The newly published book titled ‘Who Rules India?’ was discussed at meetings of members and supporters of the Communist Ghadar Party of India in many places in India and abroad during September and October. The discussion brought out the importance of this topic, on which a great deal of confusion has been created in order to hide the truth from the people.
It is common to hear that BJP is ruling the country today, and that Congress Party was ruling earlier. This book reveals the truth that the bourgeois class is ruling India. The bourgeois class consists of those who own the means of production as their private property and live entirely off the labour of others, earning their income in the form of profit, interest or rent. This class is headed by about 150 monopoly capitalist groups. BJP, Congress Party and many other parties are part of the bourgeois class and represent this class.
While it appears as if the party running the government is setting the agenda and making all the decisions at the highest level, behind that party and its cabinet stands the bourgeois class, headed by the monopoly capitalists. The think tanks, research foundations and other institutions which are under the control of the monopoly capitalists play a decisive role in formulating laws and policies.
The political parties of the bourgeoisie spread the false view that the Indian state represents all classes and strata of society. However, Marxist Leninist science teaches us that the state is an organ of class rule. This book shows how the Indian state has been, since independence, the organ of rule of the bourgeoisie.
Chapter One of the book is focused on identifying and characterising the ruling class. Participants in the discussion meetings expressed their appreciation of the extensive facts and figures presented in this chapter, in order to establish the identity of those who actually set the agenda and control the destiny of India. The explanation of the historical evolution of this class helped the participants to understand how it emerged as the ruling class and consolidated its power.
During the period of British rule, the Indian bourgeoisie was led by the big industrial houses, who benefited from the colonial system. While the industrial houses had some contradictions with the British bourgeoisie, they shared the common aim of preventing revolution at all costs. They sought to resolve these contradictions through negotiations, using the national liberation struggle of the Indian people as a bargaining tool.
Chapter One explains how the development of capitalism since independence has led to a very high degree of concentration of capital in the hands of monopoly capitalist houses. It shows by citing numerous data that the monopoly houses dominate almost all branches of the economy. They control the banks and other financial institutions. They have become global players, expanding their markets in foreign countries. The chapter draws the important conclusion that the Indian bourgeoisie has developed into an imperialist bourgeoisie, with its own global aims and ambitions. It collaborates and competes with other imperialists to fulfil its aims.
Chapter Two of the book throws light on how the bourgeois class rules, through the bullet and the ballot. It explains how the Indian bourgeoisie rules with practically the same institutions and methods that were used by the British colonialists. The ruling class and its parties have further perfected the method of divide and rule, including the organising of communal violence and the perpetuation and further consolidation of caste identities.
The bourgeoisie relies on the armed might of the state to maintain its rule. The system of periodic elections is a cloak to hide the brutal dictatorship of the bourgeoisie. The bourgeoisie can get rid of this cloak when there is a serious threat to its rule, as was done during the Emergency regime of 1975-77. It can get rid of, i.e. dismiss any elected state government and impose central rule, if it poses an impediment to the implementation of its agenda.
Participants in the meetings appreciated the data presented in this chapter which show how the monopoly capitalists use their money power to influence electoral outcomes. They use their control over the media, their access to people’s mobile phones as well as outright rigging of the vote count. While the impression is created that people have elected the party of their choice, it is in fact the monopoly capitalists who use the electoral process to entrust the executive power to the party of their choice.
An extremely important observation in the book is that the bourgeoisie grooms one or more parties to present themselves as a credible alternative to the party which is running the government. When the party in charge gets discredited in the people’s eyes, the capitalists organise to replace it with another of their trusted parties, so that their agenda gets implemented while creating the appearance that something has changed.
The discussion in these meetings highlighted the fact that the bourgeoisie tries to draw people into the trap of taking sides in the so-called big fight between rival bourgeois parties. The real big fight is between the bourgeoisie and the working class. It is between the old system of capitalism, which has become dangerously crisis-ridden, and the new system of socialism which is crying out to be born.
The meetings concluded by reiterating that it is the bourgeoisie which is ruling India. Recognising this is the first step towards organising to replace the rule of the bourgeoisie with workers’ and peasants’ rule.