Present Situation and the Way Forward

The present situation in India is characterized by deepening economic crisis, resulting in record level of unemployment.  Wage incomes have suffered a steep decline.  Prices of food, fuel and other essential commodities have risen to the sky.  Profits of capitalist billionaires are growing rapidly in spite of stagnation and decline in productive activity.

In the face of mass united protests by workers, peasants, women and youth, the ruling class is relying on communalism, draconian laws, massive disinformation and diabolical diversions to maintain its rule.

Multi-party elections are among the major weapons being used by the bourgeoisie to break the unity of the exploited people, as was seen in Punjab in February this year. Elections are used to defraud the people and sidetrack them into sectarian battles, in support of this or that bourgeois party.  They are used to create the illusion that solutions can be found within the crisis-ridden capitalist system.

There are about 20 months left before the next Lok Sabha elections in 2024.  Assembly elections are due to take place in several states during this period, including Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Tripura, Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Rajasthan and Telengana. The ruling bourgeois class is preparing to use these elections to weaken the fighting unity of workers and peasants against the capitalist offensive.

The corporate controlled news media are promoting the BJP and its leader Narendra Modi as the best management team, which will allegedly lead India to reach great heights.  At the same time, the ruling class is also promoting so-called alternatives to the BJP.  One so-called alternative is a Congress-led alliance, being spearheaded by Rahul Gandhi.  Another is the Aam Aadmi Party headed by Arvind Kejriwal.

BJP and its Demagogy

The BJP has perfected the method of using outright demagogy, turning the truth upside down to befuddle the minds of the people.  Prime Minister Modi claims that the Indian economy is in great shape, when the reality is that crores of workers and peasants have become poorer in recent years.  The vision he presents, of India as the dominant power of Asia by 2047, reflects the imperialist aims of the Tatas, Ambanis, Birlas, Adanis and other monopoly houses.

The promise of Sab ka Saath, Sab ka Vikas (Development for All, Inclusive of All) is in diametric opposition to the actual result of enormous widening of the gap between the rich and the poor.

The call to build an Atmanirbhar Bharat (Self-Reliant India) flies in the face of the increasing dependence on foreign capital.  All doors have been opened wide for foreign multinational companies.  Indian monopoly groups have struck deals with Amazon, Wal-Mart, Facebook, Microsoft, Cargill and other foreign companies to jointly dominate all markets.  They are intensifying the joint exploitation and plunder of Indian land and labour.

The call of Prime Minister Modi that everyone should take a pledge to defend “unity and solidarity” is in stark contrast with the growing incidence of state sponsored communal violence and mass arrests of Muslims and all dissidents.

Congress and the “Bharat Jodo” campaign

The ruling class has been systematically weakening the Congress Party in recent decades, even as it has built up the revenge-seeking BJP.  A new project has now been initiated, for some kind of resurrection of the Congress Party.  Rahul Gandhi and his team have set off on a long march from Kanyakumari to Kashmir, calling for Bharat Jodo (Unite India).

This oldest and trusted party of the Tatas, Birlas, Ambanis and other monopoly houses is now trying to position itself as the defender of the downtrodden and oppressed masses of people.  It blames the BJP for all the ills of capitalism, including unemployment, inflation and peasant suicides.  It is hoping that people will forget its own long track record of enriching the super-rich, and of unleashing communal violence and state terrorism in the name of defending the unity and integrity of India.

Aam Aadmi Party

Arvind Kejriwal, the national convenor of Aam Aadmi Party and Chief Minister of Delhi, used the occasion of the 75th anniversary of independence to unveil his vision of India becoming the “number one country in the world”. He has called for a “people’s alliance” around his party’s anti-corruption and good governance platform.

The Aam Aadmi Party claims that it will ensure education, healthcare and jobs for all, and security of livelihood for the kisans.  It is hiding the fact that it is not possible to fulfil these promises without overthrowing capitalism.

Same Capitalist Program

The rival parties being promoted in the media do not actually have different programs.  The class character of their programs is the same.  They are all committed to defend the capitalist system and pursue the imperialist aims of the bourgeoisie, at the expense of the livelihood and rights of the toiling majority of people.  Whichever of these parties forms the government in 2024, the super-rich will grow richer and the poor will grow poorer.

The very idea that people decide the outcome of elections in the existing parliamentary system is an illusion.  It is the ruling bourgeois class which actually decides which of its parties should be entrusted to form the government at any particular time.

Monopoly capitalists use their enormous money power and control over the TV and social media to determine the outcome of elections.  In addition to money and media power, they also resort to outright rigging of the vote count by manipulating the electronic voting machines.

Way Forward

The most positive development in our country in recent times is the growing unity of workers and peasants against the capitalist program of globalisation, liberalisation and privatisation.  The way forward is to defend and further strengthen this unity, without being diverted by the electoral rivalry among bourgeois parties.

Just as there is only one possible program when the bourgeoisie rules, there can be only one program which can liberate the working class and people from all forms of exploitation and oppression.  That program is to end the rule of the bourgeoisie and the capitalist orientation of the economy.

The existing parliamentary system is designed to keep decision-making power in the hands of the bourgeoisie, headed by the monopoly capitalists. It has to be replaced by a new system in which decision-making power is in the hands of the toiling majority of people, headed by the working class.  From being oriented to enrich the capitalist billionaires, the economy has to be reoriented to fulfill the needs of all the working people.

The working class is being prevented from uniting around this revolutionary program by parties which call themselves communist but are tailing behind one or another so-called bourgeois alternative.  Claiming that the immediate task is to defeat the BJP, such parties are spreading the illusion that people determine the outcome of elections in this system. They are spreading the illusion that capitalism can be made to work in favour of workers and peasants.

The situation calls on all communists to wage a concerted struggle against this illusion mongering. The way forward is to build the political unity of the working class around the program to establish workers’ and peasants’ rule and carry out the transition from capitalism to socialism.

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