Which way forward for India?
Statement of the Central Committee of Communist Ghadar Party of India, 15th August, 2016
The Government of India has made preparations for celebrating the 70th Independence Day with great pomp and pride. However, there is serious concern among the vast majority of our people about where Indian society is headed today, 69 years after the end of British colonial rule.
Prime Minister Modi is preparing to deliver one more of his demagogic speeches on this occasion, promising “development for all” as India marches towards big power status within the imperialist system of states. To promise what people like to hear, while delivering what the biggest capitalists of India and the world want, has been the hallmark of the prime ministers who have preceded him, since Jawaharlal Nehru. While Prime Minister Modi claims to be heralding a “new dawn” in Indian politics, experience so far reveals that he is no different when it comes to saying one thing and doing the opposite.
The past two years have shown that “development”, or more precisely maximum rates of profit, continues to be guaranteed only for big monopoly capitalists and foreign investors, while the toiling majority of people suffer from unaffordable food prices, increased working hours, enormous uncertainty and insecurity of livelihood.
In the name of “Make in India” and improving the “ease of doing business”, more and more sectors have been opened up to foreign capital. Our youthful working class is being offered for super-exploitation, with no legal protection of labour rights. Attempts are continuing to be made to amend the proposed Land Acquisition law to make it easier for capitalist monopolies to acquire whatever tracts of land they want for their private profit maximizing ventures, just as in colonial times.
On assuming charge two years ago, Prime Minister Modi promised “cooperative federalism”, meaning that his government will respect the aspirations of all the constituents of the Union. However, more than one elected state government has been destabilized by the party ruling at the centre. Of greater concern is the continuing state terrorism and army rule in the Northeast and in Kashmir, with AFSPA still in place.
Conditions have significantly deteriorated in Kashmir in recent months. Hundreds of boys and girls have been blinded for life through the deliberate use of pellet guns by the Indian armed forces stationed in Kashmir. All sections of the people in the valley have come onto the streets demanding justice and human rights. The Jammu and Kashmir High Court has been compelled to admonish the Union Government, pointing out that those being attacked by the armed forces are “your own people”!
Two years ago, Prime Minister Modi called for a moratorium on communal violence and divisive politics for at least 10 years. Over the past two years, communal and divisive politics has further spread its poisonous influence. Every state assembly election has been turned into an occasion for polarizing voters on the basis of religion and caste; and the BJP has been as active as the Congress and other parties in practising such divisive politics. Persecution of religious minorities in the name of cow protection, discrimination and oppression of dalits, harassment and rape of women and girls – all these have gone from bad to worse.
In the name of nationalism, the BJP-led NDA Government has been persecuting university students who speak out against oppression and injustice, charging them with Sedition. Anyone who publicly supports the cause of freedom for the Kashmiri people from army rule and gross violation of their rights is branded as a “Pakistani agent” and alleged to be a threat to “national unity and territorial integrity” of India.
While Prime Minister Modi promised to improve India’s relations with all our neighbouring countries, relations with Pakistan have not improved. The Government of India has been interfering in the internal affairs of Nepal and other countries as well. It has not stopped blaming Pakistan for every terror attack that takes place in our country. Moreover, the Prime Minister has started giving justifications for Indian interference in Baluchistan.
Far from defending the sovereignty of all South Asian states from foreign interference, the Modi Government is stepping up intelligence and military collaboration with the US imperialists, who pose the greatest danger to peace in this region. It is entering into agreements with the US for collaborating in arms production, logistical support to each other’s war machines and for further expanding the scope for using drones in this region, in the name of fighting terrorism.
All of these phenomena show that in spite of the “new dawn” being proclaimed by the Prime Minister, the reality is that the old system continues and the mandate of this government is to more aggressively implement the same program that was being pursued by the previous government.
While BJP and Congress Party fight bitterly with each other, this fight is over who should manage the executive power of the State and implement the agenda of the big bourgeoisie. Both BJP and Congress represent the same class interests and are committed to implement the same anti-social “reform” program for the benefit of the capitalist monopolies and their imperialist allies.
While the exploited and oppressed majority of Indians are questioning our past and wondering about what the future holds, the big capitalists have much to celebrate on 15th August. The transfer of power that took place on this day 69 years ago made them the master of India. The longstanding aspiration of the peoples of this subcontinent, expressed in the words of the martyrs of 1857 that “Hindustan belongs to us – We are her master!” was betrayed.
Sovereignty was transferred from London to New Delhi in 1947 but it did not reach the masses of Indian people. Control over the elaborate apparatus of political power that the British bourgeoisie had built to enslave and plunder India for their own benefit, came into the hands of the Indian big capitalists, who were allied with the big landlords and other parasitic and traitorous elements.
The big bourgeoisie has used the State it inherited to consolidate its political supremacy, accumulate its wealth and extend its domination to all sectors of the economy and all regions within the territory of the Indian Union. By now this has reached a stage when the Indian big bourgeoisie wants to accelerate capitalist growth in our country by attracting foreign capitalists to invest in all possible sectors, and use this as the springboard for the expansion of Indian capital in foreign lands.
The Indian big bourgeoisie is striving to become part of the elite club of big powers that dominate the world, while our society is yet to liberate itself from the exploitative economic system and the oppressive and divisive political institutions and mechanisms established by the British ruling class to enslave all Indians.
India remains a member of the British Commonwealth and continues to follow the Westminster model of parliamentary democracy. The armed forces and the bureaucracy continue to be organised in colonial style, defending the same “Rule of Law” that was established to enslave and plunder India. The English language continues to dominate official business. It is the only language used in the highest level of courts and in presenting the annual budget of the Union of India.
While BJP claims to be restoring “Hindu pride” and the Congress Party claims to be defending the “secular fabric” of India, both these parties worship the political institutions, property relations and “Rule of Law” created and left behind by the British colonialists. They play complementary roles in implementing the tactics of divide and rule; they are both guilty of the most horrific communal crimes against our people.
The labour and resources of our country continue to be exploited and plundered for the benefit of a minority of exploiters. Private wealth is getting concentrated in fewer and fewer hands, with the richest 1% of the population raising their share of the country’s wealth from 39% in 2000 to 57% in 2015.
The imperialist tactic of divide and rule has been used in the past to partition India. There is a real danger that it could be used again, to break up the Indian Union into smaller states that can be more easily dominated by foreign powers. This danger is aggravated by the narrow-minded imperialist pursuit of the Indian big bourgeoisie and the brutal suppression of national movements within the country. National oppression as well as communal and caste conflicts within India provide favorable terrain for foreign powers to exploit.
In short, the big bourgeoisie has reduced independence to mean only freedom for itself to expand its wealth and seek global domination. It has trampled in the mud the cause of freedom from imperialism and all forms of enslavement, for which our martyrs laid down their lives. Its selfish imperialist drive is accentuating antagonisms among the sister peoples of South Asia, and increasing the danger of war in this region.
The leadership of society by the bourgeois class is in direct opposition to the interests and aspirations of the vast majority of our people. The aim and aspiration of our revolutionary martyrs since the Great Ghadar of 1857 was that once the alien ruler is driven out, we the people must establish our own political and economic system. This goal was betrayed by the traitorous big bourgeoisie in 1947, represented by the leaders of the Congress Party and Muslim League, who collaborated in the communal Partition.
The time has come to reconstitute India on the basis of affirming the rights and fulfilling the longstanding aspirations of all our peoples. This task can be carried out only if the proletariat takes the lead. Among all the exploited and oppressed masses of people, the proletariat is the special product of large-scale social production. It has both the interest and the capacity to lead the struggle against all forms of exploitation through to the end.
The most organised sections of the working class are coming together today to mount a united opposition to the capitalist offensive. There is need for unified communist leadership of this growing working class opposition, to make it a political force capable of leading the vast majority of our people and shaping the course of Indian society.
We communists must ensure that all sections of the class unite and agitate for an immediate halt to the capitalist program and the attacks on workers’ rights. We must lead the working class to demand immediate nationalization and social control over banking and large-scale trade, as measures needed to bring down the soaring prices of essential goods and services. We must make the class conscious of the necessity to establish workers’ and peasants’ rule in place of the rule of the capitalist class, so as to lift Indian society out of crisis and embark on the high road of civilization.
For India to be free and independent, it is essential that every part, every section of our people, are free from oppression or discrimination of any kind. With this enlightened outlook, the working class must demand and fight for the reconstitution of the Indian Union on a voluntary basis. This means a new Constitution that guarantees equality of political rights, including the rights of every nation, nationality and tribal people. This would put a complete end to the colonial legacy. It would create favourable conditions for those nations that were divided by the communal Partition to reunite if they so desire. It would be a bulwark against any external imperialist attempt at destabilization.
The existing political system, which is designed to exclude the vast majority from decision-making power, needs to be replaced with a superior system that vests decision-making power in the hands of the people. Workers, peasants, women and youth must be able to select and elect their representatives from among their peers and occupy the majority of seats in decision-making bodies. Only such political parties must be allowed to operate, which are committed to keep decision-making power in the hands of the people, by providing them with the vision and leading force with which they can direct the society.
The strategic aim of the working class is to put an end to the crisis-ridden capitalist system, which is the condition for completing the anti-feudal, anti-colonial and anti-imperialist struggle. By converting the means of social production from private property into social and collective property, the working class will lead the project of building a self-reliant and dynamic socialist economy. Such an economy will ensure that the surplus created by the labour of Indians is put back to enhance the means of production and standard of living of all. It will eliminate exploitation of the majority by a minority. It will be independent of the imperialist system, and contribute to the struggle to put an end to that system on the global scale.
On the occasion of the 70th Independence Day, Communist Ghadar Party calls on all communists, all parties and organisations of workers, peasants, women, youth, oppressed nations, nationalities and peoples, victims of state terrorism and communal violence, to unite firmly around the program to reconstitute the Indian Union on a voluntary basis, redefine the political process to empower the people, and reorient the economy to provide for all!
Unite around the program for the Navnirman of India!