The working class all over the world is observing the May Day this year when the onslaughts against them in all fields are intensifying day by day. An overview of the long period after the Second International decided to observe May Day, the day on which the working class in Chicago organized the historic march for an eight hour working day, as the international working class day, we have witnessed many ups and downs of the movement. But what we are witnessing during the post Second World War decades, especially after the setbacks suffered by the international communist movement, is unprecedented. Under neo-colonial/neoliberal offensive, like a mad bull the capitalist imperialist system has not only launched increasingly savage attack on whatever rights so far won by the working class; it has transformed itself in to aggressively speculative market fundamentalist one when jobless growth and contract system have led to acute deprivation of the working class economically, politically and ideologically. In order to obfuscate the reality of class struggle, imperialist think tanks are replacing it with clash of civilizations like reactionary ideologies. Under it Islamophoebia is spread, and all hues of religious fundamentalists, racism, casteism etc are promoted. Even existing bourgeois democratic values are obliterated; the bourgeois democratic state is getting transformed in to ultra rightist, neo-fascist, corporate state.
This is a most severe challenge against the working class and all toiling masses. The impact of the neo-colonial offensive is so serious that, it has disarmed the working class and their political vanguards ideologically, politically, socially and organizationally. As a result, though numerous resistance struggles are coming up everywhere from the side of the working class and oppressed peoples, including mighty uprisings throwing out many anti-people forces in power, they are not becoming successful to overthrow the existing reactionary ruling system and replacing it with even a progressive anti-imperialist regime. The corporate forces controlling the world are succeeding to crush these rebellions or to integrate even the new forces coming up inside their global system.
So, when the May Day is going to be observed, the cardinal question confronting the working class today is how can they overcome these challenges and advance? It calls for the daringness to recognize and rectify hitherto deviations and shortcomings, and to reinvent themselves applying and developing the revolutionary theory according to the needs of the present concrete conditions. It is definitely a difficult task. But, present challenging times demand daringness to confront them in all spheres. On this May Day let us dare to take up this task and dare to struggle with the new orientation, so that we can once again realize our victorious path forward.
K N Ramachandran
CPI (ML) Red Star
20th April 2019
The CPI(ML) Red Star appeals to all its members and friends who are active in social media to focus on the main issues put forward by the Political Resolution adopted by the recently concluded 11th Party Congress at Bengaluru, and the Election Manifesto released by the party on 10th March in order to campaign based on the Party Line for the candidates fielded by the party and supported by the party with the central slogan: Defeat BJP, Build up People’s Alternative.
Our comrades using social media should take care so that they are not dragged to non-issues and the significance for focusing on principal issues are lost. Utilize social media to take our party line to them and to establish the importance of throwing out the ultra right, neo-fascist forces with the perspective of strengthening the forces dedicated to basic social change. n
We the undersigned, with deep anger and profound sorrow, condemn the killing of the dalit activist Dani Batra at the gate of the Vedanta Alumina refinery plant at Lanjigarh in Kalahandi district yesterday morning. Sujit Kumar Minj of the OISF has also been killed. Over 50 people were badly injured in the brutal lathi-charge by the Odisha Industrial Security Force (OISF) and admitted to the Lanjigarh hospital.
As per media reports, a heavy clash took place between contract employees of the refinery plant and the OISF personnel. The contract workers were demanding permanent jobs, education for their children and provision of jobs for more people. As villagers from Rengopali, Chatrapur and Bandhaguda too joined the protest, the OISF forces present took the law into their own hands.
We deplore the violent suppression on contract workers of the Lanjigarh plant and on people from surrounding villages. Their demands are an outcome of years of simmering discontent ever since the company had acquired their land by making false promises of employment, education, health care facilities among others. The Odisha state government too has failed completely in making the company fulfil its promises. Instead of listening to their just grievances on March 18, 2019, the company let loose a reign of terror at the hands of the OISF. The entire area is now under Section 144. .
The state government has asked for 150 companies of Central Armed Police Force from the Centre with the approach of the Lok Sabha and assembly elections. It is in this atmosphere of tension and intimidation that people are continuing to press for their just demands. It is deplorable that instead of the government implementing the 2013 Gram Sabha verdict of the people, the local administration has only increased the presence of CRPF and its surveillance. The entire of Niyamgiri has been subject to relentless state repression ever since the gram sabha verdict. It is evident from the more recent arrest of Lingaraj Azad who has been at the forefront of the struggle of the people against bauxite mining.
The largely dalit community living around the Lanjigarh plant at the foothills of the Niyamgiri mountain have been putting up with untold suffering. The pollution caused by effluents discharged into the Vamsadhara river has caused both deaths and diseases among the people dependent on the river. The creation of ash ponds too has been the biggest environmental hazard to the Niyamgiri habitat with its rich diversity of flora and fauna. Indeed, the corporate greed for bauxite from the mountain is making the company flout all existing laws while the state government aids in providing security forces and crushing the voices of its citizens.
In recent months, the administration has undertaken a series of repressive measures curtailing people’s Right to Dissent. Dadi Kadraka and Jamu Gouda have been through intense interrogation. Lada Sikaka was picked up by the Raygada police and physically roughed up and interrogated and their protest rally for October 23, 2018 was asked to be called off despite their having obtained police permission. The demand of the rally was to withdraw the CRPF and stop the routine harassment of local people through daily surveillance and combing operations. A public hearing was held near Trilochanpur where people unanimously decried the setting up of yet another CRPF camp in the area. Earlier, British Kumar, a dalit youth leader of the Bhumi Adhikar Surakshya Samiti and a member of the CPI (M) had been detained in the office of the SP of Kalahandi and severely beaten. In recent years many random arrests of Dongria Kondhs have taken place such as Saiba Pusika, Dasuru Kadraka and Bako Jakasika. Allegations of having connections with Maoists had led to the detention of Kuni Sikaka and Drimbli Jakasika in May 2017. The intense mental torture has led to the suicide of Drika soon after emerging from prison life. There are many more such incidents.
The adivasis and dalits of Niyamgiri are paying a very heavy price living in the midst of combing operations and daily surveillance. Their struggle to save Niyamgiri by claiming the rights of the dalits and adivasis over the mountain, its forests and land continues. Niyamgiri is not only a source of life and livelihood but their identity and cultural heritage too. Very recently, thousands of adivasis and dalits, largely forest dwellers, had marched in protest demanding the scrapping of the Supreme Court order of February 13 that directed 21 states to evict 11.8 lakh forest dwellers whose claims to forest land had been rejected. They were supported by many mass organizations and Ambekarite organizations.
We demand strict accountability from the government and all political leaders to ensure that lives, livelihoods and rights of all citizens of the Niyamgiri region be upheld. Their struggle is a struggle for justice; for the mountains, rivers, and streams; for a place on this planet that belongs to them.
We urge all democratic and progressive forces to protest against corporate violence against people! We demand that the Odisha government:
n Initiate cases against Vedanta on charges of criminal conspiracy and murder.
n Institute an enquiry into the incidents of killings and lathicharge by SIT.
n Announce compensation of Rs 1 croreto next of kin of victims.
n Repeal of all cases pending against villagers for opposing Vedanta!
n Independent probe into the alleged encounter death of Manda Kadraka and Bari Pidika.
n Withdrawal of CRPF and other security forces from the area.
n Thorough enquiry into the pollution and destruction caused by Vedanta and their violation of environmental laws.
n Ensure a cleanup of the entire area that has been contaminated by toxic discharge and effluents from the Lanjigarh plant.
n Implement the 2013 Gram Sabha verdict of the people of Niyamgiri!!
Signed: Narendra Mohanty (Campaign against False and Fabricated Cases), Biswapriya Kanungo (Advocate and Activist), Pramodini Pradhan (PUCL), Pramila Behera (CPI-ML Red Star) and other prominent activists and intellectuals of Odisha, 9th March. n
The Christchurch mosque massacre is a white supremacist act of ultra right, neo-fascist forces who spread national chauvinist narratives and anti-Islam phobia. The silence of Modi like forces towards this massacre shows how deep rooted is their Islamophobia. Actually this white, upper caste national chauvinist cult is spreading with the backing of increasing number of mainstream ultra right, neo-fascist leaders like Trump, Modi etc. It is high time we should alert and mobilize the people against this creeping danger by intensifying the efforts for building alternative secular, anti-racist, anti=caste, eco-friendly and egalitarian model of development and all round democratization. n
The All India Revolutionary Women’s Organisation (AIRWO) observed March 8 as International Workingwomen’s Day with seminars, public meetings and activists’ meeting in several states like Odisha, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and other states. We are publishing below the statement of the AIRWO issued on the occasion of International Women’s Day, 2019.
On March 8, 1917, women went on strike in the then Russian capital of St Petersburg, demanding Bread and Peace. At that time Tsarist Russia was in the middle of the bloody First World War, with millions of soldiers perishing at the Front for a war that brought nothing but misery and devastation to millions more. As the day advanced, tens of thousands of women took to the streets with a spontaneity ans militancy that shook the rulers of Russia. The women’s struggle spread like wildfire and soon men joined the ranks of women. The mass upheaval that followed led to the abdication of the Tsar a few days later and paved the way for the Russian Revolution later that year. The Russian Revolution of 1917, as we know, not only ended the war for Russia but also gave women rights unparalleled in history.
Today, a century and two years later, the rulers of India have thrust on us a warlike situation. The ruling Sangh Parivar-BJP combine has whipped up a frenzy of national chauvinism and jingoism. In order to divert public attention from our basic needs, from the exploitation of the masses, the government has resorted to rabid warmongering and is intent on splitting society along communal lines.
On this International Workingwomen’s Day, let us unite in our demand for Peace and Rights. Women have always been the worst victims of any war. In all militarised parts of our country, from J&K to the Northeast to Chhattisgarh, women are subjected not only to unimaginable atrocities by the armed forces but are also deprived of the most basic rights. We want an end to this situation; we certainly do not want it to be scaled-up across the country.
India has the dubious distinction of being the country that is the most unsafe for women. The sorry state of women in our country, the violence and degradation that they are unexceptionally subject to, the added exploitation of Dalit women and women belonging to minority communities — are of too great a magnitude to be chronicled.
As we fight for equality, as we fight for our inalienable rights to a life of dignity and liberty, what we do not need is a war. Nor do we need the war hysteria that puts paid to all democratic struggles.
Let us recall the role of our Russian sisters on 8th March a hundred and two years ago, and loudly clearly raise the demand for Peace. Let our unity drive out the war-mongerers forever.
General Secretary, AIRWO n
(Based on following statement issued by Central Committee of CPI(ML) Red Star on 1st March, different state committees of party organised anti-war programmes on 15th March)
With Pakistan handing over IAF Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman in a gesture of peace, there seems to be, for the time being at least, perceptible de-escalation of tensions between the two countries. However, the jingoistic fervour, ceaselessly whipped up by Modi and his govt., as also irresponsible and pro-Modi media, has not quite abated. Meanwhile, further state atrocities in Kashmir, in the name of ‘combating terrorism’, have worsened matters.
It is obvious that on the eve of the general elections, the Modi government, which has failed to deliver on all its promises and led the country to doom, is desperate to win back popular support by fanning the flames of national chauvinism.
Under Modi, unemployment has reached record levels, economic growth has actually shown a decline, our resources are steadily being sold to big corporates for a song, workers and peasants are facing unprecedented devastation, there is an all-out attack on democratic rights, the saffronisation of public institutions has reached absurd proportions, society is being deliberately split along caste and communal lines, and women, Dalits and minority communities are facing systemic violation of the inalienable rights of life and liberty.
Thus the frenetic warmongering and rabid jingoism resorted to by the Modi government barely a month before elections is a vile attempt to cover up its total failure in office, the murky scams discrediting the government in no small measure and the socio-economic disaster it has plunged the country into.
When Modi and the Sangh Parivar are hysterically shouting that the country is in safe hands, we assert: No, the country is not in safe hands. The entire series of events, from the Pulwama terror attack on a CRPF convoy to the retaliatory IAF air strikes, is shrouded in mystery. It is apprehended that as elections approach and uncomfortable facts related to both come up, the Modi government may resort to further warmongering to divert public attention from its gigantic failures.
The need of the hour is to categorically and unequivocally stand for peace and call for rapid and absolute de-escalation. It is clear that citizens of both countries want peace, not war. The way in which Pakistani civil society raised the demand for the release of Wing Commander Abhinandan is a clear indication of the mood of the people of our neighbouring nation.
CPI (ML) Red Star calls upon all democratic and peace-loving citizens to
n Demand political and peaceful solution to the Kashmir question;
n Demand an end to state atrocities in Kashmir;
n Demand that there should be no tampering with Article 370 or Article 35a;
n Call upon the Modi government and all opposition parties to stop warmongering;
n Call upon the Modi government to refrain from all acts of external aggression and indeed from any action that may provoke war; and
n Unite for peace, and against war. n
It was two years ago we observed the 50th anniversary of Naxalbari Uprising with all India programs culminating with a march to Naxalbari on 25th May, 1967. This Uprising was in effect a clarion call for advancing along the path of People’s Democratic Revolution defeating the revisionists of all hues who were leading the movement and for sharpening the struggle for overthrowing the reactionary ruling system. The formation of the CPI(ML) two years later was a historic step towards reorganizing the communist movement with revolutionary orientation.
Though the left adventurist mistakes in the initial phase led to severe setbacks to the party and to its disintegration in to different groups, today we can confidently say that struggling against the right opportunist and anarchist deviations, the communist revolutionary movement, in the main, has overcome the shortcomings at theoretical-political level to a great extent by making concrete analysis of the momentous changes that have happened at international and national level. This has helped us in developing our Marxist-Leninist understanding according to this present situation during the post Second World War period, and to develop the Program and Path of revolution. As a result, as upheld by the recently concluded 11th Congress of the Party, important organizational advances are achieved as an all India organization capable of leading all forms of struggle to intensify the class struggle as substantiated by the Bhangar like people’s movements. But, considering the problems of developing a party capable of leading revolution in a vast country like India, what we could achieve so far is very little, and we have to strive hard to make great strides forward.
All party committees are called upon to observe the 50th anniversary of CPI(ML) formation at as many places as possible, with the resolve to advance towards the victory of democratic revolution and socialist transformation. n
CPI(M) leaders are very angry because the Congress president Rahul Gandhi has decided to contest from Wayanad seat in Kerala also, besides Amethi. BJP is not a major force in Kerala. It is difficult for it to get even one seat. There the main fight is between CPI(M) led LDF and Congress led UDF. Whoever wins in this contest, all the 20 MPs shall support the anti-BJP government coming to power at Delhi. So, Rahul is contesting not against BJP at Wayanad, but against the LDF which is staunch opponent of BJP. This will only weaken the anti-BJP forces, according to them. They are angry and feel very hurt, because outside Kerala, either they are in alliance with Congress as in TN and Odisha, or supporting Congress in vast majority of the seats in other states except in W. Bengal and Tripura. In this situation, its leadership asserts that it will strive to defeat Rahul Gandhi in Wayanad, and try for non Congress leadership to the anti-BJP alternative.
What is surprising is the naivety they exhibit about the class character and politics of Congress. Was it not the Congress which led the so-called liberation struggle in Kerala against the undivided CPI led ministry in 1959 and dismissed it under this pretext even when it had majority support? Was it not the Congress prime minister Indira Gandhi who imposed internal emergency in the country? Was it not Congress which allowed the RSS criminals to demolish the Babri Masjid in 1992? Was it not the Congress government which imposed the neo-liberal/corporate policies in the country? Were not all these and numerous other similar policies including its dynastic character and the bitter experience of the masses under the UPA rule which gave golden opportunity for ultra right and neo-fascist BJP to come to power with majority creating many illusions? In spite of all these, it was the CPI(M) and the LF parties who called for anti-BJP alliance led by Congress!
The problem with CPI(M) is that even now they refuse to see Congress as it is. Congress is not responsible if in 1955 Krushchov, then Soviet communist party leader characterized it as a predominantly national bourgeois party, when actually it was/is a party of comprador big bourgeoisie-big landlords, and if the then CPI leadership mechanically followed it. Similarly, if CPI and then CPI and CPI(M) abandoned the necessity for developing independent left assertion while utilizing parliamentary form of struggle and building a left alternative based on a people oriented program long back, and degenerated to the line of peaceful transition to socialism and parliamentarism, they themselves are responsible for it. They refuse to recognize that it is this degeneration which led to their decimation in Bengal and Tripura, and the threat of severe defeat in Kerala also in the present Lok Sabha elections and in future if Rahul Gandhi succeeds to polarize the minorities and upper caste Hindus in his favour. More than anything else it is this fear which has led its leaders to come out with such outbursts against his contesting in Wayanad seat.
Congress was the main party of the ruling classes in India till BJP replaced it in 2014. Its evaluation is that, in spite of all setbacks it has suffered and its organizational weaknesses, only it is capable to lead the anti-BJP offensive in this election. It is this arrogance which led it to enter UP elections in a big way, weakening the possibility for the SP-BSP combine inflicting a major defeat to BJP. Except in Kerala, TN, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Jharkhand and Bihar it has not gone for any major alliance with other parties. By fielding Rahul Gandhi in Wayanad it wants to brighten its possibilities in Kerala, TN and Karnataka and to become the leading party in the Lok Sabha after the elections. While pursuing this arrogant path, true to its class character, neither it is prepared to accommodate other anti-BJP parties in a grand alliance to defeat the BJP which is posing the major threat to whatever is positive in Indian polity, nor it is prepared to reverse its neo-liberal/corporate policies or the communal-caste appeasement.
Nobody can wish away this reality. That is why the CPI(ML) Red Star has given the call for striving hard to defeat BJP from power by supporting the candidates capable of defeating BJP at all India level, while fielding candidates in limited seats for building up program based people’s alternative by strengthening independent left assertion and organizing mass political platform of struggling left, democratic, secular forces including people’s movements and organizations of oppressed classes and sections. Instead of pursuing such a Marxist-Leninist path, the CPI(M) leadership is pursuing the opportunist path of sailing in two boats, on the one hand collaborating with the ruling class parties and implementing their policies wherever it comes to power, and on the other trying to pose as the Left or Left Democratic Front, which it is not. The whole discussions within the CPI(M) ranging from the debate in its last year’s party congress on the nature of the resistance to the threat posed by the Modi rule to the present outbursts against Rahul Gandhi’s candidature in Wayanad smacks of this opportunism, this refusal to seek truth from facts.
To be precise, CPI(M)' s frustration and overreaction in the context of Rahul's Wayanad candidature directly stem from its basic ideological-political weakness in concretely evaluating the inherently anti-Communist Congress as the leading party of Indian ruling classes till the BJP taking over that position.
CPI (ML) Red Star