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India: Maoists expose elections and call for boycott
21 April 2014. A World to Win News Service. India is currently holding national elections for parliament, as well as legislative assemblies in some states. The results are to be announced 16 May. As the media there and abroad like to point out, with about 800 million voters, this is the world’s biggest electoral contest. But what is it really about?
The main contenders in the general elections for the Lok Sabha (the lower, main house of parliament) are the Congress Party, which leads the current government through its leadership of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA), headed by Rahul Gandhi, and the National Democratic Alliance, led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), whose candidate for prime minister is Narendra Modi. Modi is also a member of the Rashtriya Sawayamsevak Sang (RSS), a paramilitary Hindu nationalist organization that literally looks to Nazism – and Zionism – as nationalist models. He was chief minister of the western state of Gujarat in 2002 when Hindu mobs led by local officials and police killed as many as several thousand Muslims.
Following is a 24 March statement by Abhay, the spokesperson for the Central Committee of the Communist Party of India (Maoist) giving his party’s views on these elections. We have edited it for non-Indian readers. For more information on those views, see “CPI (Maoist) Spokesperson Comrade Abhay Interview on General Elections – 2014” on bannedthought.net.
The elections for parliament and the state assemblies of Telangana, Seemandhra, Odisha, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh are to be held from 7 April to 12 May 2014. The exploiting ruling classes of our country are readying to impose another huge financial burden on the people by spending billions of rupees on this. On this occasion the major parliamentary parties, Congress and BJP, are vying sharply with each other for power and trying to deceive the people one more time by claiming that only they would develop our country. Defections from their opportunistic alliances with other parties are increasing as the elections approach.
Recently the Third Front came to the fore with much fanfare with eleven parties. As everybody expected, it is still immersed in fistfights regarding sharing of seats… The left parties, including the Communist Party of India (Marxist), had not yet recovered from the insulting defeat they had suffered in the West Bengal elections. Other parties … are fearing defeat if they join either the UPA or the NDA and so have either joined the Third Front or going it alone with so-called slogans of social justice, emancipation of Dalits [“untouchables”] and Bahujans [lower castes, tribal people and other minorities], and regional development, etc. Both the Third Front parties and those parties contesting on their own are following a “wait and see” policy to join whichever alliance comes to power after the election results…
Though elections have been held several times and several governments had changed in the past 65 years of “independent” rule, it is a fact that even to this day the basic needs of the people like food, clothing, shelter, education and health care remained out of reach. The oppressed masses who constitute 95 percent of the population are confronting poverty, illiteracy, unemployment, price rises, diseases, starvation deaths, corruption, etc., on a daily basis. Some 77 percent of the population is living on less than 20 rupees [a third of a U.S. dollar] per day. On the other hand, the big bourgeoisie and the big landlords are enjoying enormous amounts of wealth. A hundred corporations belonging to vultures like Ambani, Tata, Birla, Mittal, Jindal, etc., account for 25 percent of the GDP of our country. The chasm between the rich and the poor has increased beyond imagination. Corruption and scams have increased in leaps and bounds. The laws formulated to hamper these social differences and to prevent them had never been used on the moneyed classes. As a result, social unrest is swelling.
The Hindu chauvinist religious oppression on the religious minorities and the Hindu Brahman upper caste oppression on the Dalits in our country have increased. The repression of national liberation struggles in Kashmir, Asam and Manipur is increasing day by day. As a result of the long-drawn struggles of the Telangana people for decades, the parliament had to inevitably give its approval for the formation of a separate state for Telangana. However, they are still suppressing cruelly aspirations for separate statehoods for Bodoland, Gorkhaland etc. The Adivasis [tribal people] are continuously denied their rights… The women are getting crushed under vicious imperialist and feudal culture.
The government led by Congress has been rapidly implementing the second phase of economic reforms in its five year rule as a continuation of its Liberalization, Privatization and Globalization (LPG) policies due to the pressure of the imperialists and the big capitalists of our country who are bogged down in the world economic crisis, thus worsening conditions in all the sectors in our country. The government has signed agreements with multi-national companies and big Indian corporations and opened the doors widely for indiscriminate exploitation by handing over the natural riches of our country to them. Blatantly violating the law, it is forcing Adivasis and peasants to agree to giving up their land at the point of the gun in several areas in our country and implementing policies that would displace them on a gigantic scale. Due to the bankrupt policies of this government, industrial production in our country suffered and hundreds of thousands of workers have lost their livelihoods. The burden on other workers has increased. Their real wages plunged. The number of unorganized workers outside the purview of labour laws increased.
The government took up policies that would hand over retail trade to the imperialist companies. It gradually handed over the agriculture sector to the corporations and pushed agriculture into severe crisis. Increases in production costs, the lack of government support in the form of loans, etc., and lack of minimum support prices led to large-scale suicides of farmers. The lives of the people became intolerable with the sky rocketing cost of daily consumer goods and the periodic increase in petrol and diesel prices. The privatization of education and health sector have turned them into a rarity for the common people.
Corruption reached the skies and with great scams… the various ruling class politicians, cliques and government and military higher-ups gulped down billions of rupees of people’s exchequer. These brazen bandits and traitors stashed away billions of dollars in Swiss banks.
The schemes taken up by the government and hyped to the skies as the dream of Indira Gandhi’s “Garibi Hatao” [“abolish poverty”] realized by Sonia Gandhi have all turned ridiculous with reeking corruption. In fact, yesteryear’s slogan of land reforms disappeared completely. Due to its ecology-damaging policies, natural disasters like untimely rains and cyclones are occurring and people are suffering heavy losses. The government’s newly legislated acts relating to “land acquisition”, “food security” and opposing gang rape are either aimed at serving the interests of the imperialists and the exploiting ruling classes or as an eye-wash.
The government has depended on its military, paramilitary, special police and commando forces and intelligence agencies to suppress the masses who are rebelling against their anti-people policies and consolidate its rule and carry on offensives using fascist methods. It is curbing civil rights and even the right to live. The enemy forces are carrying out massacres of hundreds of Adivasis, Dalits, other oppressed masses, revolutionary activists and in revolutionary movement areas led by our party. All the movement areas in the various states have been turned into military camps of enemy forces. Thousands of innocent people, revolutionary activists and leaders were put in jails. On the one hand they are shouting that “the Maoist guerrillas who are resorting to violence in the forests do not have any ideology” and on the other they are trying to control the intellectuals by stating that “the Maoist ideologues in the cities who are continuously stoking the Maoist ideology are more dangerous than the guerrillas.” They are trying to isolate the progressive intellectuals, writers, youth and the students from the revolutionary movement and stand them in opposition to it.
The BJP, Left Front and other state governments are also collaborating with the government in this. The BJP had supported the UPA government in the past ten years on all the major policies it implemented. The only difference being where they sat – whether in ruling or in opposition. All their accusations and counter-accusations were done with the intention of deceiving the people. There is not much difference between the central and state governments too in this matter despite any party being in power. Similarly this suppression is not confined only to the Maoist movement areas. The struggles against the POSCO steel company and anti-nuclear struggles in Kudamkulam are the fresh examples of this.
The hegemony of the U.S. imperialists in the economic, polity, military and cultural spheres and the intervention of its intelligence agency FBI increased during UPA rule. The Wikileaks revelations made it clear that nearly a hundred thousand U.S. soldiers and officers are staying clandestinely in our country and are conveying all kinds of support and help directly and indirectly in imposing fascism on the people.
The Congress party in power continuously for ten years followed pro-imperialist, pro-comprador and bureaucrat bourgeoisie and big landlord policies and was responsible for the agonizing living conditions of the people and the disastrous economy of our country and for the massacres of thousands of activists of various democratic and revolutionary movements and people, and the persecution of religious minorities in the name of fighting “terrorists”. It won the dubious distinction of being the originator of the biggest and highest number of corruption scams in the parliamentary history of our country. As a result it won the severe hatred of the people. To escape this and hoodwink the people, the Congress party is bringing to the fore its main slogan of “Bharat Nirman” [a business plan for creating rural infrastructure], pointing towards the “development” it achieved in its ten-year rule, and towards anti-corruption, land acquisition, food security and anti-gang rape acts and welfare schemes that it formulated. The Congress party has been in power at the centre and in most of the states for the maximum time after 1947. It was mainly responsible for the anti-people policies that were formulated and implemented. The massacres of religious minorities, particularly the massacre of Sikhs in 1984, took place under its rule. It was mainly responsible for suppressing the just national liberation struggles of Kashmir and the present North East by massacring tens of thousand of youth through its military brute force. It implemented all these anti-people policies with the help of other parliamentary parties when in power and also by colluding with the ruling alliances when not in power.
The BJP’s main attack is on the corrupt rule of the Congress. It is clear that it does not have any basically different policies than Congress on any of the main issues confronting the people and the country and has the same corrupt, treacherous and dictatorial policies in every sphere. With the directive of the RSS, the BJP announced the Hindu bigot and mass murderer Narendra Modi as its prime ministerial candidate. It is hiding its Hindu chauvinist agenda behind the “Gujarat Vikas” (an electrical power company in the state of Gujarat) model and is concentrating its entire machinery around Modi to capture power at the centre one more time. The “Gujarat Vikas” model means terrorizing the Muslim and Christian minorities, seizing their properties, chasing them away from their abodes or making them servile through massacres of Muslim religious minorities and subjecting them to innumerable atrocities along with atrocities on Christian religious minorities; making the entire state a hub for the investments of multi-national companies and the Indian big bourgeoisie and opening doors to their endless exploitation and oppression. The BJP are aiming to establish this Hitlerite model in the entire country by coming to power in these elections.
The Congress party came to power the previous two terms and won the severe wrath of the people. So the ruling classes and the U.S. imperialists are openly supporting the candidature of Modi for the post of Prime Minister as he would implement their agenda ruthlessly. Accordingly the corporate media is propagating Modi on a huge scale. Its attempt to win in the Delhi elections by creating a religious divide and religious riots indicates its fascist face. A statement by the Sangh Parivar [Hindu nationalist alliance] a few days before the election dates apologizing to Muslims “if at any place any wrong was done to them” is nothing but a ploy to hide the massacre of Muslims carried on by Modi in Gujarat and gain their votes. But how could the Muslim and Christian religious minorities forget the massacres, discrimination, suppression and chauvinism that they suffered in the hands of the Sangh Parivar from 1947 to the recent killings? The pogrom and persecution of religious minorities in Gujarat under Modi met with unprecedented opposition and protest not only in Gujarat but all over our country. Even if they come to power, the Hindu fascists will have to face the countrywide active resistance of the Muslim and Christian minorities, revolutionary and democratic forces. This would be the foremost task of these forces then.
The AAP [Common Man Party], born and brought up with a NGO background and on imperialist and overseas Indian funds and support, is not going into the roots of this system and into the basic problems of the people and is resorting to Gandhian feats for solving people’s problems. They do not have any solution for the basic problems of the oppressed classes, people and sections that are being suppressed under exploitation and oppression. It is serving as a safety valve to divert the erupting people’s anger into peaceful and parliamentary solutions and trying to cash in on it…
The actual issues of the people never come up for discussion in the parliament and the assemblies. They are under the control of the imperialists, comprador/bureaucrat bourgeoisie and the big landlords. Where is the place for democracy in this system where votes could be bought with money, liquor, religious and caste-ist sentiments? It is ridiculous to call this a democracy when criminals, bandits and notoriously corrupt politicians win in elections. In fact, when we look into history we find that people’s problems have always been solved through people’s struggles, class struggles and people’s war and not through parliamentary forums.
As elections are being conducted like a farce each time, the Election Commission of India vowed to strengthen democracy during these elections and is trying to bring in several reforms along with including guidelines according to the Supreme Court order to give the voters the “right to reject” [to vote “None of the above”, by pressing the NOTA button] all over the country. In fact, this NOTA right suppresses the “right to recall” the elected representatives that the people should rightfully have. If they really intend to give the “right to reject”, then why are they deploying hundreds of thousands of government armed forces in areas where our party had given the call to boycott the polls in the name of conducting “free and fair” elections and carrying on attacks, search operations, arrests, fake encounter murders and massacres?
The great Marxist teacher Lenin stated in his State and Revolution, “Elections are held to decide once every few years which member of the ruling class is to repress and crush the people through parliament – such is the real essence of bourgeois parliamentarism, not only in parliamentary-constitutional monarchies, but also in the most democratic republics.” This is all the more applicable to our semi-colonial, semi-feudal country that claims itself to be the “world’s biggest democracy”. That is why none of the oppressed masses believe that their lives would change or that there would be a fundamental change in this system through these elections. In all the elections held in our country so far, a considerable number of voters are distancing themselves from polling. The stronger parties occupy the polling booths with their goon force and conduct vote rigging. Even those who vote are not doing so with the belief that these elections would benefit them. They are voting just for local needs or other pressures or lures such as caste, religion, regionalism, money, liquor, goondaism [goon squads], etc. There is no alternative for the people in this sham parliamentary system.
All the major parties coming to the fore in the elections are subservient to the imperialists and represent the Indian exploiting ruling classes. All these parties are anti-people, treacherous, corrupt, oppressive, reactionary and fascist in nature. Serving the interests of imperialism, the comprador and bureaucrat bourgeoisie and the big landlord classes, keeping intact the Indian semi-colonial semi-feudal system and crushing all democratic and revolutionary movements is the aim of these parties. They are coming together to suppress our party, the CPI (Maoist) that is coming to the fore as an alternative to this, the New Democratic Revolution led by it and the embryonic new organs of political power that represent the Indian people’s democratic federal republic based on genuine democracy and self-reliance.
Though these comprador parties loll in the pig-sty of the parliament for power and engage in dog-fights with each other for their share in the loot, when it comes to crushing the revolutionary movement, by labelling it the “gravest threat to the internal security” of our country they are all unanimous. They are resorting to a severe multi-pronged offensive according to the US-dictated low-intensity warfare strategy and tactics. Their deceptive proposals for peace talks and reform schemes are aimed at diverting the people and the democrats and to carry on a further heavy offensive on the revolutionary movement. The countrywide multi-pronged offensive carried on in the name War on People – Operation Green Hunt – since mid- 2009 by the central government by colluding with BJP and along with various state governments is a part of this. They are trying without success through repression to preserve this rotten exploiting system. But in a backdrop where the revolutionary conditions are maturing day by day, they are doomed to be swept away by the people.
The present exploitative system cannot be transformed with elections. The basic problems of the people would not be solved. Even their basic needs would not be fulfilled. All the electoral parties are dead against genuine democracy, self-reliance and the sovereignty of our country. None of them is morally qualified to ask our people to vote for them. That is why our party is giving a call to the entire people of India to boycott these sham parliamentary and assembly elections and to march forward on the path of prolonged people’s war for the victory of the New Democratic Revolution that is waged with agrarian revolution as the axis on the basis of “land to the tiller” for building an Indian people’s democratic federal republic. This New Democratic state will be the people’s democratic dictatorship exercised by the united front comprising the proletariat, peasantry, petty-bourgeoisie and the national bourgeoisie class under the leadership of the proletariat based upon the worker-peasant alliance and liberate our country from the clutches of the imperialists, the comprador/bureaucrat bourgeoisie and the big landlords.
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