People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 17

April 25, 2004



Inflict Decisive Defeat On NDA Combine


THE Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) extends revolutionary greetings to the working class all over the world on May Day, 2004.


The 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.


The 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.


The 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 masses.


The 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.



The 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.


The 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.


            The 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.


            However, 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.



On 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 globalisation.


            In 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.


We 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.


            The 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.



Within 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.


The 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 regime. 


The 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.


In 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.


All 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.


Despite 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.    



This 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.


The 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.           


On 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.


Now, 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 policies.


The 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.


May 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 “another world”.


We 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 another world.


Let us march forward to defend the interests of our great country and its people!

Long live working class unity!

Long live international solidarity of the working class!

Down with imperialism! Long live Socialism!

Workers of the World Unite!