No achhe din for working class and peasantry as long as capitalism continues
The BJP-led NDA government has completed one year in office. There has been overwhelming media coverage of this fact, accompanied by score-cards and evaluations of PM Modi’s government, comparisons of “performance” with the 10 years of the previous UPA government and against the promises made by the BJP and its leader after it had won the elections.
On the one hand, the BJP’s spokespersons pat themselves on the back, and give their PM a superlative rank for his leadership in steering the government. On the other, the Congress party’s spokespersons and the previous PM have pointed out that whatever the government has executed was merely what had already been initiated by its government over the previous 10 years!
We, communists and progressive people, must assess this one year in terms of what the year meant for the bourgeoisie on the one hand and what it has meant for the working class and the majority of toilers, on the other.
What the year was like for the bourgeoisie
The BJP government has made every effort in this past year to provide the acche din to the bourgeoisie as per its promise. The course pursued by the Manmohan Singh government has been pursued even more vigorously. The government has given priority to fulfilling the demand of the Indian and foreign monopolies of “improving the climate for doing business” by reforming the Companies Act, by revising labour laws in the interests of capitalists, and by opening the doors wider for FDI in sectors like Insurance, Railways and Defence.
Just like the Congress led governments of the past, this government too has carried out all these pro-capitalist reforms under various slogans that promise everything for the masses of people. It first gave the call that its government would be for all – “sabke saath, sabka vikas” and followed it up with a call for “Make in India” promising that this will create millions of jobs and wipe out the problem of unemployment. Similarly, the anti-working class labour law reforms have been justified under the guise of rationalizing old laws and introducing modern laws!
The chieftains of India Inc have given Modi and his government a score of 70-80%, calling at the same time, for the speeding up of the reform process. They are demanding that the land acquisition bill and GST bill, both of which have been referred to Parliamentary Committees are soon be passed to make it even “easier” to do business in India. This cautious assessment is in contrast to the mood created by the bourgeoisie a year ago, when the BJP-led NDA government took over the reins of power from the Congress-led UPA.
At that point in time, the Congress-led UPA government had been thoroughly exposed for what it really was – a government of the capitalists pretending to be for the masses of people. It could no longer continue to fool the people in the same way as before. The bourgeoisie was also impatient for greater speed in the pro-capitalist reform process and brought in the BJP government with Modi at the helm to push faster in the same direction.
It was in the bourgeoisie’s interest at that time to create euphoria over the new government, as it needed to maintain the credibility of this system, to preserve the illusions about the system. Modi was presented as the man with a magic wand who would be able to lead a government that could work in the interests of all.
The working class and the present government
Experience of every election since 1947 have shown again and again that when there is a change in government, there is no change in the orientation of the economy. The class controlling state power remains the same. There is no change in the political-economic system. There is only a change in management. What exists is the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie. The reins of power are in the hands of the bourgeois class and only the horses are changed.
Within this one year of the BJP-led NDA government, it has been increasingly exposed for what it is really – an alternative to the Congress-led UPA government as a manager for the bourgeoisie. It has been exposed as the government which made a lot of new promises to cover up the same course that is being followed as the previous government.
The Indian economy is in crisis. It is deeply integrated with the world economy which is in serious crisis and therefore is not immune to the impact of the crisis of the global economy. Exports are severely constrained by shrinking markets abroad, there are many countries who are competing for investments; all the ills faced by economies across the world affect Indian economy as well – inflation, unemployment, unsold stocks of consumer goods as people’s purchasing power falls, stagnation in investments, etc.
This is a crisis of capitalism, which is in decay, and there is no magic wand that can be used to wave away any aspect of the crisis.
People’s conditions have deteriorated. The attacks on the working class, peasantry and all toilers are intensifying as the profits of monopolies come under pressure because of the general crisis in the system, and the intensification of the inter-monopoly competition. In its efforts to maximize its profits, the bourgeoisie is increasing the attacks on the workers, peasants and masses of people.
There is anger and resentment across all sections of the working class and toiling people. Reflecting this mood, all trade unions have come out onto the streets in mass protests against the attacks on the livelihood and rights of workers and peasants, including those affiliated to parties in the ruling coalition.
Way out of the crisis
It is only the elimination of capitalism and the democratic renewal of Indian society that can bring achhe din for the majority of people. We have to get out of this endless misery of having this or that government of the bourgeoisie oppressing us for 5 years. We have to smash the illusions spread by the bourgeoisie amongst the working class and people, that a change of the party in power can address the problems facing the vast masses of our people. Capitalism is at the root of the problem and capitalist governments, whatever their name and whatever slogans they give, will rule in the interests of the capitalist class. It is only the rule of the working class in alliance with the peasantry and all oppressed that can really change the course of the economy to bring sabka vikas.
The Indian bourgeoisie is a past master at using the parliamentary democratic shell to wield power on behalf of the bourgeoisie. It uses the ballot to create the illusion of democracy; but where it is needed, it can use the bullet to silence the people when they rise up in struggle to challenge its “democracy”. The bourgeoisie also uses the communal, caste or religious card to divide the people.
The bourgeoisie is aware that the BJP-led NDA government will get exposed sooner or later. The bourgeoisie is deliberately keeping the secular-communal card in readiness. What is this card? It is that at an appropriate moment, the bourgeoisie carries out propaganda that this government is a communal government which must be replaced by a “secular” Congress government. It will paint the Congress at the same time as “pro poor”. Already, this possibility is being created by grooming and preparing a Rahul Gandhi-led Congress as an alternative.
For communists and the working class, elimination of capitalism is the only way out. No changes in government, i.e., in the management of the capitalist system, can improve conditions of the vast majority of working people, or reduce the oppression and exploitation.
Today, the suppression of dissent, the attack on people on the basis of their personal beliefs, and other fascist measures are increasing. When the bourgeoisie is in crisis, as it is today, greater fascisation is in store for the people. The only solution is putting an end to capitalism and the rule of the bourgeoisie and replacing this with the rule of workers and peasants.