India: General election – Reject them all!

The jumbo circus of Indian elections with all its fanfare and trickery has come visiting once again.

General election.

Text of a leaflet distributed by New Socialist Alternative across India in the course of the present General Election.

Reject them all!

 The two main camps in the fray have no fundamental differences in their policies but yet they are vying contenders for political power to enrich themselves and the rich classes that they both represent.

The camp of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance is basking in the glory of the only non-Congress government to have remained a full term in office in the last five and half decades; for them India has indeed started shining.

India Shining for whom?

With more than 3,500,000 factory units closed and more than 30 million of workers becoming redundant, the ‘India shining’ campaign is a fraud on the ordinary working class people of India.

In the rural areas, pauperisation is unabated. The figures of marginal peasants committing suicide runs to hundreds if not thousands in many states such as Karnataka, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan.The abolition of quantitative restrictions on imports have badly affected agriculture and small scale industries, estimates shows that the total loss to farmers due to the crash in prices is Rs.116 million annually.

Even the registers of employment exchanges (though controlled by the government) really spill the beans. As of now, 41million jobless youth of this “shining India” do not have a glimmer of hope and curse the dark future ahead of them. This is an indictment of the BJP which promised 10 million jobs every year to the youth of this country.

The NDA and its predecessors, including the post-80’s Congress rule, have systematically eroded the huge manufacturing base in this country. The shift in the emphasis towards the services and finance has resulted in the annihilation of the public sector industries. According to one estimate, by early 2003, 21% of manufacturing capacity lay unused. This speaks volumes against the claims of the BJP and Congress that their parties stand for development and economic progress.

Both Congress and the BJP further only the interests of the rich. Both swear by globalisation, liberalisation and privatisation to serve the interests of the Multinational Corporations (MNC’s). The irony of the situation is that no political party in this country is prepared, or has a programme, to thwart the designs of the WTO which is a mere decoy of the imperialist countries to further their grip over the neo-colonial world.

Communalism vs Secularism

There is a cacophony of debate about this question in the so-called “left” political spectrum of this country. But is there a real choice from among such forces for us to choose in these elections?

Both the BJP and Congress have used the communal card to the maximum whenever it suits them. While the BJP is an active Hindu communalist party, the Congress has been a passive one. The 1984 anti-Sikh riots led by the Congress bigwigs is no less communal than Gujarat’s anti-Muslim pogroms of 2002.

Without the tacit support of P V Narasimha Rao’s Congress government and the refusal to sternly intervene, the destruction of Babri mosque and the subsequent mass killings would not have taken place. Even Indira and Rajiv (Ghandi) have hob-nobbed with Hindu communal forces. The one time confidant of Rajiv, Mr. V P Singh, accommodated the BJP in his government to give them the much-needed respectability. It is an irony that the “communists” supported such an opportunist alliance.

The hydra of Hindu communalism with its fascistic methods has created mass hysteria against the religious minorities. It has diverted the attention of the working and toiling masses from the basic living issues of abject poverty, unemployment, squalor and disease to the backward emotive issues of religious jingoism, “cultural” nationalism etc.

There is no doubt that this poisonous family of BJP and its ilk must be defeated, but also the forces which breed such communal bigots. It is capitalism and its system of profit which create the breeding ground for communalism, casteism, racism and fascism. It must be defeated and replaced with a system of democratic socialism.

We call upon the working class and the poor peasantry to reject all these political parties

which are in the service of capitalism. The BJP, Congress, all varieties of Janata Dals, Bahujan-Samajavadis, Dravida and Deshams (parties) are all basically holding a brief for capitalism and we have to reject them.

The “communists” who are harping on the issue of a secular democratic front are looking for a post-poll alliance with the above-mentioned capitalist opposition parties. They have already given Congress a certificate to say it is a secular party. This means the same old rotten wine in a dirty bottle! We will not be brow-beaten by their false theory. We reject their policy of managing capitalism better than capitalists! These apologists for the capitalist system must be rejected.

Which way forward?

The working class of India needs a new alternative which will not only oppose and challenge the system of capitalism which breeds communalism, but also propose and fight for a democratic socialist system. The need of the times is to create a real left party, a new mass party of the workers and poor peasants on the rock-solid foundations of socialism.

Build a new mass workers’ party!

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April 2004