Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha are major pillars of capitalist rule!

Statement of the Central Committee of CGPI on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the Lok Sabha, 20th May, 2012

A special session of both houses of Parliament was convened on 13th May to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the first session of the Lok Sabha.

Statement of the Central Committee of CGPI on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the Lok Sabha, 20th May, 2012

A special session of both houses of Parliament was convened on 13th May to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the first session of the Lok Sabha. The leaders of the Congress Party and BJP, CPI(M) and CPI, who are normally at loggerheads with each other, joined hands to unanimously pass a resolution committing to uphold the “dignity, sanctity and supremacy” of Parliament.

The leaders of all parties who spoke on the occasion admitted that the Parliament and its two houses were highly discredited today. Speaker after speaker called on all MPs to improve their behaviour in the future so that the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha regain some credibility in the people’s eyes.

The problem with the Parliament is not merely that its members do not behave in a responsible fashion. The problem is that both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, and the entire construct of the state system and its political process, is based on the premise that the toiling majority of our people are unfit to rule; and that they need a specialised political caste to rule over them.

The heroes of the Great Ghadar of 1857, whose 155th anniversary fell on 10th May this year, declared, “Hum hain iske maalik, Hindostan hamaara!” {Hindostan belongs to us, we are her masters!}. The Constitution of India adopted in January 1950 was a complete betrayal of the aim of the Great Gadhar, which was to vest supreme power in the hands of the insurgent masses of people of varied nations, nationalities and tribes who had risen against the British company raj.

The 1950 Constitution was formulated in the narrow interests of the traitorous big capitalists in alliance with big landlords, who wanted to perpetuate the colonial structures so as to oppress and rule over the workers and peasants.

Supreme decision-making power in the existing system of democracy is concentrated in the hands of the Cabinet formed by the party or coalition having a majority in the Lok Sabha. The other members make up an opposition camp and try to bring down the ruling camp and take its place. An impression of “debate” among “people’s representatives” is created, while the Cabinet takes executive decisions to push forward the capitalist program. The bureaucracy implements the decisions of the Cabinet, quietly and behind the scenes. The Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha exist only to provide legitimacy to the decisions taken in the interests of big capital, to rubber stamp them in the name of the people.

Lok Sabha, as it is constituted today, is a pillar of capitalist rule. It does not represent the workers and peasants, who constitute the vast majority of the lok of India.

While proclaiming that India is a Union of States, the 1950 Constitution denies that India is a multi-national country consisting of various nations, nationalities and peoples. The body that is called the Rajya Sabha is not even based on the principle of equal representation for each State of the Union.

Life experience has exposed clearly that the decisions taken by the Cabinet and ratified by the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha go diametrically against the interests of the toiling majority of people. This is the case with respect to privatisation and liberalisation, land acquisition, corporate take-over of trade, plunder of natural resources and other vital matters that affect the wellbeing of the toiling masses.

Decisions are taken in the interests of a capitalist minority, headed by the Tatas, Ambanis and other monopoly houses. It is this class that finances the parties and the Ministers, who in turn ensure that decisions are always taken to maximise capitalist profits. Elections are organised periodically to make it appear as if the “people’s will” is being exercised. They actually serve the capitalist class to sort out its internal conflicts and to select that party or combination which can best fool the people while implementing the capitalist program. The replacement of one party by another at the helm does not change the fact that the will of the capitalist class is what gets exercised.

Over the past two decades, several organisations and activists of workers, peasants, women and youth have raised the demand for a thorough-going renewal and reconstitution of the system of democracy and its political process, so as to vest supreme power in the hands of the people. Our party has been an active contingent of this movement for people’s empowerment.

Those who are swearing to uphold and defend the “supremacy of Parliament” are dead opposed to any move towards empowering the toiling masses of people. They are trying to create the impression that in spite of all its flaws, the existing system is the best possible and must be defended at all costs.

The Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha cannot be reformed into pillars of workers’ and peasants’ rule. A new kind of democracy is required for those who toil to become the rulers.

The working class needs to lead the peasants and other working people to create the new system of democracy. The immediate task is to build and strengthen workers’ and peasants’ sabhas and elected samitis in the cities and villages. With such organs as the foundation, we need to create a new state structure and political process, in which the workers and peasants can select and elect the best from among their peers to occupy the supreme decision-making bodies.

Those who call themselves communist, yet praise and defend the Lok Sabha and the “supremacy of Parliament” are causing serious harm. They are acting as roadblocks in the struggle for workers’ and peasants’ rule.

Sixty years of experience with the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha points to the need to unite around the program to replace this system of capitalist rule with a system of workers’ and peasants’ rule, in a reconstituted voluntary Union of India. Only then will the call of our martyrs be fulfilled!       

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