India will be truly independent only when people are empowered
Statement of the Central Committee of the Communist Ghadar Party of India, 1st August, 2018
Our people are fed with false promises on every Independence Day. From the “socialistic pattern” of Jawaharlal Nehru to “garibi hatao” of Indira Gandhi, and from the “capitalism with a human face” of Manmohan Singh to the “sab ka vikaas” slogan of Narendra Modi, one Prime Minister after the other has been marketing empty dreams every 15th of August. They are trained to say whatever the people like to hear, while implementing the agenda set by the Tatas, Birlas, Ambanis and other capitalist monopoly houses.
The reality of present day India is in stark contrast to the aspiration and goal for which our forefathers fought and laid down their lives.
Masses of workers, peasants and progressive intellectuals participated actively in the anti-colonial struggle with the goal and vision of creating a new India that would be free of the global imperialist system of plunder. They fought for an economic system that would be self-reliant and provide secure livelihood and prosperity for all. More than seven decades after the end of colonial rule, the Indian economy is getting more and more integrated into the crisis-ridden global imperialist system.
Accelerated penetration of foreign capital into all sectors of production and trade is ruining the livelihood of crores of workers and peasants. Yet, the Government of India is begging the capitalist monopolies of other countries to invest more and more in our country. Foreign companies are being assured that Indian workers can be super-exploited and denied even basic rights, and that peasants and tribal people can be forcibly deprived of their land.
Multilateral trade agreements have been signed to benefit Indian and foreign capitalist monopolies, at the expense of the livelihood of crores of peasants and other small producers. Successive governments have taken steps to hand over the rich mineral resources of our country to be plundered by capitalist monopoly companies.
Our forefathers fought for a new political power that would end the oppression and discrimination of people based on their religion, caste, nationality, race and gender. However, crores of people continue to face discrimination and oppression on the basis of caste, religion, nationality and race. Women in our country face oppression and discrimination throughout their lives.
Our revolutionary martyrs envisioned a new State that would protect the rights of all the diverse peoples who make up India. The existing Indian State, far from protecting the rights of all, is itself the biggest violator of human rights and democratic rights, including national rights. It unleashes savage repression on those who fight for their rights. It sponsors and organizes communal violence and other forms of state terror, to keep people divided and make them submit to monopoly capitalist dictate.
The source of the problem lies in the fact that political power did not come into the people’s hands on 15th August, 1947. It came into the hands of the big capitalists, who were allied with the imperialists and with the big landlords and other parasitic strata within the country. The big capitalists decided to preserve the oppressive colonial State and the economic system of exploitation and plunder that British imperialism had created. The state machinery and “rule of law” established by the colonialists to oppress, divide and rule over the Indian people was retained intact.
The Indian Independence Act, passed by the British Parliament in 1947, transferred sovereignty over the partitioned territory from the British Crown to India’s Constituent Assembly. The Constituent Assembly adopted a Constitution which ensured that sovereignty was not transferred to the people. Instead, it was vested in the President in Parliament, who is bound to act according to the advice of the Cabinet.
In sum, political independence was achieved in 1947 while blocking the path to social revolution. The Constitution served to perpetuate and further perfect the system of oppression, exploitation and plunder which already existed. It legalized a political process of multi-party representative democracy, designed to deprive people of power. The state remained, as in colonial times, an instrument to crush the struggle of our people against the native and foreign exploiters.
Over the past 71 years, the big capitalists have used the State inherited from the British imperialists to consolidate their own political supremacy, accumulated wealth and private empires, by collaborating and competing with the capitalists of the world. They have kept India within the imperialist system to suit their own narrow interests.
At the present time, about 150 capitalist monopoly houses dominate the economy and effectively control the Indian Republic. They set the agenda for society and determine the orientation of the economy. What gets produced and in what quantity is not determined by what our people need. All decisions are driven by the greed of Indian and foreign capitalist monopoly houses for maximum private profits. People are kept out of the decision-making process altogether.
The system and political process of multi-party representative democracy ensures that only parties which represent the interests of the minority of exploiters in power are entrusted with running the government. Parties like the Congress and BJP compete for the chance to form the government and implement the agenda set by the capitalist monopoly houses.
In the early decades after independence, Congress-led governments implemented the Tata-Birla Plan to develop capitalism under the signboard of a “socialistic pattern of society”. It was a plan to build a diverse industry and enhance India’s military might through import substitution and public investments, financed by loans and grants from the USA, Britain, World Bank as well as from the Soviet Union.
Starting in the 1980s and more openly since 1991, successive governments have been blaming the “socialistic pattern” for all the ills of the economy. They have been embracing the prescriptions of globalization, liberalization and privatization. It shows that the Indian monopoly houses are on an aggressive global expansionist drive. They want to accelerate capitalist growth in our country by attracting foreign capital into as many sectors as possible, and use this as the springboard for the expansion of Indian capital in foreign lands. They do not care for the disastrous consequences of such a strategy on the vast majority of people.
In pursuit of its own imperialist aims, the Indian big bourgeoisie is strengthening a military cum strategic alliance with US imperialism. The growing Indo-US alliance poses a grave threat to the people of India and of other countries in the region. It enhances the danger of India being compelled to act according to the wishes of US imperialism. It enhances the danger of India getting embroiled in unjust wars.
As long as the Government of India toes the geo-political line of US imperialism, with only minor deviations, the US agencies within India will lie low. If and when India deviates too much, the US imperialists will unleash their apparatus of destabilization, including covert acts of terror and sponsoring of “anti-corruption”, “pro-democracy” and separatist movements. This is the proven track record of US imperialism in its international relations, in general and with respect to India in particular.
The imperialist pursuit of the Indian big bourgeoisie and further strengthening of an Indo-US strategic alliance are thus not only enhancing the danger of India bowing further to external pressures and getting embroiled in unjust wars. It is also enhancing the danger of the Indian Union getting broken up as a result of imperialist machinations.
In sum, the big bourgeoisie is dragging India on an extremely dangerous course. It is driving masses of people into a state of heightened insecurity of livelihood and of life itself. It is compromising the cause of peace and of freedom and independence of the country, in pursuit of its own selfish interests.
The vision that inspired the revolutionary martyrs of 1857, of Hindustan Ghadar Party, Hindustan Republican Association, Communist Party of India and others during the anti-colonial struggle was that of a new Indian State which would ensure prosperity and protection for all. Their goal was to make a complete break with the imperialist system and put an end to the entire legacy of colonialism. This goal was betrayed in 1947. Fulfilling it remains the urgent need of the times.
India can be saved if and only if the workers, peasants, women and youth become her master. This cannot be achieved within the present system and political process of multi-party representative democracy. This system and political process are designed to keep people out of power.
People have to wage their struggles with the aim of establishing a new system of society in which their interests and concerns receive top priority. We need to adopt a new Constitution that guarantees human and democratic rights; and vests sovereignty in the people. We need to establish and consolidate a new State that is committed to ensure prosperity and protection for all and suppress all attempts at exploitation and loot by internal and external forces. We need a new political process designed to keep decision-making power in the hands of the people.
With decision-making power in their hands, people can and will reorient the economy to fulfill human needs, instead of fulfilling capitalist greed. Investments in different sectors will be made to ensure balanced economic and social development. Foreign trade will serve to complement domestic production to fulfill the people’s needs, while keeping the principle of self-reliance in command.
An India whose people are empowered will emerge as a truly independent country, liberated from the stranglehold of the imperialist system. She will ensure prosperity and protection to all members of society. She will build relations of peace, friendship and cooperation with all other countries and peoples, and firmly oppose imperialist sponsored regime changes and wars of conquest.