People's Democracy

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


No. 21

May 27, 2012



Police Lathicharges Protestors Near CM’s Camp Office


ON May 21, protest demonstrators belonging to various mass organisations, including many women activists, were lathicharged by the Haryana police near the residence of the state’s chief minister, Bhupender Singh Hooda, in Rohtak. Led by Dr Jagmati Sangwan, an AIDWA leader and other office bearers of various unions, they wanted to submit a memorandum to the CM’s camp office which was shifted to the CM’s residence recently. The lathi blows injured some of the women and other protesters, compelling the agitating persons to stage a sit-in on the spot and thus to a road block. CPI(M) leader Brinda Karat too joined the protest and asked the senior police officers to take action against those policemen responsible for this unprovoked lathi charge. The officiating SP, Dhankhar, expressed apology and assured action against the erring cops.


The scandal and the irregularities related to exploitation and torture of poor and helpless children and women by “Apna Ghar” and “Suparna ka Angan” are well known by now. This has shocked all the sensitive and justice loving democratic sections of the society. In order to express their anger against such criminal acts and practices, a huge state level procession was organised on May 21 under the aegis of “Jan Sangathan Manch” at the local Chottu Ram Park, in which hundreds of women, men and children from all over the state participated and registered their strong protest. They included participants from the All India Democratic Women’s Association, Centre of Indian Trade Unions, Kisan Sabha, Democratic Youth, Students Federation of India and several other organisations.


They were addressed, among others, by Ms Brinda Karat, a former MP and CPI(M) Polit Bureau member, who strongly criticised the Haryana government for showing utter insensitivity towards  the alleged crimes against those who most needed the protection in government aided shelter homes. She stated that though some NGOs were doing better social work, many were indulging in making money by corrupt means. She wondered how a woman charged with grave criminal offences was still not dropped from government committees and the awards conferred upon her had not been taken back.


CPI(M) state secretary Inderjit Singh also condemned the use of police force in order to prevent the peaceful protesters from approaching the CM’s camp office.


Later the ADC gave in writing that the administration was recommending the withdrawal of awards given to Mrs Yashwanti and her removal from government panels as demanded by the protestors. Following this assurance, the latter ended the dharna and the traffic was restored.


The AIDWA-affiliated Janwadi Mahila Samiti’s unit in Rohtak has constantly been protesting against it through protest dharnas, processions, street-corner meetings and other means. Since May 14, it has been constantly striving to make the people aware about how public and government money is being misused in the name of social service. Not only this, the inhuman treatment meted out in shelter houses, that includes sexual exploitation and sale of girls/children, is a matter of grave concern. It is believed that some government officials have been constantly visiting these shelter houses. The Janwadi Mahila Samiti has many a time lodged protest against this state of affairs and met the administration officials. Recently, on May 8, 2012, an AIDWA delegation under the leadership of Jagmati Sangwan met the inspector general of police, Alok Mittal, and appraised him of irregularities in the “Apna Ghar.”


Later on, Brinda Karat and Jagmati Sangwan also addressed a protest meeting in Gohana, organised against the gang rape of a dalit girl student at Khanpur Mahila University. They also met the vice chancellor and demanded justice to the victim and adequate security for girl students.





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.