India: 40 farmers dead, 2000 hospitalised: Task force chief calls it ‘pesticide genocide’

by Vivek Deshpande

Indian Express | October 09, 2017

Kishor Tiwari, the chief of the Vasantrao Naik Sheti Swawlamban Mission, a state government task force set up for the welfare of farmers, has termed the deaths of farmers from pesticide inhalation in Vidarbha as “genocide committed by the state” and sought criminal action against the manufacturers as well as “corrupt government officials hand in glove with them”.

Addressing a press conference here Monday, Tiwari claimed more than 40 farmers had died and at least 2,000 more hospitalised from pesticide inhalation in Vidarbha and Marathwada.Read More »

India: Is the M-L Movement on the Wane?

by Debabrata Panda

Frontier | Autumn Number | Vol. 50, No.12-15, Sep 24 – Oct 21, 2017

Those who uphold the peasant struggle of Naxalbari, Kharibari and Phansidewa in May, 1967 as the turning point in the communist movement in India are known as Marxist-Leninists (MLs). Fifty years ago the Chinese Communist Party hailed this upsurge in revolutionary struggle as the ‘spring thunder’ over Naxalbari. There the peasant masses did not fight only for the realization of their economic demands like confiscation of jotedars’ lands or cancellation of peasants’ debts. They were engaged in a political struggle for the seizure of power with which their economic struggles were linked. The struggle for seizure of power still continues to develop along a zigzag path through many ups and downs in tribal heartlands of Jharkhand, Bihar, southern part of Odisha, some pockets of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh and West Bengal. All the ML–parties and groups of activists who reject the parliamentary Left like CPI and CPI(M) as revisionists and accept Marxisnm-Leninism-Mao Tse-tung Thought as their ideology are labeled by the media as Naxalites. The authorities dub them as Naxals.Read More »

India: Light of Naxalbari Glowing for 50 Years

by Aloke Mukherjee

Frontier | Autumn Number | Vol. 50, No.12-15, Sep 24 – Oct 21, 2017

Oft in the stilly night
Ere slumbers chain has bound me
Fond memories bring
The Light of Other days around me
—William Blake

If one goes 50 years back down the memory lane, it will bring before him the days full of dreams, vigour, vitality, as well as resolute tireless activities that the great Naxalbari peasant uprising had drawn the communist workers into. True, Naxalbari was not a magic wand; the international and national situations, particularly that in West Bengal, was already drawing them towards the revolutionary movement. But Naxalbari sent the clarion call—the message to stand up.Read More »

Conference Report: Marx’s Capital After 150 Years

by Leigh Denholm

Frontier | Autumn Number | Vol. 50, No.12-15, Sep 24 – Oct 21, 2017

From May 24th to 26th, 2017, the Marx Collegium of York University hosted an international conference marking the 150th anniversary of the first English-language publication of Karl Marx’s seminal Capital, Volume 1. Tirelessly organized by Prof Marcello Musto (York University, Canada) and entitled “Marx’s Capital After 150 Years: Critique and Alternative to Capitalism”, the conference gathered together 27 presenters from 23 universities spread across 8 countries. With 29 presentations across 9 sessions, the following report will focus primarily on four common themes which were recurrent throughout the conference, with only a portion of the presentations discussed here in the interests of brevity and thematization.Read More »

Samar Sen revisited

by Asok Chattopadhyay

Frontier | October 11, 2017

Come October 10 and history shall seal on the date as hundred and one-year after Samar Sen, the renowned journalist and esteemed editor of Frontier, was born. His birth centenary year had passed almost unceremoniously. August 23 last was his 30th death anniversary which has gone lost in the abyss of oblivion. It’s more painful than surprising to have seen the so-called left-wingers’ apathy towards a daring, conscientious and uncompromising left intellectual of West Bengal like him.

History had recorded the dots of a famous and unbending rural journalist who, in the seventies of the nineteenth century Bengal, taught the lesson how to wage war against both the tyrant zaminder and the profiteering ruling class in the general interest of the peasantry of Bengal. And just a century latter we found another one who had held his head high in spite of state-terror and heinous political goons in West Bengal. Of the two, first one was Kangal Harinath Majumder, the renowned editor of Grambartaprakashika, a Bengali weekly published from Kumarkhali, and the other one was no other than Samar Sen himself.Read More »