No to anti-worker and anti-people reforms!
For an end to State Terror!
Forward with the struggle for a system of direct democracy!
The drama of the vote of confidence was over on July 22, but the brazen political manoeuvring and horse-trading have to be seen for what they really are. The crass revelations of the lakhs of rupees involved expose the real essence of representative democracy. It has revealed that political power is actually wielded by the corporate houses and the main political parties in parliament are vehicles to serve this. It reveals there were big stakes in keeping the UPA in power till the next general elections.
Business interests in India and abroad want to see the UPA led by the Congress consolidate its position so as to take their agenda forward. These corporate houses want to use the current situation as a golden opportunity for pushing ahead with several policy reforms in their narrow business interests, and in pursuit of big power status for India in the global arena. The government is now planning to push through various reforms including: (i) reform in banking and insurance regulation, to expand the space for foreign capital, (ii) privatisation of provident funds, and (iii) liberalisation of rules regarding foreign investment in multi-brand retail trade. Business houses are demanding that government amend labour laws, to enhance flexibility for employers. Moves are afoot to amend the SEZ act to make it easier to forcibly acquire land of the peasants.
Oganisations of the working class and working people have been opposing these reforms. They have been demanding steps to protect them from the massive price increases. Peasants have been vigorously opposing land acquisition. They have been demanding complete debt waiver, as well as measures to ensure security of livelihood. Despite the opposition by working people, the rulers are bent on pursuing those reforms that will further profits and expand the space of the corporate houses.
Communal and sectarian violence has increased. The frequency of terrorist attacks has increased. Issues of temples, religion and caste have been raised and kept simmering. All this cannot be a coincidence. They are preparations to facilitate large scale violence and carnage when necessary. They are part of the overt and covert game plan of the rulers to paralyse and disorient the working people, and push through their own agenda unhindered. This is nothing but state terrorism! As if on cue, leaders of several political parties have called for fascist measures. People of the Muslim faith are being blamed for all the violence and terror. The opposition of the people to the imperialist agenda of the corporate houses is sought to be split right down the middle. Fingers are being pointed to across the border to blame for all the terrorist attacks in India. All this is also being used to justify and beef up the strategic alliance with the US.
It is not at all acceptable that the poor should become even poorer and farmers continue to commit suicides while Tatas and Ambanis join the elite club of big billionaires of the world. It is not at all acceptable that terror and violence are used against people to silence them or to break their unity. The strategic alliance with the US aimed at fulfilling the common agenda of the Indian and American corporate houses is not at all acceptable.
The question is – who is to stop this all-sided anti-social offensive against the people? Can we rely on Parliament to defend the interests of the toiling majority? No! It is the working people in cities and countryside who can defeat this anti-social offensive. To do so, we must have political power in our hands. It must be recognised that the present political system and process effectively ensures we are deprived of power. We need to change this system so that people can exercise political power.
Replace parliamentary democracy with direct democracy
In the present system, political parties and coalitions rule in the name of the people, while carrying out the agenda of the corporate houses. In fact it is the corporate houses who rule. The role of political parties is to act as gatekeepers to prevent people from exercising power. The role of elections is to decide which of the political parties serving the corporate houses is best suited to fool the people at a particular time, and carry out the agenda of the corporate houses. The role of people is reduced to being voting cattle. The role of Members of Parliament is also that of voting cattle. All this needs to be changed.
People must have a say in the selection of candidates for election; candidate selection cannot be the decision of political parties that represent only a minority, as is the case today.
Major changes are required for people to actually enjoy the right to elect and be elected. Then there is need for people to also have the right to recall at any time, the person they elected. There is need for people to be able to initiate legislation, and have a say in major policy decisions and international agreements concerning India, through periodic Referendums. In short, people must not hand over all power into the hands of the so-called representatives, or in the hands of political parties who do as they please after the elections, as is the case today.
Lok Raj Sangathan strongly believes that the time has come for people to distinguish between political parties who want to deprive people of power and political parties that are fighting to bring people to power. There is a role and place in a modern polity for party of the latter type — a party which organises and makes working people conscious of rights, which exposes the flaws in the present system of rule which prevents people from coming to power, and which actually works to create mechanisms by which people will come to power.
Let us make a clean break with the colonial concepts, laws and institutions of political power. Let us establish modern definitions and forms for realising the old Indian principle that the state is duty bound to guarantee prosperity and protection for all members of society, who in turn have the duty to defend and strengthen such a state and system of society. With the vision of Lok Raj, let us unite on an immediate basis against the anti-people Raj that is threatening us today.
We need to build a popular front against the anti-social offensive. Such a popular front must be built not through backroom deals between some party leaders. It must be built on the foundation of unity in action – in the course of organising mass protest actions against the anti social offensive. Let us build the popular political front for Lok Raj!