Years of Naxalbari


















India is bracing up for Lok Sabha polls under the dark shadows of a deepening economic crisis that our ruling elite has managed to import from the United States of America. The UPA government's response to the crisis/recession has been essentially two-pronged. First, they are shifting the burden onto the shoulders of the common people while pampering the corporate biggies. Soon after the financial tsunami struck India, the government announced tax cuts to the tune of some 50,000 Cr rupees and in the recently held Indian Labour Conference Pranab Mukherjee suggested wage cuts as a pretext for avoiding job cuts -- this at a time when corporate honchos are taking astronomical sums -- anywhere between rupees 20 to 50 crore -- as what is now called compensation! In the name of stimulus spending the interim budget has left a gap of 5.5 percent of gross domestic product in the coming fiscal year, way above the three per cent estimate made earlier....Full text


CC Call for the Pledge Campaign
(18 December, 2008 – 16 January, 2009)

Grasp the Situation and Grab the Opportunities!

Consolidate and Expand the Gains on All Fronts!!

Strengthen the Party and Unleash the Full Initiative of the Entire Organisation!!!

After decades of aggressive expansion, world capitalism is passing through a period of grave crisis. Big banks and other financial institutions have begun to collapse like nine pins in the US, the headquarters of the world capitalist economy. Huge sums of money are being pumped in by the American state to somehow keep these moribund institutions going. Passionate believers and advocates of unassailable American supremacy have begun talking about the decline of the US and a global shift of power from the West to the East...Full text

RTE 2008 : Snatching, Not Guaranteeing Right to Education

- Anil Sadgopal

The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Bill, 2008 introduced in Rajya Sabha does little to improve universal access to quality education for children. Rooted in neo-liberal ideology rather than in the Indian Constitution, the Bill treats education as a marketable commodity and not a fundamental right. The present Bill has been introduced under the 86th Constitutional Amendment (2002), Article 21 (a), an Amendment which itself was a product of neoliberal intervention. Remember that the Unnikrishnan verdict by the Supreme Court in 1993 established free and compulsory education for children up to 14 years of age (including children under 6 years of age) as a fundamental right under Article 45 of the Constitution.....Full text

L’affaire Lavalin: Questions Galore for the CPI(M) to Answer

- KK

The response of the CPI(M) and the Kerala Government led by it to the CBI charge-sheet against CPI(M) politburo member and Kerala State Secretary Pinarayi Vijayan raises some serious questions. The charge-sheet relates to alleged kickbacks taken by Vijayan (then the Power Minister in the LDF-ruled State Government) to favour the Canadian company SNC-Lavalin for contracts awarded 12 years ago......Full text

Interim Budget 2009-10 : No Relief for Indian Poor   Ravaged by Economic Crisis,
Bailout for Global Arms Industry

The interim budget presented by the Finance Minister – the last in the tenure of the UPA Government – displays a total unconcern for those ravaged by the global economic crisis. There is no indication of any measures to bring relief to those lakhs of people who have lost and are fast losing their jobs in various sectors – like textiles, garments, gemstones, jewellery etc... No announcement of an effective and adequate stimulus package was made. No concrete promise was made of increased public spending in various crisis-ridden sectors of the Indian economy and society. However, keeping impending elections in mind, further concessions and bail-out packages for the India Inc. has been kept off for the post election general budget; there are therefore no changes in tax rates, exemption limits etc and the fiscal policy for the time being.....Full text




ILC: Defending Workers During Meltdown or
Countdown for Elections?
[Address by Swapan Mukherjee, General Secretary of All India Central Council of Trade Unions (AICCTU) in the inaugural session of the 42nd Session of Indian Labour Conference (ILC). – Ed/-]

In his speech at the inaugural session, we have just heard Labour Minister Shri Oscar Fernandes extol a range of leaders from Mahatma Gandhi down to Indira Gandhi. In this phase of meltdown, this session of the ILC seems more convened with more concern about the countdown to elections. Whereas the Government should have taken the opportunity to seriously review its record of implementation of schemes like NREGA, the platform of ILC is instead being used to project these schemes. The inaugural speech of the Finance Minister preached ‘austerity’ in times of financial crisis; but it is obvious that this ‘austerity’ does not apply for rich CEOs who, as recent reports show, continue to earn obscenely high salaries and indulge in unabated conspicuous consumption and lavish lifestyles......Full text

Health Workers Launch Struggle

(Recently, health workers across the country united to form the All India Health Employees and Workers Confederation, and have launched a spirited struggle to defend the public health sector against privatisation and contractualisation. Chandan Negi interviewed Comrade Ramkishan, seasoned leader of health workers and Convenor of the Confederation.)

Q. The Central Government has implemented the Sixth Central Pay Commission (6th CPC) report with great fanfare. In fact, the UPA government is projecting it as its one of its major achievements. But health employees in the government sector are on the streets on the issue of Pay Commission. Why is that?
The hard truth is that the 2.5 lakh health workers of this country are feeling betrayed by 6th Central Pay Commission and have decided to launch a struggle. From 23 February onwards, all health services in the country will come to a complete halt....Full text

  WOMEN'S MOVEMENT saperator


(Women’s Day 2009 is being celebrated all over the world as the centenary year of International Women’s Day. It marks about a hundred years since the working women of several cities in the US sparked off a remarkable struggle for their wages, the 8-hour working day and other working conditions – and also for the right to vote. In India, Women’s Day will be an occasion to reflect on the remarkable strides that the women’s movement has made – in the world and in India too. But recent events – like the assaults on women in Karnataka; women being drawn into the workforce in large numbers, but in ruthlessly casualised, contractualised, insecure and exploitative work conditions; the denial of equal rights and minimum and equal wages in the workplace (even in ‘flagship’ schemes like NREGA); and the betrayal by the ruling UPA Government of the Bill for 33% reservation for women in Parliament and Assemblies –  will also remind us that those achievements of the women’s movement are under a concerted attack – by the communal fascists as well as by neoliberal economic policies  being pursued by the Government. Ed/-).....Full text

  REVIEW saperator

Capitalist Crisis and Making of a Marxist

- Arindam Sen

Back in the dog days of the Great Depression, “a very bourgeois American first-year graduate student” (as he would describe himself in a letter to a friend decades later) from Harvard landed in the London School of Economics. After a year he returned home a confirmed Marxist and devoted the rest of his long and highly productive life to the propagation of Marxism.....Full text


Letter from Bihar

Nitish’s Vikas Yatra’ Gimmick

While CM Nitish Kumar has been on a ‘Vikas Yatra’ (Development Yatra) with an eye to the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls, people of Bihar have been calling his bluff. The ‘Vikas Yatra,’ conducted in the style of a ‘Raja (King) mingling with the ranks,’ started from Bagaha, Champaran, the place from where he launched ‘Nyay Yatra’ in 2005 before his enthronement in Patna. (The analogy of ‘raja’ is not coined by us: the media, fed artfully by the CM’s entourage, made repeated use of this term.) He made a promise of a bridge at Gandak river which has devastated the West Champaran and Gopalganj districts and displaced thousands of poor in last year’s floods. 22 families of flood victims living in make-shift jhuggis on the roadside were, ironically, evicted to make way for the ‘Raja’s’ mass meeting. CPI(ML) leader RN Singh was arrested and jailed when he opposed the eviction.....Full text


Countrywide Campaign for Student Rights
Against ‘Undeclared Emergency on Campuses’

AISA conducted a nation-wide campaign from 5-20 February for student rights, with the slogans, “Stop importing economic Crisis and terror from USA”; “End the Virtual Emergency in Campuses,” and “Restore Student unions and Democracy.” The campaign consisted wide-ranging protests against the anti-student, pro-privatisation policies of the government; the attacks on student unions in campuses all over the country, including the model JNU students’ union; the witch-hunting of students and youth from among the minorities; the issue of sexual harassment and curtailed rights of women on campuses....Full text


People’s Victory in Referendums in Bolivia and Venezuela

The first two months of 2009 have seen two remarkable instances of democracy in Latin America. Radical agendas promoted by President Evo Morales (Bolivia) and President Hugo Chavez (Venezuela) won convincing victories in popular referendums January and February respectively....Full text

Stop the War in Sri Lanka

(Siritunga Jayasuriya, currently the General Secretary of the United Socialist Party (USP) recently visited India. One of the voices in Sri Lanka who have refused to be terrorised into silence, Mr. Jayasuriya has been campaigning against the ongoing war in Sri Lanka. He contested the 2006 presidential elections in Sri Lanka against the money and muscle power of both SLFP & UNP, and came a creditable third out of the 11 candidates in the fray polling around 36, 000 votes. Extracts from an interview with him during his Delhi visit, 21.02.09.)

LB: Would you say that the war in Sri Lanka is over? What is the impact of the war on the civilian population of Tamils in the war-torn region?    
SJ:  Yesterday, the LTTE has again bombed the heart of Colombo – proof that the war is not really over. Of course, the Sri Lankan Army may triumph over the LTTE eventually – but even then, the war will continue in a different style. 
What is apparent is that the Sri Lankan Government is willing to pay any price to clear the Eelam areas and achieve a final victory. Around 200, 000 civilians in the area are caught up in the war. The Sri Lankan Government, in the name of an attempt to get them out of the area, is actually asking them to exchange one prison for another. Those who have come out are incarcerated in refugee camps, and are questioned by the Army under suspicion of being LTTE supporters. The Sri Lankan Government must put an end to this atmosphere of fear, by creating an environment where independent organisations, not the Army, are responsible for the welfare of the fleeing people...Full text

Message of Greetings from CPI(ML)
to the 8th National Congress of CPN(UML)

(Below is the text of the message delivered by CPI(ML) General Secretary to the 8th National Congress of the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist), CPN(UML), held at Butwal, Nepal, from February 16-22.) 


Dear Comrades,

On behalf of the Central Committee and entire membership of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist), we extend warm revolutionary internationalist greetings to the 8th National Congress of the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist). We hope this Congress of yours will play an important role in consolidating the historic gains secured by the communists and other republican forces of Nepal and carrying the society forward towards greater democratisation and progress. We wish you every success in this direction and assure you of our fullest support in this momentous march of the communists and fighting people of Nepal...Full text


Slum-lord aesthetics and the question of Indian poverty

- Nandini Chandra

Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire (based on Indian diplomat Vikas Swaroop’s novel Q&A) takes the extremely potent idea of a Bombay slum boy tapping into his street knowledge to win a twenty million dollar reality quiz show and turns it into a universal tale of love and human destiny. In the quiz, Jamal is unable to answer questions that test his nationalist knowledge but is surprisingly comfortable with those that mark his familiarity with international trivia. For instance, while he knows that Benjamin Franklin adorns a 100 dollar bill, he has no clue about who adorns the 1000 rupee note. This is obviously meant to suggest the irrelevance of the nation to its most marginalized member but less obviously also indicates its supposed redundancy in a globalized neo-liberal setup....Full text


Charles Darwin: Reluctant Revolutionary
by Ian Angus

In 1846, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels wrote The German Ideology, the first mature statement of what became known as historical materialism.  This passage was on the second page:
We know only a single science, the science of history.  One can look at history from two sides and divide it into the history of nature and the history of men.  The two sides are, however, inseparable; the history of nature and the history of men are dependent on each other so long as men exist.  The history of nature, called natural science, does not concern us here. . . . .
At the last minute, they deleted that paragraph from the final draft, deciding not even to mention a subject they had no time to investigate and discuss properly.
What the founders of scientific socialism couldn't have known was that a compelling materialist explanation of the history of nature had already been written by an English gentleman who had no sympathy for socialism. They couldn't read that account, because the author, Charles Darwin, was so shocked by the implications of his own ideas that he kept them secret for twenty years....Full text


Red Flag Hoisted on Satyam’s Lands


The Satyam scam has exposed corporate corruption and greed, protected by Governments and even ‘watchdog’ institutions. Among the many aspects of the scam was the aspect of massive benami land transfers effected by Satyam. It became apparent that thousands of acres of land were acquired by Satyam – literally by hook or crook.   
Land is a burning issue – in Andhra Pradesh as well as all over India. Land ceiling laws and laws against land grab have been openly violated, and the state has an abysmal track record of implementing land reforms. Governments, mouthing virtuous slogans of ‘development,’ have justified massive land grab to feed corporate greed. In AP, too, there have been fierce struggle against SEZs and other kinds of corporate land grab. Also, AP has seen militant struggles confronting the YSR Reddy Government on why it failed to keep its promise of house sites for the poor....Full text