International Women’s Day 2020

Red Salute to the Fighting Women of India!
Onward with the Struggle for People’s Empowerment!
Call of the Central Committee of the Communist Ghadar Party of India,
1st March, 2020

As we approach 8th March, International Women’s Day this year, lakhs of Indian women are out on the streets. They include young and old, mothers with infants in arms, grandmothers, students and teachers. Women have organised sit-in protests along with their family members and other supporters, braving the biting December and January cold in Delhi, Aligarh, Lucknow, Gaya, Jaipur, Kolkata, Patna and Prayagraj. They are also out in protest in many other cities in the country including Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad, Mangalore and Nagercoil. They are demanding that the State should respect and protect the rights of all human beings, without discriminating on the basis of religion.

Women and youth on the streets are demanding their right to security of life, to dignity of human beings and a society where all people have rights as citizens of this country. They are demanding that the 2019 Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) should be repealed. They have stuck to their demand and continued with their protest in spite of a vicious hate campaign carried out by those in power, portraying Muslims and all those who oppose the CAA as national traitors.

In the course of this struggle, women have displayed remarkable determination and level of organisation. They have successfully organised to protect their struggle from attempts by the central authorities to infiltrate it, incite violence and turn it into a “law and order” problem.

Women in our country have been in the forefront of the struggle against state-organised communal violence and other forms of state terrorism. Whether in Manipur or Kashmir or Chhattisgarh, women have been fighting for justice whenever the security forces have used rape as a weapon of suppressing a political struggle.

Women’s organisations were among the first in India to raise their voices in protest when the program of globalization, liberalization and privatization was launched in 1991. Working women have become more and more active in fighting against the economic offensive in their unions and associations – as workers in banks, garment factories and hotels, as teachers, nurses, ASHAs, Anganwadi workers, civic workers, etc. Crores of women are active in the growing struggles of peasants against their robbery by capitalist companies and against the liberalisation policies of the central and state governments.

The pent up anger among women and youth has exploded at this time, fueling the mass street protests. The divisive and discriminatory citizenship legislation and the proposed creation of a National Register of Citizens covering the whole country, along with brutal police violence against student youth to make them accept the communal law, has acted as the tipping point.

In India and all over the world, women are in the front ranks of the struggle against racism and all forms of sectarian violence. They are active in resisting intensified capitalist exploitation and plunder, and in opposing unjust wars waged with imperialist aims. They are active in the struggle against privatisation and against trade deals designed to maximize monopoly capitalist profits at the expense of the wellbeing of the people and the sovereignty of nations. They are demanding that democracy must mean more than just casting a vote once in a few years to empower one or another party which is committed to implement the agenda of its monopoly capitalist financiers.

Communist Ghadar Party of India salutes all the women in the country and in other countries who are boldly protesting against the economic and political offensive of capitalist ruling classes against their rights!

Women in India are recognizing the huge gap that exists between what is promised in the Preamble of the Constitution and the actual conditions of life in our country. While the Preamble promises justice, freedom, equality and fraternity, the reality is of blatant injustice, oppression, inequality and state-sponsored communal violence.

The problem is not merely with the parties which commit crimes in pursuit of narrow interests. The problem is that the Constitution vests sovereignty, the ultimate decision-making power, in the hands of such parties of vested interests. While the Preamble gives the impression that “we, the people” are the decision-makers, the operative parts of the Constitution vest decision-making power in the hands of a Cabinet headed by the Prime Minister, whose advice the President is duty bound to accept.

Another major problem is that the Preamble and Directive Principles are not enforceable. A citizen cannot go to court and demand what is promised there, as a matter of right. The enforceable parts of the Constitution do not guarantee the inviolability of rights. Every article which deals with a fundamental right has an exception clause, which empowers the State to trample on that “fundamental” right, citing reasons of a threat to national security, disturbance of law and order, etc.

The political process legitimized by the Constitution and the Representation of People Act is highly criminalized. It is dominated by parties which are backed by the money power of Indian and foreign monopoly capitalists. They spend enormous amounts of money to influence the outcome of elections. People are made to choose between rival parties which compete to be entrusted with the task of implementing the agenda set by the monopoly capitalists. Those who resist their intensified exploitation, continued oppression and discrimination face lathis and bullets. Whoever questions the government is branded as anti-national and charged with Sedition. And all of this injustice is in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution.

The experience of decades of struggle has proved that the economic system of capitalism, which is defended by the State and its Constitution, is at the root of the exploitation and oppression of women.  Capitalism is a system of accumulation of private wealth by a minority through the exploitation of human labour, robbery of small producers and plunder of natural resources. Women, the hardest worker within the family, are highly exploited in this system which is based on the exploitation of labour. Those women who enter the social labour force get doubly exploited and oppressed, as workers and as women.

It has become amply clear that capitalism cannot liberate women from their oppression. It cannot provide secure livelihood for all. It has become an intolerable system, which lurches from one crisis to another. The interests of women lie in uniting with the working class and all the oppressed, to fight for the transition from capitalism to socialism, thereby eliminating the basis for the exploitation of some persons by others.

The way forward is for all the struggles that are being waged by the exploited and oppressed majority of people in the country, including the struggles of women, to coalesce around one single aim. That aim can be nothing less than people’s empowerment. Women need political power in order to put an end to their oppression and ensure that their rights are guaranteed. Workers and peasants need political power to put an end to class exploitation and caste discrimination.

We need a Constitution that vests sovereignty – the highest level of decision-making power – in the people. We need constitutional guarantees for human rights and democratic rights. We need to reorient the economy to ensure that those who toil get to enjoy the fruits of their toil. Fulfilling human needs must become the goal of social production, instead of fulfilling capitalist greed.

The Constitution and Representation of People law must guarantee that those elected are accountable to those who elected them. This requires major changes in the political process. People must have the right to select, approve and reject candidates prior to every election. They must have the right to recall the one they elected at any time. They must enjoy the right to initiate laws as well as to approve or reject any proposed law through a referendum. The State must finance and oversee the process of selection and election, and no other source of financing of election campaigns must be permitted.

Women have to get organized in their mohallas and in their places of work, as women and as a contingent of the working class and its revolutionary movement to end all forms of exploitation. We, the working women and men, girl and boy students, must build our own samitis in our workplaces, campuses and residential locations. In the course of fighting for our rights, we must prepare to become the rulers of society.

International Women’s Day is an occasion for women to reaffirm our resolve to fight for the New – for a world without exploitation and repression, without unjust wars, and without discrimination between human beings based on gender, caste, religion or race.

Let us unite to fight for the Navnirman of India, for the creation of a modern democratic state that vests sovereignty in the people!  Let us unite to overthrow capitalism as the condition for the completion of the democratic, anti-colonial, anti-feudal and anti-imperialist struggle!  Let us unite to build socialism through revolution!

We call on women who are committed to fight for the cause of social progress to join the Communist Ghadar Party of India and strengthen the leadership of the working class and the revolutionary movement for the Navnirman of India and the victory of socialism and communism!

In India, women are the victims of old barbaric customs as well as modern capitalist exploitation, as witnessed by the following facts:
  • The sex ratio is 944 females to 1000 males in the age group (15-59) because of poor access to health and nutrition.  It is worse for the age group 0-6 years, where there are only 918 girls per 1000 boys as a result of the girl child being killed at birth or in the womb;
  • The number of mothers dying during childbirth (Maternal Mortality Rate) is still very high in India – 174 per 1,00,000 live births. This is comparable with Pakistan (178) and Bangladesh (176), and much higher than Bhutan,  Sri Lanka, Phillipines and Indonesia
  • Only 75 per cent females are literate (compared with 84 per cent males) in urban India, even by the low official standard of considering a person literate if she can sign her name; it is still lower at 57 per cent (compared with 72 per cent males) in rural India
  • Equal pay for equal work is still a distant goal; women workers get almost 25 per cent less than men on an average.
  • Of the women engaged in social labour outside the home, the majority are denied the basic rights of wage workers, not to speak of working women’s rights such as maternity leave and child care facilities at the workplace;
  • Lakhs of women workers who are on night shifts in hospitals, BPO, IT and hotels, and such like services face the threat of sexual violence on a daily basis; the state takes no responsibility for their security;
  • Crimes against women which include rape, kidnapping and abduction, dowry deaths and trafficking have increased over the years. A crime against a woman is committed every 3 minutes. The phenomenon of harassment and murder of women for dowry continues unabated.

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One comment

  1. International Women’s Day…

    International Women’s Day

    Dear Editor,

    The call of the Central Committee of the Communist Ghadar Party of India on the occasion of International Women’s Day 2020, issued on 1st March, was both inspiring and enlightening. It made me proud to be an Indian woman.

    One of the important arguments made in this call is that the existing Constitution of India does not guarantee the inviolability of rights; and that we must fight for constitutional guarantees for human rights and democratic rights.

    Women have rights as women and as human beings. They have rights which belong to them on account of the specific role they play in bringing into being and nurturing the new generation. The blatant violation of such rights is revealed by the fact that as high as 42% of Indian women have no trained attendant at childbirth. That women get paid less than men for performing the same work is just one of the facts which show that women do not enjoy equal rights as human beings. The persistence of dowry deaths is another fact which shows how women continue to be treated as less than human.

    Indian women are breaking the shackles that bind them. They are shattering all myths about their submissive nature. Among all political parties in the country, Communist Ghadar Party stands out for not only applauding the women who are out on the streets but also showing the way forward for their liberation.

    The call provides a clear guideline when it says, “Women have to get organized in their mohallas and in their places of work, as women and as a contingent of the working class and its revolutionary movement to end all forms of exploitation. We, the working women and men, girl and boy students, must build our own samitis in our workplaces, campuses and residential locations. In the course of fighting for our rights, we must prepare to become the rulers of society”.

    Wishing all success in the revolutionary project for the Navnirman of India,

    Yours sincerely,

    N. M. Sridevi, Hyderabad

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