The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) expresses its deep grief at the passing away of Comrade E Balanandan, veteran leader of the Party and the working class movement. He died on January 19, 2009 at the age of 84. He was a former member of the Polit Bureau and former President of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions.
Pragoti pays homage to Comrade.Sailesh Choudhury,the veteran freedom fighter and Communist revolutionary of West Bengal,who made his imprint with his decades long stint with progressive journalism.
Reproduced here is the a farewell note by B.Prasant from India News Netwrok of CPI(M).
"The saga of struggles and steady political mobilisation by the dalits in Nagapattinam district – despite setbacks such as the court rulings on the Keezhavenmani murders and periodical dilution of land ceiling laws in Tamil Nadu – stand out as a success story in the fight against exploitation and casteism in the country. They may be facing newer challenges and newer struggles, but they hold their head high today in reverence to the memory of those who were brutally massacred 40 years ago."
Pragoti is reproducing an EPW editorial which commemorates the heroic struggle by dalits to bring justice to the victims of the tragic Keezhavenmani tragedy on December 25th 1968,in which 44 Dalits were burnt alive by upper caste landlords for the heresy of asking better wages and getting organized under a Communist Union.
Tamil Nadu “accepts in principle” a 3 per cent quota for a few sub-sects within the existing 18 per cent reservation for the Scheduled Castes,writes S. Viswanathan.
CPI(M) spearheaded the agitation of Arunthathiyar community,which is one among the most marginalized sections among the lower castes in Tamil Nadu.A significant section of Arunthathiyars still work as night soil removers and underground sewer cleaners,for whom the exclusive reservations would certainly be a respite,though the lingering upper class stigma against the "untouchables" in Tamil Nadu and the resultant social exclusion points out the need for more affirmative measures from the authorities.
Eugene van Erven writes about the Progressive Indian theater movement and recollects his acquaintance with Safdar Hashmi and Jana Natya Manch.
Hundreds of people participated in the protest demonstration held by CPI(M) in front of Israeli embassy.
Hundreds of Dalits led by the CPI(M) leaders made an attempt on Wednesday to enter the Kannanallur Mariamman temple situated at Panthapuli near Sankarankoil in Tamil Nadu.This agitation is part of the string of militant protests lead by CPI(M) against Dalit oppression and untouchability in Tamil Nadu.
"The political message is, thus, clear. The people see very little difference between the policies pursued by the BJP and the Congress in redressing the issues of their livelihood. It is clear that if a political alternative based on sound alternative policies is forged, then people’s acceptance can be mustered at the hustings. Such an alternative, obviously, cannot be a cut and paste arrangement on the eve of elections. This has to emerge through popular struggles on policy alternatives for India’s future and a better livelihood for its people."
A People's Democracy editorial which analyzes the outcome of recently held assembly elections in five states
Gulf News interviews Brinda Karat, politburo member, CPI(M) and Rajya Sabha member.
The CPI (M) has prepared an Approach Paper on Restructuring of Centre-State Relations. This is being put forward to initiate a discussion among political parties and organisations to enable the emergence of a common platform in and bring about a restructuring of Centre-State relations.