According to the announcement of Modi government on 30th May, after the 68 days long lockdown, it is going to start un-wounding it, as ‘Unlock 1’ from 1st June. The guidelines allowing a phased re-opening of most activities across the country, and limiting the lockdown only to containment zones for a month till June 30. It also cut the night curfew hours from 9 pm to 5 am. The guidelines issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) allow re-opening of malls, hotels, restaurants and places of worship from June 8 in Phase I of unwinding, they also allow unfettered movement of goods and persons between states and within states. States have, however, been given the freedom to prohibit certain activities or put suitable restrictions if they deem it necessary for containment of the Covid outbreak.
This announcement of the MHA has come out when the ground level facts are revealing the total failure of Modi government in all spheres. When the lockdown was abruptly announced by Modi on 24th March, if the number of Covid19 patients and dead were about 500 and 35, after the 68 days of it, these figures has jumped to nearly 1,80,000 and 5500. The new patients detected on 30th May had increased to 8,200. If this trend continues by 30th June the number of patients may go up to 5 lakhs, with corresponding increase in the number of dead. If India’s position among the top ten maximum infected countries is already 7th now, soon India’s position may go up further. Still, he has not announced any policy change to rectify the situation, to save you from Covid! Opposing this anti-humanitarian policy of Modi which may take the country to a great catastrophe we should mobilize all progressive forces and fight.
The migrant workers, it was the total confusion created by Modi’s abrupt order compelled your desperate flight to your villages, trying to get whatever conveyance available or by walking. What you have suffered and many still suffering is hundred times more painful than what happened at the time of India’s partition in 1947. More people died in your still continuing colossal human tragedy than due to Covid19 so far. Still, his government has not announced free ration and monthly allowance to your families in distress. He did not announce any assistance for the families of the dead on the road, on the rails; even for the children who lost their parents. Similarly, as you may have heard, after super cyclone Amphan caused colossal havoc in W. Bengal and Odisha, with many died and lakhs of families rendered homeless, his relief to these states was just 1,000 and 500 crores. At the same time, in addition to writing off another Rs 68,000 crores bank loans, all the economic packages announced by him are for the corporate houses and elite sections.
If the economy was in recession even before the pandemic outbreak due to his falty policies, it is going to face terrific collapse now. At the same time, spreading hate politics based on Islamophobia, he has divided the people more than ever, even during this pandemic. The worsening of relations with Nepal and border skirmishes with China shows that for pampering relations with Trump administration he is creating enmity with all neighboring countries, even at this time of pandemic. He is spending more lakhs of crores for military, when he has no money to help you, even for returning to your villages. While the list of his total failures is very long, his letter followed by his radio speech to us, while completing first year of his second term, shows it is the most insensitive government this country had after 1947. After committing crime against us, he is trying to confuse us, to cover up his gross failures in all fields by telling blatant lies and distorting facts.
Against these anger should mount among us, the workers and all the oppressed. Six years of Modi rule has made vast majority of us jobless and starving.
Working class comrades, after working many years in far away cities you have come back to your villages penniless; many of you had to take loans for return tickets. You, the returned migrant workers, and the agricultural workers and poor peasants in the villages, the condition is going to worsen in coming days. After long slumber, though Supreme Court ordered to provide food, shelter and return journey free to all workers, the NHRC called the treatment of migrant workers by the Railways as barbaric, no action is going to be taken by Modi’s govt. The present heat wave in North and impending monsoon shall aggravate the poverty and distress of all of you. When Modi’s economic policies, now aggravated manifold under the pandemic, is worsening joblessness, the social and economic crisisis going to become more acute. Even before the Covid19 pandemic broke out, the economy in the country had reached deep recession. As all manufacturing works and small/medium units were closed down following the lockdown, there is acute financial crisis, with the GDP growth plunging steeply. An immediate recovery is difficult in present world situation. The burden of this crisis also will be thrown on the backs of us, the people, vast majority of us, including the lower middle class and peasantry are going to face acute distress.
Contrary to governments’ claims, the condition of the toiling people of all states is very bad. Casual/contract workers, fisher people, rural and urban poor as well as the poor peasantry who constitute more than two third of the population, after more then two months of lockdown, your joblessness is going to become really horrible. As nearly 20 million of you migrant workers have returned, with more millions yet to reach, not only the Covid19 cases among you and your families shall increase, but also your poverty and joblessness. The token amount allotted for more MGNREGS work,is not going to improve the situation.
Comrades, discuss these facts with your families, friends and villagers, or people around you, wherever you are. As these families are left jobless and foodless, the already existing starvation situation is going to reach alarming proportions. Joining with the progressive forces start a campaign with the following demands: Provide 45 kgs foodgrains monthly as free ration to all families; and Rs. 8, 000 monthly allowance to all jobless contract/casual workers, unemployed youth and to all needy people for six months from 1st June.
Make it a massive campaign uniting with all those agree with it. Decide slogans according to conditions in your area. Let us compel the central and state government to provide it soon; If they do not agree, let us launch mass movement powerful enough to achieve these demands!
After 68 days of lockdown, as a result of total failure of Modi government and its agencies, the no of patients are going to cross two lakh barrier and the number of dead is also increasing accordingly. Still, except for his sermons, Modi rule is not taking any steps to contain it. Still sufficient medical equipments, testing kits, ventilators, safety kits and other requirements are not available. It is not to bringing the private hospitals under government control to fight Covid. It is not allotting necessary fund. We should join hands to launch a powerful movement to compel Modi government to give top priority to contain Covid19 from spreading further and to cure those affected by it.
Using the lockdown announced to contain Covid and powers given to police and para-military to enforce it as cover, spreading Islamophobia the activists from Jamia and other areas belonging to Muslim minority are arrested and detained under UAPA. While it is clear as day light that the pogrom in Northeast Delhi was organized by the RSS, the Muslims are arrested in large numbers and even the anti-CAA activists are also arrested as accused in this case! Many intellectuals and human rights activists are arrested alleging as Maoist supporters. Similarly, in Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Jharkhand etc thousands of Adivasis are also detained for years alleging they were helping Maoists. Many of these are under detention for years under UAPA. Some of them are sick. Under Modi’s corporate fascist rule all democratic action in J&K and Northeast is also virtually banned. We appeal to all democratic forces, political organizations, mass movements to come forward to demand the release of all poltical prisoners.
The NPR/NRC/CAA movement was advancing powerfully when the pandemic broke out. Modi govt used the pandemic as a cover to suppress it. Now, using the Census as a cover and state terror it may re-start it. So, let us start discussion with all who were participating and playing significant role and start preparations to re-launch the movement.
CPI(ML) Red Star
1st June 2020