People's Democracy

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


No. 21

May 27, 2012

On T P Chandrasekharan Murder & Anti-CPI(M) Campaign


Below we publish excerpts from a speech delivered by Prakash Karat, general secretary of the CPI(M), at  Kalliasseri in Kannur district on E K Nayanar Day on May 19, 2012.


THE communist movement in Kannur and in Kerala grew by fighting imperialism and feudal landlordism, and by consistently championing the people’s interests. It grew by building the working class and peasant movements.


All this was possible due to the superior ideology and correct politics of the Communist Party. We have seen how our movement was subject to physical attacks and violence by the reactionary forces. Here in Kannur district, in the 1970s, employers and capitalists imported goondas belonging to the RSS to attack the beedi workers and their union. This was the origin of the RSS violence against the communists. The Congress and the RSS have resorted to such methods time and again to suppress the CPI(M).


But we have rebuffed all such attacks with the support of the people. This was possible because our ideology and politics was supported by the people.


Our party believes in fighting politically and ideologically the parties of the ruling classes. That is what AKG, EMS, E K Nayanar and other leaders stood for.


We do not believe in using weapons to kill political opponents and those who disagree with us. Our greatest weapon is the Marxist ideology and the politics of the working class.


A few days ago, T P Chandrasekharan, a former member of the party and the leader of a political group in Kozhikode district, was brutally murdered. We condemn this heinous killing unreservedly.


Utilising this murder, the Congress and the UDF and a section of the media have launched a vicious campaign to defame the CPI(M) and to portray the party as a party of killers and those who indulge in the politics of murder.


There has to be a full investigation into this crime and to identify those responsible and to bring them to justice. But the manner in which the police investigation is being influenced and interfered with by the UDF government is a glaring example of political vendetta. Even the union minister of state for home affairs, Mulapally Ramachandran, has brazenly sought to influence the investigation by declaring from the outset that the CPI(M) is responsible for the murder, and continues in this vein by stating that the CPI(M) leaders have to be held responsible.


The Congress leadership including their ministers are out in force to reap some political benefit out of this tragic murder.


The CPI(M) rejects this slanderous campaign. It will mobilise the people to rebuff this brazen effort to defame and malign the party.


It is necessary to reiterate once again that the CPI(M) will firmly defend the interests of the working people and our movement. But we do not subscribe to individual killings of political opponents or those opposed to our party and its politics.


There has to be a fair and impartial investigation by the police of the crime committed. If there is any truth in the allegations about the involvement of any member of our party in this crime, we shall take it seriously. If any person belonging to our party is associated with this murder then that is an act that goes against the interests of our party and the movement. Such an act would not be tolerated by the party and firm action will be taken. If there is any wrong trend, it will be stopped and corrected.


There has been a concerted and motivated campaign to defame our party in Kannur. There have been countless comrades in this district who have laid down their lives defending the working class and peasant movements. Many have fallen victim to the politics of violence and assassinations by the reactionary forces. All this is brushed aside to portray a one-sided picture of violence and killings by the Marxists. Those who cannot isolate and defeat us on the basis of politics and ideology, are attempting to mislead and confuse people by presenting a distorted picture of the communist movement here.


On the occasion of the E K Nayanar anniversary, we wish to send out a clear message. The CPI(M) and the Left movement will continue to champion the cause of the people, and lead the struggles of the workers, peasants and other sections of the toiling people. We shall fight the caste and communal politics of the Congress party and the UDF. We shall unite the Left and democratic forces and march ahead.




One Year of Despair


N S Sajith


WHILE Ms Mamata Banerjee celebrated her government’s first anniversary with much fanfare, the first anniversary of Oommen Chandy government in Kerala on May 18 was a low key affair. The desperation of the United Democratic Front’s (UDF) leadership over their poor performance was starkly apparent as the government did not show any interest in publishing a single piece of advertisement in the newspapers or TV channels across the state.


A complete failure to maintain the achievements of the previous Left Democratic Front (LDF) governments is the highlight of one year old administration of Oommen Chandi. The LDF observed the day as Treachery Day. In every panchayat centre, the LDF organised a huge rally in connection with the observance of the Treachery Day. Surprisingly, no attempt was made by the UDF leaders to counter the viewpoint put forward by the LDF. 


This was but natural. The previous LDF government had succeeded in protecting the people from the hardships generated by the neo-liberal policies of the centre. Its policies fully stopped the farmers’ suicide which was rampant during the preceding UDF government’s tenure in 2001-2005. During the LDF rule, many public sector units (PSUs) were started and all state PSUs made profitable. In terms of financial health, the state was in the pink at that time. Welfare measures were introduced for all sections. The shocks of the incessant price rise were absorbed by the effective market interventions. Communal amity was intact at that time. 


Now after a whole year, the people of Kerala have got a good chance to compare the policies of the previous LDF and the incumbent UDF governments. It is a government surviving by a thin majority of just two seats, and is excessively eager to maintain its balance by appeasing all reactionary elements in the society. All communal and caste forces, including the Muslim League, Nair Service Society and Srinarayana Dharmaparipalana Sangham, are being appeased by the government. Their loud and ugly bargainings for various petty gains have almost ruined the communal fabric of the Kerala society. The issue of awarding a fifth ministerial post to the Muslim League recently generated a shoddy debate, based on communal colours. Even some Congress leaders, including Aryadan Muhammed, the electricity minister, was constrained to say that terrorist elements had intruded into the Muslim League. 


Manipulation of the process of dealing with corruption cases involving certain ministers seemed to be one of the main tasks of the chief minister, Oommen Chandy, who was himself involved in corruption cases regarding palmoline import and the Titanium anti- pollution project. His regime worked day and night to push these cases under the carpet. Some UDF leaders even abused a vigilance judge who has been hearing the palmoline case. 


A nasty attempt to tumble the land reform process was also seen in the current year. Land reforms are considered to be the core foundation of all achievements of Kerala has made so far. Now the real estate mafia and other tycoons are delighted over the move of the UDF government to allow plantations for other uses and to introduce contract farming in the state. 


A number of developmental projects, with the total allocation of 5,751 crore rupees, were scrapped during the last year. The Ayyankali Employment Guarantee Scheme, introduced by the preceding LDF regime, was abolished. The UDF government also abolished the one month maternity leave scheme in the unorganised sector and the scheme for investment of Rs 10,000 in the name of every newborn child were also scrapped. Many profit making public sector units turned loss making. 


Education and health sectors have been the main casualties in this one year. An atmosphere for growth of corruption is being created in these sectors. Private schools managements were given more opportunities to begin new schools which squeeze high fees from students. The government hospital system is getting shattered because of ineffective management. Load shedding and power cut are revisiting the state. The UDF’s stand on the Mullapperiyar dam issue was also anti-people. The law and order system has become a farce. Crime rate and atrocities against women have gone up in the last one year. Even some Congress MLAs are found involved in certain cases of atrocities.




On May 18, CPI(M) state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan said the UDF government is manoeuvring the investigation into the murder of T P Chandrasekharan, in order to fix the CPI(M) leaders in the state, and they are bringing much pressure on the investigating officers for the purpose. Some officers, who have shown reluctance to arrest the CPI(M) leaders without any evidence, have been dropped from the team. Vijayan also warned the UDF leaders that they would not succeed in their attempt to eliminate the CPI(M) with the help of any such investigation. Pinarayi Vijayan was addressing a press conference in AKG Centre, the state headquarters of the CPI(M).


A section of the UDF bosses, other prominent leaders and a section of the mainstream media are continuously accusing the CPI(M) for the Chandrasekharan murder case. The CPI(M) has already condemned the murder of Chandrasekharan, former party worker and a leader of the Revolutionary Marxist Party, which was formed at Onchiyam in Kozhikode. But the chief minister Oommen Chandy, home minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan and minister of state (home affairs) Mullappalli Ramachandran getting over-enthusiastic to point an accusing finger at the CPI(M). This is nothing but unduly influencing the investigation. It was recently learnt that an instruction has been given to the investigating officers to arrest two prominent CPI(M) leaders.


A series of fabricated stories are already being circulated by the police and the media in connection with the Chandrasekharan murder, Pinarayi added.




After the manoeuvring to withdraw the Palmoline case in which the chief minister Oommen Chandy was himself involved, it was the turn of the 500 crore signboard scam case. The investigation into the scam, which had led to a big uproar in the Kerala state assembly during the previous tenure of the UDF government in 2005, with the same Oommen Chandi as the chief minister, is now on the verge of being dismantled. A special investigation team of the state’s vigilance department has filed an application in the vigilance court to allow withdrawal of the case. This was followed by the government’s decision to deny the permission to prosecute the accused. 


In 2005, it was the late T M Jacob, who was a part of UDF and the Oommen Chandi ministry, who had raised the issue in the stae assembly. He had then argued that Oommen Chandi was behind the Rs 500 crore scam. 


In this case a contract for the project to instal signboards along the National Highway in Kerala, was awarded without any bid and also bypassing the central laws. A case was then registered by the vigilance department against the National Highway chief engineer P C Kuttappan, National Highway Roads and Bridges chief engineer Joseph Mathew and a contactor called Habeeb Rahman. This contract for a long 30 years, awarded without any bid, caused a huge loss to the government.


There was widespread agitation during 2005 against Oommen Chandy’s involvement in this case.


While filing the application to withdraw the case, the government argued that it had as yet suffered no losses and that only departmental action was needed. 


On May 17, the CPI(M)’s state secretary Pinarayi Vijayan said that the government’s move to withdraw the case was in itself an instance of corruption and a challenge to the rule of law. This decision was highly objectionable, he added. The signboard deal has caused a huge loss to the state’s exchequer and Oommen Chandy has once again proved that he could well lead a plot to manipulate and misuse the administration to save himself from the scam, Pinarayi said through a statement.