September 15, 2011

Reject renegade SFI’s nefarious attempts to REPLACE the STRUGGLE against Lyngdoh with a SURRENDER to Lyngdoh!

SFI has recently conducted an “Opinion Poll” unilaterally and by undermining the JSC, which has jeopardised our collective struggle against imposition of Lyngdoh and for restoring JNUSU election as per JNUSU Constitution. SFI has been engaging in acts of highly condemnable one-upmanship and sectarian behaviour. This is a display of utter contempt for collective functioning and complete disregard for the implications of its irresponsible acts on the ongoing legal battle at the Supreme Court. SFI is propagating that the lack of an elected JNUSU for four years has done irreparable damage to the student movement. But have they ever bothered to even think what kind of damage it will do if we throw away the JNUSU Constitution and welcome Lyngdoh to the campus? It will put an end to our four years long political and legal struggle against Lyngdoh and our defiance of draconian regulations imposed by the State.
Welcoming Lyngdoh will not merely damage, but will destroy JNU’s student movement beyond repair, once and for all. This will be a tremendous setback to the four decades of JNU’s progressive and democratic movement built up by generations of students. It is this movement which has produced the JNUSU Constitution – the foundation and the guiding document for JNU’s long tradition of progressive students’ politics. If we replace this Constitution with the draconian Lyngdoh, we will of course get an elected union, but not our JNUSU. A students’ union with Lyngdoh will be reduced to a lapdog of the administration – a toothless body at the mercy of the Pink Palace. It will no longer remain a platform of struggle. Do we, the present students of JNU, have the right to sacrifice this long-standing democratic tradition for the sake of a sham election and a puppet union to fulfil the electoral ambitions of renegade SFI? Should we abandon our responsibility to carry forward the legacy of the struggle to restore JNUSU and its Constitution even if this means a prolonged struggle? We want to remind SFI that there is no short-cut to struggle, and surrender is not a replacement for the fight for democratic principles and politics.
Apart from the high possibility that SFI has clandestinely manipulated the numbers of the unilateral “opinion poll” to show the numbers in their favour (we should not forget that CPIM and SFI have a long record of rigging all elections in Kerala and Bengal when in power), SFI has also openly misinterpreted the verdict of the unilateral “opinion poll” in their leaflet (13.9.2011):
(a) SFI has claimed that 79% students are in favour of conducting elections this semester. This is a blatant lie and twisting of facts. In none of the “options” given to the students in the “Opinion Poll” was it mentioned that election has to be conducted within this semester, or within any specific deadline. The students were not asked for any deadline nor did they choose any deadline. It is only SFI which is desperately looking for elections with Lyngdoh within this semester, thereby betraying the four-year long hard-fought struggle against the draconian Lyngdoh recommendations. This is very much in keeping with SFI and CPI(M)’s opportunist and degenerate politics.
(b) SFI also claims that 37% students are in favour conducting elections by rejecting Lyngdoh and as per JNUSU Constitution, while 42% are in favour of elections as per Lyngdoh and by rejecting JNUSU Constitution. This is another open lie and manipulation, because with the 37% who are against conducting elections according to Lyngdoh, we must also add the significant number of 12% students in SFI’s “opinion poll” who believes that Lyngdoh should not be accepted and the court case should be pursued to its logical end. Therefore, the number of students who have rejected Lyngdoh in the “poll” is as much as 49% (37%+12%), while going by SFI’s version, only 42% (which of course include SFI and Youth for Equality members) are in favour of surrendering to Lyngdoh. SFI should take it as a clear warning from the student community that majority of them are not going to tolerate the ‘option’ of total surrender to Lyngdoh and betrayal of the JNUSU Constitution.
SFI is desperate to conduct elections by hook or crook within this semester, hoping that elections can revive its fast-receding acceptance among the students of the campus, even if at the cost of putting the noose of Lyngdoh on the neck of JNU students. Yet they are scared of openly advocating Lyngdoh, apprehending a backlash coming from student’s overwhelming opposition. Though SFI has been very eager to know the ‘opinion’ of the students and have put forward their theory of available ‘options’, they themselves have not publicly declared their own position on whether they want elections as per Lyngdoh or according to JNUSU constitution. A fine example of SFI’s hypocrisy and double standard!
Let us be in no illusion. SFI wants JNUSU elections as per Lyngdoh and not JNUSU Constitution. In fact, SFI has always supported and welcomed Lyngdoh recommendations at an all-India level. In one of the first joint public meetings after the imposition of Lyngdoh in JNU in 2008, a speaker from SFI’s central leadership quoted from a resolution. In this resolution by SFI’s central secretariat, they welcomed the Lyngdoh committee recommendations. SFI argued that Lyngdoh could be ‘used’ by progressive forces to strengthen campus democracy and to conduct union elections in campuses where such elections are not held!
But there has been a total opposition to Lyngdoh from the student community of JNU (except the arch-reactionary YFE which gave slogans like Lyngdoh Zindabad!). The very first UGBM on Lyngdoh passed the resolution of opposing Lyngdoh in JNU in toto, and established the Joint Struggle Committee with the mandate to fight for restoring the elections as per JNUSU Constitution. Seeing the overwhelming mood of the students, SFI in JNU quietly shelved its position of ‘welcoming Lyngdoh’ at that time. SFI is fully aware that the opinion of the students even today is decidedly against welcoming Lyngdoh and throwing the JNUSU Constitution into the dustbin. So SFI does not want to take the risk of inviting Lyngdoh. Therefore it is cleverly trying to put the onus of welcoming Lyngdoh and undermining JNUSU Constitution on the students through spurious “Opinion Polls”, and is aiming to do so once again with their proposed ‘Referendum’. SFI is working with a dangerous game-plan.

Rather than playing shadow-boxing with their tricks of “options” and “opinions”, we dare the SFI renegades to come out openly with their position of supporting JNUSU elections as per Lyngdoh. Or else, we will be forced to seek a referendum for expelling SFI from the Joint Struggle Committee, because the JSC is mandated to struggle against Lyngdoh, not to find ways to surrender in front of Lyngdoh. SFI has no right to advocate Lyngdoh while still remaining within JSC. They must remember that students threw out YFE from JSC in 2008 in a UGBM for advocating Lyngdoh. Accepting Lyngdoh in any form and undermining JNUSU Constitution is not an ‘option’. DSU will continue to resist tooth and nail any attempt to bring Lyngdoh to JNU. We appeal to the student community to stand steadfastly in defense of JNUSU Constitution as they have done in the last four years, and defeat SFI’s nefarious attempts to backstab JNU student movement’s four-decades long democratic tradition.

September 9, 2011

JNUSU elections according to JNUSU constitution! Reject Lyngdoh Committee Recommendations! Defeat the opportunist and degenerate politics of SFI!!

For the last three years the JNU students have refused to succumb before the reactionary Lyngdoh Committee Recommendations and are fighting both legal and political battle against it. While most of the universities were forced to accept Lyngdoh, it is JNU which is still fighting against these reactionary set of restrictions on students politics. Among many other petitions that had been filed in the Supreme Court challenging Lyngdoh, the Supreme Court gave a hearing to only the petition filed by JNU. Owing to our political and legal struggle the petition filed by the Joint Struggle Committee has been recommended to the constitutional bench after the two judge bench in the Supreme Court commented that ‘prima facie the Lyngdoh Recommendations infringes on the constitutional rights of the students to hold elections. This judgment has put a question on the credibility on Lyngdoh. This indeed is a decisive step ahead in our struggle against Lyngdoh.

SFI was never serious in the struggle against Lyngdoh. SFI outside JNU had always welcomed the reactionary Lyngdoh Committee recommendations. Within JNU because of the force of progressive students’ movements they were forced to posture against Lyngdoh. But now they have openly stated that having elections according to Lyngdoh is ‘an option’ for them. Precisely what YFE had stated three years back. They last year had come up with the ‘ingenious’ idea that we should ‘negotiate’ with the solicitor general to get some ‘relaxations’ from Lyngdoh. AISA too after initial hesitation and confusion finally joined the bandwagon with SFI, NSUI and ABVP to mislead the students that such negotiation is possible! Gopal Subramaniam, the erstwhile Solicitor General never took the negotiations seriously and at the end resigned without ensuring any solution to the case. One full year in the struggle was thus lost. If instead of getting into such unsure and loose means of ‘negotiation’ with the same forces which had imposed Lyngdoh on us, the JSC had rather intensified the legal and political battle against Lyngdoh, there was a thick chance of us having JNUSU elections according to JNUSU constitution this year. SFI’s attempt to create a frenzy only for JNUSU elections without opposing Lyngdoh is thus hollow, opportunist and dangerous since it ultimately paves way for Lyngdoh. SFI is trying to derail the battle against Lyngdoh by creating confusions among lawyers and taking up sheer one-upmanship. We must remind them that the student community of JNU (except the casteist agents of the administration YFE) understands and have always in all the UGBMs and protest actions clearly rejected the reactionary Lyngdoh Recommendations in JNU. We have always fought for our own constitution because elections in JNU are not just a bureaucratic exercise but have always been an intense political exercise. JNUSU whose legacy we always claim will never be the same once the Lyngdoh restrictions are implemented and that will be an irreparable blow to the progressive, socially just and dynamic nature of JNU students’ movement.

Lyngdoh Committee recommendations are clearly directed at producing puppet unions which are depoliticized and severely restricted. The Lyngdoh Recommendations deliberately restrict participation of students in election process and severely curtails the scope for political debates and discussion. It puts meaningless conditions to determine eligibility of students to fight elections. It clearly wants student unions to remain aloof from larger politics and the struggles of people. Moreover, it gives sweeping powers in the hands of the administration to regularly intervene in the election process and also cancel any one’s candidature even after (s)he is elected. In Kumayun University for example, the administration had repeatedly used Lyngdoh much after the elections to nullify elected students’ union whenever they have fought against the administration on genuine students’ demands. In JNU the legacy of students’ movement lies in fighting continuous progressive battles against the administration to ensure the rights of the students. The state and the administration want to curb that space and therefore, although there had been no use of money and muscle power in JNU students’ union election, the Supreme Court intervened and stopped the elections. The only answer to that should be an assertive fight reclaiming our political struggles and not an abject surrender infront of the powers that be to accept Lyngdoh.

Lyngdoh is a stated agent of neo-liberalism: The Lyngdoh Committee Recommendations came after the Birla-Ambani report, the Knowledge commission Report on education and many other World Bank funded reports on education, which identified organized students’ movement to be a direct impediment for privatization of education. The Indian state is currently at a violent spree to ruthlessly privatize education. The tentacles of privatization are already covertly reaching JNU and if we do not resist it, more privatization will soon destroy the socially just character of JNU and the subsidized education that we enjoy will soon be robbed. Education here too, will be turned into a commodity purchased by the elite and the affluent. A puppet union restricted by Lyngdoh can never fight militant students’ struggle against privatization. Thus SFI whose parent CPM is a loyal lapdog of neo-liberalism, has no problems whatsoever in accepting Lyngdoh in JNU, as they have done elsewhere. AISA keeping up its opportunist track record is yet to spell its position clearly against Lyngdoh in the present context of the struggle. We must fortify our legal and political battle against Lyngdoh and ensure JNUSU elections according to JNUSU constitution.

More skeletons from under CPM’s red carpet to US imperialism!

Wikileaks cables expose what the fighting people have already exposed about the social fascist CPM by throwing it into the dustbin of history…    

Ø    Communist ideology needs ‘to change or perish’ were Buddhadeb’s words to the US ambassador in 2009. Welcoming US investment, he asked the ambassador for help to bring American businesses to Bengal.

Ø    Buddhadeb also wanted Dow Chemicals to invest in Bengal stating that he “did not understand why Dow should be saddled with Union Carbide’s liabilities from the Bhopal accident”.

Ø    Reassuring the diplomats that the ‘Left’ was getting over its “past skeletons”, Sitaram Yechury along with CPM Gen Secretary Prakash Karat confirmed CPM’s support towards building better relations with the US.

Ø    CPM State Secretary of Kerala Pinarayi Vijayan pointed out how CPM has no problem with US imperialism, “We have no problems with American companies, no hesitations at all.”

Ø    VS Achuthanandan, former Chief Minister of Kerala and CPM Politburo Member, expressed CPM’s “interest in attracting US investment to Kerala” to the visiting American diplomat in 2008.

Ø    Shedding even any pretence of opposition to the continued US occupation of Iraq, Afghanistan, the drone attacks in Pakistan, support to Zionist Israel, Buddhadeb had immense praises for the warmonger Obama.


…and AISA’s sound & fury regarding the leaks signifies nothing!
Liberation/AISA, today crying hoarse about CPM’s hobnobbing with US imperialism, needs to be once again reminded about its own hobnobbing with the social-fascist CPM.  Electoral allies with CPM in Bihar, Liberation has always seen ‘great possibilities’ whenever it comes to extending their hand of support to CPM. Abandoning the revolutionary politics of Naxalbari, they have wooed the opportunist and revisionist politics of CPM. Let us dig out some of their own skeletons from the Selected Works of their ex-General Secretary Vinod Mishra:

“’Hostility’ does not define our relation with the CPI(M) and Left Front government as we have never hesitated to cooperate with the CPM wherever and whenever possible.”                   –p. 49

“Once again we would like to reassure our friends in the CPI and CPI(M) that our struggle is not against you…If despite thousands of differences you can have occasional adjustments with the Congress..Janata Dal..BJP..why on earth should we singled out as your principle enemy?”

“Many issues of the past have become irrelevant in today’s context. The world around us has undergone a lot of changes over the last twenty years. Let bygones be bygones, let us look forward to the future. In the conditions of today’s national and international environment, it is imperative for the CPI, CPI(M) and CPI(ML) to evolve ways to walk together for as far as possible.”
                                                                                                                      - pp. 19-20


September 7, 2011

DSU Public Meeting: Abolition of Death Penalty & the Struggle for Justice

6 September 2011

Faced with a mass upsurge of the people of Tamil Nadu, the execution of Perarivalan, Saanthan and Murugan which fixed for 9 September, had to be stayed for eight weeks by the Madras High Court on 30 August. Thousands of students, lawyers, professionals poured out on the streets against the hanging of the three, falsely implicated in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case and wrongly imprisoned for nearly 20 years. Over 10,000 people gathered outside the High Court to protest against the death penalty. Three women lawyers sat on an indefinite hunger strike, trains were blocked at various places including Salem, Kovai, Vellore and Chennai, district collectors of Salem and Kovai were barricaded in their office by hundreds of law students, protest demonstrations, rallies and meetings were organized all over the state. Senkodi, a woman lawyer unfortunately self immolated herself in front of the Tahsildar’s office in Kanchevaram against the execution order and later succumbed to injuries on the way to the hospital. The protests were followed by intense crackdown by the state on the people, and hundreds of them were arrested and illegally detained for long durations.

Immediately after the High Court stayed the hanging by citing “inordinate and inexplainable” delay in disposing the petition of the three to the President, the Tamil Nadu Assembly adopted a resolution asking for the commutation of the death sentence. However, the Assembly resolution has no legal binding on the case and is merely an act of political gimmick to pacify and deceive the widespread public outcry that erupted across Tamil Nadu. Jayalalitha claims that the state government is powerless with regard to commuting the death-sentence. This is a deliberate lie. Any sentence, including the death penalty can be commuted if the state’s cabinet passes a resolution and sends it to the governor, which he or she is obliged to accept. Only such a resolution would be legally binding and effective in quashing the death sentence. The reluctance of the Jayalalitha-led AIDMK government to pass a cabinet resolution once again highlights their ruling-class opportunism, while shedding crocodile’s tears under pressure from mass protests. Though the court’s stay order is a step in the right direction, the continued injustice meted out to the three condemned prisoners cannot be ensured unless they are freed from prisons without any further delay.

Capital punishment is nothing but a judicially-orchestrated elimination of political dissidents. Fascist tactics of execution have been used time and again to set an ‘example’ or to ‘teach a lesson’ to the people who dare to challenge the might of the Indian state. The history of Indian state since the transfer of power is replete with numerous such instances of political executions and hangings to crush peoples’ struggles, reminding us of the days of the British Raj. Maqbool Butt, one of the prominent freedom fighters of Kashmir, was executed in 1984 to eliminate not only a political dissident, but as a warning to the entire Kashmiri nation who raised the demand of Azadi. Today, Perarivalan, Saanthan, Murugan, Afzal Guru, Devindar Singh Bullar, Jagtar Singh Hawara, Balwar Singh, Jiten Marandi and many others have been condemned to death by the courts and were also subjected to the worst forms of torture at the hands of the police. The same state and its judiciary grants bail to Brahmeswar Singh, the landlord and founder of the ‘upper’-caste Ranveer Sena, also the mastermind of Laxmanpur Bathe, Mianpur, Batanitola and a series of massacres involving the brutal killings of at least 277 dalits. The current desperation of the Indian state to hang the three persons falsely implicated in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case is also not difficult to understand. Actively complicit for the past many decades in crushing the movement for independent Eelam, the Indian state today wants to extend another gesture of support to the murderous Rajapaksya regime by hanging the three.

Capital punishment is one more tool of repression in the hands of the Indian state. The self proclaimed ‘world’s largest democracy’ justified death penalty when it was challenged in 1983 by stating that ‘hanging does not involve torture, barbarity, humiliation or degradation’, and it continues to do so now in the name of ‘fighting terror’. According to the 35th report of the Law Commission on death penalty there were 1,422 executions in 16 states between 1953 and 1963 alone. It is estimated that the number of those executed after 1947 is over 4,300. The Indian state has the highest number of custodial killings in the world. Between 2001 and 2009 alone, 1184 people have been killed in custody in India, while 90% have died within 48 hours after being taken into police custody. This figure however does not include the thousands of extra-judicial killings in fake ‘encounters’ and custodial deaths. Moreover, the Indian state has given complete immunity to its killers in uniform through laws like AFSPA, DAA, UAPA, NSA and other draconian laws.

Be it the cold-blooded murder of CPI (Maoist) spokesperson Azad and thousands of revolutionaries, killing of hundreds of civil liberties activists, unaccounted number of fake encounters and ‘disappearances’ in Kashmir, witch-hunt of the minorities, use of Salwa Judum, paramilitary and the army against the adivasis, or the death sentence to Perarivalan, Santhan and Murugan – all are part of the state’s plan to wipe out dissent in one way or the other. State violence is the essence of the semi-feudal, semi-colonial structure of India. While on the one hand, post-1947 India has seen deepening disparities and widening gap between the rich and poor fettered by the morass of the caste system, it has also seen the emergence of militant movements on fundamental questions of land, livelihood, national liberation and dignity. All these movements have been a direct challenge to the feudal-comprador bureaucratic ruling classes that have held the economy and the society backward. History is witness to the fact that no amount of state repression in its myriad forms has been able to suppress the militant and revolutionary struggles of the people. While we demand the abolition of capital punishment and the unconditional release of ALL political prisoners, it is only by strengthening the revolutionary movement that we can put an end to all kinds of judicial and the extra-judicial killings and repression in all other forms.

Who is behind Anna Hazare and His Jan Lokpal?

Excerpts from the World Bank Report titled:


“Global partnerships on governance and anti-corruption: Improving governance and reducing corruption requires stronger collective action and partnerships—with donor partners, with the private sector and civil society, and with developed countries. Global partnerships promote coordinated action, resource pooling, sharing of innovations and expertise, and a more effective division of labour consistent with each partner’s resources and mandate. To this end, consistent with its expertise, the WBG will play a strong, proactive role with international donors and other actors on the governance and anticorruption agenda. Consistent with the feedback from the recent consultations that the Bank should not “act in isolation”, the WBG will share its own experience in these areas, eliciting input and guidance from partners to inform the Bank’s approach, and coordinate upstream in country assistance strategies and actions at the country level”.- p. 28

“Private Sector, Civil Society, and the Media: A principal focus in the next stage will be for the WBG to scale up its successful efforts over the past decade to engage the private sector, the media, and civil society organizations. While individual firms may benefit from weak governance (with politically connected companies sometimes shaping key policy decisions in ways that benefit them while undermining the efficiency and competitiveness of the business environment), the private sector as a whole loses when corruption is pervasive and the rule of law is undermined. Consequently, in recent years global private sector leaders have taken bold new initiatives to help tackle the supply-side of corruption and signal that “integrity is good for business”. The WBG, and particularly IFC and MIGA, will scale up support to such initiatives—and engage more broadly with the private sector as a crucial ally for good governance. Within its mandate, the WBG will also strengthen partnerships with civil society organizations and the media at the country and global levels as a powerful force for holding governments accountable. This will include forging stronger alliances with global civil society organizations such as Transparency International (particularly their country-based chapters), Global Witness, and also with national and local civil society organizations and media on country-level governance initiatives such as monitoring of public procurements or asset declarations of public officials”. p. 30

As per the World Bank’s Independent Evaluation Group (IEG) report, the bank would need to “address the key findings of this evaluation if (it) is to more effectively help countries overcome deep seated governance challenges such as, civil service dysfunction, capture of natural resource rents or political-institutional barriers to market entry and improved service delivery”. According to Navin Girishankar, the Indian experience including the Lokpal bills might dovetail with this type of strategy” (see The Hindu, September 1, “World Bank needs anti-graft policies”.)

Reject the World Bank sponsored “LokPal” which in the garb of ‘curbing corruption’ is only going to facilitate corporate loot!
Down with imperialism!

August 30, 2011

The System of Corruption cannot be crushed without smashing the Corrupt System! Defeat Liberation -AISA’s Revisionism and Strengthen the Revolutionary Movement!!

 “As the free action of the sun’s rays is the most effective purifying and healing remedy against infections, disease and germs, so the only healing and purifying sun is the revolution itself and its renovating principle” - Rosa Luxemburg, ‘Struggle against Corruption’, The Russian Revolution

AISA finally broke its silence on the second phase of Anna Hazare’s anti-corruption charade, with a pamphlet on 26th August, and subsequently, with another pamphlet and public meeting yesterday. What we witnessed in the past three days was a desperate justification of Liberation’s participation and support of the Anna Hazare’s mass deception, avoiding the disturbing questions raised by DSU on CPI(ML) Liberation and AISA’s eagerness to unite with this reactionary right-wing movement. AISA is forced to admit that it agrees with many of DSU’s ‘apprehensions’ (DSU of course, does not have mere apprehensions, but a clear opposition to this ‘movement’). But it has ignored or dismissed the criticisms made by DSU as “mindless rhetoric” and “meaningless allegations and debates”. AISA says that the ONLY purpose of DSU in making a critique of the Ramlila roadshow is to attack it and its parent organisation. DSU is not the ‘conscience keeper’ of AISA nor is it particularly fond of AISA/Liberation’s degenerate revisionist politics to be preoccupied with its acts of “omission and commission”. Starting from April this year when the first episode of the Anna Hazare spectacle was staged at Jantar Mantar to the last few weeks, DSU has ‘intervened’ and ‘engaged’ with the mobilisation around Lokpal – not in support of it like AISA-Liberation, but resolutely against it. And thanks to the political consciousness of the JNU students, most of the students refused to throng the Ramlila Maidan or rejected the call of ABVP in the garb of ‘Students for Corruption’ to garner support for Jan Lokpal bill on campus.
Liberation-AISA claims that it “has identified the need for a left-led movement on corruption long time back”, and with this understanding, have been campaigning from January this year against “Corruption and Corporate Loot”. Had DSU been ‘obsessed’ with only critiquing AISA/Liberation, we would have critiqued its fallacious political understanding on corruption and corporate plunder at that time itself. However, DSU is not bothered about the machinations of a self-proclaimed ‘Marxist Leninist’ group which is desperately trying to drum-up support for its fledgling project of revolutionising the society through the parliament! But when AISA/Liberation tries to hobnob with the communal-fascist forces from Ramlila Maidan to Delhi University (AISA marched with ABVP in Delhi University shouting ‘Vande Mataram’ and ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ in support of Anna Hazare), surely, can they fault us for posing the uncomfortable questions? We still ‘engage’ with AISA unlike ABVP, because we know that ABVP calls for a different ‘engagement’.
AISA/Liberation’s hypocritical and opportunist stand on Anna Hazare’s charade and the Lokpal Bill: Liberation says it “supported this specific demand (for a Jan Lokpal), welcomed the mass upsurge, but also pointed out that corruption cannot be eradicated by a single legislation” (Kavita Krishnan, It simply means the opportunism of running with the hare and hunting with the hound. They support, join and fuel the Anna Hazare frenzy, but seek to distance from it when confronted. It is a fallacy when Kavita Krishnan asks whether this movement can take a right-wing turn. It is already right wing and fascist, but AISA/Liberation will not recognise it until the Sanghi brigade solemnly declares its presence with their flags and banner! AISA is also saying that Anna Hazare’s anti-corruption drive had a limited agenda. They have nothing else to say about this movement, though. This movement does not link corruption to neoliberal policies, which AISA considers to be its root cause. Yet, since day one they were supporting and have been a part of this so-called movement. In April at Ranchi, Liberation General Secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya sat on a hunger strike in solidarity with Anna Hazare’s fast at Jantar Mantar. At other places, Liberation and AISA activists likewise sat in a one-day hunger strike in solidarity with Anna Hazare’s fast. On 27 August AISA called for Bihar Bandh demanding Jan Lokpal Bill. Thus, Liberation has been justifying its participation in this mobilisation by arguing that it was ‘broadening’ Team Anna’s agenda and bringing a ‘radical left’ orientation to it with its rhetoric—namely, calling neoliberal policies of privatization as the root cause of corruption. But what has happened in the last few months is the complete opposite. In the name of broadening Anna Hazare’s agenda, Liberation dropped its ‘radical left agenda’, its red flag, slogans, banner and stood behind ‘Team Anna’ and Jan Lokpal.
The bogus corruption ‘exposure’ campaign: AISA claims in its pamphlet that “Through our campaign, we have constantly exposed the real face of corruption, in the process exposing not just the Congress but also the BJP which champions the same economic agenda”. Is it really a secret for the masses of the country that the ruling classes and their parliamentary parties, be it Congress, BJP, CPI(M) etc. are corrupt to the core? Is it claiming that the 2G scam, CWG scam, scams by ‘Bellary’ brothers, the ‘cash-for-vote’ scam, Hawala scam, and hundreds of other high-profile scams committed by the ruling classes were ‘exposed’ by Liberation? The contradictions within the ruling-class parties have led to these damning exposures. As for the daily incidents of governmental corruption, the common people have suffered from it for too long to be waiting for any ‘exposure’ by Liberation-AISA. Indeed, the ruling classes, their political parties and the Indian parliamentary system run by them does not have an iota of trust or legitimacy among the vast masses of the country. The drumming-up of the Anna Hazare campaign is to restore trust in the Indian state, its parliamentary democracy and legislative system. This anti-corruption charade asks the people of the country to hope that the parliament and the ruling classes would legislate ‘strong’ laws to persecute itself for the crimes of corruption (it reminds one of the UN’s Expert Panel on Sri Lanka which recommends the Rajapakse government to probe into its own war crimes against the Tamil freedom fighters)! Clearly, Liberation/AISA makes too much of its inconsequential and populist ‘campaign against corruption’.
AIS/Liberations empty rhetoric of ‘engaging’ with the masses is nothing but a caricature of the Marxist concept of Mass Line: AISA tries to hide the rank opportunism and compromised politics it displayed by endorsing the media-generated Anna-frenzy and the Jan Lokpal Bill with the excuse of ‘engaging’ with the ‘masses’ flocking the Ramlila Maidan and in other urban centres. In practicing its frivolous ‘mass line’, AISA/Liberation has bungled in identifying the ‘mass’ because it has completely abandoned the class line befitting a working-class party. Alienated from the masses and devoid of a political line like many of the armchair intellectuals who are confused by seeing this ensemble of people, AISA/Liberation believes that a gathering with a right-wing, pro-establishment agenda is a good thing. Instead of dissuading the people from joining the reactionary ‘movement’ of ‘Team Anna’, Liberation-AISA fuels it with petit-bourgeois platitudes. When the Left organisations were stopped from even distributing their pamphlets at the Ramlila grounds, when they are not allowed to address the audience, or be part of the how did Liberation “engage” the crowd thronging in to join Anna in his spectacle?
AISA/Liberation’s campaign is an end in itself: Can they fight corruption through mere campaigns, without being part of “REAL struggles on the ground”? And how do they intend to struggle on the ground: with the ‘Anna model’ of legalistic, ‘peaceful struggles’? They claim that “Throughout these months, AISA has taken on the issue of corruption head on, consistently mobilising public opinion on a positive radical left agenda”.  What is this ‘positive radical agenda’? Caught in the labyrinth of parliamentary politics, Liberation has forgotten that India has witnessed many movements against corruption in the past. None of these movements eradicated corruption. What they did instead was a change of governments.  Not accidently, all these movements against corruption (during JP’s call for Total Revolution, or during VP Singh’s campaign against Bofors scam) strengthened the fascist forces. AISA has written that “the root cause of corruption lies in neoliberal policies of privatization”, as though there was no corruption earlier. In this half-baked formulation, it has refuses to identify corruption as a symptom of the semi-feudal semi-colonial relations of exploitation and oppression. AISA-Liberation has today been forced to say that corruption cannot be eradicated by a single legislation. But what other strategy does Liberation have instead? More than one legislation to fight corruption? More importantly, how does Liberation intend to strike at the so-called root of corruption? By asking the state to pass more laws against neoliberalism?
From when for a ‘Marxist-Leninist party’, corruption has become a central issue? AISA headlines its pamphlet as “Mindless rhetoric CANNOT wipe out REAL struggles on the ground”. We agree. The mindless rhetoric of “anti-corruption campaigns” cannot replace the struggle for revolutionary social transformation. But it is Liberation which is completely cut-off from the real struggles of the masses and has been rejected by the struggling people everywhere. The only thing Marxist-Leninist about Liberation is its name. Otherwise, it had long transformed itself completely into an NGO, and replaced class struggle with parliamentary politics (where they have aligned with feudal and reactionary forces like Nitish Kumar’s erstwhile Samata Party, social-fascist CPM etc)  and  made alliances with various kinds of NGOs and NGO-led ‘movements’ which in fact serve the imperialist agenda of neo-liberalism. On the one hand, AISA-Liberation sees great possibilities in this corporate funded, RSS backed, managed and controlled anti-corruption drive. On the other hand, when the people of Lalgarh, Nandigram, Jharkhand, Chattisgarh, Orissa and other places are waging uncompromising struggles against the onslaught on their lives and livelihood through state repression and corporate loot of land, forest and other resources, AISA-Liberation distances itself from these movements and people by saying the Maoists have ‘hijacked’ them. When the people of Kashmir are on the streets demanding azadi, AISA-Liberation distances itself from the national liberation struggle by branding it Islamist and fundamentalist. Instead, it only pays lip-service against ‘human rights violation’. Kavita Krishnan has written that “The people saying “I am Anna” or “Vande Mataram” are not all RSS or pro-corporate agents”. But when people in Kashmir utilise Allah ho Akbar as a rallying call for their national liberation struggle, Liberation and its rainbow coalition partners in ‘civil society’ brand this movement as an Islamist movement. However, they have absolutely no problem joining hands with the same right-wing forces on the issue of corruption. Likewise, AISA-Liberation sees no problem in being part of the anti-corruption drama that is funded by Jindal, Ambanis, Tatas, Ford Foundation, Lehman Brothers etc.
AISA/Liberation’s Lokpal: They expect that the Lokpal should not just to punish government officials but also the corporations. They ask “Why should the Tatas, Ambanis and other corporate honchos NOT be punished for looting public resources? Their role in keeping the regime of corruption going must be nailed down and penalised” (28.8.2011). Wise words and lofty wishes indeed, but pathetically empty! The AISA wish-list goes on, “NGOs, corporate houses and the media should also come under the ambit of the Lokpal”. Since wishes are horses for AISA/Liberation, they should also consider the demand to bring the embassies of US, Britain and Israel under Lokpal. Who doesn’t know that these are the base-camps of the multinational corporations plundering the Indian people and their resources? This will serve Liberation/AISA well in advertising its commitment to ‘anti-imperialism’! Above all, why should Lokpal itself be left out of the purview of Lokpal? After all, who will guarantee that the very institution of Lokpal too will not become corrupted tomorrow, even with the “sufficient checks and balances” suggested by AISA? Moreover, it is a common knowledge that the bulk of the expenses of all parliamentary parties are met by black-money made through corruption, and this is how they generate the crores of rupees spent on election campaigns for the parliament to the panchayat. Being a parliamentary party sworn to the Indian Constitution and its electoral system, why should the CPI(ML) Liberation, or for that matter any other parliamentary party, be spared from the scrutiny of Lokpal? As a revisionist party which has become ideologically corrupt to the core, can anyone believe if Liberation/AISA makes the claim that they never indulge in corrupt practices and underhand financial dealings to raise their party funds? Of course, Liberation can very well point out that it is not corrupt simply because it never got a chance to be corrupt – being always out of power and deprived of ministerial berths – even though such an argument will not be all that convincing for the sceptics. Finally, by demanding that the Parliamentary Standing Committee also include RSS, VHP and other Sangh outfits under the ambit of Lokpal, AISA/Liberation can pat itself on its back for putting forward a satisfactory, foolproof and exhaustive wish-list!
Lenin must have turned in his grave when AISA redefined the present era as the “era of scams, corruption and blatant state-sponsored loot of public resources” (26.8.2011). Never mind if the communists all over the world have characterised the present era as “the era of imperialism and proletarian revolution”! AISA/Liberation’s abandonment of Marxism-Leninism is nothing but a clear indication of its abandonment of class struggle itself. They have conveniently forgotten that the defining principle of Marxist philosophy and politics is class struggle, not corruption.
AISA maliciously and deviously (mis)quotes and distorts the statements in the press release of CPI(Maoist), and then expects DSU to respond to it. AISA thereby is trying the old trick of identifying CPI(Maoist) as the ‘parent’ organisation of DSU, and thus acting in a similar manner to the state and its agents in the campus like ABVP, NSUI and SFI. Instead of spreading canards against DSU and the revolutionary movement, AISA-Liberation should consider ‘intensifying’ the struggle for the Jan Lokpal bill and take the baton of the Anna Hazare ‘movement’, now that it has been shelved with mutual agreement of the parliament and ‘Team Anna’!

Let us not allow the Indian state to kill Perarivalan, Saanthan and Murugan! Abolish death penalty! Release all Political Prisoners Unconditionally!!!

After an official communication from the Rastrapathi Bavan, the Vellore prison authorities have fixed September 9 as the date of the execution of Perarivalan, Saanthan and Murugan, who were falsely implicated in the Rajiv Gandhi murder case. Arrested weeks after the incident under TADA, the lower court condemned them to Death sentence along with 23 others in 1997. The supreme court in 1999, reconfirmed their sentence of four –Perarivalan, Saanthan , Murugan and Nalini, while acquitting the rest of all charges. It is to be noted that the judgment that reconfirmed the death sentenced was passed with a two-one majority, one of the judges have not just differed with the punishment but had acquitted them of the charges. The only ‘evidence’ against them is their confessions that were taken in police custody, under the provisions of the draconian TADA. For the sole crime of upholding their politics the three have been fabricated in the case which has no grounds and have been kept in solitary confinement for the last 20 years, with the fear of being hanged any moment. This is nothing but pre-planned cold blooded murder of three innocent lives. 
The Indian state has chosen to kill three innocent lives in order to save its own skin. The evidences of the genocide of the Tamils by the Sri Lankan government and India’s active support to it is a well established fact. The killing of lakhs of Tamil, the use of Chemical weapons, the rapes, the cold blooded killing and many other gross facts of the war was exposed through the Channel four video – “Sri Lanka’s killing field” and other reports. It led into huge outcry world wide and the demand for punishing the Sri Lankan state for war crimes intensified. India which had been an active partner in the genocide has now come to rescue its partner and itself by killing these three innocent lives.
The barbaric capital punishment, which has been abolished in 130 countries, is justified and upheld by the Indian state as the ‘deterrent against terrorism’. In reality, the state always uses capital punishment to repress those who dare to dissent and fight for their rights. Those fighting for their national liberation, land, livelihood and dignity and those who uphold the politics of the people have always been the target of the state. Perarivaran, Murugan and Sanathan are similar targets. It’s because they dared to uphold their politics that they were implicated and now the fascist state faced with crisis wants them to be executed.
This order has only intensified the struggle world over, against this state killing of Perarivalan, Saanthan and Murugan. People all over Tamil Nadu in particular are fighting against their killing as well as to abolish capital punishment. Protests have erupted all over Tamil Nadu since the day the black order has been pronounced. Three women lawyers have sat on an indefinite hunger strike, rails were blocked at various places including Salem, Kovai and Chennai. District collectors of Salem and Kovai were barricaded in their office by more than hundred law students who were later arrested. The movement in Tamil Nadu is being led by lawyers and students were the first to come out in protest against the genocide in Eelam. The Madurai high court has yesterday announced indefinite boycott. The lawyers have also given a call for a mass mobilization in front of high court on Tuesday. There is a call for a protest demonstration outside the Vellore Prison on 30. 08.11. Yesterday, Senkodi a woman lawyer has self immolated before the Tahsildar office in Kanchevaram, demanding the release of the three in death row; she succumbed to her injuries on the way to hospital.
           Let us intensify the protest against the fascist design of the state to kill Perarivalan, Saanthan and Murugan. Let us intensify our struggle to ensure the release of all political prisoners and for the abolition of capital punishment.

Martyrs are not buried, they are sown! Oppose the fascist repression by the Indian State on the People of Kashmir! Stand in solidarity with the Azadi of Kashmir!!

The 64 years of Indian occupation of Kashmir have been synonymous with death, destruction and pillage. In a glaring testimony to the gruesome brutalities of the Indian state in Kashmir, the recent report of the J&K State Human Rights Commission revealed the existence of 2156 bullet ridden bodies in 38 mass unmarked graves in the districts of Baramulla, Bandipore, Handwara and Kupwara. This excludes 574 bodies that were buried as unidentified but later identified as those of locals. All these bodies had earlier been handed over to the locals by the police for burial by classifying them as ‘unidentified militants’ killed in gunfire. However, in a vindication of what the Kashmiri people have been saying for years, the probe admits that these graves contain the dead bodies of enforced disappearances of people who were later executed in custody. Many of these bodies were defaced and some were even charred pointing towards the use of torture before their execution.

For the people of Kashmir, the state report however does not come as a surprise. A number of reports have time and again pointed to the existence of mass graves all over the valley, so much so that it had become difficult for the state to deny it anymore. The pro-azaadi leadership of Kashmir has pointed out how it is precisely to cover up such killings that the State Human Rights Commission has now come out with its own report, with figures far less than the original. Pointing to the active complicity of the Indian state in the ‘disappearances’ and the killings, they have already pointed to the meaninglessness of any state initiated probe into the matter. 

The Indian state is not even making any pretence of providing justice. The puppet chief minister Omar Abdullah has categorically denied the possibility of any kind of immediate probe into the matter, knowing well that the elapse in time will make any probe later redundant as the chances of DNA extraction would reduce greatly. What he instead wants is the setting up of a ‘truth and reconciliation’ committee. The people of Kashmir and the democratic and progressive people elsewhere do not need any such spurious committees to ascertain the crimes of Indian state in Kashmir. Right from the historically denied right to self determination for the past 64 years, to the more than 80,000 killings, thousands of ‘disappearances’, the presence of 8 lakh armed personnel, fake encounters, rapes, torture chambers are facts that cannot be ‘reconciled’ with. The comprador ruling elite of Kashmir and their Indian masters, might want the people to ‘reconcile’ with their demand for azaadi, but for the people of Kashmir the political right to self determination including secession is non-negotiable. On the other hand, the absurdity of NGO-ised form of political intervention which reduces the entire question of Kashmir to mere human rights violation limits is such that it limits itself to demanding ‘justice’ from parties actively complicit in the genocide of Kashmiris.

The history of Kashmir is not merely one of state repression, it is also one of the indomitable spirit of the Kashmiri people in their struggle for freedom. The Kashmiri people are today fighting one of the most valiant liberation struggles and all democratic people should stand in solidarity with them.

August 28, 2011

The Lokpal Bill: Anna Hazare and His Weapon of Mass Deception

Curtains are finally down on the prolonged drama billed by the corporate media as “Anna’s August Revolution”. Anna Hazare has now declared that his next “crusade” is for ‘clean politicians’! Obviously, it was only a matter of time before the farce was over, even though the cheerleaders of Anna Hazare might not have bargained for such an ignominious grand-finale. Let us look at the script staged by ‘Team Anna’ in their ‘struggle’: first, they demanded the enactment of the Jan Lokpal bill by 15 August. The government introduced its own version of Lokpal bill in the parliament, and in protest Anna Hazare decided to go on an ‘indefinite fast’. The deadline was extended to 30 August for the passage of the Jan Lokpal. From a Ramilia Maidan hurriedly-refurbished by the government, ‘Team Anna’ boastfully declared that they would not withdraw the fast until the Jan Lokpal bill is passed by the parliament. Then in a dramatic turn ‘Team Anna’ agreed for a modified version of the government-introduced Lokpal Bill in place of the much-touted Jan Lokpal bill, after it was conveyed that the “sense of the parliament” was in agreement with the need to curb corruption! Team Anna quickly dropped its core demand – bringing the Prime Minister, higher judiciary and the Members of Parliament under the purview of Lokpal. A new demand was put on 26 August: the parliament must pass a resolution accepting three minor provisions – the inclusion of lower bureaucracy in the Lokpal Bill, setting up of Lokayuktas at the state-level, and creation of ‘Citizen’s Charter’ in government departments! After day-long ramblings in the ‘talking shop’, the parliament neither voted nor passed any resolution in favour of ‘Team Anna’, merely concluding in a vague and deceptive language that “the sense of the parliament” was in agreement with the demands.

After 12 days of high-drama covered 24×7 by the corporate media and punctuated by bhajans, film songs, shouts of ‘Vande Mataram’, ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’, singing of the ‘national anthem’, pious sermonising and frantic flag-waving, ‘Team Anna’ meekly climbed down from its hobby-horse yesterday, accepting the government’s version of the Lokpal bill with minor modifications. Manmohan Singh’s letter conveying the Indian state’s “agreement in principle” was enough for the ‘upright’ Anna and his team to withdraw their agitation. Prashant Bhushan, who termed this act of deception by the government as a ‘betrayal’, was soon found gloating about ‘a great victory’. Notwithstanding the great postures by ‘Team Anna’ and the Parliament, both these great ‘warring blocs’ were happily nodding to each other in agreement soon enough.

While the idiot box is bragging about “the beauty of compromise” and celebrating “the victory of Indian democracy”, the people of the country who followed the unfolding of this juggernaut are in no illusion that the ‘civil society’ fight against corruption – beginning with the ‘bang’ of Anna Hazare’s one-night stay in Tihar, has ended with a whimper. The ‘compromise’ is on the expected lines, and so is the eagerness of a wide spectrum of political forces lining-up to celebrate the ‘victory’ of this anti-corruption charade. It was curious to behold the united colours of ‘anti-corruption’. Members of ‘civil society’, RSS pracharaks, sants and saints, ‘Left’ intellectuals and socialites, ‘Marxists’, ‘Marxist-Leninists’, socialists, Lohiaites, Gandhians, NGOs, Bollywood stars and politicians of various hues – all were jostling for space on the dais of Ramlila Maidan. As if the distinctions of class, caste, religion or politics had finally dissolved in the Great Melting Pot of Ramlila Maidan! In the midst of this great euphoria taken to a feverish pitch by the corporate media, many have conveniently ignored and veiled the fact that this ‘movement’ was meticulously planned and led by the right-wing forces masquerading as ‘civil society’. But it is not easy to forget that the worldview of the leading figure is a brazen and unapologetic Hindu-fundamentalist brahminical Indian society in the model of Ralegaon Siddhi.

It is not for nothing that Narendra Modi, the mass-murderer and the emerging leader of the communal-fascists, who has the blood of thousands of Muslims on his hand, has high-praise for Anna Hazare’s ‘movement’. To him, ‘Team Anna’s anti-corruption ‘movement’ has strengthened India. Donning the sheep’s skin, the wily fox wants us to believe that the Anna-farce has reinforced the confidence in the strength of “non-violence”. We have to be wary of a ‘movement’ whose key figures such as Arvind Kejriwal and Kiran Bedi set the agenda backstage with the likes of RSS’s Govindacharya and Gurumurthy, and whose most public face, Anna Hazare himself, praises Modi, and who in turn are given an approving nod by Modi. Its rhetoric of ‘people’s power’ notwithstanding, ‘Team Anna’ aims to reinstate the ‘supremacy’ of the Indian state – an apparatus of brutal and dictatorial class rule which stands unmasked in front of the exploited classes of the country. Indeed, this Jan Lokpal ‘movement’ has done all it could to strengthen the ruling classes mired in crises, and brought to the centre-stage the ‘civil society’/NGOs which were fast losing their relevance with the intensification of the class war. Anna Hazare’s charade has consolidated the Hindu right-wing forces, providing an opportunity to activate their structures at an all-India level. It has brought much-needed respite for the crisis-ridden UPA government and a welcome distraction from the burning issues of the day. For all the ruling-class parties – Congress, BJP, CPI(M) and others – it was an opportunity to display their loyalty to India’s parliamentary ‘democracy’ and to ‘defend’ its constitution, which they otherwise violate without batting an eyelid. CPI(ML) Liberation too, displaying once again their political bankruptcy, revisionism and opportunism, tried to gain mileage by hopping onto the frenzied mobilisation and agenda of the right-wing.

In such an atmosphere of media-created hysteria, it is a responsibility of those who are on the side of the oppressed and exploited people to expose the status-quoist, statist, reactionary leadership and goals of this ‘movement’, and to warn about the dangers lurking under its ‘benign’ face and ‘noble cause’. It is not surprising that Anna Hazare, his casteist-communal-reactionary worldview and his anti-corruption ‘crusades’ have been rejected by the vast majority of the oppressed people – be it the workers, peasants, religious minorities, adivasis, Dalits and oppressed castes, the progressive and democratic sections of the intelligentsia, students and youth. They will continue to do so in future as well, unmasking the quagmire of manufactured ‘dissent’.

Neither defending the parliament nor tailing the Anna trail is an option! For a completely exposed Indian regime – a joint dictatorship of feudal forces, comprador bourgeoisie and imperialism over the majority of the people – corruption is the rule rather than an aberration. When corruption is the law of the land, more laws can only lead to more corruption. India has no dearth of laws – and when the progressive and democratic forces are fighting against draconian laws like UAPA, AFSPA, NSA, etc. and laws on death penalty and sedition which gives the state unrestrained powers, the clamour for another draconian law in the form of Lokpal is bound to be counterproductive. Once enacted, it will prepare grounds for persecuting the lower bureaucracy, while the real culprits will continue to expropriate the surplus of the labouring classes with impunity. Corruption at the ground level can only be challenged by the collective assertion of the masses, while the prevailing system of legalised corruption cannot be crushed without smashing the corrupt system.