Unite, organise and lead the struggle for the Navnirman of the Republic!
Statement of the Central Committee of Communist Ghadar Party of India, 23rd January, 2016
The Indian Republic will be 66 years old on the 26th of this month. As usual, contingents of the Army, Navy and Air Force will march through Raj Path. Fighter jets, tanks and the latest weaponry will be on display. The rulers of our country claim that all this armed might is for protecting us and this Republic from foreign enemies. However, the reality is that the vast majority of people feel neither safe nor secure. They are discontented with their present conditions and filled with anxiety about the future.
Sixty six years of experience shows that this Republic has not served to “wipe the tear off every Indian’s eyes”, as was pledged by Mohandas Gandhi and highlighted by Jawaharlal Nehru in his speech on 15th August, 1947. While every government since that time has made similar promises, they have remained empty words and a cruel hoax.
This Republic maintains a system of society which does not satisfy the claims of workers, peasants and other hardworking human beings who produce all the wealth. Those who toil hard for long hours each day are not assured of even their most basic needs, let alone the increased standard of living for which they legitimately aspire. Crores of workers have no protection from brutal violation of their rights. Peasants have no protection from insecurity of livelihood, growing debt burden and the threat of losing their land. Women are deprived of their rights as women and as human beings. They have no protection from harassment and sexual assaults in the workplace and in public places. Youth have no protection from unemployment.
This Republic maintains a system of social production that is oriented to maximise capitalist profits. It even guarantees maximum rates of profit for monopoly capitalist companies in numerous sectors. Wealth keeps getting more and more concentrated in fewer and fewer hands. In the year 2000, the richest 10% of the population owned 66% of the wealth; today the richest 1% owns 53% of the wealth in the country and the poorer 50% percent of the population own only 4%. No matter how many times parties and Ministers replace one another in government, about 150 big business houses keep growing enormously rich and still richer every year
While the Republic claims to be against bonded labour, child labour and caste discrimination, all these problems remain widespread after 66 years. While the official policy of reservation for Scheduled Castes in government employment and in elected legislative bodies is supposed to be addressing the problem, it has only served to accommodate a few dalits into the system and to perpetuate caste identity in political and social affairs.
The Constitution of the Republic of India does not acknowledge the fact that Indian society is made up of numerous nations, nationalities and peoples who have inhabited this land for thousands of years. The central Cabinet makes policies to enable big capitalist corporations to plunder at will the natural resources belonging to the various nations, nationalities and peoples. Those who protest and demand their national rights are deemed to be threatening “national unity and territorial integrity of India”. The central armed forces shoot anyone on suspicion in so-called “disturbed areas”, backed by the colonial and fascist Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act. Far from being a factor for unity and solidarity among citizens, this Republic of the Indian Union is a factor for discrimination, revolts and permanent strife within the country.
While disregarding the existence of numerous nations, nationalities and peoples within India, the Constitution divides the citizens into a “Hindu majority”, a “Muslim minority” and other religious groups and denominations. Communal violence gets repeatedly unleashed by those who wield political power and the guilty go unpunished. The victims are forced to live in terror and the guilty get rewarded with ministerial portfolios.
While claiming to be defending freedom of conscience, this Republic is armed with draconian laws to suppress any dissent, any opinion that is considered unacceptable to the ruling class. Those who dare to criticize those in power are branded as anti-national and charged with “sedition”.
The Constitution vests sovereignty, the power to set the agenda for society, in the hands of the President within Parliament, who is bound to follow the advice of the Cabinet. The Cabinet headed by the Prime Minister, formed by the party which commands majority support in Parliament, virtually rules by decree. The vast majority of people are excluded from decision-making power. Their role is limited to casting their vote once in a few years, to choose among candidates in whose selection they have had no say.
The Constitution is based on the political theory of trusteeship which has been preserved since colonial times. In colonial times, trusteeship meant that the Indian people are unfit to rule and need to entrust the task of ruling to the white men from Britain. Ruling India was presented to the world as the “white man’s burden”. This same theory continues to operate in post-colonial India. The place of the white men has been taken by an equally arrogant class which wants to race ahead of the richest of the world while the majority of Indians remain mired in poverty and disease.
The political process of multi-party representative democracy is designed to impose an already pre-set agenda. Elections are a means for selecting which party of the exploiters would implement the agenda already set by the big capitalists, while fooling the exploited masses of people that their interests are being served.
The historical roots of this Republic lie in the empire-building oppressive State which the British colonialists established after crushing the Ghadar of 1857. The British Indian Army was the foundation of colonial conquest and rule over India. It was the principal instrument to crush all the nations, nationalities and peoples and to seize their territories. It was also a major instrument to establish and expand the British colonial empire in Asia and other continents.
With the monopoly over armed might as the foundation of their power, the British colonial rulers established an administrative structure headed by English officers, along with an alien “rule of law” in the service of colonial plunder, a judiciary headed by English judges, jails, police and other law enforcing mechanisms. They then developed a political process to accommodate those classes of Indians into the colonial State who benefited from the system of dividing and ruling so as to maximise the exploitation and plunder of our land and labour.
The decade of the forties witnessed a major revolutionary upheaval on the world scale. The victory over Nazi fascism and the expansion of the socialist camp was accompanied by the liberation of many countries in Europe and Asia from foreign occupation and colonial rule. British imperialism was weakened by the war and was facing a mighty mass upsurge within British India. Recognising that they could no longer continue with direct colonial rule over India, the British imperialists struck a deal with the Indian big capitalists and big landlords . They cunningly manipulated the rivalry between the Congress and Muslim League to impose a communal Partition – to form a “Hindu majority” India and a “Muslim majority” Pakistan. They brought about the division of territories of Punjab, Bengal and Assam, imposing arbitrarily drawn borders overnight and spreading communal tensions, violence and counter-violence on a massive scale.
Through the “transfer of power” in the midst of the communal Partition, which resulted in large-scale massacres and the biggest ever forced migration in human history, the British imperialists ensured that the Indian revolution was drowned in blood. They ensured that South Asia would remain divided and vulnerable to imperialist influence, with two neighbouring states permanently at loggerheads with each other.
The big capitalists of India, in alliance with big landlords and some royal families, inherited the empire-building British Indian State through the “transfer of power” in 1947. Over the next two years, they consolidated their rule by deploying the Indian Army to suppress mass revolts of workers, peasants and oppressed nations, nationalities and tribal peoples in various parts of the country.
While masses of people were facing brutal repression and Communist Party leaders and activists were thrown into prison, the unrepresentative and communally elected body called the Constituent Assembly formulated and adopted the Constitution. They declared that “we, the people” have given to ourselves this Constitution, a blatant lie.
For the past 66 years, the traitorous classes which gained power through a backroom deal have preserved in tact the colonial style bureaucracy, communally organised armed forces, the corrupt police, judiciary and other arms of the repressive apparatus, the “rule of law” and “good governance” that the British left behind. Today the big capitalists are wielding this State to expand their global empire, colluding and contending with other imperialist powers.
In summary, the Indian State, which is called a Republic, is in fact an instrument for an exploiting minority to hold down and super-exploit the toiling majority. It is an instrument for Indian and foreign capitalists to plunder the resources of all nations, nationalities and peoples within India, and for Indian capitalists to expand their sphere of influence globally. Far from being a factor for unity and harmony among the peoples, it is an organ of national oppression and a factor for disunity and strife. It is based on brute force and monopoly of armed might along with an elitist colonial style bureaucracy. This is the foundation, upon which operates a political process that creates the false impression that people are electing the government of their choice.
The 66th birth anniversary of the Indian Republic is an occasion for the workers, peasants, women and youth of all nations, nationalities and peoples to confront and respond to the necessity for reconstituting this Republic on a new foundation.
Program of Navnirman
When the foundation of a building is rotten, the solution is to break it down and build afresh, starting with a brand new foundation. The foundation of the Indian Republic is thoroughly rotten and beyond repair. We, the people, need to establish a new foundation.
In place of the existing State which maintains an economic system geared to enrich capitalist monopolies, we need a State that would reorient the economy to fulfil the rising material and cultural needs of the entire population. In place of the existing instrument of capitalist rule, we need to lay the foundation of a State which will be an instrument of rule by the toiling majority, led by the working class. The means of large-scale production, trade and finance must be brought under social ownership, depriving big capitalists of the means to loot the public and set the economic agenda. The entire process of social production and distribution can then be planned to ensure secure livelihood and prosperity for all. Social control over large-scale trade will make it possible for the State to guarantee reliable input supply for agriculture and guaranteed procurement of peasants’ produce at stable and remunerative prices. The new State will extend generous aid to the peasants to form cooperatives, so as to raise the scale and productivity of agricultural production.
The existing party system and electoral process serve to impose the dictate of the big capitalists on society. We need a new system of democracy, based on a new Constitution that vests sovereignty in the hands of the people, instead of in the President within Parliament, following the advice of the Cabinet. People must enjoy the right to select candidates for election, to hold those elected to account and recall them at any time, and the right to initiate legislation. There must be an elected non-partisan Constituency Committee in every electoral constituency to ensure that everyone is able to exercise the above-mentioned political rights. In place of the existing Indian Union which is a prison-house of nations and peoples, we need to reconstitute India as a voluntary union of national republics. Every national republic must have only those powers delegated to it by the people of that republic. The union must only have those powers that all the national republics willingly delegate to it. All residual powers must remain with the people, exercised through their constituency committees.
The new State will not tolerate any act of oppression or discrimination on the basis of caste, gender, nationality, race or religious belief. The right to conscience will be protected universally, with the only exception being those who wish to trample on the rights of others. A portion of the social surplus produced by the collective labour of the working people will be deployed to fulfil the claims of those who are physically or mentally challenged or disadvantaged by a history of discrimination and oppression. Through additional effort, the State will ensure that all sections of society are able to participate as equals in all aspects of social life, including in productive work and political representation.
A voluntary Indian Union, with power vested in the people’s hands, would create the conditions for overcoming the bitter legacy of the communal Partition. It would end the legacy of mutual suspicion, discord and war between India and Pakistan. It would enable all the peoples and nations of South Asia to unite and keep all foreign powers and their agencies out of this region. It would enable divided nations to reunite if they so wish.
Present Dangerous Course
An extremely dangerous situation is being created at this time by the aggressive drive of the big capitalists of our country. They are opening up India for maximum plunder and rapidly beefing up the armed might of the Republic, so as to achieve their imperialist ambition of joining the elite club of the biggest powers of the world. The Indian Republic is being armed to the teeth, not for protecting our people from external enemies but for advancing the interests of Indian capitalists at home and abroad.
The big capitalists of our country consider the entire region of the Indian Ocean as part of their sphere of influence. They are eyeing markets and sources of raw materials in Russia, Central Asia, Africa, South East Asia and other regions. They are trying to pursue their own imperialist interests by engaging with the Anglo-American and French imperialists, as well as the Russian, Chinese and other big powers. They are collaborating and contending with US imperialism, the most dangerous aggressive power in the world.
As they expand their tentacles abroad, more and more sectors of the Indian economy are being opened up for foreign monopoly corporations to penetrate. Increasing integration with the crisis-ridden global imperialist system, pursued by successive governments headed by Congress, BJP and others, has led to huge fluctuations in commodity prices. It has led to heightened insecurity and widespread ruination. The fate of workers and peasants is increasingly being determined by the ups and downs of the global capitalist economy. Rapid militarisation and domestic production of war equipment under the “Make in India” program will add to the parasitism of the economy and to the burden of public debt on the heads of our people, as well as to the danger of war in this region.
The world situation today is characterised by intensifying rivalry and conflict among several imperialist powers and monopoly capitalist combines. The drive of US imperialism to conquer Asia, as a stepping stone to conquer the world, is the main roadblock to peace in the entire continent. The US is actively inciting enmity among different countries in Asia, as well as inciting sectarian conflicts, to set Asian people against one another, so as to weaken and conquer them all. It has been organising false flag terrorist acts in various places to advance its interests. History has provided ample evidence of the fact that US imperialism is the principal sponsor of terrorism, of interventions to destabilise regimes, incitement of civil war, breaking up of states and redrawing of boundaries, all to suit its own hegemonic aims.
As part of its game plan in South Asia, the US imperialists want a situation of “no war, no peace” between Indian and Pakistan. Whenever the states of India and Pakistan try to normalise their relations, the US imperialists make sure that some provocation is organised, such as terrorist acts or border clashes, to undermine the peace process. Meanwhile they issue sermons about peace to the rulers of India and Pakistan, while reaping maximum profits by selling the most sophisticated war equipment to both.
The US imperialists are actively mobilising India to join a military axis to encircle China at this time. The Anglo-American imperialists are encouraging the imperialist ambitions of the Indian rulers while at the same time taking measures to ensure that India does not become a threat to their interests in the region. The Asia Pivot Policy of US imperialism and the imperialist ambitions which are driving India to militarize rapidly and enter warmongering alliances, together pose the main danger to peace in South Asia.
To fulfil the greed and global ambitions of about 150 big business houses in India, the entire people are being burdened with intensified exploitation and plunder, public debt, state terrorism, foreign interference and the danger of being embroiled in unjust wars.
It is we – the workers, peasants, women and youth of all the nations, nationalities and tribal peoples in our country – who have the interest and the capacity to halt the present dangerous course of India. There is an urgent need for all of us to unite around an immediate program to curb the plunder of our land and labour, halt the imperialist drive of the big bourgeoisie and lay the foundation for the working people to rule and ensure a human-centred economic orientation.
On the occasion of the 66th anniversary of the Republic of India, Communist Ghadar Party calls on all those who are concerned about the fate and future of our society to unite to halt the dangerous course on which our rulers are dragging the country; and to get organised to lead the struggle for the Navnirman of this Republic.