An Attack on India's Sovereignty


Contents    Previous Chapter   Next Chapter



People for a Free India

               (i) Peoples’ Demands

               (ii) United Peoples’ Front

               (iii) Attitude Towards various Parties

               (iv) Economy of Self-reliance

               (v) Politics of Seizure of Power


The country, already in a state of acute backwardness, is being pushed back to the dark ages through the policies of globalisation. Its sovereignty is being further attacked. The lives of the vast masses of the people are being devastated. The middle-classes are being pauperized. Indigenous industry is being killed. Agriculture is being strangulated. Globalisation and the policies of ‘economic reforms’ are distorting the cultural fabric of the country. It is pushing the country to further militarisation. It is promoting fascist Hindu chauvinism instigating massacres of Muslims and attacking other minorities and dalits. It is institutionalizing a terroristic state, launching brutal attacks on the smallest dissent and butchering the Maoist revolutionaries and struggling nationalities.

The country is heading for a disaster of gigantic proportions. India, with its population of one billion — over 15% of that of the entire globe — is like a volcano, seething with anger and discontent, waiting to erupt. As the revolutionary (Maoist) forces in the country are yet weak, the catalyst is not yet there. Others act to diffuse the heat, so that the eruption may be postponed. Yet, India has the potential to create hundreds of new Bhagat Singhs and Chandrashekhar Azads. Already they can be seen in the hundreds of death-defying martyrs of the Maoist revolutionaries of the CPI(ML)(PW) and the MCC. The enemy may not be as obvious and immediately observable, as during the British times, but it is there for anyone to see — directly in the form of the comprador bureaucrat collaborators and their semi-feudal allies in the countryside; and indirectly in the form of the imperialism, particularly US imperialism, acting through their governments, multilateral institutions and TNCs.

In this scenario what is to be done?

The first point is not to remain silent at what is going on in the country; for silence amounts to consent.

The second point is to build a real freedom struggle, taking lessons from the betrayals by the leaderships of the Congress and CPI during the pre-1947 struggles. A liberation struggle that frees the country not only from the grip of imperialism, but all reaction — particularly from the semi-feudal stagnation in the vast countryside, that acts as a major bulwark of reaction in the country.

The third point is to understand clearly that in this coming battle who are our friends and who are our enemies.

The fourth point is to seek unity with all friends, putting aside minor grievances, and isolating and smashing the enemy.

The fifth point is that while enhancing the struggle against the main enemies, building a parallel new culture and a new value system based on true democratic values and principles, against the prevailing imperialist/feudal culture and value system.

And the sixth point is, to stand up for principle, for justice and equality for all, and against all forms of exploitation — economic and social. Demand equal rights for women, dalits, minorities and all the oppressed nationalities.

On this minimum basis let us see how we can build a truly effective movement of all anti-imperialist, and anti-feudal forces in the country.

i) The Peoples’ Demands

The people of our country, first and foremost, demands full sovereignty — both economic and political. For nearly two and a half centuries our freedom has been snatched away from us, and a country rich in natural and human resources has been reduced to rack and ruin. Not only have the masses been reduced to an inhuman existence, our minerals and crops have been robbed, our soil and natural environment has been destroyed and our natural habitats and forests have been ripped asunder.

Globalisation, not merely continues the neo-colonial plunder of the country, it raises it to new heights. The devastation already wrought, is now being increased ten-fold. Earlier they operated through the Maharajas (and directly), today they operate through the comprador bureaucrat class. It is the latter that act as servile tools of imperialism within our country, which utilize the vast semi-feudal social base to keep the masses in chains and to continue their domination. These traitors and scabs are the vilest enemies of the people, hypocrites and liars, frauds and cheats, murderers and rapists, the scum of the earth. But, it is they who wield the power; it is they who run the country.

So, to free our country we must, first and foremost, liberate it from these reptiles. But to do so it means rousing the masses on a massive scale. This is inconceivable without first and foremost liberating the bulk of the population from the chains of semi-feudal relations, which bind them hand-and-foot to the status quo. An agrarian revolutionary movement that smashes these archaic production relations is a preliminary pre-requisite to unleash the democratic forces in the country that can also be directed against the imperialists and the compradors. So, the peoples’ demands are:

(a) Democratise the social fabric of the country by smashing the backward and retrogressive semi-feudal relations in the countryside. Establish peoples’ democratic power in the vast rural hinterland.

(b) Confiscate all foreign capital and the capital of the comprador big bourgeoisie.

(c) Annul the foreign debt.

(d) Protect indigenous industry and the small-scale sector.

(e) Promote investment in agriculture, particularly irrigation; remove dependence on imperialist promoted fertilizers, pesticides and seeds. Ban cutting of forests and rejuvenate the soil destroyed by years of the ‘green revolution’ strategy, through sustainable agricultural growth.

(f) Oppose imperialist and feudal culture and values, and build a new democratic culture, wherein religion must be strictly a private affair, and vehement opposition to all forms of patriarchy and casteism. Build human relations based on equality and mutual respect for all, irrespective of caste and creed, and economic or educational status.

(g) Raise peoples’ purchasing power throughout the country and thereby promote industrialisation, leading to genuine modernisation and development of the entire country (not mere pockets, as exists today), and an economy built on self-reliance. Thereby build a democratic modern India as a first step towards socialist transformation of the country, which alone can effectively prevent imperialist tentacles from strangulating our country.

ii) United Peoples’ Front

Quite obviously all the classes hit by imperialism and the new offensive under the banner of ‘globalisation’, will be the main forces pitted against imperialism and their comprador collaborators in the country. As can be seen from the above analysis they comprise the workers, peasants (including large sections of the rich peasantry), middle-classes and even the national bourgeoisie. All these have been badly hit by this new offensive of imperialism, particularly US imperialism, and therefore have much to gain through this battle.

In this battle the enemy is ruthless, brutal and vicious. They can go to any extremes to protect their loot. Earlier such battles, as in Indo-China, Latin America, Africa, have shown the extent to which they go in order to protect their unjust system. Massacres and genocides have been a common affair. So, any effective battle against these monsters, can take place only by mobilising and uniting the full 90% of the population who are affected by these rapacious marauders. As over 70% of our population lives in the countryside, no battle against the imperialist/comprador gang can be successful without their involvement. We have already seen that a section of the peasantry has been actively involved in struggle against the policies of the WTO. It is wrong to consider the anti-imperialist struggle as a merely urban affair, as some do.

The main force of the anti-imperialist movement must primarily be built on a strong worker-peasant alliance, led by the proletariat.

An important force in this struggle will be the petti-bourgeoisie, particularly the students, teachers and intellectuals. Not only are they volatile, but are also an important factor in opinion-making against the enemies of the people.

Finally, the national bourgeoisie — that is large sections of the small-scale sector — are a potential ally as they are being swamped by big capital of the TNCs and compradors, with government policy openly promoting the latter. Though they may not openly join the movement in its first phase out of fear, a section can lend support to it in numerous and very useful ways.

Besides these major class-forces many reserves and indirect forces can be utilized in this battle. A particularly important factor will be that, as the crisis in the imperialist economies deepens, and its reflection is felt in India, ruling-class contradictions will increase exponentially. These contradictions, that are already beginning to emerge, can be skillfully utilized, in order to further isolate the enemy and build up the democratic forces into a stronger anti-imperialist, anti-feudal bulwark.

In addition, various forms of social oppression like caste, patriarchy and communal, helps draw in the vast sections of the dalits, women and minorities who face added burdens. Today, particularly the Hindutva chauvinist wave by the saffron brigade, with tacit (or even open) support from the state, can catalyse the involvement of the minorities, particularly he Muslims, into this anti-imperialist struggle. Already we have seen that some Muslim organizations have given a call for the boycott of TNC products.

Finally, a very important factor in building a strong movement is an alliance with the oppressed nationalities, particularly those that have taken up arms against the Indian rulers.

So, it can be seen that only by mobilizing these vast forces in the country against the imperialist/comprador gangsters that a successful movement can be built.

iii) Attitude Towards the Various Political Parties/Groups

On ‘economic reforms’ there is, in essence, no basic difference between all the major parliamentary parties, at both the Central and State levels. Notwithstanding much of their rhetoric, when in opposition, when in power, they compete with each other in the speed with which to capitulate to imperialist demands. Some, regional parties, like the TDP in Andhra Pradesh, in fact act as a major stooge to push through imperialist dictated reforms, not only at the State level but also at the Centre. In Congress(I) ruled States like Karnataka and Maharashtra, their capitulation has been blatant. We have already seen at length the attitude of all the others as well. And, if at all there is some opposition to any particular policy or step taken, it is either only a vote-catching gimmick, or it is to favour one business lobby against another. So, let us not get fooled by certain stands taken by any of these ruling-class parties on various occasions.

As mentioned earlier, we may utilize their contradictions, for the benefit of the movement, but should not mistake them as being anti-imperialist forces. The extent to which we can do so, depends ofcourse, on the strength of the proletarian forces in the struggle. The important task here lies in thoroughly exposing these parties, and winning over their rank-and-file to a consistent anti-imperialist/comprador, anti-feudal programme. It is not sufficient that people just be disgusted by their corruption, nepotism, opportunism, etc. — this is apparent to all, and exposed by their own actions; we have little to add. What particularly needs to be exposed is that these parties are all traitors of the country, acting in the interests of foreign powers. It is they who are the worst collaborators and not the so-called ISI sponsors within the country. Once the masses realize this, only then will they rise like a tornado to kick them out, and dump them all into the Indian Ocean. It is by the impregnation of this consciousness in the masses on a gigantic scale, that we can turn the tide against the new imperialist offensive in India.

Besides these major ruling-class parties, there are numerous small parties and groups, some inside, but mostly outside parliament, whether of the left nationality-based, or some ‘independent’ types, who are basically petti-bourgeois in character, and therefore should be united with, to jointly fight the policies of globalisation in the country. They should be genuine fighting forces and not paper organizations; they should not be foreign-funded NGOs or those chiefly tied to government projects; they may take up only one aspect of imperialist damage, like environment, women’s oppression, unemployment, etc., but should be genuine in organizing the masses; or they may be trade unions and/or worker’s and peasants groups, seeking to repulse the attacks on them.

In addition individuals that are playing an important anti-imperialist role, and are not part of any particular group or organization, should be drawn into such a movement and encouraged to identify with it. The more rapacious the imperialists/compradors get the more such intellectuals will be thrown up. They will get greater confidence to speak up once they realize that they are not alone but part of a growing tide of progressive forces.

iv) Economy of Self-Reliance

Any talk today of replacing globalisation with an economy of self-reliance, is looked upon as utopian. Globalisation appears as such a formidable force, so all-encompassing over the entire globe, that, for most, it appears inconceivable that it be replaced by another system. The bulk of the anti-globalisation groups merely seek reforms within it; seek to give it a human face. The revisionists also merely talk of reforming it, not replacing it. In effect, all have fallen prey to the ‘End of History’ thesis, which portrays that there is no alternative to the existing system.

But the fact of the matter is that globlisation is an offence of capital on the backward countries of the world, linked to a restructuring of capital in the metropolis. It is also part of the strategy to deal with its crises that has constantly hit it since 1973. And now that it has gone deeper into crisis, particularly since the last two years, there is little chance for any reform. In its period of crisis it will only turn more aggressive. Reforms are normally associated with periods of boom, where capital finds it easier and more economical to buy out the discontent. But in periods of crisis no such luxury is available. Discontent will be ruthlessly suppressed so that return on capital can be maximized. All the ‘earth summits’ ‘food summits’, ‘water summits’, etc. are just eye-wash to dupe the people of the world to try and show them that they care about the damage being done.

So, in fact, it is utopian to expect reform or the human face, when capitalism/imperialism is in crisis. And if at all there is a human face given to this monster of globalisation it will be merely a mask to hide the gory mess. No doubt, through increasing resistance against it, some concessions can be extracted; bitter struggle can even achieve some gains, but no major reforms.

As for the ideals of self-reliance, no doubt it does not appear as an immediately realisable possibility, but it is the only solution, no matter how difficult, to the problems facing the country. Half-way measures will get us nowhere. For example, the half-baked change that took place in 1947 has not brought about any real difference. Over half a century has now passed, yet the country is as poor as it was then. What sounds utopian is not the economy of self-reliance, that itself is easily realizable; the problem is the question of smashing the existing system, and building a force strong enough to take on the imperialist/comprador/semi-feudal combine. For, without smashing the existing political power structures, the ruling-classes will never permit the building of such an economy. A pre-requisite to building the self-reliant economy is the seizure of political power by the democratic forces of the country.

Whatever, a self-reliant economy will have two basic aspects to it different from what exists now:

First, it will facilitate grass-roots industrialization of the country by extending the home market for products. This is only possible by raising the purchasing power of the vast masses, the bulk of whom live in the countryside. This can only be achieved by shattering the age-old backward relations of production in the countryside that is the chief cause for the excessive poverty of the masses. Once the masses are liberated from this backwardness, and a new democratic government invests heavily in agriculture the motor for growth of the Indian economy will be generated. No more dependency on exports, and no more dependency on the consumption patterns of the elite for a market.

The second major step is to put an end to the huge flight of capital abroad. As we have already seen, which country in the world can possibly grow when 20% of its national income is drained abroad, year-in and year-out. There is much talk of inviting greater and greater amounts of foreign capital, but not a word is mentioned on preventing its flight. Even if the ruling class were to achieve it’s much talked of goal of getting $10 billion foreign capital, it is insignificant compared to the roughly $65 billion drained out each year.

So, no great tragedy will hit the country if we confiscate all foreign/comprador capital, even if no new capital enters the country in the future. On the contrary, it will put an end to the enormous capital flight taking place. This much-needed capital can then be put to good use in developing agriculture and small industry to service it.

Besides, huge funds can be released by cutting down on all the wasteful expenditures on defence, police, and a well-fattened bureaucracy and political class.

Such an economy will be self-sustaining and growth will be self-generating; not depending on the infusion of funds from abroad or exports for a market. Self-sufficiency does not entail isolating the country from international markets; it only means interacting on terms that benefit the country, not the imperialists. India is a huge country of one billion people, with immense rich natural resources and fertile lands. Such a large country can have no problem to develop and grow, if its people can just come out of the confines of the present system. India can then be a rich and thriving country; not a poor laggard, cringing before each and every imperialist dictate.

v) Politics of Seizure of Power

Today, even the smallest of struggles against the policies and actions of this imperialist/comprador combine, however limited it may be, is to be welcomed, supported and encouraged. So long as it is not fake (as that of the Swadeshi Jagran Manch), all such struggles should be supported and, in fact, advanced forward, taken beyond the confines imposed by the leaderships of the movement. Not only will such successful struggles against these policies give temporary relief to the masses involved, but it helps build up the overall anti-imperialist consciousness in the country. Besides, it is these thousands of tiny streams of struggle that flow into the river of the anti-imperialist movement that joins the ocean of the democratic revolution.

Globalisation has entered this country taking the levels of exploitation of the people to new heights. Taking advantage of the set-back in communism worldwide, and the retreat of the national liberation movements, the imperialists and their comprador agents have got more arrogant and ruthless. This is more so in the 1990s after the collapse of the rival superpower, Soviet social imperialism. Particularly US imperialism and its lap-dog, Israel, have launched fierce attacks on the people in general, and the Arab people in particularly. After Sept.11 they have turned into maniacal war psychopaths, threatening one and all, and preparing for continuous wars of aggression. First Afghanistan, now Iraq then any country that does not go down on its knees before the US almighty. With the Indian rulers having developed close links — not only economic, but also military — with this axis, they too have donned the cloak of gladiators out for the kill. The anti-terrorist hysteria is as shrill in India as it is in the US and Israel. Drawing sustenance from these war-mongers, the Indian rulers have come down ruthlessly on even the smallest of struggles. Turning increasingly fascist, they are and will crush with brute force, all forms of opposition to it, and their masters.

In the face of this state terror, peaceful forms of struggle are quickly losing any significance, and armed struggle is coming onto the agenda, not only in the forests and plains of India, but also in all spheres of struggle of the masses. The horrors of Gujarat, would push every Muslim to take up arms to defend themselves; the vicious attacks on even the peaceful movements of the workers, peasants, students, employees of the PSUs, etc. are forcing all to think of newer and more effective methods of struggle.

In this scenario the anti-imperialist movement can and must draw sustenance from the ongoing people’s war being led by the CPI(ML)(PW) and the MCC in parts of the country. As these revolutionary movements are the most consistent fighters against imperialism, feudalism and comprador bureaucrat capitalism, no anti-imperialist movement can sustain and grow without strong bridges being built with the Maoist people’s war in the country. In fact it is only under the leadership of these proletarian revolutionary forces that the anti-imperialist struggle can reach fruition towards the creation of a genuinely free and self-reliant India. Areawise seizure of power and the establishment of Base Areas, will act as the most solid ground for advancing and polarizing all the genuine anti-imperialist forces in the country.

Also, at the international plane there is a continuous growth in the anti-globalisation movement. These are aimed at our common enemy, — in general imperialism and their multilateral institutions, in particular U.S. imperialism and its fascist lap-dog Israel. So, unity of the anti-imperialist/comprador movements, within India, with movements taking place at a world plane, strengthens both.

Meanwhile, let the numerous streams of the anti-imperialist/comprador movements grow and develop in strength, forge stronger bonds of unity with each other, join with the armed struggles of the nationalities, build bridges with the Maoist people’s war, and turn into a mighty tornado that will wash away these monsters from every corner of our country.



Contents    Previous Chapter   Next Chapter


Home  |  Current Issue Archives  |  Revolutionary Publications  |  Links  |  Subscription