Gulliver Un-chained !
28th February class action was India’s 14th general strike since the country opened up its economy to aggressive neo-liberal reforms in 1991 and without any exaggeration this was the biggest, surpassing all records of the past.
It is indeed not a coincidence that the Indian capitalist press, barring very few, struggled to play down the success and the enthusiastic participation of the workers in the 28th February General strike. What ever be the skills of these ‘pen-pushers’ (or should we say ‘type-techs’) it was more than evident that the period of struggle of the Indian Working Class has arrived. In every Major city of India including different ‘Silicon Valleys’ the strike did have a telling effect which was more than evident from what the bourgeois media cried as “disruption” of normal life.
It was India’s 14th general strike since the country opened up its economy to aggressive neo-liberal reforms in 1991 and without any exaggeration this was the biggest, surpassing all records of the past. Though neither the leadership of the Unions nor the Government and the Media did put a definite number count for the strike, it surely crossed the figure of 100 million as was the case on the previous occasion of General Strike on the 7th of September 2010.
As usual the brotherhood of the rich in the country cried foul; industry lobby Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) said it would hurt investors’ confidence. Debmallya Banerjee of ASSOCHAM “It was not required. It is not an acceptable way to demonstrate. No economy in the world gained from shut-downs,” said “The industry is apprehensive of a return to the Bandh culture… The bandh culture and the loss of man-hours is damaging the economy,” P. Roy, director general of the Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industry, averred.
Another body representing the rich and powerful of the industry; Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry ( FICCI) however taunted the unions by saying the one-day strike would not hurt the economy too much.”The country’s fiscal deficit is much higher than the loss of revenues to be incurred by the industry in the one-day shutdown,” FICCI Secretary General Rajiv Kumar.
For historic reasons and political traditions the best mobilisations were to happen in the states of West Bengal, Kerala and Tripura where traditionally the Communist Party of India-Marxist [CPI(M)] and Communist Party of India (CPI) and their trade union bodies CITU & AITUC respectively have had a strong presence in the last few decades.
In spite of the recent electoral losses of CPI(M) and CPI in the states of West Bengal and Kerala the participation of the workers in these states affiliated to the CITU and AITUC were massive. In West Bengal the strike event of 28th of February had become a prestigious issue for the newly elected Trinamool Congress’s government led by maverick Mamata Banerjee.
Mamata left no stones unturned to foil the success of the general strike, in the pre strike period violence against the CPI(M) supporters were rampant, she used the state machinery to intimidate the communist party supporters to not to join the strike. Her claim of strike being a flop in the strike is far from true with the reports appearing in the bourgeois press which is otherwise hostile towards the left in general and strike actions of the working class in particular.
Of course, using the statutes and conduct rules that govern the State administrative employees she made a façade of 98% attendance in the government offices of West Bengal. On February 21, the government issued a circular directing all employees to attend work on Tuesday, failing which severe penalties, including “service break”, would be imposed on them.
It was reported in the press that the administration of West Bengal, made its employees to stay overnight in some of the government establishment to ensure that official work on Tuesday was attended to. People cooked food and stayed overnight in high security establishments like the Writers’ Building, the New Secretariat, Bhawani Bhawan, which is the state police headquarters, and transport offices.
Though the government was desperate to keep the city and the state on the move, commercial establishments were hardly open and private vehicles , including buses, taxis and auto-rickshaws , did not ply. “Everything is shut. Schools and colleges are closed. All banks and industrial units are shut. Markets are closed. Transport is off the road,” an official said.
Less than two weeks ahead of the General Strike, the Left parties were able to stage a massive Dharna (Sit-in) in which nearly 500,000 people assembled at Brigade grounds of Kolkata, trying to give a signal of a political comeback.
“We really didn’t expect such a successful strike today. Now it’s our job to take this forward… to rebuild our organisation and re-establish our connect with the people. One way to do that is to take the message to the people about the lapses of the Mamata Banerjee government, the rapidly deteriorating law-and-order condition and other issues,’’ said a CPM leader.
Kerala shuts down
Kerala another strong hold of the left, tempers ran high, while the The Congress-led UDF Government in the state has enforced ‘dies non’ (no work-no pay) order against the strike in government offices but the Unions of the CITU and AITUC came out in full force against the “neo-liberal economic and labour policies” pursued by the UPA Government at the Centre
Buses kept off the roads and shops were closed in the state. The strike also affected functioning of banks and offices as pro-Left unions in the state sector also joined the protest. Reports from across the state of Kerala said in most places the mobility of people was hit as the impact of the strike was near total in the transport sector with buses, taxis and auto-rickshaws keeping off the road.
Reports said the strike was total in all the six districts in the Malabar region. Normal life was hit in Thiruvananthapuram and Kollam districts in southern Kerala. The strike even affected the normal functioning of IT facility Technopark in Thiruvananthapuram after protesters blocked a convoy of vehicles carrying employees to the facility.
Bus services in the private sector and those of the State-run KSRTC kept off the roads and shops remained closed in northern Kerala, especially in Kozhikode and Kannur districts.
Telling effect of the Strike all-over
While it is true that in the rest of the country where the Trade Unions and their struggles are not yet in the consciousness of the masses in general, the response was varied, but it will be a gross lie to say that the General Strike had no effect in the states other than the above mentioned three states.
In Delhi, autos and taxis went off the road and the traffic volume thinned, as a local holiday was declared in the neighbouring places of Noida, Ghaziabad, Sahibabad and Indirapuram in Uttar Pradesh, which went to the polls.
In Andhra Pradesh , the government has imposed a heavy burden on common people in various forms like hiking taxes and also VAT on traders, which resulted in huge participation of working people and even small shop keepers joining the General Strike.
Work was more than stopped in many industrial units in Visakhapatanam, a major industrial hub in Andhra Pradesh. The main Opposition Telugu Desam and the YSR Congress had also declared their support to the bandh called to protest against the anti-worker and anti-farmer policies of the Central Government.
The farmers’ cells of almost all the political parties had also called the farmers to take part in the strike by bringing their bullock carts and the cattle on to the roads to block the traffic.
Dharnas and public meetings were also organised as part of the strike at several places. Work was also affected in the coal mines of Singareni Collieries,with a section of miners staying away from the work.
In the State Assembly, the Telugu Desam and the left parties staged a walk out in protest against the anti-farmer policies of the State Government. They demanded lifting of ban on the export of rice to the other States to help the farmers. The BJP members also staged a walk out on the same issue. Several political parties including TDP and TRS have expressed their support to the strike.
The Strike saw a success in Punjab, Haryana where it hit the transport & banking services. Buses on several routes remained off the road in Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh.
Several trains were halted in Bhubaneswar (Odisha), Khurda Road, Rourkela, Berhampur and Sambalpur due to demonstrations on the tracks, they said.
States like Bihar, Rajasthan and Tripura were shut down. The impact was felt in northeastern states. In Manipur and Assam, the strike was total.
Senior CPI and AITUC leader Gurudas Dasgupta said, “The northeastern states have never before been responsive to a general strike like this.” Telecom sector, BHEL and HAL, too, were hit by the strike. In Assam, Oil India Limited’s plant at Duliajan was hit by the strike as employees put up pickets.
“About 10 million workers from public and private sector are on strike across the state. Hundreds of employees from industrial areas and private factories have joined our members from all the state-run enterprises in the day-long shut down,” Prasanna Kumar of the CITU- Karnataka said.
Of the 11 national trade unions giving call nationally , members of eight unions across the state, including the Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC), Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU)All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) and Bharat Mazdoor Sangha (BMS) took out protest rallies in Bangalore, Mysore, Mangalore, Hasan, Hubli-Dharwad, Belgaum, Gulbarga, Davangere, Koppal and Kolar.
With the bank workers unions such as BEFI and AIBEA, Taxi-auto-rickshaw drivers unions joining the strike, there was unity and solidarity in the workforce which was demonstrated in full. Karnataka and particularly which has been reeling under unprecedented price rise, inequality, wage discrimination, exploitation and indifference of the state and central governments to the basic demands and grievances of workers in the most most underpaid sectors such as Garments, Beedi (local- mostly rural version of cigarettes which is hand made) manufacturing and Agarbatthi (Incense sticks) production.
The Bank workers unions including the Regional Rural Bank Employees Associations have opposed the government ‘s intention and recommendation for scrapping the industry-wise wage settlement system made by the Khandelwal panel, as it is a retrograde step to weaken the bargaining power of the unions in the Public Sector
Vishwas Utagi, secretary of the All India Bank Employees Association (AIBEA), said there had been a “total closure” of state- run banking services with about 70,000 branches shut.
Among the other demands of bank unions are that the Banking Regulation Act should not be amended to lower government equity holding in state-run banks, foreign banks should not be allowed to have more share in Indian banks and regulation of insurance business to protect interests of the Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) and general insurance employees.
Karnataka which is under the dual oppression of Congress at the centre and rabidly communal BJP at the state level is a place where all the oppressed classes and castes are reeling under enormous economic and social hardship, which was seen in the enraged mobilisations in the streets of the state.
The comrades of the New Socialist Alternative (CWI-India) who have a modest influence and presence among the Garment workers in Bangalore had a very good intervention in the strike with 5,000 bi-lingual leaflets reaching the most militant workers.
On the day of the strike the comrades of the New Socialist Alternative were instrumental in motivating around 6.000 women garment workers to come out on strike, in some cases the workers were locked up by the management, where situations of almost physical scuffles to force open the locks, in which we were successful.
On one such occasion during the day the passing convoy of CITU workers came to the support of our comrades and agitated along with us to put pressure on the bosses to let the garment workers join the strike.
*“Strike amid low business sentiment uncalled for” whined the Industry heads in the commercial capital of India;Mumbai.
* India’s industry termed 28th February general strike as “unfortunate and completely misplaced” Larsen &Tubro, Infrastructure Finance Chief Executive Suneet K. Maheshwari told the press in Mumbai
* “The strike is completely misplaced and unfortunate. I do not see any point in calling the shut-down when the economy is under stress. Almost all the businesses are under stress. The strike will result in revenue losses for the country. It will affect business,”
* “The strike is not going to serve the interests of the working class either,” Maheshwari observed.
* Consumer durable major Godrej said strike at any point of time is not good for the economy as it leads to production loss.
* “Any form of strike is not good for the economy as it means loss of production. In any business scenario, shut-down is uncalled for,” Godrej Consumer Products Executive Vice-President P. Ganesh said.
All this crying foul by the captains of the Indian Industry and yet the so called Economic experts struggled hard to say that there was no strike in the country and the workers did not participate in large numbers.
Capitalist electronic Media like the NDTV and CNN-IBN used all their arguments and debates to minimise the effect of the strike, there was a parading of some of the sycophantic “Economic Experts” such as Surjit Bhalla and Meghnad Desai to lecture the trade unionists as to how their actions are hurting the interests of the workers.
It was pathetic on the part of these experts to argue that the era of labour militancy was over and even “Socialist China” was “reformed”, they conveniently forgot the failure of capitalism in the west in general and Europe in particular, and never even mentioned the strike wave that is sweeping Europe and challenging the bosses against their austerity measures.
Interestingly, the Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC), affiliated to the Congress that heads the ruling coalition at the Centre, and the Labour Progressive Front of the DMK, a major ally of the UPA, participated in the strike. The BMS of the BJP joined hands with such Left unions as the CITU and the AITUC. The other Central trade unions that participated in the protest were the HMS, the AIUTUC, the UTUC, the TUCC and the SEWA. The unions affiliated to the Shiv Sena and the Muslim League too backed the strike.
Manmohan Singh’s neo-liberal policies put on dock !
Prior to the 28th February General Strike, G. Sanjeeva Reddy, president of the Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) that is linked to Singh’s Congress party declared “We demand the government come out with proposals in relation to our demands,”
Apprehending that the strike will send out a wrong message against the government and its reforms agenda, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had called INTUC leader G Sanjeeva Reddy on 25th February for talks in an attempt to break the Congress’s union away from the array of striking unions, Reddy refused to meet the PM, unless he invited other TU leaders, who have joined hands to call the strike. Eleven central TU and about 5,000 small unions are part of the biggest formation of TUs that had called 28th February strike.
He went publicly to say “My message to the government is that it won’t make a difference by talking to me alone. If all the leaders are called then there is a possibility of finding a solution to this,”. He added, “The strike will be a total success as so many unions have come together.”
The nationwide strike of 28th February is a definite setback for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s Congress party-led government in which INTUC participated fully. Its leaders ignored personal pleas from Mr. Singh and other senior officials not to proceed.
Among the rank and file of the INTUC there is a new surge of confidence which was hitherto absent, as their Union Federation never went for militant actions at the national level such as strikes, except in the opposition ruled states. It is no exaggeration to say that this is a breaking point, the future is potent with all possibilities of polarisation with in the working class and its leadership.
This strike showed a unity which was historically unprecedented. all the major unions joined together, including the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) which is affiliated to the rabid right wing BJP. Since the days independence from British this is the first time all trade unions have come together and gone on strike in unison.
One of the major factors in making this strike such a big one, is the issue of Casual or Contract labour, though belatedly projected this very important demand of abolition of Contract Labour System is a crucial one.
Apart from the other crucial issues of Price rise and run away inflation the demand for a nationally mandated minimum wage for 300 to 600 million un-organised workers was another important point that had a huge attraction.
India’s les-misérables have spoken
Inflation which was above 9 percent during the first 11 months of last year further reduced the purchasing power of India’s poorly paid, where are according to Government’s own admission, 836 million people can barely afford to spend Rupees 20 a day (Which is their actual income. Source: Sengupta Committee Report, NCEUS)
To appease the World Bank queries and become respectable in the World’s Hunger Index Manmohan Singh’s government has resorted to “book adjustment of poverty, in the recent months the Planning Commission is scheming to fix the Poverty Line of the masses to an abysmal Rs. 37 in urban areas and Rs. 26 in the rural areas of India. All above this level will be deemed as the Middle Class who do not deserve any state subsidies.
The pro neo-liberal advocates like Manmohan Singh (PM), P. Chidambaram (Former finance minister), Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Pranab Mukherjee (Finance minister) have no understanding of poverty in India. These people having never had the misfortune of living on either Rs. 35 or Rs. 20 a day, that in today’s India, both urban as well as rural, a single individual needs to spend a minimum of Rs. 100 to Rs. 200 to satisfy the minimum subsistence level.
Having always served the needs of the rich and the upper classes, to these representatives of the ruling classes unemployment, lack of housing, ill health, ration subsidy etc are nothing more than figures on the computer. The last two decades of growth terrorism has literally wrecked the lives of working class people, rural people, Dalit, Adivasis and women.
According to the Global Hunger Index, out of 88 nations, India stands at a low ranking of 66. In the UNDP Multi-dimensional Poverty Index (MPI), 55% of the India’s population i.e., 65 crores (650 million) suffer extreme poverty. Even more mind boggling is the fact that in 8 districts of the country comprising of Bihar, Jharkhand, Chattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajastan, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal, have more people suffering from poverty than the 26 extremely poor nations of Africa.
In 1993, 69% of India’s population lived below the poverty. Today, after two decades of neo liberal reforms, 77% i.e., 836 million live below poverty. According NSSO, 77% of the population live on than less than 2400 calorie diet per day. Despite these striking figures of poverty in India, the Government of India in the name of National Food Security Bill (NFSB) has embarked on a plan to do away with Public Distribution System (PDS) altogether.
Lessons from this Strike
Time and again the Working Class of India, both organised in the trade Unions and the euphemistically called “un-organised Sector” have demonstrated, given the leadership they are as daring as any of their counterparts around the world.
What has been demonstrated in this gigantic event of the Working Class is, despite writing-off the industrial working class, especially the better waged workers in Banks, Insurance and Public Sector as economist and even many went to the extent of calling them as bourgeoisie-fied, the collective strength of the class has been amply manifested.
The challenge is to build on that capital and reap long lasting benefits for the class as a whole. But it has to be noted that mere posturing the strength once in a while to bargain few crumbs and position the class strength for better stitch-ups with the so called “progressive sections of the bourgeoisie” for short term political gains would result in suicidal pacts.
It was in the year 1989, just before the onset of brutal neo-liberal reforms in the country, the general strike then demonstrated immense class consciousness and maturity to decisively challenge the Rajiv Gandhi’s government.
But all that advantage of class strength was squandered in mere negotiating a parliamentary deals with the opposition which later day became to be known as ‘National Front’ led by Vishwanath Prathap Singh (V P Singh) who himself was one of the architects of neo-liberal regimes that ensued in future.
It has to be observed that, that act of the leadership of the working class in pursuing the policy of ‘lesser evil-ism’ led to the disastrous consequences of even seeing a stint of the right wing communal BJP in power.
Many radical analysts including the New Socialist Alternative (CWI-India) opine that the rise of the right wing and the onslaught of the neo-liberal reforms in India went hand in hand and complimented each other and put a dampener on the combativity of the working masses and other exploited to take on the twin enemies such as the Communal BJP and the neo-liberal capitalist Congress.
In fact the combination of tacit and overt support of the left parties to the National Front government led by VP Singh, wherein the communal BJP held ministerial portfolios along side Communist Party of India and “support from outside” by CPI(M) [at a later day even that accidental slip was rued by leaders none other than the Jyoti Basu & Co. of CPI(M) as historic blunder !] gave the hitherto eluded credibility to the BJP in the eyes of the working class in general. It was this blunder which resulted in catapulting BJP to power from mere 2 seats in the 1984 parliament to score183 in the 1999 hustings.
The aftermath of the strike
As these lines are being written a similar political scenario is brewing-up after the recently held 5 state assembly elections (Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Punjab, Goa and Manipur) where except in Manipur in all the other four states the Congress has lost heavily, the saving grace is that it narrowly scraped through in Uttarakhand. The Congress regime at the centre is facing an uphill task to keep itself afloat until the 2014 general elections.
Sonia Gandhi speaking to the press after loosing the elections in Uttar Pradesh and the other three blamed the price rise as one of the contributory factors for the party’s poor performance, the Congress chief said that every election, despite win or loss, was a lesson for the party. Gandhi’s comment that price rise might have led to the party’s defeat in UP and poor performance elsewhere is an indication that the heat is on the party of Congress which still has a significant base among the working population, even organised in its own union INTUC.
The fetter of bankrupt leadership
It is a combination of variety of political and social factors that otherwise in slow pace and mostly scattered the mass events of such strikes and sit-ins have gained momentum in the recent two years.
While the defeats of the past such as the historic 250,000 Bombay Textile Workers strike for 18 months 1989, and the later day communal reaction of 1992 and 2002 (Babri Mosque distruction and Gujarat Riots) and more importantly the collapse of the Soviet Union, all had accumulated and telling effect on the consciousness of the working masses for more than two decades.
The aggressive neo-liberalism, the hype of boom and growth hysteria also created a mystique which even pushed the leadership of the traditional left to believe and act on the lines of ‘there is no alternative to capitalism”.
The height of such a lack of perspectives was seen in the bankrupt policies of the Left Parties (CPI and CPI(M) who until recently ruled West Bengal and Kerala, where they professed neo-liberal policies with more enthusiasm than the traditional capitalist parties with disastrous consequences.
The famous quote of Buddhadev Bhattachaya, the former chief minister of west Bengal, who said “reform or perish” aptly explains the bankruptcy of these Stalinist parties who remain “communist” merely in mastheads of their parties.
It is an irony of sorts, that the one and only anti-globalisation prolonged struggle in the country today is the anti-POSCO struggle in Odisha, which is being led by CPI leaders such as Abhay Sahu, who is languishing in jail, but yet neither the CPI in particular nor left in general makes any attempt to link this struggle nationally. Even in the 28th February General Strike the issue of this very important struggle was not even mentioned in the literature of neither the trade unions nor by the left parties which lead them. Very few “cadres” of the left are even aware of such a struggle led by the CPI !.
As one blogger recently after the strike wrote “Once they (Communists) were removed from office, they have found it possible to release the discontent that their members face, in order to embarrass the current government, but only up to a point. Too much worker militancy threatens their own ability to contain mass anger”
This strategy of mere tokenism was even evident during the strike, Gurudas Dasgupta CPI and AITUC leader, considered a militant among the left said “We want industrial peace. We have been compelled to go on strike… workers also lose their wages… strike is the last option for us,” “we want industry, let there be FDI in the productive sector, let them make profit, but they must abide by Indian laws and accept collective bargaining.” “Even if the government called us 15 days ago we would have reconsidered calling a strike, but that never happened,” he said.
From now on tokenism won’t do!
But all that dead weight and the paralysis that existed for years has changed in the last 24 months which is also the trend internationally. Though small and far apart the mobilisations of the new working class in the industrial belts of Delhi, Mumbai and other cities resulting in prolonged strikes such as the Maruthi Suzuki workers struggle in Gurgaon near Delhi and and more recently in Gorakhpur yarn workers’ struggle, in Uttar Pradesh, Reliance Textile Industries, Naroda plant of Gujarat, BYD workers’ strike and Comstar Workers struggle in Chennai-Tamil Nadu, Power loom workers struggle in Ludhiana-Punjab, the Nurses strike in Delhi, Bangalore and Kerala, Volvo workers struggle in Karnataka. Though not all these strikes has gained victories, but have steeled the will of the workers for more militant actions.
As we wrote time and again in the editorial columns of Dudiyora Horaata, “there are hundreds of small but militant struggles going on today to oppose capitalist globalization and liberalisation of the economy involving working class people, Dalit, Adivasis, landless labourers, women, peasants and others. The anti – POSCO resistance in Orissa (and also recently in Gadag,Karnataka), struggle against Vedanta (in Orissa) , against Tata in Kalinganagar (in Orissa), are all symptoms of the coming eruption of a mass movement against the system as a whole.”
Indian governments, whether the UPA in its present or past edition or the NDA or any other, have been following the neo-liberal credo of allowing the free market to solve all problems. Actually, this has meant allowing the greatest leeway and concessions and help to big industry – the removal of all obstacles in its path – while burdening the working class with closures, retrenchments, contract labour system, casualisation, privatisation and price rise.
The success of this General strike must signal the start of a continuous movement to take up the demands of the workers in a sustained and systematic fashion. We have to fight the system itself. It is not the workers who are to blame for the lack of politicisation in the working-class movement, it is the leadership.
Regardless of what happens on the ground in the coming weeks and months, a psychological burden has been lifted from the most militant sections. A new search for ideas will begin as to whether there is any scope for reform within the system of capitalism or that the system must be changed.
Looking for greener pastures for more profits, mineral resources, the India land-grab offensive of the multi-national and national capitalist companies across India is met with unprecedented militant resistance. As mentioned earlier, Movements against POSCO (South Korean Steel giant), VEDANTA, TATA, Mittal and Zindal have posed a serious challenge to the capitalist globalisation itself and the unprecedented opposition to the Nuclear projects across the country, more particularly the groundswell of mass resistance to the proposed plant at Kudankulam- Tamilnadu have posed a serious challenge to the authority Indian bourgeois rule.
The recent HARTAL (total stoppage) by the traders and shop keepers on the issue of FDI in retail is another indication of the process of radicalisation among even among the middle layers of the society.
Though the leadership of Congress, playing down the drubbing it has received in the recent 5 states elections, wants us to believe that the election to the Indian Parliament is almost two years away, any of the above issues and the radicalisation of the organised working class demanding not just economic share but posing political questions to the failing system could very speedily alter the balance of forces.
Socialist way forward!
There is no denying the fact that there is a definite vacuum of a mass political alternative which can bring together all the militant sections engaged in various anti globalisation, land & livelihood struggles. Formation of a mass workers party with a genuine socialist programme is the urgent need.
Many challenging tasks lie ahead for the forces of genuine Marxism and Socialism grouped around New Socialist Alternative (CWI-India), to reach out to the new young layers looking for socialist solutions to the present day capitalist anarchy. The fighting programme of the New Socialist Alternative includes;
* A campaign to demand a living wage and jobs for all.
* Elected committees of workers and poor people to decide on price and subsidy levels.
* An end to all ‘reforms’ in the interests of capitalists and the rich.
* An end to cuts and ‘austerity’ programmes; there is enough poverty in India!
* Cancel the debts of the poor! Genuine nationalisation of all the banks, to be run under the democratic control and management of working people.
* Stop the rape of India’s resources and the destruction of Adivasi, Dalith and others livelihoods!
* Take over the monopolies – foreign and Indian – and run them through democratically elected representatives of workers and poor people!
* No to NUCLEAR energy projects and for a massive public investment in the renewable energy solutions.
* For a mass workers’ party to fight for a government of workers and poor with a socialist programme.
* For a Socialist Confederation of the sub-continent and for socialism in Asia and internationally.
Jagadish G Chandra
New Socialist Alternative (CWI – India)