India: General strike set for 26th November

Prime Minister Modi (Photo: Rangilo Gujarati/Wikimedia)

Drunk with the success of a brutal parliamentary majority and with the cunning aid of spin doctors who tweak every failure of the Modi government as a glorious success, the authoritarian regime of Modi built on the ‘temple of lies’, is galloping ahead with a spree of anti-people “reforms” challenging and destroying all that has been achieved by India’s Working Class people and other oppressed sections through decades of valiant struggles.

The Electoral process, Parliament, Judiciary and other institutions of India’s democracy and now even the rights of the workers and peasantry have come under severe attack. Many who are ardent supporters of the BJP’s Hindutva agenda are now left wondering what is going to happen to their livelihoods in the very near future. Can grand temples and demonic-sized statues feed them and their families?

Modi and his cohorts are transferring the burden of their utterly failed economic policies onto the toiling masses. To achieve this, they are using all the tricks and strategies in their armoury of communalism. Now it is very clear that for the first time in the history of independent India, policy failures have pushed the economy of the country into a clear recession. The Modi-led BJP-RSS and their socially divisive and politically inflammatory agenda pursued in the last six and half years have left a trail of blood in the entire country.

Unfortunately, India’s working class in the recent times has been subjected to the pressures of various identities, party affiliations and most crucially are getting influenced very regressively by deep-rooted prejudices against the religious minorities and oppressed Dalits and Tribals. All this has contributed to the cacophonous propaganda of RSS and BJP that India is a country of a Hindu majority, hence the myth that Modi is invincible as the aggressive face of Hindutva.

Fightback

The general strike of 26th November provides an opportunity for workers and other oppressed sections of society to demonstrate our unity against all divisions imposed on us by the capitalists and communalists. In previous general strikes, millions of India’s proletariat have proved time and again that given a leadership they are more than willing to challenge the system that oppresses them.

The Modi-led Hindutva juggernaut can not only be challenged but can be decisively stopped. Our class has to unite and act as one class against the oppressive capitalist system. This cannot be done by overlooking the divisions amongst us; these crucial pressure points can be the islands on which our oppressors camp and conduct covert and overt wars.

The trade unions have given a call to defeat the nefarious designs of the so-called Labour Reforms that are adversely affecting millions of workers, particularly the low-paid and non-unionised workers. Already 140 million have lost their jobs since the onset of Corona. Losing jobs in a country like India, which is already totally poverty-stricken, is nothing but a death sentence.

We have seen how our brothers and sisters in agriculture, vast numbers of peasants were reduced to commit suicide – a direct result of the impoverishment caused by the 25 years of neo-liberal reforms. As far as neo-liberal capitalism is concerned, there is a near-total agreement of all the establishment political parties in this country.

The 131,578 (as of now) deaths due to Coronavirus in the country, doesn’t give the full picture of the crisis. Health care is not universal in this so-called democratic republic; it is a privilege of the rich and powerful. The so-called opening up of the economy to private capital has worsened the situation in health and education. The Corona health crisis has exposed the ‘chinks in the armour’ of the so-called “socialistic” pattern of society, it is the profit-seeking and blood-sucking private health and insurance that has killed tens of thousands in the last nine months alone.

It is roughly estimated that there are around 500 million workers in India, of these over 94 per cent work in unregistered, unorganised enterprises ranging from push-cart vendors to home-based diamond and gem polishing operations. The organised sector includes workers employed by the government state-owned enterprises and private sector enterprises. It is estimated that the organised sector encompasses 27.5 million workers, of which 17.3 million worked for the government or government-owned entities.

It is time for a decisive fight back! 26th November should pave the way for the total eradication of this communal, casteist and the capitalist system.

FORWARD TO CHALLENGE THE AUTHORITARIAN REGIME OF COMMUNALISTS!

An immediate rollback of Labour and Farmer’s reforms:
Trade unions and Peasant organisations must prepare for the occupation of Work Places and Agricultural fields to take them over.
We want restoration of all Trade Union rights including the right to organise and strike.

End Unemployment:
Youth unemployment stands at a 45 year high.
Every single economic policy of Modi has decreased jobs by Millions. Demonetisation, GST, Privatisation, the shoddy response to Corona have all caused at least 200 million jobs lost.

Renationalise:
Bank Sector ‘Reforms’ must stop immediately!
Roll back Bank mergers and privatisation of Banks and insurance.
Trade Unions must demand re-nationalisation of all that is privatised.

More investment in Public Sector Health, Education and Food-processing to create millions of jobs that are woefully needed:

For a Universal free health care system now! No more deaths for want of basic medical care.

Fight for minimum wage:
Just before the 2017 general strike, the Modi regime promised a ₹15,000 minimum wage for all’ Until today it remains a big lie, in fact, wages have been slashed.
We demand a monthly minimum wage ₹25,000 for all.

End discrimination:
The attempts to re-introduce divisive Citizenship Amendments must stop! Say no to all citizenship discrimination. Say No to CAA-NRC-NPR.

Democratic rights for all:
Trade unions must launch a vigorous campaign to Reclaim democracy – be it the people of Kashmir Valley or the Citizens of the North East. We demand full democratic nationality rights for all. We need to fight back to reclaim all lost democratic rights
The resistance is on!

Join the 26th November General Strike!

 

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