Since Modi government came to power, the only industry that has flourished is the beef export industry. There has been an increase of over 15% in India’s beef export making it world’s number one beef exporter and pushing Brazil to number two spot. Out of India’s six largest beef exporting companies four are owned by Hindu Brahmins. Ironically while
Brahmins are doing this business and taking 90% profits from the pink revolution Dalits and Muslims who get only fringe benefit are being thrashed and sometime hanged across the country. Those who live in America or have ever lived there know that America’s most popular cow meat company is Matador. Matador products are sold by Pepsico. Pepsico serves maximum cow meat to America. In America beef means cow and not buffalo.
According to Pepsico’s official site ‘in 2009 PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay North America division and Jack Link’s today entered into an agreement in which Frito-Lay will sell and distribute a new line of meat snacks under the MATADOR by Jack Link’s brand, aimed at young adults with action-driven lifestyles’. Although Pepsico is not producing cow-meat products directly but it has the distribution rights of Matador’s products which is the most popular cow-meat producer in US.
Ironically Pepsico’s global CEO Indira Krishnamurthy Nooyi is a Tamil Brahmin. While India is number one beef exporting country a Tamil Brahmin leads world’s largest cow-meat supplier company in US. Nooyi visits temples in India and shakes hand with Narendra Modi. Was Tirupati temple washed after Nooyi’s visit? Did Narendra Modi bath himself with Gangajal?
If you turn a place into a graveyard, can you expect its people to vote enthusiastically? Many in Kashmir are echoing these thoughts and showing their disillusionment with the ruling government by not turning up to vote. The fifth phase of Lok Sabha elections concluded on May 6 and the voter turnout for Jammu & Kashmir’s 6 Lok Sabha seats has stumped many political leaders in the valley and the centre.
Jammu & Kashmir has recorded an overall voter turnout of a mere 43.5% in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections, its lowest since the 2004 polls.
As many as 299 polling booths in Pulwama and Shopian district saw no voting. It’s ironic that votes in elections across the country are being asked for in Pulwama’s name and yet 266 booths in the district saw zero voting. Security forces cracked down on militants after 40 CRPF jawans were killed in the February 14 terror attack in Pulwama, which was claimed by the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed. They belong to the Anantnag constituency where polls were held in an unprecedented three phases. Nobody came to vote in 65 polling booths in this constituency according to a report. The turnout was 8.76 per cent, a significant fall from the 28.54 per cent recorded during the 2014 Lok Sabha election. According to the media reports voter turnout in as many as 90 polling stations in Srinagar Parliamentary constituency was zero. In Baramulla Lok Sabha constituency no votes were polled at 17 polling stations.
While militancy and security played a part, residents of the Valley’s three parliamentary constituencies of Anantnag, Baramulla and Srinagar showed little enthusiasm for the electoral process. These three seats cumulatively registered a voter turnout of just 19%. The individual turnout was the worst in Anantnag, where 8.79% of voters came out to exercise their franchise, followed by Srinagar at 14%. At 34%, Baramulla saw a relatively better turnout. The Valley, embroiled in violence for over three decades, has historically seen low voter turnouts. Over the last five general elections from 1998 to 2014, the turnout in Anantnag has remained below 30%. In 1999 and 2004, it was below 15%. Unlike the Kashmir Valley, voters in the Jammu region participated in the polls enthusiastically. Turnout in Udhampur in Jammu was 70.19%, higher than even the national turnout so far.
In spite of all the main stream parties in J&K campaigning, the central government, state government and Election Commission vigorously campaigning, in spite of the armed forces present in all areas forcing the people to vote what is the end result? Voting percentage in the Kashmir Valley is: Sri nagar 7%, Kulgam town 1.3%, Shopian district 2.6 %, Pulwama district 1.9%. This is kashmiri people’s reply to the militaristic/state terror policy of Modi government. Will BJP and its allies on the one side, and the Congress and other opposition parties on the other pause for a minute and ponder? n
Few years ago when “Nirbhaya” was gang raped there was a great revolt in Delhi. Thousands of girls and boys spearheaded it, paralyzing the city for days. Following her death, the then UPA govt took many decisions, a commission was appointed, its report was published, and the state machinery and the ruling political class assured that most prompt action shall be taken to save the country from this plague! But after so many years what is happening? Everyday newspapers come out with news of increasing number of rapes, gang rapes, rapes of even 3 year old babies and molestations even at workplaces. As happened at Alwar twice last week or at so many places, even if a rape is reported the police refuse to act; even if the case comes before the judiciary the justice is delayed or refused. People get outraged and at many places, as in Kashmir now against rape of a three year old, revolts take place in the streets. But the alertness shown by the state machinery to maintain law and order at such times is hardly shown in putting an FIR when a rape is reported. No qualitative change in the situation at all. On the contrary, these gruesome incidents are increasing manifold. Why?
Because, India has become a country which is more patriarchal, Manuvadi, where gender inequality is justified under religion and caste system. The RSS parivar and other religious fundamentalists are openly justifying women’s inferiority to men. Under their onslaught, even whatever renaissance, secular, caste annihilation, democratic, egalitarian and scientific values were existing, are fast eroded. The male chauvinistic state machinery, including judiciary up to topmost levels, as recently happened in the case of sexual harassment complaint against the chief justice of India, refuse to give justice to women. As the ruling system is corrupt from top to bottom, rapists can easily influence the police. For protecting vote banks, the political class also help the rapists and molesters. In short, basically it is a men’s world. The neo-liberal onslaughts impoverishing the toilers, depriving many a family life, and the impact of consumerist culture which reduces women to a mere commodity through films, TV serials, advertisements, social media etc also aggravate the menace.
But, while using Alwar gang rape like incidents for attacking political opponents to get few more votes, Modi like political leaders forget the blood in their hands, and do not bother to approach this question with the seriousness it demands; they forget they are also responsible for the increasing assaults on women, children. This barbarous male chauvinistic aggression can be resisted and defeated only by firmly standing for gender equality in all respects and fighting for it ideologically, politically and organizationally, creating people’s upsurges for it. n
And what a great way to ‘get rid of NPAs’ !! In last two years, writing off over Rs.1 lakh crores. Combined with preceding three years, this becomes about 1.6 lakh crores written off !! Another Feather in the cap of Modi-Jaitley regime, that is continually enriching the rich and pauperising the poor.
According their own report, SBI has about 39 crores non Jan Dhan savings accounts. So, these ‘write offs’ notionally have cost each of these account holders (who are the primary source of total SBI deposit base of about 27 lakh crores) about RS.4100 each - which otherwise could have been given /counted as a higher interest rate, or ‘profit’ for the bank, thus not needing a capital infusion from Public funds.
With these 1.6 lakh crores of “very bad loans” or NPAs written off, out of its total advances of about 20 lakh crores (8% of the total advances written off - ouch !!), SBIs NPA scene will seem ‘good’, and the bank will be ready to give more of our money to the rich, for them to start creating further NPAs (after all, one of the primary reasons given for “cleaning up the banks bad loans, is that it enables them to lend further)! Banking has been made so crooked for the small savers.
In the 17th Lok Sabha elections we had fielded 29 candidates from 14 states. Nominations for one seat from Telengana, one from W. Bengal and two from UP were rejected. We had waged a campaign based on our Election Manifesto and handbills within our organizational and financial limits. From these 29 seats we received a total of 90, 647 votes, a little more than we received in the 16th Lok Sabha elections. In Maharashtra our SC had supported an independent candidate from North Mumbai seat and Gujarat SOC supported a candidate of Bharatiya Tribal Party in Ahemedabad West.
- Wayanad Usha 1424
- Vadagara Sudhakaran 507
- Thrissur N.D. Venu 1330
- Ernakulam Shajahan 470
- Koppal Hemaraj Veerapur 1059
- Chikmagalur S Vijaya 2216
- Kanyakumari Paulraj 778
- Guntur Hari Prasad 3216
- Nagpur Yogesh Thakre 281
- Ramtek Bandu Mishram 1421
- Mahasamund Bhojlal Netam 2263
- Puri Ranjan Mishra 2312
- Bhubaneswar Pramela behera 1482
- Kandhemal Tuna Mallik 8283
- Koraput Rajendra Kendruka 15827
- Aska Sankar Sahu 5999
- Dumdum Shankar Das 4379
- Bankura Sukchand Soren 2889
- Bishnupur Jithendra Nath Roy 6438
- Belarghat Manas Chakravarthy 1349
- Barasat Oli Md Mallick 1305
- Ranchi Vikas Sharma 1407
- Palamu Madan Ram 2420
- Jamshedpur Malay Mahato 1874
- Amethi Basudev Maurya 988
- Kushinagar Aravind Yadav 1406
- Sidhi Heeralal Singh 3848
- Udaipur Kika Meena 13099
- Chandigarh Lashkar Singh 377 n
Any erosion in the people’s confidence in the fairness of the ECI has very grave consequences for the future of our democracy.” In a letter addressed to President Ram Nath Kovind, a group of bureaucrats have bemoaned the ‘weak-kneed’ responses of the Election Commission in the run up to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. The letter points to various violations of the model code of conduct and illustrates how the EC took little action, if any, on most of the complaints that have been filed with it.
In the letter, which has also been sent to the Chief Election Commissioner and other Elections Commissioners, the Concerned Group of Citizens ask the EC to “conduct itself in a manner where its independence, fairness, impartiality and efficiency are not questioned and to firmly exercise the extensive mandate given to it under Article 324 of the Constitution of India to ensure that the Indian voter is able to exercise her/his franchise without fear or favour”.
The bureaucrats give several examples of violations where the EC has not taken the proper steps – from Yogi Adityanath’s ‘Modiji ke sena’ speech, to NaMo TV, a channel dedicated to all things Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It also brings up the prime minister’s speech after India conducted an anti-satellite test as well as a TV show, Modi: A Common Man’s Journey, about Modi that has five episode
It also ask why the EC has so far only sought a report about the prime minister’s divisive speech at Wardha, where he had said: “The Congress insulted Hindus. People have decided to punish it in the election. Leaders of that party are now scared of contesting from constituencies dominated by the majority population. That is why they are forced to take refuge in places where the majority is a minority.”
The retired civil servants also bring up the EC’s “obdurate conduct and its reluctance to undertake a proper VVPAT audit”. n
As apprehended, according to reports, the first phase of elections on 11th April witnessed widespread malfunctioning of the EVMs in many places where elections took place. The second phase of elections on 18th April also proved that EVMs are faulty and they cannot be relied on. For the last one decade CPI(ML) Red Star is demanding that EVMS should be replaced with the ballot system as done in vast majority of the countries. It is a good sign that all the opposition parties are also upholding this view now. But the Election Commission is adamant to persist with them and was not ready even to increase the number of VVPATs till the Supreme Court intervened. Still the demand to use 50% VVPATS is not accepted. There are reports that this system is also malfunctioning in many areas delaying the election process. The common feature is that everywhere EVMs are favouring BJP, that is even when button is pressed for a non-BJP party, vote goes to Lotus symbol! It itself shows the extent of malpractice and that it favours the ruling party. In our Election Manifesto we have demanded that:”Since the possibility of insertion of malicious software in EVMs and manipulation of voting preferences being already proved, immediately we should return to the ballot system”. In view of widespread complaints about EVMs, CPI(ML) Red Star reiterates this demand. n
Look away from the Bharatiya Janata Party versus Congress battles for a moment and there are still a number of fascinating questions that arise from India’s upcoming general elections. Who will capture the political imagination of Tamil Nadu? Will film star Pawan Kalyan make a dent in Andhra Pradesh? Does Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar still have a strong base? We’ll try and get to these questions and others in the Election Fix. Today, we look at another one: what will happen to the Left?
Although India’s various communist parties, associations and trade unions still have a presence across the country, as a political force they have for the most part been confined to three states: Kerala, West Bengal and Tripura. Even in these three, the party has experienced major setbacks. In 2018, after nearly three decades of communist rule, Tripura got a Bharatiya Janata Party chief minister. In West Bengal, the Trinamool Congress and a recently assertive BJP have combined to turn the Left Front, a coalition of communist parties, into what seems like a bit player in a state it once ruled for three decades.
It is only in Kerala that the Left Front is actually in power. But here too, there are fears that the anti-incumbency factor could work against it. Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s decision to contest from a second seat in Kerala, in addition to his current constituency of Uttar Pradesh’s Amethi, complicates this further. Gandhi will be contesting from Wayanad, where he will be going up against the Left. The constituency sits on the corner of Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, and the Congress hopes that its leader’s decision to contest from there will boost its chances across these three states.
But that means cutting further into the Left’s base in Kerala. In an election that is supposedly built around the idea of Opposition parties working together to “save democracy” by defeating the BJP, this decision presents a different picture: one where the Congress is pragmatically building its own base, which we discussed on the Election Fix a few weeks ago. So where does that leave the Left Front? Not in a great place. Opinion polls in West Bengal suggest the communist parties will be left with no seats at all.
Shoaib Daniyal, reporting from West Bengal, offers this snippet to give you a sense of what is happening to the Left: “Habibpur is an adivasi-reserved Assembly seat in the Malda district of West Bengal. Incredibly, the communists have held this seat since 1962 – with only one gap from 1967-’69, when it lost to the Congress. For the past three terms, the seat has been held by veteran Communist Party of India (Marxist) leader Khagen Murmu.
But in March, Murmu jumped ship to join the BJP. The prize? He was made the Hindutva party’s Lok Sabha candidate for Malda North. The CPI(M) itself can scarcely be found in the villages of Habibpur anymore, as saffron blots out red. The communists once considered Bengal their fort. Now they cannot even hold on to their pocket boroughs.” In Kerala too polls are weighed against the Left, so Gandhi’s decision to contest from Wayanad will no doubt have an impact.
The big two Left Front parties, the Communist Party of India and the Communist Party of India (Marxist), put out their manifestos this week, with promises that included Rs 9,000 per month in pensions, more guaranteed employment and data privacy. But the Left’s ability to influence policy will depend, to some extent on its political fortunes. And those, at the moment, do not look promising.
[From the Election Fix published by the www.Scroll.in]
A Response from CPI(ML) Red Star to the Above Comment
The above report on future of the left in India in the context of the 17th Lok Sabha elections. Of course, if you reduce the communist movement in India to CPI and CPI(M) and the Left Front and the index of the strength of the communist movement only as its strength in the elected bodies, this evaluation may be correct. And this negative picture can be extended to global scene also with all former socialist countries including China and Vietnam degenerating to capitalist states though they still use red flags.
But generally very little serious study is made to analyse the reasons for this set back. Or to see whether there are forces who are making serious rectifications, developing the Marxist perspective according to present conditions, and trying to build socialist alternative to present crises including the ecological catastrophe.
Marxism calls for overthrow of the capitalist system and replacing it with communism through a long socialist transition period. Under the leadership of Lenin when Russian revolution became victorious, Soviet Union was formed, and when it took up socialist transition it had become the future hope of mankind. Communist parties took birth in most of the countries, Soviet Union played leading role in defeating the Nazi fascist offensive, a dozen more countries took socialist path, and by early 1950s it looked like the socialist wave shall submerge the capitalist imperialist forces.
At this time, the imperialist camp led by US, in order to beat back the socialist offensive, replaced colonial (direct) domination with neo-colonial (indirect) domination by transferring power to big capitalist-big landlord classes in the colonies and launched social welfare measures and state capitalist policies, while maintaining their hegemony through export of finance capital, market system and technology and through arms trade. On the one hand military blocs were formed, and on the other IMF-World Bank and later WTO along with UN and its various agencies, for strengthening the neocolonial control.
What the communists did? By and large they could not correctly evaluate this new imperialist offensive. They saw it as weakening of imperialism. So the post-Stalin Soviet leadership called for peaceful coexistence and competition with imperialism and peaceful transition to socialism, abandoning the path of class struggle. It opened the floodgates to the capitalist roaders in the socialist countries who degenerated these countries in the course of next two decades.
In India, the CPI leadership started abandoning the revolutionary path by 1957, believing that through parliamentary path socialist transformation can take place. Against this there was inner party struggle, CPI splitted, and in 1964 CPI(M) was formed. But soon they also took to the path of parliamentarism. In 1967 both of them came together, formed broad based class collaborationist fronts and came to power in Kerala and W Bengal. Though they had promed implementation of land to the tiller like slogans, once in power, instead of using it for advancing class struggle, they soon compromised with the ruling rightist state system. Against this, there was revolt in Naxalbari in May 1967. But due to left adventurism, it could not take the movement back to the path of democratic revolution.
During this time the rightist Congress was degenerating fast and getting alienated from people. The space lost by it could be captured by the CPI(M) led Left Front, though for decades it was to power for decades in Bengal, Tripura and Kerala, as it continued to implement the ruling class policies and could not put forward an alternative path of development when the neoliberal policies were imposed by Narasimha Rao govt in 1991. It had lost the socialist narrative and naturally Singur, Nandigram happened degenerating and alienating them from the people fast. And the the space lost by the Congress and this institutionalized Left Front is now occupied by the autocratic TMC and the ultra left, regional, casteist parties. In spite of the setbacks in Bengal and Tripura, since the CPI(M) led LDF in Kerala is pursuing the very same corporate policies, it is bound to face setbacks there also. It reflects the fact that social democratic parties like CPI(M) are bound to fade out.
But it cannot be evaluated as the end for the left, it is incorrect. The revolutionary left is already on the path of overcoming this setback, not only in India, but all over the world. We are not talking about the CPI(Maoist) which is led by middle class’ utopian anarchist views, We are talking about CPI(ML) Red Star like forces who are leading Bhangar like people’s movements, who are trying to develop Marxist world view according to present conditions, and using all forms of struggle including parliamentary struggles to capture political power.
The hitherto history after the advent of capitalist system shows that only socialism can provide an alternative to present global turmoil created by the capitalist imperialist system, including the ecological catastrophe. So, learning from past mistakes, challenging and throwing out the present offensive of ultra right, neo-fascist forces at global level and in India, the socialist forces led by the revolutionary communists shall come to the centre stage as the people’s alternative in the coming days.