Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Statement by Women’s and Progressive Groups and Individuals Condemning Sexual Violence and Opposing Death Penalty

DECEMBER 24, 2012

On 16 December, 2012, a 23-year old woman and her friend hailed a bus at a crossing in South Delhi. In the bus, they were both brutally attacked by a group of men who claimed to be out on a ‘joy-ride’. The woman was gang raped and the man beaten up; after several hours, they were both stripped and dumped on the road. While the young woman is still in hospital, bravely battling for her life, her friend has been discharged and is helping identify the men responsible for the heinous crime.

We, the undersigned, women’s, students’ and progressive groups and concerned citizens from around the country, are outraged at this incident and, in very strong terms, condemn her gang rape and the physical and sexual assault.

As our protests spill over to the streets all across the country, our demands for justice are strengthened by knowing that there are countless others who share this anger. We assert that rape and other forms of sexual violence are not just a women’s issue, but a political one that should concern every citizen. We strongly demand that justice is done in this and all other cases and the perpetrators are punished. 

This incident is not an isolated one; sexual assault occurs with frightening regularity in this country. Adivasi and dalit women and those working in the unorganised sector, women with disabilities, hijras, kothis, trans people and sex workers are especially targeted with impunity – it is well known that the complaints of sexual assault they file are simply disregarded. We urge that the wheels of justice turn not only to incidents such as the Delhi bus case, but to the epidemic of sexual violence that threatens all of us. We need to evolve punishments that act as true deterrents to the very large number of men who commit these crimes. Our stance is not anti-punishment but against the State executing the death penalty. The fact that cases of rape have a conviction rate of as low as 26% shows that perpetrators of sexual violence enjoy a high degree of impunity, including being freed of charges.

Silent witnesses to everyday forms of sexual assault such as leering, groping, passing comments, stalking and whistling are equally responsible for rape being embedded in our culture and hence being so prevalent today. We, therefore, also condemn the culture of silence and tolerance for sexual assault and the culture of valorising this kind of violence.

We also reject voices that are ready to imprison and control women and girls under the garb of ‘safety’, instead of ensuring their freedom as equal participants in society and their right to a life free of perpetual threats of sexual assault, both inside and outside their homes. 

In cases (like this) which have lead to a huge public outcry all across the country, and where the perpetrators have been caught, we hope that justice will be speedily served and they will be convicted for the ghastly acts that they have committed. However, our vision of this justice does not include death penalty, which is neither a deterrent nor an effective or ethical response to these acts of sexual violence. We are opposed to it for the following reasons:


We recognise that every human being has a right to life. Our rage cannot give way to what are, in no uncertain terms, new cycles of violence. We refuse to deem ‘legitimate’ any act of violence that would give the State the right to take life in our names. Justice meted by the State cannot bypass complex socio-political questions of violence against women by punishing rapists by death. Death penalty is often used to distract attention away from the real issue – it changes nothing but becomes a tool in the hands of the State to further exert its power over its citizens. A huge set of changes are required in the system to end the widespread and daily culture of rape.


1. There is no evidence to suggest that the death penalty acts as a deterrent to rape. Available data shows that there is a low rate of conviction in rape cases and a strong possibility that the death penalty would lower this conviction rate even further as it is awarded only under the ‘rarest of rare’ circumstances. The most important factor that can act as a deterrent is the certainty of punishment, rather than the severity of its form. 


2. There is no evidence to suggest that the death penalty acts as a deterrent to rape. Available data shows that there is a low rate of conviction in rape cases and a strong possibility that the death penalty would lower this conviction rate even further as it is awarded only under the ‘rarest of rare’ circumstances. The most important factor that can act as a deterrent is the certainty of punishment, rather than the severity of its form.

3. As seen in countries like the US, men from minority communities make up a disproportionate number of death row inmates. In the context of India, a review of crimes that warrant capital punishment reveals the discriminatory way in which such laws are selectively and arbitrarily applied to disadvantaged communities, religious and ethnic minorities. This is a real and major concern, as the possibility of differential consequences for the same crime is injustice in itself.

4. The logic of awarding death penalty to rapists is based on the belief that rape is a fate worse than death. Patriarchal notions of ‘honour’ lead us to believe that rape is the worst thing that can happen to a woman. There is a need to strongly challenge this stereotype of the ‘destroyed’ woman who loses her honour and who has no place in society after she’s been sexually assaulted. We believe that rape is tool of patriarchy, an act of violence, and has nothing to do with morality, character or behaviour.

5. An overwhelming number of women are sexually assaulted by people known to them, and often include near or distant family, friends and partners. Who will be able to face the psychological and social trauma of having reported against their own relatives? Would marital rape (currently not recognised by law), even conceptually, ever be looked at through the same retributive prism?

6. The State often reserves for itself the ‘right to kill’ — through the armed forces, the paramilitary and the police. We cannot forget the torture, rape and murder of ThangjamManoramaby the Assam Rifles in Manipur in 2004 or the abduction, gang rape and murder of Neelofar and Aasiya of Shopian (Kashmir) in 2009.Giving more powers to the State, whether arming the police and giving them the right to shoot at sight or awarding capital punishment, is not a viable solution to lessen the incidence of crime.

Furthermore, with death penalty at stake, the ‘guardians of the law’ will make sure that no complaints against them get registered and they will go to any length to make sure that justice does not see the light of day. The ordeal of Soni Sori, who had been tortured in police custody last year, still continues her fight from inside aprison in Chattisgarh, in spite of widespread publicity around her torture.


7. As we know, in cases of sexual assault where the perpetrator is in a position of power (such as in cases of custodial rape or caste and communal violence), conviction is notoriously difficult. The death penalty, for reasons that have already been mentioned, would make conviction next to impossible.

We, the undersigned, demand the following:

- Greater dignity, equality, autonomy and rights for women and girls from a society that should stop questioning and policing their actions at every step.

-Immediate relief in terms of legal, medical, financial and psychological assistance and long-term rehabilitation measures must be provided to survivors of sexual assault.

- Provision of improved infrastructure to make cities safer for women, including well-lit pavements and bus stops, help lines and emergency services.

-Effective registration, monitoring and regulation of transport services (whether public, private or contractual) to make them safe, accessible and available to all.

-Compulsory courses within the training curriculum on gender sensitisation for all personnel employed and engaged by the State in its various institutions, including the police.

-That the police do its duty to ensure that public spaces are free from harassment, molestation and assault. This means that they themselves have to stop sexually assaulting women who come to make complaints. They have to register all FIRs and attend to complaints. CCTV cameras should be set up in all police stations and swift action must be taken against errant police personnel.

-Immediate setting up of fast track courts for rape and other forms of sexual violence all across the country. State governments should operationalise their creation on a priority basis. Sentencing should be done within a period of six months.

-The National Commission for Women has time and again proved itself to be an institution that works against the interests of women. NCW’s inability to fulfil its mandate of addressing issues of violence against women, the problematic nature of the statements made by the Chairperson and its sheer inertia in many serious situations warrants that the NCW role be reviewed and auditedas soon as possible.

-The State acknowledges the reality of custodial violence against women in many parts of the country, especially in Kashmir, North-East and Chhattisgarh. There are several pending cases and immediate action should be taken by the government to punish the guilty and to ensure that these incidents of violence are not allowed to be repeated.

-Regarding the Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill 2012, women’s groups have already submitted detailed recommendations to the Home Ministry. We strongly underline that the Bill must not be passed in its current form because of its many serious loopholes and lacuna. Some points:

- There has been no amendment to the flawed definition of consent under Sec 375 IPC and this has worked against the interest of justice for women.

- The formulation of the crime of sexual assault as gender neutralmakes the identity of the perpetrator/accused also gender neutral. We demand that the definition of perpetrator be gender-specific and limited to men. Sexual violence also targets transgender people and legal reform must address this.

- In its current form, the Bill does not recognise the structural and graded nature of sexual assault, based on concepts of hurt, harm, injury, humiliation and degradation. The Bill also does not use well-established categories of sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault and sexual offences.

- It does not mention sexual assault by security forces as a specific category of aggravated sexual assault. We strongly recommend the inclusion of perpetration of sexual assault by security forces under Sec 376(2).

Endorsed by the following groups and individuals:

New Socialist Initiative (NSI), Citizens’ Collective against Sexual Assault (CCSA), Purnima, Nirantar, New Delhi, Sandhya Gokhale, Forum Against Oppression of Women, Bombay, Deepti, Saheli, Delhi, Mary John, Centre for Women’s Development Studies (CWDS), New Delhi, Jagori, Delhi, Vimochana, Bangalore, Stree Mukti Sanghathan, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh Mahila Manch, Kavita Krishnan, AIPWA, New Delhi, Anuradha Kapoor ,Swayam, Calcutta, Kalpana Mehta, Manasi Swasthya Sansthan, Indore,  Nandita Gandhi, Akshara, Bombay, Indira, Women against Sexual Violence and State Repression, (WSS), New Delhi, National Alliance of people’s Movements (NAPM), Mallika, Maati, Uttarakhand, Meena Saraswathi Seshu, SANGRAM, Sangli, GRAMEENA MAHILA Okkutta, Karnataka, WinG Assam, Arati Chokshi, PUCL, Bangalore, Action India, Delhi, Majlis Law, Legal Services for Women, Mumbai, Sahiayar (Stree Sangathan), Vadodara, Gujarat, Vasanth Kannabiran (NAWO, AP) Asmita, Sheba George, SAHRWARU, SAMYAK, Pune, Shabana Kazi, VAMP, Sruti disAbility Rights Centre, Kolkata, Forum to Engage Men (FEM), New Delhi, MASVAW( Men Action for stopping Violence Against Women), UP, Breakthrough, New Delhi, V Rukmini Rao, Gramya Resource Centre for Women, Secunderabad, LABIA, a queer feminist LBT collective, Mumbai, Law Trust, Tamil Nadu, Men’s Action to Stop Violence agaisnt Women (MASVAW), UP, National Forum for Single Women’s Rights, NAWO-AP, Arunachal Pradesh Women’s Welfare Society (APWWS), Indigenous Women’s Resource Centre (IWRC), Gabriele Dietrich, Pennurimai Iyakkam, Sangat, a South Asian Feminist Network, Stree Mukti Sanghatana, Mumbai, SWATI, Ahmedabad, Tamil Nadu Women Fish Workers Forum, Subhash Mendhapurkar,SUTRA, H.P, Mario, Nigah, queer collective, New Delhi, Sushma Varma, Samanatha Mahila Vedike, Bangalore, Priti Darooka, PWESCR (The Programme on Women’s Economic, Social and Cultural Rights), New Delhi, Pushpa Achanta (WSS, Karnataka),  AWN, Kabul,      AZAD and Sakha Team, Delhi, Ekta, Madurai, Empower People, Vrinda Grover, Chayanika Shah, Bombay, Aruna Roy, Kalyani Menon-Sen, Feminist Learning Partnerships, Gurgaon, Nandini Rao, Pratiksha Baxi, Amrita Nandy, Farah Naqvi, Writer & Activist, Delhi, Nivedita Menon, Urvashi Butalia,  Kaveri R I, Bengaluru, Dunu Roy, Harsh Mander, Anil TV, Laxmi Murthy, Journalist, Bangalore, Rahul Roy, Rituparna Borah, queer feminist activist, Ranjana Padhi, New Delhi, Trupti Shah, Vadodara, Gujarat, Vasanth Kannabiran, Sudha Bharadwaj, Veena Shatrugna, Hyderabad, Kamayani Bali Mahabal,      Kiran Shaheen, Journalist and activist, Lesley A Esteves, journalist, New Delhi, Devangana Kalita, assam, Aruna Burte, Anita Ghai, Mohan Rao, New Delhi, Rakhi Sehgal, New Delhi, Geetha Nambisan,      Charan Singh, New Delhi, Manjima Bhattacharjya, Jinee Lokaneeta,Associate professor, Drew University, Madison, NJ, Kavita Panjabi, Jadavpur University, Kolkata, Albertina almeida, Goa, Satyajit Rath, New Delhi, Prerna Sud, New Delhi, Priya Sen, New Delhi, Aarthi Pai, Bangalore, Kalpana Vishwanath, Gurgaon, Aisha K. Gill, Reader, University of Roehampton, London, Ammu Abraham, Mumbai, Anagha Sarpotdar, Activist and PhD Student, Mumbai, Anand Pawar, Anuradha Marwah, Ajmer Adult Education Association (AAEA), Ajmer, Asha Ramesh, activist/researcher/consultant, Bondita, Gauri Gill, New delhi, Sophia Khan, Gujarat, Niranjani Iyer, Chennai, Dyuti Ailawadi, Gandimathi Alagar, Gayatri Buragohain – Feminist Approach to Technology (FAT), New Delhi, Geetha Nambisan, Delhi, Sadhna Arya, New Delhi, Vineeta Bal, New Delhi, Suneeta Dhar, Geeta Ramaseshan, Advocate, Chennai, Sonal Sharma, New delhi, Anusha Hariharan, Delhi/Chennai, Jayasree.A.K, Gautam Bhan, New Delhi, Jayasree Subramanian, TISS, Hyderabad, Jhuma Sen, Advocate, Supreme Court,Teena Gill, New Delhi, Kannamma Raman, Karuna D W, Shalini Krishan, New Delhi, Lalita Ramdas, Secunderabad, Manasi Pingle,Madhumita Dutta, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, Manoj Mitta, Pamela Philipose, Parul Chaudhary, Preethi Herman, Sunil Gupta, New Delhi, Radha Khan, Rama Vedula, Rebecca John, Renu Khanna, SAHAJ, Rohini Hensman (Writer and Activist, Bombay), Rohit Prajapati, Environmental activist, Gujarat, Roshmi Goswami, Shipra Nigam, Consultant Economist, Research and Information Systems, New Delhi, Shipra Deo, Agribusiness Systems International Vamshakti, Pratapgarh, Rukmini Datta, Sridala Swami, Sarba Raj Khadka, Kathmandu, Satish K. Singh, CHSJ, Shinkai Karokhail, from the Afghanistan Parliament, Sima Samar, Kabul, Smita Singh, FTII, Pune, Subhalakshmi Nandi, Sujata Gothoskar, Swar Thounaojam, Inayat Sabhikhi, Jaya Vindhyala, Hyderabad.

Monday, December 24, 2012

famous Assamese recipe - duck curry with gourd

Haah aru Kumura Aanja (duck curry with gourd)
by Ruprekha Mushahary

Indigenous Assamese cuisine is incomplete without this particular dish. In the upper region of the state of Assam, this dish is regarded very highly. In the olden times and even today, when a dear friend or a respected guest is invited over a meal, this delicacy takes the place of the main course. I remember as a young girl, whenever a reputed person or a respected guest is invited to the house, instead of the cook, either my Aaita, Maa or aunt would be doing the honours of cooking this particular dish with utmost care. 
Although duck meat is found and eaten any time of the year, it tastes best during December-January. During this time of the season the ducks are full of fat.  Harvesting season starts from the month of November and during this time ducks get to eat a lot of freshly harvested seeds of paddy. This is believed to be the reason behind the taste of duck meat during this time of the year. 
After toiling all year round, when harvesting is over, its time to celebrate and merrymaking. In mid January Assam celebrates one of the three Bihus. In this Bihu, called the Maagh Bihu or the Bhogali Bihu, duck becomes the most preferred meat.

read more here

Monday, September 17, 2012

Trotsky, Lenin and the Stalinist General Line

BY  Kunal Chattopadhyay 

Trotsky’s greatest sin, it seems, was that he often disagreed with the “general line” of the party. Or so the contemporary devotees of Joseph Stalin would still like us to believe. Perhaps this should be viewed, rather, as Trotsky’s continuing commitment to the pre-Stalinist Marxist tradition, for which commitment to working class democracy, viewed as more expansive than the best that bourgeois democracy could afford to offer, and hence as his greatest legacy for socialists in the twenty-first century if they do not want to bow movingly to market forces, yet want to be relevant. For the days when one could say in a commanding tone, “this is the party line”, and expect everyone to lie down and play dead like tame dogs, are gone forever.

When Karl Marx started his political career, he began as a democrat. Unlike many earlier and contemporary socialists and communists, he did not advocate aneducational dictatorship of the party (or a group of wise and enlightened elite, by whatever name) over the working people. And his call for a “revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat” was not a call for party dictatorship. One has to remember that in the Paris Commune, there were very few people holding close to Marx’s views, and that moreover it was an elected body with laws far more democratic than anything that then existed in any liberal state. Yet both Marx and Engels unhesitatingly called the Commune a dictatorship of the proletariat.

read more here

Monday, September 10, 2012

Striving for Just Society

BY Ram Puniyani

The verdict of magistrate Dr. Jyotsna Yagnik, sentencing Dr. Maya Kodnani, Babu Bajrangi and others to long imprisonment (31 August, 2012) has come as a big relief to the victims of Naroda Patiya, for whom it was like return of Eid to their houses. Naroda Patiya had witnessed horrific carnage and acts of rape in 2002 and this judgment will give a solace to the victims and their near and dear ones’. This judgment came as a culmination of the mammoth efforts of the human rights activists, the victims, the witnesses and the team of legal activists who stood all the opposition form every conceivable quarter to ensure that justice is done in the case. The adage that ‘there can’t be peace without justice’ has been redeemed with this court judgment.

This judgment also puts right various misconceptions deliberately propagated by communal forces. First and foremost was that the Gujarat violence was a reaction to the Godhra train burning. By now this is believed by most of the sections of society, more so by the communalized sections of society all over and more so in Gujarat. The judge made it clear that “thousands of persons…attacked weaponless and frightened victims with intention, pre planning while sharing common objects”. It was not a spontaneous reaction to burning of train in Godhra. Rather Godhra train burning was used subtly as a justification for the preplanned pogrom. Communal forces tried to pass it off as ‘natural anger’ which the state could not control. Contrary to this perception, now court has ruled that it was a deliberately planned carnage, using the Godhra incident as a mere pretext to consolidate communal polarization in the state of Gujarat.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Economic Perspectives 2012 - INDIA

By Youvraj B
Last year in March 2011 a confident FM presenting union budget forecasted Indian economy to grow at 9%. One year after that and we see the growth rate plunged to 6.5%, way below what was anticipated an year before. This year’s economic survey puts it as:
“For the Indian economy this was a year of disappointing growth performance. During each of the previous two years, 2009-10 and 2010-11, India’s gross domestic product GDP (at factor cost) grew by 8.4 per cent per annum. Further, in 2010-11, the GDP at market price grew by a remarkable 9.6 per cent. This performance, coming in the wake of one of the biggest global recessions in history, was outstanding. It fed expectations that India’s short economic downturn in 2008-9, when the GDP grew by 6.7 per cent, was behind us and the economy was on its way to full-fledged recovery. That did not happen.”
Notwithstanding hype created by bourgeoisie economist and media, all the available facts that are now emerging has completely rubbished the so called decoupling theory as responsible for the India’s economic performance in FY10 and FY11 (FY – Fiscal Year). Instead it was the temporal factors like dollar carry trade, fiscal stimulus that led to cushioning the economy. Subsequently when these factors waned out the economy grew at 6.5%, lowest in past 9 years starting 2003-04 (except obviously FY09).
What propelled the growth?
One needs to take a look at the very process of growth to analyse the current juncture. There were broadly two aspects that scripted the Indian growth story. One is private capital investment. Very act of India signing SAP (Structural Adjustment Program) implied policies pursued would be all about promoting investment of private capital. Neo-liberal reforms are nothing but steps that make terms of investment favourable to big corporations. This agenda was carried out diligently by subsequent governments irrespective of their political affiliations. More and more sectors of economy that were till then reserved for public investments or cottage industries were thrown open to private capital, framework of regulation was replaced by policy formulations that enticed private investments. Soon sectors like mining, communication saw private capital gushing in. State steadfastly anchored and committed itself for the protection of private capital at any cost.
Credit system was reworked by a spate of banking reforms by liberalizing it and one could see auto loans available at 7% to buy brand new Mercedes-Benz while farmers ended up paying 60% interest to buy agricultural inputs. Fiscal policy too was revamped and export industry hosted in SEZ granted tax holidays to ‘attract’ private investments. As a result private investment both domestic and foreign soared up leading to higher growth.
But where did demand or consumption come from? Capitalist would not invest into anything that could not be sold. That is second aspect we need to consider. Demand came from roughly 3 quarters. One is foreign demand. Services like IT and the spurt in mining were mainly meant for foreign consumption. Export of these commodities (in addition to tax incentives) saw their traders becoming billionaires. Rest of the consumption however is domestic (measured as PFCE – private final consumption expenditure), something much touted by bourgeoisie economists who declare the growth as ‘robust’ one based on domestic consumption.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Robert Bresson: CINEMA

To me, cinema is the art of having each thing in its place. In this it resembles all the other arts. Like the anecdote of Johann Sebastian Bach playing for a student. The student gushes with admiration, but Bach says, "There's nothing to admire. You just have to hit the note at the right time, and the organ does the rest". 

... The scene was on paper. But there's a world of difference between writing it and filming it. To me, the most important part of a film is its rhythm. Everything is expressed by the rhythm. Without rhythm, there's nothing... everything you say happens, didn't happen during filming, but during editing. It's the editing that creates these things, that brings them forth. The camera simply records. It's precise, and fortunately, unbiased. The camera is extremely precise. The drama is created in the cutting room, when images are juxtaposed and sound is added, that's when "love blossoms".
read more here : Robert Bresson: CINEMA

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Saving the Cinema....here is IMAX


Is the movie theater on it’s death bed? Have piracy, digital distribution, high ticket prices, and an influx of mediocre films brought the theater to an early demise? It seems so. Even though Avatar, a film released less than six months ago, just broke the box office revenue records, after closer inspection it is clear that the film wasn’t seen by as many people as the previous record holder, Titanic. So how do we, the filmmakers of tomorrow, change course on this road to destruction? Well it’s simple, we’ve got to give audiences ample enough reason to go to the cinema. We have to give them an experience.

read full story HERE

Monday, June 18, 2012

Drum Stick Flower, Baby Potatoes and Eggs FRY : a tasty one

Aakhol Ghor, the Assamese Cuisines and Foods from Assam: Sojina Ful, Xoru Alloo Koni Bhoja: Well, this one is a quick fix. I do it when sometimes I need a side dish very fast. Translating the Name to English, Drum Stick Flower, Bab...

Friday, June 1, 2012

Aakhol Ghor, the Assamese Cuisines and Foods from Assam: Assmese Pork Recipes

Aakhol Ghor, the Assamese Cuisines and Foods from Assam: Assmese Pork Recipes:



Aakhol Ghor means Kitchen in Assamese. Assamese traditional Kitchens normally has two parts. First the dining area plus a small cooking space for tea etc. And the next bigger and more functional room is the actual kitchen with at least two earthen fire places (chowka).If you are a food lover you can hope to see a lot of authentic Assamese Recipes in this place......
visit the blog: 
Its all about Food and Food Habits from the land of blue hills and red river, Assam. 
aakholghor


Friday, May 18, 2012

Genesis of Trotskyism

-Max Shachtman
January 1933

Foreword
November 1933

Since this pamphlet was first written, a number of events have taken place which should be borne in mind in reading what follows. Outstanding among these events is the cruel defeat suffered by the German working class at the hands of triumphant Fascism. The victory of the barbaric capitalist reaction in Germany was made possible essentially by the impotence of the proletariat. In turn, that was induced by the craven treachery of the party of the Second International, and the bankruptcy into which the official Communist party was thrown by Stalinism.

The collapse of the German Communist party removes from the dwindling ranks of the Communist International the last of its sections possessing any mass following or influence. What is left of this organization lies prostrate, bleeding from a thousand wounds, rendered incapable of rising again as a revolutionary or progressive force by the stranglehold of the Russian Soviet bureaucracy.

The defeat of the German proletariat and its Communist party is the terrifying payment they were forced to make for the demoralization, disorientation and bureaucratic Centrism to which they were subjected for ten years by the Stalinist machine. The German working class must now suffer all the diabolical torture of the Hitlerite savages, and as a consequence, the working class of the entire world is also set back. Not because the triumph of Fascism was inevitable. Quite the contrary. Had the German proletariat been mobilized in the united front movement for which we agitated unremittingly, and for which we were condemned as counter-revolutionists and “social-Fascists,” the Brown Shirts would have been crushed and never have reached the seat of power. The social democrats on the one hand, and the Stalinists on the other, stood like boulders in the path of the working class. Instead of the accelerator of the revolution, the Stalinists acted as a brake upon it.

This foreword can pretend only to the briefest reference to the new problems, for a more extensive elucidation of which the voluminous literature of our movement must be consulted. Suffice it to say that the German events, and the bureaucratic self-contentment and unconcern, deepening of the errors and disintegration of Stalinism and its parties which followed them, have brought us to the ineluctable conclusion: That the Communist International has been strangled by Stalinism, is bankrupt, is beyond recovery or restoration on Marxian foundations; That the internally devoured Stalinist parties which proved so impotent at the decisive moment of struggle against the class enemy in China, then in swift succession in Germany, Austria, Bulgaria, now in Czechoslovakia, tomorrow elsewhere – will never be able to deal with the burning problems of the struggle in any of the other countries; That this holds true especially, and above all, of the situation in the Soviet Union, where the dangers to the workers’ state multiply without a corresponding growth of strength of the proletarian organizations; That the wealth of past experience and the whole of the present world situation dictate to the earnest revolutionist the course of breaking relentlessly and completely with the decadent Stalinist apparatus and embarking upon the course of building up a new Communist International and new Communist parties in every country of the world. The Left Opposition, breaking with its past policy of acting as a faction of the official party, has solemnly dedicated itself to this tremendous historical task. To the new movement it offers that rich and comprehensive experience, that tested and verified body of revolutionary ideas and criticism which it developed in the ten years of its existence as a distinct current in the revolutionary movement. It came into being as the direct heir and executor of fundamentally the same tendency which originated with Marx and Engels, was first victorious in the Russian revolution, and will find its full fruition in the world revolution for the liberation of human kind.