Statement of the Central Committee of Communist Ghadar Party of India, 20 November, 2016
Since the midnight of 8-9 November, all 500 and 1000 rupee notes issued by the Reserve Bank have been declared illegal.
Announcing the demonetization decision on 8th November, Prime Minister Narendra Modi exhorted our people "…in this fight against corruption, black money, fake notes and terrorism, in this movement for purifying our country, will our people not put up with difficulties for some days? I have full confidence that every citizen will stand up and participate in this ‘mahayagna’ (great sacrifice)".
Crores of our people have indeed endured enormous hardship, and are continuing to do so. The sudden removal of 86% of the value of cash in circulation has wreaked havoc in the lives of workers, peasants, street vendors, shopkeepers and numerous others. Many factories, workshops, vegetable markets and truck operators have closed down. Millions of workers are not being paid their wages. Peasants are unable to sell their crops or buy seeds and fertilizers for the rabi season. About 40 crore people who are dependent on daily cash earnings are among the worst affected. Only 30% of the people of our country have money in bank accounts. All others are forced to come again and again to the banks to change their useless old notes for new ones. Bank workers have been burdened with extraordinary workload and enormous tension, with tempers of customers running high.
In providing the rationale for this step, the Prime Minister said "Terrorism is a frightening threat. So many have lost their lives because of it. But have you ever thought about how these terrorists get their money? Enemies from across the border run their operations using fake currency notes. This has been going on for years."
If the Prime Minister is really serious about fighting the threat of terrorism, he should be bold enough to confront the truth about who really sponsors and finances terrorism all over the world, and in this region.
There is ample evidence to show that the United States and its intelligence agencies are the biggest sponsors and financiers of armed terrorist groups which operate in many countries and regions of the world. Through the secret sponsoring of terrorism and open wars waged in the name of fighting terrorism, the US has wrecked many nations and divided up territories, to suit its hegemonic interest. All states which refuse to toe the US line are potential targets for terrorist attacks, and for externally incited civil wars or “democracy” movements.
The terrorist group known as Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) was created by the US with the collaboration of Saudi Arabia to organise sectarian conflict in West Asia and the Arab world on Sunni-Shia lines, destroy existing states, and redraw the map to suit the US strategy to dominate Asia. The US has unleashed a bloody civil war in Syria, killing lakhs of people and turning millions into refugees. Syria is being targeted because its government refused to allow a US sponsored oil pipeline from Qatar to Turkey through its territory. The earlier destruction of Libya had been carried out by the US and its NATO allies by arming and financing various opposition terrorist groups.
It is well known that thirty years ago, the US set up, financed, trained and armed various terrorist groups using Pakistan as its base to fight the Soviet occupation forces in Afghanistan. After the Soviet army withdrew from Afghanistan, many of these armed terrorist groups have been redeployed by the US intelligence agencies in different parts of the world. They were transported by the CIA to Yugoslavia, to fan the flames of civil war there. They were smuggled into Chechnya and Dagestan to sabotage Russian oil pipeline routes. US imperialism is out to weaken and conquer all the countries of Asia, through terrorism, media inspired mass movements as well as setting neighbouring countries against one another. This is the reason for the great increase in terrorist attacks in India and Pakistan.
Every time there is a move by the governments of India and Pakistan to engage with each other, terrorist attacks are organised by the intelligence agencies of the US or its allies. This serves to keep India and Pakistan permanently at loggerheads, with each side seeking US support against the other.
In his address to the nation, Prime Minister Modi declared "There comes a time in the history of a country’s development when a need is felt for a strong and decisive step."
The strongest and most decisive step against terrorism, Mr. Prime Minister, is to break the strategic alliance with US imperialism!
Government of India must stop having military and intelligence collaboration with the biggest terrorist state in the world. It must call upon all other countries in this region to do the same. It must work in collaboration with the governments of all South Asian countries to cut all financial and other channels of CIA activity in this region.
The US designs to dominate Asia poses the biggest threat to the unity and integrity of India, Mr. Prime Minister! You keep expressing concern about the threat of India getting broken up. If your concern is serious, then historical facts cannot be ignored. Who engineered the breaking up of Yugoslavia? Who wrecked Afghanistan and Iraq? Why should India embrace US imperialism as a strategic ally, when the US strategy is to establish complete domination over Asia, through all means?
Who benefits from the nation’s wealth?
The Prime Minister is creating the impression that if the Indian economy becomes more like those of North America and Europe, with the majority of payments being made through cheques or cards and not in cash, this will ensure that the “nation’s wealth benefits the poor”. The Home Minister has added that it will reduce the gap between rich and poor in our country.
The gap between the rich and the poor is widening in all the capitalist countries, including in North America and Europe. National wealth is getting more and more concentrated in the hands of the richest 1% of the population in those countries, even though all workers have bank accounts and receive their wages by cheque and not cash.
The reason why the wealth of nations is benefiting only a super-rich minority lies in the capitalist system. It lies in the fact that the means of social production are the private property of capitalists, and such private property is getting more and more concentrated in the hands of giant monopoly companies. As a result, the entire process of social production is geared towards maximizing private profits of the owners of such corporations, by holding down workers’ wages as low as possible.
In our country, there are about 2,00,000 big capitalists (those with at least $100 million or Rs. 650 crore of capital each). They are headed by about 150 monopoly houses, each having capital worth tens of thousands of crores of rupees. These capitalist monopolies ensure that the nation’s wealth is used in their narrow interests of becoming even richer and among the most powerful in the world.
Mr. Prime Minister, you were a humble chaiwala once upon a time. You should therefore know what a worker needs in order to lead a dignified human life. Workers are quite happy to move to a digital age without having to carry much cash in their pockets. But they must have money in the bank to able to buy something with a debit card. For that their right to work, to secure livelihood, to minimum wages indexed to consumer prices, are essential to be fulfilled. Bank accounts and debit cards by themselves will not guarantee workers a dignified human life.
Therefore, Mr. Prime Minister, you should withdraw the attacks on workers’ rights for the sake of attracting foreign capitalists to invest in India. If you are really interested in ensuring that the nation’s wealth benefits the toiling majority of people, you should halt privatisation, liberalisation and corporate land acquisition.
Evil of Corruption
The Prime Minister claims that “the evil of corruption has been spread by certain sections of society for their selfish interests”. He is hiding the fact that corruption is an intrinsic part of the existing economic and political system, in which public authorities act in the private interests of big capitalists and other vested interests.
Corruption is growing in scale as a result of the growing concentration of capital in fewer and fewer hands, and the increasing domination of capitalist monopolies over the State. This is the case not only in India but in all capitalist countries.
The reason why corruption is so widespread in our country, affecting all public services, is because the bureaucracy, judiciary, police and other arms of the State are thoroughly corrupt from top to bottom. They have been so since colonial times, when they were created as means of extracting the last ounce from our hard working people and making them bow in front of all arms of authority.
A revolution is required to eliminate corruption and all forms of exploitation in our society. The existing State which serves the interests of an exploiting minority needs to be replaced by a new State committed to ensure prosperity and protection for all. Such a State would expropriate the monopoly capitalists and make sure that the wealth produced by workers and peasants benefits them and is not cornered by those who exploit others.
The “surgical strike” of demonetization, and other steps on the anvil, are part of the agenda of the capitalist monopoly houses, which the Prime Minister is trying to market as an agenda of fighting terrorism and corruption. It is an agenda whose aim is to bring national wealth, including the land, minerals, forests and other natural resources, as well as all financial resources, more completely under the control of the biggest capitalist monopolies, which are linked at the top with the biggest banks, both private and public.
Communist Ghadar Party calls on all political forces to take a firm stand against US imperialist interference in the region and against the Indo-US strategic alliance!
We must have no illusion that this “mahayagna” is going to address the problem of terrorism or of corruption. Nor will it ensure that the nation’s wealth benefits the poor.
Workers, peasants, women and youth must unite and advance their struggle against the attacks on their rights, without getting diverted by the false promise of “acche din” in 50 days. We must wage our struggles with the perspective of establishing a new State that would reorient the economy to fulfill human needs instead of capitalist greed; and in which people would be the decision-makers.