Two BJP ministers of J&K, Choudhary LAL Singh and Chandler Prakash Ganga had led the rally by RSS affiliated Hindu EKTA Manchester along with advocates of the 'Rape Parivar' for obstructing the filing of charge sheet by the police in the court. In Unnao too, the intervention of Allahabad High Court was needed to arrest the BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar who along with his Parivar accomplices abducted and raped the minor girl followed by cold-blooded blooded murder of her father with the backing of official machinery. The tragedy in Unnao and Kathua like similar cases in Gujarat when Modi was the chief minister is that the law and order machinery was also in league with the Parivar rapists.
Rape of women especially minor girls and children is a time tested device practiced by the Nazis to subjugate opponents. Indian fascists emulating this practice has been systematically using this weapon against Minorities and Dalits. Savarkar himself had advocated rape as a strategic weapon against Muslims and in his writings he even criticised Shivaji for letting free the daughter-in-law of the Muslim Kalyan king whom Shivaji had defeated.
In Kathua too, the perpetrators of this crime against humanity was imbibed by the Brahmanical ideology of 'rape as a strategic device' to target the nomadic Muslim community to which the girl belonged.
While the Modi regime and BJP leadership are sidelining the issue as insignificant, the Sangh Parivar outfits are spitting venom on the victims and their family with intensified vigour. It is high time on the part of all democratic forces to rise to the occasion to end this biggest-ever threat the country is facing - Article by Comrade P J James for Red Star Weekly, Issue # 12 (Vol 7), 14th April 2018
THE UNDERLYING CLASS BASIS OF EXPLOITATION OF WOMEN
INTERNATIONAL Working Women’s Day is much more than a celebration of past struggles and achievements won by working women. International Working Women’s Day links the present demands and struggles for equal rights, justice, respect for women and an end to the exploitation of working women, to the movement for a socialist system where women can fully develop and realise their rights and potential. We fight for immediate demands that lessen the heavy burden of capitalism on working women and to strengthen our collective power in the long fight for fundamental change.
Aboriginal women of Australia continue their fight against oppression and exploitation imported by the British invasion and occupation of the country 240 years ago. In 1880 Aboriginal women at Coranderrk station defied the white manager’s orders and went on strike demanding that they be paid in wages, not sugar and flour. (See Vanguardarticle 8 March 2016.) This fight is continuing today by the First People, including the young militant Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance.
For more than 100 years working women in Australia have fought without let-up for equal pay and decent working conditions, affordable and quality child care, workers’ rights, respect and safety in the workplace, community and at home; against sexual harassment and assault, discrimination and domestic violence.
Women’s persistent struggles have won some limited relief. However, most gains have proven to be temporary and tenuous, eroded or vanished in the past 25 years under constant pressure and demands by capital to intensify exploitation, and increase profits. Child care is again unaffordable for many working women, equal pay for work of equal value has not been realised. Sole parents women live on or below the poverty line, attacked by both major parliamentary parties, relentlessly hounded and demonised by the government bureaucracy, often unable to pay for housing, their children’s education and power bills. Public spending on welfare payments and community services like affordable child care and the health needs of women are constantly cut back, while people’s taxes are syphoned off to multinational corporations.
Legislation on equal opportunity, sex discrimination, sexual harassment and bullying, maternity leave and child care leave entitlements and other rights and provisions that women had fought for and won, are often scraps of paper, unenforceable. In reality they have proven to be mainly window dressing. Under capitalism, the overriding needs of capital to maximise profits from intensified exploitation of workers takes precedence over the rights and wellbeing of working people.
In the meantime, the harsh anti-worker industrial relations laws are swiftly and viciously enforced by the full weight of the capitalist legal system against working women and men and their unions for taking action to defend their rights, wages, safety on the job and solidarity with other workers.
In the late 1960s and 1970s, during the unstoppable tsunami of struggle for women’s rights, capitalism in that historical period had some economic capacity to make a few minor concessions and diverted the struggle away from working class women’s fundamentally far reaching economic and social demands. Capital co-opted some of the women’s struggles that didn’t challenge its own existence. The working class origin and content of working class demands and struggles which were taken up by the founding women of the International Working Women’s Day were pushed aside.
This year’s IWD is taking place on the eve of a nation-wide mass walk out and protests by early childhood educators across the country on 26 March. It’s been a long struggle by early childhood educators and their union, United Voice, fighting to win equal pay for low paid women workers. On 6 March, in a disgraceful ruling, the Fair Work Commission rejected early childhood educators’ application to increase their pay above $21 per hour.
“The Fair Work Commission has failed us. They failed to hear from a single educator about what it’s like to live on half the average wage.
Early educators are qualified, trusted and have a huge responsibility caring for and educating the very youngest members of our community. Yet they can be paid as little as $21 an hour. After years of fighting for pay equity, early childhood educators have had enough. It is not acceptable that educators can be paid as little as $21 an hour.”
Working class women are doubly exploited by capitalism. At work women, like all workers, create the surplus value from where profit is extracted and kept by the boss class. At home, women provide unpaid labour for the capitalist class. We do unpaid work as society’s primary carers of children, who are the next generation of labour for the capitalist class to exploit. Women’s unpaid work at home re-produces and maintains the present and future generations of workers at no cost to the exploiting class. Women look after the society’s elderly and the sick with little financial or material support from the state.
The double exploitation of women economically, socially and culturally is imbedded in the exploitative system of capitalism which depends on the unpaid labour of women at home and raising the next generation of workers for exploitation. This economic exploitation and inequality of women is reinforced and promoted by the mainstream culture of abuse, degradation and violence against women.
For communist and socialist women, the struggle for gender equality and an end to the economic, social and cultural exploitation of women is inseparably linked to the working class struggle for socialism.
Report by Alice M in Vanguard, organ of CPAML
The Supreme Court order will not only delay justice but make victims more vulnerable to threats, which goes against the stated object of The Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Act, 2015, which seeks to protect the life and property of vulnerable groups.
Latest National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data shows reported crimes against SCs increased by 5.5 per cent in 2016 while crimes against STs has increased by 4.7 per cent. The highest number of cases recorded were against women, including cases of sexual assault and rape.
Merely 25 per cent of the total cases of atrocities against SCs and 20 per cent in case of STs ended in convictions in 2016 — a drop from the already low conviction rate of 27 per cent for both categories in 2015. “A majority of these crimes are serious and not something that can be misused. The high acquittal rate already points to the shoddy investigations in cases of atrocities,” said VA Ramesh Nathan of the National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights. He said that despite the Atrocities Act, those accused in mass killings of Dalits — from the 1997 Laxmanpur Bathe massacre to the Khairlanji massacre — have all been convicted by the Sessions court only to be acquitted by the High Court due to the failure of investigations.
The two-judge bench of Justices UU Lalit and AK Goel have, in their order, aimed at preventing the “misuse of the law”, allowed for anticipatory bail for the accused in certain situations. It also mandated prior sanction to prosecute anyone under the Atrocities Act, and in case of public servants, with the approval of the appointing officer and for others, prior sanction from the Senior Superintendent of Police.
Nitish Nawsagaray, Professor at ILS Law College in Pune who is also part of Dalit Adivasi Adhikar Andolan, said that prior sanctions would further derail a system where arrests are not made even for heinous crimes. “This is disturbing for the Dalit movement. Denial of anticipatory bail in atrocities cases was upheld by Supreme Court in the State Of MP vs Ram Krishna Balothia order of 1995. It was meant to ensure that the perpetrators do not use their political clout to get away.”
But unfortunately at some places the revisionists who have degenerated from the revolutionary path and those in the anarchist path or those influenced by them, try to overcome their setbacks like the setbacks suffered by Left Front of CPI(M) in Tripura by sentimentalizing the issue. Instead of making a self-introspection for the setbacks suffered first in Bengal and now in Tripura, they clutch on the opportunity provided by RSS parivar through their attacks on Lenin statue to divert attention from the real challenges faced by the communist movement today. Let us desist from these, and approach the question of the ‘whole culture’ of erecting statues or embalming the body of departed great leaders from a revolutionary perspective. Presently, along with developing the theory and practice of Marxism-Leninism according to present conditions, such introspections on such issues also shall provide a new fillip to transcend feudal, capitalist values and create socialist culture. An evaluation of hitherto history shows that the international communist movement suffered such severe setbacks as we witnessed today, not because of attacks by Hitler or RSS like fascist forces, but due to capitalist roaders emerging from within and usurping the leaderships of communist parties. Now, let us read the following quotation from the Preface to The State and Revolution by Lenin:
“What is now happening to Marx’s teaching has, in the course of history, happened repeatedly to the teachings of revolutionary thinkers and leaders of oppressed classes struggling for emancipation. During the lifetime of great revolutionaries, the oppressing classes constantly hounded them, received their teachings with the most savage malice, the most furious hatred and the most unscrupulous campaigns of lies and slander. After their death, attempts are made to convert them into harmless icons, to canonize them, so to say, and to surround their names with a certain halo for the “consolation” of the oppressed classes and with the object of duping the latter, while at the same time emasculating the essence of the revolutionary teaching, blunting its revolutionary edge and vulgarizing it. At the present time, the bourgeoisie and the opportunists within the working-class movement concur in this “doctoring” of Marxism. They omit, obliterate and distort the revolutionary side of this teaching, its revolutionary soul. They push to the foreground and extol what is or seems acceptable to the bourgeoisie. All the social-chauvinists are now “Marxists” (don’t laugh!). And more and more frequently, German bourgeois scholars, but yesterday specialists in the annihilation of Marxism, are speaking of the “national-German” Marx, who, they aver, educated the workers’ unions which are so splendidly organized for the purpose of conducting a predatory war!
“In such circumstances, in view of the unprecedently widespread distortion of Marxism, our prime task is to re-establish what Marx really taught on the subject of the state” and revolution. Instead of our attention getting diverted by the RSS attacks on statues of Lenin, let us study and develop Marxist studies, correctly evaluate present situation, and advance the revolutionary movement to throw out the corporate fascist raj and to advance towards socialist revolutions.
“Modi and other leaders of RSS and Sangh Parivar are celebrating their victory over CPI(M) led Left Front in Tripura as a victory in the ideological struggle against communism and uprooting Lenin’s statues, knowing very well that the LF government they defeated was also pursuing the neo-liberal policies and it was far away from the Marxist-Leninist principles and practice. Still its defeat in the assembly elections is utilized to defame Marxism in most heinous forms. It is the same thing US imperialist lackey Yeltsin and his collaborators did in 1991 after the disintegration of Soviet Union. Lenin’s statues were attacked and they celebrated the disintegration of Soviet Union, which had degenerated to a social imperialist power following the usurpation of power by the revisionists, as the ‘end of history’ and ‘demise of communism’. The camp of reactionaries utilize every such situation to attack communism, and the imperialist media give extensive propaganda to it. We should oppose and severely condemn the attack on communism and on the toiling masses unleashed by Modi and company utilizing the defeat of the social democratic CPI(M) led government in Tripura. We declare firmly that such proxy wars cannot defeat us, and that imperialism and their lackeys like Modis means barbarism, and that socialism is the only alternative for the world people.
In other post the same day, I had stated:”Serious developments like defeat of CPI(M) led LF government in Tripura after 25 years’ continuous rule calls for serious evaluations and taking lessons, not just lamenting that BJP’s money and muzzle power defeated the LF. If it is so how could it win so far against the money and muzzle powers of Congress, BJP like forces and their alliances with tribal front? How could LF remain in power for 34 years in Bengal and then get so badly routed? If we want to overcome such reverses more serious soul searching is needed.
Internationally itself the communist movement has suffered severe setbacks when the revolutionary models in Soviet Union, China and elsewhere degenerated, and the communist parties in other countries like India, either surrendered to parliamentary cretinism, or left adventurism. The imperialist global system, in spite of continuous crises, is making rectifications and and adjustments repeatedly, and is still continuing as a hegemonic world system. But communists have failed to rectify the setbacks to their earlier models and to come forward with new models according to the new situation, challenging the ever intensifying imperialist onslaughts. Instead wherever they come to power as in Bengal, Tripura or Kerala, they implement the neoliberal policies, saying there is no alternative (TINA). So to overcome the present debacle, Marxist understanding should be developed according to new concrete realities, class struggle should be developed in all spheres including socio cultural spheres, and new revolutionary models should be experimented. This is the challenge to be taken up to create a new communist upsurge.