Diabolical efforts of the Indian state to drown the struggles of our people in fratricidal bloodbath
Statement of CC of CGPI, August 8, 2018
On July 30, 2018, the second list of persons declared “Indian citizens” in the complete draft of the National Register of Citizens of Assam (NRC) was released. Over 40 lakh women, men and children of the 3.29 crore applicants did not find their names on these lists.
At one stroke, these 40 lakh people have been declared “non-citizens”, “infiltrators”, and “foreigners”. They have been deprived of their rights as citizens, including the right to vote and to own property. They have been given time between August 30 and September 28 to prove to the Indian state that their names have been wrongly deleted, in order to get their rights restored.
The NRC has been compiled in an arbitrary and thoroughly anti-people way. Instead of the state proving that someone is an “illegal immigrant”, the onus has been put on the people of Assam, to prove to the Indian state that they are citizens by presenting twelve documents and a family tree! If any document is not acceptable to the authorities, often for highly arbitrary reasons, people are being criminalized, branded as “infiltrators from Bangladesh”. There are districts in which nearly a third of the population does not find their names on the NRC list.
Bangladesh has declared that the NRC process is an internal problem of India. It has refused to accept those rejected by the NRC as its citizens. The Indian state is turning 40 lakh people who have lived for generations in India into stateless people. They face an extremely uncertain future. They face the prospect of being hounded out from their homes, herded into detention camps by the army, and forced at bayonet point to cross over to Bangladesh.
Entire Assam has been placed under Section 144. Paramilitary forces have been deployed everywhere.
BJP President Amit Shah has declared that those not on the NRC list are “infiltrators” who are allegedly “taking away the jobs” of Assamese people and are a “threat to National Security”. These are monstrous lies. This brazen attempt to incite animosities amongst the people must be condemned. It is unacceptable that one section of the people is being blamed for the failure of the Indian state to ensure security of livelihood and life to all our people. It is unacceptable that one section of the working people of Assam is being criminalized and branded a “threat to national security”.
People belonging to different nationalities, speaking different languages, and practicing different religions have inhabited Assam for generations. During colonial rule, many people from Bihar and Bengal migrated to Assam to work in the plantations. Following the partition of 1947, many people crossed over as refugees. The 1971 war with Pakistan which led to the creation of Bangladesh resulted in more refugees into Assam. Assam is home to all of them.
The ruling Indian big bourgeoisie has always treated the people of Assam with the colonial imperialist outlook. It has ruthlessly plundered the natural wealth of Assam, its oil resources and forests. Insecurity of livelihood faces majority of youth. The people of Assam have ceaselessly fought against this exploitation and oppression, for their national rights.
To smash this struggle of the Assamese people, the Indian state has systematically imposed communalism on the movement, particularly since the 1980’s. It has worked to set the different peoples inhabiting Assam against one another, appearing now to favour the one, and now the other. The ruling class has systematically carried out the lying propaganda that the source of problems facing the Assamese people are migrants from Bangladesh. Every election in Assam has been used by the ruling class to whip up communal and sectarian passions, and deepen divisions amongst the people on the basis of language, nationality and religion.
The Assam Accord of 1985, which BJP and Congress swear by, was not aimed at a just solution to the problems facing the people of Assam. It was aimed at liquidating the struggle of the people for their national rights. It ensured that people were perpetually kept divided on the basis of language. A section of the leaders of the Assam movement were coopted by giving them power and privileges. The army and intelligence agencies were used to divide and crush those who refused to be coopted. Terrorist organizations were created by the intelligence agencies to discredit the struggle of the people for their rights.
The exercise of compiling a National Register of Citizens of Assam is a continuation of the effort of the Indian ruling class to drown the struggles of the Assamese people for their rights in a fratricidal bloodbath.
It is the criminal activity of the ruling class and its political parties that is endangering the unity and solidarity of different peoples of Assam and India. To further exacerbate divisions, the Central government has introduced a bill in parliament to amend the citizenship act to grant citizenship to Hindu and Sikh “illegal immigrants” from neighbouring countries including Bangladesh. The parties of the ruling class have begun a campaign in Bengal and Northeastern states demanding a “national register of citizens” for their states.
People of Assam, Bengal, and Punjab were the victims of communal partition of India and the arbitrary borders drawn in 1947. The big capitalists and big landlords of undivided India collaborated with the colonialists in this treacherous deed. They were united by the common fear that workers and peasants of our country would take power into their own hands. Power was transferred into the hands of the big capitalists and big landlords of India in the midst of a communal bloodbath.
The Indian state has remained an instrument in the hands of the exploiters headed by the big capitalists, to exploit, oppress and plunder our people. It is their instrument to divide and rule over our people. The developments following the announcement of the NRC list of Assam show that the ruling class is once again preparing to drown the struggles of our people in a fratricidal bloodbath. Both BJP and Congress are playing their roles in implementing this plan.
The situation demands that the workers and peasants, women and youth, all the oppressed nations and peoples of our country be extremely vigilant and not fall into the trap of the ruling class. They must step up their struggle with the aim of establishing a new state which will guarantee everyone’s human rights and democratic rights, including the national rights of every constituent of India.