‘No’ to FGM/c
Thousands of Bohra women in India and overseas have been subjected to Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C). It is called Khatna/Khafz in the Bohra community. For hundreds of years this practice is being continued under a shroud of secrecy and silence and no one outside of the Bohra community even knew of its existence. Even today young Bohra girls aged 7 or even younger sometimes are taken secretly and subject to FGM/C.

Because of the secrecy, FGM/C is ignored by Indian authorities. The Government has no data about FGM and does not recognize it as an urgent issue.

For years, Bohra women have been too scared to speak out about FGM. But now under the banner of 'Speak Out On FGM' Bohra women are uniting and speaking out against FGM/C so that daughters and sisters do not suffer this horrible procedure.

The United Nations has declared FGM/C as a human rights violation and provides support to anti-FGM campaigners around the world. Because of this support many African countries have banned FGM.

10th December marks an end to the global 16 days campaign of ending violence against women and girls. FGM/C is an act of violence, physical, emotional, psychological.

With the UN recognition, the Bohra women will be able to make official appeals to the Indian government.
This will have a huge impact on the lives of young vulnerable Bohra girls.

Masooma Ranalvi, Jaria Hussain Lala, Saleha Paatvvala, Sheroo Zamindar, Rashida Rangwala, Ummul Ranalvi, Alilya Sulcmanji, Shabnum Poonawala, Sakina HD, Nishreen Saif, Tasneema Ranalvi, Hanan Adarkar, Zehra Patwa, Sanaa V, Yasmin Sabir, Alefyah Taqul, Fiza R J, Rosemine Musliwala, Maleka Musliwala, Sharmeen Hakim, Farzana Doctor, Zainub Poonawala, Jenifer Chhaliyerwala, Nilofar Chhakiyerwala, Mithan Clihakiyersvala, Sugra Barodawala, Hajra Barodawala, Maheleka Barodawala, Fatenia Chasmawala, Zehra Mevliwala, Sofia Mevliwala, Mehjabin Chaspiawala
Speak out on FGM

‘Year that Was’
This has reference to the Editorial 'Year that Was' (January 1-7, 2017). Your criticism that "Among far Left, the CPI (Maoist) has been troubling the state and corporate capital by engaging in a protracted war with them, but its Sectarian approach regarding mass issues and its tendency to settle all issues by the force of guns have been doing much harm to cause of popular unity", needs a clear observation of the present activities of the banned Political party. This allegation is very old, starting from perhaps party formation days but it is well known from their literature that they were well aware of the programme of mass-activities to raise voice about different issues. But it is also clear from all ML groups engaged in Parliamentary strategies, that they never walk in any Joint Action Programme with the Maoists against the State Atrocities or any popular issues. And in reality the role of so-called civil society is very shameful and frustrating. Radical Intellectuals—artists, dramatists, poets etc are always inclined to get benefits from the ruling party in every government. In this period of transformation almost all Radicals in West Bengal had joined the league of Trinomul—the present ruling establishment. Even the dramatist who had won favour by staging Orwell's Animal Farm in Bengali just took advantages to get the Chairperson Post of Bangla Academy in new era forgetting that Orwell participated in Spanish Civil War and died on the front. So civil society is very opportunist here, not ready to participate in any anti-state mass activity. So how can a banned party form various mass fronts is difficult to comprehend. Criticism is very easy but what is the role of Bengal Radicals is to be realized at first.
Tarit Chowdhuri,

Unity Statement
Representatives of the West Bengal State Units of Two Organizations, the PCC, CPI (M-L) and Red Star, CPI (M-L) met on 8 January and took the following decisions :
(1)    As a prelude to the bilateral exchanges and discussions going to be started between the two organizations at the central level, a high-level co-ordination committee will be formed at the West Bengal level.
(2)   The functioning of the co-ordination committee will be extended upto the district level, and in this process, the significance and importance of the formation of the co-realization on the points where there are differences of opinion. Of course, the final solution on this issue will be achieved through the central level discussions between the two organizations.
(3)   This committee will build up public opinion and movements throughout the state on the burning problems of people's life and ongoing struggles of the present, particularly the movement against the power grid.
(4)   Similarly, the two organizations will extend their mutual understanding to class organizations and mass movements. It has decided to form one single mass organization at each level of activity.

It is the firm opinion of the two organizations that in order to hold aloft the banner of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong thought, to carry forward the task of the new democratic revolution and to build up all-out struggles against the anti-people policies of the central and state governments, it is extremely necessary, according to the demands of time, to build up a genuine Marxist-Leninist party that is nationally known and is deeply linked with the masses. The representatives expressed the hope that the co-ordination committee would arrest the present trend towards divisions and splits and strengthen consolidation and unity.
They expressed the hope that this process would enthuse into other positive forces, particularly communist revolutionary forces and individuals and as a result would involve them in this process.
Sailen Bhattacharya
Pradip Singha Thakur
CPI (M-L), Red Star

eBay India owe me a refund of Rs.889 for something a seller did not send. They say that the money was sent to my bank on 27 December. In the past week I telephoned my bank twice, to be told that the money had not come in. To eBay this does not matter: they keep asking me for a bank statement. I downloaded today, 15 January, a statement covering the period 23 December to 12 January, and there is no entry for Rs 889. I shall not send this statement to eBay, not because I have something to hide but on principle, because it is private information which no one has the right to demand. Why can eBay India not look at their own bank's record? Should the burden of proof be on a customer? I might point out that refunds from Flipkart and Amazon India were prompt and involved no such bull.
Mukul Dube,

Vol. 49, No.32, Feb 12 - 18, 2017