Let us defeat the politics of communalism and division!
Let us elect candidates who voice the demands of our people!
Statement of Delhi Regional Committee of Communist Ghadar Party of India, February 1, 2020
An estimated 1.46 crore voters of Delhi will cast their votes on February 8, 2020, to choose their representatives for the Delhi Vidhan Sabha. The main contending political parties in these elections are – the BJP which currently heads the central government, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) which is currently in charge of the government of Delhi and the Congress Party. The BJP has an alliance with the Janata Dal (United) and the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP) while the Congress Party has an alliance with the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD). In these elections for the 70 seats of the Vidhan Sabha, there are also several communist candidates, candidates representing smaller political parties and independent candidates.
The BJP, armed with pictures of PM Narendra Modi, is appealing to the voters of Delhi with the slogan “Desh Bachaya, ab Dilli bachao!” (“We have saved the country, now we will save Delhi!”). Among its achievements, it highlights – eliminating Article 370 in Kashmir, introducing the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) to rid the country of “infiltrators” and “terrorists”, bringing Triple Talaq Bill to “protect the rights of women”, etc.
But today, every corner of Delhi is resonating with the voices of protest against these “achievements” of the BJP, against the repressive, communal and divisive politics of the BJP. People of Delhi are realizing that these “achievements” of the BJP are in fact a diabolical move to smash the unity and solidarity of our people, to crush our united struggles, to continue and further escalate our exploitation, loot and repression.
For over a month, in different parts of Delhi, lakhs of women and men belonging to different religious faiths have come onto the streets, demanding immediate repeal of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), which links citizenship with religion. They have demanded that the Central Government take back its decision to organize an all-India National Register of Citizens (NRC) to decide "who is a citizen" and to victimize lakhs upon lakhs of innocent people in the name of throwing out "infiltrators". Such protests are taking place in cities and villages in many parts of India. Throughout the country, women and youth, college and university students are challenging the executive power, declaring "India belongs to us, we are all Indians! We do not give you the right to demand from us proof of our citizenship!"
The response of the BJP led central government reveals its utterly anti-people character. The Union Home Minister has declared that the central government will not step back even an inch, no matter how much the people protest. A savage reign of terror has been unleashed to crush the people’s opposition. Lies are being spread to blame the people for the violence being unleashed by the security forces. All those who oppose the communal offensive are being called "anti-national", "terrorists", and “agents of Pakistan”, to justify the use of force to crush them. But people are boldly defying the authorities and continuing with their protests, undaunted.
Kashmir has been converted into a virtual prison for the past five and half months. Since the decision of Parliament on 5th August, 2019, to unilaterally eliminate the special status of Jammu & Kashmir and convert it into two union territories, thousands of additional central armed troops have been stationed there. The people of Kashmir have been completely deprived of all democratic rights, including access to the internet. Thousands of political activists, including MP’s and former Chief Ministers, are still under arrest. This reign of terror is sought to be justified in the name of defending the unity and integrity of India.
The BJP claims to be “defending the rights of women”. However, today all over the country, women face the threat of rape, sexual violence, harassment and every kind of insult and attack, at every step. Violence on women is an everyday occurrence in Delhi. Several leaders of BJP have been accused of rape and violence on women, yet the state tries its best to defend them.
On 8th January, 2020, 25 crore people participated in a one-day General Strike called by workers’ unions. They demanded a minimum wage which ensures a dignified human existence. They demanded an end to contract labour, to privatization and pro-capitalist amendments in labour laws. They demanded waiver of agricultural loans. They demanded a universal public distribution system to provide essential consumption goods at affordable prices; and a public procurement system to guarantee stable and remunerative prices for all the produce of peasants. In different parts of Delhi, lakhs of workers participated in the strike. But the government is deaf to these demands of the workers and peasants.
The demand of the people of Delhi for good quality and adequate public health services has been blatantly ignored. Instead the government is giving a free hand to the Indian and foreign monopoly companies in the health sector, to turn Delhi, like other cities in the country, into a medical tourism hub, where the monopoly capitalists can reap enormous profits while looting the people. Public transport services are in a pitiable condition.
In the universities of Delhi, as elsewhere in the country, students are organizing and coming out in struggle in large numbers, against fee-hike and increasing privatization of higher education,. They are denouncing this as a move to deprive lakhs of youth from good quality and affordable higher education. In order to discredit and crush this entirely just struggle, the BJP government is labeling the students as “tukde-tukde gang”, clamping charges of sedition on them and unleashing masked goons to beat up the protesting students.
While on the one hand, children and youth are suffering due to lack of appointment of teachers in schools and colleges, on the other hand guest teachers and ad-hoc teachers are being forced to perform double the work at half the salary. In Delhi, guest teachers in schools and ad-hoc teachers in colleges have been waging a prolonged struggle for permanent appointments and full salaries, but their demands have not been met. Today, lakhs of educated and skilled youth are forced to desperation in search of a livelihood and are often compelled to accept low paid, overworked and demeaning jobs to make two ends meet.
Nearly 4 lakh workers' families in Delhi have been living for the last 40-50 years, in slum bastis without clean drinking water and regular water supply, sanitation, sewage disposal and other basic amenities. Similar is the situation in unauthorised colonies and resettlement colonies. Accidents such as factory fires and caving in on buildings claim lives of hundreds of workers every year. People are forced to work in such hazardous conditions, with the full knowledge and connivance of the police and state authorities.
Small traders and shopkeepers and roadside vendors are constantly at the mercy of the police and authorities who regularly harass and loot them. Rising air pollution levels in Delhi are another major problem. The major cause for this is the lack of adequate and affordable public transport and the high cost of travel by Delhi Metro.
BJP’s promise of “achche din” and “sab kaa saath, sab kaa vikas” has begun to sound hollow in just a few years. Demonetisation – whose declared aim was to eliminate corruption, black money and terrorism – did not end any of these. What is did eliminate was the livelihood of crores of working people. Now BJP is on a desperate and dangerous course of trying to smash our unity, in the name of “unity and integrity” of the country. It is doing this in order that the Tatas, Ambanis, Birlas and handful of monopoly capitalist houses can continue to rule over us and enrich themselves by exploiting and looting us.
Trade rules and labour laws are being amended, more and more sectors are being opened up further for FDI, etc., all in order that the highest rate of capitalist profit may be ensured for the foreign and Indian monopoly capitalist houses. The monopoly capitalist houses are consulted by the government in framing policy decisions, while the demands of the working masses are ignored.
The “free and fair” elections conducted every five years are a big fraud played on us. Capitalist monopolies brazenly finance the election campaign of their favorite parties and ensure that one of them comes to power. Once in power, such parties faithfully implement the agenda of the capitalist class. At this time, BJP is the wealthiest party and is estimated to have received the largest share of the funds of the monopoly capitalist houses for the electoral victory of 2019. The monopoly capitalist houses carry out every kind of manipulation to ensure the electoral victory of their favorite political party. The entire electoral process works in favour of the political parties backed by the monopoly capitalist houses and against those candidates who voice the interests of the people. In reality, elections are a means for the ruling monopoly capitalist class to settle the inter monopoly capitalist contradictions and to determine who will enrich themselves by fooling the people and looting them, for the next 5 years.
Decision making power is concentrated in the Cabinet, headed by the Prime Minister. The Cabinet rules by decree. It is not accountable to the legislature, which in turn is not accountable to the electorate.
The role of people is limited to casting their vote. All other powers are surrendered to the elected representative. People have no mechanism to select their candidates before election, to hold the elected representatives to account or to recall them. People have no mechanism to initiate legislation. Only Parliament has the right to make new laws, repeal existing laws and amend the constitution.
This is the reason why the will of the people is never reflected in practice. As long as this system continues, whichever political party comes to power to form the government, it will work according to the interests of the biggest monopoly capitalist houses, while the demands of the people will fall on deaf ears, as has always happened so far.
In the political system and process in our country, people have no role in decision making. Sovereignty, i.e. decision making power, is not vested in the people, but in the hands of the ruling class of monopoly capitalists. The monopoly capitalist houses impose their will on the whole of society through the political parties whom they fund and bring to power.
Sisters and brothers, let us defeat those who are trying to smash our unity through their communal and divisive politics! Let us support those candidates who are raising the voice of the people! Alongside with this, in order to end the attacks on our people and to secure our rights, let us strengthen our unity and advance our struggles, with the vision of building a new, truly democratic political system and process, in which decision making power will be in the hands of the people.