People's Democracy

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

Vol. XXX

No. 18

April 30, 2006



ON the historic May Day – the day of the international solidarity of the working people – the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) extends revolutionary greetings to and pledges solidarity with the:




THE US imperialists, under the Bush administration, continue to push forward with a global strategy of “fighting terrorism” and promoting “democracy”. It is continuing its illegal occupation in Iraq, despite the public opinion in the US turning decisively against it. The Tony Blair regime of UK, which has been a running mate of the US regime, is also getting isolated from its own people on this issue. 


Despite claims of ‘restoring democracy’ in Iraq, with the adoption of a new constitution and holding of elections to the National Assembly in December last year, there is a virtual sectarian divide in the division between the Kurds, Sunnis and Shias within Iraq. Attacks on the US and its allied forces have been mounting. Besides Iraqi army and police force, the US army is directly resorting to search and destroy missions in various towns and areas, which is leading to mounting civilian casualties. It has been now revealed that the US army has also used chemical weapons, which have deadly effects, in its attacks.


The trial of Saddam Hussein and his colleagues, being conducted in Baghdad, has no legitimacy whatsoever as the same is orchestrated by the United States with a rigged up judiciary. 


Coming after the torture of the prisoners in Abu Ghraib by the US army, international media exposure of the CIA’s secret prisons has put the Bush administration in further trouble.  In the name of war on terror, the CIA has been snatching people in various countries and flown them secretly to prisons in countries such as Egypt, Afghanistan, Poland and Romania for torture. The European Union, by law, prohibits torture and the British and German governments are in the dock for allowing hundreds of CIA flights carrying the illegal detainees. This episode has dented the US claim of being the champion of human rights.

In its single-minded drive for control over West Asia, the US imperialism has acquiesced in the Israeli gameplan of reducing the Palestinian state to just some truncated parts along with the Gaza strip, after it withdrew its troops from the Gaza strip but annexed a major part of the West Bank.


The United States is now targeting both Iran and Syria. The United States openly talks of regime change in Syria and Iran –– as also in Cuba and DPR Korea. The US is building up a case for an Iraq type attack on Iran around the nuclear issue and reports are appearing that the Pentagon is preparing for bombing of select nuclear sites in Iran.


Inside European Union, the assumption of office as new chancellor of Germany by Angela Merkel as the leader of a grand coalition, following a fractured verdict in the election, has resulted in a shift to the right. In Japan also, a pro-US regime had been returned to power in the elections there.


However, political developments in several countries in South America have shown the growing trends of resisting imperialist hegemony and moving away from unipolarity.


The CITU pledges to unleash a powerful anti-imperialist struggle within India, in solidarity with all the peace-loving forces, demanding withdrawal of US troops from Iraq, opposing the US machinations against Iran, the DPRK, Syria, Cuba and Venezuela and extending solidarity with the Palestinian people. 




ON the national scene, with the UPA government in office for nearly two years at the centre, the focus of the political discourse in the country has shifted from non-issues to real issues concerning people’s livelihood. The UPA regime, because of its crucial dependence on the Left for its survival, has been forced to adopt a National Common Minimum Programme holding out certain valuable commitments.


The UPA regime has taken certain – though half-hearted – measures towards improving people’s welfare. It had enacted the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, committing itself to provide a legal guarantee for employment to rural households.  The Right to Information Act has been adopted.  Draconian POTA has been repealed. Legislations have been introduced in the parliament to protect the rights of tribals, women etc.


But the overall direction of the policies pursued by the UPA government is, in the popular perception, drifting away from the commitments held out to the people.


There have been several disconcerting features in the realm of foreign policy. The UPA government has succumbed to US pressures, opting for a framework agreement in defence cooperation, voting in line with the US in the IAEA on nuclear issue, entering into a nuclear deal with the US et al. The US will continue to extract a price for accepting India as a strategic ally and extending nuclear cooperation. These are definite compromises over India’s independent foreign policy.


In this backdrop, the CITU recalls with pride that even though the ruling classes of the country chose to roll out a red carpet welcome to the US president during his recent visit to India, the working class was in the forefront staging massive protests against ‘Killer Bush’, with slogans of ‘Go Back’ renting the air.


The Congress party, leading the UPA coalition, had proved incapable of carrying forward the fight against the BJP-led communal forces, as witnessed in the NDA taking the reigns of power in Bihar and sharing the spoils of governance in Karnataka. It has miserably failed to tactfully handle the fallout of the disqualification of a Samajwadi MP on the question of holding an office of profit. The media has sensationalised an otherwise non-issue, which the bankrupt NDA seized upon to attack the Congress leadership. The country is plunged into a divisive political polemics, with the leader of the Congress, Sonia Gandhi, throwing in her resignation – touted as a second renunciation. In the elections to the legislatures in five states, the Congress Party is forging opportunist political alliances, overt and covert, against the Left in West Bengal and Kerala.


The UPA government, in its eagerness to pursue the economic policies of liberalisation, is reluctant to take measures that are in favour of the rural and urban poor. It has also taken many a step against the interests of the working class.


The government has reduced the rate of interest rate on EPF from 9.5 to 8.5 per cent, despite the strong opposition of the trade unions. It refuses to accede to the genuine plea to differentiate the EPF as a second security fund from other financial market deposits. The push for labour law reforms has been given a thrust right from the office of the prime minister, who, at the Indian Labour Conference, voiced the demand to allow hire and fire policies. The labour ministry has arbitrarily released a new series of Consumer Price Index for the Industrial Workers with the base year 2001 – 100, brazenly ignoring the unanimous opposition of all the central trade unions, a move solely aimed at artificially deflating the price indices leading to severe cutbacks in the Dearness Allowance entitlements of crores of workers.


The government increased the prices of petroleum products in successive phases and refused to revise the taxation structure on petroleum products to obviate passing off the burdens on to the people. The prices of various commodities have been rising sharply, with no effort to check.


Though the government, after a prolonged stand off by the Left, was forced to rescind a cabinet decision to divest 10 per cent of the shares in BHEL, it had opened up the retail sector for FDI; it has gone ahead with the proposals for the privatisation of the airports; and more such moves are in the offing.


The UPA government has also failed to protect the interests of Indian agriculture and other sectors of the economy in the ongoing Doha round of WTO negotiations and agreed to several compromises in the recently concluded Hong Kong Ministerial meeting.


The judiciary, of late, has been coming out with pronouncements, which have pernicious impact for labour in the country. A whole series of apex court verdicts in recent years have sought to usher in a ‘hire and fire’ regime, much sought after by the employer class and international finance capital. This has come as a judicial bonanza of completing the ‘unfinished agenda of reforms’. The working class has to factor this aspect in its future struggles to defend and enlarge labour rights.


Against these anti-worker measures, the working class of India has staged a series of direct actions. The countrywide strike on September 29, 2005, the strike against privatisation of airports at Mumbai and Delhi and the indefinite strike by State Bank employees on pension issue are pointers to heralding a new phase of struggles to reverse the anti-people economic policies.


The CITU calls upon the working class of the country to prepare for a sustained struggle to fight the anti-worker and anti-people measures on all the three aspects –– economic policy regime, deviations from independent foreign policy and ‘soft-hindutva’ approach towards communal forces.




THE working people of India, while carrying on a sustained struggle against imperialist offensives on the one hand and the disastrous policies of globalisation on the other, are mandated with the gigantic task of resisting the onslaught of the communal forces.


After the defeat of the BJP-led NDA government in the general elections of 2004, the majoritarian communal forces represented by the sangh parivar have been in a state of disarray. The BJP has plunged into a deep crisis, with mounting dissidence within and worsening of relations with the RSS. The latter ensured the exit of L K Advani, the leading aspirant for the seat of prime minister, from the post of president of the BJP, after he sang ‘Jinnah the secular’ tune during his visit to Lahore. All the claims of BJP to be a 'party with a difference' had floundered with the surfacing of scams and scandals involving its leading lights.


The BJP found itself in the dock with the discovery of a mass graveyard in Panchamahal district in Gujarat of the victims of the 2002 State-sponsored communal carnage, the report of Banerjee committee laying bare its lies on Godhra train accident and the Mumbai High Court punishing the criminal conspirators of Best Bakery case, who were let off by the court in Modi’s Gujarat. Its close ally, Shiv Sena, met with serious political setback and electoral reverses in Maharashtra.


Yet, this motley crowd of self-seeking and unscrupulous elements cannot be written off. They indulge in every sort of manoeuvres to get back to the centre stage of Indian polity. With the RSS asserting its domination with the diktat that it shall not tolerate any dilution of its ideological content, the communal forces will up the ante of aggressive pursuit of the fascistic 'hindutva' agenda. The resumption of ‘yatra’ mode of fomenting communal hatred by Advani and the new BJP president Rajnath Singh, in the aftermath of a terrorist attack on a Varanasi temple, is intended to recover its lost political ground through communal polarisation.


The CITU calls upon the working people to exercise eternal vigilance over these overt and covert moves by the communal forces and meet their challenge squarely to preserve the secular democratic fabric of the country’s polity.




ON this May Day, the CITU calls upon the working people of India to mobilise all sections of the toiling masses in the impending fight against


Long live working class unity!

Long live international solidarity of the working class!

Down with imperialism!

Long live socialism!