Under the slogan “Shame on CPI(M)’s ‘Defence’ of Nandigram Carnage!, Uphold the Legacy of 1857 to Bhagat Singh, Tebhaga to Telengana, Naxalbari to Nandigram, the Inquilab (revolution) rally organized by the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) in India’s capital New Delhi was participated by several hundred thousand people with red flags and banners from—Assam to Ajmer, Bhojpur to Gujarat, Uttarakhand to Tamil Nadu. Participants marched towards the Rally ground in an unceasing wave to reassert that Bhagat Singh’s dreams were not wasted, the blood of the ordinary people battling the British imperialists before and after 1857 not washed away by parasitic rulers of the country and that the vision of the call for the final break from slavery given at Naxalbari would guide the struggle ahead. The meeting was addressed by several leaders of the party including the General Secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya. For details including photos of the rally, visit:




“The Central Secretary of the CPI (Communist Party of India) which held an emergency meting on March 14, 2007 expressed its anguish and deep concern at the unfortunate incident that took place in Nandigram, West Bengal resulting in the death of a number of people and injuries to many more in police firing. The party disapproved the brutal police firing.


The West Bengal state secretariat of the party is meeting on March 15, 2007 which will be attended by Party general secretary A.B. Bardhan and secretary Gurudas Dasgupta MP.” (New Age, March 18-24, 2007)




CPM (Communist Party of India-Marxist)  admitted (Express News Service,  March 06, 2007) that Muslims in West Bengal  were lagging behind in education and government jobs and promised to address the issue. The CPI(M) charter for the advancement of Muslims came after a sub-committee headed by MP Mohammad Salim studied the Sachar Report. Though it did not recommend reservation for Muslims, it said “Dalit Muslims” should be given quotas. The CPI(M) also called for the implementation of the recommendations of the Sri Krishna Commission report on Mumbai violence. The report had “indicted top politicians, police and government officers”, besides reiterating its demand for a CBI inquiry into the Gujarat riot.




New Delhi: “Why should we be inward-looking and suspicious of foreign influences when we have so much to offer to the world?” Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Saturday wondered while releasing the book ” Cultural Heritage of India ” edited by eminent art historian, Kapila Vatsyayan. Emphasizing the need to defeat forces that believed in an “exclusivist” culture, he asked “people to take a more liberal view of the outside world.” (ACHA March 4, 2007)




Islamabad: Pakistan and India will sign a vital pact on “visa regime liberalization” at the end of forthcoming foreign secretary level talks being held here on March 13-14 to kick-start the fourth round of composite dialogue between the two countries. The agreement on visa regime liberalization will allow the two sides to do away with the current city-specific restrictions on visitors from either country. It is designed to allow unrestricted travel anywhere in the two countries. (ACHA March 4, 2007)




Kathmandu: India and Nepal have agreed to renew for another five years a crucial trade agreement that was due to expire on March 5. The decision to extend the Indo-Nepal Trade Treaty was taken at a two-day high-level meeting between commerce ministry officials of the two countries. (ACHA March 4, 2007)

Indian-PakistanI poets remember heritage

The Punjabi and Urdu poets from India and Pakistan created a “jugalbandi” (duet) on the theme of “Merging Indo-Pak borders” at the Mushaira held at DAV Public School, Amritsar recently. The Nazams (verses) on common heritage like Waris Shah, Guru Nanak Dev, Porus and Heer-Ranjha highlighted the wish of melting away the man-made borders. (ACHA March 4, 2007)




Pradeep Mohinder (Abridged)


Seventeen years of turmoil has not only ruined Jammu & Kashmir economically, but has turned the valley in to the land of widows and orphans. There are more than 25,000 orphans and approximately 6,000 widows in the state. The most affected and neglected are in border districts, like Kupwara, Anantnag, Pulwama and Baramulla in the valley and Rajouri, Poonch and Udhampur in the Jammu region.  These women have lost not only their husbands but also their source of livelihood.

In 1991, the Indian army raped 30 women in Kunan-Poshpura in Kupwara aged 18 to 85 yeard; these women have received no compensation or justice from the government. Even young girls are living in cow sheds and waiting for justice.

Shakeela, a widow from village Dardpora said “I have three children. My husband was taken for interrogation in 1994 and after few days his body was found in the jungle. He was killed with bullets pumped in his body. After his death I have no other option other then to beg or to go for illicit activities.  The widow Rehana age 22 from Deever said “being young I am always being harassed and molested both by security forces and renegade and that has become the day to day routine. Even though I am educated, I cannot go out to work because of all this”.

According to Ghulam Nabi, a tailor at J&K Yateem Trust Craft Centre, Deevar, even those girls who get free training  in cutting, tailoring or needling are not able to earn their livelihood as the village has limited resources. (Supplied by Tapan Kumar Bose)




With the completion of registering its People’s Liberation Army (PLA) combatants and weapons, the Communist Party of Nepal (CPN) -Maoist  has initiated consultations with the government of Nepal to form an interim government and declare the date of the Constituent Assembly (CA) polls as soon as possible. CPN (Maoist) Chairman Prachanda and senior leader Dr.Baburam Bhattarai, engaged in consultations with Home Minister Krishna Sitaula and PM Girija Prasad Koirala’s close aide Dr. Shekhar Koirala regarding these issues.


Prachanda told reporters after the three-hour-long meeting that the formation of an interim government was an urgent issue, as the Maoist’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) combatants and the weapons have already been put in cantonments. Maoists have laid claim for either the Defense or the Home Ministry, in addition to the position of the Deputy Prime Minister. (Ghanashyam Ojha, All Headline News, February 28, 2007)




Ahmedabad: Thousands of men, women and children, both Hindus and Muslims, marched shoulder to shoulder through the once worst riot-infested areas in the heart of Ahmedabad on February 28,  to “herald a new era of communal harmony” in Gujarat.


The rally was timed to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the “Gujarat Bandh” day on February 28 in 2002 when hundreds of Muslims were burnt alive in several parts of the State in retaliation for the Godhra train carnage the previous day.


The rally was organized by the “New Social Movement,” an offshoot of the Jansangharsha Manch, which was fighting the cases of the riot victims in courts and before the G.T. Nanavati-K.G. Shah judicial inquiry panel probing the train carnage and the post-Godhra communal riots in the State. Several other voluntary organizations working for the rehabilitation of the riot victims and supporters of the Left parties also joined the rally. Family members of many riot victims as well as survivors of the communal attacks also took part in the rally to plead for communal harmony.


The rally carrying placards and shouting slogans for communal harmony wound its way through the most-congested and narrow minority-dominated areas in old Ahmedabad before it converted itself into a public meeting addressed by leaders of both Hindu and Muslim communities and Gandhians. On its way through some of the mixed localities, the rally received enthusiastic response from the people watching from both sides of the road indicating that there were no hard feelings left in their hearts.


The speakers at the public meeting asked the Narendra Modi government to stop playing the “politics of divide and rule” to increase the chasm between the two communities for political benefits. They also wanted the government to take necessary steps to rehabilitate several thousands riot victims still languishing in makeshift camps even after five years of internal displacement. (From The Hindu, March 1, 2007)


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