Statement of the Communist Ghadar Party of India, March 14, 2002
All over the country, workers and working people are protesting against the onslaught on their livelihood and rights. A fierce clash is developing between the working class and the ruling big bourgeoisie. Globalisation through liberalisation and privatisation—this is the mantra of the international bourgeoisie, which is being repeated by India’s rulers.
Rob the poor and plunder the country to fatten the rich and the imperialists. This is the course through which the Tatas, Ambanis, Birlas and others want to emerge as global players using India as their jagir. They do not care about the disastrous consequences for workers and peasants, youth and students, the middle strata, small business and the masses of our people.
The bourgeoisie is repeating many lies to befuddle the minds of the people about the real aim and content of the privatisation program. The bourgeois propaganda creates the impression that privatisation is good for the consumers, that it is good for society and therefore the trade unions are blocking social progress by opposing privatisation. This propaganda offensive has to be defeated. The unity of the workers and the consumers, including broad sections of the middle strata, is the key to success in the struggle against privatisation.
It is clear to the working class that the privatisation of Modern Foods, for instance, is against the interests of workers. It led to the loss of jobs for many workers and to more intense exploitation for the rest. The bourgeoisie claims that this is a small cost to pay for the sake of benefiting the consumers. But has the privatisation of Modern Foods benefited the consumers of bread, including millions of workers, peasants and middle class families all over the country? The sale of Modern Foods to Hindustan Lever has resulted in bread becoming more costly, without any increase in quality. Under private corporate ownership, the consumers also face a bigger threat of nutrition value going down in the future, at the altar of private profit.
In each and every case of privatisation, an examination of the facts reveals the lying propaganda of the bourgeoisie. The facts are showing that privatisation is not only an anti-worker program, it is anti-social and anti-national as well. Just look at the results of the power sector privatisation program in Orissa. Prices have gone up many times for the peasants and for the poor and middle class families in the towns. Power theft by the rich has not ended. In addition, the private owners also claim their pound of flesh, adding to the burden on the backs of the toiling masses.
Privatisation is part of the anti-labour and anti-social offensive of the bourgeoisie. As part of this offensive, the bourgeoisie also has plans to amend Labour Laws to strengthen the hands of capitalists to attack the rights of the working class—hiring and firing at will. The Vajpayee Government has temporarily shelved these amendments. They were not announced in the Budget Speech. Why? Because the Government knows that the working class is united in its opposition to these anti-labour amendments; that this unity cuts across party barriers. The rulers want to wait for the opportune time to implement the attack on the legal front.
It is possible to block the privatisation program of the bourgeoisie, provided two conditions are fulfilled. First, the working class needs to unite across party and trade union affiliation so as to organise massive actions against privatisation. Second, the working class has to win over a sizable section of the middle strata onto its side. If these two conditions are fulfilled, then it is possible to block the privatisation program.
The struggle to block the privatisation program is part of the overall struggle to defeat the anti-social offensive of the bourgeoisie. This anti-social offensive consists of the draconian POTA and other fascist measures of the State in the name of waging a "war against terrorism". It consists of the warmongering against Pakistan and massing of troops along the border. It consists of the increasing use of the Army and paramilitary forces to crush the people in the name of security and "law and order". It consists of state-organised communal violence to set people against one another and drown in blood their common struggle against the bourgeoisie. It consists of the stepped up military collaboration between India and the US.
It is one offensive, one program behind which stands the big bourgeois class and all their parties, headed by the BJP and the Congress Party. This offensive can be defeated provided the working class leads the struggle as one struggle in defence of the rights of all the toilers and oppressed.
Let us target those sectors where the consumers can be mobilised to oppose privatisation! Let us target the weak points of the bourgeoisie so as to block the privatisation program through mass united actions!
Let us organise to block the privatisation program as an important step in defeating the anti-social offensive of the bourgeoisie!
Let us organise to defeat the bourgeois offensive as the necessary condition for carrying out the democratic renewal of India and the construction of socialism through the revolution!