Organise to defeat the anti-worker, anti-peasant, anti social and anti-national program of liberalisation, privatisation and globalisation!
Get organised, become the rulers and transform society!
(Sangathit ho, hukmaran bano aur samaj ko badal dalo!)
Statement on Haryana Elections - Central Committee of Communist Ghadar Party of India, 3rd October, 2014
Elections to the Haryana State Assembly will be held on 15th October, 2014, along with assembly elections in Maharashtra. Both will be single-phase voting and the results will be declared on 19th October.
Haryana State Assembly has 90 seats. Congress party has been ruling since 2005, coinciding with Congress-led UPA rule in New Delhi. Earlier, the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) ruled Haryana for 6 years.
Haryana, with a population of 2.5 crore, is classified as a “high income state”. It is the second highest among all states in terms of per-capita income. The degree of inequality and gap between rich and poor is also higher than average. According to official figures, over 13 lakh families, or nearly a third of all families, are extremely poor. The actual number of people living in desperate conditions in urban and rural areas is much higher.
The “Green Revolution” determined economic development in Haryana in the late sixties and seventies. It was a central government sponsored program supported by foreign aid and credits, aimed at promoting capitalist agriculture to produce wheat and rice. It led to the emergence of a capitalist farming class and the formation of regional bourgeois parties in Haryana. But it did not provide security of livelihood for the majority of peasants. Uncertainty and distress affecting small-scale farming has become even worse in recent decades as a result of the drive towards globalisation, through liberalisation and privatisation.
The hardworking peasants of Haryana are being robbed in an unequal market place dominated by capitalist companies. Their incomes are squeezed by the rising costs of electricity, diesel, fertilisers, pesticides and seeds. Across the state, the cost of pumping water has risen due to steep decline of the groundwater table.
Over the past three decades, Haryana has been developed as a test case and model of urbanisation and industrialisation through liberalisation and privatisation, driven by massive influx of foreign capital. The biggest global monopolies of the auto industry are present and growing in this state. Haryana accounts for 50% of India’s production of passenger cars, 50% of motorcycles, 30% of refrigerators, 25% of tractors, bicycles and sanitary wares, and 20% of the country's export of scientific instruments.
Apart from Faridabad and the Gurgaon-Manesar belt, adjoining the National Capital Region, many new industrial clusters have come up in other parts of Haryana in the past two decades. These include Panchkula, Dharuhera, Bawal, Sonipat, Panipat, Yamuna Nagar and Rewari. Gurgaon, a major hub for IT and other service exports, has become one of the most rapidly growing urban regions of the country.
Influx of Indian and foreign capital and promoting export-oriented production has not been to the benefit of the toiling majority of people. It is a program and course that has led to enormous profits in the hands of Indian and foreign capitalist corporations, and a tiny minority of big capitalist landlords of the region. It has led to intensified exploitation of labour and escalated robbery of the hard-working peasants. Capital-centric growth of cities and private profit driven exploitation of natural resources are rapidly destroying both the natural and social environment. Corruption has risen and so has crime.
The sex ratio of females to males is amongst the worst in the country, with only 871 females for every 1000 males. Capitalism is growing on the basis of preserving every form of oppression of women from the past and adding new forms of exploitation and oppression. Dowry killings, female foeticide, internet pornography and increase in crimes against women are all results of the capital-centric economic program of globalisation, through liberalisation and privatisation..
The youth of Haryana face a highly uncertain future. Insecurity of employment is extremely high. According to government figures, 51.5% of males in the rural areas, and 52.4% in the urban areas, did not have regular employment in 2012. The number of children completing school is low. The number of girls completing school is abysmally low. All these show that capitalist development has not liberated women or opened up a bright future for the youth.
Rapid capitalist growth has no doubt meant accelerated creation of wealth in Haryana. With only 2% of the country’s population, Haryana accounts for 3.8% of the national product. However, the wealth created by the sweat of the workers and peasants is getting concentrated in very few hands. A tiny minority is accumulating enormous wealth while the toiling majority faces growing insecurity and intensified exploitation.
The concentration of wealth in fewer and fewer hands is reflected in the concentration of political power in fewer and fewer hands. A few families with enormous landholding have joined the ruling capitalist class. Using their control over the state machinery to enrich themselves, especially through speculation on land, they have developed close links with the big monopolies of our country and foreign capitalist monopolies. Such capitalist landlord families dominate the state’s politics. Their leading political representatives shift their allegiance from one bourgeois party to another, depending on the circumstances. Haryana is the birthplace of the phrase “aaya Ram gaya Ram”.
These elections are being organised just 5 months after the victory of BJP in the Lok Sabha elections. For the first time in 30 years, the big bourgeoisie has been successful in establishing a government in New Delhi headed by a single party with absolute majority. The big bourgeoisie is pushing for a similar result in Haryana and Maharashtra.
The conflicts between Congress Party, BJP and Indian National Lok Dal is nothing but a dogfight among different factions of the exploiters. It is a fight over how the loot is divided among different sections of the bourgeois class. All of these three main parties are united in their commitment to advance the liberalisation, privatisation and globalisation program.
There are numerous other parties that are participating in these elections, representing different sections of propertied interests. These include Haryana Janhit Congress (HJC), Haryana Jan Chetna Party and Haryana Lokhit Party. Bahujan Samaj Party will also be contesting these elections.
The BJP-HJC alliance broke up after the former’s victory in the Lok Sabha Elections. The underlying reason is that the big bourgeoisie wants BJP to make a concerted effort to win an absolute majority on its own, and to resort to coalition rule only if an absolute majority fails to be achieved. A single party majority government, aligned with the central government, is the preferred result for the big bourgeoisie to push full steam ahead with its program of globalisation through liberalisation and privatisation.
There are numerous parties of workers and peasants who will be contesting the coming elections in various constituencies, including Communist Party of India and Communist Party of India (Marxist). Many activists of various parties and mass organisations, with a track record of fighting for the rights of the toiling and oppressed people, will be contesting as “independent” candidates.
Communist Ghadar Party of India is participating in the electoral campaign by presenting and agitating for the revolutionary political platform around which all the parties and organisations of workers and peasants can and must unite. We are participating with the aim of exposing the real content of the imperialist economic course being pursued and presenting the alternative program of reorienting the economy to ensure prosperity and protection for all. We are using the electoral arena to expose the system and political process of bourgeois democracy and present the alternative – the system and political process of proletarian democracy, based on the principle that sovereignty must vest in the people and not in Parliament or the Cabinet or the President of India.
We are working to unite all the progressive forces and defeat the divisive politics of the bourgeoisie. We are committed to build a worker-peasant alliance around the program to reconstitute India as a modern democracy in which people exercise decision-making power and use it to reorient the economy to provide for all.
Thirty years of globalisation through liberalisation and privatisation
The globalisation of Indian capital began with the modernisation drive unleashed by the Rajiv Gandhi government almost 30 years ago, which was the precursor to the launching of the liberalisation and privatisation program in 1991. After 30 years of pursuing this course, India has gained a place among countries with the largest number of Dollar billionaires. The Indian bourgeoisie has become a major exporter of capital. At the other pole, India is ranked extremely low in all social indices. We have the maximum number of malnourished people in the world, the largest number of illiterates, of unemployed, of maternal deaths and incidence of all kinds of preventable diseases.
The much touted economic reform program of the bourgeoisie is a program to raise the intensity of exploitation of workers, robbery of peasants and plunder of natural resources to the highest possible degree. It is a process of wrecking the entire social and natural environment. This is visible in the starkest way in Haryana, both in the countryside and in the towns.
While glass towers, massive modern factories, malls and high rise apartments for the rich dominate the landscape of Gurgaon and other newly developed townships, the living and working conditions of the vast majority of workers are unbearable and inhuman. The majority of workers are hired on contract basis. They are deprived of the right to form unions and persecuted by the capitalists and the government if they dare to fight for their rights. Women and men workers in the numerous export companies are bussed from their slums to the factories in faraway industrial townships early in the morning and bussed back late at night after toiling for 12-14 hours a day. Lakhs of workers live in overcrowded bastis, in most unhygienic conditions, as in Kapashera near Gurgaon. Their status as migrant workers is used to terrorise them, and deprive them of all rights. Many of them are even deprived of the right to vote.
The program of globalisation, through liberalisation and privatisation, has meant unbridled loot of the state treasury and ever-increasing burden of public debt on the heads of the toiling masses of people. The debt burden of the Government of Haryana amounts to more than Rs 23,000 hanging over the head of every man, woman and child!
Nearly 24 per cent of the annual state revenue is spent on paying the interest on this debt. Most of the state revenue comes from indirect taxes like sales tax and excise duties, which even the poorest have to pay when they buy consumer goods in the market. More and more is being extracted from the toiling masses to service the state government debt, owed largely to the big banks and other financial institutions.
Investments in education, health care, sanitation, public transport, the building of roads, have been slashed. All public services are being neglected and are decaying. The conditions of government hospitals, government schools, roads, state road transport, municipal services, the agricultural agencies responsible for assisting the farmers with the latest technology and inputs, have gone from bad to worse.
Essential public services are being privatised. Preying on the desperation of youth for jobs and their thirst for knowledge and skills, the capitalist class has turned education, especially higher and technical education, into sources of maximum profits. Numerous technical universities of dubious quality have been set up, charging exorbitant fees. The whole of Haryana is full of such universities, from Sirsa in the Northwest to Faridabad in the South.
Haryana Roadways, once considered one of the best bus companies in the country, has been systematically degraded and privatised. Thousands of permits have been issued to private operators. Outsourcing and hiring on temporary contracts have become the norm. The most profitable routes have been handed over to private companies, thereby turning the State Roadways into a loss-making enterprise. The building of expressways through Public Private Partnership has been a major arena for the loot of the public exchequer. The state has absorbed the losses, while the builders of these expressways are guaranteed maximum profits through toll taxes.
Peasants of Haryana have been among the major victims of the corporate land grab organised by the central and state governments. Land being tilled by peasants has been forcibly acquired by the government and handed over to private parties. Industrial parks, pleasure resorts and tourist complexes have been built on these fertile agricultural lands.
Every arena where the big capitalists see possibilities of reaping maximum profits is being opened up while the state is abdicating its responsibility to provide essential services to the people.
Major corruption scandals have been exposed in recent times. These include scams in land use classification and in teacher recruitment. Corruption is growing in scale as a result of the growing concentration of capital in fewer and fewer hands and the resulting domination of capitalist monopolies over the state.
Life experience of the past 30 years has exposed the fallacy of various theories and notions about the economy and its present course. This includes the “trickle down” theory that if the rich grow richer as fast as possible, their wealth will flow down to the rest of society. It includes the notion that capitalism and the imperialist globalisation program can be given a “human face”, and the idea of a “Common Minimum Program” that can serve both the capitalists and the working class.
Mass opposition to the economic reform program
Every step of the way, the working class and toiling masses have been waging powerful battles against the program of globalisation through liberalisation and privatisation.
The working class and people of Haryana have waged many struggles against the growing corruption and loot of public funds. People are demanding that the state government should stop giving hand-outs to the capitalists. It should ensure good quality care in government hospitals. People are demanding a reversal of the privatisation and commercialization of higher education. Privatisation of highways and the charging of exorbitant toll taxes have been opposed by tens of thousands of people. There is powerful opposition from the people and from Roadways workers to the privatisation of the Haryana bus transport system.
Capitalist farmers and toiling peasants have been opposing the slashing of subsidies on fertilisers and pesticides. They are opposing the proposed moves of the bourgeoisie to end procurement of rice and wheat. They are demanding that the state ensure remunerative support prices to all agricultural produce.
There is widespread opposition among big and small farmers to the forcible acquisition of their lands by the state and central governments. The upcoming Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor is expected to cover 67% of the entire area of Haryana and result in the establishment of many mega townships and clusters. The efforts of the Haryana government to acquire agricultural land along this corridor are being vigorously opposed. The struggle of farmers in the Gorakhpur area against the forcible acquisition of their land by the government for setting up a Nuclear power plant went on for over two years.
Major strike struggles have taken place in the auto manufacturing sector in the Gurgaon-Manesar belt, involving tens of thousands of workers. Workers have been fighting for the right to form unions of their choice, against terribly exploitative working conditions, and against the denial of their rights by designating them as contract workers and trainees. The year 2000 saw one of the biggest strikes lasting over a month, in the Gurgaon plant of Maruti Suzuki. In 2005, the workers of Honda waged a powerful struggle, which was crushed by the use of maximum force by the Haryana police. The Maruti Suzuki factory in Manesar has witnessed some of the biggest struggles of workers, including prolonged strikes to win their right to have a union of their own choice. Workers of Rico struck work in 2009 following the murder of a worker inside the factory premises. There have been strikes in Eastern Medicat and many other factories.
In the last few months, workers at Autofit Dharuhera, Munjal Kiriu Manesar, Nerolac Bawal, Daikin Neemarana, Shriram Piston Bhiwadi, Napino Auto Manesar, Ahresti Bawal, Minda Furukawa Bawal, Bajaj Motors Gurgaon, Baxter Manesar, Autoliv Manesar, Posco Bawal and a number of other factories have struck work for their rights.
In the course of these struggles, workers have developed many new forms of struggle. They have occupied the factories in order to prevent being locked out of the gates.
A distinct feature of these struggles is the increasing and militant participation of women workers, especially in the garment export sector. Numerous solidarity actions take place repeatedly in the Gurgaon-Manesar-Bawal industrial belt, in which tens of thousands of workers of different factories come together in joint actions. In June this year, the first conference of the Workers Solidarity Center (Gurgaon) was organised to bring together workers and unions of different factories to fight for the common interests of the working class.
Maruti workers have been the victims of state terrorism. They were blamed for a crime they did not commit, namely, the killing of the Human Resources Manager at Manesar in 2011. Thousands of workers have been arrested on trumped up charges, without a shred of evidence. Over 150 workers are still in jail; they have been tortured at the hands of the police. In these terrible conditions of repression, the families of the jailed workers, especially the women, have relentlessly continued to fight for justice, even as they have taken over the responsibility of fending for the families.
There is a growing united working class opposition in Haryana to the fascist attacks on workers’ rights. Communists belonging to various parties, including our Party, have played a leading role in developing the united struggle of workers in the face of state and corporate terror. Communists have been in the forefront of the struggle to build workers’ unity in defence of their livelihood and rights. The slogan: “An attack on one is an attack on all!” has become a rallying call for the workers.
Electoral Process and the Political Alternative
In addition to the use of the bullet on a continuous basis, the ruling bourgeois class periodically uses the ballot to divide and divert the resistance of the toiling majority of people to the capitalist-imperialist program. Every round of elections is used to divide the people on sectarian lines.
Repeated rounds of elections in Haryana have resulted in one party or coalition of the bourgeoisie replacing another, while the course of the economy and political system has remained unchanged. This shows that the existing political system and electoral process are instruments of bourgeois dictatorship. It is the bourgeois class, headed by the monopoly houses and linked with international capital, which sets the agenda.
The ruling bourgeoisie uses the electoral process to select one or another political party to market and implement the pre-determined agenda. Elections are used to sort out the internal conflicts in the bourgeois class and to gain legitimacy for its dictatorship, by claiming that the party in power has the “people’s mandate”.
The parties that form governments after winning a majority of seats in elections are nothing other than managers for the bourgeoisie. They implement the program of the bourgeoisie, as seen by the performance of past governments in Haryana, both under Congress Party and under Indian National Lok Dal. When one party or coalition gets discredited in the eyes of the toiling masses, the bourgeoisie uses elections to change the management team, so as to pursue the same agenda more effectively. Only those parties and coalitions are allowed to come to power who have proved through word and deed that they are committed to implement the program of the big bourgeoisie.
There is wide dissatisfaction amongst the toiling and oppressed majority of people with their powerless condition in this system and electoral process, which reduces them to vote banks. Communist Ghadar Party has worked to strengthen the movement to establish a superior system of democracy in which the people exercise decision-making power.
For the working class and broad masses of people to end their powerless condition and become the decision makers, it is necessary to establish a new system and process of democracy based on the principle of vesting sovereignty in the people. Communist Ghadar Party has been consistently agitating for immediate political reforms in this direction, and developing this platform in close collaboration with all other progressive forces.
The right to elect and be elected must be guaranteed to every voter. The right to select candidates must be taken out of the hands of political parties and vested in the hands of the electorate. An elected Constituency Committee must be established in each constituency, mandated with powers to enable the people to exercise their political rights, including their right to select candidates before any election is held. No private interest, including political parties, must be allowed to spend on the election campaign of any candidate. The state must fund the electoral process, giving all the selected candidates equal opportunity to present their views before the electorate.
Once people cast their votes, they must not hand over all powers to those who get elected. People must retain the right to initiate legislation, to approve major public decisions through referendums, and the right to recall at any time the one they elected. The executive, the council of ministers, must be accountable to the legislature, and the legislature must be accountable to the electorate.
In Haryana as well as in the rest of the country, the movement for people’s empowerment has been developing into a powerful force for replacing the present bourgeois democracy with a modern proletarian democracy in which people are truly sovereign.
Communist Ghadar Party has been in the forefront of the struggle to build people’s empowerment committees in factories and other work places, in residential quarters, college campuses and in villages. During different rounds of elections, such committees have developed the practice of people’s selection of candidates in open mass meetings.
Our Party considers elections as an important arena of struggle, even though it is not the main arena of struggle. We cannot establish worker-peasant rule through elections within the existing system. We cannot change the orientation of the economy through these elections.
What we communists can and must do is to use the electoral arena to expose bourgeois democracy and the capitalist economic orientation, and build unity amongst the workers, peasants, women, youth and all the exploited and oppressed around the alternative program. In this, we can confidently say that there has been significant success.
A new quality, in small quantity, has been created. The united effort of all communists and all progressive forces are needed to turn this success into victory. We must reject all those political theories and tactics that serve to preserve the bourgeois dictatorship. This includes the theory that workers’ parties must support the “lesser evil” among bourgeois parties. It includes the false notion that the foundations of the Indian Republic and its Constitution are secular and need to be defended. It includes the idea that worker-peasant rule can be established through the political process of the existing parliamentary democracy.
Call to all progressive forces
The source of all the problems facing our people is the rule of the bourgeoisie. The Indian state is an instrument to defend this rule. It is communal right from its foundations.
Our aim is to eliminate capitalism, all remnants of feudalism, colonialism and imperialism and build socialism. We need to establish the rule of workers and peasants in place of the rule of the bourgeoisie. We need to take over the principal means of large-scale production and exchange from private hands and place it under social control. Then and only then can we ensure that the economy is oriented to fulfil the growing needs of the people, and provide for the future generations.
Our Party appeals to all communists to give up all illusions about the economic system, and about the existing State and political process. The present situation is calling on us to provide the working class and people with the vision and program to lift Indian society out of crisis and guarantee prosperity and protection for all. We appeal to all communists to work single-mindedly at building the united front of the working class and of the toiling masses around the alternative to the capitalist orientation of the economy and to bourgeois democracy.
In the General Elections held in April-May this year, the big bourgeoisie manipulated the great dissatisfaction of the workers, peasants, women and youth with their deteriorating conditions, to bring to power a BJP-led government promising “Acche Din”. Good times are being delivered to the big capitalists of India and to the foreign capitalist investors, by further attacks on the rights and livelihood of the workers and peasants.
The new government headed by Narendra Modi has unveiled reforms to amend labour laws such as Factories Act, Industrial Disputes Act, Trade Unions Act, Contract Labour Act and the Apprentices Act. The proposed changes in these laws are aimed at making it easier for capitalists to freely hire and fire workers, at as low wages as they can get away with, denying them any social security, and making it extremely difficult for workers to organise themselves into trade unions.
The agenda of legal reforms includes steps to enable the capitalists to acquire the lands of peasants and adivasis more easily than before. Environmental regulations are being liberalised for the benefit of the Indian and foreign capitalists, to enable more intensive and extensive loot of our natural resources.
Prime Minister Modi has given the call "Make in India". Capitalists are being invited from all over the world to share in the exploitation and plunder of our land and labour, making whatever is most profitable, from submarines and bombs to high-speed trains. Whether it is insurance or weapons production, doors have been opened wide to foreign capital. The government has declared its intention to make India the favourite destination for capitalists to make maximum profits by attacking the rights of workers and peasants.
“Make in India” is the newest slogan of the bourgeoisie to push ahead with the program of globalisation through liberalisation and privatisation. It is a slogan that has been most vigorously implemented in Haryana over the past three decades, with disastrous consequences for the toiling majority of people.
There are only two kinds of political fronts that are possible in our class divided society. One is the political front of the bourgeoisie, committed to implement the program of the bourgeoisie. The Congress, BJP and INLD are all part of this bourgeois front.
In stark opposition, there is the worker-peasant front which we communists are building, committed to the alternative program to establish worker-peasant rule and open the path to socialism.
The youthful workers of Haryana are in the forefront of the struggle raging in our country against the path of globalisation through privatisation and liberalisation. So are the brave peasants of Haryana. Haryana was one of the main battlegrounds of the Great Ghadar of 1857, where the patriotic people fought the colonialists with death defying courage. Times are calling for worker-peasant unity in Haryana and all over the country to defeat the diabolical plans of the bourgeoisie.
Communist Ghadar Party calls upon all communists, all activists of the working class, peasantry, the adivasis. women and youth, to pour all their energies towards building the worker-peasant front around its own independent program to provide for the people and guarantee their rights.
Let us build the fighting organisations of people in urban and rural areas, in every factory, workplace, college, school, residential area around the alternative program to provide for the people and guarantee their rights! Discuss this program, elaborate on it, and fight for its implementation!
Let us organise to become the rulers and transform society!
Hum hai iske maalik, Hum hai Hindostan -- Mazdoor, Kisan, Aurat aur Jawan!
Program to provide for the people and guarantee their rights
- Suspend interest payments on Government debt to the big financial institutions. Immediately withdraw all tax concessions and incentives to capitalist corporations and capitalists; reallocate the money to provide the basic needs of water, sanitation, housing and healthcare for all.
- Create a modern Public Distribution System which ensures that all essential items of consumption (including wheat, rice, dal, vegetables, milk, meat, oil and fuel, medicines, school books) are available in adequate quantity, good quality and at affordable prices for all.
- Wholesale internal trade, foreign trade, as well as large scale retail trade must be taken over and placed under public control and futures trading must be banned.
- Provide housing, sanitation, safe drinking water and reliable electricity to every urban and rural household.
- Uniform good quality free school education to every child up to higher secondary level. Privatisation of higher, technical and medical education to be reversed. State must provide scholarships to enable everyone to have equal opportunity to pursue higher education.
- Teachers must be given the remuneration, recognition and respect due to those who have the responsibility of preparing the future citizens of society.
- Suitable and secure employment for all
- Universal registration of all wage and salaried employment
- Guaranteed minimum wages, pension, and all other rights must be recognised as rights that belong to all wage-workers, without exception
- Women must be paid equal wages for the same work done by men. The state must ensure full maternity benefits and provision of child care facilities at the most suitable locations.
- Release of all workers and trade union activists in jail. Immediate withdrawal of all the false cases against workers and punishment for those in authority responsible for this.
- No acquisition of any agricultural land, pending the enactment of a new Land Law, that must guarantee secure possession of arable land in the hands of those who are tilling it.
- Creation of a reliable and efficient public procurement system for all agricultural produce, which ensures stable and remunerative prices for the farmers. All inputs to agriculture — seeds, fertilisers, pesticides, diesel, etc — must be provided at affordable prices. State guaranteed insurance for crop failure.
- Violence against women in any form and by any person, including army and police officials, and those holding the highest offices, should not be tolerated, and must be severely punished.
Political Reforms towards People’s Empowerment
- No election without people’s selection of candidates!
- State must fund the electoral process, not any political party, or private organisation or individual!
- People must have the right to initiate legislation, to approve major public decisions through referendums, and the right to recall at any time the one they elected.