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Saturday, July 30, 2011
THE Haryana state unit of the CPI (M) has expressed grave concern over the fast worsening law and order situation and total failure of the state government in effectively containing the spurt in serious crimes. In a press note issued from Rohtak on June 18, the party’s state secretary Inderjit Singh has demanded that the chief minister, Bhupender Singh Hooda, must give a public explanation in view of the increasing fear among the common people. Being himself in charge of the home portfolio, the chief minister is personally answerable over the pathetic scenario.
In this regard, the CPI (M) leader expressed deep anguish over yet another case of indulgence of constables of Haryana Police in a gruesome episode of kidnapping and gang rape of a minor girl at Bahadurgarh on June 14 last. The CPI (M) has also cited the instance of heinous and mysterious murder of an ex-sarpanch, Karam Singh, and his cousin following their allegations of bribes given to now sacked minister and a chief parliamentary secretary for securing jobs to their kin in the transport department.
According to the CPI (M) leader, these most foul murders were enough to show that corruption was rampant in top echelons of power in Haryana. In this context, the party has maintained that merely dropping the ministers was an attempt to cover-up the network of real culprits and the modus operandi adopted by them. An impartial high level probe was therefore necessary to unearth the menace, Singh said.
The CPI (M) has urged upon all sections of people to rise above caste and other narrow considerations for the sake of forging broader unity and launch a united resistance against crime and corruption.
SCRAP RETROGRADE TRANSPORT POLICY: CPI (M)
Earlier the Haryana state unit of the CPI (M) has demanded that the state government must discard its retrograde new transport policy in view of the complete strike by roadways workers despite arrests and other repressive measures. In a press note issued from Rohtak in this connection on June 8, the party’s state secretary Inderjit Singh stated that various sections of people have extended their close support to the striking transport workers, as has been evident from the protest demonstrations.
The CPI(M) leader termed the government policy of issuing licenses for a large number of routes to private players as virtual privatisation and as the winding up of the state’s transport department. Inderjit Singh also visited various police stations and met the detained persons, including women workers. He was told that many of them were beaten up when being taking to police stations. He demanded immediate release of all those who were rounded up by the police.
The CPI (M) has urged the chief minister to personally talk to leaders of the transport workers’ unions, abandon the unilaterally imposed new transport policy and accept all genuine demands of the workers. It has also demanded that the transport minister must be sacked for his alleged involvement in a huge bribery racket and abetment in a murder case.
Courtesy: People’s Democracy
Congress Leadership Comes under Heavy Firing
N S Sajith
ON June 9, executive meeting of the Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) ended in a protest note as most of the senior leaders launched a frontal attack on the state leadership of the party for the pathetic performance of United Democratic Front (UDF) in the recently concluded state assembly elections. Prominent leaders like V M Sudheeran and V D Satheeshan came down heavily on the KPCC president Ramesh Chennithala and chief minister Oomen Chandy for having protected the tainted leaders like P K Kunhalikkutty of the Indian Union Muslim League and R Balakrishnapillai of the Kerala Congress. Most of the leaders equated the narrow victory of the UDF with a defeat.
The meeting decided to form a three member committee, under the leadership of former speaker Vakkom Puroshothaman, to enquire into the reasons for the UDF’s setback in the elections.
While a thorough introspection was done by the second rung leaders in the meeting and they were keen to attack the leaders, Oommen Chandy and Ramesh Chennithala maintained silence from the beginning to the end. Both leaders were held responsible for the bungling in seat allotments and the allotment of ministerial berths.
V M Sudheeran and V D Satheesan said that the Congress leaders’ enthusiasm to protect P K Kunhalikkutty who was held up in the sex scandal and to R Balakrishna Pillai who was jailed in a corruption case, damaged the prospect of the Congress party as well as of the Congress led UDF. When the Congress started to put them in high positions, common members left the party. The League had had a prestigious victory in Malappuram at the cost of the Congress. If the union defence minister A K Antony had not turned up for the front, the defeat should have been more dismal, the critic duo said.
The critics pointed out that the probity of the Congress eroded when the leaders declared that they would provide legal support to Balakrishna Pillai. These leaders dragged the party to the stables of caste and communal organisations, Sudheeran and Satheesan said.
Satheesan also criticised Ramesh Chennithala for his decision to contest as it caused confusion among the rank and file. Senior Congress leader and former Lok Sabha member A C Jose also criticised the Congress leadership for conceding to the pressure of the Muslim League.
Courtesy: People’s Democracy
THE dalit people’s struggle to assert their rights is continuing in Tamilnadu. It is a fact that there are in the state hundreds of temples which the Dalits could not enter for a long time. Among them is Vanniyakumarasamy temple at Kinathukadavu, Pollachi, in Coimbatore district. For the past 25 years, dalits were not allowed to offer prayers in the temple.
This temple is managed by the state government under the aegis of Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment Department. The dalits kept petitioning for a long time for permission to offer prayers and worship. But all their attempts went in vain. Hence the decision by the leadership of Tamilnadu Untouchability Eradication Front and (TNUEF) and Adi Thamizhar Viduthalai Munnani (ATVM, which is also a part of the TNUEF) to enter the temple on June 12, 2011.
It was about three weeks ago that ATVM leaders submitted a memorandum to the district administration, seeking permission to enter the temple. It is notable that with the struggles growing in Coimbatore district since the inception of the TNUEF, the district administration has been constrained to allow the dalits entry into several temples.
On June 12, Ravi Kumar (convenor, ATVM and vice president of the TNUEF) and V Perumal (secretary, TNUEF) led the dalits into the temple. Though the police force was meant to facilitate the dalits’ entry into the temple, it in fact tried to stop them. In the end, it was agreed that dalits would go inside through an alternative path. They were thrilled to offer a special puja there.
After the successful entry, leaders addressed the press and thanked the district administration. But they said the struggle to eradicate untouchability would continue since many forms of untouchability are practised in the district. They also urged the new government to address the dalits’ problems of Dalits.
The recently held TNUEF state committee meeting has decided to take forward the struggle ahead. It has decided to draft a charter of demands regarding the SC/ST sub-plan in the month of June. To retrieve the panchami lands, the Front has decided to launch a movement in four districts. Various forms of agitation have been announced.
At the organisational level, it decided to complete the district level conferences by the end of December 2011.
Courtesy: People’s Democracy
A DELEGATION of dalit intellectuals in the state of Andhra Pradesh met the CPI (M) general secretary Prakash Karat at the time of the PB-CC meeting in Hyderabad and presented a memorandum, seeking the active intervention of the party in bringing a central legislation for proper implementation of SC/ST sub-plans at the central level.
Office bearers of the Centre for Dalit Studies and Dalit Bahujan Front along with KVPS leaders met Karat at the state committee office --- M B Bhavan --- on June 10. CPI (M) Polit Bureau member and state secretary, B V Raghavulu, was present on this occasion.
Citing the recent agitation launched by the party in Andhra Pradesh that focussed the attention of all on this important issue, the delegation impressed upon Prakash Karat the need to replicate this struggle in all states and at the central level. Karat assured the delegation of taking up this issue in the forthcoming parliamentary session. He also said that the CPI (M) would take the initiative to get an all-party meeting held on this issue at the central level and chalk out struggles. (INN).
Courtesy: People’s Democracy
CPI (M) CHALKS OUT ACTION PROGRAMMES ON PEOPLE'S ISSUES
N S Arjun in Hyderabad
THE extended meeting of CPI (M) Andhra Pradesh state committee has chalked out a programme of struggles on pressing issues facing the people in the state. It has also called on the central government to immediately decide and clinch the political issue of keeping the state integrated or dividing it.
Addressing the media on the concluding day of the two day meeting on June 14, 2011, Raghavulu announced that the Party would conduct a 'Health week' programme during June 25-30 to bring pressure on the government to deal with the public health crisis in the state. With imminent arrival of monsoon, there are a spate of diseases like dysentery, chicken guinea etc set to strike people. Last year the government failed miserably in dealing with such diseases and many people died. Raghavulu said as per the information available to the Party, many of the PHCs in the state do not even have stock of Paracetamol tablets. Party activists will visit PHCs and hospitals in the state during the week, take stock of the situation and hold programmes to bring pressure on the government. They will also undertake work to clean the premises, clear the drains etc to highlight the need of the government to improve sanitation in order to prevent outbreak of diseases.
Similarly an 'Education week' would be observed during June 17-25 focussing on the issues plaguing the students as academic year has begun but there are still no textbooks or uniforms to distribute to the poor students. The facilities in hostels are also abysmal. The CPI (M) will focus on these issues during this week to force the government to act.
The extended meeting attended by district committee members of the Party also resolved to take up in a priority manner the issue of implementation of the Tenancy ordinance brought out by the state government under pressure of the recent CPI(M) agitation. Since a clause has been inserted that identity cards can be issued only with the consent of the landowner, its implementation would become tough, felt the CPI (M). It therefore urged the Party units to conduct a widespread campaign among tenants on the nitty gritty of the ordinance and ensure that it is implemented.
In other resolutions, the extended meeting resolved to take up activity for bringing pressure on the government to form an effective Nodal Agency for overseeing the allotment and disbursal of special component funds for dalits and tribals. Widest possible unity would be aimed for in this struggle. It may be recalled that this was one of the key demands in the indefinite hunger strike undertaken by Raghavulu and three other CPI (M) state leaders in March this year. This demand has evoked good response from dalits and tribals in the state.
Another resolution was also passed in the extended meeting demanding implementation of G.O. No. 3 for the nearly 10.5 lakh contract employees in the state etc. Equal pay for equal work, mandatory facilities like PF, provision of pension etc are being demanded. The meeting also demanded scrapping of the nearly 50 odd merchant power plants sanctioned in the coastal areas. Apart from these, the call given by the Central Committee to conduct a solidarity campaign with Bengal comrades and a campaign against corruption would be implemented, said Raghavulu.
Answering a question, Raghavulu said that the political situation for Congress would not improve with mere change of faces for the posts like PCC president or the revived post of deputy chief minister. On the local body polls, he charged the Congress and its government of trying to postpone the polls in order not to face the electorate. The denial of information to the state election commission by the state government raises doubts about its sincerity in conducting the polls, he charged. Raghavulu demanded that the government must argue forcefully before the High Court for continuing the 60.5 reservations in local body polls as it was already in existence. Some persons have approached the High Court saying that this violates the Supreme Court order for limiting all reservations to below 50 per cent.
On the first day of the extended meeting, CPI (M) general secretary Prakash Karat explained the CC review on the recent assembly elections and answered questions from the floor. Later, the delegates conducted discussions group wise on the pressing issues facing the people and how to conduct the struggles. Discussions were held district committee wise also. Later, the outcome and summaries of the discussion were presented by the delegate speakers. CPI (M) central secretariat member V Srinivasa Rao made an intervention on the second day while Raghavulu made a two hour reply to the discussion.
Courtesy: People’s Democracy
PROFUSE TRIBUTES PAID TO PEOPLE’S POET
ON June 15 evening, the Janwadi Lekhak Sangh (JLS), Safdar Hashmi Memorial Trust (SAHMAT), Jan Natya Manch (JANAM) of Delhi and Act One jointly organised a Nagarjun Birth Centenary festival at Triveni Auditorium in the Mandi House area of New Delhi. On the occasion, the auditorium overflew with writers, artists, cultural activists and intelligentsia of Delhi; some of the audience came from Haryana and other states too. This year is the birth centenary year of Nagarjun, a well-known Hindi and Maithili poet who is considered as a people’s poet. He wrote poems and novels in Hindi, Maithili, Sanskrit and Bangala.
MAITHILI’S FIRST MODERN CLASSIC
Nagarjun, whose real name was Vaidyanath Mishra was born, at Tarauni, a small village in Darbhanga (Bihar) in 1911. According to Vikrami calendar, it was on the full moon day of the month of Jyeshtha, that coincided with June 15 that year of the Christian era. He studied Sanskrit and Buddhist literature, travelled far and wide, adopted Buddhist religion for some time and used Nagarjun as his nom de plume. In Maithili he wrote under the pen-name of Yatri (traveller). He wrote more than six novels in Hindi, more than a dozen collections of poems, two epic poems, two collections of poems in Maithili, one novel in Maithili, one epic poem in Sanskrit and some poems in Bangala. He was awarded by the Sahitya Akademi for his collection of poems in Maithili. He died on November 5, 1998.
Nagarjun began writing poems in Maithili at an early age, and in Hindi when he came in contact with Hindi writers at Varanasi where he stayed for learning Sanskrit. After that he wandered from one place to another. In the words of Vishnu Khare, he “continued to write both in Maithili and Hindi and while only two Hindi pamphlet-poems, Shapath (Vow) and Chana Zor Garam (‘Mighty’ Hot Grams) were circulated in 1948 and 1952 respectively, his first, compact yet comprehensive (28 poems) Maithili collection Chitra appeared in 1949 and became perhaps the first modern classic and a standard university textbook in the language. It is a microcosm with poems on the Mithila region and Gandhi and the state-of-the-nation jostling with nature-poems, nostalgia, love and social reform and commitment. Romantic lyricism gradually surrenders to a resolute realism. The longest (169 lines) poem of the collection, Dwandwa (The Duel Within), is uniquely central to the understanding of the poet’s painfully chosen way of life and his awareness of the irrevocable, dynamic dialectics of human history. It is uncannily like the testament of a modern Buddha after the renunciation, vulnerable to accusation of heartlessness, selfishness and escapism, yet resolute and unapologetic in its larger decision.”
“THE STREAM OF THE AGE”
If his first collection, in Maithili, was appreciated for its pictorial quality, Yugdhara, the first one in Hindi, was considered as “the Stream of the Age.” By 1953, the year of its publication, Nagarjun had left behind the nostalgic association with his Meghaduta-Kalidasa kind of Sanskrit lyrical romanticism. He became the forerunner of a new wave of writing in Hindi of progressive content and satirical form. To quote Vishnu Khare again, “he is perhaps the only Hindi poet who saw and wrote about the mighty Indus during one of his wanderings in pre-Partition India. His 10-line 1950 poem about “the five worthy sons of Mother India” is a piece of classic satire, which he used to recite like a dancing Baul. The still shorter, 8-line poem on “The Famine and After” remains a masterpiece of tragedy and resurgence, hunger and satiety, gloom and cheer, establishing him as a major talent in Hindi poetry.”
He did not confine himself to the genre of poetry to depict the reality of his land. He took to novel writing and wrote novels in Hindi in the rich tradition of Premchand.
Ratinath Ki Chachi (Ratinath’s Aunt), his novel in Hindi is considered by critics as ‘one of the most realistic --- and feminist --- novels in Hindi.’ This novel depicts adulterous carnality and foeticide, but it is a rich conjuring-up of Maithil society, culture and ecology, interspersed with irony and humour so characteristic of the region.
Balchanma, his second novel in Hindi, was published in 1952. This novel also depicts the social reality telling the harrowing tale of abject poverty and naked exploitation; it promises liberation to such rebellious youngsters as Balchanma, only to end in his brutal murder by the mercenaries hired by the upper-caste kulaks and landowners.
Varun ke Bete (The Sons of the Water-God Varuna), written in 1954 and published in 1956, is yet another unconventional work. It is a story of the (low-caste) village fishermen fighting for their fishing rights and trying to form a fishermen’s cooperative.
Nagarjun wrote 13 novels --- 11 in Hindi and two in Maithili --- and each of them centres around a socio-economic-political theme, making him one of the most ‘programmatic’ novelists in Indian literature. His stories are invariably set in rural or semi-urban Bihar and tell the story of the downtrodden and the exploited, amongst them women and children.
While writing on his death, Vishnu Khare wrote, “Nagarjun remains predominantly a poet of politics and people, of the peasantry and of the proletariat. He was angrier than any angry young poet but also possessed a typically robust Maithil-Bihari sense of humour and savage satire..… His poetry and fiction are polyphonic; they have more than one sub-text and can be read as subaltern sociology and history but there is nothing subordinate about them --- they belong to the real, dominant mainstream of Hindi literature. On the other hand, he is at core a vulnerable individual, with love, yearning, guilt and tenderness, tormenting and ennobling his soul. Its inner demons turned him into a tireless traveller --- he was no profligate philanderer..…To those who read him, he is a deeply committed humanist with a rare mastery over language(s), style and craft. Now that the canonised and mobbed “Baba” is gone, one hopes that his devotees will turn to his works where he lives as the ever-readable, relevant and breathless Nagarjun.”
ONE WHO SIDED WITH THE DOWNTRODDEN
In the beginning of the Nagarjun festival, Murli Manohar Prasad Singh, general secretary of the Janwadi Lekhak Sangh, welcomed the audience and said that emerging writers would get inspiration from the writings of Nagarjun who always sided with the downtrodden and remained committed to the cause of revolution. After the welcome address, the artistes of Jan Natya Manch, Kurukshetra, sang a chorus based on three poems of Nagarjun --- Lal Bhavani, Lajwanti, and Shashan ki Bandook. Then began a session of discourse on Nagarjun’s contribution to literature and culture. First, Rajesh Joshi, an eminent Hindi poet, briefly spoke on the creative process of Nagarjun who kept with him a magnifying glass and a radio transistor. By referring to these two gadgets, Rajesh explained the element of progressive thinking in Nagarjun who kept a vigilant eye on every event related in press and radio. Then the special number of Naya Path, Hindi quarterly, on Nagarjun was released. Renowned Hindi critic Shiv Kumar Mishra spoke on various literary aspects of Nagarjun’s poetry and also his memoirs. In his brief presidential address, Namwar Singh said that Nagarjun was an experimentalist par excellence, whether it was the choice of metre, rhythm, content or form. The range of his poetry was very vast and thus he was really a people’s poet.
The most attractive part of the festival was the presentation of Nagarjun’s poems in classical music by Anjana Puri. Madan Gopal Singh, an eminent singer and composer of Sufi poetry, presented a programme of music, singing some of the best poems of Nagarjun, and earned high applause from the audience. In between the variety of programmes, some poems of Nagarjun were recited by well-known Hindi and Urdu writers such as Zubair Razvi, Matraiyee Pushpa, Leeladhar Mandloi, Mangalesh Dabral, Dinesh Kumar Shukla and Ashok Tiwari.
In the end Bigul drama group enacted a collage containing seven stages based on Nagarjun’s poems and then the JANAM, Kurukshetra, sang a poem, ‘Megh Baje Hain’ in classical mode. The programme was conducted by Chanchal Chauhan, general secretary of the Janwadi Lekhak Sangh.
Courtesy: People’s Democracy