A Living Minimum Wage of Rs. 20,000 to all
An immediate stop to the Bosses HIRE & FIRE policy.
Right of Employment for all.
Abolition of Contract & Casual Labour Permanent and Secure employment for all.
Re-nationalise all Industries and Public utilities.
Trade Union & Political rights to all the workers in Public and Private Sectors.
Capitalism is THE CRISIS dump it !
The 28th February 2012 General Strike of the Indian Working Class is coming at a historic moment coinciding with the world wide revival of the working class collective actions in every continent of the globe. From Europe to Americas, Africa to Asia , the working people are on the offensive to regain their lost rights.
2011 saw the intervention of the mass of working people onto the scene in a series of European countries. Greece saw 7 general strikes (including 2 of 48-hours) in 2011, in addition to another seven in 2010, while 2012 has began with another wave of general strike in early February. This shows the depth of the anger and determination to resist the austerity measures of the bosses by the Greek workers.
Portugal saw a general strike in November, and Italy has seen waves of strikes and protests. Portugal, along with Spain, saw the explosion onto the surface of the movement of “Indignados”, articulating a rage against the bankers’ dictatorship. The entry of the masses onto the streets of Bucharest and other cities brought down the Romanian government this week.
We are not alone!
We are in a period of unprecedented movements of the people in the most difficult of circumstances and countries, while the sweeping changes have taken place in Tunisia, Egypt and many west Asian countries, even the rising of the people in the United States of America through the Occupy Wall street movement heralds a new beginning of the coming history in making.
It is also amazingly true that on a world scale the capitalist governments are blatantly covering up the utter failure of their system which has reached its terminal crisis. The fiasco of Capitalism is conspicuous in Greece, where the entire country and its economy is at the precipice of disaster.
This trend of capitalist bungling is there to see every where,in the region of South Asia the regimes are dropping all the pretensions of being democratic and are brutally suppressing the movements of the working people against the neo-liberal reforms, which in all countries of the region has resulted in the spiralling of prices, inflation and lowering of the already rock bottom standards of living of the ordinary working people. One example of this is the recent incident of shooting the protesters, who were agitating against the overnight 50% hike in fuel prices in Sri Lanka and the subsequent events has challenged the brutal regime of Rajapakse there.
In India, the drum beaters for Growth Hysteria are now entering an era of eating the dust, what seemed like a very stable situation for the ruling Congress government has slipped into a period of uncertainty in a matter of weeks, the ruling Congress is facing an uphill task in the present round of State elections , which can have far reaching consequences on the longevity of its rule.
Time to Challenge them and their lies!
In this context of a world wide turmoil, the strike of 28th February gains enormous importance, given the sharpening of the consciousness nationally and internationally. Seventeen months ago on the 7th of September 2010, when the 100 million strong heroic Indian Working class went on a one day General Strike, the New Socialist Alternative (CWI-India) wrote that it was a beginning of the masses moving into action under the leadership of the organised working class in this country. We emphatically reiterate that statement once again.
The cacophony of the Indian ruling class and the rich that the Growth of the GDP to 9 to 10% would inevitably solve all the fundamental problems has proved far from true.
By their statistics and admission that 77% of India’s population lives on an grand income of 20 rupees a day is a chilling indictment of the failure of Capitalism in this country. Yet these oligarchs of Capitalism try to wriggle out of the crisis by fudging the figures of the population which is below their understanding of POVERTY LINE.
It is indeed a national shame as blabbered by Manmohan Singh the PM,when 50% of all children under the age of Six suffer from serious malnutrition, and yet him and his economic experts scandalously fix the income levels of Rs. 32 in urban areas and Rs.27 in rural areas as above poverty line.
Polarity of the BOOM!
While it is more than true that the economic results for the rich 1% to 3% of the country’s 1.2billion+ population has seen an exponential growth, sometimes quadrupling the assets of the top 50 rich families. But not even the protagonists of capitalism can deny the fact that all that growth and glitter that India’s rich have seen has been achieved by super exploitation and by riding on the backs of the working class and the dispossessed.
The top 20% of India’s population has a more than 50% share of the national income in 2009-10, up from 36.7% in 1993-94, says a study by the National Council for Applied Economic Research (NCAER). This confirms that income disparities have increased in the “reform” years, 1991 onwards, and the rich have got richer as a freer economy has created more opportunities for super exploitation of the working poor.
Their Boom drills a hole in our pockets!
According to a study by NCAER, How India earns, spends and saves, the bottom 60% of India, has a mere 27.9% share in total income, down from 38.6% at the start of the reforms.
The 1991 pro-market reforms have only thrown up the opportunities for those with resources and they have been able to exploit the vulnerable sections, polarising the society further where the rich have become super rich riding on the backs of the toiling masses of this country.
In contrast to the much touted and showcasing of the fifty four & odd Indian Billionaires; the damning report by the state-run National Commission for Enterprises in the un-organised Sector (NCEUS) found that 77% of Indians, or 836 million people, lived on less than 20 rupees per day. This vulnerable section constitutes about 88% of Daliths, 80% of Other Backward Classes and 85% of the Muslim population of this country.
The so called economic boom fuelled by market driven, neo-liberal capitalist reforms followed the same old feudalism, anti-social practise of untouchability towards the vast majority of the working population of India.
But this shall not pass any more!
The mineral rich India is a mouth watering recipe for capitalism, in the name of “development” almost two-thirds of India is marked to be mined! with utter disregard to the lives and livelihoods of thousands of rural households, Adivasis and Daliths in the length and breadth of India.
Our brothers and sisters who are immediately affected by these treacherous policies of neo-liberalism are resisting this plunder valiantly; the struggles against POSCO, Vedanta, Mittal, Jindal, Tata, Monsanto, etc., many a times costing lives of these fighters. But the irony of the situation is that all this loot and plunder goes in the name of the working class and the unemployed youth, with the alibi of providing employment and developing the “nation”.
Not in our name, No way!
A time has come that we need to call this a bluff, the capitalist class and their cohorts in the corridors of power are pitching us the working class against the most vulnerable in the society. The working class must be the harbinger of a new society where no exploitation of any kind takes place; it can not be impervious to the despicable wrong that goes on in its name.
Yes we do need a decent living, a job, a shelter, education for the children, transportation, communication, modern technology etc., which are all the products created by the combined labour by hand and brain of hundreds of millions of human beings, but the underlined watchword should be all this not at the cost of exploitation of our fellow human beings and especially the vulnerable sections.
Question every answer!
While it will be the bounden duty of every working peoples’ organisation to whole heartedly support and mobilise for the success of the strike on the 28th of February 2012 called by the Central Trade Unions and supported by the Left Parties such as CPI(M) & the CPI, but yet we draw the attention of the rank and file of the unions and the struggling masses in general to some of the demands in this strike.
Even a cursory look of the demands for which this class action is taking place belittles the expectations and the needs of the employed and the under employed in general and the teeming millions of unemployed in particular.
The demand for a Minimum Wage of Rs. 10,000 per month falls short of all expectations of the teeming millions of the workers and under/unemployed youth who struggle to make both ends meet. Given the extreme high cost of living and the polarisation of the super rich and their incomes, the demand for such a paltry sum is some thing which has to be questioned and revamped if necessary in the coming period of struggle.
Capitalism has failed us, let’s change it.
It is proven beyond any doubt that the capitalism has miserably failed in solving the fundamental problems of poverty, illiteracy squalor, disease unemployment, landlessness & housing. It continues the discrimination by caste, class, gender, sexuality and national identity. In fact its greed for profits is threatening the very ecological balance of earth. Environmental concerns can not be left to these “specialists” whose priorities are wealth over welfare, profit over people, greed over green.
Capitalism shows no way out; a fighting, militant, combative approach is necessary in day-to-day struggles of the working class which should collaborate with the struggles of the women, urban & rural poor and of the indigenous Adivasi and Daliths, for a stronger alliance linked to the idea of the socialist transformation of society.
New Socialist Alternative