China: 30 Years of Capitalism-Restored Brings Toxic Harvest of Displacement for Millions

Cancer victim faces China land battle

The demolished site where Yao Baohua's house still stands, in the city of Changzhou, on March 13, 2013 (AFP, Peter Parks)

The demolished site where Yao Baohua’s house still stands, in the city of Changzhou, on March 13, 2013 (AFP, Peter Parks)

The Yao home is the last one standing in the rubble of a vast development site in Changzhou, a Chinese “nail house”, the moniker earned for both their physical appearance and their owners’ stubborn resistance.

The former mathematics teacher is one of the few to make a stand against the devastating side effects of China’s breakneck urbanisation, which can see entire villages uprooted to make way for industry and housing developments — often with the help of corrupt officials and police.

“Everyone else has gone, fight by fight, tear by tear,” said the 75-year-old, breathing heavily in a bed at Changzhou People’s Number Two hospital, recovering from an operation on a stomach tumour.

“But I will never give up. It is an illegal development,” he added, raising his fists defiantly as aggressive security staff forced out his visitors.

Yao’s plight is typical of disputes over land expropriation that China’s then premier Wen Jiabao said last year “are still very serious and the people are still very concerned about them”.

China has passed a series of regulations in recent years to protect land rights, including outlawing the use of violence during evictions and stipulating market rate compensation must be paid to relocated residents.

But local officials often ignore the rules, say researchers and campaigners. Continue reading

Indian students on the disorienting focus of the Hazare ‘anti-corruption’ drive

[The recent ‘anti-corruption’ campaign in India led by the self-proclaimed Gandhian Anna Hazare has received enormous attention from media in India and internationally.  Simultaneously it has received substantial criticism from those who have noted its funding by major NGOs and corporate groups, and how, in its focus on government corruption, it has become an argument for reduction or dismantling of basic programs in favor of privatisation/corporatisation.  By turning a blind eye to the criminal appropriation by the largest capitalists of public resources, and attacking social government spending, it bears the same marks as the rightist and fascist “austerity” moves in Western Europe and those championed by the so-called “Tea Party” initiative (championed by Fox News and popularized by other bourgeois media) by corporate interests in the US.  The Democratic Student Union in India has turned a spotlight on the features of this anti-corruption campaign. — Frontlines ed.]

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Voice of the Revolutionary Youths

Manufacturing Dissent, Making Mahatmas: Manu, Market, Media And The Anti-Corruption Sham

By Democratic Students’ Union (DSU)

3o Agust, 2011

Source : Countercurrents.org

All historical struggles, whether they occur in the political, religious, philosophical or some other ideological domain, are in fact only the more or less clear expression of the struggles of social classes – Engels

When two events occur in the same space and time, more often than not, there is a correlation between the two: On the one hand the Indian Army, paramilitary and police forces — acting so plainly and clearly on behalf of the Indian ruling classes and multinational corporations—which continue to mount a war on the people of central and eastern India in order to facilitate a naked appropriation of the region’s resources is given marching orders to fight the most dispossessed yet resilient masses. Then there are 80% of the country’s population forced to eke out a living on a mere Rs.20 per day and over half of the children suffer from the permanent malnourishment because of the genocidal famine conditions their families have been placed under; land acquisition of a mammoth scale affects millions of people whose sole means of livelihood is being alienated from them; thousands of small peasants are forced to find ‘escape’ from an endemic agrarian crisis by committing suicide; over 2700 bodies of Kashmiris murdered by the Indian army once again reveals a Kashmir under occupation by India and the crushing of its struggle for national liberation—to name but a few instances revealing the brutal and systemic exploitation, oppression and occupation. And people are waging resilient struggles in many

Anna Hazare's campaign wrapped itself in Gandhian imagery

parts of the country against the ruling classes. On the other hand a base, distasteful drama is unfolding in front of us—the drama of an ‘anti-corruption drive’, which is supposed to serve India a ‘second independence’. Needless to say, although this latter ‘struggle’ seldom refers to the first set of struggles, events and phenomena, there is so simple a connection between the two that the silence over the relation between the two sets is nothing but deliberate.

The ‘Second freedom struggle’ is nothing but an attempt of the ruling classes to consolidate themselves: The Indian ruling classes today face an immense crisis, and are finding it increasingly difficult to sustain the mask of ‘world’s largest democracy’. Given the onslaught on the people and their livelihood—through the acquisition of resources such as land, forests and other means of livelihood; the steep price rise of basic commodities; the privatisation of health, transport, water, electricity and education — the state faces the resistance of militant peoples’ movements. And everywhere, the state is responding to this discontent and resistance with brute force. In addition to this central crisis, the ruling classes were reeling under the exposure of a series of scams such as 2G, Commonwealth Games, Adarsh Housing, etc. involving unimaginable amounts of money. It is precisely these circumstances that have given rise to an ‘anti-corruption drive’ led by the so-called civil society and made it possible for the corporate media to project a reactionary like Anna Hazare as a hero in the eyes of the urban middle classes. Sweeping under the carpet more urgent structural issues affecting the vast majority of people and their very survival, ‘Team Anna’ has projected corruption as the central issue plaguing Indian society. Continue reading

India: As growing numbers challenge the legitimacy of the Indian State….

[….liberal and Gandhian groups and NGOs have mounted anti-corruption campaigns against the state.  They have urged mass appeals, petition drives, and hunger strikes against corruption and for more accountability–and debates on the focus, and effectiveness, of such appeals and tactics have broken out throughout the country.  Revolutionaries have challenged the “democratic” claims of the state, and have exposed the fundamentally corrupt, undemocratic, and bourgeois nature of the entire state machinery.  The Maoists, in particular, while uniting with the popular hatred of the corruption, have argued that it cannot be isolated from the undemocratic nature of the society, and both features must be addressed by mass struggles.  Here is the statement of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) on these questions. — Frontlines ed.]

Communist Party of India (Maoist) Press Release

13 April, 2011:  Intensify Mass Struggles To Put An End To Institutionalized Corruption!

In recent times, corruption has once again come to the forefront as a main issue with the exposure of massive scams like 2G spectrum, Commonwealth games, Adarsh housing society, Karnataka land scams, S-Band spectrum scam. Workers, peasants, adivasis, dalits, women, and urban middle class – all classes and sections of the society are expressing their deep discontent and anguish. Recently we saw great support to the hunger strike of Anna Hazare, which is the direct consequence of the widespread discontent in the people against corruption, corrupt political parties and their leaders. Though the demand for hunger strike is Jan Lokpal Bill, the aspiration of the people is to completely wipe out corruption.

It would be innocence, if anyone feels that by setting up a committee to frame Lokpal bill and by selecting half of the committee members from civil society would itself finds a solution. In fact, lack of rules and laws is not the cause for endless and deep-ridden corruption. Way back from jeep scam, Lockheed’s airplane deal to late Rajiv Gandhi’s Bofors deals, our country has seen many a scams starting from a few million rupees to trillions of rupees. Not only main parliamentary parties like Congress and BJP, leaders and ministers of all other national and regional parliamentary parties like RJD, BSP, SP, DMK, AIADMK, TDP and hand in glove beaurocrats have a long history of corrupt practices. By proper implementation of the existing laws in the country and by the proper functioning of anti-corruption wings, scams like these can be prevented to a grate extent and those responsible for these can be severely punished. In the last 64 years history of ‘independent’ India, we don’t find a single incidence, where corrupt politicians, ministers, heads of corporate houses and beauraucrats have been punished. Due to pressure from people or opposition parties, even if arrested in some rare cases, by prolonging investigation and diluting of the charges, they get scot-free without any stringent punishment or with nominal punishment. This is because; the judiciary of this country is also an inseparable part of this exploitative state machinery. None can be under the illusion to end corruption through these laws and court rooms. Continue reading