People's Democracy(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
April 25, 2004
Sitaram Yechury’s Election Speech On AIR
results of the elections to the 14th Lok Sabha will have an important bearing on
the future of India. The last six years have seen a systematic assault on the
secular democratic foundations of the Indian Republic. It is, therefore,
necessary that the combination of the communal forces led by the BJP is defeated
in these elections. The CPI(M)
appeals to all of you to vote for the candidates of the Communist Party of India
(Marxist) in these elections. Where
we are not in the fray, we seek your support for the candidates of other Left,
secular and democratic parties in order to ensure the formation of an
alternative secular government at the Centre.
years ago, the incumbent government assumed office promising to liberate India
from the clutches of hunger, fear and corruption. In addition, it promised to generate one crore new jobs
annually. On all these four counts, the situation today is much worse than what
it was five years ago.
deaths and distress suicides are stalking rural India.
Three out of these five years have seen a negative growth in agricultural
production. The per capita
availability and consumption of foodgrains, pulses and cereals has declined.
The outstanding debt and liabilities of the government of India stand
above 17 lakh crores of rupees today. An
interest of nearly one and a half lakh crores of rupees is being paid annually.
How is this being financed? By
cutting down the already meagrely low levels of expenditures aimed at providing
some relief for the vast majority of India's poor.
Thus, the mortgaging of India is accompanied by mounting unprecedented
economic burdens on the people. Subsidies
for the poor are being cut while the rich are being subsidised through a series
of tax concessions. Under these circumstances, the absolute levels of hunger
have, in fact, risen.
a fifth of our population belonging to religious minorities live in an
atmosphere of fear and insecurity. The
State-sponsored communal genocide
in Gujarat has numbed the entire nation. If
ever any reconfirmation were necessary on the partisan role of the BJP
government in Gujarat, it has come from the Supreme Court which has ordered the
re-trial of the horrendous Best Bakery massacre case outside of Gujarat. There
cannot be any greater indictment. The torching of Christian missionary Graham
Staines has sent shock waves of fear all across the country.
Fear amongst religious minorities has grown in an unprecedented way
during these five years.
has been institutionalised by this government. Scams galore
have surfaced with a hitherto
unknown rapidity. Tehelka, UTI,
land, petrol pump, disinvestment, telecom, sugar, stamp paper, stock market –
the list seems endless. The depravity has reached such levels that money was
made even in the orders for coffins for the Kargil martyrs!
these years, far from creating new jobs, the organised sector has seen a loss of
nearly nine lakh jobs. Agricultural labour has been unable to find work for more
than 100 days in any year during
this period. Reckless
privatisation is spreading a sense of unprecedented insecurity among the
employees. Our youth are wandering aimlessly
in an atmosphere of uncertainty. In
a country where 54 per cent of our population is below the age of
25, such rampant unemployment is a cause for serious concern.
CPI(M) believes that only an alternative set of policies can today
safeguard the secular democratic character of the Indian Republic as well
as provide relief for the vast majority of its people.
These alternative policies will have to focus on liberating the vast mass
of Indian people from the fetters of poverty and economic bondage.
This would mean the implementation of land reforms, as has been done by
Left-ruled governments in West Bengal and Kerala.
This would mean a significant increase in public investment that would
develop both the necessary economic and social infrastructure while providing
employment. The resources for this
must be mobilised through
the realisation of tax dues that amount to a whopping
one and a half lakh crores of rupees, recovering the over one lakh crores
of unpaid loans taken by corporate sector and by enhancing resource mobilisation.
CPI(M) stands for strengthening the panchayati raj system, a proper devolution
of Centre-State relations, the repeal of anti-democratic laws like POTA, the
protection of democratic rights of people including the right to strike and for
separation of religion from the State.
is, therefore, necessary to strengthen the representation of the CPI(M) and the
Left in the coming Lok Sabha to work for the implementation of these
these circumstances, it becomes the duty of every Indian patriot to strengthen
our Republic by ensuring that the BJP-led NDA government does not return to
let us all together, save India today in order to change it for the better
for the hammer, sickle and star.