Following the latest round of trade negotiations between US and China failing to reach any agreement, US had imposed $200 billion worth tariff hikes on goods and services imported from China. Trump also warned that if China retaliates, he will impose more stringent tariff hikes. Rejecting his threats, now China has hit back imposing tariff hike on $60 billion worth US goods.
Along with imposing sanctions against Venezuela and Iran, strictly banning sales of petroleum products, and threatening all countries against purchasing petroleum from them, Trump has taken a hawkish stand intensifying the contradictions among the imperialist countries, as well as the contradiction of US with all dependent countries like India.
This intensifying trade war is going to further increase the plunder of the oppressed peoples all over the world. It is going to be a challenge before the govts. of India like countries whether they will succumb to the dictates of the imperialist powers as the Modi govt does, or resist them, taking a self-reliant stand! n
When the dates of the elections to the 17th Lok Sabha was coming nearer it became clear for the RSS think tanks that even the best possible narrative about five years’ achievements of the Modi government is not going to help it to win again. It was then Pulwama happened, followed by Balakot air strike inside Pakistan. A new narrative was soon put forward and widely marketed with national security and Modi’s sena like utterances. But, after the first phase of elections before which burning problems of the masses like unemployment, farmers’ suicides became so strident that they started influencing the voters, there was re-thinking about effectiveness of continuing this narrative. So, more blatant selected use of ED and Income Department like institutions intimidating the opposition leaders started.
Along with this more naked saffronization measures were resorted to. After threatening all opponents against even mentioning Hindu terror, Modi asserting in his Wardha speech that Hindus can never become terrorists and to say so is an insult to the Hindus, ground was prepared to foist the latest, worst symbol of it, the accused in the Malegaon terror attack, Pragya Singh Thakur is fielded at Bhopal as BJP candidate. Thus the barbarous history of RSS terror is white washed! The sickening history of 1947 ethnic cleansing by RSS cadres of up to 100,000 Muslims in Jammu just two weeks before control of the region was ceded to the newly-formed Republic of India, the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi followed by dozens of communal riots, the Babri Masjid demolition, the Mumbai Riots, the 2002 Gujarat pogrom, Samjhauta Express-Ajmer Darga-Mecca Masjid-Malegaon blasts, the 2008 church attacks, assassinations such as that of Pastor Graham Staines and the recent cold-blooded murders of Narendra Dabholkar, Govind Phansare, M.M. Kalburgi, Gauri Lankesh, Mohammed Akhlaq, Ghulam Mohammed, Azhar Khan, Pehlu Khan, Zainul Ansari..... all glorified at one stroke Everything. n
The working class all over the world is observing the May Day this year when the onslaughts against them in all fields are intensifying day by day. An overview of the long period after the Second International decided to observe May Day, the day on which the working class in Chicago organized the historic march for an eight hour working day, as the international working class day, we have witnessed many ups and downs of the movement.
But what we are witnessing during the post Second World War decades, especially after the setbacks suffered by the international communist movement, is unprecedented. Under neo-colonial/neoliberal offensive, like a mad bull the capitalist imperialist system has not only launched increasingly savage attack on whatever rights so far won by the working class; it has transformed itself in to aggressively speculative market fundamentalist one when jobless growth and contract system have led to acute deprivation of the working class economically, politically and ideologically. In order to obfuscate the reality of class struggle, imperialist think tanks are replacing it with clash of civilizations like reactionary ideologies. Under it Islamophoebia is spread, and all hues of religious fundamentalists, racism, casteism etc are promoted. Even existing bourgeois democratic values are obliterated; the bourgeois democratic state is getting transformed in to ultra rightist, neo-fascist, corporate state.
This is a most severe challenge against the working class and all toiling masses. The impact of the neo-colonial offensive is so serious that, it has disarmed the working class and their political vanguards ideologically, politically, socially and organizationally. As a result, though numerous resistance struggles are coming up everywhere from the side of the working class and oppressed peoples, including mighty uprisings throwing out many anti-people forces in power, they are not becoming successful to overthrow the existing reactionary ruling system and replacing it with even a progressive anti-imperialist regime. The corporate forces controlling the world are succeeding to crush these rebellions or to integrate even the new forces coming up inside their global system.
So, when the May Day is going to be observed, the cardinal question confronting the working class today is how can they overcome these challenges and advance? It calls for the daringness to recognize and rectify hitherto deviations and shortcomings, and to reinvent themselves applying and developing the revolutionary theory according to the needs of the present concrete conditions. It is definitely a difficult task. But, present challenging times demand daringness to confront them in all spheres. On this May Day let us dare to take up this task and dare to struggle with the new orientation, so that we can once again realize our victorious path forward. n
Greta Thunberg, a fifteen year old girl from Sweden, addressing the leaders of the World Economic Forum at Davos, told them “you are stealing our future”. She said “you say you love your children. But for the luxurious life for few you are destroying our future”. She asked: “Why should I be studying for a future that soon will be no more” She asserted: we children have no other way out but to come out in the streets for demanding our future, demanding climate justice to prevent the ecological crisis, a catastrophe.
From last August, not going to school, every Friday she was sitting in front of Swedish parliament with a placard demanding Climate Justice. Her dedication and the truth behind her started attracting attention. Her slogan for Climate Justice started spreading in Sweden, then Europe and soon internationally. Yes, thousands of scientists, environmentalists and concerned activists across the world were warning the UN and all heads of states that if the ecological destruction continues at this rate the human species cannot survive beyond seven or eight decades. But nobody is bothered. Business as usual is continuing unabated, the ruling system calculating development in terms of GDP! So, now the children are coming out on the streets with the call “you have no right to steal our future to satisfy your greed”. The movement Greta ignited is now spreading as “Friday for Future”.
In India, students in cities like Delhi, Bengaluru and Udaipur joined the movement, they skipped class on Friday, the 15th March, to take to the streets, holding placards and shouting slogans along with millions of schoolchildren from more than hundred countries across the world who walked out of their schools to fight for a greater cause – to expose the inaction of the ruling forces to take steps to reverse the ever intensifying climate change. Students in more than 100 countries, in more than 1500 cities took to the streets, demanding action against global warming. The School Strike 4 Climate was part of #Friday’s For Future movement inspired by Greta Thunberg
The ruling exploitative system is trying to pacify this movement by nominating Greta for a Nobel Prize as usual. It is not Nobel prizes they want, but their future. The ruling system is so barbarous that when a parliament election is taking place in India, the so-called main stream parties and their leaders have no time to discuss the ecological catastrophe and climate change. Against this neoliberal trend, the CPI(ML) Red Star, in its Election manifesto declares: "Replace the present development model driven by corporate capital accumulation, ruthless plunder of nature and curtailment of democratic rights with a people’s development paradigm from the perspective of working and broad masses of toiling people, and expand the realm of democracy in a sustainable manner. Strive for a development perspective which is pro-people, pro-nature and pro-women." The whole orientation is for a new world where the present antagonistic approach to nature, the growing contradiction between capital and nature is replaced by humanly relation between the nature and the humans. (See, the Election manifesto of CPI(ML) Red Star at www.cpiml.in). Let us learn from the children and rally to fight the rule of capital to create a future for them. n
While every general election is important, compared to all previous elections, including the 1977 elections when people threw out Indira regime which had imposed internal emergency in the country, this general election is more crucial. It is so, primarily because during the last five years Modi rule has brutally struck at whatever secular democratic values Indian polity so long had, for replacing them with the Hindu Rashtra and Manuvadi concepts of RSS. Even when the 1947 transfer of power did not bring a basic transformation of Indian society and the state, the Constitution and the institutions which were built based on it including the welfare measures and public enterprises had provided a limited opportunity to advance at least to modernity in the line of the capitalist democratic revolutions.
Though the previous governments have diluted secularism to Sarva dharma samabhava and to communal appeasement and protection of the caste system, though imperialist dictated economic policies were obediently pursued, they had not tried to turn the wheel towards obscurantist Hindutva fundamentalist positions and towards striking at the federal, democratic, inclusive values so nakedly as has happened under Modi rule. What happened during these five years is an attempt to intensify state terror and to pursue neo-fascistic policies, terrorising the masses, especially the dalits, women and minorities.
Besides, while intensifying the implementation of the neoliberal/corporate policies at maddening speed, its demonetisation and GST have ruined the economy. It totally failed to implement any of its promises given before the 2014 elections, during it or later. As a result, every section of the masses is severely affected. As a reaction, the people’s movements have taken place all over the country. The peasantry, the working class, women, youth, students and all oppressed sections has come out on the streets against the Modi rule. So, the task before us is to throw out this ultra right, neo-fascistic BJP rule in this election.
It is important that all the opposition parties have joined hands on the question of unseating the BJP from power. As the 11th Congress of the CPI(ML) Red Star has categorically called for, our party committees should strive hard to fulfil this task.
At the same time, communists participate in the electoral struggle to advance the class struggle. While all the opposition parties have joined for ousting BJP, in spite of whatever they say when they are in opposition, once in power all of them faithfully implement the neoliberal/corporate policies. All of them utilize communal, caste appeasement for vote banks, and make the system increasingly corrupt.
Internationally and in India it is the degeneration of the ruling system and ruling class parties which has led to ascendance to power of neo-fascist forces with populist slogans. So communists, while striving to oust BJP from power, should look beyond to building up a people’s alternative which shall throw out the neoliberal policies and not only oust BJP from power, but root out RSS offensive with the vision of a people’s democratic India as explained in our Election Manifesto.
We appeal to the people to vote for candidates fielded by the party and supported by it to build up the people’s alternative. In all other seats judiciously vote for defeating BJP and its allies.
It was in the course of bitter struggle against the reformist and opportunist positions of CPI and later the CPI (M) the great Naxalbari Uprising, putting forward agrarian revolution with the slogan land to the tiller and upholding national liberation and democratic revolution, took place in 1967, followed by the formation of CPI(ML) in 1969. It is by consistently taking positions against right opportunism and left adventurism that the CPI (ML) Red Star could evolve as a struggling revolutionary organization over decades. Meanwhile, Party’s efforts to apply Marxist-Leninist theory and practice according to concrete conditions enabled it to have more clarity and understanding on the post-war neocolonial international and Indian situation in the proper perspective.
In continuation to numerous struggles and movements led by the Party including great sacrifices inspiring the toiling and oppressed, the Bhangar people’s movement has become a breakthrough. It has opened immense possibilities for developing people’s movements at different levels according to the concrete situation.
CPI (ML) Red Star has been consistently fighting against neoliberal policies since their very inception. While resolutely fighting against the anti-people, pro-corporate, reactionary policies of successive Congress-led and BJP-led governments, the party took initiative for forming the Caste Annihilation Movement envisaging basic democratization of the Indian society together with agrarian struggles with the land to the tiller slogan. It has been in the forefront in resisting Modi’s ultra-rightist economic policies like demonetization and Goods and Service Taxes (GST). Together with all progressive-democratic forces and the oppressed, It is now campaigning against the Economic Reservation of Modi that undermined the caste-based reservation in India and against the threat of throwing out millions of adivasi families from their habitats.
The CPI (ML) Red Star is contesting the Lok Sabha elections fielding candidates in most of the states based on this Election Manifesto. It calls for building People’s Alternative against all ruling class alternatives. At a time when the corporate-saffron stranglehold in its diverse reactionary manifestations are intensifying day by day, building-up the people’s alternative based on this Manifesto uniting all genuine left, patriotic, democratic, secular forces assumes great significance.
The CPI (ML) Red Star appeals to the working class, the landless-poor peasants and agricultural workers, to all other toiling masses and the patriotic democratic secular forces to rally for building this People’s Alternative.
Defeat Corporate-Saffron Fascist Forces!
Build up People’ Alternative based on Independent Left Assertion!
ON 15th January, 1919, Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg, both leaders of the Communist Party of Germany, were hunted down by the ‘Freikorps’ (“Free Corps”), a private militia, and assassinated at the behest of the Government headed by the Social Democratic SPD. The enemies of revolution could not tolerate the words of Rosa: I want to affect people like a clap of thunder… to inflame their minds with the breadth of my vision, the strength of my conviction, and the power of my expression.
In Lenin’s words: “Today the bourgeoisie and the social-traitors are jubilating in Berlin, they have succeeded in murdering Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg. Elbert and Scheidemann who for four years led the workers to the slaughter for the sake of depredation, have now assumed the role of butchers of the proletarian leaders. The example of the German revolution proves that democracy is only a camouflage for bourgeois robbery and the most savage violence. Death to the butchers.”
In her last article, ‘Order Prevails in Berlin’, written on 14 January 1919 a day before her assassination, Rosa Luxemburg said:
"The contradiction between the powerful, decisive, aggressive offensive of the Berlin masses on the one hand and the indecisive, half-hearted vacillation of the Berlin leadership on the other is the mark of this latest episode. The leadership failed. But a new leadership can and must be created by the masses and from the masses. The masses are the crucial factor. They are the rock on which the ultimate victory of the revolution will be built. The masses were up to the challenge, and out of this “defeat” they have forged a link in the chain of historic defeats, which is the pride and strength of international socialism. That is why future victories will spring from this “defeat.”
“Order prevails in Berlin!” You foolish lackeys! Your “order” is built on sand. Tomorrow the revolution will “rise up again, clashing its weapons,” and to your horror it will proclaim with trumpets blazing: I was, I am, I shall be! n
Prime Minister Modi says “Pulwama shows that the time for talks has passed”. Then it is the responsibility of all citizens to ask what he is going to do? Since he has asked the armed forces to retaliate, to what extent they are asked to go? In the present situation, maximum the armed forces can do is another surgical strike, like the one performed after Uri. Anything more, including asking the air forces to bomb strategic spots in Pakistan can lead to dangerous consequences. If any of the aircrafts is shot down and the crew is arrested by Pak forces, the conflict can widen. If the Line of Control is crossed by the armed forces on a major scale, it may escalate in to another war with the possibility for escalating as a nuclear conflict. Should we allow such a situation to develop?
When the all party meeting was held in which all participants gave full freedom to do whatever the Modi government wants to avenge Pulwama, Congress and all other parties acted most irresponsibly. Can a saffron fascist Modi be allowed to stop the path of dialogues and go for retaliations which may even escalate to a nuclear war?
As far as Modi is concerned, he is trying to utilize Pulwama for his election gains to overcome his alienation from the masses. It is clear that it was his sabre rattling against the people of Kashmir and wanton militarization of the problem that has led to extreme alienation of the Kashmiri masses. Pakistan is utilizing this alienation of the Kashmiri people for launching terrorist attacks to keep the question alive.
In this situation we should ask Modi to stop issuing irresponsible statements, and start dialogue with all sections of Kashmiri people. The dialogue should be extended to bilateral discussions with Pakistan also. The opposition has acted irresponsibly by not doing so. In this situation it is the task of all genuine left and democratic forces to campaign among the people for opposing Modi’s militarist statements and ask for starting dialogue with the people of Kashmir and Pakistan