Statement of the Central Committee of the Communist Ghadar Party of India, 8 March, 2022
On the occasion of International Women’s Day, the Communist Ghadar Party of India salutes the courageous women who are fighting for their rights all over the world!
Breaking old taboos and restrictions, women are raising their voice against sexual harassment, discrimination and oppression. Shoulder to shoulder with men, they are in struggle against imperialist war and monopoly capitalist super-exploitation and plunder. They are out in the streets protesting against state terrorism, communalism and racism. Women are demanding their rights, as women and as human beings.
In our country, crores of women working in public health and nutrition schemes are organising protests all over the country, demanding an end to their super-exploitation under the garb of being “volunteers”. These include Anganwadi workers, ASHA workers, mid-day meal workers and others who are paid much less than minimum wages, in the name of “honorarium”.
Lakhs of women have repeatedly come out on the streets as part of mass protests against anti-people laws passed by the Parliament. Women were in the forefront of the agitations all over the country against the Citizenship Amendment Act. Women participated actively in the year-long protest at the Delhi borders against the three anti-kisan laws and for guaranteed minimum support prices for all agricultural produce.
The anger of women has reached a high pitch over the past two years, as they have been among the worst victims of the Covid induced lock-downs. The rate of unemployment among women has shot up even higher than the rate of unemployment among men. Large numbers of women who had regular jobs have been thrown out of work. Young educated women who are entering the labour market are finding no jobs, or are compelled to work as sales girls on temporary contract, at miserably low wages, with no rights and no protection from harassment at the workplace and the threat of physical attacks on the streets. Women who are toiling within their homes are facing declining family incomes and rising prices of essential goods and services.
Women’s organisations have consistently been in the forefront, along with workers’ unions and various other mass organisations, in the struggle against the privatisation of public assets and public services. They have united firmly against the entire program of globalization of Indian capital, through liberalisation and privatisation.
The ruling class in our country propagates the view that there is nothing wrong with the nature of the economy, the political system and its Constitution. The solution to our problems can allegedly be found by voting for good people and electing a party which would implement pro-people policies. Historical experience shows that this is a big lie. It is a dangerous illusion aimed at perpetuating the existing system of exploitation of labour and oppression of women.
The root cause of continuing discrimination and oppression of women lies in the nature of the capitalist economic system, which is oriented to maximize private profits in the hands of a wealthy minority, through maximum exploitation of all those who work. Indian capitalism has developed by perpetuating caste and gender-based discrimination and oppression, in the interest of super-exploiting labour and maximizing capitalist profits. Human labour is merely a source of capitalist profits in this system; and women are a source of profit and pleasure for the ruling class.
The political system serves to maintain the rule of the exploiting minority, headed by the Tatas, Ambanis, Birlas, Adanis and other monopoly capitalists. Parties have replaced one another many times but the orientation of the economy and the government’s program and policy have not changed. Over the past 30 years, governments at the centre and in the states have all implemented the same program of globalization of Indian capital, through liberalisation and privatisation. The monopoly capitalists have kept growing enormously richer, while the vast majority of women and men have remained exploited, oppressed, sinking ever deeper into poverty and debt.
Women cannot be empowered through the existing system of parliamentary democracy, which is designed to concentrate decision-making power in the hands of parties which do the bidding of the monopoly capitalists. The vast majority of women and men are completely excluded from political power. Our role is confined to the polling day. We are asked to choose, as Karl Marx said, “which member of the ruling class is to misrepresent and oppress the people in parliament”.
The struggle for the rights of women needs to be waged with the aim of completely changing the nature of the political system and the economy. We must fight to replace the existing rule of an exploiting minority with a new system of rule of the toiling majority.
We must fight for a radical transformation in the political process and system of governance, so as to end the domination of bourgeois parties and bring decision-making power into the hands of the toiling majority of people.
The Constitution must vest sovereignty in the people and not in the Parliament or Cabinet or President. The role of a political party must not be to keep the people out of power and take decisions in their name. The role of a political party must be to provide the vision and organised leading consciousness with which people can exercise decision-making power.
Those who vote must have the right to select the candidates for election and the right to recall their elected representative at any time. They must have the right to propose, approve or reject laws and policies; and the right to amend or reformulate the Constitution. The State must finance the entire process of selection and election; no private funding of any electoral campaign must be permitted.
With political power in our hands we, the hardworking women and men of this country, can reorient the economy to fulfill the people’s needs rather than fulfill capitalist greed. We can sweep away all remnants of feudalism and all forms of subjugation of women to patriarchy and the caste system. We can put an end to capitalist exploitation, imperialist plunder and all forms of sexual harassment and violence against women. We can build a new society which ensures prosperity and protection for all, and a State that guarantees the inviolability of all democratic rights and human rights, including the rights and dignity of women.