"Vatan ki azaadi ke liye sab kuch kurbaan kar de". This was the overpowering drive that inspired the martyrs of the anti-colonial freedom struggle to sacrifice everything for the sacred cause of the liberation of the motherland. Very soon, it will be 53 years since the declaration of freedom from colonial rule. Throughout these 53 years, as well as during the anti-colonial freedom struggle, two visions of freedom, azaadi, have clashed with each other. The vision of the working class and the peasantry, of what is real azaadi, has been clashing with the vision of the big bourgeoisie.
For workers and peasants, azaadi means freedom from hunger, poverty and want; from insecurity of life and livelihood. azaadi means that the toilers and tillers must have a roof over their head, food and clothing, healthcare and education, a life of dignity. azaadi means that the sons and daughters of the toilers and tillers must have a secure present and future. azaadi means that the people must be free from police terror and repression, from state organised communal violence. It means that our mothers, sisters and daughters, the dalits and others amongst us who have been victims of age old caste oppression, our tribal people, must be able to stand with their heads held high free from any fear, any exploitation and discrimination. This real azaadi has remained unrealised all these 53 years.
53 years ago, the Nehrus and Gandhis declared India’s independence from colonial rule. Through this act, the big bourgeoisie gained political powerand established its dictatorship over the land and people of India. It replaced the colonial rulers and thereafter had unrestrained freedom to exploit the land, labour and rich natural resources of our people. The state machinery guarantees security and prosperity to the exploiters, Indian and foreign, by defending with the force of arms the capitalist system, the imperialist domination and the remnants of feudalism - in sum, the entire colonial legacy.
The political system and political process that was established over five decades ago has clearly revealed itself as democracy for the minority of exploiters, and a brutal dictatorship over the vast majority. The Indian Union, in the manner it is constituted, negates the collective rights ofthe nations, nationalities and tribal peoples who inhabit India. In other words, for 53 years, the ruling big bourgeoisie, a minority, has usurped political power and has ruled as the illegitimate malik of India.
The central question in the struggle raging in India today is who will be the malik of India. It is clear that the vast majority of working people, the working class, peasants, women and youth, no matter to which nation, nationality or tribe they belong, constitute the real maliks of India. However, the big bourgeoisie will not easily give up what it has captured —that is, control over the land, the rich natural resources, the factories and mines, and the labour of our people. It uses violence and repression as well as deceit to maintain its control over our motherland. In this it is assisted by the conciliators with capitalism and the colonial legacy within the working class movement. Such conciliators, like the Mir Jaffers and Jaichands of old, spread the illusion that the working masses need notoverthrow the capitalist system and the colonial legacy to open the road to progress. They spread the illusion that the azaadi that the workers and peasants are fighting for can be won without overthrowing the illegitimate rule of the kale angrez. Or else they spread pessimism that the working class should give up its vision and adjust itself to being slaves of the capitalists and imperialists, content with the crumbs it gets.
Workers and peasants need political power in their hands in order to suppress the exploiters and oppressors, and win freedom from poverty, hunger and want, insecurity of life and livelihood. They need political power in order to end the oppression of nations, nationalities and tribes, in order to end the savage oppression and exploitation of women, the remnants of the caste system, and the hated imperialist domination. They need political power in order to overthrow the capitalist system and the colonial legacy that are at the roots of all of India’s present problems. Political power in the hands of the toilers, the means of production in the hands of those who toil and till — this is the necessary condition for Indian society to progress.
The core of the program of the working class is the fight for transfer of political power from where it rests today, in the hands of a minority of the exploiters, into the hands of the workers, peasants, women and youth of all the nations, nationalities and tribes constituting India. The core ofthe program of the working class is that India belongs to its workers, peasants, women and youth and it is these forces who must and will shape the future destiny of India, not the big bourgeoisie.