On September 28th, 2014, Lok Raj Sangathan organized a political forum on the topic — “Dangerous course of economy: what should people do?”
The political forum started with a presentation on the current dangerous course of the Indian economy.
Sucharita who welcomed the participants said “Thank you for the presentation. We can see how in the 21st century, the basic services like education, health, sanitation, livelihood, take Delhi, for example, most workers have not been given these basic services. In our country, the trend is on facilitating more profit making and not providing services to people. On Aug 15, our PM invited capitalists from all over the world to come to India and “Make in India” from nut-bolts to high-tech goods, to come to our country, make profits and take them away and we will provide labour that will not be given the right to form unions, will have to work 16 hours a day and will be out of their jobs if they say anything to protest. The government does not prioritise granting basic rights to people but instead forming links with and strengthening capitalists all over the world.
Now, I invite Shri Raghavan to speak on behalf of LRS and invite Guruji to take his place in the presidium.
“We can see how in the 21st century, people have been deprived of basic services like education, health, sanitation, livelihood. Take Delhi, for example, most workers have not been provided these basic services. In our country, the trend is on facilitating more profit making and not providing services to people. On Aug 15, our PM invited capitalists from all over the world to come to India and “Make in India” from nut-bolts to high-tech goods, to come to our country, make profits and take them away. He promised that we will provide labour that will not be given the right to form unions, who will have to work 16 hours a day and will be out of their jobs if they say anything in protest. The government does not prioritise granting basic rights to people but is instead forming links with and strengthening capitalists all over the world.
Shri S Raghavan, President, LRS: I welcome everyone on behalf of LRS. I am happy that the hall is full. It is a very important topic and we have to decide what we should all do. The presentation clearly showed which way the economy is oriented. Is it serving the people or a handful of rich? This issue should be taken up by you among your friends and family circles.
It is said that Sahadev of Mahabharat was knowledgeable about everything. He knew about the future also. But he was cursed so that he could not share his knowledge. He could only answer a correct question by another question. He was knowing everything but he could not tell anyone. But you should not be like that. You should acquire knowledge and share it among everyone and not let it be wasted within you.
There was a very good slide about indebtedness of the government. The government has so much debt that on the average everyone is indebted upto Rs 35,000/- per head. Every year the government pays out Rs 3,60,000 crore rupees as interest to the big financial monopolies and banks. Government spends less than one-tenth of this amount on our health.
Why did the government take so much debt? Because the government wanted to give rebates on taxation to capitalists and subsidies. Capitalists go scott free after defaulting on large loans and are being forgiven. They continue to fly around and enjoy their lives but an ordinary farmer cannot and ends up committing suicide.
Traditionally, Indians fear to take a loan – people say that you should run your family with what you earn. Subramania Bharatiyar had said that there is no other person in the world who worries more than a person who is indebted. Now however, throwing Indian wisdom to the winds, taking debt is being encouraged though credit cards and loans for buying this or that. Because it benefits those who drive our economy by allowing people to buy their goods even when they don’t have money.
So the question arises can we stop what is going on; can we change the direction of economy?
“Make in India” slogan was given by Modi. Recently there was a meeting in Vigyan Bhavan where the top industrialists – "captains of the Indian industry" as they were called, were present (Ambani, Kumarmangalanm Birla, Cyrus Mistri, Azim Premji, etc). Modi said we have to bring more FDI into India. It will generate employment and benefit everyone. He was lying that FDI means ‘First Develop India’. However, all the capitalists were clear that it meant ‘First Develop the Indian capitalists’. In India there is a big gap between import and exports. They want to make huge profits by using cheap labour of India. Government is encouraging particularly export oriented FDI to deal with the balance of payment problems. Their aim is to turn India into a big imperialist country. They want to sit on the high table with other big capitalists of the world.
They import raw materials, finished goods. They export the same type of commodities after applying cheap labour on these commodities to improve their value. For example, Reliance imports crude oil. Then they refine it and sell it. Among is among the top 50 billionaires in the world. Look at another industry — diamond polishing. It is said 12 out of 13 diamonds in the world are polished in India. Most of it is done in Gujarat. There the working conditions are very poor – long hours and very low pay. Modi wants to duplicate this in other industries. But export oriented economies are very dangerous since if there is a slump in China, then jobs are lost in India. There are already many export oriented units. The same thing is being done in agricultural produce.
Where exports are increasing in agricultural cash crops, production of foodgrains is getting cut. Thus production is not taking place to serve the domestic needs leading to shortages and high prices.
Call centres are also being used to exploit labour of educated workers. They are even told that they are not even workers.
Collaboration with China on setting up export processing zones is being encouraged. The conditions of workers is very bad in China. Many farmers have to go and work as temporary labour for a few months and migrate between North and South China. The experience of colonial industry is a testimony to destruction of local economy. They want to turn the Indian workers into slaves. They want to remove all safety from workers lives. They want to learn how to run export oriented units by exploiting workers even more.
Another aspect of economic orientation is the militarisation. They have allowed 49% FDI in defence. They are trying to reduce the imports of militay hardware and manufacture weapons here. Defence expenditure is over 2 lakh crores. Along with other such as debt servicing the total unproductive expenditures add upto 6 lakh crores.
Finally the question is, how should economy be run? The direction of economy that will benefit the people is exactly the opposite to the one on which is currently being pursued. Today it benefits a minority of profiteers. We have to build a economy that works for the entire people. We have to have a self reliant economy. We should draw inspiration today from our martyr, Shaheed Bhagat Singh, whose birth anniversary fall on this date. We should also discuss what is to be done to change the situation today.
Sucharita: Thanks to Shri Raghavan for explaining in a very precise manner. The direction that our economy is being taken is not new. The effect of this on the people, their dignity is also clearly in front of us. The capitalists, for profit of themselves and their international brethren, are willing to sacrifice the people of the country. Exploitation of workers and youth will increase since capitalists will come to India since they will get cheap labour. The direction in which we are going, social tension, unemployment, exploitation of women will increase. Their exploitation is sanctioned, their safety is not guaranteed by the state. Communal violence will increase. I invite all speakers to come up one by one. Already, there are many speakers, I request any more to give their names to Shri Birju. I request all speakers to present their views on the topic at hand and freely. Now I invite Guruji, Hanuman Prasad Sharma of LRS to present his views.
Shri Guruji Hanuman Prasad, Vice President, LRS: Presidium and friends. The subject is very serious. On similar concerns, Bhagat Singh whose birth anniversary fall on this date, had waged struggles. His final jail diary contained his clear idea of how India should be, he attacked capitalism and war and the British. His Jail Diary shows that three days before he was hung, he wrote to Punjab Governor. He said that he was being punished for waging war against George the Vth. He said that war prisoners are never hung but shot by the military. So I request you to send a military team to shoot me. He also said that the fight would continue until a society free from exploitation was established. Be the exploiter brown or white, our fight continues for a society free from exploitation.
He said that there would be a negotiation with the British very soon by the traitors. Gandhi participated in the protest of the peasants, and ushered in the negotiation with the British. Bhagat Singh said that a government formed in this way would give free rein to exploitation.
There was a strike in Ahmedabad. They wanted workers and peasant’s movement to remain separate. From 1947 to 1950 Constitution was made. Later various steps were taken to strengthen the position of the Indian capitalists. Before freedom, they formed a committee called the Bombay Committee or the Tata-Birla Committee and were told to make a plan such that when the British left India, the same pattern of rule should continue. The Indian state is following this rule. In the ‘70s, Indira Gandhi nationalised 14 banks and allowed people to take credit from banks. She said that this was for the benefit of citizens when in reality it was for the benefit of Indian capitalists from the combined savings of the people in 14 nationalised banks.
Be it Modi, Manmohan Singh, Gujral, Morarji, the Indian capitalists are always behind the government. The Indian government said that they would keep a watch for our capitalists so that they could cross borders, go international and expand and the resources of the country were at their service. Modi, at first, wanted to show that he loved everyone, so that the shadow of communalism does not follow him. He went to Bhutan, Nepal, Japan, China and is in the US now. He is giving the call “Make in India, my chest is 56 inches wide, we can accommodate the entire world, come to India, make goods, sell them anywhere but come and make it in India”. He is giving this call everywhere, like a beggar. There was a time when India was Sone ki chidiya, when people from all over the world would come here with respect but now, all the feathers of the chidiya have been plucked so he is going out like a beggar, and saying “Come to our country, give employment to our workers, they need not think, they only need to fill their stomachs.”
Since today is Bhagat Singh’s birthday, I say that they are worried that a Bhagat Singh will be born among the workers. Hence, they are making laws against workers. No matter how many countries burn, how many people demand their rights, they have increased unemployment and are saying that foreign investment will increase employment; that putting in one rupee will give seven rupees.
Even in the UN, they are saying this. Call it G5, G8, G20, we say that it is G-1 or G-all and there is an open invitation for all capitalists. Now, there are many groups in the world and they want to bring them together. What new things do they want? Do liberalisation, but for the good and security of all of humanity, be it employment, livelihood etc. They say that they want global unity but only for making profits, they will always create such wars be it Syria, Iraq etc. A situation of war is being created and those who do not support it are being called terrorists.
Vasudhaiva kutumbakam conception was for people to prosper. But they want to exploit the whole humanity under globalisation. Like onions pealed layer after layer – hindus, muslims, sikhs, etc. In the end nothing is left. Krishna told Duryodhan that he should give five villages to the Pandavs if not half the kingdom but avoid the war. But Duryodhan did not agree and war had to be conducted. Unless the rulers fulfil their responsibility of providing the basic needs there will a war and people will remove the rulers.
Shri Subhash Bhatnagar, Nirman Mazdoor Panchayat Sangam: Speakers are talking about how difficult the situation is. I will like to talk of the way we have organised the construction workers. Like the foundation is not seen in a building, we have the foundation of construction workers. Our hope is that by organising the people, we will be able to bring about a government through elections that will be pro-worker.
What we have been able to get for the construction workers is some social security. There are so many other sections like rikshaw pullers and agricultural workers and forest workers, etc., they dont have any facility available for their children and for their hour of need.
We have built our organisation among of the unorganised construction workers from 1985. By 1996 a law was made and then we were registering workers and by now we have registered over a crore of workers. Through decades of struggle, we have been able to win some rights for the construction workers which are available only to, perhaps, 5 to 6% of the organised workers. It has provided them some social security for being able to deal with some emergency situations and old age pension. There were many other sections of the unorganised workers like rikshaw pullers, agricultural and forest workers who need to be registered so that they could also have some social security. I will urge LRS also to help to register other unorganised sector workers. This will help to build unity of all toilers.
Sucharita: Contract labour is increasing and labour laws are being changed. When in our country, in the ‘90s, liberalisation and privatisation were initiated, women’s organisations had raised their voices. Even now, the first targets of exploitation will be women. In manufacturing, in the export-oriented sector, where women and girls are working, they will be marginalised and forced to leave their jobs. Now in manufacturing sector, there is proposal to reduce the maternity leave and even force the women to leave their jobs if they get pregnant. I invite Shrimati Renu of PMS to present her views.
Smt Renu, Purogami Mahila Sangathan: What sort of country is this whose economy is going on the wrong path. I want to talk about hunger, about women’s rights. In the presentation it was shown that 16 lakh children die every year due to mal-nutrition. I work in many areas in Delhi and I see the lack of safe water supply; there are so many kidney patients because of this. There should be one doctor for every 100 people; when there is 1 doctor for every 1700 people. On an average, families bear 60% of the expense for health from their pockets.
Our working conditions are deteriorating day by day. They brought in FDI, changed labour laws and increased the working hours, but when we demand that we need 6 months maternity leave they dismiss women workers. How will we get it when we do not even have job security. What will they do in their malnourished condition? We have to take note of the direction in which our economy is going. Only 55% children go to school, the remaining are not going or they are drawn into child labour. The truth is that there are no schools in many areas. When you go to villages, there are colleges 10 km or 20 km far away. Who will give them transport? We do not talk about this condition.
As far as hunger is concerned, our country is amongst the top 15 countries! If we will not work to decide the new direction of our economy now, then there is no point of this meeting. We will have to protest in a systematic manner. If our children do not have anything to eat, then what will we do? We will work 24 hours, 7 days a week, with nothing to eat, like a machine. So, we will have to unite and take up the struggle with courage.
Com Prakash Rao, Spokesperson, Communist Ghadar Party of India: What should people do? The earlier speakers talked about the orientation of economy. How do they continue to rule? It is because they fool and confuse the people. Those come to power are the ones who can food the people the best. How is that the one after another governments keep on moving in the same anti-people direction? It is done by giving fraudulent slogans like “socialist orientation of economy”, “garibi hatao”, “inclusive growth” and “make in India”, etc.
Political parties of the bourgeoisie talk as if they are interested in reducing or even eliminating poverty. How can we believe this since this is what they have promising for the last six decades, and the opposite has been happening. There is no change in the fundamental direction of the economy and we should not harbour any illusion that without a fundamental change things could get better for majority of the people.
The war production is a business which can thrive if all countries are buying arms and fighting amongst each other. Exploitation is possible if there are unemployed workers willing to work for less. In SU there was full employment. When they talk of generating employment, it is like when US imperialists talk of peace in the world! First the US supplies weapons to rebels. Then it justifies selling weapons to government to control the rebels. It is the same in their dealing with India and Pakistan. They want conflicts to go on, otherwise their arms sales will not take place. It is a business for them and the military industry drives the policies. Obama may talk of peace. But he doesn’t want peace. If there was peace then how will the war industry thrive?
Similarly, if everyone gets a job, then it is not possible increase exploitation of workers. The expoitation can be increased if for every working men several are enough unemployed who will be available to work for less. If workers try to organise themselves to defend their rights like the Maruti workers tried, then they say, we will closed down the business and move to Bangladesh where workers are willing to work for half the money. President of US will shed crocodile’s tears saying they will not let jobs go outside the US. But does the US government really care whether Americans have jobs or not if they are able to keep their firm control over political power. This is what happens in whole world.
Econmy can be run in two directions. Either it is run to maximise profits for capital investments, or it can be for satisfying the growing needs of the people. In the former, they consider the labouring power of workers, like any other raw material required for production, spending on which must be minimised. In the latter direction of economy, the motive of production itself is the well-being of the people.
So when the Prime Minister says “make in India”, he is announcing to all capitalists across the globe – come and we will provide cheap inputs of production including labouring power. However, capital does not belong to the capitalists. It is the product of past labour and is ‘dead labour’. It belongs to the society but they have usurped it. They tell tales about how Ambani started by working in a petrol pump, as if his wealth today is somehow the product of his labour. These are mere tales. Wealth is created with people’s labour. The questions is what will the product of labour of the country used for. Will it be looted by Indian and foreign capitalists and used for building huge residences or will it be deployed in the interest of the entire people? If this product is made available for the society, including the financial instruments accumulated with banks and other financial institutions, then it is not difficult to make India ‘soney ki chidiya’ again.
So we have to expose the existing course and show the alternate course of economy. Then only will our economy and society be self-reliant, which is necessary to provide for the people. First a family has to provide for its members, then only it can help anyone else.
The elections to Maharashtra and Haryana Assemblies are around the corner. Let us go among the people and explain the truth about our economy and work not just to defeat some party or the other but actually change the system and take our country ahead.
Sucharita – People have to get organised if we have to change the direction of economy – with this purpose LRS samitis are being made.
Shri Rakesh: I learnt a lot about the economy of India today. It clearly showed how the economy is in a bad state. Modi’ s Make in India means Modi wants foreign companies to come to India and exploit the Indian labour. It really is "make profits in India" and also, "make Indians fools." It is to fool the workers in India. Every 100 years there are crisis.
Tata buses were bought for 50 to 60 lakhs. The maintenance expenditure were 8 Rs. Recently additional Tata buses were bought. Not only were the buses bought at significantly higher prices, maintenance tariff has been hiked multifold to keep profits high. Capitalist want more and more returns for themselves and the burden is passed onto the people. Indian banks helped the corporate secyor and forgave their loans. But when farmers take a loan they do not get any relief and the pressures put on them forces them to commit suicide, whereas the capitalists get off easy. Mukesh Ambani’s wife, Nita Ambani said that the Football League that they were starting will improve the economy. For them, conditions of workers are not an indicator of economy but only their profits.
We have heard it time and again that foodgrains rot in government godowns and at the same time, they are sold in the black market. Why can’t the government sell the grains at affordable rates? There are many students in this hall who are in high schools but many of them look puny. It is basically because they are malnourished. On the other hand, people like Mukesh Ambani have become so rich by exploiting us.
I urge all the youth to go home and discuss these issues so that the parents know that they are learning something new from these meetings. I would like to suggest that in the next meeting we review the prevous meetings also.
Sucharita: Rakesh’s speech was very inspiring. I call upon all youth to listen, learn, understand and question everything. This is about your future and you will have to become rulers.
Dr Ilyas, Welfare Party of India: We are talking about the economy of the country and it is very good that the future of the country is present here in good numbers. The title says that economy is on a dangerous path. While the government and the capitalists are saying the opposite. People are being told that the country is progressing – metro has come, GDP is increasing. The real measure is HDI, which is based on how many people are educated and how many children survive beyond the age of five, etc. How come India is 135th. Obviously, the wealth is being created but it is being cornered by a few. 90% resources are in the hands of 10% and 90% people are sharing 10% resources. When the previous government and PC had suggested FSA, question arose, what is poor? Their definition of BPL is a rural person with family of 5 who earns 26 Rs then he is rich and not poor. Similarly in Urban areas 32 Rs a day wage is considered above poverty line. 40 crore people are below the poverty line. 1/3rd hungry naked people are Indians. The Arjun Sengupta Committee said that 80% people earn less than 20 rupees a day. Is this progress?
Public-private partnership is a new way to loot the people. Water and electricity are being privatised. At what rate will electricity be available when it is handed over to private players? Privatisation of education is being done, along with provision for 25% of seats in private schools for economically weaker section. Only the fee is waived but not development charges and bus charges. Can a poor family be able to afford sending their children to private schools. We know the condition of education in government schools. In Delhi, we know where private and convent schools are located. In our country there are a large number of have-nots and a few haves. Our Party tried to understand services available to people through RTI. Amit Shah has to pay only 4000 Rs as rent for his large Akbar road bungalow.
If anyone raises their voice against this path of global development then he is labelled as Maosit or terrorist. If you are displacing 1000s and destroying the environment then you are progressing. There is no rehabilitation for those displaced by the Narmada Dam; this is progress!
The struggle is a long one. People are being fooled. The government is inviting investments in railways, insurance, defence, etc., which are profit making sectors; no one is investing in sick industries. I am happy that LRS is having this discussion along the people themselves and arming them with detailed information. If we want to save the future of the country, we have to understand this. On behalf of WPI I promise to stand by you in every struggle.
Lokesh Kumar: I thank LRS for organising these discussions for the youth. Many may think that they are being pakaoed (bored). If mitti is not pakaoed (baked), then it does not become strong. Only by firing the green bricks, they become strong and usable.
The direction of economy is leading to a dark future.
When I was young – we used to write essays about the reason for India’s corruption, poverty, high inflation, etc., We used to say that the reason was its large population. The propaganda was that the danger is because of the parents who are producing children. Today on the basis of these children they are giving the slogan of "make in India". Now they are saying that, “There are so many youth in India, come and exploit them, give them the least wages”. In our country, in the census report. 4.7 crore people and 2 odd crore women are unemployed. They want to make these youth work like slaves at the minimum salary.
Parents are cutting into their stomachs to get their children educated. One of my friends sitting here took a loan of one lakh and got a degree but now he is a security guard at a farmhouse. The condition of youth in our country is going to be very bad. Now they are saying work for 12 hours and there is no guarantee for minimum wage. Now in factories upto 300 workers, owner can make his own rules for these workers as he pleases. What is the root cause of the loot? Unless we understand that, we cannot find a solution. There are two types of managers. One who abuses the workers and get 12 hour work done. The other who talks nicely but gets 12 hours work done. Congress and BJP are like that.
In NOIDA JP is contructing big towers. It is said that 90% of funding for BSP came from JP group.
Bhagat Singh had said that workers, peasants, women and youth are the pillars of the Indian and world economy and that our struggle has to be for worker’s rule and not for merely changing parties. We have to fight for a country where youth are nurtured and not discarded as has been done. We are the maaliks of this country. We have to fight for our rule. Inquilaab zindabaad!
Sucharita : There is a promise of clean India. On 2nd October, all teachers have been asked to come to duty at 8:00 AM to clean up with jhadu. They have to come and wield the jhadu in front of the TV cameras and their holiday has been taken away. They run a lot of such campaigns. Today education is being turned into source of profits for the capitalists.
Poonam, Purogami Mahila Sangathan : We are discussing an important subject today. PM will be wielding the jhadu today. But if instead they had taken steps to improve the schools and make them available for children then it would have been better. No one is getting their basic needs fulfilled. I met a poor couple who could not take their family member to Safdarjung Hospital for treatment. No government has paid attention to providing us our basic rights. In most of the JJ colonies, women have to go out for toilette. We need revolution like the song in the beginning said. Whose Achche Din have come? We are given rights but they are violated by the rulers. We say that we need basic facilities. But with new schemes they take back even what existed earlier.
The new government started the Jan Dhan Yojana. Why bank accounts? For a person who is not able to get a job, what is the use of a bank account? From 5 am, we mothers and our brothers work, we work for 24 hours a day and even after that we are not able to fulfil our needs. What is the use of such an economy? It will not give us anything, it will make us beggars, it will fill its own stomach. There are many resources in our country but they are being used to increase the wealth of capitalists and not for the people.
Shri Prashant Mukherjee, SFI:– I thank LRS for inviting us for participating in a discussion on such an important issue. Yes our economy is on a dangerous path. However, the more important question is what should people do? In 1936 for the first time a students organisation was formed, when people were fighting to rid the country of the British. During the freedom struggle, students also participated. Students are considered progressive forces that will show the way to the country and the world. Students are educated and have a scientific understanding. Kothari commission had recommended that if 6% of GDP, 10% of Central budget and 30% state budget are spent on education, then each and every person in the country can be educated. The committee also recommended that primary school within 1 km and all children should go to the same school, whether the child belongs to rich family or poor family. It will ensure that school will function properly. Investments in education will reap big dividends for the country.
Earlier students used to get education and they used to search of employment in that area. Now it is the companies which are determining what kind of education should be given. After liberalisation, huge number of management institutions have come up although there is no need for so many management personnel in the country. Today money is deciding everything. We need an economy where money should only function as a medium of exchange.
Actually, 3.56% is spent on education in the central budget. The maximum that has been spent on eduction has been 4.3%. In Gujarat, it was only 3.23%. The condition of primary education is terrible in Gujarat. More than 6 lakh children pass the 10th exam in Gujarat and only 95000 students pass 12th class. Not just Gujarat, but in other states also, not enough is being spent on education. We will need to change the economic orientation if more has to be spent on education. Education is not just for getting a job but for making a better society, to advance the democratic values. The path in front of us is for people to struggle for a change.
We have an alternative. It is not easy but the alternative is with mass movement. We are told that our foreign policy of panchsheel is good. But look at Cuba and Venezuela. Hugo Chavez in Venezuala nationalised the petroleum industry and all people could get employment. It became a self sufficient country. We can also take such bold steps and solve the problems of our people if we fight for fundamental change and not mere change of one party to another in power.
Bhagat Singh, whose birth anniversary fall on this date, had written about education. I would like to quote a few lines from that. He said, that "it is responsibility of any student to focus on his studies. At the same time we consider that education is useless if it is imparted to turn the student into a clerk."
SFI will be there for struggle for fundamental change, for lok raj. I will like to finish my talk with a few lines from Faiz Ahmed Faiz, "Hum mehnatkash jagwallon se jab apna hissa mangenge; ek phool nahin, ek baagh nahin, hum saari duniya mangenge." All workers are mehnatkash, – from manual labourer to those who work in offices. Let us together work for a just society.
Sucharita : We have received several messages from people who couldn’t come to this meeting. One is from the Vice President of AIBEA, Shri JP Sharma that due to unforeseen circumstances he is away from Delhi. He wanted to personally come to this meeting put forward the views of bank workers about the dangerous course of Indian economy. Shri Devendra Bharati of Citizens for Democracy has sent a message that he was unable to come to this meeting since he had to attend a seminar on Ganga. He said that "In Delhi Minimum wage is not being given. Workers are being paid even lesser than the minimum wages. Even with the existing labour laws are there is too much exploitation taking place. Now with new revisions to labour laws, this is encourage even more violation of the labour laws. In stead of relaxing labour laws, what needed to be done is to strictly punish thoses who violate labour laws. I condemn this direction."
Song: Sarfaroshi ki tamanna …
Prem Chand Chauhan : What should people do? Anytime there has been a social change in our country, then it has been the youth that has been a force. I will express what other speakers have also said through a song. (Sirf jo paida huyen hain, khaane kamaane ke liye; kya bahega khoon unka is jamaane ke liye; Raat bhar roya padosi, bin dawaiyee mar gaya; log dekho aansu bahane ke liye; kursion ke chaariyon me, aadmiyon ki shakl mein, phir bhi yeh baithen huyen hai …; … yeh samandar bhar gaya; aa gaye ghadiyal ab usme nahaane ke liye; sirf jo paida huyen hain …)
Raaton hi raat itihaas badal jaata hai.
Sucharita : Like the song of Shri Chauhan has woken up to the task of transforming our society. We cannot afford to sleep but we have to prepare to fight.
Afshana : It is very nice that more people have come this time. On economy I would like to talk of education. Government has opened schools but its aim is not to provide good education to us. We dont get trained to do what we want to become in society. For many youth, the actual situation doesn’t allow them to do focus on their education. Parents work hard to educate their children. But, even educated youth are being forced to do the work of a waiter. Why? Parents think that if the child has to work as a waiter, then there is no point of eduction.
The government is fooling us. Our education is so sub-standard and we have not been educated to compete in examinations. For two months no teacher came in class XIth. Students got desperate and were forced to get private tuition and pay for it. This is what I had to do. Those who couldn’t afford tuition, will not pass. Then they will say that children don’t study. But how can children pass if teacher doesnt come. Even when the classes began, then a guest teacher was sent but she did not know the subject. She openly admits that she did not study the subject and she can go through the motion of teaching.
All this is as per their plan. We have to change the economy to change the education system. They don’t care about education for the ordinary people. They want to keep us uneducated so that we dont ask questions and keep is in slavery. Government uses our money only for all these things and try to say that they are spending on us. The presentation was very good in pointing out how much money they collect from us as tax.
We will have to become aware of what is going on. We are being looted because we are letting them loot us. We should stop letting them loot us. Since I am small, many people do not listen to me. I will work hard and become somebody. Then I will expose what is happening and work to change the direction in which our country, this is my promise.
Sucharita : Your enthusiasm and boldness you have given us all strength. You have correctly pointed out how they loot us to keep us crushed. This is very important to understand. We have to remove this handful of exploiters. We are very inspired.
Dharmender : Respected chair, dear friends, through various speeches, it has been well explained to us how our capitalists are looting the labour of our people and then invest the capital they accumulate to invest abroad to loot the labour of other people.
I would also like to talk of education to try to explain how the education system is also been taken in a dangerous direction.
Rajasthan government has passed a law and under this law it wants to close down many government schools. This is anti-people criminal action. There are lot of students who want education and there is a lack of teachers in the primary schools. I know many B.Ed teachers who are not finding jobs. The government argues that the teachers who are freed from closed primary schools will become free to join other schools in which these children can be get educated. They are saying that they will merge primary schools with secondary schools. It is like sugarcoating a bitter pill. Under the RTE, they said they would provide education to everyone but under the PPP model.
The new education policy is based on the PPP model. Corporate houses have to pay tax on their profits. Government allows them to spend money on social sector for tax rebates – to fund NGOs or run educational institutions. We have seen what has happened with the PPP model in the metro rail project. They are saying that private corporations will adopt (goad lena) some school. In our country goad lena is used only for anaath children.They want private companies to adopt government primary schools because government has abandoned them.
Government charges education cess supposedly to ensure good education service. Government is now giving this money to corporate houses for adopting schools. This was tried in Daryaganj in 2003 where a primary school was adopted. Now the school boards will say "L&T adopted school". Companies which exploit us to make their profits, can we expect these companies to provide us good education? No, this will not happen.
The temporary teachers had demanded regularisation during the time Arvind Kejriwal was CM. But they did not even take a policy decision for this. It is not just AAP government but all the governments. The biggest loot is done in the Nagar Nigam. IGNOU, KVs all increased their fees. It costs 9000 to do an MA. Most youth are being deprived of education. The Apprentice Bill says that even 14-year old children can be apprentices without training. So they want to create a situation such that parents send their children to work early, so that they will earn money and be exploited at work. If we have to ensure our education, then there is only one way, that political power should be in the hands of the people and we should build lok raj samitis everywhere. If political power is in the hands of the people, then the economy will be in the hands of the people. Or else, it will be in the hands of the wealthy. We have to sharpen our demand for political power.
Krishna Gupta : Lal salaam. I have learnt a lot. I also come from kacchi colony. I gave my name because there are so many young people and I feel that they can understand from another youth easier. Our colony is overcrowded. Everyone feels, “I we have to get out this kind of atmosphere, I have to get educated”. If you want to get rid of a negative thing, what will you do? You should increase the positive so much that negative becomes insignificant. LRS will succeed if the youth here understand economics and politics. We have to do hard work. What should people do? The real question is what are you doing?
When the young members of the household get ahead, only then will their voices be heard. Only after being educated, will youth be able to communicate effectively with their parents, become officers etc. We will have to become like candles; unless we burn, we cannot give light to others. I have taught 2500 students and about 1500 of them have gone far. Even though I live in a jhopadpatti, I am trying to make a change. The more you educate yourself, the more you can do something. If you change and tell someone else one nice thing, then they will listen. Even after doing graduation, why are you not getting jobs? Why is no one able to do anything? If we start thinking that we want to do something in life, then education is a must. There is a government school in Shashi Garden where students disappear after prayer. I tried to make changes and sent a letter to government officials. Unless you bring about change in yourself, you cannot change things. Why are people not able to do anything even after education? If a room is dark what would you do. You will have to light a candle. Then however big the room is it will get lit.
Umesh Mishra Burari: Our system is party dominated democracy. Our constitutional system and our representative democracy says that people should not do anything beyond voting. I appreciate LRS because it is trying to educate the people. When I was studying, there used to be a slogan on top of my class door, which said … I feel if someone is educated then he will be able to earn his livelihood.
Education is getting degraded over period of time. All governments that have come have not educated people. The main aim of education is action and deeds. If one person is educated, then he can earn his livelihood. I stay in area where there is one Sarvodaya Vidyalaya. But there is degradation in the system in this capitalist economy.
A group of us came together and started a livelihood programme but we thought that we have to disseminate information first. For our meeting we informed the police. One comrade told me that if you inform the police then they will only create difficulties. When we informed the police then 5 calls came from home ministry. This shows how conscious they are on this. They asked us our intention and we said that we will take out a demonstration since we are being denied our fundamental right to education and livelihood. The second day of our demonstration we took out a notice asking that children should be educated atleast till class 8. Then they said that they would keep the school open but parents would have to provide their inputs.
First of all, they want to finish education and put us in danger by bringing in anti-people policies. The strategy of the ruling class is to end education. If people are educated then they will unnecessarily ask questions. If our people are educated, then it is hard to predict what people will do. We have to spread awareness and clear the illusions they are creating. I congratulate LRS on providing needful education for bringing forth a new society. But, I also appeal to people to spread awareness since their myths are spread in a systematic manner. We are 90% working people but they do not talk about our benefits. They only talk about the benefits of a few. Modi said that acche din will come and people got confused and gave their vote to him.
Santosh : Good discussion is going on from morning. The question before us is what is to be done? Labour is the driver of economy. It existed long before capital came into existence. Slowly, men begun to understand the source of wealth is human labour. Hence labour is exploited to the hilt in capitalism. If we remove labour from things, they will turn to dust, this table, this building. Workers were being exploited then and also now.
All the capitalists are eying India to see how they could exploit the young workers in India. The labour laws have been amended by the Rajasthan government to allow capitalists employing upto 300 workers freedom to close the factory without requiring permission. Ealier this limit was 100. There are other amendments to allow contract system to exploit the workers more. Our country is still a golden bird. Its youthful working class is capable of speaking and reading and working on computers. Most of the profits are made in manufacturing area. The government is also planning to permit women to work in night shifts. When the government is not able to protect women by day, how will they do so by night? Contract labour is being promoted. In our country, contract labour has been increased by 39%. Capitalists are eagerly waiting to come to India. This can be seen from the number of rapid visits of so many heads of state are visiting India. It is because India is truly a soney ki chidiya. However, unless people labour in the factories and fields, profits cannot be made. Capitalists are lining up to exploit us even more so the Indian and foreign capitalists will ebcome richer.
The economy has only two directions: either it is for the workers or for the capitalists. There can be no middle road. It can either be socialist or capitalist. Socialist economy will work for the people, no one will be hungry, uneducated etc. This economy will be built by people and for the people. Now, it is a capitalist economy that stays alive by sucking the blood of workers and peasants like a parasite. The capitalists in our country say that if weapons are manufactured elsewhere, then why can we not do the same? They want to make it a completely military economy, Modi does the drama of jhaado lagana since he wants to divert people’s attention from anti-people measures. What difference does it make whether he wore a bullet-proof jacket or not or whether he sweeps or mops? He is not stupid and neither were the previous ministers, they know the direction in which the economy is to be taken. All capitalists sit in on his meetings, including FICCI. They were happy that they will make profit. The indicator for progress is that if capitalists make profit, then everyone makes profit and if they incur losses, then it is everyone’s loss. What about the people dying of hunger? Modi does not decide what will be passed in Parliament. It is those sitting above him. It would be foolish to say that Modi is great and Manmohan was not. There will be no change in the condition of workers, women and children, they will all be for sale on the market. Our economy is taking this dangerous direction. Workers and peasants cannot benefit in this system, only capitalists can.
All of us have to think about the direction which the economy has to be taken in and do so. It should be run for the people and LRS has to give that leadership.
Chhaya : It is such an alarming statistic that every half an hour a farmer is committing suicide. It is a matter of shame that farmers who are feeding the country are not able to survive. Children who are dying and the farmers are dying – it is the government that is responsible. The economy is working in the interest of the capitalist class. We have to be conscious and demand what is in our interest.
We are always told that the population is the main problem. We are 6th in the world in terms of the number of kharabpatis. The level of education and health is among the lowest in the world. We learnt about where the government invests money. We need education, health, ration etc. but they are not putting money in this and are doing so elsewhere in military and armaments. If I earn money in my house, I will calculate the amounts I will spend in food, education and transport, etc. But the money is going elsewhere. Money is being created by labour but is being sent to kharabpatis. It is shameful that a farmer is committing suicide every half an hour. There is rampant anaemia. Women and children need nutrition. Farmers who feed us are dying. Profits are going to them and not to the people. In the coming system, we have to decide the direction of the economy. We should provide information to everyone that the current system benefits only the kharabpatis and not us. They are themselves taking profits for themselves. We will have to become more aware in the coming times. We will demand a system that will benefit us.
Sucharita read out the draft declaration, which was accepted without dissention.
Prakash Rao : Everything is social now. Doctor cannot perform a surgery on his own. Similarly, when some youth talked about not getting a job, it should not be taken as a personal problem. There is a social problem. The system has become so rotten that it cannot even exploit labour fully. They are not even getting employment. Ideas are coming from US now a days. When Obama became President, he gave the slogan of “make in USA”.
When they have two systems of education then it is necessary that they will not run the education system meant for the poor.
Guruji : Mostly youth are here. They take unemployment as an individual problem. When there are more commodities in the market than the demand, then the price of the commodity falls. Similarly, it is with education.
Nature has evolved human beings with two hands and one stomach. There is definite work for the the two hands. In capitalism, unemployment is created artificially. This shows that the existing system has become totally outdated.
Hum honge kaamyaab.
The meeting concluded.