Kabeer Katlat

Kabeer Katlat

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Modi  government, in continuation to its neoliberal offensive for all round corporatization of all fields, privatization of all sectors and selling of national assets/ public sector enterprises to foreign and native corporate forces, has promulgated three  Ordinances  to give effect to the amendments  proposed  to the Essential  Commodities Act, 1955  and to introduce  two  Central laws on inter-state trading  and contact  farming . The amendment to the ECA will deregulate the production, storage, movement and distribution of these food commodities.In the name of removing the private sector’s fears of “excessive regulatory interference,” the Centre has issued the ordinances to increase private and foreign investment, especially in cold storage facilities and the modernization and corporatization of the food supply chain Using the cover of Covid19 pandemic, bypassing the parliament and state  assemblies  (agriculture  is a State  subject), without eliciting opinion of the peasantry and holding discussion with the peasant and agricultural workers’ organizations and all other stake holders, Modi government is moving fast through  ordinance raj, violating all principles of federalism.

 

The Farming Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Ordinance, 2020 aims to open up agricultural marketing outside notified mandis for farmers, and also remove barriers to inter-State trade. While both agriculture and markets are State subjects, the Centre is by-passing it with the claim that trade and commerce in foodstuffs is part of the concurrent list, as if it has unilateral monopoly on concurrent list!

 

In her press conferences explaining Modi’s 20 lakh crors Economic Package, the finance minister Nirmala Sitaraman, in the name of combating and helping the distressed peasantry, had announced these amendments to the existing Essential  Commodities Act 1955, Changes in the existing  Agricultural Products  Marketing Committee Act, and enactment of a Central  law for barriers- free intra and inter-state trade of farm    commodities and creation  of a  " facilitative legal  framework”for Contract Farming. The Farmers (Empowerment and Protection) Agreement on Price Assurance and Farm Services Ordinance, 2020 is aimed at facilitating contract farming, where a private buyer contracts to purchase a crop at a certain price at the beginning of a season

All these  announcements were made under  the  signboard of Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan, while in reality, these are essential part of Neoliberal/globalization drive. These changes are solely in the interest of  corporate- both foreign and domestic, and rich peasants, black marketers and  hoarders. All these steps are for further integration of the agriculture sector also to global imperialist system.

 

Another important decision of Modi government is on the Minimum Support  Prices  ( MSP)  of 14 Kharif crops  including  paddy, the most significant  Kharif crop. According to it, the paddy price is  increased by Rs 53 per quintal, from Rs 1815 per quintal  Rs 1868. The Commission for Agricultural Cost and Prices has calculated the cost of production of paddy at Rs 1722 last year. Even if we calculate the MSP of paddy based on this, the MSP of paddy should  be Rs 2583 by applying Swaminathan Commission recommendation.

 

These decisions of Modi government have angered the peasantry and other struggling forces. Though our Party an other struggling forces have called for free monthly ration of 45 kgms for all families, Rs 8,000 allowance to all jobless contract/casual workers, unemployed youth and all other needy people for six months, and unlimited MNREGA work for minimum 200 days a year at Rs 300 per day, the central and state governments have not taken any step in this direction. We have to continue the campaign for these important demands in this critical period consistently.

 

That, using Covid19 as a cover, Modi  govt is going ahead with policies which shall make only corporates happy is very  clear. In this situation AIKKS has called for a country wide campaign and observing 15th June as All India Protest Day. The Central Committee calls upon all Party Committees to discuss with comrades working in all class/mass organizations and people’s movements, mobilize an active campaign through social media and what is possible otherwise, and to Observe 15th June as All India Protest Day with the demands: Withdraw all the three ordinances; Increase MSP for all Khariff crops; Mobilize the peasantry with the working class to throw out the neoliberal/corporate policies!

 

KN Ramachandrran

General Secretary

CPI(ML) Red Star

 

New Delhi

6th June 2020

What is the picture of the environment on this world environment day? A strange question to ask? Yes, it may sound strange, but the reality compels us to ask this question with all seriousness. On this World Environment Day, whole world is in the ever tightening grip of the novel corona virus, Covid19. Already 70 lakhs of patients and nearly four lakhs dead.  Still lakhs more are getting infected and thousands are dying everyday. But, the imperialists and their junior partners ruling the world  have abandoned these, and the vast masses who are becoming its victims increasingly, and have started business as usual, plundering the labour and nature more voraciously to amass more profits. They laugh at you if you say your plunder has led to Covid like pandemics, Amphan like calamities, it poses  threat of ecological catastrophe.

 

So, there are only two possibilities before the humankind today: either let the capitalist imperialist system to continue their plunder, lead to ecological catastrophe and to the extinction of human species on this earth; or the toiling and all oppressed masses and concerned scientists and intelligentsia join hands, create public opinion, overthrow the reactionary ruling system and create a new society where democracy shall blossom and an alternate people oriented development perspective shall be put in to practice protecting what is left of the nature, establishing friendly relation between nature and humans.

 

Which path we ar going to select? Of extinction of humankind, or the path of struggle for a socialist new world? Let this be the central question of discussion on this World Environment Day!

Revolutionary greetings to the heroic toiling masses of the US, with the socially, racially and economically marginalised Blacks in the forefront, who have erupted like a great volcano taking the racial lynching of George Floyd as a wake up call to the people, a spark that ignited the pent up anger among the toiling masses, especially the Blacks, inspiring militantly protest by millions all over US, with workers, youth, students, all oppressed people, cutting across the racial lines, continuing their revolts. They are boldly resisting  the state terror and Trump’s moves to call military to suppress them. Trump's fascist rule has dubbed the revolting masses as “domestic terrorists” and imposed widespread curfews and threatened to ban their anti-fascist united movements. The centuries long acute deprivation along with  increasing Covid19 crisis caused by the imperialist  system have provoked them to rebel for a system change which alone is the path of liberation for them. In a way, this revolt is going to become the clarion call for more such people’s upsurges in other countries!

CPI(ML) Red Star calls on all party committees to declare solidarity with the struggling people of US and organize programs on 4th June joining hands with all anti-imperialist progressive, democratic forces.                                                                 

No to Imperialist Barbarism! Socialism is the only alternative!

 

CPI (M) Redstar

At a time when people have been dying of hunger, the government has increased the amount of grain it is hoarding in its godowns. Instead of using its grain stocks to feed the poor and hungry during the coronavirus-lockdown crisis, Modi government was letting this food rot in its godowns. The government does not have proper storage facilities for stocking such a large amount of excess grain. Since much of this grain has been stored in sub-optimal conditions for long, a significant part of it has been damaged.

 

In just four months, between January 1 and May 1, the stock of rice and wheat that was not “readily issuable”, which included partially spoilt as well as damaged grain, increased from 7.2 lakh tonnes to 71.8 lakh tonnes. This is more than sufficient to provide 45 kgs of food grains as free ration for all families from March bringing different jojanas under one umbrella as CPI(ML) Red Star is demanding from the beginning. From khariff crop already 37 lakh tones of fresh stock has also arrived. In the absence of safe storage facilities large amount of food grains will get damaged during Monsoon months. In this context we should intensify the campaign for 45 kgsof foodgrains as free monthly ration for all families.

According to the announcement of Modi government on 30th May, after the 68 days long lockdown, it is going to start un-wounding it, as ‘Unlock 1’ from 1st June. The guidelines allowing a phased re-opening of most activities across the country, and limiting the lockdown only to containment zones for a month till June 30. It also cut the night curfew hours from 9 pm to 5 am. The guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) allow re-opening of malls, hotels, restaurants and places of worship from June 8 in Phase I of unwinding, they also allow unfettered movement of goods and persons between states and within states. States have, however, been given the freedom to prohibit certain activities or put suitable restrictions if they deem it necessary for containment of the Covid outbreak.

 

This announcement of the MHA has come out when the ground level facts are revealing the total failure of Modi government in all spheres. When the lockdown was abruptly announced by Modi on 24th March, if the number of Covid19 patients and dead were about 500 and 35, after the 68 days of it, these figures has jumped to nearly 1,80,000 and 5500. The new patients detected on 30th May had increased to 8,200. If this trend continues by 30th June the number of patients may go up to 5 lakhs, with corresponding increase in the number of dead. If India’s position among the top ten maximum infected countries is already 7th now, soon India’s position may go up further.   Still, he has not announced any policy change to rectify the situation, to save you from Covid!  Opposing this anti-humanitarian policy of Modi which may take the country to a great catastrophe we should mobilize all progressive forces and fight.                                                                                                                                          

 

The migrant workers, it was the total confusion created by Modi’s abrupt order compelled your desperate flight to your villages, trying to get whatever conveyance available or by walking. What you have suffered and many still suffering is hundred times more painful than what happened at the time of India’s partition in 1947. More people died in your still continuing colossal human tragedy than due to Covid19 so far. Still, his government has not announced free ration and monthly allowance to your families in distress. He did not announce any assistance for the families of the dead on the road, on the rails; even for the children who lost their parents. Similarly, as you may have heard, after super cyclone Amphan caused colossal havoc in W. Bengal and Odisha, with many died and lakhs of families rendered homeless, his relief to these states was just 1,000 and 500 crores. At the same time, in addition to writing off another Rs 68,000 crores bank loans, all the economic packages announced by him are for the corporate houses and elite sections.                                                                                                                        

 

If the economy was in recession even before the pandemic outbreak due to his falty policies, it is going to face terrific collapse now.  At the same time, spreading hate politics  based on Islamophobia, he has divided the people more than ever, even during this pandemic. The worsening of relations with Nepal and border skirmishes with China shows that for pampering relations with Trump administration he is  creating enmity with all neighboring countries, even at this time of pandemic. He is spending more lakhs of crores for military, when he has no money to help you, even for returning to your villages. While the list of his total failures is very long, his letter followed by his radio speech to us, while completing first year of his second term, shows it is the most insensitive government this country had after 1947.  After committing crime against us, he is trying to confuse us, to cover up his gross failures in all fields by telling blatant lies and distorting facts.

 

Against these anger should mount among us, the workers and all the oppressed. Six years of Modi rule has made vast majority of us jobless and starving.

 

Working class comrades, after working many years in far away cities you have come back to your villages penniless; many of you had to take loans for return tickets.  You, the returned migrant workers, and the agricultural workers and poor peasants in the villages, the condition is going to worsen in coming days. After long slumber, though Supreme Court ordered to provide food, shelter and return journey free to all workers, the NHRC called the treatment of migrant workers by the Railways as barbaric, no action is going to be taken by Modi’s govt. The present heat wave in North and impending monsoon shall aggravate the poverty and distress of all of you. When Modi’s economic policies, now aggravated manifold under the pandemic, is worsening  joblessness,  the social and economic crisisis going to become more acute. Even before the Covid19 pandemic broke out, the economy in the country had reached deep recession. As all manufacturing works and small/medium units were closed down following the lockdown, there is acute financial crisis, with the GDP growth plunging steeply. An immediate recovery is difficult in present world situation. The burden of this crisis also will be thrown on the backs of us, the people, vast majority of us, including the lower middle class and peasantry are going to face acute distress.

 

Contrary to governments’ claims, the condition of the toiling people of all states is very bad.  Casual/contract workers, fisher people, rural and urban poor as well as the poor peasantry who constitute more than two third of the population, after more then two months of lockdown,  your joblessness is going to become really horrible. As nearly 20 million of you migrant workers have returned, with more millions yet to reach, not only the Covid19 cases among you and your families shall increase, but also your poverty and joblessness. The token amount allotted for  more MGNREGS work,is not going to improve the situation.       

 

Comrades, discuss these facts with your families, friends and villagers, or people around you, wherever you are.  As these families are left jobless and foodless, the already existing starvation situation is going to reach alarming proportions.  Joining with the progressive forces start a campaign with the following demands: Provide 45 kgs foodgrains monthly as free ration to all families; and Rs. 8, 000 monthly allowance to all jobless contract/casual workers, unemployed youth and to all needy people for six months from 1st June.                                                                                                                            

 

Make it a massive campaign uniting with all those agree with it. Decide slogans according to conditions in your area. Let us compel the central and state government to provide it soon; If they do not agree, let us launch mass movement powerful enough to achieve these demands!

 

After 68 days of lockdown, as a result of total failure of Modi government and its agencies, the no of patients are going to cross two lakh barrier and the number of dead is also increasing accordingly. Still, except for his sermons, Modi rule is not taking any steps to contain it. Still sufficient medical equipments,  testing kits, ventilators, safety kits and other requirements are not available. It is not to bringing the private hospitals under government control to fight Covid. It is not allotting necessary fund. We should join hands to launch a powerful movement to compel Modi government to give top priority to contain Covid19 from spreading further and to cure those affected by it.

 

Using the lockdown announced to contain Covid and powers given to police and para-military to enforce it as cover, spreading Islamophobia the activists from Jamia and other areas belonging to Muslim minority are arrested and detained under UAPA. While it is clear as day light that the pogrom in Northeast Delhi was organized by the RSS, the Muslims are arrested in large numbers and even the anti-CAA activists are also arrested as accused in this case! Many intellectuals and human rights activists are arrested alleging as Maoist supporters. Similarly, in Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Jharkhand etc thousands of Adivasis are also detained for years alleging they were helping Maoists.  Many of these are under detention for years under UAPA. Some of them are sick. Under Modi’s corporate fascist rule all democratic action in J&K and Northeast is also virtually banned. We appeal to all democratic forces, political organizations, mass movements to come forward to demand the release of all poltical prisoners.

 

The NPR/NRC/CAA  movement was advancing powerfully when the pandemic broke out. Modi govt used the pandemic as a cover to suppress it. Now, using the Census as a cover and state terror it may re-start it. So, let us start discussion with all who were participating and playing significant role and start preparations to re-launch the movement.

 

KN Ramachandran

General Secretary

CPI(ML) Red Star

 

New Delhi

1st June 2020

Nobody can say that foreign relations of a country is a sacred cow, and it cannot be discussed openly by the people. Especially when, after Modi rule started in 2014 India’s relations with all neighbours have worsened much. After intensifying efforts to act as the strategic junior partner of US, as a part of the efforts of US to contain China, Modi government is spending huge amounts to consolidate its position as the third biggest military power in the world. Islamophobia spread by the RSS has alienated all Arab countries. Now according to latest reports, India’s long term close ally Nepal also has accused India for constructing a road through areas it considers as its own. So, all democratic forces should demand a discussion on this question.

India and Nepal share 1,800 kms long open border. The Lipulekh Pass is claimed by Nepal based on the 1816 Treaty of Sugauli its then rulers entered with the British colonial rulers to define its western border with India. According to Nepal government areas of Limpiyadhura and Kalapani belongs to it and Indian troops were deployed there only after Indo-China conflict in 1962,in spite of Nepal’s objections. The question became serious as India constructed a road through this area unilaterally, without even discussing this matter with it. But according to Modi government this area belongs to India and there is no need to discuss with Nepal. Such an arrogant statement is that of an expansionist big brother, no self respecting country will accept.

Nepal considers it another example for India’s big-brotherly attitude to its neighbors.  Nepal published a “new map” endorsed by the cabinet incorporating Limpiyadhura, Lipulekh, and Kalapani, which Modi government considers are part of Indian territory. In his speech in the parliament on 19th May, Nepal PM, Mr Oli also said Nepal would "bring back at any cost" the Kalapani-Limpiyadhura-Lipulekh area, which is part of Nepal’s territory. The statement issued by the Indian army chief that Nepal is speaking in this way as somebody is behind it. (Obviously he meant the Chinese) creating strong anti-IIndia sentiments, only helped to worsen the situation.

In such an atmosphere, Nepal PM has accused India for whatever little covid19 infection has happened to his country. He told Nepal’s parliament “It has become very difficult to contain COVID-19 due to the flow of people from outside. Indian virus looks more lethal than Chinese and Italian now. More are getting infected," Modi government is entirely responsible for this worsening relations with Nepal.

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The Communist movement in India has a history of almost a century after the salvos of October Revolution in Russia brought Marxism-Leninism to the people of India who were engaged in the national liberation struggle against the British colonialists. It is a complex and chequered history.