On the occasion of Independence Day, 2019: For real independence, India needs to break with the imperialist system!

Statement of the Central Committee of the Communist Ghadar Party of India, 13th August, 2019

August 15th this year will mark 72 years since the declaration of India’s independence from colonial rule. It is an occasion to sum up what has been achieved and what has not over these seven decades. Such a summing up is essential for charting the way forward to an India in which prosperity and protection are guaranteed for all members of society.

After emerging from nearly 200 years of colonial slavery in 1947, our country has reached a stage when Indian space scientists have launched Chandrayan-2 to land on the moon. Medical tourism is booming in our country as patients from abroad come to be treated by our skilled doctors. Indian doctors, nurses, and school teachers are playing a crucial role in the health care and education sectors in many countries. Our engineers and workers are building railroads and highways in other countries. Our software engineers are playing a crucial role in developing cutting edge technology in the US. Our farmers are producing more than enough to feed a country of 130 crore people. And the wealthiest Indians are counted among the richest people on earth.

In spite of these achievements, masses of Indian people continue to be victims of abject poverty and ill health. Crores of people are forced to lead a life of indignity and misery. They are oppressed, discriminated against, and even killed for belonging to a particular caste or religion. Women and girls face every kind of indignity at their work place, in the streets and at home.

Workers are thrown into jail for demanding their rights. Peasants who feed the whole country are unable to ensure two square meals for their families. Crores of working families do not have even clean drinking water. Their children do not have access to education and health care.

Our martyrs fought for freedom from colonial slavery and imperialist plunder. They fought for freedom from hunger and want, from ill-health and disease. They fought for freedom from caste discrimination, religious persecution and all forms of oppression of women. They fought to establish a new India, free from the imperialist system. They fought for an India in which the people would be the master. It is clear that the goal for which they fought and laid down their lives is far from being achieved.

Prime Minister Modi admits that the benefits of economic development in independent India have not reached crores of poor working people. He blames it all on the Congress Party, which has been in charge of the central government for most of the past 72 years. He points to the thoroughly corrupt and dynastic rule of the Congress Party as the main reason. He claims that the BJP government is committed to deliver “development for all”. 

Actions, however, do not match the claims of the Prime Minister. The most recent actions taken by the re-elected Modi government, for instance, are not at all aimed at delivering development for all. They are aimed at delivering maximum profits for Indian and foreign monopoly capitalists, by intensifying the super-exploitation of Indian labour, escalating the robbery of the peasantry, and intensifying the plunder of our natural resources.

The BJP government has rejected the long standing demand of crores of workers for a minimum wage which is a living wage. The Wage Code Bill it has introduced in parliament sets the national minimum wage at the abysmally low level of Rs.178 per day. This is much lower than the existing minimum wages in the vast majority of states. Another bill dealing with occupational safety, health and working conditions eliminates 90% of workers from its purview. These two bills are part of 4 bills to change labour laws which are aimed at fulfilling the long standing demand of Indian and foreign capitalists to improve the “ease of doing business”.

India’s workers have been resolutely opposing the anti-social and anti-national program of privatization of public sector enterprises, and the further opening of doors of vital sectors of the Indian economy to foreign capitalist monopolies. The government announced through the budget that it will further open up weapons production, insurance, airlines and retail trade for foreign capitalists. Ignoring the united opposition of the working class to the privatisation program, the Budget has set the highest ever target for the sale of public assets to private companies. The privatisation of Indian Railways is being pursued openly, with a 100-day program.

“Sab ka Saath, Sab ka Vikas” is a fraud to fool the working class and people. The capitalist class headed by the monopoly houses has brought the BJP government to power in order to implement its agenda. Prime Minister Modi has been entrusted with the task of marketing this capitalist-imperialist agenda in such a way as to make people believe that it is in their best interest.

In order to disrupt and crush the united struggle of the working class and people against their capitalist agenda, the ruling capitalist class is escalating the attacks on the rights of people, and intensifying communal divisions in society. 

The parliament has passed an amendment to the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act to allow the central government to label all those opposed to the capitalist-imperialist agenda as “terrorists” without the need to produce any evidence.

The project of identifying and expelling “illegal immigrants” and creating a National Register of Citizens, already launched in Assam, is now going to be launched all across the country. The ruling capitalist class is spreading the lie that the cause of unemployment and all social problems are people of Muslim faith. They want the working people of our country to be embroiled in communal clashes.

Prime Minister Modi wants the people to repose faith in him, allegedly because he is different from previous prime ministers. He is hiding the truth that no matter who is the PM and which is the party in charge, the agenda is set by the capitalist class, headed by the monopoly houses. It is they who decide which party must be entrusted with the task of implementing and marketing their agenda at any particular time.

Like all previous prime ministers, Modi promises what the toiling masses of people are longing for, while acting strictly in the interests of the monopoly capitalists. This has been the practice of all previous prime ministers, from the time of Jawaharlal Nehru in 1947.

When India gained independence from colonial rule, it was a time when the world was being swept by a revolutionary wave. The struggle against imperialism and colonialism, against fascism and war, for lasting peace and people’s democracy, spearheaded by the Communist International headed by the Soviet Union, was raging all over the world.

The workers and peasants of India were longing to break out of the imperialist system and march on the road to socialism. In such conditions, the Tatas, Birlas and other big capitalists of India got together to work out a long-term plan for capitalist development in independent India, which was published in 1945 as the “Bombay Plan”. It was a plan to protect major sectors of the Indian economy from foreign competition and to develop state monopoly capitalism, for the benefit of the big industrial houses.

The Congress Party headed by Nehru was charged with implementing this agenda of the big capitalists. Knowing well that the Indian people deeply desired socialism, Nehru marketed the Tata-Birla project for developing capitalism as the creation of a “socialistic pattern of society”. Prime Minister Indira Gandhi further developed this project, which resulted in the expansion of the wealth of big capitalists at one pole, while poverty and misery of the toiling masses multiplied at the other pole.

By the middle of the 1980s, the big capitalists of India recognised that in order to grow into a global imperialist power, they needed to capture foreign markets and open up Indian markets for foreign capital. Towards that goal, Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi gave the call for modernization and globalization of Indian capital.

The disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991 brought about an abrupt change in the world situation. The tide turned against the revolution and socialism. Indian monopoly capitalists started singing the globally fashionable tune, that there is no alternative to globalisation, liberalisation and privatisation. Prime Minister Narasimha Rao launched this program after declaring that all the problems of the economy have their source in the “socialistic pattern of society”. His Finance Minister Manmohan Singh argued that if the wealth of the big capitalists grows more rapidly than before, then some of its benefits will trickle down to the toiling masses.

The implementation of the program of globalisation, liberalisation and privatisation by successive governments since 1991 has resulted in more rapid growth of capitalist profits and greater concentration of wealth. It has further widened the gap between rich and poor. It has resulted in increasing dependence of the Indian economy on the world market. It has resulted in the growing influence of the World Bank and other imperialist agencies over policy decisions, down to the level of state governments. Anglo-American influence has penetrated deeply into the economic, political and cultural institutions of our country.

Production in India has been greatly integrated with the crisis ridden imperialist system. Exports of goods and service have increased from 7% of total production (GDP) to 20% over the past three decades. As production becomes increasingly export oriented, the negative impact of international crises becomes more and more pronounced. Every crisis of the world economy leads to large-scale destruction of jobs in India. Every fall in food prices internationally has driven thousands of peasants to suicide.

The Indian economy is currently caught in a deep crisis. Superexploitation of workers and the robbery of peasants has resulted in people not having any money to buy the goods and services being produced. The foreign market is not growing because of the global crisis.

The capitalist monopolies have no solution to this crisis. They want to further intensify the exploitation of workers and peasants, and more aggressively produce for the global market. They hope that by allying with US imperialism, they will protect and expand their share of the US and world market.

This agenda will lead to even greater levels of dependence on exporting to the US market, and on attracting foreign capitalist investors to super-exploit cheap Indian labour. It means further strengthening of the Indo-US strategic-cum-military alliance. There is increasing danger of India being drawn into unjust wars waged with imperialist aims, under the signboard of fighting against “Islamic terrorism”.

The aim of the anti-colonial struggle was to liberate India from the stranglehold of the imperialist system. That aim has not been achieved. That is why India remains poor and backward. In 1947, political power was transferred into the hands of the traitorous capitalist class, which has used this power to perpetuate the system of exploitation and plunder created by the British. The capitalist class is now on an aggressive imperialist drive, in collusion and contention with the US imperialists.

For India to break out of the imperialist system, the capitalist class has to be dislodged from power. Capitalist rule has to be replaced by workers’ and peasants’ rule. The process of production and exchange must be reoriented to fulfill the growing needs of the people, from being geared to fulfill monopoly capitalist greed.

Establishing workers’ and peasants’ rule requires a clean break with the parliamentary system and the party dominated process of representative democracy. There is need for a new Constitution that vests sovereignty in the people. There is need for a new political process designed to keep decision-making power in the hands of the people.

With political power in hand, the working class and people will take charge of the means of production and exchange, and reorient the economy to fulfill human needs. They will build a new India which is truly independent, free from the stranglehold of the imperialist system. India will then emerge as a factor for peace and anti-imperialist unity on the world scale.   

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Independence Day    Aug 16-31 2019    Statements    Privatisation    Rights     2019   

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