India once again is standing on the verge of yet another parliament election. In this election almost every party has made development the central issue. On one hand the Congress is trying to lure the voters through its slogan of Bhavya Bharat Nirman of the past ten years, while BJP is foregrounding Narendra Modi’s Gujarat development model as the ideal for the entire country.
A new entrant in this parliamentary farce, the Aam Admi Party is trying to project a corruption free India, as the panacea for all problems. BSP is trying to counter its rivals through its social engineering. Almost all the parliamentary parties are singing the tunes of development and are promising better facilities, of building roads, of providing income generating development and so on and the multi-national ad agencies are given the responsibility of this propaganda. While on one hand Modi’s election campaign, that costs millions of rupees, is being carried out by companies like Worldwide, Soha Square and other such international companies, Congress has selected international companies like Dentsu India, J. Walter Thomas for their propaganda. These companies are doing such a campaign through media management and social media that it seems that the people of the country are waiting for these parliamentary parties to ferry them to the other shore and act as their saviors.
Congress, BJP, AAP: same wines, different bottles: The Congress this time has changed its earlier slogan ‘Adhi roti khayenge, congress ko layenge’(we will remain hungry but vote for Congress), to puri roti kheyenge, 100 din kaam karenge, dawai lenge aur Congress ko jitayenge (We will eat, work for 100 days, get medicines and vote for Congress). While flaunting the legal rights to work for 100 days work under NREGA, Congress perhaps has forgotten that today India surpasses Pakistan, Bangladesh and even sub-Saharan Africa on the question of starvation. The number of children suffering from malnutrition is 40% which is the highest in the entire world. Ten years of Congress rule has only benefited the various companies like that of real estate business, automobile, construction, mobile communication, foreign finance agencies and so on of various imperialist forces. In different states of India lakhs of acres of land has been grabbed at a massive scale from the peasants in name of industrialization. In the name of beautification of cities slums, shops and small factories have been evicted at a massive scale too. The much touted Bhavya bharat nirman of Congress has given the country nothing but starvation, unemployment and displacement. The same is the story of the so-called Gujarat development model. In Gujarat 51.7% of children are victims of malnutrition while only 19% people have got more than 60 days of work under NREGA. The fall in the rate of employment there surpasses the all-India rate. In Gujarat too, despite protests, land has been forcefully grabbed from peasants. In Modi’s regime 16000 indebted peasants, workers and agricultural labourers were forced to commit suicide.
Actually there is a nominal difference between Congress and BJP. There is no fundamental difference in their economic policies. The book that explains Modi’s economic policy called Modinomics, which the BJP hails as a standard book on Modi has itself accepted that Modi’s economic policies are much like that of Congress Finance Minister Chidambaram’s understanding. Both Modi’s Gujarat Development Model and Congress’s Bhavya Bharat Nirman are dependent on the loans taken from imperialist agencies like World Bank or IMF. Today loans form 23.3% of GDP of the country. The country is neck dip in loans worth USD 426 million. Similar situation prevails in Gujarat where the loan of the state has increased from 45000 crores in 2012 to become 1 lakh 38 crore rupees in 2013. Both these models are dangerous for the country. The foreign countries make the state and the central government dance in their tunes with these massive loans. They force the governments to open the floodgates of corporate loot by the MNCs by implementing the policies of liberalization, privatization and globalization which is the root cause of starvation, unemployment and displacement. Since 1990 each and every government had implemented these imperialist policies, be it the Devegowda government or the Atal Behari government.
Recently the Aam Admi Party has entered the theatre of parliamentary politics. On the slogan of a corruption free India, this party is trying to grab its own share of votes on the question of economic policies, AAP leader Aravind Kejriwal has clearly mentioned that, government should have nothing to do with business and that his party is not against capitalism but crony capitalism. If they come to power they will end the inspector raaj and fight for ‘inclusive growth.’ This statement makes it clear that AAP is also in favour of privatizing the public sector and establishing a liberalized free market. They want to implement the policies of LPG more efficiently. These same policies have led to the terrible Bharat nirman of Congress and a filthy Gujarat development model of Modi that was built on corpses of Muslims. Basically there is no fundamental difference between Rahul’s Congress, Modi’s BJP and Kejriwal’s AAP. Their development, good governance and freedom of corruption – all point towards a great doom.
The parliament is a weapon to crush people’s genuine aspirations: The leaders of different colours, sitting in the parliament often sing in the same tune. Thus draconian laws like UAPA get passed in no time in the parliament, without any debate or discussion. The Indian parliament is way ahead of all other parliaments in the world in bringing draconian and anti-people laws and policies and repressing those who oppose them as well as in strangulating democratic rights and aspirations of the masses. Democracy today is limited only to the theatre of elections and for the vote-mongering forces. The people stand only as voters for these parties. The parliament has nothing to do with welfare of the masses, democratic rights, people’s aspirations and needs. Rather the parliament has become a means to repress people’s aspirations. In any case the Indian parliament has very limited rights. The executive decides on various regulations through rules, ordinances, foreign policies, defense policies, tax etc. The Indian parliament has been reduced to a law making institute which passes laws to appease the imperialist interests and the feudal powers and it regularly represses with military might, all the voices of dissent against such laws and policies. Right after the last Loksabha elections the then Home Minister P. Chidambaram unleashed more than 4 lakh paramilitary and armed police forces to crush the revolutionary movement in Jharkhand, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh. These forces carried out massacres like the ones in Baseguda and Sadkeguda and killed hundreds of adivasi people, in Chhattisgarh, and other regions even the army has been deployed in the name of training. Lakhs of adivasis were pushed out of their natural inhabitats.
In Maruti Suzuki plant of Gurgaon, 145 workers who were struggling for higher wages have been kept behind bars for the past one and a half years by calling them ‘extremists’. Such repressive steps ensure that workers of other factories too do not raise their voice of protests. Thousands of people of Kudankulam who have been protesting against the Nuclear Plant there have been booked under sedition. In Kashmir and North East the army is regularly slaughtering people who fight for their legitimate rights and they are forced to live a life of affront and insults. The Indian parliament is a breeding ground for forces which regularly oppress dalits, adivasis and women.
In such a way the anti-people government is constantly suppressing the resilient masses who dare to fight its so-called development policies. Under the aegis of the state various vigilante gangs are propped up everywhere. The state is recruiting a section of people in gangs like Salwa Judum, Nagarik Suraksha Samity, Bhairab Bahini, SPOs etc. and they are also used to crush the people’s movements. On the other hand Muslims are held responsible for growing poverty and starvation and they are being branded as ‘terrorists’ and ‘anti-nationals’ and are being witch-hunted and butchered. Thus a fascist model is being built in the state, which is trying to divert the people’s attention from the feudal and imperialist forces who are responsible for the distress of the people and an attempt is being made to divide the people and make them fight each other.
Both Congress and BJP are united on the question of unleashing state repression. The parliament is paving the pathway for a fascist rule. In order to bail out imperialism from its current crisis the government is hell bent on forcefully silencing every voice of dissent against the corporate loot. To intensify the fascist rule, the state is now projecting a dictatorial communal fascist figure like Modi as the new ruler and the entire machinery is being propelled to propagate his sham Gujarat Development model.
Whenever the people make sacrifices and wage valiant struggles to snatch some rights the parliamentary political forces inevitably conspire to finish that off. After decades of struggles the state of Telangana has been formed that is still stained with the blood of thousands of martyrs. The parliamentary parties are ganging up to grab the natural resources of Telangana. The tale of its oppression is yet not over. A great injustice is being done to the people of Telangana in the process of separating it from the Seemandhra. While the residual Andhra Pradesh gets the special status, which is normally given to an extraordinarily backward region, Telangana which has been deliberately kept backward and ravaged by the coastal Andhra ruling cliques in the last seven decades gets no reconstruction package to rebuild the newly formed state.
Only mass movements can fight back fascism and establish real democracy: In Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and Chhattisgarh the people are resisting the fascist repression and have built the revolutionary people’s government (Janatana Sarkar) at village, area and district levels. The people are evicting the exploitative and looting government from these places and taking the power in their own hands and are establishing people’s rights over their land-forest-natural resources. The people are deciding on several issues that are a part of their lives; they are distributing lands among poor and landless peasants; they are growing vegetables and crops to fight malnutrition; they are making arrangements for health care; they are protecting and regenerating forests; they are facilitating education for illiterates and children; they are doing collective farming and helping poor and medium peasants to avail of seeds and other agricultural technology. The people collectively take decisions and settle disputes. In order to end casteism they encourage inter-caste marriages and inter-dining. They are fighting for a new democracy where equality and justice will prevail for everyone and the fascist rule will dissipate to establish a real democracy where feudal and imperialist onslaught has no place; where the country is self-reliant and democratic.
Some democratic intellectuals and even some parliamentary parties are in an illusion that the AAP will counter and stall the growth of fascism. But history is witness to the fact that fascism could never be stopped through parliamentary road. Since the economic policies of AAP are no different from either Congress or BJP, there is no reason to believe that it will also not unleash a fascist rule on the peasants and workers who are fighting against such anti-people policies. That has been the track record of more or less all Parliamentary left parties as well as regional parties like SP, BSP, Samata Party and others.
The only way to resist fascism is a social revolution by which all the oppressed masses will fight a united battle to overhaul this exploitative ruling classes and establish a self-reliant and democratic country. The parliamentary parties which are attempting to fight fascism are in reality facilitating its growth. So reject flowers-brooms-hands-elephants and all other parliamentary parties and unite with the revolutionary forces to intensify people’s struggle against fascist forces.
Varavara Rao, President
Rajkishore, General Secretary
Revolutionary Democratic Front (RDF)