Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Who is this Gandhi? by Shapurji Saklatvala in Labour Monthly, July 1930

                                                           Shapurji Saklatvala

THE bourgeoisie of the world who have been startled by the work of Lenin are making a tremendous noise everywhere about this “great ” Gandhi as if he were some divine being above the ordinary human being.

This outside world praises him and adores him for his two words: non-violent movement.

The working class should better know the whole history of Gandhi.

He has his good qualities which certainly are rare amongst political adventurers of modern life, and especially among members of the British Labour Party and other European Social Democrats.

All such politicians manage to increase their wealth and their luxuries in life, and they all become little tin-pot aristocrats. Gandhi is the opposite.

He throws away all material goods and wants no luxuries. Living in an oriental country of illiterate masses, and knowing very well how religion is used by every ruling class for mass suppression, he mixes a lot of religious sentiments with revolutionary phrases, and so poses as an object of worship amongst the masses in India.

In this guise Gandhi professes indifference to material wealth, but he loves human admiration to an unbounded degree.

The intoxication of mass worship has benumbed all his senses for physical discomfort.

 He also has physical courage and a dictatorial mind which will remain unchanged from external pressure till he himself rapidly changes it from contradiction to contradiction.

In his young days he went to South Africa to assist the Indian colonials who were badly oppressed by the British and the Dutch. He never made the slightest attempt socially and politically to unite the Negroes and the Indians together for the overthrow of the white man’s tyranny.

He cultivated a separatist mentality among the Indians based on religious superstition and social snobbery. Whenever the humiliation or the suffering was too great for his Indian followers he gave them a dose of Tolstoy’s philosophy.

Every now and again he sang songs of praise for the British Empire, and actually made people believe that there was love and justice in the hearts of imperialist rulers and capitalist employers. He left the poor Negroes alone and wasted his time in bothering with detailed grievances of small Indian merchants and traders.

Whenever some vulgar favour was shown by the British master towards a few rich Indians in South Africa, Gandhi would burst out into a song like the Empire’s nightingale. He ignored the fact that South Africa belongs to the negroes and that the white tyrants were a small minority, and were the worst type of exploiters, gold hunters and diamond diggers.

Then burst out the Boer War. Gandhi observed all the intrigues of Chamberlain, Rhodes and Dr. Jameson. Every student of politics knows that the British War on the Boers was one of the foulest acts in the history of wars. Gandhi went from place to place asking Indians to be loyal to the British war-mongers and actually wanted to assist them.

The disarmed Indian merchants had the reputation of having no military spirit or fitness. So he made a Red Cross Battalion out of them and sent them to help in that wicked war.

His non-violent spirit and Tolstoy’s philosophy did not urge him to come out and oppose the war even as much as Lloyd George did in London.

He had not sufficient understanding of the meaning of the war even to advocate that the Indians, if they had to help, should help the Boers.

After the Boer War and after the South African Union. Gandhi made a great hero in his heart and mind of General Smuts.

He knew that General Smuts had finally betrayed the liberty of his own nation, he knew that General Smuts was an exploiter of the lands of the Negroes, he knew that General Smuts became a faithful servant of the Empire as soon is he was given a big position in it, though he had told his people that he was going to fight against the British to a finish.

Gandhi’s worship of General Smuts grew so high that when General Smuts declared his policy of perpetual slavery for Indians in South Africa,

Gandhi declared it was the Magna Carta of the poor oppressed Indians.

After this he left South Africa. When he was in London the world war broke out. Gandhi was a fresh arrival in London where there were many old Indian residents.

The young Indian students in London had been agitated with revolutionary teachings from 1906, and the British Government had managed to get several of them pent to India, some of whom were then hanged and others were imprisoned from five to twenty years.

In his usual desire to be a leader everywhere, he came forward as the leader of the Indians in London and issued a circular once again asking all the Indians to fall in under his leadership and to serve the British Empire in the world war.

He was shrewd enough to guess that Indians young and old would have to accept his proposals from fear of being known to the Government as disloyal.

But he was mistaken.

The Indian residents in London laughed at him and condemned his sycophantic act.

Some fifty poor Indian students hurriedly joined him and their had two or three years of humiliating time for repentance.

On his return to India at a Recruiting Meeting at Kaira in 1916 he exhorted every Indian to join the British Army, and he openly declared that India’s liberty was to be won on the battlefields of Belgium murdering the Germans.

Now let us turn to India. From 1902 a revolutionary wing was built up inside the Congress, under the leadership of Tilak, demanding the overthrow of British usurpation of India.

Tilak was twice imprisoned, and the second time it was for six years.

The bourgeois Congress leaders were very anxious to wipe out Tilak’s influence in the country when he was in prison. Gokhale, a brilliant university professor who was gaining a reputation as a young and left-wing fighter, came out openly to assist the British Empire.

He helped the old Congress leaders to retain their policy and leadership, and all the Indian princes and Indian merchants showered admiration in their turn upon Gokhale.

Gokhale died at an early age and was then described as a Mahatma.

Gandhi now openly declared that he would abandon South Africa for ever and take Gokhale’s place in India.

Thus in place of a dead Mahatma,

British Imperialists got a live one.

With his revolutionary phraseology and religious slogans he came forward very rapidly. Annie Besant, another religious humbug in Indian politics, assisted Gandhi’s popularity.

Tilak had come out of prison but had become a weak old man stricken with disease.

He soon died and Gandhi had the field clear in front of him and took the fullest advantage of this.

He got all the money and homage and blind faith that he wanted for his political campaign which ended in a fiasco even from the bourgeois point of view.

A young and vigorous leader from Bengal, C. R. Das, came to the front, wiped out Gandhism and introduced a more practical policy for winning bourgeois rights. Gandhi retired from the Congress and kept up playing his holy trombone more vigorously than before.

Unfortunately C. R. Das died suddenly at a young age.

At this juncture at Madras the Congress adopted severance from the British Empire as its principal creed. Gandhi actually refused to associate with the Congress. Those who know him know that his idea is to be another General Smuts.

He will never fight for India’s freedom from the British yoke. He wrote in his paper jesting articles against the Independence Resolution of Madras.

He is shrewd enough to know that complete independence for India will soon finish the power of the Indian princes and bourgeoisie and will end in a triumphant revolution of the workers and peasants.

He is really shuddering at the thought of a Communist State: his ideal is a Dominion under British guns with Gandhi as the new “General Smuts.”

He talks of the Rupee ratio, of protective duties, of handspinning, of prohibition and various other parliamentary shibboleths, but he cannot conceive of a great Indian Union of Soviets in which worker and peasants are supreme, and in which the princes and landlords, money-lenders and dividend earners, have no place at all.

What can India’s poor “General Smuts” do with such an idea? As soon as Nehru's Report brought back the British Empire into the Congress, Gandhi came back.

As soon as Lord Irwin spoke of a smiling Round Table Conference of the thieves of the Empire, Gandhi rushed his country into it by signing the idiotic Delhi Manifesto.

But immediately he found the young blood rising, and he still found the workers’ and peasants’ revolution growing. He thought it better to ride on the back of it than be crushed under it.

He, therefore, remained in the Congress with a programme for complete independence and pretended for the time to drop the Delhi Manifesto.

Since then he has been shouting for a compromise, and by dramatic vestures he is striving to force a speedy compromise between the British and would-be Indian bourgeois leaders to stem the growth of proletarian revolution.

He selected the Salt Law in March as the point of his attack because he knew that for twelve months the Indian salt manufacturers had been begging the Viceroy for protective measures against the foreign European salt trust—measures which they were very likely to obtain as a price of peace between Indian bourgeoisie and British imperialists.

He neglects the revolutionary side of the salt proposition.

He does not call upon millions of Indian villagers to expel the special Salt Police from their villages and he does not call upon his own friends, the big Indian salt manufacturers, to refuse to pay the taxes and to go to prison.

He does not call upon his propertied and mill-owning friends to refuse to pay income tax and have their property confiscated.

He does not support the railway strikers and textile strikers who were shot down, and his Congress Committee has not got a word of praise for the Indian troops at Peshawar who practised true non-violence and refused to shoot down innocent people wanting their liberty from a foreign occupier of their country.

By knowing the past of Gandhi, we are better able to follow his present tactics and we shall even be able to guess his future activities.

Some people think that because Gandhi and some of his followers are put in prison, and because they use strong words, therefore they will never again become friends of the British Empire.

This is all nonsense.

British Imperialists have been able to win back in the past much stronger fighters, such as General Botha and General Smuts, and also Arthur Griffiths and Michael Collins.

Workers of the world, let us unite together and break our chains and do not let Round Table Conferences and peace conferences and imperialist conferences add stronger links to the chains round the workers and peasants.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Freedom for G.N Saibaba Now !

“I DON’T feel like a victim but certainly feel I am being used and it is unfair,” said Delhi University professor G N Saibaba, responding to a question if he was a victim of a tussle between two benches of the Bombay High Court.

Saibaba, who was arrested last year for alleged Naxal links and was out on bail, arrived here on Friday evening by flight from Delhi to present himself before the central prison authorities following a Nagpur HC bench’s order two days ago cancelling his bail and asking him to surrender within 48 hours.

“Right from the beginning, I have been subjected to constant witchhunting and false framing. Without any evidence to justify the prosecution, I am being returned to incarceration,” Saibaba said in a statement to journalists.

Saibaba expressed disappointment over the HC order. He said, “I am disappointed by the order passed by a single judge of the High Court of Bombay at Nagpur. But I will abide by the decision and am going back to judicial custody in prison as directed. My lawyers are working on a challenge in the Supreme Court. It is my belief that the honorable Supreme Court will assess the case of the police and grant me relief.”

Asked why he surrendered when many felt the order to surrender was undemocratic and unjust, Saibaba said, “I am not surrendering before anyone. Whether right or wrong, I have to follow the judicial process.”

Asked if the matter was complicated by the principal bench taking up his bail case midway, creating friction with the Nagpur bench, and if he would have been perhaps better off had the case proceeded on a straight course, Saibaba said, “I am in no way concerned with the jurisdiction of courts. I had not approached the principal bench myself. The bench thought it was its duty to save my life, so it took suo motu cognisance of my health problem. It actually saved my life, otherwise I would have not survived to come to Nagpur jail again.”

“I have not recovered fully and I am extremely apprehensive that the hostile conditions and treatment in prison might deteriorate my health conditions once again,” he said



Sunday, December 27, 2015

Turkey: West Prepares to Replace their Puppet in Turkey - Erdogan to go says Sibel Edmonds of Boiling Frogs

This video expresses the personal views of Sibel Edmonds and not the views of Democracy and Class Struggle nevertheless we feel her views should have wider circulation.

India :Why have there not been social revolutions in India, is a question which has incessantly troubled me by Dr Ambedkar

"They could not bear arms, and without arms they could not rebel. They were all ploughmen—or rather, condemned to be ploughmen—and they never were allowed to convert their ploughshares into swords. 

They had no bayonets, and therefore everyone who chose, could and did sit upon them"

Dr Ambedkar in Annihilation of Caste

Every kind of thought is not agreeable to every person. This is evident from the fact that capitalism appeals to the rich and does not appeal to the poor. On the contrary socialism appeals to the poor but does not appeal to the rich. This is because there is a very intimate connection between the interests of a man and the thoughts which have an adverse effect on his interests. He will not give them any quarters in his mind.

Why have the mass of people tolerated the social evils to which they have been subjected? There have been social revolutions in other countries of the world. Why have there not been social revolutions in India, is a question which has incessantly troubled me.

There is only one answer which I can give, and it is that the lower classes of Hindus have been completely disabled for direct action on account of this wretched Caste System.

They could not bear arms, and without arms they could not rebel. They were all ploughmen—or rather, condemned to be ploughmen—and they never were allowed to convert their ploughshares into swords.

They had no bayonets, and therefore everyone who chose, could and did sit upon them.

On account of the Caste System, they could receive no education. They could not think out or know the way to their salvation.

They were condemned to be lowly; and not knowing the way of escape, and not having the means of escape, they became reconciled to eternal servitude, which they accepted as their inescapable fate." ~ Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar



Friday, December 25, 2015

India: Towards Equality: Why did Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar publicly burn the Manu Smruti on December 25, 1927?

Eight-eight years ago, on December 25, 1927, huge strides were made in the movement for self-dignity of Dalits. Under the leadership of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar, a small town/village, Mahad in Konkan, the coastal region of Maharashtra, made history.

Manusmurti Dahan Din. The day that the text of caste Hindus epitomizing hegemony, indignity and cruelty to Dalits and mlecchas (that included women) was publicly burned in a specially constructed symbolic funeral pyre before Dr Ambedkar and thousands of volunteers gathered to protest and agitate.

The Mahad satyagraha (peaceful agitation and protest) had been organised so that Dalits (untouchables) could drink from the Mahad (Chavadar) water tank, a public water source open to all. A previous legal notification of the Collectorate authorised free access to all. Despite the existence of this order, caste hegemony and oppression had not created conditions for access to this facility for the oppressed. On the eve of the protest, caste Brahmins had obtained a stay order from a local court against untouchables accessing water from the tank!

Pressure of an unimaginable kind was put by caste Hindus to somehow abort the protest. This included tightening access to any public ground for the proposed meeting. Finally, a local gentleman Mr. Fattekhan, who happened to be a Muslim, gave his private land for the protest, extending solidarity with the struggle. Arrangements for food and water as also other supplies had to be made meticulously by the organisers facing a revolt in the village. A pledge of sorts had to be taken by the volunteers who participated in the protest. This pledge vowed the following:

I do not believe on Chaturvarna based on birth.
I do not believe in caste distinctions.
I believe that untouchability is an anathema to Hinduism and I will honestly try my best to completely destroy it.
I will not follow any restrictions about food and drink among at least all Hindus.
I believe that untouchables must have equal rights to access to temples, water sources, schools and other amenities.

The arrival of Dr. Ambedkar to the site of the protest was cloaked in high drama, faced with the possibilities of all kinds of sabotage from other sections of society. He came from Bombay on the boat "Padmavati" via Dasgaon port, instead of Dharamtar (the road journey), despite the longer distance. This was a well-planned strategy, because, in the event of boycott by bus owners, the leaders could walk down five miles to Mahad.

In front of the pandal where Dr Ambedkar made his soul-stirring address, the "vedi" (pyre) was created beforehand to burn the Manusmruti. Six people had been labouring for two days to prepare it. A pit six inches deep and one and half foot square was dug in, and filled with
sandlewood pieces.

On its four corners, poles were erected, bearing banners on three sides. The banners said,
1. "Manusmruti chi dahan bhumi", i.e. Crematorium for Manusmruti.
2. Destroy Untouchability and
3. Bury Brahmanism.

It was on December 25, 1927, in the late evening, at the conference, that the resolution to burn the Manusmruti was moved by Brahmin associate of Ambedkar, Gangadhar Neelkanth Sahastrabuddhe and was seconded by PN Rajabhoj, an untouchable leader. Thereafter, the book Manusmruti was kept on this pyre and burned. The Brahmin associate of Ambedkar, Gangadhar Neelkanth Sahastrabuddhe and five six other Dalit sadhus completed the task. At the pandal, the only photo placed was that of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. This has been interpreted to mean that, at this stage the Dalit leadership, including Dr. Ambedkar had yet to be disillusioned with Gandhi.

In his presidential speech Ambedkar said that the aim of the movement was not only to gain access to the water or the temple or to remove the barriers to commensality; the aim was to break down the varna system which supported inequality in society. He then told his audience about the French Revolution, and explained the main points of the Charter of Human Rights enunciated by the French Revolutionary Council. He pointed out the danger of seeking temporary and inadequate solutions by relating how the rebellion of the plebians of Rome against the patricians failed, primarily because the plebians sought only to gain a tribune of their choice instead of seeking to abolish the system dividing society into patricians and plebians.

In the February 3, 1928 issue of the Bahishkrit Bharat (his own newspaper) he explained the action saying that his reading of the Manusmriti had convinced him that it did not even remotely support the idea of social equality.

The root of untouchabilty lies in prohibition of inter-caste marriages, that we have to break, said Ambedkar in that historic speech. He appealed to higher varnas to let this "Social Revolution" take place peacefully, discard the sastras, and accept the principle of justice, and he assured them peace from our side. Four resolutions were passed and a Declaration of Equality was pronounced. After this, the copy of the Manusmruti was burned

One sees here a definite broadening of the goal of the movement. In terms of the ultimate goal of equality and of the eradication of the varna system, the immediate programme of drinking water from the Mahad water reservoir was a symbolic protest, to herald the onset of a continuing struggle for dignity.

The other crucial points of Dr. Ambedkar’s speech were:

“…So long as the varna system exists the superior status of the Brahmans is ensured….Brahmans do not have the same love of their country that the Samurai of Japan had. Hence one cannot expect them to give up their special social privileges as the Samurai did in the interest of social equality and national unity of Japan. We cannot expect this of the non-Brahman class either. The non-Brahman classes like the Marathas and others are an intermediate category between those who hold the reins of power and those who are powerless. Those who wield power can occasionally be generous and even self-sacrificing. Those who are powerless tend to be idealistic and principled because even to serve their own interest they have to aim at a social revolution. The non-Brahman class comes in between; it can neither be generous nor committed to any principles. Hence they are preoccupied in maintaining their distance from the untouchables instead of with achieving equality with Brahmans. This class is weak in its aspiration for a social revolution…..We should accept that we are born to achieve this larger social purpose and consider that to be our life’s goal. Let us strive to gain that religious merit. Besides, this work (of bringing about a social revolution) is in our interest and it is our duty to dedicate ourselves to remove the obstacles in our path.

There was a strong reaction in the section of the press, perceived to be dominated by the entrenched higher caste interests. Dr Ambedkar was called "Bheemaasura" by one newspaper. Dr. Ambedkar justified the burning of Manusmruti in various articles that he penned after the satyagraha. I n the February 3, 1928 issue of the Bahishkrit Bharat (his own newspaper) he explained the action saying that his reading of the Manusmriti had convinced him that it did not even remotely support the idea of social equality. To burn a thing was to register a protest against the idea it represented. By so doing one expected to shame the person concerned into modifying his behaviour. He said further that it would be futile to expect that any person who revered the Manusmriti could be genuinely interested in the welfare of the Untouchables. He compared the burning of the Manusmriti to the burning of foreign cloth recommended by Gandhi. Protests the world over had used the burning of an article that symbolised oppression to herald a struggle. This was what the Manusmurti Dahan was.

The tactical retreat

Meanwhile, condemned by a sudden Court ruling to hold back the satyagraha of drinking water from the public water tank, Dr Ambedkar explained the dilemma faced by on the one hand the government/British Collector and entrenched high caste interests.

In a note entitled ‘Why the Satyagraha was Suspended’ in the 3 February 1928 issue of the Bahishkrit Bharat, Ambedkar said:

“The untouchables are caught between the caste Hindus and the government. They can attack one of the two. There is nothing to be ashamed of in admitting that today they do not have the strength to attack both of them at the same time. When the caste Hindus refused to concede the legitimate rights of untouchables as human beings willingly and on their own initiative, we thought it wise to arrive at a peace (agreement) with the government…… There is a world of difference between a satyagraha launched by caste Hindus and one launched by untouchables. When the caste Hindus initiate a satyagraha it is against the government and they have community support….. When the untouchables launch a satyagraha all the caste Hindus are arraigned against us.”

He observed further that the agitation of the untouchables was not limited to the Mahad water tank. It had been launched to achieve the larger goals the untouchables had set for themselves. The answer to whether it could have been sustained depended upon one’s estimate of the loss and the hurt that would have resulted from the satyagraha and the means that were available to protect the people from this loss and hurt. If the people had seen that they could not recover from the loss inflicted on them by one satyagraha in Mahad they would never rise again to join another satyagraha. This question had to be weighed.

What stands out is the openly rational, almost calculated approach to the strategy of the struggle and a willingness to present it as such. There is no effort to obfuscate or mystify it. Ambedkar responded to the concern that the withdrawal of the satyagraha would give caste-Hindu slanderers an opportunity to scoff at the untouchable leaders, by saying merely that he had not launched the satyagraha to win their approbation.


The Social Context of an Ideology, Ambedkar’s Social and Political Thought, MS Gore, Sage Publications


Evin Timtik hunger strike in Austria

Despite a decision by its own courts on October 27, the Austrian state has confiscated Evin Timtik's passport!

This is bourgeois democracy, this is the democratic face of Europe!

Everyone should see, everyone should know that this is the true face of bourgeois democracy:

If you are within the frontiers of bourgeois democracy, every kind of thought can be spoken and published. As a good "citizen" your rights are protected.

But if it is contrary to the interests of the European Union or you defend thoughts that are an alternative to the policies of its states, concepts of rights and freedoms give way to "security concerns".

If you are a revolutionary or socialist, you have no basic rights in European Union countries. And all your rights are endangered.

Evin Timtik was targeted in Turkey for being a revolutionary and because her life was in danger she went to Austria in 2009.

Shortly after going to Austria she applied for refugee status and in 2010 her request for refugee status was accepted.

Since 2010 she has spent five years with right to remain status in Austria. At the end of these five years she made a new application to remain on March 4, 2015. For a time the Austrian state engaged in chicanery as regards Evin's case.

But in the end it made a confession: "Because you threaten the internal and external security of Germany your application is rejected."

What is the excuse for this? There is none. Is there a concrete allegation? No. Evin's lawyers have sought to find out why there is a "threat", and why such a decision was reached, but the reply they received was that it was an Interior Ministry file and on grounds of secrecy it could not be released, they said. So they could not explain what danger there was to the security of the German state.

Germany is the gendarme of the European Union.

Grup Yorum (a revolutionary music group from Turkey) artists are given Schengen visas by embassies, but Germany does not accept them, saying that "you threaten the security of Germany", so these revolutionary musicians cannot enter Germany.

After a concert was held despite these obstacles the authorities were so indignant about it that they raided the homes of the organisers using police armed with assault rifles, on the pretext that they had "failed to pay tax".

To destroy a revolutionary they held him for seven years for an act alleged to have been committed in Turkey in 1991. The Yuruyus magazine, which is not even banned in Turkey, was banned by the German Interior Ministry.

Now the Austrian state which is playing the role of a servant has confiscated the passport of Evin Timtik.

We know very well the true face of German imperialism and bourgeois democracy.

The bourgeoisie is hypocritical, fake and mendacious.

While for appearances it plays the democracy game, thoughts it thinks are not dangerous are freely expressed but when they feel they themselves are endangered their faces can change in a moment.

 After the ISIS attacks the Belgian Interior Ministry stated quite plainly: "All houses in the Molenbeek district where North Africans live will be searched one by one." Their democracies are just a decoration to deceive the peoples.

The moment their systems go into crisis they forget they are supposed to be democracies.

As a revolutionary, Evin Timtik struggles against this corrupt system. Her rights were taken away, her passport unjustly confiscated and her freedom to travel obstructed.

The Austrian state itself has resorted to illegality and taken away her basic rights. Having no alternative, she set up a resistance tent and started an unlimited hunger strike for her rights, and is now in the 53rd day.

We as members of the Anti-Imperialist Front in the capacity of political institutions and individuals declare that we are behind Evin Timtik and we will will resist alongside her until she regains her rights.

The right to claim asylum is not a right that was benevolently granted, it was won by the world's peoples with blood and sacrifice, and it cannot be taken away! Down with imperialism, long live our struggle!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Turkey : Cornerstones of the Left from Yuruyus (March) Magazine - translated by Steve Kaczynski

                                                            Cemil Bayik

Yuruyus ("March") magazine no.499, December 13, 2015, translated from Turkish

"Cornerstones of the left




CEMIL BAYIK: Turkey for years has struggled with the Kurds and the left. But it could not find a solution somehow. But leader Apo, the PKK, brought all these forces said to be illegal into parliament."

The joint chair of the KCK (Group of Communities in Kurdistan) Cemil Bayik, confessed the truth of something we have long maintained in an interview with the BBC on November 30, 2015.

BBC Turkce (BBC's Turkish-language satellite channel): Do you not think that you share at all in creating the environment for an intensification of the fighting?

Bayik: We do not think we share it. If we were on the side of fighting, we would not have issued nine unilateral cease-fires up to the present. Again, if we were persistently on the side of war, we would not have tried to bring the Kurdish people, the left of Turkey and all opposition forces together under the roof of the HDP and we would not have brought them to parliament.

We carried all Turkey's problems to parliament. We put all these problems on the agenda of parliament, we sought a solution.

Turkey for years has struggled with the Kurds and the left. But it could not find a solution somehow. But leader Apo, the PKK, brought all these forces said to be illegal into parliament." (BBC Turkce, Mahmut Hamsici, November 30, 2015)

What KCK joint chair Cemil Bayik has admitted to is quite clear. He said that "the illegal left organisations that the state for years was not able to finish off were brought within the system by leader Apo by means of the HDP".

How did the Kurdish nationalist movement do this? With the HDP...

When the HDP was founded, there was no mission that the Kurdish nationalist movement and the reformist, opportunist left did not attribute to it.

The HDP would secure the unity of the whole left. It would organise the joint struggle of the Kurdish and Turkish peoples. It would present the alternative of socialism to capitalism. It would bring life to the inheritance left by Mahir and Deniz to the revolutionary movement in Turkey... They said that supporting Mahir and Deniz meant supporting the HDP... And those who did not support it and criticised it were declared to be jash  (Kurdish word meaning "traitor").

Since the discussions of a "roof party" (literal translation: could also be rendered as "umbrella organisation") started, we stayed outside of it.

We said it was not a unity that met the needs of the people or boosted the struggle, it was a unity by the Kurdish nationalist movement that sought to bring the revolutionary left from Turkey towards conciliation with the system and to liquidate it.

During the Halklarin Demokratik Kongresi (HDK, Democratic Congress of the Peoples) foundation period we expressed our criticisms on this basis and said we would not be participating.

What Cemil Bayik has admitted to has proved once again that we were right.

In the June 22, 2014 issue no.422 of Yuruyus, in the article headlined "We must ensure the unity of the people, not the left", we had said:

 "What the unity in the literature of the Kurdish nationalist movement amounts to is making various political forces into reserve forces for itself. The unity calls of the Kurdish nationalists to the left are designed to obtain a new bargaining chip vis-a-vis AKP fascism.

The left, that lacks confidence in itself and is without personality is to be made an auxiliary to its own nationalist, conciliatory and capitulationist politics. And the truth is that it has had a number of successes on this score...

The HDP project of the Kurdish nationalist movement is not about increasing the anger of the people or the struggle against the fascist system, it is a projected aimed at making the people's struggle suitable to be drawn inside the system, and to reach conciliation with the system...

We will not support any policy that seeks conciliation with the system and does not develop the struggle..."

In the June 29, 2014 issue of Yuruyus, no.423, the article headlined "EMEP decided not to join the HDP" - "HDK-HDP is not what the struggle of the people needs, it is what the Kurdish nationalist movement needs.

The HDP is the Kurdish nationalist movement's project to pull the left with it while it  moves inside the system." EMEP had declared that it would not join the HDP.

"It can be deduced that the HDP 'ground for alliance' is a way of reorganising itself as a mass party with a particular ideological approach." (Evrensel, June 18, 2014)

That is, the existing political identities of the HDP's component parts are to be abandoned and under the roof of the HDP there is to be a reorganisation with what is said to be a "new ideology". The "new ideology" is undoubtedly the ideology of the Kurdish nationalist movement.

In the same article it was said that a message to the 2nd Extraordinary Congress of the HDP maintained that the HDP project was "the biggest political development since the TIP".

"The peoples of Turkey will see in their lives how this development will be realised politically. However, we had said this already in establishing the HDK.

Talking of a "roof party" while putting this project forward, Abdullah Ocalan put it forward as a project for the Kurdish nationalist movement to reach conciliation with the system.

Not restricting itself to conciliation, the Kurdish movement is itself moving inside the system and wants to bring the left with it inside the system too... Otherwise, the left would be an obstacle to the Kurdish nationalist movement's entry into the system. It would harm the policy of conciliation...

So this project is at the same time one of getting the left to be an auxiliary for the Kurdish nationalist movement as it enters the system, and is also a means of eroding it and putting an end to it while it is under the same roof...

We had said this during the period that the roof party was being created...

What EMEP said and its reasons expressed for not entering the HDP were what we too said at the time.

And  because of what we said the Kurdish nationalist movement resorted to every form of attack on us, with lynch attacks, setting fire to our institutions, arson attacks using Molotov cocktails, and attempts to obstruct Grup Yorum concerts.

In the April 19, 2015 Yuruyus magazine no.465 we had published what bargains and aims were behind the HDP, in the article entitled "The HDP is a project to make the revolutionary left an auxiliary of the system!

We will step up the struggle against conciliation, liquidation and making the hopes of the people dependent on parliament.

Fascism must be fought without any attempts at conciliation!

The solution lies not in the parliament of the oligarchy but in revolution!

Let us unite in the Revolutionary Front!". The protocol of the HDP visit to Ocalan stated the following:

"OCALAN: We are using this process to create an opening for the left... It is necessary to legalise it. Because the bourgeoisie pressed us hard we had to choose illegality. Otherwise legality is normal. With the call from parliament that will be made, the left will also be legalised."


"It is necessary to legalise it." Why? Because bargaining with the oligarchy is underway. If organisations that defend the revolutionary, illegal struggle do not "go legal", that is, make a turn towards the system, it will also not be possible for the Kurdish nationalist movement to make a turn to the system.

Ocalan is saying that in order to further bargaining with the state an appeal will be made from parliament calling on the illegal left to go legal...

And if it is not enough for the left to turn to the system, a mission to transform it into a "system left" is also being carved out for it. Ocalan continues:

"The AKP is conservative, the others are nationalist. There is a huge opening between them. The left can fill it. (From the protocol of the BDP delegation to Ocalan, dated April 3, 2013.)

"OCALAN: Apo wants to move together with you. The Ankara conference is historic. We will lay down the basis of politics. The state will not be able to do what it did to those like Mustafa Suphi.

Weapons will fall silent, democratic politics will do the talking. The prime minister said this. There can be no going back. If there is, there will be an uprising and all hell will break loose."

Here Ocalan is saying that while the Kurdish nationalist movement is liquidating its armed struggle, to the DHKP-C which persists in armed struggle he remarks of the state that it will not be able to do what it did to people like Mustafa Suphi, he is saying, enough, give up your weapons...

Ocalan continues:

"That is the situation of the CHP. It is an opportunity for the left, there are three blocs: an AKP bloc, an MHP-CHP bloc and a bloc of labourers and socialists. Aim for this, form this... I talked to a delegation (refers to a delegation from MIT, National Intelligence Organisation [Turkey's state security service] so a decision on pulling the left into the system was taken in talks with the MIT) without the left this cannot be done. They have to be persuaded. So I am also thinking of their security here. I am guaranteeing it. This means henceforth there will be no plots against the left. (...) thus far, the left has been dying and I am working to guarantee its security (April 14, 2013, BDP visit to Ocalan in Imrali)

Ocalan says it is not possible for the PKK to disarm without the revolutionary socialist left being drawn into the system... This is essentially the same viewpoint as that of imperialism and the oligarchy.

Because when revolutionaries don't abandon armed struggle, there will be no sense in the Kurdish nationalist movement abandoning weapons by itself. If the Kurdish nationalist movement abandons its arms, revolutionaries will continue the armed struggle. So imperialism and the oligarchy want Ocalan to pull the revolutionary socialist left towards the system...

And Ocalan presents a very "sublime" thought as regards this duty: "The left has been dying and I am working to guarantee its security," he says.

So Ocalan has been dealing with the left's "security of life".

How is he doing this? By creating a left that the system doesn't feel it wants to kill...

He is trying to show that the armed struggle is past its sell-by date and the only solution is parliament.

Indeed in the June 7 parliamentary election, the oligarchy's parliament was presented to the sections of the people opposed to the system as being the only alternative.

No step was omitted to make them accept the system. Before the June elections, to get the votes of the left, left-wing phrases were constantly in their mouths, the writers for the bourgeois press acted as advisers. They wrote jokes for them as well as speeches and because of their "talents" the politicians most often seen in the bourgeois media were HDP joint chair Selahattin Demirtas and Figen Yuksekdag...

In Yuruyus no.470, dated May 24, 2015, we said: "The HDP is not a project for democratisation, peace and a solution but a project to liquidate the Kurdish nationalist movement. Imperialism and the oligarchy, developing the HDP project together with the Kurdish nationalists and those who tail them, are deceiving the peoples."

On the one hand, they said, "We will establish the power of labour." On the other they said, "We will protect capitalists."

After the elections they said, "We have no red lines" and tried to find solutions to the system's crisis. They embraced the chairs of TUSIAD, MUSIAD and TOBB (translator's note: capitalist institutions in Turkey) and scattered flowers before them.

But despite the left's fossilised turncoats becoming a reserve force for the HDP, and despite it winning 80 seats and entering parliament, it could not be a solution to the oligarchy's crisis.

The imperialists' contradictions with one another, the contradictions in the oligarchy, the oligarchy's powerlessness do not allow the Kurdish question to be resolved within the system.

Despite the Kurdish nationalist movement's conciliatory, pro-surrender policies, AKP fascism is not in a conciliatory mood, and it is continuing its massacres in order to make the Kurdish nationalist movement surrender.

Now Cemil Bayik in his BBC interview is trying to give the imperialists and the collaborationist AKP "confidence" by saying that "we played no part in starting the clashes" and to prove this,  says that "if we were persistently on the side of war, we would would not have tried to bring the Kurdish people, the left of Turkey and all opposition forces together under the umbrella of the HDP and we would not have brought them to parliament."

So the whole of the (reformist and opportunist) left is in their hands: Bayik says it does what we want. We established the party for you, we got into parliament. We showed that the only place where a solution could be found was in the system's parliament... Re the Kurdish people and the left which the state for years called terrorist, "leader Apo, the PKK brought all these forces considered illegal into parliament."

While Bayik talks about how the Kurdish people and the left were drawn into the system by means of parliament, and tries to prove his commitment to conciliation, the AKP continues to declare one district after another in Kurdistan to be security areas and commits dozens of massacres.  

(Translated by Steve Kaczynski)


India:Oppose tyranny of black laws on people's struggles salute Jalandhar protest by Harsh Thakor

On December 23rd one of the largest and most succesful protests took place representing organizations from a huge range of society constituting industrial workers,peasants,agricultural labourers and supported by many rung sof society.

Speakers highlighted how the state was attempting to enstranle peoples strruggles through using the weapon of black laws.

This was an instrument deployed to intervene in democratic struggles of the masses and the people must shaprpen their collective organization to resist it.

The response was heratening.About 2500 participants constituted the B.K.U Ugrahan and Dakaunda factions while about 100 constiuted the mass peasant worker and student fronts of the C.P.M.(Pasla ) group.

Overall about 6000 people participated and rally was staged that blazed the streets of Jalandhar.

The most important aspect was groups understanding importance of struggling collectively.

Reflection of democratic resurgence and consciousness in Punjab.

Jalandhar, December 23 After coming together under the banner of Anti-Black Law Front, more than four dozen organisations today blocked BMC Chowk in protest against Public Private Property Damage Prevention Bill.

Apart from raising anti-government slogans, they also took out a protest march in the city.

The protesters gathered at Desh Bhagat Yadgar Hall in the morning and organised a state-level convention, from where they started the protest march.

Prior to addressing the gathering, leaders of various organisations said, "We have named the bill as ‘black law’ because it would snatch the right to protest from the citizens, which is an integral part of the democracy.

The same law would also prevent people from organising any kind of protest."

They said not only the protesters, but people, who provided services like tents, vehicles and sound system to the protesters would also be equally responsible.

They added that the right to protest was achieved after a long struggle and they would not let it go just like that.

They have also planned to protest on January 29 at all districts of the state.

The leaders, who addressed the gathering included Sukhdev Singh Kokri Kalan, Vijay Mishra, Kulwinder Waraich and Ruldu Singh

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Indian Government Holds World in Contempt for Christmas :The Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court has ordered proceedings for criminal contempt to be initiated against author Arundhati Roy

The Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court has ordered proceedings for criminal contempt to be initiated against author Arundhati Roy for her article titled "Professor, POW" on Saibaba's arrest that was published in Outlook magazine on May 18, 2015.

Observing that Roy made scandalous observations against the central, state governments and police in her article, the court issued notice to her for contempt of court, returnable on January 25, 2016.

 "Scandalous and scurrilous allegations are made by author Arundhati Roy in the said article against the judiciary," the court said.

 It said she "indirectly questioned the sanctity of the order" made by Justice S.B. Shukre for rejecting the bail application filed by Saibaba. 

It said that by making such allegations and remarks about the bail rejection order, Roy has interfered in the administration of justice.

Democracy and Class Struggle says the world has a voice and is time for it to be heard as the Indian Government proceeds to hold the world in contempt.


Kemalism and Communism 1920'-30's : Prelude to Ibrahim Kaypakkaya's Revolution in Thought

The newspaper headline shows Adolf and Inonu, Ataturk's successor (Ataturk died in late 1938). It says "Friendship reinforced by the pact: sincere congratulations between our national leader and the Fuehrer"). 

Democracy and Class Struggle has found the work of Vahram Ter- Matevosyan useful in understanding the background to the development of Ibrahim Kaypakkaya's revolution in thought on Kemalism - we have edited extracts from his study on Soviet Turkish relations in 1920' and 1930's  has an introduction to the following article on Ibrahim Kaypakkaya here

In 1927, Vladimir Osetrov, a historian of Turkey and Iran, who used the pseudonym of Irandoust, wrote an article “The essence of Kemalism” in the party's official press described Kemalism as an “authentic mass revolution,” which was a specific type of Eastern revolution following the Western pathway.

At the same time, he distinguished two characteristics of Kemalism which had made it a unique case: its revolutionary and counter-revolutionary concepts.

Irandoust also envisioned the fate of Kemalism in the following way:

  “the future of Kemalism depends on its anti-imperialistic character, otherwise the possible compromise with imperialism would mean the crisis of Kemalism and its program.”

In 1927, Bekar Ferdi, a pseudonym of one of the Turkish communist leaders Sefik Hüsnü, who worked under the close supervision of the Soviets and published extensively in the Communist Party press, described the Republican People's Party (RPP) of Mustafa Kemal as the party of the Kemalist cause, which brought the national bourgeoisie to power at the expense of forced measures directed against possible opposition forces

In another piece that he produced the same year in the official mouthpiece of the Communist International (ComIntern), Ferdi argued that Kemalists took a wrong turn when they fully trusted the Western powers, which promised a rosy future for Turkey but, in reality, they took Turkey toward the “capitalist path.”

At the same time, Ferdi was hopeful that the increasing repression by the Kemalists would make “the Turkish working class to take advantage of the revolutionary propaganda” and, with the support of the communists, rise against the bourgeoisie in which they included both the Kemalists and, interestingly, the Unionists.

Two months later, in June 1927, the same author proposed a set of policy proposals and analytical insights concerning the similarities and differences between the Turkish and Chinese revolutions.

Ferdi expressed his belief that the Chinese communist leaders would draw necessary lessons from the mistakes of Kemalism which started off as a national democratic revolution but later on was hijacked by the ideas of the bourgeoisie and capitalism.

A year later, in 1928, Irandoust published another book to decode the main transformative features of Turkey in which he used plainer terminology to describe the agencies of the newly founded state.

He used the terms like “Kemalist Turkey” and “Kemalist movement” as names to describe the nature of the revolution that had been carried out from 1918 to 1920 by “Kemalists,” the rank-and-file of the ideological revolution.

He also continued the dominant fashion among Soviet observers to ascribe theoretical dimensions to Kemalism.

Another interesting component that Irandoust presented was the prevailing trend among the Soviet Communist revolutionaries to transform and project the Kemalist brand of revolution into China, by pinpointing the existing socio-political similarities in both countries.

He went on to mention that rather interesting case is counterpoised by another trend in the international mass media, particularly in the Japanese media, which repeatedly applied the term “Kemalism” to generalize counter-revolutionary movements of the Chinese generals (Chiang Kai-shek and Phin Yui-sen), who, by acting under the guise of anti-imperialism virtually served the needs of the Chinese bourgeoisie.

In the beginning of the 1920s, some prominent members of the Communist Party, including Yevgenij Zinovyev, a member of the Politburo, were particularly vocal in the comparison between China and Turkey, anticipating a relatively calm development for China, following the example of Turkey.

Ilan Butayev, another expert of Ottoman Turkish history, put Turkey, Persia and China on the same level of analysis, describing them as “dependent, but sovereign countries of the Orient.”

Mikhail Godes, an expert on the history and economy of the Middle East, discussed that view in his book and vehemently opposed that line of reasoning. Godes famously claimed that all the comparisons between Chinese and Turkish revolutions are superficial, hence, a Kemalist revolution for China is impossible.

However, while criticizing any overgeneralizations and artificial parallels between different revolutions, he adds that many nations in the Orient greatly resemble pre-revolutionary Turkey in terms of their social structures and international standing.

Based on that thinking, he claims that Kemalism, as a pattern of revolutionary development, can appeal to many national-revolutionary movements. Particularly, he mentioned the example of Persia, which could borrow the important features of the Kemalist revolution.

In this regard, it is interesting to present the content of a diplomatic cable sent from the Soviet Ambassador, Yakov Sourits, to the PCFA of the SU, concerning the non-official visit of the Chinese Nanking government delegation to Ankara in March 1928.

The ambassador reports that Chiang Kai-shek sent that delegation in order to “study Turkey and borrow the experience of Kemalism” (opit Kemalizma) as well as advocate the existence of similarities between “Chiangkaishism” and Kemalism.

According to the ambassador, the delegation left a “disgusting impression on ?smet-pa?a [?nönü]” and an “unpleasant” one on ?ükru Kaya, the Interior Minister.

In spite of these impressions, the Turkish government, however, shared its insights on how the Nanking government should proceed—“finish the capitulation regime, expel foreign armed forces and value the friendship with the SU.”

The Soviet ambassador's cable reflected the SU's general displeasure toward that delegation too, which may indicate that if the SU was interested in exporting Kemalism to China, it was certainly true of the Nanking government, which were supposed to be recipients of that approach.

Also, once again we witness that in official Soviet communications the term Kemalism has long been in circulation as a generic term to describe the Turkish development model.

It is interesting to observe that within a short period the SU became critical toward the Kemalist Turkey as the initial enthusiasm retreated. Dmitrij Yeremeyev, one of the renowned scholars of the Soviet Orientalist school, provides reasons for the Kemalist movement initially being viewed as “progressive and democratic” in the 1920s.

He argued that Kemalism was seen positively because it included “large masses of the Turkish nation and was under the influence of the October revolution” and because it excluded the chauvinistic and reactionary forces.

However, once “the Kemalist revolutionary war was over,” pan-Turkic movements, namely chauvinistic and reactionary forces, being tolerated by Mustafa Kemal, reemerged and distorted the spirit of Kemalism.

The SU interpreted this shift as an aggressive trend.

Thus, based on the analysis above, since the mid-1920s the Soviet leadership became more outspoken in its criticism toward Turkey.

At least two reasons can explain the change of approach.

In spite of promising start, the Kemalists turned toward the Western model of development, which, starting at least from 1925, was heavily criticized by some circles in the SU.

Later, the rise of aggressive rhetoric in Turkey of certain movements, especially of the radical nationalists, racist and pan-Turkist orientation, generated more animosity toward Turkey as they were largely seen as irredentism by the Soviets and a threat the Turkic nations living in its territory.

Nonetheless, what bears emphasizing is that, the Communist leadership, party functionaries and scholars tried to trace ideological premises in those developments and thereby provided working definitions of Kemalism long before the term was circulated in the official Turkish political terminology.

Another possible explanation for the use of the term had to do with the Turkish previous experience of ideological projects like Turkism, pan-Turkism, and Turanism, which were familiar concepts for the late Imperial and early Soviet periods.

Therefore, some circles in the SU saw Kemalism as a continuation of some of these political and ideological trends. The Soviet leadership also held the view that the Turkish political and intellectual elite possessed sufficient skills and experience to produce a new ideological framework for the development of the newly formed Turkish nation-state.

Against this background of searching for a modus operandi with the Kemalist regime, the SU undertook an important academic and symbolic initiative at the end of the 1920s.

Two years after Mustafa Kemal delivered his famous 36-hour speech in 1927, Soviet Turcologists decided to translate the speech into Russian. The first volume was published in Moscow by the printing house of the PCFA of the SU in May 1929.

It took another five years, however, to complete the next three volumes. They contained a foreword, footnotes, comments, maps, and notes, which provide valuable information not only about that particular initiative but also make the reading of the text much easier as compared to Turkish publications.

In other words, it was an effort to provide a complete history of Kemalist Turkey through 1927. Another interesting feature of that academic venture was the title of the book. The original Turkish title “Nutuk,” which is generally translated as “Speech” in European languages or as “Great Speech” in Turkey, was translated as “The Road of the New Turkey” (Put' novoj Turtsii).

The foreword published in the first volume claimed: “until this moment there is no single work in the European literature, which would provide the complete picture of the Turkish national-freedom movement,” neither does it exist in Turkey.

 It mentioned, however, that in parallel to the Russian version, the Nutuk was simultaneously being translated into French, German, and English.

 This Russian translation served as a primary source for many generations of scholars in the field of Turkish studies in the SU.

The first volume of the German translation of Kemal's speech, however, was already published in 1928 and its title (Der Weg Zur Freiheit) was also different from the original and Russian translations.

These “recollections” or “memoirs” of Mustafa Kemal, as Soviet scholars referred to them, while interesting, insightful, and well written, were also criticized. Gurko-Kryazhin claimed in 1928 that one might get an impression as if “the political program of Kemal?…?was an irretrievable value, which was created as a result of political intuition, some kind of prophesy.” Whereas, in reality, he went on, Kemal's program-speech was “temporarily adopted to situational circumstances.”

Domestic development in Turkey were closely followed by not only the central authorities in Moscow, but also in those Soviet Republics which had historical disputes with Turkey.

In the beginning of the 1920s, Soviet Armenian communist functionaries were able to monitor transformations in Turkey. However, after the consolidation of the Soviet system, they were not in a position to pursue an independent agenda different from Moscow.

Meanwhile, those Armenian intellectuals and former members of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) (which ruled the short-lived Republic of Armenia between 1918 and 1920), who left Armenia after its Sovietization, voiced their own interpretations of Kemalist Turkey.

Their primary motivation was to keep following the developments in and around Turkey, trying to find answers to questions concerning Turkish-Armenian relations and post-war transformations in Turkey.

Two of these authors stand out for the depth of their analyses. Rouben (Rouben Ter-Minassian), one of the prominent members of the ARF and former Minister of Defense of the Republic of Armenia, authored an article in 1928 published in two parts, which provided a comprehensive account of Kemalism and the Kemalist transformation in the 1920s.

He challenged the dominant perception of the time that Turkey was undergoing a revolution.

He argued that true revolutions do not happen without resistance, whereas the Angora [Ankara] government adopts one revolutionary law after another?…?without facing a real resistance.

Therefore, it is not a Turkish revolution, but a coup carried out by Kemal and the Kemalists.

That is why, it is accurate that what happened is named either “Kemalist” or “Kemalist movement,” which is dear to Kemal himself, but not to Turks and Turkey.

Understandbly, he was skeptical about the future of Kemal's reforms, describing the reality in Kemalist Turkey as “an empty word and insubstantial box?…which probably will serve as a coffin both for Kemalism and Turanism.”with checked and balanced steps.

It is also interesting to examine how the Soviet observers interpreted the power relations within Turkey. Kross, a Soviet observer of Turkey, confirms that by the end of the third decade within the Kemalist revolutionary circles a few factions emerged which caused certain deviations from the general politics of the mid-1920s.

The right wing (or pro-Western section) of the Kemalists demanded more resolute involvement of the Western model in state building of Turkey. The Left demanded more of a state role in the economy and in the daily life of the country.

The Pan-Turkist circles were also active by initiating efforts for making Kemalism an official ideology and a scientific doctrine by establishing, among other institutions, the Museum of the Kemalist Revolution and the Institute of Turkism.

The more orthodox section of the Kemalists wished to rely upon the peasants and the Anatolian petty-bourgeoisie as trustworthy resources for promoting the policy of nationalism, republicanism, and laicism.

Earlier Ferdi also had contended that after five years of independence, factions appeared within the ranks of the RPP as well, which was manifested in the increasing dissatisfaction of the masses. As a result, more people were leaving the party than joining it

In this regard, Godes argues that the RPP never became a mass political party as it nominally had 2000–3000 members, but the number of real active members throughout the entire country did not exceed 500 people.

After the mid-1930s, technical and financial assistance to Turkey was suspended, which was followed by a new period of interpretation of Kemalist Turkey.

In the decades that followed the Soviet criticism of Kemalism became more robust.

Kemal was presented as a “reactionary tyrant?…?who ruled by means of a unique mixture of terror and social demagogy, a special Turkish brand of ‘national fascism’ or ‘agrarian Bonapartism’.”

In November 1938, Kemal died and  Inönü replaced him as president. Although in various occasions Inönü assured the Soviet leadership about Turkey's commitment toward friendship with the SU, the reality was somewhat different.

Aralov claims that after Inönü invited the former opponents of Kemal, Kazim Karabekir, Hüseyn Rauf and Fuad Cebesoy to return to Turkey, “a struggle was unleashed against the friendship between Turkey and the USSR.”

In his memoirs, Aralov became particularly critical toward Turkey, especially when describing events after 1941, particularly when Turkey concentrated its armed forces near the Caucasian border with the SU. He stated:

This was a disgraceful and perfidious response of the Turkish government to the frank assistance of the USSR during the most difficult and dangerous times of Turkey. Simultaneously, it was also an outrage upon the memory of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.

With the deepening of cooperation between Germany and Turkey, the SU started to treat Kemalist regime as “an appendix of the German fascism.”

Particularly, during World War II (WWII), the SU was openly critical about the rising irredentism among both the radical circles of the Turkish government and the intellectual elite.

Moreover, in 1944, V. Krimskij, a contributor to the journal “Bol'shevik,” openly defied the dominant view at the time that the manifestations of expansionism in Turkey should be identified exclusively as pan-Turkism. 

For him, pan-Turkic organizations in Turkey, in reality, “present unrestricted fascist-Nazi intelligence in Turkey, which Hitlerists created long before WWII.”

He also drew parallels between the fascist practices in the Nazi Germany and Turkey arguing that all the attributes existing in Germany were also widely observed in Turkey (including inciting ethnic cleansing, persecution of ethnic minorities, propaganda of notorious ethnic supremacy ideology, nationalist radicalism, irredentism, anti-communist campaigns, and burning of books of progressive Turkish writers)

Relations between two countries remained tense until the end of the 1950s.

After WWII, the American influence in Turkey visibly increased, which disturbed the Soviets. The Truman Doctrine, the Marshall plan, and Turkey's membership in NATO, in particular, caused the SU to react with strong criticism, the core of which was the Soviet suspicion that Turkey was losing its sovereignty in the face of mounting American pressure.

Throughout that period, different Party functionaries and scholars from the SU continued to heavily criticize the ruling Turkish regime and its ideology.

For instance, Anna Tveritinova, one of the renowned experts in Turkish studies in the SU, viewed the ruling Kemalist elite of Turkey as “a coalition of bourgeoisie and landlords which completely impoverished the nation because of its reactionary nature.” “

As a result,” she argued, “the ideology of Kemalism was transformed from national-chauvinism toward national treachery because of its anti-popular and anti-national character.”

She saw no difference between the RPP, which ruled Turkey until 1950, and the Democrat Party (DP), which came to power in May 1950.

For her, both parties “appear to be advocates of the predatory ideology of pan-Turkism, misanthropic racism and chauvinism, they implement a policy of national treason and act as agents of imperialism.”

Source :

Urgent Free Saibaba : G.N.Saibaba given 48 Hour Ultimatum to surrender to Nagpur Central Jail

G.N.Saibaba's bail has been rejected by Nagpur Bench of Mumbai High Court - he has been ordered to surrender to Nagpur Central Jail in 48 hours.

Below is an article on his previous imprisonment in Nagpur Jail.
h Saibaba, a wheelchair-bound Delhi University professor, talks of the days he spent in Nagpur Central Jail, in solitary confinement, after his arrest for alleged Maoist links.

G.N. Saibaba is a professor of English at Delhi University and is wheelchair-bound owing to physical disabilities to the extent of 90 per cent. On May 9, 2014, he was “abducted” when he was on his way home from work, and the next day, he was taken to Aheri, in Maharashtra’s Gadchiroli district. 

From there, he was taken to Nagpur Central Jail where he was lodged until June this year when he was granted interim bail for medical treatment. He was charged under various sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) for alleged Maoist links, and the trial, which began on October 27, 2015, at the Gadchiroli Sessions Court resulted in bail being granted for all co-accused except him. 

The hearing on his plea for permanent bail was held on December 11, and a final order was awaited at the time of going to press.

The 14 months spent in jail were like 14 years in hell. Thanks to a huge campaign outside and an order by a division bench of the Bombay High Court, I am out for medical treatment; otherwise, I would be dead by now. 

The prison hospital in Nagpur Central Jail lacks permanent doctors or medicines and is ill-equipped to treat severe ailments. 

While I was there, five people (one in his 50s, one in his 40s and three in their 30s) died; they could have survived with timely treatment. 

Apart from the chronic and severe health problems that I already had, I acquired spinal problems while being incarcerated. 

Owing to the heavy force used by the police in dragging me by my hands, the nerves from my neck to my left shoulder got severely stretched and rendered my left hand immobile. I suffered excruciating pain for 14 months. 

Instead of treating the ruptured nerve system, I was given painkillers, that too occasionally in the beginning and arbitrarily afterwards, which resulted in damage to my left hand. 

Despite rigorous treatment in various hospitals every six months, even now I can’t move my left hand above waist height. Besides, I cannot use the ground-level toilet, and they built a Western-style toilet only after eight months. 

That, too, did not work. Water came for 20 minutes in the morning, but with only one bucket allowed per prisoner not much could be stored. Without water, the closed anda (egg-shaped) cell where I was confined would stink ad infinitum.

In 1994, the journalist Kuldip Nayar visited a hospital in Guwahati where he found seven TADA (Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act) detenus handcuffed to their beds. 

He wrote to the Supreme Court highlighting the inhuman fetters. This led to the Supreme Court passing a seminal judgment banning the use of handcuffs on any prisoner inside the jail or while being transported to court, for parole, to hospital or elsewhere. 

It also stated that except in “rare cases of concrete proof regarding proneness of the prisoner to violence, his tendency to escape, he being so dangerous/desperate and the finding that no other practical way of forbidding escape is available, the Magistrate may grant permission to handcuff the prisoner”. The nature of the sentence or case cannot be grounds for 

handcuffing, the judgment said.

Fettered inmates

Decades after such a decisive judgment, I found myself amidst fettered inmates. 

One of my co-accused, Hem Mishra, a student of Jawaharlal Nehru University, developed serious health problems. 

It took one year of representations to get permission for his treatment at the Government Medical College and Hospital, Nagpur. 

When he was about to be handcuffed outside the prison gates, he resisted by quoting the Supreme Court judgment, for which he was beaten up severely and sent back inside. 

He filed a written complaint, but it was not converted into a first information report (FIR) despite our sustained agitations. The Sessions Court asked the prison authorities to register an FIR against the policemen who beat him up, but to date no action has been taken. 

Thereafter, some Adivasi boys refused to go to hospital in handcuffs; they, too, were denied medical treatment.

In 1980, Justice V.R. Krishna Iyer delivered the first and original judgment on handcuffing of prisoners (to which the 1994 judgment was an addition), which states unequivocally: 

“The guarantee of human dignity forms part of a constitutional culture.... Even a prisoner is a person not an animal.”

But in the Nagpur prison hospital, about 20 people declared to be insane are handcuffed and fettered to a cot or window grill or even to trees outside the hospital ward. 

People who acquired psychological problems because of police torture and long periods of incarceration without bail or trial were not sent to an appropriate hospital or an asylum but are just kept in a separate ward. 

Records are not maintained that they are so confined. Oral presentations and petitions to the authorities have been futile.

Mercilessly beating prisoners for something as small as not removing their slippers when the authorities were on their rounds, making them stand in the sun in the peak of summer without food or water, the authorities and certain prisoners under the control of the officials taking it upon themselves to torture rape accused or alleged sexual offenders, these and many other such unspeakable, medieval and third-degree torture methods are practised “within the four walls that alone don’t make a prison”. 

A practising Muslim was beaten for 10 straight days on the concocted charge of sending a love letter to a female staffer, never mind that the illiterate man cannot read or write. 

After March 30, 2014, when, in a prison break, five undertrials escaped, about 500 prisoners were rounded up and beaten for a week by police from outside the prison for not tipping the authorities about the escape plan. 

About 120 of them suffered fractures and serious injuries, while hundreds of mobile phones were confiscated. 

The punishment was meted out not to the gangsters using these phones but to ordinary prisoners who were too poor to even buy a cake of soap. Sometimes, I tried to stop the beatings. 

If I physically intervened in my wheelchair, authorities would stop for a while, take the prisoner elsewhere and resume.

Surprisingly, all jailers and guards said that during training they were instructed to believe that unless they tortured prisoners they would not be able to discipline them, as the prisoners were criminals and beyond reform. 

The jailers and guards also strongly believe that prisoners are fed on public money free of cost and are a burden on society and that talking to them is of no use, so the only way to discipline them is through corporal punishment.

The police and prisons are both under the Home Department of a State government. When a court orders a prisoner to be in jail, s/he is in judicial custody and should be free from police control. 

But in reality, the police from outside control and issue unofficial orders on the treatment of prisoners, who are under the command of a prison superintendent, a much lower level officer than the Deputy Inspector General of Police or the Superintendent of Police of the area. 

If the government wants, it can manipulate prisoners through the police. 

As in the United Kingdom and many European countries, prisons in India should be independent institutions under the judiciary. 

The police have free access to prisoners, and no records are maintained of the visits they make. 

When undertrials travel between prison and court they are vulnerable to torture or compulsion by the police because it is the police and not the prison authorities who escort them. 

In my own case, the intelligence agencies would invade my cell any time of day or night to see what I was reading or writing and what books I had received. 

There are no records of these intrusions, so I cannot complain. 

They would even decide what medicine I should be given and where I should be lodged.

Prison reforms introduced in the 1960s and the 1970s have been considerably weakened and gradually eroded in all prisons of India. 

According to the Maharashtra prison manual, there is a library, but it has no books except for some that were donated or left behind by former prisoners. 

Initially, books brought by my family were sent back. Only after a long battle, during which my wife stood at the gates from morning to evening, did they accept a few books, which were scrutinised by intelligence officers and sent to the godown.

I used to get a few of them in my cell only after repeated pleadings with the officials. These, too, would often, arbitrarily and without notice be confiscated along with my prison diary and notes.

In 1963, Justices N.L. Abhyankar and V.G. Wagle gave a judgment on receiving books in prison in a case involving George Fernandes and A.B. Bardhan, who were lodged in the very same Nagpur Central Jail and faced the same travails as I did in order to receive books. 

The articles they wrote were also, like mine, not sent for publishing. The judges directed the State of Maharashtra not to put any restriction on the number of books that may be supplied to the petitioners, while acknowledging that books of undoubted erudition and universal praise have been written in prison cells and that “of all the restraints on liberty of a civilised citizen, that on opportunity to knowledge, learning and pursuit of happiness is the most irksome and least to be justified”. 

In 1972, in the case of Kunnikkal Narayanan, the Kerala High Court weighed in on three books under the broad category “Mao Literature” and ordered to expeditiously make these books available to the petitioner. 

Ironically, five decades later, I would struggle the same way to get books sometimes or remain unsuccessful even after brandishing these judgments.

Reversal of reforms

The concept of prison labour introduced by British colonialists continues but with paltry wages. 

In Nagpur prison there is a government printing press. The idea is to impart skills to prisoners so that they can survive once they are released. 

However, of the 150 workers at the press, only 10 to 15 are from inside, the rest come from outside. 

Now they have taken a decision to shift the press out of the prison. 

We can see a series of reversals of nominal prison reforms carried out decades earlier. The much-publicised practice of yoga or Vipasana hardly stand for prison reforms.

Ten people seated on either side of a glass pane protected by iron grills on both sides, all trying to speak simultaneously through small holes in the glass, everybody breaking down and getting emotional and not even being able to see the dear one’s face on the other side clearly, all result in a noisy atmosphere where nothing can be conveyed or discussed. 

The excuses given, of security and shortage of staff, to continue mulaqat (meeting) only through an iron curtain are dishonest in modern prison management. This colonial legacy must go.

The official policy is that prisons should be correctional homes where criminals are reformed and sent back to join society, but in practice they are designed to kill the will of an individual, especially the anda cell. 

The anda cell in Nagpur prison has 32 lock-ups in four yards. People can interact from 6 a.m. to 12 noon and from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. within each yard. 

The sky is not visible, and in the yard there is a grill on the top. Justice V.R. Krishna Iyer gave a judgment against solitary confinement, but it is still rampant. It is difficult to retain one’s mental balance inside an anda cell. I met some prisoners who had spent years in an anda cell and lost their balance completely and yet were not shifted out.

It is a fabricated case against me, and if the courts had examined the charges carefully, I would have got bail in a month. Pressure was created through a media trial that influenced and prejudiced the courts. 

Every time my bail application came up for hearing, there was propaganda, especially in Maharashtra, painting me as a top naxalite, a dreaded terrorist and a national threat, which the media carried without verification and without bothering to study the charge sheet. 

Only later, owing to the campaign and facts brought out in the public domain, did the media change this attitude. 

The amended Criminal Procedure Code says people with severe disabilities should not be incarcerated, but it is violated. A vast majority of prisoners are undertrials who languish in prisons without bail or trial.

In my own case, the interim bail for treatment was leased freedom given by a division bench led by the Bombay High Court’s Chief Justice. 

A social activist unknown to me at the time, Poornima Upadhyay, sent an email to Chief Justice Mohit Shah after seeing an article in The Hindu. 

The Chief Justice converted that into a public interest litigation suo motu and issued orders to shift me to a private hospital within 24 hours. 

Thereafter, the same bench said: “He deserves to be home; we are inclined to send him and the government can come up with arguments later.” 

They told Poornima to apply for regular bail, but before she could do so Justice Mohit Shah retired. A day before his retirement, he extended my bail by three more months, until December 31. 

If I do not get permanent bail by then, I will have to go back to the same prison’s anda cell. 

An old conflict over the question of jurisdiction between the Principal and Nagpur benches of the Bombay High Court is being examined, keeping my regular bail pending.


Sunday, December 20, 2015

The Christmas Truce 1914 - Lenin's View


The truce began on Christmas Eve, December 24, 1914, when German troops began decorating the area around their trenches in the region of Ypres, Belgium, for Christmas. They began by placing candles on trees, then continued the celebration by singing Christmas carols, most notably Stille Nacht (Silent Night). The British troops in the trenches across from them responded by singing English carols. The two sides continued by shouting Christmas greetings to each other. Soon thereafter, there were calls for visits across the "No Man's Land" where small gifts were exchanged — whisky, jam, cigars, chocolate, and the like. The artillery in the region fell silent that night. The truce also allowed a breathing spell where recently-fallen soldiers could be brought back behind their lines by burial parties.
Proper burials took place as soldiers from both sides mourned the dead together and paid their respects. At one funeral in No Man's Land, soldiers from both sides gathered and read a passage from the 23rd Psalm: The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures. He leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul. He leadeth me in the path of righteousness for his name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.
The truce spread to other areas of the lines, and there are many stories of football matches between the opposing forces. The film Joyeux Noël suggests that letters sent home from both British and German soldiers related that the score was 3-2 in favour of the Germans.  

Lenin, the leader of the working class revolution in Russia, heard about the Christmas truce. He pointed out that if there were organizations prepared to fight for such a policy among the soldiers of all the belligerent nations, there might have been a quick end to the world war in favor of the working masses. Lenin wrote, “Try to imagine Hyndman, Guesde, Vandervelde, Plekhanov, Kautsky and the rest [leaders of so-called socialist parties that supported the world war] – instead of aiding the bourgeoisie (something they are now engaged in – forming an international committee to agitate for fraternization and attempts to establish friendly relations between the socialists of the belligerent countries, both in the trenches and among the troops in general. What would the results be several months from now?”