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NEW DEMOCRACY Organ of the Central Committee, CPI(ML)

Gujarat Assembly Elections : BJP lost but Congress could not win While BJP started this campaign taking these elections as a victory
stroll, people’s anger soon made itself felt. The deepening of economic

Anger of the people crisis and RSS-BJP Govt. policies in favour of the profits of the corporate
at the expense of the people made RSS-BJP reckon with the people's

demolishes Gujarat Model

anger. Over two decades of BJP rule has shown the truth of the so-called
Gujarat model. The overwhelming majority of people, workers and peasants
are groaning under rising cost of living and declining incomes. Gujarat which
has been among the ‘developed’ states of India since 1947, has seen
The corporate manufactured and their media propagated ‘Gujarat model
largesse distributed to corporate houses and frank robbery of the peasants
of Development’ lies in shambles in the very state to which it owes its
and workers. Education and health services demand attention. Unemployed,
name and origin. It was punctured by the widespread anger among the
particularly educated unemployed, cry for jobs. A whole generation has
peasantry which spoiled the victory march of RSS-BJP duo of Narendra
waited patiently for the benefits of a corporate friendly model of development
Modi and Amit Shah.
to trickle down to them. What has fallen to their share is growing
Congress fought these elections as a substitute and not as an alternative unemployment, declining standards of living and higher and higher doses
to RSS-BJP. Using the anger of the people, it sought to recover the ground of religious fanaticism.
it has lost to BJP as the principal party of the ruling classes. Naturally
Congress uttered not a word which goes against the interests of these The deepening economic crisis reflected in declining economic growth
classes. Congress tried only to project that it would deliver where BJP is and no growth in employment generation has disillusioned the most ardent
failing. supporters of this Hindutva rate of development. This crisis had caught up
with Manmohan Singh Govt. whom the ruling classes particularly corporate
Three angers defined the political discourse in Gujarat. Anger among dumped when it became incapable of delivering the results they wanted, in
the peasants, anger among the youth and anger among the traders. Whilst other words reforms they deemed necessary. They brought a new product
the first got expressed in the elections the latter two could be seen during to the market, the so-called Gujarat model of development, in which they
the campaign. That the latter two did not find expression and the first only sought to combine interests of the corporate and concerns of the people,
an inadequate expression in the results is largely due to the fact that drive for increasing profits for big capital, foreign and domestic and hope
opposition Congress represented nothing different on these aspects. If, for rising income for the working people, in short concrete policies for the
despite this, peasant anger got expressed, it is largely due to the serious corporate and promises for the people. They changed the method of
crisis in which peasants find themselves. Peasants are being crushed by calculating GDP to claim higher rate of growth.
the rising cost of inputs, crop failures and inadequate prices of their produce.
These three angers pertain to the deepening economic crisis which is sharply Peasants and workers have been the worst sufferers of this RSS-BJP
and adversely affecting the agrarian and manufacturing sectors. Modi led Gujarat model of development. In essence it is the continuation and also
RSS-BJP’s promises with regard to doubling the income of peasants and intensification of the exploitation of these labouring sections by the foreign
generating employment are lying unfulfilled, rather peasant incomes and and domestic corporate. Modi led RSS-BJP sought to implement Manmohan
employment generation have further declined under RSS-BJP rule. Traders Singh Govt.'s neoliberal policies with greater vigour. Peasant anger was
who have been the traditional base of BJP in northern and western India, sharpest where the impact of these policies was also greatest i.e. in the
could not have expected such sharp blows from a RSS-BJP Govt., which areas of cash crop production. Deepening of agrarian crisis has made even
only demonstrate the difference between its class character and its social the land owning peasants restive. Share of agriculture in the GDP has
base. RSS-BJP represent the big capitalists and big landlords and serve declined but the people dependent on agriculture have remained
imperialist interests and hence treat traders as an expendable commodity. dispropotionately high. Privatization of education has put a lot of economic

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NEW DEMOCRACY Organ of the Central Committee, CPI(ML)
burden on these sections for educating their children while no good jobs or BJP had stomped to power in Gujarat in the last decade of the last century,
more often any jobs are available. This has resulted in the clamour for he has gone to the basics learnt by rote in the Nagpur school.They brazenly
reservation for these sections which is also being backed and even stoked the fires of communal frenzy and religious bigotry. But communalism
spearheaded by ruling class parties. The real reason behind this is growing is vote catching when couched in the language of 'nationalism'. Hence,
agrarian crisis and peasant distress which the ruling class parties do not Pakistan was brought into the picture as engineering the defeat of RSS-
want to address. The deepening economic crisis has also had diverse effect BJP. This again was no novelty as RSS-BJP and Narendra Modi have
on the different sections of these social groups which has led to a sort of been doing this repeatedly in Gujarat. This time, a meeting at the house of
class divide among them with poor and middle sections growing restive Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyer where former Pakistan diplomat was
while affluent sections enjoying riches and power being satisfied. The restive present and which was attended by former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
sections are spurning the established parties of the ruling classes but have and former Army Chief, Deepak Kapoor, was protrayed as a planning session
as yet not made complete break with them to side with the struggling to execute Pakistan's plan to defeat RSS-BJP in Gujarat. All sorts of
masses. Division among Patels in Gujarat is due to the worsening conditions communal symbols were used to deepen communal polarization for the
of peasantry, poor and middle sections among Patels. It was in Saurashtra electoral benefit. A Pakistan and Muslim scare was sought to be created
that, because of the anger of cotton and ground nut growing Patel peasants, to polarize majority Hindu voters in favour of RSS-BJP.
BJP suffered a setback in the region.
Though RSS-BJP faced people's anger, Congress, the only other
Hindutva in essence is upper caste chauvinism. It aims at enforcing contender for power, failed to offer any alternative and hence could not
the privileges and practices of caste system. Under RSS-BJP rule there is capitalize on this anger to dethrone BJP in Gujarat. This gap was very
intensification of attacks on Dalits. The present system itself preserves clear in the drop in the polling percentage. Generally when such sharp
and perpetuates the privileges and power of the upper castes. It is amply electoral struggle is fought, there is a rise in polling. But in Gujarat polling
demonstrated by the Supreme Court putting a cap of 50% on reservations percentage declined by over 3 percent. It was enough to have resulted in
while sections covered by reservations constitute the overwhelming majority severe drubbing of RSS-BJP. Moreover the number of NOTA votes was
of the population of the country. Further, the way reservations are quite high in this election. Nearly 5.51 lakh voters opted for NOTA which
implemented practically amounts to reserving half of the seats for the amounted to over 1.8% of the votes polled. Votes going for NOTA were
candidates from upper castes. However, RSS-BJP stand for unbridled and higher than the difference between the winning and second placed
brazen dominance of upper castes. In the name of Hindu religion, they candidates in 31 constituencies. Of these 16 were won by BJP while it
wish to impose archaic and discriminatory code over the people. Not only secured only seven seats more than the number required for majority. Drop
totally sidelining the minorities particularly Muslims, Hindutva forces attack in the polling percentage and votes polled by NOTA showed that there was
Dalits and women, imposing their caste code on Dalits and patriarchal code a large section of people who were opposed to BJP but were not willing to
on women. With RSS-BJP coming to power at the Centre, there has been vote for Congress.
escalation in the attacks on Dalits. Over the past years, gau rakshaks BJP could just manage to secure a majority. It was largely due to its
have been unleashed on them. One such incident in Una in 2016 led to overwhelming majority in four metropolitan cities- Ahmedabad, Surat,
state wide protests and galvanized Dalits into struggle. Vadodara and Rajkot. There BJP secured 46 out of 55 seats while it got
only 53 seats out of the 127 of rural and rural dominated seats. Even the
In the run-up to Gujarat assembly elections, RSS-BJP and Narendra increase in vote share of the BJP came from these four cities where lack
Modi had given up even pretense of talking about development and had of support for Congress and organizational machinery of RSS increased
resorted to what they are seasoned practioners of, i.e. communal the votes polled by BJP.
polarization. Adversity is the true test of character and Modi’s case has
shown this in ample measure. Faced with a new situation, new since RSS- Congress lost because it had nothing new to offer. The question of

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NEW DEMOCRACY Organ of the Central Committee, CPI(ML)
genocide of Muslims in 2002 was not even raised. Rather, Congress fought
these elections as a Hindu party. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi went from Socialist Constr uction in
So viet Union
temple to temple to demonstrate his Hindu credentials. He proclaimed
himself a "shiv bhakt". Even pretension of secularism was nowhere to be
seen. Muslims were made to feel that it was in their interest to vote for a
mild Hindu party (Congress) to defeat an aggressive and violent Hindu
party (RSS-BJP). Gujarat elections demonstrated the limits of ruling class D.V. Krishna
secularism in the country, particularly of the Congress.
1917 Bolshevik Revolution had ushered in a new chapter in the history
Congress tried to cash in on the anger of traders who had held very of mankind. While all hitherto revolutions had established one exploitative
large protests against GST. But in that respect too, Congress had little to system in place of another, the Russian October Revolution, for the first
offer. GST was being pushed by Congress led UPA Govt. for a long time time in history eliminated the very exploitative system itself and established
and Congress had even supported this GST in Parliament. Though Rahul socialist society. For the first time was established the rule of the majority,
Gandhi dubbed the GST imposed by RSS-BJP Govt. as Gabbar Singh Tax the rule of the toiling workers and peasants under the leadership of the
as opposed to its own version of GST, Rahul Gandhi or Manmohan Singh, working class, in place of the rule of the minority exploiting classes. It had
who had addressed a large number of meetings on this issue, could not solved the contradiction between production and distribution by disbanding
spell out in what way their GST was different. Regarding GST rates, Modi private ownership of the means of production and turning it into social
led Govt. had manipulated the Election Commission to defer the ownership or ownership of the whole people. Thus, it had solved the
announcement of Gujarat elections and utilized the time gap to lower the contradiction between the productive forces and productive relations. By
rates of GST on some items which were specially important for Gujarat. implementing the principle of ‘one for all and all for one’, it created a new,
Congress did not want to make any specific commitment on GST as it too socialist human being. It established equality between men and women
acts in favour of the corporate who are behind this. In this situation most of and amongst all nationalities. In a word, the October Bolshevik Revolution
the traders fell back on their traditional party, BJP and those who were was the dawn of a new era.
very angry chose not to vote.
Conditions in Russia prior to 1917 Revolution
Like BJP, Congress too has little to offer to youth who are grappling
with falling opportunities of employment. They both implement the policies Russia of those days, territorially, was the largest country in the world.
which generate unemployment. Population-wise, it formed one-sixth of the world population. But if its
economic development is taken in to consideration, it was the most back-
Gujarat elections have demonstrated that anger among the people is ward country in Europe. It was called the ‘sick man’ of Europe. Foreign
building. It has demolished the so-called Gujarat model of development. It investments were dominant. It was heavily indebted to foreign countries.
has shown the limits of communal polarization. Moreover, it has seriously Mineral resources, grain and other agricultural products used to be exported
dented the efforts of RSS-BJP to show that they are to stay in power for a at cheaper rates to foreign countries. The living conditions of workers and
long time. Their efforts to show that there is no alternative to Modi have peasants were most horrible. The soldiers, disgusted with continuous wars,
floundered in the very state from where he sprang as a contender. were seething with discontentment. National chauvinist Russian Government
Gujarat results underline the need to intensify people's struggles. Gujarat subjected the minority nationalities in the country to barbaric oppression
also shows that people's anger can jam the wheels of the best oiled fascist and suppression. Feudal exploitation and oppression ruled the roost in the
machinery. It has showed the potential for need and people's movements. villages. Autocratic monarchical political system was in vogue in the
country. Neither was there any trace of democratic rights nor did any people’s
representative institution existed. (Tsar formed a nominal parliament (Duma),

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NEW DEMOCRACY Organ of the Central Committee, CPI(ML)
soon after the 1905 Revolution. It had no authority or power). congested. A number of families were forced to share a single room
separated by curtains, in textile industry in 1908. The workers had to adjust
Russia severely lagged behind Britain, France, Germany and America,
themselves with 10 square yards of space per family. One observer
in industrial development. When compared to the production of Industrial
described the dwellings of mine workers in Urals as ‘fish in drums’.
goods by Russia, Britain produced 150% more, France 20% more and
Germany 200% more. Further, American production was 8 times more than In short, the living conditions of urban workers in Russia prior to the
that of Russia. first world war resembled the living conditions of British workers prevailing
In 1913, Russian per capita production of steel was 17% that of Britain, a century ago, during the industrial revolution. These were in no way
and 9% that of Germany. Per capita coal production of Russia was 5% that comparable to the living conditions of western workers in 20 th century.
of Germany, and 3% that of Britain. Per capita cotton textile production of
Devastation caused by the First World War
Russia was only 7% that of Britain.
Before the Revolution, Russia used to import half the machines and The First world war severely devastated the Russian economy. Industrial
tools it required. It imported 80% of metal Harvesting machines, 60% of production declined to 23 percent and agricultural production to 12% of
threshers and 80% of chemical fertilizers. Ordinary agricultural implements that in 1913.
such as ploughs, drill ploughs were imported. Sharp shortage of energy, coal and metals occurred because of the
According to the 1910 census, 86% of Russian population inhabited policies followed by the Russian monopoly companies. By 1916, 20 Rolling
rural areas. One crore wooden ploughs and 1.8 crores drill ploughs were in Mills and 36 steel foundries were closed. The prices of all commodities
use. Peasants, very often, faced droughts and famines. It was very common sky-rocketed.
for peasants to undergo bankruptcies. Most of the peasants were illiterate.
The number of milk-cattle sharply declined during the war period.
News papers of those days estimated that it would take 250 years to
Compared to the year 1913, number of horses declined 33% in 1917. number
eradicate illiteracy in the country. Rural areas were mired in the darkness
of cows declined 24%, number of sheep and goats declined 13%, and pigs
of ignorance.
declined 41.5%. The production of agricultural machinery declined 85% by
The wages of the urban workers were horribly low. Bread, potato and oil the year 1917. Cultivated land also declined.
formed their main food. The monthly wages of workers employed in mines
Russia spent 2,57,00,000 Rubles per day as war expenditure in the
and factories in 1913 were 20 to 25 Rubles (or 20-25 English shillings),
initial years. This expenditure increased to 4,84,00,000 Rubles per day by
less than half the wage of British workers. However, there used to be large
1917. For meeting this expenditure, Russian Government secured loans in
variance in wages of workers of different sectors. The wages of workers in
a big way from within the country and outside.
textile industry were around 16 to 17 Rubles per month, in mines were
around 35 Rubles, of the rural worker during busy season of harvesting The Tsar increased the army's strength to 15 million for conducting the
used to be less than 20 Rubles per month. The wage rates in the rural war. But weapons were 1/3 rd to half of the requirement. Machine guns
areas were not more than half to 2/3 rd of the rates in big industries. were only 12% of the requirement. Transport facilities were worse and hence
The residences of workers were horrible. Only a few workers, like those supplies could not reach properly.
employed in metal industry, lived in permanent houses built in towns. But Currency in circulation increased drastically. While 153 crore Rubles
most others used to take shelter in temporary dwellings raised for the were in circulation in July, 1914, it increased to 1717 crores 5 lakh rubles
purpose in the cities. An engineer described the inhabitations of workers in by October, 1917.
Briyonks in 1890 as ‘cattle sheds’. In 1890s, 50 thousand workers in Moscow
lived in slums in underground constructions which were unbearably Extreme food shortage occurred. Although rationing was introduced in

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NEW DEMOCRACY Organ of the Central Committee, CPI(ML)
1916, Rationing Authorities of Moscow city could supply 37% of the bread, Government. The working class and the progressive forces in the aggressive
44% of the meat, 70.7% of the grain and 13.3% of the butter required by imperialist countries opposed this intervention and conducted massive
the inhabitants. demonstrations, decrying it. Workers in the shipyards declined to load the
war materials to Russia. Revolutionary struggles broke out in Germany,
War Communism Austria and Hungary. “Hands off Russia” committees were formed in several
Soon after the victory of the October Revolution, the imperialist countries countries and struggled against the interventionist war. Above all, Peoples
of entente alliance-Britain, France, Japan and America - colluded with the army and the people struck death blows to the aggressors despite all odds.
White Guards of the erstwhile Tsar Army. These countries (actually 14 With all these developments, armies of the interventionist forces withdrew
countries) sent their armies to launch an aggressive war against the in January, 1920. However, the armies of the Poland Government and the
Bolshevik Peoples' Army. Germany, a rival power to entente countries, forces of General Wrangel continued their fighting from April to December
which had concluded a peace treaty with Soviet Russia, also extended its of 1920 and Japanese intervention in the far east continued up to 1922.
indirect support to the armed intervention of its rivals. This interventionist In these testing conditions, the Soviet government had to enforce a
war continued for three years, the aggressive forces occupied large parts policy popularly called ‘War communism’. The first and fore-most concern
of Soviet Russia. Because of this, economy of Soviet Russia was in of the Government was to provide the minimum necessities of life equally
shambles. Most of the transport routes, railway lines in particular, were to all people in the country from the scarce resources available. First it had
destroyed. Imports from foreign countries, direly needed for the running of to acquire food grains and other daily necessities from the producers and
industries, stopped. As a result, several industries were altogether closed then distribute them to the consumers. For this, the Government enforced
or their production sharply declined. compulsory procurement of food grains available with the peasantry in
By 1920, 80% of the length of the rail roads came within the purview of excess of their domestic requirement. It procured other items of daily
military activities. Soviet Government assessed that 3600 Railway bridges, necessity, prohibited private trade in these items and itself under took the
1200 mile long permanent Rail Roads, 380 Engine Depots, 8300 ordinary trade (the distribution). Thus, it took steps to avoid black marketing and
bridges, and 50 thousand mile Telegraph and Telephone lines were directly price rise. It enforced compulsory labour service and also mobilized half of
destroyed, rendering transport and communication facilities very difficult. the army (25 lakhs out of a total of 50 lakhs) for production. Thus, industries
Because of shortage of energy, raw materials, and food grains, industrial and agriculture were revived, roads and railway lines were reconstructed
production dangerously declined. Because of hunger and starvation, workers' on war footing.
concentration on work and their productivity had steeply fallen. The number
The leadership of the Bolshevik party and the Soviet Government pretty
of workers in 1920 were only half of the prewar period. Their monthly wages
well knew the level of the productive forces (workers and peasants) and
were hardly sufficient to purchase food materials for 11 to 13 days and
their consciousness. These were not in keeping with the principles of
they made good this short fall by legal and illegal methods. In those hard
communist stage. Only as an emergency measure, ‘war communism’ was
times, the Government used to supply bread equal to 1/8 th of a pound as
implemented. Hence, measures and policies which were in consonance
ration for every two days to each worker. 1/4th to 1/3rd of the workers
with the consciousness and level of the workers and peasants, were soon
migrated to villages. We can understand the extremely difficult conditions
put in place of ‘war communism’. In place of procurement of all surplus
prevalent in those days, if we know the fact that half of the population of
grain, a fixed quantity of grain was procured, leaving the rest for sale by
Moscow left the city.
the peasants. In the same way, while the trade in daily necessities remained
A number of soldiers of imperialist armies opposed continuing the in the hands of the state, trading by small merchants was also allowed with
interventionist war against Soviet Russia, having been enlightened about necessary controls. Small scale production was also allowed under the
its reactionary and aggressive nature by the People's Army and the Soviet strict control of the state. This policy was called New Economic Policy.

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NEW DEMOCRACY Organ of the Central Committee, CPI(ML)
Reconstruction of Agriculture and Industry The famous English novelist H G Wells visited Russia in the year 1920.
He visited Moscow and Leningrad and described what he had observed in
The first long term plan was formulated for nation-wide electrification in
his book, ‘Russia in Blue Shadows’. He mentioned that he had seen ‘streets
February 1920, with the initiation by Lenin. A long term plan for
covered by fog, closed factories and electricity plants and empty markets’.
comprehensive economic development, was also prepared. A Commission,
He met Lenin during his visit. Lenin explained to Wells their plan to electrify
consisting of experts of different fields, was formed to prepare these plans.
the whole country and the fundamental changes they intended to bring
Known as ‘Goelro’, there were 200 members in this Commission, comprising
about in the country, through this. Wells described Lenin in his book as a
highly qualified scientists, engineers and others. ‘Goelro’ prepared an
“Dreamer”. Wells visited Soviet Union once again after eleven years. He
estimate of economic resources available and needs and requirements of
saw ‘a new world’, the success and over fulfilment of ‘Goelro plan’. He
the country. It prepared an assessment of likely production of coal, steel
could see the speedy development of industries. He applauded Lenin and
and oil and their consumption estimates for 10 years. A plan was prepared
conceded that “Dreamer’s dreams had become a reality”.
for the development of heavy industries. It was planned to build 30 electricity
generation plants in different places of the country. The ‘Goelro’ plan was Five year plans
approved in 1920 December, in the 8th congress of the Russian Soviet
Federation. This plan stipulated the following production targets for 10 years: The Central Planning Commission of Soviet Russia (Gosplan) was formed
1. Coal : 623 Lakh Tonnes on February 2, 1921. The Gosplan had the responsibility of preparing a
unified economic plan for the whole country. There were 40 members in
2. Iron Ore : 196 Lakh Tonnes Gosplan in the beginning. Economists, engineers and others were included
3. Pig Iron : 82 Lakh Tonnes in this Commission. Its numbers increased to 300 by the year 1923. In the
4. Steel : 65 Lakh Tonnes later days, branches of the Planning Commission were formed for different
5. Electricity : 17.5 Lakh Tonnes sectors and for different levels in the Soviet Union.

However, many people held the opinion that the above targets were Gosplan, at first, prepared a food grain production plan for the year
excessive and impractical because the actual production figures of either 1921-22. It also prepared plans for different industrial sectors like Steel,
industrial raw materials or electricity generation in 1920 were far lower than Textiles, Sugar and Rubber in 1922. Afterwards, it proposed a long term
in 1913 and the ‘Goelro’ targets were several times higher than the 1913 plan for the relief and development of drought-hit areas, formulating an
production figures. Actual production figures of 1920 and their proportion in annual plan for Agricultural and Industrial development of these areas. It
1913 figures as follows: prepared an assessment of resources available in the country and an
S.N. Item 1920 %age of produc- assessment of the opportunities for development in different sectors and
tion in 1913 different areas. These were discussed in the entire country and were also
1 Electricity (Lakh kilowatts) 5000 26%
Good results could be achieved because of this planned development.
2. Coal (Lakh tonnes) 87 30% Industrial production for the year 1926 surpassed the level of production of
3. Oil (Lakh tonnes) 39 42% 1913 by 8%. Agricultural production in 1926 reached 99.6% of 1913 level.
4. Steel (Thousand tonnes) 200 5% On April 4th 1927, the 4th congress of All Russia Soviets was held. This
5. Cement (Thousand tonnes) 40 2% Congress, taking into consideration the above achievements, directed the
Soviet government to prepare a National Five Year Economic Plan. The
6. Cotton Cloth (lakh metres) 1000 4%
government’s high level Economic Council and Gosplan prepared separate
7. Sugar (Thousand tonnes) 92 7% draft 5 year plans. Special conferences were also held on various national

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economic issues in which prominent scientists, economists, intellectuals The Second five year plan was implemented from 1933 to 1937. The
and workers participated. remaining exploitative classes were eliminated. Their properties were
socialised. All peasant families were brought into collective farm movement.
The First five year plan was formulated for the years 1928 - 32. Production Thus, a strong foundation was laid for socialism.
targets were decided for the government agricultural farms and for collective
agricultural farms. In the same way, production targets were decided for Industrial production had increased 120 percent by 1937 as compared
different industrial sectors. Labour force was also divided between different to 1932 production. Production of agricultural products increased 25%.
departments and different industries. Special plans were formulated for Stable resources, so important for a country’s economic development,
different areas and sectors. Yearly development targets were also decided. doubled. Production rates of some important food grains, however did not
increase as per expectations.
The First five-year plan was completed in 4 years and 3 months, i.e., 9
months ahead of the 5 year period. In this plan period, Turkistan-Siberia The Second five year plan introduced universal, compulsory, primary
Rail line was constructed within a very short period. By 1932, Soviet Union, free education. It also introduced universal polytechnic education. Students’
for the first time, could develop its own tractor industry, automobile industry strength increased in primary, secondary and technical schools in a big
and engineering Industry. These industries were built by workers way.
volunteering over-time work without receiving any remuneration. They By 1935, agricultural collectivization had been consolidated.
encountered several hardships in building the above industries but workers Electrification was almost complete. The area under Beet Sugar Cultivation
learnt to manufacture quality machines, to repair them themselves and to had doubled. Cotton production, when compared to the past, had increased
run the machines without breakdowns. Production meetings used to be continuously for three years, at the rate of 15-20 million tonnes per year.
held at factory shop levels. Workers used to discuss and take decisions Peasants had not only learnt reading and writing, they also acquired
about the quality of machines and their operation. Young workers became knowledge in Natural Sciences and Arts. In Ukraine alone, 7 thousand
experts. They invented new methods of production. rural laboratories were established in the short period of 2 years. Here the
peasants studied their crops, comparing their results with the findings of
By the end of the First five year plan, the biggest dam in the world was
the government laboratories. Almost every collective farm established its
constructed on river Dnieper in the west. In the north, ‘Kuzbas Steel City’
own gliding, parachute jumping clubs and aviation training facilities. It is
was built. The biggest Tractor Factory in the world, was becoming ready in
no exaggeration to say that the peasants transformed qualitatively.
Stalingrad. The world’s biggest heavy machine plant was getting ready in
Swerdlock city. The first conveyor in the country was being built near the The third five year plan was implemented from 1938 to 1942. This plan
Tractor Factory at Stalingrad. All these could be described as the wonderful was called ‘Special Five Year Plan of Chemical Sciences and Steel’. In
creations of the ‘New Soviet man’. this plan, schemes were formulated for the speedy development of Heavy
Industries, Electrical Engineering, Iron, Steel and Chemical Industries.
The first five year plan had totally transformed the ancient agricultural Targets were fixed for increasing the total industrial production by 92%,
system of Russia, which was fraught with low productivity and drought Heavy Industrial production by 107%, Engineering Industries by 120%,
prone. In it’s place, it introduced revolutionary collective agricultural system. Chemical Industries by 137% and Electricity generation by 106%.
Tractors and modern equipments were introduced in Agriculture. The system
of grain procurement was modernized. The congress of farm champions The target of increase of agricultural products was fixed as 52%. It was
brought to Moscow the ‘Champions’ from the best farms, publicising their aimed at increasing the technical and cultural levels of the collective farm
works and honouring them so that they would spread their success stories peasants and the workers in a big way. It was aimed to achieve universal
in the whole areas. ‘War against drought’ was declared and irrigation ditches secondary education, country wide. It was also aimed at eradicating regional
were dug, as in North Caucasus slope, measuring thousands of miles. disparities.

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NEW DEMOCRACY Organ of the Central Committee, CPI(ML)
This Plan had achieved 86% of its target of industrial production within and education. Eight lakh women provided their services in the war front
three and half years of the plan period. By 1940, 91% of the target of grain during 2nd World War.
production was achieved. But the targets for Iron, Steel and Chemicals The wages of Soviet workers in 1930s were double that of the wages
could not be fulfilled. they were getting prior to revolution. 7.20 hours of work per day and 5 days
With the German attack on Soviet Union in 1941, the execution of this week came into vogue. The hours of work per day for young persons and
plan had to be suspended. Tasks of the plan were modified in accordance those employed in hazardous industries (Mines and Chemical Industries)
with the war needs. In this period, yearly plans were formulated. were only 6 hours. Under the social security schemes full salary was being
paid during ill health, accidents, unemployment, old age and during
The Soviet Union was put to tremendous loss of property and human pregnancy and delivery. Nutritious food was being provided to workers.
lives in the Second World War. Industrial and agricultural production had Illiteracy was totally eradicated in towns and villages.
declined. The Fourth five year plan, which was executed between 1946
and 1950, aimed at the revival of war ravaged industries, agriculture, Superiority of Socialism & Bankruptcy of Capitalism
transportation and communications. By 1950, Soviet industrial production
The great world economic crisis of 1930 had shaken all the capitalist
not only reached 1940 level, but also increased by 73%. This was 17%
countries. Industrial production of America in 1933 was 46.9% of its 1929
more than targeted. It could be achieved only because of the sharp increase
production. Its production in 1932 was only 53.8% of 1929 production.
achieved in the production of raw materials and engineering industry.
Germany’s industrial production in 1933 was 66.8% of its 1929 production.
Production of pig iron and steel increased by 130%. Production of rolled
France's in 1933 was 77.4% of its production in 1929. England's in 1933
stock increased by 150%. Production of tractors, turbines, coal, oil and
was 86.1% of its 1929 production. On the other hand, the Soviet Union’s
electricity had increased dramatically. Production of light industry had also
Industrial production in 1933 was 201.6% higher or double the production
registered growth rates higher than the pre-war production. Production of
in 1929. The production figures of 1933 of the advanced capitalist countries
consumer goods increased by 23% in 1940 over the pre-war production
are only marginally higher than their 1913 figures (America 107.6, and France
level. However, the targets could not be fulfilled in agricultural sector. To
110.2%). On the other hand, Soviet Russia’s production figures for 1933
correct this, the Soviet government announced special incentives to
are 391.9% higher than its 1913 figures i.e. nearly 4 times higher.
collective farm peasants and the workers of government agricultural farms.
Thus the bankruptcy of the capitalist system and the undisputed
Well known writer and specialist on China matters, Anna Louis Strong, superiority of socialist system is clearly proved. These statistics were
had described the peasants of collective agricultural farms as “New-People”. mentioned by Leontiev in his book on Economics. Basing on these facts,
She explained their special character as the ‘spirit of innovation and Prof. R.R. Palmer, a bourgeois economist stated “It is clear that a new
creation’. She further explained how the illiterate peasants of one time had economic system had been created (in Soviet Union) by 1939.”
developed into farm scientists, amateur actors, parachutists, aviators and
so on. The people of backward nationalities had also developed in a big Unleashing the initiative and creativity of the Masses is the Secret
way in Soviet rule. of the success of Socialism
The Soviet Union was ahead of other developed countries in publication
October Revolution was successful only because the overwhelming
of books. It was publishing books in a hundred languages by the end of the
majority of the toiling people, workers and peasants, were moved into action
first five year plan. It was publishising more books than published by
by the Bolshevik party. Broad masses, workers, peasants and soldiers
Germany, France and Britain combined.
were organized in mass organizations and soviets. Civil war and armed
Women achieved equal development along with men in all fields of public intervention of the imperialists could be defeated by mobilising the whole
life. They surpassed men in the fields of pharmaceutical manufacturing toiling people into action. The Bolshevik leadership knew that only by

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mobilizing the whole toiling people could socialist construction be As a result of all these mass movements, the production and productivity
successful. For mobilizing the broad masses for socialist construction, increased extraordinarily. Targets of three five year plans were over fulfilled.
necessary material conditions have to be created. These material conditions Martin Nicolaus, a US Marxist writer observed “Such mass initiatives brought
were created with the establishment of workers' and peasants' political about extremely rapid increase in labour productivity. During the first five
power on the one hand, and by socializing the chief means of production year plan beginning in 1929, the labour productivity had risen 41%; during
(big industries) on the other hand. In agriculture public ownership was the second five year plan, it leaped 82%; and it grew another 33% on top of
established by organizing state farms and by forming collective farms. this higher base during the third plan period. By this time, unemployment,
Workers and peasants became the masters of the country and masters of the chief spur to greater worker effort under capitalism and also the chief
production also. This is why the initiative and the creativity of the broad result under capitalism of technological `rationalization’, had ceased to
masses, the toiling people, could be unleashed for socialist construction. exist in the USSR”.
The workers and peasants knew that the fruits of their labour will be
distributed directly (in the form of wages, DA, Bonus etc) in the form of It is not a surprise that workers and toiling people of the world and the
social benefits (Insurance, Provident Fund and Health facilities to the progressive intelligentsia were thrilled by socialist construction in the USSR.
family and Educational facilities to the children etc.), community facilities But bourgeois politicians, statesmen and writers had to appreciate this.
(Construction of Roads, Rail Lines, other communication facilities etc) and Prominent personalities of the world like Sun-Yat-Sen, Jawaharlal Nehru,
the capital investment for the future (which also will create future benefits Rabindranath Tagore, Bertrand Russel, Bernard Shaw, social reformer
for the people). Hence, toiling people were enthused to work to the best of Periyar Rama Swamy Naiker and several others hailed not only Russian
their ability. Toiling people were also enthused to work for the collective Revolution but also the socialist construction there as worthy of emulation
interest of the whole society, sacrificing their self interest. A spirit of sacrifice by other countries.
was inculcated, since they were inspired with the idea that societal interest
is their own interest, they are not working for creating profits for any body. R.R. Palmer commented in his book “A History of the Modern World”,
They are working for their own interest. This spirit creates a new socialist “However one judged the USSR, no one could dismiss its socialism as
human being. This creates wonders. visionary or impracticable”. He further commented on the economic advance
of USSR during 1929-39 period “No ten years in the history of any Western
Inspired by the ideals of socialism and communism, in 1919 workers of country ever showed such a rate of industrial growth”.
the chief repair shop of the Moscow-Kazan Railway started a movement
called ‘sabbotniks’ or ‘communist Saturdays’ . Workers in the work shop Rabinderanath Tagore described the Russian Revolution as “the greatest
used to work on Saturday, a holiday, without payment. This was a voluntary sacrificial fire in history” (Prabasi – March-April, 1918). He had also said
action of the working class. This movement spread through out the country. “this is an age of transition. The dawn of a great tomorrow is being through…
Workers were inspired to work freely in addition to normal working week in and the call of new life comes with its message…” (in an essay written in
order to defeat the enemies in the Civil war. “Modern Review magazine in July, 1918).

Again, another movement called ‘Stakhnovite movement’ was launched Tagore’s communts made in his letters written to his friends while he
by the workers in 1935. This movement led by the communist party, was was on a visit to USSR in 1930, are very significant. He wrote “This is not
aimed at reorganizing the division of labour and developing team work to like any other country at all. It is fundamentally different. They have roused
achieve higher and quality output. This movement was also aimed at the entire humanity equally, all along the line. Their message of the
achieving higher techniques and technology. This movement spread to Revolution is true for all the world. Here is a people on earth today, who put
large sectors of industry, mining and transport. Several movements and the interest of all man kind above their own”. He was so deeply stirred that
conferences were held from shop level to country and sector levels. he commented that his "life’s pilgrimage would not have been complete

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with out the visit to Russia”. inevitability of capitalism. Though socialism has been temporarily defeated
and remains physically no threat and challenge to capitalism and its
The uniqueness of mass participation was not limited to socialist
incarnation in the present stage imperialism, it is facing chronic crisis and
construction alone. The Bolshevik Revolution itself was unique in the direct
struggling for life, because of its own internal, irreconcilable contradictions.
participation of lakhs and lakhs of workers, peasants soldiers and
This crisis is such that if the contradictions of capitalism are not solved
intelligentia in hundreds and thousands of revolts, strikes and
through a socialist revolution, there is every danger of outburst of either an
demonstrations. The uniqueness of Russian Revolution is also evident in
environmental catastrophe or a nuclear world war or uncontrollable social
the civil war. It is particularly illustrious in Second World War. Sacrifice of
anarchy which may threaten the very existence of mankind itself. Hence, a
two crore lives in the anti-fascist war, bearing of unbearable hardships by
big debate is taking place in the world with regard to the alternative to be
the whole population-men and women, young and old alike - is
followed. Failing to find one within the capitalist system, the debate is
unprecedented and unique in the history of man kind. Even the British
interestingly turning to Socialism and Marxism once again.
Prime Minister Winston Churchill and American President Roosvelt had to
accept that “Soviet Union not only saved itself, it saved the whole humanity.” Whatever is dealt with above, proves beyond doubt that the socialist
system and Marxist ideology are the only alternative to capitalism and are
Howard Smith, an American Journalist based in Switzerland, who was
the hope for mankind’s future.
in Moscow at the time when Moscow city elections were being conducted
in 1934 (in which polling of votes hiked to 85%, from 51% in 1926) exclaimed The experience of the Bolshevik Revolution also proves that the
at this election and commented “You get the impression that each and revolution in India, or in another country for that matter, has to follow the
every little individual was feeling pretty important doing the pretty important same path of involvement and participation of overwhelming majority of
job of building up a state. The atmosphere reminded me of a word. It was toiling masses i.e. workers and peasants in the main. It has also proved
Democracy”. The people enjoyed real Democracy, i.e. Socialist Democracy. that the proletariat has to lead the revolution. The ideology to be followed is
That is the secret of all the victories of socialism that is the proof of the none else than Marxism - Leninism Mao Zedong Thought. The alliance of
superiority of socialism over capitalist exploitative system. the workers and peasants is a must, to be achieved. All necessary forms
of struggles are to be combined, parliamentary and extra parliamentary,
The Soviet constitution adopted in 1936, guaranteed ‘universal, direct,
legal and illegal and peaceful and armed, taking non-parliamentary, illegal
equal and secret’ elections. It ensured the right to work, to leisure, to
and armed forms as principal. The Bolshevik Revolution proves that concrete
education and to material support. The right to liberty was expanded into
conditions have to be taken into account and concrete tactics and strategy
six paragraphs, including freedom of conscience, of worship, of speech,
have to be followed in each country.
of press, of assembly, of demonstration and organization, freedom from
arbitrary arrest, inviolability of home and of correspondence, irrespective While monopoly capitalism and Finance capital developed in individual
of nationality or race’. countries at the beginning of the 20th century, to-day, monopoly multinational
companies and finance capital developed at world level. The contradictions
Roman Roland from Geneva said about the adoption of the above
between the working class and the capitalists are intensifying in almost all
constitution “This gives life to the great slogans that until now were but
countries of the world. The neo-liberal policies that have been imposed by
dreams of mankind – liberty, equality and fraternity”.
the imperialist countries, have intensified the class contradictions within
The relevance of the Bolshevik Revolution to present conditions the countries, between the imperialist and backward countries and within
the imperialist countries. The economic inequalities, unemployment, poverty,
and to our country
have climaxed all over the world, in advanced as well as backward countries.
With the fall of Soviet Union in 1991, Fukuhama confidently pronounced Material conditions for revolution are ripening just like these had matured
the end of history, meaning the end of socialism and communism and in Russia in the beginning of the 20th century. The strength of the working

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class world over has increased manifold, compared to Russia on the verge
of revolution. The working class and peasantry these days are more
Fourth Anniversary of the October
knowledgeable, with the opportunities for communication, interaction and Revolution
unity among the toiling people of different countries far developed with the
development of transport, tele-communications and electronic media. V. I. Lenin
Coming to India, the neo liberal policies being pursued by the ruling The fourth anniversary of October 25 (November 7) is approaching.
classes in power successively are resulting in intensifying contradictions
within the country. Agricultural crisis is sharply aggravating, leading to The farther that great day recedes from us, the more clearly we see the
lakhs of peasant suicides. India is the number one country in the world in significance of the proletarian revolution in Russia, and the more deeply we
income and property inequalities. reflect upon the practical experience of our work as a whole.

Unemployment and under employment are rampant. India is at a Very briefly and, of course, in very incomplete and rough outline, this
shamefully lower place in Hunger index and Human Development Index significance and experience may be summed up as follows.
(HDI). Modi government is trying to divert the people from their real issues The direct and immediate object of the revolution in Russia was a
by provoking religious and upper caste chauvinism and resorting to fascist bourgeois-democratic one, namely, to destroy the survivals of medievalism
politics. Working class, peasants, students and women are coming into and sweep them away completely, to purge Russia of this barbarism, of
struggles more than ever. this shame, and to remove this immense obstacle to all culture and progress
The broad masses of Indian toiling people, the working class and the in our country.
peasantry in particular, should take inspiration from the 1917 Bolshevik And we can justifiably pride ourselves on having carried out that purge
Revolution, take lessons from its glorious experience and advance along with greater determination and much more rapidly, boldly and successfully,
the path blazed by it. That is the Lode-Star for the people of India and the and, from the point of view of its effect on the masses, much more widely
world in eliminating the exploitative system and in establishing a system and deeply, than the great French Revolution over one hundred and twenty-
free of all exploitation and oppression. That is the fitting tribute we can pay five years ago.
to the Bolshevik Revolution at its centenary celebration.
Both the anarchists and the petty-bourgeois democrats (i.e., the
References: Mensheviks and the Socialist-Revolutionaries, who are the Russian
1) Soviet Economic Development by Mauris Dobb counterparts of that international social type) have talked and are still talking
an incredible lot of nonsense about the relation between the bourgeois-
2) Socialism is the Future by Dr. Rex Sargunam democratic revolution and the socialist (that is, proletarian) revolution. The
3) Soviet economic victories and their importance to developing countries by last four years have proved to the hilt that our interpretation of Marxism on
D. Chellappa this point, and our estimate of the experience of former revolutions were
4) Ray O’ Light’s essay title “The October Revolution and the working class of correct. We have consummated the bourgeois-democratic revolution as
Russia and the world achieve unprecedented victories”, carried in Ray O’ Light nobody had done before. We are advancing towards the socialist revolution
News letter, May-June 2017 (No.102) consciously, firmly and unswervingly, knowing that it is not separated from
the bourgeois-democratic revolution by a Chinese Wall, and knowing too
5) Tagore and the October revolution-an essay. By Jayanta Kumar Ghosal
that (in the last analysis) struggle alone will determine how far we shall
published in ‘Mainstream’ dated May 27, 2017. advance, what part of this immense and lofty task we shall accomplish,
and to what extent we shall succeed in consolidating our victories. Time

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will show. But we see even now that a tremendous amount—tremendous cannot be denied that the petty-bourgeois democrats “compromised” with
for this ruined, exhausted and backward country—has already been done the landowners, the custodians of the traditions of serfdom, for eight months,
towards the socialist transformation of society. while we completely swept the landowners and all their traditions from
Russian soil in a few weeks.
Let us, however, finish what we have to say about the bourgeois-
democratic content of our revolution. Marxists must understand what that Take religion, or the denial of rights to women, or the oppression and
means. To explain, let us take a few striking examples. inequality of the non-Russian nationalities. These are all problems of the
The bourgeois-democratic content of the revolution means that the social bourgeois-democratic revolution. The vulgar petty-bourgeois democrats
relations (system, institutions) of the country are purged of medievalism, talked about them for eight months. In not a single one of the most advanced
serfdom, feudalism. countries in the world have these questions been completely settled on
bourgeois-democratic lines. In our country they have been settled
What were the chief manifestations, survivals, remnants of serfdom in completely by the legislation of the October Revolution. We have fought
Russia up to 1917? The monarchy, the system of social estates, landed and are fighting religion in earnest. We have granted all the non-Russian
proprietorship and land tenure, the status of women, religion, and national nationalities their own republics or autonomous regions. We in Russia no
oppression. Take any one of these Augean stables, which, incidentally, longer have the base, mean and infamous denial of rights to women or
were left largely uncleansed by all the more advanced states when they inequality of the sexes, that disgusting survival of feudalism and
accomplished their bourgeois-democratic revolutions one hundred and medievalism, which is being renovated by the avaricious bourgeoisie and
twenty-five, two hundred and fifty and more years ago (1649 in England); the dull-witted and frightened petty bourgeoisie in every other country in
take any of these Augean stables, and you will see that we have cleansed the world without exception.
them thoroughly. In a matter of ten weeks, from October 25 (November 7),
1917 to January 5, 1918, when the Constituent Assembly was dissolved, All this goes to make up the content of the bourgeois-democratic
we accomplished a thousand times more in this respect than was revolution. A hundred and fifty and two hundred and fifty years ago the
accomplished by the bourgeois democrats and liberals (the Cadets) and by progressive leaders of that revolution (or of those revolutions, if we consider
the petty-bourgeois democrats (the Mensheviks and the Socialist- each national variety of the one general type) promised to rid mankind of
Revolutionaries) during the eight months they were in power. medieval privileges, of sex inequality, of state privileges for one religion or
another (or “religious ideas ”, “the church” in general), and of national
Those poltroons, gas-bags, vainglorious Narcissuses and petty Hamlets inequality. They promised, but did not keep their promises. They could not
brandished their wooden swords—but did not even destroy the monarchy! keep them, for they were hindered by their “respect”— for the “sacred right
We cleansed out all that monarchist muck as nobody had ever done before. of private property”. Our proletarian revolution was not afflicted with this
We left not a stone, not a brick of that ancient edifice, the social-estate accursed “respect” for this thrice-accursed medievalism and for the “sacred
system even the most advanced countries, such as Britain, France and right of private property”.
Germany, have not completely eliminated the survivals of that system to
this day!), standing. We tore out the deep-seated roots of the social-estate But in order to consolidate the achievements of the bourgeois-democratic
system, namely, the remnants of feudalism and serfdom in the system of revolution for the peoples of Russia, we were obliged to go farther; and we
landownership, to the last. “One may argue” (there are plenty of quill-drivers, did go farther. We solved the problems of the bourgeois-democratic revolution
Cadets, Mensheviks and Socialist-Revolutionaries abroad to indulge in such in passing, as a “by-product” of our main and genuinely proletarian -
arguments) as to what “in the long run” will be the outcome of the agrarian revolutionary, socialist activities. We have always said that reforms are a
reform effected by the Great October Revolution. We have no desire at the by-product of the revolutionary class struggle. We said—and proved it by
moment to waste time on such controversies, for we are deciding this, as deeds—that bourgeois-democratic reforms are a by-product of the
well as the mass of accompanying controversies, by struggle. But the fact proletarian, i.e., of the socialist revolution. Incidentally, the Kautskys,

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Hilferdings, Martovs, Chernovs, Hillquits, Longuets, MacDonalds, Turatis millions of people. It is a question of whether 20,000,000 people (as
and other heroes of “Two and-a-Half” Marxism were incapable of compared with the 10,000,000 who were killed in the war of 1914-18 and in
understanding this relation between the bourgeois-democratic and the the supplementary “minor” wars that are still going on) are to be slaughtered
proletarian-socialist revolutions. The first develops into the second. The in the next imperialist war, which the bourgeoisie are preparing, and which
second, in passing, solves the problems of the first. The second is growing out of capitalism before our very eyes. It is a question of whether
consolidates the work of the first. Struggle, and struggle alone, decides in that future war, which is inevitable (if capitalism continues to exist),
how far the second succeeds in outgrowing the first. 60,000,000 people are to be maimed (compared with the 30,000,000 maimed
in 1914-18). In this question, too, our October Revolution marked the
The Soviet system is one of the most vivid proofs, or manifestations, beginning of a new era in world history. The lackeys of the bourgeoisie and
of how the one revolution develops into the other. The Soviet system its yes-men—the Socialist-Revolutionaries and the Mensheviks, and the
provides the maximum of democracy for the workers and peasants; at the petty-bourgeois, allegedly “socialist”, democrats all over the world—derided
same time, it marks a break with bourgeois democracy and the rise of a our slogan “convert the imperialist war into a civil war”. But that slogan
new, epoch-making type of democracy, namely, proletarian democracy, or proved to be the truth—it was the only truth, unpleasant, blunt, naked and
the dictatorship of the proletariat. brutal, but nevertheless the truth, as against the host of most refined jingoist
Let the curs and swine of the moribund bourgeoisie and of the petty- and pacifist lies. Those lies are being dispelled. The Brest peace has been
bourgeois democrats who trail behind them heap imprecations, abuse and exposed. And with every passing day the significance and consequences
derision upon our heads for our reverses and mistakes in the work of building of a peace that is even worse than the Brest peace—the peace of
up our Soviet system. We do not forget for a moment that we have Versailles—are being more relentlessly exposed. And the millions who are
committed and are committing numerous mistakes and are suffering thinking about the causes of the recent war and of the approaching future
numerous reverses. How can reverses and mistakes be avoided in a matter war are more and more clearly realising the grim and inexorable truth that it
so new in the history of the world as the building of an unprecedented type is impossible to escape imperialist war, and imperialist peace (if the old
of state edifice! We shall work steadfastly to set our reverses and mistakes orthography were still in use, I would have written the word mir in two
right and to improve our practical application of Soviet principles, which is ways, to give it both its meanings) [In Russian, the word mir has two
still very, very far from being perfect. But we have a right to be and are meanings (world and peace) and had two different spellings in the old
proud that to us has fallen the good fortune to begin the building of a Soviet orthography. —Translator] which inevitably engenders imperialist war, that
state, and thereby to usher in a new era in world history, the era of the rule it is impossible to escape that inferno, except by a Bolshevik struggle and
of a new class, a class which is oppressed in every capitalist country, but a Bolshevik revolution.
which everywhere is marching forward towards a new life, towards victory Let the bourgeoisie and the pacifists, the generals and the petty
over the bourgeoisie, towards the dictatorship of the proletariat, towards bourgeoisie, the capitalists and the philistines, the pious Christians and
the emancipation of mankind from the yoke of capital and from imperialist the knights of the Second and the Two-and-a-Half Internationals vent their
wars. fury against that revolution. No torrents of abuse, calumnies and lies can
The question of imperialist wars, of the international policy of finance enable them to conceal the historic fact that for the first time in hundreds
capital which now dominates the whole world, a policy that must inevitably and thousands of years the slaves have replied to a war between slave-
engender new imperialist wars, that must inevitably cause an extreme owners by openly proclaiming the slogan: “Convert this war between slave-
intensification of national oppression, pillage, brigandry and the strangulation owners for the division of their loot into a war of the slaves of all nations
of weak, backward and small nationalities by a handful of “advanced” against the slave-owners of all nations.”
powers—that question has been the keystone of all policy in all the countries For the first time in hundreds and thousands of years that slogan has
of the globe since 1914. It is a question of life and death for millions upon grown from a vague and helpless waiting into a clear and definite political

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programme, into an effective struggle waged by millions of oppressed people important and most difficult task that we have sustained the greatest number
under the leadership of the proletariat; it has grown into the first victory of of reverses and have made most mistakes. How could anyone expect that
the proletariat, the first victory in the struggle to abolish war and to unite a task so new to the world could be begun without reverses and without
the workers of all countries against the united bourgeoisie of different mistakes! But we have begun it. We shall continue it. At this very moment
nations, against the bourgeoisie that makes peace and war at the expense we are, by our New Economic Policy, correcting a number of our mistakes.
of the slaves of capital, the wage-workers, the peasants, the working people. We are learning how to continue erecting the socialist edifice in a small-
peasant country without committing such mistakes.
This first victory is not yet the final victory, and it was achieved by our
October Revolution at the price of incredible difficulties and hardships, at The difficulties are immense. But we are accustomed to grappling with
the price of unprecedented suffering, accompanied by a series of serious immense difficulties. Not for nothing do our enemies call us “stone-hard”
reverses and mistakes on our part. How could a single backward people be and exponents of a “firm line policy”. But we have also learned, at least to
expected to frustrate the imperialist wars of the most powerful and most some extent, another art that is essential in revolution, namely, flexibility,
developed countries of the world without sustaining reverses and without the ability to effect swift and sudden changes of tactics if changes in
committing mistakes! We are not afraid to admit our mistakes and shall objective conditions demand them, and to choose another path for the
examine them dispassionately in order to learn how to correct them. But achievement of our goal if the former path proves to be inexpedient or
the fact remains that for the first time in hundreds and thousands of years impossible at the given moment.
the promise “to reply” to war between the slave-owners by a revolution of Borne along on the crest of the wave of enthusiasm, rousing first the
the slaves directed against all the slave-owners has been completely political enthusiasm and then the military enthusiasm of the people, we
fulfilled—and is being fulfilled despite all difficulties. expected to accomplish economic tasks just as great as the political and
We have made the start. When, at what date and time, and the military tasks we had accomplished by relying directly on this enthusiasm.
proletarians of which nation will complete this process is not important. We expected—or perhaps it would be truer to say that we presumed without
The important thing is that the ice has been broken; the road is open, the having given it adequate consideration—to be able to organise the state
way has been shown. production and the state distribution of products on communist lines in a
small-peasant country directly as ordered by the proletarian state.
Gentlemen, capitalists of all countries, keep up your hypocritical pretence Experience has proved that we were wrong. It appears that a number of
of “defending the fatherland”—the Japanese fatherland against the American, transitional stages were necessary—state capitalism and socialism—in
the American against the Japanese, the French against the British, and so order to prepare—to prepare by many years of effort—for the transition to
forth! Gentlemen, knights of the Second and Two-and a-Half Internationals, communism. Not directly relying on enthusiasm, but aided by the enthusiasm
pacifist petty bourgeoisie and philistines of the entire world, go on “evading” engendered by the great revolution, and on the basis of personal interest,
the question of how to combat imperialist wars by issuing new “Basle personal incentive and business principles, we must first set to work in
Manifestos” (on the model of the Basle Manifesto of 1912[1]). The first this small peasant country to build solid gangways to socialism by way of
Bolshevik revolution has wrested the first hundred million people of this state capitalism. Otherwise we shall never get to communism, we shall
earth from the clutches of imperialist war and the imperialist world. never bring scores of millions of people to communism. That is what
Subsequent revolutions will deliver the rest of mankind from such wars experience, the objective course of the development of the revolution, has
and from such a world. taught us.
Our last, but most important and most difficult task, the one we have And we, who during these three or four years have learned a little to
done least about, is economic development, the laying of economic make abrupt changes of front (when abrupt changes of front are needed),
foundations for the new, socialist edifice on the site of the demolished have begun zealously, attentively and sedulously (although still not
feudal edifice and the semi-demolished capitalist edifice. It is in this most zealously, attentively and sedulously enough) to learn to make a new change

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of front, namely, the New Economic Policy. The proletarian state must
become a cautious, assiduous and shrewd “businessman”, a punctilious Modi Govt’s attack on
Food Security
wholesale merchant—otherwise it will never succeed in putting this small-
peasant country economically on its feet. Under existing conditions, living
as we are side by side with the capitalist (for the time being capitalist)
West, there is no other way of progressing to communism. A wholesale
merchant seems to be an economic type as remote from communism as
Bhala Chandra Shadangi
heaven from earth. But that is one of the contradictions which, in actual 150 years have passed since the Naank Durvikhya (The infamous
life, lead from a small-peasant economy via state capitalism to socialism. Famine) of Odisha in which the state had lost more than one third of its
Personal incentive will step up production; we must increase production population (one out of three million) during 1866. This year also marks the
first and foremost and at all costs. Wholesale trade economically unites 75th year of the infamous Bengal famine in which more than 2.1 million
millions of small peasants: it gives them a personal incentive, links them people died due to starvation. These two big famines which occurred during
up and leads them to the next step, namely, to various forms of association colonial rule have been a great reminder of our poverty and hunger resulting
and alliance in the process of production itself. We have already started from the anti people policies of the rulers. These tragedies had a wide
the necessary changes in our economic policy and already have some spread impact on the social and cultural lives of these two regions. Many
successes to our credit; true, they are small and partial, but nonetheless stories, poems, paintings, dramas, folklores flood the literature and culture
they are successes. In this new field of “tuition” we are already finishing of these two regions depicting the horrific situation of human beings during
our preparatory class. By persistent and assiduous study, by making these famines.
practical experience the test of every step we take, by not fearing to alter
over and over again what we have already begun, by correcting our mistakes But surprisingly, even so many years after these famines, we are
and most carefully analysing their significance, we shall pass to the higher witnessing the same famine like situation in many parts of the country.
classes. We shall go through the whole “course”, although the present state Last year there was a sensational news in the media about the Nagada
of world economics and world politics has made that course much longer village of Odisha’s Jajpur district where 19 tribal children belonging to the
and much more difficult than we would have liked. No matter at what cost, Juang community died in a single month due to starvation and malnutrition.
no matter how severe the hardships of the transition period may be—despite But not only Nagada, we have thousands of Nagadas in our country
disaster, famine and ruin—we shall not flinch; we shall triumphantly carry particularly in the vast tribal belt even after 70 years of so called
our cause to its goal. independence. The recent starvation death of 11-year-old Santoshi Kumari
from Jharkhand’s Simdega district has reminded the country that hunger
October 14, 1921 and starvation of young children is still a reality in India. Again, this was
Endnotes not the first such incident. Last month, three brothers in Karnataka also
[1] The Extraordinary International Socialist Congress that sat in Basle died under similar circumstances. The children died not only due to lack of
on November 24-25, 1912, adopted a manifesto on war, which warned the food, but also because of the apathy of a government which has put all its
peoples that an imperialist world war was imminent, showed the predatory efforts into denying the story and framing flimsy excuses rather than
objectives of that war and called upon the workers of all countries to make addressing the issue.
a determined stand for peace. It included a point, contributed by Lenin to It is also a grim reminder of the huge disconnect between India’s so
the resolution of the Stuttgart Congress of 1907, that if an imperialist war called high levels of growth (GDP) and its low rank on human development.
broke out the socialists should utilise the economic and political crisis The Global Hunger Index (GHI) 2017 once again reminds that this growth
stemming from it to accelerate the downfall of capitalist class domination does not deal with the millions of challenges that the poor face in their day-
and to work for a socialist revolution. to-day lives. While we may quibble about the ranking, the methodology of

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comparing countries has remained consistent over time. And based on The right to food is a universal and fundamental survival right of all
these, there is no denying the fact that India not only is home to the most human beings. In today’s modern world and the technological advancement
number of malnourished and hungry people in the world, but its progress in level, this right must be and can be fulfilled without any bounds. It is not
combating hunger and malnutrition has been slower than countries with being done only due to anti people govt. policies which favour food trading
similar levels of income. companies at the cost of people.
The index is based on a combination of calorie undernourishment According to UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, food security is
(percentage of population below the recommended nutritional intake) and said to exist when “All people, at all times, have physical and economic
child wasting, stunting and being underweight. Brought out by the access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs
International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), GHI has seen and food preferences for an active and healthy life” (FAO, 2008). As per
increasing coverage with more data being made available. By the latest this definition there are four aspects of food security – food availability,
GHI 2017, India ranks 100 out of 119 developing countries. It does not food access and food utilization; the fourth aspect is the stability of the
include most of the developed countries where the extent of hunger is first three aspects in perpetuity. Accordingly, policies directed at ensuring
insignificant. But among the countries for which information is available, food security ought to be designed to impact favourably on all these aspects.
India has seen the least improvement among these countries taken together.
The net per capita food output and food grains available for per capita
More than the level of hunger and malnutrition, it is the slow progress in consumption in the country have been declining over the years. In fact the
resolving them despite the so called rapid growth of the economy which highest per capita food grain output and availability in the country was
should put the rulers to shame. Today almost a quarter of the world’s observed in the period 1897-1902 at 201.1 and 199 kg respectively. (“Food
children, especially in Asia and Africa, do not get adequate food. Our country Stocks and Hunger: The Causes of Agrarian Distress”. Social Scientist,
being home to the largest starved and undernourished population in the Vol. 31(7/8): pp. 15- Utsa Pattanaik). This achievement was in spite
world, over 190 million people go to bed hungry every day. Forty eight of the British exporting 475 million tons of food grain from India during this
percent children below five years of age are malnourished and very much period. After 1947 the highest triennial average per capita availability of
prone to diseases. While the food grain stocks keep piling up in Govt. food grains was reached in 1990-91 at 176.6 kg i.e. on the eve of the neo-
godowns, much of it are eaten and damaged by rats and pests respectively liberal economic reforms.
but people are left hungry and malnourishment haunts a large part of our
Even as the Government committed itself to achieving the Millennium
population. Only about 20% of our infants and young children are fed
Development Goal of banishing extreme poverty and hunger from the
country, the net per capita yearly food grain availability touched 151.9 kg
But in spite of this precarious situation the Govt, instead of ensuring in 2001 which is equivalent to the levels seen in early fifties. Average food
the food security of the people by taking strong policy measures for food grain availability in the first decade of the 21st century has been 162.6 kg,
distribution, is doing the opposite. Recently PM Narendra Modi, while equal to the average availability in the sixties, which was a decade of
meeting the MPs of northern states, said that after the successful (?) perpetual food crisis. Again these figures are only availability and not actual
implementation of Cash transfer of food subsidy in two union territories of consumption, for indeed there has been a growing divergence between
Chandigarh and Puducherry, the Govt. is considering implementing it at availability and the purchasing power of the people which has been falling
the national level. This would mean that the Govt., instead of distributing over the years. Only to bring out the gravity of the situation it may be
subsidized food grains, will directly transfer the cash amount equivalents reminded that even the Famine Commission appointed by the British
to the accounts of the beneficiaries. Soon after his statement the BJP administration in 1880 held the per capita yearly availability of 200 kg of
Govt. in Jharkhand also introduced cash transfer of food subsidies replacing foodgrains to be the minimum required for staving off famines (Bajaj and
food grain distribution. Srinivas, 2002).

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Alongside declining food grain production, the agricultural sector has economic reform of 1991 took the PDS on a different trajectory. In their
been starved of investments. Investment in agriculture and allied services commitment to phase out state subsidies, consecutive Govts at the Centre
(at current prices) as a percentage of GDP (at factor cost at current prices) tried to weaken this public distribution system. Excepcially after India
declined from 0.6 % in 1990-91 to 0.4 % in 2000- 01 and was only 0.5 % in became a signatory in the World Trade Organization, there has been
2009–10 (calculations based on figures in tables 1 and 107 in Handbook of tremendous pressure to wind up both procurement and distribution of food
Statistics of Indian Economy, Reserve Bank of India, 2011-12), whereas grains by the Govt which the imperialist countries and their food MNCs
Agriculture’s contribution to India’s GDP has been much higher; varying consider as trade barriers. As per WTO diktats, the Govt has weakened
from more than 50% during the first five year plan period to about one fifth the ration system by cutting Govt. subsidies and opening the food trade to
during the eleventh plan period. Besides, Agriculture forms a firm foundation private companies. It is a different matter that imperialist countries
for growth in other sectors of the economy. The share of public sector in themselves give huge subsidies to their own farmers and heavily subsidize
capital formation (such as expansion in the irrigation systems, seed food for their own citizens. The U.S. gives 100 billion dollars of yearly
production and research and development of infrastructural facilities etc.) support for food aid programs (2012), but objects to the meagre support
in agriculture, declined from 33% at the beginning of 1990s to a mere 24.2% given by India which is budgeted at only Rs 1.30 lakh crores ($20 billion),
in 2000 – 01 and 17.1% in 2009-10. but in reality even this is not spent. Actually as Indian peasants face a big
burden of high Govt. taxes on inputs like diesel (cost Rs 25/ltr and sale
The situation of the food stocks has in general been good even as the price Rs 58-60/ltr) effective subsidy is even less. We have the burden of
people consumed food grains at much below the poverty line level. Beginning providing food support to 830 million hungry people, which is more than
from 1998 there was a sharp increase in stocks which peaked at close to twice America’s total population.
60 million tonnes around 2002-2003, while the per capita food grain
availability during this period dipped from 173.5 kg per year in 1996- 98 to The WTO agreement signed by India’s subservient, unpatriotic rulers
162.6 kg per year in 1999-01 before recovering to a level of 169.7 kg per allows rich countries to give subsidies to their own agriculture but prevents
year in 2002-04 poor countries from doing so. Ensuring food self-sufficiency is fundamental
to national sovereignty of any country. America and Europe know this but
To provide food security, universal PDS was established in India in Indian rulers are not bothered. These rich countries want to control India’s
1965. It integrated food grain procurement from peasants at minimum food production and supply to subjugate our economy, our resources and
support price and distribution of the grain across the country through the our labour force and to increase profits of their MNCs.
public distribution system (PDS). This policy was formed as market forces
neither moved food grains to all areas, nor did they ensure cheap food. The game to do away with ration began with the World Bank-IMF-WTO
They generally purchased food grains at low prices from the peasants during policy to replace the universal PDS with targeted PDS (TPDS) in the name
the harvest and sold to the consumers at high rates later. The policy was of directing food subsidies only to the poorer section of the society. In this
formed on the basis of experiences that showed the market to be a poor process, in 1997 Above Poverty Line (APL) and Below Poverty Line (BPL)
substitute for state action in moving food grains. households were created and only BPL households were given subsidized
food grain. But due to lack of transparency, a large number of the poor
In the period after 1965, the outcomes of state intervention in the food people got excluded and corruption in BPL cards increased many fold. In
economy were mixed. On the one hand, the PDS acted as a check against this period, Expert committees, Planning Commission and Govt. agencies
exacerbation of regional disparities in food grain consumption. On the other in their reports and studies highlighted the problem of people facing acute
hand, the PDS was not serving a large section of India's population and its poverty and hunger. So the UPA Govt was forced to enact the National
performance across States, judged by the off-take of grain, varied Food Security Act in 2013. It actually brought down the provision of providing
considerably. Thus, by the 1990s, the challenge was how to extend the monthly food grain of 35 kg per family to 5 kg per person. But since only
PDS to more regions and sections. However, the official policy after the 14% families of our country have 7 members or more and 86% families

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have less than seven members so the actual supply of food grain to the is inter-connected and dependant on each other, so any dismantling of the
people decreased after the implementation of National Food Security Act. PDS would also end procurement and Minimum Support Prices. The end of
On the other hand, as each adult requires a minimum of 14 kg food grain this important institutional support to the peasantry will push them to depend
per month (ICMR), Govt’s so called ‘Food Security Act’ resulted in their on the mercy of the market forces like MNCs, big traders and middlemen.
deprivation. Contract farming being promoted by the Govt. is also for the same end. It
will be a disastrous step for our agriculture and peasants.
The existing Food Security Act is totally incomplete and inadequate in
providing food security to the people. The Act, instead of ensuring complete MNCs want to capture our vast food grain market. They have been
food security of a person by providing dal, edible oil and vegetables along pushing the Govt. to withdraw food and agricultural subsidies. Immediately
with sufficient food grains, only limits the food security to a monthly after coming to power, Modi had appointed a committee led by Shanta
availability of 5 Kg of food grains. Currently, the per capita five Kg food Kumar which has suggested dismantling the PDS and FCI in its report. In
grains (either rice or wheat) provided by the Govt. under the National Food the WTO’s Bali Ministerial Conference of 2014, the Indian Govt of Modi
Security Act make up anywhere between half to one fourth of the monthly had agreed to withdraw food and agricultural subsidies and sought 4 years
food grain intake of a family. time (by 2018) to abolish or substantially reduce all the food distribution
But while the Govt. has restricted a citizen’s food security to a monthly and procurement subsidies. So the time of foreign exploiters and their Indian
five Kilograms of food grains only, it provides rice, dal, vegetables and compradors has come and they are ready to attack the food security of the
other pretentious food at a very subsidized rate to the MPs and MLAs, people. Since the poor are already angry with corruption and non functioning
army and police. Crores of peasants and workers of this country are deprived of ration shops and there is a huge resentment among peasants with the
of genuine food security. But in spite of all the short comings of this existing inadequate procurement, so the Govt. is pushing only a transitional
Food Security Act, still the food grains provided through the public distribution arrangement of DBT. Ultimately it will completely withdraw the food subsidies
system (PDS) are certainly a lifeline for a large and vulnerable section of as has happened in the case of LPG, kerosene oil and fertilizers.
our society. So the PDS serves as a significant safety net for a large It is true that the earlier PDS had suffered due to large leakages and
percentage of the population, who rely on their food entitlements for daily Govt reports have suggested that as much as 45% of all the grains do not
sustenance. But Govt’s decision to replace rations with cash transfer (DBT) reach the intended beneficiaries. But who is responsible for that? The unholy
will only create a bigger disaster for the nutrition of the people and will nexus between ruling politicians, bureaucracy and storage agents is solely
further undermine protein and calorie intake and peoples’ health. responsible for this sad state. No one is daring to curb this nexus and to
Secondly, money is fungible. In food subsidy, whatever may be the reform this system to ensure that the leakages in the indispensable
cost in the market, the cost of food grains at the ration shop remains the government support are plugged. But the Govt’s move to dismantle this
same i.e One rupee per kilo for rice or wheat. But in case of cash transfer system will not serve the purpose and will be like throwing the baby out
of food subsidy, the price of food grain will no more be constant and only along with the bath water.
the subsidy amount will remain static, the food price will be totally dependent There is a steady decline in agriculture and peasants' security in our
on the market. That is why for any household, a cash transfer would by no country. Due to continuous rise in the input costs, indebtedness and lack
means ensure an equivalent quantity of food purchase or calorie intake. of remunerative price for their produces, lakhs of peasants have been
Again in countries like India since most of the population is living in poverty, committing suicide throughout the country. After the privatization of
there is urgent need of cash in case of health problem and other problems. education, health care and electricity the expenses of peasants have
So the subsidy amount given in cash may be utilized for such unavoidable increased many fold. So in this situation instead of taking strong measures
purposes. In both these cases, food security cannot be guaranteed. to bail out the peasants, Modi Govt’s latest push for withdrawing food
Again, since in our country the food grain procurement and distribution subsidies will make the situation worse.

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Peasants hold a big It has been a major achievement of the AIKSCC to rally this large coalition
trying to change the discourse on agricultural crisis. This conglomeration

protest in Delhi
established their desire and determination to fight back and assert their
Having organised this protest as a culmination of its Kisan Mukti Yatras
Several tens of thousands of peasants assembled in the Capital from covering nearly 10,000 kms over three months, holding road shows and
19th November onwards and camped in Ramlila Maidan, Ambedkar Bhawan mass meetings in rural areas of several states the AIKSCC campaign has
and Gurudwaras Rakabganj and Bangla Sahib. On the morning of the protest, deepened the consciousness among the agricultural communities about
20th November, they marched towards Parliament street sporting flags, the attacks on agricultural sector in India. Thus the Kisan Mukti Sansad
banners, festoons, placards, badges, sashes, head scarfs and arm bands was a milestone which registered the plight of the peasants and their
of their organizations and raising slogans. By far the biggest contingent demands.
marched over the Ranjit Singh flyover from Ramlila Maidan and it was
The yatras went through meeting venues in 6 states in the West, 5
overwhelmingly red, which was also the dominant colour in the gathering at
states in the South, 3 in UP phase and 5 in the East phase, while the North
Parliament street. Other contingents kept arriving from the other venues
phase was postponed. There were corner meetings welcoming the yatris
as well as from the railway stations throughout the forenoon.
who addressed the assembled peasants and at some places larger meetings
Led by their respective organizations the peasants had assembled from were held. At these places the local organizations had campaigned for the
21 states of the country, rallying under the joint banner of the All India yatra and the issues involved. These issues also included those related to
Kisan Sangharsh Coordination Committee, AIKSCC. These included earlier displacement by big dams and Thermal Power Plants, crop damage due to
supporters of the NDA like the Swabhiman Kshetkari Kisan Sangathan
(part of erstwhile Sharad Joshi organization) of Raju Shetty (MP), the
Rashtriya Kisan Mazdoor Sangathan of AIKSCC Convenor VM Singh,Tamil
Nadu Farmers’ Association earlier associated with RSS, erstwhile supporters
of Nanjundaswamy of Karnataka, i.e. two groups of Karnataka Rajya Rythu
Sangha, KRSS, one led by Kodahalli Chandrashekhar and the other by KT
Gangadhar; the socialists and the NGOs, Jai Kisan Andolan led by Yogendra
Yadav and Avik Saha, NAPM, Alliance for Sustainable and Holistic
Agriculture, ASHA, Rytu Swarajya Vedika (Telangana), Dr. Sunilam led
Kisan Sangharsh Samiti (MP) and the Lok Sangharsh Morcha of
Maharashtra led by Pratibha Shinde; the parliamentary left forces under
the two AIKS (AIKS Ashok Road and the AIKS called Ajoy Bhawan), All
India Kisan Mahasabha (AIKM), All India Kisan Khet Mazdoor Sangathan
(AIKKMS); and the revolutionary peasant organizations under banners of
All India Kisan Mazdoor Sabha (AIKMS), BKU (Dakaunda), AIKKS, AIKMKS
and several others, totalling 187 organizations. It was the first time in the
history of the country that such a wide range of organized peasantry had
assembled in the Capital and from such far off distances. Their anger
reflected their misery. November 20, 2017. Peasant Assembly at Parliament Street

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pests and weather, loss of work and mafia rule, wages, MNREGS, housing trade. It gradually clearly outlined its main thrust with the slogan stating
and others. On AIKMS initiative, well attended meetings were held at ‘Corporate ko Chhoot and Kisano ki loot’ is unacceptable.
Khammam, Suryapet, Anantpur, Bhubhaneswar and Allahabad and a
successful meeting of intellectuals in Allahabad. In Delhi, on November 20, the rallies converged and assembled in front
of a giant stage at Parliament Street. The meeting started with paying
Since the advent of the New Economic Policies, dictated to India and tribute to the peasants martyred in Mandsaur and in other police firings, to
to other third world countries by the World Bank and assiduously peasants who committed suicide, and to peasants of Yavatmal, who died
implemented by all sections of India’s ruling classes, including the ‘left’, due to pesticide poisoning.
the peasantry has been left in increasing distress. While peasant
The proceedings began with the first session being 'Mahila Kisan Sansad',
organizations could not build up effective agitations against these policies,
to assert the rights of women peasants as equals in agriculture, their special
the hapless peasants faced brutal humiliation by both money lenders and
role in agriculture and to highlight their misery and plight, especially in the
officials and committed suicides. More than 3.2 lakh land owning peasants,
face of suicides. Several peasant widows and women peasant leaders spoke
between 12,000 to 18,000 per year, and an equal number of landless/
and the sympathetic crowd heard them with rapt attention, shedding tears
agricultural workers, have been forced to end their lives. Taking advantage
on hearing their woes, egging them on when they said they had come to
of the disaffection of the peasantry, Modi had skilfully utilized it for electoral
demand justice and taking a pledge with them to spread the message that
support, promising to double peasants' incomes, MSP at 1.5 times the
‘we will not commit suicide, we will fight back’. Many women carried
cost of production, complete freedom from debt and preventing farmers
photographs of their husbands claimed by the crisis and an indifferent
from dying. There are a number of video clips of this as proof. But RSS
and BJP led by Modi betrayed and defaulted completely as the policy
initiative of Imperialism and its comprador Indian corporate held sway. In Medha Patkar, leader of Narmada Bachao Andolan, chaired as Speaker
that, there is no scope for such relief. When BJP’s MP govt. fired on and the assembly of 543 women peasants and women peasant leaders of various
killed 6 peasants on June 6, 2017, the anger reverberated all over and organizations. Kavita Kurungati, convener ASHA, put forward the issues
several organizations began to hold protests in their areas of work as well and emphasized the need of presenting the two bills (which were presented
as come together. They not only rallied on just the two below stated later).
demands, but they also asserted some other related aspects.
This formation of the Mahila Mukti Sansad brought together peasant
As outlined, these demands include a MSP of 1.5 times cost and women from all over the country discussing their issues demanding
complete loan waiver, which represent only partial attempts to save betterment of the lives of all peasants, agircultural labourers, adivasis,
agriculture and an alternative to the current policy based on WTO diktats. landless, tenant peasants, fisherfolks and the like and condemning the
As more organizations joined the move, other aspects came to the fore. Govt. for displacing more than 10 crore peasants from all over the country
The move had actually begun based on the anger against and a determination for various projects. They declared the current policy disastrous for peasants
to fight the state which was killing its peasants. It now also incorporated and labourers and said 'we want development, not disaster'.
the demand to waive private loans including those of landless peasants, In this 'Sansad' several peasant widows gave their accounts of what
share croppers and tenant peasants with a mechanism to convert them led to the suicides of their respective relatives. These shocking stories
into bank loans and the Govt. repaying them. It pressed for reduction in all revealed the inhuman humiliation suffered by the affected peasants'
input costs putting the blame for high fuel cost squarely on the Govt. It families. They expressed the hope that now that the movement is growing,
demanded continuation and expansion of PDS and called for a campaign no other family will face consequences which will lead to peasant suicides.
for food security on World Food Security Day on October 16, opposing the
WTO diktat to wind up food security and storage holding them against free One explained the insurmountable loss due to failure of their cotton

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crop while another spoke of the suicides of both her parents, as they could many young girls like her fall prey to trafficking rings, especially in drought
not repay the loan borrowed from moneylenders. The sharks kept harassing prone areas where no effective disaster support is available.
them for repayment. “We had to borrow from them because we could not
access bank credit as tenant farmers,” she said. Ponnuthai of Tamil Nadu emphasised how corporatization of agriculture
is taking away resources like water and seeds from peasants. She said
Another from Bidar in Karnataka said her brother had committed suicide that water was being diverted for big industry and the peasants were without
because the input costs had shot up, and the remunerative prices for the water to irrigate their crops. She said that women peasants do not want
produce was so low that he came under debt. “We are unable to educate chemical pesticides or GM seeds. The speakers also complained that the
our children properly due to paucity of funds and income,” she said. entire PM Fasal Bima Yojana is helping to enrich the Insurance companies.
When Kantabai from Maharashtra narrated her story, many participants’ Addressing the Mahila Mukti Sansad on behalf of the 30 women
eyes welled up. Her daughter committed suicide as she did not want to be delegates of AIKMS, Com. Charanjeet Kaur from Punjab spoke against
a burden on her parents and increase their debt with her education fees. senseless mechanization in agirculture which she said has been done by
enticing peasants to take loans to help corporate sell their tractors and
other products and has left most peasants' land mortgaged. She said the
Govt. should have made provision for requisite machinery instead of
burdening the peasants. She said Punjab's agriculture was known for its
prosperity with every house having milk and butter, but today peasant
households have corpses from suicides. She condemned the rampant
privatization that is taking away land from the peasantry. She urged the
movement to demand progressive land reforms to take away land from the
landlords and distribute it to the poor and landless peasants. On behalf of
AIKMS, Comrades Jhansi, Shail Kumari, Sehdei, Sushma and Shyamkali
also participated.
At the end of this two hour 'sansad', the women peasants raised their
hands and approved a bill to be presented for discussion.
Then began the expanded session of the Kisan Mukti Sansad where
the Krishi Upaj Labhkari Daam Guarantee Bill, 2017 was presented by MP
Raju Shetty and The Farmer's Freedom from Debt Bill 2017 was presented
by ex MP and AIKS GS Hannan Mollah. The plan for finalizing these bills
after receiving suggestions from different parts of the country and then
She added that women peasants are not only trapped in economic presenting them in Parliament was placed. Thereafter, one by one, leaders
exploitation, they are subjected to social exploitation as well. of each organization spoke amongst cheers and sloganeering by the
Another explained that in Gujarat, after disasters due to floods and massive crowd. This session lasted two days, ending on the first day at 6
other calamities, no compensation is paid and when the crops are lost, pm and reassembling the next day. At the end it approved these bills for
suicide is an easy escape. discussion. Then the Convenor called upon the people and organizations
to continue the campaign all over the country. The steps announced were
Ramadevi of Andhra Pradesh shared her personal experience of how to hold discussions, Kisan Mukti Charchas, amongst the peasants and

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intellectuals including lawyers at district and state level, to jointly present in the Supreme Court that it is not in a position to implement its promise on
copies of the two bills to the local MPs urging them to support these bills MSP; Union Agriculture Minister has claimed that Modi had never promised
when they are presented later by the MPs associated with the AIKSCC in loan waiver during the election campaigns which is totally wrong; that Modi
the parliament as private members bills, to prevent sale of crops below Govt. has opposed waiver of loans by various BJP and Congress govts
MSP in the mandis through Kisan Mukti Morchas and in this way to intensify stating that peasants shall not reap any benefit from this, etc. Speakers
the campaign. also said that Demonetization and GST have harmed peasants and
agricultural trade and decreased sale price of crops.
Addressing the peasants, AIKMS President Com. V. Venkatramaiah
said that BJP had promised to double the income of peasants whereas Included amongst those who addressed the people were Yogendra
they are actually keeping the support prices lower than the actual cost of Yadav, Atul Kumar Anjan- President of AIKS (Ajoy Bhawan), Rajaram Singh
production. The MSP of 9 out of 17 Khariff crops has been kept lower than of AIKM, Butta Singh Burjgil of Bhartiya Kisaan Union (Dakaunda), Pratibha
the CACP determined production cost. Central Govt. is not implementing Shinde of LSM, Kondahalli Chandrashekhar of KRSS, Dr.Sunilam of KSS
its promises and due to this peasants will only fall into debt trap. Thus we and NAPM, Satyavan of AIKKMS, Kiran Vissa of RSV, Rampal Jat, Avik
are demanding comprehensive loan waiver. Govt. says that economy of Saha, KRSS MLA K Putanaiyah, Ayyakannu from TNFA, Chukki Nanjul of
the country will weaken due to peasants' loan waiver which is completely Swami Shivakka, Vedant of KMSS Assam, ex MP from J&K Sheikh Abdul
wrong when the Govt. itself is providing lakhs of crores rupees of subsidy Rehman, Prof Prakash Pople, Dr AK Khan of KSS, Com Jhansi of AIKMKS,
to corporates. He added that every year the Govt. foregoes lakhs of crores Advocate Aradhana Bhargava, Dileep Patidar and Parmanand Patidar from
of taxes due from corporate. In 2015-16 it was Rs 6.11 lakh crores. He Mandsaur, progressive film producer Narainmurthy.
pointed out that just few days ago the Govt. had announced recapitalization
of banks with Rs 2.11 lakh crores to compensate for the NPAs and bad The Kisan Mukti Sansad also demanded unconditional and immediate
loans of the corporate houses. release of Akhil Gogoi, leader of Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti, who has
been in prison for a year under sedition charges and National Security Act.
AIKMS GS, Com. Ashish Mital said that seeds, fertilizers and pesticides
produced by corporate are very costly. Govt. never tries to control their Of special attraction in the protest were the display of dances, songs,
prices and asks peasants to buy these costly products by mortgaging their skits by various groups including Nishant Natya Manch and the display of
lands. The price of diesel in India is 58 rupees per litre whereas it is only human skull and bones by the semi clad Tamil Nadu peasants who have
49 rupees and 41 rupees respectively in Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Foreign been holding protests in Delhi for past several months to demand loan
companies are being called to buy agricultural produce at low prices by the waiver and irrigation in their state.
governments. They are being called to do corporate farming and establish Sunilam, Pratibha Shinde, Kavita Kurungati, Darshan Pal, Ashish Mittal,
agro processing industry, a sector which till few years back was reserved Prem Singh Gehlavat, and Avik Saha (convener of Jai KisanAndolan)
for small scale sector and has been a huge employer in rural areas. He moderated the Kisan Mukti Sansad.
demanded lowering of all input costs and waiver of all loans. He also
criticised the Govt. for blaming only stubble burning by peasants in Punjab This massive peasant protest has played an important role in placing
for smog in Delhi, saying that peasants must be compensated. Issues like the crises facing peasantry and Indian agriculture on the political agenda.
reduction in tree cover and excessive construction activity leading to
increase in suspended fine particulate matter in the air are any way not
being addressed.
In the various addresses, leaders of different organizations criticised
the Modi Govt and clarified that the Modi Govt. has submitted an affidavit

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AIKMS condemns Assam Govt. organization called Early Birds which claims to work for environmental
protection. It had written to the Guwahati High Court in 2013 which treated
attack to evict people it as a public interest litigation. In August the court disposed off the case
in the “hope and trust” that the squatters will be evicted, but it did not
On 27th November armed police of the BJP-RSS Assam Govt resorted specify the date. The question arises then that what was the urgency for
to brutal lathi-charge and fired tear-gas and rubber bullets to disperse the Government to take this action? The Govt. has not even bothered to
several hundred protestors in order to evict people from the Amchang Wildlife follow any rehabilitation norms.
Sanctuary. The Govt. used 2,000 policemen, 20 excavators, 20 Executive The truth is that huge corporate like the cement companies AG Cement
Magistrates, Forest department, State Disaster Response Force, etc. and Raksha Cement, Tea Gardens, coke calcination, brick kilns are
Forest department claimed that constructions were encroaching on the functioning in this area and they are the real encroachers who create havoc
Amchang Wildlife Sanctuary, located on the eastern edge of Guwahati city. with the environment. The anti people Assam Govt has taken no action
7 protestors were grievously hurt- 35 year old Malati Das with a live bullet against these industries and big people, but it has chosen to attack the
injury and Amina Khatun and Rashida Ahmed too were grievously injured tribals.
and admitted to the ICU in Guwahati Medical College. A total of 75 persons
were injured. Only in the previous week the state conducted another eviction drive in
Sipajhar in the Middle Assam district of Darrang. People say that this move
Poor tribals and forest dwellers have been living there since decades. to clear villages in Sipajhar was dictated by the state’s old suspicion of
Over 400 houses were flattened by mid-day and a total of 700 over the Bengali Muslims, often cast as illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.
next two days. This drive deprived nearly 3000 families of their dwellings.
Junu Sangma, the matriarch of a Garo family in the area, said her family These eviction drives reached their crescendo in Kaziranga last year
had lived there for longer than she remembered. She said that "We are when two residents were shot dead by the Assam Police while resisting an
tribals and have paid the annual land taxes from 1977 to 1990. Isn’t there eviction drive. The protest was not covered well by the national media, but
a new law which protects the rights of forest-dwellers?” she asked? a subsequent BBC documentary showed that the park was a highly
militarized zone with shoot-at-sight orders which led to the ban on the BBC
Several settlers who belong to the state’s Mising tribe had moved to team in Assam.
the area in the winter of 1997 as their home and fields in a village on the
north bank of the Brahmaputra river in Dhemaji district had been washed Apart from failure to secure the environment, the BJP government has
away. They had come to Guwahati hoping to get some work and feed their complete failed the people when it comes to housing rights.
Even the earlier Congress government had been conducting eviction
This eviction is yet another example of the government’s brazen policy drives in the name of freeing land from encroachers and illegal occupants.
of weakening the environmental laws and using the MoEF as a clearance This was the reason perhaps why the Congress leaders met with opposition
ministry for industries of corporate. In Amchang Wildlife Sanctuary the when they landed in Amchang to extend support.
state government had earlier ordered another eviction drive in August which
was suspended after two days because of massive protests. The people CEC of AIKMS condemns this brutal attack stating that it is a clear
say that the forest department has never delineated the boundary of the violation of the Forest Right Act, which gives certain rights to the people.
sanctuary nor demarcated the protected area as distinct from the residential A question is being asked that if the natural resources of Assam are not
parts. Neither has any eco sensitive area been declared. the wealth of its communities, who exactly do they belong to and what
purpose do they serve?
This eviction drive was partly triggered by a complaint from an

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Arrests of Leaders of Resistance Having come to know of the police encirclement from a comrade, Com.
Gopi went away from the house. However, police searched the house, and
Movement, Com. Linganna and found some belongings of Com. Gopi. They arrested his wife and son.
Police which had surrounded the place in large numbers, followed him and
Com. Gopi, Condemned was able to arrest him at around 6 PM.
Arrest of Com. Gopi angered the people and cadres. Demonstrations
CPI(ML)-New Democracy strongly condemned the arrest of Com. Linganna were held on 30.11.2017 at Mahabubabad, Bayyaram, Garla, Gundala and
by Telengana police from Raghunathapalen in Khammam on December 7, Maddivancha condemning the police raid on the house and arrest of Com.
2017. Com. Linganna is Secretary of Kothagudem District Committee of Gopi. Demonstrators demanded his release.
CPI(ML)-New Democracy. He is also a leader of the party’s regional committee
and a member of its Telengana Provincial Committee. Police also raided the house of Com. Pullanna on the mid night of
30.11.2017 and broke the doors.They also encircled Gurmilla village,
Com. Linganna has been a senior leader of the resistance movement of searched all the houses and threatened the people with dire consequences.
the Godavari Valley. He has been leading the movement of tribals and non-
tribal poor people in the agency areas of Telengana particularly those of Protest demonstrations and processions were also held on December
Kothagudem district.Com. Linganna has been working in the self defense 1st 2017 at Mahabubabad, Narsampet, Illendu and Guduru demanding the
squads for nearly last three decades. He is a tribal. release of Com. Gopi. Rasta Roko was held at Korivi, the Mandal Head
Quarters, where Gopi was kept in the police station.
Arrest of Com. Linganna as that of other comrades before him shows the
intensified offensive of TRS Govt. of Telengana against struggle of tribals Com. Gopi is a senior leader of the movement in this agency area and
and other forest dwellers. TRS Govt. is particularly and systematically targeting is working in the self defense squads since the last 30 years. He hails from
the revolutionary movement. It is part of the offensive of the state govt. to the Koya tribe. Now, he is the secretary of the Mahabubabad district
take away tribals' lands and suppress their struggles for a better life. TRS committee and a member of the Regional and Provincial Committees.
Govt. has been targeting leaders of CPI(ML)-New Democracy which has been Central Committee of CPI(ML)-New Democracy had strongly condemned
leading the struggle of the tribals and non-tribal poor living in forests. Com. the arrest of Com. Gopi.
Linganna has been a leading organizer of the resistance movement of these
areas and a popular and respected leader of tribals of the area. Police has launched a serious offensive against the revolutionary cadres.
It is raiding different places to arrest the revolutionary cadres and leaders.
There is widespread anger among the people and cadres against Com. Police is also harassing the people and sympathizers of the revolutionary
Linganna’s arrest. Demonstrations were held at different centres in Kothagudem movement. It is deliberate policy of the TRS Govt. to suppress the revolutionary
district and at centres in neighbouring districts- Mahbubabad, Jaishankar- movement in the agency areas and to hand over the resources of these areas
Bhopalpalli and Warangal covering agency areas. Demonstrators denounced to the corporate. Its suppression of the revolutionary movement is designed
Com. Linganna’s arrest and demanded his release. to achieve this anti-people objective.
Earlier, another senior leader of the resistance movement of the Godavari These arrests are part of the offensive of TRS Govt. of Telengana
Valley, Com. Gopi (Dhanasari Sammaiah) was arrested by the police from against struggle of tribals and against the revolutionary movement. TRS
Mahabubabad on November 30th 2017. Gopi had gone on 29th November Govt. has been targeting leaders of CPI(ML)-New Democracy. CPI(ML)-
night to a house where his wife was staying. The house was encircled by a New Democracy has been leading the struggle of the tribals and non-tribal
big contingent of the police. poor living in forests for several decades.

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TRS Govt. is specially targeting CPI(ML)-New Democracy because of Homage to Com. Khudan Mallik
our Party's opposition to TRS Govt.'s 'Haritharam' which is aimed at taking
away that land from tribals which they have been cultivating for generations. One of the prominent leaders of the historic Naxalbari armed struggle,
TRS Govt. aims to hand over these areas to corporate after dispossessing Com. Khudan Mallik passed away on 29th November 2017 at about 8 AM
tribals of their land. The area is rich in mineral resources and coal which in North Bengal Medical College because of lung infection. He was 77
corporate and the Govt. is intent on exploiting. CPI(ML)-New Democracy years old. He was a member of the Central Committee and also West
has also been strongly opposing open cast mining for coal in this area. Bengal State Committee and Darjeeling District Committee Secretary of
CPI(ML)-New Democracy has been opposing open cast mines which the CPI(ML)-Class Struggle. He was also Vice president of All India Khet
Govt. is opening in place of underground mines for coal as it severly damages Mazdoor Kisan Sabha (AIKMKS) and West Bengal President of the same.
the environment and renders the land uncultivable. Govt. is replacing
underground mines with open cast mines to maximize profits while He was born in 1941 in village Rambola Jote in Kharibari Thana area of
measures after operation of mines to be taken are mostly disregarded. Darjeeling District. He was from a rich peasant family.
Party has built movements and mobilized the people against open cast At an early age he was attracted to the communist movement and
mining which TRS Govt. is intent on pursuing. CPI(ML)-New Democracy became a member of the communist party led Kisan Sabha at the age of
has extensively exposed the anti-people character of TRS Govt. for pursuing 14 in 1955. An important meeting for the revolutionary upsurge in 1967
these policies. As CPI(ML)-New Democracy has a strong presence in the (Naxalbari Uprising) was held in this very Rambola village and Com. Khudan
area, TRS Govt. is trying to suppress the Party and eliminate the resistance Mallik along with his elder brother Com. Kadam Mallik was in the Central
of tribals against these anti-people and pro-corporate policies. Core committee of the upsurge. In 1967, after the start of the uprising he
Central Committee of CPI(ML)-New Democracy strongly condemns the was sent to socialist China along with Com. Kanu Sanyal and they met
offensive by the TRS Govt. against the revolutionary movement, CPI(ML)- Chinese Communist Party leadership including Com. Mao Zedong. Com.
New Democracy and the struggle of tribals and other forest people. TRS Khudan Mallik has all along been with the revolutionary movement. He led
Govt. is increasingly displaying its anti-people character and is targeting a very simple life and was very modest. He was popular among people and
our Party. TRS Govt.’s attacks will neither be able to dampen nor stop the revolutionary ranks. He aspired very much for the unity of the communist
revolutionary people from intensifying their struggles against exploitation, revolutionaries and was very open hearted and straight forward. With his
oppression and suppression, and for new democratic revolution. death, the revolutionary movement has lost almost all the core leaders of
historic Naxalbari Upsurge. He has left behind 6 sons and 5 daughters.
(Report based on the statements issued by the Central Committee, CPI(ML)-New Democracy pays its homage to the revolutionary leader
CPI(ML)-New Democracy on December 1, 2017 on Com. Gopi's arrest and vows to carry forward the struggle for new democratic revolution along
and on December 8, 2017 on Com. Linganna's arrest.) the path illuminated by Naxalbari peasant uprising.
CPI(ML)-New Democracy also pays its homage to Com. Mohan Reddy
(Kotaiah), a member of the Central Committee of CPI(ML)-Class Struggle
and a leader of the peasant organization-AIKMKS. Com. Kotaiah breathed
his last in December 1 , 2017.

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Call on 16 December 2017 protection, there are so many others who are unable to do so for a variety
of reasons.

Sway of Patriarchy over Judiciary The situation of the family courts and courts dealing with maintenance
is so depressing. There are long delays, inadequate personnel with the
must be Fought courts lead to long delays in even recovery of women’s clothing from the
home she has been forced to leave and also the attitude of the judges
undermines the women’s right to lead safe lives by underlining the need of
Five years down from 16th December 2012 and the subsequent struggle
“compromise” and “patience” by women in the interests of the families
highlighting the grip of patriarchy over all wings of the State and over society,
involved. Utterances by judges often directly and indirectly underline the
little has changed. One aspect under the scanner then was the Judiciary.
patriarchal belief that the honour of the family is tied to the women’s choices
This year there is sufficient reason to use this day to focus on how the
and sacrificing themselves for the “good” of the families is the real purpose
courts of India are keeping alive patriarchal chains on women while even
of their existence.
robbing women of hard won rights. On December 16th this year, we should
highlight the role of judiciary in defending and perpetuating the patriarchy The issue which has invited the most patriarchal response from higher
in the society. courts is that of the marriage of Akila who had earlier converted to Islam
There are examples galore of the way judges at different courts at different and has taken on the name of Hadiya. Opposing her adult decisions, her
levels pass remarks justifying dowry, explaining away beating up of wives parents took the plea that she had been “brainwashed”, recruited by a terror
by husbands as “correction”, commenting on “misuse of laws” by women organization and that her husband belonged to an Islamic political party.
to terrorize the in laws and husbands. Women activists in every state can The party in question is not banned in India or in the state of Kerala from
find examples galore of such experiences in the various lower courts in which Hadiya hails. Kerala, it should be remembered, is a state where
their states and at the level of the High courts. But it is important to see Hindutva forces and a section of Christian clerics had even earlier cried
the example set by the highest Court in this regard, because it is followed wolf over ‘love jihad’ to oppose inter-religious marriages. There was a formal
by the lower judiciary. enquiry into these allegations by the then Govt. of the state and the claims
of ‘love jhiad’ were refuted. However, the High Court of Kerala annulled
Over the past three years, there has been focus on the Supreme Court’s Hadiya’s marriage, declaring that children should be guided by their parents
restraint on immediate arrests under Section 498A. While other situations when marrying. It then handed over “custody” of the adult homeopath
also come under this Act, it was pointed out that this provision allows woman doctor to her parents. Hadiya’s husband approached the Supreme
immediate relief to women who are victims of domestic violence as it allowed Court. Supreme Court did not strike down the High Court’s decision, only
immediate arrest of the accused. The Court not only did not provide for changed the adult woman’s guardian in answer to her demand for
exemption, in July this year it even provided guidelines for a sort of parallel independence, did not comment on her right to marry whom she chose and
policing, with provision of neighbourhood committees to ascertain need of postponed further decision till the next hearing, during which period the
arrest of husbands and in laws guilty of violence against the daughters in NIA will carry on investigating ‘love jihad’ and terror organizations in Kerala.
law. Facing continual protests by women’s organizations and scathing Is it the law that an adult woman may not marry a so called ‘terrorist’? Are
criticism, the Court has recently remarked that perhaps its position needs marriages by adults without the consent of parents, illegal? These are
revisiting, but it is yet to do so. In this entire issue, the Court has undoubtedly issues the women’s movement is fighting all over the country. Love Jihad,
been guided by the notion that women use legal provisions wilfully and bahu beti izzat, so many other terms are the weapons to restrict freedom
baselessly to trouble their families, ignoring the reality of this country. For of marriage especially to women. The Supreme Court’s procrastination in
every woman who does manage to approach the police and /or courts for commenting on the Kerala High Court’s judgement is doubtless

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strengthening the patriarchal forces who want women to be “regulated” as
they are “repositories of honour” of families, religions and castes in US-Israel-Saudi offensive
patriarchal India.
Discussion on patriarchy in the courts of India is incomplete without
against Palestinians
touching on the issue of sexual harassment at workplace. The Supreme
At times a day encapsulates a whole gamut of developments. Such
Court of the country has no effective redressal mechanism for the women
was November 4 in relation to Saudi Arabia. The day began with Prime
who work there; it must be remembered that two law interns who dared to
Minister of Lebanon Saad Hariri announcing in Saudi capital Riyadh his
speak out about the involvement of two judges of this Court were ultimately
resignation as the Prime Minister. In the afternoon, a ballistic missile had
quietened, with one of the judges even getting a high profile post. Women
been intercepted near Riyadh airport. The missile was launched by Houthis
lawyers face sexually explicit comments not only from colleagues (which
of Yemen bringing the war into the very capital of Sauds. By the evening
of course they should unite to fight) but also some male judges at various
11 princes, 4 ministers and a number of businessmen had been arrested
by Saudi security forces. The day demonstrated the internal and external
Violence against women continues to be rampant in society and the contradictions in which Saudi rulers are embroiled as well as their attempts
figures released from time to time by govt agencies show that conviction to wade their way through them.
rates in various heads continue to be woefully dismal. This is despite many
Two developments have shaped the fast moving developments in the
studies that show that post the 2012 struggle, women in cities at least are
Middle-East. First, there has been a rise of disillusionment, unrest and
daring to speak out against patriarchal violence and even go to police
anger among the Arab masses against their conditions of life and lack of
stations with their complaints. Neither does judiciary penalize police for
democratic rights. Second, US power in the region has declined, this the
shoddy investigations, nor does it even provide relief to women through
latter due to failure of the US war of occupation in Iraq and the explosion of
fast and effective supportive measures at least- like recovery of clothes,
world financial-economic crisis which has increased weariness of the people
defence in partitioned conjugal home, protection in inter caste and inter
of America towards increasing military deployments abroad. These two
religious marriages and so many other measures.
factors have particularly unsettled monarchies in the Arab world, particularly
On 16th December 2017, let us highlight the role of Judiciary in supporting that of Saudi Arabia and its close ally, the United Arab Emirates. These
and perpetuating patriarchal practices and ideas, while we strengthen our factors are posing an existential threat to these rulers. They cannot trust
resolve to fight violence against women, fight patriarchy. their own people, hence they cannot arm them. Secondly, US imperialism
though ready and eager to supply deadly weaponry, is not willing to commit
military deployment which has been the corner stone of their absolute rule.
Obama Admn. was trying to achieve its hegemonic aims through other
means, giving up unilateralism of Bush period and prodding on its allies
from Western Europe and Middle-East to take an active role in preserving
and strengthening US led architecture of the region. Trump Admn. has
changed the modus operandi of pursuing hegemonism. It has given up
pretences and is openly pursuing imperialist interests. It has put a price
tag on saving the monarchies and other unpopular rulers. Its open
proclamations and continuation of earlier policy gives rise to apparent
contradictions in the US stance or stances of different wings of US Admn.

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Intensification of the contradiction among imperialist powers and their destroying the infrastructure and blockading that country has drawn
regional allies and growing contradiction between imperialism and people worldwide condemnation. Of late that war has reached Saudi interior as
of the countries of the region has led to and is further leading to growing rocket launched at Riyadh on November 4 and another even more recently
conflicts in the region, growing wars, drawing and redrawing of boundaries amply proved. While Saudi led Gulf monarchies have always been in league
and forging and re-forging of alliances. The most significant aspect is that with Israel through their subservience to US imperialism which has been
US Admn., Zionist rulers of Israel and Gulf monarchies led by Saudi Arabia the main protector of Zionist rulers and their expansionism, their reliance
(Saudi Arabia, UAE and Bahrain) are openly standing on one pole against on Israel has grown and their alliance has become more open.
the people of different countries of the region. Saudi monarchy and its
allies have since long been a strong pillar for US imperialism, the other Saudi attempt to browbeat Saad Hariri into resigning due to his allegedly
being Zionist Israeli rulers. This alliance has come out in the open due to not confronting Hizbollah in Lebanon has now been exposed as Saudi
the necessity of the present situation. The machinations of US and its blackmail. Saad Hariri has since returned to Lebanon and assumed his
allies especially Saudi Arabia, for regime change in Syria have failed and position as Prime Minister which he had got after an understanding was
Basher Assad Govt. has emerged stronger in which military intervention of reached with Hizbollah. This was a failed Saudi attempt to make Lebanon
Russia and support of Iran have been important factors. Developments in a battleground for its influence in the region.
Iraq have also led to strengthening of Iranian influence in that country. The Zionist rulers of Israel on the other hand, do not want the rise of any
recent referendum in Iraqi Kurdistan and subsequent military action by military power in the region which is not aligned to them. Whether it was
Iraqi Govt. along with Popular Mobilization Units (PMUs) backed by Iran Egypt or Iraq or now Iran, Israeli rulers want these countries to fight amongst
have further consolidated Iran’s influence. Though US also retains powerful each other and none to become strong enough to challenge continuous
influence on Iraqi Govt. but it has to increasingly contend with Iran for aggression of Zionist rulers against Palestinians. Apart from direct military
influence in that country. These developments have led to increasing challenge from any rising military power in the region, Zionist rulers are
influence of Iran in the region. Recent fracture in the US led alliance with apprehensive that rise of any power in the region will embolden the
Turkey & Qatar along with Muslim Brotherhood (MB) are charting their own Palestinians and will encourage the organizations willing to challenge Zionist
course. They are working with Russia and Iran in Syria. Cooperation among rulers’ aggression. This will put obstacles in the way of Zionists gobbling
them further increased while facing blockade of Qatar by Saudi led group up more and more land from Palestinians in the West Bank. Israeli rulers
of Gulf monarchies. Iran’s increasing influence is emboldening the dissident are now targeting Iran which has little to do with Iran’s nuclear programme
forces among these monarchies which see an opportunity in this change in but is related to the steady rise in its strength and in that of its allies in the
the power equation in the region. These Gulf monarchies exploit the rich region. Thus US allies, rulers of Israel and Saudi led Gulf monarchies, are
natural resources of their countries in league with imperialist powers and projecting as dangerous Iran’s growing power in the region, to suppress a
they fear rise of their own people. Hence they are very alarmed by any challenge to their drive. This is particularly urgent for them in view of the
situation which may lead to emboldening of domestic opposition. In view successful military intervention of Russia in Syria which has changed the
of US imperialism not committing to deploy adequate forces to sustain course of war there. It has given Russia further opportunity to increase its
their anti-people monarchial rule nor any other imperialist power being in influence in the different countries in the region and emerge as the dominant
that position, Saudi led Gulf monarchies are enlisting the Israeli forces for power in the regions where US led interventions have resulted in disarray
the purpose. They need a big military power for sustaining their rule and and chaos as in Libya.
weakening of all regional powers whose rise in influence may spur challenge
to their rule. Their attempts to forge a force from among the Muslim majority Palestinian struggle against Zionist aggression and for their national
states in the course of their aggression against Yemen has been a dismal rights is a sore point in forging this alliance openly. Plight of Palestinians
failure. Saudi led war has made no advance while their killing of civilians, is etched in the psyche of Arab people and their struggle enjoys wide spread

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NEW DEMOCRACY Organ of the Central Committee, CPI(ML)
sympathy among the people. Hence, for the US-Israel-Saudi axis to be an minister in Saleh regime, has been living in Doha for the past five years
open alliance, this issue has to be resolved. And under the present and UAE maneuvered Saleh through him. This attempt was however
conditions, it has to be solved on the terms of Israel. It involves two main thwarted by the Houthis who gained quick control over the capital, Sana’a
questions- whole of Jerusalem going to Israel which claims it to be its and have retained control over most of Yemen. A number of units of Yemen
eternal and indivisible capital and Palestinians foregoing their right to return Army which were loyal to Saleh, are still with Houthis.
to their homes (in present day Israel) which is guaranteed under UN
resolution. Despite facing the biggest power in the world (US imperialism) Saudi Arabia and UAE cannot openly accept the conditions of Israel
and in the region (Israel), Palestinians are not willing to concede these lest it sees outburst from people in their own countries. So they want
issues as these are existential questions for them to exist as a nation and Palestinians to accept these conditions which they would then support as
are the core of their national rights. respecting the will of Palestinian people. Rulers of Saudi Arabia and UAE
are also suppressing all sections in their country which may take advantage
Rulers of Saudi Arabia and their allies in Gulf, particularly UAE, cannot of any resentment among the people with their open betrayal of Palestinian
openly endorse these positions of Israel. But they wish to proclaim a solution cause. Arrest of a large number of princes and officials in Saudi Arabia
to the Palestinian problem for their alliance with Israel to be openly was part of this drive. Besides arrests of princes, one of them was killed in
proclaimed. Hence, tremendous pressure is being brought upon Palestinian the clash over his arrest and another died mysteriously in an air crash.
leadership to accede to Israeli demands. Recent arrest of Jordanian These arrests were made in the name of combating corruption while the
billionaire, Masri, was also to pressurize the Palestinian leadership besides anti-corruption body which steered the arrests was formed by King Salman
browbeating Jordan’s King on his opposition to Israel’s claim over whole of barely four hours before these arrests. A section of clergy is also target of
Jerusalem. Saudi rulers are angry at Jordan King's attendance in the meeting the attack for the similar reason. Saudi Arabia and UAE have also intensified
of Organization of Islamic States convened by Turkey. repression against MB activists who may utilize the people’s anger in these
states. It is not surprising that main leaders of MB are on the list of ‘terrorist’
The present drive to solve the Palestinian problem on terms of Israel is entities given by Saudi Arabia, UAE and Bahrain to Qatar to take action.
being orchestrated by JSZ- two sons and a son-in-law- Jaryd Kushner, real All these steps are being taken in close co-ordination with US president
estate magnate and son-in-law of US President Trump who is also Trump’s Trump and his advisors. Trump has been supporting Salman’s moves, giving
senior advisor, Crown Prince Salman, son of King Salman of Saudi Arabia him certificate of fighting against ‘terrorism’ and against ‘radical Islam’.
and Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi (UAE) Mohammed bin Zayed al Nahyan.
Prince Zayed’s advisor is Yousef al-Otaiba who is UAE’s ambassador to Trump’s son-in-law Kushner is working on a ‘peace plan’ embodying the
USA since 2008. He is close to the Jewish lobby in Washington and his above points. This plan is scheduled to be presented in the beginning of
role in portraying Qatar as a sponsor of ‘terrorism’ came into the open 2018. But before that Palestinians have to be coerced into being prepared
when Saudi-UAE-Bahrain imposed a blockade on Qatar. UAE has been to accept this plan. There has been intensified activity for forging unity
playing an important role in the present drive as Doha has become a centre among different sections of Palestinians, particularly Fatah and Hamas.
of Israeli influence in the region. UAE is an active participant in the offensive But behind the scene, attempt is to force leadership of Dahlan over the
against Yemen and has deployed its Army in the South of Yemen. UAE is Palestinians. He was the same official who was chased away by Hamas
not in favour of Mansour Hadi, official President of Yemen based in Riyadh, from Gaza and who had close links with Israeli intelligence. For last five
whose visit to Yemen have been banned by Saudi rulers in deference to years, this Dahlan is based in Doha, capital of UAE. Egypt has been roped
wishes of UAE which sponsors a number of Islamist groups controlling in to mount pressure on Hamas and their only land opening (Rafa) is under
parts of South Yemen. UAE also played a role in disrupting the alliance Egyptian control. This Cairo unity declaration between Hamas and Fatah
between ex-ruler Saleh and Houthis which resulted in the clashes between is to change the Palestinian leadership and force them into accepting the
the two leading to death of Saleh. Saleh’s son, Monsour, who was interior Israel supported US ‘peace plan’.

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US president Trump’s declaration to move US embassy in Israel from
Tel Aviv to Jerusalem is geared towards this objective. Though Saudi Arabia,
IFTU Condemns the ban on
UAE and Bahrain voted in UN General Assembly for the resolution against
Trump Admn’s move, Saudi Arabia and its allies were neither its sponsors
Mazdoor Sangathan Samiti
nor chose to speak in the Assembly on the resolution. It is also noteworthy The National Committee of IFTU strongly condemns the ban on Mazdoor
that while US General Assembly was debating this resolution, a Bahrain Sanghatan Samithi (MSS) by the Jharkand government on the grounds
delegation was in Israel and an Israeli delegation is scheduled to visit Bahrain that it is helping the Maoists, that it had called Varavara Rao to address a
soon. UN General Assembly passed a resolution against US move, despite meeting and that it is imposing levies et al.
open threats and blackmail by the US Administration. It shows the anger
this move has generated among the people in the world, particularly in the The MSS is a trade union organization engaged in organizing the workers
Middle-East. This development has created complications for the US-Israel- in various industries in the state of Jharkand. It is a leading trade union
Saudi plan for the Palestinians. Palestinian Authority President, Abbas, fighting for the realization of the legitimate demands of the workers. A
has declared that he would not even consider a peace plan proposed by legal and open workers organization as the MSS cannot be dubbed as a
the US as he does not consider US to be an honest mediator. That US was frontal organization of the Maoists and a ban imposed on it merely because
never a neutral mediator is besides the point here. Varavara Rao was called to address a meeting. This is very strange as
Varavara Rao has been addressing meetings in many states and nothing
It is clear that US-Israel-Saudi offensive is meeting resistance in the like banning the organizations that invited him has been happening.
region and among Palestinians. Ground situation in the Middle-East is
changing though it continues to grow more complex due to machinations of As a registered trade union MSS has the right to receive subscription
different imperialist powers. One thing is becoming increasing obvious, fee from its member workers and contributions from various sections of
that due to US-Israel drive to gobble up more and more Palestinian territories society for conducting its activities. Therefore the basis on which the
expelling Palestinians from their homes and Saudi and their allies’ Jharkand government imposed the ban is utterly false and motivated to
acquiescence with this drive in the interest of saving their rule and riches, favour the managements against whom the workers are fighting under the
is rendering two state solution i.e. Israel and Palestine in historical Palestine leadership of MSS. MSS cannot be punished by way of a ban merely for
increasingly implausible. At this rate there would be no land left for the airing its views on the policies of the government. Suppression of normal
state of Palestine and US-Israel-Saudi would like Palestinians to disappear democratic activity by the government amounts to curtailing civil rights of
in the deserts of Arabia. But the people cannot and would not disappear. the people.
They would claim their rights. Their just struggle would be victorious. Not The IFTU demands the immediate revocation of the ban on MSS and
they but this excrescence of history, Zionist Israel, may be assigned to calls upon all democracy-loving people to voice their protest against the
the dustbin of history. Hitler could not exterminate Jews, and Zionist rulers, ban.
even with US backing, would not be able to make Palestinians disappear.
(This Statement was issued by IFTU President Com. Aparna and General
Secretary Com. Pradeep. A statement questioning imposition of ban on
MSS and demanding its withdrawal was also issued by the Joint Platform
of Coal Contract Workers Unions(JPCCWU). It was signed by Dugai Murmu,
President, ECLTSAU; Somnath Chattarjee, General Secretry AIIECLWEU;
Shailen Bhattacharya, General Secretary ECLCSU; A. Venkanna, President
SCGWU; Thangaraj, General Secretary NDLF; B. Pradeep, General Sectrary
IFTU and Gautam Mody, General Secretary NTUI.)

December,, 2017 59 60 December,, 2017

NEW DEMOCRACY Organ of the Central Committee, CPI(ML)
Berhampur (Odisha)
State le
State vel Emplo
lev Employyees'
Convention a
Conv aggainst Outsour cing
Hundreds of employees working in different departments of the Odisha
state Govt assembled in Town Hall, Berhampur on December 10 under the
banner of Odisha Outsourcing Employees' Federation in a state level
convention demanding equal pay for equal work and an end to the anti Com. Pradeep addressing
the Convention
worker outsourcing system. 330 delegates from 25 out of 30 districts of
Odisha, belonging to 41 Govt departments like Education, Health, Labour, lakh employees working in different Govt departments of Odisha are under
Forest, Agriculture, Soil conservation etc. along with University employees contractual and out sourced employment. Many of them are not getting
participated in the Convention. A rally was also held before the convention. even minimum wage for months together. The so called service provider
agencies are not depositing the EPF and ESI money. Nearly one fifth or
Convenor of the Federation, Prasant Maharana, gave the introductory
18% of their wage released by the Govt is being cut as service tax or GST.
speech. Chief Guest of the programme, Com. B. Pradeep, General
There is no holiday even on national holidays. Com. Pradeep congratulated
Secretary IFTU said though contractual employment was there in the past
the leaders of different unions assembled there under the Odisha
but due to the neo liberal policies it has increased to a great extent. Earlier
Outsourcing Employees' Federation to take up this issue by organizing the
both in Govt and private sector, except a few contractual employees
most exploited section of the employees.
majority of employees were regular but over the last 26 years of economic
liberalization the number of permanent employees has decreased while the State Spokesperson of CPI (ML) New Democracy, Com. Bhalchandra
number of employees engaged under contractual and outsourcing basis said that the state Govt is continuously claiming that they have a surplus
has increased to a very large degree. Though there is Contract Labour budget but everyday peasants of Odisha are committing suicide and lakhs
(Abolition and Regulation) Act of 1970 but it is not implemented. Forget the of workers and employees are living a substandard life. When Odisha Govt.
abolition of contract employment, even regulation of the contractual system is paying Group C employees a mere 7000 rupees per month instead of
has become a mirage. Crores of contractual workers in the country are Rs. 40,000 then it is obvious reason for the Govt to have a surplus budget.
living in abysmal conditions and are being denied the rights and facilities The real question is to end this exploitative contract and outsourcing system.
provided in the Act. Though contract workers are entitled to get minimum
wage, EPF and ESI like benefits, but they are being deprived of them. Leaders of different employees unions like Premananda Patel of Odisha
Adarsha Vidyalaya Employees Union, Rajendra Rath from Odisha
Recently the Supreme Court has given a ruling restating the law on the Outsourcing Medical Employees Union, Mihir Biswal from Odisha Panchayat
issue of equal pay for equal work. But this is not being implemented by all Raj Outsourcing Employees Union, Prasant Maharana on behalf of Odisha
the Govts and industrialists. Rather the Modi Govt at the Centre and his Outsourcing ICDS Employees Union, Padma Charana Nayak from Odisha
party’s Govts in Rajasthan and Haryana have already started amending Outsourcing Municipal Employees Union spoke on behalf of their respective
the hard earned labour rights including the Contract Labour Act in the name unions and conveyed their willingness to carry forward the struggle. Veteran
of labour reform. Their so called labour reforms are to help make super rationalist leader Raja Suresh, Odisha Un-organized Workers Union’s
profits for the corporate by allowing ruthless exploitation of the labour of Working President Comrade Pratap Chinara, Odisha Non Govt Employees
our workers and employees. Odisha Govt led by Naveen Patanaik is not state leader Pradip Sahu also spoke at the programme and conveyed their
different from others in implementing these anti worker policies. Nearly 1.7 solidarity for the just demands of out-sourcing employees.

December,, 2017 61 62 December,, 2017

NEW DEMOCRACY Organ of the Central Committee, CPI(ML)
The 2G Scam co operation in not furnishing evidence against the accused, but he went
ahead to whitewash the whole crime.

udiciaryy Washes the The country has seen and is seeing widespread corruption by the Govt.
machinery - not only fleecing money from the people, harassing them to
Corrr upt Clean extract money or taking bribes. This pervasive corruption sits along with
collusive corruption to loot and plunder the resources of the country –
collusion between foreign and domestic corporate and ruling politicians and
The acquittal of all the accused in the 2G scam by a Special CBI Court bureaucrats. They are plundering not only the present but also the future of
has once again reaffirmed that the ruling classes use the Judiciary as a the country. That the whole exercise was conducted under the supervision
laundry to clean the dirt of corruption and ill deeds. of the Supreme Court shows the limitation of the efforts to eliminate
corruption through bureaucratic means like Lokpal etc.
Judge O.P. Saini has blamed the prosecution of being directionless
and diffident. The Special Court judge remarked that the prosecutors were Learning from this, people should wage a determined struggle against
not willing to pursue even the pleas made before the Court, witnesses different forms of corruption-extortion, loot and plunder. The struggle against
contradicted in their testimonies what they had said in their respective corruption should be linked to the struggles of peasants, workers and other
statements and no legally admissible evidence was produced. This leaves sections of thee people as a part of struggles of the people for new democratic
no doubt that the Govt. and its ‘caged parrot’ CBI made sure that no case revolutionary transformation. Struggle against corruption is an important
is made out against the accused. It is pertinent that the investigation was struggle of the people against their enemies-the ruling classes.
supervised by the Supreme Court and that has made no difference.
The later part of the trial was held in the period when the Modi Govt. is
in power. It is obvious that the CBI must have continued to act as usual,
on the direction of now the Modi Govt. Whether it was a payback to the
UPA for ‘exoneration’ of Mr. Modi and Mr. Shah in the cases of fake Read and Subscribe
encounter in Gujarat, or whether it has been done with a view to Tamil
Nadu politics or both, is open to speculation. Or, is it more pertinent that
Orgg ans
the corporate involved in that loot are also supporters and financiers of the New Democracy English
Modi Govt? Moreover, the corporate and the media controlled by them Pratirodh Ka Swar Hindi
played a very important role in bringing the Modi Govt. to power and the
Govt. knows the importance of their continued support for remaining in Voice of New Democracy Telugu
power. (Telengana)
Besides acquitting all the accused, the Judge has gone to the extent of New Democracy Bulletin Telugu
claiming that there was no scam (corruption). The Judge ignored what was (A.P.)
already on record- change in the date and giving of only an hour for
submitting drafts, besides the Rs. 200 crore given to Kaliangar TV by
Biplabi Ganaline Bengali
those linked to Swan. All these undisputed facts were brushed aside to Inquilabi Sada Rah Punjabi
claim that they pertained to a matter of policy and not corruption. Hence,
the judge was not only a helpless witness to CBI's (and Govt.'s) deliberate
Sangrami Ekta Odia

December,, 2017 63 64 December,, 2017