Call of the Communist Ghadar Party of India on the occasion of Elections to the State Assembly of Punjab, 20 January, 2017
Elections to the state assembly have been announced at a time when Punjab is facing a bleak future. In this most fertile land of the five rivers, peasants are being driven to suicide. Many farmers are selling their land and migrating to other parts of India or abroad. Industry remains under-developed and there is rampant unemployment. The youth of Punjab are among the worst victims of the criminalisation of politics and the state-organised drug trade.
The big capitalists of India and the big landlords of Punjab have collaborated in the loot and plunder of this land. They have reduced the nation of Punjab to a sorry state of high indebtedness and high emigration. While Punjabis have been among the biggest contributors in feeding the Indian population and in defending the country’s borders, their national rights as well as human rights have been and continue to be trampled in the mud.
The nation of Punjab was divided on the basis of religion in 1947. It was divided again in the sixties, on the basis of a so-called language formula. The struggle of the Punjabi people for their national rights was deliberately portrayed in communal colours in the eighties. State terrorism and communal division was imposed on Punjab. Thousands of youth were killed in encounters. An armed assault was launched by the Government of India on the Golden Temple. State-organised genocide was unleashed on Sikhs in November 1984.
As usual, the different parties which have been managing the Punjab government in the past are making all kinds of promises to the people in the run up to the elections next month. Life experience has shown that these periodic elections do not provide any solution. The replacement of Congress Party by Akali Dal allied with BJP did not bring justice to the victims of state terrorism. None of the killers of the youth of Punjab have been punished
A change of party through elections does not lead to any change in the capitalist system of exploitation or the oppressive nature of the Indian Union. The domination of about 150 monopoly houses over the economy and State continues. No matter how many times parties replace each other a tiny minority of super-rich families grow even richer every year. The conditions of workers and peasants go from bad to worse.
While waving the banner of anti-corruption, the BJP-led government of Modi has launched the Note Ban, whose real aim is to fulfil the greed of monopoly capitalists. It is a diabolical attack on the livelihood and rights of the working people. Can there be anything more corrupt than such a major public decision being taken in the private interests of a few capitalist monopoly houses?
Corruption is so deeply and widely entrenched within the Indian State that any anti-corruption drive sponsored by any ruling party of this State is a big fraud. Rival capitalist groups and parties use “anti-corruption” campaigns as part of their dogfight over the loot extracted from the people.
People of Punjab!
You are the inheritors of a great revolutionary tradition -- that of the Ghadaris who organised an armed uprising to overthrow British colonial rule about 100 years ago. Whether we talk of Comrade Sohan Singh Bhakna, Shaheed Kartar Singh Sarabha or Shaheed Bhagat Singh and his comrades, they all fought selflessly for the noble aim of national and social liberation. They fought for an India where workers and peasants would enjoy the fruits of their toil, without being exploited and robbed by foreign or Indian capitalists and landlords.
The Ghadaris believed and proclaimed that the peoples of India can be liberated only by completely getting rid of the institutions of State established by the British colonialists. They put forth the vision of a liberated India as a voluntary union of the different nations and peoples who have lived here for centuries. They recognised that we cannot win liberation through the political process of representation that the British rulers were creating. They fought to establish a new foundation, of a new State which would defend the rights of all the peoples and guarantee prosperity and protection for all.
The program and goal of the Ghadaris was betrayed in 1947. The big capitalists and big landlords usurped the right to formulate the Constitution. They decided to preserve the oppressive and divisive State and political process established by the British capitalist class to rule over India.
Communist Ghadar Party of India sincerely believes that the path of the Ghadaris is the only real path to national and social liberation for Punjab and for all the other nations and peoples of this subcontinent. We uphold the famous words of the Ghadaris: Our struggle will continue as long as a handful of men, be they foreign or native, or both in collaboration with each other, continue to exploit the labour and resources of our people. Nothing shall deter us from this path.
Facts show that the labour and resources of our people are still being exploited and plundered by native and foreign capitalists. White man’s rule has been replaced by the rule of an equally elitist and arrogant class which thinks that the toiling majority should live like animals while they aggressively pursue their narrow imperialist ambitions.
To follow the path of the Ghadaris means to reject the path of seeking to come to power through the existing electoral process and manage the existing State, allegedly in the interests of the working people. This is a path of deceiving the people. The truth is that the existing State is colonial, imperialist and thoroughly communal in character. It is an instrument of monopoly capitalist dictate. It cannot be used in the interests of the toiling majority. The existing political process serves the capitalist class to fight over the sharing of the loot.
To follow the path of the Ghadaris means to set our political aim as nothing less than a new system and State, marking a complete break with the colonial legacy. It means to lay down a new Constitution based on the principles that (i) sovereignty must be vested in the people; (ii) the State is duty bound to ensure prosperity and protection for all; and (iii) all national constituents of the Indian Union have the right to self-determination, including the right to secede from it.
Workers, peasants, women and youth must able to select the candidates prior to any election. Instead of handing over all power into the hands of those they elect, people must delegate only a part of their power. They must retain the right to demand a rendering of account by their elected representative, and to recall him or her at any time. They must enjoy the right to initiate legislation and policies. All residual powers must be vested in the people, including the right to reformulate the Constitution.
The immediate need is for all progressive and democratic forces to unite in defence of the people’s rights, against the dangerous imperialist warmongering course along which the capitalist monopolies are dragging our country. There is an urgent need to strengthen people’s committees in every locality, in the course of fighting against all attacks on our livelihood and rights.
Communist Ghadar Party calls on all the progressive and patriotic people of Punjab to rise to the occasion. Let us spread the word in every village as the Ghadaris did. Let us make sure that the people of Punjab wage the immediate struggle for their rights with the perspective of establishing that liberated India for which our martyrs sacrificed their lives.
Ghadar Jaari Hai!