Volume 6, No. 1, January 2005



While Ruling Classes squabble; Maoists seek to Unify all Oppresses Masses


The policies of ‘economic reforms’ continues unchanged, notwithstanding the change of power at the centre. If anything the speed of foreign penetration has been stepped up with the World Bank stooges (once employees) Manmohan Singh as PM and Montek Singh Ahluwalia as chief of the Planning Commission; and a proven stooge, Chidumbrum, as Finance Minister. The fact that the present government depends on the CPI/CPM for its survival has made no difference to the imperialist policies of economic reforms being pushed through. With this, the money-bags are minting fortunes while the poor are being pushed to the level of destitution rarely witnessed before in post-1947 India. Rural devastation has been particularly acute. Not only has rural debt become a major killer amongst the middle and poor peasants, but the "complete collapse of rural incomes or job opportunities has created an almost unprecedented situation of desperation among the landless" (Frontline, Dec 3). This is not surprising as agricultural investment in the country has dropped from 1.6% of GDP in 1993/94 to a mere 1.3% of GDP in 2001/02 (Economic Times, Nov.15 2004).

It is in this scenario of growing income gaps between the rich and the poor and the continuous sell-out of the country’s wealth to the imperialists that politicians play their power games and the revolutionary forces of the country unite to fight for the change of the existing highly exploitative order.

While the ruling classes and all their political parties have no difference whatsoever on selling the country and its wealth to the imperialists, they fight like dogs for the crumbs. Today their battles are getting more and more acute. Not only are the political dog-fights being openly aired to the public, but also the major comprador bourgeois houses are fighting to death. The latest battle between the Ambani brothers, by far the biggest and most powerful comprador house in the country, is an indication of the rot below. The squabble can have deep political and other ramifications.

But the worst case scenario is in the house of the BJP and the RSS fascists. Here, everyone seems to be at loggerheads with the other. The contradictions are so acute that they are openly being fought in the media. Not only are the politicians at loggerheads but also their religious gurus as indicated by the strong action against the Kanchi Shankaracharaya. An active VHP ‘guru’ such action would have been inconceivable if not for serious differences within its outfit. Murder, debauchery, fraud are commonplace in gurudom; but arrests, police custody and intense interrogation are not!!

When out of power the BJP is turning out worse than the Congress in its internal spats, with each throwing muck on the other. First, Naidu was kicked out as the president of the BJP in the wake of its defeats, and a fight began for its successor with the RSS lobbying for the defeated Murali Manohar Joshi. The ‘strongman’ Advani took over the reins to balance the various forces, only to face rebuff after rebuff. The first salvo was fired by the very VHP which trained its guns on the two top leaders in the hope of explaining away the defeat of the major Hindutva elements as being caused by not taking the Ayodhya issue more aggressively. Then came the mahabharat between Uma Bharati and the other second line leaders. She was first unceremoniously deprived of the Chief Ministership of MP and publicly criticised by the likes of Mahajan, Naidu and other top leaders. She hit back, not only at them but also Advani himself, in full view of the television cameras. Hardly had this humiliation of the boss died down that Vajpayee trained his guns at Modi through Smriti Irani, who said she would go for a fast unto death if Modi did not resign in order "to remove the black spot on Vajpayee’s great rule". Within hours she retracted her statement openly saying that she was reading out a written script. The actress performed well on the TV with a BJP big boss standing by her side breathing down her neck as she read the written statement. And as the days pass the infighting is getting murkier and murkier.

Quite naturally too the NDA is also in shambles. Out of power and openly fighting in the public the BJP has not much appeal for the others who seek only to ride piggy back on the BJP to get to power. From 23 allies while in power it is now down to 12 and decreasing by the day. And while one of its allies, AIADMK, has been after the Kanchi Mutt, the BJP tried to make it as its main issue to whip up a Hindutva resurgence. Though this attempt failed miserably as the Shankaracharya was shown to be a total degenerate, it is questionable as to how long the alliance lasts. Even the Shiv Sena is in a pathetic state of atrophy after losing the last elections with a succession battle between the son and nephew waiting to take place with the death of the ailing Bal Thackery.

As the Congress is in power it is for the time being more united around the autocrat Sonia Gandhi, though cracks have continued to appear in the NCP – Congress rule in Maharashtra. Servility to Sonia is the basis of the unity which came to the fore during her 58th birthday with all top leaders paying obeisance to her majesty, including the very prime minister himself. The glowing attributes made on the occasion reminded one of the Emergency and the flattery poured on Indira Gandhi. The extent of the servility displayed was pathetic with even the Prime Minister lacking minimum self-respect. It is a reflection of the deep-seated colonial mentality, where the more you are kicked the more you will bow before the power. With no real agenda of its own, except a fake secularism and an anti-incumbency atmosphere, the Congress popularity cannot last long — particularly when its policies look much the same as the BJP, and its iron fist pierces through the velvet glove.

While the political dog-fights continue, the imperialist sponsored policies continue unabated creating havoc with the lives of the people. Even according to the UNICEF, 47% Indian children are moderately or severely underweight, even higher than the 29% in Sub-Saharan Africa. And according to a DFID Report (1999) the poverty incidence in India was 59%, compared to 39% for Sub-Saharan, 24% for Latin America and 22% for China. But the masses are no longer going to take things silently. There are limits to their patience. The massive revolt of the peasants of Rajasthan, rarely known earlier for such militancy, is an indication of things to come. It was a veritable uprising which has continued for nearly three months, bringing a number of towns under curfew. And with the growing unity of the Maoist forces in the country and the birth of the united CPI (Maoist), the oppressed masses have at last a force that can lead their struggles in a revolutionary direction. This, the ruling classes fear more than any other danger and are making all preparations to combat this eventuality.

While making a show of softness — withdrawing POTA and offering talks with militants and revolutionaries — they are making massive preparations for major offensives against the people. While repealing POTA they have brought in POTA in a new form — the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

Worse still, the Congress is going ahead with the earlier NDA plan to create a massive terror force from the very areas of insurgency. With the lure of jobs they are going on a massive recruitment drive to employ over 2 lakh personnel to build 209 India Reserve Battalions. A gigantic sum of Rs.1,700 crores have been allocated for the purpose. In contrast a pitiable Rs.45 crores have been allocated "over the next three years in terror-hit districts to ensure social and economic justice". From this allocation, the orientation of the present Central government is clear — to treat the people’s issues as a law and order problem, paying scant attention to socio-economic needs. They have also planned a full reorientation of the Armed Forces in the country with the focus on developing "Special Forces" to enable quick movements. In addition, the Home Minister has said (Economic Times, Dec.15 2004) that " the Planning Commission has been asked to lay special focus on Naxalite-affected and remote areas …".

They have been setting up additional intelligence units with sophisticated training and equipment, whose specific job is to collect information on dissidents and particularly revolutionaries. And they are introducing newer and newer techniques of monitoring and checking movements of all individuals in the country. All these will be used to crush the people’s movements not only in India but also in other countries of South Asia as can be seen by the continuous arrest of Nepalese Maoist and their attempts to foist false cases on their senior leaders in jail in India.

But, with the acute impoverisation of the masses and the intensification of the contradictions amongst the ruling classes there is enormous potential to rally all the struggling forces in the country under revolutionary leadership. And the ongoing armed struggle in parts of the country, led by a more united Maoist force, is a beacon of hope for all who desire real change. And as more and more forces in the country rally round the united Maoist Party with the ruling classes forces further entangled in a web of internecine disputes, the hope of a better future can turn into a reality.




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