Paper distributed by Indian Federation of Trade Unions (Sarwahara) at the All-India Workers Convention organised by Mazdoor Adhikar Sangharsh Abhiyan, to together build up national campaigns on Contract labour, Minimum Wages and Changes in Labour Laws, held in Ambedkar Bhawan, Delhi on 28th August 2016.
**Note: The paper distributed was in Hindi. The below is summary of the paper, we would be uploading the entire paper when it is translated. For those who want to get the paper electronically can send us their email Id either in comment section or via email to Otheraspectgmail.com
In the times of fascism
The onslaught of capital and the challenges before working class
The working class of India whether they are proletariat or semi-proletariat, whether they are in urban or rural area, working in farms, stone crusher, in the brick kilns, or working several foot underground, or working in the small or big industries, organised or unorganised, their interest has been overlooked nee ignored by all the government in Delhi. Which every party or front has formed the government their sole intention had been to treat them as fodder for extracting more and more profits for the capitalists. For past few decades Delhi, Gurgoan, Noida, Faridabad and several more such towns have emerged as the new industrial centres where in the big and small industries millions of local and migrant workers slough day in and day out, their status not being any better than that of slaves.
Forget about legal recourse and justice, from industrial owners their bouncers to the police, landlords to the grocery shop keepers everyone is in search for their own pound of flesh from these workers. The condition is pitiable that cannot even be termed fit for basic living condition for human existence. Their work is uncertain and life pitiable. They are bound to wallow in poverty and have forgotten the meaning and essence of self-respect. As a citizen of this ‘democracy’ even though aware that they have been guaranteed some rights, but are hapless. Justice, rights such words have lost the meaning for them. After being exploited by the capitalists and oppressed by the landlords, local grocers, and their clique, they are barely in a state to sell their labour for keeping their and their kith and kin’s body and soul together, this is the sum total of their existence and life. This existence is also on incongruous and lasts till the day there is some hindrance that is the end of their entire existence. Even a simple sickness signifies death knell to them. For their existence they have to work even in most tiring circumstance and illness. To take sick leave means leave from job, which makes life span shorter. And what is the family, but new fodder for the capitalists to excrete more profits. The family is akin to a factory for the capitalist where the future commodity of labour power is prepared.
We are witnessing this sordid state of the workers since the implementation of the new economic policy was implemented by the Congress government that is from 1991. In name of economic development the policy formulated to maximise the interest of the capital, was brazenly initiated. Since then governments changed, ministers and prime minister changed the capitalist wealth increased. There was a call for social justice followed by communal violence and massacre, creating a new ‘nationalist’ record leading to formation of a new model. World over Indian growth story’s was glorified and in top capitalist of the world Indian capitalists found their coveted place. The social property transformed into private property tucked in the hands of capitalists. Democratic governments metamorphosed into nationalist government. Cities changed so did the villages, new slogans replace the old, from inside the democratic nation emerged Hindu nation, and suddenly country got catapulted to a ‘super power’. In all these paradigm shift something that remained constant was the condition of the working class. They continued to be robbed and devastated by capital. In name of development and economic progress, the worker’s rights that was won after long struggles were first practically and then legally were liquidated. This ‘reform’ in labour laws is still on going. The change is so profound that it has divided the national and worker’s interest into two antagonistic camps.
For the development of the country, sacrifice of workers has become a necessity. In the current scenario development of country is the development of capitalist. Development means the development of their treasury and to achieve this destruction of working class and toilers is the natural outcome. We can say that this country as worker’s own country is nowhere being seen as providing solace to the working class. Living within the four walls of the country nowhere protects them from being pushed to starvation and destitution. The extraction of profit and generation of capital seems to have transcended the boundaries of state. Wherever the worker sees he sees the barbarianism of capital. Entire world is dominated by the big capital. It is natural for a worker to conclude that our beloved country and the beautiful planet of ours is of no use to them till it is made bereft of the regime of capital that is from the exploiters of labour the capitalists. Capital is not only bleeding the humanity but is rescinding all the gains hitherto made by them. We would like to tell to all our comrades in this convention, that the cross road at which the working class of this country is standing and the massive onslaught of exploitation and oppression it is facing, in light of this the initiative at national level to have a united program of the workers organisation is a commendable and welcome step.
Today in all earnest we have to understand that what is the main component of the working class struggle? which is the kernel using which we would be able to successfully struggle and would be able to understand the real core of the movement.
This is truth that like the common man the workers and toilers also got mesmerised with the promise of acche din (good days) in 2014. And they voted overwhelmingly as well. But as soon as this acche din government came to power it like hurricane started hurling bure din (bad days), was this realised by the working class? If we leave the conscious class then the majority had not hoped for such eventuality. But as the situation today is, it has transgressed way beyond this bure din. We have entered in a crisis ridden dangerous days. With all its innocence and mistakes at least the working class has started realising that on name of acche din, these tiring days have been initiated from the same place where they are squeezed for profit and increase of capital. The workers were and are the first target. They are aware of the nationalist government seated in Delhi who while taking the bread out of mouth is also forcing them to be quite and not raise any voice. They are being successful also. But should we who are in the vanguard of the workers movement and who have responsibility to lead the movement forward not question ourselves that whether we were aware of this situation? The way things are turning what does it indicates? Are we ready and equipped to face the situation?
Comrades, the way the national and international capital who were struggling because of long term financial crisis, took the captain of RSS brand of fascism in Gujarat in their stride itself indicated the sordid days to come. This also indicated the intensification of workers exploitation in days to come. Those who could understand had been aware of how the acche din would be like. But what is unravelling today is not the recurrence of the ‘Gujarat brand’. The vine is new today, though the seeds might be old. It has new characteristics and is supported by the big capital both nation and international, who are inclined towards dictatorship and fascism. They do not want democracy but a despotic dictatorship so that they can take steps to come out of the crisis with impunity. They want no resistance even if they devastate the whole world. This was the Gujarat model that was show cased in 2014 as the development paradigm on basis of a sustained propaganda, this model is now being implemented at pan India level, the capitalists have been leaving no stone unturned to repeat it across the country. In reality the real name of the brand is Gujarat 2002 brand, that is an amalgamation of the state sponsored terrorism against the Muslims and the crass pro capitalist model. This brand got fillip due to the communal polarisation and the en-mass Hindu votes that it got in 2014.but there has been a quantitative change in this, from the days of sporadic communal rioters group it has evolved into a fascist clique, to call them a fascist clique would be no exaggeration. The military training and camp is no longer shrouded into secrecy but is being proudly been shown in media and social media.
The merger of interest with the big capitalists is the base with which this emergence and consolidation became successful. The working class is being exploited to the hilt and the government is helping them to do so. The government is seen as servicing the interest of the corporate and capital. This is how this vicious cycle is going. On the basis of this extraction from the working class a severe reactionary movement is ongoing, and this is being taken to its logical conclusion. This is one of the biggest challenges being faced by the working class.
This challenge has made all the other challenges immediate and distant even more difficult. The challenges have been such as the liberation of working class in itself has become almost impossible. The working class has become a quagmire. Can we who are the militant fighters for working class, can ignore this biggest challenge of our time? Can we discuss on other challenges by ignoring this phenomenon? The vicious attack being hurled on democratic rights on and on rights of expression can the working class would be able to get its economic and immediate demands fulfilled by this despotic regime? Can a united action of working class be formed without having a common minimum programme to counter fascism? All these have become so evident that if we do not think of having a united action and adopt a dilly dallying approach against fascism, which is a working class united programme in totality. We should not forget that we are talking about an initiative at national level and not a factory level initiative.
What is the current era we have described above, we would request it to be included in today’s convention. The big bourgeoisie who have become the master of the entire world particularly in past decade to overcome from their crisis would like to be owners of the entire universe to come out of the grappling crisis of fall in profit and investment. They want control over everything and they aim for an undisputed monopoly. Why did they chose BJP, and there are concrete reason for it also. But before we discuss this it is necessary to understand that not congress but any mainstream bourgeois party of the country including the Aam Admi Party is not averse to this situation. It was after all the congress which had laid the foundation of neo-liberalism in 1991, that paved way for new economic policy where the capitalists were given unbridled freedom to loot and exploit labour power and the natural resources.
This led to the reactionary and anti-people polity. The increased profit hunger of the bourgeoisie is continuation of it. It looks like that a period has successfully completed of the loot by big capital and it is ready to march on its next sojourn whose aim is to crush all the resistance and establish a despotic regime. The unfolding crisis of capital at international level is pushing the Indian big capitalists on the path with even greater vigour. A shift is discernable towards an extreme anti-democratic governance. The vehicle for this shift could only be BJP and not congress or any other party. And that is the reason why this shift needs to be deliberated upon as the working class is the most impacted class by this shift.
If we do not defeat this resurgent fascist force then we would have to be ready for a massive onslaught of reactionary destruction and devastation. The danger that is looming needs to be countered by a clarion call to the working class this is the call of the hour. The establishment of an exploitation free society goes from the graves of the reactionary forces. So let us confront the reality and come ahead to formulate a united revolutionary working class strategy and tactics. Then only we would be able to save the working class from this impeding danger and shall be able to struggle at the economic front as well. We hope that all the comrades would take a judicious revolutionary approach so that the ongoing onslaught on working class can be countered.