6th IMCWP, Contribution of Communist Party of India

10/8/04 12:45 PM
  • India, Communist Party of India 6th IMCWP En Asia Communist and workers' parties

Athens Meeting 8-10 October 2004, Contribution of CP of
From: SolidNet, Monday, 11 October 2004
http://www.cpofindia.org , mailto:cpi@vsnl.com

The intervention of Comrade Amarjeet Kaur, Secretary
National Council, Communist Party of India

Dear Comrades and friends,
I bring greetings to you all from more than half million
members of the CPI, and several millions of masses
organised in the workers, farmers, women, youth, students,
writers, artists, science workers, peace and friendship
movement organisations.

Our party in its last national congress had stated that the
aggressive military policies of US-led imperialist and
other developed capitalist forces against the developing
countries and weaker sections, is complemented by the
aggressive economic policies perused by International
Finance Capital. Multinational Corporations, Financial and
trade institutions under their control like the IMF, WB WTO
to subvert the economic sovereignty of these countries and
impose neo-colonial regimes on them. Free Trade, Free
Market, Competition etc. have come to mean freedom for the
transnational and economic blockade for the common people.
It has meant transfer of all public assets of the Third
World to MNCs and finance capital, closed and collapsed
industries, domination of their markets, hard impositions
on farmers, rural workers and urban workers, soaring
tariffs and rates, cut in subsidies, rising unemployment,
loss of social and labour rights, growing disparities, and
weakening economy, hiding behind some deceptive
macro-economic figures.

Dear Comrades,

The Indian situation clearly vindiated our understanding.
It is true of other country also when we look at the
general situation the world over. The UNDP report 1999 had
provided hard facts about what has globalisation,
privatisation and liberalisation and the WTO regime done to
the mass of people.

The reality of poverty today: some indicators

? 1.3 billion people (over a fifth of the world's
population) live below the international poverty line of $
1/day and a further 1.6 billion (another quarter of the
world's population) survive on between one and two dollars.

? In the latter half of the 1990s, one-third of the world's
willing-to-work population was either unemployed or
underemployed, the worst situation since the 1930s.

? In 1960s the combined incomes of the richest fifth of the
world's population were 30 times greater than a poorest
fifth. By 1991 it was over 60 times and in 1998, 78 times a

? In 1997, the under-five mortality rate in industralised
countries was 8/1000 live births. In 1997, the under-five
mortality rate in developing countries was 169/1000 live

? In 1993, there were 244 doctors per 100,000 people in the
First World. In 1993, there were 13 doctors per 100,000
people in the Third World.

? In 1997, 41 per cent of the total Third World population
had no access to safe water.

? In 1997, 57 per cent of the people living in the Third
World had no access to sanitation.

? In 1997, 40 per cent of all Third World children under
the age of 5 were underweight or starving. In 1996, the
average daily intake of calories in the Third World was
2090 calories, unchanged since 1970. About 840 million
people worldwide are now malnourished.

? One in seven children of primary school age is out of
school globally.

? In 1997, external debt payments made up 92.3 per cent of
the GDP of countries of low development.

? Inequalities in global incomes have grown dramatically.
The combined assets of the top three billionaires are now
more than the GDP of the least developed countries, which
have a population of more than 600 million people.

? The world's 200 richest people more than doubled their
net worth from 1994-98 to more than $1 trillion.

? The world's richest person, Microsoft boss Bill Gates, is
worth well over $60 billion more than the combined gross
national products of Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica,
Panama, Honduras, Nicaragua, Belize, Jamaica and Bolivia.

Even in advanced countries, the balance has tilted heavily
in favour of the rich. The top one per cent of Americans
have doubled their share of national wealth since the 70s,
and now own more than 40 per cent of the total Wealth. The
top 1% now have more wealth than the entire bottom 95%. In
contrast, the income of the bottom 50 per cent has actually
declined in real terms.


Now to have a look on military aggressive posture of US led
imperialist forces to pursue their objective of new
colonisation, Iraq being a typical case in this present

Today US lies have been exposed.

No WMDs were discovered in Iraq. It is actually the WMDs
of the eight nuclear weapons states, particularly of Israel
and the US, that represent the gravest threat to the world.

It is world wide known fact now that even before the
invasion, the British intelligence, the FBI, the CIA and
Israel's Mossad reported no meaningful links between Al
Qaeda and the Saddam Hussein regime.

We all know that the US did not invade to establish
democracy. It has supported numerous repressive regimes.

Halliburton, Bechteland and other American companies,
financed by US taxpayers' money and by an Iraqi puppet
government, are being favoured with billions of dollars
worth of contracts, for "reconstruction". First the US
blames Iraq for the destruction it causes and then expects
Iraqis to be grateful for the "reconstruction" that it will
most profit from.

50% of the Iraqi workforce are unemployed or uderemployed.
Most workers get $60 or less than Rs. 3000 a month.

More than 500 university teachers have been dismissed on
suspicion of being opponents of the occupation.

What else the US and British forces did there. They simply
allowed the destruction of the preserved historical assests
of one of the oldest civilisation.

80% of 170,000 artefacts were looted or destroyed,
including materials from the oldest known Mesopotamian
civilisations. Tens of thousands of books, manuscripts and
newspapers from the Ottoman Empire were burnt.

The US is promoting social and religious divisions: Shia
versus Sunni, Kurds versus other Iraqis. Encouraging such
fractures enables the US to play the permanent referee: the
old story of divide and rule.

Today, a growing number of Washington strategists are
advocating a direct U.S. challenge to state-owned petroleum
industries in oil-producing countries, especially the
Persian Gulf. The Bush administration itself has been
careful not to say much about what might happen to Iraq's
oil. But State Department officials have had preliminary
talks about the oil industry with Iraqi exiles, and there
have been reports that the U.S. military wants to use at
least part of the country's oil revenue to pay for the cost
of military occupation.

One of the major problems with the Persian Gulf is that the
means of production are in the hands of the state, "Rob
Sobhani, an oil-industry consultant, told an American
Enterprise Institute conference in Washington.

This period has seen continous denial of the rights of
Palestinians to live in peace in their homeland and freeing
the occupied territories of other Arab countries as well.
The US administration shameleslly supports the Israeli
government in this continued agression on the freedom
loving people. Let me record here that our party along with
peace forces launched very very big opposition rallies to
the visit of Sharon to India.

On the other hand Akins says "what they have in mind is
denationalisation, and then parcelling Iraqi oil out to
American oil companies." He also states that "The American
oil companies are going to be the main beneficiaries of
this war".

If we look at what is in store in the name of new measures
for naked bullying attitude of US - administration against
Cuba to advance similar motives.

The Communist Party of India had condemned the draconian
new measures of the Bush administration against the people
of Cuba. The new measures announced open the floodgate of
interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign and
independent country in flagrant violation of international
law and UN charter. These measures are aimed at destroying
the political system of Cuba.

They desire to create more problems inside Cuba and deepen
the blockade with more economic and commercial sanctions.
These measures include directly financing terrorist groups
and the so-called NGOs whose aims are to undermine and
overthrow the present regime, increase more sanctions
against enterprises that trade with Cuba, ban visits to
Cuba to destroy the tourism industry and involve the
governments of the third countries to campaign against

Dear Comrades,

Our country has recently passed through general elections
bringing in change in the government and a new correlation
of forces has emerged.

CPI expresses its satisfaction that the people of India in
their vote against BJP (extreme right wing party) led
National Democratic Alliance (NDA) have committed
themselves in favour of secular politics based on
multi-lingual, multi-religious, and multi-cultural
composite heritage of our country.

Diverse traditions, faiths, beliefs and living styles are
not only richness of India but are source of strength, the
people asserted through their vote. Celebrating this
diversity and living in harmony with varying faiths and
traditions gives strength to our country. Our party
believes that this strength has to be used in nation
building for developing a society based on equality and
justice. The verdict also reflected the deep sense of
rejection of the NDA policies which benefited the rich and
affluent but worked against the toiling masses, the
workers, peasants, artisans, middle classes and job-seeking
youth of our country. The policies of closures, voluntary
retirements, downsizing, privatisation and liberalisation
resulting in more of poverty, unemployment, and price rise
were unacceptable to the people. Ruination of agriculture,
cottage and small-scale industries, suicides of farmers and
workers, this all worked against NDA government in these

CPI played its vital role in consistently opposing the
neo-liberal globalisation based on the vehicles of
liberalisation and privatisation, unleashing exploitation
of natural resources, and lowering of labour cost, without
any social security or job security to the workers. With
dictates of IMF, WB being the guiding principle and WTO the
instrument to help implement these dictates in favour of
MNCs/TNCs and financial capital the policies pursed caused
closure of more than 600,000 industrial units and more than
18 million workers loosing jobs in last five years.
Contractualisation and casualisation of work was on rise.
The traditional and home based cottage industry was hit
very hard.

The vulnerable poor people in rural and urban areas faced
the brunt of the policies meant to give advantage to big
business in India and those from abroad.

The rising discontent gave way to movements and struggles
of various sections. The workers went on united actions and
held three general strikes in the past five years, the
farmers organised actions at all levels, the students-youth
were up in arms against communalisation and
commercialisation of education and growing unemployment,
the women took up battle against gender biased
liberalisation and privatisation taking away their secured
jobs and pushing them more and more into unprotected
contract and casual labour work situations. Abundance of
food grains, but hunger deaths were being reported as the
public distribution system for the poor and needy was
dismantled meticulously and water resources put on sales to
Pepsi and Colas and water selling Corporates whereas about
half the population in India does not avail facilities for
clean drinking water, 57 percent Indians having no
sanitation but the policies of sanitisation and
beautification of the cities by throwing out the
slum-hutments of poor out of the city without proper
alternatives became the every day feature.

The movements of fishermen and women alongside farmers
caught up fast, so were the movements of tribals who were
threatened to loose their rights on whatever land was left
to them, those among the agriculture labour who were worst
hit with no work and migrating to distant places in search
of work also came into agitations launched by labour unions
in agrarian sectors. The farmers and agriculture labour
coming together in defence of agriculture.

Wheat and rice producers in Punjab, Haryana and elsewhere
resorted to big demonstrations, dharnas and rasta rokos to
compel government to raise the Minimum Support Price (MSP)
for their produce and open purchase centers. But this being
too inadequate, the grain producers had to resort to
distress sales.

Sugarcane producers in Uttar Pradesh resorted to a
long-drawn action demanding payment of old dues and
reasonable price for sugarcane from the sugar factories.
They faced severe repression, including firing.

Coconut - growers, tea and coffee growers in Kerala,
Karnataka and Tamilnadu agitated militantly against the
removal of Quantitative Restrictions (QRs) and reduction of
import duty which has ruined the peasants and badly
crippled the economy of these states. They asked for a
steep hike in import duties and reimposition of QRs on
these products.

Cotton - producers in Maharashtra held big conferences,
demonstrations, intensive jathas and padyatras, demanding
hike in price to Rs. 2300 per quantal and restoration of
cotton monopoly purchase scheme. They compelled government
to accept these demands.

Subsidies were removed from the basic needs area of the
people, those of seeds and fertilisers for the farmers, the
entrepreneurs at small scale, and traditional level, but on
the other hand subsidies increased under different guise to
big business and corporates.

Privatisation of profit making public sector units in throw
away prices, labour law reforms to support hire and fire
threatening job security as well as social security was the
major line of action. The NDA government was pushing free
flow of FDI into any sector, profit making public sector or
any other strategic sectors important from the point of
view of national sovereignty.

The interest rate reduced on common man's savings, where as
big business gained out of cheaper loans.

The changes in patent regime, the loot of our
bio-diversity, our innovations and discoveries pushing for
control on our natural resources all pursued aggressively
by the MNC's, the Economic Terrorists at disposal of
imperialist powers.

In its drive towards a fascist order with Indian
characteristic the BJP/RSS took upon itself the task for
redrawing the educational system. It reframed the National
Curriculum framework for Schools, rewrote text books and
distorted history books so as to inject its communal
ideology and interpretations into the texts sweeping aside
facts and all scientific evidences hitherto.

Protests by renowned historians, academicians, noted
educationists who pointed out even obvious blunders in
these third-rate text books were brushed aside
contemptuously. All precedents and traditions of
consultations on such an important issue that affects the
bringing up of future generations, particularly in a
federal set-up where education is a concurrent subject,
were just ignored as unnecessary.

In addition to this, the BJP made higher and technical
education inaccessible to the sons and daughters of the
poor, working people and the lower middle class, especially
from rural areas, through the privatisation and
commercialisation of education.

The CPI took the lead in convening a meeting of all secular
parties to oppose saffronisation (communalisation) of
education. The movement was carried forward by students -
teachers organisations and intelligentia in general.

The hooligans and fascist groups got patronage from the
power structures as was witnessed in the state of Gujarat
and many other places. CPI organised nationwide campaign
independently and unitedly with other secular forces and
parties to fight back growing communal menace.

The foreign policy of NDA govt. undermined the long tested
national policy of non-alignment, peace and
anti-imperialism. There was clear tilt in favour of US-UK
and Israeli clique.

CPI organised a nationwide people's awakening journey named
as "Bharat Jan Jagran Yatra" beginning from five corners of
India under the slogan "BJP Hatao - Desh Bachao" (Remove
BJP, Save India). This campaign headed by top functionaries
of our party then participated by leadership in all the
states of India covered more than 30,000 kilometers on
roads holding several thousands of mass meetings in rural,
suburban areas, and urban India. Lakhs of people could be
covered with distribution of pamphlets and posters
explaining the party's understanding in simple language.
Party literature was sold on the way for several thousands
of Rupees.

The response of the people at large was very enthusiastic
and they desired to throw away the BJP led NDA government.

We witnessed the naked aggression of new-liberal
globalisation for pushing neo-colonial agenda of
US-administration led imperialist powers.

The role of our party and mass organisations independently
and unitedly with other left parties and forces along with
broad based anti-imperialist groups and sections organised
various campaigns to make the people understand the real
motive of US aggression on Afghanistan and lator on it was
carried on Iraq shamelessly under the cover of the
so-called fight against 'Global Terrorism'.

It was necessary to make them aware that it is pursuance of
US policy to capture oil and gas resources to dominate the

The CPI and other left parties had taken lead in this
endeavour of exposing the real designs of George Bush
regime. We could also show the links between the policies
and postures of NDA rulers in India in tune with US-British

The mobilisation of people with the peace movements in
India like AIPSO and other various groups of all shades was
supported by the CPI, other left parties, the Congress
Party and several other parties who came along under the
slogan "no war on Iraq" and then later on for "end of
occupation of Iraq".

Let me record my appreciation here that the peace movements
and actions organised in Europe in USA, UK and some of the
Latin American and Asian countries provided lots of
encouragement to the people in India.

Dear Comrades

The mobilisation of the people opposed to Aggressive
Imperialism has been increasing and developing the world
over in various forms for the past few years.

One of those is the coming together of such forces and
groups opposing neo-liberal globalisation and aggressive
imperialism is the World Social Forum.

Our party has been closely following its progress from the
very beginning and our comrades have participated in the
events. Our party comrades and mass organisations were
among the organisers of Asia Social Forum in 2003 held in
the city of Hyderabad in India and then of the World Social
Fourm 2004 held in Mumbai, India. We feel that it helped in
bringing in various forces in our country to convergent
actions strengthening the movement of various sections for
final expression in overthrowing the NDA regime, identified
with the forces of neo-liberal imperialism.

We view that the formation of United Progressive Alliance
(UPA) Government has come up as a relief to the people with
National Common Minimum Programme (NCMP) as a departure
from the dark rule of NDA under which the forces of
communalism, intolerance and hatred had got strengthened.
The UPA government depends on the support of the left
parties. The people consider this support as a sign of
stability of the government. It has raised the expectations
of masses. The CPI and other left parties played
significant role in the shaping of this programme. Six
principles of governance of UPA Government gives hope to
the people.

The very first principle is the resolve of the UPA govt. to
preserve, protect and promote social harmony and to enforce
the law without fear or fervour to deal with all
obscurantist and fundamentalist elements who seek to
disturb social unity and peace. The NCMP is gender
sensitive and commits itself for empowerment of women
politically, educationally economically and legally. The
NCMP is committed to provide for full equality of
opportunity particularly induction and employment for
scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, other backward castes
(OBCs) and religious minorities. There is resolve to ensure
sustained growth to ensure employment generation, welfare
of farmers, farm labour and workers particularly those in
the unorganised sector.

There is pledge to the people to provide a govt. that is
corruption free, transparent and accountable at all times,
to provide an administration that is responsible and
responsive at all times.

The commitments are made for legal guarantee for 100 days
employment to begin with, minimum wages implementation,
revamping of Khadi Village Industries Commission, launching
new programmes for modernisation of many of the cottage
industries, moves for democratic and autonomous functioning
of co-operatives etc. The commitment of cess on education,
increase of funds in allocation for education and health
services has been welcomed by the people. Food security has
been given prominence to deal with hunger. Strengthening of
PDS (Public Distribution System for below Poverty line) and
dealing with poverty alleviation through Panchayati Raj
Institutions has been set as an important task. Water
resource management and infrastructure is targeted. Undoing
of the Communalisation of education through changes in
syllabus, curricula by the NDA government is put as
important task.

The programme also commits to ensure the welfare and
well-being of all workers, particularly those in the
unorganised sector who constitute 93% of our workforce.
Social security, health insurance and other schemes for
such workers like weavers, handloom workers, fishermen and
fisherwomen, toddy tappers, leather workers, plantation
labour, beedi workers, etc. will be expanded, the programme

The programme also reject the idea of automatic hire and
fire. It recognises that some changes in labour laws may be
required but such changes must fully protect the interests
of workers and families and must take place after full
consultation with trade unions.

The UPA government through this programme also commits to a
strong and effective public sector whose social objectives
are met by its commercial functioning. Generally
profit-making companies will not be privatised is the

The NCMP affirms that the UPA government will pursue an
independent foreign policy keeping in mind its past
traditions. This policy will seek to promote multi-polarity
in world relations and oppose all attempts at

The programme says that the UPA government will give the
highest priority to building closer political, economic and
other ties with its neighbours in South Asia and to
strengthening SAARC. Particular attention will be paid to
regional projects in the area of water resources, power and
ecological conservation. Dialogue with Pakistan on all
issues will be pursued systematically and on a sustained
basis. The UPA will support peace talks in Sri Lanka that
fulfill the legitimate aspirations of Tamils and religious
minorities within the territorial integrity and solidarity
of Sri Lanka. Outstanding issues with Bangaladesh will be
resolved. Intensive dialogue will be initiated with Nepal
for developing water resources to mutual advantage.

The NCMP also states that the Trade and investment with
China will be expanded further and talks on the border
issue pursued seriously. Relationships with East Asian
countries will be intensified. Traditional ties with West
Asia will be given a fresh thrust. The UPA government
reiterates India's decades-old commitment to the cause of
the Palestinian people for a homeland of their own. Steps
will be taken to withdraw Indian mercenaries from Iraq
while further recruitment for this purpose will be banned.

These are some of the features of NCMP mentioned and the
support of CPI to the coalition UPA government is based on
this programme.

The experience of past few months has shown that struggle
on path of development will sharpen in the coming months.
While struggling for honest implementation of the national
Common Minimum Programme (NCMP) and securing material
relief for the toiling masses, the Left has to continue to
expose the dangers of economic neo-liberalism that looms
large. Through struggles, it has to acquire the position
that helps it to graduate from supporting force to leading

CPI firmly, believes in carrying forward the broadest
possible unity in action to fight against the policies of
US-imperialism and its allies of neo-colonisation through
aggressive military designs and nakedly exploitative market
forces designed and operated upon as per whims and needs of
International Finance Capital.

Together we stand to win.

We appreciate for the consistent organising of such
conferences by the Communist Party of Greece for providing
opportunities to comrades from across the globe for sharing
their experiences and evaluating the development of
situation in the world.

My heart felt thanks for the warm hospitality