(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
February 20, 2011
UPA Regime Responsible
For Price Rise & Corruption
Vijay Gabhane, Anna Sawant &
THE CPI(M) Polit Bureau member and leader of the Party’s Parliamentary group, Sitaram Yechury toured the three districts of Aurangabad, Jalna and Nanded in the Marathwada region on January 29-30, 2011. In the course of this hectic tour, he addressed several packed programmes held by various organisations in all the three districts as well as press conferences held by the Party. Yechury effectively projected the views of the Party and the Left on current developments as well as on policy issues during this tour. In all these programmes, Yechury flayed the Congress-led UPA-2 regime for the massive price rise and the shocking corruption scams and also attacked the Hindutva forces for their links to terrorism.
Both the programmes in Nanded were held on January 30, the martyrdom anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. On this occasion, the three Left parties – CPI(M), CPI and PWP – had organised a district level convention against communalism and terrorism. Over one thousand people from various tehsils attended the convention. They comprised peasants, agricultural labourers, unorganised workers and the middle class. Minorities like the Muslims and Sikhs and women came in good numbers.
Recalling the martyrdom of Mahatma Gandhi at the hands of Nathuram Godse, who had undeniable links with the RSS and the Hindu Mahasabha, Sitaram Yechury said that when the entire country and its people were rising against the yoke of British imperialism, it was the Muslim League led by Jinnah on the one hand, and the RSS and the Hindu Mahasabha led by Golwalkar and Savarkar on the other, that were fomenting communal riots that eventually led to the partition of the country. All the above communal forces thus played into the hands of imperialism and aided and abetted its notorious policy of divide and rule, which kept the nation in slavery for nearly two centuries. The culmination of this communal cancer was the terrorist act of the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi.
Today, over six decades later, said Yechury, the communal forces were still trying to divide the country on the basis of religion. This is seen in the innumerable communal riots that have taken place across the country, and especially in the demolition of the Babri Masjid in 1992, the horrific Mumbai riots in 1993 and the heinous Gujarat massacre in 2002. Terrorism by Muslim fundamentalist elements, with links across the border, began with the serial Mumbai bomb blasts in 1993 and culminated in the gruesome terror attack on Mumbai in 2008. But now even the Hindutva elements have got into the terrorist fray, as seen first in the unsuccessful attempt a few years ago in Nanded itself. Later, the bomb blasts in Malegaon, Ajmer, Hyderabad and on the Samjhauta Express have also been clearly traced to these same Hindutva elements.
Yechury then pinpointed the terrorist ways of the Maoists in various states, and particularly in West Bengal, where they are in open league with the Trinamul Congress, and are violently conspiring against the Left Front government. Over 350 comrades of the CPI(M) alone have been killed by the Trinamul-Maoist combine since the last Lok Sabha elections. The Maoists were also responsible for the sabotage of the Jyaneshwari Express, which led to the death of over 200 people. And yet the UPA central government turns a blind eye to the dangerous antics of its own railway minister!
Finally, Yechury called upon the convention to wage an uncompromising struggle against communalism and terrorism in all its forms, in order to defend the unity and integrity of the country.
The convention was presided over by senior PWP leader and ex-MLA Gurunath Kurude. It was also addressed by CPI(M) state secretary Dr Ashok Dhawale, CPI state secretariat member Prof Tanaji Thombre and PWP youth wing leader Purushottam Dhondge. The CPI(M) state committee member Vijay Gabhane made the introductory remarks, CPI(M) Nanded district secretary Arjun Adey conducted the proceedings and CPI district joint secretary Pradeep Nagapurkar gave the vote of thanks.
The other programme in Nanded was a lecture by Sitaram Yechury on “Globalisation, Democracy and Socialism” organised by the Nanded Education Society at the Science College. The lecture was to commemorate the birth centenary year of the renowned freedom fighter and one of the leaders of the Marathwada Mukti Sangram against Nizam rule, Govindbhai Shroff. Former Janata Dal MP and president of the Society Dr Vyankatesh Kabde presided over the function. It was attended by hundreds of students and teachers from various city colleges.
Jalna city has a long tradition of holding a renowned annual lecture series called the ‘Chetana Vyakhyan Mala” at the J E S College. Leading intellectuals from various fields delivered lectures in this series. On January 29, Sitaram Yechury spoke here on the “Challenges before Parliamentary Democracy in India”. President of the J E S Society Purushottam Bagadia was in the chair.
Beginning with Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar’s famous speech in the constituent assembly on November 26, 1949, where he warned that although we have given political equality to all citizens through the constitution but not economic and social equality, Yechury said that even after 61 years of the Republic, economic and social equality is farther than ever. He narrated instances of the gross inequality in the country today to prove his point. On the one hand, we have 53 dollar billionaires in India, whereas 77 per cent of our people cannot even spend 20 rupees a day.
Asserting that parliamentary democracy in India is based on the four pillars of sovereignty, secularism, social justice and centre-state relations, Yechury said that all these four pillars have been eroded by the policies of Congress-led and BJP-led governments at the centre and in the states.
The neo-liberal economic policies of the current UPA regime have led to massive price rise and have aggravated the agrarian crisis. Thousands of crores of rupees of tax concessions to the corporates are termed as ‘incentives’, while the pittance doled out to the poor is looked down upon as ‘subsidies’. The shocking corruption scandals that have been recently unearthed are a blot on the nation and their massive scale is a fall-out of the neo-liberal policies. And yet the government has so far refused to accede to the opposition demand for a JPC to go into the telecom scam. Parliament could not function during the whole of its winter session due to this government intransigence.
Yechury concluded by saying that the ruling classes over six decades have created a ‘Shining India’ on the one hand and a ‘Suffering India’ on the other. He outlined the contribution of the Left in the country as a whole, and of the Left-led regimes in West Bengal, Kerala and Tripura. He ended by calling for an alternate radical path which would lead to economic and social equality in the country.
Earlier in the evening, Sitaram Yechury gave the concluding speech in a Jalna district Party class in which state secretary Dr Ashok Dhawale had during the day taken the subject “Building of the Party and the mass organisations in the context of the current political challenges”. State committee member and district secretary Anna Sawant had placed a document outlining the Party plan of tasks to be completed during the coming one year. The Party class was attended by nearly 100 members.
In Aurangabad on the morning of January 29, Sitaram Yechury inaugurated the student council of the Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Marathwada University that had been won by the SFI. Vice Chancellor Dr Pandharipande presided over the function that was held in the Mahatma Phule Hall in the university campus. Among those on the dais were student council president Sandeep Devkar, general secretary Shaikh Zakeria and director of student welfare captain Suresh Gaikwad.
In his speech, Yechury recalled his days as a student in the SFI and in the JNU and explained how and why he was attracted to the Marxist ideology. He spoke of the educational situation in India and the new challenges students will have to face as a result of the neo-liberal policies being pursued by the rulers in the sphere of education. Today, he said, everyone asks the youth to join politics, but we have to decide what kind of politics to join. He then dealt with the grim situation in the country and called upon the students to intervene effectively in order to radically change this state of affairs.
Hanuman Lavhale introduced the guest, Sunil Rathod and Vishakha Shirwadkar conducted the proceedings and Ganesh Rathod proposed the vote of thanks. All these students were SFI activists in the University. The inaugural function was jam-packed, with over 1200 students and faculty members present. Among those who attended were CPI(M) district secretary and state committee member Uddhav Bhavalkar and other leaders of the CITU, DYFI and SFI.
Earlier in the morning, Yechury addressed yet another packed gathering of staff and students in the renowned Saraswati Bhuvan College at Aurangabad. The function was presided over by former Janata Dal MP and well-known socialist Bapusaheb Kaldate. Here also Yechury dealt with the manifold challenges before the country today and clearly projected the Left alternative.