The Call of April 22, 2012 :
Intensify the Battle against Corruption and Corporate Offensive!
Launch all-out Preparations for the Party’s 9thCongress!
Recent times have seen a great worldwide upswing in popular struggles and India is surely no exception. The country continues to pulsate with powerful struggles against mega corruption, land acquisition, mining loot,and arrogant, autocratic governance. The scam-ridden UPA governmenthas been pushed back on several occasions. Be it the issue of FDI in retail, fare hike in the railways or the move to give sweeping powers to the Intelligence Bureau in the name of countering terrorism, the government has had to either withhold or roll back its decisions. The situation calls upon us to deliver more powerful blows to the powers that be to press for substantive policy changes and push back the growing corporate assault on the Indian economy and polity.
Meanwhile, the list of scams continues to get longer with explosive revelations emerging from within the top layers of the system. A leading newspaper has published a draft CAG report exposing the process of allotment of coal blocks to private companies causing an estimated loss of about Rs. 11 lakh crore to the national exchequer, more than six times the magnitude of the 2G scam that came to light in 2010. This has once again brought to the fore the need to establish public control over our precious national resources.
In a series of stunning statements, none else than the Army chief himself has raised his voice against massive corruption and irregularities in defence purchases. This year’s budget has provided a huge sum to the tune of nearly Rs. 2 lakh crore for defence expenditure. Defence outlay constitutes the single biggest item of budgetary allocation in every successive budget. Clearly the huge expenditure which is always sought to be justified in the name of national security has become a source of limitless loot by a corrupt nexus of arms dealers, army top brass, top bureaucrats and ruling politicians. Enforcing strict monitoring and absolute accountability of defence expenditure is the need of the hour and this must go hand in hand with reduction in arms imports and greater emphasis on improved indigenous defence production.
A third shocking example of political corruption has come once again from Jharkhand where in an unprecedented move Election Commission had to cancel the RajyaSabha elections and the High Court had to order a CBI probe into the horse-trading of MLAs cutting across political divides. As ever, the lone CPI(ML) MLA in the Jharkhand Assembly has been the most honourable and consistent exception and bold voice of protest to this murky politics.
The Constitution of India envisioned the Rajya Sabha as a Council of States, a federal complement to the LokSabha or the House of the People. The federal nature of the Rajya Sabha was first undermined by parties like the Congress using the RajyaSabha for backdoor entry of leaders from states on the basis of false residential claims. Thus Manmohan Singh entered the Rajya Sabha from Assam just as Pranab Mukherjee once came from Gujarat. With the legalisation of this system, the Rajya Sabha has now become an easy destination for corporate moneybags. The RS poll scandal makes it crystal clear why the MPs and MLAs must be brought within the purview of the proposed Lokpal/Lokayukta Act and why the original character of the Rajya Sabha must be restored to stop corporate representatives from subverting the federal principle and trespassing into the Rajya Sabha.
To carry forward the battle against corruption we must rebuff this growing corporate assault and this is where the communist movement must take the lead and show the way to all patriotic and democratic forces in the country. On the 43rd anniversary of Party foundation let us dedicate ourselves wholeheartedly to this challenging task.
The results of the recent Assembly elections in five states have clearly shown that the people are getting increasingly fed up with the two main parties of the ruling classes. Popular disenchantment can also be seen to be growing in states where governments had come to power in the last elections with massive majorities. West Bengal and Bihar are two significant cases in point. In states like Gujarat and Karnataka where notorious BJP governments have been in power for years together, there are now unmistakable signs of decline and even an element of disintegration in the BJP camp.
The situation seems favourable for the rise of non-Congress non-BJP forces and the UPA and the NDA are both feeling the heat. But there are little signs of any third front yet, and without a powerful resurgence of the Left movement there can be no third front that can pose any major challenge to the two-decade-old neoliberal policy regime that has been playing havoc with the resources of the country and livelihoods of the working people.
In the first four months of 2012 we have successfully concluded Party conferences in four major states. Within a year from now we will hold our Ninth Congress. The coming months will require us to work hard on every front so we can expand our organisation and unleash powerful initiatives in terms of mass and class struggle and ideological-political intervention. The entire Left camp is passing through an intense churning and a successful Ninth Congress will take us ahead towards our cherished goal of bringing about a powerful resurgence of the revolutionary Left. Let us pool all our strength and make our best possible efforts to fulfil the tasks ahead.
Communist Party of India
This Battle Must be Won
(Excerpts from a write-up in Liberation January 1998)
The history of Bihar, for more than two decades, is replete with massacres. Massacres of rural poor of dalit castes by various landlord armies. In their desperate bid to suppress the ever growing rural poor uprising and to hold onto their caste-class privileges, the new classes of landlords and kulaks have frequently took recourse to this terror tactics as a means to terrorise the whole mass of people. Yet the massacre at Laxmanpur-Bathe of Jehanabad on the night of 1 December is a case apart and it rightly shook the conscience of the nation in the 50th year of Indian independence.
In all 61 persons — two thirds of whom were children, women and old persons — were butchered to death in a cold-blooded operation at the dead of night. All the victims belonged to the class of agrarian labourers and were dalits in the social hierarchy. In their struggle for socio-economic emancipation they had taken up the revolutionary banner of the CPI(ML).
The killers were men of the Ranvir Sena — an upper caste landlord army which enjoys the political backing of the BJP as well as support from a section of the RJD.
This time the target chosen was a village in Jehanabad that lies close to the districts of Bhojpur, Patna and Aurangabad. The essential purpose was to send the message across the whole of central Bihar. The time chosen was significant as the political crisis at the centre had matured and a caretaker government was in office. Thus, by effecting an upper caste mobilisation of both Bhumihars and Rajputs, it also symbolised the beginning of the political offensive by arch-reactionary forces. ...
..The record was indeed created not only in terms of numbers but also in the measure of brutality and cowardice. Side by side, another record was created by the media, particularly in Bihar, which excelled in hypocrisy. Since day one, Sangh Parivar propaganda machinery swung into action and the media began playing to its tune. A prominent journalist from Patna wrote in a national daily that it was the same old story of clash between Ranvir Sena and Naxalites, the only difference being that this time Naxalites were unarmed. How cleverly the cold-blooded massacre of women and children was rationalised as a routine kind of confrontation! The same journalist in subsequent write-ups tried to rationalise Ranvir Sena as an expression of peasant’s anguish against indiscriminate Naxalite violence. This typical attitude was common to the entire upper caste journalist fraternity barring a few exceptions. The long list of upper caste villages supposedly under the threat of Naxalite revenge were boldly displayed in newspapers and cock-and-bull stories of PWG squads entering into Jehanabad were dished out. The news analysis that began with Laxmanpur-Bathe invariably ended up with concern over general deterioration of law and order and demands for action against Naxalite extremists who dare to run parallel governments and even attack the police. The news of protests were underplayed whereas the fast by BJP leaders and Vajpayee’s visit was overplayed. All this was a well-orchestrated move to divert public attention from Ranvir Sena, from its organic links with the BJP and pressurise the state administration to divert its operations against the victims themselves.
...Still the machinations of the whole range of mercenaries is not the last word in the rural poor’s march to liberty. The protest is growing fast and assuming larger dimensions.
...The massacre has generated immense class hatred among rural poor, strengthened their determination to close their ranks, and led to the growing realisation of going over to offensive actions as the best way of defence.
...With the advent of Ranvir Sena, the class war is no longer confined to this or that region of Central Bihar any more. It is engulfing the entire central Bihar. This has also created conditions for forging a broader class unity, a unity cemented by blood. The class war is also making irrelevant the false god of social justice, Laloo Yadav, who in his earlier incarnation had encouraged the growth of Ranvir Sena as a Machiavellian plot to wipe out our Party. In fact, it has turned into a Frankenstein for him and is threatening his own social base in the changed political environment of BJP’s growing political offensive.
...The challenge of Ranvir Sena, the perpetrators of the ‘national shame’, has to be met. In the concrete context of Bihar, the interests of the revolutionary peasant movement as well as the national responsibility of halting the onslaught of saffron army has merged into one and the same task — wiping out Ranvir Sena.
The rural proletariat has been shedding blood for its socio-economic emancipation and political liberty. It is our duty to organise people to avenge the death of their class brethren and for that we shall have to undertake the widest exposure campaign particularly in view of media hostility; do away with all sectarian attitudes and unite all positive social sections and political forces and raise our preparations to a higher level to deal a crushing blow to this army of butchers, of cowards. This battle can surely be won and must be won. This is the call of human progress, democracy and true nationalism. This is the call of the modern times.