A meeting was organised by the Mazdoor Ekta Committee (MEC), Delhi on 25th November, on the eve of the All India General Strike. The banner in the backdrop read:
Let us organise to defeat the onslaught on our rights!
Let us work for the success of the All India General Strike on November 26, 2020!
On behalf of MEC, Santosh Kumar made a detailed presentation on the all-sided attacks the working class of India is fighting against at this time. He hailed the unity in struggle of the workers and the coming together of 17 organisations of railway workers to jointly oppose the privatisation of the Railways. He pointed out that workers across the country have been fighting back in the face of the mounting attacks by the bourgeoisie, with workers in one factory or sector coming out in support of another.
The priceless assets of our people — railways, coal mines, oil companies, defence ordinance factories, airports, Port and Docks, BSNL, banks, insurance companies – are all up for sale to the biggest Indian and foreign corporate houses. Workers are resolutely opposing the privatisation moves of the government.
The presentation clearly brought out the fact that the main aim of the three labour codes recently passed by the government is to enable the big corporate houses to increase their profits manifold through intensified exploitation of the workers. Capitalists in our country have been demanding these changes for a long time. Every government has worked in their interests. Workers stand to lose all the rights that they have won through long years of struggle, Santosh explained, adding that “we workers are going on strike to declare to the whole world that we refuse to be slaves”.
The key issue, he clarified, is who wields political power. Today, the capitalist class wields political power. We need to establish a new political power — the power of workers and peasants. This cannot be done by replacing one party of the capitalist class with another.
In order to establish the power of workers and peasants, we need to become an organised political force. We who create the wealth of India must become the decision makers. Only then can we ensure that the wealth we create is used to fulfil society’s needs and not to fulfil capitalist greed. Only then can we establish a new socialist India where there is no exploitation and where prosperity and protection are guaranteed for all, he said.
Workers from various sectors, peasants, school teachers, students, youth and women from various professions, writers and journalists, political and social activists, all enthusiastically participated in the meeting. The presentation was followed by a lively discussion on the issues raised, with important interventions from many participants.
The participants fully supported MEC’s call to the workers to make the November 26 strike a big success. Many spoke about the necessity of unity cutting across party and union affiliations, in this fight against the capitalist offensive. Condemning the passing of the Labour codes, one participant pointed out that they are aimed at legalising the exploitation of the workers by denying them the right to a living wage, security of livelihood and even safe working conditions. Others spoke of the need to expose the lies and deception of the rulers, meant to break our unity and divert us from our struggle. The heroic march of the peasants to Delhi to protest against the three anti-peasant bills was a source of great inspiration to the participants. The growing worker-peasant unity and the need to strengthen this unity in order to advance towards establishing worker-peasant rule was a dominant theme in the discussions.
Summing up the discussion, Santosh called for all workers to come together under one banner, to fight for the rights of all the working people and to establish the rule of workers and peasants. Let us declare on November 26 that we workers will be the real masters of this country, he concluded.