In lieu of Editorial
April 22, 2021 marks the fifty-second anniversary of the foundation of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist). On this solemn occasion, we pay our respectful homage to all our martyrs and departed leaders and fondly remember comrades whom we lost in recent past. We extend our warm revolutionary greetings to all our members and well-wishers and the people of India who are fighting hard to save the country, the democratic constitutional framework of our polity and the rights of the people from the clutches of the fascist Modi regime. We express our solidarity and support for the progressive sections of Indian diaspora and the entire spectrum of anti-imperialist, anti-racist, anti-fascist movements and organisations in all parts of the world.
For the second successive year we are having to observe the foundation day of our party in the shadow of the Covid19 pandemic. In fact, even going by official figures which invariably underreport the incidence of cases and even deaths, the second wave has already assumed more serious proportions than the peak of the first wave last year. In most places, the healthcare system is reporting shortage of beds, medicine and vaccines. The government is trying to blame the people for the severity of the second wave, but the government’s own utter lack of preparedness, complacency and selective concession for massive violation of Covid protocol (like the Kumbh Mela and the road shows and mega rallies in the carelessly scheduled eight-phased West Bengal elections) are the primary reasons why India is having to pay such a heavy and prolonged price on the Covid front.
While failing to tackle the pandemic, the government has however been using the crisis aggressively as an opportunity to promote corporate power and erode people’s rights. New farm laws have been designed to hand over the reins of agriculture, especially agricultural marketing and much of agricultural production, to the Adanis and Ambanis, which has popularly come to be known as Company Raj. Labour laws introduced since the times of the freedom movement are being replaced with labour codes that will worsen the working conditions and terms of work and wages for workers and increase the powers of employers. The government’s aggressive privatisation drive is systematically weakening and destroying the public sector and public property and handing over the entire national economy including the railways, airports, ports, banks and steel plants to a few corporate houses. The new education policy seeks to make education more private, expensive and digital, thereby eroding the right to education for children from deprived and disadvantaged backgrounds.
The people of India are of course boldly resisting this relentless attack on their existence and rights. After the powerful equal citizenship movement, we are now witnessing a historic farmers’ movement. The working class movement against privatisation is showing signs of becoming a bigger social agenda and political campaign. Struggles of scheme workers and other extremely ill-paid and insecure women workers and informal and unorganised sector workers from Dalits and other deprived backgrounds are growing across the country. Millions of young Indians who are already fighting for education and employment are getting interested and involved in the farmers’ movement and the anti-privatisation campaign. The change is beginning to get reflected in elections too and Bihar gave us a powerful glimpse of this growing potential.
The success achieved by the party in Bihar elections and the bold and consistent anti-fascist stand articulated by our party, especially in the context of West Bengal, has raised the party’s profile in the Left movement and anti-fascist resistance. With bigger profile comes increased opportunity and greater responsibility. We must prepare ourselves accordingly and respond to the challenges with all our strength. It is necessary and possible to bring about a convergence of struggles of various sections as a unified and powerful people’s resistance that will defeat the fascist offensive of the Modi-Shah-Yogi regime and the Sangh brigade. Comrades responded energetically to the challenge of elections last year in Bihar and now in the ongoing round in Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Assam and West Bengal. We must also prepare well for the coming rounds of elections in Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand. We stood with the suffering people during the first wave of the Covid19 pandemic, we must do the same to meet the challenges of the ongoing second wave.
On the 52nd anniversary of the party’s foundation, let us renew our resolve and summon all our strength and energy to rise to the occasion.
Long live CPI(ML).
Long live revolution.
Central Committee, CPI(ML)-Liberation