[Marxism] ML International Newsletter: March-April 2006 (text)

CPI (ML) Intl Liaison Office cpiml_elo at yahoo.com
Thu Mar 2 13:03:12 MST 2006


ML International Newsletter
March-April 2006

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An update on news and ideas from the revolutionary
left in India. 
Produced by: Communist Party of India
(Marxist-Leninist) Liberation international team 
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Website: www.cpiml.org
Email: cpimllib at bol.net.in and cpiml_elo at yahoo.com

Table of Contents

1)	Killer Bush Go Back
2)	AIALA National Conference in Rajahmundry
3)	Protest Against Attack on Bant Singh Continues
4)	Venezuelan Travelogue: Experiencing the Bolivarian
Revolutionary Process
5)	Recent Developments in Nepal: Problems and
Prospects
6)	U.S. Women Workers Struggle in a Global Economy
7)	Remembering Mahendra Singh
8)	An Open Letter to ‘Emperor’ George Bush Jr.

Killer Bush Go Back

Saying a Loud No to 'Enlightened' Spinelessness and
Bankrupt, Benign Barking

- ML Update, March, 2006.

So, Manmohan Singh wants us to believe that his
government's act of siding with the US on two
successive votes on Iran in the International Atomic
Energy Agency (IAEA) is just an expression of
“enlightened self-interest”! Not only that, the
‘soft-spoken academic-turned-administrator’ has also
gone on to accuse whoever is opposing his government's
decision on this score of indulging in 'minority
vote-bank politics'! To use an expression often used
by the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) against
Singh's own government, he is simply blaming the
voices of opposition as being prompted by
considerations of 'Muslim appeasement'! More than
merely justifying his government's vote on Iran, the
man is trying to use this instance for developing a
new doctrine of nationalism: whoever supports his
government's blatant pro-American stance is an
'enlightened nationalist', everybody else is an overt
or closet communalist, a minority appeaser!

For all the noise it may currently be making on Iran
or more precisely on India's N-deal with the US, the
Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) can surely have no
argument with Singh on this new nomenclature of
nationalism. While in power, the NDA had religiously
practised this nationalism which internalises every
American dictate or interest as India's own
'enlightened self-interest' and attributes any
opposition to, or even deviation from, this grand and
'globalised' nationalism to sheer minority appeasement
or vote-bank politics! But what about our 'enlightened
communists' who had earlier threatened to take the
Iran issue to the people? Comrades Karat and Bardhan
have now made it clear that they only want a full
discussion in Parliament on the subject, and not even
a vote, let alone tabling a no-confidence motion
against the UPA government! Media analysts are now
left wondering if this 'climbdown' is prompted by the
latest decision of China and Russia to back the US-led
resolution! 

Beyond the possible influence of the Russian and
Chinese position, it is also quite likely that the
comrades have begun to see some merit in Singh's
explanation of 'enlightened self-interest' and
concerns about signs of nuclear irresponsibility in
India's neighbourhood! This is why they now insist
only on a full discussion in Parliament so that there
can be an 'enlightened dialogue' before a consensus is
possibly created around the UPA government's
'progressive' foreign policy. After all, generations
of CPI and CPI(M) leaders have been schooled and
trained to assess the Indian ruling classes on the
basis of this delightful dichotomy between
'progressive foreign policy and retrograde economic
policy'! Apart from this strategic perspective to the
classical confusion dogging the Indian parliamentary
communists, there is also the long tactical tradition
of blowing hot and cold, which has now come to be
known as the art of 'biteless or bitefree barking'!
The pre-poll revival of the agenda of a 'third front'
is only a confirmation of this syndrome.

For the people of India, and especially the inheritors
of Bhagat Singh's anti-imperialist legacy, the issue
of New Delhi's growing convergence with Washington's
global offensive and design, cannot however be a
matter of just parliamentary gossip or haggling among
the partners and allies of the ruling coalition. More
so when on the eve of the March 6 deadline, the head
of the American war-machine and pirate-brigade is
himself scheduled to visit India. This is the most
opportune moment for Bhagat Singh's India to rise in
roaring protests and demarcate itself from Manmohan
Singh's India Inc. For Manmohan Singh and his cohorts
'enlightened national interest' consists in paying
glowing tributes to colonial slavery and celebrating
neo-colonial bondage. For the heirs of Bhagat Singh,
patriotism demands integrating the international fight
against imperialism with the domestic battle against
all the Indian retailers and retainers of the Bush
brigade. There can certainly be no middle-of-the-road
parliamentary partnership between Bhagat Singh's
people and Manmohan Singh's cabal. 

This coming March we will observe the 75th anniversary
of Bhagat Singh's ever-inspiring martyrdom. This
coming March we are also scheduled to witness a new
low in India's spineless foreign policy when the
'enlightened' rulers of globalised India behave in a
manner as though to stake India's 'claim' to becoming
the fifty-first state of the United States of America!
Let us reject the spinelessness of India's
'enlightened ruling elite' and reaffirm with all our
strength the people's spirit of independence, national
dignity and anti-imperialism. Let March 2006 witness a
grand celebration of this indomitable spirit at every
nook and corner of our great country.

Landless Labourers’ Struggles

AIALA National Conference in Rajahmundry

- Liberation, March, 2006.

On 30 January, Rajahmundry, on the banks of the
Godavari, was awash in a sea of red flags. The town
had been christened Alluri Sitarama Raju Nagar after
the great peasant guerilla freedom fighter of Andhra
Pradesh. A rally of thousands of agrarian labourers,
mostly from Andhra Pradesh and Orissa, as well as
delegates from all over the country, had gathered
there to participate in a Rally marking the
inauguration of the second All India Conference of the
All India Agricultural Labour Association (AIALA) on
30-31 January. The Rally, led by CPI (ML) General
Secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya, Politburo members
Swadesh Bhattacharya, DP Buxi and Kartick Pal, as well
as AIALA leaders from various states, marched from the
railway station through the town, garlanding the
statues of Bhagat Singh and Alluri Sitarama Raju. At
the head of the procession full of colourful banners
and flags, were the team of cultural activists of Jan
Sanskriti Manch (JSM), performing a traditional tribal
dance. The rally culminated in a mass meeting at the
Shaheed Subramaniam Grounds, the first peasant martyr
of the East Godavari region during the freedom
struggle. Veterans of the Telengana movement and the
freedom struggle were honoured at the mass meeting. 

Comrade Ramnaresh Ram, president of the outgoing
committee of AIALA, sent his message of greetings to
the conference as he was seriously ill and undergoing
treatment in AIIMS, Delhi. He hoped that AIALA would
become the biggest and strongest organisation of every
agricultural labourer and rural poor in the country.
Comrade Rameshwar Prasad, General Secretary of the
outgoing committee, also sent his message from the
Beur Jail in Patna. Both the messages were read out in
the rally.
 
Addressing the Rally, Comrade Dipankar remarked that
two years back, AIALA held its founding conference at
Bhojpur, a noted centre of agrarian struggles; it was
fitting that the second conference was being held in
Andhra Pradesh, the historic soil where the Telengana
struggle was waged against the British and the
landlords – a struggle which made Communism a
household word in India. Today, when we face the
onslaught of US imperialism, we are inspired by the
struggle of the heroic peasant warriors like Sitarama
Raju. He said that the second Conference of AIALA was
being held at a time of great assaults on the rural
poor – the UPA’s attempt to cut back on food subsidies
is the latest instance. The question of land continues
to be a central one. The Telengana movement had waged
a war for land reform – but land reforms have yet to
be completed. In every state, ceiling surplus land is
grabbed on one or the other pretext. Eviction from
land in the name of ‘development’ is a burning issue.
At Kalinganagar, not only were tribals protesting
eviction shot dead, their limbs were chopped off as a
‘lesson’ to those who protest. It is time to turn the
tables, and make Kalinganagar a lesson for the ruling
class instead. 

Comrade Dipankar congratulated agrarian labourers for
forcing the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) to pass
the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NREGA),
but pointed out that past experience showed how many
laws enacted under pressure of movements remained on
paper and were never implemented on the ground. Local
power groups are seeing the EGA as a new treasure
house of loot and plunder; AIALA must foil them and
break the stranglehold of tractors and contractors on
the NREGA. We must demand that the minimum wage be
fixed at Rs. 100, and at least one man and one woman
per family must be guaranteed a job under the NREGA.
Comrade Dipankar concluded by calling upon agrarian
labourers not to confine themselves to their own
issues, but to play a leading role in national
politics. In particular, he called upon AIALA to
resist the entry of imperialist war criminal George
Bush in India.  

After the Rally, the delegate session was held at a
Hall named after Comrade Mahendra Singh. A total of
882 delegates from 17 states (including 101 women
delegates), including Assam, Tripura, Manipur, West
Bengal, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu (TN),
Kerala, Karnataka, Rajasthan, Punjab, Gujarat,
Chhattisgarh, Uttaranchal, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and
Jharkhand, as well as Karbi Anglong and North Cachar
Hills regions of Assam participated in the
deliberations of the Conference. Cultural teams from
Orissa, Andhra, Assam, Karbi Anglong, and Jharkhand
presented colourful and rousing songs and
performances. The guests and observers who expressed
solidarity with the Conference included leaders of All
India Student Association (AISA), All India
Progressive Women Association (AIPWA), Revolutionary
Youth Association (RYA), All India Central Council of
Trade Unions (AICCTU), All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS),
Mazdoor Kisan Sanghatana and Lal Nishan Party
(Leninist) of Maharashtra, leaders of the Chilika
Matsyajeebi Association, Chhattisgarh Naagar Jotta
Samaj, as well as noted economist and activist Jean
Dreze. 

During the Conference, delegates from various centres
and states shared their experiences of organising
agrarian labourers and leading struggles. Comrades
from Andhra spoke of the recent success in expanding
the movement in the Telengana region and waging land
struggles. Delegates from Orissa spoke of the ongoing
struggle against eviction and state repression after
the Kalinganagar massacre, as well as the Chilika
fisherpeoples’ struggle. 

Those from TN described the initiatives taken by AIALA
in the wake of the tsunami that devastated the rural
poor in the coastal regions of the State. Activists
from West Bengal discussed the complexity of struggles
in a Left Front ruled State, where land laws were
being reversed to facilitate corporate takeover; those
from Tripura spoke of the successful attempts to
organise adivasis and win them over from the CPI(M).
Leaders from Karbi Anglong and North Cachar Hills
shared their experience of building AIALA and
achieving more than 100, 000 membership in the face of
the state-sponsored extremism and massacres; also
their success in exposing corruption in the Food For
Work scheme and preparing to ensure implementation of
the NREGA. Activists of the tea garden workers of
Assam also spoke of their struggles against state
repression, closure, starvation and unemployment. 

A moving point in the Conference was when Baljeet
Kaur, the daughter of Bant Singh, the Dalit AIALA
leader from Punjab who was mutilated, spoke up. She
said that her father had to pay such a heavy cost for
fighting for justice when she was raped; it was now
time for her to fight for her father, for her people
and for the class of agrarian labourers. 

Comrades from Jhunjhunu in Rajasthan discussed their
experience of organising agricultural workers and poor
peasants in the region. Those from UP spoke of the
AIALA’s growing influence in areas which used to be
pockets of Maoist influence, and also of their
strategies to fight severe state repression, with
AIALA leaders being booked under Gangster and Goonda
Acts. Activists from Jharkhand narrated how they
raised the issue of corruption and how they sustained
the blow of Comrade Mahendra Singh’s murder and led
the movement against this assassination. 

Comrades from Bhojpur and Jehanabad in Central Bihar
spoke of their long struggle against the Ranveer Sena
and the movement against the use of Terrorist and
Disruptive Activities [Prevention] Act (TADA) to book
agrarian labour activists. Those from West Champaran
spoke of the growing struggle against the feudal
repression in that region, while activists from North
Bihar spoke of the agitations launched on the issue of
recurrent floods.  

Delegates debated the draft document at the
Conference, which analysed the current political
situation and the question of evolving an agenda in
the light of changing political context. The document
discussed issues of land struggles, wages, dignity,
democratic participation in and control of rural poor
over government schemes and challenged the
government’s anti-people model of development based on
displacement and eviction. They also discussed
strategies to mobilise around issues like health,
housing, education, water etc. The conference resolved
to develop panchayats as a centre of struggle, by
organising rural poor at the panchayat level. In
particular, delegates from all over the country shared
their plans in preparation for ensuring implementation
of the NREGA, especially of ensuring registration and
issue of job card to all agrarian labourers. A booklet
suggesting guidelines for struggle on the NREGA issue
was released at the conference.
 
The delegates noted that AIALA had borne the brunt of
several attacks: its general secretary Rameshwar
Prasad had been in jail on flimsy charges for several
months, several of its activists had been killed by
anarchists at the behest of the Rashtriya Janata Dal
(RJD) in Paliganj, and its popular leader of agrarian
struggles, Comrade Mahendra Singh, had been
assassinated. Despite this, AIALA had succeeded in
achieving a membership of 1, 666, 643, a 20.5%
increase. This included the four districts which
achieved more than 100, 000 membership – Bhojpur,
Giridih, Karbi Anglong, and Siwan; and also those
which achieved more than 50, 000 membership – Patna,
Rohtas, Garhwa, and Darbhanga. The delegates passed
the draft document unanimously after having adopted
suitable amendments.
 
The conference adopted several political resolutions
and called upon agrarian poor to resist the assault by
the UPA government on food security and food rights
through cuts in the rationing system and food grain
subsidies. It reiterated the demand for an integrated
all-India law for agrarian labourers and demanded
extension of NREGA to the whole country; and resolved
to wage struggle for land reforms, and for the right
of rural poor and adivasis over land, forests, water
sources and homestead land. The conference also
resolved to increase the membership of AIALA to 2.5
million and expand AIALA’s influence to other areas.  

The conference then went on to elect a National
Council of 142 members. The Council in turn elected a
35-member Executive. Comrade Ramnaresh Ram was
nominated the Founder President, Comrade Rameshwar
Prasad as President and Comrade Dhirendra Jha as
General Secretary; 7 Vice Presidents – Swadesh
Bhattacharya, Kshitish Biswal, Ibnul Hasan Basru, S.
Balasundaram, Pawan Sharma, Krishna Adhikari and
Malleswara Rao, and 6 Secretaries – Janardan Prasad,
Bangar Rao, Satyadev Ram, Ravi Kumar Phangchu, Srikant
Rana and Sanjay Sharma, were also elected. Speaking on
behalf of the newly elected Committee, Comrade
Dhirendra Jha concluded the conference by announcing
the resolve to achieve a target of 2.5 million
membership and to develop and consolidate AIALA
structures and activities from the panchayat to the
State level. The conference ended with rousing
rendition of revolutionary songs by the various
cultural teams and the entire house.

Landless Labourers’ Struggle

Protest Against Attack on Bant Singh Continues

- Liberation, March, 2006.

The struggle to bring Bant Singh’s attackers to
justice and make the state government take
responsibility for his treatment and compensation
continues. Till date, the Amrinder Singh government
only offered a paltry token sum of Rs 100, 000, which
was refused by Bant Singh and his family. On 25
January, people gheraoed the district headquarters at
Mansa and declared their intention to gherao the state
assembly in Chandigarh on March 3.
  
Bant Singh’s struggle has also inspired a tremendous
response from people far and wide. A team of
filmmakers, journalists, teachers and others from the
Forum for Democratic Initiatives (FDI) have visited
Punjab, and then launched a campaign for justice for
Bant Singh. The London-based South Asia Solidarity
Group submitted a petition to Manmohan Singh as well
as Amrinder Singh signed by over 500 prominent
individuals. This petition, in addition to demanding
that the perpetrators be brought to book and that the
Punjab government take responsibility for compensation
and rehabilitation of Bant Singh, expressed deep
concern at “the attempts by senior police officials to
dismiss any link between the attacks on Bant Singh and
his courageous struggle against those who raped his
minor daughter in 2002.” It observed that the
“successful sentencing of the rapists to life
imprisonment by a Sessions Court in 2004 is a very
strong motive for the repeated assaults by upper caste
men on Bant Singh over the past year, and must not be
swept aside as irrelevant to the case.”

Also the “Bant Singh incident is the tip of the
iceberg as far as atrocities on Dalits in Punjab are
concerned. Apart from the severe economic exploitation
of Dalits, who form a very large percentage of all
agricultural labour in the state, there is systematic
sexual exploitation of Dalit women,” and recommended
that the scheduled caste/scheduled tribes (SC/ST)
commission, the National Human Rights Commission as
well as the National Women’s Commission conduct an
immediate inquiry. On March 3, on the same day as the
gherao of the Assembly in Chandigarh, a protest will
also be held at the Indian High Commission in London.

Venezuelan Travelogue

Experiencing the Bolivarian Revolutionary Process

- PB

As the plane lands at the Bolivar international
airport, between the mountain and the ocean, one is
struck by the light from the mountain side. The
mountain side is where the poor and working people
live and struggle. A cursory look around Caracas from
the skyline to the shopping malls, one cannot but miss
the imprint of the multinational corporations (MNCs)
and the Venezuelan oligarchy. In the midst of this
landscape the Bolivarian revolutionary struggle is
being fought from the mountains of Caracas to the
rainforests of the Orinoco. This struggle for a new
world attracted us to Venezuela’s Bolivarian
revolutionary process and the following is what we
experienced.

Venezuela is a country with a population of 24 million
with most of the population living in the urban
centers. The capital Caracas is the biggest city with
8 million inhabitants. Simon Bolivar is considered the
liberatador (liberator) of Venezuela as he was
instrumental in winning independence from the Spanish
colonisers. Venezuela has been undergoing an
accelerated process of political and socio-economic
transformation since 1998 when President Hugo Chavez
was elected. At that time an estimated 80 percent of
the population lived in poverty and more than half of
the employment was in the informal sector.

Peoples’ TV at ViVe
First we visit the recently launched people’s TV
station ViVe. ViVe produces programs by workers,
peasants, women, indigenous people, and barrio
(neighbourhood) activists. Vive is part of the
initiative to promote community media in Venezuela.
Private molopolies Venevision (Cisneros group), Radio
Caracas Television (Phelps-Granier), Televen, and
Globovision control 44 regional television networks in
addition to the radio and national press [3]. During
the April 2002 coup the government and community media
were shut down and false anti-Chavez propaganda was
broadcast via the private channels. ViVe is part of
the initiative to promote peoples media organizations
to counter the lies and propaganda of the commercial
media. To see women activists in leadership roles at
ViVe is not only refreshing but also quite telling of
the revolutionary process. Our interactions with the
different departments at ViVe and the Vice President
of production revealed that they will do their utmost
to ensure that ‘the revolution will be televised.’

Housing Cooperative at La Ladera
Caracas is situated in a valley surrounded by
mountains. The workers and poor people have to live in
small shacks in barrios on the mountainsides. The new
national housing policy act provides for the
legalization of land holdings on occupied and
unproductive land affecting 60% of the population.
Approximately 84, 000 titles benefiting 630, 000
families have been issued [6]. Inspired by this act
the people of barrio La Ladera decided to take over 63
hectares of unproductive and vacant land owned by a
sports goods manufacturer. They have setup temporary
shelters and a community kitchen and are claiming
rights to build on this land. The president of the
housing cooperative informs us that since the
government is treading carefully with these
influential capitalists the land is not legally
theirs. Pointing to the mountain in front, he told us
that it is obscene that a couple of people own this
mountain and the next one, while thousands of families
do not even have a place to live. The housing
cooperative continues to struggle and the case is
presently awaiting a decision from the President. The
activists have organised numerous protests including a
20 km march to the presidential palace that stranded
traffic for hours on a national highway.  

Missions at Barrio La Vega 
A walk through barrio La Vega, a settled older
neighbourhood near Caracas, reminds one of the state
of the poor throughout the world. The barrios barely
have any potable water and sewage facilities. In the
last few years, three million people have received
potable water for the first time and one million have
received sewage services. The medical facilities were
non-existent but now with the help of the volunteering
20, 000 Cuban doctors, as part of Barrio Adentro
Program, one doctor per 200 families has been made
possible [4]. A conversation with a veteran barrio
organizer, a libertarian anarchist, explains how the
decades long struggle have shaped the present
Bolivarian revolutionary process and Chavez is a
product of these struggles. In addition to Barrio
Adentro, the barrio now has Mission Mercal, a major
initiative to provide subsidised food, and Infocenter,
which provides free high speed Internet access for the
community. Their house also has a community kitchen
for the elderly and disabled. The people in the barrio
emphasize that these are gains of years of struggle
and that they are going to defend the revolutionary
process at any cost.     

Co-Management at Inveval
An important initiative that exemplifies one of the
ways in which the Bolivarian revolution is rejecting
neo-liberalism and capitalism is the establishment of
co-management in factories. Cogestion (co-management)
is the joint management of the factory with workers
and the state. Succinctly stated at a meeting
organised by National Union of Workers (UNT), “the
point of co-management is to put an end to capitalist
exploitation and to create the potential for building
a truly human society” [5]. Co-management is part of
the new Venezuelan constitution that was passed in
1999. A visit to Inveval, a valve factory supplying to
the petroleum industry, located in the beautiful hills
near Caracas is an example of co-management. Workers
who struggled through several owner lockouts and other
coercive tactics recently were able to convert their
factory into co-management. The president of the
union, a socialist, showed how the factory is being
run by workers. The workers not only participate in
decision making and work with the local community,
they are part of the pro-Bolivarian revolutionary
union the UNT. They are also actively running Marxist
study circles. Besides the well known struggles at the
aluminium factory (Alcasa) and paper mill (Invepal),
almost 200 mostly small companies in financial duress
have voluntarily agreed to adopt co-management.

The union president informs us that Inveval previously
called Constructora Nacional de Valvulas (CNV) was a
monopoly producer of high-pressure valves for the
state owned oil company PDVSA for more than 30 years.
CNV owner Andres Sosa Pietri belongs to the
traditional Los Amos del Valle (The Rulers of the
Valley) i.e. the Venezuelan oligarchy. Sosa Pietri
closed the CNV in December 2002 during the oligarchy
organised lockout against the Chavez government. After
the failed lockout, Pietri refused to pay wages and so
workers started picketing the factory entrance
starting April 2003 [2, 7]. After two years of
struggle, which included occupation of the factory for
several months, the workers won with nationalisation
and co-management in 2005. It is now in the process of
starting production in March.   

Bolivarian Revolutionary Process
Bolivarian circles with more than 2.3 million members
are vital to the revolutionary process and
participative democracy [1]. Citizens assemblies are a
constitutional right and people represent themselves
through these neighbourhood associations, cooperatives
and Bolivarian circles. The Bolivarian circle members
are usually also members of other organisations such
as unions. The people organised in the different types
of organisations provide vibrancy to the movement.
This multitude of more than a million descended from
the mountainsides and surrounded the palace thus
foiling the 2002 coup and bringing Chavez back within
48 hours. 
 
The circles activities involve working with the
Misiones (Missions), the core of the social programs.
In addition to Mission Mercal (subsidised food), there
are missions in education namely Mission Robinson I
and II (literacy and primary), Mission Ribas (high
school) and Mission Sucre (university). In a short
period, Mission Robinson has already eradicated
illiteracy by educating more than 1.5 million people.
Other important missions are to improve indigenous
peoples’ condition (Mission Guicapuro) and to help
campesinos (peasants) with land struggles (Mission
Zamora). The state oil profits of $25 billion (2004)
have helped fund these missions. 

Thousands of women from housewives to former
guerrillas have joined to form the Constitutional
Front of Women of the Fifth Republic Movement
(FCMMVR). New laws such the Law of Violence Against
Women (1998) and the Law for Equal Opportunities for
Women (1999) have been possible through their
struggles. The National Institute for Women
(INAMUJER), headed by a former guerrilla leader, is
educating women about defending their political rights
[8]. Women have not only actively participated in
various organisations and are in leadership positions
in the government but have also formed cooperatives,
which total about 70, 000. Housework has also been
designated an economically productive activity
entitling them to social security benefits. 

The Bolivarian revolution in Venezuela has seen a
convergence of people from various streams ranging
from socialist to anarchists. Although they come with
different beliefs and experiences and disagree about
the details, they are united in struggle against the
elite. What also stands out is the participative
nature of the process. Venezuelan people are
experimenting with different types of participative
decision making from the factories to the barrios.
Venezuela is a country fighting capitalism in its
neo-liberalism avatar. Since most of the people live
in urban areas the struggles have been for work,
housing, food, and other basic necessities. In these
struggles, they are constantly experimenting with new
tactics and strategies.

For the last decade, Venezuela has been the
battleground for anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist
struggles and the contradictions are sharpening. On
the one hand are the old capitalist structures that
are attempting to bring back the rule of the oligarchy
while the Bolivarian revolutionary process is
endeavouring to create socialism of the 21st century.
On the other hand Venezuela has to quench the imperial
thirst for fossil fuels by being one of its biggest
oil suppliers and concurrently fight imperialism.
Venezuelan elite in collusion with the US continue to
use all weapons in their arsenal from a military coup
to an economic strike to defeat the revolutionary
process. The contradictions are manifested on faces of
activists and organizers of the revolutionary process
– the resolve of struggle, the smile of achievement,
and the anxiety for what tomorrow may bring. 

At the 2005 World Social Forum (WSF), Hugo Chavez
emphatically said “
 it is necessary to transcend
capitalism. But capitalism can’t be transcended from
within capitalism itself, but through socialism, true
socialism, with equality and justice.” The juggernaut
of peoples’ organisations, united in struggle, has
been able to successfully fight back US imperialism
and Venezuelan oligarchy since 1998. The Venezuelan
people have resolved to build their own path towards
socialism. We depart from Venezuela inspired by the
revolutionary process.

References
1. Chaves, R. and Burke, T., The Bolivarian Circles,
Fight Back News Service, July 30, 2003. 
2. Cunich, S., Venezuela: Occupied factory
nationalised, Green Left Weekly, May 4, 2005.
3. Fernandes, S., Community Radio in Venezuela,
Economic and Political Weekly, Jan. 28, 2006. 
4. Gable, D., Venezuela: Snapshots from its history,
Workers World, Jan. 8, 2004.
5. Lebowitz, M. A., Constructing Co-Management in
Venezuela: Contradictions along the Path, MR Zine, Oct
27, 2005.  
6. Lendman, S., Venezuela’s Bolivarian Movement: Its
Promise and Perils, Venezuelanalysis.com, Jan. 04,
2006.  
7. Martín, J., The struggle for workers' control at
Venezuela's CNV: A new Venepal? Hands Off Venezuela,
Apr 08, 2005.
8. Wagner, S., Women in Bolivarian Venezuela:Women and
Venezuela’s Bolivarian Revolution,
Venezuelanalysis.com, Jan. 15, 2005. 

Acknowledgement: The experience would not be possible
without the enormous help of Corina, Dozthor, Gary,
Jorge, Maria, Pablo, and Sandra. 

South Asian Struggles

Recent Developments in Nepal: Problems and Prospects

- Pratyush Chandra

Nepal is in a state of continuous flux. On February 1,
Gyanendra celebrated the first anniversary of his
"royal coup", while democratic forces denounced it
with ever greater strength and unity among themselves.
Since the beginning of this year, there has been a
tremendous expression and repression of democratic
voices; arrests, police vandalism, demonstrations,
strikes and street fights have become a daily routine;
elections to local bodies turned out to be farcical
(“hollow”, as the US Department of State prefers to
call them), because of the boycott by the democratic
parties reinforced by a general strike imposed by the
Maoists. What exact shape this fluidity will take is
still unclear, however one can trace the pattern. 

The Naked King and the Imperial Dilemma
The Maoists withdrew their unilateral 3+1 month
ceasefire on January 2 this year. Since then we have
seen curfews, elections, boycotts and a general
strike, which provided us the opportunity to assess
the relative strength of monarchy and the democratic
forces. The King tried to block rallies and
demonstrations, but his brutality could not match the
tide of the democratic aspirations of the Nepalese
people. Immediately, the strength of the opposition
forces too was tested. The King planned an
institutionalised demonstration of his strength with
the Panchayat (local bodies) elections. The popular
defiance reinforced by a general strike called by the
only concrete people’s power existing in Nepal fizzled
out the charm of the royal fanfare, and there he found
himself naked before the whole world - this way they
knew him and he knew himself!!!

The US and India wailed. Not for the fate of the
Nepalese royalty, but for being forced into an
impossible situation, to make an impossible choice.
Their inability to convince the King of his
“illegitimate” games and their consequences has been
stark. They are afraid of making any clear choice,
since the two clear choices available before them will
bring crisis to the global imperial regime. 

They know that supporting monarchy, on the one hand,
will de-legitimise the post-Cold War ideology of
‘democracy propagation’, which they cannot afford to
do just for Nepal and South Asia. On the other hand,
at least for India, which is presently the newest
member in the US-led imperialist consortium, this
choice is devastating as the unpredictable nature of
the Nepalese monarchy is not at all beneficial for its
political economic interests. 

But a clear-cut support to republican democracy too is
equally untenable for them, if not more. Because of
the level of political consciousness among the
oppressed and exploited masses of Nepal, any free
leverage to them will sweep away the Nepalese
dependence. Further, the imperialists are aware of the
limited capacity, reach and influence of the
‘democratic’ political elites in Nepal. These elites
are under constant pressure from their own mass base,
which has been in direct interaction with the
revolutionary forces in the country. This fact
considerably reduces the manoeuvring capacities of the
Nepalese parliamentary forces in comparison to the
elites in other democracies. Hence, the global
imperial strategy is stuck. 

The Ceasefire, 12-point Agreement and Democracy from
Below
The political elites in Nepal have traditionally been
nurtured through global aid politics in its aided
pedagogical institutions. Aid has been a major
post-World War II instrument of finance capital geared
towards “creating an extraordinarily dense and
widespread network of relationships and connections
which subordinates not only the small and medium, but
also the very small capitalists and small masters”
(1). In the 1990s, through a quasi-democratic
exercise, the Nepalese neo-rich and petty bourgeois
clienteles and contractors could choose their own
delegates for official negotiations with the global
corporate regime. 

The petty bourgeois democrats’ relationship with the
institution of monarchy has always been of awe and
reverence, but it instantly led to hatred whenever
they tried to get near it. They were forced to feel
their own smallness before the arrogant royalty and
its indifference. Throughout the history of post-1990
Nepal, and more intensively after Gyanendra’s
enthronement, various sections of democrats competed
for the royal affection finding themselves more and
more isolated and divided. The February coup of 2005
marked a decisive break in this relationship. 

The faithful lower-rank leadership directly dealing
with the grassroots of the democratic parties were
already disillusioned by the opportunism of the
upper-rank party bureaucracies. The coup consolidated
this disillusionment. These democratic aspirations of
the radicalised sections of the petty bourgeoisie and
the urban proletarians opened the dialogic avenue with
the ongoing-armed class struggle in the countryside
and beyond Kathmandu. 

The Maoists, on the other hand, have always been
resilient to these dialogues. In fact, deaf ears to
their own innumerable calls for democratic unity have
not discouraged them. They have understood through
their experience what Mao told, while criticising
Stalin: “the main blow of the revolution should be
directed at the chief enemy and to isolate him,
whereas with the middle forces, a policy of both
uniting with them and struggling against them should
be adopted, so that they are at least neutralized; and
as circumstances permit, efforts should be made to
shift them from their position of neutrality to one of
alliance with us in order to facilitate the
development of the revolution.” (2) 

In return to these genuine calls the Maoists as a
proof for their commitment announced a unilateral
ceasefire for three months. This ceasefire along with
pressure from their own mass base forced the
democratic parties and their leaders to seal a
historic alliance with the Maoists – the 12-point
agreement. And the Maoists extended their ceasefire
for another month. 

Imperialist Forces Operating in Tandem
This ceasefire humbled all the poles of global
imperialism, who faced a danger to their own
credibility if they continued supporting the royalty
in all its arrogant, repressive and intransigent
gymnastics. However, the US and India remained
persistent in their efforts to call for the isolation
of the Maoists and thought that the King eventually
would come to his mind. They kept on advising him and
the parliamentary forces to re-establish the harmony
between the “constitutional forces”. As indicated
earlier, this persistence came from their need to have
a full grip over the Nepalese political economy. This
control is dependent upon their ability to moderate
the royal and status quoist intransigence with the
help of various nodes in the commercialised and
monetised political economy of Nepal, while negating
the ‘anarchy’ of the latter by the overseeing
authority of the royalty. Of course, the February coup
and later, the alliance between the Maoists and
7-parliamentary parties posed a definite crisis in
this regard, but the imperialist forces have been
consistently trying to rebuild a situation amenable
for themselves. And in this task, they have shown
remarkable mutual coordination, both in deeds and
words. The striking similarity between the American
and Indian messages in this regard is unprecedented. 

For example, on the end of the ceasefire none of these
two countries asked why this ceasefire remained
unilateral. Instead, for Indians its normal expiry was
“an unfortunate decision” and they passed their moral
judgement on the Maoists’ “path of violence and
terror”(3). Similarly, the US too moralised saying
that it has “consistently called upon the Maoists to
abandon violence and rejoin the political mainstream.
The end of the ceasefire at this time is unhelpful and
contrary to that goal. There can be no excuse for the
resumption of violence” (4).

Again, on January 19, 2006 after the royal crackdown
over democratic leaders, the US called for “a dialogue
between the King and the parties and a return to
democracy” in order to effectively “address the Maoist
insurgency in Nepal”, without taking note of the fact
that the parties are already in agreement with the
Maoists (5). Similarly, the UK asked the King
“urgently to release those arrested, and to find ways
to resume dialogue with the political parties.”(6) And
India regretted that its “wish to see the
constitutional forces in Nepal working together to
achieve peace and stability in the country” remains
unfulfilled.(7) Taking into consideration their mutual
understanding in other international affairs, it is
definite that these imperial states are pronouncing
all these decisions and opinions in tandem. Even the
press releases of one seem to be mere paraphrasing of
others’.

The Danger
The humiliation of the King in his own Panchayat
elections is a big blow to his self-confidence, and
the confidence of the interventionist forces in him
and their own capacity to manoeuvre. The US is forced
to admit that the elections “represented a hollow
attempt to legitimize his power”. But we will have to
wait in order to see the full implications of these
results. 

The moral boost to republican sentiments is evident.
The imperialists are anxious, but they know that they
are incapable of undertaking any aggressive activist
step in this regard. Their game plan has to be subtle
and nuanced, but the pattern is quite evident. The US
in the same post-elections message blamed “Maoist
intimidation and killing of candidates during the
campaign” for the failure of the elections, and
refused to note the unanimity between the
parliamentary forces and the Maoists on the
illegitimacy of the elections. It once again insisted
on the need to have a dialogue between the King and
the “political parties” in order to “effectively deal
with the threat posed by the Maoists” (8). How will
this dialogue happen when the “parties” and the
Maoists are already in alliance? Where is this hope
for a royalty-parties alliance against the “Maoist
threat” coming from? And herein lies the danger.

The success of the Maoists’ General Strike is bound to
make the inconsistent upper crust of the petty
bourgeois leadership epileptic because of the immense
fluidity and uncertainty of the aftermath. If this is
not complemented by more intensive consolidation on
the part of the radicalised masses and their
consistent leadership, it will lead to horse-trading
between the inconsistent democrats and the King
mediated by the imperialists, especially India and the
US. US Ambassador to Nepal, James F. Moriarty in his
recent speech clearly indicated this. He called upon
the Democrats and the King to be ready for "hard
compromise, tough give and take". In return, the
United States "would look eagerly for ways to assist a
new Nepal government that respects and supports
democracy, human rights, and freedom. This also could
include renewing assistance for the Royal Nepalese
Army." (9)

The Maoists are aware of this danger, as Prachanda
informed in one of his recent interviews: “We have
gotten an indication, through the UN people or other
international agencies, that they [government] are
trying to propose in a roundabout way a conditional
constituent assembly. Obviously, the Maoists will
“reject it outright because "conditional" means
"compromise"” (10), but as the intensity of the
movement increases, the leaders who have tasted
proximity to the royalty and enjoyed it while in
government are used to such compromises. They are
bound to vacillate. In such a situation the only
resort will be closing the ranks at the bottom level
on the basis of the rapport which the Maoists and
other radical democratic forces have built between the
rural and urban working classes, peasantry and petty
bourgeoisie across party lines. Only a vigilant and
conscious check and assault from below on such
tendencies will guarantee a political transformation
that goes at least an inch beyond the replay of
democratic farce in the name of attaining peace among
the “constitutional forces”.

References
1. V.I. Lenin (1916-17), Imperialism: The Highest
Stage of Capitalism.
2. Mao Tse-tung (1956), “Stalin’s place in history”
(1956), Selected Works of Mao Tse-tung, Vol. 7.
3. “In response to a question on the withdrawal of
ceasefire by the Maoists in Nepal”, Ministry of
External Affairs, Government of India (January 2,
2006)
Available at:
http://meaindia.nic.in/pressbriefing/2006/01/02pb01.htm
4. “Nepal: Maoists End Cease-fire”, US Department of
State (January 3, 2006)
Available at:
http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2006/58638.htm 
5. “Nepal: Arrests of Opposition Leaders”, US
Department of State (January 19, 2006)
Available at:
http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2006/59430.htm 
6. “Foreign Office Minister condemns political arrests
in Nepal” (January 19, 2006), UK Foreign Office
Available at:
http://www.fco.gov.uk/servlet/Front?pagename=OpenMarket/Xcelerate/ShowPage&c=Page&cid=1007029391629&a=KArticle&aid=1136906017567

7. “In response to a question on developments in
Nepal”, Ministry of External Affairs, Government of
India (January 19, 2006)
Available at:
http://meaindia.nic.in/pressbriefing/2006/01/19pb01.htm

8. “Nepal Municipal Elections Lack Public Support”, US
Department of State (February 8, 2006)
Available at:
http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2006/60805.htm 
9. James F Moriarty, "Nepal’s Political Crisis: A Look
Back, A Look Forward" 
Available at:
http://kathmandu.usembassy.gov/sp_02-15-2006b.html
10. “Interview with Prachanda”, The Kathmandu Post
(posted on February 7, 2006)
Available at:
http://www.kantipuronline.com/feature.php?&nid=64876 

Workers Struggles

Shrinking Jobs and Wages: U.S. Women Workers Struggle
in a Global Economy

- Padma

Background  
The United States (U.S) population is a little more
than 298 million. The number of women employed in the
U.S. in 2004 was 64.7 million. Women represented 46%
of the U.S. labour force but constituted more than
half of temporary workers (58.5%). 74% of the women
worked full time in 2004 and 26% worked part time. 30%
of women aged 25-54 work part time compared with only
13% of men in that age group. Hourly wages among women
working part time are 20% lower than those of full
time women workers. Unemployment rate for women rose
from 4.1% in 2000 to 5.4% in 2004. The unofficial
unemployment rate is much higher as women who work
part time but would prefer full time and women who
stopped looking for work after searching for a year
are excluded from the official count! 30% of the
Hispanic women and 27% of black women work in low wage
service related industries as opposed to 19% of white
women. A disproportionately large number of Asian
American women work in low wage garment industries and
in high tech contract assembly units such as the
Silicon Valley in California. Women and particularly
those of colour are significantly underrepresented in
high paying jobs such as technology, engineering and
science. For employment of women by occupation in 2004
(U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics) see table 1.

Table 1
Occupation 	Total Number 	Percentage
Professional, management and related occupations
24,396, 000	37.7%
Service 	12,894,000	19.9%
Sales, office and administrative support 	22,660,000
35%
Production and transportation	4,126,000	6.4%
Natural resources, construction and maintenance
652,000	1%

More than 1 in 3 full time women workers work non
standard hours. The Current Population Survey (CPS) of
the U.S. Census Bureau reports that 1.3 million hourly
rate female employees had earnings at or below the
federal (central) minimum wage. In 2004, women in the
U.S. were paid 76 cents for every dollar received for
comparable work done by men. In 1983, 18% of women
employed were represented by unions, and in 2004, this
number has fallen to only 12.5%. 

According to U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics since
2003 temporary job services grew by 9% while jobs
overall grew only by 1.2%. Many of the occupations
creating the most new jobs for women are in areas
where they already predominate and that will pay low
wages like home health aides, nurses’ aides, customer
service representatives, retail services, cashiers,
janitors and cleaners, food preparation and fast food
services. Manufacturing has lost 2.7 million jobs
since September of 2001. Both General Motors and Ford,
the two big auto giants, have announced job losses of
30,000 each and closure of several plants in the
country. 

Women Workers: Long hours and Low Wages

Retail Workers
Wal-Mart is the biggest private employer in the U.S.
with 1.4 million employees. It is also the largest
retailer in the world. Women make up 72% of its hourly
workforce in the U.S. A recent study by Professor
Richard Drogin from California noted that women make
5-15% less wages than men for the same work. The
company has been sued in 6 states in the country for
forcing employees to work off the books (unpaid) and
without breaks. It provides sub standard health
insurance policies to its employees and does not offer
child care. It is notoriously anti union, any sign of
union activity is crushed by a special team that is
sent from the company’s headquarters by a private
plane. There is not a single store in the U.S. where
its workers are represented by a union. Other
supermarkets in the country are drastically lowering
the wages and benefits of their employees to be
competitive.

The ‘Caring Professions’
Domestic workers/Nannies
Less than 1% of American women are engaged in domestic
labour at this time. Immigrant female domestic labor
from Central/South America, the Caribbean and the
Philippines among other nations are now indispensable
for the U.S economy and culture.  The women who do the
back breaking work of cleaning houses, cooking and
child care are largely invisible and undervalued. The
structural adjustment policies in their countries have
resulted in abject poverty forcing these women to
migrate to low wage labour in the U.S. Most of the
immigrant women workers working in private homes do
not have valid visas and cannot receive welfare
benefits. They work long hours and often do not have
the courage to complain for fear of deportation.

Home Care and Day Care Workers
Home Care Workers and Personal Care Attendants help
the physically and mentally disabled elderly and
younger populations with daily activities.  Day care
centers to care for children of working women were
largely the result of the labour and civil rights
movement in the 1960s.The majority of workers in these
jobs are women, women of color and immigrant women.
Most of these women live below the poverty line.
 
Nurses and Nursing Aides
92% of the 4.3 million nurses and nursing aides are
women. As health care workers many work night shifts
with its resultant well known effects on health. In
several states cut backs are forcing nurses and aides
to work mandatory overtime putting them at risk for
all kind of illnesses. A report by the SEIU( Service
Employees International Union), ‘Caring Till It
Hurts’, documents the risks of assaults the nursing
home workers face at the hands of patients with
dementia and injuries from moving and lifting patients
in the face of understaffing and outmoded equipment.

Service Industry workers
Hotel Workers
This is a sector that employs roughly 1.3 million
workers the vast majority of whom are women and
immigrants. Most of these workers work at poverty
wages. In cities where nearly all the full service
hotels are unionized the house keepers earn 2 to 3
times more than the housekeepers in the cities which
have partial or no union presence.

Textile Workers
The U.S. Department of Labour estimates that more than
half of the country’s 22,000 sewing shops and 2/3rds
of the garment factories in big cities like New York
and Los Angeles violate minimum wage and overtime
laws. Workers largely women in American Samoa and
Northern Mariana islands, both U.S territories, have
been beaten and provided very little food while
producing clothes for U.S retail stores like Wal-Mart.


“Solidarity Forever”- Women Workers Fight Back
“Solidarity Forever”, the labour anthem written in
1915, inspires workers to join unions with these
words, “We can bring to birth a new world from the
ashes of the old-
For the Union makes us strong.” The facts speak for
themselves. Median weekly wages for women union
workers are 34% higher than non union workers. 86% of
union workers have health care benefits compared with
only 59.5% of non union workers.

In New York City, in January of 2006, 7000 day care
workers who care for 34,000 children of low income
families won a contract which gave them 12% increase
in pay after many months of intense struggle including
a 3 day strike in June 2005. They are predominantly
women of colour and members of AFSCME (American
Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees).


In December 2005, 34,000 Transit Workers in New York
City struck for 3 days in a powerful display of
working class power. These workers who are members of
the Transit Workers Union are responsible for the safe
transportation of 7 million commuters who use the
buses and subway system. Women, largely immigrants and
women of colour, constitute a third of the transit
workers. New York City was paralyzed for 3 days but
the strike had to be called off abruptly after a judge
imposed millions of dollars of fines and threatened to
have the president of the union arrested. The
employer, the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA),
was planning to merge job titles which would have led
to elimination of some jobs. It was also demanding
concessions on pensions, and retirement age for new
employees in an attempt to divide the workers.

In what is being considered a historic strike by
workers largely immigrants and people of colour, the
MTA management, had to retreat from creating a two
tiered pension and retirement system. The divide and
rule policy did not work this time. Previous contracts
did not include maternity leave and women often had to
work until the day before they gave birth. The new
contract includes paid maternity leave along with wage
increases commensurate with the increase in cost of
living. The strike and its success is all the more
significant as it came at a time when there have been
increasing assaults on labour with union membership at
an all time low in the last 20 years (12.5% for both
sexes in 2004 from 20.1% in 1983).

Conclusions
Capitalist forces in the U.S have been on the
offensive since the early 1970’s. The class compromise
that was achieved by social pacts between the labour
aristocracy and capital has broken down with
‘globalization’. American workers have now become
disposable like their counterparts in the ‘developing
world’. American and other multinational corporations
hire and fire workers, obtain low cost labour,
decrease wages and benefits and move their production
overseas to enhance profits. This had led to increased
‘feminization of labour’ as in the poorer countries.
However, rank and file struggles by women, people of
color and immigrants are taking place in different
parts of the country. The Transit Workers Strike is
one such example. The working class and the unions
have to supplement strikes with other forms of
struggle. Rosa Luxemburg said, “Proletarian women, the
poorest of the poor, the most disempowered of the
disempowered, hurry to join the struggle for the
emancipation of women and of humankind from the
horrors of capitalist domination!” American women
workers have to hurry to the frontlines to do just
that.

Remembering Mahendra Singh

Shaheed Mela at Bagodar

- Manoj Bhakt

Comrade Mahendra Singh’s ringing voice resounded on
the streets and in the Assembly alike, resolutely
raising the issues that few other political forces
dared to discuss. On January 16 last year, he was shot
dead at the behest of BJP member of legislative
assembly (MLA) Ravindra Rai and Superintendent of
Police (SP) Deepak Varma, in a bid to silence his bold
voice. On January 16 this year, masses of people
thronged to his constituency Bagodar to attend the
Shaheed Mela (Martyr Fair) organized by the CPI (ML),
followed by the state conference of Jharkhand Mazdoor
Kisan Samiti on the next day. 

On January 16, Bagodar Training College grounds, the
site of the Shaheed Mela called by the CPI (ML), was
virtually an ocean of red flags. The day began with a
march to Khamhara, Comrade Mahendra’s birth village.
Comrade Dipankar Bhattacharya, along with central
committee members and thousands of party activists and
supporters marched to Khamhara, and amidst spirited
slogans full of resolve to avenge the martyrs, Comrade
Dipankar unveiled the statue of Comrade Mahendra
Singh. Another statue of Comrade Mahendra was unveiled
at Bagodar, where Comrade Dipankar also laid the
foundation stone of Shaheed Mahendra Singh Smriti
Bhawan.

At the rally at Bagodar Training College grounds, wave
upon wave of people had gathered; women from villages
all over Jharkhand were there in large numbers. On
this occasion, a collection of Comrade Mahendra
Singh’s speeches in the Jharkhand Assembly, “Vicharon
Ke Yuddh Mein” (In the Battle of Ideas) was released
by Harivansh, editor of the Hindi daily ‘Prabhat
Khabar’. A calendar containing Mahendra Singh’s
photographs, quotations from his articles and poems
was also released. The mass meeting was followed by
colourful cultural events that went on throughout the
night – plays and songs by ‘Hirawal’, the theatre
group from Patna, as well as performances by a
cultural troupe from Bengal, Jharkhand Sanskritik
Manch and several individual artists. [Excerpt of the
Mela reports]

Satire

India is not your Cat’s name!
An Open Letter to ‘Emperor’ George Bush Jr.

- Films for Peace Team

To
George Bush Jr.
Would-be Emperor 
(Former Clown Prince)
Currently US President

Dear George ‘WMD’  Bush, 

It is with both great happiness and grave apprehension
that we the people of India await your arrival in our
country. 

Happiness because in the few hours you will be engaged
in shaking hands with our country’s leaders your
fingers will be - at least for a little while - away
from the nuclear doomsday button. Happiness also in
the hope that the grease you put on the palms of your
political underlings here will make the many triggers
all of you control that much more slippery. 

There is a lot of apprehension too as your visit could
become the latest source of pollution in our ancient
land already poisoned over the years by your country’s
various multinationals- from Union Carbide of Bhopal
gas notoriety to Monsanto of GM seeds infamy. Your own
crimes against humanity in Iraq, Afghanistan and
Guantanamo are of course far worse than that of these
corporations and if the Ganges were not already as
contaminated as it is unfortunately today  - we would
have happily recommended a long dip in its holy
waters.

We know you have friends - or shall we call them loyal
subjects - in very high places in our country. Shri
Manmohan Singh, misleadingly called ‘Prime Minister of
India’ when he is really a CEO of your subsidiary
company- will be there constantly at your beck and
call. But then for this former civil savant turned
international servant - whose soul and spine were
stolen many moons ago by the IMF, World Bank and other
dark forces you represent - it seems to make little
difference what master he serves.

You will also find the Congress that rules India even
more pliant than the US Congress you control back
home. Having buried Gandhi and Nehru in both body and
spirit long, long ago this political party that once
fought the British Empire has become the Trojan horse
of American Imperialism in India today. 

There are others too from our country that will
welcome you – captains of industry, merchants,
bureaucrats and sections of the Indian media- who
already think of themselves as junior partners in your
vile Empire. Truth is they are as much in awe of the
weapons of war you so wantonly wield as they are
mesmerized by the petty commercial carrots you dangle
before their eyes. 

But make no mistake ‘Mr Wannabe President of the
World’ - India is far more than the name of your pet
cat on the lawns of the White House. And though our
leaders lovingly wag their tails at you it is not a
domesticated dog either. 

Instead it is a full-blooded country of over a billion
people who have seen through many tyrants of your type
several times over in their long history. We packed
off the British Raj just over half a century ago and
have no intentions of letting its illegitimate
American offspring sit on our heads instead.

And we are not alone in our struggle against
Imperialism on this globe either. From Vietnam to
Venezuela and Iraq to Indonesia we have had and
continue to have deep ties with people everywhere from
around the world who have stood up in defence of their
national dignity, sovereignty and the right to conduct
their affairs in whatever manner they see fit. We have
long historical memories too of the US establishment’s
atrocities and massacres around the globe –Hiroshima,
Haiti, Greece, Guatemala. Cambodia, Chile - the
sacrifices of countless brave citizens will not go in
vain.

Your regime’s latest attempts to bully or bribe the
Indian government to join your machinations against
Iran will also go nowhere because the people of this
country will forever resist your immoral attempts to
capture the assets of weaker nations by force. By
tempting the foolish Indian government with a dubious
nuclear pact you have attempted to divide and rule the
developing world but we can see through your imperial
politics and have the means to unravel it too. Mr
‘Emperor’ not only do you not have no clothes on you
are trying to pull some non-existent textile over our
eyes too! 

So Mr ‘Emperor’ when you soon land in India remember -
irrespective of what your weather ‘experts’ tell you-
the temperature on the ground will be several degrees
hotter than anybody can predict. True, this will be
partly due to the general rise in global temperatures
your regime has so shamelessly contributed to plus the
hot air you have such a talent for - but much of the
heat will really be due to the burning anger aroused
by your presence in our midst. 

Believe us we promise a very warm welcome to you and
all in your entourage and hope to make your trip as
memorable as possible. 

It is still not too late to turn your jets back to
Washington where Uncle Dick ‘Shotgun’ Cheney eagerly
awaits your presence on a long and exciting safari
somewhere. Happy hunting and watch your back.

Yours very, very warmly

Films for Peace team
[A team of filmmakers, Films for Peace Team, is
screening a series of anti-war, anti-imperialist films
at 80 places all over the country. The team has
written this Open Letter to Bush.]




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