Leftist SYRIZA Registers Emphatic Electoral Win in Greece



Alexis Tsipras, the Newly Elected Prime Minister of Greece

The Left has registered an emphatic win in Greece in the recently concluded elections, with the SYRIZA winning 36 per cent of the votes and 149 out of the 300 total seats. The SYRIZA, a coalition originally comprising of a broad array of forces – including democratic socialists, green Left as well as Maoist and Trotskyist groups in Greece – became a unitary party in 2013. In the elections this year, SYRIZA has conclusively defeated the previous center-right New Democracy party, which was reduced to a distant second. Golden Dawn, a neo-Nazi, far-right, anti-immigrant came third in the elections after polling 6.3 per cent of the votes.

The election results in Greece are hugely significant, considering that the SYRIZA ran its entire election campaign on an anti-austerity plank. As several political commentators have pointed out, it is the working class of Greece, the poor, the unemployed and the retrenched workers who have powered this victory – thus delivering a huge blow to the EU-IMF dictated austerity measures that have plunged Greece into a chaos of debt and humanitarian crisis. Moreover, this is the first time since the Spanish revolution of 1936 that a Left party has won general elections in Europe.

Over the years, SYRIZA which started mobilizing support against the disastrous liberalization-globalization regime dictated to Greece, has been steadily increasing its support base. It climbed from 4% to 27% in the 2012 elections, when it managed to represent the social dynamics of the massive social movements rocking Greece.  After 2012, when the New Democracy-PASOK coalition government pushed harder on the neoliberal ‘restructuring’, SYRIZA captured the growing discontent and disillusionment in Greece. As Owen Jones points in the Guardian, it is the middle-aged working class women who have played a major role in this victory. He reports: “Outside the Greek finance ministry are cleaners who used to work there, until 16 months ago – like so many Greeks – they lost their jobs. ‘We were just numbers, not human beings,’ one tells me. Ever since, they’ve camped outside, battled riot police, and become iconic figureheads of the struggle against austerity. Plastered around their camp are defiant posters: a clenched fist in a kitchen glove, a cleaner sweeping away Greece’s discredited, despised political elite. ‘We hope to take back our lives, our jobs,’ I’m told. ‘After so many years, to be happy again’… Greece is a society that has been progressively dismantled by EU-dictated austerity. Outside one polling station, I speak to Georgia, who works at a hospital clinic manned by volunteers which caters for the impoverished. For unemployed Greeks denied access to the public healthcare system, such clinics are lifelines. Georgia has one clear ambition – that after a year or two of a Syriza-led government, her clinic will no longer be needed and will close. Syriza supporters speak often more as though they are in a disaster zone than competing in an election. Dealing with the “humanitarian crisis” is described as the new government’s number one priority.”

SYRIZA has won the elections on two specific proposals: (1) a social salvation plan to ameliorate the consequences of the neoliberal onslaught on the lower classes, and (2) a plan to re-negotiate the Greek public debt with the EU and the IMF, in order to make it sustainable. The emphatic win to these proposals is surely a mandate for the massive anti-austerity protests in Greece and Europe. Moreover, this mandate is an inspiration for movements in India and the rest of the world against anti-people, neoliberal policies. After Latin America, now Europe too is challenging the ‘There is No Alternative’ (TINA) narrative, and is reasserting the Left, defying those who had announced the demise of the Left and victory of capitalism long ago. No wonder then, that the IMF, as well as the powerful elite in Europe, have already stated that the victory of SYRIZA might have a huge ‘destabilizing’ effect in the whole of Europe.

(Originally Published in ML Update, 28 January, 2015)

Reject the Politics of Assassination and Appropriation of Gandhi by the Communal Fascist Brigade!


Cartoon Courtesy: R Prasad

Gandhiji’s assassination on 30 Jan 1948 merits to be the first terrorist act and political murder of independent India. This year, we are facing 30 Jan in the backdrop of multi-pronged communal frenzy, resurgent moves to legitimise Gandhiji’s assassin by building Godse temples with calibrated indulgence by those in power. BJP MP Sakshi Maharaj’s statement calling Godse a ‘patriot’ obviously did not come from the blue. But, given the stature of Gandhi in popular imagination, BJP had to officially ‘distance’ itself and Sakshi too ‘retracted’ as a formality.

Unmistakably, RSS-BJP is leveraging its  power at the Centre for a calculated double-game, all geared to its core ideological agenda of crafting a ‘Hindu Rashtra’. On the one hand, politics of assassination of Gandhi is being legitimised by the saffron leaders/cadres on the ground with the implicit assurance that the govt will not act against them. On the other hand, image of Gandhi is being used as mascot of a govt programme – a crafty ploy that is intended to capitalise on the public stature of Gandhi, while at the same time recasting Gandhi in popular imagination as merely a mascot for ‘Swachhata Bharat/Clean India’ , thus cleansing Gandhi himself of his anti-communalism, syncretism and non-violence!

And now, the cat is out of the bag, with Modi Sarkar first covertly omitting the words ‘secular’ and ‘socialist’ from the Preamble of the Constitution in the Republic day ad, and then its leaders- including the Union Minister of Communication and Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad openly calling for a ‘debate’ on these words in the Constitution!!! In the present phase of attacks on secular fabric of our polity talking about the deeper causes of Gandhi’s assassination  will remain relevant till the attacks on secular democratic values continue to hover on the country.

We reproduce below two  excerpts from the insightful articles by noted Journalist Bharat Bhushan and thinker Ram Punyani on the politics of assassination and appropriation of Gandhi

Why Narendra Modi needs both ‘Mohanlal’ and Mohan Bhagwat  (by Bharat Bhushan Business Standard Oct 9, 2014)

When Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed his favourite constituency of non-resident Indians, promising them an India of “their dreams”, he asked them rhetorically: Gandhi gave us freedom, but what did we give him in return? A wag remarked on Twitter: “Sanghis gave him a single bullet”. Actually, it was three – Nathuram Godse touched Gandhi’s feet before shooting him three times. Although the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) has always denied any responsibility for the assassination of Gandhi, there is no doubt that the conspirators were Hindutva ideologues.

Gandhi has never really been owned by the RSS. Many in the RSS will even question why he is referred to as the Father of the Nation, because for them the idea of India precedes Gandhi by thousands of years. It is surprising, therefore, to see Modi, once an RSS-pracharak (proselytizer), invoking Gandhi repeatedly, most recently on his birthday, re-designated, Swachhta Diwas.

Modi has not engaged deeply with Gandhi’s thought. He did not even care to get his name right. The Madison Square Garden speech was the second time Modi called Gandhi “Mohanlal”. That he is no true acolyte of Gandhi was evident from the fact that he reinforced the stereotype of the lower castes being unclean by choosing to wield a broom in Valmiki Colony (Valmiki is a “scavenger” caste)…. The moment one frames the issue as one of Modi sweeping with a broom and Gandhi as the metaphor, the mental framework and the methodology of understanding, discussing and making choices about public health and the issues of the citizenship are short-circuited. As Modi’s personality gets a brand rub-off from Gandhi, perhaps India does not become significantly cleaner or healthier, or even attentive to the link between caste and manual scavenging, which Gandhi wanted to highlight in his campaign for “cleanliness”…

Resurgence of Godse – Ram Punyani (31 Dec 2014)

During last many decades most Hindu nationalists have kept the appreciation of their hero, Nathuram Godse under wraps. With the new dispensation coming to power (Modi Sarkar, May, 2014), it seems these acts are being silently appreciated by those in power. This inference is logical as none in the positions of power have either reprimanded or opposed these Godse acolytes.

The latest in the series of acts-statements by this Godse appreciation club is the bhumi pujan by Hindu Mahasabha for Godse temple in Meerut (Dec 25 2014). The activists of Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha are all set to build the country’s first temple for murderer of Mahatma Gandhi in Meerut. There are several demands from the Hindu Mahasabha offices to install his statues. The Hindu Mahasabha has requested land from the Centre to erect a statue of Godse in the national capital. The paperback issue of Godse’s book is already running into second reprint.

The BJP MP Sakhshi Maharaj recently called Godse as Nationalist; of course he retracted it soon; apparently to ensure that the ruling party, BJP, is not embarrassed on the issue. At the same time, BJP’s parent organization RSS has come out with two books meant for internal circulation. These books claim to ensure that RSS viewpoint is reached to its Pracharaks, swayamsevaks. These books are RSS-Ek Parichay (RSS-an introduction) and RSS-Ek Saral Parichay (RSS-a simple introduction), the second of which is written by veteran RSS member MG Vaidya. Essentially these books aim to dissociate RSS from Godse. 

What is the relationship between Godse and RSS? Was he part of RSS and later left it or was he part of it and also joined Hindu Mahasabha in mid 1930s? As far as the official line is concerned RSS has tried to keep its slate clean by stating that it had nothing to do with Godse and he was not a member of RSS when he killed Mahatma Gandhi. Just to recall, in early 1998 Professor Rajendra Singh, the then RSS chief, had stated “Godse was motivated by akhand Bharat. His intention was good but he used the wrong method.” (April 27 1998, Outlook)

How do we understand the whole issue? The major backdrop to understand the issue is to see the politics of Hindu nationalism as expressed through Hindu Mahasabha and RSS. These organizations remained aloof from freedom struggle. Hindu Mahasabha (HM), was more interested in the immediate participation in politics, as the flag bearers of Hindu communal politics, and the RSS wanted to concentrate on making a network of ‘cadres’ before forming organizations and infiltrating into different arena of education, culture, electoral politics and state apparatus. There was a lot of overlap in the agenda of these organizations as they were both working for the common goal of Hindu Nation. Nathuram Godse, ‘uniquely’ symbolized the fusion of both these two trends.

RSS could get away with dissociating with Godse or rather underplaying Godse’s association with RSS as there was no official record of members of RSS, and so they could disown Godse at legal level. In 1930 Godse joined RSS and very soon rose to be the bauddhik pracharak (intellectual propagator). Like both HM & RSS he was ardent Hindu Nationalist.

Gandhi kept religion as personal matter and projected overarching Indian identity for all. This was what annoyed the HM-RSS combine, as they wanted only Hindus to be recognized as Indians. Godse’s assessment of nationalism of Gandhi is expressed in a way which identifies nationalism with Hindu kings. He used very peculiar parameters to assess Gandhi, “His (Gandhi’s, added) followers cannot see what is clear even to the blind viz. that Gandhi was a mere pigmy before Shivaji, Rana Pratap and Guru Govind (ibid Pg. 40, Why I assassinated Gandhi?) and finally about the winning of swaraj and freedom I maintain the Mahatma’s contribution was negligible.” (Ibid. pg. 87)

He held Mahatma responsible for appeasing Muslims, and thereby the formation of Pakistan. About his association with RSS and Hindu Mahasabha, he writes, “Having worked for the uplift of the Hindus I felt it necessary to take part in political activities of the country for the protection of just rights of Hindus. I therefore left the Sangh and joined Hindu Mahasabha. (Godse, ‘Why I Assassinated Mahatma Gandhi’ 1993, Pg. 102).

As such Gandhi murder was not on the charges propagated by them (Partition and insistence on paying Pakistan’s dues (55 crore) from the treasury), but due to the basic deep differences with the politics of Gandhi and that of the followers of the Hindu Rashtra. These two reasons are proffered merely as a pretext for the same.

What does Godse mean when he says that he left RSS? Is it true? This truth behind Nathuram’s leaving RSS, is clarified by his brother Gopal Godse. In an interview given to ‘The Times of India’ (25 Jan 98); Gopal Godse, who was also an accomplice in the murder tells us the reality behind Nathuram’s statement that ‘he left RSS’. Gopal Godse says “The appeasement policy followed by him (Gandhi, added) and imposed on all Congress governments’ encouraged the Muslim separatist tendencies that eventually created Pakistan…Technically and theoretically he (Nathuram) was a member (of RSS), but he stopped workings for it later. His statement in the court that he had left the RSS was to protect the RSS workers who would be imprisoned following the murder. On the understanding that they (RSS workers) would benefit from his dissociating himself from the RSS, he gladly did it.”

So this is the logic of Godse saying that he ‘left’ RSS. The dual membership (RSS+Hindu Mahasabha) was not a problem. Thus the murder of Gandhi was steeped in both the streams of Hindutva politics, RSS and HM. His editing the paper called, ‘Hindu Rashtra was quite symbolic. This murder had a broad sanction of the followers of HM and RSS, as they celebrated Mahatma’s murder by distributing sweets, “All their (RSS) leaders’ speeches were full of communal poison. As a final result, the poisonous atmosphere was created in which such a ghastly tragedy (Gandhi’s murder) became possible. RSS men expressed their joy and distributed sweets after Gandhi’s death.” (excerpt from Sardar Patel’s letters to M S Golwalkar and S P Mookerjee.). Godse was no freak. The way Hindu communalists were spewing poison against Gandhi, it was the logical outcome of their politics. And Godse had the ‘benefit’ of the teachings of both RSS as well as HM. They used the word ‘wadh’ for this murder. This word wadh stands for killing a demon who is harming the society.

So though officially RSS family kept dissociating from Gandhi’s murder by Godse, in private many members not only uphold the dastardly act, but also have even succeeded in undermining the importance of Mahatma and they do ‘sympathize’ with Godse. This complex trick kept going on so far. Now with Modi Sarkar there is no need to hide the true ideology and thinking of this combine and so the open efforts to glorify Godse!

See Also:

Dissecting the New Land Acquisition Ordinance

Imposing ‘Yes Boss’ Culture: All-Out Saffronization: Censor Board to Corporate Media


Dissecting the New Land Acquisition Ordinance

imagesThe past decade has seen sustained struggles by farmers, adivasis, and displaced people against forced acquisition of agricultural land across the country by various companies, corporate houses, and governments. The indomitable struggle by adivasis  and farmers in Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, Singur and Nandigram (West Bengal), Maharashtra, Punjab, Jharkhand, Bihar and Tamil Nadu etc. forced the last UPA government at the Centre changed the colonial  Land Acquisition Act of 1894, and a new law was passed in 2013. Even though the 2013 law failed to address the issues of covert force, rapidly dwindling agricultural land and food security, it was forced to include certain crucial provisions before land could be acquired. At least Parliamentary discussions took place, several social movement groups gave their inputs and it was passed with the support of both the Congress and the BJP and was called the Land Acquisition and Rehabilitation Act 2013. But once in power, the BJP government began to show its true colours. Eight ordinances have been passed over a period of 7 months.  In spite of having a majority in Parliament the government could not muster the courage for a debate, especially on the Land Acquisition ordinance.

The new Land Acquisition Ordinance has reversed all the positive advances that were fought for and got incorporated in the 2013 law. In the new ordinance the government has brought in amendments under the new section 10 (A) exempting 5 big areas from the ambit of the Land Acquisition Act, such as industrial corridors, security, rural infrastructure, housing and related infrastructure, and social infrastructure including projects under  government and PPP models. This huge list of exemptions virtually allows for all possible forms of land grab by force. Under the old law these matters required 70% farmers’ consent in the case of joint government and private projects, and 80% farmers’ (land owners) consent in the case of private projects; this condition has been removed from the new ordinance. At the same time, NOW multi-crop irrigated land can also be acquired for such projects. The provision for social impact assessment in the case of land acquired scrapped. The definition of “families affected by acquisition” has also been changed and rendered very vague. So, the Ordinance essentially prevents the very recognition and possibility of compensation for all those who are not direct owners of land but are dependent on it for livelihood.

The condition under Section 101 of the 2013 law, which requires that land not used for 5 years be returned to the owner, has been altered thus: “The time limit which has been set for a project or 5 years, whichever is later”. Thus, this opens the doors for real estate mafia to acquire land, sit on it, and then sell it when the land prices have shot up.

Changes have also been made in other legal and rights’ related matters. Section 87 of the earlier law provided that in case of breach of law by a Central or State official, the Head of the concerned department would also be held responsible, but in the new ordinance action has been provided only under Section 197 of the general criminal procedure code of the court. In the earlier law the time limit for implementing provisions (compensation, relief, and rehabilitation and other similar provisions) was 2 years, which has now been altered and extended to 5 years. The provision of fixing and disbursement of compensation, to be monitored by the court, has also been removed. None of these will be necessary under the new ordinance. Under Section 24 (2) of the old law, if there is a court case, a time limit of 5 years for a stay order had been set (which the Supreme Court also deemed correct); the new ordinance has changed this and removed time limits. Under the retrospective provision, the old law made provisions for acquisition to be scrapped where compensation for acquired land was not paid or possession of land was not taken. Obviously this has not been done anywhere in the country within just one year, and even if this has happened in one or two exceptional cases, the government has now armed itself with the weapon to scrap them.

Clearly this ordinance is not just the return to the 1894 Land Acquisition Act but far more regressive. The new ordinance facilitates land acquisition by any private entity- institutions, corporate houses, and companies. In the five big categories covered in the ordinance, land grab for private profit, including the real estate mafia, has been classified as a ‘public good’. This is the argument of the Modi government’s Finance minister Arun Jaitley: “How will our cities and urban settlements be built? Will they contain only government schools and colleges with no permission for other educational and medical institutions?” The question is, why should these private entities, which have profit-making as their objective, not be required to acquire consent from the farmers pay the farmers for the land they acquire? Will the government force owners of a DLF or Reliance mall to sell their land without their consent, as it is expecting farmers to do?

In scrapping the consent clause and the social impact assessment clause, in allowing for unmonitored compensation process and a no return clause, the government has displayed its tyrannical face, and proved that it does not care for farmers, peasants and common working people.


Imposing ‘Yes Boss’ Culture: All-Out Saffronization: Censor Board to  Corporate Media


Reject the Politics of Assassination and Appropriation of Gandhi by the Communal Fascist Brigade!

Imposing ‘Yes Boss’ Culture: All-Out Saffronization: Censor Board to Corporate Media

Under the present dispensation of Modi regime, we have been witnessing concerted assaults on the very idea of autonomous institutions and constitutional principles of democracy and justice. On26 Jan 2015, the Union Information and Broadcasting Ministry released advertisements of the Indian constitution without the words “Secularism” and “Socialism” – words and spirits that are enshrined in our constitution.

Recently, senior journalist and associate editor of IBN7 Pankaj Srivastava was sacked hours after he sent an SMS to his bosses complaining of IBN7’s politically biased policy and suggesting balanced coverage. Before this, head of the Central Board of Film Certification (CFBC) Leela Samson as well as several members resigned, complaining of the government’s interference in the CFBC functioning – only to be promptly replaced by a new team consisting unabashedly of BJP members and Modi cheerleaders!

Saffronising Institutions: The composition of the newly constituted Censor Board clearly show how this “Yes Boss” culture is being brazenly imposed. Here is a brief description the new CBFC members:


Cartoon Courtesy: R Prasad

Pahlaj Nihlani (Chairperson): Self-proclaimed Modi fan. “I am proud to say I am a BJP person. I believe in BJP. Narendra Modi is the voice of the nation….He is my action hero. He is a visionary person,” says Nihalani. Nihlani’s claim to fame is his six-minute campaign video for Modi titled “Har Har Modi, Ghar Ghar Modi”.

Mihir Bhuta: film-writer and author of Samaajik Samrasta, a book based on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speeches and writings. His twitter handle is @iamhindu !!!!

Ramesh Patange: editor of a Marathi Weekly, is known to be an ideologue of the RSS. He is a founder member of the Samajik Samarasata Manch, a social equality forum of the RSS. This is what Ramesh Patange has to say about caste in Indian society: “Why does the Hindu love his caste (jaati)? Because the jaati gives identity and security, both social and economic”!

George Baker: an actor who has been seen in many Assamese and Bengali movies. He joined the BJP last year and contested from Howrah Lok Sabha seat in West Bengal.

Chandra Prakash Dwivedi: best known for his portrayal of Chanakya in the teleserial based on Chanakya.

Jeevitha: Telugu actress and BJP’s spokesperson in Telangana.

Vani Tripathi: National secretary of the BJP.

SV Shekhar: A Tamil playwright and actor, joined the BJP in 2013.

Ashok Pandit: Filmmaker and self-declared Modi supporter.

Syed Abdul Bari: Vice Chancellor of Central University of Gujarat.

So, now, we have a virtually all-BJP national Film Censor Board of BJP and RSS supporters, caste apologists and adherents to political ‘Hindutva’. And if official bodies such as the CFBC are being ideologically and politically transformed to serve the BJP-RSS’s ideological agenda, we are also seeing mobs being used to impose their own brand of ‘censorship’!

Mob Censorship : Let’s take a quick look at some of the most recent instances of mob censorship:

Mob censorship by ABVP prevented a public meeting against the RSS’s ‘Love Jihad’ campaign from taking place in Lucknow University.

In a college in Pune, similarly, the threat of RSS mob violence prevented Anand Patwardhan’s Raam ke Naam from being screened. Just as the threat of ABVP mob violence prevented Sheetal Sathe of Kabir Kala Manch from speaking at St Xaviers’ College.

Sangh mobs have vandalized theatres showing the film PK.

Tamil writer Perumal Murugan was forced to announce his “death as a writer” after right-wing goons threatened him, burnt his books and forced him to leave his town fearing his life.

And these are just few instances of mob censorship in the so-called ‘achchhe din! In Raam ke Naam, Patwardhan documented the Ram Mandir campaign that, two years after the film’s completion, culminated in the Babri Masjid demolition of 1992. One of the highlights of the film is the interview with Mahant Laldas, the priest in the Ram Janmbhoomi temple who predicts that he will be killed because of his staunch opposition to the Sangh’s Ram Mandir campaign. Three years later, in 1993, Laldas was killed. Laldas was physically eliminated, but thanks to Raam ke Naam, he was never entirely silenced. But Patwardhan had to wage a seven-year long battle in the courts before the national broadcaster Doordarshan was ordered to screen his film. And now, 24 years later, mob violence again sought to silence Laldas and Raam ke Naam. To counter it, Patwardhan had released the film on YouTube.

Patwardhan’s other films too, and documentary films of other filmmakers too, have faced similar battles with censors, fighting to prevent the censors from mutilating their films. One such filmmaker, Pankaj Butalia, who refused to allow censors to cut scenes from his film Textures of Loss, has gone to court challenging the Censorship guidelines of 1992 that allow the Censor Board sweeping powers to maim films. Hearing his petition in the Supreme Court, the judges asked of the part of his film dealing with state terror in Kashmir, “Why is it one-sided? Where is the alternate picture?” and commented that it has “become fashionable” to show only the “human rights” side of the story. The fact is that documentaries like Butalia’s are rare, lone voices showing the testimonies of people who have lose loved ones to custodial killings! The State’s ‘side of the story’, in contrast, is amply represented in a huge volume of popular films as well as mainstream media. After one of the SC judges recused himself from the case, Butalia withdrew the petition from the SC and filed it in the Delhi High Court. The Government has tried to oppose the writ at the admission stage itself! In fact, in 2015, the Modi-era Censor Board itself is beginning to look indistinguishable from the Sangh mob.

Insidious Censorship of the Corporate Media: As far as the corporate media is concerned, the reality of censorship is in a way more subtle, more insidious and more dangerous. On the face of it, we have a ‘free media’, free to report in an unbiased manner. Flying in the face of these tall claims of “freedom of the press” is the virtual absence in the media of several stories: stories of rural India, feudal oppression, poverty, institutional corruption, state repression and scuttling of workers’ rights. So we have 24×7 ‘coverage’, with reporters constantly telling us they are bring us news, even as the news provided to us is highly filtered, sanitised and deprived of any analysis of the existing power hierarchies and corporate control over decision-making. It is in fact a form of censorship which is different in form from the Emergency days, but an equally disastrous blow on the concept of freedom of expression.

These varied forms of censorship – the reshaping of the nature of institutions, the mob violence and intimidation and the insidious censorship within the corporate media – pose a massive threat to values of democracy. 

See ALSO :

Dissecting the New Land Acquisition Ordinance


Reject the Politics of Assassination and Appropriation of Gandhi by the Communal Fascist Brigade!


Condemn the Paris Attacks, Resist Islamophobia and Expose ‘Free Speech’ Hypocrisy

The massacre of the journalists and cartoonists at the Paris-based magazine Charlie Hebdo is heinous and condemnable. Terrorist actions like the Paris massacre can only become fodder for the global campaign of Islamophobia that is being used to justify wars, occupations, and torture.

Along with the Paris massacre, the Norway massacre by the Islamophobic Anders Breivik; threats against Salman Rushdie; the persecution of Taslima Nasreen in Bangladesh and in India; the Peshawar massacre; the harassment of MF Hussain, forcing him to leave India; the pulping of Wendy Doniger’s book under threats from Hindutva groups; the recent vandalisation of theatres showing the film PK, and the hounding of Tamil writer Perumal Murugan, forcing him to announce his ‘death as an author’ – all are instances of violence and terrorism in the name of religious fanaticism and xenophobia. There are countless other instances of Governments (from the USA to Israel to France to India) hounding dissenting political journalists, whistleblowers, writers, filmmakers and so on.

Violence or demands for bans against cartoonists, writers, filmmakers or artists who are irreverent to one’s faith, cannot have any place in a democratic world. Undoubtedly everyone has a right to take offence to or express dissent or protest against writings, art or films. But such opposition should be expressed in words, in art, in films, or in peaceful protest. Threats, actual violence or bans stifle the very spirit of democracy.

Condemnation of the attacks on the Charlie Hebdo staffers, however, cannot mean condoning the content of their cartoons. It is true that Charlie Hebdo did carry cartoons that sought to ‘offend’ other religions too, including Christianity. The use of images of the Prophet in defiance of religious prohibitions, in itself, is not what makes the Charlie Hebdo cartoons offensive. The fact is that the bulk of the Charlie Hebdo cartoons since 2001 have been of a coarsely racist, misogynist, Islamophobic variety. Steeply rising Islamophobia the world over took the form of anti-immigrant xenophobic politics and hate-inspired violence in France in those years. In this backdrop, the Charlie Hebdo cartoons caricaturing Muslims for wearing beards and veils, displaying humiliating sexual violence against Muslim men and women, and sexist comments on Muslim women getting welfare benefits, are indistinguishable from garden-variety racism and xenophobia. Contrary to their claim, the Charlie Hebdo cartoons cannot be celebrated as Leftist iconoclasm or atheist irreverence. A former staffer of the magazine, Oliver Cyran, had in an article written before the massacre, scathingly criticized Charlie Hebdo for its racist, Islamophobic turn post 9/11.

The official ‘secularism’ of the French State also is beset with much the same problems as the Charlie Hebdo magazine. France’s ban on the hijab or the display of ‘conspicuous’ religious symbols (which can be interpreted to mean bindis or turbans also) – which France claims is in the best tradition of French secularism – coincides with the xenophobic slurs and attacks on those same symbols. When wearers of bindis, burqas and turbans are vilified as ‘pinheads’, ‘ragheads’ and so on in many European countries and USA, the wearing of those symbols becomes a defence of identity and dignity. To ban those symbols amounts to serving the cause of racism, under the cloak of secularism and feminism! A recent article on Charlie Hebdo in a prominent Indian daily, that claimed the magazine was ‘anti religion not anti Islam) commented that increasing immigration and “people of colour from former French colonies moving in as citizens of France” has caused “considerable strain on French identity.” But if French ‘secular’ identity comes under “strain” thanks to diversity and immigration from the countries France itself colonized, then surely there is something deeply flawed about such ‘secularism’? Can it be called ‘secularism’ at all if it cannot accommodate the social, cultural and religious self-expression of the ‘Other’ who are its former colonial subjects?

The claim that freedom of expression is absolute – in France in general as well as in the Charlie Hebdo magazine – is false. France and other European countries have laws against anti-Semitic hate-speech. Charlie Hebdo sacked a staffer who was misleadingly accused of anti-Semitism on the grounds that he mocked at a French politician for marrying a Jewish heiress for money. Yet the same magazine saw nothing racist or Islamophobic in content mocking at Muslims or immigrants for their clothes or colour, with crude images of sexual violence. The problem seems to be France’s inability to recognize Islamophobia and anti-Arab xenophobia as hate-speech at all.

It is no coincidence that France is the first country in the world to ban pro-Palestine protests. It is no excuse that some of those protests were violent or anti-Semitic. After all, innumerable instances of Islamophobic violence has not resulted in any bans or curbs on Islamophobic ‘self-expression’ in France! The French State could and should have acted to prevent and punish any anti-Semitic violence, as also Islamophobic and xenophobic violence. But banning pro-Palestine demonstrations smacks of high hypocrisy on its claims of holding high the standard of ‘Liberty’ and ‘free speech.’ In France, sociologist Said Bouamama and rapper Saidou have been put on trial, under pressure from a far-right group, for a book and song they brought out in solidarity with French working class youth, and in protest against racism. In a statement after the Charlie Hebdo attacks, Said and Saidou have called out the hypocrisy of the French State and warned against an explosion of racism and Islamophobia against working class immigrants.

The response of most ruling regimes to the Paris Attacks has been marked by hypocrisy and a self-serving agenda of boosting Islamophobia. One article exposing such hypocrisy notes, “The only person in prison for the C.I.A.’s abominable torture regime is John Kiriakou, the whistle-blower. Edward Snowden is a hunted man for divulging information about mass surveillance. Chelsea Manning is serving a thirty-five-year sentence for her role in WikiLeaks.” A cartoon on the internet points to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s hypocrisy, with a caption saying “I assassinated 17 journalists, among 2143 other Palestinians in Gaza, only last summer. Today I walked in the first line in the Paris Rally, protesting terrorism and assuring freedom of speech is a basic right.”

The instances of hypocrisy from India also abound. The Sangh Parivar is trying to use the Paris massacre as a pretext to spread hatred against Islam and Muslims. It must be remembered that the Sangh Parivar and other Hindutva groups are the ones responsible for acts of horrific violence in the name of ‘defending’ their faith. These acts of violence include the assassination of MK Gandhi, the burning alive of Graham Staines and his two little sons, and numerous communal pogroms targeting Muslim and Christian minorities, as well as the organized intimidation against writings of Wendy Doniger, Perumal Murugan, Rohinton Mistry, AK Ramanujam; Anand Patwardhan’s films; Facebook posts by Mumbai girls; MF Husain’s art, to name just a few. Anders Breivik who massacred many young people in Norway, was inspired in part by the ideology and violent actions of the Sangh Parivar in India. The Modi Government is treating protests against land grab or destruction of forests as a form of ‘blasphemy’ against pro-corporate development, and has just prevented an activist from flying out of the country on these grounds.

Any attempt to frame the Paris Attacks – as 9/11 was framed – as an attack by Islam on Western values of ‘democracy’ and ‘free speech’ and to stoke Islamophobic panic and hatred, must be firmly resisted. Yes, the attacks are a heinous, terrible, unconscionable crime. But this crime cannot be used to shield and justify the crimes against humanity and freedom committed by the very same powers that masquerade as defenders of ‘democracy’ now. Racism, Islamophobia, communalism, wars and occupation, as well as repressive muzzling of critics of capitalism and imperialism, are real and present dangers to democracy as much as are the ISIS, the Taliban, the Boko Haram and other such outfits.

Excerpts From Statement by Said and Saidou

Our book and song came about in the middle of former president Nicolas Sarkozy’s campaign to impose a racist definition of national identity.

One spontaneous response from young people in working class areas was to write graffiti on the walls saying “Nique la France”—“Fuck France”.

This graffiti was political, and showed the youth’s opposition. Of course, the mainstream media presented it instead as a danger to the republic.

Our book and song were intended to make sure this youth wasn’t left isolated, by bringing the visible support of a sociologist and a musician.

They highlighted the France that we don’t and can never love. The France of the counter-revolutionaries that put down the Paris Commune in 1871, Nazi collaborators, police searches, racist crimes, Islamophobia and Zionism.

A far right group attacked us for racism against “white people”—and the court decided to take their complaint seriously.

Apparently the book’s tone is unforgivable. It is a call for the mobilisation and self-organisation of people in working class areas.

What’s also unforgivable is that we’ve linked together different fights in one common denunciation of the global system.

In France’s crisis-stricken society, the mere expression of revolt is considered dangerous.

Our trial is an attempt to intimidate activists in the hope that they stop expressing the anger that’s present in the poorer classes and especially among young people from migrant backgrounds.

Now politicians and the media have captured the emotion that people feel at the Charlie Hebdo attack.

They are sending out a message of fear to justify repressive measures against working class areas that are living through massive impoverishment and racial discrimination.

The debate in the media is already focusing on the need for a French equivalent of the US Patriot Act passed after 9/11.

The calls for national unity are actually an attempt to divide ordinary people according to their religions—or their assumed religions. To do this, the state has to present young Arab and black people as a danger to safety.

In three days 50 Islamophobic acts have taken place in France.

The anger is great among people from migrant backgrounds. But the media hype is drowning it out.

Thousands of school and college students refused to take part in the minute’s silence of the “I am Charlie” campaign.

Others put up their own posters, graffiti or tweets such as “I am Palestine” or “I am against Islamophobia”.

We need to bring together these forces to refuse national unity and respond to the official campaign.

We want to send a message to working class areas of refusing to be intimidated, cowed or afraid. And it’s a call for self-organisation and solidarity against the unprecedented repression that is on its way.

NO to Homophobia! NO to Misogyny!

homosexuals-in-iran_use it for khap
There is more to celebrate than a parade.
 There are voices to be heard
 That will keep up the murmur
 Even after the songs are sung,
 How many threads will you pull apart?
The colors of the rainbow so pretty in the sky
are also on the faces of people passing by
Somewhere over the rainbow bluebirds fly
And the dream that you dare to,
Oh why, oh why can’t I?

Why is it that, as a culture, we are more comfortable seeing two men holding guns than holding hands?  ~Ernest Gaines

Homophobia is a term that provides some kind of shorthand for a host of unwarranted behavior against people who engage in non-heteronormative sexual behavior(s). Is it really a phobia- a fear or is it sheer hatred? Homophobia happens to be written into the law- in the archaic Indian Penal Code under Section 377 drafted by Macaulay which dates back to the colonial times- leading to widespread hate crimes and profiling of gender and sexual minorities- homosexuals, transgenders, intersex and queer persons. Sexual violence against transgenders in police custody has been reported. Other than that, same-sex couples are routinely targeted, exploited and threatened by the police. Due to lack of support from families, many are driven to suicide. The active marginalization of LGBTQIH people is one of the darker secrets of our Republic.

All of this is justified by using the bogus classification of natural versus unnatural. Quite recently, former Justice Katju in his Facebook post, flaunted the same mentality by saying that non-reproductive sexual relations are non-necessary and that the only purpose of man-woman relations is procreation. Saying that “a woman has to get hold of a man, not merely to make her pregnant, but also to look after her and provide for her financially while she is performing this role”, he endorsed the same misogynistic attitude that treats women as tools for producing babies as did Member of Parliament, Sakshi Maharaj who called upon Hindu women to produce four babies, to serve the project of turning India into “Hindu rashtra”. That there are numerous human actions- sexual and non-sexual- that are not directed toward procreation and that homosexual behavior has been observed even among animals, is irrelevant to this misinformed ideology.

The historic Delhi High Court verdict in 2009 that decriminalized homosexual activity between consenting adults said, in no uncertain terms, that Section 377 is a violation of fundamental rights of Indian citizens. It upheld the constitutional morality that Dr. B.R. Ambedkar famously spoke of in his draft Constitution speech, as opposed to public/majoritarian morality. The 2013 Supreme Court judgment, however, was a huge setback to the movement as it upheld public morality as opposed to Constitutional morality- stripping homosexual people of their right to a dignified life by criminalizing their identity.

While homophobia has been successfully made part of common sense through institutional discrimination and violence, there’s a need to ask whether “Indian culture” really espouses an inherently homophobic mentality. There are, for example, ancient writing and art that testify to widespread non-heteronormative sexual behavior among Indian people. Indeed, there is nothing ‘Indian’ about criminalizing homosexuality, rather it is a Macaulay sponspored colonial imposition of Victorian ‘morality’ on our people to serve patriarchy. And the self-appointed ‘custodians’ of Indian culture, are wielding this colonial tool to  “purify” Indian culture, witch-hunting and rendering invisible any forms of existence other than an majoritarian, upper caste, heterosexual identity. The most organized force against any form of diversity is, of course, the RSS and its affiliates. Inside and outside the campus, there has been a steady rise in violent targeting of disadvantaged and minority voices. Progressive democratic forces have always rejected fascist mindset and vandalism on JNU campus. However, with the rise of the right-wing to power at the Centre, these vandals feel empowered enough to bully LGBT groups outside and inside the campus.

Although the JNU campus offered a united resistance to such retrograde trends, evident in the huge turnout in Rainbow Walk, Rainbow Trees on campus are being targeted and vandalised again and again. We urge the student community to remain vigilant against these misogynistic, homophobic, fascist elements and reject their designs. It is the subversive power of individual’s right to sexual expression and identity, individual’s right to choice and love, the twin challenge that it poses to both patriarchy and caste, that has unnerved those who are vandalizing the Rainbow trees. It is this subversive power that challenges domination and discrimination and speaks for plurality, diversity and dignity of every identity that needs to be upheld in dark times like these.

See Also Is ‘Kiss of Love’ Against Indian Culture? Is it Obscene? Why Should We Defend It?

Com. Sudhansu, AISA’s State President of UP Expelled by Lucknow University Administration for Organising Talk on Women’s Right to Choose!

Who is Afraid of Love?

love zehadOn 15 November 2015, the AISA unit of Lucknow University (LU), held a convention on the campus premises on ‘Prem Se Darr Kisko?”(Who is afraid of love? Love Azaad vs. the lie of Love Jihad) The convention was organized in the light of the increasing communalisation of love in Uttar Pradesh by the RSS/BJP machinery. The urgent need to dispel the myth of love- jihad was further necessitated by the spate of provocative statements and threats being issued by BJP leaders like Yogi Adityanath on a daily basis and the falling apart of the mythical love-jihad propoganada by the sangh machinery after it came to light that in the much hyped love-jihad case of Merut, it was actually the local BJP leaders who had threatened and subsequently bribed the family members of the girl to falsely accuse their daughter’s Muslim partner. The AISA unit of LU obtained formal permission from the university authorities for organising the convention (permission letter attached). However, on the day of the convention, when CPI (ML) Liberation’s Politburo member and AIPWA national secretary Com. Kavita Krishnan was about to deliver her talk, the ABVP goons entered and vandalised the convention venue, manhandled the speakers and other students (especially women) among the audience and disrupted the talk. While disrupting the talk they proudly raised pro-khaap and pro-moral policing slogans while also threatening those against their regressive, patriarchal, communal and parochial views with ‘goliyon se aarati‘ (salutation by showering bullets). Most disturbingly, the University authorities with whom layed the responsibility to ensure that such disruption does not happen, chose to collude with the vandalists. That all this happened in a state university of a state whose ruling party claims to be the most fervent upholder of secular values, is a serious give-away not only of their false claims of standing for secularism but also to the heightened fear and insecurity the minorities must be experiencing every passing moment. permission of hall

Two months later, in a most shocking and disturbing turn of events, the University authorities who had earlier failed to rein in the vandalists and also failed to ensure that the university campus remained a space of critique, democratic dialogue and freedom of expression, instead of coming down on the disruptors of academic and secular spaces has chosen to take action against those who stand for democracy, secularism and rights of women. LU authorities have now issued orders to expel Com. Sudhanshu, state AISA president and a student of LU, for standing up for the rights of women to make their own decisions, for having challenged sangh brigade’s unabated hate mongering and for having the courage to stand for ‘love’ during the time of ‘hate’.

Punishment for Spreading Love in the Time of Hate: Resist Surrender of University Authorities to Right Wing Patriarchal Forces:

At this juncture, it becomes all the more important to ask ‘Who indeed is afraid of love’, so afraid, that they would rather let vandalists and goons run loose and unreined in the university than safeguard the democratic, egalitarian and secular ethos of institutional spaces! What kind of University feels threatened when issues of ‘women’s right over their bodies and choices’ are raised? What kind of university allows open threats and intimidation of women and then follows it up by penalising those who stood with the women resisting such threats? What kind of university shuts its eyes when a group such goons throw money at girls dancing on a stage during an college event (as reported by the female students on the day of the convention) but suddenly wakes up when the same women bravely stand up and assert ‘no more’!! And also, what is about the state government’s mindset, that university authorities feel so emboldened to punish those who stand against the sangh brigade’s hate mongering and daylight lumpenism!!

In recent times we have seen how educational institutions are becoming brazenly anti-women and instead of creating spaces for questions and critiques, are instead going all out to curb them. From beating up Jadavpur students at midnight for daring to demand justice for a fellow student, to issuing show cause notices to students for organising events in order to assert people’s rights over the spaces they daily occupy. Last month, the authorities of Calicut Universities had issued show cause notices to common students and several left activists including those from AISA for organising  a “Hug of Love” event in their college on 10 December 2014. At a time when the self-appointed guardians of morality have been busy spreading “hate” through divisive speeches and campaigns like “love-jihad” targeting different communities, the students’ of Calicut Law College had undertaken this initiative to ensure that we remember love, the most unifying of human emotions. By issuing show-cause notice to the students, the Calicut Law College administration violated a key principle on which any institute of higher education is founded, which is,  that there be presence of critical thought and freedom of expression, and the college/university administration is beholden to safeguard that freedom. Though the university later was forced to withdraw the notices under tremendous pressure from progressive sections it nonetheless showed itself to be replete with the very regressive and irrational notions that it must instead be striving to replace.

By bowing down before communal and patriarchal forces, the LU too has shown itself to , be an unthinking agent of the status-quoist and right-wing forces in the state, when it considers a convention on love, secularism and women’s agency as immoral, problematic and an unfit topic of discussion among students.

We appeal to all democratic section to unite against the expulsion of comrade Sudhanshu and build up a massive resistance against shameless surrender of LU administration to right-wing hate mongering forces.

See   NO to Homophobia! NO to Misogyny!

Obama Visit: Observe Protest Day on January 24



The Modi government and the BJP have unleashed the forces of Hindutva which threatens the secular and democratic values of the Indian Republic. It is at such a juncture that the Government has invited President Obama of the United States of America to be the Chief Guest of the Republic Day on January 26.

It is a supreme irony that the day which symbolizes India’s independence and sovereignty is being graced by the head of a country which has done the most to assault and destroy the sovereignty of many countries around the world. President Obama himself is responsible for the aggression in Libya and for the rerun of bombing and sending troops back to Iraq. The US is doing everything to destroy Syria as a national entity.

The Left parties protest the visit of President Obama because:

1.        The United States is targeting and destabilizing governments and countries in West Asia by military interventions like in Iraq, Libya and Syria.

2.        The United States is the patron and staunch supporter of Israel which occupies Palestinian land and Arab territories and subjects the Palestinian people to colonial oppression.

3.        The United States has shifted a substantial part of its naval and military resources to Asia as part of the pivot of Asia and is creating new military bases and tensions in the Asia-Pacific region.

4.        US intervention in Afghanistan and role in Pakistan have nurtured fundamentalist forces, the disastrous consequences of which serve as a warning to India.

5.        US which wages wars in the name of defending democracy, is facing massive protests at home against racial murders by its police force. Further the terrible record of torture and Islamophobic profiling by the CIA with the approval of the US government has recently exposed the US as amongst the worst violator of human rights and democracy in the world.

The BJP government is pursuing a pro-US foreign policy which is contrary to an independent non-aligned foreign policy. This is being done in the interests of Indian and foreign monopoly capital.

The Left parties strongly protest:

1.        The decision to renew the India-US Defence Framework Agreement for another ten years. This is a pact which will yoke India to American military strategy in Asia.

2.        Seeking to pressurise India to change its foreign policy orientation vis a vis Palestine, Israel and Iran to suit US interests

3.        The relentless pressures exercised by the Obama administration on India to open up the financial sector to US capital, as a result of which the Modi government has promulgated an ordinance to allow 49 per cent FDI in the insurance sector.

4.        The strong pressure of the US to weaken the patents regime in India to benefit the US drug companies, so that they can sell drugs in India at high prices.

5.        America’s pressures that India to give up its food security programme by undermining public procurement and the public distribution system.

6.        US pressuring India to weaken laws that protect labour rights and environment, to benefit US corporations.

7.        The Obama-Modi efforts to dilute the civil nuclear liability law to favour US nuclear companies.

The Left parties call for a Protest Day against the visit of President Obama on January 24.

Halt US aggression !

Stop interference in India’s domestic matters !

Stop US-India strategic collaboration !


Prakash Karat, General Secretary, CPI(M)

Sudhakar Reddy, General Secretary, CPI

Dipankar Bhattacharya General Secretary, CPI(ML)-Liberation

Provash Ghosh, General Secretary, SUCI(C)

Debabrata Biswas, General Secretary, AIFB

 Abani Roy, General Secretary, RSP Continue reading

दिल्ली चुनावों में छात्र-युवाओं का घोषणा पत्र

आने वाले दिल्ली विधान सभा चुनाव के लिए एक बार फिर से बड़ेबड़े वादों की भरमार लगनी शुरू हो गई है. वायदों का ऐसा शोर हमें ठीक 6 महीने पहले लोकसभा चुनावों में भी सुनाई पड़ा था. 6 महीने पहले एक सरकार छात्र युवाओं के लिए शिक्षारोजगार, महिलाओं की सुरक्षा व सम्मान, भ्रष्ट्राचार कम करने, 100 दिन में काला धन वापस लाने और विकास के नाम पर आई थी. लेकिन दिल्ली के लगभग 40 लाख छात्रयुवाओं की आबादी के लिए नतीजे तो दूर की बात, कोई ठोस पहलकदमी भी दिखाई नहीं पड़ रही है। इन अहम सवालों पर पहलकदमी के बजाय यह सरकार युवाओं को नफरतगर्दी की आग में झोंक रही है और वैज्ञानिक व तर्कपूर्ण षिक्षा को हटाकर अंधविश्वास वाली शिक्षा को बढ़ावा दे रही है। कई महत्वपूर्ण षिक्षण संस्थाओं की नियुक्तियों में जमकर तिकड़में करके अच्छी अकादमिक प्रतिभा वाले लोगों को निषाना बनाया जा रहा हैजैसा कि हम आईआईटी डाइरेक्टर व एनसीईआरटी डाइरेक्टर के मामले में देख सकते हैं। वहीँ तमाम धांधलियां करने वाले डीयू वीसी जैसे लोग सत्ता के चापलूस बनकर पद की मलाई चाट रहे हैं। षिक्षण संस्थाओं के बड़े पदों पर बहालियां विचारधारा के पिछलग्गू होने के पैमाने पर की जा रहीं हैं। एक ओर सरकार जहां बुरी तरीके से ज्यादा शिक्षा और स्वास्थ्य की दुकानों को बढ़ावा देने में लगी है, वहीं शिक्षास्वास्थ्यरोजगार जैसी महत्वपूर्ण सामाजिक जरूरतों के बजट खर्च में कटौती की जा रही है। 2014-15 के संषोधित बजट में स्वास्थ्य पर होने वाले खर्च में लगभग 7000 करोड़ रू और षिक्षा में 11000 करोड़ रू की कटौती हो रही है।
आज दिल्ली के छात्रयुवाओं की समस्याओं पर बात करें तो कालेजों की कमी, कॉलेज आनेजाने के लिए परिवहन की समस्या, दिल्ली के बाहर से आये छात्रों के लिए हॉस्टल्स और रूम रेंट, महिलाओं की सुरक्षा , छात्रवृत्ति, रोजगार की जानकारी देने व तैयारी करने वाले सरकारी प्रबंध, रोजगार के अवसर व रोजगार में सम्मानजनक वेतन की गारंटी, दिल्ली के गरीबवंचित छात्रों के लिए हॉस्टल्स और प्राइवेट कालेजों व कोचिंगों की आसमान छूती कीमतों जैसी ढेर सारी समस्याएं साल दर सालों से जस की तस बनी हुयी हैं. आज यह एकदम जरूरी हो चला है कि भ्रष्ट्राचार, 16 दिसंबर के बाद महिलाओं की सुरक्षा व सम्मान और दिल्ली विश्वविद्यालय में एफवाईयूपी के मुद्दों पर चले आंदोलनों में बढ़चढ़कर हिस्सा लेने वाले छात्रयुवा आने वाले विधानसभा चुनावों में इन ढेर सारी समस्याओं पर भी जनजागरण अभियान में जाएं और यह ठान लें कि इन सारे मुद्दों को आने वाले चुनावों के प्रमुख मुद्दे बनाकर रहेंगे। हम आपसे अपील करते हैं छात्रयुवाओं के घोषणा पत्र अभियान का हिस्सा बनकर अपने अहम मुद्दों से जुड़ी नीचे लिखी मांगों की आवाज को बुलंद करें

  1. नए काॅलेजः कम कालेजों की समस्या पर कदम उठाते हुए दिल्ली में तुरंत नए कालेज खोले जाएँ, जिससे दिल्ली का हर एक छात्र एक सुविधाजनक ढंग से सस्ती और गुणवत्तापूर्ण शिक्षा का हक हासिल कर सके और ज्यादा फीस देने या करसपांडेन्स में पढ़ने को मजबूर न हो.

  2. सस्ता व सुलभ परिवहनः आनेजाने के लिए कालेजों के रुट पर बसों की संख्या बढ़ाई जाये। स्टूडेंट्स के लिए बनने वाला बस पास सभी तरह की बसों (ऐसी/नॉनऐसी) में लागू हो. कालेजों के पास के मेट्रो स्टेशनों से कालेजों तक मेट्रो फीडर बसें चलाई जाएं। मेट्रो में भी स्टूडेंट्स पास की सुविधा दी जाए.

  3. सभी छात्रों के लिए हाॅस्टलः दिल्ली के बाहर से आये छात्रों व दिल्ली के दूरदराज के इलाके के हरएक छात्र के लिए कालेजों में हॉस्टल मुहैया कराया जाये।

  4. रूम रेंट पर नियंत्रणः बेतहाषा बढ़े रूम रेंट से दिल्ली में किराए पर रह रहे परेशान छात्रयुवाओं की संजीदा जरुरत को देखते हुए दिल्ली में तुरंत कानून बनाकर रूम रेंट को नियंत्रित किया जाये।

  5. नस्लीय भेदभाव के खिलाफ कानूनः नस्लीय भेदभाव व हिंसा के सवाल पर तुरंत नस्लीय भेदभाव व हिंसा विरोधी कानून लाया जाए और ऐसे मामलों की शिकायत के लिए कालेजों में शिकायत समितियां (नस्लीय व क्षेत्रीय भेदभाव विरोधी) बनायीं जाएँ।

  6. यौन हिंसा के खिलाफ महिलाओं की आजादीः महिलाओं के लिए स्पेशल बसों को चलाया जाए विषषकर इवनिंग काॅलेजों में. सभी कालेजों में एंटीसेक्सुअल हरैसमेंट कमेटी बनाई जाएं. सक्षम गाइडलाइन-2013 के आधार पर समुचित इन्तेजाम करके महिलाओं की 24 घण्टे की आवाजाही को सुनिश्चित किया जाये और सुरक्षा के नाम पर लगाई जाने वाली भेदभावपूर्ण बंदिषों, जैसे कि हाॅस्टल टाइमिंग्स आदि को खत्म किया जाए।

  7. प्लेसमेंट सेलः सभी कालेजों में सक्रिय व प्रभावी प्लेसमेंट सेल मुहैया कराई जाए. रोजगारों की जानकारी से लेकर उनके लिए तैयारी कराने के पर्याप्त अवसर कालेजों में ही उपलब्ध कराये जाएं।

  8. छात्रवृत्तिः वंचित तबके से आने वाले छात्रों के लिए छात्रवृत्ति की सुविधाओं को मजबूत बनाया जाए व इनका दायरा बढ़ाया जाए. दिल्ली में पढ़ाई कर रहे वंचित तबके के तमाम छात्रों के लिए वेलफेयर हॉस्टल्स की संख्या को बढ़ाया जाए.

  9. स्थाई शिक्षण नियुक्तियां: सभी शिक्षण संस्थाओं के खाली पड़े पदों को तुरंत भरा जाए. शिक्षण जैसे गंभीर कार्य से ठेकाकरण (कोंट्रक्ट्युलाइजेशन) एकदम खत्म किया जाए.

  10. कानूनी रूप से सम्मानजनक वेतन, रोजगार के हक व सुरक्षित भविष्य की गारंटीः सरकारी क्षेत्रों में रोजगार कम होते जा रहे हैं। आईबीपीएस व यूपीएससी जैसी परीक्षाओं में भेदभावपूर्ण नियम लागू हो रहे हैं और इनके अवसरों में कटौती की जा रही है। निजी क्षेत्र में काम रहे लोगों के लिए कागजों पर निष्चित वेतनमान (जोकि आज की मंहगाई को देखते हुए बहुत कम है) रखा गया। उदाहरण के लिए क्लर्क और गैर तकनीकी पर्यवेक्षक स्टाॅफ के लिए हर सूचीगत रोजगार मेंः 9542 रू. (बिना हाईस्कूल पास के लिए), 10478 (हाईस्कूल पास और स्नातक के नीचे), 11414 (स्नातक और उससे उपर)। लेकिन कागजों में लिखे इस छोटे से वेतनमान के नियम को भी माना नहीं जाता। औद्योगिक क्षेत्रों में हालत और भी खराब है। लेकिन सरकार भारीभरकम गैर संगठित क्षेत्र में इन्हें लागू करने के लिए कोई भी नियामक कार्यवाही नहीं करती और तमाम युवाओं को असुरक्षा व अपमान से भरे माहौल में काम करने के लिए मजबूर होना पड़ता है।
    सरकार तुरंत इन नियमों का उल्लंघन रोके और काम कर रहे युवाओं के लिए बढ़ती मंहगाई के अनुपात में वेतन को बढ़ाया जाए. सरकार हर एक साल पर व्हाइट पेपर लाकर बताए कि कितने रोजगार के अवसर उपलब्ध कराए और आगे क्या स्थिति रहेगी।

  11. प्राइवेट कोचिंगों में फीसों पर नियंत्रणः दिल्ली में धड़ल्ले से फीसें वसूल रहे कोचिंग सेंटरों व निजी स्कूलकालेजों की फीसों व उनके संचालन को सरकार प्रभावी कानून लाकर नियंत्रित करे.

  12. तर्कपूर्णवैज्ञानिक षिक्षाः सरकार यह सुनिश्चित करे कि पढ़ाये जाने वाले पाठ्यक्रम एक ठोस शोध और आने वाले कल की प्रगति पर आधारित हों न कि अंधविश्वास व समाज को पीछे धकेलने वाली मान्यताओं पर.

आइए इन सभी मुद्दों पर दिल्ली विधानसभा में भाग ले रही सारी पार्टियों की जवाबदेही सुनिष्चित कराने के लिए एकजुट हों। सस्ती, समान, तर्कपूर्ण व अच्छी षिक्षा, सस्ते परिवहन व रहने की व्यवस्था, महिलाओं की आजादी व सुरक्षा और सम्मानजनक रोजगार के लिए छात्रयुवा ऐजेण्डे को मजबूत करें।

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आम छात्रों की बेदखली का फरमान: IBPS का छात्र विरोधी ‘योग्यता व आयुसीमा क्राइटेरिया’ तत्काल वापस लो!

बैंकों में पीओ व अन्य नौकरियों की परीक्षा आयोजित करने वाले आईबीपीएस (इंस्टीट्यट आॅफ बैंकिंग पर्सनल सेलेक्शन) ने मनमाने ढंग से इन नौकरियों में आवेदन के लिए  योग्यता क्राइटेरिया में स्नातक में 60% अंक की बाध्यता थोपते हुए अधिकतम आयुसीमा को 30 से घटाकर 28 वर्ष कर दिया है, जिसके चलते लाखों छात्रों/छात्राओं को इन परीक्षाओं के लिए अयोग्य ठहरा दिया जाएगा।


बैंक की इन नौकरियों के लिए अब तक चला आ रहा ‘योग्यता क्राइटेरिया’ किसी भी मान्यता प्राप्त संस्थान/विश्वविद्यालय से स्नातक की डिग्री व 30 वर्ष की अधिकतम आयुसीमा थी। अपने नए फरमान में आईबीपीएस ने ‘योग्यता क्राइटेरिया’ बदलते हुए स्नातक में न्यूनतम 60% अंकों की बाध्यता और अधिकतम आयुसीमा को 28 वर्ष कर दिया है। सवाल तो इस बात का है कि स्तरीय लिखित परीक्षा व साक्षात्कार होते हुए भी आईबीपीएस इस तरह का बाध्यता क्राइटेरिया लगाकर इस परीक्षा में बैठने के मौके को छात्रों के बहुत बड़े तबके से छीन लेने पर क्यों तुला है? नोट करने वाली बात है कि एसबीआई में पीओ की परीक्षा के लिए हाल में इसी तरह के क्रइटेरिया को खत्म किया जा चुका है और यूपीएससी की परीक्षाओं के लिए भी इस तरह की कोई बाध्यता नहीं रखी गई है। इस नए छात्रविरोधी क्राइटेरिया के चलते जहां लाखों छात्रछात्राएं बैंक की परीक्षाएं देने से वंचित रह जाएंग, वहीं दूसरी तरफ यह क्राइटेरिया सामाजिक न्याय, सबको समान अवसर के बुनियादी उसूल और नैसर्गिक न्याय के भी खिलाफ है। इसका प्रतिकूल असर एससी/एसटी/पीएच छात्रों पर भी पड़ रहा है जहां उनके लिए उपलब्ध अवसरों की संख्या बुरी तरह से घट रही है।

देश में लाखों छात्रछात्राएं बैंक पीओ/मैनेजमेट ट्रेनी/क्लर्क की नौ करी के लिए कड़ी मेहनत से तैयारी करते हैं। हमारा राष्ट्रीयकृत बैकिंग सेक्टर उन चंद पब्लिक सेक्टर्स में से एक है जहां सम्मानजनक रोजगार व सुरक्षित भविष्य की थो ड़ी संभावना बची हुई है। यह भी सच है कि अन्य पब्लिक सेक्टर्स की तरह बैंकिंग सेक्टर का भी निजीकरण और ठेकाकरण करने व इसे कारपोरेट कंपनियों को सौंप देने की कोशिशें सरकार द्वारा जारी हैं। जो हो, आज भी बॅंकिंग सेक्टर में हजारों की संख्या में नौ जवानों के लिए रोजगार के अवसर उपलब्ध रहते हैं। देश में तकरीबन 20 के ऊपर राष्ट्रीयकृत बैक है , जिनमें पीओ/मॅनेज्मेंट ट्रेनी/क्लर्क के लिए सालाना भर्तियां की जाती है। स्टेट बॅंक आॅफ इं डिया को छोडकर तकरीबन बाकी सारी राष्ट्रीयकृत  बॅंक में इन पदो के लिए परीक्षाओं का आयोजन आई बीपीएस कराता है।


बैंकिंग सेक्टर की ये नौकरियां देश के छात्रछात्राओं के बीच काफी लोकप्रिय हैं। हर साल लाखों की संख्या में इन नौकरियों के लिए भरे जा रहे आवेदनों का बढ़ता ग्राफ जहां एक तरफ इन नौकरियों की लोकप्रियता को दिखाता है, वहीं दूसरी तरफ मोजूदा रोजगार संकट की तरफ भी इशारा करता है। ऐ से समय में जब दे श ‘रोजगारविहीन विकास’ के रास्ते पर चल रहा हो, बैंकिंग से क्टर की इन नौकरियों में सामाजिक व आर्थिक सुरक्षा की गारंटी नौ जवानों के बड़े हिस्से को बेशक ज्यादा आकर्षित करती है । मेडिकल औ र इंजीनियरिंग जै सी डिग्रि यो  व यूपीएससी जैसी हाई प्रोफाइल नौकरियो, जिनकी तैयारी में बड़े पैमाने पर पैसे की जरूरत पड़ती है, के बरक्स बैंकिंग सेक्टर की इन नौकरियों की तैयारी कम खर्च में की जा सकती है ।


पिछले साठ सालों में हमारे देश में एक असमान शिक्षा प्रणाली का विकास किया गया, जहां आबादी के बड़े हिस्से को औसत व निम्नस्तरीय शिक्षण संस्थानों के रहमोकरम पर छोड़ दिया गया। कम संसाधनों, खस्ताहाल सुविधाओं, खराब शिक्षण व कापियों के मूल्यांकन में गड़बडि़यों के बावजूद  छात्रों/छात्राओं ने अपनी मेहनत के दम पर अपना भविष्य बनाया। पर हाल के वर्षों में सरकारों की तरफ से लगातार ऐसे कदम उठाए गए हैं जो बेहतर भविष्य की तरफ इन छात्रों की न्यूनतम आवाजाही को भी रोक देना चाहते हैं। इसी कड़ी में आईबीपीएस के नए नियम छात्रों/छात्राओं के अधिकारों, समानता व सामाजिक न्याय पर किया जा रहा सबसे ताजातरीन हमला है। गौरतलब है कि लाखों छात्रछात्राओं को इस हमले के जरिए बाहर निकालने की तैयारी ऐसे समय में हो रही है, जब सरकार अपने तमाम दावों में समावेशी विकास का ढोल पीटते घूम रही है। आखिरकार इन खोखले सरकारी दावों का सच अब हमारे सामने है। हम सबको मिलकर आईबीपीएस के आम छात्रछात्राओं की बेदखली करने वाले इस छात्र विरोधी क्राइटेरिया के खिलाफ आंदोलन कर इसे वापस कराना होगा। आइसा और इंकलाबी नौजवान सभा छात्र समुदाय से आईबीपीएस के इस क्राइटेरिया के खिलाफ आंदोलन में एकजुट होने की अपील करता है।


स्नातक में 60% की बाध्यता और 28 वर्ष की अधिकतम आयुसीमा के खिलाफ, सबको समान अवसर और रोजगार के लिए,वित मंत्रालय के समक्ष छात्रों का विशाल प्रदर्शन
स्थानः इंडिया गेट , समयः 10 बजे सुबह, दिनां क: 19 जुलाइ शुक्रवार, 2013