Statement of the Central Committee of Communist Ghadar Party of India, 28 November, 2011
The 6th of December this year marks the 19th anniversary and beginning of the 20th year since the destruction of the historical monument called Babri Masjid. Its destruction was organised by the BJP with tacit support from the Congress Party in power in New Delhi. That criminal act was followed by widespread and large scale communal violence incited and organised by these two principal parties in Parliament. Today, we need to look back at that historical event and political developments since then, take stock and sum up the lessons as we prepare to escalate the struggle against the criminal and corrupt rule of the capitalist exploiters.
Historical Context and Political Aim
The decade of the eighties had seen the deepening of economic and political crisis in our country. The old Nehruvian model had run its course and the decade ended with an acute crisis of government finances and external balance of payments. It was a period of intense class conflicts and inter-capitalist rivalry. The capitalist class was seeking a new way to stabilise their rule and carry on with their exploitation and plunder.
The Congress Party headed by Rajiv Gandhi had come to power in 1985 on a communal platform, after organising the anti-Sikh genocide of November 1984. The next five years witnessed numerous diversionary movements and the escalation of state terrorism in the name of restoring order. There were agitations for and against the implementation of the Mandal Commission recommendations on caste-based reservation quotas. There was the movement for erecting a Ram Mandir at the site where Babri Masjid stood.
It was a time when major and abrupt changes were taking place globally, culminating with the disintegration of the Soviet Union and end of the bipolar division of the world. The capitalists of the world, headed by US imperialism, declared that socialism is dead and there is no alternative to liberalisation and privatisation; and to multi-party representative democracy. They declared that any country that did not follow these prescriptions will be targeted as a danger to the world.
In such conditions, accompanied by the assassination of Indira Gandhi in 1984 and Rajiv Gandhi in 1991, a section of the capitalist class in our country seized the initiative and launched the liberalisation and privatisation program, aimed at making Indian capital one of the major imperialist powers of the world. The essential notion underlying this program, that every family must fend for itself, did not find acceptance among the toiling masses of our country. It was seen to blatantly violate the fundamental principle of Indian political theory that the State is duty bound to provide for the people. The big capitalists relied on diabolical diversions to push through their unpopular program.
The BJP pointed to the pseudo-secularism of the Congress Party and its “appeasement of Muslims” as being the main problem. The Congress Party pointed to the religious chauvinist outlook of BJP as being the main danger. The activities of these two parties, who were at loggerheads with one another, were together tending to polarise public opinion into one Hindutva camp and another Secularism camp. The so-called fight between the secular and communal camps hid the reality that the big capitalists are the main enemy and their anti-social reform program poses the main danger to the livelihood and rights of the people. It diverted attention from the fact that both these rival camps are in fact committed to implement one and the same program of the big capitalists.
The political aim underlying the demolition of Babri Masjid was to divert the working class and people, confuse them about their main enemy, and set them against one another, so as to clear the path for the program of globalisation through liberalisation and privatisation.
Political Impact and Response of the People
The demolition of Babri Masjid revealed the criminality of the existing political system. It exposed very clearly in the eyes of the people that the two biggest parties in Parliament can get away with any heinous crime to expand their vote banks and to divert and divide the people. The genocide against Sikhs in 1984, following the assassination of Indira Gandhi, had already revealed the fact that the heightened economic offensive of the capitalist class requires a new diabolical method of rule. The communal violence of 1992-93 marked the institutionalisation of this criminal method of rule.
The results of elections held in the mid-nineties revealed widespread disgust among the people with both Congress Party and BJP; and with a political process that was designed to ensure that only such criminal parties are entrusted with power. The political awakening among the broad masses gave a fillip to the movement for people’s empowerment.
Revolutionary political forces, including our Party, upheld the position that it is not our people but the state which is communal. We recognised that the root of the problem lies in the very nature of the state, the system of democracy and its political process. In this system the ruling party becomes the supreme authority while the people have a marginal role, only on polling day. We need a system and political process in which it is the people and not a party that exercises power. This bold political position was put forward by a joint rally of progressive forces held at Ferozeshah Kotla on 22nd February, 1993.
The work of the revolutionary forces was harmed by parties that swear by communism who conciliated with the political line that the immediate task is to defend secularism against the communal danger. They spread the notion that Congress Party is a “lesser evil” than BJP. The Communist Party of India (Marxist) and its allies openly extended support to the Congress Party after the falling apart of the opportunist alliance called the Third Front. Such class conciliatory politics diverted the working class and people from their united struggle against the capitalist economic offensive. It diverted them from targeting the ruling class and its state as the source of communalism and communal violence.
Lessons for Today
Today, 19 years after the destruction of Babri Masjid, the crisis of capitalist rule is in many ways even deeper than before. All kinds of diabolical diversions are once again being prepared, including rath yatras allegedly aimed at cleaning up the criminal and corrupt political system. In these conditions, the political parties and activists of the working class, peasants and other revolutionary strata need to reaffirm the lessons that emerge from our political experience of the past two decades.
The line of defending secularism from the communal danger, and the notion that Congress Party is a “lesser evil” than BJP are erroneous and diversionary. They serve the capitalist class in power. So does the line of advocating an alliance with regional capitalist parties in the name of a Third Front.
The solution to communal violence, to state and individual terrorism, and to unbridled corruption lies in the Navnirman of the state and political process, to enable the toiling majority to rule and reorient the economy to provide for all.
Vesting sovereignty or the supreme power in the hands of one party or coalition in the legislative body, with the others making up an ‘opposition’ camp, is a state form and political process suitable for the dictatorship of the capitalist class, which is naturally split into rival camps. The alternative which the people need is a system and political process that will ensure that sovereignty is vested in the people as a whole, who delegate only a part of their power to those they elect. The role of a political party in such a system would be to enable the people to exercise power and hold their elected deputies to account. Only the working class has the interest and capability of leading the struggle to usher in this superior system of democracy.
The task facing the working class and progressive forces is neither to build a secular front nor a third front, but the political front for people’s empowerment, for the Navnirman of the state and political process.