(Adopted by 11th Party Congress of CPI (ML) Red Star held at Bengaluru from 26th November to 1st December 2018)
The political tasks before us today need to be assessed in the context of the objective international and national situation, especially since the 10th Congress of our Party in 2015.
- International Situation
1.i The Political Resolution adopted by the 10th Congress had evaluated the international situation as crisis-prone and of growing multi-polarity. In the last three years, those trends have developed further leading to an aggravation in the economic and political crisis of world imperialism today.
Crisis-ridden Neoliberal Imperialism
1.ii The systemic crisis of world imperialism even as internationalization of monopoly finance capital reaching new levels continues unabated. Most optimistic projections of the UN and Bretton Woods institutions are unable to cover up the continuing risk from the bubble-induced inflation and recession haunting the world. Last several years’ incessant pumping of trillions of dollars of cheap money from government treasury and banks in to the coffers of corporate financiers, rather than facilitating any recovery, has only worsened the situation. The chronic over-accumulation of finance capital as was exemplified in the speculative bubble that led to the ‘global meltdown’ of 2007-08 is strengthening. Consequently, the financial bubble measured in global stock market capitalization alone further rose from $ 63 trillion on the eve of the ‘sub-prime crisis’ in 2007 to more than $ 80 trillion by mid 2017, again resulting in the biggest-ever short-term collapse in capitalist history on February 6, 2018 eroding more than $ 4 trillion from US stock exchanges in a single day due to this ‘flash crash’! Thus the situation is ripe for another round of prolonged bubble burst. In that sense, the decade-long current phase of the imperialist crisis has turned out to be more prolonged and severe than that of the 1970s.
1.iii As a manifestation of this crisis in both imperialist and neocolonially dependent countries, fresh capital investment in employment oriented productive spheres is alarmingly collapsing. Corporate financiers everywhere are mainly interested in ballooning money-spinning speculative businesses. Growth in GDP indices arising from this is used by ruling classes to cover up the acute deindustrialization and joblessness today experienced by common people. Corporatization of agriculture and devastation inflicted on local and rural communities everywhere are resulting in de-peasantization, displacement, migration and refugee crisis. The decline in the consuming power of the vast majority of people, gruesome levels of poverty and inequality coupled with more intrusions on nature threatening the very existence of humankind have become unbearable. All over the world, neoliberal budget cuts in health, education and social welfare have worsened the suffering of the masses along with double exploitation of the mass of women in particular.
1.iv Imperialist globalization has been associated with liberalization of labour laws, tax systems and environmental regulations which are more severe in neocolonially dependent and oppressed countries. Internationalization of production and new trends in global division of labour such as outsourcing have led to the super-exploitation of working class and oppressed people especially in backward countries. The mad rush for profit has also resulted in the transplantation of polluting industries to neocolonially dependent countries and dumping of industrial waste in them. To facilitate the unprecedented levels of exploitation of people and plunder of nature by corporate capital, all democratic rights of workers and broad masses are curtailed in one form or another.
1.v Global inequalities have reached record levels. According to latest report by Oxfam, 83 percent of the wealth created in 2017 has gone to the top one percent of the global superrich. Country-level inequalities are also steeply going up. Even as the world economy is experiencing a slump, the number of billionaires and the share of wealth with them are having a steady upward trend.
1.vi While employment situation in imperialist countries is stagnant, real wages and living conditions of the workers and toiling people are continuously declining. Casualization and frequent hire-and fire have led to deterioration in working conditions. Even as labour productivity is steadily rising due to the application of new technologies, wages are maintained at the subsistence level while profit rates are going up. The consequence is a decline in the purchasing power of the broad masses of common people that prompts capitalists to bring about a relative curtailment in the production of mass consumption goods.
1.vii While the world is on the brink of an environmental catastrophe, the mad rush for profit is inflicting further damage on ecology. In continuation of consistent US violations of various international environmental treaties and protocols, Trump has unilaterally withdrawn from the Paris Accord thereby once again repudiating all “legally binding” international environmental regulations and mandated reductions in green-house gas emissions. Thus the struggle for a reversal of the adverse environmental damage caused by mainstream development paradigm and years of global warming has again come to a standstill.
1.viii Across the world, this has led to a favourable objective condition for the emergence of class and mass struggles. Workers, peasants, women, youth and students are rising up in imperialist as well as in dependent countries in one form or another. People’s movements for protecting habitats and for a sustainable environment, for democratic rights and against various forms of oppression are also springing up across the world. Against the imperialist and ruling class offensives, workers and oppressed people’s struggles are developing in several Latin American, African and Asian countries. Workers and youth are rising up in the US and in many countries of Europe, the latest massive people’s upsurge against Macron’s austerity measures being the latest. Across Asia, workers, peasants, women, youth and students are leading struggles against neoliberal policies, fascism and reaction. In particular, mass movements for freedom and democracy during the last three years have challenged ruling regimes in Egypt, Tunisia, Greece, Turkey, Bahrain, Iran, etc. Neoliberal budget cuts and austerity policies aimed at shifting the burden of crisis to the shoulders of workers and peasants have led to the eruption of large scale struggles in Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, Colombia, South Africa, Bangladesh, India, etc. Big global movements have developed against neocolonial-neoliberal agencies like IMF, World Bank, WTO and against various trade and military agreements. However, in spite of the prevalence of many left forces in the forefront of these struggles, those capable of concretely analyzing the situation with a correct ideological perspective and politically leading the people towards a revolutionary alternative is lacking.
Rightward Shift in Ruling Class Politics
1.ix To deal with the emerging people’s struggles and divert them away from developing into a revolutionary situation, almost everywhere ultra-rightwing, neo-fascist, racist, xenophobic, reactionary and religious fundamentalist forces are propped up by neoliberal imperialism. Strengthening of the repressive state apparatus along with the tendency to fascistization have become the general trend in both imperialist and dependent countries.
1.x In continuation of our analysis in the Political Resolution adopted in the 10th Congress, the following period has witnessed a clear-cut neo-fascist shift in politics at a global level. The ascendancy of Trump in the US, Brexit and further rightward political shift in Britain, victory of the right of centre forces in France, further strengthening of neo-Nazi Alternative for Germany, rise to dominance of the far right Freedom Party in Austria, fascist trends in Spain and so on are instances of this general trend. Similar right wing political trends are visible in Latin America. As a result, many progressive governments with a nationalistic and anti-imperialist orientation that have come to power in several countries in Latin America in the first decade of the 21st century have faced reverses in the context of the general rightward shift in global politics. Trump administration is openly engaged in destabilizing governments in Bolivia, Venezuela Ecuador, Honduras and Nicaragua which are not ready to toe the US line. The US and EU are in the pursuit of large scale military investments in North Africa, West Asia, East Asia and more recently in East Europe in the context of growing conflict with Russia. Superimposition of neoliberal policies coupled with postmodern identity politics that prop up new interpretations of tribalism and religious fundamentalism as new-found means of emancipation are sowing the seeds of disunity among the oppressed. Its outcome is an acute political and economic destabilization in many African countries like, Tunisia, Morocco, Nigeria and so on. Identical trends are visible in Asia too. The corporate-saffron Modi regime in India is a typical example of this ultra-rightist trend.
Geopolitical Trends and Sharpening Inter-imperialist Contradictions
1.xi This international situation in which scope of surplus capital investment as well as avenues of increased global market share shrink particularly due to collapse of the purchasing power of the broad masses has prompted imperialists to intensify their struggle for re-division and domination of world market and spheres of influence. Consequent inter-monopoly competition and scramble for political and strategic influence in various parts of the world have led to mounting global political instability, growing multi-polarity and sharpening of inter-imperialist contradictions in manifold ways.Bourgeois diplomatic deception is giving way to open external reaction and violence in international affairs even in the absence of a direct confrontation between the imperialists.
1.xii US imperialism, still the leading superpower and chief war monger, sponsor of terrorism and main threat to world peace led by its arch-reactionary president Trump today pursues an extremely diehard ‘protectionism’ at home along with an aggressive militarism abroad. Its policy towards Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Ukraine, etc., has become more ruthless. Even in gross disregard of the views of his NATO allies, by unilaterally terminating the 2015 Nuclear Agreement, Trump has taken an aggressive posture directed against Iran. The Trump administration is characterizing those countries that are reluctant to submit to the will of US imperialism as “rogue states”. Though North Korea is one among them and even bracketed as a “sponsor of terrorism” till recently, by now Trump has accomplished a bilateral discussion with it.
1.xiii Today, the inter-imperialist rivalry for world hegemony is most acutely manifested in imperialist China’s efforts to challenge US imperialism at both economic and political levels. Emerging as a rival centre of global production and market and as the second largest economy in the world, China has established its military base not only in Africa but even in far-flung Latin America. With its domination over global trade and finance, China has surpassed US in many spheres of production. For the uninterrupted continuation of such imperialist interests, both at home and abroad, recently the ruling Chinese regime has brought about a constitutional amendment of even abolishing the presidential term limit for putting the present incumbent Xi Jinping in the throne as the life-long head of the state. In view of such initiatives as Shanghai Cooperation Organization along with Russia, Belt and Road Initiative that in terms of its extent and scope is characterized as bigger than America’s postwar Marshall Plan, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank in which China’s currency Yuan is expected to play the crucial role, BRICS and especially Shanghai based BRICS bank, etc., led by China, the US economic position is waning both at regional and global levels. To counter this, while Trump is pursuing extreme protectionist policies as manifested in the repudiation of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), disenchantment with WTO, withdrawal from Paris Climate Accord and so on, China has become the ardent champion of “globalization” and open market policies today. US imperialism is trying to overcome the consequent relative deterioration in its economic position through more aggressive militarization everywhere.
1.xiv The non-viability of the postwar geopolitical arrangement in Europe including the internal crisis of NATO has been another manifestation of the unfolding inter-imperialist rivalry. The recent Brussels meeting of the EU member states with the exception of four smaller states of Denmark, Ireland, Malta and Portugal and the decision to revive the idea of ‘Schengen military zone’ based on a common defense policy comprising the development and accumulation of weapons and joint military interventions is a challenge to the coherence of NATO in the context of the emerging contradictions between the EU and US on many international questions. This resurgence of European militarism independent of the transatlantic NATO alliance has been driven by German and French imperialists whose initiative at the creation of a European army is to be evaluated in the context of the relative weakness of US imperialism. Trump’s extreme protectionist “America First” policy that has sharpened the tensions between the United States and Europe and the Brexit that eroded the clout of US’ closest ally Britain in EU affairs have prepared the background for this. Trump’s sanctions on North Stream Pipeline to Germany have eliminated a cheap source of fuel from Russia to EU as a whole. All these developments have already weakened the erstwhile coherence in NATO between the US and EU. In general, European imperialism led by Berlin and Paris has begun openly resisting the US policy particularly in West Asia as exemplified by its open defiance of US approach towards the “Qatar crisis”, recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, withdrawal from ‘two-state solution’ on Palestine and on the latest US withdrawal from Nuclear Agreement with Iran. Acute differences have emerged within the G8 and today cooperation between EU and US is more or less confined to the tactical use of NATO against Russia, their common enemy. In coming days, the materialization of an independent EU military is definitely going to sharpen inter-imperialist rivalries both in Europe and elsewhere in newer ways. At the same time, the large cuts in social spending necessitated by increased military outlays will aggravate the class contradictions in Europe and the unleashing of all reactionary, chauvinistic, anti-immigrant and neo-fascist elements on the one hand, and increasing intimidation of the revolutionary and democratic forces on the other.
1.xv Meanwhile, Trump administration has revamped the concept of the “Quadrilateral” (Quad) in alliance with its key regional partners, viz., Japan, Australia and India to further develop the so called “Indo-Pacific” bloc targeted against China in continuation Obama’s ‘pivot to Asia’ policy. As a result, the Asia-Pacific region has become a hot spot of growing inter-imperialist rivalries especially between the US and China. Quad’s earlier assertion to address the nuclear and missile programs of North Korea also displays US intention to isolate China in dealing with the former. At the same time, Quad’s main thrust will be on challenging Chinese territorial and maritime claims in the South China Sea. Meanwhile, the US has also intensified its “interventions” in Philippines, Indonesia and other countries of the region under the guise of “countering terrorism.”
1.xvi Growing multi-polarity and shift in geopolitics leading to disintegration and redrawing of the postwar international relations have other manifestations too. Imperialist globalization and unhindered cross border capital flows and integration of economies have enabled corporate monopolies from neocolonially dependent countries to enter into mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures with MNCs from imperialist countries. Regional powers like India in South Asia, Saudi Arabia in West Asia, Brazil in Latin America, South Africa in Africa, etc. which are acting under the economic, political and military umbrella erected by imperialism but incapable of accomplishing self-expanding capitalist path of development on account of their class character, are also playing their respective role as dictated by the imperialist rules of the game. India’s big-brother role in south Asia and its strategic military alliance with US imperialism as the latter’s junior partner is an example.
1.xvii These geopolitical trends give rise to new tensions and deep contradictions within imperialism which are moving toward further global instabilities as manifested in large-scale trade wars and regional military warin different parts of the world. The worsening situation in West Asia, Afghanistan and mass killing in Syria arise directly from US interventions there. Russia’s intervention in Syria in the guise of supporting the elected Assad regime is also motivated by the latter’s strategic interests. The ongoing US sponsored Saudi slaughter and blockade in Yemen, Zionist attacks on the people of Palestine and the latest assault on Gaza, atrocities committed on the democratic and revolutionary forces in Rojava and so on, though short of a full scale war, are wiping out the people of the region and have become threatening to the international community. Coordinated efforts are urgently required to kick out the imperialists, especially the US-Israel axis from West Asia for the maintenance of peace there. Along with West Asia, the Asia Pacific is also transformed as dangerous “flash points”. Imperialist intervention in West Asia and North Africa has led to the biggest-ever exodus of refugees whose number has already crossed 65 million. The Rohingyas in Asia have become one among the most persecuted refugees today.
1.xviii As a result, all the major contradictions at the global level, the contradiction between imperialism and the oppressed peoples and nations, the contradiction between capital and labour, the contradiction between capital and nature, the contradiction between the imperialist system and the socialist forces and the contradiction among the imperialist countries and monopoly groups have sharpened further. However, in the present phase of internationalization of monopoly finance capital, rather than moving towards an open military confrontation among the major powers, in conformity with imperialism’s geopolitical interests, through local wars, threat of wars and trade and currency wars, imperialists are expanding the markets for weapons and commodities, ensuring conditions for cross-border capital flows and sharpening the scramble for sources of raw materials and putting heavier burdens on workers and oppressed masses by intensifying neoliberal policies and resorting to fascistisation.
Our Tasks at the International Level
1.xix This international situation calls for cooperation and coordinated action among Marxist-Leninist parties and revolutionary organizations against imperialism from the perspective of proletarian internationalism. Such efforts based on a concrete understanding of the international relations should at the same time be interlinked with the specific strategy and tactics of revolution in each country.
1.xx The founding of ICOR in 2010 in which CPI (ML) Red Star played a major role and the practical cooperation in international issues together with the ideological-political exchange developing among its constituents since then leading to the successful completion of the Third World Conference of ICOR are welcome initiatives in this regard. While dealing with the new developments taking place in imperialism through various seminars and debates upholding the spirit of internationalism, positive experience has gathered through several successful international conferences on workers, peasants, women and youth as well as the initiatives for the protection of environment under the auspices of ICOR. The ICOR campaign on the occasion of the 100 Years of October Revolution has brought forward more unity of revolutionary forces against imperialist reaction and fascist repression. Along with the strengthening of these initiatives, it is also our task to carry forward the ongoing debate over the understanding on imperialism and major world contradictions today within ICOR.
1.xxi The concrete international situation demands broad-based campaign against imperialism and for world peace. It necessitates the need for coordinated work to establish fraternal relations with all like-minded forces. The success of such coordinated initiatives is already evident from the experience in organizing the October Revolution Centenary Rally in St Petersburg initiated by ICOR as well as in joint anti-nuclear and environmental campaigns. In the coming days there is ample scope for such issue-based coordination among those forces having an anti-imperialist orientation.
1.xxii However, when the objective situation for a revolutionary transformation is developing everywhere, the subjective factor essential for social change is still weak on account of historical, ideological and political reasons. This is manifested in the relative absence of Marxist-Leninist parties and revolutionary organizations deeply rooted among the working class and oppressed masses capable of leading such struggles within the country and at the same time supporting and coordinating them internationally. As the reactionary essence of imperialism is becoming more and more catastrophic, a worldwide anti-imperialist movement that can effectively challenge the threat of aggression, resist corporatization and fascistization and all forms of reaction and moving towards democracy and socialism has become an urgent necessity. This is possible only by the time-bound fulfilment of our international tasks.
- National Situation
2.i More than four years of Modi regime has brought India to a frightening disruption of its socio-economic and political fabric. In a situation of RSS led extreme divisive policies, instigation of mutual hatred among people, and in an atmosphere of increasing feeling of insecurity among dalits and minorities, BJP government has brought every aspect of social life under the firm grip of corporate capital. Strengthening India’s position as the junior partner of US imperialism and entering in to strategic alliance with it, Modi has destroyed to a great extent the erstwhile non-aligned position that India had in international relations. All institutions of parliamentary democracy are degraded so as to facilitate the corporate, saffron fascist offensive.
2.ii The Political Resolution adopted by our 10th Congress in 2015 when Modi completed just eight months of his tenure had recorded thus: “2.9 Modi’s ascendancy to power has been followed by a ruthless acceleration of Manmohanomics as is manifested in the extrapolation of his ‘Gujarat model’ to the whole of India with the corporate-friendly catchwords such as ‘minimum government,’ ‘good governance’, development, etc. The ‘road map’ for Modi regime’s economic policy in the coming years containing transparent policy environment for business including reforms to enhance “ease of doing business”, liberal tax regime, full liberalization of FDI regime in strategic sectors such as defense and railways, construction of freight and industrial corridors including the creation of what is called a Diamond Quadrilateral project of high speed trains, specialized Agro-Rail networks, promotion of air connectivity to smaller towns and development of airports, connecting ports with hinterland through road and rail, outsourcing of public sector banking operations to MNCs and corporate giants such as Reliance, building up of 100 cities equipped with world class amenities, etc. based on PPP, a euphemism for privatization, attracting private investment in coal sector, completion of nuclear power projects and operationalization of international nuclear agreements, modernization and corporatization of agriculture, time-bound forest and environmental clearance for projects, and so on are fully in conformity with the diktats and requirements of crisis-ridden international finance capital.”
2.iii Since then, the drive towards neoliberal corporatization unleashed by Modi has led the country to further disruption in productive and employment-oriented sectors. Thus, even according to usually doctored official data, economic contraction in India today is the worst since the fiscal year of 2008-09 when the country was confronting the global meltdown under the Congress led UPA government. The crucial reason for this socio-economic disruption has been the sudden deterioration in the purchasing power of the vast majority of Indian people on account of neoliberal policies coupled with the super-imposition of demonetization and neoliberal policies like anti-federal GST, the biggest-ever loot through corporate price-fixing of petroleum, etc., that have transferred the reins of the economy to the firm grip of corporate capital.
- iv Ultra-rightist and pro-corporate shift in economic policies including massive subsidization and transfer of wealth to the financial elite and superrich through several corporate tax exemptions along with a steep budgetary cut in all kinds of social welfare spending have resulted in a forcible extraction from even the bare minimum means of people’s subsistence. As a consequence, India has become one of the most unequal countries globally. According to a Credit Suisse analysis, the richest one percent owned 53 percent of the country’s wealth in 2016 compared to 36.8 percent in 2000. As per a latest report by Oxfam, the top 1 percent in India has gained 73 percent of the additional wealth generated in India in 2017.
- v Though the share of agriculture in national income is around 15 percent, almost half of the Indian people still depends on it for their sustenance. Unlike in the colonial days, the present trends in agriculture should be visualized in the context of the fast penetration of corporate capital in to it along with usury and still prevailing pre-capitalist relations in certain regions. The drive towards corporate agriculture is resulting in land concentration in agri-business companies, corporate farms and agricultural bourgeoisie on the one hand, and increasing landlessness, displacement and destitution of the peasantry on the other. With no avenues to subsist, large sections of the displaced landless peasants and agricultural workers are forced to migrate to urban centres only to join the ranks of informal working class and slum dwellers. On the other hand, the share-croppers, marginal peasants and even middle peasants having no other option except to cling on to agriculture have become the worst victims of neoliberal and WTO-enforced agricultural policies. Rise in input costs and decline in the prices of agricultural outputs in the absence of price support programs together with lack of peasant-friendly credit policies and hence mounting debt burden are pushing peasants to mass suicides.
2.vi Industrial sector including core and strategic industries remains sluggish. To ensure ‘ease of doing business’ for FDI and corporate capital, even the meagre pro-worker laws are amended and workers are deprived of their hard-earned democratic rights. Privatization of existing infrastructural facilities, extension of PPP model for new infrastructure projects, disinvestment of PSUs, etc. have already destroyed large number of employment opportunities in the organized sector. While casualization and contractualization in the organized sector are the general trend, more and more workers are forced to depend on the informal and unorganized sectors which have been the worst hit on account of demonetization and GST. Allocation on the much publicized MNREGA in real terms has gone down in successive budgets. While coming to power, Modi had promised new employment generation of 2 crores per annum; but the actual labour-participation rate is going down due to all round economic slowdown.
2.vii The condition of all oppressed including women, dalits, adivasis and minorities has become more devastating. Crisis in the unorganised sector has reduced women workers’ participation in employment. All forms of sexual violence both in home and at workplace against women and caste-based violence against dalit women have increased in manifold ways. Archaic and feudal values are imposed on women, who are subjected to moral policing by free-wheeling saffron goons. The BJP leadership maintains total silence on women’s reservation in parliament and legislatures, even as it reaps maximum communal mileage from the Triple Talaq issue.In spite of the Supreme Court judgement, the LGBTQ+ community remains subject to all kinds of illegal and unjust terror and harassment.
- viia Women have become the worst sufferers under the Hindutva rule. As exemplified by the response from saffron forces against Supreme Court order removing discrimination against women’s entry into Sabarimala Temple, all religious obscurantist and feudal forces are unleashed on every realm of women’s life. Even as patriarchal and caste-based codes and values irrespective religions are getting dominance everywhere, under the Modi regime and especially in BJP-ruled states violence against women is on the ascendance.
2.viii Privatization and disinvestment of PSUs and machinations against caste-based reservation have become threatening to dalits. Worst form of caste discrimination and humiliation and caste-based daily oppression together with forcible displacement from land and habitats and consequent increased marginalization have accelerated their discontent and resentment. Increasing dalit fury and resistance have been steadily growing beginning with the movements against Rohit Vemula’s murder and attacks on dalits in UP and Maharashtra. The Una flogging of dalits by saffron goons, attacks on dalits attending the Bhima-Koregaon anniversary and similar developments in various parts of the country are also the contexts for rapid politicization among the oppressed and for militant dalit assertion and resistance against brahmanical offensive. There is a growing demand for reservation in the private sector for SCs, STs and OBCs which the party must support.
- ix While budgetary allocations to adivasis are either curtailed or withheld on the one hand, various RSS-affiliated NGO organizations are actively engaged in dragging the tribal people in to the Hindutva fold. Penetration of corporate capital and forest mafia in violation of Forest Rights Act in different ways, hand in glove with politician-bureaucrat nexus, is threatening adivasis’s livelihood and right to forest produce. Like the dalits, tribal people are also subjected to massive displacement from their habitats and migration to urban slums. Malnourishment and hunger deaths have become frequent among tribal communities. The corporate- saffron regime is ruthless in suppressing adivasi struggles for land and livelihood as in the case of the struggles of other oppressed sections.
2.x Corruption which is inherent under capitalism has assumed new dimensions as an inalienable concomitant of neoliberal corporatization under the Modi regime. Corporate loot of public sector banks and creation of huge volume of NPAs under official patronage is just one glaring example. Most corrupt corporate leaders and CEOs accompanying Modi in his frequent foreign tours has become regular feature. Demonetization itself was an ingenious move for the corporate black money holders to whiten their huge unaccounted wealth through the legal route. Unlike in the past, the biggest corruption scandals of recent period including the latest Rafale deal are directly traceable to Modi with his ‘larger-than-life stature’ even as corporate media keeps a studied silence on them. India has become a flourishing example of ‘crony capitalism’ emanating from corporate-politician-bureaucrat nexus in the policy decision-making process such that, as pointed out by various international studies, during the last two year period, even surpassing Pakistan, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam, India has become the most corrupt country in Asia.
2.xi Islamofobia is systematically built up; Muslim Youth are targeted as antinational and terrorist and are often charged under UAPA and anti-Sedition laws. Muslims are frequently attacked and lynched by Hindutva goons masked as cow vigilantes or Gau Rakshaks, with the connivance of the BJP government. The rightwing communal offensive has created a climate of fear and insecurity amongst the Muslim minorities. The lynching of innocent Muslim men and boys and the palpable bias of the state administration in dealing with such incidents in BJP-ruled states has heightened their insecurity. Security and livelihood of minorities are in peril in BJP ruled states like Uttar Pradesh. Even the Central Government has exposed its Islamophobia when dealing with the Rohingya refugees.All these also prepare the ground fertile for the growth of extremist Muslim outfits adding further justification for fascistization and intensified repression on minorities.
2.xii All environmental regulations including mandatory EIA studies for infrastructure projects are being taken away. In the name of development, corporate financiers are given unfettered freedom for natural resource explorations in gross violation of laws pertaining to workplace, land conservation, food agriculture, forest, wildlife and coastal zones, with highly detrimental impacts on the sustenance of workers especially women workforce, dalits, tribals, fishers and so on.
2.xiii Meanwhile, prices of all items of mass consumption and essential services like healthcare and education fuelled especially by soaring petroleum prices are galloping. PDS is systematically dismantled even as large sections of poor people are deprived of all kinds of subsidized services through Aadhar that has become a data base available for online monopolies. Corporatization and commercialization of healthcare and education have become the general trend.
2.xiv Concerted efforts are in full swing to bring the entire cultural and educational spheres of the country under saffron tutelage. Obscurantism and religious bigotry are superimposed on science and historical studies. Dissenters are branded as anti-national and ‘anti-Hindu’ and are subjected to fascist attacks.Intellectuals and activists like Pansare, Dabholkar, Kalburgi and Gauri Lankesh are killed and many more are intimidated. Democratic rights activists are branded as ‘terrorists’ and ‘Maoists’ and targeted. The charging of UPA against the leaders of the Bhima-Koregaon struggle is the latest example. People are denied their choice of food and are accused as cow-slaughterers and beef eaters and are brutally beaten up and killed by freewheeling saffron gangs under the umbrella of the central regime. People are being browbeaten by the Hindutva gangs even for putting their honest views on social media.
2.xv In India, Modi government’s sinister effort to manipulate the judiciary has compelled even the senior judges of the apex court to come out openly, exposing the crisis confronting the judicial system. Loya case has unfolded as a typical instance of the dangerous situation in which even the security of judges hearing ‘sensitive’ cases is in jeopardy. On the one hand, while Modi government is interfering in the appointment of judges to the highest court violating all precedents, on the other, it is resorting to illegal means to keep out judgments against BJP and Saffron leaders. The recent statement of Amit Shah that the Supreme Court must only give such judgements which can be implemented is a clear challenge to the judiciary.
2.xvi Manipulation of judiciary is part of the broader theme of communalization of all constitutional offices, civil and military services so as to toe the saffron line. All key policy-making and implementation bodies, councils, and committees of the central government are packed with RSS-affiliated NGO leaders, voluntary activists, academics, intellectuals, spiritual leaders and even Hindu godmen. The extra-ordinary move to nominate corporate-sanghis to government administration as senior bureaucrats superseding the Indian Civil Service is the latest in this series. Right from the post of the President to governors of states and vice-chancellors of universities are filled with RSS leaders or hard-core Hindutva adherents. Those who question the impropriety of such moves are branded as anti-nationals.
- xvii Even as major sections of the media have fallen in line with the corporate-saffron agenda, media persons and journalists taking independent positions are eliminated and intimidated often through false charges. To avoid reports and news which expose the true colour of the regime, reporters and editors are threatened and even removed from their posts using pliable managements.
- xviii Modi regime’s insistence on digitization of citizen’s identity through such means as Aadhar or Unique Identification Number(UID) disregarding larger privacy concerns associated with the collection of biometric data and personal information has become a serious threat to people. India still not having specific laws to guarantee privacy, the government forcing citizens to share their biometric details under threat of denying essential services is a breach of the fundamental right to privacy. In view of renewed efforts by Europe and other countries to make their privacy laws more stringent in the context of the information of the kind of data scraping resorted by Cambridge Analytica, concerted efforts are required here to ensure people’s freedom from both state and corporate surveillance and guarantee of fundamental democratic rights.
- xix Urgent attention is called for a major restructuring of the entire election process in the country. The BJP which till 2014 had been vociferously condemning the EVM on account of its vulnerability to fraud and tampering has now become its ardent champion as it can effectively utilize the same in its favour. The possibility of insertion of malicious software in to EVMs and manipulation of voting preferences being already proved, several countries of the world have abandoned EVMs and are pursuing the ballots. While raising this issue together with all like-minded forces, a concerted campaign is also required for replacing the ‘first pass the post system’ with proportional representation in elections and introduction of people’s right to recall the elected representatives. Similarly, provisions should be incorporated for totally keeping communal forces away from interfering in election in any manner. In brief, our Party should unite in campaign with all democratic and progressive forces for a thorough democratization of the election process.
2.xx In accordance with its saffron agenda, the BJP government has made the J&K question at its worst. Totally rejecting the need of an independent referendum which is the feasible political solution for Kashmir question, Modi regime’s militarization of the entire region by unleashing armed forces and state police has completely alienated Kashmiri people. RSS elements are constantly communalizing the situation thereby repeatedly demanding repeal of Article 370 and Article 35A. The Kathuva-like incidents have aggravated it further.
- xxi The entire north-east is militarized and the situation in Manipur, Nagaland, Mizoram and Assam has further aggravated due to the wanton use of black laws such as AFSPA along with state’s own militarization with the backing of open communalization led by RSS. The attend to amend the Citizenship Act in favour of mainly Hindu immigrants and wholly targeted against Muslims and the efforts to tinker with the National Register of Citizens in Assam in conformity with this have created a communally surcharged and polarized situation there. The state of the Gurkha people’s ethnic question has further worsened due to the manner it is handled by the TMC government along with interference by the BJP. As a whole, the federal structure of the country is facing the biggest threat under Modi regime.
2.xxii Together with these political moves, the superimposition of GST depriving the states of their constitutional rights to have own sources of resource mobilization has undermined the federal structure of India. As a whole, various administrative steps such as abolition of the Planning Commission, alteration in the terms of reference of Finance Commission, changes in the priorities of central fund devolution to the states, etc., arbitrarily imposed by the Modi government has done immense damage to the federal structure of the nation and the state and in strangling the democratic aspirations of various nationalities in the country.
2.xxiia Today around 7 million Indian expatriates are working in Gulf countries. They play a major role in sustaining India’s foreign exchange basket. However, during the past few years, due to world economic crisis and consequent fluctuations in the price of oil, large number of them has been forced to return to India resulting in their rehabilitation becoming an urgent issue in states like Kerala.As the coming days are to witness an increasing inflow of the gulf returnees, appropriate steps for their rehabilitation involving efficient use of both their hard-earned savings and expertize should form an urgent task of the central and state governments.
2.xxiii Relations with all neighbouring countries have worsened. SAARC has become defunct, mainly on account of the pursuit of totally antagonistic policies and cutting down all channels for bilateral talks with Pakistan. In the protracted Doklam stalemate from which India had to ignominiously retreat, Bhutan refused to come out in support of Indian military deployment. On the contrary, it has started leaning more to China. The Indian regime led by Modi had tried its level best to thwart the advent of a secular government in Nepal. However, the political unification in Nepal between CPN (UML) and CPN (Maoist) in to a single party following government formation and its move for closer ties with China have been a slap on the face of the Modi government. Modi’s communal handling of the Rohingya refugees has even alienated Bangladesh also giving scope for anti-India campaign there.
2.xxiv Similar is the case with Sri Lanka and Maldives. Even after the civil war, the Buddhist fundamentalists in Sri Lanka continue their antagonism towards Tamil people and Muslims without any let up and the promise of autonomy to Tamil majority area has become an eye-wash. Modi government’s US-backed ‘expansionist’ designs have prompted the Sri Lankan regime to move closer to China. Similarly, in the recent political crisis in the Maldives, a SAARC member, arising from contradiction between judiciary and executive, the latter has openly displayed its distrust of the Indian regime. Thus the big-brother bullying attitude of Modi regime has unprecedentedly worsened the relations with all neighbours. On the other hand, it is satisfied with its strategic alliance with US imperialism and being used as a launching pad for the latter’s anti-China machinations.
- xxv Against this corporate-saffron offensive unleashed by the Modi regime, different sections of the toiling and oppressed are steadily coming up all over India. Militant struggles of the peasants who form one of the major chunks of the most devastated, have risen up especially from BJP-NDA ruled states such as Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Rajasthan,Madhya Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh resulting in the electoral defeat of the BJP in the recent Assembly elections to the last three states. The Maruti workers struggle has got widespread attention. The heroic resistance of the people of Tamil Nadu that led to the massacre of 13 people in police firing has forced the government to cancel Vedanta’s Sterlite Copper Smelter Plant project in Tutucorin. During this period, the capital city of Delhi itself has witnessed many prolonged struggles by workers, peasants, students and cultural activists. Against the atrocities including subtle forms of untouchability and caste-discrimination being practiced in campuses, and against the increasing Hindutva academic and ideological offensive in higher education, student resistances have emerged in the renowned central universities and research institutes of India. Rallies and protests by dalits, tribals and minorities uniting with struggling democratic forces against the saffron fascistic onslaughts have become regular all over India. Even leading writers, intellectuals and artists have come out in the streets protesting against the killings of Kalburgi and Gauri Lankesh after returning their prestigious awards.
Immediate Task of Resisting BJP’s Corporate Saffron Fascistization
3.i The disastrous situation brought out by BJP regime and the mounting all round social contradictions have brought India to a critical situation. In this context, the immediate task today is to resist and resolutely defeat the intensifying trend towards corporate saffron fascistization, the concrete manifestations of which are self-evident before the people. The situation today is a quatitatively distinct one with a well-defined ultra-rightwing shift in policies coupled with the BJP call towards an ‘opposition-free’ saffron fascist sate.
3.ii While drawing out the basic contours of the essential task of isolating and defeating corporate saffron forces, a clear perception regarding the positions of the political parties and formations in the country is also important. Obviously, it was by effectively utilizing the people’s resentment against the neoliberal policies of the Congress-led UPA rule on the one hand, and cleverly appropriating the soft-Hindutva pursued by it on the other, that the RSS led BJP ascended to power in 2014. Today, while the BJP has grown as the leading Indian ruling class party merging itself with corporate-big bourgeois and landlordinterests, the class character of the Congress though in opposition continues to be the same. Similar is the case with most of the regional and state-level parties, many of whom having communal and caste orientation and eager to seek opportunist alliances with both Congress and BJP. And like the BJP and Congress, these parties are also adherents of neoliberal policies.
3.iii It is a fact that the documents of the Left Front led by the CPI (M) including other left parties speak at length against the neoliberal policies and saffronisation inflicted by BJP on the one hand, and expose the class character of the Congress on the other. However, its appeal for left assertion is confusing. Its approach towards an anti-BJP alliance lacks clarity as it implies an understanding with the reactionary Congress. In practice, its anti-communal stance against fascistization is separated from its link with neoliberalism such that wherever the Left Front comes to power it also faithfully implements the very same pro-corporate neo-liberal policies. For instance, the CPI (M) led Kerala government was among the first that came forward wholeheartedly supporting the Modi government’s anti-federal and pro-corporate GST. And, the left sectarian sections at the other end of the political spectrum are reluctant to concretely approach the national and international realities. They also have no alternative to the grave danger the country is confronting today.
3 iv It is in this context that the urgency of concretely putting forward the idea of independent left assertion with that of building up a people’s alternative as two inseparable components becomes imperative. At the realm of parliamentary politics, defeating the BJP in the forthcoming general election has become the central question today. While acknowledging that task, as revolutionary left, the task of overthrowing the saffron fascist challenge should not in any way dilute our perspective of an alternative people’s development paradigm against neoliberal policies initiated and strengthened by the ten-year successive UPA rule which is now speeded up by the BJP regime. That is, while welcoming the defeat of Modi regime, our stand is not for an acknowledgement of the pro-corporate policies led by another combination of ruling class parties. Therefore, under the banner of a grand alliance against BJP, the indispensable political struggle against neoliberalism and all its manifestations should not be obliterated. At a time when world imperialism and ruling classes everywhere are engaged in their anti-communist offensive in diverse forms and are denigrating all socialist ideals, the perspective of a people’s alternative with all-round democratization for paving the way towards socialism assumes paramount importance in our political struggle.
3.v Therefore, the uncompromising struggle against saffron fascist forces needs to be carried forward uniting with all the genuine secular, democratic and left forces having a principled stand against neoliberal policies. As opposed to the opportunist ruling class alliances, this alternative capable of bringing about a political and class polarization led by working class, peasantry and all the oppressed will strengthen itself and can more effectively and vigorously lead the struggle against corporate saffron fascistization. Raising high the banner of this principled and class-oriented political initiative is thus the need of the hour. If such an initiative is not forthcoming at this juncture, when the communist revolutionary forces are not strong enough to lead a nation-wide struggle against neoliberalism and saffron fascist onslaught, as hitherto experience has time and again proved, it will only marginalize and further weaken the Left both politically and organizationally. As such, this line of independent self assertion with clear-cut revolutionary political orientation is indispensable for enthusing the broad masses of struggling people in the country and for overcoming the depoliticizing situation propped up by the ruling system.
3.vi In resisting and defeating corporate saffron offensive, the effectiveness of our electoral interventions as communists is inevitably rooted in the ideological and political basis developed through Left’s independent self-assertion. This is to be achieved through sustained people’s resistance struggles and movements for an alternative people’s development paradigm against the neoliberal pro-corporate policies espoused by the ruling classes and their apologists. In building up such a broad movement, the working class, peasantry, women, dalits, adivasis, minorities and all oppressed and toiling sections should be rallied against corporate onslaughts, displacement, caste and communal oppression, violation of democratic rights, environmental degradation, etc. We should be able to coordinate all struggles of different sections fighting fascism albeit for different reasons. Unity in such struggles shall also provide the context for a healthy ideological-political debate among the revolutionary-progressive sections for building up a left-democratic people’s alternative to defeat corporate saffron fascism and neoliberalism.
3.vii In this political task of welding together both parliamentary and non-parliamentary forms of struggles, the Bhangar resistance movement in West Bengal developing under the political initiative of CPI(ML) Red Star and supported by other likeminded forces offers valuable insights.Support also came from all political parties except TMC and BJP. This movement against power grid has yielded a political atmosphere there enabling all forces fighting the anti-people and repressive policies of both the central and state governments to join together. Backed by this people’s movement, the Committee that stood for the local body election could make an impressive victory in those seats where it could contest. Together with this, the movement has also become a model of resisting the reign of terror unleashed over the people by Mamta regime and its fascist goons. The Bhangar people’s resistance movement unfolds itself the correctness of the political orientation as elucidated in the Program and Path of Revolution of CPI (ML) Red Star.
3.viii The Bhangar experience pinpoints towards the possibility of building up people’s movements through appropriate revolutionary intervention according to the concrete conditions of different states in the country. It is a political line combining both electoral and non-parliamentary struggles that we should boldly uphold before the left, democratic and struggling forces in our country. People organized and politicized through various resistance movements against all forms of corporatization and fascistization can be brought together and linked with the concept of the Mass Political Platform having a common manifesto at appropriate levels. Interactions with all revolutionary, left, democratic and struggling forces are to be carried forward and developed further for evolving a national coordination based on a common manifesto to resist the corporate saffron fascistization at the all India level.
3.ix With this comprehensive understanding, as outlined in Part 3 of the Political Resolution adopted by the 10th Congress of CPI (ML) Red Star, we have to urgently engage in building up Party, strengthening class/mass organizations and peoples movements and developing class struggle. Together with this, using all available means we should go for a resolute ideological-political campaign against imperialism and the ruling system, against corporate-saffron fascism, on the ideological-political questions facing the communist movement today and on the need of developing Marxism-Leninism according to the concrete conditions of our country. In this background, our Party should actively strive for discussions with all revolutionary, left and democratic forces along with other struggling forces for a national coordination seeking the possibility of drafting a common manifesto to resist and defeat the corporate-communal fascist threat. To facilitate this, all state committees of the Party should take up the task of building up struggle-based Mass Political Platforms as per the objective situation prevailing at the state level and inspire and enthuse the struggling masses so that these efforts can develop to a Political Alternative at the national level by the time of the 2019 General Election.
3.x In the coming days, this political line of our Party resisting corporate saffron fascist forces from the perspective independent left assertion based on a people’s alternative will strengthen Marxist-Leninist forces on the one hand and, shall impart a powerful boost for all the anti-fascist progressive, democratic and secular forces engaged in the challenging task of defeating the Modi regime on the other.
* Defeat Corporate- Saffron Fascist Forces!
* Build up People’ Alternative Based on Independent Left Assertion!
*March towards People’s Democracy and Socialism!
*Long Live CPI (ML) Red Star!