The Draft Report of the Convener of the LRS presented at the All India Council meeting in July 2006 which has been posted on the LRS web-site brings to the forefront several important issues facing the movement, which need to be addressed in detail by all the progressive forces in the country.
In the assessment of the present situation, the report points out that the ruling circles of India have reoriented their strategy to emerge as a major imperialist power, thanks to the initiative of the US in establishing the new Indo-US strategic alliance and the nuclear deal. This spells a disaster for working peoples and the peasantry of the country, on whose sweat and blood this new path is being engendered. This political reorientation is accompanied by the reorientation of the economy to maximise profits for finance capital and the biggest sections of the industrial elite who are thirsting for new markets and who would like to rake in unparalleled profits, through the establishing of special economic zones, who would like to use the great resources of the country for their own enrichment. The complete decimation of the small peasantry is a corollary of the economic policies dictated by these sections, as it paves the way for the advancing of large scale domination of agriculture by conglomerates and the super rich peasantry. Example after example may be found of the activities of the ruling elites and the policies of the Government and their consequences, such as the suicide of farmers in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Vidarbha and elsewhere, or the management of water in dams, or the relocation of oustees of dam projects and canal projects, or the displacement of tribals in Kalinganagar, or the sale of land in Punjab to the Reliance Industries, etc..
It must, however, be pointed out that there is now an opportunity that is presented to the progressive forces in country to point some significant points, which can take the movement forward to resolve the crisis in favour of the people. This is an opportunity to point out that the old arrangements under which the India could strike a pose in the international arena as a champion of peace, and as a force in support of liberation struggles elsewhere, while causing dissent at home have all come to an end. No longer is it possible for India to spearhead a Non-Aligned Movement formation, as it could during the Cold War era, or to one the one hand carry out a nuclear explosion and speak of a ‘peaceful explosion’, or to talk about resolving outstanding issues in a peaceable manner, or through diplomatic channels. The character of the new arrangements show that India will be striking an aggressive posture in all its relations with its neighbours, will be behaving as an aggressive imperialist bully in its interventions in the domestic affairs of its neighbours and will imitate the behaviour of its brothers that sit at the imperialist ‘high table.’ Secondly, with the acceptance of the neo-liberal policies in the economic sphere, the era of the humbug perpetrated by the ruling elites over the course of a little more than the last half century of a ‘socialistic pattern of development’ as though such a thing is at all possible, has also come to an end. The Indian economy now presents a bleak scenario of ruthless exploitation of the labouring millions, of the hapless peasantry, of the immiseration of the entire country, of the prospect of extreme squalor for the bulk of the urban population that will not be part of the emerging Singapore or Shanghai model. This is now the open and stated policy of the ruling elites and the Government, and in that sense clears the air of any confusion that can be created in this regard.
In the light of these remarks, it now becomes easy to discriminate on the basis of how forces engage with these questions, what their true nature is. In other words, will they or will they not continue to be illusion-mongers, by offering this or that palliative to this or that section of the population within the system, thereby providing a lifeline to the system, or will they engage in an honest debate on these questions and attempt to resolve the situation in the favour of the people. The latter task of resolving the situation in the favour of the people is now faced with the burning task of developing its own theory for the liberation of the people of the country. This theory must present an alternative vision to that of the ruling elites of an imperial India built on the crushing of the aspirations of its people, to one where India is a shining beacon to all the peoples of the world, one in which its people enjoy ‘lok kalyan’, one in which it is a peaceable neighbour. This theory must show how such an India can be constructed. At the heart of this is the question of political power and the how it is exercised in the country as pointed out in the Draft Report. It has been pointed out that no force in the country can now survive unless it comes to terms with this question.