'Feudal, Communal Forces Beware’

“Only CPI(ML) could have had the guts and the ability to successfully hold such a massive Rally in spite of constant talk of bomb threats. Only CPI(ML)’s mass base is such that would defy the atmosphere of fear and turn up steadfastly in such numbers.” This was the unanimous opinion of journalists and other observers in Patna on 30 October. The real “hunkar” (roar) of people’s power was manifested in this Rally of 1 lakh of Bihar’s poorest people, who flocked to Patna on their own will power, determination, and commitment, without the massive backing of money power that Modi’s rally three days previously displayed.

The Rally was held on the historic Bir Chand Patel Path – marked by R Block with Kunwar Singh’s statue at one end, and IT Golambar with a statue of JP in 1974 at the other end – the very spot where JP was lathi charged during a massive agitation in 1974.

An observer commented on Facebook: “The word Khabardar means ‘beware’ in Urdu. The masses issued a warning to feudal-communal-fascist forces who doubled up as facilitators of corporate loot, by raising the slogan of ‘Samanti - sampradayik - fasivadi - looteri taakton khabardar! Bihar ki janata hai taiyar!’ The rally, earlier scheduled for the Gandhi Maidan, was disallowed at the last moment by Bihar police who were inept enough not to be able to clean up Gandhi Maidan even after three days of the bomb blasts. Undeterred by the rescheduling which caused extra hardship for the masses who had been camping in the city for over a day, Birchand Patel Path, the main thoroughfare of Patna was occupied by the toiling masses. Reportedly, the BJP had spent crores for its ‘Hunkar’ rally, hiring 11 trains and thousands of buses, and spending on cash and food for their assembly. But the Khabardar Rally was completely different in flavour. This correspondent spoke to a group of villagers from Siwan, who had travelled all the way from their village on a bus, carrying their own food, tarpaulins (to sit on), and collectively pooling in their bus fares, for which they had to spend Rs. 150 each. The resulting difference in the mood and slogans could not be more stark.”

The Khabardar Rally was a resounding challenge to the corporate-backed communal forces, who are desperate to project Modi as the PM of the country, and to foment communal frenzy to pave their way to power.

The Rally began by paying tribute to martyred comrades with two minutes’ silence. Cultural group Hirawal rendered a revolutionary song in memory of the martyrs. Bihar State Secretary Comrade Kunal welcomed the gathering. The Rally was presided over by Central Committee member Comrade KD Yadav, and conducted by Comrade Anwar Hussain, State President of the Inquilabi Muslim Conference.

Addressing the Rally, CPI(ML) General Secretary Comrade Dipankar Bhattacharya said that the 2014 elections must be about policies, not faces and leaders – it must be about reversing the policies of corporate plunder, corruption, price rise, unemployment, communal violence and minority witch-hunt. He said “In the Laxmanpur Bathe, Bathani Tola, Miyanpur, Nagari Bazaar massacres of the 1990s, lower courts gave convictions in 2010. But the High Court acquitted the accused. So have the perpetrators of the massacres come from another planet? The victims are being massacred all over again by this massacre of justice,” adding that the CPI(ML) would collect lakhs of signatures on a petition for justice by Human Rights Day (December 10), and then proceed to Delhi with the signatures on December 18th.

He said the climate in Bihar was being vitiated by communal and feudal forces and in the country at large. BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi’s survival depended on such an atmosphere. “They want to grab power by carrying out riots, but they will not be able to turn Bihar into Gujarat... innocent Muslim youths are being targeted and jailed after blasts. A few days later, everyone forgets about them. There is no charge sheet or further action and they keep languishing in jail.” He asked why Nitish Kumar was silent on such cases involving Darbhanga’s youth, and demanded a white paper from the Bihar Government on all such pending cases involving Bihar’s youth implicated in terror cases. “If you lack the evidence to file a chargesheet, set them free immediately,” he said.

Commenting on an anti-communal Convention being organised on the same day in Delhi, he said, “We are told this is an anti communal effort and not an electoral alliance. But why is CPI(ML) not invited? The Rashtriya Janata Dal, [although we have our differences with them], has not been invited to it. Lok Janshakti Party leader Ram Vilas Paswan, [who had resigned from the NDA’s Union Cabinet after the Gujarat riots], has not been invited. But Mr. Kumar, who was together with the BJP for 17 years, is being made the poster boy of secularism.”

He said people were talking as though corruption ended with Lalu Prasad’s imprisonment, forgetting the involvement of prominent leaders from other parties in the fodder scam and other scams, such as Nitish Kumar and Shivanand Tiwari from the JDU. He added, “What about the 2G, coal and a whole lot of other scams where lakhs of crores are involved? The perpetrators should be brought to book, even if it is the Prime Minister.”

Taking on Mr. Kumar’s development plank, he said, “In Bihar, there is just talk, of giving power, water, roads and education. For 20 years, votes have been taken in the name of Dalits, Mahadalits, Muslims, Pasmanda Muslims, but the government functions for the feudal and communal forces.”

He appealed to all Left parties to unite in Bihar, stressing that only such a principled Left unity could really save Bihar from communal and feudal forces, and ensure pro-people development for Bihar’s common people.

Addressing the Rally, Politburo member Kavita Krishnan said that the Sangh’s ‘Hunkar’ (roar) wasn’t heard for the first time on 27 October. The women and children of Bathe and Bathani in 1996-97 and of Gujarat in 2002 had heard that blood-thirsty roar before. And when freedom fighters were giving up lives resisting the British and Dr Ambedkar was writing the Constitution of Independent India with a vision of freedom and equality for all, Modi’s mentors in the RSS were advocating the anti-women, anti-Dalit Manusmriti as the country’s Constitution. But who can fight these forces today? How can Nitish Kumar, who remained a silent partner in the Gujarat 2002 genocide, and has Ranveer Sena men like Sunil Pande among his MLAs, claim to fight the communal forces? Wasn’t Ranveer Sena backed by the RSS? It’s the landless women of Bihar, who snatched dignity and rights from the jaws of the feudal forces and Ranveer Sena, who know how to resist Modi’s fascist roar. It’s the students who defeated ABVP in North India’s campuses at the height of the Mandir and anti-Mandal wave, who know how to answer the Sangh’s ‘hunkar’. It’s Bhagat Singh’s red flag alone that can fight the fascists boldly in every arena.”

CPI(ML) Central Committee member Mohd Salim said that the communal fascist Modi was being projected by the forces of corporate plunder. Resisting such corporate-communal fascism called for a robust resistance to pro-corporate economic policies, US-sponsored Islamophobia, and communal violence. Both he and Politburo member Dhirendra Jha spoke of the witch-hunt of Muslim youth across the country and in Bihar in particular.

AIPWA General Secretary Meena Tiwari said that the BJP along with khap panchayats, in the name of protecting women, wages war on women’s freedom as well as unleashes communal violence on minorities. And the same BJP’s talk of ‘protecting women’ stood exposed when they shamelessly defended the rape-accused Asaram. She saluted the determination of the large number of women at the rally, who had remained standing for hours, since the packed road did not admit for place to sit.

The JNUSU President Akbar Choudhury and Vice President Anubhuti Agnes Bara addressed the Rally, speaking of students’ powerful protest against Modi’s Delhi visit, and the anti-communal mandate of students in JNU and strong anti-communal vote in Delhi University.

CPI(ML) Central Committee member and Kisan Mahasabha leader Rajaram Singh said, “BJP’s stances on policy issues are indistinguishable from those of the Congress.” He reminded people that when Modi was at the BJP’s National Executive Meeting in Goa, he had commented derisively on the ban on mining in Goa, saying this showed the Congress Govt’s failure. Comrade Rajaram said, “Modi should be reminded that mining in Goa was banned because it was illegal, as it was in Karnataka, which cost the BJP the Government there! It’s people’s protests that resist such illegal plunder, and they will resist it whether Modi does it or Manmohan.”

Others who addressed the Rally included AISA General Secretary Abhyuday, RYA President Amarjit Kushwaha, CPI(ML) CC member and former MP Rameshwar Prasad, CC member and former MLA Mahbub Alam, and AIPWA General Secretary Meena Tiwari.

The Khabardar Rally ended with a call for a continued campaign – the Jagte Raho Jan Abhiyan (Remain Awake/Alert People’s Campaign) to keep Bihar alert against any attempts to whip up any communal tensions or feudal violence on any pretext.

Box matter

Excerpts from CPI(ML) GS Comrade Dipankar’s Speech at Khabardar Rally


Today you have added a new chapter in the rich history of democratic movement in Bihar. In this state of rallies, you have presented a new spectacle of a red wave on the streets of Patna. I salute you all for this great feat.

When we had planned this rally we knew there would be a BJP rally just three days before our rally. We knew a big BJP leader would come from Gujarat to roar in Bihar, but we didn’t know there would be blasts, we didn’t know the BJP rally and the blasts would leave a trail of terror and insecurity, we didn’t know that Nitish Kumar’s government would not be able to sanitise Gandhi Maidan even 60 hours after the blasts, we didn’t know that we wouldn’t be able to hold our rally on the Gandhi Maidan.

Yes, it was only late last evening that the administration told us that the Gandhi Maidan was unsafe and asked us to hold the rally in an alternative site. We agreed. We said if you can’t give us a safe ground allow us to have the rally on the road, but there’s no way you can stop the fighting people of Bihar from having their say. This rally fulfils the need of the hour. The voice that you are raising here today is the voice of peace and sanity against terror and communal frenzy, the voice of justice and democracy against every injustice and oppression.

This rally has demonstrated the power of the people to move ahead in the face of all odds. The air here resonates with the resolve of the people. It is this power and resolve of the people which can break through every bondage and find the way forward through every stagnation; this is the motion that will take Bihar and the country forward.

The name of our rally is Khabardar (beware) rally. The clarion call is to push back the offensive of feudal-communal forces. In the 1990s Bihar had experienced a series of barbaric massacres – hundreds of people including large numbers of women and children were butchered by the private army of feudal forces. The people fought back valiantly and the massacres had to stop. Now we are witnessing the massacre of justice with wholesale acquittal of massacre convicts by the High Court. Today’s rally is a rally for justice for the massacre victims.

We have appealed to the Supreme Court against the unjust verdict of the High Court. But only an awakened and assertive people can win the battle of justice. After this rally let us reach out to the justice-loving people on as big a scale as we can, let us collect at least five million signatures before the forthcoming International Human Rights Day on December 10 and submit them to President of India on 18 December, the death anniversary of our beloved leader Comrade Vinod Mishra which we observe every year as the Day of Resolve. This battle for justice will be a great bulwark against the feudal-communal conspiracy to vitiate the atmosphere in Bihar.

When we raise the issue of justice we are not talking about only crimes committed in the past. In every corner of Bihar we can see attacks on dalits and women, and persecution and witch-hunt of Muslim youth in the name of terrorism. What happened in Baddi village of Rohtas district on 15 August has shamed the whole country. On the Anniversary of India’s Independence, an armed mob attacks a dalit hamlet, kills an old man and injures women and children and vandalises a temple of Sant Ravidas and this happens in a village in the constituency which is represented in Parliament by the Lok Sabha Speaker We can very well see how the betrayal of the people’s mandate by successive governments and appeasement of feudal-communal forces has emboldened the latter.

Liberation Archive