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Sunday, August 21, 2016

Posted by Venu K.M
August 15, 2016: Modi’s Deceptive Rhetoric versus the Inspiring Una Resolve

When the people of India fought for freedom from British colonial rule, there was one ideological-political stream which not only stayed away from that great struggle but tried its best to disrupt and derail it with its thoroughly communal and casteist agenda of Hindutva. Today that stream holds the reins of ‘governance’ in the country and is bent upon appropriating the mantle of freedom even as it uses the state machinery to the hilt to subvert the values and aspirations of the freedom movement. Halfway through his term, Modi asked the BJP to celebrate a ‘festival of freedom’ around the Independence Day this year as he delivered his third August 15 lecture from the ramparts of the Red Fort.
True to his demagogic track record, Modi made a few astoundingly misleading claims in his speech. He said while previous governments were all surrounded by complaints and allegations, his government only has to confront the expectations of the people. Well, to tell the truth, the expectations were based on the promises he had made in the 2014 election campaign, and with his government going back on those promises much of those expectations have today turned into frustration and anger. The much touted promises of 2014 were of course conspicuously missing once again in Modi’s Independence Day address.
Modi claimed to have brought down the rate of inflation when the common people are reeling under soaring prices. When the whole world is heaving a sigh of relief over the declining petroleum prices, his government has inflicted steep increases in railway fares. And now in the name of ending ‘tax terrorism’ on the rich, his government has drawn up a blueprint of hefty regressive taxation on the goods and services consumed by the common people which will add fresh fuel to the fire of price-rise.
Modi talked about the alleged efficiency of governance he has ushered in and called upon the people to match this efficiency by ensuring ‘social unity’. A strong economy and a strong society would make India a strong nation. But we have already seen that Modi’s ‘strong economy’ does not care for either the welfare of the common people or the self-reliance and sovereignty of the nation – all it cares for is faster accumulation of corporate wealth and bigger inflow of FDI. Likewise, Modi’s ‘strong society’ is all about maintaining the status quo within a patriarchal-casteist order and that too on lines drawn by an increasingly aggressive and intrusive Sangh brigade which would like to dictate the terms of inter-personal relationships, social interaction, cultural discourse and constitutional liberties in India.
Modi’s deceptive phrase of ‘strong society’ became very clear when he invoked Ambedkar as a champion of ‘social unity’. Everybody knows that the Constitution drafted under the leadership of Ambedkar proclaimed the formation of the Indian Republic on the foundations of liberty, equality and fraternity. Without liberty and equality, fraternity becomes an empty word and unity can only mean subjugation. When Modi eulogises the notion of ‘strong economy’ and ‘strong society’ – there is of course also the implicit third element of ‘strong’ or ‘hard state’ which Modi chooses not to mention in his Independence Day address – he does it by effectively undermining the modern democratic principles of liberty, equality and fraternity.
It is significant that Modi used his ID address to mention the so-called gratitude that some people from Balochistan, Gilgit and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir have apparently expressed to him while keeping absolutely silent about the continuing spate of civilian killings and injuries and the anguished cries of pain and anger of the Kashmiri people who are ruled by the Indian state. He talked about social unity rising above caste divisions but said not a word about the oppression being unleashed on Dalits and Muslims in the name of ‘cow protection’ by cow vigilantes sponsored by the RSS and governments run by his own party in different states.
But despite elaborate plans to appropriate the mantle of freedom, Modi’s Independence Day address and the BJP’s so-called ‘festival of freedom’ only underscored the growing isolation and failure of his government. For the people of India, the real resolve of freedom this year came from Una where Dalits, Muslims and progressive citizens from other sections marched to Una in their thousands, defying physical attacks and threats of more Unas to come, and resolved to intensify their battle for freedom. They resolved to reject the Brahminical code of labour which despises manual labour and reserves all menial jobs for Dalits and demanded five acres of arable land for every landless Dalit family. By linking the question of social dignity and equality for Dalits with the question of land rights, Una has signalled a new direction for the Dalit movement in the country. Following the Una rally, there are reports of renewed attacks on Dalits in Gujarat and progressive democratic forces across the country must unite to overcome this desperate assault by casteist forces.
Fifty years ago the revolutionary peasant uprising of Naxalbari had addressed the agrarian question as the central question of Indian democracy and in the process it had triggered a massive awakening of the landless poor. It inspired a new wave of communist movement in Bihar where the question of freedom from social oppression became the central agenda alongside the issue of land and wages. The Dalit movement too took a radical turn at this juncture with the emergence of the Dalit Panthers and radical Dalit literature in Maharashtra and elsewhere. Today Una has once again galvanized the radical stream of the Dalit movement, squarely placing the agenda of social equality and land reforms at the centre of the radical democratic agenda of Dalit emancipation.
The infamous laboratory of Hindutva fascism is now witnessing a great resistance that has galvanized the entire Dalit community in protests and is also drawing in Muslims and Adivasis to pose a formidable challenge to an increasingly isolated BJP regime. It is also encouraging to note that Una has struck a chord across the country among the oppressed and fighting people who have come out on the streets to express their fullest solidarity and resolve to grasp this new juncture in the battle for real freedom and democracy. The Una exhortation of unity of Dalits and Muslims, women and workers will defeat the RSS-dictated 'social subjugation' camouflaged as 'social unity'.
Anti-Imperialism Day Observed Across the Country on 9 August 2016
On the anniversary of the August revolution, CPI (ML), AICCTU, All India Kissan Mahasabha and other fronts observed anti-imperialism day throughout the country. In Jharkhand, this day was also celebrated as the world ‘Adivasi Day’. Marches were taken out across states in several districts. The purpose of the marches was to expose the anti-people, anti-national, divisive, destructive, pro-corporate, communal and fascist policies of the Modi led central government aimed at forcing India into the stranglehold of imperialism and selling India’s natural resources and sovereignty into the hands of the multinational companies.
In Patna, AICCTU leaders and activists offered tributes at the Shaheed memorial outside the Bihar assembly and a protest meeting was organised in which slogans were raised against American imperialism and the pro-imperialist policies of the Modi government. Other trade union leaders and activists also joined the protest meeting and pledged to ensure the success of the 2nd September All India General Strike.
CPI(ML) and AICCTU organized ‘Adhikar March’ in Ranchi and Bokaro in Jharkhand on the Adivasi Diwas (International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples) which is observed on 9 August. As the politics of both Jharkhand as well as the country remains captured by the corporate houses, the questions of the workers and the masses are at the margins. The assaults on the rights of the Dalits, tribals, minorities and the workers continue unabated. Addressing the march at Albert Ekka Chowk in Ranchi, CPI (ML) central committee member Com. Shubhendu Sen stressed on the need for another August revolution against the Company Raj. Com. Bhuvaneshwar said that celebration of ‘Adivasi Diwas’ by the government which had failed to put an end to the loot of water, forests, land, minerals and other natural resources was a farce. In Bokaro, an adhikaar march was jointly organized by trade unions. Besides submitting a charter of demands to the steel plant manager, a call was given to ensure the success of 2nd September All India General Strike. In Koderma, a dharna was organized under the leadership of All India Kisaan Mahasabha to protest against the designs of the state government to snatch the land from the poor in the name of wrong settlement. A march was also taken out under the leadership of All India Kisan Mahasabha in Ramgarh, in which several hundred people participated, raising the slogans “Corporate-Company Raj Down Down”, “Waive the loan taken by farmers immediately”,etc. The speakers addressing the march said that far from supporting and encouraging farmers, the government was determined to discourage them. Modi’s favourite Gautam Adani was procuring several million quintal grains from the farmers at the rate of Rs.30/- per kilo and hoarding the same and the Modi government was selling the same grains at Rs. 100/- per kilo. Several farmers were being forced to commit suicide. In Garhwa district, after years of struggle, tribals of Tiwari Marhatiya village were able to procure their legal rights on the Raiyatti land. Since 3 August 2016, they had sat on an indefinite hunger strike outside the DC office. CPI (ML) activists from Garhwa district committee also joined the hunger strike in support of the tribals. They also demanded that immediate compensation be paid to those whose crops were destroyed and the officers guilty of ensuring the destruction of crops be punished. A mahadharna in support of these demands had earlier been organized on 6 August. After the successful completion of the strike, ‘a vijay juloos’ of the local tribals was also carried out under the leadership of CPI (ML). In Bagodar, a ‘chetaavni’ (warning) march was taken out by those who have been displaced due to the policies of the state government. They also protested against the inadequate compensation.
CPI (ML) activists also organized protests outside DM offices in several places in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, and other states against the oppression and persecution of Dalits and minorities by the associates of RSS in the name of ‘cow protection’. In Gorakhpur, several people and Dalit leaders and activists also joined these protests. The speakers warned the local administration that if the provisions of accommodation, ration and work in MNREGA were not ensured for the Dalits, poor and the workers, a gherao of the district office would be done.
9th August also marked the end of the second phase of CPI (ML)’s countrywide campaign- ‘Utho Mere Desh, Naye Bharat ke vaaste, Bhagat Singh-Ambedkar ke raaste’ (Rise my nation- for a new India, in the path of Bhagat Singh and Ambedkar). A huge dharna was organized to in Kanpur as a part of this campaign. The speakers talked about the increasing attacks on Dalits and minorities and the anti-people policies of the government. In Lucknow, a dharna was called near the Ambedkar statue in Hazratganj. The meeting was presided by Com. Kaushal Kishore, state president of Jan Sanskriti Manch (JSM). Addressing the meeting he said today once again slavery was being enforced on us by the Modi government. This slavery, besides being economic, is also social and cultural. However, we are also witnessing an unprecedented resistance. The Dalit upsurge in Gujarat, the resistance from Kashmir to Hyderabad, the coming together of youth and students across states shows that struggle for a new India against the sanghi nationalism is gaining strength. The participants raised slogans against cow protection vigilante groups, demanding a ban on them. Marches were also taken out in Gazipur, Varanasi, Chandauli, Lakhimpur, Badohi, Sitapur, Mirzapur, Faizabad, Allahabad, Baliya, Mau, Muradabad and other places.
A pratirodh march was organized in Lalkuan in Nainital, Uttarakhand, against false cases filed against protestors in the struggle against making Bindukhatta a municipality. Several hundreds of people including a large number of women joined this march called by Uttarakhand unit of All India Kisan Mahasabha. CPI (ML) state secretary Com. Rajendra Pratholi urged people to rout out the anti-farmer Rawat government.
[ML Update
A CPI(ML) Weekly News Magazine
Vol. 19 | No. 34 | 16 – 22 August 2016]

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Understanding imperialism today - Alex Callinicos

Posted by Venu K.M

Saturday, August 6, 2016

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always want to defend peace, justice, peoples' right to love each other and live with dignity,struggles against parochial visions and hatred;instinctively a defender of socialist and democratic values