NEW DEMOCRACY

Call on 125th Birth Anniversary of Dr. B. R. Ambedkar (April 14,
2016)

Intensify Struggle Against
Caste Oppression!
Caste division and oppression is a reality of our society. While it is defended
and perpetuated in Hindu religion with its preaching of unequal status by birth,
the caste system had its impact even on those religious groups which do not
subscribe to such preaching. It is a reality encompassing Indian society. It is
not just a set of prejudices, it does not pertain only to superstructure of our
society, it also pertains to the very base. It has been and is a useful tool for
the ruling classes to extract surplus and appropriate the labour of the toiling
people. Hence its longevity in successive ruling dispensations through the
ages. Brahmanism has provided the ideological basis for division of Hindu
society into castes and oppression of a large majority of the people. Manusmriti
has been a charter of crude caste exploitation and oppression.
Caste question presents in a myriad of ways from attacks on Dalit lives,
houses and property, sexual exploitation and rapes of Dalit girls and women,
their oppression at work place, segregation practiced with respect to them to
denial of reservation or inadequate filling of such posts, in getting
accommodation to deliberately failing such students, their insults at public
places etc. Marriages of Dalit youth to upper caste girls continue to evoke
violent responses in villages and even cities. Judicial prejudice as evidenced
by acquittal of Tsundur culprits and culprits of massacres of Dalits by upper
caste landlords in Bihar is also part of caste question.
Dalits are mostly landless in rural areas, which is primarily responsible for
their lower social status. Besides they are relegated to menial jobs. However,
all sections of Dalits face discrimination and oppression in the prevailing caste
system. Dalits face double oppression –due to the prevailing caste system
as well as due to class exploitation as most them belong to toiling sections.
In fact their lower social status is not only a cause of their depressed condition
but also of the labouring masses generally. A very small section of them own
their own means of production and are dependent on other sections for getting
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means of subsistence. This dependence through which their labour power is
plundered is the basic aspect of the caste oppression. Even those from among
Dalits who are able to get education and jobs face discrimination and
suppression in educational institutions and work places.
The root cause of the caste division and oppression lies in the evolution of
class society in India and revolutionary reorganization of the economic and
social structure including elimination of hereditary occupations is necessary
to totally do away with caste oppression. It is clear that only revolution can
accomplish this mostly quickly and least painfully. New Democratic Revolution,
with distribution of the most widespread means of production i.e. land, will
remove one of the main basis of the dependency at the root of caste oppression
and clear the ground for the abolition of caste from society.
The struggle against caste oppression is being fought in different spheres.
The struggle of landless poor for agricultural land, struggle of oppressed castes
for house sites, struggle of labouring masses for employment and better wages
and working conditions, struggle against caste atrocities directed against Dalit
men and women in rural areas, struggle for elimination of caste discrimination
and oppression from educational institutions, struggle for proper implementation
of reservation and extension of reservation to private sector, even defiant
inter-caste marriages all have emerged in this period. Though ruling class
parties talk against caste division and caste oppression, they in reality
maintain, defend and perpetuate it.
Strengthening of Hindutva forces and their ascent to power has sharpened
attacks on Dalits and other oppressed castes. Hindutva is an aggressive
communal ideology and is basically Hindu upper caste chauvinism. It is
attacking struggles against caste oppression. It is attacking the democratic
right to question this oppression. Hindutva forces which are in service of
imperialist exploitation of the country and the rule of big capitalists and big
landlords, are the fascist answer of the ruling classes to the rising struggles
of the people including against caste oppression.
While Dalit masses continue to struggle for their basic rights and against
caste oppression, there is a welcome rise of struggles of Dalit students not
only against their own lower status and oppression but questioning the very
policies of the ruling classes, their subservience to imperialism including new
economic policies, their suppression of struggles of the people including those
of minority nationalities. They are also raising their voice against communal

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attacks against minorities and the issues underlying them. It is a welcome
rise of struggles which is questioning the Hindutva forces. The RSS-BJP
Govt. is suppressing them.
In this situation revolutionary forces should intensify their struggle against
caste division and caste oppression and attack this oppression in whatever
form it assumes and wherever it surfaces. In fact struggle against caste
oppression should be made part and parcel of all democratic struggles and
should be brought prominently on the agenda of all democratic organizations.
This struggle is very necessary to overcome division among the Indian people,
caste division being main among them, and to forge their unity. As B.R.
Ambedkar had succinctly put it, caste is not only division of labour but division
among labourers.
Dr. B. R. Ambedkar was a pioneer in the struggle against caste division
and oppression. Born into a Dalit caste he had himself faced such oppression
and this helped him to identify and to address the concrete issues of denial of
basic human rights to Dalits. More importantly, he struggled against it and
inspired a large number of people to join this struggle. He waged struggles for
equal rights for Dalits and oppressed castes and educated them to discard
even land grant in return for scavenging work. He gave a clarion call for
eliminating caste system from society. He advocated inter-caste marriages
as an important means to this end. He carried forward the task initiated by
many social reformers including Jyotiba Phule and Periyar. He conducted
this struggle countering obstacles and conspiracies from the dominant stream
of political life of his time. His contribution to the struggle against the most
important scourge of Indian society, principally majority Hindu community,
has been immense. His efforts played a pivotal role in briniging the issue of
caste oppression and need to redress the same on the political agenda in the
course of struggle of the Indian people against British colonial rule. He fought
for equal right of inheritance for women in Hindu society and also struggled for
other democratic causes of toiling people.

masses of the country for the revolutionary transformation of Indian society.
On this occasion, CPI(ML)-New Democracy rededicates itself to the
progamme of elimination of caste division and oppression as well as to focus
on the questions which are immediate questions on this issue. We shall join
forces with all democratic individuals and organizations fighting against caste
oppression in this endeavour.
(This Call has been issued by the Central Committee of CPI(ML)-New
Democracy. CC called on all Party committees to organize programmes on
April 14, 2016 on the above theme. Pursuant to CC Call, Party Committees in
different states organized hall meetings/seminars/public meetings/rallies and
other mass programmes to highlight the need to intensify taking up issues of
caste oppression and build a powerful movement for elimination of caste
system from India.
Here we have hailed the efforts of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar in the important
cause of fighting caste oppression and caste division of Indian society
particularly among the majority Hindus. Dr. B.R. Ambedkar has contributed to
many fields, has written on many subjects and involved himself in different
issues. We have not dealt here with several other aspects of Dr. B.R.
Ambedkar's contributions nor have we dealt in depth here regarding his
proposals for snnihilation of caste. We consider his role of immense importance
in fighting caste oppression and caste division in society.
A comprehensive article dealing with different aspects of the contributions
of Dr. Ambedkar is due. It shall soon be published in this Organ.

- Editor)

To carry forward the struggle against caste oppression and for elimination
of caste, Central Committee of CPI(ML)-New Democracy calls for organizing
meetings on April 14, 2016 on the occasion of 125th Birth Anniversary of Dr.
B.R. Ambedkar. We should intensify this struggle and also actively join other
forces fighting caste oppression. This is essential for intensifying revolutionary
movement in the country in which elimination of caste is one of the most
important components and this is of utmost importance to unite the toiling
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Com. Ravi Memorial Meetings

Meetings in the memory of Com. Rayala Subhash Chandra Bose (Ravi),
Member of the Central Committee of CPI(ML)-New Democracy and Secretary
of its Telengana State Committee have been held throughout the country.
Com. Ravi died on March 9, 2016 and the Party called for holding memorial
meetings from March 11 to March 26.
Memorial meetings were held in the villages of Khammam and Warangal
districts including in the Agency area of these districts. These meetings
were held by leaders of Party and mass organizations. A big memorial
meeting was held on March 20th in his ancestral village, Pindiporlu, which
was addressed by leaders of Telengana State Committee. On March 21st
a memorial meeting was held in Yellandu (Khammam) and another on March
22nd in Pakala Kothaguda (Warangal) which were addressed by the leaders
of the State Committee and IFTU President Com. Aparna. She also
addressed a meeting of women activists held in memory of Com. Ravi.
Besides Khammam and Warangal, memorial meetings were held in all the
districts of Telengana at district headquarters and other centres of work.

Deshbhagat Yadgar Hall in Jalandhar on March 26th. This meeting was
addressed by leaders of the State Committee and IFTU General Secretary,
Com. Pradeep.
A memorial meeting for Com. Ravi was held in Kolkata on March 20th
and in Brahmapur in last week of March. Memorial meetings were held at
Sasaram, Muzaffarpur and other centres in Bihar between March 15th and
25th. Meetings were held in Allahabad and other districts of UP in memory
of Com. Ravi. In all these meetings, the contribution of Com. Ravi to the
revolutionary movement of the country was talked about and Party cadres
were called upon to intensify struggle for New Democratic Revolution learning
from the life and practice of Com. Ravi.

26th March 2016,
Khammam : A big public
meeting held in the
memory of Com. Ravi.
(Left) Com. Sushanto Jha
addressing the meeting
and (Below) a view of the
public meeting.

On the call of Telengana State Committee of CPI(ML)-New Democracy
a big public meeting was held in memory of Com. Ravi at Khammam on
26th March. Before the meeting, a rally was taken out through Khammam.
Nearly 5000 people participated in the public meeting. Member of the Central
Committee of the Party, Com. Sushanto Jha, addressed this meeting along
with leaders of Telengana PC and of other revolutionary organizations.
Memorial meetings were organized in all the districts of Andhra Pradesh
at district headquarters and in areas of Party work. Meetings were held at
Jangareddygudem (22nd March) and Eluru in West Godavari district where
Com. Ravi had worked for years. APPC organized a state level memorial
meeting on March 23rd at Vijaywada which was addressed by member of
the Central Committee Com. Sushanto Jha besides leaders of the Andhra
Pradesh State Committee of the Party.
Delhi Committee of the Party held a meeting in the memory of Com.
Ravi on March 25th at Gandhi Peace Foundation. This was addressed by
leaders of the Party and mass organizations besides General Secretary of
IFTU, Com. B. Pradeep.
Punjab State Committee of the Party held a memorial meeting at
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Com. Ravi is another name
for discipline and ideal life

not allow them. He used to wash his own clothes till four years back, when
he suffered a paralytic stroke. He used to cook his food also. He did not
care about the taste and used to eat whatever food was offered to him
without making any comment on it. Because of this it was very difficult for
others to know what he liked. He used to take food in limited quantity
which is required for him irrespective of whether it was to his liking or not.

Rama
(Vice President, POW Telengana)
Some people die while still living. Some other people still live even
after their death. Comrade Rayala Subhash Chandra Bose belongs to the
second category. He thought all along his life about the people. His attention,
concern, breath and hope were the people. Whenever, any comrade
expressed any loss of confidence in the people or expressed any discontent
about them, he used to inculcate self confidence in them, narrating the
experiences of Russia, China and Telangana peasant armed struggle. He
used to often narrate the Chinese story of the foolish old man who removed
the mountain.
Study was a habit for him. He used to spend time reading books, hours
together without either respite or feeling any boredom. Not only that. He
used to discuss about that book and its content for days together. He used
to encourage the younger comrades to read that book. He used to take
classes on national and international situation and on dialectical
materialism. He made special study on Contradiction. He used to feel bad
for having failed to study anything on a particular day. He used to carry
one or two books with him during his travels also. Even when he started for
a travel in a hurry he used to make it a point to not forget to take some
books with him. He used to read Frontline and India Today English
magazines without fail. If he did not get Frontline at any time, he used to
ask for it again and again. He used to read magazines of our Party and
mass organizations, as soon as he got them, fully along with reports. He
used to express his opinions on essays in them and also used to point out
language mistakes.
Some people try to be ideal for ideal sake. They are eager that others
should recognize that they are remaining ideal. But Comrade Ravi was
totally different. Simplicity was a part of his life. He used to clean his plate
himself till his death. Even if somebody insisted on cleaning it, he used to
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He did not spend a Rupee more than what was necessary. He insisted
that every rupee spent must be accounted for. It was only for books that
he spent without any second thought. He often said that ‘this is people’s
money’. Not even a rupee should be spent in a wasteful manner. He was
very strict and serious with financial matters. He reprimanded those who
do not give their accounts in time and in a proper way.
He did not know what was fear. He was very daring. This was proved
several times. When certain forces tried to destabilize our movement in
East Godavari District, he went there and led the squads. Whenever we
faced difficulties in Yellandu area, he went there, stayed and corrected the
situation. He had told me a month back that he would go to Yellandu and
stay there for a month. I had prevented him. He used to get swelling of feet
and suffer from pain because of uric acid problem. Because of this he
could not walk. His speed in walking declined after his suffering from paralytic
stroke. I argued against his going because of these reasons. He was also
convinced and dropped his plan.
He went to Pindiporlu, his native village, exactly one month prior to his
death, i.e. on 10th February. He met those families who had given him
shelter. At that time also, his feet were swollen and he was suffering with
pain. I came to know that he went around to the houses of his acquaintances
in spite of the pain. I was not with him at that time. It was not his practice
to go anywhere without giving prior information. This was the first time that
he went to Pindiporlu without prior information. That happened to be the
last time also. Though it is accidental, he went back to Pindiporlu exactly
a month later i.e. on 10th March as a dead body. The village people, who
had seen him as a student 48 years back, had seen him again only now as
a deceased.
He used to be very careful with his health. I went to Jail in 1998,
sentenced in Velerupadu case. He had the habit of taking tea, before my
going to Jail. I was not having the habit of taking tea. I do not know what

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transpired in his mind, he stopped taking tea. He did never took to taking
tea again. I had learnt practicing ‘Asanas’ in Jail. I taught them to Ravi
after my coming out of Jail. From that time on, he never stopped practicing
Asanas, except during the time of meetings. Every day, he used to get up
at 5 o’clock in the morning and take a walk. Thereafter, Asanas, bath and
reading daily papers – this used to be his routine. Even when he was forced
to go to sleep late, there was no change in his daily schedule. He used to
get up promptly at 5 o’clock. Sometimes, when I knew that he was too
tired, I used to stop the alarm ring. It was not to his liking.
Vimala and I came into the Party in 1978. Our marriages took place on
26 th June, 1979 in East Godavari district. Our marriage and that of
Chandrasekhar (Ravi’s brother) and Vimala were held at the same time.
Party sent me to Yellandu area and Vimala to Bhadrachalam area within a
few days of our marriages. Since R.V. was underground, it used to be
difficult for us to meet. There were no phones at that time. Ravi used to
sent letters to me through courier mentioning when to meet and where to
meet. Whenever we met, he used to ask me which books I had read. He
used to suggest to me to read a particular book by the time we met again.
When we met again, he used to ask me about the content of the book I had
read. I used to tell him whatever I had understood, though hesitantly. He
used to explain to me about that book. Thus, I have cultivated the habit of
reading. When I expressed my hesitation in addressing meetings he used
to advise me to not entertain any inferiority complex and he used to caution
me that “if we are afraid, we cannot do anything”. He encouraged me to
write articles (essays) and to take classes. He impressed upon me to gain
grip over some subjects. There was a lot of effort and cooperation on the
part of Com. Ravi in my reaching to this level today.
In the same way, Com. Ravi criticized me for the mistakes I committed
in a frank and unhesitating manner. At the same time, he would not raise
those mistakes again. He was very broad – minded. Whenever I had writing
work, he would say ‘I will do the cooking, but you have to eat without any
complaint.' He would not care about taste. He said ‘we should eat for living
but not live for eating’. He used to be like that. He used to expect other
comrades also to be like that.
Com. R.V. used to be straight forward, impartial and honest. He did not
know conspiracies and intrigues. He did not know groupism. If somebody
tried to tell something about some other comrade, he used to put a barrage
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of questions to him. Ultimately he used to advise him to speak in his own
committee as that was the only correct organizational method and there
was no use in talking to him. He told this in a delicate way. Because of
such an attitude, comrades would be afraid of telling such things to him.
Com. R.V. used to follow strict punctuality. He used to tell others also
time and again to attend party meetings strictly on time. He used to ask
the comrades “when all of you are whole-time organizers, when you do not
have any other work, when you have give top priority to the meetings, why
are you not able to attend the meetings in time?” He used to be agitated at
this. He used to attend the meetings even when he was suffering from illhealth. In case of his inability to attend the meeting, he was sure to give
this information to the concerned well in time.
Com. R.V. knew no partiality. He did not know how to act in one way
with those who were close to him and in another way with regard to others.
To tell the truth, he used to be somewhat harder with regard to those who
were close to him. He used to take more freedom in interfering (commenting
or criticizing) with the work and study of those who were close to him. He
used to criticize their weaknesses in a frank way. He used to point out
wrong trends in them. Ravi used to strive to unite with those who differed
with him. May be no one else could be more exemplary than him in this
regard. I felt some difficulty in uniting with those who differed with me. He
pointed out this weakness of mine several times. He used to impress upon
me that this was not correct. He used to say that we should strive to be
more friendly with those who differ with us.
He was very democratic both in the party committee meetings or outside.
He invited difference of opinion. He used to say that the party which had no
differences will prove to be a lifeless party. He used to say that even when
there are differences in the party, we have to work abiding to the Marxist
organizational principle of minority submitting to majority. Not just saying
it, he used to follow it. He used to explain the opinion which he differed with
in a manner which might even give scope for thinking that R.V. himself had
changed his opinion. I was not able to understand how this was possible.
He opposed splitting of parties as soon as certain differences crop up.
He made serious efforts to avoid a split in the Party whenever such a
situation arose. He used to say that splits cause serious loss to the
revolutionary movement and we have to work together with those who have

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differences with us. He urged us to cultivate a habit of working together
with those who have differences with us.
Com. R.V. did not know how to think in one way in his mind and act in
another way. When he came to know that certain comrades have felt hurt
when he spoke to them in a straight forward way, he used to say he could
not help this. They should correct their mistakes when pointed out instead
of feeling hurt.
Com. R.V. used to implement party decisions, whatever may be his
opinions. He used to criticize those who violated. He remained under ground
for 48 years, as per party decisions. One can learn how an underground
comrade should be, seeing comrade R.V. He used to be very strict with
tech precautions. We had given our daughter, Spandana, to my mother for
bringing up at the age of three months. I had asked him in 1986 (at that
time, Spandana was 4 year old) to allow my mother and Spandana to stay
with us for 4 – 5 days. Ravi replied that “your mother does not know about
us. After going from here, your mother may say to some-body that we are
at such and such place. She may not say it intentionally. She may say it
out of over anxiety without knowing that this should not be divulged.
Therefore do not entertain such an idea”. On that day, I felt somewhat
pained. There-after I never spoke about this again.
Com. R.V. knew his weaknesses very clearly. He used to read English.
He used to hear English news. But he was not able to speak in English
freely. He did not hesitate to accept it. He used to say that ‘I cannot speak
English. The reason for this is I am not able to leave my mother tongue,
Telugu’. He was prepared to make self-criticism of his mistakes even before
somebody pointed them out. He used to accept whole-heartedly the things
which he did not know.
Com. R.V. used to strongly oppose careerism. Still more he used to
abhor it. He could tolerate anything but he was not able to bear the thirst
for power and doing anything for it. No recommendations used to work with
him. He used to be very strict with regard to work and discipline even
pertaining to comrades very close to him. He used to insist that all party
cadres should implement party decisions and work wherever party asks
them to work. He used to be very agitated at the weaknesses that were
being expressed amongst the comrades.
Com. R.V. had tolerance and forbearance in good measure. Nobody
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believes that he was having high B.P. He knew no anger. He used not to
get angry even in situations where one gets angry. I used to become angry
at this. I used to ask him ‘Why are you not getting angry?’ Because of this,
some problems arose. Yet, he used not to get angry.
I have learnt a lot during the thirty seven years of our married life. He
used to be the first reader of my articles. He was not only my partner, he
was also my political guru (teacher). He continued to retain to his last
breath, his personal traits of impartiality, straight forwardness, truthfulness,
sincerity, iron discipline, sticking to democratic conduct, simplicity,
commitment, dedication and uniting with those that differ with him, and
those traits had taken him forward in his long Journey. The real homage
that we can pay to him is to own up and cultivate his traits.

My Journey with Ravi
P. Suryam
It was a regular meeting. But I never imagined that it would be the last
get together with him. We were discussing the issue of protection of adivasi
lands. It was his turn to sum up the discussion and within four minutes
after he began, his tongue numbed, words fumbled. We realized that
something was seriously wrong and rushed him to a hospital by which time
his condition was already grave. We then tried to get him to Hyderabad and
every passing second was a tense moment. Eventually we lost Ravi and
permanently at that. A hard and tragic reality that was difficult to digest.
Many in their lifetime live as communists for a certain period, but it is a
rarity to lead a life of a communist till the last breath. Not only that, it was,
perhaps, possible only for Ravi to engage himself in fulfilling the tasks of
the movement even in his last moments of life. That too in the course of
discussing land issue, central to the revolution.

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In his 68 years of life, Ravanna spent almost 48 years in underground
having limited access to a few persons. To be among his dear state
committee members in his final moments was something positive in the
negative development, in the sense that he died in the circle of his comrades.
If I can recall, it was way back in 1970 that I saw him for the first time
in Kothagudem in my cousin's place. Both were friends and my cousin
introduced him to me as Ramesh. But I realized that this man was Bose.
Meeting an underground comrade gave me a sense of great enthusiasm
and that too a comrade of whom I had heard but not met. Meeting him in
person made me happy. I could not conceal the fact that he was not Ramesh
but Bose. I straightaway put this to him directly to which he lazily nodded
but told me not to divulge this to anyone. I was in 10th standard then and
was in shorts. When I accompanied him to board a lorry, it was again I who
asked him as to when our next meeting would be. He just smiled, perhaps
at my innocence.
In 1972, he came along with Bedada Chennaiah to our village, Velidanda.
They went to the house of V.Koteshwara Rao. At that time the Progressive
Youth Association of the village was conducting a games competition and
Bose was made the referee in these matches. That was the next meeting
with him. By that time the CPI(ML) led by Com. Charu Mazumdar, to which
he owed allegiance, had suffered serious setbacks. When he was with the
dalam in the Kallur hills an encounter took place and he along with the
other members escaped. But Chinni Krishna of Atmakur village, Nalgonda
district died in this encounter. Meetings are organized every year by the
party near his memorial. Com. Ravi was critical of Com. Charu's line. Around
this time he wrote a letter to teacher Krishnamurthy, who was a strong
supporter of the revolutionary movement, stating that agricultural operations
were badly hit. This was a code language to convey something. In this
period he was drawn to CP line and a close confidante of CP, Suryaprakash,
took him to the forest to meet Com. CP. After long discussions with him he
declared his intention to join Com. CP led organization. By that time I had
already become an activist and in this backdrop our relationship grew.
During the Emergency, I went underground and along with three others
who left their degree course, moved as a team of activists. Under conditions
of heavy repression it was difficult to move openly in the plain areas of
Nalgonda district. In these circumstances one of our batch members, Com.
Anjaih (Prasad) was sent to Ravi through Com. Ramnarsaiah. Com. Bose
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was concentrating in the forest area of Palvancha by the time the Emergency
was declared. During the Emergency, party suffered heavy losses. In the
aftermath of Emergency CP put in all efforts to regroup the forces that got
scattered in that period. Comrades Ramnarsaiah and Ramchandraiah, his
two hands, were killed in fake encount ers. Consequently more
responsibilities fell on CP. As part of fulfilling them in Nalgonda, Velidanda
village became a centre and CP strove hard from here to organize the
party. After Maddi Venkat Reddy, Bose took charge as secretary of
Khammam district. Bose was taken into the PC during the Emergency
and was elected to the PC in the 1980 state conference.
The “thirteen years review” was to be given final touches after the 1980
Conference and 1981 Plenum. The PC gave the responsibility to CP to
prepare the draft. He prepared it and serious differences emerged in
formulating the lessons which eventually led to the split in April 1984.
Towards these differences Ravi and I held different views. Because of our
relations and the respect I had for him, I felt sad when we parted ways. I
expressed this before a comrade then that was later mentioned in literature.
It was very unfortunate that instead of limiting the debate to political and
organizational concepts, targeting of individuals took place and though to
a limited extent, even physical attacks occurred. Five years after the split,
a joint meeting of Vimochana and Prajapanda organizations took place in
1989 and there I met Ravi again. After that there were frequent joint meetings
of the two organizations in which we used to meet. Both organizations in
this period worked together in joint activity. We hoped that both would
merge into one but due to some differences this could not be.
In 1992, the CPI(ML)-New Democracy organized for the first time its
Party Congress. Documents were prepared for the purpose and the Party
declared that they are basically the policies contained in the documents
approved by the 1980 conference held under the leadership of Com.CP.
The documents passed in 1996, 2004 and 2013 Congresses are a
continuation of those of the 1980 Conference.
In essence, Path enunciated in the document is protracted peoples war
path, its immediate application being the resistance struggle.There should
be supportive movements in the border, plain and town areas. As part of
the application of peoples war path, the movement in the strategic areas
cannot be sustained without the solidarity of the agitations, class struggles
outside these areas. At the same time, in order to sustain the movement in

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these areas, teams should be able to defend themselves while organizing
and mobilizing the local people.
The policies of the Party are distinct from those of other revolutionary
organizations and the distinct feature is the resistance struggle. This
demarcates from the right and left deviations. Peoples war means war by
the people. This is what is called as the path of peoples war which is
protracted in nature. Resistance struggle means making preparations for
it. Resistance sans people is left deviation while mass line without resistance
is rightism. Both these tendencies should be opposed. Under the banner of
ML party, having electoral alliances with revisionist parties is nothing but
parliamentary path. The CPI, CPM are wedded to this path and are therefore
revisionist parties. Having issue-based joint fronts with them should not
lead to electoral fronts. We should be cautious of the attempts by these
parties to drag revolutionaries into the swamp of parliamentarism. We should
always strive for a general front with communist revolutionaries. This policy
helps us in sustaining the revolutionary party and making other
revolutionaries think positively. This also helps in the unification of the
revolutionary forces.
The Janashakti, in order to overcome its organizational crisis, declared
armed struggle not as a matter of principle but as a tactic and that too
without effecting necessary organizational steps and under conditions not
immediately suiting its launch. As a consequence it got into an irreversible
crisis and it was in this context that many units of Janashakti in different
states held discussions with New Democracy and merged with it. As part
of this we merged with ND in the beginning of 2001. In the state committee
we started to work with Bose. In 2013 Congress, he was re-elected to the
CC. Since two of us from Telangana were in the CC, there was the
opportunity to spend more time with him. Sometimes we stayed together
for a week. He used to discuss many issues during journeys. We spent
many days together in the week preceding his death. He participated actively
in the CC meeting held just three days before his death.

Organ of the Central Committee, CPI(ML)
was a very keen observer of the events, changes taking place in society
and in assessing them. In his own style he would express how these changes
should be applied to the revolutionary movement.
He recovered very fast from the paralytic stroke that struck him in 2009.
But sometimes he would forget names. A lot of sympathy arose in me
towards him. When differences arose we used to talk coolly.
It is extraordinary for a person to spend 48 years in underground in the
revolutionary movement. Such comrades would be less in number. In the
party it was only Ravi and Chandram
There is a social basis for the extraordinary consciousness exhibited
by Com. Bose. At that time the ideology of neo-revisionism was putting
brakes to the revolutionary movement. These brakes were broken by the
Naxalbari, Srikakulam and Godavari Valley revolutionary movements. These
are the movements that gave birth to many and Bose was one among
them. Many of his comrades lost their lives and yet he held high the flag of
their ideals. He firmly believed that if not we, someone else tomorrow will
usher in the revolution. He firmly believed that there was no way other than
revolution for which he strove hard with strong determination. He had
tremendous conviction that revolution will win. Most of his life was spent in
the forests and he died while speaking on the issues in the areas of resistance
struggle. We shall fight till the last to realize his goal.

Com. Bose stood firmly against the mechanistic way of thinking. He
had the approach of looking at things objectively and from a practical angle.
He had tremendous patience. His character was such that he never opposed
those who differed with him. He used to pay serious attention to the nature
of work by comrades, units at ground level and to the needs of the people.
He would express his anguish over the splits among revolutionaries. He
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Big Rally & Successful Conference

Third All India Conference of
AIKMS Held at Allahabad
The third All India Conference of the All India Kisan Mazdoor Sabha
(AIKMS) took off to a grand start on April 2, 2016 with an impressive rally
of over 8000 peasants & agricultural labourers and peasant leaders who
assembled in Allahabad from different parts of the country.
The rally began at 2 pm from the Chandra Sekhar Azad Park and wound
its way in a colorful and vibrant procession, passing through its three
kilometer route via Vivekananda crossing, main Civil Lines, Subhash
crossing and Hanuman Mandir before reaching the C.A.V. Inter College
grounds where it culminated in a mass meeting. Braving the summer heat
the AIKMS leaders from Telengana, Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Odisha,
Maharashtra, Rajasthan, West Bengal and UP led the rally with thousands
of peasants raising their voice and fists punching the air with slogans.
Festooned with colourful banners, red flags and hundreds of placards
notifying the issues, the tall red turbans of Punjab leaders, the dancing
troupes from Telangana and AP added to the festive atmosphere.
The peasantry had kept its date with the city to make a statement.
Women marched along in significant numbers and led in raising their voices
with placards in hand. The anger on the issues and anti people Govt policies
was palpable and enthusiasm of a brewing mass protest was visible, as
they marched behind their leaders, eliciting a response of praise and support
from the roadside, the media and a section of the city intelligentsia. The
peasants had come motivated to stress on the reality of the miserable
plight of peasantry. They had come to pose a challenge, to question the
govts which are deliberately camouflaging and pushing aside the misery of
the food grower.
It was the first revolutionary left led peasant gathering of significance in
Uttar Pradesh in several decades. It was the first assembly of peasants in
visible numbers in the area since the aftermath of the devastating New
Economic Policies that has forced all round indebtedness, suicides,
starvation and displacement.
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Organ of the Central Committee, CPI(ML)
The slogans ran the rounds in succession as various groups marched
on for almost 2 hours. These slogans raised the demand for land to the
tiller, for reduction in ceiling and distribution of land to the rural poor, for
homestead land for the rural poor & free electricity upto 250 units for
domestic use, for pattas for banjar, bhoodan, kachar and closed trusts'
land and to give possession on patta lands, for sand mining ravanna to
boatmen & prohibtion of machines in sandmining, for permission to labourers
for stone crushing, for implementation of Forest Rights Act and pattas for
tribals, for elimination of corruption in MGNREGS and raising wages under
the scheme to Rs. 500 per day, reduction in the prices of agricultural
inputs like seeds, fertilizers and pesticides and making available agricultural
implements for poor peasants at cheap rates, for remunerative prices for
all agricultural produce. Slogans were raised for equal wages for women
agricultural labourers, for banning foreign companies in agricultural trade,
for full compensation of crop loss, for waiving loans of peasants and
labourers, for saving natural water bodies from landlords. Slogans were
also raised opposing forcible displacement of peasants and tribals, against
giving land to foreign companies and use of agricultural land for industries
and urbanization, against smart cities and river water front, against acquiring
land for coal power plants, against all indirect taxes on domestic products
and essential items and against price rise, against cash transfer scheme
and for increasing pensions for old and widows to Rs. 3000 per month etc.
Slogans were also raised against caste oppression, communal polarization
and attacks against minorities. Rallyists also decried attacks of landlord
goons and police. They raised slogans against repression on peasant
movements, against arrests on fake charges, restrictions on holding
demonstrations, against black acts, deaths in fake encouters and
deployment of paramilitary forces in areas of peasant struggles. Rallyists
raised slogans in support of peasant struggles and agrarian revolution.
The rally culminated in a mass meeting with the stage for the speakers
decked with huge banners announcing the Conference and with revolutionary
slogans written on them. Similar banners along the boundary displayed
photographs of anti-sand mafia, anti-displacement rail block movements
and of peasant clashes with police that had occurred in Allahabad. The
meeting ground had been named after Comrade Shail Kumari Kol of
Allahabad, who had died during the anti Land Acquisition Dharna in Delhi in
April 2015.
All central leaders of the AIKMS including Coms. H.S. Sandhu, Sushanto

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Jha, Natbar Shadangi, Durga
Prasad, K Rangaiah, Ashish
Mital, Bhalachandra Shadangi,
Tarsem Peter, Ram Briksh
Ram, Dev Rao, Chief Guest
(IFTU President) Com. Aparna,
representative of Philippines
movement Com. Sylvia Morallis,
leader of Kanhar ant i
displacement movement Gambhira Prasad, UP AIKMS President Com.
Dharampal Singh and Rajasthan leader Com. Prabhu Dayal, were called to
the stage by Com. Heera Lal. The proceedings started with singing of
revolutionary songs by Munna ‘Rahi’ and Bhaiyalal and other members of
Parivartan Sanskritik Manch and Comrades Rama Rao, Sriniwas and
members of Arunodaya.
Congratulating the UP AIKMS for successful organization of the rally
General Secretary Com. Sushanto Jha said that the agrarian crisis has
been intensified by the Govt.’s liberalization policies, giving up on land
reforms and increased MNC penetration in agriculture. He outlined the
importance of holding this Conference at a time of this deep crisis and
issued a call to wage broad based struggles for land distribution of landlord
controlled lands, increase in agricultural wages, reduction in input costs,
waiver of loans, proper implementation of welfare programmes, end to
corruption etc.
Com. Bhalachandra from Odisha said we had all assembled here to call
for struggles through out India to save the peasantry from ongoing crises.
He said while last year every day 42 peasants were committing suicide,
this year the figure has gone up to 52 per day. The govts, both Centre and
state govts, have no solution to offer. Modi has promised a Fasal Bima
Yojna, which actually is to help the insurance companies, not the peasants.
On peasant problems, instead of offering a solution, the RSS-BJP govt is
moving to communally polarize the people in order to divert attention. This,
he said, must be challenged on the strength of an organized struggle of
peasants throughout the length and breadth of the country. He elaborated
on and hailed the anti-displacement movements in Kalinganagar, Niyamgiri
and POSCO in Odisha, the struggle for rights of sharecroppers and the
land struggles going on in tribal areas of the state as inspiring.
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Organ of the Central Committee, CPI(ML)
AIKMS Bihar President, Com. Ram Briksh Ram said that lakhs of Bihar
peasantry is landless and people do not even have homestead lands which
has made their living very miserable. Nitish Govt. had made tall promises.
It even appointed D. Bandhopadhyay commission to study the problem of
landlessness. But when the recommendations came, it put the report in
cold storage and now no ruling class party is even ready to discuss this
issue. He attacked the state of Govt’s welfare schemes and said lakhs of
people have been made to work under MGNREGS, but payments are
pending for several months.
IFTU National President Com Aparna began her address with
revolutionary greetings to the peasants assembled from UP, Bihar and other
states. She paid homage to the memory of all those who had sacrificed
their lives in peasant struggles throughout India, especially mentioning Com.
Shail Kumari, in whose memory the venue had been named.
She opened her comments saying that the land of India which has seen
important revolutionary peasant struggles of Telangana and Naxalbari where
the armed peasantry fought for their rights, is witness today to lakhs of
peasant suicides. Govts. of all shades are desperately trying to cover up
this fact because they do not want to accept that peasantry is in deep
crisis and this crisis is due to the policies of the ruling classes. The debts
are not sarkari, but of soodkhors. She blamed high input costs, control of
MNCs over inputs, promotion of inappropriate high water consuming crops
in low semi arid areas as the various reasons aggravating the crises and
pinned the Govt. for discriminating against the indebted peasants, sending
police force to recover their debts while passing off corporate debts as
‘non performing assets’.
Peasants are thus forced to give up agriculture and become construction
labour and contract workers in cities where there is no guarantee of even
minimum wage, leave alone other rights. Indian industry is full of casual,
insecure workmen who go to villages for 2 months a year to look after their
farms as the farming economy no longer permits self reliance. Explaining
the attacks on workers rights by the Govt., its attempts to change labour
laws, she attacked Modi’s ‘Make in India' slogan saying it is a plan to make
available cheap labour, markets and natural resources to MNCs who would
pay handsome commissions to rulers and paltry payments to workers.
Hailing the opposition by peasants to forced displacement, to Modi’s Land
Ordinance, she said Indian peasants have sacrificed their blood in struggles

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to stall the Govt’s plans. It is only the workers and peasants who are
fighting to save the country.
She said that Hindutva agenda is leading to intensification of atrocities
on Dalits. She hailed the students of higher educational institutions who
were taking up struggles against injustice and appealed to the peasantry
to stand in solidarity with them.
Finally she raised the question of women peasants, who she said were
equal in number to men, but have no recognition as peasants and are
counted as housewives. They are paid lesser wages than men for the
same work done. Though women do more than half of the total work, they
earn less than one third and hardly own any property. Women agricultural
labourers, she said, are being pushed out of agricultural work due to
extremely low wages. She concluded by stressing that all day to day
struggles should culminate into fight for basic change of Indian society to
a New Democratic society, which provides for basic rights to India’s working
people, which she said is a common goal shared by both AIKMS and
IFTU.
Com. Ashish Mittal, National Secretary, hailed the agricultural and sand
mine labourers and peasants of Allahabad – Kaushambi for building a strong
anti landlord, anti sand mafia movement. This movement was built in an
atmosphere in 2005-2007 where the only path of development being projected
was to build a strong landlord mafia control over all economic activities, to
sell off land, rivers, forests and other resources to MNCs , to uproot and
displace peasants and labourers. At such a time sand workers challenged
the powerful, politically connected mafia, prevented uprooting of Kanti Dalit
Basti and opposed the three thermal Power Plants which led to a strong
movement in Karchana. He declared that people will forcefully prevent the
building of Smart City and River Water Fronts on farm lands and river
beds. Peasantry has not assembled here to ask for alms but to demand its
due share and basic rights. It is a shame that while children are dying of
hunger, mothers are malnourished, peasants are indebted and Modi govt
is selling off resources to MNCs, RSS and BJP are demanding that people
say ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’. People love their country and its resources are
theirs. They will not say Jai for these anti peasant policies. He hailed the
Naxalbari movement of 1967 as a glorious armed struggle by poor peasants
for land, livelihood and freedom from landlord oppression and expressed
confidence that the Indian peasantry will advance on that path.
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Organ of the Central Committee, CPI(ML)
Veteran Peasant leader from Telangana, Com. V. Venkatramaiah said
when Modi came to power he promised ‘Achche Din’ and said he will ensure
that peasants' income is doubled. But in two years there have been no
‘achche din’ for peasants, for agricultural labourers, Dalits, Muslims,
Christians, other minorities and women. Good Days have only come for
MNCs, Big Corporations, Dalals. All parties are saying peasants are in
deep crises. The question is how to solve these problems. Peasant suicides
are occurring nearly every half an hour. Some studies analyse that on an
average a peasant is earning Rs 4000 per month. But all other categories
of working people earn more than this. A govt. class IV employee earns Rs
15,000 to 50,000 and with a weekly off and other perks. But a peasant
works in the heat and rain and earns much less, without any breaks. 59%
people are dependent on agriculture. He said in 1970 price of wheat was
Rs. 76 per quintal and has increased to Rs 1450 in 45 years. But in this
period govt. employees' wages have increased 150 to 250 times and
thousand of times in private sector. He slammed the Modi Govt. for
surrendering the rights of peasants in WTO ministerial meet and said this
will further undermine Govt. sponsored Support Price, procurement, food
grain storage, ration supplies and food security.
The last speaker, AIKMS President Com. H. S. Sandhu, drew upon the
acute crises of Punjab peasantry and the recent peasant struggles in Punjab
to forthrightly attack the imperialist model of Green Revolution. He explained
that these MNC developed seeds give good growth of the plants, but without
the costly spray of MNC insecticides the harvest is very poor. With time
pests have grown resistant and use and cost of insecticides have risen
many fold. Along with this the companies are cheating the farmers by selling
spurious seeds and insecticides. The crises of peasants is very very acute
and peasants of Punjab today face heavy debts, which are impossible to
pay. Apart from this, natural calamities cause havoc. He forcefully raised
the demand for a comprehensive legislation for full compensation for all
crop loss, for decreasing input costs, for developing locally suitable varieties
of seeds, for providing machines on rent at cheap rates and for ensuring
full and proper govt. procurement of crops. He also drew upon the recent
struggle of Malwa region to explain that Punjab peasants have struggled
for compensation of loss of work for agricultural labour also due to crop
loss.
After the impressive rally on 2nd April, 2016, the conference proceedings
commenced on April 3rd at 9 am at the Rajarshri Tandon Mandapam

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Organ of the Central Committee, CPI(ML)
Jus t ice P at il began by highlight ing t he
importance of associating with peoples’ movements
to solve the problems of people. He drew upon his
own experiences of fighting against Enron, holding
road blocks, fighting against Ambani’s Rayagadda
land acquisition, fighting against Jaitapur Nuclear
Power Plant, of his being jailed for 10 days for
violating prohibitary orders. He specially stressed
on relying on peoples’ mobilization and not getting
fooled by agents of companies and Govt which talk
of compromises only to undermine the struggle as
happened in Enron case.

Auditorium. The hall was named as Com. Madala Narayana Swamy Hall
after late veteran revolutionary peasant leader, founder President of AIKMS,
an ex MP and an important leader during the Telangana Armed Peasant
uprising.
The proceedings began with the hoisting of the AIKMS flag by Com. H.
S. Sandhu. The delegates and other guests saluted the flag along with the
singing of the ‘Internationale’. Thereafter Com. Sushanto Jha garlanded
the martyr column in memory of the peasant comrades who have laid down
their lives in struggles in furtherance of the revolutionary peasant movement
in the country. Veteran cultural activist of Arunodaya Com. Rama Rao
rendered a martyr’s song to pay homage to them.
The inaugural session of the Conference started at 10 am with the
Reception committee members including Sr. Advocate and PUCL National
Vice President Shri Ravi Kiran Jain, Prof Ranjana Kakkar, Prof. A.A. Fatmi,
Er. Khursheed Naqvi, special invitees and AIKMS President and General
Secretary being invited on to the stage along with the Chief Guest, former
Judge of the Mumbai High Court, Shri B G Kolse Patil.
Welcoming the Chief Guest, Reception Committee
Chairperson, Retd. Justice Janardan Sahai said it is a rare
honour to have amongst us a person like Justice Patil, who
after being appointed as a sitting Judge at the age of 42,
resigned from the position after only 5 years to associate
with and serve the peoples’ movements. He hailed Justice
Patil for running a student hostel for the downtrodden and
needy students. He further said we are living in a period of
deep crises which has led to peasants committing suicides.
There is massive unemployment as evidenced by the fact
that even for only hundreds of Class IV posts several lakh
applicants apply. In a country where peasantry is indebted
and conditions do not allow them to repay loans, the law states that it will
be recovered from their properties. A peasant ends up going to jail
repeatedly, spending number of days behind bars. The attitude towards
corporate houses is different. Several crores rupees of Excise duty and
other taxes are waived. For them land is acquired by uprooting peasants.
When crises is deep, the ruling classes resort to severe repression. Such
repression is either declared, as by Indira Gandhi during Emergency, or it
is enforced without declaration as today by RSS, Modi Govt.
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In his hour long speech Justice Kolse Patil dwelt at length on how the
policies pursued by the various ruling class parties in the country have
pushed agricultural sector in to a deep crisis. He said the peasant does not
have land, he does not have water, fertilizers are very costly, crop prices
are very low, so it is natural that millions of farm families are indebted and
are commiting suicides. Peasants are being looted.
He said RSS people, upper caste and upper classes are highly educated
and they consciously use it to rule over the poor. For decades Congress
has led such an anti people rule with help of police force. These forces
have deep control over all educational institutions and ruling institutions.
One brother retires from IB to join RSS, while the other retires from the
army to join BJP. Media too is under their influence. They also control and
conspire against truth, as they did against Hemant Karkare who exposed
RSS involvement in blasts.
Explaining peasants’ problems he said they hardly get bank loans and
have to run after getting papers in order. So they depend on private money
lenders and societies. Modi says if the peasant will spend Rs 100 we will
give them Rs 150. He is a fraud.
He also pointed to the silent attempts that are going on unabated to
increase the hold of the multinational agribusiness on Indian agriculture.
Taking a dig at the Government’s argument of increasing burden of
agricultural subsidies, Justice Patil said that compared to the minimum
support prices declared by the Govt, the actual price recommended by its
own assessment in Maharasthra was higher by Rs. 1410 per quintal. If

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total loss to all peasants of only one crop is calculated on this basis, then
loss to peasants will be Rs. ten lakh crores. With such a state of affairs
talk of subsidy burden is a fraud on the people.
He said criticizing Modi govt. is not sedition. He said Babri Mosque
was demolished to unleash anti Mulsim riots. Hindutva forces created these
riots. They have acted against the interests of the people and the country
and to cover it up they blame leaders of peoples’ movements as being anti
national. He spoke about the struggles in Maharashtra of the poor peasants
for capturing farm land and for control over river dam reservoirs for rights
of fishing.
In the end he expressed gratitude to AIKMS for inviting him and specially
for raising the land issue for the poor, which he said is a very important
issue. He said in 1956 Maharashtra Govt. made laws to distribute land.
But today land is being given to MNCs, water is being given to them and
electricity boards are being handed over to them. He opposed MNC entry
and called for wide unity of people in struggle, cutting across caste and
religious lines.
After the Chief Guest the fraternal delegates greeted the conference.
Com. Vyas Tiwari, Vice President of IFTU said today central and state
govts are attacking both workers and peasants. GOI plans to bring Industrial
Relations Bill 2015 in the name of pro worker reforms, but all the provisions
in this are anti worker. It was time to realize that the govts. are cheating
both these toiling sections. It was time to join hands in struggles against
the Govt. policies.
Com. Raminder Singh of Naujawan Bharat Sabha, Punjab, laid stress
on understanding the problem of peasant indebtedness, suicides and the
widespread rise of unemployed youth due to agrarian distress. He highlighted
that senseless use of machines is one factor in increasing loss of livelihood
and called for building coordinated struggles on this vital issue.
Speaking on behalf of Progressive Organization of Women, Telengana,
Com. Jhansi exposed the real position of women in this period of severe
agrarian crises, particularly the condition of women from landless and poor
families. She said suicides was one big manifestation, but along with this
is the problem of severe drought where nearly one third villages have no
drinking water and the burden of walking several kilometers to fill water is
on women. Under these conditions where there is no work, women in
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Organ of the Central Committee, CPI(ML)
particular are subject to the most inhuman forms of exploitation including
sexual exploitation.
Convenor of Janhastakshep, Delhi, Prof. Ish Mishra said he was deeply
inspired by the large turnout in teh rally and expressed his solidarity with
the peasant movement. He condemned the repression let loose on peasant
movement by the Govt. and expressed confidence that the struggle will
overcome the repression. He said that the development bubble of ruling
classes has already burst, that is why Brahmanical assertion is being
resorted to, sometimes behaving like Hindutva, sometimes posing as
patriots. Modi, he said is a protector of World Bank interests in India and to
implement his reforms is repressing all sections who raise questions of
agrarian crises.
Veteran Revolutionary Cultural artist and leader of Arunodaya, Com.
Rama Rao spoke about the serious agrarian misery prevailing throughout
the country and highlighted the problems of drought and drinking water
scarcity. After supervising over such misrule he said, BJP has the audacity
to be hunting for ‘desh premis’. He called for unity of all peoples’ movements
to give a message to the people of the country that they are not alone and
that “O Deep in my heart, I do believe, we shall over come some day”.
Com. J. Sriniwas, President of Progressive Democratic Students Union,
Telangana coveyed revolutionary greetings to the delegates and criticized
the prevailing dual eduction policy, attack on Dalit students, progressive
thinkers and Muslims by the RSS Modi govt. at the Centre. A message
from Parichay magazine from West Bengal, wishing the conference a
success and expressing hope for building united resistance against the
neoliberal & communal onslaught against people of India and world at large
was also read out.
Sukhdev Singh Khukri of Bhartiya Kisan Union, Ekta, Ugrahan,
expressed solidarity with the AIKMS conference after forcefully expressing
that while the situation is of deep crises it is also loaded with several
possibilities which should be used to build struggles. Senior leader of the
All India Krantikari Kisan Sabha, Com. Kailash Sharma spoke on the
importance of building land struggles and pushing the govt. against adverse
trade in agriculture. Conveying revolutionary greetings on behalf of his
organization he called for taking up joint initiatives on peasant issues.
Com. Sylvia Mallari gave her greetings to the Conference from the

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Philippines Peasant Movement and from
the Asian Peasant Coalition. She presented
the international perspective of the peasant
movement and described how the peasants
in Philippines and Indonesia are fighting
despite brutal suppression unleashed by the
gover nment s. She explained t hat
Philippines too is an agrarian and backward,
semi feudal, semi colonial country where
the KMP is leading the struggle of peasants
and rural youth. It suffers from exploitation
by Trans National Companies which are
grabbing huge tracts of land and affecting
the livelihood of peasants and reducing the country to a perpetual
undeveloped state. She called upon AIKMS to support the call for Global
Day of Action for the Landless. She said 60% of the world rural poor are
landless.
She informed that in Jakarta for 6 days there was a struggle against
drought conditions and for release of food. Only few days back, in South
Phillipines, thousands of peasants blocked highways to force the govt to
release food from graineries. But they were met with bullets and 3 people
died while hundreds are missing. Calling for support to this struggle she
said that despite this despair there are deep hopes also and the “Future is
Ours to Own”.
The message sent by the All Nepal Peasants Association (Revolutionary)
leader Com. Bhumishwor Kandel was read out. The message highlighted
the peasantry as the backbone of New Democratic Revolution, that all
South Asian nations were exploited by feudalism and imperialism and the
so called new liberal policy of imperialism has ruined millions of peasants
all across the world. It called for building a common front of resistance
movement to liberate peasants and agricultural labourers.
Secretary of the Reception Committee, Shri Om Dutt Singh thanked
the Chief Guest and other guests for having spared their valuable time.
In the evening started the Delegate session which was attended by 625
delegates representing over 3 lakh members spread over 11 states. The
delegates elected a five member presidium comprising of Com. H. S.
Sandhu, Com Ram Briksh Ram, Com. Natbar Shadangi, Com. K. Rangaiah
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Organ of the Central Committee, CPI(ML)
and Com. Dev Rao. The martyr resolution was then read out by Com.
Bhalachandra and approved by the house.
‘Central Call’ was presented by Com. Ashish Mital. The central theme
of the call was to build struggles for distribution of land for agriculture and
house sites, reduction in the cost of inputs, provision of agricultural
implements at cheap rates and fixing of remunerative prices for the produce,
waiving off the loans of peasants and workers, opposition to forced
displacement and to resist oppression unleashed on peasant movements.
Twenty six delegates expressed their views on the Call and gave valuable
suggestions which were summed up and mostly accepted on the next
morning and approved by a voice vote in the house.
The Delegate session on day three was witness to an educative,
informative and inspiring discourse on the agrarian crises in the country
with historical references, delivered by Prof. Ravi Srivastava of JNU. (His
speech is being published in the present issue).
Thereafter, Com. Sushanto Jha presented the Organizational Report of
the CEC for discussion among the delegates. The report criticized Modi
government for surrendering the interests of Indian peasants before the
imperialist countries in the latest round of WTO negotiations at Nairobi.
The government of India has accepted cuts in subsidy to the peasants and
has agreed to wind up public sector procurement for the food security
schemes in the country.
The Report mentioned several struggles taken up by AIKMS since its
last national conference. The prominent among these was the struggle for
successful capture of 22,667 acres of land by the tribal peasants in Andhra
Pradesh and Telangana. The landless peasants in Gurdaspur district of
Punjab captured 1,524 acres of land belonging to the Mahants and the
SGPC (Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee). Another16, 423 acres
of nazul land (land of Muslims who migrated to Pakistan and which belongs
to the government now) was captured by Dalit peasants in Sangrur district,
Punjab. In Odisha AIKMS led the poor peasants in the capture of 10,000
acres of ceiling surplus and benami lands and land belonging to temples.
Land struggles were also launched by AIKMS in Sasaram and Champaran
and Muzaffarpur. In the Allahabad and Kausambhi districts about 1,500
acres of river bed land was captured by farmers of the boatmen caste.
Besides these struggles AIKMS led successful struggles of sand mine

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and stone quarry workers in Allahabad and Kausambhi. AIKMS has been
part of leadership in Niyamgiri of Odisha, as also supported Kalinganagar
and anti-POSCO struggles. Several other struggles including those for rise
of agricultural wages, struggle for remunerative prices for produce;
compensation for crop loss and work loss, struggle against ‘coastal corridor’
and the ‘Polavaram Dam’ projects also found mention.
Finally after in depth deliberation and valuable suggestions and
constructive criticism offered by 21 delegates the draft Report was approved
to be finalized by the new CEC.

Organ of the Central Committee, CPI(ML)
The cost of inputs are rising while agricultural produce is not being given
remunerative prices. Crop damage due to inadequate measures taken by
the Govt. to address natural causes like insufficient rains and floods and
due to spurious seeds, fertilizers and pesticides supplied by greedy
companies which are being protected by the ruling politicians are leading
to increase in suicides of peasants. Even suicides by agricultural labourers
have been reported. Conference demanded that crop damage should be
fully compensated by the Govt. Conference condemned the artificial limits
set on compensation or eligibility and demanded that every crop damage
due to any of the above causes should be compensated in totality.
Conference demanded that Govt. should give Rs. 10 lakhs to the family
of every peasant who has been led to commit suicide. Further the Govt.
should waive all loans to peasants including tenant peasants and agricultural
workers. Conference demanded that institutional credit should be made
available to all the peasants including sharecroppers and agricultural
labourers so that they are not forced into the grip of private moneylenders
which is one of the main causes of suicides.

New Central Executive Committee
The conference elected a new Central Executive Committee of 25
members with Com. Vemulapalli Venkataramaiah as President and Com.
Ashish Mital as General Secretary, Com H S Sandhu as Patron, Com.
Sushanto Jha, Com. Nirbhaya Singh, Com. J.V. Chalapati Rao and Com.
Ram Briksh Ram as Vice Presidents, Com. Bhalachandra, K. Ranghaiah,
Tarsem Peter as secretaries and Com. Durga Prasad as treasurer. In
addition Com. Dev Rao, Shambhu Singh, Bhola Nath Sheeth, Natbar
Shadangi, Dharampal Singh, Heera Lal, Dattar Singh, T. Sudhakar, Mohan,
Prabhakar Reddy, V. Koteshwar Rao, Rayala Chandra Shekhar, K.G.
Ramchander and Gummadi Narsaiah were elected as members.
Conference passed a number of resolutions on immediate issues. The
Conference expressed grave concern at the deteriorating conditions of
peasants, share-croppers and agricultural labourers and held Govt. policies
responsible for the same. Share of agriculture in the Gross Domestic Product
is falling while majority of people remain dependent on it. The terms of
trade are adverse to agriculture and the condition is further deteriorating.
April, 2016

Third All India Conference also demanded that share-croppers/tenant
peasants should be immediately and fully recorded all over India so that
they can get access to institutional credit, compensation due to crop
damage and can sell off produce to Govt. agencies. The Conference also
noted with concern that Govt. has abandoned land reforms and called for
intensification of the agitation for distribution of land to landless and poor
peasants.
The conference noted the abysmal conditions of agricultural labour,
their not getting enough employment, even not getting employment
guaranteed under MGNREGS, not getting minimum wages and even timely
payment under the scheme. The Conference demanded that full employment
be provided to agricultural labourers. Conference also demanded immediate
enactment of a comprehensive legislation guaranteeing the rights of
agricultural labourers.
Condemning the repression launched by the Govt. on the struggles of
peasants and agricultural labourers, the Conference noted that Govt. is
adopting policies which are against the interest of peasants and are in the
interest of corporate. The Conference also condemned the suppression of
peasants to dispossess them from their land and means of livelihood.
Conference hailed and supported the struggle of peasants against forcible
April, 2016

NEW DEMOCRACY
displacement. The Conference condemned Operation Greenhunt launched
in Central India and demanded that it be stopped. The Conference also
condemned the repression on movements against power plant in Karchana
and against Kanhar dam in Sonebhadra district and expressed solidarity
with struggling people in these places and elsewhere.
All India Conference condemned the fascist drive by the communal
forces led by RSS and for their attacks against the minorities, oppressed
castes and other toiling sections. Conference condemned repression on
the students in Hyderabad Central University, JNU and other premier
educational institutions and expressed solidarity with the students. The
Conference resolved to intensify struggle against the fascist drive of Modi
led Govt. and decided to cooperate with other forces in this struggle.
All India Conference called for a propaganda campaign over three months
on the demands listed in the Call approved by the Conference and in the
resolutions approved. Conference also decided to launch a countrywide
struggle on these issues after that period. The third All India Conference
concluded on April 4, 2016 with call to launch struggle on the immediate
issues of peasants including sharecroppers/tenant peasants and agricultural
labourers.

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April, 2016

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Organ of the Central Committee, CPI(ML)

Speech Delivered at the Third All India Conference of AIKMS

Prof. Ravi Shrivastava on
Agrarian Distress
Thanks you for honouring me by inviting me to speak at your convention.
As I speak, the students of the university where I teach - JNU - are
raising slogans - 70 years after political independence - for a second
freedom - freedom from hunger, from poverty, from oppression, freedom
for women, and so on. They are joining you in your struggle for an India
free from hunger, poverty and injustice
Small farmers and labourers in rural areas are in deeply troubled times
today - agriculture has registered a negative growth rate in 2014-15, one
third of the country is suffering from drought, farming is increasingly
becoming unviable, farmers are committing suicide, and the rural poor are
moving all over the country in search of poor quality jobs, in order to avoid
poverty, hunger and unemployment.
Before I come to the present times, I think it would be useful to lay out
the genesis of today’s’ crisis which lies in globalisation, market based
“reforms”, the neglect of agriculture, and the neglect of the poor, in a system
where the richest have been growing at a phenomenal rate, inequalities
have been systematically increasing.
It may be difficult to believe, but all major policy changes which hurt
farmers and the rural poor have always been made in the name of farmers
and in the name of those very poor. When the economy was liberalized in
1991 and the so-called economic reforms were brought in, this was done
ostensibly in the name of the poor and the farmers. The basic argument
was the following: the restrictions on trade had not allowed the farmers to
gain from high international prices, and internally they had encouraged capital
intensive industry. The process of reforms would encourage the labour
intensive sectors - in manufacturing, and also agriculture, increasing wages
and incomes of the poor, including the farmers. The WTO led changes
further led to liberalisation of agriculture, opening the seeds sector and
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input sectors to multinationals.
A strong argument was built up against agricultural price support and
the meagre subsidies that agriculture received - in the form of subsidies on
fertilizers and water and electricity. In the beginning, some economists
made the argument that these subsidies violated WTO norms but this was
soon disproved by rigorous analysis. Nevertheless, policies of the past
and present governments have continued to gradually withdraw support to
agriculture - through less and less public investment and withdrawal of
subsidies on fertilizers and irrigation. Subsidies on phosphatic fertilizers
were entirely withdrawn. The agricultural price support system today benefits
only a small percentage of small and marginal farmers. Results for 201213 show that 22 % farmers sold wheat to procurement agencies at MSP. In
the case of paddy, only 3.2 % farmers sold to procurement agencies (0.9
% farmers owning less than 1 ha land; 25 % farmers owning more than 10
ha land).
The opening up of agriculture aligned Indian agricultural prices much
closer to international prices, which are subject to manipulation by a few
multi-national agri-business firms. Fluctuations in agricultural prices in India
were dictated more and more by fluctuations in international prices, rather
than by weather conditions. Forward trading has increased speculation and
further served to increase the fluctuation in prices. But the private market
operates in such a way that when prices fall, the entire burden is passed
on to farmers, and when they rise, farmers gain very little. Nonetheless,
international prices and trade, and market incentives, have induced farmers
to shift to high value crops requiring higher investments in seed, water,
fertilizers and pesticides. In many regions of the country, land rentals have
also increased. In states like Andhra and Marathwada, farmers have to
make huge investments in deep bore wells which may not even yield water.
Cost of seeds, fertilizers etc can also be very high. Fertilizers, seeds and
pesticides are purchased from private sources and are often fake and
ineffective. The banks want to make money and are not interested in lending
to farmers. Under the priority sector targets, 18 percent of their lending has
to be made to agriculture. The RBI has extended the definition of agriculture
to include even purchase of trucks so that banks can meet the target. So
farmers have to approach private moneylenders to meet their credit needs.
The smaller the farmer the more likely is it that he/she will have to borrow
from private sources. This implies that farmers have to depend on loans.
Recent results show that only 48% loans to agricultural producers were
April, 2016

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Organ of the Central Committee, CPI(ML)
from institutional sources. This was only 41 % in the case of farmers owning
less than 1 ha and 70 % in the case of farmers owning more than 10 ha.
Over half of all farm households are in debt. These are no small debts~ the
average amount outstanding for a farm household today is Rs. 47,000.
40% of the amount is owed to informal sources.
In a bad year, when crops fail or prices plunge, farmers are not able to
repay loans, or meet their payment obligations. In successive bad years,
the situation becomes irredeemable. It is hardly a wonder that farmers
have been compelled to commit suicide leaving behind distraught families.
It is also hardly surprising that suicides are much more likely among marginal
and small farmers.
When was the last time that Indian farmers committed suicide in large
numbers? It was in the 1850s when we were still a British colony and the
obligation to pay high land revenue in cash to the government forced farmers
to cultivate cash crops like cotton, taking loans from landlords and
moneylenders. When prices crashed, farmers committed suicide and this
was most endemic in the Deccan, also the area where large numbers of
farmers are committing suicide now. World prices of agricultural
commodities were low between 1997 and 2002 and are again low. But
suicides did not cease when this was not the case and world agricultural
prices were high in between. This is because, as I was saying earlier,
farmers lose when prices drop, and do not gain much when prices rise and
their losses are due to both crop losses in bad years and price crashes in
both good and bad years. Between 1997 and 2006, about 1.7 million farmers
committed suicide. Most farmer suicides were in Maharashtra, AP,
Karnataka, Kerala, MP. Last ten years (2006-16), another 1.47 million
farmers have committed suicide. Several careful empirical studies have
shown that, compared to the rest of the households, suicide households
have (a) a much higher level of total debt; (b) a much higher dependence
on traders and moneylenders; and (c) a higher proportion of debt for nonproductive purposes (consumption, social ceremonies, illness). Farmers’
suicides represent the worst tragedy of working people in the country today.
The tragedy of farming is not even confined to bad years. It is now
endemic and systemic. Over the years, farm sizes have become smaller,
although the concentration of land ownership has hardly changed. Results
from the NSS survey of agricultural producers carried out in 2012-13 show
that marginal and small farmers (those cultivating less than two hectares)

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who are more than ninety percent of all agricultural producers are not even
able to meet their consumption expenditure from agricultural income. In
other words, these farmers have to either use income from non-agricultural
sources, such as income from wages and salaries, or borrow, in order
meet agricultural expenditures. The income of an average farm household
is just over Rs.6,400 a month, including income from all sources. Only
households with over one hectare make more from all sources than they
spend, on consumption, and they constitute less than 35 per cent of all
farm households.
I must point out that there is less land to cultivate not only because
there are more families. Land is being acquired and is being diverted to
other uses, tribals and farmers are being displaced, and the landless are
losing jobs. Of course some of this is happening through commercial
processes. But most of this is being abetted by the state. Agricultural
land, forest land, other types of land are being acquired by the state to
provide these at highly subsidised prices to developers, mining corporations,
and industrialists. Farmers and labourers - tribal and non-tribal - have been
displaced in large numbers in the name of “development”. The environmental
costs of such “development” affects even those who live in adjoining areas,
affecting their livelihoods as well.
Farmers earn from both crop and non-crop sources. Animal husbandry
is an important component of agricultural incomes. Agricultural households
who possess less than one acre (0.4 ha) earn more from farming of animals
than from cultivation. Overall, agricultural households earn about 45 %
from cultivation, 12 percent from animal husbandry and 33 percent from
wages & salaries. But farming animals is becoming more and more difficult
for farmers to meet the cost of maintaining livestock. This is pushing
pressure on incomes, employment, particularly of women, and livelihoods.
Animals have a productive life cycle and the buying and selling of animals
helps farmers manage their farm economy. Livestock trade has now come
under grave risk from fanatics and goons, and this will undoubtedly add to
the pressure on farmers. Only recently there was news that a bunch of
thugs murdered two persons in Latehar, including a twelve year old boy,
who were taking bullocks to a cattle fair for sale.
The poorest families in the rural areas, whom you also represent, are
casual labourers. The smaller agricultural producers earn more from wages
than they do from agricultural production. More than a third of rural
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Organ of the Central Committee, CPI(ML)
households depend primarily on wages and the proportion of households
dependent on wages is steadily rising. But with mechanisation, use of
weedicides, and changes in agricultural practices, agricultural employment
is going down. This is affecting both men and women. Casual workers now
migrate over long distances to find work. They find this work through
relatives or through contractors, working for twelve hours or more every
day in construction, in brick kilns, as head loaders, rickshaw pullers and
so on. Even those who find jobs in factories work for 12 hours a day under
contractors and both employers and contractors resist unions being formed.
Migration is a huge disruption to the lives of workers and their families.
Children are uprooted from schools, and the aged have no one to look after
them. The NREGA came after a long struggle. But the UPA government
did not want it and the present BJP government is also running it down. I
will say something more about the MGNREGS later.
As I pointed out earlier, small farmers and labourers are moving out of
agriculture at an alarming rate. There is a reduction both in the percentage
of workers in agriculture and the absolute number of workers in agriculture.
The total workers in agriculture were 22.8 crores in 1993-94 and 24.7 crores
in 2004-05. This fell to 21.6 crores in 2011-12. The number of women workers
in agriculture was 9 crores, 10 crores and 7.7 crores respectively in 199394, 2004-5 and 2011-12 respectively. Fewer jobs in agriculture due to
mechanisation, cropping pattern changes - fewer and fewer women in the
workforce.
Let me now come to the present situation, the situation in which this
conference is taking place. There is a severe drought in the country. Eleven
of the states are affected. Officially, the drought has affected over a third
of the country — nine out of the 29 states, 248 out of 660 districts, 2,327
out of 6,800 blocks, and 96,954 out of 2,57,000 panchayats. This is the
second successive year of drought in many parts of the country.
The Bundelkhand region, close to the venue of this conference in
Allahabad and the Marathwada region in Maharshtra are the worst affected.
In Bundelkhand, mothers are feeding their children rotis made of grass. A
rapid survey by some activists and lawyers found that already 86 per cent
of families reported cutting down their dal intake, 79 per cent were eating
roti and rice with salt or chutney, and 84 per cent had cut down milk for
their children. In an estimated seven out of 10 households, not just men
but often entire families had migrated to places as far as Punjab, Hyderabad,

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Surat and Delhi. Schools, therefore, were rapidly emptying out. I know that
there are comrades from both these regions in this conference.
In Marathwada, there is such a severe shortage of water even to drink
that farmers are simply letting their cattle wander off - as I have pointed,
fanatics have made cattle trade a big no-no. Just two days ago, you must
be knowing that over 30,000 farmers demonstrated near Latur. There is
severe drought and water shortage in 8 districts of Marathwada. The water
level is at 5 % level in most reservoirs across the region.
Till the Supreme Court and other courts started taking notice, the drought
has hardly been talked about in our media which is busy making immense
noise over non-issues. It has been argued that this is because it is a peculiar
drought. Farmers’ lives are collapsing around them but urban consumers
(and this is where the media and political class is located) are not affected
because prices are not rising as much. This drought, which has affected
yields, is also combined with exceptionally low prices for farmers for most
crops because of global downturn in prices (March 31, Indian Express).
Farmers in Maharashtra are today selling cow milk at Rs 15-16 per litre,
compared to Rs 25-26 a year ago. This, despite a severe fodder shortage
that would also mean higher production costs. In most crops — whether
cotton, rubber, basmati, guar seed or even potatoes, apples, kinnow and
pineapples — producer realisations are below what they were a couple of
years ago. The only reason nobody is talking about onion these days is
because the bulb is being sold in Maharashtra’s Lasalgaon market at below
Rs 7/kg, as against Rs 12 last March, and Rs 45-plus in early September,
when 'pyaaz' was grabbing all the headlines.
But the rural distress has finally prompted the Government to sit up and
take notice. Mt Jaitley announced his budget as a farmers’ budget. He
says that policies of this Government will double farmers’ income in five
years. As I told you earlier, governments take the name of farmers and sell
dreams so that capitalists can continue to accumulate wealth and income.
What is in this budget that can increase farmers’ income by 15 percent
every year?
The first trick was that the interest subvention which was in the Finance
Ministry’s budget was transferred to agriculture to make it appear that there
has been a huge increase in the budgetary allocation to agriculture. The
Ministry of Agriculture’s allocation on paper increased from Rs 22,959 crore
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Organ of the Central Committee, CPI(ML)
to Rs 44,486 crore, but a significant chunk of that (Rs 15,000 crore) is
because of the interest subsidy for loans given to farmers. If that is
subtracted (as it should be) the increase is much less impressive, as the
total spending only increases from 0.17 per cent of the GDP to 0.19 per
cent — so minor as to have little impact on the actual conditions of farmers
(Jayati Ghosh in Indian Express, March 31).
The new crop insurance scheme has been announced with great fanfare.
Marketing insurance based schemes are now very popular with Government
ever since it has opened the country’s doors to foreign insurance companies.
Rs 5,500 crores has been allocated to this crop insurance scheme - Pradhan
Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana. There were already crop insurance schemes in
place. How many farmers knew about them and benefited from them? The
NSS survey of 2012-13 gives us some figures. Overall 5.5 % crops are
currently insured; less than 3.5 % for agricultural producers with less than
1 ha land and about 16 percent for agricultural producers with more than 10
ha of land! Under the scheme, premiums of 2 % for Kharif; 1.5% for rabi,
and 5 % for High Value Crops will have to be paid by farmers.
Essentially, the government’s policies are about marketization and more
marketization. Markets are the magic wand. Further reform in the APMC
Acts and e-marketing platform have been announced. Announcement about
allowing100 percent foreign-owned firms into the market for agricultural
products has been made. With all their faults, the old APMC Acts were
instrumental in developing marketing infrastructure. The private firms only
piggy-back on this infrastructure. Who will build infrastructure now? There
are no answers.
“Direct Benefit Transfers” which was also the last government’s dream
project, will solve all your problems. Even fertilizer subsidy will be transferred
to farmers. Naturally this means that the domestic fertilizer industry will be
wiped out to make way for multinationals. Even then, how will such schemes
be operational? Again, there are no answers.
The old irrigation schemes have been now clubbed under the Pradhan
Mantri Sichai Yojana. But some of the old innovative programmes such as
the National Agricultural Development Programme have been shelved. It is
very unlikely that the trend towards declining share of public investment in
agriculture will be reversed. The share of Gross Capital Formation in
agricultural value added fell from 18.3 % in 2011-12 to 15.8 % in 2014-15.

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Simultaneously, there was declining share of public investment - from over
20% in 2004-05 to 16.8 % in 2013-14.
To conclude: the government has no weapons in its armoury, only
dreams - and diversions. Just reflect on the diversions. The Finance
Minister, who in the last few weeks spoke almost a dozen times on a few
individuals allegedly raising anti-national slogans in JNU, has not addressed
the issue of the drought even once in his speeches, outside of his budget
speeches. You must have read the papers today. Slogans dominate the
speeches and the statements of the public figures in the ruling party, but
there is nothing about the drought or agrarian distress.
In good times and bad, there is another way that the governments
distribute incomes in favour of the poor - through programmes of social
security and social protection which should be essentially rights based.
Our rights include the right to food, to social security, to health, and so on.
We struggled to get the MGNREGA and we will continue our fight for the
dignity of every individual who has the right to a pension, to access to
health, to maternity benefit, and so on.
But despite the government’s claim, the MGNREGA is not being
implemented and is being squeezed. 55 % wage arrears are already reported.
A whopping Rs 10,588 crore is currently pending in payment delays (Indian
Express, April 1). Nine crore workers in 25 states are facing illegal delays
in wage payments. More than half of this amount is in drought-affected
states. The FM claims that he has made the highest ever allocation to
MGNREGA (Rs 38,500 crore). But this does not take into account wage
arrears and is certainly not even remotely the highest in real terms. The
amount is well short of levels achieved earlier under the UPA, amounting
to only 0.25 per cent of the GDP compared to 0.59 per cent of the GDP in
2009-10.

Organ of the Central Committee, CPI(ML)
commitment to provide a rights-based social protection floor.
We have to view these developments in the light of the basic strategy
of this Government, which is of course no different from that of the last.
This has been to unashamedly promote the interests of the domestic and
global capitalist class, not only through policies but through crony capitalism.
Heads of government take capitalists abroad with them and help them
meet foreign heads of government over dinner and settle deals. The same
industrialists owe thousands of crores to Indian Banks and have been
exploiting labour and natural resources. Scores of these industrialists today
have unpaid dues stacking up as bank NPAs According to LCRA, bank
NPAs stood at about 4.5 lakh crore in Dec, 2015 or about 6 % of bank
outstanding loans. In the budget, there’s a full section on taxes forgone for
the corporate sector. India is adding to the list of global billionaires at a
rate faster than any other country! Most state governments are also
complicit in this loot. Probably the only thing that distinguishes the present
ruling party at the Centre from some others is the politics of division.
In this situation, the left and democratic movements and organisations
are the only answer. I know a little about the struggles and movements of
the All India Kisan Mazdoor Sabha in and around Allahabad where it has
mobilised peasants and workers on issues of wages, against the sand
mafia and against displacement. I pay tribute to the spirit of your movement
all around the country, and wish you all success.

The ICDS is in shambles. Emergency feeding schemes for the destitute
are not being implemented. The National Food Security Act was passed in
2014 but the government is showing no commitment to roll it out. Its basic
philosophy is now expressed in another acronym for which the present
dispensation is famous - JAM (Jan Dhan Yojana - Aadhar - Mobile).
Three schemes have been rolled out - the Pradhan Mantri Suraksha Yojana,
Atal Pension Yojana, Swasthya Bima Yojana, once again reflecting the
Government’s intention to promote insurance companies and its lack of
April, 2016

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Panama Papers

The 'Panama papers' are 11.5 million documents which were leaked
from a year ago to a German newspaper. They are documents of a law firm
named Mossack Fonseca based in Panama and pertain to accounts in
British Virgin Islands, a British colony and a tax haven. Tax havens are
places where accounts can be maintained either anonymously or secretly,
paying little or no tax. One can be a citizen of any country and yet open an
account in these havens.
The 'Panama papers' are lists of accounts maintained through this law
firm in the tax haven. They are an exposure of how the rich and politically
powerful the world over connive to avoid paying taxes i.e. for social expenses while availing the most exclusive facilities created in their respective countries using people's money. In fact these sections corner the maximum benefits from facilities created by using other people's paid taxes for
their own comforts and benefits. 140 senior Govt. officials of over 50 countries stand implicated by these lists, apart from other powerful and famous
people.
And this pertains to only one of the tax havens. There are over sixty
such in different parts of the world. Mossack Fonseca is one of the large
firms managing these accounts (infact fourth largest) while there are many
many more. One can only try to guess the total extent of this fraud on the
people of the different countries. Panama papers reveal merely the tip of
the tip of the iceberg which sits heavy on the back of the working people
world over.
The German newspaper which received the documents shared it with
the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists of which it too is
a member. This is a coalition of media houses, including India's Indian
Express, in which are 107 reporting houses spread over 78 countries. The
Consortium conducted months of investigations before making the lists
public on 4th April 2016. Over 500 Indians are on the lists.
British Virgin Islands, Caymon Islands, and also certain states in America
like Wyoming state and Delawre state, are among the tax havens. Companies ae floated here and used to move money from other countries into
these areas. The European Union also has countries which give banking
secrecy like Luxembourgh, Switzerland and Andorra. In a manner, these
countries are the precursors of the tax havens.
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Organ of the Central Committee, CPI(ML)
The period covered by the leaked documents is from 1977 to December
2015. In December 2015 Gabriel Zucman's book "Hidden Wealth of Nations' was published. It had stated that 8% of the world's financial wealth is
in tax havens (about 7.5 trillion dollars) and 80% of it is untaxed. This
would mean that tax losses of 200 billion dollars per year worldwide was
the norm.

The effects
Non taxation widens the already yawning class gap in every country.
On a world wide scale three aspects are important. First, the Panama papers have again brought out the massive tax avoidance by the rich. Second, it has highlighted conflict of interest. For example, the President of
Iceland had offshore companies here which had bonds in Iceland's banks.
When he took policy decisions and the taxpayers money was poured into
backing the banks during the economic crisis, his own assets were saved.
Thirdly, the lists have exposed the intermingling of drug cartels, politicians
and powerful mafia outfits.
The publication of the Panama papers took its toll worldwide. The PM
of Britain, David Cameron (Statesman, 7 April) held stakes (30,000 pounds)
in offshore funds set up by his father. He sold them off four months before
becoming PM. There was a storm of criticism with Labour leader Corbyn
calling on Cameron to take a stronger stance with British crown territories
and make them implement British tax laws. The revelations forced the
President of Iceland and two other cabinet members to resign due to popular upsurges. The lists raised questions about involvement of the President of Ukraine. Former President of Egypt Hosni Mubarak's son and Syrian leader Bashar-al-Assad's cousin are on the lists as are heads of seven
African countries. The President of Argentina, elected three months earlier
on an anti corruption platform, had to resign. Bernie Sanders has used the
revelations to attack Hillary Clinton saying that while he opposed the Panama
Free Trade Agreement because it would make it easier for corporate to
avoid tax, she supported it after initially opposing it. The Director of the
Austrian Bank and the French Bank's Societyie Generale are also named.
Senior Chinese politicians figure in the list. 200 lawyers, judges and politicians of Pakistan are also on it. Putin has also been linked to the offshore
accounts; although his name is not present, his close friend and confidante figures in the list. Ofcourse every one of those named have denied
their involvement and alleged conspiracies. First there was some astonishment that no American was on the list, to be quickly supplanted by the

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realization that Americans have their own tax havens.

Organ of the Central Committee, CPI(ML)

Satluj- Yamuna Link Canal

Panama papers and India

QUESTION OF RIVER WATERS
BETWEEN PUNJAB AND
HARYANA

Over 500 Indians have been named in these lists as having accounts.
These include a brother of Modi confidant Adani, K P Singh (owner of
DLF), filmstar Amitabh Bachchan and his family.
India's erstwhile FERA had restricted residents from transferring funds
abroad due to foreign exchange shortage in the country. It is another matter that money still escaped from the country. In 2004, rules were liberalized and now upto 250,000 dollars can be taken out. Besides this, the
'Mauritius' route is used by foreign money investing in India to avoid taxes
and though exposed it could not be closed due to MNCs' armtwisting. Modi
Govt. continues this route and assures foreign capital that no retrospective taxes will be imposed. In fact the Supreme Court had complained of
lack of support from the Govt. to unearth black money.
Most of the Indians have stated that investigations will show that they
took out money only under the RBI's liberalized scheme. The Indian Express said it took 8 months to carry out investigations. Many named said
we did not setup offshore companies (which would be illegal) but acquired
them (which is legal)!
Opposition parties have exposed that the son of the BJP CM of
Chattisgarh, Abhishek, is the same as the Abhishek named as a promoter
of a leading sports management company which has floated offshore companies in Panama. It has been exposed that the address is the same as
that used by the CM's son for his other businesses. This sports company
was handed over the three year contract for advertising by the Delhi Cricket
Board in 2000. The meeting of the Board where this contract was awarded,
was chaired by current Finance Minister of India, Arun Jaitley. As usual
Jaitley has denied any wrong doing, but the Chattisgarh CM's son has not
denied his involvement with the sports company.
Narendra Modi had raised the issue of black money during the 2014
elections. Later BJP President Amit Shah called that talk a jumla. Finance
Minister Jaitley and former CAG call the NPAs and bank fraudsters as
failure of business models. Such failures are not permitted to peasants or
common people. With RSS-BJP Govt. favouring the tax defaulters, black
money owners and general fraudsters, nothing is expected of the enquiry
ordered by Modi Govt. When the accused themselves are prosecutors what
else can be expected from them!
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S.S. Mahil
In the recent budget session of Punjab Vidhan Sabha, Akali –BJP govt.
led by Parkash Singh Badal got a Bill passed denotifying the land acquired
by Punjab govt. for construction of Satluj-Yamuna link canal and returning
it to the original owners of the land. This stirred a hornet’s nest in the
politics of Punjab and Haryana. Indian National Lok Dal, a family enterprise
of Chautala clan, declared breaking off of political relations with Akali Dal
but not family relations with Badal clan, which are above all based on
mutual business interests. All parties including ruling BJP raised a volcano
of wordy dust on this issue. All MLAs belonging to Haryana demonstrated
in front of Punjab Vidhan Sabha. Similarly both the states accused the
ruling dispensations of betraying the interests of the state.
As Punjab is going to have assembly elections within the year, a dog
fight on this issue is particularly very sharp and furious with Akalis blaming
Congress for giving water of Punjab rivers to other states- Haryana, Delhi
and Rajasthan- without any justifiable basis, with discriminatory and
repressive attitude toward Punjab. On the other hand Congress is blaming
Akalis and particularly Badal for helping the loot of waters of Punjab rivers
because of his personal and family friendly relations with Chautala family
particularly Chaudhary Devi Lal. Aam Aadmi Party which is also a major
player in coming assembly elections and hopes to form government in
Punjab is in catch twenty two situation and is trying gimmickry in an utterly
opportunistic method. Kejriwal, when in Punjab, gave a statement that only
Punjab has the right over its river waters, but when he reached Delhi, he
said that Haryana and Delhi should also get water from Punjab rivers. In
the Supreme Court, the attorney of Delhi Government of Arvind Kejriwal
opposed Punjab and supported Haryana baring its real character as a ruling
class opportunistic party.

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Though Congress and Akali party are accusing each other of loot of
river waters of Punjab, the truth is that both are responsible for this
predicament, Congress being mainly responsible. In 1966 Congress
government at the Centre got Punjab Reorganization Act passed resulting
in creation of Haryana and Himachal from erstwhile Punjab. According to
Section 246 the river water was retained by Central government. Though
control of head works in Haryana and Himachal is with those states but
control of head works of Punjab is with the Centre. Indira Gandhi led
Congress government was at the Centre and Giani Zail Singh led Congress
government in Punjab in 1976 when Indira Gandhi gave an award giving 3.5
million acre foot water each to both Punjab and Haryana and announced
construction of Satluj- Yamuna link canal. It was none other than Indira
Gandhi who inaugurated the digging of SYL at village Kapuri in Patiala
district in 1980 and it was Captain Amrinder Singh who published a poster
welcoming it. So Congress and its present leader in Punjab are mainly
responsible for the SYL issue and the water crisis in Punjab.
But Akali Dal too is not free from the blame and is partly responsible for
SYL issue. After 1977, when Congress was defeated in assembly elections
after its defeat in Lok Sabha election, Akali-Janata Party coalition came to
power in Punjab and Parkash Singh Badal became chief minister. Similarly
in Haryana Janata Party government came to power and Ch. Devi Lal
became the chief minister. At that time Badal took rupees two crores for
the construction of SYL. After a prolonged agitation and so much bloodshed
in Punjab, an accord was signed by the then Akali Dal President, Sant
Harchand Singh Longowal and then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, popularly
known as Rajiv- Longowal accord, in which apart from other items, one
was that SYL will be completed within a stipulated period. Thus Akali Dal
committed itself to construction of SYL. Twice National Democratic Alliance
government assumed power at the Centre while simultaneously Akali Dal
was holding reins of power in Punjab but it never did anything to undo the
injustice meted out to Punjab by various governments at the Centre. It did
not even raise this issue with its leading coalition partner but consigned
the matter to cold storage. When Captain Amrinder Singh, as Chief Minister
of Punjab, got an Act enacted by legislative assembly terminating all the
agreements on water sharing then Akali Dal felt that Amrinder had
highjacked this important issue. Now with defeat looming large in coming
assembly election Badal has tried to grab this issue and put his opponents
on defensive.
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Organ of the Central Committee, CPI(ML)

Water Crisis in Punjab
Though Akali and Congress parties are trying use this issue as a political
weapon for assembly elections but this is not a non-issue for the people.
On the other hand it is a real issue which has become a question of life and
death for people of Punjab as they are facing a very serious water crisis.
Threat of desertification is looming large over Punjab. If the water problem
is not handled properly, the days are not far off when Punjab will become
desert.
Punjab was the first state selected by imperialists to implement their
agricultural model with maximum use of chemicals in the form of fertilizers,
pesticides and weedicides. First requirement for this model was abundant
availability of water round the year, the other being an owner peasantry.
Though most part of the irrigation canal network remained in western Punjab
in Pakistan at the time of Partition, a very scanty portion was in eastern
Punjab which became part of India. But Punjab had a shallow aquifer of
sweet water usable for agriculture which could be easily pumped out by
installing monoblock pump sets. Peasants pumped out water excessively
as ground water available was very less. This has led to the emptying of
the shallow aquifer available at 40-50 feet. Now they have to sink tube
wells 350 feet deep and water can be pumped out by using submersible
pump sets only. The situation now is that this aquifer is also nearing its
end. As a result of this, 124 blocks out of 145 blocks of Punjab are already
declared black blocks, where no further tube wells shall be sunk but despite
this sinking is continuing making the situation further worse. This has
pushed the poor, small and marginal peasants out of cultivation, making
them dependent on landlords and rich peasants because they (poor, small
and marginal) are not in a position to afford submersible tube wells which
cost at least Rs. one to one and a half lakhs. These peasants have only
two options - either to stay at the mercy of landlords-rich peasants or be
edged out of cultivation. Both these processes are on. Apart from water for
agriculture, drinking water has also become a very serious problem. As
sweet drinkable water was available only 40 to 50 feet deep, even agricultural
labourers were able to draw water with the help of simple and cheap hand
pumps but after the shallow aquifier drying up as an ill effect of imperialist
model of agriculture, hand pumps are not possible in most parts of Punjab.
So rural workers, small, poor and middle peasants are dependent on water
supplied from the public works water supply. Following the policies of

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privatization, Punjab government has handed over 27 government
departments, mostly related to public welfare, to the Panchayats. As these
Panchayats are not allotted any additional funds for these departments
and Panchayats don’t have any credible and sufficient resources of their
own, so the functioning of these departments is generally bogged down.
Public water supply is in such a situation that running of this is funded by
user charges and poor people are mostly not able to pay these charges.
So electricity bills are generally not paid and electricity connections are
snapped and people remain without water for long periods or are dependent
on rich class/upper caste people who have submersible pumps in their
houses. A similar situation arises when there is some break down.
Thus if such a situation continues unabated then Punjab will become a
desert in the near future. So more availability of surface water and recharging
of water table is a must to save Punjab from becoming a desert. While
ruling class parties play their political gimmicks, the water question is of
life and death for the people of Punjab.

HISTORY OF DISPUTE ON WATER-SHARING
Rivers of Punjab are part of Sindhu (Indus) river system. When British
left India in August 1947, India was divided into two countries, India and
Pakistan. As a result Punjab and Bengal were partitioned. So the question
of distribution of water of Indus river system between India and Pakistan
became a contentious issue between both the countries. World Bank,
considering this an international dispute of river system, intervened. It sent
a team of experts to examine this issue. Both countries, while presenting
their cases, exaggerated their claims beyond the ground reality. Finally, on
the basis of use (as overwhelming portion of canal system was in Pakistan)
India got only 31.3 million acre feet water out of the total 170 million acre
feet while the rest went to Pakistan.
On 29 January 1955, Government of India convened an inter-state
conference for sharing of river waters. In this meeting a decision regarding
Ravi-Beas water was arrived at according to which the total surplus water
was 15.85 million acre feet, out of which Punjab was allotted 5.9 million
acre feet, Pepsu was given 1.3 million acre feet, Rajasthan was allotted 8
million acre feet. In 1956 Pepsu state was merged with Punjab, hence
share of Punjab became 7.2 million acre feet. But despite this distribution
of river water no proper treaty was signed by the Government of India and
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Organ of the Central Committee, CPI(ML)
concerned state governments. At that time agriculture was not developed.
It was mostly one crop cultivation, so neither the people nor the state
government were aware of the ill effects of this distribution and none took
this problem seriously, so it was not contested.
On November first 1966, Punjab State Reorganization Act was passed.
Punjab was divided and state of Haryana and Himachal were created.
Instead of deciding the issue of water on the basis of internationally
accepted principles, Union government inserted Articles 78, 79 and 80
according to which right to distribute the river waters was with the Centre.
The control and maintenance of hydel projects and head works was given
to the Haryana state and those falling in Himachal were given to Himachal
state government. This was a very clear and glaring case of discrimination
against the state of Punjab. In the light of the above Act, Central government
issued a notification on 24th March 1976 regarding the distribution of RaviBeas river water. According to this notification the so-called surplus water
was equally divided between Punjab and Haryana, both were given 3.5
million acre feet each and Delhi was awarded 0.02 million acre feet.
According to this notification water for Haryana was to be carried by a
canal named Satluj –Yamuna link canal. The whole cost of construction of
this canal was to be borne by Haryana. In 1979 Punjab government
challenged Articles 78, 79 and 80 of the Punjab State Reorganization Act
1966. When Indira Gandhi returned to power in 1980 mid-term poll, she
called a meeting of chief ministers of Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan on
31st December 1981 and forced an agreement on river water sharing. Before
that she forced Congress chief minister Darbra Singh of Punjab to withdraw
the case challenging Sections 78, 79 and 80 of Punjab Reorganization Act
1966 from Supreme Court. According to this agreement, Satluj – Yamuna
link canal was to be completed in a short period in pursuance of notification
of 1976. Implementing this agreement, Indira Gandhi inaugurated the digging
of SYL on 6th April, 1982 at Kapuri village in Patiala district. Akalis, CPI,
CPM and Janata party launched an agitation named Kapuri Morcha by
courting arrests at Kapuri. Meantime, Jarnail Singh Bhinderanwale launched
a Dharm Yudh Morcha in Amritsar for the release of Bhai Amrik Singh,
president of Sikh Students Federation. Akali Party abandoned Kapuri
Morcha and joined Dharmyudh Morcha of Bhinderanwale. Rise of Khalistani
terrorism, State terror and military attack on Golden Temple and destruction
of Akal Takht in1984 are well known. On 24th July 1985 an accord was
signed by President of Akali Dal Sant Harchand Singh Longowal and Prime

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Minister Rajiv Gandhi. It envisaged that Satluj-Yamuna link canal would be
completed by August 15, 1986. A Commission was to be appointed to
ascertain the water surplus of being utilized by three states and to distribute
this surplus water between Punjab and Haryana. In pursuance of this
agreement a one man Commission of Justice Bala Krishna Iradi was
appointed on 2nd April, 1986. The Commission submitted its report to the
Central Government on 30th January 1987. But Justice Iradi artificially
increased the total availability of water. It arbitrarily increased the water
flow in Ujh and Basantar streams in Nrot Jaimal Singh block of Gurdaspur
district (now Pathankot district) whereas these were only seasonal streams.
Commission distributed the water in the ratio of 70:30 to Punjab and
Haryana. Thus Justice Iradi distributed an imaginary amount of water which
did not exist on the ground. Construction of SYL canal continued. Khalistanis
fired and killed workers involved in construction of SYL; since then work
on this project has remained at a stand-still.
In 1996, Haryana government approached the Supreme Court pleading
to order the Government to urgently complete SYL canal. Supreme Court
directed Punjab government to complete construction of SYL within one
year and also directed Union government that if Punjab government fails to
complete the work then Union government shall get it completed by its
own agency. This judgment was given on15th January 2002. But
construction of canal did not start despite this Supreme Court judgment.
Meanwhile Congress government led by Captain Amrinder Singh came to
power in Punjab. This government got an Act passed by Punjab assembly
terminating all the agreements signed by Punjab government on sharing of
river waters since 1981. When this Bill was sent to the Governor for his
assent, he sent it to the President of India. President approached the
Supreme Court for advice. He asked the Supreme Court's advice on the
following points: (1) Whether the Act passed by Punjab assembly is within
the purview of the constitution or not? (2) Is this Act violative of Water
Dispute Act 1986, Punjab Reorganization Act 1966 and notification of 1976?
(3) Does Punjab Government have legal right to terminate the agreements
of river water distribution? Has Punjab government become free from the
Supreme Court verdicts of 15 January 2002 and order of 4th June 2004?

ONLY PUNJAB HAS RIGHT OVER ITS RIVER WATER
This is the brief history of the dispute on water sharing between Punjab
and Haryana. But if we peep deep beyond the surface of this maze of
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Organ of the Central Committee, CPI(ML)
agreements and notifications, this is nothing but a history of discrimination
and high-handedness against Punjab. Why? Because all these agreements,
notifications and orders were not based on any principles recognized at
international and national level but were based on the political exigencies
of ruling dispensations and arbitrary whims of the chief of the ruling party
at the Centre. This was a policy of divide and rule, initiated by British
colonialists and followed by their native successors on the basis of regions.
What are the internationally and nationally recognized principles of
sharing of river waters between countries and provinces? Most recognized
and implemented principle is the principle of riparian rights. This means
that when a river passes through a country then that country is a riparian
country and in a country if it passes though a province then that province
is the riparian province of that river. If the river passes through more than
one country or more than one province than those countries or those states
are riparian countries or provinces of that river. The province or country
through which the river flows first is called the upper riparian and in which
it enters later is called lower riparian. In the case of Indus river system,
India is upper riparian country and Pakistan is lower riparian country.
Similarly in case of Satluj, Raavi and Beas rivers, Himachal is the upper
riparian state and Punjab is the lower riparian state. This riparian law is
based on the fact that if a river is flooded it causes destruction and damage
in that country or state through which it flows, hence only that country or
state has the right to harness the water of that river and reap benefits from
it and non riparian states have no right on river water as they have not to
suffer any loss and damage because of that river. It was because of this
riparian right that water of Indus river system was divided between India
and Pakistan through international mediation. It was because of riparian
right that when Rajasthan demanded a share in Narmada river water,
Supreme Court refused to accept the right of Rajasthan as Rajasthan was
not a riparian state of Narmada river.
In the light of riparian principle, none of the Punjab rivers i.e. Satluj,
Raavi and Beas even touch Haryana and Rajasthan, what to talk about
passing through those states. Those are in no way riparian states of SatlujRaavi –Beas and have no right on the water of these rivers. Only Punjab
and Himachal are riparian states of these rivers and only Punjab and
Himachal have right on the water of these rivers. As Himachal has already
drawn its share hence only Punjab has the right on the water of these
rivers flowing in Punjab. Giving water of these rivers to Haryana and

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Rajasthan ignoring all the established principles of water sharing and without
any judicious basis is a clear case of vendetta and discrimination against
Punjab. On humanitarian ground drinking water can be given to these states
but giving water for agriculture or industrial purposes has no legal basis.
No law provides for the giving of water for irrigating the fields of non-riparian
states at the cost of parching and making barren the green fields of the
riparian state.
Other principle regarding water is the basin principle, which means that
all the rivers which have one basin are to be considered one water and if
any of the rivers of one basin passes through some states then that state
has the right on the water of all the rivers of that basin. Looking from this
angle also Haryana or Rajasthan have no right on the river water of Punjab
rivers. It is more than clear that Punjab is situated in the Indus river system
whereas Haryana is located in the Yamuna basin and Rajasthan is in no
basin. So according to basin principle too Haryana and Rajasthan have no
right on Satluj-Raavi and Beas waters.
As earlier said, when World Bank team came to settle the water
distribution between India and Pakistan, both sides tried to artificially inflate
their claims. N.D. Gulati, who represented the Indian side, in his effort to
inflate India’s claim tried to present Ghaggar as a river belonging to the
same delta i.e. Indus system rivers. He tried to argue that as Ghaggar
touches Rajasthan also so India needs water for Rajasthan. Haryana tries
to base itself on the argument of ND Gulati ignoring that this argument was
not accepted and India could get only 31 million acre feet water. Leaving
aside history, let us base on facts. The fact is that Ghaggar is not a river,
it is only a seasonal stream which passes through Punjab and Haryana
and withers away in Rajasthan.
Another argument put forward by Haryana is that at the time of carving
out Haryana from Punjab all the assets were divided in the ratio of 60:40,
60% for Punjab and 40% for Haryana, so water should also be shared in
the same proportion between two states. But this argument is basically
misplaced and untenable. Assets divided between two states are those
that are human creations and water is not an asset in that sense but is a
natural resource which cannot be shifted from one place to another. If
those are to be shared that can be on the basis of universally accepted
and implemented principle and that principle is the riparian right principle.
As discussed earlier Haryana has no right on river water of Punjab.
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Organ of the Central Committee, CPI(ML)
After examining the matter from all angles it is clear that there is no
basis for construction of SYL. The water crisis Punjab is facing, is a question
of life and death for it. If this construction is pushed through by some
administrative measure or court order it will have very serious consequences
for the whole region. There are some other related issues such as what is
the comprehensive solution to water crisis of Punjab, what is the way out
for the development of agriculture of water deficit regions if those don’t get
surface water from some other region, but these can be discussed
separately.

CC Statement

Modi Govt. Further Ties India to
US Military Chariot
Mouthing slogans of ‘nationalism’ the Modi Govt. has taken one more
step to tie India to the chariot wheels of US imperialism. India has decided
to sign an agreement to share military logistics with US imperialism. The
Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement was reached during the
recent visit of US Secretary of Defence, Ashton Carter, to India. Two more
agreement s, again long demanded by US imperialism, one on
communications security and interoperability and the other on geospatial
cooperation, are in the pipeline.
The agreement signed will give visiting US aircrafts and warships access
to resources like fuel and water at India’s military bases. Modi Govt.’s
step reverses India’s longstanding position not to sign such agreements.
Though Indian Govt. has since some time been conducting joint military
exercises with US military it had been hesitating to sign the aforesaid
agreement pressed for by US since 2004. Though the agreement as usual
mentions bilateral use, it is obvious that US imperialism in its hegemonic
pursuit will be using Indian military facilities. Indian Govt. has long

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Organ of the Central Committee, CPI(ML)

cooperated with imperialist powers including US imperialism but Modi Govt.
is openly entering into such an agreement which is in the direction of forging
military alliance.

West Bengal

This agreement is not only a surrender of Indian sovereign interests by
the Modi Govt., it is also a body blow to whatever ‘independence’ has been
in the foreign policy. Modi Govt. has intensified the drive to align India ever
more closely with US imperialism, particularly in its confrontation with China.
Indian Govt. is rushing to help US interests the world over even as the
declining superpower is trying to marshal allies to confront other powers in
the world. Modi’s recent foreign visits are also in that direction. Modi Govt.’s
steps are bringing the inter-imperialist contradictions closer to our
neighbourhood. These steps are not in the interests of the country and of
peace in India’s neighbourhood.

CPI(M) led Left Front has forged electoral understanding with Congress
in West Bengal. It is for the first time that these two parties are fighting an
election together in West Bengal. This electoral understanding between
the party which has been the pioneer of new economic policies and the
parties which pride themselves for being NEP's opponents shows that for
the parties of Left Front the only consideration is their lust for power within
this system. They are projecting this alliance with Congress as necessary
to save democracy in West Bengal which, they say, is being threatened by
Trinamool Congress rule

Moreover, Indian people have long detested aligning with western
imperialist powers. They had struggled against British colonial rulers for
freedom to have our own security and foreign policy. But RSS had never
shared the ideals of the freedom movement, has never stood by them, has
no use for them. They wish India to become a ‘superpower’ under the
umbrella of US imperialism. They are deepening the stranglehold of
imperialist capital in all spheres of the economic life of the country. Their
subservience to US imperialism should not be seen in isolation from their
aggressive designs against the people of the country. Their closer alignment
with the imperialist superpower should also not be seen in isolation from
their attempts to trample on the democratic rights of the people or in isolation
from their fascist drive. This Agreement exposes the real nature of their
so-called nationalism.
CPI(ML)-New Democracy calls upon the people of the country to protest
this agreement and closer strategic tie-up with US imperialism, to expose
and oppose Modi Govt.’s attempts to drive India into military alliance with
US imperialism.

Left Front ties up with Congress

Though they are going the whole hog in West Bengal in their tie-up with
Congress, even promising a coalition govt. after the election, they are giving
many a spin to it elsewhere in the country particularly to befool the people
who are raising eye-brows at this alliance. For this they have two
considerations. Firstly in other states like Kerala and even Tripura they
face Congress as the main electoral adversary and some among them fear
that such an alliance may hit their prospects in these states particularly
Kerala. Second, the parties of Left Front including CPM and CPI do not
have a large base in other states and fear that such an alliance will
jeopardize their chances of gaining cadres and strength in these states.
While these considerations do weigh with them and are responsible in
downplaying their West Bengal alliance, the CPM leaders well understand
that their standing in the ruling class politics is critically dependent on their
parliamentary strength and they would go to any extent to retain their
relevance in the ruling class politics in the country. They have observed
their declining importance in this arena after 2009 elections and particularly
after losing power in West Bengal. After their disastrous electoral
performance in 2014, their importance in ruling class politics has declined
further and this has been the subject of many deliberations and treatises
by their leaders, sympathizers and apologists.
CPM led Left Front's electoral alliance/seat adjustment has been in the
making for a long time. Inner party contradiction in CPM on this issue has
been there for quite some time. In a way it was a continuation of the struggle
within CPM on how best to play their role in the ruling class politics in the
country. A section of the leadership was content to play their role by running

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NEW DEMOCRACY
the state govts. and playing a supportive role at the Centre by aligning with
other ruling class parties. Growing instability of the ruling class politics
after 1989 had given an opportunity in 1996 to Jyoti Basu of CPM to lead a
Govt. at the Centre but CPM then decided against it citing that they did not
have the strength to decisively influence the Govt. at the Centre. After that
CPM had conducted a Conference to review the Programme at
Thiruananthapuram. In that meeting CPM changed many provisions which
were mainly carry overs of the past including their stance on land reforms,
foreign trade and above all on Govt. formation. Though CPM had readied
itself to meet the situation like 1996 but the opportunity did not come again.
2004 parliamentary elections saw defeat of BJP led NDA while Congress
did not do any better. Elections gave a larger number of seats to regional
parties including parties of the Left Front. Left Front parties supported
Congress led UPA in the formation of Govt. Left Front parties did not take
up ministerial positions but they set up a coordination with Congress led
UPA to run the Govt. and their nominees adorned various state bodies. It
was then that CPM led Govt. in West Bengal took to giving land to corporate
forcibly displacing peasants. CPM leadership wanted to prove to the ruling
classes that they could deliver where other ruling class parties were fumbling
i.e. in handing over land to corporate. It was a deliberate step by the
'pragamtic' CPM leadership. Peasant resistance to the forcible displacement
in Nandigram and Singur are well known. They showed the revisionist
leaders in their true colours and brought down the emperor who was lording
over them for over three decades. With parliamentary elections less than a
year away, CPM led Left Front moved to occupy the opposition space and
withdrew support to UPA Govt.
This withdrawal of support which brought Congress and TMC together
in West Bengal was opposed by the West Bengal unit of CPM who had
sensed the declining position of the Left Front and feared that they could
not withstand the combined strength of TMC and Congress which they did
earlier. This has been a serious point of dispute within CPM i.e. between
two ruling class options of aligning with Congress or leading a third front of
regional ruling class parties. The situation became worse after 2014 elections
when CPM and the Left Front led by it was reduced to its lowest ever
strength in Lok Sabha. The dispute arose particularly sharply before the
last Congress in 2015 in Vishakhapatnam. Poltiburo draft which held the
line practised since 1978 as mainly responsible for the decline was rejected
by the CC as the rival section led by West Bengal leaders held the
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Organ of the Central Committee, CPI(ML)
leadership and not the line responsible for the decline. Vishakhapatnam
Congress passed a line of equidistance from BJP and Congress but that
was only formal. The leadership elected at the Congress was supportive of
electoral alliance with Congress in West Bengal. To correct this anomaly,
CC decided to hold an organizational Plenum at Kolkata ostensibly to discuss
organizational issues but really to address the question of electoral alliance.
The question of alliance with Congress in W.B. was left to the State
Committee whose overwhelming majority had been asking for it.
Electoral alliance with Congress once again proves that CPM is basically
a ruling class party. Its policies serve the ruling classes, it does not have
any qualms in aligning with other ruling class parties, it participates in the
state of the ruling classes. It is not an aberration but a natural culmination
of their revisionist character. In fact they had aligned with Congress in
other states. In West Bengal, they did not do so as it was not needed. Now
that it is necessary for their role as a ruling class party they have shown no
hesitation in striking this partnership. Even the Left Front partners, who
were verbally opposing this alliance, quietly fell in line.
This alliance has left parties like SUCI (C) and CPIML)-Liberation, who
had recently joined other Left Front parties, in apparently an uncomfortable
position. But this is only an appearance. Even after CPM and Left Front
had struck electoral alliance with Congress, Liberation joined these Left
Front parties in Assam for elections. For this somersault Liberation is making
a case that CPM has one class character in West Bengal and Kerala and
another in other states. This fancy formulation is only to justify their
continued partnership with CPM in the left parties' combine. Any way
Liberation was not going to get any seat to contest in West Bengal and
even SUCI(C) could not have got many.
Reality is that revisionist parties like CPM, CPI are ruling class parties
and do behave like one. The problem is with those who do not accept this
reality and would like these parties to behave otherwise. The problem is
with those who would like to extend joint action with these parties on people's
issues to electoral alliance with these parties. The problem is with those
who hope that parties like CPM, CPI, themselves ruling class parties, will
cut their relations with other ruling class parties and who refuse to see the
reality. Revisionist parties like CPM, CPI had long back betrayed the
revolution and over time have degenerated into ruling class parties. It is
not a problem for CPM and CPI. It is part of their character of ruling class
parties. They are pursuing their electoral game for power.
April, 2016