Samajik Parivartan Yatra and Conference in Bihar

Samajik Parivartan Yatra

THE CPI(ML) held a Samajik Parivartan Yatra (March for Social Change) all over Bihar to strengthen the unity and continuity between Bihar’s long struggles for social transformation and the Una uprising in Gujarat, as well as the many progressive and revolutionary movements for social assertion of the poor, oppressed and women that India has witnessed.

The Yatra began on 5 September at district centres of Bhojpur, Patna, Siwan, Darbhanga, Muzaffarpur, Arwal, Jehanabad, Nalanda and others.

At Patna, the Yatra began at Bhagat Singh Chowk, led by Gopal Ravidas, Bihar Secretary of the All India Agricultural and Rural Workers’ Association, peasant leader Kripanarayan Singh, youth leader Sadhu Sharan Das and others. Party Polit Bureau member Comrade Amar flagged off the Yatra. In the hilly regions of Patna district, the Yatra travelled through Bairiya, Sampatchak, Fatepur, Gaurichak, and Beldarichak, holding village meetings along the way. The Yatra then passed through Dhanarua, Masaurhi, Sain, Paliganj, Bikram, Naubatpur, Bihta, Maner and other blocks, ending the journey on 13 September.

Tarari MLA Sudama Prasad flagged off the Bhojpur leg of the Yatra, with a team that included RYA State President Manoj Manzil, Raju Yadav, Ajit Kushwaha, and other student and youth activists. In Jehanabad, member of the Control Commission Ramjatan Sharma, peasant leader and party state committee member Ramadhar Singh among others addressed meetings.

The Samajik Parivartan Yatra received an enthusiastic response in Bhojpur, with street corner meetings and village meetings in many villages which have been centres of the party’s movement. Meetings were held in villages including Bagar, Nonadih, Sikarhata, Dev, Kapurdihra, Sedaha, Baldih, Hasanbazar, Piro, Agiaon, Sahar, Khaira, Andhari, Mopti Bazar, Khutha, Bihta, Tarari, Karath, Jethvar, Fatepur, Bihiya, Banahi, Shahpur, Sasaram, Gajrajganj, Dhamar, Bibiganj, Sarthua, Chakardah, and others. In these meetings, pledges were taken to fulfil the dreams of Bhagat Singh, Ambedkar, Comrade Ram Naresh Ram and the martyrs of the ML movement, for socio-economic transformation, and villages resolved to resist communal hate-mongering, and uphold women’s rights and freedoms in all matters.
On 15 September, the Yatra reached the historic Lasadhi Shaheed Mela where peasants and labourers were martyred resisting the British Raj.

Throughout the Yatra, the legacies of India’s and Bihar’s many battles for social transformation were including those led by the Phules, Periyar, Ambedkar, the Naxalbari movement which is in its 50th anniversary year, as well as ongoing movements today at Una.

Samajik Parivartan Sammelan

ON 19 September, a massive Samajik Parivartan Sammelan was held in Sasaram. The Conference was addressed by AIARLA national President comrade Rameshwar Prasad, RYA Bihar state President comrade Manoj Manzil, well-known medical practitioner in Patna Dr. P.N.P. Pal, leader of the CPI(ML) legislative party in the Bihar Assembly comrade Mahbub Alam, AIKM national general secretary comrade Rajaram Singh, AIPWA national general secretary comrade Meena Tiwari, CPI(ML) CC member comrade Salim, and CPI(ML) general secretary comrade Dipankar Bhattacharya. The Conference was moderated by AIARLA national general secretary comrade Dhirendra Jha.

The speakers highlighted several issues, including the growing instances of social oppression and communal frenzy in Bihar which is ruled by a government which swears by ‘social justice’, the bail to Shahabuddin and the continuing incarceration of comrades Amarjeet Kushwaha and Satyadev Ram, the ongoing heroic Dalit struggle in Una, the continuing violence of cow vigilante groups in Haryana, Gujarat, Jharkhand and elsewhere, the recent communal violence in Bijnore, the continuing violence and state repression in Kashmir as well as the attack on an army base in Uri, and the victory of the United Left panel in JNU by defeating the ABVP-RSS agenda of #ShutDownJNU.

Addressing the open session, CPI(ML) general secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya said that the BJP and the RSS have launched a multi-pronged assault on people’s rights. National sovereignty is being compromised through increasingly close ties with the US, lynch mobs and state terror is being unleashed on Dalits and Muslims, farmers, peasants and workers are reeling under the impact of a disastrous economic policy of the Modi government. He also pointed out that the Naxalbari movement nearly 50 years back opened a path for Dalit liberation, and it is this path of Naxalbari that will lead to annihilation of caste and complete social transformation.

AIPWA general secretary Meena Tiwari spoke of the how the Nitish government, for all its tall claims of ensuring a ban on liquor in the state, has in fact for 10 years been responsible for creating and perpetuating alcoholism. Dr. Pal spoke of the urgent need for dialogue and unity between the Left movement and the Ambedkarite movement.

Jignesh Mevani, leader of the Una Dalit Atyachar Ladai Samiti, send a video message to the Samajik Parivartan Sammelan (see his message below).

The Samajik Parivartan Sammelan adopted several resolutions:

  1. The growing instances of social oppression and exploitation as well as communal frenzy in Bihar are extremely worrying. Incidents such as the murder of CPI(ML) Dalit leaders comrades Mahesh Ram, Ramparvesh Ram and Garo Paswan in Begusarai by BJP-backed feudal forces, pouring of urine in the mouths of some Dalit youth in Paru, Muzzafarpur, indicate that the Nitish Kumar government has voluntarily surrendered to the dominant feudal forces in the state. The brutal assault on the protest against the curtailment of financial assistance to students from Dalit and other deprived communities, and the stay on reservations in promotions in government jobs also reveal the real nature of the ‘social justice’ claims of this government. Not just this, under the Lalu-Nitish regime which loudly proclaims to be against communalism, riot-mongers were given a free run to fan communal riots and loot the property of Muslims in the Saran district. This is a gross insult to the 2015 mandate, and a betrayal of the aspirations of the poor, Dalits and minorities. This people’s conference calls for an intensified struggle for social transformation against the feudal-communal BJP and Sangh-affiliated forces, as well as against the anti social justice Lalu-Nitish government which has betrayed the 2015 electoral mandate.

  2. While on the one hand, RJD leader Md. Shahabuddin who is synonymous with terror and crime has been granted bail, on the other hand leaders of peoples’ movements such as Darauli MLA from our party comrade Satyadev Ram and RYA national president Amarjeet Kushwaha continue to remain incarcerated in jail under false charges. Shahabuddin’s release appears to be the next stage of the Patna High Court’s mass acquittal of all those accused in the Bathe-Bathani-Miyapur massacres. This conference calls for an intensification of the movement to ensure withdrawal of Shahabuddin’s bail and release of comrades Satyadev Ram and Amarjeet Kushwaha.

  3. The brutal assault on Dalits in Una, Gujarat, has exposed the real nature of the BJP’s so-called ‘Gujarat Model’. This conference welcomes the historic Dalit uprising against this pro-corporate, anti-Dalit, anti-minority ‘Gujarat Model’, and reiterates its commitment to annihilation of caste and for revolutionary social transformation against feudal and class-based slavery being freshly imposed on Dalits by the BJP.

  4. This conference strongly condemns the rape of two women in Haryana by members of cow vigilante gang that accused them of eating beef and appeals to people concerned about democracy across the country to robustly resist the Sangh’s gameplan to convert Haryana into another Gujarat.

  5. This conference strongly condemns the recent violence in Peda village of Bijnor in Uttar Pradesh, where communal frenzy was orchestrated over an issue of eve teasing, leading to four people from one family dead and 12 others seriously injured. With the forthcoming UP legislative assembly elections in mind, there have been constant attempts by the BJP to recreate the Muzaffarnagar scenario in UP. The role of the Samajwadi Party’s government in UP to rein in the BJP’s efforts in this regard has been extremely dubious. This conference appeals to the people of Uttar Pradesh to firmly defeat all attempts at communal polarisation in the state.

  6. The repression in Kashmir continues. Pellet guns are being used to kill Kashmiri civilians. This conference demands that instead of deploying military force on the Kashmiri people, the government should take steps towards a political resolution and initiate talks with all seriousness.

  7. This conference strongly condemns the terrorist attack on the army headquarters in Uri in Jammu and Kashmir, similar to the Pathankot attack, and extends condolences to the families of the 17 soldiers who have been killed. This attack underlines that the Modi Government’s war-mongering rhetoric on national security is in contrast to its failure to secure even the bases and camps of security forces. It has chosen to deploy armed forces to deal with civilian protests in Jammu and Kashmir, while leaving army camps vulnerable to terrorist attacks. The Indian Government should not use the Uri attack to as another pretext for violence on Kashmiri civilians.

  8. Women are today fighting for complete freedom, for dignity and employment. Sexual harassment and patriarchal violence on women is constantly increasing. This conference expresses solidarity with every struggle against sexual harassment and patriarchal violence in workspaces to everywhere, and with women’s assertions of equality, complete freedom and dignity including the right to choose a partner irrespective of caste or community.

  9. The complete washout of BJP-ABVP in the JNUSU elections and the historic victory of the United Left panel is a defeat of the Modi government’s #ShutDownJNU campaign. This conference welcomes the JNU student community’s mandate against the BJP-RSS and calls for a successful Delhi March on 28 September.


CPI(ML)’s 10th Bihar State Conference in Sasaram

CPI(ML)’s 10th Bihar State conference began with the ‘Samajik Parivartan Sammelan’ (Conference on Social Transformation), which was the open session of the Bihar State conference.

The conference was held at the Multipurpose Hall in Sasaram, christened Bhaiyaram Yadav-Mitranand Singh Hall for the purpose of the conference. The podium was named after comrade Shah Chand, and Sasaram was christened after Comrade Ramnaresh Ram on the occasion. Thousands of workers, peasants, farmers, students, youth and women from all four districts of Shahabad reached Sasaram for this open session. The slogans at the conference hall, which highlighted struggles from Naxalbari to Una, indicated the unity of various streams of struggles, resistance and freedom. Photographs of the martyrs and heroes of the Naxalbari movement as well as the Bhojpur resistance, as well as those of Jyotiba and Savitribai Phule, Periyar, Ambedkar and Rohith Vemula were garlanded.

After the Samajik Parivartan Sammelan, around 580 participants took part in the delegate session of the 10th state conference. This session was conducted over by a 6-member presidium, consisting of comrades Amar, Rameshwar Prasad, Meena Tiwari, Ramadhar Singh, R.K. Sharma and Raju Yadav. The outgoing secretary comrade Kunal presented the political and organisational report, following which there was a day-long discussion. The state secretary’s report presented an overview of the Party’s work in Bihar over the past four years. The report analysed the present political situation, while also highlighting specific and crucial campaigns undertaken by the Party as well as various mass organisations. It also analysed the Party’s electoral performances and successes, and various other initiatives of the Party.

12 major points were discussed while analysing the prevailing political situation. The report highlighted that the RSS-BJP was on the one hand trying to impose corporate slavery on the country, while at the same it is trying to impose social slavery on Dalits, Muslims, women and the poor. The RSS-BJP is trying to fulfil its dream of a ‘Hindu nation’ through several shrill campaigns such as cow protection and love jihad. In the process, the country is witnessing a Brahminical assault on constitutional and democratic institutions and values, on India’s social fabric. While the farce of the Modi government’s ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ campaign by the Sangh Parivar’s forced imposition of patriarchal values on women and the BJP’s dilly-dallying on the Women’s Reservation Bill, we are also witnessing major assaults on freedom of expression, rampant corruption and the footfalls of fascism.

The Bihar government, which claims to be the custodians of ‘social justice’, is actually killing the rights of the poor and the deprived in the state. Like the Modi government, it is following in the footsteps of neo-liberal ‘development’. It has shelved the agenda of land reforms, it has refused to ensure minimum wages and has encouraged rampant contractualisation, it has washed its hands off public education and is encouraging privatisation in the education sector, it has curtailed the rights for Dalits and fellowships for students. It has also justified the horrific Forbesganj massacre and has brutally cracked down on people’s movements. Strengthening the police and bureaucracy, and curtailing democratic and political spaces of dissent have become the hallmark of the Nitish government. There is a raging agrarian crisis and resulting mass distress migration, due to lack of state support to small and medium farmers, and no rights for bataidaars who are the spine of the agricultural system in the state. There poor water management, with no proper plan or implementation to address the routine floods in Bihar and the crying need to provide adequate water for irrigation. The Conference elected a 71-member State Committee and re-elected Comrade Kunal as the Secretary.

In his concluding address at the delegate session, CPI(ML) GS Comrade Dipankar said that the entire country is facing the threat of fascism. Communist and democratic forces will have to decide how to challenge and resist this threat. This threat can neither be challenged by tailing behind the Congress, nor by electoral experiments such as the Grand Alliance in Bihar. It can only be challenged by mass struggles against all forms of feudalism, capitalism, communal frenzy, and social-economic exploitation. It can be challenged by a unity of the current struggles of adivasis and farmers against displacement and alienation from land, Dalit and oppressed people’s struggles for dignity and social and economic justice as well as women’s struggles for freedom, autonomy and equality. Communists and revolutionaries seek to change existing social and economic structures, and in this process they need to analyse as well as dialogue with non-Marxist progressive forces too. Comrade Dipankar especially stressed the importance of the legacy of Bhagat Singh and Ambedkar for our movement. Comrade Dipankar also said that the #JusticeforRohithVemula movement and the ongoing Una struggle have joined the Dalit movement with the democratic and fundamental questions of the day.

Message from Jignesh Mevani to the Conference for Social Transformation

Today, CPIML comrades are holding the Samajik Parivartan Sammelan, and I salute them and regret I could not join them. We in Gujarat have begun a struggle for land and dignity for Dalits, and have had a taste of the difficulties faced by such a movement. So we can fully appreciate how the ML took on the Ranveer Sena goons, feudal forces and the repressive State, fighting courageous battles, braving jail and making huge sacrifices. I salute the spirit of that movement, and hope that in the days to come we also can create such a movement in Gujarat. Today, we are at the Ahmedabad Collector’s office where, standing behind me, there are landless Dalits who have not yet been given physical possession of the lands which have been allotted to them on paper. We are struggling on that issue and plan a Rasta Roko and I may even be detained and arrested. My message to all the comrades at the Samajik Parivartan Sammelan is that we have learnt from and hope to learn more from your struggles on the question of land and rights of Dalit, backward castes and oppressed people. We salute the spirit of your struggle. Salaams to all the struggling comrades, and hope we can in the future share a joint platform of struggle.

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