The Left parties – Communist Party of India (Marxist), Communist Party of India, All India Forward Bloc, Revolutionary Socialist Party, Communist Party of India (ML- Liberation) and Socialist Unity Centre of India (Communist) – have issued the following statement:
Nationwide Protest on the First Anniversary of Demonetisation
The Left Parties express their concern at the overall deteriorating conditions in the country and large scale attacks on the people. Communal polarization is being sharpened, institutions of parliamentary democracy are being undermined and attacks on the democratic rights and civil liberties of the people are mounting.
It is one year since demonetization was unilaterally and suddenly announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This move, as anticipated by the Left parties, have had disastrous consequences on the health of the Indian economy and imposed unprecedented burdens on the vast majority of our people. None of the declared objectives of demonetization have been achieved. With almost all of the demonetized currency returning to the banking system, black money has been converted into white money without penalizing a single offender. Counterfeit currency has been legalized. Contrary to the stated objective of curbing terrorist activities, large numbers of army personnel, security forces and common people have lost their lives due to terrorist attacks. The scale of corruption has, in fact, doubled.
On the other hand, the unorganized sector of our economy that contributes more than a third of our GDP and employs nearly 60 per cent of the total employment in the country has been shattered. The drastic reduction in MGNREGA allocations, the virtual collapse of the public distribution system the imposition of Aadhaar Card conditionalities is depriving the most marginalized and vulnerable section of our people.
This government’s economic policies have resulted in a substantial slowdown of economic activities in all the three sectors – agriculture, industry and services. The consequence has been a severe growth of unemployment and further compounding of agrarian distress. Our youth, instead of being an asset, given India’s demographic advantage, is wandering today aimlessly with acute economic and social insecurity. Peasants’ suicides have not only acquired unprecedented dimensions, the all-out agrarian crisis has resulted in miserable livelihood conditions in rural areas. The growing reports of starvation deaths are alarming.
All this proves that the policies of Government are aimed to serve the interests of global and domestic corporate and the ruling classes at the cost of the common toiling people.
To protest against the ruination of the Indian economy and the livelihood conditions of the vast majority of our people, the Left parties have decided to observe November 8, 2017 as a `Protest Day’ against the economic policies pursued by the BJP governments at the Centre and the states. The Left parties demand that the Modi government immediately implement the promises it made in 2014 of waiving farm loans; increasing the Minimum Support Price to the levels which should be one and a half times the production costs; and to implement the promise of creating two crore new jobs every year, i.e., ten crores during this BJP government’s tenure.
The form of protest will be decided by the respective state units of the Left parties all across the country. The Left parties appeal to all the people to come forward and register strong protest against this government and the miseries that it is imposing. The Left parties appeal to all democratic and secular minded people and parties and movements to join in this protest action.
Left Parties Extend Support to Popular Struggles
The Left parties congratulated the kisans of Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh etc for launching big struggles for the implementation of the election promise made by the BJP of announcing a Minimum Support Price of one and a half times the production cost, as also a loan waiver.
The Left parties extend their support to the initiatives for popular struggles announced by the trade unions – the November 9-11 Mahapadav programme - kisan organizations – the march to Parliament on November 20 and the platform for popular struggles - Jan Ekta Jan Adhikar Aandolan. The Left parties called upon the people who are suffering due to the devastating effects of the economic policies of this Modi government to join these protests.
On Rohingya Refugees
Left parties call upon the Indian government to treat the Rohingyas as refugees in India and not to deport them back to Myanmar. Doing so would mean certain death for them. The Government of India must exercise all means in international fora to stop the genocide in Myanmar. United Nations must be roped in to treat this as an international humanitarian crisis.