The Working Class Must Fight For the Reorientation of the Economy!

Statement of the Maharashtra Regional Committee of the Communist Ghadar Party of India, November 2011

The result of the two decades of the so-called economic reform program since 1991 – the globalisation through liberalisation and privatisation program – has been highly uneven and lopsided economic growth.

Statement of the Maharashtra Regional Committee of the Communist Ghadar Party of India, November 2011

The result of the two decades of the so-called economic reform program since 1991 – the globalisation through liberalisation and privatisation program – has been highly uneven and lopsided economic growth. It has led to the intensification of class contradictions within our society. The monopoly capitalists, the most miniscule proportion of our population, have amassed enormous wealth in this period. The combined wealth of the 10 richest capitalists in our country reached the astronomical level of Rs. 8,40,000 crore in 2008, more than one-fifth the national income. The turnovers of the biggest capitalist groups in our country, the Tatas, Reliance and Birlas, have jumped to lakhs of crores from a few thousand crores twenty years ago. At the other pole, more than 80% of the rural population spent less than Rs. 900 per head every month, according to the National Sample Survey of 2006/07. This is equivalent to just Rs. 30 per day. Over 80% of the urban population spent less than Rs. 1800 per month or Rs. 60 per day. India remains the land of the maximum number of poor people, the maximum number of malnourished people, of high infant and maternal mortality. Even safe drinking water is not assured for millions of our people.

The fastest growing sectors of the economy in this period have been services for export markets, banking and other financial agencies, the land market, stock market and commodity futures markets. None of these activities add even one paisa to the real wealth of our country. They do not contribute to the living standards of the workers and peasants. The growth of the stock market and futures markets have enabled a few giant gamblers and profiteers to steal the value from the hands of smaller businesses and from the savings of working people.

If the fictitious value addition that is imputed to banking, trade, public administration and defence, discounted, the growth rate in the production of material wealth in our country is not as high as our rulers claim. It is obvious, for instance, that not enough is being produced of the various essential food items that working people need, which is reflected in the soaring food prices. Food price inflation is being further fuelled by speculative commodities trading and hoarding.

The program of globalisation, through liberalisation and privatisation, is aimed at enabling Indian monopoly capitalists to emerge as contenders for big power status on the global scale. It is based on intensified exploitation of labour and robbery of natural resources as the premise.It is an anti-worker, anti-peasant and anti-social program with imperialist aims.

The rupee has been devalued from Rs.18 to Rs.49 per US$ in this period. This has made production for foreign markets more profitable in comparison to producing for the domestic market. It has made investing in India more profitable for foreign companies and banks. Restrictions have been progressively removed from the path of domestic capitalist corporations to access financing from abroad and to acquire companies abroad.  The path has been cleared for foreign companies to invest in diverse sectors of industry and services in our country. Speculation is rampant and so are land scandals and various forms of swindling of public funds.

The capitalist propaganda claims that state control has been replaced by a free market. In actual fact, the competition in the market is highly uneven and monopolistic, with a few big players squeezing the small players dry. One form of control over the state by the monopoly houses – the Nehruvian model, which had reached a dead end for the big capitalists by the end of the decade of the eighties – has been replaced with another form of control by the same interests, at a higher level of domination and degree of monopoly.

The program of globalisation, through liberalisation and privatisation has been designed by a class of billionaire capitalists, who selected Manmohan Singh and his government to implement the program and at the same time justify it to people.

To justify and promote the program of big monopoly capital, the Manmohan Singh government claimed that once the wealthy start expanding their wealth at a rapid rate, it will trickle down to the toiling masses. When this did not happen, they claimed that further adjustments to the program would give it a ‘human face’. Then they further claimed that their party would make sure that rapid GDP growth does not enrich only a small minority but is ‘inclusive’.

The actual results are the opposite of what he and other advocates of privatisation and liberalisation claim. The working class is suffering in all sectors. Wages are not keeping pace with the soaring prices of food and other essential consumption articles. Inflation is also much higher than the rate of interest received on bank deposits, so the savings of working families are falling in value alongside monthly incomes. Peasants are sinking into debt as their net income is not able to cover the debt servicing burden and also provide for health care, nutritious food and other needs of the family.
The policy of globalization has led to deindustrialization of Mumbai and its replacement with shopping malls, unaffordable high rise apartments and offices for serving the imperialists of India and the world. Lakhs of working people have not only been thrown out of jobs but also of their homes. While banks and stock market grow, working people of Mumbai remain mired in their daily struggle for water and sanitation.

The rapid economic growth, which our rulers proudly applaud, is being achieved through the most ruthless exploitation of workers and robbery of peasants. To make sure that the workers and peasants do not fight back as a united force, all kinds of diabolical acts are carried out, to divert them and set them against one another. The economic offensive has been accompanied by a fascistic political offensive in the form of state terrorism, communal violence and other blatant forms of violation of the rights of working class, individuals and nations. Manmohan Singh’s maiden budget was followed by the criminal act of demolition of Babri Masjid in 1992, followed by state-organised communal violence. Both the principal parties in Parliament collaborated in these monstrous crimes against our people and their unity.

The time has come for the creators of wealth to become the masters and the main beneficiaries of wealth creation. Tatas and Ambanis are not creators of wealth; it is human labour, in interaction with nature and with past products of labour, which creates wealth. Workers and peasants create wealth through their toil. The capitalists pocket what others have created.

Ensuring the prosperity of those who toil requires enhanced production of the articles of mass consumption and their adequate availability at affordable prices. This is not being assured at all by the present orientation of the economy and economic policy. Only exorbitant profits in the hands of monopoly capitalists are being assured, through highly lopsided growth.

The conditions in our country are crying out for a reorientation of the economy and reconstitution of political power. Only if workers and peasants become the decision-makers can they ensure that the economy works for them and not for the robbers of the wealth they produce. With political power in their hands, the workers, peasants and revolutionary intelligentsia will ensure that the economic system provides them with prosperity and stability, that is, it raises their living standard steadily without any crises or shocks.

The Working class must agitate for:

  • The formation of a worker-peasant government to begin implementing the reorientation of the economy.
  • The socialization of finance, foreign trade and domestic wholesale trade on an immediate basis, to eliminate any scope for private profiteering in these spheres.
  • Radical changes in the political process, so as to end party rule and establish rule of and by the people. The right to vote must be accompanied by the right to be elected, right to have a say in the selection of candidates and the right to recall the one who gets elected at any time.

Maharashtra Regional Committee of CGPI, 59, Dr. Ambedkar Sadan, N.M.Joshi Marg, Mumbai 400 013, Phone: 23082008


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