It was 100 years ago on 13th April, 1919, the barbarous Jallianwala Bagh massacre took place. It was a calculated move by the British colonialists to terrorize the Indian people so as to putdown their national liberation struggles. General Dyer like killers were/are no exception, imperialists still flourish through them. Presently though the British prime minister has expressed regret for it, the imperialists of all hues have not changed a wee bit. They continue to perpetuate more horrible atrocities even now against the oppressed peoples all over the world to impose their hegemony and to intensify their plunder. Numerous programs were organised all over the country and outside on 13th April highlighting Jallianwala Bagh massacre with the call for intensifying the struggle for national liberation and democratic revolution. n
We don’t want missiles, nuclear bombs and war, but we need bread, peace and equality.
Cultural evening was organized at Vrindavan Hall, Raipur (Chhattisgarh) on 31th March against yuddhonmad and communal hate by Revolutionary Cultural Forum (kasam). Com. Tuhin, its general secretary, highlighting the purpose of the program, said that today the whole country is severely affected by the spread of the poison of blind nationalism and yuddhonmad. As a result, unemployment, inflation, poverty as well as attacks on the common people by corporate forces are increasing. He explained that the cultural evening has been organized at Raipur as part of the countrywide campaign to raise the voice of peace, understanding and secularism against war mongering. The main attraction of the cultural evening was the participation of the famous singer Asim Giri, a member of the central committee of the Revolutionary Cultural Forum, who presented many popular songs in Bangla and Hindi along with lyrics.
A solo act No. 13 Prasad was presented by the well-known cultural activist from Jabalpur, Samar Sengupta, also a member of the central committee of the RCF. He also presented Kaifi Azmi’s Nazam and presented the song “ Katasa-Kasa Step-step “ written by Shalove Singh Ram Singh. There was presentation of public songs, poetry / saswatext and laghnatika spreading messages of anti-communal, anti-violence humane values by the cultured personnel from Bhilai and Raipur. In the program, journalist and cultural activists, Rajkumar Soni, Bipasha Rao, ipta Bhilai’s Manimaya and Sucheta Mukherjee presented joshile jansongs and poetry lessons (written by Uday Prakash and Liladhar Mandalai). The presentation of short poetry and Ravindra Sangeet against the war hysteria by the poets Shivani Moitra, Aada cultural forum and the poet Nikhil Bang Parishad, poetry by Vijender of Bhilai, all of these were rich contributions. Presiding over the program, the city’s senior repertoire Bodhisava Chatterjee said in his statement that we do not need missiles, guns, nuclear bombs and no war, but want rise-bread, peace and equality. He spoke of anti-war books and films by director Michael Moore and the need to defeat the communal fascism which is the major threat today. Ravindra Yadav of Raipur conducted the program. In the program many cultured personnel, intellectuals, students and youth attended. n
Even as India goes to polls on April 11 in an atmosphere allegedly causing deep concern, several UK-based human rights and Dalits organisations held a vigil outside the Indian High Commission in London Pointing out that this was part of a global day of action with a similar protests taking place in New York and in solidarity with people’s agenda 2019 event which took place in Delhi, they released a set of demands on rights situation in India.
Participants included representatives from the South Asia Solidarity Group, CasteWatch UK, SOAS India Society, Dr Ambedkar Memorial Committee GB, and the Ambedkar International Mission.
The demonstrators held pictures of Mohamed Aqhlakh, Zafar, Gauri Lankesh, Junaid Khan and Asifa and placards saying ‘Ambedkar Bhagat Singh! Democracy will win!’ They shouted slogans such as ‘Modi! Modi! Shame! Shame! No more killings in our name!’, ‘Hands Off Dr Teltumde! Hands Off Dr Saibaba!’ and ‘Justice for Junaid! Justice for Gauri Lankesh! Justice for Asifa! Justice for Judge Loya!’
They expressed their deep concern that lynchings of Muslims, Dalits and Christians by RSS-led mobs, assassinations of dissenters, rapes and escalating violence against women, the arrests and incarceration of human rights defenders and progressive intellectuals have indeed turned India into a republic of fear.
They noted that a media loyal to the government whips up hate and hysteria on a daily basis, while journalists who speak out are persecuted and even murdered. The independence of the judiciary has been systematically compromised and even judges are not safe from assassination if they dare to remain impartial.
They condemned the increasing repression and daily human rights violations in Kashmir, which is happening as the military occupation is intensified and extended, and warmongering jingoistic rhetoric is used cynically for electoral gain leading the country to the brink of a devastating war with Pakistan.
They expressed their concern that blatantly anti-people and pro-corporate economic policies coupled with shameless corruption have led to massive unemployment, corporate takeover of land, indebtedness and an epidemic of farmer suicides. Adivasi communities are being displaced and facing acute violence when they resist, and forests destroyed on an unprecendented scale; that basic economic rights are being denied to the vast majority of India’s people.
They condemned the open calls from prominent Hindutva figures to do away with the Indian Constitution – the cornerstone of the country’s democracy and civil liberties, written by Dr BR Ambedkar after India’s independence and the fact that these figures want to replace it with the Manusmriti, an ancient Brahminical legal text which is known for its misogyny and its contempt for oppressed caste.
(April 11, 2019 ) n
In the elections to the AP assembly and Lok Sabha seats, the AP state committee organized a good political campaign propagating the party’s Election Manifesto, which was ranslated to Telugu and published in time, and projecting important local issues in the Guntur Lok Sabah seat fielding com. Hariprasad, AP state committee member for the LS seat and comrades P. Chenna Kesavalu, for Guntur East, Pushpalatha for Guntur West and T. Govindu for Prathipadu assembly seats within the LS seat. All party comrades actively participated in the campaign. As the only left candidate in the Guntur LS seat MCPIU and other organizations extended support to com Hariprasad. In AP the polling was completed on 11th April amidst many violent clashes mainly between followers of TDP and YSRCP and complaints on malfunctioning of EVMs.
In Telengana, though nomination for Kommula Srinivas for Peddapilly seat was submitted, it was rejected. So party comrades propagated party manifesto, supported the like minded left candidates and generally campaigned against the BJP and TRS.
In Maharashtra party had fielded two candidates to Nagpur and Ramtek Lok Sabha seats, comrades Yogesh Thakre and Bandu Mishram. The state committee organized an active campaign mobilizing all party comrades and sympathisers. The Election Manifesto and thousands of handbills were distributed and street corner and village level meetings were held besides house to house campaign where our party committees are active. Elections to these constituencies completed on 11th April. Besides, party is supporting the independent candidate Milind Rete in Mumbai North constituency. Comrades active in trade unions and student movement are also campaigning based on a handbill published by the party supporting the candidate Elections to this seat is on 29th April.
In Gujarat our party committee is supporting the candidate of Bharatiy Tribal Party com. Aswin Parmar in Ahmedabad West constituency. Bringing out party’s hand bill supporting Aswin, our comrades are organizing a campaign based on party’s Election Manifesto.
In Kerala party has fielded three comrades Usha from Wayanad, Sudhakaran from Vadagara and N D venu from Thrissur. Com. Shahjahan is contesting from Ernakulam as party supported independent candidate. Besides party has extended support to com.Gomathi from Idukki seat and Freddy Jaison from Chalakudi seat. An active campaign is launched by the party committees and the mass organizations based on the Election Manifesto published in Malayalam and tens of thousands of handbills. Many people’s movements and environmental movements have extended support to these candidates. Support is also expected from those left sections who are for social justice and a system change. The elections were held on 23rd April.
In Tamilnadu com. Paulraj is the party candidate from Kanyakumari seat. A vigorous campaign is going on and the polling was on 18th April. The Election Manifesto is published in Tamil. Besides thousands of handbills explaining party’s call for the people’s alternative highlighting state specific issues were also used in the campaign. Due to technical problems com M K Muthu could not submit nomination from Theni seat. Comrades from other areas also participated in the campaign of com Pulraj.
In Karnataka, though the state committee had planned to field five candidates, the nomination of Veerupaxi Gouda from Raichur was rejected and candidates from Kudagu/Mysore and Bellary could not file nominations. Campaign for comrades Hemraj Veerapur and S.Vijaya from Koppal and Chikmagalur/Uduppi are continuing well. Party is supporting the independent candidate com Prakash Raj from Bengaluru Central along with other left and democratic forces. The Election Manifesto was published in Kannada besides large number of handbills.
In Chhattisgarh party state committee has fielded com Bhojlal Netam as party candidate from Mahasamund constituency and the campaign under the leadership of CC members comrade Saura and Tejram is progressing well. Here the polling took place on 18th April.
In Odisha where along with the elections to Lok Sabha, the assembly elections are also taking place, party has fielded com Ranjan Mishra from Puri, com Pramela Behera from Bhubaneswar, com. Tuna Mallik from kandhamal, com. Rajendra Kendruka from Koraput and com. Sankar Sahu from Aska Lok Sabha seats. Besides com. Purna Mandingi from Laxmipur, com. Purna Chandra Pradhan from Bhanjanagar, com. Rajendra Prasad Bari from Bhubneswar and Ad. Abani Gaya (independent supported by party from Berhampur. Elections to Koraput LS seat and Berhampore assembly seat were held on 11th April. Campaign for other seats are progressing well. As reported by com sivaram this time the campaign by the party has reached at least more than 5% of the state’s population and the media was also forced to publish news of the campaign. Election manifesto was published in Odiya, besides few lakhs of handbills were also published taking party’s message to people.
In W. Bengal party has fielded from Dumdum seat com Shankar Das, Bankura seat com. Sukchand Soren, from Bishnupur seat com Jithendra Nath Roy, from Belarghat seat com. Manas Chakravarthy, from Barrakpore seat com. Hyder Ali, from Barasat seat com. Oli Md Mallick. Besides com Bikas Ranjan Bhattacharjee from jadavpur seat is supported by the Bhangar Committee. A very effective campaign is progressing well in which all comrades are actively involved. In the present situation in the state when BJP is trying to make headway in the state replacing the TMC and the Left front’s influence is waning day by day, party is trying to put forward its line of building up a people’s alternative uniting all struggling forces. It is gaining support from larger sections of people.
In Jharkhand, party is fielding three Lok Sabah candidates, from Ranchi com. Vikas Chandra Sharma, from Palamu com. Madan Ram and from Jamshedpur com. Malay Kumar Mahato. With the Election Manifesto and thousands of handbills explaining the problems of the state the state committee is organizing an active campaign. State specific environmental problems are also actively raised like the problems of the people suffering from uranium mining in Jharsuguda region. Adivasis threatened by evictions are also mobilized during the campaign.
In MP from Sidhi seat com. Heeralal Singh is contesting highlighting the large scale environmental challenges faced by the region as a result of the extensive coal mining and building of thermal power plants displacing millions of people from their habitats. The MP state committee is trying to organize an effective campaign in this very large constituency.
In UP the state committee is fielding five candidates to the Lok Sabha seats mainly from Purvanchal region: from Deoriah seat com. Chaturanan Ojha, from Chandaulir com. Kailas Sharma, from Amethi com. Basudev Maurya, from Gajipur com.Rajendra Vanvasi and com. Aravind Yadav from Kushinagar. The campaign is started in both places.
In Delhi a Lokthantrik morcha is formed uniting CPI(ML) Red Star, NDPI led by Arun Maji, Sarvodaya Prabhat Party, People’s Front-Delhi, Samajic Nyay Manch, People’s Green Party and Bahujan Samanvay Samithi based on a Common Minimum program. It is fielding three comrades, com Harsh Kumar Gautham (NDPI) from New Delhi, Jaswinder Kaur (NDPI) from South Delhi, P K Raghav from North East Delhi.. While campaign is started based on a joint handbill, in the coming days attracting more struggling forces from the Communist, Socialist and Abbedkarite streams the Morcha shall be expanded and campaign strengthened with the slogan : Throw Out BJP, Build Up people’s Alternative.
In Rajasthan, the party organizing Committee is fielding comrade Kika Meena from the predominantly Adivasi seat of Udaipur. The nomination is already filed and accepted. With saw symbol handbills are prepared and the campaign is started.
The Punjab-Chandigarh committee has fielded com. Lashkar Singh from Chandigarh and com Jeet Singh from Sangrur seats and the campaign is progressing. A press conference was held on 10th April at Chabdigarh releasing the Punjabi translation pf Election manifesto and calling on the people to defeat BJP and its allies and appealing to vote for Red Star candidates. n
In Telangana peasant armed struggle (1946-52) and in Srikakulam tribes peasant armed uprising (1967- 72) many young communists of Guntur district became martyrs. A memorial in their name was built at Tummalapalem village few years back. The memorial is in between Guntur city and Chilakaluripet town, Chennai- Visakhapatnam national highway. Every year on April 13th many a ’communist’ parties, including erstwhile M-L committee visit the place and pay homage. After the merger of M-L committee with CPI(ML) Red Star, the AP committee comrades of Red Star led by its secretary comrade Kollipara Venkateswara Rao is observing the same. This year comrade Kollipara accompanied by ten comrades including Chennajesavu, Pushpalata, Govindu and others paid floral tribute to the martyrs and pledged to serve the people and proletariat revolution. The banner reads : “Red salute Tummalapalem martyrs”-. CPI(ML)Red Star, Andhra Pradesh committee. n
Pratirodh Ek Jan Sanskritik Dakhal held at Bhillai, Chhattisgarh. We shall speak, we shall perform, we shall dance, we shall sing towards that dawn when the idea of justice is materialized in this country. The All India Cultural Convention – Pratirodh Ek Jan Sanskritik Dakhal held at Bhillai, Chhattisgarh, on the 16th and 17th of March 2019 saw the participation of more than two hundred representatives from various cultural action groups across India. n
On 27th February CPI(ML) RED STAR Khorda District Secretary & TUCI State Joint Secretary Comrade Ranjan Mishra was arrested by police and beaten by police-bouncers of Builders’ mafia for leading the resistance against forcible slum demolition started with hundreds of bouncers and JCBs by the city administration. Slum dwellers militantly resisted the demolition drive. The authorities were forced to immediately stop the forcible demolition and release all arrestees including Ranjan Mishra.
War only benefits a handful of influential profiteering interests who feed on hatred and fear. It is the people who never wish for war that face its repercussions.” At a time when divisive and warmongering narratives have strained Indo-Pak relations to virtually breaking point, Indian and Pakistani scholars and students of Oxford University held a solidarity demonstration at the Radcliffe Camera in Oxford on Saturday. The group also issued a statement, reproduced in full below:
We are a group of Indian and Pakistani students at the University of Oxford who are deeply disturbed by the escalation of tensions over an impending war between India and Pakistan. We strongly condemn the suicide bombing in Pulwama, Kashmir on February 14, 2019 which claimed the lives of around 44 Indian soldiers. We denounce terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.
As students in a land that is foreign to our homes – India and Pakistan – we’ve always marvelled at how we seamlessly gravitate towards each other, and how we are able to come together in community in ways we can’t back home. We often talk about the similarities we share in our food, culture, histories and the challenges we face. The Indo-Pak community has emerged as a place of refuge and comfort for us. However, when we imagine visiting each other’s homes we realise all the ways in which visas and politics restrict us. As we sit together now, watching the increasingly violent direction the current discourse is taking, we are frightened.
We come from parts of the world where the rhetoric of war isn’t new, and its consequences aren’t abstract. War only benefits a handful of influential profiteering interests who feed on hatred and fear. It is the people who never wish for war that face its repercussions. It is a luxury to be able to debate the possibility of war when the death, grief and loss that accompany it are not part of your everyday. For some people, especially the already dispossessed, the human cost of war is no cliché. It is lived reality.
We urge our fellow Pakistanis and Indians both within and outside the subcontinent to stand together in unity, focus on our commonalities, and reject divisive narratives. We call upon the leaders of our countries to develop de-escalation protocols, organise constructive peace talks and dialogue for the resolution of all bilateral issues.
War and warmongering are always unequivocally deplorable. At a time when India and Pakistan are lurching from crisis to crisis, we condemn the irresponsible rhetoric flooding the media in both countries in the strongest possible terms.
We dare to imagine a future that is free of divisions and violence, and unshadowed by the politics of war. We refuse to succumb to this environment of fear and suspicion. We refuse to see our friends as enemies. We refuse to hate those we hold dear.
The Wire n