As the year 2012 comes to an end, we have seen mass outrage being expressed on the streets of Delhi and other cities against the existing rotten social and political system which permits the most horrendous crimes against women.
On 20th December, workers from numerous states gathered outside Parliament to protest the soaring food prices and the economic policies being pursued by the Manmohan Singh government. Previous months had witnessed a massive campaign demanding justice for the victims of the 1984 genocide and punishment of the organisers of this genocide, as well as punishment of those responsible for the destruction of the Babri Masjid and the subsequent state organised communal massacres. The year 2012 also witnessed numerous protests by peasants and tribal peoples against the central and state governments facilitating corporate land grab in the name of “public purpose”.
The Manmohan Singh government thought it had secured its position when it announced a slew of policy measures approved by the Cabinet in September, in the name of boosting GDP growth. However, the result has been a further deepening of the political crisis. There is widespread disgust with the corrupt and criminal activities of those in positions of power.
The working class and people are seeing that the program to maximise GDP growth is in fact a program to intensify the exploitation of labour and escalate the plunder of natural resources. Globalisation through liberalisation and privatisation is an anti-worker, anti-peasant and anti-social program. It isaimed at enabling Indian monopoly capitalists to emerge as contenders for big power status on the global scale.
There is widespread opposition to this course not only among the exploited masses of people. The debate and voting in the winter session of Parliament over allowing 51% foreign ownership in multi-brand retail trade exposed the deep divisions within the bourgeois class on this policy reform. It showed that various regional bourgeois groups are threatened by the prospect of rapid expansion of giant trading monopolies, global and Indian.
When the liberalisation and privatisation program was launched in 1991, the working class stood isolated and side-lined. Today, it is the big bourgeoisie and its parties that are threatened with isolation. Both the Congress Party and BJP stand exposed as parties steeped in corrupt and criminal deals with rapacious capitalist groups. There is widespread recognition that the existing political system serves a tiny minority to loot the public and the majority of people in our country want to end the present condition of being powerless and reduced to being mere vote banks of rival capitalist parties. The necessity for an alternative, a superior system of democracy, has become the demand of the times.
The majority of people in our country want to end the present condition of being powerless and reduced to vote banks of rival capitalist parties. The necessity for an alternative, a superior system of democracy, has become the demand of the times.
The existing system of parliamentary democracy is designed to expand the capitalist economic system while maintaining a neo-colonial political super-structure. We have to lay new foundations, a new Constitution that would provide the basis for a new state and political process, which would serve the working class to carry out the transformation from capitalism to socialism. This is the essence of our party’s program of Navnirman.
The rule of the bourgeoisie is in crisis not only in our country but on the global scale. The economic crisis is deepening worldwide. The partial recovery of capitalist growth recorded in 2010, following massive government spending in the name of fiscal stimulus, has given way to a period of further slowing down and contraction in many advanced capitalist countries. Millions of people have been thrown out of their jobs; for those employed, their working hours have been reduced and they are paid a fraction of their previous salaries. In Europe and North America, mass street protests have continued and spread during the past year.
The imperialist powers are responding to the crisis with fascist measures to suppress dissent, increased militarization and war preparations, and lying propaganda. They are promoting the myth that “religious fundamentalism” and “Islamic terrorism” pose the main danger to peace in the world. It is similar to the fascist Hitlerite propaganda that preceded the Second World War, that Jews pose the main danger to the advance of civilisation.
The Anglo-American imperialists are posing as the saviours of the world as they organise one regime change after another. It has emerged as clear as daylight that the Anglo American imperialists are not only the fountainhead of terrorism worldwide, they are the sworn enemies of democracy and the right of peoples and countries to self determination. They are threatening any country which does not completely accept their domination with "revolution" and regime change. They impose economic blockades, and actively arm dissident groups who are willing to do their bidding, as well as intervene directly militarily. The drive of Anglo American imperialism to establish a unipolar world under its complete domination is now increasingly being challenged by other powers like Russia and China, which feel their interests threatened.
Developments on the world scale indicate that the prospect of a Third World War is a real danger. There are also signs of a revolutionary crisis in the making. It is the duty of communists to prepare the subjective conditions for the revolution to succeed and prevent another inter-imperialist world war.
Communists are duty bound to lead the effort to expose and defeat the fascist ideological offensive of the imperialist bourgeoisie. We have to make the working class and people conscious that it is imperialism and the rule of the bourgeoisie which is the main source of violence and war; and the main roadblock to peace and social progress.
One of the most poisonous ideas being spread by imperialism and the reactionary bourgeoisie of all countries in this period is that the “middle class” has replaced the working class as the growing class in society. This propaganda is aimed at obliterating the very identity of the working class. It is aimed at making skilled workers think that they are not workers but part of the so-called middle class.
The scientific concept of an economic class is based on the relationship of that class to labour and to the means of social production; and to the source of income. The bourgeois class consists of those who own the means of social production, and earn profit, interest or rent income. The working class consists of those who own no means of production and depend for their survival on selling their labour power to earn wage income. In between these two opposing classes are those who work with their own means of production, such as peasants, artisans and petty shopkeepers. These middle strata of society inevitably disintegrate with the advance of capitalism. A minority graduates into the bourgeois class while the vast majority sink into the ranks of the working class.
In our country, ideas emanating from the caste system are used to perpetuate the notion that only those who perform unskilled and menial jobs at the lowest prevailing wages are workers, while educated and skilled workers are deemed to be part of the middle class.
The truth is that the working class has already become the most numerous class in our society. It includes a growing number of educated workers armed with modern communication skills.
There is a large young generation of workers who are waiting to be politically educated and trained. We must imbue them with the consciousness that we workers, who toil with our hands and brains, with hammers or at computer terminals, are the creators of the social wealth being pocketed by the Tatas, Birlas, Ambanis and other monopoly corporate houses.
We must make workers recognise their collective capacity and historic mission to lead the toiling majority of people in rebuilding society on new foundations.
All over the country, working women and men are protesting against the existing system of democracy that fails to protect the rights of the vast majority in society. There is growing anger with the highly criminalised political process. The times are demanding a superior system of democracy based on the modern definition of rights. The working class must lead this battle for democracy. This is the consciousness that we communists have to spread among the workers who are in struggle today, and among all serious thinking persons in the communist movement.
The local committees we build in residential areas and places of work are the building blocks of the new state of workers’ and peasants’ rule. We must step up our efforts and strive to draw broad sections of political activists into this work.
Our Party has succeeded in occupying an important space within the movement of the working class and people. However, it is still a small space, which can and must be expanded, as rapidly as possible. This means to take the party line widely among all sections of the working class, and especially among those engaged in large-scale production.
The biggest roadblock to the advance of the class struggle is the activity of those parties that create illusions about parliamentary democracy and want to preserve the “basic framework” of the existing Constitution.
From the President and Prime Minister to the leaders of various opposition parties in Parliament, all keep saying that the basic framework of the 1950 Constitution must not be changed. The CPI(M) and other parties of the Left Front carry this mantra into the working class. We must lead the struggle against this ideological diversion and illusion mongering. We have to liberate the working class and all progressive forces from this monkey on their backs, that the 1950 Constitution is a holy cow.
We must create forums for workers to discuss politics. We must enable workers to discuss the independent program around which the class can and must unite. We must build workers’ unity committees in factories and industrial areas, cutting across different production units and rising above petty party rivalries.
We must agitate for radical reforms in the political process to break the stranglehold of the big bourgeois parties, headed by the Congress Party and BJP. We must engage with all kinds of small parties which are also against the privileged position enjoyed by the so called recognised parties.
Over the past three decades, new generations of communist activists have been born and brought up to play active and leading roles in the work of our Party. The times are demanding that we entrust our youthful comrades with such important roles and responsibilities that would train them to lead all the work of the party in the future.
In the year that is passing away, our Party has achieved significant successes. This is possible when we place the interest of the class above all else; this is possible when we place the Party’s interest above individual interest; this is possible when we match our words with deeds and march firmly based on Leninist theory and principles. Let us build and strengthen our precious Party in the midst of the class, as the key to succeed in all the tasks in front of us.
All indications are that the year 2013 will witness the sharpening of the class struggle both within our country and worldwide. Armed with the line of the Party, and boldly providing leadership to the working class and people in the class struggle, let us prepare the conditions for the victory of revolution and socialism on Indian soil.
I extend to you my best wishes for the New Year!
With revolutionary greetings,
General Secretary, Communist Ghadar Party