India: Mumbia Mayhem

Defeat the terror of communalism and capitalism. Statement issued on 29 November 2008.

The horrific terror attack in Mumbai on 27 November must be condemned on all counts. It took place at the usually crowded CST railway station and six other prime locations killing at least 140 people (the figures are likely to reach 200 or more) and injuring hundreds. The "Deccan Mujahidin" an unknown Islamic terror group, has claimed responsibility.

Our hearts go out to those families, relatives and friends who are gravely affected by these heinous acts, carried out by whatever group or organisation. The government of Maharashtra and concerned authorities should immediately compensate those families who have lost their beloved. We are sure that all communities, be it Hindu, Muslim or Christian, are terror struck, not just in Mumbai, but the entire country. Democratic workers’ organizations, trade unions and local organisations of all communities should organise defence against terrorism alongside a struggle against capitalism, landlordism and imperialism.

Since the 9/11 Twin Tower attacks in America, terror attacks have been on the increase in India. Governments in New Delhi, notwithstanding what party is in power, have closely allied themselves with Washington, culminating in a highly controversial nuclear energy (weapons) deal. In recent months, every major city of India has witnessed such atrocious attacks, killing dozens if not hundreds of innocent people.

Communal polarization

Capitalist governments around the world have followed the same policies as the American administration under the tutelage of the universally hated George Bush, to completely alienate Muslim people by labeling them as terrorists or as potential terrorists. In India, the historical communal divide has been further strengthened by this undeclared communal profiling of minorities especially Muslims.

State governments led by the BJP, or the congress-led UPA government at the centre, are directly responsible for the disaffection among the youth, particularly those from the Muslim community, who, though in small numbers, are joining the ranks of these desperate terrorist outfits.

It has become a pattern for India’s establishment to either put the blame on the culpable ISI (Pakistan’s Intelligence) or on their favorite whipping boys – the SIMI (Students’ Islamic Movement of India) to demonise them in the eyes of the ordinary people. This by no means absolves from responsibilities the monstrous groups which practice the methods of terror. Their activities strengthen the Hindu right wing extremist communal forces and the state machinery which will only use the opportunity to trample upon the rights of the working people in particular and human rights in general.

Hindu fundamentalist terror’s hidden agenda

Left wing radical columnists such as Ram Punyani and Subhash Gatade have extensively written on the phenomenon which has come to be known as the ’Saffron Terror’ of the Hindu fundamentalist organisations. The recent blasts Malegaon (in Maharashtra) which led to the arrests of Sadhvi ( saint) Pragya Singh and her two associates, puts a question mark on the whole theory of Jihadist terror itself.

The thuggery of Raj Thackeray of the Maharashtra Navnirman Samithi (MNS) which is terrorising migrant labour in Maharashtra state coming from Uttara Pradesh, Bihar etc. is no less terror than the allegedly Islamic terror.

Vishwa Hindu Parishad’s (VHP) rabble rouser, Pravin Thogadia, and the infamous Narendra Modi, ’Gujarat’s Hitler’, are known for their communal politics, bordering on fascism. These Hindu communal ’celebrities’ must also be brought to book. Even today, it sends a chill down the spines of millions of Muslim people to remember the mass terror, – rape, murder and looting – that was perpetrated against the helpless Muslims in Gujarat during the 2002 Godhra riots.

Whether it is the mass terror of the Sangh Parivar (RSS and its family) – Rashtriya, Swayamsevak Sangh) comprising of the BJP, VHP, Shiv Sena, MNS, Sanathan Sanstha, Durga Vahini, Bajarang Dal, Abhinav Bharat, Akhila Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad, Rashtriya Jagaran Manch, Hindu Raksha Samithi etc, criminalising and brutalising the whole of society, or the individual terror tactics of Islamic Jihadist groups, they are polarising an already divided society. They will propel society further into the blind alley of hatred and revenge and possibly lead to a civil war situation.

Statistics and facts reveal that neo-liberalism and communalism have fed on each other to serve the interests of capitalism in India. From 1991, the aggressive neo-liberal offensive has had friendly co-operation from rising Hindu communalism; the 1992 destruction of the Babri Mosque in Ayodhya did derail and divert the attention of the working class movement from the real issues of Rice and Sambhar – Roti and Sabji.

Class unity and Class Action now!

The honeymoon enjoyed by Congress has visibly come to a sudden end. The mandarins in the south block of Delhi, who, until recently, were basking in the glory of an unprecedented boom and the aura of the Nuclear deal with Washington, are scrambling for scapegoats both economically and socially. The shrill tones with which the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has warned India’s "neighbours" of the costs, points to the desperation of the Indian establishment. An attempt to drum-up jingoism by some dramatic antics may have been crossing the minds of the powers-that-be to save them from an electoral rout in the ongoing provincial round of elections and, more importantly, in the general election in the middle of next year.

The BJP and its henchmen organisations who are preparing for a national come back in the next general election will use the present atmosphere of grief and despair to whip up a communal backlash to take advantage of the social crisis.

The already set-in recession in the economy is preparing to further devastate the lives of the working poor, peasants and the middle class in the coming weeks and months. The coming period demands all the combativity the working class can muster to defend the interests of the workers and poor. Class unity is the need of the hour. We urge workers, be it Hindu, Muslim, Christian or Sikh, to be vigilant and united to thwart any attempt to divide their class on bloody communal lines.

The trade unions, workers and community organisations must act to defeat these sinister attempts to divide and rule to rake in political profits.

We demand:

  • Justice for those affected and meaningful compensation to victims and their families
  • Area committees of workers and poor to defend the blast and riot affected areas.
  • No to terrorism!
  • Common, united struggle of workers and poor for justice, against exploitation and poverty.
  • No trust in the official state forces. The right of the lower ranks of the police and auxiliary forces to belong to trade unions and elect representatives to the area committees.
  • Capitalism breeds communalism and terrorism. Dump it!
  • Democratic socialism is the only answer
  • Congress, BJP and all other political parties defending capitalism offer no choice at all
  • Build a new mass workers’ party
  • Fight for a New Socialist Alternative

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December 2008