(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
October 19, 2008
DYFI Launches Azadi Bachao Abhiyan Against Nuke Deal, Price-Rise and Communalism
SIXTY one years have passed since our country became independent. Our freedom was the outcome of innumerable sacrifices made by the people in a long struggle against the British imperialism. Now, after six decades, the single largest threat faced by independent India has come from the new and unholy alliance forged by our ruling classes with US imperialism in the name of Indo-US nuclear deal. This strategic alliance, its economic and military dimensions has changed the political situation.
In the background of this changed political situation, that arose after the Congress led UPA government at the centre decided to go ahead on the notorious Indo-US nuclear deal, the DYFI, in order to intensify its ongoing campaign against the deal and to ensure its effective intervention in raising the issues of price-rise and communalism has decided to organise a nationwide Azadi Bachao Abhiyan. The Indo-US nuclear deal is an integral part of a strategic partnership with the US. This deal and provisions of the Hyde Act are against the national interest. The government’s claim that nuclear deal will provide energy security and help India to become a super power is false. Instead this will lead to an energy dependence, undermine national sovereignty and affect our independent foreign policy. In short, India will be reduced to the status of a subordinate ally of US.
The Congress led UPA government is not at all bothered by the unprecedented price-rise. Initially, the trinity of Manmohan Singh, Chidambaram and Montek Singh Ahluwalia tried to defend the rising inflation by saying that it was an ‘indicator of growth and development’. But when the inflation instead of coming down surpassed the growth rate, then the government pleaded for its helplessness on account of surging oil prices. Even though the oil prices have come down by almost 40 per cent, the government is not ready to lower the petroleum prices in the country. Interestingly, now the fact is that the rate of inflation and GDP growth rate are moving in opposite directions. The rate of inflation that relentlessly increased over the last one year has gone beyond 12 per cent, which is the highest in last one and a half decade. And the so-called 10 per cent growth rate has come down to below 8 per cent. The condition of the majority of our people has become miserable. India’s ranking in the human development index has further come down from 126 to 128 and more than three fourths of our population is living on less than rupees 20 a day. But, the government is not at all concerned. The government was busy with the nuclear deal despite the disclosures, which have ripped apart the false assurances and promises made by the prime minister.
While the Manmohan Singh government is busy in fulfilling its commitments to US imperialism, there has been a spurt in the communal violence in the country. The communal forces instigated violence in Jammu and Kashmir on the Amarnath Shrine Board land transfer issue and then the VHP-Bajrang Dal attacked the Christian minorities in Orissa and Karnataka. In this worst ever communal rage, churches were set on fire, Christian institutions, orphanages and hamlets were destroyed, a nun was gang raped and another was burnt alive. Thousands of Christians fled their homes to take shelter in the forest. What is alarming is that these attacks are still going on and are spreading. In such a serious situation, the central government should have intervened to stop the communal violence. But due to its soft Hindutva approach, the Congress led UPA government has failed in taking strict action against the communal forces.
The forces of terrorism have also stepped up their activities during this period. In the serial bomb blasts in Jaipur, Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Delhi and some other places, many innocent people have lost their lives and hundreds got seriously injured. Increasingly the people everywhere are feeling insecure. The Hindu communal forces are trying to give a communal colour to these heinous acts of terrorist violence. But the Manmohan Singh government is concentrating all its efforts on expressing its ‘deeply love you’ gesture for a president who is known for his backing and active support to fundamentalist and terrorists and who by virtue of his policies of imperialist onslaughts has attained the dubious distinction of becoming the most unpopular president in the history of USA with a disapproval rate as high as 72 percent. The historical experience of our freedom movement and that of other anti-imperialist struggles of past and present all over the world suggests that if challenges of fundamentalism and terrorism are to be contained and defeated, then the fight against imperialism cannot be compromised. But, the Manmohan Singh government is undermining this lesson by compromising India’s sovereignty.
The situation of unemployment has further aggravated. It has become a serious problem for the majority of our people. The ban on recruitment is still in place and the UPA government has shamelessly refused to lift this ban. The policy of downsizing is being ruthlessly implemented and lakhs of posts have already been abolished in the four and half year tenure of the UPA government. This government has also failed to keep its promises of spending 6 per cent of the GDP on education and 3 per cent on health. As a result, education and health have become a luxury for majority of our people.
It is clear that the prime minister and the Indian government are not prepared to honour their own promises made four and a half years ago. This is an outright betrayal. Such a betrayal has serious consequences for the people and for India’s future as an independent sovereign nation in the world.
It is in this context that DYFI has decided to mobilise youth and other sections of our society against the dubious deal, price-rise and communalism. The nuclear deal and the strategic alliance with Bush administration are against the spirit of our national movement. The congress led government is betraying the great anti imperialist tradition of our freedom movement. Hence, in order to uphold the great traditions and values of our anti-imperialist struggle, DYFI has launched this Azadi Bachao Abhiyan (Save Independence Campaign).
The first phase of this nationwide movement was launched on 21 July 2008. On that day, a youth-student protest march was organised in front of the parliament on the eve of the debate on confidence motion. 15 August, the Independence Day was observed as the ‘National Sovereignty Day’ all over the country. In between July 21and August 15, protest marches, street meetings and seminars were conducted all over the country.
The second phase of the campaign has started from September 27 , the birthday of Shaheed Bhagat Singh. This phase of the campaign will culminate on November 3, 2008 with a huge all India youth rally in Delhi. Between September 27 and November 3, seven all India (inter state) youth jathas are being organised connecting various epic centers of our freedom struggle. The first jatha will start from Hyderabad (Andhra Pradesh) and culminate at Vayalar (Kerala) both great centers of peasant and working class uprisings against the British. The second jatha will begin from Cooch Bihar in West Bengal and the third will be from Agartala (Tripura). Both these jathas will culminate at Guwahati (Assam). The fourth jatha covering Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh will be from Aurangabad to Hyderabad. Another jathas will start from Shimla and culminate at Amritsar. After this, two more jathas will start from Jallianwala Bagh (Amritsar) and Jhansi with Delhi as their destination. These jathas will touch many important places, which carry heroic heritage of our anti-imperialist struggle. As a culmination of these jathas, a huge youth rally against nuclear deal, price-rise and communalism will be held in Delhi on November 3, 2008 which is also the foundation day of DYFI. This rally will be attended by thousands of youth from across the country.