On the occasion of Independence Day, 2019: For real independence, India needs to break with the imperialist system!

Statement of the Central Committee of the Communist Ghadar Party of India, 13th August, 2019

August 15th this year will mark 72 years since the declaration of India’s independence from colonial rule. It is an occasion to sum up what has been achieved and what has not over these seven decades. Such a summing up is essential for charting the way forward to an India in which prosperity and protection are guaranteed for all members of society.

Statement of the Central Committee of the Communist Ghadar Party of India, 13th August, 2019

August 15th this year will mark 72 years since the declaration of India’s independence from colonial rule. It is an occasion to sum up what has been achieved and what has not over these seven decades. Such a summing up is essential for charting the way forward to an India in which prosperity and protection are guaranteed for all members of society.

After emerging from nearly 200 years of colonial slavery in 1947, our country has reached a stage when Indian space scientists have launched Chandrayan-2 to land on the moon. Medical tourism is booming in our country as patients from abroad come to be treated by our skilled doctors. Indian doctors, nurses, and school teachers are playing a crucial role in the health care and education sectors in many countries. Our engineers and workers are building railroads and highways in other countries. Our software engineers are playing a crucial role in developing cutting edge technology in the US. Our farmers are producing more than enough to feed a country of 130 crore people. And the wealthiest Indians are counted among the richest people on earth.

In spite of these achievements, masses of Indian people continue to be victims of abject poverty and ill health. Crores of people are forced to lead a life of indignity and misery. They are oppressed, discriminated against, and even killed for belonging to a particular caste or religion. Women and girls face every kind of indignity at their work place, in the streets and at home.

Workers are thrown into jail for demanding their rights. Peasants who feed the whole country are unable to ensure two square meals for their families. Crores of working families do not have even clean drinking water. Their children do not have access to education and health care.

Our martyrs fought for freedom from colonial slavery and imperialist plunder. They fought for freedom from hunger and want, from ill-health and disease. They fought for freedom from caste discrimination, religious persecution and all forms of oppression of women. They fought to establish a new India, free from the imperialist system. They fought for an India in which the people would be the master. It is clear that the goal for which they fought and laid down their lives is far from being achieved.

Prime Minister Modi admits that the benefits of economic development in independent India have not reached crores of poor working people. He blames it all on the Congress Party, which has been in charge of the central government for most of the past 72 years. He points to the thoroughly corrupt and dynastic rule of the Congress Party as the main reason. He claims that the BJP government is committed to deliver “development for all”. 

Actions, however, do not match the claims of the Prime Minister. The most recent actions taken by the re-elected Modi government, for instance, are not at all aimed at delivering development for all. They are aimed at delivering maximum profits for Indian and foreign monopoly capitalists, by intensifying the super-exploitation of Indian labour, escalating the robbery of the peasantry, and intensifying the plunder of our natural resources.

The BJP government has rejected the long standing demand of crores of workers for a minimum wage which is a living wage. The Wage Code Bill it has introduced in parliament sets the national minimum wage at the abysmally low level of Rs.178 per day. This is much lower than the existing minimum wages in the vast majority of states. Another bill dealing with occupational safety, health and working conditions eliminates 90% of workers from its purview. These two bills are part of 4 bills to change labour laws which are aimed at fulfilling the long standing demand of Indian and foreign capitalists to improve the “ease of doing business”.

India’s workers have been resolutely opposing the anti-social and anti-national program of privatization of public sector enterprises, and the further opening of doors of vital sectors of the Indian economy to foreign capitalist monopolies. The government announced through the budget that it will further open up weapons production, insurance, airlines and retail trade for foreign capitalists. Ignoring the united opposition of the working class to the privatisation program, the Budget has set the highest ever target for the sale of public assets to private companies. The privatisation of Indian Railways is being pursued openly, with a 100-day program.

“Sab ka Saath, Sab ka Vikas” is a fraud to fool the working class and people. The capitalist class headed by the monopoly houses has brought the BJP government to power in order to implement its agenda. Prime Minister Modi has been entrusted with the task of marketing this capitalist-imperialist agenda in such a way as to make people believe that it is in their best interest.

In order to disrupt and crush the united struggle of the working class and people against their capitalist agenda, the ruling capitalist class is escalating the attacks on the rights of people, and intensifying communal divisions in society. 

The parliament has passed an amendment to the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act to allow the central government to label all those opposed to the capitalist-imperialist agenda as “terrorists” without the need to produce any evidence.

The project of identifying and expelling “illegal immigrants” and creating a National Register of Citizens, already launched in Assam, is now going to be launched all across the country. The ruling capitalist class is spreading the lie that the cause of unemployment and all social problems are people of Muslim faith. They want the working people of our country to be embroiled in communal clashes.

Prime Minister Modi wants the people to repose faith in him, allegedly because he is different from previous prime ministers. He is hiding the truth that no matter who is the PM and which is the party in charge, the agenda is set by the capitalist class, headed by the monopoly houses. It is they who decide which party must be entrusted with the task of implementing and marketing their agenda at any particular time.

Like all previous prime ministers, Modi promises what the toiling masses of people are longing for, while acting strictly in the interests of the monopoly capitalists. This has been the practice of all previous prime ministers, from the time of Jawaharlal Nehru in 1947.

When India gained independence from colonial rule, it was a time when the world was being swept by a revolutionary wave. The struggle against imperialism and colonialism, against fascism and war, for lasting peace and people’s democracy, spearheaded by the Communist International headed by the Soviet Union, was raging all over the world.

The workers and peasants of India were longing to break out of the imperialist system and march on the road to socialism. In such conditions, the Tatas, Birlas and other big capitalists of India got together to work out a long-term plan for capitalist development in independent India, which was published in 1945 as the “Bombay Plan”. It was a plan to protect major sectors of the Indian economy from foreign competition and to develop state monopoly capitalism, for the benefit of the big industrial houses.

The Congress Party headed by Nehru was charged with implementing this agenda of the big capitalists. Knowing well that the Indian people deeply desired socialism, Nehru marketed the Tata-Birla project for developing capitalism as the creation of a “socialistic pattern of society”. Prime Minister Indira Gandhi further developed this project, which resulted in the expansion of the wealth of big capitalists at one pole, while poverty and misery of the toiling masses multiplied at the other pole.

By the middle of the 1980s, the big capitalists of India recognised that in order to grow into a global imperialist power, they needed to capture foreign markets and open up Indian markets for foreign capital. Towards that goal, Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi gave the call for modernization and globalization of Indian capital.

The disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991 brought about an abrupt change in the world situation. The tide turned against the revolution and socialism. Indian monopoly capitalists started singing the globally fashionable tune, that there is no alternative to globalisation, liberalisation and privatisation. Prime Minister Narasimha Rao launched this program after declaring that all the problems of the economy have their source in the “socialistic pattern of society”. His Finance Minister Manmohan Singh argued that if the wealth of the big capitalists grows more rapidly than before, then some of its benefits will trickle down to the toiling masses.

The implementation of the program of globalisation, liberalisation and privatisation by successive governments since 1991 has resulted in more rapid growth of capitalist profits and greater concentration of wealth. It has further widened the gap between rich and poor. It has resulted in increasing dependence of the Indian economy on the world market. It has resulted in the growing influence of the World Bank and other imperialist agencies over policy decisions, down to the level of state governments. Anglo-American influence has penetrated deeply into the economic, political and cultural institutions of our country.

Production in India has been greatly integrated with the crisis ridden imperialist system. Exports of goods and service have increased from 7% of total production (GDP) to 20% over the past three decades. As production becomes increasingly export oriented, the negative impact of international crises becomes more and more pronounced. Every crisis of the world economy leads to large-scale destruction of jobs in India. Every fall in food prices internationally has driven thousands of peasants to suicide.

The Indian economy is currently caught in a deep crisis. Superexploitation of workers and the robbery of peasants has resulted in people not having any money to buy the goods and services being produced. The foreign market is not growing because of the global crisis.

The capitalist monopolies have no solution to this crisis. They want to further intensify the exploitation of workers and peasants, and more aggressively produce for the global market. They hope that by allying with US imperialism, they will protect and expand their share of the US and world market.

This agenda will lead to even greater levels of dependence on exporting to the US market, and on attracting foreign capitalist investors to super-exploit cheap Indian labour. It means further strengthening of the Indo-US strategic-cum-military alliance. There is increasing danger of India being drawn into unjust wars waged with imperialist aims, under the signboard of fighting against “Islamic terrorism”.

The aim of the anti-colonial struggle was to liberate India from the stranglehold of the imperialist system. That aim has not been achieved. That is why India remains poor and backward. In 1947, political power was transferred into the hands of the traitorous capitalist class, which has used this power to perpetuate the system of exploitation and plunder created by the British. The capitalist class is now on an aggressive imperialist drive, in collusion and contention with the US imperialists.

For India to break out of the imperialist system, the capitalist class has to be dislodged from power. Capitalist rule has to be replaced by workers’ and peasants’ rule. The process of production and exchange must be reoriented to fulfill the growing needs of the people, from being geared to fulfill monopoly capitalist greed.

Establishing workers’ and peasants’ rule requires a clean break with the parliamentary system and the party dominated process of representative democracy. There is need for a new Constitution that vests sovereignty in the people. There is need for a new political process designed to keep decision-making power in the hands of the people.

With political power in hand, the working class and people will take charge of the means of production and exchange, and reorient the economy to fulfill human needs. They will build a new India which is truly independent, free from the stranglehold of the imperialist system. India will then emerge as a factor for peace and anti-imperialist unity on the world scale.   

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  1. From: Meera, Delhi…

    From: Meera, Delhi

    Independence Day is celebrated with much pomp every year in India, and big promises are made.  It has become the norm for the ruling party to congratulate itself for its “achievements” and blame the opposition for all the problems – this is what I have seen since the last 40 years. Masses of people think that we, the people, have become free, with the exit of the British colonialists.

    Do we enjoy all the basic facilities that are necessary for us to live like humans, such as clean drinking water, a home to live in, clean roads, electricity and transport – all of which should be available? Further, it is the duty of the State to provide livelihood for every person who seeks work, education for every child, universal access to health and adequate food of good quality at affordable prices. But our people have to fight to have access to these necessities of life which is their right. Their entire life is spent fighting for it in vain. A majority of the people is getting increasingly marginalized from accessing these necessities, and when anyone raises his voice against this injustice, he is labeled anti-national or a terrorist.

    People have fought for their rights since more than 100 years, but they are still living in miserable conditions. Whereas such rights as an 8-hour day and minimum wages were won through struggle, these rights are being denied to them today. Women are not safe at their workplaces. Every year, thousands of peasants commit suicide because they are unable to pay back their debts.  People are dying of floods, drought and tsunamis, but nobody is held accountable for these deaths.

    Capitalism in our country is proceeding towards imperialism. We must understand that till the time this system is not replaced by a new system, we cannot be really free or prosperous. The statement of the central committee of the Communist Ghadar Party of India reveals the condition of the people after more than 70 years!

  2. From Roshan Singh, Balia (UP…

    From Roshan Singh, Balia (UP)

    I am writing this letter in response to your statement on the anniversary of the Independence Day, entitled, “For real independence, India needs to break with the imperialist system!”

    After reading the entire statement, it can be clearly understood that the condition of the workers, farmers, toilers and the entire lot of oppressed people in India is really pathetic. On the one hand, the country is sending a spaceship to the moon and while health tourism is on the rise and there are several other such achievements. At the same time, the farmers in our country are driven to suicide. A large part of our population does not even have two proper meals a day.

    Workers are being deprived of even the minimum wages. Through the new labour laws, government is trying to curtail the rights of workers.

    Police atrocities are on the rise to crush the struggles of workers and peasants. Innocent workers are being arrested for attempting to establish their unions. Workers asking for the minimum wage are being dismissed from their jobs.

    What has prospered in our country in the last seven decades is the wealth owned by the capitalists. It has increased so much that now the Indian capitalists are dreaming of becoming imperialist power themselves. They are colluding with other imperialist powers to increase their investments in new markets of the world. They are forging several strategic partnerships with the US imperialism.

    The statement makes it clear that what is responsible for the increasing exploitation and injustices on workers and toilers is the existing capitalist system. This system is committed to increase the exploitation of workers and toilers to increase the profits of the capitalists.

    The statement elaborates on how the political power was transferred by the British colonial rulers to the capitalist class through its Congress party. The capitalist class presented the plan for development and these plans were faithfully implemented by the various governments that came to power – whether it was the Congress party, BJP or some coalition government.

    In conclusion the statement points out that we have to break with the imperialist system if we have to come out of the crisis. It is essential to establish a rule of workers and peasants. The state power has to be brought under the control of the people.

    Thank you for publishing such an enlightening statement.

  3. From: Prasad, Mumbai…

    From: Prasad, Mumbai

    The statement of the Communist Ghadar Party of India published in the issue of August  16-31, on the subject of Independence – For real independence, India needs to break with the imperialist system – has been written very well. This day marks 72 years since the transfer of power from the white imperialists to the Indian imperialists.  I am calling it transfer of power because the aspirations, and yearning for independence truly free from all kinds of oppression that so many people gave their lives for, have not been fulfilled.

    As the statement has pointed out, our country has reached a stage when Indian space scientists have been successful at the first attempt to launched Chandrayan-2 to land on the moon. Medical tourism is booming in our country as patients from abroad come to be treated by our skilled doctors. Our engineers and workers are building railroads and highways in other countries. Our farmers are producing more than enough to feed a country of 130 crore people. At the other end, our people are victims of malnutrition; the common person cannot afford doctor’s fees; the condition of the government hospitals, schools and all other public sector enterprises is known to all. Parents are finding it extremely difficult to afford the fees charged by private schools. Farmers are not able to afford even two meals a day. Government has stopped publishing the data on peasant suicides. All over the country, workers are demanding a minimum wage of Rs. 18,000, yet the Wage Code declares the daily wage to be mere Rs. 178. Government is mocking the workers.

    The relations of production are responsible for this state of affairs. On the one side you have 150 monopoly capitalist houses who lead the capitalist class and who own bulk of the means of production. They use ownership of the means of production to maximise the rates of their profits by increasing the rate of exploitation. On the other side is the class of exploited class of workers, peasants and other toilers. Having no means of production under their ownership, they have no choice but to sell their labouring power to earn a living. To continue their rule over the working class, the ruling class uses it money power in the elections to get their favourite party to win a majority and form the government. They use the police, armed forces and other organs of the state to implement a divide and rule policy. They try to split the exploited classes by accentuating all differences except the class differences.

    In 1991, the rulers abandoned the fraudulent slogan of socialist pattern of society! They started to openly advocate the slogan of globalisation through privatisation and liberalisation. Because of this, our economy was integrated with the crisis ridden world capitalist economy. As the economy was made more and more dependent on exports, it became more and more affected by the ups and downs of the world market. Our economy is so steeped in crisis, that people do not have the purchasing power to consume the tremendous rate at which products being produced. The entire world market is facing a global slowdown.

    One more source of crisis is because our rulers are eager to forge close military relations with the US imperialist. Many military agreements have been signed between India and the US imperialists. How dangerous such steps can be should be judged from how such agreements have ruined our neighbouring country. Such friendship is not only dangerous to our country but to the peace of whole sub-continent. US imperialist are using India to increase its area of influence and to consolidate its hegemony in this region, in addition to consolidating a unipolar world.

    Today, the road on which our rulers are taking us is a road of treachery for the workers, peasants and all other oppressed. By moving on this road, our difficult situation can never be resolved. We have to replace this system and establish a new system. We have to make a decisive break with the imperialist capitalist system hiding behind the multiparty democracy. Workers and peasants will have to unite and struggle to establish the new system. A system that which will serve the constantly rising material, social and cultural needs of our people and not the insatiable greed of the capitalists. To work for such a system and a society that is free from exploitation is the real tribute to our martyrs.

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