We are passing through a very challenging period. On 5th August the parliament abrogated Article 370 and reduced the J&K state in to two union territories without going through any form of consultations with the people of the state or their representatives. Military, para military and police forces are deployed everywhere, preventive orders are clamped down and all forms of communications are cut. Many concerned people approached the Supreme Court, which is the authority and has right to give relief to people if the constitutional rights are violated; first group of people challenging the government action on J&K, and second group appealing against the clamp down and cutting down of all communications including the democratic rights of people of the state to go to their families and contact with them. On the first question, the SC ordered that it shall take up the question in October for hearing! On the second question, it has strangely asked the petitioners let us have faith on the government and give the government some more time before taking up the question! Only two or three individuals were allowed to go, see the individual they want to meet and return without meeting anyone else! At the same time the media is prevented from reporting what is actually happening. Government is putting pressure on the media to shut up. Foreign media reports about horrific tortures, suppression and resistance, while government and its officers repeating everything is perfect, and people are increasingly supporting govt action, while detention of thousands including MPs, ex-chief ministers, MLAs is continuing, and access to communication channels are by and large cut off still!
In spite of all these, even after many petitions to J&K High Court and the SC, they refuse to act! What has happened to our apex court? Meanwhile, the Supreme Court collegium headed by Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi had on August 28 ordered the transfer of the CJ from Madras, Vijaya Kamlesh Tahilramani to Meghalaya. The Collegium had rejected her appeal asking for reconsideration of the transfer from a 70 judges strong Madras High Court to Meghalaya High Court with 3 judges. It is quite clear that it is a calculated humiliation of her, because she on May 4, 2017, when she was the CJ of Mumbai High Court, upheld the life imprisonment of 11 convicts in the gang rape of Bilkis Bano and the murder of her family during the 2002 Gujarat riots. She also set aside the acquittal of seven persons in the case including five police officers and two doctors, convicting them under sections 201 (tampering of evidence) and 218 (not performing duties) of the Indian Penal Code. As her plea is rejected and no explanation for this action is given by the CJI, it is crystal clear that the CJI and the collegium of the SC had ordered her transfer under dictates of home minister Amit Shaw!
What is happening to our Supreme Court? People have a right to know! Is it an undeclared emergency where the Constitution as a whole is made inoperative?
Com Kn Ramachandran
The establishment of the first Hindu Court in UP’s Meerut district on August 15, 2019 (72nd Independence Day) with Pooja Shakun Pandey, national secretary of Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha, notorious for re-enacting ‘Gandhi assassination’ on last January 30, as the first judge should not be construed merely as symbolic. The judge then itself, pronounced that the Court will have proper jails and maximum punishment will be death. The bylaws of the Court based on Manu Smriti will be released on Gandhi Jayanti on October 2, and the names of five more judges will be announced then, who will take charge in different parts of the country. Meanwhile, Hindu Mahasabha has plans to set up similar courts in Aligarh, Hathras, Mathura, Shikohabad and Firozabad on November 15, the day when Nathuram Godse was hanged. The main motive of the courts, as per the Hindu Mahasabha leaders, is to settle the issues related to the Hindu community on fast track basis as they remain pending in judiciary for long.
It should be noted that while Dr. Ambedkar was drafting the Indian Constitution, the RSS had expressed its outrage at him and demanded that Manu Smriti which epitomized the superiority of Brahmin men, and considered women, the lower castes and the “untouchables” as subhuman, be made the basis of Indian Constitution. RSS justification for making Manu Smriti as Indian Constitution had appeared in two Issues (November, 30 1949 and January 11, 1950) of Organizer, its mouthpiece. The November 30, 1949 Issue, among other things said: “The worst about the new constitution of Bharat is that there is nothing Bhartiya about it ... in our constitution, there is no mention of the unique constitutional development in ancient Bharat. Manu’s Laws were written long before Lycurgus of Sparta or Solon of Persia. To this day his laws, as enunciated in the Manu Smriti, excite the admiration of the world and elicit spontaneous obedience and conformity. But to our constitutional pundits that means nothing.”
Viewed from this perspective, the Manu Smriti-based Hindu Court that is being inaugurated in UP is to be understood as integral part of a broader saffron theme towards open Hindu Rashtra. It is in accordance with the tenets of Manu Smriti that the Hindutva forces led by the RSS have consistently been demanding the abolition of caste-based reservation. The recent reassertion of this position by Mohan Bhagwat, RSS chief himself, is to be viewed in this context. A few days before, RSS was in the news for starting military schools for supplying personnel to Indian military. This is perfectly in tune with the erstwhile fascist tradition where paramilitary lumpen goons (e.g. Black shirts of Italy and Brown shirts of Germany) trained in ‘fascist academies’ merged with the official military apparatus in enforcing the rule of fascist regimes. The establishment of Manu Smriti courts by Hindu Mahasabha, having more pronounced ramifications, is a further step forward in this direction.
Unlike Italy and Germany when fascism suddenly shot up from the economic and political crisis of the 1920s, the fascist transformation in India is to be understood as a systematic, steady and long drawn-out process spanning almost a century and having deep rooted and multi-dimensional penetration into entire civilian and military apparatuses of the Indian state. And unlike the Italian and German fascists who had sharp contradictions with other imperialist forces that turned out to be their Achilles’ heel, the Hindutva fascists from the very beginning have been shrewd enough to serve the interests of international capital at every step—an aspect to be noted by democratic forces in India. No doubt, the whole trajectory is now being cleared for India’s eventual transformation in to a Hindu Rashtra.
The RSS initiative to start Army Schools on the model of Indian Military Schools to train children to become officers in Indian armed forces with effect from April, 2020 has not received much attention in mainstream media. Run by Vidya Bharti, the education wing of RSS that manages more than 20000 schools in India, the new School will be called Rajju Bhaiya Sainik Vidya Mandir based on the CBSE Syllabus. Among other things, retired army officers will be in charge as teachers.
Of course, Moonje the mentor and political guru of Hedgewar, the founder of RSS, had started the Bhonsala Military School in Nasik in 1937, under the management of Central Hindu Military Education Society also established by him in 1935. Moonje who visited the Italian fascist dictator Mussolini in 1935 was much inspired not only by the latter, but also by the Central Military School, the Fascist Academy of Physical Education directly controlled by Mussolini. Moonje identified this as a model to be emulated in India for the ‘military regeneration of Hindus’ and ‘Indianisation’ of the army by eliminating the artificial distinction between marital and non-marital classes among the ‘Hindus’. He was also fascinated by the close integration between military and paramilitary, lumpen organisations like Black Shirts in Italy under Mussolini.
Coming back to India, all the various inputs that Moonje assimilated from Mussolini were adapted to the Indian conditions in establishing the Bhonsala Military School and for developing the RSS cadres. No doubt, the fanatical adulation and adoration that Hindutva leaders had towards Mussolini and Hitler were already well-documented. Meanwhile, it was during the Rao-led Congress regime that the Bhonsala School, considered as a ‘fringe’ element till then was granted affiliation in 1995 by the Indian Public Schools’ Conference, an association of heads of leading public schools of the country. However, it should also be noted that Bhonsala School’s alleged links with terrorist actions by Hindutva extremist groups including 2008 Malegaon blasts had come to the notice of Maharashtra Anti-Terror Squad led by Hemant Karkare.
Coming to the new RSS initiative to begin Bhonsala model schools under Rajju Bhaiya Sainik Vidya Mandir, when the former holds ‘absolute’ power over the entire Indian State apparatus, the whole issue should be evaluated as a qualitative development in the direction of full-fledged fascism with Indian specificities. If the process is to continue unabated, then it is only a matter of time that the entire military will be saffronised as envisaged by the founders of Indian fascism. It is a revealing question that the so called opposition parties fighting Hindutva fascism are not properly grasping the gravity of this transformation aimed at open and naked saffronisation of Indian military.
On July 30, the Rajya Sabha gave its nod to the controversial Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2019. This bill has already been cleared by the Lok Sabha or lower house and now just needs Presidential assent before being formally considered an Act.
But the passage of this bill that primarily concerns itself with the criminalisation of the practice of Triple Talaq was not devoid of drama. If the Lok Sabha saw Hyderabad MP Asauddin Owaisi showcasing exactly how the bill actually did very little for the women it hopes to protect, there was a walkout by BJP allies JD (U) and AIADMK when the bill was presented before the Rajya Sabha. While there were 99 votes in favour, there were 84 votes against the passage of the bill. 5 Congress MPs abstained from voting despite being issued a whip by none other than Congress Parliamentary Party leader Sonia Gandhi. In fact, poor floor management by a disunited opposition appears to be as much to blame for the passage of the bill as the determination of the regime to further is divisive and openly anti-minority agenda.
Key criticisms of the bill can be summarised as follows: The bill fails to take into account the plight of the woman who will be forced to depend on her potentially vindictive in-laws while her husband serves his jail sentence. While the bill has a provision for payment of subsistence allowance (amount to be determined by a Magistrate) for herself and her children, it fails to realise that the husband who is expected to pay the allowance will be incarcerated and therefore unlikely to be able to pay the said allowance. When it comes to all other religions, marriage and divorce are treated as a civil matter, but only Muslim personal law provisions are being bent to turn divorce into a criminal matter The provision to criminalise divorce can be used against Muslim men to target them. n
The hallmark of postmodern discourse on contemporary political developments in general is its gross disregard of the fundamental and determining dynamics associated with the all-embracing and all-pervasive role of multinational corporate capital and the linkage of both state power and political parties to the crucial question connected with it. In other words such analyses by their over- emphasis on the cultural dimension including everything from religion to social values though apparently progressive, deconstruct the underlying material basis that decides the political outcomes.
At present, Kerala is confronting a total reversal of all the social reform and ‘renaissance’ values that it has gained through yesteryears struggles for which both the political right that is becoming far-right and the mainstream left that is also embracing neo-liberalism are responsible. The crucial issues of dalits, adivasis, fisher people and all oppressed including their fundamental land question is cunningly avoided in mainstream discussions.
As part of this political degeneration, the mainstream left through its adherence to neoliberal- corporatization is now engaged in a depoliticising mission such that all decadent brahmanical values, casteist practices and religious revivalism irrespective of their denominations are bouncing back with intensified vigour in Kerala. That is, the so called left’ s affinity to neo-liberalism is the threatening factor that paves the way for the rapid advance of saffron fascism in Kerala too. As what happened in Bengal and Tripura, the Congress that is already in disarray cannot be a solution for this political degeneration in Kerala too. Only a people’ s alternative with ideological-political clarity capable of resisting this decay can effectively take up the task of facing this challenge. Otherwise, ultra-right fascist forces will be the gainer.
The basic flaw of the article that is attached here is that it remains at the realm of cultural superstructure and ignores other fundamental issues, though such a demarcation between culture and political economy is unscientific.
(Comment by Comrade PJ James on the article on Kerala Situation in https://www.sabrang india.in/article/social-reform-key-block-bjp)
Do Real Facts Justify Eulogising of Departed Jaitly by Political Establishment and Corporate Media as a Great Statesman?
He may be statesman for corporate class and RSS parivar, not for the working class and the downtrodden, oppressed masses!
The former finance minister Arun Jaitly passed away on 24th august due to illness. His departure is being celebrated as the greatest current event by the ruling class’ political establishment, the corporate chiefs and the corporate media. He is presented as a great statesman and his death as a great loss to the country. Yes, he served his class masters, the coporate bosses and the RSS establishment with full sincerity and loyalty throughout his life. He can be appreciated for that. But, what is remaining of the CPI(M), its leaders in Kerala, the LDF chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan and his finance minister Thomas Issac join the band wagon of RSS leaders and corporate class eulogising Jaitly as a great statesman, it become our duty to speak out what should be the communist approach at the demise of such reactionary, ruling class leaders.
Yes, Jaitly was a very important leader of the BJP, one of its Chanakyas, who did many great things to help BJP to come to present powerful political position, including helping Modi from getting removed from the chief ministership after Gujarat pogrom by convincing then prime minister Vajpayee not to do so. He had served the RSS, BJP and the corporate forces excellently. He was a good orator, lawyer and manipulator who used his capabilities efficiently to serve the communal fascist forces and the corporate class like Chidambaram, Pranab Mukherjee like leaders did in Congress. So, we can understand why the whole brahmanical forces, RSS establishment and corporate forces eulogising him. But, did he do anything in the service of the working class, the vast majority of the downtrodden people in this country?
Let us make a glance through his services! As an efficient lawyer, he represented Union Carbide chief Anderson to save him after the Bhopal gas massacre, and the great service he did to the corporate kings is continued by his daughters’ firm loyally. As far as his great service in the cricket field is concerned, he was president of DDCA (Delhi & District Cricket Association) for 13 years till 2013. How he used this position for corrupt practices was exposed by then BJP MP and cricketor Kirti Azad as well as by the AAP chief Kejriwal. As a BJP leader, both inside and outside parliament he did every thing to defend the fascist RSS and was part of all reactionary moves for its ascendance to present position. As far as his popularity is concerned, in 2014 elections, in spite of the ‘Modi wave’, in Amritsar seat he was defeated by 94000 votes by Congress leader Amrinder Singh. Still he was made Rajya Sabha member and finance minister in Modi government with second ranking position. As finance minister, he could get the GST through which serves well the interests of corporate giants, but which goes against the federal principles of the Constitution and which aggravated the economic down turn started from the time of demonetisation. The present economic slow down and crisis are the result of his five years as finance minister when everything was done to serve the corporate forces, like Ambani and Adani. Many lakhs of crores were given as loans from public sector banks to fictitious companies floated by corporates close to him and BJP, which were later written of as Non Performing Assets. His relation with these corporate thugs was so close that Vijay Mallya flew outside to Britain just hours after meeting Jaitly. Yes, he was a great finance minister for the corporate thugs, to BJP and to his family firm. If a former finance minister Chidambaram is now under CBI custody, if a truthful investigation is done Jaitly could be charged for manifold murky dealings similar to what is accused against Chidambaram. That he was on the right side and so escaped from so many of these allegations, does not mean that he is exonerated and was a great statesman!
What was Jaitly’s approach to the so many terror attacks like Malegaon case organized by Pragya Thakur like RSS forces, to the mob lynchings by the gorashaks and other RSS gangs, to the saffronization of education, culture, history and other fields? To the utterances of RSS chief Mohan Bhagvat who has even called for opening discussion on reservation> He was an outright RSS man who served the corporate class to the best of his capacity, while making his family to gallop financially, which can be proved easily if an investigation is done. So, it will be a travesty of facts if he is presented as a great finance minister, statesman etc etc without mentioning which class he served all through his life and to his loyalty to fascist RSS. So, one should not be surprised at all if the coporate class, RSS establishment and the ruling political establishment eulogise him and shed tears at his departure.
But, it is a shame that the CPI(M) leaders who still claim themselves as communists also join the band wagon of the Sanghi fascists and corporates to eulogise him as a great finance minister and what not. It shows to what extent these name-sake communists has degenerated! It shows what a great disservice these renegades and corporate lackeys are doing to the working class and to the communist movement. Let us draw clear our line of demarcation with them. Unlike these renegades, Jaitly outrightly and with full sincerity served his corporate masters and the RSS ideology and establishment openly and boldly. He never betrayed his masters and ideology. We can appreciate him for that, while exposing Vijayan, Issac like renegades who unlike Jaitly are renegades betraying the class they claim to serve.
CPI(ML) Red Star.
the state always use black laws to suppress people’s protests. Such laws are generally used dubbing these struggles as terroristic. According to changing situation these laws and the instruments for their implementation are made more autocratic by making necessary amendments by governments, using them for attacking the minorities and oppressed classes and sections also. This is the case of all black laws like TADA, POTA, AFSPA, UAPA etc. The amendments to NIA Amendment Bill also is part of this.
When the UPA govt formed NIA (National Investigation Agency) in 2008 it had many anti-people provisions. Now the Modi-2 home minister Amit Shaw in the first session of the parliament itself pushed through amendments to the NIA rules to create Islamophoebia and to facilitate more attacks on human rights and democratic rights. While only 6 MPs in Lok Sabha voted against this, the Rajy Sabha, where NDA is a minority, unanimously adopted it!. The parties expected to take strong stand against fascism did not take such positions. While Congress supported the bill, CPI(M) which opposed it in the LS, kept away from pressing for voting in the RS. Even the Muslim League did not consistently oppose it. It seems all these parties in opposition were afraid that they may be attacked for supporting terrorism by the BJP!
The Bill made important changes in the NIA provisions. Firstly human trafficking, fake currency, production and sale of prohibited arms, Cyber terrorism, 1908 provisions regarding explosive materials etc were included under its purview. For trial of these cases Special Courts shall be constituted.
The problem with all black laws is that they can be/are used against any organization or individual opposed to the ruling system. All the black laws are primarily used against the minorities and organizations struggling for the rights of workers, peasants and other oppressed sections, besides against democratic rights’ activists. As far as the NIA is concerned even during the UPA rule it did not act effectively against the accused in the 2002 Gujarat pogroms or in cases where pro-RSS forces were accused. Under Modi-1 all the accused Hindutva forces including Pragya Thakur were given bail or cases against them dropped. In this situation giving more powers to NIA, even taking away some of the cases so far dealt by the state police, will make it more draconian and another powerful weapon in the hands of the saffron fascist forces. Still the parliamentary opposition including the Left Front did not oppose it effectively in the parliament, shows the growing danger of even such forces getting terrified and surrendering to the neo-fascist state machinery under Modi.
Comrade A K Roy, general secretary of the Marxist Co-ordination Committee (MCC) and a leading trade union activist among the coal workers of Dhanbad region, passed away today (21st July 2019) at the age of 84. After taking up job as a chemical engineer he actively worked among the coal mine workers and led many militant struggles, for which he was thrown out of job.
In 1971 he resigned from the CPI(M) and formed his own trade union centre and MCC. For some time he had formed a platform with Sankar Guha Niyogi who was leading the workers’ struggle in Chhattisgarh and Shibu Soren who was leading Jharkhand Mukthi Morcha. He was elected to parliament three times and after 1980s was shifting closer to the left Front.
CPI(ML) Red Star expresses its heartfelt condolences at the departure of com. AK Roy