Indian history has many inspiring examples of the revolt of the producers against the brahmanical caste domination. The people revolted against the role of the brahmin as the intermediary between the working people and all knowledge. The time has come to revolt once again against the intermediary. The workers and peasants of modern India have to organise the revolt against the present-day intermediary, the parliamentary party that seeks power in its own hands.
To enable the working people to put an end to party rule, it is necessary to differentiate between one kind of party and the other. It is necessary to sum up our experience with political parties in India. What is our experience with different kinds of political parties?
The 20th century has witnessed the birth of scores of parties in India, both before colonial rule ended, as well as afterwards. These can all be classified into two kinds. One, as parties that want to perpetuate the rule of the bourgeoisie. Two, as revolutionary parties — parties that want to end the rule of the bourgeoisie. The first kind of party seeks power in its own hands. The second kind organises the working people with the aim of establishing their own power.
The parties of the first kind, when out of power, scream against the government in the parliament; they also organise strikes and demonstrations, speaking what the people would like to hear. Once in power, such parties act as the gatekeepers, to keep the people out.
Revolutionary parties face tremendous pressure from the bourgeoisie to fall in line with the aim and values of this Republic. Those who refuse to submit to this pressure face the jails and bullets of the Republic. They are branded as extremists, as terrorists, as naxalites, etc., and brutal state terror is unleashed against them.
The Congress Party is the mother of all the parliamentary parties on Indian soil. In direct contrast, the Communist Party emerged on Indian soil to organise the working class and people to establish a new power of the workers and peasants.
The BJP is the loyal successor of the Congress Party, even though it pretends to be different and fights with the Congress Party. While they fight with each other over the seats of power, they both represent the same class interest. The BJP came on the scene with tall promises of making a break with the tradition of Congress rule. It claimed to be a party that respects Indian thought and would restore the glory of Indian civilisation. However, it is as eager as the Congress Party to embrace capitalism and imperialism, the remnants of feudalism and the entire colonial legacy.
The BJP claims that it wants to remodel the Indian Republic. However, all that the BJP proposes is to shift to a presidential system as in the USA. The American system is nothing but another form of bourgeois representative democracy. The BJP wants to shift from one method of party rule to another method of party rule. It hopes that such a shift will ensure that governments last their full term.
The Congress Party, in its 1999 Manifesto, also claims that the most important aim is to have governments that last their full term. But if they are governments of the rich exploiters and oppressors, what do the workers and peasants gain from their lasting a full term? The ruling class, the big bourgeoisie, wants governments to last long enough to implement measures to step up the loot and plunder in the name of a second wave of liberalisation and privatisation. The BJP and the Congress Party reflect the worry of the class they serve. They both stand for the perpetuation of party rule and for its further stabilisation in the interests of the big bourgeoisie.
Communism is the condition for the complete elimination of all class distinctions — a condition of society where there will only be administration of things, not of people. The movement for communism, by definition, stands for the abolition of party rule and its replacement by the rule of the workers, peasants and all the oppressed. However, there are parties within the Indian communist movement who claim that the issue at this time is to defend the Indian Republic. They are calling on the workers and peasants to defend the Republic from the "communal threat" posed by the BJP. Such parties spread illusions among the people that the Indian Republic is secular and democratic, that it represents the "will of the majority" and defends the minorities. They even claim that this Republic has "socialist" aspects that must be defended.
The experiences of the past fifty years have shown again and again that the Indian Republic is a communal state, an organ of all types of violence against the people and their unity. This is a character it has inherited from the colonial state. The Indian Republic remains communal no matter whether the Congress Party or the BJP is at the head.
The Indian Republic has inherited the colonial character of keeping alive everything that is backward and oppressive in Indian society, including the ideas and customs of Brahmanism. It has also inherited and institutionalised the method of elite accommodation. Selected individuals from the oppressed castes are admitted into the ruling class while keeping the caste system and Brahmanism alive. Thus, a dalit can become the President of India but still the majority of dalits continue to be the victims of super-exploitation and oppression on the basis of their caste. To say that this Republic defends the minorities and oppressed castes is to create harmful illusions.
And finally, to say that the Indian Republic has some "socialist" aspects is to create even bigger illusions. It is capitalism and capitalist reforms that this Republic defends. The savage attacks and brute terror unleashed by the central and state governments and courts against the striking electricity workers in Uttar Pradesh is a clear illustration. The only "crime" of these workers is that they demanded that the steps taken towards the privatisation of power are rolled back, for which they have been arrested, dismissed and their families harassed by the police.
Those within the communist movement who conciliate with bourgeois democracy claim that the time is not yet ripe to put an end to party rule. The workers and peasants, women and youth, the dalits and tribals, are not ready for that, they say. However, facts show that the working people have had enough of the present Republic which has offered them nothing but sorrow and suffering. They would welcome an alternative political system and political process wherein power would vest with them. What they need is theory and organisation to be able to develop such an alternative. The conciliators within the communist movement refuse to address this task. They refuse to sum up the lessons of the rise and fall of socialism in the Soviet Union. . They refuse to put forth the alternative to party rule. It is they who are not ready to break with party rule, not the workers and peasants.
The Communist Ghadar Party of India calls on the workers, peasants, women and youth to get organised to change the political system. The call of the Ghadar Party is to fight for people’s rule in place of party rule. What does this mean? It means that every Indian communist, every revolutionary and political activist among the people should strive to build the organs of struggle in the midst of the workers, peasants, women and youth of all nationalities. We must build such organisations in the factories, in the villages, in the jhuggi jhompri clusters, wherever the toiling and oppressed masses work and live, with the aim and vision of establishing people’s rule.
If the workers, peasants, women and youth have organisations where they participate in decision making in a conscious way, only then can they begin to set the agenda for society. They need to articulate their demands and contest the claims of the bourgeoisie. Only then can the working people begin to select their own candidates. They need to wage tit for tat struggle against the bourgeoisie on a daily basis, integrating their day-to-day struggles with the overall aim of establishing people’s rule in place of the existing system of party rule.
Theory and organisation are the main weapons for the working people to succeed in the struggle to establish their own power. The task of the working class and its vanguard Communist Party is to build organisations of class struggle among the people, while building links with all the existing organisations that defend the rights of any section of the people. The task is to build a popular front of all forces that are fighting against the existing rule of the bourgeoisie, providing them with the vision of people’s rule and clarifying the program of struggle to achieve the same. The organs of struggle and political unity of the oppressed masses that we build and strengthen today will develop into the organs of people’s power in the future.
Workers, peasants, women and youth!
Come, let us fulfill the demand of the new century and prepare to reconstitute the Indian Republic as a proud and civilised state of the working people that ensures sukh and raksha for all! The bourgeoisie has ruled long enough! Let us get organised to establish our collective rule, the rule of workers, peasants, women and youth in the 21st century.
Nayi sadi ki hai yeh mang! Hindostan ka nav-nirman!
Hum hai iske malik! Hum hai Hindostan! mazdoor, kisan, aurat aur jawan!
Reconstitution of India is the call of the new century!
Workers, peasants, pomen and youth! We constitute India! We are her masters!