Monday, January 30, 2012

On the Draft Political Resolution of the CPI (M) for its 20th Congress.


Marx said: the philosophers have only interpreted the world so far, but the task is to change it. After going through the fairly long, 62 page, draft Political Resolution (PR hereafter) to be discussed and finalized in the 20th Congress of CPI (M), to be held in the first week of April,2004, four years after its last Congress, which was released on 28th January  by its leadership to the press, the first impression any serious Marxist will get is  that the philosophers in AKG Bhavan (the CPI(M) headquarters) have interpreted the present situation in detail, but have not put forward any concrete ideas to change the society they have interpreted. If one goes through the analysis they have presented, for example the following analysis of the present world situation in the first paragraph, there is nothing in it which is basically different from any available Marxist-Leninist view: “The period since the 19th Congress has seen the unfolding of the biggest economic crisis in the capitalist world since the Great Depression of the 1930s. The crisis is a direct outcome of the neo-liberal capitalist trajectory driven by international finance capital. This prolonged crisis points to the unsustainability of finance capital driven globalization”. But what is to be done against it by the working class and the international communist movement [let it be stated in the beginning itself that in the entire document presented to the Congress of the CPI(M) which calls itself a Communist Party (Marxist), the usages like international communist movement(ICM) and proletarian internationalism are conspicuously absent-kn] against this epochal development, when the imperialist system and its international finance capital driven globalization is in such a severe crisis creating extremely favorable condition for the advance of the revolutionary forces at international level? It is summarized in para.1.2 as follows: “Resisting imperialist hegemony and building progressive alternatives to the neo-liberal order comprises the main challenge today before the left and progressive forces worldwide”. By reading this one is reminded of the call of the World Social Forum, the international carnival of the NGOs, in organizing which at Mumbai in 2004 the CPI (M) leaders also were in the forefront, that there are ‘many alternatives to imperialism’. The CPI(M) leaders are not only not calling on their party to get prepared to make revolutionary advances utilizing this favorable objective world situation, they have even minimized the task of the world proletariat to “resisting imperialist hegemony and building progressive alternatives”. This stale and reformist beginning sets the tone for the whole document which is supposed to give the political orientation for the CPI (M) for the coming years.
Analysis of International Situation Omits Proletarian Internationalism.
There were newspaper reports that this time both CPI and CPI (M) are not inviting delegations of parties from outside the country to their Party Congresses. Whether it is a fact or not, the PR of the CPI (M) has conspicuously omitted the usage of proletarian internationalism and international communist movement from it. It is explaining in detail in the 14-page long International section the intensifying crisis of the international finance capital system and its consequences on the one hand, and the resistances to it from the working class and people of the oppressed countries, which it prefers to call developing countries like the imperialist agencies call them. It is dealing with the mass uprisings in North African and West Asian countries and has explained the Occupy Wall Street Movement which spread to most of the US cities and to more than 80 countries all over the world in response to the consequences of the neo-liberal policies in the life of the masses and their devastating effects on the nature. But what is missing in these explanations is a class approach to these developments and the sharpness natural to an analysis made by a revolutionary party about the development of the class struggle at the international level in the present objective situation. As an example, the invitation extended to the major ‘emerging economies’ like India, Brazil and China, as explained in the PR, to G-20 is explained as the G-8 was ‘proved unequal to the task’. While the inclusion of China, which though CPI (M) calls socialist is really a major imperialist country (‘socialism in words and imperialism in action, a social imperialist country’), along with India and Brazil which are ‘junior partners of imperialism’ in the same group is contrary to Marxist- Leninist approach, the glaring fact that this invitation is an imperialist maneuver to overcome its crisis is not explained.
Another word missing in the whole document is ‘neo-colonialism’, the new phase of imperialist plunder after the Second World War. As a result, the PR fails to explain how the imperialist penetration in new forms including the corporatization of the agricultural sector etc is taking place. As the ICM had explained in the past, if the Marxist-Leninist parties categorically analyze one of the major contradictions in the world today as the contradiction between imperialism and the oppressed nations and peoples and that in the present world situation it is the principal contradiction determining the future of world revolution, CPI(M)’s PR explains this contradiction as:”the effort by imperialism to maintain its hegemony and to rely on the ruling classes of the developing countries, which  is bound to intensify the contradiction between imperialism and the people of the developing countries”(p-6).
Though the document has mentioned China, Vietnam, North Korea and Cuba as socialist countries, the PR does not dare to project them as a socialist camp as in the past or to explain what these socialist countries are doing to fight back the neo-liberal offensive of the imperialist camp led by US imperialism, as it used to do in the past documents. Similarly, unlike in the past its defense of these countries is comparatively very weak. For example, though the PR states that China has achieved rapid economic growth, it is compelled to state that: “it is accompanied by widening inequalities-in terms of income and wealth distribution, regional and social development, rise in corruption and the resultant tensions”(p-11). While later criticizing the foreign policy followed by the UPA government of India, it is stated that by abstaining on the resolution on Libya in     Security Council amounted to giving support to the brazen NATO and Western intervention there, it is concealing that China, which has veto powers, also abstained not only in this case but also when the US -managed resolution on Iraq got approved in the Security Council, leading to brutal attack there. While explaining about Vietnam as a socialist country the only positive factor about it is that ‘it has made progress in reduction of poverty’. DPRK’s only virtue is that it is ‘rebuffing the various efforts by the US and its allies to isolate it’. As far as Cuba is concerned “it has successfully rallied the Latin American countries across the board to counter the US blockade and embargo”.  Among these, even if the DPRK and Cuba are given credit for their anti- imperialist stand, China and Vietnam are brazenly pursuing the neo-liberal policies and have made many compromises with the US imperialists. China is not pursuing  socialism, but ‘neo-liberalism with Chinese characteristics’, colluding and contending with US for world hegemony.  Even the PR of the CPI (M) has nothing to state about the contribution of China towards socialist transformation in its own country or any contributions to fight back the counter revolutionary offensive of US led imperialist forces. During the last decade when the US and its allies were launching repeated aggressions against oppressed countries, especially in West Asia, China was just an onlooker and it did not take a stand against them even once.
The interesting thing is that even after mentioning about the existence of a few socialist countries, the PR could not give any credit to them even for “posing an alternative to the neo-liberal globalization”. On the contrary, it is the left governments in the Latin American countries like Venezuela and Bolivia are upheld by the PR for it. At the same time, in the absence of a Marxist-Leninist approach, the PR exaggerates the developments in the Latin American region and even calls them “a clear break from US hegemony in the region”(p-11). By making such a statement, it is going from one extreme to another.
Climatic Change.
Though the PR, after pointing out how the 19th Party Congress had pointed out the threat posed by climate change, goes on to explain how it has become more serious and how the US and other imperialist forces are trying to subvert all the moves to overcome it, is contended by stating that: “India needs to rework its climate change position to make equity a central plank in negotiating for a future globally binding arrangement”(p-13). Even after Fukushima meltdown, on nuclear policy what it has to say is “immediate halt to import of nuclear power plants to Jaitapur and other locations. Existing nuclear power plants in India should undergo thorough safety review to be conducted by an independent body. There has to be an independent and autonomous nuclear safety regulatory authority”(p-37). It shows that in spite of the nuclear and ecological catastrophe confronting the humankind, CPI (M) cannot go beyond reformist positions to seek an answer to them.
Compare it with the stand taken by the CPI (ML). The Party Program adopted by the Ninth Congress of the Party held in November, 2011, states: “..during this period, especially after the crisis of the 1970s, with the mad rush for the exploitation of natural and human resources utilizing the unprecedented technological advances under the imperialist perspective of development, ever intensifying ecological devastation has started becoming a major factor both at international and national level. It has given rise to a new, fifth major contradiction at both levels, the contradiction between capital and nature, along with the other four major contradictions”[P-68, Basic Documents of the CPI(ML)]. The CPI(ML) has called for a sustainable, people oriented development policy against imperialist dictated development policy to combat global warming and the devastation caused by it. As a part of it in the context of Fukushima meltdown, it has become part of an international initiative against nuclear power policy with the slogans: stop all new nuclear power plants, close down all existing nuclear power plants, and intensify struggle for universal nuclear disarmament. The CPI (M) lacks any radical perspective to combat the nuclear and ecological catastrophe, and it is reflected in the reformist positions it has put forward in its PR, when even the social democratic parties in Europe are shutting down nuclear power plants accepting the growing demands of people.
As this PR is the most important political document to be adopted by the 20th Congress, it is supposed to give the strategic orientation and tactical approach to the Party for the coming years, including its perspective about the future of the ICM and unity of the communist forces at international level to advance along the path of throwing out the imperialist system. Though the PR tries to make a descriptive analysis of the imperialist threats, it is silent about overthrowing the imperialist system and achieving socialism as its alternative. It has no perspective of world proletarian socialist revolution, as the PR reflects. It does not uphold the call of Marx and Engels, Workers of the world, Unite, and it is totally silent about achieving it. Was the formation of First, Second and Third (Communist) Internationals were correct or wrong? If it was correct, how to analyze the dissolution of Comintern in 1943, and how to reorganize it. These are cardinal problems before the ICM. The PR is deafeningly silent on these questions. In this way it is reducing itself to a nationalist party, or national chauvinist party bereft of proletarian internationalist concept.
We are quoting the following paragraphs from the PR adopted by the Ninth Congress of the CPI(ML) to show the paramount importance of initiating the reorganization of the Communist International according to present conditions, and to show the qualitative difference between the international perspective of CPI(M) and the CPI(ML): “From the time the capitalist system emerged and it started recreating the world under its own image, the contradiction between capital and nature had taken antagonistic forms, though it remained subdued for a long time. But this situation is fast changing with global warming and nuclear catastrophe like factors coming to the forefront. Today this contradiction has emerged as one of the major contradictions determining the future of humankind. It has made the necessity for overthrowing the rule of capital to save the humanity more urgent.
       “All these have led to the contradiction between the imperialist system and socialist forces becoming more intensified than ever. Imperialist barbarism or socialism is the challenge before the humankind today.
                “It is in this context the great significance of the founding of the International Coordination of the Revolutionary Parties and Organizations (ICOR) should be evaluated. Its Founding Document stated: “The founding of the ICOR follows from the understanding: The time is ripe to counter highly organized, globally linked international finance capital and its imperialist world system with something new - the organized power of the international revolutionary and working-class movement and of the broad masses in a new stage of the cross-border cooperation and coordination of the practical activity.
“Imperialism with its system of neo-colonialism can further exist only in a developing proneness to crisis which dramatically calls into question the existence of humankind. It is expressed in the world economic and financial crisis 2008, the structural crises of the capitalist system of production and reproduction, the debt crises, the global environmental crisis, the growing absence of family of the proletariat and the broad masses, the political crises, but also in the growing international threat of war, the increasing imperialist aggressions, and in the general tendency of imperialism to reaction and fascism.
“Capitalism has no future to offer to the working class and the broad masses of people in the world. Therefore, the ICOR calls upon all revolutionaries of the world to join together in the spirit of the words of Lenin: “Disunited, the workers are nothing. United, they are everything.” (Lenin, 1913, “Working-Class Unity”)
“The ICOR takes up the achievements of the internationally organized revolutionary and working-class movement. That includes the great revolutionary action of the Paris Commune in 1871, the victorious Russian October Revolution in 1917, the Chinese revolution 1945 to 1949, the revolutionary struggle of liberation for the destruction of the old colonial system and the emergence of the socialist camp after the Second World War.
     “The ICOR is based on the rich experiences of historical examples of international forms of organization like the First, Second and Third International. It takes into account today’s circumstances, necessities and possibilities for such a union. It puts into practice the great revolutionary slogan of Karl Marx, “Workers of all countries, unite!” as well as the one of Lenin, “Workers of all countries and oppressed peoples, unite!” The founding of ICOR is the result of more than three decades of struggle by the Marxist-Leninist forces against the erroneous tendencies which were obstructing the reorganization of the Communist International, which were weakening the spirit of proletarian internationalism. It is a first step towards deepening the ideological struggle in the ICM in order to develop a General Line For The World Proletarian Socialist Revolution according to the concrete condition today, in continuation to the general line put forward by the Communist International under Lenin’s leadership and the Proposal Concerning the General Line of the ICM put forward by the CPC during the Great Debate under the leadership of Mao Tsetung. It has created favorable atmosphere for developing solidarity actions at international level and to advance towards reorganization of the Communist International. Our Party should be prepared to take initiative at all times to carry forward the tasks of the ICOR to the best off our abilities always.”What is absent in the PR of CPI(M) is such an approach put forward by the CPI(ML) in its Political Resolution.
Analysis of Indian situation and approach to People’s Democratic revolution.
The CPI(M) is holding the 20th Congress after four years. That is, when it held its 19th Congress in March-April, 2008, the LF led by it had more than 50 MPs in the Lok Sabha and it was wielding immense importance as a significant force keeping the UPA government in power. Also it was leading the LF and LDF governments in Bengal and Kerala. In 2009 elections its strength got reduced to its lowest position in the Lok Sabha, and in 2011 elections it was defeated in both Bengal, where it was continuously in power for 34 years and in Kerala. Besides, its influence in the Hindi region and in many other states got reduced during this period. The PR do not give any serious analysis of the reasons for these set backs. Besides the PR do not make any evaluation of the efforts, if any, it had made during the last four years to carry forward the tasks of the People’s Democratic Revolution (PDR).  Similarly, it does not  mention even once what are the tasks to be taken up in the coming years in this direction. The PDR word itself is conspicuous by its absence in the whole document.
The PR states that the 19th Congress had concluded that the UPA government in the main was pursuing policies for the benefit of big business and foreign capital.  Still, it decided to continue extending support to the government, while adopting an independent position! Later it states: “The UPA-II government has been pursuing the same economic policies that it pursued in the first term, but more aggressively. The three year period of the UPA-II government has been marked by: (1) relentless price rise of essential commodities, (2) massive high level corruption which began in the UPA-I term, (3) continuance of the pro-US policy and strategic alliance with US, (4) the working class, peasantry and other sections of the working people continue to suffer from intense exploitation and deprivation”. Anyone, expect the most slavish supporters of the leadership, would like to ask for an explanation for supporting an arch-reactionary government of US agents like Manmohan, Ahluvalia, Sharma, Pranab Mukherjee and company for five long years and providing them opportunity to come to power once again! Similarly, anyone would like to ask why the neo-liberal policies, which you are now explaining as the basic cause of all the miseries suffered by the people all over the country, were pursued by the governments led by CPI (M) in the main in states like Bengal and Kerala? When you denounce the displacement of the people for SEZs and MNCs- Corporate projects in the PR, what explanations the leadership has for the Bengal and Kerala governments following the same policies under various pseudo explanations?
The interesting thing is that after writing dozens of pages against the neo-liberal policies pursued by the central and state governments which are pauperizing the masses and devastating the nature, the PR does not site a single example of fighting against these policies anywhere in the country. Even after facing defeat in 2009 Lok Sabha and 2011 assembly elections, there are no examples of it leading any struggles anywhere against these policies beyond what is done by the ruling class parties who are in opposition. Even the joint movements it is explaining are the joint trade union struggles led by the trade union centres including those led by Congress and BJP like INTUC, BMS etc. None of these joint struggles call for a reversal of the neo-liberal policies which should be targeted primarily if the people’s interests have to be saved.
Left and democratic platform as alternative.
 After explaining the Indian situation the PR states that “only a left and democratic platform can be the alternative to the bourgeois-landlord rule”. Immediately afterwards it states that “ it may be necessary to rally those non-Congress, non-BJP forces which can play a role in defense of democracy, national sovereignty, secularism etc”! Which are these forces? Starting from the south, a few disgruntled elements of the ruling class parties as in Kerala, AIADMK in TN, JD(S) in Karnataka, TDP in AP, BJD in Odisha etc. Are any of these parties fit in to the above mentioned qualities? It means that though many things are explained to hoodwink the masses in the PR, what is put forward in this is nothing but the old, stale wine in a new bottle.
The PR as a whole shows that like proletarian internationalism and carrying forward the tasks of World Proletarian Socialist Revolution are bid goodbye to at international level, question of developing  class struggle utilizing all forms of struggle including parliamentary struggles in order to advance towards revolutionary capture of political power , completing the tasks of PDR and advancing to socialist revolution, which should be the programmatic approach of a communist party at national level are bid goodbye to irrevocably in the PR. Or, according to this PR, the CPI(M) is going to take a leave from revolutionary tasks, as it was enjoying this leave so far from the time of its formation in 1964, till the next Party Congress.
At the same time, as it is stated in the PR that “the task ahead is to fight against the whole gamut of neo-liberal policies by building a left and democratic platform”, one would like to ask for the information of those of its followers who still think that it is a communist party, and that it will lead them to people’s democracy and socialism, whether the CPI(M) leadership is prepared for uniting all the genuine left and democratic forces in the country based on the following program, an approach derived from what is repeatedly explained by it in the PR:
1.       Oppose the whole gamut of neo-liberal policies and imperialist globalization-liberalization-privatization, throw out IMF-World Bank-WTO- MNCs and all other imperialist agencies from the country. Oppose SEZs, Build-Operate-Transfer projects under public-private-partnership.
2.       Fight all displacements for neo-liberal projects, confiscate all land under custody of land mafias, big landlords, corporate houses. Implement land reforms based on land to the tiller. Initiate countrywide movement for land capture and distribution to landless and poor peasants. Develop agriculture and irrigation and ensure food security.
3.       Fight against FDI, MNCs and corporate houses entering retail trade. Bring the procurement of food grains, storing and whole sale trade under government agencies. Implement universal public distribution system(PDS) of food and essential items. Fight price rise. Throw out MNCs and Corporate houses from core sectors and nationalize them.
4.       Ensure food, housing, healthcare, education and employment for all. Stop commercialization and trade in education and other service sectors.
5.       Confiscate all black money from foreign banks and other places where they are invested. Stop corruption in all fields. Institute necessary institutions like Lokpals and Lokayuktas with full powers for this.
6.       Struggle for need based wages, job security, and democratic-trade union rights to all workers. Stop contract and casual labor system.
7.       Scrap all unequal treaties signed with imperialist countries. Pursue an independent and anti-imperialist foreign policy. Ensure friendly relations with all neighbouring countries.
8.       Strive for building an anti-caste movement for annihilation of caste system. Ensure secularism, separating religion from all public fields. Implement adivasis’ land protection act and autonomous councils. Stop communalization and ensure protection of minorities.
9.       Fight all forms of gender discrimination. Ensure women’s equality in all fields. Ensure protection of children.
10.   Withdraw military and AFSPA like black laws from Jammu& Kashmir and Northeast. Scrap all black laws. Implement election reforms including proportional representation, right to reject all candidates and democratization of the electoral rules and procedures putting an end to cast-communal vote banks and money-muzzle power.
11.   Fight imperialist promoted development policies and work for a people oriented sustainable development policy which ensure right of people and protection of environment.
A communist party convenes its highest democratic body, the Party Congress, to make periodic check the progress in the implementation of its Programmatic approach for establishing proletarian political power, to make necessary development in the program according to the changes taking place in the society and put forward the tactical line to achieve the strategic goals of revolution. The PR and all other draft documents put forward by the CPI (M) leadership should be examined with this outlook. Then it will become clear to all of its members and supporters who consider it still as a communist party that it has degenerated to social democratic positions outrightly. Otherwise, instead of continuing the present party building and united front policies its leadership should be compelled to go for them based on revolutionary agenda, not on reformist and opportunist gimmicks as it was doing so far.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Compradors are in Real Hurry to Impose 100% FDI in Retail.



Soon after the UPA government took over for a second time in 2009, a worried Hillary Clinton, the US state secretary, had enquired from her embassy in New Delhi:”How does Sharma (her obedient        commerce minister of India) view India’s current FDI guidelines? Which sectors does he plan to open further? Why he is reluctant to open multi-brand retail?”(Wikileaks).She enquired further: “Why was (Pranab) Mukherjee chosen for the finance portfolio over Montek Singh Ahluwalia? How do Mukherjee and Ahluwalia get along? Does Sharma get along with Mukherjee and prime minister Singh?” There is no need for Hillary worrying, they are allgetting along fine in serving her government. They are all in it as a team. And this team hurriedly tried to push through with 100% FDI in retail to her satisfaction. But the US manipulation of the other leaders of opposition parties did not work as planned and the UPA government had to retire hurt for the time being as the parliament did not go along with it.
But the compradors are really loyal to the cause of serving the US dictated opening of the retail sector to MNCs. Even when the Congress leaders Sonia and Rahul are busy in promising to do wonders for the people during their election speeches, Manmohan, Sharma and company  were busy with opening the single brand retail to 100% FDI. And according to latest reports, on 27th February Sharma has assured Walmart and Metro, the giant retail MNCs, that the reforms agenda is well on course and the decision to put on hold FDI in multi-brand retail is just a pause forced by compulsion of coalition politics. This assurance was given by him to Walmart president Doug McMillon and Germany based Metro’s board member Frans W.H.Muller. What a loyalty? Hillary and company will be delighted to have such compradors down here who are ready to do anything at their bidding. The FICCI and CII chiefs, true to their comprador character, are delighted with the speeding up of the opening of retail and remaining sectors also to MNCs.
When the government is repeating that opening retail to MNCs and Corporate houses will do away with the middlemen, the first to be affected are the millions of men and women who are making a living by taking the vegetables to the people. The millions of the small shop keepers will be forces to close business, with thousands of them committing suicide. The fatal consequences of opening up of a sector which presently provide employment for 44 million and a total sale of $400 billion is not even discussed in the country. Only thing which is evident is that Walmart and other MNCs will be immensely benefitted at the cost of many millions in the country eventually surrendering the whole lucrative sector to them at the peril of not only the vendors and shop keepers, but also of millions of farmers and of working class and owners engaged in small and medium industries.
UPA government is in a hurry to fully open up the country to MNCs and other imperialist agencies, pauperizing the masses and devastating the country, taking orders from the imperialist masters. It is the task of the revolutionary left and democratic forces to beat back this reactionary offensive of the compradors in power, running the ruling system.

Friday, January 27, 2012

India should boycott London Olympics


Against the sponsorship of Dow Chemicals to London Olympics already Noam Chomsky, a number of British MPs and former Olympians had protested to the London Olympics Organizing Committee. Allof them have demanded that this company which is refusing due compensation for the victims and for disposal of the toxic waste of Union Carbide responsible for the Bhopal Massacre of 1984, which it has later purchased, should be thrown out from among the sponsors. The resignation of the environmentalist, Meredith Alexander, from the London Olympics Committee raising the same demand has strengthened the voice of those who protest against an Olympics with the sponsorship of a MNC like Dow Chemicals.  The organizations of the affected people of Bhopal and Youth and student organizations like RYFI and AIRSO have already demonstrated against the sponsorship of Dow Chemicals to London Olympics and that if this murderous company is not removed from among the sponsors India should boycott London Olympics. The CPI(ML) has demanded that India should boycott the London Olympics if Dow Chemicals continues as its sponsor .
But, in spite of all these, neither the government of India, the Indian Olympics Committee, nor the Indian MPs or other political parties and the various sports committees in India have not raised their voice in protest against this. Their silence on this issue is deafening. It is shameful that neither the Indian Olympics Committee nor the government of India nor other so-called public  figures  nor the media in a significant manner have come forward to demand the removal of Dow Chemicals from among the sponsors of London Olympics.  So, we appeal to all progressive democratic forces in the country to raise their voice to kick out Dow Chemicals from among the sponsors of the London Olympics, or if it is not done to compel the Olympic authorities and government of India to boycott London Olympics.

Twenty five Years of Red Star.


Twenty five Years of Red Star.
Red Star as the central organ of the CPI(ML) is completing 25 years this year. From the time the All India Coordination Committee of the Communist Revolutionaries (AICCCR) was formed in 1968 Liberation was published as the central organ. After the formation of the CPI (ML) on 22nd April, 1969 it continued as its central organ. But following the severe set backs suffered by the Party by 1972 leading to its disintegration due to the sectarian line it had pursued, as an instrument of the reorganization of the  Party, Mass Line was published from October 1973. But when the Central Reorganization Committee, CPI(ML) which had initiated the Party reorganization like other sections of the Communist Revolutionaries was reorganized as the CPI(ML) Red Flag in March 1987, reflecting the call for building a Platform of the CRs as a step towards Party reorganization, the publication of Red Star Platform of the Communist Revolutionaries  was started. In the strenuous tasks taken up during the last quarter century leading to the successful convening of the Ninth Party Congress in November, 2011, which has put forward the basic documents for advancing the People’s Democratic Revolution, and which marks an important stage in the process of Party reorganization, Red Star as the central organ of the organization has played an important role.
During this period, in spite of many difficulties Red Star was continuously published regularly, developing its ideological political orientation reflecting the ideological political organizational progress of the Party reorganization. Today these tasks have become much more important when based on the comprehensive understanding of the class struggle to be developed in all fields the Party has taken up many international and countrywide tasks. Red Star has to be developed and strengthened in all respects. On this occasion we extend our gratitude to all comrades and friends who supported Red Star during its difficult journey. We appeal to all of them and to our new subscribers to continue to provide all help in all respects to strengthen Red Star further so that it can fulfill the role of the revolutionary party organ.
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Appeal to all comrades and friends of Red Star.
Red Star has completed 25 years. Today it has to take up much more important tasks as the central organ of the CPI(ML). We Appeal to all to all to regularly clear their dues, to find new subscribers , to help in its publication in all respects and in taking it to all parts of the country and outside.
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Send all amounts by MOs or cheques or by money transfer to the account of K.N.Ramachandran to a/c no. 2007101016469, Canara Bank, Bhogal Branch, New Delhi-110014.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Frantic Communalization to Serve Vote Bank Politics.


Frantic Communalization to Serve Vote Bank Politics.
The manner in which the Rajasthan police invented a plot to assassinate Salman Rushdie to scare away the author from the Jaipur Literary Festival to appease the Islamic fundamentalists under orders from the state government and the way in which the central government looked the other way in order to serve the vote bank politics in UP elections show the extent to which communalization has reached in this country. Now even those writers who protested by reading sentences from Rushdie’s Satanic Verses banned in 1989 in this country to appease religious fundamentalists, are threatened with legal actions and protest threats from the fundamentalists.
These are days when the religious fundamentalists are creating fertile ground for the military chiefs and other authoritarian forces in South Asia to wantonly indulge in state affairs, threatening military take over as in Pakistan or Bangladesh. What was once an usual thing in Latin American countries are threatening to challenge even the existing democratic fa├žade in South Asia, however weak it may be. At this juncture by allowing the religious fundamentalists of all hues to dictate terms, and the state machinery dancing to their tunes for vote banks portend grave dangers.
It is a pity that by talking in the name of all Muslims or other minorities, the fundamentalists among them are creating conditions for the Hindutva forces to get further strengthened all over the country day by day threatening  more communalization and more Gujarat like pogroms. History has proved repeatedly that all religious fundamentalists help each others’ growth, and the minority fundamentalists provide favorable condition for the majority fundamentalists to communalize the society as they want, as revealed by numerous instances in this country. Still, even the erstwhile Left Front government in Bengal did not protect the rights of an author like Taslima and weakened the left offensive that is required against all fundamentalist forces. In this situation,  what is happening in the Salman Rushdie’s case is most objectionable.
The CPI (ML) has already unequivocally condemned the banning of Rushdie’s participation in the JLF. It  appeals to all left, secular and democratic forces to oppose the wanton communalization indulged in by all brands of religious fundamentalist forces and the way the ruling class parties are pursuing the vote bank politics appeasing and abetting the fundamentalists. The manner in which the ruling class parties are utilizing the services of the religious fundamentalist and casteist forces to divert  people’s attention from the vital issues confronting them by indulging in vote bank politics should be exposed and opposed.
K.N.Ramachandran
General Secretary, CPI(ML).
Dated  22nd January, 2012.

National Water Policy Draft New Assault on the Masses.


National Water Policy Draft New Assault on the Masses.
The imperialist globalization-liberalization-privatization (GLP) imposed through the neo-liberal policies is snatching away all hard earned rights of the masses first by absolving the state from all responsibilities for the welfare of the people and second by privatizing-commercializing all essential services. In line with this, already the universal public distribution system of essential commodities, education, healthcare, communications and housing are already commercialized and employment is brought under   contract and hire and fire system. Now the central government has launched its latest assault on the people’s right to drinking water through the 15-page draft National Water Policy in line with the 2005 World Bank paper which had called for “simulating competition in and for the market for irrigation, water supply and sanitation services”, everything in the name of saving the scarce water resources and for ‘sustainable economic growth’. The new draft brought out is another attack on the masses of people who are facing pauperization and devastation under spiraling price rise, unemployment-under employment and rampant corruption in all fields.
It was a minority government led by Narasimha Rao which blatantly imposed the GLP regime over the country throwing over board the welfare measures under the Keynesian policies in 1991 under orders from the IMF-World Bank twins. The devastation which these policies have brought to the life of the masses and to the nature during the last two decades is already well revealed. Not contended with these, the present UPA government, the majority support of which is highly doubtful and which is only surviving because of the magnanimity of the opposition which refuse to move a no-confidence motion, as like the Congress and they are also afraid of an election, is frantically pursuing the neo-liberal policies in all fields as if in extreme hurry to complete the neo-colonial enslavement.
The draft water policy calls for privatization of water delivery services and for pricing of water to fully recover cost of operation and administration of water resource projects. It calls for the government’s withdrawal as a service provider in the water sector. Instead it calls for the private agai=encies and communities to play this role. This policy takes away people’s right over a precious resource and mean sharp rise in the cost of water in both rural and urban areas. Similar to the food security bill introduced, this is also an outright attack on the masses. It should be rejected outrightly . The CPI(ML) calls on all left and democratic forces to expose this latest assault on the masses of the people and to mobilize countrywide opposition to it.
K.N.Ramachandran,
General Secretary, CPI(ML).

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Oppose Attempts to Ban Salman Rushdie


Oppose Attempts to Ban Salman Rushdie


            The Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) strongly condemns the move by the Rajastan state government with the approval of the central government to prevent the visit of Salman Rushdie to participate in the Jaipur Literary Festival, in the inaugural session of which he had attended in 2007. This is done in the name of an unlawful fatwa issued by an Islamic fundamentalist institution when the state and central governments are duty bound to protect the constitutionally guaranteed right to freedom of expression. One may not agree with what Salman Rushdie says. But even as the Supreme Court of India has underlined, the government has to protect his right to freedom of expression. It is a shame that following the Ayatollah Khomeni’s infamous fatwa of 1989 the government of India had proscribed Rushdie’s novel The Satanic Verses. Even then Salman Rushdie has been in India many times in recent years and holds a PIO (person of Indian origin) card allowing him to enter India without a visa. In spite of this, the ridiculous arguments given by the Rajasthan government now that due to law and order problems the organizers should withdraw the invitation to him is absolutely ridiculous and should be condemned by all democratic forces.
It is clear that the Congress party, so also other parties including BJP, are trying to utilize this issue for their sectarian interests of vote bank politics in the UP elections. By pampering the fundamentalist forces while one section tries to get support of the religious minorities in the elections, pointing it out the other section tries to get support of those of the majority religion.. It is because of these communal appeasement policies of the UPA government, the Hindutva Parivar and the BJP  in the states where it is in power are emboldened to pursue communalization policies like the forced ‘Surya Nmaskar’ in MP schools and such other practices with immunity. In this way both majority and minority religious fundamentalists are strengthened by the communal appeasement policies of central and state governments.
            Such communally motivated calls and the way the ruling class parties pander to such calls show how bigoted and religiously polarised our so-called “secular” state really is. As a result, many of the best artistic talents were driven out of India with perceived insults to different religions. Mohammed Fida Hussain died in exile due to being driven out of India by the Hindu fundamentalists and even a so-called secular state government like the one led by CPI (M) in Bengal was unable to defend the democratic rights of Tasleema Nasreen.
            In such an atmosphere, where banning of books and persons, where restrictions on expression and even on thought, are becoming the order of the day, it is not difficult to see how the Government can have the guts to curb even social networks like Facebook and Google.
            We call upon all genuine progressive and democratic forces to defend secular principles by firmly standing against both majority and minority fundamentalisms, and against the Indian state and the ruling class parties pampering both for their sectarian ends, and to intensify the struggle for real democracy with real freedom of expression.

K. N. Ramachandran
General Secretary, CPI(ML)
Dated 19th January, 2012.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

BOT: Neoliberal Way of Corporate Plunder; Mobilize Local, Statewide and Countrywide Movements to Throw Out BOT Projects.


BOT: Neoliberal Way of Corporate Plunder;
Mobilize Local, Statewide and Countrywide Movements to Throw Out BOT Projects.
During the quarter century of neocolonialism that followed World War II, on account of the confluence of several economic, political and ideological factors, imperialism allowed the direct intervention of the state in the development of entrepreneurial activity by both imperialist and comprador regimes leading to an increase in the role of public sector in the economy. The setting up of public sector undertakings that provided the essential infrastructures and social and economic overheads such as roads, railways, ports, airports, etc., and social services such as education, health, etc., and communications, energy, banking and so on for the smooth functioning of corporate capital were carried out  under the Keynesian umbrella that ensured the accumulation of significant share of wealth in the state treasury through progressive taxation and deficit financing.  In several countries, along with the growth of the so called welfare state, bourgeois governments increased their share in the economy by nationalization of certain branches of industry.  By pursuing a system of progressive taxation the state also mobilized a significant share of national income to substantially increase public expenditure. According to a World Bank estimate, as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product, central government expenditures in the so called developing countries such as India rose from 15 percent in 1960 to almost 33 percent by mid-eighties which started declining steeply thereafter. In spite of this predominance of  public sector under Keynesianism, the essence of production relations remained neocolonial as there were so many surreptitious ways of channeling surplus value created by workers in to the pockets of MNCs and comprador bourgeoisie.
 But this arrangement could not continue for long. Progressive taxation by the state for running infrastructural projects and public spending on social security and workers welfare had been a heavy drain on the surplus value and therefore a diminution of corporate plunder or the so called rate of capital accumulation. As a result, when the capital accumulation process on account of its own  inherent contradictions confronted one of the  severest crises in the seventies as manifested through stagflation, taking advantage of the setbacks suffered by the Left, finance capital everywhere strived to bounce back with intensified vigour and reestablish its direct domination over erstwhile public enterprises through a process of denationalization, disinvestment and privatization together with a roll back and downsizing of the state from infrastructure and social overheads. Consequently, all strategic and key sectors including infrastructures which were hitherto reserved for public sector in the name of national security and people’s welfare have been opened up for penetration by corporate capital. To speed up the process of downsizing of the state, taxation as a proportion of GDP has been substantially reduced in the guise of incentives and stimulus packages to speculative capital. For instance, in India, during the last five budgets alone, as revealed by budget documents, the Manmohan government had granted a tax exemption of almost Rs.22 lakh crores to corporates whose accumulation of wealth in the neoliberal period primarily takes place in the sphere of speculation rather than production. An important aspect of this neoliberal strategy was that the infrastructure projects pertaining to roads, ports, airports, etc. and public utilities are to be entrusted to corporate capital as BOT (build, operate, transfer) schemes with the imposition of appropriate user charges on the people.
 Today the BOT projects have become one of the most lucrative sources of corporate plunder by speculative finance capital at a global level. Along with the complex set of financial devices that have been developed in the sphere of stock and money markets for surplus value extraction and thereby ballooning the  financial sphere, finance capital being divorced itself from production has identified the BOT schemes as an ingenious form of corporate plunder. The blueprint for this that fully favours corporate monopolies is already laid down by World Bank in its guideline for infrastructural development. As such, every infrastructural project, whether it is port, road, or bridge should henceforth be on a public-private-partnership basis, the cost of which should be recovered by the operating party from the people through the imposition of user fees or toll collection. The government’s partnership involves the required land acquisition and the provision of a certain percent of the estimated cost as grant (at present, in the case of  road construction this grant component comes to 40 percent of the estimated cost)  in addition to the provision of infrastructural facilities required for the construction of the project. The remaining part of the cost should be born by the corporate monopoly for which even public sector banks and development financial institutions are already placed in the queue with immense funds on the basis of mere goodwill. After completion of the project, the private party is free to own and operate the project for so many years or decades collecting toll or user fees from the public. As neoliberalism demands, the role of the government here apart from the initial grant and provision of amenities will be that of a mere ‘facilitator’ of this arrangement by providing the required facilities for building and necessary police functions for the smooth operation of the project to the satisfaction of the private party.
 But this is only apparent. As the BOT schemes everywhere have become an inexhaustible source of corporate wealth accumulation, the corporate billionaires have themselves transformed into a BOT lobby in respect of every infrastructural sphere. Corporate mafia, ruling class politicians and bureaucrats have become the three poles of this unholy lobby. Today right from the preparation of the project report of a scheme itself, the BOT lobby manipulates everything. As a result, the cost of the project itself will be inflated several times than its real cost and there will be an oligopolistic collusion to keep out the lowest bidders at the outset. And the public contribution or government grant for the project will also be on the basis of this inflated cost. Often, this government grant, say 40 percent, may itself be sufficient to build the project. In that case, the remaining 60 percent of the money (that too from various public sources) mobilized in the name of the project can be diverted to other speculative spheres. Since the toll collection as per the original and periodically renewed basis continue indefinitely by the  corporate-politician-bureaucrat nexus with the firm backing of  all the judiciary, executive and legislature wings of the anti-people state, as already said, the BOT projects have become a fabulous source of corporate plunder during these days. The fact of the matter is that even with the existing resource mobilization efforts and without imposing user charges or toll collection the government itself can complete most of the infrastructure projects including roads, as was the case during the erstwhile Keynesian period. Therefore, the BOT projects are to be understood as part of  the more vigorous  and intensified plunder by speculative finance capital under neoliberalism.
 There is another gruesome aspect also. The long term speculative interests of the BOT lobby also lies in relation to the land that can be acquired in excess of the requirements of the concerned project. The BOT lobby who themselves are also notorious “land developers”  and real estate mafia are equally interested in grabbing the land in surrounding and adjacent places by forcibly displacing the marginalized sections like street vendors,  petty traders  and even retail merchants and all other oppressed sections from their habitat. For example, the usual trend that can be seen when express high ways are constructed by demolishing the existing roads is the devastation of vast number of retail traders adjacent to old roads on the one hand,  and  the  emergence of  malls and supermarkets owned by corporate MNCs who are the BOT companies themselves. Therefore, there is strong correlation between the insistence on the part of comprador states for FDI in retail trade along with the implementation of BOT roads. Along with this, public transport system also will be systematically demolished, compelling even people at the lower income levels to resort to private vehicles for transportation. This is definitely intended to gallop the amount that is looted by the BOT lobby through toll collection. To be precise, the BOT scheme which is at present eulogized by both the central and state governments in India is not an isolated project but is inseparably linked up with the whole process of neo-liberalization unleashed by corporate capital using its executive board, the comprador Indian state. Those who are with the people can never tolerate it even for a moment.
 The anti-BOT struggle led by CPI (ML) in Kerala should be evaluated in this perspective. Irrespective of their public postures, even the CPI (M) leadership in Kerala, in spite of the opportunist positions it local leaders take, are proponents of BOT as the only alternative for road development. It is in this context that the UDF led by Congress leader Ommen Chandy, the running dog of corporate mafia and BOT lobby, is trying to impose the BOT scheme on Keralites in the most heinous way with the connivance of all apologists of corporate capital. Over the past several decades, both the UDF and LDF who have been successively ruling Kerala have done nothing in the direction of strengthening public transport system in the state which is most suitable for its habitat and topography. Most deplorable is the total neglect of an electrified double railway line in North-South direction with adequate number of trains at frequent intervals. Instead of it they were colluding with the strengthening of private bus lobby and corporate road construction mafia by systematically destroying the public transport system in Kerala. Today the whole transportation problem including roads in Kerala can be settled only as part of a people oriented, democratic transportation policy which is possible only by resisting corporate capital and the whole neoliberal agenda. When the anti-BOT led by CPI (ML) struggle is gathering momentum and people on a large scale are coming forward and leading it, Ommen Chandy, the chief minister, true to his class character is pursuing a carrot and stick policy of unleashing police atrocities on CPI (ML) cadres on the hand, and utilizing the services of time-tested NGO leaders to hijack the struggle and divert people to ‘attractive rehabilitation packages’. But the chief minister has not yet succeeded in this tactic and in the face of strong people’s resistance the toll collection is still pending.  What requires is an urgent political initiative to arouse consciousness of the broad sections of the people by exposing the true essence of the BOT scheme which shall enable them to more clearly identify the perpetrators of the neocolonial, neoliberal regime. This is indispensable for ensuring people’s incessant fighting unity and to lead these struggles towards higher levels
This is not a question of Kerala alone. Rather it is a serious question in all the states. The gravity of the problem is intensifying day by day also. Already the people’s resentment against this vast scale plunder is expressed through many spontaneous struggles by them at many places. They are not getting mobilized in to major struggles as the political parties leading governments or sharing power at centre and in the states are getting their own share of this plunder and discourage any struggles against them. In this situation, if a study of the various BOT projects in different regions are made and people are mobilized major struggles can be launched at local, state levels and a nationwide movement against BOT projects and toll collection can be launched. The CPI(ML) calls on all party committees to bring together all forces who outrightly reject neo-liberal policies, mobilize the masses and launch struggles against this naked plunder.
K.N.Ramachandran,
General Secretary, CPI(ML).
Dated 19th January,2012.

BOT: Neoliberal Way of Corporate Plunder


Article on BOT

BOT: Neoliberal Way of Corporate Plunder
P J James
During the quarter century of neocolonialism that followed World War II, on account of the confluence of several economic, political and ideological factors, imperialism allowed the direct intervention of the state in the development of entrepreneurial activity by both imperialist and comprador regimes leading to an increase in the role of public sector in the economy. The setting up of public sector undertakings that provided the essential infrastructures and social and economic overheads such as roads, railways, ports, airports, etc., and social services such as education, health, etc., and communications, energy, banking and so on for the smooth functioning of corporate capital were carried out  under the Keynesian umbrella that ensured the accumulation of significant share of wealth in the state treasury through progressive taxation and deficit financing.  In several countries, along with the growth of the so called welfare state, bourgeois governments increased their share in the economy by nationalization of certain branches of industry.  By pursuing a system of progressive taxation the state also mobilized a significant share of national income to substantially increase public expenditure. According to a World Bank estimate, as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product, central government expenditures in the so called developing countries such as India rose from 15 percent in 1960 to almost 33 percent by mid-eighties which started declining steeply thereafter. In spite of this predominance of  public sector under Keynesianism, the essence of production relations remained neocolonial as there were so many surreptitious way of channeling surplus value created by workers in to the pockets of MNCs and comprador bourgeoisie.
 But this arrangement could not continue for long. Progressive taxation by the state for running infrastructural projects and public spending on social security and workers welfare had been a heavy drain on the surplus value and therefore a diminution of corporate plunder or the so called rate of capital accumulation. As a result, when the capital accumulation process on account of its own  inherent contradictions confronted one of the  severest crises in the seventies as manifested through stagflation, taking advantage of the setbacks suffered by the Left, finance capital everywhere strived to bounce back with intensified vigour and reestablish its direct domination over erstwhile public enterprises through a process of denationalization, disinvestment and privatization together with a roll back and downsizing of the state from infrastructure and social overheads. Consequently, all strategic and key sectors including infrastructures which were hitherto reserved for public sector in the name of national security and people’s welfare have been opened up for penetration by corporate capital. To speed up the process of downsizing of the state, taxation as a proportion of GDP has been substantially reduced in the guise of incentives and stimulus packages to speculative capital. For instance, in India, during the last five budgets alone, as revealed by budget documents, the Manmohan government had granted a tax exemption of almost 22 lakh crores to corporates whose accumulation of wealth in the neoliberal period primarily takes place in the sphere of speculation rather than production. An important aspect of this neoliberal strategy was that the infrastructure projects pertaining to roads, ports, airports, etc. and public utilities are to be entrusted to corporate capital as BOT (build, operate, transfer) schemes with the imposition of appropriate user charges on the people.
 Today the BOT projects have become one of the most lucrative sources of corporate plunder by speculative finance capital at a global level. Along with the complex set of financial devices that have been developed in the sphere of stock and money markets for surplus value extraction and thereby ballooning the  financial sphere, finance capital being divorced itself from production has identified the BOT schemes as an ingenious form of corporate plunder. The blueprint for this that fully favours corporate monopolies is already laid down by World Bank in its guideline for infrastructural development. As such, every infrastructural project, whether it is port, road, or bridge should henceforth be on a public-private-partnership basis, the cost of which should be recovered by the operating party from the people through the imposition of user fees or toll collection. The government’s partnership involves the required land acquisition and the provision of a certain percent of the estimated cost as grant (at present, in the case of  road construction this grant component comes to 40 percent of the estimated cost)  addition to the provision of infrastructural facilities required for the construction of the project. The remaining part of the cost should be born by the corporate monopoly for which even public sector banks and development financial institutions are already placed in the queue with immense funds on the basis of mere goodwill. After completion of the project, the private party is free to own and operate the project for  so many years or decades collecting toll or user fees from the public. As neoliberalism demands, the role of the government here apart from the initial grant and provision of amenities will be that of a mere ‘facilitator’ of this arrangement by providing the required facilities for building and necessary police functions for the smooth operation of the project to the satisfaction of the private party.
 But this is only apparent. As the BOT schemes everywhere have become an inexhaustible source of corporate wealth accumulation, the corporate billionaires have themselves transformed into a BOT lobby in respect of every infrastructural sphere. Corporate mafia, ruling class politicians and bureaucrats have become the three poles of this unholy lobby. Today right from the preparation of the project report of a scheme itself, the BOT lobby manipulates everything. As a result, the cost of the project itself will be inflated several times than its real cost and there will be an oligopolistic collusion to keep out the lowest bidders at the outset. And the public contribution or government grant for the project will also be on the basis of this inflated cost. Often, this government grant, say 40 percent, may itself be sufficient to build the project. In that case, the remaining 60 percent of the money (that too from various public sources) mobilized in the name of the project can be diverted to other speculative spheres. Since the toll collection as per the original and periodically renewed basis continue indefinitely by the  corporate-politician-bureaucrat nexus with the firm backing of  all the judiciary, executive and legislature wings of the anti-people state, as already said, the BOT projects have become a fabulous source of corporate plunder during these days. The fact of the matter is that even with the existing resource mobilization efforts and without imposing user charges or toll collection the government itself can complete most of the infrastructure projects including roads, as was the case during the erstwhile Keynesian period. Therefore, the BOT projects are to be understood as part of  the more vigorous  and intensified plunder by speculative finance capital under neoliberalism.
 There is another gruesome aspect also. The long term speculative interests of the BOT lobby also lies in relation to the land that can be acquired in excess of the requirements of the concerned project. The BOT lobby who themselves are also notorious “land developers”  and real estate mafia are equally interested in grabbing the land surrounding and adjacent places by forcibly displacing the marginalized sections like street vendors,  petty traders  and even retail merchants and all other oppressed sections from their habitat. For example, the usual trend that can be seen when express high ways are constructed by demolishing the existing roads is the devastation of vast number of retail traders adjacent to old roads on the one hand,  and  the  emergence of  malls and supermarkets owned by corporate MNCs who are the BOT companies themselves. Therefore, there is strong correlation between the insistence on the part of comprador states for FDI in retail trade along with the implementation of BOT roads. Along with this, public transport system also will be systematically demolished, compelling even people at the lower income levels to resort to private vehicles for transportation. This is definitely intended to gallop the amount that is looted by the BOT lobby through toll collection. To be precise, the BOT scheme which is at present eulogized by both the central and state governments in India is not an isolated project but is inseparably linked up with the whole process of neo-liberalization unleashed by corporate capital using its executive board, the comprador Indian state. Those who are with the people can never tolerate it even for a moment.
 The anti-BOT struggle led by CPI (ML) in Kerala should be evaluated in this perspective. Irrespective of their public postures, even the CPI (M) leadership in Kerala, in spite of the opportunist positions it local leaders take,  are proponents of BOT as the only alternative for road development. It is in this context that the UDF led by OOmmen Chandy, the running dog of corporate mafia and BOT lobby is trying to impose the BOT scheme on the Keralites in the most heinous way with the connivance of all apologists of corporate capital. Over the past several decades, both the UDF and LDF who have been successively ruling Kerala has done nothing in the direction of strengthening a public transport system in the state which is most suitable for its habitat and topography. Most deplorable is the total neglect of an electrified double railway line in North-South direction with adequate number of trains at frequent intervals. Instead of it they were colluding with the strengthening private bus lobby and corporate road construction mafia by systematically destroying the public transport system in Kerala. Today the whole transportation problem including roads in Kerala can be settled only as part of a people oriented, democratic transportation policy which is possible only by resisting corporate capital and the whole neoliberal agenda. When the anti-BOT led by CPI (ML) struggle is gathering momentum and people on a large scale are coming forward and leading it,  OOmmen Chandy, true to his class character is pursuing a carrot and stick policy of unleashing police atrocities on CPI (ML) cadres on the hand, and utilizing the services of time-tested NGO leaders to hijack the struggle and divert people to ‘attractive rehabilitation packages’. But the chief minister has not yet succeeded in this tactic and in the face of strong people’s resistance the toll collection is still pending.  What requires is an urgent political initiative to arouse consciousness of the broad sections of the people by exposing the true essence of the BOT scheme and enable them to more clearly identify the perpetrators of the neocolonial, neoliberal regime, which is indispensable for ensuring people’s incessant fighting unity  to move towards higher levels of struggles.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Which Path CPI (M) Going to Take in its 20TH Congress?

Which Path CPI (M) Going to Take in its 20TH Congress?
The statements of the two leading members of the Polit Bureau of CPI(M), Prakash Karat and Sitaram Yechuri at Kolkata yesterday, on the occasion of their Central Committee meeting to finalize the draft Ideological document and Political Resolution have provided sufficient indications regarding the orientation CPI(M) is going to take in the coming days.
Firstly, the statement of Yechuri that the draft documents are going to be published for public debate is a positive one. The CPI(ML) which had started this practice from the time of its All India Conference at Bhopal in 2009 and later continued more effectively during its recent Ninth Party Congress in November 2011 at Bhubaneswar, welcome this as a positive step. Publication of the draft documents by the political parties in advance providing opportunity not only for its own members, but also for the people to discuss them and put forward opinions and subject them for a public debate will help the democratization of the political process. All progressive and democratic sections should raise their voice to make it a common practice among all political parties. And we appeal to all organizations who call themselves left to take initiative in this democratization process.
The other aspects of their statements show that in spite of taking trouble to come out with an ideological document, CPI(M) is not going to make any basic changes in its ideological positions pursued for long. While stating that the prolonged crisis of finance capital shall intensify the contradictions emphasizing that socialism is the only alternative to capitalism, as all the left organizations are re[eating nowadays, the way out Karat is proposing is basically that of China, Vietnam and Cuba. He has stated that central planning will be continued with market forces allowed to play their role. That is he is not going beyond “socialism with Chinese characteristics” followed by the Chinese leadership which has become “ neo-liberalism with Chinese characteristics” When he says that “ after the experience of socialism in 20th century we have to go through a different phase of developing socialism, by not going beyond the models in China or Vietnam or even limiting to models of countries like Venezuela, he is not making any critical analysis of the erstwhile experiences of socialist construction or of neo-liberal policies followed in the models he is citing. He is not  putting forward the need for developing a socialist alternative to development correcting the shortcomings of erstwhile experiences of the former socialist countries, basically differing from the imperialist perspective of development which is devastating the masses of people and nature.
From the statements already made by Karat and other leaders, it is clear that they are only going to fulfill an obligation taken up in the last Party Congress and they are not ready to change their  neo-revisionist policies which have degenerated to social democratic ones during the last four decades. In this context we appeal to all genuine left forces to come out with bold critiques of the draft documents of the CPI(M) as soon as they come out.  The CPI(ML) has raised three basic questions on which a great debate and decisions are required in the course of taking up the ideological challenges confronting the international communist movement: Firstly, the question of an alternative to imperialist global system including its so-called development model up to neo-liberalism, overcoming the mistakes of hitherto socialist practice. Secondly, the question of developing the concept of proletarian dictatorship to transcend the best models of bourgeois democracy and to achieve proletarian democracy ensuring all power to the people based on the discussion initiated by Marx and Lenin. Thirdly, the question of integrally linking the tasks of building socialism in each country with the  spirit of proletarian internationalism, towards building a world without imperialist system and which is advancing to communist future. And of course, all these have to be linked with the concept of seizure of political power in a country like India which is neo-colonially devastated during the last six decades, without an ideological struggle for establishing the line of which all other ideological exercises become meaningless.
This occasion should be utilized to put forward a revolutionary line of capturing political power under the  leadership of the proletariat and an alternative to imperialist perspective of development, to develop a debate on the specific nature of the socio-cultural-economic-political struggles to be taken up for achieving a socialist future. As called by the Ninth Congress, the CPI(ML) is duty bound to take up this debate and we appeal to all left forces and all those concerned with the future of our country and of human kind to actively participate in it.
K.N.Ramachandran.
General Secretary, CPI(ML)
Dated 18th January, 2012.
www.cpiml.in

Struggle Against BOT System and Toll Collection .


Struggle Against BOT System and Toll Collection .
The struggle launched by the Kerala State Committee of the CPI(ML) against the Build-Operate-Transfer (BTS) System under the neo-liberal policies has taken a massive form with the call of the Party Trichur district committee to observehartal on 17th January , when the government announced the beginning of the toll collection, which could not be started on 5th December as was planned earlier due to the smashing of the toll gate on 4th night by the Party activists. The suppressive policies including the arrest of Party state secretary com. Provint did not stop the hartal. A large number of people got organized and stopped toll collection again. Hearing about the news of the arrest of com.Provint,  large number of Party activists and supporters marched to Valappad police station demanding his release.
The Party had launched the agitation with a month long campaign when the state government had announced its intention to start collection of toll fees from all vehicles using the newly modified NH-47 at Amballur, south of Trichur, in Kerala, with both ruling UDF and opposition LDF supporting it. It took militant form when the toll gate constructed for this purpose was smashed by a large number of people led by Party activists on 4th December night, on the eve of its beginning. The government was compelled to suspend the collection as a result. A number of Party activists were arrested and asked to pay two lakhs of rupees as damages to get bail. But they refused to accept this bail condition and launched indefinite fast inside the sub-jail. Finally the government was forced to release them. The success of today’s hartal has encouraged the masses led by the Party to intensify the struggle so that the government is forced to withdraw its decision.
During the last two decades after the imposing of neo-liberal policies, the central and state governments had launched a number of BOT projects providing huge benefits to the contractors and construction firms. The cost of construction is inflated many times and the stipend given by the government is often seen sufficient to construct these projects including most of the expressways and highways. After construction, without providing any account of the toll collected annually, huge profits are made  by the firms in connivance with the ruling parties. The Mumbai-Pune expressway is a good example. Even after collecting many times more of the claimed construction cost and profits, the firm is fleecing the vehicles using it. It is the case all over India. It is becoming another indirect taxation over the people. A major struggle is needed to stop the BOT system and toll collection. The agitation on Kerala, recent demonstration at Gurgaon near Delhi and many local struggles at a number of places show that masses can be mobilized along with the vehicle owners and massive struggles can be launched.
CPI(ML) calls on all Party committees to mobilize the masses against BOT system and toll collections and launch struggles against them.
K.N.Ramachandran,
General Secretary, CPI(ML).

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Observe March 11 Fukushima Day Intensifying Anti- Noclear Power Struggle.


Observe March 11 Fukushima Day Intensifying Anti- Noclear Power Struggle.
The attached report on the work going on in Fukushima area for reducing the radiation effects. After Chernobyl, former Soviet Union had evacuated the whole area. Still habitation in that area is prohibited. But in Japan as the area cannot be de-populated due to scarcity of vacant land, the efforts are initiated to reduce radiation for the return of the former residents. But the attached reports show that it is proving futile.
The reports about the high percentage of cancer affected people around Kalpakkam noclear plant are continuously suppressed by the DAE. The report attached here show the serious nature of radiation effects in the area. Please propagate this report.
The call of the Central Committee of the CPI(ML) to observe 11th March as Fukushima Day based on the demands: Stop Construction and Commissioning of all New Nuclear Plants, De-commission all Existing Nuclear Power Plants, Struggle for Universal Nuclear Disarmament, assumes great importance in this context. Intensify Anti- Nuclear Power Struggle, Observe 11th March Fukushima Day with the above slogans.
CC, CPI(ML),
15th January 2012.

DNA investigations: Deaths confirm cancer risk near N-reactors
http://www.dnaindia.com/mumbai/report_dna-investigations-deaths-confirm-cancer-risk-near-n-reactors_1637359

Fukushima nuclear cleanup could create its own environmental disaster
http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/jan/09/fukushima-cleanup-environmental-disaster?INTCMP=SRCH

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Response to Appeal for Left Unity by Retd Maj. Gen. Vombatkere


Response to the Appeal for Left Unity (by Retd Maj. Gen Vombatkere in Mainstream Weekly

Below is a response we had send to an appeal for left unity in Mainstream Weekly by a retd maj.general (retd.) Vombatkere (published on12th Nov 2011. 
Read Appeal by Major General (Retd.) Vombatkere: http://www.mainstreamweekly.net/article3127.html

Our Response sent to Mainstream (Below):

To

Comrade Sumit Chakraborty,
Editor
Mainstream
Dear comrades,
In the Mainstream Weekly of 12th November, 2011 an Appeal to the Left Forces to unite from Major General (retd.) Vombatkere was published. As we were away at Bhubaneswar for the Ninth Party Congress of CPI(ML) from 7-12 November, we could see the issue only later. That is why our response is delayed. We appreciate the spirit with which Mr. Vombatkere has issued the appeal. At the same time, we have to redefine the left forces based on their basic ideological-political positions for achieving a meaningful unity, which shall lead to a people’s alternative in the present context. Hope you will publish our position and allow a discussion on this important question of “left unity”.
Our Party Congress was successfully completed and I shall send Red Star and our documents to you.
With warm greetings
KN Ramchandran
General Secretary
CPI(ML)

Dear Gen. Vombatkere,
We are happy that you have taken the trouble to make an appeal to the left parties and groups to unite and we view the appeal very positively. We are willing to have any principled unity with the other left groups and parties on the basis of a common minimum program which will  benefit the people of India by putting an end to corruption, price rise, denial of democratic rights etc leading to the creation of a real socialist society in place of the present anti-people ruling system.
The problem is what you have outlined in your letter itself. As you put it there is need to introspect why the left is in such a dire position though the CPI was the main opposition party in 1952. There is a need to discard all illusions whether revisionist or sectarian, on the basis of concrete analysis of the concrete situation. There is a need to ruthlessly dissect our past so that we can become capable of leading the massive movements that people all over the world are today taking part in and which have even reached our shores with the recent mobilizations against corruption. If we have to show the people that the answer lies not in cosmetic changes within the capitalist system but in socialism, we have to put up a viable picture of socialism before the people and also answer why different socialist countries failed in the past. Without such a ruthless self-criticism, the people are not going to believe in the dream of socialism especially in view of the negative propaganda against socialism with which they are bombarded daily by the state and capitalist controlled media.
No doubt the people are sick and tired of the Congress (UPA) and the BJP (NDA) and are searching for an alternative. However, such an alternative can only be based on bold and honest analysis of the present situation, including of our own past. 
While such a comprehensive settling of accounts with the past will take time and will involve, as you have stated, engaging with each other, there is no reason why certain left forces cannot come together on the basis of a common minimum program. What should then be this common minimum program? We propose it must be sustained and uncompromising struggle against globalization and the neo-liberal policies. What this means, in various fields, is obvious from the people's struggles which are even now going on. In the field of energy it means that we must oppose nuclear energy either for civil or defense purposes and demand the development of alternative sources of energy. In the field of education, health care, etc. it means that these fields must be freed from privatization, must be taken over by the state and must be structured to fulfill the needs of the people and not those of corporate houses. In the field of housing, infrastructure and construction, we feel that housing must be a fundamental right and all construction and infrastructure activity must be taken over by the state to rid our country of the land mafia which is operating all over the country. In the field of agriculture, it means that we have to oppose, uncompromisingly, the land grabs, that are taking place, we have to emphasize the need to complete the land reforms with "land to the tiller" as the slogan - though the content of that slogan may have to fit concrete situations. In the field of labour, we have to oppose the new anti-labour and anti-people labour laws being foisted on the people and we have to also oppose the recent trends in the judiciary where "globalization" rather than the Constitution is made the guiding torch. We have to make better and sufficient provision for security of employment, social security and to secure the right to organize and protest. In the field of transport, we have to again stop the trend towards privatization and go for a transport plan which had no "Singapore" or "Shanghai" in it view but has the real needs of the people in its view. In the field of democratic rights, the basic democratic rights of the people are being daily trampled with hardly allowing any voice of dissent. The people of the North East and of J&K are living under conditions of open military rule. In other places, in the name of "war on terror" the fascisation of the state machinery is growing.
Of course, one can add to or amend any of these specific demands. They are not of the essence. The principle of uncompromising struggle against globalization and neo-liberal policies is, however, absolutely of the essence. This is the crux of the problem. We have to redefine the goal of "development" as development for the vast majority of the people - for workers and the peasants - and not as development only for a small minority which gets to enjoy the latest Ferraris and Bentleys. Development cannot be measured on the basis of how many flat-screen TVs are sold in India or on the basis of the so-called 9% growth in GDP alone. It must be measured basically by the quality of life of the poor common people of India. 
Given this basis, there are problems for uniting the forces which you address. The CPI and the CPM have implemented the policies of globalization and neo-liberalism for many decades now in states like W.Bengal, Kerala and Tripura where they had come to power or are still in power. Though they may have felt that the Indian bourgeoisie had a progressive aspect in the past, at least today it is clear that the Indian big corporate houses are not at all patriotic and are only junior partners of imperialism. We do not gloat at the recent electoral results in Bengal, but we hope that the CPI and the CPM will listen to the voice of the people who have unequivocally made clear their opposition to the policies of neo-liberalism. It will not be possible to convince the people of the sincerity of such forces without their making a sincere evaluation of their past and of their mistakes. Nandigram and Singur bear witness to this. There are many Nandigrams and Singurs all over India, in which, though the role of the CPI and the CPM has been the same, though the outcome has not received the same publicity. The same goes for parties like the RSP and Forward Bloc which colluded with these parties in their mistakes. Even the CPI (ML) (Liberation) is attempting to make opportunist electoral alliances with such forces. The people may be ready to accept that the policies of the "left" front were mistakes and will not be repeated but this requires that the "left" front must first accept its mistakes. We do not see this happening. Instead, the "left" front is floundering with no new policies and is hobnobbing with Jayalalita in Tamil Nadu, Chandrababu Naidu in Andhra Pradesh, Navin Patnaik in Odisha and with other such forces in other states.
It is a fact that the CPI-CPM has been as discredited in the states where it ruled as the Congress has been at the Centre. The people of Bengal and Kerala are as disgusted with the CPI-CPM as the people of the country are with the Congress and the BJP. Hence, if the revolutionary forces unite with the CPI-CPM to build up a Left alternative, it will not go down well with the masses at all. Besides, the revolutionaries will then be seen as giving approval to the blatantly anti-people nature and activities of the CPI-CPM. For instance, just yesterday it was reported that the CPM state secretariat member in WB, Mohammed Salim, has expressed pleasure that the Mamata government has changed her stance towards the Maoists and taken a hard line towards them. At a time when all Left and progressive forces are condemning the dastardly murder of Com Kishenji, Mohammed Salim hailed it as an 'achievement'. This is just an example. There are a million other examples of the CPM's degeneration. Who can forget the meticulousness with which the CPI-CPM tried to implement the neo-liberal policies in WB when it was in power in the state? Now, it is decrying the opening of 51% FDI in the retail sector, but when it was in power in the state, it did everything it could to open up the retail sector to the Walmarts and the Metro Cash & Carry-s.
On the other hand forces like SUCI have joined hands with Mamata in the name of "Defeat the CPI(M)" slogan. The people are clearly seeing that there is no real difference between Mamata and the CPI(M) where the quality of life of the people is concerned. The Maoists supported Mamata during the elections and have already seen the outcome. Similar mistakes are being made by left forces in other states, aligning with different ruling class parties, in the name of tactics, while being bereft of any strategy to fight globalization and neo-liberal policies. The people will not trust such forces either, unless they genuinely regret their mistakes. There is need to come out with an open criticism of such mistakes also.
Further, the appeal states that all those interested in building a New Left unity should express allegiance to the Constitution. How can any progressive force -- leave alone revolutionary -- do that when the Constitution denies the right of self determination to the people of J&K and the Northeast leading to a prolonged war on the people there, and also has a thousand lacunae that ensure that the principles of democracy, secularism and socialism can never be put into practice?
On the basis of our stand above, we welcome the initiative taken by you. However, we doubt very much that the answer can be as simple as you suggest, that all the forces you mention come together and chalk out a plan to unite, in a time bound manner. If any meeting of the type that you suggest is called by you, we will certainly take part, and put forward our stand as mentioned here.
Your comrade,
K. N. Ramachandran
General Secretary
CPI(ML)