Official Website of Communist Party of India, Marxist - Leninist (ML) Redstar - Editorials
Past few months the country had witnessed raging debate on nationalism, free speech and tax payers’ Pamoney being misused on educational institutions like JNU. But this soon degenerated to storm troopers of the RSS parivar manhandling students, teachers and journalists. Sedition cases being filed on students. Acid like substance poured on Adivasi activist Soni Sori. On top of all that a dalit scholar, Rohith Vemula, was forced to commit suicide after being hounded by these same forces.

All these saffron acts were justified saying that doing things in the name of free speech questioning anything connected with nationalism will amount to insulting the brave soldiers guarding the national borders. So no discussion on these borders is allowed even if one has serious reservations on who created these borders and who put these soldiers there, including in Siachen, one of the most inhospitable places for human beings on earth. No discussion is allowed on why Srinagar, which is not on the border is one of the most militarized cities in the world and Kashmir is one of the most militarized places on earth. No discussion is allowed on Sedition Act imposed by the British colonialists and on Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) which allows immunity to soldiers against which the Iron Lady of Manipur Irom Sharmila is on a 15 year old indefinite fast.

The constitutional mandate for the military is to help the implementation of the Constitution. But now they are forced to build bridges to help the celebration of World Cultural Festival organized by a self-styled god man, Shri Shri Ravi Shankar, an event which is questioned now by National Green Tribunal and fined Rs. 5 crores. Violating all environmental laws more than 1000 acres of Yamuna’s flood plains are encroached upon to hold this event. Bowing to pressure from above all these institutions have now allowed him to go ahead with this program which will only spread more superstitions allowing him to make a delayed payment of the fine.

Modi government do not see anything wrong if the military men are deployed for the mundane task of building bridges for the “Shri Shri” event. Does it not amount to degrading our soldiers by depriving them from their primary duty of guarding the borders? Are we paying tax money, used to pay salary of the soldiers, to build bridges for a private ceremony organized by a self styled god man? The people should demand an answer.
As the elections to the five state assemblies are announced, the ruling class parties in power and those who are trying to come to power are engaged in a corrupt and opportunist fierce campaign using communal/caste appeasement and money power. The BJP is frantically trying to increase its support base to intensify the corporate-saffron rule. At the same time all of them are for intensifying the implementation of the neoliberal policies. CPI(ML) Red Star and its allies are totally rejecting these ruling class policies and uncompromisingly oppose the saffronization are fielding candidates in areas where they have influence among the masses. The CC of the Party which met at New Delhi on 16th March appeals to all secular democratic forces, all left masses to support the candidates fielded by the Party and supported by it in order to strengthen the efforts to build a people’s alternative against the reactionary and communal ruling system.
The BJP which was vehemently opposing the Aadhar during the UPA regime has now become its staunchest protagonist after the advent of the Modi regime. Even as the Supreme Court has unequivocally expressed its apprehensions on the possible misuse of Aadhar, in the 2016 -17 budget the Modi government has announced its resolve to adopt an Aadhar linked targeted regime for all subsidies with a vie further pruning on on all social welfare spending. In continuation of that the government is now bull-dozing the Aadhar bill under the garb of a money bill to bypass the opposition dominated Rajya Sabha’s powers of voting against it. Through this bill the government is enlarging the scope of Aadhar from a unique instrument of identity to a neoliberal weapon for targeting all subsidies much beyond the LPG to cover even fertilizers, health, education and all centrally sponsored financial services and schemes.

This move on the part of Modi regime to push through this controversial legislation at the fag end of the first phase of the budget session is highly condemnable. We appeal to the people to come forward to resist this draconian move recognizing its true essence.

On defining who are anti nationals

After the ultra right Modi government took over in 2014, it is providing all out support to the RSS Parivar to indulge in wanton saffronization in all fields, denying even whatever democratic space was existing in the country. Unleashing its own brand of nationalist fervor, it is negating the right to debate on all socio-political- cultural questions and to challenge the policies pursued by the authorities in different fields. So, naturally the question of defining nationalism and patriotism have become cardinal as the RSS is taking over the right to decide it.

For example, the CPI(ML) Red Star like forces calls for unity of India as a genuine federal country based on the right of self-determination of all nationalities; they also call for right of self-determination for the people of J&K and North East including the right to secede; they call for holding a referendum where people are struggling for right of self-determination, for withdrawal of military from policing in these regions and for the repeal of the AFSPA from these areas, and support the 15 year long indefinite fast of Irom Sharmila with this demand. They had opposed the annexation of Sikkim and had called the hanging of Afsal Guru and Yakub Memon as state sponsored judicial murders. They call for an end to death sentence and its repeal from the statute. They have called for political dialogues with all neighbouring countries to settle all border disputes, for withdrawal of the military from the borders, and for reduction of the military expenditure in the budget. Shall all these amounts to anti-nationalism?

The CPI(ML) Red Star calls for caste annihilation movement imposed and maintained under Brahmnical varna/caste system, for immediate legal and administrative steps to put an end to all forms of gender inequalities perpetuated under Manuvad, for separating religion from politics based on strict implementation of secular principles including implementation of a common secular civil code for all; for convening a constituent assembly to revise and develop the Constitution according to the spirit of its preamble which shall include the right to recall all elected representatives, the abolition of the post of governors, the abolition of IAS like direct recruitments generating bureaucracy, including the right to hold referendums by central and state governments before taking important decisions, for determining and implementing ceiling on the right to own all forms of wealth and properties. Shall all these amount to un-patriotic acts?

Similarly, it is obvious that the RSS Parivar is intensifying saffronisation as a cover to speed up corporatization, for opening the country further to MNCs and neoliberal policies. The development policies it has taken over from the Congress devastate nature and impoverish the masses. CPI (ML) Red Star calls for throwing out this development perspective and to go for a people oriented development and democratization of the society in all forms so that the power is vested with the people. Will it also amount to unpatriotic acts?

The resurgence in the higher centers of education starting from IIT-Chennai and spreading to FTII, Hyderabad Central University, JNU and to Allahabad University besides in many other institutions and places involving ever increasing number of youth and students, and people in general shows that they are not prepared to surrender to the RSS dictates on democracy, culture, food-dress codes etc. As the possibilities for the Modi government acting at the orders of RSS changing its style of rule is practically nil, the people have to intensify the struggle to defend the existing Constitutional rights and to expand them as people’s democracy.

NEW YEAR BRINGS MORE MISERY TO PEOPLE

THE Industrial Production Index data shows a 3.2% contraction in factory output in November. Both basic goods and capital goods contracted 0.7 % and 24.4 % respectively. Except a few items like automobiles and consumer durables, demand goes down for all other items. The overseas export markets and rural economy are facing serious challenges. The impact of China’s slowdown and its devaluation of the Yuan also shall have their impact in Indian economy. The export fell by 16% during the fiscal year. The prospects are for a sustained slowdown.

All these point towards impending stagflation. While oil prices fall in the international market steeply, its benefits are mopped by the corporate and the government. At the same time the food prices continue to climb pushing food inflation to 6.4 per cent in December. There are reports that unseasonal weather conditions including an El Nino-induced milder winter could lead to the rabi crop yield ending up well below expectations in several regions.

What do all these point towards to? Especially when the purchasing power of the vast masses are steeply falling and when increasing number of peasants and frustrated middle class and youth are resorting to suicides? While Modi is encouraging affluent youth entrepreneurs with many many tax cuts and interest free loans for their 'Start Up India' programme, no more promises of Good Days are forthcoming for the common masses.

So the New Year is going to be an year of increasing poverty and misery for the vast masses. This trend should be resisted only by developing mass movements at all levels.

PATHANKOT DERAILS INDO-PAK TALKS

THE FORCES against normalization of relations between India and Pakistan on both sides of the border and their international sponsors have played their trump card again by staging the Pathankot terrorist attacks. The incident has proved a perfect ‘excuse’ for India to defer the pre-scheduled secretary-level talks with Pakistan, supposedly on ‘mutual agreement’.

During the decade long Congress-led UPA rule its reluctance to take any bold initiative to solve the Indo-Pak conflict was justified pointing out the occasional terrorist actions. They became pretexts to stop whatever initiative it had taken. The antagonistic approach taken by BJP, Shiv Sena like forces towards any talks and the lack of any initiative from the non-Congress and non-BJP forces in parliament aggravated the apathy towards Indo-Pak talks. In spite of inviting all SAARC leaders including Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaj Sharif to his oath taking ceremony, Modi did not take any initiative to better the relations with Pakistan. So the surprise visit of Modi to Lahore and his bonhomie with Nawaj Sharif was appreciated by all progressive forces even though the US administration’s hands were clearly behind it for bringing together these two countries in its anti-China coalition. In spite of it, it is clear that any steps towards resolving the long delayed normalization of relations between these neighbouring countries will benefit people on both sides of the border.

In spite of all its limitations, the Indo-Pak talks should have been resumed for normalizing relations to whatever level possible which is the only way to stop the terrorists from their heinous track. We condemn the postponement of the secretary level talks.

If the Indo-Pak conflict is a legacy of the communal division of the sub-continent, each and every government on both sides from that time has cheated the people by their repeated dramas in the name of reconciliation. Each and every government at Delhi is refusing to state before the people to what extent it is prepared to go to resolve the differences. Without any such approach, how can any political solution be reached? As far as RSS is concerned, it is for perpetuating this division, in spite of all its Akhand Bharat calls, to keep the communal fire burning. So, any possibility for de-escalation of the tension on the border, resumption of talks and normalization of relations looks bleak under BJP govt. unless people’s pressure grows to the extent of forcing it to do so.

ROHIT’S SUICIDE: MURDER MOST FOUL

ROHIT VEMULA’S suicide is not the first such incident in a centre of higher education. From the earliest stage of interview onwards, the Brahmnical elite clubs which dominate all such centres start discriminating against students from dalit and adivasi sections. If they are selected in spite of all odds, they are treated in a manner worse than apartheid. In the college and hostels they are abused by those who are perpetuators of casteism and its followers. From the 1950s thousands of such instances when dalit students were forced to commit suicide or forced to stop education were reported from all over the country.

What is happening now is that under the Brahminical RSS-promoted BJP rule such suicides and atrocities are given open approval by the elite clubs in seats of power. Dalits and other oppressed sections are denied even their constitutional and basic human rights. This heinous situation calls for militant resistance to such atrocities and intensification of all-out efforts for annihilation of this inhuman caste system perpetuated by the Brahminical ruling system. Rohit’s murder calls for sustained movements to create conditions for elimination of the present socio-economic conditions which lead to the perpetuation of the caste system.

Vemula’s suicide is a tragically shameful testimony to the all-pervasive outreach of the poisonous tentacles of the caste system, a barbaric system that has been encouraged to encroach upon even our institutions of higher education. Vemula was one of five Dalit students, all belonging to the Ambedkar Students Association (ASA), who had been suspended by the administration. The ‘suspension’ order allowed them to continue their studies in the university but denied them entry to the hostels, administration building and other common places in groups. Such an exhibition of social boycott, directed at a group of students from a socially disadvantaged community, was undoubtedly a caste atrocity perpetrated by the governing elite of a central university.

The ostensible reason for the suspension of Vemula and the four others was an alleged clash between students belonging to the Ambedkar Student Association (ASA) and the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), an affiliate of the notorious Sangh Parivar. An inquiry by the university culminated in the suspension order. On January 17, the young scholar decided to cut short his life.

It is clear that both the Central ministers as well as the University of Hyderabad administration are responsible for Rohit’s suicide. It is murder, most foul. So till the culprits are punished and the victims compensated the agitation should continue. At the same time, to end its recurrence forever, the struggle for the annihilation of the barbarous caste system should be intensified.
Adopting Juvenile Justice (Amendment) Bill by voice vote is a populist action to appease the sentiments. It is reported that boys below 16 also indulge in so-called heinous acts mentioned in the Bill. So if a similar situation is created, will the parliament adopt a bill to reduce the age from present 16 to 14? Everyone knows or should know that the present growth of crimes, especially against women and children, is a result of the increasing patriarchal culture promoted by religious fundamentalist forces and as a result of the decadent imperialist culture. Unless and until these are exposed and defeated and progressive social values including gender equality promoted, no amount of laws is going to change the situation
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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.