It is in defence of a parasitic and exploiting minority and against the public!
Statement of the Central Committee of the Communist Ghadar Party of India, January 15, 2015
The 26th of January this year marks 65 years since the adoption of the Constitution of the Indian Republic in 1950. The word republic means rule of the people, by the people and for the people. However, the reality in front of us is a Republic that is anti-people. It is diametrically opposite to what a Republic is defined as.
The bourgeoisie has put in place a government that will ensure that its rapacious greed and global ambitions are fulfilled. It continues to crush any opposition to its anti-people course through brute force. It has intensified its attacks on the working class. In the face of opposition from the working class, it has been amending labour laws, one after the other, to intensify their exploitation. It has continued, without let up, to organize violence based on caste and religion. The Indian State claims to be acting in the interest of the people but is, in fact, the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie over the vast masses of people. It is a state that defends the interests of the biggest capitalists, Indian and foreign.
In just the last eight months since it took power at the Centre, the BJP-led NDA government has issued 9 ordinances, by-passing the Parliament. At least 3 of the ordinances will have direct disastrous implications for the livelihood of hundreds of thousands of workers and peasants and for the sustenance of the country’s natural resources. These are the ordinance that governs the allocation of coal mining licenses, the ordinance raising of the cap on foreign investment in the insurance sector to 49% from 26%, and the ordinance enabling the state to forcibly acquire land of peasants and tribal people. These ordinances are meant to open the door to further loot and plunder of the land and exploitation of the people.
The Coal Mines Ordinance is a re-promulgation of the Coal Mines (Special Provisions) Ordinance, 2014 promulgated by the central government in October 2014. This is one of the two steps taken by the Modi government to privatize the coal sector, the other being the disinvestment in Coal India. This ordinance has thrown open coal mining to big Indian and foreign capitalists to plunder. Coal mining was reserved only for the public sector companies after the nationalisation of coal mines in 1973. The ordinance was brought in against the background of the Supreme Court decision of 24 September 2014. The Court had ruled to cancel 214 coal blocks allocated by both the UPA and NDA governments over the years to various capitalists and to a few public sector companies.
The ordinance on raising of the ceiling for FDI in insurance from 26% to 49% means handing over the savings of working people in the form of insurance and pension funds to the global financial oligarchy, which is greedily eyeing the rapidly growing Indian insurance market. Health care is critical to our people. It accounts for a large share of the expenses of working class families. The Indian and foreign insurance companies see in this mushrooming health care business, a source of maximum profits. Increasing the FDI limit in insurance is aimed at joint exploitation of the insecurities of the people by the parasites of finance capital.
The ordinance on Land Acquisition has amended the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013. This move will ensure that the government can acquire land without consent of the existing land owners, under the guise of “public use”. In the name of social and rural infrastructure, land will be acquired for industrial corridors, defence, real estate and for private educational institutions. Along with the elimination of the consent clause, the ordinance has also negated the need for Social Impact Assessment of the acquisition of land and done away with the time limit of 5 years for use of the acquired land. Removing these constraints will enable land sharks and speculators to reap huge profits.
The urgency with which these ordinances have been promulgated by the Modi government shows that the Indian and imperialist bourgeoisie brought in this government to carry out their mandate, which will be passed off as people’s mandate. The bourgeoisie is pursuing this policy in blatant disregard of the crores of workers and peasants who have repeatedly demonstrated their opposition to this course of privatization and liberalization of key sectors of the economy. Ignoring the claims of the workers and peasants who are everyday contributing to the economy through their sweat and labour, and by-passing the Parliament through the issuance of ordinances shows the degree of concentration of decision-making power in the hands of the Executive, i.e. in the hands of the Prime Minister and his cabinet. In response to the announcement of the coal miners unions to go on strike, the bourgeoisie declared that “union interests cannot be above the nation’s interests”. It called the strike “arbitrary, illegal and plainly against the national interest”! This “national interest” is nothing but the interests of a minority of the biggest capitalists. It is in direct opposition to the interests of workers and peasants, women and youth of our country.
We must note that these ordinances are Constitutional. However this is not surprising because the Indian Constitution has been taken directly from the Government of India Act, 1935 which was a colonial act that enabled colonial plunder through the subjugation of the Indian peoples. In 1950, when the Constitution was adopted, the executive power was transferred from the Governor General to the President and through him to the Cabinet headed by the Prime Minister. Since then the Executive has remained sovereign. The Prime Minister and his cabinet have wielded supreme decision-making power on the premise that they “know what is best for the people”. This is based on the political theory that underlies the Westminster parliamentary democracy. Both the trusted parties of the bourgeoisie have ruled the country through ordinances. Representative parliamentary democracy serves to keep up the pretence that "people choose the government they want", while enabling the bourgeoisie to manipulate the discontent of the people to decide which party of exploiters should be in charge of the executive function for the next five years. The bourgeoisie uses elections to select that party and leader who can most effectively deceive the people, saying what they want to hear while doing what the big bourgeoisie has laid out. The people have no say in reality on any issue that affects their lives. The basic premise of representative democracy is that our people are unfit to rule.
The much trumpeted “rule of law” declares all struggles of the people for their rights as illegal and provides justification for use of force by the State to crush these struggles. Prime Minister Narender Modi has declared 25th December as “Good governance day”. This is the same good governance established by the British colonialists that ensures that political power remains with the trusted parties of the ruling class who agree to peacefully hand it over to one another with each election.
This is nothing but rule by decree, which is supported by the repressive machinery of the State. Since 1950, successive governments have promulgated the most fascist anti-people laws. Whether it was the Preventive Detention Act of 1950 which was continually strengthened till the late sixties, the Maintenance of Internal Security Act (MISA) of the seventies, the Emergency in 1975, the infamous TADA of 1985, the POTA of 2002, or the current notorious UAPA, or the AFSPA which was passed in 1958 and is in force in Assam, Manipur, Jammu & Kashmir and other states of the North East, various fascist laws have been continuously used to crush the people. The bourgeoisie rules by the ballot and the bullet. When it cannot legitimize its rule through the time-tested farce of elections, the bourgeoisie has not hesitated to use its armed might against the Indian people. What exists is nothing other than the fascist dictatorship of the bourgeoisie.
The Constitution proclaims India to be a socialist state. Far from it, the Indian people have experienced socialism only in words. The content was never there because it was from the beginning a State of the bourgeoisie, and all public resources and enterprises were in the service of the bourgeoisie. Since the 1990s, even this “public ownership” has been given up in the interests of the monopoly capitalists, Indian and foreign.
The Indian bourgeoisie has continued, since the founding of this Republic, to follow a capital-centric economic orientation. The governments at the centre and in the states implement policies and programs to facilitate capitalist development and expand the space for the industrial houses to grow into giant monopolies, and to guarantee maximum profits for them. The Indian State’s military expenditure has been steadily increasing in consonance with the bourgeoisie’s aspirations to become a player on the world scale.
The Constitution claims to be safeguarding the rights of every Indian citizen. However, in these six and a half decades, the government of the bourgeoisie has done nothing to safeguard the masses of working families from the menace of inflation, unemployment and miserable living conditions. The existing yawning gap in the living conditions of those who are producing for the growth of the Indian economy and those who are privately appropriating the fruits of this labour is steadily increasing further and further.
The Constitution proclaims India to be a secular state, but it is based on the colonial communal outlook that our society is made up of a Hindu majority, a Muslim minority and other religious minorities. The State continues to be used for unleashing violence against particular religious communities, while spouting sermons about Secularism, tolerance and communal harmony.
Every Indian, since her or his birth has been taught to revere the Indian Constitution which claims to constitute India as a "sovereign socialist secular democratic republic". However the facts clearly show that this claim is totally false. We know that this State is a Republic only in name. The Indian state is of the bourgeoisie, for the bourgeoisie and by the bourgeoisie. It is an organ of rule by an exploiting minority for defending and expanding capitalism and imperialist plunder.
The only claim that is true is that it is the longest Constitution in the world. The Constitution of the Indian Republic is indeed an extraordinarily long document.
Today, on the occasion of the 65th Republic Day of this most “populous democracy”, the Indian bourgeoisie has invited President Obama, the head of the “oldest democracy” to be the chief guest. This is at a time when US imperialism with Barack Obama as its President, is being opposed by the world’s peoples as a warmongering, terrorist state whose hands are stained with the blood of crores of people across the globe. In just the last decade and a half, the US has led Anglo-American imperialist aggression against the peoples of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria. It has armed and fully backed Israel in its barbaric massacre and denial of national rights of the Palestinian people. It has been responsible for the murder of children, youth and women, unarmed and innocent peoples of these countries. It has surpassed its earlier record of violation of the sovereignty of peoples and countries in Indonesia, Vietnam, Korea, Honduras, Nicaragua and several countries of the world.
The Obama Administration, like previous Administrations, crushes any opposition to its rule. The Homeland Security Act enacted in 2002 is a stark example of this. The US state has since been using the lie of “war against terrorism” to legitimize the surveillance of the American people on the slightest suspicion of dissent. The US state claims to be a great defender of democracy and human rights, but in fact, suppresses its own people.
The Anglo-American imperialists continuously spread lies about the source of terrorism, weapons of mass destruction and lack of democracy in various countries to justify their aggression. In seeking a strategic alliance with this bloodthirsty imperialist power, the Indian bourgeoisie is pursuing a course of military and economic collaboration that poses a grave danger to the freedom and sovereignty of our people and the peoples of this region. The Indian people must draw the invaluable lesson from Pakistan’s experience – any country that befriends US imperialism is hurtling towards its own destruction.
The Indian bourgeoisie has woven a web of lies about its democracy. One of the most harmful lies that is propagated widely among the people is that the Constitution of India is something sacred and precious for all classes in our society. The fact is that a class of capitalists and landlords had emerged under the patronage of the British Raj, who had benefitted from colonial rule. This class rejected everything in Indian history and thought material to embrace an alien system.
This Constitution was formulated by a Constituent Assembly largely made up of representatives of this class, who had been elected by a propertied minority of the population, in communally divided Hindu majority and Muslim minority constituencies, under the British Raj. The Indian Constitution, the Indian State, its political theory and institutions are part of the colonial legacy inherited and perfected by the Indian bourgeoisie to keep the people enslaved within the capitalist imperialist system.
This Republic is waging war against the public. We must reject this Constitution that protects monopoly minority right. The lying propaganda of the Indian bourgeoisie, that this Republic defends the interests of our people, must be exposed and rejected. We, the working class and toiling majority of people, must establish a new political power defined by a new Constitution that will defend our rights and guarantee prosperity and protection for all.
We must organize people in their mohallas and work places to unite and fight for a Republic that will safeguard our rights. We must constantly expose the real nature of the Indian state so that more and more people will unite around this task of fighting for a new Republic in which the people will directly participate to make their own laws and determine their own destiny. The executive power will be concentrated in the hands of the working class and will be subordinate to the legislative power. It is only the working class that can take the leadership in this new and fundamentally revolutionary course.
Unite and organize to lead the struggle for a modern socialist Republic!