While extending red salute to Indian working class, it is high time for the working class to look beyond the token one day hartals every year, when the attacks on them are mounting day by day. As a leading member of the TUCI noted in social media, it is high time for the toiling masses to come out on the streets and raise barricades to achieve their demands. It is high time defying reactionary BMS-INTUC and reformist HMS-AITUC-CITU leaderships the working class advance towards a worker-peasant raj. We appeal to the working class to take lessons from this historic strike and get prepared for greater struggles in coming days, not only for better wages, but also for better life and democracy.
CPI(ML) Red Star condemns the so-called surgical attack conducted by the Indian army on 28th night in the name of retaliation to the terrorist attack at Uri on 18th September. It will only further escalate the tension along the Indo-Pak border when the people of the two countries want food, livelihood and peace, not war. It is clear that the Modi government is escalating the war like situation and spreading the hate Pakistan campaign to spread Islamophobea for intensifying fascicisation. It is trying to cover up the intensifying resistance struggle of the Kashmiri people for the right of self determination through war mongering. We condemn the Congress and other so called main stream parties for supporting the Modi government’s escalation of tension along the border and war mongering.
CPI(ML) Red Star demands immediate of de-escalation of border tension and resolution of all questions including the Kashmir question through political dialogue involving Pakistan and the people of J&K.
KN Ramachandran, GS, CPI(ML) Red Star
Irom Sharmila, who launched an iconic hunger strike in November 2000 with the demand to revoke AFSPA, broke her 16-year-old fast yesterday with the pledge to continue her battle for the repeal of AFSPA albeit in a different form. She had begun the indefinite hunger strike on November 2, 2000 after the Malom massacre in a small village on the outskirts of Imphal, in which 10 people were killed by a government-controlled paramilitary force, the Assam Rifles.
AIRWO asserts that far from being a failure, Irom Sharmila’s historic hunger strike has contributed immeasurably to bringing the limelight on a law that has maimed, disappeared, molested, raped and killed thousands in all states it has been implemented over the past decades. It has slowly but steadily triggered a nationwide outrage against the nefarious criminal offences committed by army personnel in the name of ‘protecting’ ‘disturbed areas’. It has sparked international furore and generated debate on the impunity of the armed forces in areas of conflict. It has also, undoubtedly, inspired the recent Supreme Court ruling for ending impunity of the armed forces, a judgment much welcomed by people living in the so-called ‘disturbed areas’ of our northeastern states and Kashmir, as well as by all democratic sections of society. That the government has remained, apparently, supremely unperturbed by all these developments reflects on the abysmal folly and dismal failure of an elected governments to come to terms with its own people and, is in no way, a reflection of the futility of Sharmila’s struggle.
The end of the hunger strike coincides with the 70th anniversary of the Quit India movement, a day of remembrance for India’s struggle for freedom against the British. Thus, the end of Sharmila’s hunger strike is certainly not a call to lay down arms, but rather the beginning of a renewed offensive against AFSPA and similar draconian anti-people, anti-movement laws.
While it is true that if all democratic sections of society had united in support of Irom Sharmila in the course of her lonely battle of 16 years, perhaps the outcome would have been different; at the same time the end of her hunger strike is also an appropriate occasion for all champions and proponents of civil rights, and women’s rights in particular, to redeem our pledged liberty not just in full measure but also very substantially.
This is certainly not the time to criticize Sharmila for withdrawing her hunger strike and declaring her intention to contest in the forthcoming elections in Manipur in 2017. It would be wise to remember that when one takes on the might of the armed, bureaucratic state, no form of struggle can be shoved out of consideration.
AIRWO calls upon all women and all struggling sections of society to take forward Sharmila’s unfinished battle and unleash a furious offensive against state terror in all its embodiments – be it AFSPA or military rule in Kashmir – and call for an absolute end to the state’s targeting of women’s bodies in its heinous war against its own people.
General Secretary, AIRWO
Dated : 10th August 2016
On behalf of the Communist Party of India (Marxist Leninist) Red Star and also on behalf of ICOR, I bring you greetings and the best wishes. This conference takes place at a momentous time. That the old order is shaking is shown clearly by recent events. In the past, momentous events in world history were maybe one each year or every few years. In the past fortnight alone we have had Brexit, the terrorist attack in Nice and the failed coup in Turkey. In this situation, it is clear that the world as we know it, is suffering serious crises. It is only by discussing history and new ideas for the future – a theoretical offensive – that can offer a glimpse of a solution. It is in this spirit that we approach this conference.
First and foremost, I would like to convey that we support the movement of the Kurdish people to have their own homeland. We will take the message of Kurdistan to the people of India and the people of the world. The Kurdish people are one of the largest and oldest people in the world not to have their own nation. We would support the movement of the Kurdish people for the right to establish such a nation.
We see Kurdistan as necessary, not only as a democratic right of the Kurdish people themselves, but also as necessary to retain and build up stability and peace in the area. This is so because the Kurdish people have distinguished themselves in their struggles against various forms of imperialism and also against the Daesh (ISIS) at various times in the past. Whereas various states have fallen prey to one imperialist camp or the other, the Kurdish people, though they have been divided and separated have consistently fought for their democratic rights and thus also for the rights of the people of this region of the world to decide their own fate. They have fought for establishing their rights in the face of different imperialist and oppressive forces and are even now at the forefront of the fight against Daesh (ISIS).
Today the world is witnessing many flashpoints in different regions – Africa, the South China Sea, Kashmir, etc. However, the most critical remains the region of West Asia. This is because of the tremendous natural resources – oil, gas, lithium and other precious minerals to be found in this region. The imperialist powers and the regionl powers are all locked in a struggle to gain hegemony in this area. The sands are shifting and many may be allies and have inimical interests at the same time. The ISIS is using religious extremism to further confuse the situation. The large scale arms and money supply that they are able to muster shows clearly the extent of covert backing that they enjoy from various different powers. In this situation, the Kurdish people stand out as a beacon of democracy. They are consistently fighting against all forms of imperialism and against ISIS. They have kept the flag of Kurdish independence afloat, which will buoy the democratic aspirations of all the peoples of this region. It is for this reason that we feel that supporting the struggle of the Kurdish people for their democratic rights is a part of the struggle for liberating West Asia from the clutches of imperialists and other hegemonistic powers.
We also condemn the undemocratic and illegal incarceration of Com. Abdulla Ocalan in the Imrali prison. The method of his incarceration shows how precious he is to the Kurdish people and the importance that the repressive Turkish government places on his being isolated. It clearly indicates how much the Turkish Government fears Com. Abdulla Ocalan as the representative of the Kurdish people. We call for the immediate release of Com. Abdulla Ocalan and ask that he be allowed to openly do his political work in a democratic manner. We ask for the immediate removal of the ban on the PKK and its removal from the list of “terrorist organizations”. We recognize that Com. Abdulla Ocalan and the PKK represent the clear democratic aspirations of the people of Kurdistan.
Our party is a Marxist Leninist party. We believe that Marxism Leninism is, at the base, a supremely democratic system. At the same time, we believe that Marxism Leninism is a living theory and has to grow with the times. The world of today offers the scientific and technological basis for a much greater and all pervading democratic system. We have read Com. Adbulla Ocalan’s writing on Democratic Confederalism. We are also in the process of searching a new and proper theoretical understanding of the world of today. We are also in the process of understanding why the socialist systems built up in Russia and China has failed. We are also trying to understand how imperialism operates in the present neo-colonial world system. We feel that all attempts to create a new democratic system with greater power to the people is an attempt in the right direction. The answers being put forward to the problems of the world in general and to the problems of West Asia in particular can be broadly categorized into two: to give greater powers to the people or to curtail their democratic rights. We are certain that the former is the only legitimate method which will allow a solution to the problems of West Asia and, indeed, of the world.
We thank the organizers for this invitation and for the opportunity to put forward our point of view and to understand that of the other participants. We hope that this will help us to forge a closer bond, not only between our respective organizations but also between the peoples of our nations. We humbly proclaim that the time is ripe for the people of the world to openly discuss all questions without fear or favour so as to solve the seemingly insurmountable questions that the times are posing before us.
Independence for Kurdistan!
Oppose imperialism and hegemonism of all hues!
Free Comrade Abdulla Ocalan immediately!
Recognise the PKK as the legitimate representative of the Kurdish people!
It should be noted that the MHRD did not officially release the T.S.R. Subramanian Committee Report on Draft New Education Policy (NEP 2016). Rather it brought out its own document ‘Some Inputs for Draft National Education Policy 2016’. The government document if becomes a policy will demolish not only every semblance of equality, social justice, scientific temperament, diversity and federalism in our education system that people of this country have struggled for, built and protected since the days of reformation movements but also the very possibility of realising the dreams of the founders of the constitution to establish a nation on the basis of the values. If this document is not exposed and the government designs are not thwarted, they could create a fertile ground for entrenchment of all out fascism.
PROMOTING RAMPANT COMMERCIALISATION OF EDUCATION
The document replicates the techno-corporate spirit of Ambani-Birla Report released during the NDA-I regime advocating rampant privatisation and commercialisation through Public-Private Partnership.
Multi-standard institutions, in terms of infrastructure and teaching faculty, would continue both in public and private sectors.
It seeks to centralize curricula, bureaucratize administration through the proposal to set up an Indian Educational Service (IES) cadre directly under the MHRD, corporatize accreditation and tribunalise justice to facilitate possible multi-lateral and ‘plurilateral’ agreements in education either under World Trade Organization or outside it thus intensifying neo-liberal globalization in education.
It seeks to promote PPP by instituting 10 lakh EWS and 10 lakh ‘open’ scholarships for reimbursement of costs of private institutions.
The document speaks in weak terms about allocating 6% GDP for education. However, it does not even hint at the cumulative gap of financial resources accumulated over the last decades. This huge gap can be bridged only by allocating at least 15% of GDP for education. Instead of this, the government only indicates of further cutting public resources by promoting commercialization.
The democratic rights of students especially in higher education institutions have been attacked in favour of corporatized model of management to curb any voice of protest in university campuses. It also opens door for intense privatisation, FDI and fee hike in public institutions.
ATTACK ON SOCIAL JUSTICE AGENDA OF THE CONSTITUTION
Though the government document talks of social justice, nowhere it talks about need of reservations, applying reservations to all institutions and at all levels and applying rule of reservation in private educational institutions.
There is no mention of hostels and other affirmative measures to bring the poor and socially disadvantaged to the schools, colleges and universities.
The heavy dropout of the children before they complete class X (All 47.4, SC 50.1 and ST 62.4) though is noted but not addressed. The Gross Enrolment Ratio in Higher Education remains very low at 23.6 percent in 2014-15 for all sections while the GER for SCs is 18.5% and STs is 13.3% again is simply noted without measures to address the problem.
The government proceeds with its project of re-establishing Manu Dharma not only by denying education to the SCs, STs, and all disadvantaged sections and minorities – religious and linguistic but also confining the sections to skill training which would reproduce caste system. Dropouts will be encouraged by rigorous screening akin to brahminical practices and the children, mostly from disadvantaged sections, will be diverted for ‘skilling’.
Tests at upper primary and above with professional counsellors to direct students to vocational/ skilling courses will further ensure that disadvantaged will simply be unable to reach secondary and higher secondary therefore the claim that universalizing at this stage will mean only ‘completion’ by ‘enrolled students’.
CLOSING DOORS OF EDUCATION FOR THE MAJORITY OF PEOPLE
Open schools, open colleges and open educational facilities on one hand and skilling on the other hand will be the main thrusts of the government and all disadvantaged will be pushed towards these thrust areas.
Increasing majority of the disadvantaged sections on all counts, caste, religion, region, gender and linguistic-cultural group will be denied formal, liberal and professional education and will be diverted to ‘skill education’ from class V itself permanently shutting doors of formal education for the vast majority. This is indicated clearly by intention to retain the ‘no-detention policy’ of Right to Education Act only till Class V after which children from targeted sections and areas will be sent for skill development.
Already the govt. has legitimized child labour by changing the law that will push children into caste-based, family based occupations at age 10 years - i.e. into a childhood of labour and ‘alternate schools’
In fact, the document seeks to completely subvert ‘education’ in favour of ‘skill’ which is in consonance with the agenda of making India a hub of cheap and skilled labour which is a favourite ‘vision’ of the current PM.
IMPOSITION OF BRAHMINICAL HINDUTVA AGENDA OF THE RSS
The very Preamble of the document ignores the plural philosophical traditions of the country and presents a false Sanskritized brahminical history deliberately ignoring the rich diversity and history of languages of the people. Marginalisation of the non-brahminical cultures, languages, regions and knowledge systems is the ‘hallmark’ of the Preamble of the government document.
The medieval period of Indian history (which RSS consider as Muslim period) is not even referred to in the document and it makes a clear indication of the government approach to mitigate the contributions of the period in development of the civilization of this land. The communal approach which this government pursues leads to neglect or playing down of contributions of all religious and linguistic minorities, tribes and suppressed castes and marginalized sections.
Similarly there is no reference to the diverse struggles of national liberation leading to India’s freedom and the ideas of republican citizenship, democracy, secularism, socialism and social justice that the struggle inspired.
Every child’s right to be taught in mother-tongue is finished. States will decide whether ‘regional’ language, English, or ‘multi-lingual’ (only for tribal children) schooling will be provided up to class V. There after the child has no option for mother tongue or regional language
Now, it is high time to expose the government document and intensify struggle for democratic, secular, egalitarian, scientific and enlightened education system rooted in socio-cultural, religious and linguistic plurality of India, in consonance with the values enshrined in the Preamble of the Constitution, and affirmed in the Fundamental Rights and Fundamental Duties and especially for developing scientific temper, humanism and spirit of enquiry and reform to build a democratic and progressive society. We should fight for an egalitarian education system that is free and of equitable quality for all from KG to PG – an education that stands against all inequalities based on class, caste, religion, belief, language, culture, gender and normal body and consider diversity as the potentiality of the country.
1. It decided to observe 15th August as a protest day against the adoption of the pro-corporate and anti-people GST Bill; against the suppressive policies pursued by Modi government in Jammu and Kashmir and against the beating up of dalits by the so-called go rakshaks promoted by RSS parivar in Gujarat and elsewhere.
2. It decided to observe 9th August to 15th August as Anti-Imperialist Week against further opening of all sectors for the entry of FDIs, against the RSS promoted New Education Policy and against the unleashing of state terror in Kandammal of Odisha, in Bastar of Chhattisgarh and elsewhere in the name of anti-Maoist moves.
3. The PB calls upon all party committees to make the 2nd September general strike a resounding success.
4. It decided to observe the period up to 25th May 2017 observing 50 Years of Naxalbari Uprising intensifying land struggles based on land to the tiller slogan.
5. It decided to organize a vigorous campaign against the moves of Modi government and AP government to turn AP in to a nuclear energy hub.
6. The PB decided to organize a massive rally at Delhi on 7th November under the banner of Democratic People’s Forum marking the beginning of centenary observation of October Revolution to be culminated with countrywide campaign culminating on 7th November, 2017.
7. In the context of CPI(M) led Left Front degenerating as apologists and executioners of neo-liberal policies initiated by Congress and intensified manifold by the ultra rightist Modi govt., it decided to speed up the unity moves to bring together the struggling left and democratic forces under Democratic People’s Forum and to contest the elections to UP and Punjab assembly elections in 2017 under its banner.
CP I (ML) Red Star salutes the working class of India for leading the biggest-ever strike in India’s history. Preliminary reports indicate that around 18 crore workers from public and private and organized and unorganized sectors participated in this historic strike against the anti-working class anti-people policies of the Modi regime. That common people including peasants, agricultural workers, women and youth from all walks of life came to the streets declaring solidarity with the striking workers is a heart-warming trend. In spite of police repression unleashed on striking workers in different parts of the country such as Haryana, UP, , Bengal etc. and in spite of promulgation of Section 144 in industrial areas of the country such as Noida, Gurgaon, etc. strike was a success in many such areas. The strike overcoming the concerted effort on the part of Modi regime maligning it through misinformation campaign with the support of corporate media is a fitting challenge to neoliberal-corporatization policies imposed by central and state governments.
Red salute to India working class!
K N Ramachandran
CPI (ML) Red Star
3rd September 2016
The CPI(ML) Red Star severely condemns the signing of this agreement which strengthens the subservient stand of India as a junior partner of US imperialism. It calls on all party committees to organize protest actions wherever possible without delay with the slogans: Throw out LEMOA! Down with US imperialism! No Junior Partnership to US!
K N Ramachandran,
CPI(ML) Red Star
31st August, 2016.