ANOTHER ANNIVERSARY OF EMERGENCY: DEMOCRATIC SPACE SHRINKING VERY FAST

09 August 2017
THE 42nd anniversary of emergency declaration by Indira Gandhi government was observed on 26th June at a time whatever democratic space is surviving in the country are also under ever intensifying severe attacks. As far as economic policies they are putting in to practice are concerned, from BJP, Congress to CPI(M) there are no basic differences: if BJP rule is UPA plus cow, CPI(M) is UPA plus red flag. It has led to disparity among the people reaching unprecedented levels. So people’s discontent grows, their resistances also. To put them down and to speed up corporatization-commercialization of all fields, even existing democratic rights are cut down. Right to protest also. More and more spaces available for people’s protest are cut down everywhere. If it is military raj in J&K and Northeast, it is police raj everywhere else. With RSS parivar’s ascendance to power, it is corporate-communal raj, with vigilantes riding roughshod over all dissenting forces.

For long the Boat Club maidan in front of India Gate was the democratic space to organize protest programs and people’s dharnas in Delhi. But after the massive 1995 protest against WTO, all protests were shifted to Jantar Mantar. Now it is also almost getting shut down, with police searching a distant corner for allowing it. The state governments under regional parties and now under BJP are notorious for not allowing any space for democratic protests of the masses. Shutting down of College Square in Kolkata is the latest example. The parties in power are becoming increasingly intolerant, arrogant, autocratic, corrupt and elitist, alienated from people. All of them are of one view as far as putting down dissenting voices are concerned, with the army general declaring war against Kashmiri people to regional oligarchs in power denying people right to assemble and protest. The centralized corporatized development slogan they impose demand putting down of all dissent.

The CPI(ML) Red Star committees observed the 42nd anniversary of Emergency declaration with the determination to recapture, expand and qualitatively develop the democratic space everywhere. Calls were given for intensifying struggle for people’s power at all levels, and for people oriented development paradigm which serves it. 
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The Communist movement in India has a history of almost a century after the salvos of October Revolution in Russia brought Marxism-Leninism to the people of India who were engaged in the national liberation struggle against the British colonialists. It is a complex and chequered history.