By DR. ABDUL RUFF
Strikes those days were organized for a better life of common people. These days, strikes in India are being muted by the regime by colluding with union leaders. As a result, strikes do not make any difference to the existing situations. Strikes make the life of people more miserable while the regime, power brokers and its agents continue to enjoy the fruit all by themselves. Strikers and people lose most and achieve nothing. Prices are rising almost on a permanent basis and at an exorbitant rate and speed. None really bothers about sky rocketing of prices. During the last 5 years of Congress rule prices of essential commodities have multiplied almost 300 percent.
Millions of workers took part in a nationwide general strike against price hikes, privatization and the contract work system. In May, there was a general shut down and protests by workers, youth, the rural poor and small businessmen against fuel price hikes. But strikes produced no real results.
The strike at Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC) in the southern state of Tamil State (Nadu) was one of a series of bitter struggles by workers in India in recent years. The communist betrayal of the 44-day strike by 14,000 contract workers at the Neyveli Lignite Corporation, owned by the Indian central government, has vital political lessons for the workers movement throughout world. The left oriented AITUC on June 3 “closed” the strike, without meeting any of the workers’ demands, which included equal pay with permanent workers and “regularization” of their employment.
The striking workers defied the return call order by the union to work for several days. Hundreds protested outside the local AITUC office in Neyveli and on the following day ransacked the union premises. But lacking an alternative political perspective and leadership, they were unable to sustain their rebellion. The state and owners take advantage of this phenomenon.
NLC workers maintained their strike and challenged the contract system, which is employed in public and private enterprises throughout India for the extraction of super profits. State political charade against the strickers has a tendency to win. Political alliances between the ruling parties and affiliating union parties have made things easy for the state to defeat the strikes. . .
The central and TN state governments are instrumental in defeating the demands of the strikers and they have used the union leaders as a key tool to defeat the strike. Union leaders deliberately blocked any political fight against the state and central governments. Trade unionists have sold the movement to the state perhaps son some “usual” return favors. The AITUC and the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), affiliated to the Communist Party of India (Marxist), or CPM, did everything possible to isolate the strikers.
In India, that means above all drawing the necessary political conclusions from the long history of betrayals of the communists who play a role assigned by the regime. Earlier, the CPI and CPM falsely claimed to be communist and socialist and to represent the heritage of the October 1917 Russian Revolution to work for the welfare of poor and workers. They are now completely integrated into the Indian political establishment and openly defend bourgeois rule. As a result, people have rejected their premises of defending poor and the communist parties have lost the state governments it ruled for years, West Bengal and Kerala. West Bengal Bengalis have shown they have nothing to do with Indian brand communism and have opted for Mamata Banergi as their leader. It is extremely difficult, if not impossible, for the communist to get back to reign there.
Communists, fearing aggressive nature of Hindutva BJP outfits, now promote Congress party interests and people in Kerala and West Bengal where the communists face Congress party see this as communist betrayal of popular faith.
Communism is now part of Indian politics – nothing more for people. Communist parties consider themselves as part of rung elite. As state rulers the CPM-led communists promoted pro-market restructuring and privatization, governments have implemented anti-working class policies for the benefit of foreign and local investors.
Leftists and communists now worry too much about India’s national interest for promoting corporatists, multinationals and the rich and their concern o fro people has been reduced to supporting the corrupt regime. The regime misuses both communists and communalists to promote its corruption ridden reign.
Corruption, under the prevailing circumstances, cannot be wiped out of India so long as the corrupt parties like congress continue to rule. When judiciary is weak, one doubts if any party can help India, occupying neighboring Jammu Kashmir, becoming a really corruption-free nation to provide people’s welfare measures, by withstanding pressure tactics of the rich and multinationals that control Indian Parliament and assemblies by its paid lobbyists. . . .
With communist parties losing their importance in India now, there is a greater need for a pro-people party both at central and state levels to help people – the weak, deprived, injured and insulted. A new crop of selfless leaders is the need of the hour and Anna team could have expanded their mandate to help India become a real people’s democracy! But the problem is each member has other affiliations with which the regime maintains the nexus and control. Nothing comes out!
When the union leaders strike secret deals with the regime, the not only people’s lives but even their hopes fall a helpless victim to such political manipulations. All parties coordinate their anti-people polices and inflationary practices and jointly vitiate the societal atmosphere.
A mischievous regime and hopeless people. Polls after polls people continue to suffer, bearing the brunt of regime mischief.