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May Day Call INTERNATIONAL PROLETARIAT ARIS…

Posted by Indian Vanguard on May 1, 2007


May Day Call


INTERNATIONAL PROLETARIAT ARISE TO LEADTHE FIGHT AGAINST THE UNPRECEDENTED OFFENSIVE OF IMPERIALISM,PARTICULARLY US IMPERIALISM

ON the occasion of this May Day we find the world been hurtled to new wars by the aggressive designs of US imperialism. After Iraq and Afghanistan now Iran is on the verge of being attacked and open threats are being given out to Syria and Lebanon.This May Day also witnesses the world being polarised, as never before, into extremes of the rich and poor — bothwithin every country and between the capitalist/imperialist countries on the one hand and the backward countries on the other. In addition, the contradictions amongst the imperialist powers and their lackeys are growing, and the scramble for markets and sources of raw materials (particularly oil and gas) are intensifying; this is particularly to be seen between the US on the one side and the otherimperialists competing amongst themselves to oust the US’s prime position. Finally, the imperialists are seeking to shift the burden of the crisis on to the backs of the people of the backward countries through their policies of imperialist globalisation and the most ruthless robbery of these countries since World War II.


In short all the major contradictions in the world are intensifying; a result of the growing crisis within the imperialist economies of the world, particularly that of US imperialism. With this, we witness a growing militarisation of the economies of the world, with the US in the lead, whose military budget is today half of the entire world’s military expenditure. India too is caught in this cesspool of the imperialist crisis with the Indian rulers totally bowing at the feet of the imperialists, particularly that of the US. These Indian agents, while enriching themselves, are facilitating the gigantic loot by the imperialists which is causing havoc in our country and to the lives of the oppressed masses. The ruthlessness of this offensive is to be seen in the viciousness displayed by the rulers to implement their imperialist-dictated policies of pushing mining interests, SEZs, infrastructural projects, et al. To do so they will not stop at killing, murder and mayhem……… killing 12 at Kalinganagar and injuring over 50 to serve the Tatas; massacring over 200 in Nandigram to serve the interests of the Indonesian mafia group, Salim; and killing over 300 in Bastar under the banner of Salwa Judum to clear the land of tribals in order that Tatas, Ruias and host of other mining interests can rob the rich mineral wealth of the region. All these massacres have been accompanied by brutalities of a medieval kind, including gang-rapes, mutilating limbs, and utilising the most brutal tortures. Conditions within the country have probably never been as acute in post-1947 India. Besides, we see both in India and abroad the worst possible extremes between the rich and the poor. The income gaps have never been as acute as they are today.

In India on the one hand, the number of billionaires are growing at a pace faster than in any other country of the world, while on the other hand roughly 20,000 are being pushed to suicide each year. Today, India has the largest number of billionaires in Asia; even more than Japan. The combined worth of just the 36 Indian billionaires was $191 billion; equivalent to one-forth of India’s entire GDP. On the other hand 80% of India’s population live under $2 per day; 38% of our children are stunted and 46% are underweight; and the overall conditions are worse than most countries of sub-Saharan Africa. Even at the world level we find that the 946 billionaires have a combined wealth of $3.5 trillion or 5 times India’s GDP. In the world’s major imperialist country, the US, the disparities have reached levels that existed during the Great Depression, and continue to grow. While middle incomes have risen by11% since 1980, the incomes of the top 0.1% rose four-fold in the same period. In 2005 while the top 1% income rose 14% that of the bottom 90% actually declined. An estimated 30 million workers have lost their full time jobs over the last two decades and today permanent jobs are scarce. On this May Day we find such are the conditions in the world where the oppressed are being deprived on a scale rarely seen before in order to fill the coffers of the rich and powerful. Let us now delve in greater depth into the situation to see in which direction events are unfolding so that the proletariat of the respective countries of the world can prepare for the oncoming battles.

INTERNATIONAL SITUATION

The main aspect of the world situation is the growing economic crisis and, as a result, the increasing imperialist contention and frenzied military preparations, particularly of the US.
Economic Stagnation

After the severe recession of 2001 and some halting recovery since, the imperialist economies are once again being hurtled towards recession, crisis and decline. Today, while Europe and Japan continue with their state of economic stagnation, the US has once again gone into decline, and the only economy that has shown some new buoyancy amongst the imperialist countries is that of Russia. China continues its economic expansion threatening markets of the imperialist countries. The backward countries of the world (whatever may be their ‘high’ growth rates) are being robbed by the imperialists on a scale not seen in the post WWII period. The much-hyped high growth rates of the countries like India, Brazil, etc are nothing but the result of high capital inflows that help service the imperialist industries and that of their local compradors.

The world economy has been facing the typical crisis of over-production. For example the world auto industry was able to sell only 74% of the vehicles made last Arvind year and losses have been piling up of the major US auto manufacturers. Steel global excess was 20%, at 200 million tones. In telecommunications the utilisation rate of telecome networks is around 3% and of undersea cables around 13%. Even in China, it is estimated that after the mid-1990s 70% of China’s industries are plagued by over-capacity and average profit rates have plunged by half.

The crisis has once again led to a massive frenzy of Mergers and Acquisitions with the larger/stronger companies swallowing up smaller/weaker companies. It has reached a gigantic $1,130 billion in just the first quarter of the current year. In Europe too this trend is to be seen with buy-out deals having increased from $108 billion in 2002 to $542 billion in 2006.

In the last few years GDP growth rate in Europe has been stagnating at about 1.5%. It is unable to come out of this near recessionary-level growth rates. In addition Britain now faces high rates of inflation, which is the highest since the last 16 years. This has had its political implications with Europe becoming less assertive in its political contention with the US in the past year. In addition the inability of the EU to adopt their new Constitution (with two countries voting against it) their unity is temporarily effected, particularly affecting their ability to stand upto the US.

Japan which was afflicted by over a decade of negative growth and deflation finally witnessed minor partial growth for a year. But this was not due to a growth of internal demand but due to growing demand from China. But in Sept. 2006 it once again slipped into deflation when spending recorded a plunge of 6% compared to the previous year.

In the US there was once again open talk of the economy going into recessionary conditions with housing in decline and the housing bubble expected to burst any time (which had sustained the growth after the burst of the IT bubble). Industrial production recorded a zero growth in Aug. 2006 and negative growth in September. Spending has been dropping and business inventories piled up in Jan. 2007. Corporate profits fell in the last quarter of 2006. The March 07 fall in the stock exchange index was a result of the looming fears of defaults on home loans and poor retail sales for Feb. 2007.

The US while it continues to remain the biggest economy in the world, soaking up commodities from all over the world, it is exceedingly fragile and is steadily losing its ability to affectively compete worldwide. The share of the US global wealth has been declining since the 1970s. The external debt of the US now stands at a gigantic$ 6 trillion (its total debt is an unbelievable $ 70 trillion). To balance these huge and increasing debts the US is dependent on the large inflow of foreign funds (particularly from China and Japan) which is threatened by the continuous weakening of the US dollar. The dollar has lost 20% over the past five years vis-à-vis the euro and now stand at its lowest ever at $1.36 to the euro. It is estimated that the US has already spent a massive $3 trillion on the Iraq war. And with a defence budget accounting for half the entire world’s military spending the US economy is more and more based on the powerful military industrial complex, which is the backbone of the Bush administration.

Russia’s new assertion is primarily linked to the temporary boom in its economy due to the hike in oil and gas prices. Today it is the second largest exporter of oil in the world and the largest producer of gas. It is seeking to form a gas OPEC between Russia, Iran and Qatar (which between them account for 60% of world oil) and Venezuella, Algeria and the Central-Asian gas exporting countries. Russia is also making a big economic push into many backward countries even outside its traditional sphere of influence, particularly with a big jump in sales of military hardware. An example of this is Putin’s big push in Latin America, particularly Venezuella. Chavez has signed a $ 3 billion military deal with Russia for military aircraft; Russia will set up two manufacturing units for AK rifles and ammunition; and further plans are there for the purchase of Russian submarines, air defence missile systems, infantry fighting equipment, etc. GazpromVenezuala develop its huge but largely untapped natural gas reserves. Gazprom will also take part in the construction of the 8,000 kms gas pipeline to link Venezuela’s gas to Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Paraguay and Uruguay. Putin recently said that investment in Venezuela could reach “hundreds of million, billions of dollars”. Gazprom is also negotiating $3 billion investments in Bolivia..

China has already ousted Japan as the largest economy in Asia and its markets have swept most of south and SE Asia. China has also made a big economic push in Africa; the highly successful China-Africa Summit was witness to the growing economic ties. China is also taking a 40% share in Venezuela’s heavy crude project; after Chavez ‘nationalised’ oil production, stripping US corporates of their majority shareholdings.

The crisis in the imperialist countries is resulting in even more ruthless loot of the economies and raw materials from the backward countries in the name of liberalization, privatization and globalization. The most extreme form of this can be seen in the Iraq puppet government’s recent approval of a new petroleum law to hand over the country’s most lucrative oil and gas fields to the MNCs. {It should not be forgotten that the US, in 1965, assassinated the Iraq president when he tried to nationalize the country’s oil and gas reserves}Now, 6½ lakh lives lost since 2003 and millions earlier have been lost in Iraq and the country devastated in order to hand over this rich wealth to US multinationals. Similar policies, to varying degrees, are being adopted all over the world; if the local regimes are compliant, the policies are imposed ‘peacefully’, if not, it is imposed through bombs and missiles.

The above economic scenario is resulting in growing economic tension, not only for markets, but also a desperate and ruthless scramble to dominate energy resources of the world. The US is finding it more and more difficult to sustain its worldwide supremacy. Pushed to the wall, it is resorting to increasing military adventurism to maintain its world hegemony. This goes under the banner of ‘war on terror’.

will help War Clouds & Growing Contention

Not only is the US bogged down in both Iraq and Afghanistan, unable neither to win the war nor to retreat, Israel faced a resounding defeat, for the first time ever, at the hands of the Hizbollah. Yet, given the needs of the military-industrial complex and geo-political seeks to continue its war mania with an impending attack on Iran. It is also building up its own hi-tech arsenal and is promoting wars even in other parts of the world to enforce pliant regimes.

Us War Preparations

For the first time ever the US plans to deploy an anti-missile base outside the US by the setting up of the missile defence system in East Europe. This too it says is only a beginning and plans to expand this continuously. The US has also enhanced its first strike capability, installing the high-precision multiple war heads on the Minutemen ICBMs, equipping its nuclear submarines with more accurate and deadly Trident II D-5 missiles, and fitting its B-52 bombers with nuclear-armed cruise missiles. It is also setting up military bases in Bulgaria and Romania. In Jan. 07, the Pentagon relocated the Cobra Dame Floating Radar (biggest in the world) from Hawaii to the Alent Island, within 300 kms of Russia. It is also seeking to establish another Radar station in the Caucasus.

Besides it is instigating wars throughout the world, utilising its client states like Israel, Ethiopia, etc. After its humiliating defeat in Lebanon it is once again pushing the country into a full fledged sectarian war to crush the Hizbollah. It did the same in Palestine utilising the stooge Fatah to launch attacks on the Hamas after the latter won the election and has now forced a coalition government. Sectarian strife is being promoted also in all other countries of West Asia, particularly Iraq, between Sunnis, Shias and Kurds.

In Africa the US has utilized Ethiopia (with one of Africa’s largest armies) to send occupation forces into Somalia deploying its full range of tanks and warplanes against local Islamic forces, mainly equipped with small arms. In most other countries of Africa the US is locked in contention with Europe (and now China), each of whom are instigating sectarian wars all over the continent (as in Congo, Dafur, Nigeria, etc) in order to seize Africa’s rich mineral and oil wealth. France too has 18,000 troops in Africa stationed in various parts under various pretexts.

In Latin America, the US has enhanced its military ‘aid’ 34 times since 2000, to $122 million. Columbia has US-funded military hosts US bases on the border with Bolivia and is so much in the US pocket that the Bush family alone owns 2.7% of the territory as their personal property. About 40,000 troops are stationed in Latin America.

In the East its main fear comes from China’s growing influence in the region. Besides strengthening its existing military bases, it is particularly seeking to utilize India as its front paws in the region. It has also been firming up its defence ties with its traditional allies, Japan and Australia.

Russia’s New Assertion

With the EU unity in a mess and the stagnant European economies it has been Russia that has been seeking greater assertion against US worldwide domination. The EU has been more concentrating on rebuilding its unity and regaining its economic strength, while Russia has not only ousted the US from much of its backyard (CIS countries) but is making inroads particularly into West Asia and Latin America in a big way.

In a speech at a security conference in Munich on Feb.10, Putin launched a frontal attack on the US saying that their concept of a unipolar world was “unacceptable and impossible”. Russia has now used its two major weapons — energy resources and defence technology — for its greater assertion against the US. Russian arms sales have surged from $3.4 billion in 1999 to $6.5 billion in 2006 and is expected to touch $7 billion this year. Moscow defied the US and supplied $700 million worth of Tor-M1 advanced air-defence missile systems to Iran last year.

Moscow has utilized its energy resources to consolidate its leadership overt the ex-Soviet States. In Europe, Russia has offered lucrative energy deals to Germany, France and Italy, thwarting US efforts to build a common European front against ‘Russian expansionism’. In March Russia signed a much-delayed deal with Bulgaria and Greece to build a Balkan pipeline to bypass Turkey’s crowded Bosporus Straits. The pipeline will strengthen Russia’s position in the European energy market further and undercut US plans to promote alternative export routes for Caspian Oil.

Russia has rebuilt close ties with Syria, has resumed arms supplies and plans to set up a naval base in the Syrian port of Tart us. Putin’s earlier visit to Saudi Arabia,Qatar and Jordan saw Russia forge energy and defence deals in a region which has long been the exclusive preserve of the US. The Russian Oil giant, Lukoil, announced plans to invest more than $2 billion in new gas fields in Saudi Arabia. Russia’s weapons-cum-energy diplomacy has been most effective in Algeria, where Lukoil and Gazprom gained exclusive access to some of Algeria’s largest oil and gas fields. The deals are part of an agreement that involved the supply of $7.5 billion worth of Russian arms to Algeria. Russia has also opposed the UN’s plan for Kosovo’s conditional statehood. So infuriated was the US with this opposition that it warned that “bloodshed may return to the Balkans”.

We have already seen Russia’s big push into Latin America.

Though Russia’s defence budget is a small fraction of that of the US (the US’s is 25 times that of Russia), it has quadrupled in the past 5 years and has approved a huge $190 billion re-armament programme through 2015. Russia is also developing highly sophisticated missiles that it claims can break through the US shield. It has also threatened to withdraw from a 1987 treaty with the US banning medium-range ballistic missiles and would resume production if the US goes ahead withy its anti-missile plan for Europe.

So, today we find that Russia is once again seeking to assert its imperial power and is locked in growing contention with the US.

Flash-point in west Asia

The sudden and summary execution of Saddam Hussain by the puppet courts only showed the extent of US desperation in Iraq. Saddam was defiant till the end and in his last speech called on the Iraq people to unite against the US. This was followed by the hanging in March 2007 of the Iraqi vice-president, Taha Yassin Ramada. He was in US custody and was handed over to the Iraqis only one hour before the hanging. But these illegal killings have not in any way stemmed the tide of Iraqi resistance which continues to intensify inspite of the US’s best attempts to turn it into sectarian strife. Today it cannot even trust the Shia’s, particularly its leader Al Sadr who is said to have taken refuge in Iran.

Notwithstanding this, the US has raised the tensions with Iran to feverish pitch. It has sent two aircraft carriers to the Gulf. In early March US illegally arrested Iranian officials from an Iranian official building in the Kurdish stronghold of Irbil, in northern Iraq. Iran retaliated by seizing 15 British Naval personnel that strayed into Iranian Gulf waters. Iran also denounced the March 24 UN resolution 1747 where the UN Security Council unanimously imposed fresh sanctions on Iran. We are beginning to see a repeat as to what happened in Iraq!!

War clouds are deepening over West Asia and contention between the imperialist power is growing worldwide.

Growing People’s Resistance

As the Iraq war entered the 5th year in March 07 lakhs of demonstrators flooded the streets of Washington, London, Spain, Hungary, Australia, Greece, Turkey, Cyprus, South Korea, Chile, Sweden, even Iraq and elsewhere in a surge of protests. Ten thousand protested in Sadr City and on that day itself 7 US soldiers were killed and 5 injured in Iraq. A few days later the Iraq’s deputy premier was attacked and injured in Iraq’s top security green zone.

Afghanistan has witnessed a resurgence of the Taliban in the last couple of years. In 2006 4,000 were killed and the number of suicide attacks quadrupled compared to 2005. The growing strength has resulted in the Taliban shifting from guerrilla war to conventional warfare. In Feb.07 they briefly seized and held the town of Masa Qala in Helmad province. In March 07 a suicide bomber attacked the entrance of the high-security Bagram Base when Dick Cheney was inside. The strength of the Afghan army which was 80,000 has now got reduced to a mere 20,000 and the US once again has to rely on the notorious warlords to maintain its control over the country. President Karzai’s fiat does not extend beyond Kabul and his protection and survival is totally dependent on US/ NATO forces.

In the rest of West Asia we find the Hizbollah prestige continues to remain high amongst the people, due to its resounding defeat of Israel. In Palestine the Hamas could not be tamed as yet as they did to the Fatah.

In the last year as far as militant struggles go in the imperialist countries, it was of the immigrant proletariat of France that shook Europe. The pitched battles between the workers and the police went on for weeks. Once again in March 07 violence erupted where the youth fought for seven hours utilizing urban guerrilla war methods of resistance. France has not witnessed such militancy since the student revolt of 1968. And it does not look as though this is going to die down, but only intensify as the days go by and the immigrants find themselves more and more marginalized.

In the backward countries of the world there is growing resistance to the imperialist-dictated polices of globalization. We see a veritable tide of people’s movements in Latin America which, for the lack of an alternative, has been channelized into electoral politics and the rise of social democratic parties to power. This is bound to implode soon once these have been shown to be unable to provide the answers. There is also a resurgence of other national liberation movements as that of the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka. Their latest attack by aircraft has created a panic amongst the ruling classes of entire South Asia.

The Maoist forces of the world comprise the most advanced detachment of the above struggles. While some of the older movements have faced a setback there is a new hope with the rise of new Maoist movements as in Indonesia. Others continue to advance in the face of the most brutal attacks and genocidal killings. Unfortunately the vast ant-imperialist movement around the world are, as yet, not under proletarian leadership. Yet, the ripe objective situation throughout the world and the growing discontent, has created an excellent fertile ground for a massive new revolutionary upsurge. If the Maoists are in the forefront of the struggles and use creative and effective methods of struggle and organisation there is bound to be a new worldwide awakening.


THE INDIAN SITUATION

The Indian situation is complex with an intermix of acute rural stagnation coupled with oasis of urban ‘modernity’. The imperialist-dictated policies of economic reform are resulting, on the one hand, in marginalization of vast masses, on the other, in the compradors and MNCs

Economic Retrogression & Fake Development

Over the last year the rulers have been portraying a booming economy with a high GDP growth rate; artificially boosted by the huge flow of foreign funds. They portray as though India is poised to become an economic powerhouse that will soon catch up with the developed countries of the world. This is a big hoax played on the people of the country to dupe the middle classes into thinking that India is on the road to ‘progress’. It hides the extremes of backwardness and poverty being generated by the existing model of imperialist-dictated growth.

There are two Indias — the first is that of malls, multiplexes, 5-star entertainment, etc. The other is the vast backward countryside and filthy slums. The first cater to barely 5% of the population, while about 90% live an existence in utmost poverty, which increases by the day due to government policy. The unheard of levels of suicides in the country is only the tip of the iceberg; but it brings out the extent of destitution of a vast section of the population, the kind of which the country only witnessed during colonial rule. Then, thousands died of famine and hunger due to British policy; now thousands die of suicides, hunger, disease and destitution. People are being displaced by the lakhs in order to hand over prime land to real estate sharks, business mafia and foreign robbers.

In this model of growth the market is sought to be extended in the luxury sector by giving the rich huge concessions and thereby enhancing their purchasing power. This is done by extracting more and more from the already impoverished masses who cannot even afford two square meals in the day. So it is not surprising to see that car sales in the domestic market have skyrocketed from 2,65,000 in 1995 to a massive to nearly 10 lakhs in the current fiscal year — an over four-fold increase. The bulk of this was through easy credit from the banks which now no longer go to the primary sector but for such luxury items. 89% of vehicles purchased were on bank loans which have more than doubled in three years — from Rs.46,020 crores in 2002-03 to Rs.1,08,840 crores in 2006-07. The figures on home loans is even higher; but here with interest rates having been increased by as much as 2-3% in just the last one year and the middle classes are feeling they have been cheated.

According to official data there are about 50,000 households with an income of over Rs.1 crore per year (Times of India March 23 07); and government policy is geared to increase this number to 1,40,000 by 2010. Massive tax holidays, subsidies, etc are given to this elite section in order to achieve this increase. The EXIM policy announced at the end of April 2007 has given additional huge concessions to service sector exports. Massive infrastructure ‘development’, which is the chief focus of government ‘development’ is geared to create the ‘right’ environment for big business — whether Indian or foreign. The rulers are only interested in enhancing the coffers of such business houses; thereby creating a totally lopsided economy where the bulk of the GDP comes from the service sector, while agriculture is declining and manufacturing stagnant. Besides whatever growth there is, is without the creation of jobs.

Even according to the latest Economic Survey the growth of employment in the organised sector between 1994 and 2004 actually declined by 0.38%, though GDP growth rates averaged at about 6-7%. While services accounts for 55% (it has grown from 37% in 1990) of the GDP, it formally employs just 20 lakh people, or less than 0.5% of the country’s labour force of over 40 crores. Besides, while over 60% of the population continues to survive on agriculture its share in the GDP has now dropped below 19%. And, of this, about 87% of landholdings is that of marginal farmers. (Frontline Feb.23, 07) Such lopsided growth is clearly unsustainable. Between 1990 and 2005, industry’s contribution to the economy remained more or less stagnant, crawling from 25% to 27%. According to some studies (Outlook Apr. 9, 07) over 3% jobs were lost in the manufacturing sector in the past decade. India’s unemployment rate is estimated at 30%, or over 20 crore people. Even for all the talk of a booming economy we find that India has one of the largest fiscal deficits even among the other backward countries. In 2005 India’s fiscal deficit was 7.5%, compared to Brazil’s 3.3%, Malaysia’s 3.8%, China’s 1.2%, Mexico’s 0.1% and Indonesia’s 0.6%.

Even the Current Account Deficit (trade deficit + services), while in the rest of Asia was positive, in India it was minus 3%. India still amounts to a mere 0.8% of world trade compared to China’s 6.4%. Together with this the trade deficit for the 11 months ending Feb.28 07 rose by a phenomenal 49% over the previous year to reach a figure of $56 billion. Not only that, once again the external debt has begun to skyrocket from $136.5 billion ( Rs.6,27,112 crores) in end Sept. 2006 to $142.7 billion (Rs.6,32,051 crores) by the end of the year — a rise of $6 billion in just three months. So what is this nonsense of India rising to be a new global power?

Much of the much-hyped ‘growth’ is being generated through the speculative economy and the gigantic increases in the defense budget. Merely “futures” turnover (one of the derivatives) rose by a massive 59% in 2006/07 to cross Rs.1 lakh crores. The mere capital expenditure of the military was hiked in the current budget by 22%, to a huge Rs.41,922 crores. Of this Rs. 21,000 crores will be foreign purchases to fill the coffers of the international arms dealers. India is today one of the biggest importers of arms in the world.

On the other hand expenditure on social welfare for the masses have been continuously dropping. The Economic Survey for 2007/08 has pointed out that education expenditure has been stagnant at 2.8% of the GDP for the last 3 years. Where GDP growth rate was 9% and the official inflation rate was 8% the expenditure on health and family planning grew by a mere 1.3% (amounts to a relative drop of about 15%). In addition, prices have been skyrocketing in the last year, particularly of essential commodities, making life even more miserable for the masses. For example the wholesale price of pulses (dals) rose a massive 35% last year; the retail price increase was even more. Similar was the situation with all other essential items. Besides there was a drop in production in 2006/07 of tur (arhar) dal by 4%, jowar by 9%, maize by 8% and ragi by 50%. Total cereal production has been stagnating for a number of years, around 195-200 million tones.

Inspite of the suicides and the acute distress in the rural sector the government is aggressively pushing private sales of agricultural commodities with the aim of dismantling the public distribution network. In the worst hit region, Vidarbha, by mid Dec.2006 while private traders had bought 45 lakh quintals, the government had purchased a mere 6 lakh quintal. Both were paying the farmer Rs.1,700-1,800 per quintal compared to Rs.2,500 per quintal a few years ago. This year MNCs and big business have been buying up the wheat crop of Punjab on a massive scale. With such policies, the peasantry of the country, already ground down in the cesspool of semi-feudal stagnation, is being further marginalized and pushed to destitution.

The working class is facing an equally disastrous situation with the informalisation of most labour in the country — whether in industry, mining or even the service sectors. Organised labour has been dropping drastically and the unorganized sector is enveloping the bulk of the labouring masses on virtually starvation wages. Today even in manufacturing, 85% of the workers are from the unorganized sector. In this unorganized sector the workers work for long hours with little pay and no benefits what-so-ever. No labour laws apply to this vast mass. And now, with the arrival of the SEZs, the workers will officially be deprived of all their rights. Though the workers have been fighting back, the stranglehold of the reactionary andrevisionist trade unions have time and again led to the betrayal of their struggles.

Today the most frightening aspect of the model of development is the ruthlessness with which the ruling classes are displacing lakhs and lakhs of people to seize prime agricultural and urban land for big business sharks and the foreign vampires. The massacre at Nandigram by the CPM shows the extent to which they are prepared to go to seize the land — in this case for a mafia Indonesian business 20 PEOPLE’S MARCH,
house. In Bastar so far 300 have been massacred and over 400 villages destroyed to clear the land for Tatas, Ruias and other mining projects. Mining projects, SEZs, big dams, ‘infrastructural development’, urban renewal, et al; are all taking their toll in the displacement and marginalization of lakhs of people in their own country. Earlier it was only the slum-dweller and poor peasantry; now itis even the middle and rich peasantry, traders, small businessmen, kirana shop owners. The entrance of there tailing giants have already begun to force the closure of lakhs of small kirana shops.
Barely a few months after the entry of Reliance Fresh into Chennai, the wholesale market claimed it faced a dropof 40% in its sales and called a one day bandh; the plight of the small retailers would be even worse. There are today four crore people working in 12 million retail outlets, most of which are family labour; many will soon face destitution.

Ofcourse the worst hit are always those at the bottom of the ladder — the poorest of the poor, the dalits, women, tribals. Economic retrogression is being accompanied by cultural and social degeneration. Feudal and imperialist culture and social values have seen a resurgence reflected in numerous ways — particularly upper caste superiority and exclusiveness, brahminical elitism and increasing dalit oppression/violence. Women are at the receiving end of both the feudal and imperialist cultural resurgence. The former is reflected in growing dowry deaths, increasing incidences of violence on women, infant feticides, warped sex ratios, etc; the latter is reflected in the massive commoditification of women, prostitution, child sex, etc to service the tourist and fashion industries.

Today, no one is safe from these vultures, preying off the flesh of the common man. Never before have the TNCs, Ambanis, Tatas, Wipros, etc made such gigantic amount of profits as they are able to today due to these government policies. And every year the government gives these tycoons further concessions. The recently passed EXIM policy is yet another example where the commerce ministry announced a slew of tax benefits for export in the service sector.And together with this frightening scenario we witness the country going deeper and deeper into the hold of the imperialists.

Hardly a day passes without the takeover of some company or the other by foreign capital or the increasing penetration into existing ones. Today the big comprador houses are so completely tied to the apron strings of foreign capital that the two are barely distinguishable. And the grip is getting tighter and tighter with the government allowing in FDI and FIIs on a bigger and bigger scale and pushing fast towards capital account convertibility.

In late March the Cabinet increased the FDI allowed in Telecom from 49% to 4%. Most telecom companies are already in foreign control, just as the IT companies. The biggest comprador house,eliance, is already tied up deeply with foreign capital. But, with each day the bond tightens further. In March 2007 RIL igned an MoU with the US-based specialty chemicals major Rohn & Haas or setting up an acralyic monomer complex in Jamnagar. In mid-March it handed over 25% of its equity in Reliance Exploration and Production, the holding company for RIL’s foreign oil and gas rojects, o the US giant Chevron. The major so-called Indian pharmaceutical companies depend on foreign markets for the bulk of their revenue — Ranbaxy’s oreign sales increased from 66% in 2005 to 79% in 2006 (36% from the US); Reddys Lab gets 88% of its revenue from abroad (50% from the US). What is Indian left about such companies? Quite naturally he Technical Expert Group on Patent Laws — Mushekar Committee Report — presented in March 2007 fully echoes the interests of the powerful MNCs and big omprador houses; which, if implemented will have a devastating impact on the pricing of medicine. Even small and medium sized companies are selling big stakes to foreign capital. Examples of these can be seen daily in the business newspapers — like, in March 2007 the hennai-based N Trust Infotech sold 50% of its share capital to the S based management consultant, Real Foundation; n the same month French Banking major BNP Paribas picked up a stake in Geojit Financial Services, and the US bank Citigroup bought 20% in Mumbai-based Anand Rathi Securities. The list goes on and on…….

i t is clear where the country is heading — greater and greater neo-colonisation of the country, destruction of agriculture and local business, with mpoverisation of the masses reaching unprecedented levels together with the ruling lasses amassing wealth on a scale not even seen in colonial India. The country is heading towards an explosive situation.
Battle Lines Are Being drawn

On the one side stand the moneybags — both Indian and foreign — together with the massive state machinery that protects them; on the other side stand the vast masses of oppressed people of he country, together with all patriotic and democratic people. The entire mass media are in the service of the former, with the TV, films, newspapers, radio, etc creating the atmosphere glamourising he degenerate lives of the big and powerful and iding the real condition f the masses. They openly propagate es and falsehood to dupe the masses and condemn their struggles. They portray patriots and revolutionaries as terrorists; and the corrupt and mafia rulers as heroes.

Yet the truth breaks out. It cannot be suppressed indefinitely. Reality is more otent than paper reports. Nandigram ore ff the fake progressive mask off the PM and showed them up for what they really are — social fascists; i.e socialism in words fascists in deeds. The bulk of he other parliamentary parties are already known to be mere agents and tools of the imperialists, comprador big business and the big feudal elements. today, it is the Maoists that are merging as the true people’s alternative in the ountry. They are gaining recognition from more and more quarters throughout the country. They are being seen as the eal fighters and liberators of the country from the imperialist and feudal yoke. Their People’s Liberation guerrilla Army acts as the backbone to defend the people’s interest and take on the fascist and brutal forces of the state. Let all the progressive, democratic and revolutionary forces of the country unite into a massive tidal wave that will wipe away all reaction from this country. justice is bound to prevail.

Source Peoplesmarch

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