Both BJP and Congress Party must be defeated!
Building worker-peasant united front is the only way forward!
These elections are taking place at a time when there is a huge widening gap between the tall claims of those in power and the actual conditions of life facing the vast majority of people.
There is a strong growing trend of united protest actions and agitations, by workers’ unions and peasant organisations.
Workers are protesting against privatisation and pro-capitalist labour law reforms and demanding their rights. Peasants are protesting against the lack of irrigation, high price of inputs and low prices at which they are compelled to sell their output, resulting in the accumulation of unbearable debt burden. Adivasis are fighting against forcible land acquisition, against corporate plunder of their natural resources and loot by state officials in collusion with private profiteers.
People's organisations are unitedly voicing their opposition to state terrorism. They are opposing the state sponsored targeting of people on the basis of their religion, caste, region, or language, and standing in defence of the rights of all.
The big bourgeoisie and the monopoly controlled media are promoting these state elections as a contest between their two favorite parties — the BJP and the Congress. They are promoting it as a "semi-final" before the General Elections to parliament.
BJP came to power at the center in May 2014, promising “sab ka vikas” or development for all. It promised to create 10 crore jobs in five years. It promised that peasant incomes will be doubled. It promised a “new India”, a society free from corruption, poverty and all other ills, for which it blames the Congress Party.
BJP’s promises have been proved to be empty. Its government has pursued the same program of globalization, through liberalization and privatization even more vigorously than the previous Congress led UPA government. The conditions of the toiling majority are steadily deteriorating. Anti-worker and pro capitalist labour laws have been passed in the name of “ease of doing business”. Unemployment is growing rapidly, and the peasantry is being ruined, while the Tatas, Ambanis, Birlas and other capitalist monopoly houses have grown enormously rich. The Note ban and the GST has ruined lakhs of small businesses. The Rafale deal has exposed the fact that there is no change as far as high level corruption is concerned.
There is an escalation in communal terror against religious minorities and in atrocities against Dalits. Physical attacks and murders in the name of cow protection have become commonplace. BJP is resorting to communal and caste polarization so as to divert people and make them fight among themselves. The demand for a Ram Mandir at Ayodhya is being revived once again. New controversies are being created, such as the one concerning Sabarimala.
While BJP is openly communal and chauvinistic, Congress Party hides its divisive politics under the cloak of secularism. History shows that Congress Party has the longest track record of unleashing state terrorism and communal violence to keep the toiling majority of people terrorized, divided and diverted from their real enemies. It is the oldest and most trusted party of the ruling class. It has been trained since British colonial times in the tactics of divide and rule, while swearing by secularism and “communal harmony”.
As far as the toiling majority of people are concerned, Congress Party is not an alternative to BJP. Both are thoroughly anti worker and anti-peasant. Both are trusted parties of the monopoly capitalists. Both these parties must be defeated.
Political system designed to keep people out of power
The capitalist class, headed by the monopoly houses, uses elections as a means of deceiving the people and setting them against one another. They use elections to replace one of their trusted parties by another of their trusted parties, so as to pursue their same old program while creating the illusion that something has changed for the better.
When the Congress-headed United Progressive Alliance got discredited, the capitalist monopoly houses promoted BJP as the “clean alternative”. As BJP and its leader Modi get discredited, the monopoly capitalist media has started promoting Congress as the “secular alternative”.
The existing political system of parliamentary democracy and the process of periodic elections in this system are designed to keep political power firmly in the hands of trusted representatives of the monopoly houses.
The Constitution of India does not vest sovereignty in the people. Sovereignty is vested in the President in Parliament, who is bound to follow the advice of the Cabinet headed by the Prime Minister. A small coterie runs the country in the interest of a super-rich minority.
The declaration of a National Emergency in 1975, which deprived people of their fundamental rights, and the announcement of the Note Ban in 2016, which deprived people of their cash, are just two examples of the extremely high degree of concentration of decision-making power. The existing Constitution legalizes rule by decree by the Executive, on behalf of the most powerful economic interests. The increasingly frequent resort to ordinances and bypassing of institutional and procedural norms are exposing that Supreme Power is in the hands of the big bourgeoisie.
The capitalist monopoly houses fund the campaigns of their trusted parties. They own and control the main TV news channels, through which they carry out propaganda in favor of the party of their choice. Candidates of the working class and intermediate strata of society face an extremely uneven playing field.
Election campaigns are used by the ruling class to deepen divisions among the people and to select a suitable management team. That party is selected, which can most effectively fool the people while implementing what the monopoly capitalists want.
People’s role in the political process begins and ends on voting day. They have no say in decision making. They have no way to hold the elected representatives and the government to account.
The way forward
Communists must openly tell the truth to the people that it is not possible for people to establish their rule through the present system of party dominated representative democracy. We must propagate the need for an alternative system in which people will be able to set the agenda and govern themselves.
Our political aim is the replacement of capitalist rule by workers’ and peasants’ rule. Only then will people be able to reorient the economy to ensure prosperity for all.
Workers’ and peasants’ rule must reconstitute political power to ensure that sovereignty vests in the people. People will part with only some of their powers to the elected bodies. All residual powers must vest with the people.
All human, democratic and national rights must be constitutionally guaranteed and enforceable.
The immediate task facing communists is to mobilise the working class, peasantry and all the exploited and oppressed around this program of Navnirman. Communists must reject parliamentary cretinism as well as the line of individual terrorism, both of which are the biggest roadblocks to building the worker peasant united front.