Official Website of Communist Party of India, Marxist - Leninist (ML) Redstar - Statements

On EVM and Electoral Reforms

While many technical experts have proved beyond doubt that EVMs can be hacked on a massive scale as a result of which many technologically developed countries are pursuing the ballot in election, the Election Commission of India at the behest of Modi regime is still keeping silent on this serious political issue even as its own website shows grave mismatch between “votes polled” and “votes counted”. Not only malfunctioning of EVMs but tens of thousands of them found in suspicious movements even as lakhs of them are missing is also aggravating the gravity of this question. Many of the former CECs have raised apprehensions on this issue. But, especially with any convincing explanations, the EC, rather than performing its duty as an autonomous constitutional body, stubbornly continues as an extension of the saffron regime. Today many concerned sections of the people firmly believe that manipulation of EVMs has been one factor that contributed to the massive electoral victory of the Modi regime. Until 2014, as the main opposition party, the BJP had been in the forefront in vociferously condemning the use of EVMs pointing out the possibility of fraud and tampering associated with it. It is only after its ascendance to power at the Centre that it has become its ardent champion.

Together with EVM, the 17th Indian General Election has come to be the most expensive one in recorded history with an outlay of around Rs. 60000 crores. Of this, only around Rs. 10000 crores belong to the so called official expenditure. More than 50 percent of the remaining amount which is mainly ‘black’ or unaccounted money was estimated to be associated with BJP alone. Almost 90 percent of the corporate black money routed through ‘electoral bonds’ went in to BJP’s coffers.

Apart from these, ‘the first pass the post system’ prevailing in India does not reflect the aspirations of the vast majority of the voters as, unlike in  many countries, a party getting less than even half of the votes can ascend to power. For example, in its first innings Modi regime could impose its corporate-saffron diktats over people with gaining just 31 percent of the votes polled, and presently even when it got 302 seats out of 542, it got only 37% votes. The role communal and caste factors are coupled with this. It is high time that the FPTP system should be changed to proportional representation system based on the actual votes planned.

In this context, as already stated in the Party’s Political Resolution adopted at the 11th Congress and restated in its Election Manifesto, the Central Committee of CPI (ML) Red Star calls for a thorough democratisation of the entire election process. The Party appeals to the people to resolutely come forward demanding a return to ballot, abolition of ‘first pass the post system’ with proportional representation, introduction of people’ right to recall the elected representatives, keeping out communal and casteist forces away from election and above all to put an end to the role of corporate funding and black money in elections. The Party Committees at all levels together with all like-minded forces should take up appropriate legal and political steps to achieve this aim.

KN Ramachandran,

General Secretary,

CPI(ML) Red Star

13th June 2019

The recent Draft NEP put forward by Modi govt. based on the 2018 seven-member TSR Subramanian Committee Report with no known educational experts in it, replacing the existing 10+2+3 year pattern with 5+3+3+4+4 is an ingenious move to saffronise, commercialise education making it more elite-oriented. In the proposed scheme, while there is no formal education to children in the “pre-primary stage” up to the age of 8 and “later primary stage” during the 8-11 age, the so called secondary education that is envisaged thereafter is totally oriented tovocationalisation equipping students with certain skills and making them eligible as job-seekers in the unorganised labour market. Mixing up all subjects including arts, music, craft, community service, yoga, and making no differentiation between curricular and co-curricular areas and having no separation among, arts, humanities, science and social science, the implicit agenda in the draft NEP is to deconstruct and dis-organise the existing education to pave way for its unhindered commercialisation and saffronisation.

Under  the garb of providing all opportunities for each student, the hidden tactic is to delay the process of students earning degrees and the government thus evading responsibility for providing jobs. The agenda of the apex body, RashtriyaShikshaAyog (National Education Institution or Commission) that is proposed in the draft is to end an era of ‘liberal’, secular and scientific education and propagate the saffron agenda in the garb of Indianising education. Though the move to superimpose Hindi over non-Hindi people is temporarily frozen due to strong resistance, the focus on Prakrit, Persian, and Sanskrit should be seen as having ulterior motives of going back to the archaic, ‘the ancient’ , and ‘the orient’ with obscurantist nuances totally lacking critical thinking or role of dissent in education.  The proposals to transform all higher educational institutions either to universities or degree-granting autonomous colleges on the one hand, and abolition of affiliating universities and affiliated colleges on the other, to hand over the both the content and implementation of education to private-corporate hands, the decision to share public educational resources with private institutions, and  above all to form special education zones for upper-class superrich elite are all aimed at informalisation of the education for the vast majority together with unprecedented commercialisation of higher-professional education catering to a tiny minority.

We appeal to all progressive, democratic and secular people together with student-teacher community to come forward with a critical evaluation of this draft NEP of the Modi regime and rise up in campaigns throughout the country with all like-minded forces to defeat the heinous saffron elitist agenda behind it.

 

K N Ramachandran,

General Secretary,

CPI(ML) Red Star

13th June 2019

What happened during last three months was a feverish and acrimonious election campaign for the 17th Lok Sabha.  The results of these elections, giving almost a two third majority to NDA in the new Lok Sabha announced on 23rd May, has surprised not only the mainstream opposition parties, but all the progressive, democratic, struggling people’s forces who were campaigning against and leading numerous struggles against it. If Modi led BJP had won the 2014 elections with the slogan of Sub ke Sath Sab ka Vikas, during the last five years all the major initiatives his government took including demonetization, GST,  intensification of corporatization of all sectors etc had led to highest rates of unemployment during last 45 years, acute distress in farm sector leading to suicides by hundreds of farmers in many states, serious slow down of the economy and growing ecological destruction making the climate change like phenomena severe day by day, to mention a few of the serious consequences. At the same time pursuing aggressive saffronization, spreading politics of hatred, targeting the religious minorities and dalits, etc majoritarian divide and rule politics is taken to extreme levels.

In this situation the resistance against Modi rule went on increasing, first through numerous people’s struggles and then, as reflected in electoral reverses, especially in the defeat of BJP led state governments in Rajasthan, MP and Chhattisgarh six months ago. All these factors had pointed towards possible defeat of Modi government in the 2019 elections.

The mainstream opposition parties, though none of them had led any major campaigns or struggles against the Modi rule during the last five years, were expected to pick up these issues and the failure of Modi rule in implementing any of its major promises of 2014, for defeating Modi and replacing it with their alliance after the elections.

But as the campaign was starting by February, with the militants’ attack on the CRPF convoy at Pulwama, followed by the Balakot air strike against the terrorist base inside Pakistan, Modi turned around the possible anti-incumbency against his government by projecting the national security matters and muscular nationalism targeting Pakistan, the Muslim minorities and the Kashmiri people’s movement through a protracted, colourful and extremely expensive sectarian political campaign, with the slogan: We will enter your house and kill you, This is New India.  Modi, Amit Shah and other leaders, blatantly violating the Model Code of Conduct rules of the Election Commission, were asking the people to vote BJP in the name of the Pulwama martyrs, for the Balakot ‘surgical’ strike, for Modi’s army! The first accused in Malegaon terrorist attack, Pragya Thakur was fielded as candidate, further intensifying the saffron campaign. In this process, the identity politics of the caste based parties were, in the main, submerged by the frenzied saffronization of the RSS parivar.

Surprising its opponents, the BJP and its NDA allies led a presidential style campaign, appealing for each vote to their candidates as a vote for Modi, projecting the election as a referendum for him. It was turned in to a jingoistic campaign with an anti-Muslim political narrative. The opposition parties, especially, the Congress, could not or failed to expose this sinister BJP campaign organized with the connivance of a majority in the EC. Besides, while the BJP even made concessions to forge unity of the NDA parties, the opposition, mainly Congress, failed to forge unity among themselves, or to put forward a unified approach. In this situation, utilizing huge corporate funds, services of the media, planned use of social media, EC majority’s connivance which went to the extent of planning the seven phase elections to suit Modi’s public meetings and road shows, to allowing him to stage a sort of ‘road show’ at Kedarnth and Badrinath on 18th and 19th May, on the day of silent campaign and the last polling day, Modi and company created conditions for its victory.

The disunited opposition parties who have no alternate vision about the corporatization speeded by Modi, who pursue caste based politics compromising with Hindutva ideology, easily crumbled before the Modi-Shah juggernaut, helping BJP led NDA to a massive victory, polling more than 50% of votes in 17 states and spreading menacingly to W. Bengal, Odisha like states also.  And, with the connivance of the EC and utilizing loop holes in the present electoral system including the use of EVMs against which criticism are increasing day by day, Modi could outsmart the divided opposition easily. As far as the traditional left, the ‘Left Front’ parties, are concerned, they have refused to take lessons from their hitherto debacle due to pursuing neoliberal policies. So, even after getting unseated in W. Bengal and Tripura, they repeat same mistakes in their last resort, Kerala. In front of Modi- Shah offensive they were swept away in Bengal and Tripura, and severely mauled in Kerala

The coming to power of Modi for another five years with added strength poses a serious challenge before the toiling masses as well as to the struggling left forces who waged a campaign, fielding candidates in few seats, with the slogan: “Defeat corporate-saffron fascist Modi rule, Build people’s Alternative”. While actively participating in all movements to weaken the saffron fascist forces, they should take up the question of building people’s alternative against increasing corporate-saffron fascist threat more actively,  striving to participate in all forms of struggles with the orientation of developing independent communist assertion. It calls for concrete analysis of the present developments leading to the victory of Modi, mobilizing all struggling forces for launching people’s movements against it. The growing ultra rightist, neo-fascist challenge, a growing danger at international level itself, can be confronted and defeated only by putting forward an alternative manifesto for democracy and development, and mobilizing the toiling masses and all oppressed sections for people’s democracy and socialism. Let us take up this challenge with firm resolve

 What happened during last three months was a feverish and acrimonious election campaign for the 17th Lok Sabha.  The results of these elections, giving almost a two third majority to NDA in the new Lok Sabha announced on 23rd May, has surprised not only the mainstream opposition parties, but all the progressive, democratic, struggling people’s forces who were campaigning against and leading numerous struggles against it. If Modi led BJP had won the 2014 elections with the slogan of Sub ke Sath Sab ka Vikas, during the last five years all the major initiatives his government took including demonetization, GST,  intensification of corporatization of all sectors etc had led to highest rates of unemployment during last 45 years, acute distress in farm sector leading to suicides by hundreds of farmers in many states, serious slow down of the economy and growing ecological destruction making the climate change like phenomena severe day by day, to mention a few of the serious consequences. At the same time pursuing aggressive saffronization, spreading politics of hatred, targeting the religious minorities and dalits, etc majoritarian divide and rule politics is taken to extreme levels. In this situation the resistance against Modi rule went on increasing, first through numerous people’s struggles and then, as reflected in electoral reverses, especially in the defeat of BJP led state governments in Rajasthan, MP and Chhattisgarh six months ago. All these factors had pointed towards possible defeat of Modi government in the 2019 elections.

The mainstream opposition parties, though none of them had led any major campaigns or struggles against the Modi rule during the last five years, were expected to pick up these issues and the failure of Modi rule in implementing any of its major promises of 2014, for defeating Modi and replacing it with their alliance after the elections.

But as the campaign was starting by February, with the militants’ attack on the CRPF convoy at Pulwama, followed by the Balakot air strike against the terrorist base inside Pakistan, Modi turned around the possible anti-incumbency against his government by projecting the national security matters and mascular nationalism targeting Pakistan, the Muslim minorities and the Kashmiri people’s movement through a protracted, colourful and extremely expensive sectarian political campaign, with the slogan: We will enter your house and kill you, This is New India.  Modi, Amit Shaw and other leaders, blatantly violating the Model Code of Conduct rules of the Election Commission, were asking the people to vote BJP in the name of the Pulwama martyrs, for the Balakot ‘surgical’ strike, for Modi’s army! The first accused in Malegaon terrorist attack, Pragya Thakur was fielded as candidate, further intensifying the saffron campaign. In this process, the identity politics of the caste based parties were, in the main, submerged by the frenzied safronization of the RSS parivar.

 Surprising its opponents, the BJP and its NDA allies led a presidential style campaign, appealing for each vote to their candidates as a vote for Modi, projecting the election as a referendum for him. It was turned in to a jingoistic campaign with an anti-Muslim political narrative .  The opposition parties, especially, the Congress, could not or failed to expose this sinister BJP campaign organized with the connivance of a majority in the EC. Besides, while the BJP even made concessions to forge unity of the NDA parties, the opposition, mainly Congress, failed to forge unity among themselves, or to put forward a unified approach. In this situation, utilizing huge corporate funds, services of the media, planned use of social media, EC majority’s connivance which went to the extent of planning the seven phase elections to suit Modi’s public meetings and road shows, to allowing him to stage a sort of ‘road show’ at Kedarnth and Badrinath on 18th and 19th May, on the day of silent campaign and the last polling day, Modi and company created conditions for its victory. The disunited opposition parties who have no alternate vision about the corporatization speeded by Modi, who pursue caste based politics compromising with Hindutva ideology, easily crumbled before the Modi-Shaw juggernaut, helping BJP led NDA to a massive victory, polling more than 50% of votes in 17 states and spreading menacingly to W. Bengal, Odisha like states also.  And, with the connivance of the EC and utilizing loop holes in the present electoral system including the use of EVMs against which criticism are increasing day by day, Modi could outsmart the divided opposition easily. As far as the traditional left, the ‘Left Front’ parties, are concerned, they have refused to take lessons from their hitherto  debacle due to pursuing neoliberal policies. So, even after getting unseated in W. Bengal and Tripura,  they repeat same mistakes in their last resort, Kerala. In front of Modi- Shaw offensive they were swept away in Bengal and Tripura, and severely maulted in Kerala

The coming to power of Modi for another five years with added strength poses a serious challenge before the toiling masses as well as to the struggling left forces who waged a campaign, fielding candidates in few seats, with the slogan: “Defeat corporate-saffron fascist Modi rule, Build people’s Alternative”. While actively participating in all movements to weaken the saffron fascist forces, they should take up the question of building people’s alternative against increasing corporate-saffron fascist threat more actively,  striving to participate in all forms of struggles with the orientation of developing independent communist assertion. It calls for concrete analysis of the present developments leading to the victory of Modi, mobilizing all struggling forces for launching people’s movements against it. The growing ultra rightist, neo-fascist challenge, a growing danger at international level itself, can be confronted and defeated only by putting forward an alternative manifesto for democracy and development, and mobilizing the toiling masses and all oppressed sections for people’s democracy and socialism. Let us take up this challenge with firm resolve.

KN Ramachandran,

General Secretary,

CPI(ML) Red Star

 

New Delhi

24th May, 2019

The Fani cyclone which hit Puri coast on 3rd May morning has caused extensive damages in all coastal districts of Odisha, and in northern districts of AP and southern districts of W. Bengal. The worst damages are in Odisha, especially in Puri-Bhubaneswar-Cuttack region. Still (5th morning) electricity, telephone, water connections and communications are not restored in thie region and many other areas. Lakhs of bastis and small structures including houses of many of our comrades and party office are seriously damaged. So far it is reported that about 45 people have died. The extensive shifting of people to shelters helped in bringing down the number of dead. Rehabilitation of the people including reconstruction of the hutments etc need help from all. We have asked our party state committees in Odisha, Bengal and AP to send reports and to organize relief work at state level. They can do it effectively only with help from outside.

In this situation, on behalf of the Central Committee all Party Committees are called upon to organize collection of Relief Fund for the affected areas. As the election campaign in most of the states are completed, all party comrades should be mobilized for collection of Relief Fund for Fani cyclone affected people of Odisha.

 As soon as the relief committee is formed in Odisha, its account no and other details shall be sent. Make all out effort to collect relief fund from today, 5th May to 5th June. Issue appeals to people for assistance.

Comradely

K N Ramachandran

General Secretary

CPI(ML) Red Star

 

Elitist ‘high culture’ of political Hindutva is attempting to make significant inroads in the mass culture of the Indian society. Cultural practices promoted by the right wing Hindutva forces are gaining popular support among the Indian middle and upper classes. We have reached a point of crisis in our cultural history which demands intervention by the forces concerned with the growing trend of vicious Hindu nationalist culture in our society. Divisive communal ideologies are brazenly propagated in defiance of our constitutional principles. If you have not noticed this you are not paying attention.

Hegemonic mono-cultural drive unleashed by the corporate sponsored right wing forces has placed religion at the centre of cultural and social practices. The Brahminical version of Hinduism is made popular among the Indian masses in the name of Indian Nationalism. This in turn creates ground for the rise of Muslim radicalism too. The communal divide thus formed is a breeding ground for ideas of religious sectarianism. Ideas of post-modernism are reflected in the new mass culture through revival of the traditional in the banal contemporary forms. TV soaps, films based on hyper nationalist themes, hate clips on social media, etc., are examples of manifestation of these post modernist trends. Neglect of fine art institutions, interference and interventions in the regional literary festivals by the saffron brigade, using censorship to muffle expression of dissent through media, saffronisiation of the cultural events are the examples of project of de-secularisation of our culture.

Authoritarian regime at the centre is set to wipe out liberal democratic values in our culture. Rise of communalism in India has posed a challenge before the advancement of progressive cultural movement. Mass culture is developing in a direction of serving the interests of imperialism and ruling classes of our country. Peoples interests are being ignored, artistic freedom is being impinged and real cultural progress is facing opposition from the pretentious Hindutva Cultural brigade.

All concerned artists and cultural activists should therefore actively resist this communal onslaught on our culture. We should also do all we can to promote secular popular culture. We should form action networks on issues concerning the project of opposition to the communalisation of Indian culture. It is also necessary to support the civil society institutions struggling to protect their independence from authoritarian forces. All our efforts to save democratic space for art and culture should be combined with struggle against neoliberalism which is the real prop for Neo conservatives of Hindu National variety.

Even liberal democratic values cannot be realised without addressing the real issues of social and economic inequalities in our society. We should therefore also strive to give form to the aspirations of the victims of these inequalities through our works of art and literature with a renewed vigour. This appeal is meant to address the cultural activists and the artists to defend our composite culture and strengthen the movement for cultural advancement of our country.

  • Reject the ‘high culture’ of political Hindutva!
  • Let us join the struggle to preserve and promote the syncretic traditions of our culture! 
  • Protest against the onslaught on the basic cultural rights and freedoms of Indian people!
  • Get active, rise up!

[Tuhin, Pravin Nadkar, Aseem Giri, Ravi Paloor, Samar Sengupta and Rajendra Prasad Singh on behalf of All India Coordination Council of Revolutionary Cultural Forum] n

OPPOSE MILITARIZATION OF OUTER SPACE

The CPI(ML) Red Star strongly condemns the 27th March anti-satellite missile test, Modi’s arrogant claims about India entering the elite club and BJP leaders’ war mongering sighting it to influence the ongoing election process.

 One of the progressive aspects of India’s foreign policy was that right from the beginning it had stood for universal nuclear disarmament. That is why even after achieving scientific-technological capability to make nuclear bombs, it did not go for it. But Vajpayee government violated this and went for nuclear arms soon after coming to power. When China test fired its anti- satellite missile in 2007 India had condemned it. India had opposed the use of outer space for armament and conflicts; it had opposed the sabre-rattling of US to use outer space for future arms race and possible wars. It was a positive step that in spite of having the capability to launch missiles capable of destroying satellites by 2010, it did not go for it.

But like Vajpayee, Modi has used this capability by ordering the anti-satellite missile test and is boasting about it for winning the elections. In effect he and the RSS parivar are destroying whatever positive aspects Indian foreign policy had hurriedly. It is similar to the destruction of all institutions built up under existing constitutional principles under Modi rule. So Modi’s 27th March act should be opposed not from a defensive position, but by attacking him for destroying whatever positive values this country had. We should stand for and struggle for universal nuclear disarmament and against using the outer space also for weaponization and arms race. War mongering by Modi and the BJP leaders should be resisted and defeated.

The anti-satellite missile test and war mongering are calculated moves to divert attention from the total failure of his government to address any of the problems faced by the vast masses. We appeal to all progressive, secular democratic forces to strive hard to defeat BJP and its allies. n

The serial blasts in Colombo, Sri Lanka, a country which was suffered ravaged by violent internal strife for long periods should be condemned by one and all. It should be seen in the context when ultra rightist, neo fascist forces promoted by imperialists and their lackeys and supported by religious fundamentalists in the service of global corporate system directly or indirectly are gaining strength everywhere, violently attacking all democratic human values. So, while we are hurt when practically everyday such incidents are happening in some country or other, it should be recognized that these terrorist acts can be ended only by throwing out the imperialists and their agents who are behind them.

When the Khalistan fundamentalists had launched terrorist actions in the beginning of 1980s, when even some among the left circles had supported them, we had categorically pointed out that majority fundamentalism and minority fundamentalism are two sides of the same coin, that both help the growth of each other, and so both should be opposed uncompromisingly. Centuries long human history reveals that all hues of religious fundamentalism/communalism, racism and casteism are helping the growth of each other and all of them ultimately serve the interests of the ruling system only.

In Sri Lanka we witnessed a quarter century of bitter strife between the predominantly Budhist Sinhala state and the LTTE rooted among the Hindu Tamils. But, while the nationality question still  remains unresolved, all the communal forces grew. It was followed by Islamic fundamentalists’ attacks on Budhist centers, and retaliation by them. Now the present attacks on Christian churches under whatever justification by the Islamic fundamentalists shall only further aggravate the social contradictions in that multi-religious country.

We are witnessing within our country how the growth of Saffron forces have vitiated the social life. It is a universal truth that whatever may be the claims of the religious fundamentalists, racists, their militancy and actions are making the life of common people more miserable; at the same time they help the ruling system and elite classes to perpetuate their regimes.

The gruesome tragedy in Colombo on 21st April is a reminder to all secular democratic forces that uncompromisingly combating the communal, racist forces of all hues, they should intensify the fight for inclusive, secular, democratic and renaissance values globally and in all countries. n

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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.