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Data exclusively accessed by Mirror Now (Channel) has revealed that 610 farmers committed suicide in Maharashtra between January and March of this year. This translates to the fact that as many as seven farmers were driven to take their own lives every single day in different parts of the state in the first three months of this year. This trend shatters the illusion presented in the public sphere by concerned officials and the Maharashtra government. Different parts of the state are currently battling severe drought and the situation is going from bad to worse with every passing day. In its response to a Right to Information (RTI) petition, the Maharashtra government released data which states that 227 farmer suicides were reported from January to March of this year from Amravati followed by 198 from Aurangabad, 119 from Nashik, 38 from Nagpur, 29 from Pune and zero from Konkan. Farmer leaders said that situation is rapidly deteriorating in Marathwada, Yavatmal and neighbouring areas where drought has added to the worries of the local population.

BJP spokesperson says government led by his party in the state has launched the ‘Jalyukt Shivar Abhiyan’ in 34 districts and farm loan waivers amounting to Rs 24,000 crore granted as part of the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Shetkari Sanman Yojana.  But in spite of repeated demands the government has not released data for farmers suicide, unemployment, labour bureau and NSSO. Diring the LS election campaign BJP and Shivsena’s tactics was to conceal farmer suicides, the lives of India’s food producers and their sheer helplessness when severe droughts forcing them to end their own lives. n

Even before he took over as the head of the Gorakhpur Mutt, Yogi Adityanath had floated a youth militia, the Hindu Yuva Vahini, in 2002 to propagate Hindutva and nationalism. But there were many charges against its members of harassment, communal violence and intimidation. After he took over as chief minister, Adityanath distanced himself from the Vahini. Sunil Singh, a key functionary of the organisation, was infuriated when he and some others did not get Assembly tickets. He revolted and formed a rebel Vahini outfit, declaring himself president. Singh announced that he would contest against the BJP's Gorakhpur candidate, actor Ravi Kishan, on a Hindustan Nirman Dal, floated by Pravin Togadia. Being a Thakur, Singh might have cut into BJP votes, but his nomination was declared invalid by the Election Commission

At Varanasi, representing farmers in distress from Telengana and Tanilnadu nearly 100 farmers had gone to contest against prime minister Modi. They camped for days, campaigned and submitted nominations. But except one, all other nominations were rejected by the returning officer without attributing any valid reasons. In other Purvanchal constituencies of UP also this practice was evident. Many nominations including those of CPI(ML) Red Star candidates from Deoria and Chandoli were rejected without giving any explanation. Even election officials were not ready to meet these candidates or their representatives. EC was helping BJP in many ways. n

Over 500 including Hurriyet leaders, students facing PSA.  According to a report, Indian forces in their operations, killed 95,238 Kashmiris, including 7,120 in custody, since January 1989 till date. The report said that the troops molested or disgraced 11,107 women and damaged 109,191 residential houses and other structures. It maintained that Indian troops and police subjected at least 8,000 people to custodial disappearance in the period.

The report pointed out that during this year alone, Indian forces and police personnel slain 350 Kashmiris including PhD scholars, engineering students and Hurriyet leaders, Professor Dr Muhammad Rafi Butt, Dr Manan Bashir Wani, Dr Sabzar Ahmad Sofi , Dr Abdul Ahad Ganai, M-Phil student Aedimad Fayaz Mali, Muhammad Esha Fazali (24-year-old eng graduate), Syed Oais Shafi Shah (eng graduate ) , Aasif Ahmad Malik (28- year old B Tech engineer), THK leader, Mir Hafizulla, Muslim League leader, Tariq Ahmad Ganie, Hurriyet leader, Mohammad Yousuf Rather alias Yousuf Nadeem and THK leader, Hakim-ul-Rehman Sultani and arrested over 2,348 people including minor boys, youth, students, females and Hurriyet leaders and activists and put them in jails and under house arrest.

Resistance leaders including Shabbir Ahmad Shah, Nayeem Ahmad Khan, Syeda Aasiya Andrabi, Fehmeeda Sofi, Nahida Nasreen, Altaf Ahmed Shah, Aiyaz Muhammad Akbar, Peer Saifullah, Raja Merajuddin Kalwal, Shahid-ul Islam, Farooq Ahmad Dar alias Bitta Karate, Mohammad Aslam Wani, businessman Zahoor Watali, Syed Shahid Shah and Ghulam Muhammed Butt have been detained in Delhi’s Tihar jail, while over five hundred people including Hurriyat leaders Masarrat Aalam Butt, Ghulam Muhammad Khan Sopori, Mushtaqul Islam, Maulana Barkati, Muhammad Yousuf Mir, Farooq Ahmad Tawheedi, Mohammad Yusuf Falahi, Hakim Abdu Rashid, Gulzar Ahmad Gulzar, Nisar Hussain Rather, Umar Adil Dar, Hakim Showkat, Merajudin Nada, Zahoor Ahmad, Sirajidin, Shakeel Ahmad Bakshi, Mohmmad Amin Mangloo, Abdul Ghani Butt, Ghulam Muhideen Peer, Assadullah Parray, Fehrooz Ahmad Khan are languishing in different jails of Kashmir and in India under the black law, Public Safety Act.  The report maintained that the authoritieshad kept the All Parties Hurriyet Conference Chairman, Syed Ali Gilani, MirwaizUmar Farooq, Muhammad Yasin Malik, Mohammad Ashraf Sehrai were put under detention either in their houses or in jails time and again and were not allowed to carry out their political activities and they have not been allowed to offer Friday prayers and address public meetings. n

If you turn a place into a graveyard, can you expect its people to vote enthusiastically? Many in Kashmir are echoing these thoughts and showing their disillusionment with the ruling government by not turning up to vote. The fifth phase of Lok Sabha elections concluded on May 6 and the voter turnout for Jammu & Kashmir’s 6 Lok Sabha seats has stumped many political leaders in the valley and the centre.

Jammu & Kashmir has recorded an overall voter turnout of a mere 43.5% in the ongoing Lok Sabha elections, its lowest since the 2004 polls.

As many as 299 polling booths in Pulwama and Shopian district saw no voting. It’s ironic that votes in elections across the country are being asked for in Pulwama’s name and yet 266 booths in the district saw zero voting. Security forces cracked down on militants after 40 CRPF jawans were killed in the February 14 terror attack in Pulwama, which was claimed by the Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed. They belong to the Anantnag constituency where polls were held in an unprecedented three phases. Nobody came to vote in 65 polling booths in this constituency according to a report. The turnout was 8.76 per cent, a significant fall from the 28.54 per cent recorded during the 2014 Lok Sabha election. According to the media reports voter turnout in as many as 90 polling stations in Srinagar Parliamentary constituency was zero. In Baramulla Lok Sabha constituency no votes were polled at 17 polling stations.

While militancy and security played a part, residents of the Valley’s three parliamentary constituencies of Anantnag, Baramulla and Srinagar showed little enthusiasm for the electoral process. These three seats cumulatively registered a voter turnout of just 19%. The individual turnout was the worst in Anantnag, where 8.79% of voters came out to exercise their franchise, followed by Srinagar at 14%. At 34%, Baramulla saw a relatively better turnout. The Valley, embroiled in violence for over three decades, has historically seen low voter turnouts. Over the last five general elections from 1998 to 2014, the turnout in Anantnag has remained below 30%. In 1999 and 2004, it was below 15%. Unlike the Kashmir Valley, voters in the Jammu region participated in the polls enthusiastically. Turnout in Udhampur in Jammu was 70.19%, higher than even the national turnout so far.

In spite of all the main stream parties in J&K campaigning, the central government, state government and Election Commission vigorously campaigning, in spite of the armed forces present in all areas forcing the people to vote what is the end result? Voting percentage in the Kashmir Valley is: Sri nagar 7%, Kulgam town 1.3%, Shopian district 2.6 %, Pulwama district 1.9%. This is kashmiri people’s reply to the militaristic/state terror policy of Modi government. Will BJP and its allies on the one side, and the Congress and other opposition parties on the other pause for a minute and ponder? n

Few years ago when “Nirbhaya” was gang raped there was a great revolt in Delhi. Thousands of girls and boys spearheaded it, paralyzing the city for days. Following her death, the then UPA govt took many decisions, a commission was appointed, its report was published, and the state machinery and the ruling political class assured that most prompt action shall be taken to save the country from this plague! But after so many years what is happening? Everyday newspapers come out with news of increasing number of rapes, gang rapes, rapes of even 3 year old babies and molestations even at workplaces. As happened at Alwar twice last week or at so many places, even if a rape is reported the police refuse to act; even if the case comes before the judiciary the justice is delayed or refused.  People get outraged and at many places, as in Kashmir now against rape of a three year old, revolts take place in the streets. But the alertness shown by the state machinery to maintain law and order at such times is hardly shown in putting an FIR when a rape is reported. No qualitative change in the situation at all. On the contrary,  these gruesome incidents are increasing manifold. Why?

Because, India has become a country which is more patriarchal, Manuvadi, where gender inequality is justified under religion and caste system. The RSS parivar and other religious fundamentalists are openly justifying women’s inferiority to men. Under their onslaught, even whatever renaissance, secular, caste annihilation, democratic, egalitarian and scientific values were existing, are fast eroded. The  male chauvinistic state machinery, including judiciary up to topmost levels, as recently happened in the case of sexual harassment complaint against the chief justice of India, refuse to give justice to women. As the ruling system is corrupt from top to bottom, rapists can easily influence the police. For protecting vote banks, the political class also help the rapists and molesters. In short, basically it is a men’s world. The neo-liberal onslaughts impoverishing the toilers, depriving many a family life, and the impact of consumerist culture which reduces women to a mere commodity through films, TV serials, advertisements, social media etc also aggravate the menace.

But, while using Alwar gang rape like incidents for attacking political opponents to get few more votes, Modi like political leaders forget the blood in their hands, and do not bother to approach this question with the seriousness it demands; they forget they are also responsible for the increasing assaults on women, children. This barbarous male chauvinistic aggression can be resisted and defeated only by firmly standing for gender equality in all respects and fighting for it ideologically, politically and organizationally, creating people’s upsurges for it. n

52ND NAXALBARI UPRISING DAY OBSERVED

On 25th May, 52 years ago it was on this day the West Bengal state and central forces fired on demonstrators at Naxalbari killing 11 comrades including infants to suppress the People's Uprising advancing in the region calling for ‘land to the tiller’ as part of agrarian revolution. It heralded a new chapter in the history of the communist movement in our country.

Today when the corporate-saffron fascist forces have returned to power with more strength, and when the agrarian question has become more acute under the neoliberal regime, the relevance of Naxalbari Uprising has increased. The struggle for agrarian revolution including the land to the tillers slogan according to the present situation has become more relevant than ever as the oppression of the Adivasis and dalits on the one hand, and the suicides of the farmers due to intensifying agrarian distress on the other are increasing day by day.  This critical situation calls for intensifying the revolutionary mass movement for re-structuring the society, to learn from Naxalbari Uprising and advance towards people's democracy and socialism. Long Live Naxalbari Uprising! Red Salute to the martyrs and leaders of Naxalbari Uprising!.

On this day CPI(ML) Red Star comrades from North Bengal districts and local comrades assembled at the martyrs column at Naxalbari under the leadership of Central Committee member com Pradip Singh Thakur remembered the martyrs and leaders of the movement and pledged to carry forward the message of the Naxalbari Uprising according to concrete conditions. Leaders of All India Krantikari Kisan Sabha (AIKKS), DH Poojar and Nirvanappa from Karnataka, Tejram Vidrohi from Chhattisgarh, Sankar Sahu from Odisha, addressed public meeting held at Naxalbari bus Stand. In other states also Naxalbari Day was observed by the party committees programs.

And what a great way to ‘get rid of NPAs’ !! In last two years, writing off over Rs.1 lakh crores. Combined with preceding three years, this becomes about 1.6 lakh crores written off !! Another Feather in the cap of Modi-Jaitley regime, that is continually enriching the rich and pauperising the poor.

According their own report, SBI has about 39 crores non Jan Dhan savings accounts. So, these ‘write offs’ notionally have cost each of these account holders (who are the primary source of total SBI deposit base of about 27 lakh crores) about RS.4100 each - which otherwise could have been given /counted as a higher interest rate, or ‘profit’ for the bank, thus not needing a capital infusion from Public funds.

With these 1.6 lakh crores of “very bad loans” or NPAs written off, out of its total advances of about 20 lakh crores (8% of the total advances written off - ouch !!), SBIs NPA scene will seem ‘good’, and the bank will be ready to give more of our money to the rich, for them to start creating further NPAs (after all, one of the primary reasons given for “cleaning up the banks bad loans, is that it enables them to lend further)! Banking has been made so crooked for the small savers.

SD

In the 17th Lok Sabha elections we had fielded 29 candidates from 14 states. Nominations for one seat  from Telengana, one from W. Bengal and two from UP were rejected. We had waged a campaign based on our Election Manifesto and handbills within our organizational and financial limits. From these 29 seats we received a total of 90, 647 votes, a little more than we received in the 16th Lok Sabha elections. In Maharashtra our SC had supported an independent candidate from North Mumbai seat and Gujarat SOC supported a candidate of Bharatiya Tribal Party in Ahemedabad West.

  1. Wayanad Usha                       1424
  2. Vadagara Sudhakaran            507
  3. Thrissur N.D. Venu               1330
  4. Ernakulam Shajahan                470
  5. Koppal Hemaraj Veerapur  1059
  6. Chikmagalur S Vijaya                  2216
  7. Kanyakumari Paulraj                    778
  8. Guntur Hari Prasad            3216    
  9. Nagpur Yogesh Thakre       281
  10. Ramtek Bandu Mishram      1421
  11. Mahasamund Bhojlal Netam         2263
  12. Puri Ranjan Mishra        2312
  13. Bhubaneswar Pramela behera      1482
  14. Kandhemal Tuna Mallik             8283
  15. Koraput Rajendra  Kendruka        15827
  16. Aska Sankar Sahu          5999
  17. Dumdum Shankar Das          4379
  18. Bankura Sukchand Soren     2889
  19. Bishnupur Jithendra Nath Roy 6438
  20. Belarghat Manas Chakravarthy       1349
  21. Barasat Oli Md Mallick         1305
  22. Ranchi Vikas Sharma         1407
  23. Palamu Madan Ram            2420
  24. Jamshedpur Malay Mahato         1874
  25. Amethi Basudev Maurya    988
  26. Kushinagar Aravind Yadav        1406
  27. Sidhi Heeralal Singh        3848
  28. Udaipur Kika  Meena           13099
  29. Chandigarh Lashkar Singh        377 n
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The Communist movement in India has a history of almost a century after the salvos of October Revolution in Russia brought Marxism-Leninism to the people of India who were engaged in the national liberation struggle against the British colonialists. It is a complex and chequered history.