People's Democracy

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


No. 04

January 22, 2012

UPA Pursuing Rejected Policies: Karat


CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat remarked that while the neo-liberal policies were being rejected all over the world, the UPA government in India is hell bent upon pushing through the neo liberal reforms. This is a paradox of sorts.


Karat, on January 17, 2011 was speaking in a seminar on “Challenges of the time and the tasks before the Left” in Kolkata, organised as part of the preparations for the CPI(M) North 24 Paraganas district conference. 


Referring to continuing economic crisis in USA and Europe, Karat said in the seminar, “We have been saying that finance capital driven globalisation is unsustainable. Now even a banker has written in Financial Times that we are witnessing a ‘very Marxist crisis’, the elements of capitalist crisis which Marx foretold”.  


Karat said, “Exploitation has severely increased in India following the neo liberal policies. In 1980s, the share of profits to the real value was 20 per cent which was lower than the total share of wages. By 1990s, the share of profits increased to 30 per cent, and now to 60 per cent. This is a reflection of the rate of exploitation. New types of exploitation have emerged with a new differentiation among the working people.”


The first challenge before the Left , in this background, according to Karat is to organise the vast unorganised working people who are most ruthlessly exploited. “The earlier we do this, the more effectively we will be able to challenge the neo liberal policies”, said Karat. He said, “It is a welcome fact that all central trade unions have forged unity and one of the demands in the forthcoming general strike is about the contract labourers.”


He said, “Neo liberalism has caused havoc in agriculture. High costs of inputs and lack of support have driven 2.66 lakh peasants to suicide.  West Bengal bucked the trend during the Left Front regime.  But in the last four months, 21 peasants have taken their lives in the state. In Kerala, the LDF could halt suicides in Wayanad. But in the last one and half months, seven farmers had taken their lives there. This is a man-made disaster”.  It is important that the farmers are mobilised and strong worker-peasant alliance is built up, he said.


Karat said that the UPA government is pushing through measures like FDI in retail under pressure from the US. “Bringing Walmart to India is one of the top priorities of US interests in India”, he said. Left will not accept FDI in retail, he reiterated.


Karat said, “Through these policies, imperialism directly affects the livelihood of the people. It shows that the danger of imperialism is not an abstract concept. Mobilising large sections of people against imperialism is one of the challenges before the Left,” he emphasised.