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People for a Free India
(i) Peoples’ Demands
(ii) United Peoples’ Front
(iii) Attitude Towards various Parties
(iv) Economy of Self-reliance
(v) Politics of Seizure of Power
The country, already in a state of acute backwardness, is
being pushed back to the dark ages through the policies of globalisation. Its
sovereignty is being further attacked. The lives of the vast masses of the
people are being devastated. The middle-classes are being pauperized. Indigenous
industry is being killed. Agriculture is being strangulated. Globalisation and
the policies of ‘economic reforms’ are distorting the cultural fabric of the
country. It is pushing the country to further militarisation. It is promoting
fascist Hindu chauvinism instigating massacres of Muslims and attacking other
minorities and dalits. It is institutionalizing a terroristic state, launching
brutal attacks on the smallest dissent and butchering the Maoist revolutionaries
and struggling nationalities.
The country is heading for a disaster of gigantic
proportions. India, with its population of one billion — over 15% of that of the
entire globe — is like a volcano, seething with anger and discontent, waiting to
erupt. As the revolutionary (Maoist) forces in the country are yet weak, the
catalyst is not yet there. Others act to diffuse the heat, so that the eruption
may be postponed. Yet, India has the potential to create hundreds of new Bhagat
Singhs and Chandrashekhar Azads. Already they can be seen in the hundreds of
death-defying martyrs of the Maoist revolutionaries of the CPI(ML)(PW) and the
MCC. The enemy may not be as obvious and immediately observable, as during the
British times, but it is there for anyone to see — directly in the form of the
comprador bureaucrat collaborators and their semi-feudal allies in the
countryside; and indirectly in the form of the imperialism, particularly US
imperialism, acting through their governments, multilateral institutions and
In this scenario what is to be done?
The first point is not to remain silent at what is going on
in the country; for silence amounts to consent.
The second point is to build a real freedom struggle, taking
lessons from the betrayals by the leaderships of the Congress and CPI during the
pre-1947 struggles. A liberation struggle that frees the country not only from
the grip of imperialism, but all reaction — particularly from the semi-feudal
stagnation in the vast countryside, that acts as a major bulwark of reaction in
The third point is to understand clearly that in this coming
battle who are our friends and who are our enemies.
The fourth point is to seek unity with all friends, putting
aside minor grievances, and isolating and smashing the enemy.
The fifth point is that while enhancing the struggle against
the main enemies, building a parallel new culture and a new value system based
on true democratic values and principles, against the prevailing
imperialist/feudal culture and value system.
And the sixth point is, to stand up for principle, for
justice and equality for all, and against all forms of exploitation — economic
and social. Demand equal rights for women, dalits, minorities and all the
On this minimum basis let us see how we can build a truly
effective movement of all anti-imperialist, and anti-feudal forces in the
i) The Peoples’ Demands
The people of our country, first and foremost, demands full
sovereignty — both economic and political. For nearly two and a half centuries
our freedom has been snatched away from us, and a country rich in natural and
human resources has been reduced to rack and ruin. Not only have the masses been
reduced to an inhuman existence, our minerals and crops have been robbed, our
soil and natural environment has been destroyed and our natural habitats and
forests have been ripped asunder.
Globalisation, not merely continues the neo-colonial plunder
of the country, it raises it to new heights. The devastation already wrought, is
now being increased ten-fold. Earlier they operated through the Maharajas (and
directly), today they operate through the comprador bureaucrat class. It is the
latter that act as servile tools of imperialism within our country, which
utilize the vast semi-feudal social base to keep the masses in chains and to
continue their domination. These traitors and scabs are the vilest enemies of
the people, hypocrites and liars, frauds and cheats, murderers and rapists, the
scum of the earth. But, it is they who wield the power; it is they who run the
So, to free our country we must, first and foremost,
liberate it from these reptiles. But to do so it means rousing the masses on a
massive scale. This is inconceivable without first and foremost liberating the
bulk of the population from the chains of semi-feudal relations, which bind them
hand-and-foot to the status quo. An agrarian revolutionary movement that smashes
these archaic production relations is a preliminary pre-requisite to unleash the
democratic forces in the country that can also be directed against the
imperialists and the compradors. So, the peoples’ demands are:
(a) Democratise the social fabric of the country by smashing
the backward and retrogressive semi-feudal relations in the countryside.
Establish peoples’ democratic power in the vast rural hinterland.
(b) Confiscate all foreign capital and the capital of the
comprador big bourgeoisie.
(c) Annul the foreign debt.
(d) Protect indigenous industry and the small-scale sector.
(e) Promote investment in agriculture, particularly
irrigation; remove dependence on imperialist promoted fertilizers, pesticides
and seeds. Ban cutting of forests and rejuvenate the soil destroyed by years of
the ‘green revolution’ strategy, through sustainable agricultural growth.
(f) Oppose imperialist and feudal culture and values, and
build a new democratic culture, wherein religion must be strictly a private
affair, and vehement opposition to all forms of patriarchy and casteism. Build
human relations based on equality and mutual respect for all, irrespective of
caste and creed, and economic or educational status.
(g) Raise peoples’ purchasing power throughout the country
and thereby promote industrialisation, leading to genuine modernisation and
development of the entire country (not mere pockets, as exists today), and an
economy built on self-reliance. Thereby build a democratic modern India as a
first step towards socialist transformation of the country, which alone can
effectively prevent imperialist tentacles from strangulating our country.
ii) United Peoples’ Front
Quite obviously all the classes hit by imperialism and the
new offensive under the banner of ‘globalisation’, will be the main forces
pitted against imperialism and their comprador collaborators in the country. As
can be seen from the above analysis they comprise the workers, peasants
(including large sections of the rich peasantry), middle-classes and even the
national bourgeoisie. All these have been badly hit by this new offensive of
imperialism, particularly US imperialism, and therefore have much to gain
through this battle.
In this battle the enemy is ruthless, brutal and vicious.
They can go to any extremes to protect their loot. Earlier such battles, as in
Indo-China, Latin America, Africa, have shown the extent to which they go in
order to protect their unjust system. Massacres and genocides have been a common
affair. So, any effective battle against these monsters, can take place only by
mobilising and uniting the full 90% of the population who are affected by these
rapacious marauders. As over 70% of our population lives in the countryside, no
battle against the imperialist/comprador gang can be successful without their
involvement. We have already seen that a section of the peasantry has been
actively involved in struggle against the policies of the WTO. It is wrong to
consider the anti-imperialist struggle as a merely urban affair, as some do.
The main force of the anti-imperialist movement must
primarily be built on a strong worker-peasant alliance, led by the proletariat.
An important force in this struggle will be the petti-bourgeoisie,
particularly the students, teachers and intellectuals. Not only are they
volatile, but are also an important factor in opinion-making against the enemies
of the people.
Finally, the national bourgeoisie — that is large sections
of the small-scale sector — are a potential ally as they are being swamped by
big capital of the TNCs and compradors, with government policy openly promoting
the latter. Though they may not openly join the movement in its first phase out
of fear, a section can lend support to it in numerous and very useful ways.
Besides these major class-forces many reserves and indirect
forces can be utilized in this battle. A particularly important factor will be
that, as the crisis in the imperialist economies deepens, and its reflection is
felt in India, ruling-class contradictions will increase exponentially. These
contradictions, that are already beginning to emerge, can be skillfully
utilized, in order to further isolate the enemy and build up the democratic
forces into a stronger anti-imperialist, anti-feudal bulwark.
In addition, various forms of social oppression like caste,
patriarchy and communal, helps draw in the vast sections of the dalits, women
and minorities who face added burdens. Today, particularly the Hindutva
chauvinist wave by the saffron brigade, with tacit (or even open) support from
the state, can catalyse the involvement of the minorities, particularly he
Muslims, into this anti-imperialist struggle. Already we have seen that some
Muslim organizations have given a call for the boycott of TNC products.
Finally, a very important factor in building a strong
movement is an alliance with the oppressed nationalities, particularly those
that have taken up arms against the Indian rulers.
So, it can be seen that only by mobilizing these vast forces
in the country against the imperialist/comprador gangsters that a successful
movement can be built.
iii) Attitude Towards the Various Political
On ‘economic reforms’ there is, in essence, no basic
difference between all the major parliamentary parties, at both the Central and
State levels. Notwithstanding much of their rhetoric, when in opposition, when
in power, they compete with each other in the speed with which to capitulate to
imperialist demands. Some, regional parties, like the TDP in Andhra Pradesh, in
fact act as a major stooge to push through imperialist dictated reforms, not
only at the State level but also at the Centre. In Congress(I) ruled States like
Karnataka and Maharashtra, their capitulation has been blatant. We have already
seen at length the attitude of all the others as well. And, if at all there is
some opposition to any particular policy or step taken, it is either only a
vote-catching gimmick, or it is to favour one business lobby against another.
So, let us not get fooled by certain stands taken by any of these ruling-class
parties on various occasions.
As mentioned earlier, we may utilize their contradictions,
for the benefit of the movement, but should not mistake them as being
anti-imperialist forces. The extent to which we can do so, depends ofcourse, on
the strength of the proletarian forces in the struggle. The important task here
lies in thoroughly exposing these parties, and winning over their rank-and-file
to a consistent anti-imperialist/comprador, anti-feudal programme. It is not
sufficient that people just be disgusted by their corruption, nepotism,
opportunism, etc. — this is apparent to all, and exposed by their own actions;
we have little to add. What particularly needs to be exposed is that these
parties are all traitors of the country, acting in the interests of foreign
powers. It is they who are the worst collaborators and not the so-called ISI
sponsors within the country. Once the masses realize this, only then will they
rise like a tornado to kick them out, and dump them all into the Indian Ocean.
It is by the impregnation of this consciousness in the masses on a gigantic
scale, that we can turn the tide against the new imperialist offensive in India.
Besides these major ruling-class parties, there are numerous
small parties and groups, some inside, but mostly outside parliament, whether of
the left nationality-based, or some ‘independent’ types, who are basically petti-bourgeois
in character, and therefore should be united with, to jointly fight the policies
of globalisation in the country. They should be genuine fighting forces and not
paper organizations; they should not be foreign-funded NGOs or those chiefly
tied to government projects; they may take up only one aspect of imperialist
damage, like environment, women’s oppression, unemployment, etc., but should be
genuine in organizing the masses; or they may be trade unions and/or worker’s
and peasants groups, seeking to repulse the attacks on them.
In addition individuals that are playing an important
anti-imperialist role, and are not part of any particular group or organization,
should be drawn into such a movement and encouraged to identify with it. The
more rapacious the imperialists/compradors get the more such intellectuals will
be thrown up. They will get greater confidence to speak up once they realize
that they are not alone but part of a growing tide of progressive forces.
iv) Economy of Self-Reliance
Any talk today of replacing globalisation with an economy of
self-reliance, is looked upon as utopian. Globalisation appears as such a
formidable force, so all-encompassing over the entire globe, that, for most, it
appears inconceivable that it be replaced by another system. The bulk of the
anti-globalisation groups merely seek reforms within it; seek to give it a human
face. The revisionists also merely talk of reforming it, not replacing it. In
effect, all have fallen prey to the ‘End of History’ thesis, which
portrays that there is no alternative to the existing system.
But the fact of the matter is that globlisation is an
offence of capital on the backward countries of the world, linked to a
restructuring of capital in the metropolis. It is also part of the strategy to
deal with its crises that has constantly hit it since 1973. And now that it has
gone deeper into crisis, particularly since the last two years, there is little
chance for any reform. In its period of crisis it will only turn more
aggressive. Reforms are normally associated with periods of boom, where capital
finds it easier and more economical to buy out the discontent. But in periods of
crisis no such luxury is available. Discontent will be ruthlessly suppressed so
that return on capital can be maximized. All the ‘earth summits’ ‘food summits’,
‘water summits’, etc. are just eye-wash to dupe the people of the world to try
and show them that they care about the damage being done.
So, in fact, it is utopian to expect reform or the human
face, when capitalism/imperialism is in crisis. And if at all there is a human
face given to this monster of globalisation it will be merely a mask to hide the
gory mess. No doubt, through increasing resistance against it, some concessions
can be extracted; bitter struggle can even achieve some gains, but no major
As for the ideals of self-reliance, no doubt it does not
appear as an immediately realisable possibility, but it is the only solution, no
matter how difficult, to the problems facing the country. Half-way measures will
get us nowhere. For example, the half-baked change that took place in 1947 has
not brought about any real difference. Over half a century has now passed, yet
the country is as poor as it was then. What sounds utopian is not the economy of
self-reliance, that itself is easily realizable; the problem is the question of
smashing the existing system, and building a force strong enough to take on the
imperialist/comprador/semi-feudal combine. For, without smashing the existing
political power structures, the ruling-classes will never permit the building of
such an economy. A pre-requisite to building the self-reliant economy is the
seizure of political power by the democratic forces of the country.
Whatever, a self-reliant economy will have two basic aspects
to it different from what exists now:
First, it will facilitate grass-roots industrialization of
the country by extending the home market for products. This is only possible by
raising the purchasing power of the vast masses, the bulk of whom live in the
countryside. This can only be achieved by shattering the age-old backward
relations of production in the countryside that is the chief cause for the
excessive poverty of the masses. Once the masses are liberated from this
backwardness, and a new democratic government invests heavily in agriculture the
motor for growth of the Indian economy will be generated. No more dependency on
exports, and no more dependency on the consumption patterns of the elite for a
The second major step is to put an end to the huge flight of
capital abroad. As we have already seen, which country in the world can possibly
grow when 20% of its national income is drained abroad, year-in and year-out.
There is much talk of inviting greater and greater amounts of foreign capital,
but not a word is mentioned on preventing its flight. Even if the ruling class
were to achieve it’s much talked of goal of getting $10 billion foreign capital,
it is insignificant compared to the roughly $65 billion drained out each year.
So, no great tragedy will hit the country if we confiscate
all foreign/comprador capital, even if no new capital enters the country in the
future. On the contrary, it will put an end to the enormous capital flight
taking place. This much-needed capital can then be put to good use in developing
agriculture and small industry to service it.
Besides, huge funds can be released by cutting down on all
the wasteful expenditures on defence, police, and a well-fattened bureaucracy
and political class.
Such an economy will be self-sustaining and growth will be
self-generating; not depending on the infusion of funds from abroad or exports
for a market. Self-sufficiency does not entail isolating the country from
international markets; it only means interacting on terms that benefit the
country, not the imperialists. India is a huge country of one billion people,
with immense rich natural resources and fertile lands. Such a large country can
have no problem to develop and grow, if its people can just come out of the
confines of the present system. India can then be a rich and thriving country;
not a poor laggard, cringing before each and every imperialist dictate.
v) Politics of Seizure of Power
Today, even the smallest of struggles against the policies
and actions of this imperialist/comprador combine, however limited it may be, is
to be welcomed, supported and encouraged. So long as it is not fake (as that of
the Swadeshi Jagran Manch), all such struggles should be supported and, in fact,
advanced forward, taken beyond the confines imposed by the leaderships of the
movement. Not only will such successful struggles against these policies give
temporary relief to the masses involved, but it helps build up the overall
anti-imperialist consciousness in the country. Besides, it is these thousands of
tiny streams of struggle that flow into the river of the anti-imperialist
movement that joins the ocean of the democratic revolution.
Globalisation has entered this country taking the levels of
exploitation of the people to new heights. Taking advantage of the set-back in
communism worldwide, and the retreat of the national liberation movements, the
imperialists and their comprador agents have got more arrogant and ruthless.
This is more so in the 1990s after the collapse of the rival superpower, Soviet
social imperialism. Particularly US imperialism and its lap-dog, Israel, have
launched fierce attacks on the people in general, and the Arab people in
particularly. After Sept.11 they have turned into maniacal war psychopaths,
threatening one and all, and preparing for continuous wars of aggression. First
Afghanistan, now Iraq then any country that does not go down on its knees before
the US almighty. With the Indian rulers having developed close links — not only
economic, but also military — with this axis, they too have donned the cloak of
gladiators out for the kill. The anti-terrorist hysteria is as shrill in India
as it is in the US and Israel. Drawing sustenance from these war-mongers, the
Indian rulers have come down ruthlessly on even the smallest of struggles.
Turning increasingly fascist, they are and will crush with brute force, all
forms of opposition to it, and their masters.
In the face of this state terror, peaceful forms of struggle
are quickly losing any significance, and armed struggle is coming onto the
agenda, not only in the forests and plains of India, but also in all spheres of
struggle of the masses. The horrors of Gujarat, would push every Muslim to take
up arms to defend themselves; the vicious attacks on even the peaceful movements
of the workers, peasants, students, employees of the PSUs, etc. are forcing all
to think of newer and more effective methods of struggle.
In this scenario the anti-imperialist movement can and must
draw sustenance from the ongoing people’s war being led by the CPI(ML)(PW) and
the MCC in parts of the country. As these revolutionary movements are the most
consistent fighters against imperialism, feudalism and comprador bureaucrat
capitalism, no anti-imperialist movement can sustain and grow without strong
bridges being built with the Maoist people’s war in the country. In fact it is
only under the leadership of these proletarian revolutionary forces that the
anti-imperialist struggle can reach fruition towards the creation of a genuinely
free and self-reliant India. Areawise seizure of power and the establishment of
Base Areas, will act as the most solid ground for advancing and polarizing all
the genuine anti-imperialist forces in the country.
Also, at the international plane there is a continuous
growth in the anti-globalisation movement. These are aimed at our common enemy,
— in general imperialism and their multilateral institutions, in particular U.S.
imperialism and its fascist lap-dog Israel. So, unity of the
anti-imperialist/comprador movements, within India, with movements taking place
at a world plane, strengthens both.
Meanwhile, let the numerous streams of the
anti-imperialist/comprador movements grow and develop in strength, forge
stronger bonds of unity with each other, join with the armed struggles of the
nationalities, build bridges with the Maoist people’s war, and turn into a
mighty tornado that will wash away these monsters from every corner of our