US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told Greta Thunberg the Swedish student activist on 23rd January on her Davos statement on climate change that she should study economics, a jibe which prompted the climate activist to say she did not need a degree to know the world was not meeting its climate targets. Asked about Thunberg’s previous calls to divest from fossil fuels, Mnuchin told a news briefing in Davos: “Is she the chief economist? I’m confused ... After she goes and studies economics in college, she can come back and explain that to us.” Mnuchin lists a bachelor’s degree in economics from Yale University on his LinkedIn social network profile. This is what the imperialist leaders, the neo-fascists who are in power in majority of the countries and the imperialist think tanks tell the students and youth: you have no business to criticize or agitate against what we do, you are just students. But as the humankind is taken to the brink of an impending ecological catastrophe, it is the new generation going to raise their voice and revolt in the streets challenging the reactionary ruling system which devastate the human society and nature.
Earlier in the week US President Donald Trump and Thunberg sparred indirectly at the World Economic Forum in the Swiss ski resort. After Trump said the United States had committed to joining the one trillion tree initiative, Thunberg retorted that fixing the climate crisis was not only about trees. Thunberg, who has taken a year off school to advocate action on climate change, hit back on Twitter, saying it did not take a degree to know the world was not meeting its climate targets. “So either you tell us how to achieve this mitigation or explain to future generations and those already affected by the climate emergency why we should abandon our climate commitments,” Thunberg, said days after addressing a packed panel at the Davos summit, where she has been a star attraction.
But, the German Chancellor Angela Merkel rushed to Thunberg’s defence, saying in Davos that attaining the goals of the Paris climate accord, which the US has quit, was vital. “Time is pressing, so we - the older ones, I am 65 years old - must make sure that we take the impatience of young people positively and constructively,” Merkel said in her speech. There are many more like Merkel, who are not so arrogant like Trump who claims to understand the problem, but refuse to do anything to slow down the ecological degradation. Both sections defend the hegemonic imperialist system which intensifies the neo-liberal/corporatization policies which are devastating the nature.
Presently, the humankind is confronted by the challenge that without overthrowing the hegemony of capital in all fields, that is, without a revolutionary system change putting forward a sustainable, egalitarian and people oriented development perspective as an alternative, the ecological degradation cannot be reversed, the human species cannot be saved from extinction. It is a political question, which demands political answer.
It is a fact that scientists and environmental groups have done enormous work, especially from the 1970s, to propagate the dangers confronting the ecological system, as the global warming, climate change like features were becoming worse. But, neither have they linked it with the dominant role of ruling capital system, nor the mainstream political parties recognized this fact. Instead, in almost all the countries, the ruling parties see the environmental movements as obstruction to development, and condemned them as environmental fundamentalists.
It is in this context, CPI(ML) Red Star and the revolutionary parties/organized united in the International Coordination of Revolutionary Parties and Organizations (ICOR) have recognized the contradiction of global capitalist ruling system and the nature as a major contradiction and took it up as an important program of action. Following this many campaigns are organized by these parties as well as ICOR against the intensifying danger of ecological destruction. What is required today is an ecological-political movement which shall struggle against the global imperialist system and fight for replacing it with fundamentally different development paradigm.
To effectively carry forward these struggles a unity of the scientists and environmentalists active in this field, the environmental groups and the political parties who recognize the impending danger of ecological catastrophe is urgent necessity. Immediate initiative by all concerned forces is called for to achieve this unity and to launch countrywide and international level movements to achieve this goal. n
Following Modi’s invitation at the 2019 BRICS summit at Brasilia in Brazil, Bolsonaro, the fascist president of Brazil dubbed as “tropical Trump” came to India as the chief guest of India’s 2020 Republic Day celebrations. In addition to their mutual cooperation as members of BRICS, during his stay in India between January 24 and 27, both India and Brazil signed a Bilateral Investment Treaty upgrading their strategic partnership to “the next level”.
Accordingly, the main thrust of the agreement that Union Cabinet finalised on January 22 centres round bolstering “counter-terror cooperation” between two countries. Among other things, it “aims to enhance effectiveness of both the countries in investigation and prosecution of crime through cooperation and mutual legal assistance in criminal matters.” On January 27, Bolsonaro addressed the India-Brazil Business Forum too. Brazilian companies like Marcopolo already have joint ventures in India.
With his ideological basis in Evangelical Christianity, Bolsonaro has a high exaltation of Trump’s militarisation. Being the most trusted junior partner and closest friend of “Evangelical” Trump, under Bolsonaro, the fascist regime of Brazil is working as US imperialism’s strategic pillar in Latin America. Following the footsteps of arch-reactionary Trump, Bolsonaro has no qualm in openly upholding his support for the corporate plunder of nature and in displaying his disdain for the indigenous people of Amazon.
Today, as is the case in India, on account of his far-right neoliberal policies, Brazilian economy is in a prolonged crisis. Working class and oppressed peoples of Brazil are rising up against his fascist regime. Bolsonaro is engaged in ruthlessly suppressing these struggles. And he himself has become a model for all fascists in his justification of the domestic use of military forces against working class struggles characterising them as “terrorist protests”.
The Hindutva fascistic regime of Modi, being the South Asian pillar of US imperialism, had attempted to bring Trump, the imperialist master as the chief guest of last year’s Republic Day. The choice of Bolsonaro, his junior partner as this year’s Indian guest was in continuation of that. The strengthening bilateral legal and criminal cooperation between the fascist regimes of Brazil and India is firmly rooted in their close and mutual affinity towards Zionism as well as Islamophobia so assiduously brought up by US as integral component of neoliberal world order.
The emerging tripartite alliance among Trump, Bolsonaro and Modi calls for serious attention on the part of all peace-loving and well-meaning people the world over. (In this regard, those who are interested may go through an article entitled “Trump, Bolsonaro, Modi: anti-migration, ecocide, and conflict escalation: The agenda of the global right” by Beatriz Martinez Zaavedra, Sept 20, 2019 in www.opendemocracy.net).
Bolsonaro allowed the destruction of half of the tropical Amazon forests, during which hundreds of aboriginals’ families along with millions of animals and birds perished to open the area for corporate forces. Putting an end to the welfare policies of Workers’ Party, it has scraped all labour acts and impoverished the toiling masses greatly. He has deploye vigilantes to pry on people and killer squads to eliminate Bolsonaro’s regime promoted corporate fascism and is a threat to Brazilian people. Exposing the criminal alliance of Modi with Bolsonaro, a number of organizations including CPI(ML) Red Star organized protest demonstration at Jantar Mantar on 25th January.
The Citizenship Amendment Act has triggered protests across the country after it was passed in Parliament on December 11. At least 26 people have died in the protests, including 19 in UP itself. But, while this legislation is for providing Indian citizenship to religious minorities from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, except Muslims, who have entered the country on or before December 31, 2014, RSS/BJP is silent on the more than one lakh refugees from Sri Lanka who are leading a miserable life for three decades or about the Rohingyan refugees fleeing from Myanmar, or refugees from other neighbouring countries like Nepal, Bhutan or even China, if they come in future. The law has attracted widespread criticism as it makes citizenship religion based. The non-BJP-ruled states have refused to implement it. Even allies of the BJP such as the JD (U) have also expressed reservations about it. Tens of millions of people are coming out in the streets for the last one month or more, with the students and youth playing the vanguard role along with women, calling for repealing CAA and rejection of NPR/NRC..
But Union Home Minister Amit Shah said that even if all other parties come together to oppose the CAA, the BJP-led government will “not move back even an inch”. He accused Opposition parties of spreading misinformation, and said they could continue to do so, but the Act would not be repealed. Now, the BJP and the Modi government are organising outreach rallies in favour of the CAA. Like Modi, Shah is also repeating the miseries faced by Hindu and other minority refugees from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, and CAA is for giving citizenship to them, not for taking away anybody’s citizenship. But then why are they pushing forward the NPR to be followed by the NRC? They are silent about the fate of the Hindu and Muslim refugees from Sri Lanka. A scientific analysis of the impact of the CAA and NPR/NRC process in view of what happened in Assam convinces the people, not only Muslims as the BJP leadership is repeating, but also dalits, Adivasis, poorer OBCs and other oppressed sections that under NPR crores of them will come under the category of ‘suspected citizens’, and then it will be impossible to get the citizenship. There are many doubts about the intentions of the new columns included in the NPR also. And, the most relevant question is what is the necessity for this whole process, so many decades after 1947 transfer of power.
Instead of addressing these questions, the government have resorted to unprecedented state terror, especially in UP and other BJP ruled states, and Delhi, to terrorize the people coming out to join the movement against CAA and NPR/NRC, especially Muslims, to create fear psychosis, to spread the calumny that only Muslims oppose it. At the same time, the RSS parivar is spreading lies using the captive media about the CAA, NPR/NRC to confuse the people, and attack all those who oppose them as Pak agents or traitors. But now the picture is clear: the three are integrally linked; Already Karnataka, UP, Haryana governments have started the NPR to find out the ‘doubtful citizens’ from 1st January; all other states are asked to make preparations and to start it from 1st April. Then based on the number of doubtful citizens found out by the NPR, the NRC shall be started as it was done in Assam, using CAA as the criteria and demanding documents including birth certificates from all. Thus not only Muslims, but as happened in Assam, large numbers of Hindus also will be among the crores of stateless people! They will be thrown to Detention Camps, the construction of which are already started.
When all these are happening, the attacks on the working class, all toiling masses, peasantry and youth and students are reaching unprecedented levels in various forms, especially in the context of galloping recession; prices of all essential commodities and rates of essential services are sky-rocketing further impoverishing the masses. Coupled with this, the CAA, NPR/NRC and the fascist attacks on those who oppose these have created a dangerous situation. Ever increasing number of people are unhappy and they are coming out in tens of millions spreading the resistance to even villages and tribal hamlets.
What was started at Shaheen Bagh is spreading with millions of women coming out on the streets at hundreds of centres, whose number is increasing day by day. The movement is taking the form of a festival of the masses. So, as soon as the Boycott CAA, NPR/NRC slogan is given its message is spreading fast. We shall not participate in this process, we shall not allow your enumerators to enter our mohallas or villages. It is going to become a great Non-Cooperation Movement. The present situation demands that all the struggling forces should join the ongoing great countrywide upsurge, making it stronger day by day, with the determination to intensify it continuously as a protracted people’s movement with the vision of a New Independence Movement to compel the Modi government to reverse its draconian policies and to go beyond it to people’s democracy and people’s power. n
Shaheen Bagh in south-eastern Delhi has become the focal point of the movement of Women Against Fascism; it is creating history. As the local women along with the struggling people of Delhi with the slogan: No CAA, No NPR/NRC have declared to continue this struggle centre till these draconian move is reversed by the fascist Modi government, everyday thousands of women and children from the locality and nearby areas reach the place and stay for hours to declare their determination to continue the struggle till victory, in spite of many attempts by the police to remove them from the area. Shaheen Bagh has already become known not only in India, but internationally. On12th January a massive turn-out was witnessed, as on all Sundays.
Inspired by Shaheen Bagh, the women of Park Circus in Central Kolkata has already started the Women Against Fascism centre there pledging that they will continue it till the CAA and NPR/NRC are repealed. It is attracting lot of people and is becoming more and more lively day by day. There are reports of women in UP, Bihar, MP and other states also starting such centres with active participation of all democratic forces and oppressed sections of people.
All Party committees in the cities to discuss this matter with the women’s organizations and join the initiative taken by various force to start Women Against Fascism centres wherever possible with the firm determination for continuing them for a long time. They can transform to focal point of this historic struggle with the slogan: No to CAA, No to NPR/NRC. Along with these, newer and newer forms of struggle to maintain and accelerate the momentum should be developed and sustained till the people’s victory against fascist Modi govt.
As the RSS/BJP leaders and activists are organizing vitriolic campaign against the movement as a whole spreading many lies and trying to create an atmosphere of fear wherever possible, a counter propaganda campaign should be developed by the struggling forces. Similarly the campaign to boycott the NPR which is already started in some areas under BJP rule and all over India from 10th April should be launched. The masses of people should be taught that we are not going to prepare any documents or going to cooperate with the NPR. We shall not allow the enumerators to enter the mohallas and villages. It is another Non-Cooperation Movement. Let us prepare the people for it by making the movement increasingly vigorous day by day. n
From all over India there are reports of enthusiastic response from tens of millions of workers, peasantry, students, youth and all oppressed sections coming out on the streets and making the general strike a Bharat Bandh in many states. This general strike against the anti-worker, anti-people fascist Modi regime which is using its deep state to destroy whatever is left of the India that was, to destroy the renaissance values, values of secular, democratic, socialist India written in the preamble of the Constitution.
It is in this context the students and youth are spearheading country-wide upsurge to protect these values, to defeat communalization of citizenship, to make education and employment available to all, women for gender equality and the working class and peasantry to reverse the neo-liberal policies which have devastated them. They challenged the RSS/BJP offensive to transform India to majoritarian Hindu Rashtra based on Manu Smriti, while Modi rule is unleashing brute violence, terrorizing, and creating atmosphere of fear to impose Citizenship Amendment Act, National Population Register and National Register of Citizen (CAA/NPR/NRC) and perpetuate fascist hegemony. Attacking all who oppose it as anti-national, it is spreading Islamophobia using saffronized sections of state machinery and Constitutional institutions. As a result of the spontaneous students’ upsurge, the workers struggle and the resistance of all oppressed sections and classes have fused in to a mighty force making the general strike a Bharat Bandh.
Let us strive hard to use this as another stepping stone to continue the ongoing countrywide movement to defeat and throw out the RSS/BJP forces to recapture what we have lost, and to advance towards people’s democracy and social justice!
The New Year is dawning with revolutionary enthusiasm as militant struggles led by workers, peasants and oppressed sections against ultra-rightist and neo-fascistic forces are coming up in various parts of the world. Of particular political relevance in this regard is the eruption of massive protests by workers and middle classes in France against the regressive policies of rightist Macron regime. In spite of the diversionary tactics of Macron the struggle is still continuing with the possibilities of spreading to other European countries. In the same vein, in Britain the neoconservative, anti-immigrant, Thatcherite sections of the ruling classes who spearheaded the Brexit are facing the biggest political reverses.
In Latin America, though reactionary forces are in power in a number of countries including the recent ascendancy of the neo-fascist Bolsonaro in Brazil, people’s movements against neoliberal policies are rising up in many countries. The coming of the left-wing government in Mexico led by Lopez Obrador of the National Regeneration Movement which is very critical of the Trump administration for its protectionist and anti-refugee, anti-immigrant policies is another instance of the reverses faced by the ultra-rightwing in the political spectrum.
Similar trends are witnessed in other countries too. The recent electoral reverses of the ultra-rightist, Hindutva Modi regime is another manifestation of people’s simmering discontent against pro-corporate neoliberal policies. In spite of frantic efforts of Sangh Parivar to raise the Ram Temple question as the central agenda to divert attention from severe consequences of neo-liberal/corporate policies including demonetization and GST, the peasantry, working class, youth and the oppressed classes and sections voted to defeat BJP in MP, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh and to weaken it in Telengana and Mizoram.
All these developments are taking place in spite of the counter revolutionary offensive by the imperialist forces and their lackeys, the pessimism created by the reformist and social democratic forces everywhere. The social democrats and petti-bourgeois anarchists conceal the fact that it was the revolutionary enthusiasm created by the socialist offensive of Soviet Union and China in their socialist days which led to people’s upsurges everywhere including the mighty wave of national liberation movements. But when the international communist movement suffered severe setbacks following the abandonment of socialist path by the former socialist countries, and when utilizing this situation the imperialist forces unleashed neocolonial/neoliberal offensive, the revisionists of all hues, the social democrats as in India started spreading pessimism by repeating ‘there is no alternative to neo-liberalism’. Pointing out the ascendance to power of ultra right neo-fascistic forces in a number of countries, they are advocating abandoning of all efforts for strengthening independent left assertion utilizing all forms of struggle. The present situation demands that along with imperialists and their lackeys, these forces of defeatism should be challenged everywhere. An atmosphere of revolutionary optimism should be created.
In the enthusiastic atmosphere when we have successfully completed the 11th Congress of the Party, let us herald the new year with countrywide demonstrations in support of the increasing people’s upsurges with the slogan raised by the Party Congress: Throw Out Corporate, Saffron Fascist Forces, March towards People’s Democracy and Socialism!