During the last six months after returning to power with bigger strength, Modi-2 has moved very fast further intensifying corporate- fascist policies. It has diluted RTI like laws, made NIT, UAPA like acts more anti-people. Article 370 and 35A were scrapped, reducing J&K to two union territories after imposing clampdown and militarization, turning Kashmir in to an open prison. NRC/Assam was announced, making 19,06,657 people stateless. It is in a hurry to get the Citizenship (Amendments) Bill denying Muslim migrants citizenship, passed somehow in the next parliament session. Orders are issued to get the countrywide NPR ready by next September 30th, with the possibility of 4 to 5 crores people declared stateless. Construction of Detention Camps is speeded up in Assam, and even in some other states, with BJP chief ministers clamouring stringent NRCs in all states. Along with these, hatred, intolerance, and Islamo/Pak phobia is spread more heinously, provoking more mob-lynching. In short, fascistization of all fields is intensified dangerously, advocating muscular nationalism.
At the same time, the post 2014 policies of Modi raj starting with de-monetisation and GST have led to intensifying slow down in all fields of economy. As sales falls steeply, many production units are closed down or locked out throwing out many millions of workers, making unemployment worse. All industrial areas are in recession. At the same time, all sops announced in the name of reducing the impact of slow down, are swallowed by the corporate giants, making them fatter, while vast masses are thrown to more miserable condition. Remaining PSUs including the railways are privatised fast. All doors are opened for all round corporatization, devastating the nature creating climate crisis and severely pauperizing the masses.
As a result of all these, our country is in a critical situation. This demands uniting struggling left, democratic, oppressed classes and forces at every level, and launching people’s movements to expose and challenge the corporate fascist RSS/BJP forces who are trying to transform the country in to majoritarian Hindu Rashtra! Still even after continuation of the clamp down in J&K for more than two months, crores of people facing the danger of becoming stateless under the communal NRC process, and worsening recession further impoverishing the masses, the BJP continues its winning spree in assembly elections since the parliamentary opposition is disintegrating, with many of its leaders flocking to BJP and Modi claiming increasing international support to his Rath yatra towards Hindu Rashtra!
But, the humanitarian crisis in Kashmir has led to non-cooperation movement by the Kashmiri people. The opposition to the NRC is increasing all over the country. It is taking massive forms in Manipur, Nagaland, Assam etc. Resistance from workers and peasantry and the democratic forces against Modi’s efforts to impose a Hindu-Hindi-Hndustan; one nation-one election, one nation-one tax like exclusive policies arrogantly rejecting the diversity of the country, is also growing. At international level opposition to Modi-2’s moves which are creating humanitarian crisis in Kashmir and in Northeast are increasing In spite of much orchestrated ‘Howdy Mody’ with efforts to appease Trump, outside the stadium almost equal number of people demonstrated condemning Modi-rule. This international opposition to Modi rule is intensifying fast. Even though many form the parliamentary opposition forces are surrendering to RSS/BJP and others are still not organizing any movements in opposition, larger number of people’s movements against consequences of ever intensifying corporatization and fascistization under Modi-2 are coming up in different parts of the country. A polarization of public opinion against RSS/BJP is also slowly taking place as reflected in the elections to Maharashtra and Haryana assemblies.
It is in such a crucial situation, the Central Committee of CPI(ML) Red Star calls for launching a powerful Jan Akrosh Abhiyan from 25th November, International Day against violence on women, to 10th December, International Human Rights Day in all the states we are working, based on the slogans: Restore Article 370 and autonomy of J&K people; End clampdown on J&K people; Resolve J&K Conflict based on right of self-determination of the people; Cancel Assam NRC; Withdraw Citizenship (Amendments) Bill; Stop all efforts to expand the NRC all over India; No to RCEP, privatization of PSUs, and corporatization; Stop all Brahmanical Manuvadi measures which pollute Indian polity ,create atmosphere of fear among people, especially minorities; Down with RSS and its Hindu Rashtra!; Struggle for secular, casteless, egalitarian society expanding boundaries of democracy with the vision of all powers to the people, and a development paradigm which rejects neo-liberalism in toto and works for building people oriented alternative development perspective! n
When Modi.2 was ascending to power, we wrote in the beginning of June, 2019: “Then the outcome is an extra-ordinary galloping of financial speculation led by the most corrupt corporate class under whom the so called development itself is transformed in to a by-product of money-spinning businesses throughout. Modi’s second coming implies a further opening up of the floodgates of ultra-rightist, neoliberal corporatisation subjecting the working classes and all oppressed to the domination of the most degenerated financial class in every sphere. Its outcome shall be unprecedented wealth concentration in the hands of the most corrupt tiny financial elite and intensified pauperisation and loss of purchasing power for the vast majority.” (“India’s Impending Crisis”, Red Star, June 2019). Now within three months of Modi.2, India is in that horrific situation. Today, even the saffron-corporate media which till now have been indulging in propaganda blitzkrieg on Indian economy’s concocted fastest growth under Modi are now forced to recognise it as in deep recession. As such, contrary to the hollow claims of 8 percent GDP growth claimed by official agencies at the time of Modi.2’s maiden budget in the beginning of July, the growth rate has now plummeted to just half of what they claimed a few months back.
As is widely conceived now, India is confronting the biggest economic plunge since 1947, even as the saffron leaders continue to boast of making the country a $ 5 trillion economy in 2024. Agriculture and industry are shrinking and unemployment is the biggest in five decades. Exports show the biggest decline in seven decades while external value of the rupee at Rs.72=$1 is the lowest-ever. Consumer market including the much trumpeted fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) sector is in doldrums. Transactions pertaining to real estate, housing, automobiles, and textiles are at their lowest level. But the most critical aspect of the economic downturn as reflected in the inability of the common people even to purchase a five-rupee biscuit packet is just casually mentioned in the mainstream discussion. Under the UPA regime, Arjun Sengupta, the Planning Commission expert had estimated that 83 percent of the Indian people earn only Rs. 20 or less a day. However in view of the prevailing historic slump of Indian economy, the percentage of pauperised population devoid of even Rs.20 per day will definitely have gone up. In fact, the plight of the most deprived including the peasants, the tillers of the soil, and the unorganised or informal working class who constitute the largest chunk of the toiling masses in India are the least discussed in corporate media.
However, the entire mainstream analysis of the economic collapse is from a neoliberal”supply-side” orientation implying that it views the disease affecting the economy from the perspective of corporate investors and the plausible threat to their wealth accumulation. On the other hand, Modi’s far-right analysts are reluctant to approach the downturn starting from an evaluation of the abysmal fall in consumption or consumer demand, which depicts more than 50 percent decline in the first quarter of the financial year 20019-20 compared to that in 2018-19 according to World Bank statistics. Obviously this is due to the unprecedented downfall of people’s real earnings and purchasing powerarising from unparalleled job loss everywhere. Therefore, common sense demands an urgent intervention on the part of govt. to overcome the deep recession in India through picking up mass consumption demand byboosting employment-oriented productive spheres such as agriculture, industry, manufacturing, etc.
On the other hand, the sole purpose of Modi regime’s maiden budget presented on July 5, and the four successive ‘booster’ or ‘stimulus’ packages (or so called mini-budgets, quite unprecedented in the economic history of nations) announced since August 23, has been to channel more and more national wealth and people’s money directly in to the coffers of the most corrupt corporate plunderers who themselves are responsible for the present crisis. Meanwhile, along with the Modi govt. that identifies itself as a ‘facilitator’ of corporatisation, both corporate media and neoliberal ideologues also are cunningly engaged in camouflaging the fact that the present stagnation is corporatisation-induced. It is well-recognised under neoliberalism that the so called investors who have got unfettered freedom and access to all corrupt means in the economy are interested only in speculative and money-spinning activities along with direct appropriation national wealth including natural resources that yield fabulous profits within the shortest time, and that both employment and share of wages in national income are slowing down at an alarming rate.
The soaring corporate profits and wealth accumulation are systematically backed by what are euphemistically characterised ‘ease of doing business’, ‘investor-friendly measures’ etc. encompassing biggest-ever corporate tax exemptions and direct wealth transfers to the super-rich. In India, for instance, this reactionary process under Modi.1 and Modi.2, have led to a situation where more than three-fourths of the national wealth generated is now appropriated by one percent of the top billionaires. This corporatisation process is also facilitated by continued by a series of fiscal measures pertaining to expenditure-reduction and austerity steps, casualization or informalisation of the workforce and deliberate reduction in real wages and an outright plunder of nature. While these steps result in biggest concentration of wealth in a few billionaires and multi-dimensional poverty for the broad masses they have transformed India as one of the most corrupt countries in the world today. While these trends constitute the essence of the crisis today, the corporate-saffron fascist regime, the co-opted media, and neoliberal intellectuals revealingly keep silence on the concrete Indian situation as experienced by common people.
As is obvious, the successive mini-budgets or booster packages that follow the July 5 General Budget aimed at directchannelling of public money appropriated from the peoplein to the coffers of the corrupt-parasitic billionaires and super-rich classes, cannot in any way resolve the unprecedented economic slowdown. In accordance with the prevailing neoliberal logic, itunleashes the ‘animal spirits’ (a phrase frequently in use among neoliberal spokespersons today) of the anti-people and reactionary financial class further enabling them to appropriate ever-greater share of country’s shrinking output as manifested in the skyrocketing stock and financial indices thereby leading to hitherto unknown levels of poverty and destitution of the vast majority of working and oppressed people. In other words, the outcomeof all the fiscal and monetary measures implemented in under the guise of alleviating the crisis is an aggressive transfer of national resources to corporate looters imposing heavier burden on the backs of toiling people.
Therefore, every intervention on the part of Modi regime to resolve the crisis is nothing but an intensification of the corporatisation-induced recession with wider and deeper manifestations. In other words, the economic collapse is used as guise for strengthening the neoliberal regime in more vicious forms. No doubt, neoliberal credit rating agencies like Moody’s and neo-colonial institutions led by Fund-Bank combine are also instigating the Modi regime to resort to a further deepening of the far-right economic policies in this regard.
For instance, the latest ‘booster dosage’, the fourth in the series,comprising fabulous corporate tax-exemptions announced on the eve of Modi’s Houston program where he accomplished one of the biggest sell-outs of India to US imperialism, led to a sudden ballooning of the stock market that skyrocketed stock indices by more than 2000 points adding the largest single-day speculative gain worth more than Rs. 6 lakh crore on September 21, 2019. Revealingly, this has nothing to do with increasing productive capacity, employment generation and purchasing power of the common people. Rather, these measures trumpeted as pro-investor measures act as a drag on the job-oriented productive economy.
As such, the crux of the problem today is to politically understand that with every step towards boosting corporate accumulation, not only the economy is collapsing, but the scope of manoeuvrability within neoliberalism is increasingly exhausting. Thus it is clear that any attempt at resolving the crisis is to be sought outside the logic of corporatisation, or rather a reversal of Modigovt’s blind adherence to neoliberalism solely oriented to the ultra-wealthy sections. That implies no short-cut but calls for a political resolution with a program of reversing the far-right policies leading to the oppression of corporate-financial class over the people. So long as that political alternative is delayed, every worsening of the crisis that is inevitable will result in the ruling regime continuing to put far more heavy burdens on the backs of the people in manifold ways on the one hand, and utilising the economic collapse itself as the foundation for corporate-saffron fascism on the other. Along with its divisive, majoritarian Hindutva offensive, fascism in India too, as elsewhere, is the super-imposition of the tyranny of the most reactionary, utterly parasitic super-rich corporate classon the broad masses of toiling people. It is definitely a ‘do or die’ situation before Indian working class and oppressed people and there is no other option except to resist and defeatthis terrorist dictatorship of saffron-corporate capital.
“Fourth Booster” is also Incapable to Revive the Economy : Scope of Manoeuvrability is Fast Depleting
Since the 3 booster packages announced by Modi regime since August 23 aimed at unleashing the “animal spirits” of the corporate looters have done nothing to revive the sinking economy, today, Nirmala Sitharaman, the finance minister has come out with a fourth booster shot to shore up investor sentiments leading to a sky-rocketing of the Sensex by 1650 points increasing the wealth of corporate speculators by around Rs.2. 5Lakh crore, the highest single-day gain in Indian stock market, while these lines are written. Included in this booster shot are a further reduction of the corporate tax rate from 25 percent to 22 percent for existing companies and to 15 percent for new companies, reduction of minimum alternate tax from 18.5 percent to 15 percent, exemption of listed companies from buyback tax, surcharge exemption for speculative (capital) gains made by foreign speculators (FII), etc., that will result in annual revenue loss of Rs.1.45 lakh crore to govt. in addition to the Rs.8.99 lakh crore corporate-tax exemptions announced in the July 5 Budget and a series of direct wealth transfer measures announced in the stimulus packages announced since August 23.
However, according to the logic of corporate wealth accumulation prevailing today, this 4th booster package that is announced as part of mounting crony capitalism—the unholy nexus between the most corrupt corporate capital and the neoliberal state— is not in any way going to reverse the economic downturn. Today India is in a vicious corporatisation-stagnation trap resulting in a total breakdown of the economy. The exponential growth of the parasitic-corrupt corporate class at the expense of employment-oriented genuinely productive activities threatening the very sustenance of the vast majority of toiling people has been the essence of the crisis today. Therefore, boosting up the very same anti-people corporate-financial class through repeated fiscal and liquidity manipulations will not contribute anything in the direction of alleviating the systemic crisis; rather it is oriented towards an aggravation of the economic collapse further. It is also a clear symptom that the space for manoeuvre is fast depleting under neoliberalism.
Further, the injection of lakhs of crores of people’s money in to the coffers of the corporate plunderers who themselves are responsible for the present historic crisis, without doing anything in the direction of reviving the real incomes and purchasing power of the vast majority of people who are subjected to hitherto unknown levels of deprivation and destitution is an outright fascist act too. It is the super-imposition of the tyranny of the most reactionary, utterly parasitic super-rich corporate class integrated with saffron forces on the working class and the oppressed. It is high time.
Where Modi-2 Government is Leading the Economy to ?
After officially acknowledging India’s historic economic downturn in 70 years, on August 23, 2019, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman has announced a series of initiatives including further abolition of corporate taxes and many wealth transfer schemes to the superrich completely ignoring the unprecedented deprivation and destitution borne by the vast majority of common people. Till now, the govt. spokespersons have been working overtime to depict a rosy picture of the economy even manipulating data with official agencies. However, this ‘window dressing’ got exposed itself when global credit rating agencies like Moody’s Investors Service and even the Bretton Woods twin (IMF-World Bank) themselves have come forward strongly confirming a well-defined recession in India. It is in this context that, following Niti Aayog vice-chairman Rajiv Kumar’s comment on the threatening financial system and particularly in the midst of Modi’s world tour, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman has reiterated her govt’s unwavering commitments to corporate capital as announced in the maiden budget along with several fresh corporate-investor friendly measures.
The package of announcements include a series of tax exemptions and tax rolling backs including withdrawal of capital gains tax and surcharges on corporate speculators— both foreign (FPIs) and domestic— in stock markets, infusion of an additional Rs. 70000 crore into banks enabling them to lend another Rs. 5 lakh crore to corporate sector, dilution of violations of Corporate Social responsibility as a mere civil offence, pursuance of a soft approach to tax evaders, empowering bank officials to pursue a soft approach to corporate defaulters and so on, all in essence aim at further encouragement to ‘ease of doing business’ and boosting corporate animal spirits.
While such a mega booster is imparted to the corporate billionaires and foreign speculative investors for sky-rocketing the stock indices, there is not even a mention on the ground reality of the economy or on the extent of deprivation to which vast majority of the toiling people are subjected. In fact, the whole economy has been shrinking on account of withdrawal of productive investment by both public and private sectors, and as a manifestation, post-GST tax collection itself has gone down by 10 percent. Indian rupee’s biggest ever depreciation is also integral part of the all round economic collapse. And even in the productive sphere that is sustaining, on account of the informalisation and casualization of workforce unleashed by corporate capital in its mad pursuit of super exploitation, the real earnings and purchasing power of the workers are shrinking at an alarming rate, even as unemployment rate is the highest in five decades. At the same time, under the Modi regime, with more than 80 percent of the national wealth generated being gobbled up by just one percent of the most corrupt corporate class, India has become one of the most unequal countries in the world.
Meanwhile, under such pro-corporate measures as Demonetisation and GST that while sucking out the life blood of the vast majority depending on cash-based informal and unorganised sectors on the one hand, and fattened the superrich on the other, corruption has grown to such an extent making India the most corrupt country in Asia surpassing Thailand and Pakistan. While there is no dearth of anti-corruption rhetoric from rooftops, the ultra-right neoliberal policies of the corporate saffron regime has done nothing to unearth the accumulation of vast sums of black money by the ultra-wealthy sections in offshore and domestic tax havens. And a major factor behind the unprecedented liquidity crunch that the economy confronts today is the diversion of funds mobilised from various sources to intricate, tax-evading underhand deals.
Along with this, intensified downsizing and rollback of the state sectors coupled with collapse of industry and agriculture and drastic reduction in social spending have led to absolute reduction in the consuming/purchasing power of the people leading to lack of ‘effective demand’. Ironically, even while the economy in general is experiencing a downturn and common people are subject to more deprivation, corporate billionaires are successful in shoring up their super-profits. For obvious reasons, it is well-nigh impossible for Sitharaman even to mention these underlying factors that led to the present economic tsunami in India with its unfolding repercussions in the days ahead.
The slew of neoliberal-instigated tax-liberalisation and wealth transfer measures intended to further replenish the corporate looters now pursued by the Modi regime that resemble a ‘mini-budget’ are quite reminiscent of the “quantitative easing” and “rescue packages” pursued by the imperialist powers ranging from the US and EU to China following the 2008 global economic meltdown. According to estimates, for instance, immediately after the financial crash, around 25 percent of the GDP of US was channelled in to the coffers of corporate-financiers who themselves were responsible for the crisis. But the crisis is still continuing. The outcome of the booster dose now imparted by Modi.2 is also going to be the same.
As the global economic downturn following the 2008 financial breakdown is a continuing process, India’s sudden economic collapse under Modi regime, though connected with many external factors, is different in many respects. For, as highlighted by several international and Indian experts, the Indian economy had been ‘relatively immune’ from the global meltdown of 2008 and as can be guessed from several studies such as the recent one by the Economic Research Department of SBI, the Indian economic scenario was relatively better on the eve of Modi’s ascendance to power in 2014.
However, as reported in the media, now apart from manipulation of data, a despicable move also is there to erase such statistics which are unpleasant to the regime from govt websites altogether, even as under Modi.2 alone Indian stock markets have experienced a whopping loss worth of more than Rs. 15 lakh crore within a span of just three months. This bursting of the bubble itself is a symptom of an extreme crisis where even the corporate cronies integrated with the saffron-fascist regime are losing faith in the economy. That is, the extent of the historic collapse of the Indian economy is incomparable with the contemporary situation elsewhere including that in the leading imperialist powers US and China which are engaged in an unprecedented protectionist tariff/trade war.
Therefore, the ongoing economic collapse is inseparably linked up with the far right shift in economic policies under Modi regime. The root cause of the crisis today is the pan-Indian extension of the Gujarat model of aggressive corporatisation that took away even namesake barriers to corporate plunder. Indian economy today is engulfed in a vicious cycle of corporatisation-stagnation trap. No amount of ‘window dressing’ as that now resorted by the regime can drag the economy out of this crisis which is bound to assume further dimensions. What requires is a fundamental and immediate reversal of the explosive growth of the most corrupt and parasitic corporate class sucking out wealth from the real economy through manifold ways while remaining at the sphere of speculation.
And as the crisis intensifies, along with putting heavier and heavier burdens on the shoulders of the people, all avenues at the disposal of corporate-saffron fascism are deployed not only against workers and all oppressed including dalits, adivasis, women and minorities, but also on political opponents and dissenters. Obviously, there is no shortcut, and the only option is a political alternative capable of resisting and defeating this horrific situation. n
Stop clampdown in J&K, Repeal unconstitutional abrogation of Article 370 and down grading J&K to two union territories!
Joint Convention held at GPF, Delhi, on 13th September, calls for mass mobilization at Jantar Mantar on 15th October!.
With an appeal based on above slogans to all compatriots, to the workers and oppressed classes/sections including dalits, adivasis, backwards, minorities and women, to all struggling left, democratic and Bahujan forces, to mass organizations and people’s movements, a joint convention was organized on 13th September at Gandhi Peace Foundation (GPF), New Delhi,from 6 PM to 9 PM. The Convention was addressed by comrades KN Ramachandran,(CPI(ML) Red Star), Arun Maji (NDPI), Sheomangal Sidhantkar (CPI(ML) New Proletarian), Thakur Khanal (AINUS-Mulpravah), Dr Parvej Mian (All India Milli Council),KK Neogi (Bahujan Communist Party), Vidushi (Sarvahara Lokpaksh), Harish (Inquilabi Mazdoor Kendra), KK Singh (Lokpaksh), Ad. Pancholi (CFD), Somnath (JSM-Haryana), Daya Singh ( AIPM), ,Ajay Sinha, Christopher Gahatraj addressed the Convention explaining how Modi raj is communalizing every issue and trying to impose RSS goal of Hindurashtra through fascist methods while the vast masses of people are reeling under intensifying economic slow down throwing millions from their workplaces and impoverishing them The following Resolution was discussed and adopted by the Convention:
Compatriots, struggling people of our country,
1. We are living in an extremely difficult situation when every field, every issue is communalized by the Manuvadi Hindutva forces under Modi raj. It is creating atmosphere of hatred and intolerance, and unleashes fascist terror to impose its dictates. This is what is happening to the people of J&K where Article 370 and 35 A were abrogated on 5th August, downgrading the state to two union territories without consulting the people of the state in any form, and violating Constitutional provisions. The whole state is militarized, put under prohibitory orders and all communications and democratic rights are cut down. This Convention strongly condemns these steps of Modi-2 and demand the restoration of the special rights of the people of J&K including their right to self determination. It demands the immediate withdrawal of the army to barracks and restoration of all communications and fundamental rights of the citizens.
2. This Convention severely condemns the hasty way the NRC/Assam was constituted unconstitutionally and speeded up by the supreme Court, the final list was announced on 31st August declaring 19,06,657 people as stateless. Large number of them are Adivasis including Adivasis and dalits taken from Jharkhand, Bihar etc by Britishers for plantations, Nepalese, and almost half of them from resident Muslim minority, all of whom presently residents of the state. They are given 120 days to get clearance from Foreigners’ Tribunals or later from higher courts. Otherwise they shall be thrown in Detention Camps. This is a most inhuman step condemned by democratic forces internationally and within the country. This Convention demands immediate cancellation of the NRC/Assam list prepared against the constitutional principles; it demands that citizenship should be provided for all, as they are residents of the state and/or born in India.
3. Modi-2 is trying to get the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, which was passed by the Lok Sabha on 8th January, 2019, adopted by the parliament somehow. It is against the secular values of the Constitution and for communally discriminating against Muslims in line with the Two-nation theory initiated by Savarkar, while granting citizenship to migrants (from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan) including Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi, and Christian. This Convention calls for the immediate withdrawal of this Bill.
4. According to the Ministry of Home Affairs’ Notification of 31st July, the Central Government has already decided to prepare and update the National Population Register(NPR) at all India level on a time bound manner, as the NRC/Assam was finalized, by starting the field work for it from 1st day of April, 2020 to 30th September, 2020. If this NPR process is taken up based on the Citizenship (Amendments) proposed in BJP’s Bill, with the aim of driving out ‘all migrants’, it will become binding on the whole population to prove their citizenship. It is apprehended that almost 20 millions or more people, who are born in India and presently staying here, may lose citizenship. It will create a horrific situation and an unprecedented humanitarian tragedy. This Convention demands that the whole process of NPR should be abandoned recognizing the criteria for citizenship based on the Constitution and international covenants adopted by the government of India. This Convention demands that construction of Detention Camps should be stopped forthwith.
In order to take these decisions of this Convention to the people and to create public opinion in support of it, all organizations who are part of this Convention, together other like-minded organizations, shall organize a people’s mobilization on 15th October at Juntar Mantar to put these demands before the government; all the constituents of this move shall constitute a joint forum and carry forward the campaign with the slogan “No to NRC/Assam, No to NPR, Citizenship is the fundamental right of every resident and everyone born in India”, coordinating with similar movements started in different states, to save the country from a horrific humanitarian tragedy and Constitutional crisis created by the fascist RSS/BJP regime.
Constituents of the joint forum:
CPI(ML) Red Star, New Democratic Party of India, Lok Samiti, Citizens for Democracy, Bahujan Communist Party, IFTU (Sarvahara), Inquilabi Mazdoor Kendra, Lok Paksh, All India Milli Council, All India Nepali Unity Society-Mul Pravah, CPI(ML) New Proletarian, Democratic People’s Lawyers’ Association, All India Peace Mission, All India Christian Minority Front, Jan Sangharsh Manch (Haryanna). Other organizations and individuals supporting the above demands raised by the Convention shall be included in the joint forum..
For Contact: Ad. Arun Maji 9582529401, Com. Umakant (7838856058)
Contrary to the tall claims made by the finance minister, first there was all round slow down; Modi-2 gave many sops to the corporate giants and to the foreign speculators investing in the stock exchange to get out of it, while abandoning the masses who are left to the mercy of these looters. The RBI also came out with a 1.76 trillion largesse, which also will finally go to the pockets of these looters. At the same time, in spite of the finance minister’s assurances and the untiring justifications by the cyber warriors of RSS, as the purchasing power of not only the 65% below poverty line sections, but also of the middle classes continued to go down, as our economy depends overwhelmingly on internal market, the slow down and recession are continuing. Thousand of middle and small industries are closing down, major industries started cutting down production and throwing out lakhs of workers and white collar employees. As recession is accelerating even in the second quarter of this financial year (2018-19), Modi-2 has come out with the economic report which says even in the first quarter (April-June) itself the GDP growth had come down to 5% from the previous quarter’s 5.8%! So, one can imagine what will be the GDP growth in this second Quarter!
Modi-2’s efforts are to cover up these steep falls in the fields of production and consumption by intensifying further the saffronisation and fascisation projects more feverishly as we are seeing in J&K and Northeast glaringly, and all over India. But it forgets that, as the unemployment and price rise continues to make life miserable for increasing number of people, even the poor among the majoritarian Hindutva bloc, it is creating, are also going to recognize that they cannot forget for long the hunger and miseries just by chanting Jai Shriram!
The Modi-2 is intensifying corporatization and devastating the masses and environment, destroying the purchasing power of the people very fast. It cannot come out of the cycle of crises in the economic field however hard it tries. In the current quarter the GDP growth is going to fall further.
CPI(ML) Red Star.
Today is a black day for the millions of people whose names are absent in the final list of the NRC for Assam published; it is going to be a black day for the idea of India we cherish. Citizenship in this NCR is finalized including only the names of those persons (or their descendants) in the NRC, 1951, or in any of the Electoral Rolls up to the midnight of 24 March 1971, or in any one of the other admissible documents issued up to mid-night of 24 March 1971, which would prove their presence in Assam or in any part of India on or before 24 March 1971. They will get 120 days more for presenting their appeal to the Foreigners Tribunals for reconsideration. If they fail even then, they will be sent to Detention Camps. , This NRC is finalized without considering refugees’ question according to present context by the BJP governments at centre and state, egged on by the Supreme Court. If implemented, it will create another great human tragedy in our country.
So, we demand postponement of the implementation of this final list till the Foreigners Tribunals get sufficient time to give citizenship to all those whose names are not in today’s final list based on the following conditions for finalization of the NCR in Assam as well as at all India level: (a ) Any person born in India must be eligible for the citizenship of India. This was the case till the 1986 act and is the case in most of the countries all over the world. (b) Any person either of whose parents who were citizens of India must be eligible for citizenship. (c )Any person who is resident in India for 5 years and who intends to stay for a further five years should be eligible for citizenship. This is the period which is considered for citizenship by registration. (d) Any refugee who is fleeing from oppression, or whose democratic rights are not being protected in the country from which they are fleeing, should be eligible for some form of right to stay in India leading eventually to citizenship.
We appeal to all democratic forces to support this proposal and save the country from another human tragedy! Let us act fast!
CPI(ML) Red Star
Modi-2 Plans Publication of NRC in Assam, Followed by All India NPR based on the communal amendments in the bill before Rajya Sabha to be, followed by Detention Camps for millions who lose citizenship! Should We Not React?
Comrades and Compatriots,
- According to reports, about four million people, mostly Muslims, living presently in Assam for many years are going to lose citizenship in the NCR for Assam to be released in its final form on 31st According to BJP governments at centre and in Assam, this NRC is now finalized including the names of those persons (or their descendants) in the NRC, 1951, or in any of the ElectoralRolls up to the midnight of 24 March 1971, or in any one of the other admissible documents issued up to mid-night of 24 March 1971, which would prove their presence in Assam or in any part of India on or before 24 March 1971. Those 4 million who may lose citizenship will get 120 days more for presenting their appeal to the Foreigners Tribunals for reconsideration.
- The Citizenship Act of 1955, a result of the freedom movement recognized that every person who was born in India, irrespective of religion, would be eligible for Indian citizenship. Another method of obtaining citizenship was through descent – if either parent was a citizen of India. A third method of obtaining citizenship was by registration. A person who has been staying in India for one year or seven years (depending upon whether she or he is of Indian origin or not, broadly), could apply for being registered as a citizen. Among the other methods of obtaining citizenship was the method of naturalization. A person who had stayed in India for over 11 years was eligible of applying for becoming a citizen under it. The law for registration and naturalization was applicable to all persons from all countries and all religions. However, it was made clear that “illegal migrants” would not be eligible for citizenship. The Citizenship Act of 1955 defines “illegal migrant” as a person who enters India without a proper visa or other valid travel document or, who, having entered with a valid document or visa, stays beyond the time permitted for stay in such a visa.
- The BJP government moved the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill of 2016 whose Statement of Objects and Reasons says (excerpted):
Under the existing provisions of the Act, persons belonging to the minority communities, such as Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, who have either entered into India without valid travel documents or the validity of their documents have expired are regarded as illegal migrants and hence ineligible to apply for Indian citizenship. It is proposed to make them eligible for applying for Indian citizenship.
Many persons of Indian origin including persons belonging to the aforesaid minority communities from the aforesaid countries have been applying for citizenship under section 5 of the Act, but are unable to produce proof of their Indian origin. Hence, they are forced to apply for citizenship by naturalization under section 6 of the Act, which, inter alia, prescribes twelve years residency as qualification for naturalization in terms of the Third Schedule to the Act. This denies them many opportunities and advantages that may accrue only to the citizens of India, even though they are likely to stay in India permanently. It is proposed to amend the Third Schedule to the Act to make applicants belonging to minority communities from the aforesaid countries eligible for citizenship by naturalization in seven years instead of the existing twelve years.
But, while the bill explains that the sections mentioned above shall not be treated as illegal migrants for the purposes of this Act, nothing is said about the minorities like Muslims, or among the Muslims, the Bohri’s, Khojas and Ahmeddiyas, who are persecuted even in Muslim countries.
- The preamble of our constitution calls for a secular country, whatever may be the meaning of secularism. Article 15 of the constitution of India prevents the discrimination, by the state, against any citizen of India on the basis of religion. It is clear that the proposed law is against the right to equality and the right against discrimination given by the constitution. These amendments to the citizenship law are communally conceptualized. It puts forward an abstract notion of a religious Hindu state, not one conforming with the existing modern reality, Article 25 specifically states that “every person” will have the right to freely “profess, practice and propagate religion”. These amendments show BJP government’s intention to follow Israel, the only country which allows citizenship on the basis of religion. This too is not on the basis of “naturalization” but on the basis of the unique “right of return”, a special Israeli law. All Jews have the right to return to the “promised land” In fact, the true intentions behind the new citizenship amendments put forward under Modi regime is to establish the “right of return” to an “Akhand Bharat” of the RSS. They would like the whole of the sub-continent to become a part of a great Hindu nation. Unable to come close to it or even to justify it, they had given it a back seat to this rhetoric for long. The proposed amendment to the citizenship law is the first stirring for bringing back this archaic and unjust concept.
- In this bill there is also a threat to the diasporas. The Government is given the right to cancel the “overseas citizen of India” status of any person if they violate any law of India. That means that an OCI card can be cancelled if they do anything against the liking of RSS parivar.
- This Citizenship (Amendment) Bill for amending the 1955 Citizenship Act was introduced in Lok Sabha on July 19 2016. It was referred to the Joint Parliamentary Committee on August 12 2016. The JPC submitted its Report on January 7, 2019, and the Lok Sabha passed it on January 8. But it is not yet passed by the Rajya Sabha. 2 is planning to pass it in the Rajya Sabha at the earliest, or if this is not possible, bypassing the legal aspects involved including the convening of a joint session of the parliament. This bill is for granting citizenship to migrants on communal basis (from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan) including Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi, and Christian and totally excluding Muslims. Against this, in 2016 itself violent protests took place in Assam, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur, Tripura and Arunachal Pradesh, alleging that the bill is going to make these states dumping grounds for the migrants.
- In its Election Manifesto BJP had called for updating the National People’s Register based on the amendments proposed in the bill in a time bound manner as is done to NCR for Assam, to throw out all illegal migrants from India as Amit Shaw announced in parliament and later repeated in the president’s speech on the eve of 15th In accordance with this plan, the MINISTRY OF HOME AFFAIRS (OFFICE OF THE REGISTRAR GENERAL CITIZEN REGISTRATION, INDIA) has issued the NOTIFICATION of 31st July, 2019, S.O. 2753(E), in THE GAZETTE OF INDIA : EXTRAORDINARY [PART II—SEC. 3(ii) which states;—“In pursuance of sub-rule(4) of rule 3 of the Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003, the Central Government hereby decides to prepare and update the Population Register and the field work for house to house enumeration throughout the country except Assam for collection of information relating to all persons who are usually residing within the jurisdiction of Local Registrar shall be undertaken between the 1st day of April, 2020 to 30th September, 2020”.
- If this amendment bill is passed and it becomes an act, and NPR process is taken up based on it with the aim of driving out all migrants, it is apprehended that almost 20 to 30 million people, who are presently staying in India, may lose citizenship. It is already announced by home minister and Assam government that Detention Camps will be constructed soon and all those who have lost citizenship shall be shifted to these Camps once the final NCR list for Assam is announced on 31st If the same process is continued at all India level, more than two crores of people will be pushed inside these Detention Camps. They will be almost like the Concentration Camps built by Nazi government in Germany for the jews from the end of 1930s. This is going to be an enormous and explosive issue, the magnitude of it and the reaction to be organized against it are probably never discussed seriously in an organized form.
- Friends, so, our appeal is that we should wage a consistent struggle against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, and all proposals to carry out determination of citizenship based on it; we should put forward our proposals based on the 1955 Citizenship Act. Understanding the existing communalized situation, we have to adopt a proper democratic stand on this subject. For wide discussion among the democratic forces, we are putting forward the following proposals as the eligibility criteria for citizenship:
- Any person born in India must be eligible for the citizenship of India. This was the case till the 1986 act and is the case in many countries all over the world including in the USA.
- Any person either of whose parents who were citizens of India must be eligible for citizenship. This should also apply if either of the parents were eligible for citizenship though it was never taken.
- Any person who is resident in India for 5 years and who intends to stay for a further five years should be eligible for citizenship. This is the period which is considered for citizenship by registration. Right now naturalization requires 12 years of stay in India. Both can be taken on the same criterion.
- Any refugee who is fleeing from oppression, or whose democratic rights are not being protected in the country from which they are fleeing, should be eligible for some form of right to stay in India leading eventually to citizenship (say giving residential permits to such refugees for 3 years at the end of which they become eligible for citizenship).
1o. We should demand that the Foreigners Tribunals should decide citizenship of all those who have lost it in the NCR of Assam published on 31st August based on this criteria. And the proposed NPR from 1st April to 30th September also should be based on it. We are putting forward these proposals for wide circulation and open discussions. so that a consensus opinion can be arrived at and the campaign for creating public opinion can be launched.
What is urgently required is arriving at a consensus on these proposals as early as possible and arriving at the broadest possible unity of all who agree with the finalized proposals. Then we can strive for creating maximum possible public opinion for it and demand even a referendum, if necessary, on it. Recognizing the seriousness of the issue, let us take it up as a challenge. Please send your responses and suggestions to the email or post addresses given below. For speeding up the process and to involve more sections in this process we suggest state level meeting of the like-minded forces as soon as possible so that we can decentralize our move.
KN Ramachandran, GS, CPI(ML) Red Star.
Central Office: C – 141, Sainik Nagar, New Delhi – 110059