Amidst allegations of tampering and budget leakage, the interim budget presented to Lok Sabha by Piyush Goyal, acting finance minister, who is BJP’s treasurer and hence more close to corporate businesses, has unfolded it as an election speech. For the first time in India’s budget history, the BJP has earned another notoriety of presenting a budget not preceded by the usual Economic Survey for fear of people’s wrath as report on India’s unemployment rate hitting a 45-year high has already come out. After drowning and hiding data from government’s own official statistical sources, Goyal was entrusted with the task of indulging in doctored data to draw out a rosy macro-economic picture based on which he went on a wanton announcement on a series of big-bang sops whose validity is only for a few months as the new govt that comes to power after the election is constitutionally bound to go through a full-fledged budget-making process.
Absence of an Economic Survey, that would have depicted the sorry state of the economy resulting from the biggest-ever scam called demonetization, super-imposition of anti-federal GST and so on, was used by Goyal to announce a number of populist schemes addressed to peasants, urban middle class taxpayers and unorganised sectors without any requisite financial backing, even as the outlay for defence is being crossed the Rs. 3 lakh crore for the first time. While the income tax exemptions granted to middle classes have been positively responded by market forces as is evidenced from the shooting up of the Sensex, vested interests are deliberately ignoring the decline in total direct collection as a proportion of total tax. This is shows that tax burden is increasingly borne by the vast majority of toiling people through GST and other neoliberal steps while wealth and income are concentrating with the super-rich.
Modi regime has effectively made use of the advantage of an interim budget by freely announcing several mega welfare schemes without resorting to making any new ultra-rightist policy initiatives. While the foundations of the economy are shaken due to the unhindered corporate plunder and concomitant corruption of the last five years, and workers and peasants are rising up and such program as “Make in India” are in shambles, and when the entire North-East and people of Kashmir are simmering with discontent, the interim budget has tried to camouflage all such grave issues with bogus claims and several big giveaways.
We appeal to the workers, peasants, youth, students and all oppressed including women, dalits, adivasis and minorities to rise up and expose this farce that is enacted on the backs of people in the guise of the interim budget and unite to defeat the corporate saffron forces in the forthcoming election. n
CPI(ML) Red Star calls for observing the Centenary of the Communist International formation on 2nd March. The Marxist-Leninist world outlook demands energetic efforts for evaluation of its 24 years’ experience till its dissolution in 1943 and earnest efforts for its rebuilding according to present concrete conditions. This is a cardinal task before the revolutionary forces today. For, if the opportunism of the old brand of social democrats during the Second International led to its liquidation, after the dissolution of the Communist International in 1943, the present day social democrats are also indulging in all heinous efforts, not only to spread their revisionist gospels, but also to scuttle all efforts for the rebuilding the Communist International. Along with them, there are various hues of pseudo- Marxist forces who are propagating against the CI and its rebuilding by vulgarizing its history and contributions. The revisionists as well as the left sectarians are going against the basic tenets of proletarian internationalism.
Presently, when internationalization of production and finance capital is taking place at maddening pace, when the efforts of the bourgeoisie to rebuild the world in its own image are intensifying day by day, the significance of rebuilding the Communist International ideologically, politically and organizationally according to present conditions has become one of the cardinal tasks before the Marxist-Leninists forces.
So, let us observe the Centenary of its formation intensifying efforts for its re-organization. It does not mean creating a copy or replica of the CI formed in 1919. Firstly, it should be rebuilt according to present concrete situation, taking in to consideration the vast changes that have taken place in the objective conditions during the last century, especially after the dissolution of the CI. Secondly, it should be rebuilt based on a thorough evaluation of the experience of the CI during the 24 years of its existence. Thirdly, it should be taken up as a process involving ever increasing number of the Marxist-Leninist parties and Organizations and through continuous deliberations among them. It is based on these concepts the International Coordination of the Revolutionary Parties and Organizations (ICOR) is constituted as an initial step towards rebuilding the CI. The whole process calls for serious discussions among its constituents as well as among all other revolutionary organizations which have not become part of this process still.
Let us observe the Centenary of the formation of the Communist InternationaI with this perspective upholding the spirit of proletarian internationalism.
Unseating of BJP in Rajasthan, MP and Chhattisgarh, increasing attacks on its economic policies from all sides, especially from the distressed peasantry and unemployed youth, and the opposition moves to form state-specific unity as seen in UP against it have extremely embarrassed the Modi-Shah combine. So, they are recklessly intensifying saffronization of the election campaign on the one hand, and de-politicizing it on the other by diverting focus of the campaign from all cardinal socio-economic-political issues. Utilizing enormous funds amassed through nefarious means, and the modern technological possibilities, dirtiest possible campaign is started as the latest speeches of both reveal. This no-holds-barred Modi campaign is firmly led by RSS. So, as repeatedly pointed out by us, defeat BJP has become the central slogan today.
But, day by day it is becoming clear that the opposition parties, refusing to put forward even a reformist alternative program, are pursing soft Hindutva policies to combat BJP, along with reiterating their loyalty to the neo-liberal/corporate policies. They had no hesitation to vote for the 10% economic reservation move of Modi with an eye on vote banks. In spite of the fact that it was the initiation of neo-liberal policies and degeneration of the ruling system under Congress rule which led to coming to power of BJP, the whole spectrum of ruling class parties and the social democrats are not prepared to make any changes in their policies. Even when the possibilities for unseating Modi rule in coming elections are increasing day by day, that the opposition have no alternative to project is a grave challenge before the people. Beginning from Congress, each of them are making frantic, self-centered moves to net maximum seats possible utilizing the anti-Modi atmosphere.
It is in this context, the 11th Congress of CPI(ML) Red Star has called for a resolute ideological-political campaign against the reactionary ruling system, against corporate-saffron fascism using all available means. With this perspective, it is striving for discussions with all revolutionary, left and democratic forces and other struggling forces for a national coordination based on a common manifesto to resist and defeat the corporate-communal fascist threat. To facilitate this, while fielding as many candidates as possible in areas where we have mass base, all state committees of the Party have taken up the task of building struggle-based Mass Political Platforms according to the objective situation prevailing at the state level, to inspire and enthuse the struggling masses. Our aim is to develop a Political Alternative at the national level. This political line of our Party calls for resisting corporate- saffron fascist forces with the perspective of building people’s alternative; it calls for strengthening independent left assertion which shall provide powerful boost to throw out the Modi rule on the one hand, and to lead the people towards an alternative path of development and democratization
The New Year is dawning with revolutionary enthusiasm as militant struggles led by workers, peasants and oppressed sections against ultra-rightist and neo-fascistic forces are coming up in various parts of the world. Of particular political relevance in this regard is the eruption of massive protests by workers and middle classes in France against the regressive policies of rightist Macron regime. In spite of the diversionary tactics of Macron the struggle is still continuing with the possibilities of spreading to other European countries. In the same vein, in Britain the neoconservative, anti-immigrant, Thatcherite sections of the ruling classes who spearheaded the Brexit are facing the biggest political reverses.
In Latin America, though reactionary forces are in power in a number of countries including the recent ascendancy of the neo-fascist Bolsonaro in Brazil, people’s movements against neoliberal policies are rising up in many countries. The coming of the left-wing government in Mexico led by Lopez Obrador of the National Regeneration Movement which is very critical of the Trump administration for its protectionist and anti-refugee, anti-immigrant policies is another instance of the reverses faced by the ultra-rightwing in the political spectrum.
Similar trends are witnessed in other countries too. The recent electoral reverses of the ultra-rightist, Hindutva Modi regime is another manifestation of people’s simmering discontent against pro-corporate neoliberal policies. In spite of frantic efforts of Sangh Parivar to raise the Ram Temple question as the central agenda to divert attention from severe consequences of neo-liberal/corporate policies including demonetization and GST, the peasantry, working class, youth and the oppressed classes and sections voted to defeat BJP in MP, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh and to weaken it in Telengana and Mizoram.
All these developments are taking place in spite of the counter revolutionary offensive by the imperialist forces and their lackeys, the pessimism created by the reformist and social democratic forces everywhere. The social democrats and petti-bourgeois anarchists conceal the fact that it was the revolutionary enthusiasm created by the socialist offensive of Soviet Union and China in their socialist days which led to people’s upsurges everywhere including the mighty wave of national liberation movements. But when the international communist movement suffered severe setbacks following the abandonment of socialist path by the former socialist countries, and when utilizing this situation the imperialist forces unleashed neocolonial/neoliberal offensive, the revisionists of all hues, the social democrats as in India started spreading pessimism by repeating ‘there is no alternative to neo-liberalism’. Pointing out the ascendance to power of ultra right neo-fascistic forces in a number of countries, they are advocating abandoning of all efforts for strengthening independent left assertion utilizing all forms of struggle. The present situation demands that along with imperialists and their lackeys, these forces of defeatism should be challenged everywhere. An atmosphere of revolutionary optimism should be created.
In the enthusiastic atmosphere when we have successfully completed the 11th Congress of the Party, let us herald the new year with countrywide demonstrations in support of the increasing people’s upsurges with the slogan raised by the Party Congress: Throw Out Corporate, Saffron Fascist Forces, March towards People’s Democracy and Socialism!
In order to win the elections at any cost BJP has communalized the campaign totally, repeating that it represents Hindus and all its opponents are serving Muslims! On the other hand, to counter this, not only Congress president Rahul Gandhi, the ‘rationalist’ chief minister Siddaramaiah along with Congress candidates are competing with BJP leaders to worship in as many temples as possible! JD(S) is also competing with its own communal, caste appeasement. None of these is trying to deal with the acute crisis faced by the common people, including price rise, unemployment, lack of housing-drinking water, farmers’ suicides etc.
It is in this context, the Janandolna Mahamaitri is contesting 20 seats putting forward a manifesto which calls for rejection of neoliberal policies and democratization in all fields, mobilizing the dalits, adivasis, minorities and all oppressed classes and sections wherever its candidates are contesting. While at state level it is targeting BJP as the main enemy, in constituencies it is contesting, it is challenging the J-C-B candidates. In Ligasugur like constituencies where party comrade R Manasayya is contesting, thousands rallied on 23rd April while submitting the nomination and it has come to the forefront in the election battle. All party activists are mobilized in support of party candidates at Ligsugur and Koppal while active support is extended to all Mahamaitri candidates. Our election committees are determined to intensify the campaign in coming days and to prevent the cash-liquor distribution by the JCB candidates.
According to the charge sheet filed, which was made possible because of the presence of an upright police officer, the custodian of the temple where the girl was taped and killed, his son and nephew together with four police officials are directly involved in the crime. The accused after performing puja, drugged the child, taped her for one week and finally battered her to death. Two BJP ministers of J&K, Choudhary Lal Singh and Chander Prakash Ganga had led the rally by RSS affiliated Hindu EKTA Manch 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 murder of her father with the backing of official machinery. The tragedy in Unnao and Kathua like similar cases, executed 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 in general, especially of minor girls and children, is a time tested device practiced by the conquering royal forces during feudal days and repeated by Nazis to subjugate opponents. The Indian fascists emulating this practice have been systematically using this weapon against minorities, adivasis 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.
As the UN has condemned the Kathua crime and Amnesty like international agencies have expressed shock terming it unparalleled in history, BJP and Parivar leaders are now working overtime to divert the whole issue as ‘political’ propaganda against the BJP government.
But now, as can be read from news reports, from the very moment the news of this horrific crime came to public domain, the BJP leadership has been in the forefront of making maximum political mileage out of it. It was none other than Sat Sharma, the BJP state secretary, and president of the Hindu Ekta Manch himself who were spearheading the protests and leading the march to protect the rapists holding Indian flag with the clear cut and well-thought out fascistic Hindutva strategy of using rape and murder for building up communal hatred against the Muslims.
BJP leader and minister Chander Prakash Ganga himself has confessed that he along with other BJP leaders were instructed by the BJP state president Sat Sharma to attend the meeting and rally led by the Hindu Ekta Manch which, as everybody knows, is one among the venomous RSS outfits.
Further, the former additional advocate general and Jammu Bar Association president B S Slathia who is still the brain behind the campaign to deport the Rohingya refugees, which according to UN is the most persecuted minorities in the world today, was systematically obstructing the efforts of Deepika Singh Rajavat in the process of filing the charge sheet.
That is, the Kathua crime against humanity, that too stage-managed in a Hindu temple and brought to public domain solely because of the painstaking efforts by an investigative team led by a dedicated police officer R K Jalla and a committed advocate Deepika, has been a political weapon crafted by none other than the Hindutva forces themselves.
In this context, democratic forces should come forward exposing the BJP campaign that Kathua is used by the BJP opponents merely as a political tool as it is obvious now that it is the latter that has been systematically using it for the same from the very beginning. 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.
All democratic forces should rise up to the occasion to end this biggest-ever threat from RSS and its Parivar the country is facing.
All these happened with the clear cut knowledge and in alliance with administration, utterly ignoring the constitutional obligations and even orders of Judiciary. The Chief Minister Mamta led West Bengal Administration has turned the state in to independent empire of goons. No court order is applicable to them. Bengal is turned in to a state where nominations for local body elections cannot be filed by any of the opposition parties freely! Bengal is bleeding and all constitutional authorities have become mere spectators. Should we allow this mockery of democracy to continue!
As per the High Court Order the aspiring candidates of Jomi Jibika o Vastutantro Raksha Committe of Bhangar were allowed to submit the nomination papers to the DM of South 24 Parganas. As it was prevented through criminal attacks, finally the court allowed the filing of nominations of 11 comrades through whattsap. But the criminal gang leader Arabul Islam is continuing the armed attacks on the villagers and terrorizing them to prevent voting. Though the condition at Bhangar is most severe, it is almost the same condition all over the state. Once again the whole local body elections are turned in to a mockery by thousands of TMC goons supported by police and administration. Party leaders including CC member Sankar along with leading MKP comrades Amitabh, Biswajit and Ratul are arrested and remanded to prevent submission of nominations and any campaign.
In this situation, the Bhangar Committee and the W. Bengal state committee of the Party along with MKP, PCC and other like-minded forces have decided to face the challenge unitedly, defending the people’s struggle at Bhangar and struggling against the state terror and criminalization of the administration. From 22nd April, Party Day, to 28th April at all India level Bhangar solidarity week was observed extending all out support to the movement. We appeal to all democratic forces to come out in the streets as witnessed on 18th April and many other earlier occasions at Kolkata to express solidarity with the fighting people of Bhangar and to put an end to the utter hooliganism and criminal activities of the TMC rule.
As far as our party is concerned, it has developed to present ideological-political-organizational positions by daring to make a thorough evaluation of the experience of the hitherto revolutionary movement, to make continuous efforts to develop Marxist theory according to present conditions, and to develop the political line and practice accordingly. It called for re-reading of Marxist contributions in depth. An article explaining the Party’s efforts to study the Marxist theory and the development of the politics and practice based on it is published in this issue to provide the basis for developing the discussion towards the approach to Marxism. The development of the understanding towards transformation of the imperialist system from the colonial to the neo-colonial phase in the post Second World War period, studies on caste system leading to developing the caste annihilation movement emphasizing the significance of the renaissance movement, understanding of the unfolding ecological catastrophe leading to putting forward the contradiction between nature and capital as one of the major contradictions, studies on people’s political power transcending the bourgeois parliamentary system, developing concept of people oriented development paradigm rejecting imperialist development perspective etc could be taken up by the Party based on these studies on Marxist theory along with the contributions of Lenin to Mao.
Along with the call of the ICOR, the CPI(ML) Red Star calls upon all party committees to observe the 200th anniversary of Marx’s birthday by organizing discussions, seminars and classes on the relevance of Marxism to overcome the present crisis faced by the humankind and to create a new egalitarian world.