I thank the Mazdoor Ekta Lehar for regularly covering the important current issues through its articles and editorials, and providing scientific and accurate analysis, that takes the consciousness to a higher level. The Editorial in the Jan 1-15 2013 issue, has come at the most appropriate time, when the bourgeoisie media and political class is busy spreading maximum confusion on modernity, women’s rights, and backward attitudes and practices in the present society. While the recent utterances of some of the political leaders, ideologues and so called religious figures, show their utter contempt for people in general and women in particular, the question is who is responsible for continued persistence of medieval and backward practices, attitudes and ideas, including the caste system and backward religious customs, and who defends and promotes them. This is very important to understand, so that the awareness that the recent incident has brought out does not get diluted and diverted into legalistic jungle, but is channelized in the direction of through going change, that will ensure security and peace for all people.
As has been mentioned in the editorial the development of capitalism in India since the colonial times did not result is gradual destruction of feudalism, and feudal and medieval mindset, attitudes and practices, as it was in the interest of, first the British colonisers and later the Indian rulers to retain these practices, so as to further divide and oppress people, particularly women, while claiming themselves to be modern. This has been achieved through the political system and process, including electoral process, which ensure that while those who struggle and fight for progressive change are marginalized, the criminal and most backward elements in the society get the pride of place in the social echelon, holding high offices, which they use in their selfish interest, holding the entire society to ransom. The political systems and its state organs ensure that the criminals who organise and commit horrendous crimes against people and women, and corrupt the society, are set scot free, to become legislators, ministers, including Chief Minister and Prime Minister. They are the godfathers of the petty and big criminals, who come in handy during elections, for terrorizing the people and defending the interests of the capitalists, landlords and corporate houses. Enjoying the patronage and impunity, these criminals feel encouraged to commit individual crimes, attacking the most vulnerable, including women, migrant workers, knowing very well that not harm will come their way, and even if arrested or apprehended, they will be set free, through the intervention of their political godfathers.
This can be seen in the case of attacks on workers in Manesar and Gurgaon, by “bouncers” hired by the Maruti Suzuki management, and the anarchy unleashed in the Delhi during the spontaneous protests by infiltrating criminal elements and agent provocateurs amongst the peaceful protesters at India Gate and Raisina Hill, provoking violence, and creating an excuse for police to unleash terror through lathi charge, water cannon and tear gas. Even peaceful demonstrators – young girls and boys, sitting miles away near the India gate were not spared. The “bouncers” who were responsible for attack on the workers and setting fire in the Manesar factory have not only being not apprehended, but have been protected made into hero’s as security guards by the management, while hundreds for workers with no involvement in the incident, and many of them not even present at the factory site, are languishing the jail for months without bail. The criminal elements who provoked violence at India Gate have vanished, while many young boys were rounded up on charge of attacking the lone policeman who collapsed and died during the lathi charge. Later it was revealed that some of these boys were not even at the site, and were traveling in metro. Such is the nature of present political and legal system.
The lessons from this should not be lost, but used to build a mass awareness towards the need for through going change in the political process, that will enable people to take initiatives, ensure punishment to guilty, ban criminals political parties from social and political sphere and ensure safety and security for people. The need is to get organised in committees at all levels – school, colleges, residential areas, and workplaces. This is the essence of empowerment of people.