CPI(ML)’s Charter for Change

Change Policies, Change the Regime,
Ensure People’s Voice in Parliament!

 

CPI(ML)’s Appeal for Lok Sabha Elections 2014

 

jhaDear Citizens,

 

The Lok Sabha 2014 elections are being held at a time when the country is in a severe crisis. Two decades of pro-corporate, anti-people economic policies have resulted in steeply spiralling prices, hunger, joblessness, farmers’ suicides, and plunder of land and natural resources by corporations, leading to mega scams and forcible eviction of the poor. Education, health, nutritious food, housing and other necessities of a dignified life have all gone out of reach, even as Governments have washed their hands off responsibilities and left people to the mercy of the corporate-dominated market. People’s movements are faced with severe repression, communal and caste massacres go unpunished. Women are deprived of freedom, equality, and dignity. The fundamental interests and rights of the common people are being denied and truncated on every front.

The Congress-led UPA Government that has been in power for two successive terms is squarely responsible for this state of affairs. It had come to power in 2004 and again in 2009 promising to improve the lot of the common people, but did just the opposite. The people are therefore eagerly looking for an end to the corrupt rule of the Congress and the BJP is desperately trying to step into this vacuum. But going by the BJP’s track record at the Centre during 1998-2004 and in the states it has ruled, whether Gujarat and Chhattisgarh where it has been ruling for more than a decade, or Bihar and Jharkhand where it was in power till recently, choosing BJP in place of the Congress can only be like jumping from the frying pan into fire.

It is important to remember that in 2004 there were two big reasons for the BJP-led NDA’s stunning defeat. Firstly, the people were angry with the NDA Govt’s tall claims of ‘India Shining’, which was a cruel joke on farmers’ suicides, rising unemployment, steep prices and growing misery experienced by the people. And the other equally important reason was the 2002 Gujarat genocide presided over by the BJP government in the state led by none other than Narendra Modi, who is today declared as the prime ministerial nominee of the BJP.

The bid to foist Narendra Modi as India’s Prime Minister is backed not just by the Sangh parivar, but unmistakably enough also by all major corporate houses even as it enjoys the blessings of America as already indicated by several American overtures including the visit of Nancy Powell, US Ambassador in India, to Ahmedabad.

The hope for freedom from the all-pervasive crisis lies in the people’s struggles for an alternative! Clearly there is no readymade alternative; we have to build one through sustained democratic assertion of the people. In 2014, let us vote to change the economic policies that have brought us corruption and misery; let us vote to secure our rights and end repression! Let us vote to kick out the corrupt and anti-people forces, and send the forces of genuine struggle into Parliament!

 

CPI(ML)’s Charter for Change  

 

CPI(ML) has a glorious record of people’s struggles for transformation, and we reiterate our commitment that every MP elected from CPI(ML) will carry forward the people’s movement for the following Charter of Change.  

1.     Effect a pro-people shift in economic policies:

a)     Enact a new law to protect farmland and stop all private acquisition of forest land, coastal areas and traditional fishing zones

b)    Increased public investment in agriculture and all kinds of institutional support including debt-waivers to the crisis-ridden peasantry

c)     Greater emphasis on small and medium enterprises to strengthen domestic manufacturing

d)    No FDI in retail and strategic sectors, protection of all labour-intensive sectors from adverse foreign competition

e)    Stop privatisation of key infrastructure and financial sectors and bring key resources like oil and gas and minerals under public control

f)      Increase tax revenue by strengthening the system of corporate taxes and levying inheritance tax on the rich

g)     Increased public investment and health, education and scientific research

 

2.     Curbing price rise and improving the conditions of the toiling masses

a)     Prices of essential commodities and services must not be allowed to escalate beyond the reach of the common people

b)    Food Security Act must be strengthened to ensure monthly supply of at least 50 kg foodgrains for a family of five along with sugar, milk, pulses and edible oil

c)     Provisions of MNREGA must be expanded to guarantee at least 200 days of work at a minimum daily wage of Rs 300, municipal areas must also be brought within the purview of the Act

d)    BPL irregularities must be stopped – non tax-payers and landowners owning less than 5 acres of land must all be considered BPL for benefits meant for the poor

e)    Land ceiling should be lowered and standardised and land, tenancy and other pro-peasant agrarian reforms must be accomplished on war-footing and homestead land should be guaranteed for the labouring people in agriculture and plantation sectors

 

3.     Reorient Development Strategy to Guarantee People’s Rights and Protect Environment

a)     Reorient the strategy of development, making distributive justice, people’s rights and environmental sustainability its three core principles

b)    Stop forcible acquisition of land and return all acquired land that is lying unused to the original owners

c)     Stop all projects that violate environmental norms

d)    Stop nuclear projects and GM crops that pose a threat to public health and safety

e)    Ensure 24×7 supply of electricity at subsidised rates for rural and urban poor and for small enterprises, shops and agriculture

f)      Rural electrification

g)     Ensure quality education and healthcare for all, education up to 12th standard must be free and imparted through the common school system

 

4.     Equal pay for equal work, regularisation of contract labour and increase in minimum wages

a)     Workers employed in work of perennial nature must be regularised, the principle of equal pay for equal work must be upheld in every field, women workers must get equal wages as their male counterparts,

b)    ASHA, Anganwadi, mid-day meal workers must be treated as regular employees with proper pay scales

c)     Minimum wages must be raised to Rs 15000 per month

 

5.     Guarantee People’s Rights in Every Sphere

 

Logo of our Campaign for Employment and Educationa)     Right tofood, shelter, health, education and work must all be incorporated into the Constitution as fundamental rights

b)    Educated unemployed youth must be given a minimum monthly allowance of Rs 5000 till they get proper employment

c)     Implement the recommendations of Sachar Committee and Ranganath Misra Commission to improve the conditions of Muslims and other minority communities

 

6.     Repeal of draconian, archaic and anti-people laws and Justice for all

a)     UAPA, AFSPA, Sedition Law and Section 377 must be revoked

b)    Operation Green Hunt and Salwa Judum must be stopped and all issues related to adivasi rights and development must be sorted out expeditiously

c)     SEZ Act 2005 and Electricity Act 2003 must be repealed

d)    Special Tribunals must be set up to make sure that the guilty of all caste massacres, communal riots, ethnic killings and extra-judicial killings are brought to book cover image

e)    Prevention of SC/ST Atrocities Act must be strengthened and law enacted to stop racism and attacks on minorities and migrant workers

f)      Witch-hunt of Muslim and Adivasi youth must be stopped, trials must be expedited and those languishing in jail for years without conviction must be released and compensated for the damage caused to their life and reputation

7.     Women’s Rights and Freedom

a)     Secure, dignified, remunerative employment must be ensured for women 

b)    Access to clean toilets for all women, in homes as well as in public spaces, and access to regular, safe public transport must be ensured

c)     One-stop, 24-hour crisis centres and safe shelters must be instituted in each police district for women survivors of violence

d)    Compensation and rehabilitation be ensured for survivors of rape and acid attacks

e)    Gender-sensitive police and prosecutorial procedures must be strictly followed, and the number of judges and courts expanded to ensure speedy justice in every case

f)      Women’s Reservation Bill pending in the Lok Sabha be enacted 72377_452498208137395_1690609992_n

g)     Code of Conduct be adopted to disqualify electoral candidates who have committed offences of gender-related violence, end misogynist comments and behaviour in the Lok Sabha, and ensure zero tolerance of moral policing by State/non-State actors

h)    Special Tribunals be set up to ensure justice in long-pending cases of custodial rapes

 

8.     Federal Restructuring and Reorganisation of States

a)     Backward states and regions must be granted special status and provided with all kinds of institutional support to end regional disparity

b)    Set up Second States Reorganisation Commission for sympathetic and holistic consideration of various statehood demands

c)     Implement Article 244 A to ensure Autonomous State status for Karbi Anglong and Dima Hasao districts

 

9.     Electoral, Legal and Police Reforms

a)     Introduce proportional representation in elections, stop corporate funding and ensure level playing field for all parties and contestants

b)    Strengthen RTI, enact Jan Lokpal legislation to provide for a powerful and autonomous anti-corruption watchdog, bringing all levels of the state including ministers, bureaucrats, the armed forces and the judiciary, corporate houses, media organisations and NGOs within its ambit

c)     Withdraw the controversial ‘Aadhar’ scheme and ‘cash transfer’ plans

d)    Policing must be thoroughly overhauled to stop human rights violations and atrocities on peaceful democratic activities and struggles

e)    The NIA and IB must be made accountable to Parliament and the operation of all kinds of security forces and intelligence agencies must follow the letter and spirit of the Constitution and the tenets of the rule of law

f)      The jail manual must be updated and strictly enforced, bails should be made the norm to stop overcrowding in jails and make sure that people do not spend years in jail without conviction

g)     Death penalty should be done away with, and life imprisonment declared as the highest degree of punishment

 10.   Reorient India’s Foreign Policy Ensuring Independence and Friendly Relations

a)     Indian foreign policy must be freed from the interests and priorities of US foreign policy

b)    India must have friendly relations and close cooperation with all neighbouring countries, big or small

c)     India must play a pro-active role to bring all perpetrators of war crimes to justice

d)    India must work relentlessly for removal of all foreign military bases in the world

 

Friends,

We appeal to you to vote for CPI(ML) candidates in the 2014 LS polls, to ensure that the voices of people’s resistance can resound in Parliament, and challenge the regime of plunder and corruption. Resist the devious design of the forces of corporate and communal fascism, and strengthen the democratic unity and struggles of the people by all means for a better tomorrow.

 

–         CPI(ML) Liberation

 

Fix Prices, Ensure Work, Ensure Full Wages for Work!

Change the Regime and Rule of Corruption and Plunder!

Down With Communal Poison, Ensure Peace and Justice!

Save Farmland, Agriculture, Farmers, End the Regime of Corporate Loot!

Half the Population Demands – Safety, Dignity, and Freedom! 

We Want Employment and Electricity, Rations and Housing, Not Liquor!

 

भारत 2014: भ्रष्ट- साम्प्रदायिक- कॉर्पोरेट-फासीवादी षड्यंत्रों को ध्वस्त करो !

भारत 2014:

भ्रष्ट- साम्प्रदायिक- कॉर्पोरेट-फासीवादी षड्यंत्रों को ध्वस्त करो !

दस्तक दे रहे 2014 के लोक सभा चुनाव में देश की जनता ने लूट, दमन और भ्रष्टाचार का पर्याय कांग्रेस-संप्रग को सज़ा देने और बदलाव के लिए वोट करने का निश्चय किया है। इस जायज गुस्से का पफायदा उठाते हुए नरेन्द्र मोदी को आगामी प्रधनमंत्री के रूप में प्रस्तुत करने के लिए एक सुव्यवस्थित अभियान चलाया जा रहा है और नरेन्द्र मोदी को इन सारी समस्याओं का हल बताया जा रहा है।

क्या मोदी सच में इस संकट का समाधन है? या फिर मोदी के लिए हर एक वोट इस भ्रष्टाचार, कॉर्पोरेट लूट और दमन के संकट को और गहरा देगा?

2004 में NDA के हार के दो बड़े कारण थे-पहला, 2002 में गुजरात नरसंहार में मोदी सरकार की भूमिका और दूसरा राजग सरकार का फर्जी ‘इंडिया शाइनिंग’ प्रचार, जो कि नवउदारवादी नीतियों से उपजी बेरोज़गारी, किसानो की आत्महत्या एवं महंगाई की मार सहती जनता पर एक क्रूर मजाक था. देश ने 2004 में इसे ‘फेकू’ कहकर नकार दिया।

poverty lineलेकिन आज एक दशक बाद उसी मोदी को जो 2004 की हार के लिये जिम्मेद्दार था, एक विकल्प के रूप में क्यों प्रस्तुत किया जा रहा है?

‘नमो’ प्रचार अभियान के तहत 2002 के विभत्स नरसंहार के आरोपी मुख्यमंत्री का ‘इमेज मेक-ओवर’ कर ‘सुशासन’ और ‘आर्थिक विकास’ के मसीहा के रूप में दिखाया जा रहा है। इस ‘इमेज मेकओवर’ में ।च्ब्व् जैसी दुनिया की कुख्यात च्त् एजेंसियां तथा तमाम कॉरपोरेट मीडिया जुटी हुई है। इस ब्रांड मैनेजमेंट के दो नारे हैं- 2002 को और उस दौरान हुए बलात्कार, हत्या तथा फर्जी मुठभेड़ों को भूल जाओ और मोदी के ‘वृद्धि, ‘विकास’ तथा ‘सुशासन’ मॉडल के साथ ‘परेड’ करो। यानि कि यदि हम ‘सुशासन’ चाहते है तो हम ये मान लें कि सांप्रदायिक दंगे, फर्जी मुठभेड़ या कॉरपोरेट द्वारा भूमि अधिग्रहण आदि बेमतलब के सवाल हैं।

 

 

मोदी ने अपनी छवि चमकाने का ठेका किसको दिया?

19 नवंबर, 2007 के टाइम्स ऑफ इंडिया की खबर

तानाशाह भी शामिल हैं मोदी की छवि चमकाने वाली कंपनी के ग्राहकों में ; (http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/specials/Modis-image-builders-have-dictators-on-client-list/articleshow/2600140.cms)

modi apcoहिटलर एकधूर्त प्रोपोगैंडिस्ट था। मोदी भी छवि की ताकत में विश्वास करते हैं। शायद इसीलिए मोदी ने अपनी छवि गढ़ने के लिए एक ऐसी अमरीकी कंपनी चुनी है जिसके ग्राहकों में नाइजीरिया के पूर्व तानाशाह सानी अबाचा और कज़ाकस्तान के आजीवन राष्ट्रपति नूरसुल्तान अबिसुली नजरबाए जैसे लोग शामिल हैं।

वाशिंगटन से काम-धम करने वाली ।च्ब्व् वल्र्डवाइड को अंतर्राष्ट्रीय स्तर पर अपनी छवि सुधरने के लिए इस साल (2007 में) अगस्त में विधनसभा चुनाव के ठीक पहले मोदी ने ठेका दिया। इस कंपनी के हालिया ग्राहकों में एक हैं- कभी कम्युनिस्ट युवा नेता रहे रूस के माइकल खोदोरकोव्स्की, जो अब माफिया से साठ-गांठ कर करोड़पति हो गए हैं।

अपने जनाधर से दूर जा गिरे नेताओं की छवि गढ़ने-चमकाने में इस कंपनी को महारत हासिल है। इसी लिहाज से ।च्ब्व् वल्र्डवाइड ने सलाह दी कि अंतर्राष्ट्रीय समुदाय के बीच गुजरात ब्रांड की छवि गढ़ी और बेची जाये। परन्तु सूत्र बताते हैं कि 2002 के जनसंहार की कालिख के नाते अमरीकी वीजा से महरूम मोदी चाहते हैं कि उनकी छवि सुधरी जाये जिससे कि आगे वे अमरीका की यात्रा कर सकें….

गुजरात सरकार इस कंपनी को मोदी के छवि निर्माण के लिए हर महीने 25000डॉलर का भुगतान कर रही है। 

सूत्र बताते हैं कि इस छवि-निर्माण का ख्याल मोदी को इसी साल (2007 में) स्विट्जरलैंड यात्रा के दौरान आया। सो गुजरात सरकार ने बगैर टेंडर निकाले ऐसी सात राष्ट्रीय और अंतर्राष्ट्रीय कंपनियों में से दो को चिन्हित किया जो दूसरों से तीन गुना ज्यादा रकम लेने वाली थीं। ।च्ब्व् को ठेका दिया गया। इस चयन का कारण यह बताया गया कि ।च्ब्व् के पास ज्यादा बढि़या टीम है। ।च्ब्व् के साथ काम करने वालों में रिपब्लिकन और डेमोक्रेट्स-  दोनों धड़ों के पूर्व सीनेटर हैं।

 

 

इस पूरी छवि-चमकाऊ कसरत का असल मकसद क्या है ?

EPW ने 20 अप्रैल, 2013 को अपने संपादकीय में लिखा – ‘‘साफ है कि यह पूरी परियोजना 2014 के चुनाव में कांग्रेस की अगुवाई वाले संप्रग के खि़लाप़फ नरेंद्र मोदी को विपक्ष का निर्विवाद नेता बनाने के लिए थी और इस काम में यह परियोजना सपफल साबित हुई। मौजूदा और संभावित घटक दलों की बाधओं और संघ परिवार की भीतरी गणित को पार करते हुए इस परियोजना ने भारत के राजनीतिक वर्ग के सामने पत्ते खोल दिये- कांग्रेस के खि़लाप़फ खड़ी ताकतों को मोदी के पाले में जाना होगा, अन्यथा 2014 के चुनाव-बाद की लोकसभा में ऐसी ताक़तें राजनैतिक रूप से अप्रासंगिक होने के लिए तैयार रहें…

मोदी के इस छवि-चमकाऊ अभियान का संदेश क्या है ? ध्यान से बुने गए भाषणों और सजाई गई मंचीय झांकियों के पीछे भारत के उद्योगपति, शहरी व्यवसायियों और ग्रामीण अमीर प्रभुवर्ग को मोदी का संदेश है कि पूंजी के बड़े प्रसार और ज्यादा मुनाफे वाली अपेक्षाकृत बेहतर आर्थिक वृद्धि के रास्ते में आने वाली बाधाओं को वे नेस्तनाबूद कर सकते हैं। वे लोकतन्त्र का ऐसा ‘प्रबंधन’ करेंगे जैसा गुजरात में किया-

एक तरफ सांप्रदायिक आतंक फैलाएंगे और दूसरी ओर कुछ कॉर्पोरेट गिरोहों का मुंह आर्थिक तोहफे से भर देंगे। कांग्रेस ने जैसा इस काम को पिछले दशक में अंजाम दिया है, मोदी का वादा है कि वे इस काम को और बेहतर अंजाम देंगे”

 

 

सच्चाई यह है कि गुजरात किसी भी पैमाने पर अन्य दूसरे राज्यों से बेहतर स्थिति में नहीं है। और इससे भी बढ़कर गुजरात का नवउदारवादी विकास के मॉडल का असर आम जनता की जिंदगी और आर्थिकी पर अपेक्षाकृत बुरा पड़ा। आज इस देश की ज़रूरत भ्रष्ट, कॉरपोरेट परस्त न्च्। सरकार के बदले दूसरी भ्रष्ट, काॅरपोरेट परस्त सांप्रदायिक पफासीवाद नहीं है। बल्कि,आवाम के लिए अगर कोई असली बदलाव होगा तो वह चेहरे का नहींऋ सियासत और नीतियों का बदलाव होगा।

आइये मोदी के प्रचार और तथ्यों की हकीकत पर करीबी नज़र डालते हैं कि क्या मोदी सच में न्च्। सरकार की नीतियों का कोई विकल्प है?

आर्थिक विकास दर के आंकड़ों के अनुसार पांच सालों (2006-11) के दौरान गुजरात को महाराष्ट्र, हरियाणा, छत्तीसगढ़, बिहार, और उडि़सा ने कापफी पीछे छोड़ दिया है (इकोनोमिक टाइम्स, 26 दिसम्बर 2012)। प्रति व्यक्ति आय के लिहाज़ से 2011 में हरियाणा (92,327 रु), महाराष्ट्र (83,471 रु), पंजाब (67,473 रु), तमिलनाडु (72,993 रु) और उत्तरांचल (68,292 रु) के बाद गुजरात (63,996 रु) 6वें स्थान पर है। जबकि प्रति व्यक्ति कर्ज के मामले में गुजरात आज यूपी और बिहार से भी आगे है।

निवेश सूचकांक: ‘वाइब्रेंट गुजरात’ के चकाचौंध के विपरीत असलियत में  ‘प्रत्यक्ष विदेशी निवेश’ में गुजरात 5वें स्थान पर है। महाराष्ट्र इसमें प्रथम है। गुजरात सरकार के अपने ‘सोशियो-इकॉनोमिक रिव्यू, 2011-12’ के अनुसार 2011 में 20 लाख करोड़ से अधिक निवेश के लक्ष्य के बरक्स यह महज़ 29,813 करोड़ का ही हुआ। उसी साल, 8,300 से अधिक समझौते (डव्न् पर हस्ताक्षर) हुए लेकिन सिर्फ 250 ही हक़ीकत में हो पाए (प्रफंटलाइन, 8 मार्च, 2013)।

औद्योगीकरण की स्थितिः गुजरात में विकसित हुए अधिकांश उद्योग ख़तरनाक ज़हरीले रसायन उत्पन्न करने वाले हैं। गुजरात में देश के सबसे अधिक प्रदूषण के केन्द्र वाली जगहें हैं और साथ ही 184 में से 74 तहसीलों का ज़मीन के नीचे का पानी दूषित हो गया है। गुजरात में 2012-13 के दौरान 60,000 से अध्कि छोटे-बड़े उद्योग बंद हो गये। गुजरात में प्रति व्यक्ति आय वहां के शहरी आय की तुलना में आधी है जो वहां के शहर और गांव के बीच की भारी असमानता को दर्शाती है। अतः यह स्पष्ट है कि गुजरात ने मोदी के राज में कोई ‘विशेष’ आर्थिक वृद्धि नहीं की। शहरीकृत गुजरात हमेशा से बड़े उद्योगों और व्यावसायिक समुदायों का घर रहा है मोदी के मुख्यमंत्री बनने से पहले से ही।

सामाजिक विकास के पैमाने पर गुजरातः

modi pulicityसामाजिक क्षेत्रा (Social Sector) में खर्च के हिसाब से 21 बड़े राज्यों में गुजरात 19वें स्थान पर है। 2011 में मानव विकास सूचकांक में गुजरात का 11वां स्थान था। शिक्षा और स्वास्थ्य के मामलों में गुजरात गिरकर 19 बड़े राज्यों में व्रफमशः 9वें और 10वें स्थान पर आ गया।स्वास्थ्य, शिक्षा और पोषण के मानकों में कापफी अधिक गिरावट है खासकर स्त्रियों और बच्चों के मामलों में। बच्चों का स्कूलों से पढ़ाई छोड़ कर निकल जाने का दर यहां 58% है जबकि राष्ट्रीय स्तर पर यह सिपर्फ 49% है। गुजरात में दलितों और आदिवासियों में यह दर बढ़कर क्रमशः 65% और 78% हो गया। उच्च शिक्षा में दाखि़ला लेने वालों का औसत यहां 17.6 है जबकि राष्ट्रीय स्तर पर यह औसत 20.4 है। तमिलनाडु और महाराष्ट्र में यह क्रमशः 38.2 और 27.4 है। शिशु मृत्यु दर में कमी के लिहाज से गुजरात 10वें स्थान पर है। उसमें भी अद्भुत तरीके से लड़कियों में यह अधिक है। जीवन के औसत आयु में यह 8वें (62.15 वर्ष) स्थान पर है जो कि बिहार (62.85 वर्ष) से भी कम है। 45% शहरी बच्चे और 60% ग्रामीण बच्चे प्रतिरोधक टीकों से वंचित हैं। ग्रामीण इलाकों में 60% प्रसव बिना किसी संस्थानिक व्यवस्था के होती है। प्राथमिक स्वास्थ्य केंद्र में 34% डॉक्टर का अभाव है, जबकि सामुदायिक स्वास्थ्य केंद्रों में बाल पोषण और स्त्री रोगों के विशेषज्ञों की 94% की कमी है। बुनियादी ढांचे का भी निर्माण नहीं हुआ है- 21% उपकेन्द्र, 19% प्राथमिक स्वास्थ्य केंद्र और 11% सामुदायिक स्वास्थ्य केंद्र का अस्तित्व तक नहीं है। आदिवासी इलाकों में 70% एक्स-रे टेक्निशियन और 63% पफार्मासिस्ट की नियुक्ति तक नहीं हुई है जबकि विशेषज्ञ डाक्टरों का अभाव 100% है। वैश्विक भूख सूचकांक में गुजरात भारत के 28 राज्यों में से अंतिम पांच राज्यों में है। वैश्विक स्तर पर इसका प्रदर्शन हैती (भ्ंपजप) जैसे देशों से भी बुरा है। गुजरात में 4 साल की उम्र से कम के 80 प्रतिशत बच्चों और 60 प्रतिशत गर्भवती महिलाओं में खून की कमी (एनीमिया) है। याद कीजिये मोदी ने इसी को यह कह कर उपहास उड़ाया था कि महिलाएं आजकल सुंदर दिखने के लिए भूखी रहती हैं!

रोज़गारविहीन वृद्धि गुजरात के लिए नियति बना दी गई है। छैैव् के आंकड़े दिखाते हैं कि 1993-94 से 2004-05 तक वहां रोज़गार में वृद्धि 2.69ः प्रति वर्ष थी, जबकि 2004-05 से 2009-10 में यह गिरकर शून्य (0%) हो गई। हाल ही में प्रसिद्ध अर्थशास्त्री अतुल सूद ने अपनी किताब Poverty Amidst Prosperity: Essays on the Trajectory of Development in Gujarat, में दिखाया है कि गुजरात में ‘‘सिर्फ बेरोज़गारी में वृद्धि ही नहीं, मज़दूरी से हुए आय का हिस्सा कुल आय में सबसे कम है। संगठित उत्पादन कार्य में सबसे अध्कि ठेका मज़दूर यही लगे हैं, अस्थायी मज़दूरों की प्रवृत्ति वहां तेजी से बढ़ी है। इसके अलावा 50 लाख जि़दगियां विकास परियोजना के चलते अस्त-व्यस्त हो गई, जो कि पूरी आबादी का 10 वां हिस्सा है। गुजरात में श्रम कानूनों का कोई अस्तित्व भी नहीं है।’’

बहुचर्चित सरदार सरोवर परियोजना की हक़ीकतः इस परियोजना के तहत नहर निर्माण के कार्य का अध्किांश अब तक लंबित है, जिससे कच्छ और सौराष्ट्र की सूखी ज़मीन को पानी नसीब नहीं हुआ। इसके विपरीत 3.7 बिलियन घन मीटर पानी उद्योगों और गिने-चुने शहरी इलाकों में मोड़ दिया गया ;ीजजचरूध्ध्दबंण्हवअण्पदध्दमूेऋपदकमगण्ीजउद्ध। ज़रूरत मंद किसानों और गांवों के नाम पर जबरन लाए गए इस परियोजना को बड़े पैमाने पर उद्योगपतियों, शहरों व नगरनिगमों को इस्तेमाल के लिए दिया जाना कितना उचित है?सिपर्फ यही नहीं, मोदी सरकार ने सरदार सरोवर परियोजना के लिए सुरक्षित सिंचाई की ज़मीन से 4 लाख हेक्टेयर निकालकर बड़े काॅरपोरेट्स, सेज ;ैमर््द्ध और ैप्त्  को सौंप दिया गया।

पर्यावरण की अपूरणीय क्षति की क़ीमत पर काॅरपोरेट लूटेरों को खुली छूटः गुजरात में, चंद काॅर्पोरेट्स के लिए पर्यावरण नियंत्राण के सारे मापदंडों का लगातार उल्लंघन कर पर्यावरण और पानी जैसे अनिवार्य साध्नों पर भयानक प्रभाव डाला जा रहा है। पिछले 10 सालों में नर्मदा के नहरों के कारण जो बड़ी संख्या में औद्योगिक हब तैयार हुए हैं उनसे निकले रासायनिक पदार्थ को माही नदी में गिराया जा रहा है। इन नए औद्योगिक संयंत्रों में से कोई भी, किसी भी प्रकार से ‘गुजरात प्रदूषण नियंत्राण बोर्ड’ के मानदंडों को पूरा नहीं करते हैं। नतीजे में, राज्य में अध्किांश नदियां बुरी तरह प्रदूषित हो रहे हैं। गुजरात के तीन शहर- वापी, अंकलेश्वर, और वातवा ‘केंद्रीय प्रदूषण नियंत्राण बोर्ड’ की सूची में भारत में शीर्ष 10 सबसे प्रदूषित शहरों में आते हैं। इनमें वापी पहले स्थान पर है। तटीय क्षेत्रों में बनाये जा रहे निजी बंदरगाहों और ैमर्् ;सेजद्ध, ‘तटीय नियमन क्षेत्रा’ के नियमों के खुलेआम उल्लंघन के उदाहरण हैं। गैर सरकारी आंकड़ों के अनुसार, 600 गांवों को अगले पांच वर्षों में कृषि कार्य से हाथ धेना पड़ेगा। स्थानीय व्यवसाय और पारिस्थितिक स्थिरता की कीमत पर काॅर्पोरेट को बढ़ावा देने का अंध जुनून, मुश्किल से जिस ‘विकास माॅडल’ को दर्शाता है वह महज़ मोदी सरकार और काॅर्पोरेट दिग्गजों व भूमापिफयाओं के बीच गठजोड़ को दर्शाता है।

कृषि की स्थिति पर अगर हम नज़र डालें तो गुजरात में भूमि सुधर के तमाम सि(ांतों को सर के बल खड़ा कर दिया गया है। मोदी की अर्थनीति के समर्थक गुजरात की कृषि को तेज गति से काॅर्पोरेट के सामने दंडवत किए जाने पर गर्व करते है।कृषि के इस माॅडल का प्रत्यक्ष परिणाम कृषक समुदायों के गरीब तबके का और भी हाशिये पर ध्केलना है। बाहरी भूमापिफयाओं को ग्रामीण भूमिबाजार में प्रवेश करने की कानूनी अनुमति देकर दरअसल बड़े व्यापारिक घरानों को सीमांत किसानों के अध्किारों व उनकी ज़मीन लूटने केलिए मैदान तैयार किया गया हैं। इसका सीध परिणाम हुआ कि गुजरात में सीमांत जोत का औसत आकार राष्ट्रीय औसत की तुलना में दिन-प्रतिदिन कमतर होता जा रहा है। वही दूसरी ओर सबसे बड़े आकार वाली ज़मीनों ;20 हेक्टेयर से ऊपरद्ध के मामले में यह राष्ट्रीय औसत से बढ़ता दिखाई दे रहा है। समय के साथ लगातार दलितों और आदिवासियों का भूमि पर मालिकाना अध्किार की स्थिति और भी बदतर होती जा रही है।

आक्रामक काॅर्पोरेट के पक्ष में बनाई गई नीतियोंके चलते सीमांत किसानों का अपनी आजीविका के स्रोत को बचा और पाना खेती का काम जारी रख पाना असंभव होता जा रहा है। इसके चलते वे अपनी ज़मीन को पट्टे पर देने या बेच देने को विवश हैं।

सार्वजनिक ढांचों में निजीकरण को प्रोत्साहनः विकास का गुजरात माॅडल की प्रमुख विशेषता बंदरगाह, रेल, सड़क और बिजली में निजी निवेश को प्रोत्साहित करना है। जहां एक तरपफ इसने निजी घरानों को उनके मुनाप़फे के लिए सभी क्षेत्रों में खुली छूट दे रखी है वही दूसरी ओर ढांचागत सुविधओं को मानव बस्तियों तक ले जाने को नकार दिया गया है। आज भी गुजरात की 3380 बस्तियां सड़क के साथ जुड़ी हुई नहीं हैं।

भ्रष्टाचार और काॅर्पोरेट द्वारा भूमि हड़प का हिसाब कौन देगा?

सीएजी आॅडिट ने इस बात का खुलासा किया है कि मनमोहन सिंह ने केंद्र में जो किया मोदी ने उसी को गुजरात में अंजाम दिया:- जनता के खजाने से उसकी आजीविका की क़ीमत पर उद्योगपतियों को भारी पैमाने पर मुनापफा पहुंचाना। 30 मार्च 2012 को गुजरात विधनसभा में पेश की गई 2010-11 की सीएजी की रिपोर्ट में वर्ष 2010-11 में 16,000 करोड़ रुपये से अध्कि की धंध्ली को दिखाया गया। इसमें मोदी सरकार द्वारा पिछले नौ सालों में की गई 26,672 करोड़ रुपये की अनियमितताओं की ओर भी इशारा किया गया ;क्छ। 31 मार्च 2012द्ध। उदाहरण के लिए सीएजी ने यह दिखाया कि मोदी के ‘शान’‘गुजरात स्टेट पेट्रोलियम काॅर्पोरेशन’ को भारी वित्तीय नुकसान उठाना पड़ा क्योंकि केजी ;कृष्णा गोदावरीद्ध बेसिन ब्लाॅक में आवश्यकता से अध्कि खर्च ;7,000 करोड़ रुपये से अध्किद्ध करने के बावजूद भी उत्पादन शुरू नहीं हुआ।

अनियमितताओं और केजी बेसिन परियोजना पर अत्यध्कि खर्च के अलावा सीएजी ने यह भी पाया कि मोदी का चहेता औद्योगिक घराना, ‘अदानी ग्रुप’ को अनुचित आर्थिक तोहपफे के कारण भी गुजरात स्टेट पेट्रोलियम काॅर्पोरेशन को वित्तीय घाटे का सामना करना पड़ा। सीएजी की रिपोर्ट कहती है कि ‘‘2006-09 के दौरान, जीएसपीसी ;गुजरात स्टेट पेट्रोलियम काॅर्पोरेशनद्धने अपनी खरीद मूल्य की तुलना में कापफी कम दाम पर अदानी समूह को गैस बेच दिया जिससे उसे 70.5 करोड़ रुपए ;705 मिलीयनद्ध का नुकसान हुआ।

भूमि आवंटन के मामले में भी सीएजी ने मोदी सरकार के कार्यकाल में राज्य खजाने से 580 करोड़ रुपए का नुकसान दिखाया जो रिलायंस इंडस्ट्रीज लिमिटेड, एस्सार स्टील, अदानी पावर लिमिटेड, एवं पफोर्ड जैसी काॅर्पोरेट घरानों का पक्ष लेने की वजह से हुआ।;द हिन्दू , 4 अप्रैल 2013द्ध

रतन टाटा ने क्यों कहा कि ‘अगर आप गुजरात में नहीं हैं तो मूर्ख हैं’ ? गुजरात सरकार द्वारा टाटा मोटर्स लिमिटेड को साणंद के पास नैनो प्लांट के लिए 1100 एकड़ जमीन 900 रुपये प्रति वर्ग मीटर की दर से दी गई जबकि इसका बाजार भाव 10,000 रुपये प्रति वर्ग मीटर के आसपास था। इसके अलावा, नैनो परियोजना को गुजरात में लाने के लिए 0.1 पफीसदी की नगण्य ब्याज पर रतन टाटा को 9570 करोड़ रुपये तोहपफानुमा कर्ज दिया गया. इस ‘कर्ज’ की अदायगी को 20 साल के लिए स्थगित कर दी गई। कुल मिलाकर, मोदी सरकार ने 2,000 करोड़ रुपये के नैनों प्रोजेक्ट के लिए टाटा मोटर्स को  30,000 करोड़ रुपए की छूट की पेशकश की। तब रतन टाटा क्यों न बोले…

modi_adani_plane_20140310अदानी समूह को मुंद्रा पोर्ट एवं मुंद्रा विशेष आर्थिक क्षेत्रा ;सेजद्ध के लिए 1 रुपये प्रति वर्ग मीटर की दर से भूमि आवंटित की गई। 1 मार्च, 2012 को गुजरात के राजस्व मंत्राी ने विधनसभा में स्वीकार किया कि ‘अदानी समूह की अलग अलग कंपनियों के लिए कच्छ में 14,305.49 एकड़ ज़मीन ;5.78 करोड़ वर्ग मीटर के बराबरद्ध आवंटित किया गया। इस ज़मीन को 1 रुपये से 32 रुपये प्रति वर्ग मीटर की दर से दिया गया;क्छ। 1 मार्च 2012द्ध। इसी प्रकार रहेजा जैसे रियल एस्टेट मापिफयाओं को औने पौने दाम पर ज़मीनें दी गई जबकि सार्वजनिक क्षेत्रा के भारतीय वायुसेना को ज़मीन के लिए बहुत अध्कि कीमत का भुगतान करने के लिए कहा गया।

गुजरात विशेष निवेश क्षेत्रा ;ैप्त्द्ध, 2009 अध्निियम से लैस मोदी सरकार ने खेती, चारागाह, वन की भूमि को हथियाने के लिए गुजरात के हर हिस्से पर हमला शुरू कर दिया है। जामनगर के आसपास के ग्रामीणों ने 610 एकड़ जमीन रिलायंस समूह को दिए जाने के खि़लाप़फ विरोध् शुरू कर दिया है। मोदी के आक्रामक जमीन हड़प नीति के खि़लाप़फ इसी तरह के विरोध् प्रदर्शन मध्य व दक्षिणी गुजरात के अनेक हिस्सों जैसे ढोलेरा, वागरा, कर्जन, नवसारी आदि में मजबूती के साथ सामने आ रहे हैं।

यही वजह  है कि मोदी ने बहुत लंबे समय तक गुजरात में लोकायुक्त की नियुक्ति को रोकने की पूरी ताकत लगायी। ख़ासकर तब जबकि वह कम से कम 17 बड़े भ्रष्टाचार और अनियमितताओं के मामलों में आरोपों का सामना कर रहा है।

modi ambi 2गुजरात के प्रावृफतिक संसाध्नों पर किस तरह के लागों का नियंत्राण है- यह बात छिपी नहीं है! सौरभ पटेल जिसने अमेरिका से एमबीए किया आज गुजरात मंत्रिमंडल का सबसे अमीर आदमी और सबसे महत्वपूर्ण व्यक्ति है । लेकिन असली बात तो ये है कि सौरभ पटेल, मुकेश अंबानी के चचेरे भाई विमल अंबानी के सगे बहनोई हैं। अब अनुमान लगाइये कि कौन-कौन से मंत्रालय उसकी मुट्ठी में हो सकते हैं:

ऊर्जा और पेट्रोकेमिकल्स, उत्खनन एवं खनिज, कुटीर उद्योग, नमक उद्योग, मुद्रण, स्टेशनरी, योजना, पर्यटन, नागरिक उड्डयन और श्रम एवं रोजगार!! … अब तक तो सिर्पफ गुजरात ही रिलायंस की मुट्ठी में है। मोदी प्रधनमंत्राी बनेगा तो अनुमान लगाइए कि भारत किसकी मुट्ठी में होगा।

गुजरात के बाहर भाजपा के भ्रष्टाचार और जनगद्दारी का इतिहासः

sushma reddyकर्नाटक में भी सरकार चलाने का भाजपा के ट्रैक रिकाॅर्ड लौह अयस्क जैसे प्राकृतिक संसाधनों की लूट से जुड़ा हुआ है। बेल्लारी ब्रदर्स ;जी. करुणाकर रेड्डी, जी. जनार्दन रेड्डी और जी. सोमाशेखर रेड्डीद्ध की कहानी सब अच्छी तरह जानते हैं। कर्नाटक लोकायुक्त के एक रिपोर्ट में यह कहा गया है कि उस उत्खनन का कुल लागत जहां महज़ 427 रुपये प्रति टन आया वहींअयस्क का बिक्री मूल्य 7000 से 5000रुपये प्रति टन था। रेड्डी बंध्ुओं को इसमें 80%-90% का चैंका देने वाला मुनाप़फा हुआ था। राज्य सरकार को प्रति टन मात्रा 27 रुपये की राॅयल्टी मिली। रेड्डी बंध्ुओं में से दो कर्नाटक के भाजपा सरकार के कैबिनेट में रह चुके हैं जबकि तीसरा ज्ञंतदंजंां डपसा थ्मकमतंजपवद के दबंग चेयरपर्सन थे। यह सब कुछ कर्नाटक में मुख्यमंत्राी येदुयुरप्पा के कार्यकाल में हुआ। जब लोकायुक्त ने इस बात का खुलासा किया कि येदुयुरप्पा के दोनों पुत्रों ने उत्खनन कंपनियों से घूस लेकर उनका पक्ष लिया तो सशक्त जनविरोध् के चलते येदुयुरप्पा को मुख्यमंत्राी की कुर्सी और पार्टी छोड़नी पड़ी। लेकिन मजाक देखिये कि लोकसभा चुनाव आते-आते ‘भ्रष्टाचार के खिलापफ मुखर’ भाजपा ने येदुयुरप्पा समेत इस पूरे गिरोह को न सिपर्फ पार्टी में वापस लिया बल्कि चुनाव में टिकट भी दी।

 

यह स्पष्ट है कि मोदी माॅडल किसी भी प्रकार से मनमोहन माॅडल से अलग नहीं है, चाहे वह आर्थिक नीतियां हों या पिफर भ्रष्टाचार का मामला। तो पिफर इस दौर में मोदी ही काॅरपोरेट के चहेता क्यों बना हुआ है? देश के संसाधनों और खजानों की लूट ने राजनीति और काॅरपोरेट के गठजोड़ को बेऩकाब किया और इसके खि़लाप़फ जबर्दस्त जन असंतोष जगह जगह पूफट पड़ रहा है। ऐसे में मनमोहन का थका-हारा और बदनाम चेहरा जनता में तेजी से बढ़ते आव्रफोश को रोक नहीं सकता। इसलिए काॅर्पोरेट्स को एक नया चेहरा चाहिए जो, अमीरपरस्त नीतियों modified histऔर उनसे उपजे जनाव्रफोश से लोगों का ध्यान भटका सके। ठीक इसी बिन्दु पर नरेन्द्र मोदी काॅरर्पोरेट घरानों का सबसे लाडला हो जाता है,क्योंकि उनवेफ पास जनाव्रफोश को भटकाने वेफ लिए बढि़या हथवंफडा है: साम्प्रदायिक विचारधरा, त्ैै का सागंठनिक जाल तथा 2002 वेफ जनसंहार वेफ सि( रिकाॅर्डसे लैस मोदी अल्पसंख्यकों के खि़लाप़फ घृणा और हिंसा के काॅकटेल की गारंटी करता है जो लूट और दमन के शासन वेफ माॅडल को जारी रखने का आजमाया हुआ तरीका है। 2002 के बाद अमेरिका द्वारा प्रायोजित ‘इस्लामोपफोबिया’ से पफायदा उठाते हुए तथाकथित ‘आतंकवाद के खि़लाप़फ जंग’ के नाम पर पफर्जी मुठभेड़ों की एक पूरी श्रृंखला चलाकर मोदी ने एक ऐसे ‘हिन्दू राष्ट्रवादी’ नायक की छवि बनाई जो ‘मुस्लिम आतंकवादियों’ के निशाने पर है। ऐसी हर पफर्जी मुठभेड़ वेफ जरिये मोदी एक समुदाय वेफ लोगों को समाज और राष्ट्र के लिए एक ख़तरे के रूप में पेश करता है जिसे बार-बार अपने पुलिस बल की ताक़त से ख़तम करवेफ अपने आपको संकट मोचक नायक वेफ रूप में प्रोजेक्ट करता है।

आसान शब्दों में अगर कहा जाए तो नरेन्द्र मोदी का पूरा अभियान अल्पसंख्यक समुदायों को दुश्मन के रूप में प्रचारित करता है ताकि जनता के आव्रफोश को काॅर्पोरेट लूट और अमीरपरस्त नीतियों से भटकाकर अल्पसंख्यकों के खि़लाप़फ खड़ा किया जा सके। यह भी एक कारण है कि मोदी की सबसे करीबी मित्राता महाराष्ट्र के शिवसेना और मनसे जैसी ताक़तों के साथ है जो ग़रीब और दूसरे राज्यों से आए मज़दूरों और छात्रों के खि़लाप़फ हिंसा भड़काती है लेकिन उसी राज्य में हो रही काॅर्पोरेट लूट पाट और किसानों की आत्महत्याओं पर चूँ तक नहीं करती। इसीलिए सांप्रदायिक उन्माद पर खड़ी राजनीति, काॅर्पोरेट के लिए सबसे अध्कि पफायदेमंद साबित होती है। सांप्रदायिक हिंसा और घृणा पफैलाने वाले बयान या भाषण कोई गुजरे ज़माने की शर्मनाक चीज़ नहीं है, दरअसल यह शासन के ‘मोदी माॅडल’ की आंतरिक विशेषता है।

यह सच है कि हम नहीं चाहते कि ध्र्मनिरपेक्षता को लेकर वाजिब और ज़रूरी चिंताओं का दुरुपयोग कांग्रेस अपने कुकर्मों को छिपाने के लिए करे। लेकिन ठीक उसी समय, हमें भाजपा और उसके सहयोगी दलों की साजिश को भी ध्वस्त करना होगा ताकि वह भ्रष्टाचार और काॅर्पोरेट लूट को लेकर उठ रहे जनाव्रफोश का पफायदा उठाकर भ्रष्ट और अमीरपरस्त नीतियों को ढंकने के लिए घृणा और दमन वेफ शासन को बढ़ावा न दे पाए।

आइये मोदी के सांप्रदायिक-काॅर्पोरेट पफासीवादी चेहरे को बेनकाब करें और करारी शिकस्त दें !

काॅरपोरेटपरस्ती और दमन के पर्याय कांग्रेस-संप्रग शासन को खारिज करें !

आइये वैकल्पिक नीतियों के लिए वोट करें महज़ चेहरे के बदलाव और मुखौटे को नकारें!!

Resist this Regime of Bullets and Batons in Kashmir!

kashkilled
AISA strongly condemns the use of lethal weapons on unarmed protesters in Bandipora by Kashmir police. Firing by police and CRPF led to the killing of an 18 yr old boy, Farhat Dar. Two other people were injured in the incident.
While the Deputy Commissioner of district Bandipora, Shah Faisal, has ordered a probe, we know very well the nature and content of these probes. In 2010, a 13 yr old innocent boy named Wamiq Farooq fell prey to unprovoked tear gas shelling from the police. In 2013, non-bailable warrants were issued against the cops accused in that case. However, the police failed to arrest the accused, thereby effectively shielding them. Another teenager, Tufail Mattoo, was brutally murdered while returning from tuition classes in 2010. Recently, an SIT filed a closure report in that case despite enough evidence. In 2012, 22 yr old Altaf was killed by a CISF bullet during protests against NHPC.

None of these probes has been able to deliver any justice so far. We have seen how justice was denied in the Pathribal case despite a CBI probe that indicted members of the army and police. We have also seen how the Shopian and Kunan Poshpora rape cases were hushed up at the stage of investigation. There are countless other cases which never went to trial.
Whether AFSPA is applicable or not, Kashmiris continue to be treated like a subject and not sovereign citizen- both inside and outside Kashmir. Be it through denial of houses to Kashmiris in the national capital or the denial of justice, the message that is being sent out to them repeatedly is that they are not equals. This mindless violence and denial of justice, this constant inhuman treatment of Kashmiris on a daily basis speaks volumes of the brazen double standards of Indian state towards the Kashmiri people.
AISA stands in solidarity with the people of Kashmir in their continuous struggle for justice against this unending state violence. JNUSU demands an end to this regime of batons and bullets in Kashmir and the all-round offensive to subjugate and silence the people of Kashmir.

Defeat Corporate Fascist Gameplan

India 2014: Defeat Corrupt Communal Corporate Fascist Gameplan

 

With the 2014 Lok Sabha at the doorstep, people of India are determined to vote to punish and change the Congress-UPA’s regime of scams, loot, and repression. Taking advantage of this genuine anger, there is a carefully orchestrated campaign, seeking to project Narendra Modi as the next Prime Minister and the solution to all the woes.

Is Modi really the answer to the crisis? Or in fact, does every vote for Modi take the country and the people a step deeper into the abyss of the same crisis of corruption, plunder, and repression?

In 2004, there were 2 big reasons for the BJP-led NDA’s defeat: people’s anger at (a) the Modi Govt’s 2002 Gujarat genocide and (b) NDA Govt’s Feku ‘India Shining’ Campaign, which was a cruel joke on farmers’ suicides, rising unemployment and steep prices caused by the ongoing neo-liberal policies.

poverty lineA  decade later, how come Modi, the man responsible in a big way for BJP-NDA’s defeat in 2004, is being projected as the hero and saviour? Can the BJP-NDA and Modi’s ‘Gujarat Model’, which India recognised and rejected as ‘Feku’ (empty boasts) in 2004, claim to offer a credible alternative to the Congress-UPA regime, which has presided over scams, steep prices, farmers’ suicides, joblessness and repression? Surely what the country needs is not a replacement of the corrupt, pro-corporate UPA regime with another corrupt, pro-corporate, communal fascism? Surely, any real alternative has to be an alternative in terms of politics and policies and NOT just faces?

Let us take a closer look at Modi’s campaign and the facts on the ground, to see if indeed Modi can offer any alternative or solution to the Congress-UPA’s policies.     

In the NaMo campaign, the chief minister who presided over a horrific genocide in 2002 is being painted as the messiah of ‘good governance’ and ‘economic growth.’ So the Modi image makeover project has a two-fold slogan: Forget 2002, Forget the rapes, murders and fake encounters, Forget the state machinery’s role in 2002, and Parade Modi model of ‘growth’, ‘development’ and ‘good governance.’ The message is, if we want ‘governance’, we should concede that communal violence or fake encounters or corporate land grab are irrelevant questions.

Who has Modi Hired for His IMAGE-MAKEOVER?

On 19 November, 2007, Times of India carried the following piece:

modi apcoModi’s image builders have dictators on client list.

(http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home/specials/Modis-image-builders-have-dictators-on-client-list/articleshow/2600140.cms)

Adolf Hitler was a brilliant propagandist. Narendra Modi too believes in the power of image. This is probably why the chief minister hired a US lobbying firm which has serviced clients like former Nigerian dictator Sani Abacha and President-for-life of Kazakhstan Nursultan Abishuly Nazarbayev.

This Washington-based firm, APCO Worldwide, was hired by Modi sometime in August this year, in the run-up to an important Assembly election, to improve his image before the world community. Among its recent clients are Mikhail Khodorkovsky, a former Communist youth leader-turned-Russian billionaire with mafia links.

The firm has a distinction of taking contracts of boosting images of leaders who fell out of favour of their followers.

On the face of it Apco Worldwide’s brief is to build and sell Brand Gujarat to the international community. But according to sources Modi, who was denied visa by the US earlier because of the taint he earned in the 2002 riots, wants his image to be improved so that he gets to visit the US in future….

The Gujarat government will pay APCO 25,000 USD per month for the Modi image building exercise.

Sources in the government said Modi thought of this image-building exercise during his visit to Switzerland earlier this year. His government shortlisted some seven national and international firms, without floating tenders of which two were shortlisted. Even though it quoted a sum that was three times more than others, Apco was picked for the job. The reason given was that Apco has a better team. Apco has former senators from Republican and Democratic parties working with it.”

What has been the main purpose of this sustained PR exercise?

EPW editorial of 20 April, 2013 notes the following: “It is apparent that this was to project Narendra Modi as the undisputed leader of the opposition to the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government for the 2014 general elections. In this the campaign has been successful. It has managed to overcome the immediate obstacles – within the RSS’ family and the existing and potential allies – to pose a stark choice to India’s political class: those against the Congress have to be prepared to deal with Modi or risk political irrelevance in the post-2014 Lok Sabha…

What has been the main message of Modi’s PR campaign? Behind all the carefully outlined speeches and choreographed performances, Modi is telling India’s dominant classes – industrialists, urban professionals and the rural rich – that he can successfully overcome the obstacles to higher economic growth, itself a code word for faster circulation of capital and higher returns on investments, by “managing” democracy as he has done in Gujarat through a combination of communal terror and sops to some sections. Modi’s promise is that he will do this much better than what the Congress has managed to do in the past decade.”

Given the crafted image makeover and PR exercise – powered by the infamous international PR agency APCO Worldwide and the likes – and sustained corporate media blitzkrieg to promote ‘Brand Modi’, it becomes important to take a look at the real FACTS beyond the orchestrated HYPE.

As we sift the facts from the hype, we can see that Gujarat’s performance on all criteria has not been in any way better than that of other states, and moreover, Gujarat’s neoliberal development model has displayed all the distressing effects on people’s lives and the economy that have been felt in the rest of the country.

On ‘Growth’ indicators: During the five years (2006-11), Gujarat was outstripped by Maharashtra, Haryana, Chhattisgarh, Bihar and Odisha (Economic Times, 26 Dec 2012). In terms of per capita income, in 2011 Gujarat (with Rs 63,996) ranked 6th after Haryana (Rs 92,327), Maharashtra (Rs 83,471), Punjab (Rs 67,473), Tamil Nadu (Rs 72,993) and Uttaranchal (Rs 68,292). But Gujarat has higher per capita debt than UP or Bihar.

On Investment indicators: Despite the much-touted Vibrant Gujarat programmes, it is interesting to note that foreign direct investment is not the highest in Gujarat. Maharashtra leads this list while Gujarat is fifth. Vibrant Gujarat summits have not yielded as much as the State government would like others to believe. According to the government’s own “Socio-Economic Review, Gujarat State, 2011-12”, the promised investments in 2011 were over Rs.20 lakh crore, but only about Rs.29,813 crore was actually invested. In the same year, out of more than 8,300 memorandums of understanding (MoUs) signed, only about 250 became a reality! ( Frontline, 8 March, 2013)

Quality of Industrialisation: The industries that have flourished the most in Gujarat are all highly hazardous: poisonous chemicals! Gujarat has India’s highest number of pollution hot spots with groundwater contaminated in 74 out of its 184 tehsils. During 2012-13, over 60,000 small and medium enterprises have shut down in Gujarat.

Per capita income in the state is half of its urban income, indicating huge urban-rural inequality.

Therefore, it is clear that Gujarat is NO ‘special’ performer under Modi, when it comes to ‘economic growth’. A highly urbanized Gujarat has always been home to India’s largest business and trading community, which has always been ‘enterprising’ in its economic ventures, even before Modi became chief minister!

And What are Gujarat’s Social Development Indicators?

modi pulicityIn social sector spending as a proportion of public expenditure, Gujarat ranks a lowly 19th among India’s 21 major states.

In 2011, Gujarat ranked 11th in the Human Development Index. In  crucial indicators like education and health, Gujarat has witnessed a DECLINE in ranking to 9th and 10th positions respectively in a group of 19 major states. Education, health and nutrition indicators are dismal, especially for women and children. Dropout rates in schools are high at 58% compared to the national average of 49%. For dalits the dropout rate increases to 65% and for tribals, to 78%. In higher education Gujarat’s gross enrolment ratio (GER) of 17.6 is lower than the national average of 20.4 and much below equally advanced states like Tamil Nadu (38.2) and Maharashtra (27.4). In health, Gujarat ranks 10th in the rate of decline in infant mortality. Moreover infant mortality is significantly higher among girls than boys. In Life Expectancy Gujarat comes 8th (with the average longevity of 62.15 years), below even Bihar’s 62.85 years. 45% of urban children and 60% of rural children are not immunized.In rural areas, 60% of child deliveries do not happen in institutional conditions. In healthcare delivery system, shortage of doctors at primary health centres (PHCs) is 34% and shortage of specialists like pediatricians and gynecologists at community health centres (CHCs) is 94%! Infrastructure itself has not yet been built – 21% of sub-centres, 19% of PHCs and 11% of CHCs do not exist. In tribal areas, 70% of X-Ray technicians and 63% of pharmacists are not posted, while there is a 100% shortage of specialist doctors. In the Global Hunger index, Gujarat is part of the bottom 5 states in India, and globally, performs worse even than countries like Haiti. Malnutrition is severe among children (47%) and women; higher than the all-India average.  80% of children below 4 years and 60% of pregnant women are anaemic in Gujarat (a virtual anaemia epidemic that Modi laughs off as a case of ‘beauty conscious girls’ starving themselves!).

Jobless growth has been the norm in Gujarat – NSSO data shows growth in employment for the period 1993-94 to 2004-05 was 2.69 percentage per annum, whereas for 2004-05 to 2009-10 it came down to zero. Atul Sood, in a recent collection of  essays, Poverty Amidst Prosperity: Essays on the Trajectory of Development in Gujarat, notes that Gujarat “witnessed not merely jobless growth but also the lowest share of wage income in total income, one of the highest use of contract workers in organized manufacturing and rising trends of casualisation of workforce. ” This apart, 5 million livelihoods have been lost in Gujarat owing to development projects: accounting for 10% of the population. Labour rights are virtually nonexistent.

In the case of the much vaunted Sardar Sarovor Dam Project, a large part of the canal network is pending, water has not reached the farmers of “parched parts of Kutch and Saurashtra”, on the contrary, water  of around 3.7 Billion Cubic Meters is diverted to industry and select urban localities! (http://nca.gov.in/news_index.htm) Is it fair for a Project, built and pushed ahead in the name of needy farmers and villages of Kutch and Saurashtra to divert waters, on a large scale, to corporates, urban municipalities and cities in Gujarat? Not just this, Modi Government has decided to exclude 4 lakh hecatres of land from the Command Irrigated Area of SSP and reserve the same for corporates, SEZs, SIRs etc.

Allowing Corporate Greed to Cause Irreversible Damage to Environment: All environmental regulatory norms are routinely violated for few corporate with disastrous impact on environment and necessary resources like water. The chemical-industrial hub that has developed in the last 10 years as a result of a flowing Narmada canal in the vicinity started discharging its untreated waste  into the Mahi river. None of these new industrial plants, anywhere in Gujarat, meets the Gujarat Pollution Control Board’s [GPCB] norms. Yet they have a free hand. As a result, most of the rivers in the State are heavily polluted. Three cities of Gujarat, Vapi, Ankaleshwar and Vatva, figure in the Central Pollution Control Board’s list of the top 10 most polluted cities in India, with Vapi ranking first. The private ports and SEZs in the coastal regions are examples of open violation of the Coastal Regulation Zone’s norms. Unofficial estimates say that about 600 villages will abandon agriculture in the next five years. The obsession with promoting industries, even at the cost of local economies and ecological sustainability, barely makes for a development model and only points to the structural nexus between the Modi government, corporate giants, and real estate honchos.

The story in the agrarian scene is that of reversal of land reforms principles. The defenders of Modinomics take pride in the high-speed corporatisation of Gujarat’s agriculture. The direct outcome of this agricultural model is the further marginalisation of the most poor section among the agricultural community. The legislative changes like allowing non-local, non-farming groups to enter the rural land market are solely aimed at preparing field for the big corporate houses to rob the marginal farmers of their right to land. The direct outcome is the fact that the average size of marginal land holding is becoming smaller compared to the national average and the largest size category(above 20 hectare) has gained in terms of average size. Over time, the access to land to the Scheduled Caste and Tribes have worsened in the state. Leasing out and selling of land by the marginal farmers in the face of an aggressive corporate driven policy where the marginal farmers find it impossible to hold on to their source of livelihood and continue in farming is the reality of agricultural situation in Gujarat.

Promoting Privatised Infrastructure: The dominant characteristic of Gujarat model of infrastructural development is encouraging private investment in port, rail, road and power. While this has allowed private conglomerates to strengthen their own profitability in other sectors, it has predictably created a situation where this pattern of infrastructural development has neglected providing access to human habitation. Even today 3380 human habitations are  not connected with road in Gujarat.

What about corruption and corporate land grab?

CAG audit reveals that Modi’s Government has done in Gujarat what Manmohan Singh’s did at the Centre: extend undue benefits to corporates at huge costs to the public exchequer and loss of livelihoods. The 2010-11 CAG report tabled in Gujarat assembly on 30 March 2012, has estimated bungling of more than Rs 16,000 crore in 2010-11. It had also pointed out irregularities of Rs 26,672 crore in the Modi government in the last nine years. (DNA 31 March 2012) To take just one example,  the CAG has observed that the Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation, supposed to be Modi’s special pride and joy, has suffered huge financial losses due to cost overrun at KG basin block where production has not commenced even after spending over Rs 7,000 crore (Rs 70 billion). Besides irregularities and cost overrun at KG basin project, the auditor has also noted that GSPC has suffered financial losses in gas trading activities on account of undue favours extended to Modi’s most favoured industrial house, the Adani group. The CAG report notes, “During 2006-09, GSPC sold gas to Adani group at a price which was much lower than its purchase price. This incurred loss of Rs 70.5 crore (Rs 705 million).”

In land allotment too, CAG noted a Rs. 580-cr. loss to state exchequer as Modi govt. favoured corporates like Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL), Essar Steel and Adani Power Ltd, Ford, L&Tetc. (The Hindu, 4 April 2013).

Why  did  Ratan Tata say, “YOU ARE STUPID IF YOU ARE NOT IN GUJARAT?” The Gujarat government allotted 1100 acres of land to Tata Motors Ltd to set up the Nano plant near Sanand at Rs 900 per square metre while its market rate was around Rs 10,000 per square metre. Further, Modi gave Ratan Tata a soft loan of Rs 9,570 crore at a negligible interest of 0.1 per cent to shift the Nano project to Gujarat. Repayment of this ‘loan’ was deferred for 20 years. In all, the Modi Government has offered over Rs 30,000 crore in sops to Tata Motors. In other words, for an investment of Rs.220 billion by the Tatas, the Gujarat government gives sops worth Rs.300 billion.

Land was allotted to Adani Group for the Mundra Port & Mundra Special Economic Zone (SEZ) at modi_adani_plane_20140310Re1 per square metre. Infact, on March 1, 2012, Gujarat revenue minister conceded in the Assembly that “The Adani Group has been allotted 14,305.49 acre (equivalent to 5.78 crore square metres) land in Kutch for different companies. The land has been allotted at a price ranging from Re1 to Rs 32 per sq mt,”  (DNA 1 March 2012). Similarly land has been handed over to real estate developers like Raheja at dirt cheap rates, whereas the public sector Indian Airforce was asked to pay a MUCH higher price for land!

Armed with the 2009 Gujarat Special Investment Region (SIR) Act, Modi govt. has began invading every nook and corner of Gujarat for grabbing farmland, pastures, forest land. Villagers surrounding Jamnagar are protesting against the allotment of 610 acres of gauchar land to Reliance Group for a SIR. Similar protests are breaking out in many parts of central and south Gujarat like Dholera, Vagra, Karjan, Navsari etc against Modi’s aggressive land grab drive.

Predictably, Modi tried his best to block the appointment of a Lokayukta in Gujarat for a very long time. Particularly when he was facing allegations of massive corruption and irregularities in at least 17 scams!

Who is Controlling Gujarat’s Natural Resources – Any Need to Guess? Saurabh Patel, an MBA from USA and richest man in thmodi ambi 2e Gujarat ministry, is the (next/first) most important man in the cabinet.

But more importantly, he is a brother-in-law of Vimal Ambani, cousin of Mukesh Ambani, and predictably holds the portfolios of… guess what..?

Energy & Petrochemicals, Mines & Minerals, Cottage Industry, Salt Industry, Printing, Stationery, Planning, Tourism, Civil Aviation and Labour & Employment !!!

BJP’s Track Record on Corruption Beyond Gujarat:

sushma reddyIn  Karnataka too BJP’s track record of running government is marked with crude robbery of the natural resources like iron ore. The story of Bellary Brothers (G. Karunakara Reddy, G. Janardhnana Reddy, and G. Somashekhara Reddy) is all too well known.A report by the Karnataka Lokayukta estimated that while the cost of mining (using subsidised transport and other facilities and beneficiary royalty structure) was merely Rs 427 per tonne, the sale price for exported ore was Rs 5000 to 7000 per tonne. This amounted to a staggering profit of 80 – 90% for the Reddy brothers. The state government got royalty of a mere Rs 27 per tonne, and since large percent of iron ore was illegally mined and exported the state government did not even get a token royalty. Two of the Reddy brothers have been in the Cabinet of BJP’s state government in Karnataka and the third one has been the chairperson of powerful Karnataka Milk federation. All this has been done under the Chief Ministership of Yeddyurrapa in Karnataka. A powerful dissent in the country against corruption and loot had forced Yeddyurappa to quit as CM after the Lokayukta indicted him and his two sons for taking bribe to favour the mining company. Before the Lokasabha  elections, not only Yedurappa but all the three Reddy brothers are being warmly taken back in BJP and Yeddyurappa is being offered Loksabha ticket from BJP in Karnataka.

So, the ‘Modi model’ is no different from the Manmohan model either in its economic essentials or in corruption index. Why, then, is Modi a more preferred hero for the corporates at this juncture? There is growing public anger at the steady exposure of the corporate-politics nexus that led to a haemorrhaging of the country’s resources and assets. The face of Manmohan is a spent and discredited force which can no longer avert the surge of mass anger and protests. So corporates need a fresh and tougher face, which can divert public anger away from the real impact of the pro-corporate policies. And here lies Modi’s Unique Selling Point (USP). modified histEquipped with the communal ideology and organisational network of RSS and proven track-record of 2002 pogrom, Modi guarantees a cocktail of hatred and violence against minorities as a key diversion tactic, to sustain a pro-corporate, repressive governance model. Post 2002, taking cue from the US-sponsored Islamophobia and so-called ‘war on terror’,  a series of fake encounters were scripted to build up Modi’s image as a ‘Hindu nationalist’ hero being targeted by so-called ‘Muslim terrorists’. Each fake encounter reinforced the idea of Muslims as the supreme threat to the social/national order, who were ritually vanquished by Modi’s police force, over and over again.

In simple words: NaMo projects Muslims or Christians as the enemy, so that people’s anger can be deflected from corporate loot and plunder or pro-corporate policies, to some minority community. Similarly Modi’s best political pals include Shiv Sena and MNS in Maharashtra, who unleash violence against poor migrant workers and students, while remaining silent on corporate plunder and farmers’ suicides in the same state! That is why communally divisive politics is extremely useful for the corporates too. Communal violence and hate-speech, then, is not an embarrassing aberration or a thing of the past, it is at the heart of the Modi model of governance.

True, we do not want Congress to misuse the genuine concerns over secularism to hide all its sins. But at the same time, we cannot allow the BJP to misuse the genuine concerns over corruption, to hide its own sins! Nor can we allow the BJP and its allies to use hatred and violence (against minorities, migrants) to hide the genuine issues of pro-corporate policies that are devastating the people.  

Let us recognise and defeat Modi’s heady communal-corporate fascist cocktail!

Let us defeat Congress-UPA’s regime of pro-corporate plunder and repression!

Let us vote for alternative policies, not faces and fakers of any hue!

 

Modi’s Comunalism: Not a Thing of The Past

Cartoon-new-Narendra-ModiWith the 2014 Lok Sabha at the doorstep, the carefully orchestrated campaign for past few years to project Narendra Modi as the next Prime Minister of the country has crossed all limits. PR managers and media blitzkrieg are trying to paint Modi, who presided over a horrific communal genocide in 2002, as the messiah of ‘good governance’ and ‘economic growth,’ now far removed from any communal politics.  We are being told:  Forget 2002, Forget the rapes, murders and fake encounters, Forget the state machinery’s role in 2002, and Parade Modi model of ‘growth’, ‘development’ and ‘good governance.’

But Modi himself has brazenly affirmed time and again that contempt, hatred, and violence towards the minorities and denigration of the oppressed sections is embedded in his imagery, is metaphors, and his politics. His own speeches make it very clear that Modi’s communal plank isn’t a thing of the past – it’s very much his recipe for power in the present and near future. We have already seen him refer to the victims of the Gujarat genocide as ‘puppies crushed under a car,’ and his jeering reference to the ‘burqa’ of secularism (rather than the word ‘purdah’ which is used by Hindus and Muslims alike)!

Here is a sample of the calculated communal colour of Modi’s RECENT speeches:

At Khandwa in November 2013 he said, “Lal Bahadur Shastri used to talk of ‘green revolution’ but the UPA Government is encouraging ‘pink revolution’ by promoting meat exports. They are giving subsidy to set up slaughterhouses… cows and other animals are getting slaughtered…Export cotton and pay tax, export mutton and get subsidy.” This is directly in line with the Sangh’s communal propaganda against ‘cow slaughter,’ demonising the minority communities by associating them with ‘slaughtering cows and other animals.’ Farmers’ groups demand subsidies for their products without pitting this against subsidies for meat producers, but Modi gives farmers’ demands a communal twist.

At Agra in November 2013, he accused the UPA Government of “neglecting and doing injustice to 75 percent of the people and playing games for 25 percent of the people.”

And his latest call at an Assam rally (22 Feb) of accommodating Hindu migrants from Bangladesh in India while distinguishing those who are brought for ‘vote bank’!

The Modi Government has refused to abide by the Gujarat High Court verdict of February 2013 to implement minority scholarships in Gujarat. In its affidavit, the Gujarat Government has attacked the Sachar Committee, saying “The Sachar Committee is neither constitutional nor statutory. …The Committee’s target was to help the Muslims only.”

The style of Modi’s campaign for the ‘Statue of Unity’ (the statue of Sardar Patel) is another example of his fascist political imagination. He asked people to join the campaign for ‘one resolution, one goal, one direction, one voice and one determination’. In deed for Modi, it is not “unity in diversity” but “unity in uniformity”! Modi made it very clear what this ‘oneness’ was all about: India has been a witness to such disciplined joint participation on religious occasions and joint celebrations of an entire neighbourhood when India wins a cricket match, he said. His slogan of ‘one emotion, one nation, one culture, one resolution, one goal, one smile’ smacks of a regimented and guided ‘democracy’, where any dissent or difference, and any protection  for minorities will be viewed as ‘anti national’ and ruthlessly crushed.

The recent Muzaffarnagar riots showed how the  Sangh brigade in UP, under the leadership of Modi’s right-hand man Amit Shah, carefully engineered a communal hate campaign and carnage to reap votes through communal polarisation. It was typical Shah, carefully engineered a communal Moditva bred in RSS school in action UP. The patriarchal institutions of Khap were mobilised and vicious rumor campaign was engineered in the name of combating “love j ihad” leading to the killing of scores of Muslims and displacements of several thousands.

Clearly, BJP’s model of imagining India is based on an ideology which is against our secular democratic constitution and divisive. Modi himself has claimed that he is a ‘Hindu-Nationalist.’ What about the rights of the minorities  if the country is constituted on the idea of ‘Hindu nationalism?’ Can the struggle of the dalits and women against the history of oppression legitimised in practice and scriptures of ‘sanatana dharma’, be a part of this nationhood? One example of the perverted vision of “Hindu Nationalism” is Modi’s own statement about the Dalits who are forced to perform manual scavenging, contained in pages 48-49 of Karmayog, a collection of Narendra Modi’s speeches to IAS officials at various points, published by the Gujarat govt in 2007: “I do not believe that they have been doing this job just to sustain their livelihood. Had this been so, they would not have continued with this type of job generation after generation….At some point of time, somebody must have got the enlightenment that it is their (Valmikis’) duty to work for the happiness of the entire society and the Gods; that they have to do this job bestowed upon them by Gods; and that this job of cleaning up should continue as an internal spiritual activity for centuries. This should have continued generation after generation. It is impossible to believe that their ancestors did not have the choice of adopting any other work or business.”  (http://blogs.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/true-lies/entry/modi-s-spiritual-potion-to-woo-karmauogis) After the embarrassing exposure, Modi withdrew all the copies of the book, but he did not change his ideas. In 2009, addressing  9,000-odd  safai karmacharis, (sanitation workers) he likened the safai karmacharis’ job of cleaning up others dirt’ to that of a temple priest. He told them, “A priest cleans a temple every day before prayers, you also clean the city like a temple. You and the temple priest work alike”!!! And in 2013 Gujarat budget, allocated a sum  of Rs 22.5 lakhs for giving training in Karmkand (rituals) to Safai Kamdars !

This is the RSS model of “samajik samrasta” and clear an attempt to reverse the pioneering role of Babasaheb Dr. B.R. Ambedkar against untouchability and the formulation of Indian constitution. If anything has to be termed anti-national, then that is nothing but BJP’s perverted notion of nationalism and reversal of struggle against casteism, communalism and gender- violence.

Modi’s contempt for the facts of history – no doubt a result of his saffronised education in the Sangh – has been amply demonstrated many times, with him even getting Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi’s name wrong and confusing freedom fighter Shyamaji Krishna Varma with Jan Sangh founder Shyama Prasad Mookherjee.

BJP’s Systematic Project of Distorting History and Knowledge:

Apart  from such endless distortions in Modi’s speeches, every BJP government routinely indulges in institutionalised distortion of textbooks as a part of its fascist to rewrite history according to its own goal. The fiasco of saffronisation of textbooks negating scientific method, historical facts under the last NDA government at centre has not been forgotten by the country. The MHRD minister of that NDA government, Murli Manohar Joshi even proposed to introduce Karamkand to be taught in universities. The same has been repeated and is continuing in Modi’s Gujarat.  The social science text book in Gujarat devoted a chapter praising the Nazi leader Adolf Hitler! Under national and international pressure the NaMo government had to withdraw the chapter later. But several such distortions remain in the social science text book of class 6, 7 and 8 even today. Some of the gems are : Mahatma Gandhi was  assassinated on October 30, 1948. Japan mounted a nuclear attack on the United States during World War II. After Partition, a new country called ‘Islamic Islamabad’ came into being with its capital Khyber Ghat in the Hindukush mountains. All south Indians are “Madrasis” ( The Hindu, Feb 27, 2013). These factual misinformations are not merely errors, but are driven by ideological intention of the Gujarat government to paint history in their own communal, racist and xenophobic ideas. It is nothing surprising to expect a party with a history of betrayal with anti-colonial struggle and an ideology based on perverted notion of nationalism to be afraid of history, to be afraid of truth and facts. The Hindutva was always a figment of the fascist imagination of the RSS, of which Modi is a proud product. Modi’s politics of hate and fascist tactics  in the laboratory of Gujarat can be explicitly traced in the writings of the entire range of Hindutva ideologues-Golwalkar, Savarkar, Shyama prasd Mukherjee etc and the pages of RSS organ Organiser. Let us see some samples:

 On Hindu rashtra: ”… the foreign races in Hindusthan must either adopt the Hindu culture and language, must learn to respect and hold in reverence Hindu religion, must entertain no idea but those of the glorification of the Hindu race and culture, i.e., of the Hindu nation and must lose their separate existence to merge in the Hindu race, or may stay in the country, wholly subordinated to the Hindu Nation, claiming nothing, deserving no privileges, far less any preferential treatment not even citizen’s rights.”     M. S. Golwalkar, We or Our Nationhood Defined, 1938, p. 47-48

Opposing  the National Flag at the dawn of Independence: “The people who have come to power by the kick of fate may give in our hands the Tricolour but it never be respected and owned by Hindus. The word three is in itself an evil and a flag having three colours will certainly produce a very bad psychological effect and is injurious to a country.” Organiser, August 14, 1947

Hailing fascism:  “There is no reason to suppose that Hitler must be a human monster because he passes off as a Nazi.. The very fact that Germany and Italy has so wonderfully recovered and grown so powerful as never before  at the touch of Nazi or Fascist magical wand is enough to prove that those political ‘isms’ were the most congenial tonics their health demanded.” Savarkar in his Presidential address to the 22nd  Session of the Hindu Mahasabha at Madura  in 1940.

Rejecting the Freedom Struggle: “Anti-Britishism was equated with patriotism and nationalism. This reactionary view has had disastrous effects upon the entire course of the freedom movement, its leaders and the common people” M. S. Golwalkar, Bunch of Thoughts, Bangalore, 1996, p. 138

Betraying the 1942 Quit India Movement:  “In 1942 also there was a strong sentiment in the hearts of many. At that time too the routine work of Sangh continued. Sangh decided not to do anything directly.”  -Shri Guruji Samagra Darshan, Vol. IV, Nagpur, n.d., p.41  henceforth S.G.S.D.)

“The Hindu Mahasabha holds that the leading principle politics is the policy of responsive co-operation. And in virtue of it, it believes that all those Hindu Sanghatanists who are  orking as councillors, ministers, legislators and conducting any municipal or any public bodies with a view to utilise those centres of government power to safeguard and even  promote the legitimate interests of the Hindus without, of course, encroaching on the legitimate interests of the others are rendering a highly patriotic service to our nation.” Cited in V. D. Savarkar, Samagra Savarkar Wangmaya: Hindu Rashtra Darshan, vol.6, Maharashtra Prantik Hindusabha, Poona, 1963, p.474.

Another Sangh hero – Shyama Prasad Mukherjee – refused to resign from the Ministry in Bengal during  the Quit India Movement. Not only that, as a Minister in the Bengal Government in 1942, he actively offered help and advice to the British administrators to crush the Quit India Movement. In 1942, he wrote:  “The question is how to combat this movement in Bengal? The administration of the province should be carried out in such a manner that in spite of the best efforts … this movement will fail to take root in the province.”

As regards India’s attitude towards England, the struggle between them,  if any, should not take place at this juncture. …Anybody who plans to stir up mass feelings resulting in internal disturbances or insecurity, must be resisted by any Government...” (Shyama Prasad Mookerjee, Leaves from a Diary, OUP, 1993, pp 175-190)

Propagating Two Nation Theory:  “ There are two antagonistic nations living side by side in India, several infantile politicians commit the serious mistake in supposing that India is already welded into a harmonious nation, or that it could be welded thus for the mere wish to do so. These were well meaning but unthinking friends take their dreams for realities. …India cannot be assumed today to be a Unitarian and homogenous nation, but on the contrary there are two nations in  the main : the Hindus and the Moslems, in India.”  – Savarkar cited in V. D. Savarkar, Samagra Savarkar Wangmaya : Hindu Rashtra Darshan, vol.6, Maharashtra Prantik Hindusabha, Poona, 1963, p.296.

It is obvious, that Modi has put these words into action in his laboratory of Gujarat and now planning to apply pan-India! When the Sangh Brigade and Modi consider secularism to be a dispensable veil, democracy loving people of India must assert it as an essential ingredient for survival and progress.

One hundred years of sonority: Comrade Saroj Dutta’s birth centenary

sd1“The moribund stream now roars in full flow,

Poison saturates the dream of full moon.

Proud comrade Medusa,

Claim the city.”

An untitled poem, written on cigarette paper, while watching a huge procession of women demanding the release of political prisoners, 1948-49

 

“From the painful streets, from the breathing world of people

Let your reason’s star seek lesson,

Reject the seduction of dumb forests of renunciation,—

Precarious journeys need us to rein in first.

Let the pungent traces of past be quelled,

Let absolute progress emerge from the very crisis of velocity

The long years of bland fecundity

Shall love our resolve, and give birth to colour and flesh.”

“Announcement”, October, 1941

 

“My poems will never narrate my story,

My lament will not echo in any a casual line,

My poetry does not trade woes of the feeble,

Nor is it lewd fetish of the impotent mind.

Isn’t a narcissist’s decree of universal love,

Or ‘timid offerings’ of the frail at power’s shrine.

Towards a people’s sky, those that pull

The fire-chariot of humankind are comrades of mine.

I can’t be traced in my poem; there my limits

Blend into infinity of the myriad –

With flood-waters from without I have unbounded

The stagnant swamp sluggished by poison-mud.

My pain will not linger like a spirit in the graveyard,

I am a reckless droplet, ocean’s fervour in my heart.”

 

Charu Mazumdar quotes Mao Tse Tung in his small note on ‘Liberation’, the organ of CPI (M-L), August 16, 1971.

“It is not hard for one to do a bit of good. What is hard is to do good all one’s life and never do anything bad, to act consistently in the interest of the broad masses, the young people and the revolution, and to engage in arduous struggle for decades on end. That is the hardest thing of all!”

And then he writes: “Comrade Saroj Dutta was such a comrade.” At midnight, 4th and 5th August, 1971, the police captured Saroj Dutta from a hideout in Calcutta and secretly murdered him. As Charu observes: “….the police force did not even dare to enact the farce of a trial”.

Born on March 13, 1914, in Jessore district of what is now Bangladesh, his life in Calcutta from the 1930s was dedicated to the cause of Communist politics. He was a brilliant poet, critic, editor and journalist. His commitment to revolutionary politics and informed tirade against revisionism are markers of a history that moved irrevocably towards the formation of the true revolutionary party in 1969.

However, we can move away from his biographical generalities—which shall easily establish him as a good communist—and see him as a danger, a threat, an apparition both actual and real, a lesson at once destructive and regenerative—to the way Communism is unfolding here and now.

On his birth centenary, we might delve: of what is Saroj Dutta the name?

Not isolating the logic of progressive cultural movement from the logic of party-led proletarian militancy. Discarding easy alliances on the cultural front with elements exhibiting a semblance of anti-fascism and anti-capitalism, in favour of concrete Communist credentials. Even if that means loss of bulk at a given historical moment. Channelizing the force of poetry and philosophy to check the overtly pragmatic and sociological approach that Communist movement has had to deal with at different junctures. Defending excess as the key sign of revolution. Defending the excess triggered by “Naxalbari” as an integral part of the general fealty towards the event. [The so-called anarchic overtures in the city of Calcutta of the 60s and 70s tore apart the approved order of reality. The sculpted Bengali ‘renaissance’ pantheon and nationalist iconography became a target of radicalized youth and unorganized proletarian energy] Fighting the critics of this excess from within the vanguard, fighting social democratic certainties. Locating the Marxist-Leninist vanguard party at the interface of an alchemic encounter between vanguardism and mass politics. Alchemic because the outcome is unencumbered by identities, economy, bargain, exchange; cushioned by void. Revolutionary break. No peace in transition.

Saroj Dutta was acutely aware of and almost happy about the fact that CPI (M-L) was established on the hundredth birthday of Vladimir Lenin. This was not merely his acceptance of a modern political ritual, but his faith in an undead revolutionary past.  In a poem on Lenin, Saroj Dutta wrote: “His death was never a closure/His hands, so alive, still make history.”

It is delicious irony that the state has still not pronounced Saroj Dutta officially dead. We have a feeling the fear is lingering and legitimate.

Red Salute to Com. Saroj Dutta.

Students’ Movement forces UGC to Relax the Eligibility Criteria of OBC Candidates for Appearing in UGC and Recruitment to Faculty positions from 55% to 50% in M.A.!

UGC POSTER

An Important Victory for Social Justice and Inclusion!

After Years of Dilly-Dallying, Sustained Students’ Pressure Forced the UGC to Relax the Eligibility Criteria of OBC Candidates for Appearing in UGC NET-JRF and Direct Recruitment to Faculty positions from 55% to 50% in M.A.!

AISA led  JNUSU has been consistently and vigilantly protesting against multiple restrictive criteria that UGC keeps imposing from time to time to scuttle the scope of students in JRF and NET and various anomalies in UGC JRF results. It was because of timely protests, UGC was forced to correct its faulty evaluation of June 2013 exam and release fresh lists in October 2013.

On 15 May 2013, JNUSU also protested against several dubious restrictive criteria in NET-JRF and demanded that 10% relaxation in the eligibility criteria be given for the OBC students to appear for NET-JRF and teaching appointment.During the protest, we pointed out that as per the 2008 Supreme Court order, the UGC can grant up to 10% relaxation in marks for OBC students for appearance for the NET examination and teaching appointment. We  also cited the Delhi High Court order of 2012, obtained in the case filed in 2009 by the JNU student Rajiv Ranjan Nirala where the Delhi High Court directed the UGC to take appropriate decision on minimum eligibility criteria for OBC’s for appearing for NET towards fulfilling mandated 27% quota and inform within a period of two months.

And now, after sustained protests and pressure, UGC in its meeting of 27 February 2014, has finally conceded to this genuine demand and relaxed that Eligibility Criteria of OBC Candidates for appearing in UGC NET-JRF and Direct Recruitment to Faculty positions from 55% to 50% in M.A.

We demand that the UGC must immediately notify this new relaxation criterion to different universities so that thousands of OBC candidates, who were not hitherto eligible, are made eligible.

All the Universities must be immediately directed to issue Corrigendum to their already published advertisements, incorporating this new criterion.

We have to continue with our multi-layered struggle against the numerous obstacles and discriminatory rules that the Govt, UGC and different University administrations keep imposing to scuttle social inclusion in higher education and appointments.