Seven youth organisations — All India Youth Federation (AIYF), Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI), Revolutionary Youth Association (RYA), Hind Naujawan Ekta Sabha (HNES), All India Democratic Youth Organisation (AIDYO), Revolutionary Youth Front (RYF), and All India Youth League (AIYL) — have initiated a country wide united campaign against communalism and fascism. Many other youth organisations have also joined this campaign. Together, they have decided to organise conventions, human chains, and other forms of protest to highlight the concerns of youth at the grave situation facing the people of our country.
The all-India campaign was launched at a convention held in New Delhi on 21 March 2016 at the Ghalib Academy auditorium. Youth from different regions of the country participated enthusiastically in the convention. The venue of the convention was decorated with banners and placards condemning the growing communal and fascist attacks on all sections of the people. Revolutionary and progressive literature was prominently displayed.
Representatives of 12 youth organisations constituted the Presidium. These included M B Rajesh (DYFI), R Thirumalai (AIYF), Santosh Kumar (HNES), Om Prakash (RYA), M N Singh (AIDYO), Chandbabu Rehman (NCP youth wing), Gopinath (MDMK youth wing), Sangathamizhan (VCK youth wing), Aman Kumar (JDU youth wing), and Chandra Prakash (RJD youth wing). Comrade Thirumalai gave the introductory remarks while Comrade MB Rajesh presented the resolution of the youth organisations to jointly fight against communalism and fascism.
Leaders of seven left and communist parties were amongst those who addressed the convention. They included Seetaram Yechury (CPIM), D Raja (CPI), Dipankar Bhattacharya (CPIML Liberation), Prakash Rao (CGPI), Satyavan (SUCI- Communist), RS Dagar (RSP) and Amrish Kumar (AIFB). Others who addressed the Convention were DP Tripathi (NCP), KC Tyagi (JD-U), Prof Manoj Jha (RJD), Gopinath (MDMK), Sangathamizhan (VCK) and Kanhaiya Kumar (President, JNUSU).
Below we reproduce key excerpts of the speech of Prakash Rao at the Convention.
"Comrades, Lal Salaam to all of you youth who have gathered here to fight unitedly against communalism and fascism! On behalf of the Communist Ghadar Party I would like to convey our greetings to you and through you, to the fighting youth of the whole country. Speakers before me have talked about what is going on in our country at this time, the events in JNU, in Tamilnadu, Jharkhand and so on. What is really going on in our country, in our towns and villages, in the factories of Coimbatore and Alwar? What is happening is this: wherever the workers, peasants, women, students and youth are raising their voices in defence of their rights, speaking out the truth, they are being persecuted. The entire state apparatus is being unleashed on them. The state apparatus includes the entire legal system, the courts, the armed forces, the police, judiciary and all the institutions of the state. As the recent events in JNU have shown, the media, controlled by the big corporate houses, is also an integral part of the state apparatus.
"Comrades, it is very important that we, especially the communists, speak the truth. Of course we know that those who speak the truth will be accused of 'sedition' by our enemies, but we cannot be deterred by that. And I have full confidence that all of you, all those on the stage, all those who are communists and democrats, all want to bring out the truth.
"Our Party cannot lie before you by saying that the problem of communal and fascist terror will go away if the present BJP government is replaced by a Congress Party government. What is going on is very bad, but we cannot counter this evil by measures that will result in replacing the present BJP government by a Congress Party government.
"Such measures will not help to eliminate communalism or fascism. Because the truth is that what the Congress Party did yesterday, is what the BJP is doing today. What the BJP is doing today is what the Congress Party will do tomorrow. You can see from the TV debates, how they trade charges as to how many were killed in 1984 and how many in 2002.
"Comrades, the challenge before us is to take this truth, which we all know, to the youth in the cities and villages all across the country. What is the difference between the government and the state? What is the difference between the ruling party and the ruling class? We need to be very clear about the difference between the government and the state. We need to clarify to people that behind all that is going on at the present time is the hand of the Indian state. Whatever the party in power does is decided by the ruling class which controls the state. Whichever party is charged with running the government at a particular time acts as the current management team of the ruling class. We need to explain to people that it does not matter which party constitutes the current management team of the ruling class — BJP or Congress or some other party — as long as this state does not change, as long as the ruling class remains the same, the persecution of our people will continue, the communal violence and fascist terror will continue. Comrades, this is the bitter truth.
"Why do we say so? Who is ruling over us? We are told that during the British Raj, there was at no time more that 50,000 British colonialists in this country. My figures may be a bit wrong, but at the time of independence, there were about 30 crore Indians in our country. In other words, 50,000 British ruled over 30 crore Indians! How did they rule over us? Our history books tell us that they used tactics such as 'divide and rule'. They divided us into Hindus and Muslims. They made various kings and princes fight each other. They ruled through such methods. They created a section which would be loyal to them, which benefited from their rule and which would help them in running the state apparatus for them. It is to this section that the British colonialist rulers handed over political power when they left this country, and it is this section that has been ruling since 1947.
"In the present political system, which is called a democracy, how many people are ruling over us? Today there are about 150 big monopoly corporate houses heading about 2 lakh capitalists, who rule over us, 125 crore Indian people, through fascist violence and terror. This is the reality. We need to bring this reality before our people – that it is these 150 big monopoly corporate houses heading the 2 lakh capitalists that are ruling in India today, not the Indian people. It is not the rule of the Congress Party or the BJP or any other party. This truth has to be taken among the people.
"It is this capitalist class which is implementing the program of globalization through liberalization and privatization. It is this class which is looting us and keeping alive this system of loot and plunder. The program of liberalization and privatization that they are implementing is a program for looting the country. To carry on this program and crush the resistance of the people, they need communalism and fascism. Whichever party or parties come to power, they have to carry out the same program. Rahul Gandhi may go into depression because even though his party served this capitalist class so well, yet it managed to secure just 44 seats! This is exactly how it works. I remember quite clearly, when Vajpayee lost in 2004, he too had gone into depression at that time, wondering why his party lost when it had served the capitalist class so well. This happens because; the capitalists who are their bosses decide who can best serve their interests at any particular time.
"It is the reality that as long as the workers and peasants of India do not take political power into their own hands, this struggle will continue. Today 150 big monopoly capitalist houses and 2 lakh capitalists have grabbed the vast wealth and resources of our country, the wealth and resources that belong to our workers, peasants and tribals. They not only exploit our labour, they also rob us of our land and fields, our common resources, our forests and water sources, our abundant mineral wealth. The question posed before us is this – how do we, the real owners of all this wealth and resources, bring them back into our hands? Replacing one party by another, election after election, has not achieved this and neither will it ever do so. Other speakers before me have said this, and this is the reality, that only through our movement will we achieve this. But what should be the aim of our movement?
"If the vision of our movement is simply that BJP is evil, so remove it from power, then this will not bring about any alternative. True, the BJP is evil, and I am not denying it. But how did this evil arise on the soil of India? What gave birth to it? Behind this is the rule of the 150 big Indian monopoly corporate houses and 2 lakh capitalists, and our job is to put an end to their rule.
"Comrades, our students, teachers, communists and the whole democratic movement have shown that when we are attacked, we fight for our rights, peacefully, unitedly, in an organised manner. This is very good. We need to raise the question – what is the state? If we don't raise this question, then our enemy may succeed in breaking our unity. We know and our friends in JNU will tell us, how many attempts have been made to break the unity of the students who have been charged with sedition, to break the unity of our movement. But we have not allowed these attempts to succeed.
"All over the country, workers, peasants and other oppressed people are in the same manner peacefully fighting for their rights and for that kind of Navnirman of our country that will ensure prosperity and protection to all. Who is destroying the peace? It is these 150 big monopoly corporate houses and 2 lakh capitalists and the political parties that loyally serve them. They are the ones who are destroying the peace. They will continue to destroy the peace, to try to make our people fight each other on the basis of caste, religion, etc. If we want to put an end to this, then we have to raise our struggle to a higher level.
"You youth are the future of the nation. You have decided to stand up for the interests of the workers and oppressed. You are fighting to save humanity and we are together in this struggle. We have to take this struggle forward.
"Comrades, Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru fought for an India in which there would be no oppression and exploitation. They boldly kissed the gallows and attained martyrdom.
“Comrades, the sedition law will be used against us by the Indian state again and again. We ask them – how much space do you have in your jails? Can you accommodate 125 crore people? In every corner of India, in every town and village, workers, peasants, students and youth are peacefully fighting for their rights. We are sure none of you fear the gallows or the jails. Our struggle will advance and we will surely win. No matter how hard they try, the ruling class will never succeed in its diabolical aim.
"What is our goal? That this state, which is today in the hands of a handful of capitalists, should be in the hands of the people. The rich natural resources, the principal means of production, the banks, which are today in their hands, these should be taken over by the working class in alliance with the peasantry and placed under social control. Our goal is to put an end to the rule of the 150 big monopoly corporate houses and establish the rule of the workers and peasants. I have full faith that all of us on the stage, all of you gathered here, will unitedly march on this path, because there is no other alternative before us.
"Comrades, with this revolutionary perspective we shall certainly be victorious, we shall surely succeed in advancing the struggle against communalism and fascism. We will surely win and we will build a country in which the workers and peasants will rule!
"Down with communalism and fascism!
Long live the rule of the workers and peasants!
Lal Quila par Lal Nishaan, Maang Raha Hai Hindostan!"