CPI(ML) Red Star calls for outright rejection of the bills steam-rolled through parliament! Oppose corporatization of agriculture; Support the 25th September Bharat Bandh! Solidarity with the 13rd September all India Protest Day called by the Trade Unions!

The steam-rolling of the two farm bills, viz., Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Bill, and the Essential Commodities Amendment Bill by Modi government in violation of all parliamentary rules and procedures is the biggest assault on the Indian peasantry. It brings the entire agriculture under the firm control of corporate agribusiness, corporate retailers and corporate export houses and MNCs, sabotaging the State governments’ Federal rights enshrined in the Constitution and subjecting the vast majority of peasants to hitherto unknown levels of agricultural corporatization. The Amendment brought to 1955 Essential Commodities Act has made unfettered hoarding, black-marketing and artificial scarcity of most essential items of peoples’ sustenance such as food grains, pulses, oil seeds edible oil, onion and vegetables, destroying completely replacing whatever remnants were left of the food security in the country.

Together with these unparalleled neoliberal-neocolonial offensives, the three Labour Codes Bill passed by Lok Sabha on September 22, pertaining to amendments in Social Security, Industrial Relations and Occupational Safety will bring the working class of India under corporate control which will be more horrific than colonial-era conditions. Coupled with the already initiated corporate offensive such as disinvestment of remaining PSUs, free entry and exit of corporate MNCs and majority FDI even strategic sectors are intended to bring even the remaining organised workforce at par with around more than 95 percent of the Indian proletariat working in the informal sectors like bonded labourers.

Through these strategic moves, Modi regime has once again proving that it has become a model for the super-imposition of corporate neo-fascism reducing the parliament to a mere edifice.

CPI(ML) Red Star

12 September 2020

Modi Government has announced that it will not pay compensation to the families of those thousands of migrant workers who lost their life while hurrying to go back to their native places. It is yet another fascist action by Modi without considering the facts. Who was responsible for 10 million workers becoming jobless and shelter-less, thrown out on the streets all on a sudden on 24th March night?  They were victims of a calculated move, abruptly announcing the lockdown without giving any time to them to get back to their places before the trains and inter-state buses were withdrawn, a move by Modi to utilize the Covid19 pandemic as a cover to terrorize the people, The tragic consequences of it, tens of thousands of workers deciding to walk back a thousand or more kilometers to get back. So Modi and his government are responsible to the tragic death of these workers, in some cases their family members also, like the incidence of 16 workers who were damn tired and sleeping on the tracks getting mowed down by a goods train!

So far their families have not received any compensation so far, except some of them getting paltry help from state governments.  Though the central government was so callous towards this humanitarian issue caused by its action, it did not bother to make a survey of these deaths and victims details. But with the help of voluntary and some other agencies the families have submitted applications for compensation to most of these victims. Like in the time of all other abrupt fascist moves of this government starting with the de-monetisation, once again thousands of victims’ families are refused compensation. This fascist action of Modi rule should be condemned. We should raise our voice in support of this demand.

Throwing all pretence of parliamentary rules and decorum to the wind, the Centre decided to pass agricultural Bills without the required votes in the Rajya Sabha, reports Sabrangindia. The Centre had decided to pass three controversial agricultural Bills in the Rajya Sabha despite lacking the required number of votes on September 20. This act of the ruling BJP completely affronts the essence of democracy and disregards Parliamentary rule and procedure. Incidentally, the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare had admitted to the agrarian crisis on September 18 when it said that more than 10,000 farmers, cultivators had died by suicide in 2019. This is part of the staggering 42,000 suicide deaths in the informal sector in that year. With the new “reforms” things are likely to just get worse  The three Bills in question are the Farmers Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Bill, the Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services and the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Bill which had received widespread condemnation from farmer’s Unions for their pro-corporate policies. The world over, in all countries, barring one, price security for farmers’ produce is always provided for by Government, not by companies, which only buy cheap to sell dear and earn huge profits.                                                                                                                                      

In retaliation to the government decision, the All India Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee has called for an all-India farmers’ protest on September 25. The organisation intends to launch a massive resistance against the three Bills/Acts, the New Power Bill 2020 and the steep hike in Diesel and Petrol prices. Moreover, they also demanded that the Central Government pass the two Bills proposed by AIKSCC for “Karja Mukti, Poora Daam” (Debt relief, Full Price.). According to this call AIKKS has decided to actively mobilize the peasantry to take up this challenge and has called for making the Bandh call a success. The peasant organizations are getting ready for a long struggle until this corporatization of agriculture is reversed.

The Adivasis who were staging a peaceful sit-in protest demanding rights over forest land and resources were attacked by the police. In a rather outrageous incident of highhandedness of authorities over the vulnerable tribal communities, Bihar police fired at a democratically organised protest sit-in in Adhaura block of Kaimur District. 

Activists of Kaimur Mukti Morcha had staged a sit-in demonstration on September 10 and 11, 2020, to demand legal rights over water, forest and land. But the police administration and forest department did not listen to their demands and the activists locked the gates and forest department in a symbolic manner, to make their voices heard. But instead of engaging in a dialogue with the peaceful protestors, the police opened fire and lathi-charged the protesters! Three people from Sarai Nar, Barkatta and Chafna were injured in the incident, while more than half a dozen people of Kaimur Mukti Morcha were arrested.  The police also broke locks of Kaimur Mukti Morcha office and conducted raids there.

This struggle has been going on for decades when the “Kaimur Mukti Morcha” was launched with the help of Dr. Vinayan who was also the founder member of the All India Union of Forest Working People (formerly known as National Forum of Forest People and Forest Workers). The contribution of the movement has been praiseworthy, and has been acknowledged by the state government as well in the past. Though the Kaimur area was notorious for its Maoist presence in the past, it became free of Maoists after the organisation of Kaimur Mukti Morcha by Dr. Vinayan who advocated strictly democratic means such as peaceful dialogue. On the day of the peaceful protest, the members of Kaimur Mukti Morcha were making the following demands:

- the administrative reorganisation of Kaimur Pahar,- declaring Kaimur as a Scheduled area as per the Fifth Schedule of the Constitution, - implementing the Chhota Nagpur Kashtkari Act,- abolishing the Kaimur Pahar Forest Wildlife Sanctuary and Tiger Reserve, - Forest Rights Act 2006, along with Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996 to be implemented effectively

A Road March was organised on 17th September against the anti-public and anti-labour policies of the BJP government of the centre and the Jharkhand government in state, from Guri village of Bishrampur to Basna Panchayat Secretariat of Nawabazar. National Unemployment Day was celebrated in its former village Guri. On the road march NH75, the labourers were done with planks, flags, banners, posters etc. People involved in National Unemployment Day and Road March should resign the anti-labour government! Long live Labour Unity!, Stop killing labourers!, Today is National Unemployment Day! Adi were shouting slogans. When a group of workers reached Basna Panchayat Secretariat while marching on the road, the people involved in the road march turned into a nook meeting. Addressing the Nukkad Sabha, the state committee member of the CPI (ML) Red Star, Anil Mistry, Draupadi Devi, District Secretary Rajendra Chaudhary, District Member Sadiq Ansari etc. said that since the Modi government of the centre has come to power, it has been on the labourers. There are continuous attacks happening. Workers are being killed, unemployment is increasing, labourers are being removed from factories and jobs. Government and company are snatching employment opportunities from the hands of youth. The government is privatizing important topics like education, health and railways. The government is wildly looting water, forest, land and mineral resources and looting from companies.

The students and youth in UP and Bihar have come out on the streets spontaneously using social media contacts taking very good initiative, finding out new methods of campaign to highlight the plight of unemployed millions.  There are large numbers of youth who had passed the central and state competitive examinations in 2017 and 18 who are not employed yet. No competitive exams are held so far in 2020. Those who were offered placements from campus interviews are also mostly not employed. As there was a huge number of unemployed already, the pandemic has worsened the situation. Neither central nor state governments are coming out with any proposals or promises about employment or unemployment allowances to those not getting jobs. It is in this situation, after establishing contacts through tweets before the Teacher’ Day on 5th September, tens of thousands of students came out in the streets at large number of cities including University centres like Varanasi and Aligarh with the banner “Students against Unemployment” on 5th September at 5 minutes past 5 pm, clapping hands, clanging plates and ringing bells, in Modi style!. Though the mainstream media mostly refused to report, through social media this campaign has become viral.

It was a good beginning. It will definitely encourage to spread to more contacts, to more areas. Such initiatives shall help to spread the campaign countrywide also, giving rise to new forms of mass protests and struggles. On 5th they raised the slogan: “Modi, Provide Employment, or Quit” They were exposing Modi’s total failure to provide jobs, even while destroying the existing jobs massively. They used the same form of action Modi used on 22nd March Janata Curfew called by Modi to confuse and terrify people using Covid19 as a weapon!

“Students and Youth against Unemployment” then called on the students and youth to come out on the streets or protest before their houses switching off the lights on 9th September at 9pm for 9minutes, lighting candles and mobile lights, again using the form of action Modi used to saffronize and terrify people using Covid19 as a cover. Modi is challenged and exposed in his own style!  On 17thSeptember, when the RSS parivar was celebrating the birthday of Modi, the youth came out again on the streets with the banner “All India Unemployment Day” This spontaneous mobilization of students and youth calls for support by all organizations working among the students and youth.

CPI(ML) Red Star,  many progressive secular forces, and mass organizations  opposing Modi’s corporate fascist rule supported the students and youth and joined them at 9pm on 9th September, switching of lights and lighting candles.  We can use social media extensively, support it, appeal to people to join it. It is a good beginning, make it as much successful as possible. It is one way to give momentum to resistance against Modi fascism

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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.