People's Democracy

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


No. 5

February 15, 2009



JD(S), CPI(M) & CPI Plan Joint Campaign

RECENTLY, over two days, leaders of the Janata Dal (Secular), CPI(M) and CPI in Karnataka discussed the problems facing the people under the rule of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Karnataka and under the Congress led UPA at the centre. The discussions culminated in a decision to launch a campaign and struggle so as to force the state and central governments to change their ways and attitudes.

On the Spreading Communal Virus: After the BJP came to power in the state, attacks on the Muslim minority have multiplied manifold. In some areas, serious provocations for communal clashes were created, as in J C Nagar in Bangalore, Tiptur, Haveri etc. In Mangalore in the coastal Karnataka and other areas, goons of the Bajrang Dal, Hindu Sene, Shri Rama Sene etc have attacked Muslims in the name of cow slaughter and on other frivolous matters. The JD(S), CPI(M) and CPI have demanded that action should be taken against these organisations and their goons under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act. They also demanded that Sufi tradition must be maintained at the Bababudangiri shrine.

Action must be taken against the activists of Sangh Parivar who attacked more than 30 churches in the month of September 2008. False cases filed against Christians, including their priests, must be withdrawn.

Attack on Food Choice: In the name of prevention of illegal animal transportation and cow slaughter, the Sangh Parivar is attacking the right to have food of one�s choice. In the state, not only Muslims and Christians but a large number of dalits and others use beef in their diet. Therefore, the parties have demanded that the 1964 act regarding cow slaughter must be withdrawn.

Communalisation of Education: The BJP government has started a �campaign against terrorism� in schools and colleges and is involving only the Sangh Parivar organisations like the ABVP, Hindu Sene etc in it. Large amounts of government funds are being diverted to the coffers of the Sangh Parivar organisations and activists on this pretext. But the campaign is in fact aimed against the Muslim minority. Moreover, the government has not involved other political parties in it, as they could have prevented its political abuse. Hence the three parties have demanded that this campaign must be stopped immediately.

Pro-RSS people are being chosen as vice chancellors of the universities, which must be stopped. Likewise, infiltration of RSS elements in the police, education, agriculture etc must be stopped.

Demand for CBI Enquiry against Pramod Muthalik and Sri Rama Sene: During the Karnataka assembly elections held during May 2008, a bomb blast took place in the premises of the Hubli court and then a vilification cum witch-hunt campaign was unleashed against the Muslim minority. Now it has been revealed by the police that involved in the blast was a criminal gang which has close contacts with the Sri Rama Sene. (One notes that the notorious Pramod Muthalik is the chief of this outfit.) It has also been alleged that this outfit had a connection with the Malegaon bomb blast in September 2006 and other anti-Muslim provocative incidents. The Sri Rama Sene also attacked a pub in Mangalore recently, where its goons beat and molested some girl visitors. The JD(S), CPI(M) and CPI have demanded that all the culprits of this attack must be arrested and the case must be handed over to the CBI.

BJP Destroying the Democracy: The BJP has started the venture of buying the people�s elected representatives at exorbitant prices and thus forcing a re-election on the people of the concerned constituencies. Seven members of legislative assembly (MLAs) resigned just one month after the election, and some of them got ministerial berths after getting re-elected. This is unprecedented. Even the elected representatives in municipalities etc are being forced to switch over to the BJP. The JD(S), CPI(M) and CPI have demanded a stop to such illegal activities by the BJP. The three parties further demanded that from the ministry must be dropped the tainted ministers like Janardhan Reddy, Karunakar Reddy and Sriramulu, who were involved in illegal mining and goondaism, as well as Krishnaiah Setty and Sudhar for their involvement in the housing and electricity scams respectively.

Attack on Media: This is yet another area of undemocratic activities by the Sangh Parivar. The editor of a paper and his wife, who is the owner of the firm, were recently attacked. The Editor was jailed, and he was handcuffed while he was being taking to the jail. The activists of Sangh Parivar did not allow the sale of the paper that has been reporting their black deeds and highlighting secular values.

While withdrawing criminal cases against the Bajrang Dal, Sri Rama Sene and Sangh Parivar other outfits, the BJP government did not withdraw the false cases filed against the farmers who had launched a struggle for their immediate needs.

Apart from making the above demands, the JD(S), CPI(M) and CPI have decided to take up the people�s day to day issues also. These include the demand of issuance of BPL cards, extension and proper implementation of the NREGA scheme, an end to the atrocities on dalits, implementation of the welfare measures, increase in the minimum wages for industrial as well as agricultural workers, debt relief to the farmers on the lines of the Kerala model etc.

As a part of the preparations for the campaign on these demands, the three parties ill hold a state level joint convention in the last week of February, to be followed by state level as well as district level actions.

The JD(S), CPI(M) and CPI made these decisions known through a press conference on February 3. Former prime minister H D Devegowda, former Karnataka chief minister H D Kumarswami, CPI(M) state secretary V J K Nair, CPI(M) state secretariat members G V Sriram Reddy and G N Nagaraj, and Siddanagowda Patil and H V Anantha Subbarao of the CPI addressed the press conference.