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
The aggressiveness of the attacks on any criticisms against the government as anti-national has intensified sharply, especially after Modi-2 took over. Governments are elected by the people. According to the Constitution, the people and their fundamental rights enshrined in it are supreme. So, people have full right to criticize all actions of the government. Nobody has right to attack it as anti-national. Whoever does it should be charged for anti-constitutional crime. After Modi-2 arbitrarily abrogated Article 370 of the Constitution and for the first time downgraded a state to two union territories, , these jingoistic, intolerant attacks by those in power, their pracharaks and boot lickers on the affected people as well as on anyone criticizing the arbitrary action by the government and the clampdown over people of Kashmir valley are attacked as agents of Pakistan!. A major section of media is hysterically spreading this venom. As the Supreme Court, the uppermost constitutional authority which has right to interpret the Constitution and express validity of the 5th August action by the Modi-2 remained silent for three weeks even after many petitions were received challenging the government action, there was anxiety among the democratic forces. But on 28th August, even after the Attorney General and Solicitor General repeatedly expressed the government’s advise for everyone to maintain restraint, the decision taken by it to hear all pleas against government action by a Constitution Bench from the beginning of October is a welcome step.
All leaders of Modi-2 and RSS parivar claim that J&K is India’s property! First of all they should accept the basic principles. The United Nations’ Human Rights Declaration itself declare that all nations have the right of self determination. A country or nation is a community of people, not just a geographical entity. Indian Constitution declares India is a federal country, not a nation; Bharat Desh, not Bharat Rashtru. The unity of this federal India is based on the unity of the peoples of various nationalities who decided to continue their unity based on the ethos created by the anti-imperialist independence struggle and based on their right of self determination! RSS parivar’s Akhand Bharat existed only in the pages of Vedas, Upnishads and epics. None of the emperors from Asoka to Mugals could unite all the areas in the sub-continent. The credit for forcefully uniting the many hundreds of big or small princely states or subordinating them forming the British India goes to imperialist Britain! Even then they allowed many princely states to remain as their dependents within it. Same time there were some princely areas, J&K, Manipur, Nagaland, Sikkim and tribal areas in Northeast which could not be made part of British India; so they were outside.
British colonialists signed the instrument of transfer of power with leaders of India and Pakistan only covering the areas under direct British rule. According to the agreement, the princely states had the right to remain independent or join India or Pakistan signing their own agreements of accession. The governments of India and Pakistan succeeded to merge the princely states within their regions signing agreements with them. As far as J&K, Manipur, Nagaland and Sikkim were concerned, as per the agreement, they had right to remain independent or merge with either India o Pakistan. But though the leaders of both India and Pakistan had assured that they will not act like the successor states of British colonialists with regard to redefining the boundaries and for the right of self determination of the these areas which were outside British India, soon both proved that they were not less chauvinist or expansionist than the colonial government. Indian government acted very fast and integrated Manipur and Nagaland using military force. In 1975, putting pressure over the king, India annexed Sikkim also. When J&K king Hari Singh wanted to maintain it as an independent country, initially both agreed to it. Pak government even signed such an agreement also with Hari Singh. But it soon changed its line, and tried to annex J&K using army. So Hari Singh sought military help of Indian government which agreed to assist him after an instrument of accession was signed, based on which the Article 370 of the Constitution was later adopted. As the UN interfered, it enforced ceasefire and a Line of Control, with both governments agreeing to withdraw their armed forces and hold a plebiscite for the people of J&K to decide their future. But, as both the governments were not for an independent J&K, both colluded and contended to abort the plebiscite and to keep the J&K divided and in horrific condition during the last seven decades. The imperialists were happy to keep this spot hot enough, so that they could continue their divide and control policy in the region, and loot fortunes by selling arms and equipments to both. In the interest of the ruling class and corrupt political class on both side, the governments were competing to whip up hatred with each other, arming themselves to the teeth and fighting three wars and indulging in continuous skirmishes, which has benefitted and fabulously enriched the corporate giants, while forcing the vast majority of the people on both side to terrific miseries and impoverishment!
Once the BJP, the political front of RSS which wants to make India a Hindurashtra, came to power, the scenario far worsened. If the very existence of Pakistan’s army and present corrupt political establishment and their hegemony over the people depends on raising the J&K question which they claim as their property and hatred against India, the Modi rule could become a reality and could come back to power by strengthening the majoritarian Hindutva, only by whipping up Islamophobia and hate Pakistan campaign every minute. If Pakistan is already in acute economic crisis, India is also caught in the vortex of recession and slow down. As the imperialists, especially US imperialists want to overcome their own economic problems and inter-imperialist rivalry with China by using these junior partners smartly, they promote. jingoism on both sides. The conflict between India and Pakistan is bound to reach unprecedented levels, especially after the arbitrary moves of Modi-2, at the peril of the people of J&K and in India!
And now this contradiction has reached such a dangerous level that India’s defense minister announcing possibility for re-thinking on ‘no first use’ of nuclear arms. It is reciprocated by the Pak prime minister announcing his preparedness even for a nuclear war! On 28th August Pakistan test fired a ballistic missile capable of carrying nuclear arms. One Pak minister talked about war breaking out in October. It is reciprocated by India’s defense minister declaring not only J&K, even the areas beyond Line of Control are integral part of India! On both sides, the jingoistic forces and corporate media are busy in whipping up hatred against each other and war hysteria, while Trump and company are enjoying the game played by Imran and Modi!
In this dangerous situation, it is the right of the people to talk boldly and correctly: J&K is not the property of the reactionary governments of either Pakistan or India. Its future should be decided by the people of J&K through a plebiscite or referendum after withdrawing the army from both sides of the Line of Control. In order to achieve this we should create public opinion to demand repealing of the arbitrary action of 5th August by Modi-2, withdrawal of the army to barracks , and immediate withdrawal of the curfew and clampdown from the whole region. If a nuclear war is unleashed by the religious fundamentalist and the fascistic, the war mongering governments on both sides, it will be catastrophic for the whole South Asian region; so all progressive forces in this region should mobilize the peoples of the whole region to condemn this jingoism and work for building up anti-imperialist unity against their reactionary governments with the vision of a South Asian People’s Unity!
We appeal to all struggling forces to come together and demand the withdrawal of all suppressive acts of the fascist Modi-2 in J&K! Let us demand bilateral discussion between both governments to politically resolve the J&K problem based on the right of self determination of the people of J&K! Expose and oppose the war mongering of both governments and create public opinion against a nuclear war which will be catastrophic to people of not only to people of both countries, but also of whole of South Asia! Just because BJP’s or any other government is in power, we are not its slaves, we have the right to expose and oppose its anti-people deeds! Oppose and resist the barbarous policy of Modi-2 and RSS parivar dubbing all their critics as anti-national! We are the patriots who oppose imperialists of all hues and stand for genuine secular democratic federal India, while Modi-2 and RSS parivar are imperialist stooges who preach Akhand Bharat, but disintegrate country through their divisive Brahmanical manuvadi Hindurashtra! Intensify the struggle for people’s federal India, for unity of people of South Asia!
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
Do Real Facts Justify Eulogising of Departed Jaitly by Political Establishment and Corporate Media as a Great Statesman?
He may be statesman for corporate class and RSS parivar, not for the working class and the downtrodden, oppressed masses!
The former finance minister Arun Jaitly passed away on 24th august due to illness. His departure is being celebrated as the greatest current event by the ruling class’ political establishment, the corporate chiefs and the corporate media. He is presented as a great statesman and his death as a great loss to the country. Yes, he served his class masters, the coporate bosses and the RSS establishment with full sincerity and loyalty throughout his life. He can be appreciated for that. But, what is remaining of the CPI(M), its leaders in Kerala, the LDF chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan and his finance minister Thomas Issac join the band wagon of RSS leaders and corporate class eulogising Jaitly as a great statesman, it become our duty to speak out what should be the communist approach at the demise of such reactionary, ruling class leaders.
Yes, Jaitly was a very important leader of the BJP, one of its Chanakyas, who did many great things to help BJP to come to present powerful political position, including helping Modi from getting removed from the chief ministership after Gujarat pogrom by convincing then prime minister Vajpayee not to do so. He had served the RSS, BJP and the corporate forces excellently. He was a good orator, lawyer and manipulator who used his capabilities efficiently to serve the communal fascist forces and the corporate class like Chidambaram, Pranab Mukherjee like leaders did in Congress. So, we can understand why the whole brahmanical forces, RSS establishment and corporate forces eulogising him. But, did he do anything in the service of the working class, the vast majority of the downtrodden people in this country?
Let us make a glance through his services! As an efficient lawyer, he represented Union Carbide chief Anderson to save him after the Bhopal gas massacre, and the great service he did to the corporate kings is continued by his daughters’ firm loyally. As far as his great service in the cricket field is concerned, he was president of DDCA (Delhi & District Cricket Association) for 13 years till 2013. How he used this position for corrupt practices was exposed by then BJP MP and cricketor Kirti Azad as well as by the AAP chief Kejriwal. As a BJP leader, both inside and outside parliament he did every thing to defend the fascist RSS and was part of all reactionary moves for its ascendance to present position. As far as his popularity is concerned, in 2014 elections, in spite of the ‘Modi wave’, in Amritsar seat he was defeated by 94000 votes by Congress leader Amrinder Singh. Still he was made Rajya Sabha member and finance minister in Modi government with second ranking position. As finance minister, he could get the GST through which serves well the interests of corporate giants, but which goes against the federal principles of the Constitution and which aggravated the economic down turn started from the time of demonetisation. The present economic slow down and crisis are the result of his five years as finance minister when everything was done to serve the corporate forces, like Ambani and Adani. Many lakhs of crores were given as loans from public sector banks to fictitious companies floated by corporates close to him and BJP, which were later written of as Non Performing Assets. His relation with these corporate thugs was so close that Vijay Mallya flew outside to Britain just hours after meeting Jaitly. Yes, he was a great finance minister for the corporate thugs, to BJP and to his family firm. If a former finance minister Chidambaram is now under CBI custody, if a truthful investigation is done Jaitly could be charged for manifold murky dealings similar to what is accused against Chidambaram. That he was on the right side and so escaped from so many of these allegations, does not mean that he is exonerated and was a great statesman!
What was Jaitly’s approach to the so many terror attacks like Malegaon case organized by Pragya Thakur like RSS forces, to the mob lynchings by the gorashaks and other RSS gangs, to the saffronization of education, culture, history and other fields? To the utterances of RSS chief Mohan Bhagvat who has even called for opening discussion on reservation> He was an outright RSS man who served the corporate class to the best of his capacity, while making his family to gallop financially, which can be proved easily if an investigation is done. So, it will be a travesty of facts if he is presented as a great finance minister, statesman etc etc without mentioning which class he served all through his life and to his loyalty to fascist RSS. So, one should not be surprised at all if the coporate class, RSS establishment and the ruling political establishment eulogise him and shed tears at his departure.
But, it is a shame that the CPI(M) leaders who still claim themselves as communists also join the band wagon of the Sanghi fascists and corporates to eulogise him as a great finance minister and what not. It shows to what extent these name-sake communists has degenerated! It shows what a great disservice these renegades and corporate lackeys are doing to the working class and to the communist movement. Let us draw clear our line of demarcation with them. Unlike these renegades, Jaitly outrightly and with full sincerity served his corporate masters and the RSS ideology and establishment openly and boldly. He never betrayed his masters and ideology. We can appreciate him for that, while exposing Vijayan, Issac like renegades who unlike Jaitly are renegades betraying the class they claim to serve.
CPI(ML) Red Star.
Strange things are happening in our country. According to Constitution any change in the status of a state can be made only with the approval of the people of the state. Since the provision to hold referendum is not provided in the Constitution, it means getting the approval of the state assembly. But in J&K the assembly was dissolved. It is president’s rule there. Besides, from 4th August hundreds of leaders of all non-BJP political parties, former chief ministers, most of the ex MLAs and other leaders are kept under detention. Still, the argument of Modi-2 is, since J&K is under president’s rule, his consent is sufficient for the abrogation of Article 370 and for down grading the state to two union territories! When the armed forces are for protecting the country’s borders, many lakhs of them with AFSPA like black laws are deployed to police people of J&K! From 4th August all communications are cut, 144 and curfew are imposed denying all democratic rights of the people! Against these violations of Constitution and democratic rights, people appeal to the SC. But it is telling the victims to wait! When an editor from the state approach the Press Council of India, against curtailment of all press freedoms, its president of PSI asks her to give the government more time to achieve normalcy!
Under parliamentary democracy the opposition has statutory rights and importance. But all attempts of the opposition leaders and MPs to go and see what is happening in the state, are prevented by not allowing them to go out of Srinagar and Jammu airports. The governor is saying the schools are open, but no students are not attending them. Though no emergency is declared, the situation is worse than that of emergency. Virtually it is total clamp down, throwing the people in to open jail denying them the right to contact anybody or to get essential goods. What is happening in J&K is the clear manifestation of state terror and creeping up of fascisation. No citizen with democratic consciousness can remain silent in such a situation. The resignation of a young IAS cadre from Kerala reflects the extent of dissent among the conscious people.
If what is happening in J&K is barbarous, on 31st August the Assam government is going to release the final NRC of the state, according to which about 4 million residents of the state are going to lose citizenship! These people can appeal to Foreigners Tribunals up to 120 days, and if their appeal is not redressed, they will be thrown to Detention Camps! Besides Modi-2 is going to get its Citizenship (Amendments) Bill, which refuses citizenship to Muslim minorities, passed by the Rajya Sabha somehow and complete the NPR based on it by 30th September, 2020. It is reported that 2o to 30 million may lose citizenship at all India level under it. The plan is to throw all of them to Detention Camps, as no country is going to receive them! If these moves are not reversed by creating public opinion against them, India shall be reduce to a fascist hell!
All these are taking place when the economy is under deep recession as a result of the economic policies of Modi rule from 2014. From every states reports are coming out: 200 textile mills closing down in TN, 1100 engineering units closing down in Jamshedpur alone, all the PSUs and major corporate enterprises retrenching many lakhs, and thousands of medium and small units closing down besides growing distress in the agrarian sector. If in the Economic Survey and the budget presented two months ago, the finance minister had rejected all reports about increasing slow down of the economy as propaganda by anti-national forces, and presented a glossy picture based on cooked up data, now forced to accept it as, not only the IMF and World Bank, but her own Niti Ayog chief also talked about economy facing collapse, she has announced relief measures not for the ordinary citizens, but for the corporate giants, using recession also as an opportunity for aggressive wealth transfer to corporate looters. Fascisation and aggressive majoritarian Hindutva are a cover for intensifying corporate loot and perpetuating the neo-colonial dependency.
This situation calls for massive people’s movements mobilizing the toiling masses and all oppressed sections. Let us strive to take up the challenge uniting all the forces who can be united for it at all levels!
CPI(ML) Red Star
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.
Com James PJ
The Hindu (24th August) has given a full page report on the two deadly landslides that happened in Kerala during the early days of this month. At that time itself in Karnataka and Maharashtra also, in the hilly areas numerous landslides had happened. Two years ago the ferociousness of the landslides we had seen in Uttarakhand. Himachal Pradesh and other states bordering Himalayas are also highly prone to landslides which are happening in increasing numbers. Same is the case in the hilly areas of Assam, and Northeastern states and j&K. So many studies have come out showing that these increasing landslides are due to large scale quarrying, mining, construction works in ecologically sensitive hill area and steep hill sides, mostly illegal done by real estate owners, land mafias and other vested interests with the collaboration of state and central government machinery even by suppressing people’s movements against them. Even after so many deadly landslides and mud flows no action is taken against the corrupt bureaucracy and the mafias indulging in the destruction of these ecologically sensitive areas. Mainstream political parties openly support these criminals and murderers.
In spite of climate change consequences showing the increasing threat from the ecological catastrophe as the central and state governments refuse to take action to stop the blatant loot of the nature, we appeal to all progressive democratic forces to join with the environmental organizations and movements to mobilize the people, especially in the affected areas and to launch uncompromising movements to save the nature against the onslaughts of forces of capital.
CPI(ML) Red Star