Statement of the Central Committee of Communist Ghadar Party of India, 28th August, 2011
As part of the efforts of the ruling class to prettify the corrupt party dominated system, the UPA government initiated the process of formulating a Lokpal Bill. Its aim was to create an anti-corruption agency under the control of the party in power, and to do so by following a so-called consultative process. The government hoped to satisfy international capitalist investors as well as appease domestic critics through such a “governance reform”.
The ground swell of anger and disgust with the existing corrupt state and super-exploitative system was so strong that consultations on the Lokpal Bill gave rise to a truly mass movement, which the government did not expect. Far from shoring up the credibility of the party dominated political system, the mass anti-corruption agitation headed by Anna Hazare has pushed all parties in Parliament on the defensive. It has further deepened the crisis within these parties and in the system they dominate.
The government wanted to create an authority that would only investigate corruption involving senior officials. The Anna team and other organisations of the people said: No, we want the concerns of all the people to be addressed, and therefore the jurisdiction of the Lokpal must cover all levels of governance. The government went ahead with its own narrow version, but has been forced to backtrack. The Parliament has been compelled to discuss the immediate demands of Anna Hazare and his team.What the people’s agitation has managed to achieve is to pressurise the parties in Parliament into action. The satyagraha of Anna and numerous people who voluntarily joined him has inspired the toiling majority of people and given them enormous confidence. The partial gain achieved so far has shown people what collective mass political action can achieve.
The mass agitation has raised the level of consciousness about the fundamental flaw in the existing system of democracy, in which big business interests and their corrupt parties control the Lok Sabha. It has further exposed multi-party representative democracy as a process designed to permit the biggest exploiters, corrupt ministers and officials to loot and plunder our land and labour.
People demanded a referendum on the jan Lokpal Bill, drafted by persons outside Parliament. The government did not accept this demand. All the parties that benefit from the existing corrupt system, including Congress, BJP and CPI(M), wanted decision-making power to be kept strictly within Parliament.
The fundamental flaw in the existing system of democracy is precisely that it excludes the vast majority of people from the decision making process. Parties financed by big capitalists have the major say in selecting candidates for election, in forming governments and in passing laws. People have a marginal role and only on polling day. The mass agitation for a people’s Lokpal Bill has highlighted this fundamental flaw.
The question that has assumed centre-stage by the development of events is where supreme power lies, and where it must lie. Who is sovereign? Is the people’s will supreme or is the will of Parliament or will of Cabinet supreme?
Rahul Gandhi, speaking in the Lok Sabha, argued that the agitation against corruption must not be continued any further because it poses a threat to “supremacy of parliament”. This argument is repeated by various defenders and apologists for the status quo, who wish to hide the fact that parliament is dominated by parties of vested interests, which is why millions are on the streets.
Our martyrs of 1857 declared that “Hindostan belongs to us! We are her masters!” The end of colonial rule in 1947 did not end the colonial legacy of a corrupt state that defends a system of ruthless plunder by an exploiting minority. Sovereignty was transferred from the British Crown to the Indian Parliament, but it did not reach the hands of the masses of our people. Today the people are demanding what belongs to them. They are saying: We do not trust you, the corrupt parties of big capital!
The duty of communists is to utilise the political crisis of Indian democracy to put forward and agitate for the alternative. This is what Marx and Engels meant when they wrote in the Communist Manifesto that the proletariat must “win the battle of democracy”. The Communist Ghadar Party of India has put forward the vision of a modern democracy that would affirm the will of the toiling majority of people.
All the parties in Parliament have been thrown into internal crisis, as their own rank and file members have been inspired by the mass movement. The left parties in Parliament are also facing internal crises. They have lost face among the toiling masses by defending the supremacy of Parliament and criticising the mass agitation as being a “middle class” movement.
The Communist Ghadar Party of India believes that the times are calling on all progressive forces to unite around the program to end the party system of governance and vest sovereignty in the hands of the workers, peasants, women and youth of all nationalities of India.
In order to take control of our destiny and deploy the resources of this land and our labour power for our common benefit, the working people need to replace the party system of governance with new mechanisms and a political process that will ensure that the people are the masters. We need a new Constitution that would be the fundamental law governing the new political system.
The present talk-shop parliament and state assemblies must be replaced with bodies that combine delegated decision-making power with the responsibility to ensure their implementation.
People cannot hand over all power into the hands of their elected representative. They must retain the power to demand accounts from their representative and to recall him or her at any time.
People must have the right to initiate new laws. Important decisions must require the approval of the majority of people through a referendum.
The right to select candidates for election must be taken out of the hands of political parties. The high command of parties must not be permitted to distribute tickets as they do today. All nominated candidates must go through a serious selection process, where people can present arguments to reject unsuitable candidates. Organisations of the people, including workers’ and peasants’ unions, women’s and youth organisations, must all be encouraged and enabled to nominate candidates for election.
Elected organs of power must be created at the base of society – samitis in every mohalla, every village, industrial area and college campus. Such organs must oversee the process of selecting candidates and enable people to exercise their right to reject and to approve, right to recall and to initiate legislation. Election expenses must be covered by the State, with equal time allocated on television and radio channels for all candidates.
The Indian Union must be reconstituted as a free and equal union of all nations, nationalities and tribal peoples constituting today’s India.
This is the Navnirman of India, for which the conditions at this time are crying out. It is the logical path of evolution of the mass agitation that is developing at this time.
The working class, led by its vanguard party, will use such a modern democracy to win over the vast majority of people to march steadily on the road of revolutionary transformation from capitalism to socialism and communism, the abolition of all forms of exploitation and corruption, and all class and caste distinctions in society.
Brashtachar ki Ek hi Ilaaj -- Lok Raj, Lok Raj!
Nayi Sadi ki Hai Yeh Maang – Hindostan ka Navnirman!
Hum hai iske maalik! Hum hai Hindostan!
Mazdoor, Kisan, Aurat aur Jawan!