People's Democracy

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


No. 32

August 07, 2011




Convention against Terrorism and Corruption


Mahendra Singh


THE Mumbai units of the CPI(M) and CPI organised a Convention against Terrorism and Corruption at Chhabidas Lalubhai High School Hall, Dadar, on July 22. Held in the background of the July 13 serial terror blasts in Mumbai and the countrywide anti-corruption campaign initiated by the Left parties, the convention received good response from the people belonging to various walks of life, who packed the hall to capacity, listened to speeches with rapt attention and applauded repeatedly.


Sitaram Yechury, member of the CPI(M) Polit Bureau, and Balchandra Kango, Maharashtra state secretary of the CPI, were the main speakers at the convention while CPI(M) state secretary Ashok Dhawale chaired it. Those on the dais, apart from the main speakers and the chairman, included CPI(M) Central Committee member K L Bajaj, CPI(M) Maharashtra secretariat members Mahendra Singh Narsayya Adam, Mariam Dhawale, J P Gavit and Rajaram Ozare, and CPI leaders Prakash Reddy, Narayan Ghagre and Prakash Narvekar.


Prakash Reddy, secretary of the CPI’s Mumbai unit, made the introductory speech, welcomed the main speakers and the other participants, explained the background and the objective of the convention, and flayed the Maharashtra and the union government for repeated terror attacks and corruption scams.


The proceedings commenced with homage to those killed in the July 13 terror attacks. In his hard hitting speech, Ashok Dhawale flayed the Maharashtra state government for its negligence and non-implementation of the measures announced to prevent terror attacks in the aftermath of the November 26, 2008 terrorist acts. He came down heavily on the UPA government for the spate of giant corruption scams. Dwelling on the involvement of various parties in various scams, he said that it was only the Left whose leaders were clean and who consistently raised their voice against corruption. Dhawale reminded the convention that it was Sitaram Yechury who had first exposed the telecom scam.


Narayan Ghagre, CPI Maharashtra’s joint secretary, referred to the all-pervasiveness of corruption and its growing size, calling it a loot on the people. He also came down heavily on purveyors of the communal worldview and the hate ideology, and held them responsible for the terror attacks.


Mahendra Singh, the CPI(M)’s Mumbai secretary, congratulated the citizens of Mumbai for foiling the game plan of the terrorists, giving a rebuff to the BJP, SS and MNS, and maintaining peace and social amity. He emphasised that the US imperialist policy of imposing its hegemony on the world and the fundamentalist ideology of hate were the root cause of terror attacks today. He warned that the UPA government’s policy of blindly supporting the US imperialists would make India more vulnerable to terror attacks. He also pointed out the nature and limitations of the anti-corruption campaign of Anna Hazare and Baba Ramdev, urging upon the participants to popularise the Left viewpoint on the issue.


Bhalchandra Kango congratulated the Mumbai units of the CPI(M) and CPI for organising the convention. Referring to Anna Hazare and Baba Ramdev brand agitation, he said that it is the supporters of the same neo-liberal policies, which were the root cause of the current spate of corruption scams, who were behind these people. Elaborating the demands of the anti-corruption campaign of the Left parties, he said that it was an illusion to hope that corruption would be eliminated by merely enacting a Lokpal legislation. Even though an effective Lokpal legislation is necessary, corruption cannot be effectively fought without a people’s struggle. He came down heavily on Raj Thackeray for his statement that terror attacks would continue until migrant inflow was prohibited.


In his 45 minutes of lucid and enlightening speech, punctuated with heavy knocks at the UPA government as well as the BJP-SS combine, Sitaram Yechury dealt with the causes of continuing terror attacks and all-pervasive corruption. Corruption, he said, was not new to India; it has a tradition. He narrated a short ancient story in this regard. What was new, he pointed out, was the huge amount of money involved in the latest corruption scams, a product of the politician-bureaucrat-businessman nexus. He called it a plunder of the people’s resources and pointed out how numerous welfare measures could be implemented with the money that was involved in the telecom scam. He tore apart the argument that various controls were at the root of corruption and proved with facts and figures that corruption blossomed in the aftermath of the introduction of neo-liberal reforms. He traced the history of the Lokpal Bill and strongly criticised the Congress for its opposition to inclusion of the prime minister in the ambit of the Lokpal Bill. He elaborated the demands of the Left parties’ anti-corruption campaign and said that an effective Lokpal Act and a return to the country of the black money stashed abroad was not enough. We also need a judicial commission to curb corruption in the higher echelons of the judiciary; electoral reforms including introduction of the proportional representation system is also necessary. Turning to the terror issue, Yechury said the US imperialist policy of imposing its hegemony all over the world was the root cause of the terror attacks. He said that the US state terrorism and fundamentalist terror feed each other. He came down very hardly on the UPA government’s policy of making India a subordinate strategic ally of the USA. This, he said, is bound to make India all the more vulnerable to fundamentalist terror. He exhorted the audience to take the message of the convention to the masses and advance the cause of building a new and stronger India.