Statement of the Central Committee of Communist Ghadar Party of India, 9th February, 2014
Addressing the country on the eve of the 65th Republic Day, President Pranab Mukherjee repeated the worn out assertion of the ruling class that the Republic’s fundamental structure, institutions, the economic base and its political super-structure are the best in the world. He claimed that Indian democracy has the potential to secure the ideals of justice, liberty and equality for every citizen. At the same time, he cautioned the political parties engaged in the campaign for the coming General Elections, “those who seek the trust of voters must promise only what is possible. Government is not a charity shop. False promises lead to disillusionment, which gives birth to rage, and that rage has one legitimate target: those in power.”
In saying this, the President was endorsing the view of the monopoly capitalists and their economists that governments must only focus on guaranteeing maximum profits for the big corporations and banks, while spending the barest minimum on ensuring basic services for the public. According to this logic, the owners of capital have the first claim on the social product that is created by the toil of workers and peasants. Those who toil are expected to be content with whatever crumbs are thrown to them, as some kind of largesse of the bourgeoisie.
The fact is that it is the labour of the workers, peasants and all toilers which creates value in society. The government collects a portion of that value as taxes, deducting it from the hard earned incomes of the working people, and through indirect taxes on the goods and services they purchase in the market. The government collects this revenue for the avowed purpose of looking after the general interests of society, including the provision of infrastructure and basic services to the people.
In the existing Republic that the President heads, the monopoly corporations and banks lay first claim on the revenues collected by the central government. The government spends billions of rupees on annual debt service payments to the banks and other institutions of finance capital, on tax waivers and subsidies to capitalist monopolies and in guaranteeing assured returns on their capital, on purchasing arms and military equipment, in maintaining army rule in “disturbed areas”, in providing VIP security and such like unproductive spending. After all this, it throws a few crumbs, from what is left over, to the people and deems it to be “charity”!
From ancient times, the people of the Indian subcontinent have believed that the prosperity and protection of the people is paramount and it is the responsibility of the State to ensure this is guaranteed for all. The President of the Indian Republic is trampling this principle in the mud when he says it is irresponsible for a political party to promise such a thing. He is blatantly attacking the right of every family to have enough nutritious food to eat, a comfortable home, good education, access to clean water, sanitation and health services, as a minimum in this day and age. These are not things that can be left to the discretion of political parties in power, to give at one time and take away at another time. These are rights that must be guaranteed in the Constitution as universal and inviolable.
There is great anger amongst our people about the rapid enrichment of a few multi-billionaires at the cost of the well-being of the toiling majority. People are fed up with the hollow promises made by successive governments while their conditions only get worse. They are increasingly angry and disgusted at the loot and plunder by Indian and foreign capitalists and the daily exposure of bigger and bigger scams.
Working people can see that the government, Parliament, ruling and opposition parties, the judiciary, bureaucracy and armed forces, or in short, the entire State apparatus is in the service of the big capitalists of India Incorporated. This is why the President has sought it fit to warn the political parties that people are enraged at broken promises and it would be wiser not to promise at all!
Today, the Tatas, Ambanis and other Indian capitalist houses are taking out enormous amounts of the wealth produced by Indian workers and peasants and investing it abroad to exploit others. The toiling masses of people in our country are being exploited more intensely by Indian and foreign capital. Our productive forces are being drained for the sake of fulfilling the greed of a few private profiteers. One by one, government has withdrawn itself from the responsibility to ensure the provision of essential services to the people, arguing that it is “not possible” to do so. The honourable President has no answer as to why the productive forces of our country cannot be deployed according to a social plan, aimed at fulfilling the rising material and cultural needs of the entire population. Then we must ask the question: Why should we continue to put up with this system if it is only possible to satisfy the claims of the richest elite?
Communist Ghadar Party declares that it is perfectly possible to fulfill the material needs of all human beings and guarantee steady prosperity of every working family in society, provided the greed of private profiteers is not allowed first claim on the product of social labour.
India is endowed with abundant natural resources and a youthful human workforce, with which enough can be produced to fulfill not only basic needs but also ensure prosperity for all. What is blocking the way to the realisation of this possibility is the concentration of ownership of the means of production in a few private hands, leading to the domination of the exorbitant claims of capitalist monopolies for the maximum rate of return on every rupee they advance. This orientation of the economy has to be turned around completely.
The first and essential step is for the working class to forge a political alliance with the peasantry and all oppressed sections of our society, to establish the new political power of those who toil. Such a power will halt the drain of wealth from our country, issue a moratorium on debt service payments to the institutions of finance capital and cut back on arms and other unproductive spending, as part of reorienting public finances towards ensuring basic public services for all.
The workers’ and peasants’ power will bring the means of production under social and collective ownership and control. It will convert capitalist private property into the property of the different nations, nationalities and peoples, and into the property of the entire people of India. This will lay the basis for ensuring that the entire economy is geared to fulfill the rising needs of the people.
The creation of a modern Public Distribution System will be put on priority under workers’ and peasants’ rule. Nationalization of foreign trade, domestic wholesale trade and large-scale retail trade will ensure that all essentials of mass consumption will be available to all toilers at affordable prices and in adequate quantity and of good quality. It will also ensure stable and remunerative prices for the peasants’ produce. Basic services of water, power, housing, education and health will be provided by the state free of cost or at affordable rates, and will not be a source of maximum private profits in the hands of the capitalist monopolies.
All the available human and material productive forces will be deployed for fulfilling the ever-rising needs of the population. Everyone in the towns and villages will be provided with work and secure livelihood.
The workers’ and peasants’ power will encourage and support voluntary collectivisation of peasant farms. Land, which is a social resource, will not be allowed to be acquired in the interest of capitalist corporations and for speculation. The use of land will be based on the principle of harmonizing the interests of different users with one another and with the general interest of society.
The anarchy and insecurity that we experience today will be ended and replaced with conscious planning to ensure that the resources of the country, both natural and human, are applied in the most optimum way to provide for every person in society. The social surplus will be invested to raise the living standards of the working people, protect the natural environment and ensure the extended reproduction of society without any crisis.
The President also spoke of the necessity to “rediscover the sense of national purpose”. The national purpose he is alluding to is the same purpose that the ruling class has pursued in all these decades, in the name of the people. That is, to completely integrate India into the world imperialist system, and to stand at the head of a capitalist imperialist India, exploiting the full potential of the country’s natural and human resources for its selfish end. It is with this purpose, that the Indian ruling class took over the reins of power from the British, and has perfected the system further. The working class and people are firmly opposed to this purpose.
We must never forget that the class which is leading our country on a dangerous imperialist course today is the same class that betrayed the best aspirations of our people and the aims of the anti-colonial struggle in 1947.
A new beginning, to open the road to deep-going social transformation, is the need of the hour. Only a Ghadar led by the working class can fulfil the aspirations and sense of national purpose that inspired our revolutionary martyrs of 1857, as well as others before and after that great revolt.
The working class has to shape the future of India, leading the toiling majority of people in building a system where prosperity and protection will rightfully belong to every working person. The communists have to enable the working class to fulfill this historic mission.