ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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MADHYA PRADESH-After the Massacre

ALTHOUGH the poor workers of the Dalli-Rajahara mines are literally starving as they have not received their wages for the last three weeks, their two-week old strike continues. And so does the curfew, clamped on June 3, when the police firing on agitating workers resulted in the death of ten persons, including a woman and two children, according to official figures. The toll went up to 11 later when one of the 15 wounded workers succumbed to bullet injuries in hospital.

MADHYA PRADESH-End to Congress Jagirdari

new India, a new society. One hopes that a change will come over the consciousness of political workers of the Left

MADHYA PRADESH- Cracks in a Stronghold

Cracks in a Stronghold N K Singh THE election scene in Madhya Pra- desh underwent a sea-change following the resignation of Jagjivan Ram from the Congress. It ended the fear psychosis prevailing in the opposition camps though as many as 1,200 workers of the Janata Party arc still in jail at the time of the filing of this report. The Congress which was hoping to sweep the polls riding the 'Emergency wave' now finds itself faced with an 'anti-Congress wave'. In the urban areas the denial of civil liberties and fundamental rights have become the main issue, whereas bureaucratic and police excesses, mounting corruption and forcible sterilisation have made the Emergency a crucial poll-issue even in the rural areas.

MADHYA PRADESH- Indore Liquor Tragedy

November 6, 1976 MADHYA PRADESH Indore Liquor Tragedy N K Singh A MOST disturbing aspect of the Indore liquor tragedy, in which officially 112 persons, including seven women, died and twenty lost their eyesight, was the manner in which the local officials first tried to hush up the incident and then went all out to play down the worst-ever mass tragedy in the history of Madhya Pradesh. Though the deaths, often on roadside, had started quite early in the evening of October 6, official sources preferred to keep mum that day. This was presumably done for the sake of the uninterrupted continuation of the official festi- ities on the. occasion of the government's take-over of Rajwada, the 225- year old palace of the Holkars. An, estimated 50,000-strong crowd of jubi- liant people visited the Rajwada to enjoy the fight illumination and decoration that night, unaware that several persons, mostly belonging to the poor, daily-wage earning class bad died like dogs on the streets and an ever-swelling number was struggling for life in the hospitals. Had the public been warned that very evening and preventive measures taken, many more lives could have been saved, for, many of the celebrants boozed that night in the numerous illicit liquor joints which flourish all over the city, unaware that what they were drinking was not the soothing liquor but poisonous brew.

MADHYA PRADESH-Staking Claim to Super Power Stations

Staking Claim to Super Power Stations N K Singh THE recent controversy between the Patherkheda coal mine and the neighbouring Satpura thermal power station, which is solely dependent upon the former for its fuel supply, has passed almost unnoticed. The state government- owned power plant complained that the mine had been unable to supply ''even the needed quantity of coal... despite urgent telegrams sent to rush supply''. The authorities of the mine, run by the Western Coalfields, a Central government concern, on the other hand claimed that the Satpura thermal station had failed to lift coal as per agreement. The Satpura autho- rities, it was alleged, had not even inated the reasons for not lifting the coal. The output of coal at Patherkheda has doubled from about 50,000 tonnes to one lakh tonnes per month during the last three years. The controversy thus seems to be an instance of poverty amidst plenty.


September 18, 1976 MADHYA PRADESH Innocents All THE long-awaited report of the Bhave Commission, which inquired into the alleged irregularities connected with the export of gulabi gram, scarcity relief funds and the purchase of school mats (talopatti) in the sixties, has come as an anti-climax. In its report placed recently on the table of the MP assembly, the one-man, judicial commission has exonerated D P Mishra, then chief minister, and his food minister, Gautam Shanna, of the charge of amassing wealth from out of the policy of exporting gulabi gram. The Commission also held that the export policy was not need at compelling the traders to confute to party funds. While it held that there was excess of expenditure in the scarcity relief works at Damoh, the Commassion exonerated K B L Guru, then revenue minister, of the charge of deriving undue advantage out of it. Similarly, Dharmpal Gupta, then education minister, and his deputy, Hetram Dube, were found not responsible for the irregularities connected with the purchase of school mats.

MADHYA PRADESH-Formal Probes, New Jagirs

for his grand betrayal Refusing to take a hint, the union bosses made' an unusual agreement with the management authorising it to deduct the amount from the salaries of the union members! Another blow to bossism in unions was dealt in the recent election for the presidentship of the Madras Labour Union, the union of the Buckingham and Carnatic Mills workers. It was under the control of Anthony Pillai for the past 29 years, almost without a break. Such control was made easy, as with the Simpson and Leyland unions earlier, by inserting a provision in the constitution of one of the oldest unions in India


MADHYA PRADESH JP and Jan Sangh N K Singh JAYAPRAKASH NARAYAN's stir in Madhya Pradesh has pretended to be no more than a reformist movement. There have been no radical slogans. such as 'total revolution' or dissolution of the Assembly as in Bihar. The demands are straightforward ones: eradication of unemployment, of administrative corruption, and of I lit- inflationary price rise, and appointment of independent tribunals to look into the charges of corruption against ministers, top officials, etc. If, nevertheless, there has been panic in the Congress camp, it reflects more on the condition of the ruling party in Madhya Pradesh. JP's visit to the slate in December last was followed by no more than the formation of 'Jana and Chhatra Yuva Sangharsh Samities' which have been less than active. Yet this was enough to throw the ruling party into extreme agitation. On the eve of JP's visit to the state, the police were put on the alert and an army of plain- clothesmen were pressed into service. The disturbed high command had even sent out directives that factional leaders should sink their differences and put up a 'united front'.

MADHYA PRADESH- Let Them Watch Television

claims to be engaged in an all-out war against what it considers "the worst drought of the century". The; only snag is that it has practically no funds. The government has estimated that it will need Rs 70 crores for drought relief; against this, despite a cut in development expenditure, it has been able to collect only Rs 13 crores! The response to the appeal for donations to the Chief Minister's relief fund has been dismal. Industrialists apparently feel that they had done their bit for the UP election. As for the man in the street, he needs relief himself, A drought relief fund started by a local daily with much fanfare elicited no response despite the bait of the donors' names being published in the newspaper. The government-sponsored MP Kala Pa- rishad donated the entire proceeds of its annual music programme. However, while these came to Rs 2,000, the expenditure on organising the performance was Rs 12,000 ! There is, as a result, hardly any relief activity worth the name. The 16.2 million drought-affected people in the state have been left to fend for themselves. The government had sought to make out that 4 lakh people had been given jobs on various relief and Plan works. However, after the leaders of the opposition as well as some mem' hers of the ruling party had contested this figure, the government conceded that the figure was the cumulative total of labour employed uptil now! Thousands of people are returning disappointed from the work-sites. In a Mahasamund village, for instance, about 2,000 people turned up for work but only 200 could be absorbed. There are many villages where relief work lasted only a week or even for just 3 day! Wide publicity is being given to the fact that district collectors have been authorised to open relief works. But where are the funds, the collectors ask.

MADHYA PRADESH- Hunting the Harijans

november 23,1974 MADHYA PRADESH Hunting the Harijans N K Singh PERSECUTION and harassment of the 4.5 million scheduled castes of Madhya Pradesh continue unabated. Every week brings fresh reports of atrocities against them by caste Hindus.

BIHAR- River of Scandal

September 15, 1973 BIHAR River of Scandal N K Singh THE convenor of the special sub-committee of the Bihar Assembly's 53rd estimates committee, Vinayak Prasad Yadav, stated on September 9 that Railway Minister L N Mishra had "misled the Parliament and the country" by claiming that he had never had any interest in the Kosi project. According to the findings of the sub-committee the Mishra family of Balua Bazar in Sahnr- sa, Bihar, from which hail L N Mishra and Bihar's Power and Irrigation Minister, Jagannath Mishra, had over the past few years indulged in "graft, nepotism and misappropriation of enormous funds" in the construction of guide bundhs desiltation and other works.

BIHAR-Murder to Order

BIHAR Murder to Order N K Singh THE Naxalite movement is in disarray in Bihar. Su there should have been an end to violence and murder in the state. After all, this is what official propaganda had always led one to believe. However, nothing of the kind has happened. In fact, violence has been at a peak in Bihar recently. Not communal violence of which there is usually so much in the state; nor dacoity and highway robbery; nor petty land feuds, in which Bihar tops the list. The violence one has in mind is class violence, plain and simple. It is the violence of the landlords against the peasants, the upper castes against the untouchables, the capitalists against the workers and the state machinery against the people. It is significant that the violence of the ruling classes has mounted ever since the decline of the Naxalite movement.


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