The meeting of the Secretariat of the All-India Council of Lok Raj Sangathan, held on 12 May 2022, discussed the current political situation in the country. We are publishing below the main points that emerged from the discussion. The AIC Secretariat calls upon all the samitis and councils of LRS to organise discussion of this subject.
Source of image: https://www.npr.org/2019/12/16/788366565/indias-citizenship-law-triggers-mass-protests-and-violence-as-modi-calls-for-pea
All across our country, people are demanding their rights as workers, as peasants, as women, as youth and students, as human beings.
People all over the country are opposing the privatisation and liberalization program of the government. Workers of railways, electricity, banks, insurance, coal, steel, petroleum, roadways, port and docks, defence, have come out in massive protests against privatisation.
Millions of workers of public sector enterprises are uniting in this struggle, coming together under one banner of struggle. The struggle against privatisation has forced the government to temporarily retreat in some cases, as in the case of the electricity amendment act. This act, if passed, will allow private companies to take over electricity distribution wherever they find it profitable. It was supposed to be tabled in parliament in December, but opposition of workers and kisans forced the government to hold back.
Over the past two years, the struggle of kisans for security of livelihood has encompassed all regions of the country. The government passed three anti-kisan laws which aimed at ensuring domination of agricultural trade by Indian and foreign monopolies. After a year-long struggle, the government announced the decision to repeal the three laws, while holding at bay all other demands of the kisans.
The kisans across the country are demanding guaranteed security of livelihood. They are demanding that the state establish a universal public procurement system, and ensure that kisans get remunerative prices for all agricultural produce.
The unity of workers and kisans and broad masses of people has grown in this period. Kisan unions and workers unions have joined hands to organise many all India strikes, around a common charter of demands. This includes guaranteed livelihood for kisans, the repeal of the four labour codes, an end to the privatisation program, social security for all workers including agricultural workers, as well as other demands. Tens of crores of people have participated in these struggles in cities and in the rural areas.
The millions of unemployed youth of our country are angry at the lack of jobs, and they are showing this anger in powerful protests. Just a few days back, there were protests by youth all over the country demanding that the army begin recruitment again. A few months earlier, big clashes took place between youth and the authorities over irregularities in recruitment in the railways. The railways was forced to announce that exams for recruitment will be held again.
In sum, people of our country are demanding their rights. They are demanding that central and state governments work to ensure prosperity and security for all. People are angry that central and state governments are only working for the benefit of Indian and foreign monopoly houses.
No matter which party is in charge of the government, it is committed to implementing the same agenda set by the ruling class. It is the agenda of intensifying exploitation of workers, robbery of peasants, and plunder of our country’s natural resources in order to increase the wealth of the minority of super rich.
The fundamental flaw in the present political system of multi-party representative democracy are getting exposed. Sovereignty, decision making power does not vest with the people.
Furthermore, the role of political parties which accept this system is to prevent people from coming to power.
People are not accepting this state of affairs. The demand for changes in the system so that the flaws are addressed and decision-making power is vested in the people, is growing.
The ruling establishment is worried about growing unity of workers and peasants. It wants to smash this unity. It has deployed all its political parties to carry out this work of dividing the people, and safeguarding the system.
The rulers divide the people along party lines. They create the illusion that the problems of people can be solved by replacing one party in charge of the executive with another. Parties trained to manage this system foster and sharpen divisions amongst people on religious and caste lines to smash the unity of the people. Their activities serve to prevent people from uniting and fighting for their rights and for their empowerment.
At the present times, various issues such as demolitions by the authorities in Delhi and other cities, proposal to change names of historical monuments such as Qutab Minar by private groups, call for investigation by private groups of the mosque in Varanasi and the Taj Mahal for whether they have Hindu relics, demands that loudspeakers not be used in mosques, and threats to chant religious prayers in front of mosques, etc. have been raked up. The monopoly controlled electronic media, social media, as well as all the parties of the ruling class, both those in power and the opposition, are participating in whipping up passions on this.
In Punjab and other places, the spectre of separatism and communalism is being once again raised. Clashes in Patiala, and various other incidents are being used to divide people on the basis of religion.
The ongoing campaign of demolitions
The demolition campaign is being carried out to destroy homes and shops of people, which have been in existence for decades. It is well known that slums and bastis survive with the patronage of the netas and parties of the establishment. They provide a source of cheap labour to the capitalists. People living in such places are at the mercy of the authorities and of the party in power. Their homes and properties can be destroyed at a moment’s notice.
Whenever it suits their interests, the capitalists can get the authorities to declare various constructions as being “unauthorised” and order their demolition. The demolitions are being carried out with the aim of handing over the land to various capitalist developers. The target of the demolitions are working people, their homes and properties.
In order that people do not unitedly oppose the demolitions, such operations are being given a communal colour. The aim of giving it a communal colour is to isolate those attacked, and ensure that broad masses of working people do not come out to defend those attacked.
The target of the state-organised violent attacks and demolitions are all sections of the working people. The target is their unity in struggle against their common exploiters and oppressors.
The ruling class and its political parties are trying to divide the people and divert us from our united struggle for our rights. They want to drown our just struggle in a communal bloodbath.
The struggle in India is between the minority of exploiters who control state power and set the agenda for society, and the vast majority of people, who are deprived of political power.
The present State and its constitution are a roadblock to people’s aspirations being fulfilled. People have no way of ensuring that they can have security of livelihood, food, a secure home, drinking water and sanitation, education and health care. The present state, instead of protecting the people’s rights, treats them as privileges that can be given or taken away at the pleasure of those in power.
The existing state is not an instrument to defend the unity of the Indian people. On the contrary, it is an instrument of communal division. The Constitution perpetuates the communal outlook of considering the Indian people as being made up of a “majority religious community” and several religious “minority communities”. It defends the rule of a minority of exploiters over the broad masses of workers and peasants.
We need to fight for a new state and system in which the human rights and democratic rights of all are protected, without exception; and the broad masses of people exercise decision making power. People will then be able to set the orientation of the economy to ensure secure livelihood and prosperity for all.
Onward with the struggle for peoples empowerment!