Step up the struggle to make workers and peasants the real maaliks of this country!
Call of Mazdoor Ekta Committee, January 5, 2021
All over the country, workers and peasants are up in arms, opposing the vicious attack that the ruling capitalist class and its State have launched on our livelihood and rights.
Mazdoor Ekta Committee calls upon the working class of our country to come out in support of the peasants’ struggle and to mobilise widely in protest demonstrations and actions all over the country, for repeal of the anti-peasant laws.
Mazdoor Ekta Committee calls upon workers’ unions and organisations all over the country to come out in struggle and mobilise widely to demand that the central government should repeal the newly-passed labour codes – Code on Wages, Code on Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions, Code on Industrial Relations and Code on Social Security.
For more than a month now, lakhs of peasants have been sitting on protest at the borders of Delhi, demanding that the government should repeal the three anti-peasant laws. These laws are aimed at establishing monopoly control over the agricultural sector by a handful of big corporate houses. This will only benefit these Indian and foreign monopoly companies, while the majority of small traders will be driven out of business. The monopoly companies will be able to dictate the prices paid to peasants, squeeze out the peasants through unfair contracts as well as hoard agricultural products and sell them at high retail prices.
The peasants are convinced that these laws will greatly intensify their exploitation and loot by the biggest Indian and foreign monopoly corporate houses and lead to their devastation. They are not fooled by the lies of the Prime Minister and other government spokespersons, that these laws will “double peasants’ incomes and lead to their prosperity”. The agitating peasants have declared that they will accept nothing less than repeal of the laws and they will not go back until their demands are met.
Delegations of hundreds of women, men and youth from the villages of Haryana and Punjab are joining at the protest sites each day. Hundreds of peasants from Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamilnadu and other states are also daily joining the protests. Workers’ unions and organisations of students, women and youth are coming out and expressing their solidarity with the peasants. The joint platform of the peasants’ organisations has announced plans to step up the agitation, with a massive “tractor march” into the capital on Republic Day.
The government propaganda machine as well as many corporate media channels have tried their utmost to spread all kinds of lies to discredit the peasants’ agitation, portraying the protesting peasants as “anti-nationals”, “khalistanis”, etc. Meanwhile, the State is carrying out diabolical manoeuvres to wear out the peasants sitting outdoors for more than a month in the bitter cold and to break their united resolve.
These laws are an attack on not just the peasants but on all the workers and working people of this country. They will have grave consequences for the food security and livelihood of all our people.
Side by side, a vicious attack has been launched on the rights of the working class of our country. In the face of stiff opposition of workers, the central government has replaced 44 labour laws with 4 labour codes. It has done this in order to fulfill the long-standing demands of the capitalist class — that the right of workers to form unions of their choice must be curtailed; that strikes and other forms of protest must be declared illegal; that restrictions on the use of contract labour must be eliminated so that capitalists can hire and fire workers at will; and that factory inspectors must stop inspection for violation of rights of workers, including safety measures.
The Code on Wages completely negates the long standing demand of workers that the minimum wage must be a living wage, so that a worker and his or her family can live a life fit for human beings. The Code on Social Security denies pension, provident fund and health insurance to the majority of workers. The Code on Occupational Safety exempts most owners from the necessity of ensuring safe working conditions. The Code on Industrial Relations attempts to turn workers into slaves.
The priceless assets of our country — railways, coal mines, oil companies, defence ordinance factories, airports, port and docks, BSNL, banks, insurance companies — everything is being put up for sale to Indian and foreign capitalist monopolies.
All sections of the working people are up in arms against the onslaught on our rights. Workers in many sectors and industries – railway workers, coal workers, defense sector workers, ordnance factory workers, telecom workers, banking and insurance workers and others – are all uniting on a common platform to oppose the sell-out of our precious assets and public services to the biggest capitalist monopolies. In many industries workers have come together under one banner, setting aside party and union affiliations, to oppose the attack on their livelihood and rights.
As in the case of the anti-peasant laws, the government of the monopoly capitalists has been carrying out the false propaganda that the privatization program and the new labour codes are in the “national interest” because they will allegedly “boost economic growth”. This is a blatant lie.
Every government of the capitalists over the past three decades has argued in favour of the program of globalization through liberalization and privatization. All of them have argued that if capitalists are allowed to grow rich at the fastest possible pace, then some of these riches will trickle down to the workers. Therefore all laws that restrict capitalists from expanding their wealth must be eliminated.
But what has happened in reality? The biggest capitalist monopolies of our country have amassed incredible wealth and now are counted amongst the richest on earth. On the other hand, the conditions of the vast masses of workers and working people have grown from bad to worse. The privatization of public assets, the new labour codes – all these will only enable the biggest Indian and foreign capitalist monopolies to amass even more wealth at a faster pace, while they will lead to untold exploitation and misery for the working class.
Taken together, these constitute a big attack on the workers and peasants who make up more than 90 percent of the population in every region of our country. The overwhelming majority of the population is protesting against the decisions taken in Parliament. But their voice is being ignored by the Government of India. It shows that the existing parliamentary system is a democracy only in name.
What exists in reality is the rule of capitalists, headed by the Tatas, Ambanis and other monopoly houses. The Government of India is acting in the interest of this super-rich minority. What exists is a capitalist dictatorship.
The utterly inhuman and barbaric face of this rule of the monopoly capitalists was vividly seen following the announcement of the countrywide lockdown in March 2020. Crores of our brothers and sisters, mothers, fathers and children, who had migrated to the cities in search of a livelihood, were forced to walk for thousands of miles, back to their villages. They had been mercilessly thrown out of their jobs and the government had not ensured food security, job security or social security for them. The anti-peasant laws opening up the agricultural sector to the capitalist monopolies will further ruin the peasantry and drive millions more in search of livelihood from the villages to the cities.
The struggle of the workers and peasants, against this onslaught on our livelihood and rights, is a common struggle. Our struggle for the repeal of the anti-peasant laws and the anti-working class labour codes is in reality, a struggle against the existing dictatorship of the capitalist class. It is a struggle to assert our right, as producers of the wealth of this country, to be the decision-makers and to set the agenda for the society. It is a struggle for replacing the parasitic rule of the capitalist class with the rule of the workers and peasants. 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 against this offensive on our livelihood and rights.
Hum hain iske maalik, hum hain Hindostan, Mazdoor, kisan, aurat aur jawaan!
Mazdoor-kisan ekta Zindabad!