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
Appeal to all progressive, secular, democratic and left forces from the Central Committee of the CPI(ML) Red Star:
Contribute generously to CPI(ML) Red Star’s Election Fund.
Dear comrades and friends,
As the crucial Lok Sabha elections have started, the Modi-Shah combine, alarmed by growing people’s resentments against the BJP rule, are recklessly indulging in war mongering, and saffronization and de-politicization of the campaign, trying to divert attention from all cardinal socio-economic-political issues and to cover up the total failure of five years of Modi rule to address any of the problems faced by the people. Utilizing enormous funds amassed through nefarious means, and the modern technological possibilities, they have launched a no-holds-barred Bring back Modi campaign led by RSS. In this situation, Defeat corporate-saffron fascist forces, Defeat BJP has become our central slogan today.
In this situation, though the opposition parties getting together in some form or other against return of Modi, they are not prepared to change their past policies which led to the ascendance of BJP to power. They raise anti-Modi slogans, only to benefit from the growing anti-Modi anger among the masses. Even the minimum income guarantee (NYAY) scheme announced by Congress is not going beyond the Garibi Hatao slogan of Indira Gandhi almost five decades ago as it is not ready to reject the neoliberal policies. They are pursing soft Hindutva to combat BJP, and promoting casteist agenda. They also had no hesitation to vote for the 10% economic reservation move of Modi. They do not put forward even a reformist alternative program to take the people out of present crisis.
As far as CPI(M)-led Left Front/LDF parties are concerned, instead of utilizing parliamentary struggles as part of class struggle for social change, they are pursuing neoliberal policies wherever they come to power, disappointing the left masses. Instead of building up a left alternative based on a people oriented program, in the name of opposing the saffron fascist forces, they align with Congress and other opposition parties.
It is in this context, the 11th Congress of CPI(ML) Red Star called for resolute ideological-political campaign against the reactionary ruling system, against corporate-saffron fascism using all available means. With this perspective, it is continuing discussions with revolutionary, left and democratic forces, other struggling forces and organizations of oppressed classes and sections for building up a Mass Political Platform based on people’s manifesto to resist and defeat the corporate-communal fascist threat and to build up a People’s Alternative to the ruling system. The Party calls for strengthening independent left assertion which shall provide powerful boost to the campaign to oust Modi rule, while leading the people towards alternative path of development and democratization.
As already announced, the party is fielding candidates for about 40 Lok Sabha seats from 16 states, Kerala, Karnataka, Tamilnadu, AP, Telengana, Maharashtra, MP, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, W. Bengal, Jharkhand, UP, Delhi, Rajasthan, Chandigarh and Punjab and about 8 assembly seats from AP and Odisha. We are also supporting 10-15 candidates from different states representing various people’s struggling forums.
As you are aware, the election system is becoming increasingly corrupt and expensive with corporates, scamsters funding for the ruling class parties. The deposit money for every candidate itself is raised to Rs. 25,000. Because of our uncompromising stand against the ruling system, and as we do not collect funds from the corporates, big business or corrupt sections, collection of funds is a difficult problem for us. Only generous contribution from comrades and friends can help the Party to wage an effective campaign.
The Party Central Committee appeals to you to contribute as generously as possible to the Election Fund to our Party state committees and to the party candidates as well as to candidates supported by the Party. You can also send to the Central Election Fund to the following account: Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Red Star, Account no. 510101002779667, IFSC Code CORP0001312, Corporation Bank, Nawada, New Delhi-110059 with information to 9582950680.
for the Central Committee,
CPI(ML) Red Star
26th March 2019
CPI (ML) General Secretary Com K N Ramachandran released full list of party candidates who are contesting at various parliament constituencies for Party in various states. Party General Secretary released the list at a press conference held on 25th March 2019 at Party Center, New Delhi.
- Wynad Usha Kerala
- Vadagara Sudhakaran Kerala
- Thrissur D. Venu Kerala
- Ernakulam Shajahan (Kerala, Party supported independent)
- Raichur Veerupaxi Gouda Karnataka
- Koppal Hemaraj Veerapur Karnataka
- Bellary Bheemappa Nayaka Karnataka
- Chikmagalur/Uduppi S Vijaya Karnataka
- Mysore/Kudagu DS Nirvanappa Karnataka
- Theni M K Muthu Tamilnadu
- Kanyakumari Paulraj Tamilnadu
- Guntur Hari Prasad Andhra Pradesh
- Nalgonda Santhoshkumar Telengana
- Peddapally K Srinivas Telengana
- Nagpur Yogesh Thakre Maharashtra
- Ramtek Bandu Mishram Maharashtra
- Mahasamund Bhojlal Netam Chhattisgarh
- Puri Ranjan Mishra Odisha
- Bhubaneswar Pramela behera Odisha
- Kandhemal Tuna Mallik Odisha
- Koraput Rajendra Kendruka Odisha
- Aska Sankar Sahu Odisha
- Dumdum Shankar Das West Bengal
- Bankura Sukchand Soren West Bengal
- Bishnupur Jithendra Nath Roy West Bengal
- Belarghat Manas Chakravarthy West Bengal
- Barrakpore Hyder Ali West Bengal
- Barasat Oli Md Mallick West Bengal
- Ranchi Vikas Chandra Sharma Jharkhand
- Palamu Madan Ram Jharkhand
- Jamshedpur Malay Kumar Mahato Jharkhand
- Devariah Chaturanan Ojha Uttar Pradesh
- Salempur Omprakash Kushwaha Uttar Pradesh
- Amethi Basudev Maurya Uttar Pradesh
- Varanasi Kailas Uttar Pradesh
- Kusinagar Rampurat Pasi Uttar Pradesh
- Sidhi Heeralal Singh Madhya Pradesh
- Udaipur Bherulal Meena Rajasthan
- Chandigarh Lashkar Singh Chandigarh
CPI(ML) Red Star Candidates to Assembly Seats in Odisha and AP
- Laxmipur Purna Mandingi Odisha
- Bhanjanagar Purna Chandra Pradhan Odisha
- Bhubneswar Rajendra Prasad Barik Odisha
- Berhampur Abani Gaya (independent supported by party)
- Guntur East Chenna Kesavalu Andhra Pradesh
- Guntur West Pushpalatha Andhra Pradesh
- Prathipadu Govindu Andhra Pradesh
In addition to these Party is fielding a candidate from Sangrur (Punjab), and trying to field one candidate each from Ahmedabad East (Gujarat), from Lucknow (UP), and from Delhi.
Besides, Party is extending support to candidates like comrades MK Rajappan and Gomathi from Kerala representing People’s Struggle Committees and Prakash Raj from Bengaluru Central (Karnataka). A complete list of all these candidates shall be released later.
Party Committees in all other areas shall support and campaign for struggling left, secular , democratic forces with a view to defeat BJP and its allies in this crucial election.
CPI(ML) Red Star
Dated: 25 March, 2019
The Supreme Court has ordered the forced eviction of more than 1,000,000 tribal and other forest-dwelling households from forestlands across 16 states after the government failed to defend a law protecting their rights. The final country-wide numbers of forced evictions are likely to rise substantially as other states are forced to comply with the court orders. The court’s orders came in a case filed by wildlife groups questioning the validity of the Forest Rights Act. The petitioners had also demanded that all those whose claims over traditional forestlands are rejected under the law should be evicted by state governments as a consequence.
The Union government failed to present its lawyers in defence of the law on February 13, leading a three-judge bench of Arun Mishra, Navin Sinha and Indira Banerjee to pass orders giving states till July 27 to evict tribals whose claims had been rejected and submit a report on it to the Supreme Court. The written order was released on February 20. The court said that the state governments would “ensure that where the rejection orders have been passed, eviction will be carried out on or before the next date of hearing. In case the eviction is not carried out, as aforesaid, the matter would be viewed seriously by this Court.” The next date of hearing is set for July 27 – the effective date by when states would have to evict tribals to comply with the court orders.
The total number of rejected claims from 16 states that have reported rejection rates so far to the apex court add up to 1,127,446 tribal and other forest-dwelling households shows an analysis of the court order. Several other states that have not provided details to court have been asked to do so. Once they follow suit these numbers are likely to swell.
The Forest Rights Act, which was passed during the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance’s first tenure, requires the government to hand back traditional forestlands to tribals and other forest-dwellers against laid down criteria. The Act, passed in 2006, has seen opposition from within ranks of forest officials as well as some wildlife groups and naturalists. This, combined with the fact that at the ground level it is the forest bureaucracy that has to administer the law has made the implementation difficult and tardy.
Tribal groups contend that their claims have been rejected systematically in some states and need to be reviewed. In several states there have been reports on administrations going particularly slow on even accepting community-level claims. Petitioner Bangalore-based Wildlife First, believe the law is against the Constitution and it has led to deforestation. They say that even if the law now remains in place, rejection of claims should lead to automatic eviction of tribal families by the state authorities.
Tribal groups have argued that the rejections in many cases are faulty, need to undergo review under new regulations that the tribal affairs ministry brought in mid-way to reform the process, the law does not lead to automatic evictions and in some cases the claimants are anyway not in possession of lands they had sought as their ancestral forests.
The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance government is squarely responsible for being a ‘silent spectator’ in the case and that the absence of central government lawyers betrayed the government’s intention to drive out lakhs of tribals and poor farmers from forests. At first, the court hearing and oral observations of the judges had left an ambiguous note about whether the court had ordered evictions or merely a report on the status of evictions from states. The written order on February 20 left no doubt. The Union government is yet to react to the order. If the central government fails to take immediate action, mass-scale country-wide evictions at this scale never been seen before would take place.
The last time country-wide evictions took place was in 2002-2004, during Vajpayee government’s period, again triggered by a Supreme Court order, which led to many cases of violence, deaths and protests in the central Indian tribal forested areas and uprooting of around 300,000 households.
CPI(ML) Red Star calls on all progressive democratic forees to immediately take necessary steps to mobilize the affected sections of people and resist any evictions.
GS, CPI(ML) Red Star
An Open Letter to Pinaray Vijayam, Chief Minister of Kerala Demanding Immediate Action on the Appeal of the Nuns
Dear Chief Minister
The rape survivor and the other five nuns who supported her in the case against Franco are facing an imminent threat of being separated and sent away from Kerala by their congregation, the Missionaries of Jesus. Ever since they have participated in the agitation held at Vanchi square in Ernakulam that led to the arrest of Franco, they were individually targeted and harassed within the convent by the church authorities. Now that the case is pursued strongly by the state, the Congregation has strengthened its pressure tactics against the nuns in an obvious attempt to weaken the case by influencing and interfering in their evidence. The four nuns who are supporting the rape survivor, who are also key witnesses in the case against Bishop Franco have been asked to join different convents in Punjab, Jharkand Bihar and Kannur. Another nun/witness who had stood with them is asked by the church to appear before the authorities in Jalandhar where at present Franco is housed by 26th of this month and explain her actions. All five of them are key witnesses to the case.
This act of commanding the nun for personal appearance amounts to direct intervention of church authorities in weakening their case, and throttling their voice from the public sphere. It is to be remembered that Franco has been given bail on condition that he can’t enter Kerala except to report to an investigating officer. It is apparent that the Congregation is ensuring that the key witnesses are moved out of the jurisdiction of Kerala police, but at the same time accessible to Franco and company. It needs to be emphasized here that Sr. Regina, the Mother Superior, who has directed the sister for personal appearance at Jalandhar is a strong supporter of Bishop Franco, and had voluntarily deposed before the police in defence of Franco, and she did the same, even more explicitly, in print and visual media. Also it is evident that Sr. Regina denied opportunity to Sr. Neena Rose to appear for her Post Graduate studies’ final examination. Apart from this, Sr. Anupama was compelled by Franco to write an apology in November 2017, and Sr. Regina was instrumental in making this happen.
It needs to be noted with high amount of suspicion that since Sr. Regina is directly involved in commanding a witness to go to Jalandhar, where Franco reportedly resides, the highest offices of power in the church are being misused for the illegal protection of Franco. In this context, it is to be noted that a main witness in this case Fr. Kuriakose Kattuthara died under suspicious circumstances in Jalandhar after Franco was released on bail. Fr. Kattuthara’s relatives have raised this issue and they reasonably suspect this as a well-planned murder. We strongly believe that by enforcing the transfer order issued to the nuns supporting the survivor/witnesses the congregation of Missionaries of Jesus is in fact purporting to help the accused Franco to come in contact with the nuns / witnesses in a bid to influence their evidence. In effect, the congregation authorities is liable for criminal obstruction of justice. Also, the effort to scatter the nuns should also be read as an attempt to destabilise the solidarity that they have built around the church and in the public.
Further, in the Witness Protection Scheme 2018 approved by the Supreme Court of India , the section ‘Types of Protection Measures’ envisages that the authorities should ensure that “witness and accused do not come face to face during investigation or trial”. The principle underlying the Witness Protection Scheme is to see that the accused and his supporters never threaten or intimidate the witness or endanger their lives or use any kind of force or influence over them. Hence it is binding on the congregation of Missionaries of Jesus to extend protection and support to the rape survivor and nuns (witnesses) who rallied around her. Moreover, the state is also bound to ensure their safety and ensure safeguards guaranteed under law.
It is now a well known fact that the accused Franco enjoys immense clout among his congregation members, priests, nuns and laity alike, inside and outside Kerala. We strongly fear that any move to get the nuns who are key witnesses in the case out of their convent where police protection is already ensured will be disastrous and is likely to annul their evidence. Under these circumstances, we urge the government to ensure that their lives and safety are not endangered by enforcing the transfer order. We, the undersigned strongly condemn the patent misuse of the highest offices of the Catholic Church to defend the powerful accused and attack and punish the sisters who are on a mission to bring justice to the rape survivor. We also call upon the Government to listen to the concerns of the sisters, and initiate immediate action to forestall the move to remove them, in any way, from their present convent where the Government is already giving protection, till the trial is completed.
We the undersigned request immediate and effective interventions of your office to ensure constitutional and legal protection to all the sister involved in the struggle for justice.
Women Against State Repression and Sexual Violence (WSS), Priya Pillai , Social Environmental Activist, New Delhi, Kavitha Krishnan, All India Progressive Womens Association (AIPWA), Dr. PJ James, PB Member, CPI(ML) Red Star, MK Dasan, Kerala State Secretary, CPI (ML) Red Star, Sharmisths Choudhury, General Secretary, All India Revolutionary Women’s Organization – AIRWO, Pramila, President, AIRWO and hundreds of women activists, political activists and intellectuals. n
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 warmongerers forever.
With revolutionary greetings,
General Secretary, AIRWO
The Adivasi Bharat Mahasabha (ABM) upholds the genuine demands raised by various Adivasi organizations and whole-heartedly supports the Bharat Bandh called by them on March 5.
In spite of the temporary stay issued by Supreme Court against the forcible eviction of Adivasis from their habitat, there is every possibility that it can be overturned. What is required is an appropriate law to protect the habitat and livelihood of the tribal people in accordance with the Forest Right Act. The double-speak of the Modi regime in this regard needs to be exposed.
In this context, the ABM calls upon all progressive democratic forces to join hands with the struggling adivasi organizations and make the March 5th Bharat Bandh a success.
Adivasi Bharat Mahasabha
March 4, 2019
Red Salute to Comrade Neenda Payanam Sundaram
Comrade Neenda Payanam Sundaram who was Central Committee member of CPI (ML) Red Star (formerly CPI – ML Red Flag) from 2003 to 2005 and who had step down from the committee due to illness from that time, passed away on 28th February 2019. He joined the party in 1985 and from that time onward as Secretary of the State organizing committee played major role in building the party in Tamil Nadu. He was active in CPI (M) led Trade Union movement and when the Naxalbari Uprising took place, he joined CPI (ML) from its early days and brought out Needa Payanam (Long March) which played a role in attracting many young comrades to the Marxist – Leninist Movement. Due to illness, he was inactive for almost 13 years. The Central Committee of CPI (ML) Red Star which was in cession remembered him on 1st March 2019 morning and State Committee comrades including State Secretary Com Kuchelar went to his house in Chengalpet and paid respect to his memory.
K N Ramachanran
CPI (ML) Red Star
3rd March 2019