Statement of the Central Committee of the Communist Ghadar Party of India, January 18, 2023
On 26th January, 1950, India was proclaimed to be a democratic republic. The Constitution adopted by the Constituent Assembly of independent India became the fundamental law of the land. The impression was created that the people of India have acquired the power to determine the course of the country’s development.
Today, 73 years later, it is clear that the vast majority of people have no power to influence the course of Indian society. We have no say in decisions about laws and policies.
The Central Government adopts policies which enrich a small number of super-rich capitalists. A wealthy minority keeps growing richer while the toiling people remain among the poorest in the world. Parliament enacts laws which are blatantly anti-worker and anti-peasant. Those who protest are kept in prison indefinitely under the UAPA, AFSPA or some other draconian law.
The powerless condition of the people in this so-called democratic republic is not the result of some accident or mistake. It is by design. The Constitution adopted in 1950 was designed to keep decision-making power firmly in the hands of a small number of rich exploiters and their political representatives.
The majority of members of the Constituent Assembly which adopted the 1950 Constitution represented the interests of capitalists and landlords who had collaborated and benefited from British rule. They found it beneficial to preserve the political system which the British colonialists had created.
The Constituent Assembly adopted parliamentary democracy, with the political process designed to empower the bourgeoisie and keep the working people completely out of power. It is a process in which monopoly capitalists determine the outcome of elections, using their money power and control over the media. They organise the victory of that party which can best serve their interests at a particular time. When one trusted party gets discredited and can no longer deceive the people, they replace it with another trusted party so as to continue with the same agenda while creating the impression that something has changed.
About three-fourths of the 1950 Constitution was copied word for word from the Government of India Act of 1935, which was enacted by the British Parliament. In typical colonial style, the Constitution defines the Indian Union on a purely territorial basis, without recognising the existence and rights of the nations, nationalities and peoples who make up India.
Today, it has become a widely recognised fact that people have no power in the Indian Republic. However, there is a great deal of confusion about why this is the case. A false impression has been created and kept alive by the ruling bourgeois class to hide the truth from the people. This is the impression that the Constitution is not to blame for the powerless condition of the people; and that only some corrupt politicians and parties are to blame.
A major factor responsible for the success of the Indian bourgeoisie in passing off the oppressive colonial-style Indian Union and its Constitution as something democratic and progressive is the dominant influence of European social-democracy over the Indian communist movement.
Even though the Communist Party of India recognised in 1951 that the post-colonial Indian state was an organ of bourgeois dictatorship over the workers and peasants, the communist movement did not adhere to this position in subsequent years. It fell prey to the illusion that parliamentary democracy was a system through which the working class could advance towards its goal of socialism. Different factions within the communist movement started propagating the concept of a “mixed economy” and so-called middle path between capitalism and socialism.
Conciliation of communist leaders with social-democracy has assisted the bourgeoisie in hiding the real nature of the economic system and the state. Today, a very harmful role is being played by those in the communist movement who are calling for the defence of the Indian Republic and its Constitution from the communal and fascist BJP.
Workers and peasants do not stand to gain by defending the existing state and its constitution. What we need is a state that would enable us to take control of our lives rather than be victims of a system geared to enrich a super-rich minority. We need a state that would reorient the economy to ensure prosperity for all, and take over the property of any private entities that block the way.
We need to establish a republic that will be an instrument to rid our society of all remnants of feudalism, the caste hierarchy and the entire legacy of colonialism, including capitalist exploitation and imperialist plunder.
We need a new union that is voluntary and not imposed and maintained by force. We need a new constitution that guarantees the right of every nation, nationality and tribal people to self-determination. The union must only have those powers that all the constituents willingly delegate to it.
The Constitution must guarantee that sovereignty – decision-making power – is vested in the people. The executive power must be accountable to the elected legislative body, which in turn must be accountable to the people.
People must have the right to propose and to reject laws. They must have the right to amend or reformulate the Constitution. We must enjoy the right to select candidates for election, to hold those elected to account and recall them at any time, and the right to initiate legislation. Instead of making decisions in the people’s name, political parties must be duty bound to ensure that decision-making power remains in the people’s hands.
On the occasion of the 73rd anniversary of the Indian Republic, the Communist Ghadar Party of India calls on all organisations and leaders of the working class to unite around our common class aim. India needs to be reconstituted as a voluntary union which ensures prosperity and protection for all. Let us work to ensure that the working class constitutes itself as the unifier and leader of the peoples of India, in order to realise this aim.