People's Democracy(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
Kerala NGO Union Denounces LPG Policies
THE thirty-ninth conference of the Kerala NGO Union, the fighting front of the government employees in Kerala concluded at Perinthal Manna, Malappuram district was conducted with great enthusiasm and vigour attained from the exchange of live experiences of struggles the employees had in their fight against the anti-people policies of UDF government. Recently the organisation led a historic struggle against globalisation. The conference vowed to continue the struggles taken up against the mortgaging of the country and its people. The different seminars organised prior to the conference became a forum to analyse the process of India becoming servile to the imperialist powers under the banner of Liberalisation, Privatisation and Globalisation. The government employees assembled at Perinthal Manna dispersed with a firm resolve to safeguard the social security measures, rights and privileges enjoyed by the people of Kerala and also to resort to the final choice of strikes if time and circumstances compel them to do so.
One of the resolutions passed at the conference asserted the invincible role of the progressive social reform movements of Kerala in transforming the society into a dynamic social structure. Along with this the struggles that were waged under the banner of trade unions, under the democratic movements and under the peasant and labour movements also contributed a lot towards the creation of modern Kerala. This could be evidenced from the improvements in different sectors of life such as education, literacy, health, life expectancy etc. These achievements could be possible because of the public education programme, public distribution system, free health programme and other general social welfare and social security schemes initiated and pursued by the LDF governments. The EMS government of 1957 laid the foundation for modern Kerala. The modern civil service and other departments of Kerala are the result of progressive and pro-people measures adopted under the 1957 Communist government of EMS in Kerala.
The conference pointed out that this model appreciated the world over is being reversed by the present UDF government. The UDF intends to limit and restrict the civil service into an organ only to serve the bourgeois class of the state. This is in accordance with the dictates of their globalisation masters. The neo finance capital created a new type of economic activity, which enhances the capital through dubious and corrupt means without any jobs or participation of working people. Therefore, the employees and teachers of Kerala as a whole realised this danger. Hence the historic 32-day struggle against the UDF government's policies. The struggle was the first pointer to the opposition of Kerala to the hated LPG programme of the imperialist powers. People whole-heartedly supported the struggle against the concerted mala fide campaign by the UDF henchmen and a section of the media. The teachers and employees exhibited an unprecedented sense of unity in this struggle. These developments have constrained the UDF government to temporarily withdraw from their anti-people policies. But this withdrawal is only temporary and tactical. The conference noted that the UDF government in Kerala is increasingly becoming the "His Masters Voice" of the BJP-led NDA government at the centre.
The UDF government is continuing the anti-social and anti-people measures as per the designs of international financial agencies - Asian Development Bank and IMF. For a meager loan from the ADB, the UDF is surrendering the self respect of the people of Kerala. The government is trying to close down thousands of government schools on the ground that they are uneconomic while at the same time they are granting permission to open as many unaided, self-financing private schools as possible. This double-dealing on the part of Congress-led UDF government clearly exposes its heinous readiness to surrender our hard earned liberty, social security and educational status. Government offices are being shut down. A large number of highly necessary posts in civil service are cut short. This will lead to large-scale retrenchment and even illiteracy and poverty. The government's intention is to destroy and finally exterminate the largest labour sector of Kerala, which is the civil service. The conference, therefore, cautioned the Kerala people against the far reaching consequences of UDF's policies.
The conference also pointed to the withdrawal of the UDF government from the decentralisation process and its attempts to torpedo the peoples plan programme. Along with this the UDF is enhancing the charges of the public utility services and power. All fees and charges for education and health have been hiked to an unbearable extent. Bus fare and electricity tariff have been hiked. And the anti-people Congress-led UDF government openly states that it will go on increasing these charges continually. This naked authoritarianism has to be opposed. They get the courage not from their mass base but from the perks and bribes they earn from their globalisation masters. In order to extenuate their anti-people schemes they try to play the caste and religion cards in order to 'divide' the people and 'rule'. They think that through their manipulative politics, they will be able to destroy the class unity forged in Kerala through decades of hard fought struggles. But the conference exhibited the firm determination that the working class and peasantry of Kerala who have the experiences of longstanding social harmony and amity would protect their unity and strength at any cost.
The conference continued for four days. It ended with a huge demonstration and rally attended by thousands of people. Pinarayi Vijayan, state secretary of CPI(M) and others addressed the valedictory session. Varadarajan, president of the Kerala NGO Union, presided over the meeting.