26th January is a day to remember our Constitution. It is not perfect – none can be. But it does guarantee social, economic and political justice – equality of status and opportunity. The Directive Principles which are meant to be the basis of all legislative and executive action say that :
a The State shall aim for securing right to an adequate means of livelihood for all citizens,
a The State should work to prevent concentration of wealth and means of production in a few hands, and try to ensure that ownership and control of the material resources is distributed to best serve the common good,
a The State should also ensure living wage and proper working conditions for workers, with full enjoyment of leisure and social and cultural activitie,
a The State shall take steps to promote their participation in management of industrial undertakings per,
Today, with the new labour codes, the new farm laws and the electricity act, the present government is trying to subvert these very principles of the constitution. They are removing the basic protections being guaranteed to the people in the constitution. The labour codes seek to make the workers permanently temporary. They remove and reduce protections given to contract workers, to workers against lay-off, retrenchment and closure and seek to break the unions of the workers. On the other hand, the new farm laws remove the protection given to the farmers against the uncertainties inherent in their occupation. In both cases the laws which seek to promote “freedom to contract” actually mean that the big corporates will be allowed to impose whatever contracts they seek upon the poor workers and farmers. The electricity act is also trying to impose “free contracts” where poor consumers will be forced to buy electricity at whatever price the big corporates choose to sell it at.
This Government is not trying to secure an adequate means of livelihood for the people. It is not trying to stop the concentrtion of wealth – in fact it is pimping for the big corporations which are concentrating wealth as never before. The disparity in the country between rich and poor is bigger than ever before with the top 1% getting almost 80% of the new wealth created every year. These laws will never allow the workers to have proper working conditions and a living wage as their employment becomes temporary and they cannot organise. Workers participation in management at an equal level with the capitalist is a mere dead letter on the pages of this constitituion. In fact, by opening up our country to exploitation by big international corporates, our very sovereignty is at stake.
The pomp and pagentary that we will see in the official parades this year is only a cover-up for the the filth and squalor which this government is spreading. That is why after the official republic day parade, the workers and farmers will have their own parades in all state capitals of the country. We respect the Indian Constitutionm precisely for the above values which it inculcates. We call upon all workers, farmers and indeed all citizens who believe in these values to come to take part in this genuine republic day parade on 26th January. Our independence from Britain was not won without a struggle. Our constitution was not won without a struggle. We cannot protect the basic values of democracy and sovereignty without a struggle.
Long live the struggle of the Indian people for Justice, Liberty, Equality and Fraternity!
Long live the unity of workers and farmers!
Citizen – which side are you on?
TUCI, AICCTU, NTUI, Mazdoor Sahayog Kendra, Karnataka Shramik Shakti, Gramin Mazdoor Union (Bihar), Jan Sangharsh Manch (Harayana), Inquilabi Mazdoor Kendra, SWCC