The speech of Prime Minister Narendra Modi shows the direction in which the economy is being driven. The Prime Minister has raised the slogan of “make in India” and openly invited foreign capital to manufacture any product in India. They have been promised that all facilities will be extended to them and labour will be kept in check so that the investors can reap maximum profits. This is not a new policy but a continuation of the 1990-91 Manmohan Singh policies, which have been implemented by both Congress and BJP led alliances. Now steps are being taken to push these policies with greater vigour.
Economy and cultural life are intimately related to each other. Starting from the 1990s, the policy of globalisation through privatisation and liberalisation, every moral and immoral activity for private profits was encouraged. The is an insane competition to get rich at the expense of the society, country and humanity. Blind competition works in the direction of turning human beings into enemies. Tendencies of intense animosity, lack of sensitivity and culture and immediate gain has poisoned all of social life. Humans have become more individualistic than in any previous period in history. The ruling class of India, which came to power by making a deal with the colonialists, has prevented Indians from breaking their feudal obscurantism and bondage. It has kept people tied to superstition, backward traditions, rituals and communal ties. This has become a global phenomenon. To cover up its failure to solve the basic social problems, capitalism revives rotten traditions like discrimination based on caste, religion, race, community, language, nationality, etc. This is very dangerous.
The total social failure of the new economic policies has given a boost to the reactionary political forces resulting in the Modi government coming to power. No sooner was the new government sworn in, it started to open all doors to foreign capital along with widespread basic changes to the labour laws. These changes will further restrict the scope of legal struggles of the toiling population. The present government has clearly laid down the policy of large scale land acquisition and displacement of poor people and of weakening the environmental protection norms in the name of development. It is aiming at privatisation of the government sector so that by handing over the entire economy to the private capitalists, the future of the entire country will be left to the markets. In this direction, the Planning Commission has been dissolved.Education and healthcare services are being turned into source of profits by turning them over to the market and insurance companies. On the one hand there is a pretense of increasing the quality of education, but on the other hand, the intent is to provide mere literacy for 80% of the population so that there is enough cheap labour available.
The situation today is that Indian corporations derive 60 percent of their income from businesses in other countries. The share of foreign capital in domestic production has become more than half. A large part of the earning is leaving the country as profits of foreign capital. These will further increase with the policy of the Modi government. Indian corporations are interested in getting the maximum subsidy in India and increase their investements abroad. On the one hand, these policies will deepen the crisis within India and on the other hand, it will enrich a handful of Indian and foreign corporations.
In actual fact, the economic policy of Modi government is not new. It is handing over the remaining economic sovereignty of the country to the markets and fraudulently claiming to bring acche din. Foreign direct investment in insurance, banking and defense sectors is actually an attempt to usher in terrible days for the toilers and tillers of the whole country. These actions are hurling the country in the direction of a serious economic and political disaster.
The working people also want a change in the old system, but the question is, what should be the direction of this change? It is obvious that the majority of the population wants such a system in which decisions regarding production and distribution are taken on the basis of fulfilling the needs of all and not for increasing the private profits. Only with this orientation of economy solutions can be found for the problems of the country. The Modi government is orienting the economy in precisely the opposite direction.
Therefore, we must come together and start an all India struggle on the following issues:
- Against the social disparity being created by the government policies;
- For strict implementation of labour laws in the interest of labour and to make them applicable to all working people;
- To force the government to ensure that all agricultural inputs are available at affordable prices and agricultural produce is procured at remunerative prices;
- To halt all acquisition of agricultural land pending a new land acquisition law that defends the interest of all affected.;
- For a universal public distribution system under the control of people that makes all necessities of life of good quality, in sufficient quantity and at affordable prices available to all;
- To bring education, healthcare and defense sectors fully under social-governmental control;
- Complete rejection of privatisation in the banking, insurance and defense sectors;
- Halt further increases in foreign direct investments and to take back the increases in FDI already announced;
- Suspension of industrialisation at the expense of the environment;
- Halt to futures trading on all commodities that are essential for life;
- Withdrawal of all types of concessions in taxes for private capital and increase in income tax on income derived from capital investments;
- Complete halt of development based on PPP model;
- Control on capital investments abroad, so that it can be utilized for domestic needs;
- For ending the black money economy of our country to thoroughly examine all private income and take strict steps;
- To oppose the interference of imperialist powers in this area as well as in the whole world and for encouraging cordial relations with all our neighbouring countries and for reduction in expenditure on arms; and
- For constitutional guarantees of all fundamental rights;
- To force the government to discharge its responsibility of ensuring security and well-being of the people