The struggle of workers and peasants is a Dharm Yudh
Let us advance the struggle to defeat the rule of the Adharmis!
Call of the Central Committee of Communist Ghadar Party of India, 17 December, 2020
Peasants all over India are demanding that the farm laws recently passed by Parliament be repealed. Blocked by the police from entering Delhi, they are protesting at the borders of the capital. The protest sites are swelling as thousands more are joining every day. Peasants have come from Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. They are coming from Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and from other places hundreds of kilometres away. Delegations have arrived from Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamilnadu and other states. Workers’ unions and organisations of students, women and youth are all standing in solidarity with the Kisan Andolan in this struggle.
We workers and peasants make up the majority of the population. We create the wealth of the country and we feed and clothe the people. Yet those who claim to represent us in Parliament do not respect our wishes. The Government does not protect our rights.
Till today, leading government spokesmen keep insulting the Kisan Andolan by declaring that we are being misled by opposition parties. Central ministers keep repeating the lie that anti-national elements and terrorists have hijacked our struggle. They invite us for talks but declare that the pro-corporate laws can only be amended but not repealed.
The Prime Minister has not considered it important to even talk to those of us who are protesting at the Delhi borders. After our protest has completed 20 days, he goes to Gujarat and claims that farmers there are happy with the new laws.
Government’s intent is not clean (Sarkar ki niyat saaf nahi hai)
Spokesmen of the Central Government are trying to convince the people of our country that the intention behind the new laws is to double farm incomes. If that is their true intention, why did they not conduct any discussion with kisan organisations before enacting these laws?
Ever since they were first introduced as ordinances five months ago, there have been mass peasant protests against these three legislations. The Modi government ramrodded the three laws through Parliament, against our will and in spite of our protests. This shows that the government’s intention is not clean. Government spokesmen keep saying that they have our best interests at heart but their actions do not match their words.
Soon after taking charge in 2014, Prime Minister Modi declared that his government was committed to deliver sab ka vikaas (development for all). His government abolished the wealth tax and reduced the rate of corporate tax in the 2016-17 Budget, all for the benefit of the capitalist monopoly houses.
Announcing the Note Ban in November 2016, the Prime Minister claimed that its aim was to reduce inequality in income and wealth, and to fight against corruption. However, inequality in income and wealth has increased and corruption is as widespread as before.
According to a recent study published by Oxfam, the total wealth of 63 Indian billionaires rose to 25 lakh crores of rupees in 2018-19, higher than the total expenditure of the Government of India that year. The richest 1 percent of the population owned almost 75 percent of the total wealth of India at the end of 2019. The poorest 5 percent of the population is estimated to have become poorer by 4.7 percent between 2014 and 2019.
In the current year 2020, while workers and peasants have faced job losses, wage cuts and declining incomes following the lockdown, the super-rich have continued to expand their wealth. While total national income has fallen by 25 percent, the billionaires have increased their wealth by 35 percent. The wealth owned by Mukesh Ambani, chairman of the Reliance Group, has jumped from about Rs. 300,000 crore in March to more than Rs. 600,000 crore in September this year.
Narendra Modi is not the first prime minister whose deeds have not matched his words. Manmohan Singh promised capitalist reforms with a human face. However, the period 2004-14 witnessed the most rapid global expansion of the Tatas, Reliance, Birlas and other monopoly corporate houses. It was also a period when Indian and foreign monopoly companies stepped up their penetration of agricultural markets, leading to a decline in farm incomes, rise in indebtedness and increase in suicides among peasants.
Ever since the liberalisation and privatisation program was initiated in 1991, successive prime ministers have claimed that only loss making public sector units will be privatised. This has turned out to be nothing but lying propaganda to deceive the people.
Several government-owned companies were deliberately made to suffer losses, to justify their privatisation. Now even the most profitable companies are being offered for sale to private profiteers, including Coal India and Bharat Petroleum. Successive governments declared that Indian Railways will never be privatised. Now the most profitable routes are being handed over to private companies. Several public sector banks have been merged, as a prelude to privatisation.
Capitalist growth will not raise peasant incomes
Liberalisation and privatisation of agricultural trade is the agenda of the monopoly corporate houses. It is based on the fraudulent theory that permitting “free competition” in the market place will benefit both sellers and buyers of goods and services. It is based on the lie that accelerated growth of capitalism will lead to a doubling of agricultural incomes.
The idea of a market free from any state regulation belongs to the 19th century, when capitalism had not yet developed to its monopolistic stage. At that time, commodity markets were characterised by competition among large numbers of sellers and buyers, each of whom had such a tiny market share that he or she could not exert any influence on the prices of commodities. The nature of markets changed in the 20th century, with the rise of giant monopoly companies commanding the lion’s share of the market for most commodities.
The market for agricultural products in our country presently has more than 10 crore cultivators selling to less than 2 lakh traders. The recently enacted central laws will further skew the unequal relation between buyers and sellers in agricultural markets. A few giant corporations, including Walmart, Amazon, Reliance Retail, Aditya Birla Retail, Tata’s Star India, Adani Wilmar, Big Bazaar and D-Mart, will drive the majority of smaller traders out of business.
Far from benefiting both sellers and buyers, liberalisation and privatisation of agricultural trade will only benefit these Indian and foreign monopoly companies. They will be able to dictate the prices paid to peasants as well as hoard agricultural products and sell them at high retail prices.
Capitalist Dictatorship in the Name of Democracy
Our country is called the most populous democracy in the world. However, the toiling majority of people are excluded from the process of making decisions that affect our lives. Our voices are ignored. Those who persist in demanding their rights are branded as anti-national and locked up.
What exists is not rule by the people or for the people. Our interests are not represented in Parliament. We have no control over our elected representatives. The Parliament enacts laws which are completely against our interests.
The capitalist class, headed by about 150 monopoly houses, wields political power. They own and control the principal means of production and exchange. They are the real rulers of the country. They set the agenda for government policy and legislation. They decide which party to bring to power to implement this agenda. The party in charge of the government is the management team for the capitalist class, headed by the monopoly houses.
In the early decades after independence from British rule, Indian business houses did not have enough capital to invest in heavy industry and infrastructure. So they decided to use public funds to create a state sector, in line with the Tata-Birla plan, also called the Bombay Plan. They decided to restrict imports of foreign goods and foreign investments, so as to establish their own domination of the Indian market. They marketed this as being a project to create a socialistic pattern of society.
Having benefited from state sponsored capitalist development, the monopoly capitalists were faced with multiple crises in the 1980s, including a balance of payments crisis. Under pressure from the World Bank and IMF, they decided to open up all markets to foreign capital, grab public assets at cheap prices and expand their share of foreign markets. This program of globalisation, liberalisation and privatisation, pursued since 1991, is aimed at establishing the domination of the monopoly houses over all spheres, in collaboration and competition with foreign capitalists. An important component of this program has been to eliminate state protection for agriculture and open up the massive Indian agricultural market for domination and plunder by the biggest monopoly corporations of the world.
All political parties of the capitalist class have been pursuing this agenda of the monopoly capitalists when they are in charge of government. When they are out of power, they pretend to oppose this program in order to mobilise support and votes from among workers and peasants. They say one thing when in the opposition and do the opposite when in charge of executive power.
Our struggle for the repeal of the anti-kisan laws is at the same time a struggle against the existing dictatorship of the capitalist class. It is a struggle to assert our right to set the agenda for the country. It is a struggle for the empowerment of the toiling majority of people. We who produce the wealth of India must become her master. It is with this aim of establishing workers’ and peasants’ rule that we must escalate the struggle for our right to secure livelihood.
Leaders of BJP pretend to be upholders of Indian values. They blame Congress Party for having embraced western values. However, liberalisation, privatisation and the ideas of “minimum government” and “leaving everything to market forces” are all alien and antithetical to Indian values. They are in violation of the basic principles of Raj Dharm.
For thousands of years, the people of this subcontinent have upheld the principle that the State is duty bound to ensure sukh (prosperity) and raksha (protection) to all members of society. This was considered to be the dharm of the raja. A raja who does not protect but oppresses the praja was deemed to be guilty of adharm. It was considered the right as well as duty of the people to wage a dharm yudh, a war for justice, to put an end to such an unjust state of affairs.
We, the working people of this country, have risen up in struggle today against a State that is refusing to fulfil its duty. Our struggle is against the adharm of this State which is committed to guarantee maximum profits for a few billionaires at the expense of our sukh and raksha.
Let us further strengthen our unity and raise our level of consciousness and organisation! Let us be vigilant against the evil plots of those in power today, to break our unity, to discredit our struggle and unleash armed force to suppress us! Let us stay calm yet firm in our defence of workers’ and peasants’ rights, and of all human rights and democratic rights. The day is not far off when dharm will triumph over adharm. A new India will then be born where we, the people, will be the maalik, an India where sukh and raksha will be guaranteed for all.