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Cyclone Fani’s destruction in Puri, in the twin cities of Bhubaneswar-Cuttack and in area around was enormous. A preliminary assessment shows that about 65 people died, scores injured and 5244 primary schools, 542 upper primary schools, 180 high schools, 1031 primary health centres and 5596 kms of road have been damaged. 19 132 KV towers, 2 400 KV towers, 200 numbers of 33/11 KV HT poles, 10,000 11/0.4 transformers and countless (rough estimate puts it at 65,000) HT lines have been damaged. The summer crops in almost 12 districts, Fisheries (Prawn) along 485 km long coastline and other means of livelihood are devastated. 35 lakhs of people were left without electricity and access to drinking water for days. Even mobile connections were cut for days. Cyclone Fani uprooted tens of thousands of trees also in the state.

Cyclone Fani, the second most powerful cyclone to have hit Odisha, paralysed the state after it made landfall in Puri on May 3, 2019 with a wind speed of 240 kilometres per hour.   The most powerful storm on record to hit Odisha coast after the 1999 Super Cyclone has made people believe that cyclones will keep ruining their lives. This one uprooted trees, destroyed houses, damaged several vehicles and knocked out power supply infrastructure. While those whose assets are broken beyond repair are still staying in shelters, schools and in pucca houses of other villagers.  Panic had gripped Mahakalapada and Rajnagar blocks of Kendrapara district and Earsasama block in Jagatsinghpur district after strong tidal waves caused extensive damage to crops and saline embankments. Many cyclone-hit villages are still without electricity after the storm swept away several electric poles, wires and other infrastructure. Fani is the 13th pre-monsoon cyclone to hit Odisha out of 134 cyclones since 1804. 

Cyclone Fani

The storm, called Cyclone Fani (pronounced “Foni”), struck the coast near Puri with winds in excess of 115 miles per hour (equivalent to a Category 3 hurricane). That makes it the strongest storm to hit India in 20 years. Fani, which started out in the Bay of Bengal in the last week of April, was not like the typical storms that Odisha is accustomed to. From 1965 to 2017, the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea collectively registered 46 ‘severe cyclonic storms’. More than half of them occurred between October and December. Seven of them occurred in May and only two (in 1966 and 1976) were recorded in April, according to data from the India Meteorological Department’s cyclone statistics unit. Before Fani, only one of them (in 1966) had actually made landfall over India.

Though recorded furious cyclones in Odisha dates back to 1831, the mega-cyclone 1999 marked the turning point for the state. It was catastrophic: it killed thousands, obliterated homes, and left a trail of destruction. The State was cut off from the rest of the country, and it was weeks before the magnitude of the tragedy hit home. Since then, Odisha has prepared itself in various ways to face such cyclones — by building specially crafted storm shelters and commissioning electric poles that are designed to withstand strong gales. By May 1, the authorities were confident that Fani would not be as devastating as the one that had hit the port town of Paradip in 1999. But their calculations were proved wrong. Though the number of people died are comparatively very small, the devastation in Puri and nearby areas was enormous. After his brief visit, when Prime Minister Modi offered Rs. 1000 crore relief fund and he and Odisha CM were congratulating each other for the relief works going on, the people’s sufferings continued for days and many households are still suffering in all Fani affected areas!

According to reports of Red Star comrades, they were actively engaged in relief work right from the beginning forgetting that their own houses are damaged. They went to all Bastis in Bhubaneswar, in Puri and Cuttack, organized Basti dwellers and formed teams for relief work. Absence of polythene sheets was creating severe problems as roof of most jhuggies were blown off, and rains were continuing. The main stream media, in the beginning, was not publishing real condition at ground level. Contrary to what is claimed by the authorities, the number of dead are comparatively very small this time since though very high velocity Fani hit, but there was no 25 feet tall sea waves lashing the coastal areas devastating everything on its path including killing thousands as happened in 1999. In spite of cyclone warnings and evacuation orders, many people actually did not shift as very little food and other arrangements were made. This reality is concealed by authorities. 

Compared to what we did during the relief work in 1999, this time reflecting the strengthening of Red Star organization and activities in the state, the leadership could mobilize all party members and activists of Basti Suraksha Manch, TUCI like organizations for relief work. They played an important role in all the three urban centres as well as in nearby villagers to mobilize the people for relief work. They led the people to organize relief centres, as well as to demand urgent relief from the state. This is a huge work and our party committees as well as mass organizations are actively involved in these. The party Central Committee has called for a relief fund to help the urgent relief work to be immediately taken up in the affected areas. All party committees should try to send as much help as possible.

Urgent and Long Term Tasks

Once again, all the reports show that out of the many million families affected severely, vast majority are the economically backward sections who are living in Jhuggies in Bastis and mud houses in the villages. So, firstly, permanent housing for all these people is an urgent problem to be resolved. Though the hutments are temporarily repaired, an extensive progressive rehabilitation work should be taken up by the government, along with better infra-structural facilities, like water supply, sanitation, electric supply etc. Secondly, large number of people, including the fisher people, small vendors, hawkers, those owning or working in workshops, small enterprises etc have lost their livelihood. Their immediate rehabilitation is needed.

Since Odisha is a very cyclone prone region, a serious planning and execution of projects along the coastal region is called for. In spite of repeated warning from environmental scientists, even when the ‘global warming’, ‘climate change’ like features are increasing the possibilities of more frequent and severe cyclones, extensive construction of coastal highways and vast real estate building  etc are taken up in the coastal region. Whatever mangroves were existing are also destroyed for these corporate projects. The concerned governments and their agencies should be compelled to reverse the present ‘development’ plans which are aggravating the consequences of the cyclones. All highways and real estate constructions in one kilo meter wide strip along the coastal areas should be stopped. Whatever is existing should be realigned or demolished. A 500 meter wide mangrove stretch along the sea-coast should be developed on an urgent basis. Involving the people of the region also, a plan should be prepared for the protection of the coastal area, making it capable of restricting the impact of the cyclones.

A people’s movement should be developed to compel the governments and their agencies to take up these immediate and long term tasks with the urgency they demand.

Fani Cyclone a Report from Odisha

Cyclone Fani hit Puri on 3rd May, 14 districts of Odisha affected. Puri, Khordha, Cuttack, Balesore, Bhadrak, Ganjam, Jagatsinghpur, Jajpur, Kendrapara, Keonjhar, Mayurbhanj, Nayagarh. Foni land fall was at Puri, so this area was severely affected. Adjacent district of Puri Khordha (Bhubaneswar) also affected badly. Total 159 Blocks, 51 Urban Local Bodies, 18388 no. of villages and 1,65,55,507 population affected. 5,08,467 houses damaged. 181711.4 hectare of crop area affected. 64 people died. Thousands of injured. Still many people are under treatment in various Govt. and private hospitals.

Government Propaganda and Reality

Odisha Government declared that 15,57,170 persons were evacuated. It is completely false propaganda. In reality, they just officially demarcated in pen and paper that this cluster of people will shift to this school. College, building etc. The authorities of that institution just provided one or two rooms. Even many did not allow their toilets to use by this people. No food and other facilities available there. So maximum people did not shift. They were in their own houses or in nearby neighbours and friends houses, which is some what safe.

The death toll and causality was less comparative to 1999 super cyclone. Main reason is this time Fani affected for only 3 to 4 hours. It was in day time. In 1999 severe rain was there before cyclone and rain continued for 3-4 days followed by heavy flood. 27 feet high sea waves lashed in 1999, but this time no such sea tide was there. Rain stopped just after cyclone. No heavy rain was there. Also due to advance warning through media, people were alert. The whether forecast and calculation of timing was exact.

Odisha Government Failed to Provide Drinking Water and Immediate Relief to the Needy People

Only those having natural water resources like well, ponds, canals, rivers etc managed somehow. But mainly in urban areas and slum areas people suffered a lot with out getting drinking water. Up to 5-6 days govt. could not supply minimum required drinking waters. For 1 lakh population area only 6 to 10 tankers of water provided. Road side and proper communicable areas got some water but all others suffered a lot. This Fani cyclone proved that through tankers required water can not be supplied. Water scarcity is due to Govt. giving permission to land mafias to construct buildings, apartments etc by filling wells, ponds, canals, rivers like natural water resources. It should be stopped immediately. Natural water sources should be saved. In some areas we have to maintain tube wells continuously.

False Propaganda on Reconstruction and Compensation

As Per latest report of State Emergency Operation Centre (SEOC) Situation Report on Extremely Severe Cyclonic Storm-Fani of 20.05.2019, 12.30pm, 5,08,467 houses damaged in Fani. State Govt. declared house damage compensation will be provided to all house damaged/Fani affected families. Compensation 95,100/- will be provided for fully damaged, 5200 for partially damaged and 3200 for minor damages. Instead of this compensation, Govt. declared to provide cyclone-flood free pucca houses to all affected people. House survey will start from 15th may and Work order will be provided to all by 1st June. But when the official order passed, it is written assistance will be given as per relief code. Odisha Relief Code is very old. It followed from the British Rules. In this code there is no provision for assistance to those residing in ‘objectionable’ land. So that all slum dwellers, all dalit, adivasi and poor families those do not have land with Record can not get this assistance from the Govt. In Fani 90% of slum dwellers and common people who are residing in encroached lands and patta-less lands were affected. But this govt. order is restricted and it does not provide them assistance. So out of 5lakhs more than 4 lakhs families will not get compensation and pucca houses. Govt. orally declared assistance, but in official order it is reversed. So people are fighting for this right along with ground level workers.

In this context, CPI-ML Red Star Odisha State Committee and Basti Surakshya Mancha are continuing struggle to provide justice to these affected people. We demands before Govt to amend the Relief Code and make an immediate order to provide pucca houses and compensation to all these affected people including slum dwellers. We also demands for a Relief, Restoration and Rehabilitation act in Odisha because Odisha is regular cyclone, flood and drought prone area.

(Odisha Relief Code Chapter-1 Preamble Point 2 calls for provisions of this code may be modified, revised and supplemented at any time by appropriate orders of Govt., with the change of time and need. It is considered so expedient.). We also demand Rs. 20 lakhs compensations to  family members of the deceased and complete free treatment and minimum Rs. 1lakh compensation for Fani injured people. Odisha Govt. declared only 500 for a coconut tree. We demands Rs. 2000 for a coconut tree. AP had given 1500 per coconut tree when their people were cyclone affected.

Including these, with a charter of demands we have decided to Gherao Odisha State Secretariat on 4th June. Thousands of slum dwellers of Puri, Bhubaneswar, Cuttack and other affected urban and rural land patta less adivasi, dalit, poor and working class families will participate in this gherao. Since 3rd May afternoon all our comrades of party and class mass organisations, mainly of Basti Surakshya Mancha, AIRWO, TUCI and AIKKS activists and supportes were engaged in relief, restoration and rehabilitation work and mainly peoples struggles to get it or facilitate it to them.

In this context, we point out that in 1971, the state Govt. constituted a Technical Export Committee to give proposals to face Sea cyclones. This committee submitted its report in 1974. If this report was implemented then this Fani or 1999, or recent other cyclone causalities and loses could be avoided to a great extent. But The Govts since 1974 have not implementing this report and the P. Koteswaram Committee report of Centre. So we are demanding to implement these committee reports soon to avoid cyclones’ consequences permanently. n

INDIA'S IMPENDING CRISIS - PJ James

As Modi led corporate-saffron regime had reached the fag end of its first term, spokespersons of the regime have started repeatedly emphasising on India’s fastest growth during the last five years. They argue, for instance, that India under Modi is not only the fastest growing one in the world with a growth rate of around 7 percent but also has become the sixth largest economy ahead of France and will soon become larger than even Great Britain. Modi continues in power, according to them, within a decade India will be the third largest economy below that of US and China respectively.

Of course, the basic orientation of Modi since the very beginning has been to pursue an ultra-rightist growth path led by private corporate capital in conformity with market fundamentalist Washington Consensus according to which benefits from wealth concentration and fast growth shall slowly trickle-down to the bottom. With this perspective, he dismantled the Planning Commission and dissociated from what is called state-led planning, the last relics of the Nehruvian model so as to transform the state as a mere facilitator of corporate capital. Modi took necessary steps towards complete demolition of the administrative price mechanism in fuel pricing and giving full freedom to corporate oil giants in price-determination, raising the FDI cap in defence and insurance sectors to 49 percent at one stretch and similar other pro-corporate and business-friendly steps, prompting the World Bank to praise the Modi regime in its 2018 Doing Business Report for adopting almost half of the total 37 requirements essential to achieve a high ranking in Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index. The most crucial initiative among them has been the implementation of the GST, the biggest post-war neoliberal, pro-corporate tax reform at the behest of imperialist centres for placing the country on a high growth trajectory.

But the outcome is on the contrary. According to the latest data released by the Central Statistical Organisation, India’s economic growth rate has declined to 6.6 percent, even as leading members of the Central Statistical Office including its chairman had already resigned protesting against the governmental pressure on them to manipulate data in favour of the bogus claims of the regime. As such independent observers consider even the 6.6 percent GDP growth rate released by CSO an overestimate, and according to them, the real growth rate would definitely be slower than the official rate. In the same vein, organisations like the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) do not consider this latest official growth figure as in accord with reality. And in a latest development, National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) has imparted a heavy blow to the Modi govt. by casting doubt over the reliability of the entire data base used by the government.

Historically, figures pertaining to the Indian unorganised/informal sectors where more than 90 percent of the labour force depends for sustenance are mere guestimates as reliable data on them are few and far between. However, the two unexpected attacks inflicted on the whole economy, namely, demonetisation and GST have devastated not only the informal sectors but the formal/organised sectors also. Therefore in the absence of a concrete analysis of the post-demonetisation and post-GST structure of the economy, even data relating to the formal sectors is also unreliable. 

Another aspect is the inclusion of large number of ‘untraceable’ or ‘shell’ companies’, whose number is almost one-third of the actually existing companies, in the official growth data. That is, large number of registered companies are not at all found at the address and are not engaged in the work they have claimed. Though, such bogus companies that are not contributing anything to national product, they are also included in data.  The main purpose of floating such companies which are only “shell” and not any way contributing to production is to divert profits and siphon out unaccounted money to tax havens within and outside the country. To include the shell companies output, which is nothing but a portion of the main companies output, in data is therefore double counting and the GDP estimation becomes highly inflated and larger.

The upshot of the argument is that in spite of a definite slowdown, spokespersons of Modi govt. are working overtime to chart out a rosy picture of the Indian economy still claiming that the GDP growth rate is still running at 6.5 percent. Ironically, the highest growth rate that the saffron regime claimed was in relation to demonetisation year when all the formal and informal sectors, especially the latter actually experienced a sharp decline. Therefore the credibility of Modi regime’s growth figures is questionable.  Meanwhile, the unpublished NSSO report, the details which are available in the public domain, has estimated the unemployment rate at 6.1 percent in the preceding fiscal year (quoting a leaked report from the NSSO, the Business Standard said, “The country’s unemployment rate stood at over a four-decade high of 6.1 per cent during 2017-18, compared to 2.2 per cent in 2011-12.”) and a steep decline in labour participation rate from 47 percent in 2017 to 43 percent in 2019! It can be guessed that these sharpest decline in employment in five decades has been mainly due to the double-shock inflicted on the economy by the superimposition of demonetisation and GST.

As a manifestation of this economic down-trend, production in both the consumer and capital goods sector are facing reverses, the latter registering a contraction of 8.7 percent in March 2019!A striking trend is the setbacks faced by the firms specialised in the middle-class oriented fast-moving consumer goods sector (FMCG) due to the sudden collapse in demand and low consumer sentiment. And in spite of GST, according to the revised revenue estimates for 2018-19, there is a shortfall of Rs 1.6 lakh crore, and the central government’s revenue growth rate is as low as 6.2 percent instead of its budgeted claim of 19.5 percent. Consequently, central government’s debt under five years of Modi has shot from around 50 percent of GDP to almost 80 percent.

Another grave problem has been that of NPAs (non-performing assets) now amounting to Rs. 15 lakh crore in the public sector banks attributed to big corporate companies, as a result of which agriculture, small and medium industries, traditional and informal sectors have become the victims of the severe credit crunch in banks.  Reckless loan payment to speculation by non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) such as IL&FS has also reduced the source of funds for labour-intensive, informal and small sectors. Lack of credit, indebtedness and absence of price-support programs are pushing thousands peasants to suicides every year. But since 2015, the National Crime Records Bureau as directed by the Modi govt. has stopped releasing data on peasant suicides though routine media reports of famers committing suicides in states like Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, and Karnataka among others are continuing as usual. However, as per data available in the Ministry of Home Affairs, annual report titled ‘Accidental Deaths and Suicides in India’, on an average every day 34 farmers are committing suicides in India. 

This collapse in the domestic economy has it’s manifestation in the foreign trade sector too. It is an acknowledged fact that around half of India’s exports originate mainly from the labour-intensive traditional, small-scale and medium industries. However, both demonetisation and GST by denying cash and imposing higher tax-burden respectively have made most of them economically unviable.  Coupled with this adverse domestic factor including the overreliance on contract labour (along with lack of healthcare, education and skill-training) that declined labour productivity, competition from labour intensive exports of other cheap labour economies, especially South-Asian countries has resulted in a steep reduction in exports leading to a trade deficit of $ 176 billion(approximately more than Rs. 12 lakh crore). Regarding capital-intensive exports, India is facing the biggest threat from protectionist policies in the US and elsewhere. All these have their domestic linkage effects adversely affecting production and employment. Over the next 30 years, around 75 lakh young job seekers are expected to join the working age population each year.  Around 16 percent of the educated youth is estimated as unemployed in India.  On the other hand, Modi’s ultra-rightist policies have destroyed more than 100 lakh jobs in the preceding year alone. One can imagine the extent of social and political tensions in store for the future.

However, the immediate threat that Indian people are going to confront is the prospect of rise in oil prices. In view of the election, oil companies under instructions from the Modi regime has been keeping domestic petroleum prices flat, though crude oil prices rose from around $52.40 a barrel in January to $70.70 a barrel on 3 May. In the context of the unilateral US embargo on oil export of Venezuela and Iran, India is losing cheap sources of oil and is bound to import high-cost shale oil from USA and Canada. In view of the US threat-escalation, there is every chance of the world crude oil prices shooting up. As a pointer to the emerging trend, immediately after the polls, based on green signal from Modi regime, oil companies have already raised petrol and diesel prices.

Obviously, while the employment-oriented really producing economy is declining under the Modi-regime, the parliamentary opposition ranging from the Congress and regional parties to CPI (M) having no alternative to the neoliberal-pro-corporate policies, the exit-poll projections of a landslide victory of the BJP led NDA have given a further boost to the speculative the sphere of the economy as manifested in the Sensex gaining around 1400 points in one single day in the BSE. As a result, the shares of leading stock speculators including Ambani, HDFC, ICICI, etc. have gained around Rs. 5 crore. As these lines are being written, the election results are pouring in indicating a continuation of the Modi regime with an absolute majority in Lok Sabha. Then the outcome is an extra-ordinary galloping of financial speculation led by the most corrupt corporate class  under whom the so called development itself oriented to the vast majority of toiling people is transformed in to a by-product of money-spinning businesses throughout.

Modi’s second coming implies a further opening up of the floodgates of ultra-rightist, neoliberal corporatisation subjecting the working classes and all oppressed to the domination of the most degenerated financial class in every sphere.  Its outcome shall be unprecedented wealth concentration in the hands of the most corrupt tiny financial elite and intensified pauperisation and loss of purchasing power for the vast majority.

The ruling regime will try to manage the consequent political and social tensions by incessant attacks on democratic rights of workers and all oppressed including dalits, adivasis, women and minorities. It is up to the democratic and progressive forces in this country to rise up with an appropriate political intervention at this critical juncture. n

Following the latest round of trade negotiations between US and China failing to reach any agreement, US had imposed $200 billion worth tariff hikes on goods and services imported from China. Trump also warned that if China retaliates, he will impose more stringent tariff hikes. Rejecting his threats, now China has hit back imposing tariff hike on $60 billion worth US goods.

Along with imposing sanctions against Venezuela and Iran, strictly banning sales of petroleum products, and threatening all countries against purchasing petroleum from them, Trump has taken a hawkish stand intensifying the contradictions among the imperialist countries, as well as the contradiction of US with all dependent countries like India. 

This intensifying trade war is going to further increase the plunder of the oppressed peoples all over the world. It is going to be a challenge before the govts. of India like countries whether they will succumb to the dictates of the imperialist powers as the Modi govt does, or resist them, taking a self-reliant stand! n

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

On 21st April afternoon, when the campaign for the 17th Lok Sabha elections were coming to a conclusion in Kerala, with the LDF, UDF, NDA parties engaged in a show of strength in various town centres spending crores of rupees with all police forces concentrating there, more than one thousand landless families, mainly Adivasis, who constitute 17% of the population of Wayanad district occupied nearly 500 acres of land in Towarimala in Batheri taluk, about 20kms from the district headquarters, Kalpatta. They were led by the Land Struggle Committee (LSC) formed at the initiative of the state committees of AIKKS and Adivasi Bharat Mahasabha (ABM) led by the CPI(ML) Red Star comrades. This Committee formed two years ago had brought out details of the land holdings in the state and the deplorable condition of the nearly 1.5 million landless families in this state “famous” for the land reforms of the 1957 CPI government. A Land Struggle Convention was held in 2017 January at Thiruvananthapuram which appealed to the government to take over nearly 58% of the revenue land in the state illegally occupied by nearly 200 land mafias including the foreign plantation companies Harrison and Kannan Devan (now Tatas) and to distribute the land to the plantation workers and landless families. This Convention was organized by the LSC when, in spite of many campaigns and mass movements by the landless families followed by attempts to occupy the land at many places for the last four decades, consecutive Congress led UDF or CPI(M) led LDF governments did not take any action to solve the problems of the landless families. It was in continuation to decades of movements by the landless families and its own efforts for this, the LSC led the landless families to occupy the land at Towarimala, bordering the Harrison Plantations’ tea estate.

This land is not part of reserve forest as falsely claimed by the forest department or alleged by the state government. It is part of the 5000 acres of land taken over by the state government led by CPI leader Achutha Menon in 1971 as surplus land from the Harrisons for distribution to the Adivasis who were in a rebellious mood following the torture and killing of com Verghese on 18th February, 1970, one of the first CPI(ML) leaders in the state, who had successfully led the Adivasis against the slave trading of them at Thirunelli temple and against exploitation by feudal landlords and usurers. But consecutive governments did not distribute it to the landless Adivasis and others. On the contrary, the bureaucracy under present Pinarayi government is engaged in a conspiracy to transfer it back to Harrisons. That is why the LSC decided to occupy this land.

When the Land Struggle Committee took over the land and landless families started making huts and clearing the land for cultivation, following the conclusion of the elections on 23rd April evening, next day early morning the district authorities deployed a large police force to throw out the families for vacating the land to give back to the land mafia, Harrison! It was a most shameful act by the CPI(M) led government. It was like Budhdev government in Bengal shooting down people at Singur and Nandigram for providing land for Tata and Salim Group. The leaders comrades, MP Kunjikanaran, party CC member of CPI(ML) Red Star and state secretary of AIKKS, Rajesh Appat, state executive committee member of the party and Manoharan, district secretary of AIKKS were taken away by force under the pretext of holding discussion; but they were arrested and remanded to Vythiri jail. Using brute force all the families including women and children were attacked and forced to flee from the area even abandoning their belongings. Police and forest officers were posted there, threatening the people.

In this situation, the party comrades brought all families together, mobilized them and marched to the district collectorate at Kalpatta, and by evening started a resistance movement for land there. By that time, knowing about the police action, party state secretary com Dasan and many other leading comrades including many democratic forces reached the place and arrangements were made for a protracted movement for land to the landless.

It shows that in spite of the red flag they hold, CPI(M) and its government is not different from the other state governments. The landless people, mostly Adivasis and dalits have no other option but to resist the deployment police to Thomarimala, arrest of their leaders and intensify the movement for land. From 25th April morning onwards leaders of various people’s movements across the state, leaders of Adivasi and dalit organizations and progressive individuals started coming to the struggle centre in front of Kalpatta collectorate and declaring solidarity with the movement. From the Adivasi padis (jhuggies) and other settlements of landless families, people started coming in big numbers always making the struggle centre crowded. The district collector who discussed with the LSC leaders told them that though the landlessness of the Adivasis is known, nothing can be done, as there is no land available to distribute. He was not ready to accept the fact that 5-25 lakh acres of land are illegally held by Harrison, Tata like corporate as established by the government appointed Rajamanikyam Committee report.

The government’s intention to suppress the movement was clear with the way government pleaders took hostile stand to get the bail petitions moved for the three comrades rejected in the magistrate and sessions courts. In this situation, com.MP started hunger strike in the sub jail on 6th May. Within hours the three comrades were shifted to Kannur central jail where MP continued the hunger strike. As he became weak, he was shifted to Kannur district hospital where he was given trip by force. But he continued the hunger strike. Though the bail petition was moved in the High Court, alleging that if they are released they will again lead struggles to occupy the land, on 14th May the HC rejected the bail petition and postponed the hearing to 20th May. The intention of Pinarayi government was clear: to suppress the movement at any cost, including detaining its leaders in Jail!

By this time the land struggle has got good publicity even though the mainstream media is disinterested still. Representatives of Chengara, Parappa like land struggle movements extended support. In Idukki district, inspired by the Towarimala struggle 300 landless plantation workers occupied government surplus land and made huts there. Landless people’s representatives from different districts came and announced their decision to occupy the illegal land held by the corporate forces and mafias as government is not ready to take over them and distribute to landless people. On 14th May a well attended Solidarity Convention was held at Kozhikode, where a resolution was adopted to spread the land struggles at state level as the government is refusing to take over the 5.25 lakh acres of land illegally held by the corporate and mafias and to distribute them to landless families and plantation workers. A state level Solidarity Committee was formed to help the struggle. It appealed com MP to end the hunger strike as the Convention has taken the decision to intensify the movement and as MP’s health condition was deteriorating. On 15th May morning leaders of the Solidarity Committee met com MP and explained the Resolution adopted by the Convention to carry forward the struggle more intensively. Com MP agreed with the proposals of the Convention and called of the hunger strike.

But the relay hunger strike at Kalpetta struggle centre continued. Following the High Court order on 20th May giving bail to the three comrades, they were released from Kannur central jail on 21st May. They were given reception at the jail gate and at Kannur. Later com Manoharan was given reception at Kalpatta, and the relay hunger strike was called off. It was decided to shift the struggle centre later to a place near the Adivasi padis and where it is easier to mobilise the landless families for next phase of struggle to occupy the land.

Meanwhile, comrades MP and Rajesh who are denied permission for five months to go to Wayanad, were given receptions at other places and on 22nd May a march to Thrissur collectorate was organized. Soon the campaign to continue the land struggle in different districts and mobilization of the landless people for occupying the land shall be speeded up.

Extent of Landlessness and Impoverishment of Oppressed in Kerala

The Solidarity Committee has decided to start struggle centre in front of the state secretariat at Thiruvananthapuram, and to start struggle centres in all districts mobilizing all the struggle committees in the region. A glance through the present deplorable condition of the nearly 1.5 million landless families in Kerala, which includes the Adivasis, dalits, plantation workers, fisher people and other most backward sections who are thrown to ghettos where they have no land to even bury their dead shows that this question demands an urgent solution. One should know that Kerala which is marketed for tourism as “Gods own land” and famous for the “Kerala Model of Development” is a hell for the Adivasis, dalits and such other oppressed sections who are landless, in spite of CPI(M) led LDF is coming to power here for every alternate five years for last 4-5 decades and presently LDF is in power!

In Kerala, out of about 35 lakh dalits, 79% are confined to 26,193 colonies without many of the basic amenities. Out of nearly 4 lakh Adivasis, 90 % are landless and are confined to padis or colonies. Thousands survive in jhuggies on road sides or near forest areas.  Out of more than 2 lakhs of plantation workers, majority of whose ancestors were brought by force from Tamilnadu during colonial times, live in layams built during pre-1947 days. Once they retire from service, they are thrown out of these ghettos also. The nearly one lakh fisher people are confined to 600 or more colonies spread across the coastal area; many of them landless.

The other side of the picture is that 58% of the revenue land in the state is under illegal occupation of corporate and land mafias like Harrisons and Tatas. Consecutive governments whether it is led by the UDF or LDF refuse to take any action to take over this land as the institutionalized political class belonging to UDF, LDF and NDA are colluding with this mafia. If one has to understand this serious situation, a glance through Kerala’s political history vis-à-vis the land question is necessary.

An Over-View of Land Reforms and Land Struggles in the State

After United Kerala was formed on 1st November, 1956, following the states’ reorganization, the first meeting of the state committee of the undivided CPI declared based on the political line developed by the communist movement  through the series of anti-feudal movements waged in the state that if the party is coming to power in next year’s elections it will go for revolutionary land reforms based on “land to the tiller”. In 1957 elections CPI with the support of few independents who won with party’s support got majority and the EMS led CPI ministry was formed. But when it took up the land question, it not only abandoned the “land to the tiller” slogan, it refused to take over the plantations under control of foreign companies like Harrisons Plantations and Kannan Devan (who later handed over to Tatas) or to bring the plantations and the land under the control under the ceiling stipulated in the Land Reforms Bill. Though the tenants who were cultivating the landlords’ land got control over it, the real tillers who were predominantly Adivasis and dalits were not given land for cultivation; these families were given only 10 cents for housing. It was promised that the land found in excess of the ceiling, shall be distributed to the tillers.

When the Land Reforms Act became a reality by 1970, there was 7.25 lakh acres of surplus land. But, in spite of the struggle for the distribution of this land by CPI(M), which was in opposition at that time, hardly one lakh acres were distributed. Out of this the Adivasis and dalits got very little or nothing in many areas. After this period, neither CPI, nor CPI(M) nor any of their LDF partners took up the question of distributing land to the Adivasis and dalits in practice. Like Congress and its UDF partners, they were only giving lip sympathy to it during election time. The Naxalbari Uprising in 1967 and spreading of CPI(ML) influence to Kerala once again put the question of agrarian revolution to the forefront. But in the absence of any mass peasant movement led by it, the land struggle could not be carried forward.  Meanwhile, under the “one lakh house scheme” initiated by a CPI minister in 1971 during the CPI- Congress alliance government, the ghettoization of the Adivasis and dalits started, pushing them to so-called settlement colonies.

In early 1990s under the initiative of CPI(ML), a land Struggle Committee was formed under the leadership of Choman Muppan, an Adivasi leader of Wayanad, demanding the implementation of the Adivasi Land Protection Act. By the end of 1990s under the leadership of Adivasi Gothra Mahasabha, an active campaign was launched leading to an agreement with the then UDF government for time bound distribution one acre land to each family. As this was not implemented, the Sabha led the Adivasis and other landless people to occupy Muthanga land in Wayanad in 2003. This struggle was brutally put down by the AK Antony government even falsely alleging Maoist involvement; in police firing one comrade became martyr, and including the leaders many were tortured and jailed.

As the government continued not to implement the agreement of distributing one acre each land to landless families, thousands of landless families occupied the 5000 acres rubber plantation of Harrisons at Chengara in south Kerala, Pathanamthitta district. In spite of many manoeuvres by the LDF government and denying all basic facilities like ration card, drinking water and voter card, these families are still continuing their occupation there.  Next year landless people occupied surplus land at Parappa in Kollam district. During these years landless families successfully occupied land at Meppadi in Wayanad and at other places. But whether UDF or LDF, these governments want to restrict the land movement to allotting 3 cents of land! But the pity is that even this bid is so far scuttled by the land mafias and the corrupt bureaucracy along with the elite political class. But the ghettoized Adivasis, dalits and other landless poor have no other option but continue this struggle for survival, for land and livelihood.

 

 

How the Online Media Reports the Thowari Mala Land Struggle

Wayanad’s landless Adivasis have been agitating against the delay in the distribution of the promised land for around two decades now. In 2003, rallied by the community organisation Adivasi Gothra Maha Sabha, they occupied the Muthanga Sanctuary. In the violence that erupted when the police tried to evict them, an Adivasi man named Jogi and a policeman were killed. The Adivasi community, though, maintains that 16 of its members were shot dead that day. There are around 8,000 landless Adivasis in Wayanad, said the district’s collector, AR Ajayakumar. “Of them, 3,000 people possess less than five cents of land. The rest are completely landless,” he said.

The Thovarimala occupation has spurred similar agitations by landless Adivasis at 18 other places across Wayanad. Ajayakumar agreed that the agitations reflected “the seriousness of the Adivasi land issue”. He claimed the government was “trying to speed up the distribution process”, but “land scarcity is a major problem”. MK Dasan, Red Star state secretary dismissed the scarcity claim. “The government could have brought legislation to reclaim 5.25 lakh hectares of land that is illegally held by multinational plantation companies,” he argued. “It would have put enough land at the government’s disposal. But successive governments have been scared of touching big business and collaborating with them.”

He warned that “land agitations” would intensify across Kerala if the government failed to find a solution soon. “Thovarimala agitation is just an indication,” he said. “Land struggles will erupt in all Adivasi areas if action is not taken soon.” Adivasi leader CK Janu, who led the 2003 Muthanga agitation, echoed Dasan. She pointed out that the government needed less than three lakh acres to provide land to all landless Adivasis. “It has already identified 11 lakh acres of land for distribution,” she added. “Adivasis will be forced to occupy land if there is no government action.” It was in this situation the Adivasi and other oppressed people’s leaders from across Kerala are met at Kozhikode on May 14 and decided the future course of action.

Thovarimala was owned by Harrisons Malayalam Ltd, a private plantation company, until 1971, when the Kerala Private Forests Act enabled the state to take over private forestland and give it to agricultural labourers for cultivation. The government took a total of 30,046 hectares of land from Harrisons and Poddar Plantations across Kerala, leading to a long legal battle that ended with the Supreme Court approving the state’s decision in 2001. The court, however, gave Harrisons a reprieve by directing that 700 hectares of the acquired land be returned to the plantation company. The government complied with the order but Dasan alleged it was now planning to hand over all of the Thovarimala forest to Harrisons. That is why the Adivasis were forcibly evicted, he said, adding, “The government is working hand in glove with the plantation company.”

‘We Will Continue Our Fight’

For now, though, possessing cultivable land remains a dream for Wayanad’s landless Adivasis. Many of the protestors at the district collectorate said they joined in the agitation after realising they would die without owing a piece of land if they kept quiet. “I live in a hut on five cents of land. I cannot cultivate anything to make a living,” said K Janu, 46, from Perumbadikkunnu Adivasi Colony in Ambalavayal. “I have submitted many applications to the government for land. But nothing has happened so far. I don’t have any option but to join the agitation. I want to own cultivable land before I die.” Janu said around 150 families, including 12 from her colony, took part in the April 21 occupation. “All of us are now staying in the protest tent,” she said. “No one can break our unity.”

Her husband Veliyan, 55, claimed the police used brute force to evict them from the Thovarimala forest. “They kept reminding us about the Muthanga firing,” he added. “They picked protestors randomly, put them in a van and dropped them at different locations. It was done to isolate us. I escaped the arrest by running into rice fields in the valley nearby.” The police have since been raiding their homes and threatening to arrest them for participating in the agitation, Veliyan alleged. “Plainclothesmen have been threatening us to go back home,” he said. “We have been told that the state government would deny us land if we continue participating in the protest.” But they will not give up. “We will continue our fight,” Veliyan said, as his wife nodded in agreement. “We don’t want to die landless.”

Dalit activist Sunny M Kapikad told that government has taken a dispiriting stand in the issue. “Arresting the leaders of protest after calling them for meeting and evicting the Adivasis using force cannot be justified,” The protesting Adivasis are demanding that 104 hectares of vested forest in Thovarimala adjacent to the plantation of Harrisons Malayalam Private Limited, should be distributed to the landless among them. The 104 hectares of land which was in the possession of Harrisons Malayalam was deemed as excess land through the Kerala Land Reforms (Amendment) Act, 1969. “The protestors have raised a demand of two acres for each of the family. But there is a practical difficulty in finding this much land,” Wayanad District Collector AR Ajayakumar told TNM. He also added that the district administration has taken the possible initiatives that it could. “On the first day of their strike in front of the Collectorate itself, we held a meeting. Things have been notified to the government. Now it is up to the state government to decide,” the Collector says.

Meanwhile Dalit activist M Geethanandan told that there was no such practical difficulty in finding land for Adivasis in Wayanad. “To implement the Kerala Private Forests (Vesting and Assignment) Act, 1971, the Madhava Menon Commission was formed. As per the commission report that came out in 1974, it had found assignable and non-assignable land. And we have found that the vested forest in Thovarimala comes under the assignable land,” says Geethanandan. According to activists, the agitations had always remained within the tribal population. “The Adivasi movement has not been taken up by the ‘civil’ society. CPI(ML) heading this agitation of Adivasis is a good sign,” he says.

Western Ghats Protection Committee Backs Landless Tribals

The Co-ordination Committee for Western Ghats Protection has supported the landless Adivasi people in Wayanad who have occupied a land belonging to a plantation company. “It is a lie that the Adivasis have encroached into the forest land. They have occupied the land belonging to Harrisons”, said a statement issued by the Committee. The indigenous people in Wayanad and other parts of the state have been deprived of their land on various pretexts by the government and private entities and individuals leaving them destitutes in their own land. “Protection of environment is not possible without the Adivasis. The land issue of Thovarimala should be resolved by protecting the interests of the Adivasis”, the committee opined.

Inspired by Towarimala Land Struggle, the Movement of the Landless Gets a New Fillip

The State level Solidarity Convention was held at Kozhikode on 14th May in support of the ongoing Thowari Mala land struggle. It called for expanding the land struggle by the landless Adivasis and other sections of people at state level. While the resistance struggle in front of the Kalpatta collectorate by the land Struggle Committee shall be continued, a struggle centre shall be started at Thiruvananthapuram in front of the state secretariat and similar struggle centres shall be started at district level, mobilizing all the people’s committees leading land struggles of the landless families. In order to focus on the expansion of the struggle, and in the context of Kerala High Court postponing the bail petition for the arrested comrades to 20th May, the Solidarity Convention appealed to com. MP Kunjikanaran to end the hunger strike. Following it, com MP ended his hunger strike on 15th May at Kannur district hospital in the presence of Dr Ajoykumar, the chairman of the Solidarity Committee, com PJ James and others.

Addressing the Convention the leaders and representatives of the land struggles at state level including comrades G Gomathi, Ad PA Puran, Dr Ajoykumar, PJ James and many others from different parts of the state explained how the consecutive governments are taking reactionary stand against the distribution of land to the landless families, and how they are protecting the corporates like Harrisons and Tatas and the land mafias who are illegally occupying more than 5.25 lakh acres of land. The Convention called for mobilizing all land struggle movements at state level and launch an all out offensive for fulfilling the demands of the landless families.

It formed a Solidarity Committee with Dr Ajoykumar as chairman and comrades Gomathi, Chitra, Ad PA Pauran, PJ James, MK Dasan and others are members to expand the movement at state level. A number of democrats and intellectuals came out with a statement in support of the struggle.

On 20th May Kerala High Court gave bail to comrades MP, Rajesh and Manoharan and released from Kannur central jail on 21st May. Large number of comrades received them at the jail gate and taken to the border of the Wayanad district, near Vythiri where a reception was arranged, as both MP and Rajesh are denied permission to enter the district for five months. Com Manoharan, whose house is in the district is denied permission to go to Towarimala!

The state level solidarity committee and various organizations who are part of it have declared the decision to spread the land struggles to various districts as the LDF government refuses to take over the illegally held 5.25 lakh acres of revenue land and to distribute it to Adivasis, dalits, other landless and to the plantation workers. Though with the release of the comrades, the relay hunger strike at Kalpatta struggle centre is called off, the struggle centre shall continue with more landless families mobilized every day. Comrades are determined to march forward till the distribution of 2 acres of land to all landless families. n

 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

2019 ഏപ്രിൽ 21ന് വൈകുന്നേരം വയനാട്ടിലെ തൊവരിമലയിൽ പ്രവേശിച്ച് മണ്ണിൻറെ മക്കളായ ആദിവാസികൾ അവകാശം സ്ഥാപിച്ചതും,  മുത്തങ്ങ സമരത്തിന് സമാനമായ അടിച്ചമർത്തലിനും ബലപ്രയോഗത്തിലൂടെ കുടിയൊഴിപ്പിക്കലിനും വിധേയരായ  അവർ കൽപ്പറ്റ കളക്ടറേറ്റിന് മുമ്പിൽ ഭൂമിക്കുവേണ്ടിയുള്ള സമരവുമായി മുന്നോട്ടു പോകുന്നതും കേരളത്തിന്റെ ഭൂപ്രശ്നം വീണ്ടും ഗൗരവമായ  ചർച്ചയിലേക്ക് കൊണ്ടുവന്നിട്ടുണ്ട്.  കൊളോണിയൽ കാലത്തും സംസ്ഥാന രൂപീകരണത്തിന് ശേഷവും ആദിവാസി ഗോത്രവിഭാഗങ്ങൾക്കും മണ്ണിൽ പണിയെടുത്ത് പോന്ന ദളിതർക്കും മേൽ നടന്ന കയ്യേറ്റങ്ങളുടെയും ഭൂമി കവർന്നെടുക്കലുകളുടെയും ചരിത്രത്തെയും അതുമായി ബന്ധപ്പെട്ട നയങ്ങളെയും പൂർണ്ണമായി അവഗണിക്കുന്നതും സമൂഹത്തിൻറെ അടിസ്ഥാന ജനാധിപത്യവൽക്കരണത്തിൽ ഭൂബന്ധങ്ങൾക്കുള്ള പങ്കിനെ നിഷേധിക്കുന്നതുമായ ചില സമീപനങ്ങൾ ഈ ചർച്ചകളുടെ ഭാഗമായി മുന്നോട്ടുവയ്ക്കപ്പെട്ടിട്ടുണ്ട്.

 

 

കേവല പരിസ്ഥിതി വാദികൾ, യാന്ത്രിക ഭൗതികവാദികൾ, കേവല നിയമ വാദികൾ എന്നിങ്ങനെ മൂന്നു വിഭാഗങ്ങളിലായി സമരത്തിനെതിരെ നിലപാടെടുത്തിട്ടുള്ളവരെ പെടുത്താവുന്നതാണ്.

 

 

  1. പരിസ്ഥിതി സംരക്ഷകർ അഥവാ പ്രകൃതി സംരക്ഷകർ എന്ന് അവകാശപ്പെടുന്നവർ പറയുന്നത് ആദിവാസികൾക്ക് അവകാശപ്പെട്ട ഭൂമി വിട്ടു കൊടുത്താൽ അത് വലിയ പരിസ്ഥിതി നാശത്തിന് കാരണമാകുമെന്നാണ്. ഇപ്പോഴത്തെ തൊവരിമല ഭൂസമരവുമായി ബന്ധപ്പെട്ട് ഇവർ പറയുന്നത് ആദിവാസികളെ മറയാക്കി വനനശീകരണത്തിന് മുൻകൈ എടുക്കുന്നവരാണ് സമരത്തിന് പിന്നിൽ പ്രവർത്തിക്കുന്നത് എന്നാണ്. ഉദാഹരണത്തിന്, സമരക്കാർ പ്രവേശിച്ചത് വനഭൂമിയിൽ ആണെന്നും ആദിവാസികളുടെ ഡിമാൻഡ് അംഗീകരിക്കുന്ന പക്ഷം അത് പരിസ്ഥിതി നാശത്തിന് കാരണമാകുമെന്നുമാണ് വയനാട് പ്രകൃതി സംരക്ഷണ സമിതി എന്ന എൻജിഒ പ്രസ്താവന ഇറക്കിയിട്ടുള്ളത്. വാസ്തവത്തിൽ പരിസ്ഥിതി സംരക്ഷണത്തെ സംബന്ധിച്ച് ആഗോളമായി ഇന്ന് അംഗീകരിക്കപ്പെട്ടിട്ടുള്ള നിലപാട് വനം തങ്ങളുടെ ആവാസവ്യവസ്ഥയായി തിരിച്ചറിയുന്ന ആദിവാസി ജനത തന്നെയാണ് ഏറ്റവും വലിയ വനസംരക്ഷകരെന്നാണ്. കോർപറേറ്റ് വനമാഫിയകളും ഭൂമാഫിയകളും അവരുമായി അവിഹിത ബന്ധം നിലനിർത്തുന്ന വനവകുപ്പും അതിലെ ബ്യൂറോക്രാറ്റുകളുമാണ് വനനശീകരണത്തിലെ മുഖ്യഘടകങ്ങൾ എന്നത് പുതിയ അറിവല്ല. ഇക്കാരണത്താൽ,  ഐക്യരാഷ്ട്രസഭയുടെ പരിസ്ഥിതി സംരക്ഷണവുമായി ബന്ധപ്പെട്ട അടുത്ത കാലത്തെ പ്രമേയങ്ങളിൽ വനസംരക്ഷണത്തിൽ ഗോത്രസമൂഹങ്ങൾക്കുള്ള പങ്കാളിത്തം നിർണായകമാണെന്ന് ചൂണ്ടിക്കാണിച്ചിട്ടുണ്ട്. എന്നാൽ കോർപ്പറേറ്റുകൾ അവരുടെ കൊള്ളയുടെ ഒരംശം ഉപയോഗിച്ച് വളർത്തിയെടുത്തിട്ടുള്ള പല ഏജൻസികളും വനത്തിൽ നിന്നും വനസംരക്ഷണവുമായി ബന്ധപ്പെട്ട കാര്യങ്ങളിൽനിന്നും ഗോത്രജനവിഭാഗങ്ങളെ അകറ്റി നിർത്തണമെന്ന് ശക്തമായ ക്യാമ്പയിൻ എല്ലായിടത്തും നടത്തിവരുന്നു. വനവും പ്രകൃതി വിഭവങ്ങളും കൊള്ളയടിച്ച് തടിച്ചുകൊഴുക്കുന്ന വനമാഫിയകളും ഖനിമാഫിയകളും ഇത്തരം എൻജിഒ കളെ  വലിയ അളവ് ഫണ്ട് ഒഴുക്കി നിലനിർത്തിപ്പോരുന്നു.

 

 

ഇതിന് ഏറ്റവും നല്ല ഉദാഹരണം കോർപ്പറേറ്റ് ഫണ്ട് വാങ്ങി പ്രവർത്തിക്കുന്ന എൻജിഒ കൾ അടുത്തകാലത്ത് ഇന്ത്യയിലെ വനാവകാശ നിയമ (ഫോറസ്റ്റ് റൈറ്റ്സ് ആക്ട് - എഫ് ആർ ഐ) ത്തിനെതിരെ അരയും തലയും മുറുക്കി രംഗത്ത് വന്നതാണ്. വനവുമായി ബന്ധപ്പെട്ട ഭൂമിയിലും പ്രകൃതിവിഭവങ്ങളിലും ജൈവപരമായും  ചരിത്രപരമായും ഇഴുകി ചേർന്ന ഗോത്രസമൂഹങ്ങൾക്കാണ് കോർപ്പറേറ്റ് ബ്യൂറോക്രസിയേക്കാൾ ഫലപ്രദമായി വനസംരക്ഷണം നടത്താനാകുകയെന്ന ശാസ്ത്രീയമായ തിരിച്ചറിവിൻറെ സ്വാംശീകരണം എന്ന നിലയിൽ കൂടിയാണ് ആണ് 2006 ൽ വനാവകാശനിയമം ഇന്ത്യ പാസാക്കിയത്.  എന്നാൽ കോർപ്പറേറ്റ് ശക്തികളുമായി ബന്ധമുള്ള എൻജിഒകൾ തുടക്കം മുതലേ ഈ നിയമത്തെ എതിർത്തു വരികയായിരുന്നു. വനാവകാശ നിയമത്തിനെതിരെ വൈൽഡ് ലൈഫ് ഫസ്റ്റ്, നേചർ കൺസർവേഷൻ സൊസൈറ്റി, ടൈഗർ റിസർച് ആൻഡ് കൺസർവേഷൻ ട്രസ്റ്റ് തുടങ്ങിയ എൻ ജി ഒ കൾ 2008-ൽ തന്നെ സുപ്രീം കോടതിയെ സമീപിച്ചിരുന്നു. എന്നാൽ സർക്കാർ സമീപനം അനുകൂലമല്ലാതിരുന്നതിനാൽ  കേസ് ക്ലച്ച് പിടിച്ചില്ല. പിന്നീട് 2019 ജനുവരിയിൽ മോദി സർക്കാരിൻറെ മൗനാനുവാദത്തോടെ   അവർ വീണ്ടും സുപ്രീം കോടതിയെ സമീപിക്കുകയും 11 ലക്ഷത്തോളം ആദിവാസികളെ അവരുടെ ആവാസ വ്യവസ്ഥയിൽ നിന്ന് പുറത്താക്കുന്ന നടപടിയ്ക്ക് സുപ്രീംകോടതി പച്ചക്കൊടി കാട്ടുകയും ചെയ്തു. 2006-ൽ പാസായ വനാവകാശ നിയമം നടപ്പാക്കുന്നതിൽ മോഡി സർക്കാർ താൽപര്യം കാണിച്ചില്ല എന്ന് മാത്രമല്ല അത് അട്ടിമറിക്കും വിധമുള്ള സുപ്രീംകോടതി വിധിക്ക് എൻജിഒ കൾക്ക് സൗകര്യമൊരുക്കി കൊടുക്കുകയും ചെയ്തു.

 

 

 

കേരളത്തെ സംബന്ധിച്ചിടത്തോളം ഇവിടത്തെ പശ്ചിമഘട്ട മലനിരകളും വനങ്ങളും നശിപ്പിച്ചതും ആദിവാസികൾ അവരുടെ ഭൂമിയിൽ നിന്നും ആവാസവ്യവസ്ഥയിൽ നിന്നും പുറത്താക്കപ്പെട്ടതും ഒരേ കയ്യേറ്റപ്രക്രിയയുടെ ഭാഗമാണ്. വിദേശ കോർപ്പറേറ്റ് ഭൂമാഫിയയും അവരുടെ ബിനാമികളും ഇതര കയ്യേറ്റക്കാരും മത ശക്തികളുമെല്ലാം ഇപ്രകാരം വനവും പരിസ്ഥിതിയും നശിപ്പിച്ച് ആദിവാസികളുടെ ഭൂമി അടിച്ചുമാറ്റുന്നതിന് നേതൃത്വം കൊടുത്തു. ചുരുക്കത്തിൽ വന ഭൂമാഫിയകളുടെ കടന്നുകയറ്റമാണ് വനനശീകരണത്തിന് കാരണം എന്ന വസ്തുത മറച്ചുപിടിച്ച്, ആദിവാസികളാണ് വനനശീകരണത്തിന് കാരണം എന്ന വാദമാണ് കോർപ്പറേറ്റ് ഏജൻസികൾ ഉയർത്തുന്നത്.  മേൽ സൂചിപ്പിച്ച സുപ്രീംകോടതി കേസിൽ എൻജിഒ കളെ സംബന്ധിച്ചിടത്തോളം ആദിവാസികൾ കേവലം കയ്യേറ്റക്കാർ ആണ്. വർത്തമാനകാലത്തെ പരിസ്ഥിതി വിനാശത്തിന് കാരണം കോർപ്പറേറ്റ് സമ്പത്ത് സമാഹരണമാണെന്ന തിരിച്ചറിവിനെ മറച്ചുപിടിക്കുകയാണ് ഈ എൻ ജി ഒ കളുടെ ദൗത്യം. ഇവരെ സംബന്ധിച്ചിടത്തോളം ആദിവാസികൾ കയ്യേറ്റക്കാരും കോർപ്പറേറ്റുകൾ വികസനക്കാരുമാണ്. ആദിവാസികളെ കയ്യേറ്റക്കാരായി ചിത്രീകരിക്കുന്ന കേരള സർക്കാരും ഇതേ നിലപാടാണ് ഉയർത്തിപ്പിടിക്കുന്നത്.

 

 

  1. ആദിവാസികൾക്ക് ഭൂമി കൊടുത്താൽ അത് ഭൂമിയുടെ തുണ്ട് വൽക്കരണത്തിന് കാരണമാകുമെന്നും വികസനത്തിന് കോട്ടം തട്ടുമെന്നും പറയുന്ന യാന്ത്രികവാദികളായ കപട കമ്മ്യൂണിസ്റ്റുകളാണ് രണ്ടാമത്തെ കൂട്ടർ. വ്യാജ രേഖകളുടെ പിൻബലത്തിൽ രാജ്യത്തിൻറെ പരമാധികാരത്തെയും ഭരണഘടനയെയും നിയമവ്യവസ്ഥയെയും നോക്കുകുത്തിയാക്കി അഞ്ചേക്കാൽ ലക്ഷം ഏക്കർ റവന്യൂ ഭൂമി കൈവശപ്പെടുത്തിയിരിക്കുന്ന വിദേശ തോട്ടം മാഫിയകളെ തൊട്ടാൽ അത് വികസനത്തെ ബാധിക്കും എന്ന പിണറായി സർക്കാരിൻറെ അതേ വാദഗതി തന്നെയാണ് ഇവരുടേതും. മർദ്ദക വ്യവസ്ഥയ്ക്കും ഇന്നത്തെ കോർപ്പറേറ്റ് മൂലധന ആധിപത്യത്തിനും എതിരായ മർദ്ദിത ജനതയുടെ പോരാട്ടത്തിൽ അവരുടെ ഐഡൻറിറ്റി സ്ഥാപിക്കപ്പെടേണ്ട നിർണായകമായ ഘട്ടമാണിത് എന്ന് തിരിച്ചറിയാത്ത അഥവാ അറിഞ്ഞിട്ടും അംഗീകരിക്കാത്ത യാന്ത്രികന്മാർ അവരുടെ വാദഗതികൾ സ്ഥാപിക്കാൻ മതസംഹിതയെന്ന മട്ടിലാണ് മാർക്സിസ്റ്റ് ഉദ്ധരണികൾ പ്രയോഗിക്കുന്നത്. ചരിത്രപരമായി ഉൽപ്പാദന ഉപാധികളിൽ നിന്നും ആട്ടിയകറ്റപ്പെട്ട ആദിവാസികളും ദളിതരും അടക്കം മർദ്ദിതരുടെ സ്വത്വനിർണയത്തിൽ മുഖ്യ ഉല്പാദനോപാധിയായ ഭൂമിയുടെ മേൽ അവകാശം സ്ഥാപിക്കേണ്ടത് അനിവാര്യമാണ്. എന്നാൽ സ്വത്വത്തെയും സ്വത്വരാഷ്ട്രീയത്തെയും കൂട്ടിക്കുഴയ്ക്കുന്ന, വൈവിധ്യങ്ങളെ അവഗണിക്കുന്ന യാന്ത്രികന്മാർ, മർദ്ദിതർക്ക് ഭൂമിയിൽ അവകാശം ഉറപ്പാക്കുന്നതിന് വേണ്ടിയുള്ള മുന്നേറ്റങ്ങളെ പോസ്റ്റ് മാർക്സിസം എന്നും പോസ്റ്റ്മോഡേണിസം എന്നു മുദ്രകുത്തുന്നു. സോവിയറ്റ് യൂണിയനിലും ചൈനയിലും സോഷ്യലിസം എന്ന പേരിൽ ആധിപത്യം നേടിയ മുതലാളിത്ത വികസന പാതയുടെ വക്കാലത്തുകാരായ ഇക്കൂട്ടർ ഇന്ന് ആഗോളമായി ഉദ്ഗ്രഥിച്ച കോർപ്പറേറ്റ് വികസന മാതൃകയുടെ വക്താക്കളാണ്. മുൻ സോഷ്യലിസ്റ്റ് രാജ്യങ്ങളെ മുതലാളിത്തപാതയിലേക്ക് നയിച്ച പാർട്ടി ബ്യൂറോക്രസിയെയും ഉദ്യോഗസ്ഥമേധാവിത്വ മുതലാളിത്തത്തെയും സോഷ്യലിസമായി കൊണ്ടാടുന്ന ഇവർ ഇതേ യുക്തി ഉപയോഗിച്ചാണ് ഇവിടുത്തെ പൊതുമേഖലയേയും ഉദാത്തീകരിക്കുന്നത്.  ഇവിടത്തെ പൊതുമേഖല ഇന്ന് കോർപ്പറേറ്റ് വൽക്കരണത്തിന്റെ സഹായിയും അനുബന്ധവുമായി മാറുന്ന പ്രക്രിയയെ കാണാത്തവർ, കണ്ടില്ലെന്നു നടിക്കുന്നവർ ആദിവാസികളും പട്ടിക വിഭാഗങ്ങളും ഭൂമിയുടെ അവകാശികൾ ആകുന്നത് സഹിക്കാൻ കഴിയുന്നില്ല.  അതുകൊണ്ടാണ്, ഹാരിസൺ ഭൂമി പ്ലാന്റേഷൻ കോർപ്പറേഷനെ ഏൽപ്പിച്ചാലും ആദിവാസികൾക്ക് കൊടുക്കില്ലെന്നും കൊടുത്താൽ വിനാശമാരിക്കുമെന്നും യാന്ത്രികർ സൈദ്ധാന്തീകരണം നടത്തുന്നത്. വിദേശ ഭൂമാഫിയകൾ തോട്ടങ്ങൾ റിസോർട്ടുകൾക്കും റിയൽ എസ്റ്റേറ്റ് ഇടപാടുകൾക്കും (ഉദാഹരണത്തിന് ഹാരിസൺ യോഹന്നാന് ഭൂമി വിറ്റത്) തോട്ടേതര ആവശ്യങ്ങൾക്കും യഥേഷ്ടം തുണ്ടുവൽക്കരിക്കുന്നതിൽ രോഷം കൊള്ളാത്തവർ ആദിവാസികളുടെ ഭൂമിയിലുള്ള അവകാശത്തിന്റെ കാര്യം വരുമ്പോൾ മാത്രം തുണ്ടുവൽക്കരണത്തെപറ്റി ഉത്കണ്ഠപ്പെടുന്നത് കോർപ്പറേറ്റ് മാഫിയ മൂലധനത്തിന് പാദസേവ ചെയ്യലാണ്.

 

 

 

ഇന്ത്യയുടെ സാമൂഹ്യ രൂപവത്കരണത്തിലും ഉൽപ്പാദന വ്യവസ്ഥയിലും ജാതിയും ഭൂവുടമസ്ഥതയും തമ്മിലുള്ള ബന്ധം നിർണായകമായിരിക്കെ, അതിനെ പൂർണമായി അവഗണിച്ചുകൊണ്ട് നടപ്പാക്കിയ ഇ എം എസ് സർക്കാരിന്റെ ഭൂപരിഷ്കരണം മുതൽ നവ ഉദാര കാലം വരെ നിലനിന്ന കേരളമോഡലും സിംഗൂർ - നന്ദിഗ്രാം വരെ എത്തിയ ബംഗാൾ മോഡലും മറച്ചുപിടിച്ചത് മർദ്ദിത ജനതയുടെ പാർശ്വവൽക്കരണമാണ്. ഈ പാർശ്വവൽക്കരണത്തിന് അടിസ്ഥാനം ഭൂമിയിന്മേലുള്ള അവകാശനിഷേധമാണ്. വിദേശ കോർപ്പറേറ്റ് ഭൂമാഫിയകളും അവരുടെ ബിനാമികളും നിയമവിരുദ്ധമായി കൈയടക്കിയിട്ടുള്ള അഞ്ചേക്കാൽ ലക്ഷം ഏക്കർ ഭൂമി പിടിച്ചെടുക്കണം എന്നും അതിൽ തോട്ട ഭൂമികൾ തൊഴിലാളികളുടെ ഉടമസ്ഥതയിലും ബാക്കി വരുന്നതിൽ ആദിവാസികളുടെയും ദളിതരുടെയും ഭൂരഹിതരുടെയും അവകാശവും ഉടമസ്ഥതയും ഉറപ്പുവരുത്തണമെന്നും ഇക്കാര്യത്തിൽ പരിസ്ഥിതി സൗഹൃദവും വനസംരക്ഷണ പരവുമായ മാനദണ്ഡങ്ങൾ പാലിക്കണമെന്നുമാണ് മർദ്ദിതരും ജനാധിപത്യ ശക്തികളും ആവശ്യപ്പെടുന്നത്. എന്നാൽ ഇത് തുണ്ട്വൽക്കരണമാണെന്നും പിന്നോക്ക മുതലാളിത്ത രൂപമാണെന്നും ആണ് കോർപ്പറേറ്റ് വികസന വാദികളും കോർപ്പറേറ്റ് പാദസേവകരുമായ യാന്ത്രികൻമാർ പറയുന്നത്. വാസ്തവത്തിൽ കാർഷികോത്പാദത്തിന്റെ സംഘാടനവുമായി ബന്ധപ്പെട്ടതും ആവശ്യമായ സംഘടനാരൂപങ്ങൾ ആവിഷ്കരിച്ചു കൊണ്ട് പരിഹരിക്കാവുന്നതുമായ  പ്രശ്നം മറയാക്കി ഭൂമിയിന്മേലുള്ള കോർപ്പറേറ്റ് മാഫിയാ ആധിപത്യത്തെ ന്യായീകരിക്കുകയാണ് ഇക്കൂട്ടർ.  ഒരു നിശ്ചിത ഭൂപരിധിക്കപ്പുറം ഏക്കർ കണക്കിന് ഭൂമി ഒറ്റ മാനേജ്മെൻറ് കീഴിൽ വരുന്നതുകൊണ്ട് കാര്യക്ഷമതയിലും കാർഷികോത്പാദനത്തിലും കാര്യമായ വർദ്ധനവ് ഉണ്ടാകുന്നില്ലെന്നും ചെറുകിടഭൂമിയിൽ ഉല്പാദന ക്ഷമത മെച്ചപ്പെട്ടതാണെന്നുമുള്ള നിരവധി ഫാം മാനേജ്മെന്റ് പഠനങ്ങൾ ഇന്ത്യയിൽ തന്നെ പുറത്തുവന്നിട്ടുണ്ട്. പരിസ്ഥിതി സൗഹൃദവും ജനക്ഷേമകരവുമായ ആധുനിക സാങ്കേതിക വിദ്യകൾ ഫലപ്രദമായി ഉപയോഗിക്കാവുന്ന വിധം  നിരവധി കർഷക കൂട്ടായ്മകളോ സഹകരണസംവിധാനങ്ങളോ ആവിഷ്കരിച്ചുകൊണ്ട്  പരിഹരിക്കാവുന്ന ഒരു വിഷയം, അപരിഹാര്യമായ പ്രശ്നമായി അവതരിപ്പിച്ച് കോർപ്പറേറ്റ്ഭൂമാഫിയകളെ ചവിട്ടിപ്പുറത്താക്കിയാൽ മഹാദുരന്തം സംഭവിക്കുമെന്നാണ് ഇക്കൂട്ടർ പ്രചരിപ്പിക്കുന്നത്. കോർപ്പറേറ്റ് മൂലധന ദാസ്യപ്പണി ചെയ്യുന്ന സ്ഥാപനങ്ങളേയും ഇടനിലക്കാരെയും ഒഴിവാക്കി ഉത്പാദന പ്രക്രിയയിലും അതിൻറെ മാനേജ്മെന്റിലും തൊഴിലാളികളുടെയും മണ്ണിൻറെ മക്കളുടെയും പങ്കാളിത്തം ഉറപ്പാക്കി സാമൂഹ്യപുരോഗതിയുടെ നേതൃത്വത്തിലേക്ക് അവരെ തട്ടിയുണർത്തുന്നതാണ് ജനപക്ഷ നിലപാട്. മാർക്സിന്റെയും  ലെനിന്റെയും  കൊളോണിയൽ തിസീസിലെയും ഉദ്ധരണികൾ യാന്ത്രികമായി വിശ്വാസപ്രമാണം കണക്കെ ഉദ്ധരിച്ച് തുണ്ടുവൽക്കരണം എന്ന ഉമ്മാക്കി കാട്ടി വ്യവസ്ഥാ സംരക്ഷണത്തിനും അതിന്റെ രാഷ്ട്രീയ നേതൃത്വത്തിനും കുടപിടിക്കുന്ന, അതുവഴി മാർക്സിസത്തിന് അവമതിപ്പ് ഉണ്ടാക്കുന്ന പാഠപുസ്തക മാർക്സിസ്റ്റുകളെ തുറന്നുകാട്ടുന്നതിൽ ഉപേക്ഷ കാണിക്കേണ്ടതില്ല എന്ന് മാത്രം സൂചിപ്പിക്കട്ടെ.

 

 

  1. ഇനി നമുക്ക് കേവല നിയമ വാദികളുടെ നിലപാടിലേക്ക് വരാം. കോർപറേറ്റുകളുടെയും വൻകിട സാമ്പത്തിക ശക്തികളുടെയും നിയമലംഘനങ്ങളും അവയ്ക്ക് സർക്കാർ കുടപിടിക്കുന്നതും അതിനായി മുഴുവൻ ഭരണസംവിധാനത്തെയും കോടതിയേയും വരുതിയിലാക്കുന്നതും അതുവഴി നിയമ വ്യവസ്ഥയെ തന്നെ അട്ടിമറിക്കുന്നതും ഇവർക്ക് വിഷയമല്ല. ആദിവാസികൾ തൊവരിമലയിലെ മിച്ചഭൂമിയിൽ കയറിയപ്പോൾ അഥവാ മർദ്ദിതരും അടിച്ചമർത്തപ്പെട്ടവരും അവകാശങ്ങൾക്ക് ഉയർത്തെഴുന്നേൽക്കുമ്പോൾ മാത്രം നിയമബോധം വരുന്നവരാണ് ഇവർ. ഇവർ ചൂണ്ടിക്കാട്ടുന്ന ഒന്നാമത്തെ നിയമപ്രശ്നം മേൽസൂചിപ്പിച്ച എൻജിഒ കൾ ഉന്നയിക്കുന്നത് പോലെ തൊവരിമലയിൽ ആദിവാസികൾ കയറിയത് വനഭൂമിയിൽ ആണെന്നും അത് നിയമവിരുദ്ധമാണെന്നും ആണ്. പൊതുവേ ഹാരിസൺസ് ഉൾപ്പെടെയുള്ള കോർപ്പറേറ്റ് ഭൂമാഫിയകളുടെ പാദസേവകരായ രാഷ്ട്രീയ കേന്ദ്രങ്ങളും സർക്കാരും ഈ വാദഗതി ഉപയോഗിച്ചാണ് ആദിവാസി സമരത്തെ അടിച്ചമർത്തുന്നത്. ഇന്ന് വനനശീകരണത്തിന് പിന്നിൽ വനവകുപ്പും വനഭൂമാഫിയകളും തമ്മിലുള്ള അവിശുദ്ധ ബന്ധമാണെന്ന വസ്തുത ബോധപൂർവം മറച്ചുപിടിക്കുകയും വനങ്ങൾ സംരക്ഷിച്ചു പോന്നത് ചരിത്രപരമായി ആദിവാസികൾ ആണെന്നും അവർക്ക് ഒരിക്കലും വനം നശിപ്പിക്കാനാവില്ല എന്നുമുള്ള വസ്തുത ഇക്കൂട്ടർ തമസ്കരിക്കുന്നു. ആദിവാസികൾക്ക് മുൻകൈ ഉള്ള പങ്കാളിത്ത വനപരിപാലനം ആണ് ശാസ്ത്രീയമായ വനസംരക്ഷണമെന്ന, ഇന്ന് എത്തിച്ചേർന്നിട്ടുള്ള ശരിയായ തിരിച്ചറിവിന്റെ അടിസ്ഥാനത്തിലാണ് 2006ൽ ഇന്ത്യയിൽ വനാവകാശ നിയമം പാസാക്കിയിട്ടുള്ളത്. ഈ കേന്ദ്ര നിയമം നിലനിൽക്കുന്ന കാലത്തോളം വനത്തിൽ കയറി എന്നതിൻറെ പേരിൽ ഒരു സർക്കാരിനും ആദിവാസികളെ അടിച്ചമർത്താനാവില്ല. 2006ലെ നിയമപ്രകാരം വനത്തിന്മേൽ അവകാശം മാത്രമല്ല അധികാരവും ആദിവാസികൾക്കാണ്.

 

 

കേവല നിയമവാദികൾ ഉന്നയിക്കുന്ന രണ്ടാമത്തെ വിഷയം ആദിവാസികൾ കയറിയ ഭൂമി അഥവാ സമരഭൂമി മിച്ചഭൂമിയല്ല എന്നാണ്. മിച്ചഭൂമി കാട്ടിക്കൊടുത്താൽ വിതരണം ചെയ്യാൻ സർക്കാർ ബാധ്യസ്ഥരാണെന്നും സർക്കാരിൻറെ വക്താക്കൾ കൂടിയായ ഇവർ ചൂണ്ടിക്കാട്ടുന്നു. തീർച്ചയായും തൊവരിമലയിലെ ആദിവാസികൾ ആവശ്യപ്പെട്ടത് വനഭൂമി ആയിരുന്നില്ല. ചട്ടപ്രകാരം അവർക്ക് ലഭിക്കേണ്ട മിച്ചഭൂമി ആയിരുന്നു. ഇക്കാര്യങ്ങളെ സംബന്ധിച്ച ഉത്തരം പറയേണ്ടത് കേരളം മാറി മാറി ഭരിച്ച ഇടതു വലതു മുന്നണി സർക്കാരുകളാണ്. 1957ലെ ഇ എം എസ് സർക്കാരിൻറെ കാലത്ത് ആരംഭിച്ച് 1970-കളിൽ അച്യുതമേനോൻ സർക്കാരിൻറെ കാലത്ത് പൂർത്തീകരിച്ചതായി പറയുന്ന ഭൂപരിഷ്കരണം തിരിച്ചറിഞ്ഞതും  ഏറ്റെടുക്കപ്പെട്ടു എന്ന് സർക്കാർ അവകാശപ്പെടുന്നതുമായ  ലക്ഷക്കണക്കിന് ഏക്കർ ഭൂമി എവിടെയാണെന്ന് ചൂണ്ടിക്കാട്ടേണ്ടത് ഭൂരഹിതരായ ആദിവാസികളും ദളിതരും ഇതര ഭൂരഹിതരും അല്ല. ഇപ്പോൾ കേരളം ഭരിക്കുന്ന പിണറായി സർക്കാരും മുൻ സർക്കാരുകളും ആണ്. 1957ൽ ഏഴര ലക്ഷം ഏക്കർ മിച്ചഭൂമി ഭൂമി ഉണ്ടെന്ന് സർക്കാർ അവകാശപ്പെട്ടതിൽ ഇതുവരെ വിതരണം ചെയ്യാനായത് ഒരു ലക്ഷത്തിൽ താഴെ ഏക്കർ ഭൂമി മാത്രമാണെന്ന് ഔദ്യോഗിക രേഖകൾ പറയുന്നു.  ബാക്കി ഭൂമി എവിടെ പോയെന്നതിന് ഒരു ഔദ്യോഗിക സ്ഥിരീകരണവും ഇല്ല. ഭൂപരിഷ്കരണത്തിലൂടെ ആധിപത്യത്തിലേക്ക് വന്ന പുതിയ ഭൂവുടമ വർഗ്ഗം ഭരണത്തിന്റെ തണലിൽ അത് അടിച്ചു മാറ്റുകയാണ് ചെയ്തത്.

 

 

ഇതിനു പുറമേയാണ് 1970ൽ ഹാരിസണും ടാറ്റയും ഇതര തോട്ടം മാഫിയകളും കയ്യേറിയ ഭൂമിയുടെ ഒരു ഭാഗം മിച്ചഭൂമിയായി അച്യുതമേനോൻ സർക്കാർ ഏറ്റെടുത്തത്. വയനാട്ടിൽ മാത്രം ഹാരിസൺസിൽ നിന്ന് അയ്യായിരത്തോളം ഏക്കർ ഇപ്രകാരം ഏറ്റെടുത്തു. ഇത് ആദിവാസികൾക്കും ഭൂരഹിതർക്കും ചട്ടപ്രകാരം വിതരണം ചെയ്യാതെ 1971ലെ വെസ്റ്റിംഗ് ആൻഡ് അസൈൻമെൻറ് ആക്ട് അനുസരിച്ച് ധനവകുപ്പിൽ നിക്ഷിപ്തമാക്കി പ്രശ്നം പരിഹരിച്ചുവെന്നതാണ് ഇപ്പോൾ ആദിവാസി വിരുദ്ധർ പ്രചരിപ്പിക്കുന്നത്. എന്നാൽ ഇപ്രകാരം മിച്ചഭൂമിയായി പ്രഖ്യാപിച്ച ഭൂമിയിൽ ടാറ്റയും ഹാരിസണും വീണ്ടും നിയന്ത്രണത്തിലാക്കുകയായിരുന്നു. വിഎസ്   മുഖ്യമന്ത്രിയായിരുന്ന കാലത്ത് മൂന്നാറിൽ പോയി തിരിച്ചുപിടിച്ചതായി പറയുന്ന ഭൂമി മുമ്പ് മിച്ചഭൂമിയായി പ്രഖ്യാപിച്ചതും ടാറ്റ വീണ്ടും വരുതിയിലാക്കിയതും ആയിരുന്നു. തോട്ട മാഫിയകളുടെ രാഷ്ട്രീയ കങ്കാണിമാരായ ഇടതു-വലതു നേതൃത്വങ്ങളും വനംവകുപ്പിലെയും റവന്യൂ വകുപ്പിലെയും ഉദ്യോഗസ്ഥന്മാരും ഇതിനെല്ലാം കൂട്ടുനിന്നു. മിച്ചഭൂമിയായി പ്രഖ്യാപിക്കപ്പെട്ട പ്രദേശങ്ങൾ തോട്ട മാഫിയയ്ക്ക് വീണ്ടും കൈകാര്യം ചെയ്യാൻ കഴിയാത്തവിധം ജണ്ടയിട്ടും മറ്റും വേർതിരിച്ചതുമില്ല. തൽഫലമായി 1957ൽ മിച്ചഭൂമിയായി പ്രഖ്യാപിച്ച പാട്ടപ്രദേശങ്ങൾ എങ്ങനെ നഷ്ടപ്പെട്ടുവോ ഏതാണ്ട് അതേ രീതിയിൽ 1970ൽ മിച്ചഭൂമിയായി ഏറ്റെടുത്തു എന്നുപറയുന്ന പ്രദേശങ്ങളും പൂർണമായും മണ്ണിൻറെ മക്കൾക്ക് നഷ്ടപ്പെട്ടു.

 

 

അതേസമയം തൊവരിമലയിൽ ആദിവാസികൾ പ്രവേശിച്ച ഭൂമി വനഭൂമിയാണെന്ന് സർക്കാരിന്റെയും ഭരണവർഗ്ഗ പാർട്ടിയുടെ വക്താക്കളുടെയും വിമർശനം  എത്രമാത്രം അപഹാസ്യമാണെന്ന് കൂടി കാണണം. ദശാബ്ദങ്ങൾക്ക് മുമ്പ് ഹാരിസണിൽ നിന്ന് ഏറ്റെടുത്തതായി പറയുന്ന ഈ ഭൂമി ഹാരിസൺസ് തന്നെ വനംവകുപ്പിന്റെ ഒത്താശയോടെ കൈകാര്യം ചെയ്തതിന്റെ തെളിവുകളും ലഭ്യമാണ്. ദശാബ്ദങ്ങൾക്കുമുമ്പ് ഏറ്റെടുത്തിട്ടും കഴിഞ്ഞവർഷംവരെ ഈ ഭൂമിയിൽ സ്ഥിതി ചെയ്യുന്ന ബംഗ്ലാവുകളിൽ ആളുകൾ താമസിച്ചതിന്റെ തെളിവുകൾ സമരസമിതിയുടെ പ്രവർത്തകർ കണ്ടെത്തുകയുണ്ടായി. ഹാരിസൺസ്  തൊഴിലാളികളും ഇക്കാര്യം സ്ഥിരീകരിക്കുകയുണ്ടായി. നിക്ഷിപ്ത വനമായി ഏറ്റെടുത്തു എന്നു പറയപ്പെടുന്ന ഭൂമി ഭൂമാഫിയകൾക്ക് യഥേഷ്ടം ഉപയോഗിക്കാൻ സർക്കാർ കൂട്ടുനിൽക്കുന്ന അപമാനകരമായ സ്ഥിതിയാണിത്. അതായത് നിയമപരമായി സർക്കാർഭൂമി ആയാലും തോട്ട മാഫിയകൾക്ക് അത് ഉപയോഗിക്കാൻ തടസമില്ല. ആദിവാസികൾ അവിടെ പ്രവേശിക്കുമ്പോൾ മാത്രമാണ് നിക്ഷിപ്തവനം പോലുള്ള ഉള്ള നിയമപരവും സാങ്കേതികവുമായ പ്രശ്നങ്ങൾ ഉയർന്നു വരുന്നത്.

 

 

 

ചുരുക്കത്തിൽ ആദിവാസികളുടെ സമരത്തെ അടിച്ചമർത്തുന്നതിനും അവർക്ക് ഭൂമി നിഷേധിക്കുന്നതിനും മുന്നോട്ടുവയ്ക്കപ്പെട്ടിട്ടുള്ള വാദഗതികൾ കോർപ്പറേറ്റ് ഭൂമാഫിയയ്ക്ക് വീടുപണി ചെയ്യുന്നതിനുള്ളതാണ്. ഇവിടെ ഉയർന്നു വരുന്ന പ്രശ്നം മിച്ചഭൂമിയുടെ മാത്രമല്ല, അഞ്ചേക്കാൽ ലക്ഷം ഏക്കർ ഭൂമി നിയമവിരുദ്ധമായി വിദേശ തോട്ട കുത്തകകളും അവരുടെ ഇന്ത്യൻ ബിനാമികളും കൈവശപ്പെടുത്തിയിരിക്കുന്നതും അവർക്ക് ഭരണസംവിധാനം അപ്പാടെ കീഴ്പ്പെടുത്തി സർക്കാർ നടത്തിക്കൊണ്ടിരിക്കുന്ന ഭരണഘടനാ ലംഘനവുമാണ്. കേരളത്തിൻറെ ജനാധിപത്യവൽക്കരണത്തിന് ഏറ്റവും വലിയ വെല്ലുവിളി ഉയർത്തുന്ന ഇക്കാര്യത്തെ ജനപക്ഷത്ത് നിന്ന് സമീപിക്കാതെ ഒരിഞ്ചുപോലും പുരോഗമന  ദിശയിൽ കേരളത്തിന് മുന്നേറാനാകില്ലെന്ന് തിരിച്ചറിയുകയാണ് മുഖ്യമായിട്ടുള്ളത്.

 

ആദിവാസികളുടെ ഭൂസമരത്തിനെതിരായ കുപ്രചരണങ്ങളും വസ്തുതകളും - പി ജെ ജെയിംസ്

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

 

Page 9 of 167

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.