Call of the CC of CGPI on occasion of May Day 2014
We, the workers of India, are celebrating May Day along with our brothers and sisters of all lands. Crores of workers of our country have participated in militant struggles against privatization of banking, railways, airlines, airports and other sectors, against contractualisation of labour, and attacks on their pension, wages, and other rights. Banking and insurance sector workers have been fighting against entry of foreign banks as well as Indian monopoly houses in the financial sector. Auto workers, garment workers, nurses and other health workers, as well as other workers in many multinational companies have been fighting for the right to form unions.
General strikes of workers have taken place in Greece, Spain, Germany and other countries of Europe against the austerity measures being imposed by the governments. Health workers in Britain have been opposing the privatization and liquidation of the National Health Service. Transport and fast food chain workers in the US, port workers in Israel, miners in South Africa, oil workers in Indonesia, rail workers in South Korea, garment workers in Cambodia, Bangladesh and Vietnam, contract workers in Singapore, and workers in numerous multinationals in China have been fighting against their severe exploitation, terrible working conditions, and denial of rights.
In the conditions of continuing crisis of the global economy, the biggest capitalists of the world are keen to penetrate the Indian economy even further to reap maximum profits. They are eyeing the youthful Indian work force that can be super-exploited. They are eyeing the enormous savings of our people, currently in the hands of state-owned banks and insurance companies. Driven by unlimited greed and imperialist aims, the Tatas, Ambanis, Birlas and other big capitalists of our country are keen to open up all sectors to foreign capital, to step up the joint plunder of our land and labour.
In order to divert our anger and break our unity against the program of globalization through liberalization and privatization, various illusions are being spread today. The biggest illusion is that “we, the people” will decide the fate and future of India by voting in the General Elections. The truth is that the big capitalists have already decided the course to be followed. They are seeking to use these elections to install a government that can effectively push ahead with their capitalist-imperialist offensive.
The biggest capitalists of our country and their foreign collaborators are promoting the BJP, led by Narendra Modi, as the "alternative" to the Congress Party. However, both BJP and the Congress Party are committed to the same program of globalization through liberalization and privatization. Life experience has shown that various regional bourgeois parties including DMK, AIADMK, Biju Janata Dal, SP, BSP, Janata Dal (United), TMC, Akali Dal and Shiv Sena are all committed to this same anti-worker, anti-peasant and anti-national program. The “big fight” between these parties is nothing but a drama being played to fool the workers and peasants.
The entire capitalist class is singing the tune that the problem is not capitalism; the problem is allegedly corruption and “crony capitalism”. However, the problem of corruption is rooted in the capitalist system and in the extortionist character of the Indian state, which is an inheritance from colonial times. The corrupt political institutions and state apparatus that the British colonialists built to enslave and plunder our country were retained by the Indian bourgeoisie which came to power in 1947. Furthermore, capitalism has reached a stage when economic and political power is highly concentrated, and the state acts in the private interests of a minority of billionaires. This is the reason the scale of corruption has increased enormously over the years. This is true not only in our country, but all over the world. Elected governments act at the bidding of the biggest capitalists. Hence the struggle against corruption is a component part of the struggle against the exploitative economic system and the oppressive political power that defends it.
There is a concerted effort to attack the very identity of our class, by making out we are "Aam Admi". According to the Aam Admi Party, both capitalists and workers are "aam Admi". They want to eliminate the distinction between those whose labour produces wealth, and those who live by exploiting the labour of others. They want us workers to line up behind "honest" elements of the capitalist class and give up our struggle against capitalist exploitation, which is the source of our problems.
Our enemies are repeatedly propagating the notion that society is divided into rich, poor and middle class, on the basis of income. The scientific concept of an economic class is based on the relationship of that class to the means of social production. It is determined by the source of income and not by its quantity. The fact is that irrespective of our income, all those who earn their living by selling their labour power are workers. We workers in every sector of the economy, irrespective of how much we earn, are being exploited to the maximum by the capitalist class, which is growing richer by the day.
Our society is divided into the minority capitalist class which owns the principal means of production, and the working class, which has only its labour power to sell. In between are the peasantry and other intermediate sections, which are more and more being driven into the ranks of the working class. We need to forge the unity of the working class and build our alliance with the peasantry to halt and reverse the program of globalization through liberalization and privatization. We need to prepare to overthrow capitalism and the political system that defends it.
The Communist Party of India (Marxist) and its Left Front allies are refusing to contribute to forging the unity of the working class against capitalism and the program of globalization through liberalization and privatization. Instead they have been conciliating with this program. The Left Front government in West Bengal implemented this program under its rule, saying that it had no other choice. At the All India level, the CPI (M) and its allies assisted the bourgeoisie in implementing this program during the UPA -1 regime in the name of a “common minimum program”.
At the present time, CPI (M) is once again trying to make out that the Congress Party is a “lesser evil” as compared to the BJP. CPI (M) is also promoting the harmful illusion that a coalition of the Left front and regional bourgeois parties, formed after the elections, with or without Congress support, will pursue an alternative course in the interests of workers and peasants. They are blocking the development of the unity of the working class around its own program.
There can be only two programs.
One is the program of the bourgeoisie. This is a capital centric program, whose aim is to ensure maximum profits for the Indian and foreign capitalists through the savage exploitation of workers, the plunder of our natural resources, and the robbery of the peasantry.
The other is the program we workers must unite around, and rally the broad masses of toilers and tillers. This is a human centric program, which will reorient the economy to ensure prosperity and protection to all, as a matter of right.
The capitalist class is naturally divided into antagonistic groups. However, they are conscious and united in ensuring that their program is implemented.
We workers can and must unite around our human centric program. Our aim is to build a socialist and communist society, free from exploitation of persons by persons, and from all class and caste distinctions.
To fulfill this aim, the principal means of production, transport and distribution need to be taken over from the hands of the bourgeoisie and brought under social ownership. The party dominated system of democracy, through which the bourgeoisie exercises its dictatorship, needs to be replaced by proletarian democracy, with the party of the working class enabling the toiling majority to rule. The present Indian Union, which is a prison house of nations, needs to be replaced by a free and voluntary union.
With this strategic aim, let us resolve to build workers’ unity committees in factories, offices and industrial areas, around the following immediate demands:
- Secure and suitable employment for all. Everyone in the towns and villages can and must be provided with suitable work, in-service training and a secure livelihood.
- Universal registration of all wage and salaried employment. Crores of workers toil without any legal protection of their rights because their employment is not registered, it is off-the-record. Getting all workers registered as workers is an essential step to fight for the universal rights of workers.
- Guaranteed minimum wages, pension, and all other rights must be recognised as rights that belong to all wage-workers, without exception. Today the most basic rights of labour, including minimum wages,8 hour limit on the working day, right to form unions and to go on strike, pension, health insurance and paid leave, are denied to the majority of workers including crores of unregistered, temporary and contract workers, as well as workers who are deemed to be “officers” or to be having administrative responsibility, or part of “essential services”.
- The rights of women at the workplace must be guaranteed. Women must be paid equal wages for the same work done by men. The state must ensure full maternity benefits and provision of child care facilities at the most suitable locations.
- Creation of a modern Universal Public Distribution System which ensures that all essential items of consumption are available in adequate quantity, good quality and at affordable prices for all.
- Secure housing, sanitation, safe drinking water and reliable electricity for every household, in the cities, countryside and the hills.
- Guaranteed Security of livelihood for our peasantry. This requires ensuring provision of agricultural inputs at stable and affordable prices, remunerative prices for all agricultural produce, state guaranteed insurance against crop failure and a ban on acquisition of agricultural land pending the enactment of a new Land Law.
- Free preventive and reproductive health care and affordable curative care for all.
- Guarantee of safety and security of women
- Guaranteed free school education of uniform quality to every child. Enabling access to higher education through subsidy and scholarships for the sons and daughters of the working class and peasantry.
In order to ensure that the wealth produced by the toil of workers and peasants is used for ensuring the above provisions, it is essential to halt and curb the loot and plunder of our land and labour through the following measures:
- Halt and Reversal of Privatisation in any form, including Disinvestment and PPP.
- Immediate confiscation of all unaccounted hoards of cash – by issuing new Rupee notes in place of the existing ones.
- Ban on the export of capital by any private Indian company.
- Withdrawal of tax waivers and tax holidays to capitalist corporations and capitalists.
- Withdrawal of state guaranteed profit rates for private companies.
- Nationalisation of foreign trade, internal wholesale trade and large-scale retail trade so as to eliminate private profiteering in this sphere.
- Ban on foreign ownership of banking and other financial assets. Banking and insurance to be nationalised and reoriented from profit maximisation towards fulfilling social needs.
- Moratorium on interest payments by Government to the big banks and other financial monopolies, Indian and foreign.
- Cutback on the huge unproductive expenditures on arms and the armed forces.
- Natural wealth to be treated as national and collective property.
All capitalist monopolies and private property owners who do not fall in line with the above measures must be expropriated without compensation.
Let us forge our unity around the following political measures:
- AFSPA, UAPA, MESMA and all other draconian laws must be immediately revoked. All those guilty of organising communal violence, fake encounters and other such terrorist acts must be speedily tried and punished.
- Constitutional guarantee for the rights of workers, peasants and for all human rights
Let us fight for the following measures to empower the electorate:
- No election without people’s selection of candidates!
- State must fund the electoral process. State must not fund any political party.
- People must have the right to initiate legislation, to approve major public decisions through referendums, and the right to recall at any time the one they elected.
- Election of a Constituent Assembly to formulate a draft Constitution that vests sovereignty in the people, and reconstitutes India as a free and equal union of all the nations, nationalities and tribal peoples who make up this country.
Let us unite and fight for an anti imperialist foreign policy that is in the interests of peace and prosperity of all peoples and nations.
- Halt and forbid any form of chauvinist hysteria against Pakistan or any other country in this region.
- All secret treaties with US and other imperialist powers must be repudiated and all foreign policy issues subjected to country-wide discussion and approval.
- Immediate end to the US economic blockade and ‘sanctions’ against Cuba, Iran and North Korea.
- Immediate halt to the US drone attacks on the territory of Pakistan.
Let us discuss this program and elaborate, enrich and develop it further, wherever we live and work.
The Communist Ghadar Party of India firmly believes that communists have the most crucial role to play in forging the unity of the working class around its own program. As long as different communist parties and groups keep sending conflicting signals, the working class will be divided and bereft of revolutionary leadership. It is therefore essential to restore the unity of communists in one single party, in the course of leading the struggle against the capitalist offensive.
Let us demand from all those who call themselves communists or worker leaders that they give up the rotten and treacherous line of supporting this or that capitalist party or front under any pretext. We must make them answer the question: are they for the front of the working class, or for the front of the capitalists? There can be no third front. All those who are for the working class front must get together to build it.
It is we who produce everything from a needle to an aero plane. Our peasant brothers feed the whole of society. We workers have the capacity to establish our rule in alliance with the peasantry so that we can orient the economy to provide for all. In order to do so, we need to forge our unity around our own fighting program.
The Communist Ghadar Party of India has full confidence in the maturity and fighting spirit of the workers, peasants, women and youth of our country. We can become the malik of India. We will become the malik of India.
Lal Quila par Lal Nishan, Maang Raha hai Hindostan!
Shramjeeviyo ka Daur, Lok Raj Ki Or, Yeh Ghadar Jaari Hai!