Theories, however logical, are bound to undergo necessary mutations if practiced. Can the practice of a religion be accused of distorting its holy scriptures? This perhaps is the strongest defense of Lenin's version of Marxism.

Ironically, this is also the weakest point of Lenin's claim on Marxism. Because while Lenin's practice of Marxism threw up a number of theoretical propositions that were at variance with some fundamental Marxist tenets, Lenin never took the pain to explain why those theoretical variations were still fundamentally Marxist and how those variations could lead to the logical conclusions similar to those indicated by Marx.

Actually Leninism replaced Marxism, but did not have the courage to formally recognise the same.
Pradip Chatterjee, Kolkata

'A Martyr'
Of late, there has been a continuous attempt on the part of some to treat Professor Santosh Bhattacharya as a martyr for the unfair treatment meted out to him during his term as the Vice-Chancellor of Calcutta University (vide Calcutta Notebook, Frontier, March 24-30). That treatment was no doubt reprehensible. But before highlighting a person in this way, one should be a bit more cautious.

In 1977, on the eve of the West Bengal assembly polls, Professor Bhattacharya was a signatory to a statement issued by some intellectuals and academics supporting the candidature of Ashok Mitra at the Rasbehari constituency of South Kolkata. In the statement Ashok Mitra's struggle against the 'fascist Indira Gandhi clique' was clearly referred to. Twelve years later, Professor Bhattacharya stood as a candidate of the Congress (Indira) at the Lok Sabha polls. He, however, lost badly to Malini Bhattacharya of the CPI(M). To Professor Bhhattacharya, the erstwhile fascist now became the symbol of deliverance. Of course, such somersaults are not uncommon to intellectuals crazy for power.
N K Chatterjee,
Santiniketan, Birbhum

Marx in Kalbadevi
If revolutionary philosopher Karl Marx visited present day capitalist Mumbai, how would things pan out? Find out at the premiere of Karl Marx in Kalbadevi, opening play of the National Center of Performing Arts' (NCPA) Gujarati theatre festival, Vasant. The play is written by Uttam Gada, who was behind popular productions such as Dear Father (featuring Paresh Rawal), and directed by Manoj Shah (known for Mareez, Apoorva Avsar and Bhamasha). However, Karl Marx in Kalbadevi promises to be unlike any of the above: It talks about the life and career of the 19th century Prussian-German philosopher Karl Marx, focusing on his seminal text 'Das Kapital'. Dr Marx (as played by Satchit Puranik) travels in time and lands in a city that seems to defy his philosophy—Mumbai! He visits Kalbadevi, the hub of gold, silver, plastic and textile trade. While trying to make sense of this city, Marx is intrigued by its unique culture. He shares his take on the Indian economy from "the Marxist" point of view. "Some of the greatest heroes in history are wiped out from our memory. My work attempts to reinstate these heroes and to make them shine," explains director Manoj Shah.
Hemant Desai, Mumbai

Custocial torture
Shri Bikram Mahato S/O Tufani Mahato of Nababgunj, Ichhapur is accused in Jagatdal P. S. case no.164 dated 27.03.2012, and is undergoing trial u/s S. 302 & S. 120B (IPC), S. 25 (Arms Act) at the 5th First Track Court, Barrackpur and is in judicial custody.

As alleged in a complaint by the family and as per reports in the media, Shri Mahato was severely assaulted, stripped naked for complaining against substandard food served in the correctional home by the guards led by the Jailor V K Singh on 13 February 2013. He was allegedly kept naked and handcuffed for two days in a cell. As per reports Shri Mahato also earned the wrath of the jail administration in September last also for daring to complain against substandard food. At that time he was made to drink bleaching powder solution.

In truth there are wide-spread complaints on food quality and quantity and other amenities legally due to the inmates and corruption. Inmates in different jails agitated and resorted to hunger strikes against such injustices and maltreatments in recent past also. There were similar reports of torture on inmates who dared to protest from other jails in recent months.

All national and international laws and standards provide for certain inalienable rights of the persons under any form of detention. The allegations point at gross violations of those rights.
Amitadyuti Kumar
Working President, APDR

Many Advanis

"When people believe and talk of our Ayodhya issue and agitate over it, you should not be apologetic, ever. You should take pride in it," Mr Advani told party men. This is from a report in the 'Hindu' newspaper of 7 April 2013.

'Advani has regretted the act of demolition, terming December 6, 1992 "the saddest day in my life".' This is from a report in the 'Times of India' of 27 March 2010.

Just how many of these Lal Krishnas are there?
Mukul Dube, New Delhi

Attacks on Minorities
The Forum for Secular Pakistan strongly condemns the attack on the Christian Community of Joseph Colony, Badami Bagh Lahore, in which 178 houses of the low-income community, as well as shops and 3 churches were looted and burnt to ashes, the Pastor was attacked and the father of Savan Masih, the youth falsely accused of blasphemy, was beaten up and subsequently arrested.
The Forum is outraged at the continuing misuse, abuse and exploitation of Section 295-B&C (the "blasphemy law") for vested interests, personal vendettas and political gains. Forum Secular Pakistan demands that this malafide law and its procedures be immediately revised to prevent any further false charges, killing, looting, burning and orchestrated attacks.
Hardly a week passes by that a Quetta Hazara Shia Carnage or Abbas Town Carnage occurs, targeting vulnerable Muslim and non-Muslim minorities, particularly Hazaras, Shias, Barelvis, Sufis, Ahmadis, Christians and Hindus. Violating the Constitutional safeguards and guarantees, the State has failed to provide protection of life, liberty, honour, dignity, property and possessions. It has now reached a stage where the very existence of Pakistan is at stake.
Believing that the people of Pakistan are witnessing the bitter fruit of decades of State and external sponsorship and promotion of the Jihadi groups as well as the more recent appeasement policy towards the Taliban groups, the Forum calls for an immediate separation of religion from politics; a clear federal and provincial policy statement regarding concrete measures to protect vulnerable minorities; a substantive change in Pakistanis school curricula to remove all hate materials; and an immediate revision of the law and section 295-B&C to prevent further exploitation falsely in the name of religion.
In their last few days, the federal and provincial governments must do nothing less than this, if they are to face voters in the general elections soon.
Javed Qazi,
General Secretary, Forum for Secular Pakistan

Where is the Law?
Incidents like Mumbai building collapse are result of Mumbai's infamous builder-politician-bureaucrat nexus which allows the illegality and construction of these kinds of structure. Adarsh Housing Society is another such glaring illegality which even after Union government's direction stands tall on Mumbai's coast. Government is brazenly violating all norms and putting life of people at risk. There is complete lawlessness, law is violated for the rich, and in the name of implementation of laws legal bastis of poor in Golibar, Chandivah, Koliwada and others in Mumbai are demolished by Municipal Corporation. In Golibar, even when Union Minister, Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, Ajay Maken recognised the illegality and ordered for halting demolitions, Maharashtra government demolished Ganesh Krupa Housing Society. Where is the law ? Why these homes of working class people are demolished when an enquiry is ongoing by the Principal Secretary, Housing, Government of Maharashtra. Against this injustice and complete illegality, "I am forced to sit on indefinite hunger strike in less than two years at the same place in Golibar, Mumbai demanding justice," said, Medha Patkar, leader of National Alliance of People's Movements, to which Ghar Bachao Banao Andolan is affiliated and is leading the struggle for housing rights of basti dwellers in Mumbai.

She added that politically motivated campaigns are being run against her struggle for justice and false news is being spread by her rivals elsewhere. "My non-appearance from some court cases and campaigns are used against me and the Andolan. They are done with a motive to malign the agenda of the struggle and our andolan. Our struggle against injustices will continue everywhere be it in Chennai where 2 lakh homes are to be demolished under slum redevelopment schemes, where our colleagues from NAPM and communities are fighting for their housing rights".

Golibar, the prime land of 125 acres has become a battleground for 70 + old households, women and men, who are fighting a valiant battle for the last 5 years, tooth and nail. Through Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan, they have exposed the forgery and fraud in documents of Shivalik ventures, whom the community never gave consent to as 'builders'.

Shivalik has cheated many of these 46 societies, by manipulating documents, decisions and sanctions, through its political connections. Orders against Shivalik in many criminal and civil cases have not resulted in their arrest. However, some order of 2010 is being used against the slum dwellers of Golibar, to demolish their well built houses and evict them with brutal police force.

Basti dwellers from Golibar and other sites in Mumbai are sitting everyday in relay hunger strike with Medha Patkar and also meeting different officials and Ministers during the day. It is extremely unfortunate that government is not making any effort to address their genuine grievances when the examination of the children are ongoing. It is completly inhuman that the children are forced to study and live in distress when their exams are taking place. Earlier in 2011 when the demolitions had happened at the same time, many of the children either failed or could never go back to the school. National Commission for Protection of Child Rights must take up immediate cognisance of these attrocities. Meanwhile, many people have moved National Human Rights Commission, demanding them to take immediate action too.

Key concerns and demands are:
1.    Slum Rehabilitation Authority Scheme projects in Mumbai are full of flaws, frauds and corruption leading to atrocities against the slum dwellers. Thousands are made shelterless and sent on rent which is discontinued and others decay in transit camps for years. The land rights and co-operative societies related processes and documents are also found to be violating the law and forgery related cases are also filed but it takes years to get an FIR lodged and it goes through years for investigation.

2.   Maharashtra Government had agreed, after a ten day long agitation in the first week of January 2013, to get at least 6 projects investigated through the Principal Secretary, Housing, Mr Debashish Chakravarty. That enquiry began in February and open presentations were made on 7th-8th February, 2013. Builders-Developers / their representatives were also present in most of the cases and some made submissions too. However, even before the enquiry report is finalized and received by CM's office, there is continuous eviction taking place with police force, destroying decades old houses and causing irreversible damage, without resolving the issues. This is extremely unjust. Arrests, false cases and everything happened in the month of March in Golibar and Chandivali, as in other slums.

3.   Even where there are courts' orders, some or the other directions by the Court are not complied with and yet the eviction is taking place, with brutality. Moreover, in case of Ganesh Krupa, Golibar it is clear that transit camps are not provided within 300 mts as promised and upheld by the Court. The Transit camps are in totally uninhabitable condition as per the letter given by the CEO, SRA in December, 2012 for some other society in Golibar, who were also offered transit in the same buildings.

4.   There is a criminal case filed and enquiry is on in the case of Ganesh Krupa Society, Golibar with documents which indicates that there was no consent by 70% people and the General Body Meeting documents are fraudulent. Similar complaints are lodged by some other societies too. The Joint Commissioner, Mr Datyeji inspected the documents few days back and directed the officials to re-investigate the matter thoroughly.

5.   None of the societies and dwellers in Golibar have received any document confirming that they will get a permanent accommodation in what time limit, of what area and where (in situ rehabilitation is to be ensured as per the SRA scheme, as also the Court's orders) and hence people want house on their own land. Also, in none of these, people have received any documents. The files in SRA show the agreements between the slum dwellers and some other contractors which they had engaged earlier, but not with Shivalik ventures.

6.   In the case of Golibar, permanent rehabilitation buildings are on the lands of the Defence Ministry's and Railways. Defence Ministry's case is pending before the City Civil Court, Dindoshi as directed by HC. Railways have taken an undertaking that those buildings will be demolished, as and when land is required by Railways. How can the dwellers permit their fate to be hung in such circumstances?

7.   Out of 26,000 families, as slum dwelling families in Golibar, according to the developer, 10,000 families have vacated, while the CEO, SRA and officials claim that permission is granted only for 5,500 families as slum dwellers to be rehabilitated. This gross discrepancy is not yet settled. Whatever, the total number, it is also a ground reality that only 900 families are shifted in the permanent rehab buildings that too on the land of the Defence or Railway Ministry. Not more than 1500 families are in the transit camps. Where are the others? Obviously thousands of families are on rent, shifted out with direct or indirect force but not yet settled anywhere. It is also known from the ground survey that at least 20,000 sq km land is vacant and available for the developer and yet forcible eviction is imposed on the people.

Prerna Gaekwad, Sumit Wajale, Sandeep Yevale, Jameel Bhai

‘‘Collective conscientiousness’’

The CPI(M) PB has condemned the so-called "attack" on West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra by their student wing SFI led by their Student Supremo Ritobroto. Wonderful! Civil & Civic as CPIM leadership are one finds the entire spectrum ranging from the firebrand Rezzak Mollah to Biman Bose, Suryakanta Mishra, Gautam Deb, and now even Karat & Yechuri—the entire crew came down fast in CONDEMNING.

No justification needed, no explanation, no empathy even with the attitude, rage and rationale of the students, swift comes the Condemnation, much swifter and much above the concern and sympathy for the dead student leader of theirs! That really shows the sense of priority of these leaders! Parliament is so sacrosanct to them! Any desecration is a grave sin! That is why Afzal Guru should and must be hanged to satiate the sanctity of the parliament because that is the "collective conscientiousness" to them. That is why Modi's arrival should never be disturbed, that is why however "facist" Modi is, he should not see any black flag, because he belongs to the elite club of legislators. That is why the leader flies off to Delhi to make a grand show and steal the limelight! And now the crossing is graver than the killing! Now, it is a skirmish between the top leaders and the attraction-seeking junior ones. The junior ones clearly wanted to fly away from the battleground of Kolkata, they wanted to overcast the successful besiege movement led by JNUSU by the radicals just the morning after Sudipto's death where SFI refused to join, and that has to be followed to overarch through another drama at the planning commission. The light of the drama cut off—all limelights back-fired—their leaders put off the steam! Now the students who were led by their junior satraps should learn who their leaders are and who those leaders serve.

The legislators do retain the right to kill in the name of bringing in discipline, the people however would not have any right to protest and show their anger—that is Indian democracy kept alive not only by the perpetrators but also by the dissenters. What these "dissenters" are afraid of? That they might face a similar situation when they would do the same killing? Yes, this is an insurance policy for them in their future when they would play with peoples' lives. They have condemned the "attack" because Amit Mitra is elderly, who will empathise with the parents of Yousuf Hossain and Sudipto Gupto? Well, their being elderly does not matter. Yes, that is exactly what these LEFT leaders want!

Not so long ago the police force has received the immunity in films, media and other mass circulation where police force should not be portrayed as having any fault! The Collective Conscience has made that legislated and now showing anger to any legislator is in the offing. So this is called the "development of democracy" and "extension of rights"—that is the direction where the convention of this land is heading towards!

That is the face of Indian democracy- the biggest and greatest democracy! The democracy where rulers are free to kill and the ruled are free to sob albeit silently!
Soumitra Bose, Kolkata

‘‘Decriminalising Electoral Process’’
It is a dangerous proposal—‘Decriminalising Electoral Process’ by N S Venkataraman [Note, Frontier, April 14-20, 2013]. It will be very easy for vested interests and persons of influence to eliminate their rivals ay foisting so many criminal charges and in the sorry state of criminal justice system in India anybody can be imprisoned or charged with a crime on a mere allegation from any worthless or vindictive person. A vamp can easily foist the charges of sexual assault and even rape against a decent person even and once in the complaint there is some specific allegation no court can refrain from taking cognizance since it becomes 'prima facie'. Likewise corruption charges can be instituted against honest persons even. So if the Election Commission decides to bar persons from contesting merely on the plea that criminal or corruption charges are pending against a person then it would result in a travesty of electoral justice, to put it so. People are seeing such sorry state now in Pakistan where Musharraf is denied his right to contest by the arbitrary and authoritarian rejection of his nomination papers by the vindictive electoral officers in league with the vested interests there. It is quite another thing to place restrictions on persons who are 'convicted' and 'sentenced to more than 2 years imprisonment or so' (this period can be increased or decreased) from contesting and already some such restrictions are there and they could be tightened. Otherwise, this proposal would certainly spell doom of whatever democracy existing in the country now.
I M Sharma, Hyderabad

Vol. 45, No. 43, -May 5-11, 2013

Your Comment if any