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Updates from CPI(ML) Red Star

CPI(ML) Red Star, 28 september 2016


CPI (ML) Red Star Salutes the Working Class for the Historic Strike

CP I (ML) Red Star salutes the working class of India for leading the biggest-ever strike in India’s history. Preliminary reports indicate that around 18 crore workers from public and private and organized and unorganized sectors participated in this historic strike against the anti-working class anti-people policies of the Modi regime. That common people including peasants, agricultural workers, women and youth from all walks of life came to the streets declaring solidarity with the striking workers is a heart-warming trend. In spite of police repression unleashed on striking workers in different parts of the country such as Haryana, UP, , Bengal etc. and in spite of promulgation of Section 144 in industrial areas of the country such as Noida, Gurgaon, etc. strike was a success in many such areas. The strike overcoming the concerted effort on the part of Modi regime maligning it through misinformation campaign with the support of corporate media is a fitting challenge to neoliberal-corporatization policies imposed by central and state governments.

Red salute to India working class!

K N Ramachandran

General Secretary

CPI (ML) Red Star

3rd September 2016

Signing LEMOA with US is Surrender! Organise Protests against it!

The  Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) signed by India with the US on 29th August during Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar’s visit to Washington provides automatic approval for the two militaries to share each other’s bases for various operations. These include port visits, joint exercises, joint training etc; other uses are to be discussed on a case-by-case basis. It will accelerate India- U.S cooperation in the Asia-Pacific joint operations. This agreement has been a controversial one, and two previous governments – led by A.B. Vajpayee and Manmohan Singh – did not sign it though it has been on the table since 2002. Signing of this agreement was opposed by democratic forces from the beginning as it is nothing short of a military alliance and it also amounts to allowing US virtual bases in Indian military-naval-air force facilities. It is an open compromising of India’s strategic interests. It is a surrender of whatever sovereignty is left.

The CPI(ML) Red Star severely condemns the signing of this agreement which strengthens the subservient stand of India as a junior partner of US imperialism. It calls on all party committees to organize protest actions wherever possible without delay with the slogans: Throw out LEMOA! Down with US imperialism! No Junior Partnership to US!

KNR, General Secretary, CPI(ML) Red Star

Message of Greetings from the CC of the CPI(ML) Red Star to the CC of the MLPD on the occasion of its Tenth Party Congress.

To the Central Committee of the MLPD,

Dear Comrades,

Revolutionary fraternal greetings

On the occasion of the Tenth Congress of the MLPD, the Central Committee of the CPI (ML) Red Star extends revolutionary greetings to your Central Committee as well as, through you, to all members of your party.

Our two parties have more than two decades of close fraternal relations. During this crucial phase, the Central Committees of our two parties, upholding the spirit of proletarian internationalism, have worked together to strengthen the unity of the working class and the oppressed peoples all over the world. In the course of this, along with other Marxist-Leninist parties, we could play important role in the building and development of the International Coordination of Revolutionary Parties and Organizations (ICOR). In the present turbulent international situation when the crises ridden global imperialist system has become more barbarous and working hard to impose its neocolonial domination through neoliberal policies, this unity of the revolutionary forces who are struggling uncompromisingly for revolutionary social change is of great significance.

The setbacks suffered by the international communist movement starting with the degeneration of Soviet Union in 1950s have thrown up great challenges before us. It calls for concrete analysis of the present world situation and the hitherto experience of the international communist movement for the development of the Marxist-Leninist theory and practice accordingly. It is for continuing to take up this great challenge our party adopted a Resolution on Theoretical Offensive in its Tenth Congress held in the beginning of last year. It calls for an evaluation of hitherto experience as well as all theoretical questions for the development of the Marxist theoretical positions. We expect close cooperation from your party and all Marxist-Leninist parties for intensifying the struggle against imperialism and its lackeys both in the theoretical and practical fields.

We hope that the important decisions you are going to debate and decide in this Tenth Congress shall help to further strengthen the fraternal relation between the MLPD which is leading the class struggle in a front ranking imperialist country like Germany and our party which is trying to unite all communist revolutionaries for building a powerful communist party in a country of more than 1.3 billion people, which is among the vast number of countries under various stages of neocolonial domination.

Once again we wish great success to your Tenth Party Congress.

Long Live ICOR! Long Live proletarian Internationalism!

Long Live the Unity of the MLPD and the CPI (ML) Red Star!

KN Ramachandran,

General Secretary,

CPI (ML) Red Star

DPF Calls for 7th November Rally at Delhi

The meeting of the Democratic People’s Forum (DPF) held on 28th August at CPI (ML) Red Star office with the representatives of : CPI(ML) Red Star, NJLM, MCPI(U), Samajvadi Forward Bloc, Sarvodaya Prabhat Party, Jan Jagrutik Abhiyan, and All India Workers’ Counci participating. The New Socialist Movement-Gujarat, RCF - Karnataka, and DSS (com. Venketesh) could not attend the meeting due to technical problems .

The meeting discussed the national situation when the corporate-communal raj of Modi government is intensifying the miseries and oppression of the masses and emphasized the importance of strengthening the DPF. The meeting finalized the 7th November mobilization program at Delhi. A sub-committee was constituted to draft handbill and the slogans to be sent to all constituents for finalization. The constituents active in Delhi will form a joint committee to take up propaganda in the Delhi/NCR region from 1st October to 7th November. The meeting appealed to all constituents to mobilize maximum number of comrades and organize a vigorous campaign in all the areas to make the program really effective.

The meeting declared solidarity with the 2nd September All India Hartal. It called for rejecting the draft New Education Policy of the Modi government. It condemned the growing atrocities against dalits, adivasis, women and all other oppressed sections and called for political solution to the Kashmir issue involving the people.

The meeting decided to hold discussions with struggling left and democratic forces based on the CMP, and to win over them to DPF. The meeting called on the constituent organizations active in UP, Punjab and Delhi to chalk out common minimum program based on the concrete problems of the states and to organize DPF at state level for contesting the coming elections with the objective of building people’s alternative.

Stop this undeclared war in Kashmir.

Two months have passed since the killing of Hizbul Mujahideen Commander, Burhan Wani on 8 July, 2016. The imposition of curfew over Kashmir continues amid temporary relaxations; mobile internet service is shut down; attendance in government offices is thin. Clashes between protesters and the police, para-military continue on a daily basis. The number of injured till date is reported to be about 12,000. Over nine hundred have had eye injuries due to rubber pellets fired by the security personnel; seventynine have been reportedly killed. The monumental figure of those injured includes mainly the protesters, by-standers as also the police/para-military personnel. Thus on an average about 200 people have been injured per day or about eight per hour. The number of injured over a period of sixty days is frightening and calls for a comparison with other conflict situations in the last hundred years where the Indian army/ British Indian Army was engaged with an uprising within the country or a conflict with a neighbouring country.

After two visits of central home minister Rajnath Singh and an all party delegation of MPs led by him the situation remains more grave with people battling with the military and security forces whom they consider an occupation force. Though the all party delegation has stated that any solution can be found only through discussion, why do they not ask for withdrawal of the military from policing the valley to create a favorable condition for talks? Why the government as well as the opposition do not accept that the 1951 accession agreement was violated and any solution is possible only through a referendum in both PoK as well as in IoK? Both Indian as well as Pakistan governments are aggravating the agony of the Kashmiri people.

We appeal to all democratic forces to raise their voice against this barbarism and for a referendum to give an opportunity for the Kashmiri people to decide their future.

As nation means its people and national Interests mean people’s interest, those who try to intensify Indo-Pak conflict are working against national interest.

The CPI (ML) Red Star in a statement has condemned the killing of Indian military men at Uri camp in an attack by terrorists from the Pakistan side. At the same time it has called for defeating all moves to use the terrorist attack in Uri to intensify the Indo-Pak conflict. It has stated that the Modi government and the RSS should not be allowed to utilize it as a cover to divert attention from the 75 day long undeclared war against the Kashmiri people and the deployment of army for policing all over J&K. It should not be allowed to escalate tension on Indo-Pak border. It should not be allowed for another excuse for a new bout of Indo-Pak war. We appeal to all toiling masses and progressive forces to raise their voice for the solution of J&K issue and Indo-Pak conflicts linked to it through political discussions and to resist all moves to escalate tension on Indo-Pak border.

Anti-Nuclear Seminar held on the 18th memorial Day of com.Kolla Vekaiah.

In memory of late communist revolutionary leader Com Kolla Venkayya, CPI (ML) Red Star Andra Pradesh State Committee organized Com Kolla Venkayya Memorial Day meeting at Vijayawada on 17th September 2016. This year's memorial day programs were significant as it included a Seminar on Nuclear Power in the context of Central -State Governments decision to make AP a 'Nuclear Hub' with a number of Nuclera Power projects in the state. CPI (ML) Red

Star General Secretary Com K N Ramachandran, Renowned Environmental Scientist Dr. Soumya Dutta, Party State Secretary Com Venkta Rao, OPDR Leader Com. C. Bhaskar Rao, other leaders and representatives of various Anti-Nuke movements participated. State secretary of CPI, CPI(M), CPI(ML) New Democracy led by comrades YathindarKumar as well as Chandram, state secretary of MCPI(U), secretariat member of CPI(ML) Class Struggle com. Vijaykumar and many other leading intellectuals addressed the Seminar and assured to work for a joint movement against nuclear power. The AP state committee which met on 18th September has decided to take up follow up actions for organizing state wide anti-nuclear movement joining all forces who can be united on this issue.

Decisions of PB of CPI(ML) Red Star

The Polit Bureau of CPI(ML) Red Star met on 4th and 5th August at Bangalore and took the following decisions :

1. It decided to observe 15th August as a protest day against the adoption of the pro-corporate and anti-people GST Bill; against the suppressive policies pursued by Modi government in Jammu and Kashmir and against the beating up of dalits by the so-called go rakshaks promoted by RSS parivar in Gujarat and elsewhere.

2. It decided to observe 9th August to 15th August as Anti-Imperialist Week against further opening of all sectors for the entry of FDIs, against the RSS promoted New Education Policy and against the unleashing of state terror in Kandammal of Odisha, in Bastar of Chhattisgarh and el
sewhere in the name of anti-Maoist moves.

3. The PB calls upon all party committees to make the 2nd September general strike a resounding success.

4. It decided to observe the period up to 25th May 2017 observing 50 Years of Naxalbari Uprising intensifying land struggles based on land to the tiller slogan.

5. It decided to organize a vigorous campaign against the moves of Modi government and AP government to turn AP in to a nuclear energy hub.

6. The PB decided to organize a massive rally at Delhi on 7th November under the banner of Democratic People’s Forum marking the beginning of centenary observation of October Revolution to be culminated with countrywide campaign culminating on 7th November, 2017.

7. In the context of CPI(M) led Left Front degenerating as apologists and executioners of neo-liberal policies initiated by Congress and intensified manifold by the ultra rightist Modi govt., it decided to speed up the unity moves to bring together the struggling left and democratic forces under Democratic People’s Forum and to contest the elections to UP and Punjab assembly elections in 2017 under its banner

Intensify Ideological Struggle to Strengthen Unity of Communist Movement

KN Ramachandran

I

The intensification of aggressive policies by the crises ridden imperialist system and its lackeys through most barbarous means is the significant feature of present international and national situation. But unlike the last decades of 20th century, from the beginning of the new century various forms of resistance against the imperialist system and against the comprador ruling system in the large number of countries under neocolonial domination are also getting strengthened day by day. In order to ideologically disarm and maim these resistances and upsurges, all forms of reactionary divisive policies are utilized by the imperialists and their lackeys. They are unleashing revanchist, religious fundamentalist, racist, casteist like forces and promoting fascist tendencies. Still, the general situation in almost all countries indicates the ripening of the objective situation for social change. But these resistances are not transforming in to any major upheaval for qualitative social change in the absence of revolutionary subjective forces capable of leading these movements forward. This is the serious challenge before the working class and the oppressed peoples today. In this situation, the strenuous struggles are called for at all levels for unity of the communist forces to build powerful communist parties. It is increasingly becoming a fond dream cherished by all the genuine communists everywhere. The situation in our country is no way different.

The severe set backs suffered by the international communist movement (ICM) from the glorious heights it had reached by 1950s was primarily because of the failure to make concrete analysis of the very fast changes taking place all over the world, especially during and after the Second World War, and to develop the Marxist-Leninist theory and practice accordingly. It is an established fact that it is the ideas which become the material force capable of overcoming past weaknesses and changing the society. It calls for the development of the ideological political line which determines everything. As far as the evaluation of the past setbacks is concerned, it should also include evaluating the reasons for the degeneration of the erstwhile socialist countries from socialist path, the weaknesses of the ‘socialism in actual practice’ there. That is, right from the beginning the communist parties should discuss and plan not only about capturing political power, but also on initiating alternate path of development and various aspects of class struggle at the realm of thought including continuing it in the socialist phase, with a comprehensive understanding of the class struggle.

II

The setbacks suffered by the communist revolutionary movement including the disintegration of the CPI (ML) formed in 1969 called for very serious introspection. It calls for an analysis of the ICM from the very beginning, especially since the time the Soviet Union had deviated to capitalist path, becoming a social imperialist super power contending with US imperialism for world hegemony. Though the CPC had waged a serious ideological struggle against it through the Great Debate documents, soon it had also deviated to ultra left positions and then towards centrist positions. Within few years it also degenerated to capitalist path. An overview of the history of the Indian communist movement reveals that instead of applying Marxist-Leninist theory according to concrete conditions in the country it was trying to mechanically copy the Soviet path for long. It had failed to address the concrete problems in the country including caste question. So the first split in the Communist movement in 1964 did not address any of these problems. As a result, by the time of 1967 general elections all basic differences between CPI and CPI(M) leaderships had almost vanished.

Though the communist revolutionaries (CR) tried to critic the reformist lines of CPI- CPI (M) and to put forward the questions of agrarian revolution and seizure of political power, their ideological struggle also did not take up issues like the transformation of imperialist domination from colonial to neocolonial phase, the caste like questions specific to India, or make an analysis of the vast changes taking place after the transfer of power in 1947. It was in this situation, in spite of differences on when and how to form the party etc existed among the CRs, all of them adopted the Chinese Path including its ‘semi-colonial, semi-feudal analysis of India and people’s war as the path of revolution’. The attempt to evolve an Indian path still eluded the communists. So when the CRs faced disintegration by 1971, if the party reorganization efforts made by the different sections from then onwards could have become meaningful only if they had addressed the serious problems which led the CPI-CPI (M) to reformist line and the CRs to the left adventurist line. Though many of these sections rejected the ‘line of annihilation’ and adopted mass line in form, they did not try to settle accounts with the Chinese Path they had eulogized. Instead, in spite of superficial changes in their documents most of the ‘Naxalite’ groups still cling to the ‘semi-colonial, semi-feudal, people’s war’ line. From the CPI (ML) Liberation which has deviated to the rightist path on the one hand to the CPI(Maoist) taking tha anarchist path and pursuing the path of ‘armed struggle as the only form of struggle’ on the other, a number of groups are still pursuing this line. Their differences are basically confined to tactical line to be pursued. A serious ideological struggle should be consistently waged to expose this line.

While analyzing the extent and forms of imperialist domination in the Asian, African and Latin American countries during the colonial phase of imperialism, in his work: “Imperialism, the highest stage of capitalism”, Lenin had shown that they are divided in to colonies, semi-colonies and dependent countries. He explained how vast majority of these countries in Asia and Africa like India were turned in to colonies. While in few among them the colonization was advancing as a process like in China, Turkey, Iran etc. They were called semi-colonies. The Latin American countries, which were turned in to its backyard by US imperialism, were kept dependent under the flow of finance capital, military domination etc. Colonies, semi-colonies and dependent countries were categories used to explain countries under colonial domination.

After the Second World War, when the US came to the leadership of the imperialist camp, in order to impose its world hegemony, it initiated the transformation of Imperialist domination to the phase of neo-colonialism. It was a new style of colonial domination through transfer of power to the comprador classes and controlling through finance capital, markets and technology. Wherever necessary military blocs were created and it resorted to military intervention also as explained by the CPC in the Great Debate documents (Apologists of Neo-colonialism): “This neo-colonialism is a more pernicious and sinister form of colonialism”. The countries under colonization were transformed in to countries under different levels of neo-colonization. This was a new world situation dominated through the Brettanwood twins, IMF and World Bank, political tool of imperialism, the UNO, and the military bloc, the NATO. The failure to recognize these changes in time and to develop the strategy and tactics to combat it played a major role in the setbacks suffered by the socialist countries. So the categorization that India is a semi-colonial country like pre-revolutionary China was a serious mistake. It caused immense damage to the communist movement.

III

The analysis that India is a semi-feudal country like pre-revolutionary China also exposes the lack of concrete analysis of the vast changes initiated by the comprador bureaucratic bourgeois- big landlord government under neo-colonial domination through Green Revolution like agrarian policies and industrial policies for ‘import substitution’ etc from the 1950s onwards. Though, during the time of Naxalbari Uprising large areas were still under pre-capitalist relations, by 1980s the capitalist relations had become the rising, dominant trend in the agrarian sector. The debate that took place in the 1970s on the changes taking place in the mode of production was an effort to explain it. Presently, after the imposition of the neo-liberal policies, only remnants of pre-capitalist exploitation survives, and under the Second Green Revolution like policies corporatization of agriculture is the rising trend. Still clinging to semi-feudal characterization make the agrarian movement incapable to develop the understanding about the agrarian revolution including the struggle for land to the tiller under the present conditions.

Mao Tsetung and the CPC leaders had repeatedly explained to the visiting CR leaders to China and earlier to the CPI leaders that the ‘people’s war’ was a strategy adopted in the concrete conditions of China. He had advised them and leaders of other Marxist-Leninist organizations from different countries for developing the program and path of revolution according to the concrete conditions in their own countries. Contrary to these admonisions, the attempts made by CPI(ML) to pursue the path of people’s war in the early years proved disastrous. What the CPI (Maoist) is pursuing during the last few decades also has caused immense damage for the resurgence of the revolutionary movement according to present conditions. Internationally, wherever it was sought to be applied. It led to colossal damages and to the wiping out of the movement. Many of the groups in India who still stick to this line never put it in to practice, while some fringe groups are using ifs banner for extortion of funds. The task before the communists is to develop the path of revolution according to present Indian situation when people’s upsurges are coming up everywhere.

Since many of the ‘Naxalite’ groups are still clinging to this ‘semi-colonial, semi-feudal, people’s war’ line, the hithero ideological political offensive waged against it should be continued to expose and defeat it, and to win over their cadres and supporters for the communist reorganization.

IV

Another trend emerged in late 1970s with the characterization of India as capitalist, and stage of revolution as socialist. They are overshooting the arrow. Nobody is denying the fact that the way the mode of production is fast changing, there is a possibility for many qualitative changes in the future, transforming India like countries becoming capitalist in the main. But the cardinal question is, has such drastic changes taken place already in the country? Has the imperialist domination diminished so much that India has become an imperialist country competing within the global imperialist system, or it is still basically subordinated to imperialist plunder? Has the comprador character of the big bourgeoisie changed to that of national or independent bourgeois class thriving within the global imperialist system? Its present relations with the IMF- World Bank-WTO, increasing domination of MNCs within the country, the increasing role of the FDIs in the country, the technological backwardness forcing more subservience to know-how from imperialist sources, and numerous other features point out that it has not gone beyond the phase of a junior partner of the imperialist system, especially that of US imperialism. The hitherto experience of the various groups who have taken such a stand shows that abandoning the anti-imperialist tasks, which are still dominant in reality, they have reduced themselves to apologists of neocolonialism and neo-liberal policies. Their ideological bankruptcy and still lingering subservience to the sectarian practices of the early phase of ML movement have made them incapable of mobilizing the working class, who are already more than half of the population, in any significant manner. It cannot be seen as just a subjective weakness of these groups. But they are basically a reflection of the incorrectness of the line they have adopted. While continuing serious studies with an open mind on the concrete conditions in the country and how imperialist capital operate here incuding the changes in the mode of production, major struggle has to be waged against this trend also in order to win over the cadres and supporters from them for reorganization of the party.

A major struggle against these two erroneous trends and propagation of the Program and Path of Revolution adopted by the 10th Party Congress shall give a big boost to the efforts to develop Marxist theory and practice according to present concrete conditions and to unite the genuine communist forces at all India level

Brexit: A Corollary of the Crisis of Neo-Liberal Accumulation

PJ James

The trend towards disintegration of the European Union (EU) necessitated by its own inherent contradictions has become a fiat accompli with the referendum in favour of Brexit such that Frexit, Nexit, Grexit, etc. (exit respectively of France, Netherlands, Greece, etc.) as possible outcomes have become subjects of heated debate in Europe today. At the same time, as the pre-referendum claims based on doctored statistics of the “leavers” are being exposed and people started to realize Brexit as not at all an alternative to the bleak future confronting them, over four million have been forward to the British Parliament to hold a second referendum on the issue, even as the date of materialization of the decision is postponed to 2019. Meanwhile, responses, which are largely spontaneous, are also there both in Britain and Europe for a progressive restructuring of the present neoliberal and neoconservative EU.

However, an independent revolutionary Left having an ideological-political alternative to the ruling system and capable of situating the ascendance and decline of EU in the long trajectory of postwar laws of motion of global finance capital is yet to emerge in Europe. In the absence of such a political leadership of the working class in alliance with all oppressed and marginalized sections including migrants and refugees, as of now, it needs to be unequivocally stated that the ruling class leaderships of both “leavers” and “remainers” including the “left apologists” who backed either of the two in the Brexit voting in varying degrees, will cling on as proponents of the corporate interests of pan-European finance capital.

The existential crisis that EU, comprising 500 million people and almost a quarter of world GDP, confronts today with the withdrawal of UK, the second largest economy in EU and fifth largest in the world, is not an overnight development. It is inseparably linked up with the whole trajectory of postwar expansion of finance capital in Europe in tandem with the transformation of colonialism into neocolonialism led by US imperialism. Obviously, European powers including the “British empire” upon which “the sun never set” were completely shattered by World War II. At the same time, in the context of the ideological-political offensives from the part of International Communist Movement (ICM) as manifested in the then socialist advancement and national liberation movements, direct colonialism became non-viable that compelled US imperialism, the supreme arbiter of the postwar world to propose ‘decolonization’ through Atlantic Charter along with a program of ‘welfare state’, ‘development’ and ‘democracy’ (for instance, even in France, the land of French Revolution women got voting right only in 1945) as ideological weapons against Soviet Union and other socialist countries while initiating the Cold War.

With the backing of immense military power and surplus capital at its disposal, the US, along with the conceptualization of neo-colonialism, was also in a position to dictate one of world’s biggest aid programs for the reconstruction of war-torn imperialist countries of Europe in the immediate post-war period. The Marshall Plan named after the then US Secretary of State George Marshall (officially known as European Recovery Program) primarily aimed at rebuilding Europe and combating the spread of communism, laid the foundation for European integration. Between 1945 and 1951, out of the total American grants and loans of round $ 40 billion to the whole world, the US channeled $ 25 billion to Europe which at that time was around 10 percent of the GDP of USA. As a manifestation of the US commitment as the organizer and protector of the imperialist system, the Marshall Plan set the institutions for coordination and integration of the European economy on a continental level, and stimulated its political reconstruction. Of course, it is a historical fact that when the ‘reconstruction’ of Europe and Japan was completed in the 1960s as a concomitant of the postwar “golden age” of capitalism, the project of welfare state as embodied in Keynesianism had been becoming ineffective after running its full course. And, during this period, the plunder unleashed on European working class and world people by pan-European capital along with its US counterpart was effectively camouflaged through the mask of welfare state.

Emergence of European Union As a Neo-liberal Phenomenon

Meanwhile, it was in the process of reconstruction that the European Economic Community (EEC, also known as the Common Market) aimed to bring about economic integration among its member states came in to being by the Treaty of Rome in 1957. In course of time, several European countries became part of the integration process. With the collapse of Keynesianism in the seventies and onset of neoliberalism since then, this process got a further boost consequent on the collapse of the Berlin Wall and East Germany’s merger with the West. This was the context that that provided the immediate basis for the formation of EU in 1993 based on the Maastricht Treaty. It allowed for the free movement of labour and capital, goods and services, and people within the European Community (EC). Finally, the 2009 Treaty of Lisbon incorporated all the EC’s institutions into EU’s wider framework composed of 28 countries.

The driving force behind the establishment of EU had been the unbridled appetite on the part of pan European finance capital for profit maximization through integrated plunder of the working class and migrant workers/refugees by means of perfect cross-border mobility of people and capital. In conformity with the altered trends in capital accumulation under neo-liberalism, this has led to an unprecedented squeeze of the working class and immigrants through their casualisation and flexible specialization on the one hand, and corporatization/financialisation of the economy on the other. The result has been a steady decline in real wages and purchasing power of the broad masses of working people coupled with widespread inflation and asset price bubble leading to horrific proportions of wealth concentration among the wealthy elite, financial corporations and banks. In this process, undermining the principles of integration and in accordance with the logic of capital, rival national states of Europe have also started pursuing independent and conflicting economic policies at the expense of weak nations who remain in the peripheries of the EU.

However, the logic of finance capital could not have allowed this situation to carry on ad infinitum. With the eruption of the US “sub-prime crisis” in 2008 and the rapid spread of the bubble-burst or financial meltdown to the whole world, the stage was set for a downward spiral in EU also. While the US through a sluggish recovery has managed to surpass its 2008 GDP level by the year 2012, according to European Central Bank (Europe’s equivalent of US Federal Reserve), even in 2014, EU growth rate was around 2 percent below its 2008 level while private investment was down by about 15 percent from 2008. Later it became very clear that Europe has been becoming the epicenter of an economic tsunami that is much deeper than the US meltdown of 2008. The depression prevailing in the “weak links” of the EU and its rapid spread from the “peripheries” to the “core” engulfing the bigger economies have evoked warning of a return to the conditions worse than that of the Great Depression of the 1930s, once again belying all claims of the viability of the imperialist world system including continuity of EU. The so called “sovereign debt default” by several countries in Europe has been very alarming for global corporate capitalists since a Europe-wide collapse would be devastating to those who have heavily invested there. For instance, even now, about one-fifth of US exports go to Europe. If the EU crisis starts crossing its borders it will be a drag on the entire global economy.

Emulating the US which implemented various pro-corporate “stimulus packages” like “quantitative easing”, European Central Bank also had its own version of quantitative easing, for instance, through the direct purchase of corporate bonds by the central bank, such that during 2011-12 alone it made available $ 1.4 trillion cheap credit to Europe’s banks. Apart from this, trillions of Euros were pumped into the coffers of private corporate financiers from government budgets resulting in the accumulation of large volumes of unsustainable public debt resulting in what is called “sovereign debt crisis”. It led to incalculable consequences not only for the working class and peoples of Europe but also for migrants and refugees. For instance, EU unemployment rate continues at the double-digit level while in countries like Greece and Spain it hovers around 25 percent. Economic stagnation has fed chauvinistic nationalism, and neo-fascism together with conflicts between weak economies such as Greece, Spain, Italy, etc., and stronger ones such as Germany and Netherlands.

The case of Greece has been a typical example. It continues to be a victim of the flawed economic and monetary policies enforced by parasitic finance capital that leads European integration. Over the years, finance capital from major EU members and from the US has been pouring into Greece which flourished the speculative economy and boomed inflation leading to a ballooning of the bubble. In the process big powers of EU such as Germany have been the huge beneficiaries. It is through the export of vast volumes of finance including loan capital to Greece and elsewhere that Germany and others have improved their economic position as this money was in turn spent on the exports from the latter, thereby preserving employment and income in them. These ‘export surpluses’ were then used to finance investments in real estate, speculative businesses and arms purchases in Greece (and other peripheries) that provided the corporate barons of Europe high returns. Once the financial boom has made the Greek economy uncompetitive, the bubble started bursting with the “flight to safety” of European and American finance companies such that deposits in Greek banks have fallen abruptly. A corollary of this financial engineering has been the unusual increases in German bank deposits. Now, in return for the credits given to Greece in the name of saving its banks and for repaying debt, led by Germany, the EU is imposing the type of social cuts and austerity measures that are devastating. In brief, neoliberal policies and pan European corporate assault on people including the predatory demands of banks and financial speculators are creating the same trail of devastation and desti-tution throughout EU leading to unprecedented social unrest and conflict within EU and between the ruling elite and working class in all its constituents. Ireland, Portugal and Spain are experiencing bank runs and are forced to rigorously implement all the draconian austerity measures. Collapse of the construction boom, asset deflation and reduction in public spending have already pauperized the masses. Though official unemployment rate hovers around 25 percent in many countries, youth unemployment has reached the staggering figure of 50 percent as in Greece.

The upshot of the argument is that the contradictions emerging from European integration under the aegis of corporate finance capital that could be camouflaged or concealed to some extent through the ballooning global financial bubble came out in the open with the accentuation of the world crisis since 2008. Intensified neoliberal accumulation and giving up of even the remnants of welfare state have provided a fertile ground for the emergence of several centrifugal forces ratcheting up neo-nazism, racial tensions and attacks against immigrants and refugees across Europe threatening the continued existence of EU. For the vast majority of working people, no doubt, EU as the embodiment of oppression is the most hated institution on the continent. Whatever positive steps the EU has brought in the past—elimination of border controls, free movement of workers, students, migrants and people across the continent, certain democratic rights—are being taken away in the name of combating terrorism and deterring refugees.

While Germany has been the economic engine for the EU, that situation is fast changing and today Germany’s own ability to carry the region is in serious jeopardy due to the onset of economic recession in that country too. Until now, a corollary of the widening trade deficits and debt defaults of the “peripheries” of Europe has been the high trade surpluses of Germany and a few countries such as Netherlands, Austria and Finland. But negative trends in the trade front and growing domestic unemployment have appeared in these ‘core’ countries too. Protectionist and neo-fascist trends have strong appeal among the middle classes in Germany and other countries of European Union.

There are other dimensions to the crisis confronting EU. As the champion of neo-liberalism, EU is transforming the entire Europe in to a police state and as the strong ally of US led NATO, it has become an imperialist military fortress. US and EU interventions in Ukraine and other parts of East Europe using NATO, wars of aggression waged by US and European imperialists in Afghanistan, Iraq and military interventions and proxy wars coupled with the imposition of neoliberal policies on the people of these regions by Fund-Bank combine and plunder by MNCs from EU have created 65 million refugees. No doubt, the emergence of terrorist forces such as Taliban, Al-Qaeda, Boko Haram culminating in IS are the outcome of US-EU led interventions in West Asia and North Africa.

Meanwhile, in search of livelihood and for sustenance, displaced people from war-ravaged zones such as Syria are forced to knock at the doors of EU. European monopolies and corporate media are trying to overcome the issue by unleashing all kinds of protectionist, chauvinistic and neo-fascist forces who in recent years have strong appeal among the middle classes of Europe. Reactionary ruling classes of EU are cunningly using “Islamophobia” as an effective weapon to drive away refugees and migrants. Paradoxically, at a time when German imperialism has been celebrating the silver jubilee of the fall of the Berlin Wall, new and more pernicious walls are being erected around Europe to keep away immigrants and refugees. In the past one-and-a-half decades alone, almost 30000 refugees including women and children from outside the EU have been drowned in the Mediterranean trying to reach the continent!

Britain as a Member of EU

This systemic crisis of the EU arising from neoliberal accumulation has its own country-specificities. Britain was a latecomer to the EEC. Immediately after its accession to the process of European integration, Thatcher came to power in Britain which became one of the first countries in Europe that abandoned postwar welfare Keynesianism The hall mark of Thatcherite policies (that later has come to dominance in Europe) has been deregulation and decontrol of labor, wage freeze and liberalization of commodity and financial markets. Thatcherism led to a dramatic decline in both the bargaining power of labour and absolute reduction in their real wages on the one hand, and super profits for monopolies, especially those in the financial sphere on the other. When speculative indices of the London Stock Exchange rose to new heights due to financial deregulation, the standard of living of the broad masses of British people went on declining through a whole set of austerity measures. Since profits from financial sphere are much higher than that from production, in consonance with the inherent trends of unregulated financial markets, instead of production, asset purchase, real estate and money-spinning businesses flourished in Britain as in other countries of EU. In other words, backed by Thatcherite neoliberal macro-economic policies later emulated even by Blairite Labour that worked overtime to retain the “investor confidence” of speculative financiers, profit rates have grown rapidly while growth rates of the real economy and earnings of workers went down sharply. Meanwhile, Germany, Britain’s major contender in EU got an added advantage through the collapse of the Berlin Wall that enabled the former to manage her internal contradictions through an extension of market coupled with abundant supply of low-cost labour and raw materials. In general, the collapse of Eastern European (and Soviet) regimes and gradual integration of these economies with EU provided pan European finance capital a large “reserve army” of cheap labour on the one hand, and an expanded market on the other.

However, as is obvious, its major beneficiary has been Germany that enabled her to rise to the stature of EU’s economic engine and real “powerhouse”. The neoconservative German government’s initiatives towards a more integrated EU for enabling German capital’s effective utilization of the European economic and political institutions and for getting more control inside various European nations have its repercussions in other countries especially in Britain resulting in numerous xenophobic, chauvinistic and autarkic trends there. As a matter of fact, historically, the postwar equilibrium among the European powers, particularly between Germany, Britain and France, was inseparably connected with the Cold War led by the US and the antagonism with the Soviet Union was one of the factors that welded together the European imperialist powers. But the post Cold War situation and the expansion of EU to Eastern Europe and the transformation from US led uni-polarity into multi-polarity within a short span of time, coupled with the rapid growth in the economic superiority of Germany and ruining of the “peripheries” of EU and intensified class contradictions arising from incessant social attacks on the working class, migrants and refugees, as pointed earlier, have undermined this postwar equilibrium that acted as the condition for European integration.

Towards Brexit

The developments that led to Brexit are to be situated in this broader context. The domestic contradictions and tensions arising from the imposition of neoliberal policies pursued by UK from the days of Thatcher aggravated further with the 2007-08 world financial melt-down followed by European “sovereign debt crisis”. Initially, both government and private companies effectively used the immigrant workforce to undermine the bargaining power of the domestic unions and for pushing down wages. In the absence of an ideological-political left leadership capable of properly galvanizing the discontent of the working class against corporate capital, people’s common enemy, sections of workers misunderstood immigration and refugee policy as the basic reason for their lot. In fact one of the factors that led to Trump’s (for analysis, see, “Emergence of Trump as the Political Representative of Corporate America”, which refers to how Donald Trump cunningly appeals to white working class while at the same time launches racist and xenophobic attack on Muslims and immigrants such as Mexicans and Afro-Americans, Red Star, June 2016) initial popularity in the US primaries has been his success in gathering the support of large sections of disgruntled workers. And in the referendum that led to the Brexit vote too, the ultra-right wing forces such as UKIP having an “anti-EU” and “protectionist” stance have succeeded in mobilizing the fury and resentment of different sections of displaced and low-paid workforce who had already deserted the Thatcherite New Labour. By attacking both the politically bankrupt Labour Party and the ruling pro-EU Tories, the Brexiters painted an optimistic picture of the future results of an exit from EU.

However, the Brexit referendum marks a watershed not only for UK and EU but also for the world as it has generated more grave issues. The referendum result has left UK fragmented and deeply divided, and the prospect of Scotland choosing separation from it has become a real threat. Conservatives led by the new Prime Minister Theresa May seem to have no concrete idea on resolving the crisis arising from Brexit vote. As a matter of fact, Cameron, who never thought that Brexiters would get the majority, had called for the referendum to deal with divisions within his own party. But the Leave campaign led by an ultra right-wing faction of the Tory Party and the UKIP that centred on economic nationalism and anti-immigrant rhetoric has got the majority with the support of poorest layers of society including low-paid workers who filled with anti-EU sentiment found it an opportunity to express their dissatisfaction by supporting the leave vote. But now, the pro-EU campaigners (backed by leading sections British monopolies who want alliance with EU) under the label “People’s Challenge” are moving the Court to declare the ‘vote to leave’ needs Parliament’s backing before Theresa May can trigger Article 50 of the EU’s Lisbon Treaty, triggering negotiations on the terms of Britain’s exit (once Article 50 is invoked, a country leaving the EU has two years to renegotiate all treaties and other agreements with the EU). Any vote in the House of Commons on Brexit is unlikely to be passed, with around 480 MPs having already backed “Remain” ahead of the June 23 vote. The House of Lords is also pro-EU, meaning that if invoking Article 50 does need Parliamentary approval then the Brexit agenda may have to be kept in cold storage for the time being. At the same time, May herself as a staunch proponent of Brexit, using the Royal Prerogative, is expected to kickstart the two-year withdrawal process next year, seeing the UK leave the EU in 2019. However, it may not be an exaggeration to say that post referendum Britain is heralding towards a state of political turmoil and instability. And the wave of xenophobia, which dominated the referendum campaign has engulfed the whole of Europe, and following huge fluctuations in currency and stock markets and massive financial losses, pan-European corporate centres have started fearing of an eventual break-up of EU.

Conclusion

In this context, approaching the whole question Brexit from a proletarian internationalist perspective which stands for an independent political leadership of the working class is indispensable for the working people, oppressed sections and progressive-democratic forces. Obviously, the reactionary essence of both the “leave” and “remain” camps is self-evident. Both are trying to reorient their plunder of the workers and people on a capitalist way but in different forms. Immediately after the referendum, thinking that new conditions are laid down for a renewed offensive against workers, the spokespersons of the Brexiters had started their assault on the working class and people demanding greater sacrifices from them in the “national interest.” On the one hand, reports of German initiatives to coherently unite EU under its hegemony are also pouring in which imply more intensified and violent attacks on working people, immigrants and refugees together with increased state repression and militarism throughout Europe. It is an open secret that Germany which is the engine propelling the EU will utilize every opportunity to develop an EU foreign and military policy quite independent of the US and NATO and it is natural that Berlin will seize such a prospect in the event of a Brexit as UK, a US ally has been consistently opposing German efforts to counter US foreign policy. This will definitely alter global power balances along with an intensification of inter-imperialist contradictions. The consequent escalation in military conflicts and tensions will also result in mounting assaults on the democratic and fundamental rights of workers and oppressed peoples.

To conclude, the hostility and hatred of the workers and people to EU, which acts as a bulwark of finance capital and an instrument of imposing neoliberal policies and pursuing trade and military wars, is truly genuine and legitimate. But as world history has proved time and again, as capitalist crisis intensifies, rival factions of the capitalist ruling classes will try their level best to drag the working class and toiling masses along with them. Today, ruling classes and their political representatives everywhere (ranging from semi-fascist, real estate tycoon Donald Trump in US and neoconservatives and right-wing figures like Marine Le Pen in France, Norbert Hofer in Austria, the Alternative for Germany to Hindu supremacists in India) who are only concerned with their immediate class interests are keen and adept in stirring up chauvinistic nationalism, xenophobia and militarism to divert the growing opposition of working class and broad masses of marginalized and oppressed sections against neoliberal policies. Thus identity politics based on race, religion, clan, etc, are used to create a kind of “poisonous nationalism” and divert the grave social tensions into channels that are safe for the ruling classes. Reactionary corporate media controlled by financial tycoons play a major role in this diversionary tactic. In the process, as Lenin pointed out a century ago, the finance capitalists in every country will try to bribe a privileged section of the labour aristocracy to cool down people’s simmering discontent against the ruling system. It is essential to understand that the European integration of the postwar welfare era and its present disintegration under post Cold War neoliberalism are integrally linked up with the laws of motion of finance capital in two different but dialectically linked historical contexts. The postwar conditions that made EU’s emergence possible are no longer there for its continued existence. Now EU is moving into a trajectory of downfall and decline resulting in unforeseen social, economic and political repercussions for the people. To overcome this, what requires is a reorganization of Europe based on a democratic and progressive orientation led by the working class. It is important to comprehend that the camp of “leavers” and “remainers” who try to resolve the issue on a capitalist basis and within the system offer no solution. Rather than tailing behind either of the two “camps”, the working class of UK and Europe should take an independent, revolutionary political position and should strive hard for unity with all the oppressed including migrants and refugees based on an internationalist perspective. Only such a strenuous effort can prevent the European continent descending into utter chaos and instability.

AIF-RTE CALL: Expose New Education Policy 2016

A Scheme of Thorough Commercialisation and Communalisation of Education

Continuing with the nefarious design of commercialising and communalising education in line with brahminical-hindutva agenda of the RSS, the BJP-led NDA government has released a document titled ‘Some Inputs for Draft National Education Policy 2016’ purportedly seeking response from the general public on or before 16th August. The fact that this document is released only in English and not in any other language spoken by the people of our country shows the true anti-democratic mindset of the government. This also exposes the fact that all high talk of ‘participatory’ policy making is nothing but a sham as the government only intends to impose the agenda dictated by corporate capital on one hand and RSS on the other.

It should be noted that the MHRD did not officially release the T.S.R. Subramanian Committee Report on Draft New Education Policy (NEP 2016). Rather it brought out its own document ‘Some Inputs for Draft National Education Policy 2016’. The government document if becomes a policy will demolish not only every semblance of equality, social justice, scientific temperament, diversity and federalism in our education system that people of this country have struggled for, built and protected since the days of reformation movements but also the very possibility of realising the dreams of the founders of the constitution to establish a nation on the basis of the values. If this document is not exposed and the government designs are not thwarted, they could create a fertile ground for entrenchment of all out fascism.

Promoting rampant commercialisation of education

  • The document replicates the techno-corporate spirit of Ambani-Birla Report released during the NDA-I regime advocating rampant privatisation and commercialisation through Public-Private Partnership.
  • Multi-standard institutions, in terms of infrastructure and teaching faculty, would continue both in public and private sectors.
  • It seeks to centralize curricula, bureaucratize administration through the proposal to set up an Indian Educational Service (IES) cadre directly under the MHRD, corporatize accreditation and tribunalise justice to facilitate possible multi-lateral and ‘plurilateral’ agreements in education either under World Trade Organization or outside it thus intensifying neo-liberal globalization in education.
  • It seeks to promote PPP by instituting 10 lakh EWS and 10 lakh ‘open’ scholarships for reimbursement of costs of private institutions.
  • The document speaks in weak terms about allocating 6% GDP for education. However, it does not even hint at the cumulative gap of financial resources accumulated over the last decades. This huge gap can be bridged only by allocating at least 15% of GDP for education. Instead of this, the government only indicates of further cutting public resources by promoting commercialization.
  • The democratic rights of students especially in higher education institutions have been attacked in favour of corporatized model of management to curb any voice of protest in university campuses. It also opens door for intense privatisation, FDI and fee hike in public institutions.

Attack on social justice agenda of the Constitution

  • Though the government document talks of social justice, nowhere it talks about need of reservations, applying reservations to all institutions and at all levels and applying rule of reservation in private educational institutions.
  • There is no mention of hostels and other affirmative measures to bring the poor and socially disadvantaged to the schools, colleges and universities.
  • The heavy dropout of the children before they complete class X (All 47.4, SC 50.1 and ST 62.4) though is noted but not addressed. The Gross Enrolment Ratio in Higher Education remains very low at 23.6 percent in 2014-15 for all sections while the GER for SCs is 18.5% and STs is 13.3% again is simply noted without measures to address the problem.
  • The government proceeds with its project of re-establishing Manu Dharma not only by denying education to the SCs, STs, and all disadvantaged sections and minorities – religious and linguistic but also confining the sections to skill training which would reproduce caste system. Dropouts will be encouraged by rigorous screening akin to brahminical practices and the children, mostly from disadvantaged sections, will be diverted for ‘skilling’.
  • Tests at upper primary and above with professional counsellors to direct students to vocational/ skilling courses will further ensure that disadvantaged will simply be unable to reach secondary and higher secondary therefore the claim that universalizing at this stage will mean only ‘completion’ by ‘enrolled students’.

Closing Doors of Education for the Majority of People

  • Open schools, open colleges and open educational facilities on one hand and skilling on the other hand will be the main thrusts of the government and all disadvantaged will be pushed towards these thrust areas.
  • Increasing majority of the disadvantaged sections on all counts, caste, religion, region, gender and linguistic-cultural group will be denied formal, liberal and professional education and will be diverted to ‘skill education’ from class V itself permanently shutting doors of formal education for the vast majority. This is indicated clearly by intention to retain the ‘no-detention policy’ of Right to Education Act only till Class V after which children from targeted sections and areas will be sent for skill development.
  • Already the govt. has legitimized child labour by changing the law that will push children into caste-based, family based occupations at age 10 years - i.e. into a childhood of labour and ‘alternate schools’
  • In fact, the document seeks to completely subvert ‘education’ in favour of ‘skill’ which is in consonance with the agenda of making India a hub of cheap and skilled labour which is a favourite ‘vision’ of the current PM.

Imposition of brahminical Hindutva agenda of the RSS

  • The very Preamble of the document ignores the plural philosophical traditions of the country and presents a false Sanskritized brahminical history deliberately ignoring the rich diversity and history of languages of the people. Marginalisation of the non-brahminical cultures, languages, regions and knowledge systems is the ‘hallmark’ of the Preamble of the government document.
  • The medieval period of Indian history (which RSS consider as Muslim period) is not even referred to in the document and it makes a clear indication of the government approach to mitigate the contributions of the period in development of the civilization of this land. The communal approach which this government pursues leads to neglect or playing down of contributions of all religious and linguistic minorities, tribes and suppressed castes and marginalized sections.
  • Similarly there is no reference to the diverse struggles of national liberation leading to India’s freedom and the ideas of republican citizenship, democracy, secularism, socialism and social justice that the struggle inspired.
  • Every child’s right to be taught in mother-tongue is finished. States will decide whether ‘regional’ language, English, or ‘multi-lingual’ (only for tribal children) schooling will be provided up to class V. There after the child has no option for mother tongue or regional language

Now, it is high time to expose the government document and intensify struggle for democratic, secular, egalitarian, scientific and enlightened education system rooted in socio-cultural, religious and linguistic plurality of India, in consonance with the values enshrined in the Preamble of the Constitution, and affirmed in the Fundamental Rights and Fundamental Duties and especially for developing scientific temper, humanism and spirit of enquiry and reform to build a democratic and progressive society. We should fight for an egalitarian education system that is free and of equitable quality for all from KG to PG – an education that stands against all inequalities based on class, caste, religion, belief, language, culture, gender and normal body and consider diversity as the potentiality of the country

Why Rs. 22,000 As The Minimum Wage? What Is Wage?

Sanjay Singhvi

 Minimum wage, as a concept is fairly recent. According to the Marxist analysis, wages are the cost of labour power expended by the worker. Therefore the wage must be around the cost of regenerating the same labour power, i.e. the necessary cost of the workers living, eating, etc. Some basic principles arise out of this:

  1. There is no link between the workers wage and the profit or loss made by the owner. Just as the owner pays the same for electricity whether he makes a profit or a loss, so also he has to pay the cost of the workers labour power;
  2. Wages are linked very intimately to the cost of living in any society. They will have to rise with the rise in prices of food, cloth, housing, medication, etc;
  3. Wages have to cover even reproduction of the workers labour power and must therefore cover the cost of having a family and giving necessary living conditions for the family;

What is “necessary” for the worker, to daily regenerate his labour power is not a static concept since the worker is a social being. As society advances, the necessities required by the worker will also keep increasing. For example, in the 1980s a mobile phone was not a necessity but today it is. Therefore, even under capitalism, technology is not always the enemy of the worker. No doubt, in capitalism, the owner of capital, tries to obtain “ownership” even of knowledge and thus obtain the full advantage of technology only for herself or himself. Still, to make a profit out of technology, s/he must make the technology useful for society. This itself enables the workers to use the same technology for their own lives and even to organise.

There is a constant struggle under the present capitalist system. The capitalist tries the utmost to reduce the wages while the worker tries to increase them. However, in this the capitalist is helped by unemployment. As long as there is unemployment, there will always be a downward pressure on wages. If one worker is not willing to work for a certain wage, one of the unemployed can always be used to replace him.

That is why, if there were no regulation, the tendency for wages would be to fall continuously. However, it was long recognised, as part of the regulation of capitalism, that such a continuous fall would be disastrous. This is why, to regulate the market on labour, the concept of minimum wage was accepted.

The History of Minimum Wage

The first law for regulating wage was not to fix the minimum wage but to fix the maximum wage. In 1349 King Edward III enacted the Ordinance for Labourers which set the maximum wage that could be paid to labourers with penal consequences to those who paid higher. In 1348 the Great Plague had decimated the population of England and therefore the labourers were in a position to ask for extremely high wages. It was in this background that the said law was enacted. By the end of the 1890s laws for fixing wages were being enacted in New Zealand and Australia. By 1909 the first law for fixing the minimum wage was enacted in UK (though it applied only to 4 trades). By 1928 the International Labour Organisation had put forward Convention No. 026 which stipulated that all ratifying members must enact a law to provide for a machinery to fix minimum wages. India ratified this convention in 1955.

In India, during the II World War the Government appointed the Standing Labour Committee and started to hold periodic conferences known as the Indian Labour Conference. In 1943 in the 5th session of the ILC, a Labour Inquiry Committee was appointed to look into the conditions of labour in terms of their wages, housing, social conditions and employment. The SLC and the 6th and 7th sessions of the ILC in 1944 and 1945 recommended the statutory fixation of minimum wages and the establishment of a machinery for this in certain industries. As a result a Bill was introduced in the Central Legislature in 1946 which was finally enacted into the Minimum Wages Act in 1948.

Under the Act the Central Government appointed a Central Advisory Board and this board constituted the Committee on Fair Wages. It is this CFW that submitted its report that there are three levels of wages – minimum wage, fair wage and living wage. This committee provided broad definitions of concepts in wage fixation which are in use till now.

In 1950, the Constitution of India was adopted by the Constituent Assembly. Article 43 of the Constitution states that the state shall endeavour to secure, by legislation or other means that all workers will have a living wage. This was known to be the highest level of wage.

In 1955, the 15th session of the ILC adopted principles for the fixation of minimum wages. These were :

(i) In calculating the minimum wage, the standard working class family should be taken to comprise three consumption units for one earner, the earnings of women, children and adolescents being disregarded.

(ii) Minimum food requirements should be calculated on the basis of a net in take of 2700 calories, as recommended by Dr. Akroyd for an average Indian adult of moderate activity.

(iii) Clothing requirements should be estimated on the basis of a per capita consumption of 18 yards per annum, which would give for the average worker’s family of four a total of 72 yards.

(iv) In respect of housing, the rent corresponding to the minimum area provided for under the Government’s Industrial Housing Scheme should be taken into consideration in fixing the minimum wage; and

(v) Fuel, lighting and other miscellaneous items of expenditure should constitute 20 per cent of the total minimum wage.”

The Resolution further laid down that wherever the minimum wage fixed was below the norms recommended above, it would be incumbent on the authorities concerned to justify the circumstances which prevented them from adherence to the aforesaid norms.

Till 1991 even the Supreme Court of India followed these norms for evaluating the minimum wage as in the case of Standard Vacuum Refining Company.

In 1991, the Supreme Court, in the case of the workers of Raptakos Brett said that the above norms were also not enough. They decreed that a further point needs to be added, namely:

(vi) children’s education, medical requirement, minimum recreation including festivals / ceremonies and provision for old age marriages etc should further constitute 25% of the total minimum wage”

The 7th Pay Commission has, more or less, started off by accepting these norms. It has calculated food and clothing based on the figures worked out by the 15th ILC. However, here they have diverged. They have only granted 25% of the total of food and clothing for fuel, electricity and water whereas the 15th ILC formula required it to give 25% of food, clothing and housing. Further, they should have given 33% of the new total (or 25% of the grand total) for children’s education, medical expenses, festivals, etc. However, it has only allotted 15% of the grand total for festivals, etc under the plea that education and medical expenses will be covered by separate allowances. It has then given a 25% additional amount for skill (since class III and class IV are to be merged). Finally it has only kept 3% (or Rs. 500 per month) for housing! Even so, it has reached a figure of Rs. 18000 for a new entrant in the lowest grade as of January 2016 and of Rs. 18500 as of July 2016.

If, we apply the same figures as worked out by the 7th pay commission for food and clothing and just keep a minimum of Rs. 4000 per month for housing and then follow the formula of the 15th ILC scrupulously we will get the following chart.

1 Amount fixed by 7th Pay Commission for 3 Consumption Units for 2700 Calories (All India Prices) as on January 2016 and clothing (at 5.5 metres per month) (see page 65 of the report) 9218.00

2. House rent 4000.00

3. Total of 1 +2 13218.00

4. For Electricity, fuel and water 3304.50

5. Total of 3 + 4 (3 divided by 0.8) 16522.50

6. For education, medical expenses, old age, festivals, etc, as per the Raptakos judgement 5507.50

7. Grand Total (5 divided by 0.75) 22030.00

We can be forgiven for assuming that housing for a worker and his family will not be available anywhere in the country for less than Rs. 4000 per month. Probably in cities like Mumbai and Delhi it will be much more.

The way in which minimum wages are being fixed for various industries by various governments on the basis of reports of sundry sub-committees is scandalous. They do not at all follow the norms fixed. In many cases we find the “Special Allowance” or “Dearness Allowance” being fixed at such a low rate so as to provide only 60% neutralisation of the rise in prices. This means that as prices rise, the DA rise will only provide for 60% of the burden and the worker will have to shoulder 40% of the burden of price rise by reducing his consumption. It is odd that workers are supposed to further reduce a consumption that is already a “minimum”. Such fixation of minimum wage is not only unfair and illegal, it is clearly criminal.

It can be argued that if we take five consumption units (since the Indian worker often has to look after his parents and often has more than two children), then the reality dictates that an even higher minimum wage will have to be fixed. This is a real problem which must be studied by appointing a proper inquiry committee. In many countries the expectation is that the worker will have to provide for five units by ten years of his working life. In Indian conditions it may be in an even lesser time.

Our understanding of the rate of minimum wage will, perforce, also have to pervade our understanding of pension. After all, the worker is expected to continue living even after retirement. His food may reduce marginally but his expenses on medicines will certainly increase. Also, the whole of the minimum wage concept does not provide for saving sufficient to buy one’s own house even after 30 years of service. If this is factored in, it may well be that the minimum wage should be around Rs. 50000 per month at a guess.

We can compare with other countries in the world. For ease of calculation let us take the USA. It is by no means the country with the highest minimum wage in the world. In fact, in the recent elections, one of the main concerns of Bernie Sanders was to increase the minimum wage which even Clinton has agreed for.

The US has presently a minimum wage of $ 7.25 per hour. This works out to over Rs. 1 lakh per month. But to compare minimum wages in such a manner would be faulty since exchange rates do not express the full reality. The capitalist would point out that a cup of coffee in India costs Rs. 25 whereas a cup of coffee in the USA would cost $ 2 or Rs. 135. This is not comparable. There is another method called the Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) method. This compares the Rupee and the Dollar not at the rate of exchange but in terms of their purchasing power. By this method, Rs. 17 is accepted as having equal purchasing power as one Dollar. Even by this method, $ 7.25 has the same purchasing power as Rs. 123.25. So we can take the minimum wage of the US as having a purchasing power of Rs. 123.25 per hour or Rs. 986 per day or Rs. 29580 per month. This means that at the minimum wage in the US the worker can purchase the same as what around Rs. 30000 can purchase in India. There are many countries which have a minimum wage much higher than the US, especially in terms of PPP. Australia has a minimum wage of over $ 10 (International US Dollars at PPP) which will be over Rs. 40000 per month of purchasing power. Even Ireland and Argentina have minimum wage with a higher purchasing power than in the US.

It can also be argued that the minimum wage formula was last adjusted in 1991 (by the Supreme Court in the Raptakos Brett judgement). The time from the original formula to the the adjustment (1957 to 1991) was 34 years. A further 25 years have now passed. Necessities have grown many fold. Computers and mobile phones were not necessities in 1991 but are clearly so now. Many more features can now be added to the cost of regenerating a worker’s life. If we revise this realistically, then the minimum wage required would be even more.

Even so, we have pegged our demand at Rs. 22000 as on January 2016 as per the formula of the 15th ILC and using the figures of the 7th pay commission. We have not made this demand in the nature of one-upmanship but are merely striving for a scientific basis for fixing the minimum wage. We therefore ask all workers to come forward and support this demand. We have, of course, to develop this further and make a more realistic minimum wage for the future. Let us begin the fight now

Independence for Kurdistan!

Free Com. Obdulla Ocalan!

Message of greetings to the conference organised by the 'Academy for Politics and Democratic Thought', delivered by CPI(ML) Red Star representative com. Sanjay Singhvi

 On behalf of the Communist Party of India (Marxist Leninist) Red Star and also on behalf of ICOR, I bring you greetings and the best wishes. This conference takes place at a momentous time. That the old order is shaking is shown clearly by recent events. In the past, momentous events in world history were maybe one each year or every few years. In the past fortnight alone we have had Brexit, the terrorist attack in Nice and the failed coup in Turkey. In this situation, it is clear that the world as we know it, is suffering serious crises. It is only by discussing history and new ideas for the future – a theoretical offensive – that can offer a glimpse of a solution. It is in this spirit that we approach this conference.

First and foremost, I would like to convey that we support the movement of the Kurdish people to have their own homeland. We will take the message of Kurdistan to the people of India and the people of the world. The Kurdish people are one of the largest and oldest people in the world not to have their own nation. We would support the movement of the Kurdish people for the right to establish such a nation.

We see Kurdistan as necessary, not only as a democratic right of the Kurdish people themselves, but also as necessary to retain and build up stability and peace in the area. This is so because the Kurdish people have distinguished themselves in their struggles against various forms of imperialism and also against the Daesh (ISIS) at various times in the past. Whereas various states have fallen prey to one imperialist camp or the other, the Kurdish people, though they have been divided and separated have consistently fought for their democratic rights and thus also for the rights of the people of this region of the world to decide their own fate. They have fought for establishing their rights in the face of different imperialist and oppressive forces and are even now at the forefront of the fight against Daesh (ISIS).

Today the world is witnessing many flashpoints in different regions – Africa, the South China Sea, Kashmir, etc. However, the most critical remains the region of West Asia. This is because of the tremendous natural resources – oil, gas, lithium and other precious minerals to be found in this region. The imperialist powers and the regionl powers are all locked in a struggle to gain hegemony in this area. The sands are shifting and many may be allies and have inimical interests at the same time. The ISIS is using religious extremism to further confuse the situation. The large scale arms and money supply that they are able to muster shows clearly the extent of covert backing that they enjoy from various different powers. In this situation, the Kurdish people stand out as a beacon of democracy. They are consistently fighting against all forms of imperialism and against ISIS. They have kept the flag of Kurdish independence afloat, which will buoy the democratic aspirations of all the peoples of this region. It is for this reason that we feel that supporting the struggle of the Kurdish people for their democratic rights is a part of the struggle for liberating West Asia from the clutches of imperialists and other hegemonistic powers.

We also condemn the undemocratic and illegal incarceration of Com. Abdulla Ocalan in the Imrali prison. The method of his incarceration shows how precious he is to the Kurdish people and the importance that the repressive Turkish government places on his being isolated. It clearly indicates how much the Turkish Government fears Com. Abdulla Ocalan as the representative of the Kurdish people. We call for the immediate release of Com. Abdulla Ocalan and ask that he be allowed to openly do his political work in a democratic manner. We ask for the immediate removal of the ban on the PKK and its removal from the list of “terrorist organizations”. We recognize that Com. Abdulla Ocalan and the PKK represent the clear democratic aspirations of the people of Kurdistan.

Our party is a Marxist Leninist party. We believe that Marxism Leninism is, at the base, a supremely democratic system. At the same time, we believe that Marxism Leninism is a living theory and has to grow with the times. The world of today offers the scientific and technological basis for a much greater and all pervading democratic system. We have read Com. Adbulla Ocalan’s writing on Democratic Confederalism. We are also in the process of searching a new and proper theoretical understanding of the world of today. We are also in the process of understanding why the socialist systems built up in Russia and China has failed. We are also trying to understand how imperialism operates in the present neo-colonial world system. We feel that all attempts to create a new democratic system with greater power to the people is an attempt in the right direction. The answers being put forward to the problems of the world in general and to the problems of West Asia in particular can be broadly categorized into two: to give greater powers to the people or to curtail their democratic rights. We are certain that the former is the only legitimate method which will allow a solution to the problems of West Asia and, indeed, of the world.

We thank the organizers for this invitation and for the opportunity to put forward our point of view and to understand that of the other participants. We hope that this will help us to forge a closer bond, not only between our respective organizations but also between the peoples of our nations. We humbly proclaim that the time is ripe for the people of the world to openly discuss all questions without fear or favour so as to solve the seemingly insurmountable questions that the times are posing before us.

Independence for Kurdistan!

Oppose imperialism and hegemonism of all hues!

Free Comrade Abdulla Ocalan immediately!

Recognise the PKK as the legitimate representative of the Kurdish people!

 

Gujarat: Massive Dalit Asmita Yatra from

Ahmadabad to Una

The successful Dalit Asmita Yatra and its culmination at Una on 15th August with a very massive rally is a testimony to the fact that a people’s movement can be a roaring success despite a virtual blackout by large sections of news media and reaffirms the need for ground level mobilization and people connect. Besides the core question of caste and class discrimination against Dalits, Dalit Asmita Yatra has also been instrumental in throwing up new faces who could possibly provide an alternative political narrative in Gujarat. This was something that Gujarat desperately needed as Congress has completely failed to counter the long BJP misrule.

The attack on dalit men in Una for allegedly skinning a dead cow by so-called cow protection committee men, products of the Brahmanical hate ideology of RSS strengthened by the support provided by the Modi government has rocked the country and brought forward the significance of the caste annihilation in present situation. The powerful upsurge of dalits and other oppressed sections along with democratic forces in the state was joined by the Caste Annihilation Movement (CAM) activists also. The central working group of the CAM issued a statement in Delhi condemning the incident and calling of all democratic forces to intensify the caste annihilation campaign and to boldly resist such onslaughts by Manuvadis. During the Una mobilization, many groups walked in solidarity with the march for the entire 10 days or at least for a few days with people coming from UP, Bihar, Haryana, Punjab, Telegana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra etc. The oppressed classes and sections, the minorities, progressive political forces in the state also declared solidarity and participated in the Yatra.

The local police in Una and the additional police deployed by Gujarat Government took a full 3 days to make the first arrests of the rioters supporting BJP who had been attacking Dalits, vandalizing vehicles and threatening those who wish to join the rally. These under hand tactics by Gujarat Govt of letting the rioters have a free hand shows how threatened they felt by the Dalit Asmita Yatra and wanted it jeopardized desperately. All credits to the tens of thousands who attended the Dalit Mahasammelan and in the Dalit Asmita Yatra for not falling for the provocations which was a tactical ploy to undermine the great march.

Una Dalit Atyachar Ladai Samiti, the group spearheading Dalit protests in Gujarat, will intensify its agitation by blocking trains and taking their protests outside the state, its leaders said. Members of the Samiti are currently on a 350-km march from Ahmedabad to Una to galvanise the community in the state and protest against the growing atrocities as well as what they is the ruling BJP government’s apathy. The march - Asmita Yatra - will end on August 15 with a public meeting. “On 15th, we will give a deadline to the government. And if our demands are not met by that deadline, we will organise rail roko in Ahmedabad,” Jignesh Mevani, convenor of the Samiyhi said..

The Samiti has demanded the immediate arrest of all those who can be seen in the video thrashing the four Una men and prohibit them from entering the state. They want policemen, who helped the accused, to be booked under the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes Prevention of Atrocities Act.

They have asked for the withdrawal of false cases lodged against the members of Dalits community. They want allotment of land to Dalits who don’t wish to continue their job of skinning cows and an assurance that those who have been given land on paper, get possession the as well.

They also want employment for the scheduled caste members under the Smart City project and permanent jobs for all sanitation workers under Nagar Paloma as well as benefits of the sixth pay commission.

Before the rail blockade, the group plans to conduct a rally from Mehsana to Gandhinagar in north Gujarat.

It is becoming clearer day by day that even after the institutional murder of Rohir Vemula and the massive people’s resentment that followed, the Modi government has not learned any lessons. The thrashing of dalit youths at Una by Go-Rakshaks and growing attacks on dalits all over the country were crossing all limits of tolerance, and now the dalits in the state joined by the minorities and all democratic forces have launched a massive resistance movement organizing a militant march from Ahmedabad to Una declaring on 15th August that hereafter the dalits will not bury the carcasses of dead animals and let the Brahminical rulers arrange for it. In spite of the half hearted speech of Modi which came very late criticizing the Go-Rakshaks, it is clear that it is the RSS parivar which is promoting these criminals intoxicated under Manuvad. If dalit oppression and caste based atrocities continued under the long Congress rule which followed caste appeasement policies favoring the Brahminical forces, under BJP rule prompted by RSS it is outright Manuvadi aggression over the downtrodden classes and sections. It has taken caste based oppression to unprecedented levels. What is happening all over the country is a reaction of the heinous acts of Manuvadi forces..

History teaches that oppression will not be tolerated for ever. Now what was started with the intistutional murder of Rohit is reaching new heights after the thrashing of dalit boys by the Brahminical forces. Millions of the oppressed masses are coming forward to resist. If the Navnirman Movement of 1973 in Gujarat started turning the table against Congress rule, now the dalit movement spreading in Gujarat supported by all progressive forces has provided a new impetus to the resistance against the Modi government, which is bound to intensify in coming days. This is the manner in which the fascicization of the country should be resisted and reversed

UP: Thousands Rally for Land and Housing at Sitapur

Many Thousands of agricultural workers and landless poor peasants from four blocks of Sithapur district marched to Shahid Maidan braving incessant rain and flooding and participated in a huge rally which later marched toards the district collector’s office,

virtually gheraoing it for hours when their leaders and leadig activists discussed their problems with the officers of district administration. Almost two thirds of them were women, many with their young children. As the rail communication in the area is not effective and as local trains are few, many of them had to spent two nights at the railway station to participate in the rally. But since the housing and land question is a life and death problem for them even seven decades after independence, under the banner of the party committees and AIKKS they decided to surmount all difficulties and participate in the rally, turning the maidan and then the few kilometers to the Kacheri red with their banners and flags, raising militant slogans all through.

CPI(ML) state secretary com. Brajbihari, other leaders comrades Sunila, Ram Sanehi, Rambali and many leaders of the Housing Right Committee gave leadership to the rally. Com. Brajbihari explained the importance of the day, 9th August, the Bharat Chodo Andolan day of 1942, when many from Sithapur had rallied for independence. Freedom fighters from Sithapur also became martyrs in whose memory the Shahid Minar was built. But in spite of these martyrdoms it is the corporates like Ambani and Adani thrives, while the masses are denied the land and housing, their basic rights.

Addressing the rally com. K.N. Ramachandran, General Secretary of the Party pointed out the significance of the struggle for land, housing and social justice for which people are rallying all over the country under the banner of the party and mass organizations. It was when the promises given during the freedom struggle were betrayed, the Naxalbari Uprising took place putting forward the agrarian revolution in the agenda of people’s movements. Now when we are observing the 50th anniversary of the great people’s uprising the land question is not even taken up by the central and state governments. They have enough land to give to corporate and real estate nafias, but no land to give to dalits, adivasis and other oppressed masses. So the struggle for land, housing and social justice should be intensified everywhere. He extended all support to the movement of the agricultural workers and peasantry of UP. Adv. C.B.Singh com. Bhagavathi Singh also addressed the rally along with other leading comrades calling for intensifying the movement for social justice fighting against corporate-communal raj promoted by vested interests.

Following this by 2pm the march started to the collectorate through the main road and virtually gheraoed the Kacheri when the discussion started with the district administration. Once again, the authorities assured the distribution of all available land and completing housing for all houseless families.

The peasantry has declared through their slogans that unless these assurances are fulfilled they shall advance towards direct action to capture the land and to put pressure for housing and other social justices. In the context of coming UP elections this mobilization for basic demands have great importance

Bhubaneswar : Massive Slum Dwellers’ March

Basti Surakshya Mancha (BSM), an Organisation representing dwellers of 446 slums of Bhubaneswar organized a massive rally of tens of thousands of Slum Dwellers Rally on 27th July in front of Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation and submitted the following memorandum to prime minister Modi through the state govt.

The Govt. of India and Odisha state government have agreed in principle that housing is a fundamental human need. In the government’s policy documents it is also found one fifth of the worlds population have been forced to live in slums. Forced displacements due to capital intensive mining based industrialization with rapid urbanization, large-scale migration is taking place from rural to urban areas in search of livelihood opportunities. In the absence of equity based urban planning along with short sighted urban policies create shortage of housing, water, sanitation, education, healthcare, and social security and leading to dismal living conditions for urban poor.

We express our concern that the Odisha Development Authorities Act which provides for earmark 10% of the urban land for the housing of socio economic weaker sections of the society, it is not carried out while master plan is prepared or the BDA, Housing Board like Govt. undertaking agencies have not taken the housing rights issues of the urban poor populations.

As for the Govt. statistics in the year 2007 a housing short fall of the about 1.5 lakhs units was estimated in Bhubaneswar and Cuttack regions alone. But as for the Govt. statistics in the year 2004 there were more than 68 thousand urban poor families residing in the Bhubaneswar. As for the Rajib Awass Yojana Socio-Economic Survey there are 77,338 slum families living in 415 slums in Bhubaneswar. At present there are more than 450 slums existing in Bhubaneswar and the slums mostly exist in the public lands.

We are surprised to know that even though the Union Govt. and the Odisha Govt. accept the fact that housing is a fundamental human need, but the Odisha Govt. in contrary to its proclaimed policy i.e Policy for Housing for All in Urban areas, Odisha-2015 which was published in the Odisha Gazette in 22nd August 2015, have decided that any slum dweller who is having any land/ house in any part of the country shall not be eligible for consideration of allotment of a house under RAY / BSUP / PMAY / HFA besides the state Govt. has decided that  the slum dwellers shall have to make an affidavit with an undertaking that they will vacate the slum land voluntarily even without transit accommodations and facilities. The above two decisions of the Odisha Govt. which is not only anti people but also contrary to the policies of the centre and the state, the same was very scrupulously carried out by Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation.

The Notifications of BMC No. 11417 and 11422 dated 2nd July 2016 publised in Odia dailies such as Sambad, Samaj and Dharitri reflects the same anti people decisions of the Odisha Govt. The above notifications have forced us to come to the street to fight for the justice in general and social justice in particular. Basti Surakshya Mancha has already agitated it in black and white form through email communications with you all on dated 5th to 15 July 2016, But we got no result as yet.

The urban poor population of Bhubaneswar have again been betrayed by the Odisha Govt. by using BMC as its agency to displace the slum dwellers forcefully with an empty slogan of slum dwellers rehabilition under RAY / BSUP/ PMAY HFA (Awass). In this context we have no hesitation to say that the Patharbandha and Mahisiakhal Slums which were decided for in situ development in the year 1993-94 is yet to see the light. 192 BSUP EWS housing units which have been constructed in 2008 for in situ developments of Tarini Nagar and Aurobinda Nagar have not been allotted in favour of the said slum dwellers. With all honesty, we can say that as on today no slum family has been provided with a piece of land or a small housing unit during the year 2000 to till date but in the contrary it is about more than 60 slums have been bulldozed without any permanent rehabilitation facilities.

We reiterate our genuine demand that housing is an integral part of livelihood, which should be provided by the Govt. to all including unorganized workers living slums close to their place of work. We request you to consider our genuine grievance that, all the slum dwellers who have occupied public lands in Bhubaneswar shall be rehabilitated under the principle that housing for all close to their place of work and as an interim step we request the Odisha Govt. to immediately withdraw the two objectionable conditions.

We have come to understand that in spite of all assurances the government is trying to eliminate all the slum dwellers from the above noted things under the cover that they have land in their native villages. We demand that amended notifications be published by the BMC authority. The Govt. should change the policy against slum demolitions and ensure alternate site and house in case any silum areas are taken or rehabilitation and in this case in situ development ensuring satisfactory housing for all”.

Karnataka: Bangaluru Rally on August 20 to Launch Land Struggle

Over ten thousand people from different parts of the state participated in the agitation on August 20 in Bengaluru demanding cultivable lands for landless and homes for homeless. The agitation was organised by Bhoomi Mattu Vasati Hakku Vanchitara Horata Samithi, a State-level conglomerate of different organisations and individuals for a common goal. Addressing a press meet at Raichur on 12th August itself, K. Nagalingaswamy, district president of Karnataka Raitha Sangha, had announced that thousands of people from different parts of the State would participate in the agitation on the birth centenary of former Chief Minister of Karnataka late D. Devaraj Urs, who introduced land reforms in the State. “The land reforms introduced by Devaraj Urs remained incomplete as the governments after him showed little interest to provide cultivable lands to landless farmers. It is meaningless to celebrate Devaraj Urs birth centenary when his dream of providing a piece of land to poor and landless farmers remained unfulfilled. Huge tracts of government land both in urban and rural areas are encroached. The government must clear these encroachments and distribute the lands among the poor,” Mr. Nagalingaswamy said.

He asked the government to make a clear distinction between large-scale encroachments of government lands by powerful politicians, mighty landlords and influential religious institutions and the bagair hukum lands that had been cultivated by poor and landless farmers for a living. “No governments after Devaraj Urs took the land and housing issue seriously. Instead of clearing the large scale encroachments, these governments have been harassing and attempting to evict bagair hukum farmers. Lakhs of applications seeking regularisation of bagair hukum lands by their genuine tillers are piling up and gathering dust in government offices,” he said. The Bengaluru agitation raised 15 major demands including five acres of cultivable lands to every landless farmer, a home or residential plot to every homeless family and regularisation of bagair hukum lands to their genuine cultivators, he added.

Following state level campaign by KRS (AIKKS), TUCI, Karnataka Janasakthi, DSS and more than 25 organizations who had formed the struggling committee for land and housing for all landless and huseless people of Karnataka turned in to a massive mobilization which marched more than 3 kms to the state secretariat.

The revenue minister came to the maidan where the march had reached and discussed with the leaders assuring immediate steps to start distribution of land and housing on priority basis. The leaders warned the state administration that unless these steps are not immediately taken the Horatta Samithi shall launch direct action. This militant rally raising their demands has inspired the landless people for preparing themselves for direct action for land and housing

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