to Launch Nationwide Relief Campaign for the Quake Victims
The tremors of the January 26 earthquake
have left a trail of unprecedented physical devastation and
psychological trauma. The tragedy of such mind-boggling dimension
calls for an overwhelming national response in terms of mobilisation
of material resources and organisation of relief operation.
The CPI(ML) has called upon all its members
and supporters to rise to the occasion. All Party units have
been directed to collect and dispatch relief materials, especially
money and medicine, on a war-footing for the next one week
suspending all other normal activities.
Elected representatives of the CPI(ML) and
its Assam-based ally, ASDC, will play a key role in the relief
campaign. The Party MP Dr. Jayanta Rongpi and his ASDC colleague
in Rajya Sabha Prakant Warisa have decided to donate Rs. 10
lakh each from their local area development scheme funds to
the Red Cross relief fund for Gujarat. The MPs apart, all
party legislators in Bihar and Jharkhand and their ASDC counterparts
in Assam as well as members of the ASDC-run autonomous councils
in Karbi Anglong and NC Hills districts of Assam will donate
a month’s salary each. The two councils will also contribute
Rs. one lakh each in the relief effort.
The Party is also sending a central relief
team along with activists of the All India Students’ Association
to undertake relief operations in cooperation with the Party’s
Messages to Our Relief Campaign from Abroad
Please accept the heartfelt solidarity wishes
from the Democratic Socialist Party and progressive forces
in Australia to the struggling Indian people as they confront
this terrible disaster of the Gujarat earthquake. Best wishes
to the CPI ML and the ASDC and AISA as you carry out your
emergency campaign, and our special solidarity to your comrades
We are with you and the people effected by
this disaster. It was the most right action by CPI(ML) to
call all its members to be involved in relief activities.
We will do bit of our part here in Pakistan
for the affected people of Hyderabad and Mir Pur Khas in Sind.
With deep sorrow and agony,
Labour Party of Pakistan
The Bhuj District Administration remained
busy with the Prime Minister's visit (on 29 January) to the
area rather than coordinating relief operations. Food sent
by Unicef remained unattended at the district magistrate's
office as his staff was busy. Most of the relief operations
were being conducted by the foreign teams and the Army.
(The Hindustan Times, 30 January 2001)
* * *
On 27 January, a team of 25 doctors flew
in from Delhi ... they included surgeons and senior faculty
from AIIMS. But having arrived they found no one to direct
A group of doctors from Mumbai flew into Bhuj on Sunday (28
January). They brought a portable generator, tables that could
be used for operations, sterilisers and machines. After a
day of trying to find out where they should go, they gave
up and returned to Mumbai with their equipment. (The Hindu,
30 January 2001)
form the fields of struggle...
Parties Condemn Manpur Firing
A high-level CPI(ML) delegation comprising
Party PB member and Bihar Legislature Party leader Com. Ram
Naresh Ram, State Convenor of Bihar Khet Mazdoor Sabha Com.
Rameshwar Prasad, BPKS leader Com. Ramadhar Singh and Gaya
Party DC Secy. Com. Arvind Kumar, demanded after visiting
Manpur in Gaya on 25 January that the DSP of Gaya Ranjit Kumar
and the BDO of Manpur must be suspended immediately, and arrested
and tried under Sec.302 for murder. Without this no impartial
inquiry is possible.
According to them the police firing on 23
January was totally an unprovoked one, and the allegation
that a bomb was thrown at them is patently false. Police in
connivance of the goons entered the agrarian labourer tola
of the village and opened fire, killing two villagers and
injuring 4 others. The whole tola was ransacked and cash,
jewelery, utensils etc. were looted from the houses. Manpur
bandh was called in protest against police-criminal attacks
on the people during Bihar bandh on 17 Jan.
Party took out a protest march against Manpur
firing on 24 January in Patna. Black Day against Manpur massacre
was observed on 25 January, during which street corner meetings
and protest demonstrations were organised. On 25 January AIPWA
brought out a march in Patna.
Left Parties Meet
Seven Left parties including CPI(ML)-Liberation
in Bihar passed a resolution demanding panchayat elections
to be held latest by April in any case. With the notification
in February, there will be a long gap between notification
and the polling that increases the risk of violence. A delegation
of Left leaders will soon meet the State Election Commssion
in this regard. The left leaders also criticised the absence
of provision for reservation to women and dalits for Mukhiya
and other posts. They demanded that the govt. must issue ordinance
to introduce reservation to these classes. Left parties also
criticised non-implementation of the agreement with university
and college teachers and demanded its immediate implementation.
Convention at Bareilly
At the call of UP Chhatra Yuva Sangharsh
Morcha, Ruhelkhand level Peasant-toilers-youth convention
was held at Bareilly on 22 January. It was held to oppose
plunder of peasants and workers and demand the right to cheaper
education, cheaper health services and right to employment.
Apart from people from Pilibhit, Lakhimpur Kheri and Nainital,
students, youth and democratic sections of Bareilly also participated
in good numbers in the convention. The convention was inaugurated
by Com. Akhilendra Pratap Singh, State Party Secretary and
conducted by Dr. Javed Abdul Wajed. It was also attended by
Party CC member Com. Krishna Adhikari, left intellectual of
Bareilly Dr. CP Sharma, noted poet Viren Dangwal, AISA Gen.
Secy. Sunil Yadav, State AISA Secy. Ajit Yadav, Uttarakhand
peasant leader Bahadur Singh Jangi, DYFI dist. secy. Tarakeshwar
Chaturvedi and other RYA and AISA leaders. RYA General Secretary
Com. Lal Bahadur Singh read out the political resolutions.
The initiative received an encouraging response from the democratic
intelligentsia and moreover, the success of this convention
has provided the party with a new opportunity to flourish
in this area.
of Lucknow University Unit of AISA
The Lucknow University branch of AISA held
its conference on 25 January. It was inaugurated by Com. Lal
Bahadur Singh, Gen. Secy. of RYA and ex-president of Allahabad
University Students Union and conducted by AISA state president
Rakesh Singh. The concluding speech was made by Com. Sunil
Yadav, Gen. Secy. of AISA. The delegates were addressed by
AV Shukla, leader of Bank and Insurance employees union, AISA
State Secy. Ajit Singh Yadav and others. Prior to the conference,
the students took out a march with slogans "No Mandir, we
want employment, we want the right to live". A 25-member University
Committee was elected with Dinesh Gautam as president and
Girisant Yadav as secretary.
Workshop Against Globalisation
AICCTU held a workshop on 26 January in Chennai,
attended by 130 workers from various factories including HVF
and Ashok Leyland.
In the first session, TU tactics to be adopted
in the face of growing attack of globalisation were discussed.
Concrete experiences of AICCTU in Sanmar Leather Factory,
Dunlop India Ltd, TIDC, hotel workers; workers' issues and
issues like organising women workers and how to develop TU
as a weapon of class struggle were discussed in 4 groups,
in which 60 comrades actively participated. Com. S. Kumarasamy,
State AICCTU President summed up the discussion.
The second session was on the effects of
globalisation. Topics like the process of globalisation in
India, class-forces supporting it, resentment against globalisation,
and how this process can be pushed back etc. were discussed
in this session. The response of the workers was summed up
by Com. Murugan, Chennai City Commitee Member of the Party.
The participants felt that the workshop was very useful for
them to understand the process of globalisation.
The workshop decided to carry on workers'
movement on demands such as minimum wages to be fixed as Rs.
4500; Tamilnadu Govt. to allocate Rs 2500 crores to open the
closed industries; state and central govts to provide Rs 1000
monthly each for the workers of the closed industries, workers'
residential quarters be built by the govt., etc. It was also
decided to take up a campaign on the issues of women workers
from Feb. 1 to March 8 which will culminate in a convention.
to Launch Solidarity Campaign in Delhi
A meeting of the leading cadres working on
the trade union front in the organised sector, particularly
health, postal and telecommunication sectors, was held on
23 January in Delhi. After a fruitful discussion on the need
to initiate solidarity campaign and movement against the offensive
of privatisation and globalisation, it was decided to launch
a solidarity forum in the second week of March. An adhoc committee
of 9 comrades was formed and Com. Ramkishan and Com. RAP Singh
were appointed coordinators to ensure the participation of
representatives from the organised sectors.
AICCTU to Hold Convention, Dharna
AICCTU State Council of Andaman in its 7
January meeting decided to organise street corner meetings
from 16 January and a massive dharna was organised on 25 January
in front of Van Sadan (forest house). It has also decided
to convene a trade union convention to oppose globalisation
drive on 4 February, inviting Left unions.
Flags Hoisted in Haryana Factories
On 26 January, a campaign to hoist AICCTU
flags was organised in the industrial zone of Sonepat in Haryna.
In three factories the flag was hoisted and mass meetings
were held. Com. Swapan Mukherjee, General Secretary of AICCTU,
Com. Satbeer Singh, leader of an MTNL employees' union, Com.
Surinder, KK Neogi and Srikrishna Yadav addressed the mass
Chennai District Conference of AISA
First Chennai District Conference of AISA
was held on 9 January at Andhra Mahasabha Hall, in which more
than 250 students representing 12 major colleges participated.
The conference was against saffronisation, privatisation and
commercialisation of education. It came down heavily on the
DMK government at the state and the BJP led NDA government
at the centre and passed a resolution to organise a students'
rally in March to give an ultimatum to the government to fulfill
the demands like free bus pass, student union elections and
reversal of the fee hike. It also resolved to follow the rally
with a Jail Bharao movement.
The conference was addressed by Com. Kavita,
AISA President, Com. S. Kumarasamy, CCM, CPI(ML) and Com.
Selvi, member of AISA National Executive. A 27-member District
Committee was elected, which elected Senthil as Honorary President,
Barathi as President and Immanuel as General Secretary along
with 8 secretaries. The conference has generated positive
enthusiasm among the students.
Dharna at Lucknow
AISA staged a dharna at the statue of Dr.
Ambedkar at Hazratganj crossing on 11 January to protest BJP
govt. decision to stop stipend to 60 lakh dalit students.
Procession of Governments in Delhi
The funeral procession of BJP-led government
at the centre and the Congress government of Delhi was brought
out by CPI(ML) Shahdara zone committee on 23 January, the
last day of "Save Delhi, Save the Poor" campaign launched
by Delhi Party against the anti-people steps of evicting numerous
industries, footpath vendors and shops and driving rickshaw
pullers away in the name of pollution. It started from Ambedkar
Park, Vishwas Nagar and after covering 6 km. route ended at
Nathu Colony Chowk. The meeting held there was addressed by
Delhi Party Secy. Com. Rajendra Pratholi, State AIPWA Secy.
Jeeta Kaur, State RYA Secy. Shashi Bhushan, Party Secy. of
Shahdara area Com. Ram Abhilash and an enterpreneur Sampat
Nahta. Party has distributed an appeal to the entrepreneurs
to forge a broad based unity to fight against the anti-people
policies of BJP and Congress, so as to mobilise a determined
resistance of the people in the second phase of sealing the
Overcharges Rs.435 Cr. Under PDS, Says CAG
Taking serious exception to "overcharging"
of consumers under public distribution system (PDS), the Comptroller
and Auditor General (CAG) has said in its latest report on
food and consumer affairs: "Consumers were charged Rs.435.71
crores in excess due to passing on extra expenditure to them
instead of absorbing from state budgets ... Thus, the main
objective of providing wheat and rice at uniform and affordable
rate was not fulfilled".
In Tamil Nadu, consumers were overcharged by Rs.251.44 crore
due to passing on the retail margins to them for foodgrains
and kerosene oil, though the charges were to be borne by the
Warns against Attempts to Tamper with the Constitution
President K.R. Narayanan's address to the
nation on this year's Republic Day eve was quite hard-hitting.
Exercising his prerogative to the hilt, the President took
the opportunity to sound a timely alarm against the saffron
design to revise the Constitution. He came down heavily on
the idea that the Constitution has to be revised to guarantee
stable governments at the Centre. He was categorical that
the founding fathers of the Constitution had preferred responsibility
to stability and any attempt to ensure stability by restricting
the opposition's right to defeat a government through no-confidence
motion or other means would therefore amount to a brazen violation
of the essential spirit of the Constitution and Parliamentary
He even went to the extent of comparing the
campaign for revising the Constitution with Pakistan's former
military dictator Ayub Khan's notion of 'guided democracy'
based on indirect election. The President probably thought
that comparison with Pakistan would cause the most devastating
embarrassment to the Sangh Parivar. But the use of Pakistan
as the anti-democratic stereotype seems a little prejudiced
and hence rather ill-advised in a Presidential address.
The saffron brigade has been predictably
piqued by the President's address. The BJP spokesperson Jana
Krishnamurthy has taken exception to the Presidential alarm
calling it unnecessary and unfortunate. He would have us believe
that nobody is advocating indirect election and all that.
Incidentally, the Constitution Review Commission has just
released its first set of consultation papers and questionnaires
concerning various aspects of the constitutional framework
of India's parliamentary democracy. The Commission seems to
be particularly haunted by the spectre of instability and
it would like to subject India's multi-party system to drastic
regimentation. In fact, the first question of the questionnaire
on political parties asks whether political parties are necessary
in a democracy! Another paper talks of a certain 'Gandhian
model' of elections whereby direct franchise will be limited
to the panchayat level and the upper tiers from Zilla Parishad
onward will be formed through indirect election! Who are you
trying to fool, Mr. Krishnamurthy?
Attempt to 'Talibanise' Hindu Religion
(From Rajinder Sachar's article "Are we not a soft state?")
"The tensions created by the VHP using the
occasion of Mahakumbh are a dangerous portent. This is an
attemt at 'Talibanisation' of Hindu religion ... This spread
of hatred and discord being sought to be projected at the
Mahakumbh endangers the real essence of Hinduism and its philosophy
"Who has given the authority to the VHP and
a band of cellular phone-holding 'sadhus' to speak on behalf
of Hindus. The cowardly act of demolishing the Babri Masjid
is condemned by a large majority of Hindus.
"The proceedings of the VHP-managed 'dharma
sansad' purporting to fix the outer date for temple construction
to coincide with the Assembly election in Uttar Pradesh are
a cheap gimmick, betraying the political motivation of the
"In this context the visit by the Congress
President Ms. Sonia Gandhi to the Kumbh Mela with a view of
making a dent in the same obscurantist, fundamentalist religious
section of the Hindu electorate is unfortunate. That may help
her in getting some votes. but secular fabric of the nation
has been further weakened by this open and shameless effort
at mixing religion with politics by both the major parties
for their electoral gains."
of Resistance Against Culture of Fascist Hindutwa
Jan Sanskriti Manch organised a seminar on
"Culture of resistance and creativity" on 15 January in Lucknow.
It was presided over by Shaqil Siddiqi of PWAand conducted
by Ashok Chandra, poet and convener of Lucknow unit of JSM.
Introducing the topic of the seminar Ajay Singh, poet and
General Secretary of JSM, asserted in his paper that the culture
of resistance is inseparably linked with the battle for revolutionary
transformation of Indian society. Making it the starting point,
a broad based front of all progressive and left literateurs,
artists and cultural activists must be forged against cultural
fascism and imperialism. At the dawn of 21st century, the
most important cultural task should be elimination of fascist
Hindutwa culture and creation of progressive and modern culture
based on culture of resistance. Among those who spoke at the
occasion include, apart from Shaqil Siddiqi,veteran writer
Akhilesh Mishra, Mohan Thapaliyal, Shyam Ankuram, Kishor Kaushal,
Anil Sinha, Dr. GP Mishra, Ajanta Lohit, Ramesh Dixit and
stage artist RK Sinha.
[ML Update] [Liberation]
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