The Central Committee of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) met at EMS Academy, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, from January 17 to 19, 2020. It has issued the following statement:
The Central Committee hails the ongoing countrywide protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 (CAA) and demands that it should be repealed immediately. The CAA is anti-constitutional by legalizing grant of citizenship on the basis of the religious affiliation of an individual. The CAA undermines the secular democratic foundations of the Indian Republic as enunciated in our Constitution.
The ongoing people’s movement consisting of students, youth, women and ordinary citizens, clearly shows that people realize the threat posed by the CAA to our Constitution. These protests are continuing every day in various locations in the country for nearly two months.
Condemn Police Violence & Brutality
Protests are Peaceful; Police Unleashes Violence: The Central Committee condemns the brutal repression unleashed by the BJP governments on peaceful protesters all across the country. Police atrocities in Jamia Millia University; police facilitating the entry of armed goons from outside to rampage and brutally attack students and teachers in Jawaharlal Nehru University; the police vandalism and serious injuries to students in Aligarh Muslim University and elsewhere are strongly condemnable.
Most of the violence has occurred in BJP ruled states or in Delhi where the police is directly under the Central Home Ministry. The states where deaths have occurred are Uttar Pradesh (21), Assam (5) and Karnataka (2) – all have BJP state governments.
Most brutal repression was unleashed in Uttar Pradesh with police firing on peaceful protesters, ransacking homes, blaming the protesters for the violence done by them and on that basis filing false cases on innocent people and imposing fines, reminiscent of the British repressive rule in India. The Central Committee condemns the call given by the BJP Chief Minister of UP for revenge (badla) against protesters which is the inspiration for the ongoing police repression in the state.
As per the amendment passed by the earlier BJP government of Atal Behari Vajpayee in 2003, the National Population Register (NPR) has to be compiled which will be the basis for the NRC. The gazette notification informs that the NPR process will take place from April 1 to September 30, 2020. The NPR and the NRC prepared on that basis will affect millions of poor people, tribals, dalits, homeless, disabled, transgenders and other marginalized communities and targeting the minority Muslim community. Many of these sections will find it impossible to produce documents to have their name entered into the NRC.
The Central Committee called upon the people not to answer any questions concerning the NPR when the enumerators come to their houses. These enumerators will have two sets of questions – one for the Census and one for the NPR. While the questions related to the Census may be answered, the questions related to the NPR must not be. CENSUS YES – NPR NO.
NPR –“We Shall Not Answer” (Jawaab Nahi Denge)
For the NRC the answer will be “Hum Kagaz Nahi Dhikayenge” (We shall not show Papers).
The Central Committee decided that all units of the Party all across the country will conduct a house to house campaign explaining the linkage between the NPR and the NRC and calling upon the people not to answer the NPR questions.
The Central Committee called upon the Chief Ministers who announced that they shall not conduct the NRC in their states to also stop the NPR as the NRC is based on the NPR.
The Central Committee hailed the Kerala state government for its unequivocal stand in this regard. The Kerala state Assembly resolution opposing the CAA must be emulated by all non-BJP state governments. The Punjab Assembly has now done so.
No Detention Centres
The Central Committee demanded that the Central Government withdraw the directions to the state governments to construct detention centres. It called upon all state governments not to construct such detention centres. The Central Committee demands that the existing detention centres in Assam be dismantled and the people be allowed to live normally.
Outrageous Statement of CDS
The Central Committee expressed its strong disapproval of the statement made by the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Bipin Rawat that “de-radicalisation” camps are needed for people including young children who are being radicalized in the country, particularly in Kashmir. Shockingly, he indicated that such camps are already functioning.
The Modi government must immediately clarify if such camps exist in Jammu & Kashmir. According to the CDS it appears that they do and the army is running these camps.
The CDS must clarify if such camps are being set-up and run at the initiative of the Indian Army. These are totally illegal and constitute a violation of human rights.
Jammu & Kashmir
The Central Committee demands the restoration of the state of Jammu & Kashmir honouring the assurances made to the people of J&K at the time of its accession to India. It is now more than four months since most of the political leaders including three former chief ministers and thousands of others had been detained. Some of them are being detained under the draconian Public Safety Act. The Central Committee demands their immediate release.
The restrictions on communications and public transport continue despite the announcement to ease some restrictions. There has been a disastrous impact on the J&K economy and the daily lives of the people. This is marked by growing misery and continued disruption of normal life.
The Central Committee demands the complete lifting of the restrictions imposed on the state; the release of all political leaders and others detained; the restrictions on internet and communications should be lifted and the democratic rights and civil liberties guaranteed by the Constitution should be restored.
The Central Committee condemned the economic policies pursued by the Modi Government that have led to the economy entering a virtual recession with continuous decline of the GDP. This has resulted in heaping unprecedented burdens on the vast majority of our people, deepening agrarian distress, sharp rise in prices (retail inflation 6.35 per cent – a five year high), growing unemployment (the highest in last half a century), large scale “closures” of industrial units and the laying-off of lakhs of workers.
This economic crisis has been caused by the sharp decline in the purchasing capacities of the vast majority of our people. Consumer spending in rural areas declined by 8.8 per cent in 2017-18. The solution for a turn around in the economy lies in providing the people with the capacity to purchase, thus increasing the levels of domestic demand which may lead to revive all closed factories.
Instead the Modi government is giving hefty concessions to the rich cutting corporate taxes. This package of 2.15 lakh crore, if used for public investments instead, would have built our much needed infrastructure and created lakhs of new jobs, provided employment to our distressed youth. Once they start spending their earnings, this will lead to domestic demand rising providing the required kick-start for an economic turnaround.
However, the Modi government is committed to providing greater avenues for profit maximization to foreign and domestic corporates and is rejecting this people’s oriented alternative thus pushing the vast majority of our people into languishing misery.
Discrimination Against Kerala
The Central government is adopting a discriminatory and negative attitude to Kerala’s fiscal requirements. Kerala is entitled to Rs. 24,915 crores as public borrowing for the year 2019-20. This has been unilaterally reduced by the Centre to Rs. 16,602 crores in the name of neutralizing the alleged increase in public account debt in 2016-17.
The GST compensation of Rs. 1,600 crore due in December has not been paid. The arrears on account of MGNREGS is Rs. 1,215 crore and for payment for paddy procurement is Rs. 1,035 crore. Kerala has been denied any allocation for natural calamity relief despite submitting a claim for Rs. 2,100 crore.
The Central Committee demands an end to this discriminatory approach by the Centre. The Kerala government should get the funds due under the various accounts. The Central government should also provide allocation under the natural calamity relief fund to the state which had suffered from serious floods in 2019.
Central Committee Call
1)Extend full support to and active participation in all the joint protest calls against the CAA/NPR/NRC and to safeguard the Indian Constitution.
2)Actively support and strengthen the call for joint actions on the following, all across the country:
a) January 23 is the birthday of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. The slogan coined by the Indian National Army under his leadership has become the regular greeting of all Indians, “Jai Hind”. The historic INA trial at Red Fort reverberated with the slogan “Sehgal, Dhillon, Shahnawaz” that galvanised the Indian people and bolstered the communal unity of our people during those difficult times of 1945-46.
b) January 26 is the Republic Day. Readings of the Preamble of the Constitution and taking oath to safeguard it in all habitations across the country must be held.
c) January 30 is the martyrdom day of Mahatma Gandhi. Observe it by highlighting his relentless campaigns in pursuit of communal harmony.
In the fitness of the current developments, these three significant days must be observed, in an appropriate manner, form and peacefully at maximum number of locations across the country.
Campaign Intensively on:
- No to NPR – We shall not answer (Jawaab Nahi Denge)
- Call upon the Chief Ministers opposing the NRC to also halt the NPR as this forms the basis for the NRC, like the state government of Kerala and Punjab have done.
- Conduct house to house campaign explaining the NPR-NRC linkage and asking the people to answer the census questions but not to answer the NPR Questions.
- This house to house campaign will culminate on March 23 marking the martyrdom of our immortal martyrs – Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev and to join the efforts to realize Bhagat Singh’s vision of an exploitation free, inclusive new India.
- Demanding dismantling of the existing detention centres and stop construction of new ones.
- The mass fronts of the Party while participating in these house to house campaigns will raise their issues of immediate concern regarding livelihood conditions of our people.
(For CPI(M) Central Committee office)