The workers and working people of our country are increasingly on the path of struggle in defence of their rights.
Whether it be the right to food, housing, drinking water, sanitation, education, health care, transport, electricity, or other rights essential for a human existence today, our people are no longer willing to sit quiet and wait for the government of the day to fulfill promises. People have seen that governments replace one another after each election, but the promises to people remain on paper. And when the people demand their rights, they have to face the fascist repression of the ruling class. The first hint of resistance of workers and working people is met by the bourgeoisie with calls for crushing the struggle. There is no difference on this question, irrespective of which party is in power.
On June 20, Gurgaon, Haryana, was the scene of massive clashes between workers and the police. Thousands of workers came out in angry protests when they heard of the news of the electrocution of their fellow worker in the factory of a leading garment export company — Orient Craft. Workers in this factory, as in other factories in the Gurgaon— Manesar belt are exploited to the bone, and forced to work in extremely unsafe conditions for long hours. The response of the Haryana government was to attack the workers with thousands of policemen.
On the same day, a fierce clash was reported between hired goons of a contractor, and the workers who were working on the construction site of Indian Institute of Technology, Mandi in Himachal Pradesh. The workers had organized a peaceful protest demanding their wages which had not been paid since May, when the goons opened fire on them. Many workers were seriously injured in the firing. Four of the goondas were found dead on the nearby mountain slopes, having slipped while running away after attacking the workers.
In Delhi, 20,000 resident doctors of the government hospitals declared a strike in opposition to the systematic wrecking of government hospitals by successive governments. Within 24 hours, the Delhi government declared the strike “illegal”, invoked the fascist ESMA, and deployed thousands of police to crush the just struggle of the doctors.
On the other hand, these same governments are extremely sincere in fulfilling the demands of the bourgeoisie. The central government is working overtime to make sure that “ease of business” is increased. It is working overtime to make sure that India is made an attractive destination for capital, Indian and foreign. To achieve these demands of the bourgeoisie, the Companies Act has been amended, and a whole host of measures aimed at curbing the rights of workers and intensifying their exploitation have either been passed by parliament, or will soon be passed. These amendments aim to make it even more difficult for workers to form unions, further legitimize hiring of workers as contract on a hire and fire basis without any social security, legalize the increase of the length of the working day, make closure and retrenchment easier, and remove lakhs of establishments from the purview of the factories act and the Industrial Disputes Act. As demanded by the bourgeoisie, the government has opened up strategic sectors of the economy such as Defense, Insurance, Railways, for increased Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).
According to the bourgeoisie and its propagandists, when workers and working people fight for their rights, their struggle is against “national interest” and must be crushed. They are declared to be “violent”, hurting the economy by scaring away capitalists. This is what is being done in the recent cases of workers struggle against the violence of the maliks and the inhuman working conditions imposed on them in Gurgaon and in Mandi. In the case of services like health care and education, while the government systematically implements the anti social program of wrecking public hospitals and educational institutions, the doctors, nurses, and teachers working in these institutions are attacked as “irresponsible”, “anti-social”, etc when they protest their conditions, and oppose the wrecking. In every struggle, the full force of the state machinery, including the police along with private goons of the capitalists, is unleashed to intimidate workers.
The bourgeoisie and the working class stand for opposite interests. There can be no compromise or adjustments between them. The struggles of the workers and peasants, women, youth, students, tribals and other exploited and oppressed show that the working masses are unwilling to accept their conditions.
On the one side stands the reactionary bourgeoisie, which is controlling state power. All the governments, whether at the center or in the states, are its management teams. They are committed to loyally implementing the anti worker, anti peasant, anti national and anti social program of ensuring that the Indian and foreign capitalists can make maximum profits through the unbridled loot of the land, labour and natural resources of our people.
On the other side, stand the working class and toiling peasantry, who are fighting for their rights as human beings and as producers of the wealth of society.
Today, the orientation of the economy is of enriching the native and foreign capitalists through maximum plunder. The program of globalization through liberalization and privatization is aimed at achieving this at the fastest possible pace.
Working class and peasantry must fight to reorient the economy to ensure prosperity and security for all. We cannot accept a system in which a privileged minority of big capitalists ensure that they can ride roughshod over the vast masses of working people through their control of the state machinery. We cannot accept a system where the masses of people are exploited to the bone, deprived of all rights, and forced to be victims of malnutrition, floods and famines, ill health and disease, unemployment and underemployment.
The central question is of political power — that is which class controls state power. As long as the bourgeoisie controls state power, no change of government is going to help the working class. This is what life experience teaches.
The rule of the bourgeoisie needs to be replaced with the rule of workers and peasants. Only then can we reorient the economy to ensure prosperity and protection for those deprived of it today.
We communists have the responsibility of providing clear and farsighted leadership to these struggles. This means that we must ensure that step by step, the working class is united around its own program. The illusions about the state and the system, which the bourgeoisie and its apologists repeatedly din into the heads of the people, need to be continuously smashed, using the life experience of the toiling masses themselves.
Day in and day out, the bourgeoisie carries out lying propaganda to convince people that the economic and political system are just fine and can be made to work for the people. All kinds of diabolical activities are carried out to divide the people and set them against each other. People are blamed for all the problems. Propaganda is carried out that the big fight in India is between different political parties of the bourgeoisie and the people are called upon to choose the “lesser evil”. In this manner the bourgeoisie tries to keep the people divided and tied to the system, while it pursues its agenda.
Far from falling into the diversionary traps of the bourgeoisie, communists must expose these traps for what they are and work systematically to organize the working class and peasantry to replace the rule of the bourgeoisie with the rule of workers and peasants.
Defeat the anti worker, anti peasant, anti national and anti social program of the bourgeoisie!
Fight to establish worker peasant rule!