Call of the Communist Ghadar Party of India on the occasion of May Day 2010
On the occasion of May Day 2010, the Communist Ghadar Party of India greets the workers of India and of all countries who are raising the banner of revolt against the capitalist offensive.
Workers all over the world are stepping up the struggle against the worsening economic conditions as a result of the capitalist crisis. They are protesting the moves of governments to shift the burden of the crisis on the workers’ backs. They are raising their voices against the handing over of billions of Dollars, Pounds, Yen and Rupees of public funds to big capitalist corporations and banks in the name of bail-outs and stimulus. Our class brothers in many of the advanced capitalist countries are demanding that those who work should set the agenda for society, not the financial speculators and profiteers.
In India, soaring food prices are eating into the value of our monthly earnings. Our peasant brothers are continuing to face insecurity of land and livelihood, sinking into debt and many being driven to suicide. At the other pole, the big capitalists are buying up companies abroad and becoming bigger and more global every day.
The UPA government is absolutely unconcerned about our plight. It is showing through its every action that it is a government of the capitalist class. It is only interested in assisting the capitalist class in intensifying the exploitation and robbery of the working masses, to achieve its imperialist ambition.
Twenty five years ago, the Congress government of Rajiv Gandhi launched the modernization program with the slogan of taking India into the 21st century. Twenty years ago, Narasimha Rao and Manmohan Singh gave the call for globalization through liberalization and privatization. Every government since then, at the center and in the states, has been following this program. Who has benefited from this modernization, this globalization through privatization and liberalization?
Through privatization in various forms, including outright and partial sale or disinvestment, big monopoly capitalists have grabbed precious land and assets that were built out of public monies, and converted them into their private property. Electricity, transport, education, medical services, drinking water and sanitation — are all being converted from public goods and services to be provided free or at affordable rates, into commodities to be sold for maximum private profit. Successive central governments have destroyed the Public Distribution System through which we could get at least food grains, sugar and fuel till the early nineties.
In the factories and other workplaces, the so-called reform program of the bourgeoisie has meant violation of labour rights, including being forced to work for many more than 48 hours a week, with the threat of being thrown out any day. More and more of us are hired on contract, with no job security, even in government services and the public sector. According to the 15th Standing Labour Conference, today the minimum wages for an unskilled worker in Delhi should be Rs.11,054. However, the Delhi Government recently announced an increase of minimum wages for unskilled workers to only Rs.5,278. Immediately, capitalist and trader associations have declared to the government that they will not pay these wages. And the government has no plan to take any action against them!
In the metropolitan cities, in this day and age, nearly half the population lives in slums and resettlement colonies in most unhygienic conditions. Many of us face the threat of demolitions everyday, whenever it suits the capitalists. We live in extremely overcrowded conditions; stand in long lines for a bucket of water. Women and girls are forced to relieve themselves in the open. This is what taking India into the 21st century has meant for us!
In the course of the past twenty years, as a result of our struggles we have achieved some partial gains. We have blocked privatization in certain sectors. We have prevented the central government from passing anti-labour legislations. We have blocked demolitions of our homes in some places. Our peasant brothers have blocked the capitalist land grab in some areas. Yet, if we look at the balance sheet of the past twenty five years, the reality is that the big capitalists have gained the most. They have in the main been successful in pursuing their agenda of becoming a world class imperialist player through intensified exploitation of our labour. Today, according to the government’s own statistics, the capitalist class pockets nearly 40% of the wealth we and our peasant brothers produce through our labour every year! The parasites are living merrily, while we live a life of increasing insecurity and want.
If we honestly sum up our experience, we workers of India must admit that our struggle has been weakened by narrow party politics. Such politics has divided us and diverted us from the struggle against the capitalist class. Parties whose aim is to come to power at any cost have raised slogans against privatization and liberalization, but have implemented the same once in power. Parties that are active in the working class movement have collaborated in the capitalist land grab in the name of industrialization. Such class conciliation has resulted in weakening our struggle against the bourgeois offensive. It has assisted the bourgeoisie in intensifying the exploitation of the working class.
What must we do to change this situation?
We must put forth the program of our class before the whole of society and declare that we will not rest until this is achieved. This means uniting around a new kind of politics. We must organize around our class program, unite around this program, rising above all differences of caste, language or party affiliation, and fight uncompromisingly for its realization. This means no conciliation with the capitalist program.
The capitalist class decided twenty years ago that to achieve their goal of becoming a world class power, they must push through the program of globalization through liberalization and privatization. In the past 20 years, they have not budged from this program one moment. All their parties sing the same tune.
Why cannot we workers stick to one program, which we will fight for uncompromisingly? We must demand of every party and union that claims to represent workers to stick to this program and this program alone. Then, very soon, we will be able to realize it. We will be able to bring to power such a force that is capable of implementing our program. Our program emerges from our struggle and our conditions.
The program of the working class is to realise
Naukri, roti aur makaan; shiksha aur swasth; pani aur bijli — as our inviolable rights!
(I) We demand
|1)||A Modern Universal Public Distribution System through which all the essentials for a human existence in the 21st century — foodgrains, pulses, sugar, cooking oil and fuel, vegetables and fruits, and clothing — are available in adequate quantity, of good quality, and affordable prices.|
|2)||A secure home with drinking water, sanitary facilities and electricity.|
|3)||Good quality, uniform education for all children, upto 12th class.|
|4)||In higher and technical education, our daughters and sons must get special state assistance on basis of the merit.|
|5)||Free and good quality health service for all workers in town and country. The ESI Hospitals must be improved in quality and expanded in reach to cover all industrial areas in all regions of the country. All workers must be mandatorily covered under the ESI. No one should be left unable to take care of medical expenses.|
|6)||Provident fund or equivalent form of social security for all workers in town and country. No one should be left to fend for themselves in case of old age, disease, injuries, or other problems.|
(II) We demand
|7)||All of us workers — who have no other source of livelihood than selling our labour power, whether in town or country — whether we are rickshaw pullers, head load workers, construction workers, miners, engineering workers, factory workers, service sector workers like IT workers or airline workers, teachers or doctors or nurses, agricultural workers or plantation workers — must be covered by labour laws which ensure our rights as workers.|
|8)||Minimum wages — that which is required for a minimum human existence — calculated as Rs 11,054 per family of three as of today by trade unions according to the recommendations of the Standing Conference on Labour, must be guaranteed by law, with periodic six monthly updates taking into account both consumer price index and the increased needs of the working population.|
|9)||Right to organize in unions in all sectors. There should be no sector — government or private, army or police, IT or health services, airlines etc — where we workers are prevented by law from organizing ourselves into unions.|
|10)||Abolition of contract labour and absorption of all contract workers into the regular workforce with all rights.|
|11)||Special affirmation of rights of women workers — measures for ensuring safety, protection against sexual harassment at work, guaranteed maternity leave and crèche facilities.|
|12)||All those who want work, but cannot find work, all those unable to work because of disabilities, must be paid by the state the guaranteed minimum wages.|
(III) We demand
|13)||Abolition of the colonial Land Acquisition Act and the recent SEZ Act, and the enactment of a modern law that protects the rights of from expropriation of their land by the state or by private parties.|
|14)||State guaranteed supply of essential seeds, fertilizer, irrigation and other inputs for farming at stable prices, and guaranteed procurement of crops from peasants at remunerative prices; eliminating the role of private corporations in food trade is an essential condition for providing security to peasants, and for a universal PDS to function effectively.|
How will we raise the monies for carrying out the above measures? Our target is the surplus created by our toil which is being looted by the capitalists in the form of profit, interest and rent. This surplus is being shared by the capitalists, the financial institutions, the arms merchants, the ministers and corrupt officials. We must begin to get this money back and deploy it for our well being.
(IV) We demand
|15)||Immediate nationalization of wholesale internal trade and foreign trade.|
|16)||An immediate moratorium on payment of interest by governments to the financial institutions.|
|17)||Cutback on purchases of war weapons.|
|18)||Seizure of all unaccounted wealth of the capitalists, ministers and officials (such as by issue of new Rupee notes).|
|19)||The property of any private company or individual that does not comply with these measures must be confiscated without compensation.|
This is a minimum program of the working class. It is a realizable program. We need to unite around this program and fight for its realization, wherever we live and work. We need to ensure that every political party and organization that claims to fight for our class actually fights for the realization of this program. In the course of struggle, we must isolate all those who do not stick to this program but compromise with the program of the bourgeoisie.
Governments have been formed by diverse political parties waving flags of different colours. Life experience has shown that all these governments, as well as various parliamentary coalitions have all implemented the capitalist program of liberalization and privatization. This has been the case with governments led by the Congress, the BJP as well as various Third Fronts comprising other parties.
Political power today vests with the capitalist class. It is legitimized by the Constitution, and by a political system and process which brings to power only parties and coalitions who defend the capitalist agenda. The state machinery — the bureaucracy as well as the armed forces and the judiciary — enforce the rule of the capitalist class, by suppressing and outlawing the struggles and rights of the working class and other toiling and oppressed people.
For the working class program to be implemented, we need political power. We need to establish a political system and process, new institutions of power, a new constitution, which will legitmise our rule, as well as suppress the exploiting classes.
For our program to be implemented, we need a new kind of political front – not a front of parties in Parliament but a united front of workers, peasants, women and youth of all nations, nationalities and tribal peoples of our country, led by the working class. Such a front must aim to establish a workers’ and peasants’ government that is committed to implement the program for reorienting the economy – to change its aim from private profit maximization to the realization of the right to employment and livelihood for all.
We workers are over half the population. Along with our peasant brothers, we constitute the vast majority. We need to have a say in decision making, for only then can we bring about a reorientation of the economy. We must challenge the monopoly of bourgeois politicians over the decision making process. We need to bring forth worker politicians and get them elected to positions of power – in local bodies, state assemblies and the central parliament.
We must organize ourselves into mazdoor ekta parishads (workers’ unity councils) in every industrial estate and special economic zone, to popularize our program and build unity around it, to select candidates from our midst who will fight for this program if elected. They will be candidates of the working class, not the candidates of this or that political party. We will recall them if they fail to do their duty. We will tell them what laws to propose and they must propose and pass them and implement them.
The workers’ and peasants’ government will take steps to immediately ensure
|1)||The right to stand for elections to public office for all workers. Large number of us — in the army, police, government services and in educational institutions — do not have the right to stand in elections to the different levels of government.|
|2)||The reorganization of the political system and political process to ensure that no election takes place without selection, that workers and peasant families organized in their residential areas or workplaces, can select and elect candidates from their midst, recall the one they elect at any time, and enjoy the right to initiate legislation.|
|3)||That political parties cannot rule in the name of the people, but instead must play the role of enabling the people to rule themselves.|
|4)||That a new constitution is written by the people of India which guarantees all the above, with enabling and enforcing mechanisms. The new constitution will guarantee the rights of workers and peasants, of nations and tribal peoples, of women, of the oppressed castes and religious minorities, of the disabled and disadvantaged, and of the future generations in terms of livelihood, and all human rights, as well as protect the environment.|
Let us unite firmly around our own class aim and program! Let this May Day be the beginning of a powerful and united struggle of the working class of our country to reorient the economy and polity to fulfill the pressing concerns of the toilers and tillers!
World developments show that capitalism is unfit for the 21st century. What is needed is a second round of socialist revolution, learning from the rise and fall of socialism in the 20th century.
Intensifying struggles of workers all across the world – in India and rest of Asia, in Europe, the US and Canada; in Latin America, and Africa – point out that the tide of revolution is bound to rise once again. There are indications that May Day this year will be celebrated on the world scale in a larger scale than has been seen in recent years.
Our uncompromising struggle for the realization of employment and livelihood as inviolable rights will open the path to the victory of socialism in our country – for the taking over of the means of production by the working class and their deployment for the well being of all.
Nayi sadi ki hai yeh maang – Hindostan ka Navnirman!
Hum hai iske maalik, hum hai Hindostan – Mazdoor, Kisan, Aurat aur Jawan!
Workers and oppressed of the world, unite!
Down with capitalism and imperialism!
May Day Zindabad!