July 26, 2017
The Central Committee of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) met at New Delhi on July 24-26, 2017. It has issued the following statement:
All-Round Attack on People
The country is seeing an all-round attack on the livelihood of the vast majority of our people by the BJP-led government. The four-pronged attacks – neo-liberal economic policies imposing greater miseries on the vast majority of our people; the sharpening of communal polarization marked by a sharp rise in the attacks on dalits and minorities by the private armies like the gau rakshaks etc; further authoritarian attacks on democratic rights of the people and undermining of parliamentary institutions; and the further cementing of India as a junior strategic ally of US imperialism and the consequent shift in our foreign policy orientation – are very apparent.
Growing Intolerance: The BJP has been able to consolidate its position mainly through the massive sharpening of communal polarization across the country. Every institution of parliamentary democracy is being penetrated and sought to be communalized. Education and research bodies including agencies like the Archeological Survey of India are being penetrated with RSS personnel in order to sharpen communal polarization and to rewrite history. There is a frenzied effort to communalise all public spaces. There are cries from the RSS calling for `sanitising’ NCERT textbooks removing references to Tagore, Ghalib, Dinkar, Avtar Singh Pash, Urdu words, praise of Mughal Empire etc. Censor Board has refused permission for screening a documentary film on Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen demanding deletion of words like `cow’, `Gujarat’, `Hindutva’ etc. An atmosphere of intolerance is sharply rising in the country.
The CPI(M) has demanded that there should be a central ban on all such private armies particularly gau rakshak samitis.
The notification of a ban on cattle trade has now been stayed by the Supreme Court following the stay order issued by the Madras High Court. The BJP government has informed the Supreme Court that it will modify its notification and come back. There is no need or any scope for any modification. This notification has to be withdrawn lock, stock and barrel.
Agrarian Crisis: During this period, the agrarian distress has intensified. Spontaneous and organised protests by the farmers have erupted in various parts of the country. The growing distress suicides by the farmers triggered many of such protests. The firing at Mandsaur in Madhya Pradesh against protesting farmers and the general strike declared by farmers in Maharashtra around the same time brought the issue of agrarian distress to national attention.
The Modi government has betrayed on its electoral promise of ensuring a Minimum Support Price (MSP) for agricultural produce that would be one and half times more than the production costs which shall be estimated by a government agency like the Commission for Agricultural Costs and Prices.
Given these three years of betrayal we have demanded that a law be enacted in parliament that gives the right to the kisans to sell at the MSP at the rate as above. This means that when the kisan brings his produce, according to the law the government will have no option but to procure the produce by paying them the legal entitlement of the MSP.
Growing Unemployment: With demonetisation having completely crippled the economy’s informal sector, the huge mass of people that survived on daily or weekly employment have been virtually thrown on the streets. Even in the organised sector there is a very sharp drop in employment. The new data that has emerged since the last CC meeting by the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) shows that between January-April 2016 and January-April 2017 formal employment declined from 93 million to 86 million i.e. 70 lakh people who were employed earlier are now unemployed. The cut in the MNREGA funds continues which means a further decline in rural employment. In the services sector, reports indicate that there are no new jobs that are emerging in rural India.
The Modi government had promised to create two crore jobs annually once they form the government. Instead what we have today is a large-scale decline in the employment. With nearly 1.5 crore of youth joining the employment market every year, this is generating unrest among the youth.
Privatisation of PSUs: At the recommendation of the Niti Aayog, this BJP government is bracing itself for a large-scale privatisation of the public sector. The Niti Aayog has been completely hijacked by the corporate sector and all its proposals are in tune with the demands made by the neo-liberal economic reform trajectory of international finance capital and domestic big corporate houses. This latest attack on the public sector is in tune with its aggressive pursuance of the neo-liberal economic reforms which include the handing over of prime public assets to foreign and domestic private capital ‘for a song’.
Major privatization of defence production centres is underway. Apart from providing a bonanza for foreign defence equipment producing corporates, this poses a serious threat to India’s security. The process of privatization of Air India has begun. The Indian railways which is the lifeline that unites our country and people is now sought to be privatized. Various services connected with the railways are being now given away to private operators. This will impose very severe burdens on crores of Indian people for whom the railways is the only lifeline for travel, livelihood and communication.
In the financial sector the new FRDI legislation that the government has proposed completely removes the banks and financial institutions from any degree of public scrutiny and social control.
Aadhar and the Right to Privacy: A Constitutional bench of the Supreme Court is currently seized with the issue of privacy being a fundamental right of an individual. This BJP government says that there should be reasonable restrictions on this right and the government must have in specific conditions and for clearly defined reasons, access to such private information of individuals contained in the biometric data taken for Aadhar.
The issue here is not the question of breaching privacy of an individual by the government say for cases of fighting terrorism and internal security. The issue is that in today’s world the personal data of individuals is accessed by big global corporates and Indian corporates who use this information in various ways to bolster their profits and also harass individuals. There is a need to protect every individual from such mercenary corporate activity. We are therefore demanding that the government must enact a new law for protection of privacy of individuals and clearly stipulate the penal provision for any violation as seen in the latest breach of Aadhar information on websites by the Jio.
Since the LDF government came into being in Kerala, thirteen comrades have been killed in attacks by the RSS. More than 200 Party members and sympathisers have been injured and hospitalized. Over 150 houses and around 50 Party offices have also been attacked, set on fire or vandalized.
During the five years of the UDF government, 27 of our comrades were killed by RSS hoodlums. Such attacks are continuing even now. At the same time, unfounded allegations are levelled about the CPI(M)’s ‘atrocities’ in order to cover up their acts of murder and violence.
The RSS-BJP are making an all-out effort to try and destabilize Left Front government in the run-up to the forthcoming Assembly election in Tripura. They are intensifying efforts to create a polarization in the state between tribal and non-tribal people. The Central Committee noted with satisfaction the manner in which the Tripura CPI(M) and the state government handled the recent blockade of the highway in Tripura by the IPFT.
The Central Committee heard the report of the Tripura State Committee on the preparations to meet this concerted offensive by the BJP and the preparations for the elections. The Central Committee is confident that the peace-loving people of Tripura will rise to foil all such conspiracies being hatched by the BJP and their record to violence and re-affirm their faith in the Left Front and re-elect the Left Front candidates in the forthcoming elections.
The latest data of the Government of India shows that of all the states in the country, two states in India with the best health and education indicators are Kerala and Tripura. As far as Tripura is concerned with literacy of 96 per cent, the life expectancy (men: 71, women: 73 years), the two indicators of public education and health, it stands at the top of all states in the country. It is these pro-people progressive policies that the CPI(M) and the Left governments implement that are also being targeted for attack by the BJP.
West Bengal Rajya Sabha Election
The Central Committee rejected the proposal of the West Bengal State Committee to propose Sitaram Yechury for the third term in the Rajya Sabha. The Central Committee is of the opinion that an acceptable independent candidate by the opposition parties in West Bengal may be fielded, failing which the West Bengal Left Front Committee will consider contesting.
The Central Committee expressed its deep concern over the deteriorating situation in Jammu & Kashmir.
This BJP government has reneged both on its assurance that it gave to the people of Kashmir, the Indian parliament and the country after the visit of an all-party parliamentary delegation led by the Home Minister. It was announced by the government that they will undertake immediate confidence building measures like not using the pellet guns; immediate measures to increase employment opportunities for Kashmiri youth etc. Simultaneously it promised to initiate a political dialogue with all stakeholders. Not a single forward movement has happened on both these promises for over six months now. This has contributed in a big way for the further alienation of the Kashmiri people.
The Central Committee decided to continue with the CPI(M)’s efforts to try and bring together a wide spectrum of political forces and people’s movement demanding the initiation of political process by the Central Government of a dialogue with all stakeholders.
The Central Committee decided to convene the 22nd Party Congress at Hyderabad, Telangana in April 2018.
The Central Committee decided on the following programmes for the Party in the coming period:
1. Protest Movements must be initiated by all units of the CPI(M) across the country from August 15 to 31, 2017 demanding :
a) Immediate loan waivers for the kisans who are being pushed into committing distress suicides due to debt burden.
b) Immediate implementation of the BJP’s electoral promise of a Minimum Support Price that is one and a half times the production costs.
The CPI(M) demands an immediate central legislation giving the right to the kisans to sell at such a declared MSP.
c) Implement BJP’s electoral promise of creating two crore jobs every year.
d) Stop this large-scale privatization of public sector and public services.
e) Immediately legislate the Women’s Reservation Bill as promised by the BJP in 2014 elections.
2. All Party units must observe the world peace and anti-imperialist day on September 1, 2017 highlighting the surrender of the Modi government to US imperialism and India being reduced as a junior strategic ally of US imperialism. The Prime Minister’s recent visit to Israel and the BJP government’s desire to have a global US-Israel-India axis must be highlighted as being against the interests of India and our people.
3. The Party must take the initiative at all levels to mobilize all secular and democratic forces and conduct anti-communalism programmes all over the country during the month of September.
4. Strongly protesting against the growing attacks on dalits and Muslim minorities, the Party at all levels must mobilize the people during the month of September demanding a Central law banning the gau rakshak samitis and RSS-sponsored private armies in the name of moral policing etc.