[Marxism] ML Update Vol.12 No.18, 28 April - 04 May 2009

CPIML Liberation cpimllib at gmail.com
Wed Apr 29 06:33:24 MDT 2009


 *ML Update*

*A CPI(ML) Weekly News Magazine*

Vol.  12        No. 18         28 April – 04 May 2009

**

*Indian Government:** *

*Stop Supporting the Genocidal War Against Tamils in Sri Lanka! ***

A
 shameful spectacle of opportunism is being played out in Indian politics
even as Sri Lanka is waging a chilling ‘final solution’ to its Tamil
national question. In the name of a war to eliminate the LTTE, Mahinda
Rajapakse’s regime in Sri Lanka is waging war on the Tamil people.
Independent observers, international rights groups and even journalists have
been prohibited from covering the reality of the war. Conservative
estimates, trickling through, put civilian deaths at a minimum of 5000,
including at least 500 children, since January. At least 10000 civilians are
estimated wounded. The Lankan army is using cluster bombs and chemical
warfare in blatant violation of the Geneva Conventions. Tens of thousands of
innocent Tamils are caught up in the war zone, starved of food, water and
medicine. Some 100,000 others, fleeing in desperation are being rounded up
behind barbed wire fences in ‘camps’, where by all accounts they will be
kept under detention for three years. Sri Lankan journalists questioning
their Government’s brutal policy have been silenced by assassination and
arrest. International journalists reporting on the detention camps for Tamil
civilians have been detained and deported.

Herding the Tamil population into detention camps after slaughtering
thousands cannot end the question of Tamil nationality in Sri Lanka. It
cannot wipe out the fact that it was bloody pogroms in the 1980s that
catapulted the Tamil protests against systematic discrimination into a
full-blown insurgency. The Sri Lankan Government is trying to justify its
massacre in the name of fighting the LTTE. But there can be no getting away
from the fact that it is the Sri Lankan Government’s brutal suppression of
the right to self-determination of its Tamil population that is the biggest
obstacle to peace.

The SLA’s gains are largely due to aid from imperialist powers. Israel has
supplied Kfir jets to the Sri Lankan air force, which has used them to bomb
Tamil areas. India’s role is the most dubious. The UPA Government and its
constituents like the DMK, under pressure from emotions running high in
Tamil Nadu, have taken the posture of pressurizing the Sri Lankan Government
to call a ceasefire. Opposition parties like the AIADMK in Tamil Nadu,
seeking to reap a rich harvest of votes from the resentment, have suddenly
woken to the need for a ‘Tamil Eelam’ or separate Tamil state for Sri Lankan
Tamils. DMK leader and TN Chief Minister Karunanidhi went on a ‘fast’ for a
few hours, and claimed that Sri Lanka had in fact called a ceasefire as a
result. The facts are otherwise: Sri Lanka, far from calling a ceasefire,
has merely promised to avoid the use of ‘heavy artillery’ as far as possible
– but has made it clear that the war will continue. The promise, in any
case, carries little weight – coming as it does from a regime that has had
no compunctions about using even chemical weapons against civilians, and
that is in any case planning to treat all surviving Tamil civilians as
potential terrorists.

The reality behind the Indian Government’s rhetoric of concern for Tamil
civilians is exposed when one looks at a shockingly candid statement by the
Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee in the Parliament on 23
October 2008: “We have a very comprehensive relationship with Sri Lanka. In
our anxiety to protect the civilians, we should not forget the strategic
importance of this island to India's interests... especially in view of
attempts by countries like Pakistan and China to gain a strategic foothold
in the island nation...Colombo had been told that India would 'look after
your security requirements, provided you do not look around'. We cannot have
a playground of international players in our backyard..." While the Indian
Government has consistently denied providing military support to the Sri
Lankan Army, one wonders what shape the promise of “looking after security
requirements” of Sri Lanka has actually taken.

The Congress party and UPA Government has also been suggesting that the
ongoing war on Tamils is just punishment for Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination.
How can Tamil civilians in Sri Lanka be held responsible for that
assassination? The Congress party and the Indian State cannot deny the fact
that the assassination was a fallout of the disastrously opportunist Indian
policy of first extending support to the Tamil insurgency, and then sending
in Indian ‘peace-keeping’ forces to help crush the militancy. J N Dixit, who
was National Security Adviser to the Indian Prime Minister in 2004-05, and
was Indian High Commissioner in Sri Lanka between 1985-89, has candidly
admitted that “Tamil militancy received (India's) support...as a response to
(Sri Lanka's)…concrete and expanded military and intelligence cooperation
with the United States, Israel and Pakistan,” justifying this and the volte
face of sending in the IPKF on the grounds that “Inter-state relations are
not governed by the logic of morality. They were and they remain an amoral
phenomenon..." It is shameful that a Government and a party that has in such
an ‘amoral’ way played with the lives of millions of Tamil people, is today
trying to offer the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi as ‘moral’ justification
for the bloody end-game being played out against innocent civilians in Sri
Lanka today.

The silence of the international community and the complicity of India on
the ongoing slaughter and repression in Sri Lanka deserves the highest
condemnation. It is urgent that democratic forces in India and the
international community demand prosecution of the highest functionaries of
the Sri Lankan state and the Government of the countries that supplied these
bombs for commission of war crimes and crimes against humanity.

AIPWA Agitation in Madurai Ensures Justice for the Victim

The Tamilnadu Governments introduced All Women Police Station (AWPS) in 1973
so that the crimes against women are handled sensitively and effectively. As
of present there are 196 All-Women Police Stations in the State. The
Government claims that this is a big step towards rendering justice to women
victims. But in reality All Women Police Stations are just another police
stations. The only visible difference is– these stations are 'manned' by
women.

In Madurai, when AIPWA was formed and began pursuing women’s issues, it had
shocking experiences on most occasions it visited the AWPS representing
women victims. It found that AWPS is taking male chauvinistic position and
we had to fight a lot.

In February this year, a woman from a village near Vadipatti approached us.
Her daughter, aged around 15, had been cheated by a young man promising to
marry her. The young man had abused her. The mother of the girl asked for
help. We took the case to Samyanallur AWPS on 14th of Feruary. The accused
came to the police station along with his father and a lawyer. They took the
usual position, said that the girl is immoral and denied to marry her. The
AWPS took the position of the accused and asked for the record of her age.
The AWPS went to the extent of arguing that 'the young man is adolescent and
the girl is major and had kidnapped the boy'. Also they said 'the girl's
moral character is highly doubtful and they cannot support the one who went
with a boy for pleasure.' The police further argued that sincce the boy is a
minor they cannot arrest him. Also they threatened the girl that she has to
live in juvenile home if she perused the case. The AWPS denied receiving our
arguments and let the man out after getting an undertaking from his father.

The particular village is well known for 'Kangaroo Panchyat'. They told us
that they once settled these kinds of claims by paying Rs.5/-. Now the rate
is Rs.10,000. They were ready to pay the girl Rs.50,000. They wondered how
come on earth one little girl is ready to take the man to police!

We produced medical evidence of the girl who was found pregnant and asked to
register a case, arrest the man and arrange for a DNA test. The AWPS told us
that the girl should bear the child and after delivery the DNA test will be
conducted.

We approached the DSP and forced the AWPS to file an FIR (9th March). Even
then the man was not arrested. We then approached the SP who ordered an
immediate arrest of the culprit… but nothing happened. After this we decided
to go to the people’s court and organized meetings in villages, explained
the case to villagers and mobilised them for public protest in Madurai on
3rd of April. The police initially denied us permission but we were adamant
on holding the protest. Hundreds of women marched to Madurai, demanded
arrest of the culprit and action against the erring AWPS. This particular
AWPS is just an example; most of other AWPSs too are as insensitive and
patriarchal as All Men Police Stations. We demanded that the AWPSs should be
brought under the vigilance of Women Organizations and the personnel of
AWPSs should be made to undergo Gender Education. The meeting was addressed
by Com. Usha (AIPWA) and Com. Mathivanan, District leader of CPI(ML).

We approached the High Court (Madurai Bench) also where a case was filed by
the mother. The Police  and the Government sided with the erring AWPS and
manufactured a medical record of the girl stating that the age of the girl
is 21! Fortunately the Judge denied to accept it and said that going by the
physical features and body language the victim should be at most 16 years
old and asked the police to fetch records from her school. The school record
that was produced proved that the age of the girl is just 16. The Judge
ordered medical examination of the girl and finally ordered to carry out
abortion and protection of the foetus for future DNA test. The girl was
admitted and the pregnancy terminated as per court order. The Judge
expressed strong views against the concerned women police personnel.

Still the case is pending before the court. Arrest of the culprit and
transfer of the case to CBCID are still pending. AWPS now considers
us-AIPWA- as their enemy. However, we are receiving several requests for
help from women in different corners of the State, including even from
police personnel and government staff.

Transformation Rally across Patliputra LS Constituency

Just after com. Rameshwar Prasad filed his nomination as CPI(ML) candidate
from Patliputra Parliamentary constituency on 13th May,’09, Party’s
transformation rally took off across the constituency. In a very short span
CPI(ML)’s General Secretary Com. Dipankar Bhattacharya and our candidate
Com. Rameshwar Prasad along with other leaders of the Party held and
addressed thirty public meetings large and small, at fifteen places spanning
the six Assembly constituencies. At a few places these meetings were also
addressed by CPI and CPI(M) leaders including CPI(M)’s Patna dist. secretary
Com. Raas Bihari Singh.

These meetings have evoked very enthusiastic response from the people in
general who attended the meetings and heard our leaders speak even though
these meetings were not planned or people mobilised in advance. Ignoring
scorching Sun the masses remained at the meeting venue till the last speaker
had finished. During these and also at other places’ meetings our cultural
activists distributed and sold the three propaganda CDs produced by the Jan
Sanskriti Manch.

Citizens’ Convention in Patna

A Citizens’ Convention jointly organised by CPI(ML), CPI and the CPI(M) was
held on 15th April in Patna’s Kedar Bhawan (AITUC’s State headquarter). The
convention was addressed AITUC’s leader Com. Gaznafar Nawab, CPI’s dist.
secretary com. Brajnandan Singh, CPI(M)’s State Secretary com. Vijaykant
Thakur and dist. secretary com. Raas Bihari Singh, All India Students’
Association’s (AISA’s) State Secretary com. Abhyuday, CPI(ML) Central
Committee member and its Hindi organ Lokyudh’s editor com. Brij Bihari
Pandey.

Shri Kundan Singh, father of Rahul Raj, youth from Bihar who was killed by
the Mumbai police, reiterated his faith in CPI(ML)’s movements for justice.
He lambasted BJP’s candidate from Patna Sahib, Satrughna Sinha for his
cosying up to the Bal and Raj Thakerays even when they were assaulting,
killing and chasing away the youth from Bihar and UP.

Theatre activist and cultural artist Javed Akhtar and Hasan Imam also
presented their views and he informed the audience that a cultural forum
called ‘Sanskritikarmi’ has been formed after a recent meeting of cultural
artists of Patna district in support of the Left candidates and their troupe
will perform plays in regions close to Patna in support of CPI(ML)
candidates. Other speakers expressed their enthusiasm at the coming together
of three Left parties in Bihar in this election and said they were looking
further for a new axis of a Left-democratic alternative on national level.
Party’s PB member com. Ram Jatan Sharma also addressed the convention.

US Unable to Prevail at the Summit of the Americas

At the Fifth Summit of the Americas, held on April 17-19 at Trinidad and
Tobago, Cuba – excluded from the Summit itself – ended up becoming a
rallying point for most participating countries who demanded that the US end
the ‘anachronistic’ and ‘criminal’ blockade on Cuba.

Eventually, the Summit Declaration could not be signed at all – except
symbolically by the Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Patrick Manning, as
host of the summit, while explaining that “the document does not reflect the
current hemispheric scenario.”

That Latin America is no longer a pliant backyard of US financial and
military interests was apparent from the fact that leaders of various
countries – Argentina, Nicaragua, Ecuador, as well as the ALBA (Bolivarian
Alternative for the Peoples of Our Americas) countries - Bolivia, Dominica,
Honduras, Nicaragua and Venezuela (Cuba, another ALBA member, was excluded)
– were vocal not only in solidarity with Cuba, but also against US-sponsored
neo-liberal policies, imperialism and capitalism itself, which they held to
be responsible for the historical plunder as well as more recent devastation
of economies in the region.

Nicaragua’s president Daniel Ortega pointed out the irony that the Summit
coincided with the anniversary of the Cuban revolution (April 16-19), and
said Cuba’s “only crime has been to fight for the peoples' sovereignty and
independence; to give solidarity, unconditionally, to our peoples. That's
why it is sanctioned, that's why it is punished; that's why it is excluded.”
Bolivian President Evo Morales reflected this when he said, “Cuba was
expelled for being Leninist, Marxist, communist. I want to say to the
members of the OAS, here, I want to declare myself Marxist, Leninist,
communist, socialist and now let them expel me!”

Argentinean President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, opening speaker at the
Summit, said Cuba’s expulsion from the Organization of American States (OAS)
in 1962 was “a paradox”, based as it was on the claim that the Cuba’s
socialist system presumably violated the Inter-American Reciprocal
Assistance Treaty (IRAT) – a treaty that obliged all member nations to
assist any among them if facing an armed attack. She pointed out that when
Argentina was attacked by Britain in the Falklands War in 1982, the same
treaty was violated by the US which provided logistical support to Britain,
not Argentina! A lesson for us in India: the Argentinean experience should
teach us the reality of the Logistic Support Agreement (LSA) that the UPA
Government wanted to sign with the US. Such agreements are fine as long as
it is India giving ‘logistic support’ to the USA; for the US, such
‘agreements’ can always be discarded if India becomes expendable or
inconvenient to US interests.

At the Conference, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez gave Obama a gift – a
Spanish copy of the detailed and passionate history of Latin America by
exiled Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano. The title speaks for itself – Open
Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of Pillage and Plunder. The book,
appearing in Obama-Chavez photos all over the world, became a bestseller
overnight. What a contrast with the Indian Prime Minister, who went to
Britain and waxed eloquent about the British Raj being an act of “good
governance!”

An ALBA Declaration stated, “We question the G-20’s decision to triple the
amount of resources going to the International Monetary Fund, when what is
really necessary is the establishment of a new world economic order that
includes the total transformation of the IMF, the World Bank and the WTO
[World Trade Organisation], who with their neoliberal condition have
contributed to this global economic crisis.”

Not only the ALBA countries; many others too echoed similar sentiments.
Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa also said that the draft declaration “does
not reflect the economic crisis we are experiencing, which is not a
temporary crisis but a crisis of the capitalist system, and that the
document suggests solutions by legitimizing those responsible for the
crisis, for instance, the International Monetary Fund.” The Argentinean
President too held the neo-liberal model, not the region’s people, to blame
for the acute poverty and social exclusion in the region.

Taking inspiration from the example set by the Latin American countries - of
unity and solidarity against US imperialism – we must intensify our
struggles against the disastrous pro-US course taken by the Indian ruling
class in both economic and foreign policy.

Welcome the Probe into Modi’s Role in Gujarat Pogrom

CPI(ML) joins democratic and secular forces all over the country in hailing
the Supreme Court’s order directing the Special Investigation Team (SIT) to
probe the role of Gujarat CM Narendra Modi and his administration in the
2002 pogrom against Muslims.

The probe is the result of the legal fight waged for seven long years by
Jakia Ahesan, wife of Ehsan Jafri who was brutally killed by the Sangh
Parivar mobs in 2002.

Modi, projected by many, including influential CEOs, as future Prime
Minister, stands charged with presiding over a cabinet meeting on February
27, 2002, that planned the pogrom and directed top civil and police
officials to allow Sangh mobs to target Muslim populations. Repeated calls
to Modi for help made by former Congress MP Ehsan Jafri were ignored. Modi’s
Ministers reportedly placed themselves in police control rooms and police
chief’s chambers to make sure the police personnel were not sent to the
areas where the violence was raging.

The BJP’s response to the probe reveals its nature unmistakably: its
spokesperson has declared that “Modi will work this to his advantage.” It is
only an unashamedly communal fascist party that can boast that it will
“work” a Supreme Court probe into complicity in mass murder to its
“advantage” in an election.

Meanwhile, Advani has been defending Varun Gandhi by comparing his arrest
under NSA with the arrests of Jayprakash Narain and Vajpayee during the
Emergency, even as Varun has been hailing the BJP and himself as true
inheritors of his father Sanjay Gandhi’s legacy of ‘hard’ governance
(exemplified in the Emergency!). The BJP and Advani should make up their
mind: are they projecting themselves as inheritors of the legacy of
resistance to Congress-imposed Emergency? Or are they now in fact seeking to
re-enact the Emergency – with a ‘hard,’ iron-pumping PM, draconian laws like
POTA, and Sanjay Gandhi’s son to carry on his father’s legacy of locking up
dissenters and forced sterilization of Muslims?

There have also been revelations of the biased role of CBI in the
Congress-led UPA regime in probing and prosecuting those Congress leaders
accused of leading anti-Sikh riot mobs in 1984. When it comes to communal
pogroms patronized by Governments and conducted by party cadre, it seems
that there is not a pin to choose between the Congress and BJP. In the
ongoing elections, these parties must be taught a lesson by the people.



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