The alternative is workers’ and peasants’ rule and the Navnirman of India!
Call of Communist Ghadar Party of India on the occasion of elections to the Uttar Pradesh Assembly, 1st February, 2017
The election campaign for the 403-member Legislative Assembly of Uttar Pradesh is dominated by the same old divisive and diversionary slogans which have led to communal massacres and caste atrocities in the past.
Neither the Election Commission nor the courts are doing anything to prevent the major parties in contention from inciting communal conflicts. The old promise of building a Ram Mandir at Ayodhya has been revived, accompanied by the incitement of communal passions between Hindus and Muslims. Selection of candidates by the four major contending parties have been based on communal and caste calculations. While a prescribed Code of Conduct is supposed to govern all individual candidates, the principal parties backed by big money power are free to cultivate vote banks on the basis of religion and caste. It shows the communal character of the existing Indian State and its electoral process.
The real struggle in Uttar Pradesh is between classes with opposing economic interests. On one side are the workers, peasants, artisans, professionals and other self-employed. On the other side is the exploiting minority consisting of capitalists, landlords, money lenders, corrupt ministers and officials, headed by the monopoly houses who call themselves India Incorporated. The toil of the working people of UP produces a major share of India’s output of essential food crops as well as many industrial goods and modern services. However, the producers of wealth remain poor, grow poorer and many are driven to emigrate in search of livelihood. The exploiting minority grows richer year after year.
The exploiting minority is divided into competing factions and political parties, which take turns to manage the State. A preferred method of rule is to incite and organise communal and caste conflicts to divert, divide and destroy the class struggle of the exploited majority.
People of Uttar Pradesh!
We have been repeatedly made the victims of communalism and communal violence, so as to prevent us from uniting against our common exploiters and oppressors. We have been targeted because of our long and brave history of uniting across religious and caste barriers to achieve our common goal.
Workers, peasants and soldiers united against the oppressive rule of British colonialism in 1857. Bahadur Shah Zafar, Rani Laxmibhai, Tantia Tope, Rani Hazrat Mahal and other patriotic rulers called on Hindus and Mussalmans to unite and fight to drive out the foreign oppressor. They warned people not to fall for the British tactics of inciting Hindu-Muslim conflicts.
The present day ruling class and its rival parties, headed by the Congress and BJP, are following in the footsteps of the British colonialists. They are wielding the State to divide and rule over the exploited and oppressed majority.
Our revolutionary heroes and martyrs, including Ramprasad “Bismill”, Ashfaqulla Khan, Sachindranath Sanyal, Chandrasekhar Azad, Bhagat Singh, Sukhdev and Rajguru all fought to establish a new State on the ruins of the communal British Indian State. The goal and program of our revolutionary martyrs was expressed most clearly in the January 1925 Manifesto of the Hindustan Republican Association. That Manifesto proclaimed:
“The immediate object of the revolutionary party in the domain of politics is to establish a federal Republic of United States of India by an organized and armed revolution. The final constitution of this Republic shall be framed and declared at a time when the representatives of India shall have the power to carry out their decision. But the basic principles of this Republic will be universal suffrage and abolition of all systems which make the exploitation of man by man possible, e.g. the railways and other means of transportation and communication, the mines and other kinds of very great industries such as the manufacture of steel and ships – all these shall be nationalised.
“In this Republic the electors shall have the right to recall their representatives, if so desired, otherwise the democracy shall become a mockery. In this Republic, the legislature shall have the power to control the executives and replace them whenever necessity will arise…
“The revolutionary party is not national but international in the sense that its ultimate object is to bring harmony in the world by respecting and guaranteeing the diverse interests of the different nations. It aims not at competition but at cooperation between the different nations and states and in this respect it follows the footsteps of great Indian Rishis of the glorious past and of Bolshevik Russia in the modern age …”
The goal and program of our martyrs was betrayed by the big capitalists and big landlords in 1947. The opportunity of creating a new system and State was lost. Instead of making a clean break with the colonial legacy, the same institutions, apparatus and methods of divide and rule were preserved. They have been deployed in the interests of the new exploiters who inherited the colonial and communal State in 1947.
Life experience shows that the source of communalism and communal violence does not lie in the people and their religious beliefs. It lies in the communal nature of the State. It is not just some particular party or parties that pose the problem. The entire State and all its arms are geared to keep the majority of people divided, dependent and down on their knees in front of the authorities.
The reason for the continuing poverty and insecurity of the vast majority of the 20 crore people living in Uttar Pradesh lies in the exploitative and parasitic economic system of Indian capitalism. It is a continuation of the British colonial system of plunder, with about 150 Indian monopoly houses now in command, allied with various monopoly capitalists abroad, and with various capitalists and landlords within the country. The maximisation of private profits is carried out through maximum possible degree of exploitation of workers and peasants.
Economic development driven by capitalist greed has driven crores of poor peasants and agricultural labourers to ruin. Globalisation and liberalisation has driven even some rich farmers into deep debt and misery. Demonetisation has added to the misery of the people. Lakhs of workers and peasants have been deprived of their livelihood as a result of the cash crunch.
A change of party through elections has not and will not lead to any change in the oppressive and divisive nature of the State, or in the capital-centred economic orientation.
The solution to our problems, including communalism, class exploitation and caste oppression, lies in ending the rule of the big capitalists and establishing workers’ and peasants’ rule in its place. What is needed is not merely a change of party. What is needed is a change in the entire political system and orientation of the economy.
To follow the path of our revolutionary heroes and martyrs means to set our political aim as nothing less than a new system and State, marking a complete break with the colonial legacy. It means to lay down a new Constitution based on the principles that sovereignty belongs to the people and the State is duty bound to ensure prosperity and protection for all.
Workers, peasants, women and youth must able to select the candidates prior to any election. Instead of handing over all power into the hands of those they elect, people must delegate only a part of their power. They must retain the right to demand a rendering of account by their elected representative, and to recall him or her at any time. They must enjoy the right to initiate legislation and policies. All residual powers must be vested in the people, including the right to reformulate the Constitution.
With political power in our hands, we workers and peasants can reorient the economy to put an end to exploitation and fulfil the requirements for a dignified human existence for all. We shall ensure the victory of labour over capital, the triumph of cooperation over competition. Instead of poor and middle peasants competing with each other for land and other resources, we will have a system where they cooperate to run collective farms operating hundreds of acres using modern technology, with the new workers’ and peasants’ State extending full support.
Let us escalate the struggle against contract labour, privatisation, all attacks on the rights of workers, and against contract farming, corporate land acquisition and all attacks on peasants, with the perspective of establishing a new State that would guarantee all our rights.
Let us wage all our immediate struggles with the perspective of becoming the rulers and carrying out the Navnirman of India, thereby fulfilling the goal of our martyrs. Let us build and strengthen our fighting unity and foil the divisive plots of the ruling class.
Mazdoor kisan ki hai yeh maang – Hindustan ka Navnirman!