India

The protest movement of Jawaharlal Nehru University students against indiscriminate fee hikes and reactionary discipline policies for hostels have entered a new stage. The university administration has astronomically increased the fees by 999 percent, meaning hostel room rent has increased from INR10 ($0.14) to INR600 ($8.35). In addition to this, there are newly implemented service charges of INR1700 ($23.67), and the mess fee has increased from INR5000 ($69.61) to INR12000 ($167.07).

The results of the general elections in India surprised many people across the world, with the right-wing Hindu fundamentalist BJP, led by Narendra Modi, winning a landslide victory. The BJP, a party now supported by big business and with a long history of anti-labour policies and roots in the RSS (a fascist organisation) has now become the second party in India to form consecutive governments, after the Indian National Congress.

The general elections in India are ongoing and the results will be announced on 23 May. Across India, 900 million voters will elect the National Assembly (or the lower house of the parliament, called the Lok Sabha) for a five-year term. The tragedy is that, at a moment when Modi is losing popular support, the left remains weak because of its past – and present – policies.

Jet Airways private airline services were suspended on Wednesday 17 April. The private airline was owned and run by Naresh Goyal from 1993, serving domestic and international destinations. In a fortnight’s time, it would have completed 26 years of service.

On 8-9 January, around 200 million workers went on a two-day strike across India, bringing the country to a grinding halt. The strike was called by 10 central trade unions of India against the anti-labour policies of the Modi government. BMS, affiliated with RSS-BJP, was the only central trade union that was against the strike and tried to sabotage it. All others supported the strike and made huge efforts to make it successful.

Dozens of peaceful demonstrators have been massacred by the state authorities in Tamil Nadu, India, after organising to demand the closure of a plant that is wreaking havoc on the environment and causing health issues for the locals. Louis Thomas reports from Tamil Nadu.

On 6 March, some 35,000 farmers from across Maharashtra marched to Mumbai, demanding of the state government land rights, loan waivers, fair compensation for their produce, respect and dignity for farmers from indigenous tribes (adivasis) and improvements in the agriculture sector, which makes up half of India's workforce and 14 percent of the economy.

Fue un gran éxito la primera reunión pública celebrada por la CMI en Katmandú - Nepal. A pesar de estar en el medio de la campaña electoral, la reunión sobre las lecciones de la Revolución de Octubre atrajo a 100 activistas comunistas, incluidos los principales miembros del Partido Maoísta y a jóvenes comunistas. A la reunión también asistió el camarada Gopal Kriti, un veterano activista de la clase trabajadora y miembro del Comité Ejecutivo del Partido Maoísta: una partido de masas en Nepal. La reunión se celebró en la sala de reuniones del Colegio de Abogados de Katmandú y fue dirigida por el camarada Yug Pathak, un periodista comunista; y el escritor y camarada Rob Sewell de la

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The first ever public meeting held by the IMT in Kathmandu Nepal was a great success. Despite being in the middle of the election campaign, the meeting on the lessons of the October Revolution attracted 100 communist activists, including leading members of the Maoist party and the Young Communists. The meeting was also attended by comrade Gopal Kriti, who is a working-class veteran activist and member of the Executive Committee of the Maoist party: a mass party in Nepal. The meeting was held in the meeting hall of the Law College in Kathmandu and was addressed by comrade Yug Pathak, a communist journalist; and author and comrade Rob Sewell from the IMT.

We publish the following report and appeal for solidarity by a comrade from Socialist Voice, Coimbatore, regading a recent tragedy at a car manufactuing company in Tamil Nadu and an ongoing struggle by unionised workers...

Mahatma Gandhi, la figura destacada de la campaña nacionalista india contra el dominio colonial británico en la India, es conocida por la mayoría como un antiimperialista, cuyos métodos pacíficos, no violentos, ayudaron a derrocar el dominio británico. Este mito ha sido perpetuado por muchos. La verdad, sin embargo, es que traicionó a aquellos a los que inspiró en la campaña de independencia, defendió abiertamente los intereses imperialistas británicos, consolidó las desigualdades existentes, incluyendo la discriminación de castas, raciales y de género y, en última instancia, su papel ayudó a la desastrosa separación de la India con Pakistán.

In this article we summarise British rule in India and examine the main and most influential political characters, which eventually led to India being broken up, at Partition as it became known. Partition could have been avoided had it not been for the failure of the Communist Party of India (CPI) to provide the revolutionary leadership required. Partition, which was the final outcome of British imperialism’ manoeuvres, led to an immense bloodbath, a historical crime against the peoples of the subcontinent.

Mahatma Gandhi, the defining figure of the Indian nationalist campaign against British colonial rule in India, is known by most as an anti-imperialist, whose peaceful non-violent methods helped to overthrow British rule. This myth has been perpetuated by many. The truth, however, is that he betrayed as many as he inspired in the independence campaign, stood wholeheartedly with British imperialist interests, consolidated existing inequalities including caste, racial, and gender discrimination, and ultimately his role helped lead to the calamitous disaster of partition.

The past four months have seen a movement, which has been unprecedented in the history of Kashmir. Nearly 100 people have been killed by the ruthless repression of Indian armed forces while 17,000 people, including women and children, have been injured. A large number of the dead and injured have been youngsters, some less than twelve years old. The pellet guns used by security forces have damaged the faces of 1600 people and more than 1100 people have partially or lost their eyesight completely. In many aspects, this has become the biggest uprising in Kashmir's history.

On Friday the 2nd of September 2016 the biggest single strike action in world history took place in India. As many as between 150 and 180 million workers took part in the All India Strike around a 12 point charter of demands put forward by the Central Trade Unions. These included a raise to the minimum wage and pension for all workers, an end to privatization of state owned enterprises and contractorisation of the workforce, a halt to price hikes, the enforcement of labour rights and the scrapping of pro-employer labour law amendments.

Mother Teresa (1910-1997) has been beatified by Pope Francis I, after a series of miracles (where the role of modern medicine was conveniently swept under the rug) were fished out from her lifelong record running clinics for the poor in India. These years of crisis and revolution have been a lean period for the Catholic Church, which is forced to churn out saints to maintain its appeal.

The General Strike called by the ten largest central trade unions CTU’s on Tuesday, September 2 was a tumultuous success. The trade union and communist leaders who had anticipated a maximum of one hundred million workers participating in the strike were flabbergasted at the sight of more than 150 million coming out on a total one-day general strike that paralyzed India

August 14th and 15th are celebrated as the days of independence of Pakistan and India from direct British imperialist rule. It is celebrated with great pomp and fervour, prompted by the state and the corporate media. The official historians of the ruling classes both in India and Pakistan have their own interpretations of the struggle for independence, suiting the interests of their bosses. However, this independence came about in the midst of a traumatic partition of the Subcontinent into two truncated states, Pakistan and India, accompanied by a communal holocaust. A frenzy of madness and a ferocious campaign of murder were unleashed on a religious and ethnic

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If the armed struggle, religious fundamentalism, nationalism and other such notions of people’s freedom in Indian occupied Kashmir have failed to deliver any respite to the oppressed masses, the rhetoric of ‘democracy’ and ‘development’ are equally no solution. In reality they are mere deceptions. The PDP’s coalition with BJP is nothing but a blatant betrayal and an insult added to injury for the Kashmiri masses that voted for the PDP in the recent elections, making it the largest party in the Kashmir state assembly.

At the beginning of January 500,000 miners in the nationalised coal industry in India went on strike against governmental plans to privatise coal mining. This monumental show of strength in defiance of the Coal Ordnance law is indicative both of the tensions within Indian society and the pressure that is being brought to bear on the leadership of the working class to put up a fight.

Some of the most deceitful forms of elections and ‘democracy’ are to be found these days in countries that are suffering direct or indirect military aggression and occupation by world and regional imperialist powers. The elections and governments in Iraq, Afghanistan and other countries under imperialist occupation are, in the last analysis, a tragic farce. Indian-controlled Kashmir is no different because it is directly under the boot of the imperialist Indian military – an occupation enforced by the so-called ‘largest democracy’ in the world using one of the largest military deployments on earth and draconian laws like The Prevention of Terrorism Act, 2002 (POTA) to infringe the basic

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The discrediting of Congress, mass discontent in the country, a developing economic crisis and an anti-corruption mood led to a realisation by the ruling class that Congress could no longer be relied upon. Over the past period, when in power, Congress had been carrying out wide ranging liberalisation of the economy. However, it was too weak to carry out the tasks that the Indian capitalist class requires today.

India has seen two very powerful general strikes in the past two years, revealing a sharp class polarisation in the country, and yet we have the disastrous result in the recent Indian elections for the Communist and left parties. This apparent contradiction has brought into sharp focus the role of the leaders of these parties and their total inability to offer a way out of the impasse they themselves have been responsible for creating.

Ever since the reactionary and bloody partition of the South Asian subcontinent in 1947, any major incident, whether it be a terrorist outrage, a colossal accident or natural disaster on either side of the Radcliff line that divides the South Asian subcontinent, the drums of blame immediately start beating in full glare with fingers pointing across the other side of the border.

The landslide victory of the BJP and the meteoric rise of Narendra Modi as a populist leader have stunned a large number of secular and liberal analysts in India and elsewhere. They were in reality hoping against hope for the result to be different from the media predictions of the bourgeois pundits.

India is hyped as being very modern, yet in the midst of the towering buildings and corporate plazas there are huge swathes of ghettos overflowing with intense poverty and misery, where human beings are forced to live in bestial conditions of unhygienic and filthy dwellings. The artificial glitter and the facade of modernity fails to conceal the primitive social and economic conditions that prevail across India. These conditions are reflected in politics, and particularly in the elections that are being held in nine stages from 7th April to 12th May this year.

South Asia’s elite historians have deliberately distorted certain events within their accounts of the struggle against British imperial rule and subsequent bloody partitioning. One such significant episode was the struggle of the Hindustan Revolutionary Socialist Association (HSRA) and its most renowned martyr Bhagat Singh. On the 23rd of March 1931 the twenty three year old revolutionary and his comrades in arms Sukhdev and Raj guru were murdered at the Lahore central jail.

One of the cruellest features of the present period of lull and social stagnation in the Indian subcontinent is how economic and social conditions are seen from the standpoint of the bosses who have a total disregard for the pain and misery inflicted by this economic development on the heaving masses.

On July the 1st at Mavalankar Hall, New Delhi, a historic convention was held. At this convention, leaders of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), the Communist Party of India, the All India Forward Bloc (AIFB) and the Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) agreed on the text of a declaration, an alternative policy platform, with which they will approach “all democratic parties and mass organisations” in the lead up to next year’s Lok Sabha elections.

Over the past few weeks Indian politics has been rife with talk of a new electoral front being built to challenge the political hegemony of the currently ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA), led by the Congress Party, and its rival National Democratic Alliance (NDA) led by the Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP). But, what does this discussion actually represent?

Today marks the beginning of a two- day general strike in which the working class of the whole of India will rise with one voice to declare their dissatisfaction at the horrible conditions being imposed upon them by the crisis of capitalism. This unprecedented action should not be seen as a one off event or as simply a demonstration. Rather, it is indicative of the pressure that has been building up within Indian society over the last period and is symptomatic of the on-going fight within the trade unions to force the leadership to come up with a fighting solution to the problems which are faced by the workers on a day to day basis.

On December 16, 2012 Jyoti Singh Panday along with a male friend boarded a bus in South Delhi. When Jyoti and her friend boarded the bus, they expected to be transported to their destination. They could not have known of the horror that was awaiting them. The victim, Jyoti, was gang raped and brutally tortured by a group of six men in the bus. Jyoti and her friend were then thrown out of the moving bus and she was taken to hospital in a critical condition. She was later flown to Singapore for better treatment but unfortunately she died there on December 29.

The electricity shutdown that immersed almost half of India into darkness and brought life to a standstill exposed the stark realities of “shining India” and the fragile nature of its so-called economic miracle that has been portrayed to the world. This also lays bare the contrast between the high growth rates of the market economy in the former colonial countries and the debilitated conditions of the social and physical infrastructures in these societies.

After being coerced for decades in communal frenzy, sectarian violence, regional conflicts, caste prejudices, religious bigotry, nationalist chauvinism, regional antagonisms, democratic deception and cricket hysteria by the ruling classes and their harlot media, the Indian proletariat is awakening to the new epoch that is dawning across the planet. The 24-hour general strike that took place on 28th February is a turning point in the social and political evolution of present day India.

The struggle of the Power Loom workers in Ludhiana, Punjab has escalated with the workers taking the step of starting an indefinite Gherao (encirclement) of the local Labour Offices in order to get the State government to force the employers to cede to their demands. This marks a stepping up of the struggle and shows a firm willingness on the part of the workers to fight until their demands are met.

On 3rd October, striking Power Loom workers from various areas of Ludhiana gathered to demonstrate in front of the Labour Department offices for a second time to increase the pressure on local officials to get their demands met. This was the 12th day of the workers’ struggle to get a pay increase to offset the recent rises in inflation and to have labour laws enforced that are part of the Indian constitution. These have yet to be accepted by the employers who are trying their best in order to ignore the plight of the workers.

Gathering in Kolkata on Monday 12th September a joint press meeting was held by the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), the Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC), the All India Trade Union Congress and other trade union bodies, where Kali Ghosh (State General Secretary of CITU) and Ramen Pandey (INTUC State General Secretary) denounced the Anti-Labour policies of the Trinamool Congress lead government of West Bengal.

Societies seething with discontent and deprivation erupt in most peculiar ways. In India’s egregiously unequal society, the recent upheaval, if at all it can be called that, around the right-wing conservative social activist Anna Hazare shows the malaise that has set in in this largest democracy in the world with one of the fastest growing economies.

The Indian economy has undergone a long period of high and sustained growth. It remains a country of huge contradictions, with immense polarisation of wealth. And yet, in spite of all the propaganda about the state being “bad”, without it Indian capitalism could not have developed as it has.

The drastic defeat of the Left Front, led by the CPI (M), in the state elections of west Bengal, the results of which were announced on May 13th, is a significant turning point in the left politics of the south Asian subcontinent.

The famous Prussian military theorist, Carl von Clausewitz, once wrote that “war is the continuation of politics by other means”. In the South Asian subcontinent the threat of war and the process of peace are also used as a device of deception for domestic consumption.

For more than two decades society has been under a kind of Orwellian spell where almost everything written or said in the mainstream media and intellectual circles in fact means its opposite. Clichés like “end of history”, “socialism has failed”, “capitalism has lifted millions out of poverty”, etc., reek of a moral and ethical decline of the system and society as a whole.

The corridors of power from Srinagar to Delhi and from Islamabad to Washington have been shaken by the uprising of Kashmiri youth. For the past ten weeks, major parts of the valley have seen widespread protests, strikes and unrest. Everyday life has been brought to a standstill in most districts including Srinagar by this forceful movement. And the attempts to crush the movement on the part of the state apparatus are adding fuel to the fire.

We publish a comment by a Pakistani Marxist on the situation in India today. He outlines the appalling levels of poverty, highlighting that this is getting worse, not better, as the gap between rich and poor gets ever wider. The answer is to be found in the unity of workers across the whole of the South Asian subcontinent in the struggle for a socialist federation.