Wednesday, May 30, 2007
28 May, Kolkata
In its interim report, the independent People's
Tribunal on Nandigram has recommended, among other
measures, the setting up of special Human Rights
Courts to ensure speedy justice in all cases of human
rights violations in Nandigram and adjoining areas.
The Tribunal, organized by the All India Citizens
Initiative, heard depositions from victims, witnesses,
social activists, intellectuals, doctors, human rights
groups and other concerned organisations here today.
The hearings were held in both Nandigram and Kolkata
from 26-28 May and headed by Justice S.N.Bhargava,
former Chief Justice of the Sikkim High Court.
Tribunal members, which included Pravash Joshi
(Editorial Advisor, Jansatta), Lalita Ramdas ( Social
Activist), John Dayal (Member, National Integration
Council) and Jyotirmoy Samajder (Psychiatrist),
visited the site of police firing and other places in
the Nandigram area relevant to understanding the
circumstances and nature of the violence.
Meanwhile Mr Anup Agarwal, the District Magistrate of
Midnapur (East) issued a letter to the organizers of
the Tribunal asking under what 'law of the land' such
a Tribunal was being organized. The All India
Citizen's Initiative in its reply said that the
Tribunal had been organized under Article 51 of the
Constitution, which calls upon every citizen of India
" to promote harmony and spirit of brotherhood amongst
all the people of India transcending religious,
linguistic, regional and social diversities". It must
be mentioned here that all concerned official agencies
were informed of the Tribunal and requested to depose
before it but none of them turned up.
Saturday, May 19, 2007
He has been an ardent supporter of the continuing peasant's uprising going on in different parts of West Bengal province of India against the anti-people police of land grab by the incumbent social fascist regime led by CPIM.
Sunday, May 13, 2007
Greetings from the Chhattisgarh PUCL!
We are facing an unprecedented situation, where the State Government/Police is trying to falsely implicate Dr.Binayak Sen, General Secretary, Chhattisgarh PUCL, and National PUCL Vice-President in so-called "naxal activities".
On May 1, 2007, the Chhattisgarh police detained a businessman, Mr. Piyush Guha from Kolkotta, but later produced him in the Court only on 7th May, 2007, after the PUCL issued a statement about his "abduction" by the State Police. According to the State Police, Mr. Some letters and "naxal literature" ( People's March Magazine, etc.) have been recovered from him. The police is now alleging that the three letters in his possesion were handed over to him by Dr. Binayak Sen, who used to meet the Senior member of the CPI (Maoist) Mr. Narayan Sanyal lodged at Raipur Central Jail.
In this regard, the police has made a statement to the press that Dr. Binayak Sen and his family "absconded" after the arrest of Mr. Guha. While the fact is that Dr. Binayak Sen and his family had planned to go to Kolkotta for a fornight's holiday with their relatives, and the tickets were booked well in advance. The Police is attempting to search his residence by breaking the lock, after obtaining Search Warrant from the concerned Court.
Some of the PUCL members met today at Raipur, and have issued the Press Statement attached herewith.
Chhattisgarh PUCL has also planned to state a day-long peaceful Dharna on 13th May 2007 at Raipur protesting against the Fake Encounters, Fake Surrenders and Fake Arrests. More details will follow!
We are enclosing herewith two more press releases issued by the PUCL in the past week.
Looking forward to your support and solidarity.
Rajendra K Sail
PUCL statement on Binayak Sen
The People’s Union for Civil Liberties - Chhattisgarh (PUCL) has strongly condemned the attempt by the Chhattisgarh Police in implicating Human Rights Activists in Naxal activities, especially in the matter of “illegal detention” of Mr. Piyush Guha, who has been wrongfully confined in police custody for six days without even following the guidelines provided by the Supreme Court in the D K Basu Vs. State of West Bengal. PUCL plans to carry out a concerted campaign to expose the designs of the Chhattisgarh Government in discrediting the human rights organisations and movement, which has creatively contributed to the preservation and promotion of human rights in particular, and the gross violations committed by the various governments in Chhattisgarh during the past 30 years. PUCL is also contacting its national leadership to explore the possibility of legal action in this regard.
In an emergency meeting of the State Unit today at Raipur, the Chhattisgarh PUCL has also taken strong objection to the “falsehoods” and “insinuations” being spread by the Chhattisgarh Police regarding the person’s absence from his house. In fact, Dr. Binayak Sen and his family have gone to Kolkotta to be with their family during summer holidays since 1st of May 2007, which was planned long ago. However, without verifying this fact, the Chhattisgarh Police has tried to create an impression as if Dr. Sen had vanished after the incident of “illegal detention” of Mr. Piyush Guha.
In a statement issued today by Adv Rajendra K Sail, President of Chhattisgarh PUCL, it has been categorically stated that Dr. Binayak Sen is not only the General Secretary of the Chhattisgarh PUCL, but has played a prominent role in defending and promoting human rights not only in Chhattisgarh but also in the country. Dr. Binayak Sen is also presently the Vice-President of the National PUCL.
The PUCL considers this as an attempt to discredit the Human Rights Activists and Organisations in the wake of facts coming out in the open about recent fake encounters in Panjher and Santoshpur villages of Bijapur Tahsil of Dantewara District in Chhattisgarh, in which more than a dozen citizens were not only murdered in cold blood but also buried without fulfilling any legal formalities like post-mortem and decent burial with religious rites. Their bodies were recently exhumed from a mass grave at the orders of the State Human Rights Commission, and the post-mortem conducted revealed bullet injuries on their bodies.
PUCL has further stated that there is a public uproar on the growing police brutality in Chhattisgarh and deliberate destruction of democratic aspirations of the peace-loving people, which has been amply demonstrated in demands by various political parties, civil society organisations, prominent citizens, especially the adivasi and dalit leaders for a high level enquiry into these incidents of State Violence.
The PUCL would like to assert the fact that meeting and providing legal aid to the victims of human rights violations by the State was part and parcel of the stated objectives of the PUCL, and it was in fulfilling these tasks and responsibilities as an office-bearer of the PUCL that Dr. Sen had been functioning with faith and commitment. All such activities are not only Constitutional and legal, but produced the required results as the “illegalities” and “corruption” in Jails, Custodial Deaths, Fake Encounters, Fake Surrenders and Fake Arrests etc., have been made public and acted upon by various Courts in the country.
Rajendra k Sail
PUCL statement on fake encounters
The People’s Union for Civil Liberites - Chhattisgarh (PUCL) has demanded Enquiry by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in all Extra-judicial killings in Chhattisgarh since 2005. The issue has acquired serious proportions in the wake of the fake encounter case at Santoshpur in Bijapur, where not less than 12 innocent citizens were killed by the State Police. Attempts to cover up such violations by the Chhattisgarh Police of human rights and legal processes enshrined in the Constitution of India now need to be thoroughly investigated by the CBI and the Judicial Enquiry Committee, as the Chhattisgarh Government has lost the moral and legal right to do so. Such an investigation must also include killings and other crimes committed by the Salwa-Judum with the active connivance of the State Police.
In a press statement issued today, Adv Rajendra K Sail, President of Chhattisgarh PCL has categorically demanded arrests of those police officials whose complicity in the Santoshpur Fake Encounters have been established.
The Chhattisgarh PUCL has also expressed concern that the guidelines issued by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) in the cases of extra-judicial killings have not been followed by the Chhattisgarh Government, in spite of repeated reminders by the Chairperson of the NHRC.
The Chhattisgarh PUCL will an Intervention Application in the WRIT PETITION (CRI) NO. 14 OF 2007 ( Smt. Leda Versus UNION OF INDIA & ORS) pending before the Chhattisgarh High Court. It may be recalled that Smt. Leda, wife of a member of the Community Party of India (Maoist) name Ramesh Nagashia has alleged that her husband has been killed by the police in a fake encounter in front of her eyes and she was also raped. The Chhattisgarh High Court has issued notice to several police officials and the Central and State Governments in this matter.
Adv Rajendra K Sail, President of Chhattisgarh PUCL has categorically stated that Chhattisgarh Government has been committing crimes against humanity in the name of “curbing naxalism” for the past two years. The Chhattisgarh PUCL has, time and again, brought this gross violation of human rights through various fact finding studies. That is why, the PUCL State Convention held on 14th & 15th April, 2007 at Ambikapur had deliberated on the Theme: “FAKE ENCOUNTER, FAKE SURRENDERS AND FAKE CASES”. Chhattisgarh PUCL has always maintained that “extra-judicial killings” serve as the barometer for the state of human rights in any region or country. Going by such a barometer, the state of Human Rights is deteriorating day-by-day in Chhattisgarh with the increase in Encounter and Custodial deaths.
Rajendra K Sail
Wednesday, May 9, 2007
The first part is being posted today.
It is very important to note that the following statements about Trotsky’s ideas, tactics, and personality were made by Lenin, not Stalin.
At the Second Congress of the R.S.D.L.P in 1903 Lenin said in the Third Speech in the Discussion on the Agrarian Programme,
“Therein lies the fundamental difference between us and the liberals, whose talk about changes and reforms ‘pollutes’ the minds of the people. If we were to set forth in detail all the demands for the abolition of serf-ownership, we should fill whole volumes. That is why we mention only the more important forms and varieties of serfdom, and leave it to our committees in the various localities to draw up and advance their particular demands in development of the general programme. Trotsky’s remark to the effect that we cannot concern ourselves with local demand is wrong, for the question...is not only a local one.”
At the same Congress Lenin made an extremely important and farsighted comment with respect to Trotsky’s theoretical wisdom. He stated,
“To come to the main subject, I must say that Comrade Trotsky has completely misunderstood Comrade Plekhanov’s fundamental idea, and his arguments have therefore evaded the gist of the matter. He has spoken of intellectuals and workers, of the class point of view and of the mass movement, but he has failed to notice a basic question: does my formulation narrow or expand the concept of a Party member? If he had asked himself that question, he would have easily have seen that my formulation narrows this concept, while Martov’s expands it, for (to use Martov’s own correct expression) what distinguishes his concept is its ‘elasticity.’ And in the period of Party life that we are now passing through it is just this ‘elasticity’ that undoubtedly opens the door to all elements of confusion, vacillation, and opportunism. To refute this simple and obvious conclusion it has to be proved that there are no such elements; but it has not even occurred to Comrade Trotsky to do that. Nor can that be proved, for everyone knows that such elements exist in plenty, and they are to be found in the working class too....
Comrade Trotsky completely misinterpreted the main idea of my book, What Is To Be Done? when he spoke about the Party not being a conspiratorial organization. He forgot that in my book I propose a number of various types of organizations, from the most secret and most exclusive to comparatively broad and ‘loose’ organizations. He forgot that the Party must be only the vanguard, the leader of the vast masses of the working class, the whole (or nearly the whole) of which works ‘under the control and direction’ of the Party organizations, but the whole of which does not and should not belong to a ‘party.’ Now let us see what conclusions Comrade Trotsky arrives at in consequence of his fundamental mistake. He had told us here that if rank after rank of workers were arrested, and all the workers were to declare that they did not belong to the Party, our Party would be a strange one indeed! Is it not the other way round? Is it not Comrade Trotsky’s argument that is strange? He regards as something sad that which a revolutionary with any experience at all would only rejoice at. If hundreds and thousands of workers who were arrested for taking part in strikes and demonstrations did not prove to be members of Party organizations, it would only show that we have good organizations, and that we are fulfilling our task of keeping a more or less limited circle of leaders secret and drawing the broadest possible masses into the movement.”
In an article written in 1905 entitled “Social-Democracy and the Provisional Revolutionary Government” Lenin spoke of Parvus and said,
“He openly advocated (unfortunately, together with the windbag Trotsky in a foreward to the latter’s bombastic pamphlet ‘Before the Ninth of January’) the idea of the revolutionary-democratic dictatorship, the idea that it was the duty of Social-Democrats to take part in the provisional revolutionary government after the overthrow of the autocracy.”
Later in the same article Lenin stated,
“It would be extremely harmful to entertain any illusions on this score. If that windbag Trotsky now writes (unfortunately, side by side with Parvus) that a Father Gapon could appear only once,’ that ‘there is no room for a second Gapon,’ he does so simply because he is a windbag. If there were no room in Russia for a second Gapon, there would be no room for a truly ‘great’ consummated democratic revolution.”
In a 1904 letter to Stasova, Lengnik, and others Lenin stated,
A new pamphlet by Trotsky came out recently, under the editorship of *Iskra*, as was announced. This makes it the “Credo” as it were of the new Iskra. The pamphlet is a pack of brazen lies, a distortion of the facts.... The pamphlet is a slap in the face both for the present Editorial Board of the C.O. and for all Party workers. Reading a pamphlet of this kind you can see clearly that the “Minority” has indulged in so much lying and falsehood that it will be incapable of producing anything viable....”
In a 1905 article entitled “Wrathful Impotence” Lenin stated,
‘We shall remind the reader that even Mr. Struve, who has often voiced sympathy in principle with Trotsky, Starover, Akimov, and Martynov, and with the new-Iskra trends in general and the new-Iskra Conference in particular--even Mr. Struve was in his time obliged to acknowledge that their stand is not quite a correct one, or rather quite an incorrect one.”
At the 1907 Fifth Congress of the R.S.D.L.P Lenin stated,
“A few words about Trotsky. He spoke on behalf of the ‘Centre,’ and expressed the views of the Bund. He fulminated against us for introducing our ‘unacceptable’ resolution. He threatened an outright split, the withdrawal of the Duma group, which is supposedly offended by our resolution. I emphasize these words. I urge you to reread our resolution.... When Trotsky stated: ‘Your unacceptable resolution prevents your right ideas being put into effect,’ I called out to him: ‘Give us your resolution!’ Trotsky replied: ‘No first withdraw yours.’ A fine position indeed for the ‘Centre’ to take, isn’t it? Because of our (in Trotsky’s opinion) mistake (‘tactlessness’) he punishes the whole Party.... Why did you not get your resolution passed, we shall be asked in the localities. Because the Centre (for whom Trotsky was speaking) took umbrage at it, and in a huff refused to set forth its own principles! That is a position based not on principle, but on the Centre’s lack of principle.”
Speaking at the same Congress Lenin objected to Trotsky’s amendments to the Bolshevik resolution on the attitude towards bourgeois parties by saying,
“It must be agreed that Trotsky’s amendment is not Menshevik, that it expresses the ‘very same,’ that is, bolshevik, idea. But Trotsky has expressed this idea in a way that is scarcely better (than the Menshevik--Ed.).... Trotsky’s insertion is redundant, for we are not fishing for unique cases in the resolution, but are laying down the basic line of Social-Democracy in the bourgeois Russian revolution.”
While later discussing the same issue (the attitude the party should have toward bourgeois parties) Lenin said,
“The question of the attitude of Social-Democracy towards bourgeois parties is one of those known as ‘general’ or ‘theoretical’ questions, i.e., such that are not directly connected with any definite practical task confronting the Party at a given moment. At theLondon Congress of the R.S.D.L.P, the Mensheviks and the Bundists conducted a fierce struggle against the inclusion of such questions in the agenda, and they were, unfortunately, supported in this by Trotsky, who does not belong to either side. The opportunistic wing of our Party (notice that that is the group with which Trotsky allied himself--Ed.) like that of other Social-Democratic parties, defended a ‘business-like’ or ‘practical’ agenda for the Congress. They shied away from ‘broad and general’ questions. They forgot that in the final analysis broad, principled politics are the only real, practical politics. They forgot that anybody who tackles partial problems without having previously settled general problems, will inevitably and at every step ‘come up against’ those general problems without himself realizing it. To come up against them blindly in every individual case means to doom one’s politics to the worst vacillation and lack of principle.”
And it is quite clear to which philosophy Trotsky adhered.
Wednesday, May 2, 2007
The Ghosts Of Nandigram
By Satya Sagar
01 May, 2007
There was panic at the CPM headquarters on Calcutta's Alimuddin Street as rumours spread like wildfire of a 'special' investigative team having arrived to do some fact-finding on the gory events of 14 March 2007 in Nandigram.
The 'dream' team, spotted by party activists and corroborated by airport immigration staff, is said to have comprised of the founding fathers of the global communist movement - Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels themselves. As if their presence was not enough, accompanying them in tow were a certain Vladimir Illych Lenin and Mao Tse-Tung.
Eyewitnesses reported seeing two white bearded men with prophetic looks asking for directions to get to Nandigram and expressing frustration at the fact that all official road signs in the city showed only turns to the right. Ordinary folk on the other hand were observed turning left even if this sometimes meant breaking through brick walls blocking their way.
One person with a Lenin beard sitting inside the dark-windowed car was seen taking down notes under the heading 'What is to be done?' while the Chinese gentleman, with an enigmatic countenance, was overheard saying sceptically "Comrades, getting to Nandigram is not going to be a tea-party".
This was the grim scenario the CPM top brass had been worried about for years together- the return of Marx, Engels, Lenin or Mao to West Bengal. As long as they dangled like dead corpses from party banners it was fine but now Nandigram had brought them back to life among the people and this was dangerous.
"Why are you all looking so worried" said Buddhadeb Bhattacharya looking around at the glum and sullen faces of top party leaders urgently gathered to discuss this latest crisis hitting them. "And who are these four fellows anyway? Foreign investors looking for land to purchase?" he quipped.
"Idiot! In all these years how many times have I told you to memorise their names and remember what they look like? And yet every time you open your mouth to say 'Marx' out comes the word 'Market'" barked a voice across the table.
"The photos, hanging in party offices all over the country - of Marx, Engels, Lenin - you have not observed them even once in all your life- have you Buddha?" the voice continued. "You just see your own reflection in the glass frame, adjust your kurta, comb your hair and wear that silly grin you got from the last corporate orgy you attended".
It was Buddha's turn now to look glum and sullen for nothing he did these days seemed to please Jyoti Basu anymore. And imagine, to be scolded like this in public when he was only following in his mentor's footsteps and taking forward his legacy.
"Yes, the photos. What will we do with them now? If these blokes, Marx, Engels, whoever…. write a report critical of our land grab operations in Nandigram, we will have to throw away all those expensive portraits? They cost a damn lot of money to make, and will all go waste now" whined Biman Bose.
"Give them to the CPI" whispered someone (with a sense of humour) in the room.
No one laughed of course and instead an ice-cold Brinda Karat, adjusting her red bindi, said "We give nothing to the CPI from now on, not even leftovers. The bloody backstabbers, bad-mouthing us in public!"
The damp Calcutta air inside the party meeting room froze. Only someone with such cold-blooded clarity could induce this sudden drop in temperature so effortlessly (a clue to tackling global warming!). The mood among those gathered also changed abruptly now.
"Ok, enough of lamenting the fact that these stalwarts of global communism are here to check out what really happened at Nandigram. The question is how do we get out of this mess now, for given their reputation they will surely get to the truth?" said Prakash Karat, grateful to Brinda for giving him a chance to break into the conversation.
"Easy enough. Just discredit them thoroughly and make sure no one believes them at all," said Biman Bose. "After all that is what we have been doing to anyone criticizing us, even if it is those who have been with our own party all these years".
"Brilliant! Biman da! You can start with the simple fact that all four of them - Marx, Engels, Lenin, Mao - are outsiders in Bengal. Obviously they are here to incite the peasants, join hands with Mamata and bring down the Left Front government" said Sitaram Yechuri, excitedly jumping from his seat and almost leaping onto the table like in the good old SFI days at some JNU canteen.
"Not just that, they are all foreigners anyway so they must be surely foreign funded too otherwise how did they get here all the way to Calcutta? Who bought their plane tickets?" said Biman, warming up to his old passion for throwing mud and making it stick- anywhere - even on Marx or Engels.
"They may have come by the sea-route, all subversives these days do that" said Brinda.
"Foreigners causing trouble in Bengal? That sounds like the Salim group or Dow Chemicals" said someone at the back of the room in a soft voice. The time for hearing soft voices had however long passed and the discussion now was at a frenzied pitch.
"I like your logic Biman da. Now that I remember, from all the reading I have done - all four of them can be shown to be anti-communist in general and anti-CPM in particular" said Prakash Karat trying to give a pretty theoretical cover to the ugly stuff flying around.
"To begin with, Marx himself said at some point 'I am not a Marxist', which can only mean he was anti-Marxist and automatically an enemy of ours. Engels' father owned a textile mill, so he was a bourgeois masquerading as a revolutionary. On top of this both of them have long beards like the Hindu or Muslim communalists. Lenin too came from an aristocratic background and Mao Tse-Tung is of course the biggest Naxalite in all of modern history" continued Prakash, leaning over to Brinda to see if she was taking notes to send to N Ram of The Hindu.
"Bravo General Secretary! You have finally clinched the logic, now it is time for us to prevent these guys from reaching Nandigram and stopping West Bengal from becoming a global capitalist power. Call Laxman urgently to get the boys ready for action," shouted Biman.
"Did anybody say action? I know what we should do - get our women cadre to show their backsides to this 'special' fact-finding team!" said an excited Benoy Konar, who despite his age still had the spring of a street urchin about him. He was famous for blowing hammer and sickle rings with his beedi smoke- a cool comrade at 75.
"I run the women's wing, you get Laxman's goons to do whatever they want" hissed Brinda, the bindi now a fiery red. She didn't like this old fogy stepping on her turf.
"Laxman's men had better watch out around Chairman Mao comrades! He still wears his spiked boots from the Long March", piped up someone in the room.
At this point Buddhadeb woke up with a jolt on his bed. The mobile phone was ringing loudly. He was sweating all over. Phew! What a nightmare it had been! From Marx to Mao in Nandigram indeed!
Buddha picked up the phone, "Salim, is that you?"
"What's wrong with you babu moshai? You have been seeing the ghosts of Nandigram in your sleep again?' said the voice from Jakarta with a laugh. "I told you many times, we killed a million communists in Indonesia long ago and you are still spooked by a few dozen dead in your little province?"
"Yes, I saw them again" said Buddha, wiping his brow. "Here I am looking for German, Russian and Chinese investors and all I get are Marx, Engels, Lenin and Mao giving me sleepless nights. Oh! Why on Earth do we still call ourselves a communist party and pretend to be Marxists?"
"Good question, Buddha. Welcome to the Salim and Suharto neo-liberal fraternity"
For the first time in an entire month Buddha Smiled.