Saturday, January 19, 2013

Stop transferring people’s cash to corporate pockets!

All India Kisan Sabha condemns the decision of the Congress-led UPA Government to decontrol diesel prices and allow oil marketing companies to arbitrarily hike prices. This will lead to hike in prices of all essential commodities, increase irrigation costs and costs of transport. The poor, the cultivating peasantry and the masses will be adversely hit by this move. Within no time the oil companies have hiked the price of diesel by 45 paise per litre excluding taxes.

The Indian Oil Corporation has also announced that subsidies will no longer be available to bulk diesel consumers and the prices will be determined by the market forces. This implies an increase by Rs.9.25 Ps per litre excluding taxes. The effective hike of around Rs.10.80 Ps a litre for bulk diesel consumers like railways, transport undertakings, power sector and many other sectors will only spark off an overall hike in transportation costs, costs of power generation and in many other sectors. Already the rail fares have been hiked and the Railways has immediately claimed that this move will lead to an additional 30 percent increase in fuel costs or effectively an annual burden of Rs.2700 crores. Oil companies are seeking to bring Indian diesel prices at par with international prices. This betrays logic as India imports crude oil which is then refined here. There is no way that this price can be at par with global price of diesel.

The oil marketing companies have also raised the price of the domestic non-subsidised LPG cylinder by Rs. 46.50 paise. While the demand has been to remove the unjustified cap on number of cylinders for domestic use, the Government has capped it at 9 cylinders per year. The cost of the subsidised cylinders will be Rs.410.50 Ps while a non-subsidised cylinder will cost not less than Rs.942. The move will only further burden the common masses. AIKS demands the withdrawal of the decision to cap subsidised cylinders for domestic use.

Deregulation in petrol and fertilisers in the recent past have led to an arbitrary and uncontrolled rise in prices of petrol and fertilisers. The present decision will ensure that this would be the order of the day for diesel also from now on.  Irrigation costs for the peasantry will only keep rising. The prices of gas cylinders for domestic use will also see a similar trend. This Government which has been resorting to farcical “cash transfers” by resorting to deregulation is actually transferring people’s money into the pockets of profiteering private companies. On the pretext of cutting down fiscal deficit it is doing away with subsidies which provided some relief to the poor even as massive tax concessions are being given to the rich and the corporate sector.

AIKS calls upon all State Units to hold massive protests against these anti-people moves.

Press Statement, 19th January, 2013.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Condemn the brutal attack on Abdul Rezzack Mollah by TMC goons

The All India Kisan Sabha condemns the brutal attack on Comrade Abdul Rezzack Mollah by Trinamool Congress goons led by former MLA and history-sheeter Arabul Islam. We demand immediate arrest of the perpetrators of the crime.

Rezzack Mollah is a senior leader of the Kisan Sabha and member of the Central Kisan Committee. He has been a popular leader who has been elected 8 times to the West Bengal Assembly and also held important ministerial responsibilities during different Left Front Governments.

Comrade Mollah had gone to visit Kantatala in South 24 Paraganas District where the Trinamool Congress goons had burnt down a office of the CPI (M) on 5th January when the Trinamool goons made the murderous attack on him. The police officials were mute spectators to the violent attack on him. He suffered serious injuries in the attack and is undergoing treatment.

The Trinamool Congress is grossly mistaken if they believe they can stifle voices of protest through violent attacks and politics of physical annihilation. Kisan Sabha and the democratic forces will build resistance to the politics of violence and intimidation and respond with a wave of protests against the brutal attack on our leader. AIKS calls upon our units to protest against this attack and call upon all democratic sections to respond as well as isolate the perpetrators of the heinous attack.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Talasari, Thane: New Building of Godavari-Shamrao Parulekar College inaugurated

B A Rajput

On December 27, 2012, CPI(M) Polit Bureau member and Leader of the Party in Parliament, Sitaram Yechury, inaugurated the three-storeyed new building of the Comrade Godavari Shamrao Parulekar (GSP) Senior and Junior College of Arts, Science and Commerce in the predominently Adivasi area of Talasari in Thane district. The inaugural programme also commemorated two other happy events.

The first was the completion of the golden jubilee year of the Adivasi Pragati Mandal (APM), the educational institution founded by Shamrao and Godavari Parulekar in 1961 in the presence of two stalwarts of the progressive movement in Maharashtra – Balraj Sahni and Acharya P K Atre – for the express purpose of the spread of education amongst the then largely illiterate Adivasi population. The second was the completion of the platinum jubilee (75th) year of the founder president of the Adivasi Pragati Mandal, Lahanu Shidva Kom, veteran leader of the CPI(M), ex-MP and also ex-MLA.

Three months ago on October 10, Sitaram Yechury had inaugurated the new spacious office of the CPI(M) Thane district committee at Talasari, called the Comrade Godavari Shamrao Parulekar Bhavan. The foundation stone for this new office had been laid two years ago by CPI(M) Polit Bureau member and Tripura Chief Minister, Manik Sarkar. The Party state committee meeting held there three months ago had culminated in a massive 50,000-strong districtwide rally.

The inaugural programme on December 27 marked the culmination of a three-day student cultural festival from December 24-26. In this festival, the Adivasi students of the schools, junior colleges and senior college run by the APM presented various cultural items in which they displayed their talents. The annual issue of the college magazine called ‘Godavari’, which had a number of good articles and poems written by the students themselves, was released at the function by Sitaram Yechury.   

Apart from the senior and junior college at Talasari, the APM runs schools and hostels for Adivasi students in villages like Udhva, Vasa, Kochai and Vevji in Talasari tehsil and Ashagad in Dahanu tehsil. It also runs two junior colleges in Udhva and Ashagad respectively. The total student strength in all the APM-run institutions is 8000, and the total staff strength is 200. Over 90 per cent of the students in these schools, hostels and colleges are Adivasis, and many of them are first generation learners.

Comrade Godavari Shamrao Parulekar senior college is affiliated to Mumbai University and it also runs a centre for the Yashwantrao Chavan Open University. Apart from the three main streams of Arts, Science and Commerce, the college runs special courses ranging from modern computer science to traditional Warli Adivasi painting. Many other social and constructive activities include mass marriages to save expenses, eradication of superstitions, water conservation, cleanliness campaigns, women’s empowerment, health camps, educational improvement and so on. The GSP college has won a number of awards and prizes at the university and inter-collegiate levels.

At the inaugural function, Sitaram Yechury warmly felicitated Lahanu Kom and the entire team of the Adivasi Pragati Mandal for the great efforts and the progress that they had made in providing education to the tribals who had always been deprived of it. He said that in the country as a whole, with the drive towards privatisation and commercialisation, education was being sold to the highest bidder. While on the one hand, Indian youth with its intelligence and hard work was excelling in computer software in the most competitive places like the Silicon Valley, the youth in India were facing the grim prospect of unemployment. Due to government’s wrong policies, the great potential of our country was not being realised. He denounced the heinous attacks on women as seen in the gruesome Delhi gang-rape case. Finally, he called upon the students to retain and deepen their sensitivity, and to always stand firmly on the side of truth and justice, come what may.

The elegant function was presided over by CPI(M) MLA Rajaram Ozare, and it was addressed by CPI(M) state secretary Dr Ashok Dhawale, Secretary of the Rayat Shikshan Sanstha Dr Arvind Burungale, veteran leaders Lahanu Kom and L B Dhangar, secretary of the APM B V Mangat and Principal of the GSP College B A Rajput. Students, staff and well-wishers attended in large numbers.