Today (5thJanuary) is the 41st day of the historic farmer’s struggle for repealing the 3 farm acts which will lead to corporatization of the entire agriculture sector, devastating not only the farmers’ life, but also lead to collapse of food security, winding up of the Food Corporatization of India and to the end of the Public Distribution System. According to latest reports already 50 farmers have become martyrs during this bitter struggle in extreme cold days, the situation made worse by the last two days’ heavy rain. The indefinite hunger strike by two farmers have reached the 22nd day. Many women are participating in day hunger strike. Still, braving cold and the heavy rains the struggle is continuing and more and more people are joining it.
Though Modi is pretending that he is not perturbed by the farmers’ struggle and treat it with contempt, recognizing the seriousness of the steps to be taken to disperse such a large number of people. So, the discussion drama is repeated in meaningless form, in which the farmers’ organizations repeat their demands to repeal the 3 farm acts and the Electricity Bill 2020, and Modi’s men repeating that clause by clause discussion is needed. It is a dirty tactic of Modi to prolong the agitation and thus forcing them to withdraw the struggle. Modi and the RSS/ BJP goons are meanwhile spreading more lies and slanders against the movement. Now it is abundantly clear that Modi is not ready to repeal these black acts and the struggling forces have to force him to do so. It calls for intensification of the struggle, not only at the borders of Delhi, but all over India.
When Modi is repeating that the struggle is by farmers from Punjab and Haryana only, we have to make the ongoing district and state level programmes more powerful exposing his lies. It is in this context we are appealing to all forces opposed to corporatization of agriculture to convert the 23rd January Netaji Day March to all Raj Bhavans to March followed by Gherao of the Raj Bhavans till 26th January, when the farmers and supporters shall break the barricades and march to parliament. Let us expand the resistance and the siege continued heroically so far around Delhi in to a resistance at state level also.
CPI (ML) Red Star
5th January 2021
The Regional Comprehensive Economic Participation (RCEP) that came into existence on November 15, 2020, is one of world's largest trading blocs accounting for about 30 percent of global GDP and one-third of world population. Despite strong opposition from Indian farmers and all concerned, Modi was actively participating in the 6 years of long drawn out intense bi-partisan talks with 10 member- ASEAN and other 5 big players, namely, China, Japan, Australia, South Korea and New Zealand in the grouping.
Today the explanation from New Delhi for not joining RCEP that the govt "moved away from trading agreement on account of Atmanirbhar Bharat policy" and in view of "comprehensive national power", is a sommersault. Now Modi govt.says that "the effect of past trade agreements has been to de-industrialise some sectors? The consequences of future ones would lock into global commitments, many of them not to our advantage. If it is a fact, then why Modi was hobnobbing with Chinese leadership for so long to come out of the talks? Those who argue for Modi should understand that “stressing openness and efficiency do not present the full picture." Because, when the RSS policy of partnership with the US led imperialist powers is very clear, this sudden boasting of self-reliance lacks credibility and substance, at a time when Modi has been increasingly opening up the Indian economy to the diktats of US imperialism firmly adhering itself as the strategic junior partner of US imperialism in latter's Indo-Pacific geopolitical moves especially directed against China.
For, before India's departure from the grouping on the eve of its finalisation by the turn of 2020, at every stage of the discussions, Modi could apparently resolve the economic conflicts with other members of RCEP, except China which was refusing to accept India's demands on a host of issues pertaining to agriculture, industry and services. And the other members of RCEP have in fact acknowledged India's value as a market and are even ready to accommodate its concerns.
As a matter of fact, with his far-right economic orientation, Modi's track record is that of a staunchest supporter of globalisation and liberalisation and full opening up of markets to foreign players. Hence, the real reason on India's part for not joining RCEP is geo-political. For, being the biggest player in Asia, through RCEP, China has won the geo-political battleground of Asia-Pacific for global domination. The withdrawal of Trump, the outgoing US president from the Trans Pacific Partnership trade deal three years ago, and his conspicuous absence from the ASEAN Summit since 2017 which the Washington Post recently characterised as a "massive unforced error", have already enabled Chinese imperialism to have its strategic say in the Asia-Pacific.
In fact, though economic factors and protest within India played their roles, rather than national interest, it is the political factor arising from lack of green signal from the US that prompted Modi, the junior partner of US imperialism, to exhibit a cold feet on RCEP. With China's clout increasing several-fold and Modi being unable to play the inevitable second fiddle to China at RCEP, had left no other option except to quit.
On the other hand, Modi regime will be planning to fully integrate the collapsing Indian economy with the crisis-ridden Western imperialist capital and markets and to the geo-political interests of NATO. As India did not join the RCEP, the peasants, and vast unorganised and informal sectors in India have a sigh of relief, which would have led to a massive flooding of vast Indian internal market with cheap Chinese goods. But, what is going to happen is that Modi will use this tactical retreat for intensified integration of Indian economy with Western imperialist powers including US. Indications are already there that Biden, the new US President, is devising the process of reversing Trump's so called "protectionist" policies towards an aggressive globalisation by reviving many of the regional trade agreements like Trans-Pacific Partnership abandoned by Trump.To be precise, in spite of much trumpeted Atmanirbhar, in view of Modi's past record based on RSS positions, India's exit from RCEP is only a temporary relief for the Indian people. But, darker days are ahead as Modi in all likelihood will more closely ally India very soon with the Western markets.
In the present world situation, if the interests of Indian people have to be protected, India should come out of the whole neo-liberal, corporate policies which both the imperialist blocks advocate with their own interpretations, and develop its own independent line trying to win over at least the SAARC countries to its side. But it was too much to expect from the Congress governments of the past, and impossible to expect from the RSS led Modi government, who cannot think beyond keeping India as a loyal junior partner in strategic relationship with US imperialism. For achieving such an independent self-reliant, alternative the revolutionary classes should be mobilized for a system change.
CPI(ML) Red Star.
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
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
The Presidential Address to the joint session of parliament led by Modi.2 is much more than a customary address. In essence, the President’s speech is the corporate-saffron agenda in a capsule form. Today, the very sustenance of the vast majority of Indian people including peasants, workers, women, dalits, adivasis, minorities and all oppressed are in unprecedented crisis. None of these grave issues confronting the country are given priority in the Address. On the other hand, the very orientation of President’ speech through his appeal for ‘one nation, one election’, implementation of National Register of Citizens (NRC), amendment of Citizenship Act, prioritisation of ‘national security’ and fighting terrorism and Naxalismin an out-of proportion manner, showering eulogy over jingoistic surgical strikes and airstrikes, etc. clearly pinpoints to the RSS agenda of eventually transforming India in to a Hindu Rashra.
Regarding the high sounding “the biggest challenges of the 21st century”, the speech accords top priority for treatment of cattle-related diseases for which a special scheme with an allocation of Rs. 13000 crore is announced in the Address itself, even as hundreds of children are dying due to starvation, undernourishment and diseases. Emphasis on the evil practice of ‘triple talaq’ as if this is the biggest social evil in India relegating still prevailing inhuman practices as ‘untouchability’, gender inequality based on manuvad, patriarchy etc is definitely aimed at targeting the Muslim minority community. The disregard to the fundamental issues confronting the country such as biggest unemployment that India faces today, the grave economic slow-down, increasing peasant suicides, price rise, inequality, corruption, oppression on women, caste-communal atrocities, ecological crisis, etc. in the speech is conspicuous.
In all its details, the Presidential Speech is a replication of BJP’s post-truth election campaign. It is a clear road-map for eventually transforming India to a Hindu Rashtra.
The CPI (ML) Red Star appeals to all struggling left and democratic forces to expose and oppose the heinous moves of Modi-2 exhibited through the President’s speech. We should mobilize the people and struggle against the corporate-neo-fascist Modi-2 not from a defensive stand, but with an offensive approach putting forward people’s alternative to the ruling system.
CPI (ML) Red Star
20th June 2019