Call of the Central Committee of the Communist Ghadar Party of India, on the anniversary of the martyrdom of Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev, 23rd March, 2020
23rd March, 2020, marks the beginning of the 90th year since the martyrdom of Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev. The British rulers hanged those three young men because they dared to fight for a new India, free from colonial slavery and free from all forms of exploitation and oppression. They represented the best of Indian youth at that time, when the patriotic anti-colonial struggle was raging throughout this subcontinent. Those revolutionary youth were branded as dangerous terrorists and condemned to death.
Today, lakhs of Indian youth are out on the streets protesting against the violation of their rights. Youth are demanding the right to education. They are protesting against privatisation, fee hikes and insufficient public spending on education, which are together making good quality education a privilege enjoyed by only a minority of youth.
Youth are demanding their right to work. Lakhs of youth who have spent 12 years in school and another 3-5 years in college or technical training, for which their families have spent lakhs of rupees, are not finding productive employment. There are too few openings in the public sector. Privatisation and liberalisation are leading to the destruction of a large number of existing jobs.
While unemployment is at an all-time high, job security is at an all-time low. Those youth who are employed do not know how long they will continue to be employed. A study conducted last year by the capitalist association called ASSOCHAM found that 43 percent of employees in the Indian private sector are afflicted with general anxiety disorder or depression.
Youth are out on the streets all over the country today, protesting against the divisive communal politics of those in power. They are demanding equal rights and equal treatment of all Indians irrespective of religion, caste or gender. They are demanding freedom of expression on university campuses.
Just like the hated British Raj, the Indian State is branding the youth who are demanding their rights and protesting against injustice as anti-national forces. Young women and men who dare to fight for a modern democratic India are charged with Sedition. Police powers are being unleashed to attack student youth.
Those in power are incapable of addressing the demands of the youth or the problems of workers and peasants. That is why they are unleashing communal violence and state terrorism to suppress their voice. They are creating an atmosphere of fear but the youth are refusing to be cowed down.
Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev faced the hangman’s noose shouting “Inquilab Zindabad!” They had arrived at the conclusion, based on serious study and scientific analysis, that the uprooting of British colonialism would only be the first step towards solving the problems of Indian society. In order to eliminate all layers of oppression and all forms of exploitation, they recognised that a new kind of political power has to be established. The struggle has to be continued to transform the economic system from capitalism to socialism. They put forward the vision and aim of establishing a federal republic of United States of India, which would protect the rights and fulfill the aspirations of all the diverse peoples of this subcontinent. They declared:
Our struggle will continue as long as a handful of men, be they foreign or native, or both in collaboration with each other, continue to exploit the labour and resources of our people. Nothing shall deter us from this path.
The conditions of life today show that the aim and aspiration for which our revolutionary martyrs fought have not been fulfilled.
Colonial rule came to an end in 1947, but the system of exploitation and the state machinery built to divide and rule over the people were not uprooted. Political power was transferred from London to Delhi but it did not reach the people’s hands. It came into the hands of big capitalists in India, who were allied with the big landlords and other reactionary elements in society. Indian capitalists have collaborated with foreign capitalists to continue exploiting the labour and resources of independent India. They have maintained and further developed the system of exploitation and plunder left behind by the British. They have preserved the same political and legal system, designed to brand all opposition to exploitation and oppression as a crime.
Words like freedom and equality were inserted into the Preamble of the Constitution to create the impression that India is a democratic society. The reality, however, is that it is a society which is rampant with discrimination and oppression on the basis of caste, gender, religion, class and race or ethnic origin.
Capitalist development, without any revolution, without breaking with the colonial past, has led to further intensification of class exploitation alongside the perpetuation of caste discrimination and other backward elements of pre-capitalist society.
The capitalist class, headed by the Tatas, Ambanis, Birlas and other monopoly houses, wields supreme decision-making power, the way the British imperialists used to before. They use this power to maximize their own private profits and compete with other monopoly capitalists of the world. They use their exorbitant money power to influence electoral outcomes and install a party of their choice in charge of executive power.
Youth are told that at the age of 18, they can exercise their vote and decide the future of the country. However, the role of the youth is only to cast their vote, just like that of the vast majority of people. The electorate has no say in selecting the candidates for election, and no power to recall those who claim to represent the people but act against their interests. Successive governments come up with all kinds of slogans to deceive the people, while the economy remains oriented towards fulfilling capitalist greed at the expense of the living standards of the toiling majority of people.
As Indian and foreign capitalist companies expand their domination over one sector after another, they destroy numerous small and medium-scale producers. The capitalist owners of these companies reap enormous profits every year, which they do not always put back into production. At the present time, most of the profits of capitalists are not being put back into production. Investments have declined because sales have declined. Sales have declined because workers and peasants have been exploited and looted so much that they cannot afford to buy what the capitalists want to sell. Decline in investment means less of new job creation. The combined result of this vicious cycle is that the capitalist economy in India is sinking deeper into crisis. It is unable to employ the youthful labour force. It is destroying more jobs than the number of new jobs it creates.
To prevent youth from understanding the root cause of the problems and uniting in the struggle to find solutions, the ruling class is bombarding them with a two-pronged propaganda campaign. On one side is the propaganda of the BJP and all its supporters. On the other side is the propaganda of the parliamentary opposition parties.
The BJP blames previous Congress-led governments for all the problems of the economy. It also blames Muslims and communists for blocking India’s development. The BJP-led government headed by Modi is continuing with and further accelerating the liberalisation and privatisation program. While serving the interests of Indian and foreign monopoly capitalists, it pretends to be committed to deliver “development for all”. It is implementing policy prescriptions made in Washington to improve the “ease of doing business”, while pretending to be following ancient Indian wisdom.
The Congress Party and other opposition parties in parliament are blaming the BJP and its anti-Muslim campaign for all the problems. They are calling on the people to save the existing State and Constitution. They promote the erroneous notion that the existing State and its Constitution are secular and democratic, and all that is needed is to vote BJP out of power.
If the existing State is secular and democratic, why does communal violence keep occurring again and again? Why are those who mastermind mass killings never punished? Why do student youth who demand freedom get treated like criminals? The conclusion to be drawn is that the existing State is not what it is portrayed to be.
The Preamble of the Constitution swears by justice, freedom, equality and fraternity among the people. Youth can see that the conditions on the ground are the exact opposite. We live in a society marked by extreme inequality, frequent and large scale injustice and lack of freedom to follow one’s own beliefs and express one’s own opinion.
The truth is that the existing State is communal and an organ of dictatorship by a tiny minority. It is a colonial legacy. It is an instrument in the hands of an exploiting minority to divide and rule over the exploited majority of people.
The adoption of the Constitution in 1950 represented the continuation of British colonial laws and the Westminster model of parliamentary democracy. The sweet words in the Preamble are not enforceable. The operational parts of the Constitution do not guarantee any of the goals enumerated in the Preamble. There is no guarantee for even those things listed as fundamental rights. The Constitution empowers the party which has majority in the Lok Sabha to trample on any of the people’s rights at any time, in the name of safeguarding national security or maintaining law and order.
The Constitution keeps alive the communal colonial legacy of treating the Indian people as consisting of a “Hindu majority”, a Muslim minority and other religious minorities. It empowers those in power to commit communal crimes and unleash police powers to crush those who protest.
The youth of today have only two options. The option being proposed by the ruling class is for the youth to submit to the status quo, and keep hoping in vain that something will improve after the next round of elections. The alternative option is to take up the task of reconstituting India as a modern democratic state, with a Constitution that vests sovereignty in the people and guarantees all human rights and democratic rights.
The Communist Ghadar Party of India firmly believes that Inquilab remains the essential condition for solving the problems of Indian society. What is required is a thorough-going revolution that will end the rule of the capitalist class headed by the monopoly houses, and establish workers’ and peasants’ rule. The new political power must take all steps required to reorient the economy towards ensuring the fulfilment of people’s needs, instead of ensuring the fulfilment of capitalist greed. The project of fulfilling the needs of all members of society will generate productive and remunerative employment for all the youth and all others willing to work.
Youth must rally around this revolutionary program of establishing a modern democratic India marching on the high road of civilisation, the road of socialism and communism.
On the occasion of Martyr’s Day 2020, the Communist Ghadar Party of India calls on the youth to take up the unfinished task of the revolutionary overthrow of the capitalist class, the communal state and the entire colonial legacy, to build the new India for which our martyrs fought and laid down their lives!
Extract from Bhagat Singh’s Speech in Court*
“Revolution does not necessarily involve sanguinary strife nor is there any place in it for individual vendetta. It is not the cult of the bomb and the pistol. By ‘Revolution’ we mean that the present order of things, which is based on manifest injustice, must change. Producers or labourers, in spite of being the most necessary element of society, are robbed by their exploiters of the fruits of their labour and deprived of their elementary rights. The peasant who grows food for all, starves with his family; the weaver who supplies the world market with textile fabrics, has not enough to cover his own and his children’s bodies; masons, smiths and carpenters who raise magnificent palaces, live like pariahs in the slums. The capitalists and exploiters, the parasites of society, squander millions on their whims. These terrible inequalities and forced disparity of chances are bound to lead to chaos. This state of affairs cannot last long …
“The whole edifice of this civilisation, if not saved in time, shall crumble. A radical change, therefore, is necessary and it is the duty of those who realise it to reorganise society on socialistic basis. Unless this is done and the exploitation of man by man and of nations by nations is brought to an end, sufferings and carnage with which humanity is threatened today cannot be prevented. All talk of ending war and ushering in an era of universal peace is undisguised hypocrisy.
“By ‘Revolution’, we mean the ultimate establishment of an order of society which may not be threatened by such breakdown, and in which the sovereignty of the proletariat should be recognised and a world federation should redeem humanity from the bondage of capitalism and misery of imperial wars.
“This is our ideal, and with this ideology as our inspiration, we have given a fair and loud enough warning. If, however, it goes unheeded and the present system of government continues to be an impediment in the way of the natural forces that are swelling up, a grim struggle will ensue involving the overthrow of all obstacles, and the establishment of the dictatorship of the proletariat to pave the way for the consummation of the ideal of revolution.”
* From Call of the Ghadaries – Revolution (2018), page 59-60,