(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
May 20, 2012
Basudeb Acharia IN Lok Sabha, CPI(M) group leader Basudeb
Acharia said that while we are observing the 60th year of our parliament, we
should remember those who laid down their lives and went to the gallows. The
sacrifices of the heroes of our freedom struggle won us independence and we
adopted the parliamentary democratic system of governance. We will have to
seriously think whether the problems of inequality, discrimination, poverty,
exploitation, etc have increased or decreased, and whether the intent of the
founding fathers of the constitution has been implemented in letter and spirit,
in this 60 years period. We see that the poverty has not reduced; happiness has
not come to the people. The gap between the rich and the poor has increased.
Lakhs and lakhs of people are still born under the sky and die under the sky.
We have not been able to provide shelter to 100 per cent of our population. We
cannot even provide safe drinking water to the poor. We must seriously think of
the tribals and dalits whose conditions have not improved. If a farmer commits
suicide after 64 years of independence, we will have to seriously think over
it. Another major problem which is corroding our parliamentary democracy is the
use of money power in elections. If voters and votes are purchased, what will
happen to the parliamentary democracy? There is a need for electoral reforms. Unless
there is state funding of elections, we will not be able to curb the use of
money power. Something has to be done to cleanse the system and protect it from
corrosion. We should seriously ponder over it. The problems of discrimination,
exploitation, pauperisation of the people, starvation and illiteracy still
exist in this country, and we cannot enjoy the successes and achievements of
our parliamentary democracy unless we remove these ills. The sitting extended till the evening. Both
the houses adjourned after passing a resolution to uphold the dignity and
supremacy of parliament.
IN Lok Sabha, CPI(M) group leader Basudeb Acharia said that while we are observing the 60th year of our parliament, we should remember those who laid down their lives and went to the gallows. The sacrifices of the heroes of our freedom struggle won us independence and we adopted the parliamentary democratic system of governance. We will have to seriously think whether the problems of inequality, discrimination, poverty, exploitation, etc have increased or decreased, and whether the intent of the founding fathers of the constitution has been implemented in letter and spirit, in this 60 years period. We see that the poverty has not reduced; happiness has not come to the people. The gap between the rich and the poor has increased. Lakhs and lakhs of people are still born under the sky and die under the sky. We have not been able to provide shelter to 100 per cent of our population. We cannot even provide safe drinking water to the poor. We must seriously think of the tribals and dalits whose conditions have not improved. If a farmer commits suicide after 64 years of independence, we will have to seriously think over it. Another major problem which is corroding our parliamentary democracy is the use of money power in elections. If voters and votes are purchased, what will happen to the parliamentary democracy? There is a need for electoral reforms. Unless there is state funding of elections, we will not be able to curb the use of money power. Something has to be done to cleanse the system and protect it from corrosion. We should seriously ponder over it. The problems of discrimination, exploitation, pauperisation of the people, starvation and illiteracy still exist in this country, and we cannot enjoy the successes and achievements of our parliamentary democracy unless we remove these ills.
The sitting extended till the evening. Both the houses adjourned after passing a resolution to uphold the dignity and supremacy of parliament.
Joint Statement issued by the Communist & Workers' Parties
NATO, A Threat to World Peace!
Below we publish the joint statement of the Communist and Workers' parties on NATO issued on May 17, 2012. The CPI(M) has signed the statement along with many other parties.
IN an international situation marked by the deepening
crisis of capitalism and by the violent imperialist offensive against the
achievements and rights of the workers and peoples, a NATO summit will take
place on May 20-21, in
In the context of an ever-deeper crisis of capitalism, imperialism embarks on a militaristic and interventionist escalation.
Having renewed NATO's strategic concept in 2010 - a new and dangerous qualitative step in its interventionist ambitions, of which the aggression against Libya was an example – the USA and NATO, which has the EU as its European pillar, seek to expand their sphere of influence, promote an arms race and ever greater military spending, invest in new weapons and in their worldwide network of military bases.
Imperialism militarizes international relations, proceeds with occupations, threatens new aggressions, promotes conspiracies and manoeuvers of interference in countries of every continent. The principles of the UN Charter are seriously jeopardized and the process which seeks to destroy International Law is accompanied by an ever greater instrumentalization of the UN, with a view to whitewashing imperialist violence and its goals of controlling resources and markets and of military and geostrategic domination.
NATO, being imperialism's main instrument in its quest for world domination, is an enormous threat to world peace and security.
But, as the facts are demonstrating, imperialism's force-based response to the crisis of capitalism is having to confront the progressive and revolutionary struggle of the peoples, which in various parts of the world are taking into their own hands the defense of their rights and the sovereignty and independence of their countries and are resisting in the most diversified ways, imposing setbacks to the strategy of imperialist domination.
Reaffirming thier commitment to the struggle for peace, for the right of each people to freely decide its destiny, for social progress and socialism, the Communist and Workers' Parties signing this declaration:
Demand the immediate withdrawal of all foreign troops from
Reject the escalation of war in the Middle East, namely against
- Demand the dissolution of NATO and support the sovereign right of peoples to decide to disassociate their countries from this aggressive alliance;
Reject the deployment of
- Demand an end to the arms race, nuclear disarmament starting with the world's major nuclear powers – such as the USA - and the complete destruction of chemical and biological weapons;
Express their solidarity
with the peoples that resist imperialist occupation, aggression and
interference, namely in the Middle East, Asia, Latin America and
Chilean Communists Celebrating
Hundred Years of Struggle
THE Communist Party of Chile (PCCh) is celebrating its 100th anniversary of foundation. It was founded as the Partido Obrero Socialista, (Socialist Workers’ Party) on June 12, 1912 by Luis Emilio Recabarren, along with 30 miners and workers in the northern Chilean city of Iquique, in the office of the newspaper El Despertar de los Trabajadores (The Workers’ Awakening). The name of the party was changed into the Communist Party at the Party’s Second Congress on January 2, 1922 and in the same year it became a member of the Communist International.
Over decades of
struggle, Chilean Communists have faced periods of intense persecution and were
forced to work underground on a number of occasions. Members were attacked,
imprisoned and murdered. The torture and death of renowned Marxist
singer/songwriter Víctor Jara was one of the worst crimes of the 17-year
Augusto Pinochet dictatorship, which failed to eliminate Communist ideas in
While forced to work underground, the PCCh supported Salvador Allende for the first time in the presidential elections of 1952. Towards this end, they established, with the Socialist Party, the National Liberation Front or People’s Front. The Front was defeated in this election and also in the subsequent elections in 1958. But the Party gained popularity and allies. The struggle continued to intensify until in 1969, another coalition was formed (including the PCCh), to enter the 1970 elections as the Popular Unity alliance with a program which attracted the masses, fed up with the broken promises of the bourgeois parties.
Allende won, but
the nationalisation of the copper industry and other measures meant to benefit
the poorest sectors of the population were unacceptable to the oligarchy. With
the help of the
The Communist Party of Chile (PCCh), over the course of its 100 years of existence, in spite of various obstacles, found ways to carry on its struggle for liberty and social justice. Its significant prestige was evident during the massive student demonstrations last year which challenged President Sebastián Piñera’s right-wing government. In the vanguard of the movement were Karol Cariola, secretary general of the Young Communists and Camila Vallejo, a member of its executive and currently vice president of the nation’s Student Federation. Thousands of students demanded free, quality education and did not retreat despite brutal repression. Communists also supported the demands of workers and the massive protests against the government’s neo-liberal policies, as well as calls to reform the constitution. It is these consistent struggles that are earning the party immense support among the people even today.
veto exercised by Russia and China on February 4 in the
United Nations Security
Council (UNSC) on the resolution against Syria and the
retreat by the rebels
from cities like Homs and Idlib in March have put the plans
for regime change
in Syria, hatched in western capitals, on hold. The West and
its allies in the
Arab world, headed by
FROM WESTERN POWERS
that the prospects of open foreign military intervention in
Arab League resolution, presented to the UNSC, masqueraded
as an attempt to
bring a peaceful end to the violence that has gripped Syria
since March last
year. The resolution in fact was a blueprint for regime
change as it demanded
the resignation of the Syrian president and the holding of
elections. The resolution had gone on to state that it would
American secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, while
pronouncing from the
rooftops that “Assad has to go,” also kept on insisting that
there were no
plans “to pursue any kind of military intervention.” The
minster, who played a big role in unleashing the dogs of war
Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, had warned that the
passing of the
UNSC resolution on
Washington and its allies had worked overtime to convince Russia and China to go along with the Arab League resolution. Behind the scenes assurances were given that their interests in Syria would not be affected by regime change. Syrian opposition leaders were dispatched to meet Russian diplomats to assure them that Russian interests will be preserved in a post-Assad era. Syria has been a long standing ally of Moscow. Much of the weaponry for the Syrian security forces is provided by Russia. In recent period, China has also been selling military equipment to Syria. Both Moscow and Beijing are well aware that the regime change project envisaged by West for Syria is part of the grand strategy to weaken the resistance to US hegemony in the region. If Assad falls, the Lebanese resistance movement --- the Hezbollah --- will be next in Washington’s crosshairs. After that it will be the turn of Iran. War clouds are already hovering over Iran with the US military significantly bolstering its presence in the Persian Gulf.
After the resolution failed in the Security Council, western leaders were sharply critical of Moscow and China. The US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, stated that Russia and China bore “the responsibility for the horrors that are occurring on the ground in Syria.” The Arab street has not forgotten that the US has wielded the most number of vetoes in the Security Council, most of them on behalf of its closest ally in the region --- Israel. The massacres of Palestinians and Lebanese by Israeli forces through the years have gone uncensored and unpunished with the connivance of Washington. As for the US itself, it has been responsible for the worst instances of human rights violations. The massacre of civilians in Fallujah is only a recent illustration.
In the last couple of months, the Syrian government has made several gestures to show to the international community that it was serious about ending the cycle of bloody violence. The Arab League was allowed to send in its monitoring mission despite misgivings about its motives. The head of the Arab League’s mission, Mohammad al-Dabi, had in his report said that the situation was improving when the observers were on the ground. Al-Dabi, a former intelligence chief of Sudan, while addressing a press conference in Cairo in third week of January, criticised the foreign media for exaggerating the violence in Syria, stressing that the situation inside the country had improved since the monitoring mission began its work in December. He also said that the Syrian government fully cooperated with the mission. But Saudi Arabia and Qatar, which are backing the Islamist dominated Syrian National Council and the Free Syria Army, are fixated on regime change in Damascus. The Arab League’s monitoring mission issued a report which said that the government alone was not responsible for the continuing bloodshed. Saudi Arabia, the main financier of the mission, withdrew its observers, unhappy with the report. The mission was forced to cease its work and withdraw from Syria.
On February 12, al-Dabi was forced to resign as head of the monitoring mission by the Arab League. After that a request was put to Damascus for the observer’s mission to be allowed in once again. This time the Syrian government refused to grant permission as the Arab League in its meeting in Cairo on February 12 had also called for a joint peace keeping force comprising of the UN and the Arab League states to Syria.
The Arab League’s monitoring commission’s report had categorically stated that there was no organised, lethal attack by the Syrian government against peaceful protestors. Instead, the report stated that armed gangs were responsible for carrying out terror attacks against civilians, leading to the thousands of deaths, including over a thousand Syrian troops. The report gave specific instances of bombing of civilian buses and trains and the sabotaging of gas pipelines.
The five member Arab League’s Ministerial Committee approved the report, with only Qatar voting against it. Qatar has now assumed the chairmanship of the Arab League though it was the turn of the Palestinian Authority (PA) to do so. The PA vacated the post in favour of Qatar. Qatar has since announced 400 million dollars in aid to the cash strapped PA. The Emir of Qatar had issued an appeal for open military intervention in Syria, saying that his country was willing to deploy troops there. Qatar, along with France and Britain, was among the first countries to send Special Forces clandestinely to Libya when the counter-revolution against Colonel Muammar Gaddafi began early last year. New Delhi too ignored the Arab League’s monitoring mission’s report and preferred to cast its lot with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) which dominates decision making in the Arab League and the West on the issue of regime change in Syria.
It has been evident for some months that sections of the Syrian opposition are aligned with terror groups. The western media still gives credence to allegations that all the terror attacks are the handiwork of the government. The al Qaeda has claimed credit for the three big terror attacks in Damascus and Aleppo. In a video recording released in the second week of February, the al Qaeda chief, Ayman al Zawahri, called on Muslims in the region to join the uprising against “the pernicious, cancerous regime” in Syria. Another report from Tripoli quoted the Libyan foreign minister as saying that the interim government will not stop Libyans from joining the fight against the Syrian government. The interim government in Libya, installed under NATO supervision, has already recognised the Syrian National Council and has formally handed over the Syrian embassy in Tripoli to the rebel group. The Libyan Islamist leader, Abdulhakim Belhadj, who now occupies a top position in the government, met with leaders of the Syrian Free Army in Istanbul recently. According to reports, Libyan fighters were among the first foreign fighters to reach Syria and fight alongside the Syrian rebels in hotspots like Homs and Hama. There are also unconfirmed reports about Qatari and British Special Forces helping the Free Syrian Army. Washington has called for the establishment of a “humanitarian corridor” to assist the anti-government rebels in Syria.