Official Website of Communist Party of India, Marxist - Leninist (ML) Redstar - Comments
FAR-RIGHT Hindu political groups have been emboldened, with vigilante groups taking the law into their own hands ever since Narendra Modi came to power in India. Systematic attacks by radical Hindu mobs on secular writers, progressive thinkers, filmmakers, and intellectuals have increased in India. Modi has kept quiet on this rising intolerance, which has further encouraged the violent mobs. Now, such violence has entered India’s well-known universities too.

Hindu radical nationalist organizations backed by India’s current ruling party are attacking students and professors more and more brazenly. Professors and students are being beaten, attacked, and threatened. Lately, they have also started attacking public gatherings including seminars, documentary screenings, and lectures. This has created an environment of terror among the professors who can’t even take their classes comfortably.

It is recognized all over the World that a ‘University’ must have full freedom for the pursuit of knowledge. Yet, inquiry, challenge, and discussion, the processes that are vital to any intellectual pursuit, are systematically threatened by violent attacks and various other means in India today.

“There is a new climate of fear in India — about speaking freely on some subjects. Universities are imposing prohibitory rules on teachers and students so that they can’t express themselves on some subjects.” - Amartya Sen, Economist who was awarded the 1998 Nobel Prize. “Free speech in Indian universities under threat” - Amnesty International India, an NGO focused on Human Rights.

Why should Vancouver Academic Community care about it?

The religious fundamentalist organizations are already active in UBC and SFU’s partner universities. This group is growing and spreading into India’s top academic institutions, which are potential partners of Canadian Universities in future. By signing this petition, we not only show solidarity with our Indian fellows but we are also ensuring the safety of the students and faculty.

How Can We Make A Change?

We are privileged, being a part of the great institutions of Vancouver, which are well known at international level. Due to this, it is quite possible that the government of India will pay attention to this petition, and thus ensure the safety of students and faculty in India and also maintain the democratic values like academic freedom, freedom of speech in Indian Universities. We, members of the academic community in Vancouver, British Columbia, deplore these attacks on the freedom of the academic space in India. Many of us are engaged in studies related to India, have direct connections with Indian universities, and are engaged in academic exchange programs. We express our solidarity with students and faculty at Indian universities and demand that the Government of India takes necessary measures to end the current violence and suppression of freedom of inquiry and discussion in the universities.

Following is the list of attacks by far-right radical nationalist groups on scholars, professors, and students:

 January 2016: On January 17, Lower caste scholar Rohith Vemula, 26-year-old Ph.D. student belonging to lower socioeconomic strata (a Dalit) of society, was found hanging in his hostel room at Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India, after he was suspended from student’s hostel. He was a member of the Ambedkar Student Association (ASA) and active in supporting social justice causes. Radical far-right group, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (known as ABVP), attacked the screening of film Muzzaffarnagar Baaqui Hai, which is on the violence against Muslims in UP that left many dead and thousands displaced in 2013. Rohith along with others marched against the ABVP’s attack. Some false charges by ABVP and pressure from the union ministers of Labour and Human Resource Development in the BJP (ruling political party in India) government led the Vice Chancellor of the university to expel Rohith and four other members who participated in the protest from the university. University administration also evicted them from the hostel and banned them from the use of campus facilities. Rohith also lost his research stipend. In protest, the expelled students and their supporters slept in the open outside the gates of the university and went on a hunger strike. Rohith managed to get into a friend’s room in the hostel and hanged himself, leaving a suicide note expressing his ambition to be a writer and his profound alienation in a society that had lost all authenticity.

 August 2015: M.M Kalburgi, a progressive thinker, and also a former vice-chancellor of Kannada University in Hampi, Karnataka, India was assassinated.

 August 2016: On August 27, Prof. H.S Sabharwal died after being beaten by hoodlums allegedly belonging to the BJP’s (current ruling party of India), student wing.

 Oct 2016: Najeeb Ahmed, a student, has been missing since Oct 15, 2016, after he had an altercation with a member of ABVP, the student wing of Prime Minister Modi’s Political party.

 Feb 2016: JNU Students Union president Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid, and other students were arrested on charges of sedition, on the basis of a doctored video for organizing an event on Capital Punishment.

 March 2017: March 13, JNU scholar, Muthukrishnan (known as Krish Rajini), 27 years old, an M.Phil student, a Dalit, committed suicide. Part of his last Facebook post says, “When equality is denied everything is denied”, and criticizes JNU’s admission policies.

 February 2017: On February 21, a seminar on “Cultures of Protest” at DU’s Ramjas College was violently attacked.

 February 2017: On February 22, the students and the professors of Delhi University were attacked, English Professor Prasanta Chakravarty was severely injured.

 February 2017: A 20-year-old, first-year female student, Gurmehar Kaur, received threats of death, and rape, after she started a campaign against these violent attacks, on social media.

 February 2017: Rajshree Ranawat, an associate professor of English at JNVU (Jai Narayan Vyas University) Jodhpur, Rajasthan, was suspended by the university’s syndicate on February 16, for organizing a seminar on ‘History Reconstrued through Literature: Nation, Identity, Culture’. It affiliates for inviting Nivediata Menon, a feminist writer and a professor of political thought at Jawaharlal Nehru University. The university administration filed a police complaint against Professor Menon for “anti­-national” comments at the seminar and suspended Professor Ranawat. 

Resurrection Koyamparambath - Satchidanandan

In memory of Com Varghese, radical tribal activist murdered by the police in Kerala

(Once upon a time — in 1978 to be precise — I had written a poem for a selfless communist who had taught the tribal people of Wayanad in Kerala to stand up and fight for their basic human rights , and was killed by the police in a fake encounter. Later the police constable who had shot him in cold blood, bitten by remorse, confessed to his crime and exposed the police lie that the revolutionary had been killed in an encounter. His name was Comrade Varghese and the adivasis addressed him as Peruman, meaning the Great Man or Mahatma. Now the present rulers of Kerala — who also claim to be communists — and whose post-Emergency ascendancy to power had something to do with the resentment that followed the murder of Varghese and who have turned Che Guevara into their poster-boy have informed the court that Varghese was a rioter, dacoit and criminal wanted in many cases and the police had rightly killed him in an ‘Encounter’. Here is an English version of that tribute to a ‘criminal and dacoit’ I had written four decades ago. (I wrote another poem, Enthinu Veendum, (Why Again) after the confession of that police constable : I do not have a translation of it yet.)

This evening two new stars

rose over the Brahmagiri hills.

Once they were a man’s eyes.

This evening the drops of the first rain

drenched our ballads of heroism.

Once they were a man’s words.

The first witnesses to this resurrection

was a wind descending the valley

and a squirrel in the woods of Tirunelli.

A confused lamb grazing the quiet meadows

of Panavalli stared in awe at the

heavy footsteps following her.

A lean dark Paniya tribal girl

picking tea leaves that brim with

the valour of her ancestors smiled

in recognition on seeing the familiar

handsome figure of the Man on the Cross.

Now a determined farmer growing uneasy gold

on the banks of Tejaswini raises his head

hearing your voice trembling with love.

You initiate the fishermen’s children

on the banks of Kaveri writing for them

their first letters in your luminous blood.

You suddenly appear behind the awakened

miners of Rajhara and gently whisper

in their keen ears: Comrade!

On the blood-throne of the Naga hills

a guerrilla fighter surprised by an arm’s warmth

on his shoulder kisses your long shade

to forget his weariness. The copper ores

of Venezuela, those frozen clots of Indian blood,

flush at the touch of your passionate breath.

You light up the eyes of the wild cat

In the tobacco plantations of Brazil.

The guards of the White House get perplexed

at the sight of a lean Malayali with a flag

and a gun bursting forth from nowhere

to lead an Afro-American demonstration.

They find you mourn the retreating spring

in the Red Square and Tiananmen, hugging

the betrayed offspring of revolutions and

shouting at the new Tsars: ‘You, cheats!

Vietnam sets you brooding.

You come back from your globetrotting

to listen to the nervous tolling of the church-bells.

Priests cover their eyes with holy mantles

and lock the doors while scared rulers

strengthen their security.

And you, you give the blind the eyes of history,

rouse the dead with the victim’s desperate courage,

walk undaunted on the sea of endless pain,

turn the water of timidity into the wine of hope,

baptise the young in self-knowledge,

and raise your whip against the merchants of death.

You open your heart and the dried up rivers

of love that unites the oppressed overflows,

your smile welds together parted ways.

You learn, you teach, you are betrayed.

Your followers draw lots on your clothes.

Yet we discover you again

in the green searing pungency of our pepper,

in the juicy sweetness of our sugar cane,

the liquid lust of our coffee,

in the dancing silver of our streams,

in the frozen gold of our clay.

We know you are back from the cross

not for forty days of preaching

and an ascension spoiled by melodrama.

You won’t be appeased by olive branches

nor by golden chalices. You will be

stopped neither by black hosannas

nor by stone-crosses. You have come

to stay the glory of every song,

to resound from drums and trumpets

to leap up from flutes and lyres,

to live forever, to struggle,

forever to lead

Forever.
THE Judgment by the National Green Tribunal’s South Zone Bench in Chennai on 16th March withdrawing environmental sanction to the Neutrino Project in Theni district should be seen as a victory of the people who were struggling against the super-imposition of the project on them. The Tamil Nadu and Kerala State Committees CPI (ML) Red Star have been in the forefront of the people’s struggle against the arrogance and bureaucratic/techno-centric attitude displayed by the INO management and the non-transparent manner in which the neutrino project was superimposed on the people without conducting a proper Environment and Social Impact Assessment study with the involvement of people. Now the NGT has unequivocally found that the project was initiated by the authorities without following the guidelines. In a well-attended People’s Convention convened by the Party in Hotel Theni International on May 24, 2015 and attended by experts and environmental activists from both Tamil Nadu and Kerala which adopted a resolution which asked the Central and State governments to reconsider the neutrino project from a people-centered perspective on science and development. Now the NGT judgment, though belated, endorses the stand already taken by the Party
THREE months before Hindu Sena, a RSS outfit, had launched a fortnight long puja and campaign at Jantar Mantar for the victory of Trump. In US the RSS supporters openly campaigned for him. Birds of the same feather! Today as Trump is in power and openly spewing hatred and intolerance leading to killing of Indians in US streets, can these RSS outfits absolve themselves from this blood?

We are all pained when an Indian engineer is gunned down and another injured in US in the atmosphere of hatred and intolerance created by the utterances of Trump who has ordered an end to immigration from seven ‘Islamic’ countries and building a wall to stop immigration from neighbouring Mexico. It is this Trump model patriotism which is in action in US threatening the many millions of not only Latinos and Muslims, but also Indians. When we are hurt about actions of Trump, are we really feeling hurt about the spreading fast of such extreme chauvinism, hatred and intolerance around the world under growing number of ultra rightist leaders coming to power in increasing number of countries? Cannot we see that what is happening in JNU and DU now and many other places earlier, or more or less in the country as a whole, as a RSS model extension of Trump’s hate politics? It is high time we rise up against these forces who create the atmosphere of hatred and intolerance, who question the patriotism of Gulmehr Kaur and threaten her in most vulgar forms. 
ALMOST whole of TN is in acute water distress. Not even drinking water is available. Even at this time Pepsi and Coco Cola companies are draining whatever water is available from the rivers in Thirunelveli district. Against this people are struggling. In support of this struggle the Collective of Traders in the state has decided to stop distribution of the products of these companies. Now Harsimrat kaur, the food minister in Modi government has condemned people’s agitation and traders’ support to it as anti-national acts! According to this BJP minister you have to serve Pepsi and Coco to become Nationalist! May be inspired by this statement of the minister or by the bribe these companies give the Chennai High Court also has supported these companies’ right to drain the water even though people have no drinking water! It is high time that people should to come out against these MNCs brand nationalists!. The TN state committee of the CPI(ML) Red Star has come out in support of the struggle against Pepsi and Cocoa.

In Kerala also the traders association has decided to stop the sale of these MNC products and the state committee of the Party has come out in support of it calling on the people to boycott all products of these MNCs
MORE than ever, we are witnessing around the world the continuous shrinking of democratic space, growth of divisive trends, spreading of feeling of hatread among all sections of people and the growth of fascist tendencies. What happened during the 1930s is repeated with more intensity at the international level. The election of Trump and his actions after taking over as US president have taken the sectarian tendencies, continuously intensified by US administration during the post- Second World War decades, especially under the last four presidents, starting with the Bush Sr whose policies led to aggression against Iraq and US funding of terrorist forces, to unprecedented levels. Like Adolf Hitler and Mussolini in Germany and Italy in 1930s, today Trump and other ultra rightist leaders are getting elected based on their divisive, hate campaigns as the solution to the intensifying crisis confronted by the imperialist system. While it is the capitalist-imperialist system which is the basic cause of all these crises, and the growing miseries confronting the masses, the attention is diverted through the spreading of divisive politics, politics based on communal, caste, race divisions.

This is the agenda of Trump when he repeats deportation threats among immigrants. The root cause of the global refugee crisis and forced migration of unemployed from plundered regions is the US led wars of aggression, destabilization, the neoliberal policies and the corporate hegemony imposed over world people. It is the same case in countries under neocolonial domination also. Concealing this, communal hatred is spread and state terror is intensified to divert people’s attention. Utilizing the modern technological advances in the communication fields, progressive ideas are suppressed and reactionary ideas and culture are spread for achieving this. Even while Trump’s policies are going to affect the millions of Indian origin employees in the US, the Hindutua forces are eulogizing him because of his attack on Muslims, forgetting that it is the US administration which trained, funded and unpeashed the Islamic fundamentalist forces to serve its hegemonic plans in the Muslim countries. It is the task of the progressive forces to expose the real economic agenda of Trumps and Modis and their programs for advancing it through the spreading of hate campaign and by fascicizing the state forces

TMC Fails to Build Bridges in Bhangar!

[As following TOI report reveals it took one month for the TMC leadership to hold a public meeting at Bhangar after the 17th Jan. police firing, that also 5 kms away from the Power Grid Project area. They kept away the local leaders and tried to convince the people through another pack of lies! The TMC leaders still talks in ifs and buts when 90% of the people in the area have rejected this project. They still talk of CPM and Maoists for misleading the people and it is CPI(ML) Red Star which is leading it as any villager will tell these leaders if they bother to ask. Conspiracy of Mamta government is to put down the people’s movement and then impose this unwanted project over them. But the people have seen through this game and are determined to fight the heinous tactics of the TMC leadership at any cost, developing it to more areas – RS)

BHANGAR: The ruling Trinamool took a month to hold its first public meeting after the Bhangar killings on 17th Feb, keeping local MLA and minister Abdur Rezzak Molla and his predecessor Arabul Islam away from the gathering. Senior Trinamool leaders — Subrata Bakshi, Sovan Chatterjee, Firhad Hakim and Mukul Roy — made a desperate attempt to build bridges with the villagers yet to get over the trauma of police repression on January 17. Yet, there were few people from the affected villages — a reason why the Trinamool meeting was held at Shyamnagar Bazar, five kilometres away from the power project site at Machhibhanga village.

Sensing the mood, Trinamool minister and in charge of the party’s South 24 Parganas unit Sovan Chatterjee began with a conciliatory note. “I have not come here to argue for the power project. I have come here to talk about Bhangar’s overall development. We are not going to do anything by force. The government will speak to the people of Bhangar over the power project. Work for the project will begin only if people want it,” Chatterjee said. The message didn’t go down well among the villagers. “Why is the minister talking in ifs and buts when Bhangar villagers want the project scrapped? The high-tension power lines have already affected our agricultural lands. Land prices are falling. We don’t want the project,” said Shiekh Ahidul from Khamarait village.Chatterjee, however, didn’t miss out to give a veiled threat to Ahidul and his ilk for coming in the way of Bhangar’s development. Without making a mention of the power project Chatterjee said: “I apologise if we have brought any distress to the people. Our CM has already said that the power project won’t proceed if people don’t want it. But we won’t tolerate those who are trying to break peace in Bhangar. Some such forces — CPM and Maoists — are instigating villagers to derail the development roadmap. Don’t take our patience for all these days as our weakness.”

Minister Firhad Hakim saw the Bhangar episode as a “big conspiracy” against Mamata Banerjee’s development mission. Trinamool vice-president Mukul Roy wondered why villagers took the protest path four years after 40 bighas of land were purchased for the power project.

Monotosh Chakraborty, Times of India, 17th Feb 
THE democratic forces have welcomed the actions taken by the government of Chhattisgarh announcing the appointment of P Sundararaj, IPS as DIG of the newly-created Dantewada Range. Bastar IG Sri SRP Kalluri has been asked to proceed on long leave. It follows on the heels of the appearance of senior state government officials before the National Human Rights Commission on 30 January 2017. The NHRC had summoned these officials to answer for the apathy of the state government in responding to the egregious violations of human rights and vendetta against human rights defenders perpetrated by the police and police-sponsored vigilante groups encouraged and supported by the police under Sri Kalluri.

Taking cognizance of media reports and multiple complaints and submissions from WSS and other human rights groups, the NHRC conducted its own investigation in March 2016 into complaints of mass rapes and sexual violence against Adivasi women by police forces during search and combing operations in the remote villages of Peddagellur, Bellam Nendra and Kunna.

The NHRC investigation team met and recorded the statements of 16 women who had filed FIRs of rape, sexual assault and physical violence. The team also looked into the systematic hounding and intimidation of activists, lawyers and media professionals who were bringing these incidents to light, by the police and vigilante groups under the direct patronage of IG Sri Kalluri. A follow-up investigation in January 2017 recorded the statements of 20 more women also filed FIRs of sexual violence ranging from mass rapes to sexual assault of minor girls and pregnant women.

In its landmark order of 7 January 2017, the NHRC held the state government vicariously responsible for the egregious violations of human rights in Bastar. The strongly-worded order validated the contention that sexual violence was being used as a weapon in the state’s “war against Maoists” in Bastar. The NHRC order also pulled up the state government for its failure to provide the mandatory compensation to the complainants and for not registering cases under the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act.

Defying strictures by the Supreme Court and the NHRC, Sri Kalluri publicly announced the launch of “Mission 2017”, an all-out vendetta against all those who were calling the state to account. Adivasi leaders, human rights activists, lawyers, academics, fact-finding teams and journalists were targeted, hounded and threatened by the police and police-sponsored vigilante groups. The intention was clearly to ensure that there are no witnesses to the gross violations of the human rights of Adivasi citizens in the war against Maoists in Bastar.

Senior officials of the state government finally appeared before the NHRC on 30 January 2017 to answer for their failure to ensure the rule of law in Bastar, even as human rights activists and citizens across the country rallied in support of researcher Bela Bhatia after she was attacked by goons from AGNI, a vigilante group promoted by the police. The closed-door meeting continued for several hours as complainants waited anxiously outside. While celebrating these developments, democratic forces should be sharply aware that this is only the first step in the long road to restoring peace, justice and the rule of law in Bastar. WSS will continue to mobilise public attention while pursuing our complaints and submissions in cases currently before the NHRC. The struggle for removal of para military forces and for restoring democratic atmosphere in the state should be continued. 

The Communist movement in India has a history of almost a century after the salvos of October Revolution in Russia brought Marxism-Leninism to the people of India who were engaged in the national liberation struggle against the British colonialists. It is a complex and chequered history.