What do they reveal?
Statement of the Central Committee of Communist Ghadar Party of India, 27th October, 2014
Maharashtra and Haryana assembly elections have been concluded and the results declared. BJP has won an absolute majority in the 90-member Haryana Assembly. It has won 122 seats in the 288-member Maharashtra Assembly, ahead of all others but short of an absolute majority.
|Number of Seats||Share of Votes|
These elections were held just five months after the victory of BJP in the Lok Sabha elections, which led to the formation of a government in New Delhi headed by a single party with absolute majority, for the first time in 25 years. The results pave the way for the formation of BJP-led governments in two states which have critical importance in the strategy of the big bourgeoisie to develop India as a military-industrial-financial global power.
Election results are portrayed in the bourgeois media as being the “people’s verdict”. However, facts show that in Haryana, BJP won a majority of seats with only a minority of votes. BJP candidates received only 33% of the votes. Since 25% of the electorate did not vote, it means that only 25% of all eligible voters – that is, one in four – voted for the candidates of BJP. This is the real extent of the so-called people’s mandate that the ruling party claims to have secured.
The increase in vote shares of BJP, from 14% to 28% in Maharashtra and from 9% to 33% in Haryana, was achieved as a result of a systematic campaign that the big bourgeoisie has been carrying out for over a year now. The major TV news channels and the entire corporate media has been carrying out the propaganda that all the ills of our society stem from corrupt politicians, a weak Prime Minister and the compulsions of leading a coalition government. Through this propaganda, the anger of the workers, peasants and broad masses of people with the capitalist reform program and the attacks on their livelihood and rights has been manipulated by the big bourgeoisie to consolidate its dictate.
One central idea has been repeatedly propagated, day after day, that what India needs is a strong Prime Minister heading a single party majority government. This has been the consistent tune sung by all the representatives of India Incorporated.
“A majority government led by a strong leader like Modi will bring acche din (good times) for all Indians!” Through pre-poll surveys and media campaigns, this message has been dinned into the heads of our people, both within the country and abroad. In this manner, the big bourgeoisie set the agenda and defined the “choice” in front of the people.
The big corporate houses engineered the breaking up of the old alliances in both Maharashtra and Haryana prior to the elections, thereby compelling each contesting party to show its own worth. They invested their might and money behind the BJP’s campaign.
The position of BJP has been strengthened while the positions of Congress Party and state-level parties have been weakened. The results in these two states also strengthen the position of BJP in the Rajya Sabha, where it is far from commanding majority support.
The trend in election results during 2014, seen alongside the trend of discrediting and weakening of various political leaders through corruption charges and court verdicts in old corruption cases, reveals a concerted effort on the part of the big bourgeoisie of our country to consolidate its dictate.
By themselves, a state-level political party or a leader with strong support in one region does not pose a threat to the big bourgeoisie. The threat actually comes from the possibility that political forces that are not aligned with the central strategy of the big bourgeoisie could become tools for US imperialist interference and manipulation.
US imperialism is pursuing the strategy of establishing a unipolar world under its complete domination. The conquest of Asia is a key to achieve this; and the US wants India to be fully aligned with its “Asia pivot” policy.
The Indian big bourgeoisie is fighting to carve out and expand its sphere of influence in the world. It is engaged in a race with the monopoly capitalists of other countries. Alongside the lowering of barriers to the inflow of foreign capital into our country, the monopoly capitalists want barriers to be lowered for the investment of Indian capital in foreign lands.
The relation between India and the US is characterized by both collusion and contention. The Indian ruling class accepted the status of being a strategic partner of the United States, in order to gain access to nuclear technology and join the UN Security Council. At the same time, it is resisting the attempts of US imperialism to restrict its space in west and central Asia. The destruction of Iraq and Libya, the encirclement of Iran and the US sanctions against trading with Iran have all harmed the interests of the Indian big bourgeoisie.
Political developments on the world scale show that US imperialism and its allies have repeatedly exploited the internal contradictions in various countries to destabilize the situation and bring about a regime change to suit their interests. They did this in Libya and are continuing to do in Syria. They had earlier incited sectarian and national chauvinist forces in Yugoslavia, which led to the disintegration of that state.
In India, US imperialism and its allies seek to extend their tentacles both at the centre and in the states. They have in recent times strengthened their connections with various state level parties and chief ministers in India, starting with Chandrababu Naidu of Andhra Pradesh in 1997. The instrument of policy-based lending to selected state governments by the World Bank was used by the imperialists to cultivate such links and influence policies directly at the state level.
More recently, when Hillary Clinton visited India, she made it a point to meet the Chief Ministers of Tamil Nadu and West Bengal. She poured fuel to inflame the opposition of these state leaders to the central policy on India’s relations with Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
The imperialist powers have been deploying a variety of destabilization tactics. Multinational companies finance various NGOs and secretly support protest movements that serve to block the implementation of projects by their rivals. Media campaigns have been directed against various Indian corporate houses and political personalities, through exposure of scams, sting operations, revelations of tapped phone conversations, etc. Many leading Indian capitalists, politicians and senior officials have been discredited in this manner. All this is being done in the name of fighting against corruption and crony capitalism, and in the name of establishing transparency, accountability and good governance.
Viewed against the backdrop of the all-sided growth of foreign imperialist influence over Indian affairs, the political developments of 2014 reveal a concerted attempt of the big bourgeoisie to consolidate its dictate and minimize possibilities of external intervention and destabilization.
In sum, the elections in Maharashtra and Haryana have been used to further strengthen the position of the big bourgeoisie. They have been used to establish a well-aligned political arrangement for the big bourgeoisie to push ahead with its imperialist pursuit. The path is being cleared for an accelerated offensive against the workers and peasants, and for more intense dogfights among rival monopolies and imperialists.
Acceleration of Anti-Social Offensive
The consolidation of big bourgeois dictate means aggressive implementation of the program of globalisation through liberalisation and privatisation. Soon after assuming charge, the BJP government has taken steps to open the doors of our economy further to foreign investment, including in crucial sectors such as insurance and weapons production.
In the coming days, the Make in India campaign is going to be aggressively pursued. New manufacturing zones designed by the previous UPA government, including the Mumbai-Delhi rail and industrial corridor (covering huge areas of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana, NOIDA and Ghaziabad in UP) will be fast tracked for implementation. Similar corridors are being established linking Delhi to Kolkota, and Mumbai to Bengaluru and Hyderabad. It means that the scale of exploitation and plunder of our land and labour, jointly by Indian and foreign capitalists, will rise to unprecedented levels.
Even before the results of the Maharashtra and Haryana elections were announced, Prime Minister Modi announced concessions to Indian and foreign capitalists by way of unveiling a new labour policy reform agenda, under the deceptive slogan, “Shrameva Jayate”. It is a plan to enable the capitalists to exploit labour even more intensely than at present. In the name of getting rid of excessive regulations, the government plans to eliminate even the minimum level of legal protection of labour rights that exists in our country. For the benefit of the capitalist class, the central government is taking steps to do away with the system of labour inspectors visiting factories to investigate workers’ complaints. Labour laws relating to working conditions, register of workers, holidays, working hours and wages, can thereby be openly flouted, without even bothering to bribe the inspectors.
The bourgeois agenda of labour policy reforms includes measures to legalise the increasing use of contract labour, casual labour and apprentices, and to make it extremely difficult for workers to organise themselves into unions of their choice.
Workers can expect their mental and manual labour power to be more intensely super-exploited; and their rights to be further curtailed. They can expect inflation to continue to erode the purchasing power of their wages and salaries.
Mass resistance on the part of peasants and tribal peoples, supported by parties and unions of the working class, had stalled the process of land acquisition by monopoly capitalists. The BJP government headed by Modi is now promising a fast track process of clearance for all the stalled projects. This means escalation of corporate land grab. It means further violation of the rights of those who till the land as well as further destruction of the natural environment.
Many large trading monopolies are going to reap enormous profits as a result of the growing corporate control and global orientation of agricultural production and trade. At the other pole, millions of peasants are going to be pushed further into debt and ever higher high levels of insecurity caused by the vagaries of the markets and the massive speculation in commodities, in addition to frequent natural disasters.
In sum, the consolidation of big bourgeois dictate is a prelude to accelerated offensive against the livelihood and rights of workers and peasants, the toiling majority of our people.
While the electoral victories of BJP are presented as an expression of the people’s will, it is in fact the big bourgeoisie that has organised to bring about these outcomes. The elections of 2014 reveal that the existing system of democracy and its political process are designed to impose the will of the economically most powerful class on the whole of society.
The election results in Maharashtra and Haryana, coming in the wake of the Lok Sabha elections that resulted in a majority for BJP, and viewed in the context of other political developments since 2013, reveal that the big bourgeoisie is asserting its leadership and consolidating its hold over the reins of state power in our country. It is acting to eliminate weak spots through which the US and other imperialist powers can intervene to destabilize the politics of India.
Consolidation of big bourgeois dictate means escalated attacks on the livelihood and rights of workers and peasants. It means accelerated pursuit of the imperialist aims of the big bourgeoisie, through the liberalisation, privatisation and globalisation program, accompanied by state terrorism and divisive politics to prevent any effective resistance among the people. It means increasing militarization of the economy and increasing danger of India getting embroiled in unjust imperialist wars.
Accelerated integration of the Indian economy with the global imperialist system means that cut-throat competition among Indian and foreign multinational companies over the markets and sources of raw materials in our country will only grow from bad to worse. So will the clash of rival imperialist interests, fought out through the exposure of scandals, corruption cases and assassinations.
The big bourgeoisie is dragging India on an extremely dangerous course. This dangerous anti-social offensive has got to be halted. Workers and peasants need to unite against this course. We need to rally around the alternative program to solve the problems of the economy and the political system.
We cannot afford to have any illusions that our problems can be addressed through elections in the existing system. We have to organise to change the political system itself; as well as the entire orientation of the economy and our foreign policy. We have to become a powerful political force with our own program for the navnirman of India.
The ruling class claims that there is no alternative to the capitalist-imperialist course being pursued. Communist Ghadar Party says: No, this is a blatant lie. There is an alternative, which is to replace the rule of the bourgeoisie by the rule of workers and peasants.
The alternative to liberalisation, privatisation and globalisation is the program of reorienting the economy to ensure prosperity and protection for all, by halting the loot of public money and natural wealth of the peoples; nationalising and establishing people’s control over trade, finance and natural resources; and withdrawing all forms of government hand-outs and guarantees to capitalist monopolies.
The existing system of bourgeois democracy is based on the principle of parliamentary sovereignty. The alternative is proletarian democracy, based on the principle that sovereignty must vest in the people and not in parliament or the cabinet or the President of India. The political process in such a system would ensure that people can select and elect candidates from among their peers, hold those elected to account and recall elected representatives at any time. It would also ensure that people are able to initiate legislation and approve major decisions through referendums.
The alternative to the present imperialist and opportunistic foreign policy is a policy based on principled anti-imperialist unity, in relation to our neighbours and with all nations and peoples of the world. It will be based on mutual respect and solidarity in struggle against imperialism.
We, the workers, peasants, women and youth of all nationalities and communities, must unite around this alternative and fight uncompromisingly against the liberalisation, privatisation and globalisation drive of the big bourgeoisie. Through this struggle we must prepare to collectively become the master of India.
We communists must arm the working class, peasants and all the oppressed with this alternative program, so that they can politically unite to halt the present dangerous imperialist course of India; and open the path of revolution, of proletarian democracy and socialism.
Organise to defeat the anti-worker, anti-peasant, anti-social and anti-national program of liberalisation, privatisation and globalisation!
Unite around the alternative program of vesting sovereignty in the people and reorienting the economy to ensure prosperity and protection for all!