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Coal India s Modernisation Programme

contesting about 61,000 out of the total of 64,000 panchayat seats. To resolve the disunity among the Front partners, a five- point principle was formulated over the distribution of seats. But it is now found that the principle was disrespected in many cases by the CPI(M), Forward Bloc and RSP. The constituents could not came to an agreement in fielding candidates for as many as 25,000 seats and as a result the CPI(M), the Forward Bloc and the RSP have all set up their party candidates against one another. The Left Front chairman, Saroj Mukherjee, also the secretary of the West Bengal unit of the CPI(M), admitted that "the area of disunity over the distribution of seats among the Front partners this time was much larger than in the last panchayat polls". In Cooch Behar district the Front constituents

Future of Jharkhand

Future of Jharkhand DN The survivals of collectivism in Jharkhand today are possibly much weaker than the Russian commune was at the time of the abolition of serfdom. Yet, can these survivals of collectivism serve as 'a regenerative force' in Jharkhandi society? They can, under certain conditions.

Factors in the Jharkhand Movement

DN Struggles against ethnic or national oppression are important for building democratic foundations for India. These struggles are also important for the working class. For all the segmentation of the labour market, there is nevertheless a connection among the segments. The Jharkhand movement thus deserves the support of all democrats and socialists.

Employee s Son

law and order situation in the state" have, as usual, been the main poll issues for the Congress(I) but it is unlikely that the money and muscle-power of the party will cut much ice with the people of Tripura. One proof of the disillusionment of the people of the state with the Congress(I) and its role in the state was the outcome of the Teliamura by-election last year. The Congress(I) lost the seat to the CPI(M) in the constituency which was taken to be a stronghold of the former. The Congresses discomfiture, at the all-India level is going to influence the voting pattern in Tripura, Another factor that will militate against the Congress(I) is that while the CPl(M)-Ied Left Front has carried the people with it throughout the last ten years in voicing the legitimate demands of the state for the setting up of industries, the construction of railways and in its agitations against the stepmotherly attitudes of the centre towards the north-eastern states in general and Tripura in particular, the Congress(I) has not raised its voice in support of the genuine demands of the state. The TVJS, the electoral ally of the Congress(I), has pledged to restore law and order in Tripura, to take necessary steps for the formation of village councils in the ADC areas and also to rehabilitate the landless tribal jhumias if voted to power. Many supporters of both the Congress(l) and TUJS do not take kindly to the marriage of convenience between the two parties. Besides, the suspected links between the TNV on the one hand and the TUJS-Con- gress(I) combine on the other will also affect the poll results in the state. The Front, which announced its list of candidates in September is way ahead of the other parties in electioneering. CPI(M).stalwarts like Jyoti Basu and EMS Namboodiripad have campaigned for it long before the date of the election was announced. Mass rallies, street corner meetings, door-to- door campaigns by candidates

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authorities were simply unable to sustain any penalty

A Feudal Reaction

DN The decline in rental income and the increase in peasant involvement in the market have led the historically bankrupt landlords (and their retinues) to adopt methods of what may be called bureaucratic feudalism in order to avoid extinction.

Some Consequences of Famine

that, left to their own efforts, the gas victims might have obtained a better compensation in the courts in the US or in India. The Bhopal Gas Leak Disaster (Processing of Claims) Act, 1985, however, pre-empted the victims, depriving them of their right to sue UCC. In the absence of a legal or constitutional right to information, the gas victim? do not know why THE consequences of famine are not confined to those who are its victims It also affeels those who are on the other side of the production relations in which the victims are enmeshed Its effects spread from the agricultural sector into the industrial sector and even into the country's international economic relations In brief the whole economic system is effected I amine will wipe out part of the concessions wrested' by the peasants and agricultural labourers When the rents peasants pay are determined not so much by the economics of the market, as by the force or extra-economic coercion that the landlords can bring to bear, the weakening of peasant economy will make more difficult resistance to the landlords


September 1, 1973 area chose a convenient plot of land, .set up a small shack collecting tins and sacks from wherever they could hung up a board bearing the name of the 'club' and ruled the area . . . Most of them had no social or cultural activities; their main task was forcible collection of subscriptions from local people, most of which was spent on consumption of alcohol and Ganja.'' During raids the police "found empty and half-empty bottles of country and foreign liquor in the shacks . . . The owner of a liquor shop said that Ins daily sales had gone down by 'about Rs 100 since the arrest of a prominent rowdy who was the kingpin of one of the leading clubs.'' The same report continued: "Most of the leading clubs owe allegiance to the same political party. Their leaders worked together before the elections. Later, group rivalry came to the fore as different clubs started receiving patronage from different political 'Dadas'. Because of political intci- ference, the ring-leaders could not be arrested earlier; once the government gave the clearance to the police, .several arrests were made and the situation improved quickly,'' The bandh on August 18, which very nearly paralysed life in Maida town in north West Bengal at a time when the state government had assembled there for a cabinet meeting, was significant for more than one reason. Sponsored by CPJ, CPI (M), Congress- (O) and Jan Sangh, the bandh took place despite the desperate efforts made by the government and the ruling party to prevent and frustrate it. Large contingents of police, including many from the neighbouring districts, led by the top-most police officers, aided by Congress youth who had also been strengthened by imports from outside

LABOUR-Right to be Consulted on Computerisation

LABOUR Right to be Consulted on Computerisation DN IN the recent workers' struggle in Voltas the crucial issue was that of Electronic Data Processing (EDP) or computerisation. Had it not been for this issue, agreement would have been reached much earlier than it was. Both the Federation of Voltas Employees and the management took the stand that this was the vital issue. The management tried to bribe the workers by offering to settle the bonus issue provided the Federation accepted the management's unfettered right to use EDP. When this was turned down and the workers stood firm, the management set out to break the organised strength of the workers. But this too failed 'and in the end a settlement was signed which accepted the workers' right to be consulted before EDP was introduced. This, however, is not the end of the struggle. The right to be consulted is useful only to the extent the workers are able to prevent harmful computerisation. Only a vigilant union and united workers can preserve the gains of the struggle.


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