September 2012











Liberation Archive
VM's Selected Writings










Kokrajhar and After: Challenges for Democracy

The violence that broke out in Assam’s Kokrajhar district in the latter half of July is acquiring murkier political overtones with every passing day. Had the state and central governments responded promptly, the violence could have been contained at a much earlier stage. But crucial time was lost as army intervention got delayed apparently on procedural grounds and violence was allowed to escalate. With the state found wanting in terms of administrative initiative and political will, fear and insecurity rapidly engulfed the lower Assam districts of Kokrajhar, Dhubri and Chirang. In an unprecedented instance of mass exodus nearly half a million people were compelled to seek shelter in relief camps. Low-key violence still continues to be reported from the area, taking the resultant death toll beyond 80 even as more people are dying in relief camps because of extremely poor sanitation and insufficient medical care in these camps....Full text


Anti-Corruption Platforms: Political Trajectories

Perhaps inevitably, the anti-corruption platforms led by Anna Hazare and Baba Ramdev are moving towards a more openly avowed political role....Full text

Reclaiming Dr. Ambedkar

Kavita Krishnan

Dr. B R Ambedkar was voted as the ‘Greatest Indian After Gandhi’ in a poll conducted by Outlook, CNN IBN, and History TV18. Ambedkar beat Nehru and Sardar Patel, as well as APJ Abdul Kalam, to emerge victorious. ...Full text

  Cover Feature  

Students And Youth Storm Barricades At Parliament Street

The battle lines became clear. Young people from all over India who marched to Parliament on 9 August, the anniversary of the Quit India movement, declaring ‘corporate plunderers Quit India’, and demanding equitable education and dignified employment as fundamental rights, found that the barricades at Parliament Street were manned the Sashastra Seema Bal (central Armed Border Force) in large numbers! What can be clearer proof that for the UPA Government, the country’s younger generation and democratic protestors have become an ‘enemy’ force?...Full text


  Working Class  

Maruti Workers’ Struggle:

Challenges for the Working Class

With the all-out offensive on the Maruti workers, the assault of neoliberal capital on labour in India is intensifying and assuming more dangerous dimensions. Consider the implications of some of the recent developments. ...Full text

Behind the Present Wave of Unrest in the Auto Sector

We reproduce below an article by Research Unit for Political Economy (RUPE) that appeared in the Aspects of Indian Economy (No.52, June 2012).

"Motown braces for wage revisions after three years”, reads a headline in the Business Standard on April 6, referring to wage negotiations in the Gurgaon-Manesar auto belt. “Haridwar factories brew Manesar-like labour situation” warns another headline in the same paper, reporting strikes at two major auto parts suppliers. The Reserve Bank of India, in its latest “Monetary and Macroeconomic Developments”, warns of the “pressure on generalised inflation from sustained increase in wage costs”....Full text

Ghettoization Of
Migrant Workers In TN


In Tamilnadu, in a short span of 3 days, one accident claimed the lives of 10 workers from Assam and injured more than 50 workers, and the other took the life of a Bihari worker and injured 10 others....Full text

  Special Report saperator

Successful Jharkhand Bandh Against Land Grab

Forced acquisition of land from adivasis is all too common in Jharkhand. On 25 July, the entire state came to a standstill in response to a Bandh called by the CPI(ML) against land grab. Several other organisations also supported the Bandh call or gave independent calls for a Bandh on the same day....Full text

Growing Struggles Against Land Grab and Displacement in Bihar

[With the Nitish Government’s rapid embrace of neoliberal policies, land acquisition and eviction are fast emerging as major points of conflict in the State. A brief report of some of the emerging struggles and CPI(ML)’s role follows.] 

W Champaran

West Champaran is experiencing the biggest land grab since the grabbing of land by the colonial British for indigo farming. The Valmikinagar Tiger Project in West Champaran district of Bihar threatens to uproot 300 villages and evict lakhs of adivasi and non-adivasi residents. ...Full text


Resisting Violence on Women  

[The Guwahati mob molestation, the moral policing and molestation by Ram Sene at a party in Mangalore, murderous assaults and feudal sexual violence on women in UP and Bihar, a spate of rapes and the atrocity on athlete Pinki Pramanik in West Bengal, the suicide of Geetika in Haryana, in which ex-Minister Gopal Kanda is implicated – all these recent instances show that the alarming trends of attacks and exploitative relationships which claim the lives of women, are far from abating. And with it, is the inevitable tendency to blame women’s attire and behaviour: a tendency which people in high office from the NCW Chairperson downwards have displayed. Below are some recent reports of struggles against violence on women.]                      

AIPWA Protests in West Bengal

There has been an alarming escalation of violence against women in Bengal, often at the hands of the state. Some of the worst cases include that Shibani Singha who consumed poison from being raped by Jangalmahal police; of athlete Pinki Pramanik who was humiliated and forced to undergo ‘gender tests’ in a horrific case of sexual abuse in police and medical custody; the murder of Barun Biswas of Sutia who had organised local people in the Pratibadi Mancha against more than 35 cases of rapes of local women committed by those with political influence....Full text


Comrade Haricharan Teli

Comrade Haricharan Teli passed away on 12th August, 2012, after a brief illness. He was around 90, and is survived by his son and three daughters. Another of his sons, Comrade Gobinda Teli, was assassinated along with 6 others on 25 February, 1980 at village Hurua, Dharmanagar, Tripura, by the police of Left front government headed by CPI(M) Chief Minister Nripen Chakraborty....Full text


Gore Vidal:
Rebel in the US Establishment

(US writer and intellectual Gore Vidal passed away on July 31 this year, aged 86. As a tribute to him, we carry excerpts from the article ‘The decline and fall of the American Empire’ by Alan Woods, published on 16 July 2002.)

Gore Vidal is a member of one of America’s leading families - a patrician in background, upbringing and culture. His close personal acquaintance with America’s ruling elite gives him a unique insight into the workings of the system, and he understands the hypocrisy that underlies this pretence, and the vicious, exploitative and aggressive character of US imperialism....Full text


London 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony:

Rebranding British History

Kalpana Wilson

How does an ex-imperial superpower now in deep decline represent itself to the world? How does one celebrate ‘Britishness’ without either projecting an openly offensive jingoism or satirizing the very notion? And how does one acknowledge Britain’s multicultural present while steering well clear of the entire colonial history and ongoing struggles which have shaped it? ...Full text


Massacre of Mineworkers in South Africa

In a shocking massacre, reminiscent of the worst horrors of the apartheid era, 34 striking South African mineworkers employed in the British mining company Lonmin, were gunned down by police at Marikana, SA, on 16 August....Full text


Forbesganj Struggle Continues:

People Construct Bhajanpur-Sheetalpur Road 

Thousands of villagers armed with traditional weapons offered ‘shramdaan’ and volunteered as labourers in order to construct the Bhajanpur-Sheetalpur road at Forbesganj, Bihar, on 16 August. This is a victory for the people’s struggle, which has braved the severest repression and communal encirclement....Full text