Monday, April 20, 2009
Parliament election are underway in india. But it would be interesting to see what the largest communist party in India, the CPI (Maoist)thinks of it. In an interview with the Maoist Information Bulletin (MIB), the spokesperson for the central committe of the CPI(Maoist) Azad spoke on topics ranging from the elections in India, the global economic crisis, its impact on India, the G20 Summit, etc. The excerpt of the interview given below focuses on the Lok Sabha elections.
MIB: Election-2009 in India has been hailed as the biggest election ever held in the world with almost a billion voters participating. Does the increasing hype over the elections show the growing faith of the people on ‘parliamentary democracy’?
A: Certainly not. The claim that there has been an increase in the faith of the people on ‘parliamentary democracy’ is a hollow, concocted and outright false claim. The very fact that every day the media, the central and state governments, and all the contesting ruling class parties are dinning into the ears of the people to exercise their so-called holy vote, shows the desperation of the reactionary ruling classes to refurbish the debilitated image of their so-called parliamentary democracy. Thousands of crores are being spent on this propaganda alone.
So scared are these bandicoots that they can never imagine allowing the voters the minimum democratic right to reject the parties and candidates contesting the election. They fear that if the option of rejecting the candidates was given, then those who had been hitherto indifferent to the elections—who actually constitute the majority in any election—would perhaps vote against everyone and prove in categorical terms the futility of parliamentary democracy. But even otherwise, if you look beyond the 24-hour non-stop screening of election by hundreds of so-called news channels (I say so-called since hardly any of the news channels provides anything worth calling as real news), and go to the grass-roots level you can see the apathy, disillusionment, even hatred and anger against the parliamentary system and the parliamentary parties. Both have lost their credibility as never before and the more the people lose faith in the parliamentary parties and institutions, the greater is the noise generated by the media and the ruling classes through every means at their disposal calling upon the people to cast their vote.
MIB: The Party has given a call to boycott the elections. But on the other hand it seems the interest and involvement of the people in the elections is growing. If this were true, then how do you account for this discrepancy and plan to deal with this?
A: As I had explained earlier, there is neither any interest nor involvement of the people in the parliamentary elections. In fact, even the narrow base of some of the parties had taken further beating this time. Contrary to the images you see on the idiot boxes, the involvement of the people has further declined when compared to earlier election. Hence the desperate attempt by the rulers to rope in film stars, cricketers and popular personalities into publicity campaigns to “educate” the people regarding the virtues of parliamentary democracy, and about the great responsibility of the citizens in casting their votes. To make one believe that the system is really democratic, they call on you not to vote for criminal elements but for those committed to country’s progress, those who are not corrupt, and so on. What is to be done when all the candidates are rogues—which is evident in at least nine out of ten cases—is left unaddressed.
It is, of course, true that some of the candidates and parties are able to draw crowds to some extent. In a country with over a billion population it is not difficult to find a few thousands, and at times a few lakhs, of people to attend meetings and rallies if the sponsors arrange for transport and meals, and pay them some money. Then caste, clan, regional loyalties or admiration for cine stars attract some crowds. One can see how hard the political parties have been working in every state to bring cine actors into electioneering for various parties. The political leaders know that the disenchantment of the masses had grown to such an extent that they cannot even address them without roping in some popular personality. Seeing images of “huge” crowds at the meetings should not make one to hastily conclude that more people have become interested in the fake exercise of elections and that parliamentary democracy has gained some credibility in the eyes of the people. On the contrary, the opposite is actually the truth.
MIB: What do you say of the attempts by the “Left” parties to build a non-BJP, non-Congress secular democratic alternative at the Centre through a Third Front? What would be the impact of such a Third Front on the Indian politics?
A: The so-called Third Front that is sought to be forged by the CPI and CPI(Marxist) as a secular, democratic front comprising all the non-Congress, non-BJP forces is actually a congregation of self-seeking discredited opportunists, all of whom had proved themselves to be hypocrites and double-dealers in their respective states. Who needs to be taught about the infamous history of a Chandrababu Naidu, a Jayalalita, a Mayawati, a Deve Gowda, a Naveen Patnaik? These notorious leaders and their parties, who had, at one time or the other, shared power with the Hindu chauvinist BJP, are being given a clean and secular-democratic image by the so-called Left.
Karats, Yechuris and other power brokers of the so-called Left had churned out the slogan of anti-communalism to justify their alignment with the most loyal agent of the imperialists like the Congress Party during the 2004 elections. It was only after almost four years, when the people began to trounce the Congress in the Assembly elections in various states and come out into the streets against the policies of the UPA, that these brokers “realized” that the Congress was kow-towing to the imperialists! Now, after parting with the Congress, these opportunists see anti-communalism in Parties like the TDP, BSP, AIDMK, JD(U), BJD etc all of which had never really demarcated themselves from communal BJP and have no compunction in striking an alliance with it if it gave them a share in power. For our Marxist theoreticians and ideologues all these forces had suddenly become secular!! And one should not be surprised if they once again become the tail of Congress after the election. The opportunism of the Indian “Left” has no limits.
Just see. They found secularism, anti-imperialism and democratic moorings among parties such as the Telugu Desham, a party which was the first to transform a state in India into a laboratory of the World Bank and responsible for the murder of over two thousand Maoist revolutionaries during its nine-year rule besides the high-level of corruption of the regime led by Chandrababu Naidu. Then there are other opportunist and proven die-hard reactionary parties such as Jayalalitha’s AIADMK that had become infamous for the scale of corruption, abuse of power and fascist suppression of people’s struggles in Tamil Nadu; Naveen Patnaik’s BJD that had sold out the state to the imperialists and had proved itself to be the executioner for the imperialists and the CBB by massacring adivasis in Kaliga Nagar, POSCO, etc., besides protecting the saffron hoodlums as they went about killing, raping and persecuting the Christian minority; Deve Gowda’s JDU which shared power with the BJP and broke with it not because of BJP’s communalism but only when the latter wanted a greater share of power; and then you have a Mayawati who would do anything to grab power whether it be power-sharing with the BJP on rotational basis, or striking an alliance with the Brahmins and subordinating the Dalits to the upper-caste Hindus, besides crushing all opponents ruthlessly.
The attempt to forge together such opportunist, corrupt and notorious anti-people parties into a new front by the so-called Left should not come as a surprise if we keep in mind the fact that the social-fascist CPI(Marxist) has proved itself to be a loyal agent for the imperialists and the CBB which has been proved beyond any doubt in West Bengal under Buddhadeb. It should also not come as a surprise if these opportunists, who masquerade under the garb of “Marxists”, rediscover anti-communalism and secularism in the Congress (and forgetting for a while that it had surrendered to imperialism), and align with it against the communal BJP after the elections.
As per the impact of the Third Front, it has certainly weakened the two major alliances-the NDA and UPA—and has led to further fragmentation of the Indian polity. Whichever alliance wants to form the government it will have to depend upon and satisfy the demands put forth by the Third Front or whatever is left of it after the elections. Some of the constituents of the Third Front will, of course, jump into the alliance which is most likely to form the next government.
MIB: What are the actual issues confronting India and how do the various Parties address these issues in their manifestos and slogans?
A: The issues confronting the people of the country are many: the continuous fleecing of the people and looting of the country’s wealth by the imperialists and the comprador big business houses; the ever-increasing imbalances between various classes, sections, states, regions, special social groups, nationalities; the deepening agrarian crisis that is leading to the suicide deaths of thousands of peasants; the industrial closures and lay-offs that are throwing out lakhs of workers onto the streets; wage-cuts and wage freeze, mounting unemployment; spiraling prices of essential commodities irrespective of what the government spokespersons bark day in and day out that inflation has been brought down to the lowest figure; fast-declining industrial growth despite the circus feats of Chidambarams., Manmohan singhs, Pranab Mukherjees to prove the contrary; growing aspirations of the nationalities for their self-determination in various forms such as statehood in Telangana and Gorkhaland, independence or aazadi in Kashmir, Assam, Nagaland, Manipur; Hindu chauvinism and rabid anti-Muslim, anti-Christian frenzy whipped up by the saffron terrorists who seek to destroy the delicate fabric of our society; corruption that has become the life-blood of every Party; displacement of lakhs of people from their homes and lands in the name of SEZs and so-called development projects; state terrorist and state-sponsored terrorist attacks on the struggling people all over the country, particularly in Chattisgarh, Kashmir, Assam and other parts of North East, and so on.
Thus the issues that confront the people of our country are quite serious and none of the parties has courage to address any of these since a solution to any of these issues would mean cutting the very tree on which one sits. Every party’s existence is based on carrying out policies that serve the imperialists, comprador houses, feudal forces, scamsters and real estate mafia gangs. Hence it is unimaginable that these parties would raise people’s real issues in a serious manner. Instead they try to utilize the extreme poverty and destitution, unemployment, rising prices of essential commodities, rapidly declining living standards, and the overall insecurity, frustration and helplessness of the people at large to project themselves as saviours by declaring some sops in their manifestos and slogans. These unscrupulous, nefarious and hypocritical gangsters and bandits who rob the poor to fatten themselves put forth populist slogans and try to lure the people by throwing a few crumbs. Just see the competition between the various parties in offering freebies and social welfare schemes to the people during the present elections. If Congress party offered 25 kg of rice or wheat at Rs. 3 a kg per month to families living below poverty line, BJP promised to offer 35 kg rice or wheat every month at Rs. 2/kg. The TDP had gone a step further asking people not to buy colour TV sets as it would distribute one crore sets gratis if it came to power. Praja Rajyam Party assured the people of AP that it would supply cooking gas free and food kits for Rs 100 only.
In the last Assembly election in Chhattisgarh the show of populism by the Congress and BJP is nauseating to the extreme. These two biggest enemies of the country and the most loyal stooges of the imperialists and comprador big business houses had tried to outwit one another in luring the masses with sops. First BJP promised rice at Rs 3 a Kilo. Then Congress came up with Rs 2 a kilo upon which the BJP assured that it would supply rice at only one rupee a kilo along with free supply of salt.
There is no end to such hypocrisy and false promises made by these bandicoots. None of these parties would ever dare to touch upon the real problems and permanent solutions to these problems. Instead they seek to offer some ‘first aid’ to the sufferers by throwing some crumbs in exchange for unbridled power for five years. The very fact that every Party is compelled to offer such sops that promise to mitigate hunger and meet other basic needs of the masses shows the acuteness of the misery and poverty of the people notwithstanding the tall talk of glowing India, rapid growth rates in GDP, joining the elite club of the top 20 countries in the world, and such non-stop trash. Their sops point to the condition of real India while the lion’s share of the funds go to a tiny fatty layer that floats over the society like a scum. People will not be taken in by these sops but will demand their rightful share in the country’s GDP, their right to employment, and right to a dignified life.
MIB: There seems to be relatively a greater impact of the regional parties in the current elections. What do you think is the reason for this phenomenon? Is there any future for the so-called All India parties like the Congress, BJP, CPI, CPI(M) etc?
A: I should say the elections this time are the most complex, most crisis-ridden and most fragmented in the annals of the so-called Indian parliamentary democracy. Extreme instability and contradictions plague every party and candidate. No Party or candidate seems to be certain of the electoral outcome, notwithstanding the outwardly confident postures. Hence the parties and candidates are resorting to all sorts of gimmicks to attract the apathetic voter.
The much-discredited so-called All India parties like the Congress, BJP and the “Left” have become thoroughly exposed before the people. All these Parties have in fact been reduced to the status of All India regional parties. And the alliances that they lead also have influence limited to certain regions in the country. The desertion by the “Left”, Lalu’s RJD, Mulayam’s SP, Paswan’s LJP, Ramdoss’s PMK have left the Congress and its UPA in a pathetic condition. Likewise, BJP and its alliance NDA have lost the support of strong allies like Naveen Patnaik’s BJD, Jayalalitha’s AIADMK, and several smaller parties. Neither the BJP nor the Congress is in a position to hold their respective alliances together and centrifugal tendencies will continue to weaken these further.
None of these is in a position to repeat the slogans they had issued during the 2004 elections.
While the India Shining slogan of the BJP has taken a severe battering in the background of the severest crisis in the Indian economy that has thrown millions of workers onto the streets and peasants to the verge of suicide, its communal slogans and attacks on the religious minorities have isolated them from the people. On the other hand, the Congress party’s common minimum programme has proved to be the biggest and most cruel joke of the decade; their so-called development had led to the displacement of tens of thousands of people across the country from their lands and homes, and the total surrender of the Congress-led UPA to the American imperialists stands thoroughly exposed before the people.
Then there is the hypocrisy of the so-called Left in running with the hare and hunting with the hound. But for its support, Manmohan’s comprador clique could not have dared or succeeded in implementing the series of anti-people policies and placing the interests of the country at the feet of the US imperialists. After its opportunistic honeymoon with the UPA it had to distance itself seeing the anger of the people and used the civilian-nuclear deal as a pretext. Its rhetoric against SEZs is seen as a big gimmick after the brutal suppression of the people’s struggles in Singur, Nandigram and elsewhere in West Bengal.
The economic crisis and the polices pursued by the UPA as well as by the preceding NDA governments had created a situation of extreme imbalances between various regions, sections, classes, special social groups, and nationalities. Naturally all this has led to a new polarization and realignment of forces in the Indian political scene. The regional aspirations, the anti-Hindutva feelings among the persecuted religious minorities, the feeling of betrayal of their interests by the major political parties which had pervaded the toiling masses, in short, the explosive situation in many parts of the country brought forth due to the severity of the current crisis had discredited the major political parties in the eyes of the people. It is in such a situation when the so-called All India parties had failed to address the issues of the people and have lost credibility in the eyes of the people that regional parties have begun to utilize the situation to increase their seat share.
However, all the parties belonging to the two major alliances and the so-called Third Front, as well as others are consciously evading the real burning issues confronting the country and the people. They are striving by every means to see that economic-social crises, the severe downturn in the economy, closure of industries, growing retrenchments and lay-offs, agrarian crisis, etc do not become the agenda during the elections.
MIB: How do you intend to take your campaign on the boycott of Lok Sabha and other Assembly elections to the people?
A: We had already begun our election boycott campaign after the Election Commission declared the election schedule. Our stand has been made clear to the people through various forms—circulars, press statements, interviews, leaflets, posters, wall writings and so on. Our cultural teams stage performances among the people calling upon them to understand the real essence of the so-called parliamentary democracy and asking them to boycott the elections. We will carry out this propaganda until the end of the last phase of elections. Our campaign during elections is basically a mass political propaganda campaign. This includes questioning the candidates and representatives of the parties, gheraoing them, making them confess their misdeeds before the people.
Then there is active boycott where we prevent the candidates from carrying out their campaigns in the villages and smaller urban centres in our areas. We warn the parties not to venture out into our areas and when they do not heed our warnings, we stop their campaign, beat them up if they are notorious elements, burn their vehicles, conduct people’s courts where possible and make the party representatives confess the misdeeds of their respective parties and seek apologies from the people. They are let off after they agree not to come to the villages again and that they will raise the misdeeds of their leaders in their Party fora. We also carry out counter-offensive actions against the police and central forces who are used by the reactionary rulers to enforce elections at gun-point. Basically our active boycott too is a political campaign though we undertake some actions aimed at destroying the enemy forces.
MIB: There is propaganda by some sections of the media including the BBC during the last November elections to Chattisgarh Assembly that Maoists had threatened to chop off the fingers of those who dared to cast their vote in the Maoist strong-hold areas? Is there any plan to forcibly prevent people from going to the polling centres?
A: The question of Maoists using force against people to ensure boycott of elections is only the fabrication of the reactionary rulers and the media. You cannot show a single instance where the Maoists had resorted to force on the people for having attended election meetings or having stopped them from casting their votes.
It is the criminal, parasitical, mafia gangs ruling the country who thrive on violence on the masses daily and hourly; they cannot survive a day without resorting to illegal detentions, cruel tortures and brutal murders of those who oppose the system. Terror acts such as chopping off limbs, blinding the eyes, giving electric shocks, and resorting to other third degree methods are the norms practiced by the STF, Grey Hounds, SOG, CRPF, SSB, and other forces deployed in Dandakaranya, Bihar, Jharkhand, AP, Orissa, Chattisgarh, Maharshtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu etc. Salwa Judum in Dandakaranya reveals the depths of the cruelty of these mercenary forces.
If the BBC correspondent reported during the election to Chattisgarh state Assembly last November that posters were put up by Maoists warning people their fingers would be chopped off if votes were cast, a special editorial in Dainik Bhaskar went a step ahead alleging that Maoists had chopped off the fingers of several people! It is the reactionary rulers who run the print and electronic media in the country and the versions of the police are given credence at the cost of truth. And BBC is no holy cow; it is the mouth-piece of the imperialists. Its role in spreading stories of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and attempts to manufacture consent for the invasion of Iraq is well-known. It is no surprise that it has tried to mislead the people by spreading canards and lies against the Maoists in Chattisgarh. One more point has to be kept in mind here: it is often the police that put up posters and issue statements and leaflets in the name of the Maoists to discredit us. It is part of the psychological warfare of the enemy on which he spends hundreds of crores of rupees every year. The communal fascists like the BJP-VHP-RSS-Bajrang Dal and other reactionaries too put up such posters in their attempt to build public opinion against the Maoists. Hence the media should go a bit deeper than what appears on the surface.
Maoists never use coercive methods on the people. That is why the toiling, suffering, oppressed masses love the Maoists and are proud of the PLGA (Peoples Liberation Guerrilla Army).
MIB: What do you think of Advani’s slogan of bringing back black money from foreign banks for investing in India? Is it realizable and would it help the Indian economy in this hour of unprecedented economic crisis?
A: [laughing aloud] This will stand out as the biggest joke of the millennium. Whose black money would Advani bring back from foreign banks? That of the big landlords and big comprador business houses? That of the havala dealers, smugglers and real estate mafia? That of the unscrupulous contractors, traders, money-lenders and hoarders? Would anyone believe that Advani would cut off the tree on which he/she is sitting? And how has Advani discovered, all of a sudden, that lakhs of crores of rupees of unaccounted money is stashed away in foreign banks? Did he not know of the black money when he was the Home Minister and his saffron gang was in power before Manmohan Singh’s khaki gang took over? Every rogue begins to indulge in populist rhetoric just before the election. For five long years before the election and, of course, another five years after the election, the issue is pushed into cold storage. This very fact shows the hypocrisy and the ulterior motives of these crooks.
Due to the contradictions within the ruling classes, it is possible that a tiny fraction of the black money belonging to those who are rabidly opposed to the BJP is targeted. We had witnessed this under Hitler. But, overall, black money would grow faster and in greater quantity under fascist regimes, whether saffron fascism of the BJP or the khadi fascism of Congress. Indian people are not fools to be taken in by the rhetoric of Advani. Without black money one cannot even imagine the existence of a BJP, a Congress, a CPI(M), or any other parliamentary party. Black money is the life-blood of the political mainstream of India. They contest elections using black money with the sole goal of multiplying their black money. Over a trillion dollars of black money is said to have been hidden abroad by India’s filthy ruling elite who fund and run BJP, Congress and all parliamentary parties as their political representatives.
Why abroad? Black money is flowing right in front our eyes. One ground-level survey in the country would reveal several trillion dollars of black money. Just ask how a political leader, a bureaucrat, a police official or an encounter specialist, a contractor or a stock broker how he came into possession of several crores of rupees worth of property that is not shown in the income tax. Confiscate such unaccounted property and assets and I am certain there will be no dearth of funds for the reconstruction of the country. A tiny stratum—around five lakhs or at the most three million as some put it—is holding the lifelines of our economy, dominates over our society and controls the state. It is only our Party—the CPI(Maoist)—that is capable of ferreting out this huge, mind-boggling sums of illegal money and restore it to the people to whom it actually belongs. No other Party, by its very class nature and vested class interests, is capable of such a task. In fact, it was precisely when the CPI(Maoist) touched upon the issue of urban land grabbed by the ruling elite of Andhra Pradesh in Hyderabad’s posh localities that YSR turned mad, broke off the talks abruptly and unleashed the most cruel attack on the Maoists. Forget bringing back black money from abroad, the rulers would, in fact, go to any extent in protecting their black money even if it meant unleashing the most brutal attacks and massacres.
MIB: What is the impact of the current global economic crisis on the Indian parliamentary elections?
A: The current global economic crisis certainly has a deep impact on the Indian economy, society and the political scenario. It has a devastating effect on the Indian economy due to the total dependence on imperialists for exports and imports and license given to the imperialist FIIs to gamble in the Indian stock markets. The attempts of UPA government to resolve the crisis through monetary measures rather than boosting the real economy had led to disastrous results. It has led to a redistribution of wealth from the poor to a handful of wealthy families.
Today, due to the anti-people policies of the reactionary rulers just one lakh families hold assets worth $ 350 billion (Rs. 17.5 lakh crores) or a little less than half the country’s GDP. The combined wealth of 53 billionaires in India amounts to 31 % of the country’s GDP. At the same time 83.6 crores of Indian people or 77 % of the population live on less than Rs.20 a day. According to the Global Hunger Index of 2007, India ranks 94 out of 118 countries tailing behind even countries like Pakistan and Ethiopia. All the so-called rates of growth of GDP and development had only led to trickling down poverty. In spite of such glaring inequalities, the reactionary rulers are continuing their regressive policies of tax breaks and write-offs to the corporate-financial houses while taxing the poor and resorting to cuts in social welfare spending. Overall, the reactionary policies had further accentuated all the contradictions in Indian society.
The current political scenario being witnessed in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections reflects the deepening social contradictions and crisis in the Indian economy and society. India is undoubtedly heading towards a grave social explosion.
MIB: How real is the threat posed by terrorism to the country as alleged by every political party in the country? What do you think will be the role of the anti-terrorism card played up particularly by the two major alliances—UPA and NDA—on the election results?
A: The real threat to the stability and integrity of our country, as our Party has been stressing continuously, emanates from the so-called political mainstream, particularly from the two biggest parties—the Congress and the BJP. These are also the most trusted representatives or agents of the imperialists and the comprador big bourgeoisie. It is in their interest to keep the society divided as this would disrupt the class unity among the toiling masses, diverts them from their burning issues and the real path of their liberation, and helps the comprador ruling classes to perpetuate their rule. The very nature of our “parliamentary democracy” and the way elections are conducted, also gives scope for creating further divisions among the people, whip up communal passions, and create a sense of insecurity and helplessness.
Terrorism, and that too terrorism instigated by the foreign hand, is the card used by every reactionary from George Bush down to our local Bajrang Dal or Shiv Sena hoodlum to divide the people and divert them from the real issues confronting the country. A sense of insecurity among the people is very much needed if the reactionary rulers wish to have their way unquestioned. Insecurity grants license to kill, maim, loot and whatever you can. Promoting terror and unleashing a so-called war on terror have become extremely necessary for the reactionary rulers all over the world. It is the military-industrial complex in the US—Halliburtons, General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin and others—that gained the most from so-called war on terror and had pushed the US into wars of aggression against Afghanistan, Iraq and itching for wars against Iran, North Korea and elsewhere. Hence they would go on pushing the so-called war on terror.
Likewise, in India, the comprador Tatas, Ambanis, Mittals, Ruias, Jindals, etc have much to gain in the ‘war against terror’. Thousands of crores worth deals are involved. The police top brass has a lot to gain by spinning tales of terror. Thousands of crores of rupees are sought by the police department to fight terror. And the police officials can have a field day by pocketing a big chunk of these funds. If there is no terror incident then they create one by placing a crude bomb in a dust-bin or a park or wherever you want, create a furore, get funds sanctioned for eliminating terror, eliminate some innocent people or put them behind bars, claim an astounding victory in the war against terror and get promotions for the bravery of the officers in knocking down the terrorists in “ fierce encounters”. And the same cycle goes on and on. Exposures of these despicable acts by the top rogues in the police department, revelations of the hundreds of crores grabbed by ‘encounter specialists’ who had been the blue-eyed boys of the media till yesterday, make little impact. The non-stop visuals in the electronic media (most of it being police versions or concoctions by the saffron or khadi gangs) create an atmosphere favourable to carry on the ‘war against terror’, a sense of urgency to the task, prepare the psychological make-up of the people for further fascisation of the state and curtailing of the rights of citizens, in short, manufacture consent for the unbridled loot by the Indian counterparts of Halliburtons and Lockheeds.
In the current elections both the BJP and the Congress have been trying to compete with one another in creating a terrorist scare and each assuring the people that it alone is capable of controlling the terrorists. But these Parties which actually sponsor terrorism cannot fool the people through their rhetoric. Their rhetoric will not help them gain credibility or have an impact on the electoral outcome. People know the links between the saffron gangs and the blasts at Malegaon, Samjhautha Express and other places. They know how deep the roots of saffron terrorism are in the state apparatus, especially the Indian Army. It is only by impartial investigation into every anti-people act by the Congress hoodlums and BJP’s saffron gangsters, and meting out speedy punishments to these culprits that would contribute to mitigating the acts of counter-terror by the aggrieved religious communities.
MIB: Going by the clean chit recently given by the CBI to Jagadish Tytler in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, is there any hope that the victims of those riots will ever get justice?
A: Anyone who knows the class character of the Indian state, its pro-Hindu bias, and the long history of state-sponsored attacks and persecution of religious minorities in the country cannot fail to see how it is next to impossible for the religious minorities in India to secure justice within the framework of the existing socio-political system. Not a single Hindu communalist-chauvinist leader or member of the mainstream political parties involved in instigating, and even leading, attacks on Muslims and Christians, has been punished in the six decades after the transfer of power from the British imperialists to the comprador-feudal classes in India.
None but the investigating agencies have any doubt about the involvement of Sajjan Kumar, HKL Bhagat, Jagadeesh Tytler and other Congress leaders in the massacre of innocent Sikhs in 1984. Likewise, the active involvement and leadership provided by LK Advani, Vajpayee, Murali Manohar Joshi, Ashok Singhal, Praveen Togadia, Vinay Katiyar and other Hindu communal-bigots in demolishing Babari Masjid and setting the entire country into communal conflagration is universally known. So is the role of saffron-clad butcher Narendra Modi who had indulged in ethnic-cleansing of Muslims in Gujarat indisputable. But none of these criminals has been punished and, on the contrary, they have their own commissions which exonerate them of their crimes. Nanavti commission’s exoneration of Narendra Modi or CBI’s clean chit to Tytler show the extent to which the so-called commissions and investigating agencies have become communalized, degenerated and politicized. It is only when they have a political axe to grind that these come out with some names at times. Such is the criminal justice system in India that no victim in general can expect justice and, in case of police killings of religious minorities or state-sponsored murders justice is like an oasis.
It is only the people’s courts that can mete out justice to the victims as one can witness in our jan adalats in Dandakaranya. Tytlers and Modis cannot remain unpunished forever despite the protection provided by the pro-Hindu Indian state and clean chit by Hindu chauvinist or mercenary commissions. People will certainly punish them however long it might take.
MIB: Will the CPI(Maoist) and its PLGA too carry out punishments of these communal-fascists?
A: Our Party—CPI(Maoist)—is an integral, indivisible part of the people and hence one need only wonder if we do not carry out the decisions of the people and fulfill their aspirations.
MIB: What is the alternative that the Maoists have in mind to the present parliamentary democracy in India? There is increasing noise by the ruling quarters that Maoists are opposed to development and the electoral success of Maoists in Nepal is shown as a model to be emulated in India too.
A: The alternative to the so-called parliamentary democracy and the fake elections that are conducted as a ritual every few years is people’s democracy where it is the people, and not a few money-bags, who decide the destiny of the country and their own lives. It is the genuine democracy that is seen from the grass-roots level to the top and not vice versa. You can see the grass-roots democracy at work in the vast tracts of Dandakaranya where the Maoists are running a parallel government. There the people are supreme and every decision is made through gram sabhas or assemblies of the people and not by invisible hands. People are encouraged to criticize the Maoists if they commit any mistakes or excesses. Everything is transparent—as clear as daylight—for the people have nothing to hide unlike the traitors and double-dealers in the Parliament and Assemblies whose very existence depends on hiding their every nefarious activity. There criminals like Modis, Advanis, Singhals and Togadias or Tytlers, Sajjan Kumars and HKL Bhagats cannot loiter for years without end only to be finally. On the other hand, such criminals get punishments instantly in people’s courts.
These people’s courts will, of course, be refined further but the content remains the same—deliverance of real and speedy justice by taking the side of the oppressed and persecuted people. Money power, muscle power and other considerations have absolutely no role to play unlike in the existing judicial system in the country.
MIB: Finally how do you sum up your stand on the parliamentary elections in India?
A: Parliamentary elections do not bring any radical change in the unjust, exploitative and oppressive semi-colonial semi-feudal socio-economic system or solve the basic problems of the people. Parliamentary institutions are meant only to protect, serve and further strengthen the status quo. They are mere talking shops and can never adopt policies that would ameliorate the living standards of the people; they are powerless institutions as policies are decided not in parliament and assemblies but by a small coterie in consultation with the representatives of the big feudal landlords, CBB and imperialist agencies. What is worse, even the policies that are passed in the parliament are hardly ever discussed and at times are pushed through in the absence of none-tenths of the strength of the House.
Parliamentary institutions and elections to these institutions, like any other institutions of the state, have a class nature in a class-divided society like India; they can never represent the interests of the vast masses of toiling people but only those of a tiny elite ruling the country in collusion with the imperialists.
Elections are a safety valve that are used as a vent to let out the frustration, anger and hatred of the masses without endangering the interests of the exploiting ruling classes or the unjust system they represent. Elections are meant to create illusions in the minds of the people about an electoral alternative. When one ruling party gets thoroughly exposed for its anti-people policies another equally rapacious party is projected as an alternative and thus people are led astray from seeking the real path of their liberation; their anger is sought to be directed against one party and replace it by another equally anti-people party.
Elections are held to create legitimacy to the exploitative system and so-called Parliamentary democracy which has lost credibility in the eyes of the people. By imposing the fraud of elections, even the most of notorious criminals, dacoits, corrupt leaders, communal-fascist parties and imperialist stooges (as all parties are) seek to gain legitimacy and wash off their crimes and notorious anti-people misdeeds.
Parliamentary elections held in India are not even based on bourgeois democratic consciousness and values but based on feudal values, ideas, caste-based politics, communal passions, regional sentiments, and money power and muscle power. All these factors basically determine the outcome of the elections though at times negative vote also plays a role in replacing one Party with another. Hence communal flare-ups, caste riots, ethnic riots etc are organized by the parties in order to build up their social base to win the elections.
Elections are the prerogative of the rich, and the poor have absolutely no role to play in contesting the elections; only those who have enormous wealth or are patronized by the wealthy have the opportunity to contest elections. Even among the major political parties it is only the wealthy who can get the tickets as it requires lot of money to bribe the High Command.
Finally, it is not the path of elections but the path of militant revolutionary struggle that can solve the people’s problems. The path to the liberation of the people lies in carrying forward the people’s war to final victory by overthrowing the feudal and comprador capitalist class and their imperialist masters and establishing people’s revolutionary power throughout the country. Needless to say, even if a Maoist party wins the elections in exceptional conditions, as in Nepal, it cannot change the socio-economic system or the class character of the state which can be smashed only through revolutionary means.
Boycott of elections is a democratic right of the masses. Genuine elections can take place only in a new democratic setup which can emerge only after overthrowing imperialism, feudalism and CBB.
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Its election time in India. Everyone across the country turns a nationalist and sings the chorus of the great democracy...But what is the truth behind indian democracy? Is it really for the people? The notice given below is issued by Rashtriya Padana Kendram (Political Study Centre)
DO U THINK ...
That the lives of our people will not be thrown into the hands of corporates to fulfil their greed for profit?
That there will be no more eviction and land grab at the behest of capitalist forces?
That there will be job security?
That there will be no price hike?
That the daliths and adivasis will get land and they will not suffer ineqality anymore?
That our women will achieve eqality in every sphere with men?
That the problem of environmental destruction will be addressed correctly?
THINK BEFORE YOU VOTE
And here are some figures for you to read....
SALARY & GOVT. CONCESSIONS FOR A MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT (MP)
Monthly Salary : 12,000
Expense for Constitution per month : 10,000
Office expenditure per month : 14,000
Traveling concession (Rs. 8 per km) : 48,000 ( eg.For a visit from kerala to Delhi & return: 6000 km)
Daily DA TA during parliament meets : 500/day
Charge for 1 class (A/C) in train: Free (For any number of times) (All over India )
Charge for Business Class in flights : Free for 40 trips / year (With wife or P.A.)
Rent for MP hostel at Delhi : Free
Electricity costs at home : Free up to 50,000 units
Local phone call charge : Free up to 1 ,70,000 calls.
TOTAL expense for a MP [having no qualification] per year : 32,00,000 [i.e. 2.66 lakh/month]
TOTAL expense for 5 years : 1,60,00,000
For 534 MPs, the expense for 5 years :
8,54,40,00,000 (nearly 855 crores).
AND THE PRIME MINISTER IS ASKING THE HIGHLY QUALIFIED, OUT PERFORMING CEOs TO CUT DOWN THEIR SALARIES....
This is how all our tax money is been swallowed and price hike on our regular commodities. ......
And this is the present condition of our country
AND LOOK AT THE PICTURES ABOVE
855 crores could make their life livable !!
Think of the great democracy we have........ .....
STILL Proud to be INDIAN.
Monday, April 6, 2009
Two months back Turkey decided to restore the citizenship of its most famous 20th century poet Nazim Hikmet over 50 years after it branded him a traitor.
Hikmet, a communist who died in exile in Moscow in 1963, was imprisoned in Turkey for more than a decade. He was stripped of his Turkish nationality in 1951 because of his communist views, but despite a ban on his poetry which remained in place until 1965, has remained one of Turkey's best-loved poets. His work, much of which was written in prison, including his masterpiece Human Landscapes, has been translated into more than 50 languages.
Here i post some of Hikmet's poems for my readers who haven't read him yet.
The Strangest Creature On Earth
You're like a scorpion, my brother,
you live in cowardly darkness
like a scorpion.
You're like a sparrow, my brother,
always in a sparrow's flutter.
You're like a clam, my brother,
closed like a clam, content,
And you're frightening, my brother,
like the mouth of an extinct volcano.
unfortunately, you number millions.
You're like a sheep, my brother:
when the cloaked drover raises his stick,
you quickly join the flock
and run, almost proudly, to the slaughterhouse.
I mean you're strangest creature on earth--
even stranger than the fish
that couldn't see the ocean for the water.
And the oppression in this world
is thanks to you.
And if we're hungry, tired, covered with blood,
and still being crushed like grapes for our wine,
the fault is yours--
I can hardly bring myself to say it,
but most of the fault, my dear brother, is yours.
as a child he never plucked the wings off flies
he didn't tie tin cans to cats' tails
or lock beetles in matchboxes
or stomp anthills
he grew up
and all those things were done to him
I was at his bedside when he died
he said read me a poem
about the sun and the sea
about nuclear reactors and satellites
about the greatness of humanity
Living is no laughing matter:
you must live with great seriousness
like a squirrel, for example--
I mean without looking for something beyond and above living,
I mean living must be your whole occupation.
Living is no laughing matter:
you must take it seriously,
so much so and to such a degree
that, for example, your hands tied behind your back,
your back to the wall,
or else in a laboratory
in your white coat and safety glasses,
you can die for people--
even for people whose faces you've never seen,
even though you know living
is the most real, the most beautiful thing.
I mean, you must take living so seriously
that even at seventy, for example, you'll plant olive trees--
and not for your children, either,
but because although you fear death you don't believe it,
because living, I mean, weighs heavier.
Let's say you're seriously ill, need surgery--
which is to say we might not get
from the white table.
Even though it's impossible not to feel sad
about going a little too soon,
we'll still laugh at the jokes being told,
we'll look out the window to see it's raining,
or still wait anxiously
for the latest newscast ...
Let's say we're at the front--
for something worth fighting for, say.
There, in the first offensive, on that very day,
we might fall on our face, dead.
We'll know this with a curious anger,
but we'll still worry ourselves to death
about the outcome of the war, which could last years.
Let's say we're in prison
and close to fifty,
and we have eighteen more years, say,
before the iron doors will open.
We'll still live with the outside,
with its people and animals, struggle and wind--
I mean with the outside beyond the walls.
I mean, however and wherever we are,
we must live as if we will never die.
This earth will grow cold,
a star among stars
and one of the smallest,
a gilded mote on blue velvet--
I mean this, our great earth.
This earth will grow cold one day,
not like a block of ice
or a dead cloud even
but like an empty walnut it will roll along
in pitch-black space ...
You must grieve for this right now
--you have to feel this sorrow now--
for the world must be loved this much
if you're going to say "I lived" ...
For those who dont know about Hikmet here is his life history in brief.
NAZIM HIKMET, popularly known and critically acclaimed in Turkey as the first and foremost modern Turkish poet, is known around the world as one of the greatest international poets of the twentieth century, and his poetry has been translated into more than fifty languages. Born in 1902 in Salonika, where his father was in the foreign service, Hikmet grew up in Istanbul. His mother was an artist, and his pasha grandfather wrote poetry; through their circle of friends Hikmet was introduced to poetry early; publishing first poems at seventeen. He attended the Turkish naval academy, but during the Allied occupation of Istanbul following the First World War, he left to teach in eastern Turkey. In 1922, after a brief first marriage ended in annulment, he crossed the border and made his way to Moscow, attracted by the Russian Revolution and its promise of social justice. At Moscow Univ- ersity he got to know students and artists from all over the world. Hikmet returned to Turkey in 1924, after the Turkish War of Independence, but was soon arrested for working on a leftist magazine. In 1926 he managed to escape to Russia, where he continued writing poetry and plays, met Mayakovsky, and worked with Meyerhold. A general amnesty allowed him to return to Turkey in 1928. Since the Communist Party had been outlawed by then, he found himself under constant surveillance by the secret police and spent five of the next ten years in prison on a variety of trumped-up charges. In 1933, for example, he was jailed for putting illegal posters, but when his case came to trial, it was thrown out of court for lack of evidence. Meanwhile, between 1929 and 1936 he published nine books - five collections and four long poems- that revolutionized Turkish poetry, flout- ing Ottoman literary conventions and introducing free verse and colloquial diction. While these poems established him as a new major poet, he also published several plays and novels and worked as a bookbinder, proofreader, journalist, translator, and screenwriter to support an extended family that included his second wife, her two children, and his widowed mother.
Then, in January 1938 he was arrested for inciting the Turkish armed forces to revolt and sentenced to twenty-eight years in prison on the grounds that military cadets were reading his poems, particularly ``The Epic of Sheik Bedrettin.'' Published in 1936, this long poem based on a fifteenth-century peasant rebellion against Ottoman rule was his last book to appear in Turkey during his lifetime. His friend Pablo Neruda relates Hikmet's account of how he was treated after his arrest: ``Accused of attempting to incite the Turkish navy into rebellion, Nazim was condemned to the punishments of hell. The trial was held on a warship. He told me he was foced to walk on the ship's bridge until he was too weak to stay on his feet, then they stuck him into a section of the latrines where the excrement rose half a meter above the floor. My brother poet felt his strength failing him: my tormentors are keeping an eye on me, they want to watch me suffer. His strength came back with pride. He began to sing, low at first, then louder, and finally at the top of his lungs. He sang all the songs, all the love poems he could remeber, his own poems, the ballads of the peasants, the people's battle hymns. He sang everything he knew. Ans so he vanquished the filth and his torturers.*'' In prison, Hikmet's Futurist-inspired, often topical early poetry gave way to poems with a more direct manner and a more serious tone. Enclosed in letters to his family and friends, these poems were subsequently circulated in manuscript. He not only composed some of his greatest lyrics in prison, but produced, between 1941 and 1945, his epic masterpiece, Human Landscapes. He also learned such crafts as weaving and woodworking in order to support himself and his family. In the late Forties, while still in prison, he divorced his second wife and married for a third time. In 1949 an international committee, including Pablo Picasso, Paul Robeson, and Jean Paul Sartre, was formed in Paris to campaign for Hikmet's release, and in 1950 he was awarded the World Peace Prize. The same year, he went on an eighteen-day hunger strike, despite a recent heart attack, and when Turkey's first democratically elected government came to power, he was released in a general amnesty.
Within a year, however, his persecution had resumed full force. Simone de Beauvoir recalls him describing the events of that time: ``He told me how a year after he came out of prison there were two attempts to murder him (with cars, in the narrow streets of Istanbul) And then they tried to make him do the military service on the Russian frontier: he was fifty. The doctor, a major, said to him: ``Half an hour standing in the sun and you're a dead man. But I shall give you a certificate of health.'' So then he escaped, across the Bosphorus in a tiny motorboat on a stormy night -when it was calm the straits were too well guarded. He wanted to reach Bulgaria, but it was impossible with a high sea running. He passed a Rumanian cargo ship, he began to circle it, shouting his name. They saluted him, they waived handkerchiefs, but they didn't stop. He followed them and went on circling them in the height of the storm; after two hours they stopped, but without picking him up. His motor stalled, he thought he was done for. At last they hauled him aboard; they had been telephoning to Bucharest for instructions. Exhausted, half dead, he staggered into the officers' cabin; there was an enormous photograph of him with the caption: SAVE NAZIM HIKMET. The most ironical part, he added, was that he had already been at liberty for a year.**''
Taken to Moscow, he was given a house in the writer's colony of Peredelkino outside the city; the Turkish government denied his wife and child permission to join him. Although he suffered a second heart attack in 1952, Hikmet traveled widely during his exile, visiting not only Eastern Europe but Rome, Paris, Havana, Peking, and Tanganyika: ``I traveled through Europe, Asia, and Africa with my dream / only the Americans didn't give me the visa.'' Stripped of his Turkish citizenship in 1959, he chose to become a the citizen of Poland, explaining he had inherited his blue eyes and red hair from a Polish ancestor who was a seventeenth-century revolutionary. In 1959 he also remarried again. The increasingly breathless pace of his late poems -often unpunctuated and, toward the end, impatient even with line divisions- conveys a sense of time accelerating as he grows older and travels faster and farther than ever before in his life. During his exile his poems were regularly printed abroad, his ``Selected Poems'' was published in Bulgaria in 1954, and generous translations of his work subsequently appeared there and in Greece, Germany, Italy, and the USSR. He died of a heart attack in Moscow in June 1963.
After his death, Hikmet's books began to reappear in Turkey; in 1965 and 1966, for example, more than twenty of his books were published there, some of them reprints of earlier volumes and others works appearing for the first time. The next fifteen years saw the grdual publication of his eight volume ``Collected Poems,'' along with his plays, novels, letters, and even children's stories. At the same time, various selections of his poems went through multiple printings, and numerous biographies and critical studies of his poetry were published. But except for brief periods between 1965 and 1980, his work has been suppressed in his native country for the past half century. Since his death, major translations of his poetry hae continued to appear in England, France, Germany, Greece, Poland, Spain, and the United States; for example, Yannis Ritsos's Greek versions had gone through eight printings a of 1977, and Philippe Soupault's 1964 ``anthology'' was reissued in France as recently as 1982. And in 1983 alone, new translations of Hikmet's poems were published in French, German, and Russian. A collection of Hikmet's finest shorter poems in English translation, this book brings together for the first time -in substantially revised new versions- the better part of two earlier selections, the long-out-of-print ``Things I didn't know I loved'' and ``The Epic of Sheik Bedrettin,'' as well as a number of important lyrics previously published in magazines buthitherto uncollected.
Like Whitman, Hikmet speaks of himself, his country, and the world in the same breath. At once personal and public, his poetry records his life without reducing it to self-conciousness; he affirms reality of facts at the same time that he insists in the validity of his feelings. His human presence or the controlling figure of his personality - playful, optimistic, and capable of childlike joy- keeps his poems open, public, and committed to social and artistic change. And in the perfect oneness of his life and art, Hikmet emerges as a heroic figure. His early poems proclaim this unity as a faith: art is an event, he maintains, in social as well as literary history, and a poet's bearing in art is inseparable from his bearing in life. The rest of Hikmet's life gave him ample opportunity to act upon this faith and, in fact to deepen it. As Terrence Des Pres observes, Hikmet's ``exemplary life'' and ``special vision'' -``at once historical and timeless, Marxist and mystical'' - had unique consequences for his art: ``Simply because in his art and in his person Hikmet opposes the enemies of the human spirit in harmony with itself and the earth, he can speak casually and yet with a seriousness that most modern American poets never dream of attempting.***'' In a sense, Hikmet's prosecutors honored him by beieving a book of poems could incite the military to revolt; indeed, the fact that he was persecuted attests to the credibility of his belief in the vital importance of his art. Yet, the suffering his faith cost him -he never compromised in this life or art- is only secondary to the suffering that must have gone into keeping that faith. The circumstances of Hikmet's life are very much to the point, not only because he continually chose to remain faithful to his vision, but also because his life and art form a dramatic whole. Sartre remarked that Hikmet conceived of a human being as something to be created. In ihs life no less than in his art, Hikmet forged this new kind of person, whi was heroic by virtue of being a creator. This conception of the artist as a hero and of the hero as a creator saves art from becoming a frivolous activity in the modern world; as Hikmet's career dramatizes, poetry is a matter of life and death.