People's Democracy

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


No. 17

April 29, 2012



Against RSS-BJP Communal Agenda


This 20th Congress of the CPI(M) notes with grave concern, the misuse of the government machinery in BJP-ruled states to advance the communal BJP-RSS agenda. In addition, the BJP-RSS continues its communal propaganda in other states also.


The 20th Party Congress holds the hate propaganda of the RSS and its many fronts responsible for the rise of Hindutva terror groups, many of which had used BJP ruled Madhya Pradesh as a base for training. The utter hypocrisy of the RSS combine’s claims to be a patriotic force against terrorism is thoroughly exposed by the fact that many RSS pracharaks are accused in the cases of bomb explosions in Malegaon, Mecca Masjid, Ajmer Sharif and the Samjhauta train blasts in which hundreds of innocent people were killed. While demanding speedy trial and punishment in these cases, the 20th Party Congress calls upon the central government to adequately compensate all those Muslim youth who were wrongly accused and jailed for months and years in these cases.


This Party Congress demands justice for the victims of the Gujarat genocide. Justice continues to be subverted for the families of the victims who were brutally killed in the communal violence of 2002. Many of those guilty continue to occupy high office. Every pressure is being brought to save Narendra Modi, chief minister from being named as an accused in the Gulbarg Society case, even though there is sufficient evidence of his complicity in the violence. On the contrary, officers who want to give witness against him are being threatened in various ways. This Party Congress demands an end to the subversion of law by the Narendra Modi government.


There has been an increase in attacks on the rights of minorities as well as communal incidents targeting minority communities in states under BJP rule as in the Mangalore region of Karnataka. Here, churches have been destroyed while a special target of attack has been friendship between students of different communities.


This Party Congress notes with concern that in other states ruled by the BJP, like Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Chattisgarh and Karnataka, public money is being channelled to NGOs sponsored by the RSS, to help them to spread their communal agenda. In Madhya Pradesh, valuable land has been given to such communal outfits. In addition, secular welfare schemes like mid-day meal schemes or anganwadi centres are sought to be communalised through the introduction of Hindu rituals and recitation of mantras within the functioning of the scheme. The study of the Bhagwat Gita is made compulsory in Madhya Pradesh. In the name of cultural and social programmes, young children are made to participate in programmes like Guru Dakshina, thread ceremonies etc., all associated with Brahmanical rituals. These create problems for children of the oppressed castes. In particular, RSS sponsored NGOs are helped to introduce such Hinduised rituals in adivasi areas to weaken adivasi cultures and diverse forms of worship of their own deities linked to nature.


The civil and police administration are being communalised and brought under the RSS control in order to achieve these aims.  Making it legal for government servants to attend RSS shakhas is actually an encouragement to them to do so. 


This 20th Congress of the CPI(M) pledges to fight communalism of all shades. It pledges to make special efforts to combat this danger in the BJP-ruled states.  It pledges to expose the fact that the Sangh Parivar and other communal groups are also the greatest proponents and supporters of anti-people neo-liberal policies.



In Defence of the Rights of the Urban Poor against Anti-People

Urban Reforms


The 20th Party Congress of the CPI(M) notes that while urbanisation in many states has picked up in the recent period in our country, the central government is imposing a regime of urban reform reflecting the policies of the World Bank. The basic thrust of these policies is to meet the requirements of the neo-rich, the corporate and foreign investors. Considering that the process of urbanisation in a country like India also reflects distress migration to the cities of the rural population, these policies have a very negative impact on the vast mass of the urban poor.

Reform projects like the JNNURM, make allocation of funds conditional to the acceptance of anti-people conditions such as the lifting of the urban land ceiling and imposition of a range of user charges on essential civic services. Urban bodies are deprived of funds and the burden of these policies is borne by the common people and particularly the urban poor. Although many state governments, who are committed to such policies themselves, raise no objections, in fact, the very project is an assault and encroachment on the rights of the states. It is only the Left Front governments in West Bengal, Kerala and Tripura which had fought against these conditions.

This Party Congress strongly protests against the imposition of high user charges and the constant hike in charges on various municipal services such as water, sanitation, betterment charges ranging from 100 to 1000 per cent. Municipal services which were directly handled by municipalities which were accountable to the people are now being privatised. Various concessions extended to the people are being withdrawn.

This Party Congress notes with deep concern that on the basic right of housing for the urban poor instead of utilising the available land to meet the housing needs of people, the policy being adopted by the central government is resulting in handing over of lands to private real estate operators. Rajiv Awas Yojana (RAY), a recently-introduced scheme, provides an opportunity for the private real estate operators to grab large extent of urban lands which are hitherto with the poor urban slum-dwellers. The RAY, in its preamble, envisages totally slum-free cities. It listed out various categories of land belonging to government or quasi-government institutions, where slums are not permitted. Wherever an exception is to be made, the scheme insists that it should be a PPP model housing only. Taking advantage of this scheme and its related policies, private real estate mafia is resorting to unscrupulous means to drive away the poor from their dwellings to take over the lands. At the same time the Indian Railways and other central government institutions which own a substantial amount of land in urban areas are evicting thousands of families who have been living on that land for decades. The police firing and repression in Jharkhand on those resisting evictions resulting in the deaths of six persons and recently the brutal evictions in Kolkata show the anti-poor nature of these reforms.

During the Left Front regime in Bengal, an alternative method of housing for the poor was developed with in situ development of slums in Kolkata and distribution of urban land pattas for the cost of just one rupee. This model should be used all over the country.

This Party Congress calls upon its units in urban areas to take up the wide range of civic issues concerning the urban poor and organise them in their residential areas. This must include the rights of the working poor such as street vendors and migrants. It gives a clarion call for a determined struggle against the harmful urban reforms.

For Rights of Bengali Refugees


This Party Congress calls upon the central government to honour the assurance given by the prime minister to sympathetically consider the legitimate demand of the large numbers of Bengali refugees to recognise them as citizens of India. They had fled their country, erstwhile East Pakistan and then Bangladesh. A large number of these refugees belong to the Scheduled Castes, mainly Namashudra communities and are living in different parts of the country.

This Party Congress recognises that the heightened insecurity of these communities is because of their exclusion in the current Aadhar drive of citizen identification which makes them even more vulnerable.

At the time of the parliament discussion on the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2003, all political parties from across the spectrum had supported an amendment to protect these citizens who are victims of historical circumstances. Yet, even after so many years, the law considers them illegal migrants. There are cases where they have been treated like criminals.

This Party Congress demands a suitable amendment in Clause 2 (i) (b) of the said Citizenship Act in relation to the Bangladesh minority community refugees. This must be done while protecting the Assam accord which is relevant to the specific situation in Assam. It demands that the central government bring such an amendment in the forthcoming budget session of parliament. It assures these communities the support of the CPI (M) in their struggle for their genuine demands.