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Updates from CPI (ML) Red Star

CPI (ML) Red Star (September 2020)


Intensify Countrywide Anti-Fascist Offensive

5th September is 3rd anniversary of assassination of comrade Gouri Lankesh by RSS parivar. Before that they had assassinated comrades Pansare, Dhabolkar and Kalburgi, all progressive intellectuals, writing and teaching for an enlightened, casteless, secular, democratic society guided by scientific temper. Hundreds of intellectuals, journalists, writers, RTI activists, anybody who try to expose the parivar were beaten up, tortured, killed or incarcerated during. Lynching of minority people has become regular feature. Muslim majority Kashmir is turned in to an open jail, a killing field for the army. All who oppose Modi rule are stamped anti-national and attacked. All democratic institutions and state machinery saffronized. The Supreme Court which is supposed to protect the Constitution has in effect thrown it to dustbin. The whole economy is in acute crisis, with corporates controlling everything, throwing tens of millions of families to extreme impoverishment. It is state terror in full action in every field. Yes, RSS had done its home-work well; six years of Modi rule was sufficient to transform India to a fascist state with majoritarian Hindutva as its ideological base.

So, it is the urgent task of every political party and democratic forces to work for putting an end to this corporate fascist rule. For it, all forces opposed to Modi rule should come out on the streets uniting with all other forces to struggle against it. The possibilities provided by the elections to state assemblies also should be used to weaken the BJP. In this way the anti-fascist movement should be strengthened so that Modi rule can be ended. No democratic force, or individual will have any difference of opinion on this. But, the cardinal question is have the Congress or any of these opposition parliamentary parties any alternative program to replace Modi rule?

It is history that when the socio-cultural change advocated by the renaissance movement and the message of anti-imperialist independence struggle were dominant, when Brahmanical, Manuvadi concepts were challenged, the RSS remained a marginal force. After assassination of Gandhiji, it was further cornered for long. Then how could RSS/BJP come to power so fast with such a backing? There is not much difficulty to find the answer; after coming to power in 1947 the Congress started using caste and soft Hindutva as its vote banks; slowly all other parliamentary parties started emulating it with their own variations. Though with fast changes in the agrarian sector, only feudal remnants were left, influence of feudal, imperialist culture, and Manuvadi social structures were not challenged seriously by any of these forces. The mainstream left, CPI(M) led Left Parties, not only came under parliamentary illusions, but advocated in the main that social changes shall automatically follow economic changes. If the renaissance movement and independence struggle tried to address problems like untouchability, the anti-caste, secular movements were abandoned by all sections. Though Naxalbari Uprising tried to address these problems and could arouse the oppressed masses, as it disintegrated fast due to state suppression and internal problems, it could not become a major force capable of challenging the RSS.

During the six years of Vajpayee government and 2002 pogrom in Ahmadabad itself, RSS had made its intensions clear. Still, the decade long Congress-led UPA rule could not rise to the occasion, it went on accelerating the neoliberal/corporatization policies, appeasing the Hindutva forces, and it failed even to book the main culprits responsible for Gujarat pogrom and numerous terrorist actions by RSS parivar. During 2014 elections, Modi with his false promises could easily win, as Congress was thoroughly discredited and other opposition parties were fighting each other. During this decade of UPA rule, neither Congress, nor other parties tried to challenge the Hindurashtra offensive of RSS ideologically, putting forward an alternative outlook and politicizing/ mobilizing masses around it.

We are facing the same challenge today, in more intensified and aggressive form. Without challenging the very majoritarian Hindutva base of RSS from casteless, secular, democratic positions, and mobilizing the people around a revolutionary program for democratization of the society and socialist future, RSS led Modi fascism cannot be exposed and defeated. So, we appeal to the revolutionary left forces that, while joining with all possible forces to make the anti-fascist movement stronger, we should build the Revolutionary Left Coordination with Common Program to persist with communist assertion for building revolutionary alternative to RSS parivar.

Joint Appeal for Revolutionary Left Coordination

Unite against Corporate-Led Modi Rule That Has Declared War on Common People! 

Unite to Throw Out the Fascists For a Socialist Future!

Rally with the Revolutionary Left Coordination!

Compatriots, Friends and Comrades,

The Second Successive victory of Modi government in 2019 elections with more majority, has led to further intensification of the fascist attacks on the people in all fields. Massive all round attacks were being planned against every section of the common people of the country i.e. the workers, government employees, small proprietors and businessmen engaged in self-employment, toiling as well as middle or lower middle peasants, students, intellectuals and teachers, Dalits and Adivasis  to give complete freedom to the big capitalists, corporates and of course also to the MNCs and the imperialists to continue their loot and plunder of the natural resources and the wealth created by the people of India on ever rising and unprecedented scale. This being the real motto of Modi Rule, the minority, particularly the Muslims, as ever before, was the softest target which has been cleverly used by fascists particularly since 2014 to dupe the ‘Majority’ and divert their attention away from attacks on their own life threatening their own existence as human beings.

It made its intentions further clear when it abrogated Article 370 of the Constitution (which was already turned ineffective through continuous dilutions by previous Congress governments when Sheikh Abdullah was arrested and sent to jail, referendum was denied and J&K Constituent Assembly was dissolved) without the consent of the people of J&K or even without consulting J&K Assembly which was already superseded by the President Rule at that time. In denying the J&K people their right to decide their future, we also note the role of imperialist powers, particularly US imperialism, and also of Pakistan’s attempts to turn it from an exemplary freedom struggle with highly secular credentials, into a struggle overloaded with Islamist overtones, which is also aired by the Indian ruling classes as it helps them to isolate and crush the struggle easily. With the same fascist stroke, it downgraded the state into two Union Territories and sent a clear message that it intends to mercilessly crush those who excel in maintaining the great tradition of democratic struggle and resistance against injustice. This was also used to blind the Majority by further giving more and more communal angle to this. The Majority was sought to forget that what is being done in J&K will be repeated in the whole country when they themselves would fight for their own life and existence which is under constant threat, thanks to Modi’s penchant love for Corporates.

Just after this, Modi-Shah team launched the attack on the citizenship rights of all the people particularly the poor, dalits, adivasis and of course the Muslims by launching the nationwide NRC (by starting the preparation of NPR) and, prior to this, to confuse the people and, as ever before, to communalize the minds of the ‘Hindu-origin’ people of the country launched the Citizenship Amendment Act (the act that speaks of giving citizenship based on religion) and attacked massively the democratic foundations, however weak and stunted, of our country and thus the fascists sought to take over the state from within. As a repercussion, large sections of the progressive people and common masses particularly the students and youths followed by peasants and workers, understanding the whole design, started agitating against these attacks. Muslim minority, especially women, came out in ever larger numbers and mobilized a powerful resistance against the biggest ever attack on their future. Thus, people of the whole country, of all castes and religions, of all regions i.e. all sections and strata of exploited and oppressed people were on the move. This situation demanded formulation and strengthening of the much needed united communist response, challenge and initiative. 

So, following bi-lateral discussions, various initiatives were taken to bring together the revolutionary left organizations opposed to the right opportunist and anarchist trends to form a Revolutionary Left Coordination based on a Common Program, which shall initiate formation of a broad based Anti-Fascist Front to struggle against and overthrow the fascist forces, and advance towards people’s democracy and socialism. But when the discussion had reached the stage of calling a delegate level meeting, the Covid19 crisis broke out leading to abrupt announcement of continuous lockdowns by the Modi govt.

As we all know, Modi’s government is now using the unprecedented health crisis (created mainly by utter government’s negligence) in the wake of Covid19 pandemic to divert people’s attention from the unprecedented economic crisis that continues since long, even before Covid-19 episode. It has led and leading to untold miseries and unprecedented ruin of lives of crores and crores of people, snatching away all the rights of people to struggle and agitate against injustice. It is crushing the democratic and progressive movements of the people i.e. the students, peasants and workers including Anti-CAA and anti-NRC movement by using all sorts of brutality, while handing over complete liberty to Corporates to loot the labour and wealth of our people, and of course to carry forward the RSS agenda of turning this country into Hindu Rashtra, the Indian variant of fascism.

The way Modi government has taken upon itself the work of Ram Mandir construction and the way it is being utilized as the victory of a RSS brand of ‘second freedom movement’ is just a pointer to this. Earlier, its abrupt and completely unplanned announcement of lockdown had made tens of millions of the workers, especially the migrant workers jobless, penny less and shelter less and threw all urban and rural poor into great distress. While the number of Covid19 patients and dead were just 500 and 10 on 24th March, they are now reaching 25 lakhs and 50,000. According to the latest studies, through community spreading, it has already reached ten times more and India may become the front runner in number of Covid19 cases among all countries by September end.

At the same time, while Modi’s Rs 20 lakh crore economic package was for providing incentives for the corporates, misleading people by talking about self-reliance, making atma-nirbhar Bharat, wanton corporatization and outright selling of defense industries, coal mining, airports, power units, and agricultural sector are declared; under pro-capitalist policy of incentives the corporate are given all sorts of sops including  writing off of more bank loans; the upper classes are given many subsidies and tax cuts; while the whole burden of the anti-people policies of 6 years of Modi rule including the severe recession and of the Covid19 pandemic induced crisis is thrown to the backs of the working class and the oppressed people. In effect, Modi government has declared a war on the working class, the peasantry and the rural and urban poor. Instead of taking initiative to settle the border disputes with China and Nepal, leftovers from the colonial times, the border standoff with China is being used on the one hand for more militarization of the country, and on the other to integrate India more closely with the US led Asia Pacific Axis, to strengthen US imperialists in their inter- imperialist contradiction with China for world hegemony, while the people are being pushed to unprecedented unemployment and pauperization.

It is in this situation, CPI(ML) Red Star and CPI(ML) PRC issued a joint appeal to all revolutionary left organizations to carry forward the Coordination process.  It was sent to the revolutionary left organizations, with whom discussions were already held, and to some more organizations; telephonic discussions were held to speed up the process. In continuation to these efforts, as the present situation demands immediate joint activities, the CPI(ML) Red Star, CPI(ML)  PRC, UCCRI (ML) Kishan and All India Workers Council (AIWC) are launching the Revolutionary Left Coordination in a webinar on 15th August with the call to rally all struggling people’s forces for overthrowing the Modi rule for a socialist alternative.

We appeal, and will continue to appeal, to all revolutionary left forces to join this process and strengthen it. Let us together chalk out an alternative Common Program, to put an end to the present regime, the rule of the junior partners of US imperialism, and to march forward to people’s democracy and socialism.

Signed by: CPI (ML) Red Star, CPI(ML) PRC, UCCRI(ML) Kishan and AIWC.


International Developments Call For Urgent Unity And Strengthening Of Revolutionary Communist Forces

International Report Adopted by Central Committee of CPI (ML) Red Star In Its Meeting on 23rd August, 2020

The International Situation has taken various twists which basically bear out our earlier analysis that all the contradictions at the international level are intensifying. The main notable events in the period from our last meeting are the protests in Lebanon, the protests in Belarus and also the approaching US elections. All these show that along with the sharpening economic crisis within these countries and attack on the masses which has worsened the national situation, it also reflects the intensification of inter-imperialist contradictions as the US imperialists facing serious challenges to its world hegemony making frantic moves to prolong it. In Lebanon there was clearly an attempt by the Diab Government to move towards a more clearly marked pro-China stance. On the other hand, the military establishment in Lebanon is clearly under the influence of the USA. It is this contradiction that is intensifying in Lebanon. The one clear progressive trend in this situation within Lebanon is that led by the Lebanese Communist Party which has called for a re-emergence of the forces which took part in the 17th October movement on the basis of an anti-sectarian platform. The protest in Belarus is clearly taking the form of a confrontation between the Western imperialist powers led by the US on the one hand and Russia on the other. (see the ICOR resolution on Lebanon)

The US presidential elections, on the other hand, show a different aspect. As the approval ratings of Trump are falling, states like Florida and Wisconsin which Trump had won in last elections, are today firmly in the Democratic camp as per the opinion polls. The same trend can be seen with Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil. The CNT/MDA survey found that 43.4% of those polled see the government as “bad” or “awful,” up from 31.0% in January. “Good” or “great” evaluations slipped to 32.0% from 34.5% in the previous poll. Bolsonaro’s personal approval rating fell to 39.2% from 47.8% in January, as disapproval rose to 55.4% from 47.0%. These trends coupled with the protests in support of George Floyd and other protest all over the world (including Lebanon and Belarus) show that the people are fed up with the ultra-right-wing governments and may indicate their desire to stop the trend of growing fascism in governments all over the world.

The US brokered agreement signed between Israel and the UAE, with the latter agreeing to establish full diplomatic relations with Israel is another big gain for the Zionist state. Before this bokered by US, the Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994 also had established full diplomatic relation with Israel, violating the former understanding among the Western Asian countries that before full statehood is achieved by Palestine, such diplomatic relations will not be established. The latest success of the Zionist state even when it has threatened further attacks on Palestinian areas is a setback to the progressive forces, and it has intensified the challenges before the Palestinian people further.

However, the same problem as before is still confronting the people. They do not see the left or the revolutionary forces as a viable alternative in any country. The revolutionary left has not been able to put forward radical alternative plans for the people to live and flourish in the present situation – not only the situation of Covid19 pandemic, but the general situation where the economy was on a massive downturn even before it. The revolutionary left has not been able to popularize its ideas of an alternative system – be it in education, in healthcare, in transport or an alternative to the present economy and democratization of the society as a whole. Thus though the people are seeing the present system is failing them, they are unable to see any viable alternative. This situation is fraught with the danger of some other forces like religious fundamentalism or regional chauvinism coming to the fore. This situation also underlines the grave need for the revolutionary left to regroup and unite so as to become capable to put forward a radical alternative.

During the recent times ICOR has tried to become more active. Uniting with ILPS, it has called for building an Anti-Imperialist, Anti- Fascist United Front. ICOR has also called on its constituents for speeding up party building and to raise the level of struggles. It is in line with this, statement was issued on the danger of war (in the context of remembering the 6th and 9th August nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki by US) and also on the developments in Lebanon. The Asian coordination committee of ICOR also sponsored a webinar on “Imperialism, Fascism and the Danger of War” in which parties from India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Australia took part, via zoom. This was also streamed live on the party’s Facebook page.

On national situation and Our Tasks

Resolution On Present Situation And Our Tasks Adopted By The CC

After getting re-elected in 2019 LS elections, Modi government had moved very fast to get the Abolition of Article 370 of the Constitution reducing J&K state in to two Union Territories, and to get the CAA adopted by the parliament t0 communalize citizenship spreading Xenophobia, intensifying the fascisation of the country. When a mighty movement of broad sections of people including large sections of Muslims challenged it, all opposition to its fascist aggressive policies by utilizing the lockdown imposed for containing Covid19 pandemic as a cover. Now the Modi rule, has openly moved towards overthrowing the basic secular democratic spirit of the Constitution still using the pandemic as a cover. Keeping the parliament in abeyance, it issued ordinances for corporatization of the agriculture sector; it is selling what is left of the PSUs including railways, opening and handing over new areas for mining to the corporates, enacting the new NEP2020 violating the federal principles of the Constitution and introducing many Manuvadi aspects, using public funds for the building of the Ram temple and PM doing Bhoomi Puja for it along with the RSS chief. In this way Modi govt is moving fast to make the country de-facto Hindu Rashtra. Covid19 related restrictions are used to curb all people’s movements. State terror is unleashed for intensifying the fascist suppression. Instead of taking initiative to settle the border dispute with China and Nepal, the stalemate following the standoff is used to further militarization of the country, and to further strengthen the strategic partnership with US imperialism.

At the same time the Covid19 is spreading fast with the number of patients crossing 3 million and dead 65,000. India may reach the top at world level in both by September end, as the Covid-care is getting less and less priority. The whole burden of the grave economic recession, the consequences of the pandemic and all calamities are thrown to the back of the common masses. Unemployment and pauperization of the vast masses are reaching alarming levels, with the number of jobless and penniless are increasing fast. Knowing the consequences of such a situation, Modi is indulging in spreading the hate politics against Muslim fast, and trying to decimate the opposition and win over the masses through consolidating majoritarian Hindutva vote base using Ram temple. In short, Modi is taking an aggressive approach to carry on with implementation of the RSS agenda.

But, the divided parliamentary opposition has no alternative to present before the people and to mobilize them, even after the arch-reactionary, fascist moves by the Modi government. For example, as the dates of Bihar elections are coming closer and when BJP has already launched its expensive online campaign on a big scale trying to win over new sections using its majoritarian Hindutva platform in which even the dalit and backward sub-castes are recruited using the ‘identity politics’ or social engineering in most vulgar forms as it did in UP during the LS elections last year to defeat the powerful alliance of yadav based SP and jatav based BSP. In the absence of Lalu Prasad, the RJD is in much disarray; first it along with other parties in its not yet concretized grand alliance tried to get the election postponed; now even after the Election Commission started moving in the direction of holding it in October-November itself as desired by BJP, the alliance is not yet formed. While this is the condition of opposition unity in almost all states, according to latest reports the Congress is facing serious internal dissensions.

In is in this situation, CPI(ML) Red Star, as already decided by the previous CC meetings is calling for taking the following steps to strengthen the all-round offensive against corporate fascist Modi government.

Firstly, top priority should be given to establish the ideological, political line of the party, to intensify efforts for building a Bolshevik style powerful party winning over all revolutionary communists and new comrades to its fold, to strengthen party committee system and political education of the party members, and for develop various struggle, campaigns and movements against the central and state governments.

Secondly, we have already taken initiative in the building up of class/mass organizations and various people’s movements at all India level in which our party comrades are playing leading role. Present situation demands continuous efforts to develop them, give political orientation to them to play more active role in the anti-fascist movement. It also calls for developing struggles in all fields and winning new forces to build united fronts at all levels.

Thirdly, joining hands with like-minded forces, we have taken initiative to start the Revolutionary Left Coordination (RLC) in a webinar on 15th August, with a joint appeal to all such forces to join this process. While this process should be intensified at central level, all SCs and SOCs should take initiative to form the RLC at state level also through winning over such forces by holding continuous discussion and working together taking up issues on which agreement is there.

Fourthly, for building countrywide, broad based Anti-Fascist Front of all forces opposed to fascisation of the country, who uphold the basic rights enshrined in the Constitution, is a major task before the revolutionary forces to overthrow the RSS led Modi fascist rule. But this cannot be achieved just by giving a call for it or by convening few meetings. The recent experience of the Anti-CAA, NPR/NRC movement is before us. It could become such a mighty movement through a process, winning over new forces step by step. Many of our comrades played significant role in this starting with the Delhi rally giving clear-cut slogans in which our Delhi committee played the leading role. So, we have to help the process of building the broad-based anti-fascist front at all India level by joining all ongoing united movements with full vigour, building unity of all classes and sections oppressed by the fascist forces.

Our approach should be based on the principle of “unity and struggle”. While continuing healthy ideological, political struggle against the ruling class parties as well as the revisionist forces, it should not become an obstacle for is joining wholeheartedly with all the joint movements, like what is happening in the workers, peasants, students fronts already. It should be extended to other fields. Wherever there are possibilities like in students, youth, women, cultural like movements the mass organizations in which our comrades are playing leading roles can call for ‘students against fascism’ like joint movements. In the parliamentary struggles also, while always trying for independent communist assertion, building the RLC with Common Program, organizing campaign based on it including contesting selected seats where RLC constituents have mass base, we should focus our campaign to defeat BJP and its allies at state and central level. By actively involving in this process our party committees and comrades can emerge as leaders of the movements in many areas. With such a flexible, broad based approach at central and state level our Party Committees should start playing active role in building the Anti-Fascist Front. While different tactics are adopted in different states according to concrete conditions there, we should clearly put our central task in these elections is to defeat BJP and thereby weaken Modi govt.


India’s Economy is Projected for the

Biggest-ever Contraction

P J James

Following the longer period of lockdown”, according to the latest Report of IMF, “India’s economy is projected to contract by 4.5 percent” in 2020, the lowest ever for India in seven decades. And according to ADB’s latest forecast, this contraction is slated to continue in 2020-21 too, though IMF does not share such a view as of now. Moreover, if this contraction persists, then by 2021, India’s GDP may shrink to $ 1.9 trillion from $2.11 trillion (as estimated in 2019). Though Modi regime is now reopening the economy amidst further intensification of COVID-19 pandemic, many experts including Gita Gopinath, chief economist of IMF identifies the “Great Lockdown” as the immediate cause for the worst downturn in India’s history. Many US-based economic experts who earlier worked as Modi regime’s economic policy advisers have also come out identifying, among other things, the ill-conceived COVID-19-related policies including the prolonged lockdown as one of the reasons for the contraction of the economy.

Following this, even Indian official sources such as Ministry of Statistics and Program Implementation (MOSPI), Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) and RBI (many official Indian agencies linked with the government were engaging in preparing doctored statistics as suited to the regime and those experts who questioned it had to resign too) have now started parroting on the negative economic trends already identified by neoliberal centres. For instance, the second quarter (of 2020) estimates released by the RBI just two days ago portray a dismal economic picture in every sphere in this regard including a 4-6 percent GDP contraction in the fiscal year 2020-21. However, independent research bodies such as the Centre for Economic Studies and Planning (CESP), from the perspective of output and employment, predicts an impending 15-22 percent of the economy. According to noted economist Arun Kumar of CESP, India’s GDP in the fiscal year 2020-21 is set to contract by at least 30 percent from Rs. 204 lakh crore to Rs. 130 lakh crore. Many such evaluations are forthcoming from diverse centres.

Of course, COVID-19 and the coercive lockdown with just four hours prior information that brought the economy to a standstill are only the immediate cause that accentuated the crisis. That is, it is not COVID that created the crisis, rather the former only strengthened the latter that was already set in. On the other hand, until the onset of the pandemic, as opposed to their recent revelations and sudden somersaults, all the neoliberal institutions and far-right ideologues associated with them were working overtime to bring about a rosy picture of India even when its economy had been steadily and irreversibly plunging throughout the Modi regime. And throughout, these neoliberal pundits were camouflaging the real state of the economy under this government as well as the horrific living conditions of the broad masses of this country when Modi has been resorting to all means to accomplish the required investor-friendly measures and for laying red carpet for the unfettered inflows of money-spinning and speculative imperialist capital to India. Most corrupt corporate Consultancies like PwC and their Indian pen-pushers while spreading the illusion of a $5 trillion economy by 2024 and $10 trillion size by 2030, were abstaining from unravelling the underlying trends behind India’s 140th rank (2019 estimate) in the world in terms of per capita GDP.

As already underlined by various domestic and global studies, when Modi came to power in 2014, India’s GDP growth rate was hovering around 7 percent that prompted them to characterise India as “the best performing country” in the world. To an extent, as pointed out by many analysts, it was also “relatively immune” from the world economic crisis of 2008-09. Thus the irreversible declining trend in GDP growth rate actually began in 2014. To transform the State as a corporate-facilitator and to rapidly improve India’s indices pertaining to “ease of doing business” and “global competitiveness” (even after so much sell-outs, India’s rank is still at the pitiable 63rd and 68th position in global ranking regarding these indices) as laid down by Bretton Woods twin and in accordance with the far-right economic philosophy of RSS, the first step that Modi regime did was the abolition of the more than six-and-a-half decade-old Planning Commission, the last remnant of state-led development, and its replacement by a corporate-saffron think-tank called NITI Aayog and entrusting the task of policymaking with it without even consulting the parliament. This was followed by the Demonetisation in 2016 and GST in 2017 which in essence aimed at further concentration of income and wealth with the corporate-financial elite leading to a superimposed destruction of all the informal and traditional sectors of the economy upon which, as of 2019, more than 95 percent of the 52 crore Indian labour force (as of 2019) subsists. Along with this, mimicking China, the flagship “Make in India” initiative was announced in September 2014 with the declared aim of transforming India into world’s manufacturing hub, thereby claiming to raise the proportion of manufacturing from 17 percent to 25 percent of GDP by 2022. However, what happened is the opposite and today this proportion has fallen further to around 13 percent and in the meanwhile in spite of becoming one of the largest destinations of foreign capital investment, India’s position has again deteriorated into a dustbin of money-spinning speculative capital (since capital that flowed in taking advantage of liberal tax, labour and environmental regulations is least interested in employment-oriented productive activities) as well as a dumping ground for goods and services from imperialist sources ranging from US to China.

It is not intended here to go into the details of this economic collapse. Though Modi came to power in 2014 claiming to generate an additional 2 crore jobs every year, as of now, according to independent estimates, the country has lost around 14 crore jobs during the six year period 2014-20. And India today experiences the worst unemployment in recorded history. Almost 50 percent of the people are still clinging on to agriculture for their sustenance though the contribution of agriculture to GDP is only around 15 percent as of now. But Modi’s input-output pricing policies pertaining to agriculture and its forcible integration with world market and corporatisation policies are displacing large sections from agriculture altogether. Despite the economic slump, India being one of the highest number of superrich billionaires, income and wealth inequality (close to 60 percent of the country’s total wealth is in the hands of upper 10 percent of the population, and three-fourth of the additional wealth generated is gobbled up by the top one percent) are of unprecedented proportions. Still only 1.5 crore Indians are effective direct tax payers (including corporate and personal income taxes) and in spite of extreme concentration of wealth and inequality, Indian corporate tax rate at 15 percent is the lowest in the world. The direct tax-GDP ratio in India is stagnating at around 5.5 percent which also is world’s lowest. If the upper 10 percent of the wealthy sections are brought under the tax net, together with 30 percent corporate tax (during the 1970s, the highest rate was up to 90 percent), the direct tax-GDP ratio could have easily been raised to 20 percent.

To compensate for this biggest loss in tax revenue (GST collection is already on the downturn due to lack of purchasing power of the masses and declining consumption expenditure), Modi has been resorting to the biggest-ever loot of the broad masses by sky-rocketing prices of petroleum products (mainly through raising taxes and cesses on petrol, diesel, cooking gas, etc.), and by this alone during 2014-20 the regime has amassed an additional amount worth Rs. 17.5 lakh crore relative to the UPA regime. Ironically, the average world crude oil price (India imports around 80 percent of its crude oil requirements) during the entire Modi regime has been around one-third of what it was during the previous UPA rule, and following declining global demand in the context of COVID-19, global price is now hovering around one-fourth of what it had been a decade ago. Meanwhile, declining government revenue from direct and indirect taxes coupled with corruption and plunder of the exchequer in manifold ways are resulting in an unprecedented growth in India’s debt-GDP ratio to around 85 percent during the Modi period. To cap it all, an unprecedented loot of public wealth through disinvestment of PSUs and plunder of public sector banks through the creation of NPAs by corporates are flourishing without any let up.

In 2015, the World Bank based on its renewed yardsticks of poverty measurement including the new methodology of purchasing power parity redrew its world poverty line. Still India with 17.5 percent of world population had more than 20 percent of world’s poorest people. Out of this, more than 6 crore belongs to chronically malnourished children under the age of 5. According to UNICEF estimate, 8.8 lakh Indian children have been dying every year due to lack of food. As per the latest Edition of the State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World (SOFI) India has the distinction of the largest share of food insecure people. As estimated by UN Organisations, under Modi.1, the prevalence of food insecurity in India increased by 3.8 percentage points. As a result, by the year 2019, the number of food insecure people increased in India by an additional 6.2 crore than 2014. Though FAO in its Prevalence of Moderate and Severe Food Insecurity (PMSFI) estimate places India in a very critical situation, Modi government is not allowing publication of such reports in India for obvious reasons.

Usually, while the World Bank reports often whitewashes the Indian situation, the FAO Report seems to be more objective in approaching India’s stark realities. Thus, according to FAO’s PMSFI, while 27.8 percent of India’s population suffered from moderate or severe food insecurity in 2014, the proportion rose to 31.6 percent in 2019. Thus, number of food insecure people in India rose from 42.65 crore in 2014 to 48.86 crore in 2019. Accordingly, India accounted for 22 percent of the global burden of food insecurity, the highest for any country in 2019. Since Modi government has not released the usual NSSO Consumption Expenditure Survey data even for 2017-18 which was due, FAO had to use supply-wise data on per capita food availability to measure changes in average per capita calorie intake, which is an underestimate. Prolonged lock down and lack of buying capacity of people has increased the core issue of hunger and food security, and many starvation deaths are frequently covered up under COVID-19. While there is no let-up in India’s multidimensional poverty, the 2019 Global Hunger Index (that measures the severity of hunger) has ranked India at 102nd out of 117 countries.

On the other hand, amidst the fudging of economic data, deployment of the entire administrative machinery for achieving its Hindutva majoritarian objectives and using the pandemic itself as an opportunity for corporate bootlicking and selling out the country’s wealth to the most corrupt foreign and Indian corporates, concerted efforts are also going on to cover up the stark realities people’s life. For instance, India being ranked second in food and agricultural production, the total food grains stock (rice plus wheat) with FCI has now topped 100 million tons as of June 1, 2020. On account of grave storage challenges, millions of tons of this grain stock are prone to decay, and the government could have effectively and quickly liquidate the heavy burden of storage by immediately distributing this among the needy, vulnerable and destitute sections through a free-grain scheme. But true to its fascist character, except certain window-dressing (as part of the much trumpeted Aatmanirbhar, 5 kg wheat/rice for 3 months among the poor 80 crore was announced), no concrete intervention is there to distribute the food grains among the tens of millions of poor including the migrant workers who were forced to bear the brunt of Modi’s coercive lockdown since March 25th 2020. Concerned people have already demanded an extended food distribution system along with an universalisation of the MGNREGA program expanding to urban and semi-urban areas where the informal/unorganised workforce is concentrated including a revision of pay from the existing Rs.202 to Rs.450 a day. They have also demanded a wage-led approach that will boost output, employment and demand instead of the current “supply-side” interventions (i.e., the pro-corporate stimulus packages) now pursued by the Modi regime.

However, the fascistic Modi regime is consistent in blatantly opposing such genuine pro-people demands. On the other, as again proved by the announcement of Rs. 21 lakh crore package (in real terms what is addressed to the vast majority of toiling and oppressed people in it is only around Rs.2 lakh core or just one percent of the country’s GDP) under what is called “Aatmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan” the regime is still pursuing the beaten track of stimulating the corporates as the only alternative before it. While setting apart a paltry sum for the people whose entire livelihood has been destroyed, Aatmanirbhar turned out to be a cover for an unprecedented sell-out to those whom Modi regime characterises as “wealth creators”, a post-truth synonym for corporate looters who plunder and appropriate the country’s wealth. Thus Aatmanirbhar Bharat has turned out to be a more vulgar imitation of the earlier “Make in India”, under the cover of which the remaining key and strategic sectors including mining, transport, defence, banks and insurance space exploration, power distribution, health research, and entire frontier technologies are thrown open to foreign and Indian corporates.

As already discussed, this intensified shift to the far-right by the corporate-saffron regime laying red carpet for aggressive corporate plunder using COVID-19 as an opportunity is driving the country deep into the vicious circle of corporatisation-induced economic breakdown. Unless this trend is reversed through an appropriate political intervention, fascist forces will deploy all avenues at its disposal to put still heavier burdens on the backs of common people. A broad-based, nationwide people’s movement capable of mobilising the workers and all oppressed including dalits, adivasis, minorities and women based on a common minimum program against corporate saffron fascism is the need of the hour.

Government Apathy Results to Increased

Female Joblessness amidst Pandemic

Sharmistha Choudhury

The Covid-19 Pandemic may not be gendered, but the response of the Indian government – as also other governments around the world – to it has been disproportionately gendered, with women having to face the brunt of the myriad crises borne out of the government’s abysmal failure coupled with lack of will to deal with the Covid-19 situation.

Numerous studies and reports have shown how the pandemic and the unplanned lockdown imposed by the Indian government have subjected women to increased domestic abuse and violence, decreased access to food, education and healthcare and growing joblessness. In this article, we shall attempt to show how India – where the female work participation rate is among the lowest in the world – has witnessed a sharp rise in female unemployment in the Covid-19 period, with experts opining that this sudden chucking of women out of employment might set back Indian women by 20 years!

Before the Pandemic

According to the World Economic Forum’s 2020 Global Gender Gap Index (based on pre-pandemic data), India ranks 112 among 153 countries in offering equal opportunities to women and men. India’s female Labour Force Participation Rate (LFPR) — the share of working-age women who report either being employed, or being available for work — fell to a historic low of 23.3% in 2017-18, meaning that over three out of four women over the age of 15 in India are neither working nor seeking work. According to the Deloitte report titled ‘Empowering Women & Girls in India’ for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, of the slim percentage of Indian women who are employed, 95% or 195 million are employed in the unorganised sector or are in unpaid work. Among women in the prime working ages of 30-50, more than two in three women are not in the workforce, with the majority of them reporting that they are “attending to domestic duties only”.

Among those in the workforce, rural women work overwhelmingly in agriculture, while the most common jobs for urban women are of garment workers, domestic cleaners and ‘directors and chief executives’. The last may sound promising, but the fact is that “99% of women workers described as directors and chief executives were self-employed, of which around one-third worked as unpaid family workers,” economists Bidisha Mondal, Jayati Ghosh, Shiney Chakraborty and Sona Mitra found using 2011-12 National Sample Survey Office data. “Such women were mainly engaged within the self-help groups and co-operatives as partners and had thus been recorded as directors or working proprietors, even as their activities, for the most part, remained confined to food processing and garment manufacturing. A large proportion of self-employed women workers were also engaged in outsourced manufacturing work, typically characterised by low earnings, long hours of work and lack of any form of social protection.”

Further, the average working Indian woman works a longer week than her developing country counterparts. The average employed Indian woman worked 44.4 hours per week (in the April-June 2018 period) as against the developing country average of 35-36 hours, as per ILO estimates.

The unadjusted gender wage gap — the gap in the earnings of men and women in regular, salaried jobs, without accounting for differences in hours worked and educational qualifications — was significant. In rural areas, a male salaried employee earned nearly 1.4 to 1.7 times a female salaried employee, while in urban areas, salaried men earned 1.2 to 1.3 times a salaried woman. Indian women earn 35 per cent less on average than men. (The global average is 16 per cent.) Meanwhile, women are slightly under half of India’s population but can contribute only 18 per cent to its economic output.

The Pandemic and the Lockdown

Needless to say, the pandemic and the government response to it, have made these figures far worse and the consequent decline in Indian women’s right to dignified employment will continue to nosedive in the years to come unless urgent measures are taken to acknowledge and address this problem. A host of studies have highlighted the toll the government’s arbitrary and kneejerk response to the pandemic has taken on women’s employment.

Already, at least 4 in 10 women in India have lost their jobs during the pandemic, according to data from the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy’s Consumer Pyramids Household Survey. In other words, between March and April of this year, an estimated 17 million women were rendered jobless, in both the formal and informal sectors.

As stated earlier, 95 per cent of the slim percentage of employed women in India is employed in the informal sector. This sector, in particular, has been dealt a crushing blow by the lockdown and the government’s refusal to help citizens with much-needed cash in the lockdown situation. It is likely that the informal sector will take much longer to revive than the organized sector, and this will have a devastating impact on its women workforce, who are the first to be thrown out of these jobs and the last to be taken back into employment.

Small and growing businesses (SGBs) have been hard hit by the government response to the pandemic. According to a report in the ‘Stanford Social Innovation Review’, the COVID-19 crisis is especially threatening SGBs in low-income nations. These developments will have a disproportionate impact on women. According to India’s sixth economic census, published in 2016, 13.8 per cent of business establishments in India are owned by women, a majority of which are microenterprises and self-financed. Many of these women-led businesses are found in sectors like tourism, education and beauty, which have been devastated by the COVID-19 lockdowns. Similarly, as discussed above, women mainly engaged within self-help groups and co-operatives as partners and thus recorded as ‘directors’ or ‘working proprietors’ are facing catastrophe as the unplanned lockdown and the equally unplanned ‘unlock process’ has demolished their fledgling enterprises.

According to a paper (titled ‘The Covid-19 Lockdown in India: Gender and Caste Dimensions of the First Job Losses’) published by Ashwini Deshpande, Professor of Economics, Ashoka University, “Women who were employed in the pre-lockdown phase were 23.5 percentage points less likely to be employed in the post-lockdown phase compared to men who were employed in the pre-lockdown phase. Male heads of household were 11.3 percentage points more likely to be employed in post-lockdown phase, compared to female heads of household who were employed in the pre-lockdown phase.”

Deshpande made a further point in her paper. “”While women and Dalits have suffered disproportionately more job losses, risky, hazardous and stigmatized jobs are exclusively their preserve,” she wrote. “All frontline health workers are women; manual scavengers are exclusively Dalit. Thus, for several women and Dalits, the choice seems to be between unemployment and jobs that put them at risk of disease and infection and make them targets of vicious stigma.”

The truth of Deshpande’s words was reflected in a series of strikes by ASHA workers in different states and finally a nationwide protest in early August demanding protection, better and timely pay, and a legal status ensuring minimum wages. Nearly 6 lakh Accredited Social Health Activist (ASHA) workers, apart from staff of anganwadis, National Health Mission (NHM) and other schemes participated in the protest.

One of the new sources of women’s employment in the last few decades has been government schemes, especially in the health and education sectors, where, for example, women work as Anganwadi workers or mid-day meal cooks. During the pandemic, ASHA workers, 90% of whom are women, have become frontline health workers, although they are not recognised as “workers” or paid regular wages. Thus, they came out in huge numbers protesting inadequate assistance from the government in the fight against COVID-19, including lack of safety equipment, payment of salary and even risk allowance. They also opposed moves to privatise basic services at government hospitals and in nutrition schemes.

According to an Economic Times report, “The scheme workers have been demanding the government withdraw the proposals for privatisation of basic services including health (including hospitals), nutrition (including ICDS and MDMS) and education, make the centrally sponsored schemes like ICDS, NHM and MDMS permanent with adequate budget allocation and give them minimum wages of Rs 21000 per month and pension of Rs 10,000 per month besides providing them with other benefits of ESI and EPF.”

A survey by the Azim Premji University, of 5,000 workers across 12 States — of whom 52% were women — found that women workers were worse off than men during the lockdown. Among rural casual workers, for example, 71% of women lost their jobs after the lockdown; the figure was 59% for men. Data from the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy also suggest that job losses in April 2020, as compared to April 2019, were larger for rural women than men.

A rapid rural survey conducted by the Foundation for Agrarian Studies (FAS) showed that in large parts of the country where rain-fed agriculture is prevalent, there was no agricultural activity during the lean months of March to May. In areas of irrigated agriculture, there were harvest operations (such as for rabi wheat in northern India) but these were largely mechanised. In other harvest operations, such as for vegetables, there was a growing tendency to use more family labour and less hired labour on account of fears of infection. Put together, while agricultural activity continued, employment available to women during the lockdown was limited. Employment and income in activities allied to agriculture, such as animal rearing, fisheries and floriculture were also adversely affected by the lockdown. FAS village studies show that when households own animals, be it milch cattle or chickens or goats, women are inevitably part of the labour process. During the lockdown, the demand for milk fell by at least 25% (as hotels and restaurants closed), and this was reflected in either lower quantities sold or in lower prices or both. For women across the country, incomes from the sale of milk to dairy cooperatives shrank. Among fisherfolk, men could not go to sea, and women could not process or sell fish and fish products.

Similarly, non-agricultural jobs came to a sudden halt as construction sites, brick kilns, petty stores and eateries, local factories and other enterprises, employing a significant number of women, shut down completely.

In recent years, women have accounted for more than one-half of workers in public works, but no employment was available through the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (NREGS) till late in April. The first month of lockdown thus saw a total collapse of non-agricultural employment for women. In May, there was a big increase in demand for NREGS employment. However, with male migrant workers returning to their native places in large numbers during the lockdown, and thus creating a new pool of ‘unemployed workforce’ in the villages, rural women workers are now more likely to be pushed out of their jobs to accommodate the men and even in jobs under the NREGS women are now more likely to bow out in favour of women. This, by the way, is no contradiction or conflict between men and women – it is simply the gross failure of the government to provide jobs to all its citizens and protect the most vulnerable section – women – from sudden joblessness.

In a study of 176 female workers in informal sectors in Delhi, Shiney Chakraborty, a research analyst at the Institute of Social Studies Trust found that a majority of women reported a loss in income, but at the same time, 66% of the respondents reported an increase in unpaid work at home and 36% reported increased demands of child and elder care. Only a quarter reported any help from their spouses in household chores.

The lot of domestic workers, the vast majority of whom are women, has been especially hard. In 2008, for the very first time, domestic workers were recognized as workers in the Unorganized Sector Social Security Act, 2008. Official ILO statistics place the number of persons employed as domestic workers in India at 4.75 million, of which 3 million are women. But this is considered as severe underestimation and the true number is supposed to be more between 20 million and 80 million! 

According to a survey conducted by Domestic Workers’ Rights Union (DWRU), Bruhat Bangalore Gruhakarmika Sangha (BBGS), and Manegelasa Kaarmikara Union, as many as 91% of domestic workers were not paid salaries in April and 50% of workers, who were above the age of 50, lost their jobs. Similarly, a survey by the Domestic Workers Sector Skill Council (DWSSC) found that nearly 85 per cent of domestic workers were not paid for the lockdown period. An eight-state (Delhi, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Assam, West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand and Tamil Nadu) random survey by the DWSSC – a non-profit organisation under the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship – found that 23.5% of domestic workers have migrated back to their native place. While 38% of the domestic workers said that they were facing problems in arranging food, around 30% had no money to survive the lockdown period. However, contrary to elite pre-conceived notions, 98.5% of domestic workers were aware of the precautions that should be taken to be safe from COVID-19. DWSSC’s survey was conducted in April. Four months down the line, domestic workers are still in distress as they are still largely unable to get back to work and access wages.

Across India, only 14 states have notified minimum wages for the domestic workers. In these states, the workers can file a complaint seeking redressal but in the remaining states including in the national capital, they do not have any such recourse. Hence there is a need for uniformity.

The report further stated that in many affluent communities, these domestic workers face discrimination. The rich consider the domestic workers as the carriers of the virus.

The present situation across the country is that because of the unjust stigma associated with domestic workers as carriers of the virus, coupled with declining incomes in middle income families as a result of job losses and wage cuts faced by them as well, domestic workers are facing unemployment and wage cuts on an unprecedented scale.

Even in the organized sector, women employees have faced disproportionate job losses and wage cuts. In India, women form a large section of the teaching community, but teachers in private schools have been subjected to wage cuts across the last few months.

Now, as the government has declared phased ‘unlock’, in as unplanned a way as it had declared the ‘total lockdown’, women workers who have not lost their jobs yet are facing every threat of doing so. With trains, buses and other forms of public transport still not running normally, women – who are much more unlikely than men to either own or access private means of transport – face the threat of being terminated from their jobs for the simple reason of not being able to reach their workplace regularly and on time.

Further, as India initiates phased ‘unlock’, with requirements that businesses operate with fewer employees, trends toward mechanisation are also likely to pick up pace. Because women are generally relegated to menial tasks within production processes, their jobs are often the first to go when firms automate.

The Road Ahead

The Pandemic and anti-people government policies have thrown the country into a whirlpool of excruciating poverty and hopelessness. But for its 600 million women, the impact has already been worse and is likely to be devastating unless proper corrective measures are adopted.

Research from the World Bank suggests the pandemic will drive more than 12 million Indians into poverty. Women are likely to be over-represented among the new poor. Needless to say, women’s employment must become a priority in recovery efforts. This, contrary to the government’s present policy of demolishing labour laws and giving corporates a free hand to exploit workers, will require government directives to curb any attempt to retrench the women workforce. For employees of enterprises that have folded up as a result of the pandemic and the lockdown, it should be the task of the government to provide alternate employment opportunities to women. In rural areas, reservation for women in jobs under MNREGS should be considered. Women’s participation in the rural economy should be given a boost by facilitating their access to the market and putting in place policies to ensure that they get a fair price for their produce. Women’s large scale employment in the manufacture of masks and sanitisers should be facilitated. Enabling measures to ensure women’s continued participation in employment should be implemented. Government financial support – substantial and not token – to domestic workers to tide over this crisis is a must. Alternate employment avenues for domestic workers thrown out of employment should be explored and put in place. New institutional provisions that leverage women’s empowerment at the community level will have to be actively considered.

Recovery from the pandemic and its aftermath has to be viewed through the lens of gender. According to Kadambari Shah, Sahil Gandhi and Gregory Randolph (Shah is a senior associate at IDFC Institute, Mumbai; Gandhi a visiting scholar at Brookings India and a postdoctoral scholar at the Lusk Centre for Real Estate at the University of Southern California’ and Randolph founding partner of the JustJobs Network and a PhD candidate in urban planning at the University of Southern California), “The policy response must be structured around rebuilding economies and societies in ways that empower women to lead safe, productive and fulfilling lives.” With women’s employment being crucial to not only their independence from patriarchal oppression but also to the development of society as a whole, it is essential that women’s organizations across the country unite and put pressure on the government to do whatever is essential to ensure that existing social and economic inequalities for Indian women are not deepened but bridged. .

9 September: Remembering Mao


Mao Tsetung passed away 44 years ago on 9th September, 1976. These 4 -5 decades were tumultuous and more event-full even compared to the period when he was with us, not only for China, but for the international communist movement (ICM) as well. When we remember him it is necessary to make a proper evaluation of his contributions in the context of China and the ICM. Probably even compared to the vicious campaign organized by the imperialists and lackeys through the media and by all other means under their command against Lenin and Stalin, the attacks by them on Mao was more ferocious. He is attacked not only for his revolutionary work during the 60 years of his active political life, but also for what the anarchist activities of the so-called “Maoists” after his death. The US imperialists were so furious with him that through their CIA propaganda from Hong Kong they almost convinced the world that he is dead at least a dozen times, before actual death!

After the formation of the CPC, in spite of the writings of Mao on Hunan Uprising and on Class Analysis of China, till 1927 when the Kuomintang forces under Chiang Kai-shek organized a massacre of the communists working in the urban areas, the general understanding was that the revolutionary line followed in Russia can be mechanically followed everywhere. It was after 1927, following the withdrawal to Chinkang mountain area with the section of the Kuomintang army under Chu Te which defected and joined the CPC, Mao developed his line of protracted people’s war in the semi-colonial, feudal, semi-feudal conditions of China as the path of revolution. Still, the struggle continued with a section following the Comintern positions mechanically criticizing Mao for deviating from the Russian Path. Most of the Western Marxist scholars are still attacking him as a ‘peasant revolutionary’. But, Mao has repeatedly explained that it was according to the class analysis based on the concrete conditions, he has defined the peasantry as the main force of revolution in Chinese conditions.

In his writings, he has always pointed out that the revolution shall take place under the guidance and concrete application of the proletarian ideology, Marxism-Leninism. Edgar Snow in his Red Star Over China has mentioned that when M N Roy had gone to China as part of a Comintern team and started taking class about the superiority of the Russian path, how Mao explained why they have to follow a Chinese path, and suggested if Roy goes to India and study the Indian conditions, he will also understand the importance of following an Indian path! But, Roy could not understand India after he settled in India and went astray is another story. At the same time, however small was the number of working class in China as compared to that of countries like then India, CPC had started organizing the working class also. Similarly, contrary to what is repeated by some ‘Maoists’, CPC had given lot of importance to building the party and mass organizations in all parts of the country, even when the armed conflict between the Kuomintang army and Red Army was taking place in limited areas. Even though the Kuomintang army was resorting to criminal attacks and suppression of the people, instead of criticizing this, imperialists were propagating lies about the liberated areas under the control of Red Army.

Once the liberation struggle of mainland China became victorious and the constitution of the People’s Republic of China was declared on 1st October, 1949, using Hong Kong as the centre of espionage and counter revolutionary propaganda against China, the CIA like agencies of US as well as other imperialist powers resorted to distortion of facts, manufacture of lies and slander against the communist forces. In this large number of imperialist think tanks from Harvard, MIT like universities in US also actively participated. After the 20th Congress of the Soviet Communist Party in 1956 by which time the capitalist roaders had succeeded to usurp power and later turned SU in to a social imperialist super power, its impact was severe. The Soviet revisionists had built up their line based on an erroneous evaluation that US led imperialist camp had weakened in the post-World War years and argued that in this situation the working class parties can peacefully compete and co-exist with imperialism, and through peaceful transition socialism can be achieved.

It went against the realities of the concrete situation. With the transformation of colonial forms of plunder to neo-colonial forms, US imperialism and its allies had only become more aggressive and pernicious. But, because of the great prestige Soviet Union had among the communist parties formed under the guidance of the Comintern, the Soviet revisionist deviation led to degeneration of all the people’s democracies formed in Eastern Europe as well as almost all the communist parties except that of China and Albania in to revisionist path. These developments not only severely weakened the ICM, it created serious ideological confusion among the left intellectuals also. Many interpretations of what happened to Soviet socialism appeared; many solutions also. The imperialist think tanks worked hard to deepen this confusion by supporting postmodernism like reformist theories. It was a very critical period for the ICM

Combating it, the CPC under Mao’s leadership rejected the Krushchovite revisionist line and put forward the General Line of the ICM in the new situation along with nine articles explaining various aspects of the problems confronting the working class movement as part of the Great Debate against Soviet revisionist line, it led to new hopes before the communists internationally, and they started challenging the party leaderships pursuing the Soviet revisionist’s class collaborationist ideas, and to build Marxist-Leninist groups and parties in a number of countries. It was in this new situation, they recognized the importance of upholding the contributions of Mao to the ICM, in leading the Chinese revolution to victory, in guiding the socialist transition in China struggling against the capitalist roaders within the party and in fighting the Soviet revisionist line.

The life and death struggle taking place at the international level between revolutionary Marxism and revisionism had its grave impacts within the CPC also. In its 8th Congress in 1956 itself the right trend led by Liu Shaochi and Deng Tsiaoping had tried to assert that as the democratic revolution is completed, China should focus on promoting production in whichever way possible. Mao led a bitter struggle against this line and speeded up socialist transformation by introducing a self-reliant development plan and People’s Communes. As this struggle intensified, Mao led the Cultural Revolution calling on the people to come to the streets to defend socialism. In this period Mao had to struggle not only against the capitalist roaders inside who had powerful influence in the party and administration, but against the Soviet revisionists and their supporters, as well as against the imperialists and their lackeys of all hues. In spite of all these Mao succeeded to remove the capitalist roaders from positions of power.

But, by that time, in the name of speeding up Maoist revolution a new trend emerged within the CPC led by the defense minister Lin Biao, which came to dominance in the CPC with the support of the military. It claimed that, in spite of the setbacks in Soviet Union, socialism is advancing towards worldwide victory and imperialism to total collapse! Contrary to what Mao was telling all the time, it analyzedthat all the Asian, African, Latin American countries are like pre-revolutionary China, semi-colonial and semi-feudal, with protracted people’s war as their strategy. This left adventurist line called for taking armed struggle as the only form of struggle to advance revolution! As this line was coming out from Chinese media, and no refutation of Mao reached outside, all the newly emerging Marxist-Leninist parties adopted it mechanically, leading to their disintegration very fast.

But by 1970 this line was defeated. Then with the help of the Centrist/pragmatist line led by the prime minister Chou Enlai, from the beginning, the capitalist roaders started returning to power. The 10th Congress of the CPC in 1973 reflected the struggle between this alliance and those forces led by Mao. Following the 10th Congress, the rightists were further strengthened with Deng returning to deputy prime minister post. The struggle went on intensifying, and in 1976 beginning when Chou Enlai died, the rightists made their first coup attempt which the revolutionary trend under Mao’ leadership defeated. But, when Mao died soon in on 9th September, using the centrist Huao Kuofeng, who had become prime minister after Chou, and the military, the rightists led another coup in which all Mao’s followers in the leadership were thrown to jail and communist revolutionaries were brutally crushed by the military all over China. In 1978, with the return of Deng Tsiaoping as the supremo the Chinese government started reversing all socialist policies of Mao, and under Four Modernizations drive, and launched the capitalist transformation in full swing.

The revisionist forces all over the world, including the CPI-CPI(M) parties in India, who were wildly attacking the socialist transition in China and the Cultural Revolution, hailed Deng’s return as a great victory; similar to their upholding of the Soviet social imperialists, till Soviet union’s disintegration in 1991. These revisionists defamed Marxism, and wherever they came to power faithfully implemented the neo-liberal/corporate policies, while upholding the social imperialists in power in China who are fighting for world hegemony with the US imperialist led forces, still under the banner of ‘socialism with Chinese characteristics’! The US led imperialists also do the same thing, in their bid to destroy the communist challenge for ever. By vulgarizing Mao’s contributions as Maoism in line with what Lin Biao advocated during 1966-70, creating havoc in China and among the communist revolutionary forces everywhere, the so-called Maoists are also doing the same damage to the revolutionary Marxism through left adventurist, anarchist acts.

Unlike all the writings of Lenin and Stalin are available, except the first four volumes and to a great extent the fifth volume, no authentic documents of the CPC and writings of Mao are available to the outside world still. What came out through Hong Kong, most of them were distorted, or censored. Many of the documents and Mao’s writings which were collected from Hongkong are spurious ones. As far as Albanian party (PLA) is concerned, in 1978 it made a 180 degree turn, threw away its hitherto writings of Mao, and denounced Mao; their followers are living in a make-believe world, with the ritualistic argument that history ended suddenly with Stalin!, like the Trotskyites around the world who believe that Trotsky’s is the last word on everything. Even after all that has happened in history, even after the severe setback to the ICM, even after the devastation of nature and humanity by the capitalist imperialist system which has taken its re-creation of the world in its own image to its peak, when the humanity is facing the grave challenge of either overthrow this barbarous system and create a socialist world, or perish under ecological catastrophe to extinction of human species, these petti-bourgeois reformist, anarchist trends continue their heinous task of confusing as many people as possible, making as many of their followers as non-partisans, ultimately serving the imperialist barbarians.

In this present grave situation, the task of the Marxist-Leninist forces is to uphold the teachings from the Marxist teachers, develop them according to the present situation, develop the theory and practice of World proletarian Socialist Revolution and Indian Revolution, by building a powerful Bolshevik style party according to present conditions by mobilizing all communist revolutionaries and advanced elements of the working class and all oppressed classes and sections, mobilizing the revolutionary masses in their tens of millions, develop class struggle in an all-embracing and comprehensive manner using all forms of organization and struggles, creating waves of struggles against the corporate fascist rule led by RSS parivar by inspiring the people with the vision of people’s democracy and socialism, and overthrow it as part of the WPSR. Let us uphold Mao’s contributions, Mao Tsetung Thought, for the role it played in inspiring and guiding the revolutionary long march the humanity has taken up, spearheaded by the revolutionary classes and sections as an urgent task in present situation.

Why We Should Oppose the Draft EIA 2020

What has resurfaced as the draft EIA 2020 is the report of the TSR Subramanian Committee, which was rejected by a Parliamentary Standing Committee in 2015. BJP’s self-reliant economic program, Make in India, is conceived on par with “market economy”, the one controlled by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and other international bodies. The EIA is drafted based on the view that environment problems and labor are the obstacles for executing mega .structural and infrastructural development projects

After getting the Citizenship Amendment and the Abrogation of Article 370 of the Constitution reducing the J&K state to two UTs adopted by the parliament with much difficulty, the Modi government is now pursuing the policy of bypassing the parliament and Constitution and imposing major policy decisions violating th federal spirit of the Constitution through ordinances utilizing the opportunity provided by the pandemic. Like the ordinancs issued curtailing labour rights and speeding up corporatization of agriculture, and education, now the plan is to issue EIA 2020, which is an assault on Federalism, as another ordinance.

In the name of Standardisation of Terms of Reference bureaucratic control is further strengthened. While the provisions empowering the Gram panchayat samithis the right to give approval for the projects in their area are diluted, and rejected often, even the existing consultation process is diluted in the RIA 2020. Many of the A and B1 category industries have been converted to B2 category under the EIA 2020, thereby taking it out of the purview of Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) and public consultation, as both are not necessary for B2 category industries under EIA notification. Along with this, the Environment Impact Assessment Study is also considerably diluted.. 

Similarly in EIA 2020 Modernisation of projects needs no EIA.No periodical data submission is required. The Validity Period for mining is extended from 30 years to 50 years, Nuclear plant from 5 to 15 years, River valley projects from 10 years to 15 years, all other projects from 5 years to 10 years. According to EIA 2020 No need of Environmental Clearance. It exempts many red and orange category industries from the scope of Environmental Impact Notification itself. 

The Karnataka High Court on August 5, 2020, stayed the publication of the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) notification, 2020, till the next hearing on 7th September.  Immediate steps were directed to be taken to ensure the draft was circulated in the official languages of all the states. Subsequent to this direction, the Centre filed objections to it over translation into local languages and filed an appeal at the Supreme Court, though it is yet to be listed. ”With just a day remaining to send comments and feedback on the draft of Environmental Impact Assessment 2020 (EIA 2020), several users have complained that their emails are returning due to an ‘invalid recipient address’. The emails sent to the official address provided by the union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MOEFCC) are bouncing back to the senders, many users took to social media to allege.”



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