Every minute the situation in Kashmir is made dangerously explosive as Modi-2 tries to take an adventurist move in the valley before his speech from the ramparts of Red Fort on 15th August. In continuation to deployment of additional forces on a large scale and postponement of assembly elections in the state, spreading rumours about large scale Pak/terrorist attack on Amarnath yatra pilgrims, the military and state administration have clamped down preventive measures cutting down people’s movements, and all pilgrims and tourists asked to leave J&K urgently. All leaders of political parties except BJP are taken in to custody. Internet and mobile connections in most areas are cut. Military and para-military forces are deployed everywhere frisking all who comes out of their houses. These developments, after getting the NIA, UAPA and RTI laws amended to suit the autocratization and terrorization of all fields, threaten the possibility of Modi-2 advancing to repeal of Article 35 A and 370 of the Constitution. Naturally it raises the spectre of a demographic aggression in Kashmir Valley, and Gaza like attacks across the Line of Control on the Pakistan Occupied Kashmir areas copying the Zionist model of aggression over Palestine areas supported by the US imperialism. In short, the Modi-2 is threatening a military solution to the Kashmir question, after terrorizing the people in the valley, risking even a regional war with Pakistan. So, the situation is becoming increasingly dangerous every minute.
Though the RSS agenda envisages such a path, the sudden decision to resort to it is primarily provoked by the economic collapse the country is confronted with. According to many sources, after Modi-2 took over more than 13 lakh crores of Rupees were lost in stock market. All areas of economic activity have slowed down, threatening a 2008 like crisis. In this situation, war is the only resort for Modi to save the ultra rightist neoliberal approach Modi-2 wants to pursue.
The democratic forces in the country have always demanded a peaceful political solution to the Kashmir question based on the right of self-determination of the people there. But contrary to it, the Modi-2 is trying to impose the will of its ultra rightist/fascist hegemony over the people threatening serious consequences. It should be exposed and resisted, putting forward the demand for de-escalation of the situation and bi-lateral talks with Pakistan involving the representatives of the Kashmiri people. We appeal to all Party Committees to take this message to the people and prepare them to oppose this dangerous move by Modi-2.
CPI(ML) Red Star.
Being forced to recognise a slump in GDP growth rate to 5.8 percent in the last quarter of last financial year, the Pre-Budget Economic Survey tabled by FM Nirmala Sitharaman today has predicted a GDP growth rate of 7 percent for the fiscal year 2019-20. The Survey that calls for a further deregulation of the labour market by curtailing workers’ rights and speeding up of ongoing labour law amendments for laying red carpet for FDI at more liberalised terms, is only a prelude for the far-right Budget that is going to be tabled in parliament tomorrow.
The ultra-neoliberal suggestions highlighted in the Economic Survey which will find their concrete manifestations in the coming Budget, in brief outline, is a blueprint for taking off India to achieve Modi’s vision of $ 5 trillion economy by 2024 and a 10 trillion economy by 2032.This is to be achieved through profound changes in the Indian economy by opening up the floodgates of private corporate foreign capital. It is for this that the Survey calls for a “departure from traditional economic thinking”, though obscurantist psychological remedies for shoring up tax collections give a Sanghi touch to the whole analysis. At a time, when the world economy is experiencing a downturn and Indian economy is stagnating with negative growth rate in agriculture and allied sectors and other employment-generating sectors and inequality is all-time high, call for an emulation of the Chinese export-driven model for achieving 5 trillion economy by 2024 is only wishful thinking.And the Economic Survey’s appeal for unleashing and “pushing up the animal spirits” of corporate capital including removal of all restrictions to FDI is going to be the biggest challenge before the workers, peasants and all toiling and oppressed people of India.
K N Ramachandran
CPI (ML) Red Star
4th July 2019
The TUCI condemns the decision of the Central Government to reduce the rate of contribution towards ESI. No doubt there is at present a reserve of over Rs. 80000 crores with the ESIC. However, this is an illusory surplus. The fact is that though the collection of the ESI is going up and though the number of persons covered has increased massively, the facilities have not kept pace. The number of beds available under the ESI Scheme has hardly grown in proportion to the growth of the coverage. At the same time, the conditions in most ESI hospitals are abysmal and very often even the basic medicines and facilities are not available. This shows that the Government has been using the ESI Scheme as a convenient conduit to collect money which is then lent to Government and state establishments through FDs and bonds at a nominal rate.
The present cut in rates is now an attempt to give further benefits to the corporates in the country. Employers in the country will profit to the extent of thousands of crores of rupees each year by this concession.
The Directors of ESI had suggested that a reduction in the rates be made with the rate for managements being brought down to 4% (from 4.75%) and the rate for employees being brought down to 1% (from 1.75%). However the Government has disregarded this suggestion and reduced the amount to be contributed by managements even further to 3.25%.
The Government’s argument that this is being done for the benefit of the employees so that they can get more carry home wages and that due to the reduction of the burden on the employers more workers will be brought into the formal sector holds no water. If this was the case, the government could well have taken on all the burden upon itself as a social burden. As a principle, TUCI believes that social security is the burden of the employer. It is the employer who was responsible for all Workmen’s Compensation before the enacting of the ESI Act. The State may take over this burden from employer but then this must be recovered by proper taxation of the employers. The present move is merely a further unfolding of the neo-liberal principle whereby the whole of the insurance sector, including for employees, will be handed over to the private sector.
The TUCI calls upon all workers and all democratic individuals and organisations to vigorously oppose this move of the Government which is a step to privatising the future safety and well being of all employees.
Workers of the world unite !
Oppose the move to reduce the contribution to ESI for managements !
We demand proper functioning of all ESI facilities and enhancement of facilities provided !
The US State Secretary Mike Pompeo is coming to India to hold discussions with foreign minister of India from 25th to 27th June as a prelude to Trump-Modi meet on the sidelines of G-20 Summit in Japan on 28-29 June. It is taking place just after a Bill sponsored by both Republicans and Democrats seeking amendments to change the US Arms Controls Export Act to bring India on par with NATO allies, Israel, Australia, South Korea and New Zealand and for selling high-tech military weapons under the ITAR (International Traffic in Arms Regulations) list is just moved in the American Senate. This Bill will give considerable executive powers to US president to export and deploy these weapons in India for real-time military operations. It is in continuation of India signing the Communication, Compatibility, and Security Agreement (COMCASA) with US and in the context of the ongoing bilateral discussion on Basic Exchange Cooperation Agreement (BECA), basic agreements to maintain India as its junior strategic partner.
While all these things are happening, Modi regime is keeping silence on the US warning with sanctions against India’s buying Russian-made S-400 Triumph missile defence system in accordance with the Countering America’s Adversaries through Sanctions Act (CAATSA). Nor it has made any response to Trump administration’s unilateral termination of preferential trade treatment for India as per the GSP scheme or on its warning for halting cheap oil imports from Venezuela and Iran. Of course, to dilute India-Russia defence deals, in the meanwhile, the US has informed its interest to transfer high-end defence equipment like National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile System (NASAMS II), the Terminal High Altitude Area Defence (THAAD), Patriot Advance Capability (PAC-3), and the fifth-generation F-35 fighter jet, etc.
At a time when the Erdogan regime of Turkey and Latin American countries like Bolivia are daring to maintain ‘relative national independence’ by taking advantage of sharpening inter-imperialist contradictions and trade wars, Modi -2 is showing increasing American servitude.. Recently, in spite of still being a“NATO ally”, Erdogan has pushed ahead with the purchase of S-400 missile from Russia, amidst US threat of sanctions. Evo Morales of Bolivia has declared his country’s decision to cut off ties with the Bretton Woods twin, IMF and World Bank, America’s neo-colonial economic arms.
It is also a time when Trump administration is plotting aggression against Iran, and backing the Zionist rulers in Israel who are massacring even children of Palestinians. But, ‘the saffron nationalists’ who boast of nationalism to hoodwink the people, only use it as a camouflage for acting as agent of US imperialism. The Modi regime’s actions show how it is making India increasingly a junior partner of US imperialism. It is offering India as a launching pad for Pentagon’s geopolitical interests in the Indo-Pacific directed especially against imperialist China which is contending with the US for world hegemony.
In this situation, CPI(ML) Red Star calls on all party committees to hold protest actons on 27th June joining hands with all like minded forces wherever possible, with the slogans: Down, Down, US Imperialism; Mike Pompeo Go Back; Repeal all Strategic Partnership Agreements with US!
CPI (ML) Red Star
22nd June 2019
The J&K assembly was dissolved and President’s rule imposed over the state one year back. When th state government in which BJP also was partner resigned, without giving opportunity for other parties to try for an alternative government, the governor’s rule which is de-facto a BJP government was imposed. During the last one year, the J&K is transformed in to a worse killing field for the armed forces, ruthlessly using the AFSPA. Though the elections to the Lok Sabha seats were held along with other states, the Election Commission was silent on holding the assembly elections. It was repeated that soon after the Lok Sabha elections it will be held. But even after Modi-2 has come to power the government and the EC are continuing their silence. It is heinous and autocratic.
We appeal to all opposition parties to raise this question as an urgent one in the parliament. We appeal to all democratic forces to raise their voice against this stifling of J&K people’s democratic right.
CPI (ML) Red Star
20th June 2019
After unilaterally pulling-out from the 2015 multi-country Iran nuclear deal, Trump administration has been engaged in economic sanctions and disinformation campaign preparing the background for attacking that country in one pretext or other. Replicating the Iraq aggression led by ‘Bush-Blair evil axis’, under the pretext of Saddam holding “weapons of mass destruction”, now Trump is in search of all concocted avenues to militarily intervene in Iran.
In this context, the planned attack on two commercial tankers near Oman coast in international waters during the second week of June was an ingenious move. Even after Yutaka Kutada the chief executive of the Japanese company owning the ship, Kokuka Courageous, came out with credible explanation that his ship was not at all damaged by underwater mines or torpedoes but by unidentified “flying objects” from above, Trump is still carrying on with his malicious disinformation campaign that the ship was attacked by Iranian underwater mines. In continuation of this, two days back, Iran was forced to shoot down a US military spy drone that provocatively violated Iran’s territorial space in the strait of Hormuz.
As a result, today a very tense situation is created in Gulf with US imperialism preparing itself for an aggression on Iran. As a prelude to the attack, US Federal Aviation Administration has just issued an emergency order prohibiting US planes flying through the airspace controlled by Iran above the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. According to latest information, Trump administration is preparing for operations to hit targets such as radars and missile batteries in Iran, even as war-planes are in the air and war-ships have been moved in to positions.
In spite of these developments, the Modi-2 is maintaining silence as the obedient junior partner of US imperialists. The CPI(ML) Red Star condemns Modi-2’s subservient approach to the US imperialists. It calls on all communists and democrats to come forward to oppose the barbarous designs of Trump administration launch aggression against Iran in order to once again impose its hegemony which is increasingly opposed by the world people as well as by its imperialist rivals.
CPI (ML) Red Star
20th June 2019
The Modi government is keeping silence on the termination of preferential trade treatment for India as per the GSP (Generalized System of Preferences) scheme that in vogue since 1974. Since, US is a major export market for India, this unilateral US imposition with effect from the beginning of June, 2019, will deteriorate India's trade balance, which has already reached a precarious condition during last five years, further.
Besides, even when Modi regime, being a US’ strategic junior partner, is offering our country as a launching pad for Pentagon’s Indo-Pacific geopolitical machinations especially against China, the US administration has threatened India with economic sanctions if it sticks to the October 2018 multi-million deal for purchase of S 400 Triumph Missile from Russia, even. The Modi govt which had already recognised the US hegemony over Indian defense sector by agreeing to the Communication-Compatability and Security Agreement proposed by Trump administration, is not daring even to raise a mild resentment against this.
The US has also threatened India with sanctions if it is not acting in accordance with the banning of the Chinese telecom giant Huawei's access to Indian markets.
When India is a major importer of cheaper petroleum from Venezuela and Iran, major petroleum producing countries, by imposing sanctions against them for its own hegemonic interests the US has prevented India’s petroleum import from these countries also, Modi government did not dare to take any steps to safeguard Inda’s interests.
While all these informations were in the public domain from the month of March itself, Modi was thumping his chest and utilizing the Balakot strike within Pakistan, marketing the nationalism slogan shamelessly during the election campaign. All the above arrogant actions of US imperialists are attacks on the vital national interests of India, and will Modi dare to take any steps to defend these interests by standing against the US dictates? Or, will his saffron nationalism shall be confined only to target the Muslim minority and Pakistan?
We appeal to all genuine national forces, to the people of India, to demand that the Modi government should oppose these sanctions imposed by the US imperialists, and dare to stand for India’s vital national interests.
CPI (ML) Red Star
20th June 2019
While many technical experts have proved beyond doubt that EVMs can be hacked on a massive scale as a result of which many technologically developed countries are pursuing the ballot in election, the Election Commission of India at the behest of Modi regime is still keeping silent on this serious political issue even as its own website shows grave mismatch between “votes polled” and “votes counted”. Not only malfunctioning of EVMs but tens of thousands of them found in suspicious movements even as lakhs of them are missing is also aggravating the gravity of this question. Many of the former CECs have raised apprehensions on this issue. But, especially with any convincing explanations, the EC, rather than performing its duty as an autonomous constitutional body, stubbornly continues as an extension of the saffron regime. Today many concerned sections of the people firmly believe that manipulation of EVMs has been one factor that contributed to the massive electoral victory of the Modi regime. Until 2014, as the main opposition party, the BJP had been in the forefront in vociferously condemning the use of EVMs pointing out the possibility of fraud and tampering associated with it. It is only after its ascendance to power at the Centre that it has become its ardent champion.
Together with EVM, the 17th Indian General Election has come to be the most expensive one in recorded history with an outlay of around Rs. 60000 crores. Of this, only around Rs. 10000 crores belong to the so called official expenditure. More than 50 percent of the remaining amount which is mainly ‘black’ or unaccounted money was estimated to be associated with BJP alone. Almost 90 percent of the corporate black money routed through ‘electoral bonds’ went in to BJP’s coffers.
Apart from these, ‘the first pass the post system’ prevailing in India does not reflect the aspirations of the vast majority of the voters as, unlike in many countries, a party getting less than even half of the votes can ascend to power. For example, in its first innings Modi regime could impose its corporate-saffron diktats over people with gaining just 31 percent of the votes polled, and presently even when it got 302 seats out of 542, it got only 37% votes. The role communal and caste factors are coupled with this. It is high time that the FPTP system should be changed to proportional representation system based on the actual votes planned.
In this context, as already stated in the Party’s Political Resolution adopted at the 11th Congress and restated in its Election Manifesto, the Central Committee of CPI (ML) Red Star calls for a thorough democratisation of the entire election process. The Party appeals to the people to resolutely come forward demanding a return to ballot, abolition of ‘first pass the post system’ with proportional representation, introduction of people’ right to recall the elected representatives, keeping out communal and casteist forces away from election and above all to put an end to the role of corporate funding and black money in elections. The Party Committees at all levels together with all like-minded forces should take up appropriate legal and political steps to achieve this aim.
CPI(ML) Red Star
13th June 2019