The 13th plenum of the Central Committee of the Communist Ghadar Party of India was convened in the first week of June 2008. Reviewing the situation in the world and in India, the plenum noted that capitalism is in acute crisis and the liberalisation and privatisation program is greatly discredited. This offers an opportunity for the working class and communist movement to make a breakthrough.
The plenum concluded that the urgent necessity is for communist parties to boldly put forward and mobilize people around the alternative program aimed at building a modern socialist society, where working people rule themselves and production is oriented to provide prosperity and protection for all.
Analysing the crisis of world capitalism, the impoverishment of workers and peasants due to soaring prices of food and oil, the plenum concluded that the root cause lies in the fundamental contradiction of the capitalist-imperialist system. It lies in the domination of finance capital over all aspects of society, and its relentless drive to reap maximum profits, in spite of the objective tendency of the average rate of profit to fall. The successive creation and bursting of one bubble after another – including the IT or dot.com bubble, real estate bubble and now the commodities bubble – shows that capitalism is unable to carry on without creating frequent crises, and making the working people pay for maintaining the super-profits of the super rich. The crisis is awakening more and more people around the world to the dangers posed by capitalism, which has become extremely parasitic and unbearable.
The fall of the Soviet Union was used by the world bourgeoisie to push the notion that socialism is dead and that there is no alternative to capitalism. Today this claim of the bourgeoisie stands discredited. More and more peoples and nations are fighting the capitalist offensive. The crisis is therefore an occasion for the progressive forces to advance a program for ending the capitalist system and opening the door for society to advance to a higher stage.
The plenum noted that the bourgeois program of liberalisation and privatisation, pushed by the Congress Party, BJP and some others over the past 17 years and more, has made the working class and people of India highly vulnerable to the ups and downs in international markets. Rapid capitalist growth is based on intensified exploitation of workers. The plenum stressed that independent of anybody's will, this capitalist growth has and will continue to aggravate the crisis in agriculture, driving peasants to ruin. This ruination affects not only the poor but also middle and even rich peasants.
Based on this analysis of the crisis of capitalism and the offensive of the bourgeoisie, the plenum called for a vigorous countrywide campaign by the party and mass organizations, to step up the struggle to halt and reverse the liberalisation and privatisation program, and oppose the shifting of the burden of the capitalist crisis on to our backs, through soaring prices, longer working hours, etc.
The plenum reaffirmed the need for the Indian working class to lead the struggle against the bourgeoisie offensive and for establishing a new system of economy and political power. In order to enable the class to fulfill its historic mission, it is essential to expose and defeat those trends within the communist movement that serve to de-politicise workers and convert them into a tail of the bourgeoisie, by spreading illusions about a 'secular front' with the bourgeoisie and a 'human face' of capitalist reforms.
As part of efforts to politicize the class, the plenum decided to activate and mobilise mass organisations of workers to celebrate in July the centenary of the first political strike in India, when thousands of workers marched on the streets against the imprisonment of anti-colonial leader Tilak by the British rulers in 1908.
Noting that the working class is now almost half the population, growing in size and changing in composition, with rising level of education and skills, the plenum reviewed the status of the ongoing study of the changing profile of the Indian working class. It reiterated the importance of this study to grasp what is going on, and to deepen the party's roots in the class, and raise its level of consciousness and political unity.
The plenum noted that the Ghadar Jari Hai movement has struck deep chords with the broad masses of Indian people, who understand that even though colonialism ended more than 60 years ago, the legacy of British rule still weighs heavily on us. The plenum reaffirmed the need to bring from our past what is purest and useful to defeat the bourgeoisie today, such as the notion that land and water are gifts of Nature, and hence cannot become anyone's private property.
The plenum reaffirmed the conclusion that the kind of land reform needed today is not the distribution of small plots to individual tillers. Nor is the recognition of peasants' rights over their tiny plots the main issue. What is needed is the restoration of land to its status as social property, and promotion of its collective use by groups of peasants, with free or cheap technical support arranged by a worker-peasant state.
Assessing the situation in Nepal, the plenum noted that the successful election of a new Constituent Assembly is an important step forward in the movement of the peoples of South Asia for their empowerment. The plenum hailed the abolition of the monarchy and declaration of Nepal as a republic. It resolved to expose and oppose all machinations of external imperialist forces to undermine the movement for people's empowerment in Nepal, including the machinations of the Indian bourgeoisie.
In India, too, the empowerment of the working class and people is the need of the hour. This requires active participation of communists in elections, to expose the flaws of bourgeois parliamentary democracy, and agitate for radical changes in the political process, towards empowering the people.
In the context of the coming assembly elections in Delhi and other states, and looking towards the Lok Sabha elections due in early 2009, the plenum noted that the ruling bourgeois class will try to find a way to continue with Congress Party or BJP in power. This is the preferred arrangement of the big bourgeoisie, in order to push ahead with its drive to become a major imperialist power by 2020. Both these parties are discredited in the eyes of our people. In this situation, it is essential for communists to place before the working people an alternative to Congress and BJP rule – an alternative to the liberalisation and privatisation program, an alternative to state terrorism and communal violence.
The plenum resolved that the party will take initiative to forge a new united front of all political forces opposed to the present course of India, under communist leadership, to defeat Congress Party and BJP in the coming elections. The defeat of both these parties, and forging of a united front against the bourgeoisie, will be stepping stones to defeat the bourgeoisie and its anti-social offensive. It will open the path to worker-peasant rule, with direct democracy as the political process and socialism as the economic system.
The plenum positively assessed the work of the Central Committee and party organisations at all levels over the past four months, noting that we are in a good position to launch major initiatives to build political unity against the bourgeoisie. It discussed and adopted measures to further strengthen the party organisation at all levels, as the key to achieve our goal.