CPI(M)’s 21st Congress – A Schizophrenic Outcome: Prasenjit Bose

Guest post by PRASENJIT BOSE

Lost on the high seas?,
Lost on the high seas? Image courtesy CPI(M) 21st Congress site

Far from transparently and decisively resolving the issues which plague the Party and the Left movement in India, the twenty first Congress of the CPI(M) has yielded a schizophrenic outcome. The purported ‘political line’ adopted by the Party Congress and the ‘unanimous’ choice of the new general secretary are quite contradictory, which will only perpetuate the ideological-political incoherence that has gripped the CPI(M) and may further contribute to its organizational disarray.

When the central committee of the CPI(M) met in October 2014 to discuss a medium term ‘review of the political tactical line’ (PTL) in the light of the electoral reverses suffered by the Party, a politbureau (PB) member had moved a dissent note on the document presented by the PB. That note had argued against the very need to review the PTL and had instead held faulty implementation of the political line driven by ‘subjectivism’ of the leadership mainly responsible for the setbacks suffered by the CPI(M), alongside persistent organizational deficiencies. The elevation of the dissident voice within the outgoing politbureau as the new general secretary of the party raises the question whether the ‘review of the political tactical line’ and ‘political resolution’ adopted in the Congress have the support of the majority within the party? Or will the ‘political line’ adopted in the Party Congress give way over time to political opportunism in the name of ‘flexible tactics’, with the CPI(M) joining hands with the discredited, anti-people Congress in the name of fighting the communal, big corporate-backed, reactionary Modi regime? Continue reading “CPI(M)’s 21st Congress – A Schizophrenic Outcome: Prasenjit Bose”

A Future for the Left: Ravi Sinha

Guest post by RAVI SINHA

It is with considerable satisfaction and with a mild sense of accomplishment that we arrive at this moment. For those of us who have been a part of this process, it has been an exciting but difficult journey. One little climb is over. After every climb, howsoever small, one gains a view. And a view we have gained.

I speak of satisfaction, and of a sense of accomplishment. But, I also speak of trepidation. I do so because a climb much steeper and far more challenging begins from here.

We have gained a view, admittedly still hazy, but much clearer than the one we had in the valley we come from. Most of the climb, however, lies ahead of us.

Fortunately, it is not like climbing in the mountains. Fortunately, metaphors have their limitations. There, in the mountains, as you gain height, the air gets thinner and climbers begin to drop out. There, it gets lonely at the top.

The terrain of history is different. Climbing has a different meaning in the movement. Here, the air gets thicker as you climb higher. Here, you join others as you gain a clearer view. With clarity comes a higher but broader platform for unity.

Here, a summit is reached when an entire revolutionary class stands united in its resolve to overturn the status quo. Here, a summit is gained when an invincible mass of humanity comes together to bend the course of history. Continue reading “A Future for the Left: Ravi Sinha”

Three Years of Nandigram Firing: An Appeal

Sumit Sarkar, Tanika Sarkar, Dilip Simeon, Aseem Srivastava, Amita Baviskar, Amit Sengupta, Nandini Sundar, Satya Sivaraman and others

Nandigram: Punish the guilty, Pay compensation to victims now!

On the third anniversary of the horrific police firing in Nandigram, which occurred on 14 March 2007, we strongly condemn the failure of various state institutions to do justice to the victims and survivors of this violent attack on a peaceful mass movement.

Till date not a single police official, government bureaucrat or CPI (M) politician involved in the wanton massacre of peasants resisting forcible takeover of their land has been prosecuted. At least 14 people were killed in the incident and hundreds injured. Several independent inquiries and tribunals found that more than a dozen women had been sexually assaulted or raped. It is a matter of deep shame for Indian democracy that the men who were responsible for the barbaric violence – including persons in uniform and out of it – continue to roam with impunity.

The Calcutta High Court’s direction to the CBI to inquire into the violence in Nandigram on 14 March and to prosecute those responsible has not been carried out under various pretexts. These include litigation in the Supreme Court against this order, launched by the West Bengal government. That no clear judgment has been pronounced on this important issue till now only serves to lower the credibility of our judicial institutions. In light of the aftermath of the anti-Sikh carnage of 1984, we fear that as time goes on, evidence will be lost and witnesses intimidated. After some years, lip service will be paid to judicial procedure and the criminals will go scot-free. Such a sabotage of justice has happened before in West Bengal.
Continue reading “Three Years of Nandigram Firing: An Appeal”

Elementary Aspects of Popular Insurgency in West Bengal

Violence has erupted once again. This time in Khejuri – a place in the vicinity of Nandigram, which was the base from where the CPI(M) launched its operation ‘recapture Nandigram’ on 14 March 2007. This was the red fort where the arms were collected and the goons brought in to liberate Nandigram. As one news report had put it:

‘Along with arms and ammunition, CPM flags and helmets of the kind worn by police were seized from the hideout, triggering suspicion that the men had donned uniforms and joined security forces on the day of the firing. Cellphones found on them showed they were in touch with senior CPM leaders, sources said.’

Khejuri is also the place where, just a little over a month ago, violence had flared up again. This time it was followed by the killing of Prasanta Mondol and the alleged rape of his wife. Prasanta Mondol was one of those who had left the CPI(M) two months ago and become one of the important Trinamool Congress (TMC) leaders in Khejuri. The spiral unleashed by that round of violence has continued through till after the election results were out. Continue reading “Elementary Aspects of Popular Insurgency in West Bengal”

Lakshman Seth and the Sheriff of Nandigram: Raghu Karnad

NOTES FROM NANDIGRAM

This is a guest post by RAGHU KARNAD

May 17, 2009
Beauty is all about the details, and these beautiful election results keep parading out sweet new details for our appreciation. What I’m currently delighted about is the voters of Tamluk in West Bengal dispatching their Communist MP, Lakshman Seth.

Seth has been in the Lok Sabha since 1998, stashin’ away the crores and adding fortifications to his eerie headquarters in Haldia. People say he did a good job of developing the Haldia port. Sure enough, if the business of America is business, then the industriousness of Lakshman Seth is directed purely towards industrialization. How come? Seth is also Chairman of the Haldia Development Authority. Because he allegedly gets a cut out of every industrial operation on his turf (what we dissertation-writers call ‘rent-seeking’). There’s a theory that this is why Nandigram was chosen as the site for the Salim plant, and why the resistance was so bitterly punished when the siege fell (but this is just very plausible hearsay).

Continue reading “Lakshman Seth and the Sheriff of Nandigram: Raghu Karnad”

Graziano Transmissioni and the Cheer-Leaders of Capital

CLASS STRUGGLES IN TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY INDIA

‘The chief executive officer of a Greater Noida-based gear manufacturing company [Graziano Transmissioni India Pvt Ltd, a subsidiary of an Italian TNC] was lynched to death inside factory premises on Monday, allegedly by a group of dismissed workers.’

‘“Around 125 dismissed workers armed with iron rods barged into the factory and went on rampage. They broke computers and machinery and smashed windowpanes. When Lalit tried to pacify them, they assaulted him with rods,” board of director Ramesh Jain told Hindustan Times.’ See report here

‘Companies in the area are known to employ contract labour in large numbers, though the law clearly states that such workers can be used only for non-core functions and not on the shop floor.’ says another report.

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They’d never had it so good. Through the 1990s and into the 2000s, the party had gone on. Continue reading “Graziano Transmissioni and the Cheer-Leaders of Capital”

Qatl ki Raat – Watchout Tomorrow

Tonight is the Night of the Long Knives – or Qatl ki Raat as they say in Hindustani. Indeed, it is not the night of the long knives of Nazi vintage – for that was carried out by Hitler against his own SA (the Nazi paramilitary organization), in one desperate power struggle. This is our very own CPI-M’s equally desperate power struggle – but directed outwards towards the struggling Dalit families in Chengara. Continue reading “Qatl ki Raat – Watchout Tomorrow”