'Kisan' Tribe
There are more than two lakhs and thirty-one hundred 'Kishan' tribes in West Bengal. Most of them live in the district of Malda. But the state government has not handed over their caste identities even though the 'Kishan' tribes of West Bengal comprise one of the notable Indian tribes.

Malda district was taken out from the Bhagalpur district division of Bihar from 1876 to 1905. After 1905, Malda was pertained to Rajshahi division. Some 'Kishan' tribes of the same origin remained to stay in the districts of Bihar. Again, a part of that tribe people came to live in a part of Purnia district which was called 'Diyara'. Actually the climatic zone of Diyara is suitable for agriculture. And the 'Kishan' tribes provide their livelihood through agriculture. This 'Diyara' area is comprised of Bhutni, Manikchak, Katahadiyara, Ratua, Kaliachak, Baitnabnagar, and some parts of English Bazar. Declaring Malda as a separate district, 'Diyara' area came under Malda district. As a result the 'Kishan' tribes, along with other communities living in Diyara, became the residents of newly formed Malda district. Those 'tribe' people belonging to Bihar of the same origin had gotten their 'Kishan' identities; but the people of 'Kishan' tribes in West Bengal are completely ignored even today without getting their 'tribe' identities.

After 70 years of independence, how long will these 'Kishan' tribes live in illiterate, backward socio-economic environment? Will the 'Kishan' tribes ever get their identities?
Sukanta Mandal, Malda

Collective Violence
Charles Tilly wrote a seminal book, The Politics of Collective Violence (Cambridge University Press) in 2003. He observed that "when large-scale collective violence occurs, government forces of one sort or another almost always play significant parts as attackers, objects of attack, competitors, or intervening agents". He further observed: "...political entrepreneurs wield significant influence over the presence, absence, form, loci, and intensity of collective violence. When they promote violence, they do so by activating boundaries, stories, and relations that have already accumulated histories of violence".

Tilly drew on fieldwork-based studies of violence in India, and argued: "Contemporary India provides striking examples of specialists in violence, some of whom are also political entrepreneurs".

Charles Tilly died in 2008. He did not have the chance to theorise the nature of collective violence under the present BJP regime. Actually, Tilly's theorisation of politics of collective violence was done in a global perspective. But, his theoretical observations/arguments are more relevant today for understanding of mode of exercise of governmental power, and the role of "political entrepreneurs" as "specialists in violence", in India.
Arup Kumar Sen, Kolkata

What about Humboldt?
From 3rd to 5th of January 2020 alumni of the Humboldt Foundation, so called fellows, and young budding scientists convenced in Raichak on the Ganges for a 'Kolleg' (conference), presenting original research and debating issues critical for a humankind faced with environmental, social and climatic constraints and challenges.

Under the motto "Food, Livelihood, Opportunity and Wood (FLOW)" altogether 160 renowned academics, scholars and researchers discussed the contributions science can make to overcome those challenges, underlining the relevance of science to society and the need for mutual engagement.

The German Humboldt Foundation, founded in 1953, is one of the biggest grants foundation worldwide, promoting academic cooperation between excellent scientists and scholars from abroad and from Germany. Research fellowships and research awards allow scholars to come to Germany to work on a research project they have chosen by themselves together with their host and collaborative partner. German scientists or scholars in turn can carry out a-research project abroad as a guest of one of more than—29,000 Humboldt Foundation alumni-worldwide—the Humboldtians.

Between 1953 and 2018, 1988—Indian scientists from different academic backgrounds have received a Humboldt scholarship, and India has one of the largest Humboldt alumni networks worldwide. Humboldt alumni clubs are active in many cities, Kolkata being but one example. The current Kollege, which is funded by the foundation, is one aspect of their continuing engagement.

To learn more about the foundation and its philosophy, about funding opportunities for ambitious scientist and scholars, and about polymath Alexander von Humboldt himself, who celebrated his 250th birthday this year, the German Consulate invited all for a press meeting with distinguished Humboldt fellows and German Consul General, Dr Michael Feiner.

On Monday, 30th of December, 2019 at 16:00 at the German consulate.
Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany
1 Hastings Park Road, Alipore, Kolkata (Calcutta) 700027
Tel: +91-(0)33-2479 1142/2150

"Fascists are Rising"
In the backdrop of heightening imperialist conflicts and the rise of fascist forces in the global socio-political scenario and when the global economic crisis is deepening and in the verge of entering into recession, it is imperative that the communists should unite to ensure the working class unity to come out heavily against the citadel of ruling class power for a new dawn of liberty, equality and fraternity.

In India, the fascist brownshirts with the backing of the state are let loose to muzzle the voices for democracy and civilisation. The recent attacks on students of various prestigious universities like Jamia, JNU etc. are glaring examples. This fascist onslaught must be resisted with united people's movement.

The fight for worker's rights, social security, decent jobs etc, in opposition to the neo-liberal economic policy pursued by the present BJP dispensation in power and the fight for foiling the attempt of the power-that-be to dismantle the constitutional democracy by spearheading an onslaught on Indian civilisational and democratic Idea of Citizenship is moving from strength to strength in every passing day. The PCC CPIML appeals to unitedly resist the attack on the toiling masses of India through the Central Govt's combined project of exclusionary NRIC, communal CAA and NPR linked with NRIC. PCC CPIML also rejects the offer of the GoI to the Assamese masses based on clause 6 of the Assam Accord to bamboozle the people of Assam for accepting CAA.

PCC CPIML demands that all the voters should be considered as citizens of India, and the people who are permanently residing in India and whose names are not included due to procedural lacunae must be included in the voter list to consider them as citizens of India.

PCC CPIML thinks that the all India strike called by various Trade Unions jointly on 8th  January was a historic moment for the working class movement in India when the Worker's demands for the All India strike included the issue of democracy on citizenship question along with worker's rights. Workers' demands to repeal wage code and NRIC-CAA are directed against the fascist machinations of the Powers—that—be and this will usher in a new dimension in Working Class activism and consciousness. PCC CPIML appeal to all the democratic forces and the people to come out in support of the Trade Union strike.

While combating the fascist danger domestically, the Indian people's movement has the agenda to settle the score with Imperialist and the global corporates to do away their domination on India as a nation. The global control of the US imperialist superpower is receding and facing tough challenges. The US adventure in the recent precision drone attack to kiII Iranian Major General Qasem Soleimani may turn out to be a watershed moment for the people's resistance in Iraq against the US occupying force. The US hegemony in Gulf region and West Asia and control over oil resources with Israel as pivotal power in dwindling with rising people's resistance movement, shirting allegiance of important NATO members like Turkey to the rival imperialist camps and changing geo-politics. The Iraq is on the verge of becoming a 'Vietnam Moment' for the people of America due to the valiant resistance movement of the Iraqis and the strategic misadventure of the US. The world is going to witness the rising people's movement against the imperialist character of US power in their own country in the coming days. The PCC CPIML demands withdrawal of US occupation force from Iraq and the entire region.

For a better democratic future, the people of India should also up the ante against Chinese expansionism in this subcontinent, Indian big-brotherly attitude with its neighbours and demand the democratic resolution of Kashmir. Naga question in India and Rohingya issue in Myanmar.
Subhash Deb
General Secretary, PCC CPIML

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Vol. 52, No. 34, Feb 23 - 29, 2020