US refused to extradite Anderson, sought more evidence!
Indian Holocaust My father`s Life and Time- Three Hundred and NINETY
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Until I left Home at Basantipur in the Terai of Nainital as a Professional Journalist, it was the main difference in between my Father and me that he believed in the Republic and its democratic system whatsoever come!
While my generation during Seventies had been totally Disillusioned.
We studied Mao and Marx, Hitler and Govalkar and every political Ideology and Philosophy which my Father could not. He kept on his Activism within the Political system. He spoke to every prime Minister and President in his time and Never lost any opportunity to address any forum to raise his Voice for his people the Refugees, Minorities and Peasants, Underclasses. He wanted me to be involved in that kind of social Activism. He was a follower of Dr. BR Ambedkar and Jogendra Nath Mandal who I NEVER read before the Brahmin Marxists finally allied with Capitalism and ran Blind on capitalist development, until Nandigram genocide was Committed. Until Citizenship Amendment Act was Passed to deport Partition Victim Resettled Bengali SC and OBC communities! Until my father succumbed to Cancer! Until I could detect the Keystones of Power in Adwani, Buddha and Pranab!
The ruling Left Front in West Bengal today appealed to all MPs from the state to oppose in Parliament the way the Bhopal Gas Tragedy case was handled and expose the Union Carbide.But it has NEVER Resisted Economic Ethnic Cleansing and the Colonial Nuclear Corporate Brahmin Zionist Empire as it has the Monopoly in Trade Unions in Organised as well as Unorganised sector Countrywide. It also gave up Rural development Model and Land reform Lefacy to push for Economic Reforms allying with UPA as well as NDA. That is why it lost its bases fully DISCREDITED and the Human face of the Brahaminical Hegemony took over the lead to sustain the Manusmriti Rule!
In the interest of all, we urge all elected members in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha to oppose the way case was dealt
with and expose the Union Carbide," Left Front chairman Biman
Bose told a press conference here.
He said CBI findings in the case were not taken seriously and the then chairman of Union Carbide Warren Anderson was let off scot free.
Bose said former Union Carbide India chairman Keshub Mahindra and seven others got away with light sentence because of the manner in which the case was handled by the government.
He said stricter punishment could have been given in such a serious case, but the matter was not taken up properly.
Left MPs would also oppose the Civil Nuclear Liability Bill and, without naming the Trinamool Congress, he urged its MPs to take a stand against it.
"We are appealing to them in the interest of 'ma-mati-manush' to oppose the Bill," he said in an obvious reference to Trinamool Congress MPs.
"It should be opposed by all LF members in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, besides all elected members from West Bengal," Bose said.
The Left would also take up programmes against price rise and to strengthen food security.
The PDS system should also be strengthened to prevent surplus foodgrains from going waste, he added.
Meanwhile,Train services in Maoist-hit West Midnapore district were suspended this evening after the GRP alerted the authorities that the ultras were targeting the, South Eastern railway sources said.The Jhargram GRP informed us around 7:35 pm that Maoists were planning an attack on the Mumbai-Howrah Duranto Express.
We have accordingly stopped all trains at the nearest
stations," the sources said.
As a result, train services on the Kharagpur-Tatanagar section were suspended.
They said the Duranto Express was stopped at the Ghatsila station and the Howrah-Tatanagar Steel Express at Kalaikunda.
"We may have to take Duranto back to Tatanagar and the Steel Express to Kharagpur," the sources said, adding that the Up and Down Tatanagar-Kharagpur passenger trains have also been stopped.
After the May 28 Gyaneshwari Express disaster which left 148 passengers dead, trains are not allowed to run between 10:00 pm to 5:00 am in the Kharagpur-Tatanagar and Kharagpur-Adra sections till June 14.
Reports from Jhargram and Midnapore, quoting SER and the
police said the Duronto has been surrounded by security forces
at Ghatsila railway station and passengers asked to switch off
lights and lower shutters.
According to the Jhargram GRP, a group of armed people had
gathered at Jamui Bhadui, a known Maoist stronghold, near the
Khatkhura halt station just an hour before the Duronto was to
The GRP apprehended that a sabotage was being plotted and
immediately alerted the authorities in Kharagpur and
A bomb disposal squad will visit the spot tomorrow morning, the report said.
A year ago the Maoists had detained a train at Kalimouli near Ghatsila station, the report added.
Don't form political party with Brahmins — Dr. Ambedkar
"... I want to ask you, can the snake and the mongoose (ichneumon) live together. Can cat co-operate with the rat? Can elephant live with Birree? Certainly, if the snake wants to mix up with the mongoose (ichneumon) and make any profit out of it, it is mistaken. Mongoose will eat up the snake. Rat will be swallowed by the cat, if it wants to join hands with the cat. Similarly, elephant cannot enjoy the life with biree. Mongoose is the enemy of the snake, cat is the enemy of rat and birree is the enemy of the elephant. They cannot form a joint company.
... Baniya (money lender) will always try to extract what it can out of the poor people. Brahmins will never show sympathy for the poor Scheduled Castes and if they did so there will be nobody to serve them...
If we form a party of the snake, mongoose, cat, rat, elephant and birree, will the snake, rat and elephant be safe there? Certainly not. They will always be at the mercy of their masters.
Similarly if the Depressed Classes join hands with the Brahmins and form a political party, do you think that the Depressed Classes will be safe there?
I warn you to be careful and give fullest consideration to this matter. You should not be caught in the net spread by the Congress. If you think that by joining hands with the high caste people you will be better off, then you are mistaken. The high caste people will always suppress the Backward Classes. High caste people will enjoy the freedom whereas our people will remain as they are. Poor people can never flourish under the rich and must unite separately to achieve their purpose.
(Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Writings & Speeches, Vol.17(III), p.441-442).
Question 1: Why did Arjun Singh, the Chief Minister defy all warnings and evidence that a disaster was imminent and assured the Assembly that he had personally inspected the Carbide plant and there was no problem just months before the gas leak.
Question 2: Why was Warren Anderson, the chief of Union Carbide given the Chief Minister's own aircraft to leave India, just four days after the leak and with a charge of 304A against him, he left the country shortly afterwards.
Question 3: Why did the government accept the Supreme Court settlement with Union Carbide for just 470 million dollars, money not enough to compensate even a fraction of its victims.
Question 4: Why did the Digvijay Singh government in Madhya Pradesh allow Carbide to return the land with tons of toxic waste still on it when the lease clearly said that Carbide would have to return the land in the same condition that it was leased to it?
Question 5: Today with Carbide back in India as Dow Chemicals, the government seems keen to exonerate Dow from its liabilities in the Bhopal gas tragedy.
NDTV.com - 31 minutes ago
Question 1: Why did Arjun Singh, the Chief Minister defy all warnings and evidence that a disaster was imminent and assured the Assembly that he had personally inspected the Carbide plant and there was no problem just months before the gas leak. ...
mydigitalfc.com - - 14 minutes ago
Having earned severe flak all round for allowing the Bhopal disaster case to end in a whimper after 26 years, the UPA government swung into damage control mode on Wednesday. It set up a group of ministers to be headed by ...
NDTV.com - 5 hours ago
Perhaps the biggest fallout of this week's verdict in the Bhopal gas tragedy has been the refocusing of attention on Warren Anderson, and the fact that he has not been tried for his role as the senior-most executive of the company that caused the ...
Daily News & Analysis - 53 minutes ago
PTI Washington, DC: Influential New Jersey Congressman Frank Pallone today said former Union Carbide chief Warren Anderson deserves to be extradited from the US and stand trial in India in connection with the Bhopal gas tragedy case. ...
Sify - 1 hour ago
Former District Collector of Bhopal Moti Singh on Wednesday said he and the State police were asked to release Warren Anderson, the chairman of Union Carbide Worldwide, after the Bhopal Gas Tragedy by the then Madhya Pradesh Chief Secretary Brahm ...
Daily News & Analysis - 2 hours ago
Moti Singh, the district collector of Bhopal when the gas tragedy took place, told a TV channel today that a top state government official had ordered him and the police chief to let Union Carbide Corporation chairman and CEO Warren Anderson go. ...
IBNLive.com - 2 hours ago
New Delhi: Politics is still being played over the Bhopal gas tragedy even though almost 26 years have passed since the deadly methyl isocyanate gas leaked from the Union Carbide plant and killed over 15000 people in what is till date the worst ...
Press Trust of India - 1 hour ago
Bhopal/Hyderabad, June 9 (PTI) More skeletons tumbled out today in the Bhopal gas tragedy case of how former Union Carbide CEO Warren Anderson got bail immediately after his arrest but the then CBI chief rejected claims that the agency was asked not ...
Sify - 3 hours ago
The ruling Congress Wednesday said the government should make every effort to extradite from the US Warren Anderson, the CEO of Union Carbide when the Bhopal gas tragedy took place in 1984. 'The Congress is of the firm opinion that the extradition ...
IBNLive.com - 3 hours ago
PTI Bhopal: The "very worst" of American and Indian cultures caused the Bhopal gas tragedy in 1984, said the court which on Monday convicted seven persons for criminal negligence. Chief Judicial Magistrate Mohan P Tiwari said US chemical firm Union ...
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Bhopal tragedy: Dow wants no liabilities
NewsX - Jun 8, 2010 Watch video
Bhopal gas verdict, an instance of delayed justice: Moily
Asian News International (ANI) - Jun 8, 2010 Watch video
Reliving the Bhopal nightmare
NDTV.com - Jun 8, 2010 Watch video
Bhopal: 2 Years for 20,000 Lives
NDTV.com - Jun 8, 2010 Watch video
Inside Story - Bhopal: Too little, too late?
Al Jazeera - Jun 8, 2010 Watch video
Moolnivasi neglect of media caused our fall
GURNAM SINGH MUKTSAR
It was Oct.2005 when I asked my people to think of a collaboration between papers run by Dalits, Adivasis, Backwards, Sikhs, Muslims and Christians comprising 85% of India — victims of Brahminical thugs. I proposed a seminar on this. But my plea had no response. Everyone cries under the Brahmin blow. Everyone poses as a great missionary. But none ever bothered about the need for our own media. When we cry daily under the Brahminical terrorism, why we do not cry in one voice? We Bahujans have over 1,000 daily, monthly periodicals — in all languages, all over India and abroad. Everyone knows and every one writes on upper caste atrocities on us. Did we not shout against the 33% Women's Reservation Bill? We can create a thunder. We can manage a tornado. We can make a Tsunami for the tyrants. But only if we do it in one voice. Our oppressors have many papers, TV — the all-powerful media to daily torment, abuse, attack and kill us. But we have no such one single powerful media — though we are 85% and producers of everything Indian. (email@example.com)
Don't form political party with Brahmins — Dr. Ambedkar
"... I want to ask you, can the snake and the mongoose (ichneumon) live together. Can cat co-operate with the rat? Can elephant live with Birree? Certainly, if the snake wants to mix up with the mongoose (ichneumon) and make any profit out of it, it is mistaken. Mongoose will eat up the snake. Rat will be swallowed by the cat, if it wants to join hands with the cat. Similarly, elephant cannot enjoy the life with biree. Mongoose is the enemy of the snake, cat is the enemy of rat and birree is the enemy of the elephant. They cannot form a joint company.
... Baniya (money lender) will always try to extract what it can out of the poor people. Brahmins will never show sympathy for the poor Scheduled Castes and if they did so there will be nobody to serve them...
If we form a party of the snake, mongoose, cat, rat, elephant and birree, will the snake, rat and elephant be safe there? Certainly not. They will always be at the mercy of their masters.
Similarly if the Depressed Classes join hands with the Brahmins and form a political party, do you think that the Depressed Classes will be safe there?
I warn you to be careful and give fullest consideration to this matter. You should not be caught in the net spread by the Congress. If you think that by joining hands with the high caste people you will be better off, then you are mistaken. The high caste people will always suppress the Backward Classes. High caste people will enjoy the freedom whereas our people will remain as they are. Poor people can never flourish under the rich and must unite separately to achieve their purpose.
(Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Writings & Speeches, Vol.17(III), p.441-442).
55 MILLION DOLLAR PLAN
Shocking silence on UP Dalit project : Zionist-Brahminist conspiracy
MOSES PARMAR, LUCKNOW
This refers to your shocking report about the zionist biological war to kill UP Dalits (DV May 1, 2010 p.8).
Newspapers in North carried reports of Melinda Gates visit and her meeting with Mayawati along with their support for an NGO called Saksham which has decreased the number of deaths in Rae Bareli district project (from thousands of children under 5 to just a few hundred). But her interview with the Hindu appeared only in the South.
I will call a meeting of doctors and discuss the DV report. I was also wondering why the rulers are secret about this? Why only the Hindu wrote about it? Saksham is not known here. Now that Gates have given money, they have become famous.
We agree that the lack of publicity to such a big project sounds suspicious and needs to be watched. Dr. Suresh is confident that Mayawati would not allow anything that would damage the Dalits of UP. We have some projects in Rae Bareli district and put the Saksham NGO under observation. Your suspicions may prove right. But we need time to see this and find some proof. The death of Dalit children under 5 is a major concern for us and we would be eager to find out what this foundation wants to do to reduce that. Our medical camps bring thousands of people for treatment and most of the children are malnourished. Our health workers have too much work on their hands. The article also does not explain the cultural change that Melinda Gates is suggesting.
Another proof of Jews joining "Jews of India"
When a staggering $ 55 million project was announced for UP, why no UP paper or even Delhi paper announced it? Why only India's hard-core Brahmin daily headed by the arch enemy of Dalits/Muslims/Christians was given this exclusive interview by Melinda Gates? Why only this paper announced about such a project some 10 years back?
The "Jews of India" are in close collaboration with the Jews and admired the latter for their project of introducing AIDS to kill the African Blacks. DV has published over 100 reports on the AIDS which was a total zionist conspiracy against the Blacks.
Our people suffer from appalling ignorance, laziness, jealousy and lack of commitment. It is shocking that even highly placed medical doctors like Dr. Suresh Babu have not heard of such a gigantic scheme. Why the news was blacked out in UP papers? What is this mystery? Don't you get suspicious?
You can take it from us that the zionist-Brahminist clique wants to repeat the African experiment in India. UP was chosen because of its BSP rule.
The problem is we are not an alert people. Even when Babasaheb was poisoned and killed by the Brahmin wife not a single Dalit follower raised any voice.
The Hindu is the country's only Brahmin family media house which has not allowed any Dalit to enter. How did such a notorious anti-human media empire suddenly fall in love with Dalits? The answer can be found in the Mao's "law of contradictions". The Gates Foundation has played havoc in Africa — killing the Blacks by spreading AIDS. We have published many reports on this. We are sorry that even educated persons among us are not able to see through the Brahmin game. If this is the case how ordinary mortals, who form over 80% of the population, understand the Brahmin billiards game?
Why should the Brahmins approach the Gates and persuade them to come to India and select UP to conduct this experiment? Can't you make out the deep designs? We are telling you with our vast experience in the line. Our predictions made in DV have never gone wrong — EDITOR.
"Caste" finally wins: Will opponents of caste now commit suicide?
When we wrote our international award-winning book, Caste — A Nation Within the Nation, in London (2005), subtitled a "Recipe for bloodless revolution", Brahmins, the founders of the caste system, frowned on us and saw to it that the book was totally blacked out. The book, however, became a roaring success and went into fourth print with translations into Hindi and other Indian languages. Justice and Truth can never be suppressed.
Today, after five years, the Brahmin-controlled Govt. of India is itself surrendering to caste. See the power of caste. India is caste and caste is India. The poison-filled religion of Hinduism is a den of castes. Islam, Christianity, Sikhism and even Budhism are contaminated because the caste system.
KETAN DESAI & IPL MODI
Caste decides everything in "Hindu India". The prime minister, chief minister, judges, journalists every professional person is appointed on the basis of caste. And yet our casteist upper castes (Hindus), who became rulers on the basis of their caste, write in their toilet papers that caste is dead. Don't talk of caste.
And some of our own unthinking SC/ST/BCs join the Brahmins to condemn our caste book and Dalit Voice.
Take the case of the notorious Ketan Desai, the Gujarati Brahmin now jailed for taking bribes running into hundreds of crores of rupees. Take the top IPL cricket fraudster, the Marwari Lalit Modi. They all reached the pinnacle of "glory" because of their caste. The IT industry in Bangalore is the den of the Narayana Murthys and their cross-thread tribe.
The secret of the Brahmins "hating" caste is this: they went up the ladder and reached the pinnacle solely because of their caste. They don't want the other castes to use the same caste ladder to climb. Simple.
"GOD" KRISHNA CREATED CASTE
In the Brahmin "holy book", Bhagawad Gita, their god, Krishna, is made to say: Chaturvarnam Mayashristam, meaning the caste system (chaturvarna) was created by the god himself. What type of god he must be?
But the Brahmins say the caste must go. Daily we receive emails and letters threatening us not to promote the caste. But these Brahmins do not know that DV is not promoting the castes. Their own god has said that he did it.
Brahmins say they hate caste. Every Brahminical "national" toilet paper has written editorial against caste enumeration in census. Their complaint is caste will take India backward. "We must make India casteless" is their slogan. Wonderful.
As the victims of caste (to be precise, casteism or caste system) we will be the first to vote for the Brahmin slogan. If they are honest Brahmins, as the rulers and leaders of thought, they must set the model. The Brahmin Shankaracharis can inaugurate the death of casteism (Hinduism) by abandoning the temple archaka (priest) posts so far legally reserved to Brahmins. Then only we can believe the Brahmins. Not otherwise.
CASTE HELPED BRAHMINS
If the Brahmins hate the castes, which are the building bricks of the caste system (chatuvarna), they must dynamite this pyramid-shaped building.
But they will not. Because the caste gave them privileges to exploit and suck our blood. Brahmins will never agree to our demand to appoint non-Brahmins as temple archakas. The Supreme Court (the den of Brahmins like everything else) has itself ruled that the temple archakas must be only the Brahmin.
But the Brahmin never criticised the Supreme Court for upholding the caste. It means Brahmins like caste where it helps, but oppose when it eats into their privileged position.
So who is defending the caste? DV or the Brahmins?
India is today dying because of this poisonous caste system. Every thinker and scholar led by Dr. B.R. Ambedkar had said it. Babasaheb was the first to plead for annihilation of caste as early as 1932 but the Brahminists rejected his plea.
Every appointment is made on the basis of caste. Our Khatri Sick PM favours only Brahminists. And yet these casteist Brahmins say caste must go. Census enumeration (2010) must not record caste.
INDIA'S MODERNITY IS HUMBUG
The 15% upper castes, who are ruling India by keeping the rest of the 85% in cancerous caste canker, are pushing country backwards. Our so-called modernity is bullshit. Our upper caste IT whizz-kids with their American pronunciation are a mere speck in this ocean of filth, stink, disease.
BJP SUPPORTS CASTE CENSUS
As this is written the Brahmin opposition to caste is dying as their own Brahmana Jati Party (BJP) is facing firing squad in the coming October Bihar Assembly election where they want to re-elect their darling, Nitish Kumar, also an OBC.
The Brahmins killed Mandal Commission for putting OBCs at 52% of the country's population and then brought down the V.P. Singh Govt. The Brahminical Supreme Court cut down the OBC population to 27% and mischievously put the cap on reservation at 50%.
INDIA NOT RULED BY SUPREME COURT
Already the total reservation for SC/ST/OBC quota has reached 49.5%. It means the 50% limit must be now broken.
The country is not ruled by the Supreme Court. The sovereignty lies with the people. If the Khatri Sick PM is against OBC enumeration and against scrapping the 50% limit, he must go.Sonia Gandhi, who gave the go ahead for caste enumeration must remove the Khatri Sick.
YADAVAS IMPRISONED BY God KRISHNA
The problem with the OBCs is they are more Brahminical than the best of the Brahmin. Yet they are kicked by the Brahmin. And the angry OBC retaliate by kicking the Dalits.
The Hindu god Krishna, an OBC cowherd, played the mischief in the Hindi heartland.
OBCS must join Dalits
This god was manufactured by the Brahmins to fool and win over the vast and powerful Yadav community on the stinking cowbelt and woo them back from Budhism. This cock and bull story of Mahabharat, in which Krishna (meaning Black) did the trick of permanently annexing the Yadavs into Brahminical fold, helped Brahmins to kill Budhism.
But even the thinking Yadavas to this day have not seen through the Brahminical game.
That is why the OBCs, who should have gone with Dalits, went with Brahmins who took them to hell.
LOHIA CONFUSED OBCS
Dalit Voice has hardly any readership among the OBCs though we always stood by them. In many areas of India OBCs are the principal oppressors of Dalits. And the Brahmins use this contradiction to their advantage.
Dr. Ambedkar stood by the OBCs but they went with Lohia, a Marwadi Bania, who tried to confuse the cowbelt Yadavas.
The Brahminists killed the Mandal through their Kamandal carried by the Sindhi Khatri L.K. Advani, who was finally kicked out by the very Brahminists, whom he bumlicked to became the PM.
Brahminists have killed this country by throwing its SC/ST/BCs (65%) and Muslim/Christian/Sikh — plus women of all castes — into this Hindu stinking pond. We will have no future if we continue to keep these anti-nationals in power.
The Moolnivasi Bahujans must develop the habit of thinking which they can do only if they cultivate the habit of reading.
International award-winning book
CASTE — A NATION WITHIN THE NATION
is almost sold out.
A thesis for which Oxford University wanted to award a doctorate to the author.
Last few copies are available in English, Hindi and Kannada.
English edition 2007 (third edition)
Hindi pp.123 2006
Kannada pp.159 2005
Price Rs. 140 for each edition.
Write to Dalit Voice office.
Racketeers drive out top Gujarati writers
DR. NEERAV PATEL, AHMEDABAD
This is my response to the special number on Indian Dalit Literature published by the Journal of Literature & Aesthetics. Its editorial (Jan-Dec 2008) defines the Dalit literature in these words :
"Essentially it is a literature of protest, of dissent, of demythologizing, and of the search for the lost identity. It is also, in an important sense, the insider's report of the actual condition of deprivation, misery, indignity and exploitation in which the Dalit communities have been compelled to live for centuries."
The body of literature presented in this special number can be read in the light of the above as well as on the basis of another admission made in the same editorial:
"…we have tried to bring together some of the best Dalit writing in India, so that the readers can form their own judgments on the direction, quality and reason deter of this new body of writing."
Having been a Gujarati Dalit writer myself and not knowing about the inside story of the movement of Dalit literature in other languages/regions, my reference point will naturally be limited to my own language and my region.
Consultant Editor's role: In spite of the best intentions and understanding of the chief editor, Dr. S. Sreenivasan, and his team of advisory editors, I am disappointed to note that the consultant editor for Gujarati language has failed to abide by the editorial guidance while selecting the writers and even their creative works. It is an open secret now that the movement of Dalit literature is splintered into many groups based on ideology, internal casteism , specific motives, political affiliations and aspirations, literary leanings, careerism, and what not. To be neutral and objective and be free from any prejudice arising out of the above groupism and be guided only by the criteria set out in the editorial is a testing proposition for any consultant editor and Harish Mangalam woefully fails to live up to that.
Even a cursory look at the index page speaks volumes of his personal prejudices. To dish out the rewards for being his group members and accepting his babuship with blind faith, he has cared little for the scores of genuinely committed Dalit writers who are most militant, most protestant, most missionary, and writing both with great literary merit and in consonance of the essentials pointed out in the editorial.
The Brahmin lady mainstream poet Hasyada Pandya who is in the good book of the consultant editor is represented to the exclusion of real Dalit women writers like Chandraben Shrimali, Jasumati Parmar, Meena Kamle, and Usha Makwana. It is the same story: little-known poet B.B.Gaijan and mainstream writer Priyanka Kalpit are represented to the exclusion of stalwart Dalit poets and writers like Sahil Parmar, Raju Solanki, Shankar Painter, Neerav Patel, Babaldas Chavda, Bhi. Na. Vankar, Yashvant Vaghela, T.K. Makwana, Shamat Parmar, Kantilal Katil, Purushottam Jadav, Dan Vaghela, Mohan Parmar, Raman Vaghela, Chandu Maheriya, A.K.Dodia, Dashrath Parmar and many more.
Joseph Macwan excluded: Let us refer to Mangalam's article in which he writes: " the first Gujarati Dalit short story is written by the eminent Dalit writer Joseph Macwan." This most celebrated and Akademi award winning Dalit writer is, however, not here just because he couldn't tow the sarkari babu-cum- consulting editor's line and thus fell from his grace.
One can also observe the same writer representing several categories at a time and thus wasting the valuable space provided by the chief editor and denying representation of vast variety of creative talents to the readers: the consulting editor himself is represented in 4 categories – article, short story , poetry and interview. It is the same with Dalpat Chauhan, Praveen Gadhvi, Arvind Vegda representing more than one category at a time. Instead, the more discerning and less prejudicial consulting editor could have easily accommodated many more writers and made the selections more representative and rich with variety if this repetition had been avoided.
To everybody's surprise, the self-glorifying consultant editor has even managed to exhibit his photographs on 4 different pages : on consulting editors' page and again on p.109, p.115, p.153.
It is an irony of the state of affairs that the prestigious journal is called not only of literature but also of aesthetics. It is no point in comparing the literary merits of those who are included and those who are excluded. It is also no point in comparing the texts and translations. But suffice it to say that the editors of mainstream magazines are many a time misguided by the only liaison they have and fell innocent victims to their reliance on the singular source.
Mass conversion & English can save India
KESHAV SHET REVANKAR, UAE (GULF)
How long can we go on ranting about Brahmins. From last 4,000 years to the present day the equation remained same —that is Kshatriya-Brahmin-Bania nexus. Now it is state-temple-corporate complex. This was made official later in Bhagvad Geetha Chapter 18-44 which says "shudras are born to carry out their duty of serving upper castes." Go to website nirmukta.com and take prints of articles written by one Dr.Prabhakar Kamath. He has demolished Brahminism in a thorough- clinical manner, especially in the articles of March & April. Unless Dalit leaders and intellectuals think of drastic radical steps the problem remains. For example there should be mass conversion to Christianity and making English language compulsory.
You are right. The problem is how to make the Truth you stated known to the slaves of India. We have no mass media of our own. DV is a peanut before the Brahminical monster media. How to solve this problem without which the oppressed millions will die without ever getting a chance to know the Truth. "Know the Truth and Truth shall make you free" (Bible) — EDITOR.
How Muslims are treated
Muslim women when they are under veil (or burqua), they are mostly despised if they are seemingly poor. Most poor people live in shattered life, be it a Hindu, Muslim or Sikh. Should they be despised? It so happened to me, while I had to travel to Bangalore from Madras by train, along with my burqua-clad wife. Despite having a valid reserved tickets, the seats were occupied by open ticket travelers, the so-called Hindu elite. When I politely claimed the seats, my request was turned down and was dragged to an altercation call names, "You Muslims". By the time the ticket collector arrived, the train was entering Katpadi Junction, that is the time for two-third of my journey. If this is the case with a widely traveled man like me, imagine what would be the condition of lone woman traveller with Islamic identity. Still the stigma of upper and lower caste and religious bigotry do exist even after 62 years of "independence". It's necessary to inform that Muslims had greatly struggled for freedom of India much before the advent of Gandhi and Muslims have been martyrs in the freedom struggle. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Hope in India's 2 Bahujan Gurus
USMAN KHALID, SECRETARY-GENERAL, RIFAH PARTY OF PAKISTAN, LONDON
Until the advent of the British Raj, the sub-continent of South Asia had no name; its parts had names — Ganges Valley was known as Hind, Indus Valley as Sindh, the Brahmaputra Valley as Bengal and the South as Deccan. The connection between them was established by epics — the Mahabharata linked Hind with upper Sindh (Punjab) and the Ramayana linked the Ganges Valley to the South all the way to Lanka.
But these epics were tales of conflicts between the invading Aryans. In the epics the indigenous peoples were called villains.
HINDUS LOVE JEWS
Hinduism called the indigenous peoples as evil deserving of every excess and injury. Hinduism has not changed despite 1,000 years of Muslim and British rule. Hinduism is the nemesis of every other faith in the world today which are more or less egalitarian. Perhaps the only faith that comes close to Hinduism is the modern-day Zionist Judaism. Jews like Brahmins are both 'chosen people' given to cheat, betray and torment all the other peoples. But the Jewish world did not overlap the Hindu world until the 20th Century.
Now the alliance of Jews and Brahmins is a formidable force as both employ ruses and stratagem as the prime instrument for getting their way.
HINDUISM IMPOSED ON BAHUJANS
The indigenous peoples of India now call themselves Bahujans which means the majority people. After the Aryan conquest they suffered for thousands of years as serfs of conquering Aryans who imposed on them a religion called Hinduism that robbed them of their identity and their faith. Apartheid and untouchability are not just evil practices, the varna (caste hierarchy) system is an article of faith — perhaps the prime article of Hinduism. Hatred is the religious duty of every practicing Hindu. The situation of the Bahujan is like the serfs.
That was until the advent of Muslim rule over South Asia, which lasted 800 years. Under Muslim rule, repression of the Bahujan became impossible as the non-working priest caste (Brahmins) became impoverished and the caste of fighters could survive only as soldiers in the service of the new rulers. The Bahujan flourished under Muslim rule because they were workers and were eventually employed as fighters by the Muslims as well as the British. In the 17th Century the Mughal Empire in India accounted for 25% of the GDP of the world. No wonder it was so much sought after by European colonial powers and ended up being a 'Jewel in the British Crown'.
The British started with the assumption that conflict must have existed between the Hindu and Muslims. The British history claimed that Hindus were slain for disputing with 'Muhammedans', generally prohibited from worshipping and taking out religious processions, their idols were mutilated, their temples destroyed, they were forced into conversions and marriages, and were killed and massacred by drunk Muslim tyrants. Thus empire scholars, went on to produce a synthetic Hindu versus Muslim history of India, and their lies became history.
BAHUJANS START BREATHING
The Hindus quickly embraced the British view of history for two reasons:
1) it helped them gloss over the main feature of their society – caste apartheid – and articulate a Hindu view of history to build a Hindu nation, 2) demonisation of Islam and Muslims provided a cause celebre as well as cement for the new Hindu nation.
However, the British also recognised that the Bahujan were not Hindu. While the Muslims were repressed, the Bahujan were given a leg up by the British rulers. The social as well political gap between the Muslims and the Bahujan narrowed.
DR. AMBEDKAR ROLE
OBCs were given Separate Electorate and reserved seats in education and employment. In 1932, under the Communal Award, the British offered the Bahujan as well as the Muslims Separate Electorate for provincial and central legislatures. M. A. Jinnah, the leader of the Muslim League, accepted Separate Electorate but the leader of the Bahujan, Dr. B.R.Ambedkar, first accepted it but was then forced to resile from his stand under pressure from the 'fast unto death' trick of M.K.Gandhi. That made a crucial difference to the life of Bahujan in India. With advent of Islam and Christianity in South Asia, India was in any case divided into two nations — the Hindus and the Untouchables — as the Muslims were also untouchable for the Hindus. In 1932, India was polarised afresh into two nations –Muslims (who got separate electorate) and non-Muslims (who all accepted Joint Electorate with the Hindus).
Politically, the Bahujan identity got assimilated into Hindu identity.
BJP'S ANTI-MUSLIN STAND
India was partitioned in 1947 on the basis of the principle of 'majority rule' between the two nations that crystallised in 1932. Had the Bahujan accepted the Communal Award, one nation would have been 'Hindu' and the other 'non-Hindu'. Hindus may have enjoyed majority only in a few princely states but not in any province of British India. The partition may indeed have been avoided.
Indian historians have been at great pains to stress that it was the Muslims who made the societal polarisation a communal problem. But that is not true. Societal polarisation existed in consequence of caste apartheid and there was little opposition from the Hindus to Minto-Morely Reforms of 1905 that introduced Separate Electorate. It was much later that M.K.Gandhi realised that Muslim-Bahujan alliance would reduce the upper castes to a minority. It was he who made opposition to Separate Electorate the focal point of Congress politics. To establish and maintain Hindu-Bahujan Alliance has ever since been the focal point of Congress politics. However, Bahujan parties have been growing in maturity and self-confidence and won electoral victory in many states. But the Hindu leaders have seen that a combination of: 1) crumbs off the Varna Hindu table called reservation, 2) corrupt Bahujan leadership, and 3) share in political power, is a powerful recipe to keep the Bahujan in line. But with the rise of the BJP the focus has shifted to the Muslims once again. The BJP sees the Muslims, who are as numerous as the varna Hindus (each about 15% of the population) as the main problem.
The BJP competes with the Congress Party, albeit with different measures and words, in persecution and subversion of Muslims to impoverish and disempower them. The Muslims are now at the bottom of the socio-political pile. Post Gandhi politics is once again remarkably similar to pre-Gandhi politics. Once again the religious identity of Bahujan is an issue and political alliance with the Muslims is on offer.
I am personally acquainted with two Bahujan gurus who have articulated solutions to this problem. Dr. Kancha Ilaiah said it in his book, Why I am not a Hindu. He asserts that the Bahujan cannot escape the rigour of caste apartheid in India until they embrace an egalitarian faith. Dr Ilaiah is not a Dalit; he is from the OBC. His assertion brings home the point that somewhat less contempt or a little less apartheid and discrimination is not a favour or a privilege for which one should walk out of solidarity of all the untouchables. The SC/ST and OBCs are all non-Hindu; he uses the word Dalit Bahujan as the common name and platform for all non Hindus which also include Muslims, Christians and the Sikhs.
The other Bahujan Guru — V.T. Rajshekar — is also from the OBC. Yet, he has been articulating the voice of Dalits in fortnightly Dalit Voice for over quarter century. He has led the way towards two revolutionary political ideas. He wrote a book on "caste identity" in which he asserts that it is impossible to 'abolish' untouchability because it is a social practice without legal underpinning. He urges the Bahujan to consolidate their "caste identity" and walk away from political parties organised and led by varna Hindus. His call and campaign has borne fruit. Now there are Bahujan parties in every state of India which has made it impossible for the Hindu-led parties — the Congress and the BJP — to rule alone at the centre or in any state of the Indian Union.
MUSLIM NAME FOR GRANDSON
His second revolutionary idea answers the question raised by Dr. Ilaiah. He himself followed the path of conversion and embraced Budhism but found that it made little difference. But when he named his grandson as Tahir Shetty – Tahir is his name and Shetty is his caste - it made a difference. Tahir is perceived by his class fellows to be a Muslim. He insists that he is not. But unlike his father and grandfather no one sees him to be a Hindu either. His identity has changed although his religion remains the same as that of his father and grandfather.
To walk out of the fold of Hinduism, one does not have to convert; one merely has to discard one's Hindu name. The logic is simple. If the Bahujan are not Hindu, why should they have Hindu names?
CHANGE OVER TO URDU NAMES
It appears that just as the Hindus embraced Bahujan gods as lesser gods, and Bahujan as children of lesser gods, as a favour done to conquered people, they did them another favour allowing them to have Hindu names. This might have been celebrated by the Bahujan 2,000 years ago as 'generosity' of the Aryans; it has since become serious handicap. The Muslim rulers also saw the Bahujan as Hindu because they had Hindu names and Brahmin priests presided over their rituals even though they are disallowed to enter Hindu temples or interact with the Hindus socially.
Religious and political matters have impacted each other more in the South Asian sub-continent than anywhere else. The numbers of Bahujan – who are 65 % of the population of India – rises to 85% if the Muslims, Christians and Sikhs are included. They are not a minority that they need the protection of 'Separate Electorate'. They do not need 'reservation' that splits the Bahujan and pitch them against each other. They need their separate identity. They have a choice to embrace an egalitarian faith but that may be a step too far for many. Identity is a political issue and to treat it as a religious issue creates problems. Dr Ambedkar considered conversion to Sikh faith but was not ready to embrace 5 Ks. He eventually embraced Budhism and it made little difference as he did not change his name. But the Bahujan can have Muslim, or rather Urdu names. There are Muslims with Christian names all over the world; many Christians have Muslim names in Pakistan.
If the Bahujan took Muslim first names and kept their caste as their last name, they would preserve their identity and yet walked out of the Hindu identity.
There is pressing need for it because Hindu India has consolidated an alliance with Zionism. Surely, that is not what the majority – the Bahujan – want. They must see the danger and the opportunity. The leader of the Muslims in pre-partition India – Jinnah – pleaded with the Bahujan leaders to accept the Communal Award in 1932. That would have given the Bahujan their separate identity. Now the Rifah Party of Pakistan is urging them to establish their separate identity by discarding Hindu first names and pick one in Urdu language.
An alliance between Muslims and Bahujan in the sub-continent is on offer again.
Brahmin love for marxism
SUKANTA MONDAL, L-4/2-SARAT PALLY, MEDINIPUR - 721 101
A seminar on "Translation of Dalit literature" was held at the Vidyasagar University, Medinipur, on March 23-24, 2010. It was organized by the English Dept. of the University and attended by lecturers from Delhi, Ranchi, Viswabharati, Jadavpur, North Bengal, Burdwan Universities. Dalit literature is gaining ground in various Indian languages. Bengal was in an advanced position in education, culture or industrial development during the British period. But common educated Bengalis under the influence of Brahministculture are still fond of basking in that glory and project themselves as pioneers in "progressive thoughts".
Calcutta upper castes (Brahmins, Kayasths and Baidyas) from East Bengal hate Dalit literature. They like Ghosh, Bose, Mitra, Sanyal, Guha etc. Behind that periphery they do not think that there are any persons with literary acumen. Marxism has made them all the more elitist and all-knowing. Even today they believe that only "class struggle" led by communists would be able to cleanse the society. They don't like discussions on caste or Brahminism. In such a state, a university-level seminar on Dalit literature is no doubt a matter of interest. Dalit literature is an all-India phenomenon and is already characterized with some common attributes. Bengal on its own cannot break that definition. Among its characteristics — it has its special aesthetics; the so-called down and out-caste people have been writing about their own sufferings, identity, revolt against Brahminism. It is more a writing of empathy and not of sympathy.
The organizers tried to distort the Dalit literature with their own colourings of bhadralok marxian culture. They included in Bengali Dalit literature some writings of Brahmin writers. From the speech of Prof. Achintya Biswas (Jadavpur University) who may be called a renegade in Dalit literary movement, it did not become clear what has been happening in present Bengali Dalit literature though he journeyed through Afro-American literature. Anil Gharai (by birth SC) is no doubt a powerful and realistic writer in portraying the life of the Dalits. But he supports communism not Dalit movement. UGC has sanctioned over Rs. 10 lakhs for English translation of Dalit literature of Bengal. This money is for distribution among some chosen translators.
Caste prejudice in Income Tax Dept. killing Dalits
ABHIJEET KUMAR, 11-SPRING'S COUNT-I, NAVARACHANA UNIVERSITY ROAD, OFF VASNA-BHAYALI ROAD, BARODA - 391 410
Reservation in India is as old as Hinduism and its spirit, casteism. Earlier the upper castes reserved certain "respectable" professions to themselves and menial jobs to our people. After the British, a small percentage of these 'respectable' jobs were reserved to lower castes on selective basis. However, the present form of reservation policy was provided in the entire British India in 1943, when Dr. Ambedkar was the Labour Minister. Subsequently enabling provisions were incorporated in the constitution. Since then 60 years have elapsed but no study is conducted to find out if the policy of reservation has achieved, it's intended objectives or not.
IGNORANCE OF FACTS
Both the parties — Hindus and SC/STs —are happy having "ignorance of facts" as their ally. Rarely anyone from the most vocal strata of reserved category i.e. civil servants and politicians has ever asked for such a study. Probably they are afraid that they will be the first ones to be exposed. Anti-reservationists are happy because they can keep on harping on the unfairness of the policy. They can give baseless arguments and still get away by saying whatever they want. This is not a question of winning or losing arguments but it's intrinsically related to the very survival of Dalits and eventually humanity.
It is in the interest of justice to know the truth. If the policy is achieving what it was intended for then let us hasten its implementation to bring a quick end to reservation. And if it has not achieved its objective then either modify or change if need be, to provide impetus to bring about intended effects.
(1) Reservation Act
Reservation in the last 6 decades has brought perceptible changes in the lives of many SC/ST people and at the same time thrown many challenges. However, the way reservation is implemented, has ensured its inefficiency and ineffectiveness, some of which are discussed here.
Direct recruitment to the posts of Group A & B, is done by the UPSC and the state PSCs in most of the cases. Since the PSCs are constitutional bodies, we can safely presume that the quota at the entry level is filled by them. However, posts for which recruitment is done either by in-house agency or some other agencies cannot be relied upon for their objectivity.
The very fact that Central Govt. and some states have come out with special recruitment drives to fill the reserved vacancies, mostly Group-C posts, itself is good enough proof to hold that everything is not fair.
Since the reservation policy is implemented through the executive fiat and overseen by the National Commission for SC/ST, which is an ineffective/ toothless body.
Reports prepared by the Commission are rarely presented to parliament and/or acted upon by the Govt. In 2008, the Delhi High Court said at least 20% of the posts reserved for STs have been gobbled up by the non-ST candidates and the govt. is helpless to do any thing. Cases of fake SC/ST certificates are too many.
The National Commission for SC/ST has already filed over 20 cases against serving bureaucrats who owe their present status to their bogus SC/ST certificates.
In fact, the whole reservation policy is at the mercy of the people sitting at the top, majority of them being upper castes. The offenders are rarely punished. Hence the need for an urgent enactment with well designed reward and punishment provisions. Otherwise, we will be having a facade of reservation policy without any real benefits going to the society.
(2) Reservation in Promotion
The issue of reservation in promotion (RIP) is a very serious issue and we can't deal with it in a casual manner.
Why do we want RIP? Universal reply is we are not represented well at the level of Addl. Secretary and Secretary. So we do not participate in policy formation and our interests are not being taken care of.
In our entire service career we work as actors at the direction of others but rarely get chance to work as directors.
What is the root cause of this anomaly.
Has any of the reserved officers been denied promotion on flimsy ground or kept out of promotion under some deliberate policy or has been discriminated against? Have we come across a situation where a large no. of officers perceive that promotion process is discriminatory and they approached the Federation or any other agency for redressal of their grievances? Our response to these queries will determine what course of action is required to be taken.
CHIEF COMMISSION OF I.T.
Quota is more or less filled in group A & B posts at the entry-level and all the selected candidates get time-scale promotions on time without any discrimination and the RIP is also followed up to the lowest post in group A i.e. up to ACIT but not beyond. In our department, we are represented quite well up to the post of CIT. However, one rarely finds any CCIT from reserved category. If non-representation at CCIT onwards posts is what the Federation is worried about then we should spend our energy to find out the cause and remedy of the same. Secondly, quota is filled at the entry level then why the quota figures for group A & B posts are always less than the prescribed limits. It is never 15% in the case of SCs but between 12 to 13%. Why it is so?
If we take average age of general and reserved officers, we will find that the average age of a reserved officer is invariably 4 years (approx.) more than that of a general officer.
SC/ST officers retire earlier than their counterpart. So the quota figures will always be less than 15%. Since Sr. SC/ST officers have already retired, the question of their promotion does not arise.
This is the precise reason that we are not represented at higher level as well as quota figures are always less than the prescribed percentage. This problem is not the result of any policy but the malady crept in due to age relaxation at the entry level. Take the civil list and find category- wise average age of any batch. You will have something like this (See table)
Category Av.Age Av.Ser. Entry% Strength Present %
General 27 33 78 2574 80.14
Reserved 31 29 22 638 19.86
MISCHIEF OF AGE RELAXATION
Average age of reserved officer is pushed upwards due to age relaxation at entry level. So what is the remedy to correct this malady?
Doing away with age relaxation at the entry level will be the most effective method. We have to educate public and more particularly the reserved category to make them aware of the adverse consequences of this lollypop. Age relaxation, to start with, was necessary but now the situation has changed and more than enough young candidates are available at least for Civil & PSU services.
If age relaxation is withdrawn immediately then it will catch reserved candidates unaware. So a phased withdrawal may be done.
Hence age relaxation is the cause of this disease. The malady is to be treated by swallowing a bitter pill (removing age relaxation) than by palliatives (RIP).
Pursuing RIP for its illusionary benefits will seriously hamper our interests.
(3) Common Interview Board
The SC/ST candidates are awarded less marks in interview as compared to general candidates. Interview board consists of majority non SC/ST members. Member's personal and social prejudices play a major role in awarding marks to the interviews and more particularly when they are well aware of the background of candidates.
Secondly, various courts have decided that a candidate competing on his own will not be counted for quota. This forces interviewers from general category not to award marks generously to reserved candidates else they will come in the general list which will reduce the number of posts available to general candidates.
The special board constituted for the reserved category candidates consists of four members of general category (GC) and one of reserved category (RC). Thus the constitution of the board itself is discriminatory and a lone member is made to give legitimacy to the whole proceedings. How can a member overwhelmed by the majority be expected to have any say in the interview? He is neither in a position to influence the proceedings nor to protect the interest of the RC candidates. On the contrary, the member simply presides over the funeral procession of reservation policy. In fact the single member does not only give the legitimacy but divests off the entire reserved class and critics from protesting against the discriminatory proceedings.
This can be corrected by having common board for all the candidates. The board should not come to know the background of any candidate and all the candidates should be interviewed, roll number-wise —not by category. This will force the board members to award marks objectively.
Secondly, the weightage of interview marks is very high. It should be reduced to 5% of the written test marks to nullify the effect of personal prejudices or subjective judgment of the Board members.
(4) Quota within Quota
It is a fact that some SC/STs have benefited from the reservations. In a way they were ahead of the race. These differences get magnified when there are a few number of castes and the benefits derived by one of them is disproportionately larger than its share in category population. Cases of Andhra Pradesh and Punjab are before us.
MALAS CORNER JOBS
In AP, over 80% of SC population is Mala and Madiga. Though both are equal but majority of PSU/govt. jobs have gone to Malas. Madigas think that Malas have gobbled up their share and started agitating for quota within quota.
Malas advanced the same logic as advanced by the upper castes to justify their large share in govt. i.e. merit. The division in Malas and Madigas is complete.
Similarly Ravidasis and Valmikis are divided in Punjab.
Valmiks said there were 184 IAS from SC category of Punjab, out of whom 180 were Ravidasis and only 4 IAS from Valmikis. In these two states, reserved category has been divided completely.
In Rajasthan, Gujars are fighting the powerful Jats who gobbled the major share of OBC quota.
Quota within quota seems to be the best solution.
Though the size of cake cannot be increased but efforts could be made to make it appear larger for the people left behind. It can be safely presumed that people entering govt. /PSUs at the level of B-grade & above and retired from A-grade have achieved a reasonable level of social and economic status. Though they cannot be compared with Hindus but within reserved castes, they are ahead of the rest. Otherwise also, second generation children have not suffered the kind of social indignation and condemnation as suffered by their parents or other children.
(5) Creamy Layer
So to leave the field for non-creamy layer, children of creamy layer should not be given automatic reservation. It means the first priority should go to non-creamy layer.
However, creamy layer off-springs should be considered only when suitable / eligible candidates are not available from the non-creamy layer. This will have the effect of killing three birds with single stone.
POLITICAL POWER AS MASTER-KEY
So Dalits from Group A must be magnanimous and ask the govt. to bring the above policy into effect.
Political power is the master key, is the one quote of Babasaheb often misquoted. Probably he was oblivious of the fact that his words will be taken literally by Dalit politicians without understanding the spirit behind it.
Without financial security and strong economic shoulders we cannot progress. So we have to change our discourse from "political power is master key" to economic power is the greatest liberator.
The population of India is about 120 crores out which Dalits alone are 30 crores. As against this there are hardly 190 lakh govt. jobs including all grades and 80 lakh private sector jobs. So there are 270 lakh jobs altogether.
Presuming Dalits are represented everywhere in proportion to their population then also around 60 lakh of them are employed.
Again presuming a family of 5 then we can optimistically say that only 3 crore Dalits are leading a decent life. What is happening to the rest?
There are 25 crore Indians suffering with malnutrition and 5,000 children dying of hunger daily i.e. one child per 15 seconds. Who are they? Dalit demography is shameful. So, we have to give first priority to education and economic development. They must wait.
[The author is a senior IT officer]http://www.dalitvoice.org/Templates/june2010/articles.htm
Bhopal panic seeps into Singur
Ash from factory with blot on record
|KINSUK BASU AND JAYANTA BASU|
Singur, June 8: Bhopal cast a pall on Singur today, fed by a cocktail of pollution, panic and politics.
A chemical factory, declared a "fit case for closure" by the state pollution control board (PCB) two months ago, spewed carbon soot-laced smoke this dawn. The plant belongs to Himadri Chemicals and Industries, a company with an annual turnover of over Rs 500 crore and said to be the country's largest manufacturer of coal tar pitch, an ingredient used by aluminium plants.
As a cloud carrying black dust enveloped the area, hundreds of people gathered at the gates of Himadri Chemicals and Industries and demanded its immediate closure. In villages nearby, many people complained of breathlessness and nausea.
The protest soon spun out of control and some people entered the premises and ransacked the company's property. Amar Tiwari, an official, was allegedly roughed up.
Company officials blamed "local miscreants". A functionary of the Trinamul Congress, which is on a roll here after the Singur agitation, said it was a spontaneous protest by the suffering people with the party's youth leaders leading from the front.
"Some local miscreants took advantage of the situation, misguided the villagers and eventually ransacked the plant and office causing damage of around Rs 50 lakh," said Anurag Choudhary, the Himadri CEO.
Trinamul leaders in Hooghly, however, contested the claim. "This problem has been brewing for years. In view of the Bhopal gas tragedy judgment, we organised a protest and demanded compensation for those suffering from dizziness and breathlessness," said Bhaskar Jana, the Trinamul youth wing secretary from Haripal.
The closure demand has been aired before, too, because the people in the vicinity found the pungent odour emanating from the factory overpowering.
But the immediacy of the 24-hour-old Bhopal gas tragedy verdict appears to have lent potency and resonance to the misgivings expressed by the villagers in the belt where Bengal's farm-versus-factory battle was fought.
"This unit is operating since 2005 and, since then, it has been polluting the environment and making our existence difficult," said Sanatan Mullick, a villager, standing outside the gate of the factory, off Durgapur Expressway, in Haripal in Hooghly. The plant is not far from the doomed Tata Nano factory.
"I was sleeping on the veranda of my house. Suddenly, I woke up early in the morning with a feeling of breathlessness…. I could not exhale or inhale properly. I rushed out holding my chest and noticed a black dust layer gradually enveloping our locality. Clothes hanging outside turned black and I knew something had gone wrong at the factory," said Bimal Panja, a resident of Mahishtikri village in Singur.
A preliminary report of the PCB confirmed that the area witnessed "unusual rise" of carbon deposit on leaves and crops. A PCB team visited the villages around the factory after the Hooghly district magistrate contacted the environment watchdog.
In a statement, the company also admitted that there was "a momentary emission of black ash aerosol" in the atmosphere but added that it was "completely non-hazardous and harmless" and was controlled soon.
According to a scientist with the PCB, carbon soot turns black ash aerosol when it comes into contact with moisture or oil. It can cause a pungent smell, nausea, uneasiness, suffocation and respiratory distress.
"The preliminary report indicates limited emission of carbon which does not seem very serious. However, we have ordered a detailed inquiry," said M.L. Meena, the state environment secretary.
Although the company said it did not deal with any hazardous chemicals, the plant falls in the "special red category industry". An industry in such a category, which includes sponge iron units and power plants, is considered to be highly polluting and, therefore, cannot come up in a congested area.
The Himadri plant is not in a congested area but it borders a 300-metre-wide paddy field in the rear beyond which villages are located.
According to PCB documents, it had found the factory "a fit case for closure" during a hearing on March 23 because of non-compliance with environmental norms related to sound pollution, effluent treatment and odour emission.
The PCB team had then found that the level of oil and grease in the discharged effluent was 2,057 milligrams per litre against the permissible limit of 10 milligrams per litre.
A board-appointed committee — which observed in its report that the unit was "very reluctant to adopt pollution control system since its inception" — had rolled out a 15-point plan for Himadri Chemicals and gave it time till May 31 to comply with the recommendations.
A company official said the recommendations had been complied with. This morning's emission occurred before the PCB could visit the plant and verify if the 15-point plan had been implemented.
Besides complaints of breathlessness and giddiness, several people in Mahishtikri village — a big supplier of cottage cheese to sweet shops in and around Calcutta — complained that they spotted black splotches on milk kept in containers on the roof.
"Keeping milk in huge containers on the rooftop is an age-old practice here…. This morning, we had to throw away around 50 litres of milk after it turned grey and became unfit for consumption," said Sreemanta Giri, a resident.
|WITH INPUTS FROM UTTAM DUTTA|
60 were engaged to murder Madan Tamang: CID
Calcutta, June 8: Gorkha leader Madan Tamang was hacked to death in public in line with a plot executed by as many as 60 people, according to investigations that have narrowed down to two the number of suspects who might have delivered the killer blow.
The probe by the criminal investigation department (CID) has also found that five people formed the core group of attackers that silenced the prominent opposition voice on May 21 near Planter's Club in Darjeeling. CID officials also spoke of a "mastermind" but refused to name any suspect, citing the extremely sensitive nature of the case.
The findings strike at the root of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha's claims that the daylight murder was the result of a spontaneous outburst of emotions by common people who wanted Gorkhaland.
The Morcha leadership has rubbished the probe which was carried out on the basis of a first information report that names some party functionaries.
As the president of the ABGL, Tamang was one of the few voices that had challenged the writ of the Morcha in the hills and occasionally reminded its chief Bimal Gurung that he had failed to deliver the promised Gorkhaland.
CID officers investigating the case said Dinesh Gurung and Naresh Thang were entrusted with the task of killing Tamang. Both had apparently hidden sharp weapons under their clothes.
"We are yet to determine which one of the two, Dinesh or Naresh, actually stabbed Tamang from behind after managing to get close to him," said a CID officer.
The name of Dinesh, a Darjeeling town committee member of the Morcha, had been mentioned in the FIR filed by an ABGL leader. But this is the first time Thang's name is cropping up. Sources in Darjeeling said they had not heard of the person before.
According to CID sources, at least 60 people were involved in the plot.
"These men were asked to spread out in the area where the incident took place. They were roaming there pretending to be pedestrians or residents hanging around. Their job was to provide the five men, who were asked to execute Tamang, a safe passage after the completion of the operation by creating confusion," said a CID source.
P. Neerajnayan, inspector-general (I), CID, said the agency had specific information about those who had attacked Tamang. "They are absconding and our officers are camping in Darjeeling to collect more information and arrest them," he said.
Another CID officer said the conspirators appeared to have been taken aback by the retaliation by Tamang's bodyguard. "Seven rounds were fired during the attack. The policeman guarding Madan Tamang managed to fire five founds from his revolver and two other armed policemen at the spot fired one round each," the officer said.
Three men were injured when Tamang's bodyguard fired. Two of them, Subash Tamang and Prashant Chhetri, were arrested from a Kalimpong nursing home and sent to the North Bengal Medical College and Hospital on June 3. They have been arrested and charged with criminal conspiracy.
The other injured man, Sangey Yolmo, is admitted to a Siliguri nursing home. The CID is interrogating Suresh Raimaji, a contractor from Darjeeling, who was also arrested on June 3.
The CID had earlier revealed that Nickol Tamang, a Morcha central committee member, was at the murder spot as his cellphone was found close to where Tamang was attacked.
Addressing a gathering of students at Chowrasta (Mall) in Darjeeling this afternoon, Morcha general secretary Roshan Giri said the police were hatching a conspiracy to discredit and taint his party by accusing its members of being involved in the murder. "A conspiracy is being hatched to derail the movement for Gorkhaland," he said.
Trinamul uncorks oil alert
New Delhi, June 8: The Centre could find it hard to go ahead with freeing petrol and diesel prices from government control, analysts said, after the Trinamul Congress spoke out openly against the move today.
"We are against any hike in (prices of) petroleum products, especially at a time when people have been hit by food inflation," Saugata Roy, junior minister for urban development, told The Telegraph.
The comment came a day after the government deferred a hike in fuel prices as several key allies skipped a meeting of an empowered Group of Ministers (GoM) to discuss recommendations of a committee that had suggested freeing up petrol and diesel prices.
"The government should work out some other solution as any hike in fuel prices affects the people directly," Roy added. "Our party is completely opposed to any hike in fuel prices and our leader (railway minister) Mamata Banerjee has conveyed her concerns to the government."
Trinamul's blunt opposition is sure to dampen the mood of petroleum minister Murli Deora, who today said market-driven prices were necessary for petrol and diesel to help oil companies cut their losses.
State-owned firms IOC, BPCL and HPCL have been losing over Rs 200 crore a day selling fuel below global crude prices. The losses, industry sources have warned, could touch Rs 90,000 crore this fiscal year if the prices remained unchanged.
Sources said the Centre was looking at a new date for a GoM meeting to make another attempt to resolve the issue. Analysts, however, said it would be difficult for the Congress-led UPA government to implement the suggestions of the Kirit Parikh committee.
The panel had recommended freeing up petrol and diesel prices, which, if implemented, would have resulted in an increase of Rs 3.50 a litre. It had also suggested increasing kerosene and LPG prices by Rs 6 per litre and Rs 100 per cylinder.
Sources said free-market pricing of petrol and diesel and a hike in LPG and kerosene prices would increase wholesale price-based inflation by 1.4 percentage points.
The annual inflation was 9.59 per cent in April, mainly on account of food prices which have increased by around 17 per cent.
"Although there is a need to go in for micro-management of petroleum product prices, it would be difficult to ignore the voice of Mamata Banerjee at this juncture. The mandate she has got in the civic polls makes it even more difficult for the Congress-led UPA to push through its decision as Bengal goes to polls next year," N.R. Bhanumurthy, an economist with the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy, said.
He said other UPA allies that are facing Assembly elections would also oppose any move to hike fuel prices. "They (the government) would wait for the state polls to be over before going ahead," Bhanumurthy said.
Sending a clear signal that they were not with the government on the issue, neither Mamata, nor NCP leader and agriculture minister Sharad Pawar turned up for the meeting last evening.
Before the meeting, fertiliser minister M.K. Alagiri and telecom minister A. Raja met finance minister Pranab Mukherjee, who heads the GoM, to convey the DMK's opposition to any move to hike auto fuel prices.
Oil ministry officials said the broad consensus at the meeting was that oil firms should be given the freedom to fix petrol prices. But the government should intervene if the oil firms start overpricing.
However, the officials said, there was no unanimity on free market pricing of diesel as nearly 20 per cent of the fuel is used by the farm sector.
The officials said the oil ministry had proposed a marginal hike in domestic LPG cylinder prices and a notional increase in kerosene prices in its presentation to the GoM.
Among the others who attended the meeting were Planning Commission deputy chairperson Montek Singh Ahluwalia, oil minister Murli Deora and cabinet secretary K.M. Chandrasekhar.
Minister fishes in 'lost trust' waters
|OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT|
"In the 2009 Lok Sabha polls, the Left Front was decimated across the state…. The same happened in the (2008) panchayat elections and now the drubbing in the civic polls. In such a situation, how can the front make a turnaround? I don't foresee any change of verdict in the Assembly elections. So, the front should prepare to sit in the Opposition. We have lost the confidence of the people, who are now giving oxygen to the Opposition."
The Samajwadi Party leader had needled the front earlier too, allegedly to keep alive the possibility of a switch to Mamata Banerjee's camp.
After the Lok Sabha polls last year, he had demanded early elections because he felt the front had lost the "moral right to rule". After the civic poll results were announced last Wednesday, he had said the people had given the ruling party a "death certificate".
Today, Nanda said he did not want to "single out the chief minister and hold him responsible for our government's lapses''.
A CPM leader dubbed Nanda "not a dependable ally".
Asked about the minister's comments on the eve of a front meeting to discuss the civic poll debacle, the CPM central committee member said: "Partners like the CPI, Forward Bloc and the RSP have a commitment to our ideology. Nanda doesn't have that. He is not a dependable ally. We are told he has one foot in Trinamul."
Critics say Nanda needs Mamata's help to find a safe seat. In his Assembly segment, his party candidate was 13,000 votes behind his Trinamul rival in the Lok Sabha elections.
Moreover, Nanda's Mugberia Assembly seat will cease to exist in the next polls because of delimitation.
Nanda, however, opposed early Assembly polls today saying that could make it look like the front wanted to run away. "The workers and the peasantry have deserted us. In several parts of the state, the CPM cannot run, or even open, its offices. All this happened because of the wrong steps and policies of the state government. But we don't want early polls as that would make the people feel that we are jittery and want to run away."
Another front partner, the Forward Bloc, had yesterday hinted at the possibility of early polls while opposing it in the same breath. "There has been no let-up in the unrest across Bengal since the polls. At this juncture, the poll panel can hold the elections in November," Ashok Ghosh had said.
Asked if the Samajwadis would quit the front before the Assembly polls and go with Trinamul, Nanda said: "We are in the Left Front now. So, why are such questions being raised? Please ask the Forward Bloc, RSP and the CPI first."
At a three-day national executive of the party in Calcutta recently, Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav had indicated he was keeping his options open. "The 2011 election is a year away. So, we have to decide whether to have ties with Trinamul," he had said with Nanda by his side.
The fisheries minister echoed Mamata today when he opposed the paramilitary operation in Lalgarh. "I am totally opposed to CRPF deployment in these areas. We are spending lakhs… but the killings are continuing. How many Maoists have been arrested? The tribals are moving away from us because of such operations."
Wanted caste wars to finish fake marxists : Bengali Bhadralok took communism to fight Muslims
Just as DV blasted Jyoti Basu, EMS, Varavara Rao and Prachanda, it is extremely important to expose the Bengali Brahmin, Kanu Sanyal, who died recently and also his fake Marxism-Leninism. Unmasking of such corrupt Brahmin marxists is absolutely essential.
In May 2007, Bengali journalist Avijit Ghosh asked founder of the CPI (ML), Kanu sanyal: "Did you meet Mao secretly in 1967?"
Kanu Sanyal's answer was: "Yes. It was a 45-minute meeting. We went by road to Kathmandu. From there Chinese comrades took us by jeep to Peking. We stayed in Tibet too. We reached China on Sept. 30. The next day we saw them celebrate October 1 as National Day. I could see people weeping after seeing Mao. We met Mao, Chou En Lai and the commander in chief. Mao's advice was: whatever you learn in China, try to forget it. Go to your own country, try to understand the specific situation and carry the revolution forward."
But did Kanu Sanyal really study the specific situation in India as Mao directed? No. Never did Kanu Sanyal do that honestly in his lifetime. If he had done so, he would have understood the peculiar and complex dynamics of the caste system. Why did he fail in analysing the specific situation in India? Why did he fail to understand the social structure of India comprising the ascending order of reverence and descending degree of contempt? Even when he led Naxalbari struggle, why did he not notice the caste and ethnic patterns of Bahujan exploited landless and Brahminical landlords?
Even after so much of grassroots level practical political experience, how did he fail to understand the basics like Brahminised OBC Yadavs kill Dalits? Or that in Khairlanji, it is the OBC Kunbis who killed a Dalit family? How is it that he managed to miss the caste struggle in all Marxist-Leninist parties? Is this due to sheer intellectual dishonesty or intellectual incompetence?
Or does it have much to do with the Brahminical way in which Kanu Sanyal was conditioned? Did his Brahminical conditioning destroy or subvert his efforts to study Indian reality? Did he deliberately ignore and hide this reality because he was a Brahmin? These are questions which every genuine marxist revolutionary should ask. When socialist Lohia could say that "Caste is Class" openly and when CPI's own Brahmin Chaturanan Mishra also said that if communists had understood caste, they would have captured power in India, why is it that other Brahmin communists never managed to officially formulate a "caste war" theory suited to the "specific situation of India" as Mao put it? What stopped Brahmin marxists from doing this?
BENGALI WANDERING BEGGARS
Is this because Brahmins are by nature mechanical and metaphysical in their approach, and incapable of materialist thinking?
The fact is it is much easier to become an atheist or communist politically — rather than give up casteism altogether in all its forms: socially and culturally. Several rich people are atheists. Naastik or atheist philosophy is followed by several Brahmins. But will they ever give up their socio-economic and cultural privileges voluntarily?
It is because these social privileges give them a distinct and unfair advantage. Similarly, upper caste status also gives both social, economic, sexual and psychological privileges. No Brahmin will give up his social and cultural privileges, even if he surrenders his entire property in typical Brahminical fake ascetic fashion — just like EMS. They renounce everything to conquer.
Bengali Brahmins are literally supposed to be wandering beggars — but in reality they are absentee landlords who always pretend to be "poor Brahmin" ascetics. In reality, these wandering Bengali Kulin Brahmins used to beg for land, and whenever they "beg", people have to part with their land to these de facto absentee Brahmin landlords. This is how Brahmins became Bengal's biggest landlords. So why did they keep on wandering? To "beg" for more land. Not only that, it was considered a "privilege" to give away young daughters to such wandering Kulin Brahmins, especially when they "beg" for it. Why? Because, in this birth itself, jati ascent will be made possible.
So these Brahmins used to literally wander throughout Bengal to acquire land and screw young girls, who would then be abandoned. These young girls used to perpetually await their aged Brahmin lords and masters who used to rarely visit them — only to screw them and impregnate them — and then abandon them again. Once these roving Brahmin stud bulls died, the girls were forced to commit sati.
SOMNATH CHATTERJI AS STUD BULL
It is from one such roving Brahmin stud bull family that our sacked CPM leader Somnath Chatterjee comes from. His father, N.C. Chatterjee, was a lawyer and a roving stud bull who was also a Hindu Mahasabha leader. In fact, Sushma Swaraj of the BJP even reminded him of this fact on the floor of the Lok Sabha telling: "Somnath, despite your father being in Hindu Mahasabha, how come you are in CPM and not with us in the BJP?" Sushma has still not understood that these Brahmins have merely changed their tactics.
They have dumped poor and ineffective traditional Brahminical Hindutva strategies to adopt the much more effective and sophisticated Marxist strategies. They keep on changing their strategies and tactics, without forgetting their caste interests and caste objectives. Ends justify the means.
M.N. ROY STUNTS
Brahmins like Somnath Chatterjee and that pioneer of communism in India — Manabendra Nath Roy (M. N. Roy) who was in the Comintern during Lenin's time and then became a so-called "radical humanist" revisionist, merely changed tactics to keep Brahminism alive. M.N. Roy was a Bhattacharya. Manabendra Roy was merely his assumed name and party name.
Manabendra Nath Roy (Bengali), March 21,1887 – January 25, 1954), born Narendra Nath Bhattacharya, popularly known as M. N. Roy, was a Bengali Indian revolutionary, internationally known political theorist and activist, founder of the communist parties in Mexico and India. He later denounced communism, as exponent of the philosophy of Radical Humanism. Oxford University Press, UK, has already published his works in four volumes and the fifth is in the press. After pursuing his search of arms through Asia, Naren reached Palo Alto, and changed his name to Manabendra Nath Roy to evade British intelligence.
COMMUNIST GARB HIDES RACISM
Brahmins may temporarily give up their economic status, but never, ever will they give up their socio-cultural privileges. Because, they know that wealth will come and go — but social and cultural, as well as racial superiority is everlasting.
Why a Brahminical scum like Somnath Chatterjee, Narendra Nath Bhattacharya as well as EMS and Nayanar take to communism?
Well, they found it a better tactic to mislead the majority Bahujan masses under an ambiguous "class struggle". Under "class struggle", they could also claim to be "poor Brahmins".
Caste nepotism could also go on — hidden under the "class" banner and marxist phraseology. But under "caste struggle" theory, their caste men will be targeted.
CONVERSION TO ISLAM
But there was that most important reason — due to their earlier exploitation, both in Kerala and Bengal, the majority Moolnivasi masses had resorted to conversion to Islam and Christianity to escape the Brahminical enslavement. To an extent, the masses succeeded breaking the socio-cultural Brahminical stranglehold.
ISLAM DEFEATED BRAHMINS
As a result, three-fourths of United Bengal including today's Bangladesh became Islamic. All these were Bahujans. The "Hindu" Brahmins became a minority in Bengal. Brahminical trick No.1 was to carve out a "Hindu majority" West Bengal by allying with the British for partition. Here they failed.
Trick No.2 was giving up typical Bengali Brahmin terrorism by the likes of Bagha Jatin Mukherjee as well as Aurobindo Ghosh and slowly adopting "marxism" — which was a much better way to fool the Moolnivasis who are still a majority even in "Hindu majority" West Bengal.
If communism had not existed the Bengali Brahmins would have actually invented it, because the old and discredited traditional Brahmin methods of exploitation would have never worked and the Bahujans would have seen through them easily.
BENGALI BRAHMIN LOVE FOR MARXISM
Further exploitation was possible only by adopting egalitarian marxism as a mask and then becoming the leaders of the Moolnivasis — to exploit them.
If earlier methods were adopted, even in a "Hindu majority" West Bengal, all the Bahujans might become Muslims — destroying their social and cultural hegemony.
This is the reason why Bengali Brahmins took to "Marxism" in a big way. Wearing this mask, they gradually destroyed Marxism and made it revisionist deliberately.
WHO IS KANU SANYAL
Kanu Sanyal was a Bengali Brahmin bank employee's son from Calcutta. In other words, a Bengali Brahmin urban petty bourgeoisie- turned revisionist.
What is his "revolutionary" pedigree and credentials:
Kanu Sanyal, (1932), is an Indian communist politician. He was one of the founding leaders of Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) formed in 1969. He was one of the key leaders behind the abortive Naxalite insurrection attempt by radical communist to initiate an "Indian revolution" by violent means.
BRAHMINS BECOME REVOLUTIONARIES
Nonetheless, political analysts write that his political paradigm was based on the concept of Jugantar in opposition to the Anushilan paradigm implemented by the Communist Party of India and the Communist Party of India (Marxist). Sanyal proposed that the Jugantar revolutionaries be a highly secretive and cabalistic group who would periodically surface to commit acts of terrorism such as political assassinations and armory raids.
Jugantar or Yugantar (Bengali: Jugantor) (English meaning New Era or more literally Transition of an Epoch) was one of the two main secret revolutionary trends operating in Bengal for Indian independence. This association, like Anushilan Samiti started in the guise of a suburban fitness club. Several Jugantar members were arrested, hanged, or deported for life to the Cellular Jail in Andaman. Thanks to the amnesty after World War I, most of them were released and could give a new turn to their political career, mainly: (a) by joining Gandhi's Non-cooperation movement; (b) Deshbandhu's Swarajya alternative; (c) the Communist Party of India; (d) M.N. Roy's Radical Democratic Party; (e) Subhas Chandra Bose's Forward Bloc.
This extremist outfit was established by leaders like Aurobindo, his brother Barin Ghosh, Bhupendra- nath Datta, Raja Subodh Mallik in April 1906. Barin Ghosh was the main extremist leader. Along with 21 revolutionaries including Bagha Jatin, he started to collect arms and explosives and manufactured bombs. The headquarters of Jugantar was at 27-Kanai Dhar Lane, then 41-Champatola 1st Lane, Calcutta.
BANKIM CHANDRA, THE TOP TERRORIST
Jugantar had Hindu fundamentalist elements like Aurobindo Ghosh right from the very beginning, while Dr. K.B. Hedgewar was part of Anushilan Samiti.
Both Anushilan Samiti as well as Jugantar were Bengali Brahmin terrorist movements right from the beginning.
Even Veer Sawarkar learnt his weapons skills from Italy's Mazzini and other genuine progressive movements. Please remember that even CPI implemented the Anushilan Samiti paradigm.
Thus it was typical Kali-Durga worshipping Bengali Brahmin terrorist movement itself which simply changed colours and changed tactics to became the Brahminical Indian communist movement.
ARMED STRUGGLE AGAINST MUSLIMS
Anushilan Samiti ("Self-Culture Association", meaning to follow the teachings of Bankim Chandra Chatterjee) was the principal secret revolutionary organisation operating in Bengal in the opening years of the 20th century.
This association, like its offshoot, the Jugantar, operated under the guise of suburban fitness club. The members were committed towards the path of armed revolution for independence of India from British rule. Calcutta and, later, Dhaka were the two major strongholds of the association.
This Anushilan Samiti was of ultra reactionary Bengali Brahmin orientation and was formed to follow arch racist Bankim Chandra Chatterjee teachings of armed struggle against Muslims, chanting Bande Mataram. Anushilan Samiti was formed by casteist Bengali Brahmins who hated British for banning their favourite sati and child marriage. The moderate Bengali Brahmin organisation was called Brahmo Samaj led by Raja Ram Mohan Roy — which collaborated with the British.
HEDGEWAR LAUNCHES R.S.S.
M.N. Roy was also part of Anushilan Samiti and Jugantar.
Guess who else was part of the Anushilan Samiti — none other than our very own friendly Brahmin RSS founder. Dr. K.B. Hedgewar.
Keshava Baliram Hedgewar (Marathi: April 1, 1889 – June 21, 1940) was the founder of the RSS. He founded the RSS in Nagpur in 1925, with the intention of promoting the concept of the Hindu nation. He drew upon influences from social and spiritual Hindu reformers such as Vivekananda, V.D. Savarkar and Aurobindo to develop the core philosophy of the RSS.
He went to Calcutta to do MBBS. After completion, he was drawn into Anushilan Samiti and Jugantar in Bengal. He was also a member of the Hindu Mahasabha till 1929. Hedgewar was imprisoned for sedition by the British in 1921 for a year and again in 1930 for nine months. After his spell in prison he instructed the RSS to remain aloof from political activities including the "Salt Satyagraha" (1930) and continue mainly as a social organisation.
COMMUNIST BRAHMINS MORE DANGEROUS
Casteist Brahmins simply differ on tactics and not on the real goal. Anushilan Samiti itself decided to change colours and tactics and simply became what came to be known as the "Revolutionary Socialist Party". However, the Bengali Bahujans had already adopted Islam.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Revoluti onary_Socialist_Party _(India)
RSP is now a Marxist-Leninist political party. Founded on March 19, 1940, it has its roots in the Bengali Anushilan Samiti and the Hindustan Socialist Republican Army. The party got around 0.4% of the votes and three seats in the Lok Sabha elections 1999 and 2004. It is part of the state governments in West Bengal, Kerala, Tripura.
A major section of the Anushilan movement was attracted to marxism in the 30s. A minority section broke away and joined the CPI.
More "educated" and more sophisticated Brahmins realised that marxism had superior methodologies, strategies and tactics to fight the Bahujans.
This marxist mask would also make them the very leaders of the Moolnivasis to effectively mislead them and enslave them.
Kanu Sanyal was from the same old CPI generation which went on to form CPM and later CPI-ML also.
It is no wonder Kanu is supporting Nepal's Brahmin Prachanda.
HINDUS A MINORITY IN KERALA
Whether a Brahminical shudra Nair heads ISRO, or a Brahmin heads a so-called revolutionary party, he can never give up his Brahminical caste privileges and caste character.
In Kerala also, it was not Dalits who formed CPI or even ML parties. It was EMS, KNR and other Brahminical elites who continue to be humbugs.
Bahujans revolted against Brahminism and took to Christianity or Islam. That is how Hindus became a minority in Kerala. Today only the most foolish, politically illiterate Brahmins and upper castes support BJP-RSS. Brahminical elements were forced to wear "marxist" masks, because they lost their numerical superiority.
Caste consciousness is also based on family-based and social conditioning right from childhood. It is a culturally conditioned reflex. It bestows unjustifiable social, economic, cultural and even sexual privileges right from childhood. Severe psychological damage and brainwashing is done right in childhood itself and Brahminical classes are socialised in that reactionary pattern.
ONLY STUPID BRAHMINS JOIN R.S.S.
Such reactionary patterns become psychological crutches which they can never get rid off even when they are adults. And in any case, who wants to get rid of a superiority complex and a privilege? Voluntarily, it will never happen. Thus, Brahminical elements have to necessarily betray any revolution.
Who is the bigger threat? I think we must be terrified of the modernised, "communist" Brahmin who eats beef, and hates the RSS-BJP. These are the most politically sophisticated and cunning rascals who have realised the backwardness and crudeness of their earlier traditional right-wing methods. Only stupid Brahmins in RSS and BJP will stick to their Hindu fundamentalism.
BEWARE OF "SOCIALIST BRAHMINS"
The moment a Brahmin becomes politically sophisticated and realises the folly of his old ways, he will immediately hate those backward tactics and become "secular" — whether he is from ISRO or "Maoist" Party — or from the American NASA. They are using Marxist tactics and methodology to not only screw up marxism, but also to preserve their caste privileges based on racial superiority.
So, we need not fear the BJP-RSS morons. They are stupid museum pieces. But beware of the Vara Vara Raos and Prachandas and Kanu Sanyals. Dalit Voice calls them "Socialist Brahmins". These guys are the biggest danger to everything revolutionary.
We need not fear honest but stupid RSS-ABVP fellows who tell that they are against Bahujans and reservation quotas and even organise anti-Mandal agitations. But Kanu Sanyal, Vara Vara Rao and Prachanda will give genuine revolutionaries sleeping pills and shoot them dead at point blank range, by betraying them by raising revolutionary slogans.
Maoists actually are split on caste lines. Even then, they have not given up casteism and castiest discrimination. KNR, Kanu and Prachanda refuse to even discuss caste questions when they know the ground reality very well.
THROW OUT BRAHMINS IN COMMUNIST PARTY
They are certainly not fools. But they are deliberately doing this drama. It is simply in their caste interest to be red hot marxists.
Several Brahmins are not religious and several are atheists. Several eat beef also. But on caste, they will never compromise.
Upper castes and Dalit Bahujans can never function in any communist party. Therefore, throwing out the Brahmins from the communist movement is the only way.
Fortunately, the existing Brahminical MLM parties are failing. So a strictly Bahujan-led party can be gradually set up. Such a party's written constitution itself will openly state all these dangers and also reserve the right of membership strictly for Moolnivasi Bahujans only. No Brahminical element will be allowed to join the party or even be part of its front organisations or mass organisations.
It will state that Brahminical character itself is historically compradorial, revisionist, labour aristocratic and ultra-reactionary. There is no such thing as a Brahmin proletariat — but only a treacherous Brahmin labour aristocracy.
D.V. THEORY OF CASTE STRUGGLE
DV's "caste struggle" will be officially acknowledged as a distinct Indian phenomenon.
The fundamental questions will be caste and land.
There will be a thorough caste-based surveys on how land holding and caste status are congruent. Everything will be caste-based.
Marxism has to be rescued from vulgarisation by Brahminical ML parties which have simply reduced marxism to a crude" economic reductionism". Studies on the Indian superstructure with relation to caste will be taken up.
There will be no "casteless" or "caste blind" trade union under the name of "workers unity". If it is found that upper caste worker is exploiting lower caste worker, he will be thrashed and butchered mercilessly.
"Class struggle" in India will take the shape of "caste struggle" and caste consciousness will be duly acknowledged.
Concrete preparations to begin armed, bloody and most violent struggle in keeping up with present conditions will be made. (Read DSA books, How Marx Failed in Hindu India, Class-Caste Struggle, Dilemma of Class &Caste).
WANTED A NEW MARXIST PARTY
Will Brahmins be able to escape using Gujjars to fight Meenas, or will a future genuine Maoist party get both Meenas and Gujjars to butcher Brahminists?
To ensure that the real propertyless proletariat is victorious, a new type of party to coordinate all these caste struggles is necessary.
Brahmin worry over caste wars
We must completely strip Brahminical Marxism naked. Forget Gaddar. We must do our duty even if the media is against us. We must not forget that even if an ant bites any elephant's eye or tiger's eye or snake's eye, that animal will surely stumble and fall down. Always aim to sting the enemy's eye even with whatever little strength we have. Because when the enemy stumbles, our Moolnivasis will surely notice at least this. The best example is your (the Editor's) own arrest. When you were arrested and taken to Chandigarh Jail (Aug.1986), the powerful enemy stumbled. So let the enemy attack.
Mao said if the enemy is attacking, then this is the proof that we are on the correct path. So we must continue to poke the enemy's eye non-stop. This is good for our people and bad for our enemies. You must never ever forget that Brahminical enemies are merely pretending ignoring us. Deep inside they are extremely worried — they are shitting in their pants and shivering. I am very confident that this country will definitely see a gigantic caste war. It is inevitable as sunrise and sunset.
Caste war has already started: caste war over water and daughter is already on. So where is the need to be pessimistic? Simply keep on poking the enemy's eye non-stop. Victory is ours. Iran will be attacked and World War-III will begin shortly. This will also certainly weaken Brahminism. Nuclear weapons will be available when the great depression begins. You may think I am bluffing or that I am mad. But I am telling you that victory will be ours.http://www.dalitvoice.org/Templates/may2010/editorial.htm
CONTEMPT FOR BUDDHISTS AS THE ROOT OF UNTOUCHABILITY
THE Census Reports for India published by the Census Commissioner at the interval of every ten years from 1870 onwards contain a wealth of information nowhere else to be found regarding the social and religious life of the people of India. Before the Census of 1910 the Census Commissioner had a column called 'Population by Religion'. Under this heading the population was shown (1) Muslims, (2) Hindus, (3) Christians, etc. The Census Report for the year 1910 marked a new departure from the prevailing practice. For the first time it divided the Hindus under three separate categories, (i) Hindus, (ii) Animists and Tribal, and (iii) the Depressed Classes or Untouchables. This new classification has been continued ever since.
This departure from the practice of the previous Census Commissioners raises three questions. First is what led the Commissioner for the Census of 1910 to introduce this new classification. The second is what was the criteria adopted as a basis for this classification. The third is what are the reasons for the growth of certain practices which justify the division of Hindus into three separate categories mentioned above.
The answer to the first question will be found in the address presented in 1909 by the Muslim Community under leadership of H.H. The Aga Khan to the then Viceroy, Lord Minto, in which they asked for a separate and adequate representation for the Muslim community in the legislature, executive and the public services.
In the address there occurs the following passage:
"The Mohamedans of India number, according to the census taken in the year 1901 over sixty-two millions or between one-fifth and one-fourth of the total population of His Majesty's Indian dominions, and if a reduction be made for the uncivilised portions of the community enumerated under the heads of animist and other minor religions, as well as for those classes who are ordinarily classified as Hindus but properly speaking are not Hindus at all, the proportion of Mohamedans to the Hindu Majority becomes much larger. We therefore desire to submit that under any system of representation extended or limited a community in itself more numerous than the entire population of any first class European power except Russia may justly lay claim to adequate recognition as an important factor in the State.
"We venture, indeed, with Your Excellency's permission to go a step further, and urge that the position accorded to the Mohamedan community in any kind of representation direct or indirect, and in all other ways effecting their status and influence should be commensurate, not merely with their numerical strength but also with their political importance and the value of the contribution which they make to the defence of the empire, and we also hope that Your Excellency will in this connection be pleased to give due consideration to the position which they occupied in India a little more than hundred years ago and of which the traditions have naturally not faded from their minds."
The portion italicised by me has a special significance. It was introduced in the address to suggest that in comprising the numerical strength of the Muslims with that of the Hindus the population of the animists, tribals and the Untouchables should be excluded. The reason for this new classification of 'Hindus' adopted by the Census Commissioner in 1910 lies in this demand of the Muslim community for separate representation on augmented scale. At any rate this is how the Hindus understood this demand
Interesting as it is, the first question as to why the Census Commissioner made this departure in the system of classification is of less importance than the second question. What is important is to know the basis adopted by the Census Commissioner for separating the different classes of Hindus into (1) those who were hundred per cent Hindus and (2) those who were not.
The basis adopted by the Census Commissioner for separation is to be found in the circular issued by the Census Commissioner in which he laid down certain tests for the purpose distinguishing these two classes. Among those who were not hundred percent Hindus were included castes and tribes which:
(1) Deny the supremacy of the Brahmins.
(2) Do not receive the Mantra from a Brahmin or other recognized Hindu Guru.
(3) Deny the authority of the Vedas.
(4) Do not worship the Hindu gods.
(5) Are not served by good Brahmins as family priests.
(6) Have no Brahmin priests at all.
(7) Are denied access to the interior of the Hindu temples.
(8) Cause pollution (a) by touch, or (b) within a certain distance.
(9) Bury their dead.
(10) Eat beef and do no reverence for the cow.
Out of these ten tests some divide the Hindus from the Animists and the Tribal. The rest divide the Hindus from the Untouchables. Those that divide the Untouchables from the Hindus are (2), (5), (6), (7), and (10). It is with them that we are chiefly concerned.
For the sake of clarity it is better to divide these tests into parts and consider them separately. This Chapter will be devoted only to the consideration of (2), (5), and (6).
The replies received by the Census Commissioner to questions embodied in tests (2), (5) and (6) reveal (a) that the Untouchables do not receive the Mantra from a Brahmin; (b) that the Untouchables are not served by good Brahmin priests at all; and (c) that Untouchables have their own priests reared from themselves. On these facts the Census Commissioners of all Provinces are unanimous.
Of the three questions the third is the most important. Unfortunately the Census Commissioner did not realise this. For in making his inquiries he failed to go to the root of the matter to find out: Why were the Untouchables not receiving the Mantra from the Brahmin? Why Brahmins did not serve the Untouchables as their family priests? Why do the Untouchables prefer to have their own priests? It is the 'why' of these facts which is more important than the existence of these facts. It is the 'why' of these facts which must be investigated. For the clue to the origin of Untouchability lies hidden behind it.
Before entering upon this investigation, it must be pointed out that the inquiries by the Census Commissioner were in a sense one-sided. They showed that the Brahmins shunned the Untouchables. They did not bring to light the fact that the Untouchables also shunned the Brahmins. Nonetheless, it is a fact. People are so much accustomed to thinking that the Brahmin is the superior of the Untouchables and the Untouchable accepts himself as his inferior; that this statement that the Untouchables look upon the Brahmin as an impure person is sure to come to them as a matter of great surprise. The fact has however been noted by many writers who have observed and examined the social customs of the Untouchables. To remove any doubt on the point, attention is drawn to the following extracts from their writings.
The fact was noticed by Abbe Dubois who says:
"Even to this day a Pariah is not allowed to pass a Brahmin Street in a village, though nobody can prevent, or prevents, his approaching or passing by a Brahmin's house in towns. The Pariahs, on their part will under no circumstances, allow a Brahmin to pass through their paracherries (collection of Pariah huts) as they firmly believe it will lead to their ruin."
Mr. Hemingsway, the Editor of the Gazetteer of the Tanjore District says:
"These casts (Parayan and Pallan or Chakkiliyan castes of Tanjore District) strongly object to the entrance of a Brahmin into their quarters believing that harm will result to them therefrom."
Speaking of the Holeyas of the Hasan District of Mysore, Captain J.S.F. Mackenzie says:
"Every village has its Holigiri as the quarters inhabited by the Holiars, formerly agrestic serfs, is called outside the village boundary hedge. This, I thought was because they were considered as impure race, whose touch carries defilement with it."
Such is the reason generally given by the Brahmins who refuse to receive anything directly from the hands of a Holiar, and yet the Brahmins consider great luck will wait upon them if they can manage to pass through the Holigiri without being molested. To this Holiars have a strong objection, and, should a Brahmin attempt to enter their quarters, they turn out in a body and slipper him, in former times, it is said, to death. Members of the other castes may come as far as the door, but they must not enter the house, for that would bring the Holiar bad luck. If, by chance, a person happens to get in, the owner takes care to tear the intruder's cloth, tie up some salt in one corner of it, and turn him out. This is supposed to neutralise all the good luck which might have accrued to the trespasser, and avert any evil which ought to have befallen the owner of the house.
What is the explanation of this strange phenomenon? The explanation must of course fit in with the situation as it stood at the start, i.e., when the Untouchables were not Untouchables but were only Broken Men [[NOTE: Sundeep give a hyper-link to the phrase Broken Men and link it to the extract on the same by Ambedkar]]. We must ask why the Brahmins refused to officiate at the religious ceremonies of the Broken Men? Is it the case that the Brahmins refused to officiate? Or is it that the Broken Men refused to invite them? Why did the Brahmin regard Broken Men as impure? Why did the Broken Men regard the Brahmins as impure? What is the basis of this antipathy?
This antipathy can be explained on one hypothesis. It is that the Broken Men were Buddhists. As such they did not revere the Brahmins, did not employ them as their priests and regarded them as impure. The Brahmin on the other hand disliked the Broken Men because they were Buddhists and preached against them contempt and hatred with the result that the Broken Men came to be regarded as Untouchables.
We have no direct evidence that the Broken Men were Buddhists. No evidence is as a matter of fact necessary when the majority of Hindus were Buddhists. We may take it that they were.
That there existed hatred and abhorrence against the Buddhists in the mind of the Hindus and that this feeling was created by the Brahmins is not without support.
Nilkant in his Prayaschit Mayukha a verse from Manu which says:
"If a person touches a Buddhist or a flower of Pachupat, Lokayata, Nastika and Mahapataki, he shall purify himself by a bath."
The same doctrine is preached by Apararka in his Smriti. Vradha Harit goes further and declares entry into the Buddhist Temple as sin requiring a purificatory bath for removing the impurity.
How widespread had become this spirit of hatred and contempt against the followers of Buddha can be observed from the scenes depicted in Sanskrit dramas. The most striking illustration of this attitude towards the Buddhists is to be found in the Mricchakatika. In Act VII of that Drama the hero Charudatta and his friend Maitreya are shown waiting for Vasantasena in the park outside the city. She fails to turn up and Charudatta decides to leave the park. As they are leaving, they seethe Buddhist monk by name Samvahaka. On seeing him, Charudatta says:
"Friend Maitreya, I am anxious to meet Vasantsena ... Come, let us go. (After walking a little) Ah ! here's aninauspicious sight, a Buddhist monk coming towards us. (After a little reflection) well, let him come this way, we shall follow this other path. (Exit.)"
In Act VIII the monk is in the Park of Sakara, the King's brother-in-law, washing his clothes in a pool. Sakara accompanied by Vita turns up and threatens to kill the monk. The following conversation between them is revealing:
"Sakara: Stay, you wicked monk.
Monk: Ah! Here's the king's brother-in-law! Because some monk has offended him, he now beats up any monk he happens to met.
Sakara: Stay, I will now break your head as one breaks a radish in a tavern. (Beats him).
Vita: Friend, it is not proper to beat a monk who has put on the saffron-robes, being disgusted with the world.
Monk: (Welcomes) Be pleased, lay brother.
Sakara: Friend, see. He is abusing me.
Vita: What does he say?
Sakara: He calls me lay brother (upasaka). Am I a barber?
Vita: Oh! He is really praising you as a devotee of the Buddha.
Sakara: Why has he come here?
Monk: To wash these clothes.
Sakara: Ah! you wicked monk. Even I myself do not bathe in this pool; I shall kill you with one stroke."
After a lot of beating, the monk is allowed to go. Here is a Buddhist monk in the midst of the Hindu crowd. He is shunned and avoided. The feeling of disgust against him is so great that the people even shun the road the monk is travelling. The feeling of repulsion is so intense that the entry of the Buddhist was enough to cause the exit of the Hindus. The Buddhist monk is on a par with the Brahmin. A Brahmin is immune from death penalty. He is even free from corporal punishment. But the Buddhist monk is beaten and assaulted without remorse, without compunction as though there was nothing wrong in it.
If we accept that the Broken Men were the followers of Buddhism and did not care to return to Brahmanism when it became triumphant over Buddhism as easily as other did, we have an explanation for both the questions. It explains why the Untouchables regard the Brahmins as inauspicious, do not employ them as their priest and do not even allow them to enter into their quarters. It also explains why the Broken Men came to be regarded as Untouchables. The Broken Men hated the Brahmins because the Brahmins were the enemies of Buddhism and the Brahmins imposed untouchability upon the Broken Men because they would not leave Buddhism. On this reasoning it is possible to conclude that one of the roots of untouchability lies in the hatred and contempt which the Brahmins created against those who were Buddhist.
Can the hatred between Buddhism and Brahmanism be taken to be the sole cause why Broken Men became Untouchables? Obviously, it cannot be. The hatred and contempt preached by the Brahmins was directed against Buddhists in general and not against the Broken Men in particular. Since untouchability stuck to Broken Men only, it is obvious that there was some additional circumstance which has played its part in fastening untouchability upon the Broken Men. What could that circumstance have been? We must next direct our effort in ascertaining it.
(Excerpted from Chapter 9 of B.R. Ambedkar's 1948 work The Untouchables: Who Were They and Why They Became Untouchables? as reprinted in Volume 7 of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Writings and Speeches, published by Government of Maharashtra 1990. Copyright: Secretary, Education Department, Government of Maharashtra.)
|Also In This Story|
Five dalits are lynched by a Hindu mob. Their alleged crime: skinning a cow. The reporters and analysts who express shock and outrage do not go beyond stating that the dalits were doing what they have been traditionally doing: selling the dead cow's hide to make a living.
Were the Untouchables always Untouchables? Why should beef-eating give rise to Untouchability at a later stage? What is the cause of the nausea which the Hindus have against beef-eating? Ambedkar sought some answers in 1948 which might help in our understanding of the Jhajjar killings.
There was a time when the ancestors of the present day Untouchables were not Untouchables vis-a-vis the villagers but were merely Broken Men, no more and no less, and the only difference between them and the villagers was that they belonged to different tribes.
An original, unpublished translation of the first chapter of Antarani Vasantam (The Untouchable Spring) that deals with that deals with the mythical story exploring the relationship between today's dalits and the cow, specifically the dead cow.
The Betrayal of History
On Politics and Philosophy
in "Dreamworld and Catastrophe"
By: Susan Buck-Morss
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Written: September, 2000
"Hell hath no fury like an intellectual spurned."
William Shakespeare, very liberally paraphrased
"Dreamworld and Catastrophe" is a cry of anguish disguised as the interdisciplinary analyses of a (neo-)Marxist scholar. It is a fragmentary and tortured reaction to the betrayal of history, in the best of Walter Benjamin's tradition, consciously emulated in this tome by this leading authority on the Frankfurt School. It is painful to wade through the convolutions of denial, intellectualization and projection that constitute the first part ("Democracy" - the political framework). The next two sections ("History" and "Mass Culture") are a joyride of erudition and an intellectual tour de force. The last part - a dry chronicle of the comings and goings of the author's milieu amidst the disintegration of the USSR and the emergence of Russia - is anti-climactic. The opus in its entirety does not fuflil the blurb's somewhat hubristic promise: "This book offers a revaluation of the twentieth century."
The author draws on Walter Benjamin, Carl P. Schmitt (whom she describes as being merely "briefly a member of the Nazi Party"! - p. 8) and others in formulating a set of exegetic principles, which she then applies to this sad past century. "Modern sovereignties" - she writes - "harbor a blind spot, a zone in which power is above the law and thus, at least potentially, a terrain of terror". A form of malignant ("supralegal" or "prelegal") legitimacy lies at the core of this "wild zone". The premise that popular will and popular sovereignty are one and the same is the "democratic swindle" (Marx). The author leads us gently to the conclusion that the monopoly of law-making and the monopoly of violence are inextricable if not one and the same. The latter (violence) is applied to safeguard the former. "...The effect of this circularity is to undermine the very possibility of the legal/illegal distinction."
Yet, the author conveniently ignores the fact that the social contract - the emergent derivative of explicit and implicit popular will - includes not only laws but also permissible modes of expression and of dissent and the venues and procedures for enacting laws. By placing oneself outside the social contract, one provokes violence. But the violent reaction of the sovereign is not, as the author implies, an effort to preserve the monopoly of determining what justice is (i.e., what is the law). It is intended to protect the social contract itself, only one element of which is the allocation of law-making powers.
The author's reductionist predilections manifest more forecefully with every turned page. "The rightful power of the democratic sovereignty to wage war is the source of its legitimate claim to the monopoly of violence and to the exercise of terror" (p. 8). And: "...defining the enemy is the act that brings the collective into being... There is no collective until the 'democratic' sovereign - precisely in the act of naming the common enemy - calls that collective into being." Put differently: it is the act of claiming the monopoly of violence (and of exercising it against a common enemy) that creates a polity - not vice versa. The people is not the one to grant the monopoly of violence - the nation does not even exist prior to the coalescence of this power. Violence creates nations. Violence bestows democratic legitimacy upon and establishes the democratic credentials of its perpetrator. The author's is a bleak and far reaching construct. It also ignores the fact that "nation-states" are not monolithic. Many of these entities are goal-oriented, not belligerent. Many do not have a common enemy (internal or external). For most modern nation-states, these crucial sentences hold untrue: "What is at stake in war is the life or death of the collective itself" (p. 12) and "The disappearance of the enemy threatens to dissolve the collective itself" (p. 13).
Moreover, the advent of international law, human interventions, monetary unions and multilateral legal and financial institutions seems to partially invalidate or, at least, constrain observations such as this one: "Each sovereign political agency has ... a degree of absolute power in the field of foreign policy that would not be sanctioned within the sphere of domestic political life." The trend is towards the acceptance and enforcement of a type of domestic social contract in the international arena. That the "wild zone", the penumbral "terrain of terror", is the stage for unscrupulous agents is, alas, true. But crimes commited in the name of the state are still crimes and their perpetrators are often punished or condemned. Fascism (mentioned by the author as "not an aberrant to the nation-state imaginary") is an excellent instance. The Nuremberg trials and the Eichman trial attest to the limited protection of the twilight zone of malignant sovereignty. Ask Pinochet.
The author writes: "In the constitution of nation states, the executive is allowed quasi-dictatorial powers in times of war or 'national emergency' just as the very conception of the party as the 'dictatorship of the proletariat' implies such power to act against counterrevolutionary activities." But this ignores that in liberal democracies the executive is subject to tediously thorough and mostly transparent procedures of debate and decision-making (which incorporate the opposition). It also ignores the fact that class warfare is a permanent state (until victory is achieved) while nation-state warfare is the historical exception.
It is noteworthy that the author sees no MORAL difference between socialism and capitalism. Her work is either morally relativistic or amoral. It reads like insular deconstruction at its most delusional. Granted, both employ what Althusser called Ideological State Apparatuses and force ideology upon their subject ("interpellate" them). But here, in the realm of the structural, the similarity ends. How can one equate a regime which murdered 20 million of its own citizens in a cold, systematic manner to the (admittedly blemished) liberal-democratic regimes of the West in the 20th century? What can justify, support or prove this statement: "But by turning a blind eye to this common heritage (legitimacy induced by monopolistic violence against an enemy - SV) - each accepting only part, a different part, as legitimate - East and West declared each other not only illegitimate but evil, and projected the problematic aspects of the democratic tradition onto the other side, refusing to face their own failures as democracies in the process." (p. 14). Or: "... the cultural forms that existed in 'East' and 'West' ... appear uncannily similar." What are these cultural forms? "... They shared a faith in the modernizing process developed by the West" (p. X). What about human rights? The rule of law? The right not to be assassinated by a bloodthirsty apparatus of the state? Equality and meritocracy outside a nonenklatura? These seem to be "cultural forms" not shared by the otherwise "uncannily" similar traditions - socialism and capitalism. To fail to make distinctions between Grossraum and Lebensraum (again, in the 20th century), between Stalin and Roosevelt, the gulag and Sing-Sing, the (slaughtered) kulaks and the (discriminated against) negroes - might be construed as a serious breach of academic integrity, not to mention morality. To call the regime of Lenin and Stalin one of the "...two models of democratic sovereignty" (p. 21) is a travesty.
The author proposes two historical organizing principles of considerable insight. The one is that socialism was based on an imaginary of "irreconcilably antagonistic warring classes" while capitalism incorporated the imaginary of "mutually exclusive, potentially hostile nation states" (p. 13). There is a "dialectical relation between nation and class" (p. 25). The other is that nation-states operate in the dimension of space - while class warfare takes place in time. Yet, she fails to agree a common terminlology with her readers. What are the "class divisions" in the USA? Employee stock options, home ownership, investment in equities, Silicon valley entrepreneurship and ever-cheaper products and services seem to have blurred class distinctions into oblivion. What constitutes "imperialism" (not to mention "neo-imperialism")? The author seems to under-emphasize the economic motivation of spatial conquests (colonialism and its intellectual corollary, mercantilism). For that matter: what is the nation-state? There are numerous models and a continuous evolution of the "imaginary". Even the apparently simple concept of "enemy" could have used some elucidation. The enemies of the West are those who challenge the status quo (Hitler, Milosevic, Saddam Hussein, the Bolsheviks). The enemies of the East are those who challenge class (read: party) defined "progress" (economic "saboteurs", dissidents, kulaks). And while the author alludes to this difference (or should I say differance) - she refrains from putting it to good use.
A symptomatic reading of the author reveals her problematic (to borrow from Althusser). It is most evident in her choice of what she seems to regard as mutually exclusive parameters, "space" and "time". Time and space (and not only in physics) are interchangeable. Progress in time can be measured only by commensurate changes in space. Even in the itinerant Soviet state, the achievements of the working class were measured in cubic metres mined and kliometres of tunnels dug. Mines and tunnels, hydroelectric stations and sputniks are spatial. The author thinks that "socialism failed in this century because it mimicked capitalism too faithfully". And I submit that socialism's undoing was its combined attempts at abstraction. In its efforts to become a-spatial, a-temporal (hasten the flow of time and compress historical processes) and a-human (to ignore human psychology) - it imploded. Capitalism avoided these pitfalls. It is spatial (nation states and imperialism), it is temporal (time is money and the idea of progress) and it is human (greed and envy are accommodated or positively encouraged). It cannot fail because it is the popular will. Socialism (rather, Marxism) could not but fail because it was a sterile and artificial construct of esoteric intellectuals. It was lifeless.
And this is what the author calls the "betrayal of history". At first, she grudgingly accepts that socialism lost the war: "...the hegemonic discourse affirms the moral superiority of those who have been the victors in this century. There is little reflection on how many beliefs they shared with those whom they defeated". And even less about WHY they won the war. This is, perhaps, the most disheartening and disappointing aspect of this book. It is descriptive, provocative and evocative. But it says nothing about the realy important issues. What went wrong? Why? What went right? Why? What will be?
Even accepting that the "mass democratic myth" - "... the belief that the industrial reshaping of the world is capable of bringing about the good society by providing the material happiness for the masses (p. IX)", debunked by the demise of socialism, has been common to both it and capitalism. The question remains: Why? What happened? The pursuit of happiness is universal. No political system can ignore it. That this resulted in industrial utopias is a conjuncture. Scientific-technological-industrial utopias were precded by religious ones. Utopianism is the expression of the desire for bliss. These are superficial and contingent similarities. The differences between the two weltanschauungen were much more fundamental (individualism versus the mass, a circular versus linear concept of progress, pluralism versus uniformity, etc.). Not only does the author gloss over these - she reverses her own position not 40 pages later and denies the very (apparently too painful) defeat that she espouses earlier.
Compare these two paragraphs:
"Against the often-repeated story of the West's winning the Cold War and capitalism's historical triumph over socialism, these essays argue that the historical experiment of socialism was so deeply rooted in the Western modernizing tradition that its defeat cannot but place the whole Western narrative into question." (p. XII)
"If the era of the Cold War is over it is, perhaps, less because one side has 'won' than because the legitimation of each political discourse found itself fundamentally challenged by material developments themselves."
The author obviously feels more at home in the next two sections of her book. She deals there with Time and Mass Culture in the USSR and contrasts it to the situation in the West. It is an unmitigated intellectual feast and it will be the subject of our next article.
Benjamin and Adorno
It is impossible, nor is it desirable to neglect the influence of Theodor Adorno and Walter Benjamin on the author. Another strong (mainly semiotic) influence has emanated from Valerii Podoroga and his circle of post-communist (post-modern) Russian philosophers. I find it ironic that the author seemed to have fallen into the very trap that Horkheimer and Adorno have warned against in the "Dialectic of the Enlightenment" (1947). Her resistance to the seductions of the (Western) myth led her to rationalize herself into a new myth (neo-Marxism) and to engage in identity thinking.
Post-Auschwitz Adorno did not believe in an emancipated, utopian future. In this and in his rejection of "identity thinking" (subsuming particulars or individuals under an Hegelian Absolute Idea and identifying the subjects with objects) he was an anti-Marxist Marxist (although he applied his critical theory mostly to capitalism). Objects, according to Adorno (and Benjamin), cannot be fully covered by concepts or totally belong to a whole. The discrepancies in the interactions of objects and their concepts are revealing. They can be explored using "negative dialectics". A kaleidoscopic constellation of concepts emerges as the object's "inner history" is studied. Put simply: objects (particulars) are never fully specimen of the concept (the universal).
Adorno blamed the culture industry in capitalitic countries for goading the individual to adapt to his life's conditions by promoting a "total angle". He thought that art and philosophy should be self-critical and unmask the familiar, preventing its mindless acceptance. How the anti-socialist (anti-communist) implications of his own work eluded him is a mystery. His refusal to engage in political activism may be telling. It took courage and a lot of negative dialectics...
Benjamin was a more tragic and complex figure. He is also more relevant to the author's work. In essence, he was obsessed with the possibility of writing history at all and the intricate interactions between exclusion (forgetting) and inclusion (remembering). To Benjamin, memory was a series of discontinuous fragments connected by subjectivity (which potentially endowed them with a political agency). Benjamin did not believe in the linearity of history (and, therefore, in the idea of progress, class-related, or not). This rejection of "flow" and "continuum" in favour of "montage" and "fragment" is at the heart of his "Critical Aesthetic". He rejected the forced unification of the objective and the subjective under a scientific universal grammar. This was pretentious, he claimed. Instead, he propagated the idea of "constellation-events" (see above) in pursuit of the "truth". This "truth" is the "authentic" structural elements of an idea as revealed by perusing the sum of all its meaningful combinations with other ideas. This process is at the heart of what what Benjamin called the "Science of Origin".
In the Prologue to his now famous book "The Origin of German Tragic Drama" ("The Epistemo-Critical Prologue") Benjamin promoted the superiority of allegory over symbol as means of coping with a "past of wholeness" (more about this in the next article). But this apparently strictly literay-cultural-philosophical occupation was really political in nature. In his work, Benjamin compared the Baroque to his own era - decadent, devoid of community ethos, obsessed with aesthetics. This was a political-aesthetic statement. Secondly, the attempt to recapture past wholeness through allegory (i.e., through conscious illusion) had strong political undertones or, at least, equivalents. In other words, Benjamin's work itself was an allegory of politics. Thus, the transition to political activism comes as no surprise to us.
The "Arcades Project" used 19th century Parisian tropes ("prostitution", "fashion", "gambling", etc.) to reconstruct an history of urban modernity itself. The influential "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction" was part of this on-going project. The author employs a similar technique in her book (see next article). Benjamin was a materialist, but manifestly NON-dialectical. He postulated the existence and operation of a cohesive consciousness over and above its actuality as a "constellation of reality". Dialectical images are imanent in such a transcendental consciousness. They are not the result of a commodity fetish. While the author strives to "rescue" past images in danger of irretrievably disappearing (a uniquely Bejaminean pre-occupation) she "succumbs" to the more orthodox explanations of the commodity fetish and consumerism. She thus implicitly rejects Benjamin's observation in "Theses on the Philosophy of History" that our position in time (i.e., in history) prejudices us. That our very capacity to recognize proleptic or anticipatory images is conditioned and biased. The party would have been proud of her.
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Comrade Lin Biao's Speech at the
Peking Rally Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the October Revolution
Delivered: November 6, 1967
Source: Advance Along the Road Opened up by the the October Socialist Revolution (pamphlet)
Published: Foreign Languages Press, 1967
Online Version: Lin Biao Internet Archive, January 2004
Transcribed/HTML Markup: Kenneth Higham and Roland Ferguson
Comrades, Young Red Guard Fighters and Friends:
Today the Chinese people join the proletarians and revolutionary people throughout the world in grand and solemn commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution.
The October Revolution led by the great Lenin was a turning point in human history.
The victory of the October Revolution broke through the dark rule of capitalism, established the first state of the dictatorship of the proletariat in the world and opened a new era of the world proletarian revolution.
For more than one hundred years since Marx and Engels formulated the theory of scientific socialism, the international proletariat, advancing wave upon wave and making heroic sacrifices, has been waging arduous struggles for the great ideal of communism and has performed immortal exploits in the cause of the emancipation of mankind.
In his struggle against the revisionism of the Second International and the great practice of leading the October Socialist Revolution, Lenin solved a series of problems of the proletarian revolution and the dictatorship of the proletariat as well as the problem of victory for socialism in one country, thus developing Marxism to the stage of Leninism. Leninism is Marxism in the era of imperialism and proletarian revolution. The salvoes of the October Revolution brought Leninism to all countries so that the world took on an entirely new look.
In the last fifty years following the road of the October Revolution under the banner of Marxism-Leninism, the proletariat and the revolutionary people of the world have carried the world history forward to an entirely new the era in which imperialism is heading for collapse and socialism is advancing to worldwide victory. It is a great new era in which the proletariat and the bourgeoisie are locked in the decisive battle on a world wide scale.
Led by the great leader Chairman Mao, the Chinese people have followed up their victory in the national-democratic revolution with greatest victories in the socialist revolution and socialist construction. Socialist China has become the mighty bulwark of world revolution. Adhering to the road of the October Revolution, the heroic people of Albania have raised a bright red banner in Europe. By their war against U.S. imperialist aggression and for national salvation, the Vietnamese people have set a brilliant example of struggle against imperialism for the people of the whole world. The movement of national-democratic liberation in Asia, Africa and Latin America is developing vigorously. The ranks of the Marxist-Leninists are growing steadily, and a new situation has emerged in the international communist movement.
Compared with half a century ago, the world proletarian revolution today is deeper in content and far broader in scope and far sharper in its struggle. The new historical era has posed a series of important new problems for Marxist-Leninists. However, in the final analysis, the most fundamental problem remains that of seizing and consolidating political power.
Chairman Mao says: "The aim of every revolutionary struggle in the world is the seizure and consolidation of political power." This is the great Marxist-Leninist truth.
The struggle between the Marxist-Leninist and the revisionists always focuses on this fundamental issue. The modern revisionists, represented by Khrushchov and his successors, Brezhnev and Kosygin and company, are wildly opposing the revolution of the people of the world and have openly abandoned the dictatorship of the proletariat and brought about and all-round capitalist restoration in the Soviet Union. This is a monstrous betrayal of the October Revolution. This is a monstrous betrayal of Marxism-Leninism. It is a monstrous betrayal of the great Soviet people and the people of the whole world. Therefore, if the proletariat fails to smash the wanton attacks of the modern revisionists, if it does not firmly defend the road of the October Revolution opened up by the great Lenin, continue to advance along this road under the new historical conditions and thoroughly solve the question of how to seize and consolidate political power, it will not be able to win the final victory, or will probably loose political power even after seizing it, and, like the Soviet people, will come under the rule of a new privileged bourgeois stratum.
It is our good fortune that because Comrade Mao Tse-tung has comprehensively inherited and developed the teachings of Marx, Engels, Lenin and Stalin on proletarian revolution and the dictatorship of the proletariat, the must fundamental issue of the world proletarian revolution, that is, the road to the seizure of the consolidation of political power, has been brought to a higher stage in theory and in practice. Our great leader Chairman Mao has developed Marxism-Leninism and raised it to an entirely new peak. The ever-victorious thought of Mao Tse-tung is Marxism-Leninism in the era in which imperialism is heading for total collapse and socialism is advancing toward worldwide victory.
In the course of leading the great struggle of the Chinese revolution, Chairman Mao has with genius solved a whole series of complicated problems concerning the seizure of power by force of arms. Under his leadership, the Chinese people went through the most protracted, fierce, arduous and complex people's revolutionary war in the history of the world proletarian revolution and founded the red political power, the dictatorship of the proletariat.
The way the Chinese people seized political power by force of arms under Chairman Mao's leadership may be summarized as follows: Under the leadership of the political party of the proletariat, to arouse the peasant masses in the countryside to wage guerrilla war, unfold an agrarian revolution, build rural base areas, use the countryside to encircle the cities and finally capture the cities. This is a great new development of the road of to the seizure of political power by force or arms indicated by the October Revolution.
Chairman Mao has said: "As a rule, revolution starts, grows and triumphs first in those places in which the counter-revolutionary forces are comparatively weak.". Since in our time all the reactionary ruling classes have a tight grip on the main cities, it is necessary for a revolutionary political party to utilize the vulnerable links and areas of reactionary rule, fully arouse the masses, conduct guerrilla warfare, establish stable revolutionary bases and so build up and temper their own forces and, through prolonged fighting, strive step by step for complete victory in the revolution. Hence, reliance on the masses to build revolutionary base areas and use the countryside to encircle the cities is a historic task which the oppressed nations and peoples in the world today must seriously study and tackle in their fight to seize political power by force of arms.
Not only has Comrade Mao Tse-tung creatively developed Leninism on the question of the seizure of political power by the proletariat, he has made an epoch-making creative development of Leninism on the most important question of our time - the question of consolidating the dictatorship of the proletariat and preventing the restoration of capitalism.
From the first day of the victory of the October Revolution, Lenin paid close attention to the consolidation of the new-born Soviet state power. He recognized the sharp and protracted nature of class struggle under the dictatorship of the proletariat, pointing out that "the transition from capitalism to communism takes an entire historical epoch. Until this epoch is over, the exploiters inevitably cherish the hope of restoration, and this hope turns into attempts at restoration."
The biggest lesson in the history of the international communist movement in the last fifty years is the restoration of capitalism in the Soviet Union and other socialist countries. This harsh fact has strikingly brought the Marxist-Leninists of the world face to face with the question of how to consolidate the dictatorship of the proletariat and prevent the restoration of capitalism.
It is Comrade Mao Tse-tung, the great leader of the world proletariat of our time, who in the new historical conditions, has systematically summed up the historical experience of the dictatorship of the proletariat in the world, scientifically analysed the contradictions in socialist society, profoundly shown the laws of class struggle in socialist society and put forward a whole set of theory, line, principles, methods and policies for the continuation of revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat. With supreme courage and wisdom, Chairman Mao has successfully led the first great proletarian cultural revolution in history. This is an extremely important landmark, demonstrating that Marxism-Leninism has developed into the stage of Mao Tse-tung's thought.
The victory of the great proletarian revolution has opened up in China, which has a quarter of the world's population, a bright path for consolidating the dictatorship of the proletariat and for carrying the socialist revolution through to the end. The proletariat and the revolutionary people of the world who are fighting imperialism, modern revisionism and all reaction resolutely support our great proletarian cultural revolution. They find in the victory of this revolution tremendous inspiration, bright prospects and greater confidence in victory.
The imperialists headed by the United States and their lackeys the modern revisionists and all the reactionaries have taken great pains to curse and vilify our great proletarian cultural revolution. This proves by negative example that our victory has dealt the enemy a very heavy blow and that they are nothing but a bunch of vampires that are bound to be destroyed.
The world is moving forward. And theory which reflects the laws of the world, is likewise developing continuously.
Mao Tse-tung's thought is the banner of our era.
Once Mao Tse-tung's thought - Marxist-Leninist at its highest in the present era - is grasped, the oppressed nations and peoples will, through their own struggles, be able to win liberation.
Once Mao Tse-tung's thought - Marxism-Leninism at its highest in the present era - is grasped, the people of those countries where political power has been usurped by the revisionists will, through their own struggles, be able to overthrow the rule of revisionism and re-establish the dictatorship of the proletariat.
Once Marxism-Leninism, Mao Tse-tung's thought is integrated with the revolutionary practice of the people of all countries, the entire old world will be shattered to smithereens.
Comrades, young Red Guard fighters and friends:
The fifty years since the October Revolution have been years of fierce struggle between socialism and capitalism and between Marxism-Leninism and modern revisionism., with the former winning one victory after an other. The imperialist system resembles a dying person who is sinking fast, like the sun setting beyond the western hills. The emergence of Khrushchov revisionism is a product of imperialist policy and reflects the death-bed struggle of imperialism. Although imperialism and revisionism will go on making trouble in collusion with each other, the reactionary adverse current can, after all, never become the main current. The dialectics of history is irresistible. Henceforth the proletariat and the revolutionary people of the world will raise still higher the great red banner of Marxism-Leninism, Mao Tse-tung's thought, and march forward in giant strides along the road opened up by the October Revolution!
Those who betray the October Revolution can never escape the punishment of history. Khrushchov has long since fallen. In redoubling its efforts to peruse the policy of betrayal, the Brezhnev-Kosygin clique will not last long either. The proletariat and the working people of the Soviet Union, with their glorious tradition of revolution, will never forget the teachings of the great Lenin and Stalin. They are sure to rise in revolution under the banner of Leninism, overthrow the rule of the reactionary revisionist clique and bring the Soviet Union back into the orbit of socialism.
Comrades, young Red Guard fighters and friends!
The situation in our great motherland is excellent. Under the guidance of the latest instructions of the great leader Chairman Mao, the great proletarian cultural revolution is forging ahead victoriously.
We must raise still higher the great banner of the October Revolution and the great banner of Marxism-Leninism, Mao Tse-tung's thought, and carry the great proletarian cultural revolution through to the end.
We must build our great motherland into a still more powerful base for world revolution.
We must give ever more vigorous support to the revolutionary struggles of the proletariat and the people of all countries.
We must together with the revolutionary people everywhere, carry through to the end the struggle against U.S.-led imperialism and against modern revisionism with the Soviet revisionist renegade clique at its centre.
We must intensify our efforts in studying and mastering Mao Tse-tung's thought and disseminate it still more widely throughout the world.
These are glorious tasks entrusted to the people of our country by history, and they are our incumbent internationalist duty.
Our great leader Chairman Mao has given the call: "Let the Marxist-Leninists of all countries unite, let the revolutionary people of the whole world unite and overthrow imperialism, modern revisionism and all reaction. A new world without imperialism, without capitalism and without exploitation of man by may will surely be built."
Let us fight with courage for the realization of this great call of Chairman Mao's!
Long live the Great October Socialist Revolution!
Long live the great proletarian cultural revolution!
Workers of all countries unite!
Workers of all countries unite with the oppressed peoples and oppressed nations!
Long live the invincible Marxism, Leninism, Mao Tse-tung's thought!
Long live the great teacher, great leader, great supreme commander, great helmsman Chairman Mao! A long, long life to him!
Back tohttp://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/lin-biao/1967/11/06.htm Reference Archive
Today when many speak of the collapse of socialism, it is appropriate to pose the following question: what has collapsed with the ruling regimes in the Soviet Union and other countries? What were the aims of socialism and to what extent were they realised in the so-called socialist countries? Why was socialism in the Soviet Union twice betrayed, first by Stalin and the Stalinists and a second time by Gorbachev and his clique?
When we consider these questions, we arrive at the conclusion that the aim of socialism is the establishment of social equality among men.
It is no accident that official public opinion has always judged the conditions in those countries with nationalised property from the standpoint of the extent to which the principles of social equality were upheld. In this regard one sometimes comes across interesting examples.
One of my colleagues, who is frequently in Spain, related the following story: a well-known singer, a dissident from Cuba, recently appeared on Spanish television. With tears in her eyes she spoke of the privileges which existed in Cuba. She reported that party bureaucrats who were sick got single rooms in the hospitals, i.e., enjoyed privileges. All those who heard the program could only think "look at the privileges they have in Cuba!"
No one noticed that on the same day, a Madrid newspaper reported that the president of a leading stock company didn't attend a major shareholders' meeting because he had flown to his doctor in America, in a private aeroplane, for a consultation. The incident didn't provoke any particular attention. After all who could expect any sort of social equality and justice under capitalism?
Although such facts have been often used for openly demagogic purposes, ordinary people using their moral and social instincts have regarded the privileges which existed in the Soviet Union and the other nominally socialist countries as something which has distorted their picture and ideal of socialism.
Marxism has repeatedly raised the question of social equality and attempted to resolve it, in both a practical and theoretical sense. In their estimation of the Paris Commune, Marx and Engels regarded the fact that the wage of an official was not to exceed that of a worker to be of great significance. They regarded this measure as an effective way of preventing the state from being transformed from an instrument which serves society into an institution which stands above society.
Lenin developed this idea in his book The State and Revolution. He wrote that the masses yearned for a government which guaranteed low prices and fair wages and which itself did not consume too much money. Such a government is in principle impossible under capitalism.
Lenin emphasised that in the Second International at that time there was a tendency to pass over these Marxist ideas in silence, treating them as naive conceptions out of sync with the times, rather like those ideologues of Christianity who, following the transformation of the church into a state institution, forgot that Christianity was originally revolutionary.
Shortly after the October Revolution a number of measures were adopted with the aim of reducing the social differences between specific groups. In order to preclude privileges for the functionaries, a so-called party maximum was introduced, i.e., an upper limit for the incomes of party officials. In the 1920s, for example, the following was standard practice: a factory director who was a party member received 300 rubles for his work. The director of a similar factory who was not a party member could expect an income of 500 rubles.
In the 1920s there were workers who for a time occupied the position of town party secretary and then returned to their original place at the work bench. This didn't occur because of any blot on the record of the worker/party secretary. Rather it was a perfectly normal transition.
The situation changed in 1923 when Lenin, as a result of his illness, withdrew from leading positions. Now the emerging bureaucracy worked towards securing definite privileges.
It was no accident that the Left Opposition came into being in 1923 and attracted many of the old Bolsheviks. From the beginning it sounded the alarm regarding the development of bureaucratic methods inside the party and the workers state.
At the time, in the conflict between the ruling faction and the Left Opposition, relatively little was said about the question of privileges. But the social essence of the acute struggle between the two wings can only be understood in connection with the opposing positions taken regarding social equality and justice.
In 1925 a leader of the Opposition, Zinoviev, wrote that the working class strove for more social equality. It was just a brief comment in a long article. Zinoviev was not objecting in principle to the difference in wages for skilled and unskilled work. Stalin, however, concentrated his report to the 14th party conference on this small passage.
He maintained that Zinoviev was rejecting the thesis put forward in the Critique of the Gotha Program, where Marx maintains that in the transitional period between socialism and communism differences with regard to wages would continue to exist. The Opposition, according to Stalin, was attacking the income of the skilled worker as well as the meagre wages of the hard-working peasant. In reality, behind these demagogic words lay the attempt to defend those privileges which the bureaucracy had begun to accumulate.
Looking back, Trotsky remarked that Stalin's supporters, like those of the Left Opposition, belonged to the same social milieu. But the latter consciously broke away from their social interests and defended the interests of the sans-culottes -- the workers and peasants.
Following his victory over the Left Opposition, Stalin introduced decisive changes into the ideology of the ruling party. He put forward the thesis that the main principle of socialism was that everyone should be paid in accordance with his performance. In an attempt to elaborate on the content of this principle, none of the Soviet economic experts were able to explain how it was possible to compare the work of a miner with that of a doctor, the activities of a ballerina with those of a steel worker.
After Stalin's death, despite criticism of his political rule, none of his successors questioned this principle. All of them vigorously opposed what they called "levelling."
In reality the principle of payment for performance is a bourgeois principle. It only has significance when one interprets it in a liberal fashion: everyone is rewarded according to the results of his or her work, and this is realised on the free market in the interaction of supply and demand. It is clear that an immediate consequence of such market economy principles is the growth of inequality. The function of the bourgeois state is precisely to maintain this inequality.
Marx and Lenin predicted that every state arising from a socialist revolution would have a dual character: on the one hand a socialist character which defends socialised property against capitalist restoration, and on the other hand a bourgeois character, in so far as the state is obliged for a period to maintain certain privileges for a minority and preside over inequality. They therefore described the transitional state as a "bourgeois" workers state, even though there would be no bourgeoisie. According to Marxist doctrine this inequality must recede the more society develops in a socialist direction and the state correspondingly begins to wither away.
Since the middle of the 1920s, the situation in the Soviet Union developed in an opposite direction. The ruling bureaucracy excluded the workers from any sort of participation in the distribution of material goods and transformed itself into a powerful caste of those controlling the distribution of these goods. By the mid-1930s the disproportion with regard to inequality and the lack of social justice in the Soviet Union exceeded that which existed in the developed capitalist countries.
When we speak of the privileges in the Soviet Union, we must bear in mind that in the 1920s and 1930s the country was very poor and backward. That is why for us today the privileges at that time can appear inconsequential in comparison with modern-day Germany. But for the consciousness of the ordinary people, they had enormous significance. A new atmosphere developed in society. Whereas in earlier periods wealthier citizens were somewhat ashamed of their wealth, now they were proud of it.
The wife of the well-known Soviet poet Ossip Mandelstam, Nadezhda Mandelstam, wrote in her memoirs: "With us it was often the case that even a piece of bread was reckoned as a privilege." She related the case of a young man in a distribution station where the privileged received special food rations. The young man was eating a piece of beefsteak which had been allocated for his father-in-law and commented: "It tastes so good and pleasant because no one else has it."
Mandelstam added that medicine was also distributed in this way. Better medicine was reserved for the social elite. On one occasion she was admonishing a pensioned functionary when the latter retorted in an astonished voice: "What are you thinking of? Should I be treated like a cleaning woman?" Mandelstam added that this official was in reality a very decent and good-natured man, but that such attitudes had become widespread at the high-point of the struggle against levelling.
In attempting to overcome its isolation, the bureaucracy allowed other sections of the population to share in the privileges: the aristocracy of the working class, the kolkhoz (collective farm) aristocracy and, above all, the top layers of the intelligentsia. The securing of privileges could not be carried through without arousing resistance from a large part of the Communist Party. In this respect Trotsky wrote: "In a country which has undergone the October Revolution, it is not possible to cultivate inequality other than by resorting to ever more severe measures of repression."
Trotsky traced the totalitarian character of the state and its resort to mass terror to the drive of the bureaucracy to secure and retain its privileges. It could not permit social protest to spill over into open forms of class struggle.
Following Stalin's death, the social development of the Soviet Union did not follow a straight line. After the loss of its main lever of totalitarian power, the bureaucracy was forced to make certain concessions to the masses' strivings for equality.
Immediately after Stalin's death, various social reforms and social programs were introduced to improve the situation of the poorly paid and less fortunate layers of the population. In the following decade their standard of living improved, while the situation of the ruling bureaucracy, and also the better-off sections of the intelligentsia, worsened in a relative sense.
The concealed conflict between these layers of the intelligentsia and the bureaucracy, which broke out into the open in the 1960s and '70s, was rooted in this development. The external expression of this conflict was, on the one hand, the dissident movement, and, on the other, emigration.
The source of this conflict was not only the intelligentsia's striving for greater intellectual and spiritual freedom and access to power. It was also a reaction to the loss of privileges and material advantages which this layer had enjoyed under Stalin. As for the bureaucracy, it responded to the loss of privileges with an unprecedented level of corruption.
Despite the general improvement in living standards in the 1960s, one could describe the social conditions with Trotsky's words: although there was no exploitation in the classic sense of the word, the conditions of life for working people in the Soviet Union were still worse than those of workers suffering exploitation in the capitalist countries. Because it did not possess its own forms of property, the bureaucracy did not represent a propertied class in the real sense of the word. Nevertheless, it exhibited all the negative attributes of the previous ruling class.
In the consciousness of the popular masses, the formation of deep-going social differences devalued the great social achievements of the October Revolution -- the socialisation of the means of production and of the land. In the eyes of working people and the peasantry, the bureaucracy brought socialism into disrepute. It drove them, to a certain extent, to seek a solution other than socialism.
Trotsky had shown that the contradiction between the forms of property and the forms of distribution could not continue to develop indefinitely. The contradiction would have to be resolved one way or another. Either the forms of distribution would have to accommodate themselves to the socialist property relations, i.e., they would have to become more egalitarian, or the bourgeois principle would reach beyond distribution and consume the forms of property.
Proceeding from this thesis, Trotsky developed many prognoses which contained two possible variants. The first might be called revolutionary, the second, counter-revolutionary. Unfortunately the second, counter-revolutionary alternative was realised. And it was realised to an astonishing degree in conformity with Trotsky's warnings, albeit with some delay. (If even the most brilliant prognoses were realised to the letter, i.e., exactly as their authors had imagined, then we would be talking about prophecy, and history would have a mystical character.)
As Trotsky had foreseen, the first serious convulsion led to the social antagonisms rising to the surface. In the first years of perestroika, nothing indicated that things would end with the restoration of capitalism. On the contrary, in 1985, '86 and '87 Gorbachev called for more socialism and the restoration of the Leninist vision of Bolshevism.
In this context, it is interesting to note that the only politician of significance who attacked Gorbachev from the left was Yeltsin. As you are all familiar with the present-day politician Yeltsin, it is interesting to hear a few of his political utterances from earlier times.
At the 1986 party conference, Yeltsin enthusiastically and approvingly quoted Lenin's words: "Social inequality destroys democracy, leads to the decay of the party and diminishes the reputation of the party."
Three years later, he posed the rhetorical question in parliament: "Why do millions of people in our society live below the poverty line, while others literally live like lords and wallow in luxury?"
In his book, which appeared in 1991, one can read the following passage: "I cannot eat sturgeon when I know that my neighbours are not even able to buy milk for their children. I am ashamed to use expensive medicine because I know that many of my fellow citizens are not even able to afford aspirin."
And in his election campaign he promised that his policies would, in the first instance, serve the people whose incomes fell below the average. It was only due to this slogan, which appealed to the popular sense of justice, that Yeltsin was able to come to power.
The development of perestroika since 1988 has confirmed that the dismantling of the socialist foundations of society culminated in a capitalist order, or more precisely, in a capitalist chaos. This process has been accompanied by a catastrophic decline of culture and the economy.
The capitalism which is now emerging will not be a new edition of pre-revolutionary Russian capitalism, because the world has moved closer together since 1917. International finance capital is incomparably more powerful. For this reason, Russia's return to a state of semi-colonial exploitation is the only possibility. In achieving this, the forces of capitalist restoration can only realise their aims through years of civil war and the plundering of the country which Soviet power built up.
Conditions in the country over the last five years can be described in a phrase which has become quite popular in Russia of late, "creeping civil war." This creeping civil war discharges itself from time to time in a shooting war, for example with the bombarding of parliament in 1993, or the war in Chechnya which cannot be brought to an end, despite all the promises emanating from ruling circles.
As far as the country's devastation is concerned, history has never witnessed such destruction of the productive forces in peacetime as has taken place in Russia and the other former republics of the USSR over the last five years. A certain continuity between the earlier and present regimes can be observed. One could say that the present regime has taken over the bad sides of the former Soviet regime and has multiplied the evil with the addition of the bad sides of capitalist society.
Trotsky said: "The secret income of the bureaucracy is nothing other than theft, and outside this relatively legal theft exists an illegal ultra-theft to which Stalin" -- and today Yeltsin -- "closes his eyes because these thieves are his closest social support." The ruling bureaucracy cannot react in any other way than to resort to systematic thievery. This creates a system of bureaucratic gangsterism.
When one considers the tragic fate of our country, one can justifiably say that the October Revolution brought much more for the workers in other countries than for the workers of the Soviet Union. The challenge of socialism forced the capitalist countries to make quite large social concessions to their working classes. The intervention of the state into the relations of production, distribution and exchange in order to resolve social problems is a general law of this century which present day capitalism still has to take into account.
In all the capitalist countries in the second half of the 20th century there was a certain limitation of capitalist freedom. This included, for example, a minimum wage and other guarantees for working people in the advanced capitalist countries. Over decades an active redistribution took place: on one side, the development of social programs for those possessing little, on the other side, a strict control over income, and based on this a strict taxation policy. These measures not only influenced the social situation, but also the economic. They increased demand in the population and were a countervailing tendency to overproduction in the developed capitalist countries.
However, capitalism has still not been able to abolish social inequality. This inequality can be seen in every country, and also between developed and less developed countries -- in the current terminology, between North and South.
It is important to note that the break-up of the Soviet Union into a series of second-rate states has presaged the destruction of the welfare state in the advanced capitalist countries. The attempt is being made to eliminate social gains which were achieved over decades.
At the same time, I would like to stress that up until now no real socialist path has been attempted in any country which called itself socialist. The socialist alternative, which was developed by the Left Opposition in the 1920s and '30s, consists in containing inequality by strict economic measures and, with the increasing development of society, ensuring that the different social groups become more and more equal.
As long as the contradiction between the privileged and the poor exists in the world, the basis remains for the development of new social and political movements. The success of these movements will depend on the degree to which they draw lessons from the negative and positive experiences of socialist construction.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
|"The City of Joy"|
|— Metropolitan City —|
|5,138,208 (4th) (2010[update]) |
• 27,462 /km2 (71,126 /sq mi)
• 15,644,040 (3rd) (2010[update])
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
|1,480 km2 (571 sq mi) |
• 9 m (30 ft)
Kolkata ( Kolkata (help·info) (Bengali: কলকাতা) ; IPA: [ˈkolkat̪a], formerly called Calcutta (help·info)), is the capital of the Indian state of West Bengal. Kolkata is the cultural capital of India and the commercial capital of Eastern India. It is located in eastern India on the east bank of the Hooghly River. The Kolkata metropolitan area including suburbs has a population exceeding 15 million, making it the third most populous metropolitan area in India and one of the most populous urban areas in the world. The city is also classified as the eighth largest urban agglomeration in the world.
Kolkata served as the capital of India during the British Raj until 1912. Since the year 2001, economic rejuvenation has spurred on the city's growth with extensive urbanization, commercialization and job creation. Kolkata boasts of Eastern India's only IT hub, its Software sector growth by large growing in leaps and bounds transforming Kolkata as one of the Hotbeds of Indian IT Industry. It has one of the fastest developing corporate sectors with an influx of a plethora of multinational corporations.
Kolkata is noted for its revolutionary history, ranging from the Indian struggle for independence to the leftist and trade union movements. Kolkata was the Launchpad of the Bengal Renaissance era of the 19th Century.
The name Kolkata and the anglicised name Calcutta have their roots in Kalikata, the name of one of the three villages (Kalikata, Sutanuti, Govindapur) in the area before the arrival of the British. "Kalikata", in turn, is believed to be a version of Kalikshetra (Bengali: কালীক্ষেত্র, "Land of [the goddess] Kali"). Alternatively, the name may have been derived from the Bengali term kilkila ("flat area"). Again, the name may have its origin in the indigenous term for a natural canal, Khal, followed by Katta (which may mean dug). Another theory is that the place used to specialize in quicklime (kalicun) and coir rope (kátá) and hence the place was called Kalikátá.
While the city's name was always pronounced "Kolkata" or "Kolikata" in the local Bengali language, its official English name was changed from "Calcutta" to "Kolkata" in 2001, reflecting the Bengali pronunciation. Some view this as a move to erase the legacy of British rule. This change has not always been reflected by overseas media, but news sources like the BBC have opted to call Bombay Mumbai and Calcutta Kolkata.
The discovery of the nearby Chandraketugarh, an archaeological site, provides evidence that the area has been inhabited for over two millennia. The city's documented history, however, begins with the arrival of the English East India Company in 1690, when the Company was consolidating its trade business in Bengal. Job Charnock, an administrator with the Company was traditionally credited as the founder of this city. However some academics have recently challenged the view that Charnock was the founder of the city, and in response to a public interest litigation the High Court ruled in 2003 that the city does not have a specific founder.
At that time Kolkata, under direct rule of the Nawab of Bengal Siraj-Ud-Daulah, comprised three villages Kalikata, Govindapur and Sutanuti. The British in the late 17th century wanted to build a fort near Govindapur in order to consolidate their power over other foreign powers—namely the Dutch, the Portuguese, and the French. In 1702, the British completed the construction of old Fort William, which was used to station its troops and as a regional base. Calcutta was declared a Presidency City, and later became the headquarters of the Bengal Presidency. Faced with frequent skirmishes with French forces, in 1756 the British began to upgrade their fortifications. When protests against the militarisation by the Nawab of Bengal Siraj-Ud-Daulah went unheeded he attacked and captured Fort William, leading to the infamous Black Hole of Calcutta incident. A force of Company sepoys and British troops led by Robert Clive recaptured the city the following year. Calcutta was named the capital of British India in 1772, and starting in 1864 during the summer months, the capital was temporarily shifted to the hill station of Shimla. In the early 19th century the marshes surrounding the city were drained and the government area was laid out along the banks of the Hooghly River. Richard Wellesley, the Governor General between 1797–1805, was largely responsible for the growth of the city and its public architecture which led to the description of Calcutta as "The City of Palaces". The city was a centre of the British East India Company's opium trade during the 18th and 19th century; locally produced opium was sold via auctions in Kolkata by a company called J. Thomas & Company Private Ltd. (which is still in existence at Kolkata and are at present, the largest auctioneers of tea in the world) , to be shipped to China.
By the early 19th century, Kolkata was split into two distinct areas—one British (known as the White Town), the other Indian (known as Black Town). The city underwent rapid industrial growth from the 1850s, especially in the textile and jute sectors; this caused a massive investment in infrastructure projects like railroads and telegraph by British government. The coalescence of British and Indian culture resulted in the emergence of a new Babu class of urbane Indians — whose members were often bureaucrats, professionals, read newspapers, were Anglophiles, and usually belonged to upper-caste Hindu communities. Throughout the nineteenth century, a socio-cultural reform, often referred to as the Bengal Renaissance resulted in the general uplifting of the people. In 1883, Surendranath Banerjee organised a national conference — the first of its kind in nineteenth century India. Gradually Calcutta became a centre of the Indian independence movement, especially revolutionary organisations. The 1905 Partition of Bengal on communal grounds resulted in widespread public agitation and the boycott of British goods (Swadeshi movement). These activities, along with the administratively disadvantageous location of Calcutta in the eastern fringes of India, prompted the British to move the capital to New Delhi in 1911.
The city and its port were bombed several times by the Japanese during World War II, the first occasion being 20 December 1942, and the last being 24 December 1944. During the War, millions starved to death during the Bengal famine of 1943, caused by a combination of military, administrative and natural factors. In 1946, demands for the creation of a Muslim state led to large-scale communal violence resulting in the deaths of over 4,000 people. The partition of India also created intense violence and a shift in demographics — large numbers of Muslims left for East Pakistan, while hundreds of thousands of Hindus fled into the city. Over the 1960s and 1970s, severe power shortages, strikes and a violent Marxist-Maoist movement — the Naxalites — damaged much of the city's infrastructure, leading to a period of economic stagnation. In 1971, war between India and Pakistan led to the mass influx of thousands of refugees into Kolkata resulting in a massive strain on its infrastructure. In the mid-1980s, Bombay, now Mumbai, overtook Kolkata as India's most populous city. Kolkata has been a strong base of Indian communism as West Bengal has been ruled by the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI(M))-dominated Left Front for 32 years now — the world's longest-running democratically elected communist government. The city's economic recovery gathered momentum after economic reforms in India introduced by the central government in the mid-1990s. Since 2000, Information Technology (IT) services have revitalized the city's stagnant economy. The city is also experiencing a growth in the manufacturing sector.
Kolkata is located in eastern India at Ganges Delta at an elevation ranging between 1.5 m (5 ft) to 9 m (30 ft). It is spread linearly along the banks of the River Hooghly in a north-south direction. Much of the city was originally a vast wetland, reclaimed over the decades to accommodate the city's burgeoning population. The remaining wetland, known as East Calcutta Wetlands has been designated a "wetland of international importance" under the Ramsar Convention.in the
Like the most of the Indo-Gangetic plains, the predominant soil type is alluvial. Quaternary sediments consisting of clay, silt, various grades of sand and gravel underlie the city. These sediments are sandwiched between two clay beds, the lower one at depths between 250 m (820 ft) and 650 m (2,133 ft) and the upper one ranging between 10 m (33 ft) and 40 m (131 ft) in thickness. According to the Bureau of Indian Standards, the town falls under seismic zone-III, in a scale of I to V (in order of increasing proneness to earthquakes) while the wind and cyclone zoning is "very high damage risk", according to UNDP report.
 Urban structure
Kolkata city is ranked as Gamma World City. It is the cultural capital of India as well. Kolkata city, under the jurisdiction of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC), has an area of 185 km2 (71 sq mi). The Kolkata urban agglomeration (Kolkata Metropolitan Area), however, is spread over 1,750 km2 (676 sq mi), and comprises 157 postal areas, as of 2006. The urban agglomeration is formally administered by several local governments including 38 local municipalities. The urban agglomeration comprises 72 cities and 527 towns and villages. The suburban areas of Kolkata metropolitan district incorporates parts of the districts North 24 Parganas, South 24 Parganas, Howrah, Hooghly and Nadia.
The east-to-west dimension of the city is narrow, stretching from the Hooghly River in the west to roughly the Eastern Metropolitan Bypass in the east, a span of barely 5 km (3.1 mi)–6 km (3.7 mi). The north-south expansion is roughly divided into North, Central and South Kolkata. North Kolkata locality is the oldest part of the city, with 19th century architecture and narrow alleyways. South Kolkata grew mostly after independence of India and consists of posh localities such as Ballygunge, Alipore, New Alipore. The Salt Lake City (Bidhannagar) area to the northeast of the city is a planned section of Kolkata. Rajarhat, also called New Town, is a planned township being developed on the north-eastern fringes of the city.
Central Kolkata houses the central business district around the B. B. D. Bagh area. The government secretariat, General Post Office, High Court, Lalbazar Police HQs and several other government and private offices are located here. The Maidan is a large open field in the heart of the city where several sporting events and public meetings are held. Several companies have set up their offices around the area south of Park Street which has become a secondary central business district.
Kolkata has a tropical wet-and-dry climate (Köppen climate classification Aw). The annual mean temperature is 26.8 °C (80.2 °F); monthly mean temperatures range from 19 °C (66.2 °F) to 30 °C (86.0 °F). Summers are hot and humid with temperatures in the low 30's and during dry spells the maximum temperatures often exceed 40 °C (104 °F) during May and June. Winter tends to last for only about two and a half months, with seasonal lows dipping to 9 °C – 11 °C (54 °F – 57 °F) between December and January. The highest recorded temperature is 43.9 °C (111.0 °F) and the lowest is 5 °C (41.0 °F). On an average, May is the hottest month with daily temperatures ranging from a low of 27 °C (80.6 °F) to a maximum of 37 °C (98.6 °F), while January the coldest month has temperatures varying from a low of 12 °C (53.6 °F) to a maximum of 23 °C (73.4 °F). Often during early summer, dusty squalls followed by spells of thunderstorm or hailstorms and heavy rains with ice sleets lash the city, bringing relief from the humid heat. These thunderstorms are convective in nature, and is locally known as Kal baisakhi (Bengali: কালবৈশাখী, Nor'westers).
Rains brought by the Bay of Bengal branch of South-West monsoon lash the city between June and September and supplies the city with most of its annual rainfall of 1,582 mm (62 in). The highest rainfall occurs during the monsoon in August—306 mm (12 in). The city receives 2,528 hours of sunshine per annum, with the maximum sunlight occurring in March. Pollution is a major concern in Kolkata, and the Suspended Particulate Matter (SPM) level is high when compared to other major cities of India, leading to regular smog and haze. Severe air pollution in the city has caused rise in pollution-related respiratory ailments such as lung cancer.
|Climate data for Kolkata|
|Average high °C (°F)|| 26.6|
|Average low °C (°F)|| 13.9|
|Precipitation mm (inches)|| 16.8|
|Source:  2010-03-21|
Kolkata is the main business, commercial and financial hub of eastern India and the northeastern states. It is home to the Calcutta Stock Exchange — India's second-largest bourse. Kolkata was ranked the hardest Indian city in which to do business in 2009.
Until recently, flexible production had always been the norm in Kolkata, and the informal sector has comprised more than 40% of the labour force. For example, roadside hawkers generated business worth Rs. 8,772 crore (around 2 billion U.S. dollars) in 2005. State and federal government employees make up a large percentage of the city's workforce. The city has a large unskilled and semi-skilled labour population, along with other blue-collar and knowledge workers. Kolkata's economic revival was led largely by IT services, with the IT sector growing at 70% yearly — twice that of the national average. Kokata's IT hub Saltlake Sector 5 has emerged as one of the Major IT Hub of India. In recent years there has been a surge of investments in the housing infrastructure sector with several new projects coming up in the city led by Big Real Estate Undertakings like Keppel Corporation, DLF, Unitech, Shapoorji Pallonji etc. As an Alternative IT destination to Saltlake Sector 5 the Rajarhat- Newtown area in the North-East Fringes of Kolkata has been alloted as an ultramodern integrated tech city offering modern work spaces to IT/ITES companies clubbed with service apartments retail and recreational and residential components. Kolkata is home to many industrial units operated by large Indian corporations with products ranging from electronics to jute. Some notable companies headquartered in Kolkata include ITC Limited, India Government Mint, Kolkata, Haldia Petrochemicals (eastern India's first and only PetroChem undertaking), Exide Industries, Hindustan Motors, Britannia Industries, Bata India, Birla Corporation, CESC Limited, Coal India Limited, Damodar Valley Corporation, PwC India, Amconics International Ltd., RP Infosystems (First OEM Computer manufacterers from East india) , Peerless Group, United Bank of India, UCO Bank and Allahabad Bank. Recently, various events like adoption of "Look East" policy by the government of India, opening of the Nathu La Pass in Sikkim as a border trade-route with China and immense interest in the South East Asian countries to enter the Indian market and invest have put Kolkata in an advantageous position.
 Civic administration
|Kolkata City officials|
|Police Commissioner|| |
Gautam Mohan Chakraborty
The civic administration of Kolkata is executed by several government agencies, and consists of overlapping structural divisions. At least five administrative definitions of the city are available; listed in ascending order of area, those are:
- Kolkata District,
- the Kolkata Police area,
- the Kolkata Municipal Corporation area ("Kolkata city"),
- "Greater Kolkata", which includes the KMC area and a few neighbourhoods adjacent to it, and
- the urban agglomeration or Kolkata Metropolitan Area (Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority (KMDA) is responsible for the statutory planning and development of the metropolitan area).
Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC)- The governance of the city proper—the area within which KMC has a directly elected council of 141 ward councillors who elect a council Chairman and an executive Mayor. The Mayor, in turn chooses a Deputy Mayor and not more than 10 elected councillors to form the Mayor-in-Council which works like a cabinet. In addition, there is a Municipal Accounts Committee (MAC)of five to seven elected councillors, other than the MiC, chosen through proportional representation, to act like a public accounts committee (PAC), usually headed by the Leader of Opposition. The MiC was introduced in 1980 and the system has been replicated in other Municipalities and Panchayats as Mayor/ Chairperson-in-council during 1981-1991. No other state in India has introduced a system of political executive in local government.
The main functions of the KMC are water supply, drainage and sewerage, sanitation, solid wastes management, streets and public places, street lighting, and building regulation. Fire services are handled by a state agency- Kolkata Fire Brigade. Similarly, for the river port services, there is a Kolkata Port Trust, an agency of the central government.
Other authorities: the Collector of the Kolkata District, the Kolkata Police, the Collector/District Magistrate (DM) of South 24 Parganas District, and the Superintendent of Police (SP) of South 24 Parganas District. As of 2010, the All India Trinamool Congress holds the power in KMC, its mayor is Sovan Chatterjee while the deputy mayor is Farzana Alam. The city also has an apolitical titular post, that of the Sheriff of Kolkata.
As the capital of the state and the seat of the Government of West Bengal, Kolkata houses not only the offices of the local governing agencies, but also the West Bengal Legislative Assembly, the state Secretariat (Writers' Building) and the Calcutta High Court. Kolkata also has lower courts; the Small Causes Court for civil matters, and the Sessions Court for criminal cases. The Kolkata Police, headed by the Police Commissioner, comes under the West Bengal Home Ministry. The city elects three representatives to the Lok Sabha (India's lower house) and 21 representatives to the state Legislative Assembly.
 Utility services and media
The KMC supplies potable water to the city, sourced from the River Hooghly. The water is purified and treated at Palta water pumping station located in North 24 Parganas. Almost all of Kolkata's daily refuse of 2500 tonnes is transported to the dumping grounds in Dhapa to the east of the town. Agriculture on this dumping ground is encouraged for natural recycling of garbage and sewer water. Parts of the city still lack sewage facilities leading to unsanitary methods of waste disposal. Electricity is supplied by the privately operated Calcutta Electric Supply Corporation (CESC) to the city region, and by the West Bengal State Electricity Board in the suburbs. Frequent interruption of power supply was a problem until the mid 1990s; however the situation has since improved immensely with seldom power cuts occurring presently. The city has 20 fire stations (under West Bengal Fire Service) that attend to 7,500 fire and rescue calls on average per year.
State-owned BSNL and private enterprises like Vodafone, Airtel, Reliance Communications, Idea Cellular, Aircel, Tata DoCoMo, Tata Indicom, Virgin Mobile and MTS India are the leading telephone and cell phone service providers in the city. Cellular coverage is extensive with both GSM and CDMA services being available. Broadband internet penetration has steadily increased with BSNL, Tata Indicom, Sify, Airtel, Reliance and Alliance being the leading service providers.
Bengali language newspapers like Anandabazar Patrika, Bartaman, Sangbad Pratidin, Aajkaal, Dainik Statesman and Ganashakti are widely circulated. Popular English language newspapers published and sold in Kolkata include the Times of India, Hindustan Times, The Hindu, The Indian Express, The Statesman, The Telegraph and Asian Age. Some major periodicals are Desh, Sananda, Unish Kuri, Kindle, Anandalok and Anandamela. Being the biggest trading market in Eastern India, Kolkata has a substantial readership of many financial dailies including The Economic Times, The Financial Express, Business Line and Business Standard. Vernacular newspapers such as those in Hindi, Gujarati, Oriya, Urdu, Punjabi and Chinese are also read by a minority. All India Radio (AIR), the state-owned radio broadcaster, airs several AM radio stations in the city. Kolkata has 12 local FM radio stations, including two from AIR. The state-owned television broadcaster Doordarshan provides two free terrestrial channels, while four MSO provide a mix of Bengali, Hindi, English and other regional channels via cable. Bengali 24-hour television news channels include STAR Ananda, Tara Newz, Kolkata TV, 24 Ghanta, Ne Bangla, News Time, Channel 10, R-Plus, Mahuaa Bangla and Mahuaa Khabor .
The Kolkata Metro, run by the Indian Railways, is the oldest underground system in India since 1984. It runs parallel to the River Hooghly and spans the north-south length of the city covering a distance of 22.3 km. Buses are the preferred mode of transport and are run by both government agencies and private operators. Kolkata is India's only city to have a tram network, operated by Calcutta Tramways Company. The slow-moving tram services are restricted to certain areas of the city. Water-logging due to heavy rains during the monsoon sometimes interrupts the public transport.
Hired forms of mechanised transport include the yellow metered taxis, while auto rickshaws ply in specific routes. Almost all the taxis in Kolkata are Ambassadors. This is unlike most other cities where Tata Indicas or Fiats are more common. In some areas of the city, cycle rickshaws and hand-pulled rickshaws are also patronised by the public for short distances. Private owned vehicles are less in number and usage compared to other major cities due to the abundance in both variety and number of public vehicles. However, the city witnessed a steady increase in the number of registered vehicles; 2002 data showed an increase of 44% over a period of seven years. The road space (matched with population density) in the city is only 6%, compared to 23% in Delhi and 17% in Mumbai, creating major traffic problems. Kolkata Metro Railway and a number of new roads and flyovers have decongested the traffic to some extent.
Kolkata has three major long distance railway stations at Howrah, Kolkata (Chitpur) and Sealdah. A third station named Kolkata has been launched at Chitpur in early 2006. The city is the headquarters of two divisions of the Indian Railways — Eastern Railway and South Eastern Railway.
The Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose International Airport at Dum Dum to the north of the city, operates both domestic and international flights. The airport is presently being upgraded to accommodate increased air traffic. Kolkata is also a major riverport of eastern India. The Kolkata Port Trust manages both the Kolkata and Haldia docks. There are passenger services to Port Blair in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and cargo ship service to various ports in India and abroad, operated by the Shipping Corporation of India. There are ferry services as well, connecting Kolkata with its twin city of Howrah.
|Source: Census of India|
Residents of Kolkata are called Calcuttans. As of 2001, Kolkata city had a population of 4,580,544, while the urban agglomeration had a population of 13,216,546. Current estimates for 2009 project the city's population to be 5,080,519. The sex ratio is 928 females per 1000 males – which is lower than the national average, because many working males come from rural areas and less-developed states (mainly Bihar,UP), where they leave behind their families. Kolkata's literacy rate of 81% exceeds the all-India average of 66%. Kolkata Municipal Corporation area has registered a growth rate of 4.1%, which is the lowest among the million-plus cities in India.
Bengali comprise the majority of Kolkata's population , with Marwaris and Bihari (mainly migrant labourers) communities forming a large portion of the minorities . Some of Kolkata's minor communities include Chinese, Tamils, Nepalis, Oriyas, Telugus, Assamese, Gujaratis, Anglo-Indians, Armenians, Greeks, Tibetans, Maharashtrians, Punjabis and Parsis.
According to the census, 73% of the population in Kolkata is Hindu, 23% Muslim, 2% Christian and 1% Jains. Other minorities such as Sikhs, Buddhist, Jews and Zoroastrian constitute the rest of the city's population. 1.5 million people, who constitute about a third of the city's population, live in 2,011 registered and 3,500 unregistered (occupied by squatters) slums.
Kolkata reported 67.6% of total Special and Local Laws (SLL) crimes registered in 35 Indian mega cities in 2004. Kolkata police district registered 10,757 IPC cases in 2004, which was 10th highest in the country. The crime rate in the city was 71 per 100,000 against the national rate of 167.7 in 2006, which is the lowest among all the mega cities in India.
Kolkata has long been known for its literary, artistic and revolutionary heritage. As the former capital of India, Kolkata was the birthplace of modern Indian literary and artistic thought. Kolkatans tend to have a special appreciation for art and literature; its tradition of welcoming new talent has made it a City of Furious Creative Energy. For these reasons, Kolkata has often been dubbed as the Cultural Capital of India or the Literary Capital of India.
A characteristic feature of Kolkata is the para or neighbourhoods having a strong sense of community. Typically, every para has its own community club with a clubroom and often, a playing field. People here habitually indulge in adda or leisurely chat, and these adda sessions are often a form of freestyle intellectual conversation. The city has a tradition of political graffiti depicting everything from outrageous slander to witty banter and limericks, caricatures to propaganda.
Kolkata has many buildings adorned with Gothic, Baroque, Roman, Oriental and Indo-Islamic (including Mughal) motifs. Several major buildings of the Colonial period are well maintained and have been declared "heritage structures", while others are in various stages of decay. Established in 1814, the Indian Museum is the oldest museum in Asia and houses vast collection of Indian natural history and Indian art. The Victoria Memorial, one of the major tourist attractions in Kolkata, has a museum documenting the city's history. The National Library of India is India's leading public library. Academy of Fine Arts and other art galleries hold regular art exhibitions.
The city has a tradition of dramas in the form of jatra (a kind of folk-theatre), theatres and Group Theatres. Films from the Bengali cinema industry, dubbed "Tollywood". Tollygunj in Kolkata is the location of Bengali movie studios. Its long tradition of Art-Filmmaking includes Globally acclaimed directors such as Academy Award winning director Satyajit Ray, Mrinal Sen, Tapan Sinha and Ritwik Ghatak to contemporary directors such as Aparna Sen, Rituparno Ghosh and Anurag Basu.
Key elements of Kolkata's cuisine include rice and Machher jhol (fish curry), with roshogolla, sandesh and mishti doi (sweet yoghurt) as dessert. Bengal's vast repertoire of fish-based dishes includes various eelish preparations (a favorite among Bengalis). Vegetarian cuisines are generally without onion and garlic. Street foods such as beguni (fried battered eggplant slices), kati roll (flatbread roll with vegetable or chicken, mutton, or egg stuffing), phuchka (deep fried crêpe with tamarind and lentil sauce) and Indian Chinese cuisine from China Town in the eastern parts of the city are quite popular.
Bengali women commonly wear the shaŗi as per tradition and global/western outfits. Among men, western dressing has greater acceptance, though the traditional dhoti and panjabi/kurta comes to life on festivals.
Durga Puja is the most important and the most glamorous event in Kolkata. It usually takes place in the month of October, although it can also fall in September or November, depending on the traditional calendar. Other notable festivals include Jagaddhatri Puja, Diwali, Saraswati puja, Eid, Holi, Christmas, poila boishak (new year), Rath Yatra and Poush parbon (harvest festival). Some of the cultural festivals are Kolkata Book Fair, Dover Lane music festival, Kolkata Film Festival and National Theatre Festival.
Bengal has been nourished with a rich heritage of Literature. From the time of Chandidas and Krishnadas Kaviraja Goswami to present day literature stalwarts, Bengal and its capital has developed a significant soft infrastructure.In the nineteenth and twentieth century, Bengali literature was modernized in the works of authors such as Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay, Michael Madhusudan Dutt, Rabindranath Tagore, Kazi Nazrul Islam and Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay. The rich literary tradition set by these authors has been carried forward in the works of Jibanananda Das, Bibhutibhushan Bandopadhyay, Tarashankar Bandopadhyay, Manik Bandopadhyay, Ashapurna Devi, Shirshendu Mukhopadhyay, Buddhadeb Guha, Mahashweta Devi, Samaresh Majumdar, Sanjeev Chattopadhyay and Sunil Gangopadhyay among others.
The city is also noted for its appreciation of Rabindrasangeet and Indian classical music as well as Bengali folk music such as baul and Gaudiya kirtans-palla kirtans, gajan, purvaraga kirtans and lilas.
From the early 1990s, there has been an emergence of new genres of music, including fusions of Baul and Jazz by several Bangla bands as well as the emergence of what has been called Bengali Jeebonmukhi Gaan (a modern genre based on realism) by artists like Anjan Dutta, Kabir Suman, Nachiketa and Folk/Alternative Bands like Moheener Ghoraguli, Chandrabindoo, Bhoomi and Heavier Bengali Rock Bands like Insomnia, Cactus and Fossils. Major English Rock outfits from Kolkata incudes Cassini's Division, Skinny Alley and Krosswindz.
Kolkata's schools are either run by the state government or by private (many of which are religious) organisations. Schools mainly use Bengali or English as the medium of instruction, though Urdu is also used , especially in Central Kolkata. The schools are affiliated with the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education, the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education (ICSE), the Central Board for Secondary Education (CBSE), the National Institute of Open School (NIOS) and the A-Level (British Curriculum). Under the 10+2+3 plan, after completing their secondary education, students typically enroll in a 2 year junior college (also known as a pre-university) or in schools with a higher secondary facility affiliated with West Bengal Council of Higher Secondary Education, ICSE or CBSE. Students usually choose from one of three streams — liberal arts, commerce, or science, though vocational streams are also available. Upon completing the required coursework, students may enrol in general or professional degree programmes.
Kolkata houses nine universities and numerous colleges affiliated to them or to other universities located outside. The University of Calcutta (founded in 1857) has more than 200 affiliated colleges. Bengal Engineering & Science University and Jadavpur University are notable engineering universities. Calcutta Medical College is the first institution teaching modern medicine in Asia. Other notable institutions are Presidency College, St. Xavier's College, Bethune College (the first women's college in India) and Scottish Church College. Some institutions of national importance are the Asiatic Society, Bose Institute, S.N. Bose National Centre for Basic Sciences, the Indian Statistical Institute, the Indian Institute of Management, the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science, the Variable Energy Cyclotron Centre, the Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics, the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta, the West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences, the Marine Engineering and Research Institute, the Rabindra Bharati University, the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, the Calcutta Mathematical Society, the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, the West Bengal University of Technology and the National Institute of Fashion Technology.
Association football (sometimes referred to as 'soccer'), cricket and field hockey are popular sports in the city. Kolkata, a major centre of football activity in India and home of top national football clubs such as Mohun Bagan AC, Chirag United S.C., Mohammedan Sporting Club and East Bengal, is known as Mecca of Indian Football. Calcutta Football League, which started in 1898, is the oldest football league in Asia. Mohun Bagan AC, one of the oldest football clubs in Asia, is the only club to be entitled 'National Club of India'. Kolkata is also home to Kolkata Knight Riders IPL cricket team franchise.
As in the rest of India, cricket is extremely popular and is played throughout the city in its grounds and streets. Tournaments, especially those involving outdoor games like cricket, football, and badminton or indoor games like carrom are regularly organized on an inter-locality or inter-club basis. The maidan area hosts several minor football and cricket clubs and coaching institutes.
Notable sports stars from Kolkata include former Indian national cricket captains Sourav Ganguly and Pankaj Roy. Olympic tennis bronze medallist Leander Paes. Former football stars include Olympic medalist Sailen Manna, Chuni Goswami, P.K. Banerjee, and Subrata Bhattacharya.
The city is known for its large stadia. The Eden Gardens is one of only two 100,000-seat cricket stadiums in the world. Salt Lake Stadium (also known as Yuva Bharati Krirangan)—a multi-use stadium—is the world's third largest capacity football stadium. Calcutta Cricket and Football Club is the second-oldest cricket club in the world. Kolkata has three 18-hole golf courses at the Royal Calcutta Golf Club (the first golf club in the world outside Britain), Tollygunge Club and Fort William. The Royal Calcutta Turf Club (RCTC) holds regular equestrian races and polo matches. The Calcutta Polo Club is now considered as the oldest polo club of the world. The Calcutta South Club is the venue for some national and international tennis tournaments. From 2005, Sunfeast Open, a Tier-III tournament of Women's Tennis Association Tour, takes place in Netaji Indoor Stadium. The Calcutta Rowing Club hosts regular rowing races and training. Although it is a minor sport, Kolkata is considered the "capital" of rugby union in India. The city also gives its name to the name of the oldest international tournament in rugby union, the Calcutta Cup, which is of Indian workmanship.
 Sister cities
|Long Beach||United States|
 See also
- List of people from Kolkata
- Places of interest in Kolkata
- West Bengal
- List of million-plus cities in India
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|Books are collections of articles that can be downloaded or ordered in print.|
- Bennett, A; Hindle, J (1996), London Review of Books: An Anthology, Verso, pp. 63–70, ISBN 185984121X
- Chaudhuri, NC (2001), The Autobiography of an Unknown Indian, New York Review of Books, ISBN 094032282X
- Chaudhuri, S (1995), Calcutta: The Living City. Vol I and Vol II, Oxford University Press, USA, ISBN 0195636988
- Raj Bhavan of Kolkata: Two Hundred Years of Grandeur. Not Avail. 2003. xii, 140. ISBN 0670049956. http://www.amazon.com/Raj-Bhavan-Kolkata-Hundred-Grandeur/dp/0670049956/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1275892771&sr=8-5.
- Gandhi, R (1992), Patel: A Life, Navajivan, ISBN ASIN B0006EYQ0A
- Marcuse, P; van Kempen, R (2000), Globalizing Cities: A New Spatial Order?, Blackwell Publishers, ISBN 0631212906
- Marston, D (2001), The Seven Year's War, Osprey Publishing, ISBN 1841761915
- Mitra, A (1976), Calcutta Diary, Routledge (UK), ISBN 0714630829
- Mukherjee, SC (1991), The changing face of Calcutta: An architectural approach : Calcutta, 300, Government of West Bengal, ISBN B0000D6TXX
- Roy, A (2002), City Requiem, Calcutta: Gender and The Politics of Poverty, University of Minnesota Press, ISBN 0816639329
- Roy, A; Alsayyad (2004), Urban Informality: Transnational Perspectives from the Middle East, Latin America and South Asia, Lexington Books, ISBN 0739107410
- Sen, A (1973), Poverty and Famines, Oxford University Press, USA, ISBN 0-19-828463-2
- Singh, S (2003), Lonely Planet India (10 ed.), Lonely Planet, ISBN 1740594215
- Thomas, FC (1977), Calcutta Poor: Elegies on a City Above Pretense, M.E. Sharpe, ISBN 1563249812
- Kulke, Hermann (2009). Kolkata: Webster's Timeline History, 1690 - 2007. 4th edition. ICON Group International, Inc.. xii, 130. http://www.amazon.com/Kolkata-Websters-Timeline-History-1690/dp/B0027DNWKI/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1275892771&sr=8-1.
- Dutta, Krishna (2003), Calcutta: a cultural and literary history, Signal, 2003, ISBN 1902669592
- Government of India, Giuliana (2009). Beyond multiculturalism: views from anthropology. Ashgate Publishing Limited. ISBN 978 0 7546 7173 2.
- C. Thomas, Frederic (1997). Calcutta poor: elegies on a city above pretense. M. E. Sharpe, Inc.. ISBN 1-56324-981-2.
- Ghosh, Amitav (1996), The Calcutta Chromosome: A Novel of Fevers, Delirium and Discovery, Ravi Dayal Publisher., ISBN 81 7530 041 8, http://books.google.co.in/books?id=XHnhZVps4EQC&printsec=frontcover&dq=calcutta&lr=&cd=9#v=onepage&q&f=false
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