Iran Workers Resist
Since mid-2016, workers in Iran have taken to the Streets to demand unpaid wages and oppose lay-offs. In December 2017 workers joined together and rallied in around 100 cities and towns. They opposed capitalism and the brutal, theocratic regime in Iran.

Esmaeil Bakhshi, leading figure of the Haft Tapeh Sugar Cane factory strike, was arrested in November 2018 along with Ali Nejati and worker-journalist Sepideh Ghobyan and the editors of Gaam, a pro-worker paper. They were brutally tortured and forced into a sham "confession" aired on state TV that they were members of the Worker-Communist Party of Iran! Why? The rulers in Iran were reminding rulers in the West that it was still an instrument against the Left in general, socialists in particular.

Esmaeil and Sepideh were released on heavy bail to keep their mouths shut. Well, they didn't. Esmaeil and Sepideh exposed their torture, and were arrested again on Jan. 20 and still jailed.

Workers in Iran and around the world are objecting to the brutal treatment of workers because they demanded their unpaid pay. All jailed workers must be released unconditionally and immediately!
Abbas Goya

Cesar Chavez
The struggles of the Pelican Bay hunger brings to mind Cesar Chavez, the leader of the United Farm Workers. He fasted for 25 days in 1965, refusing to labour in the California vineyards. Though farm workers had struck in the past, the growers, politicians and police had beaten them down. Chavez was committed to the philosophy of nonviolence. He said, "If we had used violence we would have won contracts long ago, but they wouldn't be lasting, because we wouldn't have won respect."

The Pelican Bay hunger strike was to bring attention to a system that mutilated the mind, body and soul; the destruction of one's spirit to take away the ability to reform and develop a positive state of mind.

The hunger strike was a sign to society that the system of mass incarceration is diabolical, a reflection of the time when African-American men and women on slave ships took their own lives, quoting "Death before bondage." A reflection of the Arawak Indians who ate the poisoned root so they would not live as slaves.

The prison system's "means" of putting the masses through incarceration does not justify its end of so-called reform or rehabilitation. The means of correction is dehumanising, un-civilised and diabolical and only serves the purpose of destruction.

The Pelican Bay prisoners strove to bring attention to the reality that two wrongs actually will not make a right.
Hakim Trent

A Fascist Agenda
The PCC CPI(ML) sincerely endeavours for the unity of all socio-political formations who are opposed to NRC as well as Citizens Amendment Bill 2016 (CAB). The PCC CPIML conceptualised the NRC and CAB as the premeditated fascist project of Sangh Parivar to pander neo-liberal agenda of the global oligopolists and their Indian comprador bourgeois class and to fan communalism in the Indian social landscape. The NRC and CAB together serves the fascist agenda of Hindutva as well as the interest of neo-liberal Bourgeois class power. The PCC CPI(ML) differs with the view of a section of anti-NRC forces that this move of the BJP Government is merely a driversionary tactic to dissuade the toiling masses from uniting against their acute economic hardship and their struggles thereon. The party gives a clarion call to the working class and the people of India to unite against the NRC and the CAB to save democracy and labour rights.

The full-blown bourgeois constitutional democracy in India necessitates delinking of institutional framework of the state-structure from colonial legacy and colonial laws. During British rule, those who paid taxes were considered as voters under Government of India Act and British administrators were, in principle, against conferring voting rights to women. These voters were considered as citizens whose status were like tenants under the British rule. Almost two years before the adoption of Constitution in 'free India' which came into existence through transfer of power, the Constituent Assembly Secretariat (CAS) undertook the massive task of the preparation of voter list in 1948 based on the principle of universal franchise and Article 5 & 6 of the draft constitution which defined citizens by birth, by descent and by domicile. The preparation of voter list necessitated identification of citizens of new India. Those residents who were the residents of undivided India under Government of India Act 1935 and living within the geo-political boundary of India for at least 180 days since 25th March 1948 were considered as citizens. The migrants who crossed the border due to partition and vocally expressed their desire to permanently reside in India were also included in the voter list. Those who went to Pakistan and came back to India to their ancestor's abode also treated very leniently. The lower bureaucracy visited house to house and interacted with the people intensively to complete this task. The CAS also heard all the claims and objections of diverse people's organisations and responded positively with necessary amendment of the procedures. The identification of citizens for the preparation of voter list were envisaged on a democratic foundation of considering the transfer of power to the "Sovereign Citizens". The Indian state is still inheriting the colonial legacies like Sedition Act, Foreigner's Act etc. But a solid democratic foundation was built on the question of citizenship by severing the ties with colonial legacy and delinking with the colonial conception of citizenship. Based on that, the criteria of citizenship were defined in the articles 5 to 11 of Indian constitution and later Citizenship Act 1955.

The Sangh Parivar's agenda is to dismantle this democratic foundation of the constitution on citizenship to revive the colonial legacy. Based on Assam Accord, article 6(A) was incorporated in 1986 to legitimate 1971 as cut-off year for detection of foreigners in Assam. Assam has a long history of socio-politics revolving around the question of citizenship and on the question of minority rights since colonial time to till date. Assam Accord was the cultimation of the anti-foreigner's movement, and peace was bought by the acceptance of 1971 cut-off year by the victim minority and all socio-political formations in a trouble-torn state.

Both NRC and CAB serve the interest of Sangh Parivar and the Neo-liberal big bourgeois rulling class. This merger of two aspects of ruling class in the single project of NRC is a fit case for fascist transition. The united movement of the working class and the people against NRC and CAB can only effectively resist this project of fascistisation of the state and march ahead for new democracy and dismantling of neo-liberal regime for labour rights.
Subhash Deb, General Secretary, PCC, CPI(ML)

PCC CPIML on Apex Court Verdict
PCC CPIML is of the opinion that the people's faith on the judicial institution for a democratic functioning of the state for getting justice has been shaken by the verdict of the Apex Court on "Ayodhya Land Title Suit". The essential religious practices were so far judged from the evidences, from the religious books, but not based on faith of any religious groups. But Supreme Court verdict on Ayodhya dispute set the precedence of deciding the ownership of land based on Hindu faith and conferred title of the disputed land to the Ram Deity, the Avatar personified. The Apex Court in its judgement pronounced that the intrusion of the deity of 'Ram Lala' in 1949 and the demolition of Babri Mosque in 1992 were unlawful. Supreme Court did not say that there was any Hindu mandir (temple) which was demolished to build Babri Mosque. The judges did not dwell on the authenticity of the ASI report which, of course, does not claim that the artefacts found 200 feet below the surface-land are of Hindu Mandir.

The Historical facts are always ripe with multiple interpretations and possibility of truths. It is not the Court to resolve the contradictions within the garb of History. As the demolition of an almost 500 years old Mosque was unlawful, this act of vandalism which is the culmination of a communal political movement not only hurt the Minority psyche, but also, they were denied their right of the Mosque through coercive means. The logical conclusion is that the forceful denial of their right of ownership of the Mosque and thereby the injustice meted out to them through the unlawful act of vandalism for demolition of Babri Mosque can only be reversed by reestablishing their due rights. The Apex Court, on this count, took refuge to article 142 of the constitution and provided double the amount of land to the genuine claimant of the Mosque and pronounced the title of the land in favour of Ramlala Deity based on faith and continuous forceful possession.

The PCC CPI(ML) is apprehensive that the verdict to grant the ownership of land to Deity Ramlala, the Hindu God, who was personified as warrior by a political movement and pitted against the other faith for destruction of Mosque, will strengthen the ideological position of the present dispensation in power for fascitisation of the state, PCC CPIML is opposed to the skewed amalgamation of the faith and logic in the functioning of the stale and does not agree with the verdict of the Apox Court. Moreover, the 1991 act also does not provide any guarantee to contain the Hindu obscurantist forces from raising their demand of ownership on other structures of historical heritages.
Subhash Deb, General Secretary, PCC, CPIML

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Vol. 52, No. 27, Jan 5 - 11, 2020