Growing fascist terror against people on the basis of religion and caste stems from the communal foundation of the Indian Republic
Statement of the Central Committee of Communist Ghadar Party of India, 16th Nov, 2013
Preparations for the Lok Sabha elections due in 2014 have already led to violence and terror in many parts of the country. A localised conflict has been blown up by rival parties into a communal clash between Hindus and Muslims in western UP. Caste rallies, mysterious bomb blasts and calls for revenge are signals of even more diabolical things to come. The situation will only grow from bad to worse over the coming weeks and months as rival parties attempt to outdo each other in cultivating and expanding their respective vote banks.
Communal violence, inter-caste rivalry and revenge seeking are all being deployed for winning the electoral battle, dividing the masses of people at any cost and destroying their united opposition to the anti-social and anti-national offensive of the bourgeoisie.
Ruling class politicians are trying to pin the blame for violence and terror on “Islamic fundamentalists” and “Khalistani terrorists”, allegedly sponsored by Pakistan. However, nothing can hide the truth that the principal parties in Parliament – Congress Party and BJP – have a proven track record of inciting sectarian conflicts and organising massacres of people on the basis of their religion and caste. In addition, regional bourgeois parties also rely on caste and communal calculations in their competition for votes.
Among all the parties in the electoral arena, Congress Party and BJP have earned the maximum trust of imperialism and the Indian big bourgeoisie. They have demonstrated their ability to strike unprincipled deals and cobble together coalitions to align regional bourgeois groups with the agenda of globalisation through liberalisation and privatisation. The Indian big bourgeoisie and the biggest imperialist powers of the world are keen to have one of these two trusted parties at the helm during 2014-19, in spite of their criminal record and the anger and hatred they have earned among the people.
It is once again becoming clear that the existing electoral system has nothing to do with representing the will of the people. It is designed to impose the will of those who exploit and plunder our land and labour. Election campaigns are tools for the Indian and foreign big capitalists to choose among different parties as to who can better fool the people and sell out the land and labour of our country to the highest bidder, in the name of globalisation.
The past two decades of opening up of the Indian economy to maximum plunder by foreign and Indian monopoly capital has been accompanied by a rising degree of foreign interference in domestic policy and political affairs. Anglo-American imperialists are interfering to make sure that the choice of future leaders is confined those they trust.
APCO Worldwide, a public relations and lobbying corporation that is notorious for promoting the warmongering Anglo-American imperialist agenda, has been instrumental in remarketing Modi and promoting “Brand Gujarat”. APCO has strong links with the American military-industrial complex, the financial giants of Wall Street and the global imperialist plotters called the Bilderberg Group.
A man who was denied visa to enter the US for being suspected of having masterminded the genocide of Muslims in Gujarat in 2002, is now being promoted as the Prime Minister in waiting. At the same time, the massive international campaign to promote Brand Modi is putting pressure on the Manmohan Singh government to speedily implement further reform measures in favour of the multinational corporations that are impatiently waiting to further escalate their plunder of India.
Massive money power is being deployed to mobilise all Indians to take sides in the rivalry between Congress Party and BJP. This acute dogfight poses a serious threat to peace and security of the masses of people. Any section of people could become the target of sectarian violence, to serve one or the other among rival power-hungry parties.
Root Cause and Solution
The root cause of the problem is not merely that both Congress Party and BJP act as if they are a law unto themselves. The root is embedded in the very nature of the Indian state and its institutions, its Constitution and its political process, all of which are a legacy of colonialism. They are communal to the core. The system by its very nature creates and nurtures communal and criminal parties.
The peoples of this subcontinent provided conclusive proof in 1857 that they are not communal or narrow minded by nature. They united as one to create a free Hindustan, rising above differences of religion and caste to overthrow the hated British Raj. Following the brutal suppression of that Great Ghadar, the then Governor General Lord Canning noted, “the only way to consolidate British colonialism in India was to break up the unity shown by the Indians in the mutiny by creating internal hatred”. The British rulers had stated as early as 1822 that Divide and Rule should be “the principle of Indian government”. They took several steps to reinforce this principle following the Ghadar of 1857.
The British Raj introduced reservation of electoral constituencies on the basis of religion and caste, to accommodate selected elite from different communities into the colonial state. Census were conducted on the basis of religious and caste identities. With every successive Census, the number of castes and sub-castes grew exponentially.
The colonial rulers preached “tolerance” towards all religious beliefs. They recruited traitors from among different religious groups and promoted them as community leaders. They covertly sponsored these so-called leaders to spread communal hatred among the people. The police was used to spread false rumours so as to incite revenge killings. After covertly inciting sectarian violence, the British masters would present themselves as the neutral umpire who is allegedly interested in restoring “communal harmony”.
This concept of “tolerance” is the kernel of the official ideology of Indian secularism. It means that all kinds of backward obscurantist ideas and practices would be officially recognised and secretly promoted, while those who rise above all differences and fight for revolution will not be tolerated. “Ghadar” and “inquilab” became the most dreaded words in the Englishman’s dictionary.
Divide and rule continues to be the operational principle in post-colonial India because the legacy of colonialism did not end in 1947. The big bourgeoisie compromised with imperialism and betrayed the revolutionary cause.
The Indian Republic was formed in the midst of the bloody Partition that divided Punjab, Bengal and Kashmir on the basis of religion and led to the biggest mass migration in history. The Constitution did not break with the colonial systems of state power and economic plunder.
Although India is called a Union of States, the Constitution does not define the Indian polity as consisting of different nations, nationalities and peoples. It embraces the colonial concept of the Indian polity as being made up of majority and minority religious communities. The Constituent Assembly that formulated and adopted the 1950 Constitution was itself elected on the basis of communal constituencies and a limited franchise, under British colonial supervision.
The Constitution does not guarantee to every citizen his or her right to conscience. Sikhs are insulted by proclaiming that they are part of Hindus. People get persecuted and even killed for belonging to a particular religious faith. People get arrested for their ideological beliefs, charged with sedition for expressing views not to the liking of those in power. Different civil laws apply depending on whether one is a Hindu, Muslim or Christian. An atheist, one who does not believe in any God, is not recognised by this so-called secular Republic. There is no such category in the official Census.
The notion that the “majority community must tolerate the minorities” has become the official ideology of secularism or dharma-nirpekshta. It is in violation of the principle of Raj Dharma that our people have believed in for centuries, that the State is duty bound to look after all citizens, irrespective of their religious belief.
The polity remains divided on the basis of caste, through the mechanism of reserving electoral constituencies for scheduled caste and scheduled tribe candidates at central and state level, and also for other backward classes at the local level.
Congress Party and numerous other bourgeois parties that have been created in its image are all entrenched in the communal outlook inherited from colonial times. Whether they speak in the name of Hindus, or of Muslims or in the name of Secularism, they look upon the electorate with communal and caste tinted glasses.
The Republic and its Constitution are instruments for continuing and further perfecting the colonial legacy, including communal division, perpetuation of the caste hierarchy and mechanisms of elite accommodation.
Only a thoroughgoing social revolution can root out communalism and the caste hierarchy, by laying the foundations of a new Republic in which the toiling majority of people will rule.
Solution to the problem of repeated communal violence and rising degree of state terror lies in establishing a new political power, a new State. It must be based on a new Constitution that guarantees the rights of every human being, and of every adult citizen, irrespective of caste, gender, religious belief or any other consideration. Such a state would mete out exemplary punishment to anyone who dares to violate any of these rights.
The new Constitution must guarantee the right of every nation, nationality and tribal people to self-determination. The colonial-style Indian Union, with the central Parliament having overriding power over state governments, must be replaced by a new Union that is voluntary and not imposed and maintained by force. Such a voluntary union would be a bulwark against imperialism and a factor for peace in South Asia and the world.
Such a profound revolution can only be led by the working class, which now constitutes roughly half the entire Indian population. It is the most organised and potentially the most powerful revolutionary force, capable of leading all the exploited and oppressed people.
The revolution led by the working class will sweep away all remnants of feudalism and the caste hierarchy. It will eliminate the entire legacy of colonialism, including elite accommodation, national oppression and the divide and rule strategy, as well as capitalist exploitation and imperialist plunder. It will open the path for all-round progress by ending the dark age of the rule of capital. The working people will then enjoy the fruits of their collective labour. Prosperity and protection will be guaranteed for all.
Role of Communists
The role of communists is to prepare the working class and enable it to play its historic role in advancing society to its next higher stage of socialism, the first phase of communism.
Preparing the class means to awaken workers to the reality of the communal foundation of the existing Indian Republic and the need for revolution. Communists must imbue workers with this consciousness in the course of their day-to-day struggle against capitalist exploitation, fascist terror and all kinds of attacks on their livelihood and rights. Communists must arm the working class with an immediate program around which political unity can be forged against the bourgeoisie and its anti-social program of globalisation through liberalisation and privatisation.
Communist Ghadar Party, along with other communists and progressive organisations, has been striving to build the political unity of the working class around its own alternative program, in the course of waging the day-to-day struggles against the economic and political offensive of the bourgeoisie. We mobilise workers, peasants and other oppressed people to fight for the Navnirman of India.
Navnirman means to make a clean and complete break with the legacy of colonialism and lay new foundations for our society to march on the high road of civilization. It means to open the door to socialism and communism by empowering the toiling masses of people, led by the working class.
Communist Ghadar Party firmly believes that the disunity among communists, with different parties sending conflicting signals to the working class, has to be ended for the proletarian revolution to win victory. We work to restore the unity of Indian communists in one Party at the head of a united working class. With this lofty aim, we engage in discussion with all communists and progressive forces about the need to build and strengthen a working class front, united around one revolutionary political platform of the class.
The left parties in Parliament have recently taken initiative to bring various regional bourgeois parties together under the banner of defending the secular foundations of the Indian Republic and defeating the communal forces.
We agree that it is essential to combat the growing fascist and communal terror. However, we do not agree that this can be done by relying on the “secular foundations” of the existing State, or by forming a “secular front” of parties in Parliament.
The notion that the Indian Republic is secular, and that the communal danger comes mainly from BJP and its allies, has already caused enormous damage to the working class movement. It is an erroneous notion that prevents the working class from recognising the truth. It blocks the path to the revolutionary solution to the problem.
At a time when imperialism and the Indian big bourgeoisie are launching a fascist offensive to preserve their rule and push ahead with their program of maximum loot and plunder, people are being asked to once again rely on some section of the bourgeois class to protect them from communalism and fascist violence. Similar tactics were followed in 1996, when the left parties in parliament supported the formation of a Third Front government headed by Deve Gowda. In 2004, Communist Party of India (Marxist) led the way in helping Congress Party to form the government, in the name of keeping the communal forces out. Such tactics have only served to preserve bourgeois rule by diverting the working class and people from the class struggle.
Fascism means the naked and brutal rule of the most reactionary and aggressive section of the bourgeoisie. BJP, which preaches Hindutva, and Congress Party which swears by Secularism, are both instruments of the most reactionary and imperialist section of the bourgeoisie, Indian and international. The struggle against communal fascist terror and the struggle against privatisation and liberalisation are both part of one struggle to end bourgeois rule and replace it with worker-peasant rule.
To claim that secularism versus communalism is the main content of the struggle means to permanently postpone the agenda of revolution. It means to betray the working class and the cause of communism.
The dangerous situation in our country points to the fact that India requires a new foundation, a fresh beginning, a modern Constitution fit for this century. The clean break with the past, which was not made in 1947 and in 1950, can and must be achieved at the present time.
There is an objective necessity for a Constituent Assembly to be elected afresh, to formulate a new Constitution for adoption by the people of India, which recognises and guarantees the rights of every national constituent of the Union, and the rights of every citizen and every human being. Enormous efforts are going on to prevent the people from recognising this truth.
A world of illusions has been created and is being kept alive by imperialism and the reactionary bourgeoisie, through the mass media under their control. At the core of this illusory world is the myth that the Indian Republic is secular, democratic and socialist; and that the 1950 Constitution must be defended for all time to come.
Election campaigns are occasions for communists to raise the level of political consciousness of the working class and broad masses of people. It is an occasion to expose the harmful propaganda of the bourgeoisie and its parties, aimed at deepening divisions among the people and diverting them from the real solution.
While using the electoral arena to engage in the political debate and prepare the working class to take power, Communist Ghadar Party does not harbour or spread any illusion that elections within the existing system is an expression of the “people’s will”. We consistently expose the reality that this system is designed to keep political power firmly in the hands of the bourgeois class.
Communist Ghadar Party of India calls on all communists to participate actively in the political arena to expose the truth and make the working class and people conscious of the necessity for revolution. Let us wage the struggle against communal and fascist terror as part of the struggle against the capitalist-imperialist offensive – for a new Constitution, of a new State and economic system oriented to ensure prosperity and protection for all!> read more