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WEST BENGAL-Centre Flexes Its Muscles

THE Congress (I) in West Bengal, clearly with the connivance, if not at the initiative, of the supreme leader, has been flexing its muscles for launching on a fullscale liberation' .struggle a la the 1959 Kerala exercise to topple the Left Front government The first round of the operation, conducted in front of the eastern gate of the Raj Hhavvan in Calcutta on March 30, took a toll or three lives. The second round, in the form of a statewide bandh in protest against the earlier loss of lives, extracted a fresh crop of about a dozen corpses. The number of people injured on the two occasions runs into hundreds, according to Press reports, not to ipetition the number of buses and tra s bombed or set on fire.

The Stalin Phenomenon

The Stalin Question ed Banbehari Chakrabarty; Kathashilpa, Calcutta 1979; pp viii + 400, Rs 35 (paperback), Rs 80 (library).

THE PHILIPPINES- Marcos and His Patrons

Marcos and His Patrons Ajit Roy THE Permanent People's Tribunal which met at Antwerp in Belgium for five days from October 30 to November 3, 1980, to hear the appeals submitted by the National Democratic Front (NDF) and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) on behalf of the Filipino and the Bangsa Moro peoples respectively, gave its verdict against the Marcos military dictatorship and its foreign patrons. It also recognised the two liberation movements as "the legitimate representatives of their respective peoples". The Tribunal affirmed that "as a matter of legal right, liberation move- ments, in this case, the National Democratic Front (NDF) and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), should enjoy status in international society. They are empowered to enforce the rights of their peoples, by armed struggle, if necessary".

THE PHILIPPINES-Covenant of Freedom

Covenant of 'Freedom' Ajit Roy THERE was a report in a Bangkok daily towards the end of August about the resurfacing of the 'old politicians' in Manila, A long Reuter despatch from Manila said that more than 70 members of various opposition groups in the Philippines had launched a 'National Covenant of Freedom' with the aim of "the immediate and absolute termination of the Marcos dictatorship". The covenant, released by the leaders of the old Liberal Party and disaffected elements from Marcos' own Nacionaliste Party at a posh Manila club, also voiced the demand for "protection of our country and people from all forms of foreign domination".

TRIPURA

August 16, 1980 TRIPURA

Seventh Lok Sabha Elections

Seventh Lok Sabha Elections Ajit Roy NO political analyst had an inkling about the eventual outcome of the seventh Lok Sabha elections; almost without exception they had conceded to the Congress(I) the status of the largest party in the new House, but without a plurality. There was a near unanimity in the country on this, prognosis for the obvious reason that there was neither an Indira wave nor a solid organisation behind Indira Gandhi, While everyone recognised a swing in favour of the Congress(I), none was able to correctly estimate its dimensions. The fact that Indira Gandhi had chosen to contest a second, safer, seat in Andhra Pradesh was tell-tale evidence of her own nervousness about the mood of the people in north India. The eventual outcome of the .seventh Lok Sabha elections has been contrary to all prognostications based on the above premises. The Congress(I) has secured a two-thirds majority in the Lok Sabha. But, here again, the appearance is somewhat deceptive. The Congress(I) has secured 67 per cent of the seats in the Lok Sabha by polling less than 43 per cent of the total valid votes cast. In absolute figures, out of a total electorate of 351 million, about 201 million took part in the polling. Out of this, only about 86 million voted the Congress(I). Thus, less than one in every four of the eligible voters in India positively voted for the return of the Congress(I) to power. It is further estimated that over 100 seats were won by the Congress(I) because of the split in the combined votes for the Janata party in the 1977 elections between the rump Janata and the revived Lok Dal, in addition to the fact that in the recent round, the proportion of the electorate actually exercising their franchise declined by 5 percentage points compared with 1977

CPI-Authoritarianism and Communists

January 5, 1980 CPI Authoritarianism and Communists Ajit Roy S A DANGE, chairman of the CPI till his resignation a few days ago, is known to be vehemently opposed to his party's new line of opposition to Indira Gandhi and alliance with the CPI(M). In any angry note submitted to the Party (large excerpts from which have been published in a New Delhi daily) he has sought to give a 'profound' substantiation of his position, Dange holds that Indira Gandhi is "a representative of the patriotic national bourgeoisie which is intrinsically anti-monopolist..." He seeks to bolster up this argument with statistical data. Quoting figures to show that the share of the private sector in gross capital formation during the last three years of Indira Gandhi's rule had declined from 19.7 per cent to 10,1 per cent, he concludes: "It would be clear that the private sector has slowly declined by about 50 per cent between

PHILIPPINES-Maoists with a Difference

PHILIPPINES Maoists with a Difference Ajit Roy ON September 21, official Manila celebrated the seventh anniversary of 'New Society' by holding parades by school students, policemen and civil guards, brought over in commandeered buses, on the broad boulevards facing the Manila Bay. 'New Society' is the euphemism for the martial law regime imposed by President Ferdinand Marcos on September 21, 1972. The day Lefore the celebration, a Manila daily carried the following three items of news, First, a noted composer had set to , a marching song written by the First Lady, Imelda Marcos, specifically for the anniversary celebration.

CPI(M)- Blinkered by Parliamentarism

Blinkered by Parliamentarism Ajit Roy A LONG statement on the government crisis adopted by the CPI(M) central committee at its recent New Delhi meeting has been published in the party's central organ, People's Democracy, under the caption "Warnings that Were Ignored". The statement quotes copiously from the party's pronouncements on various occasions since the Janata party government's formation in March 1977. As far as they go, the CPI(M)'s warnings were certainly wide-ranging and unexceptionable. But the caption and the contents of the central committee's statement really bring out the essential mistake in the CPI(M)'s position: the party had been nursing the illusion that its warnings would or could be heeded by the Janata Party. Moreover; if sound warnings alone would justify a political line, then a similar and far more copious compilation can be readily made from, the CPI literature during the period of the party's honeymoon with the Indira Congress. The CPI(M) can of course legitimately claim a distinction from the CPI's position

PERSPECTIVES

Nalini Pandit Classes in Marxist theory are not mere economic categories. They are living social groups whose attitudes and responses are determined by historical and cultural factors. The materialistic interpretation of history does not imply an exclusive emphasis on the economic factor to the comparative neglect of others. The purpose of formulating a social theory is to understand the attitudes and responses of different social groups to particular programmes.

CPI(M)-Organisation before Politics

CPI(M) Organisation before Politics Ajit Roy the political independence of India; it characterised the ruling formation as "the government of financial sharks and speculators ... hanging on to the will of the British Commonwealth".

WEST BENGAL-Man-Made Calamity

ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL WEEKIY WEST BENGAL Man-Made Calamity Ajit Roy THE southern districts of West Bengal have been reeling under the ravages of Hoods for more than a month

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