August 2012










Liberation Archive
VM's Selected Writings










Presidential Poll 2012 and Beyond

As anticipated, Pranab Mukherjee has won the Presidential race hands down. With the UPA eventually staying intact, and support coming in from sections of NDA as well as the Left Front, as from formally unaffiliated parties like the Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party and Rashtriya Janata Dal, Pranab Mukherjee’s emphatic victory was a foregone conclusion....Full text


Massacre of Adivasis in Bastar

On June 28 night, 17 people of adivasi villages of Bastar (Chhattisgarh) were killed in firing by CRPF, COBRA, and local police teams....Full text

What the Maruti Mayhem Means

On 18 July, yet another scene of violence in the auto industry was enacted, which claimed the life of an HR manager. What was responsible for this tragic sequence of events – which keeps being repeated in factory after factory in India? ...Full text

  Cover Feature  

Fresh Relevance and Urgency of the

Struggle for Justice for Bathani Tola

16 years after the Bathani Tola massacre, the struggle for justice for Bathani Tola, far from being forgotten, has reemerged with fresh relevance and urgency in a new phase. Bathani Tola has once again emerged as a rallying cry against injustice, not only in Bihar, but all over the country. In the dalit movement too, Bathani Tola is, this time around, triggering a questioning about the role and silence of the ‘official’ dalit and social justice parties, and a renewed alertness about the politics involved in feudal massacres....Full text

Ranveer Sena Revisited:

Feudal-Kulak Power and Lalu-Nitish Continuum

Two recent incidents – first, the shocking acquittal by the Patna High Court of 23 Ranveer Sena men convicted by a lower court for the barbaric Bathani Tola massacre (11 July, 1996) and then the assassination of Brahmeshwar Singh, the man who founded and led the Sena for nearly two decades – have attracted renewed media, academic and of course political attention to the Ranveer Sena that haunted Bihar from the late 1990s until the early years of the 21st century....Full text


  Fact Finding  

The Blood and the Land

(Excerpts from a fact- finding report on Amousi carnage in Khagaria district, for which 10 Mushars were sentenced to death and four to life imprisonment. Senior economist Jaya Mehta, activist Vineet Tiwari and Sunita Kumari of Daanish Books visited Amousi to investigate.)...Full text

  Left Debate saperator

CPI(M)’s Second  July Crisis:

Denial, Deception and Desperation

Dipankar Bhattacharya

The 20th Congress will go down in the CPI(M)’s history as the Congress of denial and deception. The Congress refused to recognise, let alone try and resolve, the real debate within the CPI(M) in the wake of its disastrous experience of collaboration with the UPA-I at the Centre and the party’s post-Singur trajectory in West Bengal that led to its ignominious ouster in the 2011 Assembly elections....Full text

AISA Welcomes SFI-JNU’s Decision to Oppose

CPI(M) Stands on Pranab, TPC, Singur-Nandigram


The JNU unit of the Student’s Federation of India (SFI) decided at a general body meeting held on the night of July 5th, to oppose CPI(M)’s support for UPA’s Finance Minister in the upcoming presidential polls. The resolution passed on July 5 by SFI’s JNU unit states that CPI(M)’s position is “unconvincing” and “not in the best interests of the left and democratic movement” (see text


Singur Verdict:

Land Grab and Betrayal of Peasants’ Rights  

In 2008, the division bench of the Calcutta High Court, comprising Chief Justice S.S. Nijjar and Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghosh, had held that land acquisition by the West Bengal Government for the Tata Nano project was lawful since it was for ‘public purpose.’ This, in spite of the fact that peasants at Singur had overwhelmingly rejected the project and resisted forced land acquisition....Full text


Atrocities on Dalit Youth Leading Struggle Over Land

Aslam Khan

On July 15, Tika Ram was among the youths from Ramgarh village in Dadri who attended the Convention on Bathani Tola in Delhi, and spoke of their struggle against the grab of land allocated to dalits by the gram pradhan Kuldeep Bhati. ...Full text


Remembering Sunil Janah

Amrit Wilson and Kalpana Wilson


Sunil Janah, one of the most important chroniclers of India’s independence movement and Partition passed away on 21st June this year. He was, not only, as he often told us, in his modest way, a photo journalist. He was an artist whose work explored a wide span of history - capturing not only  key moments in the lives of leaders such as Gandhi, Nehru and Jinnah but also portraying the mass movements of the period and the lives and day to day struggles of the people. As he put it in an interview ‘my subject was the Indian people, my emphasis had been on the distressing conditions of their lives, their poverty and wretchedness and their repeatedly manifest revolt against it’....Full text


Bathani Tola 

You came, mercenaries of the state.
Sensing mortal danger from
Our women and children,
You cut them up as hyenas
Cut and rip lesser animals
That  pursue their right
To  food, water, and land--
Your bloody vermillion complimented
By your bloodied hand....Full poem


Guwahati Molestation:
Mob, Media, Police, and Government Are All Guilty 

Kavita Krishnan

On the night of July 9, a young Class IX girl was assaulted by a mob on the streets of Guwahati – and the entire scene was telecast on TV screens. The episode and its aftermath raise extremely disturbing questions about the conduct of the media, the police, the Government, and even the National Commission for Women (NCW)....Full text