Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Sambhu Singh sleeps in his broken home in defiance

December 28, 2008

Partho Sarathi Ray, Sanhati

Sambhu Singh and his brother has now spent three nights in the rubble of their former home, taking turns to sleep on their own broken-down door, with a blanket bought by the money contributed by the people. The South City management put up a notice on the remains of their home, stating “unsafe, entry prohibited”. It is ironic that it is the same South City management who made the place, a home for a family, unsafe in the first place. It is public pressure that has maintained the position of Sambhu Singh in his home till now, but we don’t know how long that will be possible. Legal options are being explored, but nothing much can be done till 2nd January, when the courts are going to reopen after the winter vacation. South City cunningly selected this time to perpetrate this crime.
On 27th December, the CPI(M) controlled Nagarik Samiti, also held a meeting in “support” of Sambhu Singh, and condemned the people who have been with him from the beginning of the struggle as “naxalites”. I guess it isn’t very surprising, but this complicates the situation further. Today, Sunday, 28th December, there is another public protest in front of South City which everyone is invited to attend.


December 29, 2008:

You have no future: CPIM’s Nagarik Committee pressurizes Mr. Singh, intervenes in favour of big capital
Partho Sarathi Ray, Sanhati

There have been ominous developments yesterday, that has again exposed the face of the CPI(M) as the agent of big capital.
In my last update I had mentioned that the CPI(M) controlled Nagarik Committee had organized a meeting on 27th December, ostensibly to support Sambhu Singh. On 28th December, leaders of the Nagark Samiti that included CPI(M) local committee members, compelled Sambhu Singh to go into a negotiation with South City management. Even though Sambhu Singh had been advised by us to only go if accompanied by his lawyer, he was not allowed to call his lawyer. In the negotiations, in presence 93 Ward Nagarik Committee members Amber Roy Choudhary, Pelab Mukherjee, Parimal Bhattacharya, Jayanta Poddar, Arun Agarwal and Tarun Mistry, Sambhu was threatened by Sushil Mohta and Man Mohan Bagree of South City that he had nothing in favour of him and he had no way to survive if he tried to stay back in his house.
The Nagarik Committee members supported this and persuaded him to arrive at a settlement with South City. Finally overwhelmed by these threats, Sambhu caved in, and signed on a non-legal agreement with South City, where he has agreed to give up possession all claims to his house, withdraw civil and criminal cases against South City, and accept that he has himself removed all his belongings (all of which was looted by South City’s hired security) from his premises.
All this in return of a paltry Rs 4 lakhs (4,00,000), when the actual vaulation of the space occupied by Sambhu Singh’s house is around ten times more!
There is no compensation, not even an acknowledgement, of the illegal assault on his family and their eviction.
This is a repetition of what is a common procedure in Bengal. South City realized that it was in a very bad sitaution after committing this illegal act and from the resultant public backlash, which they hadn’t expected would be there. In order to save them from this situation, appeared the CPI(M). Repeating what it had done when the workers of the Usha factory were originally thrown out of their jobs, it acted as agent and broker, allowing the corporation to get away with paying a pittance as compensation, victimising the poor worker.
Irrespective of the outcome regarding Sambhu Singh, it has been decided that the protests against South City would be intensified. Armed with this direct evidence of the Nagarik Committee’s heinous intervention in the matter, the struggle would be directed against the corporations and their agent and broker, the CPI(M)


December 30, 2008:

Sambhu Singh fights back yet again

Sambhu Singh decided yesterday that he would fight back against South City and CPI(M) by lodging a complaint that he was made to sign on the plain paper agreement against his will and under compulsion.

Source: http://sanhati.com/excerpted/1183/#7

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Sambhu Singh vs. South City: the battle against corporate retail and real estate in a microcosm

Partho Sarathi Ray, Sanhati.

Since December 25, something is happening in Kolkata which might turn into a major battle against corporate retail and real estate.
Many of you, who are from or have stayed in Kolkata, know about the huge South City complex (company logo: Live the way the world does), consisting of the largest mall in Kolkata and a huge residential complex consisting of 4 tower buildings. The complex has come up on the grounds of the erstwhile Usha Engineering works, a factory employing around 7000 people, which was shut down and the land handed over to South City. The workers were all thrown out and their living quarters were demolished.
Their story is one of the little known tragedies of the process of “development” , one of the facets of which is the conversion of urban industrial land into real estate. Anyway, the mall came up in a very questionable process, filling up a huge water body (Bikramgarh jheel), and is now a major source of traffic congestion in the area.
What I didn’t know was that a single worker, Sambhu Prasad Singh, had decided to fight it out! His is an epic story. He had challenged his retrenchment by Usha Engineering in court, and had stayed back in the workers quarters with his brother, the latter’s wife and their 10 year old son. Disregarding threats by South City, he had stayed on amidst the construction going on around him. He was staying in the workers’ qaurters all of which had been torn down leaving only his rooms, as there was a stay order from the court. In this situation the family had stayed on and struggled, sending the son to a good school and living a life of dignity. Their struggle was being documented by a film maker, Ranu Ghosh, who had been closely following their lives for the past 10 years. Some of her postings are at: https://mail.sarai.net/pipermail/reader-list/2007-July/009568.html and https://mail.sarai.net/pipermail/reader-list/2007-July/009568.html. You might find moreabout it if you do a search on internet.
Yesterday (25th December) morning, I received a call from a reporter at one of the Bengali TV channels, who told me that something horrible had happened to the family of Sambhu, but his channel and other media wouldn’t report on it as South City was involved. I informed Samik Chakrabarty, one of our Sanhati comrades, and both of us immediately rushed to the spot.
We found out that on 24th evening, when the city was taken up in Christmas eve fever, and the two men (Sambhu and his brother) were away from home, security guards of South City, under the direction of their security chief and property manager, had broken down their door, come in and tied the hands and feet of the mother and the 10 year old son, assaulted them and thrown them out on the streets. Then they had looted all their belongings, loaded it on a truck and taken it away somewhere. Then they had broken down the roof and the stairs leading up to their 1st floor house, practically rendering it uninhabitable. The two men came back late at night and found them out on the streets. Then they called up Ranu and she went there immediately.
From 25th morning, the battle started. We went to the Jadavpur police station and lodged a FIR. The police stated that it was a patently illegal act to evict sometime when the case is sub-judice, but they cannot put them back inside their home. However, they said that they have the right to stay in their home. Many activists, organizations and media had been informed by then, and some activists, from organizations such as FAMA started coming in.
During the day, we also found that the police inspector came in a jeep and entered the premises. After some time we came to know that people were demolishing what remained of the house of the worker inside the premises. We realized that they were trying to demolish the house in order to make it a fait accompli, so that there would be no hope of proving Sambhu Singh’s right to the place.
By that time some faculty of Jadavpur University and members of the intellectuals and cultural workers association had also arrived. We decided that we would try to enter the site and if prevented we would start a demonstration. As we tried to enter, the security guards set up a cordon infront of the gate and their head said that he wouldn’t allow us to enter. We insisted on the right of Sambhu Singh and us to enter and we went into a heated altercation with the security guards. People started collecting and soon there was a huge crowd. We had called the students of Jadavpur university and they, notably from the student organization PDSF, arrived. Soon they were joined by other students. It became an impropmtu public meeting.
Meanwhile, the authorities tried to move out the workers who had been breaking down house in a Tata Sumo. We blocked its exit and it turned tail and fled in another direction. We had also called up the local councillor, Mr. Ratan Dey of Trinamool Congress, and he also turned up after some time. When he came,some of us accompanied him and entered the site. We found that the house had nearly been completely demolished with its roof, the walls and the staircase completely destroyed. After sometime more people, accompanied by reporters of some TV channels entered.
We then decided that Sambhu Singhu would be staying inside there, in order to prove his right to live at that site. It was also decided that a protest meeting, where everybody would participate, would be held outside South City mall on 26th December. It was a partial victory as we had been able to reinstate Sambhu Singh in his house, which was rightfully his. He and his brother somehow managed to spend the night in that broken down house.
On 26th morning, I again accompanied Sambhu Singh, his brothers wife and her son, together with some activists from a local citizen’s forum and a lawyer to the police station. The woman lodged a detailed complaint and also added a list of her belongings that have been looted. The police now were quite hostile, unlike the previous day and tried to harrass and intimidate us. In the evening a public meeting, attended by around 500 people started infront of the gates of South City mall. Nearly all organizations and activists of Kolkata participated. Different student organizations participated. The students put up posters, distributed leaflets and talked to people, including customers who were coming to the mall. Some students stood with posters in front of the main door of the mall informing people about the incident and appealing to them to boycott South City.
It was a demonstration the likes of which South City has never seen before.
As you can understand, this will be a long battle. We have to explore all the legal options in front of Sambhu Singh and his family. It is difficult now as South City chose a time when the court is in vacation. Another protest meeting is planned for Sunday. People want to continue this protest against this grossly unjust and illegal act. I request everyone to express their solidarity and support for this movement which has started as a battle of justice for a wronged person but which is taking up the nature of a battle against corporate retail and real estate and their land-grabbing in the urban centres.

Source: http://sanhati.com/excerpted/1183/

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Defeat War Conspiracy; Build Up Anti-imperialist Unity Among The People of India And Pakistan

After heinous terror strike in Mumbai, both the neighbouring states, India and Pakistan are roaring. India has been accusing Pakistan of being involved in the Mumbai terror strike and the Pakistan state machinery does not accept it. Meanwhile both of them prepare themselves for a war--- Pakistan gradually moves its military forces towards Indo-Pak border and India has already made its forces alert.

We, the common people of both India and Pakistan are fully aware from our past experiences that war cannot make any better in our daily life, instead the huge expenses of war has to be borne by the common people. Whenever the exploiting classes of this subcontinent find themselves in difficult situation, get involved in war with the nationalist propaganda. Right now the financial crisis of the imperialist system has proved that capitalism-imperialism does not have any future. It cannot solve the problems of providing basic needs to all human beings. Extraction of maximum profit, which drives the imperialist production, actually throws huge number of people out of his market everyday and thereby increases poverty. India and Pakistan, neo-colonial type semi-colonies, which supply cheap labour and the raw materials to the imperialist and comprador capitalists, cannot be out of this crisis. Already, the export oriented industries of India is at stake and as a remedy it has started to cut its work force short. Obviously, this will shorten the internal market and soon the crisis will engulf other sectors.

In this context it is very easy to understand that the socio-political unrest followed by anti-imperialist movement which is going to storm over this subcontinent in near future will be beyond the control parliamentary politicians. The leadership of these struggles will be eventually in the hand of real communist revolutionaries. In order to divert the point of attention of the people, to weaken the anti-imperialist revolutionary consciousness and unity among the people, the state machineries of both the countries have therefore to spread the backward ideas like communalism, chauvinism etc. No doubt, to serve their purpose they have different forces, whose activities have been reflected into the blasts of different places all over the sub-continent that killed numerous people. Under this backdrop, the war mongers of two countries are all set to start a fresh war, provoking people to get satisfaction from the killings of innocents at the other side of the border.

We condemn this war preparation.
We are against any fratricidal war.

We believe that the progressive and democratic forces of India and Pakistan will fight at their level best to resist this war-conspiracy.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Bush shoe attack a big hit online

An Iraqi journalist’s shoe attack on George Bush has spawned a number of online video games. And their popularity is growing by the hour, reflecting in part the universal loathing the outgoing US President commands.
In one virtual game, players of Bush’s Boot Camp take on the role of a gun-toting security agent and must shoot shoes out of the air before they can hit the hapless President.
In another, players are invited to take aim at Bush, even as he bobs and weaves on the podium. At the end of this game, every successful player is greeted with a flashing message: YES YOU CAN!
TV reporter Muntadar al-Zaidi was tackled to the ground by Secret Service personnel after he started throwing his shoes at Bush. The footwear missed Bush, who ducked, but Zaidi was bundled out yelling: “This is a farewell kiss, you dog.”
Footage of the attack has been viewed over half a million times on video-sharing site YouTube. “If you watch the clip, the Secret Service don’t move to protect Bush until the second shoe’s been thrown,” said Sadi Chishti of T-Enterprise, the company behind the game.
As Zaidi’s fame in the Muslim world grows, an Arab channel reported that a Saudi citizen had offered $10 million to buy the shoes.
However, for the muchreviled Bush, it was just another incident in a long tenure marked by his choking on words, and pretzels. “I don’t know what the guy’s cause is, I didn’t feel the least bit threatened by it,” the US President joked with mediapersons.

Video: Iraqi Journalist Throws Shoe at Bush

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Leaflet On Lalgarh Resistance

Fllowing is a bengali leaflet published by People's Committee Against Police Repression:

Sunday, November 23, 2008


A Reply To A Reader From The Editor of The PEOPLE'S DAILY. June 16, 1950.

[In this reply the editor of People's Daily discussed in great detail Com Stalin's comment (of 1926) on Chinese revolution, which was mentioned and explained in different articles of Com Mao. That the character and form of the revolution of the semi-colonial, semi-feudal countries like China of Asia, Africa and Latin America was different from the western independent capitalist countries; that the agrarian guerilla warfare or in other words protracted people's war was the principal form of national liberation; was discussed in this reply. Red Barricade]

Comrade Huang Tse-chun,
We have received your letter in which you state that, having studied Chairman Mao Tse-tung's The Chinese Revolution and the Chinese Communist Party and having pondered over the nature of the Chinese revolution, you believe Staiin's statement that "the characteristic of the Chinese revolution is that an armed people opposes armed counter-revolution" conforms to historical reality in China. But, you ask:
"Perhaps the revolution of no country in the world will diverge from this pattern. Why did Stalin not say that this was the characteristic of the revolution of all countries but instead described it as purely the characteristic of the Chinese revolution?"
Very obviously, this characteristic—an armed people opposing armed counter-revolution—is something which was not present in the revolutions of any capitalist country in the past. This characteristic first appeared during the people's liberation struggle in semi-colonial and semi-feudal China. But under certain historical conditions, it can become the common characteristic of the people's liberation struggle in many colonial and semi-colonial countries.
Stalin's famous saying on China's armed struggle which we all quote was made during an address to the Chinese Commission of the Executive Committee of the Communist International on November 30, 1926. The whole passage is as follows:
"During the 18th and 19th centuries, revolutions always started in the following way. Generally the bulk of the people, either unarmed or very poorly armed, started an insurrection and clashed with the army of the old system. They tried to crush the old army or at least win a part of it over to the people's side. This was the typical form of previous revolutionary outbreaks. This was also the case in Russia during 1905.
But in China, it is different. In China, it is not the unarmed people but the armed people represented by the revolutionary army, who rise up against the army of the old government. In China, armed revolution opposes armed counter-revolution. This is one of the characteristics of China's revolution. It is one of the advantages of China's revolution. Herein also lies the special significance of the revolutionary army in China."
This charactetistic first, appeared in China because China was the largest and most important semi-colonial and semi-feudal country. The enemies of the Chinese people were imperialism and the domestic reactionaries dependent upon imperialism. They enforced the most brutal military despotism. Moreover, it was not merely one imperialist country, but many imperialist counties, that invaded and dominated Cnina. They had contradictions among themselves, which caused disunity, schisms and struggle among the domestic reactionaries. This in turn provided the people with convenient condition? for launching and resolutely sustaining an armed struggle, In the chapter of 'The Chinese Revolution and the Chinese Communist Party which you are now studying, Comrade Mao Tse-tung has clearly pointed out :
"In the face of such enemies, it is a pre-determined fact that the method and major form of the Chinese revolution cannot be peaceful but must be armed. This is because our enemies do not leave the Chinese people any possibility of peaceful activity and the Chinese people have no political freedom at all. Stalin said, 'The characteristic of the Chinese revolution is that an armed people oppose armed counter-revolution.' This is an extraordinarily correct formulation."


In Problems of War and Strategy, a part of his summation at the Sixth Plenary Session of the Sixth Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (on Nov. 6, 1938), Comrade Mao Tse-tung pointed out still more precisely :
"During periods when there is neither Fascism nor war, the conditions in all capitalist countries are as follows: internally, the country does not have a feudal system, but a bourgeois-democratic system; externally, it oppresses other nations and does not experience national oppression. On the basis of these characteristics, the task of proletarian parties in all capitalist countries lies in passing through a long period of legal struggle, of educating the workers, of building strength and of preparing for the final overthrow of capitalism.
"In those places, a long period of legal struggle means making use of parliamentary rostrums; it means economic and political strikes; it moans organizing trade unions and educating the workers. There the form of organization is legal and the form of struggle is bloodless (non-warlike). To the Communist Party of those places, war means opposing the imperialist wars of one's own country. If such wars occur, the Party's policy will be one of ensuring the defeat of its own country.
"The only war the Party itself wants is the internal war which is being prepared. But such a war should not be undertaken until th3 bourgeoisie is actually powerless, until the majority of the proletariat are firmly determined to have and armed insurrection and wage war, and until the peasant masses are already willing to help the proletariat. When the time comes for an insurrection and war, cities should first be occupied and afterwards the country-side should be attacked. This absolutely cannot be reversed. All of these things have been practised by the Communist parties of capitalist countries and were confirmed during the October Revolution in Russia.
"But China is not the same. The characteristic of China is that she is not an independent, democratic country, but is semi-colonial and semi-feudal country. Internally, there is no democratic system, but the oppression of the feudal system; externally, there is no national independence, but the oppression of imperialism. Therefore, there are no parliaments to utilize, and no legal right to organize workers r carrying out strikes.
"Here the task of the Communist Party is not basically one of undergoing a long period of legal struggle in order to carry out insurrection and war, nor is it to occupy the cities first and then the countryside. Our path is just the opposite."
This was Comrade Mao Tse-tung's penetrating summation of the problems of war and strategy, based upon the theories of Lenin and Stalin and the experiences of the Chinese revolution.
The victory of the Chinese people's revolution has entirely proven the correctness of Mao Tse-tung's reasoning. During the past 20-odd years, most of those who committed errors in the Chinese revolution did so because they did not understand the laws of China's society and revolution, and violated Mao Tse-tung's theories. This was the case both politically and militarily.
One of the reasons for the failure of the first domestic revolutionary war in China from 1925 to 1927 was the opportunistic leadership of Chen Tu-hsiu, who overlooked -the great significance of armed struggle. After the failure of this revolution, Chen Tu-hsiu still advocated carrying on legal activities under Chiang Kai-shek's reign of White terror, taking the so-called 'National Congress' as the central slogan. Moreover, he slandered peasant guerilla warfare, led by the Chinese Communist Party, by calling it the behaviour of 'bandits'. Thus, Chen Tu-hsiu and his small clique of collaborators sank to becoming counter-revolutionaries.


Those who committed 'leftist' errors in the second Evolutionary civil war from 1927 to 1937 also underestimated the military struggle, especially the importance of peasant guerilla warfare and of rural revolutionary bases. They wrongly imagined that the Chinese revolution might attain victory by relying upon the development, under the high pressure of counter-revolution, of mass struggles in the cities, such as the strikes staged by workers and students. They did not rely on the development of the armed peasant struggle in the countryside, where the counter-revolutionary forces were comparatively weak. Consequently, they did not subordinate the secret revolutionary work and the mass struggle of the cities to the armed struggle of the countryside. On the contrary, they demanded that the work of the rural armed struggle be subordinated to the underground work and mass struggles of the cities. The result was that not only the urban work suffered a serious setback but the rural work was harmed as well. Had it not been for the correct leadership of Comrade Mao Tse-tung and comrades-in-arms, which overcame the mistakes of the opportunist deviations that occurred at various times, the present victory of the Chinese revolution would be unimaginable.
This experience of China's revolutionary victory is very important for the people of the countries which are still under the rule of imperialism and their domestic reactionaries. That is to say, this characteristic of armed struggle which appeared in the course of China's revolution can under certain historical conditions become the common characteristic of all revolutions of other colonial and semi-colonial countries. This has been explained in the Outline of the Colonial and Semi-Colonial Revolutionary Movement issued by the Sixth Congress of the in August 1928.
In this outline, the following subjects were analysed: "Imperialism still continues to intensify its war preparations," "World capitalism develops post-war crisis" and "The socialist construction of the Soviet Union has a revolutionizing Influence; the Communist movements in all capitalist countries grow steadily more consolidated and proceed to support the struggles of colonial peoples,"
Continuing, the outline points out: "All these conditions have immeasurably accelerated the political awakening of the broad masses in colonial and semi-colonial countries and have given rise to many large-scale revolutionary armed insurrections on the part of the masses. Moreover, in the majority of cases, these revolutionary armed insurrections have been closely coordinated with the development of the anti-imperialist liberation struggle and with the development of the intensity of the class struggle within the Country."


On the basis of China's revolutionary experience and a correct analysis of the World's political situation after World War II, Comrade Liu Shao-chi further pointed out last December in his opening address; at the Trade Union Conference of Asian and Australasian Countries ;
"The imperialists and their lackeys do not give the people under colonial and semi-colonial domination any democratic rights whatsoever. For instance, this was formerly the case in China. We revolutionaries, hunted down by the imperialists and their henchmen, could not maintain a foothold in the cities under the White Terror. Consequently, we could only flee to the countryside or to mountain-tops and defend our lives with arms......
"In a colony or a semi-colony, if the people have no arms to defend themselves, they have nothing. The existence and development of proletarian organizations and the existence and development of a national united front is intimately linked to the existence and development of such an armed struggle. This is the sole path for many colonial peoples in their struggle for independence and liberation.
Hence, it becomes absolutely clear that the characteristic of an armed people opposing armed counter-revolution not pertain to China's revolution alone. Under the present conditions, it can and should become the common characteristic of the liberation struggles waged by many colonial and semi-colonial peoples.
In an editorial published on January 27 this year. For a Lasting Peace, for a People's Democracy organ of the Information Bureau of the Communist and Workers' Parties, commented that the path taken by the Chinese people, at Comrada Liu Shao-chi noted, "Should be the path taken by the people of many colonial and dependent countries in their struggle for national independence and people's democracy." The editorial further pointed out:
''As the example of China, Viet-Nam, Malaya and other countries shows, armed struggle is now becoming the main form of the national liberation movement In many colonial and dependent countries,"
It went on to stress the significance of China's revolutionary experience for India. After the publication of this editorial, Ranadive, General Secretary of the Communist Party of India, issued a statement expressing "full acceptance of the conclusions drawn by this editorial." He added:
"Under the leadership of Comrade Mao Tse-tung, the Chinese Communist Party has successfully applied the teachings of Lenin and Stalin in the course of the victorious liberation struggle of the Chinese people. The lessons of this victorious liberation struggle of the Chinese people will serve as an infallible compass for the Indian Communist Party and working class, which are responsible, for the task of leading the national liberation struggle".

Armed struggle against imperialist aggression is essential for the liberation of many colonies and semi-colonies. But the time and place for conducting this kind of revolutionary armed struggle must be decided according to concrete conditions. It can by no means be conducted in any colony or semi-colony at any time without the necessary conditions and preparations. In those countries where the objective conditions allow this armed struggle, whether or not this armed struggle attains victory is determined by the objective conditions of whether or not the people of these countries have a working class party to lead them and whether its leadership is correct or not. It is only because of the correct political and military line of the Chinese Communist Party, headed by Chairman Mao Tse-tung, that the Chinese people could win their great victory.
Today, the people of Viet-Nam have already scored tremendous successes in their armed struggle. In Burma, Malaya, the Philippine Islands etc., the people's armed struggle is just in the process of wide expansion. All these struggles are being conducted in each country under the leadership of the revolutionary working class.
The people in other colonial and dependent countries who are experiencing strong oppression and attack from imperialism and its lackeys—the domestic reactionaries— have no "democratic rights", and all illusions about "legal struggles" are fast vanishing. They will also take the path of armed struggle when conditions permit. One may be certain that if only they have the correct leadership of a working class party and gain experience from their struggles, the national liberation movements of these countries can march on to victory.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Lalgarh : Upsurge Against State Repression

Lalgarh of West Midnapur, West Bengal, has been isolated for more than one week due to road block by the local people to protest the police repression. In the name of so called Maoist crackdown, the state machinery unleashed a reign of terror in this region. Aged people, teachers, school kids and even women were the victims of recent police atrocities. They arrested school kids with alleged Maoist link. Now, the down trodden local people have raised their voice to stop the injustice for ever. The resistance was initiated under the banner of different social organizations of Adivasi people; but, the People's Committee Against Police Repression is now giving the leadership. With time the resistance has spread in other parts of West Midnapur and Bankura district.
We support this upsurge not only because of its mass character, but also for its new democratic revolutionary spirit and orientation.

Down with state repression.

Red Salute to Lalgarh.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Seminar on Birth Centenary of Comrade Amulya Sen

Com. Amulya Sen Birth Centenary Celebration Committee is going to organize a Seminar on the Birth Centenary of Com. Amulya Sen at Bengal Theosophical Society (1st Floor), College Square, Kolkata, India on 21 October, 2008 (2-00pm). Following is the leaflet published on this occassion.
Celebrate Birth Centenary of Comrade Amulya Sen
Comrades and Friends,
This year, 2008 is the birth centenary of Com. Amulya Sen, the freedom fighter and the communist revolutionary of India.

Com. Sen was born in 1908 in Sonarang village of Bikrampur of Dhaka district in present Bangladesh. He completed his formal education after obtaining gold medal in B.Sc. and 1st class in B.T examinations from the University of Dhaka. However, leaving a comfortable and peaceful life, in his youth Com. Sen rushed to the revolutionary armed struggle against British imperialism with a dream of an independent India, and took the membership of 'Anushilan Samity'.

In forties of the last century he studied Marxism-Leninism in great detail during his prison-life. He joined the Communist Party of India (CPI) once he was released.

In the two-line struggle within CPI, Com. Amulya Sen played very important role. Against Titoite-Trotskite line, he boldly supported the line of Com. Stalin, the document of Andhra Secretariat and the great Telengana movement. Based on the party's "Tactical Line" of 1951 Com. Sen fought the battle and was elected the secretary of the Hoogly district committee of CPI. The "Tactical Line" of 1951 was consistent with the line of Chinese revolution and opposite to the line formulated by B. T. Ranadive, inspired by the line of Trotsky-Tito.

As soon as com. Stalin passed away in 1953, the revisionist line returned back in the party. Com. Sen was shifted from his position of Hoogly district committee secretary. But, he kept on ideological debate uninterruptedly. In the 20th Congress of CPSU in 1956 Khrushchev put forward the reactionary-revisionist theory of peaceful transition to socialism. It resulted in fierce ideological debate in the international communist movement. Debate was continued in CPI as well. Com. Amulya Sen was one of the front liners in India who, in support of the line of Com. Stalin, fought against the revisionist line of 20th congress. When CPC under Com. Mao started great debate in international communist movement against Khrushchev revisionists, Com. Sen fought the ideological struggle in support of the CPC line.

In November, 1964 the CPI underwent a split in its 7th congress. CPI(Marxist) was formed. From the very beginning Com. Sen called the draft programme of CPI(M) as revisionist. He realized that the party leadership would not direct the ideological debate in Marxist manner; rather it would impose the revisionist line in bureaucratic way. Under this circumstance, in order to unite the revolutionary section of the party he started to publish "Chinta", the underground bulletin in 1964-65 within the party’s rank and file. In its six issues the subjects of the articles published in "Chinta" were: The state character of India, The path of Indian revolution, Role of PL-480 as a weapon of neo-colonial exploitation, Programme of 7th congress of the Party and the nature of revisionist leadership etc. "Chinta" resulted in waves of debate in the party that was felt even in the mass organizations.

With a view to expanding the sphere of debate, Com. Sen, with Com. Chadrasekhar Das and Com. Kanai Chatterjee, started publishing ''Dakshin Desh", an open bi-weekly magazine since August, 1966. In this period, other groups in Kolkata started the debate as well and in Siliguri, Com. Charu Mazumdar and others continued the same debate.

With the heritage of the Telengana movement and inspired by the international great debate, the Naxalbari peasant movement was exploded in 1967 under the leadership of Com. Charu Mazumdar. Following the great revolutionary peasant movement of Naxalbari Com. Amulya Sen took initiative in the ideological struggle against the various rightist trends of opportunism, liberalism and economism in order to unite all communist revolutionaries in a genuine communist party. Meanwhile, under the leadership of Com. Charu Mazumdar CPI(Marxist-Leninist) was formed in 22 April, 1969. Because of the differences in a number of ideological and political questions and in the methodology of party formation, the “Dakshin Desh” group kept itself outside the newly formed party. Com. Sen strongly favoured the notion of having a single all India party. As it was not possible at that moment, he along with Com. Kanai Chatterjee and Com. Chandrasekhar Das founded Maoist Communist Centre by thoroughly organizing the "Dakshin Desh" group in 20 October 1969 for the continuation of revolutionary activities with the orientation of unification of the communist revolutionaries in a single party in future.

Com. Sen strongly believed that without mobilizing and politically activating the workers and peasants, the basic force of revolution, the revolutionary actions of a handful of self-sacrificing ideologues could not abolish the imperialism and the feudalism. He also believed that without agrarian revolution no revolutionary task could be achieved in our country. He did continue his theoretical and practical tasks adhering to this basic political line throughout his prolonged revolutionary life. Till his last day, 23 March, 1981, he was a tireless and strong-minded revolutionary communist warrior.
With a desperate attempt to overcome the ever-deepening crisis in the imperialist world, imperialist powers, in one hand, implement their aggressive war strategy in different countries and are engaged in frantic arm race; on the other hand, they maximize the plunder over India and other third world countries with the policy of globalization. In the name of industrialization, urbanization as well as special economic zone and infrastructure formation, the imperialist transnational-multinational companies now directly control the industries, agriculture and other economic sectors of India. Acquisition of farmland and extensive eviction of peasants have been undergoing in the name of development. The CPI(M) led left front and other governments in different states of India help implementation of plunder and eviction policy. On the other hand, peasantry has been continuing their resistance. The struggles in Singur, Nandigram and in other areas are the burning examples of such resistance. It is to be noted that Com Amulya Sen and his fellow warriors once started ideological struggle against those very revisionist forces, which are now in power to evict the peasantry at the behest of local and foreign exploiting classes. It does manifest the political far-sightedness of Com. Sen. To celebrate the birth centenary of Com. Sen means to take lessons from his hard revolutionary life, from his ideology of self-sacrifice, and above all from his political far-sightedness. We have to stand by the struggles of the masses of different strata including worker and peasants by assimilating the teachings of Com. Sen. It is the best way of paying homage to Com. Amulya Sen.
With revolutionary greetings,
Com. Amulya Sen Birth Centenary Celebration Committee,
21 September 2008, Kolkata
Make the SEMINAR on
Com. Amulya Sen Birth Centenary a Grand Success
Venue: Theosophical Society (1st Floor)
College Square, Kolkata, India
Date: 21 October, 2008 (2-00pm)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


[The following is the selected sections of an article that was published in 1976 from Peking (Beijing) in the booklet named "Three Major Struggles on China's Philosophical Front (1949-64)". Since 1949, after the establishment of new China during the period of socialist construction, philosophical front experienced the reflection of fierce two line struggle that had been on the question of continuation of class struggle, which in essence propagation of revolution under the dictatorship of proletariat. In the backdrop of this struggle a number of articles were published in "People's Daily", "Red Flag" etc. which were written by the Revolutionary Mass Criticism Writing Group of the Party School of the Central Committee of CPC under Comrade Mao. This article is one of them.
Like 'unity', there exists 'struggle' between the two sides of a contradiction. 'Unity' is conditional and relative. 'Struggle' is unconditional and absolute. With complex struggle the emerging and progressive side of a contradiction develops, the decaying and reactionary side degenerates, the emerging side "eats up" the decaying side. As a result, old contradiction ceases bringing the qualitative change and new contradiction starts to exist. This is the dialectical materialist law of the development of matter that operates universally, whether in the natural world, in human society, or in man's thinking. That is why Lenin, Stalin and Mao stressed more on the 'struggle' rather than 'unity' between two sides of a contradiction. Strengthening of the dictatorship of proletariat, continuation of class struggle or revolution under the dictatorship of proletariat – one divides into two – is the indispensable condition to resist the danger of the restoration of capitalism in the socialist society. Regarding philosophy, the major allegation of the proponents of 'Maoism', especially RIM against Stalin is that Stalin only considered the struggle of opposites and failed to see the unity of opposites. Interestingly, in China the followers of capitalist rode alleged of talking "only about the struggle between the opposites, but not their unity" against comrade Mao and the CPC. In essence, that unity of opposite means class collaboration, the reactionary theory of "combine two into one". In different version it is the theory of Bukharin that in thirties of last century argues "capitalism will peaceably grow into socialism" against which Stalin fought fiercely to establish socialism in Soviet Union. Keeping aside the class struggle or revolutionary change of the production relation and superstructure, Bukharin stressed over the "technique of social organization". In its continuation Yaroshenko in early fifties of the last century said that in socialism the productive force "eats up" the production relation, the key to establish socialism is the "
rational organization of the productive forces". Exposing its political character Stalin described Yaroshenko's idea as "un-Marxist" and "profoundly erroneous". In socialism productive force does not "eat up" the production relation. Under the leadership of proletariat with the continuation of class struggle revolutionary transformation of production relation takes place, new and emerging production relation "eats up" the old and decaying production relation. During the Great proletarian cultural revolution that is why Comrade Mao called "Grasp revolution, promote production". Essentially the RIM and its followers with left grandiloquence market the theory of "combine two into one" while accusing Stalin for not seeing the "unity of opposites".]
Our great leader Chairman Mao points out: "Everything divides into two." "The law of contradiction in things, that is, the law of the unity of opposites, is the basic law of materialist dialectics" (On Contradiction ). This scientific thesis of Chairman Mao's profoundly expresses the objective law of things and penetratingly expounds the core of materialist dialectics. It is a sharp weapon for the Chinese people in carrying out the three great revolutionary movements -- class struggle, the struggle for production and scientific experiment, a sharp weapon for consolidating the dictatorship of the proletariat and steadfastly continuing the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat.
The wide dissemination of the brilliant concept one divides into two among the people met with the extreme fear and hatred of a handful of class enemies at home and abroad. In 1964, Liu Shao-chi instigated Yang Hsien-chen, his agent in philosophical circles, to set off a heated debate centring around the question of one divides into two or "combine two into one." The proletarian headquarters headed by Chairman Mao directly led this struggle on China's philosophical front, a struggle involving a matter of cardinal principle. With Mao Tsetung Thought as their weapon, workers, peasants and soldiers, cadres and intellectuals criticized the reactionary theory of "combine two into one" and demolished it by the revolutionary dialectics of one divides into two.
As the "theoretical basis" of Liu Shao-chi's counter-revolutionary revisionist line, the theory of "combine two into one" once permeated the political, economic, ideological, cultural, art and other fields. To eliminate the remaining poisonous influence of Liu Shao-chi's counter-revolutionary revisionist line in all spheres, we must further criticize the bourgeois idealism and metaphysics of Liu Shao-chi, Yang Hsien-chen and other such swindlers, as well as the reactionary theory of "combine two into one."
On the orders of Liu Shao-chi, the renegade Yang Hsien-chen, who long ago had prostrated himself before the Kuomintang reactionaries, came out at every crucial juncture in the socialist revolution to launch attacks on the Party in the field of philosophy. He frenziedly opposed Chairman Mao's proletarian revolutionary line and tried to use the reactionary world outlook of "combine two into one" to remould our Party and country.
In 1958, Yang Hsien-chen, with ulterior motives, advocated "using identity of contradiction" and by insinuation attacked our Party because it "talked only about the struggle between the opposites, but not their unity." His aim was to provide philosophical ground for Liu Shao-chi's theory of "the dying out of class struggle" in direct opposition to Chairman Mao's great work On the Correct Handling of Contradictions Among the People.
In 1961-62, Liu Shao-chi's counter-revolutionary clique, in close co-ordination with the anti-China adverse current abroad, plotted counter-revolutionary restoration all along the line from the top down. At that time Yang Hsien-chen ran hither and thither to spread his reactionary philosophy, opposing more frantically than ever Chairman Mao's philosophical thinking. He babbled that the unity of opposites meant "common points," that we had "common points" with U.S. imperialism and that we and modern revisionism had "common points with some differences." Here he was openly calling for "combining" the proletariat and the bourgeoisie, socialism and imperialism, Marxism and revisionism, into one.
Chairman Mao was the first to perceive the danger of the counter-revolutionary plots of Liu Shao-chi and his gang, and time and again warned the whole Party and the people of the whole country to guard against revisionism. At the Tenth Plenary Session of the Party's Eighth Central Committee held in 1962, Chairman Mao put forward more comprehensively the basic line of the Chinese Communist Party for the entire historical period of socialism and issued the great call: "Never forget class struggle." Under Chairman Mao's wise leadership, the Party intensified propaganda and education in the revolutionary dialectics of one divides into two, launched the socialist education movement on a broad scale, conducted open polemics against modern revisionism and dealt the class enemies at home and abroad hard blows. However, all these warnings and struggles did not and could not change the counter-revolutionary nature of Liu Shao-chi, Yang Hsien-chen and company, who were impatient to restore capitalism. Yang Hsien-chen first openly peddled the theory of "combine two into one" in the former Higher Party School under the C.P.C. Central Committee. After careful planning, this reactionary philosophy was launched for the public in 1964.
Lenin has said that the struggle in philosophy "in the last analysis reflects the tendencies and ideology of the antagonistic classes in modern society" (Materialism and Empirio-Criticism ). The concocting of the theory of "combine two into one" was intended externally to meet the needs of imperialism and social-imperialism in subverting great socialist China, and internally to meet the needs of the counter-revolutionary restoration by the bourgeoisie. It was a hack philosophy serving Liu Shao-chi's efforts to restore capitalism, and ran counter to continuing the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat.
To oppose Marxist philosophy, all opportunists and revisionists do their best to negate the boundary between materialism and idealism as well as between dialectics and metaphysics. In peddling the reactionary theory of "combine two into one," Yang Hsien-chen, too, resorted to this kind of base counter-revolutionary tactics. He dressed this reactionary theory up as dialectics and prated that "combine two into one" and "one divides into two" had "the same meaning," deliberately trying to negate the fundamental antagonism between one divides into two and "combine two into one."
Lenin pointed out: "The splitting in two of a single whole and the cognition of its contradictory parts. . . is the essence . . . of dialectics" (On the Question of Dialectics ). "In brief, dialectics can be defined as the doctrine of the unity of opposites. This grasps the kernel of dialectics, but it requires explanations and development" (Conspectus of Hegel's Book The Science of Logic).
Chairman Mao developed this great idea of Lenin's further in his On Contradiction, On the Correct Handling of Contradictions Among the People and other important philosophical works. Chairman Mao says: "The law of the unity of opposites is the fundamental law of the universe. This law operates universally, whether in the natural world, in human society, or in man's thinking. Between the opposites in a contradiction there is at once unity and struggle, and it is this that impels things to move and change" (On the Correct Handling of Contradictions Among the People ). The concept one divides into two that Chairman Mao put forward profoundly and concisely summarizes the law of the unity of opposites and grasps the heart of materialist dialectics.
According to the concept one divides into two, there are contradictions in everything. The two aspects of a contradiction depend on and struggle with each other, and this determines the life of all things. The natural world, society and man's thinking, far from "combining two into one," are full of contradictions and struggles. Without contradiction, there would not be the natural world, society, and man's thinking; nothing would exist. Contradictions are present in all processes of things and permeate all processes from beginning to end, and it is this that promotes the development of things. The constant emerging and resolving of contradictions -- this is the universal law of the development of things.
Applying the concept one divides into two in examining socialist society, we have to recognize that throughout the entire historical period of socialism there are classes, class contradictions and class struggle, there is the struggle between the two roads of socialism and capitalism, there is the danger of capitalist restoration, and there is the threat of subversion and aggression by imperialism and social-imperialism. To resolve these contradictions, we must strengthen the dictatorship of the proletariat and steadfastly continue the revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat. Even in a communist society, there will be contradictions and struggles between the new and the old, the advanced and the backward, and right and wrong. Just as Chairman Mao has pointed out, "Wherever there are groups of people -- that is, everywhere apart from uninhabited deserts -- they are invariably divided into left, centre and right. Ten thousand years from now this will still be so." Only by adhering to this concept and applying it to guide revolutionary practice can we be thorough-going dialectical materialists. To deny the concept one divides into two means to deny the universality of contradiction and to betray materialist dialectics and, politically, this inevitably leads to betrayal of the proletarian revolution and the dictatorship of the proletariat.
The core of the theory "combine two into one" lies in merging contradictions, liquidating struggle, opposing revolution, "combining" the proletariat with the bourgeoisie, "combining" Marxism with revisionism, "combining" socialism with imperialism and social-imperialism. This out-and-out reactionary bourgeois idealist and metaphysical world outlook is diametrically opposed to the world outlook of one divides into two.
Hsien-chen and company also alleged that "analysis means 'one divides into two' while synthesis means 'combine two into one.' This is not merely a question of their ignorance of Marxist philosophy; their real purpose was to cut asunder the dialectical relation between analysis and synthesis and to substitute reactionary metaphysics for materialist dialectics.
Marxist philosophy tells us that analysis and synthesis are an objective law of things and at the same time a method for people to understand things. Analysis shows how an entity divides into two different parts and how they are locked in struggle; synthesis shows how, through the struggle between the two opposite aspects, one prevails, defeats and eliminates the other, how an old contradiction is resolved and a new one emerges, and how an old thing is eliminated and a new thing triumphs. In plain words, synthesis means one "eats up" the other. The course of historical development is: What is revolutionary always "eats up" what is reactionary, and what is correct always "eats up" what is wrong. But this has to go through many complex and tortuous struggles. As Chairman Mao points out: "Classes struggle, some classes triumph, others are eliminated. Such is history, such is the history of civilization for thousands of years. To interpret history from this viewpoint is historical materialism; standing in opposition to this viewpoint is historical idealism" (Cast Away Illusions, Prepare for Struggle ). The history of mankind's civilization is one of class struggle, one in which the revolutionary classes defeat and "eat up" the reactionary classes. Imperialism headed by the United States, social-imperialism and all other systems of exploitation will eventually be "eaten up" by socialism and communism. This is an objective law independent of man's will. When reflected in men's minds, such objective analysis and synthesis require that we make a concrete analysis of the movement of opposites in all things and, on the basis of such analysis, synthesize and point out the nature of the questions involved and determine the methods to resolve them. Different types of contradictions are resolved by different methods. It is quite clear that objective or subjective analysis and synthesis can only be one divides into two and not "combine two into one."
Analysis and synthesis are closely connected. There is synthesis in analysis and analysis in synthesis. As Engels said in reference to the science of chemistry: "Chemistry, in which analysis is the predominant form of investigation, is nothing without its opposite pole -- synthesis" (Dialectics of Nature ). Yang Hsien-chen and company denied the connection between analysis and synthesis and said that "analysis means 'one divides into two' while synthesis means 'combine two into one.'" This was the same stuff as the bourgeois dualism preached by Trotsky: "Politics -- Marxist, art -- bourgeois."
Chairman Mao points out in On Contradiction: "It was not until Marx and Engels, the great protagonists of the proletarian movement, had synthesized the positive achievements in the history of human knowledge and, in particular, critically absorbed the rational elements of Hegelian dialectics and created the great theory of dialectical and historical materialism that an unprecedented revolution occurred in the history of human knowledge." Chairman Mao has most profoundly explained how the founders of Marxism analyzed and synthesized the achievements in the history of human knowledge. Marx and Engels neither affirmed nor negated Hegelian dialectics in its entirety, but, dividing one into two, criticized its idealist shell and absorbed its rational kernel. Such analysis and synthesis fully demonstrated the thorough-going proletarian revolutionary spirit and scientific attitude which they consistently advocated. This is a brilliant example for us to follow.
The process of summing up our experience is also one of analysis and synthesis. By undertaking various kinds of struggles in social practice, men have accumulated rich experiences, some successful and some not. In summing up experience, it is necessary to distinguish the right from the wrong, affirm what is correct and negate what is wrong. This means, under the guidance of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Tsetung Thought, reconstructing the rich data of perception obtained from practice, "discarding the dross and selecting the essential, eliminating the false and retaining the true, proceeding from the one to the other and from the outside to the inside," raising perceptual knowledge to the level of rational knowledge and grasping the inherent laws of a thing. The movement of opposites -- one divides into two -- runs throughout this process. With the experience summed up in this way, we are able to uphold the truth and correct our mistakes, "popularize our successful experience and draw the lessons from our mistakes."
Was the reactionary philosophy "combine two into one" a creation by the renegades Liu Shao-chi, Yang Hsien-chen and their ilk? No! It was nothing but a variant, under new historical conditions, of the theory of "conciliation of contradictions" of the old-line opportunists and revisionists.
Since the emergence of Marxism, the mortal enemies of scientific socialism have openly advertised the reactionary theory of "conciliation of contradictions." Proudhon declared that he wanted to "seek the principle of accommodation" so as to conciliate the contradictions of capitalist society. Dühring uttered such nonsense as that the world was "indivisible" and "there are no contradictions in things." The reactionary chieftains of the Second International vainly attempted to replace revolutionary dialectics with vulgar evolutionism and replace the Marxist theories of class struggle and the dictatorship of the proletariat with the theory of "class collaboration." Kautsky trumpeted that "there are no two classes in a society that do not have common interests. There were common interests even between the slaveowner and his slaves." "There are indeed common interests between the capitalists and the workers." One and all, they were only fleeting intruders in history. Relentless criticism and exposure by Marx, Engels and Lenin showed these types up in their true colours.
When, after the victory of the October Revolution, the Soviet people, under the leadership of Stalin, embarked upon socialist industrialization and agricultural collectivization, Deborin and company jumped forth to frenziedly oppose Lenin's theory of the unity of opposites. They maintained that contradictions appeared not at the inception of a process but only when it had developed to a certain stage and that the resolution of contradictions was the "conciliation of opposites." This theory of "conciliation of contradictions" of Deborin's was a reflection in philosophy of Bukharin's theory of "the dying out of class struggle" which alleged that "capitalism will peaceably grow into socialism." This reactionary philosophy for the restoration of capitalism was sternly criticized by Stalin. Modern revisionism, however, blatantly revived and developed Deborin's reactionary philosophy. Posing as a saviour, Khrushchov clamoured: "The world is whole and indivisible in face of the threat of nuclear disaster. That is where we all are the human race." In response, his academic title-holding servants clamoured that the law of the unity of opposites was "outmoded," that unity had "become the source and motive force playing a constant role in social progress," etc. They shamelessly described this renegade revisionist philosophy as "creatively developing Marxism-Leninism."
In face of this revisionist adverse current against Marxist philosophy, Chairman Mao, with great proletarian strength of mind, repeatedly stressed the great importance of disseminating materialist dialectics. He pointed out: "We want gradually to disseminate dialectics, and to ask everyone gradually to learn the use of the scientific dialectical method" (Speech at the Chinese Communist Party's National Conference on Propaganda Work ). In his speech at the Moscow Meeting of Communist and Workers' Parties in 1957, Chairman Mao once again expounded in a deep-going way the revolutionary dialectics of one divides into two, giving a head-on blow to the revisionist adverse current.
The historical experience of the international communist movement has repeatedly proved that if a Marxist-Leninist political party does not observe, analyze and handle problems from the viewpoint of dialectical materialism and historical materialism, it will commit mistakes and degenerate politically. Since modern revisionism has thoroughly betrayed dialectical materialism and historical materialism and thoroughly betrayed the proletarian revolution and the dictatorship of the proletariat, it has inevitably gone further and further down the road of revisionism and degenerated into social-imperialism.
The reactionary theory of "conciliation of contradictions" has become a tool today for social-imperialism in intensifying its fascist dictatorship, pushing an aggressive policy and in collaborating with U.S. imperialism and contending with it for world hegemony. Social-imperialism vehemently clamours for the creation of a "socialist community" and "giving first place to common interests." This is a vain attempt on its part to obliterate the differences between the aggressor and the victim of aggression, the exploiter and the exploited, the controlling and the controlled. It wants the working people of the countries in the "community" to sacrifice their own interests, give up their independence and sovereignty and "merge" completely into the "entity" of colonial rule by social-imperialism. But the reactionary theory of "conciliation of contradictions" can in no way save it from its doom The inherent laws of dialectics are independent of the will of the revisionists. It has become an irresistible historical trend today for the people of the whole world, and many medium-sized and small countries, to unite and oppose hegemony by the two superpowers, U.S. imperialism and social-imperialism, and draw a clear line of demarcation between themselves and these superpowers. Revolutionary dialectics is striking firm root in the hearts of the people, is being grasped by more and more Marxist-Leninist political parties and revolutionary people. It has become their sharp weapon in making revolution. So long as they integrate the universal truth of Marxism-Leninism with the concrete practice in the revolutionary movement of their respective countries, the revolutionary people of all lands will overthrow the entire old world and win final victory in the proletarian world revolution.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Ok, tata: Bengal throwing good money after bad?

Anindita Chowdhury
KOLKATA, Sept. 15: The Tatas may have finally endorsed the West Bengal government's fresh rehabilitation and compensation package for land-losers to ensure that Tata Motors Limited stays put it Singur and the Nano can roll out in a "congenial atmosphere", but at what cost? Both literal and figurative, not to mention political. For, according to calculations made by The Statesman, the government will not only have to dig deep dig into an already depleted public exchequer once again to keep its enhanced compensation promise, but government investment in Singur will be at least one third of the Tata Motors' Rs 1,500 crore investment. And if the VAT holiday and subsidised electricity given to the Tatas, and the vague promises of jobs to land-losers are factored in, the total public investment in a private firm's project to build a car, even if it's the world's cheapest, could well be close to the amount being spent by the business house itself!The irony is even more pronounced when one keeps in mind that the Singur project is no private-public-partnership enterprise ~ it's rightly, and unashamedly, a commercial venture by one of India's biggest business houses. And whatever Mr Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee may believe in connection with industrialisation in one state, apparently through one project in the vanguard, to mix a couple of socialist metaphors, the question arises: is it worth it?The state government has already paid close Rs 133.10 crore, according to the Comptroller and Auditor General's report, as compensation to land-losers and the fresh package which promises to pay 50 per cent over and above the present compensation paid would mean an additional outflow of Rs 65 crore from the exchequer. Then there is a new commitment to pay accumulated wages of 300 days to landless labourers. According to the government, the number of such registered landless labourers and unrecorded bargadars is 955. The minimum daily wage is Rs 75 a day according to the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (NGERA), which amounts to Rs 22,500 for 300 days. Multiplied by 955, that's 2.14 crore rupees. And this, only for landless labourers registered with WBIDC; the government has, indeed, gone a step further by stating that those with EPIC and NREGA job cards will also be eligible for this compensation even if they are not registered.The government has also promised to provide "sustainable economic existence" to land-losing families, jobs, in other words, although not spelt out so bluntly, and that's yet another claim on public money. This applies to around 5,000 to 6,000 families (as many land-losing have gone their separate ways over the past two years), a senior official at Writers' Buildings told The Statesman. Whilst some jobs will be provided in the private sector, an overwhelming majority will have to be accommodated in government jobs with all benefits, said the official. The wage bill is likely to be substantial.All of this only adds to government decisions already taken, no doubt in what it perceives as the public interest and geared towards putative job creation, of giving the Tatas land at a throwaway price, a VAT exemption to match that offered by the Uttarakhand state government, and extending a loan of Rs 200 crore to TML (effectively Rs 143.10 crore).Take the effective government, i.e. public, investment in terms of land cost first: At current market value, the price for the 645.67 acres at Singur (that's the deal with the Tatas; the vendors have been given land at a different rate the figures for which, incidentally, have not been provided to the CAG by the state government) is Rs 93.73 crore. Though the Tatas are paying Rs 855.75 crore over a 90-year period, at present value (according to a February 2006 government directive laying down the basis for making such calculations with reference to a 99-year lease) this would be equivalent to paying Rs 18.62 crore. Given the uncertainty over the Tatas commencing work at Singur, forget a 90-year stay, it would be imminently fair and sensible to regard the state's invest­ment as the difference between current market price and what the Tatas are paying in current terms. That amount is Rs 76.11 crore. As for the government, i.e public, investment in terms of VAT concessions, they are substantial, even if it's a fair discount, as the government claims, to attract private investment to Bengal in a competitive environment.
The CAG report has stated that the West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation (WBIDC) incurred a loss of Rs 81.52 crore on account of the Tata Motors plant at Singur. "The company incurred excess expenditure of Rs 2.99 crore towards payment of avoidable interest of Rs 1.44 crore and delayed consent awards of Rs 1.55 crore to landowners beyond statutory provisions. Further, it subsidised TML by 76.11 crore on leasing of 645.67 acres of land for 90 years," the report reads. Government also paid Rs 3.19 crore for direct purchase of land and payment to bargadars, and another Rs 2.96 crore as development expenses and training programme expenses for the land-losers for economic reha­bilitation came to Rs 78.52 lakh.
The state commerce and industries minister has justified the state governments' munificence towards the Tatas say­ing that an auto-cluster would lead to an economic boom for both Singur and the state. It may be recalled that the same state government has now asked the investors to finalise their rehabilitation package for land-losers along with their detailed project report.
Source: The Statesman, 16 Sept, 2008

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Sunday, August 31, 2008

We demand return of Singur farmland to the peasants

The West Bengal government, CPM and a section of media have been engaged in campaign that if Tata has to quit from Singur, then it will be a great loss for West Bengal as already chief ministers of five different states invited Tata to shift the nano project in their states.

It is now important to remember that Tata had to quite from Kalinganagar (Orissa) and Dhaka (Bangladesh) because of strong public protest. There is no point to believe that in other states Tata will not face any resistance from the people as the government has to acquire land for the proposed project; none of the chief ministers will donate their paternal property to Tata. These chief ministers and the state machinery are the agents of multinationals and comprador big capitalists. They have engaged themselves in a race to prove their loyalty to their masters.

The CPM says and a section of Bengalee middle class believe that the Singur nano project along with ancillary units will generate a huge job market that could help relieve the problem of unemployment in the state. It is better to remember that having engaged somewhere with a salary not sufficient to meet the ends should be termed as severe exploitation rather than employment. All over the country and in the West Bengal people have to work mostly in contractual basis more than eight hours a day for mere Rs 60 to 80. In Singur project the scenario will not be the different. The project is not to solve the problem of poverty and unemployment, but to maximize the exploitation.

Our critics, at this point will say, if there will be no investment by the multinational or comprador giants, then whatever people can earn now will be stopped. Therefore, for the interest of people we need their investment although the working condition may not be ideal. To improve the condition, we should negotiate with them, but must not oppose.

With due respect to our critics we would like to mention that people simply cannot negotiate with these sharks. They are motivated by maximization of their profit; and it means maximization of exploitation of people. Here negotiation means acceptance of the terms and conditions which favours the interest of the multinationals and comprador capitalists. And we already showed why we should not call the engagement of the people in their projects as employment.

Our intellectual critics sometimes remind us the huge value addition that takes place in a factory. From the same land the annual income must be far less if it is engaged in agriculture. Here we need to mention that we do not consider the issue as a simple matter of industry versus agriculture. In contrast, we see what fraction of the income will be for the people from a given land. In case a factory is built by a corporate giant on a land, the fraction of the income retained with the people is far les than that retained if it were engaged in self-farming. We do not blindly oppose building a factory on a land, but do oppose maximization of the extraction of profit for the interest of corporate sectors.

We have no doubt over the dwindling situation of agriculture. But, it is because of the severe semi-feudal (for example in the form of usury) and imperialist exploitation. Peasants do not have any control over the seeds, fertilizers and pesticides. Introduction of the 'hi-fi' technology actually devastated our crop diversity and organic basis of the farming. Pesticides and chemical fertilizers are being used indiscriminately and unscientifically, which is just to promote their sale (and essentially magnifying the profit). There is no way under the circumstances peasantry can survive. The only way out from this situation is to demolish the semi-feudal basis of the Indian socio-economic foundation which is the support of the imperialist plunder.

Looking for an alternative outside the agriculture only helps strengthening the imperialist clutch over the people.

In order to strengthen the unity against multinational corporations, comprador big capitalists, we support the resistance against any attempt for the maximization of their profit. We therefore demand unconditional return of farmland to the peasantry of Singur.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Presenting Japan’s Internet cafe refugees...

Kwan Weng Kin
SINGAPORE, Aug. 25: It sounds like the ultimate solution for the low-cost traveller looking for a place for the night: a cubicle featuring a computer to surf the Internet plus a reclining chair to sleep in, though with barely enough room to stretch one's tired legs. But for only 1,500 yen (US$13) a night in high-cost Tokyo and shower facilities thrown in, who can really complain?
I know of young Singaporeans who have tried it to save some money and also just for kicks. But for thousands of Japanese, both young and old, such cubicles are 'home'. These people are the so-called netto kafe nanmin, or Internet café refugees in English. They are part of a much larger group of economically disadvantaged Japanese, numbering in the millions, collectively referred to as the 'working poor'. Internet café refugees are Japan's new 'unseen homeless'. According to a government survey last year, there are some 5,400 of these people around the country, nearly half of them in Tokyo. A quarter of such people are in their 20s, another quarter in their 50s. Their average income is a paltry 100,700 yen ($98) a month, just over half the typical starting pay of a high school graduate.
Without a permanent job, they are unlikely to persuade most landlords to rent them a room, which incidentally is likely to cost more than half their income. The only link Internet café refugees have with the world is their mobile phone, through which they receive calls from brokers or job placement agencies when work is available, or which they use to scour Internet classifieds for the next opening.
Incredibly, until about 20 years ago, Japan was a workers' paradise. Jobs were for keeps and employment security was a social given. Employers at companies with a reputation to watch could not routinely sack under-performing workers as public opinion just would not allow it.
Neither could employers adopt a hire-and-fire policy in bad economic times either. An employer and his staff were supposed to ride out a business downturn together. In the earlier part of this decade, with the economy in the doldrums, Japanese companies sought desperately to trim their manpower bills so as to compete internationally. The reform-minded Koizumi administration of the day decided to tacitly recognise retrenchment if it would save Japan.
In typically obtuse Japanese fashion, employers started to talk about 'restructuring'. The word suggested the reorganisation of a company, but was in fact a euphemism for the widespread dismissal of unwanted workers, often replacing them with cheaper part-time alternatives.
These days, one out of every three Japanese is a part-time worker. For people aged 24 years or under, it is one in two. No more can young Japanese join a company upon graduation and assume they would be there till retirement. Neither do employers feel obliged to keep a worker till he gets to draw his pension.
But despite a much more volatile job market these days, the attitude of most Japanese employers remains unchanged. A person who has been through a string of temporary positions often finds himself ineligible for full-time work because employers still prefer to hire fresh graduates as they are cheaper and considered easier to train. As a result, many young people are forced into dead-end, part-time work with few prospects of improving their lot. Yet at the same time, older Japanese who reach retirement age now receive generous pensions for as long as they live. The younger generation, however, cannot reasonably expect the same when their turn comes to call it a day.
One solution calls for raising the sales tax to offset decreasing premiums, which merely spells more hardship for low-income earners. In the face of soaring prices of crude oil and other commodities and prospects of a recession in the USA, which is a huge market for Japanese products, Japanese economists are now saying that the bad times are back.
Most of the netto kafe nanmin and millions of other 'working poor' probably did not even know that the good times were here.

The Straits Times/ANN

Source: The Statesman, 26 August 2008

Friday, August 22, 2008

Singur land lease agreement

[The following report was published in Singur, our previous blog on 11 March 2007. We republish it again considering its importance right now.]

West Bengal government signed the land agreement with TATA for the proposed Singur plant. It’s a good deal for TATA, no doubt.

Government gives the land to TATA with a lease for 90 years.

The bonanza could be summarized as follows:

We must appreciate the potential of West Bengal government for discovering tricks to make us fool. Apparently, TATA will pay more than Rs 800 crore. But, look at the payments it needs to pay in the first 30 years. Only Rs 56.25 crore. In the next 30 years it will pay Rs ~200 crore. But, if we consider the rate of inflation (currently more than 6%) then this figure will not be that big. The same is true for its payment for last 30 years.

Essentially, TATA doesn’t need to pay anything right now for the land. Although West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation (WBIDC) has borrowed Rs 150 crore with 10% annual interest to acquire this land. WBIDC has to pay Rs 15 crore per year as interest; for 90 years it has to pay Rs 1350 crore for interest only, whereas for 90 years TATA will pay only Rs 800 core.

It means West Bengal government signed an agreement to subsidize TATA for Rs 700 crore over the period of 90 years. Again consider the figures. For the next 90 years, TATA will pay Rs 800 crores and enjoy Rs 700 crore as subsidy. In reality the actual subsidy is far bigger than what is being reflected in those figures. WBIDC has already borrowed Rs 150 crore. Considering the rate of inflation, after 90 years, this amount will be really huge. And it has to pay Rs 15 crore each year as interest. On the other hand right now TATA needs to pay only Rs 1 crore in a year. And it will pay its most of the payment at its last 30 year period of lease.

Who will actually pay the subsidy?


CPM?Or other running dogs of imperialism-comprador capitalism?

No. This subsidy will be paid from our hard earn money. With our hard earn money these running dogs of imperialism and comprador capitalists subsidize crores to Multinational and big companies while letting our people dieing of starvation.

This is what they call as DEVELOPMENT.

We call as LOOT.

Don’t you think it is our duty to make an end of it?

(The detail of the lease agreement is taken from the bartamanpatrika.com, March 11, 2007)


Nirupam Sen, the commerce minister of West Bengal government confirmed the above mentioned lease agreement in assembly on March 15, 2007 (source: ganashakti, March 16,2007). He pointed out that TATA will enjoy other facilities like Tax holidays for Singur plant.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Press Statement

Visthapan Virodhi Jan Vikas Andolan

The Orissa police detained Mr. David Pugh, a teacher from US on 12th August along with advocate Miss Protima Das and an anti-displacement activist Mr. Pradeep who accompanied him assisting in translation and showing the area in Kalinganagar and Sukinda on their way back to Bhubaneswar.
They were taken to Badchan Police station near Chandikhol. Mr. David Pugh was kept for 5 hours in the police custody from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. in night. He was mentally tortured illegally. After that they released him and asked to stay back for interrogation again on 13th August in the afternoon. Miss Pratima and Mr. Pradeep are being kept under detention.
Mr. David Pugh visited Kaliganagar and Sukinda to see the Industrialization and its effects on the people and the movement against industrialization and mining. Miss. Protima Das was requested to help Mr. David Pugh as translator and Mr. Pradeep as guide as he belongs to the Sukinda. They all had gone to Kalinganagar after attending a People’s Tribunal on Displacement, Sez and Corporate Violence in Orissa organized in Bhubaneswar by Visthapan Virodhi Jan Vikas Andolan, an anti-displacement front of movements from various parts of India including that of Orissa. Activists from all areas in Orissa had come to explain their conditions of destitution and destruction at the People’s Tribunal.
Amin Maharana, a Central Council member of Visthapan Virodhi Jan Vikas Andolan is also suspected to be detained by the Police from Bhubaneswar. He is an Environmental and anti-Displacement activist working in Sukinda area for many years now. He is a cultural performer. He has written many songs about people’s devastation due to displacement and also released an audio CD on the issue.
The Government of Orissa has been unleashing brutal repression on the anti-displacement movement for the last two years. The detentions are part of the larger plans of the Government to coerce the people to accept the displacement and give up their lands.
We appeal to all democrats to immediately intervene and put pressure on the Govermenent of Orissa to release Miss. Pratima, Mr. Pradeep and Mr. Amin Maharan, (if he is also arrested) without subjecting them to any kind of harassment.
We demand the Government of Orissa to immediately release Miss Pratima Das, Mr. Pradeep and Mr. Amin Maharana and stop harassing Mr. David Pugh.
Mr. David Pugh is again taken into custody at 2 pm now and being interrogated at Bhubaneswar hotel in Bhubaneswar by the police officials.
Chief Secretary & Chief Development Commissioner of Orissa: 011-91-674 - 2536700 Phone,
Chief Secretary & Chief Development Commissioner of Orissa: 011-91-674 - 2536700 (Fax)
Email: csori@ori.nic.in
The Prime Minister’s Office
South Block, Raisina Hill,
New Delhi,
India-110 011.
Telephone: 91-11-23012312 .
Fax: 011-91-11-23019545 / 011-91-11-23016857.
011-91-104 23092462
011-91-104 23017256 (PH) - 011-91-104 23794842
011-91-104 23793716
011-91-104 23794833 (Fax)
Rajeev Kumar Mital
PS To HM 011-91-105 23092631 300 26109478
OSD To HM 011-91-107 23092361
011-91-107 23092113 (Fax)

Source: kasama

Friday, August 15, 2008

Three die in clashes between Indian farmers, police

NEW DELHI, Aug 13 (Reuters) - At least three farmers were shot dead and 60 injured in clashes between hundreds of farmers and police over a land row near India's capital on Wednesday, officials said.

Recent stand-offs over farm acquisitions in India reflect a larger anger among farmers and tribes fighting to save their land from factories as the country's economic priorities shift from agriculture to industry.

The clashes in Greater Noida, about 40 minutes' drive east of New Delhi, came during protests by about 2,000 farmers who were demanding more compensation for land acquired by the government for building a township in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh.

Police first beat protesters with batons to stop them from storming a government building, local officials said. When that failed they then opened fire, killing the three farmers.

"When they were prevented from gate crashing into the Greater Noida office, they started pelting stones on the cops, many of whom were injured ... they had to use force to disperse the crowds," senior government official V.S. Pandey told reporters.

Last week, farmers in the east of West Bengal state renewed protests against a car factory set up by India's Tata Motors on farmland, possibly delaying the launch of the Nano, hailed as the world's cheapest car.

Farmers have also vowed to protest against last week's Supreme Court verdict allowing South Korean steel firm POSCO the use of large swathes of forest land to build a $12 billion plant.

The court also gave Britain's Vedanta Resources Plc permission to mine bauxite in hills held sacred by an ancient tribe. Tribe members have vowed to fight against that decision.

Other officials in Greater Noida said the death toll could rise because several more farmers were fighting for their lives in hospital. About a dozen vehicles were damaged in the protests, they said. (Reporting by Bappa Majumdar and Sharath Pradhan; Editing by Paul Tait)

Source: Reuters

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Russia ‘invades’ Georgia

Press Trust of India
MOSCOW, Aug. 8: Russia today sent tanks and troops to South Ossetia after Georgia launched a major military offensive to reclaim the breakaway republic, triggering heavy street fighting that is said to have left hundreds dead or injured. Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili, who had earlier claimed that the government troops have “liberated” South Ossetia, accused Russia of being the aggressor and said it has sent aircraft to bomb Georgian territory. Russia has denied the claim.Addressing an emergency session of the National Security Council, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said Moscow will punish those guilty of killing Russians in South Ossetia.The worst outbreak of hostilities since the pro-Moscow province won de-facto independence in a war against Georgia in 1992 broke out after Georgian artillery and air assault hit provincial capital Tskhinvali. Ten Russian peacekeepers were killed and 30 wounded in Georgian shelling in their barracks last night, Russian officials said. Russian tanks and armoured personnel carriers crossed the border and moved towards Tskhinvali, while the defence ministry said it has sent reinforcements for its peacekeepers.Quoting its sources, NewsGeorgia web news portal confirmed that at least 100 tanks and armoured vehicles have crossed through the Roksky Tunnel linking Russian and Georgian parts of Ossetia.Over 90 per cent of the population of South Ossetia, which declared its independence from Georgia after Soviet collapse, are Russian passport holders.
The Statesman, 9August, 20008

Saturday, July 12, 2008

The good life of Bihar trio!

Rate of Inflation reaches ~12%. We are struggling to meet the ends. But, they are happy......very happy....

Manoj Chaurasia
PATNA, July 9: They love to be referred to as the "social justice" heroes, but going by their birthday bashes they recently hosted, they can hardly be called so.
The trio ~ Mr Lalu Prasad, Mr Ram Vilas Paswan, both Cabinet ministers holding key portfolios in the UPA government at the Centre, and Bihar chief minister Mr Nitish Kumar ~ seem to be engaged in a bewildering contest to outbid each other in matters of their “lifestyle”.
The Union chemical and fertiliser minister, Mr Paswan went a step ahead of his rival and Cabinet colleague Mr Lalu Prasad, when he celebrated his 61st birthday at a New York hotel on Sunday. A day earlier, he had inaugurated the conference of Dalit and Minority International Forum in New York. At the conference organised by American Federation of Muslim of Indian Origin, he was presented as the future Prime Minister of India, according to reports appearing in the local media.
"It's ironic how a man, who claims to be the leader of the dalit, is behaving today. He seeks votes in lieu of his sympathy for the dalit, yet celebrates his birthday in New York, miles away from his homeland," said the BSP legislature party leader in the Bihar Assembly Mr Ramchandra Singh Yadav.
He advised Mr Paswan to change himself before he launched scathing attacks on BSP chief Miss Mayawati over the dalit issue.
"It's shocking to know that he held a conference of the dalits and minority in New York. How many dalits and minority people participated in that seminar?" he asked. "It is surprising that Mr Paswan, who was born in a dalit family and follows dalit politics has lost his way and has attained a feudal character", Mr Yadav said and described him a "chameleon who has been changing his colour more often than not".
On 11 June, the railway minister Mr Prasad celebrated his 61st birthday in style in Patna by cutting a Garib Rath-shaped cake and accepting several baskets of mangoes and sweets from his followers. Last year, he had celebrated his birthday in New Delhi, much to the disappointment of local people. "Laluji says he does not know about his date of birth but he has never missed the day to celebrate (since he first celebrated it after becoming the chief minister of Bihar in 1990)," remarked a JD-U leader.
In contrast, the birthday of Mr Nitish Kumar, which was on 1 March, has so far gone totally unnoticed as he, does not like hungammas. However, the chief minister has been accused of wasting loads of money on huge billboards carrying his large-than-life photographs with brief mention of government schemes in all the cities. "Nitishji has launched publicity blitz through newspaper ads and hoardings at the expense of Central funds," the railway minister alleged.
Source: The Statesman, 10July, 2008