National and International Situations and Our Tasks.
Political Resolution Adopted by the Central Committee, CPI (ML)
The world economic crisis which struck various countries with different intensity is cyclical in nature. With each cycle of crisis, the basic contradictions of the world capitalist system are getting accentuated: between imperialism and oppressed nations and people of the world; between capital and labor, and between various imperialist powers.
Though the leaders of imperialist countries claim that the economy had come out of the 2008 financial crisis, it continues to haunt the world capitalist system. The so- called measures the imperialist powers had taken to contain the crisis, such as bailouts to the banks, had only fattened the pockets of financial monopolies and drove the people into the mire of unemployment and poverty.
The methods of placing the burden of the crisis on the backs of working people in the imperialist countries are taking various forms. In Europe, there are massive layoffs, reduced wages and increasing contract jobs with less pay and benefits in the name of labour flexibility. Along with these the monopoly bourgeoisie in the US is resorting to cutting down health care and pensions for workers. They reduced retirement benefits by a staggering 25 per cent between 2001 and 2015.
The corporate bosses have eliminated age old practice of employer paid ‘Defined Benefit’ retirement scheme for the newly hired workers, replacing it with ‘Defined Contribution’ plans which are funded by the workers contribution. According to a study, the employers offering definite benefit plans plummeted from 45 per cent to just 7 per cent between 2001 and 2015. Another study noted that the number of Americans aged 65 or over who are working jumped from 13 per cent in 2000 to 19 per cent in 2016 and is expected to increase to 32 per cent in the next five years.
The employer paid retirement and health care benefits were the result of fierce struggles waged by the working class in 1940s and 50s and defended in the struggles into 1970s. Now the capitalist class is ripping apart this social contract on the basis of distorted arguments as was made by the CEO of Delphi. The “social contract inherent in the defined benefit programmes perhaps made some economic sense when you worked for an employer till the age of 65 and then died at 70” he argued, “people can start work at age 20, retire at age50 and expect full pensions and health care till age 90 or so” makes no sense. It is clear that the monopoly bourgeoisie is hell bent upon to deny the legitimate dues it had to pay them and thus maximize its profits.
Faced with unabated crisis and growing disenchantment and ire of the people, the imperialist countries are increasingly resorting to brutal and repressive policies against the people. These include the restriction of civil and democratic rights and their gradual abolition. Exercising authoritarian powers in the name of so-called war on terrorism became a daily routine. The continuation of state of emergency by the French government after the Paris terrorist attack points to the rising trend of authoritarian rule in the name of saving democracy. In addition, the imperialist powers are raking up anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant sentiments and racism. The US president’s open defense of racist violence at Charlottesville is the latest example. While the white race supremacists’ rampaged through the town and terrorized students and other residents, the police stood by and winked their encouragement to the attackers. Trump described these racist attackers as “very fine people” and as resisting “violent left-wingers”. Similarly across the Europe, the ruling classes are encouraging no-Nazi forces and their organizations by raking up racism through anti-immigrant feelings.
This is the strategy adopted by the Western imperialist powers to divert the growing people’s anger against deteriorating conditions of life which was the result of crisis inherent in capitalist system. Trump’s slogan of America First, jobs for Americans only etc are only a part of this strategy.
Many people consider Trump as an ‘evil’ and attribute most of his policy pronouncements to his personal traits. They are unable to see the fact that Trump represents the financial monopolies and he is the outcome of growing fascist trends in American political system. It is well known that fascism is the product of capitalism in extreme crisis.
The Watergate scandal during the Nixon presidency exposed the criminal activities of US imperialism all over the world. Carter launched US war in Afghanistan that led to the creation of Al Qaeda. Reagan initiated attacks on social security plans internally, while unleashing illegal war of subversion in Nicaragua. Bush senior invaded Panama and carried out first invasion of Iraq. Clinton bombed Iraq and imposed sanctions that killed millions of Iraqis and their children. He unleashed war on Serbia. Bush junior initiated wars on Iraq and Libya that killed millions of people and sanctioned torture as an instrument of policy of suppression. Next came the candidate of ‘hope’ and ‘change’, Obama. He sanctified drone assassinations and domestic spying, while hundreds of billions of dollars were squandered to benefit the financial sharks.
Imperialism, particularly the US imperialism, to maintain and further strengthen its grip over the countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America, is seeking to perpetuate its domination. It is demanding and wresting more concessions from the third world countries by imposing more liberalization in trade, services and intellectual property rights beyond what was stipulated by WTO. It is now proposing regional trade agreements so that it can plunder the nature, human and financial resources of the third world countries.
Correspondingly, the imperialist powers are trying hard to continue their political domination, by resorting to use their military might. This is evident in the massive increase of military budgets, growing number of military interventions and threats of aggression against the third world countries.
Under the constant threats of aggression from US imperialism, North Korea tested a long range ballistic missile and nuclear bomb. The US imperialism is demonising this self defense act of North Korea as a potential threat to the humankind. The truth of the matter is that the US imperialism, while sitting on a huge pile of nuclear weapons that can destroy the whole earth more than four times, wants to disarm other countries as it wants to impose its rule over the world with its nuclear monopoly. Every country has the right to defend itself from the attacks by imperialist countries, particularly the US imperialism and acquire weapons and armaments including the nuclear weapons to defend themselves.
The imperialist powers are vying with each other for share in the loot. As the crisis continues to hit them hard, their wrangling over the spoils is getting louder and louder. The reverberations of this wrangling were clearly heard in the recent G-20 summit held in Germany. The EU, particularly Germany and France, vehemently opposed the US proposal to have a Trans Atlantic trade and
investment participation treaty, which aimed at achieving US dominance over the European countries. Similarly another US proposed Trans Pacific Trade and Investment Participation treaty did not make headway. At the same time, the US imperialism is facing the Russian assertion for its place in the world affairs as an imperialist power, which at present thwarted plans to topple the Assad government in Syria. The Russian attempts to join hands with China which is growing as an economic power and entering into Africa with the finance capital, has become a threat to the interests of US imperialism. To counter this, the US imperialism is paying particular attention to the South Asia. It rallied Japan, Australia and India into what is calling the pivot to Asia aimed at curtailing the Russian and Chinese access to Indian Ocean. This clearly shows the sharpening of contradictions among the imperialist powers.
In all the countries the people are seething with discontent and anger. They are protesting and are looking for a way that leads to the resolution of their problems. All over the world the working class is struggling not only for economic demands but also for certain democratic and political demands.
When the peoples’ movement took the shape of anti-imperialism, it is being manipulated, with the active co-operation from the local reactionary classes, to save the interests of imperialism as was witnessed in the events of Tunisia and Egypt. When the governments that came into power at the crest of peoples’ movement, implemented democratic and national policies as opposed to imperialist dictated ones, the US imperialism tried every dirty trick to topple those governments. After the death of Chavez, the national bourgeoisie of Venezuela succumbed to the pressure of US imperialism as was evident in the policies of Madura government.
The people of the world are not remaining passive. They are developing their struggles and organizations. They need correct leadership - the leadership of a Communist Party – to lead their struggles against imperialism and domestic ruling classes, thus leading them towards the emancipation from exploitation and oppression.
The BJP led government completed three years in power. The Prime Minister in his fourth Independence Day address triumphantly announced the achievements of his government. Deft at coining new slogans, Modi gave another slogan ‘Bharat jodo’. The Part II of the Economic survey 2017 released on the next day, the last day of the monsoon session of the Parliament to avoid any discussion, belied the hopes that Modi tried to stoke.
The manufacturing sector was in disarray when Modi was sworn in. He announced ‘Make in India’ programmes ostensibly to rejuvenate the manufacturing sector. After three years, the manufacturing sector showed a historically low capacity utilization of 70 per cent. Due to transition to GST and effect of demonetization, observes the Economic survey, “15 of 25 subgroups in this sector recorded contraction”.
On employment generation, the most important indicator of economic activity, 1.5 million jobs were lost during January- April 2017 alone. The PM conveniently bypassed his own promise to create 2 crore jobs every year and now extolled the youth to become job givers instead of job seekers. Apparently the Modi Govt shrinks from the responsibility of providing jobs by yet another promise of providing the youth with opportunities for self employment.
The Economic Survey observed that “India’s combination of low real investment, low export volume and low credit growth with high GDP growth was unprecedented and difficult to maintain.” Such a gloomy situation cannot provide opportunity to youth to find self employment. Modi praised the job creation impact of the MUDRA loans. But the scheme with its low level of loans advanced cannot create large number jobs. The number of beneficiaries under MNREGA is being shown as creation of jobs knowing well that it is distress mitigation scheme. People avail this scheme only when there is no alternative source of income.
Moreover, the Economic Survey showed how the demonetization devastated the informal sector. There is deflation; but it came at the cost of peasants and those in the informal sector. The RBI Annual Report 2016-17 revealed that the demonetization had not achieved all its declared objectives. 98.96 percent of banned Rs.1000 and Rs.500 notes were deposited in the bank accounts. The RBI is yet to count the notes deposited in the co- operative banks and in Nepal. If
these are accounted, almost all the banned notes returned to the RBI. Even according to the Central bank’s figure, about Rs. 16,000 crore worth of banned notes were not returned, which means that those holding illegal cash are insignificant in number or that they found ways of depositing cash into formal banking systems.
Contrary to the claims of the government that demonetization is “immensely beneficial to Indian economy and people”, undue costs and hardships were imposed on the poor people and on the informal sector of Indian economy. The regular economic activity was disrupted for months. The Economic survey stated that decline in GDP growth rates “predated demonetization but intensified in the post demonetization period”. As was suspected by many at the time of announcement, the demonetization had only helped the banks with liquid money as demonetization is not complete even after six months. Seen from the tall claims made by the government, the demonetization remained as a futile exercise.
The much placated one Country- one tax reform, GST has paralyzed the informal manufacturing sector. Textiles, leather and construction are worst hit. In the name of streamlining the tax regime to improve tax compliance the government has shut down the businesses and extinguished livelihoods. The GST as we had anticipated cleared the way for the foreign private capital to gobble up the informal sector which is the mainstay of Indian economy and put the finances of the state governments in deep morass.
The rhetoric and cliché slogans apart, the BJP led government is pursuing the same policies of the UPA government with much more speed and ruthlessness. It removed all the barriers remained for the entry of foreign private capital, including the defense sector. It is continuing the policy of privatization of education and medical and health services to its logical conclusion of surrendering them to the foreign capital. The long drawn process of formulating the national education policy in the garb of democratic discussion, while parts of it being put in to implementation and recently pronounced new health policy stands as proof of this.
Unable to solve not even a single basic problem of the people the BJP government is doing everything to polarize the Indian society on communal basis. It is blowing up every issue out of proportions, be it beef, inter- religious marriages or religious conversions or even the habits of wearing different dresses to rake communal hatred and national chauvinism and then resorts to physical attacks and murders. Communalism and national chauvinism are being used to cow down the dissenters and opposition. This indicates the growing fascistic trends in the Indian polity.
Through the assassination of Bengaluru based journalist Gauri Lankesh on 5 September the killers sent out a message to other journalists and critics who believe, that they have a right to question and criticize those in power, to dissent from dominant views, to investigate social evils, and to expose violations of human rights and corruption in high places, that they will be silenced. The
assassination of Gauri Lankesh is part of a larger design to silence those intellectuals who oppose communalism and caste discrimination as promoted by the Hindutva forces. The list is long... M.M. Kalburgi, Pansare and many others.
The mainstream media in India is largely pliant and unquestioning, although there are few exceptions. Given the prevailing ownership of media by big bourgeoisie, it is virtually impossible for individual journalists to investigate or expose the powerful unless the owners agree. Hence, the parroting of what is being given by the government on everything ranging from the economy to foreign affairs to terrorism fills the columns of print media and consumes the prime time of electronic media. The dissenting voices are very rarely heard. Her brutal death ought to be a wake-up call for all journalists and democrats. It is not just the lives of journalists and democrats that are at stake, it is the future of free and fearless journalism and the democratic values that are in danger of being eliminated.
The continuing economic crisis had its repercussions in the political arena. The concentration of powers in the hands of the central government at the expense of state governments has become a daily phenomenon. In the name of co- operative federation it is curtailing the powers of state governments’ finances. Replacing the Planning Commission with NITI Ayog is one example. Even the BJP ruled states started to grumble on GST which has thrown their finances into disarray. While agriculture is a state subject it is moving in the direction of enacting an all India Agricultural Produce Market yard Committee law to replace all the APMC laws made by the state governments, in its bid to create a single agricultural market as dictated by the WTO to facilitate Agribusiness of MNCs.
The BJP which came to the power raising the slogans of Ram Janma bhoomi, love Jihad and Ghar Wapsi, now added gau raksha in its armory. Along with these communal slogans, it used caste permutations that are different from the opponents to win the Assembly election in Uttar Pradesh.
In a bid to prove its capacity in implementing the neo liberal policies dictated by its imperialist masters, the Modi government and BJP are arm-twisting and black mailing the state governments under the rule of opposition parties. The way Nitish Kumar was brought back in to the fold of NDA breaking its ties with RJD in Bihar is a stark example.
It is using peoples’ anger against the deteriorating conditions of life to pressurize the state governments. As in the Nirbhaya case in Delhi, it used Jallikattu issue to mobilize the people and abruptly withdrew when it found that the rising Tamil national sentiments may work against it. Taking advantage of the vacuum formed due to the death of Jayalalitha, it made the IT department to take up raids on the AIADMK’s sources of finance accrued through corruption. The role of BJP in breaking and realigning the factions in the AIADMK is obvious to everyone.
The BJP is using communal agenda to brow beat the TMC government and covertly raking up demand for separate Gorkhaland to gain its narrow political ends and to put Mamata Banerjee in trouble, but not to support this long standing demand of the peoples movement. It also began to create troubles in the two Telugu speaking states - AP and Telangana- even though the regional parties are extending their support to the NDA government. The bulwark of BJP, Amit Shah told in a recent meeting of cadres of BJP that harnessing support from TDP and TRS is only a tactic and they must work with the aim of gaining power in these states at any cost. It is using every trick to break the attempts of the opposition parties to forge an alliance.
Since India and US formed a “Global strategic Partnership” in 2009, the Indian big bourgeoisie has inclined more towards US imperialism. As a continuation of this, India allowed to use its military facilities and ports by the US military under the Logistic Exchange Memorandum of Agreement signed in August 2016. Since coming to power in 2014, Narendra Modi government and BJP unabashedly declare that Washington is a strategic ally of India. It turned India into a front line state in the hegemonic designs of US imperialism in Asia and Indian Ocean. It joined the trilateral military ties with US, Japan and Australia.
This is evident in the standoff at Doklam with China. India entered into a territory, which is a dispute between Bhutan and China and on which talks are going on to find a solution between China and Bhutan, though it has no legal right to do so. The 2007 treaty with Bhutan freed itself to conduct its foreign affairs independently without the need to consult India. Yet the Indian government sent its troops saying that Chinese army trespassed the border and when this was proved not correct, it put forth the plea that it took the measure at the request of Bhutan.
The BJP is using this situation and raking up national chauvinism to divert the peoples attention from the basic issues. The blow hot and blow cold statements from both sides of the Himalayas may not immediately lead to an armed conflict between China and India. But the India’s totally unwarranted adventure will definitely lead India into the clutches of US imperialism. One has to demand the government to settle all the outstanding border disputes with neighboring countries through talks and find an amicable solution and stop meddling in the affairs of Nepal and Bhutan.
Here there is every need to expose the real intentions of the Indian ruling classes and its imperialist masters in using communalism and national chauvinism to divide the people. During the last two years we have witnessed turmoil in the campuses of centers of higher education. Be it JNU, DU or Rajasthan University or Central University of Haryana or Hyderabad Central University and be it Rohith Vemula, Kanhaiya Kumar, Rajasree Ranawat, Umar Khalid or Nivedita Menon, the RSS forces are branding anyone who does not agree to their Hindu nationalism as anti-national are being subjected physical attacks. The students with support from the democratic minded people and forces resisted these attacks to the extent possible. Such a resistance is very much needed; otherwise the juggernaut of communalism would tear asunder the fabric of communal harmony and peace that used to prevail in campuses and the society outside.
Yet, not only have the immediate issues like hostel facilities, building of universities, land issues for colleges, research funding etc, but also the issue of policy that shapes the higher education like redesigning curriculum to suit the needs of industry, tying up the universities with foreign funding that decides every aspect of education to be imparted to the students etc., were effectively side lined by the government. While the students are engaged in resisting the communal forces, the government has pushed through almost all its so-called reforms that bring adverse consequences for the students and education system, except forming the proposed Higher Education Commission to replace the University Grants Commission, AICTE and Medical Council of India. This is what the finance capital wanted. Previously, these universities witnessed the resistance from the students to these so-called reforms.
This is also true as regards the other sections and classes of people. The real aim of the BJP and RSS on behalf of the Indian ruling classes in raking up communalism and national chauvinism is to divide the people and weaken their resistance to the anti-people policies being implemented by them. It is the duty of the Communist revolutionaries to organise resistance to and join hands with the forces that are opposing and resisting the attacks from Hindu communal forces, while at the same time expose the hidden agenda of the ruling classes sought to be pushed through by the communal forces before the people so that their resistance and opposition do not limit to the immediate danger of attacks but extend to the larger issues. By this way we can make the people aware of the nefarious acts of the Indian ruling classes and their political representatives.
The Modi government is sharpening the teeth of repressive laws and machinery so as to trample the hard earned democratic rights of the people. It aims to monitor every movement of its citizens by linking everything with UID (Aadhar card) In the situation where the parliamentary opposition parties including the left have accepted imperialist globalisation as a fact of life and are implementing the same where they were in power, the people as well as the Country are faced with future fraught with grave danger. This calls upon the Communist revolutionary forces to come forward to take on the challenge. They should close their ranks; strengthen themselves organizationally and in terms of class and mass organizations and movements. They must strive to forge unity and alliance with democratic and patriotic forces in order to fight the dangers ahead and mobilize and organise the people for united struggle on the following demands:
1. Scrap land acquisition legislation.
2. Scrap mining and mineral Ordinance.
3. Implement land reforms.
4. Scrap labour reforms.
5. Increase allocation to social sectors like education and health.
6. Oppose communalism.
7. Stop communalisation of education and culture.
8. Oppose national chauvinism.
9. Stop construction of nuclear power plants.
10. No to foreign capital.
11. Oppose imperialist aggressions.
12. Solidarity with struggling people and oppressed nations.