(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
June 7, 2009
Proof Of Pudding Is In Its Eating
AS expected, the President's Address to the joint session of the parliament following the 15th general elections, is full of bombastic claims of what this UPA government has charted out to achieve this time around. Many of the programmes and schemes that have been enumerated are actually a repetition and a follow-up of what was contained in the Common Minimum Programme of the previous government. This in itself constitutes an admission that much of what was promised last time around remains unfulfilled. This is confirmed by the fact that many of the flagship programmes like Rural Employment Guarantee, Bharat Nirman etc have been unable to fulfill the targets. For instance, the NREGA has, on an average, given 48 days of work as against the promised 100 to about 50 per cent of the 10 crore registered job card holders in the country. Likewise, only 27 per cent of the target for rural electrification has been achieved. The president has spoken a great deal about strengthening the infrastructure in the agriculture sector. However, only 56 per cent of the targeted expansion of irrigation could be achieved.
There continues to be a state of
denial on the impact
of the global economic recession on
The president has spoken of the
commitment for an “inclusive society and an inclusive economy” as the
before the country by her government in 2004. What is the reality of
five years? Notwithstanding the bombastic claims of a high growth
until the global capitalist crisis and recession impacted upon us, the
of economic reforms of liberalisation, privatisation and globalisation
the creation of two Indias – a ‘shining’ India for a few and a
India for the vast majority. By the government's own estimation, 78 per
Indians live on less than Rs 20 a day.
While, on the other hand, there are at least 36 dollar
the country whose assets equal 25 per cent of
However, in the name of raising
for meeting the situation, the president has announced that her
undertake large-scale disinvestment of the public sector “while
government equity does not fall below 51 per cent”.
What the Left parties were able to prevent
during the course of the last five years has now been brought to the
stage. This comes at a time when the
Worst, the access for private capital to enhance their assets and profits has been made by the president with the announcement that public-private-partnership (PPP) is the “key element” of its strategy for developing the country's infrastructure. We have already seen how such PPP projects, while giving massive profits to private capital, are leading to imposing greater burdens on the people. Take, for instance, the imposition of substantial user development charges in the private airports. Thus, the future appears as one which would impose greater burdens on the people, notwithstanding the expression of concern for “inclusive growth”.
The president has listed a long set of measures that her government will implement in the first 100 days (a la Obama). The first on this list is the promise to implement the Women’s Reservation Bill. At least now it is hoped that this will see the light of the day after having been kept pending for over a decade.
The president has made customary
Declaration of laudable intent has never been in short supply with the Indian ruling classes. The real class nature emerges in the implementation of many such intentions. Recollect, Indira Gandhi's famous slogan of ‘garibi hatao’ (remove poverty). After a few years, the people, given the decline in their standards of livelihood, raised the slogan of ‘garibi laotao’ (restore poverty).
The period ahead, thus, is bound to be one where the Indian people can protect themselves and work for improving their standards of livelihoods only through sustained powerful struggles. Indeed, we need to brace ourselves for such struggles in the future.