Under the Modi regime today, pandemic-battered India is going through one of the biggest humanitarian crises in history. Together with the economic and social collapse already brought about, consequent on India becoming the epicentre of the second Covid-tsunami, the cruelty, callousness, and total abdication of responsibility on the part of this fascist regime in protecting the lives and livelihood of people are exposed beyond description. The situation is so horrific that even Modi’s PR work backed by submissive corporate media has become ineffective in concealing it.
A year ago when the pandemic entered India, beginning with obscurantist moves like clasping hands, candle lighting, banging utensils, etc., the more than 3-months nationwide coercive lockdown that Modi superimposed on 138 crore Indians had brought about a complete disruption of people’s lives and livelihood. Despite his incessant sermons on “Atmanirbhar” during this period, Modi didn’t do anything in the direction of strengthening the health care system including availability of medicines and badly needed oxygen supplies, and bringing private-corporate hospitals under social control. As a result of Modi’s policies during pandemic, while top one percent of the richest gobbled up their wealth by 35 percent, an additional 7.5 crore Indians were pushed in to poverty in 2020.
In the meanwhile, in the context of global warnings on a second wave of mutated Covid virus and as many governments in Europe took precautions against it by the last quarter of 2020, the approach of Modi and his PR managers who were celebrating the regime’s ‘victory’ over the coronavirus was one of callous, criminal negligence. It was in this context that the Parliamentary Committee on Health and Family Welfare, being aware of the impending danger, in its 123rd Report made available to speaker of Lok Sabha and chairman of Rajya Sabha during November 2020 and which was tabled in both the Houses of Parliament on February 2, 2021, warned of serious shortage of oxygen cylinders in hospitals and recommended a “robust strategy for containment and mitigation of Covid-19,” and “adequate production of Oxygen for ensuring its supply as per demand in the hospitals.”
However, instead adhering to these recommendations of the parliamentary committee and in gross disregard of it, Modi with his false claim of conquering the pandemic has been reckless in holding massive electoral rallies in different states, hold Kumbh Mela, and so on, violating all Covid- protocols and norms even as the whole country is being ravaged by the fast-spreading- pandemic, with daily infections already crossing the staggering figure of 4 lakh (the number of Covid patients in India was 2394 on May 1 2020) and per day death of more than 3000. Today saffron-fascist Modi regime is being exposed as the most anti-people and reactionary one engaged in concealing Covid cases, death counts and nakedly bullying media to not report facts including assault on independent media persons by saffron goons.
In this gravest situation, along with the intensification of inequality and poverty, instead of strengthening medical facilities and health infrastructure under public control, thereby ensuring universal healthcare to people, Modi is undermining it by decontrolling everything connected with health sector. Healthcare being the pillar of people’s sustenance, even imperialist countries have extended vaccine and oxygen to their citizens free of cost and medicines at affordable prices. On the other hand, by unleashing corporate forces on the production and distribution of vaccine, fascist Modi has superimposed world’s highest vaccine price on the citizens of India, a country that has long championed for free vaccines and affordable medicines for people in all international fora. And, as people are gasping for air and collapsing due to lack of life-saving oxygen, black-marketing and hoarding of oxygen cylinders are thriving across the country.
In this horror situation, our immediate demands are:
- Production, procurement, distribution of vaccine should be immediately brought under state control for which provisions of the Epidemics Diseases Act, Compulsory Licensing of the Patents Act, and Drugs Control Act can be used.
- Vaccine should be made available to all free of cost
- Immediate nationalisation of production and distribution of oxygen in the country.
- Strengthen country’s public health system including adequate availability of hospital beds and medicines as affordable to people including extension of healthcare facilities at homes
- Private hospitals should brought under public control through an ordinance
- Expert medical advice should be sought from a team of concerned medical experts including immunologists and virologists and should be made available to public and government’s dependence on pharma companies for information should be stopped.
- Responsible science reporters and pro-people journalists being best sources of information should have full freedom to report on Covid related issues. This is of utmost significance in view of such fascist moves like Yogi's threat of imposing NSA on those who report on oxygen shortages in UP.
- Image-building exercises/expenditures like Central Vista project should be wound up and public money generated thus should be diverted towards securing the lives and livelihood of people.
- Urgent steps are to be taken for an appropriate pandemic-tax on the super-rich, reintroduction of wealth tax in view of the unprecedented concentration of wealth, and an increase in corporate tax for mobilising the required money.
- Ensuring livelihood of people including contract and casual workers, landless poor peasants, marginalised and oppressed including Dalits, Adivasis, fisher-people is equally important as protection of their lives through proper Covid-management. Together with the revamping of MNREG program and free distribution of food stock with FCI, a nationwide initiative with the involvement of state and local governments for ensuring free food, medicines, shelter and other amenities affordable to poor and migrant workers are urgently needed.
- Scarcity of medical staff in the immediate context should be resolved through involving rural doctors and sanitation/health workers.
- Covid management primarily being a health issue, unnecessary police intervention and harassment of the people should be immediately stopped.
- To deal with the pandemic, budgetary allocation for health should be enhanced along with a slashing of the defence budget.
- Anti-farmer black laws should be abolished forthwith, and as long as farmers' agitation is continuing, full-fledged Covid-testing and treatment centres should be established in all struggle centres.
An Empowered High Level Committee composed of medical experts, politicians, economists, and concerned scholars should be entrusted with the task of overseeing the implementation of the above demands.
The Party declares its solidarity with the suffering people and appeal them to unitedly come forward for compelling the regime for implementing these immediate minimum demands.
CPI (ML) Red Srar
1st May 2021
Delhi Police And Those Criminal Elements Who Infiltrated In The Rally Are Responsible For The Violence!
Do Not Allow Modi Government, RSS Parivar And Godi Media To Divert Attention From The Central Issue, Repeal Of Three Farm Acts, To Vandalism, For Which They Are Responsible!
Rally In Support Of Repeal Of The Three Farm Acts And The Farmers’ Struggle Till It Is Achieved!
CPI(ML) Red Star extends revolutionary greetings to the hundreds of thousands of farmers and supporters who organized a mighty rally along with thousands of tractors through the streets of Delhi reiterating their demand for repeal the 3 farm laws for corporatization of agriculture.
Earlier, after the Supreme Court asked the Delhi police to take decision on allowing the rally, the Delhi police and central home ministry under Amit Shaw were consciously creating confusion, repeating that permission will not be allowed either inside Delhi or through the outer ring road, forcing the Kisan Sangharsh Morcha to declare that whether permission is given or not they will organize the rally. It was at this stage, Delhi police came forward announcing permission for the rally and through mutual discussion three routes were agreed upon. The KSM and AIKSCC leaders made all arrangements accordingly.
But from 26th morning the police tried to create problems by not removing the barricades as agreed upon; instead they strengthened the barricades in the night and erected numerous other barricades on the way. Enraged by it the farmers who had endured all difficulties for last 61 days in the bitter cold conditions during which more than 150 of their comrades became martyrs, decided to break the barricades and march in to Delhi.
By 9.30 they broke the barricades at Singhu, Tikri and Gazipur borders and started the march with the farmers on foot in the front and tractors next. But the police and other security wings created provocations lathi charging and firing tear gas shells on the farmers near Azadpur by-pass and Nangloi, and killing a farmer in police firing near ITO. Along with this some criminal elements infiltrated the rally and tried to create disturbances allegedly with the knowledge of police and RSS parivar.
Because of these disturbances some of the farmers were provoked, forcing them to march up to ITO, Red Fort and some other spots in the city. Utilising these incidents the spoke persons of Modi government, RSS parivar and Godi media have started malicious propaganda that farmers resorted to vandalism, diverting attention from the fact that in spite of the participation of so many lakhs of people, vast majority of them maintained discipline as instructed by their leaders, and it was the provocation from the police and the acts of the criminal infiltrators responsible for whatever disturbances happened.
There is a conscious effort by these forces and Amit Shah to use these disturbances in order to divert attention from the central demand of the many lakhs of people who rallied in Delhi and the many more lakhs who rallied in Mumbai, Kolkata and other centers calling for repeal of the three farm laws for corporatization of agriculture.
We appeal to the working class, all oppressed classes and sections of people to reject this conspiracy of the corporate fascist Modi government to malign the farmers movement against corporatization and to firmly stand behind the demand of the farmers for the repeal of these farm laws with the slogans given above.
Obviously, Modi regime cannot ignore India’s historic economic contraction on account of its pro-corporate and fascist policies since it is already an acknowledged fact even by IMF and other neoliberal centres. Hence, after acknowledging this at the outset, the Economic Survey 2020-21 has cunningly identified COVID-19 pandemic as the sole reason for India’s biggest economic collapse, and without any qualm has camouflaged the unprecedented crisis in terms of industrial stagnation, unemployment, widening inequality, sharpening wealth concentration and so on that reached horrific proportions on the eve of COVID.
At the same time, instead of admitting the great havoc resulting from the superimposition of the most stringent, most coercive and most prolonged lockdown, that too in the absence of any concomitant badly needed health and social security interventions that had imparted to the economy, the Economic Survey has justified the “great lockdown” in terms of its “life saving” effect and unsubstantiated claim on lower death rates. It now predicts a “V-shaped recovery supported by COVID vaccination drive” that also is subject to many controversies. Being forced to admit a 7.7 economic contraction during 2020-21, it envisages an 11 percent real GDP growth rate in 2021-22, backed by a false statement of IMF which is eager to justify the criminal corporatization of agricultural sector also at its behest. At the same upholding the need for countercyclical fiscal policy during economic crisis, the Survey also hints at new tranches of stimulus packages which are in store for the corporate classes in the forthcoming Budget.
Perfectly in tune with its far-right, pro-corporate orientation and indicating heavier doses of far-right policies, the Economic Survey has strongly defended new Farm Laws, saying they herald a new era of market freedom and improvement in the lives of “small and marginal farmers in India”. It argues that around 85 per cent of the total number of farmers are the biggest sufferer of the “regressive” APMC-regulated market regime, even as India is witnessing the biggest and long-running farmers’ agitation seeking repeal of these legislations. Among other things, it also proudly notes years 2019 and 2020 as landmark years in history of labour reforms during which 29 central labour laws amalgamated, rationalized and simplified into Four Labour Codes. The Survey also praises the Modi regime for taking a series of monetary, fiscal and tax policies for transforming India as the leading destination of FII (a euphemism for foreign speculative capital) in the world.
To be precise, the Economic Survey, should be seen as a prelude to the biggest-ever sell-outs to the most corrupt corporates that will be there in the Budget 2021 to be presented to parliament on February 1. The hike of petrol price per litre to Rs 91 on the eve of the budget, while it is only Rs 51 in Nepal, is a warning to what is going to come out in the budget.
K N Ramachadran
CPI (ML) Red Star
30th January 2021
The daily Covid19 count of the country has jumped from around 6,500 cases a week ago, close to 10,000 cases daily, with a record single-day spike to 9,887 cases and 294 deaths by 7th June, pushing the tally to 2,36,657, the fifth highest in the world. However, India is still far behind in number of fatalities caused by the disease, which now stands at 6,642. WHO has warned that there is risk of an explosion in the number of patients and dead anytime, as the medical facilities are still lagging behind. There are reports from most of the states that even pregnant women are not admitted by hoapitals, and that the private hospitals are charging heavy amounts. Many are dying due to lack of beds and satisfactory arrangements for quaranteeing. At the same time, Modi government has shifter the whole burden of the pandemic to the backs of the states and people. At the same time, it is trying to cover up its gross mistakes on many counts including not preparing the country to face the pandemic, after the first case was detected in India on 31st January, not arranging testing and quarantining the passengers coming from abroad from then, not preparing the medical sector for it including bringing the whole private hospitals also under government control to fight Covid, and finally the lockdown was abruptly announced giving just four hours notice. The fast spreading of Covid during this period, the colossal human trgedy the migrant workers and their families are continuing to suffer even after three months, the ever intensifying economic recession are linked to these acts of Modi government.
In order to divert attention from these criminal negligence and nepotism, firstly the hate campaign against Muslims, spreading Islamophobia, using Tablighi Jamaat incident, was further intensified. Once the disturbances on the border started with the opening of the raod to Mansarovar, first with Nepal and then with China now the whole attention is diverted to them, with RSS parivar launching hate campaign against China, with the call boycott Chinese goods by developing self-reliance,when the entire policies of Modi government are making the country ever more dependent on imperialist sysyem and their products, whether it is of US, China, Japan or others. Still Modi government is not prepared to leave aside its jumlabaji and to concretely address the implementation of the advise of WHO and other expert bodies for containing the risk of the explosion warned by WHO.
With such an irresponsible, fascist government in power, we are going to face more horrific situation in coming days. Only option to save the country is to come out on the streets as the people of US are doing and challenge it.
K N Ramqchandran
CPI (ML) Redstar
7th June 2020
At a time when people have been dying of hunger, the government has increased the amount of grain it is hoarding in its godowns. Instead of using its grain stocks to feed the poor and hungry during the coronavirus-lockdown crisis, Modi government was letting this food rot in its godowns. The government does not have proper storage facilities for stocking such a large amount of excess grain. Since much of this grain has been stored in sub-optimal conditions for long, a significant part of it has been damaged.
In just four months, between January 1 and May 1, the stock of rice and wheat that was not “readily issuable”, which included partially spoilt as well as damaged grain, increased from 7.2 lakh tonnes to 71.8 lakh tonnes. This is more than sufficient to provide 45 kgs of food grains as free ration for all families from March bringing different jojanas under one umbrella as CPI(ML) Red Star is demanding from the beginning. From khariff crop already 37 lakh tones of fresh stock has also arrived. In the absence of safe storage facilities large amount of food grains will get damaged during Monsoon months. In this context we should intensify the campaign for 45 kgsof foodgrains as free monthly ration for all families.
US President Donald Trump has said it is a "badge of honour" for America to "lead" the world with 3.5 million confirmed Covid19 cases since it means the US is testing more people for the disease that has killed nearly 100,000 people in US alone, when at global level the number of confirmed cases has reached 60 million, with nearly 4 lakh dead by 23rd May. He thinks that, in a certain respect, as being a good thing because it means the testing is much better. "So when we have a lot of cases," he continued, "I don't look at that as a bad thing, I look at that as, in a certain respect, as being a good thing because it means our testing is much better." It is for people of US to decide whether such a fascist with Evangelical outlook should lead them! But there is a method in Trump’s madness! It serves his imperialist vision. In this manner he conceals the fact that though the WHO alerted all countries on 7th January about the dangerous spreading of Covid19, he did not bother about it till the number of patients crossed tens of thousands; he still protects the corporate houses and super rich private hospitals who refuse to help in providing affordable Covid-19 treatment to people; he also conceals the fact that it is the Blacks who are affected by Covid19 in larger numbers, and that more than 75% of dead are also Blacks who are below 20% of the population. So, without concrete steps to control the infection and to help the Blacks and other poorer sections, Trump is ending lockdown and opening all fields for helping production to catch up with rivals of US at the global market, with business as usual.
Modi is also following Trump’s ways faithfully, though on one count, on the excellence of testing done in India he has nothing to boast. At the same time, similar to US, the number of patients and dead have started galloping in India also. Like Trump, Modi also did not bother when WHO called for health alert and for starting preparations to combat Covid-19 which was spreading fast globally. Even after the first case was detected in India, though WHO had called for observation and testing/quarantine for all international passengers at airports, it was put in to effect from 12th march only. By that time 15 lakh passengers came through airports including those much maligned Tablighi Jamaat’s foreign guests without getting checked and tested. Till 24th March Indian companies were exporting ventilators, safety kits and testing kits and other medical requirements, none of which could be sufficiently procured even up to this time. Modi was busy with Delhi elections, suppression of anti NPR/NRC movement, toppling Congress govt in MP like BJP programs. Then the announcement to start 21 days lockdown from midnight of 24th March came just four hours before, without taking the state governments or the people in confidence. This abrupt order is entirely responsible for the still continuing colossal distress including hundreds of deaths due to starvation and accidents forced on the tens of millions of migrant workers.
When the first lockdown was declared, the covid19 patients were nearly 500.But when 60 days of lockdown is over, still Modi government could not provide adequate numbers of test kite, safety kits, ventilators etc. required for such a vast country. It is not ready to disturb the super rich private hospitals to provide Covid-19 treatment at affordable rates. Lockdown are allowed to be violated with immunity for Hindutva programs, No wages or allowance is given to the 400 million contract/casual workers who lost jobs and shelters and in acute distress. Adequate free ration was not given to all though FCI godowns are over full with food grains. In short, while announcing lockdown was needed, as WHO repeatedly announced, testing facilities and medical preparations were not sufficiently made. As a result, contrary to Modi government’s tall claims, by 24th May the number of patients and dead have jumped to 1,30,000 and about 3800, and fast increasing fast day by day.
Meanwhile, following Trump, without rectifying the gross mistakes and shortcomings which led to galloping impact of covid19 and acute distress to vast majority of the workers and oppressed sections, Modi also has ordered for easing out lockdown provisions, without taking the state governments in to confidence. By 1st June the lockdown may be withdrawn, with domestic flights and train services started, to begin economic activities fast. But what will happen to fighting the intensifying Covid19 spread? How its galloping numbers of patients and dead are going to be brought down? Who will give relief to the seriously impoverished the masses including the migrant workers many of whom are still on the roads or rails? There are no answers. At the same time, Modi government was using Covid-19 as a cover to spread Islamophobia and implement RSS agenda, It has intensified fascist state terror by leaps and bounds to suppress Kashmir people, Muslims as a whole, especially the students and youth who were active in the anti-NPR/NRC movement, to announce more and more reactionary orders for further plunder of the working class and peasantry, and to saffronise every section of the state apparatus. While it totally failed to control the spread of Covid19 or in helping the masses of the people from their acute distress, it is providing all incentives to the corporate forces and to the elite Brahmanical sections. Its crimes against the people are mounting.
Modi’s crimes against the people should be exposed and powerful movements should be launched to throw him out of power and to realize a people’s alternative with the working class in the forefront. This is the first and foremost task before all progressive forces