Liberation Archive  
VM's Selected Writings
Thirty Years of Naxalbari












August 2011



Saving Democracy from the Corrupt, Callous and Repressive Corporate Rule


When Parliament meets in August, the UPA and NDA partners will once again have enough materials to engage each other in a pot-calls-the-kettle-black contest, what with the shadow of the 2G scam getting larger with every passing day. The scam has already claimed two ministers and one MP from Tamil Nadu. The Congress is desperately trying to save itself by blaming it all on the DMK – but any credible probe is bound to implicate the nucleus of the coalition government, the Prime Minister who defends corruption in the name of coalition politics and advises the media to downplay the scams in ‘national interest’....Full text

  Policy Watch

Seed Bill 2011 : Anti-Farmer, Pro-Agribusiness

Ever since the Seed Bill 2004 was introduced, it has met with severe opposition from farmers, who recognised it as an assault on their traditional rights over seeds. As a result, it was referred to a Parliamentary Standing Committee, which did recommend several amendments in keeping with the concerns of farmers’ organisations. A 2008 edition of the Bill introduced in Parliament accepted many of these recommendations, but that Bill lapsed with the 14th Lok Sabha. Once again in 2010, the Cabinet approved a new edition of the Bill, and the Agriculture Minister moved several amendments in November 2010 and in February 2011. The Bill, incorporating the latest amendments, will now be called the Seed Bill 2011....Full text

  Cover Feature saperator

Govt. Serves Predatory Capitalists, Undermines Justice, Workers’ Rights

Not so long ago, in 2006, Prashant Bhushan, speaking on “The Judiciary – Cutting edge of a predator state,” had commented on “the recent role of the courts in not just failing to protect the rights of the poor that they had themselves declared not long ago, but in fact spearheading the massive assault on the poor since the era of economic liberalization. This is happening in case after case, whether they are of the tribal oustees of the Narmada Dam, or the urban slum dwellers whose homes are being ruthlessly bulldozed without notice and without rehabilitation, on the orders of the court, or the urban hawkers and rickshaw pullers of Delhi and Mumbai who have been ordered to be removed from the streets again on the orders of the court. Public interest litigation has been turned on its head. Instead of being used to protect the rights of the poor, it is now being used by commercial interests and the upper middle classes to launch a massive assault in the poor in the drive to take over urban spaces and even rural land occupied by the poor, for commercial development.”...Full text

“No More Nandigrams”

In another significant verdict, another Supreme Court Bench upheld an Allahabad High Court verdict quashing land acquisition by the UP Government in Shahberi village of Greater Noida. The Bench dismissed the petitions by Greater Noida Authority (GNA) and several private builders against the Allahabad HC verdict and fined the GNA Rs.10 lakh....Full text

“We are praised when we rule for the rich, slammed when we uphold rights of poor”

[A sewage worker employed on contract by Delhi Jal Board died of poisonous fumes while cleaning a drain. When an NGO moved the Delhi HC for compensation, the DJB tried to claim, as usual, that his death due to lack of safety masks and equipment was not their responsibility, but only the contractors. The HC ordered DJB to pay compensation and ensure safety norms. The DJB filed an appeal in the SC against an HC verdict, questioning the NGO’s right to file a PIL; suggesting that the HC verdict was a case of ‘judicial overreach’; and questioning the quantum of compensation ordered to be paid by the HC. The SC Bench of G S Singhvi and Asok Kumar Ganguly passed a verdict strongly upholding the rights of unorganised workers. It held the HC’s calculation of compensation to be meagre and inadequate. It maintained that the government agencies had the responsibility of ensuring that contractors provided safety equipment and upheld other legal rights of sewage workers.] ...Full text

  From the States

Sixty Days of New Regime in West Bengal

Partha Ghosh

Sixty days have elapsed since the TMC-Congress combine assumed power in West Bengal under the leadership of Mamata Banerjee. “Change, not revenge” was the slogan with which she had swept the polls in April and May. Real life of course does not match this rhetoric – change from above and revenge from below would be a more apt description of the unfolding reality in Bengal today. And if the change is to be measured against what was promised to or expected by the people who had overwhelmingly rallied around her, there are already a number of early signs of backtracking and betrayal....Full text

The Gorkhaland Accord – A New Turn in the Politics of the Hills and North Bengal


Even as Telangana continues to burn, the UPA government claims to have found a solution to the Gorkhaland agitation with the signing of a tripartite agreement involving the central government, Government of West Bengal and the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha. The agreement was formalized at a public ceremony in the hills on 18 July, marking the replacement of the existing Darjeeling Gorkha Hill Council by a more powerful Gorkhaland Territorial Administration. The formation of the GTA has triggered measured jubilation in the hills of Darjeeling while Siliguri and Dooars region of Darjeeling and Jalpaiguri districts have been marked by repeated bandhs called by various organizations opposed to the existing agreement or jittery about the possibility of inclusion of additional areas within the territory of Gorkhaland....Full text

Repression in Tripura : Is the Tripura CPI(M) Going the West Bengal Way?

On 10-11 July, students and common people in Agartala, the capital of Tripura, were subjected to severe police repression in the wake of an agitation against a new admission system in Tripura Medical College which undermines the state’s reservation policy. Tripura Police and Tripura State Rifles beat up common people, pedestrians, journalists and photo journalists. On 11 July police firing claimed the life of a young newspaper vendor Papai Saha....Full text

Uttarakhand Struggle Update

The All India Kisan Mahasabha has raised the issue of the rights of forest dwellers (living in khattas) and Van Grams (forest villages) for quite a long time. The inhabitants of these villages and khattas have been deprived of even their basic minimum rights in spite of the fact that they exist there for hundreds of years. They have not been given status of ‘villagers’ and the panchayati raj is a distant dream for them even after 65 years of independence. They are not eligible for schemes like NREGA and Forest Rights ...Full text


Legacy of Rabindranath :

Discard the Dead, Uphold the Living

Arindam Sen



It was Rabindranath’s firm conviction that (a) occasional issue-based protests against excesses committed by the Raj are necessary, but these should never be allowed to transgress or disturb the framework of long-term mutual co-operation between the king and the subjects and (b) Indians themselves are often to blame for state repression.i Naturally he stood aloof from massive agitations like the non-cooperation and civil disobedience movements and fiercely opposed the activities of national revolutionaries.....Full text


Debt Ceiling Deadlock in US
Srilata Swaminathan

Even as large swathes of Europe reels under a stubborn debt crisis, from the other side of the Atlantic comes the news of another version of essentially the same problem – the federal debt ceiling crisis!
The US government has reached its debt ceiling of $14.3 trillion which is the present legal limit of the nation’s debt.  If this ceiling is not raised by 2nd August the US treasury will be forced to default on the nation’s financial obligations, an unprecedented event in American history! This means that the US government will be unable to borrow any money to cover its payments from 3 August onwards whether it is towards social security cheques to over 50 million recipients or interest payments on US government bonds that are due later in the month. ....Full text

Voice of Resistance from Ecuador
Interview with CC Member, PCMLE 

[This is an interview with Comrade Pablo Miranda, a senior member of the central committee of Communist Party of Ecuador – Marxist Leninist (PCMLE). The PCMLE is one of the largest ML parties in Latin America and its front organization Movement for Popular Democracy (MPD) has 5 members in the 124-member parliament. It has recently formed an alliance with Pachakutik, a political organization representing several indigenous communities. PCMLE and MPD have an impressive presence amongst the teachers and students. They have led the struggles of Afro-Ecuadorians and MPD was the first party to represent Afro-Ecuadorians in parliament. For more details of their work in unions, see the September 2009 issue of Liberation. This interview was conducted by Tamarai and Surya.]....Full text


The Doping Scandal and the State of Indian Sports 
Somak Roychowdhury

Indian sports have been hitting the headlines for all wrong reasons for the past two years. The shame of the CWG and IPL scams were, for some time, overshadowed by the euphoria over the ICC cricket World Cup triumph. But now the cancer that affects Indian sports has surfaced with a new malignancy.....Full text 


NSUI Goons Beat Up AISA National President For Asking HRD Minister a

On 24 June, HRD Minister Kapil Sibal addressed a Press Conference, asserting his government’s and Ministry’s commitment to privatization of higher education, and pleading ‘fund crunch’ for expanding publicly-funded colleges and universities. AISA and RYA held a protest outside the venue of the Press Conference.....Full text

Ali Baba’s Cave?
No – Just Sai Baba’s Chambers!

Kavita Krishnan

Hundreds of kilos of gold and silver ornaments. Six crowns studded with gems. 100 suitcases full of bejewelled watches, suitcases full of cameras, artefacts, wall clocks. Pouches full of diamonds. Hundreds of shoes, entire closets dedicated to imported perfume, hairspray, nail polish and shampoos. Necklaces, rings, gold bowls, a silver chair, silver plates, cups and glasses. Closets full of hundreds of silk robes and other silk garments. Hidden vaults fitted into a huge bed. Hundreds of envelopes, bags, suitcases full of cash.....Full text