The Central Committee of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) met in New Delhi on August 4-6, 2023. It has issued the following statement:
The Central Committee expressed its indignation at the fact that for over three months now the ethnic conflict with communal dimensions in Manipur is raging leaving hundreds dead, tens of thousands displaced and surviving in relief camps under inhuman conditions. The culpability of the state government is clear enough. The silence of Prime Minister Modi and the ineffective Central government intervention so far suggests complicity in allowing the situation to slide into greater anarchy and mayhem. PM Modi has chosen to abdicate the responsibility of being accountable to Parliament which has resulted in the total disruption of Parliamentary proceedings. The spreading of the Manipur conflict to the nearby states in the North East has very serious consequences.
The Central Committee demands that as the first step in the direction of restoring normalcy and peace, Chief Minister Biren Singh must go.
Sharpening Communal Polarization
Haryana Communal Violence: The Central Committee strongly condemned the unleashing of brutal bulldozer politics by the Haryana BJP government following the communal violence in the Mewat region, starting with Nuh, spreading to Gurugram and other places. Instead of taking firm action against the culprits and the provocators that engineered this violence, the Haryana BJP state government is targeting the minority community, embarking on a large exercise of demolishing shops and residences of the Muslim community. Many of these have legal ownership documents and some others have court stay orders. Nevertheless, the BJP state government has proceeded to demolish these properties. However, the Punjab and Haryana High Court has stayed the demolitions which went on for four days.
Hate Crimes: The horrifying killing by a Railway Protection Force constable of an officer and three Muslim passengers is a dehumanizing hate crime. Such crimes are growing as a result of the vicious hate speeches and propaganda by the BJP-RSS demonizing the Muslim community. This condemnable incident is a wakeup call to India that the toxic agenda of the Hindutva forces is destroying the secular democratic character of the Indian Republic.
Gyanvapi Mosque Dispute: The Central Committee is dismayed and mystified as to why the Judiciary at the highest level is not strictly enforcing the implementation of the Places of Worship Act 1991 which provides the status quo regarding all places of worship in the country after independence. The sole exception made at the time of its enactment was of Ayodhya where the dispute was the subject matter of court proceedings. The August 3 Allahabad High Court verdict allowed the ASI to conduct a survey of the Gyanvapi mosque complex. The Supreme Court which has repeatedly upheld the validity of the Act has also not stopped the survey. The Central Committee demanded that this Act, which is the law of the land, be strictly implemented.
Attacks on Federalism
Fiscal Federalism: The Modi government has recently changed the definition of public borrowings which imposes a further squeeze on the fiscal space of the state governments. The off-budget and extra budgetary borrowings by state governments are to be now considered to be part of the public borrowings. However, this does not apply to Central government borrowings! Further, this is being applied retrospectively. For a state like Kerala, this would mean a shortfall of Rs. 17,310 Cr for the fiscal year 2023-24, creating a huge deficit in the budget approved by the state assembly. This constitutes a serious assault on state rights.
Delhi Ordinance: In a brazen authoritarian move, the Modi government issued an ordinance to nullify the recent Supreme Court judgement by a five-member Constitution bench upholding the rights of the elected government of Delhi over major areas of governance including control of the bureaucracy. Not only does this constitute contempt of court, but it is also a direct assault on the federal character of the Constitution and the norms of accountability and democratic governance as defined by the Supreme Court.
The Modi government using its brute majority in the Lok Sabha and with the support of regional parties like BJD and YSRCP in the Rajya Sabha is enacting this as law.
Loot of National Assets: Under this corporate-communal nexus, the loot of national assets is being legalized by legislating new laws. Through the disruption of Parliament, important bills facilitating the privatization of national assets are being passed. These include the Forest (Conservation) Amendment Bill, 2023 to provide blanket exemption in the name of development which will help corporates to loot natural resources. The consequent deforestation will adversely aggravate the climate impact in the country. The Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2023 has been passed that facilitates the private mining of crucial and valuable mineral resources including Lithium. The Offshore Areas (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2023 has been passed which facilitates private offshore exploration of crude oil.
Growing Crimes Against Women and Girl Children: There is a growing and alarming trend in attacks and crimes against women and girl children.
The NCRB data shows that on an average 86 rape cases were lodged daily, with 49 offenses against women per hour in 2021. The number of rape cases went up from 28,046 in 2020 to 31,677 in 2021. The number of crimes against women rose from 3,71,503 in 2020 to 4,28,278 in 2021. The attitude of the Modi government in giving patronage to the accused in many cases has led to a culture of impunity amongst criminals.
Fear of Authentic Data
The Central Committee expressed its deep concern at the removal of questions related to prevalence of anemia and those related to disability from the National Family Health Survey – 6.
The previous survey had revealed that over 57 per cent of women and over 67 per cent of children in India suffer from anemia. Anemia is a major contributor to maternal and child mortality amongst other things. Removing questions related to disability is a regressive step.
The Modi government has been unabashed in its contempt and dread of accurate data. While data collection through the Census exercise has been going on elsewhere in the world, the exercise has been delayed indefinitely in India.
The Central Committee condemns the suspension of K.S. James, the director of the International Institute for Population Sciences, which conducts the NFHS. NFHS-5 had produced data that was not in sync with the Modi government’s claims especially on India becoming a “open defecation free” country.
Protest Rally of Tribal People: The Central Committee extended its support to the call of Adivasi organizations for nationwide protests on August 9 against the Forest Conservation (Amendment) Act 2023 and the Uniform Civil Code. The Act will deny the rights guaranteed by the Forest Rights Act and other laws and it will directly impact on Constitutional guarantees for protection of customary laws.
1. All Party units will observe an all-India protest week against price rise and for jobs creation from 1-7 September 2023.
2. To make efforts to hold a convention of Left parties at the earliest and give a call for all-India campaign on a mutually agreed charter of demands.
3. Support the plan of action declared by the joint platform of Central Trade Unions and Samyukta Kisan Morcha.
4. Extend support to the all-India Delhi rally on October 5, 2023 called by the All India Democratic Women’s Association.