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India

India: Lalgarh’s battle for dignity and justice

By the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation

September 27, 2009 -- The following appeared as the editorial in the July 2009 issue of Liberation, the central organ of Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) – CPI (ML). Since then, while the paramilitary campaign in Lalgarh has ended, repression against the adivasi (tribal) people of Lalgarh continues, with incidents of rape and violence reported. It must be remembered that the People’s Committee against Police Atrocities (PCPA) began in Lalgarh after adivasi women were sexually assaulted by police during an anti-Maoist raid; one woman was blinded. The state government of West Bengal [formed by the pro-business Communist Party of India (Marxist)-led Left Front] initiated an enquiry that established the assaults had taken place – but only offered some monetary ``compensation’’ to some of the victims, refusing to meet their demand of punishment for, and a public apology by, the police authorities concerned.

India’s 2009 general election: Lessons for the left


By Dipankar Bhattacharya, general secretary, Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation

May 24, 2009 -- The results of 2009 elections for the Lok Sabha elections (India’s lower house of parliament) can be described as a string of surprises, not only for many well-entrenched parties and seasoned politicians but also for a host of commonsense notions about contemporary Indian political reality. Of late, it has become customary to look at elections in India through the prism of coalition politics, caste equations and regional diversities. Verdict 2009 has given a serious jolt to this facile view and reasserted the underlying structural dynamics of Indian politics.

CPI (ML) Liberation: A crime against humanity, not a `famous victory', in Sri Lanka

By the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation

May 21, 2009 -- According to an announcement by the Sri Lankan government, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) chief Prabhakaran is dead, killed by the Lankan Army. The LTTE is yet to confirm the death, and some sections are questioning the veracity of the claim.

The exact manner of Prabhakaran's death is clouded in suspicion. The Sri Lankan government claims he was killed when the army opened fire on a van in which he and two top aides were travelling; initially, Sri Lankan officials said the van caught fire under rocket attack and Prabhakaran's body was badly burnt. Subsequently, they claimed to have found his body, dead from a bullet, dressed in fatigues and having identification papers on him, during a combing operation. There are many unanswered questions about the manner of the death: including the suspicion that he might have been captured alive by the Lankan army, or that he might have taken his life before capture.

Who is endangering civil peace in Nepal?

The Analytical Monthly Review, published in Kharagpur, West Bengal, India, is a sister edition of the United States-based Marxist journal Monthly Review. The May 2009 issue featured this editorial.

* * *

By Analytical Monthly Review (India)

May 2009 -- Few familiar with recent events in Nepal would dispute that there is a serious threat to the civil peace, whose origin dates from the unilateral ceasefire obeyed by the Peoples Liberation Army (PLA) from the start of Dasain 2005. [Dasain is the 10-day rice-harvest festival, held around September-October and observed in Nepal, Sikkim and Darjeeling in India, and in Bhutan.]

Indian communists: India must end support for genocide in Sri Lanka and the elite coup in Nepal

By Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation

May 11, 2009 -- 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 Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (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 100,000 civilians are estimated wounded. The Sri 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.

CPI (ML) Liberation: Indian government must stop intervening in Nepal

By the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation

May 5, 2009 -- The fledgling republic of Nepal seems to be standing on the verge of a new phase of civil war. Chief of Army Staff (CoAS) Rookmangud Katawal had been asked by the civilian government to explain why he had continued military recruitment despite the government's halt order and reinstated eight brigadier-generals who had been retired by the defence ministry. Backed by its foreign patrons and right-wing parties in the country, the military high command openly defied the authority of the elected government. The government responded by removing General Katawal, who refused to accept this and the government’s decision was then illegally overturned by President Ram Baran Yadav, of Nepalese Congress party. With its coalition partners in government refusing to support the United Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) [UCPN (M)], Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal (Prachanda) announced that he had no choice but to resign.

Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation manifesto for the 2009 Lok Sabha elections

By the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation

Liberation -- The 15th Lok Sabha [April-May 2009] elections have been announced. As the country gets ready to vote for the constitution of a new Lok Sabha, dark clouds of deepening crisis overshadow our entire economy. While the rural economy had long been reeling under an acute agrarian crisis, and soaring prices had been reducing the already limited purchasing power of the masses, now jobs have started vanishing even in the so-called growth sectors and wages are going down to make survival a challenge for ever larger sections of the poor and working people. The government’s pompous rhetoric of rapid economic growth and massive investment inflow has melted into thin air, and the people have been asked to get ready for a long period of recession.

Elections in India: Asserting people’s issues above the clamour of `crorepatis', communalists and corporate media

By Kavita Krishnan

April 24, 2009 -- The media’s poll pundits have already declared that there are “no issues” in India’s 2009 parliamentary polls. At the same time, the corporate media houses have launched campaigns seeking to ``awaken’’ middle- and upper-class voters. They have been awash in self-congratulation at their success in mobilising this class of voters – the only class, they imply, which is capable of making Indian politics clean and meaningful, because it is not a ``vote bank’’. ``Slumdogs’’, they rue, are even willing to sell their kids, so their votes are suspect – while sheer wealth places corporates and crorepatis above corruption.

[India’s Lok Sabha (national lower house of parliament) polls, are being held in five phases between April 16 and May 13, 2009.]

Iqbal Bano: The subcontinent's voice of defiance against tyranny

By the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation

April 22, 2009 -- Iqbal Bano, the subcontinent’s beloved ghazal singer, born in India and trained in the Dilli Gharana by the legendary Ustad Chand Khan, passed away on April 21, 2009, in Lahore at the age of 74.

India needs a genuine Third Front, not an opportunist alliance

CPI (ML) Liberation activists. Photo by Satya.

By the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation

[CPI (ML) Liberation representative Kavita Krishnan will be a featured guest at the World at a Crossroads conference, to be held in Sydney, Australia, on April 10-12, 2009, organised by the Democratic Socialist Perspective, Resistance and Green Left Weekly. Visit http://www.worldATACrossroads.org for full agenda and to book your tickets.]

March 17, 2009 -- On the eve of the Lok Sabha (national lower house of parliament) polls, which will be held in five phases between April 16 and May 13, the launch of a ``Third Front'' spearheaded by the efforts of the Communist Party of India (CPI) and CPI (M) (the Communist Party of India-Marxist) has been announced. The front, it is claimed, is a non-Congress party, non-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) front committed to ``alternate policies''.

A spectre haunts imperialism … a rebirth of the left

Protests in Iceland brought down the government.

By Kavita Krishnan

[Kavita Krishnan will be a featured guest at the World at a Crossroads conference, to be held in Sydney, Australia, on April 10-12, 2009, organised by the Democratic Socialist Perspective, Resistance and Green Left Weekly. Visit http://www.worldATACrossroads.org for full agenda and to book your tickets.]

February 25, 2009 -- The people of the United States (through their vote for US President Barack Obama and ``change'') and Iraqi journalist Muntadar al-Zaidi alike may have given George W. Bush (and all he stood for) the boot – but India's Congress Party wants to give Bush the Bharat Ratna![1] Congress Party spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi, addressing the annual general meeting of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), declared, “Give Bharat Ratna to Bush. I don't know what the rules are but I will officially do something.”

Sri Lanka: Genocide of the Tamil minority

Tamil refugees who fled from Sri Lankan military operation in Vanni

By Brian Senewiratne

January 23, 2009 -- There is a humanitarian crisis in Sri Lanka, where the Tamil minority in the island’s north and east are facing annihilation at the hands of the Sinhalese-dominated government. 

This article will deal with the current crisis, with the more fundamental problem of the legacy left by colonial British rule (1796-1948) dealt with in later articles. These colonial administrative structures will need to be reversed of there is ever to be peace or prosperity in Sri Lanka.

I am a Sinhalese, from the majority community, not from the brutalised Tamil minority. I quit Sri Lanka in 1976.

Who runs that country is of no concern to me, as long as it is run without serious violations of human rights. Sri Lanka was tossed out of the UN Human Rights Council in May last year due to its human rights record, and the drift of a democracy to a fascist politico-military dictatorship, none of which have been publicised internationally.

Current problem

Obama and the change the world demands

[Kavita Krishnan will be a featured guest at the World at a Crossroads conference, to be held in Sydney, Australia, on April 10-12, 2009, organised by the Democratic Socialist Perspective, Resistance and Green Left Weekly. Visit http://www.worldATACrossroads.org for full agenda and to book your tickets.]

By Kavita Krishnan

The United States – and the world – has just witnessed Bush's exit from and Barack Obama's entry into the White House. The mood at Obama's inauguration – an event replete with symbolic resonances, situating the Obama presidency in the history of the civil rights movement against racism in the US – indicates the endurance of that groundswell of popular hope in the US which powered Obama's election campaign. For a US people reeling from financial crisis and the highly unpopular Bush presidency, Obama has offered a promise of ``change''.

Capitalism and sport: Sports for a few

Sachin Tendulkar (pictured) and other stars learnt their cricket in the compounds of their buildings or in lanes and alleys. But even these spaces are now beyond the reach of the common people.

By Vidyadhar Date

The competitive frenzy for winning in sports has been fuelled by aggressive marketing. Together they ensure that while a minority is trained with superlative sports facilities, the majority is deprived of even basic amenities to play and breathe fresh air. In India, market forces have pampered cricket while harming all other games in the process.

India won just three medals at the recent Beijing Olympics, though it did better than in the past. This is seen as a breakthrough by our ruling class,  which now wants the nation to gear up for further success at the London Olympics in 2012.

Pakistan: Joint left demonstration against India-Pakistan war drive

By Javed Ahmad

December 20, 2008 -- While the danger of war between India and Pakistan is accelerates, a peace demonstration in Lahore on December 20 demanded no war between the two countries. More than 100 activists of the Labour Party Pakistan and the Communist Mazdoor Kissan Party (CMKP) demanded an end of war fanaticism.

The demonstrators chanted the slogans: "We want peace", "Peace not war, bread not bombs, jobs not bombs", "No to imperialism and no the religious fundamentalism", "Long live the friendship of peoples of Pakistan and India", "Labour against war, people against war". They were holding banners and posters.

India must not succumb to the US strategy of proliferation of terror

By Dipankar Bhattacharya

December 15, 2008 -- The recent siege of Mumbai for nearly three days by a small band of well-trained terrorists has almost universally come to be described as ``India’s 9/11’’. In terms of sheer audacity of planning and execution, the places targeted and the scale and range of people killed and injured, the Mumbai terror siege can surely be bracketed with the original 9/11, and in terms of the duration of the skirmish it can also claim to have left the original way behind.

The analogy between New York 9/11 and Mumbai 26/11 must not however be confined to these operational details. What is most important is to recognise the Mumbai attack was an extension of the same terror trajectory that struck New York seven years ago. What should we learn from this?

India: West Bengal Left Front government sides with big capital, attacks peasants

By Satya Sivaraman

Nandigram and Beyond, edited by Gautam Ray,
Gangchil Publications, Kolkata, 2008, pp 224, Rs395.

In recent times there has been no greater rupture within the Indian left movement than that precipitated by peasant struggles in Singur and Nandigram against forced acquisition of land for industrial purposes. The spectacle of West Bengal’s Left Front regime, led by the Communist Party of India (Marxist) --(CPI (M) -- sending police and party cadre to gun down poor peasants fighting to protect their land not only earned it the wrath of ordinary Indian citizens everywhere but also left large sections among its own supporters deeply divided.

Indian communists condemn Mumbai terror attack

By Dipankar Bhattacharya, General Secretary, Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation

November 27, 2008 -- The terror strike last night on Mumbai's most prominent landmark locations including luxury hotels and the biggest and busiest railway station in the city has already claimed more than 100 lives. Those killed in the terror strikes include as many as 16 policemen including ATS Chief Hemant Karkare who was heading the probe into Malegaon blasts and several foreign citizens. The CPI (ML) strongly condemns the attacks and offers deep condolences to the families of all those killed. We hope the hostages are rescued without any further loss.

CPI (ML) Liberation on `Obamania'

By CPI (ML) Liberation

November 11, 2008 --The emphatic victory of Barack Obama in the US presidential election has generated a great deal of interest and enthusiasm, a veritable ``Obamania'', across the world. There are indeed several special aspects to this remarkable victory. That he is the first black person to be elected to the highest political office in the US; that his campaign emphasised ``hope'' and ``change'' at a time when the US is passing through an extremely gloomy period in its history, and, above all, that his arrival marks the much-awaited end of the hated Bush presidency, and a decisive popular rejection of its hallmarks, have all added up to make this probably the most memorable election in recent US history. For political observers watching this election from afar, the most encouraging aspect perhaps has been the passionate popular participation that made this election an energised extension of not only the fight against racism but also the wider anti-globalisation, anti-war campaign.

Nuke deal a conduit to import US crisis into India

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with US President George Bush

By Dipankar Bhattacharya, general secretary, Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation

October 14, 2008 -- India's United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government finally sealed the nuclear deal with the US on October 10. For the Congress Party and the coalition of ``Unashamed Partners of America'' headed by it, the nuclear deal is the supreme achievement of the government. On the eve of signing the deal, India's external affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee reiterated India's commercial commitment to the US nuclear energy industry: "We look forward to working with US companies on the commercial steps that will follow to implement this landmark Agreement." In a second statement issued after the agreement's signing he also reiterated India's commitment to implement the agreement in good faith even though no such reciprocal assurance was made by the US to confirm New Delhi's claim regarding the so-called US ``guarantee'' on uninterrupted fuel supply.

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