International and National Situation and Our Tasks adopted by the All India Conference of CPI (ML)
For the successful completion of Indian revolution, it is needed to assess and review the international and national situation so that development of class struggle inside the country and struggles of the oppressed nations and people against imperialism in the concrete situation they are facing can be viewed in the correct perspective and directed towards the intended goal.
For the successful completion of Indian revolution, the review of the international situation under which the revolution is to be carried out should be made time to time.
To base our review let us first look at the basic contradictions in the international arena as formulated in our basic document, the programme and how they are active today. The basic contradictions are:
1. The contradiction between the imperialism and the oppressed nations and people of the world
2. The contradictions among the imperialist countries among the monopoly groups;
3. The contradiction between capital and labour
4. The contradiction between imperialism and socialism.
Here, we must note the fourth contradiction was earlier expressed as imperialism versus socialist camp, meaning the forces of socialism led by the great socialist countries the USSR and China.
But both the USSR and China as well as the East European countries have taken the capitalist path. In this situation socialist camp as such does not exist as before. But people all over the world are fighting against imperialism holding high the banner of socialism and communism, so the contradiction between imperialism and socialism exist as a basic contradiction.
The main objective of the review is to look at the developments around the world and find how the above contradictions are active.
Objectively it is a time when imperialist forces are not only divided, but also are facing one crisis after another. Through globalisation they wanted to avert contentions amongst themselves at the expense of the oppressed nations and countries. At the same time the US imperialism intended to establish its global hegemony through this process. But things did not work as they expected. Though they are trying to make the world believe that they have come out of the crisis in 2008, they could never recover fully. While the crisis continued, with the grave situation that developed in Europe and devaluation of Yuan in China the ripples took the shape of high wave crisis globally. Rather this can be called as a concomitant of globalisation.
As a result, the contradiction amongst the imperialist countries as well as between the imperialist countries and the oppressed nation and people’s of the world are intensifying.
Earlier the US involved, mobilised and led the NATO forces behind it to plunder the Middle East oil. It carried on wars on Iraq and Afghanistan (gateway of both eastern and Middle Eastern Asia and strategically placed at the border of China). When the US trampled upon the UN Resolution on Iraq and started aggressing Iraq, even Russia and China could not play any active role to desist the US from such action. The US with the NATO powers carried on “regime changes” through covert and overt intervention in Libya, Egypt, Somalia, Yemen etc. But things changed after the 2008 crisis. Moreover, because of the continued resistance in those places where they hoped to have established a puppet rule as in Iraq, Afghanistan and other places, contradictions developed between the West European powers and the US over the share of booties. At the same time Russia and China allied themselves with certain central Asian countries. Srilanka etc. So, when the US wanted to destabilise Iran or Syria, there were resistance from the imperialist forces.
The European Union led by Germany is also gaining strength both economically and geopolitically. Euro has turned out to be a contender of dollar in international trade. Moreover, the alliance between Russia, still a military super power, and China to rope in other forces to fit with their geopolitical interest, have also built up a two pronged economic alliance-The SCO and the BRICS. SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organization) is a body of countries to carry on trade. Both India and Pakistan have recently become full member of it. So along with Iran, Sri Lanka and a number of central Asian countries SCO has become a strong economic and trading organization to contend with the US. At the same time, BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) consists of those countries who have recently become economically and politically important countries.
But these alliances are also not homogenous. With the deepening of crisis contradictions among themselves are also growing. As a result, in the EU on the one hand Germany is trying to establish hegemony, but there were strong opinions within the ruling classes in the UK, and even in France to come out of the EU. In different countries of the EU, people are also rising against the EU and its stranglehold causing devastating impact on the lives of the people.
As a result we have seen that in the UK in the plebiscite on ‘Brexit’ (which though called “Britain exit” but actually meant the UK as a whole) majority voted for exit. It has shown the fragile nature of bonding of the EU and the Eurozone. The critical situation of the Euro which had earlier been challenging the dollar regime, unemployment in member countries which could not be solved by turning the EU as a single VISA zone and single labour laws and differences on foreign policy interests that could not be ironed out the EU have created the crisis. A section of ruling classes in the UK as well as the popular opinion of working masses in hitherto developed industrial zones in Britain though with differing purposes coalesced to bring a majority for BREXIT. The crisis of the EU has become more clear when the high level meeting between the heads of states of Germany, France and Italy on an aircraft carrier in the Ventonese Islands of Italy could not come out with any optimism.
Actually BREXIT shows that the effort of the European imperialists to collude against the colonial, semi-colonial countries as well as other imperialist powers was of fragile nature proving the contention among imperialists as a primary and collusion is secondary.
Thus, a situation has appeared where the US’s intention of establishing global hegemony is facing obstacles not only from the people but also from other imperialist powers, contradictions amongst imperialist powers them selves are also intensifying. There exist both contention and collusion amongst imperialist forces. Though they might collude for some time, their contentions are coming to the fore.
But where does India stand in this particular context? In response to the US’s global strategy of controlling the oil sources and the oil routes all over the world, China which after changing its colour, has been trying to become a power, at least an Asian power, started developing its own strategies. It has declared the South China Sea as its area of strategic importance. South China Sea is the important sea-route connecting the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. Moreover it developed its relationship with Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Developing ports and naval facilities in those countries. In the South-East Asia it developed its relationship with Myanmar, Thailand, Laos and Kampuchea. In this situation the USA tried to extend its strategy in the Asia-Pacific region. It had the ANZUS (Australia, New Zealand and the USA) alliance earlier. They extended it with Japan, the Philippines and India. India very willingly joined it especially after Narendra Modi came into power. It did not only develop friendship with the above mentioned countries but also developed military exchanges with them. Of late, it had convened a meeting of the Pacific Islands, and signed special relationship treaty with the Seychelles. Thus India has become a strategic partner of the US in its global design to establish its hegemony.
But the Indian ruling classes are not a homogenous entity neither are the imperialist masters of whom they are playing subservient roles in this semi-colonial dispensation. Especially from the end of 1960’s Russia has a great influence in the political and military affairs of the country. The economic influence was at an ebb, but now it is rising again. So, India joined SCO. It has signed deals with Russia for peaceful use of nuclear technology, as it has done with the USA, Japan and others. Through Russian mediation it wants to open the door for supply of oil and natural gas from Iran which was earlier stopped at the behest of the USA.
All these show that India is placed at an important geo-political position in the global strategies of different imperialist powers. It is not without reason that Obama openly praised Modi for his moves. But at the same time it is also found that India is in a dilemma because the US is not prepared for war now, it wants to carry on political chess game. The other powers are also not in a position to dare the USA militarily. Of late, Russia has stood up against the USA and its NATO allies overtly in Ukraine. But there too, all the NATO forces are not united.
The incursion of US imperialism into central Asia and former Soviet Republics was resisted by Russia in Ukraine. It started asserting its interests in this region as a imperialist power.
South China Sea is one of the most important region through which three fourth of the world trade passes. The US has a military base in Philippine and signed an agreement to build another one in that country. US imperialist policy of ‘Pivot to Asia” is aimed at isolating China by roping in Japan, Australia and India. Using an unresolved dispute of territory in South China sea between China, Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand, US imperialism is making all sorts of diplomatic manoeuvres, and instigation these countries into confrontation with China with China sending its troops to spratly islands and US imperialist attempts to strengthen its control over the South China Sea, the situation becoming hot.
In this situation India develops relationship with its neighbours keeping in mind the positions and balance of forces in the chess board at the particular time. So we see a blow hot and blow cold relationship with China and Pakistan. Attempts to get Sri Lanka away from China. Same is true for Bangladesh. Nepal presents a specific feature in this respect, which will be discussed later.
So far one particular contradiction has been discussed. There are others also. The contradiction between imperialism and oppressed nations and people is also not only growing, but often it takes shape of armed conflicts. In Iraq and Afghanistan the US forces are not in a position to totally withdraw armed forces. Recently the US had to send 500 army officers in Iraq. People of oppressed nations are continuously on the move. In Iran the US had to come to a compromise Syria is still a thorn in the throat of the imperialists. In Latin America the US imperialists are facing challenges from the nationalist forces like Chavez in Venezuela. True, they cannot bring revolutionary change and often have to come to compromise with the US imperialism. But the US imperialism also has to restrain itself. As a result of such resistance of the oppressed nations and people of the region after many decades the US had to come to a compromise with Cuba ending the embargo.
In this context, it is to be noted that most of aggressive acts of US imperialism were targeted towards countries which happened to be Muslim states and stiff resistances developed in those countries. Earlier while opposing the USSR aggression on Afghanistan the US imperialism aided and abetted not only the Taliban’s but also certain terrorist organizations like Al Qaida. But when the USSR had to withdraw from Afghanistan and the US imperialism stopped in, those terrorist organizations turned against the US. At this point of development the 9/11 incident gave a weapon in the hands of the US imperialist. They started calling all such resistances as acts of terror and declared a “global war on terrorism”. They also started mobilising other countries to fight against terrorism
But they were blind when civilian children in hundreds were killed in Palestine. Palestinians are carrying on a long drawn war not only against Israel, but also against the conspiracies of the US and NATO forces.
Nepal is a landlocked country sandwiched between two big neighbours-India and China. After 10 years of civil war led by the CPN (Maoist) the 240 years old monarchy scripted a peace process. Through that peace agreement Nepal turned into a republic and elections to Constituent Assembly was held in April 2008. The CPN (Maoist) came out as the single largest party. The Hindu state was changed into a secular republic. Puspa Kumar Dahal (Prachanda) became the Prime Minister. There were deep divisions on drafting the constitution. In that situation Prachanda had to resign within 200 days following a controversy on sacking the then Nepal Army chief of the staff Rukmangat Katuwal. But due to the deep divisions the constituent assembly failed to deliver a constitution within the stipulated two years. A new election was held. The CPN (Maoist) got much smaller representation than they had earlier. Finally the constitution was adopted in 2014. But there was great deal of discontent among the Madhesi people of the Terai region. After prolonged movement and necessary changes in the constitution peace was resorted. But turmoil in Nepal is continuing. Recently a full circle completed with Prachand becoming the Prime Minister again. He is the seventh Prime Minister after the first constituent assembly elections eight year ago. This continued turmoil and instability in Nepal has a number of reasons. Especially, the interventions by its two big neighbours in Nepal’s political and economic structure and conflicts of interests that arise from them is one of the main reasons.
Not only in the oppressed nations and countries of the world but also in less developed countries like Greece, the crisis has brought the people on the path of struggle. It is also a reflection of the peoples struggle against imperialist machinations. There through the “NO” vote people of Greece sent a loud and clear signal that they are ready to face any situation to fight the design of the TROIKA (IMF-ECB-European Commission combine). The leaders of Greece including the Prime Minister Tsipras, the leader of Syriza, finally succumbed to the pressure of the TROIKA led by Germany, even after calling upon the people for a ‘NO’ vote. But the people took to the streets and a number of ministers of Tsipras cabinet resigned and formed popular unity party with the call of “smash the Eurozone dictatorship”. The struggle in Greece is on.
So it may be clearly said that the contradiction between the imperialism and the oppressed nations and people of the world is not only growing, but continues to be the principal contradiction. It is the principal contradiction because its existence and development affects the existence and development of other contradiction including the contradiction amongst the imperialist powers.
It is clear that the world wide crisis has created a situation where the contradiction between capital and labour is also developing. The most significant example of this is the movement to “Occupy the Wall Street”, where thousands of people from all parts of the USA and even from other countries gathered for days to protest against the globalisation process and its consequences. Railway workers, miners in Europe are on the streets and carried on pitched battles and so on.
Those who are interested in sports know very well that during the last Euro Cup football in France, the workers were on strike. Specially because of the continued strike of the railway and airways workers the organisers of Euro Cup had to face immense difficulty in logistical arrangements.
The struggles of the people of the world had also brought to the light that the capitalist world’s call for “end of civilisation” is not only a hoax, but a blatant lie. The future is not capitalism, future lies in socialism and communism.
In this situation the communists have to play a leading role to mobilise the people against imperialism. But after the Soviet Union had taken the capitalist path and finally collapsed, people had hope in Socialist China. But China too had taken to capitalist road. China is now busy to turn into an Asian power and vying with other imperialist powers to establish its spheres of influence. This has created a twofold problem. One, there is no socialist camp as opposed to imperialists. The communist parties have to fight themselves without any hope of help from a socialist country. The second one, and more important at that, the communist parties all over the world are in a divided state both internally and externally-meaning ideological-political unity amongst themselves is lacking. People of the world are also confused about how both the USSR and China could turn to capitalist road. Communists will have to come out with clear answers to such question. We should take up the task of studying the conditions of communist movements in the different countries.
So, the communists are facing a challenging task. On the one had to lead the struggle of the people and on the other to equip them-selves and the people ideologically and politically towards socialism. Failing which the peoples struggle will go astray. It is already being found that at the face of attacks of the US imperialists and the Islamophobia generated by the US imperialists, youths and patriots of Islamic origin are taking to terrorism in the name Jehad. No matter they might have some reasons to take such path but that will undoubtedly lead the struggles to a wrong path, a blind alley and finally lead them to defeat.
It must be understood that only the struggle of the people based on Marxism Leninism can become victorious against imperialism. Communists should go full steam ahead to shoulder the responsibility. No phrase mongering will help; we will have to develop ourselves with all aspects-ideologically, politically and culturally-to combat imperialism with Marxism-Leninism as our guide to action.
It is worth mentioning here the phenomenon of ISIS which has now become IS. Originally the ISIS (Islamic State of Independent Syria) was organised with the direct assistance of the US and NATO powers to bring a “regime change” in Syria. They did not only keep the ISIS with logistical and financial support but also by large scale supply of arms and ammunitions. At the beginning the ISIS was to build independent areas of authority in Syria to dislodge finally Assad from power. In that aim they concentrated their forces around Aleppo in the northern part of Syria. But attacked by Syrian Govt forces they extended towards the bordering areas of Iraq around Mosul, which area could never be brought under the total control of the US forces. This angered the US and its allies. They first withdrew support, then started attacking the ISIS along with Russia. In this situation two changes took place in the ISIS - first started large scale recruitments from Muslims all over the world who had been nourishing an aspiration to teach the Western World a lesson; and the second was to flank out of the borders of Syria and Iraq. The nomenclature of ISIS changed to IS, meaning Islamic states. But one more important change took place in its activities. It started terrorist attacks on different parts of Europe especially. Thus IS turned out to be a Frankenstein created by the US and its allies. But the problem is that this tactics of the IS is actually terrorising the people, not the imperialist bases and popular opinion is being created against the IS by the strong propaganda machinery of the imperialists. Attacks on metro stations, restaurants, theatre halls, busy market areas are actually killing mostly ordinary people. Thus instead of isolating the imperialists they themselves are being isolated. Such terror tactics cannot be successful. But one thing is clear from this phenomenon that imperialists often lift stones to drop on their own feet. In this context one important task before the communists is presented by the globalisation process which is intended to develop an integrated regime of finance capital to rule over the world and fetter all economies into such a condition that no one country can get out of its clutches. The imperialists feel that by this process they can deter any attempt by any oppressed country to go out of its clutches and develop independently. But already people all over the world are fighting against this conspiracy. People of oppressed countries are struggling to break the shackles of imperialism. But their struggles can be strengthened only when all the oppressed people of world stand up unitedly against this global design of imperialism while working for revolution in their own countries. Communists all over the world will have to gear up their activities to unite the oppressed people of the world. Let the clarion call be “Working classes of different countries together with oppressed nations and peoples of the world unite and overthrow the present imperialist globalisation and struggles to establish a socialist world system”.
1.To fight against the globalisation strategy of imperialism
2.To fight to overthrow imperia-lism and its cohorts from our own country and support struggles of people all over the world in their fight against imperialism
3.To study the communist move-ments in different countries of the world, the problem faced by them and to develop relation-ship with likeminded parties.
The period under review coincided with the second term of UPA rule at the center. This period witnessed the unbridled implementation of the policies dictated by the imperialist financial institutions and deceit of people through the so-called democratic process of consulting the people.
This period witnessed surrender to US imperialism both politically and militarily with all false assertions of being a world power. This period witnessed an intensified loot of national wealth by the MNCs and amassing of the bureaucratic capital by the Indian big bourgeoisie. This period witnessed the further deterioration of living and working conditions of toiling masses of people and constant erosion of all civil and democratic rights of the people. This period saw the aggravation of exploitation and oppression by the ruling classes and resistance from the people .
The crisis of the peasant economy continued as the policies that precipitated it continue to be implemented. The agricultural sector’s growth rate hovered around 1.5 per cent, and the yields growth rate decelerated to 1.5 per cent during this period. The high growth rates achieved during green revolution period (just over 3 per cent) were mainly due to the toil of poor and middle peasants best of its fruits being corned by the MNCs and big business. With the new economic policies, the supports extended to the peasantry during the green revolution are being gradually withdrawn. As a result, the prices of inputs to continue the cultivation had gone up. This has pushed the peasants more into the clutches of usurious money lenders. As the institutional credit is being curtailed, this situation got aggravated.
With the signing of the WTO agreement, distress sale of farm produce became more acute during this period. This has not only affected the poor and middle peasants but also the rich peasants.
Thus the high cost of inputs due to withdrawal of subsidies and denial of sustainable prices forced the peasants to borrow money. With the acceptance of Narasimham committee’s recommendations on agriculture, the scheduled banks reduced the share of credit to agriculture, thus the poor peasant was left out of the institutional credit.. The indebtedness of the peasants had gone up to 48.7 per cent and it is highest in AP (82%) followed by TN (74%) Punjab (65%) Karnataka (61%) and Maharashtra (55%).
Any slightest adverse situation in agriculture is driving the peasants to commit suicides. Of late, the suicides by the peasants has extended to West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar along with previously known AP, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and others.
The rural India had a harrowing experience during this period. There was pauperisation of peasantry degrading them from middle to poor and then to landless peasantry. The landlessness and toiling on the land as tenants, share croppers and agricultural labours had phenomenally grown during this period. The land grabbing by the state to hand over it to the Indian and foreign big bourgeoisie also led to rise in the number of landless households in the rural India.
The ruling classes of India portrays the crisis as the lack of capital investment. On this plea, it reduced the public investment in agriculture and during this period increased public funds to create infrastructure that promotes private capital, ie., allowed privatization of existing Agricultural Produce Marketing Yards (APMY), allowed setting up of new APMYs in private sector, funded cold storages, leased out FCI storage space etc. Thus the ruling classes’ plan to replace peasants with capital in the form of contract/corporate farming was put in place during this period. It took many measures to promote private capital (read: MNCs). It allowed many MNCs like Bunge, Cargill and others to enter into foodgrains market and future trading in agricultural produce. It implemented Rangarajan committee report on Sugarcane pricing which favoured the sugar industry at the expense of peasants. It promoted Genetic Modified (GM) seeds, particularly Bt Cotton, and showing it as a model to raise productivity it planned to allow GM seeds in many other crops too. When resistance came from the various sections of people, the Ministry of Environment withheld the decision for the present. It conducted meetings in various states in the name of gathering opinions from the people and tried hard to stage manage the show. Meanwhile it removed straightforward members of Genetic Organisms Approval Committee (GEAC) and made it subordinate to the ministry. Then without much fanfare it allowed MNCs to produce GM seeds in India in the name of field trials.
The Modi government continued the process that is being called as reforms process, from where the UPA government left it. It issued ordinance amending the Land Acquisition Act-2013, which extended the power of government to acquire land from the peasants not only in the name of public interest but also equally undefined term public-private participation. It has done away with the clauses for social impact assessment which identifies the number of people affected and to be compensated in addition to land owners. It is playing the same deceit on the people as the previous Congress government by claiming that the compensation be paid four times more than the prevailing market price of the land acquired, but in reality, it only pays the double that of registered price in the sale deeds.
Instead of taking steps to remove the real causes for the suicides by the peasants, the government slashed the number of suicides by excluding those of tenant farmers and agricultural labourers.
Thus every step taken during this period was placated a measure to alleviate this misery of the peasantry; in actually used to alienate the peasants from their lands to promote the corporate/ contract farming.
Thus the alliance of big landlords, big bourgeoisie and imperialism is extracting surplus labour, utilising feudal as well as capitalist market form of exploitation and throwing the peasantry into misery, pauperisation and to suicides.
The main feature during this period was acquisition, takeover and merger of existing Indian companies by the foreign capital rather than starting new industrial units. Despite the tall 3 claims by the UPA government that the growth rate will soon reach the double digit level, it remained around 6 to 7 per cent during this period. Another feature was the drastic decline of the manufacturing sector.
The world capitalist crisis of 2008 had its effect on the Indian economy. The immediate effect was on the IT and ITES sectors which are completely dependent upon the orders of the US and Europe. This sector lost its sheen; average wage rate had come down to half and nearly 30 per cent of its employees lost their jobs.
As the imperialist economies were mired in crisis, earnings from the Indian exports started to plummet, creating capital account deficit in the balance of payments situation. As the US imperialism drastically reduced interest rates, the Indian big bourgeoisie borrowed heavily and the Indian government invested in the dollar bonds. As a corollary though the Balance of Payments situation appeared comfortable during this period, the hidden structural weakness have had its toll on the economy. Rupee became weak and India made to export its products more cheaply and to spend most of its foreign exchange reserves on the import of crude oil whose prices had reached to record level.
Many of the MNCs drained the economy both by legal and illegal means and the Indian government stood not as mute spectator but stood as an abettor of the illegal means adopted by the MNCs by legalizing their loot (ex. Nokia et al). The outflow of the capital in the form of profits, royalties and wages to foreign managers had outpaced the inflow of foreign capital. Moreover, the FII component of the foreign capital had jumped several times relegating the FDI component to secondary place. This means that the foreign capital that came into India during this period was more into the stock exchanges rather than starting new industrial units.
How the natural resources of the country were handed over to the imperialist sharks in a golden platter by the UPA-1 had come to the light as in the case of allotment of 2G spectrum and coal blocks. Apart from the corruption involving hundreds of crores of rupees, the loot of natural resources was made free of any restrictions and the future of the country was thus sold away. Once the natural resources were cornered, how these forces used their monopoly to twist the arms of the government to impose unimaginable prices on the people for the very natural resources that belong to them was recorded in the case of Ambani’s demand on behalf of British Petroleum and the Indian government’s acceptance to raise the price of natural gas from $4 to 18 per BTU. The then Prime Minister called it as crony capitalism, but actually it is the bureaucratic capitalism, which is one of the basic nature of Indian big bourgeoisie.
The BJP which made severe criticism on the corruption that took place around these sell off of our natural resources like G-2 spectrum and coal blocks which were made on the basis of first come first serve basis, and promised that it would allot them on open auction method with full transparency. But after coming to the power at the Centre, it made amendments to the Mines and Minerals Act so that all the coal blocks allotted previously would continue undisturbed. The amendments also enabled the state governments to sell off their mineral resources.
Narendra Modi, who lambasted the UPA government for its failure in reviving the manufacturing sector, promised to give a full thrust to it in order to create jobs for the youth. After becoming PM, he gave a call of “Make in India”. To which ever country he went visiting, he asked the foreign capitalists to come to India, setup manufacturing here, export the products and earn profits. He repeatedly promised to provide all they wanted immediately and to amend labour laws so that the workers will be deprived of all rights and can be hired and fired at the whims of the capitalists. As a part of implementing the “Make in India’ policy, he opened up defence production to foreign capital. As India is importing more than 70 percent of arms and armaments, he argued, the foreign arms producers would setup manufacturing in India, so India would save foreign exchange and will have jobs created. This argument is misleading as in practice, there will be only assembling plants of imported knocked down kits. For example Foxconn company which closed down its existing plant in India, throwing thousands of workers jobless, now starting a new company in AP, which take such exactly the same task, assembling the knocked down kits of mobiles. ‘Make in India” only turns the manufacturing sector in India into an appendage of foreign capital, which utilises all resources-land, electricity, minerals etc-and labour cheaply, and remit the profits to its parent country.
Unemployment and Poverty
The much tomtom economic growth did not bring about any growth in jobs. The 15 million people who migrated every year during this period from villages to cities in search of jobs were not employed in the manufacturing sector, but were forced to eke out their lives in low paid daily wage jobs without any security for job. Informal employment like contract and outsourcing had increased even in the public sector units. The MNCs with their massive production facilities in the industrial slums of Noida, Manesar, Sriperumbudur, Hosur etc are blatantly denying the rights of workers, even to form unions. The political leadership and the state machinery stood with the MNCs and unleashed brutal repression on the workers as was evident in the case of Maruti Suzuki workers.
Poverty had engulfed more people. After the Arindam Sen found that 70 % of the population was living below the poverty line, the UPA government tried to show that more people had crossed the poverty line during its rule through manipulation of statistics. Yet other reports of several national and international agencies showed that 40 to 60 per cent of the people are living in abject poverty.
Nearly 60 per cent of the people are still dependent upon agriculture. The crisis created by the policies pursued by the UPA government eroded the incomes generated from the agriculture. There were no alternative employment opportunities available for the people. The UPA government had not taken any step to improve the incomes, effect structural changes ie., land re-distribution or generate employment in other sectors. Whatever chances were available for these people can only be called distress employment. Migration from villages to urban areas and even to foreign countries to work under wretched conditions had been extended to newer districts than known before during this period.
The BJP government continued these policies – withdrawal of state procurement agencies, privatization of agricultural market yards, gradual diversion of bank loans from peasants to agribusiness, with-drawing the support to peasants etc. The Modi government slashed the allocations to social spending (health & medical services, education, food security etc) by Rs. 1.75 lakh crore, while it continued the tax concessions to the big bourgeoisie and foreign capitalists given by the UPA government to the tune of Rs. 5lakh crore per year. It is clear that the BJP government is driving the people into more poverty and unemployment.
The impact of growing poverty and unemployment is more on the down trodden people, among them adivasis are the worst affected. They are being thrown out of their habitat, and their livelihood-forest, land, water are being forcefully taken away. It is the adivasis who are paying first for the costs with their lives & livelihoods for every so-called developmental projects. Young women and men are persecuted and even killed for marrying someone outside the caste. Women suffer various forms of discrimination and oppression. They are super-exploited at work places and in the fields by denying equal pay for equal work. In the name of empowerment of women, they are being subjected to slave like labour in the sweat shops of SEZs and their blood being sucked by the micro finance companies. The modern technology made available as a part of expansion of market for making profits, instead of lightening the burden of women is perpetuating the patriarchal culture as is evident in the killing of girl child in the womb.
Atrocities and attacks on dalits are on the rise as a result of growing rural tensions. As the agricultural crisis worsens, its impact is playing havoc with the lives of dalits who constitute the majority of the rural poor. Despite tall talk of empowerment of dalits, the employment opportunities are constantly dwindling forcing them to migrate to the cities condemning them to wretched life.
The most precious human productive asset of our country is being ruined by the existing social system. It is denying the basic education to our children, and subjecting the labour to intense exploitation while another section is kept idle partially or fully. Education, from primary to higher level, which imparts training to sustain and develop production is being tailored to suit the plunder by the monopolies instead of meeting the needs of our people and country.
Sophisticated medical services are offered to the people from rich countries, often subsidized by the government in the name of medical tourism, while millions of our people, particularly pregnant women and infants, die of easily curable diseases every year because of lack of basic health services. The medical and health services are being privatised and by introduction of health insurance schemes in the name of catering the needs of the poor, public funds are being diverted to corporate hospitals and health insurance is being promoted. The foreign insurance giants are vying with each other to gobble up the medical insurance sector which was made into a lucrative trade. The ruling elite in its obsession to earn foreign exchange, has allowed the foreign pharmaceutical companies to use the poor as guinea pigs to test their drugs without caring for the disabilities resulting from those clinical trials. Instead of safeguarding the health of the people, the government is extending its full support in this unethical practice to ensure super profits to the MNCs.
The uneven economic development and consequently the uneven political development is giving rise to many problems. There is no genuine development of nationalities and regions. The national and democratic aspirations of the people are getting expressed in various forms and in various degrees. They are ranging from demands for development of region, language and culture, to separate statehood to self determination. The struggles for national self determination in Kashmir and North eastern states are persisting; the Indian ruling classes are using brutal military force to suppress them with occasional drama of talks to bring them into so-called mainstream. Many regions in the country are demanding for separate states within the Indian union which are being utilised by the ruling class parties to whip up regional hatreds rather than agreeing to their demand or developing the region. The demand for abrogating Armed Forces Special Powers Act that came to the fore in the people’s movement speaks volumes of the reign of terror let loose upon the people by the government with the plea of protecting the integrity of the country.
In fact the call for protecting the integrity is actually a call for protecting the state oppression on different nationalities and the attempt to deny equality of the nationalities. Sometime it is covered up by granting separate statehood to dissenting nationalities, but the oppression goes on. Moreover the call for protecting national integrity is often misused to develop national chauvinism.
The existing social system is not only destroying the human productive forces, but also ruining the nature. The degradation of forests and consequent soil erosion is leading to devastating floods. Soil fertility is reduced to an alarming level and groundwater is depleting and newer areas are being threatened by desertification. The unbridled drive for profits is leading to air and water pollution causing harm to the health of the people.
Carrot and Stick
The deterioration of living and working conditions has led to unrest and resentment among the people. This period witnessed resistance from the rural people to the land grabbing by the state. This resistance to SEZs, power plants, nuclear reactors, ports, aerodromes etc., was mainly due to the destruction of their livelihood and lives by the so-called developmental projects.
The UPA government used brutal repression on the people who were resisting the land grabbing by force. Yet the resistance of the people had spread to wider areas; from UP to Maharashtra, to AP, to Tamil Nadu; and from West Bengal, Odisha to Jharkhand to MP, to Gujarat.
Simultaneously, the congress party also employed other means to deceive and divert the people from the path of struggle. One of them was the policy of “rights approach” to the problems. The UPA headed by the Congress party proclaimed that it will recognize the people’s right to basic needs and services through legal measures. It enacted right to Information, right to Education, right to Employment, right to food laws along with the law for restoration of traditional rights of adivasis.
The non-implementation of these ‘rights’ laws was only a part of the deceptive game. From the day of their enactment, the UPA government devised methods to dilute them. This was strikingly evident in the case of adivasis and food security Acts. While the central government issued executive orders nullifying the benefits that should have reached to the adivasis, most of the state governments ignored their responsibility to implement the law by not framing the required rules and regulations. Even the government agencies observed that the MNREGA had provided employment to less than half of those registered with the scheme and the payment made for the work was often far less than the prescribed.
The BJP government too announced the so-called social security schemes, that is, Prime Minister Jan Dhan Yojana, Prime Minister Jeevan Jyoti Beema Yojana, Prime Minister Suraksha Bima Yojana and Atal Pension Yojana. These are only meant to divert the attention of the people from the frontal attack on the social sector made by the BJP government
With the selective release of data concerning the Economic and social Census 2011, the Modi government further reduced the poverty figures with the aim of reducing the number of beneficiaries under various schemes. In the name of rationalization, the UPA government had merged many schemes and now the NDA government put the onus of implementation of many of these schemes on the state governments. Another method devised was direct cash transfer to the beneficiaries’ bank accounts, which gives leverage to the government to reduce the subsidy and/or funds allotment at its will and this is being assiduously followed by the Modi government.
Unable to solve not even a single problem of the people, the ruling classes are unleashing brutal repression upon the people. Moving in the footsteps of UPA government , the NDA Govt. continue the brutal repression on the 6 people agitating against the Nuclear power plants at Jaitapur, Koodankulam etc. It also resorted to firing on the farmers who are resisting the construction of thermal power plants in the agricultural lands.
Divide and Rule
The ruling classes had been using nefarious ‘divide and rule’ policy as a method to divide and oppress the people. They are using regional, caste and religious differences to rake up hatred so as to divide the people and liquidate their unity. The ruling class cliques used regional sentiments among the Telugu-speaking people for over a decade to divert them from the real issues and the struggle for them. They raked up caste feelings among the dalit castes so as to make them as the followers of either one of the ruling groups.
The most nefarious acts the ruling classes resorted to is the raking up communal hatreds among different religious people. While the BJP employed naked and open methods of raking up communal chauvinism, the Congress used concealed and soft methods. Emboldened with the Gujarat carnage, the BJP and RSS have spread rumors and lies to rake up sentiments and hatreds against Muslim community to ascend to the seat of power as was evident during the Muzaffarpur riots. With coming to the power, BJP and RSS made the communal propaganda as a part of political discourse. Yet, the toiling masses of India, who have the several centuries of living in communal harmony, have proved time and again that they will not allow the communal forces to destroy their lives.
Instead of keeping the religion outside the affairs of the state, which is the norm with in a democratic system, the ruling classes of India are doing everything to polarize the society on communal lines. Under the wings of BJP government, the RSS and its outfits are raking up communal hatreds. Campaign for the Ghar Wapasi undertaken to justify the coercive conversion of non-Hindus to Hindu religion as has happened in Agra. Spewing hatred against non-Hindus became the order of the day. The frequent statements like calling those not following Ram as illegitimate child, calling madrasas as dens of terrorism, asserting that the population of Muslims is rapidly increasing and therefore Hindu women should produce four children, those who eat beef should go to Pakistan to live etc are being hurled on the people from the highest positions that are supposed to uphold the sanctity of the Constitution. Utilising the power at the Centre, the BJP is seeking to change the curriculum of education and poison and communalise the minds of young generation; On the other side it is distorting the higher education including the IIT, medical education to serve the interests of imperialist plunder by turning our youth as mere learners of technology and not as creator of technology that suits the national needs, and to smuggle communal agenda higher centres of learning like ICHR, ICSSR etc.
The wanton communalization is influencing the lower middle class urban youth and rural elite, who are active in taking up the role of moral policing, be it attacks on progressive writers and artists, be it dictating the dress code to women and their behaviour pattern. The PM himself 7 on record calls the human rights activists as five star activists in a derogatory manner set the tone and tenor for the cultural policing being resorted to by the RSS and its outfits.
While the state as well as the media of the establishment are continually propagating for death penalty of even those who are remotely connected or only suspected to be connected with a terrorist activity if they are from the Muslim Community, they just manage to forget as about the terrorist killers of Hindu Communal variety who perpetrated massacres at Malegaon, Jama Masjid and in Sanjhanta Express. They forget the names of Asimananda Bharati and his ilk.
Along with the continued attacks on Muslim community, the attacks on Christian community are increasing – 11 incidents reported since December 2014 including Delhi, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Haryana, Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh. The impact of these localized attacks organized by the RSS and its outfits is spreading religious intolerance, social hatred, marginalizing of the minorities and muffling the democratic voices.
The economic crisis is leading to political crisis. The contradictions among the ruling groups have sharpened. The contradictions among ruling class factions also got sharpened. As a result many scams and corruption of the ruling elite have come to light. The ruling classes used their identity - Caste, religion, region and family etc. – only to safeguard their financial position. In this process the ruling classes pushed the theories of identities on the people. The negative effects of which could be seen in some sections of the downtrodden people. Religious beliefs and practices are being promoted by the ruling class parties and some parties also came into existence on the basis of religion in the wake of elections.
It was in this background that the BJP designed its strategy in the context of 2014 elections. It sought to utilize the simmering discontent among the people to gain in the elections. Much before the announcement of elections the BJP pressed into action all their means to exploit the situation in their favour. It moved swiftly to gather public opinion against the government utilizing the burning issues like Nirbhay rape case in Delhi. They became successful in duping and misleading the people to reap a victory in the poll. The Indian Big bourgeoisie and the Imperialist powers endorsed the BJP’s decision to field Narendra Modi as the future PM as they believed that in the given situation a change of regime and with Modi at the helm would help a speedy implementation of neo-liberal economic policies. BJP gave the slogan of ‘development and progress’ and placated Modi as the icon of development and decisiveness. BJP pretended to be opposed to the cult of personality and the rule by Nehru family. But in reality Modi was brought to the fore on the wings of the personality cult. The election to the 16th Lok Sabha has resulted in a crushing defeat to the Congress and thumping victory to BJP.
The results expressed the anger of the people at the rampant price rise, inflation, massive corruption with recurring scams which played havoc with lives and livelihoods of the people. The results expressed the wrath of the people at the policies pursued by the congress-led UPA government which favoured imperialists, big bourgeoisie, big landlords, big contractors and dalals of the ruling classes and brought disastrous consequences for the people and the country. The elections also expressed the strong urge of the people for the betterment in their living and working conditions – an urge which they have been sustaining decade after decade.
Kashmir problem has been haunting both the people of India and Pakistan since 1947. It was created by the British colonial power as a bone of contention between the newly formed India & Pakistan so that their domination on the Indian subcontinent continues. The people of Kashmir had never been allowed to decide their fate by themselves by the ruling classes of India and Pakistan despite suggestion by the accession treaty and UN resolution to hold plebiscite in Kashmir. Unless suppression of national and democratic aspiration of people of Kashmir is stopped, peace could not be restored in Kashmir.
Kashmir is burning today. The mass upsurge that erupted in Kashmir after the brutal killing of Burhan Wani by the Indian security forces is continuing since 9th July, 2016. It is two months by now. Yet, the anger of Kashmir people has not subsided. In this period, more than seventy people have been killed and thousands were wounded by the Indian security forces. Hit by the pellet guns, several people have lost their eye sights, totally or partially. The Central security forces, acting on the direction of the Indian State and the Central Govt., are behaving with the protesting Kashmiri people as though they are enemies. It is a grave situation. It is the duty of every democratic citizen of India to raise their voice against the repression let loose by the security forces in Kashmir. The present protest has brought the Kashmir problem to the fore powerfully once again. The mass protests repeatedly erupting in Kashmir showing increasing defiance and determination among the people point out that the methods of manipulation, division, diversion , suppression and pacification used by the Indian rulers to tide over each crisis are failing in solving the Kashmir problem. Need, therefore, is to go deeper into the real causes and find a just and lasting solution to the Kashmir problem. both Indian and Pakistani governments must take the necessary steps, including the withdrawal of security forces from both parts, create a congenial and democratic atmosphere and conditions to enable the Kashmir people to express their aspirations freely and with no fear and decide their political future.
Congress party has the long history among the ruling class parties and has earned the expertise of ruling at the centre and in various states. Now it is in the opposition at the Centre and in many states and was decimated in some states. It has the expertise of serving the big bourgeoisie, big landlords and imperialists, while at the same time could be able to rally other class from agricultural labourers to small capitalists with welfare slogans. It is the party that follows the footsteps of imperialism from Nehru to Indira, to Rajiv to PV Narasimha Rao and to Manmohan Singh. This is the party that sowed the seeds economic policies dictated by imperialist financial institutions in 1981 and again implemented them in the name of new economic policies in 1991. Even though it donned the garb of secularism, it is utilizing the communal forces in every religion employing disguised methods. Now it is using the Parliament to placate itself as the party of Aam Aadmi by opposing the very policies that it has partially implemented and now being implemented by the BJP government.
As far as the class nature is concerned, it is not at all different from the Congress party. It came to the power at the centre riding on the crest of people’s anger against the decade long rule by the UPA. It is now implementing with full thrust the policies dictated by the imperialist financial institutions. The Modi government had stepped into the shoes of the UPA government. Modi agreed to the US condition on nuclear power plants relieving the US companies from any liability in the case of an accident. He is firmly committed to carry forward the strategic alliance with the US imperialism and re-signed it after ten years as it was lapsed. Thus it made India a bonded partner to the US hegemonic plans in the Asian region. There is no doubt that it is a party that caters religious fanaticism and fascist trends. It used, using and will use every issue to polarize the people on communal lines. For many decades its fore runner, Jan Sangh, could not make a dent on the political arena. But its rise with the implementation of New economic policies and destruction of Babri Masjid is not accidental or co-incidental, but a well-planned design by the ruling classes to divide the people so that they can easily implement these policies without much resistance. It was brought to power as a part of this strategy by the ruling classes and it proved itself as their trusted servant with its policies in one year of its existence.
CPI & CPM
These reformist and social democratic parties are used to push the train of ruling classes when it stopped and scold it when it is running. Their situation is further deteriorated than when Com. TN commented and now they act as megaphones for either one of the ruling classes parties.
Both the CPI and CPM claims that they are working on the basis of Marxism-Leninism. They have expressed openly and sometimes not so openly that the tenets of Marxism-Leninism should be changed according to the changed conditions. They are merely parroting the basic principles of communist party, while competing with the bourgeois parties in adopting their practice and methods. This give and take attitude in the context of elections and their election alliance, even extending it to taking their berth in cabinet are part of the methods of bourgeois parties.
They claim that they are opposing the economic reforms under neoliberal regime. Yet they had implemented the same reforms when they were in power stating that they are not opposing all the aspects of reforms but to the way they had been implemented. Later they reduced the entire issue of economic reforms to corruption at higher places. They had not hesitated to use brutal methods of suppression against the people when they resisted the reforms. Thus they are trying to prove themselves are capable of serving the interests of exploiting classes. They are employing such methods and tactics that act as the safety values for the pent up unrest and anger among the people. They limit the peoples agitations to that of getting some concessions from the government.
They are sowing illusions among their rank and file that Marxism-Leninism could be practiced while maintaining friend-ship with bourgeois parties. But they are not acting on their own programme and on their own foothold. Their hobnobbing with the bourgeois parties has no relation with anti-imperialist, anti big bourgeoisie and anti-feudal programme. As a result, their activity has gone away far from Marxism- Leninism.
Many regional parties have emerged in various states and many of them have come to the power.
Some of them like DMK, AIADMK in Tamil Nadu TDP and TRS in AP and Telangana, AGP in Assam etc. Utilised the genuine national and democratic aspirations of the people of the region to come to the power. Once came to occupy the seats of power. They are using fascist methods to rake up regional Chauvinism to divert the people and brutal repression to suppress the people. They are serving the Indian ruling classes and imperialist powers, while at the same time propping the feudal forces and contractors in their states.
Some other regional parties are off shoots of ruling class parties like TMC in West Bengal, RJD, JD (U) in Bihar, SP in UP etc. They are serving the interests of Indian ruling classes and imperialism along with feudal forces in the states. In order to ascend to the powers, they are basing solely on caste ridden society with ever changing combination and permutation of castes. In this process, they are perpetuating the caste division among the people and raking up caste hatreds destroying the unity of the people.
People's Resistance against Ruling Class Conspiracies
People all over India are fighting against attacks by the ruling class with more and more vigour. The workers are fighting for their rights. On September-2, there was an All India strike by the workers. Though the main organisers, the central trade unions led by the parties of establishment, try their best to make it an one day affair, the workers are carrying on their struggles in their industries and factories. The students of universities have taken their cue from the struggle against the “murder” of Rohit Vemula, a dalit student leader of Hyderabad University and its spread from the Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi to Jadavpur University in Kolkata to Delhi university and so on and on. Dalits and minorities are also organising themselves to resist the onslaught of the RSS led casteism and communalism backed by the state. The Dadri killing united the minorities, dalits and democrats all over the country to fight back. That unity was cemented when in Gujarat dalits were attacked for carrying cadaret of a cow. In Gujarat dalits have set an example of unity.
Above all the fight of the tribal people, peasantry and democrats together against the imperialist conspiracy to snatching their lands in the name of development and building up SEZ’s based on the policy of globalisation has shown that people of India will not take imperialist attacks lying. Moreover in this connection one concrete fact is to be presented. From Singur to Kalinganagar to POSCO to Nandigram to Rayagada to Srikakulam people got organised for resistance with the help of different political organisations, NGO’s and mass organisations. In most cases these organisations were totally different in different states. For example the TMC was present in Singur and Nandigram, but they could not be seen anywhere outside West Bengal. But one sort of political organisation was present in all the places, they were communist revolutionaries, Marxist-Leninists. But the Problem was that they were a divided lot.
The ever deepening political and economic crisis in India and in the world has been providing good opportunities to the CRs to build a revolutionary movement and to lead the people to more decisive revolutionary battles to achieve the much cherished goal of New Democratic Revolution in India. But the revolutionary movement will not come by itself. It must be prepared for and built. And only a strong proletarian revolutionary party can prepare for and win the victory. The absence of such a party continues to be serious weakness even today. The building of proletarian revolutionary party by uniting all genuine revolutionaries is our task.
Moreover it must be remembered that just analysing the situation is not enough, the need is to “chase the situation. One way it is an excellent situation. The ruling classes are fighting with one other constantly. Their parties at the centre and the states are vying with one another for power. People are rising up spontaneously to resist the onslaughts on them creating a situation when any attempt to maintain balance by the ruling cliques is getting upset. This is a situation where the ruling classes are being forced to take tough decisions-economically, politically, administratively, even militarily. But for the communist revolutionaries it is a situation when their task is clear as the proverb-”when the going got tough, the tough gets going”. This toughness in our task can be achieved by implementing our programme and path for revolution in accordance of the concrete situation, continuously developing our forces.
Building an agrarian revolutionary movement with the slogan of ‘land to the tiller’ is the fore most tasks of the revolutionaries. This should be combined with other main task of building the anti-imperialist and anti-feudal struggles. Awaken the people to achieve the following basic tasks and organise the people’s struggles on the following immediate demands:
1. All the rural poor should struggle for the implementation of revolutionary land reforms with the ‘land to the tiller’ as the central slogan.
2. Nationalise all the foreign capital.
3. Encourage national industries.
4. Fight for the protection of adivasi right over the land, water and forest.
5. Oppose privatisation of water.
6. Oppose corporation of agriculture.
7. Stop the entry of foreign finance capital.