India: Let the May 21st all-India General Strike challenge capitalism

In the name of Liberalisation, the deadly disease of Privatisation has attacked the working class throughout India. It has killed and destroyed 250,000 factories and has thrown 25 million workers and their families into a hellish life.

Text of a leaflet produced in four languages by New Socialist Alternative – the CWI in India.
CWI online.

Break the Deadlock

Let the May 21st all-India General Strike challenge capitalism.

Another disastrous effect of this menacing process is the increased attacks on the workers and employees in industries and offices with worsening working conditions and rights. The plot behind this evil process is to make the workers leave their jobs voluntarily and accept the hara-kari of voluntary retirement scheme (VRS).

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the ruling gang which always claimed that they would take India to the golden days of "Ram Rajya"(Hindu god Ram’s rule) and make the country prosperous, have increased the unemployment to unprecedented levels forcing the youth and workers to beggary.

These pseudo patriots who were once chanting the mantra of "Swadeshi"(Indian goods only) have happily started to lick their kickback-stained hands, after selling many factories and services to foreign firms. They have brought in an evil "intellectual" as the minister for disinvestments (Privatisation), who is notoriously anti-worker and anti-dalith, to give away the giant Public Sector Units (PSUs) built by the Indian working class in the last 5 decades, to the butchers of the finance capital

They are communalising every issue in the society to divide the working class, daliths and the downtrodden. By projecting mythological arrows and tridents as the panacea solutions to all the fundamental problems faced by the people, they are trying to slander and decry the historically revered anti-imperialist personalities and ideas.

On the one hand they are whipping up communal passions by campaigning for nostalgic temples to be built, at the same time they are closing and selling off real modern temples – the PSUs, which is the lifeline of the millions. Right from the events of 1992 when the despicable destruction of Babri mosque took place, to the last year’s Gujarat carnage and the recent campaign of the communalists to slander Tippu Sultan (Muslim warrior chieftain of Mysore who fought the Imperialist British Raj), the agenda has been to divide the unity of the working class and to weaken their combative spirit.

Today all the wicked designs of BJP and its henchmen stand exposed. Everyone knows the real truth behind their mumbo-jumbo. In the 21 state assembly elections held in the last five years, the BJP has lost 19 elections.

The other party of the big business, Congress, which is the main opposition is in no way different from the BJP in its policies and programmes. Both the Congress and BJP are the slaves of the capitalist system. In fact, in the Congress-ruled states such as Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh etc., the Congress is competing with BJP on the issues of Privatisation and anti-worker policies. The BJP and Congress who are in unison to close down giant factories such as the New Government Electrical Factory, Mysore Lamps and the Kolar Gold fields, have no difference whatsoever in their policies.

Though very late, it is welcoming that the different T.U. federations in the country have started to fight back unitedly. But the general strike on May 21st is only the beginning. In the coming days and months, the fight back must be intensified. More importantly this struggle should not be a prelude to bring another capitalist party or a group of parties to power. Many political parties of all colours have extended their edge-of-the-lip support to this general strike. But we have seen them all and tasted their bitter policies.

No party which accepts the profiteering system of capitalism or which make deals with it, can solve the fundamental problems of the working class and the poor peasants. Only the parties that boldly and forthrightly oppose capitalism – the system of the bosses – and which do not cater to the profits of the few but instead steel themselves with the goal of fulfilling the needs of the working people, can offer any tangible solutions to the Himalayan crisis that the capitalist system has created the world over.

Come let us participate on the May 21st general strike and the future anti-government protest action programmes!

For a living minimum wage – Rs.8000 per month as minimum wage and as unemployment benefit!

The monstrous privatisation spree, which leads to job losses and lack of jobs, must stop forthwith!

Multinationals should be nationalised, their properties to be confiscated.

Renationalisation of all the industries and services which are privatised and for them to be run by workers’ control and management.

  • Stop the privatisation of water and electricity!
  • Stop the privatisation of pension funds and provident funds!
  • Restore the 12% interest paid out on the provident fund deposits!
  • No closure of NGEF, Mysore Lamps and Kolar Gold Fields!
  • Scrap the anti-worker, second labour commission report.
  • Banking and Insurance should be renationalised.
  • The food subsidy and public distribution system should be restored.
  • Kick out IMF and World Bank from India! Scrap the WTO agreement!
  • Down with war-mongering Imperialism, Communalism, Capitalism!
  • Build a mass party of the working class on the rock foundation of genuine Socialism.
  • In the coming days, the struggle against Privatisation should intensify.
  • Let the trade unions call for a week’s General Strike.
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