People's Democracy(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
April 25, 2004
DAY MANIFESTO OF CITU – 2004
Decisive Defeat On NDA Combine
Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) extends revolutionary greetings to the
working class all over the world on May Day, 2004.
CITU greets the working class and the people of the socialist countries, China,
Cuba, Vietnam and DPRK for upholding the banner of socialism, braving attacks,
subversion, blockade by imperialist forces.
CITU also greets the working class and the people of the advanced capitalist
countries who have raised the banner of resistance against neo-liberal economic
globalisation and military hegemony, against imperialist invasion and occupation
of foreign lands by their own governments. A truly international unity of the
working class is emerging through struggles.
CITU warmly greets the working class of the developing countries for common
struggle to fight back imperialist offensives on economic and political
sovereignty and also the attacks of the ruling classes against the toiling
CITU specially greets the working class, the toiling people and the democratic
masses of India for their exemplary record of resistance movements against the
retrograde economic policies of the government, against the attacks by all state
organs, including the judiciary, on our democratic rights. A new era of
intensified mass movements where unity is developing not from the top but from
the grass-root level has begun.
TWO DISTINCT TRENDS
year since our last May Day has witnessed two distinct trends of developments
that we must note. One, that the
attack against the people, particularly the working class, their life and living
has been intensified many times over by the imperialist forces and capitalist
classes almost everywhere. The other, as a positive development, peoples’
resistance has grown from strength to strength, all over the world. The
disapproval of senseless globalisation and imperialist invasion is growing
louder and having a profound impact on political and economic life in both the
developed and developing countries.
brazen aggression against Iraq, defying world opinion, international laws and
propriety has now been proved beyond doubt to be based completely on lies and
disinformation. The self-appointed global leaders now stand exposed, as no
weapons of mass destruction have been found, no link with terrorists could be
established, even one year after occupation. It was the lust for oil for which
thousands of innocent Iraqi men, women and children lost their lives and their
country devastated. Those alive are living in total anarchy, untold misery and
suffering. About the “War on Terror” the truth is coming out from within the
neo-conservative coterie that champions the cause. It is now clear that George W
Bush was actually waiting for 9/11 to happen to roll out his war machines and
the grandiose plan to subjugate the world by superior military strength. The
coterie has never concealed that after Afghanistan and Iraq, the targets are
Iran and North Korea. Added to this is the continuing massacre and devastation
arrogantly perpetrated on the Palestinian people by the Israeli forces, with the
active support of the US administration, defying all UN resolutions and ignoring
worldwide protest and condemnation.
tragedy is that most national governments have remained mute spectators to this
international gangsterism. Some governments only made a few harmless noises. In
India the corporate leadership and the NDA government not only acquiesced to the
crime but also were salivating in the hope that Godfather America would throw
some crumbs of the spoils in the form of contracts to rebuild Iraq.
people all over the world could not be hoodwinked by all this hype and
fictitious propaganda. Rarely have we seen such unanimity of views about the
criminal act of aggression against Iraq among people along the length and
breadth of the globe. More importantly, probably for the first time, people have
started asserting themselves, rising above chauvinism, and defeating those
political combines in national governments which joined the coalition of
gangsters. The people are refusing to be accomplices in this crime. The trend
set in Spain is likely to silence the other big guns, Bush, Blair and Howard,
before our next May Day in 2005. Zapatero has declared that “you cannot start
a war based on lies’ which is an unconcealed indictment of Bush, Blair, Aznars
as liars. This is the voice of the people of Spain, the people of the world. The
CITU also hopes that the working class and people of the US, UK and Australia
will give a similar rebuff to their respective rulers who have, so far, taken
the world for granted.
BANKRUPTCY OF CAPITALISM
the economic front too, the neoliberal globalisation is failing to deliver even
minimum relief to people. People are getting restless and raising their voice of
protest as globalisation is bringing only hardships and sufferings to their
lives. Fewer and fewer people are standing in defence of neoliberal
this background, the international corporate giants led by the US government and
their cohorts became more aggressive, more violent in their attempts to dominate
and control the entire world economy to their benefit. The CITU has always
maintained that neo-liberal imperialist globalisation is basically anti-people
in character, a truth that is more pronounced now than ever before. That is why
the other trend, of peoples’ resistance to globalisation, is getting stronger
every day. People in country after country, including in the United States, are
rising in revolt because their jobs are vanishing, living standards are falling,
crimes, suicides are increasing and social unrest in growing. In the course of
the last five or six years people have given their verdict against neoliberal
globalisation in many ways, in many countries. The failure of the Cancun
ministerial meet of WTO last September and the incidents both within and outside
the WTO forum reflected the anger of mass of the toiling people the world over,
and also their firm resolve not to kneel before the rabid mechanism of
discrimination and arm-twisting by world monopoly capital, which is in-built in
the WTO system. The blockade built up in the Cancun WTO meeting by a group of
developing countries led by Brazil, South Africa and China drew strength from
such widespread expression of peoples’ anger.
have also seen in many countries in Latin America, Asia and Europe that the
governments ushering in neo-liberal globalisation have been dumped. The regime
changes in Venezuela, Brazil, Ecuador and the last one in Spain are examples.
But that also could not change the policies fundamentally, not even could
tilt their direction. And such developments are gradually bringing to the fore
the utter inefficacy, rather bankruptcy of the capitalist system to address even
the basic problems of mankind. And precisely in this backdrop, the immense
popularity of the slogan of “Another World is Possible” raised loudly from
the three successive meets of “World Social Forum” marks the beginning of a
quest for an alternative to the most inhuman brutal face of the capitalist
system. The World Social Forum held in Mumbai in January 2004 firmly declared
its determination to carry forward the struggle with more determination.
CITU apprehends that attacks will be intensified to subvert not only people’s
rights and jobs but also the democratic systems. World monopoly capital is
heading towards an intractable situation when there is no growth for them, no
job or income growth for people, no political stability in most places as
pro-monopolist, pro-nationalist opposite forces tear apart the systems to create
chaos. The symptoms are already there and the situation enjoins upon the working
class movement worldwide to take the plunge in heightening the resistance
against all the facets of neoliberal imperialist globalisation, both on the
economic and political front, against all its agencies, to rally the people from
all walks of life in the struggle, towards building a global unity against
globalisation, towards a more conscious mobilisation for the fight for potential
alternative to the capitalist system, the fight for socialism.
the country, the developments on the political and economic front are similar to
the trends in the international arena. Toiling people in India have been
confronting brutal attacks on their rights, life and livelihood by the ruling
polity-employers’ class combine, who are pursuing vigorously the neoliberal
economic agenda dictated by and in the interest of international finance capital
and Indian monopoly capital. Unfortunately, the main opposition party in the
country is supporting the same economic policy regime on most of the issues.
Simultaneously, with the intent of diverting peoples’ discontent and to
weaken the united resistance to this anti-people economic policy regime, the
ruling political combine headed by the BJP has resorted to rousing communal
passions to divide and disrupt the unity of the people. However, the united and
organised assertion of the working class has been able to make the voice of
opposition to the anti-people regime louder, throughout the country. The
determined struggle against privatisation by the workers of NALCO along with the
people from all walks of life has proved that the privatisation drive can be
stopped by united movement of the working class.
past year since May Day, 2003 has witnessed two massive countrywide general
strikes by the working people of the country, one on May 21, 2003 and another on
February 24, 2004, apart from numerous sectoral struggles reflecting the firm
resolve of the working people to carry on the fight against these anti-people
policies, defeating all disruptive ploys. The CITU congratulates the working
class for its leading role in challenging this anti-national, anti-people
Vajpayee government has pushed the country’s economy onto the track of
disaster and ruin through its pursuit of neoliberal economic policies. These
economic policies are de-industrialising the economy and mortgaging the
country’s economic sovereignty to the imperialist powers. Rising joblessness
and unemployment, aggravation of poverty, widespread sickness and closure of
industries, unending corruption in contracts and purchases and even bigger
privatisation-scams are the highlights of the BJP-led misrule, which cannot be
whitewashed by the government’s fraudulent campaign of “feel-good” or
“India shining”. All the lie campaigns cannot suppress the glaring facts of
ruinous decline of the economy. Economic growth rates dipped consistently during
the entire post-liberalisation period, compared to the pre-reform period, and
the slowdown intensified during the Vajpayee regime in particular. Unemployment
grew phenomenally in both cities and villages and starvation deaths and suicide
are rising despite godowns overflowing with food grains. Never before was the
peasantry so vulnerable and pauperised as now - they die when the crop fails and
they also die when there is a bumper crop and the prices crash to the ground.
Banks are flush with funds but the investment rate is dipping. Side by side, the
tax-evaders, the frauds, the cheats, the criminals enjoy all the goodies - they
are “feeling good” and trying to convince the rest of India to feel good
through a barrage of propaganda.
the midst of all these, the working people are facing the most atrocious
onslaught on their rights and livelihood. The militancy of the employers is
actively encouraged by the government at the centre and in most of the states,
through non-enforcement of and liberal exemption from labour laws accompanied by
an alarming rise in lock-outs, closures and shut-downs, and brazen defalcation
of workers’ dues by the employers. This has created the ground for drastic
changes in labour laws, to impose conditions of slavery on the toiling people.
The Second National Commission on Labour has already drawn the blueprint for the
same. The change has already started with the introduction of ‘fixed term
employment’ with the crooked aim of banishing the concept of permanent jobs
from the workplace.
the wings of the State machinery, including the judiciary, have come out with
their fangs bared to assault the rights of collective assertion by the workers.
The perverse vindictiveness of the Tamilnadu government towards its employees,
the response of the apex court of the country in imposing a ban on ‘right to
strike’, and the unqualified endorsement of all such misdeeds by the Vajpayee
government are all a blatant expression of fascistic intolerance of the ruling
class towards the right of organised expression of the working class.
all this, the working class movement of the country dared to organise a
countrywide action in defiance of the prohibitive orders. The February 24 strike
is the beginning of this phase of defiance through militant countrywide class
actions in defence of democratic rights not only of the workers but of the
entire people, as the attack on worker’s rights is a prelude to an attack on
democracy. These rights are to be defended by a more militant and organised
assertion of those rights. That is the lesson of history. Further, the entire
developments reiterate the truth that by sacrificing and trampling underfoot the
rights and interests of the toiling people, neither the economy nor the society
can advance. The biased effort to make only the capitalists and landlords
‘feel good’ can in no way lead to employment generation and all round
sustained development. Let May Day
2004 carry this realisation to the broadest section of the toiling people.
DEFEAT NDA COMBINE
year, May Day will be observed by the working class in the midst of a grim
political battle – the general election to the 14th Lok Sabha. The BJP-led
political combine which came to power by cheating the people and using the
communal divisive route has been able to carry on for five years through the
same trickery and communal ploys. Now, in the face of the forthcoming elections,
they have resorted to again cheating the people through lie-campaigns and
rousing communal passion, to get themselves back to political power.
last five years of BJP led governance have witnessed an all round degeneration
and perverse distortion of social, political and cultural values, accompanied by
disaster on the economic front, thereby exposing the BJP-led combine as the
enemy of the nation and enemy of the people.
the social and political front, in the face of mounting discontent among the
people against such pro-rich policies, the BJP bandwagon has, in a calculated
manner, resorted to nasty tricks, putting human lives at stake, to create the
ground for communal riots, to bring about a divisive polarisation among the
electorates, just to retain themselves in power. The Gujarat riots, including
their antecedent, the Godhra carnage, was the handiwork of the RSS outfits, just
to retain the BJP in political power in Gujarat and help it to form governments
in other states.
in the run up to elections, the BJP bandwagon has been working overtime to rouse
communal frenzy. The Sangh Parivar outfits like the VHP, Bajrang Dal, etc are
raising communal slogans, seeking to rebuild the frenzy over the Ram temple at
Ayodhya, proudly proclaiming their so-called Hindutva plank, while the leaders
of its political outfit, the BJP, is assuming the role of a moderate force,
to confuse and cheat the people and garner votes. The same trick is being
played on economic policy issues where RSS outfits like the Swadeshi Jagaran
Manch and BMS spit venom in public against the economic policy of liberalisation
and globalisation while staying away from any concrete action against those
working class and the toiling people must not allow themselves to be cheated
again by the BJP led combine. They
must teach this number one enemy a lesson by decisively defeating the NDA
combine in the forthcoming election.
May Day 2004 places before us the task of strengthening the countrywide united struggle against neoliberal imperialist globalisation and its protagonists in the social and political arena. Pro-neoliberalism will take the country to ruin and only an anti-liberalisation struggle can save the country from disaster. The working class must pledge to unite itself, defeat the communal and divisive forces and lead the struggle to save the country by exposing our enemies and their policies.
This struggle is gaining momentum worldwide and on this day of international solidarity, let us pledge to unify the entire toiling and democratic people in the ongoing struggle through the broadest possible mobilisation.
Day 2004 has one unified call all over the world – “We want jobs for all”,
“A decent living for all” which neoliberalism can never provide. Hence the
slogan for another world. We have the confidence that it is possible to achieve
pledge on this day, as we join the world struggle with all our might to secure
what is needed most - a secure job for all and a decent life for all — in
us march forward to defend the interests of our great country and its people!
live working class unity!
with imperialism! Long live Socialism!
of the World Unite!