People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 46

November 23, 2008



CPI(M) Plans Three Harmony Jathas, Rally on Dec 22

MEETING at Mangalore on October 24 and 25, the Karnataka state committee of the CPI(M) has decided to observe a “Souharda Karnataka Rajyotsava” during the month of November. This is to counter the concerted efforts to provoke the sentiment of the Karnataka people by raising the issue of religion and language. This was informed by a statement issued to the press by CPI(M) state secretary V J K Nair and secretariat member S Y Gurushanth on November 7. In this connection, the CPI(M) statement said jatha, conventions, seminars and cultural programmes etc would be organised to highlight the need of harmony in the state..

The CPI(M) also accused the BJP controlled state government of not upholding the spirit and content of the Nada Geethe but acting against it.

The CPI(M) statement also pointed out that the undivided Communist Party had fought, along with others, for a reorganization of states on the linguistic basis. Moreover, the party is still striving to get the Kannad language implemented at all levels of administration so that the common people may participate in its day-to-day operations more effectively. At the same time, however, it is not correct to curtail the democratic rights of the people who speak other languages. In this regard, the CPI(M) says it would strive to uphold national unity and integration by taking the message of Rastra Kavi Kuvempu, viz “Jaya Bharata Tanujathe, Jayahe Karnataka Mathe.”

In this connection, the first state level programme has already been held at Mysore on November 8 and it was inaugurated by Prakash Karat, general secretary of the CPI(M). On November 10, another programme was held at Mangalore in which Sitaram Yechury, Polit Bureau member, participated.

The CPI(M) has also decided to take out jathas and rallies against communalism and terrorism. It said communal and terrorist activities are growing in the state today. After the BJP came to power, Hindu communal forces have become more active and they are also getting patronage from the state government. But while communalism strengthens terrorist activities, terrorism by a few misguided youths is helping to the growth of communal forces. Terrorism by Hindu fundamentalist forces is also growing. That was why the CPI(M) Central Committee had, in its recent meeting, decided to campaign against both communalism and terrorist activities throughout the country.

In this background, three jathas will be taken from Basava Kalyana, Gokarna and Bababudangiri which will be led by Nithyananda Swamy, G N Nagaraj and Maruth Manpade (state secretariat members) respectively. These jathas will culminate in a rally at Bangalore on December 22, which some all-India leaders of the party will also attend.

The CPI(M) state committee has also condemned the statement from the Swami of Pejavar Mutt opposing the dalits’ conversion to Buddhism. It pointed out that the Swami, who is a vice president of the VHP that is an affiliate of the RSS, has been acting like a spokesperson of the RSS that is firmly committed to continuing the antiquated Varnashrama system.

The CPI(M) recalled that the RSS and BJP utilised a section of the dalits to attack Muslims during the communal clashes at the time of the Ganesh Festival. In fact, the Sangh Parivar has been using the dalits against the Muslim community to achieve its goal of consolidating in the state and of attaining power at the centre.

In the Udupi Mutt from where the Swamiji is hailing, there prevails the two- line system is prevailing where dalits and other backward class people are made to treat in a separate line and thus treated as second class citizens. The CPI(M) has pointed out that one who advises the dalit community not to get converted, should first set his own record in order. Moreover, the CPI(M) said the constitution of India does give one the liberty to get converted from one religion to another.

On the implementation of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme in Karnataka, the CPI(M) said the BJP state government has been receiving job applications from lakhs of unemployed and agricultural workers in rural areas and yet it has failed to implement this scheme in the state effectively.

Apart from this, the daily wage rate is only Rs. 82 per day, which is not attractive. The CPI(M) has demanded that the amount must be increased to Rs 150. Though the state government has the power to increase the wages, the minister is busy shirking the responsibility by stating that he has written to the central government in this regard. It only shows their scant respect for the scheme.

The CPI(M) has also condemned the state government’s attacks on the powers of panchayat bodies: The statement issued by the chief minister and the rural development minister --- that a separate committee would be formed to supervise the work of the gram panchayats --- is against the democracy. The CPI(M) has said the panchayat members in the three tier system are elected by the people and hence the powers of the panchayat bodies must not be curtailed, rather they should be strengthened by devolving more funds for them.

Regarding the election of members of legislative council (MLCs), the CPI(M) has pointed out that the BJP had earlier bought 8 MLAs and several councillors through its undemocratic ‘Operation Kamala,’ and had thus gained 3 council seats by misusing the government machinery and money power. And now the same method has been used in the election of MLCs also. The CPI(M) has strongly condemned such undemocratic antiques of the BJP. (INN)