All out for the success of the 2nd September General Strike!
Statement of the Central Committee of the Communist Ghadar Party of India, August 28, 2016
Workers all over India will come out on the streets on 2nd September in defence of our rights and the rights of all the exploited and oppressed of our country. Hundreds of trade unions, cutting across party affiliations have been working together at the All India level, in the state capitals and districts, and in different industrial townships to organize for the success of this strike. Through this General Strike, we will express our firm resolve to organize to defeat the anti-worker, anti-peasant, anti-social and anti-national agenda of the Modi government which is making life hell for the masses of our people.
On this very day last year, 10 crore workers participated in an All India General Strike. Since then we have organized several strikes and protest actions across the country. Despite this consistent opposition of the working class to its program, the NDA government led by the BJP has been aggressively implementing the program of globalization through liberalization. 25 years of implementing of this program by the BJP, Congress, and other parties in power has shown that it is a program aimed solely at fulfilling the insatiable greed of the biggest Indian and foreign monopolies for maximum profits, The government has declared through its deeds that it cares nothing for the terrible consequences for workers and for society as a whole.
Under the slogan of “Make in India”, and “ease of doing business”, the government has been creating conditions so that Indian and foreign capitalists can intensify the exploitation and plunder of land, labour and natural resources of our people. It has launched a vicious attack on the rights of workers — rights that have been won through long years of struggle. More and more workers are being pushed out of the purview of various labour laws that they were previously covered by. The government is trying to deprive workers of the right to organize themselves into unions of their choice. It is trying to establish “hire and fire” as the law. It is working to ensure that more and more workers will work on a contract basis, their whole lives, at the mercy of the capitalists, with no rights at all. Women workers will be forced to work in night shifts. Young workers will be super-exploited as apprentices, with no rights, under the slogan of “skill development”.
Increasingly, workers are coming out on the streets to resist attacks on their rights. Due to our united struggle the central government has not been able to pass several anti-worker laws. In these conditions, it has ensured that state governments compete with one another in passing laws attacking workers’ rights. Simultaneously, by making sector specific laws covering workers in Start Ups, garment industry, etc, the government is attacking workers section by section. Thus workers in the garment industry will henceforth be hired on “fixed term contracts”. In start up industries, workers will not have the right to form unions for a period of 5 years.
Alongside intensifying the exploitation of workers, the central government is facilitating the plunder of the country’s natural resources – minerals, forests and water – by the big bourgeoisie. The central government tried to pass a law to allow capitalists to forcibly grab the lands of the peasants and tribal peoples. It failed, due to massive opposition from the people. It is passing the same law through state governments.
In the year 2000, the richest one percent owned 37% of the country’s wealth; by 2015, this section owned 53% of the country’s wealth. During the same period, the share of the poorest 50% fell from 5.3% of the country’s wealth to 4.1%. In this way, those who toil to produce the country’s wealth are getting poorer by the day while the big bourgeoisie is getting richer year after year. This program to make the rich richer and the poor poorer is now being accelerated.
The bourgeoisie controls state power. It uses this state power to enforce its dictate over the whole of society. The executive, the legislature and the judiciary are all arms of this state power through which it rules. The political system and process of multi-party representative democracy guarantee that only parties that loyally defend the rule of the bourgeoisie and implement its program are entrusted with running the government.
The Congress, BJP and other bourgeois political parties that take turns to run the central and state governments compete with each other to implement the bourgeoisie’s program better, alongside most successfully fooling the people.
Such parties work to divide the working class, line them up behind themselves, and eventually behind the agenda of the bourgeoisie through the trade unions under their control. We workers must be conscious that it is the bourgeoisie that sets the agenda of these parties. Trade unions meant to defend our class, have become weapons against us.
The multiplicity of trade unions is a reflection of the massive influence of bourgeois ideology and politics on our class. On the one hand, vast masses of workers are not organized in unions. On the other hand, right within one factory or industry, workers are divided into numerous unions, affiliated to this or that party. In order to defeat the program of the bourgeoisie, we must liberate ourselves and our unions from the stranglehold of the bourgeois parties and their politics and ideology.
The bourgeoisie keeps promoting the illusion that our fate depends on which party comes to power. It wants us workers to keep living under the false hope that bringing this or that party to power will ensure that our interests will be safeguarded. But the fact is that today, the BJP is attacking the working class, just like the Congress party did when it was in power; tomorrow, the bourgeoisie can bring another party to pursue the same agenda.
The reality is that in this multi-party representative democracy, 150 monopoly houses at the head of about 2 lakh big capitalists are exercising their dictatorship over 125 crore people. They control all the principal means of production and exchange directly as well as through their control of the state. This is why we workers who produce the wealth of society through our labour are victims of poverty and hunger while the capitalists who exploit us are getting richer by the day. We workers who together with the toiling peasantry make up the vast majority of the population must end the rule of this minority. We have to advance our struggle with the vision of becoming the rulers of this country. We have to build the working class into a political force that can take over the reins of society in alliance with the toiling peasantry.
We must unite all workers and peasants around the program of Navnirman of India. We must challenge the domination of the bourgeoisie and its parties and bring about fundamental changes in the political process, so workers and peasants can select their own candidates, ensure accountability from those elected, recall them from their post when they work against the interests of the people and initiate legislation — in sum become the decision makers. With political power in the hands of the working class in alliance with the toiling peasantry, we will be able to take over the principal means of production and exchange from the bourgeoisie and place it under social control. We will be able to reorient the economy from its present orientation of fulfilling capitalist greed to guaranteeing prosperity and security for all.
Over the past few years, our movement has made definite advances. There is growing realization amongst workers militating in different trade unions and workers organizations that we must not allow the bourgeoisie and their political parties to perpetuate divisions among us. Workers’ unity committees are coming up in industrial townships across the country, in which activists belonging to different parties and unions come together to defend and advance the independent program of the working class.
We need to establish and strengthen more such committees everywhere — at the all India level, at the level of states and districts, in the industrial areas, and in the factories, workplaces and residential areas of workers. We must unite the workers in these committees and prepare them to become a fighting force. We must discuss and develop the independent program of the class in these committees. This is the task facing all communists and activists of the working class.
Let us give a fitting reply to the anti-worker, anti-peasant and anti-social program of the bourgeoisie by making the General Strike a success. Let us build a strong united force in defence of our rights that will challenge the capitalist program. Such unity will pave the way for the class to lead the broad masses of workers, peasants and all oppressed around the program of Navnirman of India.