The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) met in New Delhi on August 12, 2003. It has issued the following statement:
Supreme Court Judgement on Strike
The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) strongly opposed the judgement by the two-member bench of the Supreme Court which declared that government employees had no “constitutional, legal or moral right” to go on strike under any circumstances. The judgement makes further unwarranted remarks against the use of strike by different sections of people. The judgement contravenes the right to strike which is inherent in the collective bargaining process existing in the Constitution and the laws passed by parliament like the Industrial Disputes Act. The judgement constitutes an attack on the fundamental and democratic rights of not only government employees but of all citizens. The right to strike is universally recognized in all democratic societies and ILO conventions attest to it.
Increasingly the higher judiciary is displaying an anti-democratic attitude by seeking to judicially prohibit collective and mass protest actions whether it be strikes, hartals or bandhs. This reflects the attitude of the dominant classes in our society who do not wish to see any challenge to their interests.
The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) calls for a countrywide campaign against the Supreme Court judgement and its retrograde character. All sections of the working people, the intelligentsia and the legal fraternity should be mobilised to check this form of judicial intervention.
Cow Slaughter Ban
The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) discussed the proposed anti-cow slaughter bill that the government is bringing to parliament. The Central government is seeking to pass a legislation which will override the powers of the states to legislate on this subject. The bill proposes a blanket ban on the slaughter of cows as against the existing legislation in many states where such prohibition applies to cows below 14 years of age or milching cattle. The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) is opposed to the bill which seeks to override the powers of the states. The subject of cow slaughter should be under the purview of the states and it cannot be imposed by any central legislation. Further, a blanket ban on eating beef cannot be imposed on any section of the people. In a country like India which is multi-religious, with diverse social and cultural habits, no legislation should be passed which dictates what should be the eating habits of different communities
CVC Report On Defence Deals
The Polit Bureau condemned the BJP-led government’s refusal to hand over the Central Vigilance Commission’s report on defence deals to the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament. The PAC is fully entitled to look into the purchase of defence equipment and get all related materials on the subject. The Vajpayee government is continuing its ill-conceived efforts to cover-up and protect corruption practices in defence deals. This challenge to the authority of parliament must be rebuffed.
The Polit Bureau expressed serious concern at the continuing efforts to raise the temple issue at Ayodhya by the BJP-RSS outfits for the communal mobilisation in view of the forthcoming assembly elections in five states. The Vajpayee government is complicit in these moves with calls by the Prime Minister and Dy. Prime Minister that the temple has to be built at the site in Ayodhya. The Vajpayee government instead of waiting for the judicial is becoming party to the efforts to subvert the rule of law.
In this connection, the Vajpayee government’s efforts to scuttle a proper trial of the BJP leadership who are accused in the demolition of the Babri Masjid is shocking. The CBI has diluted the chargesheet against L.K. Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and other BJP leaders by dropping the conspiracy charge against them. The Polit Bureau demands that the charges contained in the original chargesheet before the Lucknow court be restored.
The Polit Bureau condemned the severe repression unleashed by the Antony government against the student movement protesting against the steep hike in tuition fees and the unregulated admission norms in private medical institutions in the state. The UDF government has become notorious for the use of repressive police measures against all sections of the people who oppose the policies of the government. The Congress leadership’s pandering to caste and communal organisations is having an adverse impact on all aspects of Kerala society including the education sector.
Israeli Prime Minister’s Visit
It is reported that the Vajpayee government has invited the Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to visit India. It is reported that he will be coming to India between September 9 and 12. The Sharon government in Israel is synonymous with the brutal repression of the Palestinian people and its brazen attempts to legitimize the occupation of Palestinian and Arab territories. Such a visitor is not welcome to India. The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) calls upon all democratic sections to vigorously protest against the visit of Sharon to India.
The Polit Bureau reviewed the preparations being made by the Party to conduct its fortnight long campaign from August 16 to 31 on a eight point charter of demands which pertains to opposing the growing imperialist influence in India, fighting back the anti-people economic policies of the central government and many of the state governments and mobilizing the people to defend secular values.