12th Smriti Diwas of Comrade Nagbhusan Pattanaik Commemorated
- Mahendra Parida
The 12th death anniversary of comrade Nagbhusan was observed at Nagbhusan Bhavan, Bhubaneswar, on 9th October on behalf of Nagbhusan Bhavan Smriti Committee.
In the morning the statue of comrade Nagbhusan was garlanded and floral tributes with red salute offered by comrades Khitish Biswal, Diwakar Naik (state secretary of CPI), Radhakanta Sethi, Yudhistir Mohapatra, Mahendra Parida, Satyabadi Behera (president of AIALA), Praffulla Samantray of Lokashakti Abhiyan and Ashok Pradhan along with hundreds of party comrades.
This was followed by a meeting on land movement in Orissa and the role of comrade Nagbhusan Pattanaik. It was presided over by comrade Yudhistir Mohapatra and the welcome speech was delivered by comrade Radhakanta Sethi. Comrade Khitish Biswal described the role of comrade NBP in land struggle and called upon the gathering to intensify the fight against corporate loot in Orissa today.
Comrade Praffulla Samantray described the land struggle in Bisam cuttack and Naryanpatana while Prof Nilamani Sahu stressed the need of unity among communists for the sake carrying forward people’s movements in Orissa as well as in India. Comrade Diwakar Naik of CPI observed that comrade Nagbhusan worked most sincerely for communist unification and this is highly necessary in India today.
Senior journalist Rabi Das emphasized the need for more literature on the life of Nagbhusan to inspire the youth of our country. Comrade Radhakanta described how comrade Nagbhusan fought to liberate common masses from exploitation and to uphold their dignity. Comrade Mahendra Parida pointed out that Nagbhusan spent a major part of his life in jungles, hospitals and jails and after being released from jail he organized the working classes to join the communist party in Malkangiri and Koraput.
Comrade Ashok Pradhan sounded a clarion call for strengthening CPI (ML) Liberation in Orissa along the path shown by comrade Nagbhusan. Finally comrade Yudhistir Mohapatra narrated the life history of comrade Pattanaik and urged all comrades to follow the ideology of comrade NBP and intensify land struggle and the fight against corporate loot in the state.
Worker-Peasant Sankalp Sabha on Com. Basru’s Memorial Day
Workers, peasants and common people assembled in large numbers at Jamua in Giridih on 29th September on the occasion of the first Memorial Day of Comrade Ibnul Hasan Basru and pledged to intensify the struggles which Com. Basru had been spearheading for democracy and people’s progress in Jharkhand. Com. Dipankar Bhattacharya addressed the gathering and called upon people to intensify the struggle to end the reign of loot of Jharkhand’s ruling class parties.
Prior to this, a memorial meeting was held in Mirzaganj (Com. Basru’s village) and from there people marched in rally to Jamua CPI(ML) office to pay tribute to their beloved leader. Also present were CPI(ML) PB member Comrade DP Bakshi, State Secretary Com. Janardan Prasad, SCMs Com. AP Gupta, Rajkumar Yadav, Parmeshwar Mehta and Rajesh Kr. Yadav and CPI(ML) Dist. Secretary Manoj Bhakt among others. Comrade Usman Ansari conducted the proceedings of the programme.
Kisan leader Murdered in Mansa
On 11th October a kisan leader of Mansa, Punjab, was murdered and two other were injured when an armed gang led by a money lender and revenue officer opened fire at them. The incident happened at village Biroke that falls under tehsil Budhlada of Mansa district. Pirthi Singh, aged 38 who lost his life was an active leader of Bharti Kisan Union (Dakonda group) and was a resident of village Chak Alisher. He was also the older brother of our party comrade Lakhwinder Lakhi who himself is the district leader of All India Kisan Mahasabha.
The incident happened when some revenue officials went to village Biroke for attaching the 10 canal land of a farmer Bhola Singhwho was in debt to a moneylender. Farmers gathered in protest and sensing the mood the revenue officials left the scene. When farmers relaxed their vigil and only a few protestors and leaders remained, the money lender, his associates, and armed goons with revenue officer (tehsildar) Subhash Singh reached the site again and opened fire killing Pirthi Singh and injuring two others.
Various farmer organizations have joined hands to fight for justice and farmer rights. It has been reported that the gang involved in this incident is close to the ruling Akali Dal and is patronized by ex-MLA of Mansa, Sukhwinder Singh Aulakh. CPI(ML) has spearheaded the struggle for justice – including punishment for the culprits, compensation for the slain leader’s family, ban on private money-lending and compulsory registration for financial business, and withdrawal of all court cases regarding the debt of farmers to moneylenders.
All India Left Coordination Holds Conventions at Kolkata and Ranchi
The All India Left Coordination, launched at New Delhi in August this year, held a Convention at Kolkata on 5 October at the Moulali Yuba Kendra on the theme “Decline of the opportunist Left – Rise of the fighting Left”. Among those who attended the Convention were renowned poet and litterateur Nabarun Bhattacharya, Samir Putatunda of PDS and Aloke Nandy of Democratic Communist Party (Marxist). Comrade Dipankar Bhattacharya, General Secretary of CPI(ML), Comrade Kumaran Kutty of Left Coordination Committee (LCC), Kerala, Comrade Bhimrao Bansod, Secretary of Lal Nishan Party (Leninist), Maharastra were the main speakers at the Convention. Comrade Mangat Ram Pasla, General Secretary of CPM (Punjab) could not reach the convention due to a delayed train, but addressed a press conference along with Comrade Dipankar and other leaders on the following day. The convention was presided over by Comrade Abhijit Majumder, Central Committee Member of CPI(ML), Liberation.
In his address Com. Dipankar explained the background of the formation of the All India Left Coordination and the purpose of holding the convention at Kolkata in the backdrop of decline of the ruling Left in West Bengal. Comrade Kumaran Kutty spoke of the situation in Kerala, where extreme reactionary forces were on the rise to fill in the vacuum created by the decline of the opportunist ruling left. However, as a positive trend, he indicated that some disaffected left forces were leaving the CPIM with a commitment to uphold the genuine, fighting character of the Left rather than join right-wing forces. Comrade Bhimrao Bansod of LNPL emphasized the need to wage unrelenting struggle against the opportunist Left to develop an effective and struggling Left movement.
Samir Putatunda of PDS started with the question of democracy in socialism and urged the constituents of the coordination to be flexible in order to make the unity as broad based as possible and to embrace as much genuine left forces as possible. Poet Nabarun Bhattacharya acknowledged the high importance of this convention and termed the ruling left parties as corporate parties. Pointing to the intellectuals who have aligned themselves with the right reaction today, he called them purchasable commodities. He asserted his unflinching commitment to the left movement at any cost and underlined the need for the All India Left Coordination. Aloke Nandy of DCPM, which is operative in Danton of West Midnapore, expressed his full support to the initiatives and joint declaration finalized by the coordination. He narrated how they with their small organization have been fighting against the tyrannies of the CPM. He stated that they lost at least 3 of their comrades in CPM sponsored terror attack and hundreds have been arrested. Defying CPM terror, the DCPM’s strength has been growing.
Summing up the discussions, Dipankar said that a wave of change is coming in West Bengal, but that change is being perceived by many in a distorted manner. He said, the real vehicle of this change is the peasants and the rural poor. That was amply demonstrated in Singur, Nandigram and Jangalmahal. The fall of CPIM from power in West Bengal is now a foregone conclusion and no effort will be needed to remove it. Contradicting those who say that that attempts at Left revival must wait for the CPIM’s exit from power, he asserted that the task of reviving and rejuvenating the fighting Left has to be started now itself, so that its fruit can be reaped in future. He said that the unity and coordination of the fighting Left should be oriented to hasten the decline of the opportunist Left and work for the rise of the fighting Left.
The next convention was held at Ranchi on the theme “Liberate Jharkhand from Starvation, Loot and Injustice” at the Gosner Theological Hall in Ranchi. The well-attended Convention was addressed by comrades Mangat Ram Pasla, General Secretary of CPM(Punjab), Bhim Rao Bhonsle, Secretary, LNP(L), Kumaran Kutty from LCC Kerala and CPI(ML) General Secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya. Comrade Dipankar called upon the people of Jharkhand for uniting to thwart BJP’s intentions of converting the State in yet another laboratory of communal fascism and launching a robust fight against displacement, eviction, to build the Jharkhand anew as per the dreams of its martyrs. He further said that the ruling parties have subverted the State into ‘Lootkhand’ (plunder land) by numerous MoU, lease and illegal mining. Panchayat elections under PESA have been on hold just to ensure that these MoUs are not annulled by elected gram sabhas (village committees) and it is the duty of the true inheritors of the revolutionary legacy of Birsa Munda and Mahendra Singh to transform the panchayats into a platform of struggles for democracy.
Comrades Mangat Ram Pasla, BR Bhonsale and Kumaran Kutty, speaking of the loot and plunder of resources and state repression that marked not only states like Jharkhand, but other states like Punjab, Maharashtra, Kerala and the whole country, said that only a revolutionary Left movement can liberate the people from this situation. The Convention was also addressed by CPI(ML) leader and its representative in the State Assembly Com. Vinod Singh, renowned intellectual Shri VP Keshri and senior journalist Shri Faisal Anurag among others. The initiative and formation of AILC was warmly welcomed by the speakers who said that true Left has a serious responsibility of mobilizing and consolidating all the forces of struggle for a revolutionary alternative.
The Convention was presided over by Comrade Bahadur Oraon, Central Committee member of CPI(ML). Comrade JP Minz proposed the resolutions on behalf of the Convention which was unanimously passed. Prerna, a part of Jharkhand Jan Sanskriti Manch presented cultural performances.
Pricol Workers’ Family Festival
10.10.10 was a day of celebration for Pricol Workers. They celebrated their three years of consistent struggle for democratic rights and dignity. They had taken part in festivals organized by the management before. Now, they organized a family festival of their own. This festival was all decorated with red flags and laced with revolutionary slogans. They surprised the skeptics by organizing a mega event that even the ‘mighty’ management did not attempt so far, putting an end to speculations that their move forward would soon lose its sheen and that they would give up before the continued anti-workers measures of the management. In the Festival they made a clear statement: “Come what may. We will not waver from the path of struggle. We will add new tasks to our journey. Our journey will gain new strength and vigor.”
The festival and the preparations went through in a phase in which the management unilaterally announced a long term wage settlement without any negotiations -- either with the unions that enjoy majority or with any other union that enjoys the patronage of the management. The management expected this one-to-one settlement to sow seeds of division among the workers who are undergoing a difficult phase in making the ends meet. But, to the dismay of the management even those workers who are not in the union, who left the union and the so-called satellite unit workers donated funds for their festival, thus demonstrating their class unity once again. Not only the workers but also the general public supported their festival, which could be seen from the help they extended in terms of cash and kind.
They started festival preparations with a certain degree of doubt. All that propelled them forward was an intense urge to deal a blow to the management’s view that the workers would soon loose in the struggle. And it delivered.
They started the festival events with a competition for the logo for Family Festival for the workers. There were more than 20 entries and one among them was selected and used throughout the preparations and events.
On 26th October, when they organized the sports event, 700 wards of Pricol workers participated in various games. On that day itself there were over 400 workers in the ground along with their kids. They entrusted the conduct of the sports event to a foot ball sports committee in the Viviekananda Vidyalaya school near Perianaickenpalayam and they also got the Principal of the school inaugurate the competitions.
In the first week of October, an essay competition on the topic ‘India of my Dreams’, an oratorical competition on Bhagat Singh, VOC ( V O Chidambaram), Bharathi and Singaravelar, and a drawing competition on topics like price rise, Bhopal tragedy, commercialisation of education were held. Indoor games were organized. A “Field Investigation” competition for workers’ teams was also held. 10 teams conducted surveys in various wards in Perianaickenpalayam. All these comrades were given one year “Theepori” subscription as a gift.
All this culminated in a grand gathering on 10.10.10. Since 9 am workers along with their families were coming. Around 11 am the ground was full and comrades who came after that had to sit in a hall where a closed circuit TV screen was arranged to see the program. More than 6000 workers participated in the festival.
Prizes were distributed to all children who participated in various competitions. This alone took over 2 hours. A photo exhibition titled “Instances that Turned into History” was organized as a part of the festival where photos depicting workers’ struggles since they formed a fighting union were exhibited.
Workers’ children staged a dance program with a revolutionary message. A play titled ‘A Quest…. A Journey… A Vision…’ was staged. 25 workers of Pricol, Subha Plastics and ITPL spent their evening after a grueling day of work in the factory for rehearsals for 12 days. Both the play and the dance received good response among the audience.
Comrade Swapan Mukherjee, GS, AICCTU inaugurated the program, comrade Balasundaram, State Secretary of the Party hoisted the flag and comrade Thenmozhi, State President, AIPWA opened the photo exhibition. Mr. Ramesh, the advocate who is dealing with the cases of Pricol workers spoke in the festival.
Addressing the grand assembly, comrade S. Kumarasami said that in Coimbatore, Pricol workers are not alone in their struggle and now there are workers of Subha Plastics and ITPL joining hands with them in the festival. Only Pricol workers can beat the records created by them, he observed, adding that they have proved it once again. Pricol workers have demonstrated clearly that they are strong in their struggle for democratic rights and they will never leave away from the path of struggle, he asserted. He called upon the workers to make the voice of the fighting workers resonate in the assembly by making a powerful intervention in the forthcoming assembly elections.